7 BIG Mistakes you are Making at the Gym

gym

With Spring upon us and just around the corner a lot of people are thinking about getting “in shape.”  Attaining a beach body for Summer is most people's number 1 goal right now.

While you have already won have the battle if you made it to the over to the gym there are similar mistakes I see people make constantly at the gym.  This isn't to say there is a wrong or right way to workout since everyone is different but these actions are not helping you make the fastest gains possible in the shortest amount of time;

  1. Too Much Weight: This is pretty common for people just getting started at the gym.  They are trying to compare themselves to other people around them lifting a lot more weight.  You need to just slow down and not worry about what you are lifiting.  You should focus on a good lifting technique and gradually increase the weight.  Remember, no bodybuilder or the buffest person at the gym started out looking that way.  They had to work at it too.
  2. Using Your Phone: Walk into any gym in the US nowadays and I am sure you will a similar sighting.  People on there smartphones texting, emailing, surfing the web, etc. while working out.  Really people?  If you want to get into optimal shape you shouldn't be on your smartphone doing that.  I know a lot of people use their smartphones to play music but consider leaving it in the locker room (with a lock on the locker of course) instead.  I have an inexpensive Sansa Clip which is small, lightweight, and easy to clip-on to workout clothes.  The Sansa Slip is 4GB which is plenty of space for music or podcasts.  Having just an MP3 player allows me to workout for 45 minutes – 1 hour without worrying about anything else.  If you truly want to shed fat and gain muscle fast you will do it a lot better if that is what you are concentrating on for that period of time.
  3. Fitting to Much into 1 Workout: If you have not been to the gym in awhile but used to be in great shape, don't overdue it.  Just because you used to be able to lift or run a lot does not mean you can now.  Push yourself but don't fit too much into 1 workout session.  You will hurt yourself and possibly end up not wanting to go back to the gym.  Try to make workout sessions short but highly efficient and effective.  Remember you can always come back to the gym
  4. Comparing Yourself to Others: Don't worry about the biggest or fittest people in the gym.  Like I said before they didn't start out that way and you shouldn't expect to start out that way either.
  5. Wrong Technique: It is quite common to see people doing the wrong techniques even if the are experienced gym rats.  If you do the wrong lifting or exercise techniques you won't get the most of your workouts.  If you think you are doing something wrong try to go with a friend or hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to iron our your kinks.
  6. Not Stretching: This goes into number 5.  It is ideal to stretch before, during, and after when you are lifting weights.  A lot of people don't but that doesn't mean you shouldn't.  Stretching will enable your muscles to recover faster and keep your body limber.
  7. Not Drinking Water: Make sure to include a water bottle in you gym bag and stay hydrated during your workouts.  This will make your workouts more effective and keep your muscles moving.  It is best to take small sips of water between sets.

I don't claim to be a fitness expert or gym rat but I hope you have found this helpful.  If you agree or disagree with this list please let me know and leave a comment below.  If you know a friend or family member could benefit from my list and advice, please share.

Twitter will stop support of TweetDeck Mobile Apps

tweetdeckA few days ago on TweetDeck's official blog on Posterous, Twitter surprised the Social Media universe or more specifically the “Twitterverse.”  Twitter announced that they will be ending support for TweetDeck mobile apps for Android smartphones and the iPhone.  Also Twitter will not be supporting the desktop version of the Twitter application anymore known as TweetDeck AIR (it runs on the Adobe AIR platform.)

Here is what Twitter said on the Posterous blog post that was posted on March 4th, 2013.

TweetDeck is the most powerful Twitter tool for tracking real-time conversations. Its flexibility and customizable layout let you keep up with what’s happening on Twitter, across multiple topics and accounts, in real time. To continue to offer a great product that addresses your unique needs, we’re going to focus our development efforts on our modern, web-based versions of TweetDeck. To that end, we are discontinuing support for our older apps: TweetDeck AIR, TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone. They will be removed from their respective app stores in early May and will stop functioning shortly thereafter. We’ll also discontinue support for our Facebook integration.

