Monday, June 20, 2011

Time to Get Serious!!!

So, I was talking to my brother the other day to get an idea of how he was progressing out in the desert, and I was quite shocked. He told me that he is already nearing his goal of 175 lbs and anticitpates that he will be exceeding his own expectations by the time his deployment is complete. This can't be possible; I'm talking about my little brother who is supposed to be skinny and puny! Last I saw him, he was at 160 lbs, which was the heaviest he's ever been. As of two days ago, he is at 168 lbs.

I'm sitting here wondering why it is that I have not stepped my game up at this point. I've been taking it easy on myself lately, but I am more than happy to show people different exercises I've learned thorugh Insanity in an effort to get folks to join the workout fever. Seeing how quick my brother has progressed has reinvigorated my desire to push ahead. I was actually contemplating delaying another few weeks to get the necessary equipment for the P90X workout, but I think I am going to go ahead and start doing workouts in my job's fitness center 5 days per week. This way I just don't skip a beat.

Another thing I am going to do is work toward doing at least 150 pushups per day. Once I get used to it, I will increase the count to 200 pushups and continue increasing in increments of 50 until I reach my peak. I guess my workout partner is proving to be more of a motivator than even I anticipated! It helps that he likes to brag about it: something I used to do quite a bit until I got out of the military and reallity set in, lol. I could use the excuse that I didn't have time to keep myself in shape, but that would just be a lie. I got lazy and let myself go. Anyway, that is in the past and is not important today.

The point is that my brother is in this just as much as I am. While we are not in the same place, we are still trying to outdo each other. It is great when there is someone there to challenge you to exceed expectations. That mindset applies with anyone. You always want someone that is going to push you as much as you push them. It's almost like being in a relationship with a significant other. In order for it to work, you have to be able to see things eye to eye with one another. Additionally, it is important for you and your significant other to challenge one another to be better as time goes on.

I am not a professional coach or trainer. I don't have a degree, certicication, or any other formal education to back up what I say on my blog. I do have my word. I do have my pictures to support my testimony. While I don't have the educational background, I have my lifetime experiences. I go with what I know. There are people who always like to see the proof behind what I tell them. Everyone is always looking for someone to support their argument. Well, I am the proof to my arguments. I intend to improve going forward. My brother is my motivator/challenger. In six months, the results will be the proof.

The question everyone asks me: how did you change so much in such a short period? The answer I give them: a lot of hard work and discipline...with a little dose of Insanity. Until next time...KEEP DIGGING DEEPER!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Workout Buddies Don't need to Be Present!!!

There is this constant that I hear from everyone: it would be great to have a workout buddy! For a long time, I fell into the category of needing a workout partner. As a matter of fact, I still do! I think it is great to have someone there, giving you the motivation to get that extra rep done during a given exercise. Not only do you find it in you to get that last rep in there, but you suddenly feel like you can go another 2 hours in the gym after accomplishing the feat.

There is just something about the feel of going to the gym by yourself that leaves you less motivated and unwilling to give it your all. There were so many times where I would go to the gym, and not even know what to do. In those situations I would get on a random machine, do some reps, and just walk around for a period until I felt like there was something else I could do. My motivation would be at an extreme low; after a while I would just leave the gym feeling like it was a waste of time and gas.

I feel like I am being somewhat hypocritical right now. The reason: I didn't have a workout partner present when I did my Insanity routine. Not one time did I have someone working out beside me: unless you consider my two year old daughter a workout partner! There were plenty of times throughout the routine when I would wonder how it is that I am getting through this without anyone there. That is when it dawned on me: I DID HAVE WORKOUT PARTNERS. The only thing is that they were not there with me.

Technology has made life easy; in some ways, it can be considered a gift and a curse. In this case, however, it was definitely a gift. About two weeks into Insanity, I found out that my best friend in Boston was working out as well. Being the competitive one, I knew I had to finish this routine: especially knowing that he was on a quest for weight loss as well. I also found out that one of my younger brothers - who happens to be stationed out in Alaska - is also on a fitness trip. He is in it for muscle building/weight gaining purposes. While our goals differ, they are fitness related nevertheless.

While the motivation was not in front of me, I still received it from people who were also in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. They may have been thousands of miles away from me, but their progress has proven addictive as it only helped to increase my desire to improve as well. The conclusion: workout buddies do not have to be present in order to provide you with the additional push. I am in Texas, and I was able to go the extra mile through motivation from people in Massachusetts and Alaska.

To put this on full display, I have decided to have my brother participate in this blog with me. Folks, he is no longer in Alaska. He will be reporting from the other side of the world: in the Middle East. That being said, he has not lost track of his goals. He plans to gain between 10 and 15 lbs in the next 6 months while he is deployed and serving his country. Just to give people an idea of the challenges he is facing: my brother has a very active metabolism that will be working against him. Additionally, he is going to have to contend with the summer months; that means he will be experiencing temperatures between 125 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. If you take those two factors into consideration, gaining 10 to 15 pounds is no small feat.

So, I am challenging him in a few ways. I want him to keep accountability on this blog just as I have. Our goals kind of work out evenly because I have about 15 pounds to LOSE to get to my goal weight while he has the same amount of weight to GAIN to reach his goal weight. Secondly, I am going to have him include pictures of his own to track each other's progress over the next 6 months. This should be pretty interesting.

His method of training will involve more heavy lifting, while mine will be a little more cardio based. There will be lifting involved through the P90X training, but not to build mass. As previously stated, I will probably substitute some P90X workouts with Insanity workouts. This will most likely happen if I notice more building taking place as opposed to breaking down. If anyone wants to join us in this challenge, by all means let me know and I will be sure to help you in tracking your progress as well.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Insanity and P90X...Why Not Insanity: The Asylum?!

I've been told by plenty that the P90X routine pales in comparison to the Insanity routine as far as the intensity level is concerned. That being said I am still not going to take it lightly. I think I am so focused on maxing out from Insanity that I am going to find myself doing the same with P90X. I think I will still be able to feel some kind of effect simply because I haven't been doing my Insanity lately.

Unfortunately my youngest daughter sustained an injury. As a result, she has been super demanding of attention. She's calmed down quite a bit as of late so I am going to do a combination of the core cardio and balance and the cardio abs. I'll do cardio abs every other day so that I can avoid potential soreness that may result. Ok, enough about Insanity and my petty reasons for not staying religious with my workouts: I want to talk a bit more about the P90X routine.

It is definitely a routine which piqued my interest well before I became interested in Insanity. As a matter of fact, I was contemplating taking the step forward and buying the equipment in preparation for acquiring the routine. I decided not to simply because I was living in an apartment at the time and did not want to deal with the possibility of disturbing neighbors while I jumped around with my workouts on at full blast. I like to make the experience as real as possible. Once I got into a house, I realized I didn't have to worry about disturbing people above or below me, so life became significantly more convenient.

Many people have told me I got the hard part out of the way by doing Insanity, but I think it really depends on how one approaches it. I think P90X can be a beast in its own right if you do it right. I am going to look into picking up some weights, but I am going to make sure that I have enough weight so that I can increase my intensity as I go through the workouts. I am going to try every workout at least once just to see where I stand. If I see that my endurance is higher than expected, I will either increase the weight I lift with, or I will simply substitute that workout for one of my Max Interval workouts from Insanity. While I may increase in my muscle tone and mass through P90X, I can still work to get the quality burn from Insanity.

Now, I have been asked on a few occasions why I am electing not to go with the Insanity: The Asylum workout and the reason is simple. I want to wait a while to see what people have to say about it. I am sure that there is plenty of intensity involved, but I want to see what other say as well as their results upon completing the program. I am also making sure that it turns out to be a positive investment in the long term as well. I have already seen and heard plenty about what P90X has to offer, so I think that this is a more conservative move on my part.

The way I see it, by the time I have completed the P90X routine, there should be a healthy dose of reviews and results to based my judgement on the Asylum workout. If I decide I am going to do the Asylum workout, I will first do a recovery week and another full month of the Max Interval Training with Insanity. I think that will be more than enough to prepare myself for the Asylum workouts. It's always good to look ahead, but I am going to worry about one thing at a time.

For now, it's just all about P90X and what results I can achieve from that routine. I know I haven't posted lately, but it's mainly because I am not doing much that would be relevant to the routines involved on this blog. Right now I am limited to regular weight training in the fitness center at my job. At the very least, it is helping me greatly with maintaining my weight. As a matter of fact, I am down to 194 lbs., so despite doing weights I have still managed to lose another pound.

