Thursday, February 21, 2013

Insanity Month 2 and Training

So I have been doing my second round of Insanity and have just started month 2 which are the Max workouts. Make no mistake on these workouts because the warm up now includes moves from the actual workouts in month 1. I think Month 1 was preparing you just for the warm up of Month 2 :)
I really love the Insanity workouts and after this round I am hitting Insanity The Asylum Volume 1.
I will also be doing dome trail running  to prepare for the Run For Your Lives 5K I will be running later this year in May.

Speaking of 5K's I am on the committee for my work and we are doing a fundraising 5K to benefit people with Developmental Disabilities. The run is called Feet On The Street and it is in its third year. July 13, 2013.
Yours truly has also designed the shirts for it as well. It will be a good time and is for a great cause. There will be door prizes and a raffle, and auction too.
Please join us if you can.
You can register on here. 
Or get the Flyer here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Great Morning with Shakeology

Last night Karen and I did our Insanity workouts. We had a double day with Pure Cardio and then we had to do Cardio Abs. Such a great thing that I can be doing these workouts with my wife now and help to get her in shape. This is my second time doing Insanity since completing it last July and her first.
This morning we started off right with a Chocolate Shakeology Shake.
What I did was add a 1/2 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter and 6 Blueberries. Blend it in my Magic Bullet and it is good to go and very, very tasty too.
I would suggest Shakeology to anyone that wants to have the healthiest meal of their lives and help lose weight in the process.
Shakeology can help you:*
• Lose weight
• Reduce cravings
• Increase energy and stamina
• Promote healthy digestion
and regularity
Proven results
As part of the recommended Shakeology
program of replacing a meal with one
shake per day, along with regular
exercise and a balanced diet, participants
experienced even more remarkable health
The study also showed that participants
were able to:†
• Reduce total cholesterol by 30%
on average
• Reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
by 38% on average
• Reduce cardiovascular risk ratio
by 24% on average
• Reduce oxidative damage caused
by free radicals on average by 45%,
which can help decrease the risk for
developing degenerative conditions
like heart disease, dementia, and arthritis

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Insanity: Is for me, what is right for you?

Insanity I love this program so much and had such goo results that I am doing it a second time and so proud of my lovely wife for sticking with it too. Good job Honey.
 Insanity Plyometric Cario Circuit done last night. The greatest part about doing it last night was that my son was in bed but my daughter (who is 2) was still up. She was watching me do the workout and was doing Mountain Climbers with me and said Daddy, I exercise too. She was also crawling in-between my legs when I was doing Power Squats, that was great.
How great is that. So glad I can introduce and promote healthy living to her and my son when they are just one and two.
Today is Insanity Cardio Recovery.
Does anyone want to join me and do a workout program I can help you find one that is right for you. 
Believe that you can do it, I know you can. Join my team and prove it to yourself, Click here.
Insanity may not be your choice, but there are plenty others to try. 

What about TurboFire: 
TurboFire is for
• Anyone who wants to shape a lean body, sexy legs, toned arms, and tight abs, FAST.
• All workout levels – although TurboFire is considered an advanced program, there are special new
features to help beginners stick with the program.
• Anyone who enjoys working out to music and is a fan of kickboxing and intense cardio.
Features to help beginners
• In the Fire Starter Class, Chalene teaches the moves and combinations so newcomers can start off
on the right foot and Turbo fanatics can perfect their form. 

Short on time or think you do not have the time to workout? You have 10 minutes, don't you? Try 10 Minute Trainer:
10-Minute Trainer is for
Busy people who say they can't find time to lose weight.
Anyone who needs extra motivation—Tony Horton keeps you motivated, and even people who dislike exercise can get through these brief workouts.
Everyone from beginners to frequent exercisers who want a quick workout on an especially busy day or while they're traveling.
People who want an exercise program without a lot of equipment. 

