JPalmer

How to Create a Bodybuilding Diet

So, you want to look like a Herculean champion. To get that kind of body, you need to do more than train. You need to eat like a champ, too. Timing, macronutrients, and supplementation are all key components to a bodybuilding diet. Don’t worry, it’s not as regimented as it sounds. Here’s the breakdown for everything you need to know about creating a bodybuilding diet. 

Understanding Macronutrients

In order to build a bodybuilding diet, you must first understand the concept of macronutrients and how they can either make or break your nutrition. 

Understanding Macronutrients

Carbohydrates

Carbs are fuel that break down into sugars when digested. If you don’t eat the required amount of carbohydrates to fuel activity, your body will feel sluggish. If you eat too many carbs, that sugar gets converted to fat. It’s important to find balance. 

Carbs are 4 calories per gram. 

Protein

Protein is the most valuable macronutrient for bodybuilders, because it does more than build muscles. Protein helps repair muscles after a workout, and it can prevent catabolism, or the breakdown of muscles overtime. For bodybuilders, you should aim to eat a gram of protein for every pound that you weigh. If you weigh 180 pounds, then you need 180 grams of protein. Some people who are hard gainers will need a little more protein to help their muscles grow. 

Protein is 4 calories per gram. 

Fat

The body needs fat to survive. In fact, you can’t burn fat without eating it. Though you don’t need as much fat in your bodybuilding diet as you do protein and carbohydrates, fat does deserve a place in your meals. Fat is 9 calories per gram. 

Knowing the above information, you figure out your ideal macronutrient ratio. For those trying to build muscle, you should aim for 30% protein, 10-20% fat, and 60-65% carbohydrates. If you’re trying to cut fat and gain muscle, cut the carb intake to 35% and up your fat and protein intake. 

Determine Caloric Needs

Before you can even start plotting out meals and when to eat, you need to know your daily caloric needs. There is your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the calories you burn just breathing and functioning throughout the day. BMR is generally affected by your activity level, height, weight, and age. A 20 year old lean male is going to burn more calories than a 50 year old moderately active male even if they sit on the couch all day. 

Then, we have your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), which looks again at age, weight, and activity level as well as body fat. 

There’s a number of TDEE and BMR calculators online that are very accurate and can help you; but you are going to need to do a body fat measurement first to gain the most correct results from the calculators. You can either do a skin caliper test, or you can use a handheld bio-electrical impedance tool. 

Using the calculation of your TDEE and BMR, you can then figure out the amount of macronutrients you need for your bodybuilding goal. 

Let’s say you get 2600 calories for. You then take the macro ratios from above (30% protein, 50% carbs, and 20% fat) to see how many grams you need of each. 

For example, protein = 0.30 x 2600 = 780 calories / 4 cal = 195 grams 

Figure Out Your Eating Schedule

Figure Out Your Eating Schedule

The best bodies in the world are not built from haphazard nutrition and poorly-timed meals. The standard three-meal plan won’t serve you either. 

If you want to gain muscle, you go eat maintenance level calories. Everyone’s metabolism is different, based on activity level, body fat and lean body mass. Because of this, two people of the same height and weight can be completely different metabolically and well need different diets. 

Based on your needs, here’s a sample meal plan that you can customize: 

Meal 1: Oatmeal, sprouted grain toast, egg whites, 1 egg yolk, 1 banana 
Meal 2: 1 orange, 1 whey protein shake mixed with milk 
Meal 3: 1 serving of broccoli, 3-4oz of chicken breast, baked potato or sweet potato or brown rice 
Meal 4: 1 whey protein shake mixed with water or milk 
Meal 5: 7oz of lean beef, mixed vegetables (carrots, cabbage, green beans, etc), brown rice 
Meal 6: Oatmeal, egg whites and 1 yolk 

Ideally, you want each meal to be around 30-40g of protein, 50-60g of carbohydrates, and no more than 12g of fat. Meal 5 alone would pack in more than 40 grams of protein and about 60 grams of carbohydrates. 

Meals 1, 3, and 5 are generally your bigger meals (larger portions). You can eat smaller meals or drink protein shakes for means 2, 4 and 6. 

The important thing to take away from this sample meal plan is that you are going to want meals that digest quickly before a workout. You will want to eat carbohydrate-rich foods that are low in fat, because fat can slow digestion. After a workout, you can eat a meal or drink a protein shake to shuttle nutrients directly to the muscles that will need repair. 

If you don’t have time to eat meals before a workout, or you have a schedule that doesn’t allow you to eat a meal beforehand, you can use creatine shakes, granola bars, and other options to give yourself some fuel. 

Conclusion

All in all, getting the perfect body is not rocket science, but it does come close! You need to be diligent, especially when it comes to your diet. Training and dieting go hand-in-hand when it comes to bodybuilding. Remember to first calculate your daily caloric needs then figure out how much more you need to put on muscle. From there, it’s all about the timing and the planning! 

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more information about bodybuilding, nutrition, and fitness.

The Best Hamstring Strengthening Exercises

The joke of skipping leg day is an old mainstay within fitness communities, and this is largely the result of leg exercises being harder to adhere to in the past. With less motility than arms, finding the right regime of easily-performed exercises for various leg muscles, especially the hamstring, can be something of a nuisance. 

Today, we’re going to look at the best exercise routine for strengthening your hamstrings. Before we begin, it goes without saying that you want to balance these evenly, and never be excessive with speed, routine length, or the like. Injuring your hamstring can be excruciatingly painful, and can temporarily (or in rare cases, permanently) reduce or take away your ability to stand or walk. 

How do I Know My Hamstring is Underfit? 

If you already have a decent regime of general leg exercises, you may be unsure if you need to alter any of your routines to provide a better workout for your hamstrings. There are symptoms that can easily be picked up on, though. 

  • Cramping, Spasms, Charlie Horses – Charlie horses are very painful, uncontrolled contractions of muscles that are essentially a form of acute cramp. The most common Charlie horse that happens within the leg is in the calf muscle, or along the sole of the foot, but they can also occur in the hamstring and other upper leg muscles, if they’re not properly fit. It’s worth noting that this can also be a symptom of potassium or vitamin deficiencies as well, though if that’s the case, such problems will occur in other parts of the body as well. 
  • Gluteal and Upper Leg Fatigue – If walking, standing, squatting and other leg-related activities result in significant fatigue across the back of the upper leg, or the base of the gluteal area, this can be a sign that your current routines aren’t sufficiently exercising your hamstring, causing it to fatigue much more quickly than other muscle groups. 
  • Restless Legs – True restless leg syndrome is not what we’re talking about – that’s something that a physician should address immediately due to it being a symptom of much more severe problems than your workout routine. However, mild restlessness, which leg workouts should usually help to abate, can indicate some muscles not being properly worked, and your hamstring is a prime candidate for this. 

Dangers 

Let’s take a moment to talk about how important leg exercises are as a whole. On a cosmetic level, if you focus only on your upper body, you will look patently ridiculous. We’ve all seen those guys who spend all day lifting and bench pressing, but neglect their legs entirely. They look like cartoon characters! 

But, on top of this, you also greatly increase your risk of knee and hamstring injuries, and these can have lasting or permanent ramifications, leaving you permanently walking with a limp, or experiencing significant pain. 
It also makes squats much harder to do, as well as any practical lifting to carry or move heavier things. 

Gender Doesn’t Matter 

Something else we need to point out right now, is that this is just as important for women as it is for men. The same danger of leg injuries can happen if a woman’s hamstrings aren’t properly trained and well-exercised. 

Equally, let’s all be honest. What kind of legs do most men prefer on a woman? Scrawny, neglected beanpoles? Or, is a woman with shapely, toned legs usually preferred? And, ladies, which would you prefer? Healthy, toned legs, or skinny, weak ones? It really matters for both sexes, equally. 

You Don’t Need Crazy Equipment! 

One last thing to point out, before we look at the six most effective exercises is, while having some decent equipment at your disposal does help, but you don’t need ridiculous, expensive and overwrought equipment to get a solid hamstring workout. 
We live in a time that’s unrivaled historically in both fitness and nutrition sciences, as well as the elaborate equipment we can produce. This equipment is all well and good, but you really only need a few simple things, to get a full workout, including hamstring-targeting routines. 
There are two routines we’ll look at that need some fitness equipment usually, but you can makeshift these if need be. 

#1 – Romanian Deaflift 

The Romanian deadlift is one of the simplest routines you can do. Simply hold a weighted barbell at shin level, arms straight, bending horizontally at the waist, and partially at the knee. Lift upward until your legs, waist, and arms are straight, the barbell at just below your pelvis. Hold, tightening your legs slightly, and lower back down in a controlled descent. 

#2 – Barbell Back Squat 

This is another simple exercise. Hold the barbell across the back of your shoulders, just at the base of the neck, elbows bent, palms outward. Have your legs apart so your feet are just past your shoulders. 
Bend at the knees, outward, producing a spread-legged squat. Hold, and lift back up slowly. Remember proper squat form with this one. 

#3 – Bulgarian Split Squat 

This one should not be attempted by people with hip or knee trouble. Start with one leg bent at the knee, behind you on a bench. Hold weighted dumbbells at either side of your body. Bend your other leg at the knee and hip until it’s at a near sitting position, your leg on the bench at a J-like bend as a result. 
Use some tension in the benched leg when returning to a standing position. Alternate between legs, evenly. 

#4 – Glute-Ham Raise 

This one is best served with leg press equipment. Lie face down, legs braced, cushion under your upper legs. Cross your arms across your chest, and lift yourself to a vertical position at the knees. Hold, and lower yourself back after a couple seconds. This is one of the most powerful (and fatiguing) hamstring exercises. 

#5 – Leg Curl 

This is the other exercise best suited with a weighted leg press. Lie face down, bracing the weighted lift just above your heels. Bend at the knee, as far as your leg and the weight will permit. Hold for about one second, and lower it back under muscle control. 

#6 – Kettlebell Swing 

This exercise is usually a “cooling down” or “finishing” routine, and is one of the higher kinetic impact exercises. This also works as a partial cardio exercise, so if your doctor has warned against excessive cardio, be wary of this one. Using ball weights, start bent horizontal at the waste (similar to the Romanain deadlift), the weights held back, between your legs. Bend up at the waist and the knee, swinging the weights in a parabola until your arms are almost level in front of you. 

Swing back into the start position under control (don’t let inertia do it for you). Be extra careful on resuming the start position, that you don’t allow inertia to bring your arms at high speed into your groin – it doesn’t matter what your gender, that will hurt. 

To learn more about hamstring exercises and other difficult group targeting routines, subscribe to my YouTube channel today. I have so many awesome things to show you!

The Best Leg Exercises For Growth

What’s a winning physique? It’s surely not a dude with bulging shoulders and pecs strutting around on chicken legs. Look, a lot of guys avoid leg day, but you’re doing yourself a disservice. Stop running away. Smash your goals. 

Here’s exercises that are proven to help you get massive gains that are also safe and smart. Let’s check them out. 

How To Work The Legs

Before we get into the exercises, though, let’s get a general understanding of working the lower body. You need proper form. Work on proper form first, and you will have better results from the beginning. Lastly, don’t focus too much on higher repetitions. Work within the 80-85% 1RM range for the most growth. 

Recommended Leg Exercises For Growth

With some basic information out of the way, it’s time to introduce the exercises. 

Barbell Back Squat

Note: Best performed inside a rack for safety. 
3-4 sets x 8-10 reps 
Rest: 3 minutes 
How to do: 
Start with your feet under the bar, hands in position. Get under the bar. Adjust your grip if you need to. Keep the chest up and the elbows down. Squat up to unrack the bar and keep your core engaged, back long. As you continue to perform a rep, keep your heels under your shoulders with the toes out on a slight diagonal. Get your backside as low to the ground as comfortable for your joints. To get up from the squat, drive through glute and hamstring muscles, squeezing and pressing. 

