Barbells and Dumbbells. What to use and why.

A picture of weights
What do you prefer?

Barbells VS Dumbbells – Which One’s Better?

In the modern-day world, training your body usually happens in the gym, where you have a variety of dumbbell, barbell and machine exercises.

In the context of free weight however, there has been one question floating around – What’s better, barbells or dumbbells?

If you’ve asked yourself this, keep reading because in this article we’ll underline the differences and benefits of both barbells and dumbbells, to help you create your perfect workout plan.

The Specifics
One of the main rules of weight training is to use a variety of equipment, angles and types of grip.

The reason why this is important, is because even a slight change in the grip or angle of a given exercise, changes the specifics of that same exercise.

What this means is that a different type of equipment or a different angle/grip will shift the tension towards different muscles/zones of the worked muscle group.

For instance, the flat bench press will mainly engage your mid and lower chest, while also engaging the triceps and shoulders.

However, an incline bench press will put more tension on the upper portion of the chest, along with increased tension for the shoulders.

From this information, we can conclude that both barbells and dumbbells have their application and there really isn’t a “better” one.

The point is to use each type of equipment for its designated purposes, in accordance with what your goal is.

The Benefits Of Barbells

Barbells are without a doubt one of the most effective ways to stimulate the musculature, whether we’re talking about muscle growth or training during the fat loss phase.

Here’s why:

Barbells allow you to lift heavier weights

Because there is generally a fixed point between the working limbs, barbells allow you to lift heavier weights in general.

This is also perhaps because of the fact that barbell exercises are more stabilized by nature, thus allowing your body to activate more of your fast-twitch muscle fibers.

You can check this for yourself – If you’re barbell bench pressing 80 kg for reps, odds are that you won’t be able to dumbbell press 40 kg on each hand as easily.

Easier Realization Of Training Principles

When it comes to muscular development, there is one very important principle to consider.

That is namely progressive overload, which implies that you should, overtime, progressively increase the demand upon the musculature (i.e increasing weight, reps, sets, etc.)

Because barbells allow you to lift heavier weights with more stability, increasing your workload is an easy task with barbells, as opposed to dumbbells

Both of these benefits allow for greater working volume overall, which means that barbells are especially good during periods of gaining muscle mass.

The Benefits Of Dumbbells

Though barbells have a load of benefits when it comes to muscular development, that doesn’t mean dumbbells should be totally excluded.

Here are the main benefits of dumbbells:

Bringing up weaker muscle groups

Because dumbbells inevitably make you use each side of your body separately, they can be one of your best picks when you’re trying to bring up your weaker side.

The individual load on each side simply doesn’t allow your stronger side to overtake the movement, thus creating sufficient stimulation on the side that creates asymmetry.

Muscle Unit Activation

One of the most crucial factors when it comes to lifting heavy weights, is the muscle unit (muscle fiber) activation.

With barbells, movements are generally fixed in a shorter range of motion, while dumbbells allow for greater movement of the arms.

This therefore grants increased muscle activation, even on fundamental exercises like the bench press.

Main Points to take from this-

In the context of better overall development, there isn’t really a winner in the fight between barbells vs. dumbbells…

Both have their benefits, which is why you should rather rely on a mix of the two, in your workout regimen.

Use barbells when you want to heavily target progressive overload and lift the heaviest weight possible.

Use dumbbells when you want to bring up your weaker side and work more on joint stability, rather than maximum strength.

Tell us your favorite barbell/dumbbell exercises in the comment section below!

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Perfect warm up before Working Out.

A woman warming up

How To Warm Up Before A Workout.

Have you ever gotten deep into an intense workout, only to experience a sharp pain in a certain joint or tendon?

Well, if that sounds familiar, odds are that you have not warmed up well and have thus increased your risk of injury.

In this article, we’re going to give you insight on how to properly prime your body for a workout, in order to maximize your output and minimize the chance of injury.

What Happens When We Train?

When you are working out, what you’re doing is activating certain muscles and systems in the body that make it possible to provide energy and force for the movement/exercise you’re doing.

