Getting Older?

As the hours tick by and the years pass, yes… we are getting older.  Dang it!

As the clock ticks we lose our mobility, agility, speed, balance, and range of motion.  Would you agree?  I know at 38 years old, I was headed down that path and it was much quicker than expected.  And… it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Our goal should be should be to get fit and stay that way for the rest of our lives; it shouldn’t be an up and down pattern where we keep gaining and losing, going on diets, and coming up with a plethora of really good excuses.  Think hard about these 5 rules of fitness.  They will help reverse the ever so scary aging process, no matter what level of fitness you are at today.

  1. Variety: Add things to your exercise regimen that will help you do what activities you want to do, better. Work on your strengths and the things you love, but also add in things you’re weaker at. That’s is the magic key to your fitness castle.
  2. Consistency:  Excercising once a week, maybe twice?  Make your goal 5-6 times a week, 6 is ideal. And you’ll stop the “on and off” nightmare most people have.
  3. Intensity:  Push the envelope a little, don’t be happy with going through the motions.  It shouldn’t be easy but make sure you have good form, you pay attention to what you’re doing, and don’t train to get hurt.
  4. Purpose:  WHY do you want to slow the aging process, really think about it.  I mean REALLY think about it, it’s got to come from deep inside.  Do you want to be able to chase the kids, do you want to feel better, what do you WANT for your future?  Right it down and post it on the bathroom mirror, on the fridge, and that pesky pantry door.  Constantly remind yourself of why you want to be a better you!
  5. Planning:  Huh, I have to plan?  I do that with my kids, with my job, and now you’re asking me to plan even more?  Yep… When are you going to work out, what are you going to eat (every day of the week).  Remember… Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

One thing I like to remind people, diets by nature have an end.  You go on a diet to lose weight and then you stop, and guess what…  Change your thinking, you’re making a lifestyle change, you have a ‘nutrition plan‘, you get used to driving right by that fast food restaurant because your lunch is waiting for you in the break room.If you change your way of thinking, all of this becomes automatic just like breathing.  You won’t won’t question it, you won’t have to think about it anymore, it becomes habit (which take an average of 21 days to create by the way). 

Will you have off days, heck yeah… but don’t let those stop you from losing hope.  Make today the first day of the rest of your life.

Enjoy life!

–Mike

P.S. If you are ready to start your own journey don’t hesitate to contact me a http://www.extremefitchallenge.com


Father’s Day – It’s great now!

 

I love Father’s Day, it reminds me of what is important in life… Family!

 


Beachbody Coach – A New Perspective

A lot of awesome stuff has happened to me this last year.

It’s true, and I’m not quite sure how to describe the why.  A lot has changed.  I am a better person.  I am a better husband.  I am a better father.

Call BS… a lot of people do.  It’s ok, doesn’t matter to me anymore.

In January of 2011 (left pic above) I had what my wife called, “a muffin top”.  I was on anxiety and depression meds, my blood pressure was 135/85, I had high cholesterol, AND I had two beautiful kids.  Good times, right!

I entered the world of Tony Horton and P90X, not by choice, but because I had to change.  I wanted to be there for my kids.  Did I think it would work… Hell no!  But I had to do something.

In March of 2011, I stepped on the scale and I’d lost 35 pounds… Holy crap!  I didn’t miss a day, I didn’t cheat, I did it.

So… I did it again.

I became a Beachbody Coach for the discounts, which honestly isn’t a bad thing but actually taught me a lot about myself.  I helped people ‘buy’ P90X but that’s about it.  Really didn’t know my life was about to change in a few months, I didn’t get what this whole thing was all about.

Next came a long trip to our summer ‘cottage’ in Wisconsin.  Didn’t want to travel with weights, so what now.  Insanity didn’t require anything so why not.  Boom goes the dynamite.  Insanity done.

Road Trip!  Guy’s houseboat extravaganza on Lake Shasta in CA.  I was in the best shape of my life and got cocky.  Broken ribs.  Can’t workout.

Got depressed, ate a lot, gained weight, felt like crap, started to get depressed again, yeah… I’m going to quit because I don’t have anything to offer.

Wait!  I started to get messages.  Why aren’t you posting, where are your motivational tweets, why aren’t you following up, why aren’t you caring, where did you go?  My team was relying on me.

Damn, people do care.  People need help.  Attitude adjusted, seriously adjusted.

I am a Beachbody Coach.

Got my wife involved, we did a P90X/Insanity hybrid.  We pre-odered P90X2, we had to get back into shape.  Like… now!  We got through it.  We helped others, we started challenge groups, we motivated.  We got addicted.  I got a better job, self confidence was back.  The sky is the limit.

We finished P90X2, we lead by example, we helped others reach their goals.  We’re still going.

I am a Beachbody Coach and I motivate people.

What are you waiting for, there are a ton of benefits to being a coach.  Check it out at http://teamextremefit.com or if you’re looking to start a fitness program and want to be a coach for free drop by http://extremefitchallenge.com.

Enjoy life!

–Mike


P90X2 Results (Day 90) – Husband and Wife!!!

P90X2 Final Results (90 Days)

Left to Right | Day 0, Day 30, Day 60, Day 90

P90X2 = D.O.N.E.!  Sort of… Just kicked off our second round a day after we finished our first.  P90X2 is for real and is a great successor to the popular P90X fitness program.  Phase 1 focuses on your foundation and core, P90X2 Phase 2 is where you start building additional strength, and Phase 3… P.A.P. is fricken’ awesome. I didn’t miss a single workout and only had a couple of cheat meals, I wanted to push myself to limits I never thought were possible at my age.

I’m a 38-year-old guy who ‘thought’ I was in the best shape of my life after a couple of rounds of P90X, a round of Insanity, and almost a full round of a P90X/Insanity Hybrid.  I can now jump higher, I have more flexibility, I’ve got a ton more core strength.  And when I say a ton, that’s not an understatement.  P90X2 is all about mobility, flexibility, balance, agility, and explosive power.

My initial goal was to gain weight with P90X2, but no matter what I tried I just couldn’t make it happen.  I even increased my caloric intake to nearly 3,600 calories the last 8 weeks including a monster Shakeology concoction for breakfast.  At the end I’d lost about 2 pounds and I can only assume that was a combination of increased muscle mass and fat loss.
My waist stayed the same at 32″, my thighs decreased by about an inch, and I got about an inch and a half in my arms.  Body fat dropped from 9.8% down to 8.1%.

In Phase 3 (P.A.P) my biggest achievement was… I can dunk a basketball at 6′ tall.  Yee-Haw!!! Not much practical use now-a-days, but what I can say is that my knees feel great and I just feel more agile and explosive.

My Wife’s P90X2 Final Results (90 Days)

My wife is living proof that women can and do complete P90X2.  She didn’t come in green however, we’ve done P90X, Insanity, and the hybrid together.  She’s tightened up a lot, and in her words, “I have a CORE!!!”  She loved the workouts and got up every single morning with me at 4:45am to get X2 in for the day.

She’s doing unassisted pull-ups, plyo push-ups, the whole gig.  She lost about 4 pounds (after already losing 10 from her ‘prior’ experience).  Rachel doesn’t have one bad thing to say about Tony and P90X2, in fact I think she gets out of bed in the morning to spend time with him and not me! She started Shakeology at the beginning of P90X2 and is now hooked on the Tropical Strawberry.  Doesn’t miss her afternoon snack and if she even catches me looking at it, I get the death stare.

Keep pushing play everyone, P90X2 is the next level of fitness.  If you’re looking for some help, we’ve done it!  Check out http://www.extremefitchallenge.com or http://www.teamextremefit.com to contact us.

Enjoy life!
–Mike


P90X2 – X2 Base + Back Review

P90X2 Base + Back Review

Base + Back = Plyo and Pull-ups!  Fantastic workout.  I was expecting base to be like P90X legs, lunges and stuff like that.  But not here, P90X2 kicks that up a notch and brings in another round of plyo.  It’s not as intense as Plyocide because your alternating back and forth between plyometric moves and pull-ups.  Base + Back isn’t too difficult, although you’re working your two biggest muscle groups for 55 minutes, so it does hit you pretty hard.

P90X2 Base + Back Tools

P90X2 Base + Back Warmup

Stability Ball
  • Twist – A simple move but it does get the heart pumping. Hold the stability ball directly out in front of you and rotate right and left keeping your head and eyes pointing forward.
  • Squat – Just like it sounds, but at you squat down you raise the ball above your head.
  • Side Stretch – Sort of like the straight-arm stretch however you are using the weight of the ball to go right and left, bending over as far as you can to each side.
  • Alternate Back Lunge – As you lunge alternating your right and left leg, you lift the stability ball up above your head with your arms straight.
  • Atlas – Like in P90X Core Synergistics, you’re picking up the ball from your left side and extending it up into the air on the right side like your setting it on a shelf. Switch sides and you’re done.
Foam Rolling

The RumbleRoller is amazing.  You can definitely hit the pause button to get those tight spots, focus on your upper body since that’s what you’ll be working.  In X2 Base + Back this, again, is a real rush.  To get the full benefits of the RumbleRoller you will need to slow down and extend this workout.

Roller Angel – You finish off stretching with the roller angel. This is where you lay on the RumbleRoller with it pointing directly up your spine. You relax and pretend like you’re making a snow angel with your arms bringing them up and down parallel to the floor.

Roller Sphinx – You put your forearms on the RumbleRoller and get into plank. For the first time, I realize what plank really is! Tilt your pelvis and push your heels to the floor. Hold the position for about 40 seconds. I started shaking a bit after about 30 but was able to finish just fine.

Additional Stretching/Mobility

Scorpion – This one is really hard to explain so you’ll have to see it for the first time but here goes nothing!  Laying flat on your stomach with your arms extended out to the side you bend your right leg to a 90 degree, lift your knee off the ground, and then rotate that bent leg over to your left.  It’s not necessarily a back stretch but does get your glute and leg.

The Worlds Greatest Stretch – Get into runners lung with your left leg back and both of your hands on the instep of your right foot. Extend the left arm up, bring it back down, extend the right arm twisting the opposite direction. Just like right angle pose in yoga. You alternate between right leg and left leg back. This stretch is also prevalent in Insanity.

Inch Worm – Just like it sounds. From a standing straight position you do a forward bend and then crawl your hands away from you to the plank position. Hold plank for a second or two and then begin tiptoeing your feet into your hands. Rinse and repeat for a total of 8 times.

Groiners – From a left leg lunge (both hands on the instep of your right foot) you alternate jump lunges going back and forth between your right and left legs keeping your hands in the same spot.

Leg Swing – Just like Recovery + Mobility, you swing each leg forward and sideways using your foam roller to stabilize.

Scapular Retraction – A hard one to explain, but use your bands with hook or pull-up bar. Hang straight arms and then contract your scapula, basically bringing your chicken wings together in the back. This should raise you up just a couple of inches.

Break

P90X2 Base + Back Workout

You do two rounds of 10 exercises (alternating between pull-ups and plyometric moves) with a break between round. Nothing complex, nothing off-balance, just a pure workout.  The best of both worlds.

No Kip Pull-Up – Maximum rep pull-ups.  No kip = no cheating.  It’s a little harder when you’re not kicking your legs to get to the top!

Plyo Frog Squat – Get into an open wide leg stance, hands on the floor.  Jump up bringing your hands high over your head.  The goal here is not to jump really high like Michael Jordan, it’s to keep tension on those squatted legs.

Wide Leg Close Grip Chin-Up – Reverse grip, legs spread wide, maximum reps.

Chair Jump – Think X2 Yoga Chair position, now start running in place (like football drills), on Tony’s command jump like Michael Jordan brining your hands down to explode.  Repeat over and over.

Chin Pull – 2 chin-ups, come down. 2 pull-ups.  Maximum reps.

Break

Plyo Lunge Press (Weights) – Just like Mary Katherine’s, except on the upward explosion you have a set of dumbells in your hands and do a shoulder press.  These will kill you, serious…

V Pull-Up – These are cool, never done them before.  From wide grip pull-up position, pull-up and bring your chin to your right hand, back down.  Now do another pull-up and bring your chin to your left hand.  You’re basically working your right and left lat independently.

Surfer Spin – Yee-Haw!  You’ve done these before in Plyocide.  Jump around, jump around, jump up, jump up, but no getting down… unless of course you get dizzy.

Kippy Cross Fugly Pull – I would say this is the most awesome exercise name ever invented.  You’re doing pull-ups but your going for huge reps doing anything you can to get up.  Use your legs, use body english, just go fast.

Jack-in-the-Box Knee Tuck – Another twist on your standard P90X jump, knee, tucks.  This time, you start with your hands on the ground and jump up, knees to hands, and go back down to touch the ground.  Full range of motion!  25 reps and you’re dead.

Cool Down

A whole bunch of stretches using the stability ball hitting your legs, arms, back, etc.

As always, I’m starting challenge groups about twice a month and they’ve been filling up quickly.  If you’re interested in joining my P90X2 challenges get your challenge pack at http://www.extremefitchallenge.com!

Enjoy life!

–Mike


P90X2 Phase 2 Results

 

 

P90X2 Phase 2 (Strength) Results

Wow, can’t believe P90X2 Phase 2 (Strength) is done.  Phase 2 was sort of ‘back to the basics’, much like P90X but with one huge twist.  You’re doing everything off-balance again.  Curls on one leg, Arnold presses from 1/2 chair position, more med balls (4 this time), and a whole bunch of other shenanigans.  My wife and I decided to give Phase 2 four weeks as well and at the end of the 4 weeks I tweaked my left knee somehow so we decided on a recovery week (week 9).  Now… I can’t say enough about the power of the X, when Tony says you are preventing injury… he’s not joking.  My knee pain, based on prior issues would usually knock me out for a week or two but somehow I woke up Monday morning feeling great.  We did half a week of recovery (2 x Recovery + Mobility and Yoga).  Come Thursday we were chomping at the bit, so we decided to preview P.A.P. Upper and Lower on Thursday and Friday.  Wow, can’t wait to post a Phase 3 update in about a month that $#%^ is awesome!

I expected to gain some weight during the strength phase and even had to up my caloric intake to ~3,600 a day.  I mean, my chocolate Shakeology breakfast concoction is 750 calories.  You can lift a bit heavier than P90X2 Phase 1 (Foundation), but you can’t go P90X heavy just because of the balance required.  When all was said and done, my waist is still the same, I dropped about two pounds down to 172, but my body fat is now down to 8.6%.  I don’t have a scale that can measure muscle/fat weight ratios so I’m assuming the weight loss was mainly fat which is OK by me.  As you can see in the trifecta above, I did get considerable more definition in my chest and midsection.  As with Phase 1, I didn’t miss a day in phase 2 either.  I hit play every single day and had 2 cheat meals.

Biggest Gains

X2 Chest + Back + Balance (week 4 -> week 8)

Plyo Stability Ball Push-Up | 18 -> 24

Lever | 1 -> 6

The Impossible/Possible | 0 -> 8

X2 Shoulders + Arms

Arnold Press | 10/25lbs -> 12/45lbs

My Wife!

I am so proud of Rachel, she kicked some major butt on Phase 2.  Her weight stayed consistent at the 115 lb range.  If you look at her pictures, she got tighter in the hips and thighs.  Looking great babe!  She missed one workout, but we got each other out of bed every other morning at 4:45am!  She told me this morning as we started Phase 3 that she’s never felt better or felt stronger and just more ‘stable’.  It’s hard to describe stable, and I don’t mean mentally stable ;)  You just feel connected to the ground, strong posture, that kind of stuff.

Biggest Gains

X2 Chest + Back + Balance

The Impossible/Possible | 4 -> 8 (I held the ball stable for her)

Vaulter Pull-Up | 8 -> 10

Swimmer Push-Up | 8 -> 10 (These are hard…)

X2 Shoulders + Arms

Balance Curl | 16/12lbs -> 10/17.5lbs

X2 Base + Back

No Kip Pull-Up | 6 -> 12

Plyo Lunge Press | 16/8lbs -> 24/8lbs

All in all, this was an awesome phase.  Both of us are feeling great, loving life, and are looking forward to finishing P90X2 up in about a month. 

If you are looking to start your own journey, we’re here to help.  Visit us at http://extremefitchallenge.com.

Enjoy Life!

–Mike


P90X2 – X2 Shoulders + Arms Review

P90X2 Shoulders + Arms Review

A little disappointed in this one.  Still a great workout but not a whole lot of variety.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some new moves and some modified versions of old moves, but all in all I wish there would have been two sets with more variation.  You do seven different exercises repeated through 3 rounds.  Nothing complex, however you are back to doing these either on a stability ball or standing on one leg to increase core stabilization.

