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Product Review: SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Posted by bmagnus On August - 2 - 20101 COMMENT

Home weight lifting equipment presents an astounding array of option from cheap concrete weights, to kettlebells, to single dumbbells, to resistance machines using weights and bands and bows and more. Of all of these options none is so universally accepted as the simple dumbbell. Unfortunately, for most people owning and storing a full set of dumbbells is just not a possibility.

Enter the SelectTech 552,  the smaller of the adjustable weight sets made by Bowflex. Bowflex is owned by Nautilus, which also makes a variety of exercise equipment under its own name, Schwinn, and Universal Home Fitness. The 552 allows the user to lift between 5 and 52.5 pounds and switch easily between various weights. But at a retail price of $399, the price seems steep. Is it worth the investment?

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The Long Awaited P90X Review

Posted by wmagnus On July - 5 - 20102 COMMENTS

I’ve done P90X workouts off and on for a few years scattered in amongst other routines. Only recently did I begin doing the full program and have now pushed through 2 cycles. I’ve lost 15 pounds and leaned down dramatically. I don’t have the kind of fat to ripped before and after pictures that Beachbody uses in their marketing but at 10-11% body fat, I’m not looking too bad. (Sorry, no pics but I’ve got psoriasis and am more than a little self-conscious about my crappy skin.) The program definitely delivers results but it wasn’t until this year that I was ready to take on the whole thing.

So why did it take so long to actually take on P90X? Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review: Your Best Body at 40+

Posted by bmagnus On June - 23 - 2010Comments Off on Book Review: Your Best Body at 40+

It can be very hard to figure out where to get started when it comes to getting in shape: Do I just plunge in and get a gym membership or can I do something at home? Should I hire a personal trainer? Can I really do that program I saw on the late night infomercial? I’m not a kid anymore; what can I realistically do? The problems multiply when you consider diet: Low fat or low carb? Are any of those frozen low-cal dinners worth eating? What about all those shakes and bars and supplements?  Men’s Health Magazine and Jeff Csatari try to cut through all the nonsense with Your Best Body at 40+.

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Book Review: The Primal Blueprint and The Primal Blueprint Cookbook

Posted by bmagnus On June - 2 - 2010Comments Off on Book Review: The Primal Blueprint and The Primal Blueprint Cookbook

“Paleo” or “caveman” diets and lifestyles have come into vogue with a lot of the leading edge fitness thinkers over the last few years. From barefoot running to raw foods, many luminaries are forging a trail to get back to basics.

Mark Sisson is one of those thinkers. He’s a fitness and nutrition expert whose daily writings have spawned a popular blog amongst the paleo set, Mark’s Daily Apple. There he relates his thoughts, his musings and experiences and his well reasoned arguments for what he calls a “primal” lifestyle. Sisson comes to primal or paleo thinking with a strong traditional fitness pedigree including experience as a competitive triathlete, trainer and even as a consultant on the popular home fitness routine P90X. His blog has served as a test bed for ideas and ultimately for his book.  The Primal Blueprint was released last year and collects many of his ideas into a single volume. The companion cookbook, The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, arrived on bookshelves mere weeks ago.

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Years before either Dr. Atkins or Dr. Ornish published their first diet books (1972 and 1983 respectively), there was The Drinking Man’s Diet: How to Lose Weight with a Minimum of Willpower. Less than 60 pages long, this slim volume proposes to make readers slim while still allowing indulgences like a cocktail at lunch or — as the back cover brags — “two 6:00 PM tension-breaking martinis”. How does it work? Or more to the point, does it work?

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