Moleskine Wellness Notebook Review

Note: I’ve had this notebook since 2012 and it might have changed slightly since I’ve owned it, but after looking at pictures on the internet it seems to be similar in style.

As the old saying goes, “What gets measured gets managed.” Throughout my years in the fitness industry and working as a personal trainer, I learned how important it was to track what matters most to know if you’re getting results.

Whether it’s weight loss, keeping track of your lifts, progressive overload, or competing for a sport, you’ll only know if you’re getting better by keeping a detailed account of the numbers that matter.

Overall, the Moleskine Wellness notebook is great for keeping track of long-term goals but I would get another one if you want to track your daily workouts and diet because there are only about 30 pages or so for each of those categories which I filled up pretty quick. If you’re thinking about getting this notebook, let’s dive into the specifics of it and what you need to know.

The pages in the Wellness Moleskine

Inside the Wellness Moleskine, there are six pre-designed categories and six blank categories for you to decide what you need.

The six pre-made categories are:

  • Personal goals
  • Exercise log
  • Diet
  • General health
  • Games – sport
  • Inspirations

In the back, I’ve used the blank areas for measuring body fat/body stats, foods I want to get, and stretches I need to do to keep my body aligned.

I started to use the exercise log to track my daily workouts, but quickly filled up that section in just a few months. For that reason, I moved my daily tracking to other notebooks because I really wanted to turn this notebook into one I could keep and refer back to for a long time.

With that in mind, I use the pages more for overall tracking and long-term planning more than daily use.

The make of the Wellness Moleskine

Note: The page thickness could have improved through the years since I’ve purchased it. Be sure to read current reviews before purchasing.

The binding has held up for years, thankfully! As for the page thickness, most pen inks can be seen on the opposite side. A fountain pen would certainly bleed through to the other side. I know this is a pretty common complaint about Moleskine notebooks in the past decade or so, but for some people the sections are worth it.

The elastic closure has also held up through all of these years, which is probably the most impressive part.

How I use the sections

As I mentioned, I don’t use this notebook for daily tracking of lifts. I do use it for more of a broad view of my fitness and stats over time, to see how I’m improving each year.

Here’s what I use each section for so you can get an idea of what I do if you want to draw some inspiration from it.

Personal goals:
This section is broken down by each week and month for an entire year. Instead of using each week, I have dedicated each page to an entire year with the things I’d like to accomplish with my health and wellness that year. Sometimes I use it to also track programs I’m doing throughout the year. That gives me a good overall look at what I’ve been doing so I can cross-reference that with my results to see what’s working or not working.

Exercise log:
As I said earlier, I filled this section up pretty quickly so I don’t use it much any longer.

Diet:
As someone with food allergies, I use this more to track my overall diet and what I’m doing during a current month instead of a daily diet tracker. That way, I can compare it to my results to see what I need to do and if I need to tweak anything.

General health:
I use this to track my food allergies, vitamins/supplements I’m taking, dentist and doctor appointments, and if there’s anything alarming I need to keep track of or bring up to my doctor.

Games – sports:
I use this section to track any sports I play or hikes I take. This is more for tracking memories to look back on.

Inspirations:
This is what I use for fitness inspirations: quotes that hit home, people who inspire me, great moments I want to remember (like hitting a PR, etc).

That’s pretty much how I use this journal. I’m personally a big fan of having notebooks dedicated to certain areas of my life, which is why I own a variety of the Moleskine Passion planners. The pages are thin, but if you’re willing to put up with it to keep track of your overall health and wellness, it’s a good trade-off.

Bodybuilding.com’s Signature 100% Whey Protein Powder Birthday Cake Review

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For most of us stuck inside over these past few months, working out has been…. a struggle. Not having our gyms to lift at and weights to throw around has thrown most of us off. One thing that helps motivate me to get it done is something delicious to end my workout with. Most of the protein I was ordering was on backorder for a while now at most stores, so I decided to try a new flavor: Bodybuilding.com’s whey birthday cake flavor (mainly because it’s the top-rated flavor on their site from other reviewers).

Overall review: 9/10

Flavor: 9/10

Mixing: 9/10

Sugar: 8/10

Protein content: 9/10

Flavor and mixing

The first thing I noticed about this protein was how smooth it mixed and the great flavor. It’s the closest I’ve had to an actual cake flavor in a long time from a protein powder. I’m a sucker for sprinkles, so I love that they’re mixed in. Keep in mind, if you blend your protein powder with other ingredients, they’re going to get crushed unless you add it after you’re done blending. You’ll also want to keep mixing it as you drink it because the sprinkles sink to the bottom.

