Alphalete Sweater and Joggers Review

If you’ve ever dived into the world of YouTube and fitness content, you’ve most likely come across Christian Guzman and his brand, Alphalete. I’ve never been one to buy fancy gym gear because I always know I’m going to wear it down quick, but this past holiday season I received some Alphalete gear and thought I’d write up a review now that it’s been about 10 months of owning it. Keep in mind, I mostly buy men’s workout gear because I’m not a fan of tight leggings when I work out.

The items I’ve tested

The three items I received from Alphalete were: a black standard hoodie, olive joggers, and the limited edition dog collar. Of course, they have hundreds of items they’ve released throughout the years and while I’d love to say I’ve tested a ton of them, this is the current stack (for now!).

Now that it’s been about 10 months, they’re still holding up very well. Keep in mind, I treat my stuff well and rarely blaze through clothes, but they’re still in about the same shape that I originally received them in. The stitching is staying together, the sweater is still soft on the inside (which is a miracle in and of itself) and the pants along with the collar are all holding up nicely.

The overall make and use

Immediately when putting on Alphalete, I could feel the difference in the overall make of them compared to what I’ve worn before. You can tell these are designed by athletes as soon as you use them, especially with things like how the joggers don’t move when you’re doing squats. That’s always the thing I notice with fitness gear as soon as I use it – you can tell when it’s designed by someone who works out or not.

I’ve had a friend who have worn Alphalete who said hers didn’t hold up as long, but also I have no idea what her rate was for wearing it or taking care of them.

Taking care of the Alphalete gear

I’m a person who likes to make sure my gear lasts as long as possible, so I always follow clothing instructions. The clothes from Alphalete I have say on them to not dry them and instead hang to dry. I make sure to do this every time, just to get the most use out of them.

Will I buy more?

The price is pretty steep for Alphalete, but given how much it’s held up over these 10 months makes it worth it. In my mind, it’s better to have one pair of joggers that lasts years than buy tons of cheap ones that only last a few months to a year at best.

Overall, I’m really happy with these products since I prefer to own things that last a long time. The fit is comfortable and the joggers material feels unlike any other type of joggers I’ve worn before. Everything has thick material and I would guess should last a few more years if not even longer. The Alphalete dog collar will probably last even longer as it has barely shown any use and I use it every single day.

How to Manage Your Food Addiction

First and foremost, let me just say I’m not a doctor. Serious food addictions need professional help.

This is more for people who suddenly have a pizza craving and indulge in it all the time, sabotaging their fitness goals.

What you need to know: companies spend billions and billions of dollars a year to make sure you can’t put your fork down. Why do you think so many of them have cute characters as mascots?

I only mention this because you should keep this in mind when you’re battling those late-night food cravings. Yes, it’s partially discipline, but there’s also a HUGE industry spending their days and nights thinking of ways to keep you addicting.

There’s a reason that for the most part people have a craving for fast food over celery – they’re designed this way.

The problem sets in when you’re sabotaging your fitness goals or your overall way of life simply because you can’t stop. I don’t think I need to tell you that eating these foods in excess will not only add extra fat, but could end your life early.

As someone who will destroy a pizza or a bag of Cheetos if it’s within arms reach, let me share what I do to manage it.

Get it out of your space

Listen, I’m not a fan of throwing food away (hello low-income upbringing) BUT you need to at least stop buying the food you’re addicted to. If you’re bringing it in your house, you’re going to be relying on willpower every single day, and that’s borderline impossible after a long day of decision-making at work.

Remove the temptations and free yourself. If you have to get up and go to the store to buy it when your cravings hit, you’re going to reduce your chances of eating it.

Stop going through drive throughs

This is the biggest vice for most people and I don’t know an easy shortcut to this. Why do you think they made drive throughs in the first place? BECAUSE THEY’RE SO DAMN EASY. You don’t even have to walk in. You simply have to drive through.

Taco Bell was ALWAYS my weakness and if I hadn’t figured out I can’t eat wheat, I bet I’d still be going there way too often.

This might require even going out of your way to drive home because seeing the golden arches on your drive back will be enough temptation for you.

Think of how you want to feel the next day

This one really does the trick for me. I can feel crappy food in my diet for at least another full day afterwards. The day after I eat a whole pizza is sluggish and my brain power is not fully there. As an entrepreneur, I cannot risk too many days like this in a row because my clients need me on my A-game. There’s nothing worse than being on a client call and sounding dumb as a brick when they’re asking you hard questions.

Consider a detox

If you’re fully in cravings mode, you might have to go cold turkey. Every time I’m consuming too much junk, I cut it all out instead of tapering off. Now, not everyone can do that and while your body is pushing out all the toxic sludge, it feels pretty horrible. You’ll want nothing more than to eat an entire box of donuts. However, if you can get through it, you’ll find how much of your taste buds change.

Every time I detox from sugar, I notice that foods taste regular again. Yogurt goes from tasting like nothing to almost being too sweet to eat lots of.

Remove decisions from your life

The less decisions you have to make about your food every day, the better off you’ll be when it comes to food cravings. That means being on top of food prepping every week, making healthy snacks to easily eat, and having a meal plan ready.

This can also mean deciding WHEN you do indulge, too. I have a rule of indulging in my favorite foods I love once a week without an ounce of guilt. I don’t waste this on foods I don’t love.

On top of that, I have a new rule of not eating at my work desk. One, it distracts me from enjoying my food because I’m usually watching or listening to something else while I eat. Two, it allows me to focus on when I’m actually feeling full.

Tell your supportive friends

If you tell your friends your new goals and plans and in response they don’t agree or give you shit for it, uh, how do I nicely say you need to find new friends? Sure, friends can joke, but in the end they should be supportive and look out for you.

If you don’t have supportive friends, there are a ton of groups online you can find with similar goals where you can help keep each other on point. Even being in contact with people who think like you do can work wonders.

Know your triggers

Knowing what situations get you off track is essential to making sure you don’t sabotage your diet. Is it the happy hour meet up with your friends? Your cravings when you are sitting around watching Netflix? Fights with your spouse? Work stress?

Whatever sets you off, you first need to write it down so you know when it happens. Then you need to make a plan to combat it. When you know your enemy, you can fight it head-on.

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

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