Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Filtering by Tag: Beachbody

Insanity Max:30 Sweat Intervals





Insanity Max:30 Tabata Power





30 minute workouts using the P90X Classic Schedule

Most of us know and love P90X. Not as many of us, but still quite a few, have fallen in love with P90X3. I really like the P90X3 schedule and the workout scheduling, but part of me wished that the workouts were more like the original P90X schedule, just shorter. This had my brain thinking, what if I took the P90X3 workouts and slotted them into the original P90X schedule, and then filled in the blanks on my own? I have been toying with the idea of filming my own workouts and putting them on YouTube for a while now, so this seemed like a great place to start.

To complete this schedule, you will obviously need to purchase the P90X3 program. I have put the workouts from the P90X3 Elite DVD into the schedule as options, although you are obviously more than welcome to sub X3 Ab Ripper out (for example) for something else like the original Ab Ripper X, or even X2 Ab Ripper from P90X2.

There are some workouts that do not have obvious equivalents in P90X3 when compared to P90X, so that is where my YouTube videos have come in. You will find these days hyperlinked in the schedule below to my 30 minute workout on YouTube.

Some days have options because, well, there is lots of great workouts in P90X3, so why not have them all thrown into the mix?

Finally, the transition weeks are slightly different because of what I just mentioned, there are a few new workouts in X3 that just couldn't be passed up.

From there, everything else should be pretty self-explanatory. Let me know if you have any questions by commenting below.

Schedule

Phase 1 (Weeks 1 - 3)

Day 1 - The Challenge OR 30 Minute Chest & Back + "Core-mageddon" (20 Minute Core)
Day 2 - Triometrics
Day 3 - "The Armoury" (30 Minute Shoulders & Arms) + "Core-mageddon" (20 Minute Core)
Day 4 - X3 Yoga
Day 5 - "Double Impact" (30 Minute Legs & Back) + "Core-mageddon" (20 Minute Core)
Day 6 - Accelerator OR MMX OR CVX OR Warrior
Day 7 - Rest or Dynamix

Transition Week (Weeks 4, 8, 13)

Day 1 - X3 Yoga
Day 2 - Total Synergistics
Day 3 - Accelerator OR MMX OR CVX OR Warrior
Day 4 - Dynamix
Day 5 - Isometrix
Day 6 - X3 Yoga
Day 7 - Rest or Dynamix

Phase 2 (Weeks 5 - 7)

Day 1 - "Dillon & Dutch" (30 Minute Back & Biceps) + "Core-mageddon" (20 Minute Core)
Day 2 - Agility X
Day 3 - "Triple Threat" (30 Minute Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps) + "Core-mageddon" (20 Minute Core)
Day 4 - X3 Yoga
Day 5 - "Double Impact" (30 Minute Legs & Back) + "Core-mageddon" (20 Minute Core)
Day 6 - Accelerator OR MMX OR CVX OR Warrior
Day 7 - Rest or Dynamix

Phase 3 (Weeks 9 - 12)

Week 9, 11

Day 1 - The Challenge OR 30 Minute Chest & Back + "Core-mageddon" (20 Minute Core)
Day 2 - Triometrics
Day 3 - "The Armoury" (30 minute Shoulders & Arms) + "Core-mageddon" (20 Minute Core)
Day 4 - X3 Yoga
Day 5 - "Double Impact" (30 Minute Legs & Back) + "Core-mageddon" (20 Minute Core)
Day 6 - Accelerator OR MMX OR CVX OR Warrior
Day 7 - Rest or Dynamix

Weeks 10, 12

Day 1 - "Dillon & Dutch" (30 Minute Back & Biceps) + "Core-mageddon" (20 Minute Core)
Day 2 - Agility X
Day 3 - "Triple Threat" (30 Minute Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps) + "Core-mageddon" (20 Minute Core)
Day 4 - X3 Yoga
Day 5 - "Double Impact" (30 Minute Legs & Back) + "Core-mageddon" (20 Minute Core)
Day 6 - Accelerator OR MMX OR CVX OR Warrior
Day 7 - Rest or Dynamix





P90X2 Plyocide Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

My original video review (January 9th 2012)

Equipment Needed

Cast

Roberto

Mark

Traci

Worksheet

Introduction

Welcome to P90X2! You will first encounter Plyocide on day 2 of the P90X2 schedule. Tony refers to this routine as "Death by Jumping!" This is a performance based routine with some balance and cardiovascular elements sprinkled in.

Plyometrics is arguably one of the most popular routines from the original P90X program, so it was natural for me to be excited to give this one a try. One thing most people don't realize, however, is that although the title may suggest it, the original P90X Plyometrics doesn't have that many tried and true "plyometric exercises" in it. This routine focuses more on the explosive nature of true plyometric training.

Pros

There is a good combination of balance, plyometric, and cardiovascular-based exercises here. If you truly push yourself, especially on the explosive movements, then you will get your heart rate soaring!

Unlike the original Plyo-X, this routine doesn't have any repeat exercises. I like the fact that the routine keeps rolling and keeps you interested throughout.

The pacing is perfect, as there are blocks of exercises that keep your heart rate up, but at the same time gives you quick enough breaks to recover a bit to get the most out of the plyometric exercises.

