RSS

Search results for ‘dumbbell’

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

I am a cyclist, not a bodybuilder. I lift weights to develop core strength, not because I enjoy it. I have no delusions about appearing on the cover of Men’s Health Magazine (though I am still holding out for Archaeology Today). Exercising outside in the snow and ice beats an indoor workout any day of the week. That being said, one of the best investments I’ve ever made in my health was the purchase of a pair of Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Each Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds (in 2.5-pound increments up to the first 25 pounds). Because of the beautifully designed dial system you can change the weight of a dumbbell in a matter of seconds. Each dumbbell has fifteen different weight settings available (5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 52.5 pounds).

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Just dial in the weight you want and lift!

To select the desired weight for a dumbbell all you have to do is turn two dials—one at each end of the dumbbell. As you pull up on the handle the unneeded weights stay in the storage tray. In several months of use this product has functioned perfectly. You can switch weights on these dumbbells faster than you can on a resistance machine or when using resistance bands.

A little over ten years ago, when I decided to regain control of my health, I took up cycling and bought a rather large home gym that took up a lot of space in my family room. I got rid of that machine two years ago mainly because of the time we lost power during a blizzard and couldn’t use the fireplace to heat the house because the home gym was in the way (it was a big machine). After getting rid of the monster machine I started using resistance bands for strength training—they do a decent job of maintaining muscle tone, but I never showed any real progress while using them. The Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells work far better than I expected and I would highly recommend them to anyone. They take up very little room and are a pleasure to work with. This product also comes with a DVD that shows how to correctly perform over 30 exercises.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex Dumbells are really easy to use

I purchased my Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells at a brick-and-mortar Dick’s Sporting Goods store. I went into the store with the intention of buying the PowerBlock Classic Adjustable Dumbbell Set, but didn’t like the way they felt in my hands. The Bowflex set has a very comfortable grip and after trying out both sets there was no question that I wanted the Bowflex. The suggested retail price of these weights is $450, but Dick’s Sporting Goods sells them for $400. However, I wish I would have checked Amazon.com first—they sell the set for $300 and offer free shipping!

Bowflex SelectTech 2-in-1 Stand

Bowflex SelectTech 2-in-1 Stand

If you decide to purchase the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells I would highly recommend that you also buy the Bowflex SelectTech 2-in-1 Stand. This stand holds your dumbbells at a comfortable height and makes using the weights a lot easier than if you keep them on the floor. This stand retails for $170, but I bought mine from Amazon.com for only $135 (including free shipping). This stand comes unassembled, but it took less than 30 minutes to put together. It also has a small towel rack to keep you from throwing a wet towel on the floor.

 
41 Comments

Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Product Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The New Rules Of Lifting: Six Basic Moves For Maximum Muscle

The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle

The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am a cyclist, not a bodybuilder—I lift weights because I have to, not because I want to. This past Saturday the temperature outside was in the low 40’s (5 Celsius), the wind was gusting at 30 MPH and it was pouring down rain—and I decided that a few hours outside on the bike sounded a lot more appealing than lifting weights inside. However, I do recognize that weight lifting is an important part of overall fitness. If you not a weightlifter but would like a great book to help you develop a weightlifting routine I would strongly suggest that you pick up a copy of The New Rules Of Lifting: Six Basic Moves For Maximum Muscle by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove.

The problem most cyclists have with weightlifting is simply time—they think that time on the bike is more beneficial than time spent in a weight room. However, while cycling will improve your aerobic fitness and endurance it will very do little for upper body fitness. Even if you have no intention of ever participating in a race you still need to engage in some sort of resistance training to improve your sprinting and climbing, as well as increasing your bone density (cyclists have a tendency to develop low bone density). Strong lower back and abdominal muscles are crucial if you want to ride very long in the drops. Without a strong core you are going to have trouble every time you ride!

