Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Restarting Rev Abs

After completing three straight weeks of the Beachbody workout program, Rev Abs, I missed three straight weeks in a row because LIFE got in the way. When I started getting bent out of shape about it, I remembered what trainer Tony Horton said at his fitness camp in October.

Someone asked about missing workouts - do you make them up, miss them and keep going forward... what do you do? Tony said, and I quote "If you're in week 2 and missed two days, just keep going. If you're in week 8 and missed three weeks in a row, then yeah, restart the program."

I began Rev Abs on November 8th, two days after my 40th birthday. I completed three weeks of the schedule, 100%. Then I began staying later at work, or oversleeping, or something else... Finally, I had enough and did something about it.

On December 20th, 2009 - I restarted Rev Abs from day 1. This is the week of Christmas, the time of food, overeating, "drinking and being merry". Granted, but that wasn't going to stop me from eating healthy, drinking WATER, and still being merry!

I completed 100% of the workouts from week one, ate heatlhy, hydrated, and felt great.

With a new mindset, a revised determination, (and a week of vacation), I am progressing onward...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I am taking a little break from my regular posts to write something a little different, something that has been on my mind lately. What is “achievement” or more specifically, what does it mean to “achieve”?

If you look that up in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, achieve is a verb derived from Middle English dating from the 14th century. “Achieve” can be used as a transitive verb meaning “to carry out successfully” (accomplish); “to get or attain as the result of exertion” (reach). It can also be used as an intransitive verb meaning “to attain a desired end or aim: become successful”. A synonym for achieve is “perform”.

In the past few years because of my job as vice president of finance in the family-run electronics distribution business, my perception of achievement was “doing whatever it takes to get the job done”. The “job” I’m referring is not just finance, but verifying everything before shipping orders to the customer, and vice versa when receiving orders from vendors. That’s just the business part.

Personally, there have been different achievements in my life, but I view them more as “accomplishments” instead of achievements. They mean the same thing.

In my life, what HAVE I achieved? What can I say that I have done?

- I have a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in theatre.
- I worked in various aspects of theatre for seventeen years because of my love of doing it.
- I sang in a barbershop chorus for almost four years, and a barbershop quartet for two strictly because of the performance and conveying the meaning to the song.
- I managed and ran a singles group in my church for two and a half years because no one wanted to be in charge of it, so I took the reins and did it the best that I could.
- I taught 3rd grade CCD for a year.
- I sang in the church choir for eight years singing either bass or tenor.
- I have lived and maintained a seizure-free life since 1996.
- I learned to ballroom dance, and fell in love with the old-fashioned romanticism of it.
- I have used and completed most of the workout programs offered by Beachbody because I wanted to have personal knowledge of using the programs, and be able to help people who use them.
- I chose to become an Independent TeamBeachbody coach, an independent distributor of Beachbody products, to help others make a difference in their lives through exercise.
- I volunteered to help Beachbody trainer, ShaunT, with his workout challenge consisting of his workout programs: Hip Hop Abs, ShaunT’s Dance Party Series, Hip Hop Abs Level 2, Rockin’ Body.
- I filmed my own workouts to watch my form. This turned into creating youtube videos which track my fitness progress.
- I filmed group workouts in New York City, not only to say "we did it", but to promote what we have done, and what we will be doing next.
- I am helping other TeamBeachbody coaches by creating videos of their progress to share THEIR story.
- In two and a half years, I reduced my cholesterol from 319 to 184 through exercise, nutrition, supplementation, and hydration.

What do all of these have in common?
I did them because I WANTED to. That is the difference.

I have lived my life by several Goethe quotes which have helped changed and shape my life:
1. “If I treat you as you are, I will make you worse. But I treat you as what you are ought to be, I help you become that.”
2. “Trust yourself, then you will know how to live.”

Most of all, I have learned one true lesson about myself – not to quit. That is why I keep doing exactly what I do. I have thought of the alternative – giving up. If I do that, I destroy everything that I have worked hard at achieving. I refuse to let that happen, because I refuse to quit taking care of myself and my life. I have SEEN what I want my future to be, and I am striving towards it – another reason not to quit (because I want my envisioned future to become MY REALITY).

In closing, I have two questions for you:
1. What do you want to achieve?
2. How can I help you, not just achieve it, but surpass it?

Thank you for reading this. Have a fantastic day!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dr. Oz and Hip Hop Abs

ShaunT was recently on the Dr. Oz show. He not only got Dr. Oz to do Hip Hop Abs, but some of the audience members were hip hopping in their seats! Check it out!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Burn 2009

What exactly is the turkey burn? It was started by TeamBeachbody Coach Barbie Decker last year after Thanksgiving. We all to overeat on Thanksgiving by having either too many appetizers, turkey, side dishes, or dessert. The purpose of the turkey burn is to BURN OFF the food we ate on Thanksgiving. Pretty simple!

Several TeamBeachbody coaches hosted and attended the Turkey Burn 2009 workout in New York City on Saturday, November 28th. Coaches in attendance were:
James P. Manganiello, Gloria Lee, Barbie Decker, Jason Diebold, Nazly Jordan, Gabrielle Valentino, and Brian Del Gaudio.

The workouts are from the Beachbody program REV ABS:
Rev It Up Cardio
Merciless Abs

A total of sixteen people attended the workout. Three videocameras filmed it. Five cameras took photographs. Between all the video footage and the photographs, I am creating a youtube video for this workout.

I have already reviewed the workout footage and am creating a youtube video consisting of photos and videos. Once completed, I will post it here, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and various other social networking sites.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Rev Abs - week 3

I fell a little behind, so I've completed week two of the Rev Abs schedule today - but calendar wise, this is week three. I will catch up.

I changed my meals this week. I had my breakfast meal at dinner and my dinner meal at breakfast.
Breakfast - Shakeology
Dinner - oatmeal
As a result of this, my energy level increased every morning which lasted trhoughout the day,and I lost my desire for coffee. In addition, without coffee in the morning, I didn't have creamer, sugar, or caffeine.

This is my mantra when it comes to exercising and eating nutritious meals:
Don't procrastinate, speculate, or hesitate.
Rev it, bring it, work it, DO IT!

I will let you know how it goes in my next blog post.
I hope that all of you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Have a great week!


Thanksgivng is a holiday where we should be thankful, but we tend to forget that. We get lost with big meals, parades, desserts, and overindulging. I made it a point to eat very wisely for this Thanksgiving.

I grew up on Long Island. We travel to different relatives each year and share Thanksgiving dinner together. Usually, the traffic driving from New Jersey to Long Island is horrendous during the holidays. This year, we beat the traffic, and had breakfast at a diner. I had banana pancakes, fruit cup, water, and coffee. I wasn't stuffed, just satisfied. Overall, it was a great day seeing family and enjoying Thanksgiving dinner. As we drove home, traffic-free, I wondered which Beachbody workout to do that would burn off the dinner.

When I got home, I put on my workout clothes, and put in the Rev Abs workout "Fire Up Your Abs". I worked up a good sweat, burned 275 calories, and I felt great. For me, it was a great way Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rev Abs, week 2

I continued challenging myself throughout week two. Throughout the week, my abs fired in the Rev Abs workouts. In addition, they also fired throughout the day and stayed in that “flex” status. In other words, my ab muscles fired all day long. I’ve never experienced this before.

By mid week, my I needed some type of stretching or break. Although I didn’t take a break, I did change things up a little with my workout schedule. I continued to follow the Rev Abs schedule in the morning, and I added a cardio or yoga workout at night.

I added the extra workouts to keep my body consistently guessing and to improve my flexibility. The cardio helped burn off the bodyfat, and the yoga helped stretch me out. The combination worked.

Now, whether I’m doing a morning workout or an evening workout – my abs FIRED, and they continued firing throughout the day. I am really enjoying that feeling!!!

Rev Abs, week 1

The first week of any new exercise program is always a challenge. Rev Abs challenged me from the very first day.

The breathing techniques used by trainer Brett Hobel in Rev Abs are to help you “fire your abs” in every move. If I’m doing squats, I’m used to exhaling as I’m going into the squat. In Rev Abs, you’re doing the exact opposite. You’re inhaling as you go into the squat, and exhaling (or “firing your abs”) as you come out of it. Although this was difficult, I was able to master it during the first week and did this effectively. By the end of the week, my abs were firing – even when I wasn’t working out. An intense way to complete the first week!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

pre-Rev Abs

This past Sunday, November 8th, I began a new 90day program - Rev Abs. The promo for it is below. Starting with this program, I'm going to do something a little different on this blog. I'm changing it up, make things a little more interesting, and let you SEE what I'm doing.

In addition to the text blogs, and the video of the workouts on youtube...
I'll post a video blog weekly as well. This way, it's another way of remaining accountable for my workouts, nutrition, and my health.

You have to stay on top of everything. This is the way to do it.

P90X & Bodyfat

I mentioned my measurements/statistics in my last blog post. Now, here's a little more info that I didn't provide.

