If you’re looking for a cool interval timer this new year then you need to get your hands on a GymBoss Interval Timer. I’ve had mine for a few years and still use it almost every day. It’s small, super easy to use and it works like a charm. And it is built to last! I’ve had the same one for 3 years and I’ve put it through the ringer!! I’ve dropped it, stepped on it and even lost it for a couple months but every time I think it might be time to buy a new one, I press the reboot button and it magically comes back to life!
The GymBoss can be used for all sorts of interval programs. You can set the number of rounds, the length of intervals and whether you want it to beep or vibrate. When I’m using it for boxing or short interval sessions I like to keep it on vibrate mode... it drives me crazy when you can hear an interval beeper going off every 15 seconds in the gym!
I use the GymBoss timer with all of my clients and one of my favourite interval settings to use is the Tabata Training Protocol. Tabata intervals consist of 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest and they are the most effective way to burn belly fat in a very short, intense amount of time!
And if you have a smart phone you can also download the GymBoss App. It's a free application and has all the same cool features as the original GymBoss. You can find it on iTunes and I would highly recommend that you check it out!
Fitness Reviews article by Ben on Wednesday, January 09, 2013 1:27:58 PM EST
I just finished reading a great book and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for some entertaining stories, a ton of solid training tips and some great insight from a man who has many years under the bar. The book is called “Never Let Go” by Dan John, who is a highly respected strength and conditioning coach with over 30 years experience in lifting, throwing and dragging very heavy objects!
Dan John started writing articles for T-Nation magazine, a fantastic strength and conditioning resource website. After a few years he decided to put all the articles together and publish a book. The stories are all very personal and range from his life experiences, to different training programs, to funny observations he's made over the years. He is a very honest writer and completely opens up about his life and the successes and failures he’s had on his strength and conditioning journey.
I really like that Dan John talks like a normal human being and never tries to sound smarter than he needs to. I also really like the message of his book. Nothing comes easy. In life or in the gym. If you want real, long lasting results in the gym you have to work hard and lift heavy! If you want to become successful in life, you need to work hard and stay focused on your goals!
I’ve read almost all of Dan John’s articles and have enjoyed every single one of them. I especially like the articles that include training programs. I’d like to share one of my favourite's that left me sore for a few days!
The Litvinov Workout:
Front Squats (bodyweight or higher) x 5-8 reps immediately followed by a 200M run. Take a few minutes rest between each set. Repeat 3-5 times.
My buddy Jordy and I are gong to try this workout with a sled drag this Summer. It’s called "Litvisleds" and apparently makes the workout so much harder! I’m excited to try it out and I’ll be sure to post to comments after to let you know how it goes!
Fitness Reviews article by Ben on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 12:40:26 AM EST
While we were away last month I had a chance to read a few books. One of the books was called The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. The Paleo Solution is a diet and nutrition book based on the diet of our paleolithic ancestors before the days of wide scale agriculture. The paleo diet, which our “hunter/gatherer” ancestors followed, consisted primarily of meat, fish, fat, seasonal vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds.
Robb Wolf is an accomplished trainer and gym owner and has an extensive background in biochemistry. In the book, he explains why today’s modern diet is so bad for us and why we need to revert back to our ancestors way of eating. He talks about the negative effects of cortisol on the body, how gluten wreaks havoc to the digestive system and how eating refined sugars and processed foods can lead to cancer and a slew of different diseases.
The book gives step by step instructions on how to clean out your kitchen and re-stock your fridge and pantry with foods that will have your body functioning at an optimal level. The book includes a 30 day diet challenge that guarantees to change your life and has a bunch of great recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks!
Another great thing about the book is that it includes training and lifestyle tips. It has recommended exercises that you should be doing to maintain a respectable level of fitness. And it explains how much sleep you should be getting, how to properly manage your stress levels and how to avoid overtraining.
I’ve been following a modified version of the paleo diet for a few months now. I tried to go strict paleo but had a really hard time giving up cheese and dairy so I follow what they call the “moo paleo”. Giving up bread was also pretty hard because I love sandwiches but after a couple weeks without grains and trying different things like stir-frys, salads and omelets instead, it has gotten much easier.
I’m going to try to stick with the paleo way of eating from now on but allow myself some cheats once and awhile. I mean, there is no way that I could give up pizza for the rest of my life and summer is right around the corner and there’s nothing better than BBQ burgers!
Oh.. and I also read the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy while we were gone. We both did... I thought it was really, really good and would definitely recommend the entire series to anyone looking for a great murder/mystery story!
Fitness Reviews article by Ben on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 7:30:20 PM EST
I came across an ad on Facebook a couple months ago for a company that makes palm grips designed to protect your hands from tearing, ripping or developing ugly calluses while working out.
The company's called GriPad and I sent them an email and asked if they'd be interested in sending me a pair so I could try them out. My hands have always been pretty rough and I've had calluses since I was a kid so wasn't too concerned about the protection they offered but thought the grips might help me make some gains on a few exercises like weighted pull-ups, barbell deadlift and bent over row.
I've had the grips for a few weeks now and have tried them out about a half a dozen times with a few different exercises. For me, they work really well for low rep, weighted pull-ups, lat-pull down, bent over dumbbell row and seated cable row. They give me a much stronger grip on the bar and allow me to focus more on the muscles I'm working (lats, rhomboids, rear delts) rather than thinking about my grip.
The two exercises they didn't really help me with though were high rep pull-ups and the barbell deadlift. With the high rep pull-ups, the Gripads helped to save my hands from tearing but once I started to fatigue, I had trouble re-gripping the bar. If I didn't have the grips on I could have re-adjusted my hand position on the bar and squeaked out a few more reps. With the barbell deadlift, I wasn't able to get a good enough hook grip on the bar with the Gripads on, I still prefer just using chalk.
All in all I think the Gripads would be an excellent addition to any gym bag! I used mine yesterday during my workout, I've been using them with several of my clients and I've had a few other trainers in the gym ask to borrow as well. The grips are relatively inexpensive, I think about $15 a piece, and come in a wide variety of colors!
Fitness Reviews article by Ben on Monday, February 07, 2011 12:28:25 AM EST