My Play With Sport & Exercise
A Great Start, Downhill
I have always enjoyed my sports & fitness but over the past few years, I haven’t been as active as I would have liked. Indeed, I have this tendency to hark back to my younger years when I would run, kayak, play rugby, hike mountains, ski and mountain bike. I was constantly active, looking for new experiences and enjoying all that life had to offer. Whilst it doesn’t feel like that long ago, in reality those days have long gone.
As I moved from my twenties, into my thirties and now into the ‘prime of my life’, my waist line got a little bigger, and well… families got stated and the excuses piled on. Bottom line… I haven’t exactly been living the healthy, active lifestyle I wanted for myself. A mid-life crisis was looming and I even bought a motorbike a few years back to stave it off (or embrace it, perhaps?). It’s a fun hobby which has taken me across Europe on some breathtaking rides, but it’s hardly helping me to keep fit. Something had to change.
I tried to get back into running but the heavy pounding wasn’t kind to my knees, following a rather serious skiing accident. I also enjoyed mountain biking for a while but it became difficult to find enough time to hit the trails and the bike hasn’t been used in anger for quite some time. I needed something else; something that was social, accessible, low-impact and versatile.
I Discovered Road Cycling
Road cycling seemed to be the perfect fit. The sport offers a lot of variety. Sportives, time-trials, cyclocross, sprints, hill climbs, spinning and social rides are accommodated by local cycling clubs, to suit every ability. Club rides include ‘pit stops’ for cake and coffee and social events are all well attended. There’s plentiful opportunities to participate in races for charity, competition or join tours at home & abroad. It’s no wonder then that cycling is enjoying something of a renaissance in the UK, and I wanted to a part in it.
Inspired by my knew knowledge of the sport, I bought my Giant Defy Advanced and immediately signed up with my local Cycling Club, as well as British Cycling. Getting into this sport isn’t cheap but that’s motivation in itself to make the most of it. For the first 6 months, I went all-in and loved every moment! I would try to attend the Sunday club rides each week and bought a smart trainer to ride at home and cover the winter months. Despite my clear lack of fitness and power (especially on the hills), I received fantastic encouragement from my fellow riders who spurred me on and made me feel enormously welcomed from day one.
If you’ve ever thought about getting into cycling, then you shouldn’t hesitate to get started. I can’t recommend it enough.
Despite the early enthusiasm and commitment to my new sport, family commitments meant it was harder to join the club rides. I bought a turb-trainer and that certainly helped to keep the pedals turning, but without the encouragement of fellow riders, I was finding it harder to motivate myself to jump on as often as I should. Virtual cycling trainers, like Zwift certainly helped, but it wasn’t the same and I was in danger of this becoming another failed fad.
Curiosity Got The Better Of Me
I was working on an event at the NEC in Birmingham, when I first discovered Arbonne. The company was having its annual conference and I fell into conversation with a number of the attendees. Despite my initial scepticism, I was impressed by their passion for the business and anecdotes about how the product has helped them and their families. From dealing with teenage acne, to aging skin or losing weight… they all had a good story to tell and all seemed to be perfectly sincere.
Despite this, I was hugely sceptical of this kind of business. A friend of mine had started Isagenix a year ago and I was very put off by the ‘scientific’ claims he was making, most of which could be quickly debunked.
I have to confess that one of the Arbonne stories did catch my attention however. After joining Arbonne, one of the ladies I met told her husband about their Phytosport range. Like me, he was initially very sceptical and didn’t feel it would offer any significant benefits over his current nutritional and hydration products. Unconvinced, he offered to test it by putting in a particularly hard session at the gym. To his great surprise, he reported being able to work out at higher thresholds for longer and suffered no aches and pains the following day.
I’m the sort of person who’ll always keep an open mind and look for the positives but I also struggle to take anything at face value. This is especially true when someone starts making grand claims about something; I’m simply compelled to test it for myself!
The Turning Point
So I took the plunge, and decided one of the first products I was going to try was the Arbonne Phytosport range. If that proved to be any good, then I could start exploring the rest of the range.
The first test? An FTP test (max fitness threshold test) on Strava.
Bear in mind, I hadn’t done any real exercise for about 6 months so jumping straight in with a 1hr warmup followed by 20mins of maximum effort isn’t the sort of thing most people tend to do. I expected to suffer for my over -zealousness.
As it turned out, I couldn’t have been more impressed. After completing the test, I jumped off the bike. My bum hurt like crazy (not being used to the saddle) and my legs were like jelly afterwards. I’m not kidding. I struggled to walk down the stairs without my legs buckling under me, but it put a smile on my face knowing that I had earned it and couldn’t have done more. The ride had been hard, but I felt hydrated, energised and didn’t lack motivation at any point.
Before starting the warm up, I drank 250ml of Arbonne Phytosport Prepare & Endure. I sipped the rest throughout the workout, usually when the power was increased and certainly for the FTP itself. At other times, I used another bottle with 500ml of Arbonne Phytosport Complete Hydration to keep the fluids and salts up.
But it was the Arbonne Phytosport After Workout that has me most excited. I’m used to having done a lot of sport in my earlier years and indeed, such was my interest that I studied a Batchelor of Science degree in Sport at Uni. Inevitably, a hard workout, game of rugby, triathlon session or paddle down the rapids meant one thing: the DOMS!
Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness is the result of too much lactic acid building up in your muscles. A good warm down helps the muscles to release this acid but often, it’s not enough and you feel the inevitable aches, pains and muscle stiffness the following day(s).
Well here’s the thing… despite being a couch potato for the best part of 4 months, and then jumping on a bike for over an hour, with an all-out maximum effort, I had none of this. No DOMS, no aches, pains or stiffness whatsoever. Wobbly legs afterwards for sure, but within an hour they were back to normal and that was that!
Truly amazing!!! I’ve never experienced that before, in all my sport and fitness, even when I was a young lad (I’m now 43). A one off??? As it turns out, no? I can ride at high thresholds for 1-2 hrs, building up to maximum efforts for 20mins at the end and the results are the same every time. I’m yet to try a 3-5hr workout, but I’ll report back when I do.
I used to use SIS (Science In Sport) products but they felt heavy and left me feeling bloated and gassy. Arbonne’s range lives up to the hype and really does feel Pure, Safe, Beneficial.
I’ve started posting my Strava feeds here and have been regularly exercising every week. My weight has come down and my fitness has improved remarkably. Follow my future blogs to learn more…
Try It To Believe It
If you live in the UK and would like to put this to the test yourself, please let me know in the comments, or PM me on Messenger @JulesArbonne and I’ll be pleased to send you a sample (first 10 responders). I’d also be very interested in hearing how you feel it compares with your existing hydration and sports performance drinks.
I’ve given some samples out among my Cycling Club and the feedback so far has been extremely positive.
To learn more about these products, please visit my Arbonne page