Review: Powerdot Electrical Muscle Stimulator

I HAAAAAVVE THE POWWER!!!! (Sorry, could not help the He-Man reference)

I purchased a nifty new item based on some great feedback from some friends. The gear is the Powerdot Duo from Powerdot.com and I will say that I LOVE it!

So what is it? According to their site:

Powerdot uses electrical muscle stimulation to activate your muscle fibers so you can get stronger and recover faster. Use an app on your mobile phone to initiate and control your workouts. You select the muscle groups you want to target and an impulse is sent to the pods that causes your muscles to activate. It’s that simple.

Well, that does seem simple. Here is my thoughts after 2 weeks of heavy use.
Continue reading “Review: Powerdot Electrical Muscle Stimulator”

Review: Perfect Nutrition Diesel Protein

Quick review here. I’ve been using Diesel Protein by Perfect Nutrition for a couple months after shifting away from Progenix. Progenix tasted good and i found was very easily digested as a post-WOD shake after 6am WODs but man it was expensive. At the recommendation of a friend (who is also a nutritionist) I tried this Diesel brand and I am definitively a fan. I have tried 5 flavours now and since I am not one who can really dissect the nutritional aspects of it I will mostly review the taste:

Chocolate – Really nice for a chocolate. Most chocolates taste decent with Almost/Coconut milk but few taste good with water. This one even with water has a nice flavour and little aftertaste.
Chocolate Peanut Butter – I am a sucker for this combo of flavours and was a bit worried it would be gimmicky and weird. Nope! A little sweet to have frequently (stevia sweet but still sweet) but IMO very nice tasting.
Strawberry – A hit or miss for most people. Tastes like strawberry milkshake but is definitely sweet. I like it but I know others who do not (but they tend not to like ANY strawberry protein)
Banana – Not bad but not great. I don’t mind the flavour but i found i got tired of it quick and the aftertaste was odd. Almost metallic. Not a fan.
Mango Pineapple – OK took a flier on this one. Quite sweet and for the first couple dozen times i had it I thought it tasted ‘OK’ but it quickly hit the point where even opening the tub and smelling the flavour put me off. Wont buy again and may not even finish the tub I have of it.
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Review: Reebok Nano 4.0

A bit behind the curve but I finally have some Nano 4’s. In fact I have two pairs now. I never had the 2.0’s but I can compare them to the 3.0’s and 1.0’s and to me these are my favourites so far. I liked many of the improvements that came with the 3.0’s compared to the 1.0’s. The rope protection and wider toe box in particular were very welcome. The issue I had with the 3.0’s was that the structure of the webbing overlay on the toe box always folded in an odd way that rubbed the top of my big toe and made them less than comfortable.

The 4.0’s have altered the overlay and i find them far more comfortable. They retain the flexible low profile structure of the previous generations and the new sock liner resists the tongue shifting very well which adds to the overall wearability. I have two pairs which are actually slightly different models.


The first is the standard model Nano 4 in Black and Red. I love the colour combo and overall a nice looking shoe. The heel cup seems harder and provides good stability and Reebok seems to have found a good balance between stability and flexibility on this one. It fees responsive but does not feel like I am in a zero drop shoe.

The second pair is a “Military” special edition “Nano 4.0M” pair I picked up in the US. They are essentially the same shoe but made with thicker rip-stop material (supposed to be like sandbag/rucksack material) and are supposed to be sand/gravel proof.

Overall an excellent shoe. Stable, durable and comfortable. The only negative I can say is there was a few places on the green pair where there seemed to be excess glue on the join between sole and shoe. The shoes perform well for outdoor running, plyometrics, and basic weightlifting and CrossFit movements.

9/10

Review: Wrist Wraps

My box started selling branded versions of these wrist wraps and since my elastic pair from Again Faster we’re getting too warm out, I figured I’d try them out.
The design is simple, a long doubled piece of cloth with a triangular end no one side and a string of its tip. Now simple isn’t a bad thing, in fact simple can be great which is the case here. I still like I could badly sew one at home but why when these are very good and far nicer than I could make.

