What the Yuck: GYM GERMS

GYM GERMS

After a split-second decision, I sat down  on a sweat-smeared bench left by the big, hairy Russian dude. The guy to my right decided to sneeze 16 times in a row, setting a new gym record. I quickly winced, then glanced up at the TV to see more breaking news concerning the Ebola virus. I blinked twice, then took a look around me. A large room of people swapping sweat with each other. It’s like a fitness orgy.

The Ebola epidemic has dominated everything we have heard about for weeks now. It’s been devastating and people are now getting fearful about it spreading here in the United States. One thing we tend to forget about is all of the diseases, infections, bacteria and germs we come in contact with almost daily.

You’ve been told to “wipe off the equipment” like that’s going to really help. It doesn’t make the germs go away, it just prevents the bench from turning into a slip-n-slide.

gym sprayBut, you ask, what if I use sanitizer? Ah, yes. Well, that’s better, but still isn’t 100% effective in killing all germs/bacteria. The CDC has a report that says washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of microbes in most situations. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. If your sanitizer has between 60-95% alcohol concentration, chances are, it will help kill more germs.

The next issue: if you’re using your gym facility’s sanitizer, are they supplying a cleaner that is anti-bacterial or one that just cleans away dirt, sweat and oil?  You need to ask or bring your own. Regulations are different in each state, so don’t assume you’re zapping away germs.

gym towelOne of the best things you can do is to create a barrier between you and the machine. Most people bring a towel. The problem that occurs is how do you remember which side of the towel you’re using? My little trick is to bring a towel that has writing or a print on just ONE side. That way I always know the “safe” side and the “wtf” side.

glovesSome guys will act like you’re not a man if you use lifting gloves. I beg to differ. I enjoy the hand barrier, personally. Just don’t forget to wash your gloves….think of them as you would think of your underwear. It is important they are cleaned on a regular basis.

sanitizerMany gyms also provide waterless hand sanitizing stations. This is great to use and not just stare at. Use it often: pre-workout, during workout, and post-workout.

Also, don’t use your fingers and palm of your hands to wipe sweat off your face. Use the back of your hands or (better yet) a clean towel. You don’t want to encourage germs and bacteria to get near your eyes, nose and mouth. That’s just sending an invitation to Aunt Flu to visit for a week.

water bottleOh, and think about where you’re placing your water bottle. Is the nozzle touching any of the equipment? It’s also best to use a bottle that you don’t have to “open/close” at the mouth opening with your fingers. If that’s all you have, use your teeth.

If you shower at the gym, please, for God’s sake, wear shower shoes. Buy some $1 flip flops for all I care. Toe fungus is real, people. If you don’t shower, make sure you soap up your hands up to your elbows and (I’m not kidding) sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself. I wouldn’t do this out loud unless youshower shoes want a left hook to the jaw. Supposedly, by the time you sing the Birthday song you have properly cleaned your hands.

Once you get home, wash your clothes. Do NOT think you can or should wear them again until you’ve cleaned them. Remember that really smelly kid named “Pig Pen” that was friends with Charlie Brown? Yeah. Don’t be that kid.

pigpen

Another rule of thumb: spray anti-fungal in your shoes or (better yet) wash them too.

If you have a cut, scrape, abrasion….make sure it is NOT exposed. This isn’t just for yourself, but for the common courtesy of others. This is the easiest way to get infected and also to spread infection. If you see someone that has an exposed wound of any sort, I wouldn’t use the equipment they were on. bandagesNot to be a tattle-tale, but it may be wise to alert someone at the gym to talk to this individual.

On the same note, if you are sick – stay home! Exercise at home when you feel sick and try to avoid areas of the gym where people are coughing and sneezing. It might not be a bad idea to down some Airborne in your pre-workout during the flu season.

Gym environments can be an ideal breeding ground for infectious diseases.

Here are things you can bring home from the gym (besides muscle):

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a bacteria called methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was recently found in recreational athletes. Although, MRSA is a version of the common staph bacteria, it is resistant to the methicillin antibiotic, which makes it especially hard to treat. While “normal” staphylococcus aureus is a microbial skin infection easily treated with antibiotics, MRSA is more difficult to treat and can infect the blood and bones–a potentially life threatening complication. MRSA’s antibiotic resistance also makes it more likely to spread, since the normal course of treatment does not eliminate it and the infected person remains a carrier. The CDC cites close physical contact and equipment sharing as reasons for outbreaks. Researchers have also found E. coli, strep-bacteria and the influenza virus in gyms and on athletic equipment.

I didn’t write all of this to terrify you. I promise, this isn’t a ‘Nightmare on Gym Street’ post right before Halloween…though, that would have been a better title! Seriously, this is just a warning to help protect my fellow gym-goers out there. We’re like a family, so let’s spread the love, not our germs.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by:
Tristan “Lucky”

LeBron James: 67-Day Diet Facts and Sample Meal Plans

LeBron James

LeBron James: Ketogenic Paleo

LeBron James has opened up about his much talked-about slimdown, speaking with multiple media outlets, including Sports Illustrated and CNN, about his strict 67-day diet, which he labels “Ketogenic Paleo.”

“I had no sugars, no dairy, I had no carbs,” the four-time NBA MVP told SI. “All I ate was meat, fish, veggies and fruit. That’s it. For 67 straight days.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers star described his diet as a “mental challenge,” which he initially planned to limit to one month, but extended because his body felt amazing.

