Archives For Product Reviews

I’ve already finished my 25lbs bag of protein from CanadaProtein, and I’m nearly finished the 10lbs bag of Optimum Nutrition.

So I decided to open up the 10lbs box Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate I had sitting around and making my living and dining room smell delicious for a few months.

The flavor is “Gourmet Vanilla”, and unlike the other proteins I have purchased in the past, it comes packaged in a box, rather than a food grade bag or plastic container. This seems to make sense from a merchant’s perspective: it would be easier to store and stack boxes on top and beside each other compared to bags or tubs of protein.

Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate

Upon opening the box, I saw that the protein was inside a huge Dymatize branded zip lock bag.

Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate

I felt some powder on the outside of the bag before opening it. I’m not sure if there was a hole in the bag or the powder was a result of the package process.

Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate

The bag felt thinner than I’m used to, and the zip lock seemed a little flimsy compared to the bag from Optimum Nutrition, and other food grade bags that I’ve come across in the past. Even the sandwich zip lock bags feels more secure.

Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate

When I opened the bag, the aroma of artificial vanilla rushed into my nose. It smelled great!

Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate

Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate

Unfortunately, the scoop was not at the top (does this even happen in real life??), so I used my old scoop from another batch of protein to dig around. The Dymatize scoop wasn’t hard to find since it was just below the surface.

When I pulled out the scoop, this is what I found:

Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate

Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate

Nice looking scoop!

This scoop is branded, and there are 2 sets of measurements on the side. This would make it easy to get the exact quantity of the powder if you’re into exact measurements.

It’s also narrower at the bottom. I’m not sure what function this serves however.


Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate

Even though the brand name is “Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate”, it’s actually a mix of whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. Unfortunately it doesn’t list the exact quantities of each, but since whey protein isolate is listed first, I’m assuming that there’s a higher ratio of WPI to WPC.

There’s also a proprietary enzyme blend to help with digestion. I’m not sure if this really works, but I haven’t experienced any sort of bloat or gas from this product.

The sweetener used is acesulfame potassium. I don’t believe I have ever tried this sweetener before.


I mix whey protein in my morning coffee.

I also mix 2 scoops of protein with water and drink that throughout my workout.

Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate mixes great at first, but it leaves some residue at the bottom of my mug (shown below) and shaker cup. I’m not sure what this residue is, but I haven’t seen it with the other protein powders that I’ve tried.



blechFrom the moment this entered my mouth, all I could think of was, “DAMMIT I have 10lbs of this stuff to ingest!”

It tasted horrible. Probably the worst tasting powder that I have put in my mouth since the vanilla flavored “Mega Mass 2000” I took back when I was a bone rack in the 90’s.

This protein also leaves a bad aftertaste in my mouth. It might because of the acesulfame potassium. Apparently, this sweetener leaves a bitter aftertaste if your mouth. I’m not sure if I would describe it as bitter. It’s more like YUCK.


I got this during a free shipping promotion from, so all I had to pay was $86.99. Normally I would have to pay for shipping and additional charges, so this was a good deal.

It worked out to be $8.70 per pound of protein, which is a little bit more than the 25lbs bag I got from earlier this year.



  • Scoop has measurements
  • Mixes well
  • Smells delicious
  • Cheaper than Optimum Nutrition


  • Leaves a yucky aftertaste in my mouth
  • Leaves some residue at the bottom of my mug/shaker container

I’m going to have to ingest 10lbs of this stuff. Guess I’ll man up and down this protein 1 day at a time.

And here’s the thing about whey protein reviews. I can’t verify the contents of the package, so I can really judge on a matter of taste, mix ability and other things that I can observe.

Personally I don’t like the taste, but taste is really subjective. Read what other people have to say about Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Isolate.

It does have an overall rating of 8.7 on, and I just noticed that most of the reviews are about the flavor Rich Chocolate.

Dammit I should have looked at this more closely before buying.

A thick, strong, muscular neck is like a mane made of muscle.

A big neck looks intimidating, at least to me.  If I see someone with a thick neck, automatically I think they’re involved in some sort of hard training…and that they’re probably strong.

Often the only muscle group that are visible when wearing everyday clothing is the neck. So why is it that most people seemed to be more concerned with their six pack abs, which are covered up by clothing (in public) most of the time, than their neck muscles which are usually visible?

These days, I don’t train for aesthetic reasons (that is, I don’t train for looks) with the exception of one body part: the neck.

