Saturday, May 8, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

1st Law of Exercise: Variety

By Tony Horton

Variety is the spice of life and fitness. A lifetime of health and fitness is achievable when you can think outside the box. You have to mix it up all the time. Stay curious and creative, and stick with the kinds of workouts that you enjoy. A variety of exercises, workouts, and sports will allow you to avoid injuries, plateaus, and boredom.

Variety of Workout Movements with Tony Horton

One of the reasons Power 90®, Power Half Hour®, Power 90 Master Series, and P90X work so well for so many people—people who have tried and failed with other programs—is because they are NOT one discipline. These programs incorporate a variety of things: sectional progression, plyometrics, ab and core routines, boxing and kickboxing, yoga, stretching, and cardiovascular exercises. From Tony & the Kids! to P90X, I have always tried to make the routines fun and filled with a variety of movements—these workouts are uncomplicated, easy to follow, and time-tested, and have combinations that work. I'm not a fan of boredom. Doing the same routines and movements over and over again doesn't appeal to me. That's why many of my programs don't repeat the same move twice.

Curiosity is a key reason I've been able to sustain a high level of fitness for over 20 years. If I see something that looks fun and challenging, I'll try it. If it doesn't ring my chimes, I'll move on to something else. Curiosity was one of the reasons you decided to order Power 90, Power Half Hour, Power 90 Master Series, or P90X. You weren't happy with the status quo. You were probably unhappy and unhealthy. You were in a rut and you wanted a change. When I'm in a rut, I look for ways to mix it up. Just because something works for me right now doesn't mean it will work or hold my interest later. Too many people hold on too tightly to things that don't work anymore. You know it's time to change things when you hear yourself saying "I feel burned out," "This isn't fun anymore," or "I'm no longer seeing improvement with this routine."

You could be suffering from a temporary bout of mind babble, or maybe it's your heart telling you that it's time to move on. Only you know the difference. Don't do something just because everyone else is doing it. Figure out what keeps you in the game, even if it's very different from what others think you need. If you're beating yourself up when it comes to inspiration and motivation regarding perspiration, then you need an alteration to your transformation.

Variety in your fitness world will keep boredom, injuries, and plateaus at bay. That's the reason Power 90 has two levels. P90X and Power 90 Master Series were created so you'll have myriad ways to mix it up and continue to see improvements over time. If you really want to improve your fitness and physique and make this a lifestyle thing, then eventually the other box you'll need to get outside of . . . is your house. This might be hard for people with a hectic schedule, but why not skip that Sunday barbecue for a hike or run or skate or swim or volleyball game? After you've seen my goofy mug too many times, you might want to open the door and explore.

P90X or Power 90 can be the on switch to a lifetime of health and fitness. After your 90 days are up, a nice variety of activities, workouts, and athletic endeavors will turn on even more lights. I like to call the program after Power 90 Power 10,950. That's 30 years. You can reinvent yourself and take control of your life if you stay curious and try new things. Finishing an exercise program lets you begin to explore all the possibilities. Variety in fitness and life is essential for keeping the lights on.

Tony H.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SORE, HUNGRY, AND SLOW? Sore, Hungry, and Slow: 3 Signs That Show Your Program Is Working

By Steve Edwards

Exercise makes us feel great. It makes us less hungry. It helps us perform everyday tasks better. Besides our health and the way we look, feeling great, being less hungry, and performing better are exactly the reasons we put ourselves through exercise. However, en route to ultimate fitness, there are some hurdles we all need to clear. Mainly, they include being faced with the opposite of our intended goals. Enter the trilogy of grumpiness: getting sore, slow, and hungry. We tend to look at these as negatives, but how about a little New Year's spin? You want these feelings because they're clear signs your program is working.

Before we analyze why you need to embrace "going backward," let's answer the obvious question: why would we design this type of program? Certainly, there are exercise programs that don't put you through torture. Could we have chosen such a path with P90X®?

The answer is that programs lacking this trilogy don't provide you an incentive to get in top shape. In the early stages of any exercise program, it's possible to structure the schedule and diet around making small improvements. I call this the Curves® template. You push your body above its normal output, though just barely, and you keep it there. If you are greatly deconditioned, it will yield improvements. This approach doesn't hurt, and frankly, it helps people who've never exercised—mainly due to the mental boost they get from feeling they can exercise. It's a nice alternative for some people. But let's be realistic. None of them would sit through a P90X infomercial, much less be inspired by it.

The Curves template is what we would call a foundation phase of training for someone who has never exercised. The next step would be one of our programs, like P90X or Slim in 6® (these programs also work on the Curves template because you can choose modified variations). The upside with this method is that each day you leave the gym feeling better than when you walked in. The downside is that you'll never have the body of a fitness model. To achieve a higher level of fitness, you need to periodize your training (see "Customizing P90X for Specific Goals: Part I" in the Related Articles section below) and eventually stare into your Nietzschean abyss. That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger is more than a cliché with P90X—it's your life.

Getting sore

Soreness is the easiest symptom to understand. Most of us have been sore at some point. It happens anytime we do something physical that we're unaccustomed to. From yard work to a pickup game with your old team to a marathon shopping spree, when you push your body beyond what you do in your normal day-to-day activity, you get sore. This is true even if you used to do the said activity all the time. In fact, that generally makes it worse, because you still hang on to the muscle memory of how to do the activity, which means you can really put the hurt on if you don't have the requisite fitness base.