Schuler and Cosgrove have been able to create a great workout plan that will stress all the body’s major muscle groups—and they have condensed it down into just six basic movements (the squat, deadlift, lunge, push, pull, and twist). For each of these movements they offer numerous variations to achieve the goal. For example, with the traditional squat they offer variations such as the heels-raised back squat, one-and-a-quarter squat, front squat, and quarter squat.

The basic premise of the book is that by doing these six basic movements you will work all of your major muscle groups. While this approach will not satisfy professional body builders, it will do wonders for the rest of us! Let’s face it, do you really need a special exercise to improve the abductor pollicis brevis muscle? (In case you are wondering, it is the muscle that runs from your thumb to the center of your wrist).

The authors show how to perform these exercises is several ways—with barbells, dumbbells, weight stations, etc. Until two of my sons move out of our house I am not going to be able to have an entire room set aside for weight lifting, so I do my weight training with a set of Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells. Each Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds (in 2.5-pound increments up to the first 25 pounds). Because of the beautifully designed dial system you can change the weight of a dumbbell in a matter of seconds. Each dumbbell has fifteen different weight settings available (5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 52.5 pounds).

The New Rules Of Lifting: Six Basic Moves For Maximum Muscle is a paperback book (7.5×9″ with more than one hundred photographs) and has 301 pages. This book retails for $18, but is available on Amazon.com for $14. The Kindle edition sells for $12. This book is published by Avery (a member of the Penguin Group).

 
22 Comments

Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Book Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

6,444 Miles Of Cycling In 2012

In 2011 my goal was to cycle 5,000 miles during the year, but I ended up with 6,836 miles. Twelve months ago I decided my cycling goal for 2012 was “to have fun” and ended up riding 6,444 miles. Back in 2011 I was trying to rack up as many miles as possible and that meant I got most of my miles while cycling on the road. This past year I spent more time on off-road trails and, thanks to the 4″ wide tires of my Surly Necromancer, I also spent a lot of time riding in snow, mud and on the sandy beaches around Lake Michigan (OK, sometimes I was actually riding in Lake Michigan).

Surly Necromancer Pugsley in the snow

Fun In The Snow With My Surly Necromancer Pugsley

On September 7 of this year I hit the 5,000 mark and thought I would probably pass 7,000 miles before the end of the year. However, that evening I came down with a virus that knocked me off my feet for twelve days! On the thirteenth day I still had a fever, but my legs were hurting so bad I just had to get back on the bike—so I rode 72 miles. While it felt good to get back on the bike, my average speed dropped by over 15% (it might have been because I still had a mild fever). It took me another two weeks to fully recover.

Once I knew I wasn’t going to set a new record I decided to spend more time weightlifting. Though I’ve used resistance training in one form or another for ten years, I’ve never taken it as seriously as I should have—I lift weights to develop core strength, not because I enjoy it. However, a few months ago I bought a set of Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells and they work far better than I expected and I would highly recommend them to anyone.

I am 53 years old and work full-time. However, I have somewhat flexible hours so if I ride 50 or 60 miles in the morning it means I will be at the office rather late that night. All three of our sons are grown, so Cub Scout meetings and high school football games do not interfere with my cycling—and my wife is a very patient woman.

I often think about some of my friends who are in their 40′s but already taking medication for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. All I can say is, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” All of those diseases could either be cured or minimized by spending a few hours a week on a bike. How many chronic health problems in America could be cured by just diet and exercise? I’ve had friends die in their 50′s and I know the death certificate listed their cause of death as heart disease, but I have to wonder if it shouldn’t have read “suicide by inactivity.”

We all cycle for different reasons. Some ride for their physical health, others for mental health. Some people ride because they enjoy group rides, while others enjoy a quiet ride on the back-roads so they can work out their problems in solitude. Whatever your motivation for cycling is, I hope you can enjoy this new year on a good bike.

As the new year begins I want to thank God for my good health, Trek for making awesome bikes, and my wife for not looking at the American Express statements. On a related note, I have promised the love of my life that the next time my cycling results in me entering an ambulance I will tell her the same day instead of waiting a week (apparently wives like to know about stuff like that).

 
78 Comments

Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Life On Two Wheels

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Christmas Gift Ideas For Cyclists (2012)

I write about 150 product reviews a year for the benefit of my fellow cyclists. However, this article is for the benefit of those folks who are lucky enough to have a cyclist as their spouse or significant other. If you are trying to find a great Christmas present for a cyclist I would like to make a few suggestions.

Sip, Clip and Go Coffee For Cyclists

Sip, Clip and Go Coffee For Cyclists

Sip, Clip and Go! Coffee is distinctly geared toward cyclists and I think it would make a great gift for any cyclist, or something they can have at work or at home that reinforces a biker’s message of “I Like My Bike!” Sip, Clip and Go! Coffee retails for $12.99 for a 12-ounce bag and is available in either Whole Bean or Ground. A three pack that has one bag of each flavor is only $35.99. You can order these products online from the Sip, Clip and Go! Coffee Website. This coffee is 100% Organic and Fair Trade.

Road Holland Hilversum Cycling Jersey

Road Holland Hilversum Cycling Jersey

I own dozens of cycling jerseys, but the highest quality jersey I’ve ever bought is from a small company called Road Holland (based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida). I wrote a lengthy product for the Road Holland Hilversum Jersey several months ago, but if you are not a cyclist it probably won’t mean much to you. These are not the cheapest jerseys on the market, but they are my favorite. The great news is that everything in their online store is 20% off when you use coupon code “ORANGE” at checkout (sale runs through January 6, 2013).

Nashbar Deluxe Tool Kit for avid cyclists

Nashbar Deluxe Tool Kit

If your favorite cyclist wants to work on their own bike, but they don’t have the right tools yet, I would suggest you buy the Nashbar Deluxe Tool Kit. This tool kit retails for $260, but at the moment it is on sale for $150 from the Bike Nashbar Website. The Nashbar Deluxe Tool Kit is a nice collection of bike tools and they easily fit in the included tool box. The collection includes the following tools: Cassette lockring remover, Cartridge Bottom Bracket tool, Chain rivet extractor for UG/HG/IG, Cable cutter, Three spoke wrenches, Two sturdy tire levers, Crank remover, Chainring nut wrench, T-handle Hex set (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10mm), Torx 25 wrench, one Phillips and one slotted screwdriver, 15mm pedal wrench, Cone wrench set (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19mm), Hollowtech 2 Bottom Bracket wrench, and a measuring tape. To help you keep your bike clean this set also includes a very good chain cleaner, along with a cog brush and larger cleaning brush.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

If your significant other likes to work out with weights (in addition to their cycling) then one of the best investments you will ever make in their health is a pair of Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells. Each Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds (in 2.5-pound increments up to the first 25 pounds). Because of the beautifully designed dial system you can change the weight of a dumbbell in a matter of seconds. The Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells work far better than I expected and I would highly recommend them to anyone. They take up very little room and are a pleasure to work with. This product also comes with a DVD that shows how to correctly perform over 30 exercises. I bought my Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells at a brick-and-mortar Dick’s Sporting Goods store for $400. However, I wish I would have checked Amazon.com first—they sell the set for $300 and offer free shipping!

Gift Certificate

Buy A Gift Certificate For Your Favorite Cyclist

If you still can’t figure out what the love of your life would like you can never go wrong with a gift certificate! If your favorite cyclist speaks with glowing terms about their local bike shop, then that is where you should go first. Most bike shops will either have an actual gift certificate available or give you a receipt showing how much “in store credit” you purchased. However, if your beloved tends to buy most of their cycling clothing online, I’d get them a gift certificate from eCyclingstore.com. This company offers decent quality merchandise and their prices are hard to beat.

 
28 Comments

Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Product Reviews

 

Tags: , , , ,

Universal Five-Position Weight Bench (UB300)

Even the most dedicated cyclist will normally cut back on their mileage during the winter. Most of us use our extra “free time” engaging in some other athletic endeavor—usually we turn to weight lifting to help develop core strength. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I used to workout on weight machines, then turned to resistance bands before finally settling on free weights. If your workout centers around the use of dumbbells then you need a good weight bench. A few weeks ago I switched from an old flat bench to the Universal Five-Position Weight Bench.

Universal Five-Position Weight Bench (UB300)

Universal Five-Position Weight Bench

The Universal Five-Position Weight Bench can be adjusted for use as a flat bench, incline bench or decline bench and has five bench-back settings (-10°, 0°, 15°, 30°, and 45°). Unfortunately, this bench does not offer a 90° angle (I would like it for the seated dumbbell shoulder press). This bench has two 8″ foam rollers to hold your feet in place when needed. The padding on the bench is adequate for the job—it is thick enough to prevent pain, but thin enough to not get in the way.

Five Bench Settings (-10°, 0°, 15°, 30°, and 45°)

Five Bench Settings (-10°, 0°, 15°, 30°, and 45°)

This bench comes unassembled, but it only took about 30 minutes to put together. If comes with a pair of really cheap, disposable wrenches that you can use when you put the bench together. However, you will save yourself a lot of aggravation if you just grab two adjustable wrenches from your garage and use them instead.

Weight Limit on the Universal Five-Position Weight Bench

This Bench Has A 430 Pound Weight Limit

The Universal Five-Position Weight Bench is fairly compact (51″ L x 17.5″ W x 25″ H) and doesn’t take up much room—when not in use I stand my bench up in a corner of the family room. This bench has a maximum user weight of 250 pounds. A sticker on the bottom of the bench warns that the combined weight of user and equipment should not exceed 430 pounds.

The only complaint I have with this bench is that it is going to be too small for some people. I am 5’10” and this bench barely fits me—I think anyone over 6′ tall should look for another bench. Though not a deal breaker, the gap between the seat and the adjustable back piece is larger than it needs to be.

The Universal Five-Position Weight Bench has a retail price of $170. I bought mine from Amazon.com for $99 and got free shipping (it arrived just three days after I ordered it). Walmart.com sells this product for $99 as well, and you can have it sent to your local Walmart for in-store pickup. If you enjoy burning money you can also buy it from Sears.com for $214 (shipping starts at only $55). By the way, Universal is a brand owned by Nautilus, Inc. (they also own the Bowflex, CoreBody Reformer, Schwinn Fitness, and Peak Fit System brand names).

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Product Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Weight Training For Cyclists: A Total Body Program For Power And Endurance

Weight Training For Cyclists

Weight Training For Cyclists

The majority of cyclists I meet took up the sport to improve their health. There is no question that cycling will improve your aerobic fitness and endurance, but it will very little for upper body fitness. Even if you have no intention of ever participating in a race you still need to engage in some sort of resistance training to improve your sprinting and climbing, as well as increasing your bone density (cyclists have a tendency to develop low bone density). While there are many good books available on developing a weight training program, there are very few that focus on the special needs of cyclists. The best book I’ve read on this topic is Weight Training For Cyclists: A Total Body Program For Power & Endurance, by Ken Doyle and Eric Schmitz.

Some people mistakenly believe that cycling and weight training do not make good partners—they think that building bulk is counterproductive to the goal most cyclists have of being as light as possible. However, without a strong core you are going to have trouble every time you ride! Strong lower back and abdominal muscles are crucial if you want to ride very long in the drops.

Weight Training For Cyclists starts by explaining the pros and cons of the different types of resistance exercise equipment that are available (free weights, resistance machines, and resistance bands). There are also sections on nutrition, safety, efficiency and how to develop a program based on the type of cycling you engage in. As the book observes, most cyclists are their own trainers and set their own training program.

If one paragraph from the book could summarize the premise of the book it would be this: “The main focus of a weight training program should be the lower-body muscle groups that create the force applied to the pedals. This area of the body, often labeled the ‘power zone,’ consists of the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, lower-back muscles, and abdominals and is the fundamental source of strength and power in cycling.”