P90X I am sure you have heard of it:
• It’s the program everyone’s talking about—the #1 best-selling extreme fitness program in America.
• P90X is a revolutionary system of 12 muscle-pumping workouts designed to take you from regular to ripped
in 90 days and get you in the best shape of your life.
How P90X works
• The secret that’s made P90X a best-selling phenomenon is Muscle Confusion™.
• By constantly introducing new moves, this advanced training technique keeps your body’s muscles
continually challenged, so you can get better AND faster results. Your body never plateaus, and you never
get bored.
P90X is:
• For anyone who wants to lose excess fat, gain lean muscle, prepare for athletic events, excel at sports, and
improve their health.
• Designed for people who are fit and looking for an intense program for rapid results.
• Flexible, so that you can customize according to your fitness level and goals.
• An extreme program, and it’s recommended that you take the Fit Test before starting. If someone is not ready
for P90X, Power 90® is a great place to start.

Train like a Mixed Martial Artist, try Les Mills Combat:
What makes LES MILLS COMBAT so exciting?
• LES MILLS COMBAT is the first home-based mixed martial arts–inspired workout program designed
to get you a lean, chiseled body—in just 60 days!
• Trainers Dan Cohen and Rachael Newsham are incredibly fun to work out with! As experts in a
great number of martial arts disciplines, they will teach you, challenge you, inspire you, and keep you accountable in your quest to unleash your inner warrior—and build an outrageously strong, sexy body.
• All of these fat-burning, strength-building martial arts sequences have been carefully choreographed
to some of today’s most popular, energizing music—motivating you through the highs and lows of the workout, and driving you to achieve your absolute best results!

Want to get big muscles and bulk up? Try Body Beast:
Body Beast: Build extreme muscle and bulk with Dynamic Set Training™.
Designed to pack on up to 10 pounds of muscle mass in 90 days
Developed and hosted by the champion bodybuilder Sagi Kalev
How Body Beast works:
Dynamic Set Training is a breakthrough in sports science. By using Single Sets, Super Sets, Giant
Sets, Progression Sets, Drop Sets, Tempo Sets, and more, with added resistance, it is designed to
exhaust the muscles, activate more muscle fibers, and naturally boost testosterone levels beyond
what’s been possible before in a home training system.
An in-depth bodybuilding nutrition plan developed by champion bodybuilder and champion trainer Sagi
Kalev provides lots of quick, simple-to-prepare, delicious meals that will help pack on the muscle—fast.
A supplement system developed specifically for Body Beast puts you on the fast track to achieving the
physique that millions of men dream of but fail to achieve due to lack of proper supplementation.
Body Beast is for:
Men who want a strong body with real bulk
Men interested in using progressive, natural supplements for accelerated and explosive results
Graduates of other extreme fitness programs who have successfully shed the fat but want to gain
more muscle
Men who work out regularly but aren’t seeing the results they’d hoped for

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stop the Sore Muscles

I have had this question a few times already about the best way to stop the painfully sore muscles you get after doing High Intensity Workouts. Now, there is no magic way to prevent them from being sore because it is your body healing and growing, but there are ways to ease the pain and reduce it to a very minimal amount.
I am usually fairly sore after an intense Insanity workout but the next day I keep moving and keep with the workouts and after the first week of working out I am not so sore anymore. I keep hydrated with water all day and I also eat plenty of good proteins, supplement with whey protein and Shakeology, which helps. Also, E & E (Energy and Endurance) supplement will help you pre-workout.
These two articles from beachbody have some great tips to help you with post workout sore muscles.
The first is a way to prevent sore muscles and the second is a more detailed look at foam rolling:

Recovery Done Right: 8 Ways to Prevent Muscle Soreness

By Kara Wahlgren Aching after a brutal workout? Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can make you feel the burn while your muscles recover and rebuild. But, if you take the right steps after your workout, you can go hard without paying the price. Here are 8 easy ways to prevent postworkout pain.

                                Gym Recovery
  1. Stretch. Stretching is your first line of defense after a good workout. "When you train, you contract the muscles, and the muscle fibers get shorter," says Steve Edwards, Head of Fitness and Nutrition Development at Beachbody®. "Lengthening them after a workout promotes mobility, and can lead to a more thorough recovery." While fitness experts can't seem to agree on this strategy[1]—one Australian study[2] claimed that stretching had no impact on muscle soreness—it certainly won't hurt, especially if your flexibility is limited.
  2. Eat for rapid recovery. In a study on "nutrient timing," researchers found that a postworkout drink with between a 3:1 to 5:1 carb-to-protein ratio reduced muscle damage and improved recovery times[3]. A tough workout depletes blood sugar, as well as the glycogen stored in your muscles. Restoring that supply within an hour of finishing your workout is your body's top priority. P90X® Results and Recovery Formula® is optimized with the 4:1 ratio, but in a pinch, down a glass of grape juice with whey protein powder or a glass of chocolate milk. Denis Faye, Beachbody's Nutrition Expert, explains. "When the sugar [from the drink] rushes into your muscles to restore that supply, the protein piggybacks to jump-start the recovery process."
  3. Ice ItIce it. Immediately after a tough workout, icing your muscles can stave off inflammation. "Inflammation is one of nature's defense mechanisms, but it works like a cast—it immobilizes you," Edwards says. "When you keep inflammation down, that area is free to keep moving, and movement promotes healing." Like stretching, its effectiveness is up for debate—some researchers have claimed that ice is only effective for injuries and not for run-of-the-mill soreness[4], but it's a simple and safe option that many top-level athletes swear by[5]. "Unless you ice so long that you give yourself frostbite, there's really no danger," Edwards says. "It seems to really speed up healing without any adverse effects."
  4. Change your diet. "When your muscles are sore, inflammation is a huge part of the problem," Faye says. To help reduce this inflammation, add foods that are rich in omega-3s—such as salmon, free-range meat, flax, avocado, and walnuts[6]—to your diet. The natural anti-inflammatory properties[7] of these foods can help dial back the soreness after overexertion. Amino acid supplements can also help with muscle recovery after a high-intensity workout[8].
  5. Massage your sore spots. A recent study found that massage can reduce inflammatory compounds called cytokines[9]. One type of massage that's gaining popularity is myofascial release, which targets the connective tissue covering the muscles. You can hit these areas yourself using a foam roller—put the roller on the floor, use your body weight to apply pressure, and roll back and forth over the sore areas for about 60 seconds. But . . . before you do, make sure you're rehydrated and your heart rate is back to normal. "When your muscles are hot and loaded with lactic acid, you might make it worse," Edwards says. For a more detailed tutorial on foam rolling, check out the Beachbody Tai Cheng® program.
  6.  Get heated. While ice can work wonders immediately after a workout, heat can help once your muscles have returned to their resting temperature[10]. "Heat increases circulation, especially focused heat in a jacuzzi, where you can hit areas like joints that don't normally get a lot of circulation," Edwards says. Just don't jump in the hot tub immediately after a workout, because the heat can exacerbate inflammation, and the jets can pound your already-damaged muscles. Edwards cautions, "When your body heat is already high and you have a lot of muscle breakdown, sitting in a hot tub with the jets would be counterintuitive."
  7. Knee Brace RunningMove it. You may be tempted to plant yourself on the couch until the pain subsides, but don't skip your next workout. Circulation promotes healing, so it helps to get your heart pumping—just don't overdo it. "Active recovery" is low-intensity exercise that gets your blood flowing without taxing your muscles. What qualifies as low-intensity? It depends on your typical workout. If you know your training zones, you can use a heart rate monitor. But, Edwards says, the easiest way to engage in active recovery is to exert around 50% of your max effort, and keep your heart rate below 140 bpm or so. Most Beachbody workout programs include a recovery workout, but if yours doesn't, a gentle yoga class or going on an easy hike are good options.
  8. Pop a painkiller—if you must. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can relieve pain, but many experts aren't sure if they're worth the risk. "A lot of athletes call it 'Vitamin I,'" Edwards says. But he cautions that NSAIDs can cause nasty side effects and accelerate muscle breakdown. "The only time they might help is if you're in so much pain that you can't do low-level exercise—you can't get off the couch," Edwards says. In that case, meds might help, but be careful not to overdo it—because if you're not feeling pain, you may push too hard and cause an injury.

