Latest Blog Posts – BoomerMuscle

Born Tough Workout Shirts

Wearing Born Tough’s workout shirt in my home gym.

I hate articles that beat around the bush, so I’m going to get right to the point.

I was asked to give my honest impression of Born Tough’s workout shirt. To my complete surprise, I really like this shirt. It’s super light and breathes freely. Best of all, the fabric stretches with you any which way you move. It really feels as if you’re not wearing a shirt at all, like a second skin.

Allow me to explain why I was genuinely surprised.

Born Tough’s website has a sizing chart. And I’m way off that chart. Their XL size is their biggest and its recommended for people up to 6′ 2″ tall and 210 pounds. I’m 6′ 4″ and 276. I’ve been building muscle for the past 53 years, so I’ve acquired some mass over the years. I thought the shirt would be super tight and restrictive, or just not fit at all. I assumed my review would amount to saying it just didn’t fit. But while it was snug everywhere, it was still very comfortable and I never noticed it bunching up or pulling no matter how I moved. Also, I wear a Tall size in most cotton t-shirts. This shirt fits Tall very nicely.

I did my regular chest day workout with it. 6 different exercises including bench pressing, cable cross-overs, pullovers, pec dec and more. Lots of movement and twisting. In fact, I did a total of 30 Sets and some 300 total reps. If that shirt was going to cause any issues, it would have done it then.

BornTough shirt moves with you. Firm fit but did not bind or constrict movement.

Here’s how Born Tough describes their shirt:

“These lightweight smart fitting workout shirts constructed from Air pro™ fabric have the qualities of sweat-wicking, breathability, and 4-way stretching for demanding workouts. The half sleeve tee has an extended back hem for mitigating shirt ride up when stretching, jumping, running, and squatting.

“Akin to our Air pro™ long sleeve shirts, these half sleeve tees are meant to be worn in hot environments. The honeycomb mesh fabric allows air to pass freely allowing cooling and evaporation of sweat. The tee also boasts extended hem for an improved design and to prevent shirt ride up.”  Check out Born Tough’s shirts and full line of workout gear here.

Beginner Dumbbell Workout

Here’s a beginner dumbbell workout: a 4 day per week plan using only adjustable dumbbells and an adjustable bench. It should take only 30 — 45 minutes per workout. It’s ideal for the beginner or someone who has limited amounts of equipment available.

If you’re just starting out, take it easy at first. Your very first goal is showing up each day to do the workout. Get accustomed to a routine. Make this a regular part of your schedule and lifestyle. Work up to a higher level of intensity over time. Use very light weights at first and get used to the motions.

Upbeat music can be a big booster, so crank up some tunes to help your head get into the zone. Motivation can be a tricky thing and little things like the right music can really help.

How Heavy Should the Weight Be?

Once you’re ready to go full bore, you want to select a weight level that causes you to “fail by the 12th rep of your first set in each exercise. In this case, failure is success. Think of failure as taking the target muscle to exhaustion. In other words, you are not able to do another rep in good form. Use good form, don’t cheat or use body english.

Ultimately, your goal is to feel a bit sore afterward. Not pain. Just muscle soreness. It’s a good thing. It’s a signal your muscle is in hypertrophy — the process of muscle building. Think of it as a Pump. It’s caused by blood flowing into your muscles bringing nutrients to help them heal and grow, while also flushing out toxins. It’s a good thing.

In fact, feeling a pump is your ultimate goal.

Lighter Weights and Higher Reps – Proven Effective

This method has been proven to work. Dr. Marcas Bamman, Director for Exercise Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was quoted in the New York Times saying that men and women in their 60s and 70s who began a weight training program developed muscles that were as large and strong as those of your average 40-year-old.

“Our lab and others have shown repeatedly that older muscles will grow and strengthen,” he said.

In their studies, volunteers used weights calibrated so that the lifters could barely complete a set of 8 – 12 repetitions before the target muscles grew tired and had to rest. In the weight training world, we call that failure.

Dr. Bamman says you should push your muscles in this manner until they are exhausted because this is what triggers the biomechanical processes that lead to larger, stronger muscle fibers.

See this post for more on Building Muscle Mass After 50. It has references to several more articles and studies on the proven benefits of lighter weight/higher reps.

A Note on Individual Needs

Everybody is different. We each have different levels of fitness and experience. And different body issues.