The fabric is somewhat stiff (think the feel of canvas) but the magic is when you wrap it around your wrist and tuck the string away. Friction in this one case is your friend as by turning it while wrapped on your wrist it quickly gets tighter or looser. When as tight as you can wrap it, the material provides a stiff support for things like overhead squats or push presses which for me help to have the locked down wrist feeling. If you loosen them a bit they still provide some support for the front rack position of a clean or front/back squat.

The straps wash well and seem very durable. Value for the money is ok as I feel they are quality enough to warrant the cost (for what it is).

Overall score: 10/10
More support than elastic ones, but more washable and durable as well. A must buy for anyone who’s wrists get overly sore while lifting.

Review: Rock Tape Knee Caps

As someone with bad knees (multiple meniscus tears and a partially torn ACL) I have used many a knee brace. The issue I’ve always had has been their bulk and restrictiveness which granted is their design purpose. I had been looking for a set of neoprene sleeves to try for squatting and other movements where some added knee support would be beneficial. I picked up a set of RockTape Kneecaps at my box and gave them a good work in through various types of WODs (even a couple other activities like road biking too just to see how they did). I will say that despite a few faults, I love them.

The kneecaps come in 5mm or 7mm neoprene (I have the 5mm) and are advertised with the key features:

Keeping your knees stabilized is essential when it comes to lifting. Knee Caps are specifically designed to provide compression, warmth and lateral stability when performing functional movements such as dead lifts, pistols and squats.

Unlike other supports, Knee Caps are ‘extra tall’ and designed to compress the VMO* at its insertion point above the patella to help ensure proper stability and tracking. Knee Caps also provide compression and warmth to promote blood flow.

Heat sealed seams for better contouring
Added height for VMO* support
Available in 5mm or 7mm neoprene thicknesses
Sold as pair (two Knee Caps per package)

I like to keep my reviews concise so here is is my breakdown of good and bad about these sleeves

Positive:
– They do an excellent job of warming up your knees. I found even wearing them during warm-ups helped get my knees loose and ready to work
– Material on the inside of the sleeve grips well meaning very limited sliding and bunching even during an intense WOD
– Added stability is noticeable but not restrictive. On many other knee sleeves and braces I’ve used there is a point in the squat where it feels like its bunched behind your knee and digging into you. I did not get that with these.
– When I take them off i leave them inside out to dry (Yea I sweat a lot) and so far the material seems to resist the “gym bag smell” issue.

Negative:
– Their style is not my cup of tea. Personal choice but neither of the patterns are really to my taste. Would love a “tamer” pattern LOL
– Seams seemed quite well bonded when first inspected however after a dozen or so WODs in them the seam on one started to go. Unfortunate but this could be the design issue that kills my love for this product.

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Overall, they are a solid product and less costly than Rehbands. I like them so much I may even reach out to RockTape to see if the seam issue is something they have seen before and/or if they warranty the product. They do provide comfortable and supportive wear and are versatile enough to wear during virtually any WOD.

Overall Score: 8/10

The seam issue was just the worm in an otherwise perfect apple.

 

UPDATE: So…..as mentioned in my review above, the seam on one of my sleeves had started to come apart. I contacted RockTape and not only did they stand by their product (with no real pressure from me) but they replaced them for me no questions asked and quickly. One of the best customer service experiences I’ve had in quite a while!

New score based on their stellar customer service:

9/10

 

UPDATE #2!!: I will stick with the fact that their customer service was good but unfortunately after 2 months with the replacement sleeves the seams started splitting again. I sewed them up so they were usable again but I wont buy them again or recommend them to anyone strictly due tot he seams issues.

6/10

 

Review: Junk Brands Infinity Headbands

OK call this a mini-review since there is not so much that can be said about a headband.

Junkbrands.com

Cost: $16 online plus shipping

OK i think the needs here is self explanatory. I sweat. A lot. It gets really warm at my box, especially in the middle of summer and I hate sweat dripping into my eyes.

Positive:
– They stop sweat from getting in my eyes
– They dry quickly
– Wearing one is a huge stylistic step up from an old school sweatband type head band (particularly for those of us with “significant foreheads”)

Negative:
– Pretty pricey for a headband once shipping is factored in
– Wearing a headband like Froning does not in fact imbue the wearer with any of his skill

Overall Score: 9/10

Product is great if your willing to pay the price.