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The Fitness Two FAQ: Protein Shakes & Pull Ups

Welcome to another installment of the Fitness 2 F-A-Q. This round I’m fielding a couple questions about everyone’s favorite fitness nutrition add-on… the protein shake. We’ve also got questions around everyone’s favorite fitness show-off go-to… the pull-up.

Let’s get right into it:

Pull Ups

Question: I have a hard time with pull ups and can barely even do one. So frustrating! Can I do something else?

Answer: You’re right…pull ups are tough stuff! They require you to lift a large part of your body weight and mobilize a large muscle group with a few more thrown in for good measure. If you’re “deconditioned” (muscles haven’t been worked in a while), this can be tough… so here’s the answer to your question AND some good news:

I wouldn’t recommend doing something else in place of pull ups.

Wait, wha? That’s good news!? Yup.. and here’s why: you get better at pull ups by DOING pull ups. That said, the trick is to MODIFY. Use a chair with one leg helping support your weight after you’ve “gassed out”. you can also use the chin up assist. As long as you feel those back muscles working when you’re modifying like that, you’re making progress! The trick is to “Do your best and be patient with the rest”. Pretty soon you’ll see your pull up count going up almost every week as you get stronger.

Helpful links:

4 Tips On How To Get Better At Pull Ups

Ain’t No Shame In Modifying

Protein Shakes

Question: I’m unsure what a protein shake really is and which would be the best one to get?

Answer: First, awesome that you’re looking at making a change in your nutrition and incorporating a new aspect to help!

When you hear “protein shake” people are usually referring to one of two things: a straight protein drink (usually in powder form with the nutrition profile mostly protein 18g+ with less than 2-3g carbs and fiber, etc.) or a Meal Replacement (higher carbs, fats, added vitamins/minerals and fiber).

As far as a straight protein supplement goes, they exist to conveniently boost your protein intake without having to eat a carton of eggs or three whole chickens every day. Most protein shakes rely on “whey” based proteins (though there are definitely vegan options as well). Meal Replacement Shakes on the other hand are meant as, well, a meal as opposed to just a protein supplement and are much more well-rounded as nutrition goes.

Beyond that, you can get pretty detailed. I do recommend a protein supplement for convenience alone and if you have a choice, a Meal Replacement (or both if possible). There’s plenty out there but as an Meal Replacement user for years, I’m a big, big advocate of Shakeology and recommend it far and away above all others (it comes in a vegan and whey protein choice) based on its ingredient list and a genuine, whole food profile.

Both are a great addition to keep your nutritional goals on track and in many cases can double as a “treat” as you remove other junk from your diet.

Protein Supplement Recommendations:

Meal Replacement Recommendations (with protein):

Only one recommendation? I know it may seem suspect but nothing in my experience compares to Shakeology and its no-shortcut approach to genuine, whole nutrition. I honestly see it as a sole and primary choice. There’s definitely lots of Meal Replacements out there but if I’m giving a recommendation on the best choice without fillers and cheap crap to make a shake taste good/bolster its nutrition label, Shakeology wins hands down.

Helpful links:

Choose Your Whey Wisely

Do I Need Supplements?

Got questions? Send ’em on through– you’ll not only help yourself, you’ll help countless others! Email me here or at You can also receive the additional one on one support you need by making me your free Beachbody Coach right here. 

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