Supplements, shoes, rides...

What's up yall?

So I'll start with the bike and the riding.  I will admit that I was starting to get stressed about not getting in the mileage that I need in order to be ready to ride a century ride in October.  Yes, I know that is a few months out still but damn if I haven't been able to get a ride in longer than 43 miles or so.  I would finish those rides and just feel beat.  Most of those rides had between 2500-3000 feet of elevation which is way more than I'll have to do for the century route but none the less, I was stressing.  I was also making some nutritional mistakes as well as training errors.  By that I mean, I would somehow have the time to get in a longer ride but hadn't eaten for it because I didn't know it was going to happen.  Same goes for training.  I'd have a leg workout the day or two before and then my legs would feel like lead the entire ride.

Finally, this past weekend, things came together.  I knew my route.  Had eaten well enough the day before, and leg day was kept light.  I headed out with the plan to do my full loop (I had cut off early two times prior) which would net me about 50 miles.  Got a flat tire at mile 31 heading up a hill on a narrow road with cars zipping by which made changing it interesting and then back on the grind.  Hit the point where I had been cutting out early and pressed on.  At mile 55 I was getting close to home (2 miles or so) and realized that I had accepted a Strava challenge to do a metric century (62.1 mile) in the month of June.  I knew it would kill me if I headed home and clocked 57-58 miles.  I pulled off the road and whipped out my phone to check the map.  Figured out another little loop I could add in an finished off the ride at 63.7 miles with 3652' of elevation!  What made it even better is that I think I could have hit the 75 mark that day if I had to!

So while I am still not at 75 or 85 miles on long ride days, I can say I feel so much more relieved!  The stress has left me at this point.  Largely because I know that the elevation gain on my current long training rides is about 3x greater than I'll experience on the century ride I'm signed up for.  Yep, it only hits about 900 feet of elevation gain over the full 100 mile loop!  Granted there is a good chance of bad weather and winds but still better than hills and mountains.  Over all it was a great ride with fewer pit stops.  I think one of the harder things was having to constantly slow my pace down.

So I mentioned that I'd try to do some more reviews of some of the things I use in my daily life.  As you might have read from earlier posts I'm also what is called a gym rat.  I love to workout.  I'm focused on building a better body and improving my physique while staying mobile and being able to ride my bike.  I tell ya, it is hard to do it all.

As with just about any sporting activity these days, there are supplements to be used.  For riding I find that my go to supplement is Glucose or Cytomax.  Both work great and don't have a whole bunch of other crap mixed in with them.  For the gym, I have used damn near everything at one point or another.  Staples for me however are some sort of whey protein shake (taken right after my workout) as well as a pre-workout drink and now that I'm working on trying to lean out, I also drink Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's) daily.  Historically, I have had separate brands for everything as I tend to try different products often or at least try to find ones at a better price.  Currently, I'm trying something new.  I would say that they are designed to be stacked together or taken separately.

So this is pretty much the first full week that I have taken the product.  Each product is designed to have a specific task.  All however are designed to be taken as a "pre-workout".  So of course they are all different flavors (more on that in a minute) and you end up mixing them all together.  Before I get into the review part of it all I'll just a quick explanation of each.

Energy:  Think normal pre-workout drink.  It has about 160g of caffeine in it along with some B6 and other stuff (I forgot to take a picture of the labels).

Build:  This has some aminos in it to help keep the body going and fuel the muscles during the workout.

Cut:  I can't even remember off the top of my head what is in it but think fat burner in this case.

Ok, so here are some of my issues:

Flavors:  If you are designing them to all be taken together, then why not have some damn matching flavors or even flavor free options.

Mixing:  So they actually all mix pretty well with the exception of the build which seems to be a little clumpy.  I think my batch might have been exposed to some moisture because it is somewhat sticky in the bag.  Overall tho, they mix pretty good.  When mixing them all together you end up with a very concentrated drink.  I mean flavoring wise.  To help combat that, simply add more water.  The down side here is that you end up with a big damn drink.

Taste:  The actual taste of each isn't bad at all.  However the "Cut" has a bit of an odd after taste to it.

Personal issues:  The first time I took them all together, I mixed with a smaller amount of water so the drink would be small and then took another drink of water to sort of wash it all down.  Less fluid was the goal.  Since then, I have noticed that I have gotten very gassy.  I can feel my stomach burbling.  I don't feel sick at all but just very gassy.  I can't tell if I actually need to go relieve myself or if it is just gas.  So I end up running back and forth to the bathroom during my workout because I fear I might actually shit myself!  I can say that it hasn't seemed to matter what I have eaten before hand.  Today I made a PBJ which would be more filling prior to taking it and still had the same affect (maybe not as bad).

Results:  Well, it is still too early to tell.  I have only been taking it about 4 days now.  I can't see any body fat shedding off of me nor have I seen any muscle growth.  But lets be for real here.  These supplements are steroids in a bag.  Even if they were it still takes steroids about 7-10 days to really kick in before anyone reports any sort of changes (be it weight gain, increased appetite, strength...).
I am however hopeful that with my diet being under better control that I will indeed start to see some changes.  The goal being to lean out more.  Honestly, I could care less about my weight but do want my abs to start showing more.  I'll report back on this in another week or two.

Shoes:
I will admit that I have somehow become a Reebok Nano fan over the past couple of years.  I actually have a collection of about 13 pairs now I guess.  I do however have a pair of Nike MetCon 2's but they don't fit my foot as well.  But I got a coupon code to use at Nike for 20% off and the newer MetCon 3 fly knits were on the clearance section of their site.  I wanted these when they first came out but they were selling for about $170 and there was no way I was going to pay that much.  This time around I couldn't pass it up.  Picked them up for $124 shipped!

Awesome shoes!  They fit me so much better than the 2's and are just super comfortable.  I do have a pair of fly knit 3.0's which is more of a running shoe that fits like a sock.  Those are just as comfortable but the sole isn't as supportive as these.  Then again, the MetCon's are designed to be a training shoe and not a running shoe which makes a huge difference.
So that about does it for this go around!  Be back soon with updates on the supplements as well as another batch of supplements I have coming in.  Yep, something new...ish.


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