Category Archives for "Supplements"

Jan 19

Beachbody Performance Recover Review

By now you probably understand that I’m a supplement junkie. My addiction started in college, all thanks to my buddies. It seemed that every time I went to the gym they were talking about something else they tried and got great results with. Of course I had to try it out too. One of the main supplements we always seemed to talk about besides pre-workout supplements were post-workout recovery supplements. For years and years I studied and tried out many various recovery supplements hoping to find the one that works best. Eventually, I came across a brand of supplements that were clean, but extremely effective called the Performance Line. The Beachbody Recover formula from the Performance Line was a post-workout supplement that I used for quite some time while going through multiple rounds of a program called Body Beast. As I was trying to put on mass, I knew the importance of having a good quality supplement to take right after my workouts. Recover was exactly what I had hoped. Here is my Beachbody Performance Recover Review.

Why Use a Post Workout Supplement?

Before I actually get into my Beachbody Performance Recover Review, I want to talk a little bit about why it’s important to use a post workout supplement. When you do an intense workout like what I do every day, you drain your body of glycogen and protein. After you get done with the workout, you have about an hour time span to consume either good quality food or a post-workout supplement that will help replenish the glycogen stores and kick-start the muscle repairing process. That supplement or food needs to have a great balance of fast digesting carbohydrates and important amino acids. The fast digesting carbs will help transport the amino acids to the muscle cells quickly, therefore aiding in protein synthesis (muscle recovery). I have used both food and supplements for post workout recovery, but supplements seem to be more effective for me, probably because they are designed to have everything I need for proper recovery, whereas I might not get it all with food. A good quality post workout supplement will reduce soreness and aid in proper muscle recover.

My Beachbody Performance Recover Review

When I’m judging a post-workout supplement, I do so in 4 different areas: (1) Quality, (2) Taste, (3) Consistency, (4) Effectiveness. I’m going to break down the Recover formula regarding each of those areas.

(1) Quality. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate the quality a 9. Out of all the ones I’ve used over the years, this one is by far the best quality. The sugar in Recover is actually beet sugar Beachbody Performance Recover Reviewand the rest of it is sweetened with Stevia leaf extract. Most post-workout supplements are loaded with low-quality processed sugar, mainly to make it taste better. In addition, Recover has a 2:1 protein to carb ratio, which is excellent for recovery. The protein comes from whey isolate, pea protein, and contains a number of additional important amino acids. There are no added chemicals, dyes, or other toxins.

(2) Taste. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate the taste a 9. I love the taste of both flavors of Beachbody Recover. Back in the day Beachbody had something called the Recovery Formula (which isn’t nearly as good of quality as Recover), but the orange flavor tasted like an orange creamsicle. The orange flavor with Recover is very similar to that. Not as good as the old one, but still very good. The chocolate flavor tastes like chocolate because that’s what it is, chocolate. It’s hard to mess up a chocolate flavor.

(3) Consistency. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate the consistency a 10. It’s a very powdery substance and mixes very well. Normally I just put it in a shaker cup and shake it.

(4) Effectiveness. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate the effectiveness a 9. All I know is that when I use Recover I tend to get outstanding results. My recovery time is shorter and I don’t experience as much soreness as I normally would without taking anything after my workout.

So that’s it. That’s my Beachbody Performance Recover Review. If you’re interested in purchasing Beachbody Recover, just click here. If you have any questions about it, feel free to email me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com.

Aug 18

Should I Use BCAAs?

There are so many supplements on the market today that it can make your head spin. Anymore it’s confusing about exactly what you should be using. To make matters worse, there are so many people saying so many different things that it can be overwhelming. In the end, BCAAs are just another supplement added to the massive list. However, BCAA supplements are ones that tend to get a lot of hype, but is there merit to the hype? Yes, I believe there is. I’m going to break down why I feel BCAAs are an absolute must to add to your supplement arsenal.

My BCAA Experiment 

I’ll get into the scientific evidence backing BCAAs in a bit, but first I want to cover my personal experience with BCAAs. I tend to go through different phases of personal fitness. Sometimes I want to gain mass, others I just want to lean out and stay shredded. In order for me to lean out, though, I have to add in quite a bit of high intensity interval training (cardio). When that happens, I will do around 2 resistance workouts and 5 cardio trainings per week. Before ever using BCAAs I would lose a significant amount of strength by doing a lot of high intensity cardio training. For example, I might go from doing sets of 10 of 100 pound dumbbells for bench press down to only being able to do the same amount of reps with just 70s. This would happen almost every single time over the course of a few months. I do have to note, though, that when I am trying to lean out I do fasted workouts, meaning I haven’t eaten anything for hours beforehand. Normally I get up in the morning and work out before eating. When your insulin levels are low, fat loss is accelerated. The only issue with that is that the body tends to use muscle (in addition to body fat) for energy when in a fasted state. This is why I lost so much strength over the course of just a few months. After a ton of research I decided to add in branched chained amino acids during my workouts. Keep in mind that the only thing I changed was the use of BCAAs. My nutrition plan was the same as it was before. After adding in BCAAs and doing another cycle of gaining mass and leaning out, I noticed almost no decrease in strength, even with adding in all the high intensity training and doing the fasted workouts. That is a true testament to BCAAs in itself.

How do BCAAs work and what do they do?

There are basically three main amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. All 3 of them play a role, but in a nutshell they help promote protein synthesis and increase glucose intake in the muscles. When used as a supplement during workouts, they help prevent the breakdown of muscle (to use for energy), reduce fatigue, and kick-start the muscle repair process. What was happening before I started using BCAAs was that my body was drawing from muscle for fuel because of doing the fasted workouts. Once I started using them, muscle breakdown was halted and my body was drawing energy solely from my body fat. I noticed that I maintained strength and experienced a quicker fat loss than I have before.

What BCAAs do I use?

If you follow me, you know how much I hate the majority of supplements because of all the artificial flavors and dyes added. Most companies do the same with BCAAs. I’m the type of guy that will use a supplement even if it tastes like shit if I know it’s good quality. I don’t use supplements for the taste. If you do, maybe you should start thinking about why you use supplements in the first place. But the brand of BCAAs that I’ve been using for quite some time is Scivation Xtend Raw. The flavored versions of Xtend have all those dyes and chemicals I was talking about, but the Raw version does not. But it tastes like crap.

How much do you take and when do you take it?

I put one scoop (12.2 g) into my shaker cup of water, shake it, and sip on it all throughout my workout.

So should you use BCAAs? I think so. All I know is that they have made a big difference in my workouts, muscle loss prevention, and fat loss. Questions? Don’t hesitate to message me on my Facebook page. If you want to try out the brand I use, here is the direct link to it on Amazon. SCIVATION XTEND RAW BCAA

Dec 08

Creatine With Body Beast

After just finishing up with my latest round of Body Beast and getting absolutely ridiculous results (see below), many people are messaging me over on my Facebook page and asking about the supplements I used, specifically creatine. To be honest, I’m writing this post because it’s a hell of a lot easier for me to direct people to a blog rather than writing the same response over and over again. Regardless, I’m going to explain the benefits of creatine, my personal experience with it, and the type of creatine with Body Beast that I used.

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Benefits of Creatine

creatine-with-body-beastFirst, let’s talk about the benefits of creatine. There are a lot of them. For one, it increases muscle size and strength. Every single time that I use creatine I notice a significant increase in strength and size within the first month. And the longer I use it, the stronger and bigger I seem to get. I’ve done many rounds of Body Beast before without the use of creatine and the results seem to be slower than with creatine. But why? It has a lot to do with creatine’s ability to delay fatigue. To make it simple without getting into detail about ATP and ADP, basically it allows you to pump put more reps. This is something that I notice within the first week of creatine supplementation. For example, let’s say that without creatine I can bust out 15 reps doing dumbbell presses and I struggle greatly with that last rep. When I use creatine, I can usually get 2-3 more reps and those extra reps really do make a big difference in results.

In addition, when I use creatine with Body Beast I notice a drastic reduction in recovery time. Normally when I train without creatine supplementation, I am pretty sore for 3-4 days after a workout. However, with creatine the soreness only lasts a day or two at most. There have been a lot of studies that have proof to back this up. Somehow creatine reduces inflammation in the cells and recovery time.

Creatine and Water Retention

When I’m using creatine with Body Beast, I notice quite a bit of water retention. This is actually something that causes worry in a lot of people. Just last week someone messaged me about gaining something like 6 lbs in the first few weeks after starting creatine supplementation. He was worried that he was gaining fat, but that’s not the case.  What happens with creatine is that it draws water into the muscle cells. This is actually a good thing because it helps with protein synthesis, but if you’re someone worried about weight gain or loss, adding 6 lbs in a short amount of time can be alarming. For me personally, I normally gain anywhere from 4-8 lbs within my first few weeks of using creatine. If I’m trying to cut, I will stop using creatine. When I was working hard for my Body Beast results, I stopped using creatine a month and a half before I completed the program. When I use it I feel bloated quite often from the water retention and I lose some definition. If I want that “ripped” look, I stop creatine to reduce water retention and bloat. But if you start using creatine, don’t be alarmed if you gain some water weight within the first few weeks. It’s completely normal. If you want to put on some size and lean out at the same time, I suggest doing something like what I did and stopping the creatine a month or so before you take your “after” photos, especially if you’re doing a 3 month program like Body Beast.

Types of Creatine

There are many different types of creatine and I have tried most of them, but my favorite and the one I have gotten the best results with is creatine monohydrate. Some of the other forms include ethyl-ester, micronized, and kre-alkaline. When using creatine with Body Beast, my go to is monohydrate. This is also the one with the most research behind it. In addition, it’s cheap to purchase. However, you do have to be careful about which brand of creatine monohydrate you use. Some brands are lower quality than others. I use the Performance Line Creatine from Beachbody because I know it’s made with great quality, just like all of their other products.

Loading Phase

There are a lot of different opinions on whether or not you should do a “loading phase,” but personally I don’t see a big reason to, especially if you use creatine monohydrate. I have done it both ways, doing a week long loading phase and not doing one at all and personally, I haven’t noticed any difference between the two options. What is a loading phase? It’s when you increase the amount of creatine you take for 7-10 days and then decrease to a maintenance dose. The theory is that loading saturates the muscle cells with creatine stores. When I do “load,” I take 10g of creatine for a week and then decrease to 5g. For this past round of Body Beast, I did not do a loading phase and just started using 5g daily.

When & How to Take Creatine

Again, there is a lot of different opinions on when and how to take creatine monohydrate. All I can do is share what I have found most effective. The big debate is whether to take it before or after the workout. I have tried it both ways and have even taken 2.5g before the workout and 2.5g after the workout. When using creatine with Body Beast during this past round, though, I took it before my workout. Something that I have always been taught and read up on through various research is that the creatine should be taken with some sort of simple sugar, such as grape juice. The theory is that the creatine binds with the sugar and is transported to the muscle cells quicker and more effectively. Normally I take 5g of creatine with 8 oz of organic grape juice about 20 minutes before my workout and that seems to work best for me.

Is Creatine Safe?

Before I started doing research on creatine, there were always a lot of people who told me that creatine was dangerous to take because it damages the liver and kidneys. There is a lot of scrutiny, but research shows there is no correlation of liver or kidney damage with creatine use.

So there you have it, pretty much everything you need to know about creatine supplementation. If you’re going to use creatine with Body Beast, which I highly recommend, hopefully now you have a good understanding of what creatine is all about, when and how to take it, and why it’s so effective. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Facebook. If you would like me to Coach you through Body Beast or any other Beachbody program, you can make me your Coach by clicking here.

Aug 11

The Greatest Shakeology Review

ShakeologyIt’s been a while since my last Shakeology review so I thought I would give an updated version. It’s important to do so because my view on overall health has changed drastically since being diagnosed with Lyme Disease last year. When you go through what I went through you develop a new appreciation for healthy foods and practices and what it means to be healthy.

I took good health for granted. Yes, I will admit it. I have always been the guy that has been able to go hard in the gym since high school and never really dealt with any major health issues other than a few sports related injuries. I used to try any supplement that was recommended to me without doing any type of research into it. I guess I never really thought about it back then. That led me to using products such as Jack3d, 1MR, White Flood, NO-Explode, and the list goes on and on. Just mentioning those products makes me cringe a little because I now know how shitty they are for me with the added chemicals and artificial coloring and ingredients they contain. But I digress. Stuffing my face with any type of food and supplement caught up to me because I ended up gaining a lot of weight after college. That’s when I discovered P90X and began my journey to become healthy. I ended up losing 25 lbs and getting into the best shape of my life. For the first time I had a legit 6-pack. Even then, though, with all the knowledge I gained from going through the program, I still never truly understood what it meant to actually be healthy. I wasn’t consuming organic food or good quality supplements and constantly used products that contained chemicals and dyes. Then in 2015 my life was flipped upside down.

In early 2015 I started developing some strange symptoms. I ignored them at first, putting them off as just part of getting older, but the more time that went on the more symptoms I developed. At first it was extreme fatigue. The only thing that could get me through the day was 2-3 cups of coffee and the pre-workout supplement I was using at the time, E&E. Even then, though, come 3 or 4 PM I was completely exhausted. Then I developed some anxiety, which isn’t normal for me. Now don’t get me wrong, I dealt with some OCD tendencies when I was a kid, but I got over that pretty quickly and never experienced any full blown panic attacks. Panic attacks were new territory for me and quite frankly, it scared the shit out of me. Then came a flood of symptoms, including extreme pain in my neck, back, and back of head, along with headaches, blurred vision, slurred speech, brain fog, breathing issues, memory problems, and the list goes on and on. I went from doctor to doctor for about 5 months and nobody could figure out what was wrong with me, all while I was continuing to get worse. After spending literally thousands of dollars visiting doctors and doing various testing, I decided to take matters into my own hands. After countless hours of research, I discovered that all of my symptoms lined up with Lyme disease. In October of 2015, I got properly tested for Lyme and it came back positive.

I know I haven’t actually gotten to the Shakeology review part yet, but bear with me because I’m getting there. I had to share that important part of my story to lead into the health changes I made. Moving on. Once I was diagnosed with Lyme I began reading book after book, watching video after video, on how to heal properly from this disease. After hundreds of hours of research, I learned that my lifestyle, meaning the food that I ate, supplements I used (with the exception of Shakeology and E&E), and products that I used and were surrounded by in my home, ultimately led to this disease taking over my body. I thought I was eating healthy by consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grain products, but they weren’t organic or non-GMO. To add to it, the deodorant, shampoo, laundry detergent, and soap I used were all toxic to my body and beating down my immune system. What my doctor and I believe happened is that I have had the disease in my system for many years (I was bit multiple times by ticks when I was younger), and some sort of stressful situation and toxic overload allowed the borrelia bacteria to flourish.

Finally, My Shakeology Review

It was time for major changes. I detoxified my home and body, switched to an all organic Shakeologydiet, eliminated inflammation inducing foods such as gluten and dairy, and consumed only supplements that were only the best of quality. Shakeology has been a part of that equation. I’ve actually been using Shakeology every day for many years going back to 2010. I decided to use it as a meal replacement for lunch back then instead of going out to eat. It made sense because I was spending anywhere from $10-$12 for lunch eating out every day and I actually ended up saving quite a bit of money by making the switch to Shakeology. That sounded like a damn Geico commercial, but it’s true. At $5 a serving, you can do the math. I knew back then it was good for me, but to be honest, I didn’t know just how good it truly was for me. I also had no idea that the supplement would eventually play a major part in my recovery from Lyme Disease.

Now I have to pause for a second for a damn disclaimer because I know there will be some idiots out there who will say something dumb like “Well Josh said Shakeology cures Lyme Disease.” No, I didn’t say that. I said it played a major part in my recovery from the disease, and all that is true based on my own personal experiences. Before using ANY supplement, including Shakeology, talk to your doctor first.

And I continue on. Those of us who deal with Lyme Disease are extremely deficient in the majority of vitamins. When I got tested last year, my vitamin levels were so low that some didn’t even register. That’s because the borrelia like to suck out all the vitamins in their victims. In order to supplement that, I had to start taking a lot of vitamins every day. Since that point I have been using Vitamins D, C, B-Complex, Zinc, Omega 3 Fish-Oil, and yes, Shakeology twice a day. I need the vitamins and nutrients to heal and Shakeology is the best and highest of quality out there that I’ve found for just that. Just do a little bit of research and you won’t be able to argue the fact. Sure, there might be other supplements that are similar to Shakeology, but they aren’t Shakeology. 99% of the time they have artificial coloring, sweeteners, or some other added chemicals. Shakeology is an incredible high quality supplement, and that’s a fact. And just in case you don’t want to take the time to look it up yourself, I have included a picture of the Shakeology ingredients below. I don’t want you taking my word for it, either, in that everything in there is good quality stuff. Rather, do some research into the ingredient list and discover it yourself. In fact, that’s one hell of a habit to get into when looking at food and supplements anyways.

And one other thing. There are going to be some other idiots who say that I’m only talking about Shakeology because I’m a Beachbody Coach. No, I’m giving this Shakeology review because of how great of a product it is and how much it’s impacted my life. Buy Shakeology elsewhere, I don’t give a shit, if that’s your line of thinking. But this is a product that I’m completely passionate and confident about. I’m not going to consume anything that would be detrimental for my health while I’m trying to get better. That’s just stupid. This is a product that works, that’s why I’m talking about it.

But I Can’t Afford Shakeology

I get it, I really do. I’ve been in the position before where I’ve struggled financially. It’s not a fun thing to go through. However, just instantly saying that you can’t afford something is narrow minded. When I first started using Shakeology, I was struggling financially as well, but I found a way to make it work. For me, again, I just replaced my lunches with it and actually ended up saving money every month. But then someone might say, “Well Josh, I don’t go out to eat every day.” But you do eat, right? Of course you do. You can’t look at it as an addition to what you’re already spending, but rather a replacement for what you’re purchasing at the grocery store for the meal. Now don’t get me wrong, Shakeology itself is not a meal replacement. You need to add in a few things to get enough calories to actually make it a meal replacement. For me personally, I add organic almond butter and an organic banana to boost the calories. By the time it’s all said and done, my shake is right around 500 calories, which is enough to keep me full for a few hours until my next meal. It’s $5 a day. Seriously, you can afford it if you really wanted to. How many people spend more than $5 on a damn Starbuck’s drink every day?

Shakeology Ingredients

Below are the Shakeology ingredients for the Cafe Latte (non-Vegan) flavor. The vegan formulas are slightly different.

Cafe Latte Shakeology Ingredients

Shakeology Samples

Fortunately for you, I order a box of Shakeology samples to send out every month. However, I’m not going to send you a sample just for the hell of it. It cost me money to purchase the samples and if I just gave away samples to people who just want something for free and have no plans of purchasing, I’d be out on a lot of money. So if you want a sample, there are a few stipulations. First, I have to be your Coach. If I’m not your Coach and you don’t already have a Team Beachbody account, just click here. If you already have an account, just email me at josh@joshspencerfitness.com. Second, you have to be serious about purchasing if you like the taste. Again, I believe in this stuff and know it works, but 1 sample isn’t going to do shit for you. The sample is for you to taste it, that’s it. If you want to see results with it, you have to use it for at least a month. If I’m your Coach and you’re serious about it, email me (email above) and I will send one out to you. Oh and this picture below is of my banker (now Coach) who started using Shakeology and did NOTHING else but use it for 3 weeks. He didn’t work out or anything.

Rob's Shakeology Results

Additional Shakeology Reviews

In case you still don’t believe a word I’m saying, here are some additional Shakeology reviews from others who have used it.

“I honestly didn’t believe that Shakeology was worth the price. It was a really expensive “protein shake” to me. February 2012, I was traveling for work and decided to give it a shot and save money on meals while away, and I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t really think I felt different. After I ran out, I started feeling sluggish, lacking energy resulting in taking naps after work, and even “irregular”. I ordered another month of Shakeology, and 3-days later I felt great again. Haven’t stopped since March 2012.” – Rob Hale

“My breakfast used to consist of 3 big bowls of cereal a day. And I mean big bowls. If I had milk left over from the first bowl, I poured in more cereal, then I would need more milk. I was eating almost a box of cereal a day! And then I was usually stopping at Starbucks on my way in to work and getting a Venti Café Vanilla “Light” Frappuccino. That’s probably about 1000+ calories between those two things, and then I’d immediately snack once I got into the office. Then I was convinced to try Shakeology. I got regular Chocolate and from day 1 was adding peanut butter to it. I thought I would taste the powder. I thought it would taste grainy. I thought the Chocolate would taste fake. After my first tiny sip I realized I had been very wrong. The Chocolate was rich, there was no powdery or grainy texture, and the added peanut butter made it taste exactly like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. I drank it on my drive into work, right past Starbucks, and I didn’t start to feel hungry until lunch time almost 3 hours later. Before, with my box of cereal and Venti Frappuccino a day, I was spending about $10 on breakfast alone. Now I’m spending less than $5 a day for a meal that keeps me satisfied and full for twice as long.” – Anne Millar 

My Favorite Shakeology Recipe

Personally, I like the Vegan Shakeology. I’ve been sticking with the vegan to minimize consuming dairy (in the whey). I really don’t think that there is that much difference between the vegan VS regular Shakeology other than the texture. Because the vegan uses brown rice protein instead of whey, it’s just a little grainier and mixes slightly different. Taste is just a little different, but not much. Anyways, I use both the vegan Tropical and vegan Chocolate Shakeology. Here are the Shakeology recipes I use for both.

  • 2 Cups Califia Farms Coconut Almond Milk
  • 1 scoop Shakeology
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Almond Butter
  • 1 Organic Banana
  • Ice & Blend

So there you have it, the greatest Shakeology Review. I’m pretty sure I covered everything about this awesome supplement, but if I didn’t and you still have some questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com. If you’re ready to just commit and buy Shakeology, just click on the link. If you end up getting a Challenge Pack, which is Shakeology and a program at a discounted price, let me know and I can add you to my support group I have on Facebook.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Jul 27

Beachbody Performance Energize Review

Beachbody Performance EnergizeMan do I love my pre-workout supplements. You already know that, though, if you’ve been following me for the past 7 years or so. I swear I’ve tested just about every pre-workout under the sun, but there has only been a select few that I have loved and recommended. However, the more I have learned about nutrition, the more I discovered that the ones that were the most effective were also the ones that were the worst for me, such as Jack3d. There was a point about 3 years ago where I decided to do a lot of research on the ingredients of a supplement before purchasing and consuming it just to make sure it was of great quality, and that was when I made the switch to E&E. E&E served me well for a few years, but then a new supplement was recently released, the Beachbody Performance Energize pre-workout supplement. I’ve been using it for a week now, and man, this stuff is incredible! Here is my Energize Review.

Beachbody Performance Energize Review

What I am going to do is go through and rank Energize from 1-10 (10 being the best) in various categories and compare it to E&E.

Ingredients – 10

Like I mentioned above, I research every supplement before I use it because I want to Beachbody Energize Ingredientsmake sure I’m consuming something that is great for me. This is my health and body, and I want to take care of it. If that means I have to spend a little extra money for something that is better quality, then so be it. I either pay for it now or pay for it later with health problems. Anyways, the one thing that I have always loved about most Beachbody supplements is the incredible quality. Take Shakeology, for example, probably the absolute best nutritional shake on the market, and there’s nobody qualified that can argue against that. When they came out with the Beachbody Performance Line, I was hoping that would stay on the same path, and they have definitely done so. Energize has no artificial ingredients, all natural coloring, and has nothing that I have found to be harmful in any way.

Consistency – 9

E&E was pretty granular, and when a little moisture got into the bottle it almost crystallized but the new Energize supplement is much better and different. It is a lot more powdery and mixes extremely well and easy. I just stir it up in a glass with about 8 oz. of water, but you can shake it up as well.

Taste – 9

I might have been one of the only ones, but I have always enjoyed the taste of E&E. It has a tangy lemon taste to it. The only thing I didn’t like about it, though, was a slight bitter aftertaste. When I tried Energize for the first time, I was surprised with how great it tasted. It’s similar to E&E, but has a more natural lemony flavor to it without the bad aftertaste. It goes down easy.

Time to Kick In – 10

Energize SupplementFirst of all, I always take my pre-workout supplements on an empty stomach about 15-20 minutes before the workout. E&E takes about 20-25 minutes for me to start feeling it, but with Energize it only takes about 5-10 minutes. The stuff is seriously potent! Because it has beta-alanine in it, you experience the “tingles” with it. If you haven’t had any experiences with beta-alanine before, once it gets through your system you get a tingly feeling, especially in your ears and face. Anyways, one Energize hits you, it freakin’ hits you hard! You get a boost of energy and are ready for the workout.

Effect During Workout – 10

One of the issues I’ve had in the past with various supplements is how fast they wear off, sometimes even as soon as in the middle of the workout, which obviously nobody wants. The goal with a pre-workout supplement is to get a great boost of energy that lasts the entire workout, allowing you to push harder and get more reps. Energize does just that and then some. When I took it for the first time, I couldn’t believe the energy I had during the entire workout and how many reps I was able to get. There were some exercises that I was able to get 2-3 reps past my normal amount. To say that this stuff is legit is an understatement!

Effect Post-Workout – 9

One of my favorite pre-workout supplements in the past, even though it wasn’t good for me, was 1MR. One of the issues I had with it, though, was the terrible crash that I would experience afterwards. I would have an insane amount of energy during the workout, but felt totally exhausted for the remainder of the day. On top of that, I couldn’t stop sweating with it, to the point where I had to sometimes change my shirts multiple times per day. I never experienced any of that with the Beachbody Performance Energize supplement. The high energy feeling lasted a lot longer than I expected, around 4-5 hours, but it wasn’t to the point where I felt jittery or anything like that. It just felt like I had more energy. After the energy wore off, I never experienced any type of crash.

I don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited for a supplement before, with the only exception being Shakeology. In all honesty, I was a little nervous about how effective Energize would be, but Beachbody outdid themselves and created an incredible, high quality pre-workout supplement. I’m looking forward to continuing to use Energize as my go-to energy supplement. I hope you enjoyed my Beachbody Performance Energize Review, and if you have any questions whatsoever, make sure you comment below.

How do you get ENERGIZE? Click here! 

Jul 22

The 5 Best Ways to Gain Mass

best ways to gain massOver the years of being involved in the fitness community, I have discovered not only the best ways to lose weight, but also the best ways to gain mass. How do I know? I have done both myself. I constantly go from one goal to the other just so I can mix things up and stay motivated. At my lowest weight I was down to 154 lbs (I’m 5’7″) and at my heaviest I was right around 183 lbs, and that was right after 90 days of focusing on building mass using a program called Body Beast. In this post I’m going to share with you some things that I feel are very important when you’re trying to put on weight.

How to Gain Weight and Build Mass

(1) Calorie Surplus. If you’re trying to gain mass, you need to have a calorie surplus each day, not a calorie deficit. If you’re skinny and looking to put on weight, there’s a great chance that your metabolism is through the roof, and that just means that you will have to take in a TON of calories if you’re trying to build muscle. I have coached people over the years who have needed in excess of 6,000 calories per day just so that they can get that caloric surplus. With my body type, though, all I need is right around 3,000 calories per day. Really, the only way to tell if you are taking in enough or not is by trial and error. There are tools that allow you to calculate how many calories you should be taking in, but they can be inaccurate if your metabolism is super fast or not. If you are going by trial and error,  you should be able to tell if you are taking in enough by about 2-3 weeks into the routine.

(2) Eat Healthy Calories. When people are looking for the best ways to gain mass, they will come across quite a few people who say that they should just eat whatever they want, not worrying about whether or not it’s healthy for them, just so that they can get in the calories each day. In my opinion, this isn’t the proper route to take. If you want to build muscle, you need to feed it with the proper vitamins and nutrients, and the only way to do so is by taking in healthy food and supplements. Fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, lean steaks, eggs, whole grains, nuts, are good foods to eat when trying to gain weight and build muscle.

(3) Get Enough Protein. It’s interesting because there are quite a few theories out there about how much protein you should take in, but I have always been able to gain mass by taking in a fat/carbs/protein ratio of around 20/40/40. If you want to keep track of that, My Fitness Pal is a great website and they have a great iPhone app as well. Anyways, if I’m taking in a 20/40/40 ratio and about 3,000 calories per day, that’s 1,200 calories per day that are coming from protein. In my opinion, that’s enough, and I’m only saying that from experience. Regardless of what I think, though, always follow what the Nutrition Guide (and doctor) recommends for protein intake for the program you’re using.

(4) Use the Right Supplements. You’ve got to take in the proper supplements if you’re looking for the best ways to gain mass. The supplements that I use when I’m trying to put on muscle, which are also the Body Beast supplements, are whey protein, Suma, creatine monohydrate, Shakeology, and a post workout recovery drink. However, there are many people who like to also use mass gainers and protein bars as well. As far as when to take the supplements, the Suma and creatine monohydrate (5g) are pre-workout supplements, and I usually take them about 20 minutes before my workout. When you do take the creatine, though, make sure you mix it with non-acidic fruit juice. Post workout I will either have a high calorie Shakeology shake, which I usually blend with a banana, organic peanut butter, almond milk, and raw honey, or I will mix together some whey protein with the Recovery Formula or Fuel Shot (Body Beast brand). I will also take 2-3 protein shakes per day as well to make sure I get in the proper amount of protein.

(5) Do the Right Workouts. If you want to build mass, you have to make sure you’re doing the proper workout routines. With Body Beast, you do a lot of supersets, giant sets, and drop sets, and are sticking to 8, 12, and 15 reps. You will need to make sure that you either have enough weights at home or at least have access to a gym. You’re not going to gain mass by doing 60 reps with 10 lbs dumbbells! It’s important to focus on each muscle group and make sure you have the proper amount of rest as well. If you work out your shoulders today, for example, you need to give them at least 48 hours rest to heal before working them again. Some of the exercises that are important to do when trying to gain mass are regular bench press, incline press, chest flys, squats, lunges, curls, tricep extensions, shoulder presses, shoulder flys, shrugs, etc. For a complete 90 day routine, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you get Body Beast, which has these exercises and a lot more!

I hope you found these best ways to gain mass helpful, and remember, these are the things that I have personally done to gain mass. I ended up gaining about 15 lbs in 90 days by using the Body Beast program! If you do end up getting the program, be sure to follow the workout schedule, diet plan, and recommended supplements. If you follow it properly, you should be able to gain mass as well!

Jun 25

The New Vanilla Shakeology!

Vanilla ShakeologyI remember at Summit a few years ago Carl Daikeler, CEO of Beachbody, saying that Vanilla Shakeology just wasn’t going to happen. Why? Because it’s extremely difficult to get an ORGANIC vanilla flavor without cutting corners in the quality of the product. That’s not who we are or what Beachbody is all about. We are about creating products that are as good and healthy for you as you can possibly get! We are about changing lives. A few days ago, though, news broke that Beachbody FINALLY figured out a way to make Vanilla happen, and they had to travel around the world to discover it. In fact, the only place that they could find that produced a vanilla bean with the kind of quality that Beachbody wanted was in Madagascar. Now, we have a new flavor of Shakeology, and boy is it good!

What is Shakeology?

Before I get into one of my favorite recipes for the new vanilla flavor, what the heck is it? It’s a meal replacement shake that I’ve been taking every day for the past 3 years. Before I started taking it, though, I thought it was pretty expensive and that I couldn’t make it fit into my budget, but a friend of mine explained that if you use it how it’s supposed to be used, as a meal replacement, it will justify the cost. I then started replacing my lunches with it, and actually ended up SAVING about $6 per meal, $120 per month! Shakeology is literally the healthiest shake that you can possibly drink, having NOTHING bad for it in you. Don’t believe me, check the ingredient list yourself. You talk about high quality, this tops the list. Anyways, in addition to using it as a meal replacement, I’ve been using it lately as a post workout supplement as well, and have seen the best results I’ve ever seen since then. I am probably as lean as I was back after my first round of P90X, but am 13 lbs heavier because of the muscle mass I’ve added on. I’m convinced it’s because I’m feeding my muscles with the proper nutrients, protein, and carbs that’s in Shakeology.

Because I got excellent results from it, I started recommending it to all my friends, family, and the people that I coach (if I’m not your Coach yet, click here, it’s free to sign up). The majority of the people who have used it CONSISTENTLY (not just one day or week) has experienced some sort of results from it. For example, my dad lost 35 lbs, mom 15 lbs, sister 25 lbs, and wife 35 lbs, all from using it on a daily basis. I actually lost about 15 lbs or so during my first month of using it, and since then I’ve been hooked! Thousands (yes, thousands) of people I know have tried and been using it every day just like me. It’s something that WORKS, and that’s why I recommend it so much.

My Favorite Vanilla Recipe

Like I said, Beachbody just released the new Vanilla Shakeology, and I’ll tell you what, this stuff is GOOD! I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but with the recipe that I used, I’m more than thrilled, and can’t wait to start using this along with my other flavors. Anyways, here’s my favorite recipe to use with the vanilla. Make sure you blend these up! 🙂

  • 8 oz. unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 serving Vanilla Shakeology
  • 1 teaspoon raw local Honey
  • 1 tablespoon organic Peanut Butter
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 cup of Ice

What about Vanilla Shakeology samples? Yeah, I’ve got those too. We wanted to be one of the first to send out samples of the new flavor, so we decided to purchase a box of samples right there at the Beachbody Coach Summit and are ready to send them out. However, there are a few requirements first!

  1. I have to be your Beachbody Coach! If not, click here.
  2. You have to be SERIOUS about purchasing if you like the taste! I have no issue with sending out the sample, but if you don’t plan on purchasing if you like the taste, please don’t request one because it does cost me about $10 to send out a sample. This is something that I’m confident will work for you because of how it did for me, my family, friends, and the other people I coach, so please only request one if you’re really looking to make a change in your health! To request one, either contact me on my Facebook Page or email me at coachspence8@yahoo.com.

Vanilla Shakeology is definitely one of my new favorite flavors in addition to the Tropical and Chocolate Vegan, and I’m really looking forward to incorporating it into my diet. It seriously rocks, and I’m very impressed with it’s natural vanilla taste. Shakeology is truly amazing, and I’m so glad that Beachbody came out with such a high quality product!

May 09

P90X Recovery Formula Review

p90x recovery drink reviewFor the past 5 years health and nutrition have been my life. I went through P90X, got AMAZING P90X results, decided to become a Beachbody Coach, and have been obsessed ever since! Because of that obsession, I constantly want to learn more about health a fitness, including certain diets, certain foods, and specific supplements that are and aren’t healthy for you. I have tried many, many different supplements, and there are some I recommend and some I don’t. The P90X Recovery Formula is one that I DEFINITELY recommend, and I hope you find this review helpful!

P90X Recovery Drink

There are some supplements that I have been taking for years, the P90X Recovery Formula is one of them (Here is another supplement I recommend). Why? What’s the benefit of it? It’s absolutely CRUCIAL that you have proper muscle recovery after a workout, and one way to do so is by taking a post workout supplement within the hour after you finish. When you work out, you deplete glycogen stores, especially if you have an intense work like P90X or Insanity, and it’s important that you replenish those glycogen stores, along with provide the muscles with protein and other essential vitamins to aid in the recovery and repair process. I like the Recovery Formula the best because (1) there aren’t terrible ingredients in it, (2) I have always loved the flavor, and (3) It’s WORKED for me!

If you get anything out of this P90X Recovery Formula Review, I hope it’s that you need to do RESEARCH on each supplement before you use it. There are a lot of supplements out there that claim to be healthy, but really aren’t. Don’t just check the fat, carbs, and protein content either, make sure you thoroughly go through the ingredient list. You’d be surprised as to what some companies put in their supplements! Anyways, I have found that the P90X Recovery Drink has helped quite a bit with my recovery time and the amount of soreness I feel a few days after. Before I used the Recovery Drink, it used to take me sometimes 4-5 days to recover from an intense workout, but since I have used it that time seems to have gone down significantly. Also, the flavor is an orange cream sickle taste, but in all honesty, it used to taste better before the reformulation. The P90X Recovery Formula used to contain fructose (NOT high fructose corn syrup. BIG DIFFERENCE!), but they replaced that with a healthier natural sugar, dextrose, and the flavor sort of got lost a little. However, it’s not enough to cause me to stop taking it. In my opinion, it’s still pretty decent!

I hope you found my P90X Recovery Formula review helpful, and if you have any questions, you’re always welcome to reach out to me. Oh and don’t forget to “LIKE” my Facebook Page, where I always post helpful diet, workout, and motivation tips!

Apr 15

Top Post Workout Supplements

top post workout supplementsFor the past 5 years I have been doing a lot of research and have been trying to figure out the top post workout supplements. Some have worked, some haven’t. Some taste good, some don’t. Some have better quality than others. Me personally, I’m a quality kind of guy. I won’t take a supplement if the quality is crap, and believe me, there are a LOT of them out there! So many companies claim their products to be healthy for you, but in reality there are a lot of hidden and potentially dangerous ingredients in them. Anyways, I talked about the top preworkout supplements a few weeks back, and now I’m going to focus some attention on what I feel are the top supplements to take after your workout.

First and foremost, though, before you purchase ANY supplements, MAKE SURE you do your research on the company and the ingredients listed on the supplement before you purchase anything. Don’t take my word or anyone else’s word for it, and go out and find out for yourself if what you’re about to purchase is truly healthy or not. Hopefully you’re like me and pay close attention to the quality of the products you consume because, well, this is your body and health we’re talking about! You might look and feel alright, but on the inside you could be doing some damage if you’re not taking in post workout supplements with some bad ingredients in them.

Shakeology ReviewIf you don’t take anything post workout, it’s about time you start. After you work out you have about an hour time span to eat food or take a supplement that will help with recovery. I like taking supplements so that I don’t have to prepare actual meals, but others are different. Ideally, you want something that has a good balance of both good protein and simple carbohydrates. Why simple carbs? Because they are digested quickly. When you work out, you deplete your glycogen stores, and it’s important that you take in simple carbs so that you replenish those stores, but they also serve as carriers of the protein to the muscle cells as well. The quicker you replenish the stores and get the protein to the muscles post workout, the quicker they can start repairing themselves. Also, look for a post workout supplement that contains glutamine as well, which has been shown in studies to aid in the muscle repair process.

What are my top post workout supplements? Glad you asked. I have 2 of them, and I switch back and forth quite often. One actually isn’t made to be a post workout supplement, but rather a meal replacement, but because of all the vitamins and nutrients and the balance of protein and carbs, it serves as an excellent post workout supplement as well. That supplement is Shakeology. I’m not going to go into the details of what’s in Shakeology because I would have to write a dang book because of all the ingredients, but it’s about as healthy of a supplement that you can get. (Nothing in it is bad for you, period. If you want to check out all the details about it, click here). When I make my Shakeology post workout, I blend it up with almond milk, organic peanut butter, and a banana just to boost the calories quite a bit. However, it’s prefect as it is for post workout recovery if you just want to add water and shake it up. I am always sending out Shakeology samples, and if you’d like one, just send me an email.

Next is the post workout supplement that I have been taking for about 5 years now, and that’s the P90X Recovery Formula. I like the Recovery Formula because it has exactly what I need post workout for proper recovery. It contains a 4:1 carb to protein ratio, along with excellent ingredients to repair damaged muscle, such as creatine, arginine, and glutamine. I really like the taste of it as well. It sort of tastes like an orange cream-sickle, and all I do with it is stick some ice in a shaker cup and shake it up. You could also blend it up with some whey protein if you would like some additional protein, which is something I used to do quite often in the past. It’s simple, quick, and does its job.

When it comes to the top post workout supplements, those are the two that I take and recommend. They both rock, and have helped tremendously with my results over the years. I hope from this post I was able to show you the importance of taking a supplement after your workout because if you don’t, you can really slow down the repair process. Supplements DO HELP with your results! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at coachspence8@yahoo.com. I’ll be glad to help!

Mar 04

Body Beast Supplements

Body Beast Supplements

Because I have gone through Body Beast and got some pretty drastic Body Beast results, a lot of people have been listening to my recommendation and starting the program themselves and using the Body Beast supplements. First, though, for a little recap, I went through Beachbody’s new mass gaining program called Body Beast during the Summer/Fall of 2012, and ended up gaining about 15 lbs in 90 days! I followed the diet pretty closely and took all of the recommended Body Beast supplements, the Base Shake, Fuel Shot, Suma, and creatine. Anyways, since many of the people that I coach (make me your coach!) have started the program, most of the questions have been revolving around the supplements, so that’s what this post is going to focus on.

The Beast Supplements

When I first purchased the program, I ended up getting the Body Beast with Beast Stack, which comes with all 4 of the recommended Body Beast supplements. The first of those supplements I’ll spend some time on is the creatine monohydrate.  Beachbody calls it the M.A.X. Muscle Acceleration Xtreme Creatine, but it’s basically just creatine monohydrate without all the added crap that a lot of other brands like to add into it. I’ve used creatine monohydrate in the past, and it’s worked very well for me, but I’ve always had some water retention from it, which is actually pretty normal. However, water retention or not, every time I use it I notice some DRASTIC muscle and strength gains in a pretty short amount of time! I will switch off and on taking it, though, according to what my current goals are. If I want to lean out, I stay away from it, but if I want to put on some muscle, that’s when I’ll use it. When do I take it? Usually I take 2.5 grams of it stirred in with 8 oz of natural no sugar added non-acidic fruit juice (apple or grape) about 20-25 minutes before my workout. From doing research, I learned that if you use a high acidic fruit juice, it will break down the creatine and it won’t be as effective. I then do the exact same combination (2.5 g with non-adicid fruit juice) after my workout as well.

The next of the Body Beast supplements is the Fuel Shot. The Fuel Shot is pretty much a post workout recovery drink, and is very similar to the P90X Recovery Formula. It contains simple carbs that help replenish the glycogen stores after you have an intense workout. I usually just mix it in with my Base Shake right after my workout, and that’s the next one I’ll talk about. The Base Shake is a protein supplement that I guess would be similar to your typical whey protein, but again, without the added crap to it. Anymore, too many companies will add a lot of crap ingredients to make the protein taste better. It might taste good, but who knows what it’s doing to your insides. Companies tick me off, but that’s a whole other post. Anyways, I would actually take the Base Shake right after my workout and occasionally blend it with my Shakeology for lunch as well. The last of the Beast supplements is the Suma pills, and I took those with my creatine pre-workout. I do know that taking both the Suma and the creatine seemed to give me enough energy to get through my workouts, and I always had great “pumps” during them as well. I also never really seemed to get too fatigued either. To this day, it doesn’t matter what my current goals are, I still use the Suma pills.

As you probably know from my other blog posts, I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to do research on every supplement before you purchase it! Don’t take my word or anyone else’s word for it, and do yourself a favor and find out what you’re ingesting. The majority of the time you will be SHOCKED to find what’s in the supplements you use! I know I was, and it stopped me from taking many of the supplements that I used to take, like Jack3d and certain whey proteins. Remember, it’s not worth consuming something if it has potential to be harmful. I’m a huge believer in only taking quality supplements, and I hope that you are or will be as well. BE SMART about what you purchase!

When it all comes down to it, I do believe that these Body Beast supplements helped with my results! In fact, I know they did. I was stronger and bulkier than I have ever been before. If you have any questions about the supplements I mentioned above, feel free to reach out to me. Also, before you use ANY supplements, always consult your doctor to make sure they are safe for you! I’ve never had any issues with them, but hey, you never know.