When I began round four of P90X, my bodyfat was 26.0%
When I finished round four, my bodyfat was 17.0%

So in the course of 90 days, in addition to dropping 8.5pounds and losing 4.25" inches, I lost 9% bodyfat - and THAT is a lot!

I'm in the middle of week one for Rev Abs. Got another post to follow this one. Got something special in mind...

Monday, November 9, 2009

P90X Measurements

In P90X, you take your measurements every 30 days, or at the end of each "phase". The program is broken up into three phases. Phases one and two are three weeks of weights followed by a week of recover. The third phase has four weeks of weight work followed by a week of recovery. As you complete each phase, you take the fit test to see how you've progressed over time. These are my results:

DAY 0 / 30 / 60 / 90

Chest: 36" / 33.5" / 36.0" / 35.5"

L. Bicep: 11.375" / 11.5" / 11.125" / 11.0"

R. Bicep: 11.25" / 11.5" / 11.00" / 11.125"

Waist: 36.5" / 33.5" / 35.125 / 35.125"

Hips: 36" / 34" / 35.75" / 34.75"

L. Thigh: 20.75" / 20.5" / 20.625 / 20.375"

R. Thigh: 20.00" / 20.125" / 19.875 / 19.75"

TOTAL: 171.875" / 164.675" / 169.50" / 167.625"

Weight: 156 / 153 / 154.4 / 147.5

In 90 days of P90X, I've lost 8.5pounds and 4.25". If I've accomplished this in 90 days with P90X, I'm anxious to see what I will have in 90 days of Rev Abs!!!

P90X Fitness Test

The P90X workout program has a fitness test, which you take on day 0 before you begin the program and again on day 91 when you complete the program. I can tell you that I have made some accomplishments in the fit test.

08/08/09 72bpm
11/08/09 58bpm

08/08/09 5
11/08/09 20

08/08/09 5"
11/08/09 9"

08/08/09 35
11/08/09 39

08/08/09 -5 1/2" (5 1/2 short of my toes)
11/08/09 -3/4" from my toes

08/08/09 - 52seconds
11/08/09 - 1minute, 43 seonds

08/08/09 7reps at 27.5 pounds
11/08/09 7reps at 35.0 pounds

08/08/09 33reps
11/08/09 49reps

For this test, you do jumping jacks as hard and fast as you can for two minutes. Then you check your heart rate every minute. Here are the results:

Heartrate after completion
08/08/09 169bpm
11/08/09 142bpm

After one minute
08/08/09 111bpm
11/08/09 98bpm

After two minutes
08/08/09 92bpm
11/08/09 88bpm

After three minutes
08/08/09 85bpm
11/08/09 83bpm

After four minutes
08/08/09 81bpm
11/08/09 76bpm

Throughout the test, I wore a heart rate monitor. The heart rate monitor measures your heartbeat, but takes three measurements - average, minimum, and maximum heartbeat. These are the results:

Maximum Heartrate
08/08/09 179bpm
11/08/09 183bpm

Average Heartrate
08/08/09 90bpm
11/08/09 94bpm

Minimum Heartrate
08/08/09 65bpm
11/08/09 58bpm

Turning 40

Why is it when you go up in age, people tend to make a big deal about it? I can understand going from age 20 to 21, but as for the others after that - it's just a number!

I mean think about it!
- If you play the Mega Millions lottery. You get 5 of the winning numbers, but missed one for the big prize.
- Your pants are too tight, so you go to the store and buy the next size up.
- You're cooking dinner and run out of a particular item while cooking. Once it's cooked and you taste it, you know that it didn't come out the way you wanted to...

I hope you get the idea.

Age is a number. So are statistics, finances, weight, and inches. You could be at your goal, exactly where you want to be at this point in time. But as we get older, that changes - our bodies, health, strength, flexibility, recovery time - all will change, especially if we do not take care of ourseleves. If we want to maintain it, we have to take care of our bodies and health the way we manage our businesses. Consistently, diligently, and honestly.

I'm now forty years old. I'm proud to say that I have done and accomplished more over the past twenty years, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've done theatre for seventeen years, sang in choirs and chorues for thirty-four years, taught CCD for a year, ran a singles group at church for a year and a half, I've travelled both domestically and internationally, studied martial arts, graduated college with a bachelor's degree, worked in corporate for five and a half years, and have worked in finance for an electronics distribution company for eight years - a job at which I still hold today.

What am I getting at?
We all have a past, we all have experience. People believe that our past makes us who we are. This is not necessarily true. Our past does not dictate who we will BECOME! For instance, just because I was born with epilepsy does not mean that I shouldn't take care of myself or I will live a seizure-free life! I have been seizure-free since 1996, and will do whatever is necessary to remain that way.

Not a lot of people have a mindset. Yes, this IS a mindset. Someone once said, "if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything." Motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins, has said, "Anything that any human being can do, so can I".

The poet, Goethe, has said, "trust yourself, then you will know how to live". This quote changed my life. By having enough faith and determination in yourself, you will provide the necessary drive and motivation to help you accomplish not only your goals, but the goals others in your life.

Two years ago, my goal was to get fit, workout hard enough for six-pack abs, muscles in my arms... As I strove to achieve that, I obtained something else instead. I have achieved improved blood pressure, excellent cholesterol, and educating myself on proper nutrition. Proper nutrition helped my body and muscles effectively and efficiently.

I wanted to get into the best shape possible before turning 40 years old. For the most part, I have accomplished that. NOW, my goal is to surpass my current achievements and progress to the next level with my fitness. Stronger, healthier, faster, flexibile, leaner... a litle bit of everything.

Forty is a number. By tomorrow, it will change to forty years old and two days, and it will continue to change over time.

I choose to continue learning, developing, reaching, educating, and reaching for the next level, the next challenge, the next opportunity. Why? Because that's evolution. It shows change. These changes will be my history. Where I've started, how I have progressed, what I have achieved, and what I hope to become.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

James Manganiello Update

Beachbody Coach James Manganiello suffers from epilepsy, but that hasn't stopped him from living a healthy, happy lifestyle. BNN featured James's story in May 2008, and he recently sent this video update to share how he's doing. Check it out!

BNN Follow-Up

A few months ago, I contacted BNN, and asked "would you like a follow-up story to my original interview last year?" I mentioned that because I have experienced some changes since then.

In 2008, Beachbody Network News came to my house and filmed my story as well as filming me working out.

In 2009, I contacted BNN and asked if they wanted a follow-up to my Beachbody story because there have been some changes in my life since the initial story. They emailed me a few questions to answer.

In addition, they asked if I could film it, edit it, and send it in.

I didn't do JUST that.

I filmed the questions. I edited the video. I added the youtube videos that I've created from my workouts. I also added the group videos from the NYC workouts at Chelsea Studios in New York City.

Once all of that was put onto tape, I mailed the tape to BNN, hoping that it will show on the web. In the meantime, I lived my life. I worked, worked out, and lived.

I turn 40 years old this Friday.
BNN called me yesterday, asking some questions about the footage. After answering them, I returned to work.

Tuesday night, I received a Twittwer from BeachbodyNews saying the following:
"James Manganiello suffers from epilepsy, but that hasn't stopped him from living a healthy, happy lifestyle."

My jaw, fell! I mean, I was about to go to bed. But when I saw this text message, I went to the website and watched the video, and I was in awe.

I'm seeing myself on BNN, MY footage, MY workouts, MY videos, all in this story! As I'm watching the story, my smile beams more and more.. The moment I saw the footage from my workouts, I shouted "YES!!!" as I heard me discussing filming the workouts. I knew I talked about the workouts in New York City. As I mentioned it, BNN used my footage from the workoouts and put it under what I was saying.

I was jumping up and down in my chair, I couldn't contain myself. I was loving this!

I went to bed with a huge smile on my face, feeling accomplished.

The following day, I knew people would see the video on BNN. But I had no idea the overwhelming response that I would receive!

It blew my mind. BLEW MY MIND! Other Beachbody coaches and friends have posted on my Facebook complimenting the video and saying "Congrads"... "Good for you"... "Excellent!" Now that made me smile, seeing my peers compliment me on a job that I did.

But what really touched my heart was when I went onto the message boards. I'm involved in a 90day fitness challenge. A coach and friend posted about the BNN video. The responses that followed were heartfelt, moving, touching, inspiring, and they literally drove ME!

People are inspired by internal and external things and events. I had NO IDEA that my video would touch people in such a positive way.

I'm proud of it. I emailed the CEO of Beachbody, Carl Daikeler, personally thanking him for the extraordinary job that the folks at BNN did for my story. The video was posted JUST days before my 40th birthday.

The next post will have the video.

Beachbody Network News

In 2008, Beachbody Network News (BNN) filmed my fitness story to date. A little about my history of epilepsy, what I have experienced with my workouts, and my achievements with fitness.

The name of the segment was "Staying Fit In The Face of Epilepsy" and it aired in May 2008.

This is the video:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Double Plyo

Don't do it twice in week. I found that out last week, the hard way.
P90X, week 12 - I chose to do the workouts of of sequence this week to change things up. The change worked, and it went very well. I usually do Plyo on day 2, but this week I did it on day 4 (Thursday). Even though it wasn't my usual day, I went with it, worked hard, and enjoyed it.

For the past several weeks, my body has been used to a whey protein supplement and I have "bonked" or lost energy because I was not utilizing it. Fortunately, this past week my body has adapted to not having the supplement and returned to normal. This week, I learned about utilizing foods with natural protein instead of supplemental protein. Fellow Beachbody coach, Judi Finneran, hosted a conference call with guest speaker, Melissa Costello. Melissa is a chef and vegetarian. She's also Tony Horton's personal chef. Melissa discussed meals in a vegetarian lifestyle, which helped her lose weight and get into fantastic shape.

Personally, I want to gradually adapt a vegeterian lifestyle. I rarely eat meat or beef, I love vegetables (raw or cooked), and I'm confident that I can do this. For some time, I have been cooking my own meals. If I'm able to cook healthy, vegetarian meals, I am anxious to make this part of my life!!

In the summer of 2009, I teamed up with several coaches and we have hosted a monthly free Beachbody workout in New York City. We've done workouts from different programs, and have attracted many people. A few months ago, I started filming the workouts, editing them, and posting videos on youtube for them. This past Saturday, we did Plyometrics. True, twice in one week, but I was anxious to do it. Working out at home is one thing, but working out with a group motivates you. Everyone worked hard throughout the workout. Someone took photos. I still have to edit the video and post it on youtube this week. Once that is completed, I will post it here.

Saturday night following the workout, I felt great.

Sunday morning, it was just the opposite. My hamstrings and the muscles in my quadraceps tightened up. It was difficult to walk, stand, even take stairs. But I took it slowly, and made it through the day. Sunday night, only one word crossed my mind - STRETCH. I put in the Beachbody's workout DVD "Total Body Solution". This helped stretch me out and loosen me up. In addition, I also did some stretches from other Beachbody workout programs as well as some track stretches that I've done when I was younger. All the stretching worked, and I do not have any pain in my muscles or hamstrings.

This is the final week of P90X, week 13 - recovery week. By the end of this week, I will post my results of P90X, round four. In addition, I'll post the second fit test, and compare it to the original P90X fit test that I had taken before starting this round. I'll also post my photos and measurements. Everything will be documented and posted.

Then, I will take the Rev Abs fitness test.

It's all about accountability!

November 7 is my completion date for P90X.
November 8 is my start date for REV ABS.

I'll be back later in the week. In the meantime, here's the photo from the Plyometrics workout on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Is A Seizure?

This is something very close to home for me.

I have lived with epilepsy my entire life. People are "familiar" with epilepsy or know a little about it while others have done extensive research on it.

Several years ago, when the Walk For Epilepsy was created, the purpose of the walk was to support and encourage people with seizures. The slogan was "not another moment lost to seizures", hoping that there will be a cure so people who live with epilepsy every day will be able to live a seizure-free life.

I have been seizure-free since 1996 and I have lived a seizure-free life.

Katie Couric of CBS did a story on 60 Minutes on Sunday, October 25. This video is approximately 90 seconds long, but it hit home for me because THIS is a brief description of what happens during a seizure. If you have 90 seconds to take a look at it, please do.

Education is important. We stress that upon our children. I believe we should also educate ourselves as well.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Monday, October 26, 2009


Reading something silently is one thing, saying it outloud is something different. Reading it several times and speaking it out loud is completely different. The reason I say this is because it relates to something that Anthony Robbins spoke about in the program “Unlimited Power”. People learn differently. The order in which people learn things will affect the way they understand things, or react to them.

I attended boarding school at age 15. They principle they taught was – read, recite, review. This principle helped me do so many different things in high school ranging from memorization, learning names, learning directions, and familiarizing myself with them later on.

Now it’s time to return to the basics of what worked. If these three basic principles worked for me at age fifteen, I’m confident they will work for me at age thirty nine. I'm already utilizing these principles when working out (repeating the schedule of the exercises, getting good at it, changing it up. But when returning to the workout, I've already familiarized myself with it, so I have an easier time doing it).

Enough talking.
Time for doing.

P90X weeks 10 & 11

I have read various updates this week on Facebook from people who have both received and started the new Beachbody workout program, Rev Abs, by trainer Brett Hovel. Intriguing, distracting, but I had to stay on my current program, P90X.

Weeks 10 and 11 became easier with the red resistance band. I know, you’re probably thinking “go to the next level band”. I didn’t have it, yet. To compensate, I used both the red AND purple bands together. I thought the red band was tough at first, but combining the red and purple bands pushed me, and I liked that.

My eating has remained clean, I’m drinking 72+ounces of water daily, and I’m getting enough sleep, and feel great!!!

When I complete this round of P90X, I’ll take the fit test again, post new photos, and new measurements. Then I’ll create another post with the side-by-side photos for this round of P90X. Underneath, I will post the measurements (day 1, 30, 60, and 90).

For motivation, I’ve posted the words “I refuse to quit” on my alarm clock, mirror, car visor, computer at work, computer at home – whenever I am the most so that those words are constant and consistent reminder of my goal.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My TeamBeachbody Coaching Page

Hey folks! Beachbody revised all the coaching pages the past few days, and I've made a few modifications of my own (photo, phone number).

This is my NEW TeamBeachbody Coaching Page:

Please check it out when you can, let me know what you think.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Game Plan

Anyone interested in becoming an Independent TeamBeachbody coach, you may want to take a look at this video from Beachbody CEO, Carl Daikeler.

This will explain a little more about Beachbody, his history, and about the Beachbody Coaching Opportunity.

If you are intersted in it, send me a message, and I'll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Procrastination vs. Motivation

This has been a topic that has been on my mind for the longest time, and I wanted to post about it.

When it came to business, I did whatever was necessary to get the job accomplished. I was goal-oriented, focused, and determined. I did not like loose ends nor did I like unresolved situations. I was a perfectionist in making sure things were done, but they did not have to be done “perfectly”.

In my personal life, I was not that focused. There were certain aspects of my life where I was focused and determined on accomplishing different tasks. Paying bills, doing laundry, going food shopping – the basic necessities. But when it came to organizing my desk, getting clutter off of my dresser and night tables, that’s a different story. I’ve had stuff sitting on there months.

What is the definition of “procrastination” or “procrastinate”:
1. to put off intentionally and habitually
2. to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done

I’m human. We all have our moments. There are times when we’re so into something that we’re running 120 miles an hour and nothing can stop us. Also, there are times when we’re just exhausted, low on energy, and we want to give up because “I don’t feel like doing it today”, or any variation of an excuse that we will provide.

During the weekend at the Tony Horton Fitness Camp, I said that when it came to my health and taking care of myself that “I refuse to quit.” As I was listening to the Anthony Robbins audio cd, I realized that my strongest point to sum up who I am as a person was that “I refuse to quit”.

If I refused to quit, why was my room so disorganized? Why weren’t things put away properly.

Because I procrastinated.
“Yeah, I’m too tired…” “I’ll do it tomorrow….” Or I’ll look at it and think “maybe later…”

I have experienced too many of those over the past few years.

It’s the equivalent of when you ask someone to join you for an event and they give responses such as: “I’ll get back to you”; “I’ll let you know”; or the popular “I don’t know”.


I wasn’t truly committing to myself and what I believed in. That’s extremely counter-productive when you have goals to achieve.

What is the definition of “motivate”: to provide with a motive.
1. something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act
2. a recurrant phase or figure that is developed through the course of a musical composition

Synonyms for motive include: impulse, incentive.....

When people think of the term "motive" it's usually used when watching a mystery movie or determinining the reasoning behind someone's thoughts. "Impulse" is always related to shopping for some reason "he's an impulse buyer". "Incentive" gives the implication that people are doing something because they want something out of it.

A motive, or a goal. What happens when you don’t have a goal? You don’t have something you want to pursue or achieve. If you don’t have a goal or a motive, how do you live your life? Without motive, you lose desire; without desire, you lose purpose; and so on. One comment or statement relates to another, and to another. It’s a continuous chain reaction of events. You lose one thing, you can be losing a lot of things. But if you CHANGE one thing, imagine what you can change.

The moment I said out loud, “I refuse to quit”, everything changed. I spent the rest of that night clearing off my dresser, putting stuff away in an organized manner so that it was easier to find. Papers and bills were filed, music CDs were put away, clean clothes were put away and dirty ones were off the floor. When I was finished, I looked around, I was impressed. Yet I KNEW that this was just the beginning of more that needs to be accomplished. If I could accomplish THIS task, I was confident that I could accomplish and complete other goals as well. It’s the same as working out, eating nutritionally, and taking care of yourself daily. I became so good at that, I neglected my room! That night, I went to sleep knowing that I made a huge accomplishment with my room.

The following morning, I woke up, put my workout clothes on, turned on my laptop, filled up my water, grabbed my P90X workout DVDs and off I went! Ninety minutes later, I returned to my room sweating from the workout, but feeling great because I knew THAT workout brought me another step closer to my goal. I made breakfast that morning, and that motivated me for the morning. Plus I ate nutritionally throughout the day, and I drank about 96ounces of water. All healthy things, but it all started from one simple thought. One phrase, one idea. That’s all it took for me.

I’m not a procrastinator anymore. I’m an organizer. I know the way I used to behave and how I used to live my life. I don’t believe in that anymore. My life is different. I like getting stuff done to accomplish the next task, because there’s always going to be something.

I know how it feels to be a procrastinator. I also know how it feels to accomplish your tasks and continue moving forward towards new goals. Just do it and get it over with because if you don’t then the tasks are going to pile up and you’re going to feel overwhelmed. I’ve been through that too.

The first step is always the most difficult. The moment you take the first step, everything will get easier after that because you’ll be doing it and making it happen. Once it’s completed, it will be one accomplishment towards achieving other goals that you have been pursuing! Completing that one goal can be the motivation you’ve been looking for to accomplish your other goals.

Try it out and see how it works. Let me know what happened.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

P90X week 9

I got a little off of the P90X classic schedule this week, however I did not divert TOO far from it. I diligently stuck with the weight workouts of P90X, but I mixed up the cardio with a little more yoga, stretching, and One On One’s “Recovery 4 Results”.

The Tony Horton fitness camp refocused my approach towards fitness and nutrition. Instead of viewing my workouts as a “chore”, I now see each workout as another step on the road towards my goal.

I have been eating clean meals and I am seeing the physical changes to my body every single day.

I did not get a chance to ask Tony Horton one question at the fitness camp. In the P90X guide, it mentions that you can take whey protein as a supplement from weeks 1-8. It also says not to take any whey protein or supplemental protein for weeks 9-13.

The first three times that I did P90X, I took whey protein all the way through. I also didn’t eat well, nor did I stick with the program guide well enough.

Now, I am doing that. I admit, I was used to having the whey protein daily. My body became accustomed to it during this round of P90X (my fourth round). I started to “bonk” or lose energy.

So I changed my focus.

Instead of focusing on supplemental whey protein, I researched foods (not supplements) which naturally have protein in them. Now I’m a finicky eater and always have been. I know, you may be asking “how can you get in good shape if you’re finicky about the foods that you eat and you’re neglecting healthy foods?”

Well, I love vegetables both raw and cooked. Throughout my life, I’ve had a lactose intolerance making it difficult to digest any milk products (though I have tried). About a year ago, my body changed. I could eat ANY milk products that I wanted. Cheese, milk, ice cream – no problem. But I could no longer eat beef. Beef, steak, or any variation of it – ribs, pork. However I CAN eat chicken. If I have pasta, it has to be whole wheat pasta. I have pasta once a week and meat once a week.

I’m eating five smaller meals a day. Five meals a day for seven days, that’s thirty-five meals a week. I have meat/chicken/fish at a maximum of two meals a week, that 6% of my meals. I refuse to have a “cheat” meal because I know from experience that cheating once with meals turns into a bad habit, so I am avoiding that completely.

Now that I had my meals under control, I needed to find healthier snacks, and I received an excellent suggestion online – raw unsalted almonds. When I looked into it, this has 6ozof natural protein and NO sugar. In addition to this, a friend recommended adding a piece of string cheese to make “the perfect protein” (thank you Yami). I snack on the almonds daily and add a piece of string cheese every other day just to mix things up.

This morning, I worked out to P90X’s Chest/Shoulders/Triceps. My breakfast was ¾ cup of whole oats; ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk; two strawberries, two raspberries, two black berries (washed and cut finely); ½ a pack of Splenda for sweetness, and a dash of cinnamon on top.

When my girlfriend came downstairs, I made the same thing for her, but I changed it around. ¾ cup whole oats, 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, four strawberries cut up, splenda, and a dash of cinnamon. She loved it!!

In addition, I am drinking 72oz of water daily, sometimes more. I am remaining as hydrated as possible.

I also changed up my resistance workouts. For weeks 1-8, I used the Bowflex Selecttech dumbbells, which worked great. But I hit a plateau at 30 pounds because I felt a twinge in my lower back whenever I lifted. So I started using fitness bands. I started with purple (20-25pounds), now I’m using red (30-40pounds). I’m sure I’ll use heavier bands soon, but I am enjoying using the bands because of the variation.

The weights are downstairs and the bands are in my room. I have a yoga mat and blocks both upstairs and downstairs. Now, there is no excuse for missing a workout. I do a resistance workout in the morning and vary between cardio, stretching, and yoga at night. It makes for a nice combination. I am seeing results quicker with the bands.

Week 9 is completed.

Today begins week 10.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Four Words

Earlier this year, after the TeamBeachbody Coach Dream Extreme Summit in California, I purchased several motivational books. Some of which were suggested, some weren’t, but I found them in the self-help section of the bookstore. Some of these titles include: Eat That Frog; Think and Grow Rich; Make It Stick; The One Minute Manager; The One Minute Sales Manager; 150 Ways to Get Your Point Across In 30 Seconds or Less; Failing Forward; and How To Win Friends and Alienate People. True, these are a lot of books, but some of them are thin books while others are thick. But my reason for getting them was to help broaden my knowledge in learning more about myself and how I can use what I learned to expand my coaching business.

In addition to the books, I picked up an audio CD by Anthony Robbins titled “Unlimited Power”. I’ve listened to this CD in my car every single day since the summit. I’ve listened to it so many times that I know pretty much what he’s going to discuss from one section to the next. So I had to change it up. I bought three of Anthony Robbins’ books: Awaken The Giant Within; Giant Steps; and Unlimited Power. The reason I bought them is to use them in conjunction with the audio cd. In addition, I bought a multi-cd set from him titled “Lessons In Mastery”.

Last night, I was at my desk paying some bills, and I put on the first CD for Lessons In Mastery. As I’m paying bills, I’m hearing Anthony Robbins talk and I completely understand exactly what he’s discussing and how he’s motivating you to take that first step. Then he said something profound and I stopped everything that I was doing. He said (and I have to get the exact quote), “What is it that you can say to yourself today that will motivate you for the rest of the day and the rest of your life?”

I thought of the Coach Summit when Beachbody CEO Carl Daikeler asked, “What is your WHY? What is your reason for working out, for getting in shape and taking care of yourself? Why are you doing this?” At the time, my reason simply was – my future. I’m working out for my future because I want to be in good shape for the future. I am in ok shape now but I know that I can do better. I used that to motivate me throughout the first half of P90X, and that was extremely helpful. But then I reached a point where it wasn’t enough, and I started to slack off a little bit. I lost my motivation.

So I posted my day one photo on my mirror with the caption “do you want to go back to THIS again?” That motivated me for a week or two, but it stopped. I took the photo down and revised the text with motivation words. The words were: inspiration; dedication; persistence; consistency; diligence; supplementation; and hydration. These words will help me to continue working out. But they aren’t the WHY.

I stopped the CD and I started brainstorming about it. I thought about what I wanted to achieve, where I wanted to go and what I wanted to look like… my goals, my dreams, and my aspirations. Then I thought about how I was consistent with eating nutritionally and healthy, continuing to eat healthy foods as well as drinking 72 ounces (or more) water daily to keep myself hydrated from the hard workouts that I’m doing. I also reflected on the years that I did theatre, on how I was usually the first person in the theatre making sure that everything was set-up for the night when I was stage managing a show, and how I was always the last one to leave at the end of the night. I thought of how with the family business how I’m persistent with the finances and diligent making sure that the numbers match and everything flows smoothly, and I’m the same way with my personal finances as well.

On the CD, Anthony Robbins said, “Just say it out loud to yourself.”

I said, “I refuse to quit”.

Everything came full circle. In an instant, I saw everything that I have been working towards for the past two years - the workouts, constant hydration, eating properly, taking vitamins daily to supplement foods that I am not eating, sleeping enough, working hard during the day, managing the house, managing the business, managing my LIFE… I’m talking EVERYTHING!

I found my why. I found my reason for persisting why I do exactly what it is that I do.

People have asked me questions such as “why do you workout so hard”, “why are you so persistent with your workouts”, “why do you keep doing the things that you do”?

Because I refuse to quit.

I sat there basking in awe, in this profound moment of clarity. I had to call someone and tell them about it. Mind you, this was 9:45pm at night. I called my girlfriend. I told her exactly what happened and precisely what I saw in that instant and how that moment changed my life. She said, “That is amazing!”

Four words put together to form a sentence that truly defines who you are as a person. THAT is intense!!!

Think of the opposite. When you DO quit, what happens? Bad habits slowly start creeping back into your life little by little. If I gave up and quit right now, I already know the consequences – eating bad food, gaining weight, destroying my health results, lack of energy, no motivation… Everything that I would have achieved in the past two years would be destroyed in an instant!

But I will not let that happen, because I refuse to quit.

I logged onto TeamBeachbody and changed that to my WOWY name. In addition, I am making necessary contacts to change my website, youtube page, this blog, coaching business cards, and everything else associated with “scorpionj”.

