Research Says This Percent 1-RM is Best for Strength Gain

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Do you know what percentage of your 1-RM (one repetition maximum) is optimal to increase strength? It is often thought to improve muscular strength, you lift a lower number of repetitions (typically 5–8) at 66–90 percent of your 1-RM. Jefit looked into this question and this is what the research showed.

What is 1-RM Anyway?

The term 1-RM signifies the maximum amount of weight someone can lift for one repetition of a given exercise. When you lift any repetition maximum type of weight, you should not be able to complete additional repetitions. If you can, it’s not a true max set for that exercise. The idea is you give everything you have in that first repetition – as the name implies.

Is 1-RM an Effective Way to Test?

Numerous studies have assessed the reliability of the 1-RM test. A 2012 study by Dongguk University, Korea, examined the reliability of the 1-RM test based on muscle group and gender. The researchers reported that 1-RM testing is a reliable measurement to assess muscle strength changes regardless of muscle group location or gender. 

In 2009, a study by Victoria University, published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, looked at the reliability of the 1-RM strength test for untrained subjects. Both men and women, aged 18-35 years, participated in the study. They concluded, 1-RM was a reliable method of evaluating the maximal strength in that age group.

As with anything else, it’s important to make sure your body is properly warm-up prior to executing any max set. This is accomplished by using multiple lighter sets as you “build up” to your 1-RM, final set. Once you have determined a 1-RM in a squat or bench press, for example, you’re then able to work at different intensity levels over time using a specific percent of your 1-RM score. The percentage you work at ultimately depends on what your training goals are.

Examples Using Percentage of 1-RM

The following are a few examples of how an exercise using percent 1-RM can be expressed:

  • 3 x 8 @ 75% – Three sets of 8 repetitions at 75% of the 1-RM
  • 8/80%, 6/85%, 6/85%, 4/90% – Eight repetitions at 80%, 2 sets of six repetitions at 85%, and four repetitions at 90% of the 1-RM

Research on 1-RM Percentage Use

A small 2012 study by McMaster University, Canada, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, compared training effects of light weights to heavy weights. Over a 10-week period, researchers tested the effects of performing leg extensions with either heavy (80 percent of 1-RM) or light (30 percent of 1-RM) weights. The researchers found that both heavy and light loads increased muscle mass equally. But for building strength, the 80 percent load produced superior results.

In a study out of Brazil, researchers looked at the influence of percentage of 1-RM strength test on repetition performance during resistance exercise. The study involved a small group of healthy, male subjects who had been strength training for at least one year. The leg press, Scott arm, and knee flexion were used in this study due to its common use in exercise programs.

The study conclude that in 80 percent and 90 percent of 1-RM, the number of repetitions is higher in exercises involving lower limbs compared with upper limb exercises. While in 70 percent of the cases no differences were found. It seems that single-joint exercises perform less repetitions than multi-joint (e.g leg extension vs. leg press) while upper limbs showed more number of repetitions and total load in 70 percent of 1-RM.

Additional Research

A 2020 review published in Sports Medicine looked at two popular ways to prescribe load for developing maximal strength. The review involved 22 studies comprising a total of 761 participants (585 males and 176 females). The aim of the study was to compare the effectiveness of percentage 1-RM and repetition maximum targets as load prescription methods for the development of maximal strength.

The results showed percent 1-RM elicited greater improvements in maximal strength (4.6%) in comparison with RM targets. More research, however, is needed to fully investigate the efficacy of both these methods, specifically direct comparisons between the two methods. 

Finally, Jenkins and colleagues, saw greater increases in muscle activation performing leg extension, to failure, using 80 percent of 1-RM compared to other percent 1-RM over a 6-week period. Maximal muscle activation is important because it’s warranted when trying to increase strength.

Final Thoughts

There are many training variables that need to be managed when trying to increase strength. When it comes to choosing the best percentage of 1-RM to ensure strength gains, the best answer according to the research is probably a range. It will depend also on the training experience of the individual. If someone is a novice and just starting out, research has previously shown as little as 66 percent of 1-RM can do the trick. As a person becomes stronger and more experienced, though, that number increases to about 75 percent. Finally, as the person develops the necessary strength and mobility to handle heavy loads, the percentage can increase once more to 80-90 percent of 1-RM.

Here is a great training load chart from the NSCA that can help.

Use The Jefit App For All Your 1-RM Needs

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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Fit for Life: 6 Habits for Healthy Aging

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Many men fool themselves into thinking they can wait to focus on their health until sometime in the future when they’re less busy; however, the habits we develop and maintain in our 20’s and 30’s end up shaping us and are important for healthy aging.
That’s according to Dr. Martin Miner, Regional Medical Director of Vault Health, who’s an expert authority on aging successfully and integrative men’s health. 
Dr. Miner spoke with Jefit and has revealed seven important habits that most men over 30 are NOT currently doing to improve their health and should be:

Realizing that your body is communicating with you

Becoming acutely aware of your own physical and emotional feelings is something many men neglect to do, and it has a negative impact on their health as they age. Dr. Miner says: “Take command of your feelings and life, and learn to take actions that steer the ship the way you want to go.”

Going to the doctor when you’re not sick

Seeing a doctor regularly can help the doctor find problems early or even before they start.

Rethinking your typical daily diet

The days of gorging without gaining weight are over. And as your metabolism slows, eating fewer calories can boost health. But Dr. Miner says you should also make sure to get adequate nutrients, vitamins, and fluids to ensure healthy aging.

Exercising consistently (instead of intermittently)

Regular exercise significantly lowers your risk of diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, and helps you retain your mobility longer. Exercise also lowers stress and improves sleep, skin and bone health, and mood.

Taking stress reduction seriously

The effects of stress on your body are vast, ranging from premature aging and wrinkles to a higher risk of heart disease. Being happy and keeping your stress down goes a long way in helping you live and age well. In addition, testosterone levels are reduced in response to stress according to studies. stress, testosterone,

Investing in your relationships

This is more crucial than ever coming off the heels of this pandemic when many people have slipped into isolation. Studies show that meaningful relationships and a strong social network improve mental and physical well-being and longevity. If you don’t currently have an active social life, look for opportunities to reconnect with old friends or make new ones. Seek out like-minded others at work, church groups, volunteer activities, gyms, alumni groups, or any other group that corresponds to an interest of yours.

Healthy aging isn’t about trying to look like a 20-something — it’s about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of wine, you can get better with age with the right care, says Dr. Miner. Ideally, you’ll have already been practicing healthy habits throughout your life. But even if you haven’t, it’s never too late to start taking proactive steps to maintain and even improve your health. 
The good news is, it’s never too late to adopt new habits and improve your lifestyle.

Use Jefit app for your workouts

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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5 Squat Variations to Improve Your Training

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Squats should be a staple in every gym goer’s training plan. They are an ideal lower body exercise that can also work your core and other parts of your body if performed correctly. There are many squat variations that you can try, that each has their own benefits. Whether you are a beginner squatter or seasoned veteran, here are some of the squat variations to add to your routine.

5 Beginner to Advanced Squat Variations

1. Prisoner Squat

The prisoner squat is one of the simplest squat variations because it just uses your bodyweight. It is a great staple exercise for anyone to add to their regime, especially for beginners starting out. It is a lower body workout that not only strengthens your legs and glutes but can also work your core and shoulders.

Prisoner squats can also be done anywhere as you are only using your bodyweight! So you can fit them in during an ad break, or even at work.

To prisoner squat, make sure that your feet are planted firmly on the ground, hip-width apart. Your weight should be distributed evenly between them. Engage your core as you pull your shoulder blades slightly together.

Bend at the knees and lower yourself to the ground as if you are sitting on a chair. Remember to keep your torso upright. Keep lowering yourself until you are parallel to the ground, and if you can, go beyond that parallel line. Make sure that your knees do not drop inward as you do so; keep your knees rotated out.

Stand up again by straightening your legs. And repeat.

To make the standard prisoner squat more challenging, try holding the lower squat position and pulsing. Now you can really feel that burn!

2. Goblet Squat

Another great squat variation is the goblet squat. This is similar to the prisoner squat but with added weight. You can use a dumbbell or kettlebell.

Hold the dumbbell or kettlebell up close to your chest as you squat. If you are starting out, start with a lighter weight, just to get used to the movement. Then keep increasing your weight as you progress.

This squat will not only work that lower body but it can really work that core strength. It can also help prepare you for the front squat, which we will talk about soon!

3. High Bar Back Squat

This is the classic squat that people tend to gravitate towards. It is a comfortable place for people to hold the bar.This squat variation uses a barbell that is placed across your back on the trapezius muscles on top of the shoulders.

During the high bar back squat, make sure that the bar remains aligned with your midfoot. Your torso needs to remain as upright as possible to keep the weight from shifting forward.

The high bar back squat is a squat variation that places emphasis on the quadriceps (front thigh muscles) and glutes. There is less reliance on the hamstrings. However, compared to other squat variations, such as the low bar squat, you won’t be able to squat as heavy.

If you want to make it harder, then try pausing for a couple of seconds at the bottom of the squat before coming up. The high bar squat is also great to help those who do weightlifting (the snatch and clean & jerk).

4. Low Bar Back Squat

Another squat variation is the low bar back squat. This squat places the barbell on lower on the upper back than the high bar back squat position—on the posterior deltoid. It is only a slight shift in position of the bar but it does result in different body parts being used in the movement.

In this position, your torso should lean forward even more. This offloads some of the weight on your back and to help keep you balanced. It also means that you will be able to squat heavier than the high bar squat. You have less range of motion because your torso will be more horizontal.

Your feet should be wider than that of a high bar squat, as well as your hands. To help lean your chest forward, your hips will also be pushed back.

This version of the squat works the hamstrings and glutes. It also places more emphasis on the posterior chain. If you have knee problems, then the low bar is a good option as there is less stress on the knees.

5. Front Squat

The front squat works the anterior aspect of your body, emphasizing the quads and core. It uses the barbell but instead of placing it on your back, it is placed in front of you, resting on your front deltoids and collarbone. Your arms can be in two different positions:

Classic Grip: Place your right-hand fingertips under the bar on your right side, and do the same for the left. The number of fingertips you use to hold the bar depends on your preference. Keep your elbows up so your upper arms are parallel to the ground. This position can be difficult for those with limited wrist mobility.
Cross Grip: Your right hand can hold the bar on your left shoulder and vice versa. Your arms will be in a cross position, touching opposite hands to shoulders. If you have limited wrist mobility, you may prefer this grip.

