The Ultimate Steel Mace Workout

The Ultimate Steel Mace WorkoutThe problem with owning exercise equipment like a steel mace ¬†or a steel club is that workouts are a little hard to come by. You can’t exactly stream this stuff over Netflix, so you’re left with ordering obscure DVDs over the internet that may or may not be what you’re looking for. Because these DVDs don’t sell high volumes, the cost of them is often higher than you’d pay for something like The Avengers on Blu-Ray. Of course there’s always home-made YouTube clips of guys swinging around steel clubs, but the production leaves a lot to be desired.

What Onnit has done is taken the next logical step in its fitness empire. The company is not only bringing steel maces and steel clubs to the masses, its now also providing the workout routines so you can make the most of this equipment. A smart move, I thought, but what I like even more is the delivery method. Gone are the days of physical media, either in the form of a video tape or disc. No longer will you have to wait days or weeks for your video to arrive in the mail. Onnit is now offering digital downloads, the first of which is The Ultimate Steel Mace Workout.

The advantages to a digital download are plentiful. Pay for it, download it, and begin your workout within a few minutes. No waiting by the mailbox for your video to be delivered. Going on the road? Copy the video file to your laptop, tablet, or even your smart phone to take it on the road with you. Back it up to a USB stick and ensure you never accidentally delete or lose it. The workout can be with you wherever you go–indoors or out–and you won’t have to be tied to your television.

But enough about the format, let’s talk about The Ultimate Steel Mace Workout itself, which is hosted by Mr. Onnit, Aubrey Marcus. Aubrey has designed a workout that’s suitable for any skill level. Obviously, newbies will want to start with the lowest weight possible, and savages can go for the heaviest if they can handle it. Aubrey then puts you through an intense full body workout that pushes your cardio and strength to its limits, and then brings you back down with a yoga cooldown.

The video also features “extras” or bonus features in the form of videos that outline the history of the mace and techniques you’ll use in the video to ensure proper form. Priced at only $5, it’s cheap enough to take a gamble on if you own and use steel clubs. Don’t have steel clubs? Onnit is selling them right now at a 10% discount.

I haven’t yet purchased The Ultimate Steel Mace workout, but I’m definitely intrigued, and with Onnit’s track record, I’m sure it’s a quality product.

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Think “Instead” of Rather Than “No” When it Comes to Food

Think "Instead" of Rather Than "No" When it Comes to FoodThe brain is quite powerful. The placebo effect can trick us into thinking something is having an effect when it’s not, and we can even use it to help us lose weight, too. One way to do this is by thinking of “instead” rather than “no” when it comes to food, specifically your snacking habits. This can be better than telling yourself that you can’t have something.

A blogger at Lifehacker wrote an interesting post about thinking of “instead” rather than “no” when dieting, which is based off something written in an office management book by author¬†Heidi Grant Halvorson. Heidi said that the key to passing on snacks at the workplace–though this can work at home as well–is to think of what you will do when temptation strikes in advance. Her example is to tell yourself that you can have a cookie, but if you want a second, drink a glass of water instead. By using the water as a replacement instead of telling yourself no, you can more easily move past the urge to have that second cookie.

On a related note, researchers at Utrecht University found that the more you think about NOT doing something, the more likely you are to do it. Sitting around telling yourself that you won’t have that second cookie and that you’ll drink that glass of water instead might actually make you eat the cookie. Tell yourself ahead of time that you’ll have the water, but don’t sit around thinking about not eating the cookie. Focus your mind on other things instead of the delicious cookies.

I know, I know. You’re probably thinking that drinking a glass of water won’t take the place of eating a cookie (or pizza, or chips, or candy, or…) but I can guarantee that after you eat that second cookie, you’ll regret it and wish you had that glass of water instead. At the very least, this method is worth a try. Your brain might surprise you and this little mind hack could prove to be a useful tool when it comes to choosing the healthier option.

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The Howler Primal Bell from Onnit Now Available!

The Howler Primal Bell from Onnit Now Available!I know everyone is all excited about the new Onnit Zombie Bells, and I am too. I say “bells” plural because there is more than one. Aubrey Marcus said on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast that there will actually be four Zombie Bells kettlebells in various sizes. So, it looks like this will be an ongoing thing for Onnit: kettlebells in four different varieties each with a different look. (Update 10/28/13: Zombie Bells now available!)

The first of these stylized kettlebells was of course the series of Primal Bells. Three were first released; the chimp, the ape, and then the orangutan, and yesterday the fourth in the series was released. This one is called The Howler!

The Howler is the smallest of the Primal Bells, weighing just a half pood, or 18 lbs. in terms we can all understand. This one looks like a screaming chimp with his fangs exposed. While it’s the smallest of the Primal Bells, it’s definitely the most menacing looking!

Like all the Primal Bells, The Howler is crafted from chip-resistant iron that will stand up to regular wear and tear and rusting as well. You can use this like a savage and keep it on display in the meantime. It’s a work of art that’s perfectly balanced, meaning you can use it like a traditional kettlebell and it won’t feel any different. It just looks infinitely more badass than a cannonball with a handle attached to it.

Check out the whole line of Primal Bells at Onnit, and if you haven’t bought any yet, you can buy all four in a bundle at a significant savings. You can save 15% total when you purchase all at once! But make sure you save up a bit of money for the Zombie Bells which are now available, just in time for Halloween!.

