Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What to drink during a workout

It's only logical that while you are exercising, you will tend to sweat, which means you are not only losing water, but also electrolytes. Now, most people who have done some exercising at some stage or another have probably heard that you need to replenish electrolytes during and after your exercising, but the thing is, me included, most people don't really know what that actually means.

Some research (that sounds really grand on my part, I just Googled it...) revealed just what those things are. As you probably guess, it has something to do with electricity - to some extent hehe.

Here is a quote from How Stuff Works' website (click here for that page):
Electrolytes are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. Your kidneys work to keep the electrolyte concentrations in your blood constant despite changes in your body. For example, when you exercise heavily, you lose electrolytes in your sweat, particularly sodium and potassium. These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids constant. So, many sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them. They also have sugar and flavorings to provide your body with extra energy and to make the drink taste better.
That pages also mentioned that our body fluids, like blood, plasma and the fluid between our cells are much like seawater, containing a high concentration of sodium chloride (aka table salt).

Anyway, it comes down to the fact that sweating causes you to lose electrolytes, and it turns out they're pretty important for proper cell and muscle function. Here is a list (also thanks to Google) of some things that can happen if you run out:

  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Giddiness, fainting
  • Confusion
  • Bad temper
I've experienced nausea on quite a few occasions, and usually having a isotonic drink while I'm working out helps for that not to happen.

Now, Herbalife has 3 amazing products which helps a great deal with not only replacing lost electrolytes, but also energy while working out.

Herbalife 24 Hydrate

This is a great everyday product, as it has almost no calories. Each serving, which is 500ml by the way, is only 13 calories, and can literally be used by anyone at any time (yes, even for people who are not exercising!). It's got a great, subtle citrus flavour. It is also high in Vitamin C, which is a potent anti-oxidant. A box has 20 sachets, so enough for about a month if you take one serving per day during the week.

See Dr John Heiss in the video below explaining about Hydrate:

Click here if you want to Order Hydrate

H3O Pro

H3O Pro has been with Herbalife for much longer than the 24 range of products, but it is still an amazing product. Above, where I mentioned that I used to get nauseous when working out at the gym, I just always made sure I have some H3O with me, then I don't experience nausea at all.

There are 10 sachets in a box, and it also has a great lemony flavour. This product is the best when used during your workouts, and is roughly 130 calories per serving. It too has various anti-oxidants, replaces electrolytes and gives you extra energy to enhance your workout.

Click here to Order H3O Pro

Herbalife 24 Prolong

This is the big kahuna of the Herbalife Sports Drink range. Prolong was created by Dr John Heiss, which impressed Herbalife's CEO Michael O. Johnson so much, that he asked Dr Heiss to come and develop the best sports nutritional range of products for Herbalife the world has ever seen:

My father-in-law swears by his Prolong, and just completed his 9th Argus in March (and he's 61 years old!), in an amazing time of 3 hours 41 minutes. During his training, and the actual event, he mostly used Prolong for sustained energy.

Here is a summary of what Prolong provides the body:
  • Dual-source carbohydrate blend facilitates caloric utilization
  • Whey protein isolate helps reduce muscle breakdown
  • 850 mg electrolytes support proper muscle function
  • B Vitamins support carbohydrate metabolism
  • 500% DV Vitamin C helps combat free radicals
It not only helps with immediate energy, but also with sustained energy while you are working out. Each serving is 125 - 300 calories, and should basically only be used for high intensity or lengthy workouts.

Here is Dr Heiss briefly explaining about Prolong:

Click here to Order Prolong

Here is also a picture I took of a slide at a big presentation, which sums up when you should use which of the above:

Week 5 was a bust :(

I'm ashamed to admit, week 5 I totally fell off the wagon. I started with a bang last week, and did a full 2 days of exercises, and then Easter weekend hit and all went straight down the drain. Alas, I didn't do anything for the remainder of week 5.