Take me for example. Iâ’ve been working out for nearly 5 decades. I’m in my early 60’s now and have the battle scars that go with time on the planet. My right knee is hanging by a thread, so I have to be selective in which lower body exercises I do. My shoulder joints are sensitive from too many years of benching extra-heavy weight, so I have to be selective in exercises that stress the shoulder joints.

The video shows me pushing up 610 for a couple reps on my Powertec leverage bench. I don’t touch heavy weights any more, and I’ve got more muscle thanks to lighter weight and  higher reps.

In addition to all the injuries and sore joints, I’m naturally kind of clumsy, so I don’t do a lot of moves that require good balance. You’d never want to stand next to me in a Zumba class. I could go on, but the point is you can customize a workout to fit you.

As you build your plan, don’t be afraid to limit or delete some exercises and replace them with others, or double up on ones you are the most comfortable doing.

You can also modify movements in some exercises. For example, with my bad knee, I’m not going to do Lunges. But I can do squats as long as I don’t go too deep. The point of working out is to stress your targeted muscles in a controlled, safe way. If a particular movement causes real distress to any of your joints, modify or discard that one.

No pain. And if you have concerns about certain health conditions please check in with your doctor.

How do you do it?

3 – 5 Sets per exercise. Work up to a higher number of sets as you get in better shape. If you have to start with only one set per exercise, start there. The most important thing is to start and stay consistent. Do 3 Sets per exercise if your goal is to tone and simply get healthier. Do more work, 3 – 5 sets per exercise, if your aim is to build some serious muscle.

8 – 12 Reps per Set. You might get to failure with 12 reps in the first set, but only be able to do 10 in the next and 5 or 6 in the last one. Don’t get too hung up on the numbers. This is about the feeling in your muscles, not the numbers.

Rest: Take about 30 seconds of rest between sets. Adjust that rest time as you progress. Use a little more time if you need it at first.

Form & Feel: Use a smooth motion with the weights. Your purpose is to feel the target muscle working. Focus on the smooth movement and the sensation it causes in the target muscle. They call this the Mind-Muscle Connection. Your brain has a tendency to wander, especially if you’re conditioned to think of exercise as drudgery. That’s why it’s key to mentally focus your mind on that muscle and really be aware of how it feels as it contracts and releases. This is really key.

A Note on Dumbbells

Dumbbells have some advantages over barbells and machines. For one, they help you really focus on certain muscle groups and help create a great Mind/Muscle Connection. Dumbbells are like a primal form of resistance training.

You really need to focus when you use them vs. the sometimes mindless state people can find themselves in on a machine or other device. In my opinion, this is the strongest benefit of using dumbbells. The better your mental focus, the better your workout will be.

They also have some disadvantages. You will be somewhat limited in how many different exercises you can do. For example, machines and resistance bands are great for lower body exercises like hamstring curls, knee extensions, and weighted glute kickbacks.

Those are hard to replicate with a dumbbell. Also, you need to be careful with the adjustable aspect. If you are using clamps to secure the weights, make sure they are good and tight, especially when doing moves like triceps extensions behind your head.

Also, adjustable dumbbells can vary in how heavy they can go. Getting the right amount of resistance “failure” by the 12th rep — is key to this workout. If your dumbbells are too light, you will need to amp up the number of reps. But if they are way too light and you can’t reach failure within a reasonable amount of reps, you will need to consider other options like adding a set of inexpensive resistance bands to your equipment mix.

That said, you can definitely get a great full body workout with a simple pair of adjustable dumbbells and an adjustable bench. Here’s a simple plan to try:

Day One

BICEPS: Choose 3 of these exercises for each Biceps Workout. Perform 3 – 5 Sets per exercise. Various options and variations are shown. Do whichever style and grip is most comfortable for you.

3 – 5 Sets of 2-Handed Bicep Curls.

Standing: simultaneously curl both dumbbells. Start with your hands down next to your thighs, knuckles toward the floor and palms facing up,  and smoothly curl the weight up completely toward your shoulders. Without stopping, curl slowly back down and then back up again in a smooth motion. Keep continuous tension on your biceps.

everkinetic dumbbelleverkinetic curls

 3 – 5 Sets of Alternating Hammer Curls 

Similar movement as above, but keep your knuckles aiming straight ahead and palms facing each other. Curl up slowly and smoothly up. Alternate one arm and then the other. You can do these while standing or in the Optional ways noted below.

everkinetic dumbbell alt hammer curleverkinetic dumbbell alt hammer curl

OPTION 1: Incline on the Bench. For both of the above, you can, instead of standing, use the adjustable bench. Raise the back so that you are seated at an incline. Do the same movements as above, only your hands will start off hanging toward the floor. Curl upward toward each shoulder and down again in one smooth move.

