My Fitness Product Wish List

Last time, I gave you some suggestions on fitness programs and equipment for gift giving (many under $20). Today I thought I’d share with you my own fitness product wish list. Since I just splurged on Tai Cheng and a Jump Mat during the Black Friday sale, I probably won’t be getting any of these soon, but ya never know. My habit of buying fitness programs when I haven’t finished the ones I have is nearly as bad as my habit of buying more books when I haven’t gotten through the ones I already have. Okay maybe not that bad yet, but still…Anyhow here are some things that might will probably soon end up in my fitness product collection.

I admit, it’s a little very hard for me to get into weight training. Cardio is my thing. But I loved Les Mills Combat (so much so I will probably take another crack at it after Asylum), which included a little bit of weight training in it. So I’m hoping I would also like Les Mills Pump. It comes with two five pound and two ten pound weights, so I’d be able to start off with a low weight and work my way up.

GET IT DONE: IN 25 MINUTES A DAY! I like Shaun T. I have his Insanity and Insanity: The Asylum programs (as well as Rockin’ Body, which is fun once in awhile but a little low intensity for me to stick with as a program). Both Insanity and Asylum are a little long, so the idea of getting a good, intense workout with the same trainer in about half the time with T25 is appealing to me.

I’m going through the 30 day Insanity: The Asylum Volume 1 and am liking it so far. Volume 2 is another 30 days. Although these workouts are no easier than Insanity, and in fact I think might be a little bit harder, the fact that they’re only 30 days makes the goal feel more within reach than with 60 and 90 day programs, so I think this would make a good program for me to do in between a couple longer ones.

I like cardio, and I like to dance, which are two of the main components of Brazil Butt Lift. And who doesn’t want a nice butt? I’ve also heard that Brazil Butt Lift is kind of deceptively difficult, so I want to try it sometime. It’s also a 60 day program (which might make it a good one to do between longer programs) and most of the workouts are only 30-35 minutes which means I’ll have no excuse not to be able to squeeze them in daily between class assignments.

I’d also like to try P90X3 which actually just came out today. As much as I like Tony Horton, I haven’t been able to stick with doing P90X the couple of times I’ve started it. P90X3 is 90 days like P90X, but the workouts are much shorter at just 30 minutes a day. Just a heads up, for those who might also be interested in this program, when you order through a coach (which I am) before 12/31/13, you’ll get free shipping (in the US and Canada) as well as a free P90X3 hat.

I don’t use a lot in the way of equipment and usually go for programs that either don’t require any or only require a few small pieces. But there are a couple things I’d like to get. One thing is a heart rate monitor. I like this one because it doesn’t require a chest strap. I will also want to get a new yoga mat soon. I tried using the one I have as a jump mat and pretty much tore it up. Fortunately, the Jump Mat I bought just came in yesterday so I’m excited to be able to use that to jump on instead (and also to do pushups because I was sliding around too much on our stupid parquet floor), but it’s a little too thick and heavy to bother with for yoga. Plus I discovered it’s made with natural rubber latex, which I’m sensitive to, so while I can jump on it, I don’t want to have my skin on it too much. I’m liking this mat because it’s made of PVC vinyl unlike the jump mat or other available yoga mat, and it’s a little longer than the other mat as well.

The Crafty Practitioner

This post was inspired by One Chocolate Box’s Christmas Spectacular Blog Hop prompt on Christmas wishlists and also fits with The Crafty Practitioner’s Must-Have Monday Link Up, so I hope it’s okay to post for both. If you’d like to join the Christmas Spectacular linkup challenge, check out the prompts and add your post’s link to Toni’s post for the relevant day. If you have some must-have items you’d like to post about, check out Must Have Monday. Don’t worry. Although Monday has passed, the link up will be open for a few more days.

Note: I am a BeachBody coach and make a commission on sales of BeachBody products. If you shop with me, thanks for your support!

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Gift Suggestions for All Ages & Fitness Levels

Shopping for a fitness buff, a friend or family member who has expressed an interest in exercising more in the New Year, or just want to give the gift of health and fitness to yourself or someone you care about? Today I want to share a few gift suggestions of BeachBody workout programs to fit various ages, fitness levels, and interests. I know funds can be tight this time of year, so I’ve included several ideas that are under $20. After the fitness programs, I’ll also recommend a few pieces of exercise equipment.

