Serious Lifters Only: A Home Gym That’s Up to Your Standards

As a powerlifting, strongman, body-building, or Olympic weightlifting enthusiast, you know how crucial your gym is to your success and enjoyment of the sport. But between rules, sharing equipment, cost, and the commute, going to the gym can feel like a hassle. In which case you may be interested in assembling a training facility in your own home or garage, however, not just any home gym will do, as the needs of a serious lifter require a special kind of gym. 

Heavy Duty at Home 

A clear issue with having an extreme weightlifting gym at home is the potential damage from heavy stationary equipment and free-weights falling on the ground. Luckily, there are easy-to-implement remedies that properly shield your floor from the sharp bottoms of heavy benches, racks and impact from weights, while simultaneously protecting the equipment itself from harsh surfaces like concrete basements and garages.  

In order to care for you, your home, and your equipment, it is essential that you place a protective layer between you and the surface underneath to act as a base for your gym. Purpose-built flooring designed for extreme fitness such as that made from rubber or PVC will keep the ground beneath you from scratching, chipping, or cracking under pressure.  

When searching for lifting-ready flooring, keep your eyes peeled for indicators such as “heavy-duty” or “equipment mat” that way you ensure it can handle a weight training regimen.  

Get Started on Your Pro-Level Home Gym 

For weight benches and machines, a Vélotas equipment mat will protect the floor for years and for full-size rack assemblies, our selection of rubber-top or PVC flooring can stand up to even the most intense world-class training. We Sell Mats believes all lifters have something to gain by taking their training home with them and we wish the best of luck to the U.S. Olympic Weightlifting Team in Tokyo. 

Give Your School’s Gym a Professional Look and Feel

As we approach the second half of the school year, perhaps it’s time to start crunching the numbers on refitting the gymnasium and weight room at your school. After so many years of use, padding for areas like walls, poles, and floors can get worn out and unsanitary, defeating their intended purpose. Updating small details like these can also instantly transform your gym to make it look more modern. 

A Safe Multipurpose Room for Basketball and Beyond 

Despite many considering basketball a “limited-contact” sport, major wipeouts certainly happen, especially at the end of a high-speed drive to the hoop. Once a player completes a full-speed drive to the hoop, they may be in a situation where they have about 6 feet to stop before hitting a cinder block wall. In this case, the best way to prevent injury is padding on the wall to exponentially soften the impact. 

The same safety focus applies to freestanding poles. Padding wrapped around poles mean peace-of-mind in rooms with exposed support poles and in-floor basketball hoops. Precautions such as these mean safety for when the room is used for after-school sports, but also when it’s time for gym class and pep-rallies. 

Upgrading the Weight Room  

For the weight room, fitting it with new grip flooring can not only extend the life of equipment on top and the floor underneath, but it provides a forgiving surface that’s crucial for weightlifting safety, especially for students. If athletic training or gym class calls for bodyweight exercises on the floor, then a set of exercise mats are a great deployable surface for just about anything from free-weight exercises to yoga.  

Cost-Effective Gym Safety Solutions 

Our selection of protective paddingflooring tiles, and foldable exercise mats keep students safe and focused on having fun while exercising. Additionally, our safety padding for walls and poles are rated for high impact and can be customized with your school’s unique logo.  

We Sell Mats is dedicated to providing an environment that encourages smart fitness practices and safety for all. Check out more ways to update your school gym.  

Embark on the Journey of Becoming a Master Knitter

The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) has been certifying and recognizing Master Knitters since 1987, which puts skilled knitters to the test through a rigorous three skill level program requiring a minimum of three years. Since the program’s inception, only 355 knitters globally have shown the aptitude to be considered Master Knitters. 

Ladianne Henderson, the owner of Cheers to Ewe, a yarn shop in Huntersville, NC., earned the distinction as a certified Master Knitter in 2018.  Before opening the yarn shop, Henderson worked as an art teacher. She had grown up watching her mom knit, but it wasn’t until 12 years ago that she seriously took on the craft.  

“I really enjoyed it, I loved that it’s a never-ending well of things to explore from math to science to art,” she says. 

From Sheep to Shawl 

In a world of synthetic materials and mass-produced, cheap goods, knitting is an industry that still values the quality of the process “from sheep to shawl.” 

“We lost touch with the origin of our products,” says Henderson. “Knitting is unique in that you can follow [the process] from farm to yarn, to the pattern, to the making of the product.”  

Since opening Cheers to Ewe in 2016, Henderson and her colleagues have provided knitters with high-quality yarn and supplies for beginners and masters alike. Not only can you outfit your knitting arsenal with the latest and greatest, but CTE also offers classes that teach you everything from the basics to advanced garment-making.  

A Match Made in Knitting Heaven 

According to Master Knitters like Henderson, “blocking” your knitting pieces allow you to accurately determine the gauge (Stitches/Inch) and make your projects look more polished and professional.  

Blocking refers to the process of gently wetting your projects in order to size it into your desired dimension. This is commonly done by stretching the piece with pins to a foam block marked with a measurement grid. 

This is how the We Sell Mats & Cheers to Ewe Blocking Mats partnership came to be. We carry a blocking mat with a 1-inch grid printed directly on our EVA foam for a fuss-free blocking experience. The mats can even interlock to accommodate long sleeves and scarves.  

Master knitters like Henderson encourage all knitters, beginner, or experienced, to take their craft to the next level — because every stitch gets you closer to obtaining mastery. 

Learn more about Cheers to Ewe and the blocking mats we offer.

How KidStrong Develops the Minds and Muscles of the Future Generation

Compared to previous generations, this generation of children are “the least active and the most socially anxious,” and (thanks to digital distractions at home, loads of junk food, and pressure to succeed in school), they are “the first generation expected to be outlived by their parents,” says Matt Sharp, CEO of KidStrong, a science-backed fitness program that is working to change those statistics.

The “Whole-Child” Approach

Founders of KidStrong, Matt and Megin Sharp, were looking for a training facility to empower their kids. They wanted their daughter to be strong, confident, smart and a leader, but nothing existed at the time to meet their needs.

So, in 2015, they took matters into their own hands by working with researchers to conceptualize a program that develops not only physical fitness, but brain and character development too. This led to the “whole-child” approach – one that didn’t focus on only academics or only physical education.

Their method? To throw everything people know about the traditional learning “classroom” model out the window. “The brain learns more effectively when kids are moving,” says Matt. “It builds more patterns in the brain that help them learn and retain information.”

For example, children at KidStrong will learn and repeat Spanish colors while completing burpees. It’s also a more enjoyable learning experience for kids too.

What’s most unique about KidStrong is an equal emphasis put on parent education as their child’s. While the children are involved in their sessions, the parents are taught by professionals how to best raise their independent, socially developed child at home, equipping them with the necessary tools outside of a KidStrong facility.

KidStrong’s State of the Art Facility

Another way KidStrong makes their science-backed training program so effective is their highly advanced training facility that is specially designed for children 14 months to 8 years old. Currently, Kidstrong has 7 locations, with 15 more opening up across the country this year and a plan to massively expand by the end of 2021. 

Their equipment runs the gamut of monkey bars, ropes, and even We Sell Mats incline mats used for rolling and obstacle course activities. By leveraging the fields of pediatric occupational therapy, child development, sports physiology and physical education, KidStrong is enabling a more socially aware, confident and independent generation of children.

Learn more about KidStrong and their growing number of locations nationwide.

How to Maintain Peak Physical Performance in a Career that Saves Others

When it comes to firefighting, military, law enforcement, and other special force training, the work doesn’t stop once your career begins. But for some it’s easy to lose sight of the physique they initially trained for, which can potentially hinder the job they were called to complete.

“Once you’re in it, it’s easy to get lost in the job,” says Brandon Green, lieutenant with the Baraboo, Wisconsin, Fire Department and lead trainer for the department’s tactical fitness program. Green is also the founder of Pulse Fitness and Training and has been coaching and training for 15 years.

“I don’t believe in the concept of ‘getting in shape,’” adds Green, “Getting in shape means you’re only pushing your body when you need to –it’s associated with getting to a certain point and then stopping. I believe in training.  Training means you’re constantly working, whether it’s for preventative health measures or quality of life.”

Tactical Training Gets You Ready for the Job

From tactical training to designing tactical fitness programs, Green is dedicated to ensuring professionals in the field are in peak condition “for when the bell rings.”

“It’s hard when I watch veteran firefighters that want to continue in their career, but physically can’t,” says Green. This is when training becomes more important than simply getting in shape for a short period of time. Tactical fitness isn’t about workouts – it’s about work. That’s why Green creates programs that carry over into real life situations.

