The Toolbox

These are my favourite gadgets, supplements, and tools.

And so this page is continually under construction.

I have found everything listed below genuinely helpful in my own journey and as recommendations for my clients.

Take any and all information to your doctor first.

Use your own judgement—this is just information from a guy on the internet (teamed up with a Health Sciences Major and personal trainer.)

Heads up: some of the retailers have affiliate links, and so we use them when we can to help fund the Outlive project.

Jared Polowick –Jared

Training

Nutrition & Kitchen

In Progress

Tracking + Results

Low-Fi Digital Weight Scale

The problem: Imagine you head to the gym after work. In the locker room you step on the scale and the number you're seeing is 5 pounds heavier than you thought. Is this, in fact, reality?

If you're trying to lose weight, this is demotivating, because you might actually be making progress but the scale doesn't show that.

And if you're trying to get bigger and stronger, this might give you false confidence that what you're doing is working well when it might not be.

Our weight changes throughout the day based on how hydrated you are, how much food you've eaten, etc.

The solution: Get your own low-fi digital weight-scale that you love the look of.

Digital scales won't need calibration, your own scale will bring consistency to the weigh-ins and give you a feeling of ownership of the outcomes, and a good looking scale will allow you to leave it out in the open so you'll remember to use it.

There's no wi-fi being broadcasted, there's no inaccurate bodyfat measurements, just an accurate and simple scale.

Plus, weighing yourself more often will help with keeping your goals on your mind.

How I do it: For consistency, start with an empty stomach right after you wake-up. Use the washroom and then weigh yourself. Weigh yourself every day. At the end of the week, you could average out your weigh-ins for the most accurate snapshot of your weight.

Related studies: Study, Study, Study

Tailor's Measuring Tape

The problem: You tried a new diet and workout program but after putting in lots of effort, the scale didn't budge. You're unsure if it's working.

The solution: Get your own tailor's tape, and take monthly measurements. You may have lost an inch at the waist (signalling fat-loss) and gained an inch on your shoulders (signalling muscle gain.)

How I do it: I measure myself whenever starting a new program, a new phase, etc.

MyFitnessPal

The problem: You're ready to get started but you have no idea how many calories or protein are in what you're eating.

Or, despite trying to change your eating habits over the past few weeks, the scale never budges the direction you want it to go.

The solution: Using this free app will make it simple to tally up the calories and protein you've eaten. It'll send reminders to log your day as well. Research has shown that keeping a food log, such as using MyFitnessPal, can improve your results by up to 100%.

How we use it: We use this app anytime we are trying to get bigger or leaner. Then, once we accomplish our goal, we stop using it and rely on intuition until the next sprint.

Related studies: Study, Study, Study, Study

Training

Foam Roller

The problem: Imagine you're just beginning to lift weights. Your first session goes better than you expected.

You start thinking that this could be even easier than you thought.

Then, the next morning your body reached a level of tenderness you didn't even know existed.

The solution: Foam rolling is like giving yourself a massage. It can help speed up recovery. If you've been training for awhile, it can help you fix and expand your mobility (range of motion.)

How I use it: We have a short 12" foam roller at home that we can use in the morning if we're feeling especially beat up. When doing heavy strength training, it can be a lifesaver during mobility and warm-up drills.

Related studies: Study, Study, Study, Study

Supplements

Muscle-Building Supplement

Creatine

Why: Creatine is a compound mainly found in meat and seafood. Many people aren't getting enough of it. Creatine helps your body’s energy system, so it can help you do more reps and sets, allowing you to get more muscle gains.

How I take It: 5g daily of Allmax Creatine Monohydrate

Muscle-Building Supplement

Protein Powder

Why: It can be difficult to eat enough protein due to time constraints, ability to prep, etc. Plus, there may be some minor benefits to protein timing around workouts—so protein powder can help with that.

My favourite types are:

How I take it: I usually have a scoop or two before I workout to minimize protein degradation in the muscle.

General Health + Testosterone-Boosting

Magnesium

Why: Magnesium is a mineral that helps with testosterone, blood sugars, making proteins, and metabolizes vitamin D.

A 2018 paper said that magnesium deficiency is driving heart disease and is a public health crisis.

Another study found that nearly half of teenage sportsmens were deficient due to exercise, sweating, and humidity.

Stress, fasting, coffee, and exercise can deplete it. And for whatever reason (tap water, poor soil care in farming) we're not getting a high intake naturally.

How I take it:

  • 400–600mg (2-3 pills) daily of magnesium bis-gylcinate (but there may be a better form.) I'm also trying to drink more spring water and eat more organic foods.

Sleep + Waking Up

Philips Wake-Up Alarm Clock

The problem: Imagine you're sleeping peacefully. It's a cold winter morning and the sun won't rise for a few more hours. But you've got to wake up soon for work. *BEEP BEEP BEEP*. Your alarm clock blares and you wake up stressed out, disoriented, groggy, and pissed off.

Scenario 2: Imagine you're sleeping peacefully. Your room is completely dark. You start to stir and look at the red numbers on your clock. It says it's 10:45am. You've slept for 11 hours! Your black-out curtains, basement apartment, or windowless bedroom has made you oversleep again.

The solution: Gradually wake your body up with light that starts off incredibly dim and gets brighter over 30 minutes. Wake up with naturally with light, even if you need to be somewhere on time.

How we use it: I first bought an earlier version of this when I lived in a windowless room. Nowadays, I use it less since I try and rise with the sun but it still serves me well when I need to be up especially early (such as for a meeting or a flight.)

Related studies:

Health

True HEPA Air Purifier

The problem: We need clean air to thrive. We're not designed to be kept inside energy-efficient buildings 24/7.

But research says that if you live in the developed world you'll spend about 90% of your time inside.

And if you use air conditioning and keep the windows closed, that can reduce your air exchange rate by 50%.

There isn't a person that doesn't have dust mites, mold spores, or other fine particles in their house.

There are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from household products, furniture and flooring, and nitrogen oxides from cooking.

Things get worse if you use spray cleaning products, or your house is older.

Depending on how dirty your air is, it could be even be causing you short-term problems like headaches and stuffy noses.

The solution: This is a long-game solution, but using a HEPA air filter you can filter out up to 70% of indoor air pollution (you'll just need to get one that's the right size for your room. You can lower systemic inflammation in your body. That means we can recover easier from stress and feel better.

How I use it: Pop one of these in your bedroom where you'll be for 7–9 hours for the rest of your life. If you work from home, you might benefit getting another one for the office.

Related studies: