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Protein Shakes

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Zyliss ShakerThese days almost everyone who exercises in an effort to build muscle takes protein supplements. These are often in the form of protein powder taken with milk. The protein powder is usually whey protein (extracted from milk) as it’s cheap and easily assimilated into the body.

Unfortunately it has a very chalky taste that can be quite unpleasant. I discovered this the hard way after purchasing some vanilla Aussie Bodies Perfect Protein and trying to mix it into some milk with a spoon. It didn’t dissolve at all and it became very chunky and lumpy. Next time I tried dissolving it in boiling water and adding milk in later but to no avail.

This is where the Protein Shakers come in. They essentially consist of a water bottle with a basic filter lodged inside of it. After pouring in the milk and the protein powder, you put the filter back in and the lid back on and then shake the mix together for about ten seconds. This mixes the powder evenly in the milk so that it’s not lumpy and you can’t taste its chalky texture.

The only Protein Shaker I have used is the Zyliss Shake N’ Go Shaker, which I picked up in a House store for $9.95. This is a general purpose Shaker but I found it worked very well with protein powder. The only problem was that the markings on the bottle have begun to melt off. This was quite disappointing because it was only ever hand-washed in the sink, so it should really have been able to handle those temperatures. Normally I wouldn’t be too fussed about this but the melted markings are sticky and actually smell bad, so it’s not very nice to drink out of any more.

Another method to prepare more interesting protein shakes is by using a blender. Just some banana, protein powder and milk is enough to make quite a tasty drink, although the more banana you add the frothier it becomes. I don’t really like it being too frothy so I’ve tended to just use the shaker. Obviously you can use all sorts of ingedients for this, but a blender will set you back around $50.

My experience with BodyCombat

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

BodyCombatLast night my girlfriend got me to go along to her gym to attend her beloved BodyCombat class. This is a group exercise class where everyone is in a big room watching an instructor who is up on a podium. We basically copy the moves she does in time to fast-paced music.

While essentially an aerobics class, BodyCombat is loosely based on martial arts moves. It borrows some things from Karate, boxing, Taekwondo, Tai Chi and Muay Thai. It was developed by Les Mills International.

This was actually my first time doing any kind of aerobics class, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The class was mostly made up of women with two other men besides myself. The instructor was bubbly and friendly and didn’t really pick on people who had their form wrong (thankfully). The music and her microphone were really loud, and the echo in the room made it difficult to understand what she was saying at times, but it wasn’t that important as we basically just had to copy what she was doing.

The session lasted for an hour. It was close to non-stop but we did have four or five breaks (that could probably be better called ‘lulls’). We would grab a drink then go back to our spots as she explained what we were going to do next. They were probably about 10-20 seconds long.

The only thing I needed to bring was a water bottle and a towel. We didn’t use any equipment except for a mat (supplied there) near the end for push-up-like exercises. The towel was used to put over the mat for hygeine reasons, although not everyone did this.

Some of the exercises we did were punches (jabs, hooks, uppercuts), blocks, kicks (font, side, back, jump), kneeing, elbowing, running on the spot and around the room and push-ups. Some of the combinations were a little tricky at first but generally weren’t too bad.

Today I feel sore behind my shoulders but am otherwise fine. I think I was more concerned about not making a fool of myself than pushing my body’s limits.

In summary, the class was a highly effective cardiovascular workout with fun exercises and motivating music.

Review: MyoTape Body Tape Measure

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

I recently purchased a MyoTape Body Tape Measure to replace my regular tailor’s tape measure. I picked it up for $9.95 at Amino Z.

Its main selling point to me was its ability to provide consistent measurements. A common problem with measuring body parts is that it’s easy to pull too tight or not tight enough on the tape, skewing the results from one measurement to the next. The MyoTape uses its own internal resistance, which will (hopefully) be the same each time it’s used.

It is quite straightforward to use. The tape is connected to both ends of the retracting device, but you can unhook one side of it. You can then pull it out as long as you like, loop it around the desired body part and slot the side back in. Once around the body part, you press a button to retract the tape and it will continue retracting until it fits snugly around the body part. The measurement can then be read in either inches of centimetres.

The device seems quite sturdy so far, although I haven’t had time to put it through much punishment yet. I’ve also found that the unhookable side comes off a bit too easily, but with some more practice I doubt this will continue to be an issue. It appears to be made by an Australian company (MyoPure), so that’s a bonus for any local readers.

In conclusion, it looks like a very good product for anyone who needs to take a lot of body measurements.