How Often Should I Do Cardio? Is It Necessary?

Cardio exercises are a fun way to get your heart rate up and burn calories since most of them don’t require the use of a machine. Also referred to as aerobic exercise, cardio is a physical exercise that forces your body to suck up more oxygen, which is used to generate energy. Examples of this type of workout include walking, cycling, swimming, jogging and running. As simple as these exercises may seem, you need not to overdo them since your body requires time to recover. 

Fitting Cardio in Your Workout Routine

A balanced workout routine should have cardio as part of the exercises to help boost the circulatory system. Fitting aerobics in your routine will improve your endurance and recovery. The good thing about cardio is that it gives you lots of options to suit your physiological and fitness needs. Unlike weightlifting, you won’t have to worry about repeating variations of a single exercise for a specified period of time. 

Heart rates are an important point of focus when planning cardio routines since they differ in people. It’s advisable to aim for a heart rate ranging from 120 to 150 bpm (beats per minute) for a period of 45 to 60 minutes. You can check the rate from a heart rate monitor worn on your sleeve when engaging in any form of cardio. If you have a heart condition or a history with heart problem, consider consulting with your personal doctor before doing aerobics. 

Functional movements such as kettlebell swings are a great way to keep your heart rate up since they stimulate several parts of your body. Besides incorporating them in your strength training sessions, you can fit them in your aerobics. The trick to getting your heart rate up is to do more reps of functional movements within a specified time. Emulating moves that ice skaters use or adding an ability ladder to your sessions can help you boost your agility. 

How Many Times Should You Do Cardio?

According to ACSM (the American College of Sports Medicine), about 150 minutes of moderate-to-intense activity every week are enough to promote cardiovascular health. Your routine will determine the ways you’ll split the 150 minutes to work in your favor. You may choose to do HIIT (high intensity interval training) for your cardio sessions if your goal is to intensely burn calories using machines such as a treadmill, a bike or an indoor rowing machine. Functional movements can also form part of your HIIT training as long as you spare time for active recovery in between the sessions. 

Are You Overdoing Cardio?

The drawbacks of aerobics include respiratory problems (if you have a history of lung problems) and overuse injuries (caused by repetitive, intense exercises). Cardio won’t be effective in building muscle mass if you overdo it since the accumulated muscle will gradually be lost in high impact exercises. You may also not experience fat loss especially if you’re doing aerobics the wrong way or you’re not sticking to a healthy meal plan. The frequency and duration of your aerobic workouts should exceed a certain minimum (at least twenty minutes a day twice or thrice a week) for you to fully derive both the performance benefits and health benefits. 

Final Thoughts

Your goal when doing aerobics is to maximize the breathing capacity of your lungs hence increasing their ability to take in more air in a short time. With more efficient lungs, your respiratory system will be more equipped to eliminate carbon dioxide as your heart functionality is improved. While you may be ambitious about gaining these benefits, you need to realize that your respiratory and cardiovascular systems have limitations. Your skeletal muscles also have limitations, which present themselves when you try to put pressure on them in the name of doing cardio. 

 

How Many Exercises Per Muscle Group Should I Do?

As millions of people continue to sign up for gym sessions hoping to develop a muscular physique, it’s important that they pay attention to the muscle groups they’re training. Toning exercises can significantly assist in fat loss while allowing you to build muscle mass when properly done. Weightlifting exercises, which are the most common example of toning exercises are usually performed with low resistance (using low weight) and high repetitions with rest periods in between. In this guide, you’ll discover various workouts suited to different muscle groups. 

Upper Body

Chest (Pectorals)

The chest fly and bench press are the two types of exercises you can use to train your pectorals. With chest fly, you’ll be standing up or lying on a bench while bringing your arms above to the chest. Bench press involves pushing a weight (dumbbells) away from the pectorals while lying on a bench with your back.  

