I spend a lot of time at the gym and even more time in the kitchen giving my body what it needs to repair itself and grow stronger. The third most important place for any athlete is their research zone. That's exactly why this site exists, to help me share all of the information I've learned throughout the years just like people did for me in the first place!
How often do you think about the quality of your gym clothes? Maybe you are the kind of person who carefully searches the material breakdown and durability of your workout clothes before you make a purchase.
Personally, I used to be the kind of guy who would workout in anything- free T-shirts I got from events or promotions, everyday clothes that I did not care to wear on the regular anymore- you name it, I have trained in it.
However, as I started to take my fitness journey more seriously, I began to pay more attention to my workout gear as well- particularly during high intensity training like CrossFit.
Whether I am training in the gym or competing on the platform, I need the performance of my CrossFit clothing to match the performance of my lifts, METCON workouts, and AMRAP sessions.
That means I am looking for comfort, durability, flexible, and breathable material, and finally something that will not break the bank.
When dressing for my next CrossFit training session, I trust Rouge Apparel. Why? Well, the answer is easy: Rouge is designing my barbells, plates, airbikes, and kettlebells, so they know best when it comes to the type of clothing that will provide me with the best level of comfort and functionality while I am working out on their gym equipment.
They are well known in the CrossFit community for being built to serve the wide range of exercises a CrossFit athlete performs.
You can sprint, jump, lift, and climb in these runners, while being confident that your foot is being supported and cushioned during your most rigorous training sessions.
What I like most about the Reebok Nano X1s is their new wider toe design that really allows you to grip the ground with your toes when you need stability and pivot when you are making sharp movements and need to sustain your speed and form.
These are my go-to shoes.
However, when I am performing heavier and more squat-oriented movements on the platform, like clean and jerks or hang snatches, I like to switch over to my Reebok Lifter PR IIs for the extra stability and mobility they provide me.
These shoes are specially designed with a raised heel that allows you to sit deep in your squat position when you are aiming for depth and good form.
They also provide a midfoot strap and rubber sole to lockdown the fit of the shoe and prevent unwanted shifts in your footing while you perform high intensity lifts.
During high intensity training that features a lot of running, box jumps, burpees, or compound dumbbell movements, I like to wear shorts to keep my cool even when my heart rate is up.
I recently purchased the Rouge Black Ops Shorts, and these have quickly become the best pair of shorts I own for my CrossFit training.
These shorts have a four-way stretch material that moves with your body no matter what exercise you are executing.
They also have mesh venting to keep you comfortable and cool. These shorts have roomy side pockets to safely carry your gym ID, cell phone, or keys.
They also feature a back stash pocket where I like to keep my gym FOB for when I am leaving the gym to run before coming back to lift weights.
No matter your height or body type, you can find Rogue Black Ops Shorts to fit you; they conveniently come with a 6.5 inch or 8 inch inseam for men, and a 3” inseam for women.
CrossFit Clothing: Pants
During barbell movements where the bar might come in contact with my skins, thighs, or hips, I like to prevent that nasty “bar burn” by wearing pants while I am lifting on the platform.
I have found the Rogue Joggers to be a great option for when I am warming up and want to keep my muscles mobile before training, or for when I want to comfortably perform compound movements with a barbell.
These are also strong enough to keep you from getting rope burn during rope climbs!
Do you have a t-shirt that you like so much, you own it in every color?
Yeah, that's me with the Reebok Crossfit Shirt. When fitness powerhouse Reebok came out with their line of CrossFit-branded clothing, you knew it is going to be good and this shirt is never in my closet for long.
This shirt is made up of 100% polyester jersey fabric, and all I can tell you about that is that it feels great even when you are covered in sweat and struggling to hit your last rep.
It uses Reebok’s Speedwick tech to intelligently pull sweat away from your body and keep you feeling cool and energized for longer training sessions.
This shirt is lightweight, comfortable, and versatile enough to take you from the rings, to the box jump, and then to the platform with ease.
Now, between sweat sessions and training blocks, I like to keep my muscles warm and mobile by throwing a sweater on over my t-shirt. I keep my Rogue Basic Hoodie in my gym bag or car for that reason.
Now, do not be fooled by the name; this hoodie is anything but basic.
While it features your regular hoodie design (front pocket, hood, drawstrings), this sweater also has the best material blend of cotton and polyester to keep you warm while still moving comfortably with your body during Crossfit workouts or stretch sessions.
This hoodie comes in size S to 2XL to suit all people.
It also has nine different color and pattern combinations to meet the preferences of athletes with more vibrant or subtle tastes in clothing design.
If you have not yet taken the time to consider how your workout clothing is increasing or inhibiting your CrossFit training performance, today is your day to start.
For newbie CrossFit athletes, I would recommend at the very least investing in a versatile CrossFit shoe to keep your feet stable and supported while your lifts become heavier and more technical.
And no matter how long you have been training, having CrossFit clothing that is geared towards your performance is vital; we know that the last thing you want to be thinking about while grinding towards your next PR or pushing out your last set of pull ups is an itchy, bunching, or stiff material.
Allow yourself to focus wholly on your goals as an athlete by checking out what Rogue Apparel has to offer for CrossFit trainees ready to bring their sessions to the next level.
Cycling boosts your overall cardio level, strengthening your heart, lungs, and muscles.
Prolonged exercise can lead to increased oxygen and blood flow throughout your body which in turn offers a number of health benefits, such as improved brain function, decreased blood pressure, better sleep, mood, immune system, etc.
#2. Weight Loss
Calories in and calories out, you can’t beat the physics of it. If you want to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you are taking in. Cardio exercise, specifically on a stationary bike can burn upwards of 600 calories per hour at an intense pace.
High-intensity workouts have been proven to burn fat and combined with a low-calorie diet, results will begin to show in no time.
One of the difficulties in losing weight is that a lot of cardio movements such as jogging are high-impact activities that wreak havoc on joints, let alone on a larger individual’s joints.
Personally, I find any type of running activity to be very difficult for me due to my knees feeling like they are going to explode. I prefer low-impact exercises for my cardio which is exactly what the VeloCore provides.
The VeloCore is a great option for those who have difficulties with high-impact forms of exercise.
#4. Strengthen Muscles
Stationary bikes are fantastic for training the legs and lower body muscle groups. Using higher resistance levels will increase the growth potential of your muscles as well.
Most stationary bikes focus on the legs, rightfully so with a cycling motion, but the VeloCore offers one more trick up its sleeve. The leaning motion of the bike also allows you to train the muscles in your core for balancing while pedaling on the bike.
#5. Interval Training
Stationary bikes are one of the best choices, especially for low-impact HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) training.
This specific type of training alternates bursts of intense exercise with longer intervals of less intense exercise. This type of training has been proven to be super effective in burning more calories in less time.
The ability to vary the resistance level on the bike from low, medium and high is also a big part of HIIT and makes it easy to vary the intensities.
The road can be a dangerous place for cyclists, commuters are always in a hurry and danger is always present. Stationary bikes eliminate the need for roads and offer better more comfortable and efficient exercise at home.
The comfort of not having to leave home, nearby amenities, and entertainment is a tough idea to beat.
Not only that, but indoor conditions are always ideal. Outdoors can be too cold, hot, or wet to enjoy your exercise.
When was the last time you felt like going out in a heatwave to cycle and exercise? With stationary bikes, you can cycle in the comfort of your air-conditioned home, and not have to worry about dressing for the weather.
Now that we’ve gone through the benefits of why it’s a good idea to exercise and invest in a stationary bike, let’s take a closer look at the VeloCore.
At first glance, the VeloCore bike is a sleek and elegantly designed stationary bike with a black finish and some red trim for highlights.
Upon further inspection, you will find the bike is still elegant and sleek, but that it is also a monster that will leave you clawing for air at the end of your workout.
Most Bowflex equipment is solid and well known in its appearance with a familiar matte black finish and high contrast red trim.
As far as looks go the bike is beautifully crafted and designed most likely standing out as a significant piece in your home gym.
Coming in at $1699.99 the VeloCore 16in console is pricey being a whole $750 more than the C6. The 22in console VeloCore is $2199.99, so again, it does have a hefty pricetag.
With the most obvious difference being the “un-stationary” pedaling mode, the biggest questions on everyone’s mind are; Is this another exercise gimmick? Is it worth the money? Am I going to actually use that feature?
Many people out there will find themselves second-guessing if this is the right choice for them. I will do my best to help you decide between the options and find out if the extra features are in fact as helpful as they seem on paper.
When it comes to the features of this bike, it may be easier to list what it doesn’t have. The VeloCore comes oozing with ton’s of features to make your exercise experience as amazing as possible.
Let’s cover some of the options and exclusive features of the VeloCore stationary bike starting with some physical numbers.
59.8” L x 24.1” W x 55.3” H
151.8 x 61.2 x 140.4 cm
Max User Weight
Min. Ceiling Height
User height + 16”
User height + 40.6 cm
Along with the big and obvious practical feature, the VeloCore is very well refined coming with plenty of often-overlooked comfort features.
The VeloCore comes with an adjustable seat in both the vertical and horizontal axis while keeping the seat very minimal. Along with the seat, the handlebars and adjustable as well, letting you get as comfortable as possible.
The VeloCore has dual-sided pedals further increasing your options and immersion level. One side of the pedals has SPD clips for cycling shoes and the other has toe cages for athletic shoes. Either way, there are no excuses to not start pedalling.
The VeloCore comes with a 16 or 22-inch display, the latter being the more commonly found display on modern HD touchscreens.
This is a welcome change from having to use a tablet or phone to connect with your training sessions such as Peloton.
Some users say the 22-inch display can be a bit overwhelming with the proximity of the user to the screen but I feel most people shouldn’t have any issue considering how much screen time we all already get anyway.
The VeloCore offers a 2 month free trial to the JRNY experience. The JRNY platform is a smart fitness platform that assesses your fitness level, and provides recommendations based on your ability, time, mood, and the workout experience you enjoy most.
That’s not all the JRNY platform allows you to receive individual adaptive workouts, real-time coaching, entertainment streaming, exploring the world, on-demand classes, as well as rewards and tracking.
Within the large display you can also find your latest metrics courtesy of the wireless Bluetooth armband that tracks your vitals.
This metrics tracker allows tracking of: Time, interval, Distance, Calories, Burn Rate, Heart Rate, Cadence, Resistance, Lean, and Watts. The speakers on the bike are also Bluetooth in case you aren’t interested in wearing headphone or earphones.
