Form Check and Workout Review – April 15, 2013

This is the workout performed in the video:

  • Bench Squat – 210 lbs. (5 sets, 5 reps)
  • Bench Press – 135 lbs. (5 sets, 5 reps)
  • Barbell Row – 130 lbs. (5 sets, 5 reps)

Form Check

Squats: Bench squats are new for me and I need to work on positioning. I don’t like my hip hinge in this video and I think the bench might be too close. I was especially disappointed in the very last rep of the last set because I dropped down onto the bench with all of my weight instead leaning back and slowly coming down.

Bench Press: I paid much closer attention to where I was lifting the bar this time, because they last time I did bench I caught myself raising the weight close to my head instead of chest.

Barbell Row: I also paid more attention to how far up I was pulling the weight. I tried to pull as close to my body as I could and hold the weight for a second or so to make sure it wasn’t all momentum.

If you have any thoughts on my form or workout, please share. I’m always open to learning more.

Additional Notes

I switched up my routine to do some bench squats instead regular squats for a week, possibly more. I just want to change things up a bit. I wish I had a shorter box to squat to, but the bench is all I have at the moment.

I had a much longer workout planned, but I wasn’t able to finish it because a large gash opened up on my hand right after my last set of barbell rows. I got the cut earlier in the day when a glass desk shattered in my hands while carrying it. I actually did one set of Incline DB press, but I got blood everywhere. I cut that part out of the video 😉

Below are the additional exercices that I had planned to do. I probably should have done some alternate exercises, now that I think about it. I could have done no-weight calf raises for high reps, leg raises on my Captain’s Chair, and crunches in place of the other ab exercises.

  • Incline DB Press
  • Dips
  • Calf Raises
  • Hanging Leg Raise
  • DB Ab Twist
  • Plank

I’m not sure yet if I’ll post all of my videos on my website, but I do post them all on my YouTube channel, if you wanna check ’em out there 😉

Why You Need to Reach a Anabolic State to Build Muscle

Your body is in constant changes of anabolic and catabolic states. An anabolic state describes the process of building and repairing muscle tissue while a catabolic state is the process of breaking it down. An anabolic state is necessary to see huge gains and the body you desire but a catabolic state will instead break down your muscle tissue – something you don’t want to happen.

An anabolic state is created by combining healthy nutrition, proper training and rest.

You can achieve an anabolic state by watching your diet and the types of foods you eat. If you’re trying to gain mass, it’s still important that you eat healthy, even if your calorie intake is high. If you’re trying to drop weight and cut fat from your body, it’s even more important that you eat appropriately. You need to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to repair itself and starving yourself to reach calorie goals isn’t the way to do it.

You never want to reach a negative caloric balance or your body will go into a catabolic state. This is where your body will go into conservation mode, breaking down muscle tissue for energy. To help muscle tissue recover, eat meals every 2-3 hours which contain protein, especially in the morning after your body has been starved for 8-10 hours. You should consume approximately 18-22 calories per pound of body weight per day. Eating every 2-3 hours sounds like a lot of food but when you break the meals down into smaller portions, it’s much easier. You can eat three large meals per day too, as long as you aren’t starving between meals. Calculate your daily calorie intake and prepare a meal plan to keep yourself on track.

In addition to eating healthy, you also need to understand the limits of training you can place on your body. If you undertrain, you won’t see the gains that you’re hoping for, but at least you aren’t causing your body harm. If you overtrain on the other hand, you cause more damage to your muscle tissue, which will take your body longer to repair. If you train too hard, you never give your muscle tissue a chance to heal.

It’s common to workout anywhere from 20 minutes to 60 minutes, but a workout shouldn’t last longer than 90 minutes total. If you workout longer than 60 minutes, it’s extremely important that you have been eating properly and are drinking plenty of water (at least 8 cups per day). If you are doing intense workouts such as Insanity, you might even consider consuming 120oz of water per day, which is about 15 cups of water.

Lastly, you need to give your body enough rest. This goes hand-in-hand with training. When you workout, aerobic (cardio) or anaerobic (weightlifting), you cause tiny tears in your muscles. These tears can only be repaired by resting them. This is why you should workout different muscle groups throughout the week. It’s common to allow at least 72 hours before working out the same muscle group again. If you have accidentally overtrained, you may need to give your body even more time to recover.

Prevent your body from reaching a catabolic state by taking the proper precautions. Eat healthy and regularly to prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue, don’t overtrain and make sure that you give your body enough rest to recover fully. By preventing a catabolic state, you’ll see the gains you’ve been working so hard for.

Is Mixing P90X With the Insanity Workout a Good Idea?


If you’ve tried either P90X or Insanity, you know how hard those programs can be. P90X was built mainly around strength training and/or muscle building and Insanity is a strict cardio training program. It seems like they would fit well together, right?

Wrong, and let me tell you why from my own personal experience of trying it.

I’ve completed P90X twice now and have seen some great results. I’m much stronger now and P90X is nowhere near as hard as it once was. I’ve also completed the first six weeks of Insanity, but I haven’t finished the program all the way through yet.

After three weeks of Insanity, I decided I wanted to include P90X into the workout, because I wanted to continue building muscle while burning fat. My plan was to do Insanity in the morning before work and then on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I would do a strength training video from P90X after work.

I was fine for the first week. I did Insanity in the morning as usual and then on Monday I did a Chest & Back video, Wednesday was Shoulders & Arms and Friday I did Legs & Back. I was completely worn out over the weekend. On Monday I started the routine over again, and by Tuesday I could barely function anymore.

I had put too much stress on my body.

I couldn’t even force myself to wake up in the morning to do my regular workout so I decided to stop doing P90X. I took a whole week off from working out at all and I finally started to feel normal again the following week.

In my opinion, doing both programs at once is just too hard on the body. I do believe that a diet change would have helped me sustain energy and recovery. I also think that I should have completed Insanity at least once before modifying my routine so drastically, especially since I’ve never really done much cardio in the past.

I hope to try including both programs into my routine again at some point in the future, but for now I’m going to stick with only one at a time.

What is Mixed Fitness About?

Hey there, I’m Alex and this is my first post here, of what I hope to be many on my brand spankin’ new fitness website. We’ll be writing articles about everything we come across in the fitness world that can help you be as fit as possible, so you should definitely stick around and see if there’s something that can help you.

Michelle (my girlfriend) and I actually just started P90X three weeks ago too, so you’ll definitely be getting our input on the extreme fitness regimen throughout the process. I’ll be putting up photos along the way as well, so you can get a real idea of how our training goes. I have to admit though, that Michelle works out much harder than I do, and she really knows her stuff when it comes to nutrition.

I, on the other hand, have mostly done heavy weight training for the last year and a half. I haven’t put any effort into cardio until just recently, so I actually look a little fat still. I’m down to around 16% body fat though, and considering what I was a year ago, I’m really proud of the work I’ve put in. I think it’s from all the beer I drink on the weekends though, since mostly all of the fat is on my belly. 🙂

Anyway, stick around and join us during our learning process. I’m sure we can all teach each other something new. Michelle and I aren’t professionals, but we have a lot of experience in the last couple of years, so we’ll try our best.