Big muscles with a pencil neck just looks plain weird. Almost as weird as someone with a huge upper body and tiny legs. In my opinion, a pencil neck is just as bad as chicken legs.

Take a look at former NFL football player and former professional wrestler Bill Goldberg. On the left is how he normally looks. On the right, with the help of my horrendous photo editing skills, is how he would look if his neck were a little thinner:


Here's another example:

Which one looks more alpha to you?

This big-muscles-small-neck looks like a skinny person wearing a muscle suit.



From a functional standpoint, a strong neck has many benefits especially if you’re into martial arts such as boxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, wrestling, MMA, or contact sports like football or rugby. I used to do a bit of Muay Thai training, and regular neck training really helped when it came to clinching.

I haven’t experienced this myself, but apparently a strong neck will prevent injuries or concussions from blows to the head.

Unfortunately, the neck is a neglected body part by most people. Even for those who exercise for aesthetic reasons (bodybuilders), it’s not uncommon to see those who have huge, bulging muscles and a pencil neck, despite performing indirect neck work such as shrugs, rows and deadlifts.

So what’s the solution?

Direct neck training with a neck harness.

I’ve searched the internet for the best neck harness on the market. I wanted something durable so that it would last me many years. I also wanted something that was lightweight. I was living in Bangkok, Thailand at the time, walked to my gym in 35+ degree weather and did not want to be weighed down by heavy chains and leather.

I eventually came across a neck harness that was fit for demigods and created by the people who make equipment for the world’s strongest men:

The Ironmind Headstrap Fit for Hercules neck harness!



The Headstrap Fit For Hercules neck harness is light weight, and made by Ironmind, who makes lifting accessories and equipment for the folks at the World’s Strongest Man events.

Unlike most neck harnesses which are constructed of leather, this one is made from some sort of super strong proprietary materials. I emailed them to ask what the headstrap was made of, but they wouldn’t tell me! But apparently this material is able to hold 1 ton (that’s 2000lbs, or 907.185kg). I’m assuming it’s similar to their lifting straps which are made of nylon.

Here’s a close up look at the strap:


It also does not have a chain attached to the harness.

These lightweight, but super strong materials made it easy for me to carry around in my bag.

According to Ironmind’s website, this harness should fit heads with a 20-26” circumference. My head circumference is about 24” and it fits me just fine.

The headstrap is adjustable through the use of an adjustable buckle. It is secured by double passing the strap through this buckle.


The top portion of the harness (the section that goes over your head) is very comfortable. It has some thin, blue padding along the inside of the headstrap, as shown below:



The ends of the straps are cut at an angle. There’s also a plastic coating that lines the edge of the strap, making it easy to weave the strap through the buckle. I’m also assuming it’s there to prevent any sort of fraying of the strap over time.


I don’t know much about stitching or threads, but the stitching on this harness looks very strong.



A unique feature on the Headstrap for Hercules neck harness that I haven't seen on other neck harnesses is the blue aluminum plate.



According to the manual:

Simply thread the red webbing through the round hole on the right side of the frame, stand up and lever your head toward the left shoulder (working the muscles on the leftside of your neck). To work the muscles on the right side of your neck, thread the red webbing through the round hole on the left side of the frame and lever your head toward your right shoulder.

I’ve found leaving the red strap in the center slot and rotating the headstrap so that the adjustable opening is facing the side works fine. This allows me to train the sides of my neck without having to adjust the red webbing every time.

How I Use The Ironmind Neck Harness

I’m going to explain to you how I use the Ironmind neck harness. There are 2 ways that I’ve used this neck harness:

  1. Attaching Olympic plates, and
  2. Connecting the harness to some cable machine.

Before getting into this, I’d like to touch on the manual that comes with the neck harness.

In the instructions, it says:

For maximum comfort when training the front or back of your neck, we recommend that the label on the headstrap be on the same side as the muscles you are training (i.e., keep the label side of the headstrap on the back of your head when you are training the back of your neck, and reverse it for the front of your neck), but some people don’t notice any difference. Another way to view this recommendation is to position the adjustable opening on your headstrap on the same side of your head as the weights.

Personally I found it more comfortable and effective doing the opposite: that is to position the adjustable opening of the headstrap on the same side as the muscles I’m training (rather than the label side).


Wearing A Beanie Cap

I prefer to wear a beanie cap (or toque) when using a neck harness. It’s a little bit more comfortable than using the neck harness by itself. Also, the sweat from my head will be absorbed by the hat, and not the harness, meaning the harness will remain cleaner and odor free a lot longer, and I don’t have to wash the harness as often (actually, I don’t recall ever washing this harness Sick smile)


You can get cheap beanie caps at the dollar store around the fall and winter time. I’ve found that the tighter the hat, the better it is to use with the neck harness because it moves around a lot less compared to a loose cap.

Exercise While Standing

I also want to point out that I do all my neck exercises standing.

You’re using more muscles standing compared to sitting, and it’s more functional that way (at least in terms of clinching in martial arts).

Also, I’ve seen pictures and videos of people sitting and doing neck extensions, and it looks funny to me. It’s like they’re performing self fellatio or something.

Anyways, that being said, here’s how I use the Headstrap Fit For Hercules with plates, and cable machines!


Normally, you would undo the buckle of the red strap, weave the strap through the holes of the Olympic plate(s), and re-buckle the strap to secure the weight.

I have found this time consuming, having to undo, weave, and redo the buckle every time I changed the load. Another problem with doing this over and over again is that the plastic edge at the end of the red webbing will start to wear out:


The first thing I tried to make loading and unloading weights easier was looping the red strap into the holes of the Olympic plates (without unbuckling the buckle), and attaching 2 carabiners at the end of the red strap to prevent the plates from falling off.

It looks like this:

The problem with this is that the carabiner will wear out from rubbing against the metal plates.

The best solution I’ve figured out is to add a chain and carabiner.


Using a chain along with a carabiner makes adding and removing plates faster and easier. The length of the chain I am using is 30”, or 76.2cm. This allows me to weave the chain through multiple Olympic plates.

If you decide to go with chain and carabiner route, make sure you go with the ones that are designed for mountain climbers and able to hold thousands of pounds of force (it should have a kN rating), rather than a flimsy one with no specifications that you might get for free with a water bottle.

Now I can simply weave the chain in the holes of the Olympic plates, and secure it to the strap with a super strong carabiner. It’s quick and easy.

Some notes on using plates with the Ironmind neck harness:

Neck Extension

For this variation, I make sure the length of the red webbing along with the chains is long enough so that the Olympic plate does not ram up into my testicles while performing standing neck extensions with this harness.

Neck Flexion

I lay the plates on a bench first, sit down on the plates, place the headstrap over my head and then stand up.

Performing standing neck flexion with the Ironmind neck harness will make the black straps on either side rub against your shirt. Baby powder could be applied to make it glide easier, but I have not tried this myself. Because of the rubbing of the strap, it’s a good idea not to wear your favorite shirt with some design on the back, because it may rub off.

Neck Lateral Flexion

While doing this, the blue aluminum plate will glide up and down the side of your shoulder. I’ve found that I need to wear a t-shirt while doing this exercise. The aluminum plate tends to “stick” to sweaty skin, so I do not do any neck training topless or with a tank top.

I’ve also experienced with heavier weights during neck lateral flexion, is that it turns into an isometric exercise for my neck, and most of the flexion is coming at the waist. It’s almost like a side crunch.


I used to do neck training on one of these Freemotion functional cable machines:


They were great because I could adjust the height of the pulley (I set it low for neck extensions, and at around chin level for both neck flexion and lateral flexion), and the weight stack made it quick and easy to change the weight.

The other option is to use a low pulley.


I purchased the lat pull down attachment for my Amstaff power rack specifically for neck training.

It’s plate loaded, and a whole lot easier than attaching plates to the harness directly. However it’s not as convenient as a cable machine with a weight stack and pin-selectorized weights.

Compared to plates, I find that the tension on my neck using cables is continuous, and it felt harder to do at the same weight (at least on the pulley attached to my rack) compared to hanging plates off the harness alone.

Here’s a video of me demonstrating how I use the neck harness along with the low pulley:

Again, I find that at heavier weights, lateral neck flexion becomes more of an isometric exercise for the sides of my neck, and the movement is more of a side crunch with cables.



  • Comfortable
  • Light weight
  • No chains (unless you attach your own)
  • Super durable
  • Cures pencil necks


  • The adjustable buckle will gradually become loose, so you’ll need to re-tighten the neck harness from time to time.
  • Most expensive neck harness on the market. But you get what you pay for.
  • You may find that the top button on collared shirts will be difficult, if not impossible to button up.

