Setting Fitness Goals For The New Year

The holidays are upon us, and if you’re like most of us, you’re more than likely indulging in peppermint mochas and holiday treats while promising yourself that you will work hard to get in shape in 2017. While we all try to start off the New Year with a promise for better health and fitness, let’s be honest here, it is difficult to stick with our resolutions. Over 90% of New Year’s resolutions are broken by the end of January! Why do most New Year’s resolutions fail? The most common reasons that our resolutions fail is that they were either too extreme or too vague, making our resolutions difficult to achieve.   The most common New Year’s resolutions are centered around fitness goals. Have you considered setting fitness goals for the New Year? Here are some ways that may help you to stick with your fitness goals in 2017:
  1. Set smaller, more attainable goals for yourself as you start out and gradually increase to larger goals over time.   It can be tough to get yourself back into the gym. The results are worth it, but the struggle can be very real. Find a way to get active and do something to increase your heart rate daily. Often short walks are a great way to get started. Over the first couple of weeks, you will notice that exercising will get easier and easier. As it gets easier, your confidence and drive will increase. If you incorporate weight training, consider CuLEAN® Antimicrobial Copper Weights by Black Iron Strength® to combat the winter illnesses. Black Iron Strength® manufactures the only weightlifting equipment with Antimicrobial Copper Handles. Copper handles have been proven to kill more than 99.9% of bacteria or other germs.
  2. Be very specific with what your goals are and write them down! Keeping your list of New Year’s resolutions somewhere visible will also help keep you motivated. Consider placing a list of your goals in a prominent spot, maybe on the mirror in your main bathroom. There’s nothing like waking up in the morning, and seeing your list of goals ready for your review as you brush your teeth and get ready for the day. This is a great way to remind yourself of your goals and keep you focused.
  3. Set a deadline, a realistic one, for each resolution and schedule them on your calendar as another daily reminder. In order to achieve any goal, there are steps. You can’t go right from the starting line to the finish line, right? There are many points of challenge in between. We recommend starting off with some simple, achievable, goals. As you hit them, this will give you confidence and will help you hit the next one, and the one after that, and so on. Keep your goals simple, but make them impactful so you will not only see that you accomplished your goal, you will also feel the difference.
  4. Pace yourself. Don’t just jump in the deep end without warming up or learning how to swim first. You’re more than likely to burn yourself out if you start doing daily doubles at the beginning of your new routines. Remember that this is a process. Everything takes time, a whole lot of patience, and strong will. We know you have goals of extreme fitness, but it has to start somewhere. Make sure you are not over working your body. Some of the factors to consider are age, gender, weight, etc. Make sure you are working out enough to challenge yourself, but not so much that you cannot move for your next workout.
  5. Have fun with it! You’re more than likely to continue doing something you enjoy. If you can keep everything in mind, and build the intensity of your routine at a steady rate, your strength and endurance will grow, and soon it will not be so hard as it will be enjoyable to get your workout done!
  6. Don’t quit! It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to achieve your goal. You only fail the second you decide to throw in the towel. Consistency is key to literally EVERYTHING. There are always going to be those days where we struggle to get out of bed in the morning, or where we do not want to do our workout. Will we feel better after we do it? Of course! Is motivation still a real struggle? Yes, it is. The times when you make the biggest gains are the days you did not want to work out in the first place. If you are having trouble turning off the snooze button during the long cold winter months, watch this video.
Don’t repeat the past and allow your fitness resolutions in 2017 to fall by wayside. Whether you work out at the gym, home, or office, having the right equipment can mean all the difference. If you know someone (yourself included) who could use more muscle in 2017, consider Black Iron Strength® free weight products. With 15 patents on our equipment, we’re sure you will enjoy the experience, and get a better workout on our equipment. Be intentional when setting your goals and make it a great year! Cheers to hitting your goals in 2017!

Looking to Beat the Winter Blues!

Looking to beat the 'Winter Blues'! With the dark and cold winter months upon us, we can expect seasonal depression, also known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), to be an issue. With less sunshine during the winter months, we often give our system a boost with vitamin D rich foods or supplements, which can help. The biggest thing we can do, however, is kick those ‘winter blues’ and add a daily dose of exercise to include cardio and strength. Maintaining an existing exercise and training regime will also help curb those ‘oh so sweet cravings’, which will ultimately help maintain your current weight and boost your confidence this time of year. Depression is less likely to strike people who continue to train and exercise during winter months. They are too busy slaying away and working on their summer bodies. Here are some other tips to stay on top of your game and beat the ‘winter blues’.


