A Change of Pace & A Little Regret

It’s been a rough week sleep wise. With junior’s infection, disrupted sleep and the heat making it difficult to sleep I’m exhausted. I was actually told that yesterday at a meeting.  They offered to let me sleep in the room for half an hour but I powered on. 

On Wednesday I managed to get through P90X Shoulders and arms keeping my numbers from the following week. Thursday I just did P90X3 yoga. I wasn’t looking forward to 50mins of yoga so I did something a little shorter. P90X3 is good if not a little rushed. You don’t get the isometric holds in yoga but it’s the sense of accomplishment in getting something done that’s important. 

Today I was feeling just as tired and really couldn’t face Legs & Back so I did another swop. It was for RIPT90’s deadlift killer. I’ve never done this one before. Truth is I have never done the whole RIPT90. It was a gift, I did the leg routine before and wasn’t impressed. The pacing was off and there is absolutely no cool down. Deadlift killer wasn’t impressive either. 20 reps of deadlifts, single leg deadlift, stiff leg deadlift, stiff single leg deadlift, sumo deadlift and 25 sit ups. Done for 3 rounds and 50 jump lunges at the end. The cool down was a lift jog followed by a side oblique stretch and nothing else for legs. I just did my own 10 minute cooldown of P90X stretches. Back to the cupboard with RIPT90. P90X you have ruined me for other trainers lol, the bar is set high. 
The other reason for not doing legs and back was my preworkout. It made me feel sick today. The culprit was Real Pharm Unreal Blue Sky flavour. What was left of the tub is now binned. 

So the little regret today is not that I worked out it was choice of programme. Deadlift killer was 38 minutes plus my 10 minute cooldown leaving it 10 mins short of Legs and Back. I should have stuck with legs and back. 

Also as this week has been a write off I will be repeating it. I will finish it off with P90X Kenpo Cardio tomorrow and then X Stretch on Sunday. Life happens folks, kids get sick, we get a poor week of sleep and the nutrition slips. I won’t let it get me down. I will repeat and go from there. 

Hopefully the sun is shining with you and you are able to enjoy it. Weather is going to break here after today so this evening it’s off to the beach for some ice cream and fun. 

See you in a few days 




Lack of Sleep & P90X

It’s week 3 Day 1 of Classic P90X, as per the calendar that means -> Chest & Back and ARX. I was looking forward to the chest pump of Chest & Back today but my little angel had other ideas. Last night was a horrid night, late to bed, soreness and interrupted sleep. 

So let’s back up a little, yesterday was a lazy day at home. That was until we had to go out and run and errand for the delightful mother in law. Junior went along for the ride and fell asleep mid afternoon. Every parents worst nightmare. Combine that with Autism and you get a very late night. So late to bed it was and then he was up every few hours at 1,3 and 5am. Complaints of soreness prompted reliable calpol and then nurofen. (Or suitable alternate brands). A word of advice on that try and leave 3 hours between these initially – first calpol and then 3 hours later nurofen. The staggering means the child won’t be without pain relief. 

So 7am came around and the little guy was up bouncing about looking breakfast. Today’s order was brioche. Off to nursery he went. 

My P90X journey just did not happen today. I had setup everything but was yawning and feeling very tired and sleepy. I started off, got through the warmup. Thinking yes I can do this. First round held up my numbers from last week – 40 standard push ups, 20 wide grip pull ups, 28 military push ups and 16 reverse grip chin ups. Disaster during the break. I sat down to look at my next numbers and hit a wall. Couldn’t stop yawning and a wave of tiredness hit me. Got to do 28 double wide push ups and just collapsed. Energy gone. Sapped into a black hole. I paused the DVD and just did shavasna on the mat for about 20 mins. 

So P90X ground to a halt, no ARX either. I’ve looked at my calendar and I will repeat today next Monday and shift the other days accordingly. I will drop X stretch on Wednesday of next to make room. 

Currently watching Twin Peaks S3. Up to ep3 when I decided to take a break and write this. It’s as weird as every – brilliant. Also attempting not to take an afternoon nap. 

Until later in the week


21 Day Fix Example Meal Plan

Hi Folks

Following on from my top picks to start your New Year fitness journey I highlighted the 21 Day Fix as my top option.  The basis for it was not just short. modified workouts but also a comprehensive nutrition plan.  I’d go as far as saying it is the best nutrition plan by a BeachBody programme to date.

The workouts are pretty self explanatory – simply follow the calendar to find out what todays workout is and push play.  The nutrition plan can be daunting so I’ve pieced together a sample nutrition plan based on 1,500-1,799 calories (it can be daunting for any programme).  Roughly this is where I sat when I initially started cutting down.  Depending on your caloric intake all you do is simply add in or take away container options.  FYI looking at the plan I sit in the 2,100-2,299 range

First and foremost – get rid of all of the junk food in your house, the fizzy drinks, the sweets, the chocolate bar stash etc.  If you are like me and find it  – you will eat, keep it clean and do yourself a favour take away the temptation.  By the way don’t bin it give into a local food bank where it won’t go to waste.

21 Day Fix Meal Plan Example <— **Click to view**

It’s actually pretty straight forward, with minimum ingredients (takes out a lot of the thinking) and some variation to keep you interested.  It’s really what you want to make of it  yourself, you may decide to split some of the greens I have in snack 1 into meal 2 and the same with the red container contents.  This is really on a starting point to get you going, once you familiarise yourself with the container contents you will automatically know what to do.  Additionally you can transfer this knowledge into the nutrition plan for other programmes as you progress.  Despite what you initially may think, this is quite a bit of food to consume in a day.  The nutrition plan also provides advice on what to add in for treats so please refer to it.

Once you get into this you will see how simple things like a KitKat contain 103 calories for 2 fingers and how a few of these with tea or coffee a day soon add up and you can see where the excess caloric intake come from.

Let me know what you think or if you have any questions

Yours in health & fitness

Tony Mac

Shake it!

Shaker cups, anyone who works out regularly has a cupboard full of these. Often orders placed online will have a complimentary one thrown in guaranteed to give you a smooth shake – at least that’s the claim. Over the years I have had many cups, some good and some very bad. If you have also left one in your gym bag for a few days you will also know how smelly they can get.

So I’ve currently 5 different shakers in my cupboard which I will run through now.

The Core 150

Available at http://www.core150.com
Price £12.99 each

This is one of my favourite shakers as it has 3 compartments that fit inside the shaker. You can have your pre, intra and post workout powders or capsules in the shaker. It holds up to a litre of liquid – great for weight gain shakes. I use this cup daily to monitor my water intake. I know to drink about 4 litres of water a day and this does it for me. It is big and bulky but a great shaker.

The Vortex 2.0 Kickstarter Version

Backed $100.00
The Vortex Original
£18.99 Amazon.co.uk
Upgrade kit £16.99 Amazon.co.uk

If you want a smooth shake this is the daddy of silky smooth shakes. I had the original and was very impressed so I joined the Kickstarter campaign for the 2.0 version that included a rechargeable battery, side measurements for liquids and a nutripod to hold your powder or capsule supplements. Any protein shakes I’ve had in it mixed very well and is very handy now with the pod and measurement markings – can’t understand why the original never had this as its pretty basic and simple to put markings up the side. There are 2 gripes about this one the cost, even the original is probably the most expensive I’ve ever seen and secondly the rechargeable battery connector – really should be micro usb like the majority of mobile phone chargers. Other than that it’s a very durable and unique shaker, if I was at the gym this would be great for me. Even at home it can be used to mix drinks (without the ice), eggs etc.


£varies – Original £7.99 Amazon.co.uk

Prior to the Core150 this was my go to shaker. 3 compartments (including the shaker) separate dividers for capsules if necessary was the big point for me. Huge variety of colours and colour combinations available. The capacity is 600ml although there are now larger versions 800ml and smaller 400ml. Nice fitting shaker for smaller bags on the go.

Blender Bottle


Have to say this is a shaker I’m not impressed with. I get the concept with the ball whisk. It just doesn’t seem to do the job well, shakes can be lumpy and is very very poor and with thick weight gain shakes. It comes in a variety of colours and there are a variety of bottle sizes, combinations and features. I will be honest I have had many accidents with this bottle – it comes from ensuring the cap is pressed down firmly and clicked into place. I have arm workouts where I can barely lift my arms (I’m looking at you V Sculpt as the most recent culprit) and didn’t click the lid on properly, started to shake and ended up with a post workout shake around me – what a waste. It’s a minor gripe but a messy one and more down to user error lol.

