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Take the Road Less Traveled. P90X, P90X2, Combat.
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Take the Road Less Traveled. P90X, P90X2, Combat.
p90x fitness motivation dedication work p90x2 path les mills combat
3/21/13 11:18 AM
**I have updated to a new thread here**
The Journey Continues


If I can borrow from Robert Frost, may we all take the road less traveled.

If you are here on these discussion boards you have already at least considered it. That is a first step. The next one is to make a commitment to travel down a path to fitness and health you have not before. No matter whether you want to lose weight, add mass, get healthy, run a marathon; if you want to achieve your goals you have to be dedicated to the work that you will need to do. Of course it isn't easy. If it was, as the saying goes, everyone would be doing it.

These programs work.

I believe in these fitness programs because they are working for me. They are no magic formula though really. They involve two main things that are no mystery. Eat right and work your butt off. There are lots of details, but that is the core.

Saturday December 8th, 2012 I completed my first round of P90X; losing exactly 20 pounds in that 90 days. I have significantly improved my fitness, health and appearance already but have more to accomplish. I have lost more than 6 inches off my waist, 2 inches off my neck and 3 inches off my chest as well. My blood pressure is lower and my endurance and strength are through the roof. My resting heart rate is in the low 50's. I'll be 40 years old in June and have not been in good shape for a very long time. Until now.

See for yourself in the Day 1 and Day 90 pictures below for P90X.

My purpose in starting this thread is to track my progress while sharing with others what I am doing. I truly believe sharing and documenting your experiences here increases your chances of reaching your goals. There will be ups and downs. Successes and failures. Use this thread to keep your feet walking that path with one foot in front of the other. If you slip, we will help pick you up.


Start Weight September 10th, 2012: 207 pounds
Weight March 19th, 2013: 168.5 pounds

I have some work to do myself so let's take that road less traveled together.

Good luck in your fitness goals; but then again, if you work hard, you won't really need that luck!

Hope to see you around,

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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled
11/11/12 10:04 AM as a reply to CoachNorthman.

Today is a rest day for me but I have a tendency to do Cardio X or Plyometrics on this day to get in some extra aerobic work.
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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled
11/12/12 3:50 AM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
I'm currently finishing up P90X. I know one thing that is important for success is having a good support group of people around you. Through this thread you can share your setbacks, accomplishments, and questions and receive the kind of positive support and reinforcement you will need to stick to the program in the tough times.

IT WILL BE TOUGH. You need to be prepared to bring your game face. You have to come in with the attitude to succeed. In your mind you have already completed it. Come in with commitment and that commitment will develop your habits. Those habits will set you on the path to achieving your goals. You can't get to the destination without the journey.

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Getting Started. Now what?
2/15/13 1:11 PM as a reply to CoachNorthman.

When you write a goal, use the SMART acronym to help you make sure that you are creating something that you will actually DO!

S = Specific. "I want to lose weight," is not very specific. How about: "I am going to lose 25 pounds or 3 dress sizes."

M = Measurable. Anything that you can measure, you can accomplish! "I will lose 6 inches off my waist”. “I will lower my cholesterol”.
A = Attainable. Is it possible to attain your goal? When you create your goals and write them down you should make sure that your goals are possible! Now, you have to be cautious though. Don't go too easy on yourself. Your goals should have some stretch to them so that you can grow!

R = Realistic. "I will get into shape so I can jump over the Grand Canyon" Uh...nope, probably not going to happen. There are certain laws of physics that still have to be followed. Make sure that the goals you created are based on reality.

T = Time. Give yourself a deadline. In fact this has already been done for you by the folks that created P90X2. It is 90 DAYS!!!!


You will want to take a before photograph of yourself along with writing down your before measurements. At 30, 60 and 90 Days you will also take a photograph of yourself and take your measurements. Comparing the before and after photos will show you how much progress you are making.


Take the fit test prior to Day 1. This will give you a foundation to judge your fitness level. Having this foundation will help you get through the workout programs.


Use the workout sheets that came with your program or download them using the links below to track how many reps you completed, how much weight you used and as you progress through the program, try to do more than you did the previous time. Writing it down will help you remember what you did and your notes you make will help you remember if the workout was too easy, too hard, or just right.

P90X Worksheets
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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled
2/7/13 1:09 PM as a reply to CoachNorthman.