TweetDeck mobile apps makes it easy and convenient for people with multiple Twitter accounts to control them all from the same application   I have been using TweetDeck on my Android smartphone to handle my personal Twitter account @AdamYamada and the one for Cody and Sierra, my two singing dogs, @DogsSing.  Even a couple of other Twitter accounts are on there and I used it often to send Tweets to Facebook pages or just update Facebook pages.

I am bit annoyed that Twitter has decided to pull the plug on TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone.  It has over 1 million downloads which is a pretty sizable user-base in my opinion.  The reason Twitter probably decided to pull the plug on TweetDeck for smartphones is that the majority of people are using Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android apps instead.  Unlike me they do not have a need have multiple accounts they need or want to control from the same app.

I am also annoyed Twitter will not support Facebook integration but I understand since that is technically their biggest competitor in the Social Media world.  I guess Twitter has made a calculated move to try to push more people to stay on their platform.

Ending support for the desktop version does make sense though.  Over the past couple of months I have migrated to using the TweetDeck Chrome app which is convenient, fast, and easy to use.  I bet from a developer standpoint it is easier to run TweetDeck in the cloud.  From the blog post it seems like Twitter's data probably reflects that.

In many ways, doubling down on the TweetDeck web experience and discontinuing our app support is a reflection of where our TweetDeck power-users are going.

What does not make sense is that Twitter decided to post the news on a Posterous blog.  Why?  Twitter acquired Posterous awhile ago and will be shutting down Posterous on April 30th, 2013.  You can read Sachin Agarwal's, the Founder and CEO of Posterous, blog post about it.  (If you have a Posterous blog you should go backup your data immediately if you want it.  You can transfer it to WordPress or Tumblr blog.)  Twitter it seems want all the focus to be on developing Twitter and the buyout was probably what is known as an “acquihire.”  These acquihires by big tech companies are usually just to get the talent from the company they are buying out and not necessarily for the technology itself.

If anyone would like to suggest a good TweetDeck replacement, please leave a comment and suggest one.  I most likely will be trying out different Twitter apps that can handle multiple accounts over the next month or two.  I will keep people updated with what I do and don't like.

If you are a TweetDeck user and as unhappy as I am, let me know how you feel.  I would be interested to hear from others.

Matt Cutts doesn’t recommend ccTLD Domain Hacks

In a Google Webmaster video that was released today Matt Cutts seems to suggest that using what is known as “Domain Hacks” is not necessarily a great idea.  Here is the question that he responded to in the the Google Webmaster video.

We have a vanity domain (http://ran.ge) that unfortunately isn't one of the generic TLDs, which means we can't set our geographic target in Webmaster Tools. Is there any way to still target our proper location?

Aaron D Campbell, Phoenix, AZ

I am glad Aaron asked this as using a vanity domain, aka Domain Hacks, is something I was curios to know since I have thought about registering a few.  For those don't know, Domains Hacks or a vanity domain is when a person, business, or site decides to utilize a country code top level domain (ccTLD) to complete a word or phrase.  This is instead of using a more generic top level domain (gTLD) such as a COM, NET, or ORG.  A good example of a Domain Hack would be Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, using Ma.TT for his personal blog.  The .TT domain extension is technically for Trinidad & Tobago but Matt Mullenweg isn't using it for a business for Trinidad & Tobago just his personal blog.

Over the past couple years vanity domains and domain hacks have really grown in popularity and use.  Most domainers, internet marketers, and web professionals know that finding a good .COM domain at a reasonable price is slim nowadays.  Even finding a suitable .NET  and. ORG domain these days that has not been taken can also be a challenge.  I felt lucky when I was able to get the domain for Singing Dogs.

A lot of savy internet entrepreneurs have turned to using domain hacks and vanity domains like Aaron and his business partners with Ran.GE which I think is a smart domain.  (In case you didn't watch the video that is the ccTLD for Georgia. No, not the the US state the country.)

While there are quite clever domain hacks and vanity domains in use, Matt Cutts warns that Google categorizes ccTLDs as being for the specific country that they were originally intended for.  So if you are using .ES, the ccTLD for Spain, Google will assume you are targeting Spanish traffic since that is mainly what the domain is for.  So unfortunately Aaron and his buddies can't tell Google specifically that, “Hey, this domain is not for the country of Georgia.”

There have been a few successful ccTLDs that have gone mainstream in the past few years.  This includes .ME the original ccTLD for Montenegro, .CO which was originally for Columbia, and .TV which was the ccTLD for islands of Tuvalu.  A lot of internet start-ups really like .ME and .CO which I don't really understand honestly.  The domain extension .TV is somewhat popular due to the fact it can be used for video and show purposes.  (Keep in mind though that since these were adopted for use globally they are treated differently by Google now.)

What I took away from the video was that it is better to stick with a gTLD (com, net, org) since there won't be any confusion with Google or more importantly site visitors.  So you might want to think carefully before registering  domain hacks or vanity domains.

Free Website Monitoring with Uptime Robot

website monitoring

For anyone that has a blog or website on the internet it is important to know your website's uptime, which means when it is working properly.  What you really want to know though is if your website has downtime, which is when your website is not working. Website monitoring services and sites are the best way to let you know the reliability of your hosting company and to alert when your website is down.

Website monitoring services are useful since they check your website at set intervals throughout the day to make sure it is up.  A single person can't obviously monitor a website every minute of every day.  It is just not possible unless you have some super human powers I don't know about that allows you to not sleep.

These site monitoring services and ping services are extremely useful and great for the testing the reliability of your hosting provider.  While extremely useful a lot of website monitoring services cost quite a lot of money each month.  Generally the high monthly expense is not worth it for a small businesses or someone with a personal blog, or anyone who has to be tight with their money.  (Let's be honest who isn't tight with money in this economy?)  Is there a good solution for people who don't have money for an expensive website monitoring service? Yes, the answer is Uptime Robot!

Uptime Robot is a completely free website monitoring and free ping service that was started in January of 2010.  If this sounds too good to be true or you think being “free” comes with a catch… it doesn't.  Uptime Robot allows you to monitor up to 50 websites and checks them every 5 minutes to make sure they are up.  If your website is experiencing downtime you can choose to get alerts via a text message, email, Twitter, RSS (Really Simple Syndication), or push notifications for the iPad or iPhone.  Uptime Robot also has a keyword monitoring tool and has networking monitoring features as well.

A lot of people are probably familiar with what is known as the Freemium model.  A Freemium business is when a company or person offers a service for free, but premium services you have to pay for.  The majority of supposedly “free website monitoring” services usually work from a Freemium model.  You can monitor one website for free but anything else you will have to pay for.  Typically the other free services check your site at intervals that are 30 minutes apart, which is not often enough in my opinion.

Not only is Uptime Robot completely free (just had to mention that again) it is easy to use and setup the monitors.  The dashboard user interface is friendly for even non-tech inclined people.  It only took me 10 minutes to setup website monitors for all of my sites with Uptime Robot.  As well to make sure the IP addresses and domain for the Uptime Robot servers were not being included in my Google Analytics stats.  (It is important to exclude the IP addresses for any analytics applications if  you are using website monitoring services or it could affect your visitors stats to make it seem like you are getting a lot more visitors than you actually are.)

A few weeks ago I got an email and text alert that my auto repair blog was down.  I went to check and sure enough I was getting an error when trying to visit my site.  I tried a few different browsers on my computer and then checked my smartphone to see if I could access my auto blog.  Nope, it was down and was not working!  I went to Isup.me to see if it was maybe something wrong with my internet connection or that Uptime Robot was sending a false positive.  Nope, my blog was definitely down.  Luckily before I had the chance to contact Site5 support about the downtime it was already fixed.  The downtime was only for about 25 minutes or so and I got an email from Uptime Roobt when the server for my sites was back up and running.

It was extremely useful for me to know about the downtime I am confident that even though Uptime Robot is completely free, it is a reliable service.  At least that is what I have experienced.