Most soreness comes from the breakdown of fast twitch muscle fibers. Our bodies have both slow twitch and fast twitch fibers. Slow twitch fibers have a low recruitment factor, which simply means they get fired up at low outputs. Fast twitch fibers have a high recruitment factor, meaning it takes something more intense to get them going. A simple example would be raising your fork to your mouth, which requires slow twitch fibers, compared to raising a heavy barbell over your head, which requires fast twitch fibers. Furthermore, we all have some extra fast twitch fiber for emergencies. When you run from a bear, you're engaging these, which is why you're likely to run faster than you ever have before.

Fast twitch fibers are repaired much more slowly than slow twitch fibers. You can pretty much keep shoving food into your mouth and never get tired. When you do get tired, you'll be able to resume the activity quickly. Lifting a barbell over your head will wear you out, and it will take some time before your body is able to do it again. The more weight you add, the quicker you'll get tired and the longer it will take before your body is ready to do it again. And once you've escaped the bear, you'd do well to avoid him for a couple of weeks. Those emergency fibers you've thrashed will take that long to recover.

Hypertrophy means muscle growth. Almost all training programs target this, even weight loss programs, because changing a body from rotund to svelte requires you to lose body fat. And the quickest way to lose body fat is to gain more muscle. Muscle requires more work from your body, even at rest, so you're body will take the nutrients from the foods you eat and store them in muscle tissue rather than adipose (or fat) tissue.

To create hypertrophy, you need to overload your muscle fibers progressively to keep breaking them down. As you get fitter, you engage higher-threshold muscle cell motor units to keep the overload coming. Breaking down exactly the number of muscle cells your body can replenish right away is nearly impossible. This means that to advance your level of fitness, you are going to break down more muscle fibers than you intended. When this happens, you get sore.

Getting hungry

"I heard I would get less hungry and all I can think about is eating" is a common sentiment expressed on our Message Boards. The reason is somewhat obvious—our entry-level programs have low-calorie diets, not to mention restricted diets. Most of these people are simply craving the junk foods we've had them cut out.

But Xers get hungry too, and they're usually eating enough calories. This is because your body cries out for nutrients when it's in breakdown mode, even when you've eaten all you can. Learning that this craving is normal will greatly help your success curve.

When your body is craving nutrients, you want to feed it. However, under the type of duress a hard program creates, you can't possibly give it enough nutrients. Many of us try. We eat and eat. And while eating can help ease the mental anguish your body is going through, you can't put all of these calories to use, and some will get stored in fat tissue.

When your body is hungry, supplements are your best friend. Most have very few calories and a lot of nutrients. Some have targeted nutrients, which basically means they're designed for nutrient efficiency. Results and Recovery Formula™ is a prime example (see "Your Key to Great Results" in the Related Articles section below). Although its nutrient profile is unsuitable for many situations, during or after exercise, it is the most efficient food for your body. Using Results and Recovery Formula as directed will help you get less sore, and hence less hungry. Shakeology® also shines during an exercise program. While healthy anytime, drinking Shakeology while your body's in flux will enhance your ability to use all of Shakeology's nutrients effectively.

But no matter how well we strategize, we're all going to get hungry at some point in our programs. So much so that staying hungry is a metaphor for the bodybuilding lifestyle. In the film Stay Hungry, a bodybuilding champion (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) sums this up with the line, "I don't want to get too comfortable. I'd rather stay hungry."

Getting slow

This is the hardest condition to conceptualize but the easiest to explain. During hypertrophy, your muscles are growing. Growing muscles are a bit like a growing person. Just as you learn how to grow into a developing body, you need to learn how to use new muscles. During the hypertrophy stage of your exercise program, your muscles are "big and dumb," like the old-school concept of the "musclehead."

Larger muscles have a greater capacity for strength than smaller ones. A large muscle isn't necessarily stronger, but if trained properly, it will become stronger. Muscular efficiency (or absolute strength) is what gets targeted in the latter stages of a training program. Doing low repetitions, along with eccentric and plyometric movements, is all about teaching your muscles efficiency—essentially, the ability to recruit high-threshold muscle cell motor units.

Couple Working OutWe'll talk more about strength training in another article. Today, my point is to explain the rationale behind what I call "getting slow." While your muscles are growing, your ability to move quickly lessens. This is why athletes do all of their body-altering training in the off-season. When you start to feel slow, it's a sign that your program is working. Just remember that you'll want to increase your intensity and whip those big lugs into shape later on.

Wanting to experience the trilogy of grumpiness should help you during your next program or training cycle. But remember that these are stages, not chronic conditions. You should only experience them early in a program or new cycle of training. If you aren't experiencing them at all, it means you're ready to ramp your training up to the next level. But if they persist beyond 4 weeks, you're overdoing it and risk overtraining. You may also experience them each time you transition to a new phase. In this case, though, they should be gone before you move into the next phase.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Simply Seasonal - Top 5 Ways to Eat Seasonally

This is some great info that I found in the latest Cooking Light magazine as part of a Kashi advertisement. I checked out Kashi's website and they have a lot of great articles about healthy eating.


