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Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro
Price: $36.46
37 used & new from $30.53

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Fitness Pushup Handles, April 18, 2014
I have used AB rollers for many years now and I have to start by saying this ‘Perfect Fitness AB Carver’ is a well made piece of exercise equipment.

This has a wide, stable wheel and comfortable, ergonomic handles that are easy to grip and don’t feel as if you’ll slip off at any minute. This also has an internal steel spring that is meant to add resistance as you roll out and some assistance when you roll back. I’m sad to say this is the part that disappoints me the most. Not only does mine clank and clang like it may break at any minute. It also stops too abruptly when I return to the top position and I find myself having to add an extra twist into the AB carver before I start my exercises to account for this and allow me to return to a top position comfortably. This also comes with some soft foam knee pads for extra comfort.

The thing to be aware of with AB wheels is to use correct form or you can do more damage than good. There are plenty of videos on YouTube describing the correct method and you can download instructions from the company website. But the key thing is to not let your back sag at any point or you will overstrain the lower back. You must also keep all you core muscles tensed and engaged throughout the movement (seems like a silly thing to say for an ab wheel, but it is surprising how many people roll out without considering this and work their arms more than their abs). One thing to suggest is to focus on the muscles you wish to work throughout the movement, this helps you contract and work the correct muscles and this ‘mind-muscle connection’ is used by top bodybuilders and can be applied to other exercises too.

Overall this is a good entry level ab wheel, but it has it’s limitations and you may want to consider a more traditional version after gaining some strength. I think it is easier to buy one of these cheaper, more simple models from the start and then a use a modified exercise position until you build up enough strength to use the roller fully.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.

Zyliss Coarse Grater
Zyliss Coarse Grater

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zyliss Coarse Grater, January 19, 2014
This review is from: Zyliss Coarse Grater (Kitchen)
This Zyliss grater is a great piece of kit. Simple in design, but effective at what it does.

Rather than the closed four sided grater that I previously had, this doesn't get clogged up when you grate a large amount of cheese and it is also a lot easier to clean. The cutting blades are square edged (rather than curved on most graters) so it seems like the edge will hold it's bite longer. It is also extremely sharp and grates with ease. Running your hand along the underside there are no snags or raised edges either.

The handle is comfortable to grip and this also comes with a plastic cover which will protect the cutting surface when stored in a drawer and also stop you cutting your hand as you rummage to find it.

All in all this is a simple, but well thought out design and grated cheese with no problems at all. Not much more you can say about a grater, but this is well worth a look.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.

The Secret World of Sleep: The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest (MacSci)
The Secret World of Sleep: The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest (MacSci)
by Penelope A. Lewis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.23
73 used & new from $0.96

3.0 out of 5 stars The Secret World of Sleep, January 19, 2014
'The Secret World of Sleep' is a brief introduction to our brains and processes as we sleep.

It explores the benefits of sleeps and what happens to our brain when we don't get enough.

I found the overall style to be rather dry and whilst I've read numerous science books in the past, this one seemed to get lost in it's own jargon and way of explaining things.

It has some interesting information if you can stick with it and as it is erelatively short it doesn't drag on or become a chore for too long. Good, but not great.

Perfect Pushup Elite
Perfect Pushup Elite
Price: $29.95
20 used & new from $29.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Fitness Pushup Handles, January 19, 2014
This review is from: Perfect Pushup Elite (Sports)
These `Perfect Fitness Pushup Handles' arrived yesterday and luckily for me they were delivered on a chest workout day, so I could test these out straight away.

First thing to note is the construction. These feel solid! I have some maximuscle pushup handles of a slightly different design (they have removable handles for static push ups, but can also rotate) and in comparison these ones rotate a lot more securely and the ball bearings feel much smoother. The overall construction feels very robust and indestructible and the non-slip rubber pad works a treat.

In use these are also very smooth and the thick rubber handles make it easy to grasp and stay stable as you work through the range of motion. I do my push ups with my feet elevated and the angle was still ok at the wrist when I held the handle.

These do add an extra range of motion when doing push ups and I agree that it places less stress on elbow joints. The main test is this morning, when I woke up my pecs had a deep ache and I could tell that I had worked them well and effectively.

If you do push ups as part of your fitness regime then these are an excellent addition to your equipment. They are extremely well built (although I will update this down the line if I find any defects) and they help reduce joint stress and increase range of motion. What's not to like?

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.

Henry Ford (Lives and Legacies Series)
Henry Ford (Lives and Legacies Series)
by Vincent Curcio
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.91
59 used & new from $1.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Henry Ford, January 19, 2014
This Henry Ford biography is a interesting and readable introduction to this much maligned, but complex character.

This looks briefly at his childhood, before exploring his rise in the business world and his anti-Semitic beliefs.

I found this easy to read and interesting and whilst there were no photos to give you a feel for the time and his life, you don't miss them too much. One criticism is that it jumps about chronologically. The author will mention something in 1923, then jump back to talk about 1916, then mention an event in 1919 etc. It made the book lose some coherence and narrative, but this was overcome with some concentration and simple attention to what you read.

Overall this is an accessible and fascinating insight into this business titan and well worth a read, even if you have only a passing interest.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.

Fat Gripz - The Ultimate Arm Builder
Fat Gripz - The Ultimate Arm Builder
Price: $38.95
18 used & new from $27.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fat Gripz, January 19, 2014
These Fat Gripz are a simple, but effective piece of gym equipment. Fitting most weight lifting bars and chin bars, these dense, heavy duty rubber cuffs turn your home gym equipment into the thick bars as used by elite athletes. I was like other reviewers here and a little dubious of the claims of this product, but I can say that after using these for a few workouts I have noticed a difference. I did as others suggested and initially lowered the weight I usually lifted, but it felt as difficult as with heavier weights and the next day I noticed a definite tightening in my forearms that I don't normally have.

These are quick to fit and move from bar to bar and feel very solid and durable. There are instructions for their use on the company website, but to be honest they are pretty self explanatory and anyone with common sense would figure out and ensure the fitting slot is facing the opposite way to where the main force of weight is.

Overall these are a good piece of equipment that helps you train as elite athletes do, at a fraction of the cost (although they do seem a little pricey for two pieces of dense rubber, despite the high tech military grade claims). They are easy to use at home or on free weights at a gym and can easily be chucked into a gym bag as you head out the door. If your training is reaching a plateau or you feel your grip strength is weak then give these a try.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.

Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, Slate
Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, Slate
Price: $79.95
10 used & new from $79.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Fitbit Flex, June 29, 2013
This Fitbit monitor is a great bit of kit. In one neat bracelet (that looks like those charity bracelets you can get) you get a little monitor that measures your daily steps and sleep patterns.

Where this comes into it's own is where you tie it in and sync it with the Fitbit website where you can add food eaten that day (with an American database of foods (for those overseas purchasers), but I have gradually been adding my own) and additional exercise you undertake.

Be aware it pays to be precise with the times of the extra exercise as it will remove steps during this period once you have logged it.

This helps you set weight and step goals and it has encouraged me to take longer routes to destinations and walk instead of drive so I can get my step count up. Good for me and the environment.

The sleep counter is interesting and it shows how many times you wake up and how long for, so it can work out sleep patterns and efficiency. Considering I get up at 4am for work this has been invaluable in monitoring my sleep.

The step counter isn't the most accurate thing ever, but considering other belt or shoe pedometers aren't that accurate either I guess it's a trade off. This seems to do a good job for what it is.

You can also monitor during the day how far into your goals you are (which you can tailor for your own exercise plan) and flashing lights indicate what percentage you have achieved. This is also charged via a USB adaptor and it pays to keep an eye on it's charge level so you can charge it up and not lose any data before you sync it up.

I have a windows phone and have found a generic fitbit app, but you can get official ones for iphones and android that allow you to sync your fitbit flex with the phone app itself. I hope for a Windows version soon.

All in all this is an impressive little unit that helps you monitor your health and exercise and helps motivate you to keep improving and working harder. A bit pricey, but worth it in the long run.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.

Politics and the English Language (Penguin Modern Classics)
Politics and the English Language (Penguin Modern Classics)
by George Orwell
Edition: Paperback
29 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Politics and the English Language, April 7, 2013
`Politics and the English Language' is a short essay from George Orwell that explores the use of language in politics and how it may be misused to hide or detract from unsavoury facts. In the age of sound-bites and the glut of internet commentary the information here has never been more pertinent.

The writing is as clear and lucid as we have come to expect from Orwell and the short form of this pamphlet means you can read it one sitting. This also has a review of Mein Kampf included, I suspect to bulk out the offering a little.

There are more substantial reviews here that do this book full justice, but I can only say if you have any interest in politics (or the English language for that matter) at all then this is well worth a look at some point.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.

Jabra REVO Corded Stereo Headphones - Retail Packaging - White
Jabra REVO Corded Stereo Headphones - Retail Packaging - White
Offered by Techno Discounters USA
Price: Click here to see our price
14 used & new from $31.04

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jabra Revo Headphones, April 6, 2013
As I started a previous review for some headphones, I'll admit from the start that I am a bit of a headphone collector and I own numerous pairs from Sennheiser, Beats, Sony, Bose, SMS and now these new Jabra Sync ones. I should also mention that I run a music website, so I take my music listening VERY seriously.

These come in a sturdy plastic case and one of the first things I noticed about these headphones is the build quality. They are much better than Dr Dre's Beats headphones and you have no fear that the headband will snap like the Beats have been known to do. Apparently these are constructed with aluminium, steel and shatterproof plastic and they certainly feel sturdy. These have molded memory foam earpieces that fit on the ear, rather than around them. These are comfortable to wear for prolonged periods and whilst my ears got warm wearing them, they didn't pinch or hurt at all.

These come with a travel pouch, manual, detachable woven cable (rather than a rubberised one) and fold up on hinges on the headband so they reduce down in size for travel and storage. I'm not too keen on the white plastic design as they show up all smudges and marks, but this is a personal preference.

As always with any new headphones I have let these burn in with some solid playing for over a week now (fortunately for me I can listen to music at work and these have had some serious hours put through them already) and the sound has settled enough for me to give a reasonable appraisal of the quality. I have played a vast range of music through these to give them a fair trial from thrash metal, blues, swing, jazz, classical, world music, rock, pop, electronica, dance, relaxation albums, spoken word/podcasts, folk, country, hip hop and rap and more besides. Also be aware that I have my EQ settings on a flat level so I could appraise the sound fairly

The sound definitely has rich, warm bass and this has some of the best bass response I have heard from many of the headphones I have in my collection. The trebles are also clear and sharp, but the mids get lost in the mix. These headphones seemed to perform best with dance music (which often has boosted bass and treble), but other genres seemed to lack a certain rounded depth. Don't get me wrong though, the sound of these are VERY impressive, it's just not balanced and you may have to tweak you EQ settings to get a sound that works best for you and you may need to boost the mids.

The passive noise cancelling (I.e. using the construction and design to block out unwanted sound) on these is very good indeed and not only can you not hear sounds around you when you have them on, but you also can't hear any music leakage if they are being used by other people too. This is a mark strongly in their favour if you want to use these on your morning commute.

I am a huge fan of my Bose AE2 headphones (which have excellent balanced sound reproduction), but I have to say that these come a close second and the sound is warm and satisfying. For me these sound better than the SMS or Beats headphones at a fraction of the price.

All in all these are a well designed set of headphones and the sound quality is very impressive for the size and money. They are perfectly set up for dance music straight out of the box and if you are willing to play around with EQ settings, sound pretty good with other music genres as well. These are well worth considering in your search for some new headphones.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.

Rock Chronicles: Every Legend, Every Line-Up, Every Look
Rock Chronicles: Every Legend, Every Line-Up, Every Look
by David Roberts
Edition: Paperback
44 used & new from $1.88

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rock Chronicles, March 12, 2013
`Rock Chronicles' is an attractive and weighty volume looking at the history of various bands throughout the past of rock music.

Which bands to include will always be a judgement call on behalf of any author and there will always be those who are dissatisfied with the choices made, but this manages to cover a wide range of bands and styles and makes for a good introduction to most styles of rock music.

If you know anything about music you will start to notice various inaccuracies as you flick through the book. I started to find this very annoying as key band members or key events in a bands history are missed out and for a book such as this, which claims to be a `peerless rock encyclopedia', this is pretty unforgivable. They even do strange things like cover Eric Clapton as a part of the Cream section. If anything Cream is a side story of Clapton's career, not the other way round as suggested here.

This certainly looks impressive though, with colourful graphics which clarify the timelines of the bands covered, as well as photos from various stages of their careers. This also looks at the most successful albums for some bands, as well as current members and whether they are still going or not.

All in all this is a nice, colourful introduction to the bands covered, but just be aware that this has an element of style over substance and verify your facts before you take anything here as gospel. It is in no way an encyclopedia, but it is an interesting reference book to dip into now and again.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.

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