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Fresh Fitness Food Review: The Easy, Expensive Way To Eat Healthily

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Friday, July 19, 2019 - 13:14

Freshly cooked meals, designed and prepared by experts to help you hit your fitness goals, delivered to you every morning. That’s the promise Fresh Fitness Food (FFF) makes and after two weeks I can say it absolutely delivers on that promise.

The meals arrive between midnight and 6am Monday to Friday, with the food for the weekend arriving on Friday (pro tip: clear some space in the fridge). Alternatively, if you work in an office you can the meals sent there if your post room is agreeable. There’s a lot of packaging involved, but the plastic is recyclable and many of the food containers are made from biodegradable materials.

Each hot meal on the plan needs two to three minutes in the microwave to heat up and that’s all that’s required of you. It really couldn’t be easier on your end. You can choose a package that provides three, four, five or six meals a day, and tailor what you get to your fitness goals and nutritional demands.

I tried the new Training Plan, which is designed to support someone exercising regularly, and spoke to an FFF’s nutritionist over the phone so that my plan could be set up in line with my requirements. Along with preferences like no meat, this meant timing the carb-heavier meals around when I tend to train – which for me is in the morning – and calculating my total calorie requirements. I got four meals a day plus a snack and protein shake sachet, with the aim of hitting 2,800 calories broken down as 35% protein, 45% carbs and 25% fat.

I didn’t really bat an eyelid when I saw that macro breakdown in an email. My only concern was getting enough carbs, because I’m a regular/obsessive runner and need the energy. However, once the meals started arriving I realised that 35% of 2,800 calories is a lot of protein. Over 240g a day, in fact, around 3.5g per kg of my bodyweight, which did seem excessive if I’m honest. Even if you’re hitting the gym every day and twice on Sundays, which I absolutely wasn’t, that level of protein seems like overkill.

That translated to an extra fish fillet or more chicken breast than I’d normally serve myself, while the snacks are things like protein chocolate chip cookies (rather than just chocolate chip cookies), but aside from the shake sachet the meals aren’t made worse by the protein focus.

They’re impressively tasty, in fact. I enjoyed every meal that turned up in my porch each morning. The highlights include jerk chicken and blackened cajun salmon, and there was always a good-sized portion of vegetables included, which is sometimes a failing with meal delivery services.


The nutritionist got in touch with me during my first week to ensure the plan was working and I made some adjustments. I stopped getting granola for breakfast because I found it too bland, and added a meat meal each day to what had started as a fish and veg plan. These little preference changes are easy to make at any time, though it might take a day or two for it to be reflected in your deliveries.

After two weeks on the plan, however, it did start to feel a little samey, presumably because of the need to hit the exacting nutritional requirements calculated for me. I ate enough white fish to see me through the rest of 2019, and although this is because I started on a fish-only plan, even when I added meat to the menu after a week this resulted in a lot of chicken alongside the white fish. Other foods I came across almost every day included sweet potatoes and omelettes. All the meals were tasty on their own merits, but after ten days I started to get a little weary of white fish in particular.

Equally, while some foods are clearly very much favourites at FFF Towers, some appear to be verboten. I eat a lot of bread, pasta and cheese in general, and while I wouldn’t expect them to feature prominently in a healthy meal delivery service menu, the complete lack of them meant I did opt to make myself some cheese sandwiches at one point. I also indulged in some fresh fruit because I started to miss it, although it’d be unfair to demand that from FFF on top of the meals.

The only other criticism I’d have is that while the plan is designed to support people training regularly, what that means in practice is people hitting the gym regularly. I don’t do that but I run most days, logging 80-90km a week. The focus on protein doesn’t do a huge amount for me, since I’m not really aiming to build muscle or lose weight – I just need food to support an active lifestyle. And eating 240g of protein on a day where my exercise was a 40-minute easy run just feels a bit odd.

All of those are pretty minor quibbles though, and there’s always the option to adjust the plan more with FFF. Overall I ate almost nothing but healthy FFF meals for two weeks and very much enjoyed it. The high protein count also meant that I was always full enough that I stopped reaching for my snacking staple – a massive bag of crisps in the evening.

The Training Plan is just one of the options available from FFF. You can also get packages designed to support fat loss or muscle gain or just general wellness. There’s also an Office package which FFF says will promote energy and concentration levels while at work, within which you can select your fitness goal.

Naturally, such a service does not come cheap and it’s more expensive than other delivery services. The packages start at £23 a day, but that’s if you bulk-order three meals a day for 100 days. For five days it’s £28 a day for three meals, £34 for four meals, £39 for five meals and £43 for six meals. The price drops the more days you order for, so if you order four meals a day for 20 days you’d pay £32 rather than £34 a day, for example.

It’s certainly a luxury, but it’s hard to overstate just how convenient it is to have healthy, tasty meals arrive at your door every morning. There are certainly worse places to put your disposable income.

Buy from Fresh Fitness Food | From £23 a day

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Running Shoe Review: An Instant Favourite

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 16:22

When New Balance announced its four-strong line-up of FuelCell running shoes most of the attention was directed towards the 5280. The innovative shoe pairs a carbon plate with the bouncy but lightweight FuelCell foam to create a dedicated racing shoe designed to set records over one mile.

However, there aren’t a lot of amateur runners out there obsessed with running one-mile races, and having spent a couple of weeks running in the 5280’s stablemate, the FuelCell Rebel, I reckon New Balance pointed the spotlight in the wrong place. The Rebel is a sensational running shoe that runners can use for both training and racing.

The Rebel costs £120, which isn’t cheap by any means but is more affordable than many flagship shoes, which tend to cost upwards of £150.

The midsole is made of New Balance’s FuelCell foam, which is lightweight and provides more rebound than any other foam used in the company’s running shoes. While it doesn’t have the carbon plate used in the 5280, the Rebel – according to New Balance – is the company’s attempt to get some of the innovations of the 5280 into a lightweight, speedy daily trainer.

The result is a shoe that weighs just 208g despite having a comfortable stack of cushioning on the bottom, a combination designed to excel on tempo and hard long training runs in particular, while also remaining a great racing option.


I’ve tried the Rebel for a variety of runs and it’s impressed me every time. The FuelCell foam is soft and comfortable, but the bounce in the shoe means it’s easy to up the pace. When using the Rebel I almost always found I was running a little faster than I thought I was when I checked my watch.

On the first weekend I wore them, I took them out for an 8km race on the Saturday and a 20km long run on the Sunday. Following that, I used the shoe for a track workout and several easy runs. The only faults I’d pick with it are that it lacks a little pace when it comes to running short reps on the track and it isn’t as soft as many would like for really easy runs.

For everything else, the Rebel is brilliant and it shone on the 20km run in particular. The smooth, responsive ride makes holding a fast pace feel comfortable. It’s similar to the feel of Saucony’s Everun and Adidas’s Boost foams, but much lighter, making the Rebel a better racing option as a result.

The shoe that the Rebel really reminded me of was the Nike Pegasus Turbo, which was my favourite new release of last year. Both make running quickly feel comfortable, even if they’re not designed as out-and-out speedsters, and both can be used for all parts of your running. One edge the Rebel has, however, is that it’s significantly cheaper than the Pegasus Turbo, which costs £159.95.

There’s a flange on the outer side of the Rebel to add stability, especially when running hard. It looks a little odd but it wasn’t something I noticed when running at all. Maybe it was helping, maybe it was doing nothing at all, but it wasn’t annoying at least.

The Rebel came up a little small for me and although the upper might stretch a little with use I’d say going half a size up would be worthwhile. The mesh upper holds your foot in place securely and comfortably, and I didn’t find the shoe got hot during long runs.

All running shoe brands are doing their best at the moment to convince you of the merits of their proprietary midsole foams, but New Balance’s FuelCell lives up to the hype, and the Rebel offers a responsive but comfortable ride. It’s at its best over tempo and long runs, and it’s a great option for races of 5K and up, especially half marathon and marathon distances.

Buy men’s from New Balance | Buy women’s from New Balance | £120

How Runners Can Avoid Air Pollution In London

 

Jonathan Shannon

Thursday, July 11, 2019 - 16:04

Air pollution is scary. We’d go so far as to say horror-movie scary. Think about it this way: you could be killing yourself right now just by breathing – save yourself, stop breathing, STOP BREATHING!

Obviously that’s hysterical and please continue breathing normally, but it remains a worry and one that’s not particularly well understood by the public. Is air pollution so bad, for instance, that you should avoid running in certain conditions? Thankfully, on this point the scientific research has an answer. “A study conducted by Audrey de Nazelle at Imperial College looked at this specific question of when the disbenefit of exposure to pollution outweighs the exercise benefits,” says Andrew Grieve, senior air quality analyst at King’s College London. “The study found that pollution levels in London and other European cities are low enough that running and cycling is always beneficial.”

But if you want to avoid running through heavily polluted areas (and who doesn’t?), energy drink brand Tenzing has partnered with Strava and the Environmental Research team at King’s College London to help. This collaboration has produced a tool that shows the current quality of air along any route a runner is planning on following in London, or the state of air pollution on a London run they’ve tracked on Strava. (It’s limited to the capital because it relies on data from the team at King’s College, which tracks air pollution every 25m throughout Greater London.)

The free tool is available if you visit the Clean Air Run Club website on a smartphone and once you’ve given it permission to access your Strava account, it’ll add a clean air score to any runs done in London.

It’s also possible to draw routes by tapping on a map to add waypoints and get a live air quality score. What you’ll quickly discover is that high-traffic areas are best avoided.

“It’s mainly major roads that tend to have the worst pollution in cities,” says Grieve. “If you zoom out and look at the pollution map of London, you can pick out the road network as the highest areas. It’s a similar picture in most cities.”

And Grieve’s own research shows walking along a polluted thoroughfare has an impact. “We did a study a few years ago which looked at the lung function of people with COPD [a lung condition] before and after walking down Oxford Street versus going around Hyde Park,” says Grieve. “We found that those who walked down Oxford Street had reduced lung function compared with those who walked around Hyde Park. A clear physiological effect to higher pollution exposure.”

One problem we found with the tool was that our air pollution ratings never dipped below the high end of the “fair” category. So would finding routes that increase the rating out of 100 by a point or two make much difference?

We asked Grieve how much benefit there is in taking a less polluted route over a more polluted one. “Aside from the Oxford Street study, it’s hard to quantify the health benefits of taking a low-pollution route vs a busy one at an individual level as everyone is different,” he says. “What we can say is that pollution levels are generally about 50% less on back streets compared to busy roads, and parks are even lower.”

Try the Clean Air Tool (mobile only)

Heart Rate Variability Can Reveal How Well You Deal With Stress

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 17:33

One of the most exciting features to arrive on fitness trackers in the past few years has been the daily rating of your stress levels out of 100. Admittedly for a while we found it mystifying, being unsure how to interpret or act on the information. That was until we chatted to an expert at Firstbeat, who explained that the rating is in part a measure of your heart rate variability using the optical heart rate monitor on the tracker.

Firstbeat is the company behind the algorithms that brands like Garmin use to rate your stress levels, and it also provides in-depth lifestyle assessments (£199) using chest monitors for extra accuracy. We took this test – which involved wearing a monitor for three days – then spoke to Nigel Stockill, performance director at Firstbeat UK, about heart rate variability, what it can tell you about your stress levels, and the limitations of the stress measurements on fitness trackers.

What Is Heart Rate Variability?

Your heart rate variability (HRV) is tracked by measuring the time between heartbeats – your heart rate rhythm. Even if your heart rate remains pretty constant, your heart rate rhythm can vary, and this shows whether or not your body is in a stressed state.

“When you look at heart rhythm rather than heart rate, we show a slightly different rhythm when we’re in relax and rest mode,” says Stockill. “What we typically see is a very gradual speeding up of our heart rate when we breathe in and a slowing down of our heart rate when we breathe out. This is when our body is undistracted by external or internal forces. It’s in a perfect state for recovery – it’s not busy digesting, or detoxifying alcohol, or dealing with a rapid rise in our cortisol release.”

In the Firstbeat lifestyle assessment these rest periods are marked in green. This shows a higher level of HRV, which indicates the body is relaxed and recovering.

“It’s a sign of less stress. If we go into fight-or-flight mode, it doesn’t mean we’re stressed per se, it just means we’re in that ready state. What happens then is that our body stops the speeding up and slowing down of heart rate and it becomes regular. You’re in a state of readiness – ready to pounce, or run, or whatever.”

The lifestyle assessment plots your HRV over the three-day period. The hope is that you see a good balance of green – where your HRV is high and your body is in a resting mode – and red – where your HRV is low and you’re in a more ready state. If you’re in the red all day and don’t get much green at night, over time you’re going to get more and more run down.

What Causes Low HRV?

You don’t need to feel stressed for your HRV to fall; it’s caused by anything that gets your body going. And the less fit you are, the longer it can take to get back into a resting state.

“It can be just meeting someone,” says Stockill. “It doesn’t mean you’re stressed, but it does mean you spark a little bit of adrenaline, of cortisol. Some people are a lot better at switching that off, whereas others, perhaps because their cardiorespiratory fitness isn’t that good, are not able to regulate that. It tends to be when they’re awake they’re always in red, and they’re only in green in the latter stages of sleep.”

Bodily functions are also key factors, such as digesting food or dealing with alcohol, which both put you into the red zone. This means drinking alcohol in the evening can affect how much you recover during your sleep.

“When the body detects alcohol it sees it as a poison or toxin, so it prioritises detoxifying that alcohol before it can relax. So if it was just one unit you can see that within one hour it detoxifies that, so you can relax quite quickly afterwards. For a lot of people alcohol may be used consciously or subconsciously as a sleep aid, therefore any alcohol that’s still in the system as you go to sleep will delay the onset of green, to the tune of an hour per unit of alcohol in the system.”

Other factors that keep stop you from going into a relaxed state include temperature and exposure to blue light, so staying away from screens last thing before bed and ensuring your bedroom is the right temperature for you are both important.

How Accurate Are HRV Measurements On Fitness Trackers?

One of the key differences with the lifestyle assessment is that an expert talks you through the results and gives you goals to help improve your recovery, rather than the simple stats provided by a wearable. However, perhaps even more important is the difference in accuracy between the chest monitor and a wrist wearable.

“They [wrist-worn trackers] use radial pulse, which isn’t bad compared with five years ago, but it’s obviously not as accurate as [chest straps],” says Stockill. “I wouldn’t be doing any lifestyle interventions based on those [wrist-worn trackers], but they do give you a bit of a guide to time asleep and that kind of thing.

“The difference between being in the red and in the green is so minuscule that if you’re trying to do that from what’s effectively blood flow estimate, you’re always going to be guessing a little bit.”

You can use a wrist-worn tracker to identify trends in your HRV that might highlight how factors like alcohol affect your stress levels, but if it’s something that you’re considering using to shape your lifestyle, a more accurate test is worthwhile. You can get the Firstbeat lifestyle assessment through experts like physios, personal trainers and nutritionists.

11 Training Tips For Your First Marathon

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 13:24

Signing up for your first marathon is an exhilarating moment. You’re excited at the prospect of taking on the event, which is probably still far enough away that the actual challenges involved don’t seem too daunting. You have ages to train for it, after all.

Once you’re into the long period of marathon training, however, you quickly realise that the challenge of the marathon isn’t so much the 42.2km you run on race day as the hundreds of kilometres you cover in training.

It’s essential, therefore, to ensure you pace your training correctly so you don’t burn out long before race day itself. We have free marathon training plans for runners of all levels, which can get you to the start line in great shape. But before you choose a plan, check out these invaluable marathon training tips from Tom Craggs, a running coach and Loch Ness Marathon ambassador – you’ll find his suggestions mirrored in any top-quality training plan.

1. Start With Regular Running

“If life allows, aim for small and regular runs in the early weeks of training,” says Craggs. “Four to five short runs will be better than two long efforts with nothing in between.”

2. Build Up The Length Of Your Long Run Slowly

The long Sunday run is key to marathon success, but there’s no need to go for broke early on.

“Build patiently and slowly, and add ten to 15 minutes maximum each week,” says Craggs. “In the early weeks focus on completing these runs at a relaxed and conversational pace. Then, if you feel good, try to get used to increasing your pace for the final 30-40 minutes of your run.”

3. Plan Ahead

“Track back from race day and plan in your key long runs three to eight weeks before your event,” says Craggs. “Get organised and structure your training week in advance to ensure you are running at times when you have the best chance of completing the sessions and feel most energised. Plan to take at least one full rest day each week and line up a slightly lighter week every three to four weeks.”

4. Use Your Midweek Runs Wisely

Often first-time marathoners drift through any midweek runs they do, with all the focus on the long run they face that weekend, but the right kind of run on a Tuesday or Wednesday can reap as many gains as your Sunday session.

“Try a 45- to 60-minute run that includes five sets of five minutes running at a pace where you can only speak three or four words at a time, jogging for 90 seconds between each effort,” says Craggs. “Aim to build this up over the weeks to six sets of five-minute efforts, three sets of ten minutes, or even 20-25 minutes as a solid block.”

5. Race

Don’t just practise running, practise racing too. Sign up for a few races throughout your plan and you have some short-term goals that can help to break up your training and make it seem less like one long slog. It also helps you to refine your race day routine so you’re not tripped up unnecessarily.

“Aim to book in a half marathon five to six weeks before your marathon,” says Craggs. “You could either run this hard, looking for a PB, or turn it into a long run by adding a couple of miles before and after, and running the race at goal marathon pace. If you can’t get into a half consider running a parkrun every three to four weeks – this can be great for testing your fitness.”

6. Don’t Just Run On Pavements

“Running on different surfaces such as grass and trails will help prevent injury, and also help build strength and balance,” says Craggs. “Consider also mixing your running with other forms of cardiovascular exercise such as cycling, swimming or using an elliptical trainer. This will still give your heart and lungs a workout, without the joint impact of running. “

7. Learn How To Run Easy

In some training runs you’ll aim to push yourself, but a lot of the time should be spent running easy. Pushing too hard on these runs is how you burn out.

“If you find yourself short of breath and feeling like you need to stop after four to five minutes you are simply running too hard,” says Craggs. “Try to stick at the ‘speed of chat’ to get yourself working and enjoying your running. Don’t worry if you need to mix running and walking in the early weeks. Aim to keep the pace of your running easy and gradually reduce your walking breaks as the weeks progress.”

8. Strengthen Your Core

“Runners who are more robust and who can hold their posture and technique even when tired tend to perform better on marathon day,” says Craggs. “Getting into a good routine of two to three short core sessions a week is a great goal in the early weeks of training. For the more experienced doing squat, deadlift, lunge, row and press-up exercises can be a great addition to your training.”

9. Run With Others

“Surround yourself with positive people and look to train with friends or family sharing the same goal,” says Craggs. “If none do, then you can join a local running club. Having a group to motivate and support each other will help keep you out running when it gets tough!”

10. Log Your Training

“Getting your training down on paper, or on screen, can be a great way of monitoring your progress and having accountability,” says Craggs. “Aim to note down two to three positives from your training every week, plus a couple of priorities to develop for the following week. When you look back at your training before the marathon you’ll have a big bank of positivity to review!”

11. Eat And Sleep Well

“Focus on high-quality nutrition with a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables, and adequate amounts of protein,” says Craggs. “To improve sleep, aim to get off your phone in the final 90 minutes before bed. Creating a good pre-bed routine can improve the quality of your sleep, which is when many of the positive adaptations to training occur.”

Upgrade Your Post-Workout Smoothie With This Chris Hemsworth-Approved Recipe

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 13:46

When you’re training frequently, having a good-quality post-workout smoothie recipe in your back pocket is a must. This go-to drink needs to be not only something to replenish your body after you’re put it through the mill, but also something you actually look forward to, so you can distract yourself by thinking about the reward to come during those tough final sets.

This recipe will satisfy on both counts. It contains the protein required to rebuild your aching muscles, along with a variety of vitamins and minerals from a range of fruit and veg. And it definitely ticks the tasty box.

It’s the kind of recipe you can imagine an A-lister using – and wouldn’t you know it, this green smoothie has been created by chef Sergio Perera, who sorts out meals for Chris Hemsworth when the Aussie actor is preparing for a film.

Perera is one of the experts behind Hemsworth’s fitness platform Centr, which aims to overhaul your entire health and fitness regime through training, nutrition and mindfulness advice. If you’re a huge fan of the below recipe, check out our review of the Centr app.

Ingredients (serves one)

  • 1 cup (250ml) coconut water
  • ½ banana
  • 3tbsp protein powder
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored
  • 1 celery stalk
  • ¼ avocado
  • ⅔ cup (about 20g) baby spinach leaves
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 4-6 ice cubes

Method

  1. Chuck everything in a blender and mix until smooth. Enjoy!

Sergio Perera is a featured expert on Chris Hemsworth’s Centr, available from the App Store or online at centr.com

Work Up A Serious Sweat With This Metcon Countdown Workout

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Monday, July 8, 2019 - 15:34

We like simple workouts here on Coach, and by that we mean easy to follow, not easy to actually complete. This metcon workout from Ami Acharya, trainer at Sweat It, is certainly not complex on paper: you do six exercises in a circuit, starting at ten reps for round one, then doing eight reps in round two and so on… until you force your burning muscles to squeeze out one last rep in the final round.

How To Do This Workout

The workout is designed to be done with two dumbbells or kettlebells. These should be heavy, but you are going to do 55 reps of each exercise so bear that in mind. Acharya suggests starting with around 35-40% of your bodyweight for the combined weight of the dumbbells.

The circuit contains six exercises in total and you start with ten reps of each exercise except the overhead carry, where you cover 40m for every round of the circuit. For the other five exercises you’ll be dropping a rep each round, so each circuit will get easier as you tire.

In each circuit you aim to complete the six exercises back to back with minimal rest, then take a 30-second break before starting your next circuit. We told you it would be tough!

Deadlift row

“Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs,” says Acharya. “Brace your core, stand with a slight bend in your knees and hinge at your hips to lower the dumbbells, keeping them close to your thighs and shins without allowing your back to round. In this bent-over position, bend at the elbows and lift the dumbbells past your hips, bringing your elbows up and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower with control, and then thrust your hips forwards to stand back up.”

Thruster

“Stand with your feet hip-width apart,” says Acharya. “Hold the dumbbells by your shoulders, brace your core and with your centre of gravity over your heels, squat down without allowing your spine to round. Drive through your heels to stand back up and press the dumbbells overhead without arching your spine.”

Dumbbell swing

“Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a slight bend in your knees,” says Acharya. “Hold one dumbbell with both hands between your knees. Hinge at your hips so your chest is around parallel to the floor, keeping your back flat and your shoulders pulled back. Swing the dumbbell through your legs and then back up to chest level by thrusting your hips forwards, tucking your tailbone under and squeezing your glutes.”

Press-up

“Get into the top press-up position, putting your hands on a bench if you want to make it easier,” says Acharya. “Bend your elbows to lower your body, then drive through your hands and press back up to the starting position. Engage your core to maintain a neutral [straight] spine throughout.”

V-up

“Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms extended behind your head,” says Acharya. “As you exhale, raise your arms and legs to form a V-shape, and then lower with control. Maintain a neutral spine and initiate the movement with your abs – avoid using momentum or collapsing.”

Overhead carry

“Hold the dumbbells overhead with your core braced and spine neutral,” says Acharya. “Keep your arms straight and your shoulders stable as you walk 40m with a steady stride.”

Let The Big Bike Revival Help You Enjoy Cycling Again

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Monday, July 8, 2019 - 15:16

Do you own a bike but never use it? Be honest now, because according to Cycling UK, that’s the case for 42% of us. And we get it – often the most exciting part of cycling is picking out your brand new bike and taking it for your first few rides. But once it gets a puncture, or the chain gets stiff, or the weather turns for the worse, it’s easy to fall out of the habit of cycling entirely and you forget how much fun – invigorating, wind-in-your-hair type fun – cycling is.

The Big Bike Revival is a campaign designed to help you unearth your old ride, reacquaint yourself with the many joys of cycling and get back in the habit, whether that’s as a daily commuter, a fair-weather cyclist who’ll pop out when the weather’s nice or a devoted fan of the Sunday long ride.

As part of the campaign Cycling UK is providing free bike checks, servicing and maintenance workshops so you can quickly fix any mechanical problems that are keeping you from riding. On top of that there are group rides you can join all over the country, so you don’t have to venture out alone on your return to the saddle.

If you’re avoiding cycling because of a lack of confidence on two wheels, there are also “learn to ride” sessions to help you regain your faith in your ability to ride a bike, which really will come back to you very quickly. There’s a saying in there somewhere.

This is the fifth year of the Big Bike Revival, which put on 1,100 events in 2018. Around 7,500 bikes were fixed and 13,000 new cycling trips were made as part of the campaign. Best of all, around 9,000 people started cycling more frequently after taking part in one of the events. The evidence shows that it works, so if you’re at all interested in getting back on your bike you should definitely head to your nearest event.

You can find out where that is on the Cycling UK website, which has an interactive map that lists the various events going on in the UK as part of the Big Bike Revival.

Search for Big Bike Revival events

Five Reasons To Take A Break From Exercise While On Holiday

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Friday, July 5, 2019 - 17:01

Having an established exercise routine is brilliant. Once your body is used to it, routine makes it easier to find the willpower to hit the gym for a workout or head out for a run. However, when you get too attached to a routine, it can be a bad thing.

Many Brits will be jetting off for a much-needed summer holiday – but while we’re all happy to leave work behind for a while, the break in the routine can leave some of us struggling to maintain our usual training regime.

A little exercise while on holiday is no bad thing, but if you find you’re still working out every day because you’re worried about losing the fitness you’ve carefully built up over time, we’re here to set your mind at rest.

“The body will not ‘forget’ your gains from exercise or totally relapse during a short vacation – even exercise at a top level of sport is programmed using phases,” says Marvin Burton, head of fitness at Anytime Fitness. “At the end of each phase, there are breaks and natural reductions in physical activity.”

If it helps, try to remember that even the best athletes in the world go on holiday and ease off their training regime.

“Having a break isn’t a crime,” says Burton. “Every professional athlete has breaks, so why can’t you? Use the time to re-evaluate your training, celebrate your hard work and come back with a new plan, a fresh approach and a rejuvenated body.”

If that hasn’t convinced you, here’s Burton with five more reasons why relaxing during your holiday will probably do you more good than harm.

1. You Can Prioritise Recovery For Once

“The most important part of any training plan is recovery,” says Burton. “Allowing your body time to recover will give your central nervous system time to settle, and afford your muscles time to repair and for tissue to develop.”

2. You Can Dose Up On Vitamin D Naturally, Instead

Assuming you’ve gone somewhere sunny, hitting the lounger rather than the gym will do your body a world of good.

“The time in the sun will provide you with some much-needed vitamin D,” says Burton. “This can contribute to an array of health benefits, including supporting the health of the immune system, brain and nervous system, and having a positive impact on lung function and cardiovascular health.”

