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Supplement Company of the Month: Olympus Lyfestyle


Admittedly, Olympus Lyfestyle doesn’t fit perfectly with the moniker “Supplement Company of the Month.” It was a supplement company in its prior incarnation, Olympus Labs, but Olympus Lyfestyle is, as the name suggests, a lifestyle brand. But don’t worry, that lifestyle incorporates taking supplements that Olympus creates and sells to consumers like you, including here on Bodybuilding.com.

The distinction is more than mere semantics. It strikes at the heart of the personal journey of Olympus Lyfestyle founder and CEO Mobi Khawaja, a self-described millennial who is fully immersed in the way of lifting and living that he champions through his company. His philosophy revolves around—in no particular order—looking better, feeling better, and living better, all with a distinctive style and a highly elevated sense of purpose.

An Olympus Lyfestyle icon such as model Tyrone Hermitt works his ass off in the gym and has the body to show for it—that’s a given. But when you check his Instagram page, rather than seeing him crank out reps on the bench press, you’re more likely to see him embodying that famous line of Kanye West’s: “My life is dope, and I do dope shit.”

Bodybuilding.com will be showcasing Olympus Lyfestyle content in the coming months. In the meantime, we had the chance to ask Khawaja about his personal journey, what his brand stands for, and where it’s going from here.

Before you tell us about Olympus Lyfestyle, what’s your background?

I hold bachelor’s degrees in history, Asian studies, and criminal justice, as well as an executive MBA. Growing up, I was someone who took their hobbies and passions and did something about them. When I was 10 years old, I grew obsessed with anime, particularly Dragon Ball Z. So, I created a GeoCities website and taught myself HTML.

At the time, my friends would tease me and say, “HTML: How The Mobi Lives,” which I still remember to this day. But from GeoCities, I created my own branded website. I went on to co-webmaster a bigger website with a friend I had met through the community and AOL instant messenger. A few years later, I began an anime-based forum that amassed more than 50,000 members.

Then came the Xbox and the rise of Halo 2. At one point I was ranked top 100 in the world and always at the upper echelon of matchmaking. [Matchmaking is the process of connecting players together for online play sessions, usually by skill level]. This was something I greatly enjoyed, as it brought my closest friends together and connected me to the world. I wasn’t a casual gamer; I was extremely competitive. I ranked high in every game I played. I probably could have had an alternate life as a pro gamer.

But I was very skinny, which eventually drove me into the gym. It took a while, but over time, I began to really enjoy learning the science behind exercise. At age 16, I began using supplements. I devoured everything I could find on supplements, and quickly saw areas where companies and their products fell short. So, I started to look into clinical doses of various ingredients, and I began self-dosing. I’ve always been one to take things into my own control. There’s so much knowledge out there, and if you’re hungry and driven, you can learn so much on your own.

When did you decide to start Olympus Lyfestyle, and why?

Olympus Lyfestyle is the second brand that I’ve started. The first brand, Olympus Labs, was too product-focused and disconnected from what fueled me personally. I’ve always been a super-user, turning my hobbies and passions into business ventures. So, I wanted to start a lifestyle brand built on connecting with an audience, engaging with them, and creating a relationship that transcends mere transactions. I was inspired by disruptive companies “making it and breaking it” in the digital realm.

Did you feel like you were filling a void in the market, or simply bettering what others were doing?

With our first company [Olympus Labs], we were definitely doing things better than other companies by structurally having the advantages in supply chain, R&D, etc. But in hindsight, the brand was too product-centric and -focused. We now live in an era where branding needs to be about the user and delivered to the user. Being a millennial myself, it was easy for me to adopt that mindset.

With this new brand, not only are we creating products that have what we think are the best formulations and best flavors, but we’re also creating a brand that is experientially enriching for our consumers through our content-deployment strategy. Our strategy involves radical engagement, creating content that causes consumers to engage and connect with the brand on a brand-customer level, and then introducing those consumers to the product and its benefits for their lifestyle. To look better, feel better, and live better—those are the benefits.

Let’s turn to your customers. Is there a typical Olympus Lyfestyle customer?

Our target audience is a socially and culturally connected healthy lifestyle audience. They are someone who is highly engaged with the brand they follow. Someone who looks to find meaning in the brand associations they have and carry. They are young, hip, disruptive individuals looking to live a healthy lifestyle with the support of a brand that syndicates pop culture, fashion, fitness, and sports performance in their brand messaging and merchandising strategy.

Olympus Lyfestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle is a means to fuel their “Why.” They want to feel good and look good, tying in both the aesthetics of beauty and fitness. Bottom line, they want to live better.

What product do you feel helped you the most in getting known in the supplement industry?

Rather than one product, it’s been the consistency of each of our product formulations, and the addition of new and novel ingredients. I also think we’ve changed the pace at which the industry moves. There is a reason why we’ve won many supplement awards.

Having said that, I think the product that will amplify growth for us is our Promises Protein Powder. Not only does it contain real cereal pieces, but in my opinion, it’s simply the best-tasting protein on the market right now.

What was the inspiration for your brand’s packaging? That’s an interesting aesthetic.

Our brand messaging in content is very mature, fashionable, and cool. Our packaging strategy is more fun, animated, and illustrated to display around the flavor and fun of the products. In the future, we’ll be bringing it up another notch by using iridescent bottles.

Before I let you go, in one sentence, sum up your brand message.

We’re devoted to bringing fitness to your lifestyle and creating a “Lyfestyle” you can follow!



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Samsung’s Galaxy S21 premium smartphones to hit India later this month


South Korean tech giant Samsung said it will bring its new lineup of flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones to the Indian market by the end of the month with prices starting ₹69,999, intensifying competition in the premium segment.

Samsung, which competes with Apple and OnePlus in the premium segment in India, said customers in the country can pre-book all three variants — Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 — from Friday.

The new phones were unveiled on January 14 at a global virtual event ‘Galaxy Unpacked 2021’.

“All the three devices are hyper fast 5G ready and are powered with Samsung’s own Exynos 2100 chipset. Consumers can pre-book Galaxy S21 Series starting January 15 across Samsung’s Exclusive Stores and retail stores and on Samsung.com and leading online portals,” it said in a statement.

Pre-booked consumers will start getting deliveries on January 25, while Galaxy S21 series goes on sale in India on January 29.

The Galaxy S21 will be priced between ₹69,999-73,999, Galaxy S21+ for ₹81,999-85,999 and the Galaxy S21 Ultra will retail for ₹1,05,999-1,16,999.

“We are living in a mobile-first world, and with so many of us working remotely and spending more time at home, we wanted to deliver a smartphone experience that meets the rigorous multimedia demands of our continuously changing routines,” said T.M. Roh, president and head of Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics.

He added that for over a decade, the Galaxy S series has delivered groundbreaking, flagship mobile experiences and the new Galaxy S21 series builds on this legacy.

The Galaxy S21 features a 6.2-inch display, 10MP front and triple rear camera, 8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB internal memory and 4000 mAh battery. The Galaxy S21+ features a larger 6.7-inch display and 4800 mAh battery.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra features a 6.8-inch display and 5,000 mAh battery.

Samsung is introducing support for its S Pen on the Galaxy S series in the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

The S Pen allows users to draw, take notes, edit photos and sign documents on the screen itself. Users will be able to use an existing S Pen from a Galaxy Note/Tab or purchase a new one.

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Samsung’s Galaxy S21 premium smartphones to hit India later this month


South Korean tech giant Samsung said it will bring its new lineup of flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones to the Indian market by the end of the month with prices starting ₹69,999, intensifying competition in the premium segment.

Samsung, which competes with Apple and OnePlus in the premium segment in India, said customers in the country can pre-book all three variants — Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 — from Friday.

The new phones were unveiled on January 14 at a global virtual event ‘Galaxy Unpacked 2021’.

“All the three devices are hyper fast 5G ready and are powered with Samsung’s own Exynos 2100 chipset. Consumers can pre-book Galaxy S21 Series starting January 15 across Samsung’s Exclusive Stores and retail stores and on Samsung.com and leading online portals,” it said in a statement.

Pre-booked consumers will start getting deliveries on January 25, while Galaxy S21 series goes on sale in India on January 29.

The Galaxy S21 will be priced between ₹69,999-73,999, Galaxy S21+ for ₹81,999-85,999 and the Galaxy S21 Ultra will retail for ₹1,05,999-1,16,999.

“We are living in a mobile-first world, and with so many of us working remotely and spending more time at home, we wanted to deliver a smartphone experience that meets the rigorous multimedia demands of our continuously changing routines,” said T.M. Roh, president and head of Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics.

He added that for over a decade, the Galaxy S series has delivered groundbreaking, flagship mobile experiences and the new Galaxy S21 series builds on this legacy.

The Galaxy S21 features a 6.2-inch display, 10MP front and triple rear camera, 8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB internal memory and 4000 mAh battery. The Galaxy S21+ features a larger 6.7-inch display and 4800 mAh battery.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra features a 6.8-inch display and 5,000 mAh battery.

Samsung is introducing support for its S Pen on the Galaxy S series in the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

The S Pen allows users to draw, take notes, edit photos and sign documents on the screen itself. Users will be able to use an existing S Pen from a Galaxy Note/Tab or purchase a new one.

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Sriwijaya Air crash: Plane passed inspection last month


Separately, the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) said that preliminary findings showed that the plane had reached the height of 10,900ft (3.3km) at 14:36 local time on Saturday (07:36 GMT), then made a steep drop to 250ft at 14:40, before it stopped transmitting data.

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Bat warning issued after officials detect three cases of lyssavirus in Queensland in one month


Three bats have tested positive to Australian lyssavirus in Queensland in recent weeks, prompting health officials to renew their warnings not to handle injured animals.

The most recent positive case was found in a bat in Anstead Bushland Reserve, in Brisbane’s south-west, on December 30.

“We have been in contact with those people who reported the bat when it was found and those who cared for it,” a spokesperson for Queensland Health’s Metro North Health Unit said.

Three people have died from Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) since the virus was detected in 1996.

It is transmitted through scratches or bites and in humans causes paralysis, delirium, convulsions and death, according to Queensland Health.

The rabies-like virus has been found in four kinds of flying foxes or fruit bats and one species of insect-eating microbat, but all bats are assumed to be potential carriers.

People should not handle bats, even if they appear dead, according to Queensland Health guidance.

“It is very important to provide urgent treatment if anyone has had a scratch or bite from a bat to prevent a lethal disease,” the Queensland Health spokesperson said.

The RSPCA took in the Anstead bat just three days after a bat from East Ipswich also tested positive.

“At RSPCA we hardly ever get a positive result … the fact that we’ve had two come in so close together is a bit of a concern,” RSPCA veterinarian Meaghan Barrow said.

“It’s something we’re looking into … and some of the other bat care and rescue groups.”

Earlier in December, a positive case was found in Cairns.

“If anyone sees a bat that is injured … we recommend that people don’t touch them at all. Obviously, any sick bat could have a risk of having lyssavirus,” Dr Barrow said.

Bats hang upside down in a wildlife sanctuary with a rope in the foreground.
Three people have died in Queensland since Australian bat lyssavirus was identified in 1996.(ABC Illawarra: Justin Huntsdale)

Rescue group warns bats should not be demonised

Jennifer Sullivan from Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland said the cases were not necessarily a cause for concern.

“We do get the occasional flare-up every now and then,” she said.

Ms Sullivan said bats were an integral part of the ecosystem and should not be demonised.

“Bats have a bit of a stigma that comes across from being a night-time animal … but in reality they are vital to our ecosystem in Australia,” she said.

“Flying foxes are a keystone species … so without them our ecosystem actually crashes.

“I don’t think lyssavirus is one of the things we should be concerned about … they’re far more at risk from habitat destruction.”

A sick or injured bat can be helped by contacting local rescue groups or RSPCA.

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Bitcoin crosses $40K mark, doubling in less than a month


First it went through $US20,000. Then 10 days later, it broke through $US25,000, and then, with barely taking a breath, it crossed $US30,000. Now only a few days into 2021, the price of bitcoin has crossed $US40,000.

Nothing’s new with the digital currency in the month since it crossed $US20,000 — there’s been no major change in how it can be used. Although some investors are now using the notoriously volatile currency as a “store of value,” which is traditionally a title saved for safe haven investments like gold and other precious metals.

Bitcoin has made a habit of breaking records, as its safe haven appeal increases.Credit:Bloomberg

“Will you be able to buy a cup of coffee with bitcoin? Probably not with the current version of Bitcoin. It’s largely become a store of value,” said Mike Venuto, a co-portfolio manager of the Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF, a $US391 million ($503 million) exchanged-traded fund that focuses on blockchain technologies and companies that deal with cryptocurrencies.

Media attention to its rise has only added fuel to the rally. But investors in digital currencies and companies that trade or “mine” them are warning people to be sceptical of Bitcoin’s recent rise and to be braced for a lot of volatility.

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Brazil’s services sector expands in Dec for 4th month, but pandemic fears linger – IHS Markit


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BRASILIA — Brazil’s services sector expanded in December for a fourth straight month and at a slightly faster pace than the month before, a purchasing managers’ survey showed on Wednesday, although underlying data painted a more mixed picture.

Services have lagged manufacturing and industry in the rebound from the COVID-19 crisis but have recently shown signs that the bounceback is underway, a view strengthened by hopes a vaccine will soon be available.

IHS Markit’s headline Brazil services PMI rose to 51.1 from 50.9 in November. It was the fourth consecutive reading above 50.0, the threshold that separates expansion from contraction.

The slight rise in services accompanied the second consecutive manufacturing PMI decline, however, meaning the composite PMI encompassing both sectors slipped to 53.5 in December from 53.8 in November, IHS Markit said.

That marked the fifth straight month that business activity in Brazil’s private sector has grown, but COVID-19 worries still linger.

“While the latest data provide some welcome reassurance that the service economy continues to show resilience to the pandemic, the sustainability of the recovery comes into question when we look at the jobs data and anecdotal evidence from survey participants,” said Pollyanna De Lima, economics associate director at IHS Markit.

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We want to retire to somewhere our kids and grandkids would want to live too. Our budget is $7,000 a month — where should we go?


I’m retiring in six months and live outside of Los Angeles. It’s really pricey here.  

I’m 68 and my wife is 61. We will have about $800,000 in total savings and IRAs, and an income of $7,000 monthly including my Social Security. We currently rent.

We want to avoid high-humidity summers, but also try to stay away from the desert heat. Trying to avoid shoveling a lot of snow, too.

We like gardening, cycling, hiking, boating and fishing, so access to water would be a blessing. It would be great to afford a half-acre or more.

Our next two generations may follow us, so employment opportunities for them would be an extra benefit.  

I’m stumped on where to go, so your help would be greatly appreciated.

Russ

Dear Russ,

Congratulations on being on the cusp of retirement and the start of a new adventure.

I’m hearing you say both the South and the Southwest are out, given the weather. There are still plenty of options, but you may have to compromise a bit on winter weather. (How much snow? How much rain?) 

If you want the next two generations to follow, you need an area where unemployment has been below average (at least pre-pandemic). A fast-growing area could be a bonus. You may want to ask them what trade-offs they’re willing to accept before you pick a spot. I hope it’s not just wishful thinking on your part.  

A thought: Why not look for a townhouse or over-55 community where the fees to the homeowners association include snow shoveling? Maybe mowing too? That might mean giving up on the half acre, but you can still do a lot of gardening on less land. Just check those HOA rules. A community garden could be a backup plan. Regardless, don’t underestimate how much work a half-acre can be!

Read: Four questions to ask when looking for a 55+ active adult community

Here are three very different places to consider. The MarketWatch “where should I retire” tool can point you to more possibilities.

The Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge is just south of Salem._ReedLanePhotography


Reed Lane Photography/courtesy Travel Salem

Salem, Oregon

You will escape summer humidity in the capital of Oregon, home to 175,000 people. You also won’t have to shovel much — though the flip side is rainy winters.

You’ll find those fishing opportunities on the Willamette River within city limits, but you can also drive less than 45 miles to Silver Falls State Park, considered a crown jewel in the state parks system. Two hours east is stunning Detroit Lake, 400 feet deep and more than 9 miles long. It’s in the Willamette National Forest, which covers 1.6 million acres over eight wilderness areas, so you’d also have plenty of hiking options. And when you want to bike, start with Salem’s 11-mile Minto-Brown Island Park Paved Path.

Salem is in the center of the Willamette Valley, so vineyards aren’t far away. If grapes can thrive, so can your garden.

Housing costs are slightly above the national average. Here’s what’s on the market now, using listings on Realtor.com (which, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp.). You can easily flip to see rentals.

An alternative could be Corvallis, suggested here.

Read: Health care will cost this much in retirement — but probably even more

A man fishes in the Watauga River at Sycamore Shoals State Park near Johnson City.


iStockphoto

Johnson City, Tennessee

This part of northeastern Tennessee could make the fisherman in you quite happy.

You’d also be just west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so there are plenty of hiking opportunities. In fact, the Appalachian Trail isn’t far away if you want to hike some segments. Biking? Start with the 10-mile Tweetsie Trail to Elizabethton.

Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine has described the reader-chosen winner of its 2018 top midsize town vote as a relatively new adventure town with a “reawakened downtown.” 

You’ll have moderate summer humidity and average July highs in the mid-80s. Average snowfall in January is 3 ½ inches, so there’s not much shoveling to do.

Away from outdoor activities, Johnson City boasts of its live music scene. Eastern Tennessee State University, which is here, has a prominent bluegrass music program.

On the money side, Tennessee has no state income taxes, and the phaseout of its tax on investment income (known as the Hall Tax) will be completed on Jan. 1. Housing costs run well below the national average; they’re the cheapest among my three suggestions.

Here’s what’s on the market now, using Realtor.com.

Johnson City also is the smallest of the three suggestions, with around 67,000 people. The broader tri-cities metropolitan area, which sprawls into southwestern Virginia, is home to more than 500,000.
If this is too small for the younger generations, they may want to base themselves in Knoxville (suggested here) less than two hours away.

If Johnson City isn’t quite right, an alternative might be Roanoke, Va., recommended here.

Read: What should you with all that money you saved for retirement? This man is spending it, and it feels great

A street in the revitalized and vibrant Short North Arts District in Columbus, Ohio.


Courtesy Brand Columbus

Columbus, Ohio

You can find your half-acre lot here, in the capital of Ohio, or you can look in Franklin County’s suburbs. 

Fast-growing Columbus has 900,000 people and is home to Ohio State University. The wider metro area tops 2 million, so you’ll find a range of communities as well as home prices and rents. The website Livability described Columbus as “quickly becoming one of the most popular cities for millennials” when it put it on its list of 100 best places to live in 2019. It jumped to 11th in 2020, when the list was reconfigured for our COVID-19 world and the increased ability to work from anywhere. 

One reason is jobs. The younger generations will find corporate headquarters of companies like Cardinal Health, Nationwide Insurance and L Brands as well as many other big-name employers.

For the water lover in you, check out Griggs Reservoir on the west side of the Scioto River in Columbus, toward the suburb of Hilliard, and the boat club there. Or head to one of several lakes north of the I-270 loop.

I know…you’re thinking it’s the Midwest, so what kind of hiking can there be? Woodland options abound. Start with Christmas Rocks State Nature Reserve 40 miles southeast of the city. . Or tackle the Buckeye Trail—more than 1,400 miles that loop around the state.

You’ll find many bike trails, including the 25-mile Alum Creek Greenway Trail. This one is also part of the 326-mile Ohio to Erie Trail between Cincinnati and Cleveland, if you want to keep pedaling.

Weather-wise, it’s no surprise that you will get four seasons. January is the snowiest month, with an average of nearly 7 inches. Average summer highs reach the mid-80s, and humidity is moderate. Your garden will love it.

Despite its size, housing on average doesn’t cost much more than in Johnson City. See what’s on the housing market in Columbus and across Franklin County using Realtor.com.

Readers, where do you think Russ and his wife should retire? Leave your suggestions in the comments section.

Now read: We want to leave cold Midwest states for ‘warmer and drier climes’ and affordable health care on $44,000 a year — so where should we retire?



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Kentucky sisters lose parents, grandfather to COVID-19 in 1 month


One sister called it the “deepest tragedy” of her life.

A Kentucky family is mourning the loss of three members due to COVID-19 in nearly four weeks.

Husband-and-wife Mark Cheatham, 61, and Lisa Cheatham, 58, died within days of each other this month. The couple, who had been married for 40 years, were buried together this past weekend following a joint funeral service.

Lisa Cheatham’s father, Charles Tucker, died on Nov. 22, two days after turning 76.

All three died from COVID-19, their relatives said.

“If you would’ve told me that COVID would wipe out half of the family that we have left, I would have been like no, you’re joking,” Jama Allen, one of Lisa and Mark’s two daughters, told ABC Louisville affiliate WHAS-TV, calling the loss of her parents the “deepest tragedy” of her life.

Her sister, Jessica Cheatham, recounted sleeping in the parking garage of the Louisville hospital where both her parents were hospitalized in the intensive care unit earlier this month with COVID-19.

“I was really scared to leave them,” she told WHAS. “I wanted to be nearby.”

Mark Cheatham, who was a heavy equipment operator for the Kentucky Transportation Department, died on Dec. 11. Lisa Cheatham, a recently retired family services worker and educator, died four days later, on Dec. 15. The couple, who lived in Campbellsville, were active members of their church and, pre-pandemic, enjoyed traveling, the family said.

“It’s unreal to walk in the door and they’re not here,” Allen told WHAS. “You keep waiting for them to pop around the corner and they’re not.”

Her grandfather, also from Campbellsville, was memorialized as a farmer who enjoyed ax throwing and chainsaw contests and spending time with this dog.

As the sisters prepare to spend the holidays for the first time without their parents, they urged others to stay home and follow COVID-19 guidelines.

“I could’ve went one Christmas without seeing my parents, but now we spend the rest of the lives without ours,” Jessica Cheatham told the station. “So I would maybe take that into consideration. It’s one Christmas. One Christmas and then you can spend all the Christmases together. Because some people have an option and we don’t.”

COVID-19 cases in Kentucky have been on a downward trend, following a peak in late November. Hospitalizations have also been on the decline in the past week.

Gov. Andy Beshear urged Kentuckians to keep their holiday celebrations small amid the state’s progress, warning that cases are still “too high.”

“With the rest of the country on fire, with hospitalizations escalating in most every other state, in Kentucky, we are seeing a stabilization that is protecting the lives of our people,” he said Tuesday during a COVID-19 briefing. “And we want to make sure that we continue to plateau or even decrease cases as we move towards this vaccine.”



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