We love a good ol’ fashioned workout. Your sneakers hitting the pavement or you hitting the weights in the mudroom. It’s not a bad way to train. That said though, we have so many technological devices and applications we can use now to track our performance and motivate us to push harder. We’ve taken the time to compile a list of smartphone apps for you that you can take on-the-go, right alongside your sneakers, sweat band, and Promax bar. (The best thing about all of these apps? They’re free.)
Counting calories can be overwhelming and difficult to keep track of. MyFitnessPal makes it easy for you. When you create an account, you set a goal weight while noting your current weight, height, age, and gender. Based on this information and how much weight you desire to lose a week, the app sets a caloric goal for your day. You can log not only what you consume but also how much exercise you do, which type, and the estimated calories you’ve burned. If you’re interested in seeing how you burn off what you put in, then this may be a fun app for you. What’s great is that it learns and remembers what items you like, making it easy to count the calories in your favorite foods.
This one is great for weight-lifting aficionados. It motivates you to complete a 45 minute weight-lifting workout, three times a week. With 5 sets of 5 reps, it helps you know how much of a break to take between each set and when it may be time to add more weight. You can use it’s tracking to follow your progress. This app is a free way to motivate yourself to pick up the weights consecutively each week.
WOD Deck of Cards
A Workout of the Day is a big trend at Crossfit gyms across the country, but you don’t have to belong to one to get the same great workout. If you use the WOD Deck of Cards workout, you’re sure to get an entertaining, challenging, and new workout each training session—which is great, because we all know how boring some routines can get after a while. You choose 4 different exercises each time—one exercise for each suit. Then the cards are drawn and you have to complete that exercise. For example, if hearts represents burpees and you draw the 7 of hearts, you do 7 burpees. The great thing about this app is that it keeps track of how long it takes you to complete a deck each workout, so you can see how far you’ve come.
This app is great for the athlete who is data-crazy. You can track all your activity in and outside the gym and then take a closer look at your habits by analyzing the trends in your life, and adapting to improve your lifestyle. What’s better, is that you can find friends in your community that have similar habits. Need a workout buddy? Argus can help you find someone to train with. In fact, Argus is connected to other apps that help you track sleep, your glucose level, and your heart rate, too.
One of the greatest challenges of athletes is when we’re out of the gym and out with friends. And let’s be honest, not all the people in our social circle understand our training commitments and the nutrition requirements we must meet. HealthyOut helps us to make good choices when we’re eating out. It tells the best options at restaurants and allows you to feel a little less overwhelmed about your choices.
Now you have 5 more tools to help mix up your training sessions, track your progress, and motivate you to maintain healthy habits. Get to it! To read more fitness and nutrition related articles, check out our blog every week!
Fitness expert Sara Haley has created a simple, yet delicious and nutritious, Promax Smoothie. Watch to get the recipe so you can recreate this protein-packed goodness.
All you need is… your favorite Promax bar, almond milk, ice and a blender or Vitamix.
You wake up in the morning and lace up your sneakers. You are envisioning your perfect workout. How far you’ll run. How much you’ll lift. Your sweat dripping down your bicep. The grit of your teeth as you push the extra mile, lift the extra rep.
What kind of music is playing? Chances are you know this.
Listening to music during a workout isn’t a new phenomenon by any means. The Romans used to listen to music while rowing—they would listen to a drummer beat the drum with each stroke of the oar.
Music creates a rhythm and with a rhythm comes a tempo. Most athletes find a specific kind of music psychologically inspiring. But they also find that it ramps them up physically. Music can affect your body and mind in many ways that will end up improving your workout.
We are constantly testing our bodies and our bodies are constantly testing us. Unfortunately sometimes those tests come in the form of viruses and no one who is seriously training has time to fight illness, am I right? Lucky for us, music boosts immunity with the hormones that it releases within us. Speaking of hormones, it also helps reduce the level of cortisol our body produces, which relieves stress.
Have you ever listened to music with a face-paced tempo early in the morning? Doesn’t it make you feel a bit like you’ve had a cup of coffee? Music is a well known fatigue fighter and so it’s not a bad idea to pair it with a hard workout. You can even build a warm-up playlist that builds in tempo to get yourself excited.
