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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.

Categories
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.

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Health and Lifestyle Workouts

The Titan Fitness Challenge – Week 1

The Titan Fitness Challenge. Week 1. This is a workout plan that is laid out in the copy below the image.

We’ve all heard it before, “With the New Year comes a new YOU!” It’s an age-old tradition to start the new year off with a few New Year’s Resolutions. The idea of these resolutions is to challenge yourself to be better than you were the year before. They can range from mental and mindset changes to more physical ones. One of the most common resolutions is “I want to work out more.” Here at Titan Fitness, we are all for that! And if your New Year’s Resolution is similar to that, we have just the thing to help you get started. We met with one of our top personal trainers to put together a 6-week fitness challenge that will help you get started on your resolution journey. 

Titan Fitness Challenge: Week 1

Day 1 Workout

Equipment needed:   

Workout:

  • Dumbbell Flat Bench Press | 3 x 10
  • Dumbbell Flat Chest Flys | 3 x 10
  • Lat Cable Pulldowns | 3 x 10
    • Pull-Ups are a great alternative if you do not have a cable machine. And for an added challenge, you can try weighted Pull-Ups using a weighted vest.
  • Barbell Curl | 3 x 10

Conditioning: 3 Rounds

  • 10 Burpees
  • 15 Sit-Ups

Day 2 Workout

Equipment needed: 

Workout:

  • Kettlebell Goblet Squat | 3 x 10
    • If you do not have a kettlebell, this exercise can also be done holding a single dumbbell
  • Banded Lateral Slides | 3 x 10
    • Place the bands around your ankles
  • Kettlebell Deadlift | 3 x 10
  • Body Weight Walking Lunges | 3 x 10

Conditioning: 4 Rounds

  • 30 seconds on the Fan Bike
    • Alternative exercise:  30 seconds of Jump Rope Double Unders
    • Rest 1 minute, then repeat

Day 3 Workout

Equipment needed: 

  • Workout Bench
  • Set of Dumbbells
  • Workout Bands 

Workout:

  • Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press | 3 x 10
  • Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raised | 3 x 10
    • Keep the weight light and the movements controlled
  • 1-Arm Dumbbell Row | 3 x 10
    • Pull elbow through hip
  • Banded Pull Aparts | 3 x 10
    • Keep arms straight and in front of you

Conditioning: 20-15-10

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Ab Bicycle Kicks
    • This means you will do 20 reps of each movement, and once you have completed that first set, you will then do 15 reps of each exercise, and then so on

Day 4 Workout 

Equipment needed: 

Workout:

  • Dumbbell Straight Leg Deadlift | 3 x 10
  • Dumbbell Split Squat | 3 x 10
  • Single Leg Elevated Glute Bridge | 3 x 10

Conditioning: 12 Min AMRAP

  • 5 Yoga Push Ups
  • 10 Box Jumps or Step ups
  • 15 Double Unders or 30 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 High Plank Shoulder Taps
    • As Many Rounds As Possible

Day 5 Workout 

Equipment needed: 

  • Incline Weight Bench
  • Set of Dumbbells
  • Cable Machine
    • Dumbbells can be used as an alternative to the Cable Machine

Workout:

  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press | 3 x 8-12
  • 1-Arm Cable Row | 3 x 8-12
    • Alternative exercise: 1 Arm DB Row
  • Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises | 3 x 10

Conditioning:

  • 1 Mile Run
  • 50 Double Unders or 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 50 Burpees
  • 50 Sit Ups
    • Partition anyway you choose, meaning an order and rep scheme

This concludes the first week of the Titan Fitness Challenge! Stay tuned as we will publish the next week’s challenge soon. Don’t forget to post pictures of yourself participating in the Titan Fitness Challenge. If you tag us @betitanfit and use the hashtag #TitanFitness30DayChallenge, you may be featured on our Instagram page!

Categories
Workouts

Master Chest Day with the Perfect Chest Warm-Up

Male on a workout incline bench lifting 135 pounds of weight

We all have our favorite day at the gym, but let’s be honest it’s hard to beat Chest Day! To many, the routine is simple: hop on a bench and lift heavy. But what is oftentimes overlooked is the all-important warm-up. Sure, you could slap on a few 45lbs plates to a barbell and do a quick set of 10, but is that really considered a warm-up? A warm-up benefits you not only by helping avoid injuries but is also a top way to improve your overall performance. Coach Chris Lane, a loyal Titan Fitness customer, and Certified Personal Trainer stopped by to talk about the benefits of warming up before you hit the bench.

An adequate warm-up should last 5-20 minutes and achieve the following:

  1. Elevated heart rate
  2. Increased respiratory rate
  3. Increased flexibility
  4. Stimulated CNS and neuromuscular systems

By priming ourselves for movement, our training becomes much more focused and efficient. An adequate warm-up also decreases risk for injury. For those of us still in a time crunch and ready to dive under the bar, here is a “quick and dirty” shoulder health, mobility, and bench activation sequence that will get you activated and ready to bench!

The Perfect Bench Warm Up:

Equipment Needed:

The Warm-up:

Each exercise is performed at one set with the recommended rep count. Once you complete an exercise, jump immediately to the next.

  1. Up and overs | Reps: 10
  • How to perform: Start by standing sideway to your bench so that it is positioned to your right, you are going to step up with your right leg and place it on the bench. You are then going to step up and bring your left leg on to the bench. Now that both feet are on the bench, you will step down to the right starting with your right leg and then follow with your left. You should now be positioned so that the bench is on your left. You will then repeat the process. This time you will start by stepping up with your left leg and placing it on the bench and then follow with your right. Once both feet are on the bench, you will step down to the left, starting with your left leg and then followed by your right. This is one rep. Continue until you have completed 10 reps on each side.

2. Halos Right & Left | Reps: 5 each side

  • How to perform: Halos can be performed with a medicine ball, weight plate, dumbbell, or kettlebell. Do not choose a heavy weight, as this is meant to loosen up the muscles, not strain them. You will begin by standing straight with your shoulders relaxed. Hold your weight of choice in front of you. Lift the weight slightly above your shoulders in front of your face. Now take the weight and begin moving to the left, making a slow circle all the way around your head. Keep the weight close to your head throughout the circle but move slowly as to not bump your head throughout the movement. Once the weight has made a complete circle around your head, do the same movement in the reverse direction.

3. Internal Rotations | Reps: 10 each side

  • How to perform: This exercise will be performed with either a light dumbbell or exercise band. If you are using an exercise band you MUST safely secure it to a stationary object that will not move when tension is applied to the band. Tuck your right elbow into your side. With your right hand, hold either the dumbbell or exercise band at waist height, in front of you. Tuck your right elbow into your side and at a slow, controlled speed, rotate your arm so that your right hand is now in front of your torso. Once you are in this position, slowly rotate the weight back out to the starting position. This is one rep. Repeat with both arms.

4. External Rotations | Reps: 10

  • How to perform: This exercise is similar to the internal rotations, but this time instead of rotating your arm so that it ends up in front of your torso, we will be rotating it away from your body. This will be performed with either a light dumbbell or exercise band. If you are using an exercise band you MUST safely secure it to a stationary object that will not move when tension is applied to the band. Tuck your right elbow into your side. With your right hand, hold either the dumbbell or weight band at waist height, in front of you. Tuck your right elbow into your side and at a slow, controlled speed, rotate your arm so that your right hand and forearm are now perpendicular to your body. Once you are in this position, slowly rotate the weight back out to the starting position. This is one rep. Repeat with both arms.

5. Overhead Slams | Reps: 10

  • How to perform: For this exercise, all you need is a medicine ball. Start by standing with your feet nearly shoulder-width apart. Grab your medicine ball with both hands and hold it over your head. With a slight bend in your knees, slam the medicine ball to the ground in front of you as hard as you can. Do not lean over the area that you slam the ball and be careful that the ball does not bounce back and hit you. Catch the ball on the bounce and repeat the motion, starting again with the ball over your head.

6. Chest Slams | Reps: 10

  • How to perform: For this exercise, all you will need is a medicine ball. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees. With both hands on either side of the medicine ball, pull the ball up to your chest with your fingers pointing away from your body. Hinge at the waist so that your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. Now push the ball away from your body to the floor, as if you were doing a chest pass in basketball. Once the ball bounces back, catch it and do it again. Be careful not to let the ball bounce back and hit you. Choose a pace that you are comfortable with.

