Category Archives: Supplements and Products

Exercise 101: 7 Ways to Kill Your Joints

329293-16517-11As everyone is well aware, exercise is good for your heart, helps with weight loss and provides a variety of health-related benefits. At the same time, exercise comes with a certain degree of injury risk, and depending on the activity, it can also put a lot of stress on your joints. The key is to exercise safely and choose activities and movements that reduce your risk of injury, pain or other complications.

So how do you protect your joints to make sure you’re not doing more harm than good? By creating a routine based on your individual needs and abilities as well as taking some precautionary measures. You can reduce your risk of injury and make working out an enjoyable part of your daily routine, instead of a painful one.

Common Joint Injuries

Knee-pain4Joint injuries occur for a variety of reasons, including improper training or technique, overuse, sudden directional changes and even falls. Of course, there are health conditions that affect the joints, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and degenerative disc disease (the spine is comprised of many joints), but this article will focus on preventable injuries, not these chronic conditions.

The most common injuries happen to joints that are subjected to repeated impact, which will vary depending on the activity. For example, injuries to runners and walkers typically affect the hip, knee and ankle joints, since the lower body absorbs most of the impact during these activities. Tennis players often have elbow joint problems from the repeated swing of the racquet. Weightlifters canstockphoto13365645-272x300commonly experience shoulder joint problems, especially if they regularly perform upper body exercises using very heavy weight. And people who play high-speed contact sports (such as basketball or soccer) can often experience injuries like joint sprains, twists or tears due to the torque of a sudden directional change or fall. But you don’t have to be a serious athlete to experience injury.

7 Common Mistakes that Lead to Joint Injury

Everyday exercisers and weekend warriors often suffer injury due to a few common mistakes that can be prevented with careful attention. Here’s what to be aware of so you can move and exercise without joint pain or injury.

    • Doing too much, too soon. When starting a new exercise program or workout routine, motivation is typically high.  It’s easy to get caught up and decide that while a 30-minute workout is good, a 2-hour workout is even better. Before you know it, you’ve got nagging knee pain and have to stop your workout routine completely. Joint pain and injury is common when you don’t allow 460715051the body to adapt slowly to exercise. Remember it’s not just your heart and lungs that need to slowly work up to harder or longer workouts; every system in your body needs time to adapt: your muscles, circulatory system, ligaments, cartilage and even your bones and joints. It’s important to ease into exercise, regardless of how motivated you are to do more even if it feels “OK” at the time. Start with lighter activity, shorter duration, and less frequent workouts (to allow for some recovery days) and then progress as you feel up to it, but no more than about 10% per week. It is also true that injury becomes a higher risk as you age.


    • Performing the same activities all the time. It’s important to find activities you enjoy, because that makes it easier to stick with an exercise routine. But you can end up with too much of a good thekneething if you are always doing the same activity all the time. For example, you like running so you do it every day as your only form of exercise. Taxing the same muscles (and joints) in the same way day after day can easily lead to overuse injury and wearing down of cartilage. This is one reason why performing a variety of activities each week is important. By moving your muscles and joints in different directions and intensities, you can help prevent injury.


    • Wearing the wrong footwear. When heading into a specialty shoe store for the first time, it’s easy to get sticker shock. Typically, there are lots of options. Many of which can be expensive.  Although you might save money by picking up some shoes on sale at your local discount store, you may also be increasing your risk of injury by wearing shoes that don’t meet your needs. Employees at a specialty store are often able to 19244772-ankle-pain--detailanalyze your foot, gait and foot strike, and look for any mechanical or anatomical issues to determine the right shoe for you. Plus, athletic shoes are designed for specific purposes. Running shoes often provide some motion control and cushioning for forward motion, but won’t have the ankle support you’d need for playing basketball, which involves a lot of lateral movement and sudden directional changes. An investment in good footwear for your specific activity can prevent injury and pain, as well as the expense from doctor’s visits and physical therapy. And, yes, there are also specific shoes for weight lifting. read more


