Thursday, September 12, 2019

Product Review: Titan Fitness Mass Storage System

Product Details:
One of the best ways to store bumper plates, dumbbells, kettlebells, or medicine balls. This 45" 2-Tier Mass Storage System comes with two shelves meant to hold up to 42" worth of bumper plates and the ability to add-on a dumbbell or kettlebell shelf wherever you please!

- Includes (4) 45" Uprights that can be bolted down to the floor.
- Includes 2 shelves you can place at multiple heights to customize your rack for medicine ball and bumper plate storage.
- Dumbbell and Kettlebell Tray Add-On's allow you to store your most used equipment at your own custom desired height.

- Height: 45"
- Width: 42"
- Outside Upright to Upright Depth: 14"
- Inside Upright to Upright Depth: 10"
- Weight: 82 LB
- Weight Capacity: 2,200 LB
- 13 Gauge Steel
(Note: Titan recommends a maximum of 600 LB per shelf)

** Dumbbell and Kettlebell Trays sold separately! **

Product Review:
This bookshelf-style storage unit is compact and completely customizable—providing an all-in-one, 3-tier rack for well over 600LB worth of gear. Choose from standard bumper / medicine ball shelves, or swap out one or more with a specialized kettlebell or dumbbell tray. Titans Mass Storage System is also compatible with a wide range of accessories, from wheels for convenient portability to attachable plate storage pins, rail mount hangers for your belts and straps, and bookshelf dividers to keep your plates upright and organized.

This is an awesome storage equipment item. As you can see it holds a lot of stuff. Some extra accessory items available are book shelf dividers, 4 storage pegs (short), and chalk bowl.   I've had this for a few months and it is rock solid. It holds everything bumpers, kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls, change plates, and a chalk bowl. I easily have over 1000lbs of weight on this and it holds its integrity really well.  I really recommended buying any additional items with your original purchase save yourself shipping cost and item cost. The kettlebells tray is cheaper when you buy with original purchase then buying it later on like I did. Overall I am completely satisfied with my purchase.

Highly recommend this rack for anyone that needs to organize their weight room. It's much better then having bumper plate racks, dumbbell trees, ball racks, and kettle bells all over the place. Its just wide enough to fit Almost anything nicley in the house without taking up unnecessary room

Super easy to build and extremely strong. The tray marks pretty easily moving kettlebells and free weights on there but that doesn't bother me - it may for some. The fraction plate holders are a nice touch and I'm happy with how it's all turned out.

I bought the 43" storage system to get the gear off the floor and out of the cupbords of my garage. It fits great and holds a ton of gear without taking up a lot of space. My squat rack and bench slide right up next to it for easy storage. It is so solid I also use it to anchor bands for mobility and battle ropes for training. The extra storage arms are great as well for fractional and 5lb and 10lb plates, as well as clamps and springs. I also end up leaning the Oly bars up against the side. This was a great addition to my garage!

The packaging was pretty good, and none of the pieces were damaged upon first inspection. I placed all of my bumper plates on the top row (about 450#), and my kettlebells on the bottom row (about #400) and then tightened all of the bolts. This prevented the rack from rocking at all. When I tightened all bolts first, then loaded, I got a bit of rocking. That being said, for the price, you cannot beat this storage rack!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Biomechanics Success

Brian Watters, DC, MS, CSCS

Why do you workout? Health, injury prevention, performance, the list may go on and on, but the important part is that you are working out. Whatever the reason may be, consistency is the key when working with any of these goals, especially in the realm of weight training. So to keep you working out would be an important piece of attaining your future goals.

Previously, as a strength coach and trainer, I saw the intensity of a workout that got the job done. Currently, I participate in workouts that push physical limitations of the body and understand what it needs to keep it going. We need our bodies, our machines; functioning at top level to get the results we want. As a Chiropractic Physician I help keep the body at full capacity with the use of Active Release Techniques (ART) and functional rehabilitation.

As a Physician I treat musckulo-skeletal disorders and use my knowledge from a Masters Degree in Sports Rehabilitation as a biomechanics expert. A joint moves only because muscles act on that joint. In order for every joint in the body to function properly you need opposing forces on that joint to be balanced. Therefore the muscles surrounding the joints should work harmoniously in order to get a fluid system. Injuries and pain often come from damage to the muscle, which form adhesions in the soft tissues in the body. The only way to overcome this is to address the adhesions.

