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The Fitness Two FAQ: The Best Fitness Program & Recovery Week Nutrition

Fitness 2 F-A-Q is here yet again. This week’s action touches on choosing the right program (is one the “best”?) and what to do with your eating on recovery weeks. Let’s get to it!

Which Workout Program Is The Best?

Question: I feel so confused by the ridiculous amount of info out there regarding which types of workouts really are better. Is Insanity the best one?

Answer: There is indeed a crazy amount of information out there. Something will always be bigger, better and more effective and you’ll spend the rest of your life on the hamster wheel of moving from discipline to discipline trying to find that “one” when it all really boils down to one thing: nutrition and work. Let’s be honest, there’s a variety of nutritional paths to get you the food you need and there’s a variety of workout paths that can get you fit. Anyone who says one is better than the other is selling something– probably their own program.

To cut through the crap, the fact is there’s programs that are better for certain goals and fitness objectives. You just have to decide which one you want to do. Of course, I do recommend Beachbody programs as they’re convenient, they all work off the principle of periodization and they’re plug and play for results. But one isn’t necessarily better than the other– they’re just different.

For example, Insanity is NOT the end all be all of fitness despite its intensity. It’s a great program. It’s a fun program. It’s an effective program. Just keep in mind it’s a largely cardiovascular/endurance training program. As such, Insanity doesn’t train in the anaerobic (think weight lifting energy) and phosphagen (think clean and jerks) arenas– and that’s OK, those areas are not its target. Likewise, P90X- while a more holistic system that targets all energy systems– probably won’t get you into the upper cardiovascular endurance elite Insanity will. Nor will it allow you to pack on Body-builder levels of muscle. Body Beast won’t get you cardiovascularly fit much at all… but it’s fantastic for packing on muscle and changing the shape of your body.

That said, it’s impossible to train all areas to peak performance at the same time (not to say you can’t train them to peak performance at a general level), so you have to chose what you want to focus on at any given time. And that’s the fun of it!

So make it easy- pick the program you like- the one that will be fun and drive you to success. They’ll all help you lose weight and you can refine and choose different programs based on your changing goals from there.

Helpful links:

P90X, Body Beast, Asylum Comparison

What Insanity Is… and Isn’t

Recovery Week Nutrition

Question: I’ve just begun the recovery week of the Insanity program and I’m wondering how much I should adjust my caloric intake. I’m worried about gaining weight back during this week since the workouts aren’t as intense.

Answer: Great question! Quick and to the point: You don’t need to adjust as it all “comes out in the wash”. You’re still burning calories and most likely still at a deficit. As such, you won’t gain weight back during this week and will continue your progress as you’re committed to the nutrition.

Keep in mind- with a program as intense and high-impact as Insanity, the rest weeks are needed, if not required. It’s all part of the “periodization” process (intensity variation through different periods of time) as the program builds you up then gives you recovery before it makes it more intense with the 60 minute workouts. It’s all by design and this rest week will help catapult you into week 5.

If you MUST reduce your calories just to keep sane (again, you don’t need to as your metabolism is, by now, processing this stuff very efficiently), only do it by 1-200 if that. You could also “zig-zag”- normal intake on harder days and lighter intake on rest days but again… no need to.

Helpful links:

Recovery Weeks Are A Must

Got questions? Send ‘em on through– you’ll not only help yourself, you’ll help countless others! Email me here or at dan@howdoigetfit.com. 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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