HOME GYMS AND HUGE MUSCLES #507 08/01/12
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How to Build the Ultimate Home Gym in 3 Easy Steps

By Elena Sessa and Rebecca Swanner

One of the biggest benefits of the Beachbody® programs is they allow you to ditch your gym membership and, with it, its monthly fees, gross showers, and the time it takes to travel there. 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.

Beachbody® Decide. Commit. Succeed. ®

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. Push-ups With Tony Horton’s PowerStands®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. Yoga Monster MatsHow 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.

B-LINES® Resistance BandsAll 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!

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Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Check the Team Beachbody Chat Room for the next impromptu video chat. Or, if you just can't wait, log onto the Information & Education section of the Team Beachbody Message Boards for questions, answers, and scintillating conversation.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com. We may even answer your question right here, for all the world to see!

And if you'd like to know more about Beachbody Director of Results Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration. You can also read a more scientific (not to mention snarky) take on many of the topics we discuss here at The Real Fitness Nerd blog.

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Mr. Big Stuff: A Q&A with Body Beast's Sagi Kalev

By Rebecca Swanner

Are you ready to get ripped? Beachbody® has joined forces with Sagi Kalev, champion bodybuilder and former Mr. Israel, to create Body Beast™, the program that will help get you big—and we mean really, really big—in just three months. But, believe it or not, Sagi didn't start off huge when he started lifting 24 years ago.

Body Beast™—Sagi Kalev. Beachbody® Trainer

Recently, we spoke with Sagi about this transformation; about his general bodybuilding philosophy; and, of course, about the new mass-building program that'll trigger your transformation. Here's what he had to say.

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

As a kid, I did everything possible. From playing chess and painting to swimming, soccer, volleyball . . . you name it. Then when I was close to 16, my dad dropped me off at the country club [where the gym was] and they let me in to watch. I knew right away. It was like when you fall in love for the first time. When I turned 16, I started lifting.

How did you know what to do?

I didn't! I watched other people. Then one of the trainers in charge started showing me how to do things right.

Were you naturally muscular growing up?

Sagi Kalev—
Beachbody® TrainerI was skinny. Scrawny. I ran track in high school as a sprinter, so I had the calves, the abs, and the speed. But, I was skinny. That changed when I was 15 and started doing chin-ups and pull-ups and lifts. My competitive side started coming out and I realized that the bigger I got, the more I got girls. That was my payoff. [Laughs.]

How were you more competitive with the other guys in the gym?

You name it. The ego is big. You want to lift more. It's about who can lift more. Who can look better? Who can get more girls? It's all about getting bigger and getting more girls.

That's the same reason guys start rock bands. When did you start to put on some serious size?

It didn't take too long. There were two guys that were the big guys in the gym. They were competing my first year I was in there. I was like, I want to do that. I want to compete before I go into the military. A year and a half later, I went to compete.

How did you do?

Horrible. But it was awesome. Number one: I competed with the best. Number two: I realized how much work I had do. Number three: I saw I didn't have the tools to be like those guys. So it got me pretty humble and made me do something I don't like to do: ask for help. I contacted the guy who won the show and asked him what it would take for him to coach me so I could win my next show.

What did he teach you?

Sagi KalevYou've got to do whatever it takes. You've got to be dedicated. You've got to make the commitment. It took me 2.5 hours to get to him. I would lift weights for 2 to 3 hours and then travel 2 to 3 hours back. I had to figure out how to eat my food, how to get my food, how to get my workout. It was learning discipline.

Before he started training you, what were you eating?

Hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches. Anything, just to get bigger. He taught me it was all about timing. I still go by his schedule. Portion-wise, timing-wise.

What do you eat for breakfast?

It's very simple. It's always the same thing. For breakfast, I eat 16 egg whites, 2 yolks, half a cup of brown rice Cream of Rice®, some tea, like Earl Grey. Sometimes, I will have a piece of fruit with it.

Do you have a set number of calories you're trying to reach?

I don't count calories. I know how much is not enough, I know how much is enough. You learn how to have awareness and understand what your body needs. I have containers and know this container equals 8 ounces of chicken. This container holds this amount of carbs. This container holds one cup of sweet potato. If you ask me how many calories I eat, I have no idea. But I know how much I eat and when I eat.

What do you struggle with in Body Beast?

The warm-up. I like to get right to the point, but I know it's a must. So I make a point to do it.

Can women use the program too or is it made solely for men?

Body Beast™ Sagi KalevI have lots of female clients who use the program. It will make you more toned. It will make you stronger. It will give you more balance. It will give you more of a challenge than you ever had before. And it will change your view of weight lifting. Weight lifting can be very boring. This is exciting.

How can someone get the best results from Body Beast?

When you train, don't think about anything but the workout. Failure is not an option. If you get stuck, lower the weight. Keep going. If you pick up too much weight and can't finish the set, write down what you did and do better next time. The program is supposed to be hard, extremely hard, but the only way to get your body to grow and see results is to get out of your comfort zone. When you do the program 100%—the nutrition, the workouts, the supplements—it will have the same reflection on your life. You will give everything 100%. Your relationships, your job, your fate . . . everything. You give it all you got or don't do it. It's fun, it's challenging, and if you give it 100%, you're going to see results fast.

Related Articles
"The Superfood Sleuth: An Interview with Shakeology® Co-Creator Darin Olien"
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Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Check the Team Beachbody Chat Room for the next impromptu video chat. Or, if you just can't wait, log onto the Information & Education section of the Team Beachbody Message Boards for questions, answers, and scintillating conversation.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com. We may even answer your question right here, for all the world to see!

And if you'd like to know more about Beachbody Director of Results Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration. You can also read a more scientific (not to mention snarky) take on many of the topics we discuss here at The Real Fitness Nerd blog.

Submit a CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share

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The Big Cheat: 5 Reasons to Say NO to Steroids

By Dave Slagle

The release of Body Beast™ has many of us thinking big, literally. And that vision can't possibly be conjured in this day and age without thinking of one big, dirty word: steroids. In this society of instant gratification, we're all looking for that "magic pill" that will help us achieve our dreams overnight. Who doesn't want to lose fat, add muscle, and get into shape pronto?

Man Taking Steroids

Many people believe steroids are just such an elixir. Well, they're not. While it is true that steroids can work, we believe they should be avoided. Unless you live in a cave, you know that major athletes in almost every sport have all been caught abusing steroids, and consequently been stripped of their athletic honors. The reason for this is, unless you have a medical prescription, they're illegal. Steroids can be dangerous if abused and when you buy them from Joe Ripped at your local gym, you just don't know what you're getting.

In the context of this article, the word "steroids" is actually a colloquialism for a group of PEDs (performance enhancing drugs). It covers a broad range, from pain-masking corticosteroids to synthetic hormones that stimulate testosterone, to blood boosters that alter how your blood carries oxygen, to bizarre substances that trigger a myriad of physiological responses.

While this might all sound great, there's a catch. Unlike food supplements that work through the body's natural pathways, steroids are hard drugs. This means that they force processes on your body, which causes natural responses that can lead to trouble. Even under medical supervision they are tricky to use, and without it, you're starting a battle between nature and medicine inside your body that you have little control of.

If you're not already convinced, let's take a deeper look at 5 reasons to say NO to steroids.

  1. Dumbbell and SteroidsSteroids abuse can cause serious health problems. Steroids can cause hormone imbalances that lead to depression and irritability, joint problems, muscle tears, and much more. They can also cause gender and age-specific damage. Men commonly suffer from shrunken testicles, premature baldness, and glandular gynecomastia (man boobs). Women often suffer from a deepened voice, growth of facial hair, baldness, cessation of menstrual cycle, infertility, and other unwanted side effects. Teenagers may suffer the gender-related side effects listed above, as well as stunted growth due to accelerated puberty and premature skeletal maturation.

    More recent studies have linked anabolic steroid abuse to an increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and altered brain chemistry, which could lead to drug addiction. The real scary part is that since new steroids come to market regularly, many of the side effects aren't well-known. The average life span of wrestlers and NFL® linemen—two professions anecdotally linked with long-term steroid abuse—is around 50 years. Based on lore alone, the dangers of steroid abuse clearly outweigh potential benefits.
  2. Steroids are illegal. Ever since the passing of the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990, steroids have been federally classified as controlled substances that may be prescribed for the treatment of diseases or other recognized medical conditions. Provisions were added to the Anabolic Steroid Control Act in 2004 to change the definition of anabolic steroids and make them a Schedule III narcotic. Using steroids without a legitimate medical condition is considered abuse. Illegal possession of anabolic steroids is punishable by unlimited fines and years in prison. But it's not all bad. At least you'll have an hour in the yard every day to pump iron, as long as you stay out of solitary.
  3. Black market steroids may be counterfeits, or worse, lethal. The risks are high enough when you know exactly what you're taking; rolling the dice with black-market steroids is a game of Russian roulette. Sure, your buddy Alexi may bench 700 pounds, but do you really want to trust him as your doctor?

    If you're thinking of obtaining your steroids illegally, consider this: A study released in 2009 by the Boston Medical Center analyzed the findings of 217 studies that looked at the chemical makeup of black-market steroids and found that 30% of the drugs labeled as steroids did not contain steroids.

    Of those that did, only 44% contained the amount touted on the label. And 20% included heavy metals such as tin, lead, and arsenic. Heavy metal poisoning can result in cancer, vertigo, and all kinds of other fun stuff. Click here to find out how much fun arsenic poisoning can be!
  4. Man Taking SteroidsHealthy, regulated supplements can increase strength and muscle mass similar to steroids without the dangerous side effects. Let's make one thing clear. Supplements and steroids are two entirely different things. Supplements are largely nutrient-based substances intended to enhance your body's health and well-being. Steroids are drugs designed to alter your body's processes.

    Supplements such as creatine, arginine, and beta alanine are just a few of the nutrients scientifically proven to improve strength, recovery, and lean-muscle gains. While they aren't the magic pill that steroids might be, they have been tested rigorously and are completely safe when manufactured responsibly. Reputable companies such as Beachbody® make sure that their supplements are manufactured in facilities registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), that adhere to current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) and are certified by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Natural Products Association (NPA).

    Protein supplementation and postexercise carbs: Protein mixtures for recovery are another safe way to build mass. Numerous studies support this, including a 2008 McMaster University study demonstrating that drinking whey protein pre- and postworkout increased muscle density and strength especially when combined with a safe, effective mass-building program to build both your health and strength.
  5. You don't need to use anabolic steroids to gain muscle and lose fat. This is something Beachbody has proven time and time again. Practically anyone can improve their health and build their physique by improving their diet and increasing exercise intensity. Are you ready to challenge yourself and pack on some serious muscle? Body Beast is an extreme training and nutrition program designed to build muscle fast without resorting to the abuse of dangerous, illegal steroids. There is plenty of scientific evidence that even people with poor genetics can achieve good health, an excellent physique, and greater athletic performance through smart training, solid nutrition, and strategic use of supplements.

Resources:

  • Glover, E.I., Phillips, S.M. (2010). Resistance exercise and appropriate nutrition to counteract muscle wasting and promote muscle hypertrophy. Curr. Opin. Clin. Nutr. Metab. Care. 13(6): 630-634, 2010.

  • Kanayama, G., Brower, K. J., Wood, R. I., Hudson, J. I., & Pope, H. G. (2010). Treatment of anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence: Emerging evidence and its implications. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 109(1-3), 6-13. Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  • Luijkx, T., Velthuis, B.K., Backx, F.J., Buckens, C.F., Prakken, N.H., Rienks, R., Mali, W.P., Cramer, M.J. (2012). Anabolic androgenic steroid use is associated with ventricular dysfunction on cardiac MRI in strength trained athletes. Int J Cardiol. 2012 Mar 27.

  • Phillips, S.M. (2011). The science of muscle hypertrophy: making dietary protein count. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 70(1): 100-103, 2011.

  • Ritsch, M., & Musshoff, F. (2000). Dangers and risks of black market anabolic steroid abuse in sports—gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses. Sportverletzung Sportschaden Organ der Gesellschaft fur OrthopadischTraumatologische Sportmedizin.

  • West, D.W., Burd, N.A., et al. (2010). Human exercise-mediated skeletal muscle hypertrophy is an intrinsic process. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 42(9): 1371-1375, 2010.

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/anabolic-steroid-abuse/what-are-health-consequences-steroid-abuse

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2005/fr1216.htm

http://www.justice.gov/dea/agency/penalties.htm

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/infofacts/steroids-anabolic-androgenic

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Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Check the Team Beachbody Chat Room for the next impromptu video chat. Or, if you just can't wait, log onto the Information & Education section of the Team Beachbody Message Boards for questions, answers, and scintillating conversation.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com. We may even answer your question right here, for all the world to see!

And if you'd like to know more about Beachbody Director of Results Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration. You can also read a more scientific (not to mention snarky) take on many of the topics we discuss here at The Real Fitness Nerd blog.

Submit a CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share

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Get HUGE with Body Beast™, Available Now!

Body Beast is the first Beachbody® program dedicated to maximum muscle gains and fat loss. Created by champion bodybuilder Sagi Kalev, Body Beast is designed to bulk up your body without expensive gym equipment or steroids.

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Recipe: Chicken with Quinoa, Oranges, and Walnuts

(Makes 1 serving)

Recipe: Chicken with Quinoa, Oranges, and Walnuts
There was a time when bodybuilders looking to load up on calories turned to artery-clogging junk food to get the most caloric bang per mouthful. Well, those days are over. When you eat the Body Beast™ way, you can get all the calories you need while still keeping it super healthy—and super delicious.

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (follow package directions or Beast guide)
  • 3 oz. shredded rotisserie chicken breast (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 oz. walnuts, coarsely chopped (about 14 halves)
  • 1 medium orange, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  1. Place quinoa, chicken, orange, walnuts, and cilantro in serving bowl.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix well and enjoy.

Tip: Store-bought rotisserie chicken is very versatile. You can bone and skin the chicken and use the leftover meat in other recipes throughout the week. It's great in sandwiches, soups, and salads.

Nutritional Information: (per serving)

Calories Fat Saturated Fat Cholesterol Sodium Carbs Fiber Sugar Protein
686 34 g 4 g 76 mg 877 mg 61 g 10 g 13 g 39 g

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Body Beast™ and P90X®/P90X2® Portion Information

Body Beast Nutritional Information: (per serving)

Starch Fruit Protein Fat
3 1-1/2 3 4

P90X/P90X2 Nutritional Information (per serving)

Fat Protein Carb/Legume Fruit
2 1-1/2 1 1

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Reviews
Total number of Reviews: 1
Submit a review  

"/ great post bro! My favorite line A cheat meal will set you back 3 days of PERFECT eating! 2 cheat meals and you made ZERO progress for the week. When you don’t see progress you will get frustrated and are more likely to fall off the wagon. So so true"

– Rebwar, atRzLsjvBvjm, OR

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