Former Competitive Bench Presser Loses 28 Pounds in 60 Days

Jeffrey B lost 28 lbs in 60 days with INSANITY MAX:30. He entered his results intoThe Beachbody Challenge, and won the $500 Daily Prize for September 10th!

Tell us about your life before you started the program. How did you feel about yourself and your body?
At one point in my life, I weighed over 300 pounds. I was a competitive bench presser on a world record level. I retired from the sport in 2012 and began to look for ways to transform my physique. It has been a long journey but I feel I am making progress. I have used the original INSANITY program before, but it wasn’t until MAX:30 that I really started making the gains I wanted to see.

What inspired you to change your life and begin your transformation journey?
My inspiration has been my family. I want to constantly challenge myself and set a solid example for my 3 children.

What is the greatest challenge you faced before beginning the program? How did the program and Beachbody® help you overcome that challenge?
Getting started, and learning that daily improvements are what it’s all about.

4796_BBC_Sep_640x640_10.JeffreyB

What in particular did you like about the program you chose?
The fact that it was only 30 min, and that I could always find 30 min to improve my life.

Describe the results you achieved with your Beachbody program. Which achievements are you proud of?
Single digit body fat.

How has your life changed since completing your Beachbody program?
Changing… I’m not finished yet :)

You can change your life, too. Take the Beachbody Challenge for the tools you need to Decide, Commit, and Succeed! Complete any Beachbody program, and enter your results for a free gift and a chance to win cash and prizes.

How ‘Maxing Out’ Can Take Your Fitness to the Next Level

Max Out

 

Regardless of your fitness goals, the surest way to success is, ironically, failure.

That’s what research in recent years has revealed about the relationship between reps and results, which progress in sync with one another.

Momentary muscular fatigue—also known as training until failure or “maxing out”—simply demands performing movements until you can’t do them anymore. Rather than setting an arbitrary ceiling for yourself and hoping to, again arbitrarily, increase that ceiling over time, maxing out uses your body’s current capabilities to decide the variables (weight, reps, etc.), whether it’s high-intensity cardio, weight training or any combination of the two.

Once that ceiling is reached, you achieve failure, with the gains coming in the form of your body’s ability to go just a bit further the next time. “If you never fail at a set, you aren’t pushing hard enough,” says Steve Edwards, Vice President of Fitness and Nutrition at Beachbody.

But beyond a red-blooded sense of accomplishment, why is it important to press the limits? Edwards says, “Pushing towards failure is the only way to derive all of the benefits of a workout as it’s designed.” Most workouts, Edwards says, target energy systems, which, to be simplistic, are the physiological processes that facilitate the conversion of fuel into fitness. To make these systems more efficient—which is the very definition of fitness—Edwards says you’ve gotta fail.

“It’s the founding principle of all athletic training, or really, all physiological processes in the human body.”

insanity max

Turning it up to 11

Anaerobic activity (including interval and weight training) is designed around the body’s failure point in one of the aforementioned energy systems. In resistance training, this is represented by the amount of weight needed to fail at a given number of reps. In the case of cardiovascular workouts—most often interval training—this is represented by the use of body weight, speed, jumping and stopping to achieve failure.

“Training, philosophically, is about putting your body in environments that it’s not entirely adapted to,” says Dr. Marcus Elliott, Founder and Director of P3, a facility that applies scientific research to athletic performance. “Training to failure suggests taking your body as far as it can go. That is what your body responds to: being challenged.”

Resistance training has long been known to stimulate muscle growth, but recent research finds that there are diminishing returns to simply adding weight. A 2010 study commissioned by Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council found that low-load, high-volume resistance exercise (i.e., less weight, more repetitions) is more effective at building muscle than high-weight, low-rep resistance training. The researchers determined that muscle growth is dependent not only on weight, but also the number of reps performed.

The result are greater strength, muscle endurance and, of course, mass. But the benefits aren’t limited solely to muscle development. “In addition to muscle adaptation,” says Elliott, “you also increase adaptive response to lactic acid,” the chemical that builds up in overworked muscles, creating that burning feeling. “When you take a workout to failure, you can become more efficient at utilizing lactate (lactic acid) as energy.”

Adapting to lactate means that, instead of gasping and vomiting during intense exercise, you breathe more easily. You also develop blood buffers, which help maintain a healthy blood pH and prevent nausea. “How that shows up in terms of fitness is if you’re climbing or on a run and the guy next to you is suffering and you’re not” explains Elliott.

While not all of the particulars explaining the effects of “maxing out” are clear, Dr. Francis Stephens at the UK’s University of Nottingham, says, “It likely has to do with metabolic and mechanical stress associated with fatigue within the muscle signaling for the adaptation.” Translation: burn it down.


30 minutes. INSANE results.

 

Fail, recover, repeat

A vital component here is rest (also known as recovery). The harder the workout, the more muscle fiber and neuron groupings—known as motor units—are recruited. Outside of long-distance running, most workouts target the moderate and high motor units. The more those units are recruited, the more recovery is required.

“This is why almost all training is broken into microcycles (weekly training schedule) and macrocycles (longer schedules) so that your recovery is properly balanced between your training,” says Edwards. That explains why weight training is staggered by muscle group and why very intensive training (plyometrics, et al) is done only once per week.

Edwards says there was a time when professionals were afraid to use programs like high intensity interval training (HIIT) with out-of-shape subjects. “This started changing in the early ’90s as studies began on highly deconditioned people and saw them respond much quicker to HIIT than traditional low-level aerobic work.” That means the only people to whom maxing out doesn’t apply are those with an injury or physical limitation that might prohibit it.

Still, Edwards advises that maxing out should constitute the bulk of training for most people. As he says trainers always say, “Failure is not an option.”