Workout Programs
You may know  Tony Horton from P90X (which has a sequel by the way), but did you know he also has a yoga program? Ho’ Ala ke Kino is a 30 minute yoga and stretching routine set on a beach in Hawaii, so it creates a relaxing atmosphere in addition to helping improve flexibility and coordination. And at $9.95, it’s a program that won’t break the budget. If you like 30 minute yoga routines, you might also be interested in Gillian Marloth Clark’s Yoga Booty Ballet: Pure and Simple Yoga, which is a 30 minute routine with three difficulty levels. That program sells for $19.95.

 

 

Many women wish to maintain fitness during pregnancy, but may not be sure what they can handle doing. Teigh McDonough created Yoga Booty Ballet: Baby on the Way during her pregnancy as a workout program for expectant mothers using cardio, light resistance, and stretching for just 30 minutes a day. See her letter to mothers-to-be here. Possible benefits to maintaining a regular fitness routine during pregnancy include reducing time spent in labor and relieving side effects like morning sickness, fatigue, and back aches. This program is $19.95.

 

 

Know someone wanting to improve their flexibility? Dr. Mark Cheng’s Tai Cheng is a low impact Tai Chi-based program designed to help improve well-being, mobility, and posture. You get 6 free gifts worth over $250, including a foam roller to help loosen tight muscles. You also get a bonus DVD: Tai Cheng’s Body Alignment for Better Living. Tai Cheng is $119.85 and has a 90 day money-back guarantee. Tony Horton also has a low-impact 30 minute program for those aged 55+. It’s $9.95, and a portion of the proceeds goes toward funding cancer research.

 

 

We all know it’s important for kids to exercise, but it can be hard to get them active, especially in the winter months. Shaun T has a solution to get them off the couch and on their feet called Fit Kids Club. It’s a program for kids 7+ with two 25 minute workouts that get them up, dancing, and having fun for just $19.95. Tony Horton also has a program for children (recommend for ages 5-12) called Tony and the Kids that lets kids stretch, hop, kick, and twist their way to fitness. It’s $9.95, and a portion of the proceeds supports the El Faro Orphanage.

 

 

Les Mills Combat, a mixed martial arts inspired workout program, is one of my personal favorites. It has three schedules with increasing levels of difficulty and 7 workouts for a nice variety. Plus you get a free bonus workout Les Mills Combat 30 Live. This program is $59.95 and comes with a 60 day money-back guarantee. Those who want to challenge themselves to the hardest Les Mills Combat level will need the Ultimate Warrior DVDs, sold separately for $29.95.

 

 

For those who want to push themselves to the limit, Insanity is another personal favorite. Shaun T encourages you to dig deeper with high intensity interval training. You also get a bonus Fast and Furious workout, the intensity of Insanity packed into 20 minutes. The rest of the workouts range from 30-65 minutes. Insanity is $119.85 and has a 60 day money-back guarantee. If this program seems too long, Shaun T also has a new program called T25 that takes just 25 minutes a day 5 days a week. It’s also $119.85 and has a 30 day money-back guarantee.

 

 


Exercise Equipment

Those who like Insanity, Insanity:The Asylum, Turbofire, P90X, or any workout that requires a lot of jumping might want a BeachBody Jump Mat to protect their knees, back, and ankles. This mat is made of 1/4 inch thick high-density foam and measures 71″ x 26″. It can be rolled up tightly for easy storage. It’s also slip resistant, which is helpful if you’re like me and have parquet floors that make it hard to get the most out of pushups. It’s $59.85. For those who just need a mat for yoga, BeachBody offers a thick, textured yoga mat measuring 24″ x 68″ for $29.95.

 

 

The P90X Chin-Up Bar can help develop and strengthen the shoulders, back, and arms. It has pro-grade close-grip handles with multiple grip positions and is made of heavy-gauge steel (max weight 300lbs). A sturdy doorway up to 32″ wide is required, and the border trim must be at least 5″ wide but no wider than 6.5″. This chin-up bar is used in P90X, P90X2 and Insanity:The Asylum. It can be purchased separately for $59.95 or as part of the P90X and Asylum deluxe kits (in the previous links). If you can’t use a chin-up bar, don’t fret; both P90X and Asylum show you how to do modifications with a resistance band. You can also use resistance bands in place of weights. BeachBody offers a range of B-Lines Band Kits for 15-30 lbs, 20-40 lbs, and 40-50 lbs.