There are more than 60 exercises described and illustrated in this book. My only criticism of the book is that it focuses too much on pieces of equipment that most cyclists are not going to have at home (back extension bench, high pulley machine, cable row machine, multihip machine, etc.). However, you can still get a great workout with a weight bench, a pair of dumbbells and a few resistance bands.

Weight Training For Cyclists is a 212 page paperback book and retails for $19. It is available on Amazon.com for $12 (and remember you can get free shipping on orders over $25). This book is published by Velo Press.

 
23 Comments

Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
TDuncan

My view, my style

Israel's Good Name

Voyages and Experiences in Israel

The Seeds 4 Life

Seeds of Inspiration, Wisdom, and Positivity

The Shameful Sheep

shit storms, shame, and stories that make you cringe

Grow With Me, Child.

My Journey of Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom

Les Posen's Presentation Magic

It's time for a paradigm shift in how presentations are performed. One presenter's blog on how to present as if all your audience members had a brain.

Mommyfriend

...finding perfection in imperfection daily.

road|THEORY

Just ride...

Bike Like Crazy

whatever the weather

Ferrell's Travel Blog

Commenting on biblical studies, archaeology, travel and photography

ἐκλεκτικός

Steve Wolfgang's view of the world from suburban Chicago -- or wherever he may be on any given day

It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

And a 10K and a 200 Mile Bike Ride and an Obstacle Race and Anything Else We Find!

SmirkPretty

Eyes ten degrees above the horizon

BikeHikeSafari

Bicycle Touring around the world and thru hiking the worlds best hiking trail

the drunken cyclist

I have three passions: wine, cycling, travel, family, and math.

Cyclerist

Cycling and weightlifting, mostly

Long Distance Cycling Cleveland

We host a series of long distance preparation rides each weekend from January - June in the Cleveland, Ohio area

Jasmine's Vision

Expanding Consciousness Through Travel, Meditation and Sacred Sex

Kerrie Is Running*

*trying to run

Intentional Twenties

Fitness. Food. Finance.

foodbod

healthy tasty food that I love to make and eat and share

grayfeathersblog

Diabetes, Cancer Survivor, Cycling, Photographer, Exercise, College Parent, Twins, Boy Scout Leader, Life

Travel Tales of Life

Travelers. Adventurers. Storytellers.

Kite*Surf*Bike*Rambling

KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Fatbike Brigade

Exploring the world on fatbikes

A Sierra Fatty

A Dyslexic Journalism journal about downhill, fatbike, cyclocross, dual slalom, snowbike, adventure, bikepacking, xc, dh, enduro, ridebikeswithfriends, paddleboard, snowboard, ski, cross-country ski

PaleoHikerMD

REAL FOOD, REAL HEALTH, REAL ADVENTURE, REAL FAMILY

The HSD

What happens when a medical doctor becomes a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom

The Jordan Project

Teach. Cook. Explore.

FueledByLOLZ

Running and Laughing through the Garden State

tinkerbelladventures.wordpress.com/

Inspiring Your Outdoor Adventures

Worship, Workouts & Wandering

Putting The Hero Back In Action

Fat Girl to Ironman

My five year journey to awesomeness...

MPLS MAMA BEAR

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Christov_Tenn

Always Thinking, Reading About, and Up To Something

30,000 Miles of Experiences, Adventures and Thoughts

Thoughts, views and opinions of a northwest cyclist and adventurer

Midlife Moments

Leaning in to a Magical, Mystical and Miraculous Time

Sports Bras And Sippy Cups

This Mama Lifts More Than Just Babies!

A Promise to Dad

"You don't have anything if you don't have your health"

Triathlon Obsession

Triathlon, Sport and Healthy Living

XPLORE

Out and About

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

The Chatter Blog

Living: All Day Every Day: Then Chattering About It

chasingmailboxes.wordpress.com/

ride your heart out. washington d.c.

Fit Recovery

Stay Clean Get Fit

Chatter Gets Fit

From Couch Potato to Triathlete to Ultrarunner... My Journey

%d bloggers like this: