Blonyx HMB+ Creatine Review

(I’m no “nutritionist”, scientist, or engineer, hell I can barely stick to a diet. Don’t expect much technical stuff out of me on this subject matter.)

You don’t see me do very many reviews on supplements because well, I think when it comes supplements, everyone’s experiences will be YMMV  (your mileage may vary). Honestly, I should be a pro on the subject by now, I’ve been supplementing ever since I was a budding kid in high school not knowing that I was actually allergic to whey. Around 2010 is when I really got into taking supplements other than protein; things like pre-workout, nitric oxide, even so called fat burners. The one thing that I never got into was creatine monohydrate. Hell, I even tried kre-alkalyn, just never the real deal. It wasn’t until sometime after I started CrossFit, that I decided I needed to bulk up, and creatine was the way to do it. There’s nothing like your first creatine cycle, I went from a measly 160 to a pretty muscular 170lb, but most of all, I couldn’t believe how much it helped me last throughout my workouts. Since then, I’ve been a believer in creatine being the most effective supplement you can take, even more so than protein!

(I’m not going to go over the benefits of creatine, you can find that here.)

I’ve tried a ton of different brands and I’m not sure if it’s just the law of diminishing returns or not, but sometimes I see results and sometimes I don’t. Like I said, there’s nothing like your first creatine cycle, so maybe that’s what I’m basing things off of. More recently I’d been using a generic brand I found off of Amazon, once again not really seeing a ton of difference in my performance. To me, creatine was creatine anyways. That is, until I was contacted by Blonyx to check out their HMB+ Creatine, a brand and product that I had known of for a long time, but their higher than normal price tags always put me off.  Blonyx products are more expensive for a reason, for which you can find here, but also in my case, because they work.

(ugly 215 pr and 225 attempt, pre-Blonyx)

Starting a creatine cycle in the holiday season was probably not the best time, due to all the parties and food, but I started mine right after my birthday with the 30-day supply lasting me all the way up into mid-January. Prior to the cycle, I weighed 170lbs, which is the lightest and leanest that I’ve been in a few years. Also, I had been off my creatine cycle for about a month, so the timing was perfect. I followed the directions to a T, 2 scoops a day, even on non training days but I didn’t do any kind of loading, and I usually always take my creatine with some kind of carb. My numbers at the start of the test were a 280 clean, 255 jerk, 385 backsquat, 325 frontsquat and 215 snatch (really ugly); the powerlifts had been higher before, but the oly movements were lifetime PR’s.

(225 post Blonyx)

By the time I was done with the Blonyx creatine and after the holiday season, I had gotten to a solid 175lb. I’m not quite sure how much of that was fat and how much of that was muscle. My training remained pretty similar to what I was doing before I started the cycle; I’ve been following Competitor’s Training for about half a year now. Honestly, I didn’t notice my metcon endurance change too much, but when it’s cold, I tend to suck more. My strength however, took a major turn for the better. When it came time to test 1RM’s for the oly lifts in late January/early February, I came up with some milestone PR’s! My snatch went up to the milestone of 225 and it was much cleaner than my ugly 215. I ended up cleaning 300lbs, though pretty ugly, but I was able to easily clean 285 now. Most surprisingly of all, I hit 405 on my backsquat for a lifetime PR that was way easier than any of my previous 400lb lifts that I hit at a heavier bodyweight. Those gains are definitely worth $60, so Blonyx, you’ve made a believer out of me.

(405 post Blonyx.)

Honestly, I can’t tell you if the gains were from the Blonyx HMB+ Creatine or just because of the training cycle I was on, but all last year, my numbers plateaued and I hadn’t PR’d in ages. Could be a placebo effect, but probably not, though YMMV. If I had to say there was something bad about Blonyx’s creatine, it’s that it smells like BO. There’s no taste to it, it’s not the grittiest creatine but it’s definitely not micronized, but man, the smell is really off-putting if you get it onto your hands or just take a whiff of it; purely superficial but that’s really it.

You might think it’s $60 price tag for roughly 60 servings is expensive, like I did, but spending $15 on 2lbs of junk that doesn’t even work is literally like throwing money in the trash. Even worse, you’ll spend all that time trying to finish the product, but time is something you’ll never get back. You’re better off spending your money, time, and energy on stuff that’s proven.

Get your Blonyx HMB+ Creatine here!

(Special thanks to Blonyx for providing me the product and getting me to a 225 snatch, 300 clean and 405 back squat!!!)

 

 

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Skechers GoTrain Endurance Shoe Review

What started out as a pseudo joke review, ended up with me actually really enjoying these shoes. I, like many of you guys out there, am kind of a shoe snob, never to be caught dead wearing Skechers…until now. At the end of the day, all that really matters in a training shoe is if it works for you and the Skechers will definitely have an audience to cater to. Not only do they cost much less than any of the bigger brands, they’re far superior when it comes to comfort running and jumping. Durability is excellent so far as I really tried to grind them down from climbing ropes, which they’re excellent at. They’re not shabby lifters either, but obviously there are better options. Still, at the end of the day, I can actually say I recommend the GoTrain Endurance. I know I’ll be keeping mine around until they blow up.

Get  your Skechers GoTrain Endurance Here!

2017 CrossFit Training Shorts Buyer’s Guide

The response from my 2015 and 2016 shorts buyers guide has been amazing. The shorts in both of those guides are still top choices and many of them are still currently being produced. All the shorts in this guide are ones that I’ve gathered since making the last video, and I’m sure I’ll have another guide out by the end of the year. These are all the best shorts that I currently have in my rotation!

For reference: I’m 5’8′, 175lb, size 32 waist typically in jeans! I mainly wear a size medium in my shorts.

Links to purchase all the shorts in this video:

2POOD
http://www.2poodstore.com/lifestyle-shorts-velocity/
http://www.2poodstore.com/revolution-v-4-0-soft/

Reebok
http://www.store.crossfit.com/reebok-crossfit-super-nasty-speed-ii-board-short/AZ1771.html
http://www.store.crossfit.com/reebok-crossfit-austin-2-short/AC1339.html

Push Apparel
http://amzn.to/2mwZrPd

Myles Apparel
https://mylesapparel.com/collections/shorts

Vuori
http://www.vuoriclothing.com/shop/categories/shorts/?paginate_by=200

Redline Gear
http://www.red-line-gear.com/

Rhone
https://www.rhone.com

Flexion Gear
https://flexiongear.com/collections/all

Nike Metcon DSX Repper Shoe Review

What if I told you that you could get the DSX Flyknit for only $100…?

Take the red pill.

It took a little bit, but the Nike Metcon DSX Reppers were finally launched sometime in mid February. Still, Nike’s product description about them left much to the imagination, not really giving you any kind of clue as to what they’re meant for. Based off of looks alone, they resemble a cross between the Metcon 2 and the DSX Flyknit; but they’re the lowest priced Metcon yet, retailing for a mere $100. Compared to the more expensive Metcon’s, the omission of the drop-in  midsole sounded alarming, but at the end of the day doesn’t make much of a difference. Which begs the question of even having the need for the drop-in midsole in the first place.

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Looks/Construction:

The best way to describe the DSX Reppers looks is to say that they’re a hodgepodge of all the Metcon’s before them. There’s a little bit of Metcon 1/2 and DSX Flyknit, with little to no design cues at all from the Metcon 3. The upper material is a knit material that’s not as elastic as Flyknit, but it’s beefier than the mesh on the Metcon 1’s and 2’s. On top of that are TPU overlays that seem more decorative than functional, and around the toe box gets beefier almost like a toe cap. Premium features like Flywire lacing are still present in the Reppers and if you opt for a college colorway, get premium laces to match; otherwise you’ll get the same flimsy style laces currently found on the Metcon and DSX Flyknit.

Though the outsole has no mention of “Sticky-Rubber”, the compound feels the same as it does on the more expensive models and in my experience, grips the same as well. Undoubtedly, the biggest difference between the Reppers and the more expensive models is the omission of the drop-in midsole. Instead you get a more standard Phylon midsole, densely compressed EVA foam, which is also found on other Nike running and lifestyle shoes. Obviously, the Reppers include a more standard Ortholite insole that is removable.

Though these might be budget priced, they don’t feel like budget shoes. The materials used rival any of the more expensive Metcon’s and matches the quality you’d come to expect from a Nike product. Personally, I actually think in some ways these feel more sturdy than the other Metcon’s. The woven mesh upper really feels like it could take a beating and since there is no drop-in midsole, there are no squeaking noises!

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Fit:

Typically, Metcon’s fit my feet the best out of any shoes out there.  The overall shape of the Reppers is the same, but I feel like they run closer in size to the DSX Flyknits, being a tad on the small side. A 9.5 Repper fit me a little bit on the tight side, as did the DSX Flyknits. I could use it and it wasn’t terrible, but I sized up to a 10 and now they’re much more comfortable, especially for running. If you’re in between sizes, go for the half size up from where you were.

Here are my sizes:

  • Metcon 3 – 9.5
  • DSX Flyknit – 9.5 but it’s tight, I would get a 10 next time.
  • Nano 6/7 – 10
  • Romaleos 3 – 9.5
  • CrazyPower – 9.5
  • Ultraboost – 9.5
  • NMD – 10

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Performance:

So what exactly are the DSX Repper’s good for? Everything! I know that’s a little vague and all, but they really are the answer for everything you’d come across in a WOD. Where the Metcon 3’s come short in the flexibility/comfort department, the Reppers are awesome. While the DSX Flyknits fall short in stability, the Reppers shine. It really is hard to believe that these are the “budget” models!

I was worried that since Nike cut the drop-in midsole out of the Reppers, they would be inferior for lifting. No, they’re not as stable as the Metcon 3’s for Olympic Weightlifting, mainly due to the much more flexible forefoot, but the Phylon midsole is extremely dense and does not have much give, if any at all. Responsiveness and power delivery is spot on; you’d feel like you’re lifting in any other Metcon unless you put them on back to back. For me, the DSX Flyknit midsole compressed a little more than I’d like, which ended up causing my feet to ache after repeated bounding. In the Reppers, the Phylon midsole creates a nice stable base that isn’t too soft or too hard.

Laterally, the stability of the Reppers is excellent and the foot bed cradles your foot without much roll over. Forward stability is where the Reppers struggle at a little bit, once again mainly due to the flexibility of the forefoot. Dynamic lifts are what I think the Metcon 3’s are better for, but the Reppers easily match up with the Flyknit’s, and in my opinion are better because of the slightly more flat and stable platform. For static lifts, the Reppers are excellent, there isn’t a ton of midsole compression like there is with the Flyknits, so they match up more closely to the Metcon 3; though I’d still rule in favor of the standard model.

Where the Reppers really shine, is the fact that they’re an all around metcon shoe. The forefoot flex grooves really do an amazing job providing flex at to toe for running and bounding exercises. Never have I felt like my feet were straining after multiple wall balls, double-unders or runs. The drop is 6mm like the Flyknits, but compared to the 4mm drop in the Metcon 3’s, you really won’t notice a huge difference.  The overall platform is still minimalist and the outsole shape is virtually identical to what you’d find on the original Metcon shoes. Dare I say that these might be the overall best WOD Metcon?!

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Value/Conclusion:

Like I said, it’s hard to believe that these are “budget” shoes; even performing better in some ways than the standard Metcons, yet only retailing for $100! Other than the Conviction-X, the DSX Reppers might be the most surprising shoe of the year. I feel just like with any other Metcon, you don’t have to worry about what you’re doing when you have them on. The DSX Reppers go to show that you don’t need all these new technologies to have an excellent performing training shoe. They’re a no frills, training shoe that successfully captures exactly what makes Metcons so good, but tweaks the formula making them a great all around shoe. These are what the DSX Flyknits should have been.

As of right now, I think these are my favorite Metcon’s right now because I can do ANYTHING in them and not have to worry. If it came down to having to compete or serious lifting, I would choose the standard Metcon 3’s, but day to day training, the Reppers are easier to live in. These are the best deal in training shoes.

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