My copy of P90X2 arrived today! I think I am going to plan to do that one next. When I finish this round of P90X I'm thinking a week off and then diving into this one. Who wants to bring it through the holidays? Any takers? Planning to start DECEMBER 17TH!


Ok, if you are planning to do this you are going to need some stuff.


Resistance Bands


Pull-up Bar
*Stability Ball
*Foam Roller
*Chin-Up Max
*Medicine Balls
Power Stands
Yoga Mat
Yoga Blocks
Heart Rate Monitor

You can get virtually any of this equipment at your local sporting goods store. Beachbody also has a selection of products available. If you are just starting out with P90X you will not need the starred items at all.
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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/14/12 6:18 PM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
Nice thread my friend! And great results so far! I'm jealous haha. I saw your link on Facebook ad dropped over to say hello to a fellow coach. May I join your journey? I'll be starting Insanity on Monday, hope that doesn't matter emoticon


- Andrew
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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/15/12 10:50 AM as a reply to harveysandrew.
Sounds great Andrew!

I had back and biceps last night with Ab ripper. Didn't get started with my workout until 10:30 at night but still got it done!


Eating right is one of the biggest aspects to any fitness plan. Check out these fit foods.

20 Fittest Foods
by Joe Gould

It's true. You really are what you eat. And that's why some days you end up feeling more like a cream-filled Twinkie than the lean cut of beef you aspire to.

But you probably already know that. That's why, like all of us, you're most likely trying to clean up your act and start eating healthy. But the truth is, that's just not enough. Because if you're gorging yourself on apples, bananas, and salads made with iceberg lettuce, you may be eating healthy-but you're not eating smart.

In order to build the body you want (the thunderous arms and the rock-hard abs, the lightning-quick brain and the unquenchable libido) you need to make every bite of food you put in your mouth count. That means building your diet around the most potent, nutrient-dense, disease-fighting, muscle-growing foods around.

But where do you start? And what foods are the absolute fittest? To find out, we decided to put some of the nation's top nutritionists to the test.

First, we polled 40 of the country's most respected food experts-registered dietitians, college nutrition professors, and authors-asking them each: What are the 10 most important foods every guy should include in his diet for maximum fitness? Then, as the results rolled in, we ranked our experts' recommendations.

We not only tell you which foods made the list, but how much of each you should eat on a weekly basis. So read on to see how you can make your diet more fit.

20) Turkey Breast
72 calories per 3-oz serving
Eat 3 servings per week
Buy it skinless and you get seven grams of muscle-building protein per ounce. Turkey is high in B vitamins, zinc (a known booster of sperm production), and the cancer fighter selenium. "It's also got a ton of amino acids, and there are little or no saturated fats," says Elizabeth Ward, M.S., R.D., a nutritionist in Reading, Mass. "Plus, it's one of the most versatile cuts of meat around, so you can easily eat it throughout the week and never have the same thing twice."

19) Olive Oil
119 calories per tbsp
Eat 2 tbsp per day
Olive oil is rich in good monounsaturated fat, making it an ideal food for heart health. In fact, studies show that replacing two tablespoons of saturated fat (found in butter and lard) with monounsaturated fat may reduce the risk of heart disease. But that's not the only reason to eat it. A study in the journal Nature reports that olive oil also has potent anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it can help reduce pain and swelling just like a dose of ibuprofen. In addition to cooking with olive oil and using it as a dressing for your salad, you can get even more in your diet by mixing a tablespoon or two into your daily protein shake.

18) Quinoa
318 calories per half cup
Eat 2-3 servings per week
Chances are you may not be familiar with this exotic whole grain grown in the Andes mountains. But you should be. It has a light, mild flavor-making it ideal for guys who hate other whole grains. Even better, it's higher in protein than any other grain around, and packs a hefty dose of heart-healthy. unsaturated fats. "Quinoa is also a great source of fiber and B vitamins," says Christopher Mohr, Ph.D., R.D. a professor of nutrition at the University of Louisville.