ART is a soft tissue treatment system that identifies and treats soft tissue injuries and adhesions, which can impair the functional capacity of the human body. These injuries and adhesions can affect daily activities or physical activity such as weight training. A good way to view muscle is as a bundle of rubber bands, when it is working properly they are free to lengthen and contract. But when a muscle is injured or overused it tends to shorten. This shortening is a result of scar tissue that forms between and within the muscle. This scar tissue build-up will eventually lead to symptoms such as pain and weakness, which will limit range of motion in joints and eventually performance. ART can be used to diagnose and treat soft-tissue adhesions, nerve entrapments, and myofascial restrictions that lead to joint stiffness.

This makes ART the perfect treatment for tendonitis, muscle and joint pain, traumatic injuries, and overuse or repetitive use injuries. These are all typically seen in recreational athletes and professional athletes alike and can all limit weight training and hinder goals. It isn’t enough to just get you out of pain, there is also a component to teach you how to take care of yourself and prevent these same or new problems in the future. There is a strong emphasis on self-care in what I do. Self-care is the end product that will prevent future reoccurrence and help to limit hindrance when a flare-up does occur. Because of the multi-faceted approach cases can be resolved in typically 4-6 visits.

As a Chiropractor I obviously see neck pain and back pain, but what most people don’t know is that the most common types of injuries and pain symptoms in the office are shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle. Even though these tend to have multiple mechanisms of injury and are challenging they also have the best outcomes from treatment.

Only after a thorough functional examination can injuries and pain be assessed and addressed appropriately, but typical cases seen with good results are as follows.

Three of the most common examples of weight training concerns:

1. Pain during bench press or push-ups - Many people suffer from pain or discomfort from this pressing motion and can typically be resolved from treatment to the muscles that balance the shoulder girdle. Balance is also an important factor in addressing issues with this type of motion. Especially important populations to look at are those who use computers, drive, or sit during the day and weight train outside of work. I always emphasize the rule of opposites with these cases. Many issues with internal rotation of the arms bilaterally have been seen and can be corrected by functional rehab with ART, awareness, and behavior changes which can result in less pain from pressing motions.

2. Pain or limitation of depth in squat – Many have ankle, knee, hip, back, or shoulder issues, which may present to limit squat, which is the most biomechanically important movement of all. Addressing hip and ankle strength and knee movement with balance may alleviate symptoms and correct biomechanical faults long term to prevent future damage.

3. Decreased range of motion or pain overhead – Myofascial adhesions in the chest, back, or shoulder can limit and cause small biomechanical changes in the shoulder joint which overtime can affect range of motion and cause pain.

Because of my passion for biomechanics and evidence-based medicine I am a lead ART provider at IRONMAN triathlon events, marathon events, and competitive events involving weight lifting such as Crossfit and powerlifting. I have treated many collegiate, professional, and Olympic athletes through my experience as a clinician, which makes what I do even that more important for people that push themselves in the gym and elsewhere as hard as other athletes.

Don’t wait until your goals are in jeopardy, take control of your own health and get your questions and concerns answered today, you’ll be one step closer to biomechanics success.

Train Smart.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Shoulder, the Most Mobile and Troublesome Joint in the Body

Brian Watters, DC, MS, CSCS

The purpose of the shoulder is to be the most mobile joint in the entire human skeleton. With mobility, however, there is inherent instability. We need a very moveable joint for our upper extremities since many everyday tasks require us to move this appendage in a multitude of ranges in front, above, and behind us. With this great benefit comes a risk: instability.

When most physicians talk about instability, they are referring to something that can be very dangerous. Example: In the Lumbar spine, instability can result in nerve damage. Instability is a term used very loosely to mean different things. In the shoulder is means that there is no bony structure surrounding the joint to provide stability, it is purely muscular and ligamentous. Herein lies the problem. Anywhere there is a muscle or ligament, there can be excessive force placed on the joint that becomes damaging or there can be weakness or misuse of muscle that can be damaging to the surrounding joint.

To be moveable in everyday life we need flexibility, and the shoulder is no different. When we think about the life of an active person, especially in terms of lifting in the weight room, we need good flexibility for overhead motion in a slew of overhead movements. We can typically address flexibility in the overhead arena very efficiently based on an overhead squat. If the arms drop forward or the Thoracic spine does not extend we need to work on T-Spine extension and/or shoulder flexibility. It could be chest (pec) tightness, back (lat) tightness, posterior shoulder tightness, or an entire list of things. We can foam roll, stretch, mobilize, use PVC pipe, etc. What happens if there is still an issue in flexibility or even pain during a movement that needs a solid shoulder?

