Category: Strength Training

Fix your form: How to Box Jump

Low section of athlete doing box jumping in gym. Young man in crouching on wooden box. He is in brightly lit health club.

Box jumps are a basic quintessential plyometric workout that build explosive power, strength, and stability. However, people tend to use incorrect form that could cause some serious damage to your body. Once you nail the correct form, add box jumps to your workout to target your fast-twitch muscle fibers that will ultimately improve your lifts. If you are new to box jumps, start with a box no higher than knee height and work up to a higher box.

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Create your own full-body workout

Shot of a young man working out with weights in the gym

There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best workout for your body.  A workout program should be developed around a person’s biology, age, goals, diet, time, etc. Developing a workout routine for yourself can be nerve-racking but its really not difficult and can be a game changer once you understand the basics. When it comes to full body workouts, you are basically doing the same basic movement patterns and just adding weight or making the movement more advanced. The basic movement patterns include:

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5 Tips to Perfect your Plank

plank-blog

Planks are one of the most effective workouts you can do. They work all parts of your body at the same time giving you a better full-body workout.  Planks are also great because they achieve substantial results in a relatively short amount of time. Work your core and support your spine by doing planks everyday.

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Information and Tips for Training in the Summer Heat

Exhausted runner

Training in the outdoors during the hot summer months is more challenging than working out during the cooler spring and fall months. As the heat and humidity increase, your overall performance tends to decrease. This is largely due to the fact that the body, on the physiological level, does not function as well. The body sweats more, which translates to dehydration. In addition, the heart rate is much higher and blood flow is reduced. As a result, less oxygen is getting to the muscles.

Sweating cannot be helped while working out, especially outdoors in summertime. Sweat is the body’s own natural air conditioning system to help cool down the body. The sweat removes excess heat from within the body. As the sweat evaporates, it cools. However, the rate of evaporation is directly related to the humidity levels. Higher humidity means slower evaporation and less cooling.

With sweating also comes dehydration, because the body is losing water, salt, and electrolytes. Further complicating matters is an increase in heart rate. Normally it will increase about four beats per minute when working out at temperatures below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. As the temperature continues to climb, heart rates can increase 10 beats or more per minute, with increases in humidity further contributing to even higher heart rates.

In addition, as sweat is released, the volume of blood flow declines, too. This means there is less blood returning to the heart and lungs to get oxygen and supply that oxygen to your muscles. Since the muscles are getting less oxygen, they cannot produce as much energy, so you will notice a slowdown in your workout routine.

However, exercising outdoors in hot summer days does have its benefits. Mainly, your endurance levels and performance will increase as your body acclimates to working out in this type of environment. Even still, there are several precautions you should take, along with these tips to ensure a safe workout:

  1. Keep hydrated. Drink a few glasses of water before starting your routine, and take along plenty of water. Remember to drink a little water about every fifteen minutes, as well as few more glasses of water afterwards.
  2. Avoid the hottest times of the day. It is best to avoid working out from around 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., as this is when it is hottest. Try to fit your routines in either before or after this time.
  3. Remember to protect your skin. Wear a high SPF rated sunscreen that is waterproof to protect your skin, even on cloudy and overcast days.
  4. Wear light colored, breathable clothing. Light colors reflect heat, and breathable clothing helps keep you cooler.
  5. Replenish lost electrolytes and salt after workouts. Eat sports nutrition bars and drink water infused with electrolytes to restore the proper levels.

Stock up on your favorite nutrition, sports, energy, and workout bars by ordering them direct from Promax Nutrition today, or call (888) 728-8962 for further assistance.

Sports Nutrition Bars

How to Stay Fit While Enjoying Your Summer Travels and Vacations

Summer Travels and Vacations

From short weekend beach trips to week long family getaways, and other such travel, it can be challenging to maintain you normal exercise, fitness, and dietary routines. Not to mention, you do not always have access to the same conveniences you have at home and at your local fitness center.

Some people will tell you since you are on vacation, you should relax, splurge, and enjoy yourself. However, you might be the type of person who will not be happy with themselves after returning home having packed on five or ten additional pounds.

The following suggestions and tips are ideal for both personal and business travel and will help you stay in shape, while still enjoying your summer adventures.

