CF Reviews

Excruciatingly Honest Opinions About Health and Fitness Products.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cranky Fitness Big Fall Giveaway!


Yes, it's time to bribe thank the awesome readers of Cranky Fitness with a big fall giveaway! This will coincide with our road trip to the west coast, which will take a dawdly three weeks or so.

Dear, you sure we're still on the interstate?
Photo: Plan 59

So we have a great Grand Prize (a TRX Home Training Bundle) plus a whole bunch of other neato prizes too. (See below). The only sad thing? Most of these are U.S. only--but we've got at least a few sponsors who will ship to Canada, so please, dear Canadians, don't give up on us entirely.

(The rest of the international community? I'm afraid you're S.O.L., sorry. But it so wouldn't be worth moving to the land of Big Macs and Rush Limbaugh just to be able to enter a blog giveaway, right?)

NOTE: Please read the instructions! This contest works a bit differently than most of our giveaways have.

Contest Rules:

1. Comment on two posts: Yep, to officially enter you need to comment both on this post, and the Pre-Giveaway Check-in Post, which will be put up sometime in the first week of November. The winners will be picked by random number generator from a pool of all those who commented on both posts. This random drawing will happen sometime around November 8th, depending on when I get back to civilization.

Why this annoying two-post requirement? It's because while we're using a random number generator to pick the winners, we'd be really happy if most of the winners were people who actually read Cranky Fitness on a regular basis! We can't cheat and go non-random, but I think it's fair to stack the deck on behalf of regulars readers. So the arrival of the Pre-Giveaway Check-in Post will be announced prominently on the main blog, and there will be a limited number of days in which to comment before the contest closes. I'm thinking folks who stop in regularly will be more likely to catch the announcement post and remember to comment again--while the fly-by-nighter "Cranky What? Did you say TRX and Vitamuffins?" people who just want to win stuff will probably comment once and completely forget to come back, and so they won't be officially entered. Sneaky, huh?)

2. In your comment to this post, let us know if you live in the U.S. or Canada.

3. Also in your comment here, let us know which prizes you're particularly interested in. And if you do it politely, you can also let us the ones you wouldn't have a current use for. We'll presume it's because you're allergic or something or already have one. No need to trash a prize that don't appeal to you unless you're just in a really foul mood and can't help it.

4. The winners will be selected strictly by random number, but the prizes may be apportioned depending on multiple factors, including the order drawn, expressed preference, and eligibility.

I'm going to draw numbers, and the first numbers picked will get higher value prizes--however, it helps to know what you'd actually like.

Note: you may still end up winning a prize you specifically said you didn't want, if yours is one of the last numbers picked. Sorry in advance for the Cranky Fitness customized toothpick holders. (Don't worry--not actually a real prize).

5. Once the winners are announced you will have a limited time to claim your prize, so don't forget to check back to see if you are a winner. Any unclaimed prizes will be redistributed based on additional random drawings.

6. Conflict of Interest Warning: These prizes have all been donated, so you can officially worry that if I say nice things about them I am just making it up so they will send us more stuff in the future. Also, there are cases where I've gotten free stuff or sponsorship from a prize provider in the past, which I've tried to remember to mention. Just assume I'm completely corrupt and dishonest because it's easier for all of us that way. (Is that good enough, FTC? Please don't fine me!)

7. Sleazy Sponsor Warning: We've occasionally had giveaway prize delays before, but so far we've never had a sponsor entirely flake out. However, it occurred to me when putting together a multi-sponsor post that if somehow one of our many sponsors should fail to deliver, I can't afford to personally cover for them. Therefore: be warned you are assuming the risk of any Sponsor Flake-Outs. That is, you could enter, win a prize, and never get that prize if the sponsor skips town.

However, if any sponsor is stupid enough to fail to deliver, you can bet that Cranky Fitness will be blogging about it incessantly and announcing to the world what buttholes they are and that they will be very, very sorry they ever messed with us.

Okay, enough of the dire warnings, on to the prizes!

Grand Prize: The TRX Home Training Bundle! (US Only)

Remember back when I reviewed the TRX and then kept it all to myself, rather than offer it for a give-away like a more generous blogger would do? Well, that's 'cause I liked it. Sorry. Here's a chance to make it up to you though, as this time we're giving one away.

So the TRX is a suspension system that uses your own body weight and gravity to provide resistance for a bunch of different strength training exercises.

To quote myself in the review post: "The small size and convenience of this system makes it a great choice for home exercisers, especially for those who don't have a gym membership or a lot of space or money for a full-on home gym. It's great for functional fitness types, because you get a lot of core work, and you can pick up the speed and do the strengthening exercises for cardio too. And it's a particularly handy choice for folks who travel because of how portable it is."

The Home Training Bundle retails for $169.95. (And conflict-of-interest reminder: I got my original review model for free.)


A $150 Giftcard for a customized T-Shirt Quilt from Campus Quilt Co! (US only)

So what's a T-Shirt Quilt? Well, it's kind of a cool concept. These folks take your old cherished T-shirts, sweatshirts, blankies, baby outfits, or any other fabric that holds memories, and they craft the items into a quilt. Here's how it works:

"You choose the layout of your quilt, select the backing color, and add extra services like embroidery, photo squares, or sashing. The quilts are fully quilted to ensure durability so you can cuddle up in your quilt, hang it on the wall, or save as a keepsake." After you place your order, you'll "receive a quilt kit with order form, layout guide, fabric swatch card, bag to mail the clothing, and a pre-paid UPS mailing label. Send your clothing back and in 2-3 weeks, you will receive your finished quilt."

Seven Winners: Vitalicious Super Sampler Pack! (US only)

I've done a full review of the Vitalicious goodies before, and while they're a Cranky Fitness sponsor (for which I am very grateful), I also appreciate that they offer a healthy convenience food that you can enjoy without feeling terribly guilty. The muffins are 100 calories or less, use natural ingredients, and have fiber and protein and good stuff like that. The sampler packs are especially nifty because they have tons of different flavors you can try. (My personal faves: Banana Nut and Double Chocolate Dream).

Three winners: Great books from Green Mountain Spa! (US and Canada)

So yes, Green Mountain is also a Cranky Fitness advertiser! But also love to mention them when I can anyway because I love their sensible healthy approach to fitness and weight loss. (I'm also a big fan of their blog, A Weight Lifted, and I got a big kick out of it when their director Marsha did an interview for us).

Anyway, here are the three books they've generously donated for our giveaway:

The Diet Survivor's Handbook, by Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel;

Feeding the Hungry Heart: The Experience of Emotional Eating, by Geneen Roth; and

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Three winners: "Groove" headphones from 2XL! (US and Canada).

These are "hanger buds" that are designed to avoid bacterial build up that can happen in regular in-ear buds, and at the same time, "provide stellar sound quality."

(Plus, some folks who are squeamish like me can not stand having things stuffed in our ears and so hate regular earbuds. Yet these things look to be quite a bit cuter and sleeker than most over-the-ear alternatives.)

See? Compare: Groove headphones--

to the less sleek over-the-ear alternative:

Photo: Beard Papa

Two winners: Pulse Yoga I Basic DVD! (US Only)

Pulse Yoga "combines all of the best elements and disciplines of Pilates, Weight Training, and Yoga." It includes micro movements with free weights to tone and strengthen target areas such as the gluteus muscles, abdominals, upper arms and lower back."

Bonus: there is actually some published research about the effectiveness of this approach, which you can find on their site. (But note: it's a powerpoint presentation, not a web page).

Five winners: True North Sample Packs! (US only)

Note: Duh, Wrong Flavor, Sorry!

Each sample pack contains one bag each of Apple Cinnamon, Citrus Burst and Almond Cranberry, which are not pictured above because I spaced out and forgot to get jpegs from the sponsor. So use your imaginations.

The thing I like about True North (and I am personally a huge fan of their almond clusters) is that they make an effort to keep the ingredients healthy, but make the snacks tasty enough to feel like treats.

(I received a free sample pack myself, and while the straightforward almond clusters remain my personal favorite, these more fruity flavors were a big hit with the Lobster and our houseguests).

Five Winners: Atkins sampler, 3 Bars and a Shake! (US only)

Have you been curious about these Atkins snacks? They certainly look tasty, and they're coming out with new flavors to try. The sample pack will contain a bar from the Day Break, Advantage and Endulge lines in addition to an Advantage shake.

Fifteen winners: A half-gallon of Silk Heart Health Soy Milk! (US only)

Silk Heart Health is "a new soymilk product that combines the heart-health benefits of soy protein and plant sterols. Both have been proven to help reduce the risk of cholesterol and heart disease. A recent study found that people who enjoyed three servings of Silk Heart Health per day for four weeks, as part of a sensible diet, lowered their cholesterol by 7%."

They've also provided a link for a coupon for 55 cents off.

Five Winners: ME beverages

So this new entrant into the lower-cal beverage market takes an offbeat approach, promising beverages with "edgy flavors" and "tons of personality." Alas, "Whiny™" and "Slacker™" aren't yet options, but you can find out if you are Vivacious™, Curious™, Uninhibited™ or Unavailable™ by going to their interactive web site, "Find Your Me." The drinks have 70 calories per can, no caffeine, natural ingredients and come in flavors like tangerine pineapple, blueberry lime, pink grapefruit, and dragonfruit blackberry.

Thanks so much, Cranky Fitness readers--and good luck!


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The authors of Cranky Fitness have opinions about fitness and weight loss products.

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This Review and Giveaway Page was the temporary home for product reviews, which now appear in full back at the main blog.

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