Fitness Articles of the Week #13

Every weekend I publish a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. Most of the articles are new but some might be older, which often come up during my own personal research. Here are my favorites.

Japan scientist synthesizes meat from human feces

I suppose this is a good thing, but will something like this ever take off? I don’t think anyone will ever accept the fact that this “meat” was created from human feces. Interesting though, lol.

Eccentric Training for Athletes

Eccentric training is the act of resisting the weight, instead of simply push-pull. You might also know eccentric training as negative reps. Resisting more weight than you can lift as long as you can is an awesome way to train if you’re looking for something new and this article has plenty of workouts that won’t require a spotter.

Olympic Triathlon Nutrition Plan

This article isn’t as thorough as I was hoping it would be when I read the title, but it’s still got some useful tips for anyone considering participation in a triathlon.

Healthy Iced Raspberry Mocha

Damn, this sounds good. I just bought a package of raspberries that I need to use too.

Chocolate Mousse

This chocolate mousse is made with silken tofu, which doesn’t sound so appetizing, but after tasting some of the vegan recipes made with tofu as an ingredient over the past couple of months, I have no doubts that this isn’t delicious.

Bodybuilding The Vegan Way

In my quest to become vegan, I’m so happy that my fiance found and sent this article to me. There’s a complete nutrition plan too!

Get Drunk Not Fat

Alcohol is one of those things that lots of people worry about giving up when they want to get in shape. The Get Drunk Not Fat website will help you figure out which drinks you can have that will have the lowest amount of detrimental impact on your body.

Fitness Articles of the Week #12

image courtesy of Pavel Ševela / Wikimedia Commons

Every weekend I publish a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. Most of the articles are new, but some might be older, which come up during personal research. Here are my favorites.

Recipe: Blueberry Buckle

Another awesome recipe from the good people at Beachbody putting out the P90X newsletter. This is probably going to be my breakfast for the entire next week.

Vegan Lemon Curd

Mmmm, I love lemon treats. I definitely want to think of something to make with this lemon curd soon.

10 Reasons to Control Your Salt intake, Right Away!

If you don’t already manage your salt intake, you should read this article. Salt seems to be in everything. You’d be amazed at how much excess sodium we consume on a daily basis when you actually track it. I do my best to manage it, but it seems nearly impossible to stay below the daily recommended intake.

Tasting! Whole Grain Brown Rice Krispies

I had to post this because I freakin’ love Rice Krispies and now they are made with brown rice! I’ve never compared cereal nutritional values, so I have no idea how much healthier brown rice makes Rice Krispies, but it sounds like an improvement to me.

From Fit to Fat to Fit Again: Man Gains Weight On Purpose

Drew Manning set up an experiment to go from fit, to fat, and back to fit again. The goal is to show people that it’s possible to get fit and stay fit.

Is Late Night Eating Better for Fat Loss and Health?

Martin Berkhan is the king of intermittent fasting info on the web. Everything he talks about on his site is backed up either by science or personal experience. This time he takes on the myth that eating late at night will cause fat gain.

Ronnie Coleman’s Get Huge Program

Ronnie Coleman is well-known in the professional bodybuilding world and for good reason. The man is huge! This program requires working out 5 days straight with two days of rest and about 5500 calories of food per day. Wow. I actually think I might do this one starting in two weeks.

How to eat when you’re really broke

If you maintain a very healthy diet, you probably already know most of this. Foods like oats, grains, brown rice, beans, etc. are cheap. There are plenty of other good tips in this article if you need to save some money.

What I Think of The New PowerBar Protein Bites

It’s important that you never miss a meal, especially when you’re training hard and want the best results for your body. That’s why I love protein bars and meal replacement shakes. I don’t like to use protein shakes or bars in place of a meal, but sometimes it’s just too hard to get to some real food, for example when you’re working or in a meeting.

I just got a free sample pouch of the PowerBar Protein Plus Bites in the mail on Friday. I don’t even remember signing up for them, but I sign up for lots of free samples and it always takes so long for them to get here.

Anyway, I just wanted write up a short post to tell you about it.

Here are the nutritional facts:

1 pouch (approx. 8 bites)
300 calories
7 grams of fat
270mg sodium
38g carbs
2g fiber
25g sugar
20 protein

Depending on your goals, 300 calories might be bit much for you. For me it’s perfect because I’m trying to gain mass. All of the other nutritional values seem good to me though. 20 grams of protein in one bag is awesome.

I’m not sure what other flavors they have, but they sent me Fudge Brownie. I love fudge brownies, so I couldn’t wait to try these. I was planning to save them for my next bike ride, but I broke down before the night was over and opened it up.

Sadly, I’d have to say that the taste isn’t great. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t terrible, but definitely not delicious. I think it’s a little bland and they left a weird taste in my mouth. They aren’t like the fudge brownies grandma used to make 😉

I get tired of eating the same protein bars day after day, so these would actually be a nice change of pace. I like the nutritional values so I would have no problem recommending them to friends.