Foam Rolling: Your Tight Muscles' Best Friend

By Dr. Mark Cheng, L.Ac., Ph.D., Sr RKC, FMS faculty One of the biggest obstacles for a new fitness enthusiast to overcome is the soreness that comes with using muscles that haven't been used in decades. During infancy, we're learning to fire muscles all over the place. As we grow, spend increasingly more hours in flexion, and use less and less of our God-given ranges of motion, our bodies devolve from the machines of movement they were designed to be into blobs of tension, immobility, and sometimes pain.

Oh, those aching muscles! 

Man Rubbing BackIf you're feeling a little bit stiff and sore after your first few days of working out again, don't despair. It's totally natural. If you haven't exercised in a while, then the several dozen squats, kicks, push-ups, or gingas that you did over the past day or two certainly placed a demand on your body that it hasn't been used to. That means your muscles got a pump like they haven't had in quite a while, unless you've been doing similar movements in your prior exercises or your daily life. Even if you already work out with some regularity, a significant change in your routine can be enough to leave your body nice and achy. Don't believe me? Just ask any athlete how he or she feels when the strength and conditioning coach throws a new program into the mix.
While some will tell you that the discomfort of soreness is nothing to concern yourself with, others might use those aching muscles as an excuse to skip a day or two or three, derailing a solid start to a successful workout program. While pain is nothing to trifle with, as it can clearly lead to or indicate injury, don't use it as justification to bail out on training. I might have a solution for you that's simple enough to use and seriously effective when properly used!

Enter the foam roller.

Woman on Foam RollerWhen I first saw the foam roller in different exercise routines in the gym, I admit it . . . I wasn't exactly impressed. The trainers who I saw back then were focused on using the foam roller as an instability device, training their clients to position the roller across or along the spine to perform different crunch-like exercises. Now while I absolutely recognize the worth of some core engagement exercises that rely on instability training, some of what I saw looked like little more than very poorly taught stupid human tricks.
Fast forward a few years to the Russian Kettlebell Challenge Level 2 certification workshop with former world-class gymnast, powerlifting record holder, and ultra-marathoner Mark "Rif" Reifkind. Rif was teaching a section of the workshop that centered on the foam roller, and his SMFR approach to the roller was completely different from what I'd seen before.

SMFR . . . No, it's not what you're thinking!

SMFR stands for Self-Myofascial Release, a rather long and fancy word for self-massage. As muscles work, they generate metabolic wastes, such as lactic acid. As those wastes build up in the muscles, they create a balloon effect, making the muscles swell up. While a larger muscle certainly might look cosmetically appealing, the congestion in the muscle tends to make its fascial envelope stretch taut, unable to contract more fully or relax more freely until the extra fluid is moved out. Light massage techniques, such as Swedish, serve to help push these metabolites out of the muscle bed, allowing for a quicker recovery and return to training.
Person Rubbing KneeMuscles that "knot up" have trigger points. Trigger points tend to be indicative of more chronic problems, either in movement or posture or exertion. These trigger points can occur at different depths, depending on which section of the muscle is being engaged most with the movements or exercises that are being performed. The fascial membrane that surrounds muscles or the muscle fibers themselves can contract. When the body senses that the level of exertion is above the contractile strength or endurance of the myo (muscular) or fascial tissues involved, the body knots up those fibers as a survival strategy. The only problem with that strategy is that those knots inhibit movement and cause pain.

Not all created equal?

