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Gear I Use

Harbinger Women’s Pro Gloves Review

Harbinger

My hands were getting pretty torn up and calloused from the bar grips on my squat and curl bars. I invested in a pair of Harbinger lifting gloves and they make a big difference in the condition of my hands. Do they totally eliminate callouses? No. But, they guard my hands against skin tears, which can be a major pain to heal while continuing to lift.

The things I like best about these gloves is they are washer and dryer safe even though they are leather. I washed them right after purchasing and the leather was still supple and flexible after machine drying them. The mesh on the top keeps glove “stink” from sweat at bay and provides a lot of comfort with a tight fit.

The 1/4 finger slots still allow a bit of the bar rashing to come in contact with the top two sections of my fingers, but it does not seem to produce the skin tearing comparable to my bare palms. If I had to do it over again, I would probably invest in a full glove to guard my whole hand against the bar rashing. But they are very comfortable, easy to clean, and fit perfectly.

My Training Routine: Pros and Cons of Cable and Free Weights

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I typically lift every other day for 30-40 minutes. I train on a scale between 5 sets of 5 reps and 1 set of 25 reps per exercise. These sets are performed with emphasis on either slow or fast movement through the lift and varied rest times between reps. I have a max day once a week where I do as many reps as I can to failure (can’t lift anymore) to track my progress and determine whether I should increase my weights for the next week.

Cable pulleys are my go to for lat pull downs, cable rows, cable crunches and safe chest presses without a spotter. And as I progress to heavier weights, the cable system has a built in safety buffer. But, cables also limit range of motion. The weight range is also very structured as compared to free weights.

Free weights, on the other hand, offer free range of motion which is crucial in building stabilizer muscles. But, for heavier lifting, a spotter is required for safety. Customized weight loads are a big perk that I utilize for my arms, chest, back, shoulders, as well as dead lift and squats.

Both cable and free weights work really well together to build a safe and effective training regimen. The trick is using them both to your advantage.

As a side note, Power Racks can be a great substitute for spotters when using heavier free weights, but they are quite large and can be cost prohibitive.

My Top Two Tools for Weightloss Success

DSCN5225I’m sharing the two tools that helped me succeed at weight loss with you today. Using a food scale for portion control and a food tracker were the most important factors in battling my bulge. I knew from history that my portions were over sized and lead to being overweight in the first place. I started weighing my food in conjunction with food tracking around a third into my weight loss and have used these tools ever since.

Having all my calories added up in front of me really gave me a glimpse into my daily eating habits as well as just how much food I was truly taking in. The moment my food tracker added up my  calories, it was crystal clear why I was hitting a plateau: my portions were inflated and exercise was no longer able to take care of those extra calories. That’s when I knew the food scale and tracker were great investments.

Here a few reasons why this system works so well. Weighing foods by the gram is more effective than any other food portioning method I have found. There’s no room for error with weights.  Whereas portioning via volume  can vary immensely. Weighing my food and tracking them gives me an easily referenced, spot on caloric intake figure at any given moment.

With that said, I still have days where I go over my daily calorie limit. And we all have days like that. But now, I can check my food tracker for my weekly totals and find I’m typically at a calorie deficit. Which means going over on my calories one day is not going to ruin my weekly progress nor my mood.

Over a year later and my food scale and food tracker continue to help me fuel my body with appropriate portions and battle overeating. These are my weapons against obesity, overeating and have hands down been the reason I succeeded at weight loss this time around.

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