The end of the routine also has a great stretching sequence using Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching.

Cons

This is not a cardiovascular blaster of a routine to the likes of Insanity or Asylum. Keep in mind that that is not necessarily the point, however. Instead, this routine is based on sports performance and explosiveness (plyometrics). For that purpose, this routine gives ample resting periods to make sure you maximize your potential during the sequences that require 100% effort.

This routine falls a bit short on time. If you are coming off a program like Insanity or Asylum this routine will feel short, but again, with performance in mind, this routine is just about right in my opinion.

Difficulty

This routine is broken up into 4 main "classes" of exercises: balance, strength, plyometric or explosive, and cardiovascular.

Plyometrics can be very high impact, especially if you are trying to maximize every movement, so that will definitely get your heart rate soaring if you are pushing yourself during your reps.

The more cardio-based or agility sequences are a bit less impact, but they are more about speed and increasing your heart rate. Since these exercises are only 60 seconds long, you should be pushing yourself to the limit and should be exhausted by the time that timer runs out.

As I have said above, this is not as difficult as an Insanity or Asylum routine, but difficult enough in its own ways, especially if you are pushing yourself (like you should) to get 100% explosiveness on every plyometric movement.

Difficulty: 5/5

Workout Design

This routine begins with the typical P90X2 dynamic warm-up.

You progress through 5 "rounds" of 4 exercises per round. Each round has 1 of each "element" thrown in - balance, strength, plyo, cardio.

The pacing is perfect in my opinion, giving you time to rest and recover when needed in order to maximize your potential during the plyometric movements.

I really enjoyed the plyometric exercises in this routine, as they are more plyometric in nature and designed to increase sports performance when compared to a routine like the original Plyo-X.

It is also great having the PNF stretch sequencing at the end of the routine. It is a great way to cool down and maximize your stretching potential.

I think even one more round of 4 exercises would've made this a nearly perfect routine as it does feel a bit short, but definitely an enjoyable routine!

Workout Design: 4.5/5

Advice

For more information on PNF stretching, go here.

Overall

Most people need to realize that the original Plyometrics from P90X is no entirely "plyometric" there is actually quite a few exercises in that routine that are NOT plyometric.

I think they were trying to design a routine here that is part plyometric, part cardio, and then a bit of balance for more core/athletic training.

Plyometric exercises place a LOT of strain/stress on the joints so more recovery time between plyometric exercises is needed.

Having said all of that, I personally really enjoy this routine and am always dripping with sweat and pretty spent by the end.

Overall: 9.5/10





P90X2 X2 Core Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

My original video review (January 8th 2012)

Equipment Needed

Cast

Dale

Taylor

Barbie

Worksheet

Introduction

Welcome to P90X2. X2 Core will more than likely be your first sampling of P90X2, so be ready for core engagement 101! This routine has 17 exercises following a dynamic warmup, coming in at about 56 minutes total run time. Although you may be used to kicking things off with Chest & Back on day of the original P90X schedule, think of day 1 and phase 1 of P90X2 as your practice and training session to prepare you for the strength training found in phase 2.

Pros

P90X2 takes the adage that you can't shoot a cannon out of a canoe. What this means is that in order to be a strong, capable athlete who can perform better during your training sessions, not to mention every day life, you need to have a good solid base. Phase 1 of P90X2 is all about starting to build that solid base.

This routine will be very polarizing for many who try it. For those of you who have good core stability and control may actually find this routine "easy" or pointless. However, those of you who are new to core training may find this routine to be very difficult and discouraging. Either way, stick with it, as I am sure this will help you focus on getting better in some way.

I really enjoy the dynamic warmups in P90X2. Sure, they may seem long to some of you, but remember that in order to train dynamically, you must warm up your body appropriately to engage the muscles that will be trained to maximize the potential from the workout.

Cons

This routine isn't too bad, but the introduction into P90X2 can and will be very humbling/frustrating for a lot of people. It will take some time to "build-up" to the intensified versions of these exercises.

If you have balance issues or are not engaging your core properly, some of these exercises may seem too easy or far too difficult. Use my video below, as well as the Coaching in the workout itself to focus on modifying exercises so that you can intensify over time.

I am not a big fan of the "X2 Diver" exercise in this routine. Personally, I think it seems a bit out of place in this routine. To have you catch yourself in a push-up position on the very first day of the program seems a bit extreme. I discuss this in my video below, and show a way to modify.

Difficulty

This, along with a lot of the other P90X2 workouts, will actually become more and more difficult the more you do them and the better you get at the exercises. A lot of these exercises have a decent learning curve to them so for example, the first few times you do it, you may only be able to get a couple reps of a specific exercise before you have to modify to finish.

As your skill level increases and you become better at a given exercise, you will then be able to do more repetitions, therefore increasing the intensity of the workout.

This is definitely a different routine than what one may be used to on day 1 of Beachbody's other programs like P90X or even Insanity. This is not a muscle scorching or even a hardcore cardio-esque routine. Instead, it is designed to systematically build up your skill and core strength so that you can maximize your results during Phase 2.

Having said that, this routine is difficult enough in its own ways, especially to folks who are new to this kind of training.