7. Barbell Pushup | Reps: 10

  • How to perform: Take your barbell and place it on the floor. If you have any 5 to 10 lbs. weight plates, place one on each side of the bar. Start by grabbing the bar with both hands, roughly shoulder width apart. Get into normal push up position, while still holding on to the bar, and perform a push up. Be careful to keep the barbell stable, as it will want to roll away during the push phase. Keeping the barbell under your shoulders adds additional core resistance.

8. Lat Stretch | 20 seconds

  • How to perform: For this exercise, you will need either a bench, chair, or exercise ball for support. Start by getting down on all fours and placing your support item in front of you. Fully extend both your right and left arm and place both of your hands on top of your support item. The outside of your hands should be resting on the support item with your thumbs facing the ceiling. Slowly begin pressing your chest towards the ground, as if you were trying to touch the ground with your chest. Hold for 20 seconds and then slowly pull yourself back up.

Now that you have completed your warm-up it’s time to tackle chest day. Always remember to lift with controlled movements and ask for a spotter whenever you are lifting weights over your body.

For more fitness tips follow @coachchrislane on Instagram.  #BeTitanFit

Categories
Equipment Guides

How to Choose the Right Types of Weights for You: Buyer’s Guide

If you want to start lifting weights, but don’t know which to buy, what size, or which kind, then this article is for you. We’re going to get you right on track when it comes to introducing weights into your workouts. Dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells are great pieces of equipment that will elevate your fitness routine to the next level.

Guide to Buying Dumbbells for Beginners 


Dumbbells are a great introduction to lifting weights because they’re easy to use, are extremely versatile, and last a lifetime. There are 3 common types of dumbbells; rubber coated hex, neoprene, and adjustable. Here’s a brief breakdown of each:

Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbells: Ranging from 5 lbs to 50 lbs with easy-to-grip handles and black, shock-absorbing heads on either side, these particular dumbbells are perhaps the best weight sizes for beginners.

Neoprene Dumbbells: Usually Ranging from 5 lbs to 10 lbs with finger friendly handling, these dumbbells are a great option for those looking to incorporate an aerobic component to their weight training. And let’s be honest, the colorful neoprene coating makes them almost impossible to lose!

Adjustable Dumbbells: Ranging from 5 lbs to 100 lbs with the flexibility to tweak your training in a jiffy, these dumbbells will lift you to your desired fitness results: whether that be as a novice lifter, or an Olympic level athlete.

We recommend starting anywhere between 5 lbs and 20 lbs and then slowly increasing weight each week. Here’s an example: 


Dumbbell Bench Press: Week 1-3×8 at 20 lbs / Week 2-3×10 at 20 lbs / Week 3-3×8 at 25 lbs / Week 4-3×10 at 25 lbs

How to Buy the Right Kettlebell

While dumbbells are great for sculpting muscle and building strength, they may not be the best option for endurance training. Enter the kettlebell.

Cast Iron Kettlebells: No nonsense. No bells and whistles. Just a tool that works and is as durable as the day is long. Cast iron kettlebells are a solid piece of metal, with a wide handle, allowing you to use two hands if necessary.

Competition: If you’re looking to compete in a CrossFit competition in the future, then look no further. The competition kettlebell has a more square design. The handle is smaller than a cast iron kettlebell, designed to be used with just one hand. Ranging from 18 lbs to 88 lbs, these kettlebells will build your body into a WOD machine!

Adjustable: If you’re low on space but high on motivation, then outfitting your gym with Adjustable kettlebells is a no-brainer  These kettlebells allow you to have the luxury of owning varying weights, all in one kettlebell. They also allow you to stack or strip weight under the handle to meet you where you’re at. 

We recommend starting anywhere between 18 lbs to 35 lbs and then slowly increasing weight each week. Here’s an example:

Kettlebell swings: Week 1-3×12 at 26 lbs / Week 2-3×15 at 26 lbs / Week 3-3×12 at 35 lbs / Week 4-3×15 at 35 lbs

What are the Best Barbells for Beginners 

For the uninformed, barbells are well, bars, that allow you to load more weight onto them than you would for a dumbbell, or kettlebell. But, they’re great on their own without weight, too. By increasing your reps, you can still gain that muscle you’re aiming towards.

Olympic Barbells: Our Olympic barbells are multi-functional and can accommodate those looking to make some serious gains this year, or those looking to be more functionally fit.

Specialty Bars: Barbells are kinda like eggs: we’ve all had eggs, but there’s always new ways to make eggs. Each specialty bar provides a new way to make gains.