Local, seasonal produce has an unmistakably fresh, straight-from-the-farm flavor - and it's excellent for the environment because it leaves such a small carbon footprint. So while early spring can be a tricky time to commit to eating seasonally - there's less in the market than you'll find when it warms up - it's a challenge that's well worth taking. And it's easier than you think.


Green Peas

  1. FREQUENT THE FARMER'S MARKET - Find out firsthand which fruits and vegetables are freshest while supporting the local growers who bring their harvest to you community. To locate a marker near you, visit The site allows you to plug in your zip code for a list of local venues.
  2. SIGN UP FOR A CSA - One of the easiest ways to cook and eat locally is to receive a weekly box of produce fresh from a nearby farm. To find a Community Supported Agriculture program in your are, and for more information, visit
  3. CHAT UP YOUR GREEN GROCER - Your supermarket may surprise you. Talk to the produce manager to fin out if anything on the shelves is locally grown. If not, be sure to voice your interest.
  4. PLANT A KITCHEN GARDEN - You may not have room for an entire vegetable patch, but it's easy and rewarding to grow herbs, baby lettuces - even radishes and tomatoes. Consider setting up a garden swap - your green peppers for your neighbors baby cukes.
  5. SUBSTITUTE SEASONAL INGREDIENTS - You don't have to come up with a new repertoire of recipes to accommodate locally grown fruits and veggies. Just add them to dishes you're already familiar with, whether they be pastas, omelets, or stir-fries.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tony's Words of Wisdom: Life Is Behavior

By Tony Horton

I've learned from my own experiences (filled with the usual trials and tribulations) that life has stages. These stages can occur in any and all aspects of life—physical, spiritual, psychological, financial, romantic, adventurous, familial, and so on. As you look back at your life (so far), you can see where you've excelled and where you've come up short.

Tony Horton

Most people spend their whole lives focusing on only two or three of the abovementioned categories. They neglect other areas of life because of lack of interest or desire or necessity. The truth is that a lot of men and women these days spend a substantial amount of their time working to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, and money in their pockets. Many homemakers (male and female) spend most of their time keeping the hatches battened down.

So if life feels like an endless episode of Survivor, then how the hell do we focus on what I call the "Bliss Maker" areas of life—the romantic, spiritual/psychological, physical, purposeful, and adventurous areas? The three key ingredients for finding bliss in these areas of life are TIME, ENERGY, and PURPOSE. If you live in a 9-to-5 world and feel overwhelmed, then it's going to be pretty tough to find the TIME, ENERGY, and PURPOSE to discover your true bliss.

The average person can find temporary bliss in food, alcohol, drugs, tall tales, and sex. This kind of short-term bliss will take away health, consciousness, rationality, discretion, accountability, and responsibility, along with distorting values and a sense of morality.

If you're lucky enough to finally discover that there's more to life than making a buck, feeding your face, getting off, and manipulating reality, you'll start to inquire about how to find your bliss. Then you'll have to begin to find the TIME, ENERGY, and PURPOSE.

Time isn't that difficult, really. You look at your schedule, move some stuff around, explain to people what you're doing, and figure out a reasonable TIME frame in which to accomplish your goals. ENERGY is a piece of cake! You can master that every time you decide to Push Play! Doing P90X or any other kind of physical activity will automatically propel you into one of the most important "Bliss Maker" categories. PURPOSE is probably the most difficult and complicated variable when it comes to long-term success and bliss.

Woman in Bliss

Pursuing your bliss by means of dishonesty, manipulation, coercion, or the need to seek self-aggrandizement will backfire worse than any short-term pleasure ever will. If your spiritual pursuits give you a holier-than-thou attitude, all your learned dogma will fall on deaf ears. If you exercise hard and long just to look hot at your high school reunion, then talk to me the next day when the show is over. If you start looking for adventure for the sole purpose of acquiring trophies, will you still enjoy it if you fail?

If you ever chase any of these areas of life for the PURPOSE of looking for attention, accolades, and kudos from others, then you are doomed to a life of confrontation, depression, confusion, illusion, and delusion. I never said pursuing your bliss was easy. That's why most people who try it fail.

You can avoid failure by pursuing your bliss with clarity, wisdom, acceptance, vulnerability, patience, consciousness, and truth. These words, in both the selfish and selfless ilk, represent intent. Your intent is everything and the only thing that matters when it comes to the right use of will.

I believe that real lifelong change and bliss are achieved over the course of three separate stages:

  1. Recognition. Knowing and understanding that there must be a shift in the way you approach certain segments of your life and an undaunted willingness to want to make a change.
  2. Catharsis. The period of time you spend venting, releasing, and unleashing the emotions that keep you from your bliss.
  3. Application. The employment and utilization of the tools you've learned at the cathartic stage.

If you can move through these three stages with the right intentions, then you will know what it's like to live on this earth in a state of bliss.

Tony H.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Marathon Training Progress...

I made the decision in November of last year after my second half marathon to challenge myself to run my first marathon on 2010. I started my training back on January 11th of this year I started my training for the Vermont City Marathon on May 30, 2010. Right now I can't believe that as of today my first marathon is only 75 days away.

To date my training has been going by with no big events or issues. I have been able to complete all of my runs. Some of them have been on the treadmill to do the crazy New England weather, the dark, or not having someone to watch my son, Mack. I completed a half marathon in February mostly for the reason that it was on the day I had a 13 mile training run scheduled.

