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Health and Lifestyle How To's

The Ultimate Guide To Losing Fat and Gaining Muscle at the Same Time

In the quest to build a strong, healthy body, fitness enthusiasts often focus on either losing fat or gaining muscle. But is it possible to work toward both goals at the same time? Many trainers and fitness experts will tell you that losing body fat and gaining muscle simultaneously is possible — but you have to understand how to do so and be willing to do what it takes to get there. Let’s take a closer look at how to go about losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time.

What Is Losing Fat and Gaining Muscle All About?

Essentially, losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously means “getting toned.” It refers to shaping the body and slimming down. It would be one thing if the human body were made up of only one consistent material, but it’s not. Our bodies are comprised of many different types of materials of varying densities. Getting the body into shape involves both losing fat and gaining muscle. But muscle and fat are two very different materials, and working with each requires a different approach. 

In other words, we can’t swap out fat for muscle or muscle for fat. Your body composition is the ratio of fat mass to lean mass. Fat mass is just what it sounds like — body fat. But lean mass includes your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs, etc. 

At first glance, the methods needed for the respective goals of losing fat and gaining muscle seem to be at odds with each other. Losing fat requires burning more calories than you consume. But to build muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn. 

To burn fat, you need to ensure your body is in a calorie deficit. This means eating fewer calories than you burn every day. A deficit means that your body must tap into pre-existing fat to get the energy to move or exercise. On the flip side, your body needs to be in a calorie surplus to gain muscle. A surplus means that your body has excess calories to rely on for energy, so any fat stored on your body remains untouched. 

So, how do we tackle the paradox of losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time? 

Person doing kettlebell squats

Is it Possible to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle at the Same Time?

Getting toned is not always easy — but it is possible, and anyone can do it with the proper guidance, knowledge, and self-discipline.

Making your body more athletic, or losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously, is done by changing the fat mass ratio to lean mass. This process is very different from weight loss. Losing weight means losing both fat and muscle. It makes your body smaller, but your shape doesn’t change. Many people can lose weight and feel very slender but not have the shapely and toned physique they want or the muscle strength they desire. 

Instead of aiming for weight loss, focusing on fat loss tends to be healthier for your body. It also helps to ensure that you don’t lose muscle definition. Fat loss boils down to consuming fewer calories than you burn — or being in a calorie deficit. 

The Mayo Clinic offers a free calorie calculator to estimate the daily calories you need to maintain your current body weight. 

When you’re low on calories or on a cutting diet, as some trainers call it, your body will depend on pre-existing fat when you’re exercising, but it will also start to break down muscles. For optimal health, it’s generally best to avoid breaking down muscle. This will result in a healthier body that looks and feels toned. 

Losing fat and gaining muscle help reduce your body fat percentage because the fat mass ratio to lean mass decreases. You are changing your physique, not your weight. As you begin this process, you can see your body change. You might notice that your favorite pair of jeans fit slightly differently or that your stomach looks firmer. Even if you begin to gain weight, it will feel like your physique is smaller overall. 

What Does Energy Have To Do With Losing Fat and Gaining Muscle?

When working on losing fat and gaining muscle all at once, it’s essential to consider where calories go. When we burn calories by expending energy from the body, does our body pull from muscle or fat tissue? The short answer is: we don’t know! When we reduce our caloric intake, we don’t get to control whether our bodies turn to fat or muscle for energy. It would be great if all our calories fed our muscle tissue and none fed our body fat, wouldn’t it? The uncertainty of where our calories will go is called calorie partitioning. 

What Is Calorie Partitioning?

Calorie partitioning depends on how much protein our bodies gain or lose when they are over-fed or under-fed. This number is referred to as the P-ratio. For the most part, we can’t control the P-ratio because it tends to be genetic. But physiologist Lyle McDonald explains that we do have control over about 15%–20% of it, based on how we diet and what we do when we exercise. 

Table of food

Hormones are one of the main determinants when it comes to our P-ratios. Higher testosterone levels lead to reducing more fat than muscle. And chronically high levels of cortisol lead to reducing more muscle than fat.

However, it’s still tough to predict what percentage of energy goes toward creating muscle cells versus fat cells when we are in a calorie surplus. If you are doing enough training for strength, consuming enough protein, drinking enough water, etc., your body could theoretically use stored fat to build muscle tissue. But it doesn’t happen this way for most people. 

You want to eat 300–500 calories per day above your baseline needs for sustainable muscle gain without excess fat gain.

How to Easily Lose Weight and Gain Muscle at the Same Time?

The people who stand the best chance at losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time fall into two different groups based on how long they have been strength training, their current ratio of fat mass to lean mass, hormone levels, and genetics. 

See which group you fall into to find out how to go about losing weight and gaining muscle at the same time.

People With High Body Fat and No Training Experience

If you haven’t done strength training before, it will be easy for you to gain muscle. And those with a higher percentage of body fat have more energy to spare and gain muscle. A higher body fat percentage also means that your body is likely more insulin resistant, a condition in which your fat cells resist taking on more calories, so the energy is diverted toward muscle.

Strength training will help muscles grow rapidly, improving insulin sensitivity and the muscle cells’ ability to uptake nutrients. When both of these factors are present, it is a perfect combo for losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time. 

Very Athletic People Coming Back From a Break

Athletes who, for various reasons, have not been as active in some time also find losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time much easier than most. They lost muscle mass and gained body fat during their reprieve, but it is easy to rebuild that mass due to the muscle memory effect. They are also more likely to be the kind of people excited about working out and may have previously had a training schedule they can easily jump back into. 

What About Everyone Else?

Losing fat and gaining muscle is more difficult for people who are very lean and muscular — but it is still possible. It requires an exercise program and diet that maintains the right amount of caloric intake versus expenditure. 

The best way to approach this problem is to tackle one objective at a time. Losing fat and gaining muscle can be subsequent goals instead of simultaneous goals. Many people have found it most effective to focus on losing body fat first and then working toward toning and gaining muscles. 

You need a healthy diet and cardiovascular exercise to get into a calorie deficit that enables fat loss. Fad diets are never good because they often aim to shed pounds too quickly. This isn’t safe or healthy, and these diets are tough to maintain over time. Lower your calories and do cardio exercises that keep your heart rate up, and you will start to trim some fat off your body. 

Once you have shed some fat, you can begin the muscle-building process. This involves strength training and dietary changes. You want to add protein to your diet — and a lot of it. Protein helps your body convert fat into muscle. When you do strength training, you push your muscles to the point that they start to tear and break down. In the time between workouts, protein helps your body repair muscles and build them back up. 

In addition to changing your diet and incorporating cardio exercise and strength training, it is critical to ensure that your body gets adequate sleep each night. Sleep is the body’s time to repair, replenish lost energy, and heal broken tissues. 

How Titan Fitness Can Help

Losing fat and gaining muscle isn’t easy — but it certainly is possible. With a blend of determination, discipline, and mental strength, you can achieve anything! If you’re interested in setting up a home gym, Titan Fitness has all the equipment you need. Browse our collection of home gym equipment and choose the gear you need to meet all of your health and fitness goals. 

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Equipment Guides

Ultimate Guide to Unconventional Cardio Equipment

Your health: there’s no better investment you can make throughout your lifetime. After all, a healthy body can ensure you live longer, feel better, and have more active, fulfilling days.

person using a plyo box

Exercise is an essential part of staying healthy and looking your best. To make exercise more accessible, many people choose to build home gyms as a convenient alternative to fitness centers. A gym at home lets you slip a good workout into the middle of your regular daily activities since the prep time required is minimal. Also, with a home gym, the equipment you want will always be available, and you can ensure that the space and machines are as clean and organized as you prefer.

One of the best parts about establishing a regular fitness routine at home is that you don’t have to go anywhere to complete your workouts. Sweating it out at the gym doesn’t always fit everyone’s schedule. So, why not do these workouts at home?

Titan Fitness has a vast selection of unconventional cardio equipment to support working out at a home gym. This equipment helps you perform exercises and get your heart beating without needing high-tech workout machines.

Here’s what you should know about doing cardio at home. We’ve also included what equipment will help you do cardio without machines to maximize your outcome, no matter your goals.

What Is Considered a Cardio Workout?

A cardio workout is essentially the same as an aerobic one because it elevates your heart rate and gets your blood pumping fast. By increasing blood flow, these workouts speed up oxygen flow throughout your body. The only difference is the mechanism they refer to: cardio exercise refers to the heart pumping blood through your body, while aerobic exercise refers to the oxygen moving through the body.

While most types of exercise increase your heart rate, some focus more on helping you build muscle—or alternating periods of high intensity with periods of rest (anaerobic exercise). These are usually not considered cardio. 

Instead, cardio or endurance workouts get you to raise your heart rate and keep oxygen circulating through your blood vessels consistently over some sustained period. One way to determine whether you’re doing a cardio workout is to ask yourself if you’re breathing harder than usual but not so hard that you must stop and take long breaks.

