A Review of MyProtein

A Review of MyProtein

A month or two ago I was asked to sample some products from MyProtein. MyProtein is a supplement company that offers a wide variety of health and fitness products. Over the past month I was able to work in two of their products into my supplement regimen and here is what I thought!

The first supplement I sampled was their pre-workout called MyPre, lemon-lime flavored. Below is a list of what I liked and disliked.

Likes

  • Size and amount of servings (30 servings)
  • Some natural flavor
  • No jittery sensations, itch, or tingling
  • Provides long lasting energy for exercise

Dislikes

  • Some artificial flavor
  • I was not a huge fan of the lemon-lime flavor OR color. It tasted and looked very artificial which for me made it difficult to consume.

The other supplement I sampled from MyProtein was their impact whey isolate, rocky road flavored. I am a huge fan of whey isolate proteins. Not only are they low in calories, sugars, and carbs but they are easy on the stomach! For me, this is something I suffer with when consuming regular whey protein. Below is a list of what I liked and disliked.

Likes

  • Whey isolate protein makes it easier to digest with no bloating or gassiness.
  • The flavor tasted artificial, but was good overall.
  • Great solubility
  • Tasted the best when blended with ice cold water.
  • Low in calories, sugars, and carbohydrates.
  • Affordable price

Dislikes

  • I am not a huge fan of 100% artificially flavoring supplements. I like to see some natural ingredients and flavors.

Overall I enjoyed the protein more than the pre-workout. I am extremely picky when it comes to pre-workout supplements especially with the taste or flavor, solubility, color, and the effect it has on the body. I don’t like consuming a supplement filled with artificial ingredients. I like to see that a product I am consuming has some natural ingredients.

http://www.myprotein.com

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You’re getting warmer! Why you should warm-up, stretch, and cool down!

Attractive woman stretching legs after run on beach

I have to ask …

Do you warm-up, stretch, and cool down before and after your workout?

Unfortunately, many people will agree that they DON’T. If you are one of those people, this article is exactly for you!

You’re Getting Warmer!

Warming up is absolutely critical when it comes to being successful with your training. It allows your bones, muscles, and mind to warm-up, get loose, and get the blood flowing. This allows your body to train efficiently and accurately minimizing the threat of injury to muscles, joints, and ligaments during your workout. Though the main purpose of warming up is injury prevention it is also super beneficial for your mental state as well!

When you go into the gym and immediately start lifting or working out you don’t give your mind enough time to comprehend your workout and get you motivated for the stress you are about to put your body through. During the warm-up phase of your training you will be able to focus on the exercises you want to hit and you will be able to jump-start your motivation!

Here are a few great ways to warm-up before you train!

  • 5 – 10 minute warm-up on the treadmill, stair climber, elliptical, or arc trainer.
  • Perform light weight warm-up sets for the muscles you plan on training, bump up the weight to a moderately heavy weight and complete a few warm-up After this moderately heavy warm-up set you want to rest until fully recovered, then start your workout!

What you get from warming up!

  • Increased flexibility
  • Injury prevention
  • Lubricates the joints
  • Achieve optimal results

Stretch it Out!

Along with a good warm-up before your workout you should follow-up your workout with a stretching session. Just like warming up, stretching is preventative care. By implementing stretching into your training regimen you are less likely to experience injury in future training sessions.

There are many great ways to stretch each and every part of your body!

There is a big debate about what whether or not you should stretch warm or cold muscles. I am a huge advocate for stretching after a light warm-up. This allows increased blood flow to the muscles which in turn creates better mobility and avoids injury while stretching.

Imagine that your muscles are like a rubber band, a cold and brittle rubber band will snap but a warm rubber band will stretch and bend and return to its original shape.

What you get from stretching!

  • Increased blood flow
  • Improve flexibility
  • Prevents injury
  • Optimum training

Cool Down

Cooling down after you workout or cardio session is actually very important even though most people don’t normally incorporate a cool down after training. I would say it is most important after cardiovascular training. Think about it, you just completed 15 minutes of 30 seconds on and 1 minute walking rest of sprints. You immediately turn the treadmill off and leave. You’re gasping for air, sweating bullets, shaking, and your heart rate is higher than the empire state building. This is exactly why you need to allow your body a chance to cool down and let your heart rate return to normal.

I would say if you complete a 5 minute warm-up you should also complete a 5 minute cool down after you session.

What you get from cooling down!

  • Helps your heart rate and breathing to return to normal
  • Will help avoid dizziness or fainting
  • Helps prepare your muscles for the next exercise session

Protect your body from injury by incorporating a warm-up and cool down session along with stretching before and/or after training. Hey, we only get one body! Might as well take care of the one we have.

-mk

T.G.I.M: Will you sink or float?

sinkaship

I am in love with the symbolism here!

Your body is the ship and the ocean water is the negativity of the world. The water slams into the sides of the ship repeatedly day in and day out just like negativity slams into our mind, heart, and body. How strong the ship was built, or how strong our bodies are built, determines whether or not that negative water will pour into the ship.

But listen! It is up to us whether our boat, our body, sinks or continues to float!


I consider negativity a mental disease. I mean, it works like a disease right? It gets inside of our brain, latches on, and seeps out of our body like blood from an open wound. It shows symptoms of anger, depression, and a lack of motivation; it eventually moves from one part of your life to the next destroying what little motivation and hope you had left.

Unlike physical diseases, we actually ALLOW negativity to enter into our heart, mind, and body.

Why do we let this happen?

It’s easy. We let it happen because we don’t know how to prevent it.

Living a positive life isn’t a skill you are born with. The negative influence the world has on us is something we are born into and it is up to us to teach ourselves how to deflect it or how to see the positive side to any negative situation.

It is my decision whether I wake up with a smile on my face or a frown. Whether I let spilled coffee on my clean shirt ruin my day or wipe it off, suck it up, and move on.

This reminds of a scene from “The Pursuit of Happyness” where actor Will Smith played a character named Chris. He was sitting in the interview room with his future employers. He was covered in paint from head to toe wearing only a paint jacket, white tank top, jeans, and work boots. His employers were less than impressed but he didn’t let that stop him. Will Smith’s character was able to impress his future employers by answering one simple question.

“What would you say if a guy walked into our office for an interview without a shirt on and I hired him, what would you say? ”

His character replied:

“He must have had on some really nice pants.”

His comment impressed his future employers and he was hired on for a chance to be hired for the internship. He didn’t let his circumstances that he could not change get in the way of him reaching his goals in the pursuit of happiness.

To watch the video clip click the link below! Absolutely inspirational!

https://youtu.be/8ioBmnoto1o

The one thing you have 100% control over in life is your own attitude. 

Don’t allow the bad situations that occur in life, big or small, to seep into your heart, mind, and body. Don’t let these negative experiences dictate whether your life is good or bad. You can decide for yourself!

If you were blessed with another chance to open your eyes and to breathe in the fresh air … you were already given a huge reason to be happy and positive. You are blessed with another day to reach your goals and to experience life: good AND bad!

Don’t let yourself sink.

Patch those holes and build your ship stronger.

You can prevail.

You will float.

-mk

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Is fasted cardio right for you? Here’s what you should know!

The past week I have implemented fasted cardio into my morning routine. Fasted cardio is still pretty new to me which is why I wanted to research and write a small article about it. As with any kind of fitness and exercise what works for one person might not work for another. You won’t know if it works for you unless you try, right?

So, what is fasted cardio?

Fasted cardio is simply cardio that is performed in the morning right after you wake up on an empty stomach. The goal here is for your body to use its fat stores as energy instead of food as energy just like f you were to perform cardio after a meal.

Studies have shown that fasted cardio can promote greater fat loss when performed properly.

What you should know:

  • Fasted cardio is proven to target stubborn body fat stores.
  • Fasted cardio is heavily dependent on your diet.
  • This form of cardio should be kept to a moderate intensity to avoid the loss of lean muscle mass.
    • If you are concerned about losing lean muscle mass, supplement with 5 – 10 grams of branched chain amino acids or a scoop of whey protein before your cardio session.
  • Supplementing with yohimbe or caffeine will improve your overall results during fasted cardio.
  • Fasted cardio, when performed at a low – moderate intensity, is safe to perform daily.
  • When deciding if you should or shouldn’t incorporate fasted cardio into your fitness regimen, assess what your overall fitness goals are. Before starting fasted cardio, make sure that your diet is in check. If you start fasted cardio and your diet is off … you more than likely won’t get the results you’re looking for.

Hopefully this information will help you decide whether or not fasted cardio is right for you. If you don’t think this type of cardio is for you check out my other blog post on other types of cardio!

http://fitlifemk.com/2015/06/17/5-types-of-fat-shredding-cardio/

Has anyone ever performed fasted cardio?

If you have, please share what you think about it!

Does it work for you? What do you like or dislike about it?

-mk

T.G.I.M: Invictus “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”

This poem hit me hard and I hope it will give you a slice of inspiration and motivation this Monday morning.

-mk

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

By: William Ernest Henley

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/invictus-by-william-ernest-henley#ixzz3gR9Ky7Dg

From Unhealthy to Healthy: How you can make the switch!

From Unhealthy to Healthy: How you can make the switch!

healthyunhealthybody

I’m going to give it to you straight up … it ain’t easy. Hell if it was everyone would be living a healthy and fit life! Am I right? Knowing how to start helps and having simple steps to guide you through the process is even better. I have compiled my own step by step process to help guide you into this beautiful, stress relieving world of health.

  1. The Decision

It honestly has to start with the decision to willingly begin. It can’t be someone else’s decision for you, it must be 100% your own. As we all know if our heart isn’t 100% dedicated to something we are less likely to follow through with it. So, when you have taken that first step … you are ready to begin.

  1. Educate Yourself

This is the hardest and most frustrating part. Because you are a newbie you are a beginner and we all know where beginners start … the beginning, the bottom of the totem pole, the back of the line, etc. There is always a stage where you have to put in a little bit of hard work and that comes with anything in life: there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Research any information pertaining to YOUR current health status. For example, if you deal with a disease or have any food allergies you will want to look up the foods you can and can’t eat. Take note. Also, make sure to write down the types of foods that your diet should be rich in and will have a positive impact on your health. As for your fitness plan, research exercises you can and can’t participate in. Any injuries you may have, you will want to find the exercises that will build these parts up stronger but won’t hurt these bones, ligaments, or muscles at the same time.

I strongly suggest avoiding fad diets. A fad diet is a weight loss plan or aid that promises dramatic results. These types of diets may give short-term weight loss but the promise of keeping it off long-term … it just won’t happen. Fad diets can also cause metabolic damage and other health related issues.

To learn how to differentiate between healthy diets and fad diets check out the link below:

http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/pages/fad-diets.aspx

After you have made a list of foods you can and can’t eat and a list of body strengthening exercises that won’t further irritate any injuries you may have, it’s time to make a plan of action!

  1. Plan of Action

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

So, it’s time to put all of that information you spent hours researching together in a document. Pat yourself on the back because the hard part is over … for now (insert evil villain laugh). I highly recommend using a word processing program like word, excel, or publisher to put together something you can refer to. This is where you can have fun! What I would do next is simply put together a sample weekly diet plan and weekly fitness regimen. Start with one at a time so that you don’t overwhelm yourself! A sample diet plan could look like this:

Monday

Breakfast: egg whites with spinach, grape tomatoes, and feta cheese and 1 slice of Ezekial bread with Almond butter.

Snack: handful of almonds and 8oz of water

Lunch: 1 can of tuna mixed with seasonings, spicy brown mustard, and celery served on top of whole wheat toast with a side of mixed field greens and balsamic vin.

Snack: 2 rice cakes with peanut butter

Dinner: grilled chicken breast, mixed veggies, and sweet potato

Try your best to be thorough but the key here is to create something that YOU CAN REFER TO. This shouldn’t be some silly ‘ole regimen you put together and never look at again. This should be your guidance, what you will refer to when you get overwhelmed in the future. Trust me, it helps.

A sample fitness regimen could look like this:

Monday

Morning run / Afternoon weight lifting: Chest & Tri’s

  • Barbell bench press
  • Barbell incline bench press
  • Cable flies
  • Skull crushers with EZ bar
  • Dumbbell kickbacks
  • Cable press downs

If you are new and you aren’t sure where to start with selecting exercises visit bodybuilding.com. They provide thousands of sample exercises and all you have to do is type in what muscle group you are searching for.

www.bodybuilding.com

Those are a couple of examples of how you can lay out your sample diet and fitness regimen. A few things to aim for when it comes to creating a healthy diet plan:

  • Include variety: make sure your plan includes a variety of whole foods ranging from green leafy vegetables, fruits, red and white meats, legumes (beans), nuts and seeds, dairy, whole grains, etc. Including a variety of all of these foods allows your body to take in the nutrients it needs to be strong and healthy! Of course, pay attention to any health or medical conditions you have as they might limit or exclude some foods.
  • Create balance: creating balance just means not having too much of one thing. I am sure you have heard of MyPlate. If not, MyPlate is just a useful website that gives you information about eating healthy. It shows you how to divide your plate according to meats, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, etc. MyPlate says to dedicate half of our plate to green leafy vegetables and then divide the other half of our plate between a carbohydrate and a protein. Simple enough right?
  • Moderation: this simply means to pay attention to how much of one item you’re eating. Have you noticed that you have been consuming a lot of sweet potatoes the past couple of days? Maybe it’s time to switch things up and try eating some brown rice. Too much of a good thing can be bad, so just keep an eye on what you eat and how much of it you eat daily.

Visit the link below for more information about healthy food choices and how to implement balance, moderation, and variety into your diet!

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

  1. Implement your Plan!

The day has finally arrived. Day One in your calendar; this is the day where your life can change forever. You have made the decision to begin living a healthy life and you have created a plan of action that will guide and aid in this life changing process!

It’s GO TIME!

Always keep in mind what your long-term goals are: lose 20 lbs, clear your acne, relieve the symptoms of psoriasis, and strengthen your heart, whatever it is always remember what you are working so hard for! They will be your motivating factors on this journey. When it comes to health and fitness nothing happens over night, let me say it again,

NOTHING HAPPENS OVER NIGHT.

Got it?

This process takes time. Do not give yourself unrealistic expectations of trying to accomplish this life change in one week or a month. Be patient and trust the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it? No.

If you are someone who is motivated through seeing changes, as I am, I recommend keeping a journal. This is where you can write any and everything! Write down your starting waist, hips, and thigh measurements, your current weight, how clear your skin is, how you feel mentally and physically. Write down whether or not you enjoyed the food you ate or if you hated it. Make notes about your fitness: what did you enjoy and what did you dislike? As time goes by you will begin to notice subtle changes and you will also have a point of reference for determining if and when you need a change.

These steps helped me start living a healthy and fit life. I always recommend reaching out if you have questions or concerns. Contact a friend for advice, information, and motivation. Talk to your doctor if you have health related questions or a personal trainer for physical questions. You won’t know the answer until you ask the question!

Today is the day you could change your life forever.

Go for it!

-mk

Other blog posts I have previously written that can help aid in this process are listed below:

The Importance of Goal Setting!

goal-setting

We all know that setting goals is important to reach any form of success whether with fitness, your career, or family. The great thing about setting goals is that they can be big and small! That truly makes it fun and interesting. Remember: setting goals is the first step towards success!

Below are a few reasons why you should set goals!

  1. Illustrates a clear picture for your end vision
  2. Creates positive tunnel vision
  3. Motivation to keep moving forward
  4. Helps you be the best person you can be
  5. Makes you an accountable person

Now, let me go into a little bit more detail on each one.

1. Illustrates a clear picture for your end vision

Have you ever had so much on your mind that until you write it down and organize it on paper it’s just a jumbled mess in your head? We have all certainly been there; prioritizing is almost natural (well, maybe not for everyone). But, until we literally create a game plan and figure out what it is we want to take care of first, second, third, and so on and so forth we will remain confused and lost.

Setting goals involves prioritizing and writing down just what it is you want to accomplish. That can range from small goals within your family to larger goals 5 maybe 10 years from now! You can set goals to have family, to get promoted within your company, to reach your desired weight, or to compete in a fitness competition. Your goals can literally be anything. The main goal here is to create a clear game plan OR vision that illustrates or maps out what you want to accomplish.

2.Creates positive tunnel vision

The reason I say “positive tunnel vision” instead of just “tunnel vision” is because there can be negative tunnel vision as well. Some people can be overly consumed with a certain goal and might lose focus on their family or job responsibilities. Just because you have a goal you want to meet and accomplish does not mean you should neglect the people in your life that matter most to you. It also does not mean you should just up and quit your job or be late for work every day. You have bills to pay, don’t make rash decisions! Have a plan.

When you have a goal set and you have a clear vision of what you want and how you plan to accomplish it you can then motivate yourself to remain focused on the end result! You won’t allow outside negative opinions or actions influence your decisions to accomplish your goals.

3. Motivation to keep moving forward

Goal setting can be easy but what can be hard is keeping the motivation to reach those goals high! You will find that when you set goals that are very important to you, the motivation comes naturally. You can also look for motivation from outside factors such as friends, family, role models, etc.

4. Helps you be the best person you can be

Setting goals can keep you dedicated and shows just how hard you will work to reach them. Goals push you harder and harder every day so that one day you will find success. It allows you to experience your weakest and strongest moments and helps you learn what works and what doesn’t work. You soon learn the skills needed to work efficiently to reach your goals!

 5.Makes you an accountable person

Simply put goals hold you accountable. Write them down and hang them on your wall, put your goals everywhere you can think of where you will be reminded of them constantly. This way you will never forget what all of your hard work is for.

Setting goals is required when working towards success in anything. I hope this helps you in your future endeavors readers!

Remember, we rise by lifting others.

Inspire and motivate each other!

-mk