Categories
Equipment Guides

Benefits of Having a Home Gym, Even After COVID-19

The pandemic has kept us indoor for months at a time. We learned to work from home, to learn from home, to entertain ourselves at home, and to stay on top of our at-home fitness routines. With COVID-19 vaccines around the corner and a possible end to social distancing restrictions, should you still invest in a home gym? Short answer? Yes. Long answer? Absolutely, and here are a few reasons why:

Easier to Stick to Your Fitness Routines

Sticking to your fitness routines can be hard. Throw in a busy work life, social obligations, and fast-food options at every corner, it can be nearly impossible. A home gym can help you balance working out and keeping up with your busy schedule. 

Home gyms are:

  • Always Open and One Step Away
  • Designed with You in Mind Flexible to Your Wants

We get it. No one wants to drive to the gym during heavy rain. Luckily, with a home gym, you don’t have to. Whether it pours, snows, or sleets, your bench, squat rack, kettlebells, and punching bag are only a short walk down the hall. Home gyms also allow for late night workouts without the late-night drives.

Your home gym is designed just the way you need it. Want a home gym but can’t dedicate an entire room to it? The T-3 Series Folding Power Rack’s sleek silhouette saves crucial floor space in tight locations. Your choice of rack height and depth makes it easy to optimize your gym equipment for your fitness goals and space constraints. When you’re finished, you can fold the rack up and stow it for later use.

Best of all, you can set up your own unique speaker system and blast your curated playlist. You can master wall ball exercises while getting the news on your wall-mounted flat-screen TV. It’s your home gym. You can do whatever you want.

You Can Work Out Your Way

Your at-home gym is your own exclusive health club. You can:

  • Workout on Any Machine at Any Time
  • Be as Loud as You Want
  • Be Surrounded By Your Favorite Machines

In your at-home gym, you get privacy while working out. The gym is always empty, and your favorite machine is always open. A home gym is the ultimate in social distancing, a good idea no matter what the future holds for us and COVID-19.

Working out in privacy has so many psychological and physical benefits. You can be as loud as you want during reps, rest as long as you want between sets, and never feel rushed or embarrassed by other gym members.

The possible configurations are endless when deciding on the setup that works best for your workout routines. You can purchase and arrange equipment to suit your needs or stage a multi use space for strength training and HIIT workouts.

Looking for a high quality machine that supports your workout goals? The Competition Bench and Squat Rack Combo combines upper- and lower-body exercise machines into one compact unit. Sturdy roller J-hooks keep your barbell supported at the sweetest spot, letting you hit multiple heads of your pecs and triceps. The removable bench opens up the rack for legwork and upper-body work. The same J-hooks adjust to suit your height. The machine allows for:

  • Back and front squats
  • Lunges
  • Deadlift
  • Bent-over rows

Clean, Long-Lasting Equipment

Access to clean, long-lasting equipment is one of the top reasons to build a home gym. Cleanliness was always a good idea, but these days it saves lives. Clean gym equipment is as necessary as clean hands.

Gym equipment isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Built to commercial standards, our Titan gym equipment is highly sturdy and easy to use. A home setup can take many forms:

  • a series of kettlebells.
  • a set of dumbbells, an ab roller, and battling ropes and jump ropes for strength and cardio
  • a weight bench, barbells, and dumbbells

Specialty equipment, such as rings, bars, and beams, allows you to incorporate fun compound movements. They also help you keep your flexibility on point. There are scores of equipment subcategories, such as:

  • Grip training
  • Plyo boxes
  • Farmer’s walk handles

Pro gym equipment endures for generations, especially if built right and taken care of. Our long-lasting construction makes a smart, money-saving option. At Titan, we focus on sourcing the highest-quality, professional products at competitive prices.

Categories
Equipment Guides

The Best Fitness Racks of 2021

Photo Courtesy of Shawn Donaldson, Morning Lifter

A home gym has several benefits. Working out at home reduces your drive time to the gym to zero. It also saves you a lot of time during your actual workout, as you don’t have to wait for equipment to open up. Setting up a home gym from scratch is easier than you might think. To start, power racks should be among the first equipment you install.

Power Racks for At-Home Gyms

There is a wide range of power racks for at-home gyms. However, each one has different features that make it appealing to different trainers. While most of them function similarly, they differ in the flexibility they offer and the accessories available.

T-3 Series Power Rack

Offered in 81 and 92 inches, the T-3 series power rack is a must-have for at home gyms. 2-by-3 inch 11-gauge square steel uprights make this power rack extremely durable. This impressive rack comes with a 1.25-inch pull up bar, a 2-inch fat pull up bar, and 2 reinforced J-hooks. Featured laser-cut holes along the uprights allow for your power rack to be compatible with many accessories for optimal workouts. You can feel safe with the T-3 series for it has a rackable capacity of 1,1000 pounds to a total rack capacity of 4,400 pounds. Trust us, the T-3 series power rack is worth checking out.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Works with a multitude of accessories
  • Extremely large load capacity

TITAN Series Power Rack

The TITAN power rack is a strong rack with 3-by-3-inch 11-gauge steel uprights. It has a 2-inch hole spacing as well as numbered laser-cut holes throughout the rack. The keyholes on the TITAN rack allow you to use a range of attachments with it. The rack comes with four heavy-duty steel uprights, two bottom braces, and two top braces. It also has a front and rear cross member. When looking for power racks for at-home gyms, this should be one of the top considerations.