Fixed Weight: Ranging from 20 lbs to 110 lbs, what you see is what you get with Fixed Weight Barbells. Nothin’ fancy. Just work.

We recommend starting anywhere between 45 lbs and 95 lbs and then slowly increasing weight each week. Here’s an example:

Barbell Complex: Week 1-3×10 with barbell / Week 2-3×12 with barbell / Week 3-3×15 with barbell / Week 4-3×20 with barbell 

Deadlifts: Week 1-3×5 at 95 lbs / Week 2-3×5 at 100 lbs / Week 3-3×5 at 105 lbs / Week 4-3×5 at 110 lbsSo, now that you know which size weights to buy as well as which kinds, doesn’t it make sense  to invest in the only body you’ve got and get some actual weight in your home gym?

Categories
Equipment Guides

Kettlebells vs. Dumbbells: Which Is Better for You?

It’s arguably the longest debate in the history of fitness, and one that’s as old as the hills: Which is better, kettlebells or dumbbells?

To answer this, it’s better to first rephrase the question: Should you use both kettlebells and dumbbells in your fitness regimen? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” As you’ll find, kettlebells and dumbbells each bring distinctive benefits to any type of workout routine, whether you’re concentrating on strength training, muscle building, cardio, or weight-reducing exercises.

Kettlebells vs. Dumbbells: Which Is Better?

First off, one really isn’t better than the other, in general. While both are used in a variety of similar routines, each also offers separate and distinct benefits that the other can’t provide.

Before we get started, here’s a brief description of kettlebells and dumbbells, with an explanation of how they’re used. 

What Are Kettlebells?

A kettlebell is an iron or steel ball (known as a “bell”) that’s equipped with a handle on the top. The handle can be of varying shapes, depending on the type of kettlebell. A standard kettlebell has a wider handle that extends beyond the width of the bell. A competitive kettlebell has a slimmer handle that aligns with, and lies flush to, the sides of the bell. These handle widths dictate the types of exercises that can be done with each style of kettlebell.

A kettlebell is a great piece of all-in-one equipment that allows you to do many of the exercises you can achieve with a dumbbell, but it allows for an even greater range of motion. This means you can do all types of swings and rotation movements that aren’t really suited to a dumbbell.

Kettlebells are ideal for a wide range of strength training, resistance training, muscle building, cardio, and calorie-burning exercises. Essentially, kettlebells can also replace dumbbells in many of these types of exercises, except for certain specific muscle-isolation routines where a dumbbell would be easier to handle.

As an example of a top-notch kettlebell, Titan Fitness offers this Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell, which is designed so you can add or remove a screw to adjust the weight from approximately 26 pounds to 70 pounds. This allows you to perform a variety of weight exercises by using one single piece of equipment.  

What Are Dumbbells?

A dumbbell is made of a short bar with a weight (or multiple weights) attached to each end. These weights are usually a small type of weight plate — a round, flat disc — but they can also be balls or cubes made of iron, metal, urethane, or rubber. With many dumbbells, these weights are permanently attached, but you can also find adjustable dumbbells that allow you to attach and customize weights.

A dumbbell is primarily used for muscle building and muscle isolation exercises. When you think of dumbbells, you probably picture them being used in a classic biceps curl. However, when used in a pair, you can also use them for numerous total body routines.

As an example of an excellent dumbbell that packs a punch, Titan Fitness sells a top-quality urethane dumbbell you can buy in pairs, in weights ranging from 10152050, and 55 pounds. These dumbbells are crafted of durable round urethane that’s shaped and molded around a chrome-finished solid steel handle. The dumbbell handle is designed with medium-depth knurling, so it can provide superlative grip and security during lifts.

Here’s a quick look at several construction differences between kettlebells and dumbbells:

  • Kettlebells are weighted below the handle, while dumbbells are weighted at both ends. This changes the center of gravity.
  • Kettlebells are either constructed of cast iron or steel, while dumbbells are constructed of a variety of materials, including rubber and urethane.
  • Kettlebell handles are made for one or two hands, while dumbbell handles are short, and can only accommodate one hand.