But, I'm happy to report I'm back in it again, I started yesterday with my second attempt at week 5, and so far it's going well! I did my exercises both yesterday and today, and I look forward to finishing this week with a bang!

Also, the new Virgin Active gym literally down the road from us has FINALLY opened its doors to the public, so I can finally start going to that again. For some or other weird reason I seem to be able to jog on a treadmill much more easily than on the road. Anyway, will hit the gym every now and then too!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 5 has started

I just finished the first exercise for week 5. Week 4 was the rest week, which only consisted out of exercising 3 days in the week instead of 5, but I have to admit, I only exercised 2 of those days. At least it's 200% better than what I used to do before starting with this program.

So, I'm now in the second half of phase 1. I'm also looking forward to Thursday, which will be 4 weeks after I did my first body analysis, I'm very keen on seeing my results!

Anyway, my recovery shake this morning is something really nice! Here is the combination I concocted:

  • 125ml Soy Milk
  • 3x Scoops of Herbalife Formula 1 Healthy Meal, Vanilla Flavour
  • 3x huge tablespoons of fat free Strawberry Yogurt (Pick n Pay's brand is my favourite)
  • 100ml Blackcurrant juice (here in South Africa we get Liquifruit, I used that)
  • A little bit of water just to thin it out a bit (this is optional of course)
Shake it up real good, and enjoy! I'm confident that I got all my vitamins, minerals, good proteins and carbs in for a kickass morning.

If you also have a nice recipe, please share it by leaving a comment below :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Week 4, a rest week

I'm 2 thirds through week 4, which is one of the 2 rest weeks in phase 1. It has exercising on 3 days, instead of 5, where you do one metabolic exercise, and the remaining 2 is up to you to decide on which of the other exercises you want to do.

I did Shoulder Stabilization, and haven't decided on the 3rd one yet, will probably be total body integration :)

Enjoying the rest week, but looking forward to starting the 2nd half of phase 1.

Cheers for now, and have a kickass weekend!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Week 3 Done and Dusted

I'm happy to report that I completed week 3 as well. I just want to mention, however, that I skipped Friday for some reason (the day just completely got away from me), so I did Friday's exercises (Metabolic 1) on Saturday, with the idea of doing Saturday's exercises on Sunday (which is Total Body Integration). Sunday also turned out to be a dud. I did get to do that yesterday though, so I still managed to complete week 3 successfully :D

My wife also joined in yesterday with the Total Body Integration (lots of squats and planking exercises) and today I can really feel that I've worked my glutes!

For good measure, I have also been drinking lots of Herbalife's Instant Herbal Beverage (we also call it Thermo) - at least 4 cups a day (I actually make it with cold water and gulp it down as quickly as I can!). It is well known for the fact that it burns between 60 and 80 calories per cup (it generates heat in the body they say...), which is an awesome fat burning tea. Needless to say, I also have loads of energy thanks to the tea!

I almost did my full body analysis last week again, but decided to wait until the end of the month like I initially planned. I cannot wait to see the results!

I started week 4 officially today, which is a rest week (that's how the program works, 3 phases of 8 weeks each, and every 4th week is a rest week) - so I'm almost halfway through phase 1, and I'm now in the rest week. I'm not doing anything today, and tomorrow I'll be doing the Metabolic 1 exercises.

They say it is super important, even for absolute pro athletes, to have rest days in each week, and a rest week in each 4 week cycle.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The 24 Fit DVD Coaches

I haven't properly introduced the two coaches in the Herbalife 24 Fit DVD Workout Series.

Samantha Clayton
Sam is an athlete and fitness instructor. She's a Olympic level sprinter, and took part in the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney, where she did the 200m sprint, as well as the 4x100m relay:

Here are some links:

Samantha Clayton's website
Samantha Clayton on Facebook
Samantha Clayton on Twitter

Tom Holland
Tom is an exercise physiologist, and the author of various books and video workouts. He's also an elite endurance athlete, and has run over 50 marathons, and is a 19-time Ironman triathlete and has won several bodybuilding awards.

