My favorite energy boosts

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Food and Drink, Martial Arts, P90X/P90X+, Reviews, Rob Terlizzi, Running

I guess it is about time I put the proverbial pen to ink on this one, and shared one of my "training secrets." For the least few years I have been supplementing my workouts, training sessions and soccer games. I admit it 100%, I use performance enhancers. For about a year or so I was using these Access Performance Bars made by Melaleuca . I would eat them about 20 minutes before a workout or game, and maybe have one at halftime (soccer game). Not sure if it was mental or not, but I did feel I had more energy when I had one. I guess I still might be buying them (instead of working through the bars I have left) if I didn’t think the whole company oozes creepy cult . (I must admit the ProFlex Protein bars are decent, and not a bad buy. Still from a creepy company though)
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P90X Plus (Another unbiased review)

Posted 37 CommentsPosted in P90X/P90X+, Reviews, Rob Terlizzi

Be sure to check out the rest of the site.   There are a TON of great posts about general fitness and P90X!  Use either side par to find the P90X posts!  Also see my Beach Body Coaches page for more info!  http://beachbodycoach.com/fitlifesfrob

We are currently on week 7 of the new work out program created by Beach Body and Tony Horton. P90X Plus is exactly what it claims to be, a more intense and extreme workout for people who have completed at least one cycle of P90X . (You actually need the original P90X disks to do the overall workout program)

For the record, it is hard and you will sweat loads. And now for the review.

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What can you do in half a year?

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in P90X/P90X+, Reviews, Rob Terlizzi

Well this is going to be an interesting update, as many of you may be put off by the images I am going to link here.  (Too many friends find my pics “Creepy“)  For those who can look past my typical ego-maniacal nature, the reality of these pics is that I have dedicated the last 170 days to getting stronger, more fit, and much more durable.  In the past I would have picked a 30-60 day, daily training routine to augment my normal gym schedule.  This would mean that no matter what else I did (soccer, volleyball, gym, whatever) I would also spend an additional hour each day training in some form of martial arts.  [forms, fighting, self defense, kicks, hand techniques, weapons, whatever]  Always a great way to get my ass back to tip top shape, and in the past I had the time and the space to do this.  (When I lived in Rochester NY, the last place I lived was a 2 bed room loft that was about 1600 sq ft)

Currently I live in a great apartment in SF which is a little over 900 sq FT, and though there is enough space to work out, there is not enough space to practice martial arts.  (Well not without risking damaging my stuff, or having to move the car out of the garage every time I want to train.  An option, but also an annoyance)

So, as I have mentioned before, instead of driving to a gym every day, I work out at home using Beach Body’s P90X.  The daily ritual has been to move the coffee table, roll up the rug, move the couch back 4 feet, and then get busy!  I can’t say they I have worked out every day for the last 170, but I have worked out 120 out of the last 170 days as I am tracking it on WOWY. (Daily work out tracking)  I keep saying it, I am very happy with the results.  I am way more solid, my core has seen major improvements, and I have gained several steps back on the soccer field.

This isn’t so much a commentary of the gains of I got from committing P90X, more so it is about what anyone can do when they apply themselves to being fit.  And I can’t say that it does not come without changes in routine and even lifestyle.  (I work out for somewhere around 1 to 1.5 hrs a day.  Most days it is about an hour AND I don’t have to drive to the gym, find parking, pay dues, etc.)  Though the way I have decided to structure my “fitness routine” is more around working out hard so I can enjoy the things I love.  I am proof that you can be fit, and still indulge in good food and great drink.  [Granted, I have had to adjust my diet and sleep schedule to sustain the workouts.  8hrs of sleep is almost mandatory to recover, and I have been craving healthier foods to keep my body going.]

Now for the pics:  And I think the proof is visible.

[Front Shots] (roll over for date)

August 2007 November 2007 January 2008

February 2008 March 2008 May

[Back Shots]

January 2008 February 2008 march 2008

May 2008 may 2008 May 2008

[Fun Shots]

May 2008 May 2008 May 2008

 

Ok.  I have exposed all.  But am very happy with the results that half a year of dedication has given, and I can’t wait to see what I look like after 1 year.  If this is what is happening to me, what would happen to you?  This site is about just that; “What would happen to you?”  My challenge to you, all of you is to give it 90 days, and if you like what is happening, give it another 90 days.  (and so on)  We are here to help, the Fit Life Team, the readers, and all our friends.  Let’s see what we can accomplish together!

