Bring It! Part 4 The Meal Plan

bring itPart 4 of the Bring It! is the Meal Plan section, and it’s broken down into three parts: Cleanse, Nourish, and Supplement followed by Laws of Health and Fitness and Recipes. Although I read this section and learned some useful information, I didn’t follow it as a plan, so I didn’t track my experience with it. But I figured I’d at least share an overview of what’s in each section.

Cleanse

The cleansing part is designed to last for 30 days and you gradually eliminate caffeine, alcohol, sugar, processed, foods, gluten and animal products. Tony gives reasons why each  of these things could be a problem and what kind of foods are included. He recommends eliminating them for 30 days and then deciding which, if any, you want to add back in your diet. The rate at which you eliminate them depends on your level. Warriors eliminate caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and processed foods in week 1, gluten products in week 2, dairy in week 3, and other animal products in week 4.

Nourish

Tony provides a list of the kinds of foods you should eat for 30 days (and hopefully beyond), their serving size and daily or weekly servings, and a list of some of the types of foods that fall into each category. He also gives an example of how to create a meal plan from these foods and includes some meals from the recipes in the back of the chapter as well as some other tips.

 

Supplement

Tony talks about supplements including what they are, what they do, and the difference between supplements and drugs. He lists 11 supplements he takes and recommends including why you might need each and the effective dosages.

After these sections he goes through his laws of health and fitness: Variety is the Spice of Fitness, Consistency, Intensity, Purpose, Reality, Play, Plan, Sleep More and Stress Less, Love It, Flexibility, and Eat Well with explanations on what each mean and how following them can help. The final section includes recipes.

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Bring It! Parts 2 & 3: The Routines and The Moves

In bring it Bring It! Part 2, you learn which routines you’ll be doing based on what level you were gauged at during the Fitness Quotient. Those who are actually starting off at beginner level will get the most use out of this portion of the book because they’ll have three levels of workouts to go through. I was starting with the Warrior’s level so I just had the one. This level consists of two cardio phases, two resistance phases, and a yoga routine.

The moves are given in Part 3 and the idea is to familiarize yourself with the moves before doing them. Even though many of the moves are obvious what they are and you may have done them before, I recommend looking them all up. For example, what is listed here as “Runner’s stretch” is not what I have previously done by the same name but is more similar to the (what was the stretch name) in Insanity. The thing that frustrated me most about this was that the moves in Part 2 do not list what page you’ll find them on in Part 3. The index does, but this meant a lot of flipping just to find out what the moves were going to be. While this might not bother some people it was very frustrating for me and makes me appreciate having a DVD with someone showing me the required moves all the more.

My original intention was to do each of the workouts at least once, but I only ended up doing Warriors Cardio Phase I and Part of Warrior’s Resistance Phase  1 on the same day. While the Cardio workout was good and I did workup a sweat, it started to get repetitive as many things required 30 reps. For a lot of them I was only able to do about half before going on to the next. Because I was also planning to do the Resistance workout, I only did each circuit once rather than repeating the full workout. I did the cool down for the cardio workout and the specific warmup for Resistance but skipped the general warmup as I’d already done it.

The specific warmup in the Resistance phase was nice because my shoulders were sore, so the rolls helped. It turned out I wasn’t able to do a lot of the moves because I only have a single kettle bell and some required two weights. I did do the lawnmowers but the 15lb weight was too heavy for me to do 15 rep on each side, so I did 10. I was able to do the workouts that required the pull up bar or no equipment. Considering my lack of equipment for Resistance, lack of attention span for Cardio, and the fact I find it easier to be shown what I should do than read it I decided to skip doing the rest of the workouts from the book so I could move on to P90X. [Edit: I dabbled in that program but never did get far enough to justify posting about it.]

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Bring It! Part 1: The Principles (The Principles, Fitness Quotient, Fit Test, & Cycle of Success)

bring itIntroducing the Principles

Bring It! starts with Part 1-The Principals. This section is part introduction to Tony Horton’s program (which he says is the same one he uses himself) and part self discovery. One of the first things he goes through is his principles: Individualization, Periodization Training, Progression, and Cleanse-Nourish-Supplement. While he goes in depth on each of these I’ll try to sum them up somewhat: No one plan will work for everyone so we must figure out what our “fitness personality” is and choose programs designed for it. We can avoid hitting plateaus and boredom by incorporating variety. No matter what level we start from, we will improve. We must cleanse our bodies of toxins like caffeine and alcohol and replace unhealthy foods with nourishing one then will learn about which supplements will work best.

My Fitness Quotient

Once the introductions are complete, it’s time for the self-discovery part: taking his assessment called the Fitness Quotient(FQ). The test is divided into two parts “Finding Your Fitness Level” and “Finding Your Fun Factor.” The first part “is designed to pinpoint your level of conditioning and motivation”. The answers determine which workout plan we’ll follow throughout the book. The second part will show you what kinds of exercise activities you most enjoy which helps in finding things to “engage in during your active rest time” as well as to “create a fitness routine that you can actually look forward to doing.”

Fitness Level
Fitness level is calculated based on 25 questions each with three answers. The category most of your answers fall in determines your fitness level. If you’re between categories he says to pick the lower one and then take it to the next level if you need more of a challenge. As it turned out, the majority of my answers put me in the “Warrior” fitness level (below that is Striver and below that Beginner). It was pretty accurate including such statements as “You enjoy physical activity and work out consistently. Exercise was probably part of your natural routine in childhood. You are self-motivated and fairly disciplined, and you enjoy working out several times a week…” So, throughout the program I’ll be following the exercise and dietary guidelines for Warriors.

