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Friday
Jun222018

2.5 Weeks Out to the Vancouver Pro Am

2.5 weeks out from the Vancouver Pro Am where I am competing in Open Physique and Opn Classic Physique in hopes of the illusive Pro Card...

In this video I talk about some recent injuries that while really annoying are not going to stop me from training and bringing my best ever size and conditioning to the stage. I am trying to find a quick and easy way to make update videos so I can update everyone more often during the last bit of contest prep and on contest day.

I use to use my Apple iPhone with iMovie for that but now I have an Android phone so I am having to discover a new workflow methode... Once I get that worked out I will have more video on the way...

I also talk about my food and training since that is my life right now...

Wednesday
Jun132018

Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch Review

This Video Review focuses on several key areas I go over as an interested user? I purchased the Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch because of my personal interest in it and have been using it for the past couple of months making sure it does what I need to do. As a side note I have also been wearing my Samsung Gear Sport Smart Watch along side the Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch as a measuring stick to make sure the data was in line with what I already know to be true.

Here are the areas I go over in this Video Review of the Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch:

  • What comes in the box.
  • Price compared to similar devices.
  • Quality & Style.
  • Battery life.
  • Screen.
  • Software (Phone / Device / Compatibility).
  • Accuracy.
  • Will it be my Daily Driver?

What Comes in the Box:

Price compared to similar devices:

I would say about half compared to similarly featured name brand devices like a Garmin for instance. I paid around $169 US for mine. A Similar Garmin would be around $299-$399.

Quality & Style:

The overall quality of the Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch is excellent and has been holding up well for me during my testing. It has a carbon fiber look body, a ceramic bezel and gorilla glass screen. The Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch also features stainless steel buttons and a soft removable strap that has a universal design to it. I personally really like the classic  round look with modern highlights to compliment the Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch.

Battery life:

Amazfit claims up to around 4-5 days of battery life but this is a real best case scenario. I really only get around 1 good day but can stretch it out to 2 days sometimes. I am using up a lot of the Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch resources since I have the heart rate monitor on constantly, go for at least a 1 hour GPS walk each day and track my 2 hour workouts while paired to an external heart rate monitor. I also have my notifications on the watch and tend to be fairly dependant on checking my watch through the day.

Screen:

The screen on the Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch is actually really a feature of the watch in my opinion. You do need to get use to it by making sure you view the watch at the right angle in certain lighting but the Transflective Screen is easy to see in virtually any lighting condition and day or night with the built in backlight for low light . The screen resolution is also very detailed at 320x300 px.

Software (Phone / Device / Compatibility)

For a Chinese based company I was surprised at how good the software really is, for me it has all I need to see and most importantly it works with little to know bugs and crashing or loss of data. For the most part you can see everything on the Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch but of course it's not as easy to see as on a phone with a larger display. My biggest complaint is the lack of compatibility with the big boys like MyFitnessPal, Google Fit or even Apple Health. It would be nice if the Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch was able share its data with other software programs but this was not a deal breaker for me since more importantly the data was accurate and I can easily take my calorie consumed data form the Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch and add it into my Base Metabolic Rate for a total calorie output for the day.

Accuracy:

At the end of the day I want a device that can honestly track my steps and calories burned form all my activities during a given day. The Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch does this really well. I did find that the built in optical heart rate monitor was not accurate for my weight training but this is a pretty normal problem with optical heart rate monitors. The good news is that the Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch allows you to pair an external heart rate monitor to it for super accurate heart rate data recording.

Will it be my Daily Driver?

At this time I am using the Amazfit Stratos Multisport GPS Smartwatch stand alone and so far it is working out great for me. I really like how it looks and I know that I am getting super accurate and reliable activity info from it so what more do I really need?

Tuesday
Jun052018

4.5 Weeks Out to the Vancouver Pro Am and MK-677 Update

Getting closer now to the Vancouver Pro Am, only 4.5 weeks to go so time to dial in the diet and start getting shredded. I love and hate this part of contest prep. Most days I can deal with the diet just fine but then there are days when you hit a wall. I usually like to throw in some higher calorie refeed days at least once per week to help me deal with it.

