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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.

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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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. 

Best Adjustable Weight Benches

First thing you’ll notice here is that I don’t recommend old-school benches with support arms to hold a barbell for bench pressing.

For one, if you’re using this at home, you may not have a spotter and shouldn’t use a barbell. You can bench press with dumbbells for a similar — some say better — feeling in the muscles. I don’t have anything against standard bench pressing, but personally, I stick to my Powertec Multi-System leverage machine for that because it’s got a built-in spotter.

If you’re going to barbell bench press at home, consider using a Smith Machine or Power Rack for spotting safety. You can easily slide these adjustable benches in and out of those setups.

And beyond all that, you can use these benches for much more without the support arms in the way:

  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Flyes
  • Triceps Extensions behind your head
  • Kneeling One Arm Rows for your back
  • Dumbbell Curls for biceps
  • And more…

I like these two from Rep. Compact and easy to move around. Heavy Duty at 1,000 pounds! Multiple angles available. This first one adjusts easily from decline to flat to various incline positions.

  • Heavy-duty 1000 lbs rated adjustable weight bench, great for use with dumbbells smith machine, cage or power rack
  • 54x26x17.5 inches. Pad measures 11.5 in wide at the shoulders. minimal pad gap between seat and back. 17.5 in high from floor to top of pad
  • 7 ladder positions from 85 degree incline to -20 degree decline and 4 different seat position adjustments
  • Vinyl covered rollers to keep your legs locked in place during decline work. Vinyl cover makes it easy to keep clean.
  • 10 year warranty on frame, 30 days on pads. Rep Fitness is a REAL fitness equipment company located in Colorado, not just a distributor or importer like our competition! Our knowledgeable team of fitness gear experts is always here to help.

This one is also from Rep and also rated at 1,000. It’s very similar but does not offer decline positions. If you’re ok with that, you could save a few bucks going with it:

  • Flat/Incline Adjustable Bench. Variable thickness, 14 to 4 gauge heavy-duty frame. Rated for 1,000 lbs.
  • 50×11.75×17 inches
  • 6 back pad adjustments, from flat to 85 degree incline. 3 seat pad adjustments, from flat to incline.
  • Matte black powder coating, handle and wheels for easy transport.

Now, if you don’t need something quite so heavy duty, this one by Fitness Reality is an excellent bargain. Rated at 800 pounds, it’s still pretty darn heavy duty in terms of capability. And it adjusts easily to both decline and incline positions. Amazon rates this one their “choice” in this entire category. That’s partly due to the fairly stellar buyer reviews this gets.

  • 800 lbs real weight capacity. User height up to 6’4 inch; Set up Dimensions: 59″L x 23.5″W x 48.5″H ; Carton Dimensions: 52″L X 17″W X 10″H .
  • Smooth 12 position Adjustable backrest by utilizing 2 position front leg adjustment
  • Backrest adjusts to -20 degree decline to +80 degree incline angles
  • Detachable 3 position Adjustable leg hold down bar for additional stability during workouts
  • Can be folded for storage. Folded size: 51″ L x 23.5″ w x 9″ H

Sheik Weight Lifting Gloves

Sheik weight lifting gloves are the best available. Thanks in part to their unique ‘finned’ finger design for easy on and off. These weight lifting gloves are comfortable and durable.

I’ve been lifting for more than 50 years now. In the early days, I didn’t wear gloves. I’m not sure they were even around yet.

As a result, I had thick callouses at the base of each finger joint. At least a couple decades ago, I started wearing gloves. Viola, the callouses are gone.

Plus, I get a better grip on everything.

I believe in Sheik brand gloves. They have a patented “fin” on each finger and thumb so you can easily pull the gloves off. Made of thick, imitation leather, they provide great comfort and protection.

  • Patented FINS for easy removal
  • Washable
  • Non-bleeding
  • One-year warranty
  • Durable non-slip padded palm and thumb
  • 3/4 finger length
  • Made of durable Amara synthetic leather

One of the great features with Sheik is the size availability, everything from XS to XXL. Sheik advises to measure all the way around the hand at the center of the palm to gauge the size.

Size X-Small Small Medium Large X-Large XX-Large
Measurements 6-7″ 7-8″ 8-9″ 9-10″ 10-11″ 11-12″

Best Protein Build Muscle

Best protein build muscle

Whey is the best protein to build muscle. That’s a fairly universal point-of-view.

But you need to use caution when looking for a specific brand. Muscle building supplements are a huge business that is largely unregulated by the government. Many supplements are snake oil scams and not worth your money. Some are downright dangerous.

Let’s Look at Whey Protein

hot rodTime to put some premium fuel in your tank to build up that muscle.

Whey is a milk protein that has a high level of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Bottom line: Whey is best because it digests fast and gets to your muscles rapidly to start building muscle. Whey also contains peptides (small proteins) that increase blood flow to the muscles.

It is a complete, high-quality protein, containing all of the essential amino acids. It is very digestible, absorbed from the gut quickly compared to other types of protein. It is one of the best dietary sources of protein available.

Whey is rich in a branched-chain amino acid called leucine. Among all the amino acids, leucine is the most growth promoting.

Combined with resistance training, whey can also help older adults reverse the effects of aging on muscle loss (sarcopenia). Combined with training, it helps promote a stronger, better-looking body.

You can check out a nicely organized list of benefits compiled by the Mayo Clinic here. Whey may have a number of additional benefits in addition to muscle growth, according to various studies:

  • Help control Type 2 diabetes by moderating blood sugar levels
  • Reduce inflammation in the body. (Soreness comes with training)
  • May help promote weight loss
  • Raise the body’s anti-oxidant defenses
  • And it’s filling, low calorie, nutrition


I use and recommend Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey. It is a good tasting, quality powder drink. It has thousands of strongly positive reviews on both GNC’s website and Amazon. It’s also rated #1 on’s top 10 list.

Whey protein isolates are the purest form of whey and the main ingredient in Gold Standard 100% Whey. Each serving provides 24 grams of rapidly digesting whey protein with low levels of fat, cholesterol, lactose and other stuff you can do without.

  • 5.5 Grams of Naturally Occurring BCAAs
  • 4 Grams of Naturally Occurring Glutamine and Glutamic Acid
  • Instantized to Mix Easily Using Just a Glass & Spoon
  • Over 20 Different Flavors to Choose From

New: Whey for the Gluten & Lactose Intolerant

If you have severe lactose intolerance or gluten issues, you could consider this alternative by Nature’s Best.

There are also thousands of reviews on GNC and Amazon about this product, most of them highly positive in the 4-5 star range. About the Product:

Pack in powerfully pure Whey protein, without packing on the carbs.

100% whey protein isolate powders amp you up, without any unwanted weight. Just pick your level: Zero Carb or Low-Carb (which also has Zero sugar), both with a whopping 50 grams of protein.

It’s 100% whey protein isolate loaded with vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep you going strong and without gluten, lactose, or any impurities. Made with Nature’s Best complete microfiltration process to be the only completely clear milk protein when dissolved in water.

Available in a range of flavors and sizes.

  • 50 grams of 100% ion exchange whey protein isolate per serving
  • Zero Sugar
  • Lactose and Gluten Free
  • Glutamine enriched loaded with BCAAs
  • Aspartame Free

Supplement Cautions

Avoid these supplements if you have kidney issues. High levels of creatinine, the waste product of creatine, are a sign of kidney problems. Check with your doctor.

Read the ingredients list carefully with any supplement. In some, you might be getting additional ingredients you don’t necessarily want. Sometimes the labels are confusing and use different measuring scales. Here’s a cheat sheet on converting the units of measurement:

  • 1 microgram (mcg or µg) = 0.001 milligrams (mg)
  • 1 microgram (mcg) = 1000 nanograms (ng)
  • 1 milligram (mg) = 1000 micrograms (mcg)
  • 1 gram (g) = 1000 milligrams (mg)

Check with your doctor if you have any concerns or existing health issues before taking any supplement.

Do NOT take more than the recommended dosage. You can harm your health by over-doing any supplement.

Brian PattersonWhat is your experience with supplements? Please share it in the Comments below. Or drop me a line at:

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