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

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Results from one year of P90X

I am finally posting my progress picture from P90X! I have come a long way the past year when I started P90X on December 1, 2008. I have religiously done P90X since then and never plan on stopping! I love how I feel from working at and what it does for my body.

Summer 2008- Here is how I looked the summer before I started P90X. I was fit and had a strong core, but not much muscle mass. I could do 50 push ups and weighed around 112 pounds. This is also probably the lowest body fat I have ever had in this picture as well, I'm guessing around 5%.

Fall 2008- This is about a month before I started P90X. I'm running a cross country race, and due to cross country I think I lost some upper body mass from all the running.

Day 30 Pictures- From 30 days of P90X I didn't gain much muscle, but I got more definition, especially in my back which I have never had until now. My abs are also starting to pop more. I could do 40 push ups and 8 pull ups.

Round 2 Day 75- I did not take pictures for a while. These are from May 2009. I have gotten stronger, but still only weigh around 116 pounds here. My abs have gotten stronger as well. I could do 14 pull ups and 40 push ups.

Summer 2009- I am at the beach with my two brothers, Garret and Chad (Youngest). Garret plays quarterback and is a beast. He weighs as much as me, and is two years younger and 4 inches shorter than me, lol. However he has a football body and I have a runner body, so I don't worry about it.

Fall 2009- Here are some cross country pictures from this past season. You can definitely notice the difference in my build from the past year of cross country. I finally gained weight over the summer and weigh 125 pounds. My chest, arms and legs have more mass, and my body fat has remained the same.

Last one was before the race, check out that bicep!

December 24th, 2009- Finally took current transformation pictures. I weigh 127 pounds, can currently do 16 pull ups and 40 push ups, and can curl 30 pound dumbbells for 8 reps, and when I first started think I could barley curl 8 reps with 20 pound weights. I'm not quite as lean as I used to be, but I'm still under 10% and I'm a lot stronger.

Anyone can achieve great results from their workout program. If you want great results though, you have to stick with your program and workout 5-7 days a week, and stick to your diet. You also need to push yourself during your workouts and try to out due what you did the previous time. This is how you make improvements and see results in your strength and endurance. It is also important to stay motivated! Get a workout partner or someone who will encourage you through your fitness journey and help you stick to your diet. I am also always here for encouragement, motivation, or any fitness questions! Remember, fitness is not a 90 day ordeal, it is a lifestyle.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is often considered not much of a workout and a waste of time, but it is really one of the most important workouts you can do. Yoga has many benefits for your body, both physically and mentally. Men often especially hate yoga because believe it is only for women. People also dislike yoga because it's too long, boring, and However, doing yoga is very important for anyone involved in fitness.

When I first started P90X, I was not excited at all about doing an hour and a half of Yoga X from P90X. I wanted to do a hardcore cardio workout like I had been doing my whole cross country season, not some silly stretching routine. However, after doing my first yoga workout ever, I realized that it was not easy as I suspected, and it gave me a good sweat and felt refreshed and energized afterwards. I also remember my dad doing yoga with me, and he was sweating buckets, he even had to go change his shirt half way through! Through the course of doing P90X I have come to love yoga and it has greatly improved my fitness. Yoga is also very important for me because I am a runner. Yoga greatly helps me avoiding injury and staying flexible for running. So what are all the benefits of doing yoga?

1) Increases flexibility. I have always been pretty flexible, but yoga has greatly increased it for me. When I first started I could touch my toes while keeping my legs straight, but now I can bring my head to my knees! Being flexible also reduces the chance of injury and always you to perform better in other workouts.

2) Muscle Toning. By doing yoga you are supporting own body weight in the moves. This increases strength, which helps tone your muscles.

3) Increases core strength. Yoga requires a strong core to hold a lot of the positions and stances, such as downward and upward dog, plank poses, and chair pose. You may not have a great core at first, but it will improve as you keep doing yoga. Core strength is also very important in sports.

4) Better Balance. In yoga you are often in positions on only one leg, which requires good balance. Also a lot of the lunge positions need balance because you are holding them for up to a minute. Balance is important in many sports such as gymnastics and dancing.

5) Better Posture. Yoga helps give you a strong and good posture. This helps keep you body in line and allow you to stand and sit taller. Also better posture will increase your awarness.

