About 3 months ago I was in the process of switching Boxes (or rather looking for a new one, as I had no idea at the time where I would ‘switch to’), and was checking out a couple different gyms in Vancouver. I dropped in for a workout at Crossfit 604 (which has a wicked competitor program/program in general) and part-way through the strength portion Rowan (who is now my boss), introduced himself to me, asked if I was interested in working for his company and said “lets talk after class”. When the class finished Rowan told me he liked my blog, was looking for someone who was passionate about Crossfit and needed someone to take on a part-time position with his Company (Blonyx),
I walked out of 604 that day feeling like I’d somehow tripped and managed to land myself in the coolest position ever
“I get to read, write and talk to people (more than I already do) about Crossfit for work!?”
That feeling of “holy shit is this real?” went through the roof the following week when Rowan mentioned that he would need help down at the Games and had an extra gold ticket (I hadn’t been able to get one this year bought a ticket and had accepted that this year). And to top it all off, working for Blonyx meant I had access to their supplements (HMB or HMB+Creatine), which I hadn’t even considered trying until then because I knew I couldn’t afford to (joys of being fresh out of university and on a tight budget).
3 Months later, I think its time to do a little ‘review’ of what I like to call my “Mix of Hulkishly Beastly Strength” and take a look some numbers
I started off the first month with the HMBSport (no creatine) because, I was a little hesitant about taking Creatine
“….but what if I gain weight/get super bulky?”
Which I hate to admit even crossed my mind because as a coach and a trainer I’m always telling my female clients and athletes that they shouldn’t worry about the number on the scale or getting ‘bulky’ because
- 1) The scale can’t measure lean muscle mass vs fat, account for bone density/skeletal structure or determine hydration levels
- 2) Getting Bulky as a female is pretty difficult and
- 3) Who cares, if you look and feel great why should the size or number matter.
And yet here I was worrying about the exact same things I told my clients they didn’t need to worry about (oops)
But a month I ‘manned up’ (womanned up?) told that inner voice to stuff it and switched over the the HMB+Creatine.
What I’ve Noticed Since I started Taking Blonyx
** First of all I want to clarify two thing
- I work for Blonyx, so my opinion is pretty much guaranteed to be a bit biased. If I didn’t like them I wouldn’t have agreed to/continued to work for them and
- This is by no means a ‘controlled’/scientific study. Humans make horrible ‘lab rats’ because we’re hard to predict/control, don’t do as we’re told and there are way too many variables for us to be ‘accurate test subjects. Around the same time that I started to take Blonyx I also switched up my training and I can’t say for certain how much of my improvement is due to the HMB+Creatine and how much is because I changed my training.
Ok, now that I’ve got that out of the way and ‘covered my ass’ so to speak, lets get into the fun part….results and numbers!
Recovery (aka the ‘I feel like I’ve been hit By a bus’ problem)
This was the first thing I noticed, before I started to see any real strength gains, the fact that I could hit a hard WOD (or two) and come back the next day not feeling wrecked.
About 2 weeks after I started with the HMBSport I did my first ever ‘buttefly Fran’ and managed to take almost a minute and a half off my Fran time (from 5:27 to 4:02); but then found out that some of my pullups may not have been high enough. (I was not impressed)
“$%*@! Really?! Now I have to redo it, otherwise it doesn’t count”
And I did, the next day, this time with my sister standing there to watch every single rep and make sure I was over that bar.
20 seconds slower than the day before, but I was happy because
- it was still a PR from my previous time
- I knew all my pull-ups had been over the bar AND
- in addition to having done Fran the day before I had also retested my 1rm Backsquat and hit 230 (which was a PR)
and although the ‘smart’ thing to do would have been to rest a few days THEN retest, I still managed to get a pretty good time (for me) and wasn’t sore the day after.
Cardio & Metcon
I’ll be honest here, at my last competition (the Crossfit Squamish Fall Challenge) my met-con was definitely worse than it was at the end beginning of the summer BUT all summer because I was focusing on my strength and pretty much neglected my cardio 90% of the time. I wasn’t happy with how I did at Squamish, but I wasn’t too surprised and since then I’ve started hitting my met-cons more regularly in preparation for my next competition the Taranis Titan Challenge.
When I first started taking HMB+Creatine my average weight went up maybe 3-5lbs (I tend to fluctuate a fair bit though so its hard to say), but since then I’ve stayed pretty much the same and my lifts have gone through the roof. I’ve definitely have noticed changes in how my body looks/feels and how my clothes fit (…or don’t in some cases), but considering how much lifting I’ve been doing (and taking creatine) I’m almost surprised I didn’t ‘Bulk Up’ more. I guess I should have listened to my own advice and not worried about it ;).
This is the part I’ve been super excited to write about, but figured I should leave it till the end, so here goes.
Since the beginning of the summer I have noticed a HUGE increase in my strength across the board in particular the less technical lifts
e.g. backsquat, frontsquat, presses
My Olympic Lifts have definitely gotten better as well, however, in general the limiting factor for my snatch and clean and jerk is not my strength its my technique and my inability to reach full extension/use my hips properly.
But to give an idea of the type of improvements I’ve seen over the past 3 months here are some videos of my previous and current ‘best lifts’
1RM Backsquat @ 230lbs – July 23, 2013
2 x 2 Backsquats @ 230lbs – Oct 22nd, 2013
1RM Jerk @ 175 – July 30, 2013
1RM Jerk @ 190 – Sept 20, 2013
Like I said, this is not a scientific study on whether or not Blonyx Really works, it is simply my personal experience with using it. And personally, I love it. I call it my ‘mix of hulkishly beastly strength’ for a reason (it turns me green…duh 😉 ),because I still can’t get over how much my strength has gone up in the past 3 months. And yes, part of me was scared that I would ‘get huge’ but that didn’t happen and I’m a lot more proud of my accomplishments and having
- a good jerk or
- a decent squat
than I am choked about not longer being able to fit into my favourite winter coat (though I was pretty fond of it, not gonna lie). The real only downsides are
- The cost – its expensive, and if I hadn’t started working for Blonyx I probably wouldn’t have started to take it BUT at the same time I easily spend that much if not more on coffee every month and it definitely is helping me improve more than coffee would (though coffee does make the early mornings bearable) and
- The taste – it doesn’t taste very good (no added sugar = less tasty supplement), but I’d rather that than something pumped full of sugar and/or fake sugar. Also, knowing what straight HMB+ creating tastes like (icky) I kind of wonder what has to be added (and how much) in order to over that.
…Annndd, I get to amuse myself by drawing on the lids
and making pyramids
and that in itself makes it all worth it ;). Kidding, but joking aside I do think its an awesome product and I love the results I’ve seen so far.