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Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Review: Body Refinery Fat Burners

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

I recently was asked to take a look at some fat burners that have been formulated by Body Refinery, a Manchester based personal training and emerging supplement company.  They have a growing and effective range of sports supplements.

Fat Burner Review

The first thing to look at is the formula, here is what I found… The Body Refinery fat burners have a number of key weight loss ingredients, that most importantly are all legal and proven!

Caffeine Anhydrous 200mg – This well used ingredient helps to boost energy levels and a great deal of research supports the use of caffeine as a pre workout energy boost and general stimulant.

Bitter Orange 150mg – this ingredient is a documented metabolic booster and helps to indirectly mobilise fat.

Green Tea 40% Extract 10mg – this is a widely used metabolic booster and more recently has been shown to help, particularly men tackle obesity.

Guarana 10mg – described as an extra powerful coffee is a great source of caffeine and therefore boosts energy.

Niacin N-Act 16mg – is a form of vitamin B-3 and acts as a powerful energy booster, tis vitamin helps to allow your body to more effectively produce energy.

N-Acetyl L-Carnitine 2mg – this helps to oxidise fat and therefore fight body fat.

Next I looked at the reasons why they work, most fat burners (including the Body Refinery ones) work on a number of levels. Firstly they tend to have metabolic boosting properties, next they tend to increase energy levels with the aim of increasing activity, finally they tend to work to help to mobilise stored fat. These three things come together to form a powerful fat fighting tool used as part of an active lifestyle and a healthy diet.

So finally to look at the product itself, it is packaged well and has strong and distinctive branding. One of the most reassuring things about this product is the detailed instructions regarding use, this unfortunately is often lacking with many supplements. The instructions clearly outline pre-workout, and general weight loss usage. The standard sized pack comes in 30 day supplies, so 60 capsules.

The Body Refinery capsules can also be used as a great pre-workout supplement, just take 2 capsules approx 45 minutes before training.

Have a look at the Body Refinery Website for more information on the Fat Burners or their range of CLA and Proteins.

To help maximise results, use with Body Refinery Diet Protein + and Body Refinery CLA.

Review: Gym Boss Timer!

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

 

Gym Boss Timer

I have recently been using a Gym Boss timer, not used one before and 08I have always gone with the propping up of the phone and watching the clock!  This clumsy method is now a thing of the past…  I have been getting so much use out of it that my personal training clients now groan when they see it come out and even my students on the personal training course I teach are sick of the sight of it!  The gym boss timer is an excellent way of  allowing you to set a timed interval (with set rest periods) and forget about watching the time.

The timer is designed to be used when you are doing interval training, which over the last few years has become a very popular method of training…. not to mention effective!  I will be doing an article of interval training in teh next few weeks so look out for that on the blog!

As a personal trainer I have seen that it allows me to move away from counting the clock and allows me to focus on motivating the client and ensuring good form!  The deign of the device makes it perfect for the trainer too as it can clip onto the belt or any other clothing and vibrate rather than beep, making it ultra discrete!

As a exerciser it has allowed me to focus in on my workout again without having to keep checking the time, this relatively simple thing has totally changed my workouts.

All in all I can not rate the Gym Boss timer highly enough! Great product and should definitely make it into every PTs and regular exercisers kit bag!

TOM

Review: Clif Nutrition

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Clif Image

Recently while looking into energy gels I came across a website that I thought was amazing, it is so different to the usual sports nutrition brands that I ended up spending a hour or so looking round.  The site was the on-line home of the amazing Clif Nutrition, who have been making innovative sports nutrition products since 1992.  They are a  company that is built on the story of Gary the owner who after a long bike ride where him and a friend had been using another brand energy bar came to the conclusion that he could make better… so that is what he did and Clif was established.

 

As soon as I read this story I was immediately fascinated by the promise of a better range of energy products that would not only deliver on results but also on taste.  Lets face it, it is normally the second aspect that is the problem with a lot of sports nutrition products and in my experience especially energy gels!

I was lucky enough that the guys at Clif sent us a range of their products to road test and here is what I thought!

Clif Bar

 

The first thing I tried was the original Clif bar, this is the brands organic oat bar.  The bar is a good source of energy designed to be used n and around times of intense exercise.  It comes in a variety of flavours but by far my favourite was the Crunchy Peanut Butter.  The best thing about these bars in my opinion is that they taste real, not like many of the energy bars that you get on the market.  They are made with quality and well thought-out ingredients to give the user a quality and also effective energy boost.

 

 

Clif Builders Bar

I also tried the Builders Protein Bar, as opposed to the standard Clif energy bar this is designed to give a boost of protein when needed.  The bar itself contains a good serving of 20g of protein per bar it will help with the maintenance or growth of muscle.  Again one of the hey things I was blown away with by the Clif brand is the taste, these bars do really taste good.  They do not have the artificial taste that you find with a lot of protein bars on the market.   This is really the best protein bar I have tried in a long time!

