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Friday, May 15, 2009

Equmen Undershirt with Core Compression Technology

equmenI just received my Equmen Core precision undershirt. Billed as “compression clothing” that is designed to “immediately improve how men look and feel”, I was quite excited when I was told I would be receiving one to try and review.

Equmen undershirts are designed with something called helix-mapping technology, and from what I can gather, it’s a specially designed fabric that works with your body to improve posture and tighten the core.

equmen undershirtThe shirt provides shoulder support, core compression, posture improvement, back support and ventilation areas. Truly remarkable. I’ve not seen anything like this before, but then again, I’m not in the market for undershirts – this is unknown territory for me.

Improved Posture

I immediately noticed that I sat and stood more upright with my shoulders back once putting it on and yes, I feel like I’m wearing body armor.

Based on the feeling, I thought I would be restricted in movement. I thought it would be tricky to bend over or move, but that is NOT the case at all. The Equmen undershirt version I got was the large size of the singlet or “muscle shirt”.

I was approached by one of the reps through facebook and after going to their website http://equmen.com, I was fascinated with the science behind it and what I was going to be reviewing.

I literally could not wait to receive this product.

You may just want to improve your posture, get rid of back pain, or even make yourself look better in a suit. Equmen may just be the undershirt for you.

Where To Purchase Equmen Undershirts

equmenOriginating in Australia, they’ll ship anywhere in the world, but are available in a limited number of places at the moment. Currently available in the United Kingdom, the United States and thankfully, now in Canada (as of June 1st 2009) via Holt Renfrew (Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal) and then Calgary, Edmonton and Yorkville on October 25th. See all the available locations for Equmen on their website.

From what I can tell, the Equmen singlet retails for between $89 and $99 Canadian.

I’ve only worn the Equmen undershirt for less than 6 hours so my review is a little premature, but I’m already quite impressed. It’s incredibly comfortable, I’m warm and my posture improved. So far, I love it.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Review: Tools For Life Free Self Help

tools for life free online self help

How would you like to be involved in a total body makeover using the same diet and exercise program used on the television show "Extreme Makeover"? and how would you feel if you were able to do it for free?

Tools for life, a labor of love by the creators, charges nothing for their services.

They’re helping people transform themselves one change at a time including body makeovers, business makeovers and other services designed to help small business owners and entrepreneurs be more successful.

I quite like the daily inspirational podcast idea, where Develyn Steele shares thoughts on inspirational subjects such as recognizing happiness, what is happiness, dreams and the like.

However, as good as that all is, the body makeover is what caught my attention. Listed as a limited time offer, their body makeover beta is based on an award winning program that was used on the Extreme Makeover show. It seems to be based on Alisa Daglio’s work with her 6 week body makeover DVD, but I haven’t confirmed that.

Tools To Life is more than just the BODY makeover though.

Their many coaches help you in areas such as getting a job, optimal health, living green and quitting smoking to name a few.

All 100% free.

It truly is a labor of love.

The entire team is lending their time to give back to the community. All you need to do is to become involved. Their growing community creates challenges that you can participate in, or if you feel so inclined, begin your own. Everyone likes challenges – and being able to do a 3, 7, 10 or 30 day challenge seems to help people move forward. It’s something I’ve done for years now and will be unveiling in my new forum shortly.

There are many aspects of the Tools To Life website concept that I like. The community of like minded people supporting one another, the focus on self help, the expert coaches in the various arena’s and how the areas that they work on develop a well rounded person for the coming years.

I’m not sure where we’re heading, but I do know that we need more powerful people on this planet. If you’re the type who loves to take control of their own direction by learning and applying principles of growth, then this may be the site for you. Who wouldn’t want to improve their health, their business, quit smoking or be coached through a body transformation?

Go get involved. Have a look at their body makeover, their support groups or subscribe to the inspirational podcast. Do something to move forward, begin now.

This has been a paid review of Tools For Life, which I was proud to be a part of.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Free Recipes Blog - a Review

As I write my course on better eating, I’m realizing that many of the participants are enjoying the recipes that are provided. Great whole food recipes that my girlfriend and I create and eat ourselves here at home.

Everyone loves recipes, and the more the better I always say.

I’ve posted a few of them here on my website and I’ve send out a monthly favorite to my subscribers each month along with my natural health newsletter.

The recipes I’m interested in, and the ones we promote are low fat / good fat, dairy free, whole food vegetarian recipes. I figure that any high school or college student can cook meat, but it’s the rest of the important qualities of food, namely whole foods, that we could all learn more about.

The free recipes website My Recipes Blog is most certainly not in that category.

Great Recipe Photos? Nope! The pictures of the recipes are small and hard to see.

Dairy Free? Certainly not. The front page alone has a Bechamel Sauce that includes 300ml milk, 300 ml light cream (oh good, it’s light) and 55 grams of butter. Uggghhh. I just read that off to my girlfriend sitting in her office and she exclaimed "Jesus! What kind of website is this? Is this a health website?" Nope.

Low fat? Not a chance. Again, the front page has many free recipes that include a "good helping of oil". One has 4 Tbsp of oil, the next 5 Tbsp and the one above of course has 600 ml of milk /cream plus the 55 grams of butter. Nope, certainly not low fat recipes.

You probably know by now that I’m against pop or soft drinks of any sort and diet pop is one of the worst possible chemical concoctions ever made. Aspartame, Sucralose, Nutrasweet and all that crap are know carcinogens, avoid them like the plague. When you see a recipe blog that has a category entitled "Coca-Cola", close the tab and run away.

Yes, it’s a free recipe website.

It’s a "cheap" free recipe website.

Have a look at their about page.

free recipes about page

The owner hasn’t even changed it since installing the blog! Do not use these recipes, do not visit this website. I took on this paid review to bring it to your attention so that you could better use your time by learning about the "other side of the coin" – .

This has been an honest, paid, sponsored review of My Recipes Blog. If you want me to review your website, I'll do it, but I'll be honest.

One a scale of 1 to 100, this free recipe website gets a 1.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Got My Polar F11 Heart Rate Monitor

polar f11 heart rate monitor

A few months ago, I mentioned that Polar was sending me a heart rate monitor and a subscription to podfitness.com so that I could do a review.

After 2 months, I'm excited to say that my brand new Polar F11 is in my hot little hands.

I've done a brief overview of it to get it configured but I can't wait to give it a full trial and then report back over the upcoming months.

I'm curious to see what sort of heart rate I train at and then monitor it enough to kick my training up a notch.

Expect my Polar F11 heart rate monitor review to be ongoing.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

How To Find A Fitness Center Around The United States

Ever wanted to find a gym or fitness center in a location that you’re going to be spending some time in? Are you a business man making frequent stops all over the US or are you simply traveling around the country and want to stay in shape?

Either way, you’ll want to know where you can find a fitness center that fills your needs or track down your own gym in another city.

I spent most of 2005 and 2006 on the road and I wished I had access to Gym Ticket’s database of fitness centers as it would have made my training much easier.

Their search feature is amazingly simple. You can find your nearest gym or fitness facility by simply entering a zip code into their search function, or an address. Otherwise, you can choose to search for all gym’s by city, or by brand.

fitness center search

I took it through a trial run with Palm Springs as my destination. I spent a lot of time at the Highland Springs Resort at Beaumont in 2006 and visited Palm Springs once for dinner. Nice enough place, might go back and climb that mountain it backs onto.

So I decided to look for a specific brand. I wanted to find a Golds Gym in Palm Springs. I clicked the "Search by Brand" and picked Golds Gym. Then I chose from the list of locations that were displayed and chose Palm Springs.

fitness center search

The resulting fitness center search page showed me a Google map with the location of the gym and the actual address. I could email the gym from here if I had to ask them something and a list of the gym’s full amenities and hours was one click away. I especially liked the ability to have a free guest pass sent to me if I was really going to be visiting the gym. This was just a test remember.

From the amenities page, one further click led me to all the other fitness centers and gym’s in Palm Springs.

GymTicket.com’s interface is extremely simple to use. A location or a gym brand name is all it takes to find a fitness center in the city you’re traveling to and it even offers free passes. Gym Ticket had a database full with locations and brand name gym’s so it’s not lacking in options. Gym owners can also join and have their fitness center added as well.

I am certainly going to use this for my next trip to Vegas this spring.

I am very happy to have had the chance to do this paid review of Gym Ticket fitness center database. It has my full approval.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Review : Total Gym 1000

by Scott Bird

I love this thing.

Total Gym 1000
If you’ve somehow managed to avoid the Total Gym infomercials featuring the well-known faces of Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley, the photo at right should give you an idea of the basic arrangement. It’s essentially an inclined bench (with a sliding pad), and a cable at each side to lift/lower the user along the bench. A very simple setup.

The company was founded in 1974 by Tom Campanaro, Larry Westfall, and Dale Mc Murray - with the product changing little since then. As the height of the incline was soon changeable (with 6 heights available on the 1000 model I’m currently using), adjusting the resistance of various bodyweight exercises became a simple matter and the Total Gym products were taken up largely for rehab use. In that respect they’re still ideal.

In the mid-90s the Total Gym was brought to a home-user market, with an advertising campaign featuring the Norris/Brinkley combination in 1996 and a website (totalgym.com) the same year. Several advertising campaigns later, the Total Gym range still boasts large numbers of both home and medical centre users.

I am still surprised at how effective the setup (at least on the 1000) feels; whilst I’m not expecting to build large slabs of muscle with it, I’m experiencing far more muscle soreness than following typical bodyweight workouts. All of the exercises I’ve tried so far (and there are far more than you might imagine - it’s a very versatile setup) have been using the steepest incline, which averages out at around 44% of bodyweight. That may sound quite light, but keep in mind that everything on the Total Gym is a compound exercise, and there’s more balance and control involved than in many bodyweight movements.

In addition to its common rehab uses, the Total Gym is also a good intermediate point for a few of the more difficult bodyweight+free-weight exercises; such as chin-ups and handstand push-ups. Neither of these are easy, but using 44% of bodyweight brings them a little closer to attainability.

Overall, think of the Total Gym as another tool that can be used. It certainly isn’t better (or worse) than any other form of resistance exercise, but very good at what it does. The only point I’d make on the range available is that many of the optional extras seem quite pointless to me; such as the extra hooks, cables, pins and plates (yes, you can add weight plates to them - but if you really want to lift weights, why start with a Total Gym?). Grab one of the simpler models (usually the lower numbers - which are changing all the time). You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

My own setup

I first tried out the Total Gym in May 2004, when I was at my parents' house in Sydney (the city I now call home). With no power rack in sight, and desperate to do a little strength training, I decided to give it a thorough test.

As you may have guessed, it held up extremely well. I was amazed at the versatility afforded by such a simple thing, as well as the amount of work it enabled me to do. It was a great workout.

Where does it fit into my routines now? This really depends on the type of exercises I perform on it. Generally it forms part of a warm-up (light ab work, angled shoulder presses and so on) or a cardio routine on its own (many, many types of rows). Whatever I'm doing, it fits in nicely.


If you haven't seen the infomercials for this wonderful device, here's Chuck Norris putting it through its paces. Superb.

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