Spartacus Workout Reviewed: Everything You Need to Know

by Michael Brown on November 30, 2019

Learning More About the Spartacus Workout

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Starting a new workout routine can be daunting and somewhat intimidating, especially if you have to head to the gym. While working out at home is a great option, sometimes it’s hard to get pumped and motivated when going at it alone. In this article we look at the Spartacus workout. This is an in-home workout that will get your heart racing while shredding your muscles, and it requires very little space and equipment. We take a comprehensive look at the Spartacus workout and give you plenty of reasons to get the CDs and get to work.

Spartacus Workout

The Spartacus workout is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout that uses ten different circuits to exercise your entire body. This workout relies heavily on hitting your target heart rate, or the high intensity zone, and the ten workouts included in the Spartacus workout do just that. These are simple but very effective exercises, and if you follow the program you are guaranteed to see results within three weeks.

Rachel Cosgrove, CSCS, who is a world renowned trainer and a best-selling fitness author and a consultant, created the Spartacus workout. Rachel has been a professional in the fitness world for over 25 years. She created the Spartacus workout for Men’s Health Magazine, and it is one of their most popular workouts to this day.

Product Specs

The Spartacus Workout Body Weight Revolution

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As noted, this workout is a high intensity interval training (HIIT). This means it includes short periods of intense anaerobic exercises with a shorter, less intense recovery period. The workout typically alternates between these two actions for thirty minutes. This workout targets a specific heart rate to boost your metabolism and improve overall muscle tone and athletic capacity.

The workout system is comprised of two CDs, the Total Body Blitz (30 minutes) and the Triple Set Scorcher (29 minutes). The only equipment needed is two dumbbell weights, and the exercises are slight variations of gym classics. Included are dumbbell reverse lunges, hang pulls, thrusters, burpees, and squat jumps, to name a few. While this is a very intense workout, there are easy modifications to help even the most out of shape participant get started.

Pricing


The Spartacus workout CD set is very affordable, especially compared to other workout regimens. The set can be purchased on Amazon for around $30, and this includes the two CDs. The only other equipment you will need to purchase are two dumbbells.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  • PiYo Workout
  • Body Beast Workout
  • Les Mills Combat Workout

spartacus workout dvd
  • Intensity Level
  • Music
  • Instructors
  • Results Time

This is a very intense workout, but the makers guarantee results within three weeks if you stick with it. It uses the science behind HIIT training and is known for significantly reducing body fat and creating lean muscle mass. It’s important that you adhere to a healthy diet to see the best results with any workout regime.


The PiYo workout is the perfect blend of Pilates and Yoga and allows you to experience a dynamic workout without spending a lot of time doing so. Chalene Johnson is the trainer in this series, and she is an expert fitness trainer and life coach. If you are looking for a low-impact that will speed up weight and fat loss, try PiYo. The regime comes with three CDs that include 10 different workouts. You also get an eating plan, tape measure, calendar, and an extra buns workout. PiYo is for beginners, but intermediate and experts will get a lot out of this program.

  • Intensity Level
  • Music
  • Instructors
  • Results Time

PiYo is more about burning fat than building muscle. This is an excellent workout for beginners and those seeking a low impact option. This is a 60-day program, and if followed along with the recommended diet program, you will be able to lose between ten and fifteen pounds in the first 60 days.


If you are looking to bulk up, this is the workout for you. Created by Sagi Kalev, champion body builder and trainer, this is a comprehensive workout that increases your muscle mass. This package includes seven CDs with 12 different workouts, a calendar, and a nutrition and supplement plan. Each workout will take 45 minutes to complete, and the schedule includes a ninety day plan. There are three phases to this workout plan; build, bulk, and beast. This is not a weight loss program, it is a muscle building plan; and you are guaranteed to gain 10 pounds of muscle in 90 days if you follow it.

  • Intensity Level
  • Music
  • Instructors
  • Results Time

Sagi guarantees you will gain at least 10 pounds of muscle if you follow the program, including the diet and supplements, for 90 days. Unlike other programs featured, this workout is geared for gaining muscle weight.


This work out program is a combination of mixed martial arts and aerobics that was created by Rach Newsham, who is a graduate of the Lamai Muaythai Camp in Thailand, and Dan Cohen, a former British kickboxing champion. This is an intense aerobic workout that also teaches you basic martial arts moves like kicks, strikes, and jumps. There are three available packages to purchase, and each one comes with a thirty minutes basic moves CD, which is highly recommended for beginners.

  • Intensity Level
  • Music
  • Instructors
  • Results Time

This video series guarantees you will be lean and chiseled if you stick with the recommended schedule for sixty days.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a highly intensive workout that you can complete in thirty minutes a day and see wonderful results, then the Spartacus workout is for you. This is a very effective workout with a motivating instructor, and realistic modifications. To get started you just need the affordable CDs and the will to work. You can make your workout a little more intense by adding some cheap dumbbells. We rate the Spartacus Workout a very high four out of five stars.

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Are Protein Pills Effective?

by Michael Brown on October 31, 2019

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You've probably seen shelves of protein pills, powders, and bars at your local grocery or supplement store. Maybe you received an advertisement online for the latest and greatest protein supplement. If the options overwhelm you and you're wondering which supplement you should buy or are just looking for information, we are here to help.

Supplemental protein can help you build muscle and recover after working out. Protein is essential to your workout. You should use a protein supplement if you are working out to build muscle, or need more protein than your diet offers you. One of the easiest ways to supplement your diet with protein is by taking supplements in the form of pills.

What Are Protein Pills?

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Protein pills are a supplement you can take to increase your protein in your diet. Protein comes from protein-rich meats such as beef, fish like tuna, or protein-rich plants like almonds and soybeans. Many people get adequate protein from their diet. If you aren't getting the protein from your food to build muscle in your workouts, pills can fill in the gap.

Pill supplements come in various dosages. They offer a convenient way to take small doses of protein when compared to powder. Which dose you choose will vary depending on your body weight. If you are training to build muscle, you will require much more protein than the average person. You should supplement your diet with a protein supplement.

Protein is critically important to muscle growth, bone health, and a healthy metabolism. Protein can also be significant to weight loss in combination with weight-reducing exercise routines and a healthy diet. Pills are great for weight loss, as they provide the necessary protein without calories. The body can take some time to break down protein in food. Pills provide accessible protein without extra digestion. An enzyme in your body called protease will break down the protein, and it enters the bloodstream quickly giving your muscles the protein they need on demand.

Best Practices to Use Protein Pills Effectively

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Consult a nutritionist or doctor about taking protein supplements. Research a quality product and read the labels for ingredients you want to avoid. Find out things like accreditations, country of manufacturing, and tests they've taken to ensure safety. Pills rarely include fillers or sugar like other protein supplements. Most of this information is available online or on the bottle label. Read and follow dosage suggestions and find a pill that suits your need.

Take protein supplements with water and a meal or snack. This will help your body absorb and optimize the protein being taken in and avoid digestive problems. Take protein supplements before a workout to provide the most benefits.

Who Needs Protein Pills?

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Protein supplements like protein pills are essential for intense workouts whether you are bulking or cutting. The most common use of supplements through pills is restoring and building muscle. If you want to build muscle, you need to have much greater amounts of protein than traditional diets can offer. Protein will also help recover muscles after a workout, so you can have fewer rest days. Pills are convenient and offer muscle-building advantages when taken before your workout.

Protein can help with lean muscle building and recovery. Someone looking to lose fat and maintain lean muscle should consider protein supplement pills to recover muscles and provide overall health. Pills are a great way to add protein to your weight-loss diet plan because you can take in a significant amount of protein without calories.

Who Should Not Take Protein Pills?

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You should always have a good understanding of your health and the implications of taking a supplement like protein pills. You should consult with a doctor or nutritionist when deciding whether protein supplements are good for you and determine a dosage your body will allow. Protein supplements may not be necessary if you are not working out.

You should not take protein supplements if you have an allergy to the protein source (such as whey) or experience side effects like headaches or digestive problems when taking protein supplements. Always research supplements you buy, as they are not under FDA regulation. Some can have undesirable ingredients.