Unlike some other protein powders I’ve used in the past, this one is rarely clumpy or sticking together. It mixes smooth and doesn’t need to be constantly shaken to maintain it’s good flavor. I suspect it’s due to the types of proteins used, which we’ll cover.

The ingredient breakdown

Bodybuilding.com has a stellar reputation, and I love that they put right on their site that they don’t use proprietary blends in their protein. For those that don’t know, some brands essentially hide how much protein you’re getting behind the idea that they’re a “proprietary blends”. That’s not even exclusive to protein powders, you can even find such labels on things like multivitamins.

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Key Ingredients:

  • 25g of Protein (13 g from Whey Protein Isolate, 6g from Whey Protein Concentrate, 6 g from Whey Protein Hydrolysate)
  • 2g of Total Fat (1g is Saturated Fat)
  • 3g of Total Carbohydrate (2g of Sugars, 1g of Added Sugar)

The different types of protein:

  • Whey isolate is ideal for low-carb diets since it’s low in fat
  • Whey concentrate has a balance between the major macros (protein, carbs, fats) to give you the energy you need
  • Whey hydrolysate has been broken down into strings of amino acids (peptides) to make digestion even easier

Also included are digestive enzymes which can help you absorb 20% more protein than a drink without them included.

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Serving sizes

The 2 lb. jug gets you about 27 servings – so almost a full month of shakes if you take it daily. If you take two scoops per day, you’ll need two jugs or you can opt for their 6 lb. option.

When to take

The best time to take a protein shake is right after a tough workout, but if you’re not getting enough throughout your day, it can be good to take more when you need it.

For reference, you should be getting about 1 G of protein per lean body pound.

Where to get it

The best place to get this protein is straight from Bodybuilding.com’s website: here.

TriggerPoint GRID Textured Foam Roller Review

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If you’re someone who has aches and pains from lifting or doing any other type of physical activity, a foam roller can help immensely. I’ve used a ton of different kinds, but I’ve seen the most benefit from using a sturdy one like the TriggerPoint GRID foam roller. Some people might enjoy a much softer one since they’re less intense, so that’s just something to keep in mind when you look for one. Plus, there are some even more intense than this one and are just solid without any foam. In my experience, those hurt way too much (also I’m a sissy sometimes) and this one is a great middle point.

Using the TriggerPoint GRID foam roller

Thankfully, there’s no setup needed for the foam roller, you just take it out and start to massage your body with it. You’ll want to look up specific exercises to do with any foam roller you use, because improper use can injure yourself even more. Once you know what you’re doing, you simply just lay across the top and roll back and forth on the spots that hurt. What makes this foam roller different are the different textures around it. When you find a trigger point (which we’ll cover down below), you can use the different textures to work it out so it stops causing you pain.

You will need a moderate level of flexibility to use any foam roller. There are some out there with handles that might be better for you if you can’t hold your own bodyweight up in a plank.

Benefits of using a foam roller

Anyone who lifts should consider adding a foam roller to their arsenal due to the simple fact it can help keep you mobile for longer. Mobility is essential if you want to keep being active for years to come. I’m positive if I had known about better stretching, trigger point therapy in general, and foam rollers that I would have been a better athlete in high school. Instead, I was plagued with a ton of injuries, sprains, and strains which kept me out of at least a third of my games as a senior in high school.

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What is a trigger point?

Most people know about muscle strains and sore joints, but few people know about trigger points. However, trigger points are where most of us have constant pain and don’t even realize it. They’re essentially little built-up groups of muscles that have started to cramp up [1].

You can often figure out that you’ve found a trigger point when you’re pushing on your body because there will be referral pain. For example, I have one that I’m always working out on the top of my shoulder blade that refers pain up my neck. When they’re bad enough, a doctor will consider injecting them to alleviate the pain. If you can deal with them on your own, it’s even better since you can try to keep them from getting to that point. With trigger points, you can rarely be free of them forever since the research currently shows they’re natural and happen often.

The research is still a little murky around trigger points, mainly because it’s not a huge area of focus for research. It won’t completely alleviate any pain either, so don’t think trigger point therapy is some kind miracle answer, but it certainly can help.

You can use other tools, such as a lacrosse ball, to alleviate the pain on top of a foam roller, but in my experience, the foam roller is much nicer.

Features:

  • Comes in a wide variety of colors
  • Multi-density exterior
  • Rigid, hollow core
  • Comes with free online instructional video library
  • 13 x 5.5 inches
  • 500 pound weight limit

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Footnotes: 1.

https://www.painscience.com/tutorials/trigger-points.php

The Best At-Home Workouts for 2020 and My Favorite At-Home Workout Accessories

I don’t think I really need to get into the state of the world at the moment. (P.S. Does anyone know where toilet paper is NOT sold out in Denver? Orrr?)