The Basic Shaker

£- Free -varies

This bad boy is the freebie added in with orders and is the original shaker cup, the most basic and arguably the best. Shakes are not super smooth but do you need them to be? This does the job and for many starting out or who don’t fancy spending nearly £20 on a shaker. There’s no shame in this shaker and would definitely rate it over the blender bottle; if you have small Tupperware boxes for protein you won’t even need a Smartshaker or the Core150 just use them with this shaker.

Like nutritional supplements there are so many varieties of shaker bottle on the market and it keeps expanding.  I do prefer the Core150 as I use it beyond workouts but I’d be equally happy with the basic original shaker cup – effective and cheap.

Yours in fitness & health


Tony Mac

Getting Started in 2015 – My Recommendations

2015 is well underway any many people will have made the resolution to get in shape, lose that weight or get summer body ready.

For those who have never darkened a gym it may seem like an overwhelming task, taking that first step and committing to a new healthier and fitter lifestyle. Many will even be put off by the cattle market that is a gym in January; so for those people I have 3 phenomenal recommendations to help you get started on your fitness journey.

These recommendations have no costly monthly memberships to gyms or health clubs. They are not fad diets or workouts. They are well designed integrated programmes that not only provide great workouts in short times but also nutrition plans. You will find that 70% of your results are nutrition based and the other 30% are exercise based.

So my first recommendation – P90!


That’s the updated version of the old Power 90, reworked and updated for the latest fitness knowledge and experience. It’s by my favourite trainer Mr Tony Horton. This is not an extreme programme – no pull ups. It’s described as the on switch to fitness. It’s broken down into 3 blocks and there are 2 different roads you can choose Sweat (cardio based) and Sculpt (resistance based). I’d recommend starting at Sweat then once it’s completed move to Sculpt. BeachBody include a resistance band to get started but I’d recommend getting more bands or some dumbbells. Also there’s a modifier in each workout so you don’t have to jump in straight away – modify to stay in the game. I do it there’s no reason not too.

Each road has 3 phases and you only move into to the next phase once you’ve mastered the current one. So potentially that’s 180 days of fitness taken care of. The first phase is only 25mins a day – sweet. Then it ramps up to 30 and 40 in the next 2 phases respectively. So you don’t burn yourself out initially, you stay committed and you see the results after 90 days!

Also there’s a handy nutrition guide setting out of what you need a to eat. The results off this programme have been great and are a super gateway to other more extreme BeachBody programmes.

My next choice is Focus T25.


This is a 25minute routine for 5-6 days (Friday’s are double but I usually did the second on Saturdays) with a stretch day too. This is a cardio and resistance routine by the King of Cardio- Shaun T.

I loved doing this programme, get in, get it done and there’s no breaks. Again there’s a modifier for every move. The Alpha round starts you off, it becomes familiar as time goes on. You can actually turn up the background music too once you familiarise yourself with the routines. I recommend this as it really spurs you on. The next round is Beta, builds on the Alpha round moves, ups the complexity of moves and adds some weights. BeachBody kindly add in a resistance band to start you off but I’d suggest getting a light dumbbell as you progress – honestly 3-5kgs is more than enough even for strong dudes/galls. My favourite workout is actually ally Speed 2.0 I always turned the volume up on it and got a little bit too into it. Yeah you may find yourself randomly going “up, centre, back, centre, in, out, in, out ” during the day like I did lol.

There is the option for a third Gamma round. Again it builds on the previous round and gives a great workout.

Doing all 3 phases leaves you at 90 days and I got totally ripped doing this.

The key is focusing and engaging in every single move

Again there’s a simple nutrition plan to support the programme.

Finally and my actual number 1 recommendation is – The 21 Day Fix!!!


This is a programme my a Autumn Calabrese and is the shortest of all programmes. It only lasts 21 days, the workouts are 30 minutes long with a number of different varieties to keep you guessing if you do successive rounds. The big plus to this programme is the Eating Plan and containers. The workouts are intense as any other and have a great modifier built in. But as I said earlier the key to health is nutrition and this is where this plan excels beyond any other.

You initially work out your caloric range based on your goals, this gives you how many of each container you need to eat during a day. Each container has a list of foods and even adds a few treats. You split your containers across the day and base your food intake on this. Simple and effective. I find spreading them out across 3 meals and 3 snacks works perfectly for me. This is a simple solution to people who are confused about their nutrition and what to eat initially. You will not go hungry on this plan either as the food is filling and nutritious.

You can also easily plan out you eating daily and it really becomes second nature, there’s a variety of foods for each container so you won’t get bored it’s not all plain chicken and rice every day.

Once you master the nutrition plan you can migrate this across to many other BeachBody programmes and is a real investment. BeachBody have recognised this and include these containers with their latest programme Insanity Max 30. Insanity Max 30 is not a recommended programme for newbies, pick it up later down the line.

I have attached below a document which transcribes the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan – what foods are in which containers, how many of each container for each calorie range etc.  It will also show to anyone considering that programme what foods are in the plan.  Print it off, keep it in the kitchen and refer to it.

21 Day Fix Nutrition Plan

Irrespective of the programme you choose BeachBody have a money back guarantee so it’s no risk if you don’t like them – you won’t get your gym membership refunded folks! All these programmes can be done in the privacy of your own home and if you need to you can pause – you can’t pause a gym class. Once you have bought the programmes and decided to keep them you can keep on doing and rotating them – it’s a one off cost. Many of these programmes can be done on the go too, if you travel with work you don’t need a hotel gym they can be easily done in your hotel room!

Whatever you decide to do, kudos to you for starting. Regardless of where you start from you will always progress if stay committed. As BeachBody says – decide, commit, succeed!

If you have any questions or comments please drop me message here or by email tonymacfitness@gmail.com

Yours in fitness & health


Tony Mac

P90X2 Day 29 – Chest + Back + Balance

Recovery week is over and I’m really happy to back in full swing exercise mode with Phase 2 Strength.

Today’s workouts are Chest + Back + Balance followed by Ab Ripper X2 in the evening. I burned 685 calories this morning and 174 this evening so pretty intense all around.

I surprised myself with many of the Chest + Back + Balance routines in getting solid numbers. Typical Tony Horton loads of push-ups and pull ups. Nice variety and adding stability and med balls for a challenge. I did the 4 med ball push ups without any major problems. The killer move for me was the impossible/possible. I got 1 fell off and got another. Pretty poor but not unexpected – perhaps that was my problem- my mind got in the way. I’ll be looking to get about 12 of these. I may even pause the DVD next time to try and get better at this.

A challenging workout out that has left me, today Tuesday, sore in all the right places. With Ab ripper I made sure to keep my core engaged more so than last phase and it paid off. I completed Plyocide this morning and it was more brutal than ever especially on burpees and using my upper body. It ached when I used my upper body but I powered through.

I’d like to know anyone else’s experience with this workout. I’ve sprung for the deluxe DVD so next week I have V Sculpt instead. That means for me Phase 2 is likely to be 6 weeks long as I have 2 different weeks in this phase.

Yours in fitness & health


Tony Mac

P90X2 Day 18 – Planning Recovery Week

It doesn’t seem as if it’s been almost 3 weeks since I began this P90X2 journey. I’ve really enjoyed the workouts thus far, however I am rapidly loosing enthusiasm for Recovery & Mobility. It’s twice a week and will have done it 6 times by the end of week 3. Recovery week means you do it 4 out of 7 days. That’s where I am at now; the cusp of recovery week. Phase 1 is recommended for between 3 and 6 weeks, coming off the back of P90x3 my core is good and I’ve upped weights and reps in every exercise in the workouts. I’m ready to move on after 3 weeks

I am not impressed by P90X2 recovery week it’s very different from X and X3 recovery weeks. P90x2 alternates daily for the week between Recovery & Mobility and yoga. X and X3 have a variety of workouts during said week. I enjoy variety and getting bored of X2 recovery and mobility is not making me look forward to next week. So what to do? I’m going to do the following routine for the week:

Monday: P90X3 dynamix
Tuesday: P90x2 Yoga
Wednesday: P90x X Stretch
Thursday: P90X Yoga – yoga only
Friday: P90X Yoga – balance section only
Saturday: P90x3 yoga
Sunday: Recovery & Mobility

Hopefully this will combine a good variety across this week. Recovery & Mobility may end up being just foam rolling under my own instruction, that will be the plan for Phase 2 & 3 also.

Regardless I’m loving these routines, they are challenging and with variety. I’m looking forward to phase 2 which will be 4 weeks and then another recovery week.

Keep bringing it, why? Because you can.

Yours in health & fitness


Tony MacIMG_1131.JPG