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’.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY

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!

DON’T HIBERNATE, INCREASE STRENGTH

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.

MAINTAIN GOOD CARDIO

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.

GET A FRIEND INVOLVED WITH YOU

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.

SPACE

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.

PURPOSE

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.

COST

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

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.

AUDIENCE/End User

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 www.antimicrobialcopper.com