Strength training is an import part of a fitness routine, and has a myriad of overall health benefits. There are a number of ways, however, to accomplish a regular lifting regimen. Specifically, lifters can utilize free weights, those not locked into place by any external apparatus, or weight lifting machines, designed to limit movement and range. Both have benefits and potential drawbacks, and it can be difficult to identify if you should use free weights or weight lifting machines in your workout. Are free weights better for building muscles than machines? This article helps simplify this decision, discussing the pros and cons of each choice and empowering you to make an informed decision that suits your physical needs.
Free Weights- Pros
In general, free weights are the most effective at building overall strength. This is a result of the way the body manages the movement of heavy items without the assistance of a machine. Basically, because the weight being lifted is unrestrained, the muscles themselves must keep the weight balanced and fixed, and in doing so works a number of different muscles while improving strength in the targeted group. By working these stabilizer muscles during normal workouts, the body becomes naturally stronger than if the movement of the weight was locked in place. Additionally, one of the benefits to free weights is the equipment itself. Free weight equipment is simpler, smaller, and significantly cheaper than weight lifting machines, and effective workouts can be accomplished with high-quality resistance bands or an affordable dumbbell set for a fraction of the price of something more mechanical.
- Written by Jacob S. | Last Updated on 10 February 2019
Welcome to our first installation of MTG standard spotlight, where we introduce and discuss some of the best decks in the format for competitive live tournaments and MTG Arena. In this article we dissect the stifling mono-blue Aggro archetype, a deck that has performed exceptionally well early in the standard season and is considered by many to be one of the best Magic: The Gathering standard decks. Whether you’re gearing up for the next Grand Prix, or just looking to grind Arena ladder for a shot at the Mythic Invitational, here are three reasons why mono-blue aAgro is a great MTG standard deck you should play.
Ridiculous Card Advantage
Mono-blue Aggro is by any definition an aggressive deck, looking to win decisively in the early game by dealing extensive damage with creatures that have evasion. Although effective, this strategy has traditionally suffered from several drawbacks, specifically the lack of card advantage. Because this aggro deck utilizes blue cards, however, it is able to maintain, and even surpass, the draw functionality of other decks while keeping early game pressure, turning ahistorical weakness into a formidable strength. Curious Obsession, for example, rewards each attack with an additional card, allowing consistency in land drops and access to more spells, while 4 of Opt makes the deck smaller and offers valuable card selection for only one mana. Most lists are also running some number of Chart a Course, which requires a player to discard a card after drawing two unless they attacked that turn, further empowering the constant aggression of the deck. By replacing the constant flurry of spells streaming from your hand, mono-blue is able to maintain pressure through the midgame and cycle through cards that may be ineffective in that particular match-up. This is especially helpful in best-of-one formats, making mono-blue a great MTG Arena mythic deck.
- Written by Vincent A. | Last Updated on 08 February 2019
One of the most rewarding aspects of a relationship is sharing the activities you love with your partner, and gaming is no exception. Whether you are playing video games or board games, competing or collaborating with your significant other in a game can be an amazing bonding experience. Although gaming comes in many different forms, there are a number of great games for couples’ game nights that have the added benefit of being designed specifically for two players. This Valentine’s Day, spend quality time with your significant other by playing one of these awesome two-player games and forging a better relationship through cooperative strategy or light-hearted competition.
7 Wonders: Duel is a two-player variant of the widely successful 7 Wonders board game, maintaining the rich complexity and historically referential elements from the original game. The game progresses as players take turns revealing hidden resource cards, each of which offers an avenue to one of several win conditions, and deciding how to invest their time and money. Since the remaining cards are still unknown, players must make educated guesses at the remaining cards’ abilities, and must react in real time to the strategic choices of their partner; Early commitment to a strategy makes for easy disruption, but lack of focus on a single win condition can leave you weak in all arenas. Overall, 7 Wonders: Duel is dynamic and reactive, making it even more fun to play with someone you know all-too well and elevating it to one of the best board games for date night this Valentine’s Day.
- Written by Robin G. | Last Updated on 10 February 2019
There’s been a great deal of well-deserved hype behind the powerhouse cards of Ravnica Allegiance in recent weeks, with all-star performances from cards like Hydroid Krasis and Angel of Grace in the most recent competitive tournaments. The supporting cast for this theater of horrors, however, should not be so easily forgotten, as these cards from previous sets still make up the overwhelming majority of the best Magic: The Gathering cards in standard. In this article we break down the important players from each other set legal in standard, identifying an opportunity to pick up exceptional cards for undervalued prices before they light up the stage once more.
Guilds of Ravnica is singlehandedly responsible for providing some of the best cards played in the dominating Izzet Drakes deck of the previous meta. As discussed in our previous article, Izzet Drakes was, and still is, one of the best Magic: The Gathering standard decks, and it’s important to keep these cards in mind for speculating and deckbuilding. First, and foremost, this set includes Niv-Mizzet, a card that can easily win games in any deck playing blue and red, including Jeskai Control, and that will likely remain a staple card moving forward. Izzet Drakes also relies heavily on Crackling Drake and Archlight Phoenix, although Phoenix is falling out of favor in exchange for the more versatile Pteramander. Other notable mentions from this set are Thief of Sanity and Experimental Frenzy, both of which still make frequent sideboard, and occasional maindeck, appearances. Overall, Guilds continues to see play, and with many more rotations to go provides some of the best Magic: The Gathering cards to invest in.
- Written by Vincent A. | Last Updated on 03 February 2019