3. Your Body May Be As Stressed Out As Your Mind

“The reduction in physical stress created from exercise will reduce your cortisol levels and could even lead to further fat reduction,” says Burton.

4. You Can Catch Up On Sleep Instead

Assuming your holiday plans don’t include too many late nights, you’re likely to get more kip than usual, which again will boost your recovery.

"The additional sleep can reduce stress, improve your alertness and speed up reaction times,” says Burton.

5. Time Off Can Help Avoid Overuse Injuries

“Having a break will reduce your risk of injury by allowing your joints time to recover,” says Burton. “We often don’t worry about overuse injuries until it’s too late. Regular training creates inflammation in the body, so rest is vital to success.”

Six Ways To Develop A More Positive Mindset

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Friday, July 5, 2019 - 16:37

Whatever you’re looking to achieve in your life, you are going to face some setbacks. How you respond to those will play a big part in whether you are successful or not in your endeavours. But being resilient is easier said than done.

We spoke to mindset coach Caroline Britton who works with athletes and entrepreneurs, about six methods you can try to improve the way you approach your goals. Each can work in its own way, but Britton recommends starting with the first three in order.

1. Know Your Why

“When you’re trying to take your performance to the next level it takes a lot of work, so unless you have rooted yourself in the why, it’s very difficult to keep up the momentum,” says Britton. “That’s why you see people stalling.

“I always recommend writing a one-page mission statement saying what you’re trying to achieve, why, and how you’re going to do it. Then read it every morning. You’re programming yourself.”

2. Use Empowering Statements

Having a positive mantra in mind can boost your confidence, but you need to commit to it – it needs to be personal and provoke a reaction from you.

“Make sure it’s something that really resonates with you and then use your physiology alongside that,” says Britton. “My clients might sit there and say ‘I’m successful’ or ‘I’m an elite athlete’, but they’re not saying it with their body, with conviction. Say it with your shoulders back, chest out, head held high – it makes a massive difference.”

3. Surround Yourself With Positivity

“When you’re trying to achieve something, think about who and what you’re surrounding yourself with. Listen to positive podcasts and audiobooks, read inspiring stories, watch inspiring things on television, and speak to people who have done the same things and got good results.

“If you’re all doom and gloom it will make a massive impact on how you feel and how you act. If you can think ‘Well they did it so I can do it’, you’ll come at it from a completely different angle.”

4. Do Regular Breathing Exercises

Whenever you’re feeling anxious Britton suggests this simple breathing exercise: breathe in for three seconds, hold for four seconds and then breathe out for five seconds. However, this isn’t just something to use in a pinch. You can make breathing exercises a regular part of your day.

“The exercise brings us back to the present, so all we’re focusing on is our breathing,” says Britton.

“It can be a cure, but also preventive if we choose to focus on our breath throughout the day. Set an alarm on your phone, three or four times throughout the day, to check whether you’re breathing shallowly or deeply, and focus on your breathwork.”

5. Practise Visualisation

“It’s important to be very clear about what you want to achieve and to spend time visualising yourself in that state, because we become what we believe we are,” says Britton. “Our thoughts dictate our feelings and then our feelings dictate our actions. If you’re telling yourself you’re not going to be able to do it and feeling despondent then you act from that place. If you can switch to saying you have a clear vision of what you want to do, it makes you feel empowered, excited and optimistic, and you act from that place and get much better results.”

Britton recommends practising visualisation first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

“Spend ten minutes getting yourself in ‘the zone’,” says Britton. “Sit quietly where you can’t be interrupted and imagine yourself performing at your peak. Feel it in your body. Imagine exactly how you want to perform and feel the elation as you achieve it.”

6. Write It Down

“Journal every day – write down all your thoughts and feelings, including the reasons you know you can perform well,” says Britton. “This is a highly effective form of mindfulness for performance.

“Every time something goes well or you get given a compliment, write it down. It helps build confidence.

“Make a list of all the reasons that you are capable and why you are able to get to where you want to be.

“Note down your strengths and qualities, and don’t focus on your perceived weaknesses. I am a big believer in getting excellent at what you are really good at rather than focusing on working on your weaknesses. What skill do you have that you can become really excellent at?”

“Write down how you felt going into your training, workout or event. What was your mental state? Do you find that when feeling down, in a bad mood or not up for it, you perform worse? Use this to recognise the powerful impact mindset can have and ensure that, come your next event, you’ll be in a happy headspace to perform.”

Try And Buy Nike’s NEXT% Running Shoes At Night Of The 10,000m PBs This Saturday

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Friday, July 5, 2019 - 14:29

Even if you don’t normally choose to spend your time watching the world’s fastest runners over 10K, the Night of the 10,000m PBs is an event Londoners should consider going to.

Hosted by Highgate Harriers running club at Parliament Hill track in north London, the meet boasts a party atmosphere as spectators gather on the track to cheer on athletes logging 25 laps at ridiculous speeds.

There’s another reason to attend the 2019 event, which takes place on Saturday 6th July and runs all afternoon. Pro:Direct Running is offering spectators the chance to get hold of Nike’s new top racing shoes – the ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% – before they go on general sale.

The shoe is the successor to the Vaporfly 4%, in which Eliud Kipchoge set the world marathon record at Berlin last year. Kipchoge has already won the London Marathon in the NEXT%, running the second-fastest marathon ever in the process.

The NEXT%, which costs £239.95, has 15% more ZoomX foam in the midsole than the 4%, and also features a lighter upper and an outsole that provides more traction in wet conditions. It also has a lower 8mm heel-to-toe offset in contrast to the 11mm of the 4%, a change that is designed to make the shoe more stable and provide more energy at toe-off.

You can try the NEXT% at the Night of the 10,000m PBs and buy a pair if you like them, and there are also a couple of chances to win a free pair. One of those is via a ballot, and the other is via a treadmill challenge where you run a mile as quickly as possible. The fastest male, female and junior runners will claim a pair of the NEXT% as their prize. Pro:Direct Running will also offer some lucky runners the chance to train at altitude with British Athletics athletes in St Moritz.

Even if you win nothing and don’t treat yourself to a new pair of NEXT% shoes, the event is still well worth attending. Stick around for the final races of the night, which incorporate the British 10,000m Championships and European 10,000m Cup.

Thank Chris Hemsworth For This Smoky Steak Tacos Recipe

 

Coach Staff

Thursday, July 4, 2019 - 16:17

We are almost 100% certain that just after your first mouthful of juicy steak, corn with just a touch of char, rich avocado and a little fire from the chilli you’ll find yourself saying “thanks, Chris”. Because credit where credit’s due: Chris Hemsworth has introduced the extensive talents of the team behind his superhero-franchise worthy body to you and us through his health and fitness app, Centr. That team includes chef Sergio Perera, who’s behind this taco-tastic recipe and who works with Hemsworth on his meal plans when he’s preparing for films.

A subscription to Centr gets you a personalised training and nutrition plan, although even if you dial down all the customisable settings to the bare minimum it still requires a lot of commitment. That means a lot of workouts and mobility sessions – six days a week – and a lot of not-that-easy-to-come-by ingredients in the meal plans. Centr’s methods all stack up though, and if you want to make a serious lifestyle change and become radically healthier, you could do a lot worse.

This recipe, on the other hand, does not take a lot – of time, that is, or ingredients you have to Google and then find a health store to buy them. It’s also indicative of the diet approach in the app – when there’s meat it’s top-quality, there’s plenty of veg, and there are fewer carbs than you’re probably used to.

If you want something healthier and tastier than sausages and burgers to cook on the barbecue during what looks like an extended period of hot, dry weather in the UK, then we don’t think you can do much better than this.

Smoky Steak Tacos

Ingredients (serves two)

For the tacos

  • 1 corn on the cob
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • 400g scotch fillet steak
  • 3tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 small corn tortillas, warmed
  • 4tbs Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the salsa

  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 small red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced

Method

  1. Preheat the grill to high heat.
  2. Rub the corn with half the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for ten minutes, turning every few minutes until it is cooked and some kernels are charred. Cool slightly and strip the kernels from the cob.
  3. While grilling the corn, rub the steak with remaining oil and season with paprika, salt and pepper. Grill for two to three minutes each side for medium rare. Rest in a warm place covered loosely with foil for ten minutes, then slice thinly against the grain.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the salsa ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Toss lightly with the cooked corn kernels.
  5. Divide the steak between the tortillas and top with salsa and yogurt to serve.

Sergio Perera is a featured expert on Chris Hemsworth’s fitness program, Centr, available from the App Store or centr.com

Ribble Hybrid AL e Electric Bike Review: The Benefits Of Style Over Substance

 

Jonathan Shannon

Thursday, July 4, 2019 - 15:50

Ribble’s first hybrid e-bike certainly has the wow factor. I first saw one at the London Bike Show this year and the petrol-blue colourway, contrast tyres, and faux-leather seat and handles are nothing if not eye-catching. The lack of a bulky battery affixed to the pannier rack or down tube also meant I did a double take when I saw the on/off button.

It also made a strong first impression when I hoicked Coach’s review model out of the box – owing to the fact that I was able to lift the bike out of the box without struggling as I have with every other e-bike that’s been shipped rather than ridden over. It’s just 13.5kg, and you’re unlikely to find an e-bike that’s significantly lighter – 20kg is standard for electric bikes around the £2,000 range.

It caused a flush of optimism that this was going to be the best e-bike I’ve ridden. In my experience there’s not been a noticeable difference in power and performance between “urban” hybrid e-bikes from different brands. That’s mostly down to the dominance of third-party battery and motor systems, which are almost invariably made by Bosch and Shimano.

Ribble has used something different in the form of ebikemotion, which hides the battery in the downtube. As well as making the bike lighter, this means it looks and rides more like a traditional bike. The trade-off is that the battery won’t last as long – I got between 30km and 40km out of a charge on the highest level of assist – and the system isn’t as powerful as others.

It’s still easier than pedalling a traditional bike, but I did notice myself having to put in more effort, especially up hills. That’s not a complaint, just an indication of the trade-off brought about by the ebikemotion system.


One complaint I will make is that the responsiveness of the motor has the on/off feel of cheaper e-bikes. As you pay more, better sensors help the motor to produce gradually more power in line with the power you’re putting through the pedals, giving much greater control and a more natural feel.

Instead, as soon as I started pedalling on the AL e, the motor turned on, producing the amount of assistance I selected – there are three and I always went for the highest one. That’s unlikely to be a problem if you’re not cycling in a busy urban area, but I go between south and central London and when pedalling quickly to shift down a gear as I approached a red light, the motor sped me up.

On other e-bikes you can use a console on the handlebars to lower the assist level quickly, and while there is one button on the crossbar which will do this it’s not as quick a process as you need it to be when approaching traffic lights.


In all other respects though, I am a big fan of that button. There’s a light-up halo around it which changes colour between white, green, orange and red with each press. The colour indicates the battery level and, as you start pressing the button, the level of assist you’ve selected. It’s intuitive and means you can get going quickly.

The other advantage of the button is that it’s discreet, which meant I felt more confident locking the bike up outside for short periods because at first glance as it looks like a regular hybrid and therefore, hopefully, less enticing for thieves. It’s not cheap-looking by any means, but neither does it scream four-figure e-bike.


The charging port is revealed by an inconspicuous rubber flap where the down tube meets the seat tube. This does mean you can’t leave your bike locked up outside and remove the battery to charge indoors, but I wasn’t going to leave a two-grand bike outside overnight anyway.


There’s also a partner app for smartphones and smartwatches. In this you can track rides, modify the amount and rate of assist for each level and, if you have a handlebar mount, see live stats on your ride. If you spring for a subscription as well, it’ll add navigation.

The other problem I had is that some of the accessories feel low-quality. The cap from one end of the handlebars fell off – thankfully this happened where I lock up my bike overnight so I was able to pop it back in a few days later when I realised – and the other cap was beginning to come out by the end of the test period. A rip also appeared in the back of the faux-leather seat for no discernable reason, and the seat was too hard for my liking. I also managed to break the Knog Oi Classic bell which comes with the “fully loaded” option (which adds mud guards and a pannier rack, plus a few other extras) by hanging a U-lock on the handlebars while moving the bike around.

It’s for these reasons that I’d be tempted to look at the Orbea Gain F30 instead. While we haven’t ridden it, it uses the same ebikemotion system, is also a hybrid, has broadly equivalent specs and is £200 cheaper. Those aren’t the most substantial differences, so if you only have eyes for that gorgeous AL e, we wouldn’t hold it against you.

Buy from Ribble | £1,999-£2,099

Buddy Up For Owen Farrell’s Strength And Power Workout

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 21:54

Sometimes it’s great to hit the gym solo and clear your head with a workout, but having someone to exercise with makes the whole process more enjoyable. It also makes you more accountable – not only do you turn up for your workout, but you’re less likely to drift through it.

That’s especially true if you add some tandem exercises to your training session, like the ones that feature in the second half of this workout created by England rugby player Owen Farrell to celebrate the launch of The Yard, the new Third Space gym in London.

The whole workout is designed to improve your strength and power in the three different planes of motion. That means forward and back, side-to-side and rotational movements, all of which are required when you’re looking to excel on the rugby pitch.

Part 1: Strength

Goblet squat

Sets 2 Reps 8-10

Holding a kettlebell upside down by the handle in front of your chest, drop into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then drive back up, pushing through your heels to standing. If you want to increase the challenge you can hold two kettlebells in the rack position.

Deadlift

Sets 2 Reps 8-10

Hold a kettlebell in each hand and hinge at the hips to bend forwards, letting the weights hang straight down. Once you feel the strain in your hamstrings, drive your hips forwards to lift the weights back to the start using your legs.

Reverse lunge with kettlebell

Sets 2 Reps 8-10 each side

Holding a kettlebell in both hands in front of your chest, step back into a reverse lunge, lowering until both knees are bent at a 90° angle. Push back up to standing. Complete all your reps on one leg, then switch.

Side lunge with kettlebell

Sets 2 Reps 8-10 each side

Holding a kettlebell in both hands in front of your chest, take a big step out to the right and lower by bending your right knee, keeping your left leg straight. Push back up to standing, then lunge to the right again. Perform all your reps on one side, then switch.

Single-leg deadlift

Sets 2 Reps 8-10 each side

Hold a kettlebell in front of your thigh and lift the other leg off the ground. Hinge at the hips to lower the kettlebell towards the ground, lifting your raised leg behind you to help you balance. Lower until you feel the stretch in your standing leg’s hamstring, then drive your hips forwards to come back to standing. Do all your reps on one side, then switch.

Part 2: Power

This part of the workout is when you get to work with your buddy. One of you pushes a weighted sled 15m while the other goes all-out on an assault bike, attempting to burn as many calories as possible. Once the sled-pusher has completed the 15m, swap exercises and repeat. Run through both exercises five times in total. If you’re at the gym without a buddy, time how long it takes you to push the sled 15m and hit the assault bike for the same length of time.

Try These Isometric Exercises And Get Stronger Without Moving

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - 23:32

When someone performs an isometric exercise in a busy gym it looks very out of place – an island of stillness in a sea of people powering through HIIT sessions or chucking heavy weights around. To the uninitiated, simply holding a position like the plank can look pretty easy as well, and in the first few seconds of performing an isometric exercise you might start to wonder if it’s doing you any good at all.

Then the shaking starts, the burning feeling in your muscles begins to grow, and you rightly admonish yourself for ever doubting the potency of isometric exercises.

Regular isometric training will increase your strength and core stability, and there are mental benefits to it as well, because it takes a lot of willpower to hold a challenging position for long periods while your muscles scream at you to let it go.

We asked Marvin Burton, head of fitness at Anytime Fitness, for his favourite isometric exercises. You can use these as workout finishers or do them as a circuit, cycling through three rounds of holding each position for 20 to 30 seconds.

Wall sit

Muscles targeted: Glutes, hamstrings, quads

“Lean back against a wall with your feet hip-width apart,” says Burton. “Lower your hips until they’re level with your knees and there’s a right angle at both hips and knees. Press your feet flat into the floor, Keep your back upright and flat and your head up throughout the hold.”

Pointed-toes plank

Muscles targeted: Core, shoulders

“Lie face down on the floor,” says Burton. “Pull your elbows under your shoulders, making sure they’re vertically aligned with your forearms pointing forwards and flat on the ground. Lift your hips from the floor and extend onto the ends of your toes. Create a straight line with your body from your shoulders though your hips to your feet.

“Don’t allow your hips to drop. Make sure you’re right on the ends of your toes and they’re not folded under. This will require far more core engagement than a traditional plank.”

L-sit

Muscles targeted: Core, abs

“Sit upright on the ground with your legs extended in front of you and your arms by your sides,” says Burton. “Lean back slightly and raise your legs from the floor. Squeeze through your abs to try and close the distance between your stomach and thighs. Try not to round your spine – maintain perfect straight alignment in your body like a gymnast.”

Incline glute raise

Muscles targeted: Glutes, lower back

“Lie on your back and place your feet flat onto a raised step,” says Burton. “Raise your hips and hold. Focus on squeezing your glutes together and keeping your hips up.”

Dead hang

Muscles targeted: Shoulders, back

“Hang from a high bar,” says Burton. “This will improve your grip and arm strength, and the hanging position also benefits the spine and shoulder muscles. If you’re trying to master pull-ups, this is also a great starting point.”

Anytime Fitness has over 160 gyms across the UK. Visit the website to claim a free day pass

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoe Review

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - 23:11

One of the reasons the Pegasus has been such a popular running shoe for such a long time – we’re now over halfway through the fourth decade of annual updates to the line – is that Nike doesn’t tend to do an awful lot with each new release. After all, why overhaul a shoe that’s proved so popular?

Evolution rather than revolution remains very much the order of the day with the 36th edition of the Pegasus, the only noticeable changes to the shoe being in the upper and tongue. They’re good changes – the overly long and padded tongue on the 35 was not comfortable, so the smaller tongue here is welcome – but they’re minor changes all the same.

Underfoot, the Pegasus 36 offers the same Zoom Air cushioning as its predecessor, and the ride is firm but still fairly cushioned, right in the Goldilocks zone for a running shoe. The Pegasus 36 is suitable for a wide variety of training and racing, and if you’re new to running and have no idea what you like in a shoe, it’s a solid pick that’s unlikely to disappoint.


For a long time, however, the Pegasus was more than that – it was the best all-rounder shoe out there. That’s no longer the case, partly because of Nike’s conservative approach in updating the shoe.

There are now lighter, faster and more comfortable all-round running shoes, and the best of them all is made by Nike itself. The Pegasus Turbo uses a mix of Nike’s React and ZoomX foams in the midsole to provide and softer, bouncier ride than the standard Pegasus, and it’s much lighter as well. Nike’s also releasing a second edition of the Turbo on 11th July.

The Pegasus Turbo is more expensive than the Pegasus at £159.95 compared with £104.95, but other brands do offer all-round running shoes that I rate higher than the 36 at nearer the £100 mark. The Saucony Ride ISO 2 is £120 and has a livelier ride than the 36, and the Brooks Launch 6 is lighter, faster and £95.

Like the 35, I found the Pegasus 36 struggled at faster paces. On tempo runs and during strides the shoe was a little clumsy and lacking the responsiveness of the Pegasus Turbo or Ride ISO 2. I’ve probably been spoilt by the Pegasus Turbo, which is also softer and more fun to use for easy runs.

All the positive features of a Pegasus shoe are present in the 36. It’s reasonably cheap, works for all kinds of running, looks good, and seems as durable as its predecessors. It is, however, just not as fun or fast to run in as other all-round shoes that use more responsive midsoles. It will probably remain as popular as ever partly because it hasn’t really changed much from the predecessor but given the innovation going on elsewhere in running shoes, much of which is spearheaded by Nike, the Pegasus is just a little, well, boring.

Buy mens from Nike | Buy women’s from Nike | £104.95

Aftershokz Aeropex Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Review

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Monday, July 1, 2019 - 22:45

Innovation is a wonderful thing, and when Aftershokz first launched its bone-conducting headphones we were as amazed as anyone that we could listen to music by placing the buds on our cheekbones, rather than putting them in our ears. It’s a huge advantage for runners and cyclists – in the city especially – where it pays to keep your ears open to help track the movement of traffic.

Once you’ve made that big leap, however, there’s a lot to be said for simply refining what you already have rather than seeking another huge advance. That’s what Aftershokz has done with its headphones, making small improvements with each new generation so that the latest – the Aeropex – are a little better in every way than their predecessors, the Aftershokz Trekz Air.

The Aeropex headphones are smaller and lighter than the Air, and have an IP67 waterproof rating compared with the IP55 rating of the Air, so you can be sure they’ll withstand your sweatiest workouts and runs in the rain. The new headphones also have better battery life – eight hours rather than the Air’s six – and improved sound quality with less leakage.

That’s a considerable raft of improvements, and just as well because the Aeropex do need to be considerably better than the Air headphones given that they cost £50 more at £149.95.


Having worn the Air headphones regularly for the past year or so I was intrigued to see if the upgrades in the Aeropex would be immediately apparent. To be brutally honest they weren’t, but over time they did start to shine through. While extra battery life and waterproofing are both useful, it’s that size difference and the upgrade in sound quality that really make the Aeropex.

The Aeropex headphones are 13% lighter, but more noticable is the 30% smaller size which make them more comfortable and easier to wear with glasses and/or a hat while running.

Bone-conducting headphones are never going to be the choice of true audiophiles, but this upgrade should make the open-ear design more palatable to most people. Aftershokz says it has reduced sound leakage by 50% on the Aeropex compared with the Air, and the PremiumPitch 2+ sound is also designed to bump up the bass, which has been notoriously weak on bone-conducting buds.

Listening to the Air and the Aeropex side by side, I definitely noticed an improvement in the clarity of the sound, especially at high volumes. The amount of cheek buzz has been reduced with the Aeropex, which presumably helps the quality, even if I miss the tickle of the buzz a little bit. However, I didn’t hear any increase in the bass. When listening to particularly bassy tracks the Trekz Air still seemed to pack more of a punch on that front, even if the song as a whole sounded much clearer through the Aeropex.

That said, if you are all about bass or sound quality in general, you’ll find bone-conducting headphones disappointing and probably wouldn’t go for them in the first place. The key advantage of them is to keep your ears open, so the minor improvements in sound quality Aftershokz has made with each new generation of its headphones are important, but not the key selling point they might be for standard in-ear buds.

If you’re a regular runner or cyclist the extra awareness you have of your surroundings when using Aftershokz headphones is considerable, and the brand also has a partnership with England Athletics that means they are the only type of headphones allowed in some UK Athletics races – though in our experience many runners do flout this rule without repercussions.

The Aeropex are undoubtedly the best headphones Aftershokz has made, but with the also-excellent Air now available for £50 less, I’m unsure if they’re worth the extra money. The key feature is the same on both – clear ears – and while the Aeropex are better when it comes to battery life, size and fit, and sound quality, you will probably get by very happily with the Air headphones if you’re just looking for a set of bone-conducting buds.

Buy on Amazon | £149.95

This Smoky Aubergine Vegetarian Chilli Recipe Is A Vegan-Friendly Flavourfest

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:23

In our minds, no healthy cooking repertoire is complete without a go-to veggie chilli. You can pack it with enough veg to hit your five-a-day in one sitting, and ramp up the flavour with all sorts of spices. Furthermore, it’s easy to cook extra portions of this kind of meal to store in the fridge or freezer – and it tastes just as good when reheated as it did the first time around.

If you don’t have a chilli in your apron pocket already, give this recipe from the new WW Veggie & Vegan cookbook (£8.95) a whirl. It’s vegan-friendly, takes 40 minutes to make and packs even more veg by including cauliflower rice in the serving suggestion. You can buy cauli rice ready-made in microwaveable packages these days, or blitz up a cauliflower at home using a food processor (fast, easy) or a grater (slow, hard).

Ingredients (serves four)

  • Calorie-controlled cooking spray
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp tomato purée
  • ½tbsp ground cumin
  • ½tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1tbsp sweet smoked paprika, plus extra to serve
  • ½tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 large aubergines, cut into 1½cm pieces
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml vegetable stock, made with 1 stock cube
  • 400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Grated zest and juice of ½ lime, plus lime wedges, to serve
  • 500g cauliflower rice
  • 100g plain soya yogurt, to serve
  • Small handful fresh coriander leaves, to serve

Method

  1. Mist a large nonstick pan with cooking spray and set over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for six to eight minutes until soft. Add the garlic, tomato purée, spices and oregano, and cook for another two minutes.
  2. Stir in the aubergines and cook for one minute, then add the chopped tomatoes and stock. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, until the aubergine is tender.
  3. Add the kidney beans and the lime juice, then season to taste. Simmer for another five minutes, until the beans are warmed through.
  4. Meanwhile, mist a large nonstick frying pan with cooking spray and set over a medium heat. Add the cauliflower rice and cook, stirring, for five minutes until tender.
  5. Put the yogurt in a small bowl and sprinkle over the lime zest and extra paprika. Serve the chilli with the cauliflower rice, yogurt and lime wedges, with the coriander scattered over the top.

A Beginner’s Guide To The Different Types Of Yoga

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 16:26

It’s fair to say that to the uninitiated, all yoga classes look the same. The exception is Bikram, because even a yoga novice will notice the temperature being ramped up to 40°C.

However, the differences between distinct practices shouldn’t be underestimated, and that’s the major reason you should try a few different types when you first get into the practice. You might find one type of yoga off-putting for whatever reason but love another, and they all provide benefits to the body and mind when practised regularly.

To help you get a quick overview, here’s Diana Wright, Beachbody master trainer, with a rundown of seven common yoga types.

Hatha yoga

The Sanskrit term “Hatha” literally means “sun and moon”, signifying balance. Hatha is an umbrella term covering the more physical forms of yoga, but true Hatha is a softer, gentler style of yoga linking body and breath.

Ashtanga yoga

In Sanskrit, Ashtanga refers to the “eight limb path”. Ashtanga yoga is an advanced form of Hatha yoga and it is highly dynamic, almost gymnastic in nature, so it is physically demanding in terms of both strength and flexibility.

Bikram yoga

Commonly referred to as “hot yoga”, Bikram is named after its controversial creator Bikram Choudhury. It is highly regimented, always using the same poses and teachers learn a standardized script. Typically, it is performed in studios at 40°C and high humidity, so make sure you are hydrated.

Iyengar yoga

Iyengar is named after its founder BKS Iyengar and focuses on the accuracy of poses. It’s slower than other types of yoga: you hold poses for longer periods aiming for quality in each pose, and use props and straps to modify poses to maintain good form.

Kundalini yoga

Kundalini refers to the latent energy coiled around the base of the spine. Expect breathing exercises, physical postures, chanting and meditation to unlock this energy.

Vinyasa yoga

Meaning “to place in a special way”, Vinyasa yoga is all about flowing movements bringing body and breath together. The continuous movement is linked to the concept of impermanence and focused on process rather than the outcome. This can be more gentle or challenging depending on the instructor.

