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.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

WOD Wednesday #109

For time:

Row 2,000 meters
21 cleans
15 thrusters
Row 1,000 meters
15 cleans
12 thrusters
Row 500 meters
9 cleans
9 thrusters

♀ 95 lb. ♂ 135 lb.

INTENDED STIMULUS: ¡Ay maldito!  In CrossFit when we have a descending rep scheme the aim is always to go faster at the end. We want you to be riding that threshold line where you are about to max out, but you never do. Today pick a distance and a weight that allow you to do exactly that. We don't need to pace or strategize that much here. The rep scheme is there to do that for us. We want to start at a sustainable but challenging pace on the first round. A pace we will able to keep on the second and the third if only because of the reduction of reps. This should hurt and sting. This is a longer effort. We want to aim for the 20-25 minute window. If you did 190506, use your notes to adjust your scaling optimally for this workout. Modify the distance in the rower if you don't think you can get those first 2000m done under 9 minutes without dying. Pick a weight that you can manage for the big sets with at most 2 short breaks per movement, on the first round. OPTION 1 For time: Row 2,000 meters 21 cleans 15 thrusters Row 1,000 meters 15 cleans 12 thrusters Row 500 meters 9 cleans 9 thrusters ♀ 80 lb. ♂ 115 lb. OPTION 2 For time: Row 1,500 meters 15 cleans 15 thrusters Row 1,000 meters 12 cleans 12 thrusters Row 500 meters 9 cleans 9 thrusters ♀ 55 lb. ♂ 75 lb.

Monday, August 12, 2019

The 7 Best Ways to Get Yourself Moving

It is easy to turn physical activity into an all-or-nothing” attitude. Our team gets it – you had a long day at work, you drove your kids all around town for their extracurricular activities, and on top of that, you still have to make dinner and prepare to do it all again in the morning. When it’s difficult to find a moment of rest, it can seem even more difficult to find time to exercise. By the time you get home from work, it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to work out, on top of everything else you have to do. Fortunately, there are some simple tips you can easily add into your daily lifestyle that can get you moving without having to take too much extra time out of your day!

1. Get up more often – by tricking yourself.It is recommended that we all get up and move around every 30-60 minutes throughout the day, in order to stretch our bodies and initiate blood flow. But let’s be real – how many of us actually do that? We’re at work, sitting at our desks… and suddenly it’s three hours later and we’re still in the same spot. By tricking yourself into getting up more often, you can get those recommended stretches in throughout the day without even realizing it.

For example, you could keep a smaller water glass or coffee mug at your desk, so you have to get up more often in order to fill it. Or, you could avoid keeping some materials at your desk (such as a hole puncher or stapler) so you have to make a trip to the copy room every time you need to use one. We all try and make our lives more convenient by reducing the amount of time spent doing everyday tasks, but simply getting rid of some of those small “conveniences,” you can actually help yourself be more active. Plus, we all deserve those much-needed breaks throughout the day!
2. Use your lunch break to walk around.Your lunch break is a great time to get in some physical activity. For example, instead of eating in the cafeteria every day, you could walk down the street to order food. If you enjoy bringing your food, you can find a park or other scenic location nearby to eat your lunch. Or, you can eat at your desk and use your entire lunch break to take a walk or go to the gym. Whatever you choose to do, your lunch break is the perfect time to add some exercise into your day.
3. Avoid the easiest routeIt may seem counterintuitive to take the longer, more difficult route, rather than simply taking the quickest route possible – but adding in a little extra time can add some much-needed physical activity into your day! Instead of taking the elevator, parking close to the entrance, or entering through the door closest to you, try adding some more steps into your route. Make a habit out of taking the stairs at work, parking at the back of the grocery store parking lot, or walking to the bathroom on the floor above yours, rather than the one down the hall. These small habits can account for a significant increase in physical activity in the long run!

4. Consider the standing desk.If you work in an office, you spend a large amount of the day in a sedentary position. One of the best ways to get some physical activity is by investing in a standing desk – you get to burn calories simply by standing in place! While it may not seem like much, standing is significantly healthier than sitting.

You burn more calories by standing, and it can be incredibly helpful to your posture. Standing decreases the ability to slouch or hunch over, making it easier to maintain a proper posture throughout the day. It also helps in keeping blood sugar steady after a meal, and it encourages more movement overall. If you don’t like the idea of standing all day long (which, admittedly, can become a bit difficult) you can invest in an adjustable desk that allows you to stand when you want and sit back down when you get tired.
5. Don’t hide the equipment.
By simply keeping your workout equipment in sight around the house, it can help in motivating you to exercise. For example, instead of rolling up your yoga mat and storing it in the hall closet, leave it rolled out in front of the TV. Instead of keeping your hand weights in the garage, put them next to your coffee table. By keeping your equipment in plain sight, it’ll increase the probability of you using them. It’ll also be helpful if you make a habit out of working out around the house while doing your daily activities, such as watching TV, cooking dinner, or sitting at your computer.
6. Get those chores done.Organizational experts believe that you can easily achieve a healthier and cleaner lifestyle simply by doing chores for 20-30 minutes a day – and it’s also a great way to get a small workout in. Taking out the trash, doing dishes, vacuuming, and doing laundry are all chores that require some physical activity. By taking time out of the day to do chores around the house, you’ll be able to get exercise AND do the tidying up that you’ve been putting off. Win/win!
7. Don’t put off your physical therapy sessions.Physical therapy can help address any aches or pains you may be experiencing. Your physical therapist can also create a workout plan for you if you are having trouble getting started. Additionally, most physical therapy sessions are workouts in themselves, meaning that you’ll be getting physical activity by attending your treatments.

If you are looking for more tips on staying active in your everyday life, your physical therapy is a great resource in providing advice for adding more exercise into your daily habits. If chronic pain is an issue, your physical therapist can show you specific moves that streamline the physical challenges.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Product Review: Kratus and Chalk Monster Strongman Sand Bags

Product Details
Kratus Strongmån Sandbags™are the most heavy duty 1050D Cordura construction material training bags in the market. Our kit includes 3 of our super heavy duty bags: 100-150-200 lb. ready to take your training to the next level! This kit is perfect for a home gym who wants to add to their collection or a gym that wants try out our product before committing to a big order.

Made from Reinforced 1050D Cordura Nylon with full seam reinforcement in the manufacturing process. The bag consists of two parts: Outer heavy duty cover which is essentially a cover with YKK Zipper and heavy duty Velcro coverage over the zipper and a separate heavy duty inner bag in which the sand needs to be filled. This give you two separate layers to distribute the force of the sand within the bag without mess or fuss.

Kratus loadable sand bags are provided empty and require clean dry sand to fill the inner bags and must be filled to weight using scales and are designed for their specific weights listed and not to be overfilled or filled with other products other than clean dry sand.

Quick filling guide:
  1. Place the inner bag within the outer cover
  2. Open the Velcro tab on the top of the inner bag
  3. Fill with sand to the weight listed (Do not over fill)
  4. Close the Velcro tab on the inner bag
  5. Fold the tab over twice and connect the exposed Velcro to triple seal the inner bag
  6. Zip the outer bag close
  7. Affix the Velcro tab over the zipper

Product Review:
Kratus and Chalk Monster Sandbags are currently available in 3 sizes, with max fill capacities of 100LB, 150LB, 200LB* Each Sandbag has a built-in filler bag with an additional zipper and hook-and-loop closure—ensuring filler material stays fully contained as you work through your regimen.  Because Sandbags can be emptied and then re-filled at another gym, field, park, etc., they function as uniquely portable Strongman training tools for athletes of any experience level.

Sandbags deliver a versatile, go-anywhere alternative to heavy balls and stones. They feature the same 1050D Cordura construction and reinforced, double-stitched seams as some of the other well known brands, in a new compact, customization form. These sandbags are heavy duty and able to withstand drops, but they are not designed to be slammed.

Purchased this sandbag after having issues using a 150lb DBall for while. Issues with the rubber ball are once you start sweating you have to cover it with chalk for continued use. Also shape does not hold.  After switching to the sandbag I have not had issues with either of those things. When sweating you can still have grip on the bag and holds its shape.
At first I used 150 lb bag and only fill it up with 100 lb of sand. I would probably advise against it doing that. Sure it gives u the ability to get stronger and add more weight down the road. But since there is so much "loose skin" per say Is hard to get a good grip on it when its of the ground. Nothing against the bag or material since it built to last if you are using it for the first time.  My suggestion is to purchase the exact bag for the size you want.

Lunges, over-the-shoulders, carries, squats... this will make a challenge out of any movement. I have it filled with about 140# (there is some room to spare in the bag so it allows a little more shifting of the sand when you move it). I have a barbell and a few weights, but sandbags have been a life-saver for me. You can drop them without cracking the concrete or waking the kids, and they are a lot cheaper than plates, barbells, and dumbbells. I have some canvas duffel bags filled with either rubber mulch nuggets or wood fuel pellets with weights going from 40# to 80#, but I wanted something that was specifically designed to hold lots of weight. I am very pleased with how easy this sandbag was to fill and how great a workout implement it is.

Aside from the barbell, this is the best piece of training equipment you can own, especially if you own multiple weight ranges. Squats, deadlifts, carrys, throws, cleans, presses, jerks, lunges, hill runs, the list goes on and on. HEAVY sandbag carries will change you in many ways, imo its the most grueling exercise you can do. Buy at least two different weight capacities. You wont regret it.

Order your Strongman Sand Bags and Chalk Accessories here:

Monday, August 5, 2019

Whats the Deal with Stretching?

Stretching is an important part of physical therapy, and many physical therapists will include specific stretches into their sessions. Strength and endurance are both undeniably important; however, stretching is a crucial part of anyone’s exercise regimen, whether you are an athlete or someone coping with aches and pains. Stretching helps in increasing flexibility, which can alleviate pain and make other aspects of treatment easier – even strength and endurance!
What does stretching do?

Stretching has a lot of benefits that we don’t always think about. Some of these benefits include:

Improving range of motion.
Range of motion consists of how well your joints can move in all directions. This influences every movement you make! If you have a constricting condition, such as arthritis or an injury, your range of motion can be hindered. Whether it’s turning your head to see behind you while driving, or bending your knee freely while running, range of motion is crucial for both daily life and for fitness pursuits. Stretching can help reduce stiffness and increase flexibility, therefore improving your range of motion.

Finding relief in unexpected places. Sometimes we forget how interconnected our bodies are. It is obvious that if we experience back pain, we should stretch out our backs. However, sometimes stretching your legs during physical therapy can provide unexpected relief to your back, as well. In fact, your hamstrings, upper thighs, and hips can all play a big part in creating lower back pain relief. Likewise, improving your posture through stretching your torso can provide the kind of support you need to keep your spine from compressing, which helps you avoid shoulder and neck pain. Essentially, stretching different parts of your body can provide relief to places you may not have considered!

Enhancing performance.
This point is especially true for athletes. The more you condition your muscles, joints, and ligaments, the greater advantage you’ll have in your sport. For example, bodybuilders recover from their reps much quicker when they stretch as a cool-down. Golfers can achieve a longer reach by increasing their range of motion in their hips and shoulders. Swimmers can even out their strokes by perfecting their balance through stretching. If you are an athlete, stretching can play a crucial role in your performance.

Preventing injuries. When muscles are tight or tense, the likelihood of injury increases. This occurs because that particular part of your body isn’t working at its peak performance, even though you might be. When you stretch, you’re loosening up your muscles, in addition to increasing range of motion and improving balance, which all factor into injury prevention. All of these factors can prevent you from making the types of moves that lead to injury, whether it’s coming down too hard on one foot, twisting your back further than you should, or taking a fall due to lack of balance.

Improving circulation. Stretching can reduce stress, but that isn’t the only reason it’s good for your heart and your musculoskeletal system. In fact, stretching plays a key role in almost every aspect of your physical abilities. Tight muscles constrict available oxygen supply, essentially robbing themselves of the nutrients they need. Stretches help reverse the process. When you stretch frequently, you’ll also get the benefit of increased blood flow to your joints and throughout the body.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

WOD Wednesday #108

Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
  • 400-m run
  • Max set of strict pull-ups
  • Max set of strict ring dips

INTENDED STIMULUS: This one is very straightforward and fun AF. You need to run hard and you need to go to failure on the gymnastics movements. Gaming this one to maximize the number of pull-ups and dips will not give you as much fitness as if you're going in headfirst. It might give you a better score ... maybe. Instead use the clock to make you fitter. Really try to get that next round, and then that next round. Pushing a fast pace today is all that matters. Keep the runs fast and waste no time in transitions. Today there is really no time to stop, you can slow down the beginning of your runs and the ends if you really need to. But that is it. Commit to not stopping! 

Athletes scaling the gymnastics movements should aim to preserve the strictness of it.  Modify the distance in the run so that you can keep it close to or under 2:00. 

OPTION 1 Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of: 400-m run Max set of strict banded pull-ups Max set of strict banded ring dips 

OPTION 2 Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of: 200-m run Max set of toenail pull-ups Max set of toenail dips

Monday, July 29, 2019

XPO Sled - Exponential Resistance

The XPO Trainer 2.0 is the first wheeled push sled in the industry, but its truly groundbreaking feature is a patent-pending exponential resistance curve: the harder and faster you push the sled, the more the resistance increases—no weight plates required.*

This innovative design offers a wide range of benefits for athletes of every size, skill level, and discipline, as well as those rehabbing from injuries. As you build up the intensity of your training, from light rehab up to full-on competition level, the XPO Trainer adapts, with an added load component at the upper end of the resistance curve to help build explosive power in a full-body workout.

The XPO Trainer’s three wheels include rubberized treads for safe all-terrain use, indoor or outdoor, with greater control and less risk of scuffs than traditional steel sled skis. The wheels are also quieter in operation that most standard weight sleds. For portability and storage convenience, the sled’s push handles are removable.

*Weight Plates are not included with the XPO Trainer 2, but users can add them to the included weight post to assist with traction on slicker surfaces.

Do note, however, that adding weight plates to the sled does NOT change the resistance curve.

  • Made by Armored Fitness Equipment
  • First Push Sled with Wheels
  • Patent-Pending Exponential Resistance Curve: As you push harder/faster, the resistance increases to compensate
  • No Weight Plates Included or Required
  • (2) Removable Handles for easy transport and storage
  • Laser-cut XPO Trainer logo in front plating
  • Durable rubberized wheels for safe all-surface sled training
  • Nearly Silent Operation
  • Suitable for Beginner / Rehab up to High Intensity / Pro training
  • Color: Black

"I owned one of the Prowler Sleds version 1.0. Great concept but putting them to use in a parking lot or city street was riddled with challenges. Noise was a big one. You really need a dedicated strip of field turf or the like, and then the amount of space can become an issue for longer efforts. The XPO Trainer is a better mousetrap. Quiet, and the accommodating resistance is really where the XPO Trainer shines. You can use it on any surface (short of a muddy field), and you are in business.

- It's a great tool for building work capacity. The accommodating resistance allows me to train all of the energy systems. - You can train any age demographic - young, old, or in between. -There is no eccentric load, so it is terrific for recovery sessions. Blood is pumped to the legs and torso flushing out metabolic by­products. -Folks with knee pain that can not squat, lunge or step up can train their legs effectively while they build back up to traditional movements. - Older athletes with orthopedic issues can successfully condition with weight­bearing activity. - General warm­ups. Anything from 5­-15 minutes is ideal for elevating core temperature."

"every time it's mentioned on the white board, I am guaranteed to have one of the most brutal workouts ever. We workout in a parking lot behind houses, and the wheels make the sled silent which is great for us and our neighbors. The resistance is felt the minute you start pushing. When you try to push harder, the sled pushes back. Even a quick 50m sprint burns. Their support is great too, tons of videos on their website that show how to assemble, workout ideas, etc. Really proud of this small company and what they've been able to achieve with this product! It really is the best sled ever."

Product Review: RAGE Fitness 20lb Slam Ball

Product Details:
The no bounce heavy duty rubber shell makes the Slam Ball perfect for intense slamming and throwing routines.

Strengthen your core, improve your conditioning, and increase your explosive power with one piece of equipment. Ideal for cross training, core exercises, plyometrics and cardio workouts.

  • Encased in an ultra-durable, heavy-duty rubber shell
  • Rage slam ball is high endurance impact approved and performs in ways a medicine ball cannot
  • Textured surface allows for a high quality grip even when wet
  • No bounce design proves to be ideal for various throwing and slamming routines
  • Equipped with an air valve making it possible to adjust the air capacity and overall firmness
  • 1” low bounce rating
  • 10-35 lb are 10" in diameter
  • 40-50 lb are 11" in diameter
  • 60-80 lb are 12" in diameter
  • 90-100 lb are 14" in diameter
  • Industry best 1 year warranty

Product Review:
The RAGE Fitness Slam Ball has a textured surface to provide a better grip during your workouts. The weight values (LBS) are green on a black gloss surface for easy viewing when looking for the size that you need.

Overhead medicine ball slams are great for working the entire body and for releasing some aggression, but they tend to take a toll on the medicine ball itself. Enter the RAGE Slam Ball specifically designed and tested by myself to withstand an onslaught of abuse!  Slam balls are used to enhance your workout routine by simply holding it while performing exercises. Examples of these include sit-ups, squats, lunges and overhead presses; when working with a partner you can do chest passes, overhead passes, and abdominal work through rotation variations. Slam balls can also be used for athletic training by enhancing cardiovascular endurance, increasing muscle mass and improving hand-eye coordination. Perfect for getting rid of excess energy and pent-up frustration.

Cross training is founded on innovation and variety – and our slam ball helps transform your WODS and quickly advance cross training levels, all while letting you reap all of its benefits with unprecedented ease.  Slam ball workouts tone the cardiovascular system, enhance circulation and dramatically improve your strength and endurance. By moving at a high speed, you push your body towards producing more power – and FAST.  Slam balls add a layer of resistance to exercises which traditionally rely on bodyweight. They naturally increase muscle mass and improve posture and balance, through aiding in regulating movement patterns. Simply the highest quality slam balls on the market. and backed by a industry best 1 year warranty!

Available in weight increments from 10 lbs up to 100 lbs, these rubberized, dead-bounce Slam Balls can benefit athletes of any size and skill level or for traditional medicine ball exercises, as well. I have been working with a 20lb slam ball and as a 185lb 5'11 male it presents a challenge! I would definitely not use this for wall balls but what I like about this ball is it gives a whole new meaning to Ball Slams (having a much more challenging load picking up with every rep) and long distance running carries.

This slam ball is well constructed and just slippery enough (I would prefer a slightly grippier ball, which they offer on their site) that it forces you to apply additional grip to maintain adequate control. It is an excellent tool for a near complete functional movement total body workout out. It has very little bounce which forces one back into the squat position to retrieve it for your next rep.

I have been using it now for a few weeks and its perfect. Plus I feel like this thing will be around for a long time, it feels heavy duty and well built. It's obviously a smaller diameter than the Med-balls when doing Wall Ball workouts which is the only complaint (dead bounce slam balls do not work as well as wall balls for that particular movement) plus you can't beat the price.

In conclusion:
Quality: The quality of this product is great. I have used the ball with several clients over the last month and it has been slammed from overhead over 1,000 times easily. The ball shows no sign of wear or leakage whatsoever. The ball is just as good as when it came new.

Overall any of RAGE Fitness slam balls will compete with any slam ball on the market and I would feel 100% confident using them in a commercial gym, private studio or home gym. I plan on buying more and would recommend them to anyone. Like mentioned above, my only critique remains that its use as a wall ball is possible, however not ideal.

Monday, July 22, 2019

How to Make Your Stress-Related Headaches Disappear

Did you know that headaches are the third most common pain complaint throughout the world? They can impact your quality of life and make it difficult to function normally. Luckily, headache relief can be found through physical therapy. Your trained physical therapist will work with you to provide pain relief from headaches, in addition to any other aches and pains you may be suffering from. In this guide, we’ll outline the different types of headaches and the causes for them, in addition to explaining how physical therapy can help.

Different types of headaches:
Any type of pain that occurs within the head can be referred to as a “headache.” Most headaches will resolve on their own without medical intervention; however, severe or recurrent headaches that interfere with one’s quality of life should most certainly be evaluated further. The challenge lies in identifying which type of headache you’re experiencing and then devising a treatment plan accordingly. Physical therapists are adept at diagnosing different types of headaches and can develop pain relief strategies for stress-related headaches.

There several different types of headaches that can be treated with physical therapy. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Stress (tension)
  • Post-traumatic
  • Migraine or sinus
  • Caffeine
  • Hormone
  • Exertion
  • Cluster
  • Rebound
  • Hypertension

What are stress-related/tension headaches?
Tension headaches are some of the most commonly treated headaches by a physical therapist. They occur when the neck and scalp muscles contract or become tense, and they can happen at any age. Stress-related headaches generally start at the back of the head and progress to the top of the head and eyes, sometimes accompanied by facial pain along the jaw and cheeks. This type of discomfort has been compared to having hair pulled or wearing a very tight hat. These types of headaches can occur as a result of:

  • Increased stress.
  • Poor posture.
  • Neck or jaw problems.
  • Fatigue.
  • Arthritis.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.

How physical therapy helps:
At your initial visit, your physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation of your physical abilities, in addition to reviewing your health history. He or she will ask you a series of questions to determine the type of headache you’re experiencing. After your physical therapist determines what type of headache you’re dealing with you’ll work together to develop a treatment plan for meeting your physical health goals.

During your first visit, you can expect to undergo some of the following:

  • Inquiries about the location of the pain, in addition to any other symptoms you are experiencing.
  • Questions regarding previous injuries to your neck, head, jaw and/or back.
  • Measurements regarding the range of motion of your shoulders, neck, and other relevant parts of the body.
  • Examination of your posture while engaged in different activities.
  • Tests of your muscle strength and sensation.
  • Manual therapy to ascertain the mobility of joints and muscles in your neck.

A physical therapist’s mission:
While the end goal of physical therapy is pain relief, there are some important steps along the way that your physical therapist will help you with, in order to decrease pain and improve function. These include, but are not limited to:

Posture improvement. Your posture throughout the day greatly impacts your likelihood for pain and stress-related headaches. Your physical therapist will teach you methods of improving your posture in order to function more comfortably in your daily life.