How Do Protein Pills Compare to Other Protein Supplements?

Protein pills are one of the easiest ways to make sure you are getting the protein you need. Put a bottle of pills in your gym bag, so you always have them on hand. Unlike protein powders, which need a liquid to mix with, pill supplements are more convenient and can be taken on their own. They are also great if you don't want to carry around a shaker full of the powder slurry mixture to take sips in between workouts.

When bulking, you can use powder to get extra calories and can replace a meal if needed. Powder also has a bit of maintenance. You will need to carry the dry powder along with your shaker and water. This means cleaning your shaker after every workout. Carrying it around means a risk of spilling your powder or shake in your gym bag or on the gym floor—adding to the cleanup.

Protein bars offer a convenient way to add protein to your diet, but they are sticky and sweet. Pills can be a great alternative If you are not a fan of candy-like protein bars. Like powders, you can use protein bars to add calories to your diet and replace meals. The shelf life of protein bars can be considerably shorter than pills.

Protein powders and bars can have significant amounts of calories, so pills can provide protein without the added calories. Unlike most powders and bars, pills have no sugar or artificial flavorings—no bad aftertaste. One thing that protein bars lack compared to the other choices is the dosage. A scoop of protein powder can contain the dosage of many pill supplements. The average pill dosage is 0.5-2g of protein, whereas a serving of powder can be 20g.

What Are Protein Pills Made From?

Most protein pills are manufactured by processing cow's milk into either casein or whey. Whey comes from a byproduct of cheese and contains concentrated amounts of protein. Casein is the other byproduct of cheese extracted from curds. Casein contains less lactose and can be a good choice for people who have digestive problems from whey protein. Both ingredients deliver a similar protein with similar effectiveness.

Manufacturers of supplements have also started to use ingredients like collagen and bone broth. This can be a good substitute for lactose intolerance and other dietary reasons. For plant-based diets, a good protein source is a soy-based protein. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but you can get similar results with similar dosages. You can find the more common whey and casein in stores, but the less common pills are available online.

Other Benefits of Protein Pills

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Protein is an essential part of your diet. The body uses proteins to rebuild and grow cells. A diet rich in protein can help improve metabolism to burn fat and fight diabetes. Protein can help as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. It also helps lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. It can strengthen and recover muscle and boost your immune system.

Risks of Protein Pills

Protein supplements are not FDA regulated, so there can be some products with unsavory ingredients and fillers. High-quality pill supplements usually contain no sugar, flavoring, or filler. If your protein supplement is high quality, and you are a healthy adult, there are few risks to adding a protein supplement to your diet. Some people may have digestive problems or headaches while taking protein supplements. You should never load up on protein supplements, as it can damage your liver. Observe the dosage limits on the label and never take more than 30g of protein supplement at one time.

Pills and other supplements are not a good replacement for protein-rich food. Adding natural sources of protein like eggs and beef to your meals and snacks is preferable. Always opt for protein-rich food, and use supplements for additional protein when you need more protein than you can easily consume.

Conclusion

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Protein pills are an effective way to ensure you are getting the protein you need for your workouts. Pill supplements offer an easy and organized way to add protein to your diet to reach your bodybuilding goals. You can more easily monitor your calorie intake with pills and don't have to worry about sugars and artificial flavors. If you are working out, pills can be a great alternative to protein powders and bars. There are many pills on the market that cater to dietary needs and protein dosages.

Protein pills can add significant benefits to your overall health, and advantages in your muscle building and recovery. They also offer weight loss potential and benefit your cardiac and metabolic health. While pills may not offer large amounts of protein found in powder supplements, they are much more convenient. There are risks involved, and you should be careful about dosages and instructions. Always consult a trained physician, especially if you have a health condition.

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The keto diet is a new craze that is quickly picking up speed, favored by dieticians who recommend patients keep their bodies in a state of ketosis. The keto diet is a high fat and low carb diet that forces the body to burn fat for energy. By supplying the body with more fats than carbohydrates, the body will metabolize what is readily available and ultimately help dieters lose weight by burning off excess body fat in the process.

Understanding the keto diet and how ketosis works is easy. It's a little more difficult to put the diet into practice. But that's where the keto food pyramid comes into play. Here we will help you break down the keto food pyramid, how it's different from the traditional food pyramid, and the most important foods that are part of a successful keto diet.

What Is the Keto Food Pyramid?

The food pyramid created for the keto diet is one that helps dieters prioritize their fats and proteins. Think of it like any other reference guide, except this food pyramid directs you in how to correctly balance your fats with your carbs for your daily intake of food. The keto pyramid makes it easy to follow the keto diet and create meals that are consistent with the caloric proportions you are supposed to consume.

Is the Keto Food Pyramid Different From the Traditional Food Pyramid?

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Right off the bat, you will notice that the keto food pyramid is very different from the traditional food pyramid you might have learned about in health class. For starters, the keto pyramid seems to completely rearrange the traditional food groups or exclude them all together.

Depending on which keto pyramid you're looking at, carbs might be completely excluded or they might rest at the very top of the pyramid, particularly sugar. This is very different from the traditional food pyramid, which has carbs as the base and most important portion of the pyramid.

New Arrangements

Why does the keto pyramid rearrange everything? In part it's to remove the confusion about what you can and can't eat on the keto diet. If a food isn't on the pyramid, then it isn't part of the diet plan. This makes it a lot easier to eat what you should and stay away from what you shouldn't.

Keto Proportions

The keto pyramid is also based on the exact proportions of the keto diet, which are as follows:

  • 70% of calories from fats
  • 25% calories from proteins
  • 5% calories from carbohydrates

As such, the keto pyramid is mostly made of high-fat foods and proteins, with a very small portion at the very top dedicated to the few carbohydrates you can eat on this diet. You will notice that sugars that are not natural are removed from the pyramid altogether since you are not supposed to consume sugar at all while on the keto diet.

Foods on the Keto Food Pyramid

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The foods on this pyramid are determined by the foods the keto diet allows you to eat. We'll break down this pyramid into the three main categories of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates based on common foods you might find at a grocery store.

Fats

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When we talk about fats in the keto diet, we are talking about healthy fatty foods, such as avocados, nuts, coconut oil, olive oil, and butter. The keto diet recommends cooking with saturated fats and eating unsaturated fats. You can usually get away with snacking on fatty nuts, such as peanuts and macadamia nuts, to fill up a lot of your daily caloric intake. But you might also end up doing double-duty by cooking your proteins in fat or eating proteins that are already fatty.

Proteins

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Fish is a large part of the keto diet, in part because some fish are high in fat as well as protein. Salmon is a good example of a fatty fish that is perfect for this diet. The keto diet also recommends eating eggs, cheeses, and other meats to make up your total caloric intake. However, it's important to limit how much protein you are eating, as eating too much protein will push your body out of ketosis.

Carbohydrates

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Don't get too excited: the carbohydrates of the keto diet are not bread, but rather green vegetables and fruits. This means brussel sprouts are good but a bag of chips are not. The small percentage of allowed carbohydrates also makes up for trace carbohydrates that are in other foods.

Missing Items

You will notice that the keto pyramid is missing all sugars and traditional carbohydrates, such as breads, pasta, and rice. The keto diet means abstaining from eating all sugars and grains.

Conclusion

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The keto diet is all about giving the body fat to burn as fuel in order to help you lose weight. The key to a successful keto diet is the keto food pyramid, which is not like any food pyramid you might be familiar with. By sticking to this pyramid, you will have an easier time sticking with the keto diet.

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4 Workouts to Better Your Hamstrings

by Michael Brown on October 25, 2019

hamstring workout

Hamstrings are a group of muscles (the semitendinosus, the semimembranosus and the biceps femoris muscles) on the posterior upper leg. They cross the knee and hip joints and are involved in flexing the knee and extending the hip. The hamstrings are involved daily activities such as running, walking and jumping and yet many people have tight or weak hamstring muscles due to inactivity and sedentary lifestyles. Incorporating a hamstring workout into a fitness routine can help maintain strength and prevent injury.

Why Are Hamstrings Important?

When strong, hamstrings provide stability, agility, strength and power. Hamstrings need to be strong and flexible to protect against injury and promote optimal fitness - if the muscle fibers can easily lengthen and contract, they are less likely to tear.

Can You Strengthen Your Hamstrings?

Yes! Hamstrings can be strengthened by a variety of exercises that can be done by anyone. Contrary to popular belief, strong hamstrings will not increase bulk or make a person appear bigger.

Here are 4 Awesome Exercises for an Effective Hamstring Workout

1. Romanian Deadlift

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  • Hold a bar or dumbbells at hips with a pronated grip. Shoulders should be back and knees slightly bent.
  • Lower the bar by pushing the hips back while keep knees slightly bent. Keep the bar close to the body as you lower it. Keep the head looking forward, and shoulders back. Continue lowering until the maximum range of hamstring flexibility has been reached, which is typically just below the knee.
  • Return to the starting position by driving the hips forward to stand up tall.

2. Good Mornings

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  • With a barbell or pole resting across both shoulders, plant both feet on the floor hip-width apart. Draw shoulder blades down and back.
  • Bend knees slightly and set this as a fixed angle. Without changing the angle in the knees, hinge forward from the hips. Tension should be felt in the hamstrings.
  • Push through the heels and use the glutes and hamstrings to extend the hips to starting position

3. Glute Bridges

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  • Lie face up on the floor, with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep arms alongside the body with palms facing down.
  • Lift hips off the ground until knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze the glutes keep abs engaged.
  • Hold the bridged position for several seconds before easing back down.

4. Swiss Ball Leg Curl

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  • Lie flat on the ground with feet elevated on a ball. Arms should rest comfortably alongside the body on the floor.
  • Using glutes and hamstrings, gently raise hips off the floor. Resting on the upper back, form a straight line from head to toe.
  • Keep feet together and hips elevated, bend the knees and bring the feet in towards the glutes. The ball should roll in towards the body.
  • Extend the knees to return to the starting position, ensuring hips remain elevated. The ball should roll away from you.

Conclusion

Strong and flexible hamstrings are vital to preventing injuries and improving performance. Hamstring workouts are easy to incorporate into fitness routines and can be done at the gym, at home or on the road.

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Quality Over Quantity: How Many Exercises Per Workout

by Michael Brown on October 24, 2019

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It's hard to walk into a gym and not wonder how many exercises per workout do these guys complete to look like that? Whether you want to increase muscle mass for functional reasons, like a team sport, or esthetic reasons, it can be confusing trying to decipher how to work out as effectively as possible.

While there are many reasons for wanting to build muscle, the questions are fairly universal. How many exercises per workout will help me build muscle? How is muscle built in the first place? Is there such a thing as too much exercise? If so, how can I tell if I'm working out too hard. If you've wondered any of these things, you're in the right place. Keep reading for helpful tips and tricks to build muscle and mitigate the risk of injury and illness.

What Builds Muscle?

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You go to the gym religiously but you don't seem to be getting any gains. So, how many exercises per workout are ideal for building muscle. What builds muscle, anyway? Put simply, muscles grow when you tear them down at the cellular level and then give them the chance to recover. How well you recover after a heavy lifting session determines how much your muscles will grow once they're torn down.

Recovery Tips

Remember, what you do after the gym is just as important as what you do in it. Shortly after a heavy lifting session, you need to eat between 0.14 and 0.23 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. For most people, this is between 20 and 40 grams of protein. Carbs are important, too.

After all, your body taps into its glycogen stores whether you're shattering your previous 1RM or running a marathon. Ideally, you should get a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein within 30 to 45 minutes after your workout. In other words, you need between 60 and 120 grams of carbs depending on your body weight.

Besides proper nutrition, you need to get plenty of sleep and eliminate stress. Most of your body's recovery happens during non-REM sleep. This slow-wave sleep phase accounts for 40% of your sleep time. Thus, if you sleep seven hours a night, your body has fewer than three hours to do most of its muscle repair.

Weight lifting is very taxing on your parasympathetic nervous system. You have enough stress in your daily life. Do yourself a favor and find a meditative activity you can do after your heavy lifting sessions. For some people, this is actually meditating on the floor with a pillow. For others, it's drawing, writing music or taking their pets for a walk. Whatever it is that calms you, make sure you make time to do it.

Myths vs. Facts

Some people swear by chocolate milk after their workouts. This is because it contains a three-to-one ratio of carbs to protein. However, dairy products contain casein, a slow-to-act protein. This type of protein coagulates in your stomach acid and releases amino acids slowly. Casein is ideal before bed because it releases amino acids throughout the night so your muscles can repair themselves while you sleep.

The truth of post-workout nutrition is you need whey protein within two hours of your workout. Unfortunately, only 20% of the protein in milk is whey protein. Whey protein powders or protein shakes with whey are ideal after your workout.

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How Many Exercises per Workout?

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There's no hard and fast rule as to the ideal number of exercises per workout to build muscle. However, the most successful training programs involve three to five sets of a primary major movement, (like squats, bench presses, deadlifts, overhead presses or rows), followed by three sets each of one to two accessory exercises.

For example, back day may look like this:

  • Rows - three sets of 10 reps at 75% 1RM (one rep max)
  • Overhead press - three sets of 10 reps at 75% 1RM
  • Reverse fly or lat pulldown - three sets of 10 reps at 75% 1RM
  • Shoulder shrugs - three sets, optional depending on energy levels

Quality Over Quantity

The load requirement to reach hypertrophy varies by individual. Let's say it takes 10 sets to wear out a muscle group, like your back, legs, arms or chest. Quality is more important than quantity and too many exercises spreads your focus too thin. It's better to do five sets of two exercises than two sets of five exercises.

Variation

Be patient as you figure out what works for you. Variation is an important part of creating hypertrophy. The human body is incredibly adaptable, so hypertrophy will become nearly impossible to achieve if you do the same single exercise for a particular muscle. That's why it's a good idea to have a couple lifts to hit a muscle (like rows and lat pulldowns). However, more isn't always better.

Keep it Simple, Stupid

Simplicity is an oft-overlooked training technique. Bodybuilders only lift for 60 to 90 minutes at a time. If you perform a dozen lifts per workout session, you could be in the gym for two to three hours at a time. This is a recipe for excessive exercise. Try sticking to only four to five primary exercises per workout session. And keep your eye out for signs that you need to back off.

Signs of Excessive Exercises and More

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Regular exercise is good for shredding fat and leaving you with a ripped, perfectly-sculpted physique. But, if you're overdoing it at the gym, you're not going to build muscle. Here are signs you need to let off the throttle just a little, allowing your body to recuperate and grow stronger.

Decreased Performance

You may be experimenting with how many exercises per workout to get great gains. If you track your workout performance and notice an unexplainable dip, you're overtaxing your muscles. Take a day or two from lifting to do some light jogging or swimming. You can even just go for a walk. The important thing is you take a day or two from heavy lifting.

Disinterest in Exercise and Mood Changes

Bodybuilders and sprinters alike experience burnout when they push themselves too hard. They'd pick the gym over a concert any day, but all of a sudden want to sit at home and do nothing. If you're just going through the motions at the gym out of habit, you probably need to take it easy.

Similarly, if you notice mood changes, like anger, anxiety, confusion, depression or irritability, you may be putting your body through too much stress. Stress hormones released when you're physically overloaded cause emotional stress, as well.

Weakened Immune System

If you catch the common cold, the flu or some other communicable illness, the cause may be too much time in the gym. Stay home and get better. First, you don't need to get anyone else sick. Second, overtaxation weakens the immune system. In your overtaxed state, you could catch something else, as well.

Keep in mind, it can take weeks or months to recover from overtraining, depending on how severe it was and how long it lasted. For example, chronic inflammation caused by excessive workouts can lead to cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Loss of Appetite

A sudden loss of appetite often accompanies lack of motivation. It occurs in the middle stages of overtraining. In an effort to reduce its workload, your body slows your metabolism and other processes. If you don't feel as hungry as you should after a strenuous workout, or if you feel fatigued, talk to a doctor about the potential for overtraining.

