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The Best Stretches for Bikers

Bike Stretches

Do athletes really need to stretch? The debate seems inconclusive, although there is evidence that stretching before exercise may temporarily weaken muscles.1 However, stretching after exercise is where you may experience benefits. It can reduce muscle soreness,2 and it can help maintain the normal range of motion in joints.3

However, for many of us, stretching just feels good, and biking presents its own particular circumstances. When you think about it, humans didn’t evolve to ride bikes, as we did for running and walking. So, since biking is not a “natural” movement, it’s possible for bikers to experience muscular imbalances and posture problems.4 Hip flexors are especially prone to shortening.

So, stretching after strenuous workouts may be advisable, especially for bikers. It can restore flexibility after spending lots of time in the same position. Think about it: When you’re crouched over, pedaling for hours, the muscles in the legs are probably going to get shorter; stretching may help return them to their normal state.

Stretching could also improve your mobility when you’re not on your bike, improve your posture, and reduce dysfunction in other parts of the body.

There are a few guidelines for stretching everyone should follow to get the most out of it and avoid injury:

  • Only stretch when you’re warm. That is, after you’ve warmed up with exercise for at least 10 minutes, or directly after a workout.
  • Stretch slowly and without bouncing.
  • Hold each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Avoid over-stretching, especially if you’re already pretty flexible. This will reduce the likelihood of making your joints go beyond their range of motion. Remember: you’re stretching your muscles, not your joints. Never try to make your joints move in a direction they’re not supposed to.

Here are some of the most recommended post-workout stretches for bikers:

Runner’s Lunge – While standing, take a big step forward with your right leg so that your front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your knee is stacked directly on top of your ankle, not ahead of it. Now straighten your back leg. You should be in a lunging position similar to a sprinter getting ready to start a race. Sink deeper into the lunge, hold, and then repeat for the other leg. This will deeply stretch your quads, hip flexors, and hamstrings.

Quad Stretch – Use your left hand to stretch your right foot, and vice versa. While standing, bend your right leg so your foot kicks your butt, and grab your right foot with your left hand. Squeeze and hold the stretch when you feel it in your quads and knees. Release, and repeat for the other leg.

Calf Stretch – The yoga pose known as downward-facing dog is helpful here. Starting on your hands and knees, lift your butt up and back till your arms and legs are straight, or nearly straight, and your body forms an upside-down V. You’ll feel this stretch in your hamstrings; get an even deeper stretch by pedaling your feet, trying to get each heel to touch the ground.

As important as stretching is, you need the proper nutrition to refuel your body after a strenuous workout in order to get the most out of it and rebuild your muscles. Make sure you keep a stash of energy bars or high protein bars in your workout bag. View our selection of workout bars here, along with more training tips for cyclists and all other athletes.

Sources

  1. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/26/ask-well-do-we-need-to-stretch/?_r=0
  2. http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/do-you-need-stretch-and-after-exercise
  3. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/26/ask-well-do-we-need-to-stretch/?_r=0
  4. http://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/article/eight-injury-busting-stretches-for-cyclists-26074/
Posted in Recovery, Stretching | March 28, 2016

4 Common Training Mistakes by DOer, Sean Garick

Training

When it comes to training, there are very few ‘new’ mistakes being made. There is, however, a short list of common mistakes repeated over and over – often by the same athlete year after year. These mistakes will sabotage your training and limit your growth as an athlete. Commit to getting these right, take the long view of training and you will see true progression.

