Sunday, December 28, 2008

My favorite shake recipe!

First off I'd like to start by sharing that the shaker pictured here is awesome. Its the Fit and Fresh Vortex 3 in 1 shaker. I picked it up at my local Target for about $5. This shaker is perfect. Its got a nice agitator that sits in the top to break up the particles of Recovery Drink, Creatine etc and make sure they are mixed well. The other cool thing about it is the ice wand that rests firmly in the center. This helps keep your shake, smoothie or recover drink nice and cold.

That being said, I'd like to share the recipe for one of my favorite Meal Replacement Shakes. This is my "Sunrise Smoothie" and is great for those of us that can't find time for a good breakfast.

Here's the recipe.

-1/2 cup Orange Juice
-1 cup Non Fat Plain Yogurt
-1/2 cup Frozen Strawberries
-1 scoop Strawberry Protein Powder (I use the GNC Wheybolic variety)
-1 Banana
-and this last part is optional, but I add 1/4 cup of instant oatmeal (this is essentially 1/2 serving of Quaker Instant Oats, prepared.

Put all the ingredients into a blender, add a few ice cubs and enjoy.

The Nutritional information for this smoothie is
475 calories
35 grams protein
74 grams carbohydrates.

This might not be the ideal shake for the "Fat Shredder" phase of the P90X diet, but its a good one.

100 Days in! What's next?

Hey everyone.  Its been a while since I've posted.  With the holidays and the "honey-do" list expanding, I haven't had much time for blogging.
So, the one question I've received the most is, "What are you going to do next?"

Well, the answer for me is pretty simple.  I'm going to repeat phase 3 of the P90X plan.  The reason I'm doing this is that my wife and I are going on a 7 night cruise leaving on the 17th of January.  By repeating phase 3, I'll be able to keep going and working out with the P90X plan to get in great shape for our cruise.  After we get back from our cruise, I'll take some time off and start up a new round of P90x on Jan 31st.

My 2nd question I get is, "What are your results, what are the stats."

Well, I'll go with were I'm at today compared to where I started.

Right now I'm 100 Days in and my current weight is 197 lbs.  My starting weight was 215.5 lbs.
The biggest difference is in body fat.  On Day 1 I was 215.5 and 25.9% body fat.  That means I was 55.8 lbs of fat and 159.7 lbs lean mass.  On Day 100 I'm at 197.0 lbs and my body fat is at 14.6%.  That has me at 28.7 lbs of fat.  So, even though I've only lost 18.5 lbs total, I've actually lost 27 lbs of fat!  My lean mass is now 168.3 lbs.  That is an absolute transformation.

Another thing that will change is my posts here will probably be less frequent for the next month or so (especially when I'm on vacation!)  My posts will be a lot less of a diary of how I've been doing with P90X and more about my overall thoughts on health and fitness.  Of course I'll still write about P90X as I'll always love this program and how it changed my life.  However, there is life after P90X and I want to explore the other areas of fitness that I haven't had time to investigate.  Down the road I'm actually considering to start learning about martial arts.  I'd like to train in MMA a bit, even though I have no delusions of grandeur of competing.  However, I think that if one is working out only for the sake of working out, you'll get burnt out.  I'm trying to find other avenues of fitness.

So, look for more to come.  

Finally, if you've been reading this blog and are wanting to know have more, please email me at  I also am a Beachbody coach.  That means I have made a commitment to help others reach their fitness goals like I have.  My coach helped me tremendously and I'd like to pass that on to others.  I've had a few friends buy P90X and other Beachbody workout programs through me and its been rewarding.  I'd love to help you reach your goals.  Also, don't hesitate to contact me if you're also looking to learn about the Beachbody coaching opportunity.

Well, that's all for today...bring it!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Results Photos

I need to get to bed, can't comment much.

However, as they say, a picture is worth 1000 words. So here is 5000 words.

Saturday, December 20, 2008 coming sometime today.

Hey everyone.  Sorry to say my pictures are delayed.  

The big snow storm delayed me getting home by half a day.  We've got a ton of errands to work on today but I promise, my 90 day results picture will be up in some form by the end of the day.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Morning Humor

This was me before P90X....

Fat Man On A Little Bike - Watch more Free Videos

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What Day is it? Oh...Day 90? That's Right!!!

More to follow this weekend for sure.  I just wanted to say that I finished my workout today.  That's Day 90 folks.  I Decided on a goal.  I Committed to that Goal, and I Succeeded.

This isn't the end of my story.  There will be much more to follow.  But for today, I'm pumped.

Go Me!

Thanks to all of you for reading.  I appreciate all your help.  Seeing that hit counter go up keeps me motivated to keep bringing it.  

Remember, "Hope is not an action plan!"


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 89...Need some motivation.

I have to admit, I'm not sprinting to the finish line like I should be. I've suffered waning motivation in my recovery weeks throughout the program. I have to admit, I find it hard to get motivated for Stretching (which I skipped yesterday.)

I think it also has a bit to do with the season. As the days get shorter, its dark when I leave for work, dark when I get home, and cold and crappy throughout the day its easy to settle into a funk.