In the case of weight training, you’re activating your muscle fibers and your central nervous system, along with the cardiovascular system and energy pathways that grant sustained energy for muscular contraction.

From that point of view, the goals of a warm up are the following:

Activating the muscle fibers
Activating the central nervous system
Gradually increasing heart rate
Gradually increasing respiratory rate

Stretching Before A Workout.

Many people consider stretching to be one of the most important elements of your warm-up routine.

However, the truth is that stretching can actually be COUNTERPRODUCTIVE to your workout, due to the fact that it RELAXES the muscles.

That is to say that if you just stretch before a workout, you won’t really improve your strength output.

What You SHOULD Do Instead.
Now, of course, we are not telling you to ditch stretching altogether, but instead, try to also FLEX the muscles after stretching.

This is what we refer to as dynamic stretching, which involves both parts of the muscles’ range of motion – The stretch and the contraction.

The combination of these two phases, will allow you to prime the muscles for work, by activating the muscle fibers and stimulating the central nervous system.

On top of that, once you get into the exercises, you can start off with up to 3-4 warm-up sets, where you gradually increase the working weight.
Try This Warm-Up Routine

With the goals of priming your entire body for an intense workout, there are a couple of logical steps to take.

Do some cardio.

To warm up the body, get the blood flowing and increase your heart and respiratory rates, low-intensity cardio is one of your best bets before a workout.

Do up to 5-10 minutes of slow-paced cardio, such as jogging, rope jumping or cycling.

Remember though, don’t overdo cardio before a workout, because that can rob you of energy for your heavier lifts.

Do Dynamic Stretching.

As we already mentioned, dynamic stretching is one of the best practices to include in your warm-up.

Make sure to get each joint through its entire range of motion, by activating and then stretching the muscle groups attached to that joint.

For instance, if you’re training your chest, open your arms out to stretch the chest, and then push them towards the midline of the body to contract even the deepest fibers of your chest muscles.

This will grant sufficient activation for you to move into the warm-up sets of your first exercise.

Do Warm-Up Sets.
After you’re done with your general warm up that consists of cardio and dynamic stretching, it is time to get into the actual exercises.

For the first couple of sets, start off with a light weight (i.e an empty barbell) and with each set, gradually increase the weight, until you reach your working weight.

Though light, try and do those warm-up sets more explosively, as that will further activate your nervous system and muscle fibers, thus granting better output for the working sets.

For instance, if you can bench press 70 kg for 10 repetitions, do the following pyramid:

Set 1 – Empty bar, 15 reps
Set 2 – 30 kg bar, 15 reps
Set 3 – 50 kg bar, 10 reps

After the third set, you can bump the weight up and start your working sets, where the goal is to be near failure at the last repetition.


If you cold-start a car and instantly start running it into the redline, odds are that something will eventually break, faster than it would if you waited a couple of minutes for the car to warm up.

The same goes for the body – If you’re planning to go through an intense training bout, you are better off gradually priming all the systems and tissues involved in this training activity.

The best way to do so, is to create a warm-up routine that consists of cardio, along with stretching and flexing of the musculature, after which, you can gradually move into your heavier exercises.

THIS is how you prime the body for peak performance, without risking the chance of injury.

What is YOUR favorite warm-up routine? Let us know in the comments below!

Amazing Slow Pulled Pork

Pulled pork idea


Have a hectic schedule and need something healthy but quick for dinner? This could be your ideal pork recipe.

Course: Main dish
Prep Time: 0 hours 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 hours 00 minutes
Total: 10 hours 00 minutes
Servings: 8

Allergens: Low-calorie, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free
For Beginner, Intermediate, and professional cooks

4-5 lbs of trimmed pork shoulder
14 oz can of low sodium tomato sauce
¾ cup of unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup of honey or maple syrup
2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder or flakes
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 ¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp. whole wheat flour

Step 1:
Mixing ingredients
First off, take the maple syrup, tomato sauce, applesauce, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt, liquid smoke, and pepper then mix them in a big slow cooker.

Step 2:
Preparing the pork
Just at the top of the ingredients, place the pork then smear some mustrard sauce. Next, cover, before cooking for 10 hours. Ensure the heat is low.

After your timer goes off, remove the pork from the slow cooker. Place it onto a cutting board then shred it with either a fork or your hands. Rid bones and fatty tissue. Ensure you turn up the heat to High, then sparingly, add some wheat flour in the sauce as you whisk ensuring it dissolves entirely.

Let it thicken..

Estimated time: 20 minutes after adding the flour.

Step 3:
The sauce
Last step is easy. Into your thick sauce, add the shredded meat then stir.

Step 4:
With some healthy coleslaw, serve on a whole grain bun topped..

NB: For storage, you can put in a refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Alternatively, freeze for up to 3 months

Accompany with:
Best with sandwiches. You can also serve other dishes such as rice.

Suited For:
A regular daily routine, and works well with light to regular workouts.

Nutritional Information





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Where does lost fat go when we lose weight?

Lost fat must go somewhere...
Feel the burn…but is it fat??

Where Does Lost Fat Go?

If you’ve been working on improving your activity and nutrition with the goal of losing weight, you’ve probably asked yourself this question at least once.

As you probably know, energy (in this case, fat) cannot be created, nor destroyed.

So the question here is – How do your fat deposits transform when you are on a weight-loss diet?

In this article, you’re going to learn more about fat loss and what happens to the weight that disappears from the scale during a successful diet.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

How Do You Lose Weight, Even?

Though many fad diets have taken priority spots in people’s lives, fat loss is mainly about one specific principle, called “Eating in a caloric deficit”.

Your body requires a certain amount of energy to maintain its physiological processes and mass in space.

That amount of energy depends on the following factors:

Non-training activity
Training activity
Food intake

If you consume more energy from food than your body needs to maintain its weight, you will progressively gain weight.

On the other hand, if you consume LESS energy from food than your body needs to maintain its weight, you will LOSE fat.

It’s quite simple and there is no way around it! Every fad diet that makes you lose weight, does so not because of the diet itself, but because of the caloric deficit that it helps you establish.

But Where Does Lost Fat Go?

When you’re in a deficit of energy, your body uses its energy deposits (fat) to compensate for that deficit.

That is to say that during fat loss, your body actually burns off the fat in order to use it for a variety of functions.

When oxidized (burned with the help of oxygen), fat leaves the body in the form of carbon dioxide and water!

That is to say that the two main “exhausts” for lost fat, are:

The lungs
The urinary system

In other words, when you lose fat, you exhale the carbon dioxide and then the water gets into your circulation, until it leaves the body as sweat and urine.

How Much Of The Fat Is Water?

Interestingly enough, when you lose fat, most of it comes out as carbon dioxide, through your lungs.

To be precise, about 80-85% of lost fat turns into carbon dioxide, while the other 15-20% turn to water.

For instance, if you lose 10 kg of fat, roughly 8 kg of it comes out through your lungs and the remaining weight is excreted in the form of urine/sweat.

Fun Fact

As a matter of fact, basically everything you consume comes out as carbon dioxide!

Nearly every gram of carbohydrate, protein, fat, and even alcohol, get converted to carbon dioxide and water, while the byproducts of the food leave the body as excrements.

The only exception for a nutrient that reaches your colon intact, is dietary fiber, which cannot be absorbed or digested but may help the digestive processes.

Everything else besides fiber is absorbed and then takes exit via the lungs!


Fat loss is simple, yet interesting – It only requires a caloric deficit, but can make your body undergo drastic visual changes over a short period of time.

The process becomes even more interesting when you think about the fact that 85% of the weight that disappears from the scale, takes its exit through your lungs!

If you have any other interesting questions, let us know in the comments below!

Should you, or do you use Pre-workout supplements?

This is a mock up of a pre workout supplement

Are Pre-Workout Supplements Good For You?

In the past decade, pre-workout booster supplements have gained more and more traction in the fitness world, becoming one of the most potent pump products.

Though some pre-workout formulations help you recover in-between sets and after a workout, the most potent and sought-after effect of those products is the increased strength, pump, endurance and focus.