Front of Arms (Biceps) and Back of Arms (Triceps)

The Preacher curl (performed by curling the hands up to the shoulders with weights) is an ideal workout for the biceps. You can train your triceps with the triceps extension or pushdown. The triceps extension involves lowering a weight and raising it again above the head while the pushdown involves pushing down on a barbell held at the level of your upper chest. 

Shoulders (Deltoids)

The four types of exercises you can use to train your shoulders include the shoulder press, the upright row, the military press and the lateral raise. Though the shoulder press and military press involve lowering a weight held above your head above your shoulders, the military version requires you to stand with your feet together. The upright row requires you to lift a weight straight up to your collarbone while the lateral raise involves lifting weights just below your shoulders with your hands hanging down. 

Mid Back (Lats)

The bent-over row, the pull-up and the pull-down are exercises for training the mid back. You’ll be holding pulling a weight that’s hanging down towards your abdomen as you lean over when doing the bent-over row. The pull-up requires you to pull your body up from a chin bar while the pulldown involved pulling a wide barbell down towards your upper chest. 

Waist

Abdominals

Training your upper and lower body while ignoring your waist area won’t give you a well-formed muscular physique. Incorporate the leg raise and the crunch in your routine to train the abdominals. The leg raise involves raising the knees towards the legs or shoulders to a vertical upright posture while the crunch involves curling the shoulders upwards close to the pelvis. 

Lower Back

The good-morning and the back extension help train the lower back. While doing the good morning, you’ll hold two dumbbells or a barbell on your shoulders behind your head. The back extension involved bending down at your waist and strengthening it up again while lying on your belly. 

Lower Body

Front of the Thighs (Quadriceps)

You can train your quadriceps with the wall sit, the leg extension, the deadlift, the squat and the leg press. All of these exercises require weights except for the wall sit. With the wall sit, you’ll be lowering your hips until your hips and knees form a right angle while placing your back against the wall. 

Back of the Legs (Hamstrings) and Calves 

The three exercises for training the hamstrings include the snatch, the leg curl and the stiff-legged deadlift. You’ll need to do the seated calf raise or the standing calf raise when training your calves. Consider training your calves and hamstrings the same day for the best results. 

Summing Up

After learning about the different types of exercises that target different muscle groups, it’s time to fit them in your workout routine. Always train each muscle group in your body to achieve a toned musculature. You can also consult with a trainer on how to fit these exercises in your routine. 

How Much Should I Be Able To Squat? Find Out Here!

Once you agree to sign up for a workout program characterized by vigorous training, you should prepare yourself for everything you’ll experience. One of the exercises most new gym goers fear is squats. As a set of strength exercises, squats are essential for developing core strength and increasing the size and strength of your lower body muscles. 

Each squatting session will help train the muscles of your hips, buttocks and thighs while strengthening the ligaments, tendon insertions and bones of the lower body. Knowing how to do squats the right way will help you derive these benefits without being at risk of lower body injury. Find more information on how much squats you should do below. 

How to Properly Do Squats

Your squatting sessions should always find you in a standing position. Though a loaded barbell is the most common weight used for swjats, kettlebells and dumbbells can also do the magic. When you use a barbell, brace it across your upper trapezius muscle to do a high bar squat. You can do a low bar squat by lowering the barbell across your rear deltoids and holding that squatting position. 

Getting to a high bar or low bar squatting position isn’t enough to train your lower body muscles. You’ll need to move your hips back and bend your knees and hips to lower your torso and the weight you’re carrying. After bending your knees, return to your upright position and then repeat the exercise. 

How Many Squats Should You Do?

You can do squats in varying depths depending on your fitness level and goals. Aim for ten to fifteen squats per day twice or thrice a week. The competition standard for doing this exercise is referred to as parallel depth. You have to ensure the top part of your leg (at the hip joint) falls below your knee for you to meet this standard. 

Other standards you can observe when doing squats involve the top of your upper thigh being below the top of your knee, your femur being parallel to the floor and your hip joint being below the knee. Squatting above parallel depth qualifies as a shallow squat while squatting below parallel depth qualifies as a deep squat. Authorities caution gym goers against doing deep squats since they have a higher potential for injury and lifelong physical disabilities. 