6) Increases internal lubrication. Yoga helps lubricate joints, ligaments, and tendons. Holding all of those positions requires certain muscles to work together. This helps cleanse your body and allow you to function better in physical activities.

7) Massaging of internal organs. By doing yoga you are massaging your internal organs and glands, which hardly ever get stimulated. The massaging of these body parts helps one to avoid diseases and helps you function better internally.

8) Refreshed. After a yoga workout, I always feel like a new person. You body has been "cleansed" and massaged. Blood has been flowing throughout your body, which helps flush out any unneeded toxins. This can delay aging and make anyone feel young and limber.

9) Breathing. Yoga requires deep, controlled, and mindful breathing. This increases your lung capacity wich improves endurance and performance. This is especially important for me while running.

I have noticed all of these benefits from doing yoga. But how often should you do yoga? I recommend doing a yoga workout at least once a week. I often try to get two in a week, but with a busy schedule it is often hard to get even a hour and a half Yoga X workout in. That is why there are also the Fountain of Youth Yoga (48 minutes) and Patience Yoga (40 minutes) from the One on One with Tony Horton workouts. These two yoga workouts are great if you are short on time or just don't enjoy doing an hour and a half of yoga. I have all three of these and enjoy them all. I will typically do Yoga X on Sunday, which is my off day, but I don't going a day without working out, so I do yoga. Tony Horton often also works out 7 days a week, using yoga as a recovery workout/day. I also try to do Fountain of Youth Yoga on Thursday evening, after have doing Interval X from P90X Plus in the morning. Yoga has greatly benefited me, especially through my running. A lot of my teammates are jealous of my flexibility, and I also have one of the best running forms on my team thanks to yoga! Now that you know the importance of doing yoga, make sure to not skip it even if you hate it! Yoga can also be used as a time to clear your mind of all worries and stress, which is very much need in today's society. Decide, Commit, Succeed.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

P90X: My Current Schedule and thoughts

I am currently in my 4th round of P90X. Even after doing P90X for a year, I can still get sore from the workouts! This proves how great a well designed fitness program P90X is. P90X can get you ripped or toned, stronger, more flexible, and your endurance wil improve some as well. Every workout has a specific purpose for your body, whether it being a weight workout, cardio, or yoga/stretch. I'm sure everyone has seen bodybuilders and people who lift weights all the time. Ya, sure they are ripped and super strong, but how is their overall fitness? I bet most of them are not that flexible and would have a hard time running a mile. When you see these bodybuilders, all that muscle is just for show, it's not functional. P90X is such a great program because it makes your body more functional for everyday life, whether being an athlete or the everyday mom. P90X uses functional weight lifting routines and body weight excercises like push ups, pull ups, dips, and leg exercises, which also improve muscular endurance, not just strenght. Also, the "muscle confusion" of P90X prevents plateaus and you can continue to see great results in your body. The cardios from P90X also involve leg endurance, like Plyometrics, and balance and core strenght like Kenpo X. The workout Core Synergistics, combines both weights and cardio, making it a great full body and muscular endurance workout. One of the most important parts of P90X is yoga. Yoga improves flexibilty, balance, and breathing, which helps during cardios. It also makes your muscles funtional, so that it is not just for "show".

My typical workout schedule:

Monday - P90X Chest and Back or Chest, Shoulders, and Ttriceps. Killer Abs from One on One with Tony Horton.

Tueday - P90X Plyometrics

Wednesday - P90X Shoulders and Arms or Back and Biceps. 12/20 Abs from One on One with Tony Horton

Thursday - P90X Plus Interval X. The Fountain of Youth Yoga from One On One with Tony Horton (PM)

Friday - P90X Legs and Back. Killer Abs

Saturday - Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Sunday - P90X Yoga X

I usually workout at 5:30 A.M. before school, unless it is the weekend or the holidays! This is what works best for me, but you should workout whenever you have the time and you feel you are able to push yourself the best. I also like to use differnt ab rountines sometimes to confuse the abs. I don't usually have a day off, I like doing Yoga, which a consider as more of a recovery workout. It does not affect me by not having a day off, but remember that I am 16 and am an athlete, so I can recover fast. If you are just begging your fitness program, it is important to have a day of to let yourslef heal and recover, or you could do X Stretch. Always listen to your body, and if you need a day off, take it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