Here are some links for Tom's sites and social media:

Tom Holland's website
Tom Holland on Twitter
Tom Holland on Facebook

As you can see, some awesome experience for the series! Having lots of fun with it!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Halfway through week 3

This morning I did my weekly weigh in, and came down 0.6kg (just over a pound) since last week. I must admit, I'm a bit disappointed in that, because I've been really good with my eating and dieting this week. But, I'm going to try and not let it discourage me too much. At least it's a positive (or should I rather say negative?) result :)

I once again did the shoulder stabilization exercises this morning - together with day 5, this is one of the tougher exercises of the week. It focuses on the small muscles around your shoulders, and ending the session with push-ups doesn't help either! My whole upper body is now shaking hehe - at least it feels like I actually did something!

It's also the only exercise in the first phase that is done by Tom and not Sam - hehe, my favourite quote from this workout is "Enough of that!".

Anyway, after weighing I wasn't all too pleased with my measly 0.6kg, but now after the workout I have decided to just carry on what I'm doing. The 24 Fit DVD series is a 24 week regimen after all, and it's only been 2 and a half weeks so far.

I guess I must also keep in mind that phase 1 focuses on smaller muscles, so I shouldn't realistically expect much in terms of weight loss. I'm now going to have a Rebuild Strength as a recovery shake, always look forward to that, they taste amazing, and you just mix it with water!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Week 3

I did day 1's exercises this morning - AFTER VISITING THE DENTIST!! Just shows you how dedicated I am to get through the whole 24 weeks hey :)

Once again it went well, I'm slowly starting to do what the level 2 girl is doing on screen. I'm also happy to report that this exercise program has gotten me more motivated to eat much better again. Initially, I lost 11kg in 12 weeks, after which my weight loss slowed down a bit, but after that I dropped another 5kg in about 4-5 months. Not shabby at all, considering us going back to relative normal eating (specifically eating out more and so on...).

So, I've been on the 16kg mark for quite a while, and actually gained a few kilos (luckily not everything back again) over the last year. We are excellent examples of comfort eaters, the wife and I, so whenever we have a crappy day, we indulge with Death by Chocolate ice creams, or are too lazy to prepare decent food, so we order take aways.

Anyway, since I started doing the exercise thing properly with the Herbalife 24 Fit DVD series, I decided to start eating better as well. I have a clear goal this time around - I finally want to hit my goal weight (which at this stage is around 75kg) - but the weight for me isn't the most important thing. If I feel good and am healthy, and the Tanita readings are satisfactory for me (for example, my first target is to get my body fat percentage under 20%, my last Tanita reading was just under 23%), then I won't really mind at which weight I am.

That is also something we always tell our customers - if they ask what their ideal weight is for their height and body structure, then I reply with it not being about how much you weigh, but how you look and feel for yourself. If my body fat percentage was 15%, and I weighed 100kg because of a high muscle mass, then I wouldn't be bothered about the scale at all. In the end, it's about being healthy and feeling good.

I'll end this post with one last thought - at my first Herbalife Extravaganza in 2011, one of the Herbalife doctors (can't remember his name I'm sorry to admit...) mentioned something that really stuck with me - he said: "Everybody dies in the end, but there is a huge difference between dying in bad health, and dying in good health." That is such a true statement, we'll all die one day, but I'd much rather die in GOOD health than in bad health, and luckily a lot of how we age is in our own hands. And it all starts with you wanting to make a change - that is exactly the same way I started. I made the decision, and boy am I glad I did!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Week 2 done and dusted

This morning I had an early appointment, so I didn't exercise my usual time, which is early morning before the day begins - and to be honest, I almost didn't get around to it. But, I'm happy to report that I just finished my exercises a couple of minutes ago (started around 17:00). Late, I know, but rather late than never!