Stability is the answer. But not blind stability. We need to address the deficit in the muscles surrounding the shoulder, such as in the rotator cuff, or look at correcting movement of the scapula by stabilizing the muscles involved in scapulohumeral rhythm. This takes a trained eye to spot and diagnose, but many are very obvious. Most pain syndromes, in fact, are caused by inability of the muscle moving the scapula to work in chorus with one another and needs to be addressed.

We always address shoulder flexibility in a joint, but when that doesn’t correct the issue we need to talk about stability. We already coach it by saying things such as “bend the bar” and “activate your lats”. But when the shoulder still has issues, we need a targeted approach to specific muscles in the scapular and rotator cuff areas.

Train Smart.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

WOD Wednesday #110

3 rounds for time of:

  • 2 legless rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
  • 35 wall-ball shots

♀ 14-lb. ball to 9 ft
♂ 20-lb. ball to 10 ft.

Intended Stimulus . Oh my heart! This is one fun fast workout. Nothing raises the heart rate like hanging from a rope 15 feet high when you're not completely sure if you will be able to hold on. Well actually maybe just one thing: a big set of wall-balls. Let's embrace that today. Commit to keeping moving with that heart beating fast. That is the stimulus we are looking for. We want you to confront that uncomfortable sensation of your body telling you to put that ball down, while you have to regain your calm and keep breathing. Today your strategy does not matter that much, because no matter what, your objective is to pick up that ball in less than 5 seconds. Track your rest and keep it under 5 and you will get the stimulus we want. Athletes modifying the rope climb should find an option that allows them to work in a narrow vertical pull with a thick grip. Athletes modifying the wall-balls should lower the weight first and the number of reps second, priority today is volume*.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Product Review: GymNext Flex Timer Gym Edition

Product Details
This is the timer your coaches and members have been asking for!

The GymNext Flex Timer combines a large, crystal-clear LED display with an easy to use interval timer app creating the best, most powerful gym timer ever made.

The 4.0" LED digits (same as the Rogue Echo or MDUSA No Limits timer) in blue/red are visible from hundreds of feet away and the 95db buzzer is extremely loud. With bluetooth range of over 100 feet, you aren't tethered to the clock. Move throughout the facility and easily control and setup the timer from our convenient and FREE mobile app.

You can save an unlimited number of custom workouts spanning 6 different timer modes: Standard, Round, Interval, Tabata, EMOM and Laps. Configurable prelude times, round warnings, and a 3-second segue between rounds are just the beginning of the options available to create the most customized experience ever.

The audio sync feature allows you to use a wired or bluetooth speaker to augment or replace the timer's built in buzzer. Play your music from your phone and now you can listen to your music as loud as you want. The app will automatically fade the music in and out at the end of each round so that you never miss an indicator again.

Large gyms will love the ability to link multiple timers together and have them display the same workout or run the timers separately to easily manage different workouts or heats. And the included wall brackets make mounting your clock a breeze.

For the utmost convenience, go hands-free with a Pebble timepiece or Apple Watch. You'll enjoy the natural feeling you get from initiating the timer from your wrist just like a stopwatch.

For the data lovers and elite athletes, integrate heart rate monitoring into your workouts and have your heart rate periodically or permanently display on the clock so you know how hard you're working and can set a proper pace.

When not in use for timing purposes, the Flex Timer reverts back to a 12h or 24h clock.

But there's even more...

The Flex Timer app is updated all the time unlocking new features and functionality so that your timer actually gets even better with age.

My Review:
I avoided purchasing a clock for my gym too long. Didn't think it was necessary. I was constantly using my phone timer, an app, a stop watch, or even a stop watch website on my computer.  But after using my GymNext clock I can't imagine a workout without it. It is easy to use, not a distraction, and infinite programming possibilities for any type of workout.

I like that you can set up a custom welcome message and that the timer automatically takes local time from your phone. Be aware that the timer will only connect with one phone at a time. This means that if someone was using the timer and you go to connect with your phone, you won't be able to connect. In a big gym setting this would mean you have to reboot the timer or hunt down the person who retains control.

I researched a number of cheaper alternatives but what makes this worth the price is the app. The timer easily connects to your phone and then you can create whatever type of timer you need. Plus the built in timers make it easy to quickly get started, or you can edit them if need be.
The app works flawlessly with the GymNext Flex Timer application. Connection to the timer is so simple a monkey could do it. Everytime I open the app, it connects immediately with zero lag. It's programmable to every interval training mode known to man and has loud audible beeping that can also be programmed to discretion. It does not interfere with music and once the timer is going, you can still use your phone normally as long as the app is running in the background. It connects to a heart rate monitor and can display your heart rate periodically to your discretion. This is extremely helpful especially when you're trying to maintain a certain heart rate zone.

Bottom line, this timer is outstanding in value, usability, build quality and customer service. I've contacted their friendly customer service to tell them how impressed I am with their product and you can tell they are a Just as excited as you will be once you get your hands on it.

- Very bright numbers (I actually use the reduced brightness setting)
- LOUD (I put tape over the buzzer and it is still highly audible)
- App supports any imagineable interval combination
- Kid-safe as there is no remote to play with, damage, or hide
- Robust construction with top and bottom aluminum profiles / extrusions
- Wide-range input power supply for worldwide use

No more fumbling with an awkward remote control. Competitive price superior functionality = unbelievable value. If you're on the fence about this one, do yourself a favor and pull the trigger on the purchase, you won't be disappointed.

I must say it's even more impressive than I thought! Easy to use, 110-220V global electricity support, fast connection to iPhone, ample phone-to-LED display connection range even without the need for line of sight, straightforward LED display design, clear/visible display and audible alarm for large gym. The best timer in my opinion all around. My only critiques are not being able to sync multiple phones and not being able to adjust the beep volume.

It was pretty cool to see the time update instantly once I connected my phone to the clock and when I open the app, the response is quick, accurate and makes everything so hands free. The app user interface is easy to use and quick to learn. Additionally, if I have music playing from my phone, the app automatically quiets the music for the 3-2-1 countdown and then cranks back up for the WOD. What I love about this clock is that it doesn't take time away from my workout time. I don't know it's there until I use it, and when I'm done, it's done. Goes right back to clock time until I need it again.

Order your GymNext Flex Timer!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Ditching the Drugs: Long-Lasting Pain Relief Without Medication

It is no secret that pain is an annoyance that can sometimes hinder your quality of life. However, it can also be your body’s way of sending you a message. Sometimes pain can be a result of an underlying condition that you might not even know about. Medication can be used to provide short-term relief, but if you are suffering from a chronic condition, it won’t change anything in the long-term. If you are looking for a more meaningful solution to your pain, consider physical therapy. It has been proven to provide long-term effects and the results can be felt after just a couple of short sessions.

Chronic vs. acute pain:
The cause of acute pain can sometimes be easily determined, especially if it is the result of an automobile accident, a sport or work injury, or a surgical operation. With acute pain, the discomfort generally fades as the affected part of the body heals. However, chronic pain is a bit different. The cause of chronic pain may be more difficult to determine, and it can linger for months or even years before the reason is diagnosed and relief is found. Chronic pain may be the result of:

Chronic overuse injuries, such as tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Chronic pain syndromes, such as fibromyalgia, which may affect nerves and muscles.
Degenerative joint conditions, such as osteoarthritis, which produce chronic pain and inflammation.

Extended lack of use, such as a lengthy recovery period after a procedure, that can cause the affected area to feel stiff or “frozen.”

Areas of internal scar tissue buildup that can restrict neighboring muscles and connective tissues.
General muscle weakness, due to poor posture or an unbalanced body, that can cause knots or spasms.

Modern medicine tends to turn to drugs early and often, in an effort to alleviate pain problems. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t always work in the long run. The drugs may mute the pain while they’re in your system, but the underlying problem that’s causing the pain remains untreated. As long as that untreated condition persists, so will your long-term pain – meaning an endless cycle of drugs, pain, and then more drugs. This may force you to use more and more medication as your pain continues to linger, which can become problematic as certain drugs can come with harmful side effects and addictive chemicals.

Seeking natural treatment through physical therapy:
Physical therapy is an effective form of long-term treatment, which is something that drugs simply cannot do in the long run. Once we understand the actual origin point of your pain, we can prescribe a physical therapy regimen aimed at reducing (or, in some cases, completely correction) that functional abnormality. Our physical therapists may start by addressing your immediate discomfort with passive physical therapy techniques. These natural treatment techniques can include any combination of:

  • Hot and cold compresses to reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Deep tissue massage to decrease inflammation of your internal tissues.
  • Ultrasound therapy to enhance blood flow and relax tight muscle fibers through sound waves.
  • Electrical muscle stimulation to stimulate your body’s natural painkillers (endorphins) through tiny amounts of electrical current.

