Thursday, March 15, 2012

Supplement Recommendations


Here is a question I get quite a bit, "What supplements do you use?" OR "What supplements would you recommend?" Both are great questions with a not so easy or direct answer. The world of supplements is HUGE! Here is what I have found works for me... in no particular order (after the 1st two).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


The Bowflex Selecttech dumbbells are on sale again! $279 for a set of 552′s with the stand included and free shipping. Just use the code “SPRING552″ at checkout and the stand will be added with the discount. They usually only stay on sale for a few days, so if you want them you'd better hurry! Just wanted to pass along a good deal! Here is their website: BOWFLEX 

Insanity: The Asylum

Are you ready to take your game to the next level? Insanity: The Asylum will do just that! Here is my review on this great program from Shaun T. and the Beachbody team.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

P90X Gear

So what goes into P90X you may be asking... well I will tell you. P90X is beautiful because it is simple. It is not easy, but again, it is simple. The program itself runs about $120 from BeachBody (you'll find rip off counterfeits out there... beware, their DVDs will likely skip and there is no way to get a replacement. BB replacement is for a lifetime!). You will then need a place to do pull-ups (doorway attachment or build one... I did and I love it!) and some free weights or bands. That is it! It was designed to be done in you living room. I worked out in the basement in a 10 x 11 room with a 7'4" ceiling. I know work out in the garage because I can't jump with a 7' ceiling. Can it really be that simple? It is... You don't need anything else. I have added push-up bars ($12 at Dunham's) for great range of motion and a HR monitor (Timex - $66 on Amazon, it is cool!) to really know if I am bringing the intensity I need.

No gym fees, no gimmicks, no huge pieces of equipment, just real work and real results.

My personal picks for gear:

Adjustable Dumbbells - Bowflex Selectechs or Weider Selects (I bought these... they were cheaper and my buddy Matt had a similar set that worked excellently... he took them back to bring it with the 'X' for himself. Make sure to get a range that works for you. You will use up to 50lbs and more. I am pulling 75lbs on rows now... pull ups make you strong.)
Home-made Pull-Up Bar - 4' of 1" black pipe, 90 degree fittings to 3/4", 4" pieces of 3/4" black pipe, and 2 flanges. I picked up everything from Menard's or around $25. Finally, I wrapped it with some athletic tape for comfort.

Door Mount P90X Pull-Up Bar
For use in any doorway. Temporary and easily stored. The beauty of the Beachbody Pull-Up bar is the huge variety of hand holds.  Super wide, narrow, palms in, etc. I started on one of these, but moved the fixed bar when I when out to that garage.

Push-Up Bars - More range of motion, deeper push ups, better results. Again, like $12 at Dunham's. Beachbody sells even cooler ones called Power Stands that the man, Tony Horton himself, designed. I got these because they worked into the budget. I have heard nothing but GREAT things about the Power Stands. They are evidently uber stable. 
Hit me up with any questions. I am an open book. It really can be as good as it looks... Decide, commit, succeed! BRING IT!!!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Quinoa w/ Black Beans and Chicken

From Team PerformanceX member Matt W! The brain child of the recipe update... this looks awesome! I will definitely be making some this week. Schedule a day so you have some carbs for this great recipe.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Chili with Chicken and Beans

This is under the new RECIPES tab as well. This is so good that I thought it deserved its own post as well. Packed with tons of protein and great carbohydrates from the beans, this chili is sure to please. Spice is up with a small can of chiles if you wish. Enjoy!

Chili with Chicken and Beans
Servings 6 (~2 cup servings)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

TPX Weekly Update

Hey Team PerformanceX!
I don't know about you, but man life sure can get busy (Sorry that the update is late!). This last week has been crazy. On top of getting sick, muscling through school and meetings, going to a conference in Kentucky, and working on the house, I got in all of my workouts and meals! I had to sub in some evening workouts, and I am not a fan. I love getting up and giving it my all before I leave for school. If you haven't joined the AM workout club, what are you waiting for! Nothing can ever get in the way of your workout. You do have to go to bed earlier... but give it a try if your evenings are getting full and you want to try something new!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nutrition - Part II

Meal Timing
Setting up a schedule and a routine for eating is a great way to increase your success. You want to know when you are eating and what you are eating for that time of day. The idea held by most, although I have been doing some reading of research that is showing otherwise (too early to say), you are best to eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day. Doing so will keep your metabolism humming and will keep you satisfied as well between meals. I have read that people that do snack between meals, burn around 240 calories more during the day. You body never slows down, it just keeps chugging along! Ideally this would be: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. Tailoring these meals and snacks around your workouts can be extremely helpful.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nutrition - Part I

Last week, I posted a brief screencast of using That is a wonderful tool and can be a huge resource for tracking your food intake. For the sake of time, I brushed over some very basic elements of setting up your nutritional plan. Over the next couple weeks, I will be posting a 3 part series on nutrition. Specifically, setting goals for fat loss. Are you ready?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekly Update - 2/4/12

Hey Team PerformanceX!

Time to check in once again! Another week down and another week stronger. The Superbowl is here and it is time to close out the season. For me, this year's festivities will be quite different than years past. It would terrify me now to know just how many calories I consumed in food and drink at those parties. Oh the brew and fatty foods! Don't let one day, one evening, one meal offset your entire week of work. The momentary pleasure will not be worth it (trust me, I have slipped up before and it is no fun). Your body has been repairing itself and running on top fuel. That garbage will only bog you down. Take action and prepare in advance. Here are some tips:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Down and Dirty - MyFitnessPal

Here is a quick, no frills overview of MyFitnessPal. Take the nutritional side of life very seriously! We are working too hard not to get our desired results because of a lack of focus in the area of what we eat. Get out your kitchen scales... log that food... and if it is not planned for in your day, don't eat it! For the next 90 days you are on a mission. We're making sure that mission is a success! We got this.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekly Update - 1/29/12

Hey teamPerformanceX,
I hope everyone had a great weekend. The snow is sure flying here in Holland today. I really love snow, but I must say that the clear roads have been a nice change of pace this winter. It makes it so much easier to just hop in the car and go.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why I Love Beachbody

This post could easily get out of hand. There are so many reasons why I love Beachbody. Their programs, products, service, equipment, mission... the list goes on and on. They are a top notch company, producing top notch systems to help any and every type of person reach their healthy living goals. Beachbody is quality through and through. This morning, one of the main reasons I love Beachbody came up as it was taped to my kitchen cabinets... community and support!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

P90X2 Week 1

What a great week. P90X2 has fully lived up to the hype. I am feeling just like I did when I first started P90X. My initial thoughts about the balance portions of X2 were so wrong. I must have been in a bad place or whiny mindset. X2 ROCKS! My balance is slowly improving and with each day I am able to lift more and hold the balance moves with more stability and strength. I could not be happier with what Tony has put together.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

P90X2 - Fit Test

So yesterday was my fit test day for P90X2. I failed to do the fit test on my first two rounds of P90X, but I did do one for the Asylum. Fit tests allow you to have personal benchmarks for your level of fitness. This allows you to critically analyze your efforts and the effectiveness of the program at delivering on its promises. CAUTION - you can't say that a program doesn't work it you don't do it as prescribed! That means a full commitment to the nutrition component and exercise component... (Sorry, but if I hear again that P90X doesn't work from someone who "didn't really follow the nutrition guide" and may have "missed some of the workouts," I may go crazy! It's not that the program failed to work... you failed to do the work!!!

Here is my starting point for P90X2:

Wt: 163 lbs.
Ht: 6'1"
BF: 6.53% (Pollack 3-site: 12 mm for abdominal, 5 chest, 6 quad)
Lean Mass: 152.35 lbs.
Fat Mass: 10.65 Lbs.
Target weight: 156 lbs under 4% BF

Resting HR: 56 BPM
Pull-ups: 27.5 (Didn't know if I should count the 1/2... I wanted it, but couldn't get all the way back up)
Vertical: 20"
Push-Ups: 73
Toe Touch: -4, that's negative 4
Wall Squat: 2:41
Bicep Curls: 16 x 35lb
In-n-Outs: 82
HR Maximizer - 174, 146, 119, 110, 102 (Fast Jacks are hard... and uncoordinated!)

So there it is! I am going to take my pictures later today, so I will be back to update the post! My BF% sure doesn't seem that low to me. The abdominal measurement is by far the highest it has been due to bulking and lower cardio during the fall. I am still quite lean elsewhere. My vascularity is still good, but not scare the children good... That being said, I believe it now: Your lower stomach is the first place to gain fat and the last to lose it!

Blessings and X2 Core in the AM,
David Jeffries

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Supplements - MuscleFeast

In the world of weight loss and fitness it seems hard to know if more money is spent on marketing supplements than researching their effectiveness. Take a look through any old Muscle & Fitness and you will see countless supplements and supplement companies that have all come and gone. I am in the camp that says, "if it sounds too good to be true... it probably is." The sad fact is that most of the fitness models are using various forms of steroids. I mean come on, N.O Xplode stacked with Cellmass didn't make Ronnie Coleman look like that! He may have wonderful genetics... but I might be a unicorn. There are many great products that serve wonderful roles in maximizing your results and performance. Here are my top 3 currently:

I have tried and used a lot of different sports supplements. My most regular supplement has to be whey protein powder. Plain and simple, it allows me to hit my various protein requirements without eating loads of whole food. Whey also is digested really quickly so it is ideal for post workout. It is readily digested to be used by your awaiting, abused muscles (mix in some BCAAs and high GI carbs = PERFECT). I know there are many quality levels of whey but I don't know much... so, I stick to name brands and try to always get whey isolate (for the higher concentration of protein in a serving). O.N. 100% Gold Standard is great.

