Tuesday, April 26, 2011
At one point or another you will have to push through come barrier during a workout or during your round of P90X. It may be a lack of motivation. It may be discomfort and pain. It could be sore shoulders (HELLO! Week 1-3!!!). You may also have to push through some illness. I just came through a little sickness. I had some sort of head cold/sinus/sore throat/no voice/flem making illness. After a week of teaching and nights of parent-teacher conferences, I was spent. It is rather hard to feel motivated to dig deep and bring it. For moments like this, you need to refocus on your goals. Why are you committed to this program? Why be so different? Isn't it weird to be getting up at 3:45 am everyday to move around some iron, jump, squat, run in place? You need to be careful when letting these questions develop as they can get out of hand. You are doing this to be different! My coach, Wayne Wyatt, posted a great piece about this (a lot of this is coming from him - credit where credit is due!)... Normal is not working! I want to be weird.
What does a normal American have going on? Lousy food. Overly saturated with grease and fat. HUGE meals. Skipped meals. High blood pressure and cholesterol. Meds. New clothes = bigger pants... untucked shirt to try and hide the belly. No energy. More TV. Sound normal? It should, that is what Americans, in large part, have become. It is time to be different. It is time to be weird.
Most people looked at me and thought, some said, well you didn't have any weight to lose. Sure I seemed ok. I was 187 lbs and at almost 6'1", that was spread out. But I had moved up slowly from 32" waist, to 33", and to 34". I was getting ready to move again! I was carrying my weight in my gut. It was thanks to my love of hot wings and home brew.
Enter Round 1 this fall. I dropped 21 lbs. I fizzled out near the end and felt like I didn't give my all. I had skipped workouts. I had completely taken off the "recovery" weeks. It was a hollow victory at best. There were some rays of sunlight, I was down to 32-33" pants and I felt good.
For Round 2, I wanted to be different. I wanted to be weird, crazy, completely committed, no hollow victory this time. Sure there are times when I want to give in. You can skip this move, you could just eat some of that. It wouldn't be that bad. Get behind me Satan! But really, temptation is temptation. Now I am not saying you are sinning if you don't go crazy and see if you can get absolutely ripped. What I am saying is, if you make that commitment, it is a one time thing. You never have to go back and recommit. You are going to workout for an hour a day, six days a week, for 90 days. You will eat only things that fit into your day and fulfill your macro needs. Making that choice once and for all, you remove the thought of breaking your own covenant. Decide, COMMIT, succeed. You can do it.
With 4 regular workouts left, and a week of recovery (very active recovery = Asylum), I am down to size 30" waist. I initially dropped to 156 lbs at 10% body fat, I am back up to 159.5 lbs, with only 8% body fat. I have never seen my abs. Ever. Never in elementary school, middle, high, college.... never. I can say that now, I can see my abs. No more hiding under a layer of fat!
This post was a little all over the place, but be encouraged. Don't get caught up on only the end goals. Do it for today... in your nutrition and exercise. Bring it. You may be sore tomorrow, but we will still be moving forward. I had doubts, but as each week has passed, I noticed changes. My workout sheets showed increased weights and reps. Things in the mirror look different. My pants were loose. I bought new ones. Those got loose again. My mom got me a couple more pairs. Change is inevitable if you stick with it.
May God bless you and keep bringing it!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Today I decided to sub in the Vertical Plyo workout from the new Insanity... PlyoX has been great, but I wanted to practice Vertical Plyo before the teamRipped challenge. I should have know something was going to go wrong when I slept in a little too late. My wife told me if was time to get up, but I must have rolled over and fell back asleep...