Dangers of Overdoing Squats

When squatting, your knees and hips will bend, your ankle will extend while the muscles around your joint will contract until they reach a point they can’t undergo further contraction. Throughout the exercise, you’ll be relying on the muscles around your hips to power your lower body. Common mistakes people make when squatting include flexing their torso too far forward bending too rapidly. Such mistakes could lead to injury or inability to complete the squat

You’re at a higher risk of suffering spinal disc herniation when you flex your torso since the exercise will exert a lot of force on your lower back. Failing to align the knees in the direction of your toes will adversely strain the knee joints increasing the risk of an injury. Another mistake people make while squatting is raising their heels off the ground. Such a mistake prevents the gluteus muscles from contributing to the entire exercise thus making it difficult to complete the squat. 

Final Thoughts

Squats tend to be a complex set of exercises for most beginners at gyms or fitness centers. It’s important to seek guidance from a trainer before carrying them out to put yourself at lesser risk of injury. If you’re a good learner, it will take a few sessions for you to master the routines and variations allowing you to train your lower body as you wish. While theoretical knowledge on squats is essential when getting started with these workouts, it’s advisable to spare time to put the knowledge into practice to improve your mastery. 

 

Best Shoes For Jumping Rope – What Are They?

Skipping is a fun game, mainly played by children and some adults, that has similar cardiovascular benefits as bicycle riding and jogging. Just like any other sport, you need to have proper gear before jumping rope to avoid injuries on your feet or other parts of the body. The challenging part is choosing the right shoes for this game since you want to achieve increased performance with them on your feet. Read on to learn more about shoes suited for skipping rope. 

What Features Should Shoes for Jumping Ropes Have?

Running shoes are the best footwear for skipping ropes since they’re light in weight and feature extra cushioning to give your feet less traction. You’ll also need them to act as shock absorbers to the impact produced when jumping rope repeatedly. Skipping rope is considered a high-impact exercise like running, hence the need to wear breathable yet lightweight shoes when engaging in this sport. The footwear should offer less grip to the ground you’re jumping on to make your jumps more efficient and productive. 

When shopping for shoes for skipping rope, get those with a flexible midsole for increased support and comfort. Training shoes won’t be ideal for the exercise since they’re heavier than running shoes. Other features to lookout for include thick heels for less grip and less traction and type of shock absorption or cushioning material attached to the shoe. Ensure the footwear item is made by a reputable manufacturer and is tested for durability. 

Preparing Newly Bought Shoes

The biggest mistake most people make with their newly bought shoes is failing to prepare the shoes for the intended activity. Once you get yourself a pair of shoes for skipping rope, try testing them in less demanding situations. Such situations may involve activities such as slow running or walking. With these simple tests, you’ll get your feet accustomed to the design and feel of the shoe and decrease your chances of experiencing injuries

If your newly-bought shoes have laces, carefully tie them as you prepare them for their intended purpose. Always ensure the laces are properly tied before skipping rope since loose laces may make it hard for you to make successive jumps and put you at risk of tripping. Remember that every jump you make in those shoes will determine your ability to make another one. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun that comes with jumping rope due to an injury or uncomfortable shoes. 

Concerns Regarding Shoes for Skipping Rope

Your ability to spot minor changes or abnormalities in the design or fabric of your shoe will give you an edge over any upcoming challenges. High-impact activities such as skipping rope put a lot of pressure on shoes, making them more susceptible to wear and tear. You can make your shoes more durable by choosing surfaces that have less obstacles (stones, broken glasses or thorns). Cleaning the shoes according to the manufacturer’s instructions will also help make it last longer. 

Jumping ropes can expose you to runner’s toe, which is a traumatic injury caused by the repetitive use of the feet. Your toenail will have a reddish-black discoloration once you get runner’s toe. As it develops, your nail tip will become more brittle and thicker, deform and grow out making the nail painful. Early stages of this injury are easy to treat while the late ones require surgical procedures.  