Saturday was the first training day that marked a new achievement for me. It was the first time I completed a run over the half marathon 13.1 mile distance. With the help of a running buddy, Al, I was able to check of that goal in style.

My time does not included the time we had to stop at the stop lights around town which was only about 4 or 5 minutes. When we finished the run I had to map the route on more than one site because I couldn't believe that I had covered that distance in that amount of time.

I did make the mistake of not fueling enough before the run and during the run. I did check up with me at about mile 12 but I was able to push through. It's good that I'm learning these lessons before the marathon. Have to figure out how much more to eat and fuel before next Sunday's 16 mile run.

Right now almost every weekend run is going to be the longest I have gone so it is make this very exciting. I can't wait to see how each run is going to go. I'm thinking that I should be actually doing a long slow run as recommend by most training plans rather than a PR pace. Stay tuned for more training updates.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Female Fitness Myths and P90X

By Stephanie S. Saunders

There's a lot of pressure on women to look, in a word, hot. Sure, for a chosen few, curves in the right places come naturally, but the rest of us seem to spend all our time snatching up the latest fitness fad, be it the Abs-o-matic 3000, Cucumber Colon Cleanse, or Low-Cholesterol All-Bacon Diet, desperately hoping we'll discover the new us. Instead, we usually walk away—or occasionally limp away—feeling confused, dejected, and as if we've missed out on the genetic lottery.

As it turns out, the answer's much simpler than you thought. From housewives to rock stars, there's a growing group of female followers who trust in the proven science of P90X. The truth is, hard work and clean eating are the ways to change your body forever. And P90X is the fastest and most effective program to get you a fitter body. But what about all the other options out there, the spot training, the fad diets? Let's take a look at some popular exercise myths and how P90X can help you dispel them.

Myth #1: If you want to lose weight, you must have an incredible metabolism; otherwise, you'll need to starve yourself.

If most of us had the choice between winning the lottery and having a perfect metabolism, the decision would be tough. For many people, the ability to eat whatever they desire seems a gift beyond price. The reality is that only a tiny percentage of people are so blessed, and that number decreases as people age, get pregnant, and experience various health issues. So when a Hollywood starlet claims she can eat whatever she wants and still look great, she's probably lying.

At the other end of the spectrum, there's severe caloric deprivation. The problem with depriving yourself of calories is that you can only sustain it for so long, and it can often lead to overeating and a slower metabolism. The longer you try to exist on a reduced-calorie diet, the greater the likelihood you can slow down how quickly your muscles repair themselves, as well as suffering psychological problems—or even brain damage. Of course, the answer is to eat, but you have to eat healthy foods that fuel your workouts. The P90X program includes a very specific nutrition plan you can tailor to your goals, but the nutrition plan requires a lifestyle change. This means not fad diets, but a plan that's going to require that you eat more food than you imagined possible. What's truly great is that the nutrition plan can be maintained for the rest of your life. So start eating—correctly—and watch the change begin.

Myth #2: Doing hours of cardiovascular exercise is the only way to burn fat.

Hours of anything, besides sleep, can be redundant and boring. The idea of spending hours on a StairMaster® makes me want to fall asleep right now. Although a necessary component of any workout routine, cardiovascular exercise is definitely not the most effective way to lose weight. In fact, doing more than an hour of it without some type of fuel can cause your body to break down muscle mass and slow down your metabolism. And when you do the same repetitive motion every day, your body can become used to the motion, which can slow or even halt your progress.

P90X is effective in helping you lose weight because of the enormous variety it offers. Your body doesn't get used to the stimuli, because the stimuli are constantly changing and becoming more difficult. Plus P90X helps you build muscle, which turns your body into a fat-burning machine. And P90X is fun and entertaining, and doesn't take 3 hours a day to complete. The singer Pink was recently quoted as saying she does an hour of P90X 6 days a week and has seen incredible results. An hour a day for amazing results is a relatively small investment for such a great return.

Myth #3: Weight training builds bulky muscles.

Perhaps the greatest myth out there is the "bulky muscles" myth. Here's the reality: muscles do one of two things—increase (hypertrophy) or decrease (atrophy). But they don't just "bulk up." For a woman to create a bodybuilder-type physique, she'd need to overstimulate her muscles with very heavy weights, constantly training to failure with very short repetitions. And frankly, even then, unless she had a great amount of testosterone in her body, it might be impossible.

P90X effectively uses resistance training to increase muscle, thereby increasing your metabolism and helping you burn fat. And although you'll work to exhaustion, your muscles won't bulk up if you keep the repetitions at 12 to 15. P90X also keeps you moving, so your heart rate stays high, simulating the effects of a cardiovascular workout. You will build muscle but still maintain a sexy, feminine physique.

Myth #4: You shouldn't build muscle until you lose all excess fat, as building muscle will push the fat out and make you look larger.

This myth is particularly funny, as it was probably perpetuated by a fitness trainer telling a client there was a six-pack hiding underneath a layer of fat that just needed to be uncovered. Yes, we all do have a six pack in there, and possibly buns of steel, but muscle building doesn't happen under that layer of fat. Building muscle actually changes your body's composition, and eventually the fat becomes less a part of the picture.

