September 30, 2011 | Filed Under Exercise, Workout Routines | No Comments
Before you begin a steady exercise regimen, there are a few things you should hear. First, congratulations! The most important step to a healthy lifestyle is the first step: making the decision to get started. Once you’re ready to get out there and experience the benefits of regular exercise, you’re already on your way to better strength, better sleep, an improved outlook on life, fewer colds and aches, and more energy to do the things you love with the people you care about.
Before you begin, you’ll need to remember that the best things in life are worth a little sweat and a little patience. You may not see dramatic weight loss right away, but if you stay steady and keep your motivators in mind, you’ll get there soon enough.
Remember to enjoy the small daily rewards that come from working out. Pay attention to the spring in your step and the sense of accomplishment after you’ve done something difficult, and make the most of the endorphins and good feelings that come from pushing yourself to your limits.
Try to make exercise just one part of a healthy lifestyle. Keep an eye on what you eat, and while you’re at it, stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep.
And finally, don’t leave for the gym without the right gear. Invest in a quality yoga mat, weights, instruction, proper shoes and anything else you need to make sure you get the most return on your hard work. And don’t forget your Gripads. Your Gripads protect your hands, but they do more than that. Every time you look at them, you’ll remember that here are Gripad, we believe in you! We stand behind the power of exercise and a healthy lifestyle, which means we stand behind you. Grab that bar and get moving!
September 28, 2011 | Filed Under Motivation, Workout Routines | No Comments
Every athlete knows that motivation is key to sustained progress on the track, at the gym, or on the field. Top performers and people who have been working out seriously for a long time all have special motivational tricks and tactics that keep them focused when things get rough. But what about the rest of us? What happens when the desire to lose a few pounds or prevent the vague threat of heart disease in the distant future just aren’t enough to send us out into the cold? Especially when we have other obligations competing for our attention?
Here are a few considerations that can help you stay focused. Keep these in mind at the beginning of your journey, and also on rough days when you feel like letting your workout fall to the side.
First, begin with reasonable expectations. Prepare to be patient. You won’t lose twenty pounds in a week, no matter who you are. And it wouldn’t be very healthy to attempt this anyway. Be prepared to reap immediate benefits like feelings of well-being and accomplishment, improved breathing, and better sleep. But noticeably increased strength or weight loss will take a little longer.
Second, keep your long term goals written or posted somewhere where you can see them, and remember that the path to these goals can only be traveled one step at a time. Each workout is step forward. Each missed workout is a step to nowhere.
Third, enjoy every moment of satisfaction that comes from exercise and good health. From the rush that comes at the end of a workout, to the spring in your step when you get up in the morning, to the relaxed waistband of your pants, enjoy and savor every detail. These good feelings will create lasting memories that can help you when you need a boost.
September 26, 2011 | Filed Under GRIPAD Weight Lifting Gloves | No Comments
If you’re just beginning to consider the benefits of exercise, or you just signed up for a gym membership and are ready to start working out for the first time, you’ll need three important things: A goal, a plan, and the right gear. Here are a few considerations that can help you get started.
First, working out can be time consuming, and any change in your daily routine can take a bit of effort and motivation to maintain. You may start out with the best of intentions, but without clear goals, you may easily lose interest or become distracted by other concerns. Having goals can keep you on track. Are you working out to stay healthy? To tone your body or lose weight? To gain strength? Or to increase your performance in sport or athletic event? Try to clarify your intentions as well as you can and write them down, so you don’t forget. For example, “I want to lose X pounds per month until December and then maintain that weight from that point on.”
Second, you’ll need a sensible plan. A trainer can help you create a plan that can bring your goals within reach, but if you can’t afford or don’t want a trainer, you’ll still want to have a routine in mind before you begin. If you haven’t worked out before or have a medical condition, talk to a doctor first. Your doctor can let you know how to begin and maintain an appropriate plan.
Finally, you’ll want to hit the gym with the right gear. Make sure you wear comfortable, breathable clothing that isn’t too loose, and make sure you’re ready to protect your hands from gym surfaces and shared equipment. Bring your Gripads, the lightweight neoprene pads that can help you lift weights and use gym machinery without getting blisters or losing your grip.
September 20, 2011 | Filed Under Hand Protection, Weightlifting | No Comments
You’ve decided to start a regular workout routine and you’re ready to gear up and hit the gym for the first time. Or maybe you’re already familiar with the benefits of exercise and you’re ready to take your workout to the next level and add resistance training to your cardio routine. In either case, you’ll be spending time engaging in multiple reps with weights or machines, and your hardworking hands will play an integral role in your efforts.
Resistance training requires hand protection for a couple of important reasons. If you’ve tried to lift weights barehanded, you may have already learned these lessons through experience.
First, bare hands can have trouble maintaining a solid grip on weights and machinery. Sweat can build up and make your grip slippery, and if you’re focused on maintaining your grip, your attention isn’t where it needs to be and your performance won’t be ideal. You can also lose your grip on a weight entirely and let it fall, which can be dangerous. Chalk can help, but it’s messy and wears off quickly. It’s best to cover your hands with durable protection.
Gloves seem like the perfect answer. But gloves create additional problems, as many serious weight trainers know. They prevent the hands from breathing properly, which can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. And they collect sweat, moisture, grime and bacteria which can smell bad and create a breeding ground for cold and flu germs.
So how to get the hand protection your need to avoid blisters and calluses, while sidestepping sweaty, confining, smelly gloves? Try Gripads. These strong, durable pads stand between your hands and rough surfaces. But they let your skin breathe naturally, providing the safety and comfort you need to bring your attention back to where it belongs.
September 18, 2011 | Filed Under Stretching, Workout Routines | No Comments
So you’ve decided to start working out for the first time, or maybe you already exercise enough for maintenance, but you’re ready to take your cardio or resistance training workout to the next level. Exercise feels great, and you’ve already seen the benefits. Your body is leaner, you’re more alert, your outlook is brighter, and you sleep better at night.
Maybe you stretch lightly before heading out on a run, but should you also be stretching before you begin your resistance training? And what about stretching in general—Should you start your day with a few minutes of yoga whether you plan to work out later or not?
The simple answer is yes. Stretching and yoga are excellent ways to improve circulation throughout the body and maximize the benefits of any healthy routine. A few minutes of yoga in the morning can help you face the day with a positive outlook, and the benefits to your breathing and posture can stay with you and help you stay energized all day long. Stretching in the morning can also set your day on a positive path in unconscious ways. A few minutes of focus on body and health can subtly steer you toward healthier decisions (like taking the stairs) for the rest of the day.
Intense stretching before a workout can also be beneficial, but bear in mind that muscle tissue is dense and has a unique consistency that can sometimes be compared to taffy. It helps to warm the tissue and boost circulation before stretching vigorously. Avoid tugging too abruptly on cold muscles, since this will limit the benefits of your stretch and cause miniscule tears that may take time to heal. Instead, do a few light movements first within a comfortable range of motion, or take a light jog to warm your muscles before leaning fully into your stretch.
September 16, 2011 | Filed Under Nutrition | No Comments
If you’re planning on beginning a workout routine to bring your athletic performance to the next level or just to stay in shape and feel great, your routine at the gym should be just one part of an overall plan. You’ll also need to pay attention to what you eat. Choose the foods that can boost your health and help you get the most out of every calorie, and avoid the ones that can slow your progress and put a drain on your health and well-being.
In addition to the right gym, the right workout routine and the right gear (don’t forget your Gripads!), you’ll need the right foods to keep you focused, fueled, and on track. The following foods have been identified as “superfoods” by professional nutritionists and trainers. Consider snacking on these at least a few times a week. And even if you don’t choose superfoods at every meal, try to steer toward green leafy vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Avoid foods that are high in fat or corn syrup. Lean away from highly processed options and toward fresh, unprocessed foods like fruit, veggies, fish, nuts and eggs.
Meanwhile, try these for an added boost to bone, muscle, nerve and heart health:
Serious athletes already know that bananas have a calming effect and a powerful amount of potassium that can help with tissue recovery after an intense workout.
This cruciferous vegetable can have an amazing effect on health and well-being. Just one cup a day can provide calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and several important vitamins most of us don’t get enough of, including A, C, and K.
Just half a chili pepper per day can provide noticeable benefits. Most important for serious athletes, these little peppers provide powerful amounts of beta-carotene which can help fight infections and reduce inflammation.
September 14, 2011 | Filed Under Nutrition, Workouts | No Comments
Summer is nearly over, and the weather is cooling. But we may still have a few hot days left, and even when the weather seems mild, it’s important to pay attention to how much moisture we’re losing during a workout. These fluids need to be replaced, or we can become dehydrated and our performance and progress can begin to slide. Many workout beginners are surprised or caught off guard by the broader signs of dehydration, during the summer months but also during weather that doesn’t feel especially hot. Dehydration doesn’t always bring feelings of thirst. It can also bring mild headaches, fatigue, irritability, and reduced performance at the gym.
When the weather is hot, make sure you pay active attention to how much fluid you take in. Don’t let thirst be your guide. Take a drink of water every ten minutes or so. And if your workout is intense and long (over two hours), choose electrolyte drinks instead of water. These can replace the salt and other minerals that are lost with sweat.
When you head the gym for your workout during the late summer and fall, bring comfortable breathable clothes, neoprene Gripads to protect your hands, a friend to keep you motivated and on track, and plenty of water or non-sugary sports drinks. Keep your source of hydration close and stop every ten or fifteen minutes to drink even if you don’t feel thirsty. Your skin and muscles will thank you, and your general sense of well-being will stay in top shape throughout your routine.
And remember that hydration is only one part of peak performance. You also need to eat well, maintain a balanced schedule, and get plenty of sleep. If you can stay on track, it won’t be long before you see positive results.
September 12, 2011 | Filed Under Hand Protection, Weightlifting | No Comments
If you’ve ever tried to lift weights using your bare hands, you know how well the tough the tough skin of your palms can stand up to rough treatment. After a just a few reps, your hands feel fine. Your skin can breathe easily and little chalk may be all you need to steady your grip on the bar and keep your weights under control.
But after a long workout, things look different. Blisters can form, skin can become raw and abraded, and the sweat and germs left on behind on the bar by other users can spread to your hands and eventually to your face. After a few weeks of working out barehanded, your skin can become rough and callused and your handshake might not represent you at your best. Small injuries can interfere with your technique and slow your performance and you may lose motivation.
A simple thing like protecting your hands can keep your growth steady and your workout on track. And when you leave the gym each day with your hands in good condition, you can leave the rough bars, sweat, and germs behind as you head back to the office.
You can guard your hands by using weightlifting gloves, but gloves aren’t ideal. Sweat, grime and germs build up inside them, and no matter how thin of lightweight they are, they still don’t allow your hands to breathe properly. The answer is Gripad, the simple neoprene pad that slips between your hands and the bar, protecting you while staying out of the way of your workout. The slip-proof surface of the pad contacts the bar while the moisture-wicking neoprene layer holds securely to the palms of your hardworking hands. The Gripad is a simple, elegant solution that keeps your hands safe and helps the rest of your body stay healthy and strong.
September 6, 2011 | Filed Under Motivation, Workouts | No Comments
What do sports psychologists, ancient philosophers, public speakers, military generals, and elementary school teachers all have in common? Each of them have made and continue to make contributions to the endless volumes of information available on the subject of motivation. Motivation is an art and a science, to be sure, and anyone who discovers the secret to at-will motivation gains enormous power over his or her own destiny. But the reason motivation fascinates us so much is simple: it isn’t simple. As much as we’re doing to move our lives forward, most of us seem to know, deep down, that we could be doing more. And almost all of us recognize that if we could only figure out how to reach those untapped reserves of energy and will power, we would be nearly unstoppable.
I don’t know the secret to attaining money, love, power or perfect athletic performance. If I did, I would certainly share it with you. But I do know one thing: That our goals are easier to achieve if we do as much as we can to smooth the path that lies in front of us. Only a trainer can tell you how to push past your physical limits and do more reps than you thought possible. But anyone can tell you three ways to make your gym experience positive: Choose the right gym, choose the right partners, and choose the right gear.
Why use Gripad? Because when your hands feel good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you give your workout 100 percent and come one step closer to achieving your goals. And when your workout ends, you leave the gym feeling stronger, happier, glowing with confidence, and ready to face the day that lies ahead.
September 4, 2011 | Filed Under Tips for Beginners, Workouts | No Comments
Starting a workout routine can involve a high level of commitment, especially if you aren’t used to working out regularly, you have a busy schedule, or if you aren’t sure you’re going to like it (you will!). A change in routine can be a challenge no matter what. So make it easy on yourself. Lay the groundwork for an enjoyable experience that you’ll want to repeat again and again.
To make your new workout experience as pleasant as possible, you’ll want to choose the right time of day, and you’ll want to make sure you have all the functional and stylish gear you need. (Don’t forget your yoga pants, properly fitted mouth guard, or flexible rock climbing shoes. And if you’re lifting weights, you’ll need your Gripads!)
Once you have your gear, you’ll need to choose the right venue. A welcoming venue can lead to the overall positivity and good memories that can keep you coming back. On the other hand, an unpleasant establishment or a gym that poorly matches your personality can be an easy de-motivator.
Here are few steps to finding the gym or workout center that works for you.
- Align your gym requirements with your workout goals. Do you want to build skill in a certain area or gain rapid muscle mass? Do you want to improve your racquetball swing or build your cycling endurance? Find the gym with the best instructors or trainers in your town.
- Then clarify your other requirements. Do you want a gym that’s clean and quiet or busy and social? Do you want a huge array of workout options, or will just a few suffice?
- Finally, visit a few venues before you commit to a long term membership.
September 2, 2011 | Filed Under Partners, Weightlifting | No Comments
Any exercise routine can benefit from a social aspect, but weight training and cross training are two areas where the advantages of teaming up can be especially dramatic. Working out with a partner can
improve your overall experience and can also lead to faster, more sustained progress. Partnering can also decrease the chances that you’ll let your enthusiasm slide and fall out of the exercise habit.
When you build your workout plans around a partner and the two of you schedule your gym time simultaneously, it makes it harder for either of you to back out at the last minute. Busy people know that time is valuable, and as difficult as it is to break your own engagements, an element of social pressure can make it even harder to break someone else’s.
A partner can provide feedback and offer pointers about things you may not be able to see on your own. If your technique can use some fine tuning, a partner can help your adjust your movements. She can provide perspective and encouragement if you think your progress is too slow, and an honest companion can also keep you on track if you’re getting lazy or think you’re leaping ahead faster than you actually are.
In addition to motivation, partners can provide objective advice and help. If you try to lift too much and get in over your head, your gym buddy can bail you out. And there’s much to be said for sharing the wisdom of experience.
Finally, and maybe most beneficial of all, partners attract more partners. It’s easier to approach strangers, build a support network, or establish a team if you go into the process together. What begins as a simple back and forth can build quickly into a chorus of encouragement.