September 17th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Can you dance? I sure as hell can’t. But I think I can. This delusion, of course, is largely to the detriment of my loved ones. You’d have to see it to believe it. I get really into it too. From my epileptic hip ‘swinging’ for salsa and samba, the drunken shuffling of my bachata, to the lunatic flailing of arms ode my “modern hip-hop” choreography, no family or friends’ events are safe from the disaster of my overconfidence. It’s better than going to the gym with my exercise mat…for me anyway.
Little would you know, but I am actually a fairly accomplished musician. This, however, does not help me dance in the slightest. Not well at least. Something to do with the stiffness and lack of communication between my limbs. Also, facial expressions… yikes! Luckily, I’ll be taking dance lessons soon.
Before I set foot in one of these places, I was really imagining something along the lines of a nice, rich mahogany floored studio space with a beautiful Spanish instructor teaching me the ways of romantic dance in front of a Mylar mirror . I was excited! Would I finally fulfill my long lived fantasy to be the foremost competitive dancer/lover in the world? No… not at all. I set foot into what seemed like day care. Matlay Dance floor, I thought, but instead… primary colors! PRIMARY COLORS EVERYWHERE! It also didn’t help that I was at least 12 years older than everyone else in that class! The teacher might have actually been younger than me too! I’m not even 30!
After swallowing my pride and getting a little comfortable, a simple waltz was guided by a map of
Poly Pads feet laid out across the floor to guide my (very clumsy) feet. After about an hour of waltzing, I decided never to return to the dance class unless it was required by law since a) I realized that flailing is more fun than being proper and b) I think I broke their toilet just before I left the establishment.
Moral of the story is when it comes to dancing, do YOU!
September 17th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
As of late, I’ve grown increasingly aware of the fact that I am getting old. Not old-old, but old like an adult. 3rd floor of life. Where you start reflecting on the fact that you should have been a little more athletic just so your body was conditioned for the hardships of being an American citizen for the next 50 years. Ok, ok, 30 if I’m lucky.
Heavily bombarded with fast food, fast cars, and fast women, it is no wonder our indulgent lifestyle makes it so easy to forget very basic things like regular physical activity. After all, the body wasn’t exactly designed to sit at cubicle trying to think of blogs to write… hmmm…
I’ve become increasingly more interested in keeping my body in shape. Not for looks, but merely for endurance, stamina, and vigor… IN BED! BOOYAH! Seriously, though… life in general. Regular physical activity be it buying a yoga mat and start doing yoga, jogging by myself, getting a few martial arts mats to wrestle with my girlfriend, or just taking the stairs instead of the elevator can substantially improve my metabolism, sleep, and my mood overall. Another big commitment is cutting out ALL sodas. That crap is BAD for you! No more Diet Coke for me! Or Squirt.. or Fanta… or regular Coke. (Beer is NOT soda by the way!)
Take it from someone that has been blessed with a pretty amazing metabolism (I have literally bombarded my body with just about anything you can throw at it for the past 30 years… and I still maintain a happy median weight of 185 lbs at 6’4″), things start to change after the last half of the second decade. If you are feeling the 3rd floor blues, consider taking something up cycling, yoga, martial arts, or cross-fit. One of the very distinct perks of working here has been the employee discounts on a variety things like work-out gloves, yoga equipment, martial arts products, and exercise mats. If you need a bit of a push in the right direction, remember that the body is like a car. Always lease, never buy. Wait, that’s not right… Oh yes, you’re body is like a car and it won’t last forever. But the more regular maintenance you give it, the more mileage you’ll get out of it.
August 29th, 2013 by Stag
We have all heard of the ever-present or perhaps for some the ever-elusive “Man-Cave”. That solitary den that us “Y” chromosomes of the species seem to strive towards. Many choose the garage or basement for this most sacred of masculine areas. However with that comes the question on what to do with that concrete floor. You average male may not care at first, but there will come a day when they will want, na – need something better.