Either way, for a lot of us, working out is a way to maintain sanity. To get out of our brains and stop the endless news cycle scrolling for just a second. If you have an at-home gym, you don’t need a lot of bodyweight programs out there because you already have the weights to continue on with your regular workouts.

For us gym rats, we now have no access to weights (stupid apartment living and not being able to deadlift above my neighbors), it’s time for body weight and band workouts.

I thought I’d put together some of the best at home workouts I could find from around the web, especially ones focused on more of a bodybuilding approach than Jane Fonda (although her workouts are epic).

1. Heidi Somers 5 week at home workout

You probably know Heidi Somers from her company, BuffBunny, but her workout programs are amazing. She currently has a free 5 week at home workout plan to get you moving. The equipment required is very little and you could easily DIY it! Here’s the link: click here.

2. Jim Stoppani’s workouts

Jim Stoppani has a ton of workouts, here are some of my favorites:

Full-body park workout: here.

Band workout (if you have bands): here.

If you want a membership to his site, it’s free for the first 30 days, which can help you get through at least a month.

3. Bret Contreras at home workout

Bret is also known as “the glute guy” and his workouts are incredible. Highly recommended. It’s old now, but check out this great bodyweight workout that doesn’t require equipment: here.

4. Brian Decosta

Brian not only has an insane work ethic in general, but as of posting this he’s posting daily bodyweight workouts on his Instagram: here.

If you’re looking for things to buy over the break to keep you going, there are a few favorites I have or have used.

1. The EmPack Backpack

While you could easily fill a jug of water and put it in a backpack, few things are built quite like the Empack. Not only is it high-quality, but it has handles all around it to make your workouts even better and use it as a great tool. It’s sometimes sold out on Amazon, but you can often find it still on their site.

2. Freetoo workout bands

I reviewed these on another site I write for, but they’re coming in handy so much during this time at home. Bands are great because you can carry them on the go and they don’t take up a lot of room. Check them out: here. I can’t fit dumbbells in my small apartment so, personally, bands are the way to go for me. I’d link some adjustable dumbbells, but as of posting this they’re sold out pretty much everywhere.

3. 5 gallon water jugs

Water jugs are a cheap and excellent way to get in a good workout a huge hit to your wallet. Here’s one on Amazon: here. It can help you get in your workouts that require heavier weights, especially if all the stores online are sold out of weight sets.

That’s pretty much it for some at home ideas to help you make it through. Stay inside, wash your hands, but get moving so you can stay calm through this. I’m also going to try and post some workout and nutrition ideas to my own Instagram, so come say hi!

20 Fitness Goals for 2020

With the new year here, most people are sitting down and figuring out their fitness goals and resolutions.

While most resolutions fail (because they focus on the outcome instead of on building the habit first), there’s still something exciting about a new year and all of the possibilities. While I’ve written longer articles on habit building and mindset tricks to keep you consistent in the gym, this will focus on the lighter side and some fun fitness goals you might want to hit this year.

Having a list of fitness goals is fun to help keep you excited about the year ahead and keep you going. Of course, this is just to spark inspiration and it’s best to set goals that you actually want to achieve.

Since 2020 is a fun numerical year, a lot of these goals will play on the idea of the number 20.

Fitness goal ideas for 2020:

  1. Go on 20 walks in new places or routes you haven’t taken.
  2. Lose 20 pounds.
  3. Stretch 20 days in a row.
  4. Do 20 pushups at once.
  5. Run 20K (aka do two 10k’s).
  6. Learn 20 yoga poses.
  7. Hit a 20-inch box jump.
  8. Swim for 20 straight minutes.
  9. Add 20 pounds to your best rep this year.
  10. Try a new way to work out 20 times.
  11. Try 20 new exercises.
  12. Choose walking over Ubering somewhere 20 times.
  13. Drink 20 sips of water a day.
  14. For 20 minutes in the morning, don’t check your phone but instead, list what you love about your life.
  15. Schedule 20 workouts in your calendar.
  16. Give yourself a compliment 20 days in a row.
  17. Try 20 new recipes.
  18. Hold a handstand for 20 seconds.
  19. Try 20 new fruits or vegetables.
  20. Eliminate 20 grams of sugar from your diet.
  21. Bonus! Journal for 20 minutes a day to relieve some stress.

Not everyone has the same goals in mind, so these are just ideas to spark you getting excited to take care of your body and mind in the new year.

Have any other ideas? Leave them in the comments below!

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