The Science Behind the Health Benefits of Standing Desks

Standing desk

Sitting at your desk for eight hours or more per day has been shown to create a variety of health issues, so it came as no surprise that people eventually looked for an alternative workplace arrangement that would help solve some of these problems.

What are the benefits of using a standing desk?

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As the name implies, a standing desk is a desk tall enough to be used while standing up. Also called the active desk or the active workplace, experts are weighing are recommending that people shift to a standing workplace to reduce the health risks associated with the more conventional setup of just sitting down for hours at a time.

The most common complaints associated with being seated for hours is the acute pains that affect the lower and upper back, and the various joints affected by being basically stationary for long periods.

While some people jerry-rig their own standing workstations by trying to raise their keyboards, they soon found out that if you really want a standing workstation, you need a real standing desk that will elevate not just your keyboard and mouse, but also your monitor or display.

A few more changes to your workstation such as using a wireless headset to receive VOIP or online calls and the like will complete the transition from a traditional, seated workstation to a more active standing workstation.

The great thing about this shift is you can transition from a seated setup to a standing one with the help of modern standing desks or desk converters that operate pneumatically or electrically.

Body AcheThe first benefit or advantage that you will enjoy is you will be able to reduce the joint strain (especially around the shoulders and back), and when you want to go back to your previous seated position, you can just adjust the desk converter or standing desk so that everything goes down to their former height.

It is fortunate that companies are now paying closer attention to workers’ needs, and they are now offering options to folks who may want to use standing desks instead of more conventional, single-height desks in the office.

In a 2019 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of employers now subsidize the use of standing desks in offices, as it has become one of the fastest rising benefits trend in the corporate setting today.

In 2013, just 13% of employers even considered of providing such an amenity to employees.

Four years later, the figure jumped to 44%, and now more than half of employers include it in their benefits package. We still have a ways to go, but things are definitely looking up for folks who would like to enjoy a more ergonomic office space so they don’t end up with back and joint injuries.

Now if you work from home, there is absolutely nothing wrong with shifting to a standing desk workstation, because the effects of being seated for long periods will be the same whether you are in a conventional office or working from your living room.

postureAccording to Fletcher Zumbusch, a physical therapist from the Providence Saint John’s Health Center’s Performance Therapy, located in Santa Monica, California, the root cause of all the problems associated with being seated on a desk is poor posture.

When you are not able to maintain the ideal posture, things are bound to go awry. According to Zumbusch, there is nothing inherently wrong with sitting down in front of a desk – but there might be a problem if you have poor posture, and you’re stuck in the same position for hours at a time.

He continues that the “problem is with the number of hours we spend doing it,”

“Using a standing desk promotes more muscle activity and thus, better circulation compared to a traditional [seated] desk. In addition [to this], spending less time sitting helps keep the hips form becoming tight.”

He explains further that the tightness that people feel around the hips is a precursor to hip mobility issues, which can then produce unnecessary strain and injury to adjacent joints. When there is constant stress on or around the joints, there will be “accelerated development of pain in the joints of the lower back, hip, and knees.” A standing desk, he concurs, can help workers avoid these joint stress issues.

What are the risks of being stuck in a seated position for years?

If you are thinking about sticking it out with being seated for hours a day, then yes, the answer is that there are real medical Back Posturerisks associated with the more conventional setup. Among the potential problems that you might encounter later on are:

– There is a risk of misalignment of the spine and the joints, which can pave the way for more serious spinal issues down the line.

– Generalized joint pain as the body is constantly forced into postures that are not healthy for the joints in general.

– There is also a risk factor that affects the overall circulation in the body. Due to poor posture, the heart may find it difficult to pump blood to the extremities, which can then trigger a chain of events that might conclude in deep vein thrombosis or potentially fatal venous blockages. Blood clots that emerge as a result of poor circulation can actually travel to other parts of the body (like the heart and lungs) and cause strokes.

work fatigue– The most common complaint of people stuck in a seated position is generalized physical fatigue – that feeling that you are already tired despite being in the office for only a few hours. This fatigue is directly associated with poor working posture.

– Around the head region, it is possible to develop spontaneous headaches, migraines, and jaw pain. These can be triggered by a variety of events, but the most common triggers are spinal misalignment, tight and knotted muscles, and general poor posture.

– Unfortunately, there has also been a correlation between sexual function and poor workplace posture. Pinched nerves and spinal issues can all affect sexual function, and these are all within the realm of possibility when your body has already taken a beating from years of being slouched over a desk.

Should you use accessories like standing desk balance boards?

Accessories like standing desk bikes and standing desk balance boards might make your workstations more interesting, but they’re not an absolute necessity, so purchase only if you really feel that you need any of them.

What’s the right standing desk posture?

While there are no hard and fast rules about the right posture while working on a standing desk, we’ve prepared a few guidelines that might help you transition from your old seated setup to a more active and dynamic standing workstation.

1. Ask for professional help as much as possible

back doctorWhether it’s from a physical therapist or a physician, it is important to first consult with a professional when shifting from a seated setup to a standing setup.

The consultation doesn’t have to be too extensive – you just need a professional to look at how your body is doing so you can purchase the right type of standing desk or desk converter to start improving your posture while working.

According to Zumbush, a standing desk setup that has not been set up properly can actually cause problems of its own. A professional who has a background in ergonomics can guide you in the transition, as well as licensed physical therapists.

2. Don’t make a sudden transition from being seated all day to standing all day

It may sound tempting to just ‘solve’ all your problems by just throwing yourself at the standing desk mania in 24 hours. But what if we tell you that this can actually cause more problems?

