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sjpeplow1

sjpeplow1
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Member since: 05.07.2013

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    • More +
      28.07.2014 20:46
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      • "Mixes Well"
      • "Tastes Good"

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      • Expensive

      USN is smooth and tasty but are you making the most out of your money?

      USN is a popular brand in the world of supplements. There are 3 main types of whey protein: concentrate, isolate and hydrolised. These three become purer with higher protein counts and so more expensive respectively. 100% Whey is usually a mixture of concentrate and isolate in the world of supplements and USN's is no different. The protein comes in a number of flavours such as chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. This review is of the strawberry variety.

      Taste

      Whey isolates generally are not as sweet as concentrates however the higher percentage of concentrate within this protein allows the sweetness of the strawberry to come out yet not be overpowering. I find that sometimes the priority should be function over taste, however its always nice to have a decent tasting shake.

      Mixing

      This powder from USN is very fine and so far has mixed very well with 250+ ml of either water of milk. Not only does it leave no lumps or froth I have also found that it creates a decent texture when used with water as well as milk. This means it doesn't taste like a dodgy squash when used with the water, which is a bonus for those who don't want the calories from milk but want to keep the milkshake feel.

      Size/Price

      The reviewed protein is the 908g variety and provides between 26/27 servings of 34g. Prices online vary from over £35 on their own website to around £24 on other websites. Similar 100% proteins can be found for around the same £24 price online so the price isn't outrageous. However, there are cheaper websites with similar products which may be worth investing in for the cost conscious. In my opinion there are better proteins out there for the price, even in terms of choosing a complete isolate instead of 100% whey which is purer and can be found at similar prices.

      Effectiveness

      As with all proteins the effectiveness is based on other factors such as exercise and diet. Used in conjunction with both of these protein shakes such as this one from USN can provide the extra protein needed for athletes and lifters. They are a cheaper alternative to buying meats such as beef or chicken not to mention they are a lot quicker and more versatile to have on the go immediately post workout or any other time supplementing your diet is needed.

      Overall

      Don't get me wrong this is a decent product, it effective, tastes and mixes well and the solid tub, for me, is much more preferable to pouches that other companies use. My only qualm is the price, I feel you are paying higher odds for the USN branding and use of phrases such as 100% whey etc when in reality there are better proteins out there for similar prices or similar protein for lower cost. On the flip side there are worse proteins out there for similar or more money, so its quite middle of the road unless you look thoroughly at the market.

      Please also note these can often be found in sales on the USN website, recently they were 2 for £24.99! which is a great price and would make it one of the best proteins of the market at such a price!



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      27.01.2014 22:59
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      A great supplement from myprotein for any active persons diet.

      What is it and why take it?

      Dextrose is a simple carbohydrate, like glucose, which rates very highly on the GI scale of carbs. High GI fast release carbs and increase blood sugar levels as well as restoring your body's glycogen stores which are used up during exercise. Dextrose can be used in protein shakes or food during and/or after gym workouts/runs to provide your body with the fast acting nutrients it needs to work and recover. Myprotein dextrose is a simple solution to providing your body with such nutrients.


      Price?

      Dextrose is very cheap, 1kg is £3.19, 2.5kg is £7.99 and 5kg is £12.29. With 30-50g being used on workout days the bags last a fairly long time and so provide great vaue for money compared to receiving similar nutrients from food.


      Use and effectiveness?

      The effectiveness of a high GI carb is hugely overlooked as it is basically a sugar, which everyone knows to be a big no no when it comes to being healthy. But a mere 30g in a shake during and/or after working out can prove to be hugely beneficial. It provides a good energy quick energy source and doesn't leave you feeling completely knackered after the gym. I really appreciate the little boost i receive after the gym, especially if i go in the morning and have the whole day to go! It mixes really well in any shake as it is thin like sugar so doesn't go bitty in any liquid. The dextrose comes with a 50g scoop which is used to measure it out.