Multiple Riding Styles
This is the main selling point of the Velo-core. The new “un-stationary” bike is designed to provide a more thorough exercise than most stationary bikes are capable of.
Pedalling while leaning to a side proves to be quite a challenge for somebody who has never really cycled seriously. I felt my core activating as I tried to lean into my turn and push through my HIIT routine.
I must admit that it is surprisingly more difficult than I expected and I would be lying if I didn’t feel a little bit extra sore the next day.
So to answer the question, No, the leaning function of the bike is not a gimmick and provides a significant increase in difficulty to an already exhausting workout.
I could see a significant amount of core strength being developed from seriously training on the VeloCore and it adds a nice uniqueness that keeps the exercise fresh and exciting.
That being said, the leaning feature of the VeloCore seems more intended for advanced users perhaps not by intention but by difficulty level.
I don’t see too many average people out there who are going to go out of their way to push themselves extra hard on this. While the idea is a brilliant one for those of us who are always looking to push ourselves that one extra step.
The added muscle targeting and training is just a cherry on top and saves me time having to find a way to exercise those muscles anyway.
If the leaning feature is not up your alley or is too difficult for the time being, the bike can revert to a regular stationary bike mode by just locking the pin so the bike can no longer pivot.
This is useful too for those who may not be strong enough at the moment to use the leaning feature but given some time and training would love to benefit from its use.
The VeloCore bike comes with 100 different magnetic resistance levels to vary to the effort required on the bike. This option is especially useful for HIIT as the variable intensities of the 100 different resistance levels will help with completing the workout.
When it comes to warranties, Bowflex has been all over the place with them. Offering a 2-year frame, 2-year parts and electronics, and a 1-year labor warranty seems a bit lackluster for a product of such caliber especially from Bowflex.
That being said thought the warranty is still better than anything the competition has to offer. Extended warranties can also be added after purchase. These types of warranties are usually not recommended due to them almost never being worth it.
In the case of this tech-heavy stationary bike, I would lean towards as much coverage as possible since Bowflex products tend to be a little bit more intricate, and being too prepared is never a bad thing.
Recommendation and Where to Buy
The VeloCore is an incredible machine of a bike. This thing will kick anybody’s but in regular cycling mode, but activating the leaning feature will absolutely destroy your core in the best stability workout you’ve felt in a long time.
With the best warranty in the business and a media center comparable to the rest of the competition out there, VeloCore is rolling ahead of the competition with a stationary bike that can target much more muscle groups than a standard bike can.
For those seriously interested in pushing their limits and building strength and endurance, this bike is the answer and can be found at Bowflex's official site.
For the people out there looking for a more casual workout experience who are just starting or know they won’t go deep into the routines, I recommend starting out with a simpler Bike such as the Bowflex C6 which has very many similar core features excluding the advanced leaning feature.
You can nearly afford two C6 bikes at the cost of only one VeloCore, so if you know the leaning feature is too advanced for you and won’t be used then the C6 is a much more economical choice for you.
The world of bikes is constantly evolving and changing thanks to advancements people are making in the fitness field.
Every year I get excited because new bikes come out with a ton of new features that I get to try out and sample.
These features can either make my workout that much better, or they can make it easier for me to gather the motivation to get my butt onto the bike.
That being said however, you do have to look at the bikes out there and decide what is best for you. In this article, I’m going to be talking about the difference between a studio cycle bike and a stationary bike.
While they might share plenty of things in common there are also a few major differences. What do you say we dive right in and explore the world of bikes once again.
When talking about a studio cycle and a stationary bike, the main difference people address is the features that are going to be on the bike.
Typically when people talk about a stationary bike, they are talking about the standard bike that you are going to find in your home that isn’t going to take up much room.
Don’t get me wrong, they still deliver a kick-ass workout, but they lack a bit of the luxury that comes with in a studio cycle.
Well you might have guessed already from what I just mentioned, but a studio cycle is going to come with the whole nine yards. This is not just a bike, this thing is like a cockpit and you are going to have full control of a ton of different features.
When we talk about studio cycles, we are generally talking about the bikes that you are going to be finding at your gym when you workout.
These are high quality pieces of equipment that are optimized to get your muscles going. I do want to mention some of these features so you can get an idea of what to expect from both of these bikes.
When it comes to durability, it’s actually a toss up when it comes to comparing the standard stationary bike to the studio cycle.
Take the Rogue Echo Airbike for example which is according to the definitions I laid out, a higher end stationary bike. It does away with the standard chain system and instead opts for a belt drive.
This helps to keep the bike working for much longer without needing much maintenance at all.
This is a step up from their older product the Rogue Assault, as that goes on the standard chain system. These types of systems are subject to failure and maintenance.
When it comes to bikes however, it isn’t just about the chain or the belts either. The next thing you want to look at with durability is the size of the bike itself.
Now, if you’re working out at home, I totally understand if you don’t have the room to buy yourself a large bike. It can be tough to dedicate a section of your room to working out.
Typically, stationary bikes are much smaller than your studio cycles. What does this mean for you guys?
I don’t know if it will affect you too much, but with some of those smaller cycles, I could find myself rocking them back and forth during intense workouts.
Studio cycles give you that extra bit of stability and size so you can really push yourself to the limit. That doesn’t mean a stationary bike can’t be large or stable, it’s just less common to see.
A bike like the Schwinn AC Performance which is a fantastic stationary bike by the way, is incredibly stable and definitely one of the best bikes out there for someone who is looking for an intense workout without much fluff added on.
Overall, larger bikes are going to provide you with a bit more stability and that’s where studio cycles shine. Stability can lead to durability as you aren’t rocking the bike back and forth during your intense workouts.
I touched on this above but I just want to mention it again. With your standard studio cycle, you are going to be taking up a lot more room in your home than with a stationary bike.
You are looking at a wide and heavy bike for your house that can sometimes even be elevated quite high.
Bikes like the Stryde Bike are definitely going to be taking up much more in comparison to something such as the Bowflex C6.
The Bowflex C6 is meant to be compact like all Bowflex products are and it is meant to deliver that workout that you are looking for.
Something like the Stryde has a ton of different gadgets on it and even a screen, while the Bowflex C6 not only keeps everything small, but it also adds a holder for your dumbbells.
Studio cycles are built to provide you with as many options as possible for your workouts and thus are naturally going to be slightly larger than their stationary counterparts.
This is the bread and butter of a studio cycle right here and it is what differentiates it from the standard stationary bike.
A studio cycle is going to have a TV attached onto it that you have a ton of different options with.
Are you torn between watching your sports game or getting a good workout in? Why not fire up the TV and watch it while cycling.
Bikes like the Peloton Bike+ go the extra mile and even offer workouts that you can load onto the screen. They do cost a small subscription fee, but does it ever take cycling to a new level.
With a studio cycle like this, it’s no longer just pedalling for 30 minutes. Be prepared for a full-on interactive workout here.
Peloton aren’t the only ones to do something like this either. The NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle is another great bike that has a pretty big TV mounted onto it.
Whether you are looking for a casual workout while you watch your favorite sitcom, or an intense guided workout, you can get it with these studio cycles.
I personally love them because if for some reason I’m ever struggling to gain motivation, I simply fire up my favorite TV show and crank out a quick cardio session.
Stationary bikes might not have that giant mounted TV, but that doesn’t mean they are useless when it comes to providing information.
Most of the time they will come with a small little monitor to display some relevant information. You aren’t going to be getting much out of it, but you definitely won’t be biking in the dark either.
The last thing that I want to mention between these two bikes is the resistance. From my experience, whether you are going with a stationary bike or a studio cycle, they are going to be relatively the same.
The only time I can say there will be a noticeable difference is if you are going with one of those cheaper stationary bikes.
All of these bikes have a great interface where you can control the resistance to get exactly what you are looking for.
One studio cycle that shone in this department however was the Pro-Form Studio Bike Pro 22.
This thing not only came with a TV, but it also changed the resistance during your workouts automatically if you were following someone. This makes it an incredibly easy bike to use regardless of the resistance controls.
Aside from that, I would say that fairly all bikes functioned the same way when it came to resistance.
Overall when it comes to a studio cycle vs. a stationary bike, the main difference you are looking at here is the size of the bike itself and the TV screen.
To me, studio bikes are not only a place to workout, but also a place where I can go for entertainment. On those days where I don’t sleep well or am feeling sore, that TV has been a godsend.
Stationary bikes do away with a lot of the bells and whistles and instead focus on either budget, or pure performance.
In some cases, these stationary bikes are going to outperform the studio cycles, as you can really push them to another level.
As for what you should consider buying, it is totally up to you. Are you looking for a bike that can be used in a compact space, or do you want something that is large and in charge? Is the mounted TV a mandatory thing for you as well?
Make a list of what you are looking for in a bike and then see what fits your style. No matter what you pick, the important part is that you are getting yourself the exercise that you need.
Foam rolling, or self-myofascial release for its proper scientific name, is a common method of relieving muscle pain by applying pressure on any tight muscle areas.
No matter what your workout routines look like, how regular your fitness schedule is, how old you, what your diet looks like or even what your family’s medical history predicts, muscle soreness is a common phenomenon that every person experiences.
For those who are less experienced at working out, muscle soreness or deep tissue pain can come from many things: playing sports for the first time in a long time, improper workout form, forcing your body to lift, run, engage or control itself more than it can handle at that moment, not taking breaks, or even from something as simple as sleeping in an uncomfortable position.
For more experienced fitness participants, even though your body’s tolerance threshold will be much higher, muscle soreness can come from all of these still, as you challenge your body with more intense workouts.
Because of how common and popular muscle soreness is, foam rolling has become not only a useful technique, but a necessary one that successfully relieves muscle pain.
Self-myofascial release used to be a rare practice only used by Eastern cultures, professional athletic treatment, and massage therapy education--it used to be considered a technique of the “high culture” in the fitness world, but as home workouts became popular, more local gyms started to appear, and with its cheap prices, this form of muscle recovery was destined to be an accessible and practical activity.
When you work out, your muscles are exerting a lot more force and energy as they are used to when you are sleeping, sitting on a chair, eating, reading, watching movies, playing video games -- basically, when you are not working out.
During your workout session, your muscles are engaging and are challenging their limits.
However, sometimes the muscles can be worked out too much, and then the result of the workout is more pain than gain.
You may have heard the term of “tight muscles” to explain this feeling, and that is correct.
Your muscles are stuck in a position of engagement, your blood flow is restricted and your movements are less fluid and graceful due to this “knot” of muscles.
Scientifically speaking, what happens is that the deep tissues of muscles become engaged, or challenged, during a workout, which in turn affects blood flow and a straining sensation across your body.
Depending on how hard you work out, your muscles may be too strained to go back to its pre-workout state of elasticity, relaxation and general ease. Therefore, external pressure is required.
To clear this tightness or concentration of tense muscles and restricted blood flow, pressure applied from the outside is required to help guide blood flow and relax the muscles, and this practice is called self-myofascial release, or foam rolling.
Explanation of Foam Rolling
What exactly does foam rolling do, and why is it so helpful?
Think of the practice as a form of self massage, except instead of using your hands, you are using a round, foam object like a roller or even a tennis ball--anything that is completely round and has a surface that is not hard.
Instead of staying still and having the hand massage your area of pain, you would lie on the roller and move back and forth so that your natural body weight is applying pressure along the surface of the roller.
What this accomplishes is that your movements on the foam roller will help to break up the muscle knots and tension, thereby allowing for unblocked bloodflow and muscle relaxation in between the muscle layers.
Because the main goal is to have your muscles functioning the way that they normally do, foam rolling is a great idea to quickly smoothen out the tightness and discomfort of any kind of muscle pain.
Although stretching is a common way to fix this, foam rolling serves a much more effective purpose because you are relying on your own body weight along the pressure area, as opposed to naturally stretching the tense spot.
A few hours after a successful foam roll, you will notice that your soreness has been significantly alleviated, your muscles will feel more relaxed and elastic, your blood flow will have been smoother and better functioning and over time you will notice that your body will have a higher threshold before becoming sore again.
Obviously, depending on the level of muscle soreness, you might have to foam roll for a few consecutive days.
Best Foam Rolling Exercises
Foam rolling requires movement, and the idea is that the roller will move so as to rub along your body, with your body weight and gravity working together to apply pressure onto it.
As you can imagine, foam rolling is most effective when used on longer parts of your body, as opposed to smaller and more intricate areas of your body--although they can be used there too.
I will provide six of the best foam rolling exercises that I felt helped me the most for common areas of muscle soreness, starting from the upper body and then going down to the lower body.
It should be mentioned that these foam roller exercises should be done on a flat surface, away from any stairs or potential obstacles or impediments.
This is especially common during any normal day or after a workout.
Whether you work at an office or engage in an intense upper body workout, we are all prone to neck soreness.
Lying down, rest your neck on the foam roller above your shoulders, similar to a pillow
Slowly turn your head right and left. If you feel a tightness anywhere, hold that position
Repeat as necessary
Muscle soreness here is common after any kind of arm workout. For this, I recommend doing the same exercise for both sides, even if only one side is sore.
Lie on your side with the foam roller underneath your shoulder (your lower body can relax on the floor. If needed, your other arm can be on the floor too to guide movement)
Slowly move up and down between your shoulder and just above the elbow
Repeat as necessary, then switch sides
Upper Back Stretch
Most common among those with bad posture, this exercise is ideal for office job workers or anyone who generally holds tension in the upper back.
Lie on your back with the foam roller underneath your upper back. Bend your knees with your feet planted flat on the floor (your arms can be on your chest or at your sides, anywhere except on the floor)
Slowly roll back and forth until the roller goes as low as your mid back
Repeat as necessary, stopping at any tight area
Similar to the shoulders, this stretch is ideal after heavy arm and shoulder workouts. Probably the most common source of muscle pain, this exercise should be done on both sides even if only one side is experiencing discomfort.
Lie on your side with your arm extended in front of you. Place the foam roller under your armpit area (your legs can be bent about 45 degrees for grip and comfort)
Slowly roll back and forth, stopping at any tight areas
Repeat as necessary
More so for blood flow than for muscle soreness, this exercise is ideal for those who are sitting for long periods of the day. For those who play sports, this is a common area for soreness.
Lie on your stomach and place the foam roller under your quads (think of it like a plank position while resting your quads on the roller)
Slowly roll back and forth with the roller going as low as right above your knees, and as high as just below your hips
Repeat as necessary, stopping at any spots that have tension or significant pain and discomfort
Hamstrings & Calves Stretch
This is another common area of muscle tension and soreness due to regular activities in the day, such as walking, running, standing still in an improper position or lack of stretching. It can also occur from simply wearing improper shoes.
Similar to the shoulder and lat stretches, it is best to do this exercise on both legs even if only one is bringing discomfort.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended, placing the foam roller underneath your hamstrings (your arms should be stretched out straight behind you so that you can comfortably lean on your hands)
With your weight applied to the foam roller, slowly roll back and forth until the roller goes as low as your calves and as high as your hamstrings
Repeat as necessary, stopping at any spots that have tension or significant pain an discomfort
Foam rolling is a common and practical way to relieve any person from muscle soreness or deep tissue discomfort.
As an added effect of helping to guide blood flow, this popular method of self massaging will have a proven effect on your muscle recovery.
Reports suggest that the average American person owns 19 pairs of shoes. But, how many of these are gym shoes? And how much time are you spending considering the best gym shoe for your weightlifting goals?
Believe it or not, shoes can make a big difference when it comes to training. Runners need specific shoes to support their feet and ankles during long distance training.
People who train with high intensity interval training of Tabata circuits need hybrid shoes that allow them to jump, run, and lift with strength and stability.
Similarly, enthusiasts who participate in Olympic lifting, whether they are just breaking into the sport or are long time athletes of Olympic lifting, must find a shoe that fits them comfortable while providing them with mobility and stability as they increase the weight on the bar.
As the fitness market continues to expand, and sports like Olympic weightlifting, Cross-fit, and powerlifting grow in popularity amongst men and women, more and more well known brands are designing shoes with the needs of these athletes in mind.
With such a broad market of options, it can be difficult to decide which shoe to buy, not to mention time consuming as you switch between tabs trying to compare the details and structure of each shoe.
So, I am putting together this article that will compare the top 8 Olympic weightlifting shoes available to consumers.
My intention is to provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of each shoe to give you an easy guide when you are shopping for the shoe to bring your lifting to the next level.
The Olympic weightlifting shoes I am going to review are as follows:
#1. Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II (Editor's Choice)
As with a lot of weightlifting accessories, brands tend to market towards a male audience and we see the consequence of this with the wide array of choices men have when purchasing Olympic weightlifting shoes in comparison to women.
I have a feeling this unbalance in the market will change as brands catch on to the movement of more and more women joining Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, and powerlifting as a way to gain strength and functional fitness.
This is also why when I find a high quality olympic weightlifting shoe designed for men and women, I need to talk about it.
The Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II is a powerful, versatile shoe that benefits all athletes, no matter their gender.
The Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II’s have a cool history: these Olympic shoes were originally designed for the London 2021 Summer Olympics, and who better to follow when it comes to weightlifting shoe choice than the world’s top Olympic athletes?
The Adidas Adipower Weightlifting IIs improve on that original design to make shoes suited for highly stable and powerful Olympic movements.
Heel Height: 20.1mm lift
Strap and Laces lockdown closure
Strong TPU midsole
These shoes can boost the performance of male and female weightlifters no matter what weight you are stacking on the bar.
They feature a heel height of 0.79 inches (or 20.1 millimeters) and a secure midfoot strap that is best for Olympic weightlifting movements like the Olympic snatch and the clean and jerk.
It is worth mentioning however that this shoe does not limit its performance to just those two movements; its flexible foot, reinforced heel, breathable material, and natural fit caters to a variety of strength training movements.
As for look, the women’s version of these Olympic shoes go for a more feminine and subtle appearance with a light purple tint. Men have more color options, ranging from black and white, to all black, to a neutral green.
In the world of Olympic weightlifting shoes, Nike Romaleos are a classic and popular choice.
These Olympic shoes boast a high heel lift; the thought process behind this is the higher your heel is off the ground, the greater ankle flexion you are able to achieve, resulting in a deeper squat and allowing for you to perform a more explosive movement from the lowest point in your squat.
The Nike Romaleos 4 Olympic shoe also provides mid-sole support to give you a firm base while you perform your lifts. They have a durable rubber sole that aims to prevent any movement of your foot weight performing lifts under the barbell, like power cleans, front squats, or squat cleans.
They have a wider heel than other Olympic shoes, which increases the surface area of your foot to provide even more stability.
Finally, these shoes also include an adjustable flap over the midfoot to secure your laces, again increasing stability and security during your most powerful Olympic movements.
Adjustable Wide Straps
Rigid Midsole and Large Heel Lift
Rubber Tread for durable traction
In terms of style, you have options with these Olympic weightlifting shoes. The Nike Romaleos 4 come in a white shoe with black trim for a more classic gym shoe look.
You also have the option of an all black shoe with minimal white highlights that give off a more powerful and edgy appearance.
The Reebok Legacy Lifter II Olympic shoes, with their intuitive and detailed design, are sure to catch the eye of passersby in the gym.
These shoes have a serious and confident look that will surely translate into your lifting when you wear them.
These Olympic weightlifting shoes feature a purposeful 0.86 inch (or 22 millimeter) heel constructed by durable Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) that again will provide depth and mobility to your squat- oriented movements.
Stepping away from the norm, these Olympic shoes feature anti microbial lining that may protect your feet from bacteria which is a great option for people whose feet tend to sweat a lot or people who often deal with fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
Because of its thoughtful design that aims to conform to and care for your natural foot, the Reebok Legacy Lifter IIs are well known for the comfort and versatility they offer their wearer while you are smashing your PRs.
TPU Clip and Lifted Heel
Grip Rubber Outsole
In terms of appearance, you have four options for colour with these shoes: blue and white, black and white, all black, or grey and black with a really classic brown sole.
The wide variety of options here guarantee that you will find a shoe that suits your style. What really stands out on the body of these Olympic weightlifting shoes is the strap around the mid foot that provides the stability you need and also features the classic Reebok name and logo in an attractive layout.
In all weight lifting sports, whether it be Olympic weightlifting, Crossfit, or powerlifting, being able to perform a strong and stable squat is the cornerstone for success.
While the right pair of shoes will not make or break your ability to perform a squat, they absolutely can improve your depth, stability, and drive while under the bar.
Adidas Powerlift 4s are a shoe that comes strongly recommended for people who often perform barbell squats to depth.
Specifically, these shoes feature a 0.6 inch (15 millimeter) heel made from a thick and dense EVA foam that allows you to comfortably sit deep and upright at the bottom of your barbell squat during Olympic weightlifting movements.
If you are looking to increase your ability to drive up heavy weights in a squat, these shoes might just be your secret weapon.
Durable Adiwear outsole
Heel height: 28 mm (size 9)
Product code: BC0347
Adidas Powerlift 4s are affordable shoes that are well known in the powerlifting circuit.
They are designed with a full outer canvas (think durability: canvas is often used for backpacks and tents) that holds up well when you need a stable shoe.
Despite its durable construction, this shoe is lightweight and does not require much breaking-in. The only downside to the canvas material is that these are not the most breathable shoes on the market.
The slip resistant rubber outsole on these shoes, paired with a thick strap across the front of the shoe to secure the fit, ensure your foot is stable under any weight that you are grinding up.
In terms of fit, Adidas boasts a more narrow fit with these Olympic shoes, so people who have wider sized feet might want to look further for their perfect shoe.
Style, on the other hand, will appease all lifters: these Olympic shoes feature a sleek design of an all black design with gold branding that will make you look like a high level athlete.
This is the third Adidas Olympic weightlifting shoe on this list, which should indicate to you that Adidas is trying to cater to all level athletes and shoe preferences with their Olympic shoe designs.
The benefit of this Olympic shoe, the Adidas Power Perfect 3, is durability that will surely last years of training on the platform, without burning a hole in your pocket.
For stability and to increase your mobility, the Adidas Power Perfect 3 Olympic shoe has a 0.75 inch heel and a secure strap that velcros across your mid foot (both standard for the market).
The material is thicker than other shoes I have reviewed, with reinforced leather on the heel and double stitching alongside the shoe, which demonstrates this shoes’ durability.
The raised heel is also made of high density EVA foam which will withstand compression while you perform Olympic weightlifting movements, to ensure you have explosive force when you are standing up from under the bar.
These shoes withstand the test of heavy back squats, power cleans, and clean pulls while having a short break in a period of only a couple of weeks.
Durable Synthetic Upper and Adiwear Outsole
Hook-and-loop Instep Strap
Air Mesh Collar
Integral Rearfoot Heel Support
Now, how about look? Like all Adidas shoes, these feature the classic three stripes of the brand. The logo is more apparent on the all black shoe, where the white stripes stand out and are complemented by the gold accents.
Alternatively, the Adidas Power Perfect 3’s also offer a choice of shoe with black and grey body with a brighter coral coloured heel.
If you are looking for a more versatile shoe that will carry you across Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, and powerlifting training as your interests change, consider the Do-Win Classic Lifter.
The performance of these shoes are in their name: they feature a classic design that will help you “win” and smash your PR lifts.
These shoes are the original Rogue Olympic weightlifting shoes; they are being relaunched with an updated, intuitive design and stylish vintage appearance. In 2007, these were the first shoes popular lifting brand Rogue Fitness sold, meaning this shoe has a history of cutting edge weight training accessories behind it.
As for structure, a simple 0.75 inch raised heel, breathable material, and double straps over the mid foot for controlled stability will serve casual to advanced athletes alike.
The heel features classic stacked genuine leather to create a solid base during your heavy lifts, and their cool mesh body will allow for breathability during longer training sessions or all day wear during competitions.
Finally, their rounded toe shape allows lifters with wider feet a guaranteed comfort.
Suede & Mesh Upper w/ Rounded Toe Shape
Ventilation for breathability, reduced moisture
2 Hook-and-Loop Tarsal Straps
Stacked Leather Heel
The Do-Win Classic Lifter comes in bold red, blue, and black designs paired with white trim and a timeless brown heel.
Their suede and mesh body give off an appearance that says vintage meets functional and shows your respect for the sport while embracing new advancements in shoe design.
Next, the Reebok Lifter PR IIs come recommended for CrossFit athletes looking to smash PRs with a shoe they can trust to carry them from power cleans to snatches to muscle ups to burpees.
These Olympic weightlifting shoes also come at a very affordable price, which is ideal for people who are still experimenting with wearing raised heel shoes during weight training.
These shoes are the best of both worlds: they offer a 22 millimeter heel to toe drop that allows you to get deep during squat oriented movements, and drive up with the power you need to move heavy weight with proper form.
Also, they feature a breathable and comfortable design on the upper part of the shoe that makes these almost like a running shoe hybrid.
This is excellent for CrossFit athletes because a lot of Olympic weightlifting shoe designs really aim to have a highly structured upper shoe for stability, but the flexible and low cut heel design of the Reebok Lifter PR IIs makes switching to burpees or the calorie bike a lot more feasible and comfortable.
EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
Rubber outsole for traction and durability
As well, the single strap over the midfoot can provide foot stability while keeping laces safety secured to prevent them from interfering with your more dynamic and fast paced CrossFit training.
If you are seeking a traditional and unassuming gym shoe look, these shoes are for you. The Reebok Lifter PR IIs come in grey and white, all black, and a more colorful option of blue, white, and orange to suit all preferences.
Now, while we have reached the end of my review list, do not underestimate the final Olympic shoe I want to mention: the Do-Win Weightlifting shoe.
These Olympic weightlifting shoes are designed with the athlete in mind, boasting intuitive structure and functionality that will have you excited to train with these on the platform again and again. How can I be so sure?
These shoes rose to popularity in the 1990s, meaning Do-Win has had decades to alter and tweak their design to perfect these high performance Olympic shoes.
Like the Do-Win Classic Lifters, these shoes feature a double strap over the wearer’s midfoot and 0.75 heel to toe drop (ideal for Olympic weightlifting but less ideal for powerlifters who need a lower heel for low bar squats).
The wide fit of these Olympic shoes allow you to spread your toes and “grab” the floor beneath you, a common cue to develop stability and balance in weightlifting athletes.
Also, these shoes come in at 0.5 kilos in weight, which is a mid-range weight. This weight creates the ideal balance between a lightweight shoe that allows you fluid movements and transitions during more dynamic movements like snatches, and a heavier fit that encourages firm footing during heavy movements like the barbell back squat.
0.75" Plastic Heel
Synthetic Leather and Nylon Mesh
2 Metatarsal Straps
Do-Win Single-Sole and Toebox Design
As for the look, the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoe comes in a simple black and white design. Its reinforced hard plastic heel and synthetic leather with nylon mesh body shows that this Olympic weightlifting shoe is all business.
When I first started training with Olympic weightlifting shoes after always lifting with flat shoes, I was surprised by the different feeling and new positioning that the raised heel of Olympic shoes allows for.
Because the raised heel puts your toes at a slight decline, be prepared for your squat form to feel unfamiliar.
There is a break in period with Olympic weightlifting shoes because they put your body into a new squat position, so be patient as you work to build the muscle memory required to perform your squat safely and correctly.
I always recommend reducing the weight on the bar to something you can perform with confidence when trying out and breaking in new Olympic shoes.
In all, when shopping for your first or next pair of Olympic weightlifting shoes, you want to be honest with yourself about your commitment to strength training, your available budget, and the features that you are prioritizing.
Whenever you are looking for a lightweight and breathable shoe, a secure shoe with non-slip rubber and mid foot step, or a shoe with durability that will stand up to hitting the platform again and again, with some time and patience you are sure to find what you need.
Which Olympic Weightlifting Shoe Should I Buy?
Alright, so now that you have a more comprehensive understanding of how these eight shoes differ, there are some important factors to weigh before you set your sights on your final purchase.
What sport do you participate in?
If you are a beginner athlete who has not yet found the weight training style that best suits your needs and interests, consider a more general shoe that can easily bounce between olympic training, CrossFit, and powerlifting so that you get more wear out of the single pair. If you are already sure that you are committed to a specific sport, I would recommend buying the shoe that is engineered to best support your performance in that specific area. Keep in mind that while olympic weightlifting shoes can be versatile on the platform, they are mostly limited to strength training exercises: do not try to double up on these shoes by bringing them to your next 5k run.
What Heel to Toe Drop Best Supports your Training?
While the heel raise of olympic weightlifting shoes really varies only slightly, that small change can have a big impact on your training depending on your height and form. People who have limited mobility or struggle to sit back in their squat may benefit from a higher heel raise, up to 1 inch high. A higher heel can also benefit people who perform high bar back squats with a narrower stance, where it is important to keep your chest up during heavier lifts. On the other hand, if you squat with low bar form or a wider stance, you might shop for a lower heel that does not interfere with your ideal bar path. As well, people who are tall generally opt for a heel at a 0.75 inch elevation or higher, and people who are shorter seek slightly smaller heel lifts. Of course, with all of these different variables in mind you might need to experiment to find the best heel height for you, so be patient with this olympic weightlifting shoe journey you have set yourself on!
Our #1 Recommended - Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II
In our current day and age, you don’t have to look very far to see that fashion trends are shifting towards a more inclusive space for workout clothes and athletic wear.
Instead of having a strict divide (tee shirts are specifically for home, yoga pants are only for yoga classes, muscle shirts are only acceptable in the gym, etc.) we are witnessing more people comfortably changing the narrative when it comes to athleisure and wearing it pretty much anywhere.
The big reasons for this increase in workout clothes being worn in non-workout settings are many and are pretty varied. More and more people are comfortably incorporating fitness into their daily lives.
In terms of conversations and discourse, body positivity is widely encouraged and people are much more open and comfortable talking about their fitness goals.
Regarding foods and diet, healthier food and drink alternatives are being promoted pretty much everywhere you look.
When it comes to gyms and fitness locations, you don’t have to look very far to find your local gym, its competitors or any specialist classes for any specific fitness goals.
The biggest reason for this upsurge in athleticwear in public is what we do in our downtime: social media and entertainment.
When it comes to social media, we are seeing many influencers promoting healthier lifestyles and how to develop more self love.
If it’s not the influencers, we are seeing our favorite actors, musicians, friends and family members looking and feeling great and sharing their approaches and mentality.
We all want to live the best lives for ourselves and be the best versions of ourselves -- that’s why you’re even reading this article--and with the current trends in fashion and friendly attitudes toward active lifestyles, we can definitely achieve that.
Having said all of this, the topic of athleisure vs athleticwear is interesting. It’s true that both are seeing a huge increase in popularity and sales in the general public, but there are key differences that are worth mentioning.
Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, some are more comfortable and some less so, some serve a slightly different purpose than others.