Oh these will promise EVERYTHING under the sun! Animal rage, mega-shirt ripping pumps, laser/razer focus, etc. Most pre-workouts seem to be a combination of stimulants, creatine, and compounds for NO production. If you find one you like, use it but don't expect the world. I enjoyed PWOs for the added boost early in the morning, but never really believed that I got the advertised pump until I tried Anabolic Ignite from is a wonderful site. Started by a father looking to secure more affordable supplements for his bodybuilding son, MF is a supplement company that lives up to its motto, "Hardcore Athletes, Hardcore Supplements." They never use fillers and completely list everything that is in their products (no propriety blends! Exact quantities).)

Anabolic Ignite features many popular ingredients. Here is a snippet from their site:

We have been working on this product for nearly a year and finally have put together what we feel is the most advanced pre-workout product on the market. With inclusion of the creatine nitrate, not only do you get one of the most bio-available forms of creatine but you also get amazing pumps from the nitrates, with some people reporting pumps for several hours.

We are not sure how long we will be able to carry the nitrate products but so get yours while they are still available. This product also contains 4:1:1 BCAA in nitrate form for added pump factor and also to aid in endurance.

Beta Alanine has been added for it's proven results on raising carnosine levels. Citrulline and citrulline malate have been added to aid in the NO conversion process. Vitamin C has been added because of it's antioxidants properties to help offset negative any free radicals generated from the nitrates. We added the mix of B vitamins specifically to help with focus, energy, and blood flow.

This product is completely stimulant free and sweetened with Stevia Reb A 97. The flavor is lemon lime and should be taken with about 8 ounces of water 45 minutes prior to starting your workout."

It flat out works! No stimulants for those late night workouts too. I add ~200 mg of caffeine to get that boost in the morning, but that is totally optional. I have used it straight and it still crushes everything else I have tried. Be warned, the taste is suspect at first (I am not used to it). They are Hardcore SUPPLEMENTS! You shouldn't care about taste... I'm not sitting and having a nice drink, I'm getting ready to test my strength and mind!

Branch Chain Amino Acids are so great! They occur naturally in your whole food proteins. They are being shown to reduce muscle breakdown during workouts, increase protein synthesis, and even help regulate blood sugar levels. Layne Norton PhD (oh and natural pro bodybuilder) has studied and discussed protein synthesis at length, I read an interesting response to a BCAA round-table he took part in. He concluded in a calorie restricted state (i.e. running a deficit to cut for a show or just losing BF to get ready for summer), 5g BCAAs could replace up to 40g of protein in a diet. That would allow athletes to run even bigger deficits while maintaining mass and getting extra cut. Layne is coming into shows at 3-4% BF as a natural guy. That is crazy!

I use for my BCAAs again. They are unflavored (kind of a blah, eh taste... I mix in a sugar free water bottle flavor packet to mask the taste sometimes). They are completely natural with no fillers. MF is also really affordable and you get tons of servings for the cost! No big marketing to pay for... again, just Hardcore Supplements!

Here is on BCAAs:

"Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) is the name given to three of the eight essential amino acids needed to make protein: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are called branched-chain because their structure has a ‘branch’ off the main trunk of the molecule. The combination of these three essential amino acids makes up approximately one-third of skeletal muscle in the human body. In order to get energy, the body can actually break down muscle to get these BCAAs. Therefore, by supplying them during or after a workout, muscles and other tissues are spared from breakdown, which occurs as a natural part of metabolism.

Leucine is the most readily oxidized BCAA and therefore the most effective at causing insulin secretion from the pancreas. It lowers elevated blood sugar levels and aids in growth hormone production. Leucine works in conjunction with the other two BCAAs to protect muscle and act as fuel for the body. They promote the healing of bones, skin and muscle tissue, and are often recommended for patients recovering from surgery.

Food sources for leucine are: meat, nuts, beans, brown rice, soy flour and whole wheat.
Isoleucine stabilizes and regulates blood sugar and energy levels. It is also needed for hemoglobin formation. When coupled with the other two BCAAs, they enhance energy, increase endurance and aid in the healing and repair of muscle tissue, making them a valuable tool for athletes.