17) Black Beans
227 calories per cup
Eat 2 servings per week
Tiny as they are, beans can help you feel energized and fuller longer than almost anything else you can eat. The reason is twofold: They're incredibly high in fiber, which swells in your stomach and promotes a feeling of fullness. And, they're stuffed with a highly complex form of carbohydrate that can take your body a long while to convert into energy. Like meat, they're also packed with protein. But unlike meat, they've got no saturated fats. "Beans of all types are always high on most nutritionists' lists," says Chicago-based nutritionist Jennifer R. Bathgate, R.D. So why'd our experts pick the black variety? Easy. Ounce for ounce, they have more fiber per serving than any other member of the legume family.

16) Green Tea
2 calories per cup
Drink 1-3 cups per day
From cancer prevention to weight loss to potentially slowing the development of Alzheimer's, green tea has been shown to help fight almost every major medical ill. "Hot or cold, there's almost nothing better you can drink," says Mohr. Not the teabagging type? Try buying a liquid extract. Drop a bit in water and voila! Instant tea.

15) Eggs
74 calories per large egg
Eat 3-7 eggs per week
"An egg a day is A-OK," says Ward. Here's why: Eggs contain a heavy-hitting 4 grams of pure muscle-building amino acids inside every shell, in addition to boasting some of the highest naturally available doses around of a vitamin called choline, which is thought to help enhance memory. "They're the gold standard in terms of providing all the right nutrients for muscle growth," says Ward.

14) Milk
118 calories per cup
Get 3 servings of dairy per day
You know milk does a body good, but you may not know that skipping dairy makes your body angry, sort of. When you're not getting enough, your body releases hormones that cause your cells to retain calcium-and fat, says Michael Zemel, Ph.D., director of The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee. Calories still count, so you should drink your milk by the glass rather than the gallon. But just make sure you get some. "There are components in dairy that help turn on your body's fat-burning system and slow down the storage of fat," says Zemel. And although other forms of supplements are great, this is one case in which the real thing works the best.

13) Water
0 calories
Drink Eight 8-oz glasses per day
You know you need to be drinking more water, and for good reason. Water flushes toxins from your system, regulates body temp, acts as an insulator for joints, prevents kidney stones, and supplies the body with a raft of crucial minerals, says Marietta Amatangelo, R.D., of Germantown, Md. "Without water, none of the other super-foods would matter."

Although water helps in every way, it may be at its most powerful when it comes to weight loss. Drinking a glass or two of water a half hour or so before mealtime, for example, can help take the edge off your hunger.

Getting in all that water each day seem like a drag? Try making a half gallon of sugar-free lemonade you can sip throughout the day, or buy a pack of calorie-free flavorings to add to your water bottle at work.

12) Sweet Potatoes
100 calories per med. potato
Eat 1 per week
A four-ounce sweet potato holds more than 100% of our daily supply of beta carotene, a hefty dose of iron, and a plentiful shot of vitamins C and E. Together, these nutrients work together to protect your body against cellular damage of all types, especially in athletes who compete in extreme environments (such as altitude, heat, cold, or pollution). They're also one of the best foods for muscle recovery after a tough workout, says California sports nutritionist Kim Mueller, R.D.

And there are more ways to eat them than just baked, boiled, or topped with marshmallows. Try stirring cooked, diced sweet potato into chili or your favorite potato-salad recipe. You can also grate them into hamburgers or meatloaf, or use them to make your own oven-baked fries.

11) Soy
300 calories per cup
Eat 2 servings per week
If tough Navy SEALs eat soybeans, you can, too. Dietitian Wendy Jo Peterson, of Virginia Beach, who's married to a SEAL, serves him and his Navy buddies edamame. "They think they don't like it until I make them try it, and afterward, I tell them it's soybeans." Peterson calls soy a "perfect food." It has the protein of meat, the fiber of a whole grain, and the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals of the best vegetables and fruits. If you don't like tofu and soy milk-there are easy ways to boost your soy intake. Soy nuts and the soy protein used in some protein shakes and bars not only taste great but are very guy-friendly.

10) Beef
163 calories per 3-oz serving
Eat 3-4 servings per week
It's not only high in muscle-building amino acids, it's also a powerhouse of iron and zinc, which aid circulatory health. In fact, beef is so nutrient-dense that a three-ounce serving supplies more than 10% of your recommended daily intake of a number of nutrients, including protein, B6 and B12, selenium, phosphorus, niacin, and riboflavin. Worried about the fat? Don't. According to USDA data, today's beef is up to 20% leaner than it was a decade ago. In fact, 19 cuts of beef meet government guidelines as being a lean meat. To keep the meat you're buying lean as well as tender and flavorful, opt for cuts with the words round or top in the name-things like eye round roast, top round, or top sirloin steak.

9) Whole-Wheat Bread
140 calories per 2 slices
Eat 6 slices per week
White flour doesn't just rob you of fiber and protein, it also digests incredibly quickly in the body, giving you a rapid spike of energy-but one that comes crashing down just as fast. Over time, those spikes in insulin production wear on the body, damaging cells and promoting excess storage of fat. So why would you ever eat white bread?

"Even if you're cutting carbs, there's still a place for complex whole grains in your diet," says Mohr. "They leave you feeling fuller longer, and they provide the longest possible supply of sustained energy." Just watch out when you're buying something that claims to be whole grain. It may only look brown because it's colored with molasses. Rather than buying based on color, check the ingredient list. The only true whole-grain products are those that contain 100% whole wheat or whole grain listed as the first ingredient on the packaging.

8) Almonds
82 calories per 1/2-oz serving
Eat 3 servings per week
High in protein, fiber, and vitamin E, almonds are great for your heart, digestive system, and skin. Although they're also loaded with healthy unsaturated fats, some guys avoid them because they're so calorie-dense. But that's a mistake. Gary Fraser, Ph.D., a professor of medicine at Loma Linda University in California, studied folks who added two ounces of almonds to their diet on a regular basis. Turns out they had no significant weight change. "Since nuts are such a hard food, it appears that a significant amount of their calories are never absorbed into the body," he says.

To work more almonds into your diet, try keeping a bag of dry-roasted or lightly seasoned almonds in your desk drawer at work-and snack on a handful rather than hitting the vending machine. You can also blend almond butter into smoothies, or use it in place of peanut butter to make an, uh, AB&J sandwich.

7) Yogurt
154 calories per cup
Get 3 servings of dairy per day
Yogurt has all the benefits of milk, plus active cultures that boost the number of germ-fighting bacteria along your intestinal walls, says Mueller. Why does that matter? It helps keep you from getting sick. Studies show that people who eat yogurt most often are less likely to catch a cold than people who rarely eat the stuff. Like milk, yogurt contains calcium that not only boosts fat-burning but also helps you feel satiated, making it an ideal food for weight loss. "Try to buy yogurt that is less than a week old to ensure you're getting the most benefit from the active cultures," she says. (The later the product's expiration date, the newer it is.) One word of caution: Most yogurt is packed with added sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.

6) Spinach
7 calories per cup
Eat 2-3 servings per week
What do button-down dietitians have in common with brawl-happy cartoon sailors? They all love their spinach! And for good reason. One serving of these leafy greens is loaded with fiber, calcium, and virtually your entire day's recommended dosage of beta carotene, a nutrient vital for immune-system health, good vision, but not-as far as we know-huge wrist flexors.

If you can't stand spinach plain, Katherine Tallmadge, R.D., author of Diet Simple, suggests dropping it into burritos, pasta dishes and canned soup.

5) Broccoli
31 calories per cup
Eat 2-3 half-cup servings per week
This fleshy green should be at the top of your list when it comes to vegetables. It's rich with a healthy supply of iron, calcium, fiber, and vitamin C, meaning it's good for the circulatory system, bones, and fighting colds. "As far as vegetables go, this is the one I try hardest to get more guys to eat," says Niki Kubiak, R.D., a private practice nutritionist in Omaha, Neb. Brocco-phobic? Try it on the sly: Slip it into stir-fries, onto pizza, or use raw chunks as a vehicle for your favorite dip.

4) Tomatoes
83 calories per cup
Eat 4 servings per week
Yes, it's true that tomatoes used to be called "love apples" and have a reputation as a powerful aphrodisiac. But that lore has nothing to do with why we picked the tomato as the best food for sexual health. Rather, tomatoes win their place on our chart-and their relatively high ranking overall-because of a single nutrient: lycopene.

This powerful antioxidant, which comes from the pigment that gives tomatoes their red color, may actually help fight off a number of diseases and ailments-most important for men, prostate cancer. Numerous studies show that men who have the most tomatoes and tomato-based products in their diet are less likely to develop prostate problems than men who rarely eat the stuff. And the good news for guys on the run: Tomatoes are also that rare food that's more nutritious when cooked than when eaten raw. "Lycopene becomes more bio-available to the body after it's been heated," says nutritionist David Ricketts, a prostate-cancer sufferer who used his disease as the motivation for writing the cookbook Eat to Beat Prostate Cancer. "You can start off the day with a glass of tomato juice and have a tomato-based sauce a couple of times a week. However you can work it in, you're pretty much on the way."