  1. Failing to Fuel Properly – At the top of the list is failing to fuel properly during and immediately following training. Proper post-training nutrition will enhance your ability to recover more fully and maximize your performance throughout your training. It will also enrich the other aspects of your life by improving your energy, overall health and body composition. It’s not a snack and not an option. It IS part of your training.
  1. Working Too Hard on Easy Days – The second most common mistake is going too hard on an easy training day. Research has proven that athletes do better when training at the ends of the spectrum, i.e. high intensity and low intensity. They typical scenario is that an athlete finds himself with an easy day of training, but due to an emotional reaction – lack of confidence in oneself or the training plan; or simply feeling really good and wanting to push things that day – trains at an intensity higher than planned. The effect is that tomorrow, when scheduled for a really hard session, the athlete can’t go as hard because of fatigue. The net result is that the easy sessions are too hard and the hard sessions are too easy – and the majority of the training ends up being in the middle, moderate level – which does the least good. Easy training is there for a reason. Not following the prescription derails your entire training plan.
  1. Poor Recovery – True growth, repair and rejuvenation happen while SLEEPING. Muscles don’t get built during the training; they get rebuilt [bigger] during the recovery. Sleep must become a priority. You will not be successful without this one.
  1. Inflexible Training Plan – Most training plans are laid out months and months ahead of time. They go into minute detail about every aspect of training. The harsh reality is that you can NEVER stick to that plan completely. Life is not structured in such a pattern. Life happens. Travel, work commitments, sickness, family and more all conspire to derail you from your perfectly planned training. Your training schedule must be flexible. “No plan ever survives first contact with the enemy.” Know how to adjust your training when life interrupts – because it will.

Correcting most of these isn’t hard to do. It does require you to look beyond today – take the long view of training. Have a progression mindset. Many of these are simply habits that need to become ingrained within our daily patterns of life. Some require us to overcome our emotions with logic and understanding.

Promax protein bars can help you on your path to training success. For more information about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.

Posted in Nutrition | March 25, 2016

5 Techniques for Better Self-Discipline

Self-Discipline

We’re already well into 2016, and your New Year’s resolutions may be as distant a memory as your six-pack. But health and fitness goals can be revitalized at any time. All it takes is a little rearranging of your views – and some tips from the experts – to make some real, lasting changes to your health and fitness regimen that will carry you through swimsuit season and beyond. Here are some tips for increasing your self-discipline and boosting your health and fitness goals:

Remove Temptations – Willpower is a lot easier to practice when the things that make us crumble are absent. That may mean taking the cookies, ice cream, and soda out of the shopping cart and leaving them at the grocery store, or replacing them with a healthy protein bar. Then, in your moment of weakness when you want a midnight snack, you won’t fall back into old habits, and you’ll feel better about it in the morning.

Reward Yourself – Experts say that rewards are responsible for three-quarters of what we do. So, remember to give yourself regular rewards when you accomplish your goals. It increases the likelihood that your habit will become ingrained. After a workout, reward yourself with a low carb protein bar or a gluten free protein bar, and you’ll be motivated to exercise again in the future.

Focus on One Goal at a Time – Trying to do too much at once depletes us and makes us less likely to incorporate new routines into our everyday lives. Focus instead on picking up a new, good habit and, once you’ve incorporated that into your daily routine, set your sights on another.

Planning and Scheduling Is Key – Instead of telling yourself “I will get into shape,” ask yourself, “How can I arrange my day so that I make time to exercise?” Start thinking about ways to incorporate exercise into your life in new ways, whether it’s walking during your lunch break, adding 20 minutes to your dog walk, joining a class at the gym with a friend, or hitting the gym before work instead of after.

Be Nice to Yourself – Celebrate your progress, and don’t beat yourself up if you have a misstep. You’re human. Beating yourself up makes you want to avoid your goals, over time.

There are many other techniques and tricks to increase your motivation – get more sleep, meditate, etc. The key is to find what feels right for you, and work slowly over time to incorporate it into your daily routine, as opposed to making broad, sweeping changes instantaneously. The experts at Promax Nutrition have plenty of other tips to get the most out of your workout, so don’t forget to bookmark the blog!

Posted in Fitness, Motivation | March 23, 2016

Soy Protein: A Nutritional Powerhouse

Soy Protein

Soy isn’t just for skinny jeans-wearing hipsters. The muscle-building properties of this remarkable bean have made soy-infused protein bars a staple of weight rooms, gyms, and exercise centers around the nation.

Bodybuilders and exercise enthusiasts know that soy provides an excellent source of protein to help them recover after workouts and to grow muscle mass. What they may not know is that energy bars containing soy protein also have lots of other nutritional benefits.

Food manufacturers make soy protein powder by stripping most of the fat and carbs from ground soybeans that have been dried. The end product is a protein-filled supplement incorporated into many snack and workout bars popular among bodybuilders and athletes.

Soy has a remarkable protein content. Just one serving of soy protein powder carries about half your daily requirement of protein, providing plenty of amino acids your body requires for building and keeping muscle.

Soy

In addition to its robust protein content, soy also offers the following nutritional benefits:

  • Fat – Keeping a close watch on fat intake is important for professional bodybuilders and average Joes alike. Soy protein is very beneficial from a fat standpoint. One 28 gram serving of soy protein powder has just 0.9 g of fat. Of that fat, only 0.1 g of it is saturated fat – the unhealthy type of fat – while the remainder is unsaturated fats – the heart-healthy version.[1]
  • Vitamins & Minerals – Soy protein contains a tremendous amount of the vitamins your body needs. Soy protein powder has 12 percent of the daily recommended amount of folate, as well as small amounts of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6. Soy protein is also rich in minerals, providing 25 percent of the daily recommended dose of iron, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. Soy protein also offers between 1 and 8 percent of daily zinc, potassium, and magnesium requirements.
  • Sodium – One thing consumers of soy-based protein bars will need to keep a watch on is their overall sodium intake. A single serving of soy protein powder carries about 12 percent of the daily allowance for sodium. Exercise enthusiasts will need to watch their diets carefully to avoid consuming too much sodium.
  • Carbohydrates – While much of soy protein powder’s carbohydrate content is stripped out in the manufacturing process, it still contains some carbs. A serving of soy protein powder has about 2.1 g of carbohydrates. The vast majority of soy protein powder’s carbohydrate content consists of dietary fiber.

As you can see, soy protein products don’t just give you the protein you need to build and maintain muscle, they also provide other essential nutrients. Combined with a carefully planned diet, soy protein can be vastly helpful in allowing you to achieve your fitness goals.

Promax Nutrition gives people who want better bodies the natural protein, vitamins, and minerals they need in delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian protein bars.  Promax has a wide range of delicious products, with one sure to please any palate.

Source:

[1] http://www.livestrong.com/article/273608-soy-protein-powder-nutritional-facts/

Posted in Nutrition, Protein | March 20, 2016

What Exercises Can Help Treat and Prevent Back Pain?

Back Pain

Chronic back pain and back injuries are common occurrences in people of all ages. You might have bent or twisted wrong and pulled something in your back. You could have forgotten to bend at the knees when lifting a heavy object. Even people who play sports or exercise regularly can injure their backs. The reason for most back injuries and pain is related to the back muscles not being properly strengthened and conditioned to provide the proper support needed for the back.

Regardless of your age and physical fitness level, it is highly recommended to consult with a qualified medical provider before starting any exercise routine for your back after an injury or to help alleviate chronic pain. Based upon the underlying causes and symptoms, some exercises could cause more harm than good. By seeking medical advice from a professional, you will know exactly which exercises are well-suited for your particular situation and needs.

One exercise most people assume helps strengthen the back are toe touches. Another one is full sit-ups. However, these exercises place higher strain on the spine and back, so they may not be the best option for you. . Instead, do partial sit-ups (crunches). Since you are lying on your back, with your knees bent and feet firmly planted on the floor, you place less strain on the back, while at the same time you help strengthen both the stomach muscles and lower back muscles.

Another beneficial exercise to try is the hamstring stretch. While laying on your back, use a towel or exercise cord around the bottom of your foot to help pull your leg up and straighten it out. Once it is straightened out, bend the foot upwards (down toward your body) and hold it in this positon for 20 to 30 seconds.

If you are recovering from an injury or have severe choric back pain, you should skip dual leg lifts. When both legs are raised off the ground, it is very demanding on your lower back and core regions, and could result in making the pain worse. Instead, bend one leg and put your foot firmly on the floor, and then raise and hold the leg about 6 to 8 inches above the ground for about ten seconds.

Back press-ups are another exercise you can try to help strengthen the back. This exercise is like a reverse sit-up, where you lie on your stomach and use your hands to lift your shoulders. Once you push up on the shoulders, try to keep your hands and elbows firmly on the ground, and hold this position for a brief period of time.

The above exercises are just a few of the ones your medical provider could recommend, and which are suggested to help treat chronic back pain and back injuries. When learning new exercises, take the time to learn the proper form and techniques from a professional before doing them on your own.

In between exercises, remember to fuel your body with protein and energy bars, as well as to drink plenty of water.

Posted in Fitness | March 14, 2016

A Letter From the Promax Team

New look from Promax Nutrition

We are making some exciting changes to the Promax Nutrition packaging, and we have you to thank!

Our new look was inspired by you, the DOers and showcases bright colors with a new contemporary look that reflects your active and health conscious lifestyle.

The new packaging makes it easier for you to identify our four product lines and helps identify the best usage occasion for each.  The products haven’t changed. You’ll find the same quality and great taste that you’ve grown to love in our Original, Lower Sugar, and newly reformulated Pro Series bars. You’ll also notice the addition of Carb Sense which is the new name for our current lower sugar bars with 5-6g of net carbs (Salted Caramel, Honey Peanut, and Chocolate Mint).

Before you throw on your running shoes and head to your nearest store to pick up your favorite Promax bar, we ask that you be a little patient with us. This new packaging may not be in store just yet, but it will be there shortly!

2016 is sure to be a great year, and we can’t thank you enough for encouraging us to make this change. We want to bring you the best-tasting and nutritious protein bars. That’s what we’ve always been about at Promax, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.

You’ll still enjoy that same great taste and ingredients—free of artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, maltitol, or gelatin—that you’ve come to love over the years; you’ll just be able to find us better.

– The Promax Team

#ProteinForThePeople

Posted in Nutrition | March 8, 2016

Jim

Promax_FF_March_01_Photo_215x215What makes you the Featured Fan?
I love the Bars and strongly recommend them to my clients!Which PROMAX bar do you like best?
PROMAX CARB SENSE Chocolate Mint

What is one unique thing about you?
I fit the profile for fitness.

Posted in Featured Fan | March 4, 2016

Brownie Bites

Brownie Bites Review

Posted in News | February 24, 2016

Sick of Your Indoor Workout Routine? Here’s How to Freshen it Up!

Workout Video

The pre-spring blues: few of us are immune to them. It’s fun to dream about summer weather, and it’s a great motivator to keep working hard to attain that bathing suit body you are working toward.

Now is not the time to let your routine get stale: It’s not good for your mind, or your body, since doing the same workout every day will lose its effectiveness. Here are some tips to mix it up, no matter what type of workout you like.

For Those DVD Disc Jockeys

A DVD is a great way to get a workout in without having to schlep to a class. But if you can narrate your go-to sweat session as well as Shaun T does, you know you’ve used it one too many times. Investing in a DVD library can get expensive though. Instead, check out DVDs from your actual library, find great options on Netflix or search for dedicated exercise stations on your cable or satellite provider. DVR a few to see what you like and then set a season pass.

If You Favor the Treadmill

Otherwise known as the “dreadmill,” a treadmill workout can get boring fast, unless you mix it up. The incline feature should be your best friend: you will burn more calories in less time, but it also seems as though it takes less effort. Another option is to incorporate intervals into the workout. Kick it up a notch for 30 seconds to one minute at a time, rather than sticking with a steady state of exertion. You’ll torch more calories and the time will fly as you clock off time until the next interval. And finally, nothing beats an engaging TV show to keep you going. Tell yourself you’ll only watch the next installment of your Netflix binge-of-the-moment if you’re walking, climbing, or running.

HIIT Enthusiasts

HIIT workouts (which stand for high-intensity interval training) scorch the calories while you’re working out, and the burn continues all throughout the day, even in recovery mode. A typical HIIT format will be an interval of one to two minutes, followed by one minute of recovery. For a full-body workout, alternate a cardio interval with a weight set. The beauty of HIIT is that you can literally do a different workout every day, by switching up the exercises you choose for your intervals. It not only keeps boredom at bay, but will continue to challenge those muscles with the surprise that comes from a new plan. Or, try a Tabata workout, where you work out hard for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds, completing 8 rounds of each movement.

Weight Training

The same dumbbell workout can get boring. The best way to freshen up your weight workout is to invest in new devices to challenge the muscles and keep things interesting. Try using kettlebells, resistance bands, or sliding discs to challenge your body in a whole new way.

Take it Outside

Are you a summer runner, biker or hiker? Even in the cold weather you can take your workout outside! Running in the cold can feel refreshing, as long as you’re dressed appropriately. Or, try out a winter sport, whether it’s snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or ice skating. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!

Whatever your preference, make sure you fuel up appropriately. Promax protein bars can help you power your way through any workout. For more information about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.

Posted in Fitness, Nutrition, Strength Training | February 23, 2016

Vegetarian Guide to Weight Loss

Vegetarian Diet

There are many ways to lose weight, but not all of them will provide other important health benefits at the same time. One way to shed excess pounds, slim down, maintain muscle mass, and potentially even get healthier overall is by following a vegetarian diet.

The Potential Weight Loss Benefits

According to the CDC, more than 65% of adults in America are either obese or overweight, but amongst those who follow a plant-based diet, obesity is under 10%. Also, the weight of a vegetarian is likely to be anywhere from 3-20% lower than that of an omnivore.

Researchers have concluded that you can lose weight when you switch to a balanced plant-based diet, even if you don’t make any changes to your portion size or exercise routine.

When you embark on a vegetarian diet, you can also enjoy an increase in the number of calories burned naturally after you eat. Plant-based meals are utilized in a more efficient manner, so rather than storing the calories as fat, they’ll end up providing the fuel your body needs.

Stick with Natural, Non-Processed Foods

Like any other diet, when consuming vegetarian or vegan foods, you should stick with whole food options, rather than artificial, processed foods, for the best results.

To get the most benefits from your vegetarian diet, you should avoid plant-based junk foods. Opt instead for a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, lentils, beans, and so on.

Even though it might be tempting and easy to consume a lot of the vegetarian versions of things like hot dogs, burgers, pizza, sausage, and desserts, it’s best to keep those to a minimum.

Get the Right Fats

One of the great things about following a plant-based diet is the chance to reduce your intake of unhealthy fats.

If you plan on including dairy products in your diet, do so in moderation. Ounce for ounce, there are four times the amount of calories, and nine times the amount of fat, in cheddar versus a skinless chicken breast, so don’t be fooled into thinking you can have a lot of cheese just because you’re vegetarian.

To successfully lose weight, stick with just one dairy-based meal each day that contains no more than an ounce of cheese, preferably organic. If don’t want to switch to plant-based milks, opt for fat-free organic milk.

You can also get plenty of desirable omega fatty acids by eating foods like nuts, coconut oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and avocados, as a few examples.

Focus on Protein

Getting enough protein can help you control your weight and maintain your muscles. Many people worry that a vegetarian diet won’t provide enough of this nutrient, but you actually don’t have to be concerned.

It’s recommended that protein make up 10-12% of your calories, and the majority of legumes, grains, and vegetables provide this naturally, so it’s easy to get enough protein when following a plant-based diet.

Of course, adding a delicious Promax protein bar to your diet is another great way to get the protein you need! All our bars are vegetarian, so they’re perfect for boosting your protein intake and providing yourself with some fun variety in your vegetarian diet.

If you’ve been having trouble losing weight, switching to a plant-based diet might help. As long as you focus on eating right and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you’re likely to get all of the nutrients and results you need.

For more information about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.

Sources:

http://www.shape.com/blogs/weight-loss-coach/will-going-vegetarian-help-you-lose-weight
http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/a-guide-to-healthy-weight-loss

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Nutrition, Protein, Vegetarian | February 22, 2016

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