So for that, I would recommend what I did for my little home away from (and inside of) home, Rolled Rubber and Foam Tiles. It’s very simple actually. Just lay the rubber rolls down and your little work/hobby area is ready to go. Then you can use the foam tiles for your workout or recreation area. Seeing as though the foam tiles come in so many different options and colors, from foam to carpet foam tiles you can dare I say “really tie the room together”.
Whatever your little beating heart desires for the most holy of holies, it can be yours as it was for mine as well. A durable area for messing with tools and hobbies and attempting to not lose any fingers in the process or having some quite; not-so-quite video game time in the basement. Whether tiled foam or rubber rolls, the tools are out there and I highly suggest getting started before the summer is over.
August 22nd, 2013 by Chris Aviles
One of my favorite technological advances is On-Demand anything! We live in a world of instant gratification and as much as I try to not be that person, I am. That makes it tough to be satisfied. I want the gourmet meal with the attention to detail, but I want it in 10 mins. Or I really want to have a new haircut and change my color, but I don’t have 2 hours to dedicate to getting it done.
Luckily there’s enough On-Demand or instant conveniences I can make more time for tasks that can’t be done right away. We already bank, watch movies, download music, bay bills, order groceries and even hold meetings online. It’s getting to the point where you don’t have to leave your house!
A friend of mine posted something online about there now being Pilates on Demand, which is amazing to me! Now, as long as you have your own exercise mat, you don’t even have to leave your house to get training or exercise. In the past, you usually needed an expensive gym membership. She uses it as a way to get her children to exercise and have a minute alone. This is a great way to multi-task and stay fit. Imagine how much you could accomplish if you didn’t have to take time to get to and from your workout. You don’t even need gym equipment all you need is a yoga mat, and you can start working that core from your own home- while dinner cooks. Or if you’re not exactly graceful when it comes to poses, this is a great way to learn without the added stress of being judged by other gym goers.
August 16th, 2013 by Kelly Green
Hello true believers, we are back to Blogsville after taking some time off for the Independence Day Celebrations. I realize that many of you must be burning with desire to learn what tidbit of knowledge the “MatsMatsMats.com Blogging Krew” has in store for you.
By now you must have realized that each blogger has their own special style of imparting valuable information to you.
When Chris speaks of anti fatigue safety mats or home flooring, he always waxes poetical as he pulls deeply from his own life’s journey. Sentimentality and pathos, at times, run rampant as he waxes poetically from entrance mats to trade show flooring. One can almost imagine him in a dingy little loft, laboring over his latest treatise, “Somehow I must REACH THEM!”
Ben, on the other hand, often slings cold hard facts about like a fry cook with 10 orders on his docket. He does this with a surgeons skill whether talking about Yoga Mats or rolled rubber flooring. “I found myself pondering in very deep ways the nature of the universe”. Yes, my friends, our Gentle Ben is a conundrum wrapped in an enigma, surrounded by a mystery which has all been stuffed inside a philosophical musician who blogs about floor coverings.
Stag is much like a cartoon character. “STAG SMASH!” As an example of this unrelenting verbal violence, I render forth these typical “Stagisms”. “I started hacking and chipping, and banging away on this little project of mine.”, “. . . we all know cats are very finicky and picky. . .” completely and utterly annihilating the rented skates”. THERE! Have you ever HEARD of such unfettered rage? His takes on martial arts flooring and all things excersizish are legend.
I, of course, am your sweet voice of reason; I present useful and pithy dibs and dabs of knowledge reaching from Anti-fatigue mats to Zafus. I illuminate and elucidate with a certain je ne sais quoi. We all have our market of fans and followers as each of our voices are unique and highly defined. Except for Stag, he’s just scary.