 Benefits of Kettlebells

  • Great for using in a wide range of swings and movements
  • Perfect for balance, strength, and endurance training
  • Ideal for muscle-isolation and muscle-building routines, as well as core strength exercises
  • Great for non-running cardiovascular workouts to increase heart rate
  • Ideal for fat-burning workouts
  • Can increase flexibility and mobility and improve posture
  • Great for posterior chain, lower body, and even powerlifting workouts
  • Require little to no training or equipment space
  • Great for specific muscle groups, core strength, and areas such as hamstrings, glutes, plus upper and lower body strength
  • Great for full-body and bodybuilding workouts

Benefits of Dumbbells

  • Great for improving grip strength, and building muscle and strength in forearms
  • Can activate multiple different muscles
  • Can stimulate muscle growth
  • Can improve muscle force and flexibility
  • Can promote coordination
  • Great for a wide range of muscle-isolating and muscle-building exercises
  • Great for specific muscle groups including hamstrings, glutes, upper and lower body strength, and core strength
  • Can be used for full-body and bodybuilding workouts

Ultimately, the best home gym should have a kettlebell as well as several pairs of dumbbells of varying weights. And the good news is, thanks to its business model of offering top-quality equipment at low prices, you can afford both dumbbells and a quality kettlebell if you purchase your home gym equipment from Titan Fitness.

Losing Weight With Kettlebells

Can you actually lose weight with kettlebells? It may come as a surprise, but the answer is yes. According to research done by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), kettlebells provide an excellent way to get high-impact cardio training. In fact, with just a 20-minute kettlebell workout, you can get the same calorie-burning results that you would with a longer routine using a treadmill and weights. The ACE study showed that, on average, you can burn 272 calories in a 20-minute kettlebell workout by using a few simple snatch routines, switching the kettlebell to opposite hands. At 20 calories a minute, this is the same level you would burn at a six-minute mile pace while running.

Losing Weight With Dumbbells

Can you lose weight with dumbbells? The good news is yes, dumbbells can be great for helping you accomplish your weight goals. The ACE recommends a number of dumbbell exercises to burn calories and fat, including various squats and lifts you can find here.

Kettlebell Exercises to Try

When we think of training with free weights, we usually think of classic bench presses, squats, cleans, and deadlifts with barbells, but you can perform some of these exercises with kettlebells as well. And the great advantage to kettlebells is that they don’t take up nearly as much room — plus, they’re much more affordable.

Here are several beginner kettlebell exercises that also have weight training and weightlifting benefits:

Squats

  • Stand with your feet apart (at shoulder width, and point your feet out a bit). Grasp the kettlebell handle along the sides, and using both hands, hold it at chest height.
  • Bend your hips and knees, and make a deep squat, bringing your butt past your knees.
  • Push with your heels to raise yourself up again to the starting position. Continue reps as desired. You can also change up your goblet squats, and other types of squats, by using a kettlebell.

Classic Kettlebell Swing

  • Standing with your feet apart (shoulder width), grasp the kettlebell handle at the top, using both hands.
  • Slightly bend your knees, and hinge forward at your hips, swinging the kettlebell between your legs.
  • Raise yourself back up, and driving your hips, swing the kettlebell to chest height.

Once you’re become more accustomed to kettlebells (and built up your strength), you can progress to this classic kettlebell workout:

Chest Press

  • Lie flat on the floor and bend your knees.
  • Grasp the kettlebell in one hand, and lift the kettlebell overhead in front of your chest.
  • Lower it back down, and repeat for the desired reps. You can also change this routine up by performing a shoulder press.

Essentially, kettlebells can be used for a wide variety of lateral raises, overhead presses, lunges, deadlifts, bench presses, and other types of resistance training routines. When done regularly, kettlebell training can provide the same benefits that many lifters achieve with heavier weights.

Are Kettlebells Safe?

The answer is yes, just as long as you use them safely. This means following safe lifting practices, and choosing the safest weight for your fitness level. If you have a physical trainer, be sure to get their advice before making a purchase. And to help you get started, the Harvard Medical School has a list of simple exercises you can do to accustom yourself to kettlebells before you start your workouts.

Alternatives to Kettlebells

If you don’t have a kettlebell yet, several types of equipment can replace kettlebells in a variety of exercises, including:

  • 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 single piece of equipment.

Choosing a Kettlebell: What to Consider Before Buying

Training Style

Do you prefer working on your core strength with weight-resistance training, or are you a recreational lifter looking for a total-body regimen? Do you prefer dynamic movements that work your muscles, or explosive movements? Whether you choose a standard kettlebell or a competitive kettlebell depends on your training goals, as well as the routines you’ll most likely want to perform. Typically, a standard kettlebell can handle most popular routines, but some specific exercises might be better performed with a competitive kettlebell.

