Category Archives: Gym Stuff

8 Stupid Gym Mistakes To Avoid

Every time you walk onto the weight floor, you’ll see guys using bad form or doing exercises that make you cringe. Those are just two of the many possible ways that lead to huge setbacks in terms of gains. We all make mistakes in the gym, yet some are not as obvious as others.

To save yourself time, get faster results and make your workouts more effective, avoid these following 8 mistakes:


Lines at the gym are bound to form during peak workout hours. The best option is to head to the gym during off-hours either early in the morning or after 7 p.m. once the after-work crowds have finished. No matter how busy the gym is, you should never have to stall your routine in order to wait for equipment. Come prepared with a Plan B routine to stay moving rather than wasting your time waiting for a bench to open up.



Dodging the pre-workout warmup is a surefire way to injure yourself when you hit it hard at the gym. Have a dedicated warmup that involves bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats, pushups and jumping jacks to elevate your heart rate prior to attacking the weights.



Cardio can be detrimental when done at the wrong time. Completing a 30-minute job before a set of heavy squats may increase your heart rate and act as a warm-up, but by the time you get under the bar, you’ll be fatigued which can lead to poor form or potential injury. Get your form-intensive lifting session done first, then hit the cardio area.



According to Jason Ferruggia, head strength coach at Renegade Strength and Conditioning, “most guys should be in and out of the gym in 60 minutes, including warm-up, cool-down and a good lifting session.” To make that possible, avoid wasting precious moments in between sets of an exercise. Wear a stopwatch or use an app on your phone to limit yourself to under a minute. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you finish your workout.



If you leave your core work until the end of your workout, you’re likely to cut it short. When you’re tired and nearing the end of a lifting session, the last thing you will want to do is multiple sets of planks, side planks and leg raises. Instead, get the core training out of the way early by incorporating the same moves in between exercises.



Although it may seem trivial in terms of your overall routine, leaving your water bottle at home forces many guys to head to the water fountain in between sets. The result – wasted time in between exercises. To keep your workout going strong, bring your own bottle and fill it up beforehand.



Walking onto the weight floor without a plan for your workout is like heading into the grocery store without a shopping list. You’ll end up aimlessly wandering back and forth, spending way more time than necessary. Your plan of action should be well-thought out in advance. Include the exercises, sets and reps as well as the order you want to do them in so you can plan your route around the gym floor.



Doing the exact same workout week after week will prevent new gains and lead to burnout. Failing to impose any new challenges on your muscles – such as increasing the weight you use or number of reps your perform – simply helps keep them the same size, whereas pushing yourself harder than you’re accustomed to will actually motivate new muscle and strength.

It’s not too late to correct your mistakes and push the gas pedal to speedy muscle growth. Knowledge is power. You now know 8 stupid mistakes to avoid in the gym. Now it’s time to learn about the 8 ways to lose muscle: read now

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

8 Ways to Lose Muscle

If you’re weight training, your goal is to gain muscle, not lose muscle. Unfortunately, some guys make disastrous mistakes that cost them precious gains. If you’re hitting it hard at the gym and not seeing the muscle growth you should be seeing, read this list. You may recognize that you are guilty of some of these.

healthy lifestyle, diet and people concept - close up of male hands with food rich in protein on cutting board on table


While extra calories can mean extra belly fat, if you’re lifting consistently and correctly, most of what you’re taking in should be converted into muscle. The truth is that your muscles will never grow without a surplus of calories. For a lean guy looking to put on muscle mass, 2,000 calories a day won’t cut it. In fact, this kind of restricted diet is actually the ideal recipe for losing muscle tissue and sparing fat as it causes the body to shift into starvation mode and shed calorie-consuming muscle. It also makes you store fat for emergency energy. And the less protein you eat, the less of a chance you give your muscles to recover after a workout.


Running Outdoors


There are three ways that cardio typically cancels out muscle gains: doing it too often, doing it for too long or doing it on an empty stomach. In general, daily cardio sessions simply burn too many cumulative calories to allow you the surplus you need for muscle mass. The same can be said for sessions that last 45 minutes or more.


Young Man Working Out Back


Breaking your training down into chest days, back days and arm days overworks some muscles and neglects others. It’s an old-school way to train, meaning it’s incredibly outdated. Most guys still do it and may make gains for awhile, but their progress eventually comes to a halt usually due to injuries. Body-part routines also prevent your biggest muscles from ever learning to work together in the kinds of coordinated effort you need to lift really heavy weights.


