Is Crossfit Dangerous?

Is CrossFit dangerous? Just ask Kevin Ogar

Since its foundation in 2000, CrossFit’s popularity has exploded in the U.S. with thousands of privately owned gyms dedicated just for this hard-core fitness program. Every year, CrossFit Inc. holds CrossFit Games where a winner can walk away with as much as $275,000 and land lucrative sponsorship deals. This is what happened to Kevin Ogar while trying to perform a WOD at the 2014 OC Throwdown fitness competition in California.

So what happened to Kevin Ogar?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWJapBpKrQA

Kevin Ogar is a Denver CrossFit coach and was an athlete during the competition. In the video, Kevin was trying to perform the competition’s WOD 4 called ‘Touch and Go Snatch’ when the bar fell, bounced and struck him in the back.

Although Kevin is experienced at weight lifting, he was unable to get out of way in time when the bar fell. The accident severed his spinal cord and damaged his T11 and T12 vertebrae, leaving him paralyzed from the waist below.

Kevin Ogar
The worst thing is, Kevin is not insured and there’s no way he could cover his mounting medical bills on his own. The global CrossFit community has been raising money already to help in Kevin’s medical treatment and rehabilitation. As of now, there are 4,428 people that have donated a total of ~$330,000 on Fundly.com (https://fundly.com/kevin-ogar-s-recovery?ft_src=widget_campaign_card) and at the KevinOgar http://kevinogar.com/ site.

Although the event was not organized nor sanctioned by CrossFit Inc. according to Women’sHealth http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/crossfit-problems, whether it’s CrossFit or general weight lifting, everyone should use caution and make sure they are exercising in the safest way possible.

A safer alternative

People commonly ask us why do you use fitness machines when you can run outside, use free weights, or use one of the TV or fad exercise programs on the market. The reason I only lift using machines is because it forces me to use correct form and provides safety. The reason I use cardio machines is because there are redundant safety features built in and the environment is controlled. If there is a malfunction, there are safety systems in place to minimize injury.

Seeking to be fit in the shortest way possible is a misconception

Becoming fit requires resolve, time, and perseverance. You can’t just say that you want to lose weight in three months or develop a perfectly fit body in short order. While most have maintained an exercise regimen on treadmills and ellipticals and weight lifting machines, there are many that turned to high intensity programs like CrossFit and some people suffer the consequences. Keeping this in mind, we urge you to support Kevin Ogar and Treadmill Doctor has made a donation to help Kevin in his battle. Please do the same.

NAPA 8300 As a Treadmill Walking Belt Lubricant? Not Any More!

For over a decade now, factories have recommended that people use NAPA 8300 silicone spray under treadmill belts to reduce friction. This multi-purpose spray has amazingly served most consumers making it a very popular product for treadmills. However, we recently bought a can and noticed a little warning in the corner that said, “DANGER! EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE.” It made us wonder if NAPA had changed things up since the last time we bought it (we typically use our own lube).

We turned the can around and this is now what you can find in the cautions and warning label from a can of NAPA 8300:

CAUTION: May damage some plastics. May harm painted or waxed finishes. Always test in an inconspicuous area before use.

CONTAINS: 67-64-1 Acetone, 110-54-3 Hexane, 74-98-6 Propane, 107-83-5 Isohexane Isomers, 63148-62-9 Poly(dimethylsiloxane),  96-14-0-3 Methylpentane, 79-29-8-2, 3-Dimethylbutane, 110-82-7 Cyclohexane, 75-83-2 2, 2-Dimethylbutane

DANGER! EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE. Keep away from heat, sparks, and open flame. Vapors will accumulate readily and may ignite explosively. Keep area ventilated during use and until all vapors are gone.

DO NOT SMOKE- Extinguish all flames, pilot lights and heaters- Turn off stoves, electric tools and appliances, and anyother sources of ignition.

CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or heat from radiators, stoves, hot water tanks and other heat sources that may cause bursting. Do not puncture, incinerate, burn or store above 120F. Keep upright in a cool, dry place.  Do not discard empty can in trash compactor.

