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The Official Blog of Test Tube Fitness

How reading 50 books in one year made me stronger, smarter and more attractive (and how reading only 5 can can do the same for you)

I'm guessing most of you haven't picked up a book since freshman english class and even then you probably just read the cliff notes. However, if you're reading this now there's still hope for you. In 2015 I made a New Year's Resolution to read 50 books in one year. I've always been a big reader and used to get shit for it all the time. Sometimes I still do. However, the average CEO reads 60 books a year, so I'm headed in the right direction. But what does this have to do with fitness or overall health? Everything! Here's what I learned over the course of my book binge and my recommendations to get the most out of each read.

Reading Makes You Stronger
Seriously. First of all, there is a ton of great stuff out there to help you build workout programs, cook amazing, healthy meals and learn new skills like jiu jitsu and rock climbing. Books give you an in depth look into the minds of professionals/experts who have taken countless hours researching their areas of expertise and giving you the best pieces of information. Don't take everything a book says to heart though, there is still a ton of crap out there. Secondly, reading biographies and stories about people overcoming obstacles is great inspiration for your own goals in the gym. If a poor Jewish immigrant can take over the biggest fruit company in the world and become the richest man in the world, you can do another set of squats. Here are a few must reads to get stronger.

The Four Hour Body - Timothy Ferriss
The Four Hour Chef - Timothy Ferriss
Simple & Sinister - Pavel Tsatsuline
The Fish That Ate The Whale - Rich Cohen

Reading Can Help You Sleep Better
First of all, reading for about 20 minutes before bed can help you sleep better. As a long time insomniac, this is one of the only ways I can get to bed consistently. Specifically reading fiction or stories. Reading a story helps to clear your mind from the day's stresses and keeps you from worrying about the next day. Tv and movies don't always have this effect because you're just sitting there passively watching and cruising Instagram rather than actively engaging in the what you're doing. Furthermore, sleep is perhaps the most important recovery period for your muscles as human growth hormone levels spike during your sleep cycle. So shut off the damn tv and read something! Here are my recommendations.

The Beach - Alex Garland
The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

Reading Makes You Smarter
Come one we all know people who read books are smarter. Read these.

The Obstacle Is The Way - Ryan Holiday (NFL players love this)
The Magic Of Thinking Big - David J Schwartz, Ph,D
I Will Teach You To Be Rich - Ramit Sethi

Reading Makes You More Attractive
First of all, if you've read all the books above you're more likely to be in better shape, sleep better and be smarter than most other people around you. Additionally, you now have something real to talk to the opposite sex about. A ton of women find it incredibly hot for a guy to be able to carry a deep conversation about something other than what's happening on social media. Not to mention, research shows that reading literary fiction can help improve your understanding of other people, which has been linked to better sex. Be sexy, read these.

Beautiful You - Chuck Palahniuk
Casino Royale - Ian Fleming
Hector And The Search For Happiness - Francois Lelord
How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia - Moshin Hamid

Pick 5
You don't have to read 50 books this year to improve yourself. Simply pick 5 from the lists above (try to pick at least one per list.) The average person reads only one book per year, so reading 5 puts you at the top of the food chain. So get on Amazon, order some books and stop reading junk on the internet! Except this blog, keep reading this. There's good shit here.

Victor Gonzalez | Founder of Test Tube Fitness | victor@testtubefit.com 

I want you to thrive not only when it comes your health & fitness, I want you to kick ass at life! If you have any questions about health, nutrition or any other topic (seriously anything!) feel free to email at victor@testtubefit.com 

P.S. If you’d like to keep up with us and get some motivation and random tips , you can follow us on Twitter , Instagram,  or Facebook. #testyourself

No Glove More Love? - Why You Should Stop Wearing Gloves in the Gym & What to Use Instead

"Should I be wearing gloves in the gym? When do I use wrist wraps? Why is that guy using chalk?" Whether you're new to the gym or a seasoned veteran, I'm sure you have your routines and habits that you invariably stick to, like wearing those weird looking toe shoes or that shirt with the giant slit down the side (don't worry we've all done it). But what are you supposed to wear on your hands? Does wearing gloves make you look like a 12 year old boy who hasn't hit puberty yet? Maybe. And most people have pretty strong opinions about whether or not to use gloves, wraps or chalk. So here's the breakdown. When to stopuse gloves, wraps or go bareback and whether or not the hot girl doing squats in the next rack is going to think less of you for it.

Gloves - Never
Gloves are a hot topic of debate and it makes it even worse that isn't much science behind whether or not they actually help or hinder you in the gym. However, there is good science behind the benefits of lifting bare hand. Sure gloves can help prevent calluses and improve grip while lifting but what happens when you have to lift heavy things in real life? Guaranteed those baby soft hands are going to rip to shreds when you're trying to twist off the cap to your hard cider. Additionally, because the gloves help with grip (think of them as being sticky like glue) you aren't actually using/improving your grip strength. The only time you should maybe use gloves is if you've injured you're hands by ripping calluses and need to continue to train. Even if that is the case don't blame us when squat rack girl shoots you looks of disdain and flirts with the guy with the faux hawk and nose ring.

Wrist Wraps/Straps - Sometimes
There are two types of wraps to choose from and each has a different function. First are the cloth or elastic wrist wraps that you see most olympic lifters or crossfitters wearing. If you're lifting heavy with pressing movements like bench or push press and your wrists feel like they're going to explode we suggest using these type of wraps. You can also loosen them up or lose them altogether on lighter lifts that don't put as much strain on your wrists. Second, we have the heavy duty wrist straps that would take a pit bull to tear through. These guys are usually made from heavy duty woven fabric and can help you lift small cars and fat babies. They are best used when lifting for your 1RM (1 Rep Max) on pulling movements like the dead lift, power clean and heavy shrugs. Wrist straps will help you lift heavier when your grip would otherwise give out and it also protects the skin on your hands from being torn off when you're trying to lift three times your bodyweight. So yeah, wraps are great for lifting heavier and getting stronger. Use them, sometimes.

Barehand - Always
There are a ton of benefits when it comes to lifting barehand. Looking macho and creating hard manly hands are just a couple reasons you should ditch the gloves. But more importantly, training as close to all natural as possible is the best way to increase your strength. It's the reason you see some of the strongest guys in the gym deadlifting or squatting without shoes. Lifting barehand allows all the muscles and tendons in your hands and forearms to become active in the lift. Neglecting this connective tissue by using gloves can lead to injury and more importantly, a weak hand shake that will cause little girls to make fun of you. I wore gloves in the gym for years and once I switched to lifting barehand I felt stronger than I'd ever felt before. It improved all of my lifts as well as my jiujitsu game. A word of caution, if you normally lift with gloves and decide to burn them, you cannot lift as heavy have been because your hands need some time to become as strong as the rest of your body. If you've been lifting barehand, congrats! Keep crushing it. And if you aren't feeling the touch of cold, hard steel on your skin, it about damn time you do!

Victor Gonzalez | Founder of Test Tube Fitness | victor@testtubefit.com 

I want you to thrive not only when it comes your health & fitness, I want you to kick ass at life! If you have any questions about health, nutrition or any other topic (seriously anything!) feel free to email at victor@testtubefit.com 

P.S. If you’d like to keep up with us and get some motivation and random tips , you can follow us on Twitter , Instagram,  or Facebook. #testyourself

PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR, OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL BEFORE USING ANY PRODUCT OR WORKOUT ROUTINE DISCUSSED WITHIN THIS WEBSITE.

HOW I FAILED MISERABLY IN 2015 (& WHY YOU SHOULD TOO)

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
- Thomas A. Edison

 

    Most of us see failure in a negative light. When we fail it feels terrible, causes us to doubt ourselves and often give up on our dreams. You’re not alone, here’s some encouragement.

This Year I’ve:

  • Applied to Over 50 jobs & Received Zero Job Offers
  • Fell $8000 Short of My Goal for My Kickstarter Campaign
  • Been Drowning In School Debt
  • Been Criticized for Being "Irresponsible"
  • Destroyed My Diet for Weeks at a Time
  • Avoided My Jiu Jitsu Class Like the Plague
  • Stayed in Bed All Day Watching Netflix Avoiding Real Life

But This Year I've Also:

  • Gotten Engaged to the Woman of My Dreams
  • Started My Own Business With No Funding
  • Planned a Trip to India
  • Read 50 Books
  • Gained 20 Pounds of Lean Muscle
  • Earned two stripes toward my Blue Belt in Jiu Jitsu
  • Learned More About Myself & The People Around Me Than Any Other      Time in My Life

THE TAKEAWAY

We are all human. We have our doubts, fears, anxieties, bad habits and we are all inherently flawed. But we are all capable living incredible lives, achieving amazing things and positively impacting those around us and beyond. It’s ok to fail so long as you pick yourself up, take what you learned and become a better you. So keep progressing and make 2016 count. Your life story will be a great one.

Victor Gonzalez | Founder of Test Tube Fitness | victor@testtubefit.com 

I want you to thrive not only when it comes your health & fitness, I want you to kick ass at life! If you have any questions about health, nutrition or any other topic (seriously anything!) feel free to email at victor@testtubefit.com 

P.S. If you’d like to keep up with us and get some motivation and random tips , you can follow us on Twitter , Instagram,  or Facebook. #testyourself

PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR, OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL BEFORE USING ANY PRODUCT OR WORKOUT ROUTINE DISCUSSED WITHIN THIS WEBSITE.

How to Gain 20 pounds of Muscle in 28 Days

One of the most common questions floating around the gym is invariably, "How do I get bigger?" There is a ton of answers on the subject (most of them bullshit) online or stemming from "that one guy" where you train. So how do you know what advice to take? Below is a blog post that was written by Nate Green, who works with John Berardi, PhD, Georges St-Pierre’s nutritional coach. This guy definitely knows what he is talking about. It is a tried and true method to gaining muscle quickly, based on some very basic principles. However, simple does not mean easy, so get ready to work your ass off. Are you ready for a bigger, badder, better you? Follow the link below. 

How to Gain 20 lbs of Muscle in 28 Days <<< Click Here

This is a blog post from the website Tim Ferriss, #1 New York Times bestselling author, best known for his rapid-learning techniques, Tim's books include -- The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef.

We do not get paid to promote any of the products, websites or blogs we’ve presented, we simply want to offer you great information.

All the best to you on your fitness journey,

Victor Gonzalez | Founder of Test Tube Fitness | victor@testtubefit.com 

I want you to thrive not only when it comes your health & fitness, I want you to kick ass at life! If you have any questions about health, nutrition or any other topic (seriously anything!) feel free to email at victor@testtubefit.com 

P.S. If you’d like to keep up with us and get some motivation and random tips , you can follow us on Twitter , Instagram,  or Facebook. #testyourself

PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR, OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL BEFORE USING ANY PRODUCT OR WORKOUT ROUTINE DISCUSSED WITHIN THIS WEBSITE.

Three Tips for Getting Stronger in 5 Minutes (Seriously)

 Three Tips for Getting Stronger in 5 Minutes 

1) Crush The Weight - Grip the barbell/dumbbell/kettlebell as hard as                     possible when you begin to get tired.

 2) Contract Your Glutes - Additionally contract your glutes (ass muscles) as tight as possible while keeping your grip as tight as possible.

3) Brace Your Abs - In addition to crushing the weight and contracting your glutes, brace your abs as if you are going to be kicked in the stomach.

These three techniques massively amplify your muscular output by recruiting more muscle, thus making you stringer. These techniques were developed by Pavel Tsatsouline.

Pavel Tsatsouline is Chairman of StrongFirst, Inc. and was born in Minsk, USSR, which is now part of Belarus. He is widely credited with introducing the kettlebell to the United States.

We do not get paid to promote any of the products, websites or blogs we’ve presented, we simply want to offer you great information.

All the best to you on your fitness journey,

Victor Gonzalez | Founder of Test Tube Fitness | victor@testtubefit.com 

I want you to thrive not only when it comes your health & fitness, I want you to kick ass at life! If you have any questions about health, nutrition or any other topic (seriously anything!) feel free to email at victor@testtubefit.com 

P.S. If you’d like to keep up with us and get some motivation and random tips , you can follow us on Twitter , Instagram,  or Facebook. #testyourself

PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR, OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL BEFORE USING ANY PRODUCT OR WORKOUT ROUTINE DISCUSSED WITHIN THIS WEBSITE.