Strength Workouts

The 13 Best Bodyweight Leg Exercises

As remote work remains the norm for many of us, exercising has been relocated to the home. With that in mind, I wanted to share some great bodyweight leg workouts that you can do from the comfort of your own home, with nothing more than your body and some motivation. You should never underestimate the importance of your legs in cultivating overall strength. From squats to calf raises, here are the 13 best bodyweight leg exercises that you can do from home—or anywhere.

Baseline Rules Before Starting

Before you begin on your new work-from-home exercise regimen, take these four pieces of advice to heart, in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout.

1. Form matters more than anything else. If you’re not performing the exercise well, there’s an increased risk of injury. For example, while doing bodyweight exercises like dips, push-ups, and pike push-ups, controlling the movement is very important. It’s not a priority to go as fast as possible. Remember, quality over quantity.

2. It’s ok to be a beginner. We all have to start somewhere. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t make it to 30 seconds on certain exercises, 20 is just fine. Now you have something to work towards.

3. Exercising is a never-ending process. There is no end, which means you will have a lifetime of accomplishments ahead of you.

4. Consistency is key. As long as you keep consistent, you will see progress. Not feeling sore does NOT mean you didn’t have a good workout. Don’t let it fool you.

1. Bodyweight Squats
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

For these traditional squats, you’ll want to keep your feet shoulder width apart with your toes slightly facing out. Make sure to keep a straight back and have your shoulders retracted. It’s a good idea to hold onto an item or extend your arms to maintain better balance. 

2. Bodyweight Pulse Squats

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

These are very similar to the above exercise, but with an additional pulse. To complete this exercise, slowly do the squat, but before you go back up to complete the squat, pulse back down momentarily. 

3. Bodyweight Jump Squats
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

The description is in the name! These are similar to traditional bodyweight squats, but at the top of your squat you should maintain some explosive energy to jump up into the air. These hit all the same muscles as the traditional squat, but the dynamic addition can improve range of motion and overall athleticism. 

4. Assisted Pistol Squats

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

This version of the squat is great for making sure you execute the motion with proper form and perform a full rep of the motion. You’ll want to hold onto something sturdy, keep your core tight as you press through your heels down into the squat. This one will take some coordination, so make sure to really engage your core as you lower your body. 

5. Close Stance Squats
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

This variation is the same as the traditional squats above, but with one alteration. Rather than keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, for these, you should have a slightly narrower stance. These are more difficult and require more flexibility, making them a great variation to add to your regimen. 

6. Lunges
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

Lunges may seem straightforward, but we could all always use a refresher. Begin by keeping an upright position with your chest up. Take a big step forward and press back with the heels as you lower your knee. It should almost (emphasis on almost) touch the floor. Return to upright and alternate your feet. 

7. Reverse Lunge
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

The reverse lunge is similar to the above regular lunge, but this time you step backwards into the dip. You’ll begin the same with an upright position, making sure your chest is up. Then step backwards and lower your knee until it almost touches the floor. Return to upright and alternate feet. 

8. Jumping Lunges

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

Jumping lunges are certainly more difficult than the other iterations, but they include the explosive action of jumping, making them a great way to vary your leg workouts. You should get into a lunge position by following the steps above, and then jump and alternate your feet mid-air. It’s a more difficult exercise which will take some getting used to, but give it a try as it’s certainly a beneficial way to amp up your lunges. 

9. Bulgarian Split Squat
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

This is another killer exercise. For the Bulgarian Split Squat, you’ll want to place one of your feet up on an elevated surface behind you (bench, chair, bed) and take a step forward with your other foot. Then, press through your heels and lower your body, maintaining an upright position. Return to standing and repeat. 

10. Glute Bridge
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

For this exercise, you’ll need to start by lying down on the floor, facing up. Place your heels firmly on the ground and then bring your hips up towards the ceiling while squeezing your glutes. Your heels should not rise from the ground. Lower your body back to the ground, then repeat. 

11. Hip Thrust

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

This exercise is pretty much the same as a glute bridge, but you’ll want to get your shoulders leaned on an elevated surface. Then lift your hips up towards the ceiling as done above. 

