As you have probably noticed, there are more than a few training methods. From the popular 'bro' split to the beloved upper/lower and push/pull/legs splits, you can organize your training in dozens of ways. Having many options is fantastic because everyone can develop a style that suits their needs, schedule, and preferences. But, too many choices can also overwhelm you, leading to frustration and anxiety.
To that end, we have put together this guide to outline some of the most popular training methods, how they compare, and what benefits they offer. That way, you can make the most informed decision for safe, effective, and, most importantly, enjoyable training. Let us dive in. The four most popular Training Splits out there Push/Pull/Legs
Push/pull/legs is among the most popular ways to organize your weekly training. The split works well for beginners and more advanced trainees because it offers a fair amount of flexibility with scheduling. For instance, a beginner can do the three-day version:
Monday - Push
Tuesday - Off
Wednesday - Pull
Thursday - Off
Friday - Legs
Weekend - Off
As the name suggests, each workout is dedicated to several muscle groups:
- Push - training the muscles involved in 'pushing' exercises (chest, shoulders, and triceps)
- Pull - working ou the muscles involved in 'pulling' movements (back and biceps)
- Legs - focusing on the muscles in your lower body
Let us have a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of the PPL training method. The pros:
- It is relatively easy to program because you have to pair muscles that work together anyway.
- It works great for trainees of all levels because all you have to do is adjust your exercises, volume, intensity, and overall frequency.
- You can pick from a variety of training frequencies - anywhere from three to six workouts per week.
- It allows for good muscle recovery because you are bundling muscles intelligently and giving them enough time to recover after each workout.
- It works for a variety of goals, including strength gain, muscle growth, and fat loss.
Every coin has two sides; let us have a look at the cons:
- Training more frequently can lead to recovery issues and slow down your progress.
- There is not a good middle training frequency (four workouts per week), and you must alternate between four and five workouts from week to week.
- It might not work great for all types of weak points; for instance, people who want to grow their legs more need to make significant changes to the overall structure of the program.
- You only train each major muscle group once per week with the traditional three-day push/pull/legs routine. Bodypart Split
The body part split is also known as the bro split and has been around for a while. Countless trainees have used it in the past and still use it today. Unfortunately, research does not favor the split because of the lower training frequency. According to research, training our muscles twice per week is more beneficial than once. There are a couple of good explanations why:
- Training your muscles just once per week means you are giving them a lot of recovery time they do not need. For example, if you train chest on Monday, the muscle might be fully recovered by Thursday, so not training it for a few extra days means you are not using your time productively.
- Training muscles just once per week means you have to cram a lot of training volume in each session. Doing so means you are going to get tired, and your performance will drop as the workout progresses. In contrast, training each muscle group two to three times per week allows you to spread your weekly volume across more sessions, get less tired, and control muscle soreness better.
Of course, the body part split also offers some benefits. One such is that you can use it for various training frequencies. A classic example is a 5-day split:
Monday - Chest
Tuesday - Back
Wednesday - Legs
Thursday - Shoulders and Abs
Friday - Biceps and Triceps
Weekend - Off
The pros of the Bodypart Split are:
- It is easy to program, and you even could adapt the training program from 'The Rock'.
- It might be easier to establish a good mind-muscle connection by doing more sets for a muscle.
- You get to focus on one to two muscle groups per workout, so you can enjoy arm day, which many gym-goers love.
- The approach still leads to muscle and strength gains
- It ensures that you hit each muscle group with enough volume for growth
Contrary to these advantages, we also need to understand the cons coming with this training method:
- It does not cover the recommended frequency of training each muscle group twice per week.
- You have to do a lot of work for a single muscle group in each workout.
- You are more likely to experience significant muscle soreness.
- Fatigue sets in and impacts your training performance as the workout progresses. Full-Body Training
Full-body training is not a split, but an approach that can work well, and the objective is to train all major muscle groups during each workout. Whole-body workouts can benefit trainees of all levels, especially those who can not train as often. You can have as little as two weekly workouts and cause a strong growth stimulus that leads to good progress. For example:
Monday - Full-body workout
Tuesday - Off
Wednesday - Off
Thursday - Full-body workout
Friday - Off
Weekend - Off
Alternatively, you also can have three weekly workouts and still get enough rest in-between:
Monday - Full-body workout
Tuesday - Off
Wednesday - Full-body workout
Thursday - Off
Friday - Full-body workout
Weekend - Off
This training method is simple, and the advantages speak for themselves. The pros:
- It allows you to train all major muscle groups at least twice per week, even on a tight schedule.
- If you need to skip a workout (you better have a good reason), you still train all muscle groups.
- Programming is not that challenging.
- Workouts often feel more fulfilling and varied.
And the cons:
- Workouts have to be longer because you must train more muscle groups.
- You cannot truly focus on any specific muscle group during a workout.
- It can be challenging to prioritize muscle groups for optimal and balanced development. Upper/Lower
The upper/lower split is another modern approach to organizing your weekly training. Unlike some options, upper/lower works great for trainees of all levels and allows you to accumulate enough training volume even if you can only train two to three days per week. The most popular frequency for upper/lower is to train four times per week. For example:
Monday - Upper
Tuesday - Lower
Wednesday - Off
Thursday - Upper
Friday - Lower
Weekend - Off
The approach works well because it offers a fair amount of flexibility, and you get to train all major muscle groups the recommended two times per week. You can also train two or six times per week, but these might not be ideal. For instance, training only twice per week would lead to slower progress, whereas six weekly workouts might lead to recovery issues and burnout.
Let us take a closer look at this training method; Pros:
- Suitable for training all muscle groups more than once per week
- Programming it is relatively straightforward
- It works for trainees of all levels
- It works well for recovery
And let us also try to look at some of the cons here:
- Upper sessions tend to be longer than lower workouts because you have more muscle groups to train
- There is not a good option for three weekly workouts Which Training Method is best for you?
Each of the above approaches offers its unique benefits. However, your chosen method should align with your goals, schedule, and training preferences. Some people enjoy training their entire body during each workout so a whole-body program would be better. Others enjoy splitting up their training based on movements or muscle groups, so a body part (bro) or push/pull/legs split would be great. Then, there is the upper/lower split, which allows you to train a large percentage of your body, but you are still splitting your training.
It never hurts to experiment with the various approaches to see which one works best. You can even go from one split to the next and rotate them every few months to keep your training fresh and engaging. An app like Fitbod makes it easy to put together effective routines based on your preferred split. How Cardio fits within all of the above Training approaches
People primarily interested in building strength and muscle mass should use one of the following options for their cardio:
- Perform cardio on your recovery days from weight training.
- Space your cardio and weight training by at least six hours.
- Lift weights first, then do your cardio.
Regardless of what training approach you follow, the above three rules will help you fit cardio in without it interfering with your progress. For example, let's say that you follow a four-day upper/lower split. In this case, you can do your cardio on recovery days––Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays:
Monday - Upper
Tuesday - Lower
Wednesday - Off or cardio
Thursday - Upper
Friday - Lower
Weekend - Off or cardio
If that option does not work, you can do some cardio on the days you weight train. For instance, do cardio in the morning and lift in the evening. Or you can even lift weights first and do some cardio to finish off. It is important to be careful with your overall cardio volume and your chosen modality. Riding a bike, hiking, and swimming are less impacting options and work great for overweight people. In contrast, running is more demanding and can stress the hips, knees, and ankles, so you have to be careful. To Conclude
As you can see, there is no one best way to train. However, choosing the best method for training is difficult for many people. While some prefer to go to the gym and exercise, others are not fond of it and prefer to train at home. And again, others are traveling regularly and need to adjust every time they are in a different hotel gym.
The best method is the one that works best with your current lifestyle, Which also can change over time as you might develop new or different requirements. You can train at any time and place by choosing the right training method. However, avoid doing too much cardio, regardless of your weekly training schedule, because that can interfere with your recovery and prevent you from making good progress in the weight room.Read More
Dubai, one of the most fascinating cities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is a popular holiday spot for travelers from many corners of the world. However, this city has much more to offer than just five-star hotels: from sandboarding in the desert to skiing in the Mall of Emirates; they know how to get the pulses of active souls racing. Here is our pick of the best sports activities to stay fit while traveling in Dubai. We have selected these five outstanding activities; as we found them most exciting (and most active):
- Sandboarding in Dubai
- Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates
- Excursion to Hatta
- Cycling in the Desert of Dubai
If you like to stay active while exploring Dubai, there are great options. So let us dive in. Sandboarding in Dubai
Dubai is a city located amidst the sandy desert; no surprise, sandboarding is one of the best outdoor sports in Dubai to indulge in. Sandboarding is an adaptation of snowboarding to the desert sands. However, instead of the snow, sandboarding is done on the sand, as the name suggests. Though sandboarding is possible on loose sand, it is best done in the desert, which has the perfect terrain for sandboarding with varying heights and slopes. A specially-designed board is securely fastened to your feet during this activity. All you have to do is maintain control and balance as you slide down.
Sandboarding does not require a lot of skill or training. Anyone can do it without any safety concerns. And in case you are falling on the sand, the fall will be softer than falling on the snow. Overall, sliding and gliding down the sand dunes is a thrilling experience. Sandboarding can, for example, be booked safely with Viator (a Tripadvisor company) and takes between 4 - 7 hours. This 5-star rated trip starts at $36.75 per person (as of June 2022). Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates
Would you rather like to refresh yourself during your holiday in Dubai, and are you longing for something 'cool'? How about skiing! You must be surprised to see skiing listed here, but it is true. Nothing is impossible in Dubai, and yes, they even have an indoor ski resort inside the Mall of the Emirates. Artificial snow, lifts, chalets, you really feel like being in an authentic ski area. You can race down the 400 m snowy slopes, even with the world's first indoor black run.
You will find five slopes of different levels that even experienced skiers can find challenging. And of course, all equipment (skis, boots, helmets) and clothing are provided as probably no one brings their ski equipment to Dubai. Time to visit GetYourGuide and book your next ski adventure. This indoor skiing activity is booked for 2 hours ($59.90, or AED 220) or the entire day ($87.12, or AED 320). Make sure to check on the gloves; they are maybe only included in the full-day ticket. Paddleboard
The most loving sport of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is also the most thrilling in Dubai; it is a fun and easy way to play on the water. You can paddle anywhere from oceans to lakes and rivers with minimum equipment – no waves required. Unlike most water sports, a paddleboard is gentler and perfect for those who want to try watersports but do not want too much. The board is spacious enough, so balancing will not be too troublesome either.
Paddleboarding offers a fantastic full-body workout and is becoming a favorite cross-training activity for bodybuilders, skiers, snowboarders, and other athletes. And since you are standing at your full height, you will enjoy excellent views of everything from sea creatures to what is on the horizon. Exploring the Palm Jumeirah area with the paddleboard takes around 1 hour. Book your paddleboard activity with Viator (a Tripadvisor company) for $36.25 per person. Paddleboard and life west are included. Excrusion to Hatta
Hatta is around 130 kilometers (80 miles) southeast of Dubai. Dubai's Hajjar mountains alone make a trip here worthwhile. The red-grey ledges make an absolute postcard motif in the beautiful landscape with deep blue waters. In addition, the lovingly designed museum village Hatta Heritage Village allows an insight into the everyday life of ancient times.
In Hatta, there are different types of activities waiting for you. For example, with its reservoir, the Hatta Dam is suitable for a boat trip, kayaking, or just relaxing. Just remember to bring your swim gear to be ready. There is also an attraction called the Hatta Wadi Hub. Multiple slides into a plunge pool, allowing you to reach heights of 15 meters and speeds of 40-80kmph. And for cyclists, there are many opportunities to explore the Hajar Mountains on mountain bikes. There's a dedicated 52 km mountain biking trail to tackle here, with four different levels to consider based on your skills and abilities. Last but not least, you can also explore the mountains on foot and enjoy a hike. Hatta hiking trails currently span a total of 32.6 km. Discovering Hatta by foot is probably the best way of truly experiencing Dubai's largest national park.
You can check the options on Viator (a Tripadvisor company). Be aware, the optional tours, such as kayaking might be charged extra. Cycling in the Desert of Dubai
My personal favorite and highlight from Dubai is cycling in the desert. Away from the bustling city center are two perfect cycling paths. With great weather from October right through to May, cyclists are drawn to the city's varied terrains and state-of-the-art cycling tracks. The 18 and 50-km loops are ideal for middle-to long-distance riders. It opens up both the breathtaking landscape of the dunes and the five-star Bab Al Shams resort, where you can stop off for refreshments en route. The best part? You can easily hire a bike right on-site at Al Qudra from Trek Bikes.
You rent the bikes on-site in the Trek Bicycle Store for 2, 3, or 4 hours or a full day. The price (as of May 2022) for this activity starts at $25 (AED 95) for 2 hours; however, you might want to consider going for 4 hours which costs $35 (AED 132). Two insider tips: Ensure to take enough water with you; sounds obvious, but you might want to add another bottle. And second, get the number of a taxi driver to organize your way back. Often simple communication using WhatsApp is possible. BONUS: Kitesurfing in Dubai
Kitesurfing has become very popular, and as Dubai has winds and water, of course, there are options. There are two (2) designated beaches allowed for kitesurfing: Dubai Kite Beach (Fazza beach) and Dubai Kitesurf Beach (Nasimi Beach). At Kitesurf Beach, kitesurfing freestyle competitors Lewis Deaves started Kite Surf Dubai to offer kitesurf and paddleboard lessons. It takes around eight to nine hours to learn kitesurf, and the average price per hour is 350 AED ($95) in Dubai. If you are experienced and want to rent kite equipment, you first must obtain a license, not to be confused with an international certificate from, e.g., IKO. For this, you need to become a member of a kite school in Dubai. The cost for the rental will be around 300 AED ($82) per hour.
When to go? The best chance for strong winds up to 20 knots is between December to March, usually during the afternoon (between 2 pm - 5 pm). Unfortunately, there are no more ideal wind conditions between April to November. However, you might want to check out Al Masirah in Oman, which has become popular among kitesurfers in this area. Conclusion
In Dubai, you will experience attractions that seem almost unbelievable. From the flower dream to the snowy paradise - everything seems possible. Although Dubai is known for luxury and wealth, there are some activities you can do to burn calories and entertainment. And this makes Dubai the perfect city for many fitness activities with a lot of excitement.
Not sure which hotel to choose in this fantastic city? Check our blog post on the best hotels with gyms in Dubai.Read More
The summer is quickly creeping up on us, with little time to prepare! Many of us are already planning a summer vacation or actively thinking about how to enjoy the summer best. So if you want to build your summer physique, the time to start is now. But what if you are back on business travel and can not follow your workout plan? No worries, we got you covered.
If you have to stay in a hotel without access to a gym, another straightforward way to accomplish your summer physique is the push-up. In what follows, we will be diving deep into the world of push-ups. Not only will we share the many benefits of this multifaceted exercise, but we will provide descriptions of the many variations of push-ups available to perform. So, if you want to master the push-up, continue reading! What Muscles do Push-ups work?
While push-ups often are only thought of as one exercise for the chest, the other muscles should not be overlooked. When performing a standard push-up, the other muscles you will target are the shoulders, the triceps, and the core muscles. This will help you not only look good but feel more confident. The illustration of a standard push-up below highlights the main involved muscle groups in red.
As push-ups have different variations (and difficulties), every variation may work for a different muscle group. For example, performing wall push-ups will mainly work on the arms, shoulders, and chest. On the other hand, standard push-ups will particularly help strengthen the chest, shoulders, and back muscles. And by performing narrow push-ups, you work the triceps and chest muscles, while elevated push-ups help work the shoulders, upper back, and triceps.
In summary, a push-up targets several upper body muscles, allowing those who perform them consistently and correctly to improve strength and sculpt their physique. Depending on the angle of your body and your stance width, you can also emphasize different muscle groups or regions better. However, it is difficult to give an exact percentage of how much each muscle group contributes. Therefore, it is recommended to do several different types of push-ups for optimal development. Variations of the Push-Up
There are several push-up variations, each with its own purpose and benefits. If you are new to the movement and have yet to master any other type of push-up, it is likely best to stick to learning the standard push-up before attempting any different variation. But, of course, the kind of push-up that you opt to perform will largely depend on your current strength, experience, and capability levels.
The good news is that the standard push-up has an extremely low barrier to entry, with adaptations able to accommodate even the most passive and inexperienced. Start doing wall push-ups or kneeling push-ups if the standard push-up is too challenging. If the standard push-up variation becomes too easy, explore these three common variations of push-ups:
- Wide push-up
- Narrow push-up
- Elevated push-up Standard Push-up
The standard push-up position starts in the plank position with extended legs so that the knees do not touch the floor. The head is kept neutral by looking down at the floor, and the hands are placed under the shoulder. Make sure that the back does not sag, the core remains tight, and the hips do not lift into the air.
Muscles worked: arms, shoulders, chest, and serratus anterior. Wide Push-up
The wide push-up is only slightly different from the standard push-up. It just involves widening the distance between the hands, focusing more on the chest muscles. Get into the plank position, but place the hands further out to the side. The elbows will point further out to the side as the arms bend.
