Sunday, April 1, 2012

P90X2 Review

First of all, here is some basic information about myself. I am a 18 and a senior in high school. I run Cross Country and Track, and am also a big Beachbody fan! I began using P90X in November 2008. I completed 3 full rounds of it and got great results. I added som lean quality muscle and strength, and improved all aspects of my functional fitness. I then soon purchased P90X+, Insanity, and the One on One workouts. I was mainly doing a bunch of hybrids along with my running routine, until I got P90X2 this past December! I officially started the program on January 2, 2012, and I also planed to run 6 days a week to prep for my track season.

My main goal was to add to my athletic performance and functional strength to help me with my running in track come later in the spring. I bought the Deluxe package which came with a stability ball, medicine balls, a foam roller. I also already had a pullup bar and a weight set from 3-55 pounds. The first phase of P90X2, called the foundation phase, is all about increasing your core strength, balance, and stability. These workouts were challenging, but they didn't give me too much trouble since I had already had some experience from using the One on One workouts. I also slightly modified the schedule to fit into a 5 day period instead of a 6, so that way I could still get in my long run in on Saturdays then use Sunday as my rest day. After 3 weeks, I moved on to phase 2, the strength phase.

The 2nd phase is the most similar to P90X. The focus here is more on building functional strength, but by still incorporating balance and instability by using stability and medicine balls. I especially enjoyed getting to workout out with my coach, Josh Spencer, in X2 Shoulders + Arms! I did this phase for a total of 4 weeks, but switched in the bonus workouts the last 2 weeks.

Now this is what I had been waiting for, phase 3, the performance phase. During the next 3 weeks, I got to use the new P.A.P (Post-Activation-Potentiation) workouts. These workouts are killer and are all about increasing your overall athleticism. I was super sore after the first week, but during weeks 2 and 3 I saw major improvements in my reps and speed. My core and legs also become a lot stronger, which helped with my running and having a strong finishing kick in my races.

I have to say that I enjoyed P90X2 more than P90X. I love the concept of improving your athletic ability and not just your strength. After I finished the program on March 11, I noticed I was leaner, but my weight stayed relatively the same. Also, my track season has been going great. I am currently running 5 days a week, have a track meet once a week, and I also throw in 1-2 P90X2 or One on One workouts a week. My best races so far this season include a 11:09 2 mile, 4:57 mile, and 2:13 800 meters. I also definitely plan to incorporate P90X2 into my next hybrid program after the end of my track season.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

2011 Cross Country Season Recap

Well I was really pleased in how I finished my senior cross country season! My district meet was on October 28, and I came in 3rd place overall and completed the 3 mile course in 16:57 which was a Personal Record! My team also came in 2nd place overall which I was very happy about. Last year I came in 10th place at district and our team came in last place, so good improvements! Then we had our regional meet on November 5th in San Antonio. I didn't have as good as a performance, but I ran the 5k course in 17:35 and came in 79th place out of about 180 runners.

After my regional meet, I took a well needed off week from running and just did some cross training with P90X. The next week, I began training for Indoor track with my personal coach. She had me on a very rigorous schedule. Her plan for me that week was to run about 60 miles in 6 days with running twice on 3 of them. However, it did not turn out well. Mentally, I was prepared to push my body, but my body and muscles were not. The most I have ran in the past was 50 miles a week, so trying to run 60 with no running the past week took its toll on me. After 4 days of training, I developed a super tight left calf and an inflamed Achilles tendon. So much for staying injury free! So, it has almost been 4 weeks since that has occurred and I am still recovering. My calf is all better, but my Achilles is still bothering me a bit. I should be able to start running again within the next week or so, but I am probably not going to end up running indoor track since I have lost 4 weeks of training. I might end up running a meet or two in February, but I rather build up a strong foundation for outdoor track. I still have been using P90X and the One on Ones to stay in shape though. I know my upper body and core have gotten stronger, but I have probably lost some endurance and leg strength since I haven't been running.

