For those of you that don’t know I left Brooklyn after living there all my life to purse my B.A in Public Health at Temple University (Yep! I’m a Temple Owl now!). I’ve decided to relaunch this as a way to not only keep in touch with all my students but also get a chance to share my journey in my new city while posting a few no BS workouts and fitness advice.
First off I’m living on Broad Street (hence the hashtag “brooklynonbroadst”) near Center City. I’ve only been here since Saturday and this city is winning me over. Actually it won me over the first night when I got free pizza that night–easy way to win a Brooklyn boy over. The 2nd is that I have access to 2 gyms including 1 with a basketball court. I haven’t played basketball since HS but the Brooklyn in me came out and I’ve been shooting around as part of our warmup.
Full disclosure: I am brand ambassador for The North Face-Mountain Athletics clothing division. Even though I do receive free clothing from them to test it out, they do not tell me what to write-(they want me to be honest even if I don’t like a particular product) As with anything I review/recommend I will never BS you!
Recently I received my 1st box of clothing from The Northface. I figured the best way to truly test it out would be for the Spartan Race Beast in Vernon NJ on April 18.
Both the shirt and shorts are advertised to the keep you cool and dry.
The Sneakers are advertised for being perfect for outdoor adventure races by providing smooth transitions from the trail to the road while protecting the foot for any unstable rough terrain.
The Spartan Beast was advertised as the most difficult Spartan Race yet! They advertised it as 12.5 miles on the course map but it ended up being 13.5 miles, over 33 obstacles and elevation gains of 4,800 feet! I nonetheless felt like this would be the perfect and ultimate test to see how well The North Face gear held up!
Testing it out on the course:
Even though at race time the weather was a beautiful 70 degrees and sunny, being that it was on a ski resort there was still snow and ice on the higher elevations of the course! As the temps increased the so did the amount slush and mud along the course which provided an extra challenge but also would make it the perfect test for the clothing.
Most of the running was through the woods–honestly I don’t even consider it running because there was a bottle neck of people on uneven trails where 1 wrong move could lead to you twisting your ankle or falling off the mountain. My badass student Annabel put it best by calling it more of an “extreme hike”.
The trails were very uneven, containing lots of lose gravel, debris, fallen trees, mud and not to mention plenty of streams.
Another non obstacle part of the course took place on what would’ve been the actual ski slopes. In terms of the Spartan Race it meant were constantly going up and down the mountain numerous times with some parts still being covered in snow and ice!
We also had to walk through waist high ice cold water numerous times–not fun if you walked slow. I personally ran through it like I was being chased after by a bear (there ended up being a bear on the course–no joke!”).
After a grueling 7+ hour race where I was pushed beyond my limits physically and mentally I crossed the finished line but not before the ceremonial fire jump and 1 more dip in the mud water before getting my much earned Spartan Beast medal
The North Face Mountain Athletic gear exceeded my expectations.
The Mens Ultra Kilowatt Crew kept me cool despite the mud and heat without weighing me down. With any other gear I’ve ran in past Spartan Races I’ve often had to take off my shirt because of that reason.
The Mens “Better Than Naked” Shorts lived up to its name–(although I don’t recommend running naked for a race like that unless you are ready to be in the hospital and by hospital I mean in the Psychiatric ward) I felt like I wasn’t wearing anything at all and did not weigh me down even walking through the ice cold lakes and mud water.
The Mens Ultra Cardiac Sneakers are a great alternative from the others on the market. The mud was quickly drained out and I did not get debris in my sneakers at all. The soles of the sneakers provided great grip especially for going down hill while providing the cushion I needed to absorb any shock. Just like any other sneaker just make sure to break in by running in them a few times before race day.
I highly recommend giving The North Face Mountain Athletics gear a chance for any outdoor workouts, mud runs, adventure and obstacle course races. You WON’T regret it!
If you have any questions leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them!
Bryan is a celebrity fitness expert and boxing instructor with over 10 years of experience. He’s the owner of Brooklyn Badass Fitness, Brooklyn’s longest running boot camp program.
Bryan challenges his students to unleash their inner badass with high intensity workouts that incorporate boxing, body weight and whatever equipment is around them. He believes in not only helping his students get badass bodies but also to be strong and healthy for life! Career Highlights: Current Spartan Race competitor, former NPC Physique competitor, trainer of Rachel T from The Bachelor.
Full Disclosure: I will NEVER recommend any supplement, product, company unless I truly believe it will benefit my students, family and clients. If I recommend it then you better believe it’s worth checking out!
It’s no secret that part of a healthy lifestyle is getting the right amount of protein as part of your daily caloric intake. It doesn’t matter if you are an athlete or not–your body still needs protein!
If you are an athlete or someone just looking to get a badass healthy body then you know choosing the right protein can be overwhelming. In my 11 years of being a trainer I’ve pretty much have tried every protein on the market.
Up until now I’ve encouraged my students to stick with Whey Protein Powder for shakes but in terms of ready to drink protein I would recommend they get it from food. Heck, I still recommend my students and clients to get their protein sources from natural food sources as much as possible.
The Problem With Most Ready To Drink Protein Shakes:
They taste bad!
Loaded In Sugar!
Not easy to digest
Not nutrient dense
Some contain chemicals
Did I have ready to drink protein shakes? Of course! Long before I became a trainer I was living off shakes like that. There would be times I would have 2 a day!
My whole mindset was “I’m not drinking for the taste–I’m drinking for the protein!” This was despite how it made my stomach unsettled, how bad it tasted, how much crap it was loaded with. Ahh how I wish I would’ve known better
My Personal Recommendation: Core Power!
Before I go into the benefits of Core Power protein I will explain briefly explain how I discovered them and my major skepticism.
As most people know I compete in Spartan Races throughout the country (next week at Citizens Bank Park in Philly will be my 6th this year) and there are a lot of sponsors—Core Power being one of them.
At the end of the race you get a medal, banana, protein bar and a Core Power protein shake. Typically I would just eat the banana and put the bar and core power in my bag for another time.
The reason I didn’t drink Core Power after my race in North Carolina or any of the other races was because I was afraid how my body would react and didn’t want to risk the chances of getting sick without being close to home in Brooklyn (this was before I even read up on it).
The day I finally tried Core Power:
I was on my way back from the gym and realized I had forgotten to make a post workout shake. All I had in my bag was 1 of the Core Power drinks which I had gotten from 1 of the races. I was close to home so I figured why not try it now–if it was bad I could say fuggetabouit and on to the next one.
From the 1st sip of the Chocolate Core Power I was hooked! It tasted almost too good to be a protein shake with no bad after taste and no unsettled? That’s when my skepticism kicked in. In my mind it was “there’s no way it could be this good without chemicals”. I looked at the nutrition label and realized it was indeed all natural!
See for yourself here!
The only sugar is from natural sugar which is extremely rare these days and Core Power is loaded in potassium.
After over a decade of training I finally felt confident enough to recommend a ready to drink protein to my girlfriend, family and brooklyn badass fitness boot camp students.
Which Core Power is right for me?
Currently they have 2 different kinds of protein: Light (20 grams of protein) and Regular (26 grams of protein).
I personally have tried ALL the flavors and my favorite is the Vanilla–although NONE of them have a bad after taste! I promise you that!
If you are an active person then I highly recommend the regular version of 26 grams of protein. If you aren’t as active or an athlete then the light version will do just fine!
Regardless of which one you take it won’t make you bulky! This is geared towards people that fear that having protein will make you look “too bulky”.
Fact: Your body NEEDS protein to burn fat and cannot digest more than 30 grams in 1 sitting. This is why having the right amount of protein is crucial for your health and fitness goals.
When Do I Take Core Power?
The beauty about Core Power protein is that you can take it anytime! Ideally you will want to take it post workout especially after a run since it’s loaded with potassium. However you can use it as a meal replacement and/or snack to keep you full throughout the day.
Bottom Line: You should have Core Power as part of your daily healthy lifestyle and I proudly put my good name behind!