This one thought, this mantra, is the one single thing that has changed my way of thinking, my lifestyle, and the way I choose to live my life because I’m telling you – so many things are going to change for the better because of this. I am extremely confident about it, and I am anxious to see the positive changes that this will have upon my life.

I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me. I expect it, and I embrace it because I know that once the hard work of making this change has been completed, then all I need to do is continue living my life and be persistent about my goals.

As you may have noticed, I have changed the name of the blog from “scorpionjfitness.blogspot.com” to reflect this change. My new URL for the blog is http://irefuse2quit.blogspot.com and the title of the blog is “I Refuse 2 Quit’s Fitness Blog”.

I refuse to quit.

What is your why?

Name Change

As of today, I am changing the blog name. Anyone who has visited "scorpionjfitness.blogspot.com" will now have to change the blog address to the following:

The previous blog posts will be there. Please update your bookmarks accordingly.

In addition, anyone wanting to email or contact me, please do so through this email address: irefuse2quit@gmail.com

Thank you,
James P. Manganiello
Independent TeamBeachbody Fitness Coach

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Youtube Video - October Workout Promo

I just uploaded a new video to youtube. The video is a new promo for our FREE monthly Beachbody workout in New York City. Check out the video for details on the workout:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rev Abs

Hey folks! I just had to post this link (hope it comes through). Beachbody Network News, or BNN, the video crew for Beachbody that films their videos and posts videos on the web to update members of new information has a NEW promo that I'd like to share.

Check this out.
The name of the program is REV ABS developed by Brett Hobel from NYC. Check out the promo.

If you want more information about Rev Abs, send me a message.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kick It Up A Notch

Usually, I don't put up a post in the middle of the week. But this has been on my mind for some time.

I'm in my fourth round of P90X, and currently in week 8, and I'm trying something a little different. My morning workout will still be from P90X, but to compensate (for the heavier weight I'm lifting), I'll be adding Yoga Booty Ballet's "Pure and Simple Yoga" at night. I've used it before, and believe me, it's helped stretch me out after a very long day. I really like it. If I want extra cardio, I have two options:
- a Bosu cardio workout
- a 300 workout

A majority of the exercises in the "300 workout" are contained in P90X's Ab Ripper X, but there are some kettlebell exercises in there as well I'd like to dive into. I have done some KB work with a light kettlebell. I'll have to get a heavier one for this workout.

As a quick update to my progress, my eating is clean, I'm drinking 72+ ounces of water daily, and I am feeling fantastic!

I do not have new photos and measurements as of yet. I hope to post them by Sunday. But as a quick preview of what's happening, I did do a body fat check.

When I began this round of P90X, I was at 26%.
It's now at 16%.

P90X works - plain and simple.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The original title was “A Healthy Breakfast”, but it all depends on your perspective of what a “healthy” breakfast might be.

I am not a cook. I reheat, I do prepare stuff when necessary, and I do try to cook something on occasion.

They say “breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you start the day off on a good breakfast, the rest of your day should go the same way.” Hopefully.

I picked up this recipe from Beachbody coach Mark Briggs. I read one his messages on Facebook about it, and decided to try it – whole oats, whey protein, and (either water or milk). I’ve tried it both ways, and I prefer using almond or soy milk.

This is how mine turned out:
¾ cup Quaker Whole Oates
1 scoop Beachbody chocolate Whey Protein Powder
Put each into a bowl and lightly stir it up. Add 8 ounces of a liquid. I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

I also added:
One washed strawberry, quartered, and diced finely
1/8 tbsp organic peanut butter

I mixed it and microwave it for 90seconds. After removing it from the microwave, I added a sprinkle of brown sugar cinnamon.

It definitely kicked breakfast up a HUGE notch. You can alternate the strawberry for any fruit – a diced banana, blueberries, or whatever you choose to use.

Try it out sometime. I’ll tell you this, it gave me enough energy by the time I arrived at work, and I stick with WATER as opposed to going for a cup of coffee.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I seem to be doing more and more of this lately.

"Bonking" can have many defitinions. When I describe "bonking" I'm referring to not having enough in me during my workouts. In other words, I don't have enough energy to continue the workout and I "bonk" or lose energy.

The past few weeks, as I've been very diligent of the foods I'm eating and the calories that I have been taking in, I have made sure to eat only the healthy stuff and avoid fried foods. But lately, I've noticed that this has been an advantage and a disadvantage.

It's an advantage because I am eating healthy, nutritional food. The setback of not having enough calories is that I lose energy quickly during a workout. If I burn over 500 calories in a workout, and I'm only taking in 1300 calories, that leaves me 800 calories - hence, I bonk. (That's just a speculation). Although it feels like I'm taking in 1300 calories, after calculating everything out, I'm taking in about 1800 calories.

I've added a protien shake in the morning for a little extra energy, a protein bar during the day, almonds to snack on, and I drink about 72+ ounces of water daily. (Yes, I drink a lotta water).

It just feels that I'm missing something and I cannot grasp on to what it is. When I pinpoint it, I'm sure I will make a subtle change and I'd be back on track in no time.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yoga X

I never truly appreciated Yoga X during my first three rounds of P90X. It was always something – wearing sneakers, not having proper equipment, hurt… I used to substitute X Stretch for Yoga X.
Not anymore.
This time, I was determined to do Yoga X, no matter how hard I worked. I had exactly what I needed – yoga mat, yoga blocks, water, and determination.

Now, I love Yoga X. It’s my newest staple in the workout.

In phase 3 (weeks 9-13) of P90X, I will probably add Yoga X AGAIN on my rest day. If my muscles are tight and they will be pushed to the extreme (which will happen), I am confident that Yoga X will alleviate it.

I’ll let you know how it goes, when I get there.

P90X week 6

I hate make-ups in life. I don’t like leaving loose ends or as they say “leaving stones unturned”. Yes, I am a bit of a perfectionist.

I was extremely diligent in weeks 1-3 of P90X for my workouts and nutrition. In each round, when the workouts change, that’s when I seem to slack.
Not this time.
I had no intention of slacking and I stuck through it, and I worked hard. It was worth it. It hurt, but I saw past that, BEYOND my goal.

I am being strict on myself, no one asked me to do it, no one suggested it. I’m doing this.

Enough talking.
Time for doing.

P90X week 5

P90X’s workout for day one of week 5 - Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps – wiped me out. To quote trainer Tony Horton, “In a good way, I mean that in a good way.” I expected soreness this week, and I got sore. Unfortuantely, this sorness caused a slack for two days.

The following morning, I woke up and heard Beachbody trainer ShaunT’s voice in my head screaming, “C’mon yo! Let’s GOOOOOO!!” (This is from the INSANITY promo).

I got out of bed, and jumped back into the P90X workout. HARD! When I say hard, I’m talking hardcore. For anyone who has done any extreme workout program such as P90X or INSANITY, that’s the kind of intensity of this workout.

This was my workout:
P90X: Legs & Back
P90X: Kenpo X

I burned 425calories in Kenpo X – which is the most amount of calories I’ve EVER burned in Kenpo X. I worked hard in Legs & Back by lifting 30pounds. I’ve never lifted 30s in L&B, but it was worth it. I was wiped out after my second workout, but I felt great, confident, and I KNEW that this was exactly what I needed to jumpstart my workouts again – and it WORKED!

My mindset was in the right place, my goal was ahead of me, and I’m prepared to work. I accomplished what I set out to do, and I’m prepared for what tomorrow will bring.

I changed things up a little bit, which gave a little variation and it kept my body offguard.

Always Carry A Business Card

My girlfriend was at my place for the long weekend. We had a hunch she’d be home late (which can happen). While she was here, we went to the supermarket for some food. Plus, I also bought some groceries for my place.

As I’m looking at milk, my girlfriend runs up to me saying softly, “J! J!” and pointing at this couple with a shopping list. Then “P90X SHOPPING LIST”.

My ears perked up, QUICKLY.

I walked over, politely said, “Excuse me, I noticed your shopping list. Which Beachbody program are you using?” He said, “P90X. I haven’t started it yet.” Then we chatted for about ten minutes.

As we were leaving, I was about to give him my business card – which I left at HOME.
Fortunately, we exchanged information and I said, “If you need a hand, let me know.” At that, we shook hands and continued our shopping.


In the 70s there was a commercial that said, "The American Express card. Don't leave home without it."
Never leave home without a business card.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Recovery Week (not exactly)

Allow me to start off by saying that this week, "recovery week", was anything BUT a recovery week. I worked late several nights, didn't get up early enought. But you know what, that's in the past. It happened, it's over.

Wednesday night I did workout to P90X's Core Synergistics and Ab Ripper X (changing up the recovery week a little). I burned a total of 564 calories and my maximum heart rate was 212. My average heart rate was about 160bpm. yes, I worked out that hard.

The two Insanity workouts that I did with Jimmy Nelson and the 2620 crew kicked up my P90X workouts.

Core Synergistics worked my hard, pushed me, and it was just what I needed. I felt great. Throughout the rest of the week, I did some light stretching (no video, just old-fashioned stretching).

Now I'm ready for week 5, or phase two of P90X.

In case you want to "see" the changes from day 1 of P90X to day 30, here's a 30 day progress photo.

Power 90 3-4 Series

This blog post and the video are long overdue. The videos were filmed while I was doing Power 90 3-4 series in July 2009. I've reivewed seven video tapes (of my workouts that I've filemd) to review for the 3-4 series. Fortunately, I was able to narrow and edit it down into a 60 second video - with a preview ot the 5-6 series (or the Power 90 Master Series). The Master Series is not part of the original schedule for Power 90. The Power 90 Master Series was created AFTER P90X. The Power 90 Master Series is a smoother progression into P90X because it gets you much more familiar with the exercises.

I'd like to post several credits for this video:
1. The Power 90 logo is from the exercise program, Power 90, designed by Beachbody.

2. The first audio heard is Linkin Park's "Numb" from their album METEORA. The line "I'm tired of being what you want me to be" is from an acapella version of the song.

3. The music used throughout the video is by Cirque Du Soleil. The name of the song is "Storm" and it is from the Cirque du Soleil show KA. I edited the song to fit the video.

4. The last music heard in the video clip is by Outkast. The song is called "Speedballin'" and it from the motion picture soundtrack of the film TOMB RAIDER.

Enjoy the video!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Extreme Motivation

When I signed up as a TeamBeachbody coach in 2008, I wanted to be a positive example to anyone I was coaching as well as the people in my life.

Over the past year, I reached a point where I questioned why I was working out. Was I working out for my health? To inspire others? To show that I HAVE completed various Beachbody programs? To never quit? The answer was YES to all of them. The ultimate quetion was - WHO are you working out for? Yourself? Beachbody? Your customers? Other coaches? People on the Beachbody message boards?

I changed my approach. I looked at the larger picture. I'm not working out for myself anymore, not the ME in 2009. I started looking further ahead - past 30 days, 180days, a year, 10 years... you get the idea. In my mind, I saw how working hard NOW will improve and change my life for years to come.

Based on my experience from working out, I will inspire others and show others how they can also do the same - and I would be happy to mentor/coach them so that they can achieve THEIR goals, THEIR aspirations.

It's not just about working out. There's a lot of different things happening. A combination of events must occur. Getting fit and healthy is like opeing a combination lock. (You may have read or heard information similar to this, but let me tell you first hand - it's true, it's real and it definitely makes a differnce)! The combination is simple - exercise, water, nutrition, supplementation, and rest. It sounds easy, and it is. It's just that doing all of it at once can be overwhelming at times. But diligence is the key. Stick to it, and your hard work will pay off (didn't our parents tell us that as kids?)

There is a huge difference in life between talking about doing something vs. comitting to do it. Working out is not any different. In the words of Morpheus (Lawrence Fischbune) from The Matrix, "There is a difference between TAKING the path, and WALKING the path".

Think about it.

This is the same principle as SAYING your going to do something vs. going out and actually doing it.

Same idea, same principle. Same objective.
Do it.
Strive for your goals, and achieve them.

I am walking my path. It's filled with twists and turns along the way, but I expected that the moment I began this journey. Sometimes it feels as though I'm taking a casual walk on this path, other times it feels like I'm sprinting to my destination. But the point is, I AM doing something.

The reasoning for my rant is very simple.
Choose your own path, commit to it, and you will reach your destination. Now if the destination you arrive at is different than your initial goal, that's alright. It's ONE result. Review what the steps you took to arrive at this destination, tweak your actions, and try again.

It's like driving somewhere and getting lost along the way. We've all done that. I'm not talking about navigation systems here. I'm talking about YOU driving from point A to a destnation you've never been to before. It will be different, you'll experience similar things, you may hit some twists and turns along the way and can possibly deviate from your original goal. But that's ok, it happens in life. Get back on track, find your way, and get to where you want to go.

I like a lot of quotes from the poet, Goethe. Today, I came across this one:
"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."
Apply that to what I've written above.
Knowing that you WANT to achieve a goal is not enough. We have to apply, take action, take necessary steps to achieve these goals. You can't just be willing to workout or lose weight, because that doesn't cut it. How many times in life where we've heard something that catches our attention and we've thought "I'm willing to try that?" And yet when we DO try it, we don't stick to it.

Actions speak louder than words.

Here's another quote from The Matrix. Neo (Keanu Reeves) started learning all these fighting techniques because they were "implanted" in his brain through the matrix. He turns to Morpheus (Lawrence Fischburne) and says, "I know ju-jitsu".

Morpheus says, "Show me".

Alright, let's make it easier.

Knowing how to cook is half the game. You've read cook books, watched cooking shows, watched your MOM cook as you were growing up. But you never tried it. How can you cook a dessert if you've never even preheated an oven? (Yes, everyone that cooks is probably nodding their head while reading this). If you don't DO it, you'll never get BETTER at it.

Exercising and eating right is not any different.

If you already HAVE the knowledge on how to do something, and have appied that knowledge successfully in your life and you can do something extremely well - utilize that same approach and knowledge, and apply it to other things in your life. You'd be amazed to see how fast you pick things up and get things accomplished.

Ok, I'm off my soapbox for the evening. I think you get the idea.

As for me - week 3 of P90X Classic is completed. Now it's no to recovery week (week 4).
Next week, I take photos. I will post them here.

Have a great week. Onward!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

P90X vs. Chalean Extreme vs. Insanity

One Beachbody workout vs. another vs. another. First let me say that ALL are extreme fitness programs created by Beachbody. Each workout has different fitness trainers.

Beachbody trainer Tony Horton, 25+ years experience in the fitness industry, and has created several programs for Beachbody including: Ho' Ala Ke Kino, Tony and the Folks, Tony and the Kids, Power Half Hour, Power 90, Power 90 Master Series, the One On One series, P90X+, Ten Minute Trainer, and well known for - P90X.

Beachbody trainer ShaunT, was a former track and field star as he was growing up. He became a dancer and choreographer. He's appeared in several music videos. Now, he's a trainer for several Beachbody programs including: Hip Hop Abs, ShaunT's Dance Party Series, Fit Kids Club, Rockin' Body, Hip Hop Abs Ultimate Results, Get Real, and most recently - Insanity.

Beachbody trainer Chalene Johnson has a background in tae kwon do, dance, and aerobics. She has taught kickboxing classes, and started teaching Turbo Jam as of 1998. There are many certified Turbo Kick instructors throughout the country under Chalene's company, Powder Blue Productions. Her Beachbody programs include Turbo Jam, Turbo Jam Fat Burning Elite, Turbo Jam Live, Turbo Jam Get On The Ball, and recently Chalean Extreme. Chalene Extreme focuses on resistance training with this goal - MUSCLE BURNS FAT. Chalene is working on a new program, which was previewed briefly at the Beachbody Dream Extreme Coach Summit in 2009 titled, "TURBO FIRE". What she has in mind, I do not know, but I'm sure it will be extremely intense!

P90X, Insanity, and Chalean Extreme are "extreme home fitness", and that is the truth. It's no joke. All three programs com with DVD workouts, a diet guide, community support, and motivation to help you get into the best shape of your life.

The principle behind P90X is "muscle confusion". "The more you confuse the muscles, the faster results you're going to see". P90X comes with TWELVE workouts, yes twelve. The reason is because there are three different schedules for P90X - a LEAN workout schedule, a CLASSIC workout schedule, and a DOUBLES schedule. P90X also comes with a diet guide/cookbook with recipes you can use in each phase of the program, and the recipes are broken down by nutritional value.

Insanity is SIXTY days, yes 60. Insanity comes with ten workouts, and the deluxe version comes with two additional workouts. Insanity does not require weights. Your own body provides the weight for the workout. ShaunT describes Insanity by saying, "In 60 days, I can get you to into what takes most people a year". He also describes Insanity by saying, "Insanity is NOT for everybody. It's not for people who are lazy; it's not for people who make excuses." Testimonials from people who were doing the video have made comments like:
- "I got a good sweat on, and that's just the warm-up."
- "Get on the floor and work hard."
- "I am now at 8% body fat, pro athletes are at 6%."

Chalean Extreme is a 90 day program, but it also contains an extra 30 day bonus combining the workouts from the first 90 days. This makes Chalean Extreme 120 days. I have not started Chalean Extreme.

I have not started Chalean Extreme, Insanity, or P90X+ (the extreme version of P90X). THESE programs are programs that I intend on completing. Why? Because as a TeamBeachbody coach, I want know and understand, first hand, every program. This is why I’ve done so many of them. I feel that as a coach, it’s important to know all of the programs because this way when a customer signs up and wants to do Chalean Extreme, I will have first-hand knowledge to help them achieve their fitness goals.

Plus, it seems that the only way to get in amazing shape is to get extreme - not just with the workouts, but with your nutrition, and your life.

EVERY PROGRAM WORKS YOU, AND EVERY PROGRAM DELIVERS RESULTS! Each program is unique and different, to work your body in different ways, yet each delivers amazing results. They are EXTREME fitness programs. The workout is as intense as YOU make them.