Yin yoga

Yin yoga originated in China and represents the female side of the universe. This type of yoga is more passive in nature, with participants relaxing in poses for sometimes minutes at a time, and has a more meditative focus..

Beachbody master trainer Diana Wright is supporting the launch of the Beachbody SS19 collection, available to buy on Amazon

The Polar Ignite Fitness Watch Will Tell You How To Train Today

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 11:31

Polar has launched a new fitness watch, the Ignite – and if it lives up to its on-paper potential, it’s going to be absolutely excellent, especially since it will cost just £174.50.

There are some interesting new features on the Ignite relating to how it tracks your sleep and your recovery after training sessions, but just going on the basics of what it offers, the Ignite will be a major player in the budget sports watch bracket.

For one, the Ignite looks good, with a colour touchscreen and a slick one-button design. It has built-in GPS and a heart rate monitor, as well as 100-plus sports tracking modes. That’s a strong set of features for a sub-£200 watch, and we haven’t got to the headline developments yet.

Those start with more in-depth sleep tracking than has been seen on other Polar watches, providing info on the time spent in deep, light or REM sleep and an overall sleep score plus a rating of your sleep continuity.

While you can find that level of detail on other brands’ trackers, Polar feeds this info into your Nightly Recharge measurement, which takes into account your heart rate, heart rate variability and breathing rate to assess how well your autonomic nervous system has recovered, allowing the device to estimate what you should be capable of doing when you’re training.

The Ignite doesn’t stop there, though. The FitSpark feature provides a range of suggestions on the kind of training you might want to do based on your fitness level, recent training and the Nightly Recharge measurement. There are cardio and strength session suggestions, plus stretching and mobility workouts you can do after your primary session. The Ignite will guide you through whatever workout you opt for from your wrist.

These workouts aren’t tied to an overall training plan; they’re just what the Ignite thinks you should do that day based on the info it has gathered on you and your training history. That said, you can also get training plans for running events from 5K to marathon through the Polar Flow app or website, and follow them on the watch.


The other new feature on the Ignite is Serene, which is a guided breathing app similar to those found on Fitbit and Apple watches.

All in all the Ignite looks excellent. It’s lacking smart features like music storage or NFC payments, and we’ll be interested to see if the GPS accuracy is as iffy as it was on the Polar Vantage V when we tested it, but it offers an awful lot for the price – including advanced recovery analysis the likes of which we haven’t seen before, even on £400-plus watches.

It should be a genuine rival to the Garmin Forerunner 45 for the title of best budget running watch while also offering a lot more to all-round fitness fans who like to mix up their activities. We’ll let you know if it lives up to all that promise when we test the Ignite ourselves.

The Ignite is available now on the Polar website and costs £174.50.

Buy from Polar | £174.50

What You Should Know About The Daily Mile For Primary Schools

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 16:04

It can often feel like there’s no agreement on anything, but occasionally a new idea comes along that makes so much sense that almost everyone sees that it’s a good thing. The Daily Mile is one of those ideas, because it’s an easy way to make children more active by making exercise fun and inclusive.

We spoke to the founder of the Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie, about it and also Go Run For Run, which is a series of running events for children being put on around the country.

What is the Daily Mile?

“The Daily Mile is 15 minutes of exercise outside every day in school,” says Wyllie. “You can run, jog or walk, but there’s an emphasis on trying to run as much as possible and get fitter. There’s no kit, no equipment, no training, no set-up or tidy up, and it’s almost all weathers. The children average a mile and many do more. We have just under 9,000 schools signed up worldwide – about 25% of schools in England and nearly half in Scotland.”

Does it take place instead of or during PE lesson?

“It’s not sport or PE, but it makes children a lot better at sport and PE,” says Wyllie. “We don’t encroach on sport or PE territory.”

What are the benefits?

The Daily Mile has been running since 2012 and early results have already demonstrated its effectiveness. A study looked at two primary schools in the Stirling area – one where the Daily Mile had been introduced and one where it hadn’t – and found that the children doing the Daily Mile were significantly healthier.

“We have evidence from the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh that it makes children fitter and faster, and have more stamina,” says Wyllie. “They lose fat in their skin folds and they’re mentally healthier – they have less anxiety and better short-term memory.

“The key is that it’s not another initiative, a gimmick. It’s here to stay – it’s long-term and sustainable. If it lasted six months it would make no difference to children’s health.”

The Daily Mile has also just announced that Imperial College London is embarking on a three-year study to find out if participants show improved physical health and educational attainment, and whether those benefits are sustained.

Should parents do it with their kids at weekends?

“There is evidence that children take it home with them, and some parents come in and do it themselves in school,” Wyllie says. “But if you don’t do it at home it doesn’t matter – you’ll still get all the health benefits of the Daily Mile. And a lot of children live in areas where it might not be safe to go out and play, so parents are happier for them to be in their bedrooms.”

What is Go Run For Fun and how is it related to the Daily Mile?

“Go Run For Fun is all about events,” says Wyllie. “Very lovely, child-friendly running events all around the country. The flagship one was held in Battersea Park in London recently. It looks a bit like the London Marathon – they have all the paraphernalia, the start and finish, and banners. Go Run For Fun is a special occasion with a lot of razzmatazz in a public area, whereas the Daily Mile is the day-in, day-out fitness-builder in the school.”

The Daily Mile website offers resources for parents and teachers to help start running the activity at their school

Hoka Carbon X Running Shoe Review: A Great Long-Distance Trainer And Racer

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 15:46

Despite the massive success of Nike’s Vaporfly 4%, not every brand has rushed to release their own running shoe containing a carbon plate and those that have aren’t taking on Nike’s marathon record-setter head-on. New Balance recently launched the 5280, which is designed as a one-mile road racer, and Hoka has the Carbon Rocket which I found very stiff and fast, better suited to races up to 10K.

Now Hoka has another shoe with a carbon plate: the Carbon X, which is intended for a different market altogether – namely long-distance running. It’s a record-setter too, having been launched at a 100km race where the 50-mile world record was broken by Hoka athlete Jim Walmsley.

The Vaporfly 4% and its successor the NEXT% are pure racers designed for one thing – to propel you to PBs – and as such they aren’t durable enough to take out for regular training runs. In contrast the Carbon X can handle that load, although it doesn’t have the same race-day pop. After a few weeks running in the Carbon X I think it would be a good marathon racing shoe for most people, and would also work for 10Ks and half marathons for some. However, most committed runners would probably rather wear something lighter and faster come race day.

I tried the Carbon X on a variety of runs, including easy efforts, track sessions and a steady 21km long run. I also took it on different terrains and I was impressed that it just about had enough grip for forest tracks in the rain, even if it’s by no means a trail shoe.

Of all the runs I tried in the Carbon X, the long run was definitely where it was at its best. Over the run I increased my pace and the shoe felt smoother and smoother as I did so. Hoka’s EVA foam Profly X midsole doesn’t have the soft feel of the Vaporfly’s ZoomX, so the ride isn’t the same squish-and-pop combo you get in the Nike shoe. Instead the plate in the Carbon X adds some propulsion to your toe-off and, in combination with the fast heel-to-toe transition of the shoe, this makes it brilliant for holding any pace over long distances.

You lose the smooth ride on easy runs, however, and the Carbon X felt a little awkward to me when I dropped my pace. Hoka make a lot of comfortable shoes for easy runs, like the Clifton 6, but the Carbon X is built for speed. It’s not unpleasant to run in at a slow pace, but it’s not what it’s best at.

It works better for track sessions, even if it’s not an out-and-out speedster. I used the Carbon X for 400m, 800m and one-mile reps over the course of two track sessions and despite the large stack height of the cushioning it felt responsive and not at all unwieldy. It’s not going to be anyone’s pick for a track race, and I’d say it’s a bit too much shoe for a 5K or 10K, but the Carbon X outperforms expectations when it comes to fast training.

If you have a marathon lined up the Carbon X is a shoe that could handle all your training and help you excel on race day, though I’d still suggest something softer for your easy running. Rather than the Vaporfly, it’s more similar to the Nike Pegasus Turbo in its versatility. It’s not as soft as the Turbo on easy runs, but it does have more pop when pushing the pace over long distances, and can handle track and tempo training runs too.

It seems certain that more shoes with carbon plates will be launched in the coming years. Whether any match the magic of the Vaporfly remains to be seen, but the Carbon X is the first to offer a viable alternative for people seeking a long-distance racing shoe that’s more versatile and durable than the Vaporfly, and around £50 cheaper too.

Buy from Hoka One One | £160

The Best Hair Clippers Of 2019

 

Matt Breen

Monday, June 24, 2019 - 17:29

If you like keeping your hair short, smart and easy to manage, but you’re less keen on weekly trips to the barber’s, the obvious solution is a pair of hair clippers. That way, you can keep your buzz cut under control at home in front of the bathroom mirror. And if you’re concerned you – or your nervous assistant – might make a pig’s ear of the job and leave you looking terrifyingly shorn, just turn to YouTube where there are a wealth of videos that will show you how to trim your hair to perfection.

However, you might find it harder than you thought to choose a pair of clippers. There’s a wide array to pick from, with some costing as little as under £10 and products from big names such as Oster and BaByliss coming in at over £100. So here’s our guide to choosing the perfect pair of clippers, followed by our selection of the best products available right now.

Hair Clippers Explained

How much will it cost?

Most hair clippers cost less than £50, which is definitely a fair sum for dealing with something as visible as your hair – and you’ll save the money you’d have spent at the barber’s within two or three cuts. Many in this price bracket perform to an impressively high level. That being said, if you ask a barber how much they invested in their clippers, it will probably be over £100. You certainly won’t use yours as often as a pro would, but a top-of-the-range product will be ultra-reliable and still save you money in the long run. We’ve included one professional-grade clipper in our round-up below to give you all the options.

Mains-powered vs. cordless

There’s a school of thought that maintains mains-powered clippers will always deliver an extra level of power in comparison with cordless models. But good cordless clippers use top-quality batteries that provide full power right until they run dry, so you’re not left with the dull whirr of a dying set of clipper blades chewing at your hair. Cordless clippers are certainly the more convenient option – they’re lighter and can be used anywhere – and that means they’re typically more expensive than mains-powered products. In making our selections we’ve taken into account the lifespan of the battery-powered clippers.

Clipper grades

Grades describe the length to which the clipper cuts your hair. Grade 1 is roughly 0.3mm; grade 8 is 25mm. Most clippers come with a range of combs to give you the full grade 1-8 spectrum and many include asymmetrical tapering combs that can cut the hair around your ears.

Aesthetics

If you want a set of clippers that looks as good as your finished haircut, manufacturers like Oster and Wahl offer vintage-style products that look like they’re straight out of the rock n’ roll era while also delivering impressive and reliable performance.

The Best Hair Clippers To Buy

Best Under £20: Remington HC5035 Colour Cut Hair Clipper


This is a reliable mains-powered hair clipper that covers the shortest lengths of 0.5-2mm for trimming your hairline, and a set of nine colour-coded combs that cover grades 0-8 plus two tapered combs for your ears. It’s heavier and chunkier than other clippers, and not as fast – but at under £15, who’s complaining? The only downside is that it doesn’t come with a storage case, so you’ll have to find a means of keeping it and its attachments together.

Buy on Amazon | £14.96

Best For Thick Hair: Wahl 79400-800 Colour Pro Coded Mains Hair Clipper Kit


Another great-value mains-powered set of clippers, the Wahl Colour Pro comes with grades 1-8 combs (again, colour-coded for convenience) and tapered combs for sideburns, plus some useful extras – a barber’s cape, a mirror and a pair of hair grips. In other words, it’s a fully-fledged home barbershop. We also found it effective at getting through thick hair and beards, making it an excellent choice for hirsute types who want to cut the costs of keeping their hair under control.

Buy on Amazon | £32.99

Best For A Close Cut: BaByliss Super Crew Cut Self-Hair Clipper For Men


If you like to keep your hair very short but not quite razor-and-shaving-foam short, consider this two-piece cordless set from BaByliss. The main device uses rotary cutting technology, like a mini-lawnmower for your scalp, and covers grades 1-4, so it’s not for you if you like to leave your hair a little longer. Its battery gives an hour’s performance from a three-hour charge, so you need to make sure you keep it powered up. The second clipper in the kit, which runs on batteries, is for ears and sideburns.

Buy on Amazon | £39.99

Best Battery: Wahl Lithium Power Hair Clipper


The defining feature of this set of hair clippers is its battery time: in our tests it lasted an impressive two hours after just one hour’s charge. Unless you take an especially  long time to trim your hair or beard, that’s a fair bit of use before you need to plug it in again. It has an attractively simplistic design – all you’ll find on the clipper is a blade level adjuster and an on/off switch – but still performs to a high level, and it comes with a grade 1-8 comb set, left and right ear tapers, scissors, a comb, blade oil, a cleaning brush and a soft pouch for storage.

Buy on Amazon | £50

Most Stylish: Oster 606 Pro Power Adjustable Blade Pivot Motor Clipper


The Oster 606 is the priciest item on this list by quite some way – but these are clippers that you’ll find in the hands of professional barbers everywhere, manufactured by a brand that’s over 100 years old. The blade itself is adjustable from 0.5mm to 3mm, while it also includes four attachment combs for blending and grades 2-4. You can get a full grade 1-8 range, although you’ll have to buy them separately, as well as something to keep all the kit in. But you’re getting a classy piece of grooming equipment with appealing faux-chrome details and ornate lettering – and when you think about how much money you spend at the barber’s over a year or so, the whole thing’s still a worthwhile investment.

Buy on Amazon | £94.96

Improve Your 10K Training Using These Interval Sessions

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Monday, June 24, 2019 - 15:07

If you want to get faster over 10K, adding interval sessions to your training is a must. While regularly running at a steady pace is going to be of great benefit to your health and will improve your fitness, logging a quick 10K time means injecting some speed into your weekly routine.

To get some advice on the kind of sessions you can do to improve your speed over 10K, we asked Charlotte Arter (pictured below), British champion over the distance, to describe three of her favourite interval workouts – one of which we got to try with Arter in her capacity as an ambassador for Saucony.

You’ll find those workouts below, along with some advice from Arter on how to pace a 10K to ensure all that training doesn’t go to waste come race day.

Workout 1

After a good warm-up, run for two minutes at your threshold pace. This is roughly the pace you could hold for 50-60 minutes, which could be your 10K pace. Take a 90-second break, then run for two minutes at above threshold pace, so something like the pace at which you’d run a 5K.

We got to try this session with Arter and running coach Nick Anderson of Running With Us, but we only repeated the above twice, which is shorter than the full session Arter would do.

“I’d probably do that six to eight times,” says Arter. “You’re not trying to get quicker throughout the session, you’re just trying to maintain that pace, so it’s important to get the two paces right so you can continue through the whole session. There’s no point going off too hard and only getting in two or three good reps.”

Workout 2

This is a great session to do on the track, but be warned – it’s not for the faint-hearted. Run 20 reps of 400m, taking a 45-second recovery between reps. Again, aim for consistency, which means keeping a close eye on your pace at the start of the session because 20 reps is a lot of reps.

You can also do your reps based on time, if you don’t have easy access to a track. Run 20 reps of 60-70 seconds of hard effort, with 45 seconds’ recovery between reps.

Workout 3

Another long, tough session that’s best done on a track. Run 1,000m, 800m, 600m and 400m, taking two minutes to recover between reps, then repeat three times in total. If you want to run to time instead, go for three minutes, two minutes, 90 seconds and 60 seconds with two minutes of recovery.

How To Pace A 10K

The sessions above all have the added bonus of teaching you to pace yourself, because if you go too hard early on in any of those workouts you’ll struggle to maintain your speed throughout. This is a valuable lesson for 10K runners.

“Obviously at the start everyone goes off fast, but then it’s about settling into your rhythm as soon as you can and making sure that you haven’t gone off too quick,” says Arter. “With a 10K you can’t afford to do that. Over 5K you can kind of hang on, but not with a 10K. So it’s about pacing it right. You should get to 5K feeling… not comfortable, but that you can push on in the second half.

“Get into a rhythm and run consistently, rather than one mile quick, one slow. Keeping that constant pace will help ensure that even if you do slow in the latter stages it’s not too dramatic.

“Use people as markers too. If you have someone ten metres in front of you, they can be your target – it helps you to keep moving forward and maintaining the pace.”

Charlotte Arter is a Saucony UK athlete and is supporting the launch of the Saucony Ride ISO 2

Buy the women’s Ride ISO 2 from Saucony | Buy men’s from Saucony | £120

This HIIT Workout From SailGP Is About The Toughest 20 Minutes You Can Spend In The Gym

 

Nick Harris-Fry

Monday, June 24, 2019 - 12:12

We’ll be the first to admit we don’t know a lot about sailing. In our mind it always seemed a rather pleasant and relaxing way to spend your time. But judging by the workout below, which is designed to mimic the physical challenge of a SailGP race, we have very much misjudged the effort level involved in the sport.

But then SailGP isn’t standard sailing. It involves 16-minute races where the boats hit speeds of over 90km/h, or 50 knots if nautical speeds mean anything to you. The physical challenge of the race means sailors can burn 1,200 to 2,200 calories across the three races that take place at an event, which really is a lot for 48 minutes of work.

To show off the fitness levels of its competitors, SailGP has created this 20-minute workout, which we invite you to tackle next time you’re feeling brave in the gym. The workout consists of three blocks – strength, conditioning and metabolic conditioning – and you’ll be working all-out pretty much the entire time. Enjoy!

Block 1: Strength

Work for four minutes completing as many rounds of the below exercises as possible. Rest for one minute, then move on to the second block.

Back squat

Reps 8

With a barbell resting on the back of your shoulders, sit back into a squat until your thighs are parallel with the ground, then drive back up.

Bent-over row

Reps 8

Holding a barbell in an overhand grip, hinge forwards from your hips and let the bar hang down with straight arms. Row the bar up to your stomach, then slowly lower it again.

Plyometric press-up

Reps 8

From a press-up position, lower your chest towards the ground, then push back up explosively so your hands come off the floor.

Jumping pull-up

Reps 8

Standing below a pull-up bar, jump and grasp it with an overhand grip and pull your chest up to the bar in one movement. Lower under control, then let go of the bar to return to the floor.

Block 2: Conditioning

The intensity steps up a notch in this six-minute block, where you work to Tabata timings, going all out for 20 seconds then resting for ten seconds. Then take a one-minute break before the final block.

Row

Sets 3 Time 20sec Rest 10sec

Jump on a rowing machine and go at it for 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to a rower, shuttle sprints or an exercise bike will work.

Burpee jump-over

Sets 3 Time 20sec Rest 10sec

From standing, drop your hands to the floor, jump your feet back into a press-up position and drop your chest to the floor. Reverse the movements back to standing and leap laterally over a raised surface – the beam of the rowing machine is perfect for this.

Assault bike

Sets 3 Time 20sec Rest 10sec

Another all-out blast on an exercise machine. If there aren’t any assault bikes in your gym, use an exercise bike or skip with a rope instead.

Medicine ball slam

Sets 3 Time 20sec Rest 10sec

Lift a weighted ball above your head in both hands and then slam it into the ground as hard as you can. Catch it on the bounce and lift it above your head again.

Block 3: Metabolic Conditioning

Finish off your workout with this eight-minute block, working through as many rounds of the below as you can.

Ten-calorie row

Row all-out until the display tells you have burned ten calories. No rowing machine? Skip as fast as you can for 30 seconds.

Kettlebell swing

Reps 15

Hold a kettlebell in both hands between your legs. Bend your knees and swing the kettlebell back between your legs, then drive forwards with your hips to raise the weight to shoulder height. Control the swing back down.

Dead ball over shoulder/dumbbell thruster

Reps 9

If you have a dead ball, lift it up from the floor over your shoulder and drop it. If not, perform the dumbbell thruster instead. Hold the weights by your shoulders and drop into a squat. As you drive back up, press the dumbbells over your head until your arms are fully extended.

Pyramid shuttle run

Sprint 5m and back, then 10m and back, 15m and back, 10m and back, and 5m and back. Each time you get back to the start, tap the ground.

The SailGP global championship comes to Cowes on the Isle of Wight on 10th-11th August.

Buy tickets | From £35


Check Out Keto-friendly Snacks from Simply Protein

 

Let’s face it: The hardest thing about the Keto Diet is the snacking. On a keto diet you often feel peckish between meals, but it’s really hard to satisfy those cravings. Most bars and snacks don’t qualify, because they’re sprinkled with sugar or other additives. and even a lot of “healthy” snacks are loaded with junk. Are there any keto-friendly snacks?

What’s a Keto Guy to do when he gets those nagging hunger pangs? Try a snack from Simply Protein.

SimplyProtein products are only made with clean ingredients. With more than 11 grams of protein and 3 grams of sugar or less, all Simply Protein snacks are Non-GMO verified and free from gluten, artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors, making them the perfect guilt-free snack options. Simply Protein makes two kinds of keto-friendly snack bars: Baked Bars and Crispy Bars.

Bars

Simply Protein

Simply Protein Baked Bars ($6) come in Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter Cookie flavors, in boxes of four. Or, you can buy a six-pack—that’s six boxes of four bars for a total of 24 bars—for $34. Can’t decide on a flavor? Go for the four-pack Variety Pack that contains both flavors. You’ll get two boxes of each Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip for $23.

Simply Protein Crispy Bars ($6 for four) pack a satisfying crunch for nibbling. They’re available in Lemon flavor or Peanut Butter Chocolate for those with a sweet tooth. The pricing structure is the same: a six-pack costs $34, and a four-pack Variety Pack with two boxes of each flavor runs $23.

keto snack
Simply Protein

Both Baked and Crispy Bars utilize Whey Isolate as their main source of protein, and Tapioca as their primary source of fiber. They do contain a slight touch of sugar—mainly from the cocoa, it seems—but their main source of sweetener is from Stevia Leaf.

Bites

Simply Protein Crunchy Bites are more of a munching snack than a between-meal filler. They’re available in Sea Salt or Barbecue flavors, and a one-ounce bag costs just two bucks. It gets cheaper if you buy it in bulk: Six bags cost $11, and 12 costs even less—$21. You can also opt for a Variety Pack—that’s 12 bags, six of each flavor, for $21. These bulk packages are awesome for lunches, gym bags, desk-sides, or wherever you need to pop something delicious and healthy into your mouth.

keto snacks
Simply Protein

So if you need a healthy, keto-friendly snack but aren’t sure where to turn, just go to Simply Protein. It’s delicious, healthy, and guilt-free. Join the newsletter and save an additional 10 percent.

Get It: Check out the complete line of Simply Protein Bars and Bites

 

Check out all the products and gear we recommend for Men’s Journal readers

SEE ALSO:

The Top 10 Sports Nutrition & Protein Bars

How to Get Keto, and Stay Keto with KetoLogic

We Found the Best Source for MCT and Keto Products

The post Check Out Keto-friendly Snacks from Simply Protein appeared first on Men's Journal.

We Found the Best Competitive Fighting and MMA Training Gear at Elite Sports

 

If you’re into MMA, boxing, Krav Maga, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, grappling or any other high-intensity fitness activity or competitive sport, you know that any old gym gear just won’t cut it. You need the right gear for the task, just like you need the right tools for the job—and the right move to end the match. For the best in competitive fighting and MMA training gear, check out Elite Sports.

Right now it’s the Summer Sale at Elite Sports. Everything is 15 percent off with the code PARENT15. We’ve selected a few of our favorites below.

fighting gear
Elite Sports

Elite Sports offers affordable yet stylish martial arts gear that’s as comfortable to wear as it is protective and efficient on the mat. From gi’s to gym bags, boxing gloves to compression shorts to weight lifting belts, Elite has it. This is high-quality gear that’s made to withstand the punishment it metes out. These guys make the best gear because they fight, too. They know what it takes to be better than the competition: discipline. And they apply that discipline to their craft.

What Makes Elite Sports Great?

MMA is based on centuries-old techniques, yet with its fairly recent popularity, its gear is still evolving into the 21st century. That’s why Elite takes advantage of modern manufacturing techniques and contemporary materials to create cutting-edge equipment with attention to detail, and a healthy respect for its elders. Sweat-wicking material, stretch fabrics, modern compounds—and tried-and-true solutions like real leather make up Elite’s extensive line of fighting gear.

fighting equipment
Elite Sports

These guys are fighters, too. They understand that if you cut corners in the gym, your weaknesses will show up in the ring or on the mat. Whether they’re fighting in the local gym or on the national MMA circuit, a champion can take no shortcuts. And is fighting gear needs to be as tough and demanding as he (or she) is. That’s why Elite Sports is being worn by more and more fighters every day.

Check out some of our favorite MMA training gear from Elite Sports below. And don’t forget to use the code PARENT15 to get 15 percent off our purchase. Sign up for the newsletter, and you can get an even bigger discount.


Star Series Sublimation Shorts

Tear-resistant stretch performance microfiber fabric. Theser shorts are ideal for MMA, No-Gi BJJ, boxing, Krav Maga, kickboxing, or whatever physical activity you can put them through. A two-fold Velcro closure waistband with drawstring ensures a snug fit, and aggressive side slits provide stretch for optimal, comfortable movement. Elite makes a variety of training shorts in numerous styles and colors to suit any team or activity.

Get It: Save 15% on Elite Sports Star Series Sublimation Shorts ($21) using the code PARENT15

Elite Sports
Compression Spat Pants

Made from lightweight, ultra-strong, moisture-wicking material, these training pants are designed for the highest level of athletic performance in BJJ, MMA, catch wrestling, no-gi, and submission grappling. But of course they'll be great for most any fitness activity. With multi-panel construction, flat-lock stitching, and a dual-lock waistband, they'll last for years. Multiple colors are available, too, including white, blue, grey, and black.

Get It: Save 15% on Elite Sports Compression Spat Pants ($14) using the code PARENT15.

 

 

Elite Sports
Pro Style MMA Half Mitts

Specialized for high-intensity training with impact absorption foam inside the strike zones, these gloves will stand up to the toughest workouts and go months (years?) without needing replacement. Made of durable and easy to clean leather, they fit snug over your handwraps and close via Velcro straps. Available in multiple color combos, including grey, blue, red, hi-viz, and white.

Get It: Save 15% on Elite Sports Pro Style MMA Half Mitts ($20) using the code PARENT15.

Elite Sports
Warrior Series Medium Duffle Gym Bag

Large enough to carry boxing gloves, a jiu jitsu gi, shin guards, rash guards, shoes, mouth and head guards, and much more. It has a separate waterproof wet pocket, dedicated shoe pocket, and plenty of other portage options. Made from heavy-duty Cordura and ballistic strength 1200 denier polyester. Also available in blue, black, grey, pink, and red, this bag measures 12"x22"x10.5".

Get It: Save 15% on the Elite Sports Warrior Series Medium Duffle ($43) using the code PARENT15.

Elite Sports
Weight Lifting Belt

When you're maxxing out on those squats, you need to take care; a back injury could sideline you for months. Maintain good form and avoid injury with this lightweight support belt. It contours to your shape for both style and comfort. It also comes in all-black or pink.