Fitness Articles of the Week #11

image courtesy of aslakr

Every weekend I publish a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. Here are my favorites.

It’s Not OK to Eat That: Mold Goes Deeper than the Surface

I was raised to think that just cutting mold off of my foods was all that was necessary from poisoning myself. Turns out I was wrong. No more moldy bread for me!

Recipe: Baklava! (Chomp 06.01.11)

Chomp! is a free event that takes place once a month here in Denver, CO where various chefs get together and cook a bunch of delicious vegan foods for attendees. I attended the most recent Chomp! dinner last week and ate this awesome dessert. It’s funny because as I was eating the Baklava, I was telling my fiance that I wish they would post the recipes online. And here it is!

The Myth of Waxy Maize Starch…And the Truth Behind It All!

I few years ago I read a study about the benefits of using waxy maize starch as a simple-carb post-workout supplement. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve been recently looking into it and according to this article, there are much better and cheaper alternatives.

DIY California Roll

I’ve never cared for sushi, but tons of people love it. Here’s a vegan version!

The Art of Making Fast Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potato fries and they’re super easy to make. All you have to do is cut up the potatoes, put on seasonings and olive oil, shake it up and bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Healthy Snacks: 10 Ideas for More Wholesome Eating

I think snacking is a problem for most of us. If you’re going to snack, and we all know you will ;), reach for something healthy. There’s a great recipe for making roasted chickpeas too!

Estimating Your 1 RM

If you don’t have a spotter to help you figure out your one-rep max, or if you do have a spotter and are looking for a good number to start with, read this formula to help you estimate it.

What Sugar Actually Does to Your Brain and Body

There are a lot of misconceptions about how sugar affects the body and this article does a lot to clear those up. Did you know that high fructose corn syrup can actually be good for you? If your an athlete it is. If not, you put your liver through hell and risk gaining lots of fat. There’s a lot more to learn.

Toning shoes: One false step can lead to the ER

There have been lots of reports about the consequences of wearing toning shoes, so you may already know about this, but here’s a detailed article from Consumer Reports. The gist of is, if you have balance problems or weak ankles, be extra cautious.

Lose Weight Without Losing Muscle Mass

Is it possible? It seems to be possible, but it’s a slow process. The same goes if you’re trying to gain weight and reduce fat.

Are We Built to Run Barefoot?

Many doctors who study the effects of barefoot running still aren’t sure whether or not running barefoot or in “barefoot” shoes are beneficial, but if you want to take it up, there are some excellent tips here on getting started to help prevent injury.

You Asked: Will Going Vegan Help Me Lose Weight?

Did you know that even on a vegan diet, you can gain weight? Of course! There are unhealthy vegan foods too. You have to watch what you eat just like any other diet. I really like the comments on this post from people with real-life experience.

Apple’s Exercise Guide for Designers

Apple cares about their designers, so they’ve created an exercise guide designed specifically for them. As a person who sits at a desk all day to work, this should come in handy.

Fitness Articles of the Week #10

image courtesy of Falashad

Every weekend I publish a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. Here are my favorites.

The Burger Lab: Building A Better Big Mac

The Big Mac is one of my favorite fast-food hamburgers of all time. I don’t really eat fast-food much anymore and when I do, I definitely don’t get the Big Mac now that it’s the size of a tiny hamburger and is priced at $4. What a rip-off. But now with this in-depth rebuilding of the Big Mac, I can make my own!

Finally, the Truth About Soy

This is a must-read. Just in the past two weeks since announcing that I will be transitioning to veganism, so many people have told me that soy is bad for me and will cause man-boobs (moobs). I’ve read many studies over the years on both sides of the argument, but I lean more to the side that says soy is safe. It’s not the only thing I’ll be eating once completely vegan, but I’m certainly not afraid of it.

Fat Burning Zone Myth; Going Slower Burns More Fat

When I started doing cardio to burn fat a few months ago, I had this same question. The elliptical machines and treadmills at the gym showed that keeping your heart rate only slightly elevated would burn more fat than high heart rates. It didn’t make any sense to me. Some research showed exactly what this article explains. Basically, it’s not true.

Gaining Mass with P90X

If you’ve ever done P90X, it should be obvious to you that you aren’t going to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, but you will get in great shape. If you do want to get huge though, read this mass building plan created by the P90X team.

Ryan Hughes’ Muscle Building Program

I always love these programs from This one looks difficult, but doable. That’s a ton of calories to eat though. 4,689 calories per day is enough to make most people sick. I would imagine it would take me a week or longer to get used to that diet.

Ryan Jones Transformation Story: 45 lbs of Monstrous Muscle Gains

This is an inspirational story for anyone who has felt self-conscious about being skinny. I was just as skinny as this kid when I was his age and people don’t realize how embarrassing it is. I wish I had come across this post when I was a teenager.