The list goes on and on, and I hope that my discussion of the two will help your understanding and fashion decision making during your journey of working out to reach your fitness goals.
Starting with athleisure, fashionable clothes of this type are typically versatile in their uses.
While they can be worn while working out, you would more than often see them while walking in public, being at work or school, and sometimes even at formal events.
Typical athleisure clothes are leggings, yoga pants and shirts and tank tops for women, or basketball shorts, workout shirts and muscle shirts for men.
In terms of brands, you would see Champion, Lululemon, Joylab, Alo Yoga, Adidas, Nike and Puma as trademarks for these, although they are also heavily involved in the athleticwear market.
Athleisure grew in popularity only about 10 or so years ago due to the reasons listed above, but most important to note is that it was primarily born out of compromise.
The idea of going to work and then going to the gym, changing into your workout clothes, working out, changing again, and then going home became such a bother and such a time-wasting set of activities that we can’t afford to lose in our busy lifestyles and schedules.
Instead, we just go into work in our leggings--after all, they are comfortable, conservative (you might have to adjust your tops/shirts) and they look great.
From that idea came the culture and rising popularity of athleisure, with big name brands making fashion pieces to accompany this sleek and minimalistic look, such as matching sets, handbags for the gym or captivating designs that represent a wide variety of interests and concepts that fans of a sport, show or movie would like.
The athleisure vs athleticwear debate have few differences, but quite significant ones.
When purchasing athleisure items, there are lots of considerations in terms of practicality, durability, notable features and of course, price.
While they appear to be minimalistic and simple, there is a lot of innovation and complex thinking behind each product, which can make or break your happiness with the clothes at the forefront of athleisure trends and fashions.
Some notable qualities to consider in a good athleisure purchase are: material, durability, design, versatility, price, and the ethics/environmental effects that have gone into making the article of clothing.
Here are some notable brands that are at the forefront of athleisure trends and fashions.
While giving a short distinction between brands and products, you will notice many similarities between them, as athleisure is defined by its comfort and practicality, more than anything.
Companies such as Athleta and Girlfriend Collective are great purchases for ethics and environmentally conscious buyers, as Athleta is a B Corporation, meaning that it balances its company purpose and profit, and some of its key initiatives are reusing materials for creating the clothes.
Athleta’s clothes are known to be made up of 60% sustainable fibers and that 70% of waste from their packaging materials has been diverted from landfills.
Products from Girlfriend Collective on the other hand are made entirely from recycled materials and ethical production procedures (factory workers having fair wages, good working hours and safe working conditions), products from this company are always supporting the right thing.
Noteworthy brands such as Lululemon and Alo Yoga are also staples of athleisure as well. Trusty Lulu will appear everywhere on both athleisure and athleticwear categories, as it has such a loyal and devoted fanbase, despite its price.
Its high quality and familiarity makes it such an attractive purchase for buyers--everyone owns at least one Lululemon product! As another familiar and trustworthy brand, Alo Yoga provides athleisure products that are strikingly comfortable and versatile.
In terms of price and comfort, companies like FP Movement, Champion, Sweaty Betty and Beyond Yoga are trademarks in this fashion style.
Best known for its earthly, bohemian and free spirited vibes, Free People’s fitness fashion line is called FP Movement.
Its most notable features are its unique designs and functional, non-constricting and comfortable fit.
With its consumer-friendly price and trendy appearance, Joy Lab is ideal for purchasing in bulk: buying many colors and matching sets to fit your lifestyle, be it working from home, working out, or exploring the city.
Best known for its outgoing designs, Sweaty Betty and Beyond Yoga are fashion pieces that are designed to attract attention while being so comfortable.
Slightly different from athleisure, Athleticwear focuses predominantly on fitness performance, while looking good wearing the products.
Although you would typically see athleticwear in more formal settings of fitness such as gyms, yoga studios, organized fitness activities and sporting events, it is not uncommon to see people wearing these clothes in public.
Common athleticwear includes high quality leggings, yoga apparel, and running apparel. For men, you would normally see Under Armor, Adidas, Reebok, Nike and Puma here.
As an older fashion than athleisure, athleticwear has remained more confined within organized fitness settings, instead of being worn out in public, but that is not to say that it is less fashionable or outdated in any sense.
Simply put, athleticwear is typically worn while doing workouts, fitness activities or sporting events.
Because of athleticwear being worn during potentially high intensity workouts, they are typically composed from higher quality materials and innovations, and are generally more expensive.
While athleisure is more practical, comfortable and trendy first, athleticwear instead places durability, comfort while working out and sweat absorption/cleanup first.
Instead of focusing on design and comfortability, athleticwear products will have more focus and innovation for things like preventing sweat stains, absorbing sweat and drying off faster for an easier cleanup.
The athleisure vs athleticwear debate have few differences, but quite significant ones.
When purchasing athleticwear items, instead of design and comfort, these products would address workout performance-related questions like durability, non-restricting movement, sweat handling ability, practical cleanup and will generally cost more in price.
Brands like Lululemon and Alo Yoga, although they have a wide array of athleisure, they were actually first known for producing high quality workout clothes.
They are known to be trusty fashion choices when it comes to working out as they dry off quickly, absorb sweat and keep up fashionable trends and designs.
Products like Zella and Outdoor Voices promote ideas to enforce staying active and working out as fun activities, and their products really show off those qualities, as they are high-grade materials and completely functional and non-restricting in terms of ease of movement and comfort.
Popular athleticwear like Varley and Beyond Yoga are know to support high-octane, intensive workouts while providing a feelgood and professional appearance.
They are inclusive in terms of a wide range of sizes, and their pieces are known to remain durable and high quality even after many uses of high performance activity and fitness. In these ways, athleticwear and athleisure differ.
Although it is not incorrect to wear one in place of the other, there are notable differences that can make it more correct to wear one over the other, depending on the activity you are doing.
Do you want to improve on your fitness, diet and self-confidence all from the comfort and convenience of your home? Do you want to avoid the bothers of gym membership fees, long lines and overcrowded workout areas?
If you have answered yes to any or all of these, you have no reason to worry: there is a playbook of safe, effective and practical at home workouts that you can do to maximize yourself, and to fulfill the image that you see when you envision your future self.
With High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises, you can supplement a lot of your gym workouts into short, yet highly intense, training regimens.
Instead of spending long and tiresome minutes on the treadmill or bike, where you are in the same position for the entire duration, you can fit in multiple workouts in your HIIT cycle.
Instead of forcing yourself to reach your daily situp goal or pushing yourself to do your maximum rep pushups, HIIT workouts are a fair and even more effective way to accomplish your fitness goals.
To begin, we should define exactly what High Intensity Interval Training really is, because after all, a good understanding of what this type of workout can avoid improper workout form and instead lead to more successful results.
HIIT is a mixture of cardiovascular and strength training workout routines that are intended to produce results in a shorter amount of time than a standard 1-2 hour training session.
Basically, the main purpose of a HIIT workout is to burn calories quickly, and to have that sustained over a long period of time.
With this in mind, we can look at what HIIT workouts usually look like. If your routine consists of short bursts of really intense movement, followed by a small break period of less intense exercise, and then repeating that cycle, you are looking at a HIIT workout.
The idea is similar to a runner sprinting at full speed for some time, then switching to jogging lightly for a short while, and then switching back. In essence, you are aiming to work out intensely, then giving your body a slight breather while keeping your heart rate up.
Doing these types of exercises really optimizes your time efficiency by completing full body workout routines that possess a well balanced ratio between working and resting.
From a short historical perspective, HIIT workouts started becoming popular only a few years ago, as the general public started to embrace home workout culture and lifestyles, instead of keeping exercise and working out strictly at the gym.
There was also a change in attitude toward pursuing healthier lifestyles and removing the idea that fitness, confidence and mental well being were only meant for celebrities, models, professional athletes or high culture society.
With all of these ideas working together, it would only be a matter of time that at home workouts started to improve, and that experts would share more effective ways of working out, such as HIIT.
What started out as 20 seconds of intense exercise, then 10 seconds of rest, then repeating the cycle, HIIT workouts have developed into one of the best ways of accomplishing any fitness goal.
So, what specific categories can HIIT workouts affect?
Any HIIT workout will primarily focus almost equally on fat loss and metabolic rate, but many positive byproducts will result from your body losing fat and through your metabolic rate changing.
This type of workout will accomplish this by burning many calories quickly while sustaining muscle mass over the duration of the workout.
In addition to this, you will notice your stamina increase as you workout with more regularity and your heart rate being more controlled.
HIIT workouts can reach a wide variety of positive changes for your body and mind, all while providing a workout routine that is highly efficient and practical when it comes to time and time management.
Body Fat Loss Through HIIT
When it comes to body fat loss, HIIT workouts are hugely successful and effective.
As a well proven exercise regimen, studies have shown that across a 12 week period, those who do HIIT workouts three to four times a week noticed a significant drop in their cardiovascular disease risk percentage and body fat percentage, while noticing increased blood flow in the veins and better vascular performance overall.
Further studies have noted that across a 12 week period, HIIT workouts three times a week at 20 minutes per workout resulted in approximately four lbs of weight loss, assuming that no dietary changes occurred.
In the same studies, the participants have remarked that a whopping 17 percent of visceral fat was worked off--in other words, the fat that primarily surrounds your internal organs, called visceral fat, was reduced by 17 percent over 12 weeks of 20 minute HIIT workouts, three times a week.
Metabolic Rate Changes from HIIT
If you are unfamiliar with this term, this is a key aspect of HIIT workouts that makes it one of the most effective methods of exercise.
Metabolic rate directly relates to your metabolism, and how well your body continues to burn calories long after you complete your workout.
This is an important aspect of fitness because, for most people, you are not working out for the majority of your day--workouts would only consist of a few minutes or hours of your average day, which is significantly less when compared to hours spent at your job, while sleeping, etc.
With successful HIIT workouts directly improving your metabolic rate, you will notice that over time, your body will behave more favourably even if your daily habits, diet, or patterns do not significantly change.
Certain studies on the subject of HIIT workouts and metabolic rate have noted that participants’ noticed better metabolisms even though they had not worked out for hours. In this sense, HIIT workouts directly impact calories burning in between your workouts.
Increased Workout Stamina Through HIIT
It seems like a contradiction--a workout that focuses on shorter intervals, increasing your overall stamina?
It can be a difficult concept to understand, but this is another way that HIIT exercise can help improve your fitness routine.
