Making the Best of a Weight Gainer

Making the Best of a Weight Gainer

In the world of sports nutrition it is fair to say that there is one undeniable truth – if you want to gain weight you need to train intensely and consume lots of high quality nutrition. It is not one or the other, it is both.

Gyms are awash with individuals who spend hours training to achieve their dream physique, but who let themselves down in their approach to nutrition. Really, it’s simple – to gain lean muscle mass you must eat enough protein and calories throughout the day to support that gain in mass.

How can I gain enough protein?

First and foremost your three meals each day should contain high-quality protein, a good source of quality carbohydrates and some healthy fats.

In today’s busy and fast-paced world, trying to consume enough protein and calories can become challenging and inconvenient, especially if your three meals do not cover your nutritional needs for the day. This is why many people turn to weight gain powders to fill in the gaps during the day.

For example, if you eat breakfast, lunch and an evening meal it is quite easy to slot in two weight gain shakes a day to bump up both your protein intake and your calorie intake. It is also cost effective and makes achieving those goals that little bit easier!

My top tip? One of these shakes is best taken immediately after your workout as your body will absorb nutrients like a sponge.

What can Reflex Instant Mass Heavyweight do for me?

Thousands of people familiar with the scenario of wanting to take on more protein in a cost effective and convenient way have been turning to Reflex Instant Mass Heavyweight.

Each full serving of Instant Mass Heavyweight provides 60 grams of protein derived from protein sources such as high-quality micellar casein, EU derived grass fed whey protein and EU sourced egg white protein isolate. In fact, this product contains so much protein that many will simply consume half a serving two times a day to give them an amazing 1,160 calories, along with 219 grams of carbohydrates and, as already mentioned, a massive 60 grams of protein.

Importantly, you will also find the addition of creapure creatine, patented bioperine and a host of additional vitamins, minerals and cofactors, these include:

  • Vitamin B12, which helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue
  • Vitamin B6, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system
  • Vitamin C, which helps with the normal function of the immune system during and after intense exercise
  • Iron, which aids the normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin
  • Zinc, which is helpful for normal carbohydrate metabolism
  • Copper, which helps to maintain normal connective tissue
  • Chromium, which aids the maintenance of normal blood glucose levels

This demonstrates what a comprehensive formula Instant Mass Heavyweight is by the bases it covers off and the physical performance that it helps deliver. And, while we are on the subject of what Instant Mass Heavyweight contains, it’s equally important to state what it does not contain. It’s completely free from:

  • Soy protein (find out why we say no to soy protein)
  • Creamers
  • Chinese creatine
  • GMO ingredients
  • Added salt
  • Added sugar
  • Added fructose
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn solids
  • Artificial colours
  • Preservatives
  • Glycine
  • And finally, cheaper and inferior forms of minerals such as magnesium oxide

Making the best of weight gainer really is straightforward: Train hard, eat smart and don’t skimp on the weight gain formula.

If your priority is maximising your efforts in the gym and fully supporting that nutritionally, then we’ve made your life easier by giving you an additional discount that you can use on our shop throughout March 2018.


Shoulder mobility: 5 moves to improve your overhead press

Shoulder mobility: 5 moves to improve your overhead press

The shoulder is the most complex joint in the body. However, it is also the most vulnerable. Shoulder mobility is heavily influenced by the surrounding muscles and these muscular imbalances can cause real problems with pressing movements.

In this article, I’m going to explain why this occurs and give you 5 exercises to help correct common shoulder issues.

If you can’t perform the full range of movement, you can’t fully train the muscle. This will be impacting your strength and size gains.

Although resistance training isn’t actually to blame for becoming tight, working muscles in shortened ranges of motion can cause them to become short. Further to that sitting forwards at a desk for long periods of time shortens the pec muscles and weakens the upper back. All a combination of bad posture.

So let’s look at some simple ways we can fix this to help you get more shoulder mobility and improve your pressing.

We need to stretch these shortened muscles and increase the range of movement, but a strong overhead press also requires good scapular movement so we need to make sure that is included in our mobility work.

Most people skip a proper warm up and get right to work, and as much as I applaud your enthusiasm, your shoulders probably don’t.

Here are 5 shoulder mobility movements to incorporate into your upper body warm up:

Scap pulls

Take a shoulder width grip on a bar and allow yourself to dead-hang. Let your shoulder blades separate and your shoulders come up to your ears, then retract your shoulders and lats and pull yourself up, not bending your elbows. Perform 2 sets of 10 reps.


