Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Let's take the Beachbody Challenge!

What is a Beachbody Challenge Group?

A Beachbody Challenge Group is a coach-led (that's me), exclusive group committed to getting healthy where participants (that's you) agree to do a Beachbody fitness program, drink Shakeology daily and check in with other participants on a private Facebook page. 

People helping and motivating each other to achieve their health and fitness goals by sharing tips, accountability, and results.

A team committed to success in The Beachbody Challenge contest (more about the contest...and the free t-shirt at the end of this post.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you are already a Beachbody customer and want to join my challenge group, you will need to contact Beachbody and request me as your coach. Give them my name and my coach ID 813039.

Why P90X3?

Let me be honest...I am a HUGE fan of P90X and I absolutely LOVE Tony Horton! Now that I've put that out there, the real reason I have selected P90X3 is sort of like the story of Goldilocks...this bed is too hard, this bed is too soft...this bed is just right... you remember how it goes.

Anyway, that's sort of how I see the P90X series...

P90X: This one's a little too long. (Most workouts are at least 60 minutes not including Ab-Ripper). I still love it though, but for me, I find the amount of time to be a bit much to fit into my schedule. 
P90X2: This one requires just a little too much gear. Seriously, 4 basketballs or medicine balls per person? As well as a balance ball, a rumble roller (I love mine!), weights, pull up bar, yoga mat, etc. Great workouts if you had the room to store everything you need to do the workouts. 
P90X3: This one is just right. Each workout is 30 minutes long and the equipment required is minimal. In fact, you could do this workout with a couple of dumb bells and a stretch cord.
On top of the reasons I just listed, I feel very comfortable as a coach supporting you while using a P90X workout. That's not to say that I couldn't assist you if you decided to try something different, I'm just have much, much, much more experience with P90X (all versions including P90X+).

It Works

HS and I did the original P90X for the first time in 2009. Both of our results were nothing short of amazing. I managed to lose 35 pounds during the first 90 days. I will be forever thankful to Tony Horton and Beachbody for the improvements in my health and fitness. I wouldn't be where I am today without those daily workouts.

As most of you know, I went from being a couch potato to running 5Ks to completing an "Ironman" distance triathlon. This was all made possible by my simple action of pressing "play" the very first day and sticking with it. I am not suggesting that everyone start racing or doing triathlons, I am merely suggesting that you don't know what you may ignite once you get your health and fitness back on track.

It's Hard

As Tony Horton says in P90X "I know it's's supposed to be". I would like to expand on that with a tid-bit from +Hot Stuff ... if you could do the entire workout the very first time you tried it, you would probably quit because it was too easy.

During our first round of P90X, HS and I spent a good portion of each workout laying on the floor, looking at the TV screen asking "What are they doing?" The moves were challenging, our fitness level was low, and there were times we just had to stop and wait until we could go again. That is perfectly OK!

Modify, Modify, Modify

When I watch some of the individual workouts, I wonder if maybe it's too much for some people. I then remind myself that every move can be modified. Heck, I modify the warmup when my ankle is a little too stiff. On those days, I cut out any kind of jumping and simply go through the motions.

I also don't have the upper body strength to knock out a bunch of pull ups. So, instead of torturing myself, I use a stretch cord to mimic the pull up motion (there is usually a person doing this kind of modification in the P90X3 workouts).

Final Thoughts

This program is about progress, not perfection. Every day you press play on a workout is a small step forward. String together a week and then a month and eventually 3 months and you will see results. If you miss a workout, it's no big deal...pick up again the next day. Do not let one small set back derail your progress.

Now, about the contest (just one more carrot to motivate you) that I mentioned at the beginning of this post...
The Beachbody Challenge contest is the “Rewards” piece of the overall Beachbody Challenge philosophy. It’s an incentive to help people reach their goals and achieve success. Contest rewards include an exclusive free t-shirt and the chance to win cash & prizes ranging from a $500 daily prize to the $100,000 Grand Prize. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. If you are ready to go, simply follow this link to purchase your challenge pack...

