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Review: Kid-friendly Parkour lessons at Primal Fitness in Washington, D.C.

May 25, 2016 by , under Be Awesome, Ideas.

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Last summer while passing through D.C., we broke up the long drive home with a stop at Primal Fitness to introduce our kids, then 7 and 10, to parkour. While gyms and classes have been popping up in more places, at the time, this was the closest spot to our home in NC. That, and they were also the home of the regional APK (American Parkour Academy) certification, where most instructors in a multistate area go to get certified and do continuing education. So, what better place to start our journey into Parkour?

Primal Fitness is housed in an old fire station, which lends a cool aesthetic and layout. Outside were a few wooden features for practice, and immediately inside was their Crossfit box. Head to the back, walk up the stairs, and head down the hall and you’ll find the Parkour room…

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Found: ElevenPine women’s athletic skirt converts from bike, run to casual

May 24, 2016 by , under Gear.

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ElevenPine launched this spring with a collection of cycling-inspired baggies that zip up the leg to make them form fitting, making it easy to go from riding to hanging out with friends without having to go change or, worse, standing around in Spandex. But it’s the women’s Kickitup athletic skirt that caught our eye as an even more versatile piece.

Rather than zippers, it uses an elastic drawcord to cinch the sides up while riding, running or whatever (tennis, anyone?), then drops down for more more coverage after playtime. It’s designed to go over tights, padding cycling shorts, boy shorts, or other base layers and uses a wide, low cut waist band in a soft 4-way stretch fabric. Video, pics and pricing below…

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Airport Sbarro surprises w/ baked chicken & vegetable entree for $9

May 23, 2016 by , under Nutrition.

sbarros-roasted-chicken-and-vegetables-meal

In the unfortunate event that my airport staple of a burrito bowl can’t be found, I usually succumb to the lure of a big, fat burger and fries. Fortunately on my last trip, where BOS’s international terminal’s construction forced a closure of the only burrito counter, I passed by S’barro and noticed something other than pizza, calzones and other bread-and-cheese heavy items.

The Baked Chicken dish was just $8.99 and came with a pile of green beans, carrots and roasted potatoes. According to Under Armor’s MyFitnessPal online calculator, the chicken quarter provides about 39g protein, 13g fat and no carbs…with the skin. While the seasonings on the skin (and potatoes) is are delicious, it peels off easily to cut back on the fat. The meat of the dish comes in at about 290 calories, so I’m guessing the entire plate comes in well under 600. And at nine bucks, it’s a bargain for healthy eating that’s substantial enough to fill a belly before a long flight. It also gave me a great idea – slice the chicken before roasting it so the marinade and seasonings get deeper into the meat!

Oddly, this menu item isn’t listed on their website, so it might not be available everywhere.

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Review: Gold’s Gym Suspended Bodyweight Trainer straps are budget alternative to TRX

May 20, 2016 by , under Gear, Get Strong.

Golds Gym suspension bodyweight trainer straps are an affordable TRX alternative

TRX Suspension training straps are great, but with a retail price over $200, they’re a hard pill to swallow for the home gym. While strolling through Wal-Mart a while back, I saw a similar looking set from Gold’s Gym on the shelf at about $40. They’ve since updated it a bit, and online retail is just $38 as of this post.

But are they any good? Well, after more than a year of use and being left out in the rain more than once, I’d say yes. They’re not perfect, and I’ve had to fix the handles and ultimately replace them, but the quality is there where it counts…

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Nab a sampler pack of Endurox, Accelerade & more for just $3.99

May 16, 2016 by , under Nutrition.

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If you’ve been an endurance athlete for more than six years, you’ll likely remember when Endurox R4 stormed the scene with their 4:1 carb-to-protein recovery drink. Now, after remaining fairly quiet for years, I spotted some new products from parent company Pacific Health Labs at Interbike last fall (link goes to my cycling website, Bikerumor). Now, they’re giving you the chance to try the full suite of sports nutrition products they offer for just $3.99, including shipping.

Hit this link to give it a whirl and you’ll get two servings each of Accelerade (during) and Endurox R4 (after), plus one each of the Accel Gel and 2nd Surge caffeinated energy gel. They’ll also throw in their Performance Nutrition Handbook for a little light reading. Limit two per customer, flavors are randomly selected.

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DIY: Build your own Ninja Warrior Globe Grasp hanging balls

May 4, 2016 by , under DIY Home Gym, Get Strong, Ideas.

DIY make your own american ninja warrior globe grasp hanging balls to improve grip strength and hand eye coordination

One of the most difficult sections of the early stages in any Ninja Warrior competition is the Globe Grasp, or hanging balls. They require not only massive grip strength, but also dexterity and courage. Building your own couldn’t be easier, and they’re a fun way to improve those skills and can enhance coordination.

Swing on past the break for materials, instructions and a few different ways to use them…

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Found: Forto Strong Coffee’s 2oz organic, fair trade natural energy shots

May 3, 2016 by , under Nutrition.

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Looking for a natural energy boost but need it quick? We just found Forto Strong Coffee’s 2oz energy shots and they fit the bill for our healthy lifestyle.

Made of organic, fair trade cold brewed coffee with just 4g of organic sugar added, they boost the caffeine content with natural caffeine from coffee. The result is 200mg total caffeine in just 2oz, without all the fake sugar, preservatives, synthetic ingredients and weird artificial flavors found in other energy shots. They’re available four flavors (Mocha, French Vanilla, Espresso and Caramel), all flavored naturally. Check out the ingredients panel, pricing and more below…

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Book Review: Bigger Leaner Strong, by Michael Matthews

March 3, 2016 by , under Build Muscle, Get Strong, Nutrition.

book review of Bigger Leaner Stronger by author Michael MatthewsIn a world of far too much information, it’s easy to not just be overwhelmed but also dangerously misinformed.

Bigger Leaner Stronger, by Michael Matthews, boils it down to what works in terms of nutrition, workout theory and actual workouts. The volume of references is admirable and lends credence to his advice, which dispels such popular concepts as muscle confusion, avoiding carbs like the plague and doing tons of reps to get shredded.

Beyond all that, it’s easy to read and well written, something that can’t be said for many, many books on this topic. And, much to my delight, the repetition of ideas (generally used to reinforce a concept) is kept to a tolerable level.

So, what’s it really about? Read on for a quick recap and recommendation…

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Review: Reebok All Terrain Super 2.0 obstacle course racing shoes

February 17, 2016 by , under Gear, OCR / Mud Runs.

Reebok All Terrain Super 2 spartan obstacle course racing shoe review and actual weights

With the explosive growth of obstacle course racing, it’s a wonder there haven’t been more shoes made specifically for the events. The first (and, as of this post going live, only) shoe that is is the Reebok All Terrain Super, now in version 2.0 with a couple of special editions having been offered.

I’ve been training and racing in the All Terrain Super 2 for the past few months, wrapping up my 2015 season with the Spartan Beast Carolinas. Despite minimal padding and a narrow last, it’s comfortable enough for even the longest single-day events. And that’s coming from someone whose average running mileage is under six per week (cycling and weights fill the rest of my days). But, these are definitely a race day shoe that’s purpose built and delivers on its mission…

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Found: Morph’s full size collapsible foam roller for travel

February 13, 2016 by , under Gear.

Brazen Morph collapsible foam roller for travel

We missed their Kickstarter campaign, but the Morph folding, collapsible foam roller is worth a look. It was successfully funded and is available for pre-order, delivery expected in May 2016.

Developed by former pro football player Nate Lawrie (Bucs, Saints, Bengals) after becoming a fan of foam rollers to deal with abuse of the game, the Morph made it easier for him to travel with it. Sure, you can stuff clothes into some of the hollow ones, but for shorter trips where only a backpack or messenger bag is used, the Morph folds flat to fit.

Roll on down to check out the design and materials…

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Tough Mudder unveils 2016 obstacles

January 14, 2016 by , under OCR / Mud Runs.

Tough Mudder’s take on obstacle course racing is that the experience isn’t just about you, it’s the team. In that vein, their obstacles require assistance, whether that’s from your own friends or your fellow racers. For 2016, the Blockness Monster makes that all too clear, and it makes its way to every event on their tour. They say it was their most popular challenge at the Vegas event last year, where it was called “Roll the Dice”.

The video above gives a quick run down of the scene for 2016, and click here for a playlist of 0:16 vids on each individual obstacle. If that’s not inspiration enough, click through for their new commercial…

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Review: Surge – a water filled “log bar” slosh pipe with unstable dynamic resistance

November 3, 2015 by , under Be Awesome, Build Muscle.

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The Surge is a made-in-the-USA plastic “log bar” that you fill with varying amounts of water to change the weight and create dynamic resistance.

Its point is to offer a workout with a constantly changing center of mass, which throws your body into a reactive mode and forces it to continually adjust its balance while also moving the weight. The result is a workout with an added challenge, perfect for preparing the body for movement through the real world while carrying loads, running an obstacle course, or improving overall balance…

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