Breaking News! USDA Replaces Food Pyramid with MyPlate

It’s about time the food pyramid has been updated. The new dietary guidelines set forth by the USDA now recommend that plates contain half fruits and vegetables and less meat and dairy. Sounds like a good step forward in reducing obesity rates in the U.S.

This Week’s Must-Have – Cacao Tea

Mmm, this sounds delicious. I wonder if my local supermarket has them in stock yet. I hope they aren’t too expensive.

Hero Training Workouts Get You in Shape and Prepare You For Heroics

If you want to be able to jump from rooftop to rooftop, you’re going to have to work on strength, speed and endurance. Do these workouts to get in “hero” condition.

Cycling in the City: How to Stay Safe

A friend of mine was just hit by a car while riding his bike through the city. He broke his wrist, dislocated his knee cap and broke his tibia in 15 places. It wasn’t his fault, but it’s a good reminder to make sure you’re taking all the proper precautions when riding your bike.

Jack3d Review

Jack3d is a preworkout supplement that I’ve been wanting to try. I just did a review of N.O. Xplode which is in the same category as Jack3d. Both seem to come highly recommended from people all over, but most preworkout formulas also have their drawbacks.

Tips to Deal With Your Obese Child

If you’re a parent, you need to be cautious of your child’s nutrition. There are lots of great tips here on dealing with an obese child as well as preventing it.

Setting Up a Bicycle Camera Mount

I set up a camera mount on my bike a couple of months ago and I got a chance to use it recently after finally purchasing an SD card for my “flip” style camcorder. I’ve edited the video to include some Dubstep music because it’s what I listen to when riding to work. It helps keep me pumped. Watching this video puts me right back into the ride 🙂

I had planned to record my entire trip to Denver from my home, which is about 14 miles one way, but the camcorder stopped working after about 20 minutes. I think the batteries were running low. I still haven’t checked.

Anyway, you may or may not be able to tell in the speedy version of the video I’ve posted above, but the camera mount didn’t absorb much of the shock from the bike so I’m going to add some more rubber washers. Hopefully that does the trick. If you’re interested in how I did it, check out the Photojojo DIY Bikecam tutorial. It’s real easy and cheap too.

In the future I hope to record more of my rides, at least on the more interesting trails, such as rides up to Golden and near the mountains. There’s so much beauty on the trails that we never get to see when we’re traveling in a car.

My Review of the Pre-Workout Formula N.O. Xplode

N.O. Xplode from BSN is designed to increase mental focus and provide a boost of energy to help you push harder during your workouts. Tons of people swear by the results and others say it hasn’t helped at all or that they’ve suffered side-effects that deem it unusable.

I’ve never used a product like N.O. Xplode before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The label says to start out with a minimum dose of 1 scoop and depending on tolerance, you can move up to 2-3 scoops. The BSN website doesn’t state how much caffeine N.O. Xplode has, but one source I found online claims that a serving has 100 mg.

I have a very low tolerance to caffeine and sometimes get anxiety from it, so I started with 1 scoop. I took it right when I woke up, about 30 min. before getting to the gym. I’m not sure when it kicked in, but I definitely had more energy than usual. I noticed higher focus levels as well.

There were a few side effects. I had a small amount of anxiety, but nothing too bad and I kept feeling the urge to pee. It wasn’t too bad, but somewhat uncomfortable while at the gym.

After that, all was well until about around 11am, about 6 hours after taking it. I guess I crashed from the caffeine, because I got a ridiculous headache that lasted until I went to sleep that night.

The next day I took a half scoop instead of a full scoop. This was much better for me. I still got a good boost of energy and focus, and this time didn’t suffer a headache. It wasn’t as big as an energy boost as the day before, but it still worked.

The third day I took a half scoop and felt no change at all. In fact I felt miserable the entire day. I think maybe I wasn’t giving my body enough rest and there really wasn’t anything that the N.O. Xplode could do for me.

I increased it to a full scoop the next day and noticed an energy boost again. I did have a slight headache for the first few hours of the day, but no other side-effects.

I continued taking one full scoop each day after that with no side-effects whatsoever. Fast-forward to 8 days after my first use and the stuff was working great. I’ve been using it for about two months now and it gives me no problems whatsoever and I feel great at the gym. It gives me tons of energy and every morning I can’t wait to start working out. I’m not sure if it’s a placebo effect, but I also seem to get some great pumps during my workout too.

At first I was worried that I would continue having side-effects of using N.O. Xplode, but I kept using it in hopes that my body would adjust, and sure enough it did. I’m glad that I decided to keep going because now I really like it.

N.O. Explode is one of the few supplements that I was worried about taking. It’s super-strong and has a lot of ingredients that I don’t know much about. You can’t even shake it up or else it’ll build pressure like a soda would. Kinda weird I think.

Despite the minor problems early on, I’d definitely recommend N.O. Xplode, at least with my experience with it so far. Oh and further research shows that it’s vegan too, so I don’t have to seek out an alternative pre-workout formula now that I’m switching to plant-based nutrition. Sweet!