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.

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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- Home Stretch

I am in the Beast Phase of Body Beast, which means I can almost see the finish line. I am eager to finish the program for a number of reasons.

First, I am excited to see the changes my body has undergone from this program. I know for an absolute fact that I am bigger and stronger thanks to this program. I am lifting more weight now that I was in week 1, and have seen gains in literally every routine.

Second, I am excited to start something new. Insanity: The Asylum Vol. 2 will be released soon, and I am looking forward to giving it a shot. I will have full Body Beast before and after results up at the end of October.

Anyone looking to join a group of people killing it with Asylum Vol. 2, send me an email (terrancegilmore@gmail.com) or message me on Facebook. We have a dedicated group of workout nuts who are going to be crushing Asylum 2 together. There is nothing like the support and motivation of tackling an at-home workout with a group of people online.

Body Beast has been good, but I am ready for something new. Once again, this is why I love Beachbody. The diversity in programs that are available means I never get bored with what I am doing.

And just a quick programming update. I will have a full Shakeology update up soon, along with available samples. I started a new job last week (more on this later as well) and things have been a bit crazy. During all of this professional transition, the one thing that has been consistent has been my diet and exercise.  

 

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.

Body Beast- Build Phase Review

I completed the Build Phase of Body Beast last Saturday and I wanted to quickly comment on my thoughts on the program so far.

I mentioned a few times in previous posts that I like the workouts, but am not a huge fan of the overall vibe. The workouts themselves, as in the routines, sets, and schedule are great. I have not been sore like this since last March when I first began P90X. I am getting bigger and stronger which I am happy about.

As far as the videos go, the crew, the theme, and Sagi himself, it gets old quick. Let me try to explain it this way: I will drink anything. Any pre-workout drink, shake, or Shakeology, I will drink. So when someone tells me they hate the taste of Greenberry Shakeology, I am like “Really? I thought it was fine”. The same goes for workout DVDs. I will do any of them. I just kind of ignore Sagi and the guys in the video and do the workouts. But for some reason, if I try to just use the workout sheets and do them without the videos, I don’t enjoy it as much (I have tried this with P90X workouts before). So although I do not love the workouts, I do them and feel good when I am done.

Overall I liked the Build Phase, but now that I am into the Bulk Phase workouts (I have done three of six), I am really liking this new phase. The workouts are shorter and focus on a single body part (I have done Chest, Legs and Arms so far). Because the workouts are shorter, I have been doing a bit more cardio, running and ab workouts. I have mixed in Insanity: Cardio Abs as well as P90X2 Ab ripper and Ab Ripper X.

I have been eating a bit more, and I am not happy with how it is making me look. I am going to stick with it for a few more weeks and see how my body adjusts. I am eating about 2500 calories as 40/40/20, carbs/protein/fat using MyFitnessPal to track my diet.

Once again, I think that Body Beast is not for everyone. There is an intensity to the workouts that I think would turn some people off. It is great for building muscle, and if you adjust your diet correctly, you can lose fat while doing it as well. One of the things I love about Tony Horton in P90X and X2 is that there is a non-threatening atmosphere to the workouts that no matter how much you are struggling, whether you are just starting or are on your 5th round, makes you feel like you are not in over your head. Part of it is Tony’s motto of “Do your best and forget the rest”. The other factor is Tony himself. This is something that Body Beast does not do with its “Whatever it takes” mantra.

Body Beast Week 3

For me, I think a good mix would be a Body Beast/Insanity hybrid. I like more cardio and am not looking to get huge. I know I can adjust my diet to meet my goals, but I enjoy mixing in more cardio. The Bulk Phase is 5 weeks (I am doing the Lean Beast calendar) so I am interested to see what the results of the next four and a half weeks are.

Getting Back on Track

In the weeks following our trip to Cape Cod, I struggled to get myself back on schedule. I was wholly unmotivated and got very little done around the house.

I didn’t miss a workout and continued to stick to my diet and exercise with Body Beast. But getting out of bed and getting going with my day had been a struggle. I had gotten up before 6 am almost every day for over a year. So not being able to get up and get at it was odd for me.

This week, for whatever reason, I have been able to get back to my usual schedule of morning workouts (except today, because I couldn’t fall asleep last night). I think a big part of getting motivated to get back into a routine has been getting back to work on the deck.

I am finishing up the final touches of the deck and am really happy with how it is coming. I decided to use deck boards for the skirting around the base of the deck

I am going to stain/seal it next week. I just have a few finishing touches to apply to the hand rails and I am ostensibly done with this project. It came out better than I had hoped.

I am starting Phase II of Body Beast on Monday. I have my last Phase I workout today, Build: Shoulders. Then I am going to take three days to rest/recover. And by “Rest/Recover” I mean I am going to do Insanity and X2: Yoga. I haven’t gained any weight (actually down a little bit) by design. I am not eating enough carbs or calories to be adding weight. I am going to up my calories slightly over the next month (to 2400). I feel pretty good about how I look/feel at this point.

Beast Week 2

Avi and I are reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at night. I read her the “Kings Cross” chapter the other night from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She loved it and wanted to know what happened, so I told her we would have to start from the beginning. As I was reading it, she asked me “Daddy, why are your eyes leaking?” I said, because Daddy loves this story. I can’t wait to work through the series with her.

Success Stories

I created a new page on the site today. If you look just under the title, you will see a page entitled “Success”. I plan on using this space to spotlight my personal successes as well as those of others.

If you have assigned me as your coach, and would like me to share your story on this site, please let me know. If you have not yet signed up for an account with Team Beachbody (which is totally free) you can do so by following the “Join My Team” link on the right side of this site.

I was incredibly intimated the first time I posted “before” and “after” pictures of myself. Reading back through my blog from my first round of P90X, there are virtually no posts about my progress. I was scared to share my progress. I almost feel like I hid for three months out of fear. Even now, with over 10,000 people having viewed my YouTube video, I still get nervous about posting pictures of myself. I have found that sharing my success story with others has been both personally liberating and motivational for others. I get emails and Facebook messages weekly from people I know and people I have never, and will never meet telling me how inspirational they found my story.

This is why I always suggest to people starting P90x, Insanity or any other workout program, take before pictures. As unhappy as you may be with how you currently look, those pictures will be invaluable when you get to your goal. My refusal to take Day 1 pictures when I started P90X last March has reached legendary proportions around our house (as Danielle constantly reminds me). But, how are you supposed to know where you are going, if you don’t know where you have been. I was embarrassed and ashamed of my appearance last winter. I hid from cameras and mirrors. Now, because of my hard work and the support of my Team Beachbody coach, I am proud of how I look and love how I feel.