Price

Due to their weight and construction, kettlebells can be pricey. But thanks to Titan Fitness, you can equip yourself with a premium kettlebell like our 40 KG Competition Kettlebell without paying a premium price. In fact, we even sell a choice of home gym packages, including a fantastic Home Gym Starter Package that includes a power rack, barbell, and bench — all premium quality, without the premium costs. Plus, at Titan Fitness, you’ll get free shipping on every order, so you’ll be able to save up for even more gym equipment. And every item comes with our one-year warranty, so you can buy with confidence.

Handles

Before buying, you’ll need to decide whether you want a standard or competitive kettlebell — remember, the difference is in the handle. The standard kettlebell has a wide handle, which makes it especially versatile. The competitive kettlebell has a slimmer handle, making it ideal for specific competitive movements like jerks and snatches.

Weight

What weight kettlebell should you buy? It depends on your current fitness level, as well as your training goals. Fitness experts usually recommend starting with 33 pounds for men, or 18 pounds for women. If you’ve already been strength training, however, you can increase these weights to 35 pounds for men, and 26 pounds for women.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want a full-body workout or have specific fitness goals, kettlebells and dumbbells are valuable additions to any home gym. With both kettlebells and dumbbells, you can make major progress toward your fitness goals. But kettlebells can help you do a wide range of exercises that will bring you positive results in a shorter time period.

Are you ready to take your workouts to a whole new level? Titan Fitness can help you improve your workout and equip your home gym with the best, most affordable equipment on the market. Check out our online store, and learn how to equip your home gym at prices you can afford.  

Categories
Spotlight

Top 10 Health Benefits of Using a Fan Bike

Using an exercise bike is one of the best ways to get a great cardio workout. It is easier on the knees, feet, and ankles than running is. With a fan bike, you don’t have to leave your home for a great workout, which also means your exercise routines aren’t dictated by the weather conditions. To get an even better cardio workout, consider using a fan bike.

What Makes Fan Bikes Unique

What makes fan bikes unique compared to a normal stationary exercise bike is its use of air. A fan bike doesn’t have buttons to push, knobs to twist, or a preprogrammed routine. Instead, fan bikes, sometimes referred to as air bikes, use air as a resistance, making you completely in control of your workout.  

The faster you pedal, the more resistance is generated. When you slow down, the fan blades slow down, and the resistance is lowered.There’s also an added bonus: the fan blades when turning create air movement around you, cooling you while you exercise.

Another unique feature of the fan bike is the elliptical handles. While pedaling, you can move them back and forth, increasing the intensity of the working and burning more. 

Here are 10 more benefits of using a fan bike.

1. Boost Cardio Health

One of the main benefits of a fan bike is it gives you the ability to boost cardio health. Cardio health can reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and other diseases.

Cardio workouts help the heart pump blood more efficiently throughout your body. Cardio is also excellent for the health of your lungs, making them more efficient at transporting oxygen to your blood, muscles, and brain.

2. Weight Loss

Aerobic exercises, like using a fan bike, are a great way to lose weight. Some estimates show that a fan bike can burn more calories than a regular stationary bike. Using a moderate resistance level, the average person can burn 260 calories within 30 minutes while riding a stationary bike.

3. Fan Bikes Increase Brain Power

You might be wondering how fan bikes increase brain power. It has to do once again with how cardio exercises increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain. 

As the heart rate increases, more oxygen is pumped to the brain. More oxygen can help brain cells grow and increase brain plasticity, stimulating the growth of new connections between brain cells. Using a fan bike can also improve memory and reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

4. Build Muscles

There is no better way to build leg muscles than using a fan bike. Using a fan bike can have an effect on leg muscles including calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings, along with core strengthening muscles like your glutes, back muscles, and abdominals.

Moving the handlebars on fan bike while you ride can build your triceps, shoulders, and biceps. Building your leg muscles this way is easier on your feet, knees, and ankle joints without all that pounding on the pavement.

5. Reduce Stress

Studies have found that regular aerobic exercise like using a fan bike can reduce stress, elevate your mood, improve sleep, and improve your self-esteem. Cardio workouts release chemicals called endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling.

Stress can turn into chronic stress, which has negative side effects. Cardio exercising on a fan bike is an excellent way to burn off that unwanted health issue. 

6. Reduce Cancer Risk

There has been a great deal of research concerning the link between reducing cancer risk and exercise. Researchers found that those who exercised the most had lower rates of various types of cancer.

Additionally, it’s believed that increasing exercise and physical activity leads to a stronger immune system, lower inflammation, and higher levels of natural antioxidants, all of which help reduce the risk of cancer.

7. Easier Than Riding a Bike

Taking a bike ride is usually fun, but when you want to get a good cardio workout, using a fan bike in your home is safer and readily available..

A fan bike allows you to work out when and where you want without the added elements of traffic, wet or icy roads, and extreme heat.

8. Great for Interval Training

Interval training is alternating between short, high-intensity bursts of exercise with periods of lighter training or rest periods. This style of workouts can help you burn more calories in less time and increase your overall fitness level at the same time.

Using a fan bike makes interval training easier to incorporate. By cycling faster, you will increase the resistance for a short, hard burst of exercise. You can then slow your pace to reduce the resistance while resting before starting the next burst of your interval training.

9. Easy Workout With Proper Form

Like with any exercise, it is important to keep your form in mind. When using a fan bike, be sure to keep your back straight and don’t hunch over the handlebars.You’ll also need to adjust the seat for the best height. Keep your knees in line with your feet and don’t let your knees creep inward. 

10. Can Log Your Progress

Logging your progress can help keep you motivated and focused on your health goals. When using a fan bike, there are no rules on how long or hard you have to ride, but keep in mind your fitness level and capabilities. 

Along with a healthy diet, cardio exercise, like using a fan bike, is one of the best ways to increase your overall fitness, reduce the risk of illnesses, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Categories
Health and Lifestyle

How to Elevate Your Home Gym Experience

There’s a strange paradox with home gyms: sometimes people who have home gyms don’t use them often enough. In most cases, this happens because home gyms don’t have the best workout equipment.

A bare-bones gym consisting of an elliptical machine and a few dumbbells can hardly motivate anyone to complete effective workouts. To create the perfect home gym, you need to create a space that will beckon you to spend time in it. The first step to creating a home gym you want to work out in is by creating a space that you want to be in. 

What Makes a Perfect Home Gym?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The perfect home gym for you depends on your fitness goals and preferences. The most important factor to consider is what equipment and accessories you need to invest in to get the most out of your experience. 

If you train for muscular development, your basics will consist of a bench and  squat rack. However, If your main focus is endurance training or Olympic weightlifting, look into equipment that will help you reach your fitness goals.

Whether your gym is in your garage, basement or spare room in your home, it needs to draw you in. Here’s a few ways to elevate your home gym experience that boost your results: 

Create the Perfect Atmosphere for Working Out

Besides your equipment, the secret to a great home gym lies in the atmosphere. Some people like a dark room to focus on their weight training while others need natural light and bright colors. Find out what works for you, and re-create it in your personal workout space.

Beyond colors and lighting, you should decorate your home gym for inspiration. Posters of your favorite fitness icons, trophies, flags or memorabilia are a great way to inspire you during your workout. 

Think about music when you’re deciding on what to include in your space. Create a few playlists to jam out to during your workouts and play them over loudspeakers in your gym. 

Include a Mirror

Be sure to include a mirror, whether floor to ceiling or stand alone. Mirrors allow you to monitor your progress and help you achieve proper exercise form. 

Using the correct mechanics is important to avoid injuries. With an exercise like the dead lift, you need to keep a neutral spine to avoid hurting your back. A mirror can help you maintain perfect form if you position it properly.

You may want to consider having a few mirrors in your home gym so you can watch yourself from different angles during different workouts.

Best Workout Equipment

When research equipment, think about multi use options. Having a machine that allows for different types of workouts cuts out the need for gym memberships and takes up less space. Power racks, for example, can be an integral and transformative piece of equipment in your home gym. 

Power racks can be an all-on-one gym solution that accommodate for a variety of accessories. With the Titan T-3 power rack, you can safely and effectively execute workouts that can boost your fitness goals. Power racks can support deadlift workouts, bench presses, and pull ups. 

Invest in the Necessary Accessories

To make the most out of your workouts, considering investing in the necessary accessories. Olympic barbells are the standard, but mixing up your strength training with other equipment can boost your numbers. For example, including a  trap bar in your workout allows you to pull weight without compromising your lower back.