It is important to remember that having the right diet is going to bring the results you want to see along your fitness journey. Whether it be a beachbody program, gym workouts, or running, you have to have a healthy diet if you want to see physical changes in your body. Sure, even if you don't follow a diet plan you will become stronger, have more endurance, and feel good, but your diet will help you lean out and become stronger quicker, as well as feeling energized. Your diet is 80% of your results in fitness. If you are doing a program like P90X or Insanity, it is especially important to fuel yourself with the right food so your can perform your best during the workouts, giving you quicker results. A programs like P90X and Insanity also will require you to fuel yourself with more food, as the workouts are more demanding, and you will probably need more complex carbs. Programs like P90, Hip Hop Abs, Slim in 6,Rev Abs, and Brazil But Lift will require you to really watch your diet if you want results. Even though these workouts are not super intense, they will work wonders if you follow their nutrition guides.

If you have just started you fitness program, no cheating! Stick to the diet for your entire first round, then maybe reward yourself with a cheat meal, not day, but then get right back on track with your diet. A person who is already super fit or athletic, or a teen like myself, can probably cheat a little more than a person who is just starting to loose weight. But if you don't have a constant diet, you are not going to feel energized and get the most out of your workouts.

Diet Guidelines:

1)Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day. This week stoke up your metabolism and help you avoid being hungry and overeating. Eating frequently can help you loose weight and you can easily control how much you are eating.

2)Always eat breakfast. You body needs food after not having any fuel during the night. Include complex carbs, protein, and fruit with your breakfast. This will help energize your body for the day ahead.

2) I highly recommend having the P90X Recovery Drink after and intense workout. This will help prevent soreness and help you rec cover fast. Drink this within 30 minutes after working out, then another 30 minutes to an hour later have a healthy meal or protein shake to fuel your body.

3)"The Healthiest meal of the day", Shakeology, can be very bennifical to ones diet. It has many healthy ingredients such as vitamins and minerals, vegetables, antioxidants, enzymes, protein and essential amino acids. Shakeology also helps reduce hunger, which is great for trying to loose weight. It also promotes regularity and digestion, healthy skin, hair, and nails, and it also assists in building muscle. This is a must for any ones diet.

4)Multivitamins are important to ones diet. It would be very hard to eat all the required amount of minerals and vitamins in a days worth of food, so that's where the P90X Peak Health Formula comes into play. It gives your body all the vital nutrients it requires, which is especially important for someone who is unloved in intense exercise.

5)Try to have most of your carbs early on in the day, and avoid eating them at your last meal. Carbs give you energy which is important for working out, but you don't need carbs before you go to sleep. Avoiding carbs at night can also help with fat lose. For your last meal trying keeping to protein and vegetables.

6)Have your last meal at least 2 hours before you go to sleep. Sleeping with food in your stomach will slow digestion, increasing the possibility of not loosing fat. If you are hungry at night, have a whey or casein protein shake.

7)Limit alcohol consummation. Alcohol can greatly affect ones results, especially since they are empty calories and have no nutritional value. Limit yourself in drinking every night, and try just having a few drinks on the weekend.

If you have any other questions about diet, contact me at I am here to help!