I also have ordered the P90X2 Deluxe Package!!! I should be receiving it in a week or two, and I am super excited! I love the fact that it is going to be based more on athletic performance, so it should be a great supplement along with my running.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2011 Cross Country Season

I have not posted in a while, so figured I should do one today! I have almost finished up my last high school Cross Country season. I have been religiously training since June, and I got up to running 50 miles a week in August which is a huge improvement from only running 35 at most last year. I have by far improved the most this year due to an increase in training. A typical training week for me right now will look like this:

Sunday- Long Run (10-13 miles)
Monday- Easy run or Tempo run, depending how I feel (8 miles)
Tuesday- Speed workout (Alternates every week, but usually will either be: 10x400, 8x800, 4x1600, or a ladder of 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400 meters. Usually around 6-7 miles total)
Wednesday- Easy run or Tempo run (will do opposite of Monday) (6-8 miles)
Thursday- Easy run if I did Tempo run yesterday, or Hill repeats (6-8 miles, or rest day if racing on Friday
Friday- Rest Day if racing on Saturday, or easy 8 miles
Saturday- Usually will be race day

In addition to running, right now I also do cross training/supplement workouts twice a week, which consist of P90X and One on One workouts. I believe it is very important to have a strong core, which will help prevent injury and give you good form. I also like doing pushups and pullups which will be my other workout for the week. Right now I don't really care about working arms because they aren't really necessary for running, and pushups and pullups work the arms some too. When I'm not racing I will do supplement workouts 3-4 times a week.

My races for Cross Country are usually either 3 miles or 5K. Often times it is somewhere in between, which is one reason why I love my new Garmin Forerunner 210! It tells me my mile pace, mile splits, and average pace for my runs. Here are my race results so far this season:

AISD Invitational on August 26: 3 miles in 17:29
Lockhart Invitational on September 3: 3K in 11:24
St. Andrews Invitational on September 10: 5K in 18:14
Pflurgerville Invitational on September 16: 3 miles in 17:14
Cedar Park Invitational on September 24: 5K in 17:59
IBM Uptown Classic on October 2: 10K in 37:11 (No Cross Country race this week so I ran a local road race)
Westlake Invitational on October 8: 3 miles in 17:16

Sadly, I am missing the Vista Ridge Invitational this Saturday because I am going to visit Texas A&M University, so my next meet will be the AISD District meet on October 28. I am hoping to compete for 1st place, but I will see how it goes. My team is also looking really strong this year so I think we will be able to get 1st place in District as a team. Then I will have Regionals on November 5, which will most likely be my last high school cross country meet. After the season is over, I will take a well deserved recovery week, then I will start training because this year I am also running indoor track which I am really excited about. My mileage will probably go up to 70-80 miles a week, so I should see really good improvements. The key is to stay healthy and injury free, which I have pretty much done a good job of. I typically get sick once a year, and I have never had an injury.

I will keep yal posted on how my season ends!

Fitness and Cancer

Guest post by Liz Davies:

Doctors and medical experts are finding, more and more, the benefits that exercise provides. This is true with cancer patients as well. People who are being treated for cancer are being encouraged to start an exercise plan. Doctors believe that there is a positive correlation between exercise and people going through cancer treatment. This belief is based primarily on the numerous studies conducted on this subject; which show that exercise actually increases the survival rates in people with cancer.

Many cancer treatments cause patients to feel fatigued, nauseous, and extremely weak. Along with these physical problems, cancer patients also often suffer from depression and other psychological problems. Exercise is often recommended to people suffering from these things; whether they have cancer or not. Studies are finding that exercise is one of the best activities that people can do to help with all types of problems. Studies have been conducted through major, credible organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the American College of Sports Medicine.

According to several studies, women, suffering from breast cancer, can often extend their lives through exercise. One common type of exercise for breast cancer patients is water exercises. Studies are now being done on other types of cancers such as liver, kidney and even rare types like testicular mesothelioma.

One main benefit of exercise is weight control. People that are overweight are often more prone to illnesses, including cancer. There are numerous other benefits for cancer patients as well, including increasing muscle strength, reducing fatigue, improving mood and boosting self-confidence.