Enduring this process improves your cardiovascular system, including the strength of the heart, blood, and blood vessels. Ultimately, these workouts make your body more efficient at delivering oxygen to all body parts that need it.

Person using a slam ball

Cardio workouts usually do other good things for your body besides making your heart healthier. They also strengthen and tone your muscles. However, for something to qualify as cardio, it should consist of aerobic exercise to improve endurance and make you fitter.

When you finish your workouts, you’ll likely sleep better at night—a bonus. Cardio also boosts adrenaline and creates other feel-good chemicals in your brain. 

What Are Examples of Cardio Exercises?

Cardio can look like almost anything, as long as it gets your blood pumping. Some of the most popular examples of cardio exercises are:

  • Running or jogging
  • Walking at a brisk pace
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Boxing
  • Walking or running stairs
  • Rowing
  • Jumping rope
  • Dancing
  • Kickboxing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Kayaking
  • Rollerblading or inline skating

What Is the Most Effective Cardio Equipment?

Cardio equipment helps people get their blood pumping as they build cardiovascular strength. Machines also assist athletes with targeting specific muscle groups.

As for which equipment could burn the most fat, one machine doesn’t work better than any other. What matters is how hard you work and how long you can sustain your workouts, whichever equipment you choose.

Cardio machines often include:

  • Treadmills
  • Ellipticals
  • Stationary bikes
  • Rowing machines
  • Stepping machines
  • Recumbent bikes
  • Stair climbers
  • Ski machine
  • And more

What Home Gym Equipment Is Particularly Good for Cardio or HIIT Training?

There’s no need to belong to a gym to master cardio workouts when you can do cardio at your home gym. Plus, you don’t need to invest in any large, pro-gym-style cardio machines. Instead, you can buy unconventional cardio equipment that helps you achieve an equivalent, high-quality workout.

Many types of unconventional cardio equipment are available to get your blood pumping. The following equipment options are some of the best types you can use to improve your fitness without leaving your personal space.

person using a pro sled in the gym

Sleds

Sleds are a type of weighted workout equipment that athletes pull and push across the floor. They offer the opportunity for a cardio workout that also builds strength. Make sure to use sleds on a surface that won’t get damaged by dragging a heavy object.

Sandbags

As their name suggests, sandbags are small bags filled with sand that can make any cardio workout more challenging or taxing. Consider holding them while running or doing other movement exercises for an even tougher cardio experience.

Person running in a weighted vest

Weight Vests

Like sandbags, weight vests add more strain while you exercise to make the exercise challenging—but they are wearable, leaving your hands free. Weight vests are fantastic for any cardio, and you can pick the weight you want to wear to manipulate the difficulty of your workout.

Ropes 

Ropes are an excellent way to get in a cardio workout that builds upper body strength. Weighted ropes called battle ropes can be swung and manipulated to get your heart pumping fast. You can use battle ropes with a partner or attach them to a sturdy surface and swing them on your own.

Boxing Equipment

Boxing isn’t only a pro sport but a way to do cardio without machines. When you use boxing equipment like a bag and gloves, you’ll work your arm muscles while you get your blood flowing. Boxing is also a good option for exercise if you want to release some negative emotions. When you box, you can release a lot of frustration or pent-up anger while working out.

Person using a fan bike

Fan Bike

The fan bike is the closest thing on this list to a cardio machine you’d find at a gym. However, a fan bike is simply an upright stationary bike with a fan as its wheel, letting you power the fan as you pedal.

Fan bikes are great options for high-intensity interval training (HIIT). During HIIT, you can alternate between pushing yourself hard/to the max and then letting up on your speed and intensity to keep the heart pumping without overtaxing your cardio fitness and muscles. One final good thing about a fan bike? You can cool yourself down while you make yourself sweat!

Weight Balls

Weight balls can be tossed around for a home cardio workout. You can pair up with a partner and throw the balls back and forth, or if you’re alone, you can throw the weight balls hard against the ground or wall, pick them up, and repeat. Weight balls are just one type of manipulable weight that creates the opportunity for tough cardio workouts for athletes.

Kettlebells

Kettlebells are excellent for building muscle. Adding them to a movement workout will increase the taxation on your cardiovascular system, making a workout effective for strength and endurance training. Kettlebells are liftable, swingable, and passable, so there are many ways you can incorporate them into a fast-paced workout that increases your heart rate.

Person jumping on a plyobox

Plyo Boxes

Plyo boxes are sturdy, balanced boxes that athletes jump on and off during a workout. You’ll find many types available for exercise, including ones made of foam or wood. Others are adjustable, so you can increase or decrease the difficulty of your workout as needed.

You can also use plyo boxes as a tool for plyometric training that builds endurance and strength. A plyometric workout is one of the best well-rounded exercise choices because it greatly stresses your cardio system and muscles. And it helps you develop coordination and balance, too.

Is It Okay to Do Cardio Every Day?

If you’ve gotten used to doing cardio at home regularly, you may be wondering if it’s okay for your body to do a cardio workout every day. The answer is: it depends on your fitness goals.

You might want to avoid doing cardio every day when trying to lose weight. While cardio helps build endurance and burn fat, it can also put you at risk of injury. 

Additionally, people with chronic health conditions or those recovering from injury or illness may not want to do cardio daily. Cardio can be intense and taxing, and you might want to ease back into a cardio fitness routine two or three days a week. This slower approach helps you build up your endurance without harming your body.

If you’re already fit and want to maintain your fitness level (or improve it), doing some daily cardio should be fine. However, keep daily cardio sessions to 30 minutes maximum.

Exercise should be sustained, moderate-level training because overtraining can lead to injury. So, unless you’re trying to stay in shape for a sports team’s season or you’re training for an upcoming endurance event, it may be safest to alternate weight or circuit training with cardio mixed in. And don’t forget to rest, too!

Are You Shopping for Unconventional Cardio Equipment?

A home gym has plenty of benefits, particularly as we ease out of the pandemic and adjust to changes in our work and life routines.

Check out our Titan Fitness endurance equipment if you want to fill your home gym with unconventional cardio equipment. These pieces have been designed to help you do a powerful and effective cardio workout—and build muscle—without needing to drive anywhere.

Built to last, our unconventional cardio workout equipment can help you reach a new level of fitness and maximize your superpowers—with no cardio machines required.

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Equipment Guides

Squat Stands vs. Power Racks: How Are They Different?

Squat stands and power racks are standard equipment for any gym and have become increasingly popular for home gyms as well. Next to barbells and dumbbells, a power rack and squat stand are two of the most essential pieces of strength training equipment you can buy.

But for all their popularity and importance, squat stands and power racks are constantly mistaken for one another. The mix-up is understandable because both power racks and squat stands provide a safe, secure place to rack your barbell while doing squats, bench presses, and other strength training exercises. However, there are distinct differences between squat stands and power racks, and it’s important to understand these differences before you start equipping your home gym.

What is a Power Rack?

power rack (also called a “power cage”) is comprised of four tall upright metal posts that resemble an open cage. These posts are fitted with J-hooks and may have other features, including:

  • Pull-up bars
  • Weight horns for bumper plates
  • J-hooks (to support different exercises)
  • Safety straps
  • Band pegs

You can also add extra accessories to a power rack, including weight benches, dip bars, rack-mounted lat tower, knee holders, and cable crossover attachments.

Person front squatting in a power rack

A power rack is essential for weight training, especially if you’re training by yourself and don’t have a spotter. In fact, a power rack acts as a “mechanical spotter” in many ways because it’s equipped with supports for standard and specialty barbells at various points along the posts. These types of supports include J-Hooks and Safety Spotter Arms. J-Hooks hold your barbell at a height you determine to allow for easy lifting based on the exercise you are performing. Safety Spotter Arms is an attachment that allows you to perform heavy lifts with the benefit of catching the barbell if it were to be dropped.

Uses of a Power Rack

A power rack is used for all kinds of strength training routines, including:

Bench presses: With a power rack, you can place the barbell above your chest without worrying about slippage.

Pulley/cable exercises: You can add detachable pulleys, cables, and hooks to your power rack to facilitate a variety of muscle-strengthening exercises.

Squats: You can add horizontal bars at strategic points for a wide range of squat routines.

What is a Squat Stand?

At first glance, a squat stand resembles a power rack. Construction-wise, a squat stand consists of a back stand that, like a power rack, is equipped with J-hooks for holding barbells. Unlike a power rack, however, a squat stand is made up of two metal posts, not four. That’s why some weightlifters also refer to a squat stand as a “half cage.”

Person squatting in a squat stand

Uses of a Squat Stand

Squat stands are mainly designed for two types of exercises, squats and bench presses. For a basic squat with a squat stand, you simply position yourself under the barbell, lift it off the squat stand, step back, and squat. Once you’ve completed your final rep, you step forward and place the barbell back on the squat stand.

What are the Differences Between Squat Stands and Power Racks?

The primary differences between squat stands and power racks can be summed up in two words: versatility and safety.

Power racks are equipped with J-Hooks and safety spotters or safety straps placed along the vertical posts, giving you a multitude of options for barbell placement before and after lifting. As a result, if you fail on a rep, you can quickly replace the barbell without having to drop it to the floor. This reduces the risk of accidents and injuries, enabling you to perform heavy lifts without a spotter. With a power rack, you don’t have to worry about bailing on a lift because your equipment has you covered.  

Typically squat stands don’t have this safety feature, so if you have to bail on a lift, you’ll have to drop the barbell all the way back down to the floor. However, Titan Fitness does offer this safety attachment on its squat stands, making them safer and more secure than squat stands without this feature. However, caution should always be practiced when dropping heavy weights.

As for versatility, power racks are built to not only accommodate heavier weights; they’re also designed for add-on attachments such as pull-up bars, cables, and pulleys, enabling you to do a wide range of exercises. On the other hand, squat stands are built just for squats and bench presses. They aren’t strong enough to accommodate heavier weights or other types of pulley/cable exercises.

Benefits of a Power Rack

  • More versatility is achieved with power racks because they accommodate a wider range of exercises. In addition to squats and bench presses, you can do pull-ups, chin-ups, deadlifts, and much more.
  • Power racks feature horizontal adjustable safety bars placed on each side, so you have optimum support during lifts. 
  • Power racks hold significantly more weight than squat stands, so there’s less risk when using heavy bumper plates.
  • You can add a variety of safety attachments to your power rack for added stability and security.
Person squatting in a squat stand

Benefits of a Squat Stand

  • Squat stands take up considerably less room and don’t require a high ceiling in your home gym. Titan Fitness offers squat stands in both short (72″) and tall (91″) sizes to accommodate an assortment of home gyms.
  • Squat stands are cheaper. For example, you can get a top-quality squat stand at Titan Fitness for under $270.
  • If you only perform bench presses and squats without the need for extra-heavy bumper plates, then squat stands can be an affordable, compact option.
A squat stand

If you’re ready to optimize your strength training regimen with the best home gym equipment, you’ll find a power rack or squat stand can take your workout routine to a whole new level. With a power rack, you can do dozens of routines, enabling you to perform a full weight-strengthening workout — but if you have limited space, a squat stand can help you maximize those all-important squats and bench presses. Whichever you decide to buy, Titan Fitness is happy to answer any questions you might have. And don’t forget to visit our website, where you can learn about all the latest fitness equipment and accessories for your home gym.  

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Equipment Guides

What is a Safety Squat Bar?

If you’re looking for a new piece of equipment that has the potential to improve your leg day workouts, look into getting a safety squat bar from Titan Fitness. This specialty bar is the perfect alternative to a regular barbell and is specifically designed to help improve your squats. So, why should you consider switching to it, and what can it do for you? Here are the benefits of the safety squat bar and why it’s the perfect addition to your home gym.

What is a Safety Squat Bar?

First, it’s important to understand what a safety squat bar is, including how it differs from a standard Olympic barbell that you might be used to. Simply put, it is a steel-cambered bar with padding in the middle and handles on both sides. 

The padding makes it comfortable to rest the bar on your neck and shoulders during squats. The handles on both sides allow you to get a good grip on this specialty bar throughout your movements and provide support for people who suffer from shoulder mobility issues.

What is the Benefit of a Safety Squat Bar?

Now that you know the difference between a safety squat bar and a standard barbell, you may wonder why these features are beneficial. What can the safety squat bar do that a regular barbell can’t? There are many benefits of this type of barbell: 

One of the most important ones is that it can protect you from back injuries. That’s because when you use a safety squat bar to squat, your spine is in a more vertical position than it is with a straight barbell. This can minimize the impact on your lower back as it puts more pressure on your quads and glutes, reducing the chances of back injuries while doing squats in the home gym you’ve built

If you’re a beginner at working out, you’ll especially appreciate the fact that a safety squat bar can reduce the chance of injury. The cambering of the bar can help steady your center of gravity and help you maintain proper form, and the grips on both sides make it easier to hold on to the bar comfortably. This way, you’ll feel more secure as you hold it and can worry less about dropping it while exercising. 

Not only can a safety squat bar help prevent new injuries, but it can also give you the chance to work out if you’ve lost mobility due to a previous injury. In particular, if you have limited mobility in your shoulders, the shape and padding of the safety squat bar will let you comfortably do squats without having to rotate your shoulders too much. This way, you can still do leg day even if your shoulders are recovering from an injury. 

Is a Safety Squat Bar Better for Your Back?

As mentioned above, one of the main benefits of a safety squat bar is that it puts less pressure on the lower back, allowing your quads and glutes to do more of the work. So the answer to this common question is yes, the safety squat bar tends to be better for your back. 

This is especially true if you are a beginner and need to build up your back muscles in the gym. It’s also helpful if you are at an intermediate or advanced level but have had back injuries in the past that you do not want to worsen. 

So, why is this bar better for your back? In short, it has a different camber from the typical barbell. With a straight barbell, its weight is directed along the path of where the bar lies against your back. 

But with a safety squat bar, the weight is directed differently. This creates a vertical and slightly horizontal pull that puts you in a different position than the straight barbell. It pushes you slightly forward so that you have to fight to stay upright as you would in a front squat, putting more of the weight on your legs and less on your lower back. 

The result is that your lower back is less likely to end up injured. At the same time, you’ll get a better range of motion through the knees, hips, and ankles when you use a safety squat bar. 

Can You Squat More With a Safety Squat Bar?

Another question that comes up when people look into buying a safety squat bar is whether they’ll be able to lift more. The answer is that it depends. There have been some studies on this, each coming to slightly different conclusions. While some studies have shown that people can squat more with a safety bar, the difference isn’t much, usually a few pounds.

The people who can squat slightly more with this bar are likely people who have limited shoulder mobility or similar injuries. They may be better able to handle the safety squat bar’s feel than a regular barbell so they can use it longer. This can lead to increased gains over time as they can work out more when using this bar than a straight barbell.

In general, you shouldn’t get this equipment just to say you can squat more, as there’s no guarantee you’ll see a difference in how much you can squat with it. Instead, you should get it because of its other benefits, like the ability to prevent certain injuries and improve your form while you squat.

What Exercises Can You Do With a Safety Squat Bar?

One of the best things about the safety squat bar is that it’s versatile. There are lots of exercises you can do with it in your home gym. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a variety of ways to use a safety squat bar or just want some new variations on the typical squat to try, you can do any of the following exercises with this equipment: 

  • Hatfield squat
  • Good mornings
  • Front rack position
  • Step-ups
  • Box squats
  • Walking lunges
  • Bulgarian split squats
  • Explosive box squats with chains
  • Single-leg Romanian deadlifts

What Should You Consider Before You Buy a Safety Squat Bar for the Gym?

If you ever notice discomfort on your back and shoulders while you use the barbell for squats, you should try a safety squat bar to see the difference it makes. It might let you do more reps at a time or more sets during your workout overall. That alone would make this piece of equipment worth investing in!

Once you’re ready to buy a safety squat bar, you should keep in mind what to look for. First, note that most safety squat bars weigh a bit more than a standard barbell, usually about 60 pounds. So if you pick one up, don’t be surprised if it feels heavier than you’re used to.

As you consider the safety squat bar you want to buy, note how much padding it has. The more padding it has, the more comfortable it will feel on your shoulders and neck, allowing you to use it longer during your workout. 

Finally, make sure the bar you buy has the weight capacity you need. Preferably, these types of specialty bars should hold much more than you’re able to lift. The average safety squat bar has a weight capacity of about 1,000 pounds, but the higher-rated ones can hold up to 1,500 pounds. 

Are you ready to see what a safety squat bar can do for you? Check out our Titan Fitness Safety Squat Olympic Bar or our all-new black Titan Series Safety Squat Bar made with American Steel.  The search is over, get yourself a safety squat bar today and see the improvement in your leg day workouts.

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Equipment Guides

Barbell Ultimate Guide & How To Choose The Right One For You

Barbells might look like they’re all fundamentally made the same, but nothing could be further than the truth. Barbells differ considerably in size, materials, construction, weight capacity, and even shape. Whether brand new to weight training or a seasoned pro, these tips can help you choose the best barbell for your home gym.

Are Barbells the Best for Strength Training?

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), heavy resistance training is the most effective way to increase lean muscle and improve strength. And the experts agree: Barbells provide one of the best, most effective ways to pursue this type of training regimen. By mastering five of the most essential barbell routines — the bench press, squat, deadlift, overhead press, and lunge — you can get a great workout that will help you achieve your strength training and overall fitness goals.

Male holding a barbell with weight plates on either end.

Barbells vs. Dumbbells

Barbells and dumbbells can both accomplish many of the same goals in your workout routines. Barbells are much larger, heavier, longer, and more versatile. Dumbbells are small and compact and resemble a barbell in miniature, but with the weight plates permanently attached.

Barbells can be used for a wide range of Olympic-style weight training routines, including bench presses, deadlifts, overhead presses, and squats. They’re ideal for a variety of strength training programs because they allow you to work with heavier lifts as you progress. On the other hand, dumbbells are ideal for joint-isolation routines, such as shoulder raises and bicep curls, and are excellent for muscle building and different types of endurance training.