You see, your body has been used to being seated for hours all these years, and despite the damage it has gotten all these years, it’s used to being seated. If your goal is to reduce pain and numbness, then shifting to 100% standing might backfire on you.

What you can do to ensure that your body has enough time to adapt to what you want to transition to is to take it slowly, and allow your body to get used to the standing workstation slowly.

Start with ten to twenty minutes per day, before lengthening the period that you are working while standing up. Eventually, you can ‘split’ your schedule evenly into two. You can spend four hours seated, and then four hours standing up.

3. Always listen to what your body is telling you.

According to Zumbusch, standing workstations are not magic, so you must pace your expectations accordingly. We know that it can be frustrating in the beginning when the shift seems to be producing nothing for your pain and bad posture, but just give it time.

It takes some time to reverse and resolve spinal and joint issues created by years of being seated with poor posture. Zumbusch reminds us: “Don’t be unrealistic and expect to feel amazing immediately.

Listen to your body and if you continue to feel discomfort or pain, don’t be afraid to ask for outside help, like an ergonomics professional or someone who is licensed in physical therapy.” He continues that the setup that you may have inadvertently created may not be set up right or you may be “spending too much time standing right away without transitioning [properly] into it.”

4. Get into a more balanced groove

As we’ve mentioned earlier, shifting too quickly from a seated position to a standing one can cause more problems than it solves. According to experts, too much of anything can be a problem, so it would be best to get into a more balanced groove if you want to reap the benefits of having a standing workstation.

According to Alan Hedge, a profession from the department of design and environment analysis at the Cornell University, the goal would be to introduce the right changes to how you do things, so you can enjoy the health benefits.

He is actually against overdoing anything: “If what you are doing is replacing sitting with standing, you are not actually doing your body any favors. In fact, you are introducing a whole variety of new risk factors.”

Furthermore, Hedge believes that “If you go from sitting to standing and vice versa frequently throughout the day… That complete eradicates any of the supposed risk factors associated with sitting, or indeed, with standing.”

While there are some risk factors associated with prolonged standing, these can be offset by using a more balanced ratio of sitting, standing, and moving, so you can avoid problems like a compressed spine, varicose veins, venous issues (blockages) and the like.

According to one study from the American Journal of Epidemiology, the best results (health-wise) can actually be derived through the use of “combinations of sitting and standing, and these are likely to have beneficial cardiovascular health benefits.”

What about standing desk exercises?

Office ExercisesIn addition to balancing how much you move throughout the day, you can definitely perform some standing desk exercises, like stretches to help improve your circulation and keep your muscles in top condition. Hedge himself believes that using the 20:8:2 ratio is just perfect for recovering from years and years of being stuck in a seated position in the office. What does this ratio mean, anyway?

20:8:2 means you sit down for 20 minutes, stand up for eight, and perform some standing desk exercises or gentle movements for two. If you do not like performing static exercises, you can use the extra two minutes to walk around. The point is to get the blood circulating and to exercise those muscles and joints, so they’re not frozen all the time. This ratio will help decompress your spine and it will likely help you burn calories, too.

How long do people normally stick to a sitting-standing routine in the office?

Unfortunately, in terms of maintaining the routine, a lot of people have difficulty maintaining the ratio. Statistics show that without the correct intervention, only one-third of those who have tried the sit-stand routine actually maintain it for more than a month.

In a study from the peer-reviewed journal Applied Ergonomics, it was found that digital prompts can actually pave the way for a healthier workplace as these can help sustain the transition: “People who receive computer prompts reminding users when to stand and when to sit are more likely to maintain the use of standing desks.

They were more active and transitioned between sitting and standing more frequently throughout the day than their counterparts who did not receive prompts.”

What is even more enlightening with the same study was that the participants reported actual, positive changes with their bodies when they continued using the sit-stand ratio: “The participants who received reminders cited a decrease in body discomfort, increase in mental focus, and a general increase in productivity.”

Standing Desk Vs. Sitting At Your Desk: The Showdown

What does the current science have to tell us about standing desks or active workstations? What are the current debates, and what do doctors and scientists have to say about shifting to standing desks?

This is our comprehensive showdown of scientific and medical literature associated with active workstations. Time to decide if the benefits of an active workstation are for you or not!

1. Shifting to a standing desk means calories burned.

In a combined analysis of 44 studies by the peer-reviewed scientific journal Circulation, it has been found that standing for at least six hours a day (combined, switching from a seated position to standing) can burn more calories than just staying put.

Additionally, standing up provides the opportunity for more movement throughout the day, which might be why many ergonomics experts like the idea of switching between sitting and standing precisely because you can engage in some exercise in between and all that extra movement throughout the day can definitely help you burn more fat than when you are just largely stationary.

Another great benefit related to “the switch” is standing up more frequently keeps you more flexible and limber, and this alone can reduce the risk of painful joints and stiff or frozen muscles.

2. Reduce pressure on your disks and organs.

According to Stanford University Director of PM& R Sports Medicine, Michael Fredericson, MD, FACSM, there is plenty of proof that sitting for long periods of time can directly damage your disks, causing undue compression, which can then translate to lower back pain. Having chronic or acute back pain can affect your overall fitness levels, as well as your ability to just work without pain in the office.

Over time, the pain is going to become debilitating, especially when you are already in your late thirties or older. According to Fredericson, long periods of sitting down can also result in overall poor health. There is definitely causation between how you spend most of your day and your health.

The correlation is based on sound evidence: those who are not as active at all tend to have more visceral fat (or the fat that sticks close to the organs), and the same people tend to have poorer heart and lung health, too.

All these conditions, combined with the continually rising risk factors due to the same thing happening over and over again to the body will spell problems definitely, for people who do not change their lifestyle or at least modify their working stations.

3. Reduce your risk of degenerative diseases like cancer and heart disease.

According to James Levine, an endocrinologist, “The way we live now is to sit all day, occasionally punctuated by a walk from the parking lot to the office. The default has become to sit.Human Heart

We need the default to be standing.” If you think about it, this particular suggestion seems to be aligned with what we know so far about shifting to standing tables: that we need to start moving even if the office setting doesn’t really encouraging moving about.

According to other studies, the average office worker spends a hefty six hours being in a fixed, seated position per day.

Being this stationary has been associated with a wide range of health issues, including type 2 adult onset diabetes and different kinds of cancer.

It may sound like a tall order to begin moving, but if you want to avoid cancer, the effort begins with being less sedentary and being more active. And if you are in the office for most of the day, you need to take control of your fitness even when you are at work, right?

If you need more proof that sitting can actually contribute to cancer, another 2011 study states that as many as 49,000 cases of breast cancer may have been inadvertently caused by prolonged sitting. The same can be said of a staggering 43,000 cases of colon cancer in the United States, annually.

It is also unfortunate to note that prolonged sitting has also been associated with other fatal forms of cancer in both men and women, including 37,200 cases of lung cancer, 30,600 cases of prostate cancer, 12,000 cases of endometrial cancer, and 1,800 cases of ovarian cancer.

As you can see from the statistics, it is not possible to rule out the role of prolonged sitting in both men and women because many of these cancers are specific to both men and women.

For example, while lung cancer may occur in men and women, ovarian cancer and breast cancer occur in women specifically. The message here is quite clear: that there is a huge need for men and women to start changing their lifestyles so they can start being healthier and to reduce their risk of encountering these fatal diseases.

The writing is on the wall with so much scientific evidence piling up against just sitting, as opposed to standing up and moving more frequently throughout the day. It has also been identified by a 2010 Australian study that for every hour of sitting every day, the risk of dying prematurely from one or two causes related to a sedentary lifestyle increases by as much as 11%.

As we have said before, it is imperative that you shift gradually to a more active lifestyle inside the office and out of it, so you do not shock your body. It’s important that the body is eased to its new movement pattern so you can reap the benefits of the change completely.

4. Start taking control of your weight and weight loss efforts.

being active weight lossIn one study that delved into the age old question of why some people gained weight while others didn’t it was found that participants who didn’t gain weight at all were on average standing up about 2.5 to 3 hours per day more than those who were more or less sedentary or unmoving.

One can easily imagine why the weight was piling on with those who don’t move about: without movement, their physical fitness levels were falling every day, causing their metabolisms to slow down and eventually dwindle. According to Levine, “during all of our days, there are opportunities to move around substantially more.”

He also believes that there are ‘mundane opportunities’ for movement such as walking to a colleague’s office instead of shooting an email or instant message, or taking the stairs instead of riding the elevator. What the experts are definitely pointing to these days is people need to stand more and do more with their bodies because the human body was designed to move.

Does this all tie up perfectly with the use of more active workspaces and standing desks? One hundred percent. Standing desks provide people the opportunity to break the cycle of being sedentary for so long and when you are standing you are also more motivated to move about. Research shows that people need to start taking advantage of the little opportunities to move, and not doing so can directly increase the risk of developing conditions like diabetes and obesity.

To make your weight loss efforts more well-rounded, you also need to make sure that you are more actively throughout the day, and not just when you are able to hit the gym, which as we know, doesn’t happen on a daily basis unless you are very dedicated to working out.

Additional studies show that there is so much more to sitting around all day than meets the eye. It appears that on the cellular level, the body is taking some damage too. It turns out that when you are more sedentary it is possible that the body’s own cells become less responsive to insulin, which is essential for the regulation of glucose in the body. Another possibility is the body is releasing reduced levels of lipoprotein lipase, which is important for normal metabolism.

Levine has some final recommendations to ensure that you are getting the best of your shift to a more active workstation: “Step one is to get up. Step two is learn to get up more often. Step three is once you’re up, move. And what we have discovered is that once you are up, to do tend to move.”

5. Target metabolic syndrome and associated disorders early.

It is unfortunate for many of us that something as simple as sitting could actually cause so much harm that even our metabolisms are impacted. An explanation is definitely underway here. When we talk about metabolism, we are not just talking about how fast you can burn calories.

We’re talking about the overall capacity of the body to utilize energy, harness it for biochemical processes, and more. So when something alters a person’s metabolism, a lot of organs are damaged in the process. Of course, the damage occurs over a period of time, and the symptoms are usually slow in coming. But that’s precisely the point of wanting to solve the problem earlier: that if you are more or less interested in want to safeguard your health, you perform the interventions needed early, before the major symptoms of metabolic disorders begin to show.

The science definitely proves many of our fears about sedentary lifestyles. A 2008 study showed that people who were stationary for longer periods and just sat rather than stood or moved are less responsive to the natural metabolic processes of the body such as the release of insulin, which translates to poorer absorption of glucose in the bloodstream, and this will cause problems in how the body utilizes energy in the first place.

Another 2013 study reveals that individuals who already have a risk for developing adult onset diabetes or type 2 diabetes readily increase the said risk factor by sitting most of the time.

The solution to the problem is not just standing up, though this is an excellent first step, but getting vigorous exercise regularly. Again, the more we move away from being sedentary, the better our chances of being more active throughout the day.