Strength improvement. You’ll learn exercises to help strengthen the muscles that control your neck and upper back, in order to improve posture and increase your ability to stand or sit comfortably for longer periods of time.

Neck improvement. Using manual therapy, your physical therapist will stretch the muscles in the back of your neck to relieve pain and increase movement.

Different types of physical therapy treatments
Your physical therapist may suggest any combination of specialized treatment services, including but not limited to:

  • Heat or ice compressions.
  • Soft tissue mobilization.
  • Muscular releases.
  • Muscle energy techniques.
  • Body mobilization.
  • Cervical traction.
  • McKenzie-based therapies.
  • Stretching.
  • Strengthening.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Tips for Getting Stronger with Gymnastic Rings

Today’s article explains a technique that will radically change your strength on the rings, on the pull-up bar and using free weights.

We’re talking about hanging from a bar or your rings. One of the simplest and most accessible of all exercises is often one of the most under utilized in people’s day to day training. It’s something children do any chance they get, and something you should do too.

This “skill” is one of the primary biological functions our bodies are designed to perform. Our genetic legacy comes from apes 🦍which are nature’s hanging, swinging, kings of the canopy. Although your iPhone makes you think you’re some how far removed from your hairy ancestors... you’re body doesn’t know that to be the case. Your shoulders are rare in the animal 🦒kingdom and they need to be treated with the respect they deserve; and they deserve a constant diet of hanging and swinging.

Spending a dedicated amount of time each day, or several times a week hanging from a bar or rings will help strengthen your hands, shoulders, decompress your spine and hips as well as build a powerful neural connection which will help to improve any exercise involving your grip.

(Learn more by finding related articles such as: )

Gymnasts and climbers know and understand the importance of racking up TUT (time under tension) through hanging. Their sports depend on them being able to suspend their body weight during extended periods of time.

However, the day to day fitness enthusiast, beginner or even long term veteran with a desire to break that training barrier will massively increase their performance by filtering in more hanging.

Whether strength is your goal or just overall well-being, plan to put a few days a week of dedicated work into this skill.

There are numerous ways to hang and some, depending on what style or strength adaptation is desired can change depending on the complexity of the hang that fits your needs.

A very useful beginner protocol is to start by trying to accumulate 3 minutes of time hanging from a bar or rings. Grab the bar, squeeze your hand tightly and have a stop watch or clock nearby to be conscious of how long you hang for each time.

It’s preferable to be completely suspended and hanging in a straight line, but if you need to bend your knees, don’t worry, you can still benefit tremendously.

For truly rank beginners hanging with the feet touching the ground to help displace body weight is a great option to get going. With this method even the extremely elderly or weak con begin to improve their upper body strength and health.

As strength progresses, more challenging variations can be performed.

Hanging with knees raised, or legs extended in L-sit are very challenging next steps.

Hanging and switching from one hand to another further pushes the grip envelope.

Later, one arm hangs and one arm L-sits can be performed as our strength to weight ratio gets higher and higher.

Even bent arm hangs can be used to advance our skills and strength.

When looking at health and well-being, passive hangs to decompress the spine and hips make a big difference in the mobility and quality of our shoulders, vertebral discs and pelvis.

Another great variation is the inverted hang which tractions our shoulder and cervicales spine by turning the body upside down.

Whatever level of strength or desire to improve you find yourself at, working in a schedule to hang with regularity will be one of the best choices you ever make. Start today and in one week you’ll begin to notice a difference in your hand and body strength.

Content courtesy of Happy Fat Rings - HFR

Monday, July 15, 2019

Product Review: Living.Fit Battle Ropes

Product Details:
1.5 Inch Diameter, 50 Foot Length Canvas Covered Battle Rope

All ropes are 50 feet in length, which is the best length for improved frequency, physics, and dynamic movement capacity (if you need a shorter rope because of space, you can always tie off your rope at shorter length, but you cannot make a short rope longer). The longer rope will not necessarily make the workout harder, but will definitely make your movement better with improved wave frequency, shorter ropes do not allow for this.

The shorter lengths can slap and catch because your undulations won't make it all the way down the rope before they hit the anchor point and send feedback back through the rope. The canvas cover protects the rope by preventing dirt, sand, bark, and grass from the rope fibers, which seriously degrades the rope quality and longevity.

This is a triple strand twist battle rope with a canvas cover. Ropes without canvas covers that are used outdoors or in harsher environments will fray and come apart. The canvas cover on the rope protects it from friction and fraying, ensuring longer user of the rope. Each rope has comfortable rubber grips on the end to help with grip during intense workouts. Battle ropes are ideal for building muscle, burning fat in home gyms or group settings! Make sure to add our FREE Battle Ropes Level 1 download with your purchase at the bottom of this page!
  • 1.5" in Diameter
  • 50 ft
  • Sourced by Master Battle Ropes Trainer Aaron Guyett for the highest quality
  • Comfortable rubber grips on ends for better workouts
  • One Year warranty

Product Review:
There are two types of rope making: Triple Strand Twist and Braided

The triple stranded twist is the most common style of rope making, as it is cheaper and faster than braiding a rope. The downfall, is that if your rope begins to untwist it is nearly impossible to twist it back to its original shape and length. This poses a big issue, if you are attempting any cyclonic or circular style of exercises: i.e. full body circles, triple wrapped rope pulling, or outside circles.

Image result for living fit 50ft battle rope
The braided rope is another method of making a rope, and it creates equal forces directing down the length of the rope when creating waves, circles, static engagement, and rope pulling exercises. It also is more durable. The only issue, is when performing circular waves, you will feel the rope wanting to twist inside of your hands. This is part of the tension that is being “held” by the rope. It will not twist the rope, so therefor your grip has to fight to keep the circles going.

Living.Fit by Kettlebell Kings had witnessed the shortfalls in the battle rope production, so they ordered over 30 ropes from 5 different manufacturers to find the very best battle rope and made their choice after hours of testing and many uses of each rope.

For indoor use, we selected the poly-dacron braided rope.  For outdoor use, we selected the poly-dacron triple strand twist with a canvas covering.

Each rope is manufactured with over 20 key specifications to keep the quality high, as well as three different thicknesses for your continued progressive overload training.

1 ½ inch thick starter battle ropes (this size has humbled the strongest men and women in gyms around the world)

2 inch thick battle ropes for 50% extra mass and more than double the effort needed to send the waves all the way to the anchor.

3 inch thick ropes for double the mass, and an insane amount of effort needed to send the waves all the way to the anchor.

All ropes are 50 feet in length, which is the best length for improved frequency, physics, and dynamic movement capacity (if you need a shorter rope because of space, you can always tie off your rope at shorter length, but you cannot make a short rope longer).

Premium Battle Ropes are great conditioning tools that not only improve your cardio but will provide a full body workout with a focus on improving muscle endurance and strength. It helps build core and arm strength and is excellent for burning tons of calories.

Built tough for your workouts, these battle ropes are durable, effective and fully portable and will last many years of usage and give you the results you want. Highly recommended for crossfit, strength and fitness training, athletes, military, boxers and gyms

Image result for living fit battle ropeConditioning Ropes began as a mainstay tool in Mixed Martial Arts, and then Functional Fitness. It is now used by the majority of athletes who train for power and explosiveness. The battle rope is universal because it has an ability to build core strength and improve core-to-extremity strength that helps you to hit your next workout, or opponent, hard. Power rope training is brutal in its hit to an athlete's conditioning and is an excellent developer of grip strength.

I have used battle ropes in the past at other gyms for workouts but having this Living.Fit Battle Rope brand new out of the box was pretty amazing.  The grips definitely helped me keep a solid hold during the workout. The main thing with having these as a personal item is having the space to extend them out and something sturdy to loop it around. Personally I used the anchor kit in my garage gym and strapped it around my storage unit  I believe that battle ropes are a great addition to any home gym and creates versatility in my workout routine. It may seem simple but battle ropes are as challenging as you make them. If you push yourself and get creative you can achieve a great cardio workout that will also leave you with your muscles burning.

The Living.Fit Battle Rope has given me some great high intensity work outs that I like to pair together with either explosive movements involving weights, or moderate paced cardio in between rounds. What I love about these ropes is that you can really target any body part that you want to if you focus on that muscle group. This is the perfect cardio for those who hate the normal jog or elliptical session, and it allows you to really attack your muscles while burning massive calories throughout the rest of the day. The quality of the rope is perfect, handles have a great texture and are easy to hold onto even when sweaty. I couldn't recommend this enough if you're in the market for one!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

WOD Wednesday #107

5 rounds of continuous movement of:
2 legless rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
20 controlled, slow AbMat sit-ups

STIMULUS: When I see something that has a set number of rounds on it – especially something unfamiliar like this workout – I usually assume it works best if the volume is preserved. So as backwards as this could sound, the easy bet for scaling would be to turn this thing from a task priority inside a task priority, to a time priority inside a task priority (Inception, anyone?) For example, 5 rounds of 45 sec. rope climbs and 1 minute of AbMat sit-ups. Or for easier counting, 1-minute and 1-minute. If you’re working out by yourself, you could do what I am now calling Ricky-style Reps (named after one of our 8th graders) where you just do one movement until you would have to rest due to fatigue then move to the next one. Again, the retest value is tough when doing that, but this doesn’t seem like an easy one to retest anyway. The Ricky-style would also help with the “continuous movement” part.

GROUP: Equipment might be the limiting factor here. When this is an issue, it’s best to look at each exercise not as the specific thing prescribed, but as something to be grouped into a large, inclusive general movement pattern. So really, what’s the difference between rope climbs and pull-ups and ring rows and farmer’s walks and grabbing your dogs’ leashes while they pull you as you’re trying to walk? Lots of things obviously, but they one thing they have in common is they’re all expressions of pulling. So as long as you’re doing something most of the group can do that makes them feel like they’ve been pulling with their arms, you’re on the right track for the rope climb sub. Then the closer you can get to the specifics the better. So strict pull-ups with an alternating grip (flipping hands each round), jumping and hanging from a bar (flexed or extended), halfway up rope climbs using your legs, full climbs with the legs… think general not specific and then the specifics will come to you. When I get around to doing this, I’ll go legless as high as I can then use my feet to finish. Or maybe just call it good where I end up haha. Depends how I feel. As for sit-ups, I find it hard to keep a good position while using an AbMat, and some people have complained about back pain after doing lots of regular sit-ups. So we do hollow body variations; only going as far back as you can maintain a hollow body (low back staying in contact with the ground, among other things). Try those if you don’t have AbMats. On a very important note, I really hate sit-ups. Probably my worst exercise for some dumb reason. 

INJURY: Looks like spine/hip stuff and shoulder/arms are going to be the only issues I can think of. Static plank/hollow hold would be a good sub for sit-ups if need be. As for the rope, anything one-arm would be good. If it’s a broken finger that can’t wrap around a bar or rope, you can try doing slow descents from a push-up or handstand. It’s technically pulling as far as I understand.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Crossover Symmetry - The Basics

Shoulder Info
Nagging shoulder pain is commonly addressed with ice and stretching, and taking time off from
the gym.  But this doesn’t address the underlying issues behind most shoulder problems,
leaving pain to return sooner or later.

Underlying many cases of shoulder pain is a weakness of the scap and rotator cuff muscles that
move and stabilize the joint. If these important stabilizers cannot adequately support the training
loads or become fatigued during training, it increases the stress placed on the shoulder which
commonly leads to pain and injury.

Additionally, the forward shoulder posture plagues our society and wrecks a good shoulder
position. Time spent working at a desk, driving, texting, eating, and other typical sedentary
activities in our day results in a chronic state of shoulder impingement.  This leads to mobility
issues that limit overhead movement

The CS Shoulder System focuses on the muscular imbalances of the scapular stabilizers and
rotator cuff and improves the mobility of the shoulder and upper back.  This will help correct and
permanently fix the causes behind most shoulder pain.

Hip & Core Info
The largest and strongest muscles in the body act on or attach around the hip. It’s also the
second most mobile joint in the body. For those reasons, the hip and core is the primary
movement hub and power source for sports and life activities. Unfortunately, we spend too
much time sitting, and isolated to moving in only single plane—forwards and backwards. This
creates dysfunctions in strength and mobility. Addressing these weaknesses fast tracks
performance progress, but also an important fix for pain around the knee and low back.

Related to the knee, hip weakness combined with core stability, is now considered the largest
modifiable risk factor for a non-contact knee injury. Specifically, weakness of hip abduction and
external rotation results in a condition in which the knees collapse inward, an issue termed
“dynamic valgus”. This often affects dynamic movements such as squatting, cutting, jumping,
and landing.

For back issues, the stabilization facilitated by the Hip and Core System often inhibits muscle
guarding that occurs from instability surrounding the hips & back. Lessening the muscle
guarding not only improves issues of low back pain, but improves mobility of the hips better than
stretching. In less than 5-minutes, the CS Hip & Core System will maximize your warm-up to
reduce pain and injury, and build the strength you need to overcome your biggest limiters.

Monday, July 1, 2019

What is a Pood? - Kettlebell Kings

This is common question for folks new to kettlebell, especially if you have been getting your workouts from Crossfit. 'Pood' originated in Russia along with kettlebells and is a unit of measurement for kettlebells in Russia. More specifically it is a unit equal to 40 funt (фунт, Russian Pound). A funt is a Russian pound

What is a Pood in Kilograms and Pounds?
It is approximately 16.38 kilograms. A kilogram is 2.2 pounds. So one pood is also 36.11 pounds.

Often times you will see a Crossfit workout call for 1 Pood, 1.5 Pood or 2 Pood. So, the common kettlebell weights closest to this would be a 16 Kg Kettlebell, 24 Kilogram Kettlebell and a 32 Kilogram Kettlebell respectively.

Bye Bye Pood, Hello Pood

Sadly, the good ol' pood was abolished by the USSR as a unit of measurement in 1924.

The term has had some resurgence as kettlebells have become more popular because it is still used in reference to sporting weights in Russia. That is it! Pretty simple!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

WOD Wednesday #106

On a 50-minute clock, with no rest between:

  • 15 minutes of handstand practice
  • 10 minutes of L-sit practice
  • 5 minutes of double-unders
  • 20 minutes of stretching

STIMULUS: This is going to be rough. I am very guilty of scaling time domains down to stay around 20 minutes (even daring so much as to go for 25 occasionally). Why? I don’t know. I’m just a pansy sometimes. I’m scared of seeing “30” in the minute column for me or my athletes probably due to an assumed lack of intensity. CrossFit is constantly varied. The best results tend to land somewhere in the 8-12 minute range, and sometimes in the 12-20 minute range. But constantly varied means we need to touch all time domains at some point. I think the 50-minute thing needs to stay intact. There will be a lot of resting but since you’re probably holding your breath on handstands and L-sits, you should be breathing pretty heavy once you get to double unders. Then on the stretching, the tough part is being able to control your breathing Awhile 1) under tension and 2) while already tired from the previous 30(!) minutes of work. Also, if you’re a serious athlete you’ll do this without music. There’s a lot of things your body will tell you in this workout if you listen closely.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Tension Headaches: How to Handle Them

Of the four distinct types of headaches — tension, migraine, sinus and cluster — the tension type is the most common. Of course, stress is a natural reaction to stimuli and can keep us safe from danger. Yet an excessive amount of stress can lead to tension headaches. That’s why learning how to handle emotional and physical stress can help reduce the severity and frequency of tension headaches.
If you’re concerned about your headaches, contact your primary medical provider!

How the Body Reacts to Stress

When the “fight or flight” response is triggered, our bodies become flooded with protective hormones like adrenaline, which leads to a chain reaction of neck and scalp muscles contracting. These physical reactions often result in either tension or migraine headaches.  
Muscular overuse is another factor that leads to tension headaches. Holding your neck or shoulder joints in an unnatural position for too long causes supporting muscles to go into spasm. In turn, the muscles compress the adjoining nerves, sending pain impulses to your brain that result in headaches and sometimes a sore neck.
Working at a computer, bending over a work table or holding a phone to your ear for prolonged periods are all frequent causes of tension headaches from physical sources.

Additional Causes

Along with muscle-bunching activities like desk work, here are a few other factors associated with tension headaches:
  • Emotional stress
  • Fatigue
  • Excess alcohol
  • Fluctuating caffeine levels
  • Eye strain
  • Use of tobacco products

Dealing With a Tension Headache

Here are three of the most common tips concerning how people effectively deal with tension headaches:
  • Stretch your neck muscles regularly. Tense muscles in the neck region are often tension headache culprits. Physical therapy can also help.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Whether it’s deep breathing, yoga or walking on your lunch break — finding a way to de-stress is key to stopping tension headaches before they start.
  • Adjust your ergonomics. Your workplace setup can cause headaches. Consider simple adjustments like setting up your monitor to a more comfortable position, and getting a headset for your telephone.
If you have a severe headache, especially if it’s an unusual type for you, seek immediate medical attention. Tension headaches, on the other hand, don’t require emergency care — but they can still be painful and interrupt your normal routine

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Product Review: Xterra Fitness ERG700 Rower

Product Details:
The ERG700 Rower provides an unparalleled full-body workout. Simply put, it is the best low-impact, full-body workout available! The full body rhythmic nature of rowing makes it wonderfully efficient at burning calories while also developing flexibility and strength. Rowing is impact-free and the intensity is completely user-controlled.

The large 5.5” bright blue backlit console with height and angle adjustment includes motivating programs to keep you involved, inspired, and reaching your goals. Performance is top-of-the-class with a smooth action aluminum rail system, convenient fold up design, industrial strength handle strap, flex pedals with easy adjustment, and the combination of both air and magnetic resistance (16 levels) for an exercise experience second to none.

The XTERRA performance monitor clearly displays time, distance, strokes/min, count, calories, heart rate, watts, level and a program graphic of resistance over time. It also features 10 effective programs for a wide variety of workouts. When you are not using your ERG700 Rower, simply fold it up and wheel it out of the way. With folded dimensions of just 52.5” long x 18” wide it won’t consume a room when not in use. Start making waves with your workouts today on the new XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Folding Rower and exceed your expectations.

Combination of both air and magnetic resistance (16 levels) simulates the feel of rowing
Ergonomic rowing handle is contoured and padded for superior feel and comfort with a full 80.7” of travel length
  • 20" frame height gets you on and off the rower with ease
  • Console display features a large 5.5" bright blue backlit LCD with easy touch buttons and height and angle adjustment for the perfect viewing angle
  • Ten effective programs offer a wide variety of workouts including Distance, Time, Calories, 20/10 Interval, 10/20 Interval, Custom Interval, Fat Burn, Cardio, Strength, Game, and Manual
  • Large contoured seat maximizes comfort and performance
  • Built-in HR receiver (chest strap sold separately)
  • Solid steel frame with smooth aluminum seat slide provides an incredibly smooth motion for improved rowing efficiency
  • Flex pedals with easy adjust numbered settings allow you to maintain proper form by flexing with your every movement
  • Fold up frame design with built-in transport wheels allow for moving your equipment when not in use
  • Must plug into standard wall outlet
  • Weight limit: 350 lbs
  • Assembled dimensions (L x W x H): 97” x 18" x 38" | Folded dimensions (L x W x H): 52.5” x 18” x 62”
  • Assembled weight: 80.9 lbs
  • Frame - Lifetime, Parts - 5 Years, Labor - 1 Year
Product Review:
Originally I had wanted some other much more expensive high end options - you know the ones - but decided I'd give this one a shot. This was a couple hundred cheaper than those other said models - but still has all the features. It's well made and impressed with how smooth it is. I can change the levels of resistance - and get all the important info and programs I could ever need. This machine doesn't skimp on the features. It was simple to put together, did it on my own in 30 minutes.   Extremely quiet. Nice glide on the seat and on the flywheel/ pulley. Very easy to fold up & move - love the wheels. Moves well even on carpet.

Storage and Transport Made Easy
The ERG700 Rower folds in half taking up less than 50% of original footprint! Folding and transporting takes less than 5 seconds: pull the Pin until the rail touches the ground. Lift the rail upwards until it clicks into position (no tools required) - and that's it!

Adjust amount of Drag for Any Ability
You are in control of your output and resistance at all times. The amount of work you do is directly calculated by how hard you row. Row harder to go faster, row easier to go slower. There is also magnetic resistance that allows you to quickly adjust the resistance to the flywheel from little drag at Setting 1, to max drag at Setting 16. This is much like rowing with little drag or shallow paddle depth at 1, to max drag with deep paddle depth at 10. You can change the feel of the stroke to suit your preference. The flywheel design produces a smooth feel and minimizes noise.

Smoother, More Comfortable Rowing Experience
Xterra ERG 700 seats feature extra-padded, high-density foam ergonomically designed for maximum comfort while rowing. Our uniquely designed fan to utilize air resistance allows the user to enjoy a smoother, more comfortable rowing experience that maintains momentum immediately from your initial pull. Enjoy a smooth, momentum-building pull with every stroke.

Durable Construction
ERG 700 are known for their durability and construction. The commercial quality provides a stable foundation for nearly any user weight.

Easily Measure Performance and Progress
The ERG700 comes with an easy-to-use console display that gets straight to the point. Simply begin pulling and the console will begin tracking Time Rowed, Time/500M, Watts, Pulse (when connected to a heart rate monitor), Meters/Distance, Strokes Per Minute, Calories, and Total Strokes.

You can also toggle between several performance measurements to display in large text/graphics on the screen: average 500m pace, average meters per stroke, max heart rate, calories per hour, force curve, max watt, watt chart, average watt.

Access pre-built programs from the main menu: Quick Start, Competition Racing, Interval/Tabata, Target Time, Target Distance, Target Calories, Target Heart Rate, and Target Strokes. Select your program and parameters, press Start, and begin rowing.

I've used many machines and I'm active in Crossfit (including the popular Concept2.) I have to stay, this XTERRA machine exceeded my expectations. This should definitely be ranked with the best of them. I am glad I got it. The combination of air and magnetic resistance the console makes it so easy to track progress.