Get It: Save 15% on the Elite Sports Weight Lifting Belt ($17) using the code PARENT15.

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men’s Journal readers 

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Elite Sports

The post We Found the Best Competitive Fighting and MMA Training Gear at Elite Sports appeared first on Men's Journal.

The Best Wet Shave Razors for Men with Sensitive Skin

 

If you want the smoothest skin and the closest cut, then you need a wet shave. Electric razors are handy, but they just don’t give the smooth, tight finish that a razor can provide. But it’s also well known that a wet razor shave can be uncomfortable for a lot of guys. What are the best wet razors for men with sensitive skin?

We checked out a bunch, and came up with a list of seven, in no particular order, that we really like:

Gillette Heated Razor

Schick HydroSense

Merkur Futur

Gillette Fusion5

Harry’s The Truman

Gillette ProShield

Solimo MultiSphere.

Wet razors feature two main components: the handle, and the changeable and disposable blade(s). You really ought to switch out your razor every couple of weeks, especially if you shave once (or more) a day. Not only do blunt blades irritate your face, but bacteria builds up quickly with regular use—particularly between the blades of popular multi-blade razors. If you use a blade less frequently, your blade(s) might last a month or more.

Another common conundrum: Are more blades necessarily better? In a word, no. Many men get a satisfactory shave with two or three blades. Some guys even prefer a single safety razor or straight-blade shave. Multiple blades can more easily irritate skin but then, more blades might provide a more comfortable shave for you. Again, it’s all subjective, and you’ll never know until you try it.

No matter which wet razor you prefer, there is a bottom line. And it’s right here: A good one doesn’t have to cost a bundle. You can spend a lot of money on a razor, and it will likely be fantastic. But you might get just as close and comfortable a shave with a $20 razor with brand-new blades.

For what it’s worth, the old adage “you get what you pay for” really is true with wet razors. Cheap, disposable razors are exactly that: cheap and disposable. But if you’re willing to spend a bit more money up front, you’ll end up spending less—and getting a far superior shave—in the long run. Particularly if you go with one of the multiple subscription shave clubs out right now.

Here, in no particular order, are our favorite wet razors for men with sensitive skin.


GilletteLabs Heated Razor

Experience the comfort of a hot towel with every stroke. Heated strip warms up in less than a second to provide continuous soothing warmth just before the blade crosses the skin.

Subscribe ($25) and get the starter kit, charging station, plus two blades on your first order and four blades every subsequent month.

Get It: Pick up the GilletteLabs Heated Razor Starter Kit ($200) at Gillette

Gillette
Schick Hydro Sense Sensitive

The HydroSense auto-adjusts to the ideal pressure. It also comes in three distinct gel pools, including Hydrate, Energize, and Sensitive, which contains herbal extracts to soothe your skin. Over 500 reviews, and three quarters of them are perfect.

Get It: Pick up the Schick Hydro Sense Sensitive (plus five blade refills) for $17 at Amazon

Amazon
Harry’s – The Truman

Also available in orange and blue rubber matte handles, Harry's is renowned for quality, precision, and ease. With durable blades, a flex hinge, a lubricating strip, and a precision trimmer for hard-to-reach places like under your nose. 

Get It: Pick up Harry's The Truman ($10) at Walmart

Walmart
Gillette Fusion5

We like the Fusion 5 because when lubrication strip fades, it's time to change the blade. The Precision Trimmer on the back is great for hard-to-reach areas and styling facial hair. For most guys and most beards it's one of the best wet shaves on the market.

Get It: Pick up the Gillette Fusion5 (plus 4 Blade Refills) for $18 (with coupon) at Amazon

Amazon
Merkur Futur Safety Razor

We had to include at least one safety razor on this list, and Merkur is one of the world's finest. With continuously adjustable blade gaps you can adjust the aggressiveness of your shave on the fly, with a simple twist. Made in Germany with world-famous Solingen steel.

Get It: Pick up a Merkur Futur Safety Razor (from $63) at Amazon

Amazon
Solimo MotionSphere

With a multi-pivot design to follow the contours of your face, the cartridge is hypoallergenic and includes a lubricating strip with vitamin E, and has an anti-clog design for quick rinse. 

Get It: Pick up the Solimo MotionSphere Razor (with 20 cartridges) for $15 at Amazon

Amazon
Gillette ProShield

With lubrication before and after the blades and the FlexBall to respond to contours, the ProShield is a fantastic option. It shields skin from irritation while you shave and has a Precision Trimmer on the back—great for hard-to-reach areas and styling facial hair.

Get It: Pick up the ProShield ($17; was $20) at Gillette

Gillette

The post The Best Wet Shave Razors for Men with Sensitive Skin appeared first on Men's Journal.

Can You Drink Yourself to Sleep? (No, Not With Booze)

 

Put down the bourbon, that’s not what this is about. Drinks that claim to induce sleep—besides, you know, a night cap—are popping up all over Instagram feeds (right next to personalized supplement subscriptions and vapable vitamins). Maybe you’ve seen brands like Snoooze, Som Sleep, Neuro Sleep, and Vital Proteins Collagen Shot in Sleep, and maybe you’ve wondered if sleep drinks could finally be the thing to help you get a good night’s rest.

A Two-week Plan for the Best Sleep of Your Life

Considering that more than a third of people aren’t getting the seven or more hours of sleep recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to function at their best, and 30 to 35 percent of people suffer from insomnia, who wouldn’t want a shortcut?

“Many of these sleep drinks work because they contain ingredients that have been shown to improve sleep or relaxation like melatonin, valerian root, L-theanine, or magnesium,” says Samantha Presicci, R.D., the lead dietitian at Snap Kitchen.

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Melatonin

You’ve definitely heard of melatonin, a hormone that’s actually produced in the central nervous system. “Melatonin plays a vital role in controlling the body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock," explains Madelyn Rosenthal, M.D., a sleep medicine fellow at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “The use of specifically timed melatonin and light exposure have been shown to treat various circadian rhythm disorders, such as jet lag and shift-work disorder.”

Carol Yepes / Getty Images
Valerian

And valerian, usually taken as an extract from the root of the valerian plant, has become one of the most common self­-prescribed insomnia treatments in the U.S., Rosenthal says. “The exact mechanism of action remains unknown, although studies using mice models suggest valerian inhibits the breakdown of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which induces sedation.”

ZenShui/Sigrid Olsson / Getty Images
L-theanine

One study among elderly people who suffer from insomnia found that magnesium may increase sleep time and reduce early-morning waking. Another found L-theanine, an amino acid found primarily in the green tea plant, could have anti-stress effects, which might promote sleep, too.

Phung Huynh Vu Qui / Getty Images
What Are the Risks?

It makes sense that these ingredients might seem more appealing than asking your doc for an Ambien ‘script. But while these drinks tend to be marketed as “natural” sleep aids, “many popular brands aren’t quite as natural as they claim, with ingredients like cane sugar, natural flavors, and non-caloric sweeteners like monk fruit, erythritol, and stevia,” says Presicci. Those kinds of ingredients can mess with your diet, which can also mess with your sleep habits. 

Brands like Snoooze, which utilize all-natural ingredients (valerian, passionflower, lemon balm, linden flower extract, hops, and peppermint) are a safer bet.

Just keep in mind these ingredients are considered dietary supplements, so they aren’t subject to the strict regulations of the US Food and Drug Administration. “Companies producing these supplements are not required to prove efficacy, safety, or quality of the product,” says Rosenthal. “More importantly, manufacturers are not required to report adverse effects or drug­ supplement interactions.” That’s why it’s so important to discuss any dietary supplements with a physician.

Nomad / Getty Images
Natural Remedies

Unfortunately, though, even if these seem to help, there really isn’t a shortcut to better sleep. “The American Academy of Sleep Medicine does not support any sleep aid alone to treat chronic insomnia,” says Rosenthal.

So, sorry, but you’re going to have to do more than just take a sleep shot before bed to hit your recommended hours of shuteye. “Try reducing screen time in the evenings, sleeping in a dark and cool room, going to bed around the same time every night, and limiting blue light in the evenings,” says Presicci. “While it’s probably too overwhelming to make all of these changes at once, you can start with one or two at a time and increase from there. But it’s most important to make sure you’re gradually allowing for more time spent sleeping, with the ultimate goal of 7–9 hours each night—whether that means you slowly start going to bed a few minutes earlier each night, or you wake up a little later in the morning.”

If you’re still struggling to fall asleep, one of these drinks might help you get there—but it can’t do all the work for you, especially if you’re not clocking enough hours in bed to begin with.

Superb Images / Getty Images

The post Can You Drink Yourself to Sleep? (No, Not With Booze) appeared first on Men's Journal.

Can Supplements and Multivitamins Really Help Your Heart? Here’s What Science Says

 

The alphabet soup of multivitamins and supplements loaded on drugstore shelves is overwhelming. The sheer number of options can have a toppling effect, creating a purchasing frenzy.

Dietary supplements have grown into a $122 billion industry, according to the Center for Responsible Nutrition, a lobbying group. But emerging research is casting doubt on just how effective those pills are. A new comprehensive meta-analysis of 277 clinical trials has found a wide range of nutritional supplements—and even some common diets—aren’t effective at preventing heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S. What’s more, they won’t help prolonging a person’s life either.

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“The panacea or magic bullet that people keep searching for in dietary supplements isn’t there,” Erin D. Michos, M.D., M.H.S., senior author of the study, said in a press release.

 

 

The massive study culled data from 277 randomized clinical trials around the world, which evaluated the effectiveness of 16 vitamins and other supplements, as well as eight different diets. The researchers combed through that data to see how the supplements and diets affected the risk of heart conditions, like heart attacks and coronary heart disease, as well as how they affected mortality among the participants. In total, the meta-analysis incorporated data from over 992,000 people across the globe—an impressive sample size, to say the least.

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The researchers assessed a wide range of supplements, including antioxidants, multivitamins, folic acid, iron, omega-3 fatty acid, and vitamins A, B3, B-complex, C, E, D, and more. They also honed in on several popular diets, including the Mediterranean diet, reduced-fat diet, and reduced-salt diet, among others. Strikingly, nearly every supplement and most diets were found to have no effect on heart health and no effect on mortality.

A few diets did show evidence of a positive impact on heart health. Among people with healthy blood pressure, the researchers discovered that a low-salt diet yielded a 10 percent decrease in the participants’ risk of death. They also found that when people with high blood pressure followed a low-salt diet, their risk of death by heart disease dropped 33 percent.

the vast majority of multivitamins, minerals, and different types of diets had no measurable effect on survival or cardiovascular disease risk reduction.

Of the 16 studied, two supplements stood out for their effectiveness. The first, omega-3 fatty acid, created a slight reduction in the risk of having a heart attack (by 8 percent) and developing coronary disease (7 percent). The second, folic acid, was linked to a 20 percent reduced risk of stroke, but the researchers hypothesized that this was because the participants were from China, where grains aren’t fortified with folic acid like they are in the U.S. Folic acid supplements likely wouldn’t be as effective in America, since most people already get folic acid from, say, a morning bowl of cereal.

Make Your Own: 19 Recipes to Replace the Most Common Store-bought Foodstuffs

The meta-analysis even revealed a combination of supplements that had a negative impact on health. Together, calcium and vitamin D supplements actually increased the risk of stroke by 17 percent, based on analysis of health data from over 42,000 research participants.

“Although there may be some evidence that a few interventions have an impact on death and cardiovascular health, the vast majority of multivitamins, minerals, and different types of diets had no measurable effect on survival or cardiovascular disease risk reduction,” Safi U. Khan, M.D., a lead author of the study, said in the press release.

The news comes as supplements enjoy continued popularity among people looking to stay healthy. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 52 percent of Americans take a dietary supplement, and the press release states that Americans spend $31 billion annually on over-the-counter supplements. But the data shows they have little to no effect on some of the biggest health risks that Americans face.

“People should focus on getting their nutrients from aheart-healthy diet,” said Michos, “because the data increasingly show that the majority of healthy adults don’t need to take supplements.”

The post Can Supplements and Multivitamins Really Help Your Heart? Here’s What Science Says appeared first on Men's Journal.

This Soldier Set a Guinness World Record By Doing 4,689 Burpees in 12 Hours

 

Very few exercise enthusiasts and gym rats can imagine doing 1,000 burpees in a row, let alone 4,689. Yet that’s exactly what Army ROTC Cadet Bryan Abell accomplished on July 7 in Milford, MI, when he set the Guinness World Record for the most chest-to-ground burpees performed in 12 hours.

Weekend One-Up: 100 Brutal-Burpees

The chest-to-ground burpee starts in a standing position, with Abell entering a squat before pushing down to the floor, where the legs fully extend backward and the arms fully extend to the sides. Then, Abell brings his arms back in, pushes up, and returns to a standing positon. Abell had two witnesses present to verify the burpees for Guinness, and one of them, per Guinness’ instructions, was a certified fitness professional.

Abell’s thrust-squat marathon wasn’t just for the world record, which is still in the process of being verified by Guinness—Abell was also raising money for active and retired military service members and their families through his Stronger Warrior Foundation, who fell short of his fundraising goal but managed to raise over $2,200.

Power Up Your Pullups With This Small Tweak

One goal Abell pushed beyond was his burpee count—he anticipated 4,500 burpees, but when the number came, he knocked out 189 more. For his event, Burpees for a Purpose, he trained for six weeks, performing about 1,500 burpees each day. You can watch a short clip of Abell earning his world record below:

Bryan Abell from Michigan breaks the Guinness World Record for the most burpees in one day with 4,689 burpees in 12 hours pic.twitter.com/U88o50l0hc

— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 11, 2019

Abell said he would return to defend his title should anyone beat his record. Though the fundraiser is over, those interested in donating to Abell’s cause can still do so through his Facebook event.

The post This Soldier Set a Guinness World Record By Doing 4,689 Burpees in 12 Hours appeared first on Men's Journal.

Score $50 Off AncestryDNA Kits for Amazon Prime Day

 

[Editor’s Note: Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, July 16, 2019, but are subject to change.]

Prime Day does offer more than just gear and gadgets. Until midnight tonight, you can take $50 off an AncestryDNA Kit.

An AncestryDNA kit isn’t an object you have to find a place for. Nor is it a thing you have to use regularly in order to get your money’s worth. Instead, an AncestryDNA kit is information. It’s insight. It’s a deep-dive into who you are, where you’re from—and what lies ahead, not just for you but for your family and for generations to come.

What Makes AncestryDNA Different?

Ancestry is not new to this genealogy business. It’s been helping people discover their heritage for decades, and utilizing using modern technology and DNA testing, they can help you, too. DNA testing can unlock not just derivations and origins, but relatives you didn’t even know existed. And as online DNA kits become more popular, more samples and improved science mean more precise results and more precise regions for your exact ethnicity estimate.

What Can I Learn?

The new and improved AncestryDNA Genetic Ethnicity Kit ($49; regularly $99) offers a unique and insightful way to catalog and reference all your new connections. This gives you more ways to explore your DNA matches, connect to more precise regions, and gain insights into your heritage and ancestry from your origins in over 500 regions around the world.

DNA Matches gives you color coding, custom labeling, and other innovative tools so you can see your DNA connections in the clearest light possible. Using Ancestry’s existing data, you can see why and how communities that contained your family moved from place to place throughout the world. You get an expertly curated timeline of historical and regional changes that can trace—and explain—your ancestors’ journey through time. It’s a complete, intuitive, and interactive experience.

Here’s the best part. And as more people use online DNA kits, more samples are collected. And as more information becomes cataloged, the science of examining that data is constantly improving, as well. The existing AncestryDNA reference panel was already impressive, but its latest new update has five times more samples as it did just a year ago.

That means a far better understanding of genetic signatures around the world, greater clarity in geographic ethnicity estimates, and a far more specific and detailed picture of your origins.

The AncestryDNA Genetic Ethnicity + Traits Kit ($69; regularly $119) offers even more insight into why you are the way you are. In addition to all the genetic info, you’ll also get insight into your physical, emotional, and behavioral traits that make you, you.

Check out some of these cool traits you can discover with a AncestryDNA Kit:

Male hair loss Facial hair thickness Eye color Finger length Freckles Hair color and thickness Unibrow Photic sneeze reflex Wisdom teeth Taste sensitivity Cilantro aversion Cleft chin Earlobe type

That’s pretty remarkable insight. And there’s a bunch more, 26 in all. If you’ve ever wondered what makes you unique and weird, now you can find out.

dna kit
Amazon

Look, even if you’re not into all this heritage/ancestry/genealogy stuff, at this price you might as well buy a couple of AncestryDNA kits to give out at the holidays. Give one to each of your parents, and blow their minds. Do one with a grandparent, and help them relive the joys of the past, of forgotten memories and long-lost family. Heck, they may even discover a long-lost relative they had no idea was so near. It’ll be a Christmas they’ll never forget.

AncestryDNA is more than just another thing. It’s life, family, and history. And that’s the most valuable thing you can own.

Get It: Save $50 on the AncestryDNA Genetic Ethnicity Kit ($49) and Genetic Ethnicity + Traits Kit ($69) during Amazon Prime Day.

 

GET IT!

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men’s Journal readers.

SEE ALSO:

Amazon Prime Day Has Awesome Fitness Deals for Athletes

12 of the Best Amazon Prime Day Deals

Prime Day Deal! Our Favorite Wireless Headphones

The post Score $50 Off AncestryDNA Kits for Amazon Prime Day appeared first on Men's Journal.

3 Best Amazon Prime Day Keto Deals

 

[Editor’s Note: Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, July 16, 2019, but are subject to change.]

Getting to ketosis is hard. Staying keto is harder. You’ve got to account for everything that goes into your body. Luckily, there are dozens of products on the market now for keto enthusiasts. And right now at Amazon Prime Day, you can take advantage of some amazing deals to get keto, and stay keto.

It’s one of the hottest fitness and diet trends of the last few years—because it works. Eating a high-fat diet, with few if any refined carbs and as little sugar as possible, will switch on a fat-burning system in the cells. This gets your body lean and keeps your weight stable without making you hungry.

The Keto Diet is a natural way to literally reprogram your metabolism. You’ll ultimately feel better and perform better, and your body fat will plummet. Everyone from LeBron James to self-help guru Tim Ferriss has famously lost weight via keto.

Getting your body to enter full ketosis takes a lot of effort, though. You must eliminate from your diet all bread, sugar, pasta, fruit, starchy vegetables, and sugary drinks including fruit juice—essentially everything that isn’t meat or a non-starchy vegetable. It’s a complete lifestyle and dietary change that only gets harder as you do it.

It takes serious dedication to drop your daily total carb intake to below 50 grams (or 20–30g of net carbs, which are sans fiber), the equivalent of a single cup of brown rice. Check the label of nearly any sports drink, and it’s most likely loaded with natural or added sugar. Go to the grocery store and the labels are awash with the message of “low fat,” “no fat,” or “zero fat.”

And once you’ve achieved ketosis, you have to stay there, or begin the whole transition process again. Enthusiasts have learned that there are many delicious ways to eat regularly and still stay in ketosis. Here are three simple products keto athletes and enthusiasts can use regularly and stay in ketosis. ANd, they’re all on sale right now for Amazon Prime Day.

 

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Keto Meal Balanced Shake

keto meal
Amazon

The Dr. Formulated Keto line is specifically crafted to help those who are seeking to enter into ketosis or stick to a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss and health purposes. This Keto Meal Balanced Shake by Garden of Life ($30; was $49) is perfect. It is expertly formulated with responsibly sourced organic grass-fed butter, which is a clean fuel for the brain. It also has grass-fed whey protein, organic tapioca fiber, and 1.5 billion CFUs of the probiotic lactobacillus plantarum, to help support digestion.

Keto Meal delivers 22 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein, and 5 grams of total carbs per serving in a convenient, easy-to-mix powder that is perfect for shakes, smoothies, and baking. It contains no added sugars and is lightly sweetened only with organic stevia. This product is Non-GMO, certified gluten-free, keto- and paleo-friendly, and certified kosher. Available in chocolate and vanilla.

Save 39% on Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Keto Meal Balanced Shake ($32; was $49) for Prime Day at Amazon.

Kiss My Keto Protein Powder

keto protein powder
Amazon

Kiss My Keto makes a full line of keto-friendly foods and supplements to help you reach your keto goal. This non-GMO collagen hydrolysate ($39; was $45) features MCT Oil powder C8 plus collagen peptides derived from 100 percent pure grass-fed bovine. Of course, it has zero sugars. Even better, it contains no fillers such as maltodextrin, sweeteners, preservatives, corn starch, other chemicals or additives.

A great alternative to soy and whey protein, it supports a ketogenic and paleo lifestyle. And it’s perfect for a pre-workout supplement to enhance physical performance and boost mental brain alertness. And besides, everyone knows collagen is an important nutrient. It’s needed to maintain strong bones and healthy joints, because it repairs connective tissue so you can move with more flexibility and ease.

Save 13% on Kiss My Keto Protein Powder ($25; was $45) for Prime Day at Amazon.

 

Perfect Keto Instant Keto Coffee

instant keto coffee
Amazon

Now low-carb and keto lovers can drink delicious and energizing fat-enhanced coffees without the long brew time, tedious mixing, and elaborate process. Perfect Keto Instant Keto Coffee ($15; was $19) combines high quality, spray-dried coffee with MCT oil powder to deliver an instant, perfect, keto-friendly coffee without the mess or hassle.

Each single-serve packet contains 10 grams of 100 percent MCT oil powder from organic coconuts and 60mg of caffeine from freeze-dried coffee powder. Each box comes with five individual coffee singles of perfectly roasted coffee, ready for instant mixing with your choice of hot or cold water. There is zero sugar, no lactose, and no additives; just a sugar-free, lactose-free coffee, French vanilla, or mocha depending on the flavor you choose.

Save 21% on Perfect Keto Instant Keto Coffee ($15; was $19) for Prime Day at Amazon

 

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men’s Journal readers.

SEE ALSO:

We Found the Best Source for MCT and Keto Products

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Bundle Up and Save On Keto-friendly Bulletproof Coffee

The post 3 Best Amazon Prime Day Keto Deals appeared first on Men's Journal.

Scott Eastwood's Summer Workout Will Make You Want to Hit the Climbing Gym

 

Scott Eastwood is making the most out of his summer. The Fate of the Furious actor and former Men’s Journal cover star has been pretty busy with his movie career and his new Made Here clothing line, but that hasn’t stopped him from keeping up with his workout program.

Scott Eastwood on Flying Helicopters and His Favorite Adventures in the United States

Eastwood showed off his latest workout on Instagram, doing an impressive rock climbing workout on a rock wall in what he described as his “free solo” impression. If you need some motivation this summer to get out there and climb, or simply to get into the gym and work, take it from Eastwood.

Like Jason Momoa, Eastwood is a fan of rock climbing workouts and getting outside to stay in shape. For his cover story, Eastwood spoke with Men’s Journal about why he loves surfing, going cliff diving in Tahiti, and getting on the water to stay fit.

Cover Story: Scott Eastwood on ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ and Living an Adventurous Life

Here’s a look at Eastwood’s latest workout:

Coming up, Eastwood has a bunch of projects in the pipeline, including the war drama The Outpost and the crime thriller The Manuscript, co-starring Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx. Read Eastwood’s previous cover story in Men’s Journal and find out how he lives such an adventurous life.

The post Scott Eastwood's Summer Workout Will Make You Want to Hit the Climbing Gym appeared first on Men's Journal.

How Boozing at the Beach Is Making You Burn Faster

 

Having beers on the beach is a rite of passage for summer, but emerging research shows it could come with a big downside: more skin damage. Although the exact cause is still being determined, studies show that alcohol can increase your risk of sunburn, NPR reports. The research isn’t new, but the link between your beachside beer and sunburn has received little attention—despite mounting evidence that alcohol can leave skin more vulnerable to the sun.

Why Even Sunscreen Users Get Burned on Ski Trips

 

The link between alcohol consumption and sunburn stems partly from the effects of booze on decision-making. When you’re buzzed, you’re less likely to be diligent about applying (and re-applying) sunscreen, and your risk of a burn goes up.

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But research shows that alcohol can also affect the skin itself, making it more susceptible to damaging UV rays.

“The research suggests that alcohol reduces the amount of time you can spend in the sun before you get a burn,” Aaron White, a senior scientific adviser at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, told NPR.

One meta-analysis published in 2013 found that regular alcohol consumption increased the risk of melanoma, a dangerous skin cancer, by 20 percent. Another study found that alcohol significantly decreased the amount of UV light it took to produce sunburn on a group of men.

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One possible explanation is the way alcohol affects compounds present in the skin. In that same study, researchers found that alcohol reduced the concentration of carotenoids, a pigment produced by plants that builds up in the body when you eat fruits and vegetables. In humans, carotenoids act as an antioxidant, neutralizing the free radicals created by UV rays. Lower carotenoid levels mean more free radicals, the researchers hypothesized, and more skin damage.

The evidence is backed up by two other studies, one from Japan and one from France, that confirm that people who drink alcohol have lower levels of beta-carotene (a specific type of carotenoid), NPR reports. More research is needed to track exactly how alcohol interacts with the skin and the rest of the human body—its effect on carotenoid levels is likely just one among many reasons booze can hike up the risk of sunburn. Still, there’s enough evidence to warrant drinking in moderation this summer, and being diligent about sunscreen when you do.

The post How Boozing at the Beach Is Making You Burn Faster appeared first on Men's Journal.

Amazon Prime Day Has Awesome Fitness Deals for Athletes

 

[Editor’s Note: Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, July 15, 2019, but are subject to change.]

With all the cool gadgets, fun products, and amazing gear at Amazon Prime Day, it can be easy to forget to pick up what you want rather than what you need. Fitness enthusiasts and athletes are among the luckiest at Amazon Prime Day. Because no matter if they need vitamins and supplements, gear and apparel, or sporting goods, chances are there’s a killer deal on it right now.

Amazon Prime Day is a 48-hour deal extravaganza, and if you haven’t yet been to Amazon today to see what’s on special, you need to rectify that right now. Because many of the best deals are Lightning Deals. They pop up suddenly, last only for a bit, and disappear when the timer (or the product!) runs out.

No matter if you’re looking for gym gear to help you work hard, protein and supplements to help your body maximize all the hard work you’re putting into it, or stuff to help your body wind down and recover after a grueling session, you can find it at Prime Day. From gym shorts to duffle bag, from resistance bands, weighted blankets, and exercise machines, Amazon Prime Day is the place to get what you need to keep your body looking and feeling its best.

If you think you can wait to pick up what you need to stay in shape, you couldn’t be more wrong. Summer is halfway over. Soon the days will get shorter, the temperatures will drop, and you’ll be forced to work indoors again. Why spend money on a gym membership? Pick up some fitness gear and build a home gym.

We won’t see deals and prices like this on essential gym gear and workout accessories until the holidays. You’ve come too far with your workout routine to nail your summer fitness goals just to stop now. Get the products you need at a price that’s perfect, and stay in shape all year round.