-Rob

 

 

On P90X, Defining Success, Accepting Vanity: Random Smurf Musings

Posted 7 CommentsPosted in P90X/P90X+, Smurf, Weightloss

This may seem on the surface to not be a very “Fit Life SF” post. After all, Rob and I started this site because we wanted to bring our friends together in the pursuit of health, with the slant that you don’t have to count every calorie or forever turn your back on Bi Rite Creamery to get there. There is a balance and, at the end of the day, it’s all about your personal goals and how you feel, not being a mindless musclehead with a gym body and no life. (Insert requisite, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that” here.)

So, this is my challenge in writing this post.

On Saturday, I had my 70-something-day weigh-in and measurements since starting the P90X program. I “officially” started on February 14, but I’d been doing the workouts with Rob pretty regularly since mid-January. Not only did I not have any improvement this weigh-in, my bodyfat crept up and a measurements stayed basically the same. And, frankly, I felt all this before we ever broke out the measuring tape and calipers. Frustrating! Especailly considering I’ve been spending at least 1.25 hours per day on the program, plus my Sunday runs, and eating impeccably during the day.

Here are the awesome things that have happened since starting P90X:

  • I feel stronger.
  • There are muscles under there.
  • I can do two whole back-to-back, for-real pull-ups (I could only do .25 of one when starting!)
  • My arms are pretty awesomely toned
  • I went off Wellbutrin without incident
  • I can run 5.75 miles and feel great about it

Here are the un-awesome things to happen since starting P90X:

  • My belly is getting bigger/flubbier/more muffin-tastic

Hmmm… seems to me like the whole “pro/con list” crowd would have me just suck it up and stop my whining. But, I don’t wannaaaa! OK, no, seriously. I know that we are all here to live full, healthy lives. But part of that for me is that I want a smokin’ body, dammit! ( I can absolve some of my vanity by pointing out that I also have the kind of chub situation that makes me more likely to die, and that would sorta suck, too. But, really… Britney abs. Circa Slave 4 U, please.) I don’t want to spend the time I’m spending and make the changes I’ve been making only to have no results.

Now, don’t think I’m blaming Tony Horton for this one. I know that the root of my problem is that, while I’ve changed my food intake during the day and on weeknights, for the most part, my love of wine and weekend culinary adventures are holding me back from getting to the place that I want to be. What’s doubly frustrating is that Rob is seeing stellar results from just doing the workouts and making minimal other changes.

So, I figure I can sit around and bitch and moan that I’m spending all this time and not seeing the results I want, or I can realize that things need to change and really kick my own ass to get where I want to be.

I can:

  • Realize that I need to get my eating in check, and commit to doing the Slim in 6 quickstart eating program for the next 6 days (which means no wine, lower carbs, very simple foods) It’s like the ultimate no-fun program, but, hell, it’s only six days! (Though, not to toot my own horn– I managed to make baby bok choy, shrimp, ginger, garlic and no-calorie seasonings taste pretty damned good tonight!)
  • Commit to doing the P90X Fat Burner eating prgram after that until I reach my goal- which means… I can have wine again! And go back to making fun recipes. Whee, it’s not so bad!
  • Realize that P90X “Classic” is probably not enough cardio to power through the fat I need to burn, and switch to “Lean,” with runs or another cardio workout replacing the P90X cardio workouts that simply don’t work for me (Kenpo X and Cardio X.)
  • Realize that it’s OK for me to pay closer attention to what I’m consuming for a while to get to the point I want to be… It doesn’t have to rule my life, and it doesn’t mean I’m “one of them”

So, I guess this post is part embarassment at admitting that I don’t have it all figured out; and part heads-up that my posts might veer from the “regulary scheduled program” while I do get it figured out; and part asking for encouragement as I go the next 4 days (I started the 6 days on Sunday) eating totally clean and cutting out my lovely vino, all while working out and still trying to be a reasonably amiable human being.

I guess the message is that we all hit a wall sometimes. And that’s OK, because part of the process of finding out what WILL work for you is finding out what WON’T. Victory here is as much about recognizing when it’s time to change course and try something new as it is in finally having Britney abs. But, dammit… I really want the abs!

Intensity, a very important aspect of working out

Posted 1 CommentPosted in P90X/P90X+, Rob Terlizzi

I believe “proper form” is the most important part of all workouts.  If you don’t have proper form, when you are training (this applies to much more than weight training), you can hurt yourself or not target muscle groups correctly.  Intensity, is nearly as important as form, and if it is lacking you might as well stop before you begin.  Intensity is a combination of mental focus, breathing, intent, desire and heart.  If you train without intensity you end up not getting the results you want and I find you ultimately lose the desire to keep going. (No progress leads to feeling like what are you are doing is a waste of time)  The thing about intensity is that once you learn how to apply it, you can use it in all aspects of your life, not just training.

It is funny how mood affects intensity, but even more so, how upping your intensity will significantly improve your mood.  How many times have you not worked out because you felt blah? And how many time have you gotten over the blah hump, made yourself work out, and then felt better for it?  (Most times unless you are coming down with the flu or something)  Think of focus, intent, desire and heart as lenses, and intensity as the light shining though them.  If you want to get the light to burn a hole through paper, you would need to move the lenses to target the beam into a point.  Depending on where one lens is stuck on a given try, you have to adjust the others to compensate.  The same holds true for the intensity in you.

If you don’t “feel like” working out, you need to motivate yourself to do it.  Focus on why you are staying fit, embrace that desire to look good, or feel good, or whatever it is that got you started.  Get your heart pumping, and your energy level up, and focus your intent to do better than you did the last time.  All of these things will kick up your intensity, and get you motivated, and help you carry though that workout with high energy.

When I work out, I try to keep my intensity way up.  And anyone who has ever worked out with me, or near me for that matter, will never tell you otherwise.  When I begin working out, I get in my training mindset which is to kick my own ass, and take myself to the limit.  (Unless I am doing Sambo and Jud is around, then I like to crack jokes, and talk smack)  I am a loud, grunty, face making jackass who says things like “You can do one more you wimp!” and “Do it you wussy!” to himself.  And I don’t mean a quite whisper or in my head, but out loud as I am struggling to get that last rep out.  This is the kind of weird self motivation that keeps me pushing with everything I have.  (I used to get odd looks in those commercial gyms, in hardcore gyms it is more the norm)

What I am trying to say is working out without intensity is like having sex with no passion.  It may feel like you are doing something, but in the end you are just going through the motions.

-Rob

My mostly unbiased P90X Review (You knew it was coming)

Posted 1 CommentPosted in P90X/P90X+, Reviews, Rob Terlizzi

I did my 1st P90X workout on November 11Th, 2007.  This puts me somewhere around 160 days or so of Beach Body-created workout programs and I am pretty impressed with my results so far.  I must say, this is the 1st home exercise video I have ever used, so I can’t compare it to others out there.  (I did watch that really hot Hawaiian girl on ESPN years ago, Kiana I think, and it had nothing to do with working out!)

What they do really well:

  • Tony Horton is a great instructor.  Funny, fit, and believable.  The people in the videos, although most are uber fit, seem to be real people, not the usual wingnuts you would expect in a workout video.  This makes the videos not only good to watch, but you don’t get sick of seeing them at least once a week. (or maybe I just have a really high pain threshold)
  • The pace is intense but very workable.  The kind of workout that drives you to get better and improve.  The constant reminder to record what you just accomplished forces you to compete against yourself and keep improving.  (And I don’t like the people on the video to do better than me.)
  • Every video is very challenging and has its place.   The daily routine change up allows for good muscle recovery day to day, especially if you are using a recovery drink.  (I use both the P90X Recovery Drink [Tastes like an Orange Julius when you make it with crushed ice] and the Endurox R4 Fruit Punch[Damn tasty])
  • I really like that they have music on and music off options.  Though I have never gotten sick of the music they use, I can play my ipod when getting the audio cues.  Nice.
  • The BIGGEST thing that P90X and Beach Body does is give you a very strong, and very robust motivational network.  The Team Beach Body Website not only lets you track your progress online, but you have a chance of winning up to $1000 a day, just for working out.  All you have to do is “Press Play” and you could win money.  If that doesn’t motivate you, you might be dead.

What needs help with P90X:

  • There are 3 videos which need some reworking.
    • Yoga X: Though I do like it, I find it a bit tedious at the 1.5hr mark.  And if you are expecting anything close to traditional yoga, this isn’t it.  If the name were different I may not of minded as much, maybe something like “Mind Numbing Stance Work X.” (I kid because I love)
    • Cardio X:This is the “I can’t do Plyometrics” cop out video.  Just eliminate it from the set.  It is useless.  Do an extra day of Core Synergistics instead, that is a GREAT work out.
    • Kenpo X: Where to start with this travesty.  Yes, you can get your heart rate up, yes you can get a decent workout, yes you have to ad lib a lot because the routines need a ton of work.  Whoever the “consultant” on this video was needs to not call themselves a martial artist.  (And don’t even let me get started on Cardio Kenpo Plus, this thing is a DOG!)  This video needs a complete rework.  It IS a great idea doing a martial arts inspired cardio workout, just do a good one and add it to the set.

All in all, this multi-disk workout is fantastic, even with its few short comings.  And they are pretty insignificant when you look at the program as a whole.  Tony Horton and the Beach Body team did a fantastic job with this set, and I recommend it for anyone who wants to get into great shape, and is willing to put the time, energy and sweat into it.

I’ll get into more specifics if and when anyone comments on this review.  🙂

If you want to purchase P90X or any other Beach Body Program, please follow this link:  http://www.beachbodycoach.com/FITLIFESFROB

-Rob

Do I miss the gym?

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Fitness, P90X/P90X+, Rob Terlizzi

This is a hard one to answer.  Over the last 6 months I have been intensely working out at home, heck I started working out at home when I was 14 or 15 years old.  Way back when, my parents had this crazy home gym they bought from sears.  I think it had 120lbs of weight attached to a bunch of pulleys and cables.  You could bench,  curl, and do lat pull downs, and I used that thing until I outgrew it.   Then I was introduced to the gym at my school.  Always full of high schools football players and wrestlers, can you say testosterone fest?  That was not for me, so my parents got us a membership at Gene Weisse Racquet Time, and this was it!  Great equipment, a good about of space, FREE WEIGHTS!  I was there as often as I could be working out, tanning (yes, I know), and of course playing racquet ball.  (This is where I learned the “killer sit-ups from hell!”)

From that point on I loved the gym, felt at home in one.  There is a certain scent that all gyms acquire, a feel of the Olympic bars, the old weights, maybe I am weird, but I loved it.  (Maybe still do)  Don’t get me wrong, I never wanted to spend all my time in the gym, but I did look forward to going.  Even through college I frequented the gym.  I had great friends/work out partners to crush routines with, and it showed.  Many times when I was in class, I would of much rather been in the gym.  (go figure)

After college I was introduced to the really commercial gyms, and thus the shine began to dull.  There is nothing more annoying for a gym rat than having to wait for equipment.  Especially when you have now gotten a misguided sense of elitism because you “know what the hell you are doing and they are just going to hurt themselves.”  (Me conceited at times?  No f’en way)  So the number of people was annoying, but the chicks who were wearing make up to the gym, that was the end of it for me.  I could not take it anymore, and I was back to looking for small local gyms.

So, it is years and many gyms later (and I should mention that I have weights and a Soloflex at home as well) and even going to a local gym was a pain.  When I was working at NetApp and the gym was a 30 second walk from the office it was great to use, but if I had to drive anywhere, well that got old quick.  When I moved to “The City” (Not a Tick reference, I mean San Francisco) I joined a gym that is 16 blocks away from my house.  I liked the gym, it is old, and sparsely populated with people, but it is to far to walk, I didn’t want to ride my bike, parking in that area sucked, and I found myself going less and less.  Finally I got rid of my membership.

This led to me losing even my usually fit self.  (damn gym!)  A year went by, then almost 1.5 where I was working out at home, but my intensity was dropping almost weekly.  The Soloflex is good, even great for some exercises, but I was missing the self motivation that I had at the gym.  Maybe it was all the muscle heads that inspired me, or just the atmosphere, I don’t know.  But I had lost it.

Oddly this is where my current fitness program begins, and it started out on shaky ground.  You have all seen the P90X infomercials on TV.  90 days to a ripped and healthy you!  (Yeah, right I thought)  Who the hell does Tony Horton think he is?  He doesn’t know more than me about working out.  Fuck that guy, I can put a program together just as good for myself.  So I did.  A 90 day workout routine which I followed for maybe 35-40 days before it fizzled away.  (And I did see good improvements!)  So, what good would P90X be?  What did it really have to offer?

Strangely, the one thing I have been losing for years.  Something to motivate me, something to help me kick my own ass.  This is what Tony Horton, P90X and the Beach Body Team could give me that I didn’t have in myself.  And, it just happened to be a KICK ASS program.  I am motivated by old school lifting, stretching, and hard training, this had all of it.

So, now I am working out at home 6 days a week, and though I do miss some aspects of the gym, I find I like showering at home a bazillion times more than in any scungy gym shower.  (especially the communal showers which creep me the fuck out)

So do I miss the gym?  Not as much as I thought I would.

-Rob