Strething exercise after workout


Boring? Definitely. But stretching has been shown to speed up recovery and increase a muscle’s range of motion, making more room for muscle fibers to grow. Simply lifting weights will increase your risk for injury and severely limit your ability to move athletically and with proper form.


Dinner plate with clock face on wooden table


It’s true that eating infrequently is nearly as bad as not eating at all. When you go more than three hours without food, your metabolism slows significantly. When that happens, every time you do get a meal, there’s a good chance that a large percentage of it will be stored as fat. Why? Blame your body. Without food, your body slips back into starvation mode and starts to think it needs to hold on to every calorie it can get.


close up of man drinking protein shake


Chugging a protein-and-carb mixture after your workout starts the recovery process immediately, replenishing lost glycogen (your muscles’ energy stores) and providing the nutrients your body requires to repair muscle and grow more of it. Skipping the protein shake and casually waiting an hour or more for your next meal is like ignoring a cry for help.




Sleep is when muscle repair happens. Getting 6 or fewer hours of shut-eye a night limits your body’s natural production of crucial muscle-building chemicals, such as growth hormone.  Too much activity outside of your workouts, such as playing sports, all-night parties and extra stress – which are fine in moderation, but dangerous in excess – also cut into muscle gains.


Routine written on multiple road sign


Doing the exact same workout week after week will prevent new gains and lead to burnout. Failing to impose any new challenges on your muscles – such as increasing the weight you use or number of reps your perform – simply helps keep them the same size, whereas pushing yourself harder than you’re accustomed to will actually motivate new muscle and strength.

It’s not too late to correct your mistakes and push the gas pedal to speedy muscle growth. Knowledge is power. You now know 8 ways to lose muscle. Now it’s time to learn about the 5 forgotten muscles you can’t ignore: read now

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Top 10 Features That Women Find Sexy

Let’s be honest, we work out in the gym to look good, not just for ourselves, but to be as attractive as humanly possible. What guy doesn’t love a girl checking him out? Fact is, we all instinctively make judgments quickly based on appearances. Would you like to know what features drive women wild?

Let’s reveal where a women’s eyes go first. According to new studies, these are the answers, and some of you guys out there may be surprised….

Hot blonde posing with sexy guy, close-up

1. Buttocks – That’s right guys, she’s all about that bass! Women like a good, firm ass as much as we guys do. They love a nice curve and all agree that the shape is what is most important.

Fit body of shirtless man with tape measure

2. Slimness – Most men in the reverse poll thought muscular arms would be at #2, yet that feature (gasp) didn’t even make the top ten. Although strong arms are traditionally a sign of an alpha male, times are changing and men are now under pressure to stay thin. (HUH?) Women have obviously lost their minds since they now pick the Ryan Goslings over the Jean-Claude Van Dammes. Maybe it’s just a phase, but arms are out and thin is in. I can’t believe I just typed those words.

Thumbs up for a beach body

3. Flat stomach – Well, this reminds me of #2, yet I’m guessing we can finally talk about a six-pack? Women definitely want to stroke their fingers down your abs and not see the Pillsbury Dough Boy. They also seemed to agree that sitting around drinking beer and playing video games isn’t sexy. Wait…no more GTA???

Young man coverin eye

4. Eyes – This is way more popular than most of us guys realize. But, I mean, we all like a pair of sexy eyes looking at us. So, it’s not that crazy. Women claim they are all about some soulful peepers. And, again, Mr. Gosling tips the charts, with Bradley Cooper not far behind. If only I had played the lead in The Notebook…the world would be a better place.


5. Long legs – Okay, well this one I can’t help. Being 5’7″, my legs are not long by any “stretch” of the word. But, needless to say, women dig a man who has a nice stride in his walk and additionally men who are taller. I totally lose this category. Time to invest in stilts.

Giant love

6. Height/Tallness – Wait one freaking second. Wasn’t this #5? Obviously not. There must be a bunch of short guys with long legs running around somewhere. The average height for men is 5’8″ and for women it’s 5’4″. The good news is that many women just want a man taller than they are, even when they’re in heels.

Stylist Drying Hair Of A Male Client

7. Hair – Don’t freak out just yet. Some women don’t mind a bald head on the right guy (think: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). But, women definitely enjoy hair in general. They want to run their fingers through it, pull on it during sex and they also said it needs to have a great style. No worries if you’re thinning, there are some really great all-natural hair loss solutions you can use to get it back!

lipstick on man neck

8. Neck – Seriously? I would have never thought about this one at all. No wonder men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Women like a good neck for some hot nuzzling. They like a man who smells good and has a rough edge of stubble. Women agree there is something very masculine about the male neck. Who knew?

couple in bathroom

9. Penis – I was beginning to wonder is this was even going to make the list! It appears our manhood is overrated by us. While there’s no doubt it’s important, many women actually aren’t mega concerned with the way it looks. They care about how it performs more than aesthetics. So, it’s okay to have a compact car with a dent on the side as long as it drives like nobody’s business.

Handsome muscular man shirtless wearing white pants over black background

10. Muscular chest/shoulders – I would have bet my paycheck this would have beat out the neck. Still scratching my head over that one. In reverse polls, many men thought this would be women’s #1 pick. Not so. I hate to break it, but it appears many women don’t like the hyper-muscular, steroids, work out 10 times a week look. They do love muscles (sigh of relief), but the real issue for them is that they don’t want a man who spends more time admiring his biceps than they do.

Just remember, this doesn’t account for every woman out there. Obviously, no one is created equal and my opinion of hot (Rachael Leigh Cook…oh yes, oh yes indeed), may not be your opinion of hot. We all have different tastes of what is sexually attractive to us. You have people with red-head fetishes and then others who are anti-gingers. You just never know, so my advice is to be YOU and the right person is gonna dig you hardcore.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

6 Lame Excuses for Skipping the Gym

We all know guys who would still go to the gym after losing a leg walking through a blizzard at 2am. But, most of us are not quite that dedicated. For many of us, our lives can sometimes get in the way. On some days, it  feels impossible to balance the gym with everything else in our lives.

The fact remains, health is a priority and we have to make time for the gym. While there are some valid excuses, there are some very, very lame ones as well.

I’ve got 6 for you right here:


It’s too cold outside: I’ve heard the chanting, “If I can’t wear shorts, I’m not going to the gym.” One big issue,  is the fact that the sun goes down much earlier during the winter months. Some people prefer to workout later in the day and it’s hard to feel motivated in the dark. 5pm feels like 8pm and the imagined sense of exhaustion kicks in. Too many times, you may end up going home and eating dinner in front of the fireplace watching Netflix. Don’t give in. The best way to beat the cold is to get your body moving, your blood flowing and your temperature rising.


I’m beyond tired: Whether you didn’t get much sleep last night, work is causing mega stress or you and your girl are having a rough patch…you may just feel too worn out to workout. Fighting the urge to put on your pj’s rather than gym gear is tough, but getting to the gym is well worth the reward. Remember, the gym helps to relieve stress, increase endorphins, and no one ever said, “I regret that workout.”


I’m hungover as f*ck: You had a crazy night out partying it up and your body feels like absolute hell. After a night of heavy drinking, your body needs anywhere from a few hours to a whole day of recovery. If you’re making trips to worship the porcelain god, stay home. Nobody wants you vomiting on the weight rack. I’m not telling you not to have fun, but you need to choose whether you want to be healthy or want to be completely blitzed out. You can’t have both.


I need to do laundry: I’ve literally heard this excuse more times than I can count. All of your gym clothes are dirty and you have nothing to wear. At this point, put on a pair of regular shorts and a t-shirt. If you don’t have your “special” gym clothes to wear, make do. Who cares if people give you a few stares? At least you made it there. This will also teach you to wash your clothes more often, son.


I’m out of pre-workout: Don’t even go there. You ran out of your “pump me up” and you’re afraid you won’t lift as heavy or as long. You know what’s worse than not getting into full beast mode? Not going to gym. Real beasts workout no matter what. Sure, pre-workout helps, but it isn’t required. It’s definitely not an excuse to skip.


I don’t have time: You picked a gym that is a 15-minute drive from your house and on days you feel lazy, you start adding up the time in your head…let’s see, 15 there, 15 back, 60 minute workout….a whole 1 hour and 30 minutes? I just can’t do that today. I don’t have time! The “time” excuse it the most popular. “I have a date tonight, I don’t have time.” “I’m working late tonight, I don’t have time.” “I have a test tomorrow, I don’t have time.” “My dog needs a bath, I don’t have time.” The list goes on and on and on. I have one simple solution: MAKE TIME.

These are just a few examples of excuses people make every single day to keep them from hitting the gym and reaching their goals. These are the same people that get frustrated when they look in the mirror and their muscles are shrinking and waistlines are expanding. No one can force you to do anything if you really don’t want to do it. We have to keep ourselves disciplined, not just with working out, but with everything in life in order to truly succeed.