Doctors often suggest that cancer patients begin an exercise routine as soon as they are diagnosed with cancer, if they do not have a regular exercise plan already. A doctor can help a person create a plan that works and is ideal for that person on an individual basis. Some exercises that are often recommended are stretching exercises. These are simple enough for almost anyone to do. Aerobic exercises, including swimming, walking and jogging, are also ideal for heart health. Finally, a doctor might recommend resistance training exercises, which include lifting weights, for many people. This helps people lose weight in fat, but gain muscle weight at the same time.

Many cancer patients may be reluctant to begin an exercise routine. Once they begin; however, they may naturally feel motivated to continue. They often begin to see positive signs, such as feeling better and a better frame of mind. This is often encouragement enough for the person to continue. It is also important for the families, of cancer patients, to be supportive by encouraging the person to continue the exercise routine they are on.

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She became particularly interested in ways cancer patients can cope with the side-effects of their treatment after her mother became an oncology nurse for lung cancer.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fitness Equipment

For most workout programs like P90X, Chalean Extreme, Power 90, or just going to a gym, you use equipment while working out. Workout equipment can add variety to your workouts and help challenge yourself. However, you do not need any workout equipment to have a great workout. Workout programs like Insanity just require your own body weight for you to see results. Insanity is able to do this because of MAX Interval Training, which involves pushing yourself as hard as you can, which will break down muscle, and when it heals you become stronger and will eventually see visible results! All the jumping, speed work, and push up variations in Insanity help sculpt your body without any fitness equipment! Also, running does not require any fitness equipment. So I don't want to hear that you can't get in shape because you can not afford any equipment, a gym, or workout programs. You can always run, do push ups, and your own ab routine, and boom! You can get into great shape! If you have any questions on developing a workout routine (such as running workouts, ab workouts, and body weight strength training) you can contact me at

However, workout equipment is great to add to your fitness regimen. I use workout equipment all the time, but it is not something that you have to have. Here is a list of the equipment that I have and use in my workouts:

1) Dumbbells - I have a set from 3-55 pounds. I got these for a great deal on craigslist! Try to get equipment that is used and cheaper than if bought new, just make sure it is in good condition. I also recommend PowerBlocks or Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells, which are a great deal compared to buying a whole rack of dumbbells and safe a lot of space. They also can go up in 2.5 pound increments which is a great feature.

2) Yoga Mat - This is a thing that everyone should have! I use mine for yoga, stretching, and ab workouts. They can also be great for absorbing the impact on your knees while jumping during workouts like Insanity or P90X Plyometrics.

3) Push Up Stands - These are not necessary for doing push ups, but they can really aid in building strength. Push up stands give you a bigger range of motion and stretch on your chest, which can lead to better muscle growth and strength. They also reduce the strain on your wrists, because your wrists are kept strait and not bended like when doing push ups on your hands. I have both the Perfect Push Up and Tony Horton's PowerStands. These are both great, but also different. With the perfect push ups you can also rotate your wrists while doing a push up, which provides the chest with a different tension and it can feel more natural as well. Tony Horton's PowerStands, have a huge range of motion which a really like, and they have really comfortable grips.

4) Body Fat Tester - This is more of a progress tracking tool than equipment. With this tool you can track your weight and body fat lose. You measure you skin fold above your hip, and then look on the chart to see your body fat percentage. It is easy to use and decently accurate. However, if you want to get a very accurate body fat measurement, you should visit your local gym.

5) Heart Rate Monitor - I use this during all of my workouts! You really only need this during cardio workouts so you can monitor your heart rate. However I use it every workout because I like to see how many calories a burn. Basic heart rate monitors just tell you your heart rate, but nicer ones also keep track of your calories burned and the percentage you worked out from your maximum heart rate. You don't have to have this, but if you want to push yourself hard or keep your heart rate safe during cardios, this will do it.

6 ) Ankle Weights - I have a pair of 5 pound ankle weights. You can use this during ab routines to add more of a challenge or add variety by doing lower reps. Also you could even use these in a leg workout or wear them while doing pull ups to add more resistance.