Fatigue

When your brain doesn't get enough fuel or nutrients, you start to experience mental fogginess. You may also feel physically groggy. Listen very carefully to your body. Normally, a good workout is all you need to feel refreshed. But if overexercise is causing the fatigue, you need to step back and take time to recover.

Fat Gain

Maybe in college you successfully cut fat and built muscle by consuming 300 calories above your TDEE after your heavy lifting days. If you're following the same plan now, losing weight and gaining fat, you're in the final stages of overtraining. If you don't give your body enough time to recover, your muscles won't rebuild themselves.

Moreover, stress increases levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in your blood. Cortisol, in turn, affects other hormones, like ghrelin and leptin. The cumulative effect of these hormonal shifts is you feel hungrier more often, it takes longer to feel full and you store dangerous subcutaneous adipose tissue in your lower abdominal region. Steroid-like hormones are also inhibited, making it even harder to build muscle.

How Many Exercises Per Workout: The Bottom Line

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So, now you know there's no hard and fast rule for how many exercises per workout to build muscle. The important thing to remember is what you do outside the gym is just as important as what you do in it. Signs you may be pushing yourself too hard include loss of interest, mood changes, decreased performance and getting sick.

If you experience any of these signs, or otherwise suspect you're working too hard, consult with your general health practitioner or a certified fitness instructor. If you take a few weeks to recover, you'll discover that you feel healthier and you're putting on muscle more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

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at home workout plan

For the frequently busy among us, finding an effective exercise routine means juggling the needs of your physical body with the time you have available, and finding the time to work out can seem just as difficult as what you do during the act itself. This is where an at home workout plan can help. They are becoming more and more popular because they rely upon a level of discipline that, once honed, can be applied to many other areas of your life. The positive effects build over time, along with your sense of satisfaction for sticking to your goal.  

What is an at Home Workout Plan?

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An at home workout plan is any kind of workout routine that challenges you to use the force of gravity and/or a few simple tools to strengthen/tone your muscles. It can have a variety of intensity levels and is easily tailored to your unique fitness needs. There are apps you can use, different forms you can try, and varying durations you can incorporate so that taking ownership of your fitness becomes a joy and not a chore.

Are at Home Workout Plans Effective?

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The at home workout plan is as effective as you choose to make it. Simply put, you decide your level of involvement. If you have trouble finding motivation or the 'just do it' adage doesn't quite do it for you, then it may be wise to seek out a professional. Even if it's just for a brief period, a trainer (virtual or otherwise) can help you establish an at home workout plan that will maximize the positive effects of your regimen while at the same time minimizing injury.

Building Your at Home Workout Plan

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Here are some examples of things you can do with your at home workout plan:

Starting Out

Choose the types of exercises you want to include based on the muscles you're interested in building. To start though, it's important to be holistic. This means having a full-body workout in your back pocket. Some examples of effective full body exercises include: push-ups, jumping jacks, holding a plank pose, wall sitting, crunches, and triceps dips. 

Don't Forget to Stretch

In addition to these more labor intensive options, it's a good idea to incorporate a stretching routine that could include practices like yoga, pilates, or tai chi. This will help you stay limber.

Step It Up

You won't see results unless you challenge yourself. Once you're comfortable with the exercises you're doing, try adding a few more or spending more time on each one.

Conclusion

How many tools or workout assisting devices you use after this is up to you. A good flexible strap can come in handy. or you could consider a pull-up bar for your home or office space. Remember: the composition of an at home workout plan is yours to decide. Take all parts of your health into consideration, and if you have any health concerns, consult with a doctor. This way you'll stay safe throughout the process and achieve your maximum potential.   

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The Ultimate Clean Eating Food List

by Michael Brown on October 24, 2019

clean eating food list

Clean eating is the process by which you can take charge of your diet. It becomes your task to only put food into your body that is minimally processed and super healthy. To execute this process seamlessly, you can create a clean eating food list for yourself that you can then stick to when making your shopping and eating choices. As we proceed, we'll talk about why the clean eating food list can help you out immensely when changing your diet and lifestyle for the better. With any luck, you'll be on your way to a happier, more energized life that will expand the capacity of what you're capable of.

What is Clean Eating?

bowl with sliced fruits in the middle of scattered fruits

Image source: Pexels

Clean eating is making a commitment to eating a well-balanced diet that includes whole foods or products that only have a few natural or organic ingredients. In addition, it means eating the correct proportion of nutrients from a diversity of quality sources. It means you become interested in food chemistry and how what you consume and in what quantity can affect your overall wellbeing.

What Are the Guidelines of a Clean Eating Food List?

Here are some key points to remember when creating your clean eating food list. The first is to include more organic fruits and vegetables than you think you should include. Next, whenever you look at a prepared food package, be sure to notice how many ingredients it lists. If it has items you can't pronounce, it's a good idea to look elsewhere. There are some exceptions though. Some ingredients with complex words will have what it's derived from in parentheses. Or another example is when they list something like "citric acid" which they might include in parentheses is just Vitamin C.

Minimizing Your Sugar Intake

Sugary products were once prized for how difficult they were to make and how much energy they gave you. These days we know better. Though sugary foods and drinks can be a nice boost every now and then, they're not a regular component of a clean eating food list. Even when they are, it's better when the sugar they use is naturally derived cane sugar and not overly processed white sugar. A similar rule applies for salt. Sea salt is a much better source to go with than the more traditional iodized salt.

Paleo Tendencies

In some cases, elements of the Paleo diet could be included on your clean eating food list. This is because according to the Paleo diet, you're not to eat anything that wouldn't have been available to prehistoric man in the Paleolithic period. These foods are going to be naturally more healthy because they are by and large whole foods that have been minimally processed. This is because there was no such thing as complex food processing back then. So if you're thinking of going Paleo but not sure if you want to jump in, consider cleaning up your eating habits with a clean eating food list before you take the plunge.

Why Should You Eat Clean?

plated salad in four three different plates

Image source: Pexels

There is a whole host of benefits to eating clean. We'll go into some of those in our list below, though it's worth mentioning that the more strictly you stick to your clean eating food list, the more pronounced these positive benefits will be.

Losing Weight

A lot of processed foods are made with any and every kind of low quality filler. These are great for the bottom line of the food producer, but not so great for your body's health and wellbeing. Frequently, substances like high fructose corn syrup are used as a syrupy filler. Also anything that's "partially hydrogenated" means that whatever oil they've used has been blasted with hydrogen, making it harder to digest and more likely for your body to store as fat. When you commit to clean eating, you're actively avoiding these compounds because they're so unnatural and have no place on your clean eating food list.

Sugar Levels Go Down

Avoiding sugary foods can help you avoid the disastrous effects of diabetes. Not only this, but you're also not caught up in the cycle of rush/crash when it comes to excessive sugar intake, which by itself can be extraordinarily hard on your body. Also you'll be more able to keep your cholesterol and blood sugar levels in a target range. This can help with more than just diabetes management. It can also help you maintain a high quality of heart health.

Heart Health

And while we're talking about maintaining a healthy heart, it should be worth noting that your clean eating food list will probably include nuts if you're not allergic. Large quantities of nuts can be a helping hand when it comes to increasing your body's Vitamin E intake. This essential vitamin also helps regulate a healthy heart. Vitamin E, plus an abundance of sustained physical activity, can help keep blood clots at bay.

Better State of Mind

When your body has to exude less energy to process food, it has more energy. When you have more energy, your mood naturally elevates because you have more in reserve as you go about your day. Thanks to following your clean eating food list, you'll be on your way to welcoming more joy into your life and experiencing less angst. You'll also be able to improve your memory the more you add foods like fish into your regimen, which contains healthy fatty acids that contribute to brain function.

Nutrients for Dense Bones and Nails

The density of quality nutrients in whole foods will give you the opportunity for your bones and nails to become strong. This is great for preventing injury as well as giving you peace of mind from nagging aches and pains related to your skeletal system. Your nails will also look healthy.