August 7th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Rubber… not the 2010 French horror film about the psychic tire that murders people (yes it’s real), the actual polymer; RUBBER! Ta-da! We sell a lot of that stuff. Due to it’s versatility and durability, you can see it used just about anywhere. From car parts, to electronics, household items, and yes, rubber mats. It’s hard to imagine a world without it. Generally, you can split rubber products into one of two categories: Recycled rubber or EPDM rubber. But what is the difference exactly? In a nutshell, recycled rubber is, as the name suggests, recycled, while the EPDM, is not. EPDM is also know by it’s full name
ethylene propylene diene monomer which is a synthetic rubber (as opposed to NATURAL rubber which comes a type of tree) or simply virgin rubber. Our recycled rubber flooring is also made from EPDM rubber, but since it is recycled from various rubber materials (mostly tire rubber), the term EPDM can not be applied as it is not produced so much as “compiled” from the “crumbs” of other recycled rubber eco-friendly products.
Recently, I had a customer request a quote for a client who was looking specifically for EPDM rubber for a military training ground. After touching base with the customer the differences between the rubbers and our limited availability of EPDM (it is only available as the colored TOP for our Bounce Back Tiles and the colored fleck in our Mega Lock Flooring and Tuff-n-Easy interlocking rubber tiles), it seems some clarification was needed. For a while, they were under the impression that because EPDM is virgin rubber, that it would have a much better load resistance than recycled rubber. NOT TRUE IN THE SLIGHTEST. After much testing by our manufacturer, the process involved in our selection of rubber crumb for our solid black recycled rubber reduces any difference in load tolerance between standard EPDM rubber and the recycled rubber we produce to a marginal difference which is effectively non-issue for the carious athletic or commercial applications that our mats are most often requested for. What this means for our customer is that we could provide him with a much less product he would have otherwise dismissed due to misinformation.
August 2nd, 2013 by Kelly Green
Among the biggest rivalries in history is Mother’s Day versus Father’s Day. Think about the disparity between the two:
Moms get flowers, Dads get ugly ties.
Moms get candy, Dads get whoopee cushions and flatulence jokes.
Moms get to eat out, Dads end up choking on barbeque smoke.
Okay, I admit, I don’t have a problem with any of this. In fact, given the choice of waiting for expensive food prepared by a temperamental French cook and grilling my favorite chunk of meat on a mesquite grill with an icy beverage and some 60’s bebop blaring, I’ll take the grill anytime.
I bet you’re wondering how this all relates to mats. Me too. . . Wait, I got it!
Just as there is a perceived disparity between the two holidays, there may be a perceived disparity between two of our exercise floor mats, it all depends on the end user. Consider sports that use mats like wrestling mats versus gymnastic mats.
A wrestling mat is not a gymnastic floor. Typically a mat used for wrestling has fantastic energy absorption properties. When a mass with terrific kinetic force comes to an abrupt stop, generally speaking, you want that mass to have a fairly cushioned landing area so as not to have said mass break, spindle or mutilate. There has to be some degree of “pillowing”.
Contrast this with gymnastic floor mats need. Rather than absorb kinetic energy, it amplifies and returns the energy and softens landings without reducing kinetic energy. Without this property, tumbling runs would rely solely on the limb strength of the athlete to obtain height and rotation.
If you were to wrestle on a gymnastic floor, it would look like an old cartoon as bodies would be slammed about like Bam Bam Rubble from the Flintstones manhandling Barney BAM BAM BAM BAM! Whereas trying to do a double back or even a running front Russian on a wrestling mat would take legs the size of a youthful Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I look at the sentimental cards and handmade artsy-crafty stuff that makes my beloved wife get all teary eyed on Mother’s Day and I think, “What the heck is that?!” Just as I am sure my wife think, “That tie looks like a clown threw up, please don’t let him wear that outside where people can see.”
It’s all about the end user.
August 2nd, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Playground flooring can be very expensive. We get customers all the time that are pretty shocked by the idea that it can cost them upwards of 2,000 dollars to have a decent size fall height rated rubber flooring for their kids jungle gym. However, as we get this all the time, we always implore our customers to really consider whether or not they need a fall height rated flooring solution.
