What To Expect From A Speedflex London Class

September 11, 2018

Speedflex London invited me to try their flagship class, so of course I said yes (thank you). Here’s how it went, what I thought of it, and why I challenge you to give it a go! (Spoiler alert: you’ll work harder than you thought possible in 30 minutes but feel amazing the next day!)

Speedflex Helps Put The “I” In HIIT

We all know about HIIT – high intensity interval training, right? Great for burning a lot of calories in a short amount of time, and a good way of hanging on to muscle mass rather than just getting “skinnier”. But – the clue is in the name – HIIT has to be intense. Not just a bit hard. It has to push you right out of your comfort zone. And be honest, how easy is it to REALLY push yourself to true “intensity”?

Speedflex promised me a lung-busting HIIT workout, but the bit that really got me interested was the method. Speedflex uses nifty kit to turn your HIIT workout into a resistance session.

I might have hung up the bodybuilding bikini (for now… never say never and all that) but I still train with weights. And whilst I might not want to put on any more size, I’d like to hang on to the muscle I have! (At a 40-something lifetime drug free female, that’s no easy feat and certainly won’t “just happen”).

Speedflex would be a great workout for anyone in my position (wanting to hang on to muscle but work on fitness – oh and not get too fat despite eating pretty much whatever…) It would also be a good workout for anyone who wants to build a bit more muscle but doesn’t want to do the freeweights or gym weights machine thing.

Speedflex London (where I went) offer several different classes. I did the Classic (the flagship 30-minute class). But all the classes use Speedflex’s unique weight training machine. It’s really clever – it actually changes resistance level based on how hard and fast you push/pull/press/row (etc) it. There’s no momentum, but constant tension which increases as you put in more effort. So when you get a bit tired, the resistance comes down. But when you’re ready to go at it, it throws more at you.

This means you can achieve a challenging level of intensity no matter how experienced/new/strong/tired/fired up (etc) you are.

No kit to load, nothing to drop on yourself, and no sudden jerking movements – Speedflex is really safe but (trust me on this!) very challenging!

Fun fact: did you know that Speedflex was formed in 2011 by a group of entrepreneurs including Alan Shearer. You do now!

About My Speedflex Class

So – enough about the sciency stuff. What is a Speedflex class actually like (and would I recommend it)?

First up, I had my inbody assessment which I’ll talk about in another blog post. All Speedflex attendees/members get regular inbody assessments so you can track changes to your body composition with real data. Very rewarding!

Then I was given an induction – how to use the Speedflex machine, using my own weight/strength to alter the resistance as there are no pins or plates or stacks.

After that, it was into the class – a 30 minute high-octane combo of giant sets using the Speedflex kit, battle ropes, slam balls, and kettlebells.

Each class is different (check out the different versions of Speedflex class here) but each instructor will naturally design the sessions a bit differently, too.

Our coach Tigan was smiley on the outside but don’t be fooled – the man knows how to design a killer session! Our group was a mixed ability of men, women, sportspeople, and beginners but it’s fair to say we all got what we wanted from the session. Sweat pouring, gasping for breath, just enough recovery time to go again… It was one of those sessions where halfway through you’re thinking “this is never going to end!” and then with 5 minutes to go you feel like it wasn’t so bad and you could push a bit more… Perfect!

It took me a while to recover (as you’d expect, when my heart rate had hit 90%+ of max!) But afterwards I felt good – tired but not destroyed, and no DOMS the next day (<<< this is a big USP of the Speedflex system – little to no DOMS).

Would I recommend Speedflex?

Yes, without hesitation. Great for freshening up your fitness routine, perfect for people who don’t like “the gym”, highly effective for weight/fat loss and muscle gain, and an amazing way to do true HIIT.

Want to try Speedflex? They have a 2 week free trial (unlimited classes in that time period) so you can get a real feel for it. Just ask at your local studio or click here. At the mo, there are Speedflex studios in London, Coulby Newham, Cork, Darlington, Dunfermline, Durham, Dallas, Dubai, Edinburgh, Reigate, Mansfield, Newcastle, Norwich and West Byfleet.