Now, I still have been working out. But, like I said, my motivation has been waning. I also slipped on my diet yesterday. I split a dessert with one of my co-workers.

So, I need a proverbial slap upside the head to get me going again.
Here's my plan. I'm not stopping after 90 days. My wife and I are going on a cruise in 4 more weeks. I am planning on repeating phase 3 of the plan to take me up to our cruise. I guess that's my self-rationalization for emphasizing the "recovery" part of this recovery week. I do feel like my body needs a break. Yet, I don't want to make excuses either.
Well, the line starts here for who wants to slap me upside the head. I look forward to your comments.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just Released, ChaLEAN Extreme

For some of you women readers that think you might not be ready for P90X here's a great alternative. This looks like a tough program, I'm sure I'll try it eventually.

Friday Morning Humor, Women Drivers?

Uh oh...I might be starting some trouble with this one.  This actually was pretty hilarious.  This woman refuses to be towed away.

Chick Refuses to Be Towed - Watch more Free Videos

I am home in Illinois today.  Did a quick body fat measurement with my calipers and I continue to make progress in that area.  Losing a bit every week.  I'm now down to about 16.4% body fat, when I started I was above 25.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Great Form beats Great Quantity (Day 83)

This post will be a short one. Yesterday was another round of Legs and Back. I'm starting to like this workout a lot. As my balance improves the leg exercises are getting simpler. And as my strength improves I'm really able to bring it on the pull-ups.

Yesterday I focused on form throughout the workout. I wanted to make sure very pull-up I completed was impeccable. I imagined that there were people critiquing my form and scoring me. If I didn't go all the way down, the rep didn't count.

Well, I was able to average 7.4 pull ups per set. (59 total) This was a good number for me. On one set I hung on the bar at full extension for at least a second or two between most reps. My arms were dead but I could take a breather and pull myself through one more time.

Tony Horton says on the video, focus on quality over quantity during legs and back. This was the first time I honestly took his advice.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Has It Come To This? --Guest post by Mike French

Today I bring another great post by Team Beachbody coach Mike French. As some of you may know, I'm an Air Force veteran, and I can relate to Mike on a lot of this. But, you don't have to be a military member to enjoy what he had to write.

I had a conversation with two members of my Unit the other day about
Fitness. A young NCO (middle 20’s) came into the room and joined in on the conversation. While the other two men were asking me about the finer points of a good Fitness Program, this young Airman jumped in and said: “As long as I can run a mile in a good time and bend over and touch my toes, I could care less about Fitness.” “Love handles, back fat…WHO CARES!” He continued with, “I don’t care about looking like one of those Men’s Health cover guys” Glanced over at me and said “No Offense”. I said, “None taken.”

He finished by saying that he was deployed recently he got into much better shape “for him” he didn’t feel that the energy that one spends on exercising and eating correctly is worth it. In his words, “I like my beer and eating whatever I want WAY TOO MUCH to give it up.”

I was flabbergasted! Here is a young man who has very small children and
has chosen a career where his life might count on being in the best shape
possible. MY life or someone else’s life might count in him being in the best shape that he can be in! That is a responsibility that I take very seriously. I work out HARD every day and eat properly for a variety of reasons:

1.)I really enjoy the way proper nutrition and hard workouts make me feel.
I feel MUCH BETTER when I am taking in nutritious fuel and pushing myself physically.

2.)It is MY RESPONSIBILITY to be in the best shape I can possibly be in. As
a 15 year veteran of the United States Armed Forces, I have learned that the last thing you need to worry about in some of the extremely dangerous places that our Military operates in is your physical fitness. Once you are there you have no time to “get in shape”.

3.)It is MY RESPONSIBILITY to my Family to eat right and work out hard. I
add YEARS to my life by challenging my willpower, strength and cardiovascular system. That is my gift to my Family AND myself.

4.)I really enjoy looking and feeling good. Now when that young NCO stated, “I don’t want to look like one of those Men’s Health cover guys” Glanced over at me and said “No Offense”. He is missing the point completely. He has no idea what motivates me. My goals are not to look like a Men’s Health Cover Model. If we were all engines instead of people I would be a Diesel. That is why I am drawn to punishing workout programs like P90X and my beloved Kettlebell work. I like “suffering” and the health benefits that are a product of that suffering. I am always thinking of ways to make my workouts HARDER not easier. I prefer to choose the path that most people avoid. Mentally, that fires me up.

5.)I really like having muscle. Not “show” muscle that you oil up for a
photo shoot in a magazine. Functional, strong, flexible, useful muscle that can be used in the real world, not just in a Gym. I want to be STRONG. Stronger than the average man. I want to be in amazing cardiovascular shape. I also want a low body fat level. Low body fat is a product of eating nutritious, healthy, foods that push your Fitness forward, rather than holding it back. The simple fact is that when you eat properly and workout hard, your body fat level drops. It’s a nice byproduct of a healthy fitness lifestyle.

