Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Insanity Mid-Terms, Shakeology, and the Power of Focus

Well, it's now been 4 weeks of Insanity, and after the swearing, flailing, and sweating, I've managed to see some decent results.  Shaun T has officially been marked as Ashley's nemesis, and the reality of how out of shape I was after a year off of real working out is starting to hit.  A few nights ago, to take a break from Insanity, Ashley and I decided it would be a good idea to do Kempo X from Tony Horton's P90X-- it would be a good, somewhat fun workout so we wouldn't feel so guilty for taking a night off.  After being used to Shaun T's high-paced chaos/self-mutilation, Kempo was laughable.  Thinking back to before I jumped on Insanity, I remember being fairly exhausted after Kempo.  Clearly, that had changed.  We followed up the workout with smiles on our faces, and we crushed some protein smoothies.  The one pictured below is another smoothie that I have discovered is a great way to cover up the bitter/tart flavors of protein powder-- what we've got here is 6 strawberries, 1 frozen banana, an orange, a cup of vanilla unsweetened almond milk, 1 tbsp flax seed, and ice.

So anyways, after 4 weeks, I've gained 4 more pounds of muscle than I had the last round through without the protein, so it is clearly making a difference.  I'm thinking that when I level off my lean muscle weight I will try changing proteins and seeing if one is more effective at muscle mass than another.

A quick word on Shaun T's Insanity.  The spectrum of opinions on work-out routines such as this is pretty wide, with some finding it as the only way for people with a significant amount of training to build muscle correctly, while others find the idea of following 12 or so workouts as ludicrous and asking for injury wherever the weak points exist within the work-out regime.  Hopefully, most of you fall in the middle-- as do I.  Of course there are dangers in doing the same motions for extended periods of time (i.e. months, years, etc.); however, it does have its positives.  Programs such as Insanity are developed to improve the physical condition of anyone that does it-- and in a (relatively) safe way.  I personally find a rotation of Tony Horton's Power 90 Series workouts (P90, P90X, P90X+, P90 Master, One-on-One, P90X2), Shaun T's Insanity & Insanity-- Asylum, and a few other workouts, when integrated together, give me enough variety and new stimulation that many muscle groups are worked out in different ways, and most importantly to me, I don't get too bored.  The problem with most of these programs for me is that after 50 days or so you are completely tired of spending an hour a day doing the same routines.  A good mix is perfect-- as Tony Horton himself loves to say, variety is the spice of life!  With that in mind, I'm planning on getting my hands on Tap-out XT-- I'll let ya'll know how that goes!

As for the shakeology, many people are hesitant about drinking what seems to be a chemical/protein cocktail.  While most of them are not vegan (although they've come out with a vegan alternative lately), I completely agree and tend to stay away from the stuff.  My substitutions (such as the above drink) working swimmingly-- I feel refreshed, energized, and I am able to replenish many of the nutrients and proteins needed to allow the muscles to rebuild.

On a final note regarding these programs.  The one thing I pushed aside from the programs in critiquing them above is that they give you a goal-- a set time to achieve that goal, and a clearly visible layout for achieving that goal.  Insanity is 60 days while Power 90 is, you guessed it, 90 days.  The programs provide calendars, calculators, and all sorts of tools to keep you focused.  The gym and the scale don't provide this as easily, and this is so important for so many people to realize that results aren't always clear.  Follow anyone that has truly lost weight or gotten in shape, and it doesn't happen overnight.  There will be pitfalls, but that isn't reason to give up!  Create your own calendar, find some of the P90X forms online that allow you to see the small changes your making, and imagine yourself on a 60 day calendar, which might be followed by a 90 day calendar, or another 60 day calendar.  Whatever you do, don't thinking about the grueling work-out ahead which you won't enjoy until your in better shape and think, "I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life" because if you do, you may as well give up.  Remember to focus on the goals you can achieve, and you'll be better off in the end.

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