Check out some of these awesome deals for athletes and fitness enthusiasts on gym gear, workout apparel and accessories, and products for athletes and fitness enthusiasts at Amazon Prime Day.


MuscleTech Prime Series Whey Protein Powder

Shown to rapidly enhance recovery and whole body protein metabolism in clinical research on real, human athletes. Whey sourced primarily from whey peptides and whey isolate. Hit your macros and recover faster, and get back out there quicker.

Get It: Save 25% on MuscleTech Prime Series Whey Protein Powder ($22; was $29) during Prime Day at Amazon

Amazon
PUMA Tazon 6 Crosstrainer

A run-train shoe that can take the pounding and keep coming back for more. Hundreds of Amazon reviewers give it a healthy 4.5-star rating, and at this price you've just gotta give it a try. Depending on your size and color, you can save up to half off this shoe.

Get It: Save 47% on the PUMA Tazon 6 Crosstrainer (starting at $37; was $70) during Prime Day at Amazon

Amazon
Vitamix Explorian Blender

Whip up your own juices, shakes, and healthy foods with this low-profile 64-ounce blender. It fits under most kitchen counters but has all the professional grade power and function of a full-sized blender. 

Get It: Save 33% on the Vitamix Explorian Blender ($180; was $270) during Prime Day at Amazon

Amazon
Bulletproof Original Coffee & MCT Oil Bundle

Bulletproof Brain Octane oil is an energizing, easy-to-digest quality fat that powers your brain and curbs snack attacks. It is a totally flavorless and totally satisfying, and cannot be stored as fat within the body. And the coffee is delicious! Also available in Whole Bean and Pod options. 

Get It: Save 26% on the Bulletproof Coffee & MCT Oil Bundle ($26; was $35) during Prime Day at Amazon

Amazon
Everlast Kettlebells

Made of heavy duty cast iron and coated in vinyl, these competition kettlebells are color-coded vinyl by weight for easy identification and floor protection. Available in 5-pound increments from 5-35 lbs. This is the 20-pounder.

Get It: Save 28% on this 20lb. Everlast Kettlebell ($29; was $40) during Prime Day at Amazon

Amazon
Orgain Organic Plant-based Protein Powder

Everything you need, and nothing you don't. Get 21g of pure protein from pea, brown rice, and chia seeds, with 5g of fiber, 5g of net carbs, 0g of sugar, and 150 calories per serving. It's USDA organic, vegan, kosher gluten-, dairy-, soy-, and lactose-free, with no added sugar, non-GMO, and no artificial ingredients.

Get It: Save 40% on Orgain Organic Protein Powder ($12; was $20) during Prime Day at Amazon

Amazon
Under Armour Undeniable 4.0 Gym Bag

UA Storm technology delivers an element-battling, highly water-resistant finish that keeps you dry in any wet weather situation. Abrasion-resistant bottom and side panels, two large front zippered organization pockets, and a large vented pocket for laundry or shoes. Plenty of color options available, but only the Medium is on sale.

Get It: Save 30% on the UA Undeniable 4.0 Duffle Bag ($32; was $45) during Prime Day at Amazon

Amazon
EverlyWell Metabolism Test

Check three key hormones in the comfort of your home that may affect your weight gain and energy. With only a few drops of blood and a small amount of saliva this test measures cortisol, free testosterone, and thyroid-stimulating hormone. Results are reviewed by an independent board-certified physician in your state. 

Get It: Save 35% on the EverlyWell Metabolism Test ($57; was $89) during Prime Day at Amazon

Amazon
MOCACuff Blood Pressure Monitor

Instantly and accurately measure your blood pressure and heart rate. It syncs with the Mocacare app to give you full access to your measurement history, graphs of trends, health coaching, and the ability to export and email test results directly to your doctor.

Get It: Save 22% on the MOCACuff Blood Pressure Monitor (starting at $35; was $45) during Prime Day at Amazon

Amazon
LectroFan Evo Sound Machine

If you're not recovering from workouts as fast as you'd like, you need to improve the quality of your rest. Thousands of Amazon reviewers swear by this device to provide a soothing night's sleep. It provides ten fan sounds, ten varieties of white, pink, and brown noise, and two ocean sounds.

Get It: Save 50% on the LectroFan Evo Sound Machine ($30; was $60) during Prime Day at Amazon

 

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men's Journal readers.

 

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The post Amazon Prime Day Has Awesome Fitness Deals for Athletes appeared first on Men's Journal.

Intensify Your Core and Shred Your Abs With This Easy $9 Workout Hack

 

If you’re looking for a fun and challenging workout to tone your abs and strengthen your core, here’s a sweet deal you don’t want to miss out on. For a limited time, take 70 percent off Synergee Sliders. Regularly $30, right now you can get a pair of these Electric Lime sliders for just $9. That’s an amazing deal on a simple workout hack that’s guaranteed to produce results, and fast.

Of course, you way not want green sliders, and that’s fine. The color isn’t going to change the fact that these simple little discs can provide a solid, core-shredding workout anywhere you go. You can choose red, black, and pink options ($12) if you prefer. It’s just that these bright green options (and also the yellow ones) are more deeply discounted than the rest.

workout hack
Amazon

Just put them on the floor and go, plant one hand or foot on each, and go. You’ll intensify your core moves such as lunges, planks, and bridges by introducing a balance and stability aspect to every movement. There are any number of exercises you can do with these simple workout aids.

No matter if you’re working your arms and shoulders or legs, you’ll need to keep your back straight and hold your balance. That results in your abdominals becoming stronger—and more defined. Plus, every move is low-impact, reducing your risk of injury.

Where Do Sliders Slide?

You can use them anywhere you’ve got floor space, on hardwood, tile, even carpeting and rugs. The dual-sided sliders will slide smoothly across most any surface. Use the foam side on hard floors, and the plastic side on carpeting.

They’re fantastic for business trips and guys on the go, too, because low-pile hotel room carpet is ideal for sliding. And at 7 inches in diameter, they’re light and easy to carry. They slide right into any bag or briefcase.

But the best is the low-impact core workout you can get in the comfort and privacy of your own home wit this simple and inexpensive workout hack. So fire up the Netflix, toss a couple sliders on the floor. Next thing you know you’ve finished Season 3 of Stranger Things, and you’ll be grating blocks of cheddar on your rock-hard abs.

Get It: Save 70% on Synergee Sliders (starting at $9) at Amazon

GET IT!

 

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The 7 Best Workout Recovery Supplements

The post Intensify Your Core and Shred Your Abs With This Easy $9 Workout Hack appeared first on Men's Journal.

The Best Anti-chafing Athletic Underwear for Athletes

 

When you’re crushing a HIIT workout or pushing yourself to get through one last mile on your nightly run or ride, there’s only one thing that can stop you: chafing. Don’t laugh: It’s a common problem with active guys. Tighty-whities just don’t cut it when we’re working hard. Our boys need support and protection down there, it’s true. But they also need to breathe. What’s the best anti-chafing underwear you can buy? We’ve chosen nine candidates who qualify.

From synthetic fabrics that utilize modern technology to all-natural materials that make use of the best stuff found in nature to keep you cool and dry, here are our favorite pairs of athletic underwear that don’t chafe:

Adidas Sport Performance Athletic Boxer Briefs

Smartwool Merino 150 Boxer Briefs

Saxx Quest 2.0 Boxer Briefs

Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Sonic Compression Shorts

Icebreaker Anatomica Boxer Briefs

Tommy John Cool Cotton Trunks

ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer Briefs

Champion Powerflex Compression Shorts

Fruit of the Loom Coolzone Boxer Briefs  

When looking for athletic underwear that doesn’t chafe, there are three main fabrics to consider:

Cotton

Cotton is the original because of its softness and comfort. And it’s still the most affordable. But not all cotton is created equal. Your best bet is to look for pima cotton, which dries more quickly than regular cotton.

Synthetic

Synthetic fabrics are all the rage in performance apparel. Modern technology has provided us with quick-drying, moisture-wicking, and anti-odor synthetics that stretch and retain their shape. Those are all great qualities—but some of us still prefer the feel of cotton. To each his own. But know this: Like most tech, when it comes to synthetic fabrics and the companies that make them you definitely get what you pay for. Don’t skimp.

Wool

Wool has natural breathability and anti-odor capabilities. It also manages moisture and regulates temperature. Look for high-quality merino wool for its warmth, soft feel, itch-free comfort and natural resistance to odors. many companies are blending merino wool with synthetic fabrics for performance material with a natural feel.

No matter which material you prefer, you’re shopping for, key features to consider are a moisture-wicking, non-roll waistband, flat seams, anti-chafe, and breathability.

Here are nine of the best pairs anti-chafing athletic underwear you can buy.


1. adidas Sport Performance Climalite Boxer Briefs

More than 2.3k Amazon reviewers swear by these shorts. Soft, light, breathable polyester provides superior moisture management. Other features include a tag-less, plush-soft waistband, medium rise, smooth non-chafing stitching, double-lined mesh support pouch, and no-ride-up leg construction.

Get It: Pick up adidas Sport Performance Athletic Boxer Briefs (from $15/2-pack) at Amazon

Amazon
2. Smartwool Merino 150 Boxer Briefs

Crafted from soft merino wool that keeps you warm in cooler temps, wicks moisture if things heat up, and keeps odor build-up at bay. The wide elastic waistband maximizes comfort, while the flatlock seam nips chafing in the bud. Great deal; sizes and colors are going fast.

Get It: Save 29% on Smartwool Merino 150 Boxer Briefs ($32; was $45) at Backcountry

Backcountry
3. Saxx Quest 2.0 Boxer Briefs

Counter to conventional methods, Saxx stitching is reversed so the flatter, softer fabric lies against the body. Nine-panel construction creates 3D support around glutes, thighs, quads, and hamstrings. 

Get It: Pick up Saxx Quest 2.0 Boxer Briefs (from $25) at Amazon

Amazon
4. Under Armour HeatGear Sonic Compression Short

Under Armour practically invented performance/compression apparel. This latest UA version offers compression plus extreme comfort for all-day wear. Ultra-soft and smooth fabric with four-way stretch that allows greater mobility while it wicks sweat away from the body, keeping you cooler and drier.

Get It: Pick up Under Armour HeatGear Sonic Compression Short (from $17) at Amazon

Amazon
5. Icebreaker Anatomica Boxer Briefs

Icebreaker made its Anatomica with Merino wool to naturally regulate your temperature, breathe freely, and stay fresh even when you don't have the luxury of changing or washing your undies each night.

Get It: Pick up Icebreaker Anatomica Boxer Briefs (from $24) at Amazon

Amazon
6. Tommy John Cool Cotton Trunk

Stretch-infused pima cotton dries faster and keeps you cooler than normal cotton, providing reliable comfort, a streamlined fit and stay-tucked convenience in athletic trunks with a contour pouch for an ideal fit that lasts all day.

Get It: Pick up Tommy John Cool Cotton Trunk ($29) at Nordstrom

Nordstrom
7. ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer Briefs

The breathable mesh improves airflow, while quick-drying fabric is ready to wear within hours. Odor-reducing antimicrobial treatment keeps them fresher longer, and the ergonomic diamond-knit mesh fly panel provides support. With chafe-free contrast flatlock seams and a smooth waistband.

Get It: Pick up ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer Briefs (from $20) at Amazon

Amazon
8. Champion Powerflex Compression Short

A quick-drying poly/spandex blend that evaporates moisture fast and wicks moisture away from the skin. They feature flatlock seams to protect against chafing.

Get It: Save $2 on Champion Powerflex Compression Short (from $13) at Amazon

Amazon
9. Fruit of the Loom Coolzone Boxer Briefs

These cotton boxer briefs are made with a mesh fly that provides ventilation and support right where you need it. With no-ride up legs and strategically placed breathable mesh, each pair features dual defense technology, designed to keep you dry and fresh.

Get It: Pick up Fruit of the Loom Coolzone Boxer Briefs (from $20/4 pack) at Amazon

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Here’s How to Get Gainful’s Brand New Delicious Flavor Sticks for Free

 

With customized blends based on your fitness requirements, taste preferences, and dietary needs, Gainful has made protein powders personal. It’s turned the whole game upside-down. And now, Gainful takes protein personalization even further, with its new selection of delicious, single-serve flavor sticks.

Now you can have your own custom-made protein powder in your favorite flavor, any time you want. Regardless if you’re trying to build muscle or lose weight, no matter if you’re lactose intolerant or living vegan—whatever your goals, Gainful blends a protein powder just for you.

How Do Gainful Flavor Sticks Work?

Each Gainful box provides 28 servings of unflavored protein powder, blended just for you to suit your needs and goals. You also get 28 single-serve flavor packs in each box, so every protein shake becomes a custom-made treat. And you get to choose from six delicious flavors: Chocolate Fudge, Cookies & Cream, Cafe Mocha, Peanut Butter Cup,  Strawberry Milkshake, and French Vanilla. You can mix and match four flavors in every box—that’s seven sticks of each flavor. They’re also free with every order of personalized protein, not just the first. Switch the flavors with each order if you like, or stick with your favorites as long as you wish.

Gainful lets you customize and personalize your fitness even further, by choosing to take a fresh delivery of 28 shakes’ worth of protein powder every four weeks ($49), every six weeks ($52), or eight weeks ($56).

How Does Gainful Custom Blend Its Protein Powders?

Gainful protein powders are created just for you, based on your goals. After a short quiz about your fitness goals, your workout regimen, and your dietary restrictions, Gainful comes up with a blend that perfectly suits your needs. It calculates the exact ratio of ingredients you need, and delivers a steady supply of custom-made protein powder right to your door. 

And Gainful keeps it honest. You’re told exactly what’s going into your protein blend before you even place your order. And Gainful gives you the power to choose every ingredient if you want to mix it up. So any time you want to alter your protein powder blend, just go to the Gainful website and let them know. Your next delivery will be adjusted accordingly.

Plus, you get 24/7 support from a licensed dietician, so you can reach out any time and ask the questions that are important to you.

No matter your fitness goals or what dietary restrictions you have, there’s a protein powder just right for you. You could spend a ton of money trying to find that perfect protein powder that’s just right for your body and your lifestyle.

Or, you can go to Gainful, and get a custom-made protein powder that’s as unique and custom-made as you are.

Get It: Try Gainful today, and get four new flavor sticks (seven servings each) for FREE!

GET IT!

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The post Here’s How to Get Gainful’s Brand New Delicious Flavor Sticks for Free appeared first on Men's Journal.

This Performance Apparel Uses Space Innovation for the Most High-Tech Workout Ever

 

Form should follow function. We like stuff that works, whether it looks great or not. If it doesn’t perform, it won’t become an essential part of our rotation. Give us something that works well and looks great, though, and we’re hooked. Enter Vaiden apparel.

Vaiden makes performance apparel that utilizes high-tech features like odor-wicking silver to keep you dry and feeling good while you work out. The sleek, no-nonsense design is focused on performance, not flash. And the company’s latest innovation is derived directly from space.

vaiden
Vaiden

That’s right. Vaiden uses a patented and certified Phase Change Material originally developed to help astronauts regulate their temperature in space, and integrates it into sexy, sleek performance apparel. The thermally adaptive fabric acts like a battery,  providing thermoregulation by absorbing and storing excess heat from your skin’s surface into microcapsules it calls thermocules. As your body temp changes, that heat is released either toward or away from your skin, helping to regulate the skin’s microclimate and helping you maintain a consistent temperature.

Triton Astronaut Tech Shirt

vaiden
Vaiden

Vaiden makes two tops that utilize Phase Change Material. The Triton Astronaut Tech Shirt [$70, vaiden.com] is available in sizes up to 3XL. It balances the microclimate between your skin and the clothing, maintaining your temperature to keep you performing at your best without the distractions or negative physical effects of being too hot or too cold. With long, raglan-style sleeves and a zip tech pocket on the left bicep, it’s lightweight and designed to fit loosely. So it’s great for lifting, CrossFit, or any physical activity. We particularly love it for running or biking in the evening, fall or spring.

Heliosphere Astronaut Tech Pullover

Vaiden
Vaiden

The Heliosphere Astronaut Tech Pullover [$90, vaiden.com] is a heavier, quarter-zip top layer. With a zip pocket on either side, it’s fantastic for year-round outdoor activity when you need to perform and stay warm. If you’re a hiker or camper, it’s perfect for when the temperatures drop. It’s also available up to 3XL.

Keeping with the theme of form following function, both Vaiden space-tech shirts come only in black. Graphics are limited to a subtle grey chest logo. So you can focus on the task, not the fashion.

Vaiden also makes a full line of high-tech performance athletic gear. Some of it uses odor-fighting silver, most of it comes in black, and all of it follows the function, as well as the form. Here are some of our favorite pieces from the rest of the Vaiden collection.


The Aster Light-Weight Shorts

The Aster is a light-weight, workout short with mesh paneling. It's moisture-wicking, to keep you cool and dry. And it's quick-drying, so you'll always be ready for another session. It's got reflective details, side pockets, and an inner drawstring.

Get it: Pick up The Aster Gym Shorts ($55) at Vaiden

Vaiden
The Hyperion Rain Jacket

The Hyperion is a lightweight shell jacket that features reflective details. It's got seam-sealed DWR fabrication, side zip pockets, and adjustable hood. In sizes to 2XL.

Get It: Pick up The Hyperion Rain Jacket ($125) at Vaiden

Vaiden
The Eris Reflective Pants

Moisture-wicking and quick-drying, the Eris is a fantastic workout sweat. It's a loose, comfortable fit and its side pockets have zipper closures to keep your valuables safe.

Get It: Pick up The Eris Reflective Pants ($70) at Vaiden 

Vaiden

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The Best Sports Drinks If You’re Keto

 

If you really want to obtain ketosis and burn fat for energy instead of carbs, step number one is to curtail your sugar intake. One surefire way to do that is to change the beverages you consume daily. Juice, soda, energy drinks—most of them contain copious amounts of processed sugar. If you’re looking for the best sports drinks for keto, we’ve got you covered.

The key is to stay hydrated, and that means water. It’s the perfect keto beverage; even sparkling water is great, as long as it has zero added sugar. A pinch of salt will help you beat the headaches, body aches, and nausea that can come with the onset of keto—sometimes known as the “keto flu.”

Another great keto drink is coffee or black tea. It’s got caffeine that helps boost energy and focus. Just avoid adding milk or cream. If you must cut your caffeinated morning beverage, try instead a dab of butter for a bulletproof-style coffee.

When you’re adjusting to the low-carb diet that is keto, your body will dump the water weight stored in carbs called glycogen. Losing all this water means it’s more important than ever for active guys to maintain hydration. The best way to do that is to boost your electrolyte intake.

There are all kinds of sports drinks on the market. Look for those that have zero added refined or processed sugar. Sugar means carbs, and carbs will blow ketosis. Sugar also means calories.

Unlike most diets, which usually forbid all alcohol, the keto diet allows moderate consumption of specific alcoholic beverages. Dry red and white wine is fine (in moderation, of course). Low-carb beers can be even consumed from time to time. And spirits—like vodka, gin or whiskey—have no carbs at all. So enjoy what you like, as long as you do it wisely.

Here are some of the best keto sports drinks we’ve found.


Ultima Replenisher

Certified vegan, with no artificial flavors or sweeteners, it has six electrolytes plus support minerals, real fruit flavors and plant-based colors. One jar makes 30 servings. 

Get It: Pick up Ultima Replenisher ($21) at Walmart

Walmart
Nooma Organic Electrolyte Drink

Clean and effective hydration from organic coconut water and sea salt, with electrolytes, potassium, and sodium to keep you hydrated, cramp-free, and feeling your best when you’re working out. Every drink is certified organic, non-GMO verified, paleo-friendly, gluten-free and vegan, with only 30 calories and no sugar added. 

Get It: Pick up the Nooma Organic Electrolyte Drink (starting at $11) at Amazon

Amazon
Rapid Fire Ketogenic Instant Coffee

A full-bodied, slow-roasted instant beverage, crafted organically with coconut oil, MCTs, and grass-fed butter. It also contains a touch of Himalayan salt for flavor. It's loaded with natural antioxidants, chlorogenic acid, and a host of xanthines to help supercharge your day.

Get It: Pick up Rapid Fire Ketogenic Instant Coffee ($12 with coupon/15 servings) at Amazon

Amazon
Maurten Drink Mix 320

Widely used by elite distance runners, each packet contains 80 grams of carbohydrates from fructose and maltodextrin. Hydrogel is created when the drink mixes with the stomach's natural acidity, enabling the smooth transport to the intestine where water, salt, and carbs are absorbed.

Get It: Pick up Maurten Drink Mix 320 ($48/14 servings) at Holabird

Holabird
Re:Play Hydration Recovery

This stuff claims to contain the same hydration power as a bag of IV fluid and delivers four key electrolytes into your bloodstream to help your body absorb more water and recover faster. Re:Play uses l-glutamine, an amino acid in your intestine, instead of sugar, to transport electrolytes across the intestinal wall.

Get It: Pick up Re:Play Hydration Recovery ($38) at Amazon

Amazon
ZipFizz

Deliver a powerful charge of micronutrients to your body's fuel system. Zipfizz supplies a convenient rush of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and key amino acids that help provide rapid hydration. Perfect for athletes and people on the go. 

Get It: Pick up ZipFizz ($21/10-pack) at Amazon

Amazon
Celsius

With healthy energy and key vitamins, Celsius is an ideal pre-workout drink as well as a refreshing alternative to coffee and other caffeinated beverages. It’s low in sodium and contains zero sugar, no aspartame, and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. It comes in nine flavors.

Get It: Pick up the Celsius ($21/12) at Amazon

 

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Train Like A Firefighter With the Alaskan Smokejumper Workout Test

 

Over the last 25 years, photographer Mark Thiesssen has been shooting wildfires and the men who fight them, taking photos of some of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Thiesssen was at it again earlier this year when he embedded with a team of Alaskan smokejumpers, who he describes as the “Navy SEALs of the firefighting world.”

In the Air and on the Ground With Alaskan Smokejumpers

Smokejumpers in the lower 48 states usually deal with fires that are an “acre or less,” with ground crews taking over the larger fires, Thiessen says. But in Alaska, smokejumpers don’t just deal with small fires: Because of the vast nature of the Alaskan wilderness, there are no roads in certain places, leaving the Alaskan smokejumpers to parachute down to battle the fires as the first—and last—line of defense.

On the Front Lines of America’s War on Fire

The training process to become an Alaskan smokejumper is a tough one. Thiessen says around 200 people apply each year for the job, and out of that, maybe 10 will be selected for the training program. Usually, the applicant will have at least five to 10 years of wildland firefighting experience before applying. To keep up with those guys when he’s on assignment, Thiesssen went through fire school training early in his career and he’s consistently used a training routine to make sure he stays fit enough to keep doing it.

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“For the last 20 years, I’ve done cardio and weight training nearly every morning,” Thiessen says. “I want to be prepared for any assignment that might come my way, whether it be fire or something else. Every other day I run three miles and alternate with weight lifting days of upper body and lower body. My knees are giving me trouble so I’m cutting back the running cardio some.”

But to actually become an Alaskan smokejumper, you have to pass a pretty tough physical test. Thiessen told us about the test the smokejumpers face when they are in the running for the job. If you feel like testing yourself—and only if you feel comfortable doing it—here’s the workout they go through:

60 sit-ups 35 push-ups 10 pull-ups Run 1.5 miles in nine minutes 30 seconds or three miles in less than 22 minutes 30 seconds Carry a 110-pound pack for three miles in less than 55 minutes

Read more here about how Alaskan smokejumpers fight fires.

The post Train Like A Firefighter With the Alaskan Smokejumper Workout Test appeared first on Men's Journal.

Get Faster and Build Muscle With This Summer Lift-Run Plan

 

Running and weight training have an uneasy relationship. Pavement pounders are loath to lift heavy, fearing weight gains will slow them down—even if they’re adding muscle. That’s a strategic error.

“For runners, dedicated strength work can help with maintaining proper mechanics, especially when they begin to fatigue,” says Terra Castro, founder of Detroit Body Garage and a former professional triathlete. “Having a powerful arm drive helps when legs get tired. And without a strong core, posture suffers.” Run coaches have long recommended bodyweight strength moves like squats, lunges, and bridges to bolster glutes, hamstrings, and leg muscles to fend off injury. But it might be time to go heavy.

The 10 Most Adventurous Destination Races for Marathon Buffs

To that end, Castro created a lower body- and core-focused training plan that’s more challenging than the usual set of lunges and squats often prescribed to runners. Gym rats should try it, too. The plan also emphasizes cardio and endurance, which will improve your overall fitness.

And put those strong legs to the test with a 10-week half-marathon training plan, designed by Brian Hammond, a New York City–based endurance coach. It’s a balance of running, lifting, cross-training, and recovery. If you’ve wanted to race 13.1 miles, but your schedule is too unpredictable to follow a strict training calendar, this one’s for you.

10 Science-Backed Tips Guaranteed to Make You a Better Runner

The Workout

Warm up, then perform 2 sets of each exercise for 10 to 12 repetitions per side (where applicable). Rest 1 minute between sets. If you are race training, lift heavier in the early weeks of the training calendar, then ease up on the intensity as the run mileage rises.

Expert Tip

To transform this strength-building workout into high intensity interval training, switch to lighter weights, and set a goal of work time for each move—maybe 45 seconds on, then 15 seconds of rest, cycling through the 8 moves 2 or 3 times. One caveat: Speed things up without sacrificing form.


The Warmup

Spend 5 minutes on simple body-weight moves before the main event. They’ll bump up your heart rate, activate muscles, and lubricate joints. Do each for 30 seconds, and cycle through the moves twice. Shown clockwise from top left: bird-dog, monster with band walks, scorpion (torso twist), and skaters with band

Pete Thompson
1. Single-leg Deadlift

Stand with feet together, holding a 20- to 50-pound kettlebell in right hand to start. Shift weight to left foot, pick right foot off floor, and tip forward from hips, chest leaning toward floor. Keeping torso straight, reach weight toward floor, tracking toward the inside of left foot and extend right leg back. Before the weight hits the ground, engage glutes to stand for 1 rep. Complete all reps on right side, then switch sides.

Pete Thompson
2. Thrusters

Hold a set of 30- to 50-pound dumbbells in the front-rack position, feet shoulder-width apart, to start. Keeping weights near shoulders, lower into a squat, then explosively stand to rise, activating glutes, pressing hips forward, and locking out knees; use the momentum to help drive the weights overhead, palms facing each other. Immediately reverse the motion, lowering weights to front-rack position and transitioning into a squat for 1 rep.

Pete Thompson
3. Jump Squats

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees soft, core engaged. Lower into a squat, swinging arms back, to start. Powerfully reverse movement, jumping up and swinging arms overhead, until knees and hips are fully extended. Land softly, then immediately drop into a squat for 1 rep.

Pete Thompson
4. Russian Twist

Sit, knees bent, heels grazing floor, holding a 15- to 30-pound medicine ball. Keeping torso straight, abs engaged, lean back slightly until heels lift a few inches off floor. Twist torso left, and bring medicine ball to left side. Reverse and twist to the right for 1 rep.

Jonathan Kambouris
5. Hops

Place a strip of tape, or lay a resistance band, on floor and do 3 types of hops:

Lateral hops: Stand with feet together, with the line parallel to body, and quickly hop back and forth.

Forward/backward hops: Stand with feet together, toes pointed at tape. Jump forward and backward as fast as possible.

Single-leg hops: Jump laterally across the tape on one leg, then the other. Focus on balance over speed.

Jonathan Kambouris
6. Wood Chops

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, core engaged, holding a 20- to 40-pound medicine ball. To start, reach the ball over your right shoulder until arms are extended fully, then twist torso left, dropping hands toward outside of left foot, keeping left foot planted while right foot pivots on toe. Reverse movement until medicine ball is over right shoulder and arms are extended, for 1 rep. Do all reps starting on right side, then switch sides.

Jonathon Kambouris
7. Reverse Single-Arm Lunge

Stand, feet hip-width apart, a 20- to 40-pound kettlebell in left hand. Press kettlebell so left hand is stacked over left shoulder, extending right arm to the side for balance, to start. Step left foot back and do a reverse lunge so right knee forms a 90-degree angle. Reverse to standing for 1 rep. Complete all reps with weight in left hand, then switch sides.

Jonathon Kamboulis
8. Plank Row

Start in a high plank, feet wider than hip-width apart, each hand grasping a 20- to 50-pound dumbbell. Maintaining a straight line from head to heels, draw right elbow up as far as possible without wrenching shoulder, then reverse. Repeat on left side for 1 rep.

Jonathan Kambouris
Eat to Compete

Maximizing training is possible only when nutrition and sleep are peaking, too. That means keeping to a generally healthy diet, including eating protein and carbs post-workout for muscle repair. Use long training runs as testing grounds to figure out what to eat the night before and the morning of race day. During those runs, experiment with different kinds of race nutrition, like chews and gels or even single-serving maple syrup packets. “The key is to do nothing new on race day,” Castro says. And make sleep a priority. Training takes a toll on your immune system. It’s busy repairing muscle, so stretch yourself too thin and you become more susceptible to bugs that derail training—and the rest of your life. Consider an immune-boosting shot of turmeric and ginger juice with a few drops of oregano oil.

Gallery Stock

The post Get Faster and Build Muscle With This Summer Lift-Run Plan appeared first on Men's Journal.

Power Up Your Pullups With This Small Tweak

 

Your littlest digit is key to eking out more pullups, explains Joel Sanders, director of adult training at EXOS in Phoenix.

Pinkies are the little engine that could. Though small, they can contribute as much as 33 percent of grip strength. As a result, for any exercise or movement that requires gripping—pullups, triceps dips, kettlebell swings, dumbbell or barbell work—over­looking the pinky is a mistake. The way to “activate” the pinky is through a technique called irradiation. It’s when the chain of muscles and nerves that run from the hand, up the sides of arms, through the shoulders, and all the way to the neck, are contracting to create force. Here’s how to feel it out. Using your dominant hand, grab the wrist of the nondom­inant side. At first, squeeze only with your thumb through ring fingers. Relax, then squeeze again, focusing on the pinkie. You should feel all of the muscles up the side of your body turning on.

The 10 Best Core Strength Moves »

There are a couple of ways to use this intel. Simply focusing on your pinkie when holding a bar or tool is a plus. Go a step further and actually train this skill. If you’re comfortable with major weight, grab a 100-­pound dumbbell and try doing 10 reps of a bent­-over dumbbell row with­out putting down the weight. Or select a lighter dumbbell and attach a tool like a Fat Gripz, which increases the diameter of the handle, to challenge grip strength.

The One Stretch Everyone With a Desk Job Should Be Doing »

One additional tip that is specific to pullups: People tend to hold the bar in the wrong part of their hand, which means they’re not maximizing power. Rather than gripping it in the middle of the palm, place your “callus line” against the bar, then wrap fingers around the metal. With one small adjustment, you may just increase your max reps.

The post Power Up Your Pullups With This Small Tweak appeared first on Men's Journal.

Take 25% Off Everything at the TRX 4th of July Sale

 

TRX is a workout system like no other. With the TRX Suspension Training System, you use your own body weight as resistance—which means you can work out any time and anywhere, with no limitations. Whether you’re at home, in the gym, or even at the beach or the dog park, TRX lets you strap into the simplest, yet most advanced resistance training system in the world. And at the TRX 4th of July Sale, you can take 25 percent off everything at TRX, including the company’s signature Home2 Personal Suspension Training System.

But it gets better. TRX Training always offers discounts when you buy one of its special bundles. These include not just the personal suspension trainers, but other health and fitness products that complement your workout. Depending on which bundle you buy, you can get resistance bands, smash balls, shaker bottles, and more. It’s everything you need for a core, cardio, strength, or mobility workout.

Purchased separately, all the gear in TRX’s most popular bundle, the Infinity Gym, would cost you $700. But the bundle is already discounted. Add the 4th of July Sale savings of 25 percent, and the price of the Infinity Gym plummets a mind-boggling 46 percent! So for just $375, you can get $700 of fitness equipment, all wrapped up in a cool duffle bag.

Simply put: You can’t afford to miss out on this deal. We won’t see prices like this again until the holidays.

infinity gym
TRX

TRX Infinity Gym

With the Infinity Gym ($375; was $700), seven different training tools give you myriad options for blasting through a workout. It combines the best-selling TRX Pro4 System with the core-strengthening Rip Trainer, a 10-pound Slam Ball, two variable resistance strength bands, a set of four exercise bands, a Buddy Lee jump rope, and even a TRX water bottle.

You also get a one-year subscription to the TRX app, with hundreds of different workouts and coaches to help you see the results you’re after. Choose from workouts specific to your goals and lifestyle. You can even schedule your workouts and track your progress. Of course, it syncs to your fitness tracking device. And while you’re at it, toss in the TRX Protection Plan, a five-year warranty on the Pro4 and Rip Trainer.

TRX Home2 Suspension trainer
TRX

TRX Home2 Suspension Trainer

If you’re not interested in all those extra features, there’s nothing wrong with starting small. The TRX Home2 ($150; was $200) is an excellent introduction to TRX. Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey or trying to take your workouts to the next level, the Home2 is the system you need to crush your fitness goals. And you can do it in as little as 15 minutes a day.

With reinforced webbing, soft handles for comfort, adjustable foot cradles, and a free one-year subscription to the TRX app, the Home2 enables you to personalize your training to burn, blast fat, and build muscle at home, work, while traveling, or outdoors.

Stabilizing your body weight with TRX Suspension Training constantly challenges your core while engaging a broad range of muscle groups all at once, including your heart. There are no weights or machines, yet you perform hundreds of exercises that build, burn, tone, and strengthen. And you can do it anywhere you can attach the TRX suspension trainer, either to a door, a ceiling beam—even a tree branch. Anywhere the TRX can hook on, you can work out. Planet Earth is now your gym; the only limit is your imagination.

Don’t Get Fooled—Buy Direct

You might be able to find TRX gear elsewhere online—but then you’re only getting half of the TRX system. When you purchase direct from TRX, you get loads of exclusive benefits. In addition to the amazing TRX app, you also get 24/7 access to a personal TRX Concierge— a real, live human who can answer questions about products, workouts, set up, or use.

So jump on the TRX Suspension Training train today. You’ve got nothing to lose—except that gut.

Get It: See all the great deals at the TRX 4th of July Sale

GET IT!

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men’s Journal readers

SEE ALSO:

The Only TRX Workout You’ll Ever Need

The 10 Best TRX Exercises for Men

5 Hardcore Abdominal Movements Using TRX

The post Take 25% Off Everything at the TRX 4th of July Sale appeared first on Men's Journal.

Work Like Wahlberg! Get Amazing Performance Inspired Fitness Deals at Amazon Today

 

Amazon Prime Day is coming! On July 15 and 16, thousands of products across Amazon will be drastically marked down. The savings will be incredible! But if you’re looking for health and fitness products, there’s no need to wait. Because right now you can get everything you need to lose weight, maximize your workout, build mass, and recover faster with Mark Wahlberg’s Performance Inspired products, available at Amazon.

Supplements? Check. Protein powders? Got ’em. Fat burners? Bars and snacks? BCAAs and athletic recovery aids? Check and mate. Performance Inspired has a complete line of health and fitness products to help you crush your fitness goals. There’s even a bunch of pre- and post-workout supplements to help you see results, fast.

And right now you can get 20 percent off all Performance Inspired products at Amazon—but only if you’re a Prime member. Which you’re going to have to be anyway, if you want to take advantage of the thousands of Prime Day deals July 15 and 16. So you might as well sign up today. If you’re already a Prime member, you’re good to go!

And this isn’t cheap, imported stuff. Wahlberg is the driving force behind Performance Inspired sports nutrition products, so you know they’re the real deal. It’s all-natural, too.

Protein Powders

protein powder
Amazon

If you’re looking for protein powders, Performance Inspired has several in various flavors and styles to suit every taste and diet. There’s a full line of whey proteins, including Performance Whey, Diet & Energy Ripped Whey ($27 with coupon; was $36), and Whey Isolate. There’s Plant-based Protein ($26; was $32), to satisfy vegetarian and vegan fitness enthusiasts. And there’s even a Performance Mass Gainer ($30; was $39) if you’re looking to get ripped. All of them come in a variety of delicious flavors, too.

Bars, Snacks, & Nutrition

protein snacks
Amazon

Need healthy snacks to stay energized and focused while remaining true to your diet? There’s a bunch of Performance Inspired cookies, chips, and bars to satisfy your appetite between meals. And some of them are already marked down, so Prime members will get 20 percent off on top of that savings. Performance Bars come in various flavors, including Chocolate Brownie ($24; was $33) and Vanilla Almond. If you’re doing the keto diet, try Performance Inspired Keto Bars ($20; was $25). They come in Chocolate and Peanut Butter & Jelly flavors.  There’s even a great selection of Performance Inspired Protein Tortilla Chips ($5/bag; was $6) and Protein Cookies ($22/case; was $27) in various flavors.

Pre- and Post-Workout

preworkout
Amazon

For those looking to get truly shredded this summer, Performance Inspired Explosive Pre-workout drinks will get you pumped and energized so you can smash your workout and see results, fast. With Citrulline, Arginine AKG, Beta-Alanine, and Creatine Monohydrate, you get 12,000mg of active ingredients to help you maximize your potential every time you step into the gym. For post-workout athletic recovery, try Performance Inspired BCAA ($23; was $29). It’s loaded with L-Glutamine, Taurine, and electrolytes to help you bounce back fast after an intense workout and build lean mass long after you’ve left the gym.

Vitamins, Minerals, & Supplements

supplement
Amazon

Performance Inspired also has a full line of vitamins and supplements to help you recover, perform at your best day in and day out. There are even PI supplements to help manage your weight through healthy, natural means. The Whole Food Multi-Vitamin ($22; was $27) has probiotics and branch chain aminos, in addition to whole food concentrates and energizing herbs to get you through your day. Beauty Support Collagen ($19; was $24) supports healthy hair, skin, nails, and joints. Performance Diet & Energy ($13; was $16) boosts your metabolism with garcinia, chromium, and citrulline to increase stamina and focus. And PI’s CLA supplement ($18; was $22) can help you lose fat, maintain weight loss, retain lean muscle mass—and even control type 2 diabetes. And it’s stimulant-free, so it’s totally stackable.

And remember, Prime members save 20 percent on all Performance Inspired products. So get over to Amazon today and get a jumpstart on Prime Day with fantastic savings on Wahlberg-approved health, fitness, and diet products from Performance Inspired.

Get It: Save 20% on all Performance Inspired health, fitness, and nutrition products at Amazon

Get it

SEE ALSO:

See Mark Wahlberg's Insane Daily Workout and Training Schedule

James Corden Struggles Through Mark Wahlberg’s 4am Workout

5 Ways Mark Wahlberg Stays Wicked Strong

The post Work Like Wahlberg! Get Amazing Performance Inspired Fitness Deals at Amazon Today appeared first on Men's Journal.

Grab This Amazing Waterproof Fitness Tracker for Under $30 at Amazon

 

If you’re looking for FitBit function without FitBit prices, look no further. Over 5,000 Amazon reviewers say the Letscom Fitness Tracker HR is just as good as a FitBit HR, for a fraction of the cost. And right now, you can get it at Amazon for just $28.

The Letscom tracks your heart rate in real time, automatically. During workouts, you can see your heart rate at a glance. And afterward, you can use the personalized in-app report to asses your performance and identify markers to improve. It’s got a sedentary notification that vibrates when you’ve been in one position for too long. Plus, it accurately tracks and records activities all day long, like steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes, and sleep.

Is Sleep Tracking Necessary?

Sleep tracking is crucial to performance and recovery. Without rest, your body won’t recover and you can’t perform at your best. Letscom continuously and automatically tracks your sleep duration and consistency with a comprehensive analysis of sleep quality data, measuring deep, light, and wake sleep. With this valuable info you can adjust your habits and achieve a healthier lifestyle. 

14 exercise modes like walk mode, run mode, bike mode, soccer mode, tennis mode, dance mode, hike mode, etc. will help you better understand specific activity data, like pace and distance. Connect with the GPS on your smart phone to record a map of your route and share it with your friends on social media.

And of course, you can stay connected during your workout with the Letscom. Calls, texts, and email messages pop up instantly on your wrist. You can also get calendar updates, and notifications from apps such as Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter, so you can stay connected even while you’re crushing your workout and never miss the messages that matter.

Letscom
Letscom

The battery allows up to 7 days of working time on a single charge. The built-in USB connection is rather ingenious; simply click off the band and the coupler doubles as a USB plug. Insert that into any charging brick and juice up right away, no separate cords or cables needed.

Reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive. Many users say the Letscom pairs with their phone more easily than their FitBit did. Others tout the waterproof capabilities, saying they swim and bathe with it on with no problems. There are tons of fitness trackers at Amazon, but the Letscom might be the best value. For the price, the Letscom is awfully hard to beat. You could pay twice as much for a comparable FitBit—but why?

Get It: Save 5% when you buy a Letscom ID115Plus HR Fitness Trackers ($28 with coupon) at Amazon

 

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men’s Journal readers.

SEE ALSO:

The 18 Best Health and Fitness Apps for Your Training

No, Fitness Trackers Are Not a Fad. Here’s Why You Should Double Down on Your Data

7 Best Fitness Deals of the Week on Amazon

The post Grab This Amazing Waterproof Fitness Tracker for Under $30 at Amazon appeared first on Men's Journal.

Fantastic Fitness and Athleisure Deals Right Now at Nordstrom

 

We don’t blame you if Nordstrom isn’t the among the first names that come to mind when you think “activewear” or “fitness gear.” But it should be. Known more for its fashion and style, Nordstrom has an amazing selection of athleisure apparel, much of it for far less than you’d pay direct—or even at a big-box retailer.

So get over to Nordstrom today and check it out. We’ve done some digging for you, and found some fantastic deals on fitness gear and athleisure wear at Nordstrom.

Look, workout apparel is expensive. So to find great deals like this is a total score. Sure, there are a bunch of off-brands you can buy. They’ll look almost as good, and work almost as well. But if you’re serious about your gym time, and you’re serious about achieving your fitness goals, you need every edge you can find. And that means gear that works as hard as you do.

Nordstrom Has Athleisure?

It sure does. Stalwart brands like Nike, adidas, and Under Armour are all present and accounted for. And there’s an awesome selection of upstarts and newcomers like Rhone and Reigning Champ.

You want performance gear? Nordstrom has it. From moisture-wicking gym shorts and shirts to natural and breathable Merino wool joggers, Nordstrom’s selection of high-tech apparel is up there with any top-flight specialty store’s. And it’s a better shopping experience, because you can compare different brands and styles all in one place.

We were particularly impressed with the wide selection of running and cross-training shoes at Nordstrom. This is serious athletic footwear, not some haughty haute couture designed to look like real activewear that can truly take a pounding.

Best of all, at Nordstrom you always get free shipping, and returns are a breeze. So don’t settle for off-brand knockoffs. Get over to Nordstrom today and get your body in the activewear you want and need.


Alo Downward Relaxed Sleeveless Hoodie

A tank-style hoodie crafted from a soft poly/nylon/spandex stretch knit. It's got side-zip vents to let you move freely with core-warming action. Totally machine washable. Alo activewear is constructed of high-performance fabric and tested by discerning yogis in LA.

Get It: Pick up the Alo Downward Relaxed Sleeveless Hoodie ($78) at Nordstrom

Nordstrom
Nike Metcon Flyknit 3 Training Shoe

This popular cross-trainer pairs a neoprene cuff with a breathable upper for flexible, targeted support. Flywire cables link the lacing to the sole for reliable, responsive lockdown, with a low profile at the ankle giving you uninhibited, distraction-free movement in every direction. 

Get It: Pick up the Nike Metcon Flyknit 3 Training Shoe ($150) at Nordstrom

Nordstrom
Reigning Champ Long Sleeve Performance T-Shirt

Ventilated side panels further the all-intensity comfort of a long-sleeve running shirt crafted from moisture-wicking fabric with non-chafing seams. Since 2007, Vancouver, B.C.-based Reigning Champ has designed and manufactured premium athletic wear.

Get It: Pick up the Reigning Champ Long Sleeve Performance T-Shirt ($95) at Nordstrom

Nordstrom
Rhone Mako Athletic Shorts

Mobility-enhanced shorts with four-way stretch provide ultimate active comfort with a water-resistant surface that's able to wick away moisture. Front slant pockets and a zip-welt back pocket to keep your valuables secure while you're chasing your all-time best. 

Get Tt: Pick up Rhone Mako Athletic Shorts ($74) at Nordstrom

Nordstrom
Tommy John Cool Cotton High V-Neck Undershirt

Stretch-infused, non-pilling pima cotton blended with a touch of spandex, it dries four to five times faster and keeps you two to three times cooler than normal cotton. We're talking an athletic v-neck with reliable comfort, a streamlined fit, and a patented design that never comes untucked.

Get It: Pick up the Tommy John Cool Cotton High V-Neck Undershirt ($40) at Nordstrom

Nordstrom
Smartwool 250 Merino Wool Jogger Pants

These 100 percent Merino midweight training pants make an exceptional base layer for jogging, with breathable warmth and a chafe-free fit. Featuring an elasticized waistband and flatlock seams; front pockets only.

Get It: Pick up Smartwool 250 Merino Wool Jogger Pants ($115) at Nordstrom

Nordstrom
Icebreaker Cool-Lite Incline Windbreaker Jacket

Cool-Lite lining enhances the moisture-wicking tech of this lightweight, weather-resistant jacket. It has  offset shoulder seams to prevent pack chafing, a reflective front-zip closure, drop-tail hem, and zip hand pockets. 51 percent Merino wool, 34 percent Tencel, 15 percent nylon.

Get It: Pick up the Icebreaker Cool-Lite Incline Windbreaker Jacket ($190) at Nordstrom

Nordstrom
Topo Designs Classic Duffle Bag

Touches of natural leather mark a black-on-black duffle. It's crafted from water-resistant tech canvas with a spacious main compartment that's perfect for the gym—or the weekend. It comes with an adjustable shoulder strap and interior zip and wall pockets. Made in the USA, it measures 23.5" X 12" x 12".

Get It: Pick up the Topo Designs Classic Duffle Bag ($129) at Nordstrom

 

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men's Journal readers

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Nordstrom

The post Fantastic Fitness and Athleisure Deals Right Now at Nordstrom appeared first on Men's Journal.

How Shaquille O’Neal Stopped Snoring—And Possibly Saved his Life

 

When Shaquille O’Neal’s son Shareef posted a video on YouTube of his dad’s bear-like snoring a few years ago, most of us thought it was hilarious. One man in particular, though, saw the video and was deeply alarmed by the roar coming from the big man.

One day while Shaq was scrolling through Instagram, someone sent him a brash message: “Do you want to die?”

“I sent back: ‘Excuse me?’” remembers Shaq. “He told me who he was and said, ‘You need to come and meet with me.’”
 And so Shaq did.

The man sliding into Shaq’s DMs was Dr. Jonathan Greenberg, the inventor of the Zyppah anti-snoring device. Millions saw the viral video. But Dr. Greenberg saw more than just a man snoring loudly. The sleep therapist saw a man with severe sleep apnea fighting to breathe, and possibly fighting for his life.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, an estimated 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the neck and jaw relax to the point where the tongue falls back into the throat. This fails to keep the sleeper’s airway open, resulting in disturbed sleep and reduced blood oxygen levels.

And it’s far more than just an annoyance. For people with sleep apnea, the combination of frequently interrupted sleep and oxygen starvation can lead to hypertension and heart disease. The condition certainly carries the danger of suffocation. But the symptoms can also increase your risk of stroke, high blood pressure, headaches, depression, anxiety, and diabetes. Experts say approximately 80 million adults (and even chronically snoring children) have undiagnosed sleep apnea.

Shaq says his teammates used to complain about his snoring all the time. “They said I sounded like a hungry bear,” he admits. “I just thought it was normal and never really took it seriously.” Even after undergoing a sleep apnea study at Harvard and being diagnosed with it, Shaq never sought any treatment.

That all changed after he met Dr. Greenberg, who educated him on the danger he was in. Shaq claims the Zyppah cured his sleep apnea, and that he now sleeps quietly and through the night, every night. He also says he realizes the Zyppah may have saved his life.

“It works beautifully,” Shaq said. “When I wear the mouthpiece, there is hardly any sound. I feel better when I wake up in the morning. I’m feeling pretty good right now.”

snoring
Zyppah

How Does Over-The-Counter Zyppah Work?

The FDA-approved mouthpiece is a boil-and-bite oral appliance, like a sports mouthpiece. It works in two ways. The molded device moves your lower jaw forward, while the tongue strap prevents your tongue from falling backwards and blocking your breathing passage. This two-step approach effectively and gently keeps your airway open, letting you breathe freely without snoring. The result? You and your bed partner enjoy a night of peaceful, healthy, and uninterrupted sleep.

There are a number of factors that increase your risk of snoring. Being overweight, having a recessed chin or overbite (or even a large neck like Shaq, who has a large everything), and smoking and alcohol use all put you at risk. The NSF also says sleep apnea seems to run in some families, suggesting a possible genetic basis beyond physical attributes.

“I just want to introduce this product to the world,” Shaq says. “And to inform people that if you snore, you should definitely see a specialist and get it checked out.”

So if you snore loudly and often, there’s a reason for it—and you can do something about it. Get a Zyppah. Nearly 900 reviewers give it either four or five stars—literally no one gives it less—and it’s guaranteed to work, or your money back.

Get It: Take a 90-day risk-free trial of Zyppah ($100) today

Get it

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men’s Journal readers

SEE ALSO:

Life Advice from Shaquille O’Neal

Stop Snoring With This One Easy Device

The 9 Best Weighted Blankets Perfect for Athletic Recovery

The post How Shaquille O’Neal Stopped Snoring—And Possibly Saved his Life appeared first on Men's Journal.

How to Get Shredded Like Tom Holland in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

 

No spoilers here, but there’s a scene in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home where Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio huddle in the middle of an epic battle with a gigantic intergalactic foe. As you can imagine, both characters are pretty winded during the clash.

 

In order to get the vibe right, Holland decided he would launch off a trampoline into a backflip and then land in the frame with Gyllenhaal to deliver his lines. Needless to say, this is not a regular occurrence on movie sets, and Holland’s idea surprised even the veteran actor Gyllenhaal.

The Total-Body Workout That’ll Help You Get Killer Abs

“He is so physical,” Gyllenhaal said during a press conference for the latest addition to the web-slinging franchise. “The way he moves is insane.”

Holland has a background in gymnastics and dance, which has allowed him to bring a physicality to the role that fans haven’t previously seen. On top of his acting work on set, he spends as much time as possible working with the stunt crews so he can step into the action whenever possible. Before filming the latest in the Spider-Man franchise, he played another film role that required him to lose weight, so Holland’s team put in a call to London-based trainer George Ashwell to help him get back into shape.

The Total-Body Workout to Strengthen Your Body's Weakest Points

“I was excited to work with someone who was already such an athlete,” says Ashwell, who works out of TwentyTwo Training. Starting six weeks before Far From Home began production, he worked with Holland every day. Ashwell created a program that had the actor doing a combination of big fundamental lifts and functional movements for mobility. The work continued throughout filming: Holland trained in gyms built alongside the movie’s stunt rooms in London, Prague, and Venice.

Though the focus was on making sure Holland filled out the Spider-Man gear and could pull off his stunts, one scene in particular demanded that he looked like a superhero outside of the suit as well.

“The script that we were handed had a pretty big shirtless scene,” Ashwell says. “So we wanted to make sure that he looked his very best for that.”

They set a goal of having Holland gain one stone (about 14 pounds) of muscle without any increase in body fat. How did they do?

“Tom smashed it,” Ashwell says. “The kid is a machine.”

Spider-Man Circuit

Perform this four-exercise circuit for five rounds. The first round is a warmup and the rest are considered “working sets.” Rest for 30 seconds between each exercise. Ashwell also recommends one minute of Functional Range Conditioning, or mobility movements to prime the joints, before and between each round.

Deadlift (2x bodyweight): 8 reps

Incline Press With Pronation (1/2 bodyweight each hand): 10 reps

Dip Bar Straight Leg Raises: 15 reps

Weighted Dips (8 kilograms weighted vest): 12 reps

Nutrition
Rather than prescribing meal plans, Ashwell instead opted to work with what Holland was previously eating and adjusting it as needed. This meant making sure that each meal contained two fist-sized portions of protein, two fists of carbs, and two fists of greens. Holland was eating half of that before they started training, but he needed to up the amounts in order to bulk up properly. He tried to stick with lean proteins and good carbs when possible.

Recovery
Ashwell is a physical therapist as well as a trainer, and he puts a large emphasis on the treatment and recovery side of training. He worked with Holland for about 30 minutes on the treatment table after each of their workout sessions.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is in theaters now.

The post How to Get Shredded Like Tom Holland in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ appeared first on Men's Journal.

Joel Kinnaman on His Love of Jiu-Jitsu and What It's Like When a Black Belt 'Folds You Up Like a Paper Clip'

 

Actor Joel Kinnaman knows his way around an action scene. From his work in movies and TV shows like Suicide Squad, RoboCop, the Swedish smash Easy Money, Hanna, and the Netflix series Altered Carbon, Kinnaman has learned to handle himself in a fight.

COVER STORY: Reborn on the Bayou: Joel Kinnaman’s Long, Strange Trip to Hollywood Glory

In fact, it was on the sci-fi Netflix series where Kinnaman discovered his new workout obsession: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Now, it has become a staple of his workout routine. As Kinnaman told us in his MJ5 rundown, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is something he’s “literally addicted to. If I don’t train for like three or four days, my mind starts playing tricks on me.”