In closing, whether you’re a martial artist, football player, training for strength or looks, you should be exercising your neck.

Don’t take my word for it; check out what other people have to say about the Ironmind Headstrap Fit For Hercules neck harness.

If you have any questions about the Ironmind “Headstrap Fit For Hercules” neck harness or neck training, just enter it in the comment box below.

Black Rumble Roller Review

September 6, 2012 — 6 Comments

Prior to using the black Rumble Roller, I've never done any foam rolling before.

I remember when I first read about foam rolling and saw pictures and videos of people laying on the floor and rubbing various parts of their body on a large blue (and sometimes black) cylinder, it looked a bit weird to me…almost disturbing.

Foam rolling looked like something that should be done alone, in private.

But after a little more research into this "self myofascial release", and being sick and tired of being tight and stiff from weight training on a regular basis, I decided to give foam rolling a shot.

I wanted the best foam roller on the market, and my internet research had lead me to the Grid, and the Rumble Roller.

Ultimately I decided on the Rumble Roller simply because those ‘spikes’ look pretty damn cool, and intuitively it seemed as though it would work better.

There are 2 types of Rumble Rollers, and 2 different sizes.


Blue Vs. Black Rumble Roller

There’s the softer, blue Rumble Roller, and the stiffer and harder black Rumble Roller. I’ve read it was recommended to people who do not have any experience foam rolling use the softer blue one.

I don’t have any foam rolling experience at all (besides pressing my back against my B&R bar...which is not exactly “foam”) but I decided against the blue roller because I knew that in time, my pain tolerance would increase and eventually I would need to upgrade. If I went with the black Rumble Roller right from the start, then I would not need to upgrade to anything (I’m not even sure if there’s anything else better on the market).

Also I heard once you go black you never go back. So I decided on the stiff black one first instead of the softer blue roller even though I didn’t have any foam rolling experience, because I figure I'll end up upgrading to the firm one anyways.

Compact Vs. Full Sized Rumble Roller

Next was the decision to go with the smaller, cheaper travel sized Rumble Roller, or the full sized version.

At first I was leaning towards the travel roller, thinking it would be more convenient to carry around.

But then I realized that I would be using this thing mostly at home.

Also, I'm guessing you can't do as many foam rolling exercises compared to the larger one.

So I went ahead and ordered my first foam roller - the full sized black Rumble Roller.

First Impressions

When it finally arrived at my door and I took it out of the box, first thing that hit me was that it smells like Crocs shoes, and it looked like some sort of modern day torture device.





The Rumble Roller looks pretty damn cool, especially when compared with other foam rollers on the market.

This thing looks like a giant penis sleeve a miniature Sheepsfoot roller, like the one shown below:


…or one of those handheld massager or wooden foot massage that I see all the time in Chinatown:


The bumps on the Rumble Roller is supposed to mimic the thumbs of a massage therapist.

Here’s what the official website have to say about these bumps:

As you roll over the top of the RumbleRoller, the bumps continuously knead the contours of your body, gently stretching soft tissue (muscle and fascia) in multiple directions. This action erodes trigger points, helps restore flexibility, and brings quick relief to common types of muscular pain. By design, the RumbleRoller's bumps are firmer than muscle tissue, but much softer than bone, so they deflect out of the way if they contact your spine or other bony protrusions.

Even though the Rumble Roller has a ton of bumps, to be honest, I can’t really feel them. For me, it’s hard to feel each individual bump when there are multiple bumps digging into my body.


I've read that some people are bothered by the smell of the Rumble Roller.

There is a distinct smell to it. But it does not smell like rubber as some people would describe. (The flooring in my home gym are made of rubber, and they have a car tire smell).

For me, it reminds me of Crocs shoes, which has a distinct, artificial plastic/rubbery smell. If I close my eyes and take a whiff of the Rumble Roller, it feels like I’m inside a Croc store, or some other shoe store that sells a lot of Croc knock-offs.


If you don’t mind the smell of Crocs, which smells pleasant to me, then you probably won’t be bothered by the Rumble Roller. It will take a few days for the smell to dissipate, so eventually the odor will go away.

At this point, I don’t even smell it anymore.

Instructional Manual


The instructional manual shows some basic exercises...which is great for me since I’ve never used a foam roller prior to this one.


The black Rumble Roller will take some time to get used to.

At first, rolling on the black Rumble Roller was torture! I have never used a foam roller before, and I was essentially jumping into the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim.

After the first session, I needed to take a day off from foam rolling, simply because my body felt tender.

Over time, I’ve built up pain tolerance to the point where it’s quite comfortable rolling on the Rumble Roller.

Short term pain for long term gain, and developing pain tolerance takes a bit of time and patience.

If you bruise easily, it might be better to use the blue Rumble Roller, because the black one is quite stiff. Apparently it’s 36% softer than the black version.

It’s painful when rolling on the Rumble Roller, but I feel great after. It's as if all this pain is causing my body to release endorphins. I'm not sure if this is the case, but it sure feels good.

Recently I’ve tried rolling on a regular foam roller, and it felt like a soft fluffy pillow compared to the Rumble Roller.

I guess they were right: once you go black you’ll never go back.

How I Use The Foam Roller

These days, I use the Rumble Roller as:

1) A warm up

2) Massage on off days

The act of being on the floor and moving my body over the roller through various positions gets my heart rate up, and I work up a bit of a sweat.

I find that my mobility is increased after rolling my back, IT band, quads, adductors and whatever muscles I’m forgetting. I can squat deeper without any aches if I do some foam rolling before touching a barbell. The Rumble Roller has now become an essential tool for my warm ups.

On my off days, I find using the Rumble Roller helps me become less stiff and walk around like a normal person rather than a slow moving zombie. It also appears to reduce DOMS, at least temporarily.

For the psoas, I find that using the Rumble Roller isn’t as effective as a lacrosse ball. Even with all the bumps, the Rumble Roller feels too blunt to really dig into the psoas muscles, which is where the lacrosse ball excels.

For the bottom of the feet, the lacrosse ball does a better job than the Rumble Roller as well.

For pinpoint accuracy on a knot, small or hard to reach muscle, use a lacrosse ball.

Otherwise, the Rumble Roller is my go-to tool for self mysofascial release.


After extended use, the bumps on the Rumble Roller has developed some wrinkles:


However, this more of an aesthetic issue because it doesn’t affect the performance of the roller. The bumps are still the same shape and haven’t flattened, and it’s still a pain in the <insert muscle group here>.

In other words, it still does the job despite the wrinkles.


At around $70, the full sized, extra firm black Rumble Roller is expensive when compared to other foam rollers.

But I subscribe to the belief that generally, you get what you pay for.

It cost less than one massage session in North America, and it’s a tool that I use 3-5 times per week that will last for a few years at least.

The way I see it, I’ll be using the Rumble Roller frequently over time, so the overall cost per use will be low.

The Rumble Roller looks durable and I bet it will last me for years.

Lastly, I don’t know if there is a better foam roller, so there is really nothing to upgrade to. This may be the last foam roller than I buy!

(I could get the smaller, portable Rumble Roller for travel purposes, but that’s about it).

And yes, you could spend a few dollars and make yourself your own homemade PVC foam roller. That’s fine, but personally I’d rather save the time and effort and spend a bit of cash for a top of the line foam roller.


I am now a believer and practitioner of foam rolling. And what better way to do it then to roll with the best foam roller on the market: The Rumble Roller.

If you’ve never foam rolled before and have a low tolerance for pain, the softer blue Rumble Roller might be suitable for you.

But if you already have foam rolling experience and/or want a hard, stiff foam roller, go with the black one.

And don’t take my word for it. Check out what Charles Stanley has to say about the Rumble Roller:

The way I see it, the ingestion of protein can be done the hard way (preparing, cooking, chewing and eating some dead animal...and then wash all the dishes after), or the easy way (scoop, mix, drink).

These days, I do a bit of both.

Why I Take Protein Now

Using whey protein powder is a convenient way to add protein to my diet, especially first thing in the morning when I’m groggy and generally not very hungry.

Also, I don’t like making “shakes” and usually use whey protein for flavoring/creamer in my coffee, and add extra protein and flavoring to the carb-mud also known as oatmeal.

Why Bulk Protein

It’s something I take everyday, so I might as well get the best bang for the buck I can find.

I assume that with brand name protein powders such as Optimum Nutrition, Gaspari Nutrition, MusclePharm and others you’ll find advertised in bodybuilding magazines is that part of the price of their products goes towards advertising costs and packaging.

I already have enough containers and I’m sure many of the models advertising these products are digitally enhanced.

So that’s why I went with a huge 25lbs BAG of whey protein from

That’s not to say I won’t be trying any proteins from brand names again. If the price is right, I’ll try it out in the future.


Shipping was free and FAST. I ordered it on Monday, May 28, 2012, shipped out the same day and it arrived at my door 2 days later, on May 30th.


This thing arrived in a box with a warning sticker attached to it.

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Opening the box I saw this:

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The 25lbs of whey protein is inside not 1, but 2 clear plastic bags. The opening of the bag is twisted and is sealed with 2 re-sealable plastic tie straps. The re-sealable plastic tie straps are a bonus because I can reuse it for something else, maybe organizing cables or sealing a bag of oats.

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Anyways, I felt the outside of the bag and discovered there were 2 plastic scoops inside.

When I took out the bag of protein from the box, it held it’s shape and looked like a cube of whey protein. It reminded me of the cubed watermelons that are sold in Japan.

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Anyways, I weighed it on my scale to verify that this is in fact 25lbs of whey protein powder. The protein along with the bags, plastic tie straps and scoops is 25.75lbs.

Good enough!

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I have some empty containers that used to hold 5lbs of whey protein from different manufacturers. Good thing I didn’t throw them out, because now I can store the whey protein in those jugs.

I used a mug to scoop the whey protein powder from the bag into each container. I filled 3x5lbs containers worth of protein, and the rest (about 10lbs worth) is still sitting in the bag, inside the box.

Nutritional Profile


Serving size is 30g

Protein per serving is 25.5g

This works out to be 85% protein per serving.

According to their website:

“Premium Whey Blend is made up of a blend of 50% cold pressed whey protein isolate, and 50% high quality whey protein concentrate”.

I like how they state the percentage of the different types of whey protein they use. Many companies have some proprietary blend of various proteins on the label, but do not show the percentage of each type. I usually assume that it’s mostly the cheaper protein taking up the bulk of their proprietary blend.

Personally I like whey protein isolate simply because it doesn’t contain any lactose. I don’t want any surprise explosions while I’m in the hole trying to hit a new 1RM.

Unlike Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey Gold Standard, it doesn’t contain the digestive enzyme “lactase”. But even with 50% whey protein concentrate, it doesn't give me any excess bloat, gas or stomach issues.

Sweetener Used’s Premium Whey Blend is sweetened with the artificial sweetener “sucralose”.


This is the best tasting protein I’ve ever tried. Note, I’ve only started using whey protein recently, and have only tried:

  1. whey protein isolate vanilla flavor
  2. whey protein isolate chocolate flavor
  3. whey protein isolate natural flavor
  4. Optimum nutrition 100% Gold Standard coffee mocha

Also, I find’s vanilla whey protein taste very sweet.

I have a bit of a sweet tooth (and no cavities!) so this added sweetness is great for me.

I normally add whey protein to my coffee. I find with this protein, I don’t need to add any additional sweetener. With the previous whey protein powders I’ve tried, I always had to add a little extra sweetener to satisfy my taste buds.


Mixes fine in coffee, leaving no clumps at all. The same goes for adding it in oatmeal.

I’ve also mixed it with only water, and the protein powder mixes just fine. It tastes pretty good too even with plain water, a bit like a watery vanilla milkshake.

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This is where bulk protein really shines.


$41.83/ 5lbs

I suspect that it’s cheap because I’m buying in bulk (duh). Also, unlike many of the whey protein supplements you see in magazines, there are no advertising costs that I know of.

It’s reasonable to believe that the higher priced brand name proteins are more expensive partially because of the advertising costs.


It’s in a bag.

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But, at 25lbs, it’s understandable. It would probably be more expensive if it were in 5 separate plastic containers. But at this point, I already have containers, and I don’t want to spend extra money on packaging.

It’s also a bit of a hassle to dump the protein from the bag into the old containers. But the cost of this (assuming that you don’t spill protein on the floor) is only time.

And heck, I buy bags of rice, so bags of protein powder is not foreign to me.

Overall’s Premium Whey Blend (vanilla flavored) is a simple, cheap, no frills whey protein powder composed of 50% whey protein isolate and 50% whey protein concentrate.

It smells delicious, very sweet (compared to the other proteins I’ve tried) and it tastes great with coffee, oatmeal or even plain water.

I’ll probably try cookies-and-cream or chocolate and peanut butter next time. But 25lbs will last me a few months, so it’ll be a while before I order my next batch of whey protein again.

Great size. Look thick. Solid. Tight.

These are first words that entered my mind when I took the Inzer Forever 13mm lever belt out of the box.

Actually, I intended to order a single prong belt, but I’m glad I made the mistake of purchasing the lever belt because the lever buckle is so convenient. It’s super easy to tighten and loosen the belt in between sets.


This belt is measured on a metric & Imperial scale. It’s 13mm thick, which is a little over half an inch. It’s also described as 4” wide from top to bottom, which interestingly enough is an Imperial system of measurement.

Why do they use the metric system for thickness, and then use the Imperial system for width??? I have no idea. It’s confusing!


Why I Needed A New Belt

Before I decided on the Inzer Forever 13mm belt, I was using the Schiek Power Leather Contour Belt (Model L2004). But I’ve read that the maximum width for a belt in powerlifting competitions is 4”, and the Schiek belt is 4-3/4" wide at the back. This prompted me to upgrade my belt to something that would conform to the rules of powerlifting.

Just to let you know, I’m the type of person who likes to buy quality items that will last me forever. Whatever it is, it may be more expensive upfront, but if it’s well constructed, it will end up being cheaper in the long run.

Coincidentally, the Inzer Forever 13mm lever belt is appropriately named for the types of products I like to buy - stuff that lasts Forever!

Here’s a couple of pictures below comparing the Inzer Forever 13mm belt to the Schiek L2004 belt. Notice the difference in the thickness:

Inzer-Schiek-Belt-Comparison (2)

Inzer-Schiek-Belt-Comparison (1)

Ordering An Inzer Belt In Canada

Although I could have ordered the belt through the official Inzer website, I decided not to because I have read on a few forums that ordering from the official Inzer website resulted in the common-but-ridiculous UPS brokerage fees for Canadians.

I’ve also read some horror stories about people ordering from the official Inzer website, and not receiving their products for several weeks.

I wanted to avoid any brokerage fees and excessive delays, so through a Google search I found the website, who are a distributor of Inzer products in Canada. They were quick to communicate via email, and shipping was fast too (I ordered on Sunday February 26, 2012 and it arrived 6 business days later on Monday March 5, 2012).

The belt was $100, and taxes/shipping was $19.97.

Total: $119.97


Inzer-Forever-13mm-Belt (1)

When I opened the box, there was a super thick, super hard leather belt. This thing was really stiff and felt like a 2x4 when I first took it out!

The total length of this belt is 36”, or 3 feet. There are 12 notches which are spaced about 1” apart.

Inzer-Forever-13mm-Belt (12)

Enclosed in a sealed plastic bag were the metal lever buckle, a metal plate with 2 holes in it, and a couple of screws.

Inzer-Forever-13mm-Belt (2)

Inzer-Forever-13mm-Belt (7)

There wasn’t any instructions in the box, but attaching the lever buckle to the belt itself was simple and intuitive.

Inzer-Forever-13mm-Belt (9)

Inzer-Forever-13mm-Belt (10)


Inzer-Forever-13mm-Belt (6)

I wanted to get a 10mm belt, but only sold the 13mm version.

I’ve read that 13mm is suited for very large lifters, but I’ve also read a few forum posts of people who are similar to my size who have no problems with a 13mm thick belt.

With this in mind, I went ahead and ordered the 13mm belt.


My waist is about 36-37”, and going by the Inzer website, that would put me in a large (34-38”). For some reason, I ordered a medium (30-33”)! I do not know why, but luckily for me the belt fits me fine as long as I use the last 2 holes on the belt.

Also, I can re-position the lever buckle on the belt to make it fit someone with a smaller waist.

Lever Buckle

Here’s a video of how the lever belt works:

As you can see, it’s super easy and super fast to tighten and loosen the belt.

Much easier than with a single or double prong belt.


By far my favorite part of the Inzer Forever belt is the lever buckle.

Tightening the belt before a set and loosening it in between sets is really easy and takes no effort at all.

Inzer-Lever-Buckle (1)Inzer-Lever-Buckle (2)Inzer-Lever-Buckle (4)Inzer-Lever-Buckle (5)

Compared to a single or double prong belt, it can sometimes be a struggle to tighten the belt down to the right hole. What I used to do with my Schiek belt is suck in my gut and use brute force to pull the belt until it was tight enough for my liking.