Listening to music of a certain tempo when you work out can help to regulate your breathing, which is something we all need when we’re pushing ourselves. Next time you’re working out, plan to pick a song with a high BPM (beats per minute) and see if you can regulate your pace and breathing with the music.
How Should I Arrange my Workout Music?
We advise having a couple different playlists targeted the types of workouts you have. It’s good to have a basic warm up playlist that gets you motivated and a cool down playlist that relaxes you. But what else? We suggest you make a playlist by tempo. If you’re going for a more relaxed workout, like an easy run, do something with a lower BPM, maybe around 120 If however, you’re going for a harder workout, like something that is high-level intensity, try ramping up the BPM of your tracks to activate your heart rate and help push your limits.
How Often Should I Change my Music?
Try to change up your music when you change up your workouts. Just like your body will grow accustomed to certain exercises, your mind will grow accustomed to certain tunes, too.
Where Do I Start?
We’ve compiled a list of 10 tracks to help you get started and included a variety of genres and artists. Try giving these a listen the next time you sweat:
- “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
- “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith
- “Til I Collapse” by Eminem
- “Move B**ch” by Ludacris
- “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses
- “Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull and Ne-Yo
- “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX
- “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne
- “Bang Bang” by Jessie J/Ariana Grande/Nicki Minaj
- “Go Hard of Go Home” by Wiz Khalifa
Now that you know a little more about the benefits of music to your workout, then you can get started putting a playlist of your own together. Visit our Facebook page or Tweet us and tell us about your most motivational jams!
Many of us have heard the age old adage, “I’m not 20 anymore” or 15, or 35, or…insert any age younger than you already are. When you hear this, what comes to mind? For many, it’s the changes that come with age, one of them notably, being weight gain.
What are people talking about when they talk about Metabolism?
When people age, they throw the word “metabolism” around a lot. “My metabolism is slowing down,” they’ll say. Or, “my metabolism isn’t what it used to be!” And they’re right, but what do they mean?
The Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR, is what most people refer to when they discuss their metabolism and what that is, is the rate that the body used energy to keep its basic functions working properly. By basic functions, we really mean the most basic—breathing, food breakdown, brain function, etc. So essentially, the amount of energy it simply takes your body to just exist; when people talk about BMR they are not taking into account any sort of physical activity like running, swimming, or otherwise.
As you age, your Basal Metabolic Rate decreases by about 2% each decade, meaning that your body needs even more energy to do the most basic tasks. What does this mean? Well, it means that in order to remain the same weight moving forward, you’ll have to intake less calories than you did before to remain at the same weight.
What can you do about it?
The bad news here is that there is nothing you can do to change the fact that as you age, your metabolism is going to decrease. The good news is that there is a way to combat the assumed results from the metabolism decrease, and that is exercise.
By staying fit and building lean muscle, you can create patterns that help you continually burn the calories and make up for the calories that your body no longer burns automatically for you.
Can I get my BMR tested?
Yes, you can. This test needs to be done at a professional facility where your oxygen intake and carbon monoxide output can be measured. If you’d like to find a center nearby you that than help you find your Basal Metabolic Rate, you can look here.
What else can contribute to weight gain as I age?
Ah, though metabolism is no excuse and very much a real reason why people gain weight as they age, there are also a few other factors that come into play here.
As we get older, there is no doubt that the responsibilities come piling on. Responsibilities often equate to stress. What does stress do to our bodies? Many things, including releasing the hormone cortisol which increases weight gain. Our advice? Find a way to be more relaxed and laid back when you start to become overwhelmed. It will help you in life and on the scale.
Many young people take for granted how they can treat their bodies with regard to sleep. It’s easy to go out dancing and survive a day at work the next day on only 4 hours of sleep, right? As we get older, oh how the times do change. Our bodies need an adequate amount of sleep to work properly, which includes properly being able to store, use, and gain energy. Not getting enough sleep can add to existing stress and in the end, increase weight gain.
Fitness and Nutrition can help
So yes, we know that with age, comes weight gain. But there’s no reason to become overwhelmed by this. By ensuring that we’re getting the proper nutrition (read: the right amount of protein and carbohydrates), we can prepare our bodies for this transition as we age.
Along with proper nutrition, we should continue to challenge our bodies with new fitness routines. Remember, you’re not the only one experiencing this adjustment, so feel free to ask a friend or gym buddy to come along for the ride and share your challenges together. Do you have a story you’d like to share on how you overcame your struggle with gaining weight as you gained years? Feel free to share it on our Facebook page or contact us directly!
We recently covered workouts you can do outside. But what if it’s raining—or even worse, , and you don’t have a gym membership? Not having a membership to a fancy gym or good weather shouldn’t keep us from enjoying a good sweat. Here are some workouts you can do indoors.
We know that they’re not everyone’s favorite but dips are a great exercise you can do from virtually anywhere. And they’re also a great way to target your triceps. Find a sturdy chair or coffee table and rest your hands against it while suspending your body in the air as if you’d sitting on a virtual stool. Lower yourself down so that your elbows are at a 90 degree angle, and straighten back up again.
Too hard? Try to count down in a reverse ladder rep. Do 10, then 9, then 8, and so on, until you only have 1 rep.
Find sturdy chair or coffee table and rest your hands against it while suspending your body in the air as if you’d sitting on a virtual stool. Lower yourself down so that your elbows are at a 90 degree angle, and straighten back up again.
You can do 1000 sit ups a day but unless you lay a solid foundation for your core, there is nothing to build upon. The plank exercise is easy. Lay down on your stomach and prop your body up on your forearms. When you’re ready, hoist your body up so that you are balancing on your forearms and toes. Try to keep your back straight and not to arch it. Until you get your from right, it may be a good idea to practice your plank in front of a mirror.
Lay down on your stomach and prop your body up on your forearms. When you’re ready, hoist your body up so that you are balancing on your forearms and toes.
Especially for athletes attempting to build lower body strength, the squat is one of the key exercises to make sure you’re doing. Set your feet hip-width apart and sit back as if you are about to sit on a low chair as you bend your knees. Squat as far as you can while keeping your back straight and try not to bring your knees over your toes. Straighten your legs to finish the rep.
Set your feet hip-width apart and sit back as if you are about to sit on a low chair as you bend your knees. Squat as far as you can while keeping your back straight and try not to bring your knees over your toes. Straighten your legs to finish the rep.
THE GLUTE BRIDGE
If you’re strengthening your lower body, you also need to make sure you’re strengthening your butt and hips. One way to do this is with the glute bridge. Lay on the floor on your back and bend your knees so that your feet are on the floor, toes facing forward. Tighten your abs, squeeze your butt and lift up your hips so that your pelvic floor is moving toward the ceiling. Lower down your hips to meet the floor again to finish the rep.
Lay on the floor on your back and bend your knees so that your feet are on the floor, toes facing forward. Tighten your abs, squeeze your butt and lift up your hips so that your pelvic floor is moving toward the ceiling. Lower down your hips to meet the floor again to finish the rep.
THE SINGLE LEG DEAD LIFT
This exercise is especially important for your lower back and for helping with balance, which is essential for any athlete, especially those who weight train. Begin with two feet together. Lean forward and kick your right foot back. As you bring your right food higher, extend your torso until you are parallel with the ground. Use your standing left leg and abdominal muscles to stabilize yourself and return your right foot to the ground as you stand up straight. Repeat on the left hand side.
Begin with two feet together. Lean forward and kick your right foot back. As you bring your right food higher, extend your torso until you are parallel with the ground. Use your standing left leg and abdominal muscles to stabilize yourself and return your right foot to the ground as you stand up straight. Repeat on the left hand side.
Don’t Forget Nutrition
It’s easy when the weather is too hot outside, to let nutrition go to the wayside also—it’s too hot to go to the gym and now you’re supposed to think consciously about food too? Now that we’ve given you 5 exercises to try indoors, don’t slack off on eating well. Make sure to get a proper amount of carbohydrates and protein, drink enough water, and get enough sleep. That way, once the sun is shining again, you’ll be ready to bring your sweat sessions back outside.
Where should I start? I’ve always been on the bigger side, consistently made fun of and teased for my weight, growing up. My chest was stretched and affected the most, and it only encouraged others to make jokes about my body. I reached a max weight of 250 lbs. at 28% body fat, in a 5’10” frame. I finally reached a point where I wanted success bad enough in my life, so I started developing my body. After a few ups, downs and plateaus, I reached a checkpoint of 177 lbs. at 8% body fat! People admired my transformation and now I am able to inspire many others by encouraging them to know it’s possible! It just takes time. I’ll finish with these two quotes:
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, that’s when you’ll be successful.” (Not only that, but be patient with your transformation.)
“A Toyota is built in six weeks but a Rolls Royce takes six months.”
Embrace your body as it is, but never be satisfied.
Thanks, PROMAX, for helping me on my journey!!
Which PROMAX bar do you like best?
PROMAX Original Cookies ‘n Cream.
Why is fitness and nutrition important to you?
Fitness and Nutrition has changed my outlook on life, increased my daily energy, and allowed me to inspire others to reach their true potential.
What is one unique thing about you?
I have “foot drop” from a botched surgery, but I don’t let that stop me from reaching my fitness goals! Nutrition is key and PROMAX BARS keep me going every day!
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Is there any better shorthand for a physically fit body than a set of well-defined, six-pack abs? For many people into fitness, a perfect six-pack is the ultimate sign of success, the thing they’ve putting all that sweat into. But what happens when your six-pack never appears, no matter how much work you put into it?
As with all things fitness and lifting, different bodies have different thresholds and different requirements for results. A routine that gives one person a six-pack in no time at all may never work for someone else. If you’re having trouble building your six-pack, here are some tips you can try to get the muscles you want:
1. Lose the body fat – If you’re doing thousands of crunches every week and still not seeing defined, well-toned abs, your ab routine may not be the problem. It’s a simple fact of six-pack abs that, in order to appear, you need to be able to see them. In other words, excess body fat may be hiding your abs from view. The target body fat ratio for men who want a six-pack is less than 10%; for women, it’s less than 18%. If you’re over those numbers, step up the cardio and weight lifting to burn off the excess body fat.
2. Don’t just stick to crunches – There’s a common misconception that doing a lot of crunches is all you need to build a six-pack. Like any workout routine that says one exercise alone will get you perfect results, the all-crunches approach is all wrong. Why? Because crunches don’t work the lower abs enough, meaning that other ab workouts like hanging leg raises are also required.
3. Give the abs a rest – Think doing ab exercises 5-7 times a week is going to get you a six-pack faster? If you do, you might instead be sabotaging your fitness efforts. If you work your abs every day, or even every other day, you’re not giving them the time they need to rest and grow. If you want that six-pack, only do ab exercises once every three days. Any more than that is probably too much.
4. Challenge yourself – If you’re not slowly increasing the difficulty of your workout, you’re never going to meet your fitness goals. Muscles grow based on a principle called progressive resistance. In order to develop, the difficulty of your workout needs to increase. That means upping the amount of weight lifted, the level of pressure applied, and the number of exercises done.
5. Protein, protein, protein – There’s a reason fitness buffs and professional sportsmen won’t shut up about the amount of protein they intake. Protein builds lean muscle and helps burn body fat; the body burns lots of calories just breaking the protein in your system down. Your body needs fuel to burn in order to build that six-pack – eat lots of protein before your workout, and follow it up with carbohydrates for your post-workout meal.
Need to add more protein to your diet? Promax protein bars are loaded with healthy protein, and come in many delicious flavors. Visit www.promax.com today for more info, or to place your order.
This year’s expedition race is in Lake Tahoe. Participants will be expected to take what nature throws at them and do whatever it takes to arrive at the finish line, including water paddling, rafting, climbing and more. The environment and its challenges will throw a lot at the teams, but Promax is here to help.
When participants are on the expedition, they’re going to face the elements, wildlife, and the emotional challenges that come along with the race. Why? Because this is tough work. It isn’t for your average athlete and these people have trained hard just to get to the starting line. Ensuring that they succeed and cover the course in good time means taking into account all of the things we normally do when training: good hydration, proper amounts of sleep, and arguably what’s most important to keep up our strength, good nutrition.
Why are Promax Bars Good to Take on a PQ Expedition Race?
There are plenty of reasons why it’s a good idea to pack Promax bars with you during the expedition.
Promax bars offer a variety of benefits. First of all, all the ingredients are things that your body needs and can easily digest; nothing on the label is a mystery. Second, when you’re hiking in extreme weather conditions, the last thing you need is food that is going to make your organized pack messy. Promax bars are easy to pack for the trip, require no preparation, and don’t make a mess.