6. Take better care of your heart and entire cardiovascular system.

In our day and age when there is just so much repeated stress from work and life that doesn’t just go away, it’s enlightening to know that just moving more can do so much good for the heart.

On the flipside, if you don’t get as much movement going, you get the opposite: higher risk for heart disease and associated problems, such as developing debilitating chest pains and of course, the most problematic of all events – heart attacks.

Cardiovascular research has shown that people who sit for more than two hours at a time per day develop a devastating 125% higher risk for developing heart problems than those who don’t.

The prognosis is that much grimmer for individuals who sit for five hours or more per day and do not get that much physical exercise at all, even after work. It has been discovered that historically speaking, 34% of chronic sitters were more likely to die of heart failure than those who were more active.

Parallettes Training Guide: Best Exercises And Bars 2020


Parallettes may not look the part, but these low-lying bars that simulate the larger parallel bars that gymnasts use to build strength and flexibility are amazing fitness tools.

While parallettes resemble the ubiquitous pushup bars that some people use to improve their grip and add a bit more challenge to their pushup workouts, these portable dynamos of fitness are anything but.

You can parallettes if you are interested in building your core strength and making your upper body ripped and stronger than ever.

Because parallettes place the resistance on your shoulders, arms, upper body and core muscles, your fitness level will be tested sorely, and you get a better idea of how strong you really are.

How do you hold parallettes?

Developing the right grip is essential to using parallettes. Start by placing your thumbs on top of each bar. Your thumbs should face forward, with the side of your palm (the fleshy part) making immediate contact with the surface of the bars.

Wrap your fingers around the parallettes, making sure that you have a nice, strong grip for support later on.

Your wrist should be neutral, and your forearms, shoulders, should feel the resistance immediately and all associated muscles.

Your wrist should not be doing any heavy lifting or rotating. Do not bend your wrist either, either inward or outward. Doing so may result in injury.

How far should the parallettes be?

There are three orientations for the distance of the parallettes to each other. The first one is narrow, which is roughly the length from the tip of your elbow to your wrist.

This is considered the beginner’s width because the closer your arms are to each other, the more stable you will be when performing movements.

However, we recommend that you try the medium distance (from the tip of your elbow to the end of your closed fist) to give your body a good workout.

If both distances no longer challenge you, then what you can do is try the farthest distance, which is equivalent to the distance from the tip of your elbow to the end of your fingertips.

Experimenting with the distances can also reduce fatigue as sometimes the distance between the bars can have an effect on some muscle groups when performing movements.

How high should your parallettes be?

There is no single, right answer to this question because this would really depend on three factors: the preference of the person using the parallettes, his general fitness level, and his ability to balance.

Generally speaking, setting the parallettes higher can make movements easier to perform, but the ability to balance will be slightly impacted.

On the flipside, setting the parallettes lower will make balancing much easier, but the performing a variety of movements can be more challenging.

Again, we suggest that you try different configurations with both the distance and the height to make sure that you have optimum form when performing exercises.

Which type of parallettes is better for beginners?

Many experts recommend wooden p-bars because they’re lightweight and fairly sturdy, but there are also metal parallettes and plastic ones.

If you have used similar implements like p-bars before, you can base your decision to purchase from that. But all in all, they offer the same type of functionality and there’s really no ‘superior’ material for parallettes. What matters more is what you do with the p-bars while working out.

What Are parallettes Exercises?

Individuals who are serious about getting strong know that bodyweight exercises are a crucial part of their training.

Bodyweight exercises are extremely dynamic and recruit so many muscle groups at once, because the body hast o remain in equilibrium throughout the movement.

Compared to more classical movements that involve weights, you will be able to engage the whole body, not just the main muscle groups that you want to work out for that day. Below are some great workouts that you can try with a pair of p-bars today.

1. Dips

Dips focus on working out the triceps, and you will be using your body’s own weight to put pressure on your triceps. Begin this movement by sitting between the parallettes bars.

Grip the bars and lock out your elbows, so your hips are parallel to the ground, and your triceps are getting a good strain from holding your body upright.

Complete one repetition of this movement by slowly dipping your hip and slightly bending your elbow, all the while keeping your arms close to your ribcage. Breathe out when you dip down, and breathe in when you elevate your body again. For a more challenging workout, place your feet on a low bench or coffee table for added resistance.

2. Push-ups

Doing the push-up with parallettes bars is challenging because the elevation is beyond what normal pushups require, and you are instantly in an advanced front plank position when you begin the movement.

Make sure that your legs are straight, with your feet neutral and simply keeping your body aligned with the ground. Lockout your elbows at the beginning of the movement and slowly bend upward as you lower your chest.

The elbow should move back and upward, and not flare out. The hips must remain stable and straight throughout the movement.

If you need a more challenging workout, lower your chest to below the p-bars and slowly go back up. There is no need for fast o explosive movement when use parallettes. Slow, controlled movements are all you need to get the job done.

3. The L-Sit

The L-sit is probably the most recognizable of workouts associated with gymnastics. Unlike the dips, the requirement for this workout is to hold the position for a few seconds before relaxing. Start the L-sit by sitting between the parallettes.

Grips the bars and lockout your elbows, raising your entire lower body off the ground. Raise your legs and point your feet. Breathe out and just enjoy the movement.

After a few seconds, gradually lower yourself and get ready for the next repetition. To make this workout more challenging, each successive repetition can be held for a few seconds longer than the previous repetition.

Parallettes exercises are among the most challenging in the world of body weight exercises, and if you haven’t been doing body weight exercises that much, you’d be surprised at how much pain and strength a pair of innocent looking floor bars can bring to the table.

Now we know that you are interested in knowing what the best parallettes bars are, and we also know that it can get confusing since there are so many in the market today.

So we are basing our recommendations on special features or advantages that we think would be helpful for certain kinds of fitness enthusiasts/users.

So in essence, you can use just about any parallettes bars for your exercise needs, but once you get right down to it and you start using the bars more frequently, your choice of bars will become more specific, because certain bars bring different things to the table, as we would be discussing below.

Ultimate Body Press Parallettes XL Push Up Stands

The XL Push Up Stands are huge at 12” x 24”, and these are better suited for people who need more clearance and height while exercising. The extended clearance may arise because the user is bigger or taller, or just because his frame requires more clearance than the average.

The T-bar design is also perfect for people who are into crossfit and other high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.

Each parallette bar is also outfitted with two pairs of rubber skid guards, so you won’t have to worry about slipping while performing a movement. Highly recommended for fitness centers and home gyms that require heavy duty paralettes bars.

Lebert Fitness Parallettes Push Up Dip Stand

The Lebert Fitness Parallettes are made of stainless steel, so you can expect them to be tough as nails but also lightweight. If you have a high body mass and would like something that won’t bend even during the most intense workouts, then pick stainless steel parallettes. Stainless steel parallettes will also easily resist sweat stains, and they look pretty nice in home gyms.

The Lebert Fitness Parallettes measure 12” x 25” (slightly wider than the previous model we reviewed) and have enough clearance for all types of movement, not just the staple ones like dips, push-ups, L-sits, and different kinds of stretches.

These parallettes have a T-leg width of 16”, a grip width of 13”, and they’re perfect for travelling. You will get two Frank Medrano Signature Series Lebert Parallettes Bars in Chrome, and a FREE PDF Workout Program with Frank Medrano, too.

Garage Fit Steel Paralettes

If you have broken a couple of parallette bars before, or you are anxious that you might break one while working out, then you need reinforced bars.

Enter Garage Fit Steel Parallettes, which have been redesigned so they will not suddenly snap during the most strenuous of exercise. These bars are categorized as being extra heavy duty, and they are double welded at the joints so they don’t break apart while you are trying your best to get those movements right.

These bars are made from stainless steel and are painted with rust-resistant paint to improve its aesthetics and to prevent the look from ever weathering.

Take note that these are low paralettes bars (12” x 12”), and they are suitable for beginners and novice users.

Expert users who want more vertical clearance may want to look at the first two bars we reviewed (Lebert and Ultimate Body). But nonetheless, this is an excellent deal for people who have a tendency to snap metal at the joints.

Tumble Trak Portable Parallette Bars

They’re cute, they look like Lego bricks, and yes, they are fully functional Tumble Trak Portable Parallette Bars. What made Tumbl Trak stand out for us was the design and craftsmanship of these parallette bars, which are meant for people who may not always have the time or opportunity to train in a gym.

They’ve made parallettes bars as portable as possible, with a sturdy aluminum core and a durable polymer lining to protect your hands from the metal. These bars are also backed by 30+ years of manufacturer’s expertise, and they are committed to athletes around the world.

Vita Vibe Wood Parallettes

Some people just like working and holding wood, and they provide a different tactile experience, which may help enhance your performance while working out. If you have been looking for reliable wooden paralletttes, we recommend Vita Vibe, which is offering a pair of 24” long parallette bars.

These wooden parallettes are manufactured from natural hardwood (ash bar), which has been sanded to perfection for the smoothest and most comfortable grip.

Don’t fear while using these bars as they can support up to 250 pounds easily, and they are one of the toughest wooden bars around. The rubber feet on the supports are also non-marring, so you can safely use these bars on any surface. All Vita Vibe Wood Parallettes come with a 10 year warranty, and these bars are manufactured in the USA.

Ultra Fitness Gear Parallettes

If you need 18” parallettes made of wood, there’s Ultra Fitness. These lightweight, portable bars are perfect for travelling, and are non-slip, too. Perfect for folks who don’t need a lot of clearance to perform different exercises, and also ideal for people who are just learning how to use parallettes bars.

Ultra Fitness Gear Parallettes have also been tested to withstand up to 400 pounds, and they are designed in such a way that they will not fall apart regardless of the intensity or type of the movement being performed.

This is extremely important for people who are just getting used to moving with paralettes bars as beginners tend to exert excessive pressure on one bar while trying to balance. Ultra Fitness bars are given a company warranty of up to one year after purchase.

DIY Parallette Bars

If you have some talent with carpentry, you can definitely make your own parallettes bars at home. Just make sure that you use the sturdiest wood you can find (tip: pick hardwoods) and make sure that the joints are properly fused so they don’t break apart while you are performing a movement.

10-10-10 Incline Treadmill Workout For Weight Loss


The 10-10-10 incline treadmill workout is a beast of epic proportions, and it is perfect for folks who are unable to sprint outside because of bad weather, or just because they want to stay indoors on sprint day.

When you are doing with this workout, you are not going to mind that you weren’t able to run outdoors for that day. You are only going to care about your burning thighs, and the unbelievable pump in your muscles.

To do the 10-10-10 incline treadmill workout, you will only need a treadmill that is capable of giving at least a ten percent incline. And your willpower- you are going to need plenty of that to.

Breaking Through A Fat-loss Plateau 

1. If you have never tried a method similar to this before, it’s going to come as a bit of a shock to your system, and that’s okay – shocks can help you break plateaus and make you even stronger.