  • Pack Workout Tools – Resistance bands, water weights, and jump ropes do not take up much room in your carry on or checked bags. These tools help you get in a 20 or 30 minute workout before heading out for the day.
  • Utilize the Amenities in Your Hotel Room – Pack dry oatmeal, protein bars, and other such nutritious snacks and meals. As long as they are not liquids, you can carry them onto an airplane. If your room has a refrigerator, make a trip to a local grocery store and stock it with fresh fruit and vegetables, yogurt, and other healthy options.

TIP: If your hotel offers a free breakfast, you can pick up fresh fruit, yogurt, and other healthy items for free.

  • Visit Your Hotel’s Fitness Center – Try to choose accommodations which feature a fitness center, to have access to exercise equipment and machines to supplement the workout tools you brought along.
  • Do Your Workouts in the Morning – Getting up early while on vacation does not sound like fun. However, if you put off working out until later in the day or evening, you probably are going to feel tired and not do it. Plus, working out in the morning gives you more energy throughout the entire day.
  • Drink Plenty of Water – Having easy access to water is sometimes challenging while traveling and on vacation. Make it a point to drink water throughout the day to help remain hydrated.

    TIP: Pack a reusable water bottle or two in your luggage and keep these in your mini fridge.

  • Don’t Stress if You Deviate from Your Normal Workout Routine – You are on vacation or traveling with limited access. It is okay if you deviate a little. As long as you are trying to fit in 10 minutes of exercise and sticking to a healthy diet for your snacks and at least two out of three of your daily meals, you should be close to, if not in, the same condition as when you left home.

Remember to order plenty of protein and energy bars for your summer travels and vacations, by contacting Promax Nutrition today at (888) 728-8962.

Energy Bars

How Long Should You Rest in Between Weightlifting Sets?

Dumbbells

The amount of time you should rest in between weightlifting sets is different for everyone. The time you should wait is based upon your goals and objectives. It is important to identify what your goal is and use that goal to determine appropriate resting periods. Some of the more common goals people have include:

Strength Training – This type of weightlifting is to help you get stronger faster. The ideal rest period for strength training is between three and five minutes. This is due to the body’s ability to produce phosphagen, which it only has a small amount of and quickly burns through. Phosphagen makes it possible to lift heavy weights and perform one to six reps in quick succession without the use of oxygen.

Muscle Building (Hypertrophy) Training – This training helps increase muscle mass, so you can get bigger quicker. With muscle building training you should be using moderate to heavy weights, and be able to perform between six and twelve reps at a time. Muscle growth is stimulated by the release of anabolic hormones by the body. Resting one to two minutes between sets causes the body to release a greater amount of this hormone and results in bigger muscles.

Endurance Training – This weightlifting training helps to increase muscular endurance rapidly. The objective is to help the muscles become more resistant to fatigue. One of the more common causes of muscle fatigue is the build-up of lactic acid in the muscle tissues. In order to remove the lactic acid, and at the same time increase endurance, you want to use light to moderate weights and complete between fifteen and twenty reps in about a minute or less. Rest periods should be approximately 45 seconds to 2 minutes, in between sets.

With each type of weight training, as you can see, there are different rest periods in between sets. Therefore, you should focus on only one of the above goals/objectives for your entire weightlifting session. It is perfectly acceptable to mix it up and concentrate on muscle building during one session, endurance in another, and so on.

Weightlifting and Weight Loss

In addition, there are people who use weightlifting as a means to burn calories and lose fat. In this situation it is best to use a combination of strength, muscle building, and endurance training, along with cardio training. Just remember to concentrate on only one type of training at each workout session.

It is equally important to remember that muscle tissue weighs more than fat. As you work out and your endurance, muscle mass, and strength increase, so can your weight. By no means does this mean you are overweight. Rather, your body is becoming a lean, calorie-burning machine. As a result your dietary needs will also change, and your caloric intake could be more than before.

It is easy to supplement your meals and ensure your body is getting the right balance of nutrition with energy and protein bars from Promax Nutrition. For more information about our products or assistance with ordering, contact us today at (888) 728-8962.

The 3 Worst Weight Lifting Mistakes You’re Making

Weightlifting

Lifting weights is a great way to build muscles fast while also slimming down and getting the physique you’ve always wanted. But if you make mistakes while weight training, especially when it comes to your form, you could end up injuring yourself and doing more harm than good.

What are the biggest weightlifting mistakes that you should avoid? Keep reading to learn how to have a safe and effective workout every time you hit the gym.