Summing Up

As you gear up for the next skipping rope session, remember that your shoes partly contribute to your stability when playing the game. Your feet, knees, spinal cord and head among other body parts will be at potential risk of injury if you fall to secure the right shoes for jumping rope. Choose running shoes for this activity since they’re designed to withstand high-impact activities. 

 

Strength Training Vs Weight Training – Whats The Difference?

While it’s a great decision to start working out, you have to know the specifics of the exercises you’ll be indulging in to get the results you desire. You would want all the money you spent on gym membership fees to go to waste simply because you were clueless about the workouts you are doing at the gym. The two concepts you’ll come across as you learn more about fitness are strength training and weight training. Discussed below are the key differences between these types of workout and their benefits. 

 

Strength Training Vs Weight Training

Strength training is all about garnering strength while under tension while weight training  entails pulling or pushing a resistance band or body weight to build muscles. With weight training (also known as resistance training), your focus will be stimulating muscle growth using resistance derived from free weights (such as dumbbells), machines or your own weight. The goal of any weight training session is to help you increase your muscle strength. 

Gaining strength won’t be an end goal in weight training as it is in strength training. Your strength training sessions will involve lifting heavy weights (which gradually increase) with the goal of getting stronger. You may fit strength training and weight training exercises in your workout routine depending on your fitness needs and your physical health. 

Strength training can be defined as an exercise that forces your muscles to rebuild and become stronger by pushing them outside their comfort zone. It can be accomplished either by movement of any weight (inclusive of your total body weight) or progressive overload. With progressive overload, your goal is to exert slightly more effort than you exerted in your last weightlifting attempt to make your muscles adapt and grow. 

What are the Benefits of Strength Training?

Building strength while working out can help your body be less prone to muscle loss and degenerative diseases such as heart disease. Strength training also helps remedy conditions associated with inactivity, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol. The exercise helps improve the quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia, lymphedema, Down Syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, Osteoporosis and arthritis. It’s recommended for people who have recently suffered from clinical depression, cancer, stroke or spinal cord injury. 

When combined with calorie restriction (consuming less calories than those you burn daily), strength training can help you lose weight. You can rely on the exercise for a boost in your metabolic rate if your goal is to build muscle mass since it takes more calories to build and maintain muscles. Strength training exercises will also boost your metabolic rate for up to 36 hours after working out to allow your body to replenish itself. 

 

What are the Benefits of Weight Training?

One reason why fitness experts recommend weight training is that it applies to everyday life and it helps improve bone density. The rate at which your body loses muscle will decline since weight training helps you build more muscle. You’ll also get to see the direct results as you stuck to your workout plan. The psychological benefits of weight training include feeling confident about oneself and one’s abilities, ability to recover faster and better and ability to have quality sleep. 

Final Thoughts

The decision to do more strength training or more weight training entirely depend on your fitness goals. Strength training would suit you of your end goal is strength while weight training will be ideal for you if you want to use resistance to build muscle. You can even combine both exercises by allocating separate days in your weekly gym routine for each one of them. Consider speaking to a professional trainer for more expert guidance on whether or not you should combine these exercises and ways you can fit them in your routine to achieve your desired results. 

 

What To Wear To The Gym For Females? Find Out Here!

After finally deciding to fit gym into your schedule, it may be overwhelming to choose the right workout clothes. You need to find the gym clothes that can help improve your performance and productivity. Though there are hundreds of brands selling gym wear items out there, not all of them seem to cater to the needs of an avid gym goer. In this guide, you’ll discover four features to lookout in clothing suited for workouts. 

Decent Fitting Workout Leggings

Workout leggings are among the workout clothes that most women who are into fitness buy. When buying them, consider the type of workouts that would need you to wear them. Shop for gym leggings with thicker material since some exercises are vigorous enough to tear cloth fabric. You may also want to pick those with pockets to stash your keys, phone or gel. 