Start by standing at the sides of the treadmill – don’t step on the belt just yet. Adjust the incline of the treadmill to 10%, and then set the sped to 1-3 miles more than your average speed.

By average, we mean here the speed that you use to get past the fatigue so you can just finish the workout without having to stop.

If your jogging pace is 5 mph, set the speed of the inclined treadmill to 6-8 mph. This should be a good beginning, and will help your body adapt to the strategy more quickly.

2. Wait for the treadmill to warm up. Give it a few seconds until you hear that its motor is running at the desired speed. Once it has reached this point, feel free to jump in at any time.

When you are on the belt, start sprinting for your life! You are going to feel extremely challenged in the beginning, mainly because there’s no warm up anymore, and your speed is higher than your usual. Your muscles are going to be screaming for air, but just keep pushing and don’t worry about it.

3. The first sprint should be no more than thirty seconds. That’s it. Thirty seconds, grab the sides of the treadmill and step off by stepping outside the bounds of the belt.

Give yourself a thirty second break, and immediately jump on the belt again for another half minute. Do not take a break just yet – keep the momentum going, so that heart rate stays up, and your muscles keep pumping. Repeat the cycle ten times.

4. If you think this isn’t challenging yet, hold on a sec because we’re not done yet. Each time you finish a repetition, try to increase the speed of the belt until you hit the 10 mp mark.

When you reach this level, try your best to complete ten rounds at 10 mph. The incline should remain at 10% at all times – this is where much of the challenge comes from, and is an integral part of the fitness routine.

The Benefits of Cardio

The treadmill is as classic as it gets when it comes to conventional gym cardio workouts, and there’s a good reason why, despite its challenging nature, it is still being embraced by people: it just works. Cardio benefits everyone who wants to have a healthier body, and there’s just no substitute for a good cardio workout.

Whenever you push yourself through aerobic exercises that really pump your muscles and force you to breathe more regularly and deeply, you gain the following health benefits:

– Your cardiovascular and respiratory systems are strengthened. The heart is a muscle, and over time if you don’t use it well enough, it starts to weaken. The lower your heart rate when you are performing exercises, the better off your heart.

That’s why people who have high blood pressure are advised to do exercises because it improves blood circulation and strengthens the heart at the same time. Over a period of time, lung capacity can also increase if you do your cardio workouts regularly.

– You burn calories hard. There are studies in the past that show that simple cardio exercises can increase your metabolism for up to a week after the actual exercise.

If you are exercising daily, that means your body is literal fat burning furnace, and there’s nothing stopping in your way of burning calories and staying fit.

– Regular cardio can help improve your mood. This happens because the body releases mood-regulating compounds to reward the body after a day of hard work.

This is the natural high that fitness buffs experience when they have a good workout. Endorphins help kill pain and also make you feel good inside. That’s not something you can get anywhere else. So exercise!

– The physical exhaustion brought about by exercise simulates the normal physical activities that our ancestors experienced thousands of years ago when they had to walk miles just to get food.

Our bodies, through our genetic makeup, remembers those days, if only vaguely. Our ancestors tuck themselves in after a long day of foraging and hunting.

Of course, with modern life came distractions to normal sleep at night, and exercising can actually help reduce the effects of these distractions because you will feel sleepier, earlier. Deep sleep is also a consequence of regular exercise, and you will wake up feeling great.

– Did you know that regular cardio can also help with chronic or acute pain? Cardio helps strengthen muscles and joints, and vastly improves the physical condition of the musculoskeletal system.

What this means is that if you are suffering from rheumatism, it is possible for you to experience less pain when you use your muscles and joints more. Exercise has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, and this is pinpointed as one of the major reasons why exercise helps relieve pain.

– And finally, regular cardio, coupled with the right diet, can help reverse the effects of degenerative conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

What Is German Volume Training Workouts


If there’s one thing that classical bodybuilders and modern sports researchers can agree on, it is this: that you need to pack on some volume if you want to see gains, and if you want to cut your fat hard.

Volume has always been a key ingredient in the bodybuilding matrix, and there’s just no way around it – if you’re lazy, or if you are only hitting the weights half-heartedly, you cannot possibly expect miracles.

Now, in order to increase the overall volume of your workouts, the increase has to reflect in your reps and sets. Increasing the resistance isn’t really the first thing you should do, as this will likely reduce your volume because higher resistance accelerates muscle fatigue.

On the other hand, doing high-rep sets too much can remove you from the hypertrophy zone pretty quickly.

The German strength coach Charles Poliquin was well aware of the limitations of the conventional sets that worked like a slide rule when it came to reps and resistance: the tendency is to simply reduce resistance to increase the repetitions, and vice versa.

Poliquin developed an alternative to the conventional technique which required too much experimentation to offer any fast benefits to both beginners and intermediate bodybuilders. His technique is called German Volume Training or GVT, and you should definitely pay attention if you have been having trouble with cutting or gaining.

The GVT Principle

German Volume Training, also called the Ten Sets Method, is actually one of the more brutal approaches to packing muscle and building strength. However, if you are serious about making those gains, you will not shy away from it.

While it’s true that any method of training will inevitably work, use German Volume Training if you want faster results.

However, it is imperative that you remain consistent, and you take the principles to heart. The goal of GVT is for the bodybuilder to complete 10 sets of 10 reps per set.

You are going to use the same resistance for each set. To determine the appropriate resistance if you are just starting out, reduce the resistance until you can perform sets of 20 reps easily.

That’s the sweet spot: go no higher if you are just starting out. In most cases, the resistance will be 60% of 1 RM (one rep max).

