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!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

P90X Recovery Week

So I am on week 3 of P90X and this is the recovery week which means yoga and stretching and two cardio/core workouts. Today was Core Synergistics and I must say that this workout I really liked. It was fast paced, worked every part of your body and most of all, I had fun doing it.
The Banana Roll was a cool move and there were the Sphinx Push Ups that I had never done before either. Now, this wasn't as hard of a workout as anything I did with Insanity but it was the most I have enjoyed a P90X workout to date.
I think the problem I am having is that I came to P90X from Insanity and P90 seems slow in comparison, which is not fair because one is plyo and cardio and the other is muscle training but the core and cardio/plyo in P90X is nothing compared.
I am however, seeing benefits from P90X as my core is looking better and I am seeing good lines in my shoulders, my arms are more defined and there are some muscles showing up that I did not know I had. I have upped my weights on some moves as well.
Plus, my wife says I am looking good and that makes a world of difference to me.
These programs do work and I am proof positive that with a good diet and good exercise program you can achieve a great amount in a small amount of time.

Have any of you been through P90X or are thinking about going through it? What are your thoughts/concerns?

I am also now going to be hosting an Insanity and P90X class at my work. I hope I have a good amount of people show up for them.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

P90X Week 3

P90X is going quite well. I am 3 weeks in and I finally really like Yoga. I would say that the shoulders and Arms workout is my favorite so far. I have upped the weights on my Congden curls from 20lbs to 25lbs which is really amazing.
Kind of looking forward to the Legs workout tomorrow. Actually, I am looking forward to all of what P90X is going to do for me because I am currently showing a lt more definition in my muscle in just 3 weeks. I can not imagine what 90 days will look like.
I have been so excited about what Beachbody has done for me that I am holding Insanity and P90X classes for the Wellness committee at work to spread the love of fitness.
Want to try a product? I can help. Click Here to visit my Store. 

The Shakeology® Peanut Butter Cups

May we just say, these little things are genius! And even better, you can make them 100% vegan by using the all new Chocolate Vegan Shakeology®.
Not only will you get all the benefits from Shakeology, such as vitamins and superfoods, but you'll also get the benefits of coconut oil (our new favorite ingredient around Beachbody® HQ)! Coconut oil is the newest wonder-food known to be great for hair care, skincare, weight loss, digestion, immunity, healing, and more. Key takeaway: It keeps things flowin' and keeps your body, skin, and hair moisturized! What's better than that?
So add one tsp. of coconut oil to your morning shake if you want daily benefits, or pop these delicious treats when you're in the mood for a healthy dessert! Enjoy.
Shakeology Peanut Butter Cups Inside Out Shakeology Peanut Butter Cups (makes 2 servings)
2 tsp. Chocolate Vegan Shakeology
2 Tbsp. Chocolate PB2®
2 tsp. unrefined coconut oil
2 Tbsp. water
2 mini foil cupcake holders
Directions: In a microwavable dish, melt coconut oil. Stir the PB2 into the coconut oil and set aside. In another small dish, place Chocolate Vegan Shakeology and gradually add water to get the Shakeology into a thick, pudding-like consistency. Now, take the foil liners and put a tiny amount of the PB2/coconut oil mixture on the bottom of the foils. Next, add a layer of the Shakeology. Finally, top off with another layer of the PB2/coconut mixture. Pop in the freezer for at least 30 minutes and enjoy!