What the world! I mean come on?!?! The warm-up was crazy. I first noticed how bad I am at jump rope. I ended up just doing the moves without the rope for the warm-up. It was killing me, and this was only the beginning. At the 10 minute mark stretching begins. I was so thankful to stop and stretch. The workout in its entirely is only 40 minutes. Nice and sweet right? Wrong. It is devastating. Each move is directly after the previous move. Moves are completed for a minute or more at a time. I maybe kept up with about 50% of the workout. There was a lot of knee grabbing and plenty of bending over. But this is why I am practicing, to get better. The moves were not too complicated, just hard. Single leg power jumps made me feel foolish. Can't I get up more than this? All in all, it was awesome. I felt entirely defeated and determined to get better. I can't wait to do the 30 days of this program. I am sure I will be a better athlete because of it!
By the numbers: Time: 40.05 AVG HR: 146 Peak HR: 175 (would be higher, I just had to recover) Total Cal: 581
Close to 600 calories in only 40 minutes... pure awesome. I can't wait until next Tuesday to do more and to be better.
DIG deeper! (New line...) Oh and BRING IT!
Saturday, April 16, 2011
"I'm having lobster bisque, but it's not for me." - Tony Horton
I felt it was about time to update you on what I am doing nutritionally for these final phases. To see why I got here, we need to look back. I tried to maintain the Fat Shredder percentages for as long as I could. I even ended up bumping my calories to around 1900 a day at 50p:30c:20f. This worked for about a week (around 40 days in), but my body was calling for more carbs. As your body-fat percentage drops, you have smaller stores of energy to draw upon. You may have heard the phrase "bonking during a workout." This happens when you either have not consumed enough carbs or don't have any in reserve to draw upon. We want to avoid bonking because obviously you can't give your all during the workout. You may be temped to do too many cheat reps, sacrifice form, or just give up before failure. You would never be able to maximize your results. Secondly, you body will start using the muscle you have worked so hard to gain as its energy source. No one wants that! I was bonking and getting really hunger so I moved to 40p:40c:20f and roughly a 2200 calorie daily target. Still a slight deficit but more of a weight maintaining target. It has been delightful!
Outside of doing my best to hit my macros (240 g Pro and Carb, 49 g Fat), I also looked closely into my carb timing. My first meal of every day is always my post workout shake. The Results and Recovery drink for P90X is great. It has a lot of fast digesting carbs (39g) and some protein (10 g ). I ran out, and at $50 a tub... I will do my own concoctions for a while. I am taking 40 g of whey and roughly 40 g of fast carbs, usually from a banana. I have also started trying straight table sugar. Both the banana and the sugar cause a spike in insulin which is aid in glycogen (stored carbs) synthesis and protein synthesis. Timing is everything, your muscles are like sponges for up to an hour post workout. Without proper nutrition post strenuous exercise, you could experience proteolysis (protein breakdown). I also include some low GI (glycemic index - slow digesting) carbs to extend my body's carb usage. This is accomplish through some Ezekiel bread (sprouted grains). I usually include some fats (Natural PB) to make this a complete shake/whole food meal.
During the rest of the day, I taper my carbs as I approach the afternoon. I attempt to only eat fibrous carbs (no grains) after my afternoon snack (3 pm). No carbs whatsoever after dinner! These changes have made a big difference. I am feeling strong and have lots of energy to push through my workouts and then my day. I am getting up at 3:45 to work out, eat by 5:00, get ready for work and pack food, devos by 5:30, leave around 6:15... from there I get to school around 6:45 and teach all day. After school I am helping out with the MS track team. I head home around 3:45 (30-40 minute commute). Then I take care of my son while my wife is coaching tennis. The evenings are filled with normal life things and a little work here and there. I hit the sack around 9:30 to 10:00... to start it all over again! With that schedule everyday, I can positively say I have more energy than I have ever had. I give all the credit to P90X and my changes in nutrition. I am doing more and still wake up ready to Bring It everyday!
I am still tracking everything, although I am eating so many similar things that I don't have to watch my day as closely. I can hit my macros fairly easily without tracking until the evening. I must also thank my wife for turning me on to myfitnesspal.com. It does not have the awesome pie chart for your macros, but it has a huge user made data base of food items. I have not had to punch in a custom food yet! It even has all of my regional store's items (Meijer). It has a much faster loading site to boot.
I hope this gives to a insight into what I am doing. Please feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or find me on Facebook (David Jeffries). Keep pushing play and God bless!
Complete Sample Days to follow shortly!
This was a 40p/40c/20f day at roughly 2200 calories:
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Pre-workout supplements are everywhere. Many promise to do almost everything. My first experience with a pre-workout was in college and was with N.O. Xplode from BSN. It was pretty amazing stuff back in the day. It had this little bit of fizz and it really gave me HUGE focus. I just wanted to keep pushing. I know that the formula has changed over the years, so I tried some not too long ago. Where was the love? No perceivable increase in focus, marginal energy, and no pump. I have also use Gaspari's SuperPumpMax. I talk to that in an earlier supplement overview post, so I won't take the time now.
On to my new experiment, BPI's 1MR (1 More Rep). I found it on Amazon for $30 and free shipping. I had been hearing great things about the product and needed to see for myself. 1MR takes aim at other "concentrated" formula (*cough* Jack3d *cough*), stating you only need one scoop. No more! Ever. I was first shocked at how small the bottle was. If you've bought Jack3d before, very similar size. There are 28 full servings.
I took my first serving before a PlyoX session. After shaking it with the recommended 6-8 oz of water, I downed the fruit punch mix. It had mixed completely and was not hard to finish. The taste was enjoyable. I had gotten up at 3:45 am to take the 1MR (with a little window to let it work its magic) and sweep the garage. By 4:05, I was getting my knees up and moving some blood around. The first thing I noticed was flushed, itchy ears. I believe this is from the Niacin in 1MR. It hung around for a while but was not annoying. My realization of the effects 1MR came after the first two sets of PlyoX. I remember thinking about whether I could feel it working, and almost as quickly as I had that thought I said, "Man Plyo is a breeze today!" I was getting upset at Tony for not getting into the next move quickly enough. I was extending each move (an extra 10-15 seconds) to make use of the down time. 1MR really allowed me to push out one more rep. It is intense and it is the real deal.
How would I rate it?
Energy 10/10 Taste 8/10 Pump 9/10 Focus 10/10 Face-Redness 7/10 -it could have been redder :)
Diclaimer - you could read this on the bottle. If you are sensitive to stimulants... this is not for you! Super intense and does include a fair dose of caffeine.
Cool video from a 1MR - Win a trip to Arnold - contest. Enjoy and God bless!
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Even though my round of P90X is not even over yet, I am planning what is next! I have decided to enter The Asylum with Shaun T. of Insanity. This is a 30-day strength, cardio, sports based program. Here is a quick overview from Beachbody! LOOKS CRAZY!!!
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Go from Average to Elite in 30 Days or your money back.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Day 60 is finally here! I am currently 2/3 of the way through P90X. It is great. I had been feeling well, but this morning I had some weird stomach/back discomfort. Shooting through my mind was the thought of a kidney stone. I have witnessed my wife muscle through one before... and I can't have this happen. I am not sure if I am just psyching myself out, but nevertheless, I am drinking TONS of water and moving all over the place. If it is a kidney stone, it won't stop me!
The experience so far has been so rewarding. I am frequently, and pleasantly, surprised at what my body can do. For a Day 60 treat, I added a weighted back pack to my push-ups. P90X has two days of work for your back each week and I have decided to replace the YogaX days during the lifting weeks for a bonus lift day to give other areas an extra day. I am using it to hit areas that don't get enough attention and ones that I would like to focus on more. So for my morning I focused on chest, traps, and forearms.
That backpack is money! I am a little worried that it will break... I have had 20 lbs in it for pull ups and never felt worried. My routine this morning was a repeat routine (like Chest and Back). I ran through the moves the first time with 45 lbs in the pack (chest, trap, chest, trap, forearm, chest, forearm, chest, trap). It was a little difficult to get the backpack on and off, but it worked well. I was still able to pump out reps in the 15-20 range (and I was saving some for the second round). Not too bad. For the second round, I upped the pack to 60 lbs. I have done push-ups on a scale before to see what weight I am actually lifting (crude but seems to be logical). That gave me a weight of 125 lbs for a standard push-up. Add in the 60 lbs and we are at 185 lbs. Now I lifted in college, I even worked up to repping 205 lb on a flat bench. 185 was a good working weight at the end of my year of lifting, and I would do 8-10 reps for 3 sets (135 warm-up, 185, 185, 175). This morning at 185 lbs of second round push-up mass, I banged out 20 reps on standard width, 15 on incline (feet up on piano bench), and 12 on military. I don't believe I have ever felt so good! Add to that a bunch of shrugs, forearm curls, and flies! Wow what a way to start the last 30 days!
On to the pics: Here are Day 1, 30, and 60. I think something is working. :)
Keep pushing play and keep bringing it! God bless.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Nutrition can only bring you so far. Supplementation can help fill in the gaps that our whole food diets leave behind. These gaps can get even larger if you are pushing your body really hard with intense workouts like P90X or Insanity. Here are my favorite picks:
Whey Protien: Protein is the key to building and maintaining lean muscle. Most people can't get enough protein for their diets from whole foods. To hit your nutrition goals, use a protein powder. There are TONS of choices out there, which span a wide price range. Look for around 20-25g of protein per serving and anywhere from 100-150 calories per serving. Carbs and fat should be low, in the 3-5g range for each. I have found Gaspari's Myofusion to be really tasty. It is a little higher in calories, but it mixes easily, has a great taste, and costs around $35 for 5lbs. Other picks would be O.N. 100% Whey and Cytosport 100% Whey.
Pre-workout: I have tried a bunch of different pre-workout supplements. Most are a stimulant-based, creatine, and NO booster. I am currently using Gaspari's SuperPumpMAX. I have noticed good focus and energy for my early workouts and no side effects (when kept at 1 scoop, 1.5 and above has caused some stomach discomfort... therefore I stick to 1 scoop!). I will be trying 1MR next... just get it to me, Amazon!
Creatine: There are probably as many creatine products as there are whey proteins. Creatine is produced naturally by our bodies by certain amino acids. Creatine helps repair and strengthen muscles (drawing water inside the cells). Creatine usage has been show to increase the maximum force that a muscle can make. I am using Sizeon from Gaspari. I am using the Pre-contest form as it is really low in carbs. It is a blended creatine and it is my first intra-workout. It not only has creatine but proteins broken down into their peptides for fast absorption. I am also stacking plain ol' Creatine Monohydrate in my evening shake (5g extra).
Multi-Vitamin: I know there are other people that take this part really seriously... but I don't. I use it as a catch all. I take a GNC Men's Sport Multi. I figure taking it is better than not, so I take it.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Ahhhh sweet recovery... not to be confused with rest!
P90X is a complete program, and Tony has thought of everything. During my first round of P90X I did not take the recovery weeks very seriously. I viewed them as more of a rest week than a recovery week. I even took off the entire second recovery week. YIKES! This time around, I chose to trust the program and complete the recovery weeks as prescribed. They have been great! During the recovery weeks, you complete KenpoX, Core Synergistics, YogaX, and XStretch. These workouts will still challenge you but offer you a chance to recover from the normal stress of the program. My favorite of the recovery week is Core Synergistics. This workout works from your chest to your quads and offers some resistance work in the recovery week. The push-ups were a blessings. I have been so antsy about getting back to lifting! I can't wait for tomorrow morning (5 am for this week... sleeping in for Spring Break)! Core Synergisitcs gives you a good pump and focuses your attention to your core even on the chest exercises. I think that the change of pace also gives you the opportunity to get focused on really bringing it for the next phase. Phase III is already here for me. I AM READY TO BLOW IT UP!!!!
Take the recovery week seriously. Push play and push hard! Also, never forget your diet... I know it is easy to be a little lax when you are not pushing quite as hard with your workouts. If you are not burning your normal amount of calories from your workouts, you really need to make sure that your diet is spot on.