YES! I want to join your P90X3 Challenge Group!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

P90X3 - First Month Complete

Well, I finished the first 30 days of P90X3. So far I am pleased with the results. I am down 4 lbs and I am feeling much stronger than when I started...lets just say that I was struggling with the push ups in Yoga (yes, there are push ups in P90X3 yoga LOL)

Green boxes are the P90X3 workouts

I took before pictures the day I started. Correction, Lindsey took my before pics. Yesterday, the start of month two, I took my own pics and they didn't come out too good.

Looking at the pics, I do see a little change in my stomach and my arms are a little more defined. Maybe I'll have HS take some more pics of me so they are in focus.

Now, before you chalk up the weight loss to my marathon training, take a look at the chart below which shows my total training distances over the last 12 months. As you can see, my distances are down significantly compared to the ramp up to Vineman.  Based on the decrease in training distances (volume) I should have gained and not lost.

Please note...after Vineman, HS gently reminded me that my training volume had changed and that I couldn't eat like I had been before Vineman. I did make an adjustment when I started P90X3...I cut out a LOT of snacking and I also switched my lunches during the work week to Shakeology.

Plan for Month 2

Due to my marathon training, I changed up the order of the first month's workouts so they wouldn't conflict with my training. I plan on doing the same for month two.

For example, Monday was P90X3 - Eccentric Upper. This works well with my schedule because Monday is a recovery ride in the afternoon (or maybe a swim). Tuesday has Triometrics on the schedule, but Tuesday is also a run day for me. So, instead of doing a plyo type workout such as Triometrics, I decided to do yoga instead (I really love P90X3 yoga)...besides I have a blister on my toe from Sunday's long run and I was in no mood to try and jump around.

Wednesday has yoga on the schedule, but since I did yoga on Tuesday I think I will do Eccentric Lower on Wednesday with a swim in the afternoon. I'm still trying to decide what to do on Thursday. I may just move Friday and Saturday up a day or I may just do yoga again ;-)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What Was That “D” Word?


I actually started writing this post over a week ago but just couldn't finish it...or post it...not sure what the hold up was. Maybe I just wanted to see if I could follow the advice I was reading. Looking back over the past several days, I would say "yes". In most instances I have made small, positive steps that I plan on continuing. I'm not saying that I didn't have some slip ups or set backs, but for the most part I moved towards my goal.

The Compound Effect

Last week I started reading a book titled “The Compound Effect”. The underlying theory is very similar to that of the book “The Slight Edge”. In fact, the author of “The Compound Effect” mentioned “The Slight Edge” in his book. The theory is that small, smart choices over time lead to huge rewards. After several months of training for an “iron” distance race (140.6 miles) I can attest to the fact that this practice does work.

Was I ready for my race after a single swim workout, ride or run? No. Was a ready after a week of training? No. If I looked at any single workout, it wouldn’t be enough to get me across the finish line. However, every time I did a prescribed workout (a small, smart choice) it was compounded with all of my other workouts to improve my endurance and fitness. Before I knew it I was race ready. This is the “compound effect”.

The “D” Word   

As I was reading the introduction to the book, a single word caught my attention. It was a word that described something I knew I needed to work on. I tucked that word into the back of my mind with plans to revisit it later.

Labor Day morning, our tri group got together for a social ride. It was a beautiful morning and there was plenty of conversation to make the ride seem to fly by. The last stretch of the ride is along Highway 12 and certain parts of this section require us to ride single file. During this bit of quiet time I started thinking about that word I had tucked away. What was that word? It started with a “D”, I knew that much.

Was it determination? Nope, not it.

Dedication? No...seems close though.

Desire? No, not that either.

As I was running through the possibilities in my mind, I was shaking my head “no” to each wrong guess. Sort of like a pitcher shaking off the pitch call from the catcher. What was that that word??? For the life of me I could not remember what it was. I kept going through the same “D” words over and over. Not being able to remember the word was driving me nuts!!! When I got home from the ride, I grabbed my Kindle and scrolled to the right page…


That’s it! Discipline! I need to work on discipline!

Really! I Do!

Now, many of you that follow this blog may think one of the last things I lack is discipline. How could I possibly train for and complete Vineman without discipline? Well, I am not 100% lacking in discipline, in certain areas of my life I have crazy amounts of discipline (crazy being the key word). In other areas, my discipline really could use some work.

If we are talking about following a workout schedule, I have no problem being disciplined. My discipline in this area probably comes from me being a little OCD. If it is on the schedule, I am going to do it. If the workout calls for a 10 mile run, I will not stop running until my Garmin ticks over from 9.99 to 10.0. It is not unusual for HS to look out the kitchen window and see me running around our block a couple times just to get my mileage correct.

On the other hand, if it’s my diet, my discipline can vanish in a flash. If I’m stressed, tired, angry, happy, whatever…I can quickly turn into an eating machine. This is what I need to work on because being undisciplined with a workout schedule is much different than being undisciplined with food. If I had a run scheduled and I skipped it, I would not undo the week’s previous workouts. The skipped workout would probably not even have an effect. It may not have an effect until I had actually skipped several workouts.

However, if I had been eating clean all week and following my nutrition plan…maybe I had even dropped a couple of pounds, I could undo all of this work with a day or two of poor choices and/or overeating. This is my typical pattern. Eat clean all week at work and blow it all on the weekend. I need to bring my weekday discipline to Saturdays and Sundays. I’m not suggesting that I need to be super strict 24-7, but I need to not go hog wild either.

The Plan

The compound effect is simple:  Small, smart choices + consistency + time = radical difference. My plan is to make two small, smart choices for the next month.

#1 – Give up my daily Coke Zero at work.
#2 – No after work or between meal snacking.

At the end of the month I will assess my progress and add another small change to my plan.

September 20 Update

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I started writing this over a week ago. I am pleased to announce that I have been Coke Zero free and I have been 90% good about the after work snacking. Now to think about what I want to add to my list of small, smart choices :-)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Accountability - Go Ahead and Ask Me!

Monday I started incorporating P90X3 into my triathlon training. Monday was a little difficult to get out of bed and hit "play" at 4am, but I knew that if I didn't do it on the first day, I wouldn't do it on the second day. So I got my butt out of bed, did my 30 minute workout (X3 Yoga), and only ended up sacrificing a little Bingo Bash time. I felt pretty good about myself ;-)  When I got to work, a co-worker...let's just call her Ms. J... asked me if I did my workout (she's about a month and a half into P90X3). I proudly told her "Yes!" (Like "How dare you even question my commitment!" LOL)

When Tuesday rolled around, I once again found it difficult to get out of bed. The weird thing is that if I was getting up to make coffee or turn on the TV or play with the dogs, I wouldn't have had a problem...getting up to do a 30 minute workout...UGH...It's too early...I won't have time to get ready...blah blah blah. Then a little voice in my head reminded me that Ms. J was probably going to ask if I did my workout. UGH!!! Why did I announce that I was going to do this???

Sure enough, Ms. J walks into the office and asks "Did you do your workout today?" "Yup," I answered, a little less enthusiastic than I did on Monday. Wednesday and Thursday followed the pattern...alarm, fear of Ms. J asking, workout.


People mistakenly think that because I was able to do a full ironman distance race and stick to the required training, that I have some sort of psycho level commitment to working out. That could not be further from the truth. Quite often I struggle with getting myself out the door. When it's cold outside, the last thing I want to do it go to the pool. When it's crazy hot, what sane person wants to go for a long run? Honestly, if I didn't have to answer to Coach K there would have been a lot of skipped workouts!

Yesterday was a "closed" Friday at work, so I knew I wouldn't be seeing Ms. J. I also had a 60 mile ride scheduled with some other co-workers (we really are a fit bunch at Public Works). The ride was great, and I actually planned on coming home and doing X3 Yoga. However, one of our group locked his keys in his truck so we waited with him (no rider left behind) until help arrived and got him in his truck.

This delay backed up my afternoon and with a family dinner at 5:30, there wasn't enough time, so I skipped the X3 workout. Sometimes life gets in the way, and that's OK.

My Next Challenge

One of the ways I stay motivated is to help other people stay motivated. If I'm checking on you, I fully expect you to check on me...just like Ms. J does. I am starting a "Challenge Group" in a couple of weeks and am looking for some people to join me. If you, or someone you know, would be interested in joining me please send me a private message. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fall 2015 Training Plan

Part of my fall training plan includes working strength training into my schedule. Since I am not very good at coming up with my own workouts, I choose to use workout DVDs like P90X, Les Mills, and INSANITY. However, while those workouts by themselves are great, they are just a little too long and too intense.  So once again, I am trying to do P90X3. My rational is that the workouts are all 30 minutes long so I have more than enough time to do them in the morning (provided I give up some of my time on Facebook.)

Last time I tried triathlon training in conjunction with P90X3, I quit P90X3 after a few weeks. I think my biggest problem was that I was too rigid with my schedule. I wanted to do my triathlon training exactly as I had scheduled and I wanted to do the P90X3 workouts exactly as they appeared on the printed schedule, regardless if they complimented or conflicted with tri workout I was doing that day. Since my triathlon training has some fixed workouts like swimming, the triathlon schedule really isn’t too flexible.

With that in mind, I am mapping out my triathlon training first and then fitting in the P90X3 workouts where they make sense.

My Plan

X3 Yoga
Total Synergistics
Agility X
The Challenge
CVX, The Warrior, or Run
Long Ride
Long Run
Recovery Ride
The Challenge

Since the weekend is reserved for my "long" workouts, and since I am changing up my schedule a bit for fall and dropping one day of swimming, Monday is my new recovery day. The plan is to start the day with X3 Yoga (which I did do yesterday) and then do a nice recovery ride in the afternoon. 

Tuesdays are now a "run" day, so I am starting the day with Total Synergistics which is a full body resistance workout that shouldn't tax my legs too much. This morning, day #2 of my plan, was a test of my will. I really wanted to just stay in bed a few more minutes. The only thing that got me off the mattress was the fact that a coworker is doing P90X3 and I was afraid she was going to ask if I did the workout this morning (she asked yesterday!).

OMG MOMENT! I did a quick Google search for "triathlons strength training women" just to get a little more info on the importance of strength training for women. I had read something about how women lose muscle faster or something along those lines. As I scrolled through the search results, I came across my own blog post! Apparently I've tried this whole "I'm going to do strength training" thing more than once! I swear...this time will be different!! LOL
Back to My Plan

Since Wednesdays and Fridays are swim days (Don't worry +James Cotta I'm not going to stop swimming like I did last year), I don't want to do any kind of upper body workouts. Its hard enough dragging myself through the water when my arms aren't tired. I think I will mix things up a bit and do either Agility X, CVX, or The Warrior depending on how I feel. I also need to revisit each of these DVDs because I cannot remember what the workouts were like. I am also keeping the option open of doing a run on my "off" Fridays.

On Tuesdays and Saturdays, my designated riding days (besides my recovery ride) I think I will do "The Challenge" which is an upper body workout...gotta keep my legs fresh for the bike.

Sunday, my long, slow run day is going to be difficult. I want to get my run in early (before church) which makes even doing a 30 minute workout challenging. Right now I will play this by ear. I may just end up doing Yoga after I get home from church...theres nothing wrong with doing yoga more than once a week :-)

My Starting Point

Ok, right now I'm not going to broadcast what my starting weight was last wasn't a good time to weigh myself. That being said, my goal is to get below 140 by CIM (December 6, 2015). It is a reasonable goal. Here is one of my "before" pics that I had +Lindsey Larkin take of me today.

My starting point
In Case You're Interested