More to come in the near future. I'll be going to home to Boston for a week, so I'll be pushing to start P90X upon returning from my vacation. Until then, KEEP DIGGING DEEP EVERYONE!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Insanity is done. I am surprised that I was able to get through this program. I had my reservations at the beginning considering that it has always been difficult for me to actually apply myself to anything. For a number of reasons, I was able to just maintain the motivation I had from the get go. The feeling I have is one of gratification, accomplishment and pride balled up into one. I wake up, and the first thing I do is look in the mirror. I can't help but crack a slight smile because the stomach I had is no longer there. The fat on my arms has turned into definition. My face is no longer round and the cheek bones I thought disappeared at one point in time have finally returned. All of that is good, but the best thing I got out of this workout was the fact that I am not tired all day. I am not out of breath. I can keep up with my kids.

Yeah, life is definitely better today than it was two months ago. Now it is time to get ready to implement the next step of my quest for ultimate fitness. The first round of Insanity is over, and I was thinking about how to ease my way into the next big routine: P90X. From what I have seen out of P90X, it looks more like a strength based workout as opposed to cardio. I still want to keep my cardio going for the moment, so I am going to continue my second month Insanity workouts and incorporate some moderate weight lifting so that I can work more toward toning my upper body. I am looking to starting the P90X routine around the second week of June. I would start a little sooner, but I have to make a trip back home to see family and friends.

I've also decided that I will not be working out in my house when it comes to the P90X routine. The way my living room is set up just makes it way too inconvenient. I want to be in a position where I can see the movements as they are done so I can get the proper form down. This is where having a garage does wonders. What makes it even better is that the summer is coming around, which means that I will have plenty of Texas heat hitting me; that will only amplify how much of a sweat I break during my workouts! I am hoping to achieve maximum results by doing my workouts in the garage. I guess you can say I am using the heat as a sort of sauna suit.

If you look off to the side of my blog page, you'll see my final results. I have been including strength training with my regular workouts to create a little bit of bulk. The funny thing is that I haven't gained any weight as a result. I think there is a little bit of difference in my upper body mass from the last progress pics I took, but it could all just be in my head. Anyway, this ends my journey with least the first round. I'm still going to keep using the workouts on a steady basis. They have given me awesome results. I didn't lose any muscle, but I didn't necessarily gain any either. My main purpose with this workout was to shed fat. Now that I have done it and tested my endurance along with it, it's time for me to take it up a notch.

Keep following my blog, folks. There will definitely be more to come in the near future. Until then, keep digging deep!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Insanity WILL Get You to Burn as Advertised!!!

I've had my heart rate monitor through my entire time of doing Insanity. I have seen plenty of people counting their calories burned on here and all I could do is sit here and watch everyone else brag about how they burned 500 or 600 calories in a given workout. Still I sat there wondering, how are these people counting their calories burned?

I was messing around with my heart rate monitor the other day and guess what I realized? My heart rate monitor DOES keep a count of calories burned! At this point my face flushed beat red with stupidity as I quieted laughed to myself. HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED THAT THIS WHOLE TIME?!?!

Anyway, so I decided to put it to the test. How many calories can I burn on my Insanity workouts? So, I did my Max Interval Circuit workout today. I wasn't expecting anything crazy. I figured that I still have a long way to go before I can say I burned 1,000 calories on a workout. Well, assuming made an ass out of no one else but me!

I was just 26 minutes into my routine and had already burned 475 calories! By the time I was done with my Max Interval Circuit, I had burned a whopping 1,057 calories! SERIOUSLY?!?!?! Let me go ahead and say it again. In just under 60 minutes of Max Interval Circuit training, I burned 1,057 calories. WWWWWOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!

In conclusion, folks...believe what they advertise when it comes to Insanity. I have given people the burden of proof they need as far as whether or not you can truly burn 1,000 calories in one hour. Yeah, I'm loving every bit of it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Progress PICS...and Other Stuff!

If you go ahead and scroll down, you will see my current progress pictures after completing 7 weeks of Insanity. The first thing that comes to mind is shock...I am shocked that I have been able to generate such insane results in such a short time. I am shocked that I managed to maintain most of my build up top and added definition to boot! At the same time, I am slightly dismayed. I would have really wanted to hit my goal of 185 on the first go. That said, I will go ahead and refer back to what I said on my first post: while I would love to be down to 185, the 190's-range is also acceptable so long as there is a significant difference in my overall appearance. I'll just let the pics speak for themselves.

Another thing I am slightly down about is that time flew by on me. I still feel like I just barely started the routine and I am already 10 days away from being an Insanity graduate. You better believe that I'll be getting my Insanity shirt ASAP! Don't worry, I'm still going to continue my routine, but I am also working toward purchasing the P90X routine, Insanity: Asylum, a few more Insanity DVD sets that are separate from the regular collection as well as a boxing workout called Savage and Serene. I figure, the more workouts I get: the more I can shock my body in every possible way. OH YEAH, and I'm thinking about taking up hot yoga: a form of yoga which takes place in a room where temps are set at between 95 and 105 degrees. I think it's supposed to allow you to get a really good stretch. That will be key when I see that REALLY good recovery from everything.

For now, I still have plenty of Insanity left on my plate, so I won't be stopping any time in the foreseeable future.I have already developed a plan that I call my 6 steps of Pure Madness. If I see that it is working for me in the long run, I'll be putting it out there for everyone to follow. No worries, I'll keep the progress pics coming. However, I think that I will spread it to a monthly basis after I complete the Insanity workouts. I will get back to posting bi-weekly progress pics whenever I decide to get into the P90X mode. Take it easy folks, and remember to always DIG DEEP!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Ok, I'll admit, it's been a tough week. It's been gloomy out, which has led me to be a bit sluggish at the start of my days, but that has not deterred me from doing my Insanity workouts. As of now, I am down to 196 lbs! That adds up to a total of 13 lbs lost so far. I haven't taken any measurements as of late, but I think I am going to wait until I am completely done with my routine.

The second month of Insanity has not disappointed one bit! Every workout is absolutely nuts, and I love it because I am now incorporating my upper body a lot more; that was a minor concern during the first month. My legs feel like cinder blocks: not because they weigh me down, but because of how solid they are! I have noticed an increase in my definition all over, and I think there are signs of my abs starting to show! I was expecting results, but I thought myself to be overzealous with my initial expectations. I honestly didn't think I would get under 190. If I give it my all for the last 2 weeks, I think I'll be around 189. We'll just have to see what happens!

Another thing that I have been incorporating into my Insanity routine is some moderate lifting, but only for the upper body. As previously mentioned, my legs are pretty good. I want to keep it to where my upper body is more or less proportioned with my lower body, so I figured some weight training would do me good. One thing I got a real kick out of was that I can definitely notice the difference in the upper body! I got to lifting weights the week before last and was in shock by what I saw: my muscles in my chest and shoulders were rippling with each rep on dumbell curls! I'm sorry, but I have never had that happen; if it seems like I am giddy from this entry, it's because I am!

I think I have reached the point where it is time for me to consider becoming a Beachbody coach. I have been approached about this, but I put it on the backburner simply because I don't want to coach people through something I have not yet completed myself. There is no question that I am going to finish this routine with only two weeks remaining after this! I have had a great deal of fun with this routine. For those of you who have stopped by and checked out my blog, I hope that my progress has given you the added motivation to pursue your healthier lifestyle.

So, what happens after Insanity? I think I am going to do another round of Insanity, which will bring me into the May timeframe. Once I am done with the second round of Insanity, I am going to look into acquiring the P90X routine. I'll go through P90X and be done by the end of Summer. From there, I think I am going to do a hybrid style routine which will consist of a P90X workout one day and then an Insanity workout the next day. That should take me through to the end of the year and maybe a little into next year. From there, the sky's the limit. I know some folks out there must think I am a little too ambitious with my approach, but I have found something outside of my relationship and my children that I can truly be dedicated toward.

So, week 8 is right around the corner. That means I will be taking my fourth fit test and I will also be taking progress pictures as well. Being that it's been 3 weeks since my last progress pics, I anticipate a noticeable change in the new ones. We shall see soon enough. Until then, I will just keep digging deep; I hope you do too!