More Lifestyle Favorites: What I’ve Been Loving That’s Not Beauty

I have more fitness faves to share! I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions now that we are back in the gym and am super into fitness and health. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

A7 Belt – I can’t believe I’ve never posted about this belt before. I’ve had it for almost 2 years, and even though I actually own 3 belts for powerlifting, this is the only one I use. It looks brand new, and I’m expecting it to last for years and years. It’s definitely been worth the high price tag. The thing I love most about this belt is the offset holes at 1/2 inch increments rather than 1 inch, so I can really get it as tight as I want. It’s approved for USAPL meets, so you’ll see it on me in any of my meet recaps, and it’s the only belt I’d trust on meet day to help me lift the heaviest I can. If you have no idea why you would use a belt in powerlifting, I love this video from MegSquats.

Buff Chick Supplements Creatine – According to the website, studies have demonstrated Creatine supplementation supports strength and power output during intense resistance training. One of the only things I’ve changed in my routine recently is adding this to my Gatorade Zero every day, and I can confirm that it absolutely helped my ability to push through heavy lifts and high volume sets way better than I ever have been. It’s $25 for about 3 months worth, which ends up being $100 per year (or less depending on if you can grab it with a 10% off code or other sale). For the amount of strength and power improvements I’ve seen, that’s totally worth it to me.

Built Bars – I’m shocked at how good these are considering the macros (most bars have around 17g of protein for 130 calories!). I have the Salted Caramel, Mint Brownie, and Peanut Butter Brownie so far, but I’m excited to try more flavors. My favorite way to eat these is microwaving them for 15 seconds, and they turn into a gooey cake-like dessert that I wouldn’t know is a protein bar if it was a blinded taste test. There’s almost always a 20% off code going around and free shipping which helps with how expensive they are. That said, at about $1.8 a bar, they’re still less expensive than other bars like Quest ($2.25 a bar plus shipping from their website) and taste way better to me, so I’m really excited to have found these.

Sour Strips – These really are as good as everyone says they are. And if you haven’t heard of them before, they are really high quality sour candy strips that are each about 30 calories. They’re actually sour, the flavors taste like what they say they are, they have really fun seasonal flavors, and are super portable. These are a great intraworkout snack, especially when I’m lifting super heavy, which is most of the time. They now have a permanent home in our gym bag. So far my favorite flavor is Rainbow, but all of them have been amazing.

Glossier Water Bottle – I know this is just a water bottle, and we all have a million of them, but I’m honestly obsessed. This one of the best $20 I’ve ever spent. If you’re a long-time reader, you know I’m awful at staying hydrated and had once posted about how I regularly have 1 cup of coffee and 1 cup of water a day. As a competitive athlete, this is not enough, and it’s been a huge issue for me. The Glossier bottle is the first bottle I’ve had that I’ve used every single day since I got it, and it’s meant that I’ve had a full 32oz of water without fail every single day. I’ve been mixing Gatorade Zero Powder and Buffchick Creatine in there too every day, and it’s worked perfectly to make sure I get in my creatine and hydration. I have the special Seattle version you can only get here that holds 32oz (the one on the website is 16oz), so if you’re near a Glossier store, I highly recommend checking it out.

What would you like to see next on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for being here! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

STRONGER BY THE DAY WORKOUT PROGRAM REVIEW – 120 DAYS IN & USAPL Meet Recap

I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions now that we are back in the gym, and the program I’ve been following for training is Stronger By The Day. It’s is a 4 day a week workout program created by MegSquats that is focused on strength and powerlifting movements. It’s $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for the in-the-gym program. It also includes a full at-home workout program, an extra workout day every week, warm ups, and access to a Facebook group with other lifters running the program. For transparency, I did win a free year of the program in 2019 but have become a paying customer since then.

Wearing all Buffbunny, my favorite activewear

I did a 90 days in review of this program in early 2020 after I had recovered from a back injury and was beginning to prep for a powerlifting competition. As happened with most things in 2020, the competition got cancelled, the gyms closed, and we had to figure out something else for the last year and a half. Luckily Stronger by the Day added a home workout program, and we also discovered the amazing home HIIT workouts from The Team Plans. Because of that, we didn’t start from zero going back into the gym in June, but I was definitely a long way off from my pre-COVID lifts (as you can see from day Day 1 numbers here).

Day 1 (lbs)Day 120 (lbs)
Squat115226
Bench75115
Deadlift135270
Total325611

The 120 days numbers are from my competition on October 2nd, which was the USA Powerlifting 2021 Washington State Championship. I placed 5th, which I was incredibly excited about given it was my first meet and there were some amazing competitors there. I’m really proud of what I was able to accomplish after only four months of training, which included a few weeks off for vacations and other things, so I ended up doing exactly 50 sessions in those 4 months. I can’t believe I added over a hundred pounds to both my squat and deadlift in that time, and almost doubled my total. I was able to add almost 6 pounds to my total every single workout session. I know I can credit the Stronger by the Day program for that success, and I couldn’t have hoped for anything better given the amount of time I spent training.

KB Shimmer in Better Lake than Never with my USAPL medal

Beyond the incredible strength gains, I really love that there’s a ton of variety week to week and block to block so you avoid getting bored. There’s still enough consistency to actually make progress, but it stays fun. I also love how many substitutions are offered to make it easy to work with whatever is available at the gym. And because I’m always wary of getting another back injury, I appreciate that there are core and mobility movements included in every workout, which I find help keep my back feeling great.

However, as I noted with my last review, I still struggled with peaking for my meet since it’s not personalized to you and doesn’t account for things like having a meet coming up. I had switch up some of the sessions to try and prep as best I could (which honestly still worked out just fine!). I also found that the blocks in these months focused way more on squat and deadlift progress, so I made way less progress on my bench than on those lifts. So if you’re prepping for a meet, I don’t think this is necessarily the best program for you unless you’re on a budget. Even with this issues, the program is still definitely one of the most affordable while still being very effective.

I also can’t wait for the team to launch their app which will make it so much easier to use than having to copy everything into the Strong app. I know that’s coming out as soon as they have it ready, and the sneak peaks have made it look amazing. I’m still planning on using the program to prep for my next meet in December, app or no app!

Is there any fitness gear or program you want me to test? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for reading!

More Fitness Faves: What I’ve Been Loving That’s Not Beauty

I have more fitness faves to share! I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions now that we are back in the gym. For some additional background, I primarily focus on increasing strength on the squat, deadlift, and bench, and I am using the RP Diet app to gain muscle while staying in my weight class. If you’d like a review of the RP app, let me know in the comments below! For now, here are some of my latest fitness favorites:

I’m so glad I already had the A7 Soul Go Slippers for deadlifting! They make such a huge difference in helping me really plant my feet into the ground and not slide around when I’m deadlifting. These also enable me to be as low to the ground as possible so I can lift even more. I love how thin they are so they’re super easy to bring with me even in a small gym bag. For $29.95, these are one of my favorite gym investments. They’re also IPF approved, and I cannot wait to wear them in competition.

Most “protein foods” are pretty awful, but the Quest Peanut Butter Cups really impressed me. They are almost exactly like a normal peanut butter cup, but with way better macros. I love dessert and chocolate, but am always looking to hit my protein targets for the day without going over on carbs, so these are perfect. One cup has about 5.5g of protein, 7.5g of fat, and 6.5g of carbs for 95 calories. For reference, a Reese’s peanut butter cup has 2.5g of protein, 6g of fat, and 12g of carbs for 105 calories. Getting double the protein and half the carbs and still getting to eat my chocolate is a win in my book (of course, there’s nothing wrong with eating any food and all food choices are valid!). I’m excited to keep trying more of Quest’s line!

I recently discovered powdered Gatorade Zero. I am a big Gatorade Zero fan to avoid dehydration and personally love the way they taste. I really struggle to get enough water in so this is great for me. But this is way better than buying bottles of it! I love how much less expensive per serving it is and that I can avoid a big plastic bottle every time I drink one. I also can bring them with me when I’m traveling, and they take up almost no space.

I grabbed the Strong Strong Supply Liquid Chalk about a week into lifting again because I really missed having it in my gym bag. Especially with it getting so hot here, having liquid chalk is so useful to help with gripping the barbell. It dries down so quickly so I can put a tiny bit in my hands and get right to the bar. It’s also not messy at all – I don’t get chalk everywhere and feel totally fine using this in the gym. It also cleans off super easily and quickly and doesn’t dry out my hands.

I’m back in the gym, which means I’m back on the Stronger By The Day program. It’s a 4 day a week workout program created by MegSquats that is focused on strength and powerlifting movements. It’s $10/ a month and includes an extra workout day, warm up, and a second program if you’re working out at home. I’ll be doing another 90 days in review with my lift results and how it’s been going, but I am loving it so far!

Let me know if you’d like to see more fitness related content in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!