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    BOOTS ON THE GROUND

    BOOTS ON THE GROUND

    We're excited to share the latest review from SHWAT on the LALO Shadow Amphibian. Jonathan Owen of SHWAT tested the Amphibian in a variety of environments and different conditions and here's what he had to say:

    Testing the Lalo Shadow Amphibian Boots Across Three Time Zones

    By Jonathan Owen of SHWAT

    We love gear, don’t you? Guns, optics, thermal, night vision – but unless you intended to scout and hunt naked you need some awesome apparel and great footwear. That counts as gear in my book. A few months ago I was introduced to some new boots and the company behind them. The LALO brand boots were essentially part of a care package I received on a visit to High Speed Gear on the North Carolina coast and were unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t sure what to think of them when I pulled them out of the box, but three time zones and climates later I’m happy to share what I discovered.

    Boots and guns
    Eastern Time Zone
    I had no idea who LALO was or what they were all about when I opened the box. Performance boots was what I understood, but really, that could just be marketing hype, right? The boots look plastic and green. For whatever reason, the green really threw me off. I mean, I’m a pew professional and need to look good in pictures, seriously! There was a lot happening at that moment and I didn’t stop to read anything about the boots. I needed to dive in and move on with the program. Had I read the label I would have been more prepared for what happened later. Mine are the LALO Shadow Amphibian 8″ Ranger Green boots.


    So I picked up a boot from the box. It seems to be reasonably lightweight. Light as in one pound five ounces, about the same as basketball or half the weight of your brain. That’s nice, wonder how it will fit? Won’t know until I loosen the laces which looks like it could take a minute or two.


    I slipped my foot in and it had a solid stop. Footwear doesn’t usually do that with my flat feet. There’s no wiggle room but they didn’t feel tight, they literally fit like a glove and might be the first pair shoes or boots I’ve ever owned that did. Yep, weird, but weirder still was what happened next.


    We went to a shooting range to get some trigger time with Sig MCX carbines and P320 pistols. We’d feed mags from our new HSG Battle Belts. There was a lot of standing in the boots that day, not a lot of ground got covered. But at the range just a few miles off the coast there was some shallow standing water near a place I wanted to take a picture. No big deal, I’m wearing fancy boots I’ll just step into the two inch deep puddle and – “What the heck!?! There’s water in these brand new boots! How is this possible? Guess I won’t review these…” Thoughts spin through my head but there’s nothing to do about it so we carry on. Distracted by the activities I didn’t notice my feet had completely dried until much later. In fact, I didn’t notice my feet at all and that’s strange because standing for long periods usually induces some serious foot and lower leg pain.

    Ranger Greet boot and gun
    Central Time Zone
    After I got home I realized that these LALO Shadow Amphibian boots were named “Amphibian” for functional reasons, not just marketing. They are not waterproof. LALO assumes you’ll get wet. Right in the sole they have what LALO calls “Dual Directional Drainage Ports” that coincidentally let water in as well. Stay with me here, I didn’t think I’d want that either but it got me thinking, “If they vent water I bet they vent air and that could be great.” With that thought and their comfort in mind I packed them for a Texas hog hunt. These hunts usually call for miles of walking through the dark of night in wheat fields. Occasionally they require full on sprints, or at least solid jogs of couple hundred yards or more. Hot sweaty feet are just not fun. I theorized that the Lalo Amphibian boots would mitigate that and they did and more.


    The wheat was knee to thigh high everywhere and as dawn approach the dew became ridiculous. My pant legs were so soaked I felt like I might as well have been wading through a lake. While the last thing I expected in West Texas was wet feet, gravity and my socks got together to move that moisture into my boots. I began squishing water with every step as we headed for the house. I haven’t cut my boot in half to see how it works, and maybe I’ll be able to go into more detail in another report, but it seemed that the Shadow Amphibians would literally pump the water out the drainage ports with each step. I’m not talking about sloshing, I’m talking pumping.


    But that wasn’t all I learned in Texas. I learned about efficiency. In my conversation with Shannon Baker at LALO, she described how the boot sole and inner plate yield more efficient movement. They have independent lab results that scientifically validate that, but my own experience was validation enough for me. I exerted less effort covering those familiar field than before, and moved more quickly without tiring.


    Mountain Time Zone
    The next test is for hunters who traverse rocky trails and perhaps climb in elevation. I grabbed a backpack, added some useless weight and traveled to spot south of Estes Park, Colorado. Starting at 8500 feet of elevation, I’d climb most of a thousand more in my Shadow Amphibians. Parts of the trail were nicely groomed, parts nothing but pointed rocks resembling a 3D model of the Rocky Mountains themselves, and parts with little to no trail to speak of.


    The LALO boots gripped everything from slick rock (not wet) to the super pointy bits. It was the later I wanted to really find out about. I’ve worn other boots in similar terrain where I could feel all the sharp surfaces through the soles and it’s not fun. Then there are boots that you don’t feel the rocks in but they don’t flex so you fatigue much faster. Wearing the Amphibians I had great grip and comfort. I believe it’s the “puncture resistant composite plate for protection and fatigue reduction” that makes the difference here. Either way I believe my feet would have been happy going a much longer distance.

    Boots in river by waterfall
    One last test for the LALO boots: Let’s see how fast the boot will clear water. Next to a waterfall I submersed my foot and left it there for a minute or so to take pictures. Within two tenths of a mile I couldn’t tell I’d ever stepped in the water. To me, that’s impressive. I’d guess there was still moisture inside, I didn’t take off my boot to check, but I couldn’t tell it and I wasn’t wearing any super high tech socks. I guess I can thank the boot lining for that. LALO says it’s, “Moisture wicking hydrophobic antimicrobial.” It’s been a week since the second hike there and I just verified these Amphibians don’t stink!


    Conclusion
    When it comes to gear, wisdom generally dictates getting the right tool for the right job. Any footwear review must take that into account. I’d never have guessed that I’d be so enthusiastic about boots that let water in. As it happens, LALO makes an alternate version of these called the Intruder without the passive drainage system. I rather imagine I’d prefer those in the winter.


    There are two things I’ve found I don’t love about these boots. First up, the laces. Well, not laces exactly, but lacing. These are eight inch tall tactical boots and there’s no getting around the ten rungs of lacing you need to loosen to get in or out of the boot and then cinch to wear. It’s pretty normal and I have several other tactical boots that require the same process. If you want tall tactical boots, lacing is a requirement. So this isn’t a knock on the boots as much as it is an FYI. Either way there’s hidden pocket in the Amphibian tongue to tidy up the tied laces. I didn’t always use it but it’s nice to have.


    Lastly, and I know this is petty, they are green. “Ranger Green” to be precise. I know, that’s not really weird to many in the military, law enforcement, search and rescue, etc. who wear these around the world. It’s not like LALO even asked a color preference. But really, who cares? You if you’re buying them new, and they are available in Coyote, Black Ops and Desert Sand as well. As for me, I like them well enough to wear them in the back country with shorts and bright socks sticking out the top, green, blue or whatever.


    LALO makes other products that hopefully we’ll get to review down the road. They look different than the usual types of footwear you see on the shelf so I suspect they are different.


    LALO SHADOW AMPHIBIAN SPECIFICATIONS:
    * Hidden lace pocket
    * KPU Grill designed to keep out debris while allowing for breathability
    * Full grain leather
    * Sleek vamp profile to allow a secure fin fit
    * Blade resistant and water repellent SuperFabric™ ceramic-treated textile overlay for abrasion resistance
    * Dual direction drainage ports
    * Slip resistant injection molded rubber outsole
    * Multi-density EVA designed to cushion at foot-strike and propel during toe-off
    * Articulating heel and outsole shape for a quiet stealth approach
    * Fin lock or IR Glint tape pocket
    * Moisture-wicking, hydrophobic antimicrobial lining
    * Puncture-resistant composite plate with rotation for protection and fatigue reduction
    * Contoured metal arch
    * Rip-stop nylon accents
    * Engineered Achilles flex notch
    * Seamless, lightweight quarter protection construction
    * MSRP $350

    Tap into the Center of Gravity for Tactical Hunting by subscribing and following Jonathan and SHWAT. You'll find cutting edge content covering all the bases: From Thermal scopes and Night Vision Hunts, clothing, guns, footwear and much more!

