Saturday, August 29, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Everything has been working out smoothly. I have been sticking to the schedule and eating clean. I have really surprised myself with this program. I have successfully completed 3 phases and am about to complete the 4th without skipping a beat. I never would have thought I could dedicate so much blood, sweat, and tears into this, but I have, and it's become a habit.
Experts agree that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit and form a new one.
This active lifestyle is something that I never want to give up. Just last year, I told myself I never had enough time. I actually believed I didn't have an hour and a half each day to transform myself.
Never had time to change the way I live. Never had time to become a better person. Never had time to get in the best shape of my life.
And only 114 days later I keep pushing play, and I CAN'T STOP. It's funny though, because I did Kenpo Cardio + for the 3rd time in a week. I've almost got all the moves memorized, not to mention the sweat almost reaches the bottom of my shirt every time I do it.
The Gladiator. It's the best move ever.
Hi, my name is Michael and I'm addicted to the X.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I got a hold of the remaining DVD's for P90X+ this past week. I've had Interval X+ for 2 months, but I was in a fitness craze and just had to get the rest in my hands. Thursday I did Kenpo Cardio +. Yesterday was Legs & Back with Ab Ripper X and I threw in Abs/Core + at the end just for good measure. I was super sweaty! Not sure if it is the weather (sunny and warm all week) but I was drenched.
P90X+ is tough, I'm not going to lie, but I love a challenge.
Today I did Kenpo Cardio + again and then did all of the lifting from Back & Biceps. Another sweaty workout. This upcoming week is Rest week. Time is going by extremely quickly, so I feel that any kind of plateau I've hit will be smashed once Phase 2 starts. Nothing new to add except I've bought new shoes so that I've got better grip on the floor for any jumping and lateral moves, but mostly for Plyometrics and Cardio. My K-Swisses don't have enough tread, but I've got these new Crosby 87 Reeboks :), should be fun.
My plan is to do Interval X+ on Monday and stick with the schedule for the rest of the week. I have yet to do Total Body+ and Upper +. Excited to try those. Maybe I will venture into those 2 workouts in Phase 3, or start with the + full time for Round 3. Only time will tell!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.
To postpone or delay needlessly.
Time is really flying. Already second week into yet another round of the X and this is my first blog post about it. Talk about procrastination.
Chest & Back
-Went through it tough in the first set and I was nauseous by the second. It's great how nothing has gotten easier, it seems as though it was the first time I ever did this workout because I was tired by the end! Since Round 1, I've used a LOT less chair for pullups, so I am extremely proud of myself. I took more breaks during Ab Ripper than I usually do.
-Another toughie. Was sweating hard by the end. I did do a full minute of Jump Knee Tucks but I was extremely tired for the Rock Star Hops so I kept pace.
Shoulders & Arms
-Concentrated on keeping strict form and lowering my weights enough for all shoulder exercises. I cramped up very badly at the end of Ab Ripper. And of all things to cramp up was my left quad. Not enough water?
-I did this one by myself again. It's probably the 3rd or 4th week in a row where I haven't had a workout buddy for this one. :(
Legs & Back
-Have to be one of my favorite workouts. I wish I had more room for all the lunges in my room! I'm holding approx. 30lbs in each hand while doing Calf Raises. Amazing definition in my calves. I'm hoping for the same in my quads after this next full round of P90X. I need to also tan my upper legs, hahaha.
Interval X+ & Yoga X
-Focused on the breath and getting height and depth on all moves and I had energy to spare after Intervals! That's how I know it's going well! I was even excited enough to get in Yoga X too. Very relaxed. Still not yet a wrist grabber, but working on it!
-I haven't taken a rest day in about 5 weeks, but I decided to since the previous night I had several, several drinks I should not have. On a scale of 1 to 100 on how good I felt this day, it would have to be about a 14 out of 100 (yes I know that is random). I'm not repeating this again for a while.
Chest & Back
-Took a lesson from the week before, did a few reps short of my max and ended up doing a lot of pullups/pushups with good form. I stuck with each one and even did 15 Dive Bombers at the end.
-Oh wow. I think the best way to describe this workout is: my body says Day 79 but my shirt says Day 2. My white T-shirt was SOAKED. Really concentrated on breathing on each move, got super low on everything I could, and had energy to spare. Another 60 seconds of non-stop Jump Knee Tucks.
