How To Make A Decline Bench – (GYM HACK)

GYM HACK💥

Want to target that lower chest? A decline angle is a great way to start. However you may be in the gym and the decline bench is taken, but need to get going. Take some bumber plates if available and set up a mini stack. I would not do more than 3-5 plates depending on how it is set up. Place them under the lower half of the bench to set up a decline angle.

This is also a great technique for if you have a flat bench at home and want to switch it up. The couple things you need to watch and check are safety factors. Make sure the bench is stable. I typically test this by pushing the bench at that end and sit on it and perform the movement WITHOUT weight first to ensure it will not slide. If you have rubber gym flooring and rubber bumber plates, you should be good. PLEASE use caution when doing this. I would try to get a spotter to help by spotting the weight and have the spotter also keep an eye on the bench to make sure it doesn’t slide.

Share with a friend and get to work! 

-Alex Costa-

Follow the website and blog to make sure you don’t miss out on any content coming!⬇️

The Ultimate Christmas List For The Fitness Lover

It’s almost time for Black Friday! Which means Christmas is already around the corner. When shopping for someone that’s into fitness, there’s a couple things to pay attention to. 

Some people can be very picky. Not because they are a picky person but because of different factors that are involved in their training. Some things to keep an eye on and maybe ask if you aren’t sure is:

1. What kind of fitness are they into? 

Bodybuilding, CrossFit, powerlifting, yoga, etc. This can really help so you look in the right direction.

2. Supplement favorites?

Are they sensitive to caffeine, does whey protein mess with their stomach, do they have a flavor they can’t stand?

*DO NOT JUST TAKE A STAB IN THE DARK AND GRAB THE FIRST THING AT WALMART.

This can be an area where you might just want to avoid unless you have a really good idea what they use and like.

3. Do they have access to a gym?

This can decide whether to get some items or accessories for the gym or home.

4. Do they have this item already?

If it’s a supplement or subscription box then thats okay because it’s an investment that is made consistently. However if it’s a set of bands, do they have this set already? Do they need another set or should we grab something else?

So what makes the list?

Whether you have a family member, gym friend or you’re doing a random acts of kindness for someone into fitness, I plan of having you walk away knowing exactly what to pick for them! I have created a list of 10 items that you can’t go wrong with! Lets get started!

1) Fitness subscription box

Iron Crate

Every fitness lover finds monthly fitness subscription boxes super exciting! Think about it.. it’s basically a fitness Christmas each month! I love my monthly box I get from Iron Crate. We keep it exciting and fresh each month. We include the most trustworthy and highest quality products on the market. We also include workout programs to keep you busy in the gym and even throw in items that you can use such as shakers, gym accessories and fresh gear to wear!

Why try shopping for stuff and end up getting something they may not like when you can take out the middle man. We hand select the items each month and create a unique monthly Crate for our customers. We even take care of shipping too! 

The best thing about Iron Crate is that the retail value adds up to anywhere from $80-$130 each month but the monthly subscription customers only pay $39.99 a month for a box full of fitness goodies! So you can get up to $130 worth of fitness for only $39.99!

Go grab an Iron Crate for you, a family member or a gym buddy to make their Christmas! You can save 15% off your first Iron Crate with using the code “CRATE15” at checkout! 


Iron Crate

2) Healthy snacks

Healthy snacks are such a great choice! The best part is that it fits all categories of fitness! Iron Crate has you covered again. We also carry amazing snacks packed with protein that make great treats for any fitness enthusiast. One huge favorite is the protein candies we carry from MusclePharm. They taste just like M&Ms but without all the sugar that will affect your blood sugar levels. They are also a great source of protein and the taste is out of this world 🤤 I snack on these all the time when I’m craving chocolate.. which is almost everyday. Grab some items and fill up a stocking for your fitness lover this Christmas!


3) Vitamin D

Out of all vitamins, this one is going to be a huge seller this year. Most of us are deficient in vitamin D. They say that this specific vitamin may help protect against becoming infected with, and developing serious symptoms of COVID-19. 

Healthline.com saysA new study that looked at 216 people with COVID-19 found that 80 percent didn’t have adequate levels of vitamin D in their blood

That is going to be one thing right off the bat that increases sales on this vitamin. Let me explain why this is a great gift idea other than that. Vitamin D is known for helping to have healthy muscles, bones and teeth. It can also help keep your immune system healthy, regulate energy levels and aid in brain health. The benefits of this vitamin are a tool most of us need, making it the perfect item to throw on the Christmas list this year.


At home gym equipment

It’s 2020.. the gyms have been closed down once. Let’s be honest, it won’t hurt to have a couple things at the house just to be safe.

Here’s a list of home gym items I would go with.

4) Yoga mat

This is a good option because for most fitness categories, you will typically want some kind of mat or padding on the floor. This can protect the weights, floor and the lifter.

5) Glute resistance band

Glute resistance band from Ironcrate.co

Let me explain why I LOVE these and think everyone needs one. Our glutes are naturally weak. Especially if we sit at school or at a desk all day. This can cause low back pain and issues with the hamstrings. This glute band can help increase strength in the glutes and hips.

If you are an athlete, this tool can aid you like no other. It can help pre-activate the glutes which essentially turns them on to increase strength during your workout. This can increase overall strength and lead to more muscle activation for bigger muscles and better performance.

I hear the girls in my gym talk about this all the time.. They want better and bigger glutes. This band WILL help if used properly.

I use this band for me and my clients before all of our lower body days in the gym. It is one of my favorite investments and I believe you will be just as happy as I was when you get one.

We sell these for an amazing price on Ironcrate.co , just click the button below and it will take you to the item on my website so you can pick one up before we sell out.

6) Adjustable dumbbells

Going with the adjustable ones compared to the ones that are coming already set at weights will save moolah. It also saves space which is a plus. You can get a good pair from places like Amazon or even Walmart. I would get a set with some kind of iron weights compared to the plastic weights. That is just my personal preference though. If you are on a surface where you need to take care of it, then plastic might be a better idea.

7) Resistance bands

This is a great gift idea. It is highly utilized by many fitness categories and has many functions making it a good tool to have at home.

There are 2 main bands that will pop up when you type this into the search bar. The ones on the left are great for exercise variety. If you don’t have dumbbells or any weights then this may be a better decision because it will give you more options. The bands on the right are very popular for other things. They do not have handles like the other set and are a closed band as to where the other set is open. These are great for athletes that do explosive workouts. It is also a great tool to have added in if you have a squat rack or bench set that can add band resistance. They will typically have pegs for bands on the bottom.

8) A good pair of wireless headphones

Notice I didn’t say Air Pods or Beats? This is one I would ask about if you think that person is picky because just like supplements or flavors, this can be one of those gifts that the person may want a specific pair. If you have the budget, I think Air Pods or Beats are the higher quality ones on the market. However, one of my brothers and sisters has a set of headphones that look just like Air Pods and operate at just about the same level, so if that person isn’t picky, those are a better option if you have a lower budget in mind.

This is personally one of the items on my list this year. I like my normal headphones but I find myself always in a hassle messing with the cord. I do a lot of work involving my headphones and don’t always want to carry my phone on me so I like the thought of not worrying about the wire getting in the way or getting stuck on everything.

9) Shaker bottle custom to their favorite interest

The shaker bottle companies have been changing the game lately with their special series they are always dropping. They have bottles with teams, super heroes, food items and yes even some with avocados working out on them.

As someone that loves a lot of different fitness categories, there is something about having a flashy shaker bottle or one that is custom to what your interest are that makes you feel some type of way. Remember that feeling when you got that fresh new Scooby lunch box back in 1st grade, and you couldn’t wait to show it off? Yea that feeling. So take note of what their interested in and search it up.

10) Smart Watch

Apple, Fitbit and Fossil have amazing smart watch products. No matter what category your fitness lover is into, the watch makes working out so much fun!

This is also a great gift to get a beginner because it can really keeps them motivated by little things like “filling the rings” on the watches. Basically it sets goals for you such as walking distance, calories burned, time standing, etc. As you accomplish the goals, it fills up rings on your watch. This is like checking off something on a to do list. It gives a great sense of accomplishment!

Lets WRAP this up, get it.. Christmas.. gifts..HA, not funny, I know

There are a lot of amazing products out there that are going to be brought to your attention due to high marketing around the holidays. This doesn’t mean you have to get the 1st thing you see on the commercials. Next thing you know, you’re getting a shake weight for your grandson that is into powerlifting. So trust me, this is a good list that can really meet expectations for all fitness categories.

Wanna see another list for a specific category such as athletes, cross fit, runners, etc? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you want to see! Also let me know if you have any items that you think should be added to the list!

Have a safe and fun Thanksgiving this week!

-Alex Costa-

Iron Made Arm Workout


I know there’s a lot of stress right now with the election so what better way to simmer down and relieve stress than with a solid arm workout! Stop watching the news all day, take a break and get out of the house to enjoy the weather. Get some exercise, eat healthy food, practice some meditation and yoga. This is a simple way to relive a little stress that may be coming up.

.

I put together a video you can watch while you workout so you can see form, sets and reps. I also included exercise tips on the video!

.

Barbell curls 5×8

Tricep rope extensions 5×15

.

Barbell skull crushers 4×12 

Hammer curls 4×8

.

Bodyweight skull crushers 6×10-15

Seated curls 6×15

Band pushdowns 6×20

How Music Can Play A Role In Your Exercise Performance

You ever have your tunes on shuffle and in the middle of one of your last sets, one of three things happen..

  1. music stops out of no where, maybe wifi is messing up in the gym or your app seems to want to make you mad by closing out.
  2. an ad from pandora comes on about weird random stuff.
  3. Taylor Swift comes on, and not that I don’t totally headband with some T-Swift but just not my jam when I am cranking out my heavier sets.

If this has happened to you, welcome to the club. Now obviously not all of us have our music on shuffle when we workout. We tend to have a favorite station, playlist or genre of music we like to listen to. What if I told you that the music that comes out of your earbuds could play a roll in your exercise performance?

There has been studies dated back as far as 1911 when Leonard Ayres, an American investigator noted that people that would cycle were moving faster when a band was playing compared to when it was silent. (This is from the source listed below at the bottom of this post)

Studies show that when we workout to music, we tend to ignore the pain and fatigue feeling that we get which in turn can lead to pushing through more weight, longer runs and more total effort in our exercise.

People that run tend to like songs with beats around 160-165bpm (beats per minute). That is probably cause it is natural for our bodies to want to move to a beat, and the faster the beat, the faster we tend to move.

WTF Fact of the day… I was listening to The School of Greatness Podcast with Lewis Howes and he had Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue, that show is the sheeet. He was discussing about how he would increase the bar music at his own bar from something slower, probably around 90-120bpm to about 140-160bpm. He would do this because he noticed a faster table turnover rate, meaning he could get more customers into his bar and out faster which in turn brings him more chedda. As you can see he is a very smart man when it comes to that but he uses the whole, more beats = more movement thing to actually make himself more money. Knowledge bomb, your welcome.

Back to the article.. as you can see, music can make a huge difference in many ways. But the bigger things we look at when it comes to exercising is that it distracts our pain/fatigue level and make us want to move more (exercise). So go back and make sure you got that playlist bumpin for your next workout!

Here are 5 of my top songs in my playlist currently. I am a huge fan of all music and I enjoy listening to podcast as well but when I need to juices flowing, I go to these 5 songs!

Have an awesome day!
-Alex Costa-

Sources:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/psychology-workout-music/

https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/10/20/can-listening-to-music-affect-your-workout/

How to Shovel Snow Properly

There are about 11,000 injuries due to shoveling snow each year. A lot of back pain/injuries from incorrect movement patterns when shoveling are drawn from that number. I want to help by teaching you how to shovel properly so you don’t have to suffer any pain during the winter! .Share this so you can keep your friends and family clear of back pain this winter season!

I’m Trying Contrast Showers For Recovery

Click here to watch the video!

In this video, I am trying out a recovery method called contrast showering. It is using hot water and cold water to manipulate recovery time. It is also full of other health benefits but check out this video from tigerfitness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4rmr90mvzc and juggernaut training systems – https://www.youtube.com/user/CWSmith52 for more info on this topic. I don’t know as much on them yet because I just started to try them out but I will cover another video in the future and cover all of the benefits the contrast shower offeres!

Meet day is less than 48 hours away!!

Have a great day!
-Alex Costa-

Zombie Survival Workout

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! So very sorry I haven’t posted in such a long time, I got so busy opening my gym, training and coaching. I want to try posting more because I have sooooo very much I want to share and teach you guys! I hope you enjoy this workout I made today. Something that should really give ya a challenge and make you work! Let me know how you do, time yourself each set and try to beat the previous times!

Have a great day and great Halloween!

-Alex Costa-

1 2.png2 2.png

Workout Wednesday

workout wed

Workout Wednesday

.

Haven’t done a workout wednesday in a while so I thought I would provide you with a solid arm workout to try!

.

We are starting with 10 sets of 10 reps with cable tricep extensions and then same with cable curls. I want you to do each set right back to back with no rest. I want you to switch weight each time or have a partner do it for you. After we are tackling our first superset. We have one arm dumbbell preacher curls, use a controlled pace on this and don’t just swing the weight up. You will superset this with single arm overhead dumbbell extensions. On our last set we will do a giant drop set so you will start with the heaviest weight you used which was on your last set then immediately grab the next set of dumbbells down in weight. So if you use a 35lb dumbbell for your last set then drop down to 30lb then 25lb and do one more set of 15lb. Each of those will be 10 reps. Next up is our triset of close grip curls, reverse curls and skull crushers all done with an EZ curl bar. You will finish the workout with 100 reps of band tricep pushdowns and then same for band curls. This will force more blood into the elbow joint and into the muscle for better recover and a solid pump

.

If you don’t know how to do any of the exercises, go to Costafitness.org and click on the Vault of Gainz to see how to do the exercises. Give this workout a try and let me know if you made it all the way through!

-Alex Costa-

Paloff Press

Paloff press

This is an exercise I do once in the blue moon but should do more often. This is a great anti-rotation movement to create stability in the core and shoulders. You can switch up difficulty by using different bands or standing closer & further from the rack. There are multiple ways of doing this exercise but I chose this one today.

Tie up a band to a rack, I usually attach mine about even with my mid stomach area. I then grab the band and interlock my fingers. Stand with feet a little further than shoulder width to create a good base and have a slight bend in the knees. Extend your arms out with a soft bend in the elbows so that you make a “V” shape or triangle with your arms. Next you will simply press the band out and bring it back in. Keep the band in a straight line when its moving back and forth. The main reason we are doing this is because of it being an anti-rotation exercise, so our core really has to work and fire up to keep your torso from coming towards the rack. Try 10 reps on each side for 3 sets then work to tougher bands or more volume.

I hope everyone is having a great day!

-Alex Costa-

St. Patrick’s Day Smoothie

smoothie sh.JPG

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! Hope everyone is having a great weekend. I have a St. Patricks Day smoothie for you to try! It’s not like the shamrock shake at McDonald’s but it is definitely healthier haha

All you need is the following:

  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup of blueberries
  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach
  • 2 TBSP of greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup of granola
  • 8oz of milk (I use almond milk)
  • Ice
  • .

Throw these all in your blender and enjoy! Have a great rest of your weekend!