Using Weights That Are Too Heavy

Even though you may think that the heavier the weights you lift, the bigger and better your gains will be, the truth is that form and technique should come before poundage. A lot of bodybuilders end up using weights that they simply can’t manage properly and safely.

Stick with a manageable amount of weight until you can execute the technique perfectly, whether you’re working your back, legs, chest, or arms.

A good way to figure out where your poundage should be is by cutting back on all of the weights you’re currently using by 10%. Then make sure you have perfect form and technique before adding in some more weight gradually over the course of a month or more. This should result in new muscle growth.

Adding Too Many Pounds At Once

Another common mistake is adding too much poundage too quickly. You could hurt yourself and sacrifice your form if you’re adding 5-10 or more pounds to your routine.

Instead, add a pound at a time over the course of a week or more. Remember, after you’ve gotten over the beginner stage, you’ll be building strength more slowly, so you need to be patient and add poundage in a way that will allow your body to respond positively.

Not Giving Your Body Enough Recovery Time

Overworking your muscles every week, without giving them enough time to recover and repair, could tax the nervous system, reduce your performance, and cause sleep disturbances, depression, and other symptoms of overtraining. Over time, you could actually lose strength.

In addition to getting enough sleep and eating right by supplementing with healthy protein like that found in high quality protein bars, you should give your muscles 48 to 96 hours to recover from an intense weight lifting session.

The older you are, the more time you’ll need to recover. Also, larger muscles require longer recovery periods than smaller muscles.

A good place to start is to train three days per week. By splitting your overall workout program into three sections, you can hit each muscle group every week.

So, for example, on day 1, you might do your back and chest. On day 2, you can work on your lower body. On day 3, you can focus on the core and arms. Regularly change the routine to keep your body guessing.

By avoiding weightlifting mistakes, you can enjoy the gains that you’ve been waiting to show off. Remember that taking care of your body today will result in a healthier, stronger, and slimmer body tomorrow.

For more information about Promax products that can help you boost the power of your workouts, check out our product page or our blog.

Spotlight on Promax Ambassador Holly Perkins

Holly Perkins

Promax protein bars are for those of us that need energy for all of our fitness and workout goals. That’s why Promax partners with our Promax Ambassadors and DOers—the everyday people living life to the max, wherever they are and whatever they’re doing. Bikers, hikers, golfers, joggers, and anyone else who takes their fitness and their nutrition seriously are all part of the Promax team.

Today we’re highlighting Promax Ambassador Holly Perkins, a fitness expert with nearly 20 years of experience under her belt. After years of working with clients, Perkins discovered that strength training might be the cure for some of the most common and confusing fitness concerns facing women. So in 2013 she started the Women’s National Strength Nation movement to empower women to find the proper tools and knowledge for strength training and conditioning.

She’s also written a book, Lift to Get Lean, in which she teaches her special approach to training the female body. Men and women have different fitness needs, and Holly’s book guides women and helps them understand the theory of strength training, as well as providing motivational tips.

Holly started using Promax protein bars when she moved to New York in the 90’s and has been an avid fan ever since.

“Protein is extremely important to aid in recovery from workouts. I need an exceptional amount of protein for a gal. I love that Promax bars have substantial protein, but they taste like a candy bar. They are perfect with my afternoon tea from India!”

That’s why we were thrilled to team up with Holly to create the bar of her dreams. The Pro Series Peanut Butter Crisp bar was designed to support your body’s workout needs and put you in the optimal state for performance and recovery, all without sacrificing any of the great taste you’ve come to expect from a Promax protein bar. We love the taste, and Holly does, too.

“This bar tastes like a treat, and performs like a beast. I cannot say enough about the brilliance of this sports performance tool. The flavor is unreal with zero aftertaste. I have a sensitive stomach and can digest this bar with ease. I rely on this bar to fuel my workouts and recovery, and, look forward to it as a “treat” every day.”

Holly’s bar is just one part of her mission to give women around the world access to credible information from experts on every aspect of building a proper fitness program.

Strength conditioning means you’ll need time and the right nutrition to recover quickly. With Holly’s Pro Series Peanut Butter Crisp bar, you have everything you need in the form of a great tasting protein bar.