OPTION 2: With the Hammer Curl, you can also perform it cross-body style as pictured below.

everkinetic cross hammer curl

Cross body hammer curl

3 – 5 Sets Dumbbell Concentration Curls

Seated on the bench, ball or sturdy chair. Bend over slightly. Start with the weight at a comfortable position and rest you elbow against your thigh if seated. If lying face forward on an elevated bench, begin with arms as shown in the middle picture. Using one arm at a time, slowly curl the weight up toward your chest and down again in one smooth motion. Stay with one arm to finish a full set of 8- 12 reps. Then repeat with the other arm.

everkinetic dumbbell concentration curl

Seated on an exercise ball

everkinetic lying curl

Lying on an elevated bench

everkinetic concentration curl

Seated on a bench


Choose 3 of these exercises for each Triceps Workout.

3 – 5 Sets of Triceps Seated Extensions

Sit on the bench or sturdy chair. Hold one dumbbell with both hands around one end. Lower the dumbbell behind your head and raise it back up again in one smooth motion. Feel the tension in the back of your arms. If using one dumbbell-like this feels awkward, you can also perform this with two dumbbells, one in each hand and lower them simultaneously behind your head with your hands in a hammer style grip.


Seated triceps extensions

3 – 5 Sets Triceps Kickbacks

Rest one knee on a bench surface and hold the dumbbell straight down by your side. Press it straight back as pictured and repeat. Again, feel it in the back of your upper arm. Finish a complete set and then alternate to the other knee and arm.


Tricep dumbbell kickbacks

3 – 5 Sets Triceps Extensions

Standing, hold one dumbbell at a time. Start with your arms straight up toward the ceiling and by bending your elbow, lower the weight down behind your head. If you prefer, you can instead use both hands at once as in the seated version.

everkinetic dumbbell extension

Standing one arm triceps extensions

Forearms & Wrists

Finish your arm workout with these exercises to build up your forearms. The illustrations show barbell, but you can also instead use dumbbells.

2 Sets of Wrist Curls

Seated, rest your forearms on your thigh with your wrists hanging over your knee. Curl the weight slightly upward using only your wrist. Palms facing down is a reverse wrist curl, palms facing up is a wrist curl. Do 2 sets of each. You can do one arm at a time, or both together. Keep the tension constant. Feel it in your forearms. Do as many reps as you need to feel the Pump. You can also do these with a barbell as shown.

Left: Palms down reverse wrist curl. Right: Palms up wrist curl

Seated reverse wrist curls w/barbell. 

Standing wrist curls w/barbell

Day Two


Choose 3 of the following exercises.

3 – 5 Sets of Bench Press 

If you have a workout buddy, ask them to hand you the dumbbells as you are lying on the bench. If you are working out alone, try grasping the dumbbells while seated on the bench and then slowly lie down.

Hold the dumbbells at the sides of your body as shown above and press straight up, bringing them together and flexing your pecs at the top of the movement. Lower and repeat in a continuous smooth motion. For variety, you can set your bench at either an incline or a decline. You will feel slightly different stress on the muscles depending on the position. In addition, you can experiment with hand movement by turning your palms inward at the top of the movement. Focus on the feeling in your chest muscles.

everkinetic bench press

Dumbbell bench press

3 – 5 Sets of Flyes 

While lying on a bench, start with arms out to your sides with elbows bent slightly. Then, bring your hands up together in front of your chest and feel the pectoral muscles squeeze and flex. Repeat. Smooth continuous motion.


Dumbbell flyes on bench

3 – 5 Sets of Lying Pullovers

Lying on the bench. Grasp one dumbbell by the end with both hands and raise it up over your head. Keep your elbows slightly bent but keep maximum pressure on your chest muscles, not your arms. Lower it behind you keeping your arms relatively straight. Keep the tension on your chest and lat muscles. The difference between this movement and the Tricep Extension is this: Keep your arms relatively straight in this exercise, rather than lowering the weight with your elbows as you do for Triceps. Really focus on your pecs or chest muscles.

everkinetic dumbbell pullover

Chest: lying dumbbell pullovers

Finish with 2 Sets of Pushups to Failure

Pushups. The classic exercise is still ideal for building chest muscles. You can do them with your bare hands the old-fashioned way or add some challenge with some floor handles.

Day Three

Shoulders & Back

3 – 5 Sets Reverse Flyes

These can be done standing in a bent over position or lying face down on the bench as pictured. Basically, this is the reverse motion of the Flye described above in the Chest workout. The standing version is more difficult because it requires you to focus on balance and also engages your core muscles. Do whichever you are most comfortable doing.

everkinetic reverse flyes

Reverse dumbbell flyes on the bench

everkinetic dumbbell reverse flyes

Standing bent over reverse flyes, start

everkinetic dumbbell reverse flyes

Bent over reverse flyes, finish

3 – 5 Sets One Arm Rows 

Brace yourself with an arm and knee on a bench or against a sturdy chair. Raise the weight up feeling the sensation in your back and side (Lat) muscles. Try to make those back muscles do most of the the work, not your arms. Keep the tension on the lat muscles and keep the movement continuous and smooth.

everkinetic dumbbell rows

Bent over dumbbell rows

3 – 5 Sets Front Raises

Focus is on your shoulder or Delt muscles. Start with your hands down by your thighs and raise them up parallel with your chest. Lower and repeat 8 – 12 times. Can be done simultaneously or alternating as pictured. Your shoulders are a delicate joint so perform these moves carefully. Smooth motion.


Dumbbell front raises, alternating arms.

3 – 5 Set Lateral Raises

This also focuses on your shoulders. Can be done standing as pictured or seated on the bench. Begin with the weights down by your sides and simultaneously raise them to parallel to shoulder height with your arms fairly straight. Palms are facing the floor. Smooth motion. Do not use a weight that forces you to use any body english or cheat movement. Be careful with your shoulder joints.

lateral raises

Dumbbell lateral raise, both arms simultaneously

Day Four

Lower Body

A word on “Leg Day.” This day is notorious among experienced trainers. It is perhaps the most beneficial set of exercises for your whole body, which is great. But they can be difficult and taxing, which sometimes seems daunting. So, some people do not look forward to leg day. Try to not fall into that trap. These exercises will greatly benefit your overall health and sculpt your lower body for a sexy appearance.

3 – 5 Sets Squats

You can use your bench to provide a safety catch. Stand as shown, holding both dumbbells. Squat down with your butt touching the bench and back up again. You may need to increase the number of reps to get to failure, depending on how much weight your dumbbells provide. Mind your balance. Focus on your glute (butt), thighs and lower back. This movement requires balance and can stress your knees, so modify how far you squat to your comfort level.

dumbbell squats

Using bench for safety

dumbbell squats

3 – 5 Sets Lunges

Standing straight up and holding both dumbbells at your sides, lunge forward with one leg and back again. Alternate each leg. Mind your balance and keep your mind focused through this movement. Requires balance. Modify accordingly. If you experience balance issues, try it without any dumbbell weight and/or modify how far you lunge forward.

dumbbell squats

Lunge, with or without dumbbells

3 – 5 Sets Calf Raises

While seated on the bench, hold a dumbbell on one thigh, near the knee. Raise your knee up, keeping the toes firmly on the ground. The focus is on your calf muscle. Do reps to ‘failure’ and repeat with the other leg. If you have a platform you can place your foot on, as depicted in the diagram, you can use it. It’s not necessary if you do not have one.

You can instead do this move while standing with or without dumbbells.

everkinetic calf raise

Seated calf raise. Foot platform shown is optional but not required.

Leg Day Finishers & Options:

Like pushups, the following exercises don’t use the dumbbells, but you could finish your workout with a few sets of each. These are especially good for the Glutes or butt.

3 – 5 Sets Glute Bridges

Lying on the floor, raise you butt up off the floor and down again as pictured above. Really focus on those glutes and lower back. You can increase the tension by holding a dumbbell across your lower midsection


Glute bridges

2 Sets of Flutter Kicks

No dumbbells here, but if you own a pair of ankle weights, by all means strap them on.  Lying face down on the bench or an exercise mat on the floor, slowly/smoothly kick your legs as if you were swimming. Focus on feeling it in your glutes and thighs. Rather than counting reps, do each set until you feel fatigue in the glutes. Go slow enough to keep constant tension on your butt.

glute kicks

Flutter kicks

2 Sets of Glute Kickbacks

No dumbbells here either, but if you own a pair of ankle weights, you can strap them on.  Get on all fours on the ground, kick one leg all the way out and back for 8-12 reps and then alternate to the other leg. Your focus is again on the glute muscles. And, rather than counting reps, do each set until you feel fatigue in the glutes. It is not necessary to hold one arm up as shown.

glute kicks

Glute kickbacks

This workout will work

The basic principles have been proven, especially regarding our Baby Boomer age group. You can grow stronger without Insanity or Pain. You can look better. Feel better. Defy age and Live Strong.

I hope if you are just starting out that you will give this a try. There are many more exercises you can use in your workout, but this one is designed to get you started with minimal equipment. You can consider adding resistance bands to your home gym. They are inexpensive and you can do most all of the exercises with them instead or for variety.

If you need to purchase dumbbells, resistance bands or a bench, read my review here.

You can also take a look at a full body resistance band workout here.

What’s your experience with home workouts? Please share your thoughts in the Comments below. 

Click here and get the 5 Keys to Feeling Stronger — Right Away! Supercharge your workouts. Subscribe now to get the 5 Keys — totally free, no hassles.

And be sure to check out the Boomer Facebook page. Here, I share unique content. Lots of current articles on working out, nutrition and general health for people our age.

Building Muscle after Knee Replacement

Rebuilding muscle after knee replacement surgery is a long, slow process. It takes longer to rebuild it than it does to lose it. Here’s my progress after one year.

About 40 years ago, I destroyed my right knee doing something stupid. Really stupid. I had never been on snow skis before, but I decided to take a buddy up on the idea of me putting on a pair and letting him pull me across a frozen lake on a snow mobile – at a high rate of speed. 

Ah youth. Young men do stupid things sometimes. I paid the price this time. Surgery removed virtually all of the soft tissue like tendons, ligaments and cartilage. The surgeon said, “walk very carefully for the rest of your life.” So I did.

But a little more than a year ago, the arthritis got so bad I could barely walk. Working out was impossible. I hobbled about with a cane until the replacement surgery in May, 2018.

I’ll skip how painful it was, except to say that ice was my best friend for a long time. Finally around September, some 5 months post surgery, I got back in the gym

Immediately after knee replacement surgery. Both knees badly atrophied following months of inactivity pre and post.

September, 2018, 5 months post surgery as I try to rebuild muscle after knee replacement surgery.

If you’ve ever had a layoff from the gym, you know that you can lose muscle fairly quickly, especially if all you do is sit around with an ice pack like I did for 5 months. The first days back in the gym were tough mentally. I was skittish about applying any pressure to my knees.

I used much lighter weights than even my usual routine of lighter weights and higher reps. Both legs are pretty badly atrophied compared to my previous normal state.  

I am focused heavily in my rehab efforts on the two muscle groups that surround the knee, the Vastus Medalis and the Vastus Lateralis, which I’ll illustrate below

Those muscle groups are critical to protecting your knees. They are even more crucial for someone like me, who has a knee with virtually no internal protections left. I focus here as I rebuild muscle after knee replacement surgery.

Conventional wisdom says Leg Extensions are great for the Vastus Medialis on the inside of your leg. I do them religiously on my leg days, but I use much lighter weights than I have in the past. 

And instead of doing 8-12 reps, I am doing 18-21 reps with super light weight. It seems to work and I get to failure this way.

The two key muscle groups that protect your knee.

December 17, 7 months post surgery. Slow progress on right leg in rebuilding muscle after knee replacement.

The Vastus Lateralis started to come back pretty quickly on my ‘good’ left leg, as you can see at left. But the right leg continues to lag behind. Hack squats really target this muscle.

I do hack squats on my Powertec home gym. It has a great station for this. Steel pins spot you. The foot pad is angled upward and the shoulder apparatus is heavily padded. Perfect for someone who works out alone as I do.

Again, I dropped the weight significantly here. Like I said, I was already a believer in lighter weights and higher reps, but now on legs, I go even lighter with more reps.

Now, about 13 month post surgery, my left leg is back to relative normal. My surgical right leg has improved slowy, steadily but still lags behind the left.

My leg workouts consist of:

  • Leg Extensions on machine
  • Hack Squats on Powertec gym
  • Leg Press on Powertec sled
  • Hamstring Curls on machine
  • Glute Kickbacks on machine

June 29, 2019. Left leg back to ‘normal,’ right leg improved but still lags behind in rebuilding muscle.

Lighter Weights and Higher Reps

You will read a lot of inaccurate things about building muscle. One old saw says you can’t muscle if you don’t lift heavy weights. That’s just flat out wrong.

It has been proven over and over again that “hypertrophy,” the process of building muscle, happens best when using lighter weights and higher reps to “failure” or exhaustion in each set. See my post on Building Muscle after 60 here, it includes links to studies that back me up on this.

Lighter weights are also best for us older people. I used to lift heavy, until it gave me arthritis in my shoulders. Starting a few years ago,  I go lighter and in fact I’ve built more muscle this way, even as I age into my 60s. Your body can only take that heavy abuse for so long.

Now as I rebuild my legs, I am going even lighter with the weights to play it safe.

I used to do legs one day per week. Now, I do them twice. But I drop the volume down to only 3 sets per exercise instead of 5. And I use much lighter weights, while still taking the higher reps to failure. I’ve also added some right-leg only sets on the Leg Extensions with a very light weight. And for calves, I finish each of my Leg Press sets with Calf Raises to failure.

On top of that, I do 20 minutes of cardio on my Precor elliptical machine. You can adjust both resistance level and elevation on a Precor, so it also provides some resistance power.

I admit to being frustrated by what I see as slow progress in rebuilding muscle after knee replacement. But I don’t think I can push any harder than I am now. At 63, I’m older and I hope a little wiser than that youthful knucklehead I was when I first injured my leg.

This link will take you to a good article on leg extensions, pretty much everything you ever wanted to know. It cautions against going too heavy on this exercise, and that’s especially true if you’re recovering from surgery. 

Please check out BoomerMuscle on Facebook. The page features unique content and I share articles from all over that look at ways we can live healthier and stronger.

Strengthen Your Grip

Build it with these Tools

Grip strength is often over-looked in many training routines. Grip training strengthens your fingers, wrists and forearms, which will give you faster overall results in the gym because you’re better able to hang onto weights. Plus, studies have shown grip strength to be a solid predictor of overall strength and that it even correlates to a lower risk of heart attack and stroke.

Plus it gives you more confidence and makes those forearms stronger and better looking.

So, you should embrace grip strength training. You can add it into your regular workout and build your grip strength with a set of reasonably priced tools. I do it on my Arm Day after I’ve worked biceps and triceps. These are the tools I use and recommend.

DometoolSuper Gripper This device comes with 6 springs so you can infinitely adjust the tension. Personally, I only use 2 springs and simply move them up and down the device to adjust tension.

I like to start the two springs near the bottom, do 3 reps, move the springs up to the middle, do 3 reps, then move them to the top and do 3 more reps. I repeat this routine 3 times during my grip strength workout. 

It says it adjusts from 50 to 1,000 pounds. But unless you’re trying for a record, I wouldn’t sweat how much resistance you’re using. Use enough to cause fatigue to your grip muscles in the last reps.

Dometool says: “If you could choose only one grip training tool, this is it which are the gold standard of grippers and are designed to give you the biggest gains in the shortest time. Make your hand much powerful.”

  • High-quality steel, and suitable for everyone from rank beginners to World’s Strongest Man winners.
  • Helps to condition and strengthen your hand, wrist and forearm muscles.
  • Easy to hold, lightweight and portable, easy to carry,develop fingers flexibility, strength and coordination.

Dometool Super Gripper

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RIGERS Combo Wrist and Forearm Roller is compatible with most Olympic sized plates and you can also use with a kettlebell. It’s all steel construction makes it just about indestructable.

Rigers says: “The King of Forearm Workouts: Increase the flexibility and strength in the wrists, fingers, wrists, forearms and elbows to reduce injuries and help perform sports better. Perfect solution for athletes and who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome

Versatile Training Tool: Can be used with Olympic weight plates, kettlebells, fat grip and more to perform wrist curls, wrist extensions for flexor muscles. Add more variations & have fun doing different exercises to target multiple muscles.

Everything You Need for Training – Full package: Includes Wrist & Forearm Roller, Nylon Strap, Carabiner together with Loading Pin compatible with most 2 inch Olympic plates. You can start your training right after you put weight plates into the pin!”

Rigers Wrist Roller

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Heavy Grips – Hand Grippers for Beginners to Professionals

This type of gripper is the granddaddy of the genre. There are many types around, including cheap plastic ones that often break. These are solid steel and will last forever.

I like to use the 150 and 200 pound grippers in my workout routine. I do 3 reps with each, in each hand, and then move on to a round with the other two devices above.

You can take these anywhere. One note: these are serious little tools with a no-nonsense feel.  You will get used to them, but they are not dainty.

Heavy Grips

Heavy Grips says: “There’s nothing in a typical gym that compares to these hand grippers. Just think about it. Nearly every piece of equipment you touch wasn’t SOLELY created to target and isolate your forearms, fingers, and wrists. Meaning there’s no chance they’ll be as effective as these grip strengtheners.”

