October 30, 2013
Best Suggestions for Recovering from a Workout
Now in this blog post, I’m going to give you my suggestions and what works for me. You may be very different, so take what you need from this and implement it as needed.
A couple of things I’ve noticed the last couple of months, is that when I did doubles several times a week, my body’s endurance obviously went up. Now, before somebody jumps on me about this, I will tell you that I was very conscious of my body, and listened to it when I needed to and didn’t overdo it. What I learned was that I was capable of more than I thought, AND in order to do doubles, I had to make sure that I recovered the proper ways.
Tips to Recovering From Your Workout
- P90X Results and Recovery Drink: My number one tip and product I use is the P90X Results and Recovery Formula. It’s a traditional 4:1 carb / protein mix that you need to consume within 60 minutes of finishing your workout. Now granted, if your workout doesn’t leave you feeling exhausted or you have a lot of weight to lose, there may be days you don’t need it. But if there’s a chance you think you’re going to be sore tomorrow, USE IT! It’ll cut down on it greatly. It has simple and complex carbs for optimum energy recovery and to help keep your muscles from being sore. It also has a high P.E.R blend of proteins to act as building blocks for muscle repair and growth. Generous levels of vitamins, including the antioxidant vitamins C and E, to add to the prevention of muscle soreness and to assist in repair and growth. If you want a sample of this, just contact us and we’ll help you out.
- Foam Roller or Rumble Roller: This was introduced to me during P90X 2 for the first time. I must say, I had seen these before but had no idea how amazing they were. It’s a great way to workout the lactic acid and knots your body likes to build up and hold on to. Now if you keep up with this on a regular basis, you’ll find it an enjoyable experience. If you don’t, you’ll may find it very painful at times. The more pain, the more your body needs it. My calves are one of my “hot spots”, I find rolling those to be the most painful. The trick is, when you find that hot spot, hold it there and breathe. Very slowly and gradually, start to work it out until the pain goes away. If you’re doing workouts like P90X, Insanity, Asylum or T25, you’re going to have sore spots. This is a very powerful tool. I prefer the Rumble Roller you see pictured, you can get a regular smooth roller if you want. The Rumble Roller is effective with the knots to really get in to the muscle. Here’s a video that shows me using it.
- Inversion Table: This was introduced to me from a friend I play basketball with. When you’re doing a lot of jumping and banging (like in basketball or your workouts) your back, especially lower back, can get tight. I have arthritis in my lower back so it bothers me from time to time, and the inversion table is a great help. It really stretches your back out as well as serve as an ab machine (inverted crunches). Be careful of the cheap ones. I bought a Teeter Hang Up inversion table, as recommended by my buddy. When you’re upside down and hanging, you don’t want to be cheap on what’s holding you. Here’s a video on the one I have.
- Chiropractor: I also have a friend who I play ball with who is a chiropractor. Some of you think they’re whack jobs or not real doctors. I used to think that, too, but if you can find a good one, they’re the real deal. Much like the inversion table, he helps me stay in alignment. I only go maybe once or twice a month for maintenance, but once you start to understand your body, you can tell when something is out of whack. Bryan is a life saver, and Alisha and I both use him.
- Hot Tub: Last year, we bought a used hot tub from a reputable dealer in Charlotte, and I will tell you two things: it was the best thing we’ve EVER bought and getting a used one will save you a TON of money. Jacuzzi tubs would be a good substitute here as well. With the hot tub we have, it’s a larger one, so it has several different seats with different jet assignments on each one that are great for your back and shoulders. On the one we have, there are two very powerful jets that you can use alone that I like to use on my legs, hamstrings and calves. This particular jet is so powerful, it acts like the rumble roller we talked about earlier. With addition of heat, it helps relax the muscle while also working out the lactic acid and knots. I will tell you now, that there have been times where I just about jumped out of the tub, the jet hurt so bad, due to the work my legs had done that day. But when I got out, I felt amazing. Hot Tubs, baths, etc. are great things to implement into your weekly recovery routine. I can say it’s a true game changer.
