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Supplements: How to pee hundreds of dollars a month.

July 29, 2013, Jon Boldireff

Keep in mind this blog will be my PERSONAL opinion on this matter. It’s out of my scope of practice to tell you what to put in your mouth. So, do what you want. I take zero responsibility for any negative side effects from my blog. I WILL take credit for any positive side effects of my blog such as swooning over my good looks and boyish charm.

Here we go. The fitness supplement industry is a billion dollar juggernaut. It’s a sea of flashy labels and monumental claims. Increase your testosterone by 350%. Decrease your body fat by 16lbs in 3 weeks. Pleasure a woman for the first time! Wait….different blog. All these claims made by companies who push products that aren’t even approved by the FDA. Logically, this is what I think: If all these claims are true, then wouldn’t everyone be just ridiculously jacked and tanned?? I’ve been working out for more than a decade. I’ve tried a whole whack of different supplements. Everything from whey protein and creatine, to pre-workout boosters and fat burners (never steroids). I’ll tell you what I think of each:

Whey protein: I felt like I couldn’t get enough protein in my diet at the time, so I tried it. This is because people told me I needed 300 grams of protein a day. The Center for Disease Control says that a moderate to vigourously active person should take in 1.1-1.8 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight. So if I weigh 80kg and I’m moderately active, then the MAX amount of protein I’d need is 144 grams in a day. Guess what happens to the excess protein. Stored as fat. Protein shakes are a convenient way to get some calories in if you’re running short on time though. Beats McDonald’s any day.

Creatine: When I tried creatine at the age of 21, I felt like it worked. Now, I’m not so sure. My bench press increased by 55lbs in 4 weeks. No lie! This could have just been because I was new to the whole weight lifting scene though. I’m not 100% sold on creatine. It definitely makes you bloated though.

Pre-workout supplements: This is the N.O. Explode, Juggernaut, Decimate category. Something you take before your workout to increase your performance and intensity. These get tricky. I know that physiologically there isn’t much change going on in my body when I take a pre-workout supplement. They’re mostly caffeine and a mixture of other stimulants. If I FEEL like I’m getting a better work out though… maybe they are working on some level.

Fat burners: I tried them once because I got a free sample. They made me sweaty and I had to pee a lot… I went from 192 to 178, but I also happened to be training for my first half marathon and running as much as a Kenyan.

Here is my final verdict. If the claims are too good to be true, they probably are. If it was as easy as taking a pill, then everyone would be in great shape. I do feel there’s something to be said about the placebo effect with some of these supplements. If you really think a certain supplement is going to make you workout harder, then maybe you’ll work out harder. If you think this expensive fat burner will make you lose weight, then maybe you’ll eat better. Do people get results while they’re on supplements? Yes. Is it a direct result of said supplement? Not necessarily. The human brain is a crazy thing.

Go out there. Try some supplments if you want. Just do your research and don’t make yourself sick. Then, enjoy you’re oddly colored (and very expensive) pee.

More fun than a baby goat standing on another goat

July 14, 2013, Jon Boldireff

When I was in Victoria recently, I saw the strangest thing at the gym. I was stretching at the end of my workout and there was a guy walking on a treadmill. I know, that’s what they’re for. This guy added a little “twist.”. He was walking very slowly backwards, forwards, sideways… you name it. All while doing all sorts of crazy motions with his legs and arms. It looked like treadmill walking meets Tai Chi meets Prancercise (Google it) while adding in some air guitar for good measure. You’ll have to check out the video on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/boldfitnesstraining) to really appreciate what I’m talking about. At first, I couldn’t help but laugh and think it was ridiculous. The guy was in REALLY good shape though! He was lean and muscular. The stuff he was doing looked like it required a great deal of balance, proprioceptive awareness and a whole whack of “I don’t care what any of you think-edness.” The biggest thing I came to realize though, was that he was having a fantastic time. He was really enjoying his workout and he obviously got results out of it. So this week, let’s give you some ideas about how you can bring some fun and enjoyment back into your fitness routine.

1. Work out with a buddy. You can talk between sets, help motivate each other, and having a spotter is always nice. Plus, the gym is a gold mine for people watching. Anyone who works out at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton knows what I’m talking about: neon spandex man.

2. Try lots of different activities/sports. You never know what you’ll enjoy. You can join a running group, a badminton club, any type of men or women’s league sports.

3. Go hiking or climbing. What a great way to get some fresh air while improving your currently embarrassing ability to climb 3 levels of stairs at your condo building.

4. Try some group fitness classes. Zumba, spin class, water aerobics, TRX classes… the list is endless. There’s a combination trick to this one. You need to find the class you like with an instructor you love! So you liked the act of yoga, but the really earthy teacher that kept touching you wasn’t quite your style? Try going at a different time or to a different studio until you find the right class/teacher for you.

One last one that I won’t even use a bullet point for. I’ve heard lots of chronically active people say:”I love going to the gym because it’s MY time. I don’t have to think about the outside world or what everyone needs from me. I can just put my headphones in, listen to my favorite music and work some stress out of my life.” This is the point you want to get to. So instead of dreading going to the gym, try to think of it as that 30-90 minutes of “you time.” Yes it’s good for your physical health, but it can be even better for your mental health. Take a page from the dancing treadmill man’s playbook: have fun.

baby goat

Yes, I went to a petting zoo in Victoria. Yes, a tiny goat tried to eat my sandal.