6.)Tami and I talk about the fact that we are teaching our four children
the benefits of a healthy Fitness oriented lifestyle. They are learning lessons right now that they will use for the rest of their lives. THAT is our gift to them. What if they saw Mom and Dad eating whatever they wanted all the time and every year, adding bodyweight, body fat, and becoming unhealthier? What would they take from that? That its ok to be lazy, to give in spur of the moment impulses nutritionally, and the fact that its ok to add dangerous body fat as you age because “That’s just the way it is.” NOT ON OUR WATCH I can tell you that!

Its times like this incident that I wonder “What are people thinking?” How
can they care so little about their own health? Living for the moment is more important than making planned decisions that enhance their lives. Don’t get me wrong, to each his/her own and I am not writing this in judgment. To value eating junk food, drinking beer, and not caring about fitness at all over being in the shape of your life, adding, years to your life through fitness, and being a good example of health to everyone you encounter in your life is something I just can’t understand or relate to.

Strength to you,

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Morning Humor, Exercise edition

Enjoy....hope your workouts go better than these guys.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

75 Days complete! Progress is still coming

Hey everyone. Its been a busy one around here. I don't begin to think that this blog is some huge deal or anything. However, it was a cool feeling yesterday to actually break 50 unique visitors in one day. I know I'm not about to give Matt Drudge at the DrudgeReport any worries, but its good to know that people are out there reading and a few are getting motivated by seeing that another out of shape guy is actually able to change his habits and in turn his overall health and fitness.

Yesterday was Legs and Back. It was a lot of fun. I have been having some knee problems and actually went out and bought a Jumpers Knee Strap similar to the one linked here. After talking to Brad Eickman, he suggested that I may be getting some tendinitis in my knee and that a strap like this has helped him out. I have to say this did alleviate my pain during the workout and I felt good throughout. I'm not sure when/where I hurt my knee in the first place. I just noticed it in pain during Kenpo a couple weeks ago.

In yesterday's workout I did 62 unassisted pull-ups. That's a huge improvement for me. I know upon reflection that I probably wasn't going down all the way on these. I'll work on that, but the improvement is still there.

Today is some more Kenpo, then Stretching on Friday. Saturday will be Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and the start of Week 12, the final week before the final recovery week. (Confusing, I know.)

Remember everyone: "Hope is not an action plan."

Keep Bringing it!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Never Underestimate the power of guilt.

A little background. Right now I live in Illinois, but work in Michigan. How does that work? I drive out ever Monday and come home on Friday. I live in a furnished apartment out in Michigan during the week and go home every weekend. Eventually I will be assigned to the Chicago Office of my company, but that is being delayed.

Well, this arrangement has been going on all summer. It was supposed to be complete at the end of October but has been extended. It's really starting to wear on me as I just want to be home. For some perspective, since I started with this company in March, I've only been home to sleep in my own bed on a Tuesday or Wednesday night once.

Yesterday I was pretty upset. I absolutely hate coming out here. Don't get me wrong, I love the guys I work with out in Michigan. Yet I hate being away from my wife. I just want to stay home and live a somewhat normal life. So, yesterday I wrote an email to my boss explaining to him all my frustrations about the work situation and that I can't keep this up much longer. I hit the send button and get an "Out of office" reply. Turns out my boss is on a cruise and won't be back in for over a week. This had me pretty angry as its something I really want to get resolved soon.

Well, I got to my apartment, did a few errands, etc. When I finally got to my apartment again, I didn't want to do my Yoga. I watched a few TV shows etc. I was messing around on face book when I saw one of my P90X buddies update their status to indicate they just finished YogaX. That was the catalyst I needed. I felt so guilty. There I was, at 10PM just starting Yoga. Now, I didn't finish the whole Yoga Program, but I did do the first hour or so.
The moral of this lesson is this: Never underestimate the power of guilt. It works for your mom for a reason!
Keep pushing play!

Monday, December 1, 2008

More results

I haven't had time to write a lot over the past week.  Well, that's a lie.  I had plenty of time to write, but instead chose to spend time with family and have a great Thanksgiving.  This is essentially a follow up to my previous post; Ignore the Scale.

Here is a quick synopsis of where I'm at.

To recap, on Day 0, I was 215 lbs and 25% body fat.  That meant I was 161.25 lbs of lean mass, and  53.75 lbs of good ol' American fat.

Now, on day 73 I weighed in at 197.0 lbs and my body fat reading is at 17%.  That means I am now 33.5 lbs fat and 163.5 lbs muscle mass.

This is such a great feeling.  I love the results I'm getting.  In fact, I probably look at the mirror a bit too much, but at least I love what I see.  

Some other results.

When I started out, I essentially had 2 pairs of jeans I could wear.  Both size 34s.  Now those jeans are way too loose.  In fact, even my old 32s that I grew out of are now starting to sag a bit from being too loose.  My nice brown belt is way past fitting.  I could easily put in a notch 2 inches tighter than the last notch and still be fine. I need to go belt shopping but I'm a bit cheap right now.  

I have 2 and a half weeks left until I finish my 90 days.  I'm thrilled with the results so far.  

My plan after the end of the 90 days is to repeat phase 3 of the program.  Those 4 weeks of varied workouts would take me right up to the day we leave for our cruise to the Caribbean.