    Mountains of Muscle

    Mountains of Muscle

    Will increasing protein in my diet make me bulk up?  Hell no, but it may help make you stronger.

    Thanks to our friends at Gnarly Nutrition, we've got an answer for you. Have a read and let us know your thoughts on increasing protein intake and how it has worked or not worked in your training regimen.

    By Shannon O’Grady, Ph.D. for LALO

    “Will increasing the protein content of my diet make me bulk up?”  I hear this A LOT, both because I work for a company that makes protein powder and because I’m a woman.  I’m not saying that men don’t potentially have the same misconception, but the idea that increased dietary protein will lead to huge muscles isn’t always a negative for men, where it is almost ALWAYS a perceived negative for women.

    For the purpose of this discussion, when I say “bulking up” I am specifically talking about gains in muscle mass aka muscle hypertrophy, as opposed to gains in fat mass.  This distinction is important because while both involve increases in total caloric intake, gaining substantial muscle mass also involves alterations to both your frequency and type of strength training.

    So let’s first talk about why there may be this misconception, that protein supplementation leads to bulk, and then address why it is just that, a misconception.  While we are at it, let’s address why increasing dietary protein makes a lot of sense for athletes in terms of performance and recovery and discuss the best way to go about increasing protein in your diet.

    Man holding protein powder
    Protein supplementation, and increased dietary protein, is often associated with the bodybuilding and Crossfit communities, where increased muscle mass is either the goal (bodybuilding) or a means to an end (being a competitive crossfit athlete).  Thus people external to these communities often make the assumption that increased protein alone is responsible for the muscular physique of bodybuilding and Crossfit athletes.  On top of that, over the years, protein companies have published creative marketing that has lead consumers to believe that by simply taking a protein powder, your arms, shoulders and chest will magically grow into mountains of muscle.

    So here we go, I’m going to say it:  Increasing the protein in your diet, either through supplementation or whole foods, will not by itself make you jacked.  

    The marketing simply isn’t true and there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes for Crossfit athletes and bodybuilders than simply eating more protein. That begs the question, “What does lead to substantial increases in muscular mass?”

    Gains in muscle mass require substantial alterations to both diet and training.  In terms of diet this means an increase in not just protein intake, but also total caloric intake.  For example, you are not only changing your protein from 35% to 45% of your diet, you’re also increasing your total calories from 2500 to 3000.  Coupled with changes to your diet are necessary changes to 1) the frequency of strength workouts in your weekly program 2) the types of movements in your training (compound movements get a heavy emphasis), 3) Repetition scheme and weight used (i.e., 4x4 at 80% 1RM) and 4) overall effort (often to failure).  
    While strength gains are definitely of benefit to most athletes, substantial increases in muscle mass, and therefore weight, are not always ideal.  This begets the question: can you gain functional strength without adding bulk and thus sacrificing strength to weight ratio?  The answer is an absolute yes and once again has both a training and diet component.  I’ll leave the discussion of strength training in your sport of choice to the experts in that sport and, as promised, focus on how dietary changes and specifically, increasing dietary protein, can benefit you as an athlete.

    Man flexing his muscles
    1) Increased muscle repair and synthesis
    Think recovery, recovery, recovery.  The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein in “healthy” adults is 0.8g/kg body weight per day.  The RDA values for protein are set at “the level of protein judged to be adequate...to meet the known nutrient needs for practically all healthy people” (Institute of Medicine, 2005).  It’s critical to note that not only are the RDA values outdated, but they also fail to take into consideration the amount of protein required by both endurance and strength athletes to both adapt and gain from training stimulus (Phillips and VanLoon, 2011).  Specifically, the RDA recommendation does not 1) offset the oxidation (use as energy) of protein or amino acids during exercise and 2) include protein to promote muscle synthesis and repair after intense training (Campbell et al., 2007). Increased protein for strength athletes is primarily required for the synthesis of new muscle and/or to repair muscle damage (Phillips et al., 2006; Moore et al., 2009); resulting in increased strength and a quicker turn around between hard days.  Of note is that increased protein intake for endurance athletes is equally as important and plays a key role in increasing mitochondrial density and efficiency in muscles (Phillips et al., 2006).

    2) Improved strength to weight ratio
    Beyond what’s needed to repair and build new muscle, increasing the protein content of your diet can actually lead to an improved strength to weight ratio by reducing total caloric intake. Why is this?  Because protein, and fat for that matter, is generally more satiating than carbohydrates and increasing the protein in your diet may reduce the total amount of food you consume.  A lower caloric intake can mean fat loss and potentially, positive changes in body composition.  Supporting this is a 2005 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Weigle et al., 2005) where researchers found that when study participants were put on a higher protein diet (30%) and allowed to eat as much as they wanted, they actually ate less and lost body fat compared to the same protocol but with lower dietary protein (15%); carbs were held constant at 50%.  The researchers attributed this change in body composition to the satiating effects of higher levels of protein intake and the resulting decrease in total caloric intake.  But you may be thinking, what about the fat content?  In this study, increasing the protein content of the diet actually had a bigger impact on body composition than lowering dietary fat.

    So, how much protein should an athlete be eating and is there a limit to the benefit of increased protein intake?  

    Research suggests that there does seem to be a threshold above which increased daily protein intake has no benefit.  A study examining the impact of differential amounts of total daily protein on whole body protein synthesis in trained strength athletes found that protein synthesis was reduced in athletes on a “low” protein diet (0.86g/kg/day) relative to medium (1.4g/kg/day) and high (2.4g/kg/day) protein diets, but there was no difference in whole body protein synthesis between medium and high daily protein intakes (Tarnopolsky et al., 1992).  Supporting this older study, a recent review of 49 studies and 1863 participants, found that total protein intakes beyond ~1.6g/kg/day did not lead to further strength gains (Morton et al., 2017).  Additionally, and possibly more importantly, there are not only limits to the benefits of total daily protein intake but also to the amount of protein consumed in a single sitting. Moore et al., 2009 demonstrated that the positive impact of protein intake on muscle protein synthesis plateaus at 20g with higher amounts of protein (up to 40g) causing no further increase in protein synthesis.  Since then, additional studies looking at whole body exercise and muscle protein synthesis put this intake plateau closer to 40g, but further research needs to be done to validate this finding (Macnaughton et. al., (2016).

    So what should athletes take away from this?

    Daily protein should be consumed regularly throughout the day in ~20-40g doses to maximize strength gains and recovery.  Aim to consume 20-40g of protein every 3-4 hrs for a total of 4-5 snacks or meals.

    My Final Answer.
    No, just increasing the protein in your diet won’t make you bulk up.  If that is your goal, it’ll take changes to your training and more total calories to give you the arms of your dreams.  However, what more dietary protein will do for you (in combination with training) is have a positive impact on your strength to weight ratio and, more importantly, improve recovery by stimulating muscle protein synthesis and repair.

    Protein Supplement

    The World According to "The Big Guy"

    The World According to "The Big Guy"

    We took a moment to catch up with Rob MacDonald, aka Bobby Maximus, our inspiration for creating the ever-popular LALO Maximus Grinder. Rob’s Men’s Health Magazine book “Maximus Body” just became available worldwide in all formats and based on pre-sales it is already the number one new release in weightlifting.

    Here’s what Rob had to say:

    Why did you write this book? Since I was young I have always felt a desire to help other people. I had two parents who were completely selfless and always gave freely to those around them. I knew I wanted to do something where I could help others fulfill their potential and live a better life. This book is a collection of my knowledge and my own experiences that I believe can change people’s lives. Using the power of fitness and exercise can help transform other people. I truly believe that through exercise and fitness that we can all become better people. We can be better at work, more resilient to stress, better fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, and more. Simply put I believe that through fitness we can unlock our potential and become better in every area of our lives

    Who is this book for? This book is for everyone. There is much more than just “working out” in it. There is life psychology/philosophy, nutrition, and recovery (sleep and stress relief).

    This training program seems pretty serious – as in time consuming and all encompassing. I am a busy mom/dad with a high-pressure job, kids and family commitments. Is this something I should embark upon or how does this program apply to me in a way that I can actually accomplish the workouts in the time I have allotted? The training program is serious but that is what it takes to get results. There is no such thing as a “shortcut”. There’s no magic pill or three easy payments of $9.99. You have to do the work. That said the program only really requires 1 hour a day. Do you know how many hours there are in a week? 168 hours. If you can’t find five hours a week you just aren’t that serious about making a change. 

    I am over 45 and this program seems intense. Is it scalable so I can aptly recover and avoid injury? It is intense, but you can make substitutions and it is scalable. At the very least you can benefit greatly from the philosophy, nutrition, and recovery sections. 

    If I have questions and want to get in touch with you, how do I do that? Simply go to www.bobbymaximus.com and contact me via email. 

    Where do you work out? Can I come train with you? My gym is in Salt Lake City, Utah and we do accept people from in and out of town to come and train with us. Just send an email and we can make arrangements for that to happen. 

    How has your workout program changed with the addition of a wife and children coupled with aging? The program hasn’t changed at all actually. I always make time for fitness and prioritize it. Sometimes that means working out with my wife or children, but I am still the same hard working, dedicated person I have always been. If one thing has changed it that I have to pay more attention to my eating and sleeping habits.

    When you say, "pay more attention to your eating and sleeping habits," what do you mean?  While, when it comes to eating when I was younger I could miss meals, or allow myself to get dehydrated but I can't do that anymore. I need to be on more of a regimen. I also need to consume more high quality nutrient dense food and watch my alcohol consumption. When it comes to sleep it's much more simple. I need 8 hours. If I do that I feel great. When I get less I crash and burn.

    What’s next for you? I want to help as many people worldwide as possible. That means more travel, more teaching workshops, and more content developing. 

    Can we expect a follow-up book? I have already started writing it.

    You can find Rob’s book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, ibooks, and wherever else books are sold. To learn more, click here.

    Warning: If you don’t want to build serious strength, pack on muscle, or be unstoppably fit then this book is not for you. Maximus also doesn't offer any refunds for any clothing that your new found bulging muscles destroy.

    American Survival Guide Magazine

    Are you ready for when SHTF?

    Are you ready for when SHTF (sh&t hits the fan)?

    This month's "New Products," section of American Survival Guide Magazine featured new gear from the 2018 SHOT Show that looks to fill some critical gaps in your SHTF kit...or simply trigger new pangs of desire. The LALO Shadow Intruder was featured among these "new products," and we couldn't be happier!

    Here's what the crew at American Survival Guide Magazine had to say:

    LALO Shadow Intruder 8-Inch Boot:

    American Survival Guide provides everything you need to know and how to act when disaster strikes and self-reliance means the difference between living and dying - plus the latest on how to provide energy to your home, grow and preserve your own food and more. The Buyer's Guide features the best in shelter, firearms, flashing, tents, knives, backpacks and more!

    Athletic footwear being used in a gym

    Refuel, Rebuild, Recover

    We all know that eating right and having the correct nutrition plan is key when it comes to recovering from a tough workout. After you've finished putting the wood to yourself, you'll want to refuel your body with nutrients. But what really helps your body recover while keeping in line with your health and workout goals? Our friends at Gnarly Nutrition put together the following tips to help learn more about keeping your machine running in top form.

    Recovery Nutrition and Breaking Through Your Performance Plateau  (courtesy of the fine folks at Gnarly Nutrition)

    Recovery is arguably the most overlooked aspect of a training program, and yet it is often the key to building functional strength and breaking through performance plateaus. The quality of an athlete’s recovery or speed at which muscles recover from intense training can have a direct impact on an athlete’s ability to perform at subsequent efforts. Similarly, inadequate recovery can have long term negative impacts, linked to overtraining, that may result in a decline in performance and potentially injury. So what are the primary factors affecting the quality of recovery? Although a good recovery practice is multi-faceted, nutrition plays a key role and should be a priority for all athletes.


    What is meant by recovery? For the purpose of this article we are defining recovery as the period of rest between successive training sessions. For most of us that do one-a-day workouts, this period is 24 hours.  During those 24 hours, both the quality and quantity of nutrition can facilitate recovery and adaptation to training. For those training twice a day, this recovery period becomes significantly shorter and the importance of not just nutrition quality, but the timing of nutrition becomes paramount.  In the following paragraphs we will talk about how fine tuning your recovery nutrition, through the use of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) and protein, can help you recover more efficiently and ultimately help you perform better.

    So first, a little bit about amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Of the 20 amino acids, 9 are essential, meaning they cannot be synthesized (produced or created) by the body and must come from our diet.  Of these essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine are known as branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) Unlike other essential amino acids, which are broken down in the liver, BCAAs are transported directly to skeletal muscle where they play a critical role in muscle recovery and synthesis. Leucine, isoleucine and valine, the three BCAAs, work together to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and reduce the rate of muscle catabolism, or breakdown - exactly what we’re looking for to maximize recovery. Taking BCAAs before and during exercise decreases delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS which has a direct impact on the ability to perform in subsequent training efforts.


    Athletic Footwear and Sandbag Kettlebell in a gym

    Taking BCAAs seems like a good idea, but is it possible to get a good dose of BCAAs by simply eating a good source of protein?

    Yes and no. Although protein contains BCAAs, different sources of protein contain varying amounts and complete proteins have to be fully digested in order to access free form amino acids, and this process takes time and is not efficient.  Because free form, or individual, amino acids don’t require digestion and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, they are a much quicker and more efficient way to increase BCAA concentration in the body directly before and during exercise.  That being said, if you are diligent and consistent with your protein intake than BCAA supplementation may not be necessary.   What does diligent and consistent protein intake mean?  Research suggests that in a single sitting, 20-30g of protein maximally stimulates muscle protein synthesis and consuming this amount of protein every 3-4 hours will lead to higher levels of total muscle protein synthesis when measured across the course of a day (this is in contrast to skewed protein intake where an individual consumes the majority of their daily protein at one end of the day).

    How can you put all of this together to optimize your recovery nutrition plan? 

    On a daily basis you should aim for getting in 20-30g of high quality protein every 3-4 hours.  Look for protein sources that are easily digestible and high in essential amino acids (EAAs), specifically the BCAAs leucine, isoleucine and valine.  Great options include meat, seafood, dairy, eggs, legumes and most commercially available protein powders (collagen and beef protein isolate being exceptions).  Take BCAAs 15-20 minutes prior to training.  Research has shown that BCAA concentration in the blood elevates within 15 minutes and peaks 30 minutes after ingestion, so supplementing with BCAAs starting about 15 minutes before training is ideal. Finally, follow your training session up with a good source of carbohydrates and protein, ideally in ~3:1 ratio (e.g., 60g of carbohydrates and 20g protein) to replenish spent glycogen stores and promote muscle protein synthesis.


    Having and executing a recovery nutrition plan will increase your ability to recover and benefit from multiple hard training efforts.  Specifically, it will do is make a measurable difference in your ability to train hard. Again. Soon.  This will lead to both immediate and long term performance gains.  

    Thanks to our friends at Gnarly! To learn more, visit gognarly.com

    Coupon code for Gnarly Nutrition from LALO