No matter what fitness goals you may have, gaining muscle mass and strength are goals everyone has. While these goals are not entirely the same thing, they can often go hand in hand depending on how your training is set up. Here are some tips to help you gain more muscle mass.
1. Knuckle push-ups
Knuckle push-ups work the triceps and often reduce elbow pain. To properly do a knuckle push-up, spread your fingers out completely and make sure they are comfortable on the floor before you begin pushing yourself up. It might take some practice to get them right, but if done correctly, this will be one of the best exercises to add muscle mass to the arms. Doing knuckle push ups on an incline also works the chest muscles. This can be done by simply propping yourself up with your feet on a bench. Strength training is an essential component of any successful program. While many believe that the only way to build strength is by lifting heavy weights, this is not always true.
The deadlift is one of the most effective exercises for adding muscle mass to the back. To properly do a deadlift, start with your feet hip-width apart and bend your knees while keeping your back straight. Grab the barbell in front of you with both hands and pull up until you are standing completely upright. Be careful not to round your lower back when lifting, as this can cause injury. Another great exercise for building size on the upper body is the bench press. The bench press hits all areas on the chest but works best with moderate weights lifted explosively. This will help build more muscle mass on top of having it grow naturally through training.
3. Pre-exhaustion supersets
If you want to gain more muscle mass, you need to be prepared to work hard. One way to do this is by using supersets in your training routine. Supersets involve doing two exercises back-to-back with no rest in between. This can be a great way to really fatigue the muscles and force them to grow. A pre-exhaustion superset involves doing an isolation exercise before a compound exercise. For example, doing a set of bicep curls before bench pressing. This will ensure that the biceps are exhausted and unable to help with the bench press, forcing the chest muscles to do all the work.
4. Circuit training
Circuit training is another great way to fatigue the muscles and promote growth. This involves doing a series of exercises one after the other with no rest in between. This can be done with weights or bodyweight exercises. The key is to move quickly from one exercise to the next and keep the heart rate up. Circuit training is a great way to burn fat and promote muscle growth. Also, it is important to make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet. Protein is essential for the growth and repair of the body, particularly muscle tissue. Without it, creating new muscle will be very difficult.
One of the most critical factors when it comes to gaining muscle mass is frequency. You need to be lifting weights at least three times per week if you want to see results. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym, but it does mean that you need to be consistent with your training. If you are only able to train once or twice per week, then you may not see very good results. It is also important to make sure you are getting enough rest between sessions. For most people, resting in between each session is best for muscle growth. This will give the muscles time to heal after a hard workout and prepare for another session.
6. Proper form
If you want to gain muscle mass, then you need to make sure that your form is correct when doing each exercise. You may be able to lift more weight if you are not using the proper form, but this can lead to injuries. It is best to start with a lightweight and make sure you are doing the exercise correctly before increasing the weight. This will help ensure that you are getting the most out of your training and preventing any potential injuries. It can take a bit of time to learn how to lift correctly, so make sure you take the time necessary.
In order to gain more muscle mass and strength, it is important to focus on the basic principles of weightlifting. This includes using the right exercises, lifting weights regularly, getting enough protein and rest, and maintaining proper form. If you can stick to these basics, you will be well on your way to achieving your goals. Good luck!
The Truth & Benefits Behind Foam Rolling with Hyperice’s Vyper
Win a Hyperice Vyper 3 vibrating foam roller valued at R3,999!
Whether you are a professional athlete or enjoy frequent leisurely exercise, muscle recovery is key. It is during rest periods that active individuals’ bodies adapt to the stress placed upon them during workout sessions, exercise and competitions.
There are so many ways to keep fit and stay healthy, from workout classes to mobile apps, wearables, and home fitness systems, that it can be hard to know what to choose for yourself or when to actually use it.
Founded in 2011, Hyperice’s innovative products have been used by the world’s best athletes and consumers in over 60 countries throughout the globe. They’ve built a brand that has helped define an entire category and is well-positioned to carry the space forward for many years to come. In 2021, they were recognised by Fast Company as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.
Designed to help to relieve tension, unlock sore muscles, and prime your body and mind to be at their best, so you can always find the simple fun in your workouts and doing what you love.
Whether you’re an elite athlete or an individual who is simply looking for solutions to combat the impact of daily life, Hyperice’s innovative products are here to help you unlock the best version of yourself, so, you can always be at the top of your game.