7) Weight Vest - I have a 20 pound adjustable weight vest. I only suggest this if you consider yourself advance. This is great to add more resistance, challenge, and variety to your strength workouts. You can use this for push ups, pull ups, and leg workouts. If you can easily do 50 push ups, 15 pull ups, or are finding that Legs and Back is becoming easier, you might want to consider using a weight vest. This will challenge your muscles and keep the results coming. It also can add a different rep range in your workouts, so instead of doing 30 push ups or 15 pull ups, you will be doing 15 push ups and 8 pull ups.

8) Resistance Bands - These are a great substitute for dumbbells. These are quite cheap and still give you a great workout. They also provide a different type of resistance than dumbbells, so you can add variety and muscle confusion. Resistance bands can also be taking on trips so you can still get your strength workouts in.

9) Jump Rope - This is a great way to get your cardio workouts in. Jumping rope requires good coordination and balance. You can also get a great calf and leg workout in from jumping rope.

10) Stability Ball - I love using this in my workouts. This can really challenge your muscles and balance. You can use this for push ups and ab workouts. You will find it is much harder to do push ups on a stability ball than on the floor because you muscles also have to balance and support your body.

11) Pull Up Bar - I use the P90X Pull Up bar and I love it! It is easy to use and can fit in most doorways. It provides 7 different pull up variations to add variety and challenge to your back workouts.

12) Power Tower - I really enjoy using this piece of equipment. This is definitely an accessory though, but it is great to have! Mine has a pull up bar which has a very very wide gripe, push up stands, a dip station (works and chest and triceps) and a leg raise station for ab workouts.

13) Weight Bench - This is great to have for weight lifting workouts. I often do my own chest workouts using this, and Tony Horton uses one in several of his One on One workouts. Shaun T also uses on in the Insanity Upper Body Weight Training. Mine has a decline position, which you can use for chest exercises, or even do crunches. There is also a flat and incline position, and then a straight 90 degree position.

14) Chair - This can be a great piece of workout equipment, and everyone already has this at their house! You can use this for decline push ups, chair dips, and it is used in P90X for several back, shoulder, and tricep exercises.

15) Medicine Balls - Unfortunately I do not have any of these, but this can be great to add resistance to your workouts. You can use one in an ab routine or a cardio routine. You can even use them as a kind of push up stand to add more range.

There are still many more different kinds of workout equipment that you can use, but these are some of the basic and that I recommend. There are still all of those machines at gyms, which can be good for variety, but they are not as necessary. Just remember that all you really need is your body to get into great shape.

You can also view my fitness equipment video: Part 1 and Part 2

Friday, January 29, 2010

Why Should I Exercise?

The hardest thing about starting an exercise program is, well, actually starting! It also can be difficult to stay motivated during the first few weeks, which is when you will want to quit the most and will be wondering, why I am doing this again? However, if you start any Beachbody program such as P90X, Insanity, or Chalean Extreme, there will be a specific schedule that you follow which can help keep you motivated during your journey, but after you have completed one round, it can often be difficult to stay with it. You may be thinking, what next? But your fitness journey never ends! You can always make improvements with your fitness and add variety and more intensity to obtain better and better results! That is also a reason why Beachbody has so many great exercises programs. They keep you motivated, and it is good to try something different every once in a while. If you are struggling with staying motivated, or need any advice or help with your workouts, you can always email me at for help, or visit the TeamBeachBody Message Boards.

Now, you may be wondering why you should exercise and workout in the first place. Exercising is not just so you can look good at the beach, it also has many health benefits, including some people don't even think of. Looking great is just one of the side affects of exercise, the main thing is having a healthy and active body that is less vulnerable to illness and injury. Looking great and having those sexy abs or firm thighs is just a way to show off your hard work, discipline, and it can also be a motivation to others to change their lives and become healthier. Don't get me wrong though, because I love having a great body! This is one way that I motivate myself to workout 5-6 days a week and to eat and stay healthy, which fitness is all about. Once you start exercising, you will notice dramatic effects about how you act, feel, and think. Here are some benefits of exercising.