3) Oatmeal
148 calories per half cup
Eat 3-4 servings per week
When it comes to eating breakfast in the morning, there's nothing better than a bowl of oatmeal to spike your energy levels and provide you with an hours-long supply of fuel. Oatmeal is also filled with stress-fighting and immunity-boosting zinc.

If that weren't enough to convince you to pop a bowl in the microwave, keep in mind that oatmeal can also help promote weight loss and lower your risk of heart disease. Oatmeal is filled with high levels of soluble fiber that protect your heart and arteries by trapping and expelling cholesterol, dropping levels by up to 30 points or more in some cases, says Kubiak.

The best oatmeal may not be the most convenient, however. Those flavored, single-serving packs that litter grocery-store aisles are often filled with added sugar-and therefore excess calories. Instead, stick with the big tub of instant oatmeal and add your own fruit and calorie-free sweeteners, if you need them.

2) Blueberries
41 calories per half cup
Eat 1-2 cups per week
Of all the fruit you can eat, blueberries may be the absolute best. Whether you're getting them raw, tossed into cereal, mixed in fruit salad or a smoothie, blueberries pack more fiber, vitamins, and minerals per ounce than any other fruit in the produce aisle. Chief among those nutrients are free-radical-fighting antioxidants. Free radicals, which increase in number as you get older, travel around your body damaging cells, promoting disease, and triggering signs of premature aging. And blueberries harness the firepower to knock them out of service.

Need another reason to eat them? How about your memory? Those same antioxidants that fight disease are also effective in helping keep connections between cells in your brain and nervous system healthy, ensuring clearer, quicker thinking and the best memory possible.

1) Salmon
121 calories per 3-oz serving
Eat 3-4 servings per week
Salmon made out list for a number of reasons, but the biggest has got to be because its so densely stuffed with omega-3's. These fatty acids are thought to slow memory loss as you age and boost heart health by regulating heart rhythms and keeping arteries and veins supple and free of blockages. While saturated fats lead to obesity, the polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish appear to correct and prevent obesity, according to a study published in Clinical Science.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Salmon is also an excellent source of protein. A three-ounce cooked serving contains 20 grams-making it ideal for building muscle and trimming fat. Besides helping stimulate your metabolism three to four times more than carbs or fat, protein is the absolute best food for helping fill you up, so you take in fewer calories and burn more. And that's what being a fit food is all about.

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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/15/12 11:42 AM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
For the science fiction people. emoticon

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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/23/12 7:35 PM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
I skipped the yoga workout last night and did the Cardio X instead for the first time all the way through. That isn't a bad little condensed workout (that still gets in a fair amount of yoga). Burned 416 calories.

My weight has also been dead stagnant this week. Sitting right at 190 most of the week after hitting the 189.5 point. I can tighten my diet up a little better as I've allowed a couple of extra hundred calories here and there a few times this week. I was also very sore in the muscles yesterday (a bit better today) so I've probably been retaining a little water as my body repairs the tissue.

I experimented with the Cliff Chocolate Mint Protein bar. It was better than the Pure Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter, but still not something I'd call good; and at 270 calories, I think I'll stick with my whey protein.

For now, the whey protein and fish oil are the only supplements I am personally taking. You may find the need or desire to try different products to improve your results. Here are some of the options:


Shakeology®, The healthiest meal of the day. Want a simple way to transform your health? All it takes is one glass of Shakeology® a day. This ultra-premium nutritional health shake contains the world's most powerful superfoods. It's the perfect combination of antioxidants, phytonutrients, enzymes, prebiotics, protein and many rare ingredients – including adaptogens, camu-camu, and sacha inchi – giving you the essential nutrients you can't get from an ordinary diet; and it's just 150 calories.

Whey Protein - You may find that you need to take a supplement like this to reach the necessary protein levels found in P90X's Fat Shredder Phase. Protein use is desirable immediately before and after exercise to help refuel recovering muscles. You can purchase this through TeamBeachbody or get it at any GNC, Wal-Mart, even some supermarkets are carrying whey protein.

Casein Protein - As stated above, rapid protein use is desirable immediately before and after exercise to help refuel recovering muscles, but delayed digestion and absorption may be more beneficial at other times; including bedtime when your body typically goes for hours without food. Casein proteins are acid sensitive and thicken in the stomach. Because of this, it can take more than twice as long for Casein to be broken down into its amino acid subcomponents than other proteins. What does this mean to for you? You are burning calories while you sleep!

Multi-vitamins - Including ActiVit® Multivitamin Formula. This and other multi-vitamins can help you get the high-quality vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs to stay healthy while reaching your fitness and weight loss goals.

Energy and Endurance™ Pre-Workout Formula - Improve your energy, endurance, strength, and focus with this NEW pre-workout drink. Its proprietary blend of advanced nitric oxide boosters, amino acids, natural energizers, electrolytes, and essential B vitamins can help you power through and maximize your workouts.

P90X® Results and Recovery Tub - Refuel, re-energize, and reduce muscle soreness with this after-workout shake. Four parts carbs to one part protein ensures speedy muscle repair after intense workouts! Now all-natural, with no artificial flavors or sweeteners.

Protein Bars - Including P90X Protein Bars can be a great mechanism for energy and protein. I've yet to really find any that I believe are tasty AND high in protein without having 500 calories. If you are looking for a relatively low calorie snack that will be tasty and have some protein (10g), the Kellogg's Bars are surprisingly satisfying.
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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/18/12 12:31 PM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
Holy crap! Insanity Fit Test is NOT what I had expected... It's MORE than I expected. Just the warm up alone is a workout. P90X's Plyometrics has NOTHING on Insanity's Fit Test haha. I done just as much work on a half hour DVD as I did on Plyometrics. Half way through, I realized I am Insane! Anyway, here are my Fit Test 1 results.

Switch Kicks: 60
Power Jacks: 30
Power Knees: 60
Power Jumps: 20
Globe Jumps: 4
Suicide Jumps: 5
Push-up Jacks: 15
Low Plank Oblique: 40

The low plank oblique's I am unsure If I had did them right. Are you supposed to feel the burn in your oblique's? As for the sets with low numbers, I was out of breath to go any further. The kind of out of breath where you feel pressure on your lungs that it hurts. Anyway, I did my best emoticon
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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
12/4/12 8:06 AM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
The low plank oblique really hits the core but you should definitely feel more in the obliques, especially if you get a good squeeze with the leg extension. You are not the first person I have heard say how brutal the fit test is for Insanity so great job!

I did plyometrics last night on my rest day finishing week 10. It was slightly frustrating in that I managed to gain back 2 pounds this week. I tell myself not to focus on the scale!

With the holidays upon us, here are some great tips for staying healthy.

A Survival Guide to Holiday Eating

by Gay Riley, MS, RD, CCN

Here’s some scary food for thought: to gain five pounds from now to the end of January, all you have to do is eat an average of 200 calories per day more than you need -- an ounce of fudge here, an ounce of gravy there, some pecan pie. If you need to ‘get a grip’ on eating splurges, the winter holiday months are key to your long range planning. The holidays typically encourage people to indulge in high-fat, high-calorie foods that are low in nutrients, and this is also the time we’re most likely to make excuses for skipping exercise.

One of the most significant diet dangers revolves around sugar consumption. Problems arise from riding on a sugar roller coaster. When you binge on sugar, you crave more and more and your body slows down. Along with sunlight deprivation, sugar binges cause a drop in serotonin, a chemical in the brain that regulates sleep and appetite. A lack of serotonin is often associated with depression. When you’re deprived of serotonin, you won’t feel calm and in control.

To help boost your serotonin level naturally, eat small but frequent meals that include complex, starchy veggies. You can also help control blood sugar levels by eating small quantities of protein three times a day. For example, eat two egg whites in the morning, some turkey at lunch and a small portion of grilled fish at night.

You should keep up your regular exercise during the holidays and accept no excuses. When endorphins are high, you’ll cope better with stress, and regular exercise boosts endorphins.

Here are some other holiday survival tips:

•Exercise an hour a day during the holidays. Exercise to burn calories, relieve stress, and elevate your endorphins and mood such as a brisk walk, run, or bike-ride.

