Tag Archives: gym

Grip Strength Workout

Whether you’re having a hard time opening a jar of pickles or can’t lockout that 600+ lb deadlift, your grip is an essential component to your overall strength. Instead of buying a pair of straps or the most technologically advanced chalk, the best practice is to develop a grip that can crush apples and tear phone books. These exercises will help you develop stronger hands and have a direct practical application to competitions such as powerlifting and strongman since you’re simulating the same technique. Even if you’re a martial artist who grapples or throws, being able to hold onto a gi is key and no matter what your goal, this routine will push your mind (and forearms) to the limit every set.

It’s important to note that in between every set, I will stretch the muscles that are being contracted for such a long amount of time. For example, I might use a thick rubber band (like the one from broccoli at the grocery) to expand my hands so they and my forearms are not in a state of constant flexion. I train many lab workers, nurses, and bakers who have developed the equivalent of a shin splint in their forearms because they’ve created such an extreme muscular imbalance. We want to avoid that in our effort to strengthen our grip. We don’t want to cause injury when trying to squeeze that level 3 Captain of Crush. 

(I will mention that you’ll notice Captain of Crush work is not included in this workout. I generally superset every exercise in my bodybuilding upper day with my CoC so I avoid using them in this workout.)

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Simple Shoulder Workout (Advanced)

Workouts come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re a beginner or nearly a professional athlete, weight loads, rep ranges, rest, and many other variables dictate your training session. The following workout has its own place for those that are experienced but don’t have a concrete goal. For those that have been serious in the past but an injury has taken its toll over time.  I call this the Simple Shoulder workout, but Simple is relative to an experienced athlete.

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What is a “Pull” Workout?

There is a plethora of workout types out there. I mean there is a ton. From muscle workouts to crosstraining to cardio workouts and then more types within each type! It can be exhausting and, quite frankly, intimidating to even know where to start. That’s what we’re here for! We want to offer up different kinds of workouts so that you can feel familiar with them as you decide what you want to do. 

So what is a “pull” workout? Think of “pull” very literally. Think of what muscles you use when you pull on something. Typically, you’ll use your upper back (lats), your biceps, and the backs of your shoulders and traps. This provides us a great area to work out! Back, biceps, and certain parts of the shoulders! Next time you hit the gym, try a few of the exercises laid out below:

For the back…

1. Reverse lat pull-down.  Try 3-4 sets of a weight that’s right for you. Do your reps in a slow, controlled manner, bringing the bar down.

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NETA Group Exercise Workshop in Los Angeles

If you read our recent post about NASM’s effort to enter the Group Exercise market through their strategic acquisition of AFAA, you might remember we discussed the current hierarchy of certifications in the industry. While we didn’t give you the whole picture, you saw a glimpse and got an idea of who the heavy hitters were in group exercise. One organization we didn’t mention happens to currently be one of the only two that has NCCA Accreditation for both their personal trainer and group exercise instructor courses. In fact, I’ve looked through a lot of fitness professional catalogs and they might have the most diverse of all. They are NETA. (I spend at least ten minutes a day explaining acronyms in the fitness and aquatics industries to people.)

Source: NCCA

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DIY Home Gym with Household Items

This post is brought to you by our friends at Modernize.com–we love their awesome tricks and ideas!

If you don’t want to shell out the big bucks when it comes to working out, all you need to do is get resourceful. Sure, sometimes it’s nice to use an elaborate machine or a treadmill with a TV screen—but you certainly don’t need thousands of dollars worth of equipment to stay in tip-top shape. In fact, some of your best workout tools may already be lying around your house. Here are just some of the home gym ideas and inspiration from Modernize.

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Motivation: Get Your Goal

This motivation video is here to get you PUMPED and INSPIRED. We urge you to hit that pavement and work hard! Even though you’re tired or you had a bad day, you still go to the gym or wherever you get your exercise, and GET IT. Don’t let the day beat you–beat the day. 