    • Exercising with improper technique. Whether riding a stationary bike or lifting weights, proper technique is essential to preventing joint injury. For example, if the seat of the bike isn’t positioned properly, it can put extra pressure on the knee that wouldn’t otherwise occur, increasing the risk of injury. If you try a new weight machine at the gym without knowing how to use it, this increases your risk of injury. If you don’t have ideal gait patterns or alignment (and most people don’t), you are putting your joints news_articles_large_totaljointat risk with every step, lunge, jump and squat–unless you know how to correct yourself. The truth is, few people without formal instruction know how to line up every joint and move through the correct range of motion that keeps their joints safe. While it’s something anyone can learn, it takes diligence and attention during every movement–not just in the beginning, but forever. If you aren’t sure how to do an exercise properly, ask! Most gyms have trained fitness staff who are there to help. You could also hire a personal trainer for a short time to learn these basics, or even go to a group fitness class where a qualified instructor will be able to explain and point out those keys so that all participants stay safe.


    • Skipping the warm up, cool down or stretches. When you’re short on time, it’s tempting to skip one (or more) of these pieces of the workout routine. But there is an important reason for each one, and choosing not to do them can lead to joint injury.  A proper warm up safely prepares the body for the increased demands of exercise by generating heat, increasing circulation to the muscles and joints, and lubricating the joints for activity. Cold 475699209muscles do not absorb shock or impact as well, and are more susceptible to injury, so always warm up for at least a few minutes before you work out. The cool down brings your heart rate back to normal slowly and safely, which helps prevent pooling of the blood in the extremities (which can cause dizziness or fainting), and stretching after a workout (when the muscles are warmer, lubricated and more elastic) helps maintain and increase joint mobility.


    • Doing too many high-impact exercises. Joint injury can occur more easily during high-impact activities. It’s a common belief that high-impact means “hard” and low-impact means “easy,” but these actually describe the intensity of your body striking the ground. If one or both of your feet is off the ground, even for a split second (such as when you run or jump), the exercise is high-impact, meaning your body has to absorb a higher impact of shock when you come in contact with the ground. Because high-impact exercises put more stress on the joints and skeletal system, they actually help strengthen bones, reducing the risk of 15482594_xxlosteoporosis. However, the higher the impact, the greater the injury potential. Assuming you have a doctor’s clearance and take good care of your body, you can still perform high-impact activities safely when you take certain precautions (like using proper form). But more importantly, aiming for a variety of impact levels in your workouts is ideal. Too much high-impact is, well, too much for the joints. If you are looking for activities that are easier on the joints, there are a number of options available. Swimming, water exercise and biking are all no-impact cardiovascular workouts. Some low-impact options include walking, biking and the elliptical. Just because an activity doesn’t involve lots of running and jumping doesn’t mean it can’t be a great workout. As long as the activity is challenging and gets your heart rate up into the cardio zone, you’ll be on your way to losing weight and improving your fitness level.


    • Skimping on rest. Most people think that exercise itself is what leads you to be stronger and fitter, but it’s actually the rest that happens after a workout that creates those positive changes in your body. When it comes to getting results and protecting your joints, rest is just as important as exercising with good form. You aren’t being lazy by taking rest days, you’re being smart. Taking days off from exercise helps prevent overuse injuries, stress fractures, and joint inflammation that can lead to pain. Recovery is the time your body uses to adapt to the stresses you’ve put on it, as well as repair tissues that were damaged during your child-ankle-pain-causes-treatments-245x300workouts. If you avoid rest days and don’t give your muscles and joints a chance to recover, you’ll continue to break the body down instead of making it stronger. A good rule of thumb is to allow for 1-2 rest days per week. This doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch all day and do nothing. It’s OK to do some light activity, like go for a walk or do an easy yoga session. But your activity shouldn’t be intense or challenging. Your body–and your joints–need the time to rest and repair.

It’s easy to assume that older adults or those with previous injuries are most at risk for joint problems, but the fact is, anyone can experience joint pain or injury if they aren’t careful.  If you are new to exercise, or if you have had joint problems in the past, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor or work with a qualified personal trainer before you start an exercise plan. These professionals can give you personalized advice based on your medical history and offer tips to help you have a safer workout.synotrex (1)

While there is some inherent risk in any type of exercise, the benefits of working out regularly far outweigh the risks for most people. With attention to the prevention and safety tips above, you’ll be strengthening and protecting your joints for the rest of your life by exercising your body regularly.

BONUS: Taking a supplement that helps nourish the joints is an exceptionally smart idea. One that I personally take is Synotrex. It’s all natural and contains Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin.

Tristan "Lucky"
Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

The PROTEIN Guide: Bodybuilders With Food Allergies

Note: Any of the products I’m suggesting I am not being paid to mention. I have actually tried and tested these products myself.

These days, it is the norm to hear people mention a food allergy or intolerance: gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, shellfish, and soy just to name a few. This can make it especially hard for those weight training when trying to find a protein powder or a bar they can eat without having side effects.

Some people (like myself) choose to only eliminate their food intolerance(s) while some other people will go all out vegan, paleo, or create their own special diet.

Sadly, I’m dairy intolerant. Prior to my blood test results, dairy was a staple in my diet. I had to learn my way around this new food obstacle and I found there were items that could be replaced without killing my taste buds. Of course, you can never truly replicate cheese – sorry Daiya, you’re close.


I had just bought a huge 4 lb container of MusclePharm’s Combat whey protein powder in my favorite chocolate peanut butter flavor. I stood there for what felt like hours just staring at it blankly. Then, I finally walked away after a very heavy sigh.

I had tried Jay Robb’s egg-white protein powder in the past and didn’t really enjoy it. I then bought some Hemp protein powder by Nutiva and after two attempts, it’s been in my cabinet ever since. It’s hard to compete with the taste of some of the whey protein powders out there that are packed with what I want AND the taste I need.


Finally, after doing a ton of research, I found PlantFusion. It’s a totally vegan protein powder that has:

  • No Dairy
  • No Soy
  • No Animal
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Gluten Free

1 scoop (30g) contains: 120 calories, 2g fat, 4g carbs, 4g sugar (frutose), and 21g of protein. Not bad!

I use the Chocolate and Cookies n Creme flavors on their own (sometimes add some peanut butter). With the Vanilla Bean, I toss in some frozen fruit. Tasty!  I have not tried the Natural or Chocolate Raspberry. They do have a new product called “Phood” which I’m definitely going to order and try out! It’s supposed to be your daily supplements and protein shake all in one.


My next favorite vegan protein powder I found is by Sun Warrior. I have only used their Vanilla flavor and give it two thumbs up. This company has a variety of products most everything is Raw, Non-GMO, Organic and Vegan.

Both products contain a high profile of essential amino acids in a complete, balanced profile. Both also contain pea protein, which is a remarkable source of plant-based proteins and amino acids. Protein from peas satisfies all FAO essential amino acid requirements and include Lysine, Arginine, Glutamine, Leucine, Isoleucine & Valine (BCAAs).


Next on my list was finding a bar that (a) was friendly to food allergies (b) wasn’t a sugar bar, and (c) tasted delicious.


This wasn’t an easy process. First I tried KIND bars. These, I admit, are very tasty, yet they just don’t contain the amount of protein I was wanting. Only 3g of protein per bar isn’t cutting it. These are NOT for anyone with a nut allergy, since the bar is basically all nuts. But, if you’re looking for a snack, this pretty much nails it.


Next on my list, was Betty Lou’s Organic Cacao Acai Bar. These bars contain cashews only, no other nuts. Again, the protein came in at a slim 5g per bar. The taste? Oddly very good.


I was about to call it quits when I stumbled upon a bar that blew my mind….seriously. AMRAP Bar Almond & Honey made me love life again. This isn’t vegan because it contains egg-white protein and to the nutty folks, sorry, it has almonds. Each bar delivers 15g of protein and this is becoming THE bar for the paleo enthusiasts. The bar itself is dense, so it fills you up. By the texture and taste, you can tell they went all out on quality for their bars. They also have Cashew & Vanilla and Fig & Cacao which I haven’t tried yet, but ordered them today!