VAPOR HARMFUL. Use with adequate ventilation. Avoid continuous breathing of vapor and spray mist. To avoid breathing vapors or spray mist, open windows and doors, or use other means to ensure fresh air entry during application and drying.  If you experience eye watering, headaches, or dizziness, increase fresh air or wear respiratory protection (NIOSH approved) or leave the area.  Overexposure may cause numbness in extremities which can persist for some period of time and may be permanent. Avoid contact with eyes and skin.  Wash hands after using.

FIRST AID: In case of eye contact, flush thoroughly with large amounts of water for 15 minutes and get medical attention.  For skin contact, wash thoroughly with soap and water.  In case of respiratory difficulty, provide fresh air and call physician.

DELAYED EFFECTS FROM LONG TERM OVEREXPOSURE. Contains solvents which can cause permanent brain and nervous system damage.  Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal.

WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY. KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN.

A Little Bit About the First Listed Ingredient

67-64-1 Acetone is the first ingredient listed on the back of the NAPA 8300. 67-64-1 Acetone or Propanone actually has an ERG 127 label (Emergency Response Guide Number 127). It is one of those highly flammable liquids that will be easily ignited by heat, sparks or flames when exposed at a certain heat level. Also, inhalation or contact with the product sprayed with this material can irritate a user’s skin.

NAPA 8300 contains ingredients that can cause cancer according to the State of California, and is now highly flammable. We aren’t sure when NAPA made this change because as we said, we have been using our own liquid silicone for years but we know the public should know about this change because we know there are a plethora of manuals out there that recommend that people use NAPA 8300.

This is a major concern that consumers must know and cease to use NAPA 8300 for lubricating treadmill belts. Some factories several years ago started warning people not to use oxygen devices or tanks around treadmills because treadmills create heat and the DC motor can spark from the brushes and they didn’t want a fire. Do you really think you should be spraying a substance that has “DANGER, HIGHLY FLAMMABLE” printed right on the front?!?

That’s not to mention that you should never use any petroleum-based substances on treadmill belts so in case you missed the ingredients list, read it again. It is “chock full of nuts” so to speak.

An Alternative

What we recommend now is to transition to an alternative silicone which won’t harm the belt or your health. One solution is the Silicone Slip Coat Lube that can be found here.  The Silicone Slip Coat Lube is a water-soluble liquid silicone that can be sprayed under treadmill belts to properly lubricate the machine. In addition, this lube is actually a food-grade, water based, liquid silicone approved by the FDA for use in food processing equipment. This means that the silicone included in the contents of this lube is also used to lubricate food processing machines.

Benefits of Ellipticals for Fat Loss

The elliptical is an excellent workout machine that not only targets various parts of the legs, but also the upper body and the core.  If you are determined to start losing weight and building muscle and a healthy body, check out some of the benefits that this machine provides.  It would also be beneficial to look into elliptical reviews in order to determine what particular brand would offer you features that you require.

-       Fixes Weaker Muscles

The elliptical helps to coordinate muscle interaction between the arms, legs, lower back and buttocks; it utilizes quadriceps function far more than other types of exercise machines, which is the ultimate goal.  Also, if you decide to incorporate backwards pedaling on the elliptical, it targets your quadriceps even further.

-       Works Your Upper Body Too

The elliptical clearly provides benefits for the upper body in addition to the legs; even the basic posture that one must stand at to effectively use the machine works your core far more effectively than just running.  If you are confident enough to use the machine without the railing, you can also further improve your balance and posture as you exercise on it.  Ultimately, an elliptical can also target the shoulders, chest, biceps and triceps in order to provide an all-around workout for burning fat.

-       Helps Target Weak Muscles

Another aspect of elliptical trainer that gets overlooked is that it helps to target particular muscle groups that have been known for being “weaker” than other areas of the body.  In particular, the gluteus maximus and hip flexors are activated with an elliptical workout.  In fact, Bruce Lee often would focus his workouts on the extensors and rotators of the hip to improve fluidity of movement, kicking strength and a healthy body overall.

Why Your Knees Hurt on the Treadmill: You’re Doing it Wrong!

It would be safe to say that our culture and mindset has shifted towards achieving a healthier lifestyle within the past 5-10 years.  Even within the food industry, the FDA is now coming down hard on companies that utilize trans fats in their products.  Some health aspects may be a fad for the time being, but the reality is that it doesn’t change one’s need to exercise regularly and eat healthy.