As you squat, try to keep your elbows in and up and your knees out.

The squat is a really great move to include in your training. With these squat variations ranging from beginner to advanced, you can pick and choose which ones suit your fitness goal and level so you are not missing out on these great benefits.

Track Your Squats With Jefit

Jefit is a workout log app that has an extensive library. With the ability to mix and match your training, including different kinds of squats, you can really maximize your gym workouts and make the most of them. These are just 5 of the many kinds of squats you can do—check out Jefit’s squat library here to find more!

Have you tried any of these different kinds of squats? Which ones do you like? Let us know in the comments, we would love to know!

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3 Ways To Immediately Speed-Up Your Metabolism

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Metabolism refers to the process of how your body converts what you eat and drink into chemical energy. It is basically the number of calories you burn each day. During this complex biochemical process, calories in food and drink are combined with oxygen to release energy your body needs to function. The number of calories that your body uses to carry out these basic functions is your basal metabolic rate. Human metabolism can either increase or decrease depending on a variety of factors. Such as the intensity of an exercise session, nutrition and among other things the aging process.

“Metabolism is the process of breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to yield the energy your body needs to maintain itself. The rate of your metabolism depends on the interaction between the number of calories you consume, the number of calories you burn while eating and exercising, and the calories you burn based on your individual genetic makeup.”

Web MD

The majority of Americans have had both their normal, everyday life and workout routines upended because of the pandemic. Here are three ways you can speed up your metabolism and in turn help your body burn more calories each day, helping you get back your pre-pandemic life.

1. Water Thermogenesis

There are countless research studies that demonstrate drinking water increases metabolism. One research study showed drinking 500 ml of water (17 oz.) increased metabolism by 30 percent within 10 minutes of drinking and had a maximum effect at 40 minutes. Try drinking a 17 oz. glass when you first wake up and again before each meal (Journal Clin Endocrinol Metab. (2003) 88(12):6015-9).

2. Thermic Effect of Food

It takes energy in the form of calories to break down the food you eat. The thermic effect of food accounts for about 10 percent of your total energy expenditure. Calories are needed for chewing, processing and metabolizing the food you consume each day. In terms of the percentage of calories needed to break down specific foods, fats use only 5 percent, carbohydrates 10-13 percent and protein requires 30 percent. This means if you eat a 100 calories of protein, your body uses 30 calories right off the top to metabolize it, leaving a net of 70 calories. Try to eat 20-30 grams of protein with each meal. (Metabolism. (1985) 34(3):285-93).

3. Thermic Effect of Activity

This is the area where you can really make an impact in terms of increasing the total calories expended on a daily basis. Look to increase your metabolism and burn more calories with everyday activities like standing, walking and stair-climbing. Do more of this and less sitting throughout the day. This is also called NEAT, non-exercise activity thermogenesis, the additional calories expended outside of exercise.

In addition, you also have thermic effect of exercise. This number is typically 25 percent of your daily total energy expenditure but be aware that it can range from 10-50 percent. Inactive individuals may expend only a few hundred calories from activity while endurance athletes can expend thousands of calories. It comes down to one word: intensity. When you exercise at a high intensity you will expend more total calories and a higher percentage of those calories will come from stored fat calories. With high intensity exercise (like HIIT and Tabata type workouts) you could potentially expend hundreds of additional calories post workout, known as after-burn or EPOC (excess-post oxygen consumption). Try adding 1-2 high intensity interval sessions to your weekly workout schedule. Remember to build up slowly. (Med Sci Sports Exerc. (1989) 21(5):515-25).

Use Jefit to Record & Track Your Activity

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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Losing Body Fat Short Term Improves Life Long Term

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Today, much of the population struggles with being overweight. The mortality rate of the population worldwide is higher for obesity-related conditions than for anorexia-related issues or starvation. Our obesity rates result from a variety of factors, such as excess consumption of fast food, food manufacturers bombarding their products with harmful ingredients, and our excessive sedentary lifestyles. The result is an eventual increase in body fat over time.

If you’re currently overweight or obese, losing body fat can reduce your risk of developing many health complications that could potentially be serious. Even a slight weight loss (and maintenance) of 5 percent of your current total body weight can offer health benefits. Shedding those extra pounds can be akin to pulling teeth, though! And as we get older, our metabolisms tend to slow down, compounding the problem even further. Therefore, we must make the distinction of approaching weight loss as a healthy, sustainable lifestyle involving balanced nutrition and exercise instead of a diet or, worse yet – a dreaded crash diet!

Let’s take a look at some reasons why staying lean and getting into shape will help you and your life in the long run.

Reduced Risk of Developing Diabetes

Being overweight increases your chances of developing type-2 diabetes. One’s BMI plays a strong relationship in diabetes and insulin resistance. The more excess weight your body carries, the more resistant your tissue and muscle cells become to the insulin hormone. People who have type 1 diabetes also need to keep their weight under control. An abundance of fatty tissue can make it difficult for insulin to work correctly, leading to raised insulin levels and trouble controlling blood sugar.

Lower Blood Pressure

Elevated blood pressure can pose chronic health problems—the risk of developing high blood pressure triples for adults with excess weight issues. On the positive side, each pound of weight loss can lead to a drop of one point in both the upper (systolic) and lower (diastolic) number readings in your blood pressure measurements.