1) Exercising Improves your Mood - Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. You'll also look better and feel better when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Regular physical activity can also help prevent depression. You will end up be more productive at work, school, and your home. People will notice your good attitude and ask you what is up, and that is when you can tell them about the benefits of exercise and TeamBeachbody!

2) Increased Energy - The right combination of exercise and nutrition creates an hormonal environment conducive to fat loss, increased muscle strength and increased energy. When your body is working at peak efficiency, your energy levels soar! Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. In fact, regular physical activity helps your entire cardiovascular system — the circulation of blood through your heart and blood vessels — work more efficiently. Big deal? You bet! When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you'll have more energy to do the things you enjoy. For me, this includes Karate, Running, Swimming, Hiking, Biking, and working out to P90X and Insanity!

3) Exercise helps manage your weight - When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn — and the easier it is to keep your weight under control. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercials (Like the P90X or any other Beachbbody Infomercial, haha). Better yet, turn off the TV and take a brisk walk. Physical activity you accumulate throughout the day helps you burn calories, too. Also get involved in an exercise program 5-6 days a week. This can be any Beachbody program or going to the gym, running, biking, or swimming. Do whatever you enjoy and works for you.

4) Exercise promotes better sleep - A good night's sleep can improve your concentration, productivity and mood. And you guessed it — physical activity is sometimes the key to better sleep. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. There's a caveat, however. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you may be too energized to fall asleep. If you're having trouble sleeping, you might want to exercise earlier in the day. I know after I hard intense work and a day of school, I am dead tired by the time I go to bed and I fall right to sleep. You also should try to get at 8 hours of sleep every night. I often only get 7 hours, but the main thing is to make sure you feel refreshed and energized throughout the day and don't feel like you are going to crash.

5) Exercise decreases your risk of heart attacks - By exercising regularly and making positive changes in your diet, you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and greatly diminish the chances of having a heart attack. Cardiovascular exercise also creates a strong and healthy heart, especially HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which is actually better than regular cardio because it makes your heart and lungs grow stronger and bigger.

6) Exercise reduces the risk of osteoporosis - Regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and can even reverse it buy building bone tissue and muscle mass. So ladies, don't be afraid of putting on some muscle. It will just give you a toned look and will increase your metabolism and health.

7) Exercise Decreases your Stress Levels - The worries and stresses of everyday living such as commuting, work demands, conflicts, school, family, can stick with you long after the work day is done. Exercise right after work is the perfect natural therapy that can change your mood. Also a good yoga workout can greatly relieve stress and calm your mind and body. I also enjoy working out first thing in the morning. This helps me have a good productive day, and it also helps me stick with my diet. Also, when you sweat during exercise, you are releasing toxins out of your body and releasing hormones in your brain which help relieve stress and promote good health.

8) Exercise improves your body shape, muscle definition, endurance, and flexibility-
When you do HIIT (Such as Insanity), weight training (Such as P90X or Chalean Extreme), or yoga, you are doing exercises that help shape your body and improve your fitness. HIIT or any other cardio improves your endurance and will help shape your body and burn fat. A lot of cardio exercises like running, biking, plyometrics (Like PlyoX from P90X), and Insanity will also add leg definition and strength. Cardios like swimming and also Insanity will add upper body strength as well.
Weight training increases your muscle tissue and strength which will shape you body and make you look and feel good. More muscle also speeds up your metabolism and allows you to burn more calories throughout the day. Yoga will keep you lean and increase your flexibility. See my previous post about yoga for more information.

9) Exercise can be fun! - Yes, your heard me, exercise should be something that you enjoy. If you don't enjoy exercise and having a healthy lifestyle that will benefit you and others around you, then what is the point in doing it? It is important to find the right exercise program that works for you and that you enjoy doing everyday. My workouts are the favorite part of my day, and I always look forward to making improvements in every workout and doing better than I did in that last one.