No amount of sit-ups, push-ups, lunges, or squats will push any layer of excess tissue out. In fact, P90X is so effective at totally transforming your body, you'll soon forget there was a layer of fat to be concerned about.

Myth #5: You should only work out the specific areas where you want to shed fat.

It's been said again and again: spot training doesn't work. And yet every month, the fitness magazines print a slew of new, specific exercises for lifting the booty, flattening the stomach, or tightening dangling upper-arm flab. Yes, if you work a specific muscle group, it will become more toned, but that has nothing to do with the fat on top of the muscle group in question. The most effective way to change your body is to work large muscle groups, consistently altering the stimulus, and sticking to a sound nutrition plan. No amount of leg lifts alone will give you the thighs of your dreams.

P90X will attack every muscle in your body and create visible changes in your appearance. There are specific workouts for all your areas of concern, but there are many more for every other area, to give you a beautiful, proportioned body.

There's no magic pill, combination of foods, or even surgery that can give you the body of your dreams. An enviable physique comes from hard work, dedication, and a lot of sweat. P90X is the most effective way for a woman to shape her body because she has to work hard to get there. And as lovely as it would be to naturally have the metabolism of a 12-year-old boy, there's something truly satisfying about creating such great change in your own life and controlling your own outcome. We can often feel at the mercy of others. Our health and fitness are areas we completely control. So even if you dedicate 23 hours a day to your relationship, job, and/or children, one hour in your own living room can truly create transformation. And no diet book, magazine article, or silly celebrity statement can refute the thousands of P90X Success Stories out there. So make a decision to put down the fad exercise magazines, put in the work, and watch your life begin to change.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Half @ The Hamptons

On February 21st I ran my third half marathon. I had a thirteen mile training run scheduled for that day and thought running it with 1200 people would be more fun than by myself.

It was a cool and windy morning when we arrived, but the skies were blue and the sun was warm. I had planned to run an easy half just for the training, but I always seem to have a hard time "taking it easy". At the start of the race I thought I was following the 9 minute pacer but in reality I was behind the 8:30 pacer, oops!

After getting off of the beach and into the neighborhoods of Hampton the sun was shining and I actually had to ditch the hat and gloves. The final 4 miles of the course were down Route 1A in Hampton. If you are from the area you know how beautiful the last 4 miles were.

I went out at the 8:30 pace for the first half of the race but then eased back to a pace of 9:00 miles for the second half. Giving me a finishing time of 1:54:47 at a pace of 8:48 miles.

I'm planning on one more half before my marathon (Keybank Vermont Marathon on May 30th) and hoping to try for a PR in that race. For me the best part of the day wasn't the time on the clock but getting to enjoy the race on such a beautiful day. I also got to enjoy the day with a few of my local running buddies.

I'm heading out now to get in a nice easy 9 miles in this New England heatwave of 50 degrees in March. Have to take advantage before the weather changes like it always does in New England.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Eating Healthy on a Budget

One of the most common excuses out there for not eating a healthy diet is that it is more expensive. Here is a great video from MSNBC with tips on how to eat healthy on a budget.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

A few things to remember:
  1. Buy Fruit and Veggies that are in Season - Here is a great website that list out the seasonal fruits and veggies by the month. Seasonal Fruits and Veggies
  2. Purchase Fruits, Veggies and other Healthy Items in Bulk - The bags of oranges and apples are the grocery store cost less than buying the individual fruit.
  3. Eat at Home - Preparing a meal at home with cost you a lot less than getting it at a restaurant and you can control the amount of fat and calories you put in the dish.
  4. Leftovers - These are a wonder for you budget. Leftovers from the night before can save you a significant amount of money over a fast food drive-thru meal.
  5. Protein - We all know that this can be the most expensive item we buy at the store. Stock up when it is on sale and freeze. Try buying a whole chicken which is cheaper than the boneless chicken breast and you can get multiple healthy meals out of it. The roast chicken one night, a chicken sandwich, and some chicken soup.
  6. Buy Frozen - Frozen fruits and veggies are frozen at peck freshness and are significantly cheaper than their fresh counterpart.
  7. Buy Large Containers Rather Than Individual - The large container of plain yogurt is cheaper than the individual containers of the flavored variety. Add a little frozen fruit and you have a cheaper and healthier option with less added sugar.
  8. Plan Ahead & Make a Menu - The number one way to save on your grocery budget is to plan you meals ahead for the week. Then make your list for the store and stick to it.
Hope these types help you to eat healthy and slim down your waistline but not your wallet.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Running w/ P90X??

I know many people out there wonder if you can do P90X with running, but most of all if P90X will improve your running. Here is my personal running story below.

I was a runner in high school and college. In high school I had a cross country 5k PR of 21:30. I have always thought of myself as a runner but after having my son and not taking time for myself I was up to a weight where my knees could not handle me running. I wanted to run because it has always been a time for me to be out and just de-stress from the day.

My husband had seen an infomercial for P90X but we were not ready to tackle P90X so we started with one of the less intense programs Power 90. After 90 days of Power 90 my weight was back down to a point that I could start to run. I completed another 90 days of power 90 with running 3 miles three times a week.

I was ready to tackle P90X and set a new running goal for myself. I signed up for the Big Lake Half Marathon in Alton, NH in May of 2008. At that point I had never run a race longer than a 5k (3.1 miles). That day was also the 90th day of P90X for me. I completed the full P90X program with running three days per week plus my long run on Sundays. When it came to race day my goal was to finish in a time under 2 hrs.