Less Joint and Knee Pain

Did you know that around four pounds of extra stress get placed on the knee joints for each additional pound you carry? So, for example, A 150-pound person who is 10-pounds overweight will add 40 more pounds of pressure to every step. But that same person would experience a 30-pound pressure relief if they achieved a total body weight loss of 5 percent.

Reduced Heartburn

The bad news is extra body fat places excess pressure on your stomach, which can force a reflex action of stomach acid up into the esophagus, resulting in that fiery heartburn discomfort. The good news is dropping weight relieves some of this pressure and eases the effects of heartburn.

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Extra Energy!

By losing some weight, you’ll feel more energized! The more body fat you accumulate, the harder your body has to work to carry out essential functions and movement, resulting in that sluggish and lethargic feeling. The body needs more adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that powers every cell, which is why you feel tired. However, when you manage to shift the body fat, you use up less ATP resulting in higher energy levels for all the tasks you wish to carry out! Overall, you feel better and healthier.

Improved Sleep

Overweight individuals are more susceptible to having poor quality of sleep and possibly even experiencing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a troubling condition characterized by multiple pauses in breathing occurring throughout the night. Reducing weight can often minimize sleep apnea episodes, letting the person finally catch a good night’s sleep!

Increased Self-Esteem

In short, losing body fat and getting in shape makes you feel good about yourself on all levels – body, mind, and soul! You look better, which in turn boosts your self-esteem. You have more confidence to tackle daily interactions and feel more positive about life in general.

Following a healthy and balanced diet that includes all your macro and micronutrients is key to shedding body fat. Your daily meal plan should involve each of the major food groups, as well as vitamins and minerals. The primary food groups include proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats and oils, dairy or non-dairy alternatives, fruit and veg, and vitamins and minerals. Be sure to practice sensible portion control as well. A good rule of thumb for the portion size of protein and starches is the size of the palm of your hand. The rest of the meal should be constituted of plenty of fresh veggies, fruits, and salads. In addition, be sure to integrate exercise and movement into your life routine.

We can take some inspiration from the way the French maintain their diets. They tend to remain in shape naturally. But, how do they do it, you ask? In general, they don’t indulge in overeating, and avoid processed foods and instead opt for fresh, natural ingredients. They will typically enjoy a small healthy breakfast, including cereal, yogurt with fruit, or muesli or bread. Lunch and dinner will include conservative portions of meat, veggies, and carbs, and some cheese and coffee to round off the meal.

More Apt to Exercise

Ensure exercise, movement, and activity are a part of your daily routine and that you enjoy them. It could take many forms, such as the gym or home training and doing cardio, weight training, strength, or resistance training. Or you might be someone who likes sports or activities like tennis, swimming, yoga, and other outside or indoor activities. Focus on building your lean muscle up, as muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, thus speeding up your resting metabolic rate.

The ultimate goal of fat loss is to improve your overall health and well-being, so you can lead a long and prosperous life and experience a good quality of life right into your old age. If you feel stumped and overwhelmed about tackling weight loss on your own, you might find it helpful to consult the following wellness services.

Use Jefit App

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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Seven Surprising Causes of Back Pain

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Most of us know the usual culprits of back pain; stress, excess body weight, improper lifting technique, and poor posture. While these are the typical causes, unexpected issues can be causing all that agony. Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non organic – meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer (source).

Jefit spoke to Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo, a NYC area Orthopedic and Spinal Surgeon to discuss the surprising factors that could be causing your back pain. 

1. Smoking

Smoking increases brain activity which makes people less resilient when it comes to responding to back pain. In addition, smoking also causes premature aging of discs by decreasing blood supply to the discs, thus leading to pain in the lower back.

2. An Incorrect Mattress

Old mattresses start to form dips from years of use. The dips in the mattress cause the spine to curve, leading to constant stiffness or pain. A mattress that is too firm can cause strain on pressure points in the knees, hip, shoulders, and back, which can cause backaches. If the mattress is too soft, your spine is not supported well enough, and the spine can fall out of alignment.

3. Your Backpack, Purse or Wallet

Structural imbalances in the spinal column can occur when you sit on your wallet. This can happen because one side of your body is higher than the other, and an excess amount of physical stress is placed on the lower spine. This can lead to lower back pain and numbness. Carrying a heavy purse or bag on one shoulder can also cause a neck and spinal tilt that can lead to backaches. Remove your wallet from your back pocket when you are sitting down, and regularly switch your purse from one shoulder to another. 

4. Your Wardrobe

There are unexpected items in your wardrobe that could be causing your back pain. Skinny jeans, heavy bags, strapless bras, high heels, and backless shoes are all clothing items that may be influencing your pain. Try to limit the amount of time you spend in these clothes to promote optimal wellness.

5. Dehydration

When you are dehydrated, the spinal discs lose water, and your spine is in distress. When this happens, the spine takes on the full shock of your movements, which can lead to pain. Avoid drinks with caffeine and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. 

6. Your Cell Phone

Constantly hunching your neck over to look down at your phone compresses and tightens the muscles and tendons in the front structure of your neck. This creates imbalance and results in reduced mobility, shoulder and neck pain, a curvature formation at the upper back, and even headaches.