The fifth day of phase 1 is by far the toughest one of the bunch, good thing that the 2 days after that are rest days! The planking at the end is especially hard, and you can really feel your body fighting just to keep you up! But, I prevailed, and that puts week 2 in the done and dusted category. I'm now having a nice Rebuild Strength as a recovery drink, which will help me build, repair and gain muscle!

Looking forward to week 3!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Week 2 Shoulders again

This morning I did the shoulder exercises again, and now I can hardly type on my pc. I still cannot believe how effective the exercises are - from the sideline they look like nothing much really, but when you actually do them, you really start feeling the burn as they say!

I also weighed myself this morning, only dropped 200 grams since last week, but I must admit, as far as my eating went over the last week, I'm not surprised at all :) Our good friend had a birthday party and I had a burger that would put to shame the Heart Attack Grill in the US (mmm, maybe a slight exaggeration, but still, quite hefty for South Africa), and we splurged with lots of sweets and chocolates over the last couple of days too. So given all that, I'm happy about the 0.2kg I've come down.

I also got me some Hydrate and Rebuild Strength - Hydrate is an excellent workout drink, as it contains almost no calories, and Rebuild Strength is the best after workout recovery shake on the market. Plus it tasted phenomenal! I actually mix it with my regular Formala 1 Herbalife shake (chocolate flavour) and it's really good! It's so good, that I'd do a workout just so I can have that! :)

Anyway, more than halfway through week 2, and still going strong - happy to report that I'm actually sticking to this one - something out of the ordinary for me!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Herbalife 24 Range: Formula 1 Sport

Herbalife is known for their amazing nutritious meal replacement shakes, the Formula 1. It is the secret to their success over the last 33 years, and is a perfectly balanced meal, giving you a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, while still magically keeping the calories at a very low 220.

Here is a chart of what you get with each Herbalife Formula 1 Shake:

(Click on the image to make it bigger)

Now, the regular Formula 1 Shake is made with Soy protein (which is well known for it's benefits to your heart health), so Herbalife decided to create a version of the Formula 1 shake specifically for sports people.

Called Formula 1 Sport, the main difference is the type of protein that's in it, as well as a few extras added to make it so much more effective for the active sportsman and woman.

Instead of Soy Protein, it's made with Milk Protein, which supports lean muscle mass. It also has a good Carbohydrate blend, to provide you with immediate and sustained energy. Furthermore, they've added Vitamins C, E and selenium, to give you some extra protection against nasty free radicals, and lastly, L-Glutamine too.

It's all very technical, so check out the video below to see Dr John Heiss (in charge of sports nutrition at Herbalife) explain it all:

It comes in vanilla flavour, and if you're serious about your training efforts, this is an excellent and convenient meal to help you achieve the maximum effect!

Click here to order some Formula 1 Sport

Monday, March 4, 2013

And so, week 2 starts

Week 1 ended on Saturday for me, which meant that Sunday and Monday are my rest days. On Sunday we had breakfast at my brother's, and after that we went to the Bodyworks exhibition at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town - that was really interested to say the least! (They're on until the 10th of March, so if you haven't gone to check it out yet, you still have a couple of days...).

And yesterday, ahh yesterday. Monday. MONDAY. Oh boy was yesterday the absolute definition of a blue monday - see here, I deliberately wrote monday with a lowercase m, because in my books it's now just a word, and not the name of a day anymore.

Put it this way, I'm extremely glad I chose monday as one of my rest days! This exercise regimen would have failed if I had to exercise yesterday as well. Might be something to consider yourself...?

Anyway, the wife and I just finished exercise 1 again (spine and pelvis remember), and this time it went a lot easier I'm happy to report. And even my wife said it was a good workout (when you watch from the sidelines, it really doesn't look like you're doing much, but you can definitely feel it if you actually do it yourself!) - This program was created by a couple of pros in the field, and I now realise that it doesn't matter how light the exercise appears, you better do it, because it's there for a reason. The whole of phase 1 focuses on strengthening your core muscles, to get you ready for phase 2 STRENGTH :)

Anyway, week 2 started with a bang, and we feel great! Looking forward to doing my next body analysis, but that will only be end of March...

Cheers for now!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Week 1 done and dusted

I know it's Saturday, and I scheduled my workouts specifically like that. The Herbalife 24 Fit DVD series gets you going with exercising 5 days in a row, and then have two days, and on one of those days you're supposed to do a recreational activity.

So, I started my regimen on a Tuesday - Firstly, like everyone on this earth I'm sure, I too am not all that fond of Mondays, and luckily I don't work on Saturdays, so it suits me down to the ground to do the 5 days between Tuesdays and Saturdays.

I have just finished week 1 of the program. I must say I'm really impressed - firstly with myself for actually sticking to it for a full five days so far, and secondly, with the program itself. I am a total and absolute beginner at this stage, and I'm really happy to report that I finished the week without dying! :)

Here's a quick recap of the week's regimen:

Day 1: Spine and Pelvis Stabilization
Day 2: Metabolic
Day 3: Shoulders
Day 4: Metabolic
Day 5: Total body

Today's workout (total body integration) was truly a whole body thing, starting with squats and lunges, and throwing in some shoulder exercises for good measure, and finishes off with a demonic stabilization exercise that left my whole body shaking (Sam mentioned that EVERYONE's body shakes with that one, so I felt a bit better hehe). It went very quickly, but I'm again soaked with sweat!

The main focus of the first phase (which lasts 8 weeks by the way) is to strengthen your core muscles, getting you ready for phase 2, which is Strength. I must admit, I'm feeling muscles I never knew I had, so they're doing something right.

It's also not the biggest muscles in your body, which I usually never gave much attention to in the past - I always thought that toning the big muscles, the small ones would join in on their own - this is not the case however. These smaller muscles form the support and stabilization for the bigger ones, which will obviously help your workout not only be more efficient, but also help prevent injury.

Week 1 was lots of fun, I truly thoroughly enjoyed it. Week 2 and 3 will be exactly the same, and week 4 will be a rest week, after which I will do another body analysis so you guys can see my progress.

I'm feeling really good, and look forward to continuing this journey! I'm now enjoying my Herbalife recovery shake (remember, within 30 minutes after exercising, refuel, it's super important!)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Rebuild Strength Compared

This image below is a very informative and interesting comparison. Rebuild Strength is the best after workout supplement on the market, and compared to the rest, as you can see below, much better priced as well:

(click on the image above to make it bigger)

The 30 minutes directly after your workout is the ideal time to refuel your body, and Rebuild Strength is an excellent option. Firstly, it tastes absolute amazing (rich chocolate taste), and it's easy to mix, just add 5 scoops (the scoop is included in the tub) to some water, a few blocks of ice if you want, and you're getting 24 grams of high quality protein in under 200 calories.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day 4, and my stats!

I'm happy to report that day 4 went just as good. This time around I had some of Herbalife's H3O Pro while doing the exercises.

Day 4 is the same as day 2, which is Metabolic (fat burning!), which consists out of 3 sets of light exercises, each set lasting 7 minutes, with a 1 minute break in between. So I had a nice big sip of H3O after each set.

H3O Pro is an excellent sports drink to help keep you hydrated while exercising, and giving more energy so you can keep on going:

A box has 10 sachets, each making a 500ml drink (I only had half this morning, will have the other with tomorrow's training.

Order H30 Pro

Lastly, I loaded my body analysis, so you can see my progress as I go along. I will weigh myself weekly, and do the full body analysis monthly. See my Full Body Analysis.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My first 3 days

This is a quick recap on how I found the first 3 days of the Herbalife 24 Fit DVD program. At this stage I am really not as fit as I want to be. In fact, I am flat out unfit.

Day 1: Spine and Pelvis Stabilization

So, on day 1 (Tuesday 26 Feb) I popped in the DVD (was just before lunch time that I decided to start this), and the first exercise of the program is called Spine and Pelvis stabilization. The whole idea of the first phase, which takes 8 weeks by the way, is to get your body ready and strong for the rest of the phases.

As I was doing the exercises along with Sam, it didn't feel as if much is happening - at first! Slowly but surely I started sweating a bit, and soon found myself a little bit out of breath as well! Guess I'm even more unfit than I thought!

The exercise ended with squats, which I'm not a big fan of (mainly because I'm full of crap, not because the exercise is bad or anything like that hehe).

After the workout I didn't feel overly tired or anything like that - it actually felt a bit like nothing much really happened - HOWEVER, the next day, upon waking up, I feel that good muscle aches when you've done a workout - turns out, I had muscles in places I never realise I had.

My first thought was, wow - I never even realised that your smaller muscles also need strengthening, I always thought if you exercise the normal ones (biceps, triceps, abs, quads, calves, upper back, lower back, etc), then  you'd be A for Away - but it turns out this is not the case.

The whole 24 Fit DVD range was created to gradually strengthen your whole body, one phase at a time, and thus fine tuning you into a much healthier and fitter version of yourself.

Day 2: Metabolic

Just so you know, each exercise begins with warm-up stretching. I have always knows how important this can be. My good friend Stan taught me the importance of good warm-up stretching before exercising back in the day when I was still a Tae Kwon Do student of his - we never began a class without first doing a full set of warm-up stretches!

Anyway, Day 2's workout they call Metabolic - this is specifically a workout to burn fat, and let's face it, everyone wants to burn fat!

There is a bunch of aerobics type exercises that you do, and you do 3 sets of each - the key, however, is to not do it too hectically, so that you can keep your heart rate at a medium pace - that is the magical fat burning area. This suited me very much, being so unfit and everything hehe...

The exercises are really not hard, but needless to say, I was soaking wet afterwards, and quite out of breath too! And it felt really good!

Even Natalie, my wife, who joined in (and is tons more fitter than me by the way, hitting the gym 4-5 times a week more than me hehe...) was also sweating like crazy (much to her surprise!).

Day 3: Shoulder Stabilization

I just finished this exercise a couple of minutes ago, and my arms are basically just dead weights at the moment! This was the first exercise that I needed my dumbbells - I have adjustable ones, with the bar weighing about a kilo, and two 1.5kg weights and two 2.5kg weights that I can add to increase the weight. I decided, me being a beginner and all that, to just use the bar on it's own - something I ended up being REALLY glad about!

All the exercises has to do with strengthening your shoulder - they say your shoulder is the most flexible joint in your body, and something that people really should look after!

We also did biceps, triceps, and even ended the session with some good old fashioned push-ups. This session didn't take so long to complete, and I feel really good now, a bit dead, but glad I finished my third day.

I'm about to go have my after-workout Herbalife Formula 1 Shake, and I'm gonna add a scoop of their super high quality Formula 3 Personalized Protein Powder (PPP) to give me some extra muscle recovery and building oomph!

Tomorrow is Metabolic again - and I'm starting to enjoy this!

So it begins

My name is Rudi van der Walt, and I live in Cape Town, South Africa. I recently took the plunge and bought myself the 24 Fit DVD package, which was created by Herbalife:

It is a very comprehensive package, consisting out of 13 DVD's and a workout manual.

As for the fitness program itself, it spans over a full 24 weeks, split up into 3 sections - Phase 1 Stability, Phase 2 Strength and Phase 3 Power - each phase being 8 weeks.

The whole purpose of this blog is to document my experience with the set, and to share my progress with you as I go along. I started with the very first exercise on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. As I write this, I have done two days of the activities, and I must admit, I am quite surprised!

Yesterday, as I was doing the first exercise, it didn't look like it was really doing anything, it was a really easy going couple of minutes, but this morning, I felt muscles aching that I didn't even realise I have!

So, thus far (and bare with me here, I'm only 2 days in the thing!), it's going great - I will do a full body analysis and share that on this blog as well.

What I can share so long is that I already feel better about myself for getting a bit more active :)

Watch this space!