This week I am down to 2000 calories per day which usually puts me at 2000 calories under my Maintenance so even if I only hit 5 days per week like this I am still 10,000 calories under for the week which should net me about 2-3 pounds of fat loss this week alone. Next week I may bring up my calories a bit depending on how I look and feel and then I will drop them down again closer to the end.

I'm still holding my weight pretty good, usually between 212 and 215 depending on what I am eating that day. I should drop down to under 210 but when I carb back up for the show I hope to hit somewhere between 210 and 212 pounds for weigh in day. This will mean I added around 15 pounds from my last show the Popeye's Fall Classic where I had my debut in Classic Physique.

I have decided to only enter the "Open" categories and not the "Masters" ones at the Vancouver Pro Am since the cost for each category is the same at $215 each with no discount for add on categories like they do in many other shows I have entered. I just can't afford to pay $1000 to enter the 4 classes I wanted to enter for a show with no real prize money involved. It doesn't really make scence that we the athletes and the main entertainment are the ones paying for the bulk of the show. The cost of vanity I guess :) I will be paying the $215 (times 2) to compete in both Open Classic Physique and Open Physique.

In terms of my results on the MK-677, it's kind of hard for me to know for sure since so much is going on in my life right now with my contest prep! Exercise, diet, supplements are always changing so it's really hard to know what is effecting what. I do feel that the MK-677 is helping with recovery since I have been training really hard (at least 2 hours per day usually 6 days per week) and I am still holding together... I did notice some hand dumbness, a bit more than usual as I do get some in my hands when I sleep. I was taking 15mg of the MK-677 to begin with and then increased it to 30mg but just recently I dropped it back down to 15mg. I felt the MK-677 was interrupting my sleep as I was waking up with anxiety which made it really hard to get back to sleep again. I was also feeling sluggish during the day. Now that I am back down to 15mg which I take at night, my sleep is much better and my energy during the day has returned.

Wednesday
May232018

Pocket Monkii Super Portable Suspension Trainer Review

This is my second go around with a product from Monkii Bars. A while back they sent me their Monkii Bars 2 which is a suspension trainer system similar to the TRX but made to be ultra portable and compact.

Monkii Bars new "Pocket Monkii" is their latest product and it takes compact and portable to an even new level. You can literally fit the Pocket Monkii in your front pocket! You might wonder if making them so small has in some way detracted from their usefulness and or build quality? Well if anything I think they are even better than the Pocket Monkii 2 system.

I found the Monkii Bars 2 was a little bit time consuming setting up when taking them out of their travel bag while the new Pocket Monkii is literally ready to go! Simply unwrap them and hang them from a door and your workout is in progress.

Just like a TRX system you use your own body weight combined with varying angles of the straps to get a workout, the Suspension Trainer design allows you to get a full body workout that would be imposable using conventional body weight exercises.

Make sure to watch my Demo Video Review of the Pocket Monkii System and if you're interested in picking up one for yourself you can checkout Monkii Bars Kickstarter page they have setup for the Pocket Monkii system.

Thursday
May172018

Are Short Term Temptations Stopping You From Your Long Term Goals

We all have areas of our lives that we want to improve, often it is our health and fitness. We know we need to do something about it yet it seems so hard to accomplish these gaols. Why is it so easy to give into a short term temptation like a donut or side of french fries when what we really want is that summer body or even just to lose 10 pounds and fit into our clothing better. Why do our health and fitness goals elude us so often.

For me it comes down to deciding what I really want more than anything. If I want to achieve a certain physique that I know is going to take hard work in the gym and a strict diet for several months then that's what I focus on. I visualize the end result in my mind and make it a huge focus in my life. It becomes not just a goal I want to achieve but rather a commitment that there is no backing out of.

If I find myself tempted by bad food choices or I don't feel like going to the gym perhaps because of illness, I simply ask myself what is more important? The junky food that I will immediately feel guilty for eating or the Physique I have been working so hard to achieve. I also don't let sickness or other life distraction stop me from my workout. Even if the workout is not my best I still go and do what I can. It is a commitment I have made to myself that can not be broken.