Week 1 #100kreasons Review

It’s January 20th and I’m starting Week 2 of the Dymatize Nutrition #100kreasons transformation challenge! So far going strong, which doesn’t really surprise me because I’ve basically been continuing my workouts with the same intensity as I was doing before … Continue reading

Time To Get The Ball Rolling!

I finally took my ‘before’ pictures for the Dymatize Nutrition 100K Transformation Challenge! For some reason, transformation challenges really inspire me. The last time I did one it really helped whip me into shape, and I made some very positive … Continue reading

Power Analysis: BSN N.O. Xplode 2.0

Yeah, baby. It’s N.O. Xplode 2.0! No one has gone through a serious workout program without hearing about this product. It’s a legend, even though sometimes I really don’t know why. Before I even started training seriously I had heard about N.O. Xplode. It has been copied by other Pre Workout Supplements as well, because that is always what is done with the best products. If you have ever wondered why some people are your gym are WIRED or in my case, seem super angry and determined, living in some crazy other world zone, N.O. Xplode is probably to blame, or thank, I have no idea. Just take one look at their advertisement and you will see what they are going for–ripped, strong, powerful. Of course, this can be kind of intimidating, and Pre Workouts should be taken with caution, but they can be very useful, and sometimes mean the difference between serious gains and lackluster results simply because of enhanced motivation. Here’s why:

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What is a Pre Workout Supplement?

A Pre Workout supplement is a powdery substance designed to help you push your body to the EXTREME. If taken before a lifting session, Pre Workout supplements are designed to improve focus and energy, allowing you to lift more and build muscles faster. Of course, caffeine has a lot to do with all of this added energy. Don’t fear, if you have a low tolerance of caffeine, there are decaffeinated versions of Pre Workout supplements that can be taken to achieve desired results.

Pre Workouts contain a similar formula of a few key ingredients (aside from Caffeine):

 L-Arginine to support oxygen flow and create a pump: this amino acid is a vasodilator, which means it may help your blood vessels expand within a normal range.

Beta-Alanine to promote muscular endurance, maximize protein synthesis, and decrease fatigue during your workout: this is responsible for your ability to push through a difficult workout. It is also the cause of the strange tingling sensation you will get when you take pre workout supplements!

Why Should I Take Pre Workout Supplements?

Pre Workout supplements are particularly effective at ensuring that you are able to push through a tough workout even if you are tired. They pump you full of energy, and make you feel like you can lift anything. Of course, lift with caution to prevent injuries (says me, clearly the expert…). Pre Workouts can also enhance focus and endurance during your workout, which helps you to push out more reps, support blood flow to the muscles, and create the pump that many bodybuilders crave. Pre Workouts can enhance results due to its ability to help you push through harder and further.

What Makes N.O. Xplode 2.0 Special?

I was initially terrified to try N.O. Xplode. I used to be very sensitive to caffeine, and I initially only purchased pre workout supplements that did not contain caffeine. I received a sample of N.O. Xplode, and decided to try it during Kris Gethin’s DTP leg workout, because I clearly knew I would need something to put me in another place. It was intense, but it worked. The first thing I noticed was the intense tingling feeling, which in itself made me want to work harder, just to get rid of it! I was able to push through a really intense workout, focused, and enjoying every step of the way. I have noticed that the formula has changed in the 2.0 version, and it is not as strong as it used to be, despite claims that it is stronger. Even the flavor is slightly reduced.

I did notice a pump, particularly in my forearms. They felt like they were going to pop even after only three sets of my first exercise. I do notice a difference in the quality of my workouts without it, but I find that I can’t take it any later than 5:30 p.m. if I want to have a chance to sleep before 3 a.m. It does achieve its desired result, it keeps me energized, and I find that it maybe goes a bit too far. It doesn’t give me the shaking feeling of an energy drink, but it has been known to make me quite angry at times, but that makes for a stronger workout.

By the way, N.O. stands for nitric oxide. BSN explains its purpose here: “N.O.-XPLODE™ 2.0’s key ingredients support nitric oxide production, oxygen delivery, working capacity and electrolyte balance, helping you create show-stopping muscle pumps and vascularity and experience more rewarding workouts and performance.” 

I have only tried the Fruit Punch flavor, and it is very good. Most other pre workout supplements I have had have been absolute torture to drink. I would dread drinking them, sitting on the bench at the gym sipping them for up to 10 minutes just trying to get them down. This one is much more tolerable, I have never had an issue with it. I do recommend stirring it rather than shaking it, because I have had it pop the top off of my bottles before and everyone thinks the noise is something a lot scarier than a pre workout!

Shake and take with caution!

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Where to Buy Xtend?

N.O. Xplode is extremely popular, and should be carried at most supplement stores, like Popeye’s in Canada. I ordered mine off bodybuilding.com, typical.

