• GNC Closing It's Doors - The Upside to Online Supplement Shopping

    Posted by Ryan Powers

    GNC Closes It's Doors

    The Upside to Online Supplement Shopping

    Ryan Powers

    Entrepreneur, Fitness Enthusiast, Strength Coach

    First off, let me say that as a business owner and entrepreneur myself - I am not the least bit happy to see thousands of GNC locations close their doors. Franchise owners & small businesses alike losing their livelihood is a tough shift in the industry to watch. 

    The reality is that this shift has been coming for quite some time now. GNC stores all over the nation purchase through distributors. These distributors house the pre-inventory and ship direct to the stores. The challenge became evident with the rise of large online shopping that forced pricing and value to no longer match what was found in your local GNC shop. Thus, corporate was fighting a losing battle. What made matters worse was in an attempt to respond and adjust for this change - they forced stores and franchises to adopt to the "one low price" model, which sounds great in theory, but in the middle of a fiscal year cutting profit margins on all products across the board makes for tough waves and a unstable financial situation. 


    If you we were paying attention, the inevitable seemed pretty obvious to most. What's sad to see here, is I am not sure the better man won. You see there is this large online market that has lots of good going on with it, but even more bad and counterfeit happening. Giant online retailers like Amazon have shifted how we all do business, but don't seem to be holding themselves too accountable on how they are conducting commerce. Are they doing their part to keep keep a fair, safe, level playing field for the safety of the consumer? Is what your buying off Amazon really what it says it is?

    In this article, we are going to show you the upsides of buying online supplements - responsibly that is. 


    As we previously indicated finding low cost supplements online takes no time. In fact, you can find dirt cheap supplements with no research, talent, or previous knowledge of what to even look for. But is that ultimately what you want? For example, there are a handful of big well known brands (with household names) who will send you a 2 lb bottle of WHEY Protein direct to your house for less than $25 - sounds great right? Well have you ever taken the time to look at how many grams of actual protein is listed on this 2 lb bottle? Less than 440 grams you say? So what's the other half in that 2 lbs of weight? 

    This is exactly why we separate cost vs value. Cost is what you pay. Value is what you get. Look for reputable brands with outstanding track records (google them). Look for brands that have the certifications and education to back up their claims. Well known brands don't always equate to ethical responsible companies. Look at what's listed and take note of what's NOT listed. Which is just as important. I don't know about you, but I will take more quality and value over dirt, cheap products any day. 


    You have more reachable information today right at your fingertips today then any previous generation before you. You have to remember stores like Blockbuster & GNC started prior to the internet age and online research wasn't even a thing. There was little to no accessible public knowledge or educational resources to learn from in the health & fitness world. We were reliant on bias opinions of untrained and uneducated employees telling us what to take and what to pay. The internet changed that. 

    We now can form our own opinions, do our own research, and begin trusting brands we believe are trying to make positive change in health & fitness. 


    Some brands are continually trying to be thought leaders in the industry for consumer education and have hired online coaches and subject matter experts to aid in this cause. They will provide free consultative services, and provide curated content and products that are known and proven to work! These brands are making the extra effort to create an online experience you can trust. 


    Shopping and having your items shipped directly to your door is certainly more convenient the waiting in traffic and driving to a strip mall. Frankly, I really expected GNC to adapt to this change and offer free at home shipping. Utilize their established customer base to host workshops and in-store events. Nurture their local following with value added content, giveaways, and new product showcases. Understandably though, this takes time, talent, and dough.  It's worth noting that there is a reason I listed convenience 3rd down the list. Convenience should never prioritize over value & quality. I'm not the one to grab some random bottle with a pretty label off the shelf of a convenience store just because it's close to me and easy. Neither should you. Consider that these large big box convenience and grocery stores force even the best brands to create a product that has moved away from the intentions of the product to begin with, all to sell more. The products are often reformulated, diluted, and cut to make shared margins for maximum product velocity. 


    One of the best inventions since sliced bread is subscribe and save. Ah yes, we all know we just want our favorite products to arrive at our doorstep within just a few days of finishing up the last bit of the previous bottle. It's one of digital life's simple pleasures. With this simple feature, you no longer have to drive to your local store and pick up your favorite supplements. They are just saved, shipped, and managed all from a touch of a button. We just ask that you refer to the above previous suggestions before locking in a product on auto-shipping. 