P90X2 Shoulders + Arms Tools

P90X2 Shoulders + Arms Warmup

Stability Ball
  • Twist – A simple move but it does get the heart pumping. Hold the stability ball directly out in front of you and rotate right and left keeping your head and eyes pointing forward.
  • Squat – Just like it sounds, but at you squat down you raise the ball above your head.
  • Side Stretch – Sort of like the straight-arm stretch however you are using the weight of the ball to go right and left, bending over as far as you can to each side.
  • Alternate Back Lunge – As you lunge alternating your right and left leg, you lift the stability ball up above your head with your arms straight.
  • Atlas – Like in P90X Core Synergistics, you’re picking up the ball from your left side and extending it up into the air on the right side like your setting it on a shelf. Switch sides and you’re done.
Foam Rolling

The RumbleRoller is amazing. You can definitely hit the pause button to get those tight spots, focus on your upper body since that’s what you’ll be working. In X2 Shoulders + Arms this, again, is a real rush. To get the full benefits of the RumbleRoller you will need to slow down and extend this workout.  Focus on your upper body, don’t worry about the legs.

Roller Angel – You finish off stretching with the roller angel. This is where you lay on the RumbleRoller with it pointing directly up your spine. You relax and pretend like you’re making a snow angel with your arms bringing them up and down parallel to the floor.

Roller Sphinx – You put your forearms on the RumbleRoller and get into plank. For the first time, I realize what plank really is! Tilt your pelvis and push your heels to the floor. Hold the position for about 40 seconds. I started shaking a bit after about 30 but was able to finish just fine.

Additional Stretching/Mobility

The Worlds Greatest Stretch – Get into runners lung with your left leg back and both of your hands on the instep of your right foot. Extend the left arm up, bring it back down, extend the right arm twisting the opposite direction. Just like right angle pose in yoga. You alternate between right leg and left leg back. This stretch is also prevalent in Insanity.

Inch Worm – Just like it sounds. From a standing straight position you do a forward bend and then crawl your hands away from you to the plank position. Hold plank for a second or two and then begin tiptoeing your feet into your hands. Rinse and repeat for a total of 8 times.

Table – Open up the chest and shoulders. Hands and feet on the ground, stomach facing up to create a table. Hold for 30 seconds.

Break

P90X2 Shoulders + Arms Workout

Not much to say here;  7 exercises, 3 sets, a break in between.

Balance Curl – Starting on your right leg (dorsal flex left leg), do two arm curls.  Go for 8-10 reps (more if you’re looking for definition vs. size).  Alternate between legs in each of the subsequent sets.  As an alternative, you can also put one foot up on the stability ball.

Arnold Press (Alternate Arms) – A new shoulder press exercise for me, had never seen these before.  Start on one leg with both arms in shoulder press position wrists facing in towards your body.  As you press, twist your arms in so at the top of the press your wrists are facing away from your body.  Alternate arms on each rep and switch legs on each set.

Overhead Tricep Pull (Stability Ball) – Lie down with your back/shoulders resting on the stability ball.  Using two weights, do tricep extensions.  Keep your elbows stable in the same position, it’s hard to cheat on the stability ball!

Six Direction Shoulder Fly – Starting on one leg and with your arms in ‘bicep curl’ position (wrists facing away).  Lift weights up straight out to the side (1), then bring them together in front of your chest (2), now take them down (3).  With wrists facing inwards, bring the weights back up straight out in front of your chest (4), then out to the side (5), and then down (6). 

Crazy Eight (Alternate Arms and Feet Every 8 Reps) – Sort of like bicep curls from P90X, except your not switching every 4 but every 8 reps AND you’re doing them on one leg.  Start with your left arm at a 90 degree angle (think half curl) and do 8 full curls with your right bicep.  Switch legs and bring your right arm to a 90 degree angle and do 8 full reps with your left arm.  You’re probably have to go a little lighter because by the end of this exercise you’ve done 32 curls.  That’s a lot.

Y-T Fly – I’ve never had my traps more sore from doing an exercise.  These took care of that.  Lie face down with your chest on your stability ball.  Lift the weights out to about a 45 degree angle, bring them down, and then ‘fly’ them straight out to the side.  To make it easier just make a “Y” and “T”.  You don’t need much weight for these.

Rocket Launcher Tricep Kickback – Get in rocket launcher position and do tricep kickbacks keeping your elbows high.  Switch your forward leg every set.

Cool Down

A whole bunch of stretches using the stability ball hitting your legs, arms, back, etc.

As always, I’m starting challenge groups about twice a month and they’ve been filling up quickly. If you’re interested in joining my P90X2 challenges get your challenge pack at http://www.extremefitchallenge.com and let’s get started!

Enjoy life!

–Mike


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