Time Away From Competing: Opportunity Or Loss?

December 8, 2015

Those of you who know me in real life, or who have been reading TFW for a while, will know that I competed in bodybuilding competitions from 2011 to 2014 (several shows a year). I haven’t competed this year. People are now starting to ask me whether or not I’m going to compete next year.

I don’t have an answer to that question yet.

But it did start me thinking about an interesting topic: whether or not to take a year (or more!) off. And why some do, and some don’t.

It seems to me that there are two types of (bodybuilding) competitor. The “every other year” guy (or gal) who competes every other year or perhaps two years out of every three.

Then there’s Mr or Ms “every season” who – for whatever reason – feels compelled to compete every year.

Which are you?

I was a Ms Every Season. I’m now a Ms “Time Off, Thanks Very Much”.

The way I see it is that bodybuilding is the sport of building your body. Yes, being lean on stage is one aspect of that, but just as important is the training, the building, the growing, the improving.

As natural bodybuilders, the only way we get lean for shows is to diet – sometimes aggressively – living in a near-perpetual calorie deficit. Muscle does not grow out of thin air. Particularly when you are a drug-free female pushing 40 years old (holla).

Hence my decision to take time off: quite simply, if I step on stage again, I want to be improved (size, mass, symmetry, balance… as well as condition/leanness). And I don’t feel I can make those improvements if I diet every year for 6+ months of the year.

Plus, I love training and sport in general. I’m really enjoying training for a powerlifting meet at the moment, and I’m loving boxing which I only tried because I wasn’t prepping. I had a lovely Summer being out on my road bike and doing a few sportives. I’ll never not train, it’s what I do. But there’s so much out there I want to do – in addition to my bread-and-butter bodybuilding training. I have a sneaking suspicion that other sports and other styles of training will benefit my physique, too, but that remains to be seen I suppose.

There are other reasons for the time off, too. Enjoying all life has to offer. That kind of thing 😉 Birthday cake on my actual birthday (in the middle of comp season). Channelling time, energy, brain power in to my business, my relationships. Doing things I need to be on the ball for (buying a home). Turning the spotlight off just one thing and shining my considerable energy on to lots of things, not just one thing.

But I know not everyone agrees with taking time off from a sport and a passion. Some feel that if you want to do it, do it now. And others know they probably should take time off if they want to improve, but they love competing so much they’d rather just crack on, even if it means less-than-optimal results.

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Here are a few thoughts from my bodybuilding friends on the topic of “why do some bodybuilders seem to fear taking time off from competing”.

I’d love to know your thoughts and experiences…

I think some bodybuilders feel it is competitions that define them, rather than realising that it’s what we do day in and day out that defines us!

I think competitors worry that they will lose their identity if they are not actively competing year in year out.

People fear getting too out of shape and losing focus.

Some people fear falling off the radar and being forgotten about in comparison to the athletes who compete year in year out.

The attention one gets when in show shape is quite addictive. If you struggle to control body composition without an event to be working towards, it is easy to get out of shape. If you feel that your value comes from being in good shape, some can feel inadequate without that. Maybe the key is to work on being more self-aware and self-assured?

For some people bodybuilding IS their life and competitions are the highlight of it. Not competing can leave a huge void for those people.

Competition gives a massive buzz. The run up to competing, being on stage and everything that goes with it. However if you want to improve in bodybuilding you need time off the stage. This also gives you mental space to improve other areas of you life.

In reality each workout is the competition

It is foreign to some people’s thinking to consider themselves a top athlete in a sport yet have a 2 year interval from actually competing in it.

The stage is addictive. Being on stage matters more than substantial progress to some people

It’s the fear of being forgotten. It’s also that yearning to be on stage with your pals year after year and to see what you need to improve (that being said, if you don’t take the time to improve then you won’t!)

My body is telling me a year out. My mind is telling me I have unfinished business and I’m not getting any younger so I need to finish this. If I thought I was not making progress year by year I would take a year out but also I think it depends heavily on other commitments and finances as well. I, for one, work better if in regular interaction with a coach

I’ve wanted to take a year out for 4 years and still haven’t, simply because every year when others start to get their shreds on I just get pulled in… I genuinely wanted to take a year out this year but a few people advised me to stay on the circuit and it doesn’t take much persuading

LOTS more to say on this topic but I’ll stop here – maybe a few follow-up posts to be done!

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Time Away From Competing: Opportunity Or Loss? is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Training At The Workout Mill

December 6, 2015

As part of my strategy to break up the long, boring bit of off-season (i.e. the Winter months), I’ve taken it upon myself to visit different gyms, train with different people, and invite myself along to other people’s training sessions.

Today was a visit up to The Workout Mill in Leamington Spa, home of WNBF Pro bodybuilder Richard Gozdecki who is a Director of the gym.

I’ve had the pleasure of training with Rich a few times now: at The Mill, and whilst we were all up at the UKDFBA’s Caledonian Classic show a couple of years ago. Rich knows what I’m capable of and we seem to get along well training together. So, when he heard that I’m doing a powerlifting comp, he invited me to join him for a Sunday deadlift session because he’s training for powerlifting at the moment too.

Bodybuilders powerlifting? Powerlifters bodybuilding? Dunno: we just both really love to train. 🙂

We started at 7:30am. I arranged to stay at my Mum’s for the weekend, but that still meant a 5am start for me. #yolo or something. I can have a nap later.

Here’s what we did:

Calves:

Seated pin-loaded machine – sets of 15 + 1 double drop set (15/15) + 1 triple drop set (15/15/15)

Standing calves superset donkey calves – 5 sets 10-12
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Hamstrings:

Standing single-leg ham ham curl (4 working sets)

Lying ham curl (4 working sets)
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Deadlifts:

4 warm up sets

5 working sets (135kgs for me, possibly 280kgs for Rich? I lost count of the plates tbh) 3-5 reps per set

4 sets working on speed off the floor (100kgs for me, not a clue what Rich used) – 5 reps

Then I stayed and did some cardio because The Mill has a Stair Master and I’m weird.
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Now I have to drive home.  I am sending a prayer to the Gods of the M25: no stop-start traffic, please. I’m not sure my legs can take it.

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Training at The Workout Mill is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


A Weekend Training At Body Flex, Aylesbury (Two Training Sessions)

November 29, 2015

Remember when I created a Google map and list of UK gyms owned and run by natural bodybuilders? The map is here >> UK natural bodybuilders’ gyms <<. At the time, I pledged to do some kind of grand tour, visiting each gym to train, interview the owner and blog about the gym.

That hasn't happened (yet?) but this weekend I took a road trip to stay with my bodybuilding buddy Chris Roche. We trained twice at his local gym, Body Flex in Aylesbury, which is owned and run by former natural World Champ Tony Montalbano (there are rumours of a comeback in 2016, but you didn’t hear it from me…)

The time of year between the end of one bodybuilding season and the start of the next can be a bit boring. It’s easy to feel disconnected from the close-knit community of natural bodybuilding. So I take it upon myself to invite myself to training sessions and travel around in order to hang out with the good folk of natural bodybuilding.
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This weekend was one of those road trips. I went up to Aylesbury, trained twice with Champ Chris Roche at Tony Montalbano’s Body Flex – all fuelled by Chris’s Dads excellent cooking (burp).

Chris is a Personal Trainer based at Core Strength Fitness in Aylesbury. He’s the UKDFBA British Teenage Champion 2012/13, BNBF British Teenage Champion 2013 and placed 3rd in the amateur U24s at the WNBF Worlds in 2013.
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I can’t remember when I first met him, but we became firm friends on that trip out to the WNBF Worlds in Boston in 2013. I remember thinking (shame on me!) that I couldn’t possibly be friends with a young fellamelad of Chris’s age. I am, literally, old enough to be his mother (cringe). We agreed to hang out for a day and I was wondering what the hell we’d have to talk about. Well Chris, my apologies! 😉 We had a great time on that trip and have remained good friends since. We’ve trained together tons of times – at Emporium in Birmingham over Bodypower weekend, and at various “natural meets”, and now at Body Flex.

