Tips

Need some fitness or nutrition tips? Here are a few of Davey Wavey's favorites!

5 Secrets Gyms Don’t Want You To Know.

gym secretsAs someone who has worked out in more than a hundred different gyms, I’ve learned a thing or two about how they operate. While the majority of gym employees are good, trustworthy people, gyms are still looking to make a profit – sometimes, at your expense.

  1. The initiation fee can almost always be waived. When you join a new gym, many will try to charge a one-time initiation fee. It could range anywhere from fifty to a few hundred bucks. In most cases, this fee isn’t actually required; it’s just a way for gyms to make more money from you. Remember, the gym wants your business. You’re the one with the power. Tell the gym that you won’t pay the initiation fee, and that you won’t join unless they waive it. At the very least, they should be able to lower the fee significantly.
  2. The monthly membership fees are usually flexible. For some gyms, the monthly membership fee is set in stone. But for most, there’s room to negotiate. Joining a gym is a lot like buying a car. They’ll tell you a high number. You can come back with a lower number. And perhaps you’ll meet somewhere in the middle.
  3. Many gyms offer discounts. Sometimes, this discounts occur through your insurance plan or place of employment. Other times, gyms offer discounts for students, elderly individuals, models or even people listed on IMDB (yup, my gym gave me an IMDB discount!). But you need to ask.
  4. The “fitness assessment” is really a sales pitch for personal training. After joining, many gyms require some sort of fitness assessment wherein they’ll ask you about your goals, make you do a few push-ups and show you the equipment. In reality, this is almost always a way to up-sell you on personal training. Sometimes, trainers will you show particularly complicated exercises or question your workout plan so that you feel like you need their help. Personal training, of course, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But know that the fitness assessment is merely marketing.
  5. Many gyms skimp on cleaning. Check out the rug at the front door. Is it covered in hair, dirt and crap from outside? That’s a good indication that the gym doesn’t prioritize cleanliness and is cutting corners to save money. In actuality, gyms are breeding grounds for nasty germs, so you’ll want a gym that’s clean and tidy. If the front door rug is clean, that’s a great start.

Do you have any other gym secrets? Share them in the comments below.

P.S. For five, 12-minute ab workouts that you can do at home or at the gym, download Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Program – and enjoy the benefits of a stronger core!

 

Let’s Talk About PrEP.

img.phpThis is a blog about health and fitness. And when it comes to your health, being proactive against disease and affliction is of paramount importance.

And that’s why I want to talk about PrEP.

And before anyone else mentions it, no this is not a sponsored post. This is an honest and open conversation that our community needs to be having.

First things first, PrEP is short for “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” and it involves the practice of using drugs like Truvada to prevent HIV infection. For high risk communities (i.e., sexually active gay or bisexual men), some doctors are prescribing this treatment to reduce risk of HIV infection. When taken as recommended, studies show that it can be up to 99% effective.

So is PrEP right for you? That’s something that only you and your doctor can decide. There’s a lot to consider, including risk factors, side effects, the fact that PrEP doesn’t guard against other STDs and, unfortunately, price. Truvada is expensive (roughly $1,500 per month) but it can be covered by insurance and there is a co-pay assistance program.

It’s estimated that about 500,000 people in the United States are potentially good candidates for PrEP. But according to PBS New Hour:

The drug’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences Inc., says that in reviewing records from about half of U.S. pharmacies that dispensed Truvada between January 1, 2012, and March 31, 2014, it found that only 3,253 people had started the PrEP regimen during that period.

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HIV infections in the United States.

So why has PrEP been so slow to catch on?

There are probably a number of factors. For one, a lot of people don’t know about PrEP. It isn’t currently being actively marketed and, for whatever reasons, people don’t seem to be talking about it. There’s also a layer of stigma. I’ve heard PrEP referred to as the “slut pill.” People who proactively prioritize their health shouldn’t be shamed; they should be celebrated and emulated.

At a certain point, we need to recognize that condom campaigns and HIV education aren’t enough. HIV infections continue to rise. We need a new tool and PrEP could be part of the answer.

At the end of the day, gay and bisexual men are at high risk for HIV infection. And here is a treatment that dramatically cuts that risk. For me, it’s as simple as that.

What do you think about PrEP? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Is Form Or Weight More Important?

Hey Davey,

I want bigger muscles and know that I need to lift heavier and heavier weights, but I have a question. What’s more important? Lifting lighter weights with perfect form or heavier weights with decent form?

From,
Ben

deadliftHey Ben,

I know exactly what you’re asking – and you’re definitely going to hate my answer. Consider yourself warned.

First things first, you are absolutely right. In order to increase the size of your muscles, you need to progressively increase the amount of resistance that you’re working against. This signals to your body that it needs more muscle to get the job done. But it’s also important to do this in a way that’s both safe and effective.

In other words, it’s true that lifting light weights won’t make you bigger or stronger. But improper form can get you injured. Being injured will keep you home from the gym and prevent you from getting the results you want.

As such, the answer isn’t one or the other. It’s both. If you want to increase your size and strength, you’ll need to perfect your form and then lift heavier and heavier weights.

To focus on better form, I recommend taking a few steps:

  1. Check your ego at the door. The amount of resistance that you’re working with isn’t a measure of your manhood. Let go of the idea that you need to be lifting as much as (or more than) the people around you; compete with no one but yourself.
  2. Slow down and focus. Pay attention to each repetition. Don’t rush through it. And, most importantly, don’t use the momentum of your exercise to cheat on each repetition.
  3. Lighten your load. Lower the amount of resistance that you’re using until you’re able to complete a full set of slow, proper repetitions. It’s probably less than what you’re used to, but you’ll be able to build up from here over time.

I hope that helps.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you’re serious about adding lean muscle, I recommend downloading my program, Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle. It’s a step by step guide to building the size you’ve always wanted!

 

Spend An Entire Day Cuddling: 3 Health Reasons!

IMG_4647If you only take one piece of advice from me, let it be this: Find someone you care about and spend an entire day cuddling in bed.

Forget taking exotic vacations. Forget scheduling expensive spa appointments. Forget even leaving your house. Simply cancel all your meetings, clear your calendar, ignore your inbox – and wrap yourself in the arms of a special someone for the entire day.

It’s one of the most awesome, powerful and centering experiences that I’ve ever had.

So why am I writing about my cuddle day on a fitness blog? As it turns out, cuddling has some very real health benefits.

  1. It’s good for your heart. According to researchers, frequent hugs between partners are associated with lower blood pressure and higher oxytocin levels. With about 1 in 3 adult Americans experiencing high blood pressure, it looks like many of us could use some more cuddle time.
  2. It boosts your immune system. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University found that people who get more hugs are less likely to get sick: “The apparent protective effect of hugs may be attributable to the physical contact itself or to hugging being a behavioral indicator of support and intimacy… Either way, those who receive more hugs are somewhat more protected from infection.” Enough said.
  3. It lowers stress. In one study, researchers had young girls give unplanned speeches or solve math problems in front of strangers. After completing their task, the girls either received a hug from their mom, talked to their mom on the phone or watched a short video. The girls who received the hug had lower levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that, among other things, retains body fat around your body’s midsection.

Cuddling is a great way to connect with the people you love and to express your affection. But cuddling also serves some very real health benefits, too. So go ahead… and schedule a cuddle day.

P.S. If you’re looking for an at-home core workout, I recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Workout. You’ll get instant access to five awesome workouts that you can do without any equipment!

How To Prevent Swampass At The Gym.

1000x1000What is swampass? I’m so glad you asked. :-/

According to Urban Dictionary, swampass or swamp ass is the condition wherein your butt crack becomes extremely sweaty and sometimes smelly – causing your underwear and clothing to stick. In cases of extreme swamp ass, the sweat soaks all the way through your clothing and becomes visible to passersby.

Because so many of us get hot and sweaty at the gym, the risk for swamp ass is high. And for a lot of people, it becomes a source of embarrassment:

Dear Davey,

I’m new to the gym but have been going regularly for a few weeks. My workout is challenging and I sweat a ton during the exercises. By the time I’m finished with the workout, the seat of my shorts is soaked all the way through. It’s extremely embarrassing and I feel like everyone is laughing at me.

As I wrote before, sweating is actually a good thing. It helps cool your body and even can clear your skin.

The amount you sweat is controlled by genetics, diet, medications and even hormone levels. As such, diet is the only variable within your control; a diet free from processed foods (which contain high levels of salt) seems to help. For some folks, staying away from hot or spicy foods also seems to reduce sweat.

Of course, when it comes to your derriere specifically, you can try out moisture-wicking fabrics to keep things cooler (like my DirtyFit brand underwear) or even applying some powder before exercise.

And it’s also worth noting that sweat doesn’t smell. According to experts, sweat only smells when it comes in contact with certain bacteria. In other words, proactive hygiene will help keep things fresh.

Personally, as someone who sweats A LOT, my advice is to embrace your swamp ass rather than trying to eliminate it. Generally speaking, embracing your body’s natural processes is a more effective use of energy and effort than resisting them. Instead, focus on what really matters: Your workout, your goals and your results.

After all, you’re only sweating because you’re working hard… so wear that swamp ass as a badge of honor.

P.S. Speaking of sweat, try my Bootcamp Workout for a heart-pounding, muscle-pumping workout that will help create a lean, strong build!