BodyPower Expo 2016 -My first fitness roadtrip!

So now that I’m firmly back in reality, let’s talk about my weekend adventure to Birmingham and the BodyPower Expo!

So what is BodyPower?
Lifted straight off their website (www.bodypower.com)
“Started in 2009, BodyPower UK has grown into the most celebrated and comprehensive fitness event in the UK, attracting, inspiring and motivating 90,000 plus health and fitness enthusiasts over three days.”

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In my words it’s a weightlifters heaven – A few of my favourite things are weights, clothes and food and this place had all 3 in abundance. With events, fitness challenges, bodybuilding competitions, clothing/food/equipment stalls and lots (and lots) of free samples, you eat, shop and show off your skills all in one very big place. And if that’s nt enough, you’ve got seminars, demonstrations, workshops and a gym to g along to should you wish!

So here are my Bodypower Highlights
Sampling and Free Stuff!
Yep virtually every stand had a protein bar, shake, pre/intra/post workout drink and glorious nut butter to sample! A personal favourite was Dr Zaks; where I attempted to overdose on nut butter and protein bread/bagels (& came home with a truly wonderful Apple and Cinnamon Peanut butter). Another was “Oh Yeah!” protein bars, I resisted buying any at the event although they were sooo good I’ll definitely be putting an order in sometime soon! Also most of the big nutrition names (Optimum, Maxi, CNP, Bodybuilding.com) had bags of freebies to giveaway if you were willing to wait in the Disneyworld style queues and sign up to a mailing list. I got around most so I now have a collection of free t-shirts, lots of whey and a MyProtein shaker (win!)
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(my day 1 freebie haul alongside some of my purchases)

Shopping! This was my whole purpose in being at Bodypower, I wanted to shop and shop I did. Discovered LOADS of new brands and got some new kit from my go-to brands (Greens Powder from Bulkpowders was a very pleasant surprise).

GirlPower!
The real winner for me in terms of content was the irlPower zone. This was an area set up just to present and educate the women in the industry. My absolute number one top highlight was Erin Sterns talk (she is my hero) on motivating, training and eating. I left feeling truly inspired and ready to really lay out my goals and start making my place in the fitness world.
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Seeing actual bodybuilding Competitions in Person
While there I stopped by the arena to watch one of the competitions. Since I started lifting  have been intrigued by the “Bikini” class bodybuilders. Curious to see just how defined a competition state athlete was, I watched the Junior Bikini USN Classic. To my surprise it was a fantastic event to watch (putting aside my sparkly bikini envy – swarovski superfan here); it made me change my view on these type of competitions. I was always suspicious of an event based purely on women strutting around in bikinis and being judged. However, on seeing how much the competitors enjoy it, and the enthusiasm of the (male and female) audience; made me realise that isn’t a bikini parade, it’s a celebration of really hard work, building a body like that is not easy, nor is choosing to face up to the stereotypical idea of female beauty. These women are showing us that pride and perseverance are assets worth showing off!
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(sorry for the fuzzy photo, I’ll be better prepared next time!)

So yes BodyPower was AMAZING and I am already excited for next year. I am now fully recovered from my nut butter hangover and feeling really inspired to carry on lifting!
And for your own amusement, here is me pulling a really stupid face for a photo!
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Feel free to sign up for the Maxi Nutrition Challenge if you’re feeling inspired (the website is a the bottom of the photo there)!

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The Protein Bar Chronicles: Grenade Episode 1

I have yet to find a Carb Killa Bar I don’t love, long may it continue!

Grenade Carb Killa Bar – White Chocolate Cookie:
Cals:214  Protein: 23.3g Fat: 7.9g Carbs: 13.5g (Fibre: 6.7g  Sugar: 14g)
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Verdict: 10/10 – Honestly I would pick this over any standard chocolate bar they are that good. The fat content rates a little higher than some but the pay off is that you are tasting actual chocolate and not some chocolate flavoured coating. The texture again just like any other chocolate bar (so not quite the jaw workout you get with other brands) so the main issue here is trying to remember that if you buy them in bulk, eating them all at once isn’t healthy (even if it is more macro friendly than a mars bar)…
Where to get them: http://www.musclefood.com/high-protein-snacks-1/protein-bars-1/grenade-carb-killa-bars.html

The Protein Bar Chronicles: Quest Bar – Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

It’s always felt there there’s a lot of hype around Quest Bars so I finally got me a taste of the action

Quest Protein Bar – Peanut Butter & Jelly:
Cals:220  Protein:20g Fat: 10g Carbs: 21g (Fibre: 16g  Sugar: 2g)
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Verdict: 8.5/10
It’s not the most attractive thing you’ll eat and it is a bit of jaw workout but I wont lie, this is gooood. At my first bite I thought I wasn’t going to like it, but the flavour just suddenly developed and by the end  was loving it. Certainly the peanut is the main flavour you taste, but there is a little underlying sweetness from the jelly flavour. Another bonus here is that I recognise everything on the ingredients list (this is a rarity among protein bars) so I’m feeling somewhat less guilty about stuffing it in my face (probably doesn’t make it ok though…)

All in all it’s tasty, fairly natural and with 20g protein and a whopping 16g fibre it’s packing some pretty decent macros!

Where to buy them: http://www.musclefood.com/quest-bars-peanut-butter-jelly.html

The Protein Bar Chronicles: Combat Bar

The first of many protein bars to try out from my Box of Protein, here’s how it went!

MusclePharm Combat Bar – White Chocolate & Raspberry:
Cals: 210 Protein: 20g Fat: 7g Carbs: 25g (Fibre: 12g Sugar: 5g)
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Verdict: 7/10 – it was nice but a little sickly sweet for me. There’s a bit of a whey-ey after taste but you sort of get used to it by the time you’re a few bites in. It’s a nice texture no effort at all to chew so I’d be keen to try some other flavours as I think it’s just this particualr flavour that doesnt appeal to me (in fact I can see cinnamon crunch and Peanut Butter cup flavours so definitely want to try those!)
Buy it from: http://www.musclefood.com/combat-crunch-white-choc-raspberry.html