🏋️ 5 ways vitamin D helps strength athletes

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If you’re looking to eat a kindergartner’s weight in hot dogs tomorrow, we won’t judge. In fact, we here at BarBend encourage that type of behavior.

Here’s what’s on deck today:

  • The best rear delt exercises for serious shoulder growth.

  • All the ways vitamin D can help strength athletes.

  • Why you should love to hate high-intensity interval training.


Delta Force

Credit: Skydive Erick / Shutterstock

For anyone in the market for bigger, stronger shoulders, you need a balanced program of both pushing and pulling exercises. Your posterior deltoids — or rear delts — are located on the backs of your shoulders and are crucial for driving pulling motions and supporting pushing ones.

Building your rear delts gives your shoulders that well-rounded, 360-degree pop, not to mention they help you lift heavier in compound pulling movements like pull-ups and rows. And if you spend a lot of time hunched over your computer or phone, well-developed rear delts can work wonders for your posture.

The best rear delt exercises target the backs of your shoulders in isolation, and you’ll continue rounding them out in conjunction with other muscles in compound exercises. From bodyweight movements to cables, dumbbells, and barbells, choose your fighter and let’s start pulling.


Sunny D

GIF: Giphy

If the sun is shining where you are, you can get a free supplement just by heading outside. Although the sun is a direct source of vitamin D, most people don’t get enough of it — even if you include vitamin D-rich foods in your diet.

The benefits of vitamin D range from improving bone density to promoting stronger immune systems. For strength athletes, vitamin D has been shown to potentially help build muscle, improve athletic performance, reduce inflammation, and prevent and heal injuries.

Your walk to the gym to grab some extra sunlight may not provide enough vitamin D to boost your gains. Let’s dive into the science of why it may be worth adding an extra vitamin D supplement to your stack.

Training Tips

Embrace the HIIT

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If you love lifting but the idea of cardio makes your heart thump with nerves instead of excitement, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) might be just what you need to bridge the gap.

HIIT workouts use short intervals of intense work to help you up the ante of your training without dragging the process out. You’ll work as hard as you can — usually with a full-body, explosive movement like a burpee, box jump, or heavy kettlebell swings — for a short interval. Then, you’ll rest and do it over again until your session is done.

These kinds of intense workouts are designed to elicit your max effort, so make sure you’re fueled up and ready to go. Expect to sweat a lot and get a whole lot stronger along the way.

BarBend Picks

Take the Plunge

Credit: Plunge

If you are on the hunt to find the best cold plunge on the market, look no further than our top pick, The Plunge. This tub design gives you ample room to lay down and relax in a soak on your days off from the gym, and the ergonomic design helps keep you comfortable (or as comfy as you can be when sitting in near-freezing water).

This model also features a Plug-and-Plunge design that uses an added water hookup for an easier time setting up and filling the tub. The Pro model cools quickly, too, at around 10 degrees per hour.

For more on The Plunge — including price points, variations, and other features — head to the link below.

Today’s advice: Tune in to podcasts from fitness industry leaders!

Tune into the Best Hour of Their Day podcast to hear how Ameet Shah, Wodify’s founder and CEO, founded a technology company that changed the lives of CrossFit enthusiasts and Affiliate Owners all around the world!

He started as a janitor… and now he has dedicated his life to creating technology that makes managing a fitness business easier and more efficient.

Everything Else

Bar Exam

Credit: Paul Aiken / Shutterstock

Sound Off!

The Decision

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Hot dogs or hamburgers? Pick your favorite below to vote:

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The Results Are In

How Do You Curl?

In the June 26, 2023, edition of The BarBend Newsletter, we asked our readers whether they curl with barbells or dumbells. Here’s how you voted:

  1. A little bit of everything (39.68%)

  2. Dumbbells (33.78%)

  3. EZ curl bar (14.48%)

  4. Straight bar (8.04%)

  5. None of the above (4.02%)