7. Incorrect Ergonomic Work Set Up

Many people have been working from home due to the pandemic. Working from home has led to slouching and hunching in front of our handheld laptops or work from home setups. Slouching can lead to neck and shoulder pain, back problems, and stiff hips. Make sure to sit all the way back in a computer chair and keep your thighs horizontal to your knees at hip level. 

Try the Award-Winning Jefit App

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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5 Benefits Your Body Gets from Boxing Workouts

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Boxing is a great sport that is not just meant for professional boxers. The benefits from boxing workouts offer numerous health and mental benefits that everyone can enjoy. After all, taking part in boxing training doesn’t mean that you have to step in the ring and participate in competitive boxing. But if you want to learn how to defend yourself and keep fit, boxing is one of the best options for you.

Boxing can help you exercise your entire body without even having to step in the ring. Remember, boxing training is more than just hitting the punching bags or sparring with your trainer. Boxing workouts include numerous routines that will give your heart a run for its money. So if you are still on the fence or a professional boxer and want to learn more about what boxing workout does to your body, please read on.

The Benefits from Boxing Workouts for Your Body

1.   Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

Boxing workout routines are great for your cardiovascular system. And that is because most of the training routines will have your muscles moving fast and heart and lungs working extra hard to keep up. The simple act of throwing some punches when sparring will force several muscles in your body to contract and relax at once, and the faster and harder your punches are, the faster your muscles contract and relax. And this will force your heart to pump more blood and oxygen to these muscles, thus giving it quite a workout.

Boxing is a fun activity that requires you to move very fast while staying light on your feet. Therefore, your lungs and heart will have to work extra hard to supply the needed oxygen to your body. Boxing workouts demand a lot of cardiovascular fitness, so professional boxers do numerous things like running on treadmills, cycling, jumping rope, and even circuit training. These workouts will improve your stamina while giving you fantastic cardiovascular exercise. 

Training your lungs and heart to work harder is perfect for your performance and fitness. After all, excellent cardiovascular health is crucial when it comes to controlling your blood pressure and preventing heart illnesses. Even though you won’t ever have to step in the ring and spar with anyone, wearing the wrong gloves when training can be pretty dangerous. And if you’re looking for the best boxing gloves, you should look for advice from the professional MMA fighters and trainers in MMA today. I am sure you can find it on MMA today, after all, your safety should come first when sparring or training.

2.   Strong Joints and Bones

Boxing is a great workout that can improve the strength of your bones and joints. After all, denser and stronger bones are great for your health, especially as you age. When hitting the punching bag, the forces that go through your hands stimulate your bones to strengthen and mineralize. And this can reduce the risk of getting osteoporosis or osteopenia, and in some cases, it can reverse these conditions. Resistance training can help mitigate the effects of skeletal mineral loss. The mechanical tension triggered by the external forces on the bones can be an excellent stimulus for encouraging bone-mineral density adaptation. Therefore, boxing can be a great workout for the elderly.

People are always bouncing while sparring or training in the gym, and this puts some extra weight on your knees and legs. Every time you punch, your shoulders, arms, and elbows act as an external weight on your bones, forcing your bones to strengthen. After all, our bones function the same way as our muscles. The more weight you apply to your bones, the more the osteoblasts produce bone mass. And this helps thicken and enlarge them, making them stronger.

3.   Bigger Muscles and Weight Loss

Another considerable advantage of boxing workouts is that they help your muscle grow bigger while burning some extra fat. Boxing is about being quick and strong enough to defeat your opponent. So the quick movements done by your hands when punching does more than strengthen your shoulders and arms. These quick movements also help your muscle expand.

Professional boxers go through a great deal of training, including resistant training, weight lifting, and bodyweight exercise like pushups, among others. These workouts strengthen your muscles and make them more powerful, thus giving you taut and toned muscles.

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4.   Better Endurance and Stamina

Other than giving you huge muscles and improving your cardiovascular health, boxing can also improve your stamina. Better cardiovascular health means that your heart and lungs can supply the needed blood and oxygen to the muscles as you work out. And this will leave you working harder and spending more time in the gym without getting tired.

Remember, the fast movements while sparring can take a toll on you if you don’t have stamina. Some of the workouts that can improve your stamina and endurance include hitting the punching bags, running, punching a speed bag, and jumping ropes. With improved stamina, you can throw some punches and duck even when you’re tired.

5.   Improve Your Hand-Eye Coordination

When throwing punches in the ring, you need to understand that your eyes and fists are working together. And one wrong move can result in you getting knocked out. Therefore, boxing training can help improve your coordination, and this will help you hit the bag at a right angle.

Hand-eye coordination can be quite helpful in a lot of things. It can improve your motor skills that are valuable when doing numerous day-to-day activities like holding your pen and buttoning your clothes. Improved motor skills can come in handy as you grow older; therefore, boxing workouts are ideal for people as they age. 

Final Thoughts on the Benefits from Boxing Workouts

If you have never tried boxing or the workouts that come with it, then you might want to try it. Sparring, punching heavy bags, and all the other routines that come with this sport can have your body feeling great in no time. Plus, it’s a great way to relieve some stress. In fact, the benefits of boxing workouts outweigh the negative parts of this sport. And if you won’t be entering the ring to fight or spar with an opponent, then you will be safe. Just make sure you’re working with an experienced trainer who will teach you how to hit the punching bags correctly.