Stop making excuses and start seeing results!

Tristan "Lucky"





Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Do You Even Lift? You Might Be Wasting Gains

Even if you hit the gym every day, if you aren’t lifting properly, you’re losing out on massive gains. Some guys who have been lifting for years claim to be lifting experts. While that may be true for some, we can certainly argue that the wisdom of others may be lacking.

While old-school lifting methods have been proven time and time again over the years, the fact is that there is a new biology to get bigger muscles. With the power of science, we are learning that the “big lifts=big gains+greater intensity=greater results” may not be as good as it gets. lift2

Old Way: Go Hard or Go Home

To get the results you desire, you don’t have to push your body past its limits. Training actually will eventually become less effective as you tire and your form breaks down. After that threshold, gains dwindle and injury risk increases. The key is to figure out the dose that helps you meet your goals without putting your health at risk.

How to do it: Hold off on doing more than a total of 22 good sets in a workout if you’re looking to bulk up. Limit yourself to 4 sets per exercise. Australian researchers found that more than 4 sets offers diminishing results. I doubt you want that.


Old Way: Lift Heavy Always

High weight, low reps is the age-old mantra of guys trying to pack on size and strength. Science has revealed that lifting lighter weights for more reps can boost growth as much as lifting heavy weights.

How to do it:  Including both high and low rep sets in your workouts ensures that you hit both your fast and your slow twitch muscle fibers. First, do 3 sets of up to 30 reps. Then, load a bar with a weight you can squat, press, or lift 12-15 times and do those reps. Without letting go of the bar, set it down, take two breaths, and do 1-or-2 more repetitions. These are called “breathing reps.” Continue this process until you reach 20 reps. That’s 1 set. Do a total of 3 sets.


Old Way: Count Your Rest Period

Exercise affects everyone differently and scientists have confirmed that over the years simply by finding that people differ significantly in their recovery needs. Without proper recovery, performance suffers, especially if you’re doing circuits. Use a heart-rate monitor to customize your rest. Wait until your heart rate reaches a safe level of true recovery between workouts.

How to do it: Determine your maximum heart rate. Then, multiply your age by 0.7 and then subtract that number 207. Then strap on a heart rate monitor and track your pulse between circuits. An example if your 30 years old: (30 x 0.7 = 21 and 207-21 = 186) Wait until your pulse lowers to a target HR zone which would be between 95-160 beats per minute.

These three simple methods will help your body take advantage of extra gains that you potentially could be missing out on. Now, go out there and share your new-found wisdom with your gym buddies.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Down With A Sickness: Should You Still Workout?

It’s that time of year when everyone is sick. Whether it’s some variation of the flu, a cold, sinus infection or even allergies…when is it time to throw in the towel?

One of the most frequently asked questions around this time is, “Should I workout when I am sick?”

sickgym4First off, if you workout in public, don’t ever bring your germs to the gym and risk infecting other people. That is completely disrespectful and selfish.

Even if you don’t have a fever, coughing and sneezing all over the equipment is going to give you some evil stares. Best to workout at home or the outdoors until you’re back to being cootie-free.

A General Guide for Working Out and Illness:

1. Mild to moderate physical activity is usually okay if your symptoms are “above the neck” and you have no fever. These signs and symptoms include those you may have with a common cold, such as a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or minor sore throat. Consider reducing the intensity and length of your workout.

2. Don’t exercise if your signs and symptoms are “below the neck,” such as chest congestion, hacking cough or upset stomach.

3. Don’t exercise if you have a fever, fatigue or widespread muscle aches.

Do the Neck Check

sickgym2Thomas Weidner, head of athletic training at Ball State University, claims you should perform what’s called a neck check. This goes hand-in-hand with #1 (symptoms above the neck). Weidner drew his conclusion from two different controversial studies in which his subjects were actually infected with the common cold. Evaluating his subjects in a controlled environment, he determined their symptoms were no worse (or better) for exercising while being ill. In fact, the group that exercised versus the one that didn’t, reported feeling slightly better after exercising.

Why Am I Sick to Begin With?

When we’re sick, it means our body is off balance. While we simplify being sick to the bad luck of “catching” a cold, there is much more to the story. The problem lies in our reactive response to treating the symptoms, not the causes.