12. Calf Raise
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

This is a classic for a good reason. Step up on a slightly elevated surface so that your heels hang off the back a bit.  Then, fully extend your calf muscle by stretching it (as you lower your weight) and squeeze your calves by standing back up on your toes.

13. Single Leg Stiff Leg Deadlift (assisted)
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

For this exercise, you can begin by holding onto something—a pole, cabinet or anything sturdy in your house—to help with balance. Balance on one leg and then keep a slight bend in your knee as you bend at the hips and lower your upper body as far forward as possible. Use your other leg as a counterweight as you raise back up, making sure to keep your back flat. 

Grind Productivity

How to Clean a Bong (or Any Glass) in 10 Easy Steps

Using glass pieces is a top-tier way to consume cannabis, there’s no way around it. Knowing how to clean a bong (or any glass for that matter) is easier said than done. The seasoned bong users know the feeling all too well. You draw a milky hit, only to find the flavor tainted by a buildup of resin and other unwanted intruders. On the flip side, hitting a bong for the first time after a deep clean is one of the most supreme smoking experiences available to the modern stoner.

There are numerous ways to clean a bong, but they all ultimately boil down to the same thing: Soak it, shake it, and rinse it. If you’re smoking daily, it might be hard to remember all the steps (no hate), so I put together an easy step by step guide to help you keep your glass looking fresh, and most importantly, supremely smokable.

1. Take it apart!
Stephen Hatala / ONE37pm

This first step might seem like a no-brainer, but many first-time glass-cleaners will overlook it. Whether you’re cleaning a bong, pipe, dab rig, or any glass, the first thing you’ll want to do is take out the bowl and downstem (some pieces might have a few more removable pieces, but definitely start with those two). Once you’ve got your piece down to its parts, you’re ready to move onto step 2.

2. Put all the smaller pieces in a ziploc bag, bowl or any secure vessel for soaking.

Once you’ve got your little pieces in a container, you’ll want to add your cleansing product. There are tons of options on the market, but essentially you’ll want to use isopropyl alcohol (the higher percentage, the better) and salt. Listen, I may be biased, but my cleaner, “Illcohol,” is definitely the best one on the market. It doesn’t have any frills or dyes to make it vibrant; it’s just a jug of alcohol that comes with salt to add for each cleaning, and that’s all you need. It comes in a huge gallon size, so just one purchase will last throughout multiple cleaning sessions. 

3. Let them soak!
Stephen Hatala / ONE37pm

You’ll want to use enough of your cleaning solution for the pieces to be fully submerged. Then just let them soak and let the alcohol work its magic! The longer you can leave them, the better. But if you’re feeling impatient, you probably only need about ten minutes in the bath. Remember, the longer you let them soak, the easier it will be to remove all the residue in the later steps. 

4. Fill the main chamber of your piece with solution.

While your little bits and bobs are in their bath, now’s your chance to clean the inside of the entire piece. Slowly pour your cleaning solution into the chamber of the bong—you can pour through any opening. Don’t worry about filling the entire piece. Just pour enough in that you’ll be able to get a good shake out of the liquid.

5. Shake it up!

Using your hands (you can also use a wine cork or other stopper you have lying around), go ahead and cover up all of the holes of the piece. Now comes the fun part. Shake it up! Shake the piece as hard as you can for as long as you can; the longer, the better. You’ll watch the resin miraculously begin to dissipate. Even if some resin remains after vigorous shaking, don’t fret. In the next step, I’ll be sure to cross the Ts and dot the Is.

6. Wipe down.

Once you’ve gotten a good shake in, you can pour out the solution. But before you rinse with water, now’s your chance to capitalize on the residual solution (which is still a powerful cleaning agent) and a little bit of elbow grease to get rid of the rest of the blemishes. For the largest openings of the piece, you can use a rag or piece of paper towel, and you’ll want to get in there and wipe away any remaining grime. When it comes to longer openings, you can use a drumstick or water bottle cleaning tool (if you have one) with a rag draped over it to really get in deep and smudge everything off. 