Oh – and I apparently burned 342 calories in the 30 minute class (as measured by the MyZone system – used in all Speedflex classes so you can see how hard you’re working and challenge yourself).

Let me know if you’ve got any questions – or if you try a free class like I did!

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist with 14 years experience in writing content and direct response copy for the fitness industry. Get in touch via Facebook, by sending a message here.

Christmas gift ideas for gym folk

December 9, 2013

15 days til Christmas! Eek! If (like me) you still have to do all your Christmas shopping, allow me to help out with this little list of gift ideas for the gym goer in your life.

Everything here has been tried and is recommended by me (unless I state otherwise), so it follows that the items are more relevant to female gym bods than buff blokes (but, hey, guys like baths too!)

Have a skim through and see what you think. Hopefully it’ll solve one or two of your gift-buying dilemmas.

A healthy, hearty cook book
Everyone seems to be recommending the Fitter Food cook book this year (see Ben at BTN and Anna at Proteinpow‘s gift guides!) but for good reason. It’s a beautiful, and beautifully-written, cook book which is far more than a bunch of recipes. It encourages you to create tasty, simple recipes with meats, fish and other natural, basic ingredients (and tells you why a “real food” approach is such a good idea, too!) Anyone interested in clean eating, paleo/primal eating, whole foods, the real-food movement (and all those other labels… !) would really appreciate this book.

Foodie items
Think outside the hollow chocolate Santa for the gym fanatic in your life! How about some amazing coconut oil? They almost certainly know about the health (and beauty!) benefits of this lovely oil – and they could even use it to crisp up the Christmas spuds, if they’re in charge of cooking on the day itself. My favourite at the moment is Monkey Nutrition’s coconut oil – a 100% organic cold-pressed oil. It comes in a glass jar (so no plastics can get into the oil), is great quality and has a lovely taste.

Your gym-goer probably has all the gym kit they need by now, so why not think about something a bit more relaxing and lifestyle-focused? We all know how important rest and recovery are to strength and performance in the gym. As someone who struggles with getting enough quality sleep, I swear by my wakeup light dawn simulator and can honestly say that if I’d received this as a Christmas gift I would be forever grateful! It’s this one – Philips Wakeup Light. You can opt to gently fall asleep as the light dims naturally, and wake up to a slow “dawn breaking” light and the tweeting of birds! It’s bliss.

Something I’d seen a lot of my weight-training buddies talk about is an airfryer. I can’t recommend it personally, as I don’t actually have one, but I’ve seen plenty of pictures and recommendations on people’s Facebooks feeds and it does look amazing. Essentially, it fries food using air rather than oil (you still need a bit of oil, but hardly any) – so your healthy-eating gym freak can still enjoy crispy “fried” food without derailing their nutrition.
If that’s too pricey for you and you’re after more of a secret-Santa or stocking-stuffer type gift, how about the iHat beanie, with built-in earphones? I used to wear my humungous noise-cancelling headphones in the gym, for cardio and whilst walking the dog. The only trouble is, they’re really cumbersome (and look a bit OTT) for dog walks, and get very sweaty (for cardio). This hat has built-in earphones, making it ideal for listening to music or podcasts whilst out walking. My only criticism is that there’s no pause button on the cord, and the earphones aren’t noise-cancelling, but for walking and cardio it works really well! I love it.

Shaker bottles
Even though most gym types have plenty of shaker bottles cluttering up the kitchen, Smartshake ones are really worth getting. Not only do they look great (I love the neon ones) but they’re really handy, with extra sections you screw on to the bottom, ideal for supplement tablets, a serving of protein powder, or for storing hair ties/jewellery.

Give a little thought to the quality and ingredients list of any smellies you give your gym-goer this Christmas. Many of us like to avoid parabens, mineral oils, SLSs and other nasties. I’m currently loving Nelsons Arnicare Arnica bath and massage balm (you can get it from Boots) – you can use it as a bath oil, a body oil or as a massage oil (not applicable for tragic singletons such as my good self). As the name suggests, it’s got arnica in it which is good for achy muscles, and it also has calendula, evening primrose, lavender and grapefruit oils. It smells lovely but isn’t too “girly” and I do think blokes could use it, too.
Something else I’m loving at the moment are Mendill’s little “towelettes” (sorry but that word does make me giggle). They’re ideal for gym bags, if you want to freshen up after a particularly sweaty session or have to head off for a coffee or something and can’t grab a shower. Because they’re cotton, and have no nasty ingredients, you can actually use them to remove make up (even eye make up) and could use them to wipe down your kit (yoga mats?) too. They’re naturally anti-bacterial, use organic essential oils, and come in truly lovely scents: tangerine, lemon, orange, lavendar and (my favourite at this time of year) eucalyptus.

Your gym-goer no doubt has their own favourite supplement stack, but how about helping them out at Christmas time with some digestive enzymes? I use Monkey Nutrition’s Digestive MX digestive enzyme matrix and will definitely continue to do so over Christmas and New Year! With a solid range of active enzymes to help the digestion of fats, sugars and fibres, the tablets ensure you can digest the nutrients in your food, help you digest meals comfortable should you…er…overindulge, and strengthen the immune system. Perfect for this time of year I’d say!

Other ideas:
– BPA-free food storage boxes (Sistema is one brand to look for)
– vouchers for online food suppliers – try Athleat, Kezie and Muscle Food
– iTunes vouchers (new music for the gym is always welcome)
Audible vouchers (audio books are a great cardio companion)

All my product reviews (gym kit, clothing, food & drink, sports supplements and more) are on this page – have a look through if you’re stuck for ideas!

Christmas gift ideas for gym folk 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.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Zbands from Ztrainer

March 12, 2013

I’m really pleased to be doing this review, because the kit I’m reviewing – Z Bands – are the latest invention from my clever friend Zita.


Remember (two years ago now!) when I went to FEB during prep? And roomied with a cool chick? Well that was Zita.

Zita is the inventor of the Ztrainer, a suspension trainer which is incredibly versatile, enabling you to do a range of bodyweight, resistance and plyometric exercises wherever you are (hotel room, at home, even outdoors). I reviewed the Ztrainer here.

This year, Zita launched the Zbands, a portable bit of resistance kit ideal for anyone who exercises at home (also ideal, I’d imagine, for mobile PTs and people who run small group training sessions).

ZBands pair

You get two Zbands for your buck, one medium (6-12kg) and one strong (10-22kg). They’re looped with comfy, padded handles (unlike other bands which I find tend to dig into my hands long before I’ve done what I want to do). You can loop them around yourself/hook them under your feet, or loop them around hooks or door handles etc. Or if you’re working with a partner they’re ideal for pairs work.

If you’re not sure what to do with them or need new ideas, the little colour booklet which comes with the Zbands is really helpful.

Zita kindly sent me a prototype at the end of last year and I used the bands then in the pump-up area backstage at my bodybuilding comps. These days, I’m using them at home for various postural/rehab exercises and for assisted stretching. They’ll definitely be in my competition bag when the time comes!

In short, Zbands are a really well-made, quality bit of resistance kit! Nice one Zita and I wish you all the best with them 🙂

You can find Ztrainer and Zbands on Facebook, and Ztrainer on Twitter.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Zbands from Ztrainer 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.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: TevaSphere Speed shoes

March 4, 2013

In this installment of Fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week I’m pleased to tell you about some brand-new shoes from outdoor adventure brand Teva. I’ve had them for a while but was asked to hold back with a review until launch date – which is today. Hot off the press!


A lot of people understand the benefits of more minimalist footwear these days. Barefoot running has had a huge effect on the kit we’ve seen on offer from major brands, and gone are the days when huge big cushioned soles were the order of the day.

The TevaSphere range bridges the gap between minimalist and structured footwear and has been designed specifically for outdoors. The team feel that minimalist footwear and more traditional over-supportive training shoes have shortcomings, and wanted to develop a range which gives outdoor athletes like adventure runners a higher-performing shoe.

The brand collaborated with leading sports science and human performance institute P3 (Peak Performance Project) and the result was the first outdoor cross-trainer offering a spherical heel and pod-based arch support system. The idea is that the spherical heel lowers your point of contact with the ground, for a more natural point of impact and more efficient transition, and the pod-arch system gives you specific support only where it’s needed, to make the shoe supportive but really light.


I don’t do a whole lot of fell running or adventure racing (!) but I do a lot of power walking on varied terrains and I was happy to test the Speed shoe. In fact, I’ve been wearing them for a month or so now. The verdict? They’re very light and feel supportive but definitely allow me to feel more in contact with the ground. Enough support, without too much cushioning. And I did feel that I was able to roll through my foot whilst walking, which often isn’t the case when wearing walking shoes or regular trainers. The shoes dry really quickly and seem to have withstood the worst of the late-Winter weather.


There are three models in the line: the Speed (quick dry materials and lightweight design), Trail eVent® (a breathable waterproof membrane, sturdy design and toe bumper), and Trail Mid eVent® (with extra protection of a mid-cut height).

They are exclusively available from Cotswold Outdoor.

Thanks Teva for letting me try the shoes!

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: TevaSphere Speed shoes 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 few thanks yous: Moving Comfort, Brooks, Adidas, Boobydoo

August 28, 2012

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I went and did a training session/photoshoot combo for a Muscle & Fitness article I’m writing? Well, I need to do a follow-up post, for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the fitness model who was in the shoot with me (lending an air of glamour, professionalism and… y’know… actually knowing how to model in front of the camera) was a jolly nice chap by the name of Shaun Stafford. Shaun was dieting and training hard at the time of our shoot. He competes as Pro fitness model with the WBFF, and this weekend was the WBFF Worlds – a huge deal for Shaun, the pinnacle of his competitive career. He only went and won! Yes, Shaun is now the World 2012 WBFF Male Fitness Model World Champion and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer (and harder-working) guy. So, first of all I have to say massive congratulations to Shaun at reaching your goal!

Secondly, and the main point of this post, is a series of over-due thank yous. You see, when Muscle & Fitness asked me not only to write the article but be in the photos, too, I panicked. Not least on the topic of outfits. Was I really going to be in a magazine wearing my ratty old mis-matched gym kit, some of which I have honestly had since University (circa 1842)? No. Help! So, I put a few shouts out: to clients (I do copywriting for sport and fitness brands), PRs and anyone who felt moved to help me!

Four generous companies sent me kit, and I owe them a great deal of thanks – and a few reviews!

Moving Comfort
Boobdydoo Sports Bras
Brooks running shoes
… thank you. Very much!

Moving Comfort is the the number one bra brand in the USA and I can see why. They sent me a load of stuff, including bras, and they’re all such amazing quality, very soft (but supportive) and great designs. Really top-end stuff. I’ve worn their kit for intervals, for steady state cardio, in the gym, walking the dog and just out and about, it really is that nice.

I think one of my favourite items is this Urban Gym sweatshirt (which has been admired by several of my gym-going girlfriends – and my friend’s 5-week old baby, who snuggled into the open-neck fleecy bit). It’s just lovely, so so soft and perfect for after the gym or just wearing at home. And it’s ever so slightly glittery if you look carefully…

Of the bras Moving Comfort sent, I really like the Rebound racer. That’s if I had to choose, because seriously every single bit of kit they sent me is amazing quality, design and comfort! I love a racerback (for the look and for the freedom of movement) and what I particularly liked about this bra (and a few of the others) was the clever way they adjust: at the front, the shoulder strap passes through the main bra and doubles back on itself, fastening with velcro. So clever and so easy to adjust, and not something I’ve come across before.

Another thing I’ve been wearing a lot is this Urban Gym tee – it’s a bit heavy for hot training sessions but perfect for yoga (if I did yoga that is…), pilates (ditto) or just for wearing out and about. It’s a lovely design.

Brooks running shoes are the sister company to Moving Comfort. They kindly sent me the PureFlow shoes which are a neutral shoe, really comfy and suited for running or gym work. I love these shoes! So very comfortable! I wore them straight out of the box for the shoot and did all sorts of plyos, jumps, hurdle work etc in them and the shoes felt supportive and springy but really lightweight. They also gave me great advice over the phone and got my size spot on (despite me initially insisting I was a size 6). I’d wear them more often but… my two-year old nephew removed one of the insoles without me noticing, so the insole is now in Kent and I am in Berkshire. When I am reunited with the insole, you can bet I’ll be wearing my PureFlows again!

Adidas sent me their Supernova racerbra and Response shorts. I like both but I really love the bra! It’s so flattering, can just about be worn as a crop top and is a lovely design and – being slightly padded – gives a really great shape.

Thanks also to Boobydoo Sports Bras – a great online source for sportsbras (they always give such fantastic advice and service) who sent me a few of the bras they stock to try, including the Sportjock action sportbra which is a simple design but extremely comfortable and plenty supportive enough for anything other than high-impact. I’ve been wearing them a lot in the gym and for cycling/spinning and they’re perfect – lightweight, comfy (and they come in lots of bright colours too!)

A massive heartfelt thank you to Moving Comfort, Adidas, Boobdydoo Sports Bras, Brooks running shoes. Join them on Facebook why don’t you?
Boobydoo on Facebook
Moving Comfort on Facebook
Adidas on Facebook

A few thanks yous: Moving Comfort, Brooks, Adidas, Boobydoo 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.

Bio Synergy and Melanie Sykes launch new sport supplement range for women

June 22, 2012

Last week, I was at the press launch of a new range of protein powders and sport supplements aimed firmly at all my ladies. So, I thought I’d tell you about it.

Bio Synergy Active Woman range

I’ve tested and reviewed lots of Bio Synergy supplements before (check my reviews page) but this lot is a little different.

Their new Active Woman range, fronted by Melanie Sykes, has been developed for women. What does that mean, anyway? Haven’t we all got the same nutritional needs? Well, yes and no. For instance, the Active Woman range includes ingredients like folic acid and calcium, which are important for us. And the range has been built from the ground up for its female consumers, rather than being the standard (ie men’s!) range which has been given the “shrink it and pink it” approach.

Why women? 59% of gym goers are female, but only 5% of the British public use any kind of sport supplements. Active Woman is a range of quality nutrition supplements to help women who are serious about training – whether that’s in the gym, running, doing CrossFit or just keeping active.

Take Mel as an example. A 41 year old (yes really, she told us so herself!) Mum of two (!), she loves the gym and trains 3-5 times a week despite a totally hectic schedule. She never used to take any supplements, although she suspected they’d help her energy levels, because she was put off by the branding. “Since taking the Active Woman range, I can see and feel the difference in my body, especially during and after training” she said at the launch. “I can’t imagine not taking them now!”

And I can report that Mel looks great. The legs! The delts! Girlfriend should compete (I did tell her so, but she said she’d be too shy to get on stage).

“I used to mainly do cardio – like a lot of women – but now I love weight training,” she said. “I love it, I’m so into it! It makes me so happy and it’s a massive part of my life.

“I’m really happy with my physique now. I feel I’ve “got it right”, so for me it’s now a case of maintaining it. When I take supplements, I feel I can do more in the gym. I still take the protein powders even on non-training days. They’re a godsend when I’m rushing about with barely any time to sit down.

“I want women like me – busy, always on the run – to get on this, because it works.”

From my point of view, I think this is a great range for a few reasons (well made, well researched, made with the target market in mind and full of extra ingredients which really work – like the konjac in the Define fat burner, the CLA in Refine and the green tea and BCAAs in the Activate pre-workout protein powder). But the biggest thing for me is the fact that all the Active Woman products have gone through HFL’s Informed Sport programme (and Bio Synergy use their own manufacturing facility, which is also tested and audited by Informed Sport). I wrote about what the Informed Sport programme means for the safety of sports supplements in this month’s Muscle and Fitness but, essentially, it’s a thorough testing programme which tests products, ingredients and facilities for compliance for banned ingredients, using the WADA (anti-doping) list. In short: hugely important to people like me who compete in a sport and get tested for banned substances. The fact that Bio Synergy’s Active Woman range comes with the Informed Sport seal of approval is worth a huge amount as far as I’m concerned.

The range currently:

Activate: a protein powder to have as a shake before training (protein but also calcium, green tea, vit B6). I tried the strawberry and actually liked it, which is saying something since I don’t usually like strawberry protein. It’s very “light”.

Refuel: a protein powder to have after training, heavier in carbs and lighter on the protein. In fact, a bit too light on the protein for me, but it may suit you (follow the link to check out the macros and ingredients). Includes vitamins, creatine, BCAAs and electrolytes. Again, I tried the strawberry but both are available in chocolate too.

Refuel: an electrolyte drink for during or after training. I admit I haven’t tried this one yet, since I don’t have much call for it. It would be great for those of you who run, bike, do triathlon training, hot & sweaty classes like Spinning etc. It’s got carbs, vitamins and electrolytes (no protein, no fat).

Define: a blend of green tea, konjac and caffeine to boost metabolism and help burn fat, and chromium to help with cravings. I take this every day and whilst I can’t say for sure that it’s helped (in that I haven’t done a scientific trial!), I was just saying yesterday to some friends that I feel I’ve really (finally!) started to tighten up and lose fat this week. Coincidence? I don’t know.

Refine: containing yerba mate, CLA (an ingredient I rate very highly) and l-carnitine, all of which help boost metabolism, control cravings and encourage the body to use fat for energy. Again, I’ve been taking these daily and do feel my physique has changed in the past week.

I think this line of products would be a great choice for any female who trains hard and wants to recover better between workouts and feel able to train harder. The products are well researched, well made and carefully tested. And, as far as I can tell in the short time I’ve had them, they’re effective.

Thanks for the samples, Bio Synergy people, and Melanie it was lovely to meet you!

You can find Bio Synergy on Facebook and Twitter and follow Melanie on Twitter (if you can keep up!)

Bio Synergy and Melanie Sykes launch new sport supplement range for women 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.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: USN Protein Delite bar

May 11, 2012

Fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week USN’s Protein Delite bar in cookies & cream flavour.

Yesterday was a very big, very heavy (and “extra”) leg workout. (In fact, my coach was moved to blog about it!) So, after back squats and hack squats and split squats and whatnots, I was somewhat hungry. To put it mildly.

How handy, then, that USN had that very day sent me a Protein Delite bar! I’d intended to save it for my next scheduled leg day but this unofficial extra one was every bit as demanding at the normal ones, so I came home and bust out the bar and chowed down.

These bars are whoppers! 76g in weight, big and knobbly, they are – as my friend Heidi might say – “a good handful”. Tasty, too, but then you’d expect that: they are covered in a chocolatey coating. Not the healthiest choice, but if your diet/nutrition approach can accomodate it, a very tasty one! I tried the Cookies & Cream flavour but there’s also a Toffee Almond one (which tips the scales at a super-heavyweight 96g). Here are the stats per 76g bar of the C&C:

315 kcals
30g protein
24g carbs (9g sugars)
11g fat (8g saturated)

The protein content comes mainly from whey isolate, milk isolate, whey concentrate and soy isolate, and sweeteners include maltitol. Potential allergens listed are peanuts, soy, wheat, egg and milk.

Like I said, not the healthiest choice but better than a traditional choccie bar and handy to have in your kit bag for those real “feed me now” moments when you’ve absolutely caned yourself and know your muscles will just suck up anything you eat. Some protein bars can be a bit chalky, dry, chewy or tasteless. Not this one, it really was lovely and very “melt in the mouth”. Happily for my diet coach, USN only sent me one! 😉

Thanks, USN people! You and your big delicious protein bars are very nice!

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: USN Protein Delite bar 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.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydrobuilder protein powder

April 6, 2012

This week, I’ve been tasting testing some yummy new protein powder from Optimum Nutrition (ON), and it’s high time I told you about it. So, here’s my latest “fitness kit I’ve tested this week” post.

Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydrobuilder (post-training protein powder)

The folk at ON sent me a very generous sample tub of their new Platinum Hydrobuilder protein powder and invited me to trial it. This protein powder is a complex formula, with the protein coming from several sources (fast and slow release) and with extra goodies like creatine and EAAs – everything you need for your post-workout shake. Here’s the blurb:

Platinum Hydrobuilder is an all in one muscle constructor containing 34.5g of protein from multiple protein sources including Hydrolysed Whey Protein, Micellar Casein and Hydrolysed Egg Albumen. It’s enhanced with CreaPep nutrient delivery peptides and 5g of micronised creatine monohydrate. There’s over 13.5 grams of Essential Amino Acids, but only 180 calories per serving. Ideal as a complete post-exercise shake which will help to improve recovery and construct lean muscle.

I have to say, it is truly delicious (I tried the “vanilla bean” flavour, which tastes like custard and smells good enough to elicit a curious remark from The Husband). It also comes in a chocolate flavour. I can’t honestly say whether it’s helped my recovery or muscle-building efforts in just one week but the theory is sound, and it’s certainly good to have a PWO shake with fast and slow release protein, creatine mono and EAAs. This product makes it very quick, easy and convenient to get everything you need into your system as soon as you’ve finished training.

It’s not cheap, but it’s a quality product and does contain added value in the shape of those EAAs and the creatine. And, at the moment, you get free Amino Energy (which I reviewed here) when you order via the ON site.

Oh and I also tried it made into a sort of pudding, just by mixing it with a little hot water and letting it thicken. One word. MORE-ISH!

The ON people also sent me a frankly enormous Platinum Hydrobuilder t-shirt (XXL) – tee hee – along with a very sweet note apologising for the shirt’s voluminous proportions. You know what, it’s actually come in very handy. The Husband is still in a (massive) sling after his shoulder surgery, and has an ongoing need for over-sized t-shirts which can stretch over him, his sling and his bent arm. The Platinum Hydrobuilder tee is being put to great use, so – thank you!

Thanks for the sample, Optimum Nutrition people! You rock.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydrobuilder protein powder 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.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Belkin sport armband

April 1, 2012

Here I am with another fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week, aimed at the runners amongst you (how’s the marathon training going, by the way?).

This Belkin sport armband, available from the Three store, is a water-proof neoprene armband designed to carry a range of smartphones. It’s perfect for wearing in the gym or out running: the neoprene material keeps your phone dry and protected, but the entire display of the phone is visible and accessible through the front “window”. I’ve got an iPhone and had no trouble “swiping” my screen and pressing the buttons whilst the phone was in the armband.

The arm band is wide – perhaps a bit too wide if you’re in the gym doing biceps or triceps (as I found out!) but perfect for running or other cardio. It’s very lightweight and comfortable. There’s a little velcro bit so you can fold up any extra cord from your earphones and clip it up out of the way. It’s only £15 and you can get it here.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Belkin sport armband 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.

Competition winners! GOOD Hemp with Stevia

March 17, 2012

Thanks to those of you who left a comment on this post and on GOOD Hemp’s Facebook page in a bid to win one of five tubs of GOOD Hemp’s chocolate protein powder – now sweetened with Stevia.

*drum roll*

The winners, chosen out of a metaphorical hat, are:

ZoeS, Alice, Ildiko, Olivia B and Tara.

Well done! 🙂 Please email your postal addresses to me (nicola AT nicolajoyce.co.uk) and I’ll pass them on to GOOD Hemp who will ship your tubs of protein out to you directly. I really hope you enjoy them! 😀

If you weren’t one of the five winners, remember you can still use the 25% discount code GOOD Hemp have offered readers of this blog. Put the code GOODN1 in at the checkout and you’ll get a whopping 25% off the new Gym Shake with Stevia (one code per reader).

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. Please cross your fingers for my husband who is currently having his shoulder operated on (it was misdiagnosed as a dislocation a few weeks ago….!)

Competition winners! GOOD Hemp with Stevia 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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