June 2022 FITNESS AND LIFESTYLE FAVORITES

I’m so excited to share my fitness and lifestyle favorites now already more than a week into July. I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions (see my last competition recap here) and am very 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 Bar Grip Crops – I work out in a commercial gym that doesn’t allow chalk, so you’ll always find me wearing a bar grip shirt. I’ve written about the A7 Bar Grip shirts and tanks before, but I specifically have been loving the women’s crops. A7 Bar Grips have a silicone grip on the back that is designed to help with slippery commercial benches and bars, including helping you stick to the bench during bench press and anchoring the barbell to your back when squatting. Now that it’s getting much hotter, the crops have been amazing. They fit so well (I wear a small) and are the perfect length. I appreciate that they also come in lots of fun patterns and colors!

Buff Chick Supplements Intra – I have been working out so hard now that I’m prepping for the WA States Powerlifting Competition, and this has made such a huge difference. This basically super levels up the water I drink during a workout and helps with recovery on my days off. Both flavors are delicious, but I prefer the fruit punch. I’m so glad I picked this up! More info on Intra from the Buff Chick site: “12 grams of BCAAs (2:1:1 of 6g leucine : 3 g isoleucine : 3g valine), our formula supports muscle building while reducing the perception of fatigue and exercise-induced muscle soreness. Our combination of electrolytes and ElevATP® supports strength and power output while promoting optimal electrolyte balance.”

Wearing the Black Bossy Legacy Shorts

Buffbunny Legacy Shorts – I honestly can’t imagine wearing any other 4″ shorts except for these. They’re made with Nubre fabric – the softest, most buttery fabric of all time (really). They don’t roll or move while I’m working out, and the mediums (a size up from my BuffBunny legging size) are perfect for me. Every time I wear other shorts, I miss how I feel in the Legacy Shorts. The back has a cool butterfly seam detail that is such a nice touch. Unlike most of BuffBunny’s items, there are still plenty of colors left in these shorts if you’re interested in grabbing a pair!

Caramel Brownie Built Bars – I’m still shocked at how good these are considering the macros (these have 17g of protein for 130 calories!). II have been loving 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. Even though I own a ton of flavors now, these have been my favorite lately because they are so close to a “real” brownie. 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.

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.

Juggernaut AI Program and App Review after 120 Days

The Juggernaut AI Powerlifting app is described as having the best powerlifting coach in the world with you during every training session, helping you reach your true potential. It’s a subscription based powerlifting app that is 100% personalized to you based on your goals, how often you want to work out, when your meet (or mock meet) is scheduled, and your personal weak points. I wanted to give my review now that I’ve been running this program for over 4 months, and now that I’ve gotten a chance to test it with an actual meet. This review is not sponsored, and I am not sponsored by Juggernaut. I do have an affiliate code with them that I got after I’d already reviewed it here a couple times, and like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about this program without being an affiliate. If you do want to support me and save 10% every month on the program (or anything else from Juggernaut’s site), you can use code LIFTBAKELOVE.

I’m so incredibly happy with the progress I made on this program! Last year, I basically started over once gyms opened up again and so got some incredible newbie gains (almost 300 lbs on my total), and I was confident that was the end of that period for me. Since my lifts were already pretty great (a 270lb deadlift is almost 2x my bodyweight as it is), I thought I’d maybe add 15lbs to each lift after 4 months if I really put my all into it. I ended up adding 17lbs to my bench, my squat went up 29lbs and my deadlift went up 66 pounds! This program focuses on specificity for the squat, bench, and deadlift based on your personal weak points, and I know that made a huge difference for me in getting my numbers up.

Day 1 (in lbs)Day 120 (in lbs)
Squat225254
Bench115132
Deadlift270336
Total611722

The 120 days numbers are from my competition on April 30th, which was the USA Powerlifting 2022 Ladies of Iron Washington Competition. I placed 4th, which I was incredibly excited about given it was only my second meet and there were some amazing competitors there. As usual, my weight class was one of the most competitive with the most people, so I’m so proud of coming in 4th. I also cut weight for this competition to the 67.5kg class, which I know reduced my numbers a bit, so I’m beyond excited I still managed a 111lb meet PR under the circumstances. I also needed to take a few days off here and there, so I ended up doing 57 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.

My 336lb deadlift!

Things I absolutely love about this program:

  • Everything is customized to me – all the programming was based on when my meet was so I could perform my best that day, the warm-ups and all the lifts are chosen specifically based on my weak points and what I need to work on, and everything is adjusted based on how I’m feeling before and during the work out. It also adjusts over time based on how well you recover between workouts.
  • I can choose the number of days I want to work out, and it adjusts the workouts for that amount of days. 4 days a week works really well for me, but I have a friend who can only do 3 days a week, and we can both do the program.
  • I get to pick my own accessories! On other programs, I’ve honestly skipped accessories sometimes because the machine wasn’t available or I just really couldn’t motivate myself to do that movement. On this program, I get to choose the accessory lifts from a recommend list so I never have to do Bulgarian Split Squats if I don’t want to.
  • It automatically calculates new 1RM maxes about once a month, and then adjusts all the weights it has you lifting after that point, so you always keep progressing exactly as much as you should be. I love that I don’t have to do any math and that it keeps me pushing with the max tests so often.
  • As mentioned earlier, the app adjusts based on how you’re feeling before a workout and after every single set. When I wasn’t having a great day, it lowered the weight and volume so I didn’t hurt myself but could keep making progress. And when I was having a great day, the app gave me a workout that I could really push myself with. Most of the accessories are RPE or RIR (reps in reserve) based so all I need to focus on is how the weight feels and how many I can do. Sometimes that meant I went down in weight from the week before or down in reps, but as long as I was hitting the right RPE or RIR, I still got to feel awesome about the workout.
  • It has video explanations of every lift and lots of information about it in case it’s a new accessory or new variation of the main 3 lifts. There’s also tons of info about your program, the timing, and anything else you can think of. Plus, you can chat with the team right from the app if you have any questions.
  • The warmups don’t suck! I almost always skipped the warm ups on other programs, but I did this one pretty often. I appreciated that it was kind of fun and pretty short. It also changes the warm ups based on what you’re working on and what your weak points are, so it felt more worth it to me.
My USAPL Ladies of Iron Medal paired with a KB Shimmer Reflective Polish (LE – no longer available)

Things to keep in mind before investing in JTS AI:

  • Even with an affiliate code like mine that saves you 10%, the program is still over $30/a month, which is much more than something like Stronger by The Day. As someone prepping for competition and wanting to really get the most out of my training for squat, bench, and deadlift, the extra $20/month is so worth it to me. But if you’re not training for competition and just want to have a program that helps you get stronger in a powerlifting-style, something more generalized might work great for you!
  • The workouts can be long and hard – you really have to be in it and want to do the work. Sometimes we’d be in the gym for at least an hour and a half or more and super exhausted. Like the price, this is worth it to me. I love powerlifting, and the grind is just part of the process of being an athlete for me. If you’re not up for that or don’t need to be doing something as intense, I would go with another program.
  • Because it’s so focused on powerlifting (on purpose), my physique isn’t exactly where I’d want it to be. Depending on when my next meet ends up being, I might do their Powerbuilding program for a bit so I can get a little more balance into my routine before diving back into another meet prep.

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!

March 2022 Fitness and Lifestyle Favorites (includes mini Juggernaut AI Review)

I’m so excited to share my fitness and lifestyle favorites to kick off March (how is it already April?!), and that I loved especially during March. I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions (see my last competition recap here) and am very 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 Bar Grip Shirts – I work out in a commercial gym that doesn’t allow chalk, so you’ll always find me wearing a bar grip shirt. From A7’s site – A7 Bar Grip is a one-of-a-kind performance shirt with a patent-pending silicone grip on the back that is designed to help with slippery commercial benches and bars. The grip helps you stick to the bench during bench press and anchors the barbell to your back when squatting. I wear one of these every single time I go to the gym so I have the grip for both squat and bench. They are so helpful for both lifts when you can’t use chalk (and are way less messy than chalk anyway). I honestly can’t imagine working out without a bar grip shirt now.

Buff Chick Strawberry Banana Buff Whey – I have been loving mixing this protein powder in smoothies lately. I use about a cup of protein milk, half of a frozen banana, a few frozen strawberries, a spoonful of greek yogurt, and one scoop of protein powder. The powder blends in so easily, and there’s no weird texture or aftertaste. It honestly takes just like a strawberry banana smoothie, and I wouldn’t be able to tell how much protein it has. The smoothie is over 40 grams of protein for about 250 calories which are incredible macros, especially given I try to hit around 125g of protein a day.

The Stick – I use this both before and after my workouts, particularly ahead of heavier lift days. I use this during a warm-up to make sure my muscles are ready to go and there isn’t any tightness. After, this helps with muscle recovery by dispersing the effects of lactic acid. When I tried to use a traditional foam roller, I honestly never got around to it. This is way better because it’s handheld and is super-efficient so I can roll out my legs in less than 5 minutes. It’s also fairly flexible which is perfect for really getting at calves, quads, and other areas that aren’t flat.

Juggernaut AI Powerlifting program – I wanted to talk about the program again because I’ve been so impressed with the progress, I’ve been able to make. In October, I barely lifted 225lbs for my squat and this week, I did 250lbsx3! I also couldn’t even move 255lbs deadlifting in the gym last year, and now I’m doing 305lbs. It’s clear to me that this is a very well researched and designed program, and it really works! I’m still only doing 4 days a week and have even missed a session here and there – I’m still getting so much stronger. The app is super easy to use, and they updated it even since the last time I wrote about it. I’ll be doing a full review after my meet but I wanted to share because I’ve just been loving it. As always, you can use my affiliate code LIFTBAKELOVE with Juggernaut to get 10% off. Like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about this program without being an affiliate (I even wrote this before getting a code and am editing this in afterwards). 

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.

February 2022 Fitness & Lifestyle Favorites (includes mini Juggernaut AI Review)

I’m so excited to share my fitness and lifestyle favorites to kick off March (how is it already March?!), and that I loved especially during February. I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions (see my last competition recap here) and am very 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 Bar Grip Hoodie – This hoodie is so incredibly comfortable that I never want to take it off. The site says it’s made with an ultra-soft cotton/polyester fleece blend, and it truly is ultra-soft. I have it in an XS but there’s still plenty of room given the relaxed fit. I love that it has the bar grip material on the back so I can use it for bench and low bar squats (it helps you stick to the bench or a bar stick to you) or just look super cool while I’m walking around. The material is lightweight enough that I can workout in it but warm enough that I’ve been able to wear it as my only top layer in 40 degree weather. Even though it’s $60, the quality, fit, and comfort are absolutely worth the price to me.

A7 Defy Joggers – I’ve been trying really hard to mix up the brands that I include in these favorites posts, but I really need to share about these joggers. In full transparency, A7 gifted these to me in the same order as the sweatshirt, but as always, these are my unbiased opinions. I also had already purchased a pair for my husband, and he loves them so much – now I understand why. These fit so well in a way that is comfy and oversized but doesn’t look baggy, which is shocking considering they’re unisex. The fabric is lightweight but still warm enough for these winter to spring transition months and is so soft and comfortable. The zippered pockets are deep enough for all my stuff, and there’s no weird back pockets to content with. I’ve been wearing these for days on end and might buy myself another pair for my upcoming birthday.

Juggernaut AI Powerlifting program – I started using Juggernaut in December, and I’ve been thrilled with my progress training for my next competition in April. My 1RMs are already over 100lbs over my competition total in October, and I still have over 2 months left to train, and I’m still only doing 4 days a week. I love that the app is super easy to use, the program is 100% personalized to me down to adjusting after every set based on how I said it felt. I’ll be doing a full review after my meet but I wanted to share because I’ve just been loving it. As always, you can use my affiliate code LIFTBAKELOVE with Juggernaut to get 10% off. Like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about this program without being an affiliate (I even wrote this before getting a code and am editing this in afterwards). 

Strawberry Built Bars – I’m still shocked at how good these are considering the macros (most bars have around 17g of protein for 130 or 140 calories!) and keep trying new flavors. My most recent favorite are the strawberry bars which I can tell have actual dried strawberries in them. They were the perfect “I want chocolate covered strawberries but also protein” bar all February. 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, and I’ve kept loving them since the first bar I tried last year.

Ember Mug – I know this mug is incredibly expensive, but it’s so worth it for me. It takes me forever to drink coffee in the morning, so I’ve really appreciated having coffee that stays hot for hours. It also means that I can add cold milk and the coffee heats back up to a great temperature without me having to do anything. And if I have other things right after the coffee’s done, it’s so nice to be able to step away and come back to coffee that hasn’t gotten any colder. It’s held up super well over the years I’ve had it and charges fairly quickly so I can use it again for tea in the afternoon. I’ve been really appreciating this mug lately, and it’s definitely one of my favorite things.

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.

January 2022 Fitness & Lifestyle Favorites

Here are my fitness faves and lifestyle favorites that I wanted to share to kick off February to get everyone excited about working out, being hydrated, and flossing (really!). I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions (see my last competition recap here) and am very 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 UBag – I’m using a powerlifting specific program where I squat and bench every workout (and deadlift every other workout), so I need a lot of equipment with me in the gym every time I go. I bring my squat shoes, deadlift slippers, belt, liquid chalk, a variety of bands, knee sleeves, wrist wraps, and snacks. This all fits so well in the UBag, and I love that there’s a separate pocket for shoes, for small items like chalk and wrist wraps, and for snacks. There’s also room for a water bottle on the side and a laptop sleeve (which I use as another pocket). There’s also a belt loop in the front which is really convenient for easy access to my super bulky belt. One of my favorite things is that it’s super comfy to carry even with how big and heavy it can get with everything I’m carrying. It’s expensive, but tailor made for someone who powerlifts, and I’m so glad I have it.

Glossier Water Bottle – I know this is just a water bottle, and that I’ve written about it before, but this is honestly one of my favorite “fitness” items I got in 2021. 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 have still used every day since I got, and it’s meant that I’ve had a full 32oz of water without fail every single day. Because I love it, I’ve usually been able to get through 64oz of water a day, which I have never been able to do before. I’ve also still been using this for my daily mix of Gatorade Zero Powder and Buffchick Creatine, and because it’s pretty wide, it’s really easy to clean even mixing so many powders in it every day. 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.

BuffBunny Rosa Bra – This is hands down my favorite sports bra, not just from BuffBunny, but from any brand. They are all made out of their Nubre fabric – the softest, most buttery fabric of all time (really) except for the holo Rosa Bra V2, which is made out of performance material that I also love. They are so comfortable to wear for hours on end, which is important when we have a workout that lasts almost 2 hours and go grocery shopping right after (a very normal occurrence). Even though they are super comfortable, they still provide amazing support and coverage. Because the coverage is almost to the level of a crop top, I have no problems wearing the Rosa Bra without a shirt on top. This style comes back during most of BuffBunny’s launches in different colors, and it’s definitely the sports bra I’d most highly recommend from them.

BuffBunny Rosa Bra V2 in Holographic Black and Rosa Pocket Leggings in Secret Garden Dark Teal
BuffBunny Rosa Sports Bra and Jewel Joggers in Secret Garden Dark Teal

Built Bar Strawberry Puffs – Important context for this one is that I know it’s not everyone’s thing, but I’m a big fan of strawberry marshmallows. We make strawberry marshmallows for the holiday season every year, and they’re one of the only holiday foods I can’t stay away from. So, when I discovered strawberry protein marshmallows, I was beyond excited. And honestly, if I didn’t know better, I would swear these are regular chocolate-covered marshmallows. They’re 17 grams of protein for 130 calories (as a comparison, that’s about 5 marshmallows worth of calories but 17g more protein). I have a bunch of different Built Bar products and flavors now, so let me know if in the comments if you’d like a full run down, especially because it looks like Puffs are currently out of stock.

Cocofloss – Anyone who’s known me for a long time knows how obsessed I am with Cocofloss, but I wanted to share how much I’ve been loving the Cara Cara Orange and Strawberry flavors. The only reason I floss every day is because of Cocofloss, and these flavors make it even more fun. It reminds me that spring is coming eventually and just makes me happy. If you’re not familiar with Cocofloss, it’s a floss made from recycled water bottles and infused with coconut oil which makes it both sustainable and very effective. I’ve honestly tried to go back to regular floss after using this, and I can tell the difference in how much better it works. I can’t wait to see what flavors they come out with for spring and summer this year!

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.

December 2021 Fitness & Lifestyle Favorites

Here are my fitness faves and lifestyle favorites that I wanted to share to kick off the year! I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions (see my last competition recap here) and am very 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!

Friction Labs Secret Stuff Liquid Chalk – I’ve tried a few different styles of wraps and types of chalk, and while nothing compares to actual chalk, this is my favorite so far. I can’t use chalk in the commercial gym I workout in but need some help with my grip on my heavier deadlifts (usually above 225lbs), and this stuff is great. It dries pretty quickly and works so well for deadlift grip. It also lasts through multiple sets without rubbing off and doesn’t dry out my hands like other chalks do. It’s $19 but I’ve used this a bunch and the bottle still feels full and hasn’t dried out at all.

A7 Black Cone Knee Sleeves – I feel a huge difference while squatting with these verses without them. I use knee sleeves knee warmth, compression, and rebound for heavy lifts (for me, above 195lbs on squats which is almost all workouts now). I love how easy these are to get on vs my SBD ones which I always struggle with no matter what I do because the SBDs are so stiff. They still provide all of the support I’m looking for even with how easy they are to get on. Plus, they’re easy to adjust if I don’t get them on right the first time.  It’s approved for USAPL meets, so you’ll see them on me in any of my meet recaps, and it’s the only pair of sleeves I’d trust on meet day to help me lift the heaviest I can. They feel brand new from having used them every time I squat for about 2 years now (obviously on and off because pandemic gym closures, but I’m still very happy with their durability).

Built Bar Candy Cane Brownie Stix  – Important context for this one is that I know it’s not everyone’s thing, but I’m a big fan of peppermint and chocolate together. It’s one of my favorite holiday flavor combos, and I absolutely love things like Thin Mints, Peppermint Patties, etc.. I was so excited when these candy candy brownie stix came out that I bought two boxes of them, and I have no regrets. It honestly tastes exactly like a mint brownie, except they are only 80 calories and have 9 grams of protein. This has been the perfect snack for me that’s just as good as “the real thing” but helps me hit my daily protein target. These were seasonal, but Built has bites in different brownie flavors if you’re looking for something similarly small.

Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoes – I decided not to pack my squat shoes on a recent trip home and immediately regretted it. I really missed having the extra stability and hard soles that keep me firmly planted and supported when squatting. I hadn’t realized how much of a difference these shoes made until I didn’t have them, and I’m so happy I have them back in my life. I also started using these for benching and have noticed a big improvement in my leg drive because of being able to really push into the floor with my feet. They only come in men’s sizing, but I found a size that fits my feet perfectly.

Alphalete Surface Pocket Leggings – I picked up a few things from Alphalete’s Black Friday sale because I’ve been wanting to try their activewear out for awhile now and knew it would be better to wait for one of their sales. While I got and do really like the famous Amplify leggings, the Surface Leggings really pleasantly surprised me. They have no front seam and deep side pockets. They fit incredibly well without being too tight and are really flattering. They’re pretty high rise (in a good way) and supportive. The thing that stood out to me was the performance material – they’re cool to the touch, light-weight, and stretchy. I love these especially for squat and leg days when I need to be able to move around and move heavy weights without overheating.

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.

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.

KBShimmer 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!