Want to change your life for $6? Ok, I may be overstating it, but here’s the deal. I’ve taken supplements for a long time now... over a decade in fact. Heck nearing in on 2 decades. One thing that constantly annoyed me, but I just dealt with it was mixing protein/MRP/and whatever type of powder by hand. True I could use a blender, but that was usually inconvenient and clean-up was a pain. What I was left with was often clumpy liquid that I just had to learn how to chug fast. On the bright side of this is I can shotgun beers like a champ now.
In comes a $100+ order to Bodybuilding.com where I get a lot of supplements. They usually give free gifts with orders, so my house is full of calipers, measuring tapes, poor quality gym bags, and of course hand shaker cups. When I was completing an order this time, I noticed there was what was called a “Vortex” mixer there. I figured what the hell and added it in. When my order came and I saw what I got free, I was impressed.
It was great. I couldn’t believe what I was missing before. It was small, portable, came with a travel drinking lid, and above all that, it worked. It blended all my powders almost perfectly. No more clumps! To top it off, I no longer needed to train with a Shake Weight 3x/week in order to strengthen my shaker cup technique. Now the freebie mixer was good, but the plastic mixing blade was a little flimsy and water had a tendency to get into the battery compartment if you weren’t careful. I decided to try the cheapest pay-for version that they had.
The $6 version (The Power Mixer) was a good deal better. The construction quality was better and the mixing blade was metal. It seemed to have more power behind it as well. I did like the travel lid on the freebie more. These things are really great though. I have one in my office and a couple at home. I can bring a shake to the gym to sip, and I don’t have to worry constant shaking and liquid leaking out of the seal on the lid because of it. I just press the power button for a few seconds, and it’s ready to go.
I’ve even started having shakes with lunch at times. Since I can sip now instead of chugging, I find myself able to drink more of these. At the end of the day, it’s worth the $6 to find out for yourself. If I’m right and you think these are the greatest thing since sliced bread, well you got it for only $6. If I’m wrong, well you got it for $6.
Direct link to product on Bodybuilding.com website: http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bbcom/powermixer.html
A fellow adventure runner, Army vet, and Simple Brandz founder gave me some of her signature Simple Granola to try, and it was so good that I wanted to share my thoughts on it. First let me tell you about Simple Brandz. It’s a company founded by Sherry Post, who is a holistic wellness coach based in the Philadelphia area. Her philosophy is to provide a comprehensive, holistic training approach, and Simple Brandz is an extension of that as it provides an all-natural, organic alternative to the other health food and supplements on the market.
Simple Granola comes packaged as balls of soft, fresh granola mixed with agave nectar, unsalted peanut butter, rolled oats, maple, almond butter, steel cut oats, pecans, hemp nuts, ground flax seeds, coconut flakes, textured vegetable protein, almonds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond slices, and cinnamon. You’d think with the nuts and peanut butter, it’d be difficult to get through without a glass of water at your side, but that’s not the case. You could bring some with you on a long trail run or hike, and it’d be fine to eat during a short break or even while moving.
Some may find it a little sweet, but I enjoyed the taste. At $5 per bag, it’s a worth a try for yourself. For my information on Simple Brandz and their products, look at their website:
Polar is a well-known name in heart rate monitors and for good reason. They work. I picked up a Polar F11 a while ago when I decided to start training in target heart rate zones after ignoring such things for a very long time. Quite honestly, I was looking for a simple HRM, and this thing is loaded with options I never use but others may find useful. A great bonus of Polar HRM’s is that nearly all cardio equipment you’ll find at a gym is Polar-ready. It will instantly pick up your transmitter’s signal and display your current HR on its own display.
The HRM itself is in three parts. You have the wrist unit, the chest band, and the transmitter (which snaps onto the chest band). The wrist unit is the brains of the operation. It can function as a watch or simple stop watch on top of providing a visible output of your current heart rate. The chest band is adjustable and fits snugly around your chest. You don’t even realize it’s there.
The three pieces of the Polar F11.
The tight but comfortable fit of the Polar F11 chest band.
The main function I use on top of just getting an average heart rate for a particular workout is the zone training. While you are in HRM mode, you can choose to set target zones and alarms for your heart rate. You can then choose to view either your beats per minute (bpm) or a percentage of the max end of your target zone. You can choose to set your own minimum and maximum heart rate manually, or you can allow your F11 to do it for you. It will do so based on your age and your desired workout intensity. It has three levels: light, moderate, and hard. One thing to note is while in HRM mode, you will also see kcal burned during your workout based on your previously entered weight, your workout duration, and workout intensity.
This is where you’d expect a HRM to end, but for the F11, this is only the beginning. You can have Polar actually map out your weekly training in the Keep U Fit function on the F11. This is based on your own fitness level as Polar will take you through a fitness test to measure it. It keeps a running diary of your workouts, and if you can test your fitness level once or twice a month, the Polar will trend your fitness level over time.
You think that’s the end of it? Think again. Polar has Personal Trainer web service on which you can create your own program and then transfer it to your wrist unit. In the cases of both the Polar-created program or your own, your wrist unit will tell you your weekly and daily exercise goals in terms of HR zones, workout duration, total calories you’ll burn, etc.
I’m really just scratching the surface on the programming as well. At the bottom of this page, I’ve included a link to the owner’s manual in PDF format for you to download if you want a detailed look at all the features. In the end, the Polar F11’s features were way overkill for me. If you want a feature-rich HRM, then certainly consider it. If you are like me and really just wanted a simple HRM to see bpm and perhaps set target zone alarms, then you’d be better suited looking for a cheaper option seeing that these start at $160 on Amazon.
Polar F11 Instruction Manual in PDF Format