There are countless benefits of exercising, but here are a few more.
-Improves circulation and helps reduce blood pressure and reduces joint discomfort.
-Increases body density and makes the body use calories more efficiently.
-Lowers resting heart rate and enhances immune system.
-Improves posture and eases and possibly eliminates back problems and pain.
-Decreases fat tissue more easily.
-May add a few years to life.
-Increases your range of motion and speed of muscle contraction and reaction time.
-Enhances immune system and improves glycogen storage.
-Enables the body to utilize energy more efficiently.
-Enhances oxygen transport throughout the body and improves liver functioning.
-Enhances feedback through the nervous system.
-Makes calcium transport in the heart and body more efficient.

Now I could of gone into detail about all of these, but I think you get the point. By exercising you will create a better you, and you will also be around to enjoy your life longer. So next time you think, hmmm, should I have this piece of cake, and then someone says, c'mon live is too short, you need to enjoy it, then just say "Well, my life will be short if I eat that cake!" Take control of your life. Bring it and Deep Deeper. Decide. Commit. Succeed.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Insanity Fit Test Number 2 Results

Today I did Insanity Fit Test Number 2, and I am really happy with my results so far! I've been very diligent and dedicated to Insanity, and I love how you get to push yourself as hard as you can. I also did Cardio Abs after the fit test, just do get a little more workout in, and I love abs! I have also been doing P90X Back and Biceps on the Cardio recovery day, because Insanity does not work the back and biceps, so I want to keep those muscles activated. Insanity does have plenty of push ups, tricep and shoulder work. I am also going to order the Insanity deluxe upgrade soon, which will be some more great workouts to add to my collection! Even though I really like Insanity, I will probably only do it for another week. The reason for this is that track season starts on January 19th for me, and doing Insanity and killer track workouts is not the best idea! That would be way too much cardio and I do not think I would recover well. I would also probably loose a lot of muscle if I did Insanity during track season. I am in a way disappointed about this, but I am going to continue to add more muscle and get stronger with P90X. I will probably still add in one or two Insanity workouts a week though, just because I love it so much! I will definitely do a full round of Insanity after track season is over in April. Remember to DIG DEEPER AND BRING IT!

Fit Test Results, Day 1 vs. Day 15

Switch Kicks - 68/70
Power Jacks - 47/53
Power Knees - 95/103
Power Jumps - 43/52
Globe Jumps - 11/11.5
Suicide Jumps - 20/21
Push-Up Jacks - 31/33
Low Plank Oblique - 60/70

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 New Year Goals

Well, the New Year is finally here! Every year when this time comes around people are always making new year resolutions and goals, but sadly most of them are never followed through with. Most people always say that they will "finally" loose weight this year, but they may try for a week or two but then fall off course and give up. A big problem for this is that they do not have much motivation or goals in mind. You need to have a schedule and program to follow to help you stay motivated, which is where Beachbody comes into play. All of Beachbody's fitness programs have a specific and proven to work schedule and diet guide to help you reach your fitness goals. But remember, your fitness resolution is not just a 90 or 60 day plan, it is a lifestyle. Two many people are focused on doing a program such as P90X or going to a gym to loose 20 pounds, but what happens after that? People will often be motivated during a new fitness regimen, but after they have completed it you could loose motivation and not want to start back up again. But this is not what a healthy lifestyle is about. For a healthy lifestyle you need to be working out 5-7 times a week, eating 5-6 small meals a day, and get 8 hours of sleep every night. By doing this throughout your life, you will feel stronger, more energetic, and healthier. You will also be less vulnerable to illness and injury, and who doesn't want to have that? And of course there is also the benefit of looking ripped, toned, and sexy, but all of those are secondary and just "icing on the cake" to the other benefits of fitness. So if you are new to fitness and exercise, start off by setting goals for yourself and creating a workout schedule and diet plan. You can find tremendous help at TeamBeachbody on the message boards, at my coach Josh's website, on Youtube, or by emailing me at For a fitness and healthy lifestyle to work well, you need to be motivated and enjoy what you are doing. So find the right workout program that works for you, whether running in your neighborhood, going to a gym, or doing a Beachbody program. But DO SOMETHING! Just show up to workout and you are on a way to a better, stronger, and healthier you.

Now I would like to share with you my 2010 fitness goals.

1) Be able to do 20 pull ups. I can currently do 16.

2) Be able to do 60 push ups. I can currently do 40.

3) Be able to run under a 5 minute mile! My fastest so far is 5:28

4) Be able to run under a 18 minute 5k. My fastest so far is 19:22

5) Weigh 145 pounds with 6% body fat by the end of the year. I'm currently 127 pounds with 9% body fat.

6) I want be able to do every Insanity workout without any extra rest, and continue to push myself harder and DIG DEEPER!

7) Continue to get in better and better shape, stronger, healthier, and be a role model to others.

God Bless and have a fantastic New Year in 2010!

Rush Hemphill

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Foods to eat for Intense Exercise for Maximum Athletic Performance

With any intense exercise program or sports, such as P90X, Insanity, Football, Basketball, Soccer, Running, Swimming, Circuit Training, Weightlifting, or HIIT, it is important to eat the right food to fuel your body. Without the right food, you will not be able to perform at your highest level, causing you not to achieve the results you want as quickly or causing you to loose your game due to a lack of energy. If you are an athlete like myself, it is very important to eat the right foods through out the day, before your sports event/exercise, and afterwards. When I am in track and cross country season, I really have to make sure I am eating enough, especially since I would do P90X as well. During this time I require about 3500 calories a day. However, I can not just go and eat what ever I want. I have to fuel myself correctly so I can recover and come back stronger and prepared for the next workout. This aspect is the same for anyone. You may not be doing two intense workouts a day and do not need a ton of calories, but the calories you do eat need to be nutritious to fuel you body. Each food you eat has a specific purpose, whether for hydrating, muscle repair and growth, preventing muscle cramping, or to replace nutrients lost while exercising. Empty calories such as soda, alcohol, and junk food have not purpose hear, so they should be avoided. Also, you can not be on a "diet" while doing very intense exercise. This can cause your body to go into starvation mode, and you will not make any gains and can become sick. It is also important to eat plenty of complex carbohydrates. You can not be on a high protein, low carb diet during this time. You would run out of energy and you muscles would not recover quick enough. It is also very important to drink plenty of water. This keeps your body functioning properly and regulated. I suggest drinking at least 12 cups of water a day. Here are some healthy foods to maximize your athletic performance.

1) Eggs - Muscle Building, Immunity, Vision
One egg provides more than 6 grams of protein and 78 calories. They contain A and B vitamins to enhance immunity, nerve response, and vision. I personally eat 2 eggs almost every morning with my breakfast. Healthy ways to cook eggs include boiling, microwaving, and cooking in a pan with cooking spray.

2) Waffles/Pancakes - Cardio Fuel
Waffles are great breakfast choice if you are going to be running in the morning, since eggs can turn stomachs. They provide carbs for quick energy, and make a nice "plate" for fruit. You can top waffles with fruit and nuts, to sneak in important vitamins and more protein. Also make sure you use whole wheat flour and avoid syrup.

3) Fruit - Hydration
Fruit is one of the most important components of one's diet because it helps you stay hydrated in the heat, while providing a great source of carbohydrates, potassium, fiber, and no fat. Smoothies are a great way to get your fruit intake. This is how I personally have most of my fruit. A great smoothie can include a banana, frozen fruit, skim milk or natural fruit juice, and whey protein powder. This can make a great meal!

4) Milk – Strong Bones, Muscle Contraction
Milk is good for the obvious reason of building strong bones through calcium, milk also assists in muscle contraction through high magnesium and potassium content, which can control nerve function and prevent muscle cramping. That means less twitching at night when you are trying to fall asleep after a hard day of training/exercise. You can use milk in smoothies and oatmeal, which adds more texture than if you just used water.

5) Chicken Breast – Lean Muscle, Energy, MemoryIf you want to gain lean muscle mass, eat lean muscle mass. Grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast, is one of the easiest elements of any meal. One serving (about 3 oz.) is only 142 calories, yet it provides close to 27 g of protein, and only 3 grams of fat. It helps athletes retain muscle mass and is a good source of B vitamins, which provide energy and aid in memory, which is important for players needing to memorize the playbook.

6) Fish - Anti-inflammation, Muscle Repair, Immune Function
Swordfish, tuna, salmon, and halibut are same of the best and well know fish. Omega-3fatty acids in fish can help your body recover faster from the wear and tear of strenuous exercise. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids help muscles repair faster and improve immune function. Never eat fried fish, always grill, bake, or broil.

7) Vegetables – Hydration, Muscle Repair
Like fruit, vegetables are a staple food group for replacing water lost through sweat. Plant sterols also aid in muscle repair. Yo can eat them by flavoring them using low-fat marinades like balsamic vinaigrette, or olive oil with garlic and onion. Broiling, roasting, or grilling are the easiest ways to cook vegetables to retain the flavor.

8) Pasta and Rice – Energy, Speed Recovery
Whole-grain pasta and rice play a huge part in team diets because they're easy to prepare for large groups and they provide excellent sources of carbohydrates to give energy for exercise and speed recovery afterward. Stir-frys are one of the easiest and tastiest ways to eat whole-grain products, vegetables, and protein sources in one dish.

9) Sports Drinks/Water – Hydration, Prevent Muscle Cramping
Athletes often drink Gatorade on the field. Staying hydrated is a key issue for all teams, especially with heat. Athletes lose pounds of body weight through sweat, and sports drinks replace lost sodium and electrolytes, which are crucial to avoid muscle cramping. Personally, I would recommend to avoid Gatorade, unless you are on a sports team such as football or soccer, then Gatorade could be beneficial. I recommend sticking to water, and after your intense exercise session you should refuel with the P90X Results and Recovery Drink. It is also important to know your sweat rate. Before exercise, weigh yourself. Afterward, get back on the scale, and determine how much water was lost by the difference between your before and after weights. In one hour, an athlete can lose up to two liters of sweat. Hydrate by drinking 1-to-1.5 times the weight lost in fluid ounces.

10) Sodium-Rich Foods – Retain Water, Prevent Muscle Cramping
If you're working out and losing a lot of fluids, it's a good idea to include more sodium-rich foods to help you retain water and avoid muscle cramping. Pickles, salted nuts, and pretzels are all great sodium-rich foods, as well as soup. Broth-based soups hydrate you through the liquid base and added vegetables.

Keep in mind, not everyone should be consuming sodium-rich foods, sports drinks, or have a high carb diet. These recommendations are only for you if you are involved in intense daily exercise or team sports. But remember, the most important thing is that you do workout and are committed to a better you. Even it is just a beginner program like Power 90, Turbo Jam, Slim in 6, Hip Hop Abs, or just even starting to run or jog around your neighborhood. Your results come from 20% workouts and 80% diet, so make sure your diet is tuned to meet your needs and goals. By doing so you will achieve fast results and stay motivated! If you are truly ready to change your life and get into the best shape of your life, then you need to be willing to commit yourself to the diet as well as the workouts.

Have a fantastic 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Insanity Fitness Challenge

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday and enjoyed themselves! During this new year you should be thinking about your goals for your fitness and where you want to improve. For Christmas, I got Shaun T's Insanity!!! I have really wanted this program since it first came out, and I am so happy I finally have it! I did receive the preview of Insanity from Tony Horton One on One, Plyometric Cardio Circuit, which I have done over 20 times, and it never gets easy! So my plan for the New Year is to do a round of Insanity, with some added in weight training. I can't wait to see what Insanity will do for my fitness! I really want it to get me in supreme shape for track season this year. So far I have done the Fit Test and Plyometric Cardio Circuit. Tomorrow I have Cardio Power and Resistance, which I'm really excited about because it is a completely new workout for me! It is always important for you to have a fitness challenge to keep yourself motivated. You will also see great results if you are committed and really challenge and push yourself, which is what I plan to do with Insanity.

Day 1 Insanity, Fit Test Number 1

Switch Kicks-68
Power Jacks-47
Power Knees-95
Power Jumps-43
Globe Jumps-11
Suicide Jumps-20
Push-Up Jacks-31
Low Plank Oblique-60