If you think of the Olympics or any standard track and field event, there are always races like the 100m dash, or one of its counterparts, the 200m dash.
This example is a bit of a stretch, but the image here is that a runner wants to be able to use their maximum speed for longer stretches of distance. The same can be said of marathons as well.
Some runners can give 100% for half the distance, while other runners can give 100% for only a quarter of the distance, and so on. A common way to improve on this is through HIIT training.
On your first workout, you will notice that you can only go a few seconds or minutes at your maximum capacity and that you will need a longer time of lower intensity to get back up to form.
As you do HIIT workouts more often, you will start to notice that you can go longer and longer at maximum capacity, and that you do not need as much time to recharge with low intensity activities.
Soon after, you can adjust your HIIT training to longer intervals of high intensity, or keep the duration of time the same, but do more intense exercising.
An added bonus of HIIT workouts is the time efficiency.
In terms of mentality and your mind being at the correct state of thought when approaching the workout, your body will generally perform better over a short amount of time, especially when the workout routine alternates between high and low intensity and spurts of energy.
As opposed to some other forms of exercise like isolated strength training, cardiovascular endurance or stationary cardio training, HIIT workouts are a proven way to do more over a shorter amount of time.
Suggested HIIT Workouts to Do at Home
Everyone has different bodies and there is a huge variety of fitness goals ranging from weight loss, muscle building, higher self confidence, higher sport performance, training the mind, and the list goes on and on.
Luckily, HIIT workout regimens are vast and can cater to all of these fitness goals, and it is important to use any of the following workouts that best fits your personal needs.
However, the best HIIT workouts in general are the ones that mix resistance training while keeping your heart rate up. So, any kind of movements like: push ups, sit ups, crunches, lunges, jumping jacks, squats, presses, sprints and high knees, among others, are ideal.
Keeping this in mind, here are a few suggested HIIT workouts to really hammer home a successful and effective workout. These are in no particular order, and feel free to pick and choose which ones suit your personal goals the best.
#1. Tabata Protocol
Created by Japanese doctor, Izumi Tabata, this introductory HIIT routine is ideal for beginners, and requires a piece of cardio equipment that allows you to change the resistance (stationary bike, climbers, elliptical, etc.). This workout focuses on the legs and the heart and is approximately eight minutes in length.
Pedal for two minutes at a moderate pace, increasing resistance by one every 45 seconds
Increase the resistance by one and pedal at maximum effort for 20 seconds
Pedal slow (at the same resistance level) for 10 seconds
Repeat, but increasing from the current resistance level
After doing this twice, decrease the resistance back to the original level and pedal slow for 2 minutes
20 seconds maximum effort, 10 seconds low effort, four times
Do this workout three times per week, with at least one day of recovery between workouts.
#2. 4 x 4 Interval Training
This HIIT workout is best suited for those who want to follow a seven-week program. The 4 x 4 generally follows the formula of high intensity for four minutes, then three minutes of mid intensity. It requires a treadmill, or a space to run.
10 moderate jog
1 to 2 minute sprint at 85-90% effort for maximum heart rate
3 minute moderate jogging
5 minute moderate jogging
#3. Sprint Interval HIIT Workout
The most basic HIIT workout, requiring a treadmill or space to run.
Basic stretch to prevent cramps
Sprint at maximum effort for 35 seconds
Rest for 25 seconds (complete standstill)
Repeat 10 times
#4. 20/20 Full Body Cardio Workout
This HIIT workout focuses on the entire body, involving jumps and planks mostly, alternating with 20 second exercises and 20 second rest periods.
This workout requires a clear area and ceilings high enough to prevent accidental bumps or tripping hazards.
Basic stretch to prevent cramps
Tuck jump plank tucks (20 seconds)
Rest (20 seconds)
Plyometric jack pushups (20 seconds)
Rest (20 seconds)
Single-leg deadlift hops (20 seconds)
Rest (20 seconds)
Plank skaters (20 seconds)
Rest (20 seconds)
Balance bicycles (20 seconds)
Rest (20 - 40 seconds)
Repeat 4 times
#5. Jump Rope Interval HIIT Workout
Focusing on cardiovascular training, this routine is favoured by boxers and combat fighters. This requires a safe space to move around without obstacles.
45 mountain climbers
Plank for one minute
Jump rope for 1 minute
Rest for 1 minute
Repeat 4 times
#6. Burpee Interval HIIT Workout
Focusing on core strength, cardio and stamina, the burpee is one of the trademarks of HIIT routines. It requires a pull up bar and a safe space to jump and land without obstructions.
A soft surface would be ideal if you are prone to heavy falling and landing.
Pull ups for 30 seconds (as many reps as possible)
Rest (15 seconds)
Jumping jacks for 30 seconds (as many as possible)
Rest (15 seconds)
Rest (30 seconds)
Repeat 4 times
#7. Abdominal HIIT Exercises
Ideal for core strength and endurance, this HIIT workout is a common practice and requires a yoga mat, or similar surface, and a foot place holder, if you require one for sit-ups.
A soft surface would be ideal if you are prone to heavy falling and landing.
Rest (15 seconds)
Bicycle crunches for 30 seconds (as many as possible)
Rest (15 seconds)
Rest (15 seconds)
20 leg raises
Rest (15 seconds)
50 butterfly kicks
Rest (one minute)
Repeat 3 times
#8. Lower Body HIIT Workout
Focusing on the legs, this HIIT workout mixes strength, cardio and calisthenics, while not allowing for rest only after each circuit. You will only need a safe space to not bump into anything.
Sprint for 30 seconds
Squat jumps for 30 seconds (as many as possible)
20 lunges for each leg
50 calf raises
Jumping lunges for 30 seconds (as many as possible)
Rest for 1 minute
Repeat 3 times
#9. 30s Blast
This HIIT workout focuses on the core and develops endurance. For this routine, you will need to do approximately five different moves at high intensity before resting for 30 to 60 seconds. You will need a safe space to move around safely without obstacles.
Simple stretches to avoid cramping.
Tuck jump plank tucks for 30 seconds
Plyo jack push ups for 30 seconds
Single leg deadlift hops for 30 seconds
Plank skaters for 30 seconds
Balance bicycles for 30 seconds
30 to 60 second rest
Repeat 4 times
#10. Strength Training HIIT Workout
This workout provides an alternative goal for those who want to focus on strength training and muscle build. With still providing an all around workout, this cycle works best with resistance equipment and will require a treadmill or stationary bike and two dumbbells of equal weight.
Simple stretch to avoid cramps and accidental muscle pulls
Do alternative arm punches while holding a dumbbell in each hand for 45 seconds (as many as possible)
Rest for 15 seconds
Sprint on treadmill set at high resistance with maximum effort for 45 seconds
Rest for 15 seconds
Do alternative single leg lunges while holding a dumbbell in each hand for 45 seconds (as many as possible)
Rest for 15 seconds
Squat and then press the dumbbells overhead at the top, extending arms at full length, while holding dumbbells in each hand for 45 seconds (as many as possible)
Rest for 1 minute
Repeat 4 times
#11. Battle Ropes HIIT Workout
As yet another alternative for those who have a more diverse home gym setup, this HIIT exercise uses battle ropes to work on strength, cardio, stamina and endurance. You will need two battle ropes, footwear with good grips and a safe space to use them at their full lengths.
Upper body stretches to prevent cramps and accidental muscle pull
Double arm battle rope slams for 30 seconds (as many as possible)
Rest for 15 seconds
Alternating arm battle rope slams for 30 seconds (as many as possible)
Rest for 1 minute
Repeat 10 times
While these are only a few HIIT workouts you can do from home, there is a wide variety of routines you can do. HIIT is so workout friendly and available for all, any of the above recommendations can easily help you work toward your fitness goals.
Hey guys, I spend a lot of my time talking to you about ways to strengthen your arms, legs, back and chest but I realize, I’ve been forgetting to talk about one of the most important muscles out there.
Your neck muscles need the same amount of training and love that you are giving to the rest of your body.
This is why today I’m going to be looking at the Iron Neck, and more specifically, the Iron Neck Pro.
This thing is designed to help strengthen up your neck muscles and help you in many more ways. I understand one of the biggest reasons why people don’t train their neck is because simply put, it’s difficult to do.
I’ll be honest, even I find it difficult to target these muscles and get them nice and strong.
To expand on that, how many times have you seen someone at the gym training their neck? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you can probably count it on one hand, if you’ve even ever seen it to begin with.
Well, no longer will you need to sit back and have a weak neck. With the Iron Neck pro you are going to be able to strengthen your muscles and make your body that much better. With plenty of neck strengthening exercises, you’ll be an expert in no time.
Look I understand you’re probably wondering why you should even go about training your neck with the Iron Neck and I get the confusion.
I’m going to talk about some of the benefits using the Iron Neck brings you as well so you can understand there is more to training your neck than simply getting some gains in there.
The big question on everyone’s mind is simply, why? To answer that question, let's take a look at how you train the rest of your body.
Generally in a workout, you are doing many different compound movements to promote as much training as possible. When you squat for example, you are working on more than just your glues.
Even with these compound movements, you are going to find that the neck is not getting the workout that it needs.
This is why we have to turn towards accessories such as the Iron Neck to get the training that we are looking for. The previous solution to training your neck was sticking a harness around your head and attaching a plate to it.
This not only can take a long time to set up, but it can be extremely awkward moving back and forth with a plate dangling in there.
In terms of neck strengthening exercises, these aren’t the most optimal things. Not only that, but if you do these neck exercises incorrectly, you can severely injure the muscles in that area.
The Iron Neck pro hopes to innovate the market and make training the neck not only easy, but make it something that you are going to do with the rest of your workout.
Now that I’ve focused on the why, let’s talk about some of the extra benefits that you can get by using the Iron Neck and training.
The Added Benefits
As mentioned above, the big reason why I am starting to train my neck is because I want to get stronger. I strive to be as healthy as I possibly can be, why would I neglect muscle groups if that is the case?
This isn’t just about strength though, doing neck strengthening exercises with the Iron Neck can yield many incredible results.
Let’s talk about the foundation of your body and your posture. Tech neck is a real thing and it’s caused by leaning into electronics such as your computer.
You might notice a slight arch at the top of your spine as a result of this.
In its earliest stages, tech neck is not a big deal. Sure you might be leaning forwards a little, but that’s about it.
It can be easily fixed at this stage if you put the effort in. If you continue to let your tech neck develop however, you are looking at major spinal issues, posture issues, and back pain. How can you fix all of this?
The Iron Neck is designed specifically to counteract the effects of tech neck and improve your posture and your foundation. This is not a magic solution to the health issue however.
You still will have to ensure you have proper posture when sitting if you want to improve. That being said, I noticed my posture improving when I was using the Iron Neck because it was helping to keep everything up there stabilized and strong.
Tech neck doesn’t just create problems with your spine and your foundation, it also provides a lot of stiffness which will later turn to pain if it is not dealt with. With good neck strengthening exercises, you can work to eliminate all of this pain and get yourself back on track.
Personally speaking, I hate waking up in the morning with a stiff neck. If the Iron Neck can help resolve that, you bet I’m interested in trying it out for myself.
Studies have shown that for every extra pound of muscle strength increase in your neck, your chances of getting a concussion were lowered by 5%.
This makes the Iron Neck a solid choice for athletes, especially in contact sports such as football where concussions are rampant.
You don’t have to be an athlete to take advantage of the injury prevention either. There are plenty of circumstances such as car accidents where you can get extreme whiplash and concussions.
Having that extra bit of neck strength might not stop the injury altogether from happening, but it will lessen the severity of it.
A Faster Rehab
Finally, the Iron Neck will help to get you back on track sooner if you find yourself with a neck injury.
Doing low weights will help to strengthen those muscles not only get them back to what they once were, but can get them even stronger.
Alright, I feel I’ve talked a lot about what the Iron Neck can do for you, it’s now time to talk about the product itself, from the unboxing, to the shape of it, to how it's used. Without further ado, I present to you the Iron Neck Pro.
When the Iron Neck Pro finally arrived at my home, I couldn’t wait to open it up and take a look at what was inside.
I have to say I was impressed at how well they packed the box, as there was a ton of foam to ensure the Iron Neck Pro was not damaged in any way.
Inside the box was the Iron Neck Pro, a 25lb resistance band, door belt, cinch anchor, door anchor, an exercise poster, and a set of 3 interchangeable front pads.
I do have to mention that when I first opened up the Iron Neck, I was a little bit taken aback.
I’m used to heavy duty equipment, steel, and iron, and sitting here in front of me was a piece of plastic that I was going to put on my head. I was a little skeptical at first, but still I was excited to try out something completely new and put it to the test.
I have to say the resistance bands that it came with were quite durable and overall I was impressed with the quality of them.
The amount of anchors and clips it came with was also a nice sight as it ensured I was able to use the Iron Neck around the house for many different neck strengthening exercises.
The Iron Neck model in general has not been around for too long, but the Iron Neck pro has taken previous versions and expanded and improved upon it already. What I liked about the Iron Neck is how light and comfortable it was to wear.
Although I’m training my neck, I don’t want to be wearing some heavy thing that is going to be weighing me down for an extended period of time.
Despite the Iron Neck being light, it was surprisingly durable for a plastic object, It’s made out of hard ABS plastic that will be able to match what you throw at it. There was a time when I accidentally dropped the Iron Neck after a neck strengthening exercise and it was no worse for wear in any way.
To help make the Iron Neck comfortable, they use an antimicrobial foam on the inside that helps to make it comfortable and keep away some of the germs. Even though it is antimicrobial, I still would recommend having a skull cap or something else underneath if you are going to be using the Iron Neck with other people.
I was sweating quite a bit and I couldn’t imagine someone wanting to put my Iron Neck on after I was done with it.
As for fitting it onto my head, there is a pump that is used to ensure it fits comfortably on every part of your head.
It works extremely well and ensures that things aren’t bobbing around when you are getting your neck training in.
On the Iron Neck Pro, there is also a dial that you can use to adjust the resistance. This can be used to increase the tension and difficulty in your workout. On some of the lower end models of the Iron Neck, the resistance is fixed and it cannot be adjusted.
When I used the Iron Neck, I didn’t notice much discomfort with it at all and was able to pound through my workouts without issue. At first it felt a little weird wearing something on my head, but that quickly went away after I started working out.
One difficulty I had was getting the top strap adjusted right. You need to make sure the Iron Neck sits on your forehead in the right way.
Now time to talk about all those difficult neck strengthening exercises. If you are going to use this with a cable machine, make sure that the connection is perfectly horizontal. I connected it and started with a few neck strengthening exercises.
The first and easiest one for me was to nod my head back and forth like I was saying no. Go nice and slow with this as moving fast with the neck can cause injuries also.
To give myself a little more work I moved to making figure eights with my head. Pretend your nose is a pencil and draw a sideways eight in the air.
The neck strengthening exercises worked great and while I didn’t feel much tension or strain at the time of the exercises, you bet I felt them the next day. I love that burning sensation because that tells me I’ve done hard work on a muscle group.
After a few days of recovery, I was ready to head back to the gym and you bet I brought my Iron Neck with me to try it out again.
I have to say that I was genuinely impressed by the Iron Neck and everything that it offers. It was incredibly easy to use and did not hurt my neck during the actual exercises.
There is a small catch to the Iron Neck Pro however. The Iron Neck Pro carries a price tag of $599.99 and therefore can be out of the budget range for some.
If you want the Iron Neck but can’t justify that price, you can look at some of their lower models to help you get the exercises you are looking for.
That being said, this is a durable piece of equipment that I am going to be adding into my workout routines.
The time to get my neck as strong as the rest of the body is now and you’ll probably catch me heading to use this thing as soon as I’m done talking about it. Stay healthy folks and keep hitting the gym and breaking your goals.
Another day, another review of a testosterone booster. I’ve really been working hard to try all kinds of these products out for all of you to give an idea of how well they work and how long they need to start showing some results.
Today, I’m going to be looking at a TestoFuel, another testosterone booster for those whose body isn’t producing enough.
Like most test boosters out there, TestoFuel is not some miracle substance that is going to get you ripped and jacked as soon as you start taking it.
TestoFuel boosts all natural ingredients that can help your body produce testosterone in a more controlled manner.
In case you still are confused, TestoFuel is not a steroid by any means and that is one of the reasons why people are so attracted to these testosterone supplements.
TestoFuel and other testosterone boosters are best for those who are actually lacking proper testosterone.
How can you tell if you fit into this category?
The most accurate way to check is simply by going to your doctor and getting them to look at your body and analyze hormone production.
Is there another method for someone who doesn’t have the time or doesn’t want to go to the doctors?
The other thing you can do is look at your age. For most men, they start to show signs of slowing down when they hit 30 years old.
It’s at that age when your body starts to lower the amount of testosterone that it makes.
Just because you are getting on in age however does not necessarily mean your testosterone production is taking a nosedive.
There are some side effects that you can take note of and they are usually telltale signs that your testosterone production is low and a supplement like TestoFuel could help you out. Here is a list of some of the most common side effects out there
Hard to Pay Attention
A Lower Sex Drive
If you have low testosterone, there is a good chance that you are experiencing these side effects.
Before you convince yourself that you have low testosterone however, you should take a look at your lifestyle.
Things like fatigue and low weight gain aren’t always because of low testosterone and if you have a poor diet, it is going to reflect in the way your body reacts.
Try a healthy diet out for a week to see if some of these symptoms get better in any way.
If they don’t you can now be pretty sure you have low testosterone and something like TestoFuel would greatly help you.
Remember when I mentioned that TestoFuel is not a miracle supplement but instead a testosterone booster?
It’s important that I remind you as if you have regular testosterone levels, you are not going to get much of a boost using these supplements.
For example, I’m a healthy guy in my mid 20s and my testosterone levels are still where they should be.
I am going to be taking TestoFuel to give you an idea of how they work, but my experience with them is only going to be a fraction of what you can achieve with TestoFuel.
Provided you have low testosterone, you are going to see a result with TestoFuel.
I also need to mention that TestoFuel is a testosterone supplement that is made solely for men. TestoFuel and other test boosters can have hormonal effects in a woman’s body, therefore it is not recommended that they take a product like this.
What’s In TestoFuel
One of my favourite things about TestoFuel, is that it uses all natural ingredients to help achieve what you are looking for.
Whenever it comes to supplements, I’m always a little wary or cautious about what goes into them.
I want to know exactly what I am throwing into my body and if it is going to have any side effects.
You can bet I was happy to hear that it contained all natural ingredients.
There are several major ingredients in TestoFuel that help it boost testosterone in your body and these are:
Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin. Stand outside in the sun and you’ll find your body getting it. You might think, why do I need Vitamin D from TestoFuel if I get it from the sun?
The reality is, most of us stay inside for most of the day and even if we were to be outside for a large portion of the day, we aren’t getting the amount that we need.
Vitamin D helps reduce soreness after your workouts and can give you a bit more endurance during your sets as well.
Another positive you might notice is that Vitamin D will increase your male sex hormones, giving you more of a sex drive.
This is an ingredient I haven't seen too much in other test supplements so I had to do a little more research to see what it does.
Oyster extract naturally contains zinc which can help to give your testosterone levels a big boost. It’s also known to increase your libido so once again, more power for you in the bedroom.
Vitamin B6 is an important vitamin that helps with blood circulation around the body and can help out with your organs as well. The better your blood is circulating, the faster your muscles will recover and the more muscle mass you’ll grow.
K2 is another vitamin that is going to help with building up your muscles. Another benefit to it? More male sex hormones to give you more of that sex drive as well.
Magnesium is great for increasing your metabolic rate within your body. It also helps to give you a natural energy boost and increase your endurance. You can expect your body to work in a much smoother way if you are taking TestoFuel.
I talked about zinc for a little bit under the oyster extract. Zinc is known to greatly help boost testosterone production so they’ve thrown a little bit more in there to help you get what you are looking for.
The science behind it is that a zinc deficiency in the body leads to your androgen receptors working inefficiently which is connected to testosterone production.
Boost the zinc, and your testosterone will follow.
Ginseng is seen across many productions and not only can it help to give you an energy boost that you are looking for, it can also help boost testosterone production and your libido.
Fenugreek is an herb that is going to help increase your strength and also prevent things like the sex hormone-binding globuline from being produced.
That hormone is responsible for lower testosterone levels, so cut off the production and testosterone will naturally increase as a result.
These are all the major ingredients that you are going to find in TestoFuel. If the fact that it is all natural is not enough to entice you, I should also note that it is produced following strict FDA guidelines.
No corners are cut here and they work to make sure the product is going to be safe for you.
While the ingredients are all natural, I always recommend speaking to your doctor before taking a test supplement. They will just ensure that there is nothing going on in your body that is going to react negatively to what you are about to do.
While I can pretty much guarantee that TestoFuel is safe to use, I just want you to make sure the product is going to be right for you. A doctor will help confirm that and will help make sure everything in your body is working properly.
Now that I’ve covered all the bases about TestoFuel, it’s now time for me to tell you about my experiences with the product itself.
TestoFuel came in a bottle containing 120 capsules. The instructions state that I needed to take four pills a day to see effects so that is what I did. After the first week of taking TestoFuel?
I felt nothing. Second week? Still nothing. You might sound shocked when I say that, but this is completely standard for testosterone boosters like TestoFuel.
With any product like TestoFuel, it takes about 2-6 weeks of usage for you to start to notice the effects of the testosterone production.
I will say that near the end of the second week, leading into the start of the third week I was starting to feel the TestoFuel kick in.
Once more I want to remind you all that my testosterone levels are normal, therefore my results are not going to be as intense as yours if you have low testosterone.
The first thing I did notice was that I had more energy. It wasn’t like a chugged six espressos kind of energy, but a nice boost that gave me some mental alertness as well. It was small, but definitely noticeable.
This helped me simply get to the gym as when energy levels are low, it might be hard to motivate yourself.
When I was at the gym, I found myself pushing harder with every exercise I was doing. I wasn’t crushing personal bests out there, but I was able to lift slightly more and for a longer period of time.
As a person who loves pumping iron and tough workouts, it was definitely a welcome addition to my workout routine.
Finally, TestoFuel definitely did help out with my muscle recovery and soreness. I was worried after pushing myself so hard that I was going to feel it in the morning.
Don’t get me wrong there is still going to be some soreness, that’s a natural part of working out, however it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Overall, I have to say that I was impressed with TestoFuel and what it does and enjoyed that boost of energy and strength while I was using it.
Compared to other products out there on the market claiming to do the same thing, TestoFuel had almost no side effects. You might get the odd slight headache here and there, but they aren’t too bad.
You can thank the all natural ingredients for the lack of side effects when taking TestoFuel.
Would I Recommend TestoFuel?
If you are someone who is suffering from low testosterone, a supplement like TestoFuel is a great idea for you. If it did that for me, imagine what it would do for you.
The one thing I haven't mentioned yet with TestoFuel is that they offer a 90-day money-back guarantee.
If you are taking it and after about 5 weeks you still aren’t feeling anything, it might be a sign the product isn’t for you. Simply package it back up, send it back and move on with your life. In that case, what do you have to lose?
If you are wanting an energy boost, give TestoFuel a shot.
Break down the word functional fitness and think about the word “functional” to mean the exercises are working for you.
If something is functional, it is practical and useful. Functional fitness includes practical and useful workouts that condition our bodies to perform everyday movements with strength, mobility, and stability.
These workouts aim to replicate the body’s natural movements, so they often have a focus on full body exercises like squats, lunges, presses, and pull-ups.
Let me paint a picture for you: think about all the strength building machines offered around your local gym.
We have machines that put you in seated positions to target your chest or quads, and then contraptions that lay you down to target your hamstrings or back, and we even find ourselves crouched into machines like the leg press or lat pulldown.
While these workout machines are for targeting specific muscle groups, they do not at all replicate everyday movements.
The biggest kicker with all of these machines is that you are performing these exercises while seated or lying down, and therefore they are hardly engaging important parts of your body like your core strength or your balance, which is integral to having functional strength in your day to day life. Not so practical, right?
Now imagine this: you are bending down to pick up a heavy box of groceries, you are lifting above your head to drill a shelf into a wall, you are holding back your dog while they try to chase the neighbourhood cat, or you have to get down on your hands and knees to change a tire...these are all real life examples that require you to be agile, stable, mobile, and strong.
And if you are not, you are putting yourself at risk of injury, or coming to a point in your life where you have to begin cutting out activities that you once enjoyed because your body can no longer do them safely. So, what is the solution? Functional fitness.
Let us take, for comparison, the leg extension machine at the gym and consider how it differs from someone performing a full body squat, with or without weight. On the leg extension machine you are seated.
You are only working out your quad muscles. You can also easily get in good form by creating momentum with the swing of your legs to allow the weight to move easier, and on tougher reps you might find yourself leaning backward or forward to engage other muscles to help push the weight up.
Now, with a full body squat, you are engaging far more muscle groups. Your quads, of course, are working, but now they are being joined by your core, glutes, hamstrings, and even feet and arches that are working to keep your whole body stable.
This movement is a lot harder to cheat on with poor form. It is also replicated real life movements like bending or coughing down to lift something up.
The key difference to note here is that the full body squat is achieving what the fitness world refers to as a compound movement, an exercise that makes muscle groups work together to replicate real life activities.
In contrast, the leg extension machine would be an example of an isolation exercise that really limits what you can achieve.
As you might imagine, this means that functional fitness is not only incredibly useful for your longer-term health, but it is also incredibly time efficient.
For the same amounts of sets and reps, you are strengthening and conditioning way more muscle groups and burning more calories using compound exercise rather than isolation exercise.
How can I begin doing functional workouts to achieve functional strength?
If you are looking for more low impact functional fitness routines, consider taking up tai chi, yoga, or pilates. All of these popular fitness programs focus on movements that emphasize functional strength, flexibility, and balance.
I would recommend activities such as these to people who are beginning their fitness journey or older adults who want to stay active.
As well, programs like tai chi, yoga, and pilates are popular group fitness classes that you can join through online programs, community centres, or even discover using free YouTube classes.
If you are part of a gym that offers classes, or enjoy taking workout classes, check out what sort of classes they offer. Gyms might have classes specifically for functional fitness.
If not, check to see if they offer any Boot Camp, Tabata, or high intensity interval training (HIIT) classes as these types of fitness routines often include functional strength and full-body movements that challenge your endurance and stability.
What I also like about this option is that joining a class can be really motivational for people who struggle to keep to a fitness routine.
Having a training and a community of like-minded individuals to workout alongside can hold you more accountable to your routine.
If you are not sure whether or not a gym offers classes that focus on functional strength, as a trainer or the front desk what class they would recommend to achieve more functional fitness.
If you want to bring your workout routine to the next level and are ready for more intensity in your exercises, consider popular fitness programs like Crossfit or powerlifting.
You can find specialty gyms that offer equipment and spaces specifically made for these sports, and that educate beginners on how to perform Crossfit and powerlifting movements safely.
To compare the two, both Crossfit and powerlifting are high intensity workouts. Crossfit focuses more on overall fitness, interval training, and performing reps under time whereas powerlifting focuses on an athlete’s overall strength.
Both Crossfit and powerlifting incorporate functional fitness but valuing movements like the squat and deadlift. Crossfit takes functional fitness a step further by including movements like muscle-ups, burpees, and sprints.
Because both of these sports incorporate high intensity full body movements paired with increasingly heavy weights, you must educate yourself on proper form.
I highly suggest working with a trainer for both of these sports, and being realistic about your own abilities and limits so that you always prioritize safety in your movements.
For the outdoorsy type, functional workouts can be found in everyday activities like running, hiking, and swimming. Instead of spending boring hour sessions on a treadmill or elliptical machine, lace up your running shoes and take your workout outdoors.
Challenging your body to respond to nature's natural hills and terrain rather than being locked into a machine movement offers the functional strength building you are looking to achieve.
What are the best movements to gain functional strength?
The ultimate functional fitness movement is one that you either already love or hate, or love to hate: the squat.
Squats can be performed in a variety of different ways to serve people of all different fitness levels.
How is a squat a functional workout? Well, consider all of the times you bend down to pick something up, stand up from the ground, or get up from a chair or from inside your car; these activities are all similar to the movement of the squat.
For beginner squatters, always perfect the movement without weight- we call this a body weight movement- before you begin to add free weights or dumbbells.
A simple squat requires you to sit back, bend your knees, and bring your butt down between your knees before you stand back up again.
The depth of your squat will be limited by how much flexibility you have. A squat with good form can be performed without bending your back or allowing your knees to collapse inward.
If you find a bodyweight squat to be too challenging or you are losing your balance, consider beginning with box squats (where you sit back onto a box or bench at a comfortable height) or assisted bodyweight squats (where you sit back while holding on to a secure object like a pole or power rack).
Another popular functional fitness movement is the deadlift. This is an excellent movement for people who want to strengthen their core, glutes, back, hamstrings, while improving balance and stability.
Incorporating deadlifts in your weekly fitness routine, when done properly, can help people who often find themselves with sore backs after work or playing with their kids, as the muscle areas in the back and lower body become stronger and more stable.
Again, the deadlift is a movement that is often flaunted on social media for valuing raw strength above form. It is crucial to ensure that you are doing a deadlift properly in order to reap the benefits of this functional workout rather than putting yourself at risk of injury.
Here is where we put our egos aside, drop the weight, and only complete as many reps as we can with proper form.
Next, when you get into functional fitness you might want to consider incorporating lesser known movements like the following to really condition your body for all the challenges life throws at us:
Hold heavy dumbbells in either hand as you walk to challenge your stability and grip strength. This translates really well to carrying heavy bags or groceries. As a variation to this exercise, consider holding a heavy dumbbell in only one hand to challenge your core and stability even more.
These challenging movements require you to crawl along the floor on your hands and toes, moving the opposite arm and opposite leg forward at the same time. This movement will strengthen your shoulders, hips, and you will be surprised at the ab strength it requires as well!
This is a simple exercise that allows you to focus on single leg strength and translates over really well to walking up stairs or climbing. Simply use one leg to stand up on a secure box or bench. You can also make this movement more challenging by holding a dumbbell.
Are functional fitness workouts safe?
Yes, functional workouts are safe as long as you prioritize proper form, education, and understanding your own limits and abilities.
I recommend mastering all functional fitness movements as bodyweight exercises before advancing to adding weight. When you take part in functional workouts, remember to warm up at the start of each session and end with a cool down stretch.
If it is within your budget, consider consulting with a trainer or taking part in group exercise classes a way to learn the basics of these movements.
Always consult a doctor if you are starting a new fitness routine and are feeling unsure about what is best for you.
In all honesty, functional fitness is the key to maintaining a healthy active lifestyle no matter what age you are.
Whether you are a young person who wants to avoid injury during work or sports, a middle aged person who wants to keep up with their young kids, or an aging adult who wants to stay healthy and mobile, functional fitness offers benefits to all.