Inserting the prongs into the holes of the belt sometimes took a few tries. Often times it would seem tight enough, but then I would inhale and the belt would loosen, forcing me to re-tighten the belt again. This Schiek belt is double pronged, so I would need to make sure I get both prongs in the holes, which added an extra bit of pain-in-the-ass-ness to the whole process.

After sucking in my gut, holding my breath while using my arm power to tighten the belt, and coordinating the double prongs into the double holes, I had to take a short break before my set simply because I felt a little winded from putting on my weightlifting belt!

I’m not sure how long this whole process took me on average, but multiplied by the number of sets I use a belt, and the number of times I workout in my lifetime, it would add up to a lot of wasted time and effort.

But with the lever buckle, I can tighten and loosen the Inzer Forever belt with my pinky in about 1 second.

No problem.

Resizing The Belt

The great thing about the lever buckle is that I can unscrew it, reposition it on another pair of holes on the belt for another person.

This process takes about 2 minutes more or less. All you need to do is unscrew the 2 holes from the back of the belt that is attaching the metal lever to the leather belt, reposition to the desired location, and screw it back in.

Is 13mm Too Thick?

Short answer: No.

Inzer-Forever-13mm-Belt (5)

At first, I was concerned that a 13mm belt would be too thick for my size and the weight I was using. 10mm seems to be the norm for most people, but from what I read, it doesn’t appear that those who purchased the 10mm Forever belt have tried a 13mm.

After using this belt for about a month, I can say that the 13mm thickness works fine.

So if it works fine for me (5’4” ~200lbs) it should be fine for most people.

Breaking In The Belt

Inzer-Forever-13mm-Belt (4)

I thought I had to break in the belt, but apparently this applies to non-lever belts.

In actuality, the belt did not need to be broken it. It was ME that needed to be broken in!

At first, wearing this super thick, super stiff belt was very uncomfortable. But after wearing it on and off around the house for a few days, and re-adjusting the tightness of the belt a few times (I had it too tight at first) I got used to it.

During sets of deep squats, I still get bruises on my hip bone (Illiac crest area). But I do not notice this until AFTER the set. During the set, I’m focused on getting the weight up and not being pinned while squatting.


It took a few workouts to get used to this belt.

At first, I had it on too tight, and I felt light headed just walking around! I had to unscrew the lever buckle and reattach it to the last 2 notches on the belt, and it was a perfect fit.

When I first started wearing the Inzer Forever lever belt, I had the belt positioned too high around my waist. This caused my stomach fat below the belt to gradually compress as I descended into the squat.

This was VERY painful.

All I needed to do was push the belt down so that the bottom of the belt was just above my Illiac crest. I no longer have that uncomfortable and painful feeling of pinched stomach fat while I squat, but I do have bruises on my hips and red marks on the sides of my waist after a workout.

My core feels tight during all my lifts (squat, deadlift, overhead presses etc). There is no give with this belt even if I try forcing my body to lean forward, unlike my older Schiek belt.

If I’m pressing and taking the bar out of the rack, I’ll wear the Inzer belt.

However, I’ll wear my old Schiek belt if I’m power cleaning (or power reverse curling) the bar before pressing it overhead. The reason why is because I’m paranoid of smashing the bar into the lever buckle and breaking it while I lower the barbell from my shoulders. It’s unlikely to happen, but that possibility is completely eliminated if I wear another belt.

Also by wearing my old belt instead of the new Inzer belt, I’m making use of it rather than let it collect dust in the corner of my home gym.

Here’s the Inzer Forever belt in recent action:



I am concerned about the lever buckle eventually breaking. I’ve been told the lever buckle eventually will break, and have seen pictures online of broken buckles.

Apparently Inzer does have a guarantee on their products:

“If your buckle breaks you can get a replacement lever from them for the cost of shipping.”

However, this can be a hassle and I’m not sure how much shipping would be for the replacement lever to Canada.

They do sell replacement buckles at around $25.

But even though there’s a chance of the lever buckle breaking in the future, the time saved and convenience of quick and easy tightening and loosening of the belt is worth the potential expense of a replacement buckle.


Lever buckle makes tightening the belt quick and easy before a set. It also allows me to loosen the belt after a set.

13mm is fine for me, and I’m not very big.

If you want to upgrade your existing belt like I did, or buy your first belt, the Inzer Forever lever belt will probably be your last.