Saturday, August 29, 2009

P90X Round 2 - Day 90 / Completed

I finished P90X Classic last week for the second time.

I'd given it a lot of thought throughout my entire experience with P90X and it has set up an excellent foundation for my fitness and nutritional needs. If we look back a few years, let's say pre-2007, I could easily indulge in cookies, fast foods, and everything in between those. I had no remorse. I never looked as food as body energy. Food was food. When you got hungry, you ate. Nobody ever taught me about calories and sugars or how your body reacts and processes these foods. I'd stopped going to the gym and working out since high school. Forget about running. I had also reached the highest weight in my life and it was all fat. Face it. I have fat relatives on my dad's side. My dad grew up fat and so was I. His father and himself grew up with obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes in their bloodline. It was only natural that it would be passed down to me.

Early on in 2007, I was given a wonderful opportunity to work in the fitness and fitness apparel industry. All the people around me were always so fit and healthy. This started the psychological basis of changing my entire process in life. I started eating fruits. I didn't even like fruits, but I was buying bags of them and eating them all the time. I lived with my roommate who used to eat similarly to my old habits. Pasta with 800mg of sodium per serving. 3 frozen hamburgers as a late night snack. Ice cream all the time. I didn't know how it was possible. I was eating really healthy because of this. I didn't want to turn back to my old habits. I just needed a third person perspective of what I was doing to myself. From 2007 to 2008 I slimmed down from eating healthy, but I had just ended up turning quite scrawny as well.

2009 was a turning point. January 6th, 2009, I weighed in at 138 lbs. One of my co-workers suggested that we try a group P90X. I had all sorts of excuses as to why I wouldn't try it. Lack of time, options, space, and equipment. It was sort of a running gag that we would all put money into a pot and whoever lost the most weight in 90 days would win it. But I ran with it. I was eating so clean, cutting out any extra fats, alcohol, sugars, sodium, you name it.

Suddenly I began noticing changes. I was more tone. I started growing muscles where there were no muscles before. Or maybe they were, but you could never see them. The most surprising thing I saw was my abdominal muscles. I had actually lowered my body fat percentage enough so that I could see them. I was so happy. There was no way in stopping.

To this day, I have P90X, P90X+, and the One on One series. Don't get me wrong. The combination of these workouts have launched me to 150 lbs of lean muscle to this day. But I want more. Two rounds of P90X is 6 months. By month 2, I knew I had plateaued. I needed even more of a challenge. I knew I wasn't going to do anything drastic until I revamped my fitness goals. These goals include things that you just cannot do at home.

This is why in the last week I have gone out and joined a gym. It's also why I feel a soreness that P90X just can't quite reach, like say... leg pressing 520 lbs for instance, and using a squat machine. That first day at the gym, I destroyed my legs. I could barely walk afterwards. And I loved it. I also feel soreness especially in my lats that P90X never could hit. Maybe I was doing some of the exercises wrong, but it's hard to say.

I am officially taking a break from P90X. I have not given up on it forever. I'm sure I'll come back to it 3 or 6 months once I reach a plateau at the gym. But for now, I'm taking an X break.

I brought it twice. Those of you who are still at it, do me a favor and crush play.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

P90X Round 2 - Day 84

Time flies when you're having fun.

I can't believe it is the start of week 13. Again! This is the rest week to end my second round of the X. I've been on vacation for the last two weeks. What I haven't accomplished at work (where I usually do my P90X workouts) I've done at home. Plus, I've managed to go to an actual gym and I am much stronger on top of being more tone since the last time I went. During my vacation I went for walks, I ran, I swam a little. I even biked today near the beach. I got a wicked sunburn, but it will turn into a great tan soon enough (I hope). It's great to be able to do a little bit of everything and sleep in until 10 o clock!

Tomorrow it's back to work, reverting to my early morning schedule. I'm still a little unsure if there will be a round 3 of the classic P90X. I've read a lot of blogs, done a bit of research, and listened to a lot of people about fitness and what their current program is. During my vacation, I've decided for the start of my next program that it must be modified slightly to match my fitness goals.

The last 8 months have been outstanding. When the phrase "best shape of your life" comes to mind, I can honestly say that I am there now. But I can do so much more. I started P90X because I wanted to get in shape. And I've done that. Yes, everything is more tone, and yes I am stronger than I was before, but I never needed to lose weight like most. What I've learned is that I need to modify the existing program so that I can gain weight. To be honest, I plateaued with my weight about 8 weeks into the first round. It's stuck between 145 and 148 and at 5'8", that is an okay weight, but I still appear (and feel) very scrawny. I've followed the nutrition and the workouts to a tee. I've put my body through the X, the Plus, One on One, and even a little bit of Insanity to try and confuse it as best as possible. But it's not enough. P90X will only help me maintain my current lean physique.

I will have to modify the workouts slightly by changing the order of and adding One on One workouts, concentrating more on the lifting days and less cardio. I'll have to eat big to grow big and fuel my body enough so that it can repair and recover so caloric intake needs to increase. Obviously I won't be eating cheeseburgers and ice cream every night (it would be nice though), but focusing on the good calories, the whole grains, and fruits/veggies. I guess you could say this would be more of a hybrid round than a classic or a doubles round. I hope that I could use the theory of muscle confusion, work hard, but recover fast enough so that I will gain 5 to 10 pounds by the end of the next round of the X. I am really glad that I purchased the One on One Volume 1 DVD's. I'm not disliking the current program at all, it's just that I need to have that variety there. That's what makes every workout fresh and exciting! P90X Round 3 is going to be fun!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

P90X Round 2 - Day 62

There has been a lot of alcohol consumption these past few days which I am not particularly proud of. Also, I haven't been able to eat as clean and as often of the foods I usually enjoy because of all the activities and parties I've attended. I did not get a chance to do Yoga X or an extra cardio workout this past weekend.

First I moved my rest day for this week to this past Friday instead of Sunday because of a work party. I thought I would be able to get in a leg workout Saturday and maybe some yoga on Sunday. I didn't think I would get home in time to do Legs & Back Friday evening, but I ended doing a few sets of pullups in my doorway to compensate at 8:00 that night. That's quite late for me. Since back exercises were done I could focus on legs and possibly squeeze in some arm work for Saturday. I totally forgot about abs, so that would have to be done on Saturday too.

Instead of doing back again and just the leg portion of Legs & Back, I opted for Plyo Legs from the One on One series. I never noticed it until late this morning that my legs are a bit wobbly. I guess that workout did what it's supposed to, haha. 3 minute leg squats in it are killer! It's so much easier to do them with shoes on. I really dislike doing the 200 Wacky Jacks in it. Everything I can do no problem. After that was completed, I did Just Arms and Killer Abs for fun. I may do some stretching at home tomorrow (or this morning depending on the time of this blog post...Sunday). I went out unexpectedly tonight and have no time or energy to prepare for tomorrow or wake up early. I feel like crashing, and it's almost 2 AM but still quite warm out. It was scorching hot this morning but thunderstorms and sideways rain all this evening. Quite odd.

Also, I am going on vacation in August for 2 weeks. I'm not sure what I can do if I'm away from home. I hear a lot of stories that resistance bands are great to carry on the road because they are so versatile. I do want to be able to enjoy myself and keep up my routine. I need some ideas. Do I stop working out altogether and carry on from where I left off? 2 entire weeks is a long time to do absolutely nothing and I don't want to ruin what I started 5.5 months ago!

One last thing, it's taking forever for my order of Volume 2 of the One on One series to get delivered. I'm really excited to get that DVD in my hands!

Monday, July 20, 2009

P90X Round 2 - Day 57

Today I completed my workout at home instead of with my workout group. And since this is first day of Phase 3, I decided to try something new and exciting. Instead of Chest & Back, supplemented was Tony Horton's 30-15 Upper Body Massacre.

There's really only one word to describe this workout: OUCH. If you are unfamiliar with the One on One DVD's this particular one is "simple oldschool" pushups and pullups.

30 various pushups
15 various pullups

Then repeat 12 sets of each! Oh baby.

I like this workout because there is no fooling around with weights and there are tons of breaks inbetween to stretch out your entire upper body so you can move on with enough strength to do the next set. I felt really energized until about halfway where I began getting fatigued with my pullups. I wrote down my reps since this is the first time I've done this workout (there are no official worksheets for this, hm).

Note that the 30-15 is a just a guide, and if you have not done this workout yourself, your workout may be 10-5 or 25-12, or whatever you can crank out. Just remember to set your goals. I tried to aim for 15-8 for each set and of course by the end I was struggling, but still managed to eek out those pullups as best I could. Today I did not use chair assist like I would ususally do with Chest & Back. Once I could not pull myself up the bar with proper form, I was finished with that pullup set.

My numbers are below. They are nowhere near impressive, but I am extremely proud of my results.


Totals: 202 pushups and 96 pullups w/ no chair assist. In under an hour, this is a great workout. I had the blood flowing and the muscles were expanding. At a few points, I could barely clasp my hands behind my back to do a shoulder stretch, that's how pumped I was! I think this rivals Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps as one of my favorite workouts. Next time, my personal goal is to do 215 pushups and 100 pullups w/ no chair assist. I may sub this into the first upper body workout of week 15 and see how much my performance has improved since then.

In terms of an ab workout, I completed OoO Killer Abs and a few exercises from Abs Core +. I found that in Killer Abs I could keep up for the most part (I still struggle with ARX). My reasoning is that for Ab Ripper X done during P90X workouts, they focus more on slower movements and proper form whereas here, Tony is just cranking out reps of 20's. I really enjoyed Ab Ripper 100 and 200 (more oblique moves, yay!) as I haven't done Power 90 at all, and these were something refreshing and new! I may do Killer Abs a lot more since it isn't much longer than the regular Ab Ripper X and most of the components are the same for each. I finished up the day with the non weighted parts of Abs Core + and that was it.

One last thing, I am kind of disappointed that I can't track my One on One Volume 2 order as it should be in transit, but the tracking # Beachbody gave me is turning up no results as of now. In the e-mail it said it would be delivered by Thursday of this week, but I also live in Canada which is approximately 2 week transit time from the States. Oh well, it's not that big of a deal. I have tons of other workouts to get in before then!

Still bringin' it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

P90X Round 2 - Day 56

I've recently gotten excited again about working out after discovering the One on One with Tony Horton DVD's, but I'm even more excited that my Rest week is over. Back to another excruciating Phase 3 and I say that with the best intentions possible.

So anyways, back to the OoO disks, I did Super Cardio yesterday and I liked it a lot. It was something new and refreshing for me to try, away from the old routine of Cardio X and Interval X+. Another thing I really like about these workouts is that they are up close and personal with Tony. He gets a chance to really be himself and talk about things out loud, some that I can relate to and some that just make you laugh or smile. It's great when you are in the moment, working as hard as he is, because he is after all a real person like you or I. Tony hates cardio work, he said it himself. ME TOO, hahaha.

I really can't wait to try some of the other ones from Volume 1. After getting so amped up about this, I have gone and purchased the first DVD for Volume 2. Beachbody is selling the first disk of the Volume 2 series for a penny. That is $0.01 and all you have to do is pay the shipping. This is really a promotion that you can't lose on. I am not a Beachbody Coach (yet), and no, I am not getting paid to advertise this. I think that this is an offer that you can't pass up. So what are you waiting for? This deal is good for the month of July only. Hurry up!

With the exchange rate from the USD to Canadian currency, my bill is literally $3.50. How much is $3.50? Well, I think I will pass on the coffee and the sandwich and get this instead.

Monday, July 13, 2009

P90X Round 2 - Day 50

This is the last rest week before we start Phase 3 for the second time. Work ran a little bit late today so I was doing the program alone. I find it harder to post something new and refreshing each time I pop in a DVD since it just becomes feel-good second nature.

Lately I've heard a lot of talk about Insanity, read a few blog posts regarding it, and even considered purchasing the entire set. But after today, I know I am not even close to ready. Insanity makes P90X look a bit tame.

I was able to borrow the preview disk from a friend and see what all the hype was about. I was surprised the preview was not just part of the workout or glimpses of what was to come, it was the full thing. The name of the workout is disk #2 of the boxset, Plyometric Cardio Circuit. Some of you may discover that the first 10 or 11 minutes will get your shirt completely drenched (because mine was!). After that and a quick stretch portion of the DVD, Shaun T. will say something like, "all right boys and girls, that was just the warm up". That's when your jaw will hit the floor, and it will stay there because you're just breathing way too hard to close it.

I was going full tilt until midway through the second section when I realized I was completely done and had nothing left to give, but there were still 15 minutes on the clock. Needless to say, this DVD kicked my butt and it will probably kick yours too. Sure, I could have been conservative, wimped out, modified my moves, and so forth, but really where is the fun in that? I want the challenge. Change the impossible to the possible. Lean outside of your comfort zone. I managed to eek out the remainder of the DVD, but I quickly realized how much work my body needs.

From the small taste of what this workout had shown, I can strongly believe you can get what is offered in 60 days. They show guys with their shirts off looking nothing impressive to being totally ripped. This workout is straight up intense and you will see nothing but amazing results if you see through the two months of this program. I thought that P90X's Plyometrics was the only workout that made me sweat as much as it does, but Cardio Circuit takes it to a whole new level.

Instead of P90X's muscle confusion, Insanity relies on Max Interval training, which is essentially full tilt, pedal to the metal, all out for a long period of time with short breaks, compared to regular interval training which consists of a constant speed with short bursts of intensity.

If you've seen the advertisement, I can assure you that you will be "working out in a puddle of your own sweat" as did I. They also say that this is not a program for lazy people, and again, I truly believe it. Get a coach, or get some friends to motivate you with this. It's tough! I give props to anyone who is taking on the Insanity challenge. Let me know so I can follow you!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

P90X Round 2 - Day 42

I can't believe I haven't posted in so long.

Today is Day 42 of round 2, which means I'm close to the mid-way point of finishing P90X for the second time. I've given myself a full rest day today. I did Yoga X yesterday and lifted weights (a mix of Shoulders & Arms and Back & Biceps). Nutrition has been sketchy lately as I've gone out to eat two or three times this week, which I rarely do. But that will change as there is no holiday this upcoming week and I can get back on track.

I'm on new supplements this past week, so that should really boost my performance and weight. I've been up and down between 143 and 147 depending on the workout being cardio based or not. I'm sure that it's mostly water weight that I'm losing. I would like to gain back the lean muscle mass that I once had and get back up to about 150 or 155, but it's been pretty difficult.

Keep pressing play.