5 Important features of a power rack

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A power rack is a long term investment which needs your careful consideration before you choose one for yourself. As you will be performing a lot of exercises on it on a daily basis, it is natural that you look for one which is not only safe but also allows you to perform most of the exercises that you want. So, what makes a good power rack for home?

Here is a list of things which you should definitely consider before buying a power rack for yourself:

Size

You would find various size options when choosing a power rack and it is crucial that you choose one which suits your height. So, if you are a tall person, then make sure that you choose a power rack which is according to your height and if you are a short person, make sure you go for a power rack which isn’t too tall. You would also find average height power racks which can be used various people of different heights.

Dimensions

Another important factor to consider while buying a power rack is the location where you are going to place it.

You will need to first decide on a location and then buy a power rack which fits this location without getting too congested. You would need enough space to perform your exercises efficiently.

power-rack

Stabilizer

Make sure that you go for a power rack with a removable stabilizer as this would ensure that your power rack remains stable when you are not working on it and then when you decide to exercise, you can simply remove it and perform your training routine.

Easy to Use

This is yet another factor which you should consider when buying a power rack for yourself, make sure you go for one which is easy to adjust and won’t take a lot of your time and energy.

A pin and pipe safety system will be a pain in the future, so better to go for a strapping system as it will be easy to adjust and won’t take much of your time too.

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Durability

Another crucial factor to consider is how durable is your power rack. Always go for a power rack which is built out of decent quality and won’t pose a risk of breaking down anytime soon which might result in you getting injured.

This is an important factor that should not be neglected as it could cause serious harm to you, so always avoid low-quality power racks for yourself.

Extra Accessories

Make sure that your power rack comes with a few accessories as you would need them to perform the various exercises. You can’t train using your power rack alone, you need other attachments too so go for the one which comes with a few additional attachments or buys a few attachments for your power rack according to your needs and requirements. You can also go for attachments from other brands and then use it on your power rack.

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Adjustable vs Regular dumbbells: A must read comparison

Adjustable-Dumbbells-vs-Regular-Dumbbells

There are two types of Dumbbell sets to choose from Regular Dumbbells and Adjustable Dumbbells. A regular dumbbell set is a fixed set and you cannot change its weight whereas, an adjustable dumbbell set allows you the option to change the weight as and when required by you.

Both of these dumbbells have their own drawbacks and advantages. If you are confused about which one to choose for yourself, then you can read below the pros and cons of both the dumbbell sets and choose for yourself.

Pricing

A regular dumbbell is cheaper than an Adjustable Dumbbell due to the obvious reason that it is a single pair and not a whole set. On the other hand, an Adjustable Dumbbell might cost you more but if you go for a heavier regular dumbbell, it would cost you almost the same.

A regular dumbbell could be the most cost effective because if it is a single piece, you can easily replace it with another weight but for an adjustable dumbbell set, you would need to replace the whole thing and buy a new set.

Workout practicality

An adjustable dumbbell set allows you variation in your exercises as you can increase the weights as and when you get comfortable whereas, the same cannot be said for a regular dumbbell.

On the other hand, if you need to follow the same workout for a long time, a regular dumbbell would be more useful than an adjustable dumbbell set.

Material

An adjustable dumbbell is not as durable as a regular dumbbell because it is made up of little plastic parts which make it easier to change the weights. A regular dumbbell is made of cast iron, steel or rubber which tends to make it quite durable and not easily broken.

Space

An adjustable dumbbell set doesn’t take as much space as a regular dumbbell. Don’t get us wrong, if you only buy one regular dumbbell for yourself, then obviously it will take the least amount of space but you might not be able to vary your exercises with that single dumbbell.

You could stock up on several regular dumbbells with different weights but then that would end up taking a lot of space in your room, so it would be better to go for an adjustable dumbbell set if you are a little short on the space.

Potential Workout

An adjustable dumbbell set allows you to increase or decrease your weights as per your training program whereas, a regular dumbbell would provide you with a fixed weight to use.

If you need to perform a training which requires quick weight changes, then a regular dumbbell becomes useless but if you get used to the weights of your adjustable dumbbell set, then it becomes more expensive and tough to replace your present dumbbell set with a higher version. A regular dumbbell would be much easier to replace in such cases.

Verdict:

There is really not a clear winner in this since it depends on the type of workout you will be doing. If you are focusing on training your muscles with heavy weightlifting, then it would be better to go for a regular dumbbell but if you would be focusing on several muscles, then you should go for adjustable dumbbells for home use.

5 Things you can do to stay motivated to workout

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For the first few weeks of my training, there was no stopping me. I was out of my bed and off to the gym in a flash. Even on hectic workdays, it was the first thing I ran to after office hours but soon that motivation seemed to fade away. We talked to tons trainers and fitness freaks and found out what keeps them motivated. So next time you’re in the mood to stay on couch use one of these tricks.

To stay in a routine

If you’re not going to make your training a part and parcel of your life such as your work, eating etc. trust me it’s never going to work. While I agree it tends to get a little hectic and tiring initially, you’ll soon enjoy the sweat amid the hustle and bustle of the daily routine.

Most of the people I have come across tend to find their exercise as a break which keeps them up and running, motivated and fresh both mentally and physically.

It’s financially beneficial

Since gym memberships are paid in advance either monthly or yearly my question is why let all the money go down the drain? Losing the money invested is often a great motivation for most to get their butt off the couch and get moving.

If that’s not motivating enough then make it a challenge. In case you’re in doubt look for gyms that offer a free trial or charge less for the first month.

Buying clothes is expensive

If you feel the gym membership is expensive then trust me buying plus size clothes is even worse. So if you have a wardrobe full of beach clothes or have your best friend’s wedding coming up or maybe yours itself then it’s time to sweat it out.

The nightmare of not fitting into your $1000 wedding gown is often a great motivation to hit the gym or hop on the treadmill.

You’ll make the world better

Did you know you can even raise charity by working out? Yes believe it or not using an app such as Charity Miles allow you to raise money for about 25-30 different organizations. This way you not only make yours but also other’s lives better.

All you often have to do is either run a particular distance or simply make a check-in into a nearby gym through social media.

Reward yourself

One of the greatest motivations, whether it is work or workout, is a reward. So next time you are in the mood for some chocolate cake or high-fat diet why not go ahead and burn out a few calories first and then rather eat the cake as a reward. It can be your social media, your favorite TV show, or a party etc. whatever motivates you to hit the weights and cardio machines.

5 Steps I took to improve at indoor rowing

Okay, let’s first up to get the facts right. Rowing outside whether professionally or just for an adventure is never easy. With the winds gushing on your face and the ever changing currents being prepared and well trained is important and the best way to prep is on an indoor rowing machine and preferably on a Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine as these tend to be stable, durable and yet affordable, thus perfect choices for newbies.

But neither are these rowers simple. So before your struggle on it turns into serious injuries here’s what you need to do to improve at it.

Don’t avoid other exercises

Lots of rowers tend to stick only to the rowing machine. Yes, you are a rower but rowing alone won’t make you stronger or better. So if you haven’t yet, its time to hit the weight room.

Your glutes, calf need to generate tons of power while pushing and workouts such as squats, leg press etc. help with exactly that. For better strokes, you’ll need stronger shoulders, chest etc. for which I would suggest workouts like bench press, shoulder press, bicep curl.

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Let your legs do the work

While a lot of trainers will tell you rowing is all about hand movement but truth be told it’s not the case. It’s your legs that tend to do most of the hard work. Newbies tend to put in too much effort into the pulling but instead focus should be on utilizing the glutes to generate the power.

Remember rowing is a push movement rather than a pulling one and you’ll only get better with practice. Here’s the right rowing technique.

Take it easy

I hardly find people rowing right be it any kind of fitness center and one the most common mistakes I have noticed is that people pull too far and do it too fast. This leads to incomplete strokes so next time take it easy. For an effective and accurate stroke keep your movement slow.

This way you’ll need to generate more power thus engaging more muscle fiber and it will ultimately correct your form and technique too.

Switch to other endurance workouts

My only biggest issue with indoor rowing is that it tends to get really boring irrespective of how motivated you are and this is why I suggest people to keep mixing it up. Cycling, running or even skiing are few other sports I love and keep the boredom away.

Cross-training is a proven exercise routine and will help you stay fit by challenging your body at different levels and will keep you refreshed both physically and mentally.

Tag a friend along

Peer pressure can at times get the best out of you and having a friend row better than you is exactly the motivation you need to take it up a notch. Competitive teammates, friends etc. can help you improve focus and drive you to achieve your goals.

5 Things you should do when buying a used bike

For a fun, adventurous, relaxing and yet effective way of fitness I would recommend cycling but if you’re unwilling to spend huge on your new road bike the best alternative is to buy a second-hand bike but buying such bikes can be a tricky affair.

