I heard this concept on a podcast I was listening to early today on how to approach treat/cheat meals. First off, I like to refer to them as treat meals and not cheat meals. Cheating just has a negative context to it and makes it seem like you are doing something wrong. Splurging from time to time is totally ok...I'll go into this more in a bit.
I hear it from friends that they will just work off that cheeseburger and fries by doing "XYZ" exercise tomorrow. Here is the dirty little secret: when you eat something like a cheeseburger and fries, your body does 1 of 2 things, it either uses it for energy right away or it stores it for energy later. When you exercise, your body will use energy supplies that are in your muscles first and then they will go look elsewhere for energy, sometimes from glucose floating around in your blood and one of the last places it will look is fat cells.
The timing of when you treat yourself is very important in relation to when you workout. If you workout prior to a treat meal, your body will then use those carbs/sugars to refill the energy stores in your muscles. The proteins in that cheeseburger will also go to help build your muscles. For people looking to shed some fat, fewer of those calories will be converted into fat.
You also have the psychological aspect too. If you think of it as a treat meal then you need to DO something to deserve that treat, right? That meal is now a treat for doing something good, something like exercising. Now, if you're the person that says they will just work it off later, the exercise is now a punishment for doing something bad. How often do you actively search and want to punish yourself?
Let me just qualify all of this: don't treat yourself after every workout. I would assume that is obvious...but I guess you never know right?
Here is a link to the podcast that I was listening too if you are interested in hearing more about this. Plus this podcast is also goes into navigating the holiday scene that is upon us and tips to staying healthy. I highly recommend listening to this podcast and subscribing because he puts out some great information.
TMHS 081: Tips for dining out at Restaurants, family get togethers, and how to stay healthy during the holidays.
Thanks for reading friends.
Let's be honest...you might live under a rock if you have never heard of P90X. This is the "original" workout that came out 10 years ago. P90X3 came out last year and was extremely popular since the program was condensed into 30 minute workouts. P90X2 is like the step brother of the P90X family that was shipped off to military school for kicking too much ass. This program is the real deal from a butt kicking standpoint. P90X2 is geared more towards sports performance and is more of an elite training for athletes, which is one reason why I wanted to try it! I still play quite a bit of volleyball and at a fairly competitive level so for me, it was mainly to improve my performance on the court. Move faster, jump higher, and be in better physical shape to avoid injury.
There is no strict calendar to follow, which makes P90X2 very unique when comparing it to other programs. It is broken up into 3 phases and although each phase has a recommended schedule for each week, they don't say to do each week for a given period of time. You are the judge of when you're ready to move on to the next phase. Each phase helps prepare you for the next group of workouts which is really nice.
I started this workout after completing 2 rounds of P90X3, followed by a "rest" phase where I did PiYo. So I was in decent "P90X shape" coming into this workout. By that I mean, Tony makes you do a lot of pull-ups and push-ups along with quite a bit of balance work... just to give you an idea of where I was at with my workouts before starting.
Phase 1 - Foundation
This Phase is geared towards teaching you most of the moves. The warm-ups stay pretty much the same in all the workouts so you quickly learn all the moves you'll be doing during that part of the workout. One thing that I really enjoyed about this program was that the warm-up was very comprehensive, so you do a lot of moves to get warm, then you stretch, and you foam roll in nearly all the warm-ups. The foam rolling piece is nice because normally I'm too lazy to do that...so it forces you to spend some time improving the quality of your muscles not just size and endurance.
There are 6 workouts that you use in Phase 1, plus a bonus 7th workout Ab Ripper that you add on a couple of days. The schedule is setup so that you workout hard 4 days a week. Those workouts include high intensity core work, plyometric work, total body strength and a balance and strength workout. In between those workouts you mix in yoga one day and the other two days you can either take as rest days or do the Recovery + Mobility workout, which is a fantastic workout and something I tried to do at least once a week.
I really enjoyed this Phase and I ended up doing it for 4 weeks before moving on. Here is a little video of me me doing one of the moves in the Balance + Power workout. This will also give you an idea of the space you will need, which isn't much!
Phase 2 - Strength
Phase 2 is similar to Phase 1, so you will go hard 4 days a week, 1 yoga day, and 2 recovery days. The intense workouts in this phase were some of my favorites out of all of the X2 workouts. I used to be a gym guy before I moved into doing home workouts. I wasn't good at actually getting TO the gym, but I did enjoy throwing some weight around while I was there. A big piece of the Phase 2 workouts is using a lot of dumbbells, push-ups, and pull-ups. Stuff that most guys (and some ladies) like!!!