You'll Sleep Better

Have you ever had nightmares from eating too much ice cream? This is just one example of how an overly processed food can cause you to lose sleep. Cutting out harmful foods from your diet can give you a new lease on sleep. This in turn will help you more closely follow your clean eating food list during your waking hours. They call this a cycle of positive re-enforcement.

Better Overall Digestion

Eating clean means less stress on your digestive system and an overall healthier gut. It means that you'll be consuming food well into your later years. Preserving your means of transforming energy from one form to a form that supports your body's wellbeing can seem like an obvious task of importance. And it's one that clean eating solves with ease.

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A Clean Eating Food List

When committing to clean eating there are some foods that are mainstays. A lot of the time clean eating might mean cutting back on red meat and increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. Below we'll go into some more examples.

Organic Leafy Greens

In addition to helping you with your fiber intake, leafy greens are great for your heart and brain, and you can virtually never get enough of them.

close up photo of green salad

Image source: Pexels

plated fish dish

Image source: Pexels

Nuts and Fish

These two pair well for energy. Nuts have lots of iron which puts more oxygen in your blood. At the same time, eating fish is eating one of the leanest proteins there is. And the consumption of fish also improves your memory and brain function.

Fruits and Whole Grains

A good granola bowl with berries can get the job done here. Fruits are great for keeping your immune function high. In addition, whole grains are great for long lasting energy.

Some whole grains are complete proteins in their own right. This means they contain all the essential amino acids that the body needs. A great example of this is quinoa. It was consumed for centuries by the ancient Incan civilization in South America and contributed to their longevity.

bowl of oats with berries

Image source: Pexels

glass container with yogurt and berries

Image source: Pexels

Yogurt and Pro-Biotics

This also helps keep your gut bacteria in good working order. It's essential that your gut bacteria be kept healthy, because they help you digest certain things that your body cannot. Yogurt is great for maintaining healthy levels of gut bacteria, which in turn aids in your own digestion.

Teas and Tonics

Green tea especially can be a great way to give your body an antioxidant boost. Foods high in antioxidants help protect your cells and keep them whole in the face of environmental factors and from the beating that digestive enzymes and acids can sometimes have on your system. So feel free to incorporate them into your clean eating food list.

peppermint leaf beside cup of tea

Image source: Pexels

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Conclusion

We hope that in the process of reading this information, you are now better equipped to create a clean eating food list of your own. It may seem clichéd, but it's true that your optimal health is your very best wealth. It's something that you can carry with you throughout your life and it can be the foundation upon which you take on other physical endeavors.

So get on a clean eating track and be thrilled at what you can accomplish after that. Who knows, the decision to eat this way may contribute to you doing something as impressive as running a marathon or losing an incredible amount of weight that you thought was impossible. Here's to your health!

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Top 10 Brands and Flavors of Sugar Free Ice Cream

by Michael Brown on September 23, 2019

People managing Diabetes now have more options than ever when it comes to which foods they can eat.

Sweets, jams, desserts are all available, but sugar free ice cream has to be the most popular. We found the top 10 brands and flavors of sugar free ice cream.

How Is Sugar Free Ice Cream Made?

There’s no shortage of home-made sugar free ice cream recipes on the internet, but not all of us have the skills or the time to make our own.

Most recipes call for the use of sugar replacements such as powdered sweeteners and other ingredients. It’s important to remember that although these ice creams are sugar-free, they aren’t calorie free.

It always pays to check the labels of any foods you buy, particularly if you have a condition like Diabetes, or have food intolerances or allergies. When buying sugar free ice cream, you’re likely to note that they contain sugar alcohols or sucralose.

Many ice creams are made from milk, which contains lactose. This is a naturally occurring sugar, so many manufacturers eliminate it from the labels.

How We Chose Our Ratings

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​Image Source: Pixabay

Flavor and taste were our first considerations when we chose the items for the list. It could be the healthiest ice cream ever invented, but if it doesn’t taste good, nobody’s going to eat it.

Customer reviews and online recommendations helped us to decide which items belonged on our list, but we also looked at the ingredients, price, and size of each item.

See if you agree with our opinion of the top 10 best sugar free ice creams.

Top 10 Best Sugar Free Ice Creams

different ice cream flavors

Image source: pexels

What do you look for in your sugar free ice cream? A certain flavor, texture, or brand?

There are many sugar free option are available, and we researched and listed our favorites below:

Enlightened - The Good For You Ice Cream

[amazon box=”B079VM1R9P”]

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  • Calories: 100 per ½ cup serving
  • Sodium: 45mg – 2%
  • Protein: 7g – 14%
  • Total carbohydrates: 18g – 6%
  • Total fat: 3g – 5%

This is the crème de la crème of sugar free ice cream. It costs around $6.00 U.S. for one pint and customer reviews have mentioned how it tastes better than other sugar free ice creams.

Ingredients include skim milk, cream, wheat flour, brown sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy, coconut and eggs.

Enlightened have a huge range of sugar free flavors including caramel oatmeal cookie crunch, strawberry cheesecake, snickerdoodle and triple shot espresso.

Skinny Cow Vanilla Gone Wild

[amazon box=”B000PNCYHO”]

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  • Calories: 160 per ½ cup serving
  • Sodium: 140 – 6%
  • Protein: 4g
  • Total carbohydrates: 28g – 9%
  • Total fat: 2g – 3%

Skinny Cow promote their ice creams as being made from cows who have not been treated with the growth hormone rBST.

These are ice cream sandwiches made with a low-fat cream. They have no added sugar and are delicately placed between two chocolate wafer cookies.

The ice cream sandwiches are wrapped separately, are kosher, and are seriously delicious.

Ingredients include skim milk, palm oil, sucralose, modified cornstarch, and Isomalt.

Other sugar free flavors are the vanilla and chocolate ice cream sandwiches and the va va vanilla almond crunch ice cream bar.

Halo Top Vanilla Bean

[amazon box=”B06VW22SXN”]

  • Calories: 70 per ½ cup serving
  • Sodium: 110 – 5%
  • Protein: 5g – 10%
  • Total carbohydrates: 14g – 5%
  • Total fat: 2g – 3%

Halo Top use Stevia instead of sugar to sweeten their ice creams, so if you’re sensitive to Stevia, you’ll want to avoid this one. Other ingredients include organic cane sugar, vegetable glycerin, and sea salt.

There’s no shortage of flavors with Halo Top. You can also get birthday cake, peanut butter cup, s’mores, and black cherry.

Breyers Vanilla Chocolate Strawberry

[amazon box=”B01AS63ZAW”]

  • Calories: 80 per ½ cup serving
  • Sodium: 45g – 2%
  • Protein: 2g
  • Total carbohydrates: 13g – 4%
  • Total fat: 3g – 5%

Breyers sugar free ice cream range also come in vanilla, caramel swirl, and butter pecan. They’re certified gluten free and use sustainably farmed strawberries.

This ice cream contains under 2% of dutched cocoa that’s processed with alkali, carob bean, sucralose, and beet juice for color.

Breyer’s have been in operation since 1866, so they know how to make a good ice cream.

So Delicious Vanilla Bean with Coconut Milk

  • Calories: 100 per ½ cup serving
  • Sodium: 95g – 4%
  • Protein: 1g
  • Total carbohydrates: 18g – 6%
  • Total fat: 6g – 9%

This is a non-dairy sugar free ice cream so is suitable for people who are lactose intolerant. It’s gluten free, kosher, and verified by the non-GMO project. This means that the ingredients are not genetically modified.

This frozen dessert does have monk fruit extract in it, which means that there is a small amount of sugar added. The manufacturer uses the word negligible to describe it. The customer reviews were so favorable that we felt we had to include it on our list despite this.

Other flavors in this range include mint chip, chocolate, and butter pecan. They also have no sugar added ice cream bars in fudge and vanilla flavors.