Tactical Fitness is about fitness that may one day be the difference between life and death for you or someone you are trying to help within your profession. Not only do first responders need to develop optimal health and fitness, they also need to develop the ability to react and think clearly under stress. Preparing mentally and physically for these situations through tactical training is one of the best ways to achieve this.

Where to Re-Up on Training Equipment

Whether you need to focus on speed and endurance, strength and power or flexibility and muscle stamina, We Sell Mats offers long-lasting yet cost-effective ways to outfit a first response training facility. For floor exercises like combat, CPR, and rescue training, say goodbye to working on gross floors as our folding exercise mats are a great way to deploy a durable but forgiving surface to any demonstration. When training calls for some serious impact, a crash-pad can stand up to even the most extreme training activities like obstacle courses and falling practice.

We Sell Mats extends our gratitude to all first responders for everything that you do. Whether you’re continuing your training or just getting started we’re here to help wherever possible to make training as safe as possible.

Brandon Green is a professional speaker on a national circuit and an author for magazines like Firehouse Magazine and Fire Rescue. Read some of his work here.

Countdown to Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Now that 4 years have passed since the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, it’s time for another grand display of athletics, this time in Tokyo, Japan. Of the more than 30 sports to compete in at this year’s summer games, gymnastics stands out as one of the most expansive, and competitive.

For gymnasts, the Olympics are the zenith of their career, the place where years of hard work, dedication and talent lead to, and this year’s games in Tokyo are sure to bring a new generation of glory to the eyes of the entire world.

A Lifetime of Training

16-years-old is the average age of Olympic gymnast on the U.S. women’s team, so you can imagine how young training begins to become “Olympic-ready.” Most prospective Olympians start between the formative years of 2 and 5 years-old, which USA Gymnastics claims is the optimal age for gymnasts to learn how their bodies move prior to progressing into advanced classes.

From there, young gymnasts choose a gym along with a coach that will train them for the Talent Opportunity Program (TOP) to hopefully participate in the TOP’s testing and training camps. In order to pass through these rigorous programs, prospective Olympians should have exceptional talent and abilities by the age of 10.

Once a young gymnast meets these benchmarks and begins racking up success at competitions, they may catch the attention of national scouts — but even then, elite gymnasts still devote 20-30 hours a week to their craft.

For former Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Gabby Douglas, the intense training schedule is all too familiar. In order to get ready for the 2016 games, her schedule involved waking up at the crack of dawn to begin her 6.5-hour per day training regimen split between morning and afternoon sessions.

We Sell Mats Gets You Olympic-Ready

Gyms that are capable of training future Olympians don’t settle for just any equipment; they only work with the best. If you or your young Olympian is looking to work with pro-level equipment, then check out the selection of premium gymnastics mats designed for competitive training.

As for now, we can’t wait to see the hard work pay off for all of the dedicated gymnasts at the 2020 Summer Olympics and are proud to cheer on the upcoming U.S. Gymnastics National Teams in Tokyo.

Exploring Other Worlds from the Comfort of Your Home

Since the introduction of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset in 2012, virtual reality (VR) has only skyrocketed in popularity, showing promise as the future of digital entertainment. As VR games and experiences have evolved, so has the gear.

Today, VR headsets come with loads of extra equipment such as controllers that track hand movement and room sensors that allow your movements within the play area to be translated into game movement.

The extra equipment, bulky cords and blindness to the player’s surroundings have made VR a tough sell for many consumers which has made the creation of dedicated in-home VR rooms a necessity for the aspiring VR enthusiast.

How to Create the Ultimate VR Room

Since you are blind to the real world when you’re in VR, it is crucial that the area is safe for the player.

  • For size, the typical VR play area is roughly a 10’ x 10’ square in order to keep the player a safe distance from others and to get the most out of features like HTC VIVE’s room-scale mode.
  • Soft padded flooring like our EVA foam tiles is the method of choice for VR experts as they provide plenty of grip and support for whatever the VR world throws at you.
  • Another great way to ensure the safety of the player is to add a tactile buffer zone at the edge of the play area so the player can feel when they are about to leave the play area or hit a wall. A clever way to do this is to place our carpet-top tiles around the border of the play area EVA tiles to give the player a warning that won’t detract from the experience.

Once your play area and flooring are squared away, all you have to do is button-up the details. Placing furniture outside the play area and adding a large screen to show what the player is viewing is a great way to make VR a group activity.

Additionally, by removing reflective surfaces such as mirrors and giving the room sensors a solid background to distinguish you from the surroundings, you are less likely to confuse the system for a next-level VR experience.

The Future of Entertainment

With a snazzy and safe new VR room in your home, you’re ready to experience everything the virtual world has to offer. We Sell Mats is proud to offer the best source to purchase a wide variety of EVA foam mats that will get you VR game-ready in no time.

The Safest Place for Your Gymnast

With a simple tumbling mat, you can create a safe space for your young tumbler or future Olympian to practice their craft at home. Tumbling mats are the foundation for all gymnastics because they protect joints and can defend against falls. They’re affordable, easy to use and store, and can last all throughout your tumbler’s gymnastics career.

Ideal for Beginner Gymnasts

Our mats and skill trainers  come in different thicknesses, lengths, and widths so you can choose the one that fits your child at any stage and will accommodate growth and increased skills. For the littlest tumblers, the tumbling mat will be a safe place to practice motor control and balance. And there’s no better place to develop those skills than on a soft, supportive surface.

Avoid cringing every time your little guy wants to show you his forward roll on the hard kitchen floor, with our padded tumbling mats that take worrying out of the equation. It provides padding so when the fall happens, your child can get right back up. But it provides firm support, too, so there are fewer of those falls.

Mats that Grow with Your Experience

For older and more experienced gymnasts, the larger crash pads offer a safe space to practice bolder moves and skills right at home. Confidence levels as well as skill levels improve vastly when there is opportunity to extend practice time at home. Getting instruction a couple of times a week from a thoroughly vetted gymnastics coach is of absolute importance, but when your child has the opportunity to keep practicing even when she’s not at the gym, she will continue to progress even between classes.

While no athletic endeavor is without risk, you can mitigate some associated with tumbling and gymnastics with the purchase of a professional-quality tumbling mat for your child to use at home. Fold it up and tuck it away when it’s not in use and restore your family room back to normal.

What Makes a Good Exercise Mat for P90X?

Looking for the right mat for an at-home exercise program like P90X®? In any workout environment, you want your flooring surface to deliver the right balance of shock absorption and stability. Our variety of high-density, anti-fatigue mats stand up well to the rigors of personal fitness.

EVA Foam anti-fatigue mats are an ideal flooring surface for high-intensity and high-impact workouts like P90X®.

Continue reading “What Makes a Good Exercise Mat for P90X?”

What is EVA Foam?

You may have heard of EVA Foam used for multiple different flooring types or even Cosplay costumes, sports equipment, crafts and set design. It is a soft, yet durable polymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate.

EVA foam is easy to work with and comes in a variety of colors and thicknesses. With such variety, EVA foam flooring is perfect for exercise rooms, gyms, weight rooms, trade shows, martial arts studios and more.

The (many) Benefits of EVA Foam:

  • Noise Absorbent: EVA foam also absorbs noise – an added bonus for a weight room or work room
  • Anti-Fatigue: The material’s softness means it lessens fatigue from long periods of standing
  • No-Slip: Our mats have remarkable grip, so they won’t slide across slick floors
  • Easy-to-Clean: EVA foam is easy to clean and is resistant to chemicals, making it ideal for sweaty gyms or playrooms
  • Water-Resistant: It is highly weather resilient and has low water absorption, so it can withstand spills, wet feet, and messy pets
  • Safe Material: Parents like that the material is nontoxic, and BPA free, as well as soft for falls
  • Comfortable Cushion: Customers report that the material is comfortable, providing just the right amount of cushioning for safe and comfortable exercise, play and work
  • Ease of Installation: Foam mats easily interlock for quick installation and removal
  • Lightweight: They can be transported, stored and reinstalled without hassle or difficulty.
  • Sturdy and Durable: EVA foam doesn’t easily rip or show wear, so it will look new and fresh for a long time to come.

EVA foam floors offer a great combination of durability, comfort, usability and customization. They are an attractive and affordable choice for any surface that demands cushioning, transportation, easy cleaning or safety.

As always, we’ve got several multifunctional mats in mind which can provide the perfect flooring solution for your home and we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have about which mat is the best fit for you.