- Massage: This is self-explanatory. It’s the same as the rumble roller and hot tub where you’re working out the lactic acid. I love massages, but unfortunately don’t get them as often as I wish. Married couples, give each other massages. Save some money and continue to build that bond that we talked about a couple weeks ago if you’re working out together.
Now believe it or not, these are my recovery methods. I would also suggest adding in some yoga or stretching weekly as well. If you’re doing a program with us, you have it scheduled in already and should be good. These are my tips, it’s what works for me, hopefully it’s been helpful and given you some ideas!
October 17, 2013
Fitness Goals Take Discipline
I felt inspired to write this last weekend, not to really drive home a bunch of factual tips, but more so to get real with you on your goals and your discipline to get it done.
A lot of you don’t know this, but two years ago, I was crazy lean and really hitting it dead on with my fitness. The way I looked and everything that I wanted, was clicking for me. I wish I could tell you that I had a plan, and it was meticulous and structured…and maybe it was, but I doubt it. I really can’t remember any one thing that I did back then that I wasn’t doing now, except maybe my nutrition was a little cleaner then.
Since 2010/2011, I slowly veered off the path of discipline in my workouts but mainly nutrition. I probably gained 10-13 lbs from where I was when you go back and look at our You Tube videos from when we first did Insanity the Asylum and when we were doing the Asylum/ P90X hybrid. I think I got overly confident that I had it all figured out, and then when we did the Ultimate Reset at the beginning of the year, I was like “Whoa! I forgot how lean I was before”. The Reset helped me lean back out, but its ‘taken me from January of this year to about 3-4 weeks ago to realize why and what I wanted.
Let me rephrase, I know what I wanted, but I had forgotten how to get there. So I found a success partner in Billy, who was also where I was and wanted to get back, and we started Asylum Vol. 2 together. I also brought Amanda into the mix, a friend of mine that I knew was in better shape than me and would push me, and I dug in. Billy helped me stay accountable with the Asylum workouts, over here everyday, never missing; and Amanda has pushed me by getting me doing double workouts several times a week, including one class with her that is a total ass kicker. Now I don’t recommend doubles for everybody, you have to listen to your body and know when to pull back. For me, I needed it. I knew in order to get better and to get what I wanted, I had to find someone to motivate me and preferably someone who had what I wanted. Those persons were Amanda and Billy.
What I’m realizing
What I’ve realized during this round is that just because I’m two years older and two years closer to 40, doesn’t mean I can’t get back to where I was before. I’ve also realized that I was “wussing out” in my mind when it came to the idea of pushing harder with doubles (again disclaimer: not for everyone). Believe me when I say, I’m very conscious of my body and listening to it and making sure I rest when need be and don’t overdo any one area.
By bringing Billy and Amanda back into the mix, it has forced me to change my DISCIPLINE. They’ve pushed me harder, which and held me accountable to where I’m forced to structure my days in a way to where I get it all in. The first two weeks were hard, no way around that, but after that second week, I started to see change. Then my mind and self-confidence started to shift. I went from, “I can’t do doubles” to “wow, I’m capable of more than I thought”.
Is this you?
Are you hearing what I said a second ago? “I’m capable of more than I thought” For me, I had to work twice as hard as I did two years ago, to even see anything close to what I had two years ago. The point is I’m achieving it!
I wish I could say that 3.5 weeks ago, I had all of this come to me in a dream or that the skies opened up and God said, “Todd, here’s the answer.” He didn’t. I stumbled into it by dumb luck. Or better yet, I finally reminded myself to take some of my own advice. You see, fitness fanatics struggle, too, at least the honest ones will tell you that. I realized I just didn’t want it bad enough in the past to change my discipline.
If you want to lose 30 lbs, before you even think of changing your eating habits or start exercising or up the exercise…whatever…you’d better change your mindset and adopt some discipline. And you’d better find someone who will stick with you on it. Whether that person is us, and we talk on the phone every day or Facebook or whatever, you need to find someone who will be there to say “do it”. And then focus on the discipline.
Funny thing, we’re disciplined to do the stuff we want to do – watch tv, go on trips, spend time with the kids – but we often seem to ignore ourselves. Trust me, my friend, you’ll be a happier person and be glad you made yourself a priority. I forgot how good it felt to actually achieve fitness goals. I forgot how good it felt to, yes, kick my own butt, but enjoy it. Yes, I said enjoy it. Trust me, after you break through that two-week wall, you’ll see changes, you’ll see the discipline start to take shape, and…you’ll want more.
Come along on the ride with me. It’s never too late to jump on. I’m back on the wagon, that’s my hand reaching for you to pull you on board.
October 9, 2013
Often People Don’t Drink Enough Water, How Much is Enough?
I can tell you that, for the most part, we drink nothing but water. That wasn’t always the case, though. I remember several years back when I was first getting into being a fitness junkie. I was trying to focus on drinking water, and I had to mix in the Crystal Light flavor packets just so I could get it down (not good for you, by the way, due to the sucralose).
Looking back, I’m not really sure why I had such a hard time adapting to water instead of sweet tea (that’s a southern thing in case you’re wondering), but I did. Gradually over the years, I have come to a point where I can handle just regular old water – filtered though, not a big fan of the tap.
But here’s the problem: I was drinking water, but not enough! Especially when we were doing crazy programs like P90X, Insanity, Focus T25 and most recently Insanity the Asylum. So I did a water challenge with one of our Challenge Groups a couple weeks back, and we set out to really up our water intake. The changes I saw were crazy.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
When figuring up how much water I should drink, I learned that, according to the Institute of Medicine, the right amount for men is roughly 3 liters (13 cups) and for women it’s 2.2 liters (about 9 cups). But the equation that I found that I liked was:
- Your weight: The first step to knowing how much water to drink every day is to know your weight. The amount of water a person should drink varies depending on their weight, which makes sense because the more someone weighs, the more water they need to drink. A two hundred pound man and 100 pound woman require different amounts of water every day.
- Multiply by 2/3: Next you want to multiple your weight by 2/3 (or 67%) to determine how much water to drink daily. For example, if you weighed 175 pounds you would multiple that by 2/3 and learn you should be drinking about 117 ounces of water every day.
- Activity Level: Finally, you will want to adjust that number based on how often you work out, since you are expelling water when you sweat. You should add 12 ounces of water to your daily total for every 30 minutes you work out. So if you work out for 45 minutes daily, you would add 18 ounces of water to your daily intake.
This is what I’ve used to calculate my water intake, and it has worked well for me.
Why Water is Important to the Body
There are so many reasons why water is important to the body. When you don’t have enough water in your body, every cell is affected. Add to that working out like we do, and you’re losing electrolytes, sodium, potassium, and chloride, which are essential to your body’s ability to function. I could tell when I wasn’t drinking enough. My muscles and joints were affected. It affected my recovery time and my workouts in a lot of ways: cramps, soreness, and just an overall blah feeling.
Can You Drink Too Much Water?
According to the Health Section in US News, it’s rare, but yes, it can happen. As much as you need water, it is possible to get too much. Having too much water in your system in relation to sodium is called hyponatremia. It’s actually not a matter of drinking too much water as much as it is drinking so much that it causes an imbalance between water and electrolytes.
When you lose water (through sweating and elimination), you lose electrolytes. If you replenish your body with just water, you dilute the electrolytes that are already running low in your system. If this occurs, your interstitial sodium levels can get so low that you can actually die. It’s not extremely common, but it does happen.
This is one reason why recovery drinks like the P90X Results and Recovery drink you hear us talk about all the time is SO important. You need the electrolytes and glycogen replacement. It uses Dextrose, which is the form of sugar your body knows how to handle, without having to convert it. Your body actually has to convert most sugars to dextrose in order to use them. The P90X Results and Recovery drink contains Dextrose in a form your body recognizes and can use.
I would love to hear from you if you have questions or have an opinion on what works well for you.
October 2, 2013
We All Struggle Sometimes to “Dig Deeper”, Tips to Get You Through Tough Workouts
So we’re sitting there, I’m in an Insanity Asylum workout, it’s just me and the Go Pro camera…and possibly you if you follow us on You Tube, and I’m battling to get through the In and Out Abs. Sean’s yelling at me to push, but he’s not physically there, so who am I cheating? Answer: myself.
I want to quit. I want to do ANYTHING but this right now…but I know when I look in the mirror, I’ll wish I’d pushed harder. So I make it count. I can’t quit now! I wish I could say that’s true every time I workout, but it’s not. You and I are very guilty of letting the little voice in our head talk us out of success. It’s like the evil part of your mind, the part that makes you crave the junk, that talks you out of starting the workout, period. It sees and feels your body changing, which it doesn’t want, and it tries to play the devil on your shoulder and get you to quit. It’s also responsible for your low self-image and low self esteem, when you let yourself go. That’s the part of your mind you have to learn to shut off.
Tips to Get Through Tough Workouts
There was a really great write up on our Team Beachody site by Zack Zeigler. In it, he refers to some tips from Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter, who has worked with handfuls of top athletes, including Olympic gold medal winners as well as just average people like you and me. She also won the San Francisco Marathon in 1980, so she may know a thing or two.
- Mentally Prepare: “People can fail from not being in touch with their bodies,” she says. Some Beachbody® workouts will wipe you out. (There’s a reason the plyometric workout in P90X2® is called Plyocide and not Plyo-this-might-be-kinda-tough.) But understanding, embracing, and anticipating that you’ve signed up to tackle a ball-busting workout can help you size up the challenge and muster the fortitude required to overcome it.
- Find a Workout Buddy: If during a grueling workout you find yourself taking a break from taking a break after you just got finished taking a break, consider recruiting someone to train with you. Researchers at Kansas State University found that people who train with a more skilled workout partner who doesn’t cheerlead you through the workouts worked out for longer periods of time.1 That’s because this competitive attitude supposedly makes you not want to feel like the “weak link” and encourages you to work harder. We talked about this last week. When you see our You Tube vids, it’s apparent I like workout partners.
- Get into a Routine: Make your workout session as much of a priority as you would other important daily activities, like brushing your teeth, getting to work on time, or DVRing America’s Got Talent. “Build a routine so you’re doing [your workout] at the same time each day,” Dr. Dahlkoetter suggests. “If you don’t have a routine, the workout becomes a low priority that might get overlooked.”
- Make Your Goals Specific: Instead of saying you want to “lose weight” or “look better,” come up with specific goals you want to accomplish, like “losing six pounds,” or “finally fitting into my wrestling singlet from college.” Those details will offer you something tangible to strive for. The S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-targeted) goal technique has proven to be popular and effective for constructing a plan of attack, whether you’re tackling work projects or getting through a workout.
- Use the 3 Ps: It sounds pretty hippie, but Dr. Dahlkoetter has “Three Ps”—Positive Images, Power Words, and Present Focus—that can actually help. Studies show that athletes who visualize themselves winning are more likely to succeed.2 Visualize the whole process, from going to bed at the right time to finishing your workout, and you’ll be more likely to get through it, improving your overall concentration in the process.Then, create some “Power Words” to help you push through those super-tough moments. I’m usually spewing four-letter words after about 25 minutes of most of my workouts. Instead, try this exercise: On a piece of paper, write all of your excuses, self-doubts, and negative thoughts about the workout on the left side. Then, on the right side, write what the opposite of that would be. For example: If you write you’re “too tired” on the left side, write your “mind and body are stronger and healthier each day” on the right. When you’re lagging, tell yourself those things you’ve written on the right side of the paper. My Shaun T bracelet is a good reminder for me.And, finally, focus on the present. From worrying about work to your kids to whether the Inland Empire 66ers are going to cover the run line (I’m letting it ride on you, fellas!), we all have plenty of daily stresses to contend with. But your workout shouldn’t be one of them; in fact, it might be the only hour of the day you get to focus entirely on yourself. To do that and offer your best effort, you need to be present from beginning to end. That said, during your Wall Sits or another difficult move that doesn’t pose a high risk of injury, feel free to let your mind wander to your “happy place.”
All in all, these are some really good ideas for “powering through”. Would love to hear from you on what gets you through your workout. Comment below and share your ideas! Or reach out to us!