Monday, July 27, 2020

Titan Fitness: Yukon Bar Product Review

Product Details:
LOSE UNNECESSARY PAIN: Using the black oxide-coated Yukon Bar means adding six inches of barbell curvature to help keep your body in pristine form, and put an end to back and shoulder pain from squatting.

OUR BEST CURVED BARBELL: The Yukon Bar is longer than our Bison Bar (96” instead of 87”), comes with more loadable sleeve length (17 1/2” instead of 16”) and a higher weight capacity (2,000 LB versus 500 LB).

BLACK OXIDE COATING: Your barbell will last longer, look great, and exceed expectations with the black oxide coating process – guaranteeing a resistance to rust and corrosion.

TOUGH STEEL CONSTRUCTION: Never fear your barbell suffering under too much intensity. Bring your toughest workout to the Yukon Bar – the durable steel construction will make it through.

DIMENSIONS: Between sleeves, this barbell measures at 58 1/8”, and the grip size is 32 mm (or 1.26”) in diameter. The Yukon Bar is designed with a 6” curvature.

- Overall length: 96”
- Length handle to handle: 58 1/8”
- Loadable Sleeve Length: 17 1/2”
- Grip Diameter: 32 mm / 1.26”
- Barbell Curvature: 6”
- Coating: Black Oxide
- Weight Capacity: 2,000 LB
- Weight: 50 LB

Don’t settle for unnecessary strain and discomfort, pick up the Yukon Bar from Titan Fitness and give yourself a better workout! Lose your worrisome back and shoulder pain with the brilliantly curved barbell design. The Yukon bar is longer than our other curved barbell, the Bison Bar, at 96” instead of 87” – and a loadable sleeve length of 17 1/2” for each side. Our older Bison Bar maxes out at 500 LB, but the Yukon Bar comes in at a whopping 2,000 LB capacity. Other functional design changes were made, for example, the Yukon Bar will now remain upright when it’s racked.

Our Yukon Bar will rest comfortably on your shoulders for squatting, with a 6” curvature that feels more natural than an ordinary barbell. The black oxide coating ensures that your barbell’s stunning finish is resistant to rust and corrosion. Knurling on the handle stretches across five different sections of the bar; including knurling directly at the center. Between the loadable Olympic sleeves, this bar measures 58 1/8” in handle to handle length. The barbell grip measures at 32 mm, or 1.26” in diameter.

There are many reasons this bar can help your bench; the two most commonly spouted are the ability to centre the wrist joint and shoulder joint more effectively especially with wider grips, and of course the ability to do extended range pressing aka go lower than you could with a standard barbell. Although both of these are great, I think the most important benefit that comes from benching with the Yukon bar is the ability for the bar to teach you the proper elbow position for benching.

Over-tucking the Elbows: the unspoken cause of elbow pain and missed benches

Cambered bench bars have been around forever, but most if not all of them have you grip the bar at the same level as the centre of the plates, and the cambered portion bends around the lifter; however, with the Yukon bar, you’re actually gripping the weight slightly above the centre of mass, creating a small swing arm between the lifter that can swing in pendulum fashion either towards the hips, or towards the face. This means smaller fore/aft mistakes are magnified and you’ll be made immediately aware of whether you are sitting directly under the centre of mass, or if you’ve dumped the bar to low to touch your chest, or over-tucked your elbows to try and drive the bar back towards the rack

The 6in bend encourages proper joint centration and reduces rotational demand on the shoulder
Improves scapular retraction and lat engagement in the press and squat.  With a standard barbell and sub-maximal weights, this isn’t always easy to feel, as many people are strong enough to bully the bar back into position even after a suboptimal start until they get to the last couple reps of a set, or the weight gets heavy enough, but with the Yukon those errors become immediately apparent. If your weakness is off the chest or in the low midpoint of your bench press, before you go blaming the chest and anterior delt, take a hard look at your bench press path.

Aside from the heart break of missed benches, the other unspoken issue with over-tucking and keeping the elbows behind the wrists/centre of mass is that it creates a lateral torque on a joint that is not adequately adapted to handle those forces. The elbow is a hinge joint with the ability to rotate, however it really doesn’t handle continued exposure varus or valgus stresses very well. It takes awhile for this to show up, but if you’re dealing with elbow pain or tendinitis issues in your bench press, first take a look at your squat technique (especially if it’s worse on days that you squat the day before) and then take a good hard look at your bench press path – chances are your elbows are lagging behind your wrists for the majority of your bench press.

From an outsiders’ perspective, it may be hard to see why a bent barbell makes such a big difference. Sure, it’s more comfortable, but is it really worth the additional cost? However, safety is one concern many people face when they start lifting weights. If you use incorrect form or make certain mistakes, you can seriously injure yourself. With the Yukon Bar, you’re taking a step towards safety and protecting yourself when you lift.  Your back isn’t perfectly straight, so why should your barbell be? The bent shape lets it lie properly across your shoulders for stability and comfort.