Ensure the workout leggings aren’t see through (you ask a friend or a female attendant at the clothing shop to confirm for you if they’re see-through). Choose those with a stretchy waistband that doesn’t slip or dig through your midsection area. Once you find workout leggings that meet these criteria, you may use them on exercises such as lunging, jumping and squatting. 

Snug-Fit Sport Bras

Women have different measurements for sport bra sizes. Finding one that fits you should be your goal when shopping for workout clothes. Choose a snug-fitting sports bra that comes with a simple design for maximum comfort. The bras should also have full coverage to save you the troubles that come with wardrobe malfunctions. 

It may be daunting to find the right size if you’re expectant or you’re a new mom. Luckily, sports bra manufacturers usually take in such considerations when catering for the needs of consumers like you. Consider buying sport bras designed and marketed specifically for lactating mothers if you’re a new mom. Sport bras with adjustable shoulder straps and adequate compression will suit you if you’re expectant. 

Moisture and Irritant Resistant Workout Tops

Your skin should be the number one priority when shopping for gym wear items. Look for clothing made of irritation resistant material whether or not you have sensitive skin. The clothes should also have moisture-wicking fabric that dries off quickly when it gets in contact with moisture. Your workout performance will depend on how comfortable you are in your choice of clothing. 

Consider comfy and performance-enhancing material such as spandex, wool, nylon and polyester. Avoid any clothing made of cotton since cotton takes time to dry. If you’re into eco-friendly fabric, you may consider bamboo since it has natural antimicrobials that help eliminate bad odors. Tops with UPF protection would protect you against UV rays when engaging in outdoor exercises during the day.  

Women’s Full Coverage Workout Shorts with a Stretchy Waistband

 Shorts may be an option if you want to substitute then with pants as you’re going to the gym. Choose those that come with a stretchy waistband and offer adequate coverage for comfort. The shorts should also be made of sweat-wicking material to avoid accumulation of sweat when you’re working out

The good thing about comfortable gym shorts is that they can allow you to do different types of exercises without compromising your performance. You may pick tight ones or slightly baggy ones depending on your fashion taste and physiological needs. If you’re choosing tight ones, go for those with a tight grip around the thighs to prevent them from sliding upwards when you’re exercising. 

Summing Up

Your gym clothes will partly contribute to the results you get whenever you’re exercising. Avoid wearing super tight clothes and super baggy clothes or applying too much make-up when it’s time for working out. You should also avoid wearing stretched out bras, jewelry, worn-out sneakers and clothes made from cotton since they’ll slow you down. 

 

How Old Do You Have To Be To Go To The Gym?

Gyms and fitness centers are the go-to facilities for people looking to stay fit, build muscle mass or maintain muscle mass (for bodybuilding or other purposes). With the increasing debates on the correlation of age and gym attendance, it’s wise not to buy into misinformation because fitness applies to everyone. Your five-year old child and 81-year old grandparent both have unique fitness needs that can be met when they’re exercising. Here’s an in-depth review on the correlation between age and gym attendance. 

Exercise Explained in Detail

In simple terms, exercising means engaging in any bodily activity (performed indoors or outdoors) that maintains or enhances your health and wellness and physical fitness. Other reasons for engaging in exercise include weight maintenance/loss, honing athletic skills, developing muscles, preventing aging, improving strength and aiding growth. Your age, the type of exercise and your goals will determine the intensity of exercise you’ll be performing. 

How Age Correlates with Fitness

A significant increase in the levels of physical activity translate to a significant increase in fitness. As simple as this notion sounds, it applies to people of all ages. The ability to increase muscle size from gym workouts is only limited to individuals in the middle age group. Children won’t build a lot of muscle because the development of testosterone is limited to puberty while the elderly will experience challenges trying to build muscle because of aging (which causes cell loss). 

Children have greater chances of being physically active, being physically fit and being active in sports if their motor skills are harnessed at earlier stages of their lives. Harnessing motor skills, in this case, means engaging in exercises. If your child lacks proficient motor skills before they reach puberty, chances are that they’ll continue with the same lifestyle and put themselves at a higher risk of being obese/overweight. 