Difficulty: 4/5

Workout Design

All P90X2 workouts have lengthy, dynamic warmups designed to prep the body for the athletic training. I am glad to see Beachbody do away with the rather outdated static stretching found in P90X, for example. Instead, by warming the body up dynamically, you are better prepared to move in a variety of planes athletically and therefore maximize your training.

The workout itself is split up into 17 straight exercises with very little break in between each one.

This routine is not intended to have you laying on the ground doing crunches all day (that idea is also out-dated), nor will it crank your heart rate through the roof, but there are a list of exercises here to get your body used to the idea of engaging the core.

For majority of the people doing this routine, there will be a lot of new and interesting exercises here to keep you interested!

Workout Design: 5/5

Advice

  1. Have a towel nearby to ensure that your hands are dry. You will be doing push-ups on stability balls and medicine balls, it is dangerous to do so with wet hands.

  2. Make every single repetition count! This is not a routine designed to go for max reps necessarily, instead, you want to focus on engaging your core and listening to the cues in the workout as well as any tips I can give you in the video below to maximize every single exercise.

  3. Form is king.

  4. If you reach a point where you can do full reps with great form, then don't be afraid of adding extra reps in to increase intensity. Do not rush things, however.

Overall

As I said, this is not the most difficult or crushing routine by any stretch of the imagination. However, this routine has its purpose in the P90X2 schedule, and that is so that you can practice properly engaging your core, not to mention working on some of these balance and coordination elements and movement patterns so that you can maximize your results from Phase 2 and 3.

Overall: 8/10





Train Like a German Soccer Star

I came across this fantastic article over at the New York Times the other day. The article discusses some of the theory and practice behind training a World Cup winning soccer (football) team. Beyond a few points that I will point out below, the article is cool to read through, especially if you are interested in not just working out, but training. There are small hints at periodizational training, macro, meso, and micro cycles, recovery, mobility, etc. Basically, a way for fitness nerds to nerd out.

Mr. Verstegen, the founder and president of EXOS, a Phoenix-based company that trains professional and recreational athletes and corporate executives, was appointed in 2004 by Jurgen Klinsmann, then the coach of the German team and now the United States coach. He was brought in to improve the players’ fitness, agility, nutrition and resilience. At the time, the Germans were at a low ebb by their high standards, having not won a World Cup since 1990 or a European championship since 1996. Mr. Verstegen said his appointment was met with widespread incredulity among German fans, news media and even some players.

I found this notable, especially when we highlight some of the other aspects of the article later on. Oftentimes, I find that individuals aiming to do a workout or start a workout program lose sight of forest because of all of the trees. In other words, training programs should be set up for an ultimate goal rather than individual workouts. I find that too many times individuals get so focused on how hard or enjoyable their one workout ought to be, rather than focusing on the long-term changes.

This is especially true of the program P90X2, which I have been adamant about since its release. That program, in my opinion, is a perfect example of the sum of the parts being greater than any individual workout. What I mean is that the program is designed to improve you from becoming better at specific things so that you can improve yourself rather than just getting a good sweat on. Sure, there are some great workouts there, but the true benefits come from the improvements in movement patterns and mobility.

Anyways, back to the article. Check out what Mr. Verstegen had to say when he was asked what a typical World Cup training session would look like:

It would depend on how close we were to the next game, but we’d often divide the structure into four stations, a mini-circuit, with a different exercise at each station. We might have the players do things like a T-Hip rotation exercise at one station and a miniband lateral walk at another. That’s where you strap a band across the thighs or ankles and walk sideways. We were ridiculed in 2004 when we had players exercise that way. But hip stability is essential for soccer performance and injury mitigation. People don’t laugh about it now.

Go back and read those last 2 sentences again:

We were ridiculed in 2004 when we had players exercise that way. But hip stability is essential for soccer performance and injury mitigation. People don’t laugh about it now.

That is exactly what the P90X2 program is focused on - hip stability. So why would some average Joe care about hip stability? Well, when you focus on hip stability, as well as other mobility-centric movement mechanics, you are become better at doing other things. When you are better at doing other things, i.e. running, walking, climbing, squatting, etc. you are less prone to injury and more prone to excelling - aka, being a badass.

Being better at movement allows you to break through plateaus and push your workouts and training to the next level. Some of you may be familiar with my entire series on getting the most out of P90X3. Well, in the coming weeks, I will be doing a similar series on P90X2 so that I can help those of you who are either unsure about X2, or are struggling with it to get the most out of the program and realize the potential of, what I consider to be Beachbody's best program, and possibly the best home workout program of all time.





Nicole uses P90X3 and Shakeology after 2nd pregnancy

Meet Nicole (my wife). Nicole gave birth to our second son back on March 16th 2014. Following the pregnancy, Nicole wished to get back into shape so that she could get back to not only feeling better, but get in shape so that she could start training for running again.

Being a mom of a 2 year old and a newborn doesn't exactly buy you a lot of time for yourself, let alone to workout and focus on eating well so when she asked me what I thought she should do for training, without hesitation I suggested she try P90X3 and use Shakeology.

P90X3 fit the bill for her need to get back in shape with only 30 minutes a day. The short workouts waste little time and are very efficient in getting the job done. She would make sure the baby was fed prior to heading down to our home gym, then away she would go. The shortened workouts gave her time to press play, cool down, take a shower, and get ready for her day in under and hour!