On Altered Carbon, Kinnaman played a mercenary soldier and needed to find a particular fighting style for the character: “We were trying all these different martial arts for [Altered Carbon],” Kinnaman says. “And when we started [jiu-jitsu], I felt right away that there was something there. I had a natural inclination towards it.”

Picking a Fight: How to Choose the Right Martial Art for You

Even though he loves training with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he still gets knocked down once in a while: “That’s pretty much every time [laughs],” Kinnaman says. “You have good days of course, but you have a good day and then you roll with a 65-year-old man and he happens to be a black belt and he folds you up like a paper clip and that’s that.”

While Jiu-Jitsu is a big part of Kinnaman’s routine, he tries to keep things fresh. He also uses his upcoming roles to dictate how he’s going to train: “I like to mix it up,” Kinnaman says. “What I’m training for is often dictated about what kind of role I’m working on. Lately I’ve been doing more dramatic roles where I don’t want to be bulky, so then I train more jiu-jitsu, I even do yoga.”

‘For All Mankind’ Trailer: Joel Kinnaman Blasts Into Space in New Apple TV+ Series

Kinnaman will next appear in the film The Informer, based on the award-winning novel Three Seconds, set for an August 16, 2019 release. The actor is also starring in the new Apple Plus TV series For All Mankind, premiering this fall. Watch the video above for more on how Kinnaman trains and read his full cover story profile in the July/August issue of Men’s Journal.

The post Joel Kinnaman on His Love of Jiu-Jitsu and What It's Like When a Black Belt 'Folds You Up Like a Paper Clip' appeared first on Men's Journal.

Easy Being Green: Balance Your Protein With Ora Organics Green Superfood

 

Your fitness regimen requires a ton of protein. Protein for energy, protein to bulk up, protein to stay fit. And then after your workout? Admit it: Proteins make up the bulk of your diet. But your body needs more nutrients than that and besides, too much protein can create an acid load in the bloodstream. You need to balance all that protein with fruits and veggies. Get all the greens you need in one fell scoop with Easy Being Green Superfood Powder from Ora Organics.

One scoop of Easy Being Green provides the nutrition of over 20 veggies, grasses, herbs, algae, and superfoods. Just mix it into a glass of water or sprinkle it into your morning smoothie or breakfast bowl. In addition to balancing your system, nutrition from greens and veggies will help counteract acidosis and preserve bone, muscle, and tissues. Veggies also help detoxify the body. Plus, they’re loaded with greens-specific phytonutrients.

It’s Really 100% Organic?

Easy Being Green, like all Ora Organics proteins and powders, is certified USDA organic and contains no added sugar, artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or preservatives. And it’s super-tasty, so it’s perfect for sneaking extra greens and nutrients to kids and picky eaters. The delicious citrus flavor comes from organic fruit and prebiotics.

282 reviews, and Easy Being Green gets a solid 4.5 stars. When real users swear by it, you know it’s good.

greens powder
Ora Organics

It also contains Ayurvedic adaptogenic herbs. Ashwagandha, sometimes called “Indian ginseng,” has been shown to boost the immune system and support stress relief, and some say it can increase focus while decreasing fatigue. Triphala is an Ayurvedic that literally means “three fruits.” It aids in digestion, internal cleansing, and is a powerful antioxidant.

Easy Being Green comes in a 8.5-ounce tub (30 servings) for $28—just $22 if you subscribe to Ora Organics. That’s a full 20 percent off, and you can adjust your schedule or cancel at any time. It also comes in single-serve pouches, either a la carte ($3) or in a box of seven for $16.

What’s In Easy Being Green?

There are no filler ingredients in any of Ora’s products. So in addition to the the Ayurvedic herbs above, Easy Being Green Superfood Powder contains the following organic fruits and vegetables:

Kale
 Monk Fruit
 Orange
 Parsley
 Spinach
 Broccoli
 Cabbage
 Celery
 Cilantro
 Green Bell Pepper
 Leek
 Lemon

Is that enough green superfood for you? In addition, Easy Being Green also has healthy doses of superfoods. Spirulina
, dandelion leaf
, alfalfa leaf powder
, barley grass juice powder
, chlorella
, dulse
, oat grass powder
, sea kelp
, tapioca starch, and wheat grass juice powder all make an appearance.

Is EBG Gluten-Free?

Third-party tested and determined to be gluten-free, Easy Being Green does contain both barley grass juice powder and wheat grass juice powder. However, gluten is only found within the seed kernels of these; Ora uses just the grass of each.

Ora Organics sources ingredients from North America and Europe whenever possible. It uses only the highest quality plant-based food that’s been certified USDA Organic. Of course, many ingredients are native to South America or Asia and are best grown there. Other ingredients are seasonal and sourced from other parts of the world.

greens powder
Ora Organics

If you’re ready to expand your diet to include fruits and vegetables—and you know you should—pick up Easy Being Green Superfood Powder today. Even if you hate vegetables, you can still get all the nutrients and benefits of eating them. And you can honestly your mother how much you love veggies these days.

Get It: Pick up Easy Being Green Organic Green Superfood Powder from Ora Organics ($28, 8.5oz.)

GET IT!

SEE ALSO:

The Best Superfoods for Weight Loss

10 Powerhouse Greens You Should Be Eating All the Time

5 Superfoods That Can Naturally Boost Your Health and Athletic Performance

The post Easy Being Green: Balance Your Protein With Ora Organics Green Superfood appeared first on Men's Journal.

This Delicious Juice Cleanse Is Having a BOGO Sale

 

It’s a long summer, guys. You worked way too hard all spring long to get into beach shape, so stay there! Stay fit, eat right—and occasionally detox. A a healthy, natural juice cleanse is great way to flush impurities from your system. And one of our favorites, JÙS by Julie, is having a huge sale this week. If you’re ready for a healthy, stress-free, delicious detox that won’t rip our insides to shreds, order a home delivery of JÙS By Julie this week—and get your second order for half off.

That’s right: This week only, everything at JÙS By Julie is BOGO 50 percent off (on orders over $50). From its complete 5-day Cleanse to a la carte juices, just order at least $50 worth of JÙS By Julie products and then order all that stuff once more, because the second time around you’ll get it for half price. Plus free shipping.

juice cleanse
JUS By Julie

And that’s not all. Sign up for the JÙS By Julie newsletter, and JBJ will give you an extra 30 percent off your first order! You simply can’t afford not to take advantage of this awesome weight-loss plan. But even if you’re not looking to lose weight, JÙS By Julie blended juices are a fantastic way to get your nutrition and stay trim. Plus, they taste great, so you’ve really got nothing to lose.

How Does It Work?

JÙS by Julie is an all-natural, delicious juice cleanse that gets delivered right to your door, pre-made and pre-portioned. What makes it so special? Instead of cold-pressing the juices each JÙS by Julie juice is blended, to ensure each serving has 100 percent of the fruits and veggies you need. So you get plenty of antioxidants, fiber, and live enzymes, which play an essential role in absorbing toxins and flushing them out of your body. As well as the fuel you need to operate to your fullest potential.

No matter if you’re cleansing for the first time, need a quick perk-up/slim-down, or require a full week of course-correcting detox after having too much fun this summer, JÙS by Julie has a juice cleanse that’s just right for you.

There are five cleanses to choose from. The One-Day Cleanse ($50) is a quick and easy way to get your body back on track. The Two-Day Cleanse ($95) provides a bit more detox. The 3-Day Cleanse ($140) includes a healthy afternoon dessert smoothie to keep ou going when the afternoon munchies come around. And if you’ve been a bad boy this summer, you might need the complete 5-Day Cleanse ($225).

juice cleanse
JUS By Julie

JÙS by Julie also offers a 3-Day Soup and JÙS Cleanse ($125), a three-day detox program with a variety of three blended soups loaded with protein, vegetables, and vitamins to keep you from getting hungry throughout your day.

What’s The Best Option For Athletes?

For guys on a fitness regimen, we recommend the 5-Day JÙS ‘Til Dinner Cleanse ($165). It has four juices for daytime, then you’re on your own for a healthy dinner at night. This is a perfect options for athletes and those who perform high-intensity workouts most every day.

No matter which JUS By Julie cleanse you choose, you’ll find yourself feeling better and seeing results in no time. And all the cleanses are more than $50, so no matter which on you buy, you’ll get the second one for half-price.

If you’ve been pushing the fun a little too hard this summer, you can’t go wrong with a JUS By Julie juice cleanse. It’s a delicious way to detox, slim down, and get your body back in shape for the rest of the summer.

Get It: Try a JUS By Julie cleanse today and get the second one for half price, this week only.

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men’s Journal readers.

SEE ALSO:

7 of the Best Ninja Blenders You Need in Your Kitchen

10 Myths of Juice Cleansing

How to Detoxify Your Body and Mind

The post This Delicious Juice Cleanse Is Having a BOGO Sale appeared first on Men's Journal.

We Found the Best Sound Machines for Men

 

Sleep is the key to health, fitness, and—dare we say it?—happiness. If you’re having trouble relaxing after a long day, recovering after a grueling workout, or just sleeping at night, a sound machine can help. Here are some of the best sound machines for men.

No matter what you do all day long, when it’s all said and done you need to find that quiet space and let the troubles rinse off your back. Whether that place is the gym, on a run, in a yoga class, or just lying in bed with the lights out, blocking out the noise of the world is a necessity for a clear head and a calm focus on what lies ahead tomorrow.

You’ve got to let your body recharge when the day is done—and the only way to do that is rest and relaxation. White noise is scientifically proven to help people relax and/or focus, and a sound machine is the perfect way to achieve that distraction-free tranquility.

What’s the Best White Noise?

Whether you choose the soothing whoosh of a fan, the soft tinkle of a bubbling stream, or the pleasant wash of a rainstorm, white noise can help flush away life’s distractions and quickly get you in your tranquil zone. From there, it’s up to you: sleep, read, cook, play your guitar, tinker on a project, or watch TV. Whatever it takes to unwind, now you’re in the perfect position to do it.

They’re also great for athletes and athletic recovery. If you’re in training for an event or just dedicated to a fit life, recovery is essential. You can’t get back out there and do it again tomorrow if you’re still feeling blasted from yesterday. A hard fitness regimen requires recovery, and a great night’s sleep is the key. Wind down from a grueling workout and find your inner peace with one of these awesome sound machines.


ASTI Sound + Sleep Machine

This sound machine continuously listens to background noise and automatically responds to it within 1/10th of a second, remixing sound profiles and adjusting the volume to neutralize intrusions. You can listen via the built-in audio system, headphones, pillow speakers, or an external sound system.

Get It: Take 58% off the ASTI Sound + Sleep Machine ($63; was $150) at Amazon

Ecotones
SNOOZ White Noise Sound Machine

This fan-based white noise machine helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. Using a proprietary fan impeller inside an acoustically optimized enclosure, it produces peaceful white noise to help the world fade away. It's also got the modern aesthetic of a portable speaker.

Get It: Pick up the SNOOZ White Noise Sound Machine ($80) at Amazon

Amazon
Pure Enrighment Wave Sleep Therapy Sound Machine

With six sound settings, you can drown out distractions and escape into a peaceful environment that supports rest and rejuvenation. It also has a USB port to charge your devices. Its modern yet compact design fits on any size night stand and is a great complement to any décor.

Get It: Pick up the Pure Enrighment Wave Sleep Therapy Sound Machine ($25 with coupon; was $45) at Amazon

Amazon
Rohm Travel Sleep Sound Machine

This portable device lets you take control of your sound environment anywhere, so you can sleep your best, uninterrupted. Rechargeable via USB and includes a lanyard for easy handling and hanging while traveling. It's perfect for new parents.

Get It: Pick up the Rohm Travel Sleep Sound Machine ($30) at Yogasleep

Yogasleep
LectroFan Sound Machine

With ten fan sounds and ten more non-repeating white noise sounds, this is one of the more versatile sound machines on the list. And the small size makes it perfect for travel. It's powered via USB, so it can be plugged into your computer or an AC adapter.

Get It: Pick up the LectroFan Sound Machine ($50) at Walmart

Walmart
Dohm Classic Natural Sleep Sound Machine

One of the original sound machines, the Dohm was first invented in 1962. In the 70s, its tag line was "give sleep a chance." It features fan-based natural white noise with two speed options for adjustable tone and volume.

Get It: Pick up the Dohm Classic Natural Sleep Sound Machine ($45) at Yogasleep

Dohm
HoMedics SoundSpa Sleep Sound Machine

Block out distractions and create a perfect environment for sleep, relaxation, or concentration with six soothing sounds. The auto-off timer has 15-, 30-, and 60-minute options. It's lightweight, portable, and perfect for travel.

Get It: Pick up the HoMedics SoundSpa Sleep Sound Machine (starting at $20; was $25) at Amazon

Amazon
Dreamegg D1 White Noise Machine

Get in your zone quicker. This sleep therapy sound machine is equipped with 21 sounds—7 white noise, 7 fan, and 7 relaxing sounds. it's perfect for sleeping, relaxing, meditation, yoga, or napping. Features a soft yellow night light.

Get It: Take $5 off the Dreamegg D1 White Noise Machine ($30 with coupon; was $35) at Amazon

 

 

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men's Journal readers.

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Amazon

The post We Found the Best Sound Machines for Men appeared first on Men's Journal.

Buy All-natural Vega Protein and Get A Free BlendJet Portable Blender Through June 26

 

If you’ve ever wanted to be able to quickly mix up a protein shake or smoothie immediately before, during, or after your workout, here’s your chance. Right now through June 26, spend just $100 on Vega plant-based protein mixes and meal replacement products and you’ll get a free BlendJet portable blender.

This is a great deal for any fitness enthusiast. Scratch that—this is a great deal for anyone who wants to eat healthier and/or get on-the-go nutrition without the calories. Note that this deal only runs through Wednesday 6/26 and is limited to the first 1,000 orders. So hurry!

Vega sports nutrition drinks, protein bars, shakes, and more are delicious plant-based products that don’t compromise nutrition for convenience. Everything is vegan certified, non-GMO verified, gluten-free, and contains zero artificial flavors or preservatives. And the company is committed to sustainable production and responsible manufacturing and waste standards. Vega products are good for the body, feed the mind, and respect the planet.

Real, plant-based foods like multi-source plant protein, organic chia seeds, and organic fruits and vegetables fuel your body and help you recover better and faster than any supplement. And getting them all in one place means you don’t have to spend a ton of money on hard-to-prepare produce with a short shelf life. With Vega you get your nutrition, get it fast, and get on the path to fitness and recovery quicker and easier than ever before.

BlendJet: Portable, On-The-Go Nutrition

If you’ve never tried the BlendJet, you don’t know what you’re missing. Small enough to fit in your gym bag or locker—or even in your desk at work, it’s so convenient,you may never use your countertop blender again. The portable, battery-operated blender charges via USB and makes 10-12 drinks per charge. Just add ingredients and your Vega protein, press the button, and you’ll have a tasty smoothie or shake in just 90 seconds.

It’s made from high-quality BPA-free and food-grade materials. With a durable 6-point stainless steel blade and 2000-mAh battery powering a 7.4V motor, it’s not a toy. No, BlendJet is a serious workout and nutrition assistant. And at 3 “x 3″ x 9”, it makes an awesome travel, work, or gym blender that easy to clean and store.

 

Vega Blendjet
Vega

And did we mention it’s FREE when you spend at least $100 at Vega?

You’ll get 15 percent off your first order when you sign up for the newsletter. But with all the great protein powders, bars, and meal replacement shakes at Vega you’ll want to spend at least $100 just to make sure you get your fill of natural, organic, vegan protein. And most of it is friendly, low-carb, or both. A bunch of our favorites are listed below.

And of course, you’ll want to spend $100 to make sure you get your free BlendJet!

Vega is committed to bringing you sustainable, plant-based nutrition. When you throw in the convenient, portable BlendJet blender, you’ll not only get your nutrition on the go, you’ll be supporting a sustainable company that cares about the environment and gives back to its community.

Just make sure you place your $100 order by Wednesday June 26 to get your free BlendJet. Happy blending!


Vega One Organic All-In-One Shake

Harness the power of plants to help supercharge your day, deliciously. Pea, sunflower seed, and pumpkin seed proteins combine for a complete organic protein blend. Made with Earthbound Farms organic greens, it offers 16 percent of your DV of fiber. Plus, it's got 50 percent of your daily 8 vitamins and minerals, 4g of fiber, 500mg Omega-3 ALA, and probiotics. Available in French Vanilla, Chocolate, Plain Unsweetened, Mocha, Coconut Almond, or Berry flavors.

Get It: Pick up One Organic All-In-One Shake (from $34 for 10 servings). 

Vega
Vega Sport Hydrator

Restore your electrolyte balance with sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, so you can stay dialed in on what matters. With 100 percent DV antioxidant vitamin C and no artificial flavors or sweeteners, it’s always gluten-free, vegan certified, non-GMO, and comes in Berry or Lemon-lime flavors. This product is low carb and keto-friendly.

Like every Vega Sport product, Sport Hydrator is Informed-Choice certified. It's been tested for banned substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency list and certified safe for athletes to use.

Get It: Pick up Sport Hydrator ($30 for a 50-serving tub). 

Vega
Vega Protein Made Simple

Protein doesn’t need to be complicated—so keep it simple. Get up to 15 grams of protein from peas, coconut cream flour for shake-ability and texture, real cane sugar for subtle sweetness, and only 4-8 real, plant-based food ingredients (depending which flavor you choose). No stevia, no gums, and no synthetic thickeners. In Strawberry Banana, Caramel Toffee, Vanilla, or Dark Chocolate flavors, it tastes great shaken with water or your favorite non-dairy milk alternative—but it’s also easy to blend into a smoothie.

Get It: Pick up Protein Made Simple ($15 for 10 servings). 

Vega
Vega Protein & Energy

Get the edge you need to see your workout through. Or just your workday; this stuff is all-natural and delicious. 3g of MCT oil give this mix a smooth, delicious texture that shakes with ease. With 20g plant-based protein from pea protein and golden chlorella, it's low carb and keto-friendly. It comes in Cold Brew Coffee, Matcha Latte, Vanilla Bean, or Classic Chocolate flavors. The caffeine is sourced from organic coffee fruit from premium Arabica coffee cherries.

Get It: Pick up Protein & Energy ($30 for 10oz. tub). 

Vega
Vega Sport Protein Bars

Treat yourself post-workout. Available in Crunchy Peanut Butter or Crispy Mint Chocolate, it's a multisource 20g protein blend of brown rice and pea protein—no soy protein isolate required. Includes 3.5g of BCAAs isoleucine, leucine, and valine and 480mg of tart cherry powder to support recovery.

Get It: Pick up Sport Protein Bars ($30, box of 12). Spend $100 at Vega through 6/26 and get a free BlendJet blender.

 

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men's Journal readers

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Vega

The post Buy All-natural Vega Protein and Get A Free BlendJet Portable Blender Through June 26 appeared first on Men's Journal.

Get Shredded! Save Big on Protein & Supplements at the Myprotein Summer Sale

 

Right now during the Summer Sale, you can take up to 60 percent off sitewide at Myprotein—plus an additional 20 percent off most items! Just use the code SUM80 to take advantage of this amazing deal.

But you’d better hurry: the Myprotein Summer Sale only runs through this Wednesday, June 26.

If you’re looking to gain mass, increase your stamina, or recover faster you need to be supplementing your fitness regimen with protein, amino acids, and multi-vitamins. Myprotein offers a variety of ways to do that. We particularly like their delicious Protein Popcorn. It makes for an excellent snack! There’s also a fantastic selection of MCT oil, CLA, probiotics, and more.

Myprotein offers a massive selection of fitness supplements and protein powders, multivitamins and healthy snacks.  They produce everything in-house, too. That eliminates third-party production and distribution costs that get passed on to you. Myprotein’s state-of-the-art facilities and top-notch testing measures ensure everything meets the highest standards.

Any Vegan Proteins?

Myprotein also offers a great selection of plant-based and organic products that contain zero animal substances. This vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free vegan-friendly range has recently expanded, too. So there’s now a wide variety of products to choose from. No matter which way you go, at these prices you can’t afford not to gain mass and maximize your workouts.

With zero substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, all Myprotein products are totally clean and safe. Working closely with independent partners to test the quality of its fitness supplements and workout aids, Myprotein’s Impact Whey Isolate and Creatine Monohydrate are ranked number one for value and quality by an independent sports nutrition tester.

With operations in over 70 countries, Myprotein delivers a range of quality fitness products and supplements to fitness enthusiasts worldwide. Some of its products include protein powder, vitamins and minerals, high-protein foods, snack alternatives, and performance clothing.

Check out some of our favorite Myprotein products below! And remember to use the code SUM80 at checkout.


Collagen Protein

This lactose-free protein is brand new to Myprotein, and made for growing and maintaining muscle. The best part? It helps keep joints supple, so you have a full range of movement regardless of the physical activity you choose to do.

Get It: Grab the Collagen Protein ($13, originally $18)

MyProtein
Impact Whey Isolate

One of the purest whey supplements available, with 90 percent protein content, it's sourced from the same cows that produce your milk and cheese. It’s simply filtered and spray-dried to produce all-natural nutritionals. 22g protein, 0g fat, and less than 2g of carbs per serving. Available in ten flavors.

Get It: Grab the Impact Whey Isolate ($28, normally $37)

Myprotein
Protein Popcorn

Protein Popcorn is a satisfying snack that’s great on-the-go—before the gym, after exercise, or as a guilt-free lunchbox companion. It’s available in Dark Chocolate Sea Salt and Cinnamon Krunch.

Get It: Pick up the Protein Popcorn ($13, normally $16)

Myprotein
The Pre-Workout

Scientifically crafted to enhance energy, focus, and performance. Includes 150mg of caffeine to increase alertness and improve concentration, all while reducing fatigue—so you can squeeze out one last rep or run that extra mile. In four flavors.

Get It: Pick up the The Pre-Workout ($24, normally $40)

Myprotein
The MCT Boost

Medium-chain triglycerides are a form of fat that provides an easily digestible, calorie-dense energy source. The MCT Boost is an easy-to-use MCT oil derived from coconut oil that’s perfect for adding to your favorite hot and cold drinks. And, it retains coconut oil’s beneficial lauric acid.

Get It: Grab the The MCT Boost ($12, normally $25)

Myprotein
Slow-Release Casein

23g of slow-releasing protein to help you grow and maintain muscle, and recover. With five flavors, it's the perfect shake between meals and even while you sleep. It includes a complete amino acid profile, so you can wake up raring to go for your next session.

Get It: Pick up the Slow-Release Casein ($25, was $33)

Myprotein
Pea Protein Isolate

Completely free from soy and dairy, our all-natural Pea Protein Isolate is packed with 21g protein per serving, perfect for those training on a plant-based diet.

Get It: Grab the Pea Protein Isolate ($10, was $25)

Myprotein
Creatine Monohydrate

Scientifically proven to increase physical performance by improving overall power, muscle size, and strength. Getting the amount of creatine you need from food such as meat and fish can be very difficult. This supplement will help if you take it immediately post-workout.

Get It: Pick up the Creatine Monohydrate ($8, originally $11)

 

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men's Journal readers

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Myprotein

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Bundle Up and Save On Bulletproof Coffee During the Summer Sale, Going On Now

 

Are you still putting milk or cream in your coffee? Instead, you should use a dab of butter to smooth out your morning joe. Grass-fed, unsalted butter is higher in omega-3 fatty acids than regular butter and more healthy fats than milk. The result? A breakfast alternative that suppresses hunger, promotes weight loss, and improves mental clarity.

Right now you can bundle up on Bulletproof Coffee and save big. The Summer Sale is going on, too, so you’ll save 15 percent on select items like Collagen Protein and pre-packaged cold brew at bulletproof.com. If you’ve ever wondered what all the Bulletproof hype is all about, now’s the perfect time to find out.

bulletproof butter coffee
Bulletproof Coffee

Pick up a three-pack of any Bulletproof Coffee—Luminate, The Original, The Mentalist, or French Kick—and you’ll save $2 on each bag of coffee. That’s a $6 savings; from $45 to $39. That’s enough to put you over the $35 threshold to activate free shipping at Bulletproof. Talk about a win-win.

And it gets better. Spend $75 and you’ll get a free bag of Luminate at checkout. Just add a bag of Luminate to your cart, and the discount will automatically apply once the cart total reaches $75 or more.

How Does Bulletproof Coffee Work?

Buttered coffee is a common drink around the world; Bulletproof simply adds another relatively healthy fat to the mix. If you’re active and eat a balanced, nutritious diet, adding a little healthy fat to your coffee might give you a bit more energy than your everyday cup. And if you’re on the keto diet, it’s an absolute necessity to kickstart ketosis.

bulletproof mct
Bulletproof Coffee

Coffee is filled with beneficial antioxidants. Instead of adding in milk or cream, which can counteract coffee’s natural healthy effect, adding butter to your coffee becomes a viable breakfast replacement. How? That saturated fat—plus two tablespoons of Bulletproof’s Brain Octane Oil (a medium-chain triglyceride derived from coconut oil) to boost energy and prevent cravings—results in a 400- to 500-calorie, zero-carb drink that acts as a meal in itself.

Plus, assuming you’ve curbed carbs elsewhere in your diet and the glycogen stores in your liver are low, Bulletproof claims the pure butter fat in the drink can help bring on ketosis, the body’s fat-burning process.

Compared to cream, butter also has more butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid that possesses anti-inflammatory properties, and some research has shown it can promote brain function and gut health. Butter also has more vitamins, such as A, D, and K2, than cream and is lower in sugar. And it tastes great!

Bulletproof offers four types of coffee:

Luminate (Light Roast): Vibrant notes of milk chocolate, orange, berry and citrus. The Original (Medium Roast): Cinnamon, orange, nectarine, and chocolate opening into a cup that presents distinct notes of sweet plum and gentle orange. The Mentalist (Medium-Dark Roast): Dark cocoa and vanilla aromatics open up to a rich, full-bodied coffee with cherry sweetness and notes of almond and caramel. French Kick (Dark Roast): Smooth and sweet with pleasant chocolate notes, finishes clean, has a medium body.

Of course, you can mix & match your bundle if you prefer. Bulletproof coffee is certified clean and Rainforest Alliance-certified coffee. Bulletproof’s process is clean and sustainable, too: all Bulletproof coffee is cleanly washed, mechanically dried, and tested for toxins. And a direct partnership with high-altitude farms in Colombia and Guatemala ensures Bulletproof’s suppliers maintain  sustainable operations.

bulletproof protein
Bulletproof Coffee

And don’t forget: Take 15 percent off Bulletproof’s awesome selection of flavored Collagen Protein and Cold Brew. It’s delicious!

So if you’ve ever thought about giving Bulletproof Coffee a try, there’s no better time than the Bulletproof Summer Sale.

Get It: Bundle up and save at the Bulletproof Coffee Summer Sale ($39 for 3 packs; was $45).

GET IT!

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men’s Journal readers.

SEE ALSO:

Laird Hamilton's Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

Inside the Personal Health Laboratory of Bulletproof Coffee’s Dave Asprey

Should You Be Drinking Bulletproof Coffee?

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Listening to Music at Work Can Actually Crush Your Creativity

 

Despite what many people think, listening to music does not improve creativity or your ability to focus at work (though it can help you have a better workout in the gym and push you farther and harder during a run).

Researchers in Sweden and the U.K. found that if the brain is processing music, verbal working memory is impaired. When people were asked to solve brain teasers, they were better at finding solutions and summoning creativity surrounded by silence rather than music.

7 Killer Wireless Over-Ear Headphones for Around $100

Looking to drown out noisy officemates? Wear headphones with a noise-canceling feature, and turn on a white-noise app.

The post Listening to Music at Work Can Actually Crush Your Creativity appeared first on Men's Journal.

Tackling a Hilly Run? Your Brain Will Trick You Into Running Slower

 

You may not realize it, but you probably hold back when you set out on a hilly run.

So-called anticipatory pace conservation is a protective mechanism in the brain. In a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, a group of trained runners did a 3,000-meter treadmill drill. Half of them were told that the last 800 meters would be hilly. For the other group, the steep incline came as a surprise.

The New Rules of Running

The first group ran the easy part almost 14 seconds slower. This may not sound like a lot, but for nonpro runners, the difference may be even greater.

The takeaway: Mix up routes, and try to keep pacing during flatter portions. And to conquer tougher hilly courses, breathe and relax, which improves energy efficiency.

The post Tackling a Hilly Run? Your Brain Will Trick You Into Running Slower appeared first on Men's Journal.

Pain-Free HIIT Circuits That Burn Fat, Build Muscle, and Save Your Joints

 

We’ve gotten the message. High-intensity interval training is efficient—workouts are under half an hour, and often just a few minutes. And they’re effective. Research finds that HIIT improves athletic endurance, strengthens the heart, cuts body fat, and makes you a happier person. But not everyone’s a fan. For some, all those tuck jumps, burpees, box jumps, and rounds of speed roping leaves them limping the next day. Pounding movements can lead to joint tenderness, or exacerbate existing muscular or joint issues. And avid runners who pound the pavement may want to avoid impact for cross-training workouts.

10 HIIT Workouts to Get You Shredded for Summer

Fortunately, high intensity doesn’t have to mean high impact. “Lower-impact exercises are great for people with knee or ankle injuries, or anyone heading back into the gym after a hiatus,” says Josh Woodall, a strength and conditioning coach in Temple, Texas. He put together the 12-exercise routine on the following pages, which cuts out moves with air time, and adds in a squishy BOSU ball (the kind you use for balance drills) to soften the blow to joints. To keep up the intensity, we peppered in weights. If you’re using a heart-rate monitor, aim to hit 80 percent of max capacity to get the biggest metabolic bump.

No monitor? Try to go from zero to breathless as quickly as possible in each set, maintain it, and work a little harder each round. Forget the low-impact part—we got that covered. You focus on bringing the high intensity.

The 15 Most Important Exercises for Men

The Workout

Choose any four of the six groups on the following slides. Do the first move of the pair for 40 seconds and the second for 20 seconds. Complete four sets back-to-back, without rest, which totals four minutes. Exercises that isolate one side of the body should be alternated every set. Rest one to two minutes, then go on to the next group. Including rest periods, the whole thing will take under 30 minutes. Do this workout once or twice a week, and vary the groups each time.

Expert Tip

As you progress, keep the 40/20 time intervals and fit in more reps.


Group 1: Reverse Mountain Climber

Start in a reverse plank, hands beneath shoulders, arms and legs locked out, feet flexed, forming a straight line between head and heels (shown above). Keeping hips high and core tight, draw right knee back toward chin, stopping before shoulders hunch forward. Return right foot to ground; one heel should be on the floor at all times. Repeat on left side for 1 rep. Perform for 40 sec. 

Group 1: Side Plank Crunch

Start in a right-arm side plank, right forearm on floor, feet stacked, a straight line between head and heels, left hand reaching toward ceiling. Keeping hips high and torso straight, draw left knee up and toward shoulder, and engage oblique muscles to bring left knee and left elbow together; return to start for 1 rep. Perform for 20 sec. Do all reps on right side, then switch sides for the next set. 

James Farrell
Group 2: Plyo Plank Shuffle

Start in a high plank, hands under shoulders, toes on a BOSU. Keeping upper body still, and arms and legs straight, step left foot to the side, a foot away from the BOSU, then return foot to the ball. Repeat on right side for 1 rep. For a challenge, move legs in unison. Start with left leg a foot away from the BOSU, then engage hips and push off with both feet, so left foot lands on the ball and right foot on floor. Continue alternating sides. Perform for 40 sec. 

James Farrell
Group 2: Weighted Dead Bug

Lie on back, a 5-pound weight plate in each hand, arms extended above shoulders, knees bent at a 90-degree angle, to start. Keeping core tight and maintaining connection between low back and the floor, extend left leg, lowering heel until it’s a couple of inches off ground, while simultaneously reaching right arm back behind head, just off floor. Return to start, then alternate sides for 1 rep. Perform for 20 sec. 

James Farrell
Group 3: Kneel to Squat

Start kneeling on floor, holding a 10-to 30-pound kettlebell at chest height, elbows down, torso tall. Keeping core tight, draw right knee up and plant right foot (A), followed by left foot (B), to squat. Reverse movement, returning to kneeling. Reverse sides for 1 rep. Perform for 40 sec. 

James Farrell
Group 3: Crab Reach + Leg Lift

Sit, feet flat, palms on floor next to hips. Press up through hands and feet, so arms are straight and butt hovers above floor, to start. Lift hips to tabletop position, chest level with pelvis, knees forming a 90-degree angle; at the same time, rotate torso slightly to the right, reach left hand over and behind head, past right hand, and lift right leg. Return to start. Repeat on opposite side, reaching with right hand and lifting left leg, for 1 rep. Perform for 20 sec. 

James Farrell
Group 4: Plyo Donkey Kick

Start in a high plank, core tight, hands under shoulders. Draw left knee toward chest, as if doing a mountain climber. In an explosive movement, kick left leg out and bend knee so foot points toward ceiling, and allow right foot to come off floor momentarily. (Keep the air time low to make it lowest impact, as shown here, or kick higher and land lightly if it feels OK.) When landing, straighten right leg, then straighten and lower left leg to return to start. Perform for 40 sec. Do all reps on left side, and switch to right for the next set.

James Farrell
Group 4: Plyo Frog Pushup

Start in a high plank, hands on a BOSU, with knees bent at a 90-degree angle and hovering over floor. Maintaining lower body position, slowly lower crown of head between hands, then press through palms to rise in the air, and return to start for 1 rep. Perform for 20 sec. (Note: Don’t let momentum lower you to the BOSU. Go slow on the descent, and explosive on the pushup.) 

 

 

James Farrell
Group 5: Seated Sprinter

Sit, legs extended, heels lightly touching floor. Keeping torso tall and shoulders back, lean back until core engages, making sure lower back doesn’t slump. Bend elbows at 90 degrees, and lift left knee toward ceiling, allowing left hand to come up and right hand to go back, like a runner, to start. Switch arm and leg positions back and forth continuously and fast, as if sprinting. Perform 40 sec. 

James Farrell
Group 5: Situp to Stand

Lie on back, knees bent, feet on floor shoulder-width apart, arms extended behind head to start. Swing arms forcefully forward to perform a situp; at the top of the movement, press fingertips to floor beside hips (A), and use mainly momentum to lift butt off floor and stand. Drop into a low squat (B), allowing gravity to bring butt to ground near heels, roll onto back and extend legs to start for 1 rep (pictured). The faster you begin the next rep, the more momentum you retain. Perform for 20 sec.

Make it easier: As you reach the apex of the situp, press palms to floor and tuck legs under torso to achieve squat position. Make it tougher: Don’t use hands to propel up.

James Farrell
Group 6: Kettlebell Lunge and Slam

Start in a split squat, right leg back and foot on BOSU, holding a medium (20-to-30-pound) kettlebell by the bell, thumbs hooked around horn. Keeping a slight bend in elbows, rise to toes while bringing kettlebell just above head height, then squat and thrust arms down until weight is thigh-high, for 1 rep. Perform for 40 sec. Do all reps on left leg, and switch in next set.

James Farrell
Group 6: Kettlebell Figure 8

Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, a medium (20- to 30-pound) kettlebell in left hand, to start. Hip hinge back, thrust hips forward, and do a one-handed kettlebell swing (A). As the kettlebell travels back between legs, half squat and reach right hand behind right thigh and through legs, switching kettlebell from left hand to right (B). Bring kettlebell around right thigh to front, and repeat pattern with right arm for 1 rep. Perform for 20 sec. 

James Farrell

The post Pain-Free HIIT Circuits That Burn Fat, Build Muscle, and Save Your Joints appeared first on Men's Journal.

This Symptom Can Be an Important Clue That You Have High Blood Pressure

 

Getting up to go to the bathroom in the night isn’t just annoying—it may be a sign of hypertension. If you have high blood pressure, you are 56 percent more likely to be hitting the head two or more times a night, versus those who sleep soundly, research from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles finds.

7 Foods that Will Keep Your Heart Healthy

It’s an important clue, since high blood pressure often has no symptoms; unless you have an annual checkup, you might not know you’re running the risk of serious cardiovascular issues. “If blood pressure is elevated, the kidneys filter more blood and produce more urine,” says study co-author and cardiologist Florian Rader, M.D. Getting up once in a while is OK, but if it’s consistent, see a doctor.

Also prioritize these foods, which can help keep your heart healthy.

The post This Symptom Can Be an Important Clue That You Have High Blood Pressure appeared first on Men's Journal.

Virtual Races: The Competition Is Simulated, But the Gains Are as Real as it Gets

 

JUST AROUND sunrise, I snap on a fuel and hydration belt, decide against compression sleeves, and double-knot my laces before stepping outside. The air is crisp and cool. It is perfect for race day. I inhale deeply to calm the jitters.

But this race is different—no bag check, porta-potty crowds, or even a start line, for that matter. That’s because I am running my first virtual race—a 20K. There’s no entry fee, and finishers enter a raffle for a new GPS watch. I have mapped out a 12.4-mile route that takes me along the East River and under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, yet I am racing against people from all over the globe. I think about them when I glance down at my tracker. The challenge is organized by Strava, and the leaderboards are constantly updated, so when I set out, I know the top finishing times so far. After a light jog to warm up, I click “start” in the app and take off. My drive to do well is as intense in the online world as it is in the real one.

The 5 Coolest Marathons That Have Nothing to Do With Running

Virtual racing is a logical next step given the success of Strava, the performance tracking and social networking app used by millions of runners and cyclists in 195 countries. Last year, New York Road Runners, the world’s top running organization, partnered with Strava to launch a pilot race series, digitally hosting 35,000 participants from 100 countries in nine events, including a virtual 2018 New York City Marathon.

They’re not the first to do it—the Boston Athletic Association had a marathon in 2014, and Disney has a popular series of 5Ks and half-marathons. But NYRR entering the fray is a big deal, especially since each of the 500 remote marathoners were granted a coveted guaranteed entry to the in-person race in 2019.

And the competition is fierce. In the NYRR Virtual Valentine’s Duo 5K, the first-place finisher was a 20-year-old Australian man who broke the tape in 16 minutes, 15 seconds. On his heels were runners from Great Britain, Lithuania, Brazil, and the U.S.

The parameters for each race differ. Typically, people are given a few days to several weeks to run, meaning the big day waits until you feel great and the weather is ideal. (Some race windows are open indefinitely.) As far as registering your time, for Strava-enabled events, it happens seamlessly when you compete with the app. At the end, press “finish,” and the race is recorded. Not happy with your time? You can redo the run as long as it’s within the race window. Other races ask finishers to send a photo or screen grab of their race time along with a selfie. Still others, like the Tun Tavern virtual 10K and 10 miler, celebrating the Marine Corps’ birthday, operate on the honor system—tell them you did the work, and you’ll get a shirt and a medal with a bottle opener.

How Strava Became the Only Fitness App That Matters

Virtual racing is available for triathletes as well. The Tri to Triumph Virtual Triathlon hosts distances between a sprint tri and a full Ironman, as well as a duathlon.

Effort-wise, virtual racing falls somewhere between training solo and racing in a group. There’s something called the Köhler effect: People tend to work harder when they’re performing a task alongside others versus on their own, explains Eric Bean, a San Diego sports psychology coach. It may be enough just to know that a bunch of other people are competing to give you a bump. “There’s some research that suggests virtual running partners can increase motivation and effort,” he says. “However, one downside is the lack of face-to-face connection.”

Makes sense. A virtual run will never have certain hallmarks of an actual race, like the anxious energy of a corral, or the cheers that buoy runners through tough parts. “I didn’t feel a pull or a push to just keep crushing toward the finish line, because there wasn’t one,” says J.C. Lippold, a personal trainer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, who ran the NYRR Virtual Marathon, his 20th race at that distance. “It wasn’t anticlimactic. It was just different.”

The Six Most Ambitious, Brilliant Virtual Reality Experiences Out Today

I’ve felt a jolt of anticipation before virtual races that I don’t feel when I’m running alone. I was also less vulnerable to negative thinking and fatigue. Imagining other people alongside gave me a mental boost to press through difficult stretches. It felt like people were watching me, and calling it quits was not an option. Though if you’re the kind of person who relies on energy from your surroundings, maybe this isn’t for you.

On the other hand, it’s possible to get too into it. “Every run shouldn’t be a race,” says Pamela Geisel, an exercise physiologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Over the past several years, some Strava devotees, conscious of peers who will see their times, are pushing so hard that they’re suffering overuse injuries. “You have to respect it like a regular race,” Geisel says. That means not racing every weekend, and respecting the easier pace of a training run, she says. Crazy as it sounds, occasionally head out disconnected—no GPS, no watch. Simply run.

The 10 Most Adventurous Destination Races for Marathon Buffs

2019 Virtual Race Calendar

NYRR Virtual Global Running Day 1 miler

June 1 to June 9 Cost: Free to $30 2019

Chicago Summer Solstice 6.2 Miler

June 21 to June 30 Cost: $9 to $30

NYRR Virtual Pride Run 5K

June 22 to June 30 Cost: Free to $30

Biofreeze San Francisco Virtual 5K, Half-Marathon, Marathon, and Ultra

July 28 to Sep. 30 Cost: $45 to $205

Tri to Triumph Virtual Triathlons

Through Nov. 30 Cost: $39 to $99 6 Things You Need to Know About Destination Marathons

Be a Smart Virtual Racer

1. Use two tracking devices, like a GPS as well as a smartphone.

That way if one malfunctions, you have a backup, Lippold recommends. Oftentimes, there will be a discrepancy with distance. (During Lippold’s marathon, the two trackers he used were slightly off each other.) The rule of thumb is to run slightly longer to compensate for inconsistencies.

2. Recruit a support team.
Bribe a buddy into riding a bike alongside to hand over water, nutrition, sunglasses, etc. He can act as a pacer, and cheer you on if things get tough. Or plan a route where you know there are water fountains, bathrooms, maybe some friends who’ll let you stash some Bloks in their mailbox. Remember, unlike in a traditional race, veering off course still registers your miles.

3. Base your route not on elevation, but congestion.

The worst kind of course will have you stopping at busy intersections or getting stuck behind a scrum of strollers. Opt instead for trails through public parks and forest preserves. For short races, like 5Ks, a public track works great, too.

4. Retain your prerace rituals.

If you always eat a turkey sandwich and lay out your kit the night before a race, do it for a virtual kind, too. The goal is to feel like there’s more riding on the outcome than on a training run, even if it lacks pomp and circumstance.

The post Virtual Races: The Competition Is Simulated, But the Gains Are as Real as it Gets appeared first on Men's Journal.

The Best Meal & Fitness Subscription Boxes for Athletes This Summer

 

Delivery boxes are all the rage these days. But what if you’re an athlete or fitness-minded guy who isn’t interested in a weekly calorie-bomb box of chocolates or other fattening foods? Or, say you’re sticking to a diet like Paleo, Clean, or Keto. Are there any good plans that suit your needs? There are. Here are the best subscription boxes for athletes.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a high-protein meat diet, a low-calorie, plant-based plan, or even just some daily motivation to keep you striving to achieve your fitness goals. There’s something here for every fit guy—and girl. You can load up on healthy snacks to keep you from munching on junk food between meals, and score great fitness items like weights and chalk. You can even have Martha Stewart pick out your weekly diet, if you’d like. The possibilities are astounding.

Here are the top subscription boxes for athletes:

ButcherBox

Marley Spoon

Love With Food

HelloFresh

Sunbasket

Forks Over Knives

Diet-to-Go

Homebistro

Kettlebell Kitchen

Trifecta Nutrition

BistroMD

Habit

Gainz Box

Subscribe to any of these, and you’ll be well on the path to a healthier you.

The bottom line is this: If you want to lose weight, you need to create what experts call a calorie deficit—that is, you have to burn more calories than you take in. It’s that simple. Exercise all you want—you’ll probably add muscle, build endurance, and get stronger. But if you’re still binging, eating junk food, and not cutting back on portion size and high-caloric ingredients, you likely won’t lose any weight at all.

If you’re an athlete, you need to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Otherwise, you’re just fooling yourself. Sure, you can enjoy a huge meal once in a while. it’s okay to go have a bunch of beers at the game with your buddies. These moments of weakness are fine. (You’ll pay for them later, but what the heck.) But if you’re not committed to a daily regimen of activity and enthusiasm, then spending an hour a day in the gym isn’t going to make that belly disappear.

So check out one of these awesome subscription delivery services, and unleash your inner athlete.


ButcherBox

Load up on the proteins! Get Grass-fed Beef, Heritage Breed Pork, and Free-range Organic Chicken delivered, for free, right to your door each week. By partnering with a collective of small farms, Butcherbox is able to deliver the best meats for less. Right now, get a free package of bacon in every box for the life of your membership.

Get It: Get free bacon for life with your ButcherBox meat subscription (from $6/meal)

ButcherBox
Marley Spoon

Marley Spoon delivers Martha Stewart's amazing recipes in fresh, pre-portioned, ingredients right to your door. With over 18,000 recipes from the Martha Stewart archives to draw from, Marley Spoon menus range from classic to creative. You get 20 recipes from five categories every week: Health & Diet, Vegetarian & Vegan, Meat & Fish, Under 30 Minutes, and Family-Friendly. Plus, free delivery and easy-to-follow recipes.

Start your Marley Spoon meal subscription (from $48/week)

 

Marley Spoon
Love With Food

Love With Food is the snack-subscription service delivering a monthly curation of delicious, clean ingredient snacks directly to your home. Every month, the Love With Food team scours the world for emerging snack brands and delivers an expert curation of the tastiest, feel-good options straight to your door. All Love With Food snacks are made with real ingredients and contain no added chemicals. Through July 7, get a $15 Travel Box free plus $10 credit when you subscribe.

Get It: Start your Love With Food snack plan (from $7/box)

Love With Food
HelloFresh

It's the number-one food delivery in America for a reason. Rather than pre-cooked meals, HelloFresh brings you measured, fresh ingredients along with easy-to-follow recipes, and you get the pleasure of creating the delicious meals yourself and seasoning them to your liking. Start, pause, or cancel at any time.

Get It: Take $80 off your first order at HelloFresh (from $7/meal)

HelloFresh
Sunbasket

With 11 meal plans to choose from, Sunbasket has one of the largest menus among meal delivery services we found. With a focus on organic produce, clean food, wild-caught fish, and antibiotic- and hormone-free meat and eggs, Sunbasket puts sustanable on your table. Plus, you can get free shipping on your first delivery.

Get It: Start your Sunbasket meal plan (from $12/meal)

Sunbasket
Forks Over Knives

Based on the award-winning book and film, Forks Over Knives believes in science and the undeniable evidence supporting the benefits of whole-food, plant-based nutrition. It's not a meal delivery service; rather, it's a product-based, recipe-driven, personalized meal plan designed to meet your fitness goals. There are even online cooking courses to help you create great meals yourself. 

Get It: Check out all Forks Over Knives products (prices vary)

 

Forks Over Knives
Diet-to-Go

No matter your weight-loss and healthy living goals, Diet-to-Go can help you achieve them. From delicious, healthy and portion-controlled meal plans to an expert support staff and dieter-friendly tools, DTG has over 25 years of experience helping people just like you reach their fitness goals. With four plans to choose from—Balance, Diabetes, Keto-Carb360, and Vegetarian—simply choose your meals, and watch the pounds slip off.

Get It: Take 10% off your first week of Diet-to-Go (from $10/week)

Diet-to-Go
Homebistro

Homebistro has been delivering restaurant-quality meals since 1999. With dozens of options for every diet and desire, overnight delivery, and no commitment required, it's one of the easiest and fastest ways to get meals brought to your door with no cooking, no prep, and no cleaning up afterward. The Chef's Choice meal bundles are perfect for those who don't want to shop around—just click and eat!

Get It: Pick up a meal from Homebistro (from $90 for five)

Homebistro
Kettlebell Kitchen

Kettlebell Kitchen is one of the most customizable meal delivery services athletes can subscribe to. They've got a great selection of plans, made to suit specific fitness goals: Sim, Burn, Build, Perform, and Endure. But KK doesn't stop there, with plans designed to meet lifestyles as well: Paleo, Vegetarian, Flexitarian, Complete Keto, and Whole 30. Plus, there are three tiers of deliveries: with six, 12, or 18 meals per week. And the more you order, the more you save. 

Get It: Start your Kettlebell Kitchen meal plan (from $72/week)

Kettlebell Kitchen
Trifecta Nutrition

Low-card, high-protein, nutrient-dense foods made just for you—that's Trifecta Nutrition. It's popular becasue it's so customizable; there's no need to sign up for a recurring meal plan—order a la carte if you prefer. But if you're following a diet such as keto, paleo, vegetarian, or clean, Trifecta's got a plan that's just right for you. The food tastes great, too; all you have to do is heat it up. Start your nutrition plan today.

Get It: Start your Trifecta Nutrition meal plan (from $108/week)

Trifecta Nutrition
BistroMD

BistroMD offers weekly deliveries of pre-cooked, pre-portioned, healthy meal options for those who want to lose weight, including plans for gluten-free, vegetarian, heart-healthy, and diabetic meals.

Get It: Take 25% off a BistroMD subscription (from $90/week)

BistroMD
Gainz Box

This veteran-owned business delivers fitness-forward snacks, supplements, apparel, and more every month. Each box is themed; past boxes have included the Dad Bod Box (for Father's Day) and Pounds & Puppies (for dog lovers). Other boxes are curated by fitness celebs or are collabs with other supplement or apparel comopanies. You always have your choice of boxes. Surprises have included things like portable speakers and motivational books. 

Get 10 percent off your first order when you sign up for the newsletter.

Get It: Take 10% off a Gainz Box subscription (from $32/mo.)

 

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men's Journal readers.

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Gainz Box

The post The Best Meal & Fitness Subscription Boxes for Athletes This Summer appeared first on Men's Journal.

This Program Helps You Try New Studio Workouts Every Month While Saving Money

 

What’s the number one reason so many workout routines fail? People get bored. That’s where ClassPass comes in. ClassPass connects you to thousands of workouts, expert instructors, and inspiring fitness studios around the world, guaranteeing your workouts stay exciting, and fun—no matter where you are.

Using the ClassPass app, you can find awesome classes in studios near you—or near wherever you’re going to be. Bored with your local gym? Try a new one. Want a tougher boxing instructor? Try a different one. Traveling next week but want to work out? Sign up for a class wherever life takes you. With ClassPass, you can access the world’s top studios and gyms, and take classes in everything from cycling to yoga to boxing and more. No matter where you are.

classpass
ClassPass

With a ClassPass fitness membership, you’re effectively buying classes at local studios in the form of credits. So you can sign up for tens of thousands of classes in 2,500 cities worldwide, all with the ClassPass app. Basically, you pay ClassPass, and ClassPass pays the studio—so you don’t have to.

ClassPass sells membership tiers to suit most any fitness regimen or level of interest. The amount of credits required to take a class varies depending on the class, time, space, and location; here in New York City, we found the average class costs about six credits.

Here are the ClassPass tiered plans:

$0 first two weeks—Includes 35 credits to take as many as 4 – 8 classes $49 per month—Includes 27 credits to take as many as 2 – 5 classes $79 per month—Includes 45 credits to take as many as 4 – 10 classes $159 per month—Includes 100 credits to take as many as 10 – 20 classes

Note that pricing varies based on location. The above prices are for classes taken in New York.

classpass
ClassPass

Why Are Studio Classes Better Than A Regular Workout?

Studio fitness is the best way to work out. Studios specialize in specific workouts or activities, ranging from mainstream workouts like cycling and yoga to more unique options like boxing and rock climbing. That makes them a perfect place to learn something new, or to keep your skills sharp while you’re traveling. And ClassPass has over 250,000 members worldwide, so if you travel a lot for work, or are planning a long trip, a ClassPass workout is a great way to meet new people in new locales.

The instructors at studios are professionals, trained in the activities they teach. Oftentimes, they own the studios themselves, so they take a personal interest in your enjoyment of the class. Studio spaces are designed to inspire you, from their ambience to their group dynamic. Bright and airy or dark and serious, team-oriented or judgment-free, you can surround yourself with the vibe—and tribe—you’re looking for.

And small class sizes allow for personalized instruction, so if you’re recovering from an injury or training for a race, every workout can be adjusted for you. If you’ve never taken a small studio class, ClassPass has an online entry-level fitness class that can run you through the basics.

classpass
ClassPass

The ClassPass fitness app offers a selection of videos, too, so you can work out wherever you are, whenever you want. It’s also a great place to get recommendations based on your interests. Who knows? you may discover a new passion, or meet a new group of friends. With ClassPass, your fitness regimen is in your hands.

Get It: Try ClassPass for 14 days for free.

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men’s Journal readers.

SEE ALSO:

The 10 Best Workout Classes for Men

The Best Workouts in America

Strength in Numbers: The Rise of Group Fitness Classes for Men

The post This Program Helps You Try New Studio Workouts Every Month While Saving Money appeared first on Men's Journal.

Meet the Latest Superfood: Baru Nuts

 

As a health-conscious guy, you already know that nuts are part of a nutrient-dense diet. You may even have a bag of almonds in your desk drawer. For you, there’s a new legume on the block. Baru nuts, native to Brazil, are oblong, with a brown outer paper and smooth inside.

The Healthy Nuts

A quarter cup has five grams of fiber, six grams of protein, no sodium, and clocks in at 140 calories—less than their crunchy peers. One importer of barus, called Barùkas, is planting one tree in Brazil for every five pounds sold. Most importantly, they taste good, like an almond crossed with a peanut.

[barukas.com]

The post Meet the Latest Superfood: Baru Nuts appeared first on Men's Journal.


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