For example, if you can bench-press 200 lbs., 120 lbs. would be the sweet spot we’re looking for.

German Volume Training works because it creates plenty of tension in multiple motor units, and the tensions goes on and on for a longer period of time, compared to other training methods. The extended period of repetition with 60% of 1 RM resistance prompts the body to respond with muscular hypertrophy.

The muscle fibers split, and voila – you begin packing lean muscle mass by prolonging the muscular strain in a systematic way.

How effective is GVT? There have been anecdotal reports of people gaining as much as ten pounds in just half a year of consistently using GVT. This is huge, given the fact that the Ten Set Method works well with both beginners and expert bodybuilders.

The GVT method can be used for all the major muscle groups. A five-day program can look like this: on the first day do chest and back, followed by legs and abs on the second day. Third day will be your rest day.

On the fourth day, do arms and shoulders, followed again by another rest day on the fifth day. It’s important that you have regular rest days to give your body sufficient time to heal and recovery.

Recovery means the muscles are consolidating, and rebuilding the muscle fibers at the tissue level. As with any new training method, remember to always write down your sets and reps, and any observations you may have during workout days.

Write down anything that comes to mind during and after the workout, so you will have a detailed record of how you are progressing with the training method that you have chosen to apply.

German Volume Training FAQ

How important is the rest interval?

Many bodybuilders who begin with German Volume Training often skip one or two rest days and just go full steam ahead with a continuous chain of workouts. This is brought about by the fact that the resistance used will feel light, and therefore, “non-beneficial.”

The resistance is supposed to be lighter than the usual, because you are aiming for frequency, and not intensity. Also, there is plenty of cumulative fatigue involved, so the rest days are important to keep your muscle tissues healthy.

What kind of tempo is ideal?

The ideal tempo for German Volume Training is 4-0-2, which is basically doing a four-second negative phase, followed by a two-second positive phase (upward). For movements like triceps curls that recruit smaller muscle groups, the negative phase should be shorter by just one second, so the tempo will be 3-0-2.

How many workouts per day?

You will be performing just one workout per day, focusing on one or two muscle groups. That’s why you should try to do movements that recruit a lot of other minor muscle groups to make the workout really effective for the entire body.

But we don’t want to do additional isolation workouts for other muscle groups apart from the one or two that you want to work on for the day because we ware after volume, and you can’t negotiate on the volume. So less fatigue from other movements is necessary to make GVT work.

Should I try an entire week of GVT?

You can spread the sessions throughout the week, but seven days a week of GVT is too much. That’s pushing your body to the extreme, and you don’t really need to do this to see the results. The GVT has been rated to have a power factor rating of about eight billion, which makes it one of the most stressful techniques around.

Gfuel Review: Using Gfuel As My Pre-Workout Supplement


This is my review on the Gfuel supplement & why I decided to use it as my pre-workout supplement rather than traditional supplements that are marketed specifically for pre-workouts.

Gfuel is marketed as a supplement for gamers to help them with energy & focus.

So, let’s go into why I use it as my pre-workout.

Pre-Workout Supplement Without Beta-Alanine!

My biggest reasoning for going with this is I could finally get a pre-workout supplement without beta-alanine.

This is what causes you to feel all tingly or itchy after you take it.

On top of that I also didn’t care much for other stuff that has become popular in pre-workouts, such as Yohimbe.

Yohimbe, makes me sick to my stomach & that is common from what I’ve read.

Gfuel Focus Complex

Along, with the energy boost from Gfuel it has ingredients for their “Focus Complex”.

This is added to help you stay focused on what you’re doing rather than using all that energy all over the place, it helps with utilizing that energy on what you’re trying to get accomplished.

This would be getting a good workout in in my case, others it may be studying or pvping.

A lot of pre-workout supplements also have a lot of focused based ingredients as well.

Does It Have Enough Caffeine?

Most pre-workouts you find these days will be at a minimum 200mg of caffeine per serving, with some as much as 400mg!

Gfuel has 150mg which is perfect for me, as I hit the gym after work, and I don’t need anymore issues with trying to fall asleep at night.

Even with my timing of the gym I still fine anything more than 200mg too much for me.

Sure, if I was to take 200-400 mg then lay around then it might not be too bad but I’m up moving, lifting weights doing cardio. Blood is pumping, I don’t need my heart to have any extra stress than it needs.

I just need something to help me get going.

Well why not just use coffee or an energy drink?

Glad you asked!

No Sugar Crash & Love The Taste

I’m honestly tired of drinking coffee & it doesn’t give any extras than just the caffeine boost.

I like how Gfuel tastes and they have a ton of flavors, with more coming out pretty much every month it seems like.

Energy drinks do have a little extra kick to them & I do like the taste.

However, for the price, I’m losing money compared to using gfuel & also I can feel the sugar crash.

The price point is huge for me. Especially if you can catch one of their BOGO deals that they seem to run fairly often.

Antioxidant Complex

The antioxidant complex in gfuel is just a bonus. It’s not a must have for me as it’s something that they have in it because it may help with keeping you healthy.

I say “may” because I have zero clue how much it helps.

Here is a quote from this article, that is pretty much my sentiments on the antioxidant complex.

“I wouldn’t expect to see any ergogenic benefit from this complex, i.e. you won’t aim any better, or make decisions any faster. Adding some antioxidants to your diet, however, isn’t usually a bad idea. They’re generally healthy, and it’s possible that other good active molecules may be coming from the fruit and veggie extracts provided as well.”

Best Place To Buy Gfuel

At the time of writing this, the best place to buy gfuel is from their website which is usually not the case for most supplements.