As for diet, Nicole expressed interest in having something easy to make for breakfast or lunch since she is usually running around trying to get our 2 year olds food prepared. She knew I was already taking Shakeology and liked the strawberry, so decided to give it a shot during her time with P90X3. Shakeology fit the bill as something incredibly easy to make and prepare on the go while she got our 2 year old ready.

Day 1 - 161 lbs.

Day 1 - 161 lbs.

Day 90 - 148 lbs.

Day 90 - 148 lbs.

Day 1 - 161 lbs.

Day 1 - 161 lbs.

Day 90 - 148 lbs.

Day 90 - 148 lbs.

So how did she do? Well, beyond losing 13 pounds in 13 weeks, Nicole also drastically improved on her fit test results that she took before and after her 90 days with X3. She has recently completed Warrior Dash (3.5 mile obstacle "mud run") and has a 10km race scheduled for August 2014.

After completing Warrior Dash, Nicole mentioned to me how impressed she was with her fitness level after only completing P90X3 (with a few training runs thrown in the mix). She powered through the hilly parts of the course and had no issues with any of the obstacles, no doubt a testament to the total body strength and conditioning she gained through P90X3!

Day 1Day 90
Weight161148
Pull-Ups (with chin-up assist)5 1/215
Push-Ups1123
Toe Touch+5+8
Wall Squats2 minutes3 minutes
In & Outs3055

*Fit test details can be found in the P90X3 fitness guide.





How effective is Body Beast for hypertrophy?

One of the major hurdles faced by Beachbody when creating Body Beast was trying to create a program that could elicit measurable hypertrophy (muscle size) gains with fairly basic home workout equipment. Many people, including myself, was skeptical of the idea of being able to build mass without some of the heavy weights and equipment used in your standard gym.

Although, you may need a decent selection of weight in order to maximize your benefits from Body Beast - staying within specific rep ranges, it turns out, you may not need to train with as heavy weight as you may think.

When working with untrained beginners, personal trainers may be able to produce hypertrophy using lighter loads (15RM+ or <65% of 1RM). Such hypertrophy may be similar or only slightly inferior to that achievable using heavier loads and this may allow for greater variety and an initially less-challenging task for the client.

Here are a few points to be taken into consideration, however:

  1. All of these studies used untrained individuals. Virtually any form of resistance training could probably elicit some sort of muscle size increase in untrained individuals for a number of reasons, including water retention, increased glycogen storage, and swelling due to new stimulus. Virtually all "beginners" achieve some sort of muscular hypertrophy when they first begin a resistance training program (regardless of rep range or resistance used).
     
  2. Although a home workout program like Body Beast can result in muscle hypertrophy, it is just that, a hypertrophy program and oftentimes I see individuals confusing muscle size increase with strength gains. Sure, one may increase their overall strength due to the stimulus being used, however, Body Beast is not the optimal program in order to develop overall strength. (Refer to the following diagram)

Traditional strength training uses compound lifts (bench press, squat, deadlift, overhead press, barbell row, etc.), typically in the 1-5 rep range with longer periods of rest (2-5 minutes) to maximize the amount of force that you can generate every set.

Resistance training at any rep range will more than likely elicit improvements, especially with progressive overload (increasing resistance every or every other workout). Don't confuse the fact that increasing your weight for a 8-rep set of dumbbell squats as a tremendous increase in strength. Your muscles are getting better at squatting more weight for that rep range, but that doesn't necessarily mean that your 1 rep maximum (1RM) for the squat has improved by any significant means.

Traditional strength training has been thought to be better at producing "denser" muscles by increasing the size and strength of the myofibrils whereas higher rep resistance training (Body Beast) increases the size or volume of the sarcoplasm.

Well, it’s no secret that when you lift heavy stuff and eat enough food, your muscles will get bigger. In fitness circles it is commonly said that gross muscle hypertrophy can occur in one of two ways: Either through increases in the volume of myofibrils inside the muscles, termed myofibriller hypertrophy, or through expansion of the “other stuff” (usually the fluid) in the muscle, termed sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. In normal cells, the fluid inside the cells is called cytoplasm, and in muscle fibers, the corresponding volume is called sarcoplasm (“sarco” meaning flesh). Supposedly, heavy, strength-oriented training (big weights, few reps, long breaks) will grow “denser”, myofibrillar hypertrophy, whereas lighter, pump oriented training will induce “puffy” (often claimed “nonfunctional”) sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. “Non-functional”, because this latter type should not be associated with increases in strength, as the capacity to produce force is derived from the contractile, myofibrillar protein. The really funky part about this idea is that it is the purest broscience and it lacks both solid evidence as well as a sound biological rationale and somehow it has managed to creep into the scientific literature anyway.

I think that the research tells us that various rep ranges of training can generate a wide range of improvements to the muscle. We know that 12+ repetitions improve muscular endurance properties as well as increase muscular size of type-1 (aerobic) muscle fibers. We know that 6-12 reps is *typically* ideal for muscular hypertrophy, with the 6-8 rep range often considered as "functional hypertrophy" due to the added strength benefits. Lastly, we know that traditional strength training in the 1-5 rep range is best for improving the overall force the muscles can generate.

Ultimately, there seems to evidence that points to hypertrophy at all rep ranges. 12+ reps can increase the size of type-1 muscle fibers. 6-12 and 1-5 reps can increase the size of type-2 muscle fibers. Beyond that, you simply need to consume enough calories (surplus to what you burn on a daily basis) to increase muscular size/volume.

In my opinion, one of the most effective things about Body Beast is that the program does target both the 6-12 rep range as well as the 12+ rep range, targeting hypertrophy of both the type-1 and type-2 fibers.

No individual should stick to any program or training style for too long because their progress will eventually plateau. I always recommend an individual transition to another program that will help them reach their overall goals.

Hypertrophy training can be especially important, beyond aesthetics, for athletes or individuals who wish to gain weight for a specific sport or event. Football players, for example, could benefit from hypertrophy training early on in their training macrocycle, gaining weight and muscular size first, prior to engaging in traditional strength training to therefore make their larger muscles stronger. Big muscles don't necessarily mean they are stronger, but they can certainly have a higher affinity for strength gains.

I would personally like to see some studies conducted on the long-term effects of various forms of hypertrophy training. Is it possible to create denser, and therefore more resilient muscle fibers by doing strength training, therefore creating growth for longer periods of time? Will sarcoplasmic hypertrophy "fade away" quicker if resistance training is stopped due to insufficient stimulus increasing the volume of the sarcoplasm?





Team Fitness for Life Motivation

The fine folks in our Team Fitness for Life Facebook Challenge Group struck up a conversation the other regarding motivation and what drives us all to keep working out and leading a healthy lifestyle. The responses, in my opinion, were amazing, and really shows not only the diversity of where people are coming from, but also the dedication and the "spark" that so many of us have to work towards our goals - even if those goals are continually changing.

Our group is full of some inspiring people who are staying active and leading healthy lifestyles, and then reaching out to help others in the group with problems or questions they may have, every single day. Join our team today!

*Note* Our Facebook group is closed so only members of the group can see what you post.

The original question posted:

Question for the group, Ive been working out for about a year and a half now doing programs 90% of that time but some days now Its kinda hard to find motivation to workout. SOME DAYS, I just end up not working out because I stall and put it off, but most of the time is fine. My question is for people who have been working out for 1 year plus. How do you stay committed to workout every day and does your workout stay very strict even after this long?

The responses (some quotes are slightly modified to protect identities):

Honestly like you and everyone else I go through waves of motivation. However, without the workouts my core would grow weaker and my back pain would be unbearable. So for me, I workout to move and have freedom without surgery. A battle I seem to be loosing lately, but I will put it off for as long as I can. This group helps a lot to be honest. Many times I come home from work and I don't want to workout, but I see how many do hit their workouts and I push through it. Also my friends on teambeachbody help too.
 
For me its easy. My life depends upon it. Let that sink in for minute. I let myself go, tired and bored with fitness and for my lack of effort ended up with type 2 diabetes. Its a family tradition. I worked my ass and gut off. Blood sugar is a lot easier this way and I'm on minimum of meds. I found it harder to take time away from training, despite needing it. I have minor complications because it it. Motivation isn't hard for me.
 
I have periods of losing a little momentum too, most recently, seeing the consequences in the mirror is what got me back on track. I have to change up my routine from time to time to stay focused. I did P90X over a year ago, then went back to running regularly, then when X3 came out, I got into that. This may sound cheesy but sometimes when I'm not feeling the workout I'll go to Pinterest or Tumblr and read motivational quotes, there's usually one quote that triggers inspiration for me.
 
Like others here, one of the key reasons why I stay motivated is because of a back injury (and subsequent surgery) I had almost 10 years ago now. I constantly remind myself about the pain and anguish I went through by not being fit and when I was injured, I made a promise to myself that once I had my surgery and got better, that I would never let myself get back to a point like that ever again!
Obviously not everyone has had an injury/illness to initially spark their motivation, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it, but you need to find that "spark" inside of you that turns healthy living into a part of your life rather than just something to do with your free time.
You eat, shower, brush your teeth, drive, go to school/work, walk the dog, watch tv, etc. every day because they are part of your day. Schedule in your time to do something to improve yourself every day too. Sure, mostly all of us here use and enjoy Beachbody programs, but ultimately, if you can't stay motivated with them, then find something that you DO like and do it instead. If you don't have a lot of motivation at the time, still keep that time dedicated to improving yourself. Maybe all you do is some stretching, or a long walk, or meditate, but keep your dedicated time to improve yourself.
 
I used to work with a long-term care pharmacy, so we supplied medical needs to nursing and assisted living homes. I spent quite a bit of time in homes and have seen the unfortunate circumstances many of the residents were in. Sure, many of them were in their 80's and 90's so illness and disease had simply caught up with them, but so many of them were feeble and unable to care for themselves.
I exercise because I don't want to reach a point in my life when I am feeble, sitting in a wheelchair, unable to run/walk/jump and regret not using my most valuable tool (my body) when I had the chance. You are young, don't take your health for granted because it is not going to be there forever!
 
I just bag the excuses and do what it takes to push play! Some days I don't feel like doing it, but I remind myself that I'll feel better after and I ALWAYS do without fail. Trust me, if it's important enough to you, you WILL find time in your day to do it.
 
Great topic, & some great reasons above... I have been exercising my whole life... If I don't, I feel terrible !!!!! I'm fat cause I eat too much / simple maths... (But I'm fit & that surprises some people with what I can do) age 41
Find your WHY ?
 
To put it simply, what motivates me the most is that I don't want to be responsible for my early death. I do not want to be laying on my death bed someday knowing I could have lived a longer, more productive life if I'd only took the time to exercise and eat right. The things that adversely affect my motivation are boredom and unrealistic expectations. I have gone up and down in my weight for most of my life. Either I would try to eat well or exercise, but rarely both at the same time. As a result, I lived in a cycle of weight loss and weight gain, which usually included bursts of exercise that I either got bored of doing or my efforts ended in injury because I didn't know how to exercise properly. 
On January 3, 2010, I weighed 260 lbs. I had sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, I had very few clothes left to wear (my waist was 46"), and my kids reminded me daily that I was fat. Also, on this day, I read the obituaries in the Sunday paper. There were five men, all about the same age as me (plus or minus a couple years), all with big heads like me, and all of them with families like me. And, of course, they were all dead. This was the tipping point for me. It was on this day that I decided to exercise and eat well. 
Over four-and-a-half years later, I continue to do P90X, P90X2, P90X3 and hybrids of those workouts. I incorporate power yoga and stretching several times a week into my workouts along with the resistance routines and do them hard and fast. I am, by far, stronger, more agile, and alert than I have ever been. I think better, feel better, and simply function better when I exercise and eat right.
 
One other thing, this group touched on this....I find it incredibly rewarding when I "push play" or go ahead with my workout when I least feel like it. Usually the lack of interest beforehand is just on the surface, and a few minutes into the workout, I've rediscovered my focus. Some of my best workouts I started with a lack of interest but finished very strong.
It's so easy to do your daily workout when you're amped up, excited to make improvements in your fitness. But if you can show up on your worst days, when the last thing you want to do is expend that energy, to me that shows commitment. I get a renewed sense of motivation when I can do that.
 
What keeps me motivated is the great feeling I get after the work outs and being able to share my adventures with everyone here. There are days where I just want to call it quits, but with the support from everyone in this group, it helps to keep me accountable. Plus, I just turned 41 a few weeks ago and I just want to make sure I stay in good health for the long run.
 
What everyone else has said, "To put it simply, what motivates me the most is that I don't want to be responsible for my early death". I want to be there for my family!!! Another thing that motivates me is pregnancy (I know that sounds funny). Being 7-9 months pregnant and an extra 40 lbs with a sore back, swollen ankles and lack of energy was motivation for me to do something about that when I'm not pregnant. I hated not having the energy to play with my first son the way I wanted to while pregnant with my second, and I hated not feeling "fit". Although the pregnancy was temporary and there are lots of wonderful things about being pregnant, that last trimester was always strong motivation for me to stay active and healthy once it was over.
 
What a great discussion! I'm 49, and I've been working out solidly for about 15 years. My primary motivation has always been health. I wanted to be healthy for my family's sake, and now that my daughter is older and I'm hoping for grandchildren someday, I want to be able to play with them, be active with them throughout their lives. So many health issues are completely preventable just by working out and eating a healthy diet. And to be perfectly honest, I'm vain!  I love food and wine, my favorite hobby is cooking. So if I'm going to be able to cook gourmet meals on the weekends, AND pair them with the right wine, I better be doing something to balance it out, right?! So being dedicated in my workout schedule keeps me at the weight I want to be. So yeah, vanity! Additionally, with this recent injury I realize just how vital my workouts are to not just my physical health, but my mental health. Not having been able to maintain my normal workout schedule, I find that my stress level has gone through the roof. No doubt some of this is related to the injury and the way it's complicating my life. But the bottom line is that my workouts allow me to deal with the stresses of life, and keep them in their proper place. Like many others have pointed out, figure out YOUR why. And remind yourself of this on those days when you just don't feel like doing it.
 
What motivates me? This group said it best! 3 years ago I was 260 and I was wearing a CPAP machine to bed. Pressing play was the best decision I ever made.....that and saying "I do" to my wife!
 
About 4 years ago I decided to make a change. I was a pack a day smoker and it had been drinking way too much, way too regularly, for way too long. My wife and I were discussing having a child and my doctor said in my (then) present state I was unable to have children...and had the lungs and liver of a 55 year old (I was 29 at the time). So, I found myself at a crossroads. Continue down the path I was on and end up with diabetes, liver disease, and emphysema. Or lay down my selfish vices and work on creating myself as the type of father I always wanted. I chose life and quit smoking (one of the hardest things I've ever done), got sober (one of the 2nd hardest things I've ever done), and started pressing play in he early morning hours when the rest of the world is still asleep. 
Fast forward to the present day...sober and smoke free, lungs and liver healing themselves with each doctor visit...and just celebrated my daughter's 3rd birthday. My motivation cycles like everyone else...but I never let my routines get too far away. I know what happens if they do....I've been down that road and I owe my daughter a better image of what's healthy and "normal" than I got from my father. It keeps my mind calm and happy, my body healthy, keeps me sober, and helps me be a better father, husband, friend, worker, son, brother etc.
 
Motivation is a hard thing to conquer. When I first started exercising again after a long sabbatical I would tell myself, I have to work out. I was so focused on finishing P90X and proving everyone wrong that I forced myself to Bring It. Every day. After 90 days I said, "I feel great! I am going to do P90X+" and so on. What I know is, 3 1/2 years later when I miss a workout my mind is restless and my body is jittery. And I feel like I didn't accomplish anything that day. There isn't a question of having to workout, I just do it because if I don't, I know I will regret it immensely. 
Or to put it simply:
Vanity. 
I work out for vanity.
 
The main motivator for me is that I don't want to go back to how I was 3 years ago. I was extremely out of shape and lazy. Also, my job has certain health and fitness requirements that must be met each year. Yearly medical exam and physical fitness test are a few examples. These things were getting pretty tough for me to pass and were a major stress in my life. I finally had had enough. Life is so much more fulfilling when you're able to be active. Like others said, it's an addiction now. Sometimes, however, I need some extra motivation as it's kind of easy to get bored doing the same routines you've done many times before. Right now, it's running. Something simple that changes up the everyday routine.




Side Arm Balance/Side Plank Progression

Oftentimes, I get asked a question about form or something health/fitness related in my Team Fitness for Life Facebook group or an email from one of my team members. This usually leads to a long, drawn-out response from me, so I generally like to turn my responses into blogs so that I can then share with all of my readers (especially those who may not be on my team yet).

The other day, a member of my team asked about side arm balance form, and what they should be doing to become better at the exercise. Below is a list of "progressions" that can be used to help you build the required leg, hip, and core strength to accomplish such a difficult, yet important movement. These progressions can be applied to side planks, side arm balance push-ups, and glute exercises (like those seen in P90X3's Eccentric Lower, for example).

Here is my explanation on the progression:

Step 1 - The lower leg is bent, knee on the ground. Throughout all of the progressions listed, make sure that you are driving your hips forward, or in this case, I am driving my hips towards the camera by engaging my glutes (squeezing my butt cheeks). Not to the point that my hips are hyper-extended, but to the point where my body is straight. This helps strengthen the hip and knee of the upper leg while using the wider base of support created by the lower leg to maintain balance.

Step 2 - Both feet remain on the ground, but both legs are straight. The feet are staggered to, again, give a wider base of support for balance. This helps to not only strengthen the knees and hips, but will help you increase your spatial awareness (balance). Although your feet are staggered, make sure your hips stay square to the "camera" or perpendicular to the floor. Again, make sure the glutes are engaged, driving your hips forward.

Step 3 - Your feet are now stacked. This will definitely take some practice as your base of support is drastically diminished. By using the progressions from the previous 2 steps, you should have an idea on how to engage your core and your glutes to bring your hips forward. This is important to help you maintain balance. Now that your feet are stacked, more emphasis is now placed on your lower leg, increasing the intensity and forcing your lower knee and hip to become stronger.

Step 4 (and beyond) - The upper leg is now raised. It is probably no surprise to you to realize that this requires much great balance and control now that your upper leg is raised. Not only that, but more weight is now placed on your lower leg, forcing your knee and hip to become stronger. This will also work your upper leg in a different way, as the upper hip has to work harder to elevate your leg into the air. To take this a step further, you can turn your upper foot so that your toe is pointing towards the floor, which will engage your gluteus medius.





P90X3 Complex Lower Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to the Elite block of P90X3. The purpose of the Elite block of training is to take the strength and coordination built from the first 3 phases of P90X3 and make your muscles as athletic and dynamic as possible. Through a training style known as post-activation potentiation, you will use a repeating "complex" to train your muscles to perform better.

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P90X3 Complex Upper Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to the Elite block of P90X3. The purpose of the Elite block of training is to take the strength and coordination built from the first 3 phases of P90X3 and make your muscles as athletic and dynamic as possible. Through a training style known as post-activation potentiation, you will use a repeating "complex" to train your muscles to perform better.

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P90X, P90X2, P90X3 "X"-travaganza Hybrid

Check out my free 30 minute YouTube workouts

I will be starting this hybrid Monday May 5th, 2014. Want to join me?

To be honest, most of you may look at this schedule and think, "That's it? What is so special about it?"

Time and time again, I have witnessed people having "analysis paralysis." (Don't worry, I've done this too!) This is common amongst people who use Beachbody's programs. As they build quite a "library" of workouts, the feeling is that they think they need to squeeze every single workout that they own into their schedule. Variation can be good to keep interest and enjoyment high when following a workout schedule, however, too much variation can lead to stagnation and lack of improvement in any one facet or area.

The good news is that you have lots of options with a schedule like this. There are days built into the schedule that naturally bring choice and variation, such as the "Cardio Option" day. This can be used for those of you who still wish to use workouts from other programs (Insanity, for example). However, after mulling over the schedule time and time again, I can't deny the sheer simplicity, yet effectiveness of the original P90X schedule. I combined that with some of the concepts used in the P90X2 schedule, and added in some of my favourite P90X3 workouts where I felt as though they fit the best.