 

 

Push-ups are part of a lot of programs, but they can be hard on the wrists. To help strengthen and sculpt while reducing strain on the wrists and forearm, Tony Horton developed PowerStands. They feature non-skid circular bases for stablity and foam grips to reduce hand strain. PowerStands are $39.90. BeachBody also sells a set of Push-Up Stands that allow for greater range of motion to increase the intensity of your workout while keeping your nose out of the carpet. They feature nonskid rubber feet for stablity and safety. The push-up stands are $19.95.

 

 

It’s a good idea to have a heart rate monitor so you can train in your optimal cardio zone. This Bowflex Strapless Heart Rate Monitor provides accurate ECG readings without requiring a chest strap, and getting a reading is as simple as pressing the touch sensors. It’s also water resistent so you don’t have to worry about sweating on it. Other special features include high and low target limits with an alarm, night vision, a stopwatch and countdown timer, and more. It is $74.85. There is also a version with a chest strap, which sells for $59.85.

 

 

Foam rollers can be used for a form of sports massage called self-myofascial release in order to reduce muscle and joint pain and enhance athletic performance. Now there are RumbleRollers which have uneven and raised nodules designed to give an even deeper tissue massage than regular foam rollers. Used regularly, they can help reduce muscle and joint pain for better mobility. They also have a built-in antimicrobial additive to help prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus. BeachBody sells two lengths of RumbleRollers, 12 inches ($49.95) and 31 inches ($69.90). For those who prefer traditional foam rollers there are ones in lengths of 18 inches ($19.95) and 31 inches ($29.95).

 

If none of these sound like the right program or equipment for you or the person you’re looking to buy a gift for, check out the rest of the shop for plenty of other ideas. If you need help picking something out, shoot me a message, and I’ll be happy to help you find a good fit for you or your gift recipient’s interests and fitness level as well as your budget.

 

This post was inspired by One Chocolate Box’s Christmas Spectacular Blog Hop prompt requesting posts on Christmas shopping, including gift guides. If you’d like to join the linkup challenge, check out the prompts and post your link on Toni’s post for whichever day you’ve written for. You can also enter to win $60. Thanks for checking out this post and for shopping with me if you do. Happy holidays!

Note: I am a BeachBody coach and make a commission on sales of BeachBody products. If you shop with me, thanks for your support!

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“The Miracle Isn’t That I Finished…”(Day 63: The Final Fit Test)

dig deeper and fit testJohn Bingham has a quote, “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” In ways, I can agree with this, because so many people talk about doing things and never start them, let alone finish. At the same time, I started Insanity before. Starting is probably one of the hardest parts, but what brought me to the finish this time was continuing and not letting set backs hinder me. Whichever part is more the miracle, I’m proud that I finished this time and that I improved significantly from the first time in most of the exercises.

My results were:
Switch Kicks–41 reps (82 kicks)
Power Jacks–52
Power Knees–84
Power Jumps–40
Globe Jumps–10
Suicide Jumps–17
Push Up Jacks–33
Low Plank Obliques–65

I was slightly disappointed with the Switch Kicks because I took a bit of a slide back from the time before and only improved 1 rep (2 kicks) over my first test. However, my best Switch Kicks number was 6 reps (12 kicks) better than my first test. The other results were all an improvement. I had 11 more Power Jacks, 22 more Power Knees, 35 more Power Jumps, 4 more reps (16 more jumps) in Globe Jumps, 4 more Suicide Jumps, 18 more Push Up Jacks, and 15 more Low Plank Obliques. Overall, I’m proud of the improvement in my capabilities. Next time we’ll see the improvements physical results.

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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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“Let’s Get It!” (Day 62: Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs)

max cardio conditioning and cardio absDuring the Diamond Jumps in Max Cardio, Shaun T says, “Let’s get it!” That was my intention for the workout It would be my final time doing and Cardio Abs and the last workout day before the final fit test. It was a relief to finally be at the end, but I like that workout so I will kind of miss it. I will probably do it again on occasion. My favorite part was probably that I managed 80 power knees on the left side (which is the side used in the fit test) in 30 seconds, which is more than I had been making in the fit test in a minute. Ideally I wanted to keep up that pace so I would have 160 kicks in the test, but even as much as I got done during the workout would be an improvement.

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“You Gotta Stay In There” (Day 61: Max Interval Plyo)

max interval plyoDuring the third time through the first circuit in Max Interval Plyo, Shaun T says “You gotta stay in there.” I think this applies not just to the circuit but the program. You just have to stick it out. In the last set of level three drills, he says “My shoulders are burning.” Mine were too. I’m glad I didn’t try to double up with the previous day and think I got more out of Max Plyo saving it for this day. I also finally did all of the side pushups. I wasn’t able to go down as far as they do, but it was an improvement over not being able to do them at all.

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“We’re Strong, But We Still Gotta Balance Ourselves” (Day 60: Core Cardio & Balance)

core cardio & balanceI debated doing Core Cardio & Balance and Max Plyo on the same day so I wouldn’t be two days behind, but I ended up deciding just to do the one. During the hip flexor burners Shaun T said, “We’re strong, but we still gotta balance ourselves,” and I think balance is important to remember. It was better to do my best at one workout than to not get as much out of the second if I was already tired. On the hip flexor burners I usually had to use the wall during the leg extensions. This time I managed to make it through all of them without doing that, although I did still have to drop my leg and shake it out a couple times.

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“I’m a Beachbody Coach. I Lead By Example” (Day 59: Max Interval Circuit)

max interval circuit and fit testDay 59’s Max Interval Circuit was supposed to be on a Wednesday. I wasn’t feeling well, so I tried a couple different Zumba dances from Youtube videos. I was tired even doing that so I decided to wait and see if I felt better later. I didn’t that night or the next day. I still didn’t feel well on Friday but I didn’t want to be three days behind so I decided to do it then.

I was so weak I only managed to make it through about half of most of the exercises. I think it was better to make it through half of them with the proper form and intensity than to half-ass through all of it or to miss another day. During the squat punches, Shaun T goes over to Jimmy who says “I’m a Beachbody coach. I lead by example.” And Shaun T says “He’s doing the example right now.” While I felt bad at first that this was the workout I was missing for two days, I think that part of leading by example is knowing when your body needs the rest, and then getting back into it.

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“Dig Deeper. That’s What It’s About” (Day 58: Cardio Abs & Max Cardio Circuit)

max cardio conditioning and cardio absMax Cardio Circuit comes before Cardio Abs on the calendar, but when I put the DVD in, it started up with Cardio Abs, so I decided to do it first. So I wouldn’t have to mess with putting the mat away, I didn’t use it. It made some of the seated moves slightly uncomfortable but wasn’t too bad. The last couple exercises were a little easier to get through than they are when the workout comes after Max Cardio.

When I started Max Cardio, it seemed easier than usual at first, perhaps because I’d already had a bit of a warmup. However, my abs kind of hurt as I went on and I think I should have stuck with the original order. During the workout, Shaun T says, “Dig deeper. That’s what it’s about.” I have definitely had to do so. My legs, especially my knees, have felt more tired recently. I’m not sure what’s causing it but I’ve just tried to push through it.

While it’s easy to ignore some things when you’ve seen a video several times, I noticed again and appreciate in Max Interval Circuit that Shaun T tells you why you’re doing the things you’re doing. For example, Diamond Jumps work the legs, abs, and shoulders. The Attack works the triceps, abs, and quads. Over the River Hops work the calf, quads, and abs. It’s nice to know even some of the ‘easier’ moves are doing something for me.

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“We’re Gonna Rock It Today”(Day 57: Max Interval Plyo)

Day 57’s Max Interval Plyo is the first day of the last week of Insanity and in the beginning Shaun T says “We’re gonna rock it today.” While I usually like this workout, I had to force myself to do it. I should probably go back to working out earlier in the day because the longer I wait the harder it is to talk myself into it, but I got it done.

At the end of the workout, Shaun T says “I’m sure today you did better than you did last week.” I definitely did. I was finally able to do the Power Push Up, albeit slowly. I also finally did the level 3 drills through all three sets. I also got some of the side push ups in but they were still a struggle. After I finished Max Interval Circuit, someone in my challenge group posted a video to inspire everyone. I decided to put it on and see how many chin ups I could do during it. I got through 12. While I did take breaks between some of them it was more than I’ve gotten in one attempt previously. I’ll include the video below in case anyone would like to use it to push themselves a bit further also.

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