Muscles worked: chest, shoulders, and back muscles. Narrow Push-up
The narrow push-up is another variation of the standard push-up, but it is usually more difficult. It reduces the distance between the hands, which means that the arm muscles have to work harder. As in the standard push-up, get into the plank position. This time, place the hands closer together and directly below the chest. The elbows should tuck back into the body as the arms bend and straighten.
Muscles worked: triceps and chest muscles. Elevated Push-up
The elevated push-up position raises the feet above the body, which requires more strength to get back into a plank position. As done with the other variations, start in the plank position and then raise the lower half of the body. Place the toes on a sturdy object, ideally a bench, but a box or chair will do it. Place the hands underneath the shoulders, keeping the arms straight.
Muscles worked: shoulders, upper back, and triceps. The Benefits of the Push-up
When it comes to staying in shape (or getting in shape), the push-up is arguably the most superior of exercises, not only for its low barrier to entry but for its effectiveness and versatility. Furthermore, the push-up can also come in handy for those looking to build their ideal summer body. Whether you are on the road, at the beach, or even in your hotel room, the push-up can be performed optimally and without interruption.
Doing push-ups can be a powerful full-body workout. This is because a large amount of energy is used to lift and lower much of the body’s weight in a short period. In addition to muscular development, a push-up has also been attributed to improving balance and posture, and flexibility.
In a nutshell, push-ups are a simple exercise that requires very little or even no equipment, so a person can easily do them as part of an at-home or in-hotel-room workout. There are also many push-up variations to suit people of different strengths and abilities. Let us have a look how to get started. How to Master the Push-Up
Before learning how to master the push-up, it is crucial to learn how to avoid doing it incorrectly. Like any exercise, there are several common mistakes when it comes to the execution of the push-up. The following are the most common mistakes to avoid when executing the push-up:
- Placing your hands too far forward
- Dropping the hips
- Flaring the elbows
- Not controlling the eccentric and concentric portions Tips for proper form
Doing push-ups without proper form can lead to an injury. Doing the exercise in the correct form will avoid experiencing lower back or shoulder pain. And if the push-up variation is too difficult to begin with, modify the exercise to make it easier.
Things to do to perform a proper push-up:
- Keep the back straight and core engaged.
- The butt should be down, not lifted.
- The body should form a straight line, not arching the back.
- And the body should never sag down.
Ask your gym buddy to make sure your form is correct or take a video when exercising alone. Step-by-step Guide for mastering the Standard Push-up
While the following is certainly a great guide, nothing is better than taking action. If you are attempting to master the push-up on your own, consider an external app such as FitBod to track your progress throughout the process; Heck, even take a video of yourself to correct your form!
1. Begin in a classic plank position w/ arms shoulder-width apart.
2. Legs should be fully extended w/ body completely aligned.
3. Tuck your elbows in at a 45-degree angle, palms under your shoulders.
4. Breathe in. Engage the core and buttocks muscles and bend the elbows to lower the chest as close to the floor as possible.
5. Pause for 1 second.
6. Breathe out. Push the arms straight to lift the body off the floor and back into the plank position.
By maintaining a neutral spine, engaging the core, providing your body with a base through the strength of your fingers and palms, and prioritizing control throughout the repetition, you will be well on your way to mastering the standard push-up! How many reps?
As always with fitness, this depends on various factors such as age range, gender, and of course, physical fitness. A good way to figure out how many reps can be done in a set is to perform as many push-ups as possible in two minutes. This total number then gets divided by three. So, for example, if the number was 36, this would translate into three (3) sets of 12 push-ups with short breaks of 2 minutes between them.
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology also created some norms with the follow ing categories: needs improvement, fair, good, very good, and excellent. This might provide some guiding principle too. Another example might be the U.S. Air Force. Recruits must pass a physical fitness test that includes 1-minute push-ups. Men must perform at least 33 push-ups and women 18 or more. While some people try to perform as many push-ups as they can within a certain time frame until they tire out, this is not a recommended strategy for daily exercise as it could lead to burnout or injury. In Summary
Whether you are a beginner or professional, the push-up can be a great implement if executed safely and effectively, both while traveling or in your own home!
And if you are traveling from hotel to hotel, you are likely to experience a lack of equipment variety. In such circumstances, the push-up can be a valuable and effective exercise implement. To help you stay on track during your travels, consider checking out a fitness app like FitBod. Here, you can input your progress so that you can hold yourself accountable during your travels with ease.Read More
Traveling is awesome. But if you are serious about fitness, it is also a source of stress. The good news is, so long as you take the most basic of fitness equipment and gadgets, you can travel freely and still have fantastic workouts. In this article, we review six awesome fitness equipments
- TRX All-In-One Body Suspension Trainer
- Resistance Band
- Yoga Mat
- Jump Rope
- Bluetooth Headphones
- Push-Up Handles TRX All-in-One Body Suspension Trainer
TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise and has won people's hearts by providing a portable, highly flexible suspension trainer. TRX is the travel fitness equipment to take on your next trip:
- It rolls up into a super-small bag, even fitting in your carry-on.
- You can perform almost all resisted movements you can think of with a TRX.
- From hanging the Suspension Trainer off your hotel door, to getting outside and securing it to a tree, the TRX is ready to go in seconds.
It is a revolutionary workout method that uses your body weight and gravity as resistance to build strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, core, and joint stability. And you can also register online to kick start with your TRX Suspension Trainer. For $49.99 a year, you get unlimited access to On-Demand TRX Training Workouts to unleash the full potential of the Suspension Trainer. Resistance Band
Resistance bands are a fantastic gift because they allow you to perform many gym-based movements without having access to machines. Just like the TRX, the resistance band will add load to any movement and will take up no space in your bag. The band also provides many unique movements as well as tension throughout the entire range of motion. Some examples include chest flyers, tricep extensions, and bicep curls.
Now the colors are not just decorative. These different colors of an exercise band correlate to different resistance levels. The darker the color, the bigger the resistance:
- Yellow: Thin/Easy/X-Light
- Red: Light
- Green: Medium
- Blue: Heavy
- Black: X-Heavy
Made from a grippy, non-slip material, RenoJ's Resistance Bands Set is perfect for leg and glute workouts. Another more budget-friendly option would be the Insonder's Resistance Bands Set. A superlight Yoga Mat
Whether you want to train in your hotel room or have a daily yoga practice, stashing a yoga mat in your carry-on lets could become handy. But chances are, the fitness mat you have at home does not fit into your carry-on. Meet the "Manduka Superlite Foldable" yoga mat for your next yoga, Pilates, or fitness workout. Probably one of the best choices for keeping up with your practice while traveling.
With only 1 Kg weight (2.2 lbs) and 1.5 mm of thickness, this equipment is exceptionally lightweight and flexible. In addition, the mat is easy to fold up tightly and toss in a suitcase.
Despite being so thin, the mat is made of a woven scrim, so it will not tear or stretch in your suitcase, and its closed-cell surface will not absorb the sweat and prevent the growth of bacteria. Finally, all Manduka mats are made without PVC or potentially toxic plasticizers. A Jump Rope
A jump rope is one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment you can own. For one, they are incredibly affordable. Second, a jump rope is light and portable, which means you can store it in almost any bag.
Third, jump ropes allow fantastic and time-efficient workouts almost anywhere. For example, did you know that jumping rope burns calories equivalent to running a 7:30 mile (11.70 km)?
Instead of worrying about equipment or finding a gym, all you have to do is take the rope out, and you can have a great workout anywhere – in the park, on the beach, or in your hotel room. So are you looking for a new one? The XYLsports Jump Rope provides ultra-smooth, bearing-assisted rotation and squishy foam-padded handles and is a pleasure to use. And importantly, it really gives a very smooth rotation.
Many people associate rope skipping with grade school children and not as a tool used by elite athletes. However, the jumping rope has been the warm-up routine of champions for a very long time. Bluetooth Headphones
I do not know about you, but I need music while training. So what better way to remove distractions, get in the zone, and push through hard workouts?
The great thing is that most Bluetooth Headphones are affordable and come with a compact case that easily fits into every travel bag. Looking for a new pair, read our dedicated article about the top ten headphones for training. Push-Up Handles
Push-up bars or handles are things that many people do not even consider purchasing, which is weird, as they can take your upper body fitness routine to an entirely new level. Okay, this equipment might take a bit more space in your suitcase. But if you are into push-ups, these handles allow you to practice better form when doing push-ups. And they also will give you more options for variations.
The two handles are placed on small rotating platforms and support the natural movement of your arms and shoulders.
The handles neutralize the wrist, meaning the joints do not have to bend during the push-up. This can diminish wrist pain. The handles also encourage a slower, methodical pace. In other words, using more muscle and less momentum could help get a little more activation through the muscles.
Has it got you hooked? Well, there is one thing to mention, the weight. These handles weigh 4 pounds (1.8 kg), which means they are not really fit for carry-on. Of course, a big reason for this heavy design is the internal rotation system, but if you have space, it might be a great companion for your next trip. Conclusion
You might want to bring some of your day-to-day workout equipment along as well. Depending on your training style, you might not need more than a pair of running shoes. But, if you enjoy lifting weights and doing calisthenics and plyometric training, then having a proper lifting shoe is essential.
You might also want to include your workout gloves for your work out in the hotel gym. If you prefer to do pull-ups in the park, gloves also come in handy. And the best, they do not take any space in your luggage.Read More
Being a Hollywood actress might seem like an easy job, but that is far from the case. Gal Gadot's first appearance as Wonder Woman came in 2016, but her preparation for the role began way before that. From sword-fighting to jumping tall buildings and flying, the role of Diana, Princess of the Amazons, is challenging on many levels.
The actress was quite fit even before taking the role of Wonder Woman, but she wanted to hone her skills and reach the next fitness level to portray the part in all of its grace, athleticism, and sheer strength. Wonder Woman's training primarily consists of weight training, but she also does HIIT and core-specific work.
With that in mind, let's dive into the details and see how you can train like Wonder Woman. The role of Wonder Woman
Getting ready for a role in a movie seems simple enough, but consider the true meaning of doing so: The actor or actress doing the role has to embody all of the physical and psychological characteristics of the character they portray. That is the only way to truly nail a role and make it believable on the big screen. The actor or actress has to get as close to the character as possible. They have to feel the role, understand what the character is all about, and embody that when the director shouts "Action!"
In the case of Wonder Woman, Gal had a tall order on her hands. Aside from being truly strong, quick, and athletic, she had to portray confidence, decisiveness, and superhuman ability. One might say that aside from training to get more athletic, the actress did so to prepare herself mentally and become the superheroine we all enjoyed watching in the cinema. The importance of Guidance
Gal has said numerous times that she has always been of the athletic type, even as a child. Thanks to her athletic inclinations, she found it easy to excel in various physical endeavors and maintain a good shape.
Before even thinking about a career in Hollywood, Gal served her mandatory two years with the Israeli Defense Forces from 2005 to 2007. Before that, she won the 2004 Miss Israel, thinking it would be a fun experience but never expecting to win.
But, despite her sporty nature and ability to move and be athletic, Gal knew she needed a good trainer to help her step up her game for what arguably became the most prominent role of her life. So, the actress began working with Magnus Lygdback, the world-renowned Swedish expert and lifestyle coach.
The two would work together for over an hour a day, five to six times per week, for over a year in preparation for her first Wonder Woman movie. Magnus focused her training on lifting weights, but the actress also had to do aerobic exercise and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Gal's Transformation from Miss Israel to Wonder Woman
We previously mentioned that Gal won the Miss Israel title at 18. We also shed some light on the fact that the actress later served in the military for two years. While the two events in her life might not seem all that significant, we could argue that it is precisely thanks to the latter that she managed to land her iconic role. According to the actress, military training instilled a sense of self-discipline, which she credits as a crucial trait in her success and need for self-improvement. Preparing for the role of Wonder Woman
Gal's trainer was gracious enough to share the process of preparing the actress for her role. Aside from having her do a bunch of training to get in shape, Magnus had to understand what the objective was for the part of Wonder Woman.
In his words: When you start preparing for a marathon of a movie like this, you want to make sure to build a strong foundation. Included in that is to screen someone physically and see how they move.
Magnus also added: When building a character, you really need to break down what a character needs. If you look at Wonder Woman, she obviously needs the physique. But she also needs strength, ability, agility, and endurance.
Aside from getting her in shape, Magnus had to keep Gal healthy and injury-free because any issues could push back production, costing millions of extra dollars. What we can take away from this is that the training principles her trainer used were based on longevity and are applicable to the average trainee. 1. Warming-Up
A good warm-up is essential for good athletic performance, well-being, and injury prevention. Gal's trainer had her start with some light movement on an Assault Bike for at least five minutes. He also had to prepare her for every action scene to keep her safe and injury-free during filming. 2. The Split
The split Gal had to follow was interesting. It consisted of five weekly workouts that trained her entire body twice. Her first three workouts trained all major muscles in her body, then the final two workouts trained these muscles again but less intensely.
- Day 1 - Cardio and Legs
- Day 2 - Chest, Back, and Core
- Day 3 - Arms and HIIT
- Day 4 - Legs, Core, and HIIT
- Day 5 - Chest, Back, and Arms
Her training focused on resistance training, and Gal performed numerous great exercises, including:
- Wide-grip lat pulldowns
- Alternating bicep curls
- Tricep pushdowns
- Alternating dumbbell rows
- Reverse flyes
- Incline dumbbell fly
- Crossover mountain climbers
- Front squats
Gal also did plenty of cardio to build up her endurance for the role of Wonder Woman. The activities she did include running, sprinting for half a minute at a time, assault bike, and rowing machine. Thanks to the routine, Gal built an amazing and balanced physique, capable of incredible strength, endurance, and agility. 3. Martial Arts
Of course, Martial arts were a big part of Gal's preparation for such an action movie. However, it was not her favorite thing, but it did help her to become Wonder Woman and understand the role better. In an interview, Gal mentioned she expects to bulk up a little, thanks to this super-intense training: It's the physical preparations that I'm starting now. A very serious training regimen: Kung Fu, kickboxing, swords, Jiu jitsu, Brazilian…1,000 and 1 things…I'll gain body mass. 4. The no-diet
When you are working out like this, a healthy meal plan is key. Gal's daily diet had to be locked in to keep up with the physical demands of being Wonder Woman. So she ate three main meals and two snacks every day to keep her energy level up. The meals and snacks focused on whole foods and a balance of complex carbohydrates (wild rice, for example), healthy fats, plenty of vegetables, and of course, lots of proteins. Her trainer Magnus had an interesting main rule: Focus on nutrition in 17 out of every 20 meals. Gal could enjoy things like pasta and even wine for the other three meals.
All this does not sound too much like a diet or difficult menu plan, huh? As a conclusion
You might or might not like the movie Wonder Woman, but you will agree the actress's physical performance is impressive. Of course, Wonder Woman's arms are her best weapon, and they rightly always stand out. Interestingly, her trainer Magnus, had a particular and surprisingly simple secret behind them: Push-ups for 30 seconds, then holding a plank for 30 seconds - and then repeat this combo four times (total workout time of four minutes). Sounds simple, no? It does not seem like much, and whit dedication; this can bring great results.
While not everyone can train with Magnus, you might want to explore other excellent "guides" to improve your performance. Be it Fitbod, Freeletics or Alpha Progression; fitness apps can significantly impact your fitness and health progression. And of course, there is also an app from Magnus Lygdbback. Interested to learn how Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson is keeping his incredible shape? Check this article and start to train like the Rock.Read More
In this era, internet security is essential to keep you in shape digitally, especially as a traveler. A VPN can be a reliable traveling companion that keeps your virtual life secure, increases your privacy, and give you full access to services outside your home country. It can also help you bypass geo-restricted content whenever a business trip kicks in. We have done the hard work, making it extremely easy for you to make an informed decision based on your personal preference.
Quick Check: Best VPN services for business travelers 2022
1. ExpressVPN - Best Security
2. NordVPN - Best Features
3. CyberGhost VPN - Best for Traveling
4. Surfshark VPN - Most for the Money What is a VPN, and how does it work?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Going by the name, you can think of it as a computer software intricately designed to keep your online connections private and, most importantly, secure. To use a VPN, you need to subscribe to a VPN Provider, download and install their software, and choose a server location. Only 3-steps, and you are already good to go.
Most of the time, you will select a specific server location because you want your computer to appear like it is in a particular country (such as the United States). As a business traveler, you probably have services and subscriptions in your home country you want to use, which might not be available in the country you visit.
The moment you enable the VPN software on your device, it instantly creates a unique route for your subsequent browsing activities. In addition, it encrypts all outgoing or incoming data that you share on the internet, including sensitive personal information such as bank details, login credentials, etc. Why do you need a VPN?
What pushes people to use a VPN service? Let's have a look and explore the most important benefits. Hoaxes use weaknesses in human behavior to ensure they are replicated and distributed. In other words, hoaxes prey on the Human Operating System.
—Stewart Kirkpatrick Stay safe when using Public / Free Wifi
Free Wifi is not free after all; you may pay with your personal data. You risk exposing sensitive information such as your bank login and credit card details to the wifi administrator who can monitor your online activities. Additionally, most public/free Wifi at cafés, airports, and parks lack reliable security protocols, making it a fertile ground for internet spoofers to thrive. Having a VPN would protect your privacy even when using these public/free wifi networks.
VPNs also protect you against identity theft, stopping cybercriminals from using your internet habits to steal your banking, financial, employment, and identifying data, like your address. A VPN hides all your login details and sensitive data by ensuring that your online connections are first encrypted when using public Wifi. Stop Price Discrimination
It is no secret that many ecommerce websites track browsing behavior with cookies so that they can change prices based on your location and browsing habits. For example, airlines collect your data whenever you visit their websites. They use these cookies to study your online flight-related histories and can use them to determine your flight fares as they look to maximize profit.
Using a VPN bypasses the airliners' AI technology and will hide your IP address, making it impossible for them to track you. Access Geo-Restricted Content
If you travel often, you will need the help you can get from a VPN to access certain websites. As VPNs let you browse the internet from a server outside your home country, you can access content that would otherwise be geo-restricted (restricted by an IP address). In particular, if you travel to China, you will be unable to open even the most popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the likes. But, again, a VPN comes in handy, removing all forms of location-based restrictions.
In addition, full-screen General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) banners could also block your favorite news and booking websites. For example, people from Europe will most likely hit the "Temporarily unavailable for users in Europe" banner when accessing the MakeMyTrip.com web page. Using a VPN is a convenient way to unlock all website content, giving you the access to enjoy your favorites websites and go about your usual business. Things you should look out for when choosing a VPN
As a business traveler, there are different measures you can take to protect your privacy. Using a reliable and trusted VPN gives you an edge in maintaining complete anonymity. Here are a few concrete requirements to consider when choosing a VPN.
- Multiple server locations: A VPN with an extensive network of servers globally will ensure you have plenty of options to unblock content from no matter where you are living.
- Connection Speed: A slow internet connection can be frustrating when consuming content from the internet. Therefore, you will need to review VPN services with fast connections to get things done online without interruptions or hiccups.
- Cross-platform compatibility: As a business individual, you need the flexibility you can get in a VPN, especially if you have more than one device, including your mobile phone.
- Ease of use: Unfortunately, quite a few VPNs out there are confusing or otherwise annoying to use. You want a VPN you just set and forget; leave it to run in the background as you go about your business online.
And the latest trend is the "Kill Switch." A VPN's kill switch feature is one of the newest technological additions designed to protect your privacy. It shuts down all online activity or traffic once it senses an internet connection loss. The automatic shutdown helps keep your activity anonymous and secure. Best VPN providers for business travelers
We have analyzed the key features you should consider in order to choose the best business VPN when you travel, and these are our top four picks: ExpressVPN - Best Security
We chose ExpressVPN because it ticks all the boxes for everything you need in a VPN. It is a top-notch platform that supports all modern gadgets, blazing connection speed, over 3'000 servers in 160 locations within 94 countries worldwide, smart security features, supremely easy-to-use platform with a 30-day money-back guarantee (refund policy).
ExpressVPN is more expensive than many of its main competitors in terms of pricing. For instance, you will get charged $12.95 per month when you use it only for a month or $99.99 for the entire year. With our promotion code, you will get an additional 3-months for free to lower the cost to $6.66 a month.
Facts overview for ExpressVPN:
- Adware Blocker: No
- Dedicated IP Address: No
- Encryption: AES-256
- # of Devices: 5
- Kill Switch: Yes
- Money-back guarantee: 30-days
Who should use it?
Those who are looking for a best-in-class VPN service and are okay to pay for it. ExpressVPN is known for their security features. NordVPN - Best Features
Choosing between NordVPN and ExpressVPN is a tough choice. It's more like comparing an Audi to a BMW; both are great. Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN is a complete package, offering rapid server speeds, double encryption for an extra layer of security, and multi-platform compatibility. In addition, it is one of the most secure VPNs out there, combining AES-256 encryption with an ad and malware blocker and double VPN services, aka multi-hop connections. NordVPN, with its 5'400 servers located in over 60 countries, is one of the few VPNs that works with Netflix, an essential factor for many traveling for business.
The NordVPN's standard plan also comes with a $99 price tag for one year. After applying our discount of 40%, it will be only $4.99 per month. However, signing up for two years secures a considerable discount of 60% and brings down the cost to $3.29 per month.
And in case if you are looking for a business solution, NordVPN also offers a Team subscription for small businesses, though its pricing is unclear.
Facts overview for NordVPN:
- Adware Blocker: Yes
- Dedicated IP Address: Yes (extra monthly cost)
- Encryption: AES-256
- # of Devices: 6
- Bandwidth: Unlimited
- Kill Switch: Yes
- Money-back guarantee: 30-days
Who should use it?
Those with a flexible VPN budget but want value in return. NordVPN is known for their best set of features. CyberGhost - Best for Traveling
If you are a business traveler looking to use a VPN for the first time, CyberGhost could be an ideal option. It has one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use apps and website interfaces with a minimal learning curve. This VPN solution strikes a perfect balance of a powerful feature set and an intuitive interface for users of all skill levels. Many travelers love CyberGhost, because it offers perhaps the largest and the most well-distributed VPN server networks we have seen, powered by the latest VPN technology available. You can choose from its over 8'000 server locations across 91 countries. Like other leading VPNs, CyberGhost uses AES-256 encryption to protect your data, and it is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and more.
Hands down, CyberGhost is an affordable, feature-packed VPN product in the marketplace. On top of that, it offers a 45-days refund policy, which is one of the most prolonged available refund policies. The monthly cost of $12.99 is the highest in this comparison. However, when signing up for the 3-year plan, you can lower the monthly fee to $2.29.
Facts overview for CyberGhost:
- Adware Blocker: Yes
- Dedicated IP Address: Yes (extra monthly cost)
- Encryption: AES-256
- # of Devices: 7
- Bandwidth: Plan dependent
- Kill Switch: Yes
- Money-back guarantee: 45-days
Who should use it?
If your focus is on streaming and you might need a bit extra time to test the solution. CyberGhost is ideal for those traveling. Surfshark VPN - Most for the Money
Surfshark is one of the newer VPN providers in the industry, but after its inception in 2018, it has made a real name for itself. Standing out with some unique features that include split tunneling and multi-hop connections, which bounce your tunnel across multiple servers for extra security. Despite being one of the cheapest you will find, it does not scrimp on features. Surfshark's excellent security structure would ensure you are protected anywhere you may be worldwide. In addition, its no-log policy guarantees you of having your digital freedom and privacy intact. Even this VPN solution is rather late in the market than the others; Surfshark already has 3'200 servers in 65 countries. In our test, Surfshark's performance was higher than NordVPN, but lower than ExpressVPN.
Surfshark's shortest subscription of $12.95 per month is very similar to most of its competitors. However, you get the best savings when you opt for the 24-months option. On top of that, the 1-year plan adds an extra two months free with a fully refundable policy for 30 days. It is hard to beat that.
Facts overview for Surfshark:
- Adware Blocker: Yes
- Dedicated IP Address: No
- Encryption: AES-256
- # of Devices: Unlimited
- Bandwidth: Unlimited
- Kill Switch: Yes
- Money-back guarantee: 30-days
Who should use it?
Those looking for a solid, feature-rich VPN primarily for personal use and secondarily for working from home. Surfshark VPN is the cheapest options of the VPN Services we evaluated. Conclusion
Because you travel often, you should not compromise on quality when choosing a VPN. It is important to find the right VPN that combines the features that would make your traveling abroad convenient and fulfilling. Of course you could choose a freemium VPN provider, which is a free version of a paid VPN. However you would not get the full set of features and will probably have restrictions like data caps. The same applies for lifetime offers, which might come qwith questionable privacy regulations. In short, you are better off getting the paid version. Our recommendation is based on your most essential needs as a business traveler. Enjoy. FAQ
Still have questions? Check our FAQ for the most comon Do I need a separate VPN for each device?
No. A good VPN provider will enable you to use their service on several devices with one subscription. This configuration is known as simultaneous connections. If you want a VPN that offers unlimited simultaneous connections, we recommend Surfshark. Can I share my VPN with my family?
Yes, provided you have a VPN that offers simultaneous connections, you and your family from the same household can use it at the same time on your separate devices. Do I have to connect all my devices to the same VPN server?
No, every device can be configured for a different VPN server or even a different VPN provider. When you install your VPN to your different devices, each one can connect to its own server, allowing you to pick different countries. Can a single VPN subscription cover all of my devices?
Yes, a top VPN provider, as described in our review, will let you connect with several devices, so you can cover your laptop, smartphone, tablet, and more. Some, like Surfshark, even offer unlimited connections! Alternatively, you can install a VPN on your router to connect every device that uses the network.Read More
For those who frequently travel, it can be difficult to stay on track with your training and fitness goals, and for many reasons. However, many run into one primary reason when traveling is the availability and differences in equipment, especially in hotel gyms.
Many hotel gyms are limited in what they offer, but their equipment may also use different weight conversions (lbs vs kg), thus making it even more confusing to follow your original training plan. With that said, by educating yourself on the differences between certain pieces of equipment and understanding how you can incorporate them into your modified training plan, you can continue to train hard no matter where you are in the world!
This article aims to differentiate one of the most popular pieces of equipment that you will find in a gym; the barbell. Contrary to popular belief, there are several different types of barbells, each with its own purpose, use case, and even weight. So, If you want to be sure that you are using a given barbell correctly, continue reading!
While some of the barbells discussed in this article might not be commonly found in a hotel gym, per se, it is worth learning about them just in case! The Technicalities of a Barbell
First, you need to understand the different barbell pieces: The shaft makes most of the length of a barbell and is the part you grab with your hands. Attached on both ends are the sleeves used to load the weight plates. Then, between the shaft and the sleeves are the collars. This thicker part prevents the weight plates from sliding onto the shaft. And then there is the knurling. The knurling is not a separate part but is essential to keep a grip on the bar.
There are two parts which deserve special attention, the sleeves and the knurling. So let us dive into both topics. The Sleeves
Sleeves are the pieces at both ends of the barbell you put the weights on. The sleeves impact which weights you can use and how many plates you can load up. There are two sizes of diameter: 1 inch (25 mm) for standard barbells or 2 inches (50 mm) for Olympic barbells. The Knurling
The heavier the weight, the better your grip has to be to keep the bar in your hands. Knurlings help the lifter grip the barbell better. The trade-off is that more aggressive knurling is tougher on your skin.
We are not aware of official names, but the different types get often referred to as:
- Hill (passive/medium knurl): Smooth knurling, with the least amount of grip;
- Volcano (aggressive knurl): Deep knurling, with dented sharp points, does not hurt the hands and provides a good grip.
- Mountain (aggressive knurl): – Deep knurling offers the most grip. More contact points with the hand, which can be painful for some!
Of course, there are many other details, but those provide you with the foundational knowledge to prepare for a good workout when visiting a hotel gym. Having this said, let us have a look into this. Types of Barbells in Hotel Gyms
There are several types of barbells, each with its own purpose, use case, and even weight. However, many of them are quite unique and rare to find in a standard hotel gym. Heck, some of them might even be difficult to find at your standard corporate gym…
That is why, in this article, we will only be diving into the details of those that you will most likely find in hotel gyms, in particular. We will then share, in summary, other types of barbells that are highly unlikely to find in hotel gyms.
The most common types of Barbells in Hotel Gyms:
- Standard Barbell
- Hex Bar
- EZ Curl Bar
- Olympic Barbell
- Smith Machine Standard Barbell
As you can decipher from the name, the standard barbell is the most common type of barbell. Typically made from steel, the standard barbell is about 5-6 feet (160 - 220 cm) in length, 11-22 pounds (5 - 12 Kg) in weight, and has a capable weight load of about 500 lbs depending on the subtype of the standard barbell in question. The standard barbell is ideal for exercises like the shoulder press, bench press, barbell curl, and barbell row, among other standard bodybuilding-like movements.
Because the standard barbell is most likely the only barbell available in hotel gyms, it is worth basing much of your training program around it. However, it is worth noticing that a barbell has varying sizes; amateur and female barbells are both shorter in length, lighter in weight, and smaller in thickness. The same goes for the next type of barbell, the Olympic barbell. Olympic Barbell
A premium bar in its own right, the Olympic barbell is commonly confused with the standard barbell, for they look much the same. In other words, at first glance, there are no apparent differences:
Typically made from steel, the Olympic barbell is 7'2 feet (220 cm) in length, 45 pounds (20.4 Kg) in weight, and has a load capacity of 1'000+ pounds. Because of the sheer size of the Olympic barbell compared to the standard barbell, it is much more stable during complex movements.
While the Olympic barbell can be used in the same capacity as a standard barbell, the same can not be said about the standard barbell. You can technically get away with it; however, performing snatches or clean & jerks with standard barbells is not recommended, especially at heavier weights.
Similarly, while it is encouraged for safety reasons to drop the Olympic barbell once you have completed the lift, the same can not be said for standard barbells. The standard barbells are typically loaded with iron plates, while Olympic barbells are loaded with color-coordinated rubber plates (bumper plates). Talking about those - something good to know is the Olympic Weighlifting Plates Color Scheme:
The colors used for the weights from left to right: Red (55 lbs, 14.5 Kg), Blue (45 lbs, 20.4 Kg), Yellow (35 lbs, 15.9 Kg), Green (25 lbs, 11.3 Kg), White/Grey (10 lbs, 4.5 Kg). Hex Bar
Otherwise known as the trap bar, the hex bar is most commonly used for squats, deadlifts, and shrugs. It is most popularly known for its obscure makeup, making its name in safety.
In other words, while deadlifts with a standard barbell can place you in an improper position if you are not careful, the hex bar all but naturally places you in the correct position from the start.
It also typically allows you to lift more than you typically could using a standard or Olympic barbell. The most common hex bar weighs 45 pounds (20.4 Kg), much like an Olympic barbell.
For beginners or those who value safety over everything, the hex bar will become your new favorite barbell. The good news? It is becoming quite a popular piece of equipment, now found in many hotel gyms globally. EZ Curl Bar
For those who are not familiar with the name, the EZ bar is the one that you might otherwise refer to as the "squiggly bar"… In any case, the EZ bar is not typically thought of as a "barbell." This is because it is sizeably smaller than its counterparts.
The EZ curl bar comes in variable sizes and thicknesses; however, they are all much the same, weighing 20-25 lbs (11.3 Kg). The primary benefit of the EZ bar is its ergonomic design, making it both comfortable and safe, even for the most novice of lifters.
The EZ bar is most commonly used for movements requiring less weight, such as bicep curls and tricep skull crushers. BONUS: Smith Machine
Finally, while the smith machine is not necessarily categorized as a barbell, per se, it is the best alternative for those gyms that are not equipped with barbells themselves. The Smith Machine also happens to be quite the common addition to hotel gyms for its versatility and safety. For those unfamiliar with the Smith Machine, simply put, it is a machine in which a barbell-like mechanism is attached to a cage, providing users with a safe, fixed barbell path during the exercise of their choosing.
While you can not perform complex Olympic lifts with a Smith Machine, it does allow a safe environment for exercises like the bench press, shoulder press, and barbell squat, for example. To conclude
There are of course, more variations of a barbell. Other types of barbells include the deadlift bar, safety squat bar, Swiss bar, cambered bar, log barbell, and tsunami barbell. However, these bars are quite uncommon, even in the largest corporate gyms. If you are traveling from hotel to hotel, you are unlikely to come across any of the above.
And remember, however, that whatever barbell you choose, always treat it with respect, and if you take away nothing else, always be sure to put your weights away when you are finished!Read More
Subscription-based fitness training has grown incredibly popular. Peloton was among the first companies to implement the business model, and it has worked for them. Over the years, we have seen countless other subscription options. Some have been good, others - not so much.
The tech giant Apple has been trying to make a break with the fitness crowd, which is why they developed and released something called Apple Fitness Plus. So, let’s talk about it. What is Apple Fitness+?
Apple Fitness Plus, also spelled Fitness+, is an online, subscription-based exercise platform. The platform includes:
- Apple Watch integration.
- Countless pre-recorded exercise videos with three instructors.
- Sessions you can follow along.
Unlike most instructional videos, Apple Fitness+ is great because one instructor tells you how to perform the regular exercise. Another modifies it for people with injuries, and the third person shows you a more advanced variation. And this all at the same time. Their training sessions are also flexible, and you can pick between lengths from 10 and 45 minutes.
What is great is that you can integrate Fitness+ with Apple Music to enjoy your favorite tunes while training. What does it feel to do Apple Fitness+ Workouts
As you dive into Fitness+, the platform presents you with numerous categories for activities. For example, you can pick between yoga, dance, strength training, treadmill workouts, cycling, stretching, etc.
As with all Apple products, the design is beautiful, and browsing through the Fitness+ interface is easy and seamless. Even if you have never logged in, you will figure it out within minutes. Once you have picked your category, it is time to choose the specific session you want to do. These vary greatly depending on length, intensity, type, and more.
You are likely to notice during your first Fitness+ session how focused the coaches are on mental health. You are not just there to work hard and get a sweat going. Each instructor approaches classes with a positive attitude, helping you feel better and more motivated to be a great person. Following along workouts occurs naturally because their sessions are structured intelligently, and you have the freedom to pick the ones that fit your fitness level best.
We recommend watching workouts on Apple TV if you have it. Newer smart TVs can also stream your Fitness+ workouts through Apple Play. It is not necessary, but it makes the entire experience that much better. Apple’s production value on each video is fantastic, and a bigger screen with better speakers would help you appreciate it more.
Despite being follow-along-types of workouts, Apple has made the experience unique for many people because you can pick between three trainers to follow during your session. For example, if you struggle to keep up with the leading trainer, follow the one on the left. In contrast, if what the primary trainer does feels too easy, follow the one on the right for a more challenging workout. What we think of Apple Fitness+ The Good
Perhaps the greatest benefit of Apple Fitness+ is that the platform feels like a personal trainer in your pocket. But, instead of simply using an app that lays out your workouts in a few lines, you have access to numerous fantastic trainers that educate and inspire you. As such, you feel much more motivated to finish your sessions, and you understand how to perform each activity well.
Speaking of activities, a fantastic benefit of Apple Fitness+ is that you get three trainers demonstrating the same movement. One shows the classic exercise, another gives you a modified version if you’re injured, and the third gives a more advanced move. As such, you can tweak your training to fit your needs perfectly.
The third great benefit of Fitness+ is the platform’s overall flexibility and versatility. You can pick from numerous training categories, styles, and session lengths to exercise just as you enjoy. For example, you can choose strength training workouts to build muscle, but you can also try yoga, meditation, cycling, and more. You can also pick shorter and longer sessions depending on how much free time you have each day.
All of the advantages make Apple Fitness+ a fantastic companion for everyone who seeks guidance. Plus, the added flexibility makes the platform a great addition to your workouts while on the road. All you need is your Apple Watch, and you are good to go with a variety of training styles and fun workouts. The not so Good
We have known for a long time that Apple loves drawing customers in and having them buy as many devices as possible. Their ecosystem is terrific, and customers often start with one product and purchase numerous others later.
Things are no different for Apple Fitness+ because, while the subscription costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year, it requires an Apple Watch (series three or higher). In addition, the watch itself requires an iPhone to set up, given that the device was intended to be a companion for Apple’s phones. So, while Apple Fitness+ can be great, its cost is not the only thing you should consider.
Another issue with Apple Fitness+ relates to the instructors. As discussed in previous points, Apple’s fitness subscription allows you to learn from numerous fantastic instructors, but you might struggle to follow their directions and do exactly what they want. The main reason is that everyone uses different bikes, rowing machines, and such. Because of that, your instructor can not give you specific recommendations like the ones you can receive when using a Peloton bike. Instead, they can give you general guidelines like, “Go slow.” or “Cycle at a moderate tempo.”
The third drawback of Apple Fitness+ relates to their filtering options that could be better. For example, let’s say that you only want to train specific parts of your body, and you are looking for a good weight training workout in Fitness+. Your best bet is to go through each workout and read the description for what muscles you’ll be training and what equipment you will need. A much better option would be if you could use filters to narrow down your choices and find the best possible workout in just a couple of minutes. Is there a free version of Apple Fitness+?
After the 1.-month free trial period, you will have to upgrade to the paid version, where you will have access to unlimited workouts. The monthly plan costs $9.99, but you can pay $79.99 for an entire year.
You might want to check on seasonal deals. Currently, you can get 3-months of Apple Fitness+ free when you buy a new Apple Watch. And is there an Apple Fitness+ promo code?
Unfortunately, there are no discounts for Apple Fitness+. You can use gift cards or the mentioned 3-months promotional codes. However, this is connected to buying a new Apple device. Our Conclusion
One of the biggest tech giants has officially launched a digital streaming fitness service. This demonstrates that the concept of working out in your own home is not going anywhere anytime soon. Apple is known for releasing products that set the standard, and they are also known for acting quickly to fix issues, which is why their sport-streaming deal might just be more than an attempt to carve a niche in the crowded content industry.
Are the gyms we know history? Not yet! Convenience is great, but the flip side of that convenience is that it is much easier to ignore your alarms than to cancel on a friend or trainer waiting at the gym.
If you are interested in a premium fitness app, which is not limited by a phone brand, you might want to checkout Fitbod.Read More
Do you have a job that requires occasional travel? Business trips can be exhausting whether you are a seasoned jet setter or a roadshow newbie. A study shared by Hilton Hotels & Resorts showed, that productivity levels can drop for business travelers. The good news? Exercise is the best antidote. While traveling, those who exercised were more alert and reactive, performing an incredible 61 percent better than non-exercisers.
So how do you stay fit while traveling for work? Being on the road can throw everything out of whack, especially when used to a particular routine. So, try these five tips to help you stay healthy, even when you’re on the company’s schedule. Let us dive in. 1. Move!
Even the busiest travel plans have waiting periods. You wait for a pickup by a taxi or your Uber or between flights. Explore the airport and walk around, carry your luggage, do squats or lunges while you wait, or stretch when you are sitting around. Take every opportunity to walk, take the stairs, skip the rope and practice tensing and releasing your stomach muscles.
When you are traveling, you have the opportunity to see new places. So before you start your day, try getting up 20 minutes earlier for a brisk walk or jog outside. The fresh air will help you wake up, and you can use the unfamiliar scenery to your advantage – talk about motivation! 2. Prepare mentally
Think about how you will adapt your exercise and eating routines ahead of time to feel confident in your ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you are on the road. For example, you may want to plan not to overindulge at those company dinners.
Even if you have a dinner meeting or a night out with coworkers planned, set an end-time before the night even begins so you know when to pack it in. Remind yourself how important it is to get the National Institute of Health’s suggested seven to eight hours of sleep for the busy day ahead. 3. Get a Coffee
If you stay at a hotel, the room likely has a coffee maker. So why not get creative and use it? Having a coffee is a welcome addition to a fitness routine. Alternatively, you could heat water for instant oatmeal or tea and skip the pastries at continental breakfast.
Is there no coffee maker in the room? Have a walk to the coffee shop next door. You get to explore the area and enjoy your morning coffee. 4. Drink lots of water
The humidity in the cabin of an airplane decreases, taking the moisture out of the air, which explains why you can quickly become dehydrated when flying. Best to get a water bottle at the airport, so you do not only rely on the cabin service.
It may also be the key to getting rid of unhealthy toxins. When traveling, that can include the delicious food you are eating or different particles in the environment. In addition, bottled water is necessary due to the unsafe water conditions in many parts of the world. If filtered water is not available where you are staying, consider purchasing a self-filtering water bottle to use while traveling. 5. Bring your Equipment
Many hotels have a gym, but eventually, you will have to stay somewhere without the amenity. You could do a workout in your hotel room if you bring your own jump ropes, resistance bands, slider disks (or small hand towels), or other compact workout tools. Check this article on some ideas on which equipment to bring on your next trip.
Some simple exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, squats, and lunges can keep your metabolism going and help build energy. If you have a chair in the room, you can even try dips or leg raises. It is essential to stay as close to your routine as possible while on a business trip. Using the Fitbod app can help setting up your next hotel room body workout. Bonus: Plan for your sleep.
If you make time to be active during the day, you will help your chances of sleeping better at night. A poll conducted in America showed that those who exercise are more likely to say, “I had a good night’s sleep” on work nights and non-work nights.
The data showed that exercise is good for sleep and that those who classify themselves as active exercisers have the best sleep (non-exercisers report having the worst sleep). And try to not get tempted by the snoozing-option.
If you are a light sleeper, bring some earplugs. Also, if you are used to a pitch-black bedroom, pack an eye mask. Those hotel blackout shades can be hit or miss. Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep to get the rest you need to shine. To conclude
As you may already know, traveling can sometimes be tiresome. The flight, the hotel stay, and the work you need to do can be tiring. If you want to stay healthy and energized on the road, you need to ensure that you are getting enough sleep and exercising regularly. Those good hotel gyms are rare, and most hotel rooms are not set up for some physical activity. However, that does not mean you have to avoid exercise completely. Follow these tips to stay fit on the road.
Also, check-out our hotel gym finder allows you to search for hotels with specific gym equipment. HotelGyms.com is the platform for the Fitness-Minded Traveler.Read More
I am sure we can all agree that pull-ups are… awesome. Aside from being a functional and incredibly beneficial exercise, the pull-up is cool and says a lot about your fitness level. Sure, being able to deadlift a lot of weight is cool too, but there is something awe-inspiring about a guy or gal who can grab a pull-up bar and bang out a set of ten reps like it was nothing.
To that end, we have put together this guide, outlining everything you need to know about the pull-up and how to master it in a matter of weeks. Yes, weeks (not months or years). And the best part? We will be sharing some information about an item that could make pull-up training more accessible, so stick around to find out and let us dive in. What are Pull-Ups, and what makes them so beneficial?
Pull-ups are one of the most effective bodyweight exercises you can use to build upper body strength, improve your stability, and develop your grip. The objective is to reach up, grab a sturdy bar, and pull yourself up using your forearms, biceps, and back muscles. You can perform the movement with an overhand (palms facing forward, see picture on the left) or underhand grip (palms facing back; also known as a chin-up, see picture on the right).
A notable pull-up benefit is that the exercise develops the latissimus dorsi, the upper body's largest muscle. Doing so gives the back a broad and muscular appearance that screams fitness. Aside from that, pull-ups develop your grip strength because you have to work hard and support your body weight during each set. All you need is a pull-up bar to have great workouts, even if you are in a bad gym.
Another benefit of pull-ups is that the exercise overloads all involved muscles well, leading to growth and strength gain. Plus, the exercise offers a fantastic overloading potential, making it a great movement to build a training routine around. The best part about pull-ups is that all you need is a bar to perform the great movement at home. How to start mastering the Pull-Up in just a few weeks
Mastering the pull-up might seem like an impossible task, especially if you can not do a single repetition right now. Luckily, there are simple tactics we can follow to make that happen. Let's take a look: 1. Do eccentric Pull-Ups
Not everyone can reach up, grab a bar, and pull themselves up. Doing so requires a base of strength and skill, which take time for us to develop.
Eccentric pull-ups are a fantastic option for beginners because not everyone can pull themselves up, but almost everyone can practice a controlled descent from the top position. So even if you can only lower yourself for two or three seconds, you have a base to work off and improve.
The objective with eccentric pull-ups is to reach the top position by jumping or stepping on something. Once there, lower yourself as slowly as you can by engaging your back, arms, and midsection muscles. Performing eccentric pull-ups is good for developing your muscles' necessary strength for a full pull-up. Most trainees will be able to do a complete pull-up by the time they can lower themselves for 45 to 60 seconds. 2. Leverage a Resistance Band
Resistance bands are awesome because they are affordable, light, portable, and incredibly versatile. One of their many benefits is that you can use a band to learn the pull-up. To achieve that, you have to wrap a looped band over a pull-up bar, let it hang, and step over it. Doing so allows the band to take away some of your body weight, making the exercise easier to perform.
Doing pull-ups with resistance bands allows you to progress to the first unassisted pull-up because you get quality practice and can strengthen all of the muscles involved in the exercise. The primary drawback with using a resistance band is that it offers the most support off the bottom (while it is stretched the most), but the assistance diminishes as you reach the top and the band returns to its regular length. 3. Do inverted Rows
Inverted rows are a bodyweight exercise with similarities to the pull-up. The objective is to grab a sturdy bar, lean back, and keep your feet planted on the floor. Once in position, pull and lower yourself repeatedly, working your back and biceps in the process.
Leaning back creates a more horizontal body position and makes the exercise more challenging. In contrast, staying more upright allows you to pull less of your body weight, making the movement more beginner-friendly.
Performing inverted rows is beneficial for your pull-up performance because you get used to the movement pattern. Plus, you get to train and grow the same muscles you would during a pull-up. 4. Lose some Weight
Weight loss is a bit of a taboo topic, but we need to mention it here because it directly impacts pull-up performance. Simply put, the more you weigh, the harder you will have to work to pull yourself up effectively. Losing some fat can make it easier to achieve your first pull-up and start building from there.
It is one thing to do pull-ups at 200 lbs of personal weight, and a whole other to do the same at 160 or 170 lbs. 5. Practice the exercise Frequently
The final beneficial tactic for improving your pull-up performance quickly is practicing the exercise more frequently. Performing pull-ups depends on skills that, like any other, improve through practice.
Here is a simple schedule you can follow:
- Monday - Eccentric pull-ups
- Tuesday - rest
- Wednesday - Band-assisted pull-ups
- Thursday - rest
- Friday - Inverted rows
- Saturday & Sunday - off Introducing the Pullup & Dip Bar
As we now know, pull-ups are one of the best exercises you can include in your training to build your back and develop your pulling strength. Plus, the movement is fantastic for improving your core stability, becoming more athletic, and reducing your risk of injuries. The only problem with the movement is that you need a pull-up bar, which can be problematic when training at home or in the backyard. Luckily, there is a product that makes it easy to start doing pull-ups and dips no matter where you are. The Pullup Bar
The Pull-up bar from Pullup & Dip is not one but several pull-up bars. It is a relatively new product that allows trainees to perform all sorts of fun and effective movements. In addition, this product offers excellent functionality and versatility, from the challenging pull-up and dip to the more accessible hanging leg raise.
The first thing you will notice about the pullup-dip bar is that each piece is made of solid metal, which inspires confidence that it will be able to support your weight. The entire thing weighs around 13 kilograms or 28.6 lbs. In addition, each of the handles is thick enough and has a surface that offers great grip, so you can rest assured that you will be able to train safely even if your palms get sweaty. Mounting the Pullup & Dip Bar at Home and Outside
When purchasing the item, you can get it with an indoor and outdoor adapter, which allows you to use the bar at home as well as outside. You should pick the one that fits your needs, but we recommend getting the complete package. You never know when you might need it.
The indoor adapter has a triangular shape with rounded corners and plenty of openings for bolts, which you need for mounting on the wall. This will be the more challenging part of the installation process because you will have to drill holes in your wall.
If drilling holes into your wall is not possible, or you are looking for a less permanent set-up, there is also the option of getting a pull-up bar for your doorway. Unlike other options on the market, this door mount is secure and can support your body weight with no risk of detaching. It also comes with a resistance band you can use to perform assisted pull-ups.
In contrast, the outdoor adapter is designed for attachment to vertical objects, such as trees or poles. Luckily, attaching the adapter outside is easier and does not require special tools like a drill. First, you have to envelop the object with a protection mat that comes with a fastener, which allows you to work with vertical objects of numerous thickness levels. You then have to attach the outdoor adaptor to the mat with another fastener. Once you have done the above steps, secure the foundation with the tension belt that comes as part of the package. You then have to put together the main elements, which takes a minute or two and mount them to the adaptor. After that, you are done and can proceed to your workout.
In any case, the user manual is clear and simple to follow, with many good pictures that illustrate each step in the process. How does the Pullup & Dip Bar feel during a Workout?
At first glance, the Pull-up & Dip bar might feel flimsy and in no way able to support your body weight. But, each part is made of solid materials to withstand significant loading without bending or breaking. As soon as you reach up, grab the bar, and lift your feet off the floor, you realize how stable the bar is and how secure you feel using it. The effect is particularly pronounced when using the bar at home because you can mount the adaptor more securely on the wall, preventing any looseness.
The next thing you notice about the product is its versatility. You can mount the bar one way and perform movements like dead hangs, pull-ups, hanging knee raises, L-sits, etc. You can then place the bar upside down in a few moments and have yourself a parallel bar for dips.
The bar is incredibly simple to modify, making it effortless to switch between exercises during your training. As mentioned already, you can rotate the bar for pull-ups or dips. You can also modify the bar and change the grips in seconds. Use the dip bar for movements like neutral-grip chin-ups and the straight bar for your traditional pull-up.
Suppose your objective is to do basic bodyweight training or look for a practical item to take for outdoor sessions. In that case, the pull-up & dip bar is undoubtedly a fantastic option.
With that said, there are some drawbacks to mention. These mostly apply to more advanced trainees looking to perform movements like the front lever and muscle-up. The problem is that the object you are attaching the bar to will get in the way, be it a pole, tree, or wall. You simply do not have the mobility you get from a standard pull-up bar.
Similarly, the manufacturers of the product recommend against uneven loading, such as grabbing one side of the bar and not the other. As such, movements like the single-arm pull-up might not be a good idea. What we think of the Pullup & Dip Bar
Our opinion about the Pullup & Dip Bar is that the product is solid, well-built, and offers a personal touch that is always welcome. We love the craftsmanship, the product's design, ease of use, and overall versatility.
Using the product is easy thanks to the clear instructions manual and the overall simplicity of the design. You don't need any technical knowledge or a degree in engineering to make full use of the Pullup & Dip Bar. Pricing on their website is usually around $79.90.
Another thing we enjoy about the product is how easy it is to tweak during your training. You can swap the individual handles in seconds, depending on the movement you want to do. On top of that, you can tweak the bar for pull-ups and dips, possibly even super-setting the two exercises for intense and efficient workouts.
The only potential issue with the bar is the weight, making it challenging to take on the road. You can fit all of the necessary parts in a medium-sized bag, but the whole thing weighs 13 kilograms (nearly 29 lbs), making it challenging to take on a road trip. And not sure how a hotel feels when one of its guests drills some holes in the walls. In such a case, you might want to stick to the standard fitness equipment.Read More