Moving to a New Site- CoachTerryG.com


before afterI have thought long and hard for a while about separating my personal and professional blogs. For a few different reasons, the time has finally come to do so.

So as of today, I am proud to announce that I have migrated my fitness posts to a new site dedicated to posts concerning fitness and exercise.

If you came to this site looking for information on diet, exercise, fitness or any of the numerous programs offered by Beachbody, you can now find all of those posts at www.CoachTerryG.com 

When I initially began coaching through Beachbody, it was convenient to simply use my personal blog to post about my journey towards fitness. I had already posted much of my transformation here, and it was easy to continue to do so.

What I should have done then, and what I have done now, is to create a separate site, dedicated to posting only about fitness advice and my experiences.

I will continue to use this blog space to post about whatever pops into my head, as it was originally meant for and as the title implies. If you came here looking for fitness and exercise information, please direct your browser to www.coachterryg.com.

 

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Ramping Back Up

I have been working hard since New Year’s with a P90X2/Asylum hybrid of my own design, however it is time to get back into it full-bore.

Starting tomorrow I am joining in a challenge group with a bunch of crazies who are tackling a P90X2/Asylum (of Asylum Vol. 2 depending on what people have) hybrid that is going to be INSANE.

It has been about six months since I have joined a challenge group like this and I am very much looking forward to the daily accountability that a challenge group provides.

I have mentioned here before how the one downside of working out at home is that you are really only accountable to yourself. Therefore, if you are one of those people who finds themselves making excuses or talking yourself out of a workout, it helps to have the support of a group (ours is on Facebook) that can keep you accountable and motivated.

Prior to joining the Facebook group, I would get through my workouts, but often wasn’t challenging myself to push harder. With daily challenges for specific moves and the support of the group, taking it easy really isn’t an option.

I have also decided to go (almost) supplement free for this challenge. I say almost because I am going to continue to drink my Shakeology daily, along with a scoop of whey protein and maybe a pre-workout drink. Aside from that, there will be no additional supplementation. That means no creatine, BCAAs, nothing. I am interested to see how my body responds to the challenging schedule along with work and everything else.

I plan on taking “Before” pictures this week (something I haven’t done since I completed Body Beast in October).

I turn 30 next Saturday and have been thinking a lot about what that means and how far I have come even from a few years ago. I began my P90X weight loss journey on March 15th of 2010, so we are rapidly approaching my three-year anniversary. It is really hard to fathom at times how far I have progressed from those early days of squeaking out three or four pull-ups with my foot on a chair doing Chest and Back.

If you own P90X2 and either Insanity: the Asylum or Asylum vol. 2, and are interested in joining us, you can check out the proposed schedule HERE and join our Facebook group by sending me a message on Facebook or through email.

Body Beast Results/Review

I have neglected putting this post up for far too long.

I finished my 90 days of Body Beast back on November 6th and have been meaning to get this posted since, but have failed to… Until now.

I want to start by saying that overall, I think Body Beast is a tremendously effective program. Looking back on my results, and seeing how my body has regressed, even in the week or so since I finished, it is clear to me that Body Beast is truly an effective program, and one that I am going to continue to mix into my regular workout regime (more on this later).

If you have read any of my previous reviews of the program, you will note that I was somewhat turned off by the tenor of the workouts themselves (Here, Here, Here, Here, Here). There is definitely an air of “Meat-Headiness” to the program that I could do without. Listening to Sagi refer to himself in the third person as “The Beast” (is that fourth-person?” gets old really quickly. Many of the people who I did the program with resorted to turning the volume down or turning their own music up. I did this as well and it worked. The pace of many of the workouts is very fast, so with the sound off, it can be hard to keep up with what they are doing.

Body Beast incorporates a training system called “Dynamic Set Training”. What this basically refers to is the use of many different types of sets to achieve muscle fatigue. Whatever Sagi chooses to call it, it works. I have never been as sore as I was after my first few weeks of this program. Not even back when I first started P90X in March of ’11 and I had to skip workouts the first week because I was so sore.

On the whole, I think this is a worthwhile program for anyone who is looking to build muscle. I had pretty strict dietary goals that I set for myself. I did not want to gain any mass, so I did not follow the Beast diet guide, but instead chose to eat a 1900 calorie fat shredder diet for the majority of the 90 days. I was just not that interested in gaining muscle at the cost of putting on body fat. It wasn’t my goal. I can see how it would be easy to gain 5-10 lbs of muscle doing this program if you followed the suggested nutrition.