The brand continues to grow and evolve with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Daniel Ricciardo, Connor McDavid, Klay Thompson, Jayson Tatum and more, recently joining big names like Naomi Osaka, Erling Haaland, and Virat Kohli as Hyperice Athlete-Investors to Fuel Global Growth.
New athlete-investors include 2x NBA All-Star Jayson Tatum, 2x PGA TOUR Champion Tony Finau, 3x NBA Champion Klay Thompson, NBA Champion Khris Middleton, 6x MLB All-Star Nolan Arenado, MLB All-Star Matt Chapman, 4x MLB All-Star Justin Upton, World Series Champion Dexter Fowler, The Masters Champion Sergio Garcia, Professional BMX Athlete Nigel Sylvester, Master Trainer and Performance Specialist Joe Holder, top gaming personality Nicholas Kolcheff, known as NICKMERCS, and more.
These athletes join Hyperice’s current roster of existing high-performing athlete-investors such as, Seth Curry, Anthony Davis, Rickie Fowler, DeAndre Jordan, Jarvis Landry, Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Ja Morant, Chris Paul, Ben Simmons, Kelly Slater, Fernando Tatís Jr, J.J. Watt, Russell Westbrook, and Trae Young.
Their mission is simple – to help everyone on Earth move better, live better and be better.
One of their highlight products is the Hyperice Vyper 3 roller – built with your body in mind.
The benefits of foam rolling
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique. It can help relieve muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation, and increase your joint range of motion. Foam rolling can be an effective tool to add to your warm-up or cooldown, before and after exercise, if done correctly.
The Hyperice Vyper 3 vibrating foam roller, is an innovative play on a typical foam roller, as it balances power with portability, so you can feel your best at home or on the go. Shake up your self-care routine and energise your body with this compact vibrating massage roller.
The Vyper 3’s contoured design helps avoid pressure on your spine and other sensitive areas for a more comfortable roll which is a must in today’s era where comfort is key.
With the Vyper 3, you are able to massage away tension, loosen up your muscles, and feel better with 3 speeds of high-intensity vibration.
Pair the Vyper 3 to the Hyperice App for pro advice, guided sessions, and to monitor your progress from your phone – an added benefit that you can’t get anywhere else.
Hyperice has applied its technology and know-how to industries such as fitness, esports, healthcare, massage, and workplace wellness on a global scale. In March 2020, Hyperice acquired Normatec, innovators of cutting-edge dynamic compression systems, in December 2020 acquired RecoverX, pioneers of intelligent thermal technologies, to deliver next-generation performance and wellness solutions and in July 2021 acquired Core, both an app and a handheld meditation device designed to track heart rate and stress levels.
Whether you’re a four-time Grand Slam champion or a novice beginner in your sport of choice, recovery and treating your body with respect is key to any form of athletics.
South Africans can purchase Hyperice products on TakeAlot, Gear4U, EveryShop, ebucks, and Momentum Multiply. For more information, visit the newly redesigned hyperice.com.
MenStuff will be giving away a Hyperice Vyper 3 foam roller valued at R3,999 to one lucky reader! To stand a chance of winning this incredible prize, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact details, and subject line “Hyperice Giveaway”.
One entry per person, please. Competition ends on Monday, 11 April 2022 at midnight. Please read our competition terms and conditions here.
How to Set Your Running Goals & Achieve Them
Key training techniques you can do at home or at the gym to support your running progress.
The Two Oceans Half and Ultra Marathons will be taking place on 16 and 17 April, respectively, and like every year, it will be a sold-out event. Runners from all over the world are participating in one of the country’s most beautiful races, and some are taking it on as their first.
The beauty of running is that it’s a simple act of one foot in front of the other, making the transition from couch to 21.1km possible for almost anyone. However, getting there takes patience, determination, strength training and a lot of running. It’s certainly not an easy feat.
Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first-ever women’s Olympic Games marathon champion, says it best when she says, “I believe in goal setting; first you set a long term goal, accompanied by a short term goal as well as an intermediate goal. I believe in never compromising on these goals. You need to set different goals within your levels of success.”
Each goal looks different for everyone, but no matter your goal, it is attainable, says exercise specialist at Ignite Fitness Eduan James. “Training for a 5km, 10km, half marathon or the Ultra Marathon is at a difficulty level for different people, but with the correct training — both endurance and strength training, it’s possible to achieve.
Not sure how to get started on your running journey? Eduan James has identified key training techniques you can do at home or at the gym to support your running progress.
James and the Ignite Fitness team have detailed five SAQ (Speed, Agility & Quickness) drills you need to improve running dynamics and prime your body for high-end performance:
A-skips sharpen your overall form by emphasising foot placement and knee drive through the propulsive phase. They are an excellent drill for hamstring activation and correct movement patterning.
Tip: Try not to focus on distance but, instead, on rhythm and fast foot contact.
This drill is a dynamic progression from high-knee walking. Lift lead-knee to waist height. When it reaches the highest point, there is a small hop forward.
Keep your toes pointed up on your lead leg (dorsiflexed ankle).
Forcefully step down with a mid-foot strike — aim to make a noise when contacting the ground.
Repeat by alternating legs.
B-skips are a development from the A-skip, which further improve your form by focusing on your knee drive and leg extension.
Tip: Stand tall and keep your arms relaxed.
Mimic the A-Skip until your knee is at waist height.
Kick your leading leg out in front of you.
Drag your leading leg back underneath you whilst maintaining a dorsiflexed ankle.
Aim for a mid-foot strike by maintaining a slight forward lean.
Bounding is used to create a more powerful leg drive upon contact with the ground.
Tip: Do not overextend your stride. Your stride length should increase as a result of your increased power when contacting the ground, not as a result of your overreaching.
Start running at a comfortable pace, and when ready, start to strike the ground with more power on each stride and aim to gradually increase your stride length.
Maintain good form, with a slight forward lean.
This is a drill that improves your running cadence by teaching your leg muscles (predominantly hamstrings) to fire faster. This drill also encourages a mid-foot landing. It can be an effective progression from the Functional Balance and High Knee Walking drill.
Tip: Focus on reducing your ground contact time by lifting your feet directly up underneath you towards your butt.
With your feet at hips width, lower your body down into a half squat position. Lift up your heels, so you are on the balls of your feet.
Start running as fast as you can on the spot.
Strides, whilst technically not a drill, are controlled injections of speed during a regular running session. The aim is to allow you to practice the previous abstract drills in a real running scenario and are therefore usually performed after drills.
Tip: The key is to practice the acceleration while maintaining a very relaxed posture (shoulders and arms relaxed with wrists brushing your hip bones).
Run 60-80m at a reasonably fast pace, but not an all-out sprint.
Walk back after each set of strides to re-focus.
5 Inexpensive Home Fitness Must-Haves for 2022
Get in shape on a budget this summer.
A new year equals a fresh start for many people. January offers the perfect excuse to kick off a new health and fitness programme or to get back into healthy habits you neglected while on holiday in December. Luckily, committing to a new fitness programme doesn’t have to mean signing up for an expensive gym contract.
Staying mobile at home is as easy as investing in a few pieces of inexpensive workout accessories. To help get you started on your home workout journey, we’ve put together a list of affordable home fitness must-haves you’ll love. Whether you’re into low-impact exercise like yoga, love running, or enjoy high-energy home HIIT workouts, this list has something for you.
Whether you’re practising yoga or love push-ups and sit-ups, an exercise mat is an essential part of any home workout setup. Yoga mats can be quite pricey, especially if you’re looking at the big sports retailers, but this inexpensive and oh-so-effective PVC Yoga Mat from The Crazy Store’s Pulse Active range is available at a steal! The Pulse Active yoga mat is available in both 3mm and 6mm versions.
Calling all New Year yogis! Whether you’re looking to improve your flexibility, tone up, or get in touch with yourself through a gentle Vinyasa flow, you can find everything you need for your yoga practice without breaking the bank. The Crazy Store offers a range of yoga supplies at low prices, including the easy-to-use yoga block for beginners and a yoga strap.
Perhaps the most inexpensive and under-rated fitness accessory, resistance bands are easy to use and offer endless possibilities when it comes to exercises and movements to tone and shape the body. Whether you’re working on your core, balance, cardio, or strength, these stretchy little wonders will help give your muscles an intense workout. The Pulse Active resistance bands feature a set of 5 resistance loop bands of varying resistance, so you can start easy and work your way up.
Training in the summer heat is no joke, so something as small as a cooling towel will help make all the difference when you’re exercising at home. These easy-to-use cooling towels can be wet and placed in the fridge for a refreshing treat when you’re done breaking a sweat. Once you experience the cooling sensation of this gem of a product on a scorching hot summer’s day, you won’t know how you lived without it!
Recovery foam roller
It’s all good and well focusing on your new fitness routine, but don’t forget about recovery! Recovery is very important to ensure your muscles are relieved of aches and pains and to keep you ready to tackle the next workout. Foam rolling is an easy and effective way to boost your recovery in between workouts. Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique. It can help relieve muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation, and increase your joint range of motion. Foam rolling can be an effective tool to add to your warm-up or cooldown, before and after exercise. The Pulse Active foam fitness rollers are small and effective, making them easy to pack away until the next time you need it.
The Crazy Store has everything you need to get in peak shape this year! The retailer is ensuring we enter 2022 with a crazy selection of awesome workout gear to get you toning, bending and flexing. So don’t miss out on these winning workout deals.
There’s plenty more to discover in store with the Pulse Active range during the summer fitness promotion at The Crazy Store. Offers are valid until 31 January 2022. While stocks last. All promotional prices include any discount.
At-Home Near-Infrared & Red Light Products Launch in SA, Help Treat Tired & Sore Muscles
Could Near-Infrared and Red Light Therapy be the answer to muscle fatigue and pain relief?
Red Lab, one of the company’s highlighting the benefits of red light therapy in South Africa, has launched a range of at-home red light solutions to help people with muscle pains, fungal infections, eczema, sleep disorders, psoriasis and emotional well-being, amongst other ailments.
The range of Red Lab products offer families and athletes the chance to own and apply these therapies from the comfort of their homes, on their own terms.
Amongst the range is three home-based devices: the Big Bank, Flex Pad, and the Handheld Unit. The Big Bank (R14,999) is a 0.91m tall light bar and thus covers half the size of the average human. For this reason, full-body benefits can be achieved in a very short amount of time.
The Flex Pad (R6,999) is a portable, rechargeable neoprene pad, embedded with 60 NIR and Red Light LEDs. The handy Velcro straps allow you to strap the fully charged device to any part of the body requiring treatment, allowing a recommended time of 20 minutes per treatment area. Unlike a heating pad, NIR and Red Light Therapy works below the skin’s surface, reaching deep into tissues, stimulating and healing cells and increasing circulation to target pain at the source.
Finally, the Handheld Unit (R2,999) is a portable, rechargeable device consisting of 30 LEDS with 3 settings: Red Light, NIR & Blue Light (great for acne); Red Light & Blue Light and Red Light & NIR. Once fully charged, the device can be targeted (held 5cm away) at any area of the body requiring treatment. Several treatment areas can be covered, to a maximum of 60 minutes per 24 hour period. This is the ideal entry-level device for those looking for a cost-effective solution with broad-spectrum results including anti-aging, acne treatment, pain relief, scar and wound healing, and the treatment of muscle spasms or injury.
Red Lab also has the Red Lab Studio in Claremont, Cape Town, which can be visited for on-site treatments, as well as retailing the range of portable devices for at-home use.
You can check out more on Red Lab’s official website.
Should Everyone Wear a GPS Tracking Pod? We Review the Statsports Apex Athlete
We go hands-on with the pro-level Apex Athlete GPS tracking pod to see what the hype is all about.
Anyone who has paid attention to professional team sport in recent years would’ve undoubtedly noticed the little bumps players have on their upper backs; or asked “why are they wearing bras?”. Well, the answer is that those ‘bras’ are actually vests that feature a little GPS pod on the back, hence the ‘hump’. These are used to track, evaluate, and improve an athlete’s performance based on the statistics received from the GPS, and one company has made a huge impact in the industry: StatSports.
Statsports is used and endorsed by the likes of the Springboks, England Rugby Union, All Blacks, Liverpool, Arsenal, PSG, Juventus — and the list goes on. Essentially, these GPS tracking pods have become the de-facto way to assess your own performance on the field, and further gives coaches the tools they need to see where to improve.
Of course, while this technology has seemed somewhat unattainable for the average Joe, leaving them to rather opt for the usual fitness bands and tracking watches (which have their limitations), Statsport has made the GPS tracking pod and vest available for the general audience, allowing you to utilise and access the wealth of stats and infographics that pros usually do. So, whether you’re a club rugby player, park soccer enthusiast, or just want to take your training to a new level, you can now grab yourself a GPS pod of your own. We got our hands on Statsports Apex Athlete model to find out if having such a metric-monitoring device is worth investing in.
From the get-go, the real appeal of having a GPS pod as opposed to a watch is that, well, you don’t need to wear a watch. Playing a rugby match or intense game of football with a couple-thousand-rand watch isn’t the best idea, so having something that’s safe, durable, and snuggly sitting on your back is the best option. It’s unobtrusive and won’t distract you from what you’re doing on the pitch, which is a huge plus.
Using the pod is also an easy and convenient process. After pairing it and setting it up with your Android or iOS device using the Apex Athlete app, you have the option of calibrating it to your chosen sport. This is one of the better features which elevates it way above other trackers, allowing you to put your metrics into a rugby, football, hockey, or cricket-tracking context. This will alter the UI slightly, allowing you to choose your position (flyhalf in rugby, or centre-back in football, for example) which will change the benchmarks of what you’re comparing to. One of StatSport’s biggest selling points is also its global tracking database, where you can compare your game stats to professionals and other community members, so seeing how your sprint time racks up against the likes of Harry Kane or Cheslin Kolbe is always an interesting (and often sobering) moment.
The actual act of using the pod is easy too. Once charged, a simple press of the main button (it literally has one rubberised button) turns the device on and begins its GPS-acquisition and tracking process. After a few signifying beeps, tracking has begun. Once you’ve completed your game, you simply hold the button for a few seconds until it switches off, and then you can pair and sync with your phone at a later stage. This is another great benefit of the pod, as it has its own internal memory, so you don’t need to be in range or connected via Bluetooth during the tracking process (something some other devices require). All the data for your training session or game (the pod can even store multiple sessions at a time) is available until you connect to your device, which will then ask which sessions from which dates you’d like to sync. This is great because you don’t even need your phone at the field — it’s a simple one-button tracking process, with no fiddling with settings and trying to get on the appropriate ‘mode’ with your fitness watch.
Within the app, you’re given a host of metrics that really do provide some valuable insight into any on-field performance. There are 16 metrics, including max speed, total distance, sprints, intensity, and fatigue, along with heat maps and even field territory percentages to give you an idea of where on the pitch you spend most of your energy and time. The pod also includes additional sensors, one of which is an accelerometer, which tracks force across three axes; vertical (y-axis), medial-lateral (x-axis) and anterior-posterior (z-axis), known as a tri-axial accelerometer.
Having access to this type of data can allow measurement of force (G) exerted by or acting on the body, which has added another dimension to player monitoring and led to the creation of accelerometer derived metrics, such as Statsports’ Dynamic Stress Load metric (DSL). This DSL is one of the most interesting metrics, as it essentially encapsulates your ‘work rate’, so to speak. So, rather than trying to gauge how you feel from various other info and stats, it clearly shows you the amount of force and strain your body has experienced, taking into account your distance, high-speed running, cutting, angle changes, decelerations, accelerations, and everything in between. You can use this metric to either push yourself in your next session, or slow down if you’re overdoing it, which is great to have as a reference point.
Having all these stats might initially feel overwhelming, but if you focus on the insights or metrics you’re trying to improve (say top speed and work rate), it can be truly beneficial, especially given the fact that you have real-world stats from pros and other players to compare yourself to. As they say: competition really does bring out the best in people.
As for the vest itself, which really isn’t the main focus, but is a pivotal feature in the whole experience, it’s extremely well made. Its soft, thin and stretchy material allows it to be snug but flexible, and a rubberised band at the bottom stops it from sliding up and keeps it on your chest area. It’s easy to throw into the washing machine (after you take the pod out) and becomes part of your game-day equipment without being a hassle at all.
So, should you buy a GPS tracking pod like Statsports’ Apex Athlete? If you’re considering spending a similar budget on a smartwatch or fitness tracker purely to deliver stats from your workouts, then the Apex Athlete is a far more comprehensive choice. Of course, some people aren’t too interested in motion-based metrics and would rather just see their heart-rate. Thankfully, the Apex also features a heart-rate monitor which you can pair with it too (but must be bought separately). Despite one or two small bugs in the app on the odd occasion, using the Apex Athlete GPS pod is a fantastic companion that puts the magnifying glass over your training and performances; and if you’re looking to improve, it’s hard to beat that.
The Statsports Apex Athlete is priced at $299.99 (around R4,450) and is available on the official Statsports website.