For the smaller openings (especially if you’re using a smaller piece like a pipe), you can use a paperclip, pipe cleaner (it’s in the name!), toothpick, or really anything that will fit in the hole. Don’t overthink it. 

After you’ve cleared all the grime out of the piece, now you can do the same with the little fellas that have been stewing in the bath. Most of the grime will have dissipated from the pieces after a long soak, but now you can go through with a rag or cotton swab and get to business. 

By the end of this step, your glass should be looking polished and should be pretty free of all residue. It’s okay if some smears remain, as we’ll be rinsing the pieces a few more times before returning the piece to the shelf (or loading it up).

7. Rinse!

This step is super important. Isopropyl alcohol evaporates really easily (in under a minute), so you don’t need to worry too much about it remaining on the glass, but to eliminate the chemical odor, you’ll want to rinse everything thoroughly with water. You can rinse the small pieces in their bath by refilling it with water and shaking them around. Then do what you did with the large chamber in steps 4 and 5, but this time with water instead of a cleaning solution. You might want to rinse them a few times with fresh water to fully eliminate any remnants of the alcohol solution. 

8. Let them dry.
Stephen Hatala / ONE37pm

You’re pretty much done! Now you can just let all of the pieces dry on their own, or feel free to wipe them down with a rag. Once everything feels nice and dry, it’s time to put the piece back together and admire your handy work.

9. Smoke!

I know that I didn’t really have to include this step, but the experience of smoking out of a freshly cleaned piece is too magnificent not to include. I’m not going to sit here and explain to you how to smoke, but there are definitely some good ways to take advantage of your freshly cleaned piece. 

Bong-permitting, I suggest loading up your chamber with some fresh cold water and your favorite flower for a delightful hit experience that only comes around once every few weeks. If you have a strain that you love specifically for the flavor, now’s a great time to tap those buds, as you’ll get to experience the flavor in its purest form.

10. Do what makes you happy.
Stephen Hatala / ONE37pm

You’ve got a fresh piece of glass, an absolute bombshell of a hit coursing through your veins and the whole world ahead of you. Next up? Do whatever makes you happy after a smoke. You worked hard, you deserve it. 

Some tips and tricks:

Don’t overthink it!

It really just comes down to soak, shake, and rinse. The steps above are great to refer back to if you have questions, but overall you can trust your gut. It’s not rocket science.

Clean all of your glass at once.

If you have multiple pieces, it’s a good idea to clean them all in one fell swoop. You can soak all of the removable items from multiple pieces at once, diminishing the time you spend cleaning. The goal is to get back to smoking, after all.

Save your best weed for the post-clean smoke.

I said it earlier, but it deserves repeating. It’s a great idea to save your premium bud for a session immediately following cleaning, as this way, you’ll have the most opportunity to taste the flower and savor the intricacies of its profile.

Clean your glass frequently.

The more frequently you clean, the less tedious the process will be each time. If you do it before a lot of residue builds up, you’ll be able to shake and rinse without having to worry about getting in there with a tool to wipe everything down.

Buy a reusable wine cork.

This may seem silly, but if you get a wine cork or any kind of stopper to pop in the glass’ opening, it will make it much more convenient to conduct your shaking. Rather than covering the hole with your hand while simultaneously shaking, you can just cork it and shake freely.

Clean before you smoke.

I know I said this already as well, but it too bears repeating. The last thing you’re going to want to do after a strong sesh is spend time meticulously cleaning your glass, so I recommend getting all of the pesky cleaning out of the way before you settle down for your smoke.

Sports Strength

6 Ways to Upgrade Your Holiday Sports Experience

This year more than ever, sports have acted as a much-needed form of escapism for enthusiasts nationwide. And with a wide array of events on the docket for the end of this month, it’s a good idea to plan ahead to ensure you catch every moment you’ve been anticipating. To make sure you create the best sports viewing set-up this holiday season, we compiled six tried-and-true ways to elevate your holiday sports experience.

