All posts by scienceadmin

Choosing Good Footwear for Weight Training

When it comes down to it, the kinds of shoes that you can put on can range widely. I only worry about two criteria when it comes down to choosing a good shoe and those are comfort and safety. I’m not concerned with the latest fashions or colors. Honestly, I could care less how it looks to others, as long as I am able to complete my sets correctly. It shouldn’t need to be stated but do not ever attempt to lift weights barefooted. Not only is it just plan gross but lifting weights without shoes on gives your feet no protection. If you didn’t know, your feet contain many small groups of bones, those of which can easily be shattered. If you are in a dire situation where you have no shoes, please wait and come back to lift weights at a time where you do have the proper footwear.

Most workout centers that I go to wouldn’t even let someone in the door without shoes. If you are lifting weights in the privacy of your own home, it is still suitable that you do have some form of footwear on. As we look closer at the kind of shoe you will want to go with, I recommend going with an athletic type of shoe. I can understand where the previous sentence doesn’t make things crystal clear so why don’t we begin to rule out more shoes that you do not want to take to the gym with you. All of my fellow boot wears might not like to hear this but no, you need to leave your boots at home.

I don’t have anything against wearing a pair of boots, it’s actually what I will usually choose to wear when I go out in public. However, boots will most likely have an elevated lift at the bottom of sole, which will make it hard to maintain your balance. Boots are great for making you appear taller, which is good for a boost of self-confidence but it is ironic that this very same sense of confidence will be broken, once you start feeling your legs topple over. Another reason that I would have to say no to wearing boots to workout in is because they will usually fit over the lower part of your legs.

Having footwear that locks a good portion of your legs isn’t great for when you need to quickly move around, like when you are setting down a barbell. Those who prefer to do things from a more classic perspective will want to get their feet into a nice pair of Converse All Stars. I love the sneaker type of shoe and I like the way that the All Stars keep my feet low to the ground and in perfect balance. I want to be as cozy as possible when I am working my hardest so I will often take a nice pair of athletic shoes that have some cushion in them. By using a shoe that still has a soft build to it, I am able to stay low to the ground without having to sacrifice my own personal comfort. Don’t be concerned with name brands either, they are likely some cheaper footwear options that work just fine. Personally, I would be just as satisfied with a low cost pair of tennis shoes than I would from some top of the line shoes, it makes it much easier for me.

Why I Enjoy Using Forced Reps

Usually, you will see that a plan of certain reps is to always be followed when you’re working out. We all have those days where strength is not our strong suit and we will unfortunately have ourselves disappointed. Don’t just take this as the truth, there is a way that you can increase your strength, even when your body isn’t feeling up to the task. Forced reps are a kind of lifting style that you can use after you’ve exhausted all other options. The science behind a forced rep is simple, when you are at the point that you cannot complete another repetition, you pause for a moment and then force more reps. What you want to aim to do is only for us a couple more reps, or until you can meet you limit, do not force more than five reps.

The reason behind not wanting to continually force heavy reps onto your body is that you could really hurt yourself by doing this. Forced reps should not be used during every workout and when they are should only be used as a last resort. For example, you wouldn’t want to force a rep on every exercise you do but if you find that you’ve been struggling with your squats, forcing a couple more reps could be that last determining factor and you lifting more from that day on. I came up with the concept of trying forced reps into my training when I had finally had all that I could take.

I was steadily increasing my strength and most everything that I did, with the exception of one or two workouts. I found myself continuously more and more upset that I could not break through this simple plateau. I have even changed up the days that I lifted and put more space in between my days off but nothing was able to allow me to get that strength I wanted so badly. For the exercise that was giving me fits, my goal is to complete eight reps at 250 pounds. Something else I would advise, if you are thinking about forcing reps into your regimen, is that you’ll want to stick with a weigh that is only slightly higher than what you’re used to.

Again, not knowing where your strength range is and trying to complete an exercise with something you can’t carry can easily break your bones and shred your muscles. I would keep getting stuck on only being able to complete two repetitions of this very very powerful movement so I would gradually try to force another rep at the end of the exercise. Over time, I did finally get past my old limits and with the use of forest rats was able to finally complete the 250 pound lift for eight repetitions. After those weeks of forcing myself to do more than I thought I was able to, I quickly would go on to be able to actually hold 300 pounds, a feat that I am very proud of. Listen to me, your mind is telling you that you can’t do something, your body can be the one that shows your mind who the real boss is!hes-mad

If you are thinking that you’ll be stuck lifting the same amount of weight until the day that you die, it doesn’t have to be that hard. Remember, sometimes the brain is only telling us the negative thoughts that we give it. You know that to lift well you have to fuel not just your muscles, but your mind, as well!

Angry Exercise Not Good on Your Heart

You may want to read the following closely, if you are someone who enjoys nothing more than a good workout while they’re angry. Before the following study is mentioned, it was natural to want to work out when you’re angry. Having done it numerous times myself, I always found that an angry workout helped me to grow more muscle. Nevertheless, after hearing about just how bad for you angry exercise can be, I know that I will definitely have my mood in check before I pick up a set of weights. The study that was done has found that your three times as likely to have a heart attack while working out angry, when compared to being a normal state of mind. When looking at the numbers, I know that I wouldn’t want to gain muscle at the expense of the health of my heart. If something is bothering you enough to make you extremely angry, it would be better to let cooler heads prevail before you take that anger out in the gym.

As our bodies are adjusting to going through the motions, certain parts will react accordingly. When you find yourself mad or upset, your heartbeat will speed up. With a heart rate that is already sped up, the last thing you want to do is start an activity that’s going to speed it up more, this is where the increased risk for heart attack comes into play. The same holds true for aerobic exercises, not just tied to weightlifting, but other forms of activity that can also speed up the heart should be avoided while you’re in a bad state of mind. As good as it may feel to conquer the iron while you’re pretending that you’re taking your anger out on someone else, you should just lay low until that anger subsides. Trust me, you won’t need to stress yourself out further over worrying about minuscule muscle gains.

Since strength is not directly tied to anger, once you have calm down you should find that you’ll still be able to lift as good as you always have been. Don’t think that you’ll be sacrificing any muscle if you wait until you feel better to work out. What is most important to keep in mind is that your health should always be your number one concern, I don’t care how quick you could gain muscle. By making sure that your mental well-being is taken care of, this joy will extend to your physical sense of well-being. It is common for the heart rate to accelerate when exercising, the worry occurs when you speed up an already quickened heartbeat. When something does set you off and angers you, you will feel differently than you did when you were in a good mood. What isn’t as easy to see is all of internal shifts that happen, once you decide that your mood is changing. I can’t say that you should never be angry, that would be impossible to expect. What you can do though, is to wait and let that anger subside before you go out to the gym.

We all have our own distinct motivations that separate us from everyone else. You don’t have to go through life being mad at everyone, practice relaxation or if you feel that this rage is always there, you might need to think about seeking professional help.

Three Foods That Are Killing Your Diet

Not being one that likes raining on others parades, I feel that I do want to list three foods that, when not used in moderation, can be devastating to a diet. I don’t want to leave you with only negative advice about these foods, so each pick will have a healthier substitute that you can implement into your diet for each food choice.

Pizza – I love this food as much as the next person. Being that you get options to load it with toppings, cheese, and just about anything else you can think of, Pizza is an amazing food. However, if you were on a diet, a couple of slices of this snack could easily ruin your determination in a heartbeat. While containing tomatoes, cheese, and meat, it can be used to gain weight but most of the gains will come from fat. As you see, even though pizza does have good base ingredients, there is a lot of extra additives placed onto a pizza. You can use many of the commonly associated pizza toppings on a salad, you may just want to go a little bit lighter on the ranch dressing.

cheesy pizza

Ice Cream – This pick is known as most people’s choice as a favorite comfort food, this one can really add on extra calories that will translate into additional fat accumulation. Although, there are healthier alternatives available, it’s going to be pretty frustrating to try and track down an actual healthy ice cream, as fat as I Know, there isn’t one that exists. However, if any readers know of some good choices to replace ice cream in someone’s diet, please let me know Being that it is so difficult to try and find something that is remotely close to ice cream, while still being healthy, your best pick will be a sorbet dish.

Bread – It’s hard to say too many bad things about bread, as it is used in so many different foods! What I wanted to make more clear was the kind of bread you’re using, it has everything to do with it being a good choice of bread for a diet. I try and use wheat bread, whenever possible, as it is a better choice than white bread. You will be eating a lot of hidden sugar and extra carbohydrates with bread but the numbers are much lower when looking at wheat bread versus white bread.
The three foods that we’ve covered are not bad foods, by any means. I think that what makes a few truly good or bad is the attitude of the person eating the food.

For everyone, a bite of pizza would not put their diet into jeopardy. When speaking with someone who may be of a weaker mindset, these three foods can end their diet altogether and I would never want that to happen. It certainly isn’t wrong to want to have the three foods that comprise this list. Also, you can have cheat days setup to where you can consume these goods, as long as you know when to set limits. I have picked foods for this list that were also very easy to keep eating, you have to exercise caution to ensure that you aren’t doing too much damaging to your personal goals. Whenever you feel those hunger pains that are getting you down throughout the day, it could also be a sign that you need to drink more water. I would recommend that you try and indulge in water should you feel that afternoon snack urge begin to rise.

Is Yoga for Metal Heads Any Fun?

We try to do a decent job of letting you know about all the cool and innovative fitness classes out there. Whenever I heavy metalmention yoga, I know that many of the male readers probably skim on to pass up on it. Men, listen up, I think that our prayers have been answered, as there seems to be a yoga class for us. Being relatively new, there is a yoga class that is shunning the age old clichés of calming instrumentals and nature sounds for leather chaps and spike bracelets! In all seriousness, metal yoga may have a smaller following than the relaxing classes we all know and love, but that’s ok. Metal heads have always been a fringe group, when compared to their top 40 counterparts.

If you were to bring this up to any metal fan, it’s likely they already know and that is one reason that keeps that community together, the mutual bonds between those people. I know that when the time is approaching for me to start weight lifting, I’ve got to have tunes that rock, no easy listening allowed. When doing yoga, there is not unwritten law that says that the music has to be what you would hear in an elevator. Seeming like an oxymoronic style clash, it’s still possible to find true peace, while a Juda Priest solo is blaring in your ears.

The change of scenery, when thinking of what you usually picture in a yoga room, can be jarring to some but don’t worry, no one will kick you out for not wearing all black. The class that I had signed up for brought me into a dimly lit room, with a minimal setup. I’m not casting my yoga in a negative light, I enjoyed the minimalistic look, as it adhered well with the overall vibe of the class.

Having taken someone with me, I wanted to have a compadre there with me, to witness this new and more intense style of yoga. I don’t want to give too much away, as I hate taking away surprises from others, just be prepared to be enlightened, should you choose to go. At first, the loud waves of heavy metal had me wanting to stand up and proudly proclaim that this was not going to be for me. After following the instructor, who I’m fairly sure was just a guy who rented out the room, I did start to let my mind wander down its own path. Shockingly, within about five minutes I did start to feel more peaceful.

Should you feel that the music in your metal yoga class is too loud, you’ll want to move to the back of the room, if you can. Ears are amazing instruments that most of us were born with, they are also highly sensitive. I used to drive around main street with music blaring, thinking that I was cool, now I have to ask people to repeat themselves because I semi-damaged my hearing. Saying that this class was only being in a room of people, all listening to loud metal would be doing this class an injustice. I was able to actually learn some new yoga poses that I hadn’t done before, while slowly mastering the standard ones. Lasting about an hour long, I felt amazingly relaxed after walking out of the class door. It was almost as if the anger was starting to slowly subside, throughout the duration of the class I was in.

How Exercise is My Own Fountain of Youth

I have to spill the beans on a secret, I’ve been using working out as my only form of anti-aging treatment and it works great. I’ve never dabbled with all of those creams and other products, just stuck to strictly weightlifting. I’ll admit that I’ve been blessed with an ability to age slowly, at least that’s I hear from others, but I’ve put in the work to get to that point. It is commonly known that regular exercise can help to keep you living longer, nice to know that it will keeping you looking younger, also! How this happens is due to the genetic makeup of how we were all formed.

When exercise is continually done, over long stretches over time, we get hormones released that support keeping skin nice and firm. Being able to keep skin in great shape will pay off tenfold as you continue to age. I’ve seen people damage their skin and watching them become wrinkled in their 30’s is never a good look. It gets way more technical, to fully understand the complex systems that come into play to help those good hormones up to par, it really is fascinating. Where this becomes even more interesting is when you take a look at those exercisers who had a late start in their lives. When older people start exercising regularly, they don’t just age slower, their skin can actually start to reverse the effects of aging. That’s right, all of those creams and lotions never had a shot against old fashioned work!

I am certainly not anywhere near old enough to get those senior citizen discount lunches but I haven’t had any wrinkles popping up lately. What is humorous is how, if my face is clean shaven, I’ll still have to show some identification, just to see the latest horror movie. Take it from personal experience, the older generation can have their reverse aging you can still get started stopped wrinkles right now. If you think about what can cause us all to start aging, there isn’t a stressor that exercise can’t take care of. Stressful situations are most well-known as triggers to cause early aging to set in, good thing that regular exercise has been shown to lower stress levels. There is still going to be environmental hazards that even the longest bout of exercise won’t completely cover up. Needless to say, if you find yourself out in the sun often, with little to no SPF protection, it’s going to take an indeterminate number of weeks to see smoother skin. Isn’t a little bit of sweat worth sacrificing to mean that you can see those cruel age marks disappear?

I always do what I can to keep myself at the tip top of my motivation game, hearing that I’m somewhat safe from normal aging will keep me that much more excited. I guess learning of this amazing new process that our bodies can undergo, when subjected to exercise helps to explain why older weightlifters are never wrinkled up. If you look back at what some previous Mr. Olympia winners look like and I’m talking going back to the pre-Arnold days, these men look great for being sixty-five and up. If you’ve ever thought you were a boring person, just think of how astounding it is that you are a part of a body that can reverse how it ages, it is sort of like having your own superpower or maybe I’ve just been watching too many superhero movies!

Weightlifting Maneuvers You’re Missing Out On

You’ve heard about the old-school techniques to becoming larger, we all have. Withstanding the test of time, the staples to any real weightlifters repertoire haven’t undergone a drastic change, in the past decades. As tidbits often will, we have concentrated on the legendary lifts of the past that we’ve left a few behind, where they should not be. Without further ado, I present these three lifts that aren’t in your weightlifting regimen, but should be.

Hack Squats
Take everything that you’ve learned about how to do low squats and toss it out the window. If you don’t like lifting that squat formmakes you feel slightly off-balance, you might need someone to stand behind you. Yes, if you just starting hack squats, you could feel a sensation that you are leaning back too far, albeit a false fear. With squats that are of the hack variety, you need to put a bar to the rear of you, picking it up in a similar motion to squatting. If you wear shorts to workout in, be advised a bar, being lifted close to the back of your legs could scrape them up. I find that an occasional scratch on my skin, while hack squatting, isn’t far off from scraping my shins during a deadlift. Please keep in the forefront of your brain to not even attempt to lift what you normally squat, you’ll still be making use of your calves but the weight won’t be resting on your shoulders.

Kneeling Tricep Extensions with Dumbbells
While I enjoy gaining tricep strength, over most other groups of muscle, this exercise is responsible for the back of your arms getting a nice burn. To effectively carry out a tricep extension where you’re kneeling, balance is super important. Even if you are only using five pound dumbbells, falling over on one side could leave you with a broken arm. Falls are painful enough, holding weights while nearing the ground only intensifies that pain.

Barbell Shrugs
I never see anyone doing heavy shrugging, which leads me to believe that those same folks are likely missing out on some easy added mass. The setup to this exercise couldn’t be much more simple. To effectively do this exercise, you’ll need to grab a barbell (DO NOT lift from the floor), preferably rack your weights on a stand, if one is nearby. After that, slowly take the weight down and shrug your shoulders, try to get five reps. What I like with doing shrugs is that you can go heavy with them, since you are recruiting more fibers, than you would be with other lifts. While not quite a compound lift, but certainly not one for isolation, the shrug is somewhere in the middle.

These lifts aren’t the easiest ones to do and they sure won’t seem familiar, however don’t let that stop you from attempting any of these listed exercises. As with any new lift that you implement into your already routine schedule, give yourself time to learn. The first time that you try any of these exercises, take the hack squat for example, you won’t feel like you are doing the motions correctly. Whenever I start changing up mundane workouts, the first time that I try out a new lift (no matter how many videos I’ve seen concerning form), I still feel like the new kid on the block who is messing it up. Get limber, take the word no out of your head, and get a little confidence as you step up to the plate to put these new lifts into your weekly plan!

How Exercising Can Save Your Wallet

If you were to stand outside of a fitness center and ask why they keep going, saving money wouldn’t be a likely response. That being mentioned, there are findings that show your muscles and wallet could be thanking you. When comparing those who workout regularly, with those who aren’t active, one group is more likely to be in the waiting room of a doctor! If you thought that hearing about exercising helping you live longer was a farce, the proof is in the (lack of) medical bills. Men and women who are taking their free time and putting it to good use, by exercising have got stronger immune systems, making them less susceptible to medical problems.

Many employers will offer incentives to employees that maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s a smart move that is made by large corporations, to encourage their workforce to take preventative measures through any of the following methods: walking, jogging, regularly weight lifting, etc. The rewards for employees that are tracking their efforts are usually rewarded with a cut out of their insurance deductible, time off, or a combination. While the ones who choose to be lazy could have more free time, they will likely be shelling it out at the doctor’s office. I used to constantly get allergies and would be seriously ill, once or twice every month, before I picked up taking better care of myself. Nowadays, I end up ill maybe once a year, thanks to a more fitness minded life. The results seem clear, it looks like those who are exercising are keeping the doctor away and doing a great job of it.

With the stacked advantages of saving up funds, this looks like another notch in win column for us! If it is being offered, take a look at what your company could offer, in the way of extra employee incentives to get moving! If not, you could be missing out on many great opportunities, especially if you already exercise, outside of work! I often dodge hearing about how exercising is too expensive for some, which has a grain of truth, there are memberships, supplements, clothes, that will be additional costs to you. Although, when compared to how much you could save in the workplace, those initial costs don’t seem to be too staggering, do they? If faced with a situation, where someone is giving you a bad word for being so obsessed with the way you live, remind them that you are getting healthy, all while saving money, are there any two feelings more awesome than those? Perhaps, now that you know another, adding to the list of many benefits that come with regular exercise, anyone wanting to stay lazy might change their tune. I know that I’ll be reminded, when facing a set that I don’t believe I can complete, that I will be having visions of lower insurance and a longer lifespan! I can’t speak of what certain incentives that I know about, from hearing of others employment but it only drives home the point that you need to find about if your own workplace offers fitness incentives, it is likely most large ones will.

Sometimes depending upon the season of the year, different workplace programs will be in place, largely appearing during the Summer season. When adding in the extra cash you have from not spending it at the doctor, plus the added discounts you will receive on those insurance payments, once again, regular exercise is starting to gain momentum once again!

Always Wrap Your Wrists Before Straining Them

I wanted to point one aspect of fitness accessories that I’m not seeing many make use of. Sure, we all have to get our awesome tank top, shorts, and whatever else we are going to wear to the gym. Being so obsessed with appearances, of which I am just as guilty as the next person, one important piece of safety equipment always goes missing. I used to think that wrapping up wrists was for those big fight scenes in movies, never something I would find that I needed to use. I started having some nagging wrist pain that was starting to honestly hinder my quality of life. There is nothing that comes close to making you feel like a weakling, than having a sharp pain shoot up your wrist, while trying to just push on a door. I had spoken to a co-worker of mine, an avid weightlifter. He had said that I could have either pulled a muscle or had come down with a case of tennis elbow.