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  • 10 Minute Ab Workout

    Posted by Ryan Powers

    10 Minute Ab Workout

    10 Minute Ab Workout

    Training Circuit For 10 Minute Ab Workout

    Ryan Powers

    Entrepreneur, Fitness Enthusiast, Strength Coach

    Just as the title suggests we know that training abs isn't necessarily on everyone's top of the to-do list. The time you do have doesn't always lend to a focused core routine and let's be honest - it's not being prioritized. Contrary to previous beliefs in regards to doing a sprinkling of abs everyday is no longer the standard. Putting the time and attention needed on them like any other of your favorite muscle groups will yield better results (so long as you can see them). Yes that was a diet plug. Regardless of the optics, a strong core is part of the foundation of ANY athletic movement. So let's help you with a repeatable easy-to-start routine that will give you a 10 minute ab workout. This routine will be 100% doable anywhere and can be replicated as a circuit for multiple "sets". 

    For this article we will recognize 5 different movements designed to be performed one after another with a timed rest at the end. Continue to repeat as you see fit. Take a look at our top picks below...

    Hanging Leg Raises
    10 - 12 Reps

    This movement is one of the fundamentals of true core strength and is a harder then it looks. Your core stability is what will keep you from swinging. 

    Featured here is technically called hanging knee raises. These are the training wheels to sticking your legs strait out and touching your ankles to your wrists.                             

    10 minute ab workout

    Standing Oblique Crunch
    12 - 15 Reps (ea side)

    Moving the attention to the obliques you will allow the weight to free hang and nearly slide up and down the side of your leg with your arm completely uninvolved. Use only the opposing side to move the weight up and down. 

    This exercise is all about focus and correct form as there is little to no margin for error to properly stimulate the muscles intended.                       

    10 minute ab workout

    Traditional Sit ups
    15 - 20 Reps 

    The tried and true exercise that is older than your grandmother's cookie recipe. No one seems to be trying to change that!? Don't fix what isn't broken.

    Notice the full range of motion that will recruit multiple muscles within your abdominal group. This exercise is irreplaceable in your 10 minute ab workout.             

    10 minute ab workout

    Fixed Plank
    30 sec - 1 Min

    Whatever you do, don't watch the clock. Just like boiling water, this exercise feels longer when you are watching the little hand move around the dial. Just put on some good tunes, keep your back strait, butt down, and remember why you were doing this in the first place.                  

    10 minute ab workout

    Russian Twists
    15 - 20 reps (ea side)

    If this movement is good enough for former Soviet Union military training, then I'm confident it will work for you. 

    It's important not to let your feet down or break that 45 degree angle as you swing the desired weight from side-to-side to only start and stop the direction using your oblique muscles - no arms!              

    10 minute ab workout

    Full Circuit

    There is some methodology to hand picking congruent exercise movements when designing a 10 minute ab workout. Knowing that our customers and supporters are from varying backgrounds and athletic prowess, we needed to design a circuit set that can be performed by anyone with the right practice and more importantly can be completed back to back with only a small rest at the end.  

    10-12 Hanging Leg Raises (Legs Strait)

    12-15 (ea) Standing Oblique Crunch

    15-20 Sit Ups (Traditional)

    30 Sec - 1 Min Plank

    15-20 (ea) Russian Twists

    Rest 75 Seconds 

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  • Vitamins and supplements: The Good, The Bad, and The Funny

    Posted by Stephen Powers

    Vitamins and supplements: The Good, The Bad, and The Funny

    Stephen Powers

    Stephen Powers
    Diet and Training Coach Extraordinaire

    Oh, the wondrous world of vitamins and supplements! There is a literal legion to choose from when it comes to promoting a healthy, active lifestyle. Rather than spew forth another list of supplements to choose from, let’s take another stance. We’ll list out the good, the bad, and even some of the funny in regards to today's world of vitamins and supplements.

    Vitamins and supplements

    The Good

    B-vitamins are a great all-around supplement to help support energy production, improve your mental state, and general well-being. The issue with this is that most B-vitamin supplements are worthless. The problem is that they are not chelated! Chelation processing modifies the vitamins and allows your body to absorb them at a much higher rate. So instead of urinating all your vitamins (literally flushing your money down the toilet), you can reap the rewards!

    Another great supplement is Taurine. It can help reduce stress, and improve your sleep patterns. The best part? Most companies aren’t aware of how powerful it can be to someone with an active lifestyle. This translates to cheap prices. Taurine is dirt cheap, no matter where you get it!

    The Bad

    By and far, marketing is typically the key to a products success. Think about Oxi-Clean, Flex Seal, the Snuggie, PedEgg, Ove Glove, Dollar Shave Club….the list goes on.

    All of these products have amazing marketing strategies; and yet, would you have bought any of them if you just happened upon them in the store without hearing about them on TV during every commercial break? Most likely not. Vitamins and supplements are no different. There are massive marketing strategies, and an even larger army of social engineers working around the clock to get their respective products in front of your eyes and into your memory.

    So how do some of the most popular products stand up to scrutiny? Let’s take a look at a few examples

     Whey Protein:

     Below is a listing of a few popular whey protein brands and their respective protein contents, as tested by third-parties.

    • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard - 73.4
    • Muscletech Nitro-Tech - 64.7 %
    • CytoSport Muscle Milk - 62.9 %
    • GNC Pro-Performance - 68.0 %
    • Quest Nutrition - 76.3 %

    Unbelievable, right? Imagine buying a popular protein supplement and literally throwing away, roughly, 25% of your money on fillers and additives! Moral of the story is that although something may seem popular, it pays to do a bit of your own research before joining the band wagon. 

    The Funny

    It’s not all doom and gloom today, though. We’ve saved the best for last!

    Let’s take a minute to discuss Magnesium. A potent supplement, it has the power to calm your nervous system, improve recovery, and increase nutrient uptake. But which derivative shall we take?

    Magnesium CITRATE?

    No, No, and another heaping bowl of No. Unless, that is, you wish to have the crazy poops for a solid 24 hours (or should I say a “runny 24 hours” …). The citrate derivative is a VERY potent laxative. So potent, in fact, that it is commonly used in individuals preparing for a colonoscopy!

    Do yourself a favor and opt for the magnesium glycinate derivative instead!

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  • 6 Tips On Setting Good Holiday Habits & Healthy Things To Eat

    Posted by Guest Contributor

    6 Tips On Setting Good Holiday Habits & Healthy Things To Eat

    Setting Good Holiday Habits & Healthy Things To Eat

    Harold Palma 
    Entrepreneur & Uprise Nutrition Athlete

    'Tis the season of holiday feasting; however that has massive potential for overindulging and weight gain.

    A typical American can gain up to 5 lbs just from Thanksgiving to New Years alone. Who can resist a golden-brown Thanksgiving turkey, homemade stuffing, and every conceivable decadent dessert! It is easy to normalize winter eating habits and call it "bulking for the holidays", but this could ruin all the progress you have worked so hard for throughout the year! Fortunately, we're here to help. We'll cover 6 tips on setting good holiday habits and healthy things to eat  to help to curb your cravings and prevent that holiday fluff.

    1.) Strategic Meal Planning

     Strategic meal planning does not mean "skipping meals" to save enough calories for the evening. Rather, try following a high protein, high vegetable intake to ensure your body is satiated. This will help prevent hunger cravings and subsequent binge eating - which can be a major inhibiting factor when it comes to maintaining, or losing weight, so tread carefully!

    Note: Although you may not exceed your daily calorie levels, your body weight can still fluctuate upwards when indulging in a sweet treat. This can be attributed to water weight (carbohydrates hold 10x their weight in water), inflammation of the digestive tract, and reduced insulin sensitivity. 

    2) Portion Control

    At feast time, have a balanced plate, which includes fibrous vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, spinach, and/or kale; and a "lean" protein source such as white turkey, chicken breast, or lean beef. Try dividing your plate into sections with veggies, protein, and a bit of carbohydrates A good rule of thumb is to try and have a protein portion approximately the size of your fist and some veggies the size of two! 

    Beware: Many vegetables can be bathed in oils and butter. If possible ensure your veggies are, ideally, raw or steamed in water. The right spices and a pinch of salt will go a long way towards flavor, no need to bring more fats to the plate!  

    3.) Order of Operations

     The order in which you eat your food has a major impact on your cravings. Eat your protein, first, followed by your vegetables, then your carbohydrates last. Protein and veggies will occupy much of the volume available in your stomach. Creating the order of healthy things to eat makes you satisfied faster and prevents the tendency to over indulge. 

    4) Fill The Cracks with Water

    Studies have shown that consuming a glass of water before your meal can drastically reduce the total amount of food that you consume. Drinking water while eating will also help increase the volume in your stomach, which sends signals to your brain that your stomach is filled and you are full. Fight the urge to appease that feeling of a calorie deficit if you have followed all steps prior.  

    5.) Avoid High Caloric Drinks

    Avoid drinking your calories. High caloric drinks are almost exclusively composed of simple sugars, and around the holidays, the cocktails can also be mixed with fatty milk. Avoiding sugary drinks prevents unnecessary caloric intake with next to no nutritional value. If a sweet beverage is a necessity for you, try to swap those drinks with your preferred 0 calorie sweetened beverages. Monk fruit or stevia are good options. 

    Note: Fatty Milk isn't necessarily a bad thing and certainly has its uses, but not when combined with sugar!

    6) Exchange Your Desserts

    Dinner is never complete without dessert. If you are truly dedicated to eating healthy throughout the holidays, but don’t want to endure the harsh ridicule associated with the lifestyle (let’s be real, eating healthy is the exception in today’s society, not the norm) you can opt to eat your dessert in a natural form. Fruits of all varieties can satisfy nearly any sweet tooth. A fruit smoothie with a hearty dollop of whip cream is a suitable compromise to eating a straight pile of sugar in the form of pie. 

    Final Thoughts:

    Here are some healthy things to eat or swap to keep the calories low while satisfying your cravings:

    • Replacing casseroles with grilled vegetables
    • White meat instead of dark 
    • Plain mashed potatoes (no butter or sour cream)
    • Eating a few pieces of dark chocolate to reduce extreme sugar cravings
    • Skip the butter on your rolls

    Remember, the take home message here is to have balance. The best diet for anyone is one that a person can adhere to consistently. 

    Happy Holidays form Uprise Nutrition and feast smart!

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  • Reasons why icing may not improve healing!

    Posted by Stephen Powers

    Reasons why icing may not improve healing!

    Stephen Powers

    Stephen Powers
    Diet and Training Coach Extraordinaire

    Reasons why icing may not improve healing!

    It’s an almost universally accepted fact that any injury requires ice to reduce swelling, but is this the best approach to accelerate healing? Let’s take a look at the reasons why icing may not improve healing objectively.

    At first glance, it would seem that a large, purple, swollen mass of tissue around an injury is a bad thing. Albeit a bizarre sight, the swelling can be critical to the healing process. After an acute injury such as a sprained ankle, the body attempts to repair, and replace, all of the damaged tissue. This generates a considerable amount of waste. The lymphatic system, responsible for removal of wastes throughout the body, can get backlogged with such a large amount of waste in a short period of time; hence, the swelling. To remove the waste, the lymphatic system requires the nearby muscles to send repair signals. If the muscle is too cold, the signals cannot be sent at an appropriate rate; thus, limiting the healing process.

    Reasons Why Icing May Not Improve Healing

    A recent fitness trend is taking hold in the industry in the form of whole body cryo-chamber therapies. In these sessions, your entire body is immersed in temperatures as low as -110°C (-166°F). These chambers are meant to reduce inflammation in the body, but can it be beneficial to speed up the recovery process and help stimulate growth in the body?

    The short answer is, probably not. These chambers are meant to help correct chronic inflammation throughout the body, which can be a great thing if you are a tri-athlete or marathon runner. These sports can be very damaging to the entire body. Comparatively, sports like bodybuilding or power lifting tend to cause muscular inflammation only. To signal muscular growth and adaptation, the body needs a stimulus sent from the damaged muscle (look at that, I brought it full circle!). As we mentioned before, the muscle sends repair signals out to the rest of the body, and the repair process is what helps the muscle to grow and get stronger. If you are inhibiting this signaling process, you can greatly impede your ability to progress in your respective sport!

    So, should we completely eliminate the cooling techniques? Not necessarily. If you find that your training has reached a concrete wall and no amount of stimulus will improve your goals, then a few sessions in a cryotherapy chamber might just do the trick; however, if you’re still making progress, you might just want to endure the discomfort and soreness. They made handrails next to toilets for a reason, use them!

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