      Taste?

      Dextrose, as a glucose, provides a very sweet taste to whatever you add it too. This is really nice if you have a sweet tooth like me. I add it to my vanilla and raspberry and it adds a nice sweetness but in anon sickly way. Some may not like the sweetness but there is no real alternative to receive high carbs with something that is non sugar like.

      Conclusion

      A very useful supplement that is cheap and effective and often very overlooked whether cutting or bulking!

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    • Sourz - Apple / Liqueur / Cocktails / 47 Readings / 44 Ratings
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      24.07.2013 17:08
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      Not a good choice of drink!

      Purchased Apple Sourz from Asda for a very modest £12.50 for a 70cl bottle, however you can purchase it from any good supermarket for around that price. It is often in some sort of sale in many stores so there is usually an opportunity to pick it up slightly cheaper. The reason for buying was I was having a house party and it seemed a sensible route to go down buying a cheaper liqueur to drink in the night instead of the usual vodka and mixer!

      The first thing that's hits you with this drink is the smell, a very sweet sickly Apple smell, not the most appetising but not the worst smell ever. The liquid is a deep green colour, which doesn't look particularly promising when poured into a glass.You'd be right if you were worried after seeing the Sourz in a glass, as the taste is nothing short of disgusting. It's very very artificial and sweet.

      I wouldn't recommend using it in any cocktail, or for that matter any drink that'll take longer than 2 seconds to drink. It is simply so sickly it makes you feel a little ill whenever you drink it. The sugar in the drink takes its effect too and you suddenly feel very awake. It is only 15% strength but the taste mixed with the smell makes you feel queasy after not too long!

      I'm not a hangover type of person, however the Sourz gave me a monster hangover! The sugar and taste mixed with the alcohol makes for a terrible next morning with the taste of Apple in the back of your throat. There isn't much more I can add about the Sourz except really honestly do not buy it! Yes it's cheap, and sounds like a nice fun drink but in reality it isn't. Can only give this disaster 1 star unfortunately.

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        24.07.2013 12:48
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        Brillaint supplement for those serious trainers.

        *What is it? / Flavours*

        Hurricane XS is one of many protein shakes available from MyProtein. It cost around £35 for 2.5 kg which lasts around a month or just under. The shake comes in a huge variety of flavours, there is pretty much a flavour for everyone in the range. They have flavours such as:

        Chocolate smooth
        Chocolate mint
        Banana
        Strawberry Cream
        Toffee
        Raspberry
        Mocha
        Unflavoured

        I can recommend the chocolate smooth, strawberry cream and toffee. All three are very sweet especially as the shakes are larger than most but very nice none the less. The unflavoured version is certainly worth a miss, although it holds a higher protein level than the others by around 3%, it simply tastes horrendous and wheaty and is not pleasurable to drink at all.

        The shake comes with a 30g scoop, of which you are suppose to take two with 300-350ml of water or milk. The shake tastes much nice with milk than water and also mixes a lot better. The shake on the whole mixes very well, i'm rarely left with any lumps in the drink.

        *Why Take? / Nutritional info*

        On to the benefits of taking such a shake. Protein shakes such as hurricane XS are great shakes for adding lean mass and strengths gains if weight training. The nutritional information per shake is:

        Per 70g:
        Energy: 901.8kJ
        Energy: 219.3cal
        Protein (as-is): 29.6g
        Carbohydrates: 20.3g
        Fat: 2.5g

        Also provides per 70g:
        HMB: 1.5g
        Creapure®: 5g

        As you can see the shake is high in protein, but also high in carbohydrates and has a bit of fat in. This is why it is great post-workout to replenish carb stores whilst maintaining a high level of protein and fat to build muscle. Additionally it has Creapure (a fine form of creatine) and HMB within the shake. This is one of the reasons its termed an "all in one" shake as it provides extra nutrients to the muscle. Creatine and HMB assist your training by allowing you to train harder and recover quicker, by topping up and replenishing the used nutrients in the muscles.