Shoulders & Arms
-Shot out of bed at 4:30 AM with a terrible right calf cramp. I thought I had kept well hydrated from the night before, obviously not. Mental note to sip water constantly. It could be dehydration or it could be overwork. My advice, just drink your water folks.
-Today was Kenpo. Another session alone. Everybody else decided to go to the pub and watch the game instead of work out. Their loss. Good workout. Another shirt soaked. I think I may need to invest in some weighted gloves/anklets. I happily use 2.5 or 5 lb freeweights in my hands whenever I can, but I need to up the intensity. Maybe I will try out Kenpo Cardio X this weekend just to mix it up.
I am still scheduled to do Legs & Back tomorrow. I hope I beat the traffic home. Ran out of skinless chicken this afternoon. Will have to settle for some canned salmon.
I know exactly why I am feeling a lot less sprite (weaker, not much intensity for some parts of the workout, especially Ab Ripper) and it is because I have cut out one of the supplements I usually take. Really amazing how the human body can become so dependent on a single supplement. I won't put it back in my regular regimen until the middle of this month to make my body work extra hard!
Keep crushing play :)
Sunday, May 24, 2009
I started off the day with Yoga X. I am not a huge, huge fan of it like some of you are (and to be honest, I only did it fully about 5 times during my 3 months and supplemented another workout in its' place), but today was a little bit unusual and I was relaxed, calm, and very into it. All the worries of the day just melted away. My quads were on fire after I held those angle poses where you drop one arm behind your back and then join the fingertips together. I have yet to grab my wrists; just the tips work fine for me, thank you. I'm getting much better at the Yoga Belly 7 series. Anything core related is something I still struggle with and will work on in the future.
Once that was completed, I decided on Cardio X instead of Interval X+ and got the breath going. Wasn't sweating too much so I could tell that there were big improvements since day 1. After a quick bite to eat, it was decided that we would do the Grouse Grind, and I had never done it before, so this was going to be a first for me.
Now you are probably wondering what the Grouse Grind is. If you live anywhere in Lower Mainland, B.C., you will have heard of it. Most call it "the Grind" or "Mother Nature's Stairmaster". Simply put, it's a gruelling hiking trail located in North Vancouver on Grouse Mountain.
I found a site which has excellent information on the Grind with some great pictures of the trail if you so care to read:
At first we didn't know what kind of terrain or time we would expect to finish at. During the colder months, the trail is closed because of the snow buildup and the treacherous conditions on the mountain. Seeing as it was such a fantastic day (about 16 C or 60 F) and not a cloud in the sky, I decided on two t-shirts just in case. If it was warmer, I could take off a shirt, and if it was colder, I could leave both on. I was told that most people take about 2 hours to do the entire thing. With my group, we decided that 1 hour, 20 minutes was a good starting point since none of us had completed it before.
The first 1/4 of the Grind was mild which really quickens the breath. I saw a couple with 4 children, two of which could not walk on their own, turn back before this point. Probably not the best idea to bring young children as it's almost guaranteed that they will run out of energy before the top...meaning that you will have to carry them the rest of the way :) It was around this point where I had quickened my pace so much that I had left my group behind. I was in a league of my own. I stopped counting the number of people I had passed once that number hit 50. I really have to give it to Plyometrics for building up my quad and calf strength because both muscles were on fire by the time I hit 1/2 way.
It was about this time that the sweat started pouring down and I had totally forgotten to take off my second shirt, but I was following this other gentleman (the only person who I encountered on the ascent who I did not pass) and I was totally in the zone, so I was soaked from my neck to my stomach in sweat. After each set of steps (which there are about 2800 of in the entire hike) I would be looking for the next marker to gauge how much farther I actually had left. To be honest, I didn't see the 3/4 marker and I didn't even realize I was completed the Grind until I saw the snow on the top near the lodge! I quickly ran to the nearest clock to check my "Grind Time". Our group goal was 1 hour, 20 minutes and I had traversed it in 47 minutes! Not too bad for a first timer. I hear that anything under an hour is pretty good, nowhere near the record, but still pretty good. I really have to credit P90X for all of this. Not in a million years would I have thought of doing this hike. 3 months ago, I would have not been in decent enough shape to do it in an hour.
