workout tips

Which 90s Action Movie Star Physique Do You Want?

I thought that we could lighten up a bit here, so I had to flashback to the days when I was a little bit younger. I vividly remember going to the video store (yeah, that far back) and renting the new action movie that would come out. The heroes of my time, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Van-Damme, all of the greats! I know that some of you grew up on those classics of our time and a few of you may aspire for the look of said action hero. Here are some great ways to achieve the body type that you want to have.

  1. Pure Mass Above Everything – The Arnold LookarnoldBy far, the hardest one to obtain anything close to this list, the Arnold look is not for wimps! To begin to mold your body in the look of Arnold, you will be needing to gain mass ASAP. For this, I recommend simply eating big and lifting big, you will get there but it will take quite a long time. Use a mix of mid-level reps with a heavier weight, not your max but around 75% of it. This will be a long and grueling process, but that is what you can expect when trying to replicate the best of all time.
  1. Definition with Some Mass – The Jean Claude Van-Damme Look jcvdGet ready to run, you will need some high level cardio to get the cut JCVD look that we all know and love. Along with that, concentrate on isolation exercises with high rep sets. We want the process that causes muscles to grow to happen, as opposed to gaining new levels of strength. That being said, bulking up a bit would add to the definition, just do it clean!
  1. The All Natural Look – The Chuck Norris Look chucknorriThis look requires less work, but make no mistake, Mr. Norris is in really good shape. I mean, have you seen this guy lately, he is in his 70s and still looks like the same guy from Walker, Texas Ranger. I would be a happy man if I end up aging half as well as Chuck Norris has. Anyways, to attain this physique, you just want to do some light to medium cardio, in order to keep your fat down. Since you probably won’t be hitting the gym for any real strength training, don’t slack off on your cardio. You will need to have that, or a strict diet in place to stay in the shape that Norris is in.

I feel that most of us grew up watching these amazing action films throughout our younger years. I, myself always thought that I wanted the Jean Claude look, however, as I kept lifting, I strived for more of the Arnold look. I wanted to throw an honorable mention to Sylvester Stallone as well. I ended up removing him because of how close his look would have fit into Arnold’s. A lot of the famous looks that those action heroes have has occurred because of their genetics. What is really out there to think about is that even though most do look similar, these men are all made up of separate muscle systems. Meaning that, even though most of us just see bulked up guys, there are actually a ton of small differences that make a difference of night and day!

workout tips

Training Apparel Choices You Shouldn’t Make

When it comes time to step out of the house and start up a killer workout, you don’t want what you wear to hold you back. Believe it or not, I have been noticing my fellow gym goers with things on that not only are unsafe, but draw laughter from everyone else around. I am here to be your friend and show you some mistake that you might be making before you even pick up a single weight.

First, why are some of you not wearing any shoes to the gym? There are rules that are set in place to combat this from going on, but in the world of twenty-four hour gyms, it isn’t always a rule that is enforced. Far be it from me, to tell anyone how to dress, but this is just ridiculous. If you don’t care about keeping your feet and toes, keep on showing up to train barefooted. If you care about keeping everything on your body where it is, get a pair of shoes. You don’t need to get anything fancy or even new, for that matter, just get a pair of shoes. Also, wearing flip flops while pumping iron is another no-no. Come on, this is about as close to being barefoot as you can get. I remember guys getting kicked out of the weightlifting classes I took in college for this very reason.

Something else I have ran into is people not checking their surroundings while they exercise. I actually saw why not to do this happen right in front of my eyes, and it is a somewhat gruesome tale, you have been warned. Anyways, there was someone in that same weightlifting class that was known as not being the brightest bulb. I have always been taught about the golden rule, so I was always nice to him. Cut to a couple of months down the road, while we were all doing on daily workout. The day in question was an arm training day. The poor guy that I was just talking about was doing some dumbbell exercises and wasn’t looking at where he laid his weight down. Unfortunately, he ended up crushing a couple of fingers between the dumbbell that he was using and the weight plates that were already on the ground. Needless to say, he had to go to the hospital to get a couple of fingers reattached. He ended up being just fine, so there was light at the end of the tunnel, but I have always checked the floor now since that day.

Before mentioning this one, I want to note that I have seen men just as guilty of this faux pas: not wearing enough when you go to lift. Not only are you subjecting too much of yourself to whoever might be in the building, but you could face getting your membership in jeopardy by dressing too showy. There will always be a special time and place where you can wear that new skimpy outfit but the fitness center is not that place. You don’t need to bundle up and dress like you are going outside in a snow storm, but be dressed appropriately when it comes time to put in some work. If you don’t know what is appropriate and what isn’t to wear, think about what you would wear to go to the grocery store. If what you have on to go workout does not pass this test, go and change into something else.

workout tips

Making A Better Budget for Supplements

It can be super hard for someone to get all of the top supplements. For one thing, it seems there is always some new thing that is out, just after you make a large trip to get what you came for. Secondly, we live in times where just getting everything done can be enough, let alone another new addition to the errand list. Another thing that I have had happen to me before is that I go to the store, have my list in hand, and forget the main thing that I came there to get! Even though, we might not all go to the same kind of shops, we know that we will all face different difficulties in getting the items that we need.

steroid results on a skinny budget

If your goals are going to be more for weight loss, there will be certain vitamins that you will want to use over other ones. Trust me, there is definitely such a thing as going overboard with what all you are taking. Worst of all, you can risk getting an adverse reaction to what you are using and could end up really sick. It is actually possible to end up taking too much of even the most helpful things for your body. Much like the sad case of the radio show contest, even water, in large enough amounts can not be good. Being wasteful with what you have already got, will not help you down the line. Another thing that can be helpful is making a schedule of when you will need to restock, and when this will need to happen.

When it comes time to work within the budget that you have, stick with the essentials. If you are unable to take the risks on trying something that might not work, then don’t! There are tons of great resources out there, if you are needing to compare prices. One of the most popular times of the year to stock up on workout stuff would be during any of the big online sales days. It is not uncommon for me to save 40-60% off of certain products, it is just all about keeping up with what discounts are going on. Also, be sure to check out which products are available in smaller sizes for a cheaper price. By doing this, you will be helping to avoid eating any big costs, if you had bought a bigger sized container of the same product.

In closing, supplementing on a budget might seem impossible, but there are easy methods you can use to make this happen. Do not use more per day than what is said to be used. You will not suddenly turn into a beast by doubling up on what you use. If anything, the only that will grow will be the odds that you end up having to go to the doctor after doing something so crazy. Plan ahead and work the costs of the initial supplements that you want to get into your budget. Plan ahead and set back a certain amount for what you are going to need, this way when you need something restocked you will not be caught off guard. Even though, you might feel like you are suffering from supplement-overload, don’t worry, it is a common feeling. Simply work these items into your budget, as you would with any kind of cost, and you will be a planning ahead pro in no time!

workout tips

When Working Out Becomes an Obsession

As I hear from more and more of the great readers here, I am learning about all kinds of fitness concerns that you are all having. I love this, because it helps to show me a more accurate picture of what you all want to hear about. So many people see the person that we want to look like, and we compare our behind the scenes to their highlight reel. I am just as guilty of this type of behavior as anyone else. Even though I consider myself to be in decent shape, I can still see someone else working out that is bigger than me, and I get a little envious. Guys and girls, you have to remember not to think this way. By comparing yourself to others that might have much more experience, you are setting yourself up to be disappointed.

dedicated or obsessedThis kind of obsession can soon grow into a personality that you don’t really want to have. Sometimes, when this happens, certain people will start to be so obsessed with being the best, that they make bad choices. When you do not give your body the time that it needs to recover, you not only lose any gains but you put yourself in a bad situation. When you skimp on recovery and continue to break down your muscles, you make yourself more prone to injury. Also, good luck trying to actually get stronger or bigger, when muscles fiber doesn’t have the time to recover, you actually run a risk of making yourself weaker than when you started!

It is widely believed, that engaging in fitness activities can help to boost the immune system. As someone who rarely gets sick, I personally think that this is true. However, if you are not giving yourself recovery time, you are going to be seeing a complete reverse of this and could end up getting sick easier. For some reason, there is some great myth out there that the more time you spend at the gym, the healthier you are. This is not always true, however, a few people will be doing more harm than good when they push themselves to that much time spent working out. If you are thinking about a solution to maximize the effort you put in to being fit, make an informed decision. Heavy Athletics actually tried and rated the best legal steroids available, it is worth a read. Now, I don’t want anyone to think that I am condoning using actual steroids, that would be an idiotic decision, these are perfectly legal and widely available. Best of all, there are a lot safer than using the more dangerous method to try and cheat time. There is no substitute for hard work and continued progress, but there will always be things to take that can make all of this effort slightly easier to accomplish.

There is nothing wrong with spending your valuable time at the gym. As a matter of fact, it is one of the greatest things that you can do to stay in good health. Unfortunately, that line between being healthy and becoming obsessed can be a thin one. If you notice that you are suffering from a lack of progress, are getting sick more often than usual, or anything else out of place, your workout schedule might just be the reason. As a rule of thumb, 2-4 trips to workout are good for most people. To even need any more time than that spent working out, you will probably be someone who trains as part of their job. In that case, feel free to ignore the rule of thumb, as you will be needing to be working out at a whole other level.

news stories

How Under Armor Plans to Revolutionize Fit Tracking

As we all are awash with all of the fitness trackers out there, something has come along to change the way that we track our progress. Under Armor has released what is known as the Speedform 2 Gemini. Although this doesn’t exactly roll off of the tongue, these shoes are really gaining some popularity. I want to note that I actually tried to look at getting a pair of these at the Under Armor website, and they were all sold out! How these special shoes work is due to the computer chip that they have in them. Yes, you read that right, there is an actual small computer chip within these shoes that is able to track everything that you do!

Well, maybe not every single thing but everything that you could need, if you are someone who wants to track your results. Measuring how far you go, as well as your pace, these shoes look like something out of the future. I had only heard of any sort of tracking being done with watches, and whatnot. With these shoes, you are going to get all of your information about your runs readily available. Another cool feature is that these shoes have a built-in calories burned counter within them. If you are expecting to shell out a small fortune for the Speedform line, you are in luck, these only retail for about $150. This price, especially when talking about sneakers, is nothing out of the ordinary. I think that these shoes will be a bigger and bigger hit, as time goes by.

More people are going to be in need of new shoes, as opposed to a watch, so these shoes could very well dominate the workout tracking market. Over at the Under Armor website, I could only see them available in the blue color that was featured. Due to them being sold out, as of this writing, I was unable to see any other colors. However, after doing a bit of searching, I was able to see some of the other colors and they all look really cool. I am partial to the light blue colored ones, just because it matches what I will usually wear to go workout.

Looking past the amazing tracking abilities that these shoes have, I also wanted to mention some other cool features for anyone that is thinking about grabbing a pair. From checking out this product, it looks like comfort was another big concern among the makers of these tracking shoes. The Gemini line is made to fit your feet with the 4D foam and seamless heel that these shoes have. One of the most annoying things about getting a new pair of shoes is having to take the time to wear them in. With the Speedform, you don’t have to worry about going on a first run in these only to end up accidentally kicking them off before you leave your yard!

From the cool design, to all of the options that you have to keep track of your runs, the Speedform 2 Gemini line of fitness tracking shoes are a great choice. I can really see more companies looking to capitalize on this, so we might just see other companies throw their hat into the race to make a great fitness tracking shoe. Until then, it looks like Under Armor has a winner on their hands! My only complaint that I have with them, at the moment, is that I can’t get a pair for myself yet.

workout tips

Prioritizing Your Fitness Objectives

set priorities in the gym

When you have been working out for a while, there will always be that tendency to get burned out. This is something that is very common, so don’t worry if you are feeling this way. The good news is that there are certain things that you can do that can help keep you on the right track. I talk a lot on here about the importance of goal setting, but I wanted to offer a little bit of a different kind of method I have used to get through those slumps we all deal with. I had gotten rather sick of looking at the same old pages of my fitness notebook. Sure, I had all of my lift numbers in front of me but I felt that something was kind of off.

I began really looking through the entire notebook and going further and further back. It was when I had gotten nearly all the way back to the beginning that I noticed something. In the beginning of this notebook, I had actually listed some priorities that I wanted to make happen. First, I knew that I wanted to be able to bench press three hundred pounds. For some, this may not seem like that big of a deal, but it was all that I could think about. After that, I knew that I wanted to lower my body fat percentage to around 20%. With me, I gain fat pretty easily, and if I could find a routine that would help me get this number down, I knew that I would be elated. Beyond that, my last goal was to be able to get my bicep measurement to 16 inches or above.

After looking at all of these things that I had prioritized, I had figured out a sad fact: I had not met one of these priorities that I had set for myself about a year ago. I became very confused as to why I had not even really touched any of these things that, at one time, had been so important to me. As I began to turn the pages back to the present times of my notebook, I saw those priorities disappear and change to the boring old notebook, filled with just numbers. I realized where I went wrong with what I wanted to achieve and that was that I had forgotten how important these priorities were and what they were, as a whole.

These three items were all important to me but what I had figured out is how far apart they all were. Having a bigger bench press has nothing to do with me lower my body fat, and neither of those really had anything to do with growing my biceps. Luckily, I took some time and re-made my entire workout process with these priorities in mind. What I did was focus more on lifts that would help grow my chest and biceps. Along with that, I implemented more cardio into the end of my workouts, thereby lowering the amount of fat I have over time. If this sounds like something that is going on with you, think of changing up the lifts that you do. Align your workout plan along with your specific priorities and see how much more effort you put into what you are doing!

news stories, supplements

What I Thought of the Recent Supplement Award Winners

As we come to another year, the big time supplement awards are in the books and we have an interesting list of winners this year. Here I am going to be talking about the winners and if I think that these picks were justified or not. There is a lot to cover so I will go ahead and get right down to it. For the mass gainer product, the award went to BSN. This is something that really made me happy to see. BSN has been putting out some excellent products in recent memory. Their preworkout, Hyper FX, was one of the best ones that I have tried and it garnered a spot in my regimen. True Mass is the product that won the award, and I think that that was a great pick. I have been using this particular product for the past couple years, off and on. If I am needing to really pack on some base weight in the colder months, this product is my go-to. They have a ton of great flavors and, with so many gross tasting mass gainers out there, it is nice to see one win that really deserves it.

I had also saw that Dymatize had won the award, as far as isolate protein powders are concerned. I thought that this was a great pick, if you haven’t tried any of the products from Dymatize, I would highly suggest checking them out as well. A while back, they put together a couple of great supplements that I had kept coming back to. Unfortunately, I know that they had changed around some of the way that their products were made. I don’t know just how true this is but I am glad to see that they are still getting some awards won. Beyond that, there were no real big surprises that I didn’t see coming. I think that all of the competitors that had won these awards were very deserving of them. Although I didn’t see any big upsets or products that I thought should have won that didn’t, it is interesting to see just how many of the newer brands out there that had ended up winning. I think that this is a big sign that we are seeing some new companies come up out of the blue to take over. Being that there are so many changes going on with what we take with us to the gym, these awards are showing the changes are really happening right now.

As we look to a future that is filled with products that are on the safer side, who knows what the award lineup will be next year? Either way, I look forward to seeing all of the changes that will be coming our way as we head into 2016 and beyond. I have been hearing some news about some new stuff coming out that could really change the way that we all train. However, these are early news stories, so only time will tell if these new kids on the block are going to be sticking around. Judging from all of the good reviews that I have been reading about, I think we are at a very good place right now with what companies are sending out for us all to try! I am really looking forward to seeing what the next year award nominees will consist of!

workout tips

Great Bodyweight Exercises That You Can Do Right Now

Ok, well maybe you should read this first, and then you can do these exercises. Not everyone has the time to go drive to whatever gym is closest. You also might not have the money to invest in an expensive home gym setup. Both of these cases are extremely common and acceptable. The sad thing is that some of these people who want to train but can’t find the time nor the finances to work out. Believe me, I have been there and even though I had the desire to get in good shape, I did not have the resources.

However, that all changed when I began to look into body weight exercises. These exercises don’t require that you buy any equipment and you can do most, if not all of them, within the privacy of your own home. Needless to say, if you are ready and able, there really is no excuse to not do these exercises if you are serious about getting big.

One of my favorite exercises that only uses your body weight would be the dip. Sure, you can get some crazy dip machine but you can really get your weightlifting process started with a good base of using dips that only require you doing them, nothing extra needed. Now, how you do them will be up to you. However, I usually use a couple of chairs but feel free to try what works well for you. The main thing that you want to remember when doing dips is that whatever you are using to balance yourself on is STABLE.

good way to dip

That means that anything that cannot safely support your body weight does not need to be used. So, don’t go and grab something plastic or like that. We want to use stable and strong materials. Find what works best for you and use it, it is really as simple as that. As you start out, you will want to keep your feet on the ground, as this makes the dips easier to do. As you are able to do more and more reps, you will then want to start propping your feet up as well. By propping your feet up and having them off of the ground, you will notice that the dips become more challenging.

Another great way to build strength and muscle by only using your own body is by doing pull ups. Yes, you might remember these from gym days in school. The funny thing will most likely be that you can do about as many now as you could when you were younger. Don’t be discouraged, a pull up can be one of more grueling exercises that you can do. However, with the difficulty of them, also comes some amazing results that you are going to get.

good way to do pull ups

I would consider dips and pull ups to be some of the most beneficial lifts out there. There is a reason why you can see so many different people doing these exercises, they work incredibly well. You will definitely be feeling the burn here but your muscles will thank you for it, as they start growing! If you are beginning this kind of at home fitness program, be sure to start out slowly. People who have not done much in the way of working out before can expect to be sore. You can help to ease this soreness by starting out with a couple of reps.

Everyone has to start somewhere and by simply making the decision to start, you are already ahead of those who never will take the actions to change their live! Don’t be discouraged, you may begin lifting now!

workout tips

One Way to Ease the Boredom of Working Out: Music

If there is one thing that has saved me from a bad workout or just being bored, overall, it would have to be music. Sure, you can listen to whatever they are playing on the speakers at your gym (if they have speakers). However, I prefer to listen to music on my own terms and choose what it is that I hear. Especially because my local gym plays nothing but top 40, all day and every day. Now, that isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with that kind of music. I actually love most pop music and listen to it all of the time, just not while I am really pumping iron. If you haven’t done it yet, I highly suggest getting a mp3 player and then heading out to go workout. One thing that I don’t really like about hearing music over the radio at my gym, is that all of the fun parts are removed from the songs, you know what I mean! One big benefit of listening through music on your headphones is that the artists can say whatever they want. Some of those words really get me through an exhausting workout day. Better yet, did you know that it is actually proven that listening to music while you lift weights can help you to lift more?
workingouttomusicrules
The one thing that you are going to have issues with, possibly, is that you need to be extra careful of your surroundings while your music is playing. There is nothing worse than jamming out so hard that you bump into someone or do something embarrassing like that. I have been the person who has bumped into someone because I had my music too loud, needless to say, it was more than a bit awkward. After all, these people there are working just as hard as you are so be courteous (I don’t care how hard the song goes). There are a bunch of great songs out there that almost seem like they were made for pumping iron to. No matter what style you like, there is going to be something that will help to motivate you. One secret reason that I enjoy bringing my music with me to the gym is because it is a mega time saver. It seems like I am always super crunched for time and never have enough of it to listen to anything that is new. Because I am able to bring my iPod with me to workout, I can use that time to catch up on some stuff that I haven’t heard before.

Be sure to load your music player up with all different styles of music to find what works best for you. It doesn’t always have to be heavy metal cranked up as loud as it will go, branch out and you might surprise yourself. Personally, I can’t really get the weights moving to any kind of sappy ballads, but to each their own. Another thing that I want to mention is to be sure to get a nice protective case for whatever you decide to bring with you. I can’t count the number of times that I rip out a headphone cord or miss my pocket when going to put my music player up. This can lead to a broken setup pretty quickly!

workout tips

Reasons Why You Had A Bad Workout

Yes, it is something that will happen to any of us from time to time and it can be quite shocking. You go into help get your body more fit than it is was before, when the dreaded bad workout day hits you. If there were lifts that you were doing easily a week ago, now you find that you can’t come close to that level of strength. Perhaps it could happen when you get on the treadmill and find out that you are gassing out about fifteen minutes ago. No matter how this occurs, you will surely want to begin looking for reasons as to how this had happened.

Do Not Blame Yourself

First things first here, do not blame yourself for this occurring. This happens to all of us, at one time or another, and usually is just a freak thing that happens. Although, it is hard to pinpoint the exact reason this will occur and how you can spot it to prevent it, there are factors that will cause those terrible workout days. Here are a couple of the biggest ones that have happened to me and others.

Make Sure You Are Following A Good Diet

The first reason would be poor nutrition. Has someone been cheating on their diet recently? Maybe you decided to go through the drive thru a couple more times than normal. There could have been an incident where you maybe didn’t really get a great breakfast or lunch that day. For whatever the reason, nutrition, or lack thereof, is a big reason as to why you didn’t have the best workout take place.  To prevent this from taking place in the future, be sure to have a proper nutrition regimen in place. Whether you set alarms for your meals, or just become more disciplined with your diet, these things will pay off tenfold in the gym.

Get Enough Sleep at Night!

Another common thing that can wreak havoc on your workouts is lack of sleep. This is the biggest factor, for me, as to why I have those bad workouts sometimes. For most of us, it is tough to get eight hours of sleep, let alone the more sleep that we need for being so active in our lives. If your body is not properly rested, your muscles did not get enough rest, I can guarantee it. When this happens, you will know it when you are about to hit the weights. Your muscles, not having had enough time to rest, will not be strong enough for you to really push yourself like you did before.

To prevent this from happening, try to get more rest by taking certain steps to help with this. For one, leave the electronics away from you when you are in bed, if possible. Having a phone or tablet by your side, will keep you checking it or distracted from getting the sleep that you need. If you can, you can also make the decision to turn the television off at a certain time. Now, these two things are going to be easier said than done for some people, like me. One thing that I did to help myself actually get a normal nights rest was to use melatonin, this is a natural supplement that you can get most anywhere. I have had a great experience with using this supplement, but that does not mean that everyone else will experience the same joy that I did.

If you make sure, that your diet and sleep schedule is in check, you will really lower the chances of having another one of the devastating bad workout days again!