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Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

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!

Review: ProMixx Protein Shaker

Friday, September 13th, 2013

ProMixx Protein Shaker

 

After hearing a few great reviews from guys around the gym, I decided to get hold of a ProMixx Protein Shaker. For any of you that have not heard of a ProMixx it is called a Vortex Mixer and to put it simply it creates a hurricane within your shaker. You might be thinking what is the purpose of that then? Well it is all about getting a super well mixed and most of all smooth protein shake (or any kind of shake for that matter). One of the biggest claims that the shaker has is that it maintains the integrity of the protein, by creating a vortex there is a much more gentle mixing process as opposed to using a conventional blender. This gentler process aims to maintain the integrity of the protein.

I have been using my ProMixx for a number of weeks now and must say I have found it awesome. I have used it on average a couple of times a day over that time and this is what I observed.

So lets start by looking at it based on some of the key features of the ProMixx Shaker. First off and to me the second most important feature of a protein shaker right behind being a good mixer, is the fact that it does not leak! I had the ProMixx in and out of my gym bag, car and threw it all over the place and it still held all the contents firm, so no messy gym bags to clean up for me! It is going against the fashion for these very small shaker pots and holds 650ml of liquid, allowing you to get a good sized shake into it.

Now onto the unique thing about this protein shaker, it has a little motor that you attach to the bottom of the shaker that makes a blade within the shaker rotate at 110,000 rpm to create the vortex. The motor runs off two AAA batteries and is small and light, meaning it is not a clunky and awkward addition to a shaker. I found that by putting the water into the shaker first then once the motor has been switched on gently pouring my chosen protein powder into the shaker I got the best results. I found the shake was unbelievably smooth, and easy to make. Best bit of all the whole unit comes apart to make cleaning super easy and avoiding that stale protein shake smell.

All in all I found the ProMixx to be an amazing addition to my shaker collection, it fulfils all the promises it makes on the box and delivers a smooth shake! What else could you want from a shaker?

TOM

 

Review: Multipower Re-Charge

Friday, September 6th, 2013

ReChargeDrink

As many of you know the guys at Multipower are often sending me products to review and comment on. Recently they sent me a tub of their Re-Charge product. So as usual I have tried it on myself first and then got some of my clients to give it a try and give me some feedback.

Re-charge is designed to be used post-workout as a recovery drink. This is designed to be used instead of a shake (with a shake being a more like a milkshake) this is more of a juice type consistency. Making it a good alternative for those who do not like the shake type products.

The product is easy to mix in a shaker and each 45g serving creates a 500ml post workout drink that has a nice smooth consistency, without those sandy bits!

It contains a good 4:1 mix of Carbohydrate to protein, giving you the optimal chance to make some good gains and best of all recover fast! It also contains a good serving of L-Glutamine to really boost our recovery.

These drinks are not always my thing and it would take a lot to tempt me away from my shake based products but a number of my clients who are used to using the energy based drinks found this product much more palatable compared to shakes. So Re-charge is definitely a product I would have in my nutrition armoury!

Review: Multipower NOxtreme

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

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Over the years I have tried a number of different pre-workout products that claim to boost energy levels, concentration, focus and ultimately your work output.  This normally translates into better gains, as within reason, the bigger volume of work that you get done in your training sessions the better the gains you will experience.

Recently both myself and a group of willing students on a personal training course I was teaching gave NOxtreme from Multipower Pro a go prior to a gym based session. The session was based around advanced lifting systems, and promised to be a challenging one.   The 908g tub sent me easily gave the 15 of us a good sized helping with a bit left over for me to use in my next 5 or so sessions.

NOxtreme contains a number of different compounds that are both anabolic (muscle building) and ergogenic (performance enhancing) aids.  Multipower-pro had sent me the Berry Blast flavour that went down well with all the guys, we threw it onto our shakers and mixed it up.  We found that the powder mixed well with water and produced a smooth and good tasting drink.

Off we went to the gym and after a good warm up we started to work some of the different resistance base training systems.  Now, this practical session is an intensive one where all students are expected to put 110% in and feel the hell that they will be putting their clients through!

The mixture of creatine and PTC help to gave a massive cellular level power boost, with the addition of beta-alanine to help buffer the lactic acid produced during intense exercise.  This combination proved to be useful with all but one student finding that they felt that they got a much greater volume of work done in the session that hey felt they would have done if they had not used NOxtreme.  That is always a good thing, as we all know more work generally leads to more gains!

NOxtreme also contains a good mixture of Turaine, Guarana and Caffeine that gives you a massive concentration boost and also has the added benefit of helping to stimulate the central nervous system.

On the whole I do not recommend the use of these type of products on a daily basis or to be used prior to every training session.  But on those days when you need a boost, or when looking to bust a plateau then this is an ideal product to use to boost energy and increase performance.

Review: Multipower Iso Drink

Friday, August 9th, 2013

 

2-16921_IsoDrink_OrangeFresh_735g_Ds

The guys over at Multipower sent me over some of their Iso Drink to try, I have been using these types of powder-based products for a number of years both for myself and with clients before and during long workouts.

Iso Drink is an isotonic powder that you easily mix in a shaker with water to create the perfect in workout boost to your energy and hydration levels.  Mixing the product is easy and the 35g serving creates 500ml of drink that tastes smooth, without all those annoying grainy bits often found in drinks of this nature.   I personally enjoyed the orange flavour but the powder does come in a number of different varieties.

Besides the standard carbohydrate found in these drinks this product also contains a mix of l-carnitine, minerals and BCAAs.  This helps to improve energy levels and keep you going for longer!

Iso Drink is the perfect partner for anybody who likes their endurance based sport’s. During recent endurance training session I used a number of clients as guinea pigs…. They always enjoy trying a new product!  Both my clients and myself found that they got a better overall volume of work done using this product to boost energy levels half way through their training as opposed to just using water.

If you’re a endurance based person and your looking for a way to boost your energy levels in the later parts of a training session, I would definitely recommend that you add Multipower’s Iso Drink into your nutritional program!

Review:Multipower Powerlayer Protein Bar

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

PowerLayer

When it comes to protein bars I have traditionally steered well clear. I remember back to the first time I tried a protein bar in a gym (I am not going to mention how long ago that was). I must say it was not the best experience of my life, the bar had a very chemically taste and had what can only be described as a horrible texture.  This experience put me off protein bars for a good while… until now!

I am so glad to say that there has been a big improvement in protein bars over the years since my last one. Recently my friends at Multipower sent me a few of their new Powerlayer bars to have a go of, in the hope that the more modern bars would change my mind.  I found that they did, I tried the chocolate caramel bars and rather than using them post workout, I used them as a high protein snack.  They even made a good dessert for those days when I craved something sweet after a meal.

The bars themselves come in a 60g bar that packs a huge 33% protein content.  The bar is a great one for all those cocoholics out there with four layers of nuts, caramel, crispies and chocolate.  The bars are also free of all artificial colors and flavourings, which is always a good thing!  I really enjoyed both the taste and texture of the Powerlayer bars, and I will be buying more in the future.

If any of you guys give them a try let me know how you find them!

TOM

Review: Activate Nutrition ZMA (Zinc-Magnesium Aspartate)

Friday, July 19th, 2013

activate-nutrition-zma-120-tablets-32

Over the last few weeks I have been using Activate Nutrition‘s ZMA (Zinc-Magnesium Aspartate) supplement  after being sent it last month to review.  Before I start to look at the product itself I thought I would re-cap on the reasons that ZMA is used as an anabolic and recovery supplement.

ZMA or Zinc-Magnesium Aspartate to give it, it’s full name is a combination of  zinc, vitamin B6, magnesium, and aspartate.  The ZMA formula itself is claimed to boost testosterone levels within the body, which will have an anabolic effect.  ZMA is also commonly associated with a boost post exercise recovery, strength and muscular mass.

Additionally to the above there is a strong link to the use of zinc to improve cell growth, cell production and testosterone production.  Magnesium has the effect of reducing the levels of cortisol a catabolic hormone (muscle breakdown).

Zinc-Magnesium Aspartate is a supplement commonly promoted as an aid to recovery with an anabolic (muscle building effect).

The Activate Nutrition  ZMA tablets came in standard, well put together packaging in 120 capsule jars.  This is approximately 60-90 days supplies depending on the quantity taken.  I took 2 capsules about 30 minutes before bed, each night for a month.  The capsules themselves were easy to swallow and had no side effects.

I found taking Zinc-Magnesium Aspartate had an anabolic effect, and greatly helped me recover especially after those heavy lifting days.  I also found that the supplement helped improve the quality of my sleep, I wake up in the morning feeling more refreshed, and woke up well before my alarm went off on most days.  Improved sleep quality is a much disputed effect of ZMA but I found it very useful in improving the depth and overall quality of my sleep.

At less than £10 for a months supply of ZMA and the high quality of the product supplied by Activate Nutrition I would highly recommend this product.

Please feel free to leave your feedback, questions please leave it in the comments box.

TOM

Review: Nutrition Centre’s Solgar 5-HTP

Friday, July 12th, 2013

5-HTP

 

Over the last few weeks I have been using some Solgar 5-HTP (or to give it it’s full name 5-Hydroxitryptophan) by the Nutrition Centre.  I had never heard of this supplement before, I had been aware of the use of L-tryptophan as a mood enhancer, sleep and a precursor to serotonin.  As I normally do when I come across something I have not heard of before I did some research on  5-HTP.  The key principle that the use of 5-HTP is based on is the boosting of Serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that helps to relay signals within the brain, and is closely linked to regulation of mood and reduction of anxiety.

There has also been some discussion that 5-Hydroxitryptophan may also act as a sleep aid, these properties have made it an increasingly popular supplement in the modern stress filled world.  To find out more about 5-HTP and the theories behind it have a read of the article ‘What is 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan)?’ here on the blog.

I decided to take the 5-HTP supplement before bed for a month and see what effect it had on me.  Bearing in mind I consider myself to a be a happy, healthy person, I was not expecting much of an effect based on what I had read on the subject of 5-HTP.   However I was massively mistaken, after about 4 days the first thing that I noticed was that I felt that I was sleeping much more deeply and waking up feeling more refreshed than I normally do.

After a few more days I found that I was starting to get what felt like a more regulated sleep cycle and even better I even started to wake up before my alarm went off, which I was very impressed with.  I am normally a bit of a snoozer, with my alarm going off multiple times.  The other good aspect about my sleep pattern was that when I woke up I felt immediately alert and ready to go, again before taking the 5-HTP it would take me 30 minutes r so to fully wake up.

In terms of my mood state, I did not really notice a difference in myself, however I did receive several comment from friends and family and even my partner mentioned she had noticed that I had been a great deal more upbeat while taking the 5-HTP.  So this obviously went down well!

The Solgar tabets were easy to swallow in a soft gel capsule, and B vitamins to promote nervous system health and the herb Valerian.  They are also peak-X-free, which is the substance that was much discussed in the early days of L-tryptophan use.

I would definitely recommend that anyone who experiences sleep issues or mood issues try 5-HTP, making sure you have cleared it with a medical professional first.

Let me know your experiences.

TOM