4 Old School Exercises Making A Comeback

Weights

Technology marches on, right? We’re constantly trying new workouts, downloading new fitness apps, and jumping on the next hot trend that comes along. But is it really necessary, or did we figure out some of the best exercises quite a while ago? Sure, some fitness regimens from yesteryear have been debunked, but that doesn’t mean they’re all unusable. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it—so here are some old school exercises that definitely aren’t broke. Throw them into your routine and see if you can feel the difference.

  1. The Forearm Roller

A lot of us end up missing our forearms when we work out. A forearm workout just doesn’t seem as important as an extra set of curls, but if you want your arms to look proportional, then it’s wise to get in a forearm exercise. The forearm roller is the best way to hit the muscles in your forearms, and it’s about as simple as you can get. On one end of a rope you tie a round wooden peg, and at the other end, a weight. Holding onto the peg with both hands out in front of you, you simply roll the peg until the rope is all the way wound, and the weight has nowhere to go. Then slowly reverse, letting the weight drop back down.

  1. Wide Grip Pull Ups

Pull-ups are a classic exercise that doesn’t require weights, but you can start adding difficulty by holding weights between your legs. Most people now favor lat pull downs, but the wide grip pull up is still a fantastic way to work your back, and with the addition of weight, you’ll see some real gains if you put in the work.

  1. Pushup Variations

You can’t really get more old school than the pushup. You might start thinking about warming up for gym class when you hear someone mention pushups, but they are still one of the most effective additions to your workout. But don’t just get down and quickly rep out as many as you can. Start doing decline pushups to get some variation, and just like the pull-ups, you can add weight to your sets to push yourself and build mass.

  1. Seated Cable Row

The seated cable row is an intense workout for your back, especially your lats. The trick is to make sure you get the largest range of motion, going all the way down and letting the weight pull your lats. This one has also gone out of style over the years, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective.

Some lifts and exercises may come and go, but one thing that doesn’t change is the need for proper nutrition before and after any workout routine. Whether you check out the latest workouts and regimens, or like to keep it old school, Promax has a protein bar for you. So whatever your fitness needs, Promax has you covered.

The 4 Most Dangerous Workout Myths

Workout Myths

Maybe it’s a guy at your gym who thinks he knows more than he does, or maybe it was your hard-nosed high school football coach—whatever the case, we’ve all had someone give us some less-than-stellar workout advice. Some people love to give advice about working out, but just because you heard it from someone who looks bigger than you, that doesn’t mean that it’s actually good advice. In fact, some advice and tips get passed on quite a bit, even if they can be pretty dangerous. You should always do a little research on your own, instead of just taking a random gym-goer’s advice. We wanted to dispel a few of these myths once and for all, so we’ve brought you our most dangerous myths—and why you should never listen to them.

No Pain, No Gain

People use this saying for plenty of other everyday activities, and it’s supposed to mean something about the work you put in, and the result you get out. However, when it’s applied to an actual workout, this is terrible advice. You should never be feeling any kind of sharp or pronounced pain during or after a workout. That means something is wrong—either you have an injury, or you’re doing the exercise incorrectly. A little burning in your muscles after an intense workout? That’s perfectly fine, but actual pain is a troubling sign.

There’s No Such Thing As Too Much Protein

This one comes from some flawed logic about how our bodies work. Protein helps you build muscles, and you want big muscles, right? So the more protein the better. That just isn’t how our bodies work, unfortunately. For one thing, your body can only absorb so much protein at once. It doesn’t matter if you take three times the normal amount after working out, you won’t get three times the results.

Anti-Inflammatories And Working Out

There’s a persistent myth that NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) will decrease workout soreness if taken before a workout. In fact, it’s been shown that popping a few ibuprofen before a workout not only doesn’t noticeably decrease soreness, it can actually cause damage in the gastrointestinal tract and cause bleeding. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to the damage you do during a workout. Blocking that response simply isn’t a good move.

No Rest During Your Workout

This one claims that the best results come from high-intensity strength training with little to no rest in between exercises. The thing is, failing to rest causes muscle fatigue, and you’re more likely to fall into poor form during your lifting. Your body needs a short break between sets because the muscles need time to recover. This doesn’t include circuit training, however. In circuit training, you move quickly from one exercise to the next, but you’re working out a completely different muscle group, so the other muscle groups have time to rest.

Don’t be fooled by someone who acts like they know what they’re talking about, and don’t pass on advice unless you’re completely sure it’s correct. For more fitness tips, visit our blog, and while you’re there, check out our line of delicious and nutritious protein bars.