Beyond The “90” in P90X: How to continue to make the program work for you!

You can thank U.S. Representative and VP Candidate, Paul Ryan for this week’s post. Whether or not you agree with his political views, you should applaud his commitment to fitness. At 42 years old, and with an extremely difficult schedule, he finds time to exercise regularly. His workout program of choice is the insanely popular (and insanely effective) P90X series. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 5 years then you might not be familiar with P90X. Most likely though, you’ve seen the infomercials.

P90X is a 90 day cross training DVD workout program devised by fitness guru, Tony Horton. It has awesome segments that include: Yoga X, X Stretch, Kenpo X, Ab Ripper X, etc. They all function together, along with the nutrition plan included, to take the user from flab to fit in 90 days.

I highly recommend this program. I incorporated it heavily in my training when I first began my journey to fitness over 4 years ago. The purpose of this post is not to review the program but to give you 3 ways to use it after you’ve completed the first 90 days.

1.    Use individual discs/program as your primary workouts.

A great example of this is the Ab Ripper X program. Ab Ripper X is not for the faint of heart. It will, however, help you carve out a 6 pack in no time. Even after I completed the P90X program, I continued to use Ab Ripper X as my primary ab workout. I started by doing it once a week (because that’s all my stomach could handle). After I got used to the intensity I started doing it twice per week!

Another example is X Stretch. I’ve covered the importance of stretching in previous posts. This is a great way to get in your daily stretching. Pop in the DVD and loosen up before the day begins. This program is close to 1 hour so even if you don’t have time to complete it, you can focus on loosing up the body parts that need it most by going to that particular section of the routine.

2.    Use the cardio programs to mix things up when you’re getting bored of your regular routine.

Once you’ve been working out for a while you will get tired of doing the same routine. There are only so many steps you can do on the elliptical machine or so many miles you can walk on the treadmill before you’ll start to lose motivation for cardio. Using Kenpo X and Cardio X as alternatives is a great way to keep things fresh! Occasionally, I’ll even use them just to get my heart rate up on my days away from the gym. If you’re doing regular cardio elsewhere you don’t even need to finish the disc. Just go until you work up a nice sweat.

3.      Use the nutrition plan included with the program as a dietary guide.

After you’ve completed the 90 day program you may be tempted to go back to business as usual. This means no more workouts and engaging in old eating habits. This is the ABSOLUTE WORSE thing that you can do! Your body is now adjusted to burning more calories and it also now requires more quality calories.

Use Tony Horton’s nutrition plan as a base for what you should be eating. You don’t have to follow the plan to a “T” but the recommended requirements for protein, carbs and fat are spot on to maintain fitness. Make a grocery list based on the requirements and stick to it. You’ve worked hard for the body, now do what you can to maintain it!

Here is a Team Beachbody link where you can find P90X and all other Team Beachbody Products:

http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/ReggieGooden

It is a phenomenal program, as are many of the other products that Team Beachbody offers (like Shaun T’s “Insanity” series, Turbo Fire, and Shakeology).

As you can see, it holds its value far beyond the first 90 days and because of that, RG “The Dragon” definitely approves!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

P90X is a popular home training system proven to deliver serious results!

Girl Power! – Part Two: Your first month’s strength training program

Today’s post is a conclusion to last week’s: “Girl Power! Exposing the three biggest myths about women and strength training” article. This post is an introductory workout for women just getting started strength training. I will give you a circuit training routine to get you through your first month in the gym. Are you ready? Good! Let’s begin…

 

The Dragon’s “Girl Power! Beginners 4 Week Strength Training Circuit”

Directions: After your cardio warm-up , perform 8-10 repetitions of each exercise in a row. Choose a weight that is somewhat difficult but not impossible (i.e. 10 lbs. for lunges and squats and 5-10 lbs. for the curling & pressing movements).

Try to take rest no longer than 2 minutes between exercises. Perform the entire circuit 3 times.

  •  Warm-up: 3 to 5 Minutes of cardio on your favorite machine (treadmill, elliptical, or “jumping jacks (if at home)”
  •  Exercises (complete as a circuit) 3 rounds:
  1. Lunges: Each Leg x 10 reps
  2. Ballet Squat: 10 reps
  3. Dumbbell Chest Press: 10 reps
  4. Dumbbell Curl & Overhead Press: 10 reps
  5. Crunches: 20 reps
  6. “Plank” Position: Hold as long as possible.
  • Cool Down: 10 Minutes of moderately paced cardio on your favorite machine.

* Post Workout Stretch: The post workout stretch is extremely important to keep blood flowing to those muscles and to help you from getting too sore! Make sure you stretch after each workout. Refer to my recent post on stretching for instructions. It can be found here:

http://dragongatefitness.com/2012/07/23/stretc/ 

Stretches:

  1. Full body stretch
  2. Quad stretch
  3. Cross Arm Stretch
  4. Pec Stretch

Well there you have it. Do this workout 2-3 times per week, eat right and within 1 month you’ll notice a significant change in your body. Just look in the mirror and you’ll see everything get tighter and curvier! Stay motivated and remember...

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Girl Power! Exposing the three biggest myths about women and strength training.

It’s a common scene in any gym or fitness club. Most of the guys spend their entire workout time in the weight room. Most of the ladies spend their entire workouts on the treadmill, elliptical machine or exercise bike. But occasionally, there is an anomaly…The fit and very toned woman who confidently “crosses over” into the world of weights. Armed only with a bottle of water, workout gloves and a towel, she is almost always focused and seems to happily ignore the common myths of women and weight training.

During this post, I will uncover three of the most common myths about women and weight training. After it’s over, you will see why you too should ignore them and be that woman!

  1.  Strength training will make me bulky and look masculine.

This is the greatest, oldest and most inaccurate myth about women and strength training. The main factor in the size and level of muscle development is the amount of certain hormones (specifically Testosterone) that each person has. I will say this again in a different way just for emphasis. TESTOSTERONE is the main factor in determining the amount of muscle mass that each person can develop. So, as a woman, YOU CAN TRAIN WITH WEIGHTS AND NOT BECOME “BULKY”. What you can become is TONED! Strength training will help everything get “tighter” and leaner and help shape those curves.

 2.  I should stick to only very light weight and do only high repetitions to tone up.

I choose this as a common myth for women but can really be applied to men too. The only way to strengthen and tone those muscles is to challenge them! By challenge, I mean performing weight training exercises that become difficult after about 8 reps. You don’t need to attempt anything that feels impossible. You should to seek a nice burn at around 8 reps. Don’t stop there, though. GO FOR 10! And try to do this for at least 3 sets. Don’t worry if you can’t make it at first. The key is that you’re placing stress on your muscles that will make them grow stronger and look better.

  3.  If I do all this working out and stop, then my muscle will turn into fat.

This is another oldie but goodie and my favorite myth to debunk. Muscle tissue will not magically transform into fatty tissue after a person stops working out. They are two different types of body tissue. This myth is probably so popular because when a relatively fit person stops working out, their diet often changes as well. They will begin to appear softer as a result of bad eating habits and lost muscle. After all, you will either “use it or lose it”. So make sure you “use it”!

Ladies (and Gents) don’t be afraid of strength training. The weights won’t hurt you. In fact, they will help you tremendously with your transformation goals. Any well designed, comprehensive program should include strength training. If you would like a plan designed for you, contact me for help!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Weight training will increase your strength and tone your muscles. Not make you bulky!

“V” is for Victory: How to get the coveted V shaped abdominal muscles

This very quick post comes from a gym conversation I overheard the other day. It’s about the “V” shape formed by the lower abdominal muscles that goes from the lower stomach to the groin. Also known as the “Adonis Belt”, this muscle group has apparently been driving women crazy since the days of the early Greeks. It is synonymous with fitness, virility and has become a coveted feature of entertainers and professional athletes (see below).

Often times this muscle group will become more prominent as you reduce your body-fat. But I will give you a workout routine that you can do to strengthen your “V” and bring it out.

RG “The Dragon”’s Adonis Belt Workout

  • Leg Raises: 4 sets X 20 reps
  • Scissor Kicks: 3 sets x count to 30 each time
  • Bent knee ups (while on a “dip stand”) or reverse crunches: 4 sets x 20 reps
  • Plank Position: Hold for 3 times until you reach failure each time
  • 10-15 minute HIIT Cardio session

Do this routine 2 x 3 times a week and as you lean out you will begin to see your “V”. Good luck and remember…

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Entertainer “Usher” is often considered to have one of the best “V” shapes in the business.