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Bike-Sharing Programs Roll Into Cities Across The U.S.

bike-sharing

 

bike-sharing
It’s a good time to be a cyclist in America. New York kicked off a new bike-sharing program this week, with Chicago and San Francisco both close behind. Those cities are expected to launch similar systems this summer.

 

NPR

Listen to the story on “All Things Considered”  

Bike Sharing Programs have been rolling out across cities over the past year, now a brand new bike sharing station kicks off the Spring Season in Boston, with a new station outside the Boston Design Center…Making lunch time exercise no possible in the Innovation & Design District along Boston’s Industrial Seaport.

New York this week became the latest major city to launch a bike-share program..

The sharing programs are all check-in, check-out systems, with automated stations spread throughout a city, designed for point-to-point trips. “We try to encourage people to use it … almost like a taxi,” says Gabe Klein, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Klein helped start Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C. — the largest bike-share system in the U.S. until New York took over the title. He is also overseeing Chicago’s Divvy bike share program. He spoke with weekends on All Things Considered host Wade Goodwyn about the future of biking in American cities.

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Interview Highlights

On encouraging more people to ride

“When it doesn’t feel as safe, the people that are riding are what we call the strong and the fearless, and they make up about 7 percent. What we have found is that 60 percent of the population would like to ride. The problem is they don’t feel safe. And those are the people that we’re appealing to with the infrastructure that we’re putting in here in Chicago or that you’ve seen in Washington, D.C., protected bike facilities that separate people from cars, and with the bike-sharing program.”

On reducing traffic 

“You know 40 percent of trips in urban areas are 2 miles or less, but 90 percent of those trips are taken in a car. So, you can do the math, you know. If we can move 20, 30 percent of those people to walking or biking that frees up a lot of capacity for people to drive that need to.”

On the future of bike sharing

“The more density the better, but, having said that, you also have universities embracing bike sharing, you have less dense cities like Portland launching bike sharing and Houston, right there in Texas. So, it’s across the board, and I think as cycling becomes more mainstream, you’re going to see it roll out in very different environments.”

 

Original Source: NPR News All Things Considered

 

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Why Getting Toned is a Myth and How You Can Transform Your Body

fitness-myth-getting-toned

Fitness is a multi-billion dollar industry that changes lives everyday but there is still one myth that plagues consumers and is pushed over and over again.

fitness-myth-getting-toned
Getting toned is a myth. By building muscle you can shred unwanted fat.

 

Why Getting Toned is the Biggest Myth in the Fitness Industry

If you or anyone you know is jacked and in super awesome shape I guarantee it took a ton of hard work and dedication to reach that level. So much work that the small percentage of people that have reached these elite levels of fitness is rather limited.

Bodybuilding is a very demanding sport and comes with great effort. The average person is not going to put in the amount of effort necessary to learning what works for them. Instead they would rather look for the next gimmick, diet or fad and be told what to do. The fitness industry sees this and continues to capitalize on selling you the idea that getting in shape can be easy.

We have all seen the commercials talking about “toning up” and “transforming your body”.  These products continue to fly off the shelf and land in the homes of hopeless consumers. Selling the idea that getting ripped and shredded is way out of your reach and that if you buy these amazing products you can just tone up your body. Well I have news for you, it isn’t so!

fitness-myths-transform-your-body
Transform your body today and live the life you dream of.

What are you going to tone? Your Fat?!?!?

If you want the most awesome body you ever dreamed of then you have to work for it. And you have to build some muscle to burn some fat. You have to figure out what is going to get you there. You have to experiment, make constant changes, build a strategy and keep working at it. Thats what it takes.

If the industry decided to shift the way they present their ideas and products to consumers then the industry can benefit solely. But if consumers don’t demand better products by searching alternative answers then the industry wont change. Until now.

How You Can Transform Your Body Starting Today

You can dismiss these magical myths of confusion and put the bologna behind you. You can transform your body and create the physique you desire. All it takes is some hard work and a little bit of know how.

