Sunday, May 29, 2011


"Oh man... that doesn't feel normal. I mean, I know what sore feels like, but this is different!"

That was me, 6 days ago. After some really intense Asylum work, my left quad began to feel a little different than  normal. I have become quiet used to feeling tight and sore over the past month. The Asylum has worked my body in many new ways. I knew something was off and I knew something was different this time. As the day continued, and evening came, I was concerned. It was rather difficult to lift my leg higher than my waist. Walking was ok, but anything over a little lift and swing was painful. What do I do now? I am suppose to be doing some Vertical Plyo.... agh, and I need gear up to obliterate my pre-Asylum mile time (5:59 - shooting for under 5:30 - tough stuff).

At times like this you need to focus on you ultimate goals, and don't let your ego get in the way. I would have loved to stay exactly on the Asylum schedule but that was not an option. I switched some days to allow my legs to have some rest. I ran Back to Core and Strength to take the pressure off my quad. "It's about getting results, not getting hurt." Thank you Tony.... you were so right. After an extra couple days, my leg was feeling noticeably better.

That was a case where working out was still an option. I just needed to change what I was focusing on, and I changed the focus to other muscles. What if you really hurt yourself and can't do anything? For these extreme cases, you MUST focus heavily on your nutrition. Dial back your calories to compensate for a reduction in your exercise burn, and stay clean. Don't let getting down be a reason to fall off the nutritional wagon. Turn all that energy you had been directing towards tearing up your workouts and focus on eating well.

You may be a little set back from missing your workouts, but you won't be starting over like you would from disregarding your diet. You will also build up some good mental strength to stick with your new eating habits. This is about reinforcing the lifestyle change you have committed to.

Hope these words help! Look out for Asylum updates SOON! Day 30 is tomorrow (5/30/11)!!!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Being in the club...

Role models, coaches, and mentors are all good things. They give us an example to follow, and often have reached in their own lives a point or place that we hope to reach someday. In life, I was given some great advise about mentors from my father. He has told me multiple times to find men that I look up to that are 5 to 10 years ahead of me in life. All the while asking them and myself, "How did you get to where you are? What were the difficulties you faced in marriage, parenting, life...? How have you grown in your faith?" The same thing is good to apply to your fitness journey.

My original interest in teamRIPPED was one of plain curiosity. How did Wayne get so ripped? What did he do differently than my lackluster first round? After reading a bunch of his posts, and emailing a few times, I knew Wayne was a guy that I wanted to guide and shape my new experience with P90X.

Wayne did exactly that and more! He totally remade my idea of working out and nutrition. His posts encouraged and challenged me. Better yet, he motivated and encouraged my faith. He truly is the total package. What I didn't expect to experience was a little bit of intimidation. TeamRIPPED has some true all- stars. These are men and women that have made some amazing transformations and know what they are doing. You need to really stay inside of yourself and realize that Joe Blow's work is not mine. Frank may be further ahead in the journey. Don't get discouraged! Trust the system and it will produce results. I know this is paraphrased from someone else, but it may have taken you 5-10 years to get your body into the mess that it is in... you need to be realistic about the time it will take you to get out of it. What I can guarantee you is that after the 90 days of P90X or 63 days of Insanity, you will be in better shape than when you started. You will SEE changes. You will feel better. The only way these programs do not work is if you don't do the work (during the workouts and with regards to nutrition).

After a while, I really began to feel part of the club. I can stick with these guys and gals. I can be a little crazy like coach (backpacks for pull-ups... are you loco?) It feels really good to belong. The next transition was to contribute to the club. I had some valuable knowledge and experience... and I could back it up now! I am not just a bystander, I am a member of teamRIPPED. Part of the club.

Hook up with someone whom you respect. Ask them what they did to make the change you desire for yourself. These people can help you avoid many pitfalls and obstacles. They can also be the boost to get you over your next hurdle. If I can do that for you, let me know. I would love to help! My door, and email, is always open.

Keep pushing play and BRING IT!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Asylum - Overall Impressions

If you have followed Xshred at all, you know that I am taking on Shaun T.'s newest creation, The Asylum. Designed to be a graduate program of sorts for Insanity, The Asylum is all about sports performance. Repeated all over the place in the program is the goal of getting faster, jumping higher, and hitting harder. The workouts are a little shorter than P90X (about 40-50 minute average, Game Day at a full hour), but they are SUPER intense! There is no quit in The Asylum.

I have really enjoyed the program so far. It is definitely a departure from P90X. The cardio aspect of the program is far more intense. Whereas the lifting does not address each body part like P90X. Basically each set of moves are completed directly following the previous set. There aren't the nice 30 second breaks. There are times of "active recovery." Where you are still working but your HR can recover a bit, but little rest. The cardiovascular aspect is even evident in lifting. This week, in the final part of Strength, I was completing a 6" leg lift, chest press with 45s, for a minute straight (max reps), all with my HR over 155. That was crazy... probably why I am in the Asylum!

Shaun T. stresses form and "staying within yourself" all the time. You have to get the form down to increase your speed and endurance. This isn't just jumping around, this is control aimed at getting the most out of each movement.

I have realized that once I got my mindset shifting off of the P90X lift BIG picture, I was able to really enjoy myself. I've said this before, but let's face it, I'm no Arnold. I am working at this program to see what type of athlete I can become. If I really desire to get big, I will use something else. The program is for sports performance. I am getting stronger, but I know that bulk is not what I am aiming for, or really desire right now. I want to CRAZY athletic!!! I think I can get there...

The first thing I have been amazed with, even in only 17 days, is that my desire is to compete. I want to do more, run, hike, climb, bike, etc. I want to use my abilities. I want to play sports and beat people. I want to see how fast I can do a mile or 5K. I have taken my son in his stroller running 3 times in the last week. No need to do extra work (I do get to eat more then!), but I just desire it. I can't tell you the last time I have logged more than 10 miles in a week. I am even doing my first mini-triathlon tomorrow (5/20 - I will try to post that experience too!). The Asylum has changed me into a competitor and I love it!

I am leaning up as well. I dropped back to 1800 calories at roughly 50p:30c:20f for the first two weeks. Now I am at 2000 calories and still roughly 50p:30c:20f. I refeed with higher carbs twice a week. That is where I bump carbs by 100-125 grams and drop fat and protein to compensate. I still aim for around a 2000 calorie total. Those are different days. I am so used to what I eat and don't eat, that eating extra of anything feels odd.

Keep pushing play and keep it up! My wife is doing ChaLEAN eXtreme and I am going to have her post soon.

God Bless,

Sunday, May 15, 2011

YouTube Video! The Transformation is UP!

Come check it out! My P90X transformation video is up on Youtube.... Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


The day has come and gone! Day 90! I still can't believe that it is over (P90X that is, and for now that is... more on that later!). The past 90 days have been quiet a trip. Like many experiences, I think we tend to remember the bright spots more than the negatives. I wonder if the Lord programmed us that way. If I think hard enough, I can remember being really out of it during some work outs. I remember cheating on some reps (maybe too many on Crouching Cohen Curls - still hate them). I even vaguely remember stopping short of my best, once maybe twice. Those thoughts stink. Luckily, it is really hard to bring those out! What easily comes to mind is dropping 12 more pounds and then gaining 4 back in lean muscle. The excitement of seeing my abs for the first time ever... "Erin can you see them?" It is a joy to remember adding weight to a back pack to make the pull ups harder. I couldn't even do a pull up a year ago. I also remember peaking my HR at 183 during some awesome Jump-Knee Tucks and Mary Katerine's and feeling like a million bucks. Those good memories, and many others like them, are what I remember about my round of P90X.

I also remember my coach, Wayne Wyatt. I remember getting really jacked watching his transformation video. My wife can account for this, but I also remember being straight up giddy when he would email me back about my diet and plans. His answers were always thorough, honest, and just for me. He was a huge support! He helped me dial in my nutrition and keep me motivated with inspirational and informational posts at his site. He also directed me towards keeping my eye on the ultimate prize, glorifying Christ. He is the total package of a coach. I really can't say enough about him. He is the best. If you are thinking of doing P90X, get him as your coach. It is completely free. He never pushes anything on you, he is really just there to help. Come on! Go to for contact info and to get started! He will hook you up!

On to the results...
Start day - February 7th, 2011
Wt: 168.5 lbs
BF: 16.5%

End day - May 7, 2011
Wt: 159.5 lbs
BF: 8%



So what's next...
Where do I go from here? I have got that question a few times, mostly around how I eat. I am going to change anything now that I am done? No way! This has been a total life transformation. I plan to eat this way forever. I may play around with my macro-nutrient percentages and calorie totals, but I am in it to win it! I have loved moving away from processed foods and simple carbs. I love my all of my lean meat.... no need for frying or batter. I love being healthy! I love knowing exactly what I am taking in each day. I want to see what I can do, and I am going to keep at it. One way I am doing that is by taking on the Asylum Challenge. I want to see what type of an athlete Shaun T. and his Insanity: Asylum can get me to be. I love the experimentation! After that (only a 30 day program), I am going to see what 90 days, broken into 3 phases, of traditional lifting with P90X/Insanity cardio can do. I have will being using the work and articles of Layne Norton (PhD and Pro Natural Bodybuilder) as a guide and backdrop. I will being keeping this blog going and truly see what I can do.

Thank you so much for following along. Thanks to Tony Horton and Wayne Wyatt. BeachBody, you make amazing products! Anyone would be crazy to not give them a try. I really like what Shaun T. says, "If this program doesn't work for you, you haven't done the work." Eat clean, push hard, and BRING IT every day!

The greatest thanks are owed to my beautiful bride, Erin. She put up with a lot. All of the days of chicken breast and broccoli. Morning workouts and the fear of waking up John. Money for whey and supplements. More chicken. You are the best, love. I could never have done this without you and I still can't believe that you picked me for the rest of your life. I love you.

God Bless!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Final Week

I am currently in my final week of P90X. Typically, this would be a recovery week full of yoga, core work, and some cardio... Not for me! I have replaced my recovery week with the new Insanity program from Shaun T., The Asylum. As mentioned before, Asylum is a sports based performance program. It was designed to move you past Insanity and really get you ready to be an elite athlete. I sampled a few of the discs before this week. Let me say, they are some of the most intense combinations of moves I have ever attempted. Your heart rate is through the roof the entire time. This week has started well. I am thankful that I practiced some of the workouts before this week, and I believe I am going to see some great progress from the Asylum.

Part of my Asylum experience is a competition I am taking part in. I am a member of TeamRipped with Coach Wayne Wyatt. He was challenged by a fellow coach and team (TeamXcellentFitness) to see which team could dig deeper and get more out of the Asylum. Winners will get infomercial spots and free stuff. Shaun T. himself is the final judge! Since the Asylum is for sports performance, I have recorded some pre-Asylum data. I ran a mile,  40 yd spirit, 20 yd shuttle run, and vertical jump. Only time will tell, but I am very optimistic.

Pay Day
Sure my goal in all of this is to get ripped... I mean really, I want to see what my body can do. I am also very thankful that I am getting healthier. How much healthier... well I had blood-work done for my yearly physical. Here are the highlights:

Ht: 6'1" - on a tall day... which was today!
Wt: 160.4 lb (clothes on)
Cholesterol: 183 (down 23 pts)
Triglycerides: 66 (down 56)
HDL: 54 (up 9)
LDL: 116 (down 21)

CHOL/HDL ratio 3.4 (down from 4.5)

Booo yah! Look what clean eating and exercise can do... my doctor is a great guy and really funny. At one point he said something along the lines of, "I mean who knew diet and exercise would make you healthier. Thanks for listening." I was also down 25 lbs. from that last doctor visit. I couldn't be happier! Thank you Tony Horton and thank you Wayne Wyatt for showing what I could do if I stuck with it.