“I haven’t been in this weight class,” James told CNN‘s Rachel Nichols without specifying the exact number of pounds he now weighs. “I’m in the 250-ish range. A lot lighter than I’ve been playing at the last few years, but I feel good,” he said.

For James, the hardest food group to give up was sweets. “It was either pancakes or chocolate chip cookies and ice cream,” he mused, adding that he went to bed dreaming of the fluffy breakfast food all the time. He joked: “I had the cookie monster chasing me a few times in my dreams.”

Last month, James had fans wondering how he achieved his ripped and significantly leaner frame after he shared numerous shirtless photos of himself on Instagram. “Every now and then I enjoy the fruits of my labor,” he captioned one pic. ‘#LivinLiveWithASmile #Blessed #StriveForGreatness.”

LeBron James: Sample Eating Plan

Breakfast:

  • Option 1: Veggie omelet with a side of turkey bacon, fresh fruit, and sweet potato hash browns.
  • Option 2: Peanut butter or almond butter smoothie made with PalntFusion and Almond or Coconut milk, banana, and side of blueberries or other sliced fruit.
  • Option 3: Egg Scramble with mushrooms, bacon, onions topped with avocado and salsa.

Lunch:

  • Option 1: Spinach salad with veggies, grilled chicken, and a light balsamic, vinaigrette, or olive oil dressing. Pair with a side of fresh fruit, or add sliced berries, apples, or mandarin oranges as a salad topper.
  • Option 2: Tuna Fish mixed with vegan garlic mayo, onions, celery wrapped in romaine lettuce leaves. Add healthy toppings like spinach, avocado, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, and yellow mustard. Pair with a fresh fruit salad.
  • Option 3: Pizza made with ground turkey substituted as the crust. Top with sauce (no sugar), veggies, and meats, no cheese, and bake.

Dinner:

  • Option 1: Grilled or baked salmon with crushed pistachio topping, and steamed vegetables, drizzled with freshly squeezed lime juice, olive oil, or balsamic vinaigrette. Season with dried herbs like rosemary, chipotle pepper, or paprika.
  • Option 2: Chicken or shrimp soft tacos in romaine leaves with black beans, avocados, diced tomatoes, or chile peppers and salsa.
  • Option 3: Chicken or Beef Chili

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by Tristan “Lucky”

7 Major Benefits of Pyramid Training

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There comes that day in every bodybuilder’s life where you hit that dreaded plateau. Your normal “beast mode” routines just aren’t kicking it anymore. You’re striving for more mass, yet nothing is happening. You’re stuck. What do you do???

Usually a change up in your old routine with a replacement of an advanced workout will get you to the next level.

Among the best routines to employ would be pyramid training.

How Does Pyramid Training Work?

The way pyramid training works is very simple. You perform a series of high rep exercises with a light amount of weight. For example, you could perform 20 reps of dumbbell curls at 15 lbs.

Once you complete the set, you will take a quick breather and move to the next set which would be 15 reps at 20 lbs. Take another break and then do 12 reps at 25 lbs. This progression could continue with 10/30 lbs, 8/35 lbs, 6/40 lbs, and 4/45 lbs. Of course, this is only one example of how you could structure such a training workout.There are many other creative ways in which a pyramid workout can be performed to take you to the next level.

Top 7 Benefits of Pyramid Training Workouts

The concept of pyramid training seems relatively easy to comprehend. Yet, you may be questioning the real benefits.

Here are seven of the major ones:

1. Through employing a diversity of weights and reps, your body does not become used to a standard routine. Once the body starts to get used to a weightlifting routine, it stops reacting to it. That means you cease to experience noticeable gains from your sessions. Pyramid training helps eliminate such plateaus through providing a more dynamic workout.

power-rack-with-holders2. Pyramid training helps keep you from becoming mentally bored or burned out with your workout sessions. It is not just the body that reacts poorly to the same old workout. The mind ends up becoming more than a bit worn out with such repetition. When you become bored with your workouts, you stop putting the proper amount of effort into them. Pyramid training can add some new life to those dull workout days.

3. The lightweight exercises that commence the workout can act as an effective warm-up. The warm-up helps prime the muscles for the heavier lifting that will come at the end of the pyramid session.

4. As a means of packing on mass, it would be tough to top pyramid training in terms of results. This is because those last few short reps with heavy weight can help stimulate muscle growth immensely.

10-03005. Mass is not the only benefit gained from pyramid training. The short reps with heavy weight will also contribute to the development of functional strength. When strength levels are increased, a person’s quality of life may improve.

6. There is great diversity among the different exercises you can perform in a pyramid training routine. Whether you wish to perform compound exercises or isolation exercises, you can do so easily.

7. Pyramid workouts are also quite easy to perform and do not require a significant time commitment. For the person that has a busy schedule and is always on the go, pyramid training may provide the perfect means of getting in an effective workout in a short session.

Pyramid Training’s Long History of Success

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Pyramid workouts are nothing new. They have been around quite some time in bodybuilding circles. In fact, pyramid training was a very popular method of packing on mass among competitors for the Mr. Olympia back in the 1970′s. The reason the training was so popular was due to the fact it delivered pronounced results. This is why so many professional bodybuilders still use it a great deal today.

Anyone looking for a reliable and effective mass gaining workout program will find pyramid training to be beneficial.

 

Tristan "Lucky"

 

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

www.ripped-science.com