In this article, we’re going to give you our take on pre-workout supplements and whether or not they are worth using.

What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?

Pre-workout supplements, also known as “nitric oxide boosters” are products, formulated for the specific purpose of increasing nitric oxide production.

Nitric oxide is essentially a naturally produced compound in the body that serves a variety of functions, such as regulating blood pressure and relaxing smooth muscle tissues.

Generally, most pre-workout formulations contain a flurry of potent stimulants that increase pump, focus, strength and endurance.

What Do Pre-Workouts Contain?

For the most part, many of the famous pre-workout boosters have a similar ingredient content so let’s have a look at the most common contents of a nitric oxide booster and what they provide.

#1 Caffeine

Because caffeine is the single most potent, proven to work as an energy booster, it is used in the formulation of all stimulant-based pre-workout supplements.

A stimulant-based product without caffeine is kind of like a salad without, well, the salad.

Caffeine is proven to improve energy levels, exercise performance, mental alertness, memory and focus.

For this reason, most pre-workout formulas contain anywhere from 150 to 350 mg of caffeine in each dose.

Without a doubt, this is one of the ingredients that provide the bigger portion of the boost you feel from a pre-workout supplement.

#2 Creatine

If you know a thing or two about the body, you probably know that creatine isn’t just a supplement.

As a matter of fact, creatine is the body’s secondary energy resource, used during high-intensity training, such as resistance training.

As a compound, creatine is stored in skeletal muscle and plays a big role in your performance.

For this reason, besides being offered as a standalone product, it is included in many pre-workout formulations.

Though creatine is not a stimulant, it is a viable part of any pre-workout formulation, due to its proven benefits for intense performance.

#3 Nitric Oxide Boosters

As we mentioned, nitric oxide is a naturally-produced compound in the body that has a variety of functions, one of which is the improvement of the blood flow.

Some of the compounds that the body uses to make nitric oxide are the following:

L-Citrulline Malate

Because these two compounds have main roles in the production of nitric oxide, you will more than likely see them in most pre-workout formulations.

Do Boosters Have Side Effects, Though?

Though it seems like pre-workout supplements can only take your performance to the moon, there are a couple of possible side effects, which you should consider before buying a product.

#1 Energy Crash

Some of the most famous pre-workout boosters can easily lead to an energy crash, following the energy spike during the workout.

This is mainly induced because of the sudden energy spike you get from all the stimulants.

For this reason, it is possible that you will experience a significant decrease in physical and mental energy after the workout.

#2 Too Much Caffeine

As we mentioned, one of the core ingredients of all stimulant-based products is caffeine.

Because pre-workout supplements contain 3-4 cups of coffee worth of caffeine, this can easily lead to unwanted side effects, such as:

Increased blood pressure
Disrupted sleep patterns

The important considerations here, are to determine your caffeine tolerance and take into account any other caffeinated drinks that you’re having throughout the day.

#3 Supplement Origin

Because most supplements are not tightly regulated, you may stumble upon a product that has banned, strong substances that may be dangerous for you in the long run.

For this reason, your best bet is to rely on already well-established supplement brands, that offer supplements approved by a third party.

Always research your pre-workouts (and your own stimulant tolerance) before starting to use them!


Stim-based pre-workout supplements can do wonders when it comes to optimizing performance.

Nevertheless, to avoid any side effects, you have to make sure that you do the following:

Do your research, purchase a legit, approved product
Test your tolerance – How much caffeine can you intake without getting jittery?
Take your pre-workout 30 minutes before a workout in order for it to kick in on time
Avoid taking your pre-workout less than 6 hours before sleep (caffeine stays in your blood for quite some time)
Avoid supplementing with this DAILY – Use it only on your toughest workouts or days when you don’t have much energy and need a boost.
If you can’t handle stimulants, shoot for a stim-free pre-workout
ONLY take stim-based pre-workouts if you don’t have past/present cardiovascular issues

Ultimately, if you follow these guidelines, you will be able to find a good product that will increase your output, without putting you at risk of any possible side effects.

Do YOU have a favorite pre-workout supplement? Tell us which one it is in the comments below!

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