I went out in the race at a steady pace and I wasn't sure what to expect, I had never run a full 13 miles. The first 4 miles went by easily but at mile 4 began the steady up hill climb to mile 6. I surprised myself to find the strength in my legs and the stamina to actually pass people going up the hill. The second half of the course was flatter than the first but I did begin to feel the toll of the miles around mile 12. I was shocked to finish and find out my finishing time was a whole 7 minutes faster than my goal. I was able to completed the course in 1:52:34!!!

Since that first half marathon I have completed another at the Manchester City Marathon this past November in a PR of 1:49:46. I was also part of a 200 mile relay team that ran from Northern NH to the Coast of NH in just over 28 hrs. I completed a total of 17.5 miles over 3 legs at a pace of 8:04.

I am currently training for my first full marathon in Vermont on May 30th with the help of P90X. In my experience P90X with running is a great combination. Many times (I know this from experience) runners neglect to incorporate weight training with their running or only train their lower body. Weight training combined with the flexibility training of yoga and running is the ideal training recipe. Just remember to listen to your body for any signs of overtraining and take those rest days when needed.

If you have any questions about combining P90X with running just send me a message.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Should Women Do P90X?!?!?!?

A Girl's Guide to P90X
By Whitney Provost

Muscles are a girl's best friend. Not only do they raise your metabolism and help you burn more calories, they also keep you living strong. And they look beautiful. Well-sculpted shoulders and lean, tight legs carry clothes better and allow you to power through everyday activities with strength and stamina. How do you get a body like that? A program like P90X will do the trick.

I know this because I'm a P90X graduate. I can vouch for its muscle-sculpting, fat-blasting, and body-shrinking powers. Before I ever started working for Beachbody®, I finished two rounds of P90X and incorporated P90X Plus into my fitness routine. I still do P90X regularly, and Plyometrics is consistently in my cardio rotations.

I'm not a world-class athlete. I'm just a regular at-home fitness junkie. P90X has been helping me get the body I want—lean, tight, and strong but not bulky—and it makes me feel good.

Not sure if you're ready to tackle the X? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Do your best and forget the rest. You'll hear Tony say this a lot throughout P90X, and it's important advice. All you have to do is lift as much weight as you can, and that's it. You're not in competition with anyone else. Don't worry if you can only lift 5 pounds while the women in the workouts are hoisting 15. Every time you Push Play, you'll get stronger, and before you know it, you'll be able to lift heavier than you ever have before. And don't be surprised if you find that you can do a few pull-ups at the end of 90 days.

Eat enough. A common mistake many active women make is undereating. With a program as intense as P90X, it's important to fill your body with enough healthy fuel to power through your workouts and help your muscles recover afterward. If you don't eat enough, your metabolism will slow down and your body will burn muscle for energy. Follow the P90X nutrition plan and take your supplements. They're designed to help you get the best results.

Don't be a slave to the scale. During a program like P90X, your body will go through a lot of metabolic changes. At first, your muscles may retain water as they react to the shock of the workouts and the recovery afterward. You may notice your weight going up for a short time before your muscles shed the excess water. As you continue with the program, you'll be building muscle and shedding fat, but the scale might not move downward as much as you want it to. Don't let that deter you. A pound of muscle is denser than a pound of fat, so your body may shrink even if your weight doesn't change that much. Keep in mind that muscle is a metabolism booster, so the more you have the more calories and fat you'll burn all day long.

You're not going to get bulky. Look at the women in the P90X workouts. They're all lean, strong, and feminine. Because women don't have enough testosterone to build massive amounts of muscle, it's nearly impossible for them to bulk up by lifting heavy weights. When women complain about feeling bulky, it's usually because they're new to a fitness program and their muscles are retaining water. If this happens to you, don't give up. Stick with your meal plan and workouts, and soon the extra bulk will go away.

You're going to love the way you feel. OK, maybe not when you're sore from working out, but as you get stronger and leaner, you're going to love how easy everyday tasks become, like lifting heavy objects, walking up and down stairs, or picking up children. And I can pretty much guarantee that you'll find yourself admiring your shoulders in the mirror or poking yourself in the belly to feel your tight abs. I do it all the time.

If you still have questions if P90X would be the right program for you send me a message. I've completed P90X a total of 4 times and I'm getting ready to start it for a 5th on March 8th.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don't Feel Like Working Out....

I have had one of those weeks at work. I haven't been able to get out of work when I wanted too. I've had to take work home so I haven't gotten the amount of sleep I need. I have had too many other things thrown on my desk this week so I haven't been able to get my regular work done.

Today was the worst day of the week. It was actually nice out tonight and I wanted to get outside for my run, I dread having to run on the "dreadmill". Tonight, of course, I got out of work late and by the time I got home it was almost 6:30pm. I had a three mile run on the schedule and all I wanted to do was climb on the couch and nap. Instead I went right to my workout clothes and got changed and logged into WOWY.

I got on the dreadmill and still didn't want to do the three miles. I decided that I couldn't make the three miles any shorter but I could crank up the speed and intensity and get it done faster.

After 24:35 minutes I had covered my 3 miles tonight. Was it hard to do? Yes, but it was one heck of a workout and not the workout I thought I would have tonight on my way home. After the 3 miles I was dripping sweat, I felt like I could do anything, and my energy was thru the roof.

So next time that you think you don't have the energy or don't feel like getting in the workout. Just get dressed, wowy and push play you will probably amaze yourself.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Have you Committed?

Four weeks ago I post that I had committed to myself, my fitness and my running. I've officially registered for the VT Marathon on May 30th. I sat down and planned out the next 5 months of training. Now 4 weeks into my training commitment how are things going....

  • I've gotten in all of my schedule runs and many of them there longer than what I originally scheduled

  • I've gotten in all my weight routines

  • I've gotten in all of my weekly yoga routines

  • I've had trouble getting in my extra cardio for the week.... to be honest I've only got it in two of the four weeks

  • I lost 8lbs total in the four weeks...

I've just committed to my workouts and the nutrition followed. There are still big improvements I need to make in my nutrition. There are also new things I need to learn since this is the first I'm I'll be regularly running at least 12 miles on Sundays.

Start with the workouts and the changes will start to happen in your nutrition. You can't fuel your body for intense workouts with junk food. You will start to look for that nutrition that you body needs. So get to the starting line and commit to yourself and your workouts!!! It is good for your body, your health and in turn good for your family.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Importance of Yoga...

I know that most of you starting P90X do not want to do Yoga and it is one of the longest and hardest workouts of the week. Check out this interview with Tony to see why it is just so important.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Am I Dedicated or Crazy ?!?!?

My training schedule this week had a 5 mile run today. I got up this morning and checked the weather on and this was the current temperature when I headed out for my run.

Yes you are reading that right. Only 3 degrees Fahrenheit!!!! Was I crazy to go out and run in that temperature? Well I'm sure most of you think that I am. I even thought that I was when I headed out to the running group in my car and it was only 5 degrees when I made it to the meeting point. There was only a group of 4 of us that showed up to brave the weather.

I was still thinking I was a little off my rocker at that point. The minute we started running the cold air hurt my lungs, but after a few minutes I settled in and it wasn't all that bad. I had bundled up with plenty of layers and only my face was cold. It was a hard run in the cold and I have to thank my friend Al for running with me, but when we were done it felt great. At 9am this morning I had finished my 5 mile run and had the rest of the day in front of me.

So was I crazy to go out? No, I'm just a runner dedicated to my training plan. If I didn't have a plan and goal then I probably would have just stayed under the warm covers this morning. Instead I followed my plan and I'm having an extremely productive day. So make your plans and stick to them that is the only way to make it to the finish line.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I Can't Believe My Eyes....

This is one thing I thought I would never see from the Creator of P90X. I guess he hadn't come up with Ab Ripper in 1996. Good thing for Tony that he meet Carl Daikeler only a few years later.

I hope everyone gets a good chuckle out of this.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Remember Where You Came From....

We should all keep a reminder of where we came from when we started on this up and down journey for our health and fitness. We all know that photo or that comment that made the light bulb go off in our head and made us realize the way our lives were headed. We are all now on our journey to a healthier life so that light bulb moment all got us to change our lives for the better no matter how painful or embarrassing it may have been.

For me my life changing moment was when I saw a photo of Pat and I from my 10 year high school reunion. Most people are thinking about how they look before they go to the reunion, but for some reason I didn't think I looked all that bad.

What was I thinking! I was wearing a dress that was a few sizes too small. It should have been loose and flowing on my body instead of tight and ready to rip the minute I sat down. It wasn't until I saw this picture that I realized I had to do something about where my health was headed.

In this picture I was more than 40 lbs heavier than I am now and almost 50 lbs heavier than I was in high school. This picture was taken Thanksgiving weekend and the Wednesday after Thanksgiving I committed to make a change for the better for my health.

Now today 4 years later and 40 lbs lighter I'm as fit as I was in high school and have completed two half marathons, a 24 hour relay road race and I am on to the road to my first marathon.

If you had asked me four years ago if I thought I would be doing any of these things I would have said "No Way!". I now look at these to pictures and I realize I'm not the same person I was 4 years ago physically or mentally. I had just gotten comfortable and forgotten about my love for running and for fitness. Both of these pictures are so very important to me because they show the amazing journey of the past 4 years. Plus the first serves as a constant reminder of how hard I have worked to get where I am and how easy it is to go back to where I was. I love the person I am today and I am striving to make myself better everyday. I can't wait to see what incredible picture I get to add next to this story!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Goals for 2010

Most of us have a long road to out fitness and personal goals. The most important thing you can do for your fitness and for your personal live is to set goals for yourself. Make sure you are settings fitness goals for things you can do physically and not just goals for a number on the scale or a pants size. We need to make sure we remember the most important reason to do any fitness routine is to be healthier and to be around longer for our loved ones. The outer physical effects are just a bonus to feeling better and living longer.

I spent a few hours last weekend sitting down and thinking about my goals for the next year. Of course like most of us I do have the scale or pant size goal, we all dream of that "Itsie Bitsie Tinie Winnie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" The goals I’m really looking forward to achieving this year are those things I have never done before but haven’t been physically able to do until now.

My first personal goal of 2010 is to run my first marathon. I have dreamed of being able to say I’ve completed one for over 10 years and this year I’m going to make it happen. Today I committed to that goal and put down my $85 registration fee and I’m now officially registered for the Vermont Marathon on May 30, 2010. To date I have done 2 half marathons and the leap from 13.1 to 26.2 miles is scare and so exciting. I can’t wait to report that I have completed it. So now for the next 18 weeks I will be putting in some serious mileage a long with my Beachbody workouts.

After I have completed my first marathon I will tackling another mountain. Which one? I will have to figure that out after marathon. Maybe another marathon, maybe qualify for the Boston Marathon (I’m dreaming big here). Who knows but I need the goals to keep pushing my fitness forward to new levels.

We all have those “mountains to climb” that we have dreamed of for years, 2010 is the year to make that happen! So write down that dream goal and commit to achieving it in 2010!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Marathon Training Week One

As you all know I sat down last Sunday and planned out my workouts until my marathon on May 30th. I would love to set the goal to not miss any of the workouts during this 4 ½ month plan, but I know that is not realistic. I know that there are days that you are sick or there are things that can happen that are out of your control or it is possible to over train and need to change the schedule. So my plan is to do everything in my power to get in my workouts, but if something out of my control changes my schedule I will modify and move on.

As you can see from my schedule for the week I didn’t follow my plan to the letter. I am a mother, wife (whose husband is in grad school as well as working full time), and work full time so I have very little free time in my life. As a result, I’m up at 5:30 in the morning to get in my AM workout and then get my runs in at night. Living in New Hampshire it is dark when I get out of work so I only get the joy of running outside when I have friends to run with and that doesn’t happened most of the time. So a lot of those nights I’ve spent my time running on the treadmill in the basement just to get the miles in.

Wednesday night I just had too many appointments to be able to get in an evening workout, plus I was so busy I missed my afternoon snack, something I don’t recommend, I just had no energy to get on the treadmill when I got home. I have recently had trouble getting all of my calories in daily and after not eating enough on Thursday it caught up with me Friday morning and I didn’t have the energy to bring it with an Insanity workout so I decided to modify and get in Tony’s One-on-One Medicine Ball Core Cardio. It was a good workout and I felt better after I finished and had a little recovery drink. I’m sure you can see that I didn’t get in my ChaLEAN Push 3 workout for the week. I have to figure out how to get the two workouts in on Saturday, because I usually don’t have time to fit in an afternoon workout. My plan for this week is to get the workout in tomorrow morning and yoga in the afternoon.

With sticking to my training plan I was able to drop 2.4 lbs of the 5 lbs I had gained over the holidays (don't tell anyone). A few more weeks like last week and I'll dropped all 5 and be well on my way with my marathon training.

My runs were wonderful this week with the exception of Monday night. I was able to run with friends this week for most of the runs. It is so great to have friend’s workout with you. It makes it so much more fun during the workout and gives you some great quality time to chat while doing something wonderful for your body.

So set your schedule for the week and try to find a buddy to workout with; if you don’t have someone local remember to log onto WOWY, we are all there to support each other! I have my plan set for the week and I am ready to take it on!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Game Plan Summary Jan 10

Just a quick wrap up from the Game Plan...sorry I was looking down so much, but I was reading some of my notes from Saturday

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Try Shakeology® Today $1,000 Giveaway!!!

Drink Shakeology every day and you can win $1,000 just for sharing your experience with us. Every week, we randomly select someone to be our lucky $1,000 winner. All you have to do is fill out the entry form and include a picture of yourself with your Shakeology package. You can enter every week, so keep drinking your Shakeology!

To enter the Try Shakeology Today $1,000 Giveaway, please complete this short entry form.

No purchase necessary to enter. To enter without having purchased Shakeology, please complete the alternate entry form. For official rules, please download the Try Shakeology Today $1,000 Giveaway official rules.

If you are looking to try a sample of Shakeology, just drop Pat or I a line and we can help you out.

January Workout Commitment

Almost all of us have a hard time sticking to a schedule and sticking with your workouts everyday. I have to admit with the holiday craziness I haven't been good about getting my workouts in. I have probably only worked out about 4 days a week instead of the 6 I normally do. For me I need to have a goal to work towards. This past fall it was the half marathon I ran on November 1st. Since then I have lost focus without a set goal. So I have now decided to commit to completing my first marathon.

The best way to succeed in your fitness goals it to commit to working out 5 or more days per week. I just spent the past hour planning out my workout schedule for the next 4 1/2 months. I'm running the Vermont Marathon on May 30, 2010 and have planned my running and workout schedule from tomorrow until May 30th. I have put all my workouts on a calendar and posted January here. After I finish blogging I'm posting the plan in the kitchen and my office where I can see it daily to remind me of what I have to do everyday.

I know I'll be spending a fair amount of time on the treadmill getting in some of my mid week miles since it is dark out when I get out of work. Never mind the snow and ice we get in New Hampshire in the winter. I love running, but I hate running on the treadmill. Some of those mid-week runs are going to be my hardest workouts. I'm just counting the days until we have more daylight and I can get outside to run for all of my runs.

I plan to mix up my resistance training with a little bit of Chalean Extreme and a little bit of P90X and Tony's One-on-One series. I hope this plan is the key to success for completing my first marathon, but only time will tell.


Carl Daikeler Game Plan Boston