Thursday, November 6, 2014

Stuff I Like A Lot

Every once in a while I like to do a random post about things that I've recently discovered or started to utilize that I think are awesome and would recommend to other people.

I find or learn about things all over the place. Anything that can make my daily life or training (or Kelsi's training, for that matter) easier or more effective then I'll give it a shot to see what it's all about. I like forming my own opinions rather than just relying on other people.


Nuun (pronounced "Noon") is an electrolyte tab that you can drop into a bottle of water that adds a bunch of electrolytes and just a little bit of flavor. Kelsi has been using it for several months and feels great with it, but I always thought it was just something that endurance athletes could benefit from. I just started using the product a month or so and enjoy it a lot. When you train and sweat a lot, electrolytes are obviously important. That's why Gatorade and Powerade talk about having them in every ad you've ever seen. However, they don't talk about how much sugar and shit is in those drinks, and Nuun doesn't come with that.

I'm really bad at drinking water, so anything that adds a little flavor and will make it more "enjoyable" to drink is a huge plus for me. With Nuun I'm able to get water, electrolytes and no carbs: that's a win!

Levi's Athletic Fit Jeans

Someone out there is gonna try to pull my Man Card for being stoked about finding these jeans, and that's just fine. However if you've been lifting for enough years then you know the plight of not being able to fit into jeans from most common stores at the mall. Lately there's been a few private companies that started selling jeans that were specifically cut for athletic bodies, but those jeans are selling for $150 a pop.

I've been wearing the same 2 pairs of poorly fitting jeans for about 2 years now. One pair is just a smidge too tight and I'm uncomfortable in them, but they are "nice". The other pair is comfortable but is way too big around the waist and are just beat to hell. I finally decided to sack up and go try and buy some jeans, and wandered around the store aimlessly for 15 minutes. After speaking to a salesperson I was pointed in the direction of these Levi's and was SUPER stoked when I actually tried them on; happy enough that I went back out into the store and grabbed a second pair.

If you're like me and have spent too much time looking like a schlepp in bad fitting jeans, run out and buy a pair of these ASAP.

These jeans. No bueno.

Strength Wraps

I'm a bit of a gear whore. I love training and I love getting new shit related to training. I have two barbells, a trap bar, prowler, grip tools, shoes, belts, rollers, bands and assorted weight plates. Since I started weightlifting I've also ran through several pairs of wrist wraps. I started off with the regular old red Rogue wraps (two pairs, the velcro gave out) and then moved up to their white wraps when they came out (two pairs, the velcro again). When we were training with Ivan at Risto Sports he gave us all a pair of their leather wraps to try out. After a week or so of breaking them in I actually started to love them. I found them to be super comfy and very supportive without cutting off the circulation to my hands like the Rogue wraps would do when I wrapped them uber tight (as I was prone to doing). This would necessitate me taking off the Rogue wraps after every lift, which is why the velcro wore out so fast. The Risto wraps were awesome for everything except wiping sweat off of your forehead; the buckle closure scrapes the shit out of your forehead.

I've seen a lot of people wearing cloth wraps and finally decided to try a pair. I went with Strength Wraps and I really really really like them a lot. They are pretty easy to put on (don't take any more time than the Risto's) and you can make them looser or tighter with just a twist of your wrist. I liked them so much I recommended them to an athlete I work with who uses them when he throws shot. As much as I like my leather wraps, the Strength Wraps are the most all-around comfortable to wear. Grab a pair.

Slow Cooker

Kelsi is going to laugh at this one (if she even reads the post) because I've only used the slow cooker once in the last however many months. I always suggest to people that they use it because it's so easy, but the handful of times I tried using it my food came out awful. However, I was talking to my co-worker Nick about using them and he convinced me I needed to start using it more. I made a 4lb pot roast on Monday night and it's fucking amazing (If I do say so myself). Here's what I did:

- cut little slits in the meat and filled it with chunks of garlic
- rubbed both sides with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder
- seared the shit out of it on 4 sides
- put it in the slow cooker on a bed of roughly chopped onions
- dumped in 1.5 cups of beef stock mixed with a package of beef stew mix
- turned it on low for about 9 hours (overnight)

I've been eating it just as is for lunch all week, but it'd be really good over some rice or with a potato or something. Sunday night I'm going to make some chicken in there that Nick told me about too. Should be amazeballs.

That's all for today. If you know of anything awesome that I need to check out, give me a shout! Have a great day and go lift some heavy shit!

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