These main benefits might entice you to add this bar:
Incredible engineering and quality
Maximum comfort during weight sessions
Safe and pain-free with minimal shoulder stress

However, these are some minor concerns I want to make you aware of:
Doesn’t sit properly in most power racks
Takes time to adjust to the shape

It’s covered in black oxide, and to that end looks and feels great. Definitely has the look of a higher end barbell without the added price. The knurl is a little passive, which for a squat and pressing bar, I’m completely fine with. Glad they opted for center knurling this time around.

I had just used the Bison Bar before this (Titan’s first 6” cambered Buffalo/Duffalo Bar competitor),  I overall liked their Bison Bar, particularly for benching. The added depth was great, though a lot of that was near the very edges where you couldn’t actually grip. It didn’t sit well on the rack, however, and overall was a little wobbly. Also pushed the J hooks out just a little if you weren’t careful, no matter how I arranged my particular ones. It was plenty ‘good enough’ for me, and I solved it sitting in the rack very easily by putting fat grips on the parts that sat on the J hooks near the edge, but it definitely had the feel of a 1.0 product.

The Yukon Bar addresses any and all issues I had with the Bison Bar. The balance of this bar is perfect. It sits on the rack just fine without any help. The black oxide coating looks nice, though I’d personally still have been fine with chrome. The spin of the sleeves is just right, far smoother than the Bison Bar.

As to the 6” camber of it, vs the 4” on higher end bars, I think that’s mostly a marketing gimmick. Because a good 1-2” of that is likely going to be outside of your grip range for pressing, you wouldn’t get much benefit from it there as far as range of motion goes. It is 2” more cambered for where the weights sit when squatting and doing anything on your back, but I wouldn’t imagine that’s going to have a substantive impact compared to a 4” camber. For all intents and purposes, the camber on the Yukon Bar’s basically the same as that of the other Buffalo/Duffalo style bars, the main difference being price.

This is the longest barbell I own, sitting way taller than my Titan SSB 2.0 in my vertical rack. It’s so tall/long that I would say that if you only have vertical barbell storage to put it in and low ceilings, you’re going to need to measure. I think it even stands taller than my rack in there. I have tall ceilings for an apartment, and it’s right up there near them. If the space around your rack is also limited, you’ll need to measure if the width will fit too, as I have to duck under one side of it to get by on one side of my rack. It’s 96” long as I recall.

The grip marks on the bar are also very wide, but that’s not that big of a deal. I usually grip wide when using these kinds of bars for presses anyway because that’s part of the benefit of the bars.

I would have preferred it if they somehow managed to mimic the size of their Bison Bar while simply addressing the issues of it without making it significantly longer, but if that’s what it take to make it less wobbly and sit right in the rack, I’m fine with it.  Overall, this is an amazing specialty bar for the price!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

So You’ve Been Having Back Pain… Could it be Caused by a Herniated Disc?

If you’ve been experiencing back pain, it just may be a herniated disc. A herniated disc can put extra pressure on the muscles and nerves around the spinal column. Symptoms may include, pain on one side of the body, pain that radiates to the arms or legs, aching, burning sensations in the affected area and pain with certain movements.

What is a Herniated Disc?

The spinal column is comprised of a series of bones. “The cervical spine has seven bones, the lumbar spine has five bones and the thoracic spine has 12.” Each disc has a gelatinous inner section and a tough outer ring. When the disc protrudes through the outer ring, it is known as a herniated disc. This can cause numbness, pain and discomfort.
There are a number of factors that can cause a herniated disc. Certain motions like turning or twisting can cause a herniated disc. Lifting heavy objects is another culprit. Being overweight can cause a herniated disc, too. This is because the discs have to support more weight. Older people are at risk for a herniated disc. As we age, the discs begin to lose some of their protective water content. This causes the disc to slip more easily out of place.
“Studies have indicated that genetic factors influence many, if not most of the diseases commonly encountered in clinical practice by physical therapists, such as herniated disc. Genetics has been shown to play a role in end-plate herniations at 40-49 years of age.”