The Begging of My Fitness

Hello fitness fanatics! I am Rush Hemphill and I want to help you get in the best shape of your life! Let me tell you how I came to be involved in fitness and being healthy. I am currently 16 years old and a sophomore in high school. I have played sports my whole life and have been pretty active. I played soccer and basketball in elementary school and baseball up to middle school, as well as football in 8th grade. I have done Villari's Shalin Kenpo Karate since 5th grade and I am currently and 2nd Degree Brown Belt. Baseball has always been my favorite team sport, but once I started track in 7th grade my eyes were opened! However let me tell you even though I played sports, I was not in the best shape, and always had that mind set that I want to be as fast as some of my friends and have a six pack. I always thought to myself I will get fit tomorrow, or I will stop eating ice cream next week, but it never happened. I loved sweets! Before I started track, in P.E. we had to run the mile, and I ran 8:30 and even had to stop running for a few seconds! I felt ashamed of myself and out of shape, especially since all my good friends who played soccer were running close to 6 minute miles. That year I decided I wanted to run track, since all my friends were as well and I was hoping to get into better shape. Let me tell you, running track that year was the hardest thing I have ever done! I remember the first week a could barley walk my legs were so sore! Over the season though I saw great changes in my endurance and speed, and my body was having some good transformations. I weighed 110 pounds that year, but my weight had stayed the same throughout track, meaning I lost a lot of body fat and put on some leg muscle-sweetness. I also now had some ab definition, which was great! By the end of that year I could run a 7 minute mile and my 400m time went from 1:14 to 1:08. After track was over I was pretty disappointed, but I started working out with Power 90, which my parents had gotten a few years back. Sadly though, I started becoming too obsessed with eating and wanting to get super learn, and started starving myself and not eating enough. During that summer from not eating enough and going on sleep away camps to riding my bike a lot in my neighborhood, I went from a good looking 110 pounds to 92 pounds, yuck. I looked frail and stick like. It took me about until December after football was over to realize that I needed to change my habits. I was growing and depriving myself of the nutrition I needed. I continued to eat healthy but started eating more. I also started doing a 30 minute push up and dip routine 6 days a week. When I started I could do 40 push ups, and after 4 months of this I could do 150 strait push ups! I also had gotten back up to 110 pounds and I am guessing I was around 5% body fat, but still looked skinny because I had grown over 2 inches since last year. I also attended a conditioning class at karate 3 days a week, and right now I was in the best shape of my life, and I would continue to grow from there. Soon track started again, and I was determined to get really fast this year. By the end of the season I could run a 6:10 mile and 1:03 400m. However I had lost chest strength and could only do 60 push ups by then since track too the place of my push up routine.

After track, I started P90 again for about a month, and then I joined my high school's strength and conditioning camp for the summer. I added some good strength that summer. High school was about to start, and then one of my friends told me about the cross country team, and I totally wanted to do that! Practice was though at 6 in the morning, but I got used to it. Unfortunately I had marching band right after cross country practice (which I hated), and that prevented me from getting a good meal after running. After the season was over a could run a 19:12 5k (down from 21:00) and a 5:52 mile! I did though loose a lot of muscle, and weighed around 114 pounds. After cross country, I wanted to start P90 again, but I was curious and went to I came across P90X, and was thinking, "where has this been all my life!" I got my dad to do P90X with my, and he needed it, weighing at 227 pounds. We began on December 1, 2008. I was sore all over the first few weeks, but I could see results coming. I still was not eating enough as I should, but after 1 round I weighed 116, and but dad had gone done to 205, and he looked a lot better. My pull ups went from 6 to 12, and I could do 50 push ups. We moved on to round 2, and track season also began for me. I would do P90X at 5:30 in the morning, then have track at 4:30. I ran the mile a 800m, and I figured I should not be running the 400m since I am an endurance athlete and not so much of a sprinter. This period was hardest I have ever pushed myself. It was not as hard as my first year of track, but doing two workouts a day would wear me out. One of our workouts would be repeat 400m, and I had never done anything like this before. I believe this is one of the hardest workouts on the face of the earth. We would run 10 repeat 400m, with only a minute break in between, and I would do these around 1:15 minutes. After this workout your legs feel like jelly and your heart and lungs are spent. At district I came in 2nd place for JV mile running 5:28! I also ran a 2:22 800m. I also was could do 14 pull ups now thanks to P90X! Over this past summer I really focused on getting stronger during my 3rd round of P90X. I was eating well and getting good rest (thank goodness for no school!). I also began pre-season for cross country having practice 3 days a week in July, and then 5 days a week in August, and 4 days plus a meet each week when school started. Since cross country was in the morning, I would make time for P90X after school, and a did not do and P90X cardios during this time, doing 3 days weights, one day of hour long ab workout, and one day of yoga. By now I weighed 125 pounds! I looked thicker and felt good about myself. However, this also affected by cross country season somewhat, because I never beat my time from last year, but I definitely was in better shape then last year, it's just harder running with 10+ pounds more on your body. I did though get to run varsity this year, which was awesome. Our team finished 3rd in district and I placed 17th. I am currently on my 4th round of P90X, doing 3 days weights, 3 days cardio, and one day yoga. I am continuing to get stronger, and can do 16 pull ups! I hope I have inspired you to change your life for the better and to take care of your body and push yourself to the limits!