By looking into the past we can find clues and hints as to how success was achieved in various areas of life. For those that want to learn about business they research successful businesses and those that are responsible for creating them. If you want to learn how to be a race car driver then you look at race car drivers of the past and figure out techniques on how to win! So why not do it with bodybuilding? Learning from the past greats can put you on the path to physical fitness.

Bodybuilding dates way, way back all the way to ancient Greece. In the early 1900’s and so on there were many great men that helped to pioneer the sport. And bring acceptance in today’s society, Eugene Sandow, Reg Park, Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl, and Dave Draper to name a few. All of these men had amazing physiques. All of these men knew how to work for their physiques.

By studying the past we can make decisions on how to shape the future. Transform your body by learning what to do. It can be as simple as throwing out the bullshit you have been force fed and trying something new.

Implement These Tips and Tricks in Your Training and Watch Your Body Transform

By making a small change in how you do things you can begin to make larger improvements overall. It takes many swings of an axe to chop down a big tree but eventually it will fall. By implementing these five tips you can start to transform your training and create a program that works for you.

debunk-fitness-myths-compound-movements
The deadlift is a great compound exercise for transforming your body.

Tips and Tricks to Transform Your Body

  • Learn the compound movements and focus on making them the dominant exercises in your workout routines.
    • Squats, deadlifts, bench presses, overhead presses, and so forth. Multi-joint compound movements utilize more muscle groups at once. Therefore being more efficient for building muscle and burning fat.
  • Eat more food. Even if you think your eating enough your probably not.
    • Learning what and how much to take in is key. Your body needs fuel in order for it to perform. There more active you are the more your going to need and want carbs to give you the energy you need.
  • Get enough rest and keep your stress levels low.
    • All the compound lifts are going to be a toll on the body. Make sure you get plenty of rest and keep your stress levels low so your body can be as efficient as possible at doing its job.
  • Grasp the concept of quality over quantity.
    • Proper form is key. If you do five reps and all five of them are in poor form you are definitely missing out on the benefits. Proper form and contraction of the muscles are essential.
  • Make progressive changes to your routines.
    • Progressive resistance is a concept often neglected. But it is probably the biggest tip that can change training protocols dramatically. Either add a little bit of weight here or there. Or make changes in your reps and sets. Just make small incremental changes over time and reap the rewards.

Outside all of that make training fun. Enjoy what your doing and share that enjoyment with others. It should not be a chore.

To learn more tips and tricks sign up for our monthly e-newsletter where we talk about training, keep you motivated and let you know whats going on with Barbell Academy.

We would love to get to know you better and how this article has benefited your training. Share you comments below in and lets get the conversation going.

 

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What’s In My Tape Deck—Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail

jay_z_magna_carta_holy_grail

After a some internal debate I finally broke down and decided to get Jay-Z’s latest album Magna Carta Holy Grail. Having been a fan of Jay’s music for some time I figured I would give it a shot.

Is Magna Carta Holy Grail All Its Cracked Up To Be?

I guess it depends on who you ask but, all in all it’s a decent album. I personally don’t think it was Jay’s best by any means. Who cares. What I can say is that the beats are awesome for the most part. And they should especially when he had some of the industries best on the tracks.
The best part about Jay’s lyrics is there is always an underlying message. He has always been a great wordsmith even on his whackiest tracks. Either way I enjoyed Magna Carta Holy Grail for what it was, just another album.

Add These Tracks To Your Playlist From Magna Carta Holy Grail

If your looking for some new tunes to bump in your headphones while you workout I would totally add a few.

Holy Grail – feat. Justin Timberlake
http://youtu.be/2YcIgow6TDk

Picasso Baby

Heaven
http://youtu.be/vZlrjBBixEs

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Bodybuilding Motivation—Andreia Brazier

Andreia-Brazier-hot-abs

There is no doubt that every now and then we need a little motivation to get things going. And there is no doubt that right now Andreia Brazier is one hot hottie in the fitness game.

So for a little bodybuilding motivation here are some pics and videos of Andreia Brazier. Enjoy in a non creepy way please.