Although second hand a bike still should last you roughly 4-5 years and beyond with proper maintenance and checks so before you end up purchasing a potato here are 5 things you should check out in a used bike. Remember you’re looking for a used not an abused bike.

Be specific

There are plenty of different bikes such as road bikes, mountain bikes etc. and knowing your preferred type will not only save you time but make the search process easy. Once you know your type, pick 2-3 models and get all the specs and info such as the size etc.

You can check out sites such as eBay or Craigslist. Also, compare the prices on these sites with prices provided by other dealers to ensure you get the best possible deal.

Analyze the frame well

Well since it’s a used bike the odd scratch or chip is acceptable but avoid any bike that has big dents or cracks on the frame or tubes. These dents and cracks are usually found below the lower bracket. The minor dent and paint work is cheap and thus acceptable.

Keep in mind that carbon frames are usually harder and also more expensive to repair as compared to aluminum or other metallic frames so be smart and choose wisely.

See seller reviews

Sites like Amazon and eBay have a seller review section. Always opt for a seller with lots of positive reviews. Also, ensure that there is a return policy in place in case of faulty or damaged parts or frame.

Sites such as craigslist etc. do not have a review section and thus can be risky. In such cases, I would recommend you get in touch with the seller and check out the bike personally.

frame

Check the tires

Since the tires are going to endure a lot of the wear and tear it’s important to pay attention to detail. Buying new tires, forks and drivetrain will require $1000-$2000 thus avoid any bike with these faulty parts. The same amount would get you a brand new bike.

In case you’re not sure to take the bike to a nearby shop and get these parts checked or have an expert friend tag along with you for the extra help.

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Run a maintenance check

Once you’ve made the purchase head over to a local bike shop or run a maintenance check yourself. Get the old worn out saddle and pedal clip and grips replaced.

If needed also get the bike repainted for a new look. Get the rims and tires replaced too. New parts can easily be found for less than $200-$300. Get the best deals and you’ll have a bike as good as new.

Vegans guide for a fat free diet

Few questions I often get asked by most vegans is what are the best vegan foods for a protein rich diet/ fat-free diet and if they will need to turn into meat eaters for it? The answer is simple.

Protein is basically amino acids and while there are about 20 types of it, we require only 9 of these from our food as our body cannot generate these by itself and each of these can be found in different vegan items so for a fat-free and nutritional vegan diet switch to these foods today.

Buckwheat

Well if you ever were in Japan and were served soba noodles then not it’s actually buckwheat and while its name might suggest, it isn’t really wheat but more like rhubarb.

Other countries tend to integrate its crumbles into flour which acts a great base for fat-free pancakes etc. and is known to better blood circulation in the body, regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. You can use it in noodles, toast them, add them to soup, chili etc.

soba

Quinoa

Here’s an interesting fact about quinoa, it’s nutritional value is so high NASA aims to cultivate it on its spaceships. This couscous look alike is packed with loads of fiber, magnesium, manganese and iron.

So time to skip the fat rich rice as your dinner staple and switch to quinoa. Quinoa’s versatility means you can also use to make muffins, cookies, and cakes etc. My favorite quinoa recipe is the quinoa chocolate cake. Check it out below.

Seitan

One of the oldest recipes in the book is the Seitan. It was first cooked almost 1000’s of years back as a meat replacement for the monks and is prepared by combining wheat protein (gluten) with various herbs and spices etc. and letting it simmer in water.

This will integrate the essential amino acids. Below is a basic recipe to get you started. You can further add it to fajitas, stir fry it with red chili sauce etc.

Rice and beans

If you’re on a tight budget and yet seek yummy food look no further than a bowl of well-cooked rice and beans. Beans contain a high amount of lysine whereas rice is a rich source of methionine and when put together you’ll have a dish as rich in protein as chicken.

It’s the easiest post workout dish since it’s packed with proteins and carbs. You can further add some lentils or chickpeas to further spike up the protein content.

rice-beans

Mycoprotein

While quite a lot of people are allergic to mycoprotein for those who aren’t, it’s a delight and was produced in order to curb the food shortage across the globe.

It’s produced by the fungus in vats which is dried and combined with egg albumen and is used as a meat replacement in many European countries. Quorn has switched to an egg-free base making its lasagna, samosas etc. perfect recipes for vegans too.