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How to Decide on a Gym

In this day and age, it’s tough to find which gym you should join. From YMCAs to 24 Hour Fitnesses to Crossfit Boxes, there are a plethora of choices out there. And how do you know which one is the right pick for you? From high-class clubs like Equinox to $20/mo Planet Fitness, it’s hard to decide on a gym. More so, it’s hard to choose what will really benefit you (and your family) in the long run. Before you expect me to tell you what exactly you should be looking for, I will tell you that’s impossible. There are so many gyms out there, that I couldn’t give you the proper choice. Sure, I could go through a list of gym chains, but what if you have an incredibly awesome local gym like Ironhouse Gym in Mason City, Iowa? Instead, I’m going to give you a list of questions to ask yourself, look for the answers for these online, and ask the fitness facilities. Make sure they meet your criteria, otherwise, move on. You may not get every little thing you want, but make your list in priority order. Maybe the question, “Is this family-friendly?” is most important to you as you would like to exercise but also either have your kid in daycare or start swim lessons. This is about you! Here’s the list:

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The Trip: IMMERSIVE FITNESS by Les Mills

The newest, most innovative, and most motivational form of burning calories is here. Hungry & Fit enjoy working out… most of the time. It’s not a challenge for us to stay healthy because the highlight of our day is pushing ourselves to the limit. Whether it’s in the gym, on the field, in the forest, on the court, in the ocean, or anywhere else you can imagine, we feed off the energy around us and create an environment for success in our physical fitness.

Well, I know what you’re thinking. I can’t do that. I workout because my doctor told me to. I workout because I have a wedding coming up in a few months. I workout but I don’t want to workout! It’s frustrating and it only makes your life harder. Imagine if that wasn’t the case. Imagine if burning calories on the treadmill, bike, elliptical, or whatever piece of equipment you use was more enjoyable. Imagine if you were transported into a world where your success was guaranteed. Imagine IMMERSIVE FITNESS.

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The Gym as a Community

Crossfit. One of the fields that Crossfit excels in is its tendency to build communities. Most of the boxes that I have visited or heard about are very supportive environments for the athletes that are either regulars or guests. Now, I’m not going to go into great depth in this post about the nature of the community. I won’t discuss the dynamics of the community in terms of the quality or availability of help and advice, just overall encouragement, support, and comfort. 

As a member of many gyms, fitness facilities, martial arts studios, and public workout areas, I have a lot of experience with different fitness groups. The reason I continue to provide my services at a YMCA is because of the community aspect that it offers to the members and guests. Every day, individuals come in to check out our facility and as I give them a tour, they realize how much of a more supportive and friendly environment we offer. I ask them where they workout and the most common answers, in order, are Equinox, Spectrum, Dave Barton, 24 Hour Fitness, and LA Fitness. (We are in LA right now.) They change their memberships often and are much happier

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Now, without calling out any single organizations directly, every facility offers something different. Some open in order to make a lot of money, some want to work with celebrity clientele, some enjoy doing what they do, and others wants to help people. Most do it for multiple reasons. I’ve always worked at the places that REALLY want to help people. (Because I can achieve the other three through my private services, when I want.) So why is that supportive environment so important to others? I won’t tell you my reasons, I will tell you what the people say.

They don’t like it when the front desk staff doesn’t say hello and goodbye. They don’t like it when other members ignore them when they ask a friendly question. They don’t like feeling as if they’ll get in trouble for doing something wrong, when it might not even be the wrong thing to do. They don’t want to feel like an employee, member, or guest is going to steal their stuff. They don’t want to feel like people are talking about what they’re doing for their workout behind their backs. They want to feel comfortable, because they’ve earned that by paying for a membership and being a respectable member.

Everyone going to the gym is making an effort to look, feel, and/or live a better life. I respect that in almost every instance and recognize that these people, whether they are health-seekers, elite athletes, or any other level are doing something that they might not entirely want to do or enjoy doing, but are trying to make a difference. Maybe they are having health issues and need to strengthen their heart; perhaps they have come from hard times and becoming a professional athlete could help support a large family, or maybe they are retired, bored and looking for some friends and activity through a group exercise class.

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The reason almost doesn’t matter, what matters is that they deserve an environment that is conducive to creating a healthy lifestyle. That doesn’t just mean reasonable rates, great parking, and the best equipment on the market. It also means a friendly and knowledgeable staff plus some members that at least have the courtesy to tell someone, “Sorry, I’m in a bit of a rush, maybe next time.” Now, I’m not trying to change the world or force people at the gym to alter the way they workout. We all know what gyms are more welcoming and those that are a little colder.

If you like to workout alone with your playlist and hoodie on, I’m not stopping you, but if someone asks to work in with you, don’t ignore them. Give them an answer. If some popular facility hired you to work the front desk and you can’t help someone with a question because you’re too busy flirting with the attractive guys and girls that come in, well… to be honest, I’d fire you but maybe your supervisors are okay with that. Says a lot about the facility. Have some respect for the industry and leave some feedback about your facility and what category it falls into below! Finding a great community that supports you is one of the best ways to stay hungry and fit!

 BONUS KITTY PIC

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