How Cardiovascular Health Improves When Going to the Gym

Participation is physical exercise is key to increased cardiovascular fitness and loss of body fat across children and adults. With improved cardiovascular fitness, you’re at a lower risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease in the present and later years. Fitness centers and gyms provide people diverse ways and tools to stay active and beat the odds of developing lifestyle diseases irrespective of their ages. 

Though heart disease ranks among the leading causes of death amongst women, aging women can gain healthier cardiovascular profiles if they regularly engage in exercise. The elderly can also indulge in moderate-intensity exercises (which require 40 to 60 percent of oxygen uptake) to help them live longer. You’ll have better chances of survival if you modify your fitness goals after surviving a lifestyle disease. If you fail to make changes in your lifestyle after the health scare, you’ll be more prone to heart attack and stroke among other cardiovascular conditions. 

Exercises Prescribed to the Elderly

While still on the topic of the correlation between age and fitness, it’s important to realize that some people visit the gym with a recommendation from a rehabilitation or fitness specialist. Exercise prescriptions focus on customization and motivation to help the patient achieve desired goals irrespective of age. Doctors tend to prescribe them to people with obesity, depression or asthma. 

With a well planned workout routine, the elderly can also benefit from going to the gym. The routine can help reduce their susceptibility to insulin resilience, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease. The elderly  mayalso experience vast improvements in muscle mass and bone density. Their trainers have to be keen on the intensity and frequency of the exercises since the elderly have slightly weaker bones and muscles. 

Final Thoughts

It’s never too late or too early to join the gym since lifestyle diseases affect people of all ages. Though our bodies have built-in mechanisms for fighting diseases, exercise can help these built-in systems work better. Exercising should be part of your day-to-day schedule if you envision living with increased fitness. 

 

HIIT After Weight Training – A Good Idea?

High intensity interval training (abbreviated as HIIT) is a type of cardiovascular exercise that lets you burn lots of calories in the shortest time possible. As a fitness enthusiast or gym goer, you may find yourself wondering whether or not to indulge in HIIT after weightlifting. With numerous mixed reviews out there about HIIT, it can be challenging to figure out when you should do HIIT. Look no further because this guide has all the answers you need.

What’s HIIT All About?

HIIT lets you do quick bursts of work with resting periods (passive or active) placed in between the exercises. The goal of the workout is to increase your heartbeat during the quick bursts or intervals and then slightly decrease it while you’re resting. With HIIT, it’s possible to experience quick gains in your cardio fitness and build muscle. On the downside, HIIT requires lots of recovery for the gains to be beneficial. 

Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training

Though it’s tough to execute, HIIT can help you build anesthetic-looking muscular and lean physique when done in the right way. The exercise lets you burn 25 to 35 percent more calories than other workout types while keeping your body fat down. HIIT is a great exercise for improving cardiovascular health and in turn lowering your risks for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke. After each HIIT session, you’ll feel more energized and productive.

Should You HIIT After Weightlifting?

The answer to this question is yes. If you’re engaging in high intensity interval training, it’s advisable to place the exercise after your weightlifting sessions. Consider doing HIIT as a separate exercise from your weight training session for maximum results. It’s more ideal if you do this cardio exercise 6 hours after weight training (preferably the next day). 

Why Spread Out Your Weightlifting and HIIT Sessions?

A 2017 study by Murlasits et al revealed that spreading out a HIIT session is crucial for more strength improvements. Doing HIIT before your weightlifting sessions won’t yield positive cardiovascular gains.The magnitude of the gains in muscle mass and strength will depend on the type of endurance training you’re using.

A separate study conducted by Wilson et al found out that resistance training combined with running results in a significant decrease in strength and hypertrophy. The study concluded that running disrupts the muscular system since it relies on movements that are inconsistent with strength training. When running, every step causes shocks known to trigger muscle damage. Running also stresses the legs making it difficult for you to recover or gain muscle mass.

