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A Crash Course on Basic Gym Equipment

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Whether you’re buying gym equipment for home or joining a gym, it’s important to have a sound understanding of basic gym equipment and what each item or machine does. Basic gym equipment can be broken down into two categories; free weights and machines, with the latter category comprised of two distinct subcategories; weight machines and cardiovascular machines.

Free weights

For many athletes, free weights are preferable to machines because they work more muscles; stabilizer muscles which balance the free weights. Once you’ve expanded your repertoire of free weight exercises sufficiently, you’ll find you can make each free weight workout different to keep things interesting.
Barbells and dumbbells: Barbells are the long iron bars, dumbbells are the short ones.

Bars: There are several types of bars to which weigh plates are attached, including straight, EZ curl and tricep bars.

Benches: There are numerous benches to use at gyms or buy for home use, including abdominal, flat, hyper extension, Olympic, Olympic incline and preacher benches.

Bars and racks: Some of the most popular bars and racks include the versatile power rack, along with squat racks and chin up and dipping bars.

Weight machines

Weight machines have an advantage over free weights for beginners as they’re easier and safer to use even though they don’t stimulate as many muscles. Having said that, most athletes use weight machines in combination with free weights so that they can perform both compound and isolation exercises.

Arm machines: Machines that work the arm muscles include bicep curl and tricep machines, plus you can also use pulleys, like the lat pull-down machine, to work your triceps.

Back machines: A number of machines are used to work the back muscles, of which the most notable is the lat pull-down machine that works more muscles than just the back.

Chest machines: Chest press machines and pec-deck machines are excellent examples of machines that work the chest muscles.
Leg machines: There are a number of machines that work the legs, such as leg extension, leg press, hamstring curl, sitting and standing calf raise, leg abduction, leg adduction and hack squat machines.
Cables and pulleys: Many gyms now have pulley machines which can be used to exercise your entire body.

Cardiovascular machines

Cardiovascular machines are excellent for warming up before a workout using weights, as well as after to maximise the potential for fat burning by following an intensive 45 minute weight session with an equal amount of time on a cardiovascular machine like a treadmill, exercise bike or cross training machine, all of which can be found in gyms or bought for home use.

Cross training machines: These machines provide an outstanding full body workout, plus they’re an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise.

Exercise bikes: There are two varieties of exercise bikes available, the upright and the recumbent, with the latter being much larger than the former.
Treadmills: Running on a machine over hard surfaces has been found to be much easier on joints, ligaments and tendons without sacrificing the benefits.

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Want Better Gains? Get a Better Mattress and Start Sleeping Better!

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Sleep isn’t something everyone immediately associates with lean gains. Turns out, new muscle gets built while we sleep! If you aren’t sleeping well then your body isn’t building muscle well. That’s just a fact.

What often slips our awareness is that small sleep disturbances can have rippling effects. If you wake up with a slight sore in your back each morning you’re probably not sleeping well. That slight soreness may indicate improper spinal support, troubling pressure points, or lack of contour support altogether.

What’s scarier is this: if you’ve never had a good night of sleep you wouldn’t even know it! After all, if I were color blind and didn’t know any better I’d assume that was normal perception. You may have been sleeping poorly all these years and not even realized it. Well, fixing that is easier than ever before!

Beds in Boxes

What’s the worst part of getting a new mattress, other than spending all that damn hard-earned cash? Moving it! Some local places will deliver but even then you’re stuck carrying it around your house.

In the past few years, there’s been a silent revolution in the mattress industry that the big guys like Sealy, Serta, and Sleep Number don’t want you to know about. This revolution has been led by mattress brands such as Casper, Leesa, Tuft & Needle, and Nectar Sleep. Never heard of them? Listen up.

These mattress brands started selling their products directly to buyers and cutting out the middleman. No more walking around in those awkward Mattress Firm stores (is it me or do new ones pop up every day?) These mattress brands make, sell, and ship their own mattress. You save, they save, and the best news? These mattresses ship by UPS all rolled-up tightly in boxes about the size of a mini-fridge!

Which Mattress is the Best Mattress?

Bed in box brands have found a way to get quality mattresses to people—hassle-free—for prices that are often 50% less than store brands. That means you can get a $1000 mattress for $500! It’s still just like any other market: there’s a price point for every budget. What’s different with these mattresses is that their price points have a lot less markup!

Websites like Home Refinery have tons of mattress reviews and can help you find the best mattress among many dozens of available choices. Fitbuff isn’t a mattress review website and we’d refer you to others like Home Refinery for more in-depth reviews. What I am prepared to do is offer up my personal opinion on a few different types of mattresses. Again, to find the best mattress of any type you need to check a site like Home Refinery or Consumer Reports.

Memory Foam

You’ve heard of it but have you ever slept on it? Memory foam hit the market with a splash but quickly lost fandom when people realized how damn hot these types of mattresses slept. Newer memory foam mattresses have found ways to cool things down and are worth another look. These are the best mattresses for back pain in most cases and probably the best for us gym rats looking for a deeper sleep.

Latex

Natural latex is used for much more than checking prostates and keeping babies out of your girlfriend’s belly. Natural latex mattresses offer a really responsive and caressing feel, similar to memory foam, but bounce back a bit more. These mattresses are heavy and more expensive but a great choice for all you health nuts out there. If you’re looking for the best mattress for sex then consider a latex mattress. They have a bit more “spring” to them!

Hybrids

These mattresses are usually the best choice for people who aren’t sure what they want. Hybrid mattresses usually have memory foam, latex, and sometimes even weird polymer materials in them. These types of mattresses give you a better overall sense of balance as you sleep. Not balance like “I’m so drunk imaboudda bust it” but more like “I feel like I’m sleeping on a cloud nestled on a trampoline sitting on a soft bed of moss.” They are available with everything other than a personal assistant.

In Closing

We all know that there are no magic pills when it comes to getting shredded. You get out what you put in. However, there are considerations to make such as adequate nutrition and proper sleep. If your body isn’t able to repair itself optimally each night your gains aren’t going to be at their max. So before you start popping sleeping pills or dropping cash on a Swedish massage get yourself a brand new mattress!

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5 Tips for Choosing the Best Location for Your Fitness Center

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A lot goes into building a fitness center and making it a successful business, and your initial instincts are right: One of the things that matters the most is location, location, location. Here are some tips to help you find the one that will work best for you.

1. Figure out what kind of building you need for your fitness center. Do you want your own, stand-alone property, or will you be best served in a building that houses many businesses (like a strip mall or office park)? If you want your own building, make sure you plan to budget for things like making sure the foundation is stable and solid, that all of the wiring is up to code, etc. It’s sort of like buying a house, but for your business. Of course, utilizing space in a shared building has its own set of issues you’ll have to deal with, too.

2. What kind of clientele do you most want to serve? Are you after the wealthy, nobody-seems-to-have-a-day-job types? Are you primarily interested in helping kids? Do you want to limit your clientele to one gender? All of these things factor in when it comes to where you should put your business. For example: If you want to serve business executives, your gym will work far better in your city’s business or financial district than it will if it’s all the way on the outskirts of town.

3. What kind of fitness center do you want to have? Are you going for the “standard” treadmills, elliptical, lots-of-equipment-type of fitness center? Are you going to be building a yoga studio or a center that focuses on fitness through martial arts training? Are you going to be offering Cross Fit or boot-camp-style programs? Each of these different types of fitness has different physical requirements.

4. How easy is it for people to get to your business? If you live in a larger city, make sure you take things like public transportation into account as well as easy freeway access. The harder it is for people to get to you, the less likely you are to build a business that becomes successful. Yes, people do actually take the bus or the train to go to the gym, especially if they believe that your fitness center is worth the trip!

5. Make sure you have enough parking. Why would somebody visit a fitness center whose parking situation forces them to have to walk half a mile from where they parked to your front door? That’s a quick workout right there! There are lots of different factors that go into figuring out how many parking spots you need. A good rule of thumb is to have a parking spot available for each piece of equipment you have (or each mat space, etc.) plus a few extra.

These tips are just the beginning. Try not to worry too much, though—your business will be up, running, and successful before you know it!

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How to Set Goals

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FC Barcelona Vs. Manchester United. In the Champions League soccer finals this year, it was these sides that clashed, and what a one-sided battle it was. Just like 2008, the latter gave up without any complaint, it seemed.

And if there was anyone who stole the show, it was Messi all the way, right from the start of their Champions League campaign.

And the beauty of it all is that they achieved this tough goal of being Europe’s champions by taking little baby steps that begins with the youth at the La Masia, Barcelona’s youth academy. (La Masia means ‘the farmhouse’)

It serves as an excellent example for those who love sport and are willing to put in long years of hard work in order to get to the top. And it’s no different with implementing a workout regime to certain goals either.

Goal Setting

While some people might refer to the phrase ‘the goalposts being moved’ as something that might throw you off guard if you are sticking to a plan, in most cases, these circumstances that are out of your control rarely occur.

Goal setting is not that difficult, really… and can applied to any area of your Life.

Whether it is to increase the amount of money you want to have in your bank accounts, or to pursue a quality education that will change your life for the better. What really matters here is direction and energy (quite literally, in the example of a workout regime) to pursue these goals… and you will get what you want.

One of the best methods to do this is by using the SMART goal setting technique that has been tried and tested now for years.

(Here’s a detailed link which shows you how to use the SMART technique for any goal that you wish to accomplish.)

While this is a more generic solution to the objective of goal-setting, let’s look at a few tips that might help use this technique smartly.

How to Set Goals for Achieving Results (in the case of a workout)

Here are five tips that can help you to set goals that are result-oriented in particular to a workout that has been designed specifically to get you looking fit:

Tip #1: Visualize, visualize, visualize…

Importantly, in being to get a mental picture of how you want to look, it often gives you a clear idea of what you have to work on in order to get there. If you think, “Oh, I’m working out to get fit”… this isn’t enough.

For example, use Arnie’s or another fitness expert pinup for inspiration. That should be a high-standard to work towards…

Tip #2: Be open

Some workouts can give you good results while others are a little slower. Don’t stick to the latter just because that’s the only thing you want to do. Try a new workout or two as you might just like it…

Tip #3: Mapping Progress

This aspect works as motivation as you work towards your goals along the way. Most people give up on working out because they are unable to map progress. If you can do this by checking how you fit into your old clothes or looking at yourself in the mirror, that can motivate you to try harder.

Tip #4: Goals take time

A tree doesn’t grow up in a day but it takes years and years until it begins to bear fruits. Reaching one’s goals is similar to this including workouts as well. Despite all the hoaxes and promises that you might read over the internet, most fitness experts have got that body to die for by putting years of effort in.

Tip #5: Giving up is for losers

This is as good as leaving a job half-done which any boss will not appreciate. So don’t give up. if you want, take a break… but DON’T give up!

In Closing

If you watch the Barcelona players when their on the field, you’ll know that they savor each moment of the game as they continue to make magic on the field. And it’s no different with working out either…

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