Many experts agree that the ultimate cause of sickness is stress. Most of you know about the hormone cortisol. Did you know that cortisol turns off the production of cytokines which are the molecules that encourage an aggressive immune response? Stress breaks down your immune system – plain and simple.

Stomach Bug?

sickgym3Unless sprinting to the bathroom is counted as your workout, you’ll need to hold off until you feel better. Diarrhea and vomiting can result in severe fluid loss and dehydration. Breaking a sweat can further fluid loss. What’s more, these viruses are highly contagious and can live on hard surfaces until your gym buddies pick them up.

Fever or the Flu?

Take medicine and stay in bed, please. Working out with a fever can make your sickness get even worse. Similar to the stomach bug, a fever can cause workout-wrecking dehydration.

Even more concerning, high temps (101 degrees +) have been linked to heart damage. Exercising through a fever can raise your risk of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that may result in heart dysfunction, failure or sudden death. It is recommended to rest until the fever has been gone a full 24 hours without the help of any fever-reducing medications like ibuprofen. Your body is trying sickgym5to fight off a virus, so making your body split its energy and resources between the infection and exercise will keep you sick longer.

Sick Tips

  • Take the downtime of sickness as a time to be introspective and evaluate your body and especially the stress level in your life. Where are there opportunities to make changes?
  • If you absolutely must exercise, you absolutely must do low-intensity. The last thing your body needs is intense exercise that may further lower your immunity and cause your body additional stress.


Let your body be your guide. If you have a cold and feel miserable, take a break. Scaling back or taking a few days off from exercise when you’re sick shouldn’t affect your performance. Just resume your normal workout routine gradually as you begin to feel better.

If you push yourself when you’re sick, you could risk your illness going from mild to severe…and that will definitely keep you out of the gym!

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Bodybuilding vs. Crossfit: Can We Be Friends?


Crossfitters.  Bodybuilders.  Man, do they love to hate each other.  Just like rivals in college football, the passion erupts when the two worlds collide.  Yet, at the core of it all, bodybuilders and Crossfitters actually have much more in common then they’d ever admit to online.

They both suffer from inaccurate and extreme stereotyping.

Just as not all bodybuilders are jacked up meatheads, not all Crossfitters are social media-obsessed, acronym-loving yuppies. And sadly, as ridiculous as these negative portrayals are, the worst thing about them is that they are coming from other fitness enthusiasts.

Here in the fitness industry you get a divide between people working towards essentially the same shared goals and aspirations.

They both appear elitist to outsiders.

Bodybuilders and the Crossfit community both are passionate and inclusive. Both have their own cliques of sorts. Both have a strong support network with just as many acronyms, buzzwords and nomenclature.

1-1But unlike the bodybuilding community which enjoyed its biggest boom in popularity before the dawn of the internet, Crossfit was born into the much smaller and more well-connected world of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, with the resources to build a community in lightning speed.

If bodybuilding had access to the same online tools back in the day, it would have attracted just as much internet rage as Crossfit does today.  It’s just that bodybuilders have been doing their thing for years and years and years (shall I go on?)

Crossfit is the new puppy you’ve just brought home from the rescue shelter: hyperactive, not yet house-broken, yapping and licking your guests to death.  It will settle down with maturity.  You hope.

Injuries are caused by bad form.  End of.

Entire YouTube channels exist and make money solely out of ripping on Crossfit and the “bad form” argument, but the truth is that pretty much all exercise programs share the risk of injury.

Using poor form, overtraining or ignoring mobility and flexibility issues will result in injury, whether you’re doing bench press super-sets or kipping pull ups in a WOD.

Go to any local bodybuilding gym and you’ll many examples of bad form as you do in Crossfit. There are just more videos of FAILS on Youtube of Crossfitters. They really do love social media to a maximum level.

Bodybuilders are the wise old owls of the industry, but the fact is that mistakes in bodybuilding technique happen as they do in Crossfit.

They share the same goals.

Bodybuilding is very focused on aesthetics.  But as much as Crossfitters dismiss bodybuilding as pure vanity, insisting that Crossfit is instead about “being fit in all permutations of the word”, the fact is that the majority of people who train in either discipline are driven by ego,  whether that is purely to look a certain way or to achieve some other physical goal.

1-2Bodybuilding and Crossfit are both strength and conditioning training programs, they both result in strength gains and aesthetic changes. Bodybuilders are more about the strength gains and Crossfitters are more about conditioning.

Competitive bodybuilding was created and popularized on the foundation that anyone could join the gym, change their physique and compete at an amateur level.  Crossfit did the exact same thing.

They both follow the same principles…

…of hard work, determination and healthy living.

Whether it’s the strict Paleo diet and training plans of your average Crossfitter or the typical lean down/bulk up bodybuilding lifestyle, there’s no doubt that an immense amount of discipline, commitment and dedication is involved.

Both schools of training will get you fit, both will get you strong and both will make you look awesome.  It’s not that one is the right way to train and the other is wrong, it’s just dependent on which type of training you prefer and what your primary body goals are in the long run.

zumbaLook at it this way. The thought of doing a Zumba class to me sounds like a complete waste of an hour of my life.  Does that mean I need to rant about it, post videos of people dancing about and argue with them about how much better my training is than theirs?

Though I may comment with “LMFAO” under a Zumba parody video, I know that the Zumba crowd is different, they appeal to different people and they achieve different things. But they do have one important thing in common: they help people to get fit. And that is what’s important!

So what if a Zumba class isn’t the most effective kind of training for me?  Your mom and her best friend, Patty Duke, can’t get enough of it.  And the fact is that Zumba gets them off the couch and moving means they’re exercising and socializing instead of snacking on the couch watching “The Kardashians” every night.

Enough about Zumba.

There is actually a lot of crossover between the disciplines of bodybuilding and crossfit and they can learn from each other. I do recommend the crossfitters learning from the wise old owls when it comes to weight training. And bodybuilders and learn a thing or two about incorporating more conditioning exercises.

When it comes down to it, who cares whether you’re lifting this way or that way, as long as you’re LIFTING.

We’re all part of the same community.  How about we celebrate our commonalities and lift each other up instead of beating each other down?

As far as I’m concerned, as long as you’re lifting, you’re my friend.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Exercise 101: 7 Ways to Kill Your Joints

329293-16517-11As everyone is well aware, exercise is good for your heart, helps with weight loss and provides a variety of health-related benefits. At the same time, exercise comes with a certain degree of injury risk, and depending on the activity, it can also put a lot of stress on your joints. The key is to exercise safely and choose activities and movements that reduce your risk of injury, pain or other complications.

So how do you protect your joints to make sure you’re not doing more harm than good? By creating a routine based on your individual needs and abilities as well as taking some precautionary measures. You can reduce your risk of injury and make working out an enjoyable part of your daily routine, instead of a painful one.

Common Joint Injuries

Knee-pain4Joint injuries occur for a variety of reasons, including improper training or technique, overuse, sudden directional changes and even falls. Of course, there are health conditions that affect the joints, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and degenerative disc disease (the spine is comprised of many joints), but this article will focus on preventable injuries, not these chronic conditions.

The most common injuries happen to joints that are subjected to repeated impact, which will vary depending on the activity. For example, injuries to runners and walkers typically affect the hip, knee and ankle joints, since the lower body absorbs most of the impact during these activities. Tennis players often have elbow joint problems from the repeated swing of the racquet. Weightlifters canstockphoto13365645-272x300commonly experience shoulder joint problems, especially if they regularly perform upper body exercises using very heavy weight. And people who play high-speed contact sports (such as basketball or soccer) can often experience injuries like joint sprains, twists or tears due to the torque of a sudden directional change or fall. But you don’t have to be a serious athlete to experience injury.

7 Common Mistakes that Lead to Joint Injury

Everyday exercisers and weekend warriors often suffer injury due to a few common mistakes that can be prevented with careful attention. Here’s what to be aware of so you can move and exercise without joint pain or injury.

    • Doing too much, too soon. When starting a new exercise program or workout routine, motivation is typically high.  It’s easy to get caught up and decide that while a 30-minute workout is good, a 2-hour workout is even better. Before you know it, you’ve got nagging knee pain and have to stop your workout routine completely. Joint pain and injury is common when you don’t allow 460715051the body to adapt slowly to exercise. Remember it’s not just your heart and lungs that need to slowly work up to harder or longer workouts; every system in your body needs time to adapt: your muscles, circulatory system, ligaments, cartilage and even your bones and joints. It’s important to ease into exercise, regardless of how motivated you are to do more even if it feels “OK” at the time. Start with lighter activity, shorter duration, and less frequent workouts (to allow for some recovery days) and then progress as you feel up to it, but no more than about 10% per week. It is also true that injury becomes a higher risk as you age.


    • Performing the same activities all the time. It’s important to find activities you enjoy, because that makes it easier to stick with an exercise routine. But you can end up with too much of a good thekneething if you are always doing the same activity all the time. For example, you like running so you do it every day as your only form of exercise. Taxing the same muscles (and joints) in the same way day after day can easily lead to overuse injury and wearing down of cartilage. This is one reason why performing a variety of activities each week is important. By moving your muscles and joints in different directions and intensities, you can help prevent injury.


    • Wearing the wrong footwear. When heading into a specialty shoe store for the first time, it’s easy to get sticker shock. Typically, there are lots of options. Many of which can be expensive.  Although you might save money by picking up some shoes on sale at your local discount store, you may also be increasing your risk of injury by wearing shoes that don’t meet your needs. Employees at a specialty store are often able to 19244772-ankle-pain--detailanalyze your foot, gait and foot strike, and look for any mechanical or anatomical issues to determine the right shoe for you. Plus, athletic shoes are designed for specific purposes. Running shoes often provide some motion control and cushioning for forward motion, but won’t have the ankle support you’d need for playing basketball, which involves a lot of lateral movement and sudden directional changes. An investment in good footwear for your specific activity can prevent injury and pain, as well as the expense from doctor’s visits and physical therapy. And, yes, there are also specific shoes for weight lifting. read more


    • Exercising with improper technique. Whether riding a stationary bike or lifting weights, proper technique is essential to preventing joint injury. For example, if the seat of the bike isn’t positioned properly, it can put extra pressure on the knee that wouldn’t otherwise occur, increasing the risk of injury. If you try a new weight machine at the gym without knowing how to use it, this increases your risk of injury. If you don’t have ideal gait patterns or alignment (and most people don’t), you are putting your joints news_articles_large_totaljointat risk with every step, lunge, jump and squat–unless you know how to correct yourself. The truth is, few people without formal instruction know how to line up every joint and move through the correct range of motion that keeps their joints safe. While it’s something anyone can learn, it takes diligence and attention during every movement–not just in the beginning, but forever. If you aren’t sure how to do an exercise properly, ask! Most gyms have trained fitness staff who are there to help. You could also hire a personal trainer for a short time to learn these basics, or even go to a group fitness class where a qualified instructor will be able to explain and point out those keys so that all participants stay safe.


    • Skipping the warm up, cool down or stretches. When you’re short on time, it’s tempting to skip one (or more) of these pieces of the workout routine. But there is an important reason for each one, and choosing not to do them can lead to joint injury.  A proper warm up safely prepares the body for the increased demands of exercise by generating heat, increasing circulation to the muscles and joints, and lubricating the joints for activity. Cold 475699209muscles do not absorb shock or impact as well, and are more susceptible to injury, so always warm up for at least a few minutes before you work out. The cool down brings your heart rate back to normal slowly and safely, which helps prevent pooling of the blood in the extremities (which can cause dizziness or fainting), and stretching after a workout (when the muscles are warmer, lubricated and more elastic) helps maintain and increase joint mobility.


    • Doing too many high-impact exercises. Joint injury can occur more easily during high-impact activities. It’s a common belief that high-impact means “hard” and low-impact means “easy,” but these actually describe the intensity of your body striking the ground. If one or both of your feet is off the ground, even for a split second (such as when you run or jump), the exercise is high-impact, meaning your body has to absorb a higher impact of shock when you come in contact with the ground. Because high-impact exercises put more stress on the joints and skeletal system, they actually help strengthen bones, reducing the risk of 15482594_xxlosteoporosis. However, the higher the impact, the greater the injury potential. Assuming you have a doctor’s clearance and take good care of your body, you can still perform high-impact activities safely when you take certain precautions (like using proper form). But more importantly, aiming for a variety of impact levels in your workouts is ideal. Too much high-impact is, well, too much for the joints. If you are looking for activities that are easier on the joints, there are a number of options available. Swimming, water exercise and biking are all no-impact cardiovascular workouts. Some low-impact options include walking, biking and the elliptical. Just because an activity doesn’t involve lots of running and jumping doesn’t mean it can’t be a great workout. As long as the activity is challenging and gets your heart rate up into the cardio zone, you’ll be on your way to losing weight and improving your fitness level.


