It’s been a year since I started consistently drinking Shakeology. It went fast and a lot happened. In this post, I go into detail about my results from using Shakeology long term.
I use empirical data to explain and interpret my results over time, so you can see what it did for me. Be forewarned…this is a long post, but I wanted to put all the info out there.
Start Date — March 26, 2009
I was introduced to Shakeology at Beachbody Coach Summit 2009. While I’m sure a big part of the phenomenal “high” that I had when we left was a result of infectious energy from unstoppable people, I know some of it had to do with the fact that I had been drinking this new nutritional supplement.
I waited until March 26, 2009, to officially start the program for a specific reason — I wanted to have a clear baseline.
On March 25, 2009, I stepped inside the Bod Pod. Body fat percentage or, more precisely, “body composition,” has typically been measured by using water displacement. This device uses air displacement, which is generally more accurate. It uses body density to measure several things, including body fat percentage, lean muscle, and resting metabolic rate, all of which I will use to track my progress with Shakeology.
I was surprised when mine registered at 20.4%. I’m not ripped, but I’m certainly not fat. A 20% rating is considered “moderately lean.” Orson, the owner of Body Technologies, explained to me that the Bod Pod results usually shock a lot of people because it reflects reality, which typically differs from body mass index tools or the good old caliper. I confirmed this when two different body fat calculators (one using a caliper) told me I had between 14% and 17% body fat last night. I’m going with the Bod Pod on this one. When we started discussing my goals and my lean muscle index, Orson recommended I shoot for 15%. Although this still sounded high to me, I’m deferring to the expert here.
Here are the results from the test today, along with my goals for the future. Understanding that if I was to get to 15% body fat with the same amount of lean muscle I currently have, it would mean I would weigh in at 157 pounds. A real eye opener for me. I’m not 17 anymore, and as a P90Xer and triathlete, I just cannot cut out enough calories to possibly achieve that weight in any reasonable time. So, we set a goal weight of 163 pounds at 15% body fat within eight weeks. That goal is going to require me to gain about 5 pounds of lean muscle, which presents a challenge. Still, if I want to race faster, I have to not only get lighter, but also stronger.
Now, the fitness part. I’m not planning on sitting on the couch during this period. I’m going to be training…hard. However, I’ve been training hard for quite some time now. I just finished a round of P90X Classic, during which I attended Tony Horton’s Yoga Camp and went to the Beachbody Coach Summit 2009.
I was working HARD to get ready for these events. My current schedule is a hybrid of P90X+, Yoga X, and a wide variety of triathlon-based exercises. I’m going to do some doubles for a while as well until the schedule really kicks into high gear. I have not updated that schedule to include the double workouts, because I’m just going to hit them when I can. My primary focus is on triathlon, but anything I can do to get stronger, I’m going to do.
The changes are going to have to come from proper nutrition. While I have done the P90X program on and off for a couple of years, I have not focused on nutrition at all. I wasn’t eating particularly bad foods, but I did not understand caloric need, the proper distribution of carbs, or protein and fat, and I wasn’t tracking my caloric intake. I just sort of ate what I felt like. If that meant I ate oatmeal all day, then that’s what happened.
At the beginning of the year, I decided I needed to figure it out. I went through the P90X Nutrition Guide, made sure I understood it, and put together a spreadsheet to calculate my caloric needs and track daily progress. My nutrition has improved and I’ve seen better results as a result.
Orson recommended a higher carb intake in my diet, so I’m moving to Phase III of the P90X Nutrition Plan with a careful eye on my daily caloric intake. In the beginning this is going to be a pain, but after a while I’ll be able to compute the calories in my head, and I’ll be better for it.
Three Weeks Later
During the past three weeks, my output level remained pretty much the same. The first two weeks I continued my triathlon training and did double workouts with P90X, P90X+ and Yoga X. This typically involves about 10 miles of running every week, about 60 to 70 miles on the bike, one 45 minute pool workout, two P90X/X+ workouts and Yoga X. A pretty heavy schedule. Last week was a recovery week, during which I did yoga twice, lifted twice, and went on one long bike ride. No running or swimming and only one double that I can recall (such a blur). Arguably, the last three weeks have seen a dip in activity due to that Recovery Week.
Really the only significant change was with my nutrition. I started taking Shakeology every morning. On days when I was taking a morning bike ride or run, I added a scoop of whey protein and a banana. I also added a scoop of whey if I was doing a double workout. On days when I didn’t do doubles, I stuck with the regular dose of Shakeology. It fills me up until about 10:00 a.m., when I have a snack.
Aside from just enjoying the taste, I’ve really enjoyed the product. I’ve been down to one cup of coffee a day for awhile, but since starting Shakeology, I’m finding that I usually don’t even drink the whole cup. I could go on and on about how it makes me feel, but this test is about empirical data, not subjective opinion.
So where am I at empirically? I lost two pounds. Big whoop, right? It is just two pounds. But, let’s dig into the data a little deeper.
More precisely stated, I lost 2.4 pounds of fat and gained 0.4 pounds of lean muscle mass. The plan we laid out three weeks ago was to get to 15% body fat with a total weight of 163.7 pounds. When I reach this goal, I will be the lightest I’ve been since I was about 18 and two pounds lighter than when I competed in my first Olympic distance triathlon. I will also be at a record low for body fat percentage. I’m going to be interested to see whether this will be a comfortable weight for me or not. Currently, I’m at 19.21% body fat and a total weight of 166.1 pounds. In other words, I’m right on target with the plan.
Granted, someone telling you that they lost two pounds isn’t a big deal, and I’m definitely not here to announce that this is some world altering change in my body composition or that you should run out and buy Shakeology right now based upon this information. Instead, this test provides evidence of a plan of action that is working very effectively, allowing me to lose body fat, while building lean muscle.
Keep in mind that in the “real world,” I’m both a lawyer and a Team Beachbody Coach, so I don’t train endlessly or have the ability to sleep for 12 hours every day. This change represents commitment to a plan of action and shows that Shakeology is helping me to obtain my stated goals.
To hit my goal of 163.7 pounds and 15% body fat, I am going to have to gain another five pounds of lean muscle mass. That’s not going to be particularly easy. In order to gain this weight, I’m going to deviate from my training schedule. I’ll still work off of a periodized training schedule (like P90X for those of you out there reading this), that will focus on speed work for the next three weeks, then shift to endurance and finally end with race preparation (frequent BRICK’s, time-trials, etc.). However, I’m going to lift quite a bit more than I had originally planned.
After finishing P90X in March, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my run and bike times were faster, despite taking a significant break from those activities. My swim times didn’t improve, but I believe that is due to rusty technique more than anything else. Nothing a few sessions of Master’s Swim won’t cure. Run times are down from about 8:30 to about 7:45 per mile. I consistently average above 18.5 mph on the bike riding here in the hills of North Scottsdale. Doing 25 mph on a flat road is well within my wheel house now, which was not the case four months ago.
Given that progress, and my desire to hit this goal, I’m going to lift three times a week. I will be using strength workouts from P90X, P90X+ and Tony Horton’s One-on-One series. My committment to yoga practice twice a week will also remain in place. It is going to be interesting to see whether this speeds me up or slows me down. So far, strength training and regular yoga have made me faster and more efficient. Hopefully, that trend continues.
At this point, suffice it to say that I’m very pleased with my progress and looking forward to going back to the pod in another three weeks. And yes, my second month’s supply of Shakeology is already here, so I’ll be sticking with that as the backbone of my nutritional plan.
It’s been about seven months since starting Shakeology and continuing with about the same training plan. I go back and forth between endurance and strength training. This was about three weeks into a strength training program using Tony Horton’s One on One series. I started formally training for a Half Ironman Triathlon that will take place on April 11, 2010.
I’ve been on Shakeology for a year now and I simply have never felt better. My recovery times from my workouts are shorter, I have more energy, and I just feel better. It has been an amazing ride and I can’t wait to see what Year 2 of Shakeology has in store for me!
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