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Here’s what we did:

Saturday: Shoulders, Abs
– Hammer strength plate loaded shoulder press: several sets adding weight each time, then a final drop set
– Single arm dumbbell lateral raises, the final one a drop set
– Single arm dumbbell overhead press, final one a drop set (I managed the 20kg for a few!)
– Rear delt dumbbell flys (Chris taught me how to actually do these properly)
– Real debts on the pec dec with horrible “holds” and a drop set
– Hanging leg raises

Sunday: Legs, Calves
– Barbell squats, 4 working sets (I did 70kgs)
– Plate loaded hack squat: 5 sets of 10-12 reps with minimal (30 seconds or less) rest (yuk)
– Plate loaded leg press: 15-20 reps for 3 sets (heavier every set) then a quadruple drop set (yuk)
– SLDL with dumbbells – 3 sets (I used the 30kgs for these which I was pretty happy with)
– Nordic hamstring curl (ouch)
– Seated calves on plate loaded machine
– Toe presses on leg press

Great couple of sessions, thanks Chris!

What did you train this weekend? Have you trained at Body Flex? Can anyone guess which gym on my map/list I’m training at next weekend?

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A Weekend Training At Body Flex, Aylesbury (Two Training Sessions) is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


How Does It Make You Feel?

October 28, 2015

Full disclosure: this blog post is asking a favour.

For a fledgling idea of a work “thing”, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts and feelings on something.
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How does it really make you feel? Being at a bodybuilding show, when you’re not competing?

Could be that you’re off-season for a year. Or maybe you’ve official retired from the sport, and you’re there to support a mate, catch up with friends, or do official stuff like judging.

Doesn’t matter. Whether you’re new to the sport or you’ve got posing trunks older than the guys in the Junior class, whether you’ve competed once or 100 times, whether you’re on a year out or out of it for good.

I’d love to know what kind of thoughts and emotions it brings up. Good ones, bad ones, predictable ones and unexpected ones. And anything in between.

Obviously this question goes out to people who compete (any federation, any category) or who have competed in the past (doesn’t matter if it was once or 100 times, last year or decades ago).

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How do you feel beforehand? Do you have any negative feelings about being at the show when you’re not “in shape”? Do you feel put off? Do you think it might inspire you to compete again (and is this in itself a welcome thought, or a negative one)?

How about when you’re there, seeing people up on stage?

And what about when you’re face-to-face with people you’ve competed against in the past, and people who have been a judge, or people you know spectated when you were competing?

Do you feel like a fraud, think you have to justify your current look? Or do you feel proud at your past achievements and happy that this is all just part of your bodybuilding journey? Or something altogether different? (I’m not trying to lead you in your responses, just giving some idea of the things I want to explore.)

And finally how do you feel on the way home, and in the days after the show? Inspired? A bit depressed? In a glass case of emotion? 😉

I’m fascinated to know. I’ll tell you why at some point.

Get In Touch

You could comment here, or on the Facebook post. I’m sure it’ll spark some interesting discussion.

But if you’d rather keep your feelings private, please email me nicola@nicolajoyce.co.uk I’d rather you felt able to be completely open.

Rest assured anything you tell me will be kept completely confidential. This isn’t for a work commission. It’s research for my own personal work project, and I won’t ever use your words.

Photo credit
Photos in this blog post are from the archives of bodybuilding and sport photographer Fivos Averkiou of Showshoots – thanks Fiv!

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How Does It Make You Feel? is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


My off-season training and eats

October 13, 2015

Now I’m back in the groove of blogging, let’s talk bodybuilding.

Even though – as explained in my “comeback post” 😉 – I don’t have any definite plans for competing again, I’m still training and (mostly) living like a bodybuilder. Just not one that’s prepping for a show.

I’m in the gym 4-5 times per week, and still doing a BB-type training split. I experimented with a DUP-style training approach for a while (bench, squat and deadlift) but felt restricted and missed the variety and volume. I also limited myself to just one leg session per week for a while, but started pining for a separate hams/glutes session.

So, basically, I’m back to the same split as when I’m competing. The only difference now is that I’m a bit more flexible and intuitive. I always know which “bits” I’m training, and usually know what my main lifts will be, but I play it by ear after that. And if I end up training with someone, I’ll change things about to make the most of having a partner.

Here’s a sample week:

Mon: legs (squats/quads)
Tues: back
Weds: chest & triceps
Thurs:
Fri: shoulders & a bit more back
Sat: legs (hams/glutes)
Sun

I’m terrible about training arms. I find it really boring. I know, what a bad bodybuilder. I don’t mind training triceps to be fair, but bicep training bores me to death. I’ll usually tag along with Some Bloke in the gym (because almost every Bloke In The Gym seems to love training biceps). I also don’t really train calves although I know I should. I rarely train abs in the gym – I go boxing twice a week and we do a lot there, and I think my abs get a decent workout from deadlifts too.

In terms of cardio, I do a fair bit just because I really enjoy it. Don’t forget, I work at home and sit on my arse all day long. And I come from an endurance-sport background. So I actually like working up a sweat and doing huffing-and-puffing stuff.

I walk (fast) with the dog twice a day. I don’t count this as cardio, but I know some would (walking the dog before breakfast = “fasted LISS cardio” in bodybuilder-speak 😉 )

I then go boxing twice a week (Tues and Thurs) which is most definitely cardio, trust me! I try to get out on my road bike 2-3 times per week for 1-2 hours (although this is currently down to once a week given the short daylight hours). I run hill sprints, or flat sprints on the footie pitch out the back of my house… “sometimes”. At one point I was doing it twice a week. I really should get back to it. If my sister, or my friend Lou is reading this… let’s get a regular sprint session in the diary?

I do NOT go on my bloody cross-trainer! I put it in the shed when I moved house and have not re-assembled it.

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Current favourite sessions in order of bestest-most-favourite:

1) hamstrings (currently loving SLDL with dumbbells)
2) squats (currently loving/hating front squats)
3) back
4) shoulders

And least fave:
– chest (because my weights are trash and it frustrates me)
– biceps (because boring)

And the food side of my off-season/not competing bodybuilding life?

I try to eat “well” but I also refuse to impose any kind of restriction or rules on myself. Partly because I am living life, and not dieting for a show, and there’s much more to life (IMO) than eating to a set of rules.
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(I had birthday cake on my birthday this year for the first time since 2010.) But also partly because I know I’m still recovering (mentally) from several years of pretty restrictive dieting. I know not everyone is affected by the rigours of dieting but I was! And it’s taken me a while to get to a good place re: food and food behaviours, and it’s still a work in progress. I don’t want to upset the good balance I’ve manage to achieve. And I know that if I am going to grow and make physique improvements as a bodybuilder, I need to eat and not diet!

So I have moved away from the “bodybuilder” style of 6 meals a day, and I try to eat 3-4 times a day (basically breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack usually mid-afternoon). In other words, like a normal person.
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What’s probably not so “normal” is my meal choices. I still eat bodybuilder-type meals, some of which people may find a bit weird. Breakfast is often fish and veg, or meat. I don’t do cereal, toast or breakfasty stuff. I just don’t want to, I got out of the habit when I first started bodybuilding, and I like my way better 🙂

My lunches and dinners are some combo of meat, fish (I genuinely like fish – so would you if you lived on the coast and had access to the fresh fish I can buy straight off the boats), veg and spuds. It doesn’t have to be spuds, but I like them.
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I try to eat carbs with every meal, because I’m just trying to get my body used to a nice steady balance and consistent intake. No high/medium/low carb days and certainly no low-carb eating. Just a reasonable balance.

Bodybuildery foods I do not eat:
– oats. I don’t like them and they don’t like me *burp*
– asparagus. I like it but it’s so expensive and I don’t need to eat it.
– protein powder. I rarely need to. I just come home after training and eat my next meal.
– egg whites. At least, not just egg whites. I might use them to bulk up my eggs, but I no longer eat just the whites.
– nut butter. I don’t get the hype, and can’t remember the last time I had it.
– rice. I like it, but it’s a faff to cook and I just never really think about it.

Bodybuildery foods I do eat:
– eggs, broccoli, white fish, chicken, potatoes (although these days I usually go for the humble white spud rather than sweet pots), spinach and other leafy greens, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, coffee!

Things I have enjoyed reintroducing to my kitchen:
– fruit (I am still loving the joy of the simple Braeburn apple), bread, milky coffee, pork, lentils (yes, really), ice-cream, spaghetti, cheese (halloumi is a current fave).

Well, I feel like that was a pretty boring post. I’ve also realised that I’ve got out of the habit of taking photos “for the blog”, sorry about the wall of text (and recycled Instagram photos!)

Please let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to write about! Next up I’d like to tell you about my boxing sessions, or the bike events/sportives I’ve been doing, or perhaps (!) something about copywriting and work.

Whaddya reckon?

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My off-season training and eats is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Guess who’s back! (And where the hell have I been, anyway?)

October 9, 2015

*tap tap* Is this thing on?

HELLO, WEMBLEY!

I haven’t blogged here since April. In fact, my last post (an event report from a Strongwoman comp) was exactly six months ago.

Yeah, sorry about that. Really no excuse other than getting out of the habit (and being busy).

I’ve got a huge list of blog posts planned. But, before I launch straight into things, I’d better bring you up to date.

I had to kind of guess the questions you lot might like me to answer. Here goes (if there’s still anything you want to know, let me know in the comments!)

Am I competing in bodybuilding this year?

Nope! My last comp was WNBF Amateur Worlds in November last year. Since then, I’ve been “off-season” (not dieting, not “prepping”, trying to be as normal as a bodybuilder can be). I knew I needed a break from the rigours of competition prep (mentally, physically, emotionally, socially…) and so… I took it!

Am I competing in bodybuilding again ever?

Ooh. Good question. Honest answer? I don’t know. Never say never. I still love the sport, I still have goals and target which I’d like to achieve. But, right now, I have no desire to compete. Or perhaps more accurately: I do not have enough desire to compete. Comp prep is intense, and I believe you should only do it if you really, really want to. If I compete again, it will be to look better, to show improvements, with the goal of achieving more than I already have. My life, head, emotions and focus aren’t in that place at the moment. But… never say never.

What does my training look like?

Since I’m not prepping for bodybuilding comps, and since I am well-fed and full of energy (!), I’m enjoying all sorts of training
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Weights: the core of my training is still lifting weights in the gym. I tend to go 4-5 times a week and still follow a bodybuilding-type split.
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Boxing: I’ve also added boxing sessions (twice a week at my local boxing club) into the mix. I absolutely love it. The first time I went, the warm up was so hard I nearly walked out (and I don’t walk out on things!) But I stuck it out and, although it’s still the hardest training I’ve ever done, I’m now able to push myself rather than just survive! It consists of a 10 min warm up, 30 min partner session on the bags and pads, then a 20 min circuit. It’s proper boxing at an actual boxing club and it’s exactly how you imagine boxing training would be. I adore it.

Road biking: this is something I really missed when I was doing bodybuilding prep, so I’ve reintroduced into my life with joy. I try to get out 2-3 times a week (weather dependent) and like going out for 2 hours or so at the weekend. I’ve done a couple of events since April: a fairly hilly 60-mile sportive and a dead flat 50-mile sportive in July, and a very hilly 55-mile sportive a couple of weeks ago. I’ve entered an 82-miler in November. Eek! But it starts a couple of miles from my house so… I kind of have to, right? (I’m on Strava here if you want to follow my adventures on the bike.)

What’s my diet like at the moment?

Diet? Let’s call it “nutrition”. I have to be honest: diet/nutrition/food has been a struggle since my last bodybuilding comp in November. This is something I will blog about in more detail when I am feeling a bit braver. But I’m sure what I have to say will resonate with plenty of fellow bodybuilders and fitness industry folk, and nothing I’ve experienced will come as a surprise.

Getting back to “normality” after bodybuilding contest prep will challenge even the most balanced of brains. I’m still a work in progress. But it’s all good!

I am trying to eat 3-4 times a day, to listen to my body’s hunger and satiety signals, and to eat mostly healthy, “real food” meals, but not to be worried about eating junk and treats as well. Lots more to say on this topic – you have been warned! 😉

What’s my next goal in sport/in life/in general?

My goals at the moment are mostly to do with life and business, rather than sport or body. I’ll always train, and I’ll always (try to) eat well. But at the moment, my focus is on some exciting (and slightly scary) business plans (I can’t wait to get you involved!) Training will be an important part of my day/week just as it’s always been. But I don’t have any one single, big sporting goal. I’m just staying healthy, getting strong, and enjoying being fit and sporty.

What have I been doing with my time since April?

When you put it like that… um…
– buying a house
– pushing my copywriting business forward
helping my fitness industry clients with ebooks, email marketing, website content, blog posts, books, content marketing, sales pages, newsletter copy and social media
– planning a new business venture which excites me so much I want to cry 😀
– dating (with varying degrees of success, but plenty of LOLZ)
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– going on holiday (I’m just back from a week in Croatia with Tara of Sweat Like A Pig fame)
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– I did another Strongwoman event at the end of July, which was fun. Highlights included 95kgs deadlift for reps (60 seconds) – Terry Hollands was counting my reps. And I did a truck pull (here’s a video of it)!
– riding my bike, going boxing… and not writing my blog! 😉

How is Frankie thefitdog?

He’s absolutely fine 😛
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Right, that’s quite enough for now. I promise to get back to a regular blogging schedule from now on (twice a week) and will be talking about my training, sports events, diet/nutrition, as well as about copywriting and content topics, and industry trends. If there’s anything else you want from this blog, lemme know!

You can always find me on Facebook (mostly copywriting and marketing stuff), Twitter (work, personal, training and everything in between) and Instagram. Oh and I’m on snapchat too (therealnicjoyce) Come and say hi 🙂

Guess who’s back! (And where the hell have I been, anyway?)t is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Tested this week: Monkey Nutrition new Primal26 PRO whey protein isolate

March 29, 2015

Today’s fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week is a new product from one of my favourite supplement brands.

Primal26 new whey protein isolate review

I’ve reviewed a few Monkey Nutrition products on the blog. I like the brand for its honest, no-BS communication style and I like the products because they really are great quality (and they have some little gems in the range, like Moodulator the neurotransmittor/hormone support which really helps me sleep).

So when one of the Monkeys asked if I’d try the new Primal26 PRO advanced whey isolate, I said sure! I reviewed the previous version of Primal26 here, but this is a new and improved formula with digestive enzymes.
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I’m off-season at the moment, and have drastically cut down on the amount of supplements I take. Partly for cash reasons, but mostly because I truly don’t think many are needed when you’re eating well, sleeping well and getting enough recovery. Prep is perhaps a different matter. But in off-season, I really don’t use much at all. (Happy to blog about what I do use if anyone’s interested).

That includes protein powder. I work at home, the gym’s not far away. I usually just come home and eat a meal. But there are times when I need a protein powder after training – and on those occasions I will use whey isolate.

Why? Simply put, it’s the best form of whey available.

Monkey Nutrition’s Primal26 PRO whey isolate is a little different to most whey isolates. It contains digestive enzyme ProHydrolase, which helps with protein absorption. Whey isolate is always pretty gentle on the digestion anyway (much less lactose) but the addition of digestive enzymes to Primal26 PRO supports an increase in protein absorption (by up to three times) and helps ensure smaller, non-immunogenic protein peptides are formed. These help lower inflammation (as indicated by decreased CRP levels).

If you sometimes suffer bloating, gas or worse when you use whey protein, this product would definitely be worth a try.

Because your body is able to get more out of digesting this product, it means you can actually reduce your serving size without any loss of protein assimilation.

The product formula is clinically researched (you can read all about the clinical trials here, if you’re that way inclined) and

I tried Primal26 PRO in chocolate flavour, which is sweetened with Stevia and flavoured with organic cocoa. 26g pure whey protein isolate per serving – and that all-important ProHydrolase digestive enzyme.

Thanks for the supplements, Monkey Nutrition guys!

You can find Monkey Nutrition on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tested this week: Monkey Nutrition new Primal26 PRO whey protein isolate is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Tested this week: Fuelify fitness snack box and 20% off your first box

March 13, 2015

Today’s fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week is something yummy! Hands up if you like 1) snacks 2) surprises and 3) deliveries?
fuelify snack box review

Fuelify is a tailored fitness snack box service which sends sports snacks, fitness nutrition, bars, gels (and more) to your door.

And they’ve kindly offered you lot 20% off your first box – scroll down for the discount code!

Fuelify is a tailored service, choosing 6-8 products from the latest in sports snacks and fitness nutrition, customised to your fitness needs. You just tell them how you train, what kind of sport you do and what you need from your snacks and supplements and they send you some goodies.

It’s a great way of discovering new products from established and up and coming brands like Pulsin’, Nakd, Clif, Luna, CNP and more. You can see the entire range of everything they stock here.