The winter can be a tough time to stay consistent with your routine. With darkness setting in early every day and the mornings getting more and more frigid, it can be tempting to hit that snooze button, roll over, and stay cozy in your blankets. In addition the holidays are a time of gathering with family, friends and co-workers, which leads us to partake in additional calories. It is also a difficult time to stay motivated with our fitness goals and to keep our regular workout routine. Although it can be difficult, sticking with your routine when the weather is cold and you are distracted by the holidays, maintaining your fitness routine sets you up for massive gains when the weather improves and it’s easier to stay motivated. At Black Iron Strength®, we have our own ways of getting out of bed in the morning when it’s 18 degrees outside, snowing, and pitch black. When you alarm goes off before dawn, and you consider rolling over, instead, hit this link and get moving!


Using strength training during the cold winter months will help get your metabolism at the top of it’s game, so you are not as anxious about the extra calories you will consume at holiday gatherings. It is very important to not cut back on weight training, as you will feel more tired and fatigue more quickly, thus increasing the chance you will succumb to the temptation to eating and sleeping more.


Cardio helps our bodies in many ways, and none more important during the winter months because endorphins are released when we do cardio. These endorphins will help keep you pumped up and remain positive as the rain and snow hit the ground. Cardio will also help keep those unwanted pounds off so you can run your way into 2017 with a positive attitude and a few less pounds.


If there was ever a time of the year to recruit a friend into your fitness routine, then winter is it. How many times in your life have you decided, “Next year I am going to work out and I am going to stick to it this time!” How many times have you heard a friend or family member tell you this at a Christmas party between sips of eggnog and bites of a cookie? Use this as an opportunity to set a workout date with that person. The accountability of having someone else depending on you to show up will help ensure you don’t slack on your routine during the tough time of the year. Too cold to go to the gym? No problem! At Black Iron Strength®, we customize our weights and training equipment to for home gyms. Black Iron Strength® is the premier choice of equipment for home gyms. Our equipment can be found in the homes of many athletes because we offer the only commercial grade adjustable dumbbells and barbells. We also offer customized racks with our conventional dumbbells and barbells so we can fit to your space requirements. We also highly recommend checking out our CuLEAN® Antimicrobial Copper Equipment as an extra precaution to keep those germs far away and out of your home during the cold winter months.

Five Things to Consider Before Purchasing Free Weight Equipment

Outfitting a workout area with free weight equipment is a challenging undertaking. There are many factors to consider when choosing equipment. Whether the equipment is for personal use at home, a fitness facility for employees, a public gym, or an athletic performance center for a sports team, there are important factors, which are relevant to each of these locations. In this article, we will examine the top five factors that everyone, who is outfitting a workout area, needs to consider when purchasing free weight equipment.


When equipping your facility, the amount of space that you have to work with is one of the major limiting factors, and will likely impact every other decision. Surely, just as there are many ways to ‘bake a cake’, there are many exercises and movements to achieve similar results. Some exercises require more space and the strength machines used can be bulky and provides only a singular movement, which accounts for too high of a percent of the total space used. In lieu of a strength machine, one may consider free weight dumbbells. If they are set up in a vertical storage configuration as part of a system, one can get many different weights and exercise options in a single rack. Black Iron Strength® features space saving dumbbell and barbell systems, check it out here. These systems are the only commercial grade adjustable dumbbells and barbells available on the market.


The next factor to consider is the purpose of the facility. Different free weight equipment is appropriate for different types of people at different fitness levels. If the purpose of the gym is for your personal fitness, then choosing free weight equipment to fit in your space may be a bit easier, especially if you are familiar with exercise routines already. If the fitness facility is for a work place, where there are likely to be a mix of people in terms of fitness levels, it may be advisable to choose pieces of free weight equipment that are more flexible and offer a wider range of exercise options. If the facility is for an athletic team, like a professional hockey team, the free weight equipment choices can be tailored to a group of high performing athletes.


With anything that we invest in, cost is a consideration. With free weight equipment, just like any other purchase, you get what you pay for. Although we mostly think about cost in terms of dollars spent, there are other costs to consider when selecting free weight equipment for a fitness facility. If the facility is in a public setting, let’s say in a workplace, one cost consideration could be the employee’s health. In reality, the reason why an employer might want to invest in a workplace fitness facility at the office would be to create a healthier group of employees, which would cut down on health care costs and employee absenteeism. When outfitting the workout facility, the goal is to create a healthy environment. Most of the time we start to workout more indoors when the weather gets colder and rainier outside. As we come indoors, we bring germs with us. These germs adhere to everything we touch, including the fitness equipment. Therefore, one of the considerations with a work place facility is to make sure the equipment is clean and germs are not spreading from employee to employee. To prevent the spread of germs and keep your employees healthy, you should check out Black Iron Strength®’s line of CuLEAN® Antimicrobial Copper dumbbells and other CuLEAN® Antimicrobial Copper products by CuVerro®. Click here to see them.


Quality and durability of the free weight equipment is an important consideration for any purchase regardless of location. Even when outfitting a workout area at home, it is best to buy quality equipment that serves multiple movements and exercises. The high-end commercial grade fitness equipment is always the safest and requires the least amount of maintenance, which significantly increases the life of the equipment. When equipping the workout area, start with the basic dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells to build the area. These free weight items are always the basic foundation of any strength area.


Finally, the audience is an important consideration when selecting free weight equipment. Some of these considerations are age, gender, and fitness level. When outfitting a public facility, the equipment choices would need to encompass a wider range of users with varying abilities based on age and fitness level. When choosing free weight equipment for an athletic performance center, the buyer should select free weight equipment that offers high-end workout options for athletes, who are accustomed to rigorous workout regime. Overall, understanding who will be using the equipment will determine what is purchased. If you are considering a free weight equipment purchase for an existing workout facility, outfitting a new weight room, or planning a workout facility in the future, you should seek the advice of a trusted fitness equipment professional. Take a few moments to consider the five factors when making a free weight equipment purchase and then jot down some notes along with questions. Call or email a fitness equipment professional and seek their advice to outfit the workout area with the goal of meeting the fitness needs of the end user or users. If you are would like help in planning your ideal fitness project, let Black Iron Strength® help! Click here to get in touch

Fitness Centers Turn to Antimicrobial Copper Touch Surfaces

By Adam Estelle, Project Engineer for the Copper Development Association

Fitness Centers are turning to Antimicrobial Copper touches surfaces to protect athletes 24/7. Superbugs can be career enders for athletes, whether they’re on a little league team or a professional team. Simple daily actions such as opening doors and lockers, flushing toilets and turning on faucets expose athletes to surfaces that can harbor bacteria for weeks or even months. To combat these often antibiotic-resistant bacteria, fitness centers have begun installing antimicrobial copper touch surfaces by Black Iron Strength® on strength equipment due to its scientifically proven ability to kill greater than 99.9 percent of bacteria within two hours of contact.

The Los Angeles King’s sports center, the Gilmour Academy Ice Arena and Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Paul W. Ahrens Fitness Center have installed copper and copper alloys in highly-trafficked areas, including exercise equipment handles, push and pull plates and doorknobs, as a simple and cost-effective way to protect athletes. Unlike other materials, products made from antimicrobial copper materials continuously kill bacteria transferred by touch in between regular cleanings, even after repeated contaminations.

With more than 350,000 students and community users passing through the Gilmour Academy Ice Arena, located just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, every year, copper push and pull plates, cabinet hardware and door handles in its locker rooms and restrooms was an easy solution to reduce bacteria on high touch surfaces.

“Installing copper hardware has given us the ability to add another layer of protection to our facility without purchasing completely new products or increasing our staff maintenance time,” said John Malloy, hockey director for Gilmour Academy. “Our goal is to not only to protect our athletes, but also their parents, friends and anyone else who comes in contact with our facilities.”

Woman doing dumbbell curls with Black Iron Strength® Antimicrobial Copper Dumbbell

In addition to copper hardware (switch plates and door and faucet handles), the Grinnell Regional Medical Center in Grinnell, Iowa installed copper free weights (dumbbells, barbells, kettle bells and pull down bar attachments), in its Paul W. Ahrens Fitness Center, located just a few blocks away from the hospital.

“Our desire is for the fitness center to be the safest it can be for patients, staff and members of the community. They certainly shouldn’t expect to leave with an infection that they didn’t come with,” said Todd Linden, president and CEO of Grinnell Regional Medical Center. “That’s why I feel great about the fact that we have a 24/7 bacteria killing machine in our fitness center. Even when we go home at the end of the day, it’s still doing its job.”

A range of manufacturers worked closely in the development and installation of products throughout the facilities, including free weights by Black Iron Strength, switch and outlet plates by Eaton, cabinet hardware by Colonial Bronze and grab bars and faucet handles by Rocky Mountain Hardware.

Copper products have also made their way to the national level. The 2012 and 2014 champions of the National Hockey League, purchased copper dumbbells and machine attachments for its newly renovated Toyota Sports Center, located in El Segundo, California.

“Our objective was to further minimize the exposure of bacteria in our training spaces and having dumbbells with antimicrobial copper handles made huge sense in upgrading our equipment,” says Matt Price, Los Angeles Kings head strength and conditioning coach. “The net reduction of the spread of bacteria is our goal as we look to minimize athlete’s time lost unnecessarily to illness.”

For more information about antimicrobial copper, visit