Clif Shot Blocks

Next on my list from Clif was their Shot Blocks, these are jelly blocks used to boost energy levels during long duration exercise.   Initially when I tasted some of the blocks it took me back to my distant childhood eating jelly at parties!  They tasted fresh and sweet, they were really easy to have on you during an event and contain a good 33 calories per block.  This controlled calorie release was just right to keep your energy levels up during periods of extended exercise.

Clif Shot Gel

 

The Shot Gels are a extension of the theme of the Shot Blocks, they provide a quick release of energy in a easy to carry packet.  Rather than a solid Jelly type block it is more of a thick gel.  I enjoyed the shots but found the Chocolate flavour a bit too sickly for me.  The gels did help though to get my energy levels up and allowed me to keep up my energy levels.

All in all I have been very highly impressed with the Clif range of nutrition products, I would defiantly place Clif in my top 2 nutrition products of all time!  The branding is awesome, the taste is good and most of all the products are QUALITY!  So if you have not tried the Clif range yet… why not?

Review: Naked Ape

Friday, November 29th, 2013

For the past few months I have been hearing more and more about Biltong, I like many had heard the word many times form mainly the Paleo camp but had little idea what it was all about.  So as I usually do I went looking for some answers, and I came across an amazing UK based company called Naked Ape.  After a conversation with the guys I found all the answers I needed with regard to what Biltong is and what its benefits are.

Naked Ape - Review

So what is biltong? I found out it is a cured meat that originates in South Africa, it is produced from a range of meats including beef, ostrich, and other game.  It is very similar in nature to Jerky as it is a spiced dried meat, with key differences being the larger portion size and Biltong generally has a sweeter flavour.  These are a great source of protein, that are easy to store so need to be refrigerated and have an amazing 6 month shelf life!

The Naked Ape bran is awesome, they sent me a couple of their varieties including Coconut, Cherry and Mango.  When I had my first taste I had no comprehension of what I was about to experience, for some reason I felt the the flavour would not be enjoyable… but boy was I wrong.  I really enjoyed the interesting flavours that The Naked Ape have produced, and the fruit/meat combinations should really not work in my mind… but they do!

naked-ape-cherry-coco-220x220

So if your looking for a durable, lasting and easy to store source of protein I would definitely look deeper into the Naked Ape!

Review: SmartShaker

Friday, November 15th, 2013

I have been lusting after a SmartShaker for a good long while, it is one of those things that when you look at the you think ‘that is a cool idea’.  The guys over at Smart Shaker UK sent me a lovely one from their Neon range!  It has become one of those shakers that I actually care about, making sure I do not lose it!  In fact SmartShaker is probably one shaker of choice to be used on a daily basis!

SmartShaker Review

For those of you that are still in the dark ages and have not seen a SmartShaker the idea is a simple one and addresses a problem many supplement users face on a regular basis.  What happens if I want to carry enough protein to have more than one shake or I have tabs that I take?  The usual solution is to throw into your kit bag a collection of tupperware tubs containing your powders and tabs, those as we all know inevitably split open and cover everything in powder!  Well SmartShaker came up with a much simpler solution to the problem and they attached to the bottom of the shaker two screw on compartments that allow you to store whatever you wish.

The tubs that screw onto the bottom of the shaker are secure and hold a couple of shakes worth.  This compact design makes it much easier to transport and have on you all the supplements you need.

 

 

Review: Matrix ZMA

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Matrix ZMA

Over the years I have tried a wide range of ZMA blends, I have always found that it helps me recover post workout and gives me the best sleep ever!  For those of you that do not know what ZMA is, it is a mixture of Zinc, Magnesium and B6 the full name used is Zinc-Magnesium Aspartate.   The ZMA formula itself is claimed to boost testosterone levels within the body, which will have an anabolic effect (muscle building) and also boost post exercise recovery, strength and muscular mass.

There is also a strong link to the use of zinc in order to improve cell growth and production where as magnesium acts to reduce the levels of cortisol which is a catabolic hormone (muscle breakdown).

Recently I was sent a bottle of ZMA from Matrix Nutrition, the bottle contained 240 capsules so that is a massive 4month supply.  I have been using these instead of my normal brand for the past few weeks,  the Matrix blend has 120mg of ZMA formula, 120mg Zinc, 27mg Calcium, and 12mg B6.

The ZMA pills themselves are a lot smaller that the ones that I usually take allowing them to be swallowed much more easily.  I took them as usual just before bed , on an empty stomach and they had the effect of helping me drift off into a deep sleep.  They also helped recovery after those heavy gym days, and as we are all aware the better you recover the better the growth.

I have used a number of the Matrix products and always found them to be very high quality and most importantly they work!  If you have not tried ZMA before, give it a go, you will not be disappointed!

 

Review: Wild Trail Bars

Friday, October 11th, 2013

wholegrain bars

The guys over at Wild Trail foods recently sent me a selection of their incredibly good wholegrain cereal bars to try.  They sent me some of their orange and apricot bars and sour cherry.  The bars themselves are all wholegrain and made up of natural ingredients.  The Wild Trail bars really taste different to the average cereal bar, and you can really taste the quality of the ingredients.

The bars themselves are a good size and make the perfect healthy snack, to go with your lunch.  I really enjoyed the bars and will definitely be putting them on my shopping list in the future.  Currently you can pick them up at your local Sainsbury’s and a number of other quality outlets.

I found the bars to be a really good pre workout snack, with 149 Kcal in in the Cranberry bar.  It gave me enough energy for a good solid workout, and the best bit of all they tasted great!

 

Energy (kcal) 149

Energy (kJ) 624
Fat 2.1g
Of which saturates 0.3g
Carbohydrates 29.8g
Of which sugars 12g
Fibre 2.3g
Protein 2.3g
 

 

Review: Fat Gripz

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Fat Gripz on Bar

I have been talking to clients and students about some of the benefits of fat bar training for a number of years, the key issue that is often flagged up is that most gyms do not have the correct equipment to make fat bar training possible. In fact fatter bars are very expensive making them well out of the reach of the average gym. A few months ago I was talking to a friend of mine and he had just picked up a pair of Fat Gripz, from the moment I heard about them I thought ‘what an awesome idea’!

I found I was even more impressed when I gave them ago, a couple of weeks ago the guys at Fat Gripz sent me a pair. I have been using them on myself, with clients and with students for the past few weeks and I thought it would be a good idea to write up a bit of a review of what i think of Fat Gripz.

Fist of all if we look at the reasoning behind using a fat bar to get bigger arms. A standard olympic bar is very easy to grip and requires a very low level of forearm activation. This often makes the weak link in the strength chain… your grip. The theory is simple the stronger the grip the more weight you can move leading to better results.

Fat Gripz can really help to bust plateau, over the years of training using standard bars your grip strength is often left behind, this often is the cause of a plateau. By moving to using a fat bar you can help to overcome this problem.

 

The key things that Fat Gripz can help with are follows:-

  • Weight is spread more evenly across the bar and across the joints.
  • Increases muscle activation.
  • Help to address imbalance.

Fat Gripz

Having tried the product I can safely say they are amazing and do what they claim to. They fit all the range of bars that i have tried them with and most dumbbells. These are really an amazing product, they are not necessarily needed at the start of your fitness journey but all those who have a training age of over 1-2 years will definitely feel the benefits.

 

 

Review: Eletewater

Friday, September 27th, 2013

 

Eletewater logo

It is very common that we talk of the importance of protein, carbohydrates and fats in our diet, but one of the most under rated and misunderstood macronutrients is water.  A while a go I read an amazing book called ‘Your Bodies Many Cries for Water’ by  Dr Batmanhelidj.  SInce this I have had a great deal of respoect for what an important part of our diet water is.

A few months ago I started to hear about a hydration product called Eletewater, initially I started to see the product pop up in people comment boxes on-line and then heard Brandon Chaplin mention it on his podcast.  It was very surprising how everyone I saw mention the product was positive about its effect.  So I decided to contact David over at Eletewater and get hold of some to try.

Very quickly a package arrived at my house that contained a range of the different sizes of the Eletewater product.  One of the great things about this product is the thought that has gone into the package design, making it accessible and easy to carry around.  One of the things that I have found with other electrolyte complexes is that they are not often in a container that can easily be kept on the person.  

Eletewater comes in an easy to fit in the pocked 25 ml bottle, that makes an astonishing 10 litres of electrolyte charged water.  There is then a range of other sized bottles for the gym bag or home.  I think that the packaging is an often underrated part of any product and getting the packing so that it is not only good looking, but also functional greatly improves the usability of the product.

As usual I decided to play the guinea pig on this one and test it on myself.  To make the test fair I used the product across a range of situations to see how it worked and if I felt it made any impact on my hydration levels.   Over the course of the last two weeks I have been using Eletewater within my drinking water throughout the day, and especially around exercise.  I found that through general use I found myself feeling much more hydrated, even though I was doing a greta deal of traveling!  It even helped with what was expected to be a killer hangover.

It is when the product is used playing sport or in the gym when it comes into its own, this product is really a wonder hydrator which ultimately results in better performance.  I would strongly recommend that you give it a go at a few quid for a pocket bottle it is worth a try and I can promise you will be a convert to the power of Eletewater!

 

 

Eletewater pocketbottle

Review: Multipower Fit Protein Lite

Friday, September 20th, 2013

2-Fit_Protein_Vanille_Lite

I recently got sent some of the brand new Multipower Fit Protein Lite pre made shakes, in my favourite flavour…Strawberry! Thanks guys at Multipower! I tried slipping them into my post workout nutrition routine, and asI have never really used pre-mixed shakes before… it was a first for me.

I used them over a few days… as did the wife and we both really enjoyed them. The Lite versions kept my calorie intake down with a good 80% less carbohydrate compared to the regular Multipower product, but with a good 40g of protein. The shake is Gluten-free, Aspartame-free and Lactose free.

The good levels of protein in each shake mean they packed in that much needed post workout protein, which aided recovery and promoted the growth of lean tissue. The product itself comes pre-mixed, which does make it much easier and tends to give a smoother shake. It also has the added benefit of no shakers to wash, which on those low time days can be a massive benefit of the pre-mixed stuff!

This is another great product from Multipower and I think it would make a great addition to anyones nutritional intake!