I told Fuelify it was OK to send me a very general selection so I could get an overview of some of their favourite products.

Here’s what I got in my box.

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I actually gave the gels to a mountain biking friend, but I worked my way through the bars, electrolyte powder and the energy chews/shot bloks myself. All of them were great – some were brand new to me (the Nom brand) and some I’d had before (Trek).

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My favourite – for what it’s worth – was the Nom protein bar, made with pea protein and coconut oil. It had a lovely texture and was very filling, hitting the spot for me (I prefer fats to carbs, as a rule).

You can get a one-off box (ideal as a present), or opt for monthly or fortnightly subscriptions. I think this would be a great way to discover new favourites and try things you wouldn’t usually come across (or things which you usually have to buy in bulk).

And once you know what you love, you can head to the Fuelify store and buy bulk-boxes of your favourites!

20% discount code for your first Fuelify box

Use code TFW20 at the checkout or when you sign up to Fuelify and get 20% off your first box!

Thanks for the sample box, Fuelify!

You can find Fuelify on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tested this week: Fuelify fitness snack box and 20% off your first box is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Tested this week: Supplemented.co.uk and 10% discount code

February 16, 2015

Today’s fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week is a new UK company with a very useful service.

Meet Supplemented, a no-frills, honest supplements and vitamins company that makes ordering health supplements really easy.
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Matt from Supplemented got in touch with me via the naturalmuscle forums, where the company are a sponsor. That immediately suggested good things to me: if the admins at naturalmuscle trust and rate a company, chances are I will too.

Supplemented are a small food supplements company based in London. Their focus is on providing top quality supplements, vits and minerals (they actually use exactly the same UK manufacturers as some big-brand suppliers and popular High Street chains) at very cost-effective prices.

Take a look at the prices, you’ll see what I mean. What I really liked about the Supplemented business model is that delivery is so hassle-free. It’s all sent directly from London, foil packed and letterbox friendly. So you won’t need to take time off work to sign for a parcel, or “discover” it behind your bin or with a random neighbour.

And the products are safe for tested athletes, too (a big selling point for me). Supplemented.co.uk’s suppliers are Informed Sport registered and audited, which means their products are all produced at a facility that has full compliance for both ingredients and the manufacturing process.

The guys at Supplemented sent me:

CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)– 1000mg per capsule
Green tea extract – one of my must-have supplements all year round
BCAA tablets – I’m not sure of the ratio but I’d guess 2:1:1, at £7.99 for 90!
Creatine mono tablets – 750mg per capsule. Something I’m adding to my stack this off-season!

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As you can see (dog for scale) the packets are small and slimline, ideal for popping through the letter box with your normal post. The products are all top quality, and I really rate this new company and hope they do well.

Their range goes well beyond the sports supplement and bodybuilder type stuff – there are vitamins, minerals, joint care products, omegas, probiotics… etc.

10% discount code

Supplemented.co.uk have a discount code for thefitwriter readers – add MEMBERSDISCOUNT at checkout for 10% discount on your already very cost-effective order! Delivery is free regardless of order size.

Thanks for the supplements, Supplemented guys!

You can find Supplemented on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tested this week: Supplemented.co.uk and 10% discount code is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Valentine’s Day advice for lifters (client copywriting example)

February 13, 2015

I’ve left it far too late to write my own V-Day themed blog post. So I’ll share a couple of articles I wrote for my copywriting client Bulkpowders

The jolly good fellows at Bulkpowders asked for a romantic duo of slightly tongue-in-cheek and light-hearted blog posts this month. One for the fellas, about how to (or perhaps how not to!) go about attracting the attention of women in the gym, and one for the ladies.

I was happy to oblige – and had a lot of fun writing these two blog posts.

Why not give them a read? If you think I’m way off the mark, or if you have some better advice, let me know – leave a comment 😉

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For the ladies

….how should a gym-going girl go about attracting the attention of the right guy in the gym, without catching the eye of “that guy” (you know, the weird one who stares at you when you’re on the leg press and tries to talk to you when you’re between sets)? We’ve got you covered…

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For the fellas

Want to know how to make the most of your physique to get the attention of the lifting ladies? Be warned… there’s a fine line. Here’s how to get it right…

Valentine’s Day advice for lifters (client copywriting example) is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


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