New MUST-HAVE Gym Accessories That I Love!!

Fire Team Fit Lifting Belt and Rip Toned Wrist Straps!!  Must haves for any lifter especially as you go heavier in weight and start feeling the pressure!img_0758riptoned

First I’m going to go over the Fire Team Fit Lifting Belt.
Currently retailing on Amazon anywhere from $16-$28.  Prices vary on size and color.
This is the first time I have ever used or purchased a belt and i’m amazed and immediately fell in love with it.  Day 1 using it the very first time I hit a new PR.  I primarily got this belt because I could feel as I was getting heavier in squats I was feeling back twinks from the weight… the weight was causing my form in my back to lean too far forward or back.  I’m not quite sure which, but ever since I’ve been using the belt I have 0 back pains and no problems whatsoever.  Since purchasing and using this belt I have gone up about 10-20lbs in my squats.  It helps me feel extremely secure and safe, allowing me to go heavier without being afraid as I do work out by myself.
Not to mention it is comfy and the sizing is 100% correct.  I purchased the XXS, which they call their ‘youth’ size.  I have a 23-24in waist and the XXS is advertised as (26″=29″ around navel.)   If you scroll up you can see the front overlapping a little because I am small…but the belt still works and I don’t even notice or feel any discomfort from that.  I also feel it is the perfect width and size for me since I always see some monstrous ones and i’m tiny haha.
Another reason to support Fire Team Fit is because they are a Veteran owned and operated small business.  I love supporting small businesses especially those who are military, ex-military, or the like.

Now the Rip Toned Lifting Wrist Straps.
Currently retailing for $9.97 on Amazon, varying colors as well but all the same price.
(Wish I got the camo!! I don’t think they had that when I purchased these 😦  )
The reason why these stuck out to me was because of the price, the claim that they are cotton padded, and all of the positive reviews, especially how positive out of over 2K reviews.
Another awesome thing with these is the first time when using them I hit a new PR with deadlifts!  They allow me to have amazing grip so I don’t get cut short on my reps due to losing grip at all.  These are comfortable and haven’t bothered me at all which is a nice bonus.  They are also pretty long straps, I believe this is the full dimension: (LxW) 23 1/4” X 1 1/2”

However the length doesn’t bother me or hinder anything despite being small and having smaller hands so that shouldn’t be a worry at all.  They also have a lifetime replacement warranty!  They come with a bag with a snap if you’d like to carry your straps that way but personally I just added them into my gym bag and didn’t want to worry about any additional extra-bags lol.

I really can’t say anymore great things about either of these brands.  I’m happy with my purchases and they’ve dramatically improved my performance and my growth.  Highly recommend!  Must-have gym accessories for a low cost.


What’s in my gym bag?

Use:  Padded Lifting Gloves
Schiek Platinum Womens Lifting Gloves Right now they are $29.95 on Amazon with Prime.
Mini Review:  They come with a 1-year warranty.  I’ve washed them in the washer with absolutely no wear.  They are gel-padded and I’ve had no damage or leakage.  Easily has grips at the top of the fingers to easily pull off your sweaty hands.

Use: Strong wrist support, Textured and slightly padded, grip-gloves. For Deadlifts.
Fit Active Sports Grip Lifting Gloves   $29.95 on Amazon with Prime.
Mini Review:  I like these specifically for deadlifts because it’s open on the outside of my hand allowing upmost mobility, all the while shielding a good portion of my fingers, and all of my palms (especially callus building areas), along with the option of wrapping it very tight around my wrists.  I have very small dainty wrists so I feel like this protects them when lifting heavy..  On the palm side they have added padding around each finger where calluses mostly form, and all of it is textured allowing for a better grip.  With these I am able to lift heavier than with my Schiek gloves-these slide and fall lower on my fingers due to no textured grip.

Use: Squatting while crab-walk side to side, staying in the squat form using weights.  Spri Braided Lateral Resistor Ultra Heavy.  $24.45 on Amazon, with Prime.
spriMini Review:  If you weight train Ultra Heavy resistance is the way to go.  When I purchased these and read the comments originally a lot of people were saying a lower resistance was ‘too hard’, I do not find that to be the case if you’re already used to weight training.   I like these, but then I don’t.  They get the job done, I just wish I could spread my legs further apart with them as I crab-walked.  But they do keep everything tight without having much of a stretch.

Use: Cable Abductors, Cable Adductors, Cable Kickbacks.
Fitteroy Ankle Straps with Neoprene $19.99 for the pair on Amazon, with Prime.
I have a review up on these already on my blog, feel free to search fitteroy and they should pop up!  Update: I’ve used these for like a year now and still no wear.

Use: Cushion for Squatting.  I find without this bar pad the weight just feels heavier overall, and thus harder to squat.  I’m a small person in general so maybe that’s the reason.
CAP Barbell Pad $8.99 on Amazon with Prime.
I believe I already have a review up on here about this pad, feel free to search to find it.  Update:  Been over a year or about a year now since using this- still no wear and works and looks good as new!

And gym accessories:
1) My LG Tone Plus Bluetooth
IMG_5345 2) A very new addition since Christmas.
My Atlas Wearables Wristband.
What it is: It’s THE fitness tracker for weight trainers.
I just got a big firmware update on it after my workout today (something I should’ve done before), and I just received this.  I’m going to give it some time before reviewing it.  But one thing I want to add is that this is a freshly released product, that is ever growing and ever changing.  It takes a lot of data to transform this sensor on your wrist to read your body movements, so firmware is constantly being updated and workouts are constantly being refined and added.  It’s not a 100% has-everything-product yet, but it will be.
Screen Shot 2015-12-26 at 10.49.30 PM

Deadlifts: The New Bae + Progress

I’ve been back for a week now, after having quite of bit of time off from the gym due to being away (as mentioned in a post from yesterday.)  So don’t expect any big changes and maybe they will be changes only I can see! lol.

But I developed a new love… and it’s with Deadlifts.  Varying types.
I think booty development workouts vary from person to person, whether that’s from mind-muscle connection or not, I have no clue.  But DL’s seem to be the key for my bum haha.  I have noticed my lower back getting more and more toned, curving in more, and my booty slowly rising.  To which case i’m over here like

Screaming Silently: FINALLLYYYY

Screaming Silently: FINALLLYYYY

My hamstrings have also grown tremendously over these past two months, when I realized I haven’t been working them enough.  But they’ve definitely made up for it in a short amount of time.

To realllyyy work the bum: Sumo Deadlifts
To directly hit those hamstrings: Stiff-Leg Deadlift
Also try Romanian Deadlifts.  I like these for strictly the butt, trying to keep the hamstrings not-so-worked, as I like to work in butt days instead of leg days from time to time.
The biggest rule of thumb, keep the weight heavy, but still be able to work the entire set and keep your form.  The weight is where you will really get your results.

It’s hard to see when they are on top of the other, but for one I want to point out one big issue.  In the JULY 2015 pic: I am putting my weight on one leg, so it’s giving my butt that added ‘plump’ look.  (You probably know what I mean!)  In the OCTOBER 2015 pic, I have my weight evenly distributed on both legs.  But look at my lower back.  In the October picture my lower back curves in more than it did in July.  My butt is also rising higher than it previously did and a bit rounder too.  Look at how much more toned my Quads and Hamstrings are in October than they were in July.  It’s very hard to see, but they just look overall tighter and cleaner in the Oct pic.

I admit I have not been dieting well since I left for Dallas in September, and starting today I intend on getting back on track with my clean eating.  When I feel I have more progress to show i’ll share it with you all.

Booty Workouts!

Something new i’ve implemented into my workout involves a weight of any kind (plate, dumbbell, barbell, kettle ball, etc) and leg resistance bands.  Currently I am using: SPRI Braided Lateral Resistor in the Ultra Heavy Resistance band.  I hold a 25lb plate to my chest, squat down, and crab walk to my left 10 steps, and my right 10 steps.  Each 2 steps counting as 1.  You will feel the burn!  Be sure to stretch beforehand or you can pull some crotch muscles and that doesn’t feel good.

Grab about 3 different weighted dumbbell, or kettle balls.  For example 30, 40, 50 lbs. If you’re using a dumbbell grab one side of the dumbbell with both hands, hold it at your waist and squat down.  Do at least 10 reps per weight, then go to the next weight, and the next.  If you really want to work those glutes and activate them, change your squat stance.  There are a few different squat forms.
Narrow Squat,  Sumo Squat, then your basic.
If you want to up the difficulty and maximize the butt muscle as much as possible, put your weight all in your heel.  To maximize this place down two 5lb plates on the ground, put your toes on the plates and your heel on the floor.  Now squat, also make sure to clench your buttox as much as possible when coming up!

Now this is a workout i’ve mentioned before, Barbell Hip Thrusts.  You will feel the glute pull and clench!  Highly highly highly recommend using a bar pad.  My hips easily bruise especially from this workout even with a bar pad!

Possibly, even change your goal when squatting.  Instead of squatting at your heaviest, and only doing maybe the 6-8reps that you can do at that weight, tone down the weight some.  So that it’s still heavy, still a bit difficult, but you can maximize those reps up to 15-20+  Again, keep changing up your form.  Put down two 5lb plates on the ground to put all that weight into your heels.

I also recommend deadlifts, glute kickbacks, and leg presses for the bum.  Deadlifts personally make it a lot easier to clench my bum and getting that maximum booty work as well as working those hamstrings!
Glute kickbacks, as seen in my previous booty post.  Check it out here.
Now lets talk leg presses.  When I talk leg presses I have 2 different versions in mind.  The ones that I do on the linear leg press machine, and the ones that I do on the dip assist machine.  Head on over my older booty post to learn about the dip assist leg presses that I love to do for the bum!
Now the linear leg press, this is all about the form to work that booty!  You want to keep both your feet in a close form, the foot platform on mine has a handle at the top in the middle, a logo in the center.  I put each foot on either side of the logo, and my toes at the top of the platform so that a little bit of my toes are hanging off the top of the platform.  As pictured here!  I also use the same rule for my single leg presses.  This is the most difficult form on this machine, but it really does use and activate those glutes.

I’m going to start devoting a time of my workout everyday to working on at least one of these.  I really want to build up this rump.  It’s about damn time haha.  Especially since i’ve learned more and more how to maximize it all, and i’ve seen the little bit of progress already from this past week!   Keep the booty happy and strong!  Do all the things! ;D

Leg Day #1

Hey guys, so I have 2 separate leg days each week.  This is my usual routine for Leg Day #1.  This is just a general, and the workouts I love to do.  But always remember to use muscle confusion and mix it up!

One thing to know, never get comfortable…always push yourself.  Your workout should be hard each rep, each set.  If it’s not, up the weight!
2) I always start off with cardio, whether it be the stair stepper or treadmill or a mix of the two.
3) Weighted Lunges.  I alternate between using a pre-weighted barbell and weighted plates on separate days.  With the barbell but I use pre-weighted barbells instead of a free weighted barbell where you add your own.  With weights (Dumbells or plates, I use plates personally.) With this one I stay in place and bounce up and down on each leg.
4) Leg Extension Machine  Right now i’m at 70lbs and do 4 sets of 8.
5) Seated Leg Curl I do the seated version of the leg curl, the lying down one causes me discomfort around the back of the knee and just is not good for me.  With the seated leg curl I don’t have that problem.   This one I only recently started to use, I’m not 100% sure but I think i’m at around 60lbs and do 4 sets of 10.
6) Deadlifts With this I alternate stance between what is pictured, and sumo deadlifts.  With sumo it still works your hamstrings but it also helps work your bum a bit more.    With this i’m at 105lbs and usually do 6 or 7 sets of 5.
7) Glute Kickback Machine  Soooo good for your bum!!  Right now i’m up to 115lbs, and do 4 sets of 8.
8) Hip Abductor Now not only is this good for your saddle bag area, it also helps target your glutes. 4 sets of 10.
9) Hip Adductor, it’s a reverse of the Hip Abductor, you start with your legs spread and you push them in all the way and back out.   4 sets of 10.
10) Single Leg Press on the Dip-Assist Machine This is soo good.  You will feel the burn and it’s great for the glutes!  Right now i’m up to 95lbs, and do 4 sets of 10 on each leg.  I’m about to go up in weight again, and i’ll lower the reps for that.