While spreading out your HIIT sessions, engage in low impact cardio exercises such as swimming, rowing and cycling for the best results. Avoid running since it’s detrimental to your legs. If you don’t care about leg size, you may engage in running.

How to Indulge in HIIT

The recommended time for performing HIIT is 15 minutes (at least 2 to 3 times a week). When done moderately, HIIT promotes muscle growth and strength. If you over do it, the exercise will likely interfere with your strength training program. Choose any type of modality when performing HIIT except running and jogging. 

A good HIIT routine includes 3 to 5 minutes of warm-up and a 30-second rest (moving slowly or complete rest). Repeat this routine for at least 15 minutes to maximize your gains. You can also indulge in sports once or twice on your resting days for 20 to 30 minutes. The good thing about sports is that it’s more fun and less repetitive than other HIIT modalities.

Summing Up

Your HIIT sessions will depend on your goals, recovering capacity and training experience. If you’re aiming to build muscle mass, engaging in HIIT everyday will negatively affect your recovery and decrease your gains. Your body may adapt well to doing HIIT everyday if you always recover well and you’ve been doing HIIT for a long time.

How Much Do Weightlifting Bars Weigh? Find Out Here!

Back in the day, a barbell was the only equipment you could attach to weights when doing a deadlift or squats. With advances in industrialization, we now have different types of bars fitness enthusiasts and gym goers can use in their cross-training sessions. The bars come in different weights to make weightlifting more effective and productive. In this article, you’ll learn more about the specifications of four types of bars found in modern gyms and fitness centers.

How Much Does A Bench Press Bar Weigh?

Bench press is a type of workout that allows you to use your pectorals to lift a specified weight as you comfortably lay flat with your back on a bench. With this exercise, you can build your tricep, shoulder and chest muscles. Bench press bars help facilitate standard and Olympic weightlifting activities. Each of them differ in weight with the Olympic one weighing 45 pounds while the standard one weighing 33 pounds.

The Olympic version, which is seven foot long, is used during Olympic weightlifting competitions. Though most gyms and fitness centers have the standard version, it’s possible to find an Olympic bench press in these facilities. You should always use proper techniques to prevent back injuries and ensure you can lift the bench press bar before adding weight plates.

How Much Does An Olympic Bar Weigh?

An Olympic bar is a metal bar used in Olympic weightlifting by both male and female athletes. The men’s version weighs 45lbs (20kgs) and measures 7.2 ft (2.2 m) in length. Its outer ends have a diameter of 2.0 in (50mm) while its grip section has a length of 4.3ft (1.31m) and a diameter of 1.1 in (28mm). The bar can hold up to 500lbs of weight plates. 

The women’s version of the Olympic bar weighs 35lbs (15.8kgs). Both bars help test human ballistic limits such as explosive strength. The order of the Olympic weightlifting competitions depend on the lifters. Competitors lifting lower weights go first with an option of lifting the weight again or switching to a heavier weight if they’re unsuccessful.

How Much Does An Easy Bar Weigh?

Also known as curl bars, EZ bars are long metal bars with angled grips at the center used for either Olympic or standard weightlifting activities. An Olympic curl bar comes with angled sections for placing your hand to minimize stress on your wrist joints. It can allow you to exercise your triceps and biceps from diverse angles unlike regular barbells, which restrict the position of your wrist. A standard curl bar is shorter and lighter than an Olympic EZ curl bar.

An Olympic curl bar has a length ranging from 47 to 52 inches and a weight ranging from 18 to 25 pounds with 2-inch sleeves suited for 2-inch Olympic weight plates. A standard curl bar  weighs between 11 and 13 pounds. You can use both bars for tricep extensions and rows. Curl bars are more effective at activating elbow muscles than dumbbells.

How Much Does A Trap Bar Weigh?