Fun Factor
Fun Factor is determined by reading lists of statements under Meditative Player, Social Player, Team Player, Extreme Player, Competitive Player. While I checked boxes in all of the categories the most I checked off were under Extreme Player. The profile also rang true including statements like “…You’re a no-holds-barred person who gives it your all…You get excited over new things and thrive on change…” He recommends checking out waterskiing, kayaking, scuba diving, snowboarding, mountain biking, or surfing. I can’t say I’ve ever properly done any of them (although I did use an inflatable kayak on my last white water rafting trip) but they look interesting. Learning to surf has actually been on my to try list for awhile (along with capoeira and rock climbing). Interestingly enough, Tony Horton says this is the category he fits in.

The Fit Test

The Fit Test is not as physically demanding as I expected it might be. Most of it is based on measuring a few movements. The only physical activities included step ups to gauge working heart rate, modified push ups, squats over a chair, and crunches. The hardest thing about it was keeping up with the timing (most things are done over the course of a minute), and it probably would have been easier if I’d waited for my husband to be home to track the time while I did the rest. Ideally resting heart rate is supposed to be a three day average but I’m not that worried about it so it’s just from one day.

Resting Heart Rate: 67 (Good)

Step Up (Working Heart Rate): 128 (slightly under Training Zone for my age)

Waist to Hip Ratio: 26″ waist/37″=.70 (Excellent)

Hamstring Flexibility: Normal

Shoulder Flexibility: Good

Upper Body Strength (Modified Push Ups): 25 (Excellent)

Lower Body Strength (Chair Squats): 30 (Excellent)

Core Strength (Crunches): 25 (Excellent)

The resting heart rate was only in Good rather than Excellent range. The working heart rate was a little lower than the Training Zone given for my age but Tony said “Everyone’s working heart rate varies, and it’s not uncommon for an individual to go outside of the training zones…” so I’m not too concerned. All the other results met or exceeded those for the highest level for their respective tests, so I’m in pretty good shape.

The Cycle of Success

Part 1 wraps up with Tony’s Cycle of Success which is somewhat or a pep talk of things to do to “make sure your head is in the right place.” There are 12 different sections of several things Tony places importance on. While many are things I already knew to do it didn’t hurt to have the reminder. At the end he sums it up: “Ask for help, don’t fall for gimmicks, stand up for what you believe, face your fears, find mentors, and be creative. Practice clearing your mind, observing your thoughts, and discrediting those that don’t serve you. Finish what you start. Engage yourself in a hobby or two. Choose right over wrong. Lighten up. Do what you love, love what you do.”

Having made it through part 1, I was ready to move on to Part 2, the routines.

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Bring It! by Tony Horton: What It Is & Why I’m Doing It

bring itWhen I first got the book Bring It! by P90X creator Tony Horton, I planned to do a book review at the end. But as I started to read, it became clear it is not just fitness book but a fitness journey. So I decided to devote a category to it as I would when doing a program to write specifically about my experiences with some of the steps.

What It Is

Bring It! is described on the cover as “The Revolutionary Fitness Plan for All Levels That Burns Fat, Builds Muscle, and Shreds Inches”. The book includes four parts: The Principles, The Routines, The Moves, and The Meal Plan. The program in the book is not designed to be a quick fix fitness fad but to be something people of all fitness levels can integrate into their lives for the rest of their lives. As Tony writes, “No matter what shape you’re in, I promise you this: My program will inspire you to find the fun in fitness and keep your body looking and feeling incredible for the rest of your life.”

In The Principles, Tony helps readers assess their fitness levels and what exercises are most enjoyable. Then in The Routines readers follow routines based on the fitness level they were at during the previous section with a variety of exercises. The Moves continues the exercises with a variety of moves each with detailed instructions and photographs. Finally, The Meal Plan takes readers through cleansing their bodies of toxins, nourishing their bodies with healthier foods, and then learning what supplements may be appropriate.

Why I’m Doing It

I decided to read Bring It! (and follow along with it) for a few reasons:

Getting Ready for P90X

I plan to start P90X a couple weeks after I finish Insanity. Since the book is written by the creator of P90X, I thought it would be a good way to get a deeper understanding of where he’s coming from and give myself a better foundation to start the program from.

Tony Horton Started Where I Am and Is Where I’d Like to Be

Tony Horton has written about his background in a few places including this book with information such as that he was active when younger but had a poor diet and did not always exercise regularly. I first came across some of his history in this article where I learned that it wasn’t until his late twenties and early thirties that Tony Horton started eating better and working out more regularly, and it was only about 13 years ago he said he made fitness his true vocation.  From his book I learned he’s now in his early fifties. He’s proof that 27 is not too late an age to turn things back around or even to get into helping others with fitness myself.

Tony Horton Has an Inspiring Style

I find the way Tony Horton communicates to be inspiring as well. While sometimes he is blunt, such as in this post, he is encouraging and sometimes even funny. I like when trainers push me to do better than I thought I could do and make me chuckle a few times along the way, and Tony does.

It Works with Investing in Fitness

The whole idea of my fitness journey and the blog I keep about it is that fitness is an investment. It’s not something to only do sporadically or to force because I have to, but something that should be ongoing and enjoyable. Tony Horton comes from a similar place, encouraging readers to find the fun in exercise. As he writes “The people who stick with exercise for the long haul are those who enjoy it. They do it out of fun and interest and because it’s a challenge…Choose activities that fit your approach to life, and you’ll stay fit for life.” That’s the goal, and I believe this book and the program it contains will help me achieve it. Now that you know what Bring It! is and why I’m reading and doing it, I hope you’ll join me on my journey. If you’d like to take the journey yourself, the book is available here.

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