Edy’s Slow Churned Vanilla Ice Cream

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  • Calories: 100 per ½ cup serving
  • Sodium: 30mg
  • Protein: 3g
  • Total carbohydrates: 14g
  • Total fat: 3g

Ingredients include milk products which we know has lactose in it, so there is a small amount of sugar in this ice cream. It also contains citric acid, xanthan gum, annatto color, and maltodextrin.

Other no sugar added flavors produced by Edy’s include fudge tracks, neapolitan, triple chocolate, butter pecan, and vanilla bean.

Blue Bunny Chocolate

  • Calories: 100 per ½ cup serving
  • Sodium: 50mg – 2%
  • Protein: 3g -m 5%
  • Total carbohydrates: 19g – 6%
  • Total fat: 3g – 5%

Blue Bunny’s no sugar added ice creams contain skim milk, buttermilk, acesulfame potassium, carob bean gum, and sucralose.

Blue Bunny have placed a warning on their website that this product contains sugar alcohol and consuming too much at a sitting may have a laxative effect. This is not unusual for sugar free, or no sugar added products.

Other flavors from Blue Bunny are double strawberry swirl, salted caramel craze, banana split, and peanut butter party. They also have no sugar added products in ice cream bars, cones, and sandwiches.

Turkey Hill Vanilla Bean

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  • Calories: 130 per ½ cup serving
  • Sodium: 50mg – 2%
  • Protein: 2g - 4%
  • Total carbohydrates: 16g – 5%
  • Total fat: 7g – 11%

This delicious ice cream is gluten free and caffeine free. It contains natural and artificial flavors, whey, cellulose gel, and non-fat milk. Turkey Hill produce a wide variety of ice creams, but Dutch chocolate is the only other no sugar added flavor.

Turkey Hill Vanilla Bean tops the reviews for best sugar free ice cream and perhaps they’ll increase their range of flavors in the future.

Hershey’s Butter Pecan

[amazon box=”B078XM2NLQ”]

  • Calories: 140 per ½ cup serving
  • Sodium: 115mg – 5%
  • Protein: 3g
  • Total carbohydrates: 16g – 5%
  • Total fat: 8g – 13%

Hershey’s offer a wide range of no added sugar flavors including coffee, strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate. Also, moose tracks and turtle sundae.

Ingredients in this flavor include pecans, food starch, sucralose, and non-fat milk.

Hershey’s is a well-known brand who offer several other products than ice cream. They’re also known for their ice cream cones, bars and sandwiches.

Klondike Vanilla Ice Cream Bar

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[amazon box=”B01AS9Q4BQ”]

  • Calories: 180 per ½ cup serving
  • Sodium: 70mg – 3%
  • Protein: 2g
  • Total carbohydrates: 22g – 7%
  • Total fat: 9g – 14%

We gave the Klondike Vanilla Ice Cream bar a low rating due to its calories level being so high. The ingredients include non-fat milk, cocoa powder, locust bean gum, sucralose, and carrageenan.

Klondike now offer a second flavor in their sugar free range called krunch. Both of these products can be bought individually or in packs of 6.

Why Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria Didn’t Make Our List?

There has been a lot of argument about whether or not Ben & Jerry make a sugar free ice cream. Their Moo-phoria range is considered to be light, but a quick look at the list of ingredients and you can clearly see sugar listed there.

According to the nutritional facts, Moo-phoria contains 15 grams of sugar and 140 to 160 calories per ½ cup serving. The total fat is listed as 4.5 grams which is higher than some on our list, but lower than others.

Buyer’s Guide to Sugar Free Ice Cream

chocolate and vanilla ice cream with cones in cup

Image source:pixabay

As you can see from our list, although some brands offer more flavors in their sugar free range than others, vanilla is by far the most popular flavor. However, it may also be the most popular flavor with ice cream that does have added sugar.

The advantage of vanilla flavored ice cream is that you can add any topping to it, whether that’s fruit, a syrup, or sprinkles.

Most of the ice creams on our list can be bought at your local grocery store, large supermarket, or local gas station.

What to Look for When Buying Sugar Free Ice Cream

As we mentioned earlier, the term sugar free is slightly misleading and no added sugar is perhaps the more accurate term. Our best advice is to read the ingredients sections carefully and remember that milk contains lactose, which is a natural sugar.

Some of the items on our list have included ingredients such as monk fruit extract which has a tiny amount of natural sugar in it.

Other ice creams on the list include the ingredients brown sugar or organic sugar. An argument could be made that these are in fact, sugars. However, in today’s environment sugar free only seems to apply to processed white sugar.

Other Factors to Consider when Buying Sugar Free Ice Cream

Although the cost of the ice creams on our list don’t vary much from the $6.00 U.S, mark for one pint, the other nutritional figures do.

For example, the ice cream that contains the lowest carbohydrates is the Breyer’s chocolate, vanilla, strawberry at 13 grams. The highest carbohydrate count is the Klondike vanilla ice cream bar at 22 grams.

The Klondike ice cream also has the highest calories count at a whopping 180, while the lowest is the Halo Top vanilla bean at 70 calories.

Our Choice of the Best Sugar Free Ice Cream

Your choice of the best sugar free ice cream will largely depend on why you want to eat a sugar free ice cream. If you’re doing so because you have Diabetes, a high calorie or carbohydrate count might not matter to you.

However, if you’re trying to lose weight, you may want a sugar free option that has a lower calorie count.

Our choice of the best sugar free ice cream goes to the number one on our list, the Enlightened chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. We chose this due to the almost 100% positive customer reviews we found, the price of a pint size tub and the wide range of flavors Enlightened offer in this range.

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The Top 7 Workout Gloves for Weight Lifting, MMA, and More

by Michael Brown on September 19, 2019

girl wearing her workout gloves to punch guy

​Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

​Some find them ridiculous, while others swear by them. What are we talking about? Workout gloves. When you think of the gym, the most common items that come to mind are weights and treadmills, respectively. If you routinely hit the gym, chances are you’ve seen someone with gloves on during a workout. They might look tacky, or provide a serious look, but the reality is workout gloves provide numerous benefits. From protection, to comfort, to improving your overall performance, there are key benefits to having your own pair.

Comparison Table

Product Name

Price

Rating

Cobra Grips Pro Grip Pads – Best Overall

Cobra Grips Pro Grip Pads

Fit Active Sports Weight Lifting Gloves – Best for Weight Lifting

hands wearing the Fit Active Sports Workout Gloves

Grip Power Pad’s FIT Grip Pads – Best for Extra Grip

Grip Power Pads for workout gloves

Hayabusa T3 Kanpeki MMA Gloves – Best Competition MMA Gloves

brown leather workout gloves

Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves - Best Boxing Training Gloves

a pair of black everlast workout gloves

Reebok CrossFit Training Gloves – Best Full-Body Gloves

Reebook workout gloves

Harbinger Power Weightlifting Gloves – Best Cheap Gloves

Harbinger workout glove

Of course, these specialized gloves not only work at aiding in your gym session, but they can be used for MMA, along with other action-sports. Thus, owning a pair gives you plenty of freedom to participate in activities you may not play otherwise. Plus, weightlifting is a solid way to shape your body, all while building muscle in the process.

Why Should You Wear Gloves When Working Out?

The biggest side effect of weightlifting, or MMA-style fighting, is calluses. Ultimately, your skin can’t take the beating. Whether it’s hitting something or simply grabbing a big steel bar, it takes a toll. No one wants skin marks that can hurt, scab, or ultimately bleed due to usage. Thankfully, workout gloves exist. These beauties allow you to think less about the taxation on your body, and more about that next set. With workout gloves, you’re able to put little distractions, such as sweat or pain, behind you. After all, working out is an exercise, so you’re bound to sweat.

When using glove when lifting, you should get extra grip strength. This combats the sweaty palms that most people suffer- again, which is expected-and keeps you going. Oh, and don’t even get us started on the germ aspect. How dirty do you think public, or even private, for that matter, gyms are? If you have dedicated gym gloves that can stay in your bag, you don’t have to think about your hands trapping other people’s germs every time you do some squats.

How We Choose the Best Workout Gloves

For us, workout gloves should provide some comfort, all while lasting a whole season. They should also give you extra grip that could be missing as your hands start to become sweaty. Overall, you don’t want too much padding, as that can hinder your performance, but enough to keep your upper-palms supported. Regarding MMA gloves, the top-rated for sparring come from trusted makers in the business, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.

To find the best that fit these criteria, we scoured numerous brands and experiences across Amazon and bodybuilding websites, along with MMA-based training sites. Our top 10 focuses on gloves for most gym-based activities, including boxing, MMA, weightlifting, and actual competition usage.

Our Top 7 Mixed-Usage Gym Gloves

Cobra Grips Pro Grip Pads – Best Overall

Cobra Grips Pro Grip Pads
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Let’s get this out of the way first: these workout gloves look hardcore. Seriously, they’re cut like a cobra. If that doesn’t seem like something you want to wear around, then there are alternatives on the list (see below.)

But, if you want to look good, and have the best, then the Cobra Grips Pro should be on your radar. These heavily-padded gloves feature a unique design, one that leaves your hand open for airflow, all while giving your wrist the support it needs. At 6mm thick, it’s one of the most-cushioned workout gloves you’ll find on the market.

While the company claims these gloves are best-suited towards heavy lifting, the reality is that they’ll be perfect for most weight, or machine-based, activities at a gym. Because they’re non-slip and provide a secure grip, exercises like rowing, among others, can utilize the features. The glove is crafted from a neoprene rubber, while also being available in a durable leather version, making it sustainable to use daily.

Fit Active Sports Weight Lifting Gloves – Best for Weight Lifting

hands wearing the Fit Active Sports Workout Gloves

Across the board, the Fit Active Sports Weight Lifting Gloves are no frills, maximum performance achieving workout gloves. They don’t look like anything fancy, but they have performance where it counts.

The gloves are manufactured from neoprene rubber, giving a good build platform with plenty of potential usage. While the inside is a full-palm covering design, the outside features an open-hand design for air ventilation. Among the features are silicon printed rubber inserts for extra grip, along with extra padding on high-traffic areas to keep you protected where you need it most.

The wrist wrap area is double fitted, providing you with injury prevention and comfort. Everything is easily adjustable with Velcro, plus they’re machine washable, which is a bonus.

Grip Power Pad’s FIT Grip Pads – Best for Extra Grip

Grip Power Pads for workout gloves

If the name doesn’t provide enough context, these “gloves” are featured for their impressive clasp. Sure, they may not take home any designer awards, but when you’re searching for gym equipment, style should be the last thing on your mind.

You want products that produce results, and the Grip FIT Power Pads do just that. The basis of this style for workouts is heavy lifting, so if you’re the type of person that does more weight during reps than standard, these should be right up your alley. They’re designed with a textile-patterned material that should eliminate most slippage when lifting.

Hayabusa T3 Kanpeki MMA Gloves – Best Competition MMA Gloves

brown leather workout gloves

Need some gloves to hit the ring? Look no further than the Hayabusa T3 Kanpeki MMA gloves. As a piece of equipment, these high-quality competition gloves will serve anyone well when they need it most, during a real fight.

Crafted from full-grain leather, this combination provides a versatile and hardy option for those who want some of the best gloves out there. The Dual-X closure design allows for hand and wrist stabilization to deter injuries and keep you protected. If you’re worried about bacteria growth, Hayabusa has you covered.

They lined the T3 Kanpeki gloves with the XT2 antimicrobial technology that inhibits germ growth and minimizes odors. Plus, it features thermoregulating properties to allow a cooler temperature when in use. They aren’t cheap, coming in at $110, but as is the mantra so often, you get what you pay for. These gloves are no different, and will last you a whole, so long as their taken care of.

Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves - Best Boxing Training Gloves

a pair of black everlast workout gloves

If you need to work on your skills before hitting the ring, these Everlast Pro Style Training gloves should help you reach peak performance. These are only valuable to those who need a training glove for their sparring sessions, as they’re a full-service boxing glove.

This glove features full padding in the front and back of the wrists to aid in using proper technique when throwing a punch, and the ThumbLok feature keeps your hands positioned correctly. All this aids in staying injury free, along with providing ways to improve your skills as a boxer. Concerning the materials, the Everlast product is formed from synthetic leather, providing increased toughness for any long session.

Reebok CrossFit Training Gloves – Best Full-Body Gloves

Reebook workout gloves

If you’d prefer an all-purpose, fully-enclosed style glove, then the Reebok CrossFit Training gloves could be a choice worth looking into. They’re available in both men’s and women’s sizes.

The glove itself is a simple, spandex crafted body that provides stretch and little restriction when needed. Other materials include standard nylon and gel pads on the palm areas for a cushioned grip. Reebok has moisture-wicking technology on the inside of the gloves to keep sweat cool and dry, and there are mesh areas with perforations that allow airflow.

Harbinger Power Weightlifting Gloves – Best Cheap Gloves

Harbinger workout glove

The last glove on our list is the cheapest, which may lead you to think negatively about the quality. However, price-to-quality ratio is very good, with the $12 price tag providing a good product. The Harbinger Power Weightlifting Gloves provide a mesh-based Lycra fabric on the top of the glove, while the palm area is reinforced with a double-leather fabric.

Both aid in providing a sturdy grip and abrasion resistance when you might need it most. In terms of workout gloves, these are your standard fair, and will only last around six months with average use. Again, this is mainly due to the quality of construction, while some people have found their gloves to bleed through after use. If you can get past these problems, though, they should serve you well.

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The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Workout Gloves

woman boxing

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

To get the most out of any exercise gloves, the first thing you must do is measure your hands. You won’t be happy if those precious gloves you buy don’t fit, so doing this simple, and easy, task will make a world of difference.

Most gloves are measured by the circumference of your hand. Measuring correctly is key to finding the right size. For this, grab a tape measure and close your strongest hand. Then, simply take the tape measure wrap it around the area just below your knuckles. Take note of the measurement.

Finding the right size may be the most important item to check off the list, but knowing the health of your body, specifically your hands, will also play a key role.

Think about it this way: if you have weak knuckles, you’ll probably want to find gloves that provide extra upper padding to protect those bones. Of course, you also should choose workout gloves that compliment your exercise style, whether you’re in a MMA ring or simply on a weightlifting bench.

While having MMA gloves for MMA-style workouts or sparring sessions makes sense, using these to do some deadlifts won’t be advantageous.

Lastly, you’ll always want to remember that quality matters.

Choosing a brand or specific model of glove that is made from stronger materials, such as Kevlar or leather, can have a big impact on durability and the lifespan. In the world of exercise gloves, you really do get what you pay for.

That’s not to say inexpensive options are bad, but just be wary of too-good-to-be-true prices.

Having Workout Gloves Can Be Beneficial

two pairs of boxing gloves hanging

​Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay

Even if you don’t think you need them, exercise gloves can prove to be valuable. If you prefer to power through sets and reps with the potential for injury and the germ-infested public gyms, then continue to disregard any gloves.

However, if you’d like to lift and workout safer then gloves can be a difference maker.

Keeping germs and bacteria off your body makes it easier to think about your workout, rather than outside issues. Workout gloves are there to help you, and if you happen to prefer bare hands or other methods when lifting, it’s not a chore to take them off.

Thus, there’s not much to lose when thinking about getting a couple.  

If you’re ready to try them yourself, grab a pair and hit the gym.

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The Top 5 Gym Bags To Hold Everything When Working Out

by Michael Brown on September 16, 2019

gym bag

If you’ve ever tried to hit the gym, chances are you brought something along to carry all your stuff. It’s pretty much a necessity. After all, working out requires different clothes, shoes, and equipment, generally, then your everyday wear. This means you need something to haul it around with, and the right bag can make a big difference. Between water resistance, lightweight, heavy duty, or a simple drawstring, there are quite a few styles to choose from.

Plus, you also need to think about the size and functionality of carrying something around day in and day out. But which is the best? Part of that has to do with the type you, personally, want. Of course, part of it has to do with the quality of the bags themselves, and that’s what we’ll be running through (no pun intended) today.

Why Are Gym Bags So Important?

You may not think it, but being able to stay organized, in and out of the house can make a huge difference on the amount of work you’re able to get done. This idea still holds true at the gym. Think about it: most people go to the gym with a limited amount of time to complete their routine for that day of the week. Having yourself organized and prepared for the session ahead can lead to a smoother experience. You won’t have to be searching for your weight lifting gloves, trying to locate your water bottle or Gatorade, nor will you need to find your clothes to change into.

Gym bags allow you to have all these items ready to go, plus more. No more clutter, no more searching for that GU Energy pack, and no more wasting time. Once you’ve found the perfect gym bag for yourself, workouts can become a breeze.

How We Chose the Best Gym Bags to Consider

As mentioned earlier, having the perfect gym partner, in bag form, can make a big difference in your workouts. To determine the best of the best, we had to consider all the options out there. This means that household names like Nike, Adidas, and The North Face all came into play, as well as higher products from manufacturers like Salomon, Arc’teryx, and King Kong. We also had to contemplate brands made by retailers such as Target and Walmart.

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Of course, these are just some of the products that might’ve made the cut. The criteria for the bags was straightforward. Most gym bags are constructed from 600D nylon material, for easy clean-ups, and generally feature a shoulder strap, along with a few mesh pockets, and sometimes a place for a water bottle. Thus, the biggest categories boiled down to ease-of-use, cost, dedicated pockets for dirty clothes (or shoes), and reinforcement of the bag itself. In addition, having zippers that were smooth and frustration-free was a bonus, as well as a relaxed cleaning process. All of that, along with the overall construction, were the criteria for our gym bags. Overall, there is a good variety of choices, and most people should find something specific to their usage.

The Best Gym Bags Available

Kuston Sports Gym Bag - Best Overall

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The best, overall option on our list, the Kuston Sports Gym Bag represents everything you should want to see in your everyday driver.

Sure, it’s a brand you may not have heard of, but that doesn’t stop it from topping our list. Let’s talk about the good: for starters, it’s a relatively inexpensive bag at roughly $30. In an industry were high-end manufacturers want to charge triple-digit amounts for their products, it’s refreshing to see a quality item that can last for less.

In terms of size, this sits among the smaller gym bags out there, coming in at 20 inches by 10 inches by 10 inches. Realistically, this is the perfect size for a change of clothes, a pair of shoes, water bottles, some snacks, your cell phone, and a pair of headphones.With all that, what else do you really need at the gym? There aren’t any external areas that would snag on a locker or grabbing it out of your car, which means frustration free training. The bag has an underside compartment fit for a pair of shoes and features an inside zipper pocket for any valuables that you’d like to keep hidden.

It’s constructed with metal materials for hinges, and features sealed, plastic waterproof compartment on the inside, in addition to the waterproof outer shell. Plus, it only weighs 1.5 pounds, making it lightweight before you put anything inside.

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King Kong Jnr Bag - Best to Last

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With a name like King Kong, you’d expect some heavy-duty build quality, and with their gym bags you get what you pay for. We’ll get this out of the way first, though: the Jnr Kong Bag is the most expensive product on our list.

While the $109 price tag may seem farfetched at first glance, you get the best warranty out of any other gym bag seen here, and the strongest material around. The bag is constructed of military-grade 1000D nylon, powerful steel fasteners, and is outfitted with Japanese-made YKK zippers for ultimate durability. That nylon is near-impossible to rip, steel is one of the stronger metals you’ll find, and the YKK zippers should last a lifetime.

You have the choice of seven different colorways, with something for everyone highlighted. This gym bag’s overall dimensions are almost the same as our number-one pick, coming in at 18 inches by 11 inches by 11 inches.

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North Face Apex Gym Medium Duffel - Best for Multiple Outfits

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Many should be familiar with the North Face brand. They make solid, quality outdoor equipment for the masses, with all price points represented among different product lines. It might be surprising to some, then, that they make very good equipment too. In this case, their Apex Gym Duffel, Medium size, fits the bill as one of the better gym bags you can buy. If you’re searching for a bag that gives you options for storage space and comfort, the Apex has you covered.

The outside is crafted from a combination of 420D nylon and 900D polyester with a waterproof, durable PVC coating. All that means is you shouldn’t be scared to throw it on the ground anywhere. Inside, you’ll find two main zippered compartments. One of which should be used for clean clothes, while the other is mesh and vented for dirty garments and shoes.

Concerning the dimensions, the bag comes in at 15 inches by 21 inches by 10 inches, with most of the width due to the double compartment on the inside. There are shoulder straps, as well as carry handles, to make it easy and comfortable to haul around. Of course, the North Face also offers a lifetime warranty on all their products. Should the bag ever break due to manufacturing errors, they’ll replace it for you, no questions asked. While not the biggest reason to consider one bag over another, this can be huge if you’re planning to use it if possible.

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Adidas Team Issue Duffel Large – Best for Large Storage

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Need something a little bigger for a complete equipment or outfit change? Say hello to the Adidas Team Issue Duffel bag. Sure, it’s quite a bit larger – in fact, it’s the largest out of all the gym bags-but that’s the point!

It’s named after the idea that you’d use it for team-based sports, thanks in part to the size and construction. There are four outside zippered pockets, along with a mesh pocket, to help keep you organized even with all your gear.

The bag measures in at 33 inches by 14 inches by 15 inches, allowing for 88 liters of storage space. One of the best parts about this bag is that it does come in three different sizes, small, medium, and the large one recommended here. All of them are cut from the same cloth, so to speak, so if you wanted a smaller version it’s available.

Material wise, the bag uses a combination of nylon, polyester, and elastane, which altogether Adidas calls Hydro-Shield, their water-resistant material. Everything is grounded by 600D polyester on the inside.

Inside, you’ll find two different pockets, a ventilated area for dirty shoes or clothes, and another that can store your valuables with due to a stealthy zipper compartment.

As with the North Face Apex Duffel, the German-manufacturers duffel includes a lifetime warranty, which should give you some wanted piece-of-mind. Sure, it’s not the fanciest of gym bags you’ll find, but the point is to get the job done, and for $50 the Team Issue does just that.

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Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 Small Duffle

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Marked with the classic, and big, Under Armour logo, everyone will know you mean business when you stroll through the gym doors.

Their Undeniable 3.0 Small Duffle presents a great option if you’re looking for a no-frills equipment bag. It measures in at 21 inches by 10 inches by 11 inches, providing the right size for most of the stuff you might bring. Using 600D polyester as the fabric, you’ll find the Undeniable 3.0 should hold up for a while.

The outside of the bag is coated with a water-resistant spray, giving you enough protection. On the pocket front, there is a ventilated pocket for dirty shoes or clothes, two outside zippered compartments, and one small internal pouch for valuables.

Really, the main drawbacks to this bag are materials, which is why we’ve docked it some stars.

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Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for in a Gym Bag

This might go without saying, but the biggest detail that should be present in any duffel bag your considering is quality materials.Any company can sew together some pockets inside fabric, slap some zippers on it, and sell it among the other gym bags. But the reality is quality and craftmanship still matter, especially so within a piece of equipment that will see daily use. Metal parts, along with higher-density fibers, make a difference, and will last longer than lower-grade options, like plastic or thinner polyester.

Of course, there are other parameters, such as water-resistance, comfort, ventilated or ventilated pockets, or even the zipper make, come into play. Make sure to ponder the features you value most, and make your decision based on that.

It’s easier to choose when you know what to look for, so hopefully you have a better understanding of what goes into a duffel bag now.

Gym Bags Can Make a Difference

As you can see, there is plenty of competition within the gym equipment category. From the big-name brands, to smaller, unknown manufacturers, plenty of companies are getting in on the gym bag game.

Thus, it’s more important to know what you value in a bag, and just how you plan to use it. Choosing the right bag may seem like a long process, but it should make a big difference on how you approach any gym days.

At the end of the day, always remember that the right gym bag for you is out there.

When you find it, you’ll be glad you did.

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