Last, but certainly not least, is an innovative bar I stumbled upon this past summer on a trip to Austin, TX.  EPIC bars are not your average protein bar. It’s a meat bar, but is softer than jerky, and contains ancient berries and premium nuts. All of their bars are 100% grass fed meat and my two faves are the Bison Bacon Cranberry bar and the Beef Habanero Cherry bar. Their other flavors include Turkey Almond Cranberry and Lamb Current Mint. With 10-14g of protein per bar and an “epic” source of omega-3, CLA, vitamins E and B12, antioxidants, niacin…and are gluten-free with no added sugar? I don’t know if it can get better than this! Seriously. These are what I call my “MAN” bars and I always try to keep one in my bag. When I flew back home I was thankful to find them at my local Whole Foods Market!


Go ahead, don’t be shy – leave a comment with your favorites. I’m always game to try some new things.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”


The Ultimate Pre-Workout Supplements Guide for 2014

pre-workout supplementsThere are many guys out there who have questions about the value of taking a pre-workout supplement prior to hitting the weight rack. Some only rely on their general, daily supplementation routine to be enough. We’re here to tell you, it isn’t.

Pre-workout supplements represent one of the best-selling and fastest-growing categories in the supplement market today. It makes sense when you consider the one-hour window before training is for providing your body with the nutrients it needs to perform at its optimum level.

Are Pre-Workout Supplements Necessary?

The right pre-workout supplements can boost your strength, endurance, focus, and muscle pump. If you train hard on a depleted storage supply, your body will have no choice but to turn to your muscles as its energy source since it has nothing left to burn. Training without taking pre-workout supplements is a counter productive effort.

Another negative effect of skipping your pre-workout supplement is feeling slowed down, fatigue, a reduction in stamina and endurance. You cannot achieve peak performance if you deprive your body from the fuel it needs to give you optimum power and strength. Ignoring your pre-workout can make a huge difference in your muscle-building progress.

Do Pre-Workout Supplements Really Work?

There are endless numbers of pre-workout supplements to choose from that boast strength, endurance, focus and muscle pump. You don’t want to waste your money on products that talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. Too many pre-workout supplements rely on stimulants and fail to deliver real nutrients to muscle fibers.

Be sure that your pre-workout supplement provides at lease a few of these ingredients, all of which are clinically suggested to increase muscle strength and power:

  • Betaine
  • Beta-Alanine
  • Creatine
  • Tyrosine
  • Taurine
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Schisandra Chinensis
  • B Vitamins
  • Caffeine
  • Yerba Mate
  • Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
  • Glutamine
  • Carnitine
  • Citrulline
  • Arginine
  • GPLC
  • Pycnogenol
  • Nitrates
  • Glycerol
  • Choline
  • DMAE
  • Huperzine A
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Synephrine
  • Yohimbe

What are the Side-Effects or Dangers?

Dangers and side-effects are based on the products themselves. Some are filled with chemicals, ranging from unsafe proportions of herbs to a slew of nasty added ingredients.

In the long-run, your body could potentially become reliant on an external source of energy. Mentally, some become addicted to and infatuated with the feeling the pre-workout has given you and you no longer feel satisfied without it. This is when some guys go overboard and the initial 1 scoop becomes 3 and 4. They create their own danger by misusing the product.

Can You Become Immune to Pre-Workout Supplements?

YES. This is why “cycling” with supplements is important. Usually, it isn’t a bad idea to go off of a pre-workout for a week and then try a new, recommended one. I use my top 3 (which I will list later in this article) and so my body never gets immune to it. This way, I’m not having to exceed 2 scoops, ever, and I keep having the same incredible results.

Which Pre-workout Supplements are Best?

There are plenty of pre-workout supplements available online and in stores, yet make sure to choose ones that are fast-acting and are quickly delivered to the bloodstream. Most importantly, choose ones that contain the best ingredients and don’t come from some sketchy company in New Guinea or another country that most likely has labs that are not FDA compliant.


xwerks-ignite#1 My personal favorite is a newbie to the market, Xwerks Ignite. This stuff is the ultimate hulk-mode inducer without the gamma radiation. Some pre-workouts had me crashing after 20-30 minutes, but not with this stuff. It had me plowing through my 60-minute workout with more power to boost. I felt like I could pick up a tank, throw it across the room, and then jump over it! It also proved its claim to help my laser-sharp focus, which my ADHD brain needs. My buddy, a personal celebrity trainer, told me about it a month ago and I’m glad he did.

#2 Betancourt Bullnox Androrus is more than just a supplment, it’s an experience. I have to admit, not everyone can handle the bull. It can get pretty intense, but it can be the holy grail of pre-workouts if you’re looking to add some meat to your frame and feel primal at the same time. It’s a feel-your-testosterone pre-workout.

#3 Musclepharm Assault is a respected product by bodybuilders, athletes and fighters alike. This is an ideal product for anyone looking to get serious about their strength training and results. From hearing talk in the gym, this product seems to be the best back-day pre-workout you can take. It doesn’t focus on pump, but helps make you solid and strong.

So, the moral of this story? TAKE YOUR PRE-WORKOUT!


Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”


Sytropin HGH Oral Spray Supplement Review

Tristan gives this product 4.5 STARS 4.5 Stars


To be perfectly upfront and honest, I haven’t used many oral supplement sprays prior to testing out Sytropin HGH by Speedwinds Nutrition, Inc. In fact, this was my first one! I must say that I’m actually surprised by my results.

What is HGH?

In case you don’t already know about it, HGH stands for Human Growth Hormone. It is called the “fountain of youth” in the mainstream world, yet younger guys can also take advantage of its powerful effects.

Basically, in a nutshell, HGH has these benefits:

  • Increases your energy level and physical endurance
  • Improves sports performance and shortens recovery time from injuries
  • Strengthens your immune system to fight against diseases linked with aging
  • Lose weight and build lean muscles
  • Increases your bone density
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Improves your libido and sexual performance
  • Improves your cardiac function and cholesterol profiles
  • Reverses aging changes in your skin and promotes thicker hair
  • Improves your mood and sleep patterns

I mean, with all of these benefits, you just can’t go wrong. I decided to test out Sytropin since I’ve only heard positive reviews from friends and know it is from a trusted company that uses the highest quality FDA approved ingredients produced in a GMP-certified lab. I am very particular about what I put into my body and you should be too.

sytropin HGHSytropin HGH does not contain steroids. Primary ingredients include growth factors such as L-Arginine, GABA, L-Glutamine and L-group amino acids.

There are no side effects with Sytropin and this is mainly due to the fact that it is an oral spray, not an injection. Most of the time, any side effects with HGH is to do with an infection at the injection site. Folks will complain about joint swelling and joint pain.

Instructions on how to take Sytropin HGH – Easy as 1-2-3

  1. Two sprays of Sytropin directly into your mouth (under your tongue) in the morning. Do not swallow it, instead try to hold in under your tongue for several minutes. This helps it better absorb in your system. It says not to drink anything for 20 minutes after, so I do this before I leave my house and drive to work.
  2. Same as above, except it is four sprays and right before bed. This is the max dosage recommended by the manufacturer.
  3. Continue to take Sytropin on a daily basis. One bottle equals a 30 day supply.

What was my Sytropin HGH experience?

The very first thing I started noticing in the first week was an increase in energy. I had been feeling sluggish the past few months and usually that adrenaline rush I used to get at the gym stopped kicking in. I would leave the gym looking like a train hit me. With Sytropin, I was able to train longer and left with some energy still in my reserve tank.

Another thing I wasn’t expecting was change in sleep. Sometimes, I had slight insomnia and I was waking up feeling tired even after 7-8 hours of sleep. Now, I sleep like a baby and wake up refreshed and ready to conquer my day! I actually stopped drinking coffee which still is blowing my mind. I was addicted to my morning Starbucks. And with that, I save $6 a day. Not crying over that one.

After two weeks, I noticed a definite difference in my body. I was leaning out and noticed significant gains. My mood felt more positive and I had a decline in anxiety and depression. I felt balanced and more healthy overall than before.

The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is because the taste is something I had to get used to. It isn’t bad by any means, but I guess I was expecting it to taste like fruit punch or something….and that isn’t exactly logical. I’m still a child at heart hoping for some cherry flavored cough syrup. Just being honest!

Where can you buy Sytopin HGH for a discount?

If you want to try this rockin’ product, I found the VIP link for a 25% discount and Free Shipping. I am definitely a guy who searches the web for the best deal.

Click the link below to claim the VIP offer before it expires:

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for reviews on more products soon.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”