Each has its purpose, and ideally, a good home gym should have a selection of both barbells and dumbbells on hand.

Barbell Terms You Need to Know

If you’re shopping for a barbell, here are four barbell terms you’ll need to know:    

Whip: “Whip” refers to how much a barbell will flex during a lift. A high whip means the barbell will have more flexibility during lifts, while a low whip means the barbell will remain rock-solid. If you’re doing heavy bench presses, you’ll want a low whip barbell for easier lifting as well as safety.

Knurling: The grip markings on a barbell are called “knurling.” The deeper the knurling, the more grip on the barbell.

Yield: The “yield” is how much weight the barbell can take before it permanently deforms and won’t go back to its original shape. You might also see this referred to as “yield strength.”

Spin: The “spin” indicates how much the sleeve on the shaft rotates. Certain movements, such as the clean and press, require more spin to protect your wrists.

Male holding a barbell with weight on it

What Makes a Great Barbell?

A great barbell should have enough tensile strength to accommodate heavyweight plates (or bumper plates) without bending, fracturing, or breaking. Depending on the type of barbell you want, a high-quality barbell should have the right level of whip, smooth rotating sleeves, and the right amount of knurling at optimum places for multi-grip ease and comfort. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a great barbell for your home gym, look for quality in construction. And speaking of construction…

What Are Barbells Made Of?

Barbells are made of different types of steel. The highest quality barbells are constructed of stainless steel, which provides greater yield strength while maintaining stability and straightness during repeated lifting. The outer layer of a barbell is coated with various materials, including black oxide, black zinc, and Cerakote. For example, Titan Fitness sells top-quality barbells that are coated in zinc and Cerakote for extra durability.

Types of Barbells

These are the basic types of barbells you’ll see on today’s fitness market:

Many different barbells in a barbell holder

Men’s Olympic Barbells

Olympic barbells are made from a variety of materials that gives them more whip. Titan Fitness’s Blues City Olympic Cerakote Barbells weigh around 45 pounds, with a diameter of 28.5mm, and have a weight capacity of 1,500 pounds. 

Olympic weightlifting bars usually have fairly light knurling and are fitted with needle bearings that make them spin more easily to prevent arm and wrist injuries. Because they can accommodate a wide range of weights and fitness routines, Olympic weight barbells have more versatility than other types of barbells.

Women’s Olympic Barbells

So-called “women’s barbells” are simply Olympic barbells that are thinner, shorter in length, and lighter in weight than a standard barbell. Titan Fitness’s Women’s Bombshell Olympic Cerakote Barbells weigh 33 pounds and measure 25mm, with a shaft diameter of just under an inch and a weight capacity of 1,500 pounds. These barbells are ideal for serious lifters who are building up their strength and need a lighter barbell that’s easier to handle.

Powerlifting Barbells

Powerlifters generally concentrate on three kinds of lifts: bench presses, squats, and deadlifts. Titan Fitness’s Blues City Power Bars weigh around 45 pounds, measure 86.75 inches long, have a 28.5mm diameter, and have a weight capacity of 1,500 pounds. They’re designed to be more rigid, so they can accommodate the heavier weights required for powerlifting.

Quality powerlifting and Olympic bars usually hold up to 1,500 pounds. However, it’s important to be aware that, depending upon the quality of the barbell, some bars will start to bend when the weight reaches above 405 pounds.

In addition, you might also want to consider these types of barbells:

Hex or Trap Barbells

Hex bars (also known as trap bars) are made in the shape of a trapezoid. This unique shape enables you to position yourself in the center of gravity while doing deadlifts.

Deadlift Barbells

Deadlift bars have sharper knurling, plus more whip for better bar speed during lifting.

Specialty Barbells

In addition to the standard barbells listed above, you can also purchase specialty barbells, including:

Multigrip Barbells

Multigrip barbells provide multiple grips so you can vary your routine while reducing stress on your shoulders and wrists. As an example, these Angled Multigrip Barbells from Titan Fitness offer four grips set at varying lengths, allowing you to work different muscle groups from a variety of angles.

Safety Squat Barbells

Safety squat barbells are designed to safely enable you to add weight to your squats. For instance, the Safety Squat Olympic Bar from Titan Fitness has a bend on the weighted sleeves to help stabilize your center of gravity while the comfortable handgrips give you more control of the bar during the lift, boosting the security and safety of the exercise.

EZ Curl Barbells

EZ Curl barbells are amazingly versatile, with a twisted design that enables you to get a total body workout from your lifting routine. Titan Fitness offers a variety of EZ Curl Rubber Fixed Barbells that allow you to work with built-in weights so you can change up your lifts. And be sure to check out our huge selection of specialty bars, where you’ll find a wide range of angled, curl, Swiss, multigrip, and other bars to add more variety to your routine.

What to Consider When Buying a Barbell

Bar Diameter

Even the slightest variation in the bar diameter (or grip diameter) can determine how well a barbell will perform with specific routines. That’s why each type of barbell has a specific regulation diameter.

Strength

These two factors determine barbell strength:

  • Tensile Strength

The tensile strength refers to the amount of weight a barbell can take before it fractures or breaks. Typically, a barbell’s tensile strength ranges from 120,000 to 230,000 pounds per square inch. The higher the tensile strength, the better the quality of the barbell.

  • Yield Strength

The yield strength is the amount of weight it takes to bend the barbell permanently. Most of today’s barbell manufacturers list tensile strength rather than yield strength because tensile strength is considered the standard test of barbell strength.

Cost

Typically, barbells with higher tensile strength, such as Olympic bars, will cost more than standard barbells. However, Titan Fitness believes in providinge premium-quality equipment without the premium costs.

In addition, Titan Fitness offers free shipping on everything so your budget can go even further, plus a one-year warranty on all its equipment, so you can buy with confidence.

Female using a hex bar

What Type of Barbell Should You Get?

As with many types of exercise equipment, barbells aren’t a one-size-fits-all proposition, and the type of barbell you get should depend on how you train.

Before choosing a barbell, it’s important to do your homework and learn about the different types available and how they can maximize your workout regimen. By talking to a fitness expert and considering your fitness and weight training goals, you should be able to choose a barbell that will optimize your strength training and boost your performance.

If you have any more questions about barbells or home gym equipment, we’ll be happy to help. Be sure to visit Titan Fitness to learn more about barbells, power racks, and everything you need to create an ideal workout space.

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Equipment Guides

Kettlebell Ultimate Guide & How To Choose The Right One For You

kettlebell can be a valuable — and affordable — addition to your home gym. Whether you’re concentrating on strength training, core and muscle building, cardio, or overall total fitness, kettlebells can bring you a positive impact with only a minimum investment of time.

Here’s a look at all things kettlebell: different types, their benefits, how they compare to dumbbells, and how to find affordable kettlebells for your home gym. We’ll also add a few kettlebell exercises, so you can learn how to use them to change up your strength training and fitness routines.

Kettlebell vs. Dumbbell: Which Is Better?

Before answering this question, it helps to explain their differences in construction.

A kettlebell is comprised of an iron ball — similar to a smaller-sized bowling ball — with a huge handle attached to the top. To exercise with a kettlebell, you grip the handle, then perform the required reps for total-body or muscle-isolating benefits.

dumbbell, on the other hand, is comprised of a short handle with weighted plates attached to each end. These weights, which can be in the form of round discs (weight plates), balls, or cubes, are usually permanently attached, except in the cases of adjustable dumbbells.

Comparatively speaking, a kettlebell enables you to do all the strength-building exercises of a dumbbell while allowing for a wider range of movement and more variety of routines. For example, many classic kettlebell exercises involve swing moves, which you can’t perform as easily with a dumbbell due to its shape. In addition, you can use kettlebells for various cardio and fat-burning exercises to achieve weight loss.

Benefits of Using a Kettlebell

What does a kettlebell do for your body? A kettlebell enables you to build strength quickly while simultaneously building stability, flexibility, and balance. A kettlebell can help you tone and strengthen your forearms, upper arms, legs, and rear. Plus, kettlebells can also help you burn fat while sculpting muscles.

Here are some of the benefits of kettlebell training:

  • Can be used for a wide range of movements, including swings
  • Ideal for strength, balance, and endurance training
  • Can be used for core strength routines, as well as muscle-building and muscle-isolation exercises
  • Great for fat-burning workouts
  • Can be used for cardiovascular routines with non-running exercises
  • Can increase mobility
  • Requires no equipment space and little training space
  • Can improve posture
Male using a kettlebell

Kettlebells and Weight Loss

Unlike some types of gym equipment primarily designed to build muscle, kettlebells can be used in certain types of cardio and calorie-burning routines that can help you lose weight.

According to a study conducted by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), kettlebells may enable you to burn twice the calories that you would while working out with other types of equipment. For example, according to the research, you can achieve the same fat-burning and cardio results in a 20-minute kettlebell workout as you would with a much longer workout involving a treadmill and weights.

In the study, the average calorie burn totaled 272 for a 20-minute kettlebell workout consisting of basic snatch routines, switching back and forth to opposite hands. This means that participants were burning at least 20 calories per minute, which, according to fitness professionals, is equivalent to running a six-minute mile pace.

This type of kettlebell cardio-calorie-burn routine isn’t just quick; it also provides a huge impact — or, as ACE experts put it, a big bang for your buck within a short amount of time.

female using a kettlebell outside

What Type of Kettlebell Should You Buy?

Here’s a look at the main types of kettlebells, with advantages for each one:

Cast Iron Kettlebell

As the name implies, this standard kettlebell is made of cast iron and is the type that you typically find in both commercial and home gyms. It has a handle that makes it easily recognizable because it’s much wider than the “bell” (ball part).

This standard kettlebell is best for:

  • Home gym users and recreational lifters
  • Newbies to kettlebells who need a wider grip for greater ease
  • Lifters who want to do swings, goblet squats, and other two-handed movements

Competition (or “Girya”) Kettlebell

Competition kettlebells are made of steel and have a slimmer handle that aligns with the circumference of the bell. Typically, competition kettlebells have handle diameters that are 33mm to 35mm, or around 1.29 to 1.37 inches.

Competition kettlebells are best for:

  • Competitive lifters, or lifters who want to train for competitions
  • Lifters with smaller hands who want to perform exercises where they can fit both hands inside the handle
  • Lifters who are working on one-armed movements

As a top-notch example of this type, Titan Fitness offers an Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell that actually allows you to adjust the weight from around 26 pounds to 70 pounds simply by adding or removing a screw. This is a great all-in-one kettlebell that allows you to customize it for each exercise you perform.

Kettlebell Materials and Construction

While standard kettlebells are usually made of cast iron and competitive ones are made of steel, you may find some variations on these materials as well. However, the biggest variations are in handle construction, as we’ve discussed, and in coating types.

While many kettlebells have an exterior of unfinished iron, you may also find rubber or powder coatings. These coatings don’t really add to the kettlebell’s effectiveness but may give it a smoother feel, as well as extra durability and protection against rust and corrosion.

Another feature to look for is “bottom finish,” which refers to a flattening at the bottom of the kettlebell. This is primarily for convenience, as it allows you to sit the kettlebell upright and evenly on the floor without it toppling over.

How to Pick the Right Kettlebell Weight?

If you’re just beginning with a kettlebell, some fitness coaches recommend starting with a weight of 33 pounds for men and 18 pounds for a woman. However, if you’ve been strength training, you can increase these numbers to 35 pounds for men and 26 pounds for women.  

Essentially, the suggested weight for a kettlebell depends on the exercises you plan to do, as well as your current fitness level and future training goals.  

Are Kettlebells Worth Buying?

If you’re dedicated to any kind of fitness regimen at all, kettlebells are worth buying because they enable you to perform a wide range of exercises to help you achieve multiple fitness goals, from strength training to cardio workouts.

Titan Fitness offers kettlebells, as well as a huge selection of home gym equipment, all offering premium quality without the premium costs. One example is this 40 LB Adjustable Kettlebell, which features six drop cast iron plates that can be removed or added to customize its weight to each routine.

Person holding a kettlebell

Alternatives to Kettlebells

As alternatives in some kettlebell exercises, you can use: 

  • Dumbbells
  • Resistance bands
  • Wrist bands with weights
  • Cables and pulleys (especially if you have a power rack)

These types of equipment each have their limitations, however. That’s the great thing about kettlebells — you can perform so many exercises with one piece of equipment.

What To Consider When Buying a Kettlebell

Ready to buy a kettlebell? These factors can help you make the right choice when it comes to the weight and type of kettlebell you choose:

Training Style

Are you primarily focused on serious strength training, or are you a recreational lifter? And are you looking for a total body workout, muscle-building exercises, or cardio and calorie-burning routines? These all play a part in the type of kettlebell you’ll want to buy. For example, if you’re a recreational lifter or want a total-body or cardio/calorie-burning workout, a standard kettlebell should be ideal. If you’re into serious or competitive weight training, you might want to consider a competition kettlebell.

Price

No matter what type of training you’re doing, price is always a consideration when it’s time to equip a home gym. And whatever kind of equipment you’re looking for, it’s important to get the best quality you can afford. At some retailers, competition kettlebells start at well over $100 and can run into hundreds of dollars more, plus shipping. But at Titan Fitness, we have a wide range of premium kettlebells starting at under $50, with free shipping as well. In fact, Titan Fitness offers free shipping on all our gym equipment, in addition to our one-year warranty.

Handles

Standard kettlebells have wider handles, while competitive kettlebells have slim handles aligned, so they’re flush with the sides of the bell. You’ll want to choose a kettlebell with a handle width to suit your training routines.

Weight

Before choosing a kettlebell, consider your current fitness level and overall goals, and choose accordingly. It’s best to start with a weight you can handle, and if you have a personal trainer, be sure to ask for advice before buying.

Female using a kettlebell and plyo box

Benefits of Buying with Titan Fitness

As thousands of fitness fans know, Titan Fitness believes that everyone should have access to premium equipment without the premium costs. If you shop at Titan, you’ll be able to outfit an entire home gym with quality equipment at prices that you can afford. And to get you started, Titan Fitness even offers home gym packages, including a Starter Package and a Space Saver Package, both of which include a power rack or squat stand, a barbell, and a flat bench.

As another benefit, Titan Fitness offers free shipping on every order, so you’ll save even more on your home gym equipment. Plus, Titan Fitness offers a generous one-year warranty on its equipment, so you can buy with confidence. With free shipping and affordable prices, Titan Fitness can help you equip your home gym with everything you need without breaking the bank.

If you’re ready to take your workouts to the next level, we can help. Be sure to check out Titan Fitness for a wide variety of top-quality kettlebells, plus everything else you’ll need to equip your dream home gym.

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Equipment Guides

Dumbbell Ultimate Guide & How To Choose The Right One For You

If you’re serious about your workouts, one of the best investments you can make is building a home gym. With a workout space at home, you no longer have to pay for a gym membership. You can save on the gas it would take to get to and from a workout facility. Also, you can have access to the fitness equipment and weights you want to work out with, whenever you feel like lifting—which means you can more easily fit working out into your day, even if you only have a short break between responsibilities to get your exercise in.

One crucial element of outfitting your home is choosing all of the right new products for your space—including the right type of dumbbells for your workouts.

Dumbbells are small hand weights used for body workouts or weightlifting. They are usually knurled, with weighted caps on each end, and they are easily lifted in one hand (instead of both, like a barbell or a kettlebell). Dumbbells are likely a central part of your workout routine if you intend to get strong and build muscle from exercise, and they can be used in a variety of workouts to increase the difficulty and make the effects more wide-reaching and varied. For example, carrying a pair of dumbbells while you do a cardio workout can help build muscle and make the cardio workout more intense.

What to Consider Before Buying Dumbbells

Before you jump in and purchase dumbbells to suit your workout needs, it helps to understand the most important considerations for choosing a dumbbell.

Adjustable or Fixed

Some dumbbells are fixed. They weigh a set amount that cannot be changed. Other dumbbells are adjustable, which means that you can switch the weights out on the dumbbells and make them heavier or lighter to suit your workout needs. To change the weight of these types of hand weights, you simply remove weight plates and replace them with plates of the right weight.

Ease of Use

Consider how easy dumbbells are to use before you decide which ones to buy. Dumbbells that come assembled, padded, and fixed are one of the most basic, straightforward pieces of exercise equipment. They are really simple to pick up and start using, especially if you are in a hurry to complete all your reps. Adjustable dumbbells that have to be set up and prepared in order to use them can be more time-consuming and less convenient to use, which makes them better suited for longer workouts. 

Male doing concentration curls with dumbbells

Common Dumbbell Materials

If you are going to buy a dumbbell set in order to stock your home gym, one consideration you should keep in mind is the materials the dumbbells are made out of. Dumbbells are made of a variety of materials, and each type is best suited for a kind of workout or activity within the gym. Whether you do a body workout or need a free weight set for weight lifting, the material of the dumbbell set you choose matters.

Below, we’ve outlined the most common materials dumbbells are made out of. Consider how you’ll be using the dumbbells and how heavy you need the dumbbells to be before you decide what dumbbell material is best suited for the gym at your home. 

Rubber

One type of dumbbell set popular for home fitness aficionados is the rubber-coasted dumbbell. Rubber-coated dumbbells are usually “hex” in shape. (This means the end/weighted part of the dumbbells are hexagonal in shape). That’s why they’re often called the “rubber hex dumbbell.” The rubber hex dumbbell often ranges from 5 to 50 pounds in weight, but at Titan Fitness we offer all the way up to 100-pound pairs. This kind of weighted dumbbell appeals to everyone, from bodybuilding experts to home fitness novices, because it has handles that are easy to hold and comfortable.

