Are you wearing the right shoes for your training? A lot of people aren’t. Which side are you on? We’ll talk about what shoes you should be wearing so that you don’t feel like shit during and after training. We’ll talk about training at home, and what you need… and we’ll teach you a couple tricks to feed yourself something healthy when you’re in a hurry… you got 30 minutes or less to cook and shove some food into your facehole? We’ve been there, and we can help you stock your pantry so you don’t leave yourself hangry and late.

Let’s talk about shoes… I love shoes. Oggling them, buying them, and wearing them… but not all “gym shoes” were not all created equal… you shouldn’t be wearing running shoes to lift weights, and most definitely should not be doing it the other way around either… it’ll make for some bad times and angry joints. There are a few common mistakes made when it comes to the choices people make regarding training shoes. First: they usually aren’t wearing the proper TYPE of shoe for their training… when it comes to picking a shoe, most people will automatically head to the running shoe section of the sporting goods department. This is a mistake if you’re going to be focusing on a weightlifting routine. Think about it… if you’re gonna pick 300lbs up off the floor, you want to make sure you’ve got the best footing possible, right? So that’s going to require you to have a flat-soled shoe so you have a good foot to ground connection… how is a running shoe built? They’re curved and squishy… you’re going to feel like you’re deadlifting in quicksand, and it can make for a lot of problems when it comes to the posterior chain, especially your knees and ankles. 

If you’re looking for a solid weightlifting shoe, we suggest checking out in no particular order: Nike Romaleos or Reebok Legacy Lifters if you’re serious about Olympic weightlifting training… otherwise a good crosstraining shoe like Nike Metcon, Reebok Nano (especially if you have a wider foot), NoBull Trainers, will do you right… if you’re just looking at bodybuilding or powerlifting, you can go with the classic flat-soled Vans sneakers or good ol’ Chuck Taylors.

I have even been known to do barefoot if I forget my training shoes. Not awesome, but it’s better than leaning forward in a running shoe. I really like the Nike Metcons I have, and I like the reebok trainers that are my “house special” shoes when I’m at MTK hq. 

–Those are Trainer 2.0s from Reebok. LOVE THEM.

Running shoes are also a beast and may take a little more time to narrow down. They all have different squish, different ankle support and different overall fit. I would honestly recommend getting fitted just so you know how your feet really are and the support you’re going to need. Especially if you’re going to be doing distance running. If you’re going to be running here and there as your cardio element and under 3 miles, you can get by with a straight up running shoe.

I will say, if you are feeling ANY discomfort in running in your knees or ankles, it could be your joints, or it could legit be the wrong type of running shoe. OR it’s time for NEW shoes. Running shoes don’t have to be super expensive, and you will burn through them fast than you think. I go through two to three pairs in a year, definitely three if I’m distance training. The second my ankles or knees start to hurt from a run I know that my shoes have broken down too much and it’s time to invest in another pair.

For myself, I prefer Nike. I have long toes and narrow feet and they fit my feet the best and offer the best support. I’ve tried Adidas and I burned through them too fast for my liking. I’ve tried Asics and they were too heavy for me. I have a lot of running friends that swear by Brooks and Hoka’s. Like I said, it can be trial and error. You have to find out what works best for you and what’s the most comfortable. Most any running store will help you get a good fit on a running shoe. Locally, Peak Performance, Red Wing and Rudolph’s come to mind.

At the end of the day, make sure your shoe choice fits your foot properly and make sure you’re replacing your shoes when you start to see compression on the squishy outsole part of your shoes, or if they just don’t feel right anymore… your body will tell you when it’s time for a fresh set of kicks, make sure you listen.

With everything going on right now, and depending how you feel about said things going on, maybe you’re not comfortable going to the gym. We wanted to spend a few minutes today going over a couple of basic essentials to invest in to get the most of your working out at home experience. We’ll throw up some links on meathead test kitchen dot com with a link to our amazon page.

DBS: While they aren’t necessarily difficult to find (depending on what weight, and where you’re looking), I feel like dbs are a basic necessity if you’re working out at home. Body weight exercises are fine, and get the job done in terms of moving your body. But, if you’re wanting to take it to the next level and not have to do 25 reps of a given movement, they’re definitely a good investment.

Facebook market place is a great place to look, as long as you keep in mind that some people are trying to capitalize on the fact that a lot of people are working out at home now and mark up the prices of the weights. Typically, if you keep your eye out, you can find people that aren’t trying to gouge you and are selling for a buck to a buck fifty a lb, which is a good deal, in my opinion. 

If you’re moving from straight body weight movements to the next level, I would think some 5s, 10s, 12s and even 15s would do the trick to make your movements more well rounded and challenging.

Bands are your friends… get all kinds of resistance bands: handles, the big rubberband looking ones, the smaller rubber band looking ones… hip circles, that’s what theyre called!

Places like target and walmart seem to be hit or miss, amazon as well. But, I’ve seen Target have sales frequently over the last several months of 15% off of workout equipment, if they have them in stock.

Resistance bands. There are a lot of variations of resistance bands here, and we will post our favorites on meathead test kitchen dot com with links so you can get an idea and choose for yourself.

The “assisted pull up” bands are great for a variety of movements. I also like the smaller rubber type resistance bands. If you end up feeling like the resistance isn’t enough as you work your way up, you can always double up the bands, and that works great.

Balance ball: there are a ton that you can choose from. I don’t think brand matters in this case. This piece of equipment is also versatile and there are a ton of challenging moves you can do with them.

Sadie: When it comes to feeding yourself something healthy after you get home from the gym, sometimes you gotta be quick. A lot of people don’t choose to eat healthier because they think it takes a lot of time. It doesn’t have to take you an hour to make a nutritious balanced meal… but it does take some planning ahead by stocking a couple of pantry staples to make sure future you is a winner. When it comes to making a meal in a hurry at my house, it’s either I make something or we are going to have instant ramen. Which, there’s nothing wrong with instant ramen, I fucking love it… but it’s not always the most nutritious choice in the kitchen.

Enter the Instant Pot. Do you have chicken in your freezer? Do you have salsa in your pantry? How about some lettuce or rice? If you have those couple of things… boom. You have a meal. Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is my ace-in-the-hole when I need to make a meal in a hurry. You can use it in tacos or fajitas, you can throw it on a bowl of rice or a bed of lettuce, top it with a little cheese and sour cream and you’re set. Recipe here.

Sausha: I just recently hacked turkey sliders and they’re freaking delicious. I got the Pepperidge Farm Hawaiian sliders for my base, although, I’m not sure I’m into sweet with the savoryness that the sliders are going for. If Hawaiian isn’t your jam, whole wheat will be great. They come in packages of 12, but I only made 6. You’ll need your favorite turkey or chicken deli meat, some fat free or reduced fat cheese, greek yogurt, onion dip seasoning, fried onions, light butter and everything season. Super easy. I like a lot of meat on my sammies so I took the amount I would have spread across 12 and made the 6. 

Take a single serving size of Greek yogurt and mix it with half the onion seasoning, set it aside to marrriiinnaaate. Preheat your oven to 400. Measure out your meat. Spread that Greek yogurt onion mix on your buns, split your cheese slices in half so there’s a piece on top and bottom, and then layer on your meat, and sprinkle with the fried onions. Melt your butter and mix it with however much everything seasoning you desire, and brush the tops of the buns, throw ‘em in the oven for about 10 minutes or until your cheese is melty and bone apple tea. Recipe here.

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