Once you’re responding to passive physical therapy, your physical therapist will introduce you to an active physical therapy plan. They will prescribe exercises that address both localized pain and referred pain problems. For example, gentle stretching exercises can loosen tight, painful muscles and increase mobility in arthritic joints, while core training exercises can correct your balance and relieve chronic strain or neurological symptoms in the body.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), non-pharmaceutical pain treatment is actually preferred over pharmaceutical pain treatment, and in most cases, they even do a better job at controlling pain

Monday, August 19, 2019

Product Review: Speed Hound - Compression Therapy

Product Details:


Accelerate your recovery and #crushtomorrow with the Speed Hound ProPerformance Recovery System. Provides on-demand, dynamic air pressure that massages your legs after an intense workout so you're fresher and ready to take on tomorrow. Note: Most men are size "long". Heights of 5'5" or taller should order size Long. 5'4" or below should order size Medium. Please read sizing carefully below before ordering.

  • More adjustable than other brands: Wide range of pressure settings (20mmHg - 250mmHg), On/off toggle for different parts of legs, Flush and Massage mode, Time settings of 10-30 minutes
  • Premium Quality: Attachments are made of high quality material that's durable, lightweight and easy to clean
  • Want to try? FULL REFUND & FREE returns within 45 days of purchase - If you're not happy, we don't want your money!
  • Peace of mind: We've got you covered in case anything comes up with the system!
Train like world-class Olympic, professional, and collegiate athletes by supercharging your recovery
with the Speed Hound recovery system! The system, which utilizes dynamic, sequential air compression, is based on important medical technology and principles proven to improve circulation, mobilize metabolites and other toxins like carbon dioxide from muscle tissue, flush out lactic acid, mitigate edema, reduce exercise-induced swelling, alleviate inflammation, and facilitate protein synthesis by increasing blood flow to muscles. In short, this speeds up your body's natural process of healing, allowing you to recovery quickly and consistently. The boots have other applications outside of sports medicine, including rehabilitation from injuries or surgery and treating lymphedema, poor circulation, tension, cramps, restless legs, varicose veins, sciatic nerve pain, and general venous insufficiencies.
My Review:
After much research and testing across several alternatives (including Normatec), I purchased the Speed Hound Recovery System. After 2 weeks of use, I am happy to report that it is the best recovery product I have EVER used.

Training for Spartan Races and Crossfit, my legs are constantly placed under significant training load. The Speed Hound System has allowed me to significant enhance (and shrink time required) for my recovery. The boots flush my legs of all lactate buildup and after 20 minutes (30 following really long workouts) my legs feel as though I could hop right back on my bike or pull on my running shoes.

Compared to other alternatives, I really appreciate the increased compression available with the Speed Hound System. In conjunction with a reasonable price point these boots are (in my opinion) the best option on the market.The  pressure range goes from 20 mmhg to 200 mmhg in 10 increments. (This is an increase of 20 mmhg at each level.)

If you are between sizes, go by your inseam. Some tall people have longer torsos and shorter legs in which case they would fit better in a shorter size. On the other hand, some shorter people have longer legs than torso in which case they would fit better in the longer size. When in doubt, we recommend people go with the size longer.

The boots are bladders covered in a stitched material. They have a zipper that runs down the middle of the boot with a second zipper for people with larger legs. I don't know who would use the larger size because they would have to have enormous legs though. The setup and use are very simple. It has 2 different modes, adjustable pressure and you can turn on/off different compartments. It comes with a nice travel case. Overall we've been very impressed with the quality.  We have 2 people that have been using them almost daily for 3 weeks so we can't comment on the long term durability.

Now for the normatec vs Speed Hound comparison. The quality of the two seems to be the exact same. I don't think that one is better than the other in that category. The Speed Hounds can go to a higher pressure than normatec. I doubt many people would be able to go to the highest pressure but it's available if you want it. Ease of use is the same also. A win for normatec is the size of the control. The Speed Hound puts the control on top of the pump box which is similar to the old model of normatec. The new normatecs have a smaller control that can be held in our hand while using the device but I'm not sure why you would need it. Once I started it I just let it do it's thing until it's done. The biggest difference was the price. Normatec retails for $500 - 1,000 more than Rapid Reboot. I wasn't even able to find a pair of used older model normatec's for cheaper than I was able get the Speed Hounds (obviously that could vary from what someone finds).

Overall I recommend the Speed Hound Recovery Boots System. They work really well and are cheaper than comparable options.  Finally, although not a buying consideration for many people, I also find the staff at Speed Hound to be extremely friendly, accommodating, and customer focused. As compared to being "just another number" like with other companies, I firmly believe my best interest is what matters to the team at Speed Hound.