The treadmill has been an extremely useful tool for millions of individuals over the years, and has helped to shed plenty of pounds.  By the same token, however, the treadmill can cause plenty of injuries if used incorrectly.  Having pain in the knees and joints can be a common complaint from using this machine, but it is actually caused by improper usage.  If you are struggling with knee pain, take a look below to see what you might be doing incorrectly.

-       Walking too Fast

The speed of the treadmill can cause additional wear and tear on your knees.  Instead of jumping right in to a high rate of speed, take the time to slowly warm up your body.  Running or jogging often requires a warm-up just like any other exercise; walk for 3 to 7 minutes and ramp up the speed from there.  Your knees will thank you!

-       You Walk, Jog or Run in Dress Shoes

All kidding aside, the type of footwear you work out in directly affects one’s knees.  Poor arch support causes the types of knee pain that is compounded by utilizing a treadmill. Running shoes are a must, and take some extra time when purchasing a pair in store to quickly jump, jog and all the other movements that would be able to tell you about its comfort.

-       Slapping Your Feet Instead of  Heel-Toe

Another common mistake that some may make is planting their feet hard with each step.  A natural motion on the treadmill should have one extended their leg then landing on the heel and progressing forward to the toe.  Practice this at a low rate of speed and you will likely see an improvement in your knee pain!

-       Invest in a Treadmill That Works For You

Not all treadmills are the same in terms of their ability to provide an effective workout environment.  Take the time to read up on treadmill reviews in order to find the perfect fit for you; once you find a treadmill that meets your needs and you feel comfortable on, you will be able to enjoy years of exercise that can be pain-free.

‘Tis the Season to Get In Shape

The holidays are right around the corner, and now is the perfect time to start researching gifts for the exercise nut in your family. Gym memberships may be tempting, especially if they’re already a member of a gym. Having the ability to working out in the comfort of one’s home is almost always ideal. You might want to consider purchasing a treadmill, elliptical or other fitness equipment for your loved one.

The best treadmill and workout equipment usually has glowing reviews online – either from fitness experts or owners of the particular machines. In this blog post, we offer tips on how to determine the best treadmill to purchase for a loved one.

Test It Yourself

A good rule of thumb is that if you are reasonably close in height, weight and stature, you can get a solid feel for a treadmill by trying it out yourself. Check your stride at different speeds, check for the cushion of the deck and what sort of other benefits it may offer such as safety features, health designs and so forth.

Compare Pricing for Models

Price points for machines in the $1500 to $2500 range have been falling recently, which basically means you will be able to find better-quality treadmills in the mass market. In the $1500 range you could get a very durable treadmill that could fit the bill; everything depends on how much you are willing to spend and what you are looking for, but keep in mind that prices have been dropping.

Consult Other Opinions

The internet is a great source of information for those looking to make a purchase and want to get as many opinions and facts as possible. Online reviews generally offer insight into the customer’s expectations, usage, pros and cons of each machine. It’s also helpful to read treadmill reviews from experts. Our experts have reviewed thousands of treadmills. Whether you read consumer reviews or expert reviews online, it will be helpful to make the most educated decision.

Are you considering buying a treadmill or other fitness equipment for a loved one this holiday season? We’ll be happy to answer any question to help you make the best decision. Give us a call: 800-750-4766.

Considering Buying a Treadmill for the Holidays? Read This First

Are you already thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, and formulating your holiday wish list with your long-term goals in mind? So many people have good intentions, and only good intentions, with regards to losing weight and, at long last, finding a fitness routine that really works for them. One popular option is the purchase of a home treadmill.

In reviews of their current lifestyles, lots of folks find that the process of packing their gym clothes, driving to the gym, working out on a treadmill there, showering, then driving home or to work just seems like too many different steps to cram into their already-busy days, when all they really want to do is repeat the same simple step (namely, on a treadmill) enough times per week to reap the health results they’ve been yearning for. A personal treadmill for home use is the right solution to this quandary for many.

But which treadmill? There are so many great options available at a variety of different price points, that it can be hard to decide, and hard to know where to look for reliable information to use in comparing available products. Do you want a folding treadmill or a non-folding treadmill? Is a convenient, built-in, chest-strap heart rate monitor a necessity for you or could you get by with just a handgrip monitor or none at all?

In order to make an informed decision, you’ll want to know the advantages offered by NordicTrack treadmills made by the Icon Fitness group as opposed to Bowflex treadmills manufactured by Nautilus (to choose two examples at random). And you’ll want to know the fine points of your prospective treadmill’s features long before you pull out a credit card. The differences between the two pieces of equipment you’re considering could mean the difference between a treadmill you’ll use and enjoy versus one that’s a little too large for the room you plan to put it in, which is then relegated to the garage and quickly forgotten.

In addition to reading manufacturer’s technical specifications about their products, you’ll want to consult unbiased treadmill reviews –namely, reviews from sources that are knowledgeable about the many available products, can explain which features are appropriate for your intended use, and who do not stand to profit monetarily from your purchase of any specific treadmill over another.

The Keys to Using an Elliptical Effectively

A machine that you might see in a gym or home regularly is an elliptical; first appearing on the market around 1995, they have proven to be extremely popular with exercise enthusiasts of all ages. In fact, an elliptical makes a fantastic holiday gift for the fitness enthusiasts among your friends and family.

The best elliptical to choose will generally be a model that fits your budget, has an excellent warranty, feels good and provides plenty of amenities.  However, despite it being an excellent machine, many individuals still end up using it incorrectly; let’s take a look at some of the “do’s” and “do not’s” when it comes to the elliptical and elliptical workouts.

Do:

  • Wear clothing that is comfortable enough for working out, but make sure it has no loose ends to get caught within the machine. Style is understandable, but never dress at the expense of getting a quality workout or putting yourself at risk.
  • Utilize both your arms and legs in the movements. The elliptical is meant to get a full body workout, so if you are only engaging the legs, you are unable to receive all of the benefits.
  • Warm up properly before using, and make sure to start at a slower speed. Studies have found that an elliptical is comparable to a treadmill in terms of the exertion on the legs and heart.

Don’t:

  • Don’t try to speed along too fast on an elliptical; when you go too fast, the momentum gained does not allow you to fully engage all of the muscles.
  • Don’t exercise with poor posture; maintaining a strong back and core is the key to unlocking the full potential of the elliptical.  Slouching can create stress on the shoulders, back and knees, so make sure to be aware of how you are working out.

As the holiday season nears, finding the best elliptical as a gift is made easier when you have the ability to test it out, read online reviews and consult experts on what machine would be the best choice.

Is there a particular model you have found to be perfect for your needs? Let us know below!

Treadmill Desks Tips from the Treadmill Doctor

There has been consistent excitement over the last several years about treadmill desks or simply using treadmills while working in order to burn calories while you are getting something done.  The idea is to walk very slowly for a long period of time while you work.  It won’t get you a good cardio workout, but it burns calories and it beats sitting around gaining weight day by day.

Treadmill Doctor gets hundreds of questions about treadmill desks every year.  In the past, most people would get a regular treadmill and then modify the area around it to make it work.  Some high end providers that are making the whole workstation are Steelcase (the office furniture company) and Woodway (a high-end provider of commercial treadmills).  New to the fray is Landice who is making a treadmill desk accessory package that is very nice, but all of these options are quite expensive.  Some cheap alternatives are out there, but the quality is less than that of a department store treadmill overall.  For 2012 Lifespan created a new machine just for this type of use; The TR 1200-DT was Lifespan’s purpose built treadmill desk with the controls and display integrated right on the leading edge of the desk. They apparently did quite well with their sales, because this year they have 6 models available.  They are now offering three options to match with an existing desk and three with desks already built to match the model.  We would stay away from the 800 series but the 1200 and 5000 series desks are serious treadmills.

Treadmill Doctor provides a couple of important points to keep in mind when designing your workspace:

  1. Do not create a condition where you could be trapped.  People have fallen when using a treadmill so always use the safety cord and don’t build your desk where you could be trapped on top of a running treadmill if you forget to use the safety cord, or if there is a malfunction.
  2. When creating the work area, make sure to keep the area around the motor clear so that air can get to it.
  3. Remember that low speed use for extended periods of time is the hardest on a treadmill.  Most people think sprinting on a treadmill for 10 minutes daily really wears a treadmill out; that is not necessarily the case.  We regularly see more problems on treadmills that are used at very low speeds for extended periods of time because little air circulates to cool the motor and electronics and the heat has a cumulative effect, causing component failure.
  4. It is important to keep the treadmill clean and also keep the belt well lubricated because dirt and friction are the two biggest causes of failure on machines used at low speeds for extended periods.
  5. We also suggest additional cooling.  Whether you install a fan in the motor cover (what I would do personally) or simply have an external fan keeping the air circulated around the motor area, it will help to add years to the life of the treadmill.

We hope this becomes a healthy habit for you, and if you follow our recommendations you will have much more success from a reliability standpoint than if you just wing it.

Reduce Running Injuries with a Treadmill

Running is one of the simplest exercises that can be performed; it should often be considered the baseline for any exercise as it contributes towards arm and leg coordination, as well as increasing cardiovascular endurance.  So why should men and women run on a treadmill instead of on natural surfaces such as grass, pavement and sidewalks?

Let’s take a look at some of the pitfalls of running out doors: to begin with, if you live in an unsafe neighborhood, jogging and running outdoors can increase the chances of being a victim of robbery, violence, and other crimes.   Treadmills can reproduce pretty much everything except for the outdoor weather, making it perfectly convenient to work on one’s cardio any time of the day or night.

Here are some other benefits of owning a treadmill:

Safety

Indoors, there are very few hazards to worry about; aside from losing balance or jumping on to a treadmill when it is running at top speeds, there is very little that can go wrong.  On the other side of the coin, when training outdoors, uneven ground can cause twisted ankles, inclement weather can cause one to slip and fall; the list goes on.  Especially in the autumn and winter, when the weather becomes unbearable, working out on a treadmill just makes sense from a safety perspective.

Recover from injuries more quickly

If an injury has been sustained, physical therapy is often the course of action that most individuals end up taking.  Building up leg strength and endurance through the use of a treadmill allows for quicker recovery since the environment is controlled; one can build up an endurance gain by increasing speeds, adjusting running patterns and keeping track of their heart rate.

Programmable workouts

The best part of owning a treadmill is being able to adjust the workout routines on the fly.  It is simple enough to run at a steady speed on a flat plane, but one can also raise and lower the incline of the machine in order to simulate mountainous terrain; this provides for a more arduous workout and is especially convenient if one lives in a flat region.

Sole treadmill reviews are an excellent source for reviewing the different Sole models available.  Taking a look at other owner’s comments and insight can help make the difference when making a treadmill purchase.

What about you? Have you had more success using treadmills, or do you prefer running in the open?  Post a comment and let us know!

Four Cold Weather Workout Routines

As much as we dread to think of it, the cold season will be here before we know it! If you are looking for excuses to lessen your workout routine due to being outdoors less, think again.

From now until March is the prime time for fatty deposits to take hold on the human body; cold weather tends to keep us indoors more, leading to less activity and increased weight gain.  There are many exercises that one can perform while indoors. If you want to keep in cardio shape, investing in a treadmill could be the best investment you could make for the entire winter.

So what are some of the best ways to take advantage of being mostly stuck indoors? Check out these simple indoor exercises that will keep you fit and strong for the winter:

Jump rope

If you can find a relatively open area of the house: the garage, the basement or the living room, jumping rope is a high-intensity cardio exercise that can whip you into shape in no time at all.

Run on a treadmill

If you don’t own one yet, get one as soon as possible! Running, jogging and even walking on a treadmill can significantly improve one’s cardio as well; it surely beats having to run in the frigid temperatures. Take some time to look into reviews to find the perfect one for your needs. Nordic Track treadmill reviews are a solid source, as well as reviews for several other brands.

Perform lunges

Lunges are a great exercise as they help target the quads, hamstrings, calves and lower back.  Performing a lunge helps to build the stabilizing muscles of the knees and the gluteus maximus; as a great lower-body workout, this should be a staple of an exercise routine.

Stair stepping

Ever tried to walk up a long flight of stairs, only to feel completely out of breath at the top? Utilizing stairs as a workout technique really gets the heart and blood pumping; if you do not have stairs in your home, grab a stool or a stable chair that sits low and alternate climbing up and down with each leg.

In our society, it is far too easy to avoid an active lifestyle; don’t allow the weather to change a workout schedule, keep pushing and finding new ways to test the body and you will see results.

Let us know how you work out in the colder months. What are your cold weather workout tips? Tweet at us @DrTreadmillRx and use the #winterworkout hashtag. :)