Most of the time (with other supplements) you would find a better deal from a vendor.

With gfuel there is more than one reason why I buy it directly from gfuels website.

Reward Points

You earn points in a variety of ways but the main one is when you make a purchase through their site.

These points can be used to pay for more products or can be used for insane rewards such as a video game console at the highest tier. (This is what it says at the time of writing this, this may change in the future).


Another big factor is that they run deals pretty often & not crappy 10% off type deals either but like BOGO deals on their gfuel tubs.

Hopefully this doesn’t change in the future!

Final Thoughts

This has been my go to energy supplement, not just for pre-workouts but for any caffeine.

Compared to buying a soda or energy drink everyday for my caffeine I’m saving money by using gfuel.

I would say the only reason I would swap to something else is if they jacked up the price, added an ingredient I didn’t like or if I got tired of the taste.

The latter I don’t see happening because of how many & how often they launch new flavors.

Bodybuilding Techniques: Ripped to Shreds 2019

Whether you are new to bodybuilding or already months or years into it, it pays to understand the actual techniques that you can use to reach specific results.

There always has to be a system if you want consistency in the way your workouts affect your body. In this post, we’re going to examine the different bodybuilding techniques that are frequently used in the industry, and what they mean for you when you use them.

1. Accentuated Eccentric Workouts

This technique focuses on eccentric or negative phase of movement.

When you curl a dumbbell for example, you usually pay a lot of attention to how you fight gravity to lift the dumbbell from waist level to shoulder level.

With accentuated eccentric workouts, you pay closer attention to the ‘weaker’ phase of the movement, where the muscle is more challenged – the eccentric phase.

Technically, you can lift more because your muscles are only fighting the descent due to gravity.

So if you can only lift fifty pounds per hand during dumbbell curls, with accentuated eccentric workouts, you will be able to build up your strength more quickly and lift more with your one rep max set.

Some people might say: well, wouldn’t that mean that you are only performing half of the actual movement? Yes, technically that is true, but the thing is, your body doesn’t know that.

All that it knows is that it is fighting against a higher weight or resistance on the eccentric movement. The additional tension that your body feels will signal to your body to release more chemical compounds in the bloodstream that will help heal and build lean muscle tissues. This is what we want – more muscle-building processes, and ultimately, more muscles.

To try out this technique, ask two spotters to help you out on the shoulder press machine or any other rack or machine that you want to use.

Shoot for going 20%-40% above your known one rep max resistance.

Ask the two people to help you lift the additional resistance, but work alone when lowering the weight. Repeat as many times as your body can take.

You will have a little help going up, but the eccentric phase will be all yours.

2. Drop-Set Workouts

Drop workouts were used by legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger to build massive amounts of muscle in shorter periods of time during season.

What’s interesting about this approach is that it emphasizes both training to exhaustion and using reduced resistance so you can do more reps.

Here’s how you can apply drop workouts:

1. Begin with two sets where you are near your maximum. Keep the reps low so the resistance will be set as high as you can. The final set should be extremely challenging to complete, taking out all your endurance and physical strength.

2. When you’re done marauding your muscles with your first two sets, it’s time to lower the resistance. Reduce the weight by 25% and do more reps – as many as you can. When you reach exhaustion, drop by another 25%. Continue until you’ve doubled or tripled the amount of reps from your initial baseline of two sets.

What this technique does is it triggers the release of additional metabolites in your body, and these metabolites signal for more muscle growth in particular areas of strain.

Essentially, you will be signaling to your body repeatedly that you need more muscle “here and here” because there is additional strain that needs to be dealt with.

3. High Repetition Workouts

With high repetition workouts, the emphasis will be on the volume of reps and not on the level of resistance itself. The science behind this technique is that with higher weights, you only hit the fast-twitch muscle fibers, and neglecting the slow-twitch ones.

Studies show that by reducing the weights or resistance during workouts, you will be able to focus more on your slow-twitch muscles because of the longer duration of the workout and the extended time that these muscle fibers have been exposed to physical tension.

Does this mean that you have to let go of the heavier sets from now on? Not at all. The higher resistance works on the fast-twitch muscles, but you just need to pay attention to the slow-twitch fibers.

We recommend that you simply add this tweak to your workout system once or twice a week. Work with lower resistance to get that volume up. Sets with higher reps will definitely benefit you if you are after symmetry and bigger muscles in specific areas.

If you’re still unimpressed, here’s another benefit: when you expose muscles to longer periods of strain, protein synthesis increases, and this greatly improves the formation of actual lean muscle tissues. In the end, the experts say that you will have bigger, thicker, more durable, and more impressive muscles.

4. Paired Workouts

Paired workouts are often done to add strain to associated muscles and keep the tension going in those target regions. The idea is you are going to perform two workouts or movements back to back without stopping, and the target should be opposing muscle groups. Quads and hamstrings, for example, can be attacked effectively via paired workouts.

The science behind paired workouts is the concept of reciprocal innervations, where it is believed that the associated or opposing muscle groups are readied by the previous movement of a nearby muscle group. So with extra pump and strain, you may get better results in the end because the target muscles have already been primed by the previous sets and reps.

5. Work-Stretch Sets

Work-stretching is using light weights to extend muscles so they would ‘pop’ and trigger the process called splitting.

With muscle splitting, you are essentially turning one muscle fiber to two, and so forth.

Hyperplasia is encouraging the body to begin producing more independent muscle fibers, so there is visible growth in certain parts of the body.

Though there still has to be more studies to determine the effectiveness of this technique, there is definitely no harm in trying.