I waited about 40 minutes for everyone else to reach the summit and stop cursing me for leaving them behind on the trail and we all sat down for a congratulatory pitcher of beer and sunbathed on the patio deck overlooking the Burrard Inlet. It was such a satisfying treat, for not only completing the most insane backyard hike ever created but also for sticking through 90 days of the X.
And guess what? On Monday, we're starting another 90 days.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Really quick post. As you can see I haven't been blogging much lately. Things have been really hectic not only with working out but with actual work too! I've been staying true to the plan and the efforts are paying off.
This is the final week of the last phase (made it!). It doesn't seem like it is over though. I don't feel that P90X is truly a 90 day program. Incorporated with a few other workouts, it can be a lifetime thing, 365 days a year for the rest of ones life.
Today was Core Synergistics. Still not loving the Plank to Chaturanga Run and my shirt still does not stay down when I do them, hahaha, but I push through. All other moves have gotten easier, Sphinx Pushups, Bow to Boat (ugh!), so I do not envy you all doing the P90X Lean :).
Keep crushing play! I know I am! The last day is so close, I can taste it.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Just some quick things about Plyo from a few days ago. Lots of hopping, knee tucks, and jumps. I felt really great afterwards and I really got low in my squats. The first two months of Plyo I didn't really feel much in my quads in terms of delayed onsetmuscle soreness, but I did get very bad cramps in my calves. That has since been a thing of the past. I really have to push and get extra out of Plyo by getting my hands in the air whenever I get the chance and getting super low and holding my squats. The third phase of P90X has really brought about changes. My quads are starting to get definition, and my calves are just amazing looking. You should see when I stretch up onto my toes.
Yesterday's Shoulders & Arms was okay as a group, but in retrospect, I really enjoy working out alone with freeweights so I can pause to change weights. Since we started doing P90X as a group, us 5 guys have weights with removable plates. You can kind of see that it takes a while to switch weights between exercises so we each take a mean weight that can be used across a few moves without pausing the DVD. Sometimes I will do Upright Rows with 20 lbs which is really light just so I can do 16 reps of Static Arm Curls with good form. The way it's being done is not balanced at all and I am considering just doing all the lifting at home and doing Plyo/Cardio/Kenpo at work. But until then there isn't anything we can do until we all get a set of weights. A set! Maybe I shall invest in my own.
Right now I don't feel anyone else has really kept up with me in terms of the schedule: one workout a day with or without Ab Ripper. I see that one or two of the guys will just lift heavy and not care about form at all, rushing through the exercises. Being tired is not an excuse to skip Ab Ripper. I'm also easily miles ahead in terms of nutrition. I've stopped drinking liquor (for now), cut out all unnecessary sugar and fat from my diet, and upped my water intake. I've really stopped going out to all restaurants and eating at home. I've not only saved money but I can really control what I eat. By doing these things I've shed a lot of fat, but there is still some left that I want to get rid of. I will eventually weigh myself to get an accurate body fat % as I am really curious to know the number. Sure being strict with everything is a pain, but I'm getting far better results than everybody else and I'm loving it!
So onto Kenpo. Great workout, sweat inducing for sure. I focused largely on my breathing today and found I had extra energy for the water break to bring my heart rate up. I used to love Kenpo X the most, but since starting have found it a bit repetitive and useless other than for the cardio purpose of P90X. My favorite would be a tie between Chest, Shoulders & Triceps and Back & Biceps as those really blast your muscles like no other. Nonetheless, a very fun workout that I look forward to every week. I should probably mix in Kenpo Cardio X once I get the DVD for it. Looking forward to round 2 as there are only 2 weeks left!
Monday, May 4, 2009
I wasn't sweating as much as I used to. Before the first water break, I usually break out into a flop sweat. I don't know what it is about my body, I just sweat a lot. I'd say that I was sweating more during Ab Ripper than the main workout, which is unusual. I cranked out about 15 reps of each pushup, a few less on the Declines and Dive Bombers, and I started using my pushup bars again which have been sitting in my closet for 2 weeks.
As I was doing my pushups, my chest felt warm, so something was definitely going on, but I wasn't as fatigued this week. I did more than the usual amount of pullups today, which really surprised me; not as much chair. I think it was the breathing. As they tell you, breathing is everything. Maybe I've been holding my breath this entire time, but I felt really good with this workout and things were going as they should.
Ab Ripper was not the greatest, but I managed to do all 50 reