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Gymboss Mini Max Turtorial

I thought I would run you through a tutorial on all the functions of the Gymboss Mini Max. Seeing that I use it in every video that I film, and in every workout that I do. It goes with me to the gym, on vacation and anywhere else I think I might have time to do a workout. In the video, I show you the basic functions, which are the same as the regular Gymboss Timer. Then I go into detail and show you the interval function and the saved program function. These are the functions that make it worthwhile to spend the extra money. Once you learn how to program your Gymboss Timer, you can move from several workouts without ever slowing down.

Enjoy the Video,

Michele

How to Build a Plyometric “Jump” Box

My hubby built me a nice plyometrics box (a.k.a. “plyo box” or “jump box”). He took some good pictures while he was building it so I thought I would share them, along with his notes. His design uses some reinforcements inside the box to make it stronger. Some designs just screwed the sides and top to each other. We didn’t think this would be sturdy enough in case I wanted to add weights to any of my exercises.

The whole thing cost about $70, primarily for the finished plywood. You could save some money if you buy unfinished plywood and just paint it.

Here’s a PDF version in case you want to download and print it:  Plyo Box Instructions PDF

And here are a few links to other good designs that inspired him:

http://www.humansarenotbroken.com/diy-plyo-boxes/

http://www.health-bent.com/blog/how-to-make-a-crossfit-plyometric-box

http://www.simplysadiejane.com/2014/05/diy-3-in-1-wood-plyo-box-for-35.html

Dimensions:

The finished dimensions of this box are exactly an 18” square. We discussed making a rectangular box for different jump height options but ultimately decided this would be the most practical, stable, as well as easy to build and store.

Here are the dimensions of the six sides:

  • Top = 18” x 18”
  • Sides = 17 ¼” x 17 ¼” – qty 4
  • Bottom = 16 7/16” x 16 7/16”

Materials:

  • ¾” finished plywood – 4’x8’ sheet (you don’t need entire thing)
  • 2” x 2” rough-cut lumber – approximately 115” or two 8’ pieces (Note for the novices – American lumber dimensions are odd. A “two-by-two” piece of lumber measures 1 ¾” by 1 ¾” NOT 2” square. Cryptic for sure.)
    • 4 segments 16 7/16” long to brace sides
    • 4 segments 12 ¼” long to brace top
  • 2” long deck screws – qty = 56 (see pictures)
  • 4 flush-mount cabinet screws (see pictures)
  • wood glue
  • urethane sealant
  • black sharpie marker

Notes and Pictures:

Here’s a picture of the original box from the gym. It’s also 18” square. The plywood isn’t finished, so the edges and finish are little rougher. I used finished plywood that costs a bit more, but I’m hoping it reduces splintering.

18" square box from local gym used as pattern.

18″ square box from local gym used as pattern.

Here’s a picture of our finished box. The dimensions are the same as the gym box, 18”x18”.

Our finished version.

Our finished version.

We wanted a removable bottom panel in case we needed to add weight to the bottom of the box. Some of these boxes have plates or heavy bean bags in them to keep them from moving around. The cabinetry screws on the four corners of the base can be easily removed and a hole in the middle of the base helps lift out the panel.

Bottom view. Hole in middle and Allen wrench (hex key) cabinet screws allow easy removal.

Bottom view. Hole in middle and Allen wrench (hex key) cabinet screws allow easy removal.

These are 2” long cabinetry screws. They worked nicely as flush-mount fasteners on the bottom. We didn’t want anything that could scratch floors and we also wanted it to be easily removable.

Cabinet screws - 2" long. Need to pre-drill these holes.

Cabinet screws – 2″ long. Need to pre-drill these holes.

You need a hex-head bit, hex key or Allen wrench to drive and remove these screws.

Bottom fasteners are mounted 3/4" from the edges of the bottom board. This puts them dead-center on the support braces inside the box.

Bottom fasteners are mounted 3/4″ from the edges of the bottom board. This puts them dead-center on the support braces inside the box.

The primary screws holding everything together are 2” deck screws. Any brand will do. I like these because the hex-heads are hard to strip, unlike traditional Phillips heads.

You'll need 56 screws for this design.

You’ll need 56 screws for this design.

The purely decorative big “18” on the sides are simply traced from a paper stencil and colored in with a black sharpie marker. The urethane sealant locks in the marker color so it doesn’t bleed or rub off.

A black marker simulates the look of a burned-on number and is much easier than paint.

A black marker simulates the look of a burned-on number and is much easier than paint.

Instead of leaving the wood bare we used a satin-finish urethane. It should stand up to the abuse of jumping plus protects the wood from the humidity here in Florida. We coated the inside and the outside for that reason. If you want a smooth finish, you need to lightly sand the urethane between coats, especially the first one. The first coat will always cause the wood to expand and draw out imperfections in the wood. Sand them off and reapply another coat.

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Screw placement isn’t critical, as long as they don’t bump into each other. They must be at least 2″ from the top edge and 2 13/16″ from the bottom edge or the screws for the top and bottom will hit.

Sides pieces overlap. That's why they are only 17 1/4" wide. The 3/4" inch thickness of the overlapping piece makes it 18" total.

Sides pieces overlap. That’s why they are only 17 1/4″ wide. The 3/4″ inch thickness of the overlapping piece makes it 18″ total.

Use the 2”x2” pieces to hold the sides together. Note how the sides overlap one another in the picture of the finished box. Use wood glue between the pieces to make a really tight bond along with the screws. The support pieces align flush to the top edge and should leave a 13/16″ gap at the bottom for the bottom board to sit inside almost flush.

Support pieces mount flush to the top edge and should leave a 13/16" gap at the bottom.

Support pieces mount flush to the top edge and should leave a 13/16″ gap at the bottom.

This is how the inside pieces look when the box is upright. The inner support pieces are a little shorter on the bottom to fit the recessed bottom pieced to sit flush. The 18”x18” square top will sit flush on the top.

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Here’s a view of all four sides assembled without the top. The top should be a perfect 18″ square. If your cuts are not perfect, you can straighten them with a handheld belt sander after you attach it.

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Review of a few Free Yoga Apps

Before I jumped into my workout today, I talked a little about yoga. I didn’t cover the benefits of yoga because there are so many. Just to name a few of the important ones; correcting poor or average posture, build mental endurance and physical stamina by holding postures, increase flexibility, tighten core and improve balance. There is a long list. These are just a few at the top of my list. All of the things I listed above are what motivated me to make that New Years Resolution 2 years ago to begin yoga. I do not usually make New Years Resolutions, because I will resolve to make changes whenever I feel it necessary. That, I am sure, is what I did upon careful reflection of my life. It just happened to fall around the New Year. I still stretch after my workouts and I rumble roll, that will be a post for another day, every night. I needed to get at least 2 days of a yoga class to help balance out my body with all the killer workouts.

With that being said, if you don’t go to a gym or a studio then you rely on doing yoga at home. I bore easily with videos. I began my yoga quest with the P90X yoga. It was very challenging, but after doing the disk several times I could have taught it for Tony Horton. I decided to go to the web and research everybody’s idea of a great yoga workout. I was steered toward the I Tunes Store to the yoga apps. I found a long list of them available for my phone, and even FREE! I uploaded many of the free ones and began sifting through them. I have two that are my go to yoga apps whenever I can’t make it to the yoga class at the gym, or I’m away from home. The apps are Yoga Studios and Daily Yoga.

Yoga Studios offers a better variety of options for yoga. It has a beginners, intermediate and advanced class for stretching, flexibility, strength or a combination. Then you can choose between 15, 30 or 60 minutes routines.  It allows you the option of going in and creating your own class. I have not gotten bored enough to try creating my own class. But if you have a problem area that you want to focus on, you could put together poses that would specifically target that area.

Daily Yoga is the other app that I use regularly. This comes in second to my first choice because some of the classes are free. Then you get hooked and you have to buy a membership to unlock the other ones. I did the free ones for a while and really liked them, so I bit the bullet and bought the membership. I think it was around $13.00 for the year. The thing I like about this one is it gets a little more specific. If you want, you can focus on one area of the body like your legs or arms.

The two honorable mentions that I have are LOLO Yoga with Janet Stone and Gain Fitness Butterfly Yoga.

You can check them out, as well as all the other ones. Your tastes may be different than mine, and you might find something that you like better. There are a tone of free ones out there, so there is no excuse.

Enjoy,

Michele

My Review of the Gym Boss Timer App

 

I was away this weekend and my Gym Boss Timer stopped working on me. This is the new one that I bought back in September. I had my old one as a back-up. It doesn’t help you if you are planning on doing more than two intervals, which I was. I had my jump rope and sandbag and was all ready to do some serious sweating. I was so upset when I unpacked and it was frozen on the interval screen. I tried rebooting and even taking the battery out, but it just wouldn’t work. I am tired of spending $27 and change on a new timer every six months, so I hit the I-tunes store and started researching timers for my phone. I downloaded several free timer applications. But for what I expected of my timer that would require an upgrade and money. Money I was not willing to invest until I saw that it did what I wanted. I went back to the ones on my phone that I had downloaded a while back. One was the Gym Boss App. I started fiddling with it and realized that it did what the new mini timer did. I could create several workouts with several interval options, and all could be in one workout. I was set for the next morning. The Spa’s fitness facility didn’t open until 8 a.m. so I was forced to do my warm-up workout on the deck by the pool. I was worried that the beep on the phone would not be loud enough, but by all the people hanging out on their balconies watching me work out, it proved to be loud enough to hear in a noisy gym without any problem. The above video is my review, and a detailed explanation on how to program your timer.

Enjoy,

Michele

Review of the WOSS Military Suspension Straps

 

As promised, I did a special review of the WOSS straps that I just got for Christmas. The straps are like the TRX Straps, but at a fraction of the cost. I have a friend who has the TRX Straps so I spent time checking them out. I wanted to be thorough and give you the most accurate and unbiased review. On my video I give you a breakdown of the WOSS Straps in comparison to the TRX Tactical Force Straps (their top of the line) and the TRX Pro.

Enjoy and do your own research before you purchase anything.

Michele