    • Skimping on rest. Most people think that exercise itself is what leads you to be stronger and fitter, but it’s actually the rest that happens after a workout that creates those positive changes in your body. When it comes to getting results and protecting your joints, rest is just as important as exercising with good form. You aren’t being lazy by taking rest days, you’re being smart. Taking days off from exercise helps prevent overuse injuries, stress fractures, and joint inflammation that can lead to pain. Recovery is the time your body uses to adapt to the stresses you’ve put on it, as well as repair tissues that were damaged during your child-ankle-pain-causes-treatments-245x300workouts. If you avoid rest days and don’t give your muscles and joints a chance to recover, you’ll continue to break the body down instead of making it stronger. A good rule of thumb is to allow for 1-2 rest days per week. This doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch all day and do nothing. It’s OK to do some light activity, like go for a walk or do an easy yoga session. But your activity shouldn’t be intense or challenging. Your body–and your joints–need the time to rest and repair.

It’s easy to assume that older adults or those with previous injuries are most at risk for joint problems, but the fact is, anyone can experience joint pain or injury if they aren’t careful.  If you are new to exercise, or if you have had joint problems in the past, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor or work with a qualified personal trainer before you start an exercise plan. These professionals can give you personalized advice based on your medical history and offer tips to help you have a safer workout.synotrex (1)

While there is some inherent risk in any type of exercise, the benefits of working out regularly far outweigh the risks for most people. With attention to the prevention and safety tips above, you’ll be strengthening and protecting your joints for the rest of your life by exercising your body regularly.

BONUS: Taking a supplement that helps nourish the joints is an exceptionally smart idea. One that I personally take is Synotrex. It’s all natural and contains Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin.

Tristan "Lucky"
Written by: Tristan “Lucky”



In just a few weeks after the ball drops and people shout, “Happy New Year!” and kiss their sweetheart, or the random person to their side, it is the moment most make a promise to stop a bad habit and make a good habit. People swear to quit smoking, stop drinking, lay off the sweets, quit being a couch potato, and the gym rat’s favorite one to hear: “I am going to get a gym membership and get healthy!”


Of course, we blue-blood gym goers know that the main floodgates of hell open January 1st and the swarm of people turn our haven into a mosh-pit of utter chaos. You have to wait 30 minutes for a bench, the weights are all over the floor, guys are swinging from the cables….and….and….you see CURLING IN THE SQUAT RACK!

Before you hyperventilate, I’ve got a solution! We all know that the gym rush is the worst in January and slowly tapers off. Let’s do ourselves a favor and take our workout outside of the gym.

Here’s how:

SHORT CIRCUIT (the quick 30-min workout)

Perform the following exercises as a circuit, doing one set of each with a minimal rest between exercises.

After each circuit, rest 2 minutes. Repeat the circuit 5 times.

Legs Bodyweight Squat 20
Chest/Delts Incline Push-Up 20
Abs Hip Thrust 20
Legs Walking Lunge 20 total (10 per leg)
Chest/Delts Standard Push-Up 20
Abs Crunch 25



Back in September, I wrote an article about free weights vs. resistance bands (read full article here).

Benefits of Elastic Resistance vs. Free-Weight Resistance

Elastic Resistance
Free-Weight Resistance
Provides progressive resistance
Allows free movement
Allows variable speed of movement
Increases muscle strength
Increases muscle size
Decreases body fat
Provides resistance in multiple directions
Provides variable resistance
Provides constant tension
Prevents cheating
Easy to store
Easy to transport

I own a set of resistance bands and swear by them. I chose the brand Bodylastics, but there are several others that are just as good.


  1. Pushup
  2. Pullup
  3. Plank
  4. Roll out (barbell or ab wheel)
  5. Glute bridge
  6. Inverted row
  7. Close-grip pushup
  8. Star plank
  9. Burpee (yes, I said it)
  10. Dip
  11. Bulgarian split squat
  12. Suspended pushup
  13. Prone back extension
  14. Pike pushup
  15. Swiss ball rollout

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

12 Signs You’re A Gym Rat

1. You get more excited about getting new supplements each month more than your paycheck.


2. You can add numbers by 5, 10, 25, and 45 extremely fast in your head.

3. You’ve looked at objects and thought, “I wonder if I can curl that?”


4. You do quick flexes in bathroom mirrors, tinted car windows and pretty much any reflective surface.

5. You schedule your social life around your workout hours.

6. You can rattle off Arnold quotes like it’s your first language.


7. You’re on a first name basis with every employee at your gym.

8. In fact, if you don’t tell the front desk you’re going on vacation, they file a missing person report.

9. You own more gym clothes than work clothes.

10. You have specific music playlists for certain lifts and maxing out.

11. You have more protein shakers than glasses in your house.


12. You’re the mayor of your gym on Foursquare.