Foam rolling helps address the problems of muscle congestion and trigger points by mechanically pressing into the muscle. That said, there are different types of rollers that best address the different problems you might face. A smooth, soft roller is generally more effective for the more superficial trigger points and for moving the metabolites out of congested muscles. A roller with uneven surfaces, such as the RumbleRoller, is ideal for getting into the deeper trigger points and more deep tissue approaches.
Woman on the Foam RollerIf you're someone who tends to like deep pressure in a massage, go for the RumbleRoller. If deeper pressure tends to be too uncomfortable for you, go for the smoother roller. The important thing to remember in self-myofascial release is that rolling can feel uncomfortable at the outset. When you find the muscles that are congested or triggered up, the pressure of the roller may cause a bit of discomfort. Roll your body just to the edge of the discomfort. Focus on relaxing the muscles on the roller and breathe. As your nervous system responds to the pressure, it will learn to relax the trigger points on the roller and restore the contractile ability of the muscle.

Ready, aim, fire!

The first thing I did when I started rolling was to look for every place on my body that was sore and try to roll them out . . . Bad decision. The muscles that are the most chronically uncomfortable are usually those that are paying the price for other muscles that either aren't firing enough or are so knotted up that they're not allowing proper movement. The trick to using your foam roller in the most effective manner is really to look for the places in your body that aren't obviously hurting but are restricting your movement.
Woman StretchingIn one of my earliest video clips for Beachbody, I spoke about plantar fasciitis, pain along the underside of the foot. One of the key areas to roll when first trying to deal with plantar fasciitis should be the calf muscles. Using the roller, slowly go back and forth along the muscle, consciously trying to relax as much as possible and going as slowly as possible. When you find the "hot spots," stay on them, relax some more, and go back and forth a few times until the trigger point releases. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out that the chronic pain in your foot actually had its roots in your calf!

I hope these tips were helpful to you and that you get the maximum benefits from your workouts without injuries or getting so sore you can not function. I firmly believe in these tips because they work for me and I know they can work for you as well.
Good luck and keep pressing play.

Monday, January 14, 2013

How Many Calories?

I have had this discussion before with others about calories and it is really hard to know just how many you really need to take in while working out to get the results you are looking for. Luckily, the good folks at beach body have come up with this wonderfully informative article to help you and I thought I would share it with you here, and remember to always eat healthy and find the proper exercise regiment that fits you as well. I know it is a lot to thinks about, but when you start it is really easy to maintain, especially when you see the results and changes in your body and health.

Ask the Expert: How Many Calories Should I Be Eating?

By Denis Faye
I dunno. How many do you wanna eat?
Okay, so that was a joke, but eventually, it'll be the right answer. When all your hormones fire right and you're filling yourself with healthy, whole foods, your body will tell you the right amount to eat. Unfortunately, our culture has become particularly skilled at overriding our natural indicators, which is why 30% of us are obese. So, on your road back to your ideal weight, you'll probably want to apply a little math in the form of counting calories.

A Variety of Popsicles(I've divided this answer into two parts. If you want to geek out about calories, read the whole thing. If you don't care what a calorie is and just want to know how many to consume, skip down to the second part.)
The part where I tell you what a calorie is and how it applies to you.
A calorie (or kilocalorie, as it's officially called) is a unit of measurement given to the amount of energy your body generates from the food you eat. Think of it in terms of kilowatts or horsepower. When you put an 80-calorie apple under a microscope, you won't see a bunch of little calories floating around in there. However, if you put your apple in a fancy piece of lab equipment called a bomb calorimeter, you could burn it up and the calorimeter would tell you how much energy was discharged—in the form of calories.
Nerdy aside: Calories can also be used to measure other expenditures of energy, including explosions. A modern nuclear bomb releases 1,000,000,000,000 calories—only slightly more than your average meal at Olive Garden®.
 Woman Eating a SaladIn the human body, this energy is used for all your daily functions, including breathing, talking, digesting, walking, heart-beating and, of course, working out. However, we're an efficient race (at least, on the inside), so if you consume more calories than you burn, it doesn't shoot out of your ears as steam or anything like that. Instead, the body turns it into adipose tissues (body fat) to be converted to energy at some future date. In other words, when you eat more calories than you burn, you put on fat. This is the case whether you're eating carbs, fat, or protein.
Conversely, when you eat fewer calories than you expend, your body taps into those reserves and you burn fat, most of the time. This is called having a calorie deficit. However, you don't want that calorie deficit to be too large, or a number of undesirable things might happen. In addition to tapping your fat stores, your body might start breaking down lean body mass (muscle) for fuel. Or your body might simply slow down your metabolism so that you burn fewer calories in general, much like you might dim lights in your home to conserve energy. So, with the exception of short-term practices, like jump-start diets, fasts, or cleanses, it's generally a good idea not to let your calorie deficit drop below 500 calories a day.
The part where I (finally) tell you how many calories are right for you.
Most Beachbody® programs come with a calculator that you can use to figure out how many calories you should be eating. We also offer this handy online calculator. But for you instant gratification types, here's a super basic calculator to figure out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.
Sedentary lifestyle (desk job): Current weight in pounds x 12 = Maintenance Caloric Needs.
Moderately active lifestyle (server in a restaurant and/or doing one of our entry level programs, like Power 90® or Hip Hop Abs®): Current weight in pounds x 13 = Maintenance Caloric Needs.
Highly active lifestyle (construction worker and/or doing one of our elite programs, like P90X® or INSANITY®): Current weight in pounds x 14 = Maintenance Caloric Needs.
From there, subtract 500 calories and that's probably a good deficit for weight loss. (But make sure that number stays about 1,200. Anything lower can be dangerous in the long term.) Conversely, if you're trying to gain muscle mass, add 300 calories or so—but make sure you're also doing a solid weight lifting program like Body Beast® so those calories have a place to go.
Sometimes, people micromanage these numbers by increasing or decreasing daily calorie intake based on the activities for the day. Don't do this. Unless you're hooked up to millions of dollars worth of monitoring equipment, you'll probably get those numbers wrong anyway. Your best bet is to account for exercise in broad strokes, like the calculations above.
 Man on ScaleWith that in mind, whichever calculation you follow, don't get married to the numbers. I know it feels official, with all those digits and equations and such, but even the most complex calorie equation will miss countless factors. Ethnicity. Air temperature. Illness. How hard you exercise that day. Stress. Unexplained shifts in your metabolism. Hormone imbalances, etc.
So use that number, which will probably fall somewhere between 1,800 and 3,000 calories, as a starting point. If it works, swell. Hold steady until it stops working. If it doesn't work, don't panic; you just need to experiment a little to find your sweet spot. Try dropping another 300 calories for 7 to 10 days. If that doesn't work, increase your calories (beyond your original number) by 300 for 7 to 10 days. If you're still not getting any love, come on over to the Team Beachbody® Message Boards, where our friendly advice staff and coaching community will be able to throw your diet up on the racks to find the issue.
On a final note, keep in mind that not all calories are created equal. You generally need to do a little more than just hit your calorie deficit to lose weight in a healthy fashion. If your low-calorie diet is packed with refined sugars and flours, it might be wreaking havoc on your insulin, which can inhibit results. If you're lowballing protein, you might not be giving your body the amino acids it needs to repair muscle. Again, results will be hindered. If you're eating a really fatty diet, fat is more caloric by volume than protein and carbs, so you might be badly miscalculating, which (say it with me) can also hinder results. So an important key to weight management is to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year, New You.

Every year people make resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, drink less soda, and get fit. Every year people fail to reach their resolutions, usually quitting within the first month.and sometimes the first week.
Do you fit into this category at all?
What were your reasons to not follow through with your resolutions? Yes, resolutions, not goals. I think the problem with resolutions are that they are easy to write off and there is nothing to really strive for.  Most resolutions are taking away, not achieving.
Visualize the end result, it works. When you look into the mirror, see what you could look like. Look at success stories, they are great motivators.

Buy some clothes you want to fit into, one size at a time. If you are an XL, buy a L, when you fit into that, buy a M. You will be amazed at how great it feels to fit into those clothes you really want.
Join a group on facebook, and stay accountable. It is great to see others going through the same struggles as you and it keeps you and others in the group focused on your goals.
Join a weightloss challenge at work. My wife and I are currently doing one.
Start small with exercise, walk. Park your car farther away when going to the store. Take the stairs.
Drink plenty of water, it keeps your metabolism going.
Eat small every three hours, you will really be surprised at how much it curbs hunger and helps you lose weight.
Cut back on dairy and make one meal a week a meatless meal.
Whole grains are good, processed foods are not.
Find a workout program that works best for you and the goals you want to achieve.
Make no excuses, you can always find time to workout.

When you are working out it helps to supplement your diet with an amazing drink like Shakeology. It tastes great and it really works.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

3 Steps to Build your Home Gym

I thought this was good information to pass along. I am still working on getting my basement area converted. For now, I use my upstairs on days with the pull up bar and downstairs on other days. 

How to Build the Ultimate Home Gym in 3 Easy Steps

Elena Sessa and Rebecca Swanner One of the biggest benefits of the Beachbody® programs is they allow you to do your workout wherever! That said, shoving your coffee table off to the side and dealing with your teenager because your plyometrics workout caused her to miss Cupcake Wars can get a little old quickly. By creating a personal workout space in your house, you not only sidestep these issues, but you'll be more motivated to do your daily workout. And that consistency—in both your diet and your fitness—will get you the results that you desire.

In this guide, we walk you through how to build a home gym to fit your needs. Of course, you don't need all this gear for every workout you do, but with a fully stocked gym, you'll be ready to Push Play with any workout that catches your fancy.

Step 1: Pick a room.

Ideally, you should set up your workout space in an area of your home that isn't high-traffic. This eliminates excuses. For instance, if you set up your home gym in the den, your workout time may conflict with when others want to watch TV—a battle you're likely to lose. While you can try to encourage them to join you, make it easier on everyone by finding a space where you can do your workout when it's most convenient for you. That said, we understand that's not always possible, so you may need to schedule your workouts when you're least likely to be interrupted.
Here's what to look for when selecting your workout room:
  1. Do you have enough space to move around? If you're doing Beachbody workout programs, you won't be using a treadmill or stationary bike. You'll be moving around. Ideally, your workout area should be 15' by 15' so you can leap, jump, and lunge without running into the furniture. Beachbody tries to follow a "two steps in either direction" rule when creating workouts. However, since those "steps" are often more like "leaps," more room to move will likely net greater results and less bruises.
  2. How high are the ceilings? Are they high enough so you can jump without hitting your head? When doing jumping jacks or plyometric workouts, you want to get results, not a hole in your ceiling and/or a trip to the emergency room.
  3. How sturdy are the objects in the room? When you jump, are you likely to knock anything over? This includes lamps, fragile knickknacks, vases . . . let's not go on. Planning ahead will not only save your stuff but help your workout because you won't be worried about what you might hit during P90X's Airborne Heismans.
  4. Where can you put your equipment? Ideally, you want to pick somewhere where you can leave your equipment—weights, yoga mat, agility ladder, push-up bars, foam rollers, etc.—out so it's easy to access. Alternatively, pick a room where you can store your equipment easily either against the wall or in a large trunk or chest.
  5. What's underneath the room? If you live alone in a freestanding dwelling or you want to work out in the basement, don't worry about this. Otherwise, be mindful of your downstairs neighbors or the others who live in your home and pick a room that isn't located above their bedroom. Here's a tip: if you let your downstairs neighbors know your intentions and work with them to set an ideal workout time, you'll save yourself an angry call from your landlord.
  6. Is it well-ventilated? When you're working out, you want to be able to stay hydrated. You can accomplish this partially by drinking water during your workout, but also by making sure your workout space is well-ventilated. Open the windows and get a big box fan to keep you cool while you're sweating up a storm.

Step 2: Get good flooring.

