Thursday, September 29, 2011

What Time Of Day Should You Exercise

If you are a regular exerciser, you may have already determined your most productive time to exercise and follow a routine that works best for you.

On the other hand, if your exercise time varies from day to day, and it's wearing you out instead of pumping you up, you may be interested in the work of scientists who are studying the proverbial internal clock and how to best determine what time of day you should schedule your workouts.

The secret appears to lie in circadian rhythms, the daily cycles that our bodies follow. These rhythms originate in the hypothalamus and regulate everything from body temperature and metabolism to blood pressure.

The rhythms result from the firing rate of neurons. They have conformed to our 24-hour light-to-dark cycle, and may be regulated and reregulated each day according to the environment.

It is the influence of circadian rhythms on body temperature that seems to yield the most control over the quality of a workout. When body temperature is at its highest, your workouts will likely be more productive; when your temperature is low, chances are your exercise session may be less than optimal.

Body temperature is at its lowest about one to three hours before most of us wake up in the morning, in contrast to late afternoon when body temperature reaches its peak. (To determine your own circadian peak, refer to the box to the left.)

Studies have consistently shown that exercise during these late-in-the-day hours produces better performance and more power. Muscles are warm and more flexible, perceived exertion is low, reaction time is quicker, strength is at its peak, and resting heart rate and blood pressure are low.

Don't change your schedule if you feel good beginning your day with exercise. Everyone agrees that exercise at any time is better than no exercise at all. In fact, people who exercise in the morning are more successful at making it a habit.

And though it has been suggested that morning exercise may put some people at higher risk for heart attack, further research indicates that there is simply a generalized increased risk of heart attacks in the morning. If your schedule favors an early workout, emphasize stretching and a good warm-up to insure that your body is ready for action.

If stress relief is your goal, exercise always works, all the time. And if you're wondering when it's best to train for an upcoming event, it all depends on what time you'll actually be competing. If an upcoming marathon begins at 7:00 a.m., try training at that time of day.

Though training at any time of day will raise performance levels, research has shown that the ability to maintain sustained exercise is adaptive to circadian rhythms. In other words, consistently training in the morning will allow you to sustain exercise during a morning marathon longer than if you train in the evening.

The Hormone Of Youth - Testosterone

A declining sex drive, lack of energy, weak erections, poor sleep, grumpiness, depression, decreasing strength, endurance, and deteriorating work and sports performance are some of the negative side effects we men can naturally expect as we age.  According to the medical profession the main cause of these negative effects can be directly attributed to a decline in testosterone levels. 

Studies have shown, however,  that regular exercisers have a  higher sex drive and less diminish in the other affected areas than do non exercisers or weekend warriors. Doctors say that it is related to the surges of testosterone that occur immediately after resistance training, and right after endurance training like cycling, swimming or running.

But  using the old Soloflex  and resistance training isn't the cure all end all.  Testosterone levels can vary for many reasons. The hormone  fluctuates in all of us throughout the day, depending on what are known as circadian rhythms. In men, studies reveal that levels are highest in the morning and that concentrations are minimal in the evening.  Increased levels in men and women that can be detected immediately following a workout.  Although overall levels seem to decreased with excessive endurance   training routines. Excessive endurance training causes the body to produce high levels of cortisone - a catabolic hormone. Even food intake may play a role in lowering testosterone levels. If a person drinks a protein-carb shake before and after a workout, the levels can go down.   It is believed that aging men, who have lower levels  of testosterone get a lower boost from a tough weight-lifting session than do younger men.

Research indicates that it is not only levels of the actual hormone that may affect you, but the amount of receptors present on cells that can interact with the testosterone. Testosterone helps stimulate muscle growth, but different types of muscle fibers are more (or less) receptive to the hormone. This means that the effects of testosterone may also depend upon the proportion of muscle fibers you have (which is mostly genetically determined), and what kind of exercise you do to train the muscles.

Like everything else going on in the body, especially with hormones, the response of testosterone is highly complex. At certain times it is difficult to determine what positive effect are the result of higher testosterone levels and what effect can be attributed to other chemicals like adrenalin, which energizes, or even opioids like endorphins, which can produce a "feel-good" effect.

Another consideration  may be that the psychological self-confidence that you get from being physically fit, accomplishing fitness goals like exercising on a regular basis or simply losing weight can stave off the negatives mentioned at the beginning of this post.

In summery, the best way to beat psychological decline is to keep using the machines like the Soloflex Hybrid. They are your best bet at keeping testosterone levels high and your body in good working order.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Resistance band options for the Soloflex Muscle Machine

The only problem I have ever experienced with my Soloflex Muscle Machine has been with the resistance bands. When I purchased my machine it came with a complete set of bands. In time and with regular use the bands began to crack, split and ultimately break. This is an across-the-board problem with all Soloflex
machine owners.

The black rubber resistance bands generally used with the Soloflex machine are too brittle. In addition, they are very expensive to replace when purchased from the Soloflex company.

Good deals on replacement bands can often be found on Ebay.  In most cases the resistance bands from Ebay are previously used and therefore cannot be expected to last as long as new bands which come directly from the Soloflex company.  It is almost a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

After a bit of searching and experimentation I have discovered other resistance bands that work well on the Soloflex Muscle Machine. I found all of the resistance band options which follow to be more rubbery and flexible than the stiffer, more brittle bands from the Soloflex company.

The blue Resistance bands in the photo on the left are 10lb bands.
The black bands in the upper right corner of the photo are 25lb bands. The lower right bands are 10lb bands. All of the bands are from a
body by Jake Bun and Thigh Rocker. The Body by Jake Bun and Thigh Rocker is no longer in production. They can occasionally be found in thrift stores and at garage sales, however. I purchased a Bun and Thigh Rocker in a thrift store for $10. That is how I was able to get the bands featured in the photo.

Another option for resistance bands are to use Power Bands from the Bun and Thigh Roller. This is a different machine from the Body by Jake Bun and Thigh Rocker.

When you click on the link above this is the ad is what you will see:

Dramatically enhance your workout with our advanced resistance bands. These bands can increase the strength training of your exercise by more than 50 percent and are only $19.95 + $4.95 s&p each. Your Bun & Thigh Roller will take you to the next level with the help of the Power Bands.

A third resistance band option is to use Airplane shock rings. Shock cords were the original type of resistance bands used on Soloflex machines. They were used before the black bands that are currently used came along. Below is a photo of shock cords and a link where purchasing details and more information can be found.

That covers it. Everything I know about Resistance band options for the Soloflex Muscle Machine. Until my next post - Peace.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Before the Hybrid Videos I was Dinjin

This post is aimed at the Soloflex Forever website. I posted it after the webmaster of that site attempted to steal credit for my Soloflex Beast idea. The post below this one reveals in the webmasters own words that the idea was not his.

Before I published my first Hybrid video I was a business owner, family man, commercial diver, and sometimes even a  fashion model.  Yes, I have done television and runway modeling.  If I never model again, big deal.  Been there. Done that. Got the video footage.

At 46, I am semi-retired.

I was Dinjin before the Hybrid videos. I will be Dinjin long after the YouTube videos are forgotten.

I am sharing this information so that my antagonistic blog readers and YouTube viewers will know that I am independent of any benefit they think I gain by uploading my workout videos.

Comments and ratings on my videos are suspended until I have recorded and published my next Hybrid video. The video will contain as many as 17 new exercises that can be done on the classic Soloflex muscle machine, plus two new methods of resistance. Best of all, it will contain a much needed bashing for the lame attempt to steal credit for my Beast Super Hybrid idea.

For those who have claimed in their forums that I am egotistical and  verbally acidic, I agree. These qualities of mine are part of why you log into my blogs and view my YouTube videos for new workout ideas, and not the other way around.

My suggestion is that you go back to your forums and write about how, negative, pretentious and offensive I am. By doing so you can FINALLY bring some much needed excitement to your otherwise mind-numbingly boring forum topics.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Imitation Is The Highest Form Of Flattery

I am thrilled by the fact that my Super Hybrid idea caught on and that others are finding it useful.  Although, I am frustrated as the result of a  few things.   Like this post from the blog made just hours after the release of my Soloflex Beast Super Hybrid video:

Posted by:  GARRET 
August 5, 2009 at 7:18 pm

"I wanted to make something like this a few months ago but while I had the idea, I didn’t have the room, or the know how. This fellow had a bunch of ideas that I hadn’t thought of.

He beat me to the creation of it. He would make a great Soloflex model. Great for him!

I’m jealous, I admit it."
You can view this actual post at:
After watching and downloading my Soloflex Beast Super Hybrid video, Garret welded his own Hybrid into existance.  Garret's duel Soloflex mainframe hybrid is featured below: 

The following was published on Garret's Soloflexforever forum.  Here is the web address to the actual post: 

By Garret, AKA  bucksteelsoloflex » Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:54 pm

"My highly modified dual Soloflex Power rack system"

"Pictures coming soon. Two machines welded into one. Does every thing a regular Soloflex machine does, plus circuit training, plus full free barbell open power rack capability and more. Nothing else out there that I have seen can do as much in such limited space. All with legendary Soloflex quality and durability.

"I designed this on paper over a year ago. I wish that I had built it right away. So far it works flawlessly. ALL I need to acquire is an extra Barbell ram and I can hang my hammock on it again. Two of the barbell arms were tuned into safety catches. I just did some squats with 400 pounds on the barbell and it handled it better than expected."

I'm glad I was able to show you how, Garret.     Enjoy my idea.

Here is a picture of me test driving the Beast.  This photo was taken just after the machine was built, and before I presented my duel mainframe idea to the world.

You can view the original, reposted, Soloflex BEAST Super Hybrid video here:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

INVERSION: You are only as strong as your lower back

One of the most common injuries for weight lifters, bodybuilders and aging men in general is lower back pain. My own history with lower back pain has been long and antagonizing. It wasn't until recently that I discovered the benefits of regular inversion and the accelerated pain relief that it offers. And I must say, my back hasn't felt as good as it does now in years. I no longer live in the almost constant dread of throwing my back out. Then being out of full commission for weeks at a time until it healed.

One day, while sitting in my office I took notice of a commercial for teeter hangups on the television. For those who are unfamiliar with teeter hangup, the company makes inversion boots, inversion tables and other lower back pain relief devices. Because I was desperate for relief from my back pain and willing to try anything I paid full attention to the Teeter commercial. After the commercial was over I realized, I COULD USE MY SOLOFLEX FOR REGULAR INVERSION SESSIONS! I gave it a try. It worked beautifully!

I know there has to be other Soloflex owners out there who are also dealing with regular bouts of lower back pain. Who have never considered their Soloflex Muscle Machine as the means of long term back pain relief.

Here is the theory behind why inversion is believed to work to relieve lower back pain. The constant pull of gravity has a cumulative negative effect on the joints and spinal discs. Inversion puts gravity to work by placing the body in line with the downward pull of gravity. Not only can inversion therapy help to temporarily relieve back pain, but it also can be used as a method to relieve other negative effects that gravity has on the body. Hanging upside down stretches and relaxes the muscles and reduces stress on all the spinal discs.

Inversion temporarily lengthens the spine, increasing the space between the vertebrae, which relieves the pressure on discs, ligaments and nerve roots. This reduction in pressure on the discs translates into less back pain.

The inner core of the spinal disc is made of jellylike material which provides the "cushioning" in the back. You can lose up to .5" (1.3-2.0 cm) in height daily during your waking hours from the compressive effects of gravity. This daily height loss reverses overnight, but not 100%, resulting in permanent height loss, loss of flexibility and shock absorption. While inverted, you are able to temporarily reverse the downward pressure on your discs, helping the discs to recover an regain lost moisture and lost height, with improved flexibility.

Lying down in bed only releases 75% of standing body weight on the spinal discs. The hundreds of ligaments and muscles that encase and stabilize the spine act like a bunch of rubber bands holding the spine in compression equal to 25% of standing body weight. Inverting to 60 degrees helps to reduce the disc pressure to at or near zero.

Inverting yourself to as little as 20-25 degrees for even a few minutes can help relax tense muscles and speed the flow of lymphatic fluids which flush out of the body's wastes and carry them to the blood stream.

Unlike the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system has no pump. Only the alternate contraction and relaxation of the muscles moves the lymphatic fluid "uphill" through capillaries and one-way valves to the upper chest for cleansing. Inverting the body so that gravity works with, not against, these one-way valves stimulates the flow of lymph system, helping to clear toxins from the body.

Your heart must work against gravity to pump blood up to your brain, which is the body's largest consumer of oxygen. Inversion is a simple way to improve circulation to the upper body.

When inverting, you are helping your heart to move the blood from your feet, legs, and lower body. This allows the blood in your limbs to circulate more easily, which may help to drain blood from varicose veins.

The experience of thousands of people who invert regularly is that it gives us the relief from back pain we have been looking for. Just as important, we gain the rejuvenating effects of inversion on the entire body, providing health benefits far beyond the relief of back pain.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Proper Form Myth

A comment from one of my YouTube viewers addressed the poor lifting form that I used in my "Arms" Shock Routine video. From the instant that I reviewed the finished footage of the video I knew that my sloppy form would become a topic of intrest to someone. So, I waited. My plan from the beginning was to respond to the form issue with a blog post if ever a viewer broached the subject. The subject has been brought up, so here is the post.

Please consider the following.

In this example,  I will say each set must be completed within 30 seconds.

Using proper lifting form, if, within 30 seconds, you moved 20 pounds for 10 reps, at the end of the set you will have moved a total of 200 pounds (20 pounds X 10 reps = 200 lbs).

Using fair to good form, if, within 30 seconds, you moved 20 pounds for 15 reps, at the end of the set you will have moved a total of 300 pounds (20 pounds X 15 reps = 300 lbs).

Which of these sets will put the greatest demand on the body? Correct - the fair to good form set. Because a greater total amount of weight was moved within the same 30 second period.

The greater total amount is all your body cares about when it comes to building muscle. It strives to meet the greater total amount demand. It could care less about proper form. Muscles only respond to the demands associated with the form being used.

The most physically powerful and visually impressive guys in the gyms often prove my point with regard
to proper form. I personally cannot remember one huge guy standing firm on the "proper form" issue. Unless he was being forced to do so by the equipment he was working out on.

Personal trainers and trainer wanna-bes, on-the-other-hand, are often found on soap boxes with proper form speaches for everyone within earshot.

I think many of us would progress faster if we spent more time picking the weight up and putting it down. And less time pretending that form will be the decisive factor in our ultimate success or failure.