The Chalean Extreme workout raised the bar for my P90X workouts at the end of last year. This month, two Insanity workouts that I have done definitely raised the bar for P90X because it shows what I am capable of doing. I am not ready to do the full Insanity program yet, but those two workouts that I have intensified my P90X workouts.

Now it's your choice.

What will you do?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Insanity Workout in NYC

This is 30seconds of the Insanity workout in NYC on Saturday. It took a few days to put this together, but I think it came out well. Let me know what you think of it.

If you're interested in buying Insanity, let me know, and I'll help you out.


Ever hear of a BOSU? It's a balance trainer. I mean, I can balance and walk on my own two feet, but that's not why I bought it. A fellow coach, Kelly Nelson, has a BOSU and she's used it in her P90X workouts. When I spoke with her about it, Kelly said that the BOSU works your core.

A BOSU is essentialy half of a fitball, with a flat solid surface on the other side. The fitball side is inflatable. You inflate it to a solid level, which you can use to work on your balance. If you flip the BOSU over, now you're working your lower body (and your lower abs) to keep your legs steady so you don't fall off.

Kelly is using a bosu in her youtube video while doing P90X. So she's doing a weight workout for her upper body, and by balancing on the bosu, she's also working her lower body. When I saw that, the first thing I thought was "I gotta get my hands on a BOSU". I tried a few different stores here in NJ, but I didn't have any luck buying one. So I went right online, bought it, and it should be shipping today (hopefully).

I'm currently in week 3 of P90X Classic. I'll start using the BOSU in week 5, which is phase two of P90X. I know that I will be wobbling on the BOSU until I get my balance under control. Plus, if I'm able to work my upper body and lower body on the bosu, then I'd be getting a double workout and it would be doing the job.

Since I don't have the bosu yet, I'm only going by what I've heard and what I've read.

I will keep you posted on how that works.

Insanity Max Interval Plyo

I knew that Insanity was an intense cardio workout, but I was not prepared for the workout yesterday. INSANITY is described as "maximum interval training", and believe me, they ain't kiddin'!

After doing three rounds of P90X, and one Insanity workout, let me say that I was NOT prepared for the intensity of this workout. My girlfriend is good at cardio, and she loves the Turbo Jam workout series. But this was something completely different

Max Interval Plyo is almost sixty minutes, yea 60! I burned over 800calories in the workout, and my maximum heartrate was 232BPM. I put some P90X Results & Recovery formula into my water, and I was extremely glad that I did. My shirt was soaked in sweat by the end of the workout. I bought another shirt before we left NYC.

My girlfriend modifed a lot of the workout, as did a lot of other people who were there. I had to. This was intense, and the words "BRING IT" don't even cut it with this workout. The only words which went through my mind throughout the workout were what ShaunT says in the promo for Insanity, "C'mon yo! LET'S GO!" He doesn't just say the word 'go', he screams 'GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Yeah, it's THAT intense!!!!!

We grabbed lunch at a place around the corner from the Chelsea Studios in NYC (where we had the workout) named Pita Grill. After destroying 800 calories, I needed some food!

This was difficult, it was tough, but you know what? It was worth it.

Now it's time to get back to P90X. I will get to Insanity, I have no doubt about that. I just have a lot to complete on my way there.

So, it's onward, and forward...

Insanity @ Chelsea Studios

After trying one Insanity workout with Jimmy Nelson the week before, I knew that this Insanity workout would be intense - no matter which workout they would do. The reason why I say THEY is because I did not workout.

I filmed it.
The previous month at Chelsea Studios, I filmed everyone working out to P90X's "Core Synergistics" workout. I had a hunch that the Insanity workout would be intense.

It was.

It was a hot day. My bus didn't arrive, so I drove in. I rushed to get over to Chelsea Studios, and I was sweating by the time I arrived (about 15 minutes into the workout). I walked in, the folks who knew me smiled, and one person said, "How are you sweating and you're not working out?"

I pulled out the videocamera and I started filming.

Insanity is VERY EXTREME! I had already done one workout, so I knew it was difficult.

During the workouts, we turn the lights of the room off, and project the video onto a wall so it's easier for everyone to see.

EVERYONE at the workout worked hard, they did MORE than their best, and they kept right at it throughout the workout. Even though the room was hot, I was sweating just being there. It may have looked as though the intensity of the workout had me sweating.

I have to give everyone at the workout credit for DOING the workout, and for what they did afterwards. We turned the lights on, and they repeated four exercises - specifically so it is easier to view the exercises. These four exercises were intense, and fortunately they did each exercise no more than 5-10 seconds each.

Since I knew that this workout would be intense, I wanted to have intense music to go along with it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


That's not referring to how many calories I have eaten, it refers to how many calories I have BURNED throughout today.

I put on the bodybugg (which measures your calories burned, number of steps taken, and length of physical activity) and the heart rate monitor (which measures your maximum heart rate, minimum heart rate, and average heart rate), ate breakfast, and caught a bus to New York City for a Turbo Kick workout with Kelly Nelson.

Kelly Nelson is a certified turbo kick instructor, and she is also a TeamBeachbody Coach.

Let me tell you that this workout was INTENSE. Here are some stats to prove that:
- calories burned: 2091
- maximum heart rate: 193bpm
- average hart rate: 140bpm
- minimum heart rate: 77bpm
Once the workout completed, we all grabbed some lunch at a restaurant around the corner from Chelsea Studios.

Between the time I left the workout to the time I got home and took off my heart rate monitor (at 9:48pm), I burned another 850 calories!

Total calories burned today - 2941calories.

Morning workout is done.
Now it's time to start my P90X workout. Day 8, Chest & Back and Ab Ripper X.


P90X, round 4, week one

Last week, I began my fourth round of P90X and I chose to do P90X Classic. This was the program schedule that I started with a year ago, so why not begin here!

Last year, when I began P90X, I lifeted 10pounds and I gradually increased the weight throughout the program. This time, I am starting with 25pounds.

In addition, I took the P90X Fitness Test on Saturday, prior to my start date. This is not a pass or fail test, it's designed to measure your starting point and see how you improve over the next 90 days of the program answering this question - what changed?

Throughout week one, I was pushed, pulled, and stretched throuhout the week - and I loved it! I was familiar with the workouts, it was tough, but I was confident that I would do well. I modified the exercise whenever I needed to, otherwise I worked hard and did my best. The cardio workout stretched me out from the weight workouts. The combination of the two made for a great week! Add onto that the 349 crunches from Ab Ripper X three times a week, and I was exhausted by Saturday morning (but I felt fantastic!!!)

Due to extenuating circumstances this past week of working late at work and not getting enough sleep, I did not do day 5, Legs & Back and Ab Ripper X. I am not bent out of shape about it, I am pressing forward in my workouts. That is essential.

Throughout the week, I made healthy choices for my meals. I avoided anything fried and any type of "deli meat". I snacked on raw almonds twice a day, and I hydrated daily by drinking 60oz of water. I surprised my father who asked if I wanted pizza for lunch, and I declined. He said, "Do you believe this? James doesn't want pizza. I thoughout you liked pizza?"
I do! But, I choose not to have pizza, fried, or greasy foods because those are the types of foods that cause you to break out, raise your cholesterol, raise your body fat percentage, and are not the healthiest in the world either.

In a nutshell, week one has been completed. Twelve more weeks (or 84 days) to go. I am truly looking forward to this fitness journey!

Onward, and forward...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Motivational Monitor

One of the things I have made a point to do as a Beachbody coach was to motivate myself, is workout, eat properly, hydrate, take vitamins, get enough sleep, and take care of myself - in the hopes that by doing so, I will be able to inspire by example. I've heard that many times in life. So instead of "thinking" it, why not BE an example.

Here's something that came across my desk today in the mail. It's a 2010 monthly planning guide with a "motivational monitor". Every month has a motivational comment or message. Now, if you've seen the motivational posters that were displayed all over in corporate offices, businesses, sometimes in a person's home, you'll know the ones that I mean.

They are (and yes, there are 12):

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare tha they are difficult.

Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties appear and obstacles vanish into air.

Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.

The perfecting of one's self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development.

Let each day be your masterpiece.

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and thru the thrill of creative effort.

Distance has the same effect on the mind as on the eye.

If you only look at what is, you might never attain what could be.

Your treasure house is within; it contains all you'll ever need.

In deep meditation the flow of concentration is continuous like the flow of oil.

Outstanding leaders appeal to the hearts of their followers - not their minds.

You will never reach the top without the determination inspired by your goals.

I love the last one because it's so true. Each one of these is reflectant upon the other. You need a vision to establish goals, once you establish goals you can reflect upon them,

Once we have a vision in our mind of what we want to achieve, we can set goals. Through determination and courage, we will grow as an individual. The beauty of this achievement and development is the perspective we gain on our life and on the lives of others. As we reflect on our experience, we inspire others through our achievements. We are leaders, and we inspire these goals in others, hoping they will do the same. We meditate and concentrate to focus and pursue our next task, our next challenge, and continuously pursue the next level.