Pros:

  • Sturdy and strong
  • Durable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Large load capacity

X-3 Series Flat Foot Power Rack

Among the power racks for at-home gyms, the X-3 Series offers a good solution that many lifters and athletes would appreciate. This rack does not need you to bolt it to the ground. It has heavy-duty 3-by-3-inch uprights and a sturdy construction that supports the weight for your workouts. It has a flat foot design, which gives you more stability for your exercises. The double-sided gusset plates further enhance the strength and support of the rack. The height options for the rack are 82 inches and 92 inches. You can also have 10-inch or 24-inch extensions to increase the depth.

Pros:

  • Skinny and fat pullup bar included
  • Strong and sturdy
  • Comfortable height
  • Flat foot design for stability

Olympic Squat Racks

As an important part of your home gym, the squat rack should be durable, versatile, and useful, and it should also fit the space available. With there being a wide range of Olympic squat racks available on the market for your home gym, each rack has advantages and disadvantages that you need to consider before you can settle on one.

X-3 Series Tall Squat Stand With Pull Up Bar and Spotter Arms

Professional weightlifters and athletes need Olympic squat racks that are strong and safe for the user. The Titan X-3 Squat Stand optimizes stability in its flat foot design, with 3-by-3-inch heavy-duty uprights. There is a laser-cut hole pattern on the uprights and through the bench zone as well as 2-inch hole spacing to allow adjustments. Its weight capacity is 1,000 pounds, and it measures 92 inches in height, 49 inches in width, and 48 inches in depth, resulting in a weight of about 203 pounds.

Some of the features of this rack include two X-3 spotter arms, double-sided gusset plates, a 1.25-inch pull-up bar, and a pair of UHMW-lined X-3 J Hooks.

Pros:

  • Strong and sturdy uprights
  • Durable materials
  • Easy to assemble
Photo Courtesy of Shawn Donaldson, Morning Lifter

X-3 Series Half Rack

The X-3 Series Half Rack is a brilliant choice for Olympic squat racks. In fact, it is one of the top choices among professional bodybuilders. With it’s 3-by-3-inch heavy-duty laser-cut uprights, this rack has a weight load capacity of 1,000 pounds.

The other features for this rack include weight plate holders, pin and pipe safety bars, and dip bars.

Pros:

  • Strong and sturdy
  • Suitable height for many individuals
  • Easy to assemble
  • No need to anchor to the floor
  • Greater customization options

T-3 Series Independent Squat Stand With Pull-Up Bar

This squat rack consists of 11-gauge heavy-duty steel uprights for heavy weight workouts. It further has J-Hooks as well as 6-inch side hole spacing on the uprights, allowing for more accessories. The rack features an independent upright design complementing the low profile, which is great for one of the top Olympic squat racks. It also has a bolt-together design that makes it easy to transport and fit into different rooms.

The rack comes with a 2-inch removable pull-up bar with quick pins.

Pros:

  • Strong and sturdy
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to transport and set up in any room
  • Many accessories

Wall Mounts & Rigs

Titan has some impressive wall mounts and rigs.

108-Inch X-3 Wall-Mounted Rig

The 108-Inch X-3 Wall-Mounted Rig has 3-by-3-inch tubing. It is comprised of 11-gauge steel and has two 108-inch uprights. It further has a 70-inch wall mount cross member and one 43-inch pull-up bar. It has a weight capacity of 183 pounds.

108-Inch T-3 Series Wall-Mounted Rig

The 108-Inch T-3 Series Wall-Mounted Rig is another rack among the top wall mounts and rigs. It has 2-by-3-inch 11-gauge steel tubing. Other features include two 108-inch uprights, two 70-inch wall mount cross members, and one fat/skinny 43-inch pull-up bar. It weighs 169 pounds and has a height of 108 inches. When set up, it stands 73 inches from the wall.

70-Inch T-3 Wall-Mounted Crossmember

The 70-Inch T-3 Wall-Mounted Crossmember is a great addition to your wall mounts and rigs. It helps separate workout stations on the wall-mounted rig. It has a front/back hole spacing of 2 inches from center to center. It is made of 2-by-3-inch steel tubing with two Titan laser-cut logos on each gusset. It has a weight of 31 pounds, a height of 14 inches, and a length of 70 inches.

Exercising at home requires you to have the right equipment. Setting up your home gym means that you have to get the correct set of equipment to support your workouts. Getting the right power racks for at-home gyms is crucial for you to enjoy the gym experience without having to join a gym. Power racks vary in terms of capacity and quality, so you will need to check the specs of each rack and ensure it fits your needs.

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Health and Lifestyle

How to Reach Your Goal in 2021 – New Year’s Resolutions for Weight Lifting

Many people set big goals for themselves. Setting the right goals can lead to huge progress and big gains. However, people often abandon or lose sight of their aspirations. We’ll cover the art of setting goals as well as weightlifting tips and a bodybuilding meal plan.

Setting Realistic Fitness Goals

Setting realistic fitness goals is a big undertaking. If you make a goal specific and measurable and set a time limit in which to accomplish it, you’re more likely to succeed. Tracking your progress is essential. For example, let’s say your goal is to get fit. Well, what exactly is fit? What do you picture as being fit? These are some important questions to ask. Saying you want to get fit isn’t really measurable or specific. However, saying you want to be able to do more pullups is much better. Being specific, you might say you’re going to do 10 pullups each day. A plan like this can take you a lot further than a plan to “get fit.”

Focusing on one goal at a time is something else that can help. Trying to do too much at a time is a common mistake that people make. Your goal might be hitting the gym every day, dieting, sleeping well, and following a strict training program. In reality, setting this many goals at a time will likely lead to failure. This huge list of to-dos can make a person very anxious. Seeing your aspirations as a large undertaking can make you feel like a failure.

Give yourself some flexibility to succeed. Though a highly structured plan technically should help you reach a goal, there are always times you can’t follow it exactly. Everyone is human. If you see the road to success as rigid and unwavering, you’re less likely to get there. Set goals you think you can achieve, and adjust them as you go. If they’re too difficult, you may need to lower them a bit, and vice versa. There’s no shame in altering your goals to suit your body’s current limits better. Having flexibility can lead to much more progress.

Best Weightlifting Tips for 2021

Weightlifting truly is an art form. If you do it the right way, you can make significant gains. Doing it the wrong way can lead to disappointment and injury. Here are a few of the best weightlifting tips for 2021:

  • Load your muscles
  • Practice good meal timing
  • Get enough rest to recover
  • Set realistic goals
  • Switch up intensity level
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Add cardio to the workout

Overloading your muscles is an excellent way to get stronger. Doing this means exercising all of your major muscle groups at least two times a week. Most top-tier weightlifters agree that shocking the muscles is key to growth. However, that doesn’t mean practicing bad form and injuring yourself. Since you’ll be training a lot, you need a near-perfect form to stay safe. Doing reps until failure is an easy way to overload your muscles safely. It’s best if you use a weight that you can lift only six to 12 times. This number is ideal for seeing the most strength progress.

Meal timing is one of the most critical aspects of any weight training plan. Right before working out, eat or drink some protein, preferably 20 grams. Within the first 30 minutes of a workout, eat or drink another 20 grams of protein. Lots of carbohydrates become essential if you’re working out more than an hour.

The rest of the list is just as important. You should always make sure to let your body rest in between workouts. Without this rest, your body doesn’t have time to grow and repair muscle fibers, leading to injury and no improvement. It’s also great to switch up your intensity level. Doing this, you can effectively shock your muscles. Cardio is your friend. Many experienced weightlifters say a lack of cardio can strongly limit your gains. It’s great for your health, it burns calories, and it can even help your muscles grow.

Bodybuilding Meal Plan

A bodybuilding meal plan can take your fitness game to the next level. Some of the best foods to eat are meats, grains, fruits, dairy, vegetables, beans and legumes, seeds and nuts, and oils. Just as important as those are the foods you shouldn’t eat. Some of those include added sugars, alcohol, and high-fat, high-fiber, and deep-fried foods. Even if you follow a strict training regimen, these can hinder your progress.

Bodybuilding diets are often considered boring, restrictive, and repetitive. For this reason, it’s best to vary your diet, just like your training program. All of your meals should have at least 20 grams of protein to build muscle. However, bulking and cutting are two big factors to consider. If you’re bulking, you’re going to eat much more food than if you’re cutting.

Here’s an example of a one-day bodybuilding meal plan: For breakfast, have some scrambled eggs along with oatmeal and mushrooms. Then, have some blueberries and cottage cheese for a snack. At lunchtime, eat a burger with broccoli and rice. Between lunch and dinner, have a protein shake and a banana. Dinner might be stir-fry with chicken, brown rice, egg, and broccoli.

Though this is a one-day meal plan, you shouldn’t follow it more than twice a week. Effective bodybuilding requires a wide variety of meal plans that are similar to this. In a weekly diet, you should eat at least three different types of meat. You’re going to burn out very quickly if you don’t vary your meal plan. On the other hand, if you don’t have time to make a plan every day, there’s still hope. Just eat lots of nutrient-dense foods, and try to have 20-30 grams of protein each meal. With an excellent diet and meal plan, any bodybuilder can flourish and see huge gains.

At Titan Fitness, we have the equipment you need to achieve your fitness goals in the new year.

Categories
Workouts

Best Chest Exercises to Build Muscle

When you’re working out, you want to make sure you’re targeting all areas of your body. One of the areas you may want to target is your chest. Exactly what is the best chest building exercise? Keep reading to find out.

How Can I Build My Chest Muscle Fast?


If you are wondering, “How can I build my chest muscle fast?” it’s best to use primarily free weights as opposed to machines. The slight differences in the angle during each repetition are likely to create more muscle growth, but you’ll be performing each repetition exactly the same if you use machines. 

In addition, the key to building muscle in any region of the body fast is by varying your exercise routine. If you simply perform the same exercises over and over, your muscles will adapt to those specific movements only, which results in less muscle growth. The best way to be sure that you’re varying your exercise routine enough is to use a rotation, which includes different chest exercises each session or each week. 

Not only is it important to vary your chest exercises by doing different exercises, but you can also vary how quickly the exercises are performed and how much weight you use. Remember that if you lower the weights very slowly, you won’t need to use anywhere near as much weight as you normally would. 

Luckily, if you want to build up your chest muscles at home, there are lots of ways that you can do it. One great way to bulk up your pecs at home is by using the proper equipment. You can get a wide range of dumbbells, barbells, and machines to build up your chest at home. 

What Is the Best Chest Building Exercise?


If you’re looking to build chest muscle, then you need to do the right exercises. However, you’re probably still wondering, “What is the best chest building exercise?” and the answer to that question varies greatly from one person to another. However, these are a few of the best chest exercises that you can choose: 

  • Barbell Bench Press: In order to perform this exercise properly, you’ll lie down on the bench, and then you’ll raise the barbell up until your arms are fully extended but not locked. Then, lower the barbell back to the level of your chest. The barbell should remain in line with your mid-chest at all times. Do not arch your back. This exercise is one of the most popular ways to build chest muscle.
  • Flat Bench Dumbbell Press: This exercise is the same as the barbell bench press, but the only difference is that you’ll be using dumbbells instead of barbells. Many weightlifters feel that this exercise is an even better way to build chest muscle than the traditional barbell bench press.
  • Machine Decline Press: While this exercise involves using a machine, it can be a highly effective way to build chest muscle in your lower pecs. This exercise involves performing a bench press on a bench that is slightly elevated, which means that the bar is being brought down to a lower part of your chest.
  • Seated Machine Chest Press: The seated machine chest press involves sitting upright in a chair while pressing the bar out from the center of your chest. This exercise is performed on a machine. However, it can be an effective way to add some variety to your exercise routine.
  • Incline Bench Cable Fly: Chest fly exercises are perfect for building up your entire pectoral region. This exercise requires you to use a machine, but the fact that cables are used makes it more similar to free weight exercises in some ways. Perform this exercise by arcing the cable handles toward the center of your chest prior to lowering the cables back to the sides. Use a bench that’s angled 30 to 45 degrees, and position the cables on each side of you.
  • Low Incline Barbell Press: The low incline barbell press involves sitting on a bench that’s tilted 30 to 45 degrees. The bar is lowered to your upper pectoral region, which makes this a great way to build up your upper chest. This exercise can be performed with a free barbell or on a bench press machine.
  • Svend Press: This exercise focuses on building the muscles in the central part of your pectoral region, and you can perform it by pressing two barbell discs together and moving outward from your chest. You can perform this exercise in three different ways to target specific areas of your chest muscles.

    If you move the discs upward and out from your chest at a 45-degree angle, it will target your upper part of your central pecs. If you move the discs downward from the center of your chest at a 45-degree angle, it will target the lower region of your central chest.

    Moving the discs outward from the center of your chest will target the middle region of your central pecs. Unlike the other exercises on this list, you won’t want to use too much weight starting out. In fact, you may want to start with as little as two 2.5- or 5-pound discs.

How Do You Build Your Upper Pecs?


If you are wondering, “How do you build your upper pecs?” it’s essential to make sure that you consider the angle of the barbell, bar, or dumbbells. You want to make sure that you perform chest press or bench press exercises with the bar in line with the upper region of your chest. Even if your main goal is to bulk up your upper pecs, you should make sure that you perform a variety of chest exercises to ensure that you build up your entire pectoral region. 

There are a number of ways to improve your chest muscles. You can use a barbell bench press, barbell discs, or a chest machine to get the results you want. Consider combing these tools so your chest muscles get a variety of workouts in. Whatever method you choose, it’s important that you have a dedicated schedule.

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Workouts

Best 5-Day Workout Splits

To get fit, many start routines with serious effort and commitment. After a few weeks, the results begin to show. People begin to notice and comment on the progress. After a while, though, the traditional three days of cardio and three days of weight training in the gym leave some looking for diversity in their workouts. Strength training at home utilizing a five-day workout routine is a great solution for this. What should a 5 day workout consist of, though, and what makes it so effective?

What Should a 5 Day Workout Consist Of?


A five-day split workout is the optimal strength training routine that builds the maximum amount of muscle in the shortest amount of time. The focus of the program is to apply maximum effort to a specific body part on a consistent day of the week. The consistency exhausts the muscle and allows sufficient rest for it to build. So, what should a 5 day workout consist of?

The five-day workout should focus on muscle groups by promoting intense bursts and sometimes consisting of two body parts per day. Isolating muscle groups with targeted exercises encourages muscle growth and definition. 

The workouts will always address the commonly identified muscle groups such as the chest, back, biceps, triceps, shoulders, abs and legs. Many bodybuilders and fitness gurus adopt this training regimen to gain pure muscle and reduce overall body fat. Muscle-building calls for a proper combination of stress on body parts working together with focused intensity.

It is critical to identify the days you want to work out and the body parts you want to work out. You also need to allow a sufficient amount of rest in between days. There are certain muscle-building rules to maximize the development of the workout. Some of these rules include the following:

  • The chest, leg, shoulders and back workouts should be worked no more than once in five days.
  • The abdomen, bicep and tricep muscles should be worked twice a week, incorporating a light workday and a heavy workday and with a three-day rest period in between.
  • Monitor the number of sets and reps during each workout.
  • Incorporate no more than one hour of training per workout day.

The Benefits of a 5 Day Workout Split


Applying the combination of the above rules, the benefits of a 5-day workout split are tremendous. Maximizing your effort and intensity into one specific muscle group per day keeps the mind focused. This style of training also promotes muscle depth and striations.

One of the pitfalls that many fitness enthusiasts experience is overtraining. The five-day split routine, in combination with the above guidelines, minimizes the potential for overtraining and injuries. When someone who was injured returns to lifting, the potential to push too hard is real.

With the proper amount of rest and recovery, you are allowing the muscle to absorb nutrients and to develop and grow. Allowing the repair process to thoroughly cycle gives a boost to muscle growth. The results of targeting muscle groups are superior to full-body workouts.

Based on your intensity during each workout, there will be an uneven number of calories burned simply because each exercise has its level of “burn.” In other words, focus more on your fat-burning strategies during your cardio sessions. Your workout sessions are simply to build muscle. Hence, you will maximize the benefits of a 5-day workout split.

What Are the Best Muscles to Work Out Together in a 5 Day Split?

Figuring out the proper combination as to which muscle groupings would work most effectively in a workout needs some guidance and thought. When working out from home, you might need to get creative so you can maximize these muscle groups. What are the best muscles to work out together in a 5 day split? They are as follows:

  • Chest and triceps (light)
  • Back and biceps (light), followed by a rest period
  • Abs
  • Shoulders and triceps (heavy)
  • Legs and biceps (heavy), followed by a rest period

Here are some recommended exercises to complete from home for each muscle group:

  • Chest and triceps: Pushups, bench dips, triceps extension, dumbbell bench press and fly
  • Back and biceps: Upright row, bent-over barbell row, wide grip barbell curl and dumbbell biceps curl
  • Abs: Crunch, side crunches and 6-inch straight-leg toe lift
  • Legs: Squats, lunges and toe raises
  • Shoulders: Lateral raise, front raise, military presses and shrugs

Train your legs at the end of the weekly cycle because the leg workout is the most taxing one of all body parts. Due to the leg having long muscles that need stretching, it takes a lot of effort and intensity to maximize the benefits of this exercise. In many instances, the fitness enthusiast needs additional rest and recovery during the leg workout and the mental fortitude to maintain proper form during each rep and set. 

The recovery period from your leg routine will limit movement due to soreness and exhaustion. Allowing a full recovery day from any exercise on any body part is ideal. 

Many home-based products can assist you in building muscle, such as the Hex Trap Bar V2, the Seated Leg Curl/Extension Machine, the T-3 Series Power Rack and more. At Titan Fitness, these and our other fitness products are reasonably priced, and we provide fast shipping. Having professional equipment at home is everybody’s dream. You don’t have to wake up, get dressed and drive to the gym. You can roll out of bed and know that quality equipment is there to help you build your muscles from home.

The fast pace of life and commitments at work and home leave fitness enthusiasts looking for a way to efficiently increase the results of each workout. Hence, the benefits of a 5-day workout split are tremendous. The split-day program has been around for many years, and the most successful bodybuilders and fitness devotees utilize it because of the outstanding results derived in a short period. Having the right equipment gives you the comfort in knowing that you can reach your fitness goals.

Categories
How To's

4 Ways to Take Your Gym to the Next Level

When it comes to home fitness, raising the bar is usually the name of the game— ask any hobby lifter, and they’ll likely tell you that their home gym is where they go to get the intense workouts and dedicated regimes that are too much of a hassle to bring into a conventional public gym.