Phases 2 and 3 also bring the opportunity for lots of choice. I can already tell that many of you are mad at me for using "30-15" from Tony's One on One series. Although this is not from P90X, X2, or X3, it is so very similar to the original Chest & Back from P90X, that I swapped this routine in instead. Why? Well, because that is what I wish to do. I actually prefer 30-15, and find it to be a superior workout to Chest &Back. Which brings me to my next point, common workout swaps.

During Phases 2 and 3, feel free to use any of the following "swaps" to suit your needs/desires. I would recommend that you use a same routine multiple times in order to improve on it specifically, however, if you wish to do P90X Chest & Back one week, P90X3 "The Challenge" the next week, and then P90X2 Chest, Back, and Balance the week after that, you aren't really hindering results or progress as you are working your chest and back every time.

The real beauty of your interest in this hybrid, however, is the ability to download my workout sheets/modifications.

I have modified the workouts in certain places (some more than others) to suit my interests the most. There are some pretty big changes, for example, in routines like 30-15, P90X Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps, and P90X Legs and Back. I have added in some free weight and dumbbell bench work to work my chest and legs more and in different ways. I have swapped some pull-ups for weighted barbell and dumbbell work, and I have swapped out some "outdated" exercises from some of the workouts that are better suited with something else.

The nice part about being a part of my team and making me your Team Beachbody Coach, is that I can help you with these modifications, and you can ask me questions on how you can either modify these workouts the same way, or make changes that suit/fit your needs as well!

Common workout swaps:

30-15

P90X Chest and Back
P90X2 Chest, Back, and Balance
P90X3 "The Challenge"

P90X Shoulders and Arms

P90X2 Shoulders and Arms
One on Ones Diamond Delts and Just Arms
One on One Shoulders and Arms MC2

P90X Back and Biceps

P90X2 V Sculpt
One on One V Sculpt

P90X Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps

P90X2 Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps
One on One UBX

Hybrid Reasoning/Theory:

Phase 1, the foundation phase, is taking a page out of P90X2's (and X3's) book. Here, the goal is to become stable and strong from not only the core, but from the hips and shoulders as well. These are main locations where your body generates power and strength from, so if we can get these areas strong and resilient, then we will be able to excel that much more during the strength phases.

P90X3's schedule has Agility X prior to Triometrics. I personally think Triometrics is a better "lead-in" routine, as it has less tried and true "plyometric" exercise, and more leg strengthening and stability. You no doubt get a good leg burn in Triometrics, but it is more about stabilization than plyo and performance, so I have moved it to the first phase.

Phase 2 and 3, the strength phases, are intended to take the stability and core strength developed from the first phase, and translating them into better strength and endurance output. If you are looking for a bit more balance and coordination work, this is the time to try replacing my selections in the schedule for the P90X2 strength routines instead (Chest, Back, and Balance in place of 30-15 for example).

P90X2's Plyocide is paired with Legs & Back to improve the strength and stability of the legs first before progressing to Phase 3 where there will be 2 plyo sessions per week with both Agility X and Base & Back. Although Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps has been almost completely re-worked in my adaptation (download link above), I still like this routine because of the pacing and breakdown. Many of the same exercises are there, I just made some smart choices along the way that suit my needs.

Phase 4 is all about performance. It is not time to take the core stability that has been achieved in Phase 1, along with the added strength developed in Phases 2 and 3 to then make your muscles dynamic and as useful as possible. I absolutely love the post activation potentiation routines, but I can see not everyone wanting to shell out the cash for P90X3's Elite DVD, so you can use the P90X3 workouts "Eccentric Upper" and "Eccentric Lower" in place of "Complex Upper" and "Complex Lower."

The Transition Weeks have a little bit of everything. There is some upper body resistance (Incinerator), some total body conditioning and resistance (X2 Core, Core Synergistics), some cardiovascular exercise (Accelerator), not to mention some low-impact stabilization (Isometrix). This is to give your body a bit of a break from the gruelling work during each Phase, yet keep your fitness level high to progress into the next phase. The P90X3 workouts are especially great for a transition week because they are efficient enough to be intense, but not too long to hinder recovery.

Closing Thoughts

I have been spending quite a bit of time "bulking" lately, doing some heavy resistance training along with Body Beast. For those of you who have been somewhat following me will know that I have been dealing with a heart condition known as Atrial Flutter. I had a procedure done to correct it back in January of this year (2014), but during the lead up to my procedure, I just wasn't mentally "into" doing strenuous cardiovascular activity.

Now that my heart is all fixed up, and I have reached my heaviest weight I have ever been, it is time to get back to overall fitness and strength training rather than just trying to put on weight. Sitting down, discussing these plans with my wife, we both said, "P90X really is just such a great all-around program!"

Then it dawned on me, that is what I will use as my cornerstone for this program, and use the P90X2 and P90X3 routines to round it out to be the best program/hybrid I have ever done. I can't wait to get started!

Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have with the program.





P90X3 X3 Ab Ripper Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to P90X3's core-centric routine. It may be a big surprise to most, but X3 Ab Ripper does not appear in the regular P90X3 schedule. Inevitably, questions will be raised as to whether or not this routine is "worth" the extra cost, so between this review, along with my reviews for Complex Upper and Complex Lower (Elite DVD), you can decide for yourself whether or not you wish to purchase.

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