Chest Opener - step2Chest opener

Attach a band to a frame at shoulder height or above, take the band in one hand and step forwards. Allowing the hand to rotate upwards with a locked arm you will feel a stretch in the pec and anterior delt. You can also rotate the elbow up and down (but keeping locked) for more of an active stretch. Hold for 15-30 seconds or 20 rotations per side.


Bully Stretch - step3 - front Bully Stretch - step3 - rearBully stretch

Attach the band overhead and turn your hand behind your back. Keep the band close to you and allow it to pull your arm up your back – like the classic ‘high school bully’. Do not allow your shoulder to roll forwards. By holding this position you will increase your internal rotation. Hold for 15-30s per side.


Band Dislocate - step4 - A Band Dislocate - step4 - BBand dislocates

Take a resistance band at both ends and hold out in front of you. Keeping your arm straight, take the band overhead and behind you as far as you can go. Bring the band back over to the front without bending your elbows to stretch the pecs, front delt, and bicep tendon. Perform 10-15, pausing at the top where the muscle is tightest.


Shoulder Mobility - step5 - Pull apart BBand pull-apartShoulder Mobility - step5 - Pull apart A

Take a thin band or cables and take your hands out straight in front of you. Retract your shoulder blades together and with palms facing down, extend your arms straight out to your sides. Repeat for 15-20 reps.

No to Soy Protein, the facts

Soy Protein cubes

A few years ago I spoke about why we don’t use soy protein in our products and I really wanted to expand on why it has no place in a Reflex product

I want to support our anti soy position with referenced studies. In short, deliver an article that really does make you think twice about buying another protein powder that contains soy protein. There are various articles that attempt to vindicate soy, but I’m not sure why when there are so many question marks relating to its use. Just remember there are so many significantly superior and safe alternatives without any question marks attached to them.

GMO soy, its production and hexane

Soy protein is largely derived from GMO soy crops which are used to make soy protein isolate. It’s the manufacturing of soy that is one of the real issues I have. One of the cheaper extraction methods to make soy protein uses a solvent called hexane, whilst there are other water based extraction methods that avoid the use of hexane it’s used by a minority of brands and is more expensive. In the following link you will see a news article that talks about independently tested soy products and the associated levels of hexane discovered in various soy products.

Whichever way you want to look at this, one thing is absolutely clear. Soy protein manufacturing using hexane is not the ideal. The question is how can you tell if the soy protein in your protein powder contains traces of Hexane? I’d ask the supplement company and if they say “we’ll look into it”, it’s probably because they don’t know themselves which to me is completely inexcusable. This is really just part of the story and I don’t want to spend too much time on how soy is made, suffice to say if you consume soy let’s hope is completely free from hexane.

Soy as a source of protein for sports nutrition

Assuming you are not vegan, soy really has no place in sports nutrition, pea in our opinion is a better alternative. The biological value of soy is lower than the big three, those being whey, egg and micellar casein. Soy is lower in essential amino acids and contains few branched chain amino acids, so again its use it questionable at best. The following human study quite clearly demonstrates soy’s inferior ability to stimulate protein synthesis vs milk proteins.

The authors quote “Milk-based proteins promote muscle protein accretion to a greater extent than do soy-based proteins when consumed after resistance exercise”

The next study focuses on the effect of healthy males consuming 56 grams of soy protein daily for a month. Serum testosterone dropped by 19%, absolutely the last thing you want if you are an athlete.

The authors quote “Soy protein powder decreases serum testosterone levels in healthy men and acts as an ER-β agonist.”

It’s never one sided? Over 170 negative studies might suggest otherwise

The story for and against soy is not one sided and yes I’ve cherry picked two studies above to illustrate negative aspects of soy. Many will argue a case for soy and others, like me, will argue the case against. The trouble is for me that even a handful of negative studies will worry me. The trouble is there are more than a few, here is a link to another interesting article with links to over 170 negative studies relating to soy consumption.

With such a significant number of published studies even those fanatical about soy must have nagging doubts about consuming it in even moderate amounts.

Soy protein isolate is used in significant amounts in sports nutrition

Soy in small amounts is not the issue, foods like tofu, soy sauce and natto have a long history of consumption. The issue for me is the amount of soy protein and the associated phyates, trypsin inhibitors and phytoestrogens that can be and are used in protein powders, all-in-one bodybuilding supplements and protein bars. Today it’s very easy to buy a protein blend with soy protein isolate as a main ingredient, same for the all-in-one powders and it’s the same story for protein bars. It is therefore quite possible to be consuming at least 50 grams of highly concentrated soy daily without even realising it, and that is a huge amount compared to a diet with some weekly consumption of tofu and other fermented soy foods.

If I was a cynical manufacturer I could see the attraction of it’s use in protein powders. They are a cheap source of protein and increase profits, in protein bars they can help with shelf life at reduced costs once again boosting profits. What I don’t like is the fact that certain brands then imply that the very same products are the best on the market. That’s simply not possible. If you are replacing whey/casein/egg with soy then in my book you are compromising. It can only be included to cut costs unless I’ve missed something in the last 20 years? If someone can give me a better explanation I’d love to know why.

Today, me and my family avoid soy protein containing foods as a precautionary measure; we simply don’t need it in our diets and I’m not prepared to take the risk. Nor am I prepared to sacrifice quality of Reflex products and formulate products with soy protein.

The question you need to ask yourself, are you happy to take the risk when you don’t need to??

All-in-One Bodybuilding Supplement gets Massive Overhaul

all in one bodybuilding supplement improved formula

Reflex Nutrition’s All-in-one bodybuilding supplement, One Stop® Xtreme, has just has a massive overhaul with absolutely no price increase. It makes One Stop® Xtreme the potential winner for industry awards for “best all-one-bodybuilding supplement 2015” and it is expected to become one of the bestselling all-in-one supplements across Europe.

The new formula ditches the old foil bag which many consumers found messy and difficult to get on with. New OSX is now in the familiar black tub and a new style of holographic packaging that really does shout “I’m a serious product”. In short it really looks the business and will certainly find pride of place on many on serious bodybuilders’ kitchen units up and down the country.

As always Reflex have been listening to feedback from consumers and have gone that extra mile to ensure that new OSX tastes far better than its predecessor. In short the difference in flavour is night and day. Initially OSX is to be launched in 3 flavours with more to follow in the not too distant future.

The actual formula in terms of active ingredients has really been overhauled in quite a dramatic fashion. The protein content remains the same but the blend now is primarily an EU Grass Fed Blend of Whey and Micellar Casein which falls in line with current scientific studies relating to increasing protein synthesis.

A first for OSX is the inclusion of Betaine Anhydrous which is quickly earning a very strong reputation in the scientific journals for its role in bodybuilding. Unbelievably just one single serving provides the same dose as found in one of the most recent and positive studies. 1

It’s no secret that Reflex Nutrition has partnered with the world’s highest quality manufacturer of minerals called Albion® Minerals. New OSX uses its entire mineral spectrum exclusively from Albion® Minerals. They are patented high bioavailable chelated forms that are probably the best forms of minerals used in supplementation. As far as Reflex Nutrition knows, new OSX is the only all-one-bodybuilding supplement in the world to exclusively use Albion® Minerals.
If that wasn’t enough Reflex Nutrition have also updated the friendly bacteria, OSX now contains 3 different friendly bacteria made by LAB2PRO. They are patented bacteria that are dual coated so that they can reach the intestines intact to do their job, another world first!

As mentioned at the beginning of this article these valuable additions come at no extra cost.

Managing Director James Phillips explains, “There are a number of all-on-bodybuilding supplements on the market at the moment. We’ve always see OSX as the market leader in terms of composition and quality since it contains numerous premium ingredients like Creapure Creatine and has always been free from soy protein. But now we’ve really taken things to another level with OSX. The partnership with Albion®, the addition of Betaine Anhydrous and the work with LAB2PRO® means that OSX is in a different league.”

New One Stop Xtreme is available now from the Reflex Nutrition website and all major stockists throughout Europe during February 2015. Flavours Vanilla, Chocolate Perfection and Strawberries and Cream.

A quick overview of the main ingredients per serving:

  • Protein – 55grams
  • Carbs – 73 grams
  • BCAA Content – 10,320mg
  • Creapure Creatine – 5,000mg
  • L-Leucine free form – 3,000mg
  • Betaine Anhydrous – 2,600mg
  • Beta Alanine – 1,800mg
  • Taurine – 1,500mg
  • Albion® Magnesium – 150mg
  • Albion® Zinc – 7.5mg
  • Digezyme – 145mg
  • Bifidobacterium Bifidum – 362,500,000 CFU
  • Lactobacillus Acidophilus – 362,500,000 CFU
  • Lactobacillus Rhamnosus – 362,500,000 CFU
  • Additional vitamins and minerals from A-Z.


1 Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Aug. Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone.