ROD 021012


Friday, 10Feb12


Intensity Rules Friday

This is a 45 second work / 15 second recovery for 3 rounds with a 1 minute rest in between

  • Reclines
  • KB Dead Dip & switch
  • Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing
  • KB Alternating Split jerks
  • KB Renegade Row
  • Weighted Dynamic Squats



The Best Blender Comparison: Vitamix vs Blendtec

By Tracy Russell

Of all the blenders on the market, there are only two that stand out from the pack as the absolute best machines for making smoothies.  In one corner, we have the ever-popular Vitamix 5200 with a reputation for making excellent green smoothies and a build quality that lasts a lifetime.  In the other corner, we have the Blendtec Total Blender with more horsepower and the demonstrated ability to turn garden rakes, golf balls and iPads into fine powder.  So, which blender is the best blender for making green smoothies?


Vitamix vs. Blendtec

Price: Vitamix and Blendtec are expensive blenders.  Vita-Mix starts at $449 retail while Blendtec starts at $435.  Street prices are slightly lower and I frequently see Vita-Mix machines just under $400.  Blendtec has a price advantage over Vitamix in that $435 pays for everything you need to blend and grind wet and dry ingredients.  Vita-Mix has a separate dry pitcher for grinding grains into flour and blending other dry ingredients which is sold separately, or included in an upgraded Vitamix package on their website.

Power/Speed: The Vitamix blender features a 2 peak horsepower motor that spins its blade at variable speeds from 11 mph (miles per hour) to 240 mph.  The Blendtec blender boasts more power with a 3 peak horsepower, 1560 watt motor that spins its blade up to 300 mph according to the product video.  While many people cite Blendtec’s greater horsepower as a sign of a better blender, Vitamix is no less capable of achieving the same results as the Blendtec.  Basically, there’s no real difference between a 3 horsepower motor or a 2 horsepower motor when you’re blending up food items.

Warranty: Vitamix has a solid 7-year warranty that covers the “entire machine”.  Blendtec also comes with a 7-year warranty with the option to extend it to 10 years!  When I purchased my Blendtec at Costco several years ago, I was given a free 4-year extended warranty card which I had to fill out and mail to Blendtec to extend my warranty to 7 years on the base only.  Blendtec now offers a full 7-year warranty which puts it on even ground with Vitamix in this category.

Durability: Both Blendtec and Vitamix are high-end blenders designed to perform a variety of kitchen tasks.  They are quite a step up from a $100 name-brand blender you’d pick up at a department store.  Both blenders feature break-resistant, BPA-free copolyester pitchers, stainless steel blades and durably-built base.  Both blenders will pulverize hard materials such as ice, frozen fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and coffee beans.

Dimensions:  Blendtec has an advantage over Vitamix on size.  Blendtec is shorter at 15-and-a-half inches tall with pitcher, which means that it can fit under most cabinets when placed on your kitchen counter.  Blendtec machines are about the same size as a standard blender so you don’t need to make extra room for it, and it fits neatly into a small apartment kitchen, RV or other small space.

Vitamix is taller at 20-and-a-half inches with pitcher, so it will take up a little more space in your kitchen and might not be able to fit neatly under your cupboards.  The width and depth dimensions on both blenders are pretty similar, but the Blendtec weighs 12 pounds vs. Vitamix at 10 pounds.

Pitcher: Both blenders feature a 64-ounce pitcher made from a durable, break-resistant copolyester (plastic).  Unlike the Vitamix, the Blendtec blade is fused to the pitcher, so if the pitcher should need replacing, you’re also replacing the blade.  Fortunately, a new Blendtec pitcher is fairly inexpensive and I have seen it on sale for under $60.  Blendtec also has a 96-ounce pitcher (WildSide) for sale as well which will come in handy if you’re making smoothies for a whole family.

Interface – Buttons vs. Dials:  The Vitamix features a switch and dial interface giving you precise, manual control of your blending.  Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks to dials and switches is that they can be hard to clean.  In contrast, Blendtec features a push-button interface which wipes clean easily.  You can set speeds manually by pressing the “up” or “down” buttons.  I find these buttons responsive and easy to use.  Blendtec also features pre-programed buttons for smoothies, whole juices, soups, ice creams, milk shakes, etc.

The new Blendtec Designer Series blenders features a “touch user interface”.  There are no buttons to press.  Simply touch the lighted icons on the interface to activate the pulse and blending cycles, or to turn off and on.  A wicked cool slider bar allows you to speed up or slow down your blend by simply sliding your finger left or right.  The control is precise and responsive.  It is pretty cool!

The Tamper: Vitamix includes a tamper, which is like a plunger that pushes the ingredients down into the blades of the blender.  It’s a great tool, especially when making green smoothies as large handfuls of leafy greens love to get caught in the pitcher, unreachable by the blades.  Blendtec does not have a tamper attachment but instead boasts a square-pitcher and unique straight-blade design which they say makes a tamper unnecessary.

The larger Blendtec WildSide pitcher (3 quart with 4 inch blade) renders a tamper tool unnecessary.  I’m amazed at how I can pack the pitcher full of fruit and greens, then hit the smoothie button and in 30 seconds have a rich, creamy smoothie.  Nothing gets stuck.  I don’t have to stop and push it down or give it a shake.  I don’t even have to hit the “Pulse” button first.  It is absolutely worth it to get the WildSide pitcher for green smoothie making.

When I use the standard Blendtec pitcher (FourSide), I usually need to hit the “pulse” button a couple times before running the smoothie cycle.  Depending on how full I fill the pitcher or what my greens to fruit ratio is, I might have to push the greens down with a spoon or give the pitcher a shake after I hit “pulse” a couple times and before I run the smoothie cycle but not always.  Keep in mind that I regularly stuff an entire head of romaine lettuce or up to 4-5 cups of kale (large, whole leaves).

Again, if you are serious about making a daily green smoothie, I would recommend getting the WildSide pitcher.

Noise: The Vitamix appears to be slightly less noisy than the Blendtec, but I don’t think the Blendtec is unreasonably loud.  It’s as loud if not maybe slightly quieter than my old Cuisinart blender, and it takes a lot less time to make a smoothie than the Cuisinart.  The new Blendtec Designer Series blender is slightly quieter than the standard Blendtec Classic Series.

Clean-Up: Both blenders are easy to clean.  Simply add a little hot water and a drop of dish soap and run a blend cycle and you’re done.  You can take the Vitamix pitcher apart since it has a removable blade.  The Blendtec does not have a removable blade.  Their straight-blade design makes it much easier to clean the pitcher, and the blade won’t be cut your fingers either.  I love not having to take my blender apart to clean it!

The Blendtec’s square pitcher design also makes it easy to pour smoothies and scrape out thick, gloppy nut-butters or puddings.  The pitcher is easy to wipe clean.  One complaint I hear frequently about the Vitamix is that it can be difficult to remove ingredients caught beneath or around the blades in its narrowing, rounded pitcher design.

Blade: The Vitamix features a familiar, four-tipped blade.  Blendtec has a single prong, wingtip straight blade.

Color/Design:  The Vitamix 5200 (the most recent version) is a stylish blender that has an upscale appearance.  It looks like serious business!  It comes in black, white and red.  The Blendtec Total Blender has a sleek, modern design.  It’s not as retro-cool looking to me as the Vitamix, but my wife loves the sleek, modern design of the Blendtec Total Blender which is available in black, white and red.

The Blendtec Designer Series blender has a very sleek, modern design with a lighted “touch user interface”.  It looks and feels modern and high-tech.

Overall Online Support:  While Blendtec has a wildly popular and entertaining “Will It Blend” marketing campaign on YouTube, Vitamix has an amazingly information-packed website that contains a forum, recipes, nutrition information and specific content catering to raw foodists, vegetarians and even babyboomers.  The Vitamix website and recipe book features more healthy recipes than the Blendtec.  However, I don’t feel that this is a reason to choose one machine over another.  I just wish that Blendtec had more of a community feel like the Vitamix brand.

Performance: When it comes to making silky, rich smoothies, both blenders do a fantastic job.  I can’t say that one outperforms the other when it comes to green smoothies.  Both blenders break up cell walls, which unlocks the nutrition in fruit, vegetables and greens better than any other lower-powered blenders can.  Both the Vitamix and the Blendtec can make smoothies, nut butters, hot soup, frozen ice cream, crush ice and grind grains.

Made In The USA:  Both Blendtec and Vitamix are made in the USA.

So, Which Is The Best Blender?

Well, this is a subject of debate online.  You might as well ask if a Mac is better than a PC or a Nikon camera better than a Canon camera.  Basically, those who have a Blendtec love their blender, and those who have a Vitamix swear by it as well.  I recommend that you look at the subtle differences between the two and see which one feels the best to you.

Personally, I have a Blendtec Total Blender and I love it.  For Tracy and I, size was an issue and we liked the smaller form-factor of the Blendtec over the Vitamix.  Aesthetically, Tracy preferred the Blendtec.  Whether you choose the Vitamix or the Blendtec, I don’t think you will be disappointed at all.

Blendtec Blender

What’s Your Vote?

Do you own a Vitamix or Blendtec blender?  Post a comment below and let us know what you like or dislike about your blender!

Okay, You’ve Chosen A Blender – Now What?

It’s time to put that blender to good use!  I’d like to show you how I lost up to 40 pounds with green smoothies.  I’d like to show you how you can increase your energy, detox and actually look forward to getting your 5+ servings of fruit and vegetables every single day – without having to eat boring salads or chomping on celery sticks.

Our Green Smoothie Health program features over 100 delicious smoothie recipes that target specific health goals you might have.  Whether you want to lose weight, recover from a head cold faster (or not get one to begin with), improve your love life, boost your workout performance, enhance your creativity and more, we’ve got a recipe for you. You’ll also get expert tips and advice as well as answers to over 100 questions about green smoothies, health and nutrition.