Are Safety Squat Stands Good Alternative to Squat Rack?

December 20, 2009 1 comment »

I know we are all used to having a good, reliable and strong squat rack at our gym, but let’s look at some of the alternatives, like squat stands. Maybe you would ask why searching for alternatives when you can just use a squat rack? OK, fair enough, but most of the gyms are not commercial and don’t have expensive leg workout equipment or any other related fitness equipment, for that matter. Some people have modest gym environment in their home or garage and having such big rack or cage construction simply won’t fit.

The reason why I’m considering such alternatives is because I was forced to find a temp gym since my old gym’s building was being reconstructed. Since new gym had no rack, but just a squat stand, I was presented with two options. Suck it up and neglect my heavy squat workout or actually be creative and do something to bridge this “rackless” period.

I thought of using squat stands that were already available in the gym but there was a problem. Since I almost always max on my squats they were not a good choice because they don’t have safety side catchers or holders or grabbers, if you will. So I was reluctant to try squatting with 500lbs without such security. So I browsed the web hoping for some ideas and reliable solutions. And behold the miracle, I found one and I wanted to share it with you guys. It’s nice, clean, cheap, and damn good solution!

C-93015W New York Barbells Safety Squat Stands ($99)

Safety Squat Stand
Buy New York Barbells Safety Stands

Height of the stands is adjustable, which can be useful not just for squats but also for bench press and deadlift. You can put them on either sides of bench to increase safety and prevent any possible disasters. Partial deadlifts can be done at any height since the stands are adjustable.

Top catch surface is 16″ (40.5cm) wide. Dimensions of the squat stands are 17″ x 20″ x 23.5″ to 35″ H. Weight is 39 pounds.

I haven’t used these stands myself, but I did order them. I have very good experience with New York Barbells and their products, so I have no doubt that this one will be just what the doctor ordered. :)

Valor Fitness BD-3 Squat Stands ($147)

Valor Squatting Stands
Buy Valor Fitness Squat Stands

I also found this product to be very interesting for this purpose and also pretty cheap when compared to other similar solutions.

Main characteristic is a solid base with each base covering 400 square inches of surface, which is great if you have a limited workout space. Height of the posts as well as safety spotters on each of the posts is adjustable.

Both stands weigh just 48 pounds. Dimensions are 43 x 18 x 8 inches and 2.5 inches mouth opening for bar support. Upright posts are 36 inches and chrome back plates that catch the bar as lifter maneuvers back to stand are 5 inches.

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Weight Lifting for Weight Loss

December 9, 2009 4 comments »

Losing weight is a tricky business. You can do it but the chances are you are not doing it right. There are numerous weight loss tips backed up by weight lifting programs. Approaches are many; you just need to learn what works and what doesn’t. People often say that if you want to lose weight you need to incorporate a cardio program in your training schedule. True, but what about lifting weight? There is a wrong perception amongst people about weight lifting and is somehow always portrayed with a picture of a huge guy pounding a lot of weight. Let me tell you that this is a wrong perception; weight lifting can help you lose fat and weight in an effective manner.

It is a fact that if you want to lose weight and keep it off you have to follow a healthy diet, perform cardio and weight lifting because this will improve your weight loss potential and will give you a better physical appearance. Skip either of these steps and you will fail.

I know that you are all aware of the fact that when your body makes a move it requires energy. If you do not have any energy to burn then your body will attack the fat cells in order to get some energy. These things happen in your body every day, even when you sleep your body needs a certain amount of energy. The most important aspect in weight loss is to establish from where your body will get this energy, from fat cells or from food.

Weight lifting helps your body accumulate more energy even when you are resting, which is turn creates a greater force for the body to burn fat cells.

Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss – Know the Difference

Another important advantage of weight training is that it will change your body’s composition. Cardio can be a beneficial factor for weight loss, but weight lifting is very important for fat loss. Fat loss is the most difficult part in the process to lose weight. If you manage to accelerate the fat burning process you will lose weight faster. For example if you are doing some cardio exercises you are going to lose weight but your body will look the same, and the reason is simple, you have not altered the ratio of body fat to muscle mass, you just look smaller and weight less. If you are doing a weight lifting training you can actually change your physical appearance, because your body fat will be gradually burned off and will be replaced with muscles.

Muscles are the Key

Muscles play a huge role in increasing your metabolism, which is the mechanism in your body that controls how fast or slow you will be able to lose weight. The more muscles you have the bigger is your metabolism. Indicative, a pound of muscles may help you burn about 10-20 calories a day, while a pound of fat burns only 5 calories. That means that any growth in your muscle tissues is going to help you burn more calories.

For some people weight lifting is scary, especially if you’ve never done it before. “The machines…the dumbbells…the people who seem to know what they’re doing…it’s enough to make anyone skip weight lifting altogether” – this is the general opinion of most people. These fears are not based on facts, you have to take your time, you have to follow a good weight training program slowly and your muscles will eventually grow. As your muscle strength increases you can increase the weights you work with and get even better results.

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