Use Jefit App to Record All Activities Like Boxing

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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6 Powerful Anti-Aging Benefits of Walking

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Robert Sallis, M.D., a sports medicine doctor with Kaiser Permanente, states, walking is the most studied form of exercise. Multiple studies have proven that the benefits of walking improve our overall health, and increase our longevity and functional years.

We do it just about everyday of our lives, walking that is. The average moderately active person “takes around 7,500 step a day” or about 2.6 million steps a year. If you maintain that daily average and live until 80 years of age, you’ll have walked about 216,262,500 steps in your lifetime. I know personally, when I previously tracked my steps using a Fitbit watch (now an Apple watch), I passed the 20 million step mark after 7 years. Anyway, that is a great deal of walking. But have you ever wondered about the potential benefits from all of the walking that you’re doing?

For those that really love the activity, increasing your step count offers additional health benefits when it comes to walking. People that consistently walk at least 12,500 steps (6.5 miles) each day have better cardiometabolic profiles. A cardiometabolic profile or marker describes a person’s chances of having a cardiovascular event such as heart attack or stroke when one or more risk factors are present.

Here are just a few of the many benefits you receive from walking.

You Get a Boost of Energy

Walking is no exception, and the great news is you don’t have to walk for hours to experience all the benefits. Going for just a 20-minute walk for three days every week for six weeks can result in 20 percent more energy levels and less feelings of fatigue, according to research by the University of Georgia that was published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

You’ll Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels

This particular walking benefit is a personal favorite of mine. It especially holds true if you head out for a walk right after eating a big meal (especially a high carb meal). According to a 2016 study of people who suffer from Type-2 diabetes, which was published in the journal Diabetologia, heading out for a 10-minute walk after eating a meal helped test subjects lower their blood sugar levels.

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You’ll Deal Less with Anxiety & Depression

Health experts at The Mayo Clinic, report performing exercise like walking can potentially ease symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. The body releases endorphins during exercise which “enhance your sense of wellbeing.” Endorphins can also distract your mind “so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts.” Finally, they help you gain confidence “meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence.”

You’ll Burn More Calories and May Even Lose Weight

If you take a brisk 20-minute walk you’ll burn somewhere in the realm of 90 to 110 calories for your effort. For the record, a “brisk” walk is one that is fast enough that you can talk but you cannot sing. Studies also show that walking can be a terrific way to lose weight. The Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry, found women who walked over the course of a 12-week study lost belly fat. Build up to walking 30-45 minutes a day is a great first step. There are many studies showing this is the sweet spot in terms of benefits. It can broken up, into two or three mini walks, throughout the day as well.

You’ll be Heart Healthy & Live Longer

The British Journal of Sports Medicine reported in a 2018, that brisk walking was directly linked with a lower risk of heart disease and death. Also, older people (above 60 years in age) who increased their walking pace, experienced a 53 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease. A second study published in 2015, this time in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a brisk 20-minute walk every day reduces your risk of death by upwards of 30 percent.

Another Benefit of Walking is Your Bones Will Get Stronger

According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are about 28 million people in the United States who suffer from osteoarthritis, and it’s a condition that women are more prone to than men.

According to the health experts at the UK’s Ashtead Hospital, taking daily walks is crucial for healthy and strong bones. “Bone is living tissue and becomes stronger with exercise,” they write. “Walking involves your feet and legs supporting your weight so that your bones have to work harder and this makes them stronger.”

Hopefully these tips were insightful and they will keep you motivated to continue with your daily walks. Remember, “physical inactivity is as harmful to your health as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.” This according to Steven Blair, PhD, University of South Carolina, a leading exercise researcher.

Use Jefit to Record & Track Your Cardio & Strength Workouts

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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5 Tips to Be More Consistent with Exercise

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When it comes to exercise, it’s safe to say that it’s not always easy to stay consistent with your exercise routine. Sometimes, when you first get started, you can be incredibly passionate about your journey. You’ll enjoy the process and be really keen to keep things up. But before long, you’ll find that work, life, or relationships tend to throw you off track. Some days, you just won’t feel up to it and so you slack off. And you know that when you fall down once, it’s always a slippery slope from there. But when it comes to working out, if you want to see results, you have to be consistent with what you’re doing. Yet it’s not always that easy to do. So let’s take a look at five things that can help you to stay consistent.

GOALS

First up, you’re going to want to think about setting a few goals for yourself. Because when you’re just working out with no real intentions or plan, it can be so much harder to stay motivated and consistent. But when you know that you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or feel in shape for your vacation, you’ll find that your mind stays motivated and you can keep up with your schedule. So think about what your fitness goals are, set yourself a deadline, and stay on track. Write them down and post it so you see it…remember, you don’t own it until you write it down.

GET A WORKOUT PARTNER

Maybe you’re the kind of person that just can’t stay motivated on their own? When that’s the case, you might like to think about getting yourself a workout partner. Lots of people work better in a pair or a team. So if you know a friend, family member, or even your other half, wants to workout, why not do it together? You can be each other’s support systems and keep each other on track. You will probably become more consistent with your exercise routine at the gym or home too.