Check out this 360 degree view of the new Howler:

Onnit The Howler Primal Bell Kettlebell 360 Degree View

Save Up to 25% Off Onnit Fitness Gear

Save Up to 25% Off Onnit Fitness GearAnyone who follows this blog knows that I’m a fan of Onnit as a company and of its products. I often talk about new products when they drop, review them whenever I can, and let you guys know when an Onnit sale is going on. Typically the sales are on the Onnit supplements and food products. Rarely do any of the Onnit coupon codes or discounts apply to the wide range of Onnit fitness gear.

That’s why I was surprised when I got an email from Onnit saying that it was slashing the prices of all its fitness gear by up to 25 percent. You’ll have to visit the Onnit Fitness page to view all the details, but you could save as much as 25 percent off any of the gear and exercise equipment that Onnit carries.

For the unfamiliar, Onnit has available traditional cannonball-style kettlebells, along with its line of Primal Bells, steel clubs, steel maces, clubbells, battle ropes, jump ropes, medicine balls, and more. It’s too much stuff to list right here, but there’s stuff if you want to build muscle or stuff if you want a more cardio-oriented workout as well.

This Onnit fitness equipment sale runs for less than a week and ends on October 9, 2013 at 11:59 CST, which is 12:59AM EST or 9:59PM PST. If you’ve been curious about any of the fitness gear that Onnit carries, now’s the time to place an order. I doubt this stuff will be on sale again before the end of the year.

How to Do Shrimp Squats

How to Do Shrimp SquatsContinuing with yesterday’s theme of exercises you can do anywhere without any equipment, I bring to you the shrimp squat. I wrote before about body weight or hindu squats, and this is in the same vein. However, many people feel that this is one of the most difficult body weight exercises you can do, and I wouldn’t disagree with those folks.

To perform the easiest version of the shrimp squat, you start by getting in the kneeling position with one leg up and one leg behind you with your knee and foot on the ground. The best way to describe this without showing you is to imagine what Tim Tebow does when he gets on the ground and prays. The difference being that you keep your arms out straight in front of you, and then raise yourself up off the ground with your one leg, not letting your other foot touch the ground. It takes great balance and is very difficult, even from this beginner position.

The intermediate variation on the shrimp squat starts out in a similar fashion, but you only let your knee touch the ground when you begin and go back down. The shin and foot do not touch the ground. For the most difficult version of the shrimp squat, you start much like the intermediate version, but you grab a hold of your rear foot and pull it in towards your body as if you’re stretching it. You then raise your body up to a standing position and go back down. Repeat for as long as you can alternating legs.

Shrimp squats are a great exercise for working out your legs and to help improve your balance as well. These are very demanding on the body and it will take time before you’ll be able to work up towards tackling the advanced version of shrimp squats. If you’re looking for a new exercise to challenge you physically, give them a try!

Check out a video demonstrating the beginner and intermediate version of shrimp squats after the jump.

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How to Do the Mountain Climber Exercise

How to Do the Mountain Climber ExerciseI’m a big fan of exercises that you can do wherever you are without the use of any exercise equipment. I’ve written before about this topic, including how to do pull-ups on a door and how to do hindu or body weight squats. Another exercise in the same vein is the mountain climber exercise.

Mountain climbers are a great cardiovascular workout and you only need about as much room as it would take to do a push-up. So really, you don’t need much room at all. You could do mountain climbers in your living room during commercial breaks while watching TV or even in your hotel room when you’re on vacation.

To perform a mountain climber, you start on the ground in the push-up position. You then bring your left knee up towards your chest, almost as if you’re running or climbing a tree or mountain, hence the name. You then bring the left leg back to its original position, and repeat with the right leg. Continue this running motion for as long as you can. For me, it’s no longer than a minute before I’m crumpled on the ground gasping for breath.

The mountain climber exercise targets the abdominal muscles and leg muscles as well. It also exercises your arm muscles as well since you’re supporting your body weight during the entire exercise. It’s not easy, but no exercise that truly works out your body and provides results will be.

Check out a YouTube video of someone performing the mountain climber exercise after the break.

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CSTGX DVD Review

CSTGX DVD ReviewIf it wasn’t for Joe Rogan, I don’t think I’d have ever heard of or started using kettlebells. Now Onnit is continuing my education by introducing me to wide range of exercise equipment that I never knew existed. The only problem with using relatively obscure or specialized exercise equipment is learning how to use it. YouTube videos are helpful, but DVDs are better.

RMAX International, the company behind Clubbells has a two-disc DVD set that does exactly this. CTSGX (Circular Strength Training Group eXercise) is the name of the double DVD, hosted by Scott Sonnen who is a martial arts master, fitness expert, and motivational speaker. He doesn’t host the DVD the way some others would, acting more excited than they should be while cracking lame jokes. Scott is calm, cool, and takes everything very seriously.

The first of the two DVDs is the perfect place to start whether you’re a beginner or already familiar with steel clubs and Clubbells. This will introduce you to the combination of modern sports science and Russian, Persian, and Indian disciplines of joint mobility. These strength training patterns and yoga flexibility sequences will help prepare you for the more complex second DVD which will really put your muscle endurance to the test.

The CTSGX DVD also features warm ups and cool down exercises to ensure that you gain the benefits of using steel clubs and Clubbells while remaining injury-free. And that’s what I feel is the most important reason to buy a DVD when using a new piece of exercise equipment. You learn proper technique from a qualified teacher to ensure you don’t get hurt. An investment of a few dollars for the CSTGX two DVD set (which is also available in bundles with Onnit Steel Clubs) is worth it if it keeps you out of the hospital.