Bodybuilding Motivation—Andreia Brazier

andreia_Brazier_body andreia_Brazier_workout Andreia-Brazier-hot-abs Andreia-Brazier-quads andreia_brazier andreia-brazier-bikini andreia-brazier-arms andreia-brazier-ripped Andreia-Brazier-sculpted-abs-sexy-tan

 

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Best Ways To Grow Bigger Calves

how_to_grow_bigger_calves

grow_bigger_calves

One of the most forgotten muscles on the body is the calves. Growing bigger calves seems damned near impossible depending upon who you ask. Most people will say its all about genetics. Well I’m not a believer in you get what your given. Yes, some people have amazing calves. But some also have amazing triceps, however the sport of bodybuilding relies on the development of the physique. So if Arnold the 6’2″ Austrian Oak who had puny calves and a weak upper chest can grow his weak points to be some of his best features than so can you.

Don’t Be a Potato on a Toothpick, Grow Bigger Calves

The calves take a beating all day long. They support the body and are constantly stimulated whether it be walking, running, or climbing stairs. With that in mind how in the hell are 4 sets of 12 reps supposed to make them puppies grow! I am a firm believer in heavy weights and proper form. Especially when it comes to calf training.

Here are a few videos I found that talk about different ways to grow bigger calves. Find out what works for you by experimenting and GROW BIGGER CALVES!!!

Idea for Growing Bigger Calves

Grow Bigger Calves FAST

Series Three Ep.#3 Calves & Forearms with Supermutant Rich Piana

http://youtu.be/HezgIS7S4ok

How To Build Big Calves – Exaggerated Range Of Motion Calf Raises

How to Superset Calves on Smith Machine

 

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How to Barbell Row: Your Guide to the Proper Form

Bent Barbell Row

Bent-Over-Barbell-Row

Have you ever looked at a finely sculpted physique and noticed such great shape and definition in the back muscles? Have you ever wondered how to develop your own back muscles in such a way? Well then the barbell row is for you. A defined and muscular back is key in building your body but also has a lot of practical use.

This guide will cover the basics of a barbell row and how to begin doing it.

I must call to attention that the barbell row has several variations. Some even made up that I care not to name. I’m sure you have seen guys at the gym with an underhand grip almost standing up pulling the bar into the hip area. Sure looks like the back is being hit hard but, more than likely they are just building the traps and biceps.

The row that we will be talking about is the bent-over parallel barbell row. Or barbell row for short. The barbell row is a favorite of many bodybuilding legends. It builds the upper back as well as helps to stabilize the lower back and core. By returning the barbell to the floor on each lift we can call on all of our muscles to lift and grow.

barbell-row

Notice in the diagram how the weight begins on the floor and comes up to the sternum returning to the floor before lifting up again. Thinking of rowing a boat, you dig deep with all your might thrusting your arms back and then pushing them forward again, propelling the boat forward.

The Benefits of the Barbell Row

The results of any compound exercise are going to carry over into many of your lifts and day to day activities. Case in point every time you bend over to pick up that barbell, expect . . .

Gains in Size and Strength—Your muscles are going to grow and you’re going to get stronger. Thats a fact.  If you went to university and there was a rowing team, guaranteed they had backs that even the greeks would admire. This simple yet complex movement will shape your body like no other.

Improvements in Flexibility—Hard to believe but yes you will become more flexible. When performing the barbell row properly you are stretching your hamstrings by keeping your legs as straight as possible and as well as loosening up any kinks in your posterior chain.

Better Posture—Is a given. The stronger your muscles are the easier it is for your body to support itself and keep an upright posture. Improper positioning due to daily activities have lead to more and more cases of poor posture and overall health conditions.

Common Barbell Row Misconceptions

Many people are led to assume that the barbell row puts too much strain on your lower back and it is unsafe to do. As it so happens, that is not true. Yes, there will naturally be effort exerted by your lower back, legs, and abdominals to stay in proper position. However, when you learn to perform any exercise the right way and only increase the weight as your strength increases, then you minimize the chances of hurting yourself.

A Lesson on Barbell Row Form

Attempting anything for the first time poses its challenges. Learning to perform the barbell row correctly is essential to any training routine. The barbell row is not as challenging as it may look. With time and dedication you will be lifting weights off the floor with ease.

This lesson will cover the proper form used for a bent-over parallel barbell row. I will begin by assuming you currently know nothing about rows and are eager to learn. However, even if you are a seasoned lifter a good refresher course never hurts.

I cannot advocate enough the importance of proper form. Learning to row correctly without any weight will instill the correct motor patterns in our body and will assist in our efforts.

Note: Smith machines are great inventions and have their purpose. However they are not beneficial for this workout. Barbell rows on a smith machine puts the body in a fixed path and does not allow the stabilization muscles to engage. Always row with free weights.

The Setup

A few things will come into play when performing the row. However a proper setup is key.

  • Begin the row by approaching an empty or loaded bar on the floor.
  • Ideally if the bar is weighted and raised off the ground you would step to the bar and allow the middle of your foot to be directly under the bar. If you are beginning with no weight at all you can simply hold the bar in your hand and let it hang as if it were weighted resting on the floor.
    • Approach and foot placement will be similar to the setup of a deadlift.
  • Bend at the waist using an overhand grip, gripping the bar slightly wider than shoulder width.
    • You can vary grip width the more advanced you get. To begin we will keep a similar grip to our bench press, since the barbell row movement is a mimicking movement of the flat bench press.
  • With your hands firmly placed on the bar and the bar directly over the center of your foot, keep your knees slightly bent and slightly elevate your chest so your back is parallel to the floor.

At this point you will look almost like a runner at the starting line. Head in a neutral position. Back parallel with a slight arch. Hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Legs slightly bent depending on flexibility. The key is to keep the back flat throughout the movement.

Beginning to Row

Now that your are setup and in the proper starting position, we can begin the rowing movement.

  • Begin by taking a big breath. Grip the bar firmly and tense your upper back muscles.
  • Slowly pull the bar off the floor by engaging your upper back and lat muscles.
    • You should feel a pulling across your back, this will indicate the lats are engaged.
  • As the lats engage and you begin to lift the bar off the floor in line with your sternum, keep your elbows locked and in position.
  • The elbows play a significant role in the row as well as other pushing and pulling lifts.
    • You will need to find the best position for your elbows. A good starting position will be about 45 degrees from the body.
  • Pulling the barbell up in a straight path, close the body tightening your upper back, lats, and everything in between.
  • Squeeze hard at the top of the movement.
  • Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position over the center of your foot.
    • By lowering the barbell slowly, you will be able to feel your lats really work.

There you go! It’s as easy as that. You just learned how to do a barbell row. And you’re well on your way to building some serious size and strength.

Keep at it. Pretty soon you will have a back all your friends will envy!

As a resource a great video on learning the barbell row is Pendlay Row by Glenn Pendlay.

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An Apple A Day Keeps The Fat Away

red applesApples have always been touted as a great pre workout snack. Consuming an apple within 30 minutes prior to working out is a great way to get some low-glycemic or slow-digesting carbs in. Due to the fact that apples are high in fructose the liver must convert the apple to glucose aiding in the slowing of digestion. Another key factor in apples digestibility is the high fiber content.

Apples provide additional benefits along side carbs and fiber. Studies done by the Nippon Sport Science University and the University of Arts and Sciences discovered that ables provide benefits similar to green tea by increasing strength and endurance, and decreasing body fat.

The teams gave make rats apples or placebos for three weeks. During that time frame the researchers studied body fat, strength, and muscle fatigue. Reported earlier in 2007 in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the rats given apples had 30% less body fat as opposed to the placebo group. The genes that spur fat-burning within the rats activity was increased due to the consumption of apples.

More than 70 obese male and female subjects were given an ample percentage of apples or a placebo as well for a 12 week period. LDL, total cholesterol, bodyweight, and abdominal fat were measurements taken to provide the data for the study. By the end of the study the subjects who consumed the apples had a significant loss on abdominal fat and bodyweight, as well as lower cholesterol and LDL levels.

Try supplementing your diet with apple polyphenols which come in capsule or pill form. Best taken with breakfast and dinner, as well as a large apple pre workout with your pre workout shake.

An apple a day keeps the fat away!