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March 20, 2019

Mind Muscle Connection

Connect Mind & Muscle

The mysterious Mind Muscle Connection is an essential key to building more muscle.

As you train with lighter weights at higher reps, your main focus is not on progressively increasing the amount of weight you use. It is on feeling the target muscle go to “failure” in each set.

You can adjust the number of reps and the amount of resistance as you work through your sets. But you are not focusing on numbers. You are focusing on the feeling in your muscle.

You want to get into a mental groove called the Mind Muscle Connection. Feel the pump. The amount of weight and the number of sets are just tools to get you to the pump.

It’s almost a form of meditation when you really get into it. And it is critical to your success in building muscle. It may sound a little spacey, but it really isn’t. It’s about mental focus.

Even after all these years of living it and preaching it, I often find my own mind drifting away from that focus during a rep. It’s critical to catch yourself when your mind strays and put it back on the feeling in the muscles you are working. It really matters.

In 2019 there is exciting news about the Mind Muscle Connection:

Researchers have tackled the subject and proven that the Mind Muscle Connection results in more muscle growth! Men’s Health has a review in their March 2019 edition. An excerpt follows:

“Research published in the European Journal of Sport Science tracked the results of two groups of men who trained with weights three times a week for eight weeks. Both groups did the same exercises—the barbell curl and leg extension—but with one key difference: Subjects in the first group were told to “squeeze the muscle” during each rep, while subjects in group two were told simply to “get the weight up.”

The results were striking. Subjects who were told to “squeeze the muscle”—an internal focus of attention—there was a 12 percent increase in the size of the biceps.

That was almost double the gains seen in the group who were told to “get the weight up,” where the average increase in biceps size was just 7 percent. It was a different story with the quads, where there was no significant difference in muscle growth between the two groups.

The researchers think this might have been down to the fact that untrained individuals have a hard time establishing a “mind-muscle connection” in the quads compared to the biceps. In fact, several subjects said that they found it much easier to focus on their biceps than their quads.”

If you click the “Research” link, it will take you to a synopsis of a study from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. It concludes with the bold, clear statement that:

“The findings lend support to the use of a mind-muscle connection to enhance muscle hypertrophy.”

In other words, keep a hyperfocus on how the muscle you are working feels as you execute the rep and you will see greater muscle building results.

We Are Going to Pump You Up

If you successfully maintain a Mind Muscle Connection, you will likely induce some soreness in those target muscles. That soreness is the legendary “Pump,” as blood rushes into the target muscles bringing healing nutrients and flushing out waste. The Pump is a great feeling. Soreness is good. Pain is bad.

Our egos tend to tell us that more weight equals more strength equals more muscle. Wrong. Unless you’re trying out for the Olympic team, forget about your weight totals.


Muscle grows in response to tension placed on it that does microscopic damage to the tissues. With proper rest and nutrition, the fibers are repaired a little stronger and thicker than before.

Hypertrophy is the process. You feel it as that “pump” while you’re working the muscle and perhaps after or even the next day

To those points above there is typically general agreement.

Succeed by Failing

Where I diverge a bit from others is that I believe in focusing each workout on a specific muscle group with enough sets in order to take it to “failure” rather than mixing up various muscle groups on each workout day. You still work the entire body but over a week’s time. You focus each workout day on one area at a time.

Failure occurs when you cannot complete another clean rep without cheating. Don’t cheat on any rep.

If you’re focusing on biceps, for example, I would stay on biceps until you’ve reached failure. In my case, this equates to 5 sets each of 3 separate exercises. Typically I’ll do bicep barbell curls x 5, bicep dumbbell hammer curls x 5 and bicep rope curls on a machine x 5.

On that same workout day, I’ll also do triceps right after biceps in a similar way. Then, I’ll add some work on forearms and wrists. And that’s it. All arms and done. On to the next body area in the next workout.

In a nutshell the formula goes like this:

  • 8 – 12 reps to failure in every set
  • 30 – 40 seconds rest between sets
  • High volume of work: 3 – 5 sets per exercise, 3 or more exercises per target muscle group
  • Focus on one muscle group/area per workout
  • Muscle exhaustion is the goal — feel the pump

Lighter Does Not Mean Light

At the same time, we’re not talking about aerobicizing here. When I say “lighter weights, higher reps” I don’t mean waving a tiny dumbbell around for 100 reps.

It does mean finding the right level of resistance to cause your muscle to fail between 8 – 12 reps. In this case, failure is a good thing. It means you can’t do another clean rep without cheating because you’re taking the target muscle to exhaustion. You take a brief rest and do it again. This is how we cause hypertrophy.

Add resistance whenever 12 reps become too easy on that first set. It’s that simple, numbers wise.

Your focus is on the feeling, not the numbers.

The Mind Muscle Connection is one of my 5 Keys to Feeling Stronger – Right Away! See it and the other 4 essential keys to success for free. Includes a video and 2 e-guides. No sales pitch.

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Best Triceps Pump Ever

This new attachment will give you the best triceps pump ever.

I’ve been training for more than 50 years. I haven’t seen much new in the area of triceps training in that time. I’ve got lots of attachments for my home gym machine: Triceps rope, Straight Bars, V-Shaped Bars, Straps, and Single-Grip Handles of various kinds. Plus I’ve pretty much tried every exercise variation there is: Skull Crushers, D-Bell Kickbacks, Pushups, etc etc etc.

Don’t get me wrong, all of those exercises are great for getting a good triceps pump. But I never experienced anything like the LPG Muscle Double Live Triceps Rope and Double Live Tri-Bells. My lovely wife recently gifted both items to me for my 63rd birthday.  And these tools will give you the best triceps pump ever.

LPG Muscle Double Live Triceps Rope​​​​

LPG Muscle TriBells 4″ Double Live Cable

Here’s how these tools give you the best triceps pump ever…

They have a pulley at the top that allows the rope or the cable to be “live” rather than static like a traditional triceps pull down device. This forces you to use extra mental focus and muscle power to keep the two lengths relatively equal in length as you pull down and let it back up again.

This is a new twist on an old exercise motion. It’s like going from the horse and buggy to the automobile.

Double Live Triceps Rope

TriBells Double Live Cable

But wait, there’s more. While LPG doesn’t play this option up, I found it gave me a Monster Pump. When I use the Double Lives, I fluctuate between a straight pull down and a motion where I purposefully pump each side up and down, like this video shows.

Double Live Rope “Pump”

Tri Bells Double Live Cable “Pump”

After more than 50 years of banging away, getting an intense, new Pump like his was awesome! I train for the pump and I am a firm believer in using lighter weights for higher reps to cause hypertrophy. Frankly though, that method and pretty much all weight lifting methods, can get boring after a while. After all, this is all about routine and consistency over time.

That could be another way of saying boring. I was starting to get bored with my triceps routine. I could shake things up with kickbacks or other exercises, but after more than 50 years of doing it, there ain’t much new I could do.

Not so with the LPG Muscle products. They insert an extra challenge into the traditional move that keeps you on your toes and blasts your triceps like never before. Just getting that extra pump feeling was so motivational. I can’t wait to do triceps next time.

Double Live Triceps Rope

The Double Live Rope retails for $74.95 on Amazon.

What sets it apart is the soft, long rope. It’s easy to grip and keeps your focus on your triceps.

And the pulley mechanism is beefier and wider than the TriBell set up. I found it easy to use. But my wife, who is 5’2″ tall, struggled a bit with it and the rope was pitted at an angle as she wrestled it down to her range.

If I were only going to choose one, I’d go with the Rope. Mostly because I’ve got big hands and I find the thick, soft rope really comfortable. But, I love the TriBells, too. You might consider those if you prefer the push-down angle you get from the Bell grips.

Tri Bells Double Live Cable

The TriBells go for $59.95 @ LPG Muscle.

There’s not that much price difference there. So, if you’re only going to choose one, you might think about the angle of the pushdown. The Rope puts your hands in the traditional grip position. With the Bells, you’re pushing straight down with your palms.

I had no problems using either device. But my wife did struggled a bit with the Rope. She’s 5’2″ and had trouble wrestling with the bigger, wider pulley. The leaner setup and straight-down angle of the Bells were more comfortable for her.

Me? I’m really glad I got both! They are both truly outstanding. And after more than 50 years of banging away with the same old stuff, I really enjoyed this smart new approach and loved the great pump!

Check out the BoomerMuscle Facebook page. You’ll find a steady flow of great articles I share from around the world on working out, nutrition and more. It’s all unique stuff not duplicated on the Boomer website.

Click here to get my 5 Keys to Feeling Stronger – Right Away for free here. If you follow these basic keys, you can feel stronger right away. It’s all about working out to get to the pump. No sales pitch or hassle. You’ll get a brief video on the 5 Keys plus a downloadable PDF guide on the studies noted above plus a summary cheat-sheet on the 5 Keys. 

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