HIRE A TRAINER TO GET MORE CONSISTENT WITH EXERCISE

If you think that you need some direction, then a trainer or coach might be just what the doctor ordered. Whether it’s a full-service personal trainer and nutritionist from your gym, or a coach or trainer that you use virtually, this can often be the trick to keeping you consistent. Because when you have structure and someone there guiding you, you have no choice but to stay consistent. There is something known as the Hawthorne Effect that can also help you. It basically states that people will do better with an activity when they know they are being observed rather than trying it on their own.

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FIND THE PASSION

From here, you’re also going to want to check in with yourself and be real. Because if you’re trying to force yourself to workout when you really don’t want to, it’s always going to be hard for you to stay consistent. You need to be passionate about your goals, the results that you’re looking to achieve, and the kind of workout that you’re doing. When you can truly fall in love with the process, consistency will come easily to you.

PROGRESS PHOTOS

Finally, you’ll want to think about documenting your progress. The Jefit app allows you to upload before and after photos of yourself. Doing this can often be the motivation needed to stay consistent with what you’re doing in the gym or at home.

USE JEFIT APP TO BECOME MORE CONSISTENT WITH EXERCISE

Download the Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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Research Shows Physical Activity Benefits Are Worth Your Time

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We continually hear about the multitude of health benefits of various forms of physical activity. Do you ever ask yourself, what exactly are some of those benefits? Look know further. The following research studies demonstrates the benefits acquired from regular physical activity. The following research studies offers a brief synopsis regarding the benefits from these different segments.

Physical Activity and COVID Protection

A 2021 study published by Kaiser Permanente Southern California of 50,000 people who developed COVID had striking findings. People who exercised for 10 minutes or less a week ended up hospitalized because of COVID. This happened at twice the rate of people who exercised 150 minutes a week. And most importantly, they were 2.5 times more likely to die. The researchers noted that being sedentary was the greatest risk factor for severe COVID. This was even beyond being elderly or an organ recipient.

A Reduction in Anxiety & Stress with Exercise

Exercise is just as effective as mindfulness at reducing people’s anxiety, a 2021 Cambridge University study found. The scientists reviewed 136 randomized control trials with 11,000 adult participants from 29 countries. In most cases mindfulness positively impacted anxiety, stress and depression, but there was no evidence it works 0better than exercise.

A 2020 study from the University of Limerick found strength training only twice a week has its benefits. The subjects performing lunges, squats and crunches led to 20 percent better scores on tests for anxiety. The researchers noted that the effect was larger than expected.

Physical Activity Offsets the Impact of Sitting Too Much

An 2020 study from global researchers, looked at movement tracking data from tens of thousands of people worldwide. They determined that people who were the most sedentary were significantly more likely to die young. The good news: It doesn’t take a whole lot of movement to counteract that threat. Just 11 minutes of brisk walking or other mild exercise each day led to significant reductions in early death. The sweet spot: 35 minutes of moderate activity led to the most longevity gains – no matter how long people sat.

A study in JAMA Oncology (2020) suggests that very sedentary people are roughly 80 percent more likely to die of cancer than those who sit less. The study used epidemiological data and activity trackers on 7,000 middle-aged men and women. They found people who sat the most, were 82 percent more likely to die from cancer. There was a bright spot in all of this. For every 30-minutes of daily movement, the risk of dying from cancer fell by 31 percent. 

Physical Activity Impacts the Aging Process

A 2018 study from Ball State University, tested the cardiovascular health and muscles of people in their seventies. This group exercised steadily for decades. They found that the muscles of the men and women were indistinguishable in many ways from those of healthy 25-year-olds. And these active septuagenarians essentially had the cardiovascular health of people 30-years younger. 

A study from the Cooper Institute and University of Texas, looked at roughly 18,000 people. They found that men and women who are more physically fit at midlife have a much lower risk of depression and death from cardiovascular disease later in life. Compared with those in the lowest fitness category, people in the highest were 16 percent less likely to have depression. More than 60 percent were less likely to have cardiovascular illness without depression. Finally, 56 percent were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

Continue to stay strong and active as you age. If you’re not currently active, remember, it’s never too late to start! Regular physical activity may be just what the doctor ordered.

Use Jefit App to Track Your Exercise Progress

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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3 Exercises that Will Increase Your Bench Press

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Improving overall body strength can be beneficial when trying to increase your bench press. Developing upper body strength will always play a huge role but other areas like strong legs and core are just as critical. There are many exercises that you can try that will help your cause. The following three exercises will enable you to lift more weight when it comes to bench press.

Military Press

Strong, powerful shoulders, with out a doubt, have much value when it comes to executing proper bench press technique. This is because having strong shoulder stabilizers can help at various points during the tracking pattern required during bench press. This is especially so when maintaining a load overhead while in a supine position. Another important area regarding the shoulder is the anterior deltoid, which comes into play when you press the bar off your chest. Adding both barbell and dumbbell military press variations into your workouts will help increase your bench press.

Medicine Ball Ab Exercises

Another area that is important to develop and maintain strength is your core. There are 29 different muscles that make up the core. A strong core is helpful when it comes to maintaining good posture. A strong core is vital for any sport-specific movement and it’s also important when executing a chest press exercise. A great way to get strong, ripped abs is to incorporate the use of a medicine ball. Like with anything else, begin with a light medicine ball before progressing to a heavier ball once you master the technique. A medicine ball generates speed through various ranges of motion like spinal rotation and flexion. During exercises like medicine ball Russian twists or overhead slams.

