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...