TOP 10 P90X2 QUESTIONS! #477 09/14/11
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The Top 10 Questions About P90X2

By Steve Edwards

What's the difference between P90X® and P90X2? This is the question of the year, and it can't be answered in one simple sentence, or even one article. So I've written this series to help you decide whether or not P90X2 is the program for you. I wish I could tell all of you that P90X2 is right for you, but I'm too responsible for that. I'm sure one program in Beachbody's huge collection will work for each of you, but if you want to know specifically whether that right one is P90X2, read on.

P90X2™

  1. Is P90X2 better than P90X? How can you beat the most popular workout program in the country? You can't. P90X2 is an extension of P90X. It's not necessarily better, but it's definitely evolved. For a more in-depth look at its development, read the first article in this series (see "The Next X: What's New About P90X2?" in the Related Articles section below).
  2. Tony Horton with DumbbellIs it more Muscle Confusion? You betcha! If you thought your muscles were confused last time around, you ain't seen nothin' yet!
  3. Is it harder? Remember the first time you did P90X? Could anything feel harder than that? Probably not. So while P90X2 isn't technically harder, it's probably going to feel harder until you get used to it. And since it's Muscle Confusion, it's going to take you some time to adapt. During this adaptation period, it's going to feel very difficult, but you're used to that, right? And when you take your X2 body back to another round of P90X, that program's going to feel harder too, because you'll be prepared to push yourself farther than ever before.
  4. Tony Horton with Beachbody® Balance BallIs it still 6 days per week? No, it's only 5, though we suggest active recovery on your rest days. The more intensely you work out, the less time you need to spend doing it. With more breakdown, you also need more rest. P90X2 has evolved to the point where less is more.
  5. Will there be options like Lean and Doubles? Instead of giving you different program options, P90X2 gives you the option of increasing each phase long enough to get the most out of it. If you're having trouble with your balance, you may decide to spend more time in Phase One. For bigger muscles, spend more time in Phase Two. Want to get faster, jump higher, or become more agile? Spend more time mastering Phase Three. You'll definitely want to read the guidebook, because it provides ideas for how to tailor your training personally for you (and much more). In P90X, we made the most versatile home fitness program ever created. P90X2 will open up even more options.
  6. Tony Horton Leaning on Beachbody® Balance Ball Holding a DumbbellIs it true that there's no cardio? Here's a little secret: There was no true cardio in P90X, either. At least not in the kind of training generally associated with that word. P90X used anaerobic interval training to improve your cardiovascular system; although it's technically cardio, it isn't the public perception of cardio. "Cardio" is a training colloquialism for training your heart. So while you won't see any cardio in the title names, doing Plyocide or P.A.P. Lower will train your cardiovascular system as well as any cardio routine you've ever done.
  7. Will I need any new equipment? There's a lot of new equipment for P90X2, and you'll eventually want to own all of it. But the cool thing is that we've created an option that can be done with nothing but a few exercise bands and furniture found in any hotel room. This "hotel room" option virtually eliminates excuses for not working out.
  8. Tony Horton with Exercise BallsSo what is this equipment? Here's a list of the equipment needed, which we'll go into in detail in a later article. Did I say "needed"? It's not, really. Besides the hotel room option, we also do most movements in a variety of ways to make it easy to add equipment as you can afford it. Here's a prioritized list:

    • Bands and/or weights: You need some form of resistance.
    • Pull-up bar: Just like P90X.
    • Yoga mat: You must have one of these by now, right?
    • Stability ball: We highly recommend this, because the benefits outweigh the cost many times over . . . and over.
    • Foam roller: You may not have heard of this before, but don't be surprised if it
      changes your life.

      Tony Horton with B-LINES® Resistance Bands
    • Push-up stands: You know 'em. You love 'em. How come you don't already have them?
    • Medicine balls: Mainly used for balance, so easily replaced with substitutes (basketballs, etc.) if need be, though once you've used the real thing you'll wonder why you ever waited to buy them.
    • Pull-up assist: While highly optional (we got away with chairs all these years), the pull-up assist will not only improve your ability to finish all your reps, it'll greatly improve both your form and exercise efficiency.
    • Yoga blocks: If you need these, you probably have them already.
  9. Tony Horton with P90X® Chin-Up BarFoam rolling? What the?! Foam rolling is a myofascial release technique. Hmm . . . not much help? Okay, how about this? It's a form of self-massage that forces your muscles to lengthen and align properly. Used regularly, it'll increase your mobility and range of motion and actually help you get stronger, because it frees your muscles to work the way they're supposed to. This one simple practice is often enough to change your alignment and allow you to move freer and easier.
  10. How has the diet plan changed? For P90X2, the diet has evolved along with the exercise plan. Not that there was anything wrong with the old one, but we've been listening to your suggestions, and we've revamped the diet guide to give you more options on what to eat, how to increase effectiveness, and how to simplify the entire eating process. This subject is more than we can cover here, so the X2 nutrition plan is the topic of next week's P90X2 article.Tony Horton Flexing


Related Articles
"The Next X: What's New About P90X2?"
"The Five Pillars of Willpower"
"Lose Weight and Get Ripped with Virtual Exercise Buddies"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Denis Faye, Beachbody Fitness Advisor, in the Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, September 26th, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT.

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.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, recently named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration.

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7 Foods That Make You Smarter

By Suzy Buglewicz

If the new school year has you scrambling for tips on how to help your kids do better in class, or if you're looking for ways to increase your own productivity, start by examining your diet. Studies have shown that certain foods serve as fuel for our brains, helping us increase concentration and memory function—they've even been shown to help slow down the mind's natural aging process. The next time you really need to stay alert or pay attention, try to eat more of these 7 foods that have been shown to help improve brain function and increase our ability to focus. Combine this practice with other good habits, like working out to your favorite Beachbody® DVD (mine's Chalene Johnson's Turbo Jam®), and you'll soon find yourself at the head of the class—at any age.

Woman with Salad

  1. SpinachSpinach. At only 40 calories a cup, a serving of spinach contains almost half your daily requirement of folic acid, an essential nutrient for cell growth, blood production, and preventing memory loss. And spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available—just 1 cup of spinach also contains all your body's daily requirements of vitamins A and K, plus most of the folate and manganese you need each day too. These nutrients improve brain function and slow down the effects of premature aging by helping to prevent the negative effects of oxidation on the brain. Spinach is also rich in iron, as well as lutein, which helps promote healthy eyesight.

    Smart Tip: Try losing the iceberg lettuce and adding spinach leaves instead to your next dinner salad—or add fresh spinach to an omelet!
  2. Oatmeal. As a good source of insoluble fiber, oatmeal provides a stable energy that helps your brain maintain consistent focus and concentration. Eating oatmeal can also slow down the digestion of starch, reducing the frequent spikes in blood sugar that can often occur after a big meal. The iron, magnesium, and zinc in oatmeal encourage cell growth and can help rev up the metabolism and regulate blood sugar. To get oatmeal's maximum nutritional benefits, avoid the pre-flavored instant packets, which are loaded with sugar, and stick with the plain, slower-cooking kind—it still cooks up in the microwave in just 2 or 3 minutes.

    Smart Tip: Turn up oatmeal's flavor naturally by preparing it with low-fat or nonfat milk and topping it with fresh blueberries or banana slices.
  3. FishFish. Many studies have shown that eating oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help boost memory, concentration, and mental acuity. Omega-3 acids also appear to strengthen the brain's synapses that are directly related to learning and memorization. And if that's not reason enough to eat more fish, the omega-3 fatty acids also help slow down cognitive decline.

    Smart Tip: When choosing fish, watch mercury levels, and consider wild salmon, albacore tuna, and mackerel, which all contain omega-3s with minimal environmental contaminants.
  4. Walnuts. Eating just a handful of these nuts every day can help prevent the decline of cognitive and motor function, increase brain resiliency, and improve cell function. Walnuts are loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids that help balance the unstable neurotransmitters that can contribute to depression and mood swings.

    Smart Tip: Sprinkle a handful of chopped walnuts on salads, or fill a travel container for a healthy on-the-go snack. You'll feel full longer, reducing the temptation to binge between meals.
  5. BlueberriesBerries. Many types of berries, especially blueberries and strawberries, contain flavonoids, which have been linked to brain cell growth and improved memory. Berries with the darkest, richest colors generally offer the most nutritional value. Eat the real thing to reap the benefits, and avoid anything that contains "berry flavoring." The antioxidants, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory properties in berries have been shown to help preserve brain function and can be a helpful factor in battling the onset of dementia.

    Smart Tip: Sprinkle berries on salads, cereal, or yogurt, or make yourself a fresh berry fruit smoothie.
  6. Yogurt. Widely known as a top calcium source for bone development and strength, yogurt also contains enough protein and carbohydrates in just one serving to help keep both the body and the brain energized throughout the day. Yogurt also contains amino acids that can encourage the production of neurotransmitters, and enough vitamin B to contribute—along with the protein—to the growth of brain tissue, while helping to slow down the aging process.

    Smart Tip: Eat yogurt topped with berries for breakfast or lunch, or if you're having a salad, nix the bottled dressing and make your own by mixing a quarter of a cup of plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt with fresh herbs.
  7. EggsEggs. These low-calorie, nutrient-dense wonders are rich in protein as well as choline, an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain and nervous system by acting as a messenger between muscles and nerves. If you've been avoiding eggs because you're worried about your cholesterol, take note: Numerous research studies have indicated that eating eggs as part of a healthy diet has not been shown to be a contributing factor to heart disease. The nutrients in eggs also help increase memory development and aid in concentration. Another plus? Egg yolks contain lutein, which has been shown to help maintain and sometimes improve eye health.

    Smart Tip: Enjoy an egg and spinach omelet for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Brainpower Recipes

Grilled Tuna with Quinoa

  • 2 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 6-oz. albacore tuna steaks (1-inch thick)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Preheat broiler or grill. Put water on to boil in medium saucepan. While water is boiling, place olive oil in shallow bowl or casserole dish. Coat tuna steaks in oil and season with salt and pepper, then cover dish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. When water is boiling, add quinoa to pan and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. While quinoa is cooking, grill fish approximately 7 minutes, remove from heat, place on plates, and drizzle with lime juice. Remove quinoa from heat and add orange juice and cilantro; mix well. Serve tuna steaks and quinoa with a fresh spinach salad (see below). Makes 4 servings.

Fresh Spinach Salad

  • 10 oz. raw baby spinach (about 8 cups)
  • 1/4 small onion, minced
  • 1 large carrot, slivered
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cleaned, seeded, and cut in thin strips
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar (balsamic or rice wine)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Wash and dry spinach. Combine with other vegetables and walnut pieces in large bowl. Mix oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in small bowl, then drizzle over salad. Toss and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Total Fat Saturated Fat
Without salad 415 23 grams 2 grams 19 grams 18.5 grams 4 grams
With salad 560 28 grams 6 grams 26 grams 35.5 grams 5 gram

Easy Fruit Smoothie

  • 1/3 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup sliced bananas
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 6 oz. plain low-fat yogurt

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend for 1 minute. (Makes 1 serving.)

Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
264 12 grams 4 grams 49 grams 3 grams < 1 gram

Related Articles
"9 Foods That Can Fool You"
"9 Foods Not to Give Your Kids"
"7 Superfoods from the Sea"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Denis Faye, Beachbody Fitness Advisor, in the Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, September 26th, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT.

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.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, recently named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration.

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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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Recipe: Spinach Salad with Turkey

By Kathy Smith
Spinach Salad with Turkey

Replacing everyday salad greens with fresh leaf spinach kicks up this salad's nutritional value six ways from Sunday. Tasty turkey breast meat adds protein, and orange juice gives a tangy kick to the dressing. You might even call this a salad for people who don't really like salad!

    Salad:
  • 8 oz. washed leaf spinach, stems removed
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 tomato, stem removed and diced
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 12 oz. cooked turkey breast meat, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • Dressing:
  • 4 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Whisk together all dressing ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients. Drizzle dressing on top and toss gently. Makes 4 servings.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
193 22 grams 2 grams 12 grams 8 grams 2 grams

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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