A friend of mine said that Uptime Robot sent him a couple of false positives for his sites, saying they were down when they were not.  I have never had an issue using the service though.  If you have had an issue with Uptime Robot leave a comment below or if you have great experience leave a comment too.  I mean, you get what you pay for! 🙂

I am not sure how Uptime Robot stays completely free but I LOVE that for now it is.  I mean 50 monitors per account and the fact it checks your site every 5 minutes is amazing. The two designers and developers that are behind Uptime Robot, Umut Muhaddisoglu and Daniel Rimille, are pretty awesome guys to offer this.

Currently Umut and Daniel are not accepting donations to keep Uptime Robot operational but I think they should. Personally I would be willing to chip-in a few bucks to keep Uptime Robot going since I think it is such a great service.  I know that it takes time, hardwork, and dedication to keep a service like this up and running.  I just hope they are not spending too much time or their own resources to keep Uptime Robot up.

To keep updated with Uptime Robot developments and new features check out the blog and follow them on Twitter @UptimeRobot.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!

5 Reasons Why Domain Parking SUCKS

domain names

For most web entrepreneurs, internet marketers, and anyone that has built websites or online businesses you have experience with domain names.  Talk to a lot of internet professionals about domain names and you hear this a lot, “I have tons of domain names I am not doing anything with!”

Something a lot of people do with those extra domain names is something known as domain parking.  However, domain parking is not a good business model if you want to make money online or if you are planning to build a legitimate business or website on a domain name.

For those that are reading this that are not aware of what domain parking is, I guess I should explain.  Domain parking is when someone “parks” a domain name by putting ads on it instead of a website with content.  The ads are generally served based on what the domain name's category is or if it is some random odd word or combination or words or numbers it will just show ads.  You make money on parking a domain when a visitor to your “website” clicks on one of the ads.  The revenue is split with a domain parking company and you get a portion of that money.

1. Google does not Like Domain Parking

Google does not like parked domains as they do not provide value or content that a user would find useful.  As a web user why would you want to see ads instead of good content about the subject you are searching for?  Therefore parked domains do not get indexed by Google.  This Google Webmaster Video from Matt Cutts illustrates why domain parking is not a good plan for someone who wants to build a website or business on a domain.

2. Type-Ins?

Parking domains and the domain parking industry rely heavily on the fact that someone will type-in that specific domain. Since Google won't index parked domains to be in included in the Google search index, it is hard to generate traffic and revenue from parking.

The domain parking model is great for a domainer (a person who buys, sells, or parks domains) that was lucky enough to buy “Computers.com” or some premium generic domain back in the day.  The majority of domains most people buy might only receive a small number of type-ins and let's be serious, most people are not going to be clicking on those ads.  Users will be navigating… away!

3. Revenue Sucks

If you talk to most domainers nowadays they will tell you that parking revenue generated from the few site visitors that dare click on parked domain ads has gone waaay done over the past couple years.  Most of the time even if you are earning revenue on a good parked domain, if you make $10 bucks from parking your domain name to pay the yearly registration fee, consider yourself very lucky my friend.

By the way, personally I have never clicked on a parked domain ad and never intend to.  (Unless it is by accident.)

The days of great domain parking revenue are slowly slipping away.

4. Google It

Internet users are getting smarter and smarter these days.  While a lot of people still don't use bookmarks (why people, why?) and will in fact type-in domains they know and trust, they are not typing in generic domains as much as you would think.

Most people use Google to find what they are looking for and if you go back to my reason #1, you understand why the domain parking model doesn't work so well.  If you are not going to show-up in a Google search or other search engines it is very hard to make money on a parked domain.

Most people “Google it” nowadays.

5. It's Not Interesting

If you are around a group of your friends and you tell them about domain parking, even if you are making a lot of money, are they really going to be interested?  They might ask questions about it and be curios for a little while because you are making money on the internet and let's be honest who doesn't love that?

Killer web content or a web business you are trying to launch it's going to catch someone's attention a lot more.  Wouldn't you rather appear to be a slick entrepreneur than a guy praying for users to unintentionally type-in your parked domain?

Building a legitimate business on a domain will always be better than hoping for traffic on a non-existent site.  Event the big domainers out there have good web businesses built on domains they own.

That's my opinion but I am sure some domainers would disagree.

Domain Parking… Sucks!

If you have spare domains I recommend you try parking them for a few months and you can see what I am talking about.  Some domain parking companies you might want to look into are ParkingCrew, VooDoo, Bodis, RookMedia, and InternetTraffic.  There are a lot of other ones too but I am pretty sure you will come away disappointed even if you have generated some revenue, like I have.

If you have a lot of domains that you are not doing anything or that are being parked, I would recommend you take a hard look at your domain portfolio.  Consider what you do and don't have time to develop.  Think of what you future plans are and what you what sites you would build under certain domains.  If some don't fit try to find a buyer and get a reasonable price for the domain.  If you do want to do something with a particular domain name make sure to do what Matt Cutts suggests and put a paragraph or two up on the site so that you will get indexed.

What do you think of my list of 5 Reasons Why Domain Parking SUCKS? If you like or don't like my list or have something to say, leave a comment below.  Tell me I am a#@hole or say I give great advice. Let's hear it!

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!

Omron HJ-112 Pedometer Review

omron hj-112 pedometer

It's no secret, you already have broken your New Year's resolution and losing that 20 pounds seems like it is not going to happen now. Right? The solution to keep that New Year's Resolution weight loss goal is simple though, an Omron HJ-112 Pedometer.

Most people, especially in today's stagnate office world, don't realize how little we actually move around during the day. Do you know how many steps you take everyday? Do you think you get in 10,000 steps? In case you didn't know that is the recommend amount of walking for an average healthy person.

When I originally got my Omron HJ-112 Pedometer as gift, I was pleased with the gift. (Unlike how some people would be.) I thought I would come somewhat close to that 10,000 step (3-4 mile) recommend minimum. Wrong, very wrong! Do you know how many steps I was taking everyday? I was walking about 3000-5000 steps a day, which is less than half the amount of walking I should have been doing. The most embarrassing part about it is that I have two dogs, Cody and Sierra, and I have to take walks with them everyday. (They are singing dogs in case you didn't know.)

A pedometer can really put things into perspective for you and make it so that you want to start moving around to reach that 10,000 step goal. Now that I have the Omron HJ-112 Pedometer strapped to me at all times, I sometimes walk when I would have driven, and walk around a little more just to walk. Sounds kind of crazy, but a pedometer makes you want to walk more. As I am writing this review I have over 15,000 steps on my Omron HJ-112 pedometer, which isn't bad at all. (I did take the pedometer running with me today, but in my opinion that still counts.)

The Omron HJ-112 Pedometer has a 7-day backlog, which makes it easy to track your progress. One feature that some might like, or not, is the fact that Omron automatically resets at midnight. This can be annoying are still up past midnight and want to keep tracking your progress. It also tracks aerobic steps which I assumes means running, miles, and calories burned if you want to know those numbers as well.

There have been a few times I have wondered how accurate the Omron is as some days I believed I have done quite a lot of walking, but don't feel the step counts reflected that. Something to keep in mind is the Omron Pedometer must be kept in a vertical position to track your steps. If it is too much on a horizontal axis it won't record steps. I usually try to keep the pedometer in my pocket upright at all times though so I don't know why this would be happening.

Setting up the Omron HJ-112 Pedometer is a bit tricky. I recommend reading the instructions carefully before you try to set the pedometer up. This way you won't get confused. I would also suggest not using the crappy “mini-screwdriver” that comes with it. I used a small screwdriver set we already had. Also it is helpful to have another person or friend help you calculate your stride length. You can try to do it on your own by using a cup or other object to mark of where you started your stride, but it's a bit difficult. I also recommend measuring a few times to make sure your stride length is accurate.

This video should help you setup the Omron HJ-112 Pedometer

Sometimes it is difficult to remember to put the Omron Pedometer on, and you do not get steps recorded.

If you want to keep your weight lose goals without killing yourself or going on a crazy diet, I would highly recommended buying the Omron HJ-112 Pedometer. Having the Omron pedometer has helped me get a lot more walking in everyday than I would have. My whole family now has Omron Pedometers and we are all getting more walking in. Even if I can't meet the 10,000 goal, I still try to make sure I get somewhat close to that number like 8,000 or so.