But what can do you to take your home gym from a humble equipment collection to a personalized master class in fitness? Below, we’ve put together a handful of tips from the pros, on taking your garage gym from a simple hobby into a crucial aspect of your health and physique.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO BRANCH OUT

One of the most common factors that holds back home gyms is often a simple lack of equipment variety. While it’s true that you can make an incredible difference with just a handful of core equipment, many home lifters will often simply invest in a bench or rack and call it a day.

If you want your home gym to be more than just a room where you keep your weight bench, it can be a good idea to regard your custom space as an ongoing, ever-growing hobby— a range of new equipment can be the difference that keeps you interested (and motivated).

COMMIT TO THE SPACE

It’s hard to quantify the difference between a useful home gym and an ineffective one, but odds are, you’ll be able to tell the difference when you see it. Arguably the most common mistake that fair-weather fitness fans make is hesitating when it comes to the size of their home gym— a small corner in your guest bedroom will most likely end up exactly as useful as it sounds.

If you’re serious about staying in the best shape of your life, make the leap— convert the entire garage. Install pull-up bars on the basement ceiling. Hang up Arnold posters and track your weekly progress on a dry erase board. When your roommate/spouse asks you about it, just explain to them that they’re getting a deal by having a free gym membership 20 feet from their bedroom.

ACCESSORIZE OFTEN

Many newcomers to the fitness scene don’t realize just how much versatility a proper workout rack can hold— all too often, lifters will utilize their equipment for one or two sets of basic at-home reps and eventually plateau, returning to their gym membership in order to regain their workout variety.

Be sure to look into all the available options for your equipment— often, your rack, sled, etc. will support a wide range of accessories and upgrades that you can utilize to keep things fresh at home, maximizing your impact for minimal cost.

KEEP YOUR PARTY LIT

There’s a reason most public gyms remain so brightly lit, even during the late night and early morning hours— and no, it’s not just so you can stare at yourself when you’re doing reps.

Study after study has shown that human beings succeed at being active more effectively when they’re in a well-lit environment. When things are bright, you’ll stay focused for longer, have an easier time completing additional sets, and likely have some energy to spare afterwards.

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Health and Lifestyle Uncategorized

Don’t Forget These 4 Underrated Fitness Factors

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One of the most common ways that beginners in the fitness game slip up can be to focus too heavily on the wrong areas when it comes to their body’s overall wellness. Many of us were guilty of it during our teen and college years— we’d work out for an hour here and there by doing some heavy lifting, leaving the rest up to our metabolism and busy schedules.

However, how important is a well-balanced fitness ‘diet’ in keeping your gains consistent and your health a priority? Below, we’ve put together a list of what are arguably the most common factors that rookies can slip and avoid considering when attempting to improve their physique.

CARDIO MATTERS (YES, EVEN FOR YOU)

We’ve heard it all too many times before: the friend who deadlifts 300 pounds, but claims that cardio is an unnecessary component to his regimen. Like it or not, a proper amount of cardiovascular exercise each day ranks consistently as one of the most important overall factors when keeping your body healthy (and increasing your overall life span).

Cardio is no joke— some professionals have even speculated that excess weight training without the proper amount of supplementary cardio exercise can place undue strain on your system, as it struggles to support a substantial amount of muscle mass without the framework to back it up.

NO SLEEP = NO GAINS

Young lifters with busy schedules can be especially guilty of this one— in-between factoring in a loaded work schedule, a social life, trips to the gym and more, it can seem tempting to pass up a solid night’s sleep in exchange for a few extra hours of free time.

Don’t sleep on the importance of sleep: giving your body the proper amount of rest after intense workouts can be as important as your diet when it comes to providing your body with the energy it needs to convert your reps into positive progress.

SITTING DOWN IS WORSE THAN IT SOUNDS

As science gains a better understanding of how sedentary lifestyles can negatively impact us in the long run, an increasing number of studies are finding that sitting down too often can serve as one of the most detrimental factors to your overall health— some scientists have even coined the phrase that “sitting is the new smoking” when it comes to the habits of millennials.

Combating this one can sound impossible at first glance— even for those of us who work out for an hour or more each day, the amount of sitting that we end up doing during our hours in the office and at home add up.

If you’re serious about more than just looking fit, it may be worth it to consider investing in standing desks, posture-improving balls in lieu of standard chairs, and more— you might even consider an adjustable-height desk if you’re not ready to fully commit to standing up while you work.

NEVER NEGLECT YOUR DIET

You’d be surprised how many people can slack when it comes to keeping their diet consistent, even after dedicating hours per day toward the gym— it’s important to remember that your body can only do so much with the nutrition that you provide.

Ask any veteran gym rats, and they’ll more than likely be happy to tell you how ineffective your workout will be if you’re lifting all day and not giving yourself the proper amount of protein, B-vitamins, and more.

Similarly, burning calories all day at the gym can quickly be canceled out if you decide to binge on junk food afterwards— the amount you’ll burn by running 5 miles is nothing compared to the caloric intake of your average fast food burger.

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Equipment Guides Health and Lifestyle

Standing Desks: Are They Worth It?

Even for those of us that spend most of our time outside the scope of the fitness industry, it can often be hard to avoid overhearing about the alleged benefits of standing desks, stand-up workstations, and other ‘stand while you work’ solutions— typically utilized by office employees who claim to be taking on incredible new challenges with the simple act of not using a chair like their chronically-sitting compatriots.

However, is there anything to the claim that less sitting equates a healthier life? Or, is standing while you work a fad that we can expect to fall by the wayside? Unfortunately for those of us who love leisure time (and let’s face it, that applies to most of us), an increasing amount of research is mounting to support the hypothesis that excess sitting can wreak early havoc on even the bodies of those who exercise regularly.

Many researchers, particularly in recent years, have levied the claim that a lifetime of sitting can be more harmful than a lifetime of smoking— heart disease, various cancers, and even type 2 diabetes have all been significantly linked to increases in time spent sitting —not exactly good news for those whose jobs or lifestyles require them to spend eight or more hours per day in front of a computer screen.

So, while this may not change the fact that your beloved coworker follows new fitness fads every summer, there seems to be a lot of science backing up this particular fad. If you’re looking to make positive, long-term changes for your own cardiovascular benefit, read ahead below— we’ve featured a handful of standing desk kits and accessories from Titan to get you started.

THE A2: SINGLE MOTOR, ELECTRIC ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT SIT-STAND DESK

Looking to break into the world of standing desks at the entry level? This one might be perfect— it features an electric, single-motor design that allows you to alternate between sitting and standing at will throughout your day.  You won’t have to worry about intense assembly instructions or excess knowledge on the culture of standing work spaces— it’s designed to allow simple installation of a wide range of desk tops custom tailored to your specifications, so you can find a desk setup that’s right for your home or office and get the ball rolling.

This desk kit avoids being too much of an investment, and is great for those who’d like to experiment with standing work without committing too heavily into the culture. Worst case scenario, you’ll have an adjustable, sitting desk that’s built to last.

THE A6: DUAL MOTOR ELECTRIC ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT SIT-STAND DESK

Enjoy standing while you work, and in the market for a more heavy duty solution? This dual motor design expands on the concept of the A2 while providing a much more capable motor system for lifting heavier desktops— or even just those seated with heavier content.  This sit-stand desk could also serve as a solution for those in need of a variable space to work with their hands or operate simple machinery— garages, workshops, and studios could benefit from the easily customizable nature of this desk kit.

THE S5: HAND CRANK ADJUSTABLE SIT TO STAND DESK FRAME

Need a quick and easy solution? This S5 desk frame can be adjusted to your liking using an included hand crank mechanism— no electricity or motor required. This starter kit can make for an ideal solution for those that need a standing desk in a versatile location, or those looking to purchase adjustable sit to stand desks in bulk to give their office space an upgrade.

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Workouts

Leg Day: A Winner’s Guide

Despite the jokes, leg day is more than just the punchline to a counter-argument about not working out. Establishing a bodybuilding strategy that incorporates a healthy variety of muscle groups will often make the difference between long term success (and results), and amateur attempts to tone up your biceps/quads for summer beach season.

Seriously: don’t skip it.

Your legs literally carry you everywhere, including to and from the gym— it’s important to give them the respect they deserve as one of the most important muscle groups in your body. And yes, it helps to have something to do on days where you’re not working on your arms and chest. Below, we’ve put together a quick rundown of exercises you can add to your current regimen to target your legs, along with tertiary muscle groups that can suffer from a lack of attention when utilizing common techniques. Follow along, and remember: fitness is about more than just the muscles that make you look good.

THE SCIENCE OF SQUATTING

Arguably one of the most effective and versatile techniques when it comes to building and maintaining leg mass, squats can make for a simple way to get started— here are a few popular variations to consider.

Basic (Beginner’s) Squat: Not used to doing leg exercises? Just getting started? No problem. Practice by incorporating some basic, no-equipment squats into your routine to cultivate your form and condition your tendons for more complex exercise.

Kettle-bell Squat: You might have guessed it from the name, but this squatting exercise involves utilizing proper squatting form, while holding a weighted kettle-bell using both arms— shoot for 10-20 reps using a weight you feel comfortable with.

Barbell Squat: If it’s time to get more serious, this might be your go-to leg workout. You should ideally perform this exercise using a squat rack, and proper form (ensuring you exercise good back posture, aren’t using excess barbell weights, etc.) are key— if you plan on attempting barbell squats, make sure you have a spotter and do plenty of research first.

LEG PRESSES, EXTENSIONS AND YOU

You might need to visit an actual gym for this one— extensions and presses are some of the more effective leg exercises that you can perform, but require a machine. Still, if you have access to a leg press/extension machine (or even own one at home), these are a good use of your time.

Leg Presses: While they can seem somewhat complicated at first glance, leg presses are honestly a simple way to work your core muscle groups. This exercise gets big ups because it can be easily customized— most machines should allow you to set your weight limit of choice and work around a resistance level that you’re comfortable with.

Leg Extensions: While similar, leg extensions make their distinction by focusing more on frontal leg motion, rather than one similar to a squat. While extensions don’t involve the use of extraneous weights or barbells, they still allow for a customizable range of muscle improvement, by allowing for a range of leg positions that target different groups.

Categories
Workouts

Top 5 Kettlebell Prep Movements

BY: TRAVIS JONES FROM THE MOVEMENT REVIEW

Warming up muscle groups is an essential element to any workout. A quality warm-up can prevent injuries and helps the body perform at a high level of intensity. Kettlebells offer a great way to warm up the muscles and don’t require a lot of space to store around the house. Movement preparation is a style of dynamic warm-ups that activate different muscle groups at the same time. These types of exercises will increase circulation and activates the body in preparation for physically demanding activities. Here are five great kettlebell exercises that will ensure you have a great workout every time:

1. HALO

Muscle Groups – Shoulders, upper-back

Movement – Holding the kettlebell like a steering wheel, with the hands-on both sides of the grip and the weight on-top, rotate the weight around your head. Focus on keeping your chin up, elbows in, and stand tall. Then, slowly rotate the kettlebell counterclockwise around the neck while also rotating the weight so that the wrists do not bend. The forearms should rub across the top of the head during this motion. Halfway through the action, the kettlebell should be in the middle of the back with the weight below the handles and elbows pointed to the sky. Users should feel the sensation of the weight pulling down on their shoulders at this point. Without pausing, continue moving the kettlebell in the same direction until it is back at the starting position. Try five to ten rotations in one direction, and then perform the operation in the opposite direction.

Focus – Keep the kettlebell as close to the neck as possible to enhance shoulder mobility.

Repetitions – 5 to 10 on each side

2. ARM BAR

Muscle Groups – Shoulders, thoracic spine, abdomen

Movement – Start by lying flat on your back with a light-weight kettlebell in the right hand, and the arm fully extended above the body. Slowly rotate onto your stomach, while keeping the kettlebell in the same position. This motion requires the shoulder to rotate, with the right leg driving the torso into the roll. Next, drive the right knee to the ground, with the leg bent at a 90-degree angle, and the head resting on the left bicep. After the hips are flush with the ground, flex the shoulder blades to maintain the balance, and begin to extend the legs as far as possible, until both knees are locked and the toes are pointed. While in this position, concentrate on breathing and flexing the glutes, while feeling a stretch across the chest and thoracic spine.

Allow the shoulder blades to pull in, towards each other, but do not “shrug”. Hold this position for five deep breaths, and slowly reverse the movement to come back to original position. Slowly lower the kettlebell while flat on your back, and safely halo to the other side to repeat the exercise in the opposite direction.

Focus – Maintain the weight’s center of balance while the arm is fully extended

Repetitions – 3 to 5 on each side

3. GOBLET SQUAT

Muscle Groups – Quadriceps, abdomen

Movement – Grab the kettlebell by the horns, and hold it close to your chest. Spread your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width, with your toes pointing out at a 45-degree angle for balance, and keep the chin up. Slowly lower the body while keeping the back straight and your eyes forward, until your hamstrings are as close as possible to your calves. Concentrate on extending the buttocks out, and keep the back as straight as possible. At the lowest point, pause for two or three full breaths, and use your elbows to gently push the knees out. Keeping the back straight and the abdomen tight, stand up from this position to return to the original stance. *note: jumping vertically three times in a row and then looking down is a good way to identify how far apart the feet should be during this exercise

Focus – The feet should stay flat on the floor during this entire exercise

Repetitions – 10 to 20

4. COSSACK SQUAT – GOBLET GRIP

Muscle Groups – Glutes, inner-thighs, quadriceps, hip flexibility

Movement – Hold the kettlebell with a straight spine, stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width, and place your left foot facing out with the toes pointed to the sky. Keeping the left knee straight, slowly squat with the right leg while concentrating on keeping both heels on the floor. Go down as far as possible, and then slowly stand up to the original position before switching sides. *note: if you struggle to keep the left leg straight, then try widening the stance slightly

Focus – Keep the foot of the squatting leg flat on the ground

Repetitions – 5 to 10 on each leg

5. GOOD MORNINGS – MODIFIED

Muscle Groups – Glutes, lower back, hamstrings, hip flexibility

Movement – Hold the kettlebell at waist level, and stand tall with your feet slightly further than shoulder-width apart. As you inhale, bend at the hips, and push the buttocks back as you descend, until the torso is about 15-degrees above the horizon. Hold the position for one full breath, and return to the original position by concentrating on flexing the glutes while pushing the hips forward.

Focus – Keep the back straight for the duration of the movement. Push the hips back as the upper body moves forward, and bring the hips forward when returning to the original position

Repetitions – 5 to 10