Rubber hex dumbbells are best suited for beginners since they are lightweight, easier on the hands, and the heads on either side are shock-absorbing—which means that if you drop them, they’re likely going to cause little damage (just avoid your toes!)

Urethane

Urethane dumbbells are also metal dumbbells that are encased in another material. However, instead of the ends being encased in rubber, they’re encased in urethane—which is a man-made plastic-like material. Urethane capped dumbbells oftentimes have a sleeker look than rubber dumbbells.

They also have a high-quality urethane coating on the ends of the weights so they do less damage and cause less sound if you drop the weights on the ground. People choose urethane-coated dumbbells over rubber dumbbells because they are waterproof, able to withstand a huge variety of environments, easy to clean, and very, very durable.

Urethane dumbbells come in a wide weight range—Titan Fitness offers all the way up to 120-pound pairs—so they may be a better option for more advanced lifters who have spent some time mastering home fitness.

Neoprene

Do you want your dumbbells to look particularly pretty in your home gym? Consider getting a dumbbell set that is made out of neoprene. Neoprene dumbbells are smaller dumbbells. They are not made for heavy lifters. Instead, they are ergonomic weights that are easy on the hands and arms, and they are best used to incorporate into other types of workouts or to use for very lightweight workouts.

Neoprene dumbbells usually weigh from 5 to 10 pounds, and they are very easy to handle in your hands. Choose a neoprene dumbbell set if you want dumbbells to incorporate into aerobic or cardio workouts, or if you really like colorful weights.

Dumbbell Buying FAQ

Now that you know the basics of dumbbells, you may want some more guidance on your dumbbell buying journey. It’s common for people outfitting a home gym for the first time or just beginning a strength training program to wonder how many dumbbells they should buy, what weight of dumbbells they should buy, what they should buy to complement dumbbells, and more.

Male placing dumbbells on a dumbbell rack

Should I buy dumbbells or kettlebells? 

Both dumbbells are kettlebells are types of gym equipment that are smaller and easier to use than barbells. So, how do you know whether you should invest in a dumbbell set or a kettlebell set? In reality, you likely need both in your gym. Kettlebells are best used for dynamic exercises, like snatches, swings, or jerks. They are likely used in cardio or high-intensity interval workouts.

Alternatively, dumbbells can be incorporated as fitness equipment into interval workouts and cardio workouts. But, they are a better choice for people who are only going to be using their weights for lifting. Also, dumbbells make more sense for beginning exercisers, since dumbbells are balanced pieces of equipment with equal weights on each end of a bar. This makes them safer and easier to handle for people who are inexperienced with lifting.

Should I buy something to store dumbbells?

If you buy a dumbbell set for your home gym, you should consider also buying a weight rack to store the dumbbells on. If you store dumbbells on the floor, not only does it make your home workout space look messy and disorganized, but you can also shorten the life of your dumbbells.

Storing your dumbbells the right way also helps you keep them in some order, so you don’t have to search through all of your dumbbells to find the right weight every time you go to lift or work out.

A piece of equipment you should consider is one completely dedicated to storing your weight set. There are different kinds of racks that allow you to store dumbbells, including racks that are made specifically for dumbbells, or large cabinets that are built to hold all of your workout equipment.

How heavy should my dumbbells be?

The weight of the dumbbells you end up buying should be guided by how experienced you are in the gym. It is a good start for anyone who is just beginning to use a dumbbell set for the first time to consider buying weights that range from 5 to 20 pounds. 

It makes sense to buy a dumbbell set that contains multiple weights to augment different types of exercises. Alternatively, you may want to invest in one set of adjustable dumbbells since the one set will give you the ability to increase what you’re lifting in increments.

As you embark on your fitness journey, you’ll likely want to start with light sets of weights. Then, you will want to increase to heavier weights that will continue to help you build muscle. You can increase the weight of the dumbbells in increments so that you gently and safely increase the amount you are weightlifting over time. Buying a set of dumbbells with range is an investment in a piece of equipment (or set of equipment) that will last you a while and provide you with equipment that you can use as you advance through a fitness journey.

Buy Your Perfect Dumbbell from Titan Fitness

If you are interested in building a home gym, dumbbells are going to be an essential part of stocking that space. Further, if you know what kind of dumbbell you need to achieve the results you want from your workout, it’s time to invest in the right kind of dumbbell. Shop the selection at Titan Fitness today. We have a huge selection of dumbbells so you can get just what you need for the perfect lift—or get a combo of dumbbell types, so your workouts can evolve as your fitness goals do. Browse our large selection of dumbbells here.

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Equipment Guides

Power Racks Ultimate Guide & How To Choose The Right One For You

If you’re trying to increase strength and muscle mass in your workouts, chances are you already know about power racks — and you might even use one in your fitness regimen. While power racks are standard equipment in most gyms, you might be wondering: Can they really boost your exercise routine on a daily basis, and is it worth getting one for your home gym? This guide will explain all about power racks, including what they do, why they’re beneficial, and how to choose the best power rack for your fitness needs.

What is a Power Rack?

power rack is an all-in-one system made of four vertical posts and a minimum of two horizontal bars. This creates a frame-like “power cage” structure that can support numerous strength training routines. A power rack typically includes these features:

  • Pull-up bars
  • Band pegs
  • Holders for plate storage
  • Safety straps
  • J-hooks to support various exercises
  • Extra attachments and add-on accessories (including benches, a detachable dip bar, pulley attachments, cable crossover attachments, and various bar holder attachments)

The purpose of a power rack is to provide stable, safe support for various strength training exercises, including many that utilize free weight barbells. Due to its construction, a power rack actually facilitates many of these exercises so they can be performed to maximum effect.

Male doing pull ups in a power rack

How To Use a Power Rack in Your Fitness Routine

A power rack can be likened to a playground with every conceivable piece of equipment on it, including a few things you’ve never heard of. This versatile, all-in-one structure is the ideal strength training machine for home gyms or garage gyms because it allows you to do many things.

You can use power racks for a wide range of exercises, including:

  • Barbell and dumbbell powerlifting
  • Squats
  • Chin-ups
  • Bench presses
  • Military presses
  • Shoulder presses
  • Heavy rows
  • Pull-ups
  • Deadlifts
  • Bicep curls
  • Calf raises
  • Lunges
  • Pulley system routines

Benefits of Power Racks

Are power racks beneficial to your weight training regimen? Absolutely — and here are some examples of their benefits:

Weight Lifting

A power rack is specially designed to have safety spotter arms that can be added to either the inside or outside of the rack. They can help support barbells securely in place at strategic points, so you can safely lift and replace them. This construction enables the power rack to act as a mechanical spotter for all types of barbell exercises. For example, the popular Titan Fitness X-3 Series Bolt-Down Power Rack offers both Westside hole spacing and 2-in hole spacing along the entire length of the uprights for more secure support, as well as more versatility. 

Bench Presses

Power racks allow you to place the barbell right above your chest during bench presses, mitigating risks if you lose control of the weight.

Male doing a bench press in a power rack

Pulley and Cable Exercises

Power racks are designed to accommodate detachable hooks, pulleys, and cables so that you can perform a wide range of muscle-strengthening exercises.

Squats

Power racks can accommodate a variety of heights for you to place your barbells on during squats, which you can adjust at a comfortable level for all types of squat routines. And speaking of squats… 

Is There a Difference Between Power Racks and Squat Stands?

While the two terms can sometimes get confused for one another, power racks and squat stands are constructed differently. One main difference is that a squat stand is designed mainly for squats and bench presses. A power rack is far more versatile because its construction enables you to do a wider range of exercises and weight training routines.

Another prime difference concerns safety. With a power rack, if you have to release the barbell, you can drop it onto safety spotter arms. With a squat stand, you oftentimes have to dump the barbell onto the floor, creating a higher risk of injury. Likewise, a power rack is built to be substantially heavier and more stable than a squat stand, making it safe to accommodate heavier lifting routines. NOTE: Some Titan Fitness squat stands due offer more stable base footings that allow for safety spotter arms, however, caution should still be used.

In addition, a power rack is built to be supportive in other ways, as we’ll discuss below.

Are Power Racks Safe?

A power rack can look pretty forbidding if you’re new to gym equipment. To be honest, a top-notch power rack with all the bells and whistles somewhat resembles an off-limits construction site where hard hats are required. But in fact, power racks are designed to provide extra safety and ensure peace of mind during weight training.

Whether made for home gyms or commercial gym use, power racks are enhanced with numerous safety features that enable you to lift heavy weights with more confidence. If you ever have to bail on a lift, you can simply replace the weight on one of the attached safety spotter arms. This mitigates the risk of dropping the weight to the floor and potentially injuring yourself. If you’re working out by yourself in your home gym, this safety feature alone is one of a power rack’s prime benefits. In fact, without these essential safety features, some bench presses and lifts would be impossible to safely do by yourself without a spotter.