I didn’t take actual “Day 90” photos, so I have included pics of my in my Halloween costume, which fell right about 90 days. All in all, I am really happy with the results. I am two weeks into a P90X2/Insanity Hybrid, and I am already missing some of the heavy-lifting from the Beast.

Day 1:

Day 30:

Day 90:

 

Feel free to use the comment section for additional info on this or any Beachbody program.

Body Beast-Day 30

I have wrapped up my first month of Body Beast and was pleasantly surprised by the results. The program is mostly focused on heavy lifting and body building techniques. There is very little “cardio” (I use quotes, because contrary to popular belief, any physical activity that elevates your heart rate is technically “cardio” but when most people think of cardio, they assume it means running, biking, or Insanity) in the program. I am following the Lean Beast calendar, which does include the Beast Cardio routine.

So far, I like the program, I do not love it. I am a P90X devotee. It is not just the workouts themselves. It is Tony, the routines and the overall feel of the disks that I enjoy so much. When in doubt, until something comes along that proves to be better in my mind, I will always revert to P90X.

Unlike THIS GUY, I think P90X is more than a cleverly designed program designed to get me to buy Shakeology.

But back to Body Beast… I am in the middle of the second phase of the program. The workouts are shorter (30 minutes on average) and each targets one specific muscle group. For instance, yesterday was Bulk Chest, and every move was designed to work my chest. Unlike P90X, where opposing muscle groups are worked on the same day (chest and back etc.). The shorter workouts are nice from a timing standpoint. But for someone who has done 60+ minute workouts every day for a year and a half, it just doesn’t feel like it is enough. I am sore this morning, and this is my third time through the Bulk Phase workouts, so they definitely work. I have upped my weights in almost ever move, and am sore the following day, so I know something is working.

I have stated before that my goal is not to add a ton of muscle mass. I was about 184 when I started back in August, and if I finish within 2 pounds plus or minus, I am completely happy with that. I weighed in at 183 the other day, but my weight fluctuates so much day-to-day and hour to hour, that I don’t put much stock in what the scale says.

I am back on a 1900 calorie Fat Shredder Diet. The Body Beast guide-book calls for a very different diet, but that is geared more towards people looking to gain mass. I am still looking to cut body fat, therefore I am not following the Body Beast guide-book at this time.

As a reminder, this was me four years ago at 235:

This was me at about 183 before Body Beast:

 

And my Day 30 pictures:

I have definitely gotten “bigger”. I haven’t gained any weight (by design) but my shoulders, chest, arms, neck and back are clearly bigger than they were.

This week I have transitioned to afternoon workouts. I have been a morning guy since I started P90X. But I am at a new school this year and have to be there earlier than I did last year. I don’t like feeling rushed in the morning. I have also added in some Insanity this week. Not necessarily because I think I need it, but because I like it.

I am excited to see what Day 60 and 90 look like.

Making Up Ground

One of the real hurdles for me as I worked to lose weight and get my body to a place where I am happy with it was getting out of the “Working out to make up for bad habits” mentality.

One of the first questions people invariably ask me when I tell them that I used P90X or Insanity and it worked for me is “Did you follow the diet guide?” The reason I think so many people ask this is because what they are hoping is that they will be able to maintain their crappy eating habits, improve their workout regiment and get the results that they are hoping for. The reality is, yes you can lose some weight if you work out with P90X, Insanity or any other workout program and continue to eat crap food. Check out my original P90X Results Video, I didn’t follow the diet guide, and I lost 25 pounds. I also worked out two, sometimes three times a day to achieve the results I did to make up for the fact that I wasn’t following any sort of nutrition plan.

It wasn’t until I got my nutrition in order, and started drinking Shakeology daily, that I really started to see the kind of results that I was looking for. If you compare the results from my initial 90 days to my P90X2 Results video and you will see the dramatic impact that nutrition has played in getting where I want to be.

What I had to change was the way I thought about working out as a means to make up for poor diet. I would eat like crap one day, or have a bad dinner (pizza anyone?) and then punish myself with a hard workout the following day, or an extra workout to “make up for it” then repeat this process three or four times a week. The problem with approach (aside from it not being a sustainable and or healthy way to handle diet and exercise) is that it is impossible to ever make progress. It is a constant cycle of one step forward and two steps back.

If you are trying to lose weight, as I was when I was pushing the scale at about 235, it is imperative that you address both the exercise and nutrition aspects. In my experience, doing one and not the other is a recipe for getting stuck in a rut.

If you are looking for ideas about how to improve your diet and or workouts, check out the links I have posted under the tabs at the top of this website. This is a system that has worked for me in achieving my goals.

Getting Started

Monday marked the beginning of another 90 day journey for me.Last week was the end of my P90X2/Asylum hybrid. I didn’t take official “Day 90” pictures because we were in Cape Cod, but as you can see from the pictures in that post, the results were good. This is off topic, but I forgot to mention it in the Cape Cod post earlier this week. I we camped on an electric site, so I brought my blender, Shakeology, and three tubs of protein (which apparently was an issue for Danielle, and Avi when one fell on her head in the car). I had about two scoops of Greenberry Shakeology in a Tupperware container. After the third night in a row of raccoons stealing our bread, I put everything away before bed, except my small Tupperware of Shakeology. There are now a couple of super healthy raccoons running around Provincetown.

Back to the point of this post. On Monday I started Body Beast, which is a new program from BeachBody, the makers of P90X, Insanity etc. Body Beast focuses on building muscle and is more of a straight weight lifting program than Insanity or P90X2. It is somewhat similar to P90X, but I am finding it to be way more challenging. With the start of the new program (which I will have a week 1 review of up later this week) I got thinking about some of the things that go into getting started and what I have learned over the course of the last 18 months about doing at-home workout programs. These are, in my opinion, the keys to being successful with any 60 or 90 day at home workout.

Set your goals

What are you hoping to accomplish? When I first started P90X, my goal was just to get through it. I didn’t have a clear goal in mind. I was hoping to get down from 235 to 225 (a goal that I surpassed). I think that because I didn’t have a clearly defined goal, my results were less than they could have been. If you are looking to lose fat, gain muscle, get in better shape, dunk a basketball, or whatever, you have to clearly define it if you are to know how to go about doing it. It is very difficult to cut body fat and build muscle simultaneously. My suggestion is to focus on fat loss first, then when your body fat percentage is where you want it, adjust your diet to build muscle and run at a calorie surplus.

Set your nutritional goals

If losing fat is your goal, then you have to run a calorie deficit. You can use any number of online tools to calculate your body’s daily caloric needs. Once you know what your body needs in a day, you can decide what you are going to put into it each day. I suggest using the Fat Shredder diets listed under the Diet tabs at the top of this page. Get set up with MyFitnessPal, or a similar food tracking app. I got lazy with tracking my food this summer. Starting this week, I am tracking everything again. I am eating 2000 calories a day, 40% Protein, 40% Carbs, 20% Fat. MyFitnessPal does all the math for me, and also includes a pie chart to help me know where I am at for the day. If you are not tracking your food, you are not going to be honest with yourself about what you are consuming, and you are not going to be able to reach your goals. Period. It is in my opinion the greatest key to my success. One of the first questions I get asked is “did you follow the diet guide”, and the answer is yes, I follow the diet guide. But instead of trying to calculate it all myself, as the diet guides would have me do, I let the app and website do it for me.

My goal for Body Beast is to gain some muscle mass while continuing to cut body fat. So I upped my calories a bit (from 1900-2000) so that my body will have the fuel it needs to build muscle. I am not looking to get huge, so I am not eating to get huge. The diet is the key to the results.

Take Day 1 pictures

I famously skipped this step in my first round of P90X, which is why I have to resort to using the pictures from Cape Cod in 2008. Those are the closest approximation to how I looked last March that I have. I think I got camera shy because of how I looked. It does make for a cool comparison shot between then and now. You don’t have to show anyone but yourself, but you will want a record of your progress.

Select the program that works for you

I use BeachBody programs because they have worked really well for me. If TapouT XT is your thing do it. If you are looking for cardio and want to cut fat, Insanity is awesome for it. If you want to improve sports performance, Insanity: The Asylum is fantastic. Everyone pretty much knows what P90X is. I love it, it works. P90X2 takes P90X to a whole new level. Each program offers something different. I have done them all, and each is great in its own way. If you have done one and are ready for something new, there are great hybrid schedules available at TeamRIPPED.com

Make yourself accountable

When I started P90X, I signed up for a free account with Team BeachBody, went to the message boards, and found a group of people who all started P90X around the same day as me. It was awesome to have people to talk to every day that were experiencing the same things I was. Because it is anonymous, I didn’t feel stupid sharing the challenges I was facing. It was through this group that I learned about TeamRIPPED. If you are interested in something like this, you can follow the Join My Team link on the right side of this site and I can connect you with any number of TeamRIPPED Facebook groups. I am currently in two Facebook groups, one for veterans of X2/Asylum, and one for people currently doing Body Beast. The awesome part of the Body Beast group is that Sagi Kalev, the Tony Horton of Body Beast is a member of the group and posts advice and support. By signing up for a Team Beachbody account, you will have access to the message boards, which is where I built my foundation of knowledge.

Decide what supplements you are going to use

I have used a ton of different supplements. I like to try new things and get bored with the same thing after a while. One supplement that I take every day is Shakeology. I believe in the hype. The stuff is amazing and is the foundation of my daily nutrition. I also take a pre-workout almost every day. I take BeachBody’s Energy and Endurance right now for a pre-workout. I am also a huge fan of post-workout drinks. My favorite to date is Results and Recovery formula. If you are going to workout hard every day, you are most likely going to need to supplement your diet in order to maximize your results. I didn’t start using all of these things at once. I tried one, then added another until I found a combination that I found to work.

Stick with it

My first week of P90X, I missed two workouts because I was so sore I couldn’t move. I doubled up workouts at the end of my first week to catch up and didn’t miss another workout for 90 days. There are going to be times when it gets tough. Things are going to come up that get in the way. You are going to get sick, your kids are going to get sick. My suggestion is to keep pushing play. Once you build up momentum, it only takes a day or two to undo it. Stick with it. The results will be there in the end if you stick with the diet and exercise. If you cheat by skipping workouts or eating like crap on the weekends, you will not have the same level of success. Period.

I am excited to see what the next 90 days will bring. If you are interested in getting connected with the message boards, or any of the TeamRIPPED Facebook groups to support you through your journey, let me know.

 

I took the picture on the left four years ago in Cape Cod when Avi was 11 months old. I was weighing somewhere around 225. The picture on the right is me and Avi (she turned 5 two weeks ago) on the same beach four years later. I weigh 184 and am in the best shape of my entire life. I didn’t look like this in high school. I didn’t look like this in college. I look like this because I followed the steps I listed above and pushed play every day.

Negativity

I have undergone a pretty dramatic transformation in the last year and three months.

In March of 2011 I was 235 pounds, unhappy, and generally feeling like crap. I committed to P90X and lost 25 pounds in the first three months. Three months later I was down another 10. Three months after that, 10 more. 15 months later, I am 180 pounds, sub-10 body fat percentage. I feel great. I have more energy. I am a better person, a better father, and an all around healthier human being.

I have completely changed the way I approach nutrition and fitness. I eat well. I eat as much unprocessed, whole foods as possible. I try to make conscientious decisions every time I am in the grocery store or open the refrigerator or pantry. I have decided to commit to drinking Shakeology every day, because based on the research, there is no one food item that I can ingest that will give me the same level of nutrition. I have chosen to spend my money there instead of on the myriad of other unhealthy things I would have in the past.

But beyond the diet and exercise stuff, my entire outlook on the world has changed. Where I was tense and negative in the past (my fantasy baseball team name is “The Judge” for a reason) I have tried to become more patient and thoughtful. I have tried to enjoy the little moments with my family that in the past I would have maybe missed. I have learned to enjoy the journey.

Having undergone this transformation, and feeling a desire to share what I have learned with others has led me write about it here. So earlier this week, when I was told that someone blocked me from their news feed on Facebook because they were “sick of hearing about Shakeology”, I was really upset. I was even more upset when that person apparently said, I don’t know what it is, but I’m sick of hearing about (google is an amazing tool).

Hearing this has led me to really reflect on what I have shared here and why. I had to ask myself why I write about this stuff, why do I share it with anyone. My immediate reaction was to feel like I should stop. That this one person’s opinion was reflective of the opinions of everyone on the internet and no one wants to read it.

The longer I thought about, the less I felt this way. I went for a run last night to clear my head (this has been bothering me for a few days now). On my run I realized that the emails that I get from total strangers and old friends alike are proof that someone is reading and cares what I have to say, regardless of opinions to the contrary.

I share these things because when I was 235 pounds and feeling like absolute crap about myself and the world, I stumbled upon a website where the person was sharing their experience with P90X and Shakeology, how to eat right, how to get the most out of the workouts, how to get results, and it changed my life. What if I had found that earlier? What if I had a Facebook friend who had done that, and I could follow their journey and change my life? How many days, weeks, months and years of my life did I waste living overweight and unhappy because I lacked guidance and motivation?

I have always disliked an “ignore the haters, because they are always going to hate” mentality, because I think it is important for people to listen to, and reflect on criticism. That being said, I am going to continue to write about P90X, I am going to continue to share my experience with Beachbody programs and supplements (including Shakeology) because these things have worked for me (and literally hundreds of thousands of others).

I appreciate the criticism, I think it is important. However, I wish this person had emailed me and said “hey, I see you posting about Shakeology a lot, what is it?” instead of blocking from their news feed.  I can’t help somebody if they don’t ask.