Tuesday, July 31, 2012

TK Knee Bands Review

"You're Getting Old"!  No one wants to hear this inevitable truth.  Fact is the body will begin to break down in some places faster than others.  There are some things you can do to help get you over the hump and make training bearable. Knee sleeves during lower body lifting was shown to me by my graduate assistant mentor Coach Leo Seitz.  He explained the benefits of having the knee sleeves to keep everything tight and warm though out the movements.  

As a Twenty-Something, I felt like I might as well start wrapping the barbell with a pad during squats.  But after giving it some thought, I'd like to keep my knees healthy and sleeves don't add much weight in relation to maximal weights so, so why not?  
I started with cheap knee sleeves and ended with Tommy Kono's.  These got good reviews and priced at about $50 for the pair.  The TK Bands are well made neoprene sleeves that slip over the knee.  The TK emblem should be over the knee to give you a guide as to how high they need to go.

  1. Materials-The sleeves are made with good materials but a little suspect at the seams.  My current TK's have lasted about 2 years so they are showing some wear and tear.  The inside material is excellent for keeping your knees warm and the tightness keeps everything together without impeding knee bend.
  2. Effectiveness-I purchased the knee bands to keep my knees healthy during heavy lifting and they met my expectations.  For about $50 you can step it up from some cheap things that will tear within a couple of weeks.  After heavy lifting my knees felt great and the real test was the next day.  No soreness or discomfort at all.
  3. Portability-  Before having my own garage gym I would lug all my stuff to a commercial location.  Carrying a bunch of extra equipment was a pain in the ass so most stuff never made it.  Ever try to show up with a foam roller.  I did.  The TK's can be thrown in your bag or even worn to the gym.  No excuse for not having a little extra support.  
  1. Slippage-As tight as the sleeves fit and hold with the neoprene grabbing the knee, they fall more than I like.  In my opinion adjusting them became annoying.  After every set I'd have to pull them back up.  If you ask my brother Big Lou a big thumbs down just because of them slipping and his TK's received a fatal tear from picking them up.  Maybe a different material on the inside at the top and bottom could keep them in place.  
  2. Construction-The material were well made but pulling them all fell short. The two places that went first were the back seam that runs back of the knee and the front near the knee bend.  Some extra sewing and reinforcing near these spots would help tremendously.  
  3. Putting them on-The part of the bands that helps the most also makes it pretty hard to put them on.  The inside of the sleeve grabs on the skin so just pulling them straight up is not an option.  You must fold it down in half cutting the surface area of the neoprene pull up and unfold.  I had to search around the internet on forums for some tips and this technique helped the most.  

Final Say-
I got the most out of my Kono's and would recommend them as the next step from basic sleeves. You will get your money's worth but be prepared for the inconvenience of adjusting them regularly.  Mine lasted for a long time and got the job done.  Also I think the only way to order them is online so try and get the size right the first time to save the hassle or exchanging.  I weigh about 205-210 and the mediums fit perfect.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Top 3 Ways To Cure Sore Muscles

For many, hard training has its intended benefits which include muscles size, strength, endurance. But sometimes we experience the unpleasant side effects of strains, pull, and the most common muscles soreness.  Train hard using compound movements with explosive exercises like I talk about here, then soreness is bound to happen.  After intense training a couple of days pass and you resemble the Tin Man needing some oil just to move around.  I got the hookup to help you move better in a shorter time.

1.  Foam Roll

I enjoy foam rolling.  For me and my athletes, I find there is benefit from rolling before every training sessions.  It loosens up any knots, prepares the muscles for hard training, and gets more blood flowing through out the body.  When soreness has crept in to the body a foam or PVC roller can be the best tool to decrease the amount of time you feel uncomfortable.  Go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy 3-4 inch diameter precut PVC pipe.  There is no excuse as to why you don't have one or why you shouldn't roll every day.  For us, let's put it to use because I can't think of a cheaper self-massage tool.  Focus on major body parts keep away from joins and pick and easy amount of reps or passes.  During the first couple of reps you will experience some discomfort depending on how banged up you are.  But like Kramer said, "From pain, will come pleasure."

2.  Do The Same Things That Made You Sore

I know, I know when I suggest this to people give me more sideways looks than any other recommendation.  It's OK, I get it.  In order to help relieve some of the discomfort from hard training a very light weight is an excellent option.  This will ensure that the same muscles affected from hard training will be moved in their normal capacity and blood will start flowing out of the area taking lactic acid with it.  Stay super light, nothing crazy just nice and easy.  As with all movements complete a full range of motion.  Do this between foam rolling and there is no doubt you will feel better sooner.

3.  Find Something Active to Do

This one is my favorite suggestion because it helps with your soreness but you don't realize it.  To take it a step further pick an activity that you have to use the muscles without thinking about it.  For example, after completing a brutal full body session of heavy squats and overhead presses you won't feel it until a couple of days later.  So what's a fun activity where you must use your arms and legs?  There are many but swimming is a heck of an idea.  Just think about complaining about aching muscles could result in you sinking to the bottom.  The act of swimming is also similar to completing countless reps in a weightless state which is great for the joints.  The temperature of the water can also have some therapeutic effects.  Obviously, do not try this if you can't swim or you are so deathly sore you can move at all.

What are some of your best ways to get rid of soreness?  Everyone is always looking for something new, so let me know at the NB Strength Coach Fan Page I'd love to hear some other things that work!


Monday, July 2, 2012

It's Not 1 Thing, It's Everything

Training is a combination of many factors that include exercise selection, rest, nutrition and mindset.  Knowing where your head is at is one of the most overlooked aspects related to reaching goals in the gym.

Exercise selection, rest, and nutrition information can literally be found anywhere.  Picking exercises is not as important as finding some type of program you will stick with.  I talk about that here.  Stick to the basics and be consistent.  Don't change everything as soon as you hit a bump in the road.  Gains will come.  The subject of rest is a little tougher to tackle.  With the pursuit of everyone trying to become an elite athlete, rest has gotten a raw deal.  To begin there should be a programmed Deload every 3-4 weeks depending on how many days you train.  Set a base (Week 1), increase the weight and break record (Week 2), and finally go for broke (Week 3).  The Deload is very important and a good rule of thumb is to cut working volume in half.  Rest as serious as you train and recovery shouldn't be an issue.  

Nutrition is one of the most misunderstood aspects related to physical goals.  There's low carb, low fat, Atkins, Zone, Paleo, Eat Everything In Sight no wonder everyone eats like crap.  Do research and don't always listen to the guy that got ripped from eating nothing but tuna and water.  A modified Paleo with the occasional carb or dairy is what I usually follow.  Although I have messed around with meal timing don't worry about that until you are eating consistently clean.  

The final piece to the overall approach to strength training is mindset.  I'm sorry but if you think you can just buy some guys Ebook or get a membership to some gym and everything will take car of itself you are in for some trouble.  There will be bumps in the road, setbacks, and challenges.  Making sure everything is right between your ears will help prevent frustration.  It's simple no one can make things happen for you.  Work to find that place deep inside where everything is blocked out and total focus is the only option.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...