The Benefits of Physical Therapy for a Herniated Disc

Physical therapy plays a critical role in recovering from a herniated disc. A physical therapist implements different techniques for pain relief and healing. Passive treatments like deep tissue massage, electric stimulation and hot and cold therapy are a few examples of passive treatments. Deep tissue massage uses pressure to relieve spasms and deep muscle tension due to a herniated disc. Hot therapy increases blood flow to the affected area and enhances healing. Cold therapy reduces inflammation. Electric nerve stimulation reduces muscle spasm by sending a tiny electric current to the nerve pathway.
Active treatments by a physical therapist address joint movement, stability, flexibility, strength and posture. A physical therapist will teach you core stabilizing exercises to strengthen the back muscles. You’ll also engage in body muscle exercises to strengthen and condition your body. In addition, a physical therapist will teach you flexibility techniques and proper stretching techniques.
If you have back pain, turn to physical therapy for help. A physical therapist will do a comprehensive exam and review your medical history to determine if you have a herniated disc. Once a proper diagnosis is made, a physical therapist will then create and implement a personalized treatment plan targeted to the affected area. The goal of physical therapy is to help you attain an active and pain-free life. It’s helped thousands of others and can help you, too.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Product Review: Strongman Log Bar

These barbells are the strongman’s secret weapon. If you are into strength training, you will love these.  If you are looking to train hard for both strength and overall endurance, the log barbell can take you to the next level. Beginners, proceed with caution!

10" Strongman Log Bar | v2Strongman effectively practices traditional strength, and power exercises. One of the more recognizable staple pieces of Strongman training equipment is the log, also known as the log bar. They are a barbell with a huge “log” or what is basically a cylinder for the shaft, with handles conveniently placed in cutouts within the log.

The Titan Log Bars are the ideal tool to develop your abilities in this intense sport. With exercises such as the log clean & press, which requires strength, coordination, and technique similar to the clean and press in Olympic weight lifting, athletes utilize their legs, posterior chain, back, and shoulders as they progress the log from the ground to overhead position.

These Log Bars are constructed of high-quality, heavy-duty steel coated with a black powder finish to make it the strongest and most durable piece of Strongman training equipment in your gym! Shoulder or wrist issues? No problem! These logs have a neutral grip to reduce the amount of stress on both the shoulders and wrists during your log press workout! Along with the neutral grip, the 24" between the grip handles keeps you in a comfortable position with a natural grip so you can put all your energy into training without worrying about any discomfort!

Like most Strongman logs, these have Olympic sleeves with a 2" diameter to accommodate Olympic weight plates, but what sets our logs apart from the competition is the ability to use standard barbell collars (no need for axle collars!).  The logs weigh between 55-115lbs empty and this allows you or your athletes to lift with the log itself - this may be extremely beneficial if you or your athletes are starting Strongman and need to learn proper technique before adding weight. With a max weight load of 500 lb, note that these logs are NOT meant to be dropped directly on the floor, only drop when using crash mats, safety pads, or tires. Proven to be a staple piece in numerous Strongman competition events

  1.  Neutral grip handles. This is a much more anatomically friendly position for the shoulders, and is much less likely to bother the joint during the pressing movement compared to pressing with a pronated grip.
  2.  Instability. Due to its inherently awkward shape and large size, a fair amount of instability is created within the shoulder girdle when the log is pressed overhead. Consequently, this provides a powerful training effect to every muscle that contributes to the stabilization of the shoulder joint.
  3. More fun. Sure, it's great to hoist a loaded barbell above your head, but doing it with a large and more awkward object is even more satisfying.
  4. Carryover to the Bench Press. Although this may not be the case for everyone, some athletes may experience an improvement in their Bench Press as a result of performing the Log Press, as a result of increased shoulder stability and triceps strength from locking out at the top of the movement.
I've been using this log a while now, and I can say of all the brands I've tried either in competition or in local gyms this one by far is my favorite. Here are some of the things that make it my top pick:
  • The powder coating makes the clean smooth, and the log's got good weight to it but not enough that it keeps new folks from using it.
  • The openings for the handles keep my forearms from coming into contact with the edge, preventing forearm bruising that other 10" logs can give me from trying to lever them to help with the clean.
  • Durability is exactly what you'd expect from a Titan  product, I've had to bail more than a few heavier presses from near lockout and there's not even a hint of damage to the implement.
  • Balance on it is also good, which I feel gives me a bit more control when I'm going for a press or split jerk.
10" Strongman Log Bar | v2
For anybody on the edge looking to purchase, you absolutely get what you pay for with pressing implements and I'd buy this one again in a heartbeat

Titan Fitness Product Details:
The centerpiece for Strongman training and competitions is the Log Bar. If you’re looking to improve your physique or just enjoy physical fitness, you’re going to need the proper workout equipment. With our premium weightlifting Log Bar, you’ll be looking like a professional bodybuilder in no time. This unique lifting device is designed by individuals who know what it takes to get the most out of every single workout. An essential addition to your strongman routine, the 10" diameter barrel with loadable sleeves ensures plenty of space for bumper plates. Our neutral hand grips are seated comfortably within the log, and the cutout is more than wide enough to accommodate arms of all sizes. The neutral grip will lower the stress on your shoulders as you press, making your intensive training free of any unwanted pain or residual soreness. The powder-coating paint is scratch, scuff, and rust-resistant — protecting the finish while you knock out presses, cleans, jerks, benches, and rows. The Log Bar’s high-quality steel construction will guarantee long-lasting fitness results for years to come, adding a sleek look to your gym accessories or weightlifting setup. The Titan Log Bar offers an essential piece of equipment at an affordable price and is made to help you work out safely and efficiently. This durable and useful bodybuilding tool is equipped with loadable sleeves on both ends, welded end caps, 1.65” knurled handles, and fits competition plates, so you’ll have everything you need to get ripped quickly. We recommend using a drop pad if your workouts include dropping from overhead. Try Titan Fitness for all your weightlifting and bodybuilding equipment.
  • LOG-STYLE LIFTING: This Log Bar is great for both men and women who love lifting. This innovative log-style weightlifting bar creates a more anatomically friendly position for the shoulders than traditional bars. In addition, this bar is much less likely to bother the joints during the pressing movement compared to pressing with a pronated grip (palms facing away from the body).
  • IMPROVE YOUR FORM: If you’re not lifting weights right, you could strain or injure a muscle, putting you out of the game for months. That’s why we’ve designed this premium log bar. With ergonomic handles, it’s a great addition for home gyms. It has wide openings that will fit any sized arm, so if you are tired of traditional deadlifting and powerlifting, try this metal log bar.
  • BUILD MUSCLE: Get ripped using Titan’s Log Bar! It offers a total of 28 positions, accommodating several different heights and exercises. You can perform a variety of exercises with this log bar, including chin-ups, deadlifts, cross-training, and squats. Place a bench underneath and perform bench presses. You’ll be looking swole and muscular in no time.
  • MADE FROM HEAVY-DUTY STEEL: Steel is renowned for its ability to support heavy loads without bending or bowing. This heavy-duty steel can withstand up to 700 pounds. No matter how many weights you lift, the log bar will offer increased support, especially when muscle fatigue sets in. Trust the powerful Titan Log Bar for all your strength training needs.
  • FEATURES AND USES: This unique training bar is designed to fit competition plates, making it just what you need to get ready for your next Strongman competition. It has welded end caps, and 1.65” knurled handles. In addition, the neutral hand grips are 26” on center, and this bar has fully welded seams for a great fit and finish.

Monday, July 6, 2020

6 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You Improve Your Physical Health

Physical therapy improves the physical health of people who have injuries, illnesses and medical conditions. An individualized physical therapy program is a conservative approach to managing these types of problems. It improves overall health and well-being.

Six Ways Physical Therapy Improves Health

Reduces or Eliminates Pain

Manual therapy treatments like soft tissue mobilization, ultrasound, electric stimulation and targeted exercises help relieve pain and restore joint and muscle function. These types of methods also help prevent pain from coming back.

Lessens the Need for Surgery

When physical therapy works to heal and reduce pain, the need for surgery is greatly decreased. “For some conditions, including meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis, treatment by a PT has been found to be as effective as surgery.”

Improves Balance and Prevents Falls

With physical therapy, a physical therapist will screen your risk for falling. Exercises will be given to improve your balance in real-life situations. Assistive devices will be given to ensure safe walking. And if you have a problem with your vestibular system, a physical therapist will perform specific methods to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of vertigo and dizziness.

Improves Mobility

With both passive and active treatments, physical therapy improves mobility. Muscles are strengthened and flexibility is greatly improved. This way you can engage in activities and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Manages Age-Related Problems

With aging, the chances of developing osteoporosis or arthritis are increased. A physical therapist is a trained expert at helping patients recover and manage age-related health problems like osteoporosis and arthritis.

Manages Lung and Heart Disease

Physical therapy is a component of cardiac rehabilitation. To address pulmonary issues, a physical therapist will help improve your health and quality of life through breathing, strengthening and conditioning exercises. Physical therapy also helps clear fluid from the lungs.

Case Study of the Impact of Physical Therapy for Osteoporosis

Clinical studies support the benefits of physical therapy for health conditions like osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is one of the ten most common illnesses. “Patients were recruited from the osteoporosis outpatient clinics of Klinikum S├╝dstadt hospital and the University hospital of Rostock to engage in physical therapy for osteoporosis. Over a period of 3 months, 44 patients with osteoporosis completed a twice-weekly 30-minute intensive exercise program. The conclusion was that physical therapy reduced pain and improved function, with the sling exercise patients benefiting most. The combination of functional improvement and pain mitigation resulted in improved health.”This study is just one of the many proving the health benefits of physical therapy.
With physical therapy, you get an individualized treatment plan to address your challenges, needs and goals. A physical therapist will help you manage pain, improve chronic conditions, recover from an injury and prevent future chronic diseases. A physical therapist will also collaborate with other health professionals to ensure that you get the best of care. Patients are encouraged to be active participants in their treatment plan. All around, physical therapy is designed to improve your health and help you engage in your regular activities.