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.