•Avoid eating no fat. Eating moderate amounts of fat during the holidays will satiate the appetite and prevent overeating of carbs (about 35-65 grams per day will be sufficient for most people.)

•Don’t skip meals. Hunger and low blood sugar lead to overeating.

•Don’t pass up favorite foods or deprive yourself completely. Moderate consumption is the key.

•Don’t tempt yourself by keeping trigger foods or comfort foods around the house. If you have them, it certainly increases the likelihood that you will overeat.

•Plan meals by keeping in mind the demands you’ll have on your schedule that day.

•Don’t go to a party starving. Before you leave home, eat something light or drink a protein shake. Also drink a great deal of water the day of the party.

•When you attend holiday festivities, don’t station yourself near the buffet table. Make a clear-cut decision to distance yourself from all goodies.

•Alcoholic beverages pack on the calories so if you’re drinking alcohol, stick to light beer or a champagne spritzer.

•If you do find yourself feeling depressed, soothe your spirit with a massage, manicure, pedicure, or facial. Men can enjoy this too!

•When you shop, eat before you leave home so you won’t resort to cookie breaks.

•To satisfy your sweet tooth, set limits. For example, you might allow yourself two desserts per week at 250 calories each.

•Just because it is the holidays doesn't mean you should give yourself the license to eat everything that passes by. Factor in the little extras into your daily intake.

•Help out by saving fat and calories when it’s feasting time. Make or buy wild-rice stuffing, baked sweet potatoes, whole-grain rolls and angel-food cake with fruit.

•If you are staying with family or friends ask them if you can have a space in the refrigerator and keep foods on hand to snack on like lean deli meats, cottage cheese, nonfat cheese sticks, etc.

•If you tend to overeat during family gatherings, plan and visualize what and how much you will eat before you go.

•If you want to really keep yourself honest (the same size) during the holiday season wear your most form-fitting blue jeans. Another trick is to tie a string or ribbon around your waist (under your shirt) that will not budge with the bulge.

•If you are at the mercy of the dinner host, eat modest amounts of the foods offered and fill up on foods with more fiber and fewer calories. Make a small plate and skip the seconds.

•Eat whatever you want on the main holiday feast. If you over do it just go back to your regular plan the next day.

•Take a meditative moment at least 1 time ever day to breathe deeply, and clear your mind of all the clutter.

•Enjoy the season, not just the food!

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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/19/12 2:23 PM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
I'm gonna die! Haha... Plyometric Cardio Circuit complete on Day 2. Today's workout made me come to realization that P90X has NOTHING on Insanity. If you don't hear from me tomorrow, it's cause Shaun T. killed me haha. Good workout today though, took lots of breaks but still pushed through. I think my cardio needs to be worked on the most, glad I picked Insanity. That is all for now emoticon

Dig Deeper!

- Andrew
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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/20/12 1:10 PM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
Plyo tonight! Going to bring it later!

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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/21/12 1:09 PM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
Awesome job! I love the tips you have given for the Holidays! Thanks so much! KPP! emoticon
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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/22/12 2:34 AM as a reply to HiFitzy.
For those that celebrate the day.

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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/23/12 7:37 PM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
Missed my yoga workout yesterday. First workout I've missed in more than 2 months. I managed to not eat too bad for turkey day though. Legs and back tonight! Keep pushing play!
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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/24/12 6:34 PM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
Kenpo tonight closes out week 11 with my rest day tomorrow. The body is feeling a little sore so I might actually rest tomorrow.
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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/28/12 6:14 AM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
Chest, shoulders, triceps and abs last night to start week 12. In the home stretch here now. Last week was a struggle to get through for me but I kept pushing play. I felt rejuventated last night and got a pretty good 516 calorie burn.

Start working for it and keep working for it!

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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
1/3/13 12:13 PM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
If you are just getting on track with your fitness after a period of inactivity, a great place to start is with walking. Here is a great article on the benefits of walking.

Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health

Walking is a low-impact exercise with numerous health benefits. Here's how to get started.
by Mayo Clinic Staff

Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that can ease you into a higher level of fitness and health. Walking is a form of exercise accessible to just about everybody. It's safe, simple and doesn't require practice. And the health benefits are many. Here's more about why walking is good for you, and how to get started with a walking program.

Benefits of walking

Walking, like other exercise, can help you achieve a number of important health benefits. Walking can help you:
Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol)
Raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol)
Lower your blood pressure
Reduce your risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
Manage your weight
Improve your mood
Stay strong and fit

All it takes to reap these benefits is a routine of brisk walking. It doesn't get much simpler than that. And you can forget the "no pain, no gain" talk. Research shows that regular, brisk walking can reduce the risk of heart attack by the same amount as more vigorous exercise, such as jogging.

Proper walking technique

Walking isn't as likely to lead to injuries as other types of exercise. Still, take time to prepare yourself to prevent injuries, such as blisters or muscle pain.

Get the right gear.

Be sure to wear comfortable footwear. Choose shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel and thick flexible soles to cushion your feet and absorb shock. Before you buy a new pair, be sure to walk in them in the store.

Also dress in loosefitting, comfortable clothing and in layers if you need to adjust to changing temperature. If you walk outside, choose clothes appropriate for the weather. Avoid rubberized materials, as they don't allow perspiration to evaporate. Wear bright colors or reflective tape after dark so that motorists can see you.

Use proper technique

Walking is a great exercise because it's so simple to do. But using the correct posture and movements is essential.

Warm up

Spend about five minutes walking slowly to warm up your muscles. You can walk in place if you want. Increase your pace until you feel warm.


After warming up, stretch your muscles before walking. Include the calf stretch, quadriceps stretch, hamstring stretch and side (iliotibial) stretch.

Cool down after each walking session

To reduce stress on your heart and muscles, end each walking session by walking slowly for about five minutes. Then, repeat your stretches.

Getting started: Focus on the basics

As you get started, remember to:

Start slow and easy. If you're a seasoned walker, keep doing what you're doing. If you've been inactive and tire easily, it's best to start slow and easy. At first, walk only as far or as fast as you find comfortable. If you can walk for only a few minutes, let that be your starting point. For example, you might try short daily sessions of five to 10 minutes and slowly build up to 15 minutes twice a week. Then, over several weeks' time, you can gradually work your way up to 30 to 60 minutes of walking most days each week.

Measure the intensity of your workout. As you walk, measure the intensity of your workout by checking your heart rate. Knowing your heart rate allows you to increase the intensity to maximize your workout or slow down to avoid overdoing it.

To find out if you're exercising within the range of your target heart rate, stop walking to check your pulse manually at your wrist (radial artery) or neck (carotid artery). Another option is to wear an electronic device that displays your heart rate.

Set goals and track your progress

The good news is that walking — even only a modest amount — provides health benefits. For maximum benefits, work your way up to 30 to 60 minutes a day within your target heart rate zone, most days of the week.

To achieve these benefits, it can help to set goals, track your progress and take steps to stay motivated.

Set realistic goals

If your goal is to walk two hours a day 365 days a year, you might be setting yourself up to fail. Set realistic goals for yourself, such as 30 minutes five days a week. And you don't need to do it all at once. Build walking into your schedule today. For example, walk for 10 minutes on your lunch break.

Track progress

Keeping a record of how many steps you take, the distance you walk and how long it takes can help you see where you started from and serve as a source of inspiration. Just think how good you'll feel when you see how many miles you've walked each week, month or year.

Record these numbers in a walking journal you create for yourself or log them in a spreadsheet on your computer. Another option is to use an electronic device — such as a pedometer — to calculate time and distance for you.

Stay motivated

Starting a walking program takes initiative. Sticking with it takes commitment. But when you think of the potential health benefits, it's well worth your effort. Over time you'll likely feel more invigorated. To stay motivated:

Make it fun. If you don't like walking alone, invite your spouse, partner, friend or neighbor to join you. You might also join a health club and use a treadmill.

Vary your routine. Plan several different walking routes for variety. But if you're walking alone, be sure to tell someone which route you're taking.

Sometimes things happen to keep you from sticking to a regular walking program. Don't be too hard on yourself when this happens. You don't have to let a few days off sabotage your plan to reach a higher level of fitness and improved health. Just revisit your goals and get walking.

You'll be glad you started

Even though the first steps of any journey can be the most difficult, it helps to keep your goals foremost in your mind. So remember, once you take that first step, you're on the way to an important destination — better health.
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RE: Take the Road Less Traveled. Starting December 17th!
11/29/12 7:17 AM as a reply to CoachNorthman.
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