If exercising outdoors is an option for you, there are a few extra pieces of equipment that can enhance your experience. Heavy hammers and sleds can supercharge your functional strength while providing the variety that keeps you engaged. 

Keep It Organized

Walking into a gym with weights and equipment out of place can be a turn off in both public and home gyms. 

Keeping your home gym organized will enhance your workout experience. Consider buying a weight rack and other storage items that will allow you to keep everything tidy. Depending on the room you have available, a small desk can house your workout programs and stereo system. Whatever you decide, keep in mind ways to maximize the time spent building your strength while minimizing the effort it takes to clean up.

Start Elevating Your Experience Today

A home gym is always a work in progress. As your fitness goals increase, so will your need for extra equipment, but that doesn’t mean you have to worry about it all at once. Come up with a strategy for improving your home gym experience and work at it over time.

Categories
Workouts

Fan Bikes vs Running Cardio – What are the Differences and Similarities?

Muscular athletes training in a crossfit gym – Functional training workout in a gym

Cardio can be a great way to enhance your performance and burn a few extra calories. When it comes to cardio, you’ve got a few different options. Cardio machines, like a fan bike, or outside running both can benefit your body but what are the key differences between the two?

Equipment & Environmental Differences

Let’s take a look at equipment & environmental differences. The obvious difference between running and using a fan bike is access to the equipment. You can either join a gym or purchase your own fan bike. Depending on the bike you pick, price can range anywhere from a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. The Titan Fitness Fan Bike runs under $700.

Running is definitely more budget-friendly, but there’s still some equipment you need to select. You’ll have to find a pair of high-quality running shoes, if you want to avoid repetitive stress injuries. In addition to shoes, you may also need to consider other equipment like exercise clothing, water bottles, and fitness trackers.

When selecting equipment for your cardio, remember there is a major difference between environments. Using a fan bike is almost always done inside, which has the added perk of avoiding extreme heat, cold, and rain from ruining your workout.

Meanwhile, running has to be done outside if you want to achieve any real distance. There are some perks to exercising outside. Studies have found that time spent outdoors boosts your mood and reduces stress. Just keep in mind that you may not be able to exercise unless the weather is nice.

Difference in Impact

Another difference between the two is impact. Impact essentially refers to how much stress you put on your joints during the exercise. It’s important to consider impact and how much your body can handle during cardio. Doing a high-impact activity all the time can end up increasing your risk for injuries.

Overall, a fan bike has a lower impact than running due to being seated during most of the exercise. The bike supports some of your weight, so your joints are not put under as much stress. This does not mean air bikes are entirely impact-free, but there is just a little less risk of injury when using an air bike.

The difference in impact means that a fan bike might be better for those who have bad joints. If you’re older or worried about injury, a fan bike can also be safer. People who want to run outside but are worried about the impact can opt for shoes with better shock absorption along with running on softer surfaces 

Cardio & Calorie Comparison

Of course, the main thing people want to know is which exercise works better. Figuring out a cardio & calorie comparison for the two can be tricky since they use different sets of muscles and different methods for calculating intensity.

There is no definitive amount for how many calories running will burn versus a fan bike. Things like your weight, the bike’s resistance level, the type of ground you run on, or the speed you pedal at will all change how many calories you burn. In general, when a typical person runs or pedals at an average speed and average difficulty for the same amount of time, running will burn more calories.

Running tends to burn more calories because it uses more muscles and requires you to move your own body weight for the entire exercise. For example, the typical runner might burn around 400 calories in a half-hour run. Meanwhile, the typical 30-minute session on a fan bike would just burn around 300 calories.

When it comes to improving endurance and building muscle, things are even trickier to measure. Generally, if you were running at an average pace, you would build a bit more muscle and aerobic capacity than you would cycling. 

However, your actual results may vary a little more. Some people just naturally perform more intensely with one exercise. If you hate the heat, you might find yourself working out more vigorously on a fan bike inside. If you get bored easily, you might end up running faster or longer when you have changing scenery outdoors.

Ultimately, it all just comes down to your exercise goals and your individual preferences. Both fan bikes and running can be a great tool for getting in shape.Regardless of which choice you pick, success really depends on your own motivation. The best exercise for you will always be one that you find yourself able to do on a regular basis.