A strong, functional core can help generate more power through the upper and lower body. When you perform a bench press exercise, it’s prudent to brace your body as you remove the weight off the rack and during the movement. A strong core, via medicine ball training, will improve the bracing posture needed to increase your bench press.

Barbell Squat to Increase Your Bench Press

When you perform a bench press, remember to maintain four points of contact at all time. This includes head, shoulder and back in contact with the bench and feet flat on the floor. Building strength in your legs and hips will help you to “push” your feet and legs into the floor, and as a result, you end up pressing more weight. One of the best ways to develop leg strength is with a great compound movement, the barbell squat.

Try Combination Movements

If you lack time to add these exercises into your training routine, you can combine some of the movements into one to get similar effects. An example of a combination movement would be a squat to overhead throw, performed with a heavy medicine ball. This will target your legs, core and shoulders all in one efficient, compound movement. You can try throwing the medicine ball overhead against a wall or just into the air and repeat.

Use Jefit to Record & Track These Exercises and More

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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Three Myths About a Healthy Fitness Lifestyle

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If you’re going to achieve anything in life, you first have to be informed on the topic. This means learning everything you can about your craft, your hobbies, your passions. Fitness can fall into all three of these categories. To begin with, it usually develops out of a hobby. You might start out via an obligation to reduce your waistline, to improve your health, or for a more direct medical reason. Perhaps you just want to get stronger or live a healthy, fitness lifestyle. Sounds as good as any. When you start becoming familiar with the routine and feel as though you could do more, it can then develop into a passion.

This means you do it for the sake of doing it, as a regular fixture; becoming part of your lifestyle. Then, over time, it will become a craft. Not in the kind of profitable manner or artistic manner in which we think of it, but rather something we wish to improve, a basic lifestyle habit that we wish to continue and enjoy.

But to move from hobby to passion, from passion to craft, you have to give yourself the best opportunity to succeed. This includes dispelling myths. For that reason, let us help you get started with three such myths.

Rest is Not an Option

When we think of an active, healthy fit lifestyle, it’s easy to conceptualize someone walking around a city all day, like New York. Perhaps we imagine them working as a courier, or in a job that requires the person to be outdoors. But often, that’s not the case. While jobs like these can be beneficial to a healthy lifestyle, they aren’t the only way you can live one.

In fact, the assumption that you need to be continually active is a false one. A healthy fitness lifestyle is nothing if you cannot rest on certain days during the week. What matters is how you use your available time in the day to improve your overall conditioning. For example, many have experienced the benefits of HIIT, which is high Intensity Interval training. This might include sprinting for one minute on a treadmill, followed by walking for two minutes to recover and then repeat. Because of the intensity of exercise, you needn’t commit to low-impact activity.

On top of that, it’s not the case that going to the gym means you will need to go each week for the rest of your life or lose all of your gains. Active recovery periods, drop-off weeks for weightlifting, and the ability to rest and get more high-quality sleep, is essential if you hope to improve the current version of yourself.

Of course, you shouldn’t pursue a fitness lifestyle motivated only by how and when you might justify your rest. Thinking that this is an impossible task that could never be achieved should you choose to get healthy is not the case. In fact, when you’re in shape, rest becomes much more satisfying, and much more restorative. So the art of getting fit is also the art of feeling your best self. Proper recovery is a key component in the mix. That sounds like a win-win.

Do You Really Need Specific Equipment to Help Your Journey?

For some reason, the primal nature of exercise or weightlifting convinces some people that the most raw means of getting in shape are always the best. Never mind that ergonomically designed piece of exercise equipment, lifting heavy things outside all day is the real way to build muscle! Never mind the treadmill’s convenience and ease of use, running outside will always be superior in the minds of some runners.

This somewhat-sprinkling of truth and myth can lead some people to think they need to go without the bare essentials should they actually be completing the work well. To some extent, this can be healthy. For example, wearing a “squat suit” to perform a power lift is not for everyone. It is needed by some, but might be overkill for a novice trying to learn correct squatting technique. For the exercise newbie, sweat pants, sturdy shoes and a t-shirt will suffice. Keep it simple. Consider your needs. When you do this, you might find a simple workout was all that you needed to keep yourself in check.

Women & Weight Training

One of the more tragic things about the fitness community is how easily incorrect information can be pushed and accepted. One of the largest myths routinely asked about is how women can fair if deciding to embark on a weight training program. There is only one answer – well. While there are bodybuilders who happen to be women, many just starting out might not have the desire to get to that level. In fact, even if you had a masculine body, lifting weights as a novice will never accidentally grant you a hugely muscular frame such as that. Your testosterone levels are much less than that of a man, and even if they were the same, accidentally becoming that muscular does not happen. It takes years and years of effort and clean eating.

If you are a woman and would like to get involved in weight lifting, be sure to check out a strength program with dedicated compound lifts and proportional work, such as the Jefit app. The benefits you stand to gain are a slender, stronger, leaner body type. To that extent, weightlifting can be a tremendous gift.

With this advice, we hope to have dispelled three common myths regarding a healthy fitness lifestyle.

Try the Jefit App

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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