        *Effectiveness*

        I take hurricane XS 6 times a week in the morning and then after my afternoon workout. I use for 24 days and then cycle off a week before restarting the above pattern. I've gained 6kg of muscle in about 5 months which has partly been down to the use of the shake (and partly diet and exercise). I find that I rarely get sore muscles the day after which allows me to train hard all the time. I think hurricane xs is a brilliant supplement to help you along the way. The all in one factor is useful so that I don't have to fiddle around and add other nutrients to the shake such as the creatine. This make sit easy to pack up and take to the gym for a post-workout drink.

        *Conclusion*

        I would recommend hurricane xs to anyone looking to gain lean muscle. It has the correct amount of protein, carbs and fats to work with a balanced diet and workout plan. It certainly helps you along the way to building muscle and also tastes great for an after workout treat! 5 stars from me.

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        23.07.2013 23:11
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        A great light for serious cyclists.

        The Cateye EL600RC is a front bicycle light that cost anywhere from £50-£70 online. This may seem like a lot to shell out but it is a very wise investment for those who cycle a lot in the evenings or night.

        The Cateye is a single shot which has one bright bulb, the fixture for the light is a sort of cable tie clip which secures nicely onto the handlebars, it is easy to adjust and remove if necessary but is very stable when on and riding on uneven ground. The fixture also has removable rubber padding for the inside to prevent it scratching the paint work on the handlebars. The light also can easily be removed from the cable tie fixture. This is great to take off when locking your bike up in the day so the light doesn't have to stay on and potentially be stolen! But it means you don't have to take the whole unit off every time.

        One of the biggest plus points about the light is the fact its rechargeable. This saves a lot on batteries and begins to warrant the price tag. It comes with a mains charger which can be plugged in and charged, it takes about 2 hours to fully charge from flat but this light lasts forever when on the bike from a full charge when used on the lower beam, not so long on the full beam which is usually preferential but no chance of it cutting out through a cycle.

        The great thing about the single shot lights is that unlike most lights which are used to make you visible on the bike, the Cateye is also used to see what's in front of you. This makes a huge difference when cycling at night on some dodgy UK roads! The range is about 3 metres which is fairly decent when it gets pitch black. It easy to spot potholes and things in the road which aren't visible with cheaper lights.

        The light is easy to use with 1 button for all features. Press to turn on, double press to switch between low and full beam and press and hold to turn off. This can all be done from on the bike as the button is at the back which is great when riding from dusk through to the night time. Saves time and hassle of stopping and adjusting it.

        Overall I'd certainly recommend the light to anyone who is a serious cyclist. The price is high however you regain some of this overtime without having to change batteries constantly. The huge difference is the ability to see where you are going as well as being visible. This is what sets it apart from cheaper lights and makes it warrant the price tag. The usage time off a full charge could be better on full beam and this is one of the reasons it gets 4 stars instead of 5.

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        23.07.2013 16:30
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        A great product to shift those pounds.

        *What is it?*

        Bioconcepts CLA are soft gels that are taken to aid fat burning. Studies show that CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid ) reduces body fat mass in overweight individuals. The science behind it is CLA interacts with the enzyme lipoprotein lipase. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down fatty acids. Secondly, CLA enhances the ability of hormone-sensitive lipase to break down fat that's already stored so muscles can burn it. The soft gels are fairly large which can be tough to swallow whole if you aren't comfortable with taking tablets etc. A tub of 90 capsules cost around £6 so it is great value for money in comparison with other fat burners such s Thermobol or Thermopure.

        *Use*

        The recommended daily dosage is 1-2 per day. I took two fairly early in the day, one before my morning swim and one after. I used them for one month and then cycled off for a week before repeating the process. This gives your body a chance to keep creating the acid itself and not being wholly reliable on the CLA capsules.

        *Effectiveness*

        I was never hugely overweight, I was looking at dropping a bit of fat for the summer months. I had previously tried Thermopure and Thermobol which I had success with. CLA gave me similar positive results and definitely helped me to shift weight without losing muscle mass.

        I prefer the CLA to other fat burners as the natural product that our body produces anyway has no side effects in comparison to caffeine heavy fat burners which cause profuse sweating and prevent sleeping amongst other effects!

        CLA is great for getting over a plateau or helping you on the way when used in conjunction with exercise and healthy diet. It isn't a miracle cure and won't work without other aspects of your life being correct! Used correctly though, it is the perfect little help along to meet targets and see change in your body. Satisfying to say the least!

        *Conclusion*

        The fact that I saw results when using it properly means I would definitely recommend it to any friends looking to lose a bit of fat. The lack of side effects makes this a much more desirable product than thermogenic fat burners in my eyes. It is also about 3 times cheaper. 5 stars from me for helping me get the summer body I want!

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        23.07.2013 14:05
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        The best spray in those insect infested areas.

        *What is it?/Price*

        Jungle formula is a very strong insect repellent spray, costs around £6/7 and is available from most drug stores and supermarkets such as Boots and Tesco respectively. I purchased jungle formula to take to Thailand as I knew the place we would be staying would be insect heaven, especially mosquitos which I had previously suffered mildly from bites on other holidays.

        Don't let the phrase jungle confuse you though, this spray can be used for all insect repellent needs in or outside the UK, I have known people take and use it camping in the summer. The spray is non alcoholic and non aerosol. It can be sprayed directly onto dry skin and applied to the face from the hands. It didn't irritate my skin at all.

        *Effectiveness*

        The spray was simply a life saver in Thailand. I was there a month and did run out of the stuff after about a week! So the bottle isn't exactly large if you are somewhere you need to use it a lot, but luckily they sold it out there too so I could pick up some more. In the month I was there and used the spray I think I suffered 3 mosquito bites, in comparison to people who came with me using other sprays this was a very low amount.

        The smell is fairly intoxicating if you put it on inside, I would recommend finding an open area preferably outside to spray yourself. It also stings if you get it in your eyes if you sweat in a hot climate. However I'm sure most sprays would be exactly the same. The spray bottle is easy to apply evenly to the skin and I would recommend topping up every couple of hours, especially in the evenings in the heat when insects come out!

        *Conclusion*

        A pricey but vital spray for areas with a high level of insects. I would possibly say it's a little OTT for the UK or places that don't particularly suffer from a lot of insects. However for places that are hot, humid and an insect paradise I wouldn't use any other product. Would and did recommend to my friends and given it 4 stars (not 5 due to price)

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      • Giant Defy 2 / Bikes / 29 Readings / 29 Ratings
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        22.07.2013 19:19
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        Fabulous bike for the price tag.

        *What is it? Price?*

        Giant Defy 2 is a road bike made by Giant. The Defy series has several bikes in its range, from the top; Advance 1 costing around £2000 all the way through to Defy 5 at around £500. The defy 2 slots nicely in the middle of the range at around £800. For a road bike this is a fairly well priced. It comes in a range of frame sizes, Giant unique sizing system gives a greater amount of precision. They come in Small, Small/Medium, Medium, Medium/Large, Large, X Large. I am around 5 foot 9 and use Medium comfortably.

        *Design*

        The Defy 2 is made from premium lightweight aluminium called ALUXX. It is very lightweight but sturdy, the bike only weighs about 8kg (maybe slightly less) and the aluminium material is second only to carbon which costs a lot more! Most of the components on the bike are Shimano Tiagra, a decent brand and fairly mid-range in terms of spec. The colour of the bike is white/silver and blue which looks great. The drop bars are black and used cork based tape which is soft and comfy but durable in the winter weather!

        *Ride*

        The bike rides very well for the price paid. The gear change using the brakes as shifters are effective quick to kick in and shift up and down. The small gear indicators are slightly confusing though! The range it provides
        makes going quickly, up hill or down hill very easy. As with all road bikes the lack of suspension and thin tires makes for a bumpy ride on UK roads but you get used to it. The wheels clip out and in for easy changed should you get a flat, of which I have only had one cycling on some horrendous roads. The lightweight saddle isn't exactly comfy but used with padded shorts the problem is alleviated. I replaced the pedals with clip in spd pedals which are much better for riding. The turning circle of the bike is also generous, which gets you out of some sticky situations on the road!

        *Conclusion*

        Overall this is a great price for the £800 price tag, it could be priced a lot higher for the ride quality it delivers. The bike would certainly be a recommended by me for someone looking for a bike in this price range, it is an award winning bike. A great stepping stone to a carbon bike if you are serious about cycling. 5 stars.

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        21.07.2013 22:48
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        A half decent product that probably wasn't worth the money.

        *What are they*

        The Nike blister free quarter socks are part of the Nike running range. They are made of thinner Nike material called dri-fit material. Designed to prevent dampness through sweating and to be closer fitting than cotton socks. The socks have different sections on and are right and left foot specific, this takes some getting used to when putting them on, I often find them on the wrong feet! They are called quarter socks as they come up to just above the ankle bone, taller than ankle socks and shorter than crew socks.

        *Price/Colour*

        The socks are pricey at around £10 for most decent sports socks. They are available in white and black. I have a white pair with orange and grey detailing and logos on. The black pair have grey detailing and logos.

        *Effectiveness*

        I used to wear crew socks whilst running, whilst comfy most of the time, I got blisters if I ran on roads more than 4 times a week for any great distance. However the blister socks, used in conjunction with Nike running trainers, decreased the amount I get blisters. I do still get them, but only if I rack up some serious mileage on most days of the week. My feet definitely feel drier whilst using the socks though, it is a much more comfortable feeling when running and keeps your feet cooler. The thinness of the material also helps this effect.

        *Conclusion*

        It would be wrong to call them blister free, but I would say they've prevented blisters appearing so easily, it take some serious exercise to get any once using the socks. They are certainly comfier than normal socks too, my shoes feel as though they fit much better. Would I recommend them? Probably not at £10, little bit of a rip of for a product that only semi-works. I'd save your money and buy blister pads unless you are a really serious runner or suffer really severely from blisters. A 3 star Nike product.

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      • Nike Sports Water Bottle / Fitness / 22 Readings / 18 Ratings
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        21.07.2013 22:03
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        A great sports bottle.

        Now I know a water bottle is usually as good as the next water bottle! But this is a good water bottle!! Not only is it one of the best, slickest looking water bottles on the market (if you really care how they look) it is designed very well to function whilst doing sport or exercise or to use even if you aren't.

        The bottle comes in a variety of colour such as pink as pictured, blue, silver, black, red, white.... colours for men, women whether old or young. All come with the black grippy sections. These DO make a different to you when you are running or doing exercise holding the bottle. The plastic would be fairly slippy especially with sweaty hands so the black grip really does help.

        As well as the grips the bottle is very ergonomically designed to fit in the hand, it's contoured in all the right areas and more oval than round without being too large to aid holding bottle. The bottle is designed to function using one hand which is again handy (excuse the pun!) when exercising. This may sound like I'm banging on about something unimportant, but you don't realise until you've used a terribly designed bottle! I've had one since I was in school and it has never been too big for my hands!

        The fact that the bottle has no fiddly lid has huge pros but also some cons. The advantages of such are that whilst exercising you don't have to fiddle about getting the lid off and then back on whilst running or cycling etc. This means you can just drink when you need to without any fuss. The one was valve also provides that there will be no splashing or leaking whilst drinking or exercising.

        The disadvantages of such a design is evident when you put it in a bag, if the bag has other heavier goods in then it can lean on the bottle, causing it to squeeze and leak out over the bag if full of liquid. I fell foul to this a couple of times at school back in the day, however I haven't had any issues whilst using it for gym purposes.

        Another nifty trick to the bottle is the way in which the valve works. If you have water in the bottle the valve can hand out a nice spray of water if slightly squeezed, brilliant to cool yourself down on those hot days! Not a purpose built use but a nice extra none the less. (This is also great fun doing it in team mates faces!!)

        These bottles come in at about £5 from most good sports shops, a great price for a great bottle from Nike. It holds 600ml which is a decent amount for taking on a longer bout of exercise or for a day out.

        Definitely worth the purchase and would recommend as a great water bottle. It gets a 4 stars from me, misses out on the 5 for the slight issue I have had. But the quality of the use of the bottle more than make sup for this.

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      • XMI X-mini II / PC Speaker / 24 Readings / 21 Ratings
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        21.07.2013 20:14
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        Surely the best value for money portable speaker on the market!

        *What is it?*

        The X-Mi Mini II is a small portable speaker. It's truly tiny at about 7cm wide and tall however it boasts a secret weapon in that it pops open a further 4/5cm to increase the base resonance of the music. It comes with a USB charging cable so can be charged from a laptop or mains with the use of a plug with USB port (most modern phone chargers have such a thing). No need to fiddle around with replacing batteries! It has a short cable with audio jack for use with a phone or mp3 player.

        *Price and Colour*

        The X-MI mini II costs between £15 and £18 on amazon depending on colour. The range of colours available are black, silver, white, green, orange, purple, blue and pink, a colour to suit anyone! Most of the colours have a lovely metallic effect too which adds to the stylishness of the little speaker. The top of the speaker also has a contrasting speaker component which looks edgy and modern which adds a little flavour to the design. I have an orange speaker and it really stands out, I chose orange so I can spot it in my bag or in my room quickly when looking for it. For £16 it is one of the best audio purchases I have made! Doesn't get much better than that in my opinion.

        *Sound*

        For the size and price of the speaker the sound is remarkably good. I was blown away initially by the loudness of such a compact speaker. The lengthening of the speaker also adds bass and volume to the sound however even with it closed the sound is loud enough as well as high quality. The sound quality is up there with any portable speaker I have, some of which are much more cumbersome than this very portable speaker.

        *Advantages*

        The battery life is outstanding on the X-Mi Mini II, I get at least 8 hours of playing through one single charge The charging time is about 45 minutes from flat to full which is a healthy time for such long playback.

        The durability of the X-Mi is also something I've been impressed with. The rounded design makes it very shockproof if you were to drop it like I occasionally do. Mine has very little marks on it from being fairly battered over time!

        *Conclusion*

        Simply a fantastic little speaker! Not only is it very well priced, the sound quality and volume is remarkably good. Very portable it can be used on holiday, down the park, in your room or garden. It's light and fits in any bag. I would recommend this speaker to anyone and everyone, huge 5 stars for a tiny star!

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        • More +
          21.07.2013 19:03
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          Not the best set but not the worst. Great for starters.

          *What are they*

          The Body Power set is an adjustable set of dumbbells up to 20kg. The set includes:
          - 4 x 0.5kg plates
          - 4 x 1.25kg plates
          - 4 x 2.5kg plates
          - 4 x spinlock collars
          - 2 x bars
          The spinlock collars provide a quick and safe way of securing weights onto the bar, the rubber washer on the inside enhancing grip and preventing the weight from moving around and making noise during use.

          *Use*

          Set myself a routine to use the weights, when I purchased the weights I was already in half decent shape so went straight to the 10kg on each dumbbell but the great thing about these is the option of starting lower and progressing up to 10kg if need be. I overloaded the dumbbells to around 15kg when doing bicep curls as I only needed on weight at a time which was another great feature.!

          *Disadvantages*

          The disadvantage of such a set is that 10kg isn't a huge amount. So if you are looking at doing exercises with both dumbbells then the ceiling is set low at 10kg, this is why I call it a great starter set. The second issue is the rubber washers on the spinlocks don't exactly prevent the weights slipping as they are advertised to do. This can cause of bit of clanging when doing exercises and means you have to tighten them every time you pick them up. The bars are quite abrasive on the bare hands but are fine with gloves on. Lastly the set is fairly expensive when you consider it to be a 2 X 10kg set of dumbbells. You could pick up two 10kg weights for around £20 or slightly less instead on the £30 set we have here.

          *Conclusion*

          An excellent starter set. On the expensive side but the versatility of weights is good for those starting out and progressing. Wouldn't recommend them to a friend and for that reason can only really give the product 3 stars.

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          19.07.2013 21:59
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          Great moisturiser.

          *What is it?*

          Palmers cocoa butter formula is a skin moisturiser that can be purchased for around £3 at most supermarkets or drug stores. It contains Vitamin E which helps to soften, smooth and relieve dry skin. It can also help smooth and blend marks and scars.

          *Application*

          The Palmers cocoa butter is quite a thick and creamy moisturiser compared to many on the market. This is great for a number of reasons. Firstly you can see where its being applied as it stays visible on the skin until it soaks in. Secondly the thicker consistency leads to much smoother skin when soaked in my opinion. I've tried thinner Nivea moisturiser that disappears on contact and I don't find it as effective.

          *Effectiveness*

          Palmers cocoa butter is one of the best quality moisturisers on sale. I find it really smooths my skin and evens up the tone, especially after a day in the sun. I use it as a moisturiser and an after sun (they are the same thing practically). I'd imagine it would be effective no matter how dry your skin is, I tend to peel but Palmers has prevented this happening thus far. It also leaves your skin smelling fantastic which is a great feeling after a shower, especially in the morning as it stays for a large part of the day. The smell is fairly strong and distinctive, and unlike some of the Nivea range is doesn't smell like babies or hand cream!

          *Other*

          The squeezy bottle isn't the best bottle I've ever used. Because the moisturiser is so thick it becomes hard to get to the right end to the bottle to get out. It's worth paying extra for the larger bottle which has a dispenser on the top which works a lot better.

          *Conclusion*

          Quite a short review due to the nature of the product, not much else I can add apart from mentioning I would recommend it to anyone after a decent moisturiser. It is long lasting and works a treat. 5 star moisturiser!

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        • Sony NWZ-W263 4 GB / MP3 Player / 22 Readings / 20 Ratings
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          19.07.2013 16:40
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          Great bit of technology which takes your swimming to another level.

          *Why Did I Buy*

          As part of my summer fitness regime I've started going swimming for a hour 6 days a week. Now swimming is a great form of exercise, and for the first few weeks is mightily fun, but the monotony of doing lengths does take its toll after a while. It becomes like running long distances, jut a little samey and boring. Fortunately there are now solutions to this problem with a range of waterproof mp3 players being introduced into the market.

          *About the Mp3*

          My inspiration buy one came from the gadget show, in which they reviewed 3 different waterproof mp3 players. The Sony NWZ W273 came out on top and convinced me this was the one to buy. I only got around to buying it around a week ago and have used it 5 times since. Sony have 2 models of waterproof mp3, the w273 and the w272. The 273 is the higher model I purchased and boasts 4gb of memory compared to the 2gb the other model has.

          *Design*

          This mp3 comes in a range of colours, I chose the all white version as it was cheapest for some reason at £41.99. The Sony mp3 is wireless which means the mp3 is on the headphone, it doesn't need to be strapped to your goggles or anything fancy like that like some of the other mp3s on the market do.

          The device is very slim line which it needs to be prevent it moving in the ear whilst swimming. The earpieces sit right inside the ear and effectively create a water seal to improve the crispness of the sound. They fit my ears really well which is lucky, as I could imagine they may not be as effective on some other peoples ears which may cause issues.

