Coach Chris’s “Must Have” list.
I have put together a list of items that are, in my opinion, critical to maximizing my results with many of the Beachbody programs. I used each of them several times per week, if not every day. I hope this list helps you weed through all of the available equipment and supplements to determine what best meets your needs … and your budget! (Please don’t feel like I’m giving you a sale pitch. These are all items I feel really work and are worth the $$ to me, but my budget may be different than yours)
1) Pullup Bar with multiple hand positions = The workouts in P90X involve a variety of pullups, and having a good, seven position pullup bar will help you maximize this portion of your workout. Plus, you’ll be using it a lot so you’ll want a sturdy one that will last. I bought one from Beachbody pull up bar. The Beachbody one is built a little better can handle more weight. If you are pretty big I would get the Beachbody one as it is built with better material. If you are trying to keep the cost down, then chose the Iron Gym one from Walmart.com
2) Adjustable Dumbbells = I know the exercises can be done with bands, but free weights will definitely maximize your results. I got the Powerblock U-90 model which were expensive (close to $400) but are nice, but a little bulky. They are expandable so I can add a kit to make them more weight. There is a cheaper option of Lifesmart Adjustable Dumbbells that are about $220 that I have heard work pretty nicely as well.
3) PowerStands = These are more expensive ($39) than the cheap plastic pushup bars you get at the store, but they are very stable and very durable. They won’t tip over shake when you are pushing hard for those last reps. They also put your wrists in the correct position to prevent joint problems. I love my PowerStands. They take my pushups to the next level, and they will last forever! You can find them HERE.
4) Yoga Mat = Get one of these for Ab Ripper X. If you try to do a bunch of situps with your tailbone directly on the floor, you’ll regret it! Christine bought one at Target for cheap and it is extremely thick and comfy.
5) Shakeology = This is by far my favorite Beachbody nutritional product (in fact, it’s the only one on my “Must Have” list). I gave it a trial run just to see what the hype was about (they offer a 30 day guarantee so you have nothing to lose) so I signed up for home direct and have been using it EVERY day since. Since it is a meal replacement shake it replaced food I was purchasing so it really wasn’t an additional cost to me. Shakeology costs $4 per day. On the days I used to go out to eat for lunch I would spend $7-10 so Shakeology helped me actually start saving money! Best of all the nutrition I get from Shakeology is much better than anything I have ever eaten. There seem to be 2 types of people when it comes to Shakeology – those who haven’t tried it and are skeptical about the price, and those who have tried it and now rave about it. It has hundreds of nutrients and supplements in it, so it is not a comparison to protein powder. You’ll have to decide if it’s in your budget or not, but to me it’s worth every penny and then some. To learn more, click here.
6) Protein Powder = You will need to consume a lot of protein to fuel your muscles. A good quality protein powder is critical to giving you what your body needs. Beachbody sells Whey protein powder, but I primarily use Sunwarrior protein. It is a plant based protein so it is more “efficient” than whey. Before I switched to Sunwarrior, I used BlueBonnet Whey Protein Isolate as it is very natural, not denatured by high heat like a lot of proteins, and no fillers
7) Myfitnesspal (or another similar calorie tracking system) = I love Myfitnesspal. It’s a free iPhone app that tells me exactly where I’m at on my nutrition. Myfitnesspal is not as good on the Droid as it does not give you ratio percentages, so if you have a Droid or Blackberry I would recommend Tap&Track. I also have used fitday.com and the fitday mobile app. Following the nutrition guide is critical to getting great results, and tracking your calories, protein, carbs, and fat will help you do that. In a study, people who “tried to eat healthy” actually consumed 50% more calories than people who actually tracked their calories. Put in the effort to do this!!! Please!!
8) Workout Sheets = These are easy and free, but you’ve got to keep track of your weight and reps on everything. How else will you monitor your progress and know how to push yourself to the max? I have some workout sheets in my downloads section
10) Glutamine = This supplement is also naturally occurring in our bodies, and during intense exercise our glutamine stores are depleted, so replacing glutamine is important to giving our muscles what they need to repair themselves. **Note you can add a large handful of baby spinach to your Shakeology and it is a natural source for Glutamine and you can’t taste it in the shake.
11) Heart Rate Monitor = You can’t track how hard your pushing yourself unless you get a heart rate monitor. With a heart rate monitor you will know exactly how hard you are going or if you need to go harder, this will help you push yourself to the MAX and get the BEST results.