Exercise Tips

#1 Not isolating the biceps in a biceps curl
Have you ever done a regular standing biceps curl and felt super strong, but then when you do a crouching curl, or preacher curl you have no power? Then you might be a perpetrator of this! This one is actually a triple-whammy. 

1a is that some people use too much back to lift with biceps. When in the curl position, make sure you keep a straight back and never lean back to jut the weight up into position during the move. Bending the knees will also help.

1b is that some people have way too tight of a grip on the weight. It's possible to overwork the forearms and not the biceps as much by doing this. Obviously, don't drop the weight (!) but keeping a looser grip will focus more on the muscle.

1c is that some people have the elbows to far back. Ideally, your elbows should start in the middle or slightly towards the front of the rib cage, and then stay there as you move up. Next time, try an experiment and push your elbows forward a little bit before doing the move and see how much more the burn is in the biceps! An additional tip, make sure your elbows are stationary, they should not be moving back and forth as you curl.

Today's topic is BMI, BMR, and BFP, three numbers that each have something to do with health and fitness.  They are often confused, for obvious reasons.  My hope is that by the end of this post you'll be able to distinguish the three numbers, figure out how to calculate them for yourself, and then apply them to your healthy life!

I've been getting a lot of questions about pull-ups lately, so I decided I would make a video outlining good pull-up form.  I also talk about modifications in it, including the chair pull-up and also negative pull-ups, which are never outlined in p90x.  Everyone seems to want to know the secret of how to increase pull-up numbers, but really there is no secret, except that you have to go back to basics and make sure your form is good!

If I could outline my video into three tips, it would be:

So I just got back from a week in Puerto Rico - what an amazing vacation!  One of the best parts is that, even though diet was definitely "vacation diet," my wife and I worked out together every day!  We have busy lives, so it isn't always easy for us to workout together, but it really is a joy when we get a chance to share something that we both love.  Plus, since I'm a guy I have to up my game when my girl is the room, so I ended up getting a better workout than if I was alone.  Guys, you know what I'm talking about!!

However, I realize that this wasn't always a love we both shared, and that in fact exercise and diet can be a point of contention in any relationship, or for that matter, in friendships.  Especially in a marriage when you have budget to worry about, if one person insists on organic, cage free chicken, and the other is happy with ValueMart deal of the day meat, you have a problem.  Also, the issue of free time and time together is a hot issue.  We're so busy in the 21st century, many of us don't see our spouses and kids as much as we'd like to, and now we want to work out during our free time?  It's touchy!  I've had my share of conversations with my wife about how we spend our free time, and I always feel bad if I got my workout in, but she couldn't fit it in, for example.  I always say treat your workouts like an "appointment" but still, for some spouses, that isn't easy to reconcile with.

Hey guys!  I was recording a separate video clip in my workout room, before my workout and since I had my camera, thought it would be cool to just hit record during Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit to show you how I Dig Deep almost every day!  I'm lucky because at my work there is a movie room with a giant projector and screen, high ceilings and lots of lateral space - perfect environment.  Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for comments!  Check out my form - butt down on the squats, high knees on the mountain climbers, and flat back on the floor drills (I lose my form a little bit at the end though!)

The question of the day: What time of day should I work out?

Well I'll break it down for you with three easy points.  There is no "magic" time, but if you consider the following three points in order of importance (#1 being the most important) then you'll be good to go!

1). (MOST IMPORTANT!) Pick a time that you can commit to.
I know, that sounds like a cop out, but it's simple math.  If you workout, you burn calories.  If you don't workout, you don't burn calories.  So, pick a time that you know you will actually workout.  If you read in Men's Health magazine that Hugh Jackman drinks a protein shake at 4:00 am, and then works out at 6:00 a.m., but you are not a morning person and will never actually get up, I advise you to not make your workout time 6:00 a.m.!  If you know once the day hits 3:00 p.m., you start crashing and it isn't in your genetic make up to workout after 5:00 p.m., don't schedule late afternoon workouts because you read it is good for you to workout right before dinner.  Pick a time that works for YOU.  Put it on your calendar and make it an appointment.  

Oddly, for me that time is 11:00 a.m.  I've tried the early morning thing and I tend to just let it go if I wait until the afternoon.  So on days when I schedule my workout for 11:00 a.m., I'm about 100% more likely to actually do it!

This is a great question, and one I'm thinking of right now, since I just got over a really bad cold!  We all want to "bring it" all the time, but in reality there are times our body needs a little bit of rest.  I am not surprised I just got sick, I was running rampant with special projects at my job, still spending a bunch of time Beachbody coaching, trying to workout, and not sleeping.  I hit a road block, and in a way, my body actually needed the additional recovery! (I was due for a "recovery" week anyway).  So read on, I have a few suggestions for when it is and isn't ok to workout when you are sick, and then some general tips on how to get back on track with your p90x, or other routine!

I've been on the road more than usual this year, and I have to say - if you are a type "A" personality and like to finish your 90 day workout DVD's neatly in exactly 90 days, a week long trip will probably mess with your head!  But that being said, there are ways to workout while away, staying at friends' houses, or hotels, or in places where there isn't an easy place to pop in a DVD and complete your workout.  Here a few suggestions I have for completing your workouts while away.  

Workout in Your Room/Hotel Room
I guess the easiest solution is to just bring the DVD's along with you!  If a DVD player isn't available, you can always bring a laptop and do the workout that way.  No dumbbells?  No problem!  Pick up a set of 3 resistance bands of various resistance levels and you can do almost any dumbbell or pull-up related exercise.  Hotels usually have higher ceilings than houses, so enjoy it if you have Plyo!

I was recently asked this question about weight loss, and thought the question and my answer were important enough to post on the blog! Hope this is helpful:

Q. I have put on about 35 pounds since last year. I know it was from sitting around and eating non-stop. I was eating at least 3,000 calories a day. Due to a multitude of things going on in my life at one time I have yet been able to make it to the gym. I have cut down my eating to a normal 1,500 calories give or take a couple of 100 calories on more stressful days. I have only lost 5 pounds in 2 months time. I know I need to exercise, but I would think that I would have lost more weight by cutting calories. Why did my lack of food intake not lower my weight more?