          *Sound Quality*

          The sound quality outside of the water is quiet which is a shame as I'd have liked to use it when running in the gym. But under the water the mp3 really comes to life. The tranquillity under the water means the mp3 seems a lot louder, you can still slightly hear the water around you when swimming but that's quite a comforting feeling. The music level is decent enough on full volume, it would be nicer if it went a bit louder, just so you had the option, but its certainly functional and brilliant to overcome the boredom of lengths.

          *Upload and Controls*

          Putting songs on from the PC is really really easy, plug and upload and your away, same as most mp3's. The controls on the mp3 are very simple to use, switch it on and change tracks up and down with two buttons and volume with two buttons. There is no menu or screen to confuse you or to go wrong in the water.

          *Conclusion*

          This really is a great idea and if you are a keen swimmer its definitely something to consider if you get a little bored at times. If it can keep you fitter and enjoying your swimming then I only see it as a positive. Really love this mp3 and would count it as one of my best purchases to date.

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          • Olbas Oil / Coughs, Colds & Flus / 24 Readings / 21 Ratings
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            19.07.2013 11:51
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            3 Comments

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Unblock that nose quickly and easily.

            What is it?

            Olbas Oil is a mixture of essential pure plant oils, it is used for relief of nasal congestion by inhalation, and for symptomatic relief of muscular pain by application to the skin. It comes in a 28ml bottle which should last a fair while when applied drip by drip. This costs around £4.50 from Boots which represents good value.

            Using the product?

            There are a couple ways to use Olbas oil, the most popular way to use Olbas oil is to inhale it. In the day you can dab some on a tissue which quickly clears the breathing passages or if you have the time add Olbas Oil to a bowl of warm or hot water, you can place a towel over the head for 10 or so minutes.

            At night you can put some Olbas Oil on your pillow which helps you breathe easy at night however put it high on the pillow so you don't roll in it and get it in your eye, it stings!!

            You can also use Olbas Oil as a massage lotion. The science behind it is that it supposedly stimulates surface circulation and delivers comfort to tired muscles and joints. You don't have to worry about where you get it as is the natural oils won't stain most fabrics.

            The drip applicator makes it a lot easier to control how much you are using on either method and where it is going. As you don't need a huge amount applying it drip by drip makes a lot of sense.

            Effectiveness?

            Olbas Oil is a great for clearing the nose when bunged up! Its a great alternative to Vicks VapoRub if you don't like the rub on your skin. Used on a tissue throughout the day it is a very effective relief on the go. Similarly used at night it helps get a good nights sleep on those nights you feel a bit rough. The smell is actually really nice and refreshing, especially as its one of the only things you can smell when you have a blocked nose! The water technique is very effective in the morning if you have time, really clears the nose and pores and sets you up for a better day if you're feeling a bit blocked.

            The massage is an interesting technique. I've only used it once and it gives a great tingling in the skin when used. After the massage my muscles felt relaxed (due to the massage) but the real different I noticed was the fresh feeling in skin and pores. The skin felt very breathable and the non greasiness of it is a welcoming
            feeling, you don't feel like you should go have a shower.

            When using for sport the VapoRub is a much better option, its longer lasting than the Olbas Oil and the thinness of the oil makes it a little less effective when on the move running around.

            *top tip*

            I've had a blocked nose in this glorious sunshine and heat (frustrating to say the least!) and so have combined the Olbas Oil with my fan at night to keep me cool and unblocked. A put a few drip on a tissue and place the tissue on the back of the fan. This then blows out Olbas Oil infused air all night and also keeps me a nice temperature in the heat! My room smells strongly of it in the morning but I feel really fresh early morning which is great.

            Conclusion

            An effective product with several uses and for both day and night. Unblocks the nose and continues to keep it unblocked when used on the go. Feels great when used in massages, non-greasy and non-staining. Would recommend it to anyone and it gets a big 5 stars from me.

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