I started seeing what others had to say on this matter and if they had experienced any similarities with the pain I had. It didn’t take long before I got responses suggesting that I could have weakened wrists. I had thought those folks were crazy, I had been lifting all of the time, how could I have a weakened anything? Checking the ego and starting to think a bit more clearly, I realized that some random guy on the internet could have just figured out this puzzle. I went to a sporting goods store and purchased some high quality wrist wraps. Not content to settle with the cheapest option, I plunked down about thirty bucks for a pair of these wrist wraps, money well spent. After about a week of using these wraps, almost all of the pain I had went away, that’s not a joke.

I went from barely being able to push myself up to going back to having wrists that had no pain in them at all. When I first noticed this pain start coming on was during only two lifts: the bench press and bicep curls, such an interesting and in no way related pairing! With two far apart exercises, for the muscles that are trained, as well as the pushing and pulling movement difference, this was why I was so mystified as to what could be the source of this horrible pain. I got some mild laughter when I would keep having to adjust my wrist straps but it didn’t matter to me, I would gladly have a workout go over ten minutes than to have to not be able to push anything for weeks. I have noticed that there are assortments of various straps that you can use.

I like the mobility that comes with simple straps but there are other options. If you can’t keep that strong grip when you are trying to move that bar, I would advise you use straps that are forced to tie onto the barbell itself, with this type of strap I prefer the ones that are cloth, than the cloth and metal hook contraption. Call me crazy but I don’t want any hook near me while I’m trying to lift weights, ouch! If you are less accident prone than I am and not a total clumsy guy, you could end up loving the strap with hooks, many do.

Get Your Legs Ready for Short Wearing Weather

Having a big upper half is highly sought after, so why are so many of you not concentrating on your legs? For one, they are the two body parts you have that are going to support the extra weight you pack on up top. I almost wanted to cry, this Summer, when I noticed that my calves and thighs were sorely lacking. I have been busy with trying to handle everything in my life but I knew that I had to give some special attention to my getting stronger legs. The first new lift that I had decided to implement into my routine was the hack squat. For those who haven’t tried them, get ready, the hack squat requires that you take the barbell BEHIND your legs.

I almost had to stop myself from tripping over my own feet the first time that I tried this exercise. I wasn’t sure what weight to use, since this was my original attempt at getting this routine over with. I must have started with too much weight because, upon my first upward movement, I nearly fell on my back. When you do most exercises, the weight is in front of you, making it easier for you to decide if you need to set it down, to avoid falling forward. With a hack squat, the weight is behind you, so if you fall, it’s going to be right on your back, ouch.

Am I the only one that gets that combination tingle of both fear and excitement, when trying a new exercise for the first time? I felt that my stomach was filled with butterflies as I approached my next lift, lying leg curls on a rickety bench, joy! My reward for trying to help my legs better support my frame was met with a t-bar smashing right into my Achilles’ tendon. After doing all I could to mask my pain-filled scream that sneaked out, the curls became much more simple. It’s hard to say if the soreness that I am currently feeling is from the weightlifting or the accidental scrapes I suffered from learning my form. I would go on to learn that, after smashing my leg into the t-bar, I had now put a bend in the bar, it must have been from my jumping reaction to the pain I felt in my heel.

Moving on to sitting leg curls, I did have to bend at a slightly awkward movement to complete the entire set, not causingstronger legs me too much additional pain. I might have to wear shin guards, as I continue to build up my legs in preparation for that wonderful summer vacation. What makes working out your legs different from most other parts of the body is that you only walk on your legs. Try not to think about how many steps you take, in an average day, after strengthening your legs, it will only make you queasy because you will feel that workout in the upcoming days. When it comes time to pick out the new attire, which you should do, in order to reward yourself for building massive legs, always try them on first. Us weightlifters are always growing, don’t be afraid to buy a larger size of attire, in order to grow into it. I rarely buy anything that is tight-fitting off of the rack because I know I will grow out of it, in a matter of weeks!