Tag Archives: Health

Body Power 2017 – In Review

Body Power Aerial Shot

Body Power Aerial Shot

This was my 5th Body Power Expo, it were considerably busier on the Friday and Saturday compared to previous years, Sunday was about average. The official visitor total shows just shy of 96,000 visitors. So very close to the magic 100,000 visitors. I would guess if you counted the athletes, media, press, staff and security, it would easily hit the golden 100k visitors. Next year is the 10th Anniversary so maybe 10 is the new 100k, and Nick Orton the organiser say it will have a Vegas Style strip straight down the middle with all the arenas and such in the middle. Sounds like an awesome plan.

The main highlight for me were the Strongman Arena by Strongman Revolution which were right up my alley, and I spent as much time as I could watching the events. What I saw were a bloody good show, I only wish I had more time to watch but I was constantly on the go. Sadly I didn’t get that many photo’s because the arena were surrounded and packed the whole time. I would have ended up blocking some ones view or getting a Vauxhall Corsa dropped on me, so I spent more time watching the event than taking photo’s of the events.

Full Gallery of Images

There are around 500 images over the weekend posted on my facebook page:

Body Power 2017 – Friday (142).
Body Power 2017 – Saturday (122).
Body Power 2017 – Sunday (200).

Feel free to tag and share any images I haven’t already tagged. 

Panoramic View

Each year I have taken a panoramic view of Body Power. This year is no different, last year was the queue for Paige Hathaway, this year its the PHD Kitchen stand from the top floor of their stand.

 

This was taken on the Friday (I think), you can see how crazy busy it were, and Saturday was massively more busy.

 

Stand Out Products

The stand out products for me were things which made my diet and lifestyle better, so I’m putting them in Alphabetical order as I really couldn’t choose which one is best. 

Barebells Protein Pudding

Barebells Protein Pudding

Barebells – This is a company owned by Nocco (NO Carb COmpany), a Swedish company which has been my stand out company in previous years for having one of the best marketing and tasting products in its class. This time around they came with Barebells Pudding and Barebells Protein Bars, both of which considering their macronutrient content tasted amazing. I normally forcibly eat MyProtein Puddings or I pick up MHP PowerPak Pudding when I can find it.

I nearly turned down the samples, until I spoke to the people on the stand and they explained the connection to NOCCO, so I tried it and were blown away. You would barely be able to tell they are not normal products. I wanted to try the Hazelnut Spread by Barebells but they didn’t have it to hand, but more on that later. 

Jazz Apples – This company is emptying my wallet as a new addition to my fruit bowl. They are so delicious, they have a pear type firm consistency but a sweet and juicy taste. Its like biting into a fruit based Magnum Ice Cream, such an awesome crunch and explosion of sweet juice.  

The team on the stand explained they were a combination of Gala Apples and Braeburn which ironically was the 2 types of Apple I had back in the hotel room, I’d say that’s a fair analysis. I’ve since purchased them twice, a pack of 4 large ones from Waitrose and a bag of 6 normal ones. Certainly won a spot in my fruit bowl. 

Farmers Walk Treadmill Machine

Farmers Walk Treadmill Machine

Jim Jams Spreads – I had seen these in Tesco (I think) but I were sceptical of the low sugar content being replaced with sweetener and having an after taste or not being nice. The stand owner near enough guaranteed I would like them if I liked Nutella, only it wouldn’t contribute diabetes or sugar crashes.

Macro for Macro they are fairly evening matched, the difference is Nutella has 57.6g Carbs or which 56.8g are Sugars, where as Jim Jams has 49.4g Carbs but only 8.7g are Sugars, thats a beastly chunk of sugar you’re not eating by swapping over. Shame both of them are quite low on the protein compared to 

Farmers Walk Treadmill were one of my favourite bits of equipment and easily stood out. Its fixed at 11 degree incline so as to be able to generate momentum, with various resistance settings along the ability to load around 160kg of weight plates and walk. I didn’t get to use it very much, least nearly as much as I wanted to play on it. I’m not sure I could justify the costs, but so very cool.  

Challenges

Thors Hammer at Primitive Apparel

Thors Hammer at Primitive Apparel

The Thors Hammer challenge on Primitive Apparel‘s stand were good fun, the poor lad who were first up and scored over two and half minutes holding a 10kg Hammer looked destroyed when someone topped 6 minutes and more so when a girl was within 30 seconds of his time. It was certainly a fun challenge, beats the usual protein bags /  buckets and lateral holds and the likes. 

The Mammoth stand had an interesting challenge and Bryan made it look far easier than it were. It were good fun to watch. You had to have an empty 5kg Protein tub balanced on your back while you did a press up, then raised your hand and opposite foot, then repeat the other side with a 5 second pause.

Bryan did it dozens of times and made it look easy as pie, but very very few people actually executed the move without the bucket falling off. I love the Mammoth Carrier Bags, they are basically sealable 

Mars Protein Peg Challenge

Mars Protein Peg Challenge

The Mars Protein stand had a fun challenge, this stand were the biggest disappointment, as the biggest company there (Mars turned over £25,000,000,000 (BILLIONS) in 2016), the fact they ran out of samples within the first 2 hours but still had plenty to sell potentially highlights now they made 25 billion, I won’t even go near the fact they were selling at full retail not a show price.

The stand had a peg board climbing frame challenge (see pic) which destroyed so many people, apart from some old man who pretty much ran up it matrix style. It certainly favoured the free runners, parkour and cross fit types but still fun to watch the techniques and 

There were one more challenge which stuck in my memory, a girl called Joanna managed to hold a lateral hold for over six in and a half minutes on another stand with two 2.25kg tubs of protein. Another challenge was for hang time, the longest time hanging on rock climbing handles, which is brutal on the fingers.

Some other challenges were equally fun to watch. 

Big Names

There was a little controversy over a certain big name who decided to get pissed out of their tree and didn’t bother turning up on their last day. Other big names included William Bonac, Kate Errington, Robert Oberst, Imogen Parfitt, Terry Hollands, Lee Constantinou, Zydrunas Savickas, Christie Bailey, Kris Gethin, Bill Kazmeier, Emma Hyndman, Zac Aynsley, Rich Piana, Flex Lewis, Cedric McMillan, Laci Kay Somers, Steve Cook, Dana Linn Bailey and Jay Cutler. There were loads more which I have forgotten, but will be in the images. 

Oh there were a dude called Callum Best sneaking around too

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Steak vs Lentils for Protein

Summer lunch with spring vegetables, cherry tomato & steak, macro closeup

Steak *drools*

I’ve been reading Muscle and Fitness Magazine and it had a page about Top 10 Protein Facts. What caught my eye were Fact No. 10, which suggested swapping 170g of Steak for 200g of Lentils.

First up they claimed that 170g of steak contained 48g protein, 18g fat (7g sat fat). I’m not sure what sort of beef steak they are eating but 170g steak usually contains nothing like that unless its 13% fat beef burger meat.

Looking at WeightLossResources, it reports the following for 170g of various cuts of Beefs…

Rump Steak – 213 kCal, 37.4g Protein, 0g Carbs, 7g Fat.
Sirloin Steak – 230 kCal, 40g Protein, 0g Carbs, 7.7g Fat.
Stewing Steak – 207 kCal, 38.4g Protein, 0g Carbs, 6g Fat.
Fillet Steak – 255 kCal, 36g Protein, 0g Carbs, 12.5g Fat.

I’m not quite sure where Muscle and Fitness got its stats. They suggest replacing the 170g burger, I mean steak with 200g Lentils, so lets look at 200g Lentils nutritional data.

Lentils (boiled) – 230 kCal, 18g Protein, 40g Carbs (8g Fibre), 1g Fat.

Calories are equal, but half the protein and a boatload of carbohydrates. I noticed they didn’t mention the carb content in the tip either. I’m not adverse to Lentils but I do watch my carb intake, at least try to and even the 8g of fibre can’t justify this one for me.  I’ll stick to a green beans or fine beans

Green/Fine Beans (steamed) – 61 kCal, 3.5g Protein, 14g Carbs (7g Fibre), 0g Fat.

Covers my fibre hit, fits well with my steak and tasty to boot.

Image by Robert Owen-Wahl

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Moderate Alcohol Isn’t Good For You

Cold Beer by Eyup SalmanThere have long been studies which demonstrate moderate alcohol consumption is good for you, but no longer. The “journal of alcohol and drug studies” performed a systematic meta review, which shows this isn’t the case at all.

A Systematic study is a study of many other peoples studies to correlate the results to get a fuller picture, and a Meta study is where the data from others studies are re-analysed or bias are removed. This means instead of having data on 100 people in one study, they can have results from 100 studies with 100 people each giving them thousands of peoples data across many years.

In this case the review were of 87 studies, covering 3,998,626 people and included 367,103 deaths were recorded over many years.

The Shocker

Previous studies show reduced risk for low volume regular drinkers (1-2 drinks per day), but the study showed many of the abstainers were already of ill health or abstaining due to ill health at the time of the study. This made the regular drinkers appear to have an advantage over the non-drinkers, due to fatalities.

The bias of ill-health were removed from the 4 million subjects and re-analysed, this time is showed that occasional drinkers (1-2 drinks per week) gained an advantage and increased longevity over both non-drinkers, regular drinkers and heavy drinkers.

Its a little shocking that “occasional drinkers” were shown to healthier than non-drinkers and the moderate drinkers we all thought were the better choices.

I would have liked to see if the type of alcohol mattered, since its shown red wine and certain other drinks have some advantages in other studies (at the moment anyway) so does a weekly red wine do more or less than a weekly beer. Saying that, I would want that data analyzed even more to see if wealth were a factor. If the red wine drinkers were healthier, were they generally more affluent.

Image Courtesy of Eyup Salman.
A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

MyFitnessPal Maybe Listens

A while ago I posted a few shortfalls of myfitnesspal, and I also wrote to MyFitnessPal with the issues. The main issues were, the way it tracked water. Where you had to physically go to the drop down menu every day and choose “add water” then scroll down to actually add water.

MyFitnessPal Water

MyFitnessPal Water

To make the water show you had to bring up the menu to the right with “Add Water”, “Add Note” etc, which would make the water counter and the “+ Add Water” appear.

The other issue I pointed out were the tracking of Sodium and Salt. The app fails to differentiate between Sodium and Salt. It may also be that the people entering the data didn’t calculate the difference. This means a packet of Biltong which has 2g of Salt is assumed to be 2,000mg of Sodium, where it is actually 800mg Sodium. This means you are always going over your suggested Sodium limit, when in reality you simply aren’t.

You can mitigate this by altering your goal to a maximum 5,500mg, on assumption its ALL salt, which is about 2,300mg sodium. I have set mine to 4,000mg which allows most of the sodium to be incorrectly assumed as salt and some to the correctly identified as sodium. If you are aiming for low sodium, I would probably leave it at the default 2,300mg and accept it as being sodium.

I however noticed about a week to 10 days ago, the “+ Add Water” and Tracker has been permanently enabled making it easier to add and track water… sadly the salt/sodium issue still exists.

There is however some hope, and I’ll message them again in a month or so.

As a side note, if you want to convert Salt -> Sodium or Sodium -> Salt, an easy method is Sodium -> Salt just Divide by 2.5 or Salt -> Sodium multiply by 2.5.

Here is a quick chart with some useful conversions and information on it.

Salt Sodium Equivelent Advice
1g 400mg A pinch of salt.
1.25g 500mg Quarter of a Teaspoon. Heart, Lung & Blood Ass. Min. Amount.
1.5g 600mg A big pinch of salt.
2g 800mg Low Sodium Diet Suggestion.
3g 1,200mg Half Teaspoon.. Diabetic Max. Suggestion.
4.25g 1,800mg 1/4 Tablespoon.
5g 2,000mg Recommended Target Zone.
6g 2,400mg 1 Teaspoon. Max Recommended Amount.
8.5g 3,600mg 1/2 Tablespoon. UK Average Comsumption.
9g 3,800mg US Average Comsumption
12g 4,800mg 2 Teaspoons.
17g 6,800mg 1 Tablespoon.

Its common sense but still worth mentioning, when a recipe calls for a “Teaspoon” of salt, if it makes 6 portions, you need to think each one will contain only 1g salt / 400mg sodium not 6g.

Its also worth mentioning when you have sweated a lot, like after a good hours work out, you may need a little sodium on those days, but you should research the appropriate amounts yourself.

I’m going to message MFP again and push the Sodium issue. I suspect its going to be a huge task, since their whole database will need differentiating. I have been there before, the longer you leave it, the bigger and the harder the task becomes.

** 3,200 kcal is an increase for heavy training days not my general count.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Protein Snacks

Protein Snacks Screen Shot

Protein Snacks Screen Shot

A project I’ve been working on (not finished) which is related to one of my own personal ‘struggle’ and goals. The details aren’t that important but in short. A recent iDXA / DEXA Scan at Derbyshire University revealed I had exactly 86.419kg / 13st 6lbs of lean muscle mass (no bones/fat/etc included). This helped me set my macro-nutrition / diet quite accurately on my quest to get BEEEEEFCAAAKED. Again cut short this means scan means I’m aiming at 45g* protein per 6 hours so as to distribute my intake through the day. It’s hard work finding good sources, with the right nutritional balance (skewed to protein).
*These numbers are based on my own research, activity levels, body composition and conclusions, so do your own research for your numbers, maybe in a future post I’ll go deeper in to it.

Flexible Protein

This brings me neatly to the issue of finding flexible methods of getting the protein in without massively blowing the other macro’s. Overloading carbs is easy as ummm cake, overloading the fat is almost as easy. I buy biltong, jerky, protein bars, RTD shakes, protein gels and all sorts of good snacks when getting a balanced meal isn’t possible. Which with a busy lifestyle is quite common, you know the drill, your hungry, you buy a bag of crisp or chocolate bar or something else, this site is about NOT going that way.

Just for an example…

Lion Bar 43g has 205kcal, 9g fat, 29g carbs, 2g protein, 80mg of sodium.
DynaBar 43g has 180kcal, 6.9g fat, 17g carbs, 14g protein, 50mg sodium.

The Protein Dynamix DynaBar has 1/3 less fat, sugar and sodium, 7 times more protein, this isn’t the best macro split, but given the very close taste, the Dyna is 100% a better option.

So there we have it, how my new project can and will help myself and others in the same boat.

 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Body Power Expo 2016

Body Power Crowds

Body Power Crowds

I recently attended the Body Power Expo in the capacity of a Photographer, this were my 4th Annual Body Power event. Its interesting to see the Fitness and Health scene in the UK Evolving as this expo is almost like a “snap shot” of the industry; you can almost watch its growth and diversification.

Early Gyms and Expo

In some ways it reminds of my first Gym 1996/7, what looked like an old public toilet on the edge of an industrial complex (Mirrlees Blackstone), it had concrete flooring, a bit crap cord like carpet, a radio so old I’m saying a wireless, it were stuck on local radio which were KISS or Galaxy. No heating, no showers, a toilet with the box like 7ft high. I think 2-3 machines a bike, an form of elliptical and a basic rower. Hardware wise, a dozen bars, a tonne of plates, half dozen benches oh and a Rack in 1 corner and that were it. Many gyms were like this to various extents.

Strongman Arena

Strongman Arena

Fast forward to my current gym 2016… 2 floors, 5 different types of exercise bike, chest press machines, diverging lat pull down machines, lateral raise machine, cable pod, 8 stack, trx, rope trainer, loads of machine, video based music, studio place, brightly lit, toilets, showers, kinds small on the weights but still 2 racks, 2 smiths, a dozen benches etc, and its open 24/7.

Product Launch

Thinking back over Body Power its the same thing. This year there various brands some old and some new choosing to launch their brand or new product at the show. My first year, there were literally no newbies, it were all the old guard as it were.

I think the first major new brand I saw launch there were NOVO who make protein bites, which look like a quaver only smaller, don’t taste as good as a quaver though, but its protein and snackable. It falls in the “flexible dieting” and “protein snacks” categories.

Reflex Protein Coffee

Reflex Protein Coffee

This year existing companies were launching new products, Reflex nutrition launched their new protein coffee, with a stand dedicated purely to the 1 product. Mars were pushing their new Snickers and Mars Protein ranges and various others. On a smaller scale, some new brands like “Serious Ammunition” with their Bullet Reloaded product, then “Active Sport Nutrition” were  launching Zombie Juice, another new brand were TNT. There were sooo very many others which I can’t list here.

Some of the past product launches are now rapidly growing into major brands; NOCCO is one which stuck in my mind. I commented on in another blog post, which is an awesome product. Another would be NOVO who make protein bites (crisp), 3 yrs ago their stand were small, it were about 5-6x bigger this year with some fairly big name athletes on it such as former Miss Netherlands Dounia Rijkschroeff.

USN Stand

USN Stand

The Big Boys Roll In

This year also some of the old guard attended for the first time like MyProtein, who came packing mini-guns to mow the competition down. I think they literally brought EVERY athlete they sponsored.

USN were dominating the expo, they sponsored the main stage, the pro IBFF show, they had their own little mini stage, which were HUUUUUGE. One their newer products tastes amazing the B4-Bomb Extreme (Cherry). I tried sooo many of their products.

Which I guess is the point of all the samples, to try them all so you pick the brand for life. I must have tried 40 different proteins, a dozen pre-workouts, 2 dozen bcaa’s and various cookies, muffins, doughnuts and bars of the weekend. A few different products I have gone on to purchase.

CT Fletcher

CT Fletcher

This year there were strongmen, insta-famous, inspirational, physique, bodybuilders, body transformers, bikini, clothing, equipment, supplements, food, snacks, MMA, boxing and even medical services making the event what it is.

The list of names is, and were endless, the top of their game. I really wouldn’t know where to start with such a list.

However some of the biggest pullers were Paige Hathaway and Michelle Lewin on the FitFuel Stand, Steve Cook on the Optimum Nutrition Stand and Christian Guzman on Alphalete Stand.

Below is a 360 view of the queue for Paige Hathaway, the queues for the others were equally impressive but had no vantage point.


The fitness and health sector in the UK is growing at a crazy pace, a truly astonishing rate.

The take away from the whole show were about inspiration, and improving your health and learning. I saw girls meeting Michelle Lewin who were close to tears and gushing. Telling her how they were inspired to lose weight, hit the gym, overcome bullying and more. I saw guys telling CT Fletcher he helped them to push harder

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.