Having the proper flooring in your workout space can make the difference between sore knees and a happy, healthy you. If you're going to be jumping or doing exercises that may cause you to slip, put down a few locking rubber mats with rug runners beneath them so that they don't slide. The padding will make the surface softer to land on and you shouldn't go flying. If you are looking for a little extra padding for a jumping-intensive program like TurboFire®, consider a Beachbody Plyometric Mat. It's thicker and denser than a yoga mat and will help save your joints. If you plan to mostly be stretching and doing less-intense activities, you should be OK with just using a yoga mat for padding.
If you can, stay away from working out on top of plush carpet. Even if you lay a mat on top of it, the surface isn't stable and you can sink . . . which might lead to a sprained ankle or tweaked wrist.

Step 3: Invest in the right equipment.

The equipment you need is entirely dependent on what kind of workout you're doing. While it might be tempting to go absolutely gear crazy, you don't need to break the bank to start a solid home gym. Begin with a few, necessary basics and build your collection as you go. In addition to the aforementioned flooring, here are a few vital pieces of equipment.
Inspiring tunes and images. To stay pumped through your entire workout, set up an iPod® player in your workout space so you can listen to your favorite tunes. And, if you can transform one space in your home into a permanent home gym, consider hanging some inspiring photos—perhaps of the body you're trying to achieve, places you want to travel to when you're fit, or quotes that motivate you—on the walls.
Free weights or bands. When you're working out, you'll find that eating right and doing cardio workouts will help burn off the extra fat you're carrying. But to create the muscle definition you desire, you'll need strength training. Some strength training exercises—including push-ups, pull-ups, and crunches—use just your body weight, and those will help tone your muscles.
But to see serious results, you'll need to use weights or bands for resistance. Especially if space is an issue, I recommend investing in a set of Beachbody's B-LINES® Bands or a set of adjustable weights such as Bowflex® SelectTech®. Both are compact options and will allow you to increase the resistance as you get stronger. And if you're traveling, bands are easy to throw in your bag so you can keep working out while on the road.
Pull-up/chin-up solutions. Want sexy biceps, shoulders, and back? Pull-ups and chin-ups will definitely help you get there. You can install a pull-up bar in any wall with the help of a stud finder, but if you're looking for a less permanent solution, Beachbody offers a Chin-Up Bar that can be easily mounted onto almost any door frame and removed when you're not working out. It's designed in such a way so you can do pull-ups, chin-ups, wide pull-ups, corn cobs, and can support up to 300 pounds.
If you're still looking for assistance when doing those pull-ups and chin-ups, instead of using a wobbly chair, consider a Chin-Up Max. Here's how it works: You put your foot in the strap, adjust the resistance, and lift yourself as if you were doing a normal pull-up. As you get stronger, you can lower the resistance and, one-by-one, remove the 3 bands that help support you until you can eventually do them entirely unassisted.
All this said, chin-up bars can be bulky and difficult to place. If it's just not going to happen in your place, invest in a good set of B-LINES Resistance Bands and an inexpensive B-LINE Upgrade Kit. This will allow you to do lat pull-downs (a pull-up substitute) using any closeable door.
Of course, you don't need to limit your collection to just this gear. Have a look at the program you're interested in taking on next for a complete list of the toys you'll get to play with. Here's just a small sampling:
Push-Up Stands can take the pressure off your wrists, prevent you from sliding during your push-ups, and will help improve your form so you can get better results without hurting your joints.
Barbells are an alternative to dumbbells that work well for heavy weights and compound lifts. They feature prominently in LES MILLS PUMP and Body Beast™.
Medicine Balls and Stability Balls. For strength and stability training, as well as aerobic work, there's nothing like a good set of balls. You'll find them in P90X2®, as well as Tony's P90X ONE on ONE® series, Chalene's workouts, and Yoga Booty Ballet®.
A workout bench. This one takes a lot of space, but it's a great tool for getting the most out of your Body Beast workouts.
By investing in the right equipment, selecting the best room, and paying attention to the surface you're working out on, you can create the ultimate workout space that makes working out a pleasure, not a chore!