They Contain Protein and Carbohydrates
We know quite well that we need both protein and carbohydrates when we’re training. The human body prefers a specific composition of protein, carbs and a little bit of fat during stressful physical activity. Just like an advanced sports car, your body will run best on fuel that is dialed in to meet the needs of the engine.
When we’re at home preparing our meals, it’s easy to create fuel with ingredients that go from the fridge to the stove. But when you’re in the wild, you don’t have time to prepare food. Making sure that you get ample amounts of carbohydrates and protein along the trek may be difficult, depending on circumstances. Grabbing a Promax bar, however, is quick and easy and doesn’t require much thinking—you’ve got several bar types to choose from that deliver different nutritional needs. Promax bars are created to combine the specific ratio of protein, fat and carbs to provide you with proper fueling. Our original line bars contain a higher amount of carbohydrates to keep your blood stable so that your muscles, liver and brain stay fueled.
They Won’t Upset Your Stomach
Unlike a lot of other on-the-go products, Promax bars do not contain artificial sugars. Instead, they contain a small amount of fructose (the sugar found naturally in fruits) and even then, not large amounts. This means that when eaten along the course of the expedition, they are not likely to upset your stomach. You know the feeling I’m talking about—when you eat something you’re not quite used to (for me usually it’s something with artificial sweeteners) and your tummy starts to ache? Promax bars don’t do that, and it’s a good thing, too, because a tummy ache is the last distraction you’re going to need when getting through a course this challenging.
Follow the Teams
What the Primal Quest teams are packing to prepare for their expedition involves all sorts of things to protect them from the elements they’ll face along the way. One thing for sure they can use to their advantage, is Promax bars. Be sure to keep up with the teams on their way to Lake Tahoe on the PrimalQuest blog!
Getting in our proper nutrition and protein needs during the summertime can be difficult, especially when we’re always on the run. A lot of people take advantage of the water during the summer, either going to a swimming pool, a lake, or to the ocean. Just because you go to the pool or beach, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your workout (or your nutrition). Just like you can bring a protein bar with your or a cooler to make sure that you keep your food fresh, you can easily bring a workout with you too. Here are some ways you can workout in the water:
Tread to Shred
If you’re looking for a way to tone your entire lower body, treading water does quite a lot for your core, butt, hamstrings, and quad muscles. You’ll have to be in water that is over your head so you can extend your legs. Point your feet and pull back water while alternating your legs. All the while make sure to keep your core engaged!
Jog Through It!
Many athletes aren’t afraid to admit that running isn’t their favorite activity. It’s hard on the joints and if you weight lift while training, then your joints may have enough stress already. That’s what is great about a water workout—there’s way less stress of the joints! Jogging in the water is a great way to get your heart rate up. You can choose to jog in place and focus on tightening your core, or pick a point (like the other side of the pool) to run to and from. If you’re running in the ocean, a good way to challenge yourself it to run from the beach into waist high water and back. That’ll get your heart pumping!
Make Waves with Kicks
A great way to strengthen your lower core and quad muscles is with kicking. You can hold on to the edge of the pool and kick up your feet. If you want to move a litter more, you can kick around with a kickboard (in the pool or the ocean). To get your heart rate up, it’s a good idea to time yourself and practice doing sprints, alternating the sprint sessions with slower kicks.
Pull Yourself Out!
This exercise works best if you’re in a pool but can be done alongside a dock in a lake or ocean as well. To target your back and shoulders, you can use the edge of the pool to do a pull up. For some, the first time they do this it is quite difficult, and so you may have to work up to a point when you are at many reps. Place your hands on the pool’s edge, elbows pointed out, and push down on the pool edge’s surface so as to pull yourself out. Once your chest is level with the pool edge, lower yourself down to the pool and try again!
Water Water All Around but Not a Drop to Drink
Sometimes we forget that while we’re in the water, it’s still important to drink water ourselves and stay hydrated. While you’re at the pool, lake, or beach, be sure to take water breaks at regular intervals, just as you would if you were working out on land in the gym. Do you have other ways you like to work your body in the water? We’d love to hear them. Feel free to leave a comment on our Facebook page or get in touch with us here at Promax directly!
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