Power Analysis: Muscle Milk Review

 Sometimes the hardest part of sticking to a diet or exercise regime is finding the time to cook meals, especially meals that will provide you with all of the essential nutrients to build and repair muscle. It is really easy to fall off the wagon because of cravings, or lack of preparation. Another huge issue that arises with a bodybuilding diet is monotony, food tends to taste boring, and protein shakes can become really boring when you are drinking them every day. If you are like me, you get really bored with protein shakes fast. At first, I will get a new protein and absolutely love it, and over time it becomes the enemy because I get so bored of it. It becomes really hard to motivate yourself to drink something that you can’t stand, so you turn to a chocolate bar, pizza, or some other craving. This is why it is extremely important to have meal replacement options, because there will be days that you can’t motivate yourself to cook, or drink a protein shake, and it is that moment when you need to be prepared so that you can prevent senseless cheating. My tried and true meal replacement favorite is Muscle Milk by Cytosport. I never get bored it this, I can drink it every day, and I still enjoy it. It is also filling, unlike a lot of protein shakes, and has a great macro nutrient ratio. Get your hands on some Muscle Milk!

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What is Muscle Milk?

Muscle Milk is a fabulous meal replacement option, meaning that it can be taken in place of food. This can be a life saver if you don’t have the time, energy, or cash to prepare 6 solid meals a day. Muscle Milk contains a blend of proteins (Calcium Sodium Caseinate, Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Hydrolysate, Whey Protein Concentrate), which are obviously key to building and repairing muscle. Since Muscle Milk contains a protein blend, you get the best of all world–slow and fast digesting proteins. Fast digesting proteins, like isolates, are soluble and enter  the blood stream quickly. What this means for you is that the protein contributes to greater growth and recovery due to protein synthesis. Slow digesting proteins, like casein, keep you fuller longer. This protein is perfect for meal replacement, as it is designed for periods where you cannot refuel quickly. Casein is also very high in amino acids, which help to speed muscle repair, promote muscle growth, and limit muscle breakdown.

In addition to protein, Muscle Milk includes fast-burning fats that help provide the caloric energy needed to fuel exercise and recovery. It also includes Omega 3, 6, and 9 fats, which are critically important for a healthy diet. Also, Muscle Milk is loaded with Glutamine (to rebuild muscle, serious key to bodybuilding) and other essential vitamins. It is pretty much the perfect go-to meal replacement shake. Check out the macros:

Muscle Milk Macros

Why Should I Take Muscle Milk?

Well, 6073 members of Bodybuilding.com can’t be wrong, and that is how many people have added Muscle Milk to their list of supplements on bodyspace. Muscle Milk keeps you full, provides you with essential nutrients, and tastes great. Also, it is lactose free, so it is the perfect meal replacement for those with lactose sensitivity. It contains no milk, despite the title, but it does contain a plethora of other awesome ingredients to help you build and maintain an awesome figure.

What Makes Muscle Milk Special?

The reason I continue to purchase Muscle Milk is the flavor, it tastes great and I haven’t gotten sick of it, which is saying a lot. I even bought a 5lb tub, which shows how serious I am about my love for Muscle Milk. I leave my Muscle Milk at work, because it is a simple and convenient meal to eat when you are in a rush. I particularly enjoy the Chocolate flavor. It is smooth, and mixes well. I also have the Chocolate Malt flavor, which is very similar to the Chocolate, I would suggest either flavor. I am yet to try some of the more exotic flavors, but I have my eye on the Red Velvet Cake and Raspberry Cheesecake.

If you are cutting down on carbs, I find that mixing one scoop of Muscle Milk with one scoop of Whey Protein Isolate of the same flavor is a very effective way to maintain the Muscle Milk flavor and texture, without the high amount of carbs. I take two scoops at a time for one serving, because I try to ensure that I am taking 30g of protein per meal. In two scoops Muscle Milk gives you 32g protein, 18g carbs, 12g fat. This is a very good ratio, especially for a meal replacement. It is also very low in sugar, with only 2g per scoop!

Where to Buy Muscle Milk?

Muscle Milk is a fairly standard product. I have bought it numerous times on bodybuilding.com. A 5lb tub is currently going for $48.98 Canadian, which means one meal will cost you around $1.50 if you take two scoops. Pretty decent. You can also find Muscle Milk at Popeye’s and other health food and supplement stores.

Don’t give yourself the excuse to cheat, make sure you always have a meal replacement with you!

UGH Come On CANADA!!!

As a resident of capital city of Canada, I appreciate the importance of good government, not only to keep this city filled with jobs, but to ensure that it’s citizens are kept safe. One of the roles of government is to make sure that Canadians make “informed decisions,” and they do this by putting products through a “rigorous inspection process” to make sure that the things we buy are safe for use and consumption. This is excellent, except when the United States sells them, and they are widely used there, yet we cannot order them here.

This happens all the time, and it constantly prevents me from purchasing items I want, or getting good deals on bulk items. We have a 90-day day supply limit, which often prevents me from getting great deals on bodybuilding.com, when they offer two-for-one deals, and that goes over the 90-day limit. Thanks for making me pay double, Canada!

UGH Canada

My favorite experience is when I see things like the image above, NOTICE: Can’t ship to CA. This item, for instance, is the top rated Fat Burner on bodybuilding.com. If the item is this popular, and widely used, why is it deemed unsafe for Canadian consumption? I am all for protecting citizens from harmful drugs and products, but come on. The real reason I am super upset about this particular product is that bodybuilding.com sent me a product sample for it, and I loved it. Then, I went online to find it and realized that Canada prevents me from buying it. Come on, Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford can get crack but I can’t get supplements? For real.