1. Remember: Everything Tastes Better in Glass

There’s just something about a chilled glass bottle. Whether you’re drinking a beer, soda or seltzer, opt for the better choice of a glass bottle. It may not seem like much, but when you pop open a crispy one and settle in for kickoff, you’ll thank us. You can’t beat the effect of sipping from a chilly bottleneck, letting the beverage pique all of your senses as you relax on your couch.

2. Hit the Kitchen and Chef It Up

Although the temptation to order takeout is totally understandable, use this extended time at home as great opportunity to put your cooking skills to the test. I mean, you could order some wings, but wouldn’t it be more gratifying to do it all yourself? Regardless of your expertise, there’s no beating the satisfaction of something you made yourself.

3. Watch with Friends, Remotely

You may not be able to go to a friend’s house for the big games this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to watch alone. Using Zoom, FaceTime or any of the video conferencing services (Houseparty, anyone?), set up a call with your fellow sports fans so you can talk trash, mourn your team’s loss or celebrate their victory—all from the safety of your own pod. Social distancing can be isolating but there are ways to feel connected, especially on game day.

4. Ensure You Have the Best Setup

For this, you’ll have to plan in advance. With all the holiday deals going on, now’s as good a time as ever to cop a new viewing chair, TV or anything else you may need to optimize your viewing setup. This might look different for everyone. Maybe all you need to create the perfect viewing experience is a cozy blanket. Whatever your preference may be, make sure you spend a little time getting your home viewing layout positively perfect for the lengthy viewing sessions ahead.

5. Plan Your Schedule

From the NFL to the NBA, there are a lot of games on your agenda for the holiday season. If you’re a die-hard fan who wants to see everything on your docket, it’s a good idea to build out a schedule ahead of time to make sure you don’t miss a beat. You’ll have to make some tough decisions—prioritizing certain games over others—but you can always call an audible on the day of. Regardless, make sure you have an idea of what channels your TV will be tuned to and when so you can catch every second of the action.

6. Practice Gratitude

This one is easily overlooked. 2020 has been a tumultuous year, unlike anything we’ve seen before. However, from the UFC to the NBA Bubble, sports have been a pseudo return to normalcy through it all. It may seem obvious, but remember to be grateful for the opportunities we have to live life how we used to. Even something as simple as flipping on the TV to watch the “Greek Freak” dunk from the free-throw line can provide an immense amount of comfort. 

Entrepreneurs Grind

How To Start a Catering Business: Your Step-By-Step Guide

Do you consider yourself a wiz in the kitchen and the go-to entertainer for all your friends? Are you the one hosting game day gatherings and going above and beyond when it comes to the snacks? Can you stay calm and collected in the face of a little chaos? Then you might want to consider a side hustle in catering.

With a $12 billion market size providing an average income of $30,000 to $80,000 annually, the catering industry has long been a lucrative area in the events space. And though there’s the obvious and unfortunate fact that it’s taking a hit during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s not entirely impossible to launch a catering biz right now. With more intimate and perhaps at-home gatherings on the horizon, it just might be the perfect time to enter the market. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got your step-by-step guide.

1. Do Your Research

As is true when launching any type of business, your necessary first step is to research every aspect of what’s involved, from general costs to market competition. According to Tyler Drown, co-founder of New York-based Worthwhile LLC Event Services and industry vet with 10 years of experience in the catering and events space, “You need to think about your target market, you need to think about your bottom line, prime costs, and how much business [you] need in order to make this business viable to do it full-time. There are various industry benchmarks about food costs, costs of renting equipment, costs for leasing kitchen space, et cetera. Learn them and work backwards.”

2. Find Your Niche

In the midst of your research, you should be taking note of what other catering companies in your area offer and where there might be a gap you could fill. Lots of wedding caterers around? Consider specializing in corporate events. Know your stuff when it comes to vegan food? Make that your selling point! Think about what services you can offer that will set your business apart while giving you the marketing advantage of filling a void. If you’re starting small, it’s important to find a niche you can focus on to find your footing and develop a reputation before expanding.

3. Get All The Legal Stuff Out Of The Way

From registering your company name to determining what type of entity it’ll be (some options include sole proprietorship or limited liability company, known as an LLC) starting a small business comes with quite a bit of paperwork you’ll need to get sorted before you really get started. Check with your state about what licenses and clearances you need for food preparation and serving alcohol, if that’s something you plan to do.

4. Get Insurance

You’ll also need to look into liability insurance. “Many residential and office buildings and event venues require all vendors, including caterers, to have a certain amount of general liability insurance and will require a custom Certificate of Insurance to be issued naming them as additionally insured or having things like waivers of subrogation,” explains Tyler. “They also may have additional requirements to use their loading dock. If your event staff is serving alcohol, you should have liquor liability insurance as well. Also, don’t count on your client knowing these things. Politely and delicately make sure they ask the building management. The last thing you want is to show up with a van full of equipment and catering only to be turned away by the building management because of something entirely avoidable.”

5. Scope Out Local Vendors & Kitchens

Next, of course, you need to figure out where you’ll be cooking and preparing your food. If your state allows you to cook and cater from home and you prefer that option, be prepared to purchase commercial grade and/or regulation-approved kitchen supplies. The other option is scoping out a professional kitchen that is already available. “There are many shared-use or temporary rental commercial kitchens that you can use as a commissary kitchen, some of them style themselves as restaurant or food ‘incubators.’ Although it may be unpleasant to consider, there are going to be many commercial kitchens coming online for lease shortly,” Tyler says. “If you are outfitting a kitchen, one rule of thumb I’ve heard often is that it’s better to lease than buy your dishwasher and your icemaker because they require more service than almost any other piece of equipment.”

6. Hire Your Staff

Kitchen help, cater-waiters, bartenders – oh my! This may be your venture, but chances are you’re going to need some staff to ensure a smooth experience not only for your customers but also for yourself. This is definitely not the kind of undertaking you want to go at completely solo. So how do you go about hiring? Tyler says, “There are two routes, hiring staff directly and using an event staffing firm. If you already know many people willing to work for you that are trained in your style of service, hire direct. If not, it may make sense in the short run to use temporary event staffing agencies to grow your business. You will pay a premium, but many people underestimate the cost of recruiting and training staff.”

7. Expand Your Customer Base

When it comes to catering, the best kind of marketing you can hope for is word-of-mouth. Fortunately, this specific business type allows you to easily promote and reach new customers during your time working for another client. “Grow your business by making concentric circles around your client base, expanding your reach and your base,” says Tyler. 

It’s a strategy echoed by Giovanna Mansi of Tastings NYC, a catering biz with hubs in both New York and South Florida. “When Tastings first started in New York 20 years ago, the clients were mainly residents of the Upper East Side, with whom we developed a solid relationship. They often owned a house in Palm Beach or traveled there for the winter months,” she explains. “On several occasions, we were asked to assist them in South Florida with their family and friends gatherings. As we were getting busier in the South Florida area, the decision to open a permanent office there came as a natural choice.” 

Bottom line? If you want to expand, market around your client base, and provide excellent service during an event, their friends and people in attendance can see firsthand how great you are. They’ll remember you, and they’ll tell their friends and boom. Be sure to give out your card or have promotional materials available during each event you cater to.

8. Prepare For The Unexpected

Whether it’s a last-minute issue with your food supplier or, you know, a global pandemic that has a disproportionate effect on your industry, in particular, you’ve got to be prepared for any challenges your business may face. However, when it comes to the coronavirus, catering companies have had to get creative and learn to adapt. Tastings, for one, launched Tastings 2.0, their virtual catering service, which provides simultaneous meals to guests attending video events from home. “Tastings Virtual Catering and Events was officially launched in April, and it was an immediate success,” says Giovanna. “People were already used to Zoom happy hours and celebrations. But they were only sharing a screen and a drink. We brought a meal to their houses that can be shared with all the attendees, whether in NY, the Hamptons, or Miami (thanks to our South Florida office). Sharing a meal together brought a sense of normalcy that we were all looking forward to.”