My New Nutrition & Fitness Favorites!

Now that the holidays have arrived, people generally have a little extra money to spend, and if you’re like me: you’re probably seeking-out products that will aid your physique, strength and performance goals in some manner.

So, I felt it would be appropriate to do a quick video on some cool products that I’ve enjoyed and/or found useful in my training.

I am going to start with a new protein blend I’ve been using that I REALLY like!

Recently, I was given a couple bags of Vega Sport and Vega Protein Smoothie, and I quite liked how they mixed and tasted. I actually liked them a lot more, in that regard, than my usual soy, pea and rice blend.

I think Vega must’ve changed their formula, because I don’t recall this level of mixability or taste from their products back in 2013 — which was the last time I had used Vega Sport.

So, I decided I wanted to change my own blend up a bit.

I wanted to try designing a new, custom protein blend at True Nutrition that mimics the calorie and macronutrient profile, as well as the mixibility, taste and texture of Vega’s products. But — at bulk pricing!

Not the $85 per 4 lb. container that Vega charges!

Vega Sport is a proprietary blend, containing pea, pumpkin, sunflower and alfalfa proteins. It also contains a protein enzyme, probiotics, and turmeric, plus a myriad other nutritional boosts. All of that plus 30 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat, and 160 calories at a 44 gram scoop.

Being a proprietary blend, we can’t tell precisely how much of each protein source is included, but we can tell the order of inclusion from greatest to least. In this case, pea, then pumpkin, then sunflower, and then alfalfa.

True Nutrition does not offer a sunflower protein option, but it does have pea, pumpkin, and alfalfa.

So, in place of sunflower, I decided to use the ever-popular hemp protein, since it is also a seed.

After toying around with amounts in True Nutrition’s custom protein blend generator, what I came up with was:

45% Pea Protein Isolate
30% PumpkinPlus Protein
15% Hemp Protein Powder
10% Alfalfa Greens Protein Powder

…and I included the following boosts:

Electrolytes
Protein Enzyme
Probiotic
Turmeric

This produces a blend containing 21.3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, and 115 calories at a 30 gram scoop.

If we were to serve a 44 gram scoop of my mixture, which is the same serving size as Vega Sport, it would yield 31.24 grams of protein, 2.93 grams of fat, and 168.7 calories.

Which isn’t significantly different to Vega’s product.

The big difference is, my blend costs $13.50 per pound, before tax, shipping or discount, compared to Vega costing about $21.25 per lb. An initial savings of about $7.75 per pound.

When my blend arrived, and I had a chance to try it, I found it to be naturally “sweet” in taste, but a bit on the “earthy”, “nutty”, and “grassy” side — but, not offensively so, in my opinion.

I found that it pairs very well with the cafe mocha flavoring option, which seems to compliment the natural flavor of the various powders.

This blend also mixes well, and pretty quickly, and it stays mixed. And it isn’t too gritty either. You just need to get your mind past the slightly green color.

I let a gym friend try a scoop of this blend. Someone who is a hardcore whey user, but had recently expressed an interest in going vegan.

They had not been pleased by commercial vegan protein powders in the past, due to thickness and mixability, but even they were pleasantly surprised by my custom blend.

Anyway, I really enjoy it, and just wanted to share my creation with you all. In case you were looking for a quality vegan protein powder recommendation, without spending excess money.

I’ve linked to True Nutrition in the description below. And you can use my affiliate code, VEGNUT5, for an additional 5% off your total order.

Next, I wanted to briefly discuss a new gym toy I’ve purchased, that compliments a couple older gym toys that are still in my arsenal.

The Grip4orce grips, which add an additional 2 inches to a bar’s diameter, and feels tough like tire rubber.

Grip4orce basically trains your grip strength by FORCING you to clutch them tightly to keep them closed around barbells, dumbbell handles, or even cable attachements during a given lift.

And that’s where Grip4orce differs from Fat Gripz, which I’ve been using for years. Grip4orce will NOT stay closed on the bar or handle UNLESS you force them to.

It’s easier said than done. To give you some perspective, my barbell shrugs had to be reduced by about 33% in weight just to get the same number of reps as I had without the Grip4orce. And my incline hammer curls had to be reduced by about 22% in weight.

And my arms felt like jelly while using them.

And there is recent science to support the use of fat bar training for performance enhancement.

For instance, 8 weeks of fat grip training, compared to regular resistance training, improved ball speed, carry, drive distance, and grip strength in division I male golfers. As such, fat grip training may provide benefit to athletes who require adequate grip strength.

Such as people involved in bodybuilding, crossfit, olympic lifting, powerlifting, strongman, MMA, arm wrestling, and even law enforcement and military.

Which is perfect for me, since I both lift weights and practice martial arts.

I’ve come to incorporate Grip4orce into my training during triceps work and the warm-up sets of my big lifts that require grip. As that’s what I’ve found works best for me.

For instance, I’ll use my Grip4orce during JM Presses, EZ-Bar Extensions, Deadlift warm-up sets, Overhead Press warm-up sets, and Bench Press warm-up sets.

And I will switch to my Fat Gripz during curling movements, and sometimes during shrugs or barbell rows.

But, you can experiment to find what setup works best for you.

One of the ways I enjoy using my Fat Gripz are with Preacher Curl mechanical drop sets, but you could conceivably do it with any barbell curl variation.

I initially curl to failure with a pair of Fat Gripz Extremes set to a wide grip, aiming for 6-10 reps. Then, I immediately curl to failure again with a pair of regular Fat Gripz set to a close grip, getting another 3-4 reps. Then, I rip the regulars off the bar, and curl to failure one final time with just the bar, getting a final 3-4 reps. A few sets of these will DEMOLISH your grip, forearms and biceps! But, you’ll need to reduce your working weight by at least 30%.

So, I highly recommend getting not only a set of Grip4orce, but also a set of Fat Gripz Regular and Extremes, unless your gym provides them for you.

I’ve linked all three in the description below for those interested.

Anyhow, let me know what you all think in the comments below.

Perhaps you have some gym tool recommendations that have really assisted you in your training. If so, I’d love to hear about them.

REFERENCES

Customize your vegan protein powder here (get 5% off: VEGNUT5): http://truenutrition.com/

(45% Pea Protein Isolate, 30% PumpkinPlus Protein, 15% Hemp Protein Powder, 10% Alfalfa Greens Protein Powder, +Electrolytes, +Protein Enzymes, +Probiotics, +Turmeric)

Fat Gripz The Ultimate Arm Builder Original (2.25” diameter): https://www.amazon.com/Fat-Gripz-Ultimate-Builder-Carrying/dp/B0108TMWZ8/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=cormcc01-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=8321c744b7792423a45cb8fe18f2a07e&creativeASIN=B0108TMWZ8

Fat Gripz Black Ops Limited Edition (2.25” diameter): https://www.amazon.com/Fat-Gripz-Ultimate-Builder-Black/dp/B007M4C1FE/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=cormcc01-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=5ade60b35698918a7a31c77c84280dc1&creativeASIN=B007M4C1FE

Fat Gripz Extreme (2.75″ diameter): https://www.amazon.com/Fat-Gripz-854078001113-Extreme/dp/B009605VI6/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=cormcc01-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=7ed98f3574d2783bb665af9ce3404874&creativeASIN=B009605VI6

Grip4orce Flex Grips (use code SHOP10 for 10% off): http://www.performbetter.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product2_10151_10751_1005572_-1_2018513_1000239_1000239_ProductDisplayErrorView?utm_source=google%2Bproduct%2Bad&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=weight%2Btraining&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIx-L9i8Gl2AIV2FqGCh1LcwrJEAkYASABEgK1IvD_BwE

Effects of Fat Grip Training on Muscular Strength and Driving Performance in Division I Male Golfers. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28195977

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