Fall height can be viewed as an approximation of the playground fall height which is below the level that would be expected to cause a life threatening head injury. Naturally, one would say “Why would I NOT want that in my playground?”, the simple answer is cost vs. risk. If you have a small jungle gym and expect a fall from no more than about 3″, any rubber product will by its very nature break the fall and soften it as opposed to falling directly onto concrete. Our Mega-Lock rubber flooring and Tuff-and-Easy tiles can serve as a playground surface very well especially in these cases where fall height is non-issue.
Another product to consider would be our SoftRubber Tiles. These tiles have a solid recycled rubber top but up to a 3/4″ thick pad of foam as a base. Again, for your most common playground applications (small jungle gym, toddlers, or infants just learning to crawl or walk) these are a great and far less expensive alternative than the full blown Bounce Back approach. Not to mention, they are MUCH lighter and easier to install.
Since the materials we offer are so versatile, be sure that when you are looking for a particular application on one of our floors, never hesitate to ask your sales rep about less expensive alternatives. Chances are that there are various solutions towards a given application that you might be the first to think of!
July 26th, 2013 by Kelly Green
So, you want to set up a home exercise area. One of the first things you should do is decide what type of exercise regimen you will follow. Aerobics, Yoga, weight machines, free weights, martial arts, Pilates, Zumba. All of these programs require specific flooring needs. As an example, let’s look at the difference between the flooring needs of free weights versus aerobics.
With free weights, consider these important factors.
Sub floor protection. Weights are . . . well . . . weighty, and are generally not made of feathers or fluff. If you don’t believe me, just drop one on your toe. You need a durable, high density, wear resistant surface with great noise absorption properties. Dependent on the amount of weight being used and the type of apparatus, my suggestion would be a recycled rubber flooring. One of the thicker rolled rubbers or maybe one of the Tuff n Easy interlocking tiles. Rubber flooring tiles are ideal for weight lifting because not only do they provide great floor protection but they also provide perfect footing, focusing on stability while incorporating anti-fatigue properties. Since the product is made from rubber, its wear and durability characteristics are assured. Besides, when lifting a bar, it feels cool when you put the bar down to have it bounce a little, proving how heavy it was.
Now consider the different criteria for an aerobic surface. Rather than being stationary, aerobics involve bouncing about like a rabid wombat in heat. (I looked it up in the Australian Wikipedia) Traction, energy return, anti-fatigue and comfort, tops the list of preferred properties. I would look closely at either the premium SoftFloor tiles or maybe even a carpeted crosslink rolls. The objective is to provide a springy floor with a lot of “energy return” rather than energy absorption. Traction is a major factor when utilizing more robust movement and softness is desirable for when you plop to the ground in an endorphin induced coma.
When looking for flooring, it pays to inform your sales representative as to the purpose you plan to put the floor to. “I want to set up an exercise area”, means different things to different people and we here at MatsMatsMats.com can be your consultative resource to find you the perfect floor for your needs.
July 15th, 2013 by Stag
In the news this week: “A group of American tourists have been rescued from a drifting Icelandic iceberg that broke off from land as they were trying to picnic upon it, complete with folding chairs and table. The five imperiled picnickers are safe, plucked by a small rescue boat from the ice slab floating atop deathly frigid waters of the Fjallsárlón glacial lagoon in Iceland, five-and-a-half hours east of Reykhavik.” The naïve little adventurers practically froze to death on this giant block of ice all to have a little scenic picnic.
One thing that would have helped them in this little escapade would have been some rubber mats. Rubber pads would have been a good insulator from the wild icy tundra that they all ended floating away on. They all made it back just fine, no need to worry there. But perhaps in the future they will all think ahead a bit and find a rubber mat of some kind to lay down between them and the freezing ice. Let this be a lesson to us all; if you are going to have a nice picnic on a floating landmass of ice, you may want to plan ahead slightly and pack some rolled rubber or rubber tiles instead of your favorite picnic blanket. I am sure that you be thankful you did.