Have a fantastic day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

LIVE Insanity Workout

I wanted to get this info up here pretty quickly.

I'm one of the co-hosts to this event, Insanity LIVE in NYC, on August 22 at 2pm

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Insanity Workout in NYC

I intended on attending this workout, so I woke up early, ate breakfast, and took the bus to the city to workout. I went to Chelsea Studios in New York City for an Insanity workout hosted by Beachbody Coach Jimmy Hays Nelson.

INSANITY is the newest and latest workout video from Beachbody. Insanity was created by Beachbody trainer/dancer/choreographer ShaunT. Insanity is an extreme workout program.

Jimmy is IN the workout videos for Insanity.

This is the preview of Insanity:

When I saw the preview for Insanity at the Beachbody Coach Summit back in March, it looked extreme and intense. I knew that I was not ready for it and would build up to it over time. As a Beachbody Coach, I received a preview copy of an Insanity Workout (Plyometric Core Cardio) - and I couldn't make it past the first five minutes!!

Today is the day to see how I actually do. Who know? This one workout from Insanity may kick P90X up to a whole new level. Whatever happens, I am here to workout for the long haul, whatever it takes.

At the Insanity workout, I met Jimmy and Jet from the 2620 crew. They're great guys.

The Insanity workouts, yes there were two of them, were:
- Core Intervals
- Cardio Abs

Holy @#$&$%!!! I started sweating in the first five minutes of Insanity (the warmup). Sweat is good. Shows the body is getting a hard workout. Insanity is intense. VERY intense! It will test your strength, endurance, determination, and core strength in EVERY move! I'm not kidding about that because I experienced that.

Jimmy provided a lot of motivation for everyone in the room, especially since it may have been their first experience with an Insanity workout. He provided modifications for moves, checked everyone to make sure they were working hard or keeping their core tight.

Some people modified, some didn't. I modified when necessary. There were several points where I was ready to give up and quit the workout, but heard a voice in my head saying, "You give up, you destroy everything you worked hard for until this day." Yes, I know, a little harsh, but it was a wake up call.
It worked.
I pushed, I worked harder, and it truly paid off. By the end of core Intervals, my body was hurting, I was sweating - and I felt GREAT!

There were moves in Cardio Abs I was familiar with because the were either in P90X or Hip Hop Abs (yes, Hip Hop Abs). Although we didn't have mats for the ab workout, I grabbed an extra shirt from my bag and used that as a mat. It helped because I completed the ab workout.

Core Intervals - 38 minutes
Cadio Abs - 10 minutes

WORTH EVERY DROP OF SWEAT! I can see why you would need to constantly hydrate throughout the day, especially after a workout like this. I've read comments from other Beachbody coaches using Insanity who have burned up to 1000 calories in an hour!

After this workout, I am taking my P90X journey to the next level by kicking it up a notch. Speaking of P90X, today is my first day of P90X. Although I did the Insanity workout first thing this morning, I completed my P90X workouts tonight - Chest & Back and Ab Ripper X.

If you want to purchase P90X, Insanity, or any other Beachbody product, and you want to obtain the same results, please contact me. I will be happy to help you achieve all of your fitness goals.

Onward to P90X day two...

P90X Fitness Test 08/08/09

P90X Fit Test - 08/08/09

After three rounds of P90X, I never took the P90X Fit Test. The Fit Test is designed to see if you're able to handle the minimum requirements for P90X. Pullups, pushups, a vertical leap, toe touch, wall squat, bicep curls, in & outs, and a heart rate maximixer.

Wide Pullups To Failure - 5

Vertical Leap - 5"
You do this two times. The first time, you stand against a wall, and jump as high as you can. The second time, you take a step back and jump up. The results are the difference between the first time and the second time.

Pushups - 35
(with pushup stands)

Toe touch - -5 1/2"
I've always had a difficult time touching my toes because my hamstrings are tight. I'm hoping that over the next 90 days this improves.

Wall Squat - 52 seconds
Your back is against the wall and you squat down so that your quadraceps and calves are in a 90 degree angle. The objective is to stay in this position as long as you can. In P90X, they hold this position for 90 seconds.

Bicep Curls - 14reps
I did this two ways. 7 reps at 25 pounds, then I increased the weight to 27.5 pounds and did 7 more reps.

In & Outs - 33
Sitting on the floor with your knees bent, you extend your legs out and bring them back. That's an in & out. I struggled with this the first time I did P90X. In P90X, they do this exercise with 25 reptitions.

Heart Rate Maximizer
Two minutes of non-stop jumping jacks, and you sprint the last 30 seconds.
HR after done: 169
After 1 minute: 111
After 2 minutes: 92
After 3 minutes: 85
After 4 minutes: 81

Since I was wearing a heart rate monitor during the test, these are the statistics from the heart rate monitor:
Max HR: 179
Avg HR: 90
Min HR: 65

In addition to the P90X Fit Test, I also took my day 0 measurements for P90X:
(measurements are in inches, closest measurement 1/8")
Chest: 36.0
L. Bicep: 11.375
R. Bicep: 11.25
Waist: 36.5
Hips: 36
L. Thigh: 20.75
R. Thigh: 20
TOTAL: 171.875"

Weight: 156pounds

I consider this information "a beginning" or something to improve. As Beachbody CEO described the day 0 photo, he said, "Consider this your goodbye photo" meaning that this is the last time that you will look this way. I hope so. I've attached the photo.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Eating Correctly

One of the biggest setbacks people can experience as they go through a workout program is not eating enough or not eating "clean" and nutritionally.

This happened to me when I was in my first round of P90X. I could not figure out why, no matter how hard I worked out throughout the program hwy I wasn't losing weight or gaining muscle. it turns out that the energy that I burned from the workouts was completely replenished by my dietary habits and what I was eating. I was being counter-productive and I never understood it.

In order to see where I made mistakes with my nutrition, I started logging everything I ate and drank for a week as well as "how much" of each. In addition, I also logged what exercises I did that week and how many calories I burned during the workouts. After researching the caloric breakdown of the foods I have been eating and doing the math (total caloric intake - expenditure = daily total), I saw why I was not gaining muscle and losing body fat.


I had to make a change to my diet. I became extremely conscious and aware of what I did, constantly asking myself questions like, "is this food in the top to tiers of Michi's ladder" as well as "will eating this particular food get me closer to my goal or push me farther from my goal?"

This change did not happen over night, nor did I expect it to. This was something I chose to do for me, my health, and my future - a healthier and fit life. In order to reach that point that I wanted to achieve, I needed a place to begin.

That place is today, August 2, 2009. I know what I want to achieve and I will do whatever it takes to get there. Now it is a matter of time, execution, diligence, and patience.

How this change in diet and nutrition will affect my life, I am very confident about - and I will stick with it. I've "envisioned" how I want to look and feel at day 90 and beyond. Now it's time to make those visions a reality.

Two years ago when I began this fitness journey when my day one photo was taken, I said to myself "This photo will change". During the past two years, my health has improved. Now I have more work to do.

I will keep this blog updated with new information and statistics weekly.

Have a great week everyone!

Onward, and forward...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Power 90 Master Series (last phase of Power90)

As I had initially mentioned a few blogs back, I would be kicking up Power 90 by adding workouts from the Power 90 Master Series. This past week, I began the 5-6 series, or Power 90 Master Series workouts. These are the last workouts that I will be doing before I begin P90X Classic on August 9, 2009.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had my setbacks, but I wasn’t going to let that get to me. After the tweak in my lower back by lifting 30 pounds, I dropped the weight significantly to 12.5pounds. I received a Twitter message from a fellow coach who said, “Dude, what are you doing?!?!? Lifting heavier is better!” I hear where he was coming from. I called him a few days later, and I explained my reasoning for lowering the weight – to protect my lower back.

When I dropped the weight, I increased the reps. Although I was lifting 12.5pounds, I was doing 20 reps per exercise – so I was still getting a burn. Throughout the week, I gradually increased the weights by 2.5 each weight workout, but I kept the same reps. At the end of this week, I was lifting 17.5pounds and doing 20 reps. It was an ultimate burn, and I liked it and hated it at the same time. But you know what, I knew that if I stuck with it, that it would eventually pay off in the end.

Saturday morning, I woke up and worked out to “Recovery 4 Results” from Beachbody’s One On One series. Now for anyone who isn’t familiar with personal trainer Tony Horton, he has over 25 years as a personal trainer. He has created multiple workout programs through Beachbody ranging from super-stacking programs like Ten Minute Trainer to extreme exercise programs such as P90X and P90X+.

“Recovery 4 Results” had stretching, light weight workouts, a little yoga, and it allows you to help recover from a strenuous workout the day before. Once the workout completed, I felt great, my muscles no longer hurt, and I was ready to start the next week.

I’m jumping back to Power 90’s 3-4 series JUST for this week. I want to get in a few more workouts from the 3-4 series. The week after that will be my final week in Power 90/Master Series. Then, on August 9, I begin P90X.

Have a great day everyone! ONWARD!