Barbell Front Squat

3-4 sets x 8-10 reps 
Rest: 3 minutes 
How to do: Bring your arms up under the bar. Keep the elbows high, upper arms parallel to the floor. The bar should rest atop the deltoids when your arms are crossed. From there, lift the bar from the rack by pushing with your legs up and keeping the torso straight. 

Step away from the rack and take a squat position—feet under shoulders, toes pointed outward. This is the starting position. 

Lower down slowly. Maintain a straight posture as the knees bend. Eventually, the thighs should be below parallel with the floor. As you start to lift from the bottom position, exhale and push the floor through the middle of the foot while engaging the quads. 

Repeat. 

Barbell Lunge

3-4 sets x 8-10 reps on both sides 
Rest: 3 minutes 
How to do: Once you have unracked the bar, step forward with either your right or left leg. Maintain balance and squat down. Think about lowering the hips, not bending the knees in order to keep your form. The torso remains straight. Knees bend to 90-degrees. Don’t allow the front knee to go beyond the toes. Once you reach the lowest point, power back up through the feet. Repeat this movement 9 more times on one leg then switch. 

Leg Press Machine

3-4 sets x 8-10 reps 
Rest: 3 minutes 
How to do: Start by sitting at the machine with your back firm against the seat. Your feet are flat on the foot plate, slightly wider than hip-width apart. Grab the handles on either side of the seat. From there, push the plate away by extending through the knees and hips. Turn the locking safety handle so you can move freely. Then, keep pushing through the feet until you’re extended. Bring the plate back slowly. Never fully lock the knees as your work. Repeat the motion. 

Leg Curl Machine

3-4 sets x 8-10 reps 
Rest: 3 minutes 
How to do: Once you’ve readied the machine for use, place the back of the lower leg on the padded lever. Second the lap pad against your quads, above the knees. Grasp the side handles. Make sure you start with the legs fully straight out behind you. Now, exhale, pulling the machine lever back as you bend the knees and lift your heels towards your back. Hold the contraction for a second. Slowly lower back to starting position. Repeat. 

Standing Calf Raise

3 sets x 8-10 reps 
Rest: 3 minutes 
How to do: [Use dumbbells or the machine] On a workout step or platform, stand with your feet under your shoulders. The balls of your feet are on the top half of the platform/step, and the heels are hanging off. Push up, extend the knees, and keep the torso erect. Never lock the knees as you rise. Continue raising the heels as you breathe then lower slowly to starting position, feeling the calf release and stretch. Repeat. 

Romanian Deadlift

3-4 sets x 8-10 reps 
Rest: 3 minutes 
How to do: Hold a bar at hip level with palms facing down. Shoulders are back, the back is arched, and the knees are slightly bent. This is where you start. From there, lower the bar down by moving the butt back. Keep the bar close to the body as you move. When done correctly, the maximum range is just below the knee. At the bottom position, squeeze through the back body and drive the hips forward to return to standing. Repeat. 

That’s it! You don’t need anything else—just consistency and determination. 

You can’t spell legendary without “leg day.” With these exercises, you can grow your legs and get that bodybuilding physique and strength you’ve been working hard to achieve. 

Enjoyed this article? For more tips and tricks and information on how to train effectively, check out my YouTube channel and hit that subscribe button.

Everything You Need to Know About SARMs

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, also known as SARMs, might sound like something fresh out of a science fiction novel, but that’s not the case. SARMs are real, effective, and an alternative to steroids. For bodybuilders, SARMs could be the key to unlocking true muscle building potential without any of the serious side effects connected to steroid usage.

Here is everything you need to know about Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, including what they are and why they work.

What Are SARMs?

SARMs is an acronym for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. A SARM is a drug that is a chemical twin to anabolic steroids. Though SARMs are thought to be new in the bodybuilding world, these drugs have been around since the 1940s. Currently, there are a few SARMs available legally on the market, such as: 

  • Ostarine (MK-2866 or GTx-024) 
  • Ligandol or Anabolicum (LGD-4033) 
  • LGD-3303 
  • Andarine (GSX-007 or S-4) 
  • Cardarine (GW-501516) 
  • Nutrobal (MK-677) 
  • Testolone (RAD-140) 

What are those weird code names, you ask? The truth is that, while SARMs can be bought, they haven’t been approved for medical application, so no generic names have been affixed to them yet. This doesn’t mean SARMs are dangerous. More on that in the next section. 

Also, some of the SARMs in the list are not literal SARMs. Cardarine is a PPAR receptor agonist; and Nutrobal is a growth hormone secretagogue, which helps with the release of growth hormones. 

How Do SARMs Work?

To understand how SARMs work, we need to briefly look at how hormones, namely androgens, function. Androgens are the hormones responsible for masculine qualities, like facial hair, muscles, and lower body fat levels). The best known androgen is testosterone. 

The body regulates the production of androgens, because imbalances are a double-edged sword. On the positive side, the more androgens you have, the faster muscles grow. On the downside, you can suffer from acne, oily hair, cysts, elevated blood pressure, testicular atrophy, and so on. This is why steroid usage is so dangerous. 

SARMs, on the other hand, only focus on muscular growth by: 

  • Focusing on muscle and bone, not the prostate, brain, and liver like steroids 
  • Avoiding the breakdown of molecules, like DHT and estrogen 
  • Avoiding conversion into 5-A reductase, which also converts into DHT, the cause of unwanted side effects 

This means at SARMs work like growth hormones without impacting the body like an over-saturation of androgen hormones would. 

What Are The Benefits of SARMs?

What Are The Benefits of SARMs?

Whether you are a bodybuilder trying to get over a plateau, a recreational gym-goer, a fitness enthusiast, or an elite athlete, SARMs have a number of benefits that greatly outweigh more controversial methods, like steroids. 

SARMs can: 

  • Increase lean body mass 
  • Prevent muscle loss (catabolism) during cutting 
  • Accelerate rehabilitation after injuries 
  • Decrease recovery time 
  • Increase fat loss 
  • Increase muscular endurance 
  • Decrease overall fatigue 
  • Regulate your libido 
  • Be used safely by females 

SARMs are better than steroids for the following reasons: 

  • Orally taken, not injected 
  • No liver toxicity from methylated compounds 
  • Doesn’t change to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) 
  • Doesn’t change to estrogen 
  • Doesn’t inhibit HPTA or cause a reduction in LH or FSH (hormones) 
  • Completely legal 
  • Virtually undetectable 

Another benefit to SARMs is that the side effects are minimal. You rarely have to worry about negative effects. However, you should always do your research on the brand of SARM you want to use to make sure no negative side effects, like suppressed testosterone, have been reported. Don’t use SARM S-23 for this very reason.

How To Use SARMs

SARMs can be used several ways, depending on your goals. Bulking, cutting, and weight loss cycles can all benefit. Most SARM formulas come in triple stacks, since many of the compounds are multi-faceted and have a synergistic relationship with one another. 

For example, if you want to bulk with SARMs, you might use andarine, ostabolic (ostarine) and testolone for 12 weeks. The typical dose is 10-25 mgs a day of each SARM. You should never go above 25 milligrams per dose. 

For cutting, use andarine (S-4), which has fat burning effects. 

To gain strength, andarine (S-4), anabolicum (LGD), and cardarine (GW) are a triple stack that works well for recomposition. Again, the usual dosage is 12 weeks. Then, you taper off. 

In short, SARMs are growing in popularity with the bodybuilding community, because this supplement has shown an ability to accelerate anabolism in muscles, prevent catabolism, accelerate recovery, and are much safer than steroids. If you’re looking for a change or want to unleash the potential of your muscles, SARMs are worth a try. 

Have thoughts on SARMs? Share your thoughts! 

Did you enjoy this article about SARMs? Then head over to my YouTube channel, where you can informative videos that cover bodybuilding-related topics like this one.

Viking Cycle Motorcycle Rain Gear Review

If you’re a biker, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Viking. They’re a leading name in motorcycle gear, making some of the best coats, packs and much more. Did you know they also make the best motorcycle rain gear?

Riding motorcycle in the rain comes with a host of problems, not all of which have to do with road safety. I you live in an area that runs the gamut of climates and weather, and you like to depend on your bike for transportation, you need to be prepared.

When it comes time to buy your motorcycle rain suit, you want the best motorcycle rain gear you can get, and unsurprisingly, that’s going to come from Viking – who else?

What is Motorcycle Rain Gear?

Rain gear for motorcycle riding consists of one or two components – at least a jacket/top, and often, a pair of easily-removed pants. The material used is water-resistant, often nylon or poly-synthetic in nature, capable of sloughing off the built up water, and helping to fight the cold, damp wind you’ll be plowing into at high speed.

Not all rain gear for motorcycle riding is made equally, and Viking, already known for their excellent jackets, pants and packs, have combined art and material sciences to produce the best rain suit for motorcycle riders that money can buy.

Not only will it keep you warm and dry, but it’s remarkably easy to clean – count on mud and dirty tar-laden water splashing on you if you’re interested in riding motorcycle in rain.

OVERVIEW

Is it Lame to Wear Rain Gear on a Motorcycle?

You like to be respected by your fellow bikers, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re going to ride, you want to ride in style and comfort. This has led some motorcycle riders to leave rain gear for motorcycle riding out of their repertoire in the past.

However, there is nothing lame or uncool about rain gear – the dirty water flying up off the road, and the rain itself, will ruin a leather jacket or a good pair of pants, and the high wind can result in you catching a cold, or even the flu or pneumonia.

Besides, the best motorcycle rain suit designs are quite stylish, matching any rider’s taste in bike and in the rest of their ensemble.

You don’t want to arrive at your destination soaking wet, as wet clothes is one of the most uncomfortable things one can imagine. On a colder, rainier day, you can become very ill if you allow yourself to get wet like this, and the wind will chew right through you as well.

Safety on a motorcycle isn’t just about riding properly and wearing your helmet. It’s about protecting your whole body from the elements, and that includes rain.

OVERVIEW

Viking Cycle Rain Gear offers you the freedom and comfort of movement for every biker’s needs in heavy rainy weather. The color options are bright for stronger visibility, along with reflective striping on the jacket to make sure you get to and from each destination safe and sound. Soft polyester outer shell with PVC packaging; our jacket has a Full-Length Zipper with a Velcro Strom Flap as well. In addition, we’ve added a head shield on the calf for added comfort and safe riding.

Ride through the rain while keeping yourself warm and dry by using these quality rain suits. While using this Viking Cycle Rain Suit you’ll be able to ride during heavy rain while knowing that your leathers under the rain suit will stay nice and dry. This rain suit has built-in reflective fabric on the pants and jacket to give you better night time visibility, keeping you dry and safe while you ride during bad weather. 

What is the Best Motorcycle Rain Gear?

Viking’s rain suit for motorcycle riders is a top of the line, two-piece design. The stylish exterior is made of the latest in hydrophobic materials, sloughing off water, even gritty, muddy water from the road. The adjustable sleeves and collar of the jacket make it a one-size-fits-all solution that anyone with anybody build can wear comfortably and with pride.

The pants fasten to the jacket easily, creating a complete seal against the elements. With Velcro, it can easily be adjusted while providing a snug, closed fit that will never jam, rust or corrode.

The advanced material also breathes, with an advanced two-way thermal lining that can keep heat in against the cold, while also allowing breathing so summer rains don’t cook you in your own sweat and heat.

With an attractive gray/black style, it provides a timeless look that’s anything but lame or unfashionable, matching any bike, and any rider, be they young or old. If you’re interested in riding a motorcycle in rain, this is definitely the gear for you. Now you can enjoy those cross-country rides and be prepared for any weather this beautiful country can throw at you, and know you’ll arrive safe, dry, and feeling just fine.

To learn more about Viking’s other awesome biking gear, or about riding a motorcycle in the rain safely, subscribe to my YouTube channel today. I have some awesome things I want to show you, and this is just a taste!

TECHNOLOGY

Viking Cycle’s Rain Gear Fabric is a 100% 600D Polyester coated by PU (polyurethane). The 600D Polyester coated by PU, is also wind and water resistant so it will provide great protection against cold wind and rain and it will not sag and creates less wrinkle overtime. The fabric is light weight but highly resilient against abrasions to provide more resistance between the body and the road for your protection, and also stands against wear and tear for product durability.

Viking Cycle
Viking Cycle

Viking Moto Motorcycle Backpack Review

Viking Moto Motorcycle Backpack Review

Let’s all agree that the biggest problem with our bikes being daily transportation is the lack of hauling capacity.

So, just as in our scholastic days, backpacks to the rescue! But not just any backpack will do. We’re out in the elements, we’re hauling heavier stuff than a few books, and of course, we don’t want to look like a vagabond. That’s where awesome designs like the Viking Bag’s Motorcycle Backpack shine.

This isn’t your high school backpack, oh no. This Cordura backpack features a modern classic look with leather trim and an understated aesthetic that will match your jacket and your bike, no matter what type of bike you like to ride.

Let’s take a closer look at this awesome bag, and how it can make your daily rides so much cooler.

Shot and Edited by Shaun Maddox
https://shaunmaddox.com/
https://www.instagram.com/shaunmaddox/

Viking cycle

Construction

As I said, this backpack is made of Cordura, a modern marvel of material sciences that fits comfortably on your body, while not being a floppy, frail backpack. With dimensions of 18.5”x12.5”x5”, you can carry groceries, personal items, or personal items with ease and comfort no other bag can offer.

Need more organization, or to haul some electronics with you? Well, Viking’s completely onboard with 21st-century life, including a laptop sleeve and stretchy, sewn in pockets for organizing your styluses, connection cords, your phone, and anything else delicate and vital you may need to carry.

That’s not even the coolest thing this bag can do. We all know how important our helmet is for safety, but when we get off our bike, it becomes a cumbersome nuisance to carry around or somehow safely secure to our bike. With this Viking bag, that’s not an issue, thanks to the stretchy helmet lining which can hold pretty much any helmet of any size no problem.

Gone are any excuses, whatsoever, to forego your helmet. You know who you are!

Viking cycle

The Feel

I took one of these out for a day ride, that is about 6 hours round trip, to go shopping in another area (I usually wouldn’t, but it’s a good field test for gear like this). By the time I reached my destination, I almost forgot this bag was even attached to me, and that was with a heavy laptop and backup battery in my bag.

I did, however, notice that as I took the bag off when going into a restaurant, that my shirt was a bit damp, as I’d sweat from where it blocked air flow to an extent. However, having had other bags leave the back of my shirt completely soaked through, I’d call this a considerable improvement in that department. Given this bag is weatherized, it kind of can’t have the airflow of something mesh, and I’d rather sweat a tiny bit while having my stuff protected from the elements.

What really caught my attention was the lack of soreness or discomfort across my shoulders, neck and upper back. I’m a broad-shouldered fellow, which means most backpacks with any weight, tend to tug on muscles and leave me sore or even numb – the broad design of the straps both across the shoulders and waist, didn’t cause that problem at all.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • This is an attractive bag that doesn’t scream “hobo” or “kid”, with a professional yet casual aesthetic that matches any jacket well enough.
  • It’s weatherized, and will protect everything with gusto.
  • It’s very comfortable, and the strap designs don’t cause soreness, discomfort or circulation problems.
  • I can carry my electronics in an organized fashion – this modern thinking is lost on a lot of biking gear companies.
  • The helmet lining does the biking community two great services by making our helmets no longer a nuisance, and eliminating any excuses for anyone to foolishly leave their helmets behind.

Cons

  • Being weatherized, you will sweat a little bit, it can’t be helped.
  • While attractive, the black may not be everyone’s taste.
  • I know a few hefty guys who might find the fit of this bag, adjustable as it is, to be a bit precarious.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

  • Heavy duty Cardura Construction.
  • Reflective piping for additional night time visibility.
  • Built in helmet hood.
  • Fits most 15″ laptops in padded compartment.
  • Detailed organizer for your keys, wallet and other small items.
  • Protective eyewear pocket.
  • Duraflex® buckles throughout for added strength.
  • Audio Ready.
  • Height and width adjustable sternum strap.
  • Aerodynamic molded body.

Conclusion

I like this bag. It’s not perfect, and I can see some room for improvement in variety of color schemes as well as a bit more adjustability in the straps for bigger people. I’d also like to see another model that’s stretchier, for if I have more stuff to haul back.

Nonetheless, this is a nice bag, and if you ride your bike for daily things like I do in decent weather, you owe it to yourself to give a bag like this a try!

Viking Cycle – Warlock Textile Motorcycle Jacket Review

Finding a Great Entry-Level Cycle Jacket - Viking Warlock Jacket Review

When critiquing motorcycle jackets, we have a tendency to judge them by the standards and needs of long-term, experienced cyclists. The unfortunate truth is that, for those just getting into motorcycling, these criteria may be a good bit different. For one thing, beginners will tend to spend somewhat less time on their bikes as they’re still getting a feel for them, and they’re less likely to be out there in the more extreme temperatures of high summer and mid-winter. 

This means that some forgiveness in fitting and materials is called for when looking at a prospective first motorcycle jacket. In the case of the VikingCycle’s Warlock jacket, this may work out pretty well.

To purchase, click here:
http://shrsl.com/1bl7e
Use Coupon Code Runthacity to receive 12% off your order!
 
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The Look Of The Warlock Jacket

Well, let’s be honest with ourselves, we’re always going to demand that our jacket look really cool. It won’t do to look unstylish on our bikes, no matter if we’re a novice or a years-experienced rider. If the jacket doesn’t look good, nothing else matters. Maybe this isn’t the most prioritized way to think of things, but that’s just how it is.

While not the classic cruiser style so iconic in pop culture, this jacket does have a very modern classic vibe to it. It achieves a contemporary, unassuming but stylish look that blends many of the safety and comfort features of sport/street jackets, with the gentle form hugging and sleek nature that makes those cruiser jackets so beloved in the first place.

Moving forward, this even blend of these two styles will probably be somewhat timeless, which gives this jacket a unique future proof nature.

Comfort in a motorcycle jacket is a delicate balance. You don’t want to feel claustrophobic in the jacket, but at the same time, something too loose would have obvious problems. Similarly, you don’t want it to feel too bulky or heavy, but you want to feel like you’ve got something on. Finally, you want this balanced comfort to also provide good wind-cutting power, especially when it’s chilly out. Remember, the faster you go, the colder that air is going to be. 

This jacket checks all but one of these boxes rather nicely. I felt like I had a solid jacket on, but I never felt claustrophobic, encumbered nor weighed down by it. The adjustable sleeves and collar meant that I didn’t feel like my circulation was cut off, but it still sealed me up well enough against the elements. 

Unfortunately, the wind-cutting power of this jacket isn’t phenomenal, even with the liner in. It’s far from the worst, but in particularly chilly weather, the wind is still going to bite right into you with this jacket. 

Motorcycle Jacket Safety

Safety is of course a big concern, especially for a beginner. This jacket manages to be pretty well-padded and abrasion-resistant, without feeling cumbersome. Granted, it’s not as fortified as a racing jacket, but I felt very safe in this jacket, especially thanks to the waist zipper that fastens to pants to provide a unified layer of protection. 

It definitely passes my standards for safety, no question there. 

VikingCycle’s Signature Rain Gear Fabric is a 100% 600D Polyester coated by PU (polyurethane). The 600D Polyester coated by PU, is also wind and water resistant so it will provide great protection against cold wind and rain and it will not sag and creates less wrinkle overtime. The fabric is light weight but highly resilient against abrasions to provide more resistance between the body and the road for your protection, and also stands against wear and tear for product durability.

Bells and Whistles

Finally, we come to the additional accoutrements this jacket offers. It’s not the most elaborate design out there, but it’s not without its charms. 

  • Large zipper tabs make it easy to operate the zippers with gloves on – something that can be exquisitely frustrating. 
  • Plenty of inside pockets for your phone, your wallet, etc. where they’re protected from the elements and impacts. 
  • Removable liner makes this jacket comfortable for warm and cool riding. 

Warlock Jacket Textile Motorcycle Jacket Overview

Viking cycle

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • This is an affordable jacket, especially for the quality, which is a major deciding factor for the beginner motorcyclist. 
  • The inside pockets are a nice touch. 
  • The neutral, non-aggressive style is timeless, contemporary and pairs with any style of bike. 
  • The zippers are phenomenal.

Cons

  • Removable liner takes most of the inner pockets with it, and doesn’t cut wind well. 
  • Velcro is used in stead of button clasps – this is a noisy material that wears out and accumulates “fuzz”. 
  • There are synthetic materials in the cuffs that may be less durable. 

Warranty Information

VikingCycle takes the highest pride to provide the best motorcycle gear craftsmanship and material in the world. We always stand behind all our product quality. If you experience any manufacturing defects on any of our items, please let us know and return it for a replacement within 1 year of purchase.

This warranty does not cover any item damage due to normal wear and tear or improper care. Normal wear and tear is unavoidable and it is a sign that the product has been worn, such as small scratches or color change.

To claim any manufacturing defect warranty and to get your replacement as soon as possible, please let us know by emailing us at info@vikingcycle.com with your order number and a photo of the product defect.

Conclusion

This jacket’s not perfect, but then, is anything ever truly perfect? As a seasoned rider, I’d personally purchase this jacket. It is affordable, comfortable and a stylish first jacket for a beginner? I’d definitely be happy recommending the Warlock jacket. 
 
To purchase, click here:
http://shrsl.com/1bl7e
Use Coupon Code Runthacity to receive 12% off your order!
 
To learn more about choosing the ideal motorcycle jacket for your needs, subscribe to my YouTube channel today!
 
Viking cycle

How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Jacket

The motorcycle jacket is one of the most iconic artifacts of biker culture, especially in public consciousness. When people picture a motorcyclist, they tend to envision someone clad in a well-made, well-fitted leather jacket. 

With the continuous advancement of material sciences, the constant diversification of motorcycles themselves, and the rather varied climates of a global society, there are a plethora of jackets to choose from. 

You’re bound to find the jacket that’s ideal for you, but there are a few variables to consider, such as what you find comfortable, the climates you’ll be riding in, and the type of motorcycle you’re going to use. 

The Four Motorcycle Jacket Styles 

There are basically for style groups, when it comes to these jackets – Cruiser, Racing, Sport/Street and Adventure Touring/Dual Sport. Each of these has its own strengths, making them ideal for a specific riding style. Surprisingly, no single type of material/textile is standard for any given style of jacket either. 

  • Cruiser – This is the classic motorcycle jacket that most picture – the icon, the stereotype. While most commonly seen in leather, they’re also available in many other styles, with a focus on comfort and aesthetic. These are ideal for casual riders and those that use their motorcycle as transportation going about their daily lives. 
  • Racing – Racing jackets are distinctive for their tight fit and somewhat “space age” appearance. The tight fit is to prevent wind resistance, and the distinct appearance is due to flex panels designed to allow mobility while providing padding against abrasions from dangerous high-speed offs. They tend to have a narrower collar, and a zipper to fasten to racing pants (preventing ride up). 
  • Sport/Street – These jackets are a casual modification of racing jackets, taking the slower speeds into account. They’re distinguished by the less prominent flex panels and the looser fit focusing on comfort. Seasonal jackets of this sort also include insulation and ventilation to help keep the rider cool or warm in harsh conditions. 
  • Adventure/Dual Sport – This is a less common style of jacket, used primarily by those whom go on long rides across varied, often rough climates and terrains. They look like nothing more than a survival jacket imitating a racing jacket, with pockets for gear, layers of insulation and impact padding, and a form-hugging design with an additional fastening around the neck. These are ideal for winter riding, or those long trans-continental adventures. 

Important Motorcycle Jacket Factors To Consider

There are important factors to consider, which will determine the material you choose, and the style of jacket most suited to your needs. 

  • Leather or Textile – The first decision you’ll want to make is if you want leather or textile. Leather has a classic look, and many regard it as quite comfortable. However, its real strength is in its resistance to abrasion. However, for comfort and versatility in multiple climates and weather conditions, textiles tend to outperform it. This all comes down to whether you want comfort in various climates, or wish to focus on the durability of leather. 
  • Visibility/Reflectivity – While many would argue that subtlety is a sign of good everyday design, a jacket that catches the eye can actually be a major boon to safety. You want people to see you, and be aware of your presence and location on the road! 
  • Liners and Armor/Padding – If you ride in a temperate area with both hot and cold weather, you may want to look for a jacket with removable or all-weather lining that can help keep you warm in the winter, without the jacket cooking you in the summer. Similarly, even if you’re not a dare devil (and you shouldn’t be!), focusing on padding/armor around the chest, back and shoulders is also important, as these are areas where damage can be the worst if you have a nasty off. 
  • Fitment – Finally, you want a jacket that fits you well, and comfortably. It can be hard to find one that’s a perfect fit, but many styles of jacket have fitment adjustments on the waist and slides on the sleeves, which provide just the right amount of hug or slack for your personal comfort standards. You don’t want to wear a jacket that’s too tight or constrictive, cutting off circulation. The fatigue from this can lead to serious dangers. 

To learn more about the different styles of jackets, which ones suit which styles of riding, and much more about the adventurous world of motorbiking, subscribe to my YouTube channel today!

A 7-Step Process for Practicing Self-Care

Burnout is a real thing. It happens when you fill your cup too much and it overflows. It means you’ve worked too much, invested too much, given too much, been used too much and cared too much. The one thing you didn’t do enough of was take care of yourself. Self-care can save you from the turmoil of life if you take the time to do it. Practice self-care by trying the following tips.
  1. Stress Management – Stress looks different on everyone, and calming techniques are different for everyone. What calms one might actually stress another. However, some stress-reduction techniques apply to everyone. When you find yourself flustered and overwhelmed, take the time to slow down and focus on taking deep breaths. Deep breathing centers you when everything feels like it’s moving too fast.
  2. Practice Mindfulness – Mindfulness is being present to what’s occurring, what you’re experiencing and what you’re feeling. When you become present to your experience, you’re more equipped to focus on solutions to negative feelings. It allows you to embrace your feelings instead of repressing them, which can lead to the unhealthy practice of bottling up negative energy. The practice of meditation and self-affirmations can help you become more mindful.
  3. Physical Self-Care – Taking care of your body is one of the best ways to take care of your mental health. To care for yourself physically, you should turn your focus to the three tenets of physical health: eating clean and healthy, exercising and getting enough sleep. When you take care of your health, positive mental health follows.
  4. Personal Retreat – Take the time to step away from everything. More than just a vacation, a retreat gives you a break from the life that you normally know. It’s the time to relax, unplug, be unreachable and do absolutely nothing except exist and perhaps indulge. You might feel guilty for taking time away for yourself, but once you return to life refreshed and recharged, you’ll be an even better employee/boss/parent/friend/spouse/partner than you were before.
  5. Just Say No – The D.A.R.E. program in the 80s was onto something with this phrase, but this phrase can apply to so much more. Saying “no” to others does not mean you’re letting them down. It simply means that you’re choosing to not wear yourself thin by agreeing to everything that’s asked of you. It means you’re choosing not to let your cup run over.
  6. Mental Breaks – A break doesn’t have to entail physically stepping away from something that’s bringing you stress. You can shut off your brain by compartmentalizing your stressful thoughts into a place that you only visit at certain times. Take small breaks every two hours when you’re working on a long project and make it a point to not think about or discuss the project during that time. Your productivity will even improve. Go on a date with your spouse and make it a point to not discuss anything related to finances, family or other topics that create stress and tension in the home. Instead, discuss your dreams, favorite books or vacations that you want to take.
  7. Walk Away From Unhealthy Situations – If you have a relationship or a work situation that doesn’t serve you well, it’s OK to break it off. If it’s an argument or toxic debate that you don’t want to be in, you can stop participating. Don’t get riled about things that you don’t need to be angry about just because your ego wants to have the last word. It doesn’t make you a bad person for ignoring the conversation, and you haven’t lost the argument just because you went silent.
When you neglect self-care, your mental health suffers. This could lead you to becoming more easily agitated, worried, anxious, depressed, sad, angry and frustrated. Taking care of yourself is a way to provide the tools you need to get through life with ease. It’s a way to reward yourself for a job well-done. It’s telling yourself that you deserve a break. It keeps your star from burning out.

Brad Krause

Writer
Here are some self-care practices you can start adding to your daily routine. Try to do as many as you can, even if you don’t start doing them all at once. The more you implement into your lifestyle and the more frequently you practice them, the better you’ll feel.

What Is The Best Detox Diet To Lose Weight?

In today’s environment and majority of lifestyles, it’s hard to avoid coming across substances and chemicals that are foreign to our system. In defense, our body reacts in remarkable ways to protect itself from intruders. Normally, it’s the excretory organs like the liver, kidneys, skin, including the lungs that need to work extra hard to segregate, neutralize and dispose the toxins. But it’s easier said than done. Toxins that accumulate in every cell of our body will cause the latter to release some form of chemicals (take the effects of nicotine in our brain) or gradually mutate into cancers and other degenerative diseases.

How Long Should I Detox For Weight Loss?

And, we can never take back what we took in. However, changing lifestyles and going on detox programs can do wonders for the proper functioning of vital body processes. Detoxification promotes cell renewal, flushes out free radicals, and strengthens the immune system. Even as short as a 3-day detox diet can help in purging out damaging toxins and make you feel so much better.

Although not all detox types are suitable for everyone, a 3-day detox may be a milder way of detoxifying. Other detox programs may require you to get a go-signal from your doctor especially if you are underweight, malnourished or have chronic diseases like cancer, iron-deficiency, anemia, ulcerative colitis, kidney and liver disease, among others.

3 Day Detox Diet

3 Day Detox Diet

To begin with, this detox program is especially designed for a 3-day detox diet. Try to include the following foods for each day within three days. Upon waking up in the morning, drink a cup of warm water and ½ lemon squeezed in it to stimulate your gastric juices. For your meals, eat one cup of whole grains like brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, and at least three servings each of fruits and vegetables one of which should be eaten raw. You could also make salads out of fruits and vegetables but choose vinegar or any natural virgin oils (olive and coconut virgin oils or fish oil) for your dressing.

In addition, have two doses of kidney and liver tonics over the 3-day detox diet: two cups of dandelion, chamomile or fennel tea, pure vegetable juice like carrot or beetroot, a clove of fresh garlic, medium bunch of black grapes, two cups of parsley or yellow tea. And make it a habit to drink 8 glasses or more water as well as other fluids made of fresh fruit juices such as apple and orange.

In your 3-day detox diet, drink herbal tea before going to bed and have a 30-minute walk within the program period. After the third day, you’ll surely feel rejuvenated and may want to do the 3-day detox diet again. But before you do that, change your lifestyle as much as possible. Your body will reward you big time.

7 Day Detox Diet

The air, the processed foods we eat, smoking, alcoholic drinks – all of these and more highly contribute to the amount of toxins we consume everyday. It’s hard to imagine that almost anything present in modern societies are and will take a toll on our health eventually. These substances are either metabolized in the liver or enter the bloodstream and stress our system.

In that case, this 7-day detox diet can help you rid of the unwanted substances and make you feel better. Detoxification or detox provides a relief to your system from these harmful substances we regularly consume and it likewise puts your eating habits on the right track. You’ll find that you’ll feel less fatigued, invigorated, revitalized, and the bloated feeling will go away once you skip your intake of such ingredients like refined flour, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, canned food, etc., that more or less confuse your organs.

The key to a successful 7-day detox diet program is to motivate yourself. In short, detox requires psychological, emotional, and physiological preparedness. However, this 7-day detox program is contraindicated to people with chronic disease, and pregnant and lactating women.

The food you should eat in a 7-day detox diet

The food you should eat in a 7-day detox diet

Remind yourself to follow this meal plan every day of your 7-day detox diet program and make sure you chew your food thoroughly, so as to give you time and feel less deprived.

Start your day by drinking two glasses (8 ounces) of distilled water upon waking up. Squeeze ½ lemon into one glass of water. The reason is to stimulate your digestive juices as well as make a goal of drinking six more glasses for the whole day.

For breakfast, eat any fresh fruit 15 to 30 minutes before your whole grains like buckwheat, brown rice, millet, amaranth, or quinoa. To add some flavor to your grains, add in 2 tablespoons or 100% pure fruit juice, virgin oil (olive or coconut) or butter. Supplement your 7-day detox diet meal with the recommended 200 to 400 IU of natural vitamin E and 100 to 200 mcg of selenium. These contain anti-oxidants that help fight the free radicals in your system.

For midmorning snack, sip 1 to 2 cups of vegetable broth left over from steaming your vegetables. Season it with a little salt. And then take 500 to 1,000 mg of vitamin C, ideally with calcium and magnesium. When choosing a brand, make sure it doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners or sugar.

Eat steamed vegetables for lunchtime. Again, save the water left by steaming and refrigerate it. You can also do the same for dinner. At least four vegetables would suffice to give you varied flavors and textures.

The Best 21 Day Detox Diet

The Best 21 Day Detox Diet

Are you in for a 21-day detox diet program? Well, make sure you’re ready for such a stringent diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lots of fluid. Otherwise, you may end up exasperated of not being able to complete the whole program and treat yourself instead to more junk food. That’s right. Getting into a 21-day detox diet is never easy. Any person who wishes to undergo this program should be emotionally, physically, and mentally prepared. Changing your eating habits may also mean changing your lifestyle.

There are several 21-day detox diet programs. So how do you know which ones to choose? First, like any other detox programs, have yourself assessed by a health professional. People with problems in kidneys, liver, heart, pancreas, parathyroid, and other preexisting disorders may not be allowed to undergo a detox diet program.

Some 21-day detox diet programs include workshops on food preparation, group support, nutritional medicine, enzyme theory, therapeutic fasting, colon care, energy medicine, acid/alkaline testing, and healthy shopping. The program may be separated into 3 parts and on a weekly basis. For instance, some 21-day detox diet programs may focus on fruits and vegetables to acclimatize the body on eating only these foods for the first week. This plant-based diet encourages participants to steer away from animal products to lessen the amount of toxin exposures by as much as 50%. A menu is required in order for participants to strictly follow the program.

In the second week, you may proceed with a live-food diet, eating only uncooked foods and two smoothie meals (blended), minimizing the stress placed on your digestive system. You will be provided with an organic live-food menu. The purpose is to keep you away from processed foods and increase your nutrient intake by eating uncooked vegetables.

Week 3 of a 21-day detox diet program is the liquid diet. This is supposed to relieve your digestive of any stresses and ensure healing at intra-cellular level. Your diet will be diverted from a whole plant-based diet to blended food. Of course, the benefits of a liquid diet will definitely be discussed to psychologically support you. It is also helpful to support this program with application of reflexology, meditation, yoga, and light therapy, as well as the chakra system as a tool in healing. The final stage of a 21-day detox diet program includes hints and shopping guides for you to maintain in this frame of mind… and diet.

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