A trap bar (also referred to as a hex bar) is a hexagonal or diamond shaped tool popularized and invented by Al Gerard (a renowned powerlifter) for weightlifting. Al invented the tool to help weightlifters whose lower back injuries prevent them from doing shoulder raises and deadlifts. Since it derives its name from the trapezius muscles, it helps train the muscles connecting the shoulders to the neck. A trap bar comprises of a bar stock (the diamond-shaped part), coaxial stub-bars (for holding weight plates) and handles (for lifting the tool).

Just like an Olympic barbell, a trap bar weighs 45lbs (20kgs). An XL trap bar  weighs 55lbs (25kgs) while a conventional one weighs 30lbs (13.3kgs). Though most hex bars found in fitness centers weigh 45lbs, it’s important to measure or ask the weight of the one you have.

Conclusion

The key to getting the most out of a weightlifting metal bar is to always consider its size range and your ballistic limits. Different types of bars have different weight standards. Observe the safety measures outlined by the proprietors/managers of the gym you usually visit or the manufacturer of the metal bar you’re using.

 

Is Working Out 6 Days A Week Too Much? Find Out Here!

When drafting your gym routine, one major component to plan for is your exercise frequency. In other words, you should decide on how many times and how often should you get your workout in a week. Terms such as ‘workout frequency’ and ‘exercise frequency’ have diverse meanings to every gym goer or fitness enthusiast. Regardless of your definition of these terms, always ensure that you don’t overtrain.

Which Exercise Frequencies Should You Care About the Most?

The three exercise frequencies you need to pay attention to include overall exercise frequency, weight training frequency and muscle group or body part frequency. Your overall exercise frequency should focus on how many times you’ll be indulging in any type of exercise. For weight training frequency, consider the number of times and frequency of weight training per week. Lastly, muscle group frequency focuses on how many times and how often you’ll be training each body part or muscle group.

Your workout routine and fitness goals will determine how frequent you’ll be working out. You may want to achieve a fit physique or lose weight when training. Either way, the general rule is that you should spare two days off every week from all kinds of exercise. Also known as rest days, the two days will allow your body to heal/recover adequately before your next workout session.

Is Working out Six Times Per Week Too Much?

The answer to this question is yes. You’ll be overtraining if your gym/workout schedule takes six days every week. While it’s easy to find yourself excessively training, it does pay to work out less. The message here is not to quit going to the gym or exercising but to have spare rest days (or weeks) in your schedule. 

What are the Dangers of Overtraining?

Vigorous weightlifting may create tiny muscle tears, whose only remedy is rest. Avoiding rest will make it difficult for your muscles to repair and become stronger. You’re right to think that working your muscles hard will help you add more muscles. However, failing to give your body enough rest time will result in sore muscles and fatigue.

You’re at risk of losing lots of weight when you work out too intensely or too often. Depending on your diet, you may even gain weight that doesn’t qualify as muscle mass. Women may experience changes in their menstrual cycle, a drop in estrogen and premature bone loss. All these negative side effects can make the female body more prone to injury and weaker.

Mood and sleeping problems can be attributed to overtraining too. You’ll need adequate sleep to keep your body refreshed and energized for workout sessions. Despite losing sleep, you risk suffering from depression and anxiety. Though exercise helps curb these mental conditions, too much of it will have an opposite effect on you.

Remedies for Overtraining

The best remedy for overtraining is a workout routine that has rest days (or even weeks). If you’re engaging in weight training. two to three days per week will be enough. Consequently, two to three days per week are enough for body part or muscle group training. You may include rest days between or at the end of your weight training and muscle group/body part training sessions.

Your goal is to focus on strength and cardiovascular fitness five days every week. If you’re looking to add muscle mass, cut one cardio day off your routine. Skipping a strength training day or switching up the sessions each week will help you improve your endurance. It pays being disciplined throughout the workout sessions and being realistic about your routine.

Summing Up

Having good exercise and fitness habits will help you achieve your desired goals without exposing yourself to injuries and fatigue. The only way you can get results as a fitness enthusiast is when you consistently follow your workout routine. Know what works for you since everyone’s fitness goals are different.