After a group of healthy people received a single intravenous infusion of these amino acids, the amount of tissue breakdown that normally occurs overnight decreased by 50 percent. In another study, the muscles of a group of marathoners and cross-country runners were spared completely with a daily dose of them.

People suffering from many different mental and physical disorders have been found to have isoleucine deficiency, which can lead to symptoms similar to those of hypoglycemia.

Isoleucine can be found in foods such as chicken, eggs, fish, meat, rye, almonds, cashews, chickpeas, lentils, soy protein and most seeds.

Valine is the third BCAA. It also aids in muscle metabolism, tissue repair and the maintenance of proper nitrogen balance in the body. It may also be helpful in treating liver and gallbladder disease, and is good for correcting the type of severe amino acid deficiencies which can be caused by drug addiction."

Do what works for you, but don't believe all the hype. I got my round 1 results with just whey protein and a little creatine towards the end. Get your nutrition dialed in. There are no shortcuts!

David Jeffries

Saturday, January 7, 2012

P90X2 - Balance & Power

What a week of workouts! It has been so much fun getting more comfortable with the new routine. I have to apologize too... Early this week, I posted that I wasn't too sure about being able to "really work a muscle group" or some nonsense. How could I have been so wrong? These are the real deal. I can only say my opinion has changed.

This morning I took on Balance and Power for the first time. There are three main rounds with an appetizer and bonus round. The moves all live up to the name of the routine and require a perfect combination of balance and power. There were multiple times during the workout that I thought to myself, "oh easy, I bet I can knock out 30 reps." Ten reps later, not only was I scaling back that number but I knew that the power I had would not make up for my lack of balance. Focus was a necessity today. I had a blast!

The official challenge starts on January 16th. I have a friend at school that just ordered P90X2 as well! I believe she will be joining up to for the challenge. Fitness with other people is just so cool!

Blessing and BRING IT!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

P90X2 - Plyocide


Oh yes, jump training is back and the new workout is awesome. I gave this workout a test drive last week... I enjoyed it, but didn't leave it all out on the field. This week was different. I knew more of the moves... I didn't waste the first 5 seconds watching Tony... I got after it! 

Plyocide is a shorter workout, a bit over 50 minutes (with warm up and cool down). Tony has it right though; it is all about turning up the volume on this one. How high can you jump? Are you doing full squats when directed? Are you toe tapping or staying balanced? Did you do you push-ups for punishment? If you are doing every move with 100% effort, there is no way that you won't be spent.

My favorite thing about this workout is that there are no repeats. There are five different distinct sets of moves. The pace is fast and some moves still have that currently bothersome element of balance (though I am already noticing improvements). I really enjoy the Frog Burpee Jumps (at least I think that is what they were called). Those send my HR through the roof. I was able to manage 13 today. Big improvement from last week. All in all, I love this workout.

My diet has been great for 2 days now! It has seemed pretty easy to fall back into the swing of things. I have noticed that some of my bad habit had crept back... a few M&M's here... bigger serving there... but not anymore! I have decided on my goals, committed to them, and I will succeed! 

Blessing and BRING IT!
David Jeffries

Monday, January 2, 2012

P90X2 - Core

January 2, 2012 - It has begun!

So I have jumped the gun and started P90X2. TeamRIPPED will be officially starting on January 16th, but I have decided to begin a little early. I am going to lengthen the Foundation Phase and do my official start on the 16th still. This will give me 5 weeks of much needed balance and core work.

X2 Core was a lot of fun. The workout was on the shorter end of things and featured 18 different moves... no repeats! I could feel everything as we went. This is totally different than any other workout I have been doing. It was very challenging and yet really rewarding when I was about to focus in and find my balance. I really liked the medicine ball, one leg burpees at the end. At first I thought, "Oh really nice... I am wiped out and I need to kick back on one leg while holding a medicine ball?" But I brought it and by the last 6 reps, I had found the pace and balance.

I snapped some photos of the garage too! I moved out there to pick up some head room and offer the family much needed silence in the AM. Who knew an 18-month old doesn't want to be woken up at 4:00 in the morning? And wait, Mom doesn't care for that either... hmmmmm?

It is cluttered, but I still have to be able to get the shop up and running from time to time in the winter.

Good ol' pull-up bar.... how I love you...

That's what was outside... and inside sort of, did I mention the garage is not insulated?

Layers are a must... I was able to lose the sweatshirt and gloves. The hat stayed on!

653 calories later and I am so glad to be started. I am going to be hitting ABX in the evenings, so that is still on deck today. Not enough time in the mornings before school. Got to go out and play with my son in the sled and then shovel/snowblow. A nice little added burn I suppose. My eating is officially on track today as well. Have a great day and BRING IT AGAIN!

David Jeffries