Toward this end, Titan Fitness power racks have heavy-duty 11-gauge and 12-gauge steel construction, so they’re built to sustain heavy weights and accommodate all types of barbells, even when they’re loaded with weight plates. With a high-quality, heavy-duty power rack from Titan Fitness, you can perform your weight training regimen with the assurance that your power rack has got you covered in support and safety.

Types of Power Racks

Here are some of the different types of power racks built for commercial and home gym use:

Full Power Rack

Go to any gym, and one of the first things you’ll see is a full power rack. This is the classic type with four upright bars and two safety bars in a cage-like construction. Full power racks can also be upgraded with a wide range of add-on attachments and accessories. The prime advantage of a full power rack is its versatility because it enables you to do a full roster of weight training exercises.

Red power rack

Half Rack

half rack is basically a smaller version of a full power rack. While it doesn’t have the same versatility, it can be a good option for a home gym with limited floor space. Also, it’s a good choice if working out in a full power rack makes you feel too closed-in while you’re lifting weights.

A half rack

Squat Stand

squat stand is an open version of a power rack. It looks somewhat similar to a high jump bar because it only has two vertical posts on each side (fitted with rails to hold the barbell), with one horizontal bar in between. However, a squat stand can’t really be considered a power rack because it lacks the same level of safety and support features as a power rack. Plus, it’s essentially designed only for squats and bench presses.

There are also different variations on these basic types, including tall squat stands, short squat stands, and independent squat stands.

Squat stand

How to Choose the Right Power Rack?

If you’re ready to add some serious weight training equipment to your home gym, buying a power rack is a great way to start. However, power racks can differ significantly in weight capacity and construction. Also, some power racks may offer a wider variety of extra features and accessories to optimize your weight training exercises. Here’s what to look for:

Weight Capacity

Power racks typically have a weight capacity of 500 pounds to 1,200 pounds, with average home models ranging around 800 pounds, depending on the model. Essentially, the larger the weight capacity, the more expensive the power rack. However, Titan Fitness power racks are all built tough, including their more-affordable models, with heavy 11-gauge and 12-gauge steel forged and designed to withstand heavy weight capacities. That’s why Titan Fitness power racks have quickly become a favorite brand for home gyms across the country.

Whether you’re performing heavy lifts or doing standard weight-strengthening routines, you’ll need a power rack with endurance and durability. Before you buy, it’s important to talk to a fitness expert so you can choose a model that has the safest weight capacity for your strength training needs.

Size and Dimensions

Full power racks can vary significantly in size and length. For example, Titan Fitness offers a series of power racks, including the  T-3 Series Folding Power Rack, in both short (82”) and tall ((91”) models that are specially designed to fit a variety of home gyms. When choosing a power rack, consider factors such as overall size, length, and ceiling clearance before you buy.

Safety Features

A quality power rack will have a number of safety features, including J-hooks, safety bars, pin and pipe safeties, and safety catches or straps (pictured below). These features, designed to hold barbells more securely, are standard for any power rack. You’ll also want to look for thick gauge construction, strong weld joins, and a heavy base that anchors firmly and securely to the floor.   

Power rack with safety straps

Attachments and Accessories

Typically, you have to purchase additional power rack attachments and accessories separately. These add-ons may include a bench (for bench presses), rack extensions, pulley attachments, and dip bar attachments.  

Landmine attachment for a power rack

Cost and Warranties

Thanks to Titan Fitness, you can own a top-quality power rack for less than $375. That’s because Titan is committed to providing premium-quality equipment without the premium price tags. Toward that end, Titan Fitness keeps its costs down and its pricing affordable, even on its most professional equipment models. In addition, Titan Fitness power racks come with a convenient one-year warranty, so you can buy with extra confidence. 

Are Power Racks Worth It?

Should you buy a power rack for your home gym? Only you can answer this question because it depends on your type of exercise regimen, your training goals, and how much you focus on weight and strength training. If you’re trying to increase strength and muscle mass, then you might want to consider adding a power rack to your home gym equipment arsenal, especially if you enjoy classic strength training and bodybuilding routines such as bench presses, squats, and deadlifts.  

If you’re ready to enjoy the convenience of your own power rack at home, be sure to visit Titan Fitness, where you’ll find a wide range of power racks and home gym equipment to suit your fitness routine, as well as your budget.  

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Equipment Guides

Best Power Rack to Buy for Small Spaces

So, you like to lift heavy. And, you want to do it from the comfort of your own home. 

There are tons of reasons people choose to work out at home these days. From health concerns about the pandemic to more remote work opportunities, home workouts just make sense—they’re convenient, give you a break from work, and help you save money on gas and gym memberships. 

However, if you’re going to do a real workout at home, you need all of the proper equipment—including a power rack, if you’re serious about lifting.  

As you do assemble a home gym for yourself, you might be wondering. Is it even possible for me to fit a power rack at my house? The reality is, yes: there are plenty of small power rack options that will fit into a cramped workout space, or that will fold up to be tucked away if you’re working out in a room you use for multiple activities. 

To find the best options for small power racks and stands, you just have to make sure you are browsing the right options, like several of the power racks from Titan Fitness.  

Here are the best power rack options for small spaces or temporary workout areas, and tips for deciding which power rack is the right piece of equipment for you.

Things to Consider When Buying a Power Rack for a Small Space

When you are deciding what kind of power rack to buy for your small space, you should keep the following considerations in mind. Getting clear about each of these will ensure that you pick a rack that fits in your space and that also allows you to do your regular workout.

  • How much room you have: The first and most obvious consideration is to decide how much room you have in your home gym or workout space for the power rack. Measure the length of the space, the height of the ceiling, and the depth you’ll need to place the power rack in the room and be able to use it safely. Know that some of Titan Fitness’ power racks fold up. You can unfold and use them when you are working out, then fold them and tuck them away when they’re not in use. Folding power racks are a good choice if you exercise in a space that you use for multiple purposes, like a garage that you actually park in, a playroom, or a home office.
  • What exercises you will use it for: How do you typically use a power rack? Do you use it for lifting heavy weights that you’ll need to re-rack? Or, do you use the power rack as a pull-up bar to do pull-ups or chin-ups on? Hone in on the exercises you’ll be using the power rack for, then determine what size you need. A power rack you get inside of for wide grip pullups or lift in will need to be wider, deeper, and taller than one you use simply use to hold the weights you’re lifting.
  • Your budget: A final factor that can help you decide which power rack to use is your budget. How much money do you have to spend on a power rack for your home gym? Set your budget, then search within Titan Fitness’ selection of power racks for one that is within those limits.

Types of Small Space Racks

If you know that you need a space-saving rack for your space, consider the different types of small space racks you can choose from.

  • Folding racks: Folding racks can fold in or be extended so that they save space when they are not in use.
  • Wall-mounted racks: Wall-mounted racks (which can also be foldable racks) help save space because they use the wall for sturdiness and stability, instead of needing 4 legs firmly on the ground.
  • Especially small power racks: One option for small spaces is the typical power rack—but one of our smaller footprint power racks, which has been created specifically to have a small footprint but provide structure for workouts.
Space saving rack with a bench and weight

Titan Recommendations

Titan has a slew of power racks that you can use in any small space. We endorse all of the products we sell, but there are some power racks we think are the absolute best choices for a home gym you set up yourself. Here are our recommendations:

Buyers Guide

When you are ready to purchase a power rack, here are the specifications you need to take a look at to make sure you’re buying a piece of equipment that’s going to help improve your home workouts. 

Weight capacity: How much weight can your power rack hold? Pick a power rack that can hold the weights you’re going to lift (e.g., barbells) and ones that can sustain your weight if you use a power rack for bodyweight exercises. Also, make sure to pick a rack that will grow with your progressions.

Stability: Stability is key when it comes to power packs. They’re large pieces of equipment that hold a lot of weight. Consider the kind of workouts you use the power rack for and ensure it offers enough stability to support those workouts. Also, consider who will be around the power rack—like little ones—and make sure you choose a rack that is sturdy and stable enough that it won’t fall over if it’s pulled and climbed on by a child. 

Safety mechanisms: Power racks can be risky when you use them to lift heavy weights or to lift your own body weight, especially when you are alone. Consider what safety mechanisms the power rack you want has, such as safety bars and pins, to ensure that weights stay where you want them when you’re not exercising. 

Materials: Decide what material you want your power rack to be made of. Some power racks are made of heavy gauge steel for the most intense of workouts, while others are made of wood or carbon. While wood or carbon racks are available in the world, Titan Fitness does not offer any racks but steel racks. Titan Racks are made out of heavy gauge steel to support the most intense workouts, providing you premium quality racks without the premium cost.

folding rack mounted on a wall with weights on it.

Ready To Shop for Your Own Power Rack?

Clearly, finding a power rack for a small space is an excellent option for any serious lifter who wants to transition to working out at a home gym. Check out the small and folding power rack options from Titan Fitness. They’re designed to handle any workout, but they’ll fit in a home—you don’t need commercial space to use them. Let our power racks get you to the next level of fitness. Got any questions? Contact us today to talk about the products that are just right for your home gym.

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Equipment Guides

Weight Plate Ultimate Guide & How To Choose The Right Set For You

We all know that resistance training can be the key to a great workout regimen, and one of the best ways to reach your strength training goals is by using weight plates. No matter what level of strength training you do, barbells and weights are going to be your most valuable tools for an effective workout.

Barbells are only as effective as the weight plates that are attached to them, so the type and weight of your plates can determine how far you progress in your training. In this guide, we’ll talk about how weight plates can impact and benefit your workout, as well as how to choose the best weight plates for your home gym.

What is a Weight Plate?

In case you’re a newbie to the gym, weight plates are the heavy, plate-shaped discs that are attached to the ends of barbells. In strength training, weight plates enable you to achieve your desired lifting weight in a wide range of resistance training and muscle isolation exercises.

And, as you’ll find out below, you can also use weight plates without bars to do a variety of total-body and muscle-isolating exercises during your workout routines.

Female putting weight plates on a barbell

Sizes of Weight Plates

Typically, standard weight plates weigh from 2.75 pounds to 55 pounds, although you might also occasionally find plates weighing in at 100 pounds.

In most gyms, you’ll find barbells loaded with weight plates at a standard 45 pounds each. Figuring in the weight of the barbell, which is usually around 45 pounds, means that, with one 45-pound plate on each side, you’re lifting a total of 135 pounds. Here’s a calculation of your total lifts with 45-pound weight plates and a 45-pound barbell:

  • One plate on each side: 135 pounds
  • Two plates on each side: 225 pounds
  • Three plates on each side: 315 pounds
  • Four plates on each side: 405 pounds

If someone says they lifted a “one-plate bench,” this means that they lifted a bar with one 45-pound plate on each side, for a total lift of 135 pounds. Likewise, a “two-plate” lift would mean two 45-pound plates on each side, for a total lift of 225 pounds, and so on.

In case you’re wondering why standard plates aren’t just configured at 50 pounds instead of 45, it’s because they’re made according to the metric system, using kilograms rather than pounds.

Person putting weight plates on to a barbell

Types of Weight Plates

Titan Fitness offers 2 basic types of weight plates, all of which differ primarily in construction:

Standard Weight Plates

These are popular in home gyms and are made of steel or cast iron. Many times, the plates are interchangeable with different types of bars, including adjustable dumbbell handles and aerobic bars. Standard weight plates are typically smaller than bumper plates or Olympic plates.

Bumper Plates

Bumper plates vary from 10 to 55 pounds and are made with a metal interior and thick rubber-coated exterior so you can drop them from overhead without worrying about breaking the weight plate or damaging the floor. Bumper plates are usually all made with the same diameter, no matter what their weight. 

Bumper plates are primarily used with Olympic lifts, as well as floor-based barbell routines. Also, bumper plates often come in a range of colors to differentiate their different weights, as you can see from this set of affordable, top-quality KG Elite Color Olympic Bumper Plates from Titan Fitness.

Benefits of Weight Plates

What’s not to like about weight plates? Whether they’re standard plates or bumper plates, fitness experts agree: Weight plates are an essential piece of home gym equipment. They enable you to perform a wide range of exercises at a variety of weights to suit your fitness goals and provide maximum benefits for weight-resistance training and muscle isolation.

Here’s how weight plates can benefit your workout:

  • They provide a wide range of muscle-building exercises impacting shoulders, chest, abs, arms, upper back, deltoids, biceps, triceps, leg strength, and more.
  • You can use them for all kinds of lifts, including squats, deadlifts, power lifts, and virtually every other type of lift.
  • You can use them alone, without bars, for muscle-building and isolation exercises.
  • You can use them to build a stronger grip and engage more muscles than you typically use in other routines.
  • You can use them to build resistance and stamina.
  • They’re easy to take care of, require no maintenance, and are easy to store.
Male performing an exercise with a barbell and weight plates

Barbells With Weight Plates vs. Dumbbells

Barbells and dumbbells each provide specific advantages, but both are valuable additions to any home gym. Ideally, a great strength-training regimen should include a combination of barbell and dumbbell exercises.

Here’s how they differ:

Barbells

Barbells with weight plates are primarily used for overall muscular strength and weight resistance training. As we mentioned above, a standard bar typically weighs around 45 pounds (although you can get varying sizes and weights) and can accommodate multiple weight plates to reach your desired lifting weight.

When working with a barbell, you’ll lift and hold it with both hands, in a way that stabilizes the weight. Barbells allow you to load mass amounts of weight, yet still, hold the bar securely.

Dumbbells

When we think of dumbbells, we usually picture the kind with the weights permanently attached, but dumbbells can also come with adjustable weight plates.

Fixed-weight dumbbells can weigh (in pairs) from five pounds up to 100+ pounds. When working with dumbbells, you‘ll lift one in each arm (or one at a time), primarily for muscle isolation and toning exercises such as dumbbell rows and concentration curls.

Workouts With Weight Plates

Did you know that you can do workouts with just weight plates alone, without a bar? Weight plates are great for all kinds of total-body muscle exercises, including these below:

Front Shoulder Raise

Hold the weight plate upright in front of you, and raise it back and forth from the top of your legs to your shoulders.

Truck Driver

Hold the weight plate upright in front, like a steering wheel, and using a steering wheel motion, rotate it back and forth.

Floor Press

Lie on your back, with your legs straight, and hold the plate flat, raising it above your chest. Press it toward the ceiling, and then return it to your chest. To improve your abs, you can simultaneously lift your legs an inch or so off the ground.

Plate Push-Ups

Position yourself for a push-up, with a plate under each hand (make sure the plates are touching). As you lower your chest to the floor, slide the weight plates apart as you move — and try to touch your nose to the ground. When you raise yourself back up, slide the plates back so they’re touching again.

The High Cost of Weight Plates: Materials and Construction

Why do weight plates cost so much? The answer primarily has to do with materials and construction, as well as shipping costs. Here are four reasons for the high cost of weight plates.

Materials

Weight plates are made from solid metals, then bound in rubber and urethane casings (except for all-metal plates). It takes a lot of raw material — in the form of iron or steel — to make one weight plate. Added to that, the plates have to be shipped from the manufacturer to the dealer; and with today’s shipping rates, the cost for shipping these bulky, heavy plates can be astronomical. 

Construction

Weight plates are made of cast metals that have to be carefully crafted so there aren’t any fault lines. If there are, then the plates could easily crack and be ruined.

Shipping Costs

Weight plates aren’t something that the average person buys all the time. Usually, a good set of weight plates can last for an unlimited length of time. This means that weight plates can sit in manufacturers’ or dealers’ warehouses for years before they’re sold — and storage costs money.

Unlike many other fitness retailers, Titan Fitness offers free shipping on all its products. That enables you to save a substantial amount of money on your orders, especially given today’s high shipping costs. 

Bought in Pairs

Finally, when you buy weight plates, you oftentimes have to buy them in pairs. Likewise, you’ll want several sets of different weights if you’re equipping a home gym — and cost-wise, this can add up.

The Benefits of Saving Money at Titan Fitness

Thanks to Titan Fitness, you can get a set of premium quality weight plates or bumper plates without the premium cost. This means that with every piece of equipment you buy from Titan Fitness, you’ll be enjoying substantial savings, plus free shipping. Whether you’re in the market for weight plates, bars, specialty barskettlebells, dumbbells, power racks, or anything else, you’ll be getting top-quality, at a price you can afford.

Male performing a deadlift

What To Consider When Buying Weight Plates 

There are several things you should consider when choosing weight plates.

Training Priorities

Are you a powerlifter, bodybuilder, or recreational lifter? Are your goals focused on strength training or overall total-body fitness? The types and weights of the weight plates you buy will depend upon these factors. If you still can’t decide, be sure to ask a personal trainer or instructor at your local gym for help.

Budget

Standard weight plates can cost less than $25 for a pair of 2.5-pound plates or around $145 for a single 55-pound plate. Even if you’re on a budget, you’ll still want to choose several different weights so you can change up your workout.

Titan Fitness offers premium quality without the premium costs, which is why so many fitness fans come to us for their home gym equipment. Here are some examples of Titan Fitness’s high-quality color-coded bumper plates (follow the links for our economy prices):

Durability

It’s crucial to get weight plates with the durability and toughness to stand up to regular workouts. At Titan Fitness, we only sell the best-quality weight plates, made of dense, top-of-the-line rubber and steel.

Warranty

At Titan Fitness, our weight plates come with our one-year warranty, so you can buy with confidence.

Features and Construction

Do you want standard weight plates, color-coded bumper plates covered with rubber, or all-metal plates? Your choice should depend upon your training regimen. If you use a power cage or squat cage, you can safely use metal weight plates. But if you prefer floor-based barbell routines, you’ll probably want to choose bumper plates instead.

Whichever type of weight plates you choose, you’ll be amazed at how much you can do with them, and how much they’ll enhance your workout regimen. And if you’re looking for top-notch weight plates that will help you take your training to the next level, be sure to check out our wide selection at Titan Fitness, where you’ll find everything you need to outfit your dream home gym.