The awesome part of this program, and what sets it apart from just lifting weights "normally", is that you are rarely standing on 2 feet when doing lifts, or when you are doing push-ups you are using stability balls or medicine balls to balance on. This really engages all those stabilizer muscles and core muscles. As you progress through each phase, you definitely notice your balance improves with the moves that you are doing. I never upped my weight all that much but I did notice that I did more reps and my balance was much better.
Phase 3 - Performance
Once again, this phase is 4 days of hard workouts, 1 yoga day, and 2 rest or recovery workout days. The 4 days that you are "on" you use just 2 workouts, P.A.P Upper and P.A.P. Lower. P.A.P. stands for Post-Activation Potentiation. If you want to look into what that means exactly, here is a link to an article on the topic, Post-Activation Potentiation. To summarize: the goal of this type of training is to improve your explosive power as your muscles fatigue. My real life application of this is playing volleyball. This type of training will help me to be able to jump as high in my last game of the night as I was able to jump in my first game.
If I'm being honest, this was my least favorite Phase. After the 2nd week, I found myself bored with the workouts and the schedule. I did 3 full weeks following the X2 schedule but in the 4th week I ended up switching to using P90X3's Complex Upper and Lower workouts which are also based on PAP training. This gave me a little more variety, which was nice.
Overall I really enjoyed this program, especially the first 2 phases and all the different workouts and moves. I definitely saw my strength and balance improve. I loved the complex nature of all the moves and it really challenged me. The only downside was the workouts did get a little long. For the person that just wants to get in and get it done, this wouldn't be the best workout for you. For someone that is transitioning from working out at the gym, I think it would be great from a timing standpoint.
I would say this program is geared more towards strength and improving muscle endurance. My goal going into it was to actually put on some weight, which I was able to do without gaining any body fat. I don't know if I would recommend it to the person that wants to lose a lot of weight. It is probably better suited for the person that wants to drop some body fat % points, get a little stronger, improve muscle quality and improve sports performance. No matter where you are with your fitness, this program WILL challenge everyone. If you're more advanced, you will likely be able to move through the phases faster...but there is something for everyone with this program!
I'll start with my before and after pictures (before pictures are on the top, after on the bottom). I try to be as fair with this as possible, no flexing (except in the flexing ones), similar lighting, same time of day. When I started, my weight was the lowest it had been since right after college, 157 lbs. After finishing X2, I was up to 165 lbs!!! I personally see a difference in my back, shoulders and arms...and a little bit in my chest. If you're looking at the flexing pics, I definitely see more definition in my shoulders and back. Overall I'm pretty happy with my the changes!
Some of the coolest numbers that I like to track are girth measurements and also the Fit Test numbers. I love that I basically maintained my waist measurement while adding 8 lbs. Based on the measurements, it seems my arms, thighs and butt got most of it. With the Fit Test, the before numbers were actually my after numbers after I completed my first round of P90X3. I set a goal at the beginning of X2 (with one of the Challenge Groups that I was running) that I wanted to be able to do 25 pull-ups and 100 push-ups without breaking. I fell a little short, but definitely saw some big gains in both of those areas. Another area that I didn't really notice getting stronger but based on the numbers from the "Ab In and Outs" my core strength/stamina definitely improved.
The last thing that I want to point out is the cardiovascular work that these programs provide. So many people think they need to go pound the pavement or hop on an elliptical in order to work their heart. NOT TRUE. Before I started any P90X workouts my resting heart rate was 62 which is good, but you can see how much it improved. I will say X3 is a better cardio workout due to their being less breaks and shorter breaks. My heart rate maximizer numbers from a year ago were: Immediately after - 172
After 1 minute - 107, After 2 minutes - 107, After 3 minutes -79, After 4 minutes - 85. Basically what this test has you do is go all out with jumping jacks for 2 minutes to get your heart rate up then once you are done, you monitor how your heart rate recovers. The change here is crazy!!! After 2 minutes of basically sprinting, my heart is now able to recover to the point of my resting heart rate.
If you want to live longer, your heart muscle needs to be stronger...and this workout definitely works that muscle too.
If this program sounds like something you are interested in trying out, I would love to chat with you.
Hi there friends!
If you follow us on Facebook, you might have seen that we got our Insanity Max:30 workout last night. We decided to give the first workout a shot and wanted to share this video with you of what a few of the moves look like...along with our review of this workout, Cardio Challenge. In the spirit of A Chipmunk Christmas we made the workout double time so Shaun T sounds like a chipmunk.
We both are SUPER excited to continue with the other workouts in this program and plan on jumping in fully with our accountability group that starts on December 29th. We know we will need some support through this program, because if the first workout is any indication of the rest of them, it's something that will push you mentally and physically...EXACTLY what we need after the Holidays and getting over that post holiday slump!! You know what I'm talking about....right??
We only have 10 spots left so if you are interested in the group and want to take advantage of this deal, comment below or shoot us a message.
We should also note that anyone who buys a Challenge Pack (Insanity Max:30 + Shakeology) before December 15th will get a $25 gift card from us to the retailer of their choosing!!!
I have to apologize for not posting too many recipes as of late. We've been doing a lot of super simple stuff like roasting fish and veggies with salt and pepper. I didn't think that you need help doing that. If you do, then I'm happy to help and feel free to shoot us a message.
We made this Saturday night, I was really craving pizza after my brother stopped by and mentioned he was on his way to go pick up a pizza from a local pizza place. My normal go to pizza is pepperoni, sausage and mushrooms, LOVE IT!!! Laura likes her pesto, shrimp with goat cheese combination. I don't want to say we met in the middle with this one, but maybe... It had Laura's shrimp and it had some spice that I like in my pizza. All in all this pizza took maybe 45 minutes to make the dough from scratch, prep the toppings and then bake. So yeah a little bit longer than a frozen pizza but so much better for you and just as fast a it would take to have a pizza delivered.
Shaun T hooked me on home workouts with Insanity and to this day, he's the ONLY ONE that can inspire me to do more than I think I can and push my body to its limits. My body wasn't the only thing that changed though....my MIND was stronger and it made me believe I could do anything...which also spilled over to the rest of my life.
I love that the goal is to fail. I love that it pushes you right away and forces you to assess your own limits...and then INVITES you to shatter what you thought was your limit!! Eeek!! I can't wait!
**BONUS from us: anyone that orders a challenge pack THIS WEEK will also get a $25 gift card to either Amazon or iTunes!
Who wants in?? Don't be shy!
Something pretty cool happened at our Thanksgiving dinner that we thought would be fun to share with you all. Let me just start by saying I (Dan) love my family very much. Ha, you are probably wondering where I am going after that qualifier right???
Well my family tends to be a bit on the pickier side when it comes to eating. White potatoes, corn and carrots are what we considered veggies. Spices consist of salt and pepper and at one point in our lives, food wasn't allowed to touch each other on our plates. GASP! I'm over simplifying a little bit but let's just say that they are very comfortable eating foods that they know they like and change can be difficult. Especially when we are talking about our traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Lord help us if those were to ever change!!! (I'm sure we're not the only family like this)
We do all the "normal" sides for Minnesota family;
I recently did some nutritional testing to see if I am sensitive to any foods, which you'll hear more about later in another blog post. The test came back and told me that dairy and I don't agree very much, so I've been cutting that out of my diet for the past 2 months or so. I've "cheated" a few times and I can feel it when I do eat it. It's nothing drastic but I get gassy...not to the point of clearing out a room...but enough that I can totally see the direct connection between consuming it and stuff going on in my gut. On top of that Laura has also been cutting out dairy, due to Eli struggling a bit with it. If he feeds after she has some he will get phlegmy which does lead to him being a little more fussy.
If you look at all the side dishes above, all of them include dairy whether it be from milk or a canned soup. So we asked if it would be possible to make some swaps in order to cut the dairy out of these dishes. To our surprise, my family was totally ok with doing that and everyone still enjoyed all of the food. We used almond milk for a majority of the swaps and couldn't tell the difference in the flavor. Some of my family probably didn't even know that we changed a thing!
The point of this post is to hopefully help you feel comfortable stepping out and asking your family and friends to make some healthy swaps. I know for a lot of us that are into healthy eating we sometimes stay quiet and just eat whatever we are served, thinking that we are rocking the boat too much if we ask people to accommodate to some of our "dietary situations." Let me just say that if my family can do it, so can yours. Who knows, they may actually like the healthier option, and you might be the good influence and the little push they need to start cleaning up their diet!
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.