March 16th, 2016 by Chris Aviles
Around half of my day is on the phone and half of those calls are usually for an exercise mat. A lot of people toy with the idea of a home gym for a lot of reasons. You save money on commercial gym membership costs, there’s less worry about bacteria from other people, you never have to wait for a machine, and probably my favorite – the time you save driving to and from the gym. That is precious TV time!
The thing I’ve come to realize is most people don’t really know where to start or what they really need and end up either getting discouraged or ordering the wrong product. I frequently get asked “What do I need?”. Unfortunately, that is a very hard question to answer because while everybody’s general need is the same [a workout room], there specific room needs are all different.
When you decide you want a workout or fitness room, there are a few things you should look at to help decide what room is the best and what product you should use.
First of all, I’d go with a room that is either tile or cement. Carpeted room can work, but I really suggest removing the carpet. If you have a treadmill of any kind of weights, most likely they will wear a hole and just end up looking very tattered. Plus carpet is a nice place for all you sweat to collect and that’s just gross.
Then you have to figure out how many outlets you’ll need and where they need to be placed. It doesn’t happen very often, but I have had people tell me they put the whole room together and realized they would have to run extension cords to power their machines.
Next you need to decide what ttype of flooring you actually need. If your workouts are in the Yoga, Pilates, aerobic genre, you probably want a an EVA foam flooring. Our soft floor tiles are a closed cell EVA foam that are not only comfortable to sit, lie, and walk on, but they won’t absorb any liquid, should it fall from a water bottle or your face. Also these tiles are dense enough to support you ankles. I do recommend a thickness of at least 5/8” so the tiles will not pull apart with your movement.
If you are more of a Treadmill, Bowflex, weight lifting type of person, I suggest are Tuff-n-Easy Rubber tiles or Rolled Rubber. They’re both made from 100% recycled rubber and the exact material we’ve put in commercial gyms across the U.S.A. These tiles are also very dense, but much more the foam tiles. You won’t need to worry about your equipment being unstable and the rubber can withstand impact from weights.
Lastly you, you just need to decide on color. We have a wide variety of different colors to match any home.
September 17th, 2015 by Chris Aviles
When most people, myself included, think of Ballet they tend to think pink tutus and Nutcracker recitals. Barre-based fitness programs are popping up all over the country and I have the pleasure of talking to so many people about exactly why it’s becoming so popular and have really changed my view on ballet. To the point where I wish I would have started as a child. It’s time we get off our exercise mat and start doing something new and fun for exercise – Ballet!
Starting Ballet or dance at a young age can really help with coordination development. That doesn’t necessarily seem all the important until you really stop to think what we need to be coordinated for… like getting behind the wheel of your first car at 16 years old. And for all those boys that think ballet is too “girlie”, how much coordination goes into football or ice hockey? I read a story about a NHL goalie, Ray Emery , that was real close to ending his career because of some hip issue. As a last resort he took up Ballet and less than a year later his career was back on track and better than ever. That just goes to show you it’s never too late. A simple 4′ or 6’ ballet barre in your bedroom, gym or garage can be the start to a much healthier, easier life.
Ballet not only helps with flexibility and coordination; It helps with other activities like your endurance while running. You’d be surprised how much cardio you are actually doing – and Cardio helps with heart strengthening, breathing and even will power.
July 23rd, 2015 by Ben Gonzalez
Many could argue that war and violent conflict is in our very nature as human beings. And after spending some nights around inebriated adults dancing to trap beats and EDM, I’d have to say it’s hard to argue with that. It’s not surprising since intellectuals and evolutionary biologist (not to mention psychologists, anthropologists, and hard right-wing republicans) can all agree that war and conquest is essentially a driving force in the evolution of our species. All intellectual pretention aside, however, I found myself thoroughly entertained by the notion of two adult males foregoing the “civilized” rules of engagement for a less, shall we say, safe, approach to working out their differences on a wrestling mat or within the confines of an octagon.
The altercation seems to have started over the affection of a certain female while inside the bar. After some harsh words are exchanged, it is suggested the two men “take it outside” by the facilities bouncer or keeper of the peace. Once outside, one might mistake the initial stages of confrontation for the exotic war dance of some birds. The two men nose to nose whispering what appears to be code of some sort as both have their fists curled with arms straight down. Neither seems to want to strike first. Then, from the crowd, a faint and unassuming voice announces, “Kick his ass!” and the first strike goes flying.
In a dust cloud of swinging fists, poor technique, and obvious drunken stupors, one of the men backs off to quickly take his shirt off. It seems he’s done this before and thus deduced it is best to have less to hold on by his opponent. His seemingly less experienced sparring buddy does not think of this and in one quick motion, his hoody is caught and pulled towards a fast flying right hook which laid him completely flat on has back to the enthralled audiences’ “oohs” and “whoooooa!”.
The victor stands over his defeated opponent for a brief second then walks away. Far from sportsmanship, but certainly not a bad player as many times this is the perfect opportunity to make sure your opponent does not get up. Usually with kicks while on the floor. I couldn’t help but think if the legitimacy of this encounter may have been more comfortable on some MMA flooring or mats. Needless to say, by the time we saw the sirens, it was time to get that Uber ride.
June 15th, 2015 by Chris Aviles
Did you know all of our made to order gymnastics folding mats, which already come in a variety of colors, are even more customizable? AND it doesn’t cost anything more to make your mat a little more personal.
This was fantastic for a customer of mine recently. Her grandson is a very active crawler and on his way to walking. She told me they have him in a big boy crib, but he still manages to climb out and she’s concerned he may eventually hurt himself. Since he’s such a determined little boy, she really wanted to pad his floor a little better. The interlocking tiles were not a good match for her because she wanted to ability to store the mat, easily. We discussed the folding mats because they can be folded up quick and with a slide of the foot, hidden from site under the crib.
Next came deciding on color. Her grandson’s room is tan and yellow, but she couldn’t decide on one color. An all yellow mat would be too bright, and an all tan mat might be too dull. That’s when I discovered we can alternate tan and yellow for no extra cost! That made her very happy. Buying something out of need can be hard enough on your wallet. It’s nice to be able to make something mundane, a little nicer.
This is also a fun, comfortable idea for the living room. I love lying on the ground to watch TV or just hang out. Sometimes, even the most push carpet can be uncomfortable. Which the color options, you can match any room.
April 6th, 2015 by Ben Gonzalez
It was during this year’s Halloween Harvest Festival at the local community college that I realized the importance of portable dance floors. Not for me, particularly but some of this year’s performers. As the world continues on this warming trend towards certain catastrophe, the San Fernando Valley treated us to triple digit weather in the middle of October. One particular Saturday, we got a whopping 110 degrees! In October! The extreme temperature changes from night to day made it so our uncovered wooden stage warped immensely along the seams of the planks. Luckily, our handy man was able to remove the warped and cracked plank and put in new ones. But ther was a new problem. Since the planks that were put in a replacements were newer, they were also slightly thicker. This small detail made some of the kids’ choreography a little less than graceful. After a few tumbles and some humble recoveries right back into the number, I had one of the dance instructors ask if we had anything that we can lay over the stage to smooth it out so to speak. It actually baffled me to realize that not ONE of these coaches had brought with them some kind of vinyl floor or the like considering that MANY of the requests we get here are about using the Matlay Dance Floor for various competitions and showcases that are outside of the troupes respective dance schools or home venues.
It dawned on me that aside from the smooth and even surface, the Matlay flooring actually serves to cover and hide a lot of the tiny cracks and splinters on outdoor stages that can otherwise be hazards to performances.
March 30th, 2015 by Stag
Now that it is getting a bit colder – or at least as cold as it can get here in California; it is time for some much needed star gazing. A while ago, a few friends and I had all pitched in to purchase a rather large amateur telescope. With the weather cooling down, that means that there is less atmospheric distortion in the telescope and much clearer images, which is always a good thing! Now it just comes down to driving up to the low-lying mountains around Los Angeles in order to get a better view with much less light than the city.
As much of this happens out in the middle of nowhere and the telescope is only three or so feet from the ground; we usually bring a vinyl mat of some sort with us so that we have something comfortable to kneel and sit on. It definitely takes the joy out of looking out into the universe if you knees are being pinned by sharp rocks, so the gymnastics mats certainly do come in handy.
Perhaps this weekend the tribe and I will head up to the mountains for a night and see what we can see. We have had a lot of success in the mountains and I would certainly love to see Andromeda (our nearest Galaxy) again; as that is quite a sight. So I think we will be packing up all the science gear mumbo-jumbo and our folding exercise mat and head out early tonight. ‘Second star to the right and straight on till morning’.
February 5th, 2015 by Stag
“ Rock & Roll – ed Rubber “
In my seemingly never-ending tomfoolery, tinkering, and hobby seeking; I am mulling over the idea of learning guitar. As the grand majority of my friends are all musicians, you would think that I would have done this many years ago. Yet alas, in typical me-style; I am bringing up the rear with the gear. Though it may be for the best; now in my thirties I do not have the dreams of rocker stardom. I just want to be able to occupy some of my more dormant free time. You know make noise like a cave-man while I watch TV. In this best case scenario, I would be able to do this without annoying my roommate or neighbors, especially since I am just learning.
So in order to pad against this, I have armed myself with some rubber rolls to make a bit of a sound break in my bed-room. This decoupled barrier with fiber-glass and rubber mats lining will serve to reduce the volume of the guitar amplifier that my neighbors and roommate can hear from their rooms. The rubber lines the break with a dense, yet porous material that will break-up the sound. When combined with the fiber-glass lining on the inside it will certainly damper the noise level. Anything to keep my land-lord from knocking on my door is a good thing in my book. Now I just need a guitar to actually play, and of course learn to play it.
December 15th, 2014 by Chris Aviles
The Holidays are coming which means it’s time to start planning all the joy, and I mean gifts, I plan on spreading this year. I definitely am not one of those people that save all year so I’m not always able to buy gifts in August like my grandparents. Plus, I think part of the holiday season is getting out and shopping among the holiday music and cheery decorations.
Shopping online is a different story. I’m sure I’ve blogged about this before but I’m going to beat a dead horse… Order your gifts now or at least start your research. Many companies like ours have lots of in-stock items and can usually get them to you in a couple of days. During the holidays, online stores are no different than your regular department stores, we get crowded too- you just can’t see our crowds. The reason why this is important to realize is while the Folding Gymnastics mat your daughter is dying to have may normally be in stock, but during the holidays could have to be produced which can take 3 weeks. Combine that with the fact that shipping carriers like UPS and FedEx are just as over whelmed and can be a few days behind schedule, and you can end up needing a month for an item that any other time of year you would have in a week.
I hope this wasn’t discouraging, I really am just trying to help. I talk to so many people around the Holidays and while most of them are happy, there are a few that I couldn’t get a product out to in time and it breaks my heart. I want everybody to have all their expectations met around the Holidays.
October 22nd, 2014 by Stag
“ An ‘Axe’ to Grind “
After fifteen plus years of wanting to learn a musical instrument; I have finally really began to practice. I recently purchased an electric guitar second hand online. I have had this little beauty for about three weeks and I have actually practiced on it at least 2 hours a night almost five nights a week. This is a big increase when compared to my previous efforts. When I was 16 years old, I bought a bass guitar rather than a six string guitar. My reasoning behind this was that almost everyone I knew already played guitar, but no one was playing bass. So I figured I would fill that void. However I always tried to play the bass as a six string and it just never worked for me.
So many years later I ended up giving away my bass to a friend of mine, and thankfully he has put it to very good use. After that, I got into working out and even got attached to my favorite exercise mat. Well, now in my dare I say “older” age that I give it another go. However this time I wanted a guitar, “guitar”. Well it seems that I made the right choice and now only wish I had done so fifteen years ago. Now that I am practicing so much with this new axe of mine, I have found that I do need a bit of a back support cushion of some nature however. Sitting up on the couch of in a kitchen chair for hours definitely has its draw backs.
I decided to use a reading pillow to use a back support, as it is more ridged and I can prop it up in the couch, floor or a normal chair and still be able to clear my guitar so I can use it and so it doesn’t hit the furniture. So I call that a Win, Win in my book. Now that my back is set and rested with this nifty little support pillow, the real shredding can begin!
September 30th, 2014 by Ben Gonzalez
A popular misconception with most of our products is that they are limited to a particular use. Must be something to do with the extensive catalog of items we carry here. One would not think that “Wrestling Mats” are also a great surface for veterinary applications, pediatric, and a myriad of other uses that we’ve seen our customers purchase these for. While we do have two types of of these (the CLASSIC and the LIGHT WEIGHT), by far the most versatile and longer lasting of the two, albeit that more expensive one, would be the CLASSIC. At 1” or 1.25” in thickness, the proprietary material is quite literally a “rubber foam”. Strong enough to withstand constant use yet has enough shock absorption to be used as a surface to slam a 200 lb adult on. Or lay a baby on and have him take a nap. Whatever the need, these mats certainly deliver. Here are some of the more creative ways that our customers have used this material.
Yacht Deck – Too rich for my blood, personally. But one of our customers fitted his yacht with about 200 sq ft of this stuff on one of his decks presumably to sun bathe and host wild parties. At least, that’s what I would do.
Safety lining – A veteran and military enthusiast was building his own dune buggy type vehicle and was apparently having a hard time fitting the inside of his vehicle with a suitable foam-type material that can withstand impact but still have a color on it that POPS. He settled on several custom cut pieces of our Wrestling Mat material to fit the inside of his roll cage, his seat, and his dash board with in a right “tactical” orange color.
Veterinary clinic – Most veterinary clinics have high metal gurneys that dogs, cats, and other critters get placed on for check-ups, sterilization, etc. A more considerate vet decided that he wanted soft, hospital style inspection tables with a material that was non-permeable, had an anti-bacterial lining (Microban) and was strong enough to last but soft enough for the animals.
Backpacker – This one was a little more impractical but worth mention. Backpackers generally have roll up mats more akin to our foam exercise mats for sleeping in the wilderness or taking a quick rest in various rough terrain. This customer wanted something much thicker than the usual 3/8” material and also VERY easy to clean. A one-inch 2’x8’ mat was his winning number, although that mat alone would be about 16lbs in addition to his heavy bag.
Don’t let the names of some of the products deceive you! Get creative!