Saturday, March 17, 2012

SXSW Plant Strong Potluck

Last year I was so exhausted from SXSW by the time I had to return to work, so this year I decided to lay low.  However, I did make on exception and that was attending the Plant Strong Potluck hosted by Rip Esselstyn, author of the Engine 2 Diet (

The assortment and variety of plant based foods was amazing, the music was great and all the people that I met were so cool.  Rip's backyard was packed with over 150 people, including kids and dogs!  I found out that even the dogs are on a plant based diet.
Robert Cheeke and I flexing our plant based muscles.

After the music and food, people got a chance to share their stories about how following a plant based diet has led to improvements in their health.  Authors, John Joseph (Meat is for Pussies), Lindsay Nixon (Happy Herbivore) and Robert Cheeke (Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness) shared their stories as well.  It was so motivational to hear about the positive changes in peoples lives and health due to following a plant based diet.

Later Rip called Robert and myself up on stage at the end to show off our plant based muscles.  It was a blast!
Rip Esselstyn, John Joseph, Lindsay Nixon, Me and Robert Cheeke

I had a great time and I'm looking forward to the next potluck and getting to make more plant based friends.

Below are some links to more information on the benefits of following a plant based diet:
1. Forks Over Knives
2. Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
3. The China Study
4. Vegan Bodybuilding
5. Engine 2 Diet
6. Meat is for Pussies
7. Happy Herbivore

Monday, January 16, 2012

Add Intensity to Your Training With the Hyper Vest Pro

The Hyper Vest Pro by Hyper Wear is a weighted vest that comes pre loaded with 10lbs, but additional weight can be added to the vest.  The Hyper Vest can be worn during almost any type of training to add an additional challenge.

I had been wanting to get a Hyper Vest for a while, so when Hyper Wear had a 20% sale before the end of the year, I decided that it was the perfect time.  Although, I wasn't sure which size would be right for me.  Luckily, Hyper Wear is based out of Austin, TX and has an office and warehouse where you can try out their equipment before buying.  I love shopping online, but sometimes I just need to see it in person and kick the tires a bit.

Hyper Vest Pro weighted vest from Hyper Wear
Every time I have gone, the staff over at Hyper Wear have always been very helpful.  Chris had a few vests for me to try on when I got there.  I tried on the XL first and took it for a test spin outside in the parking lot.  After doing a few burpees and jumping jacks I decided to try on the Large, because the XL seemed to move around just a little too much.  Plus the XL was longer and went down lower on my waist.  The Large was snug and stayed in place better without being too tight.

I decided to test drive the vest doing a body weight workout at my gym focusing on chest, shoulder and triceps.

1. Decline push ups using physio ball 3x20
2. Diamond push ups 3x15
3. Med ball push ups 3x10 per side
4. Pike press (feet on bench) 4x10
5. Crawl up push ups 3x10
6. Dips 3x15

The Hyper Vest Pro definitely adds another dimension to the workout.  It kept snug to my body almost like a second skin.  However, after about 45 min of wearing it I did notice that it was rubbing a little where my traps meet the side of my neck.  It is hard to tell from my pic, but the neck hole of the Hyper Vest is cut more like a V neck.  It's nothing major and it won't keep me from wearing it during my future training.  The XL may have given me more room in the neck, but I prefer a snugger fit with the Large.

Overall, I really like the Hyper Vest Pro and would highly recommend it.  It fits close to the body and has adjustable straps for a custom fit.  The pre-loaded 10lbs is just enough to add more of a challenge to any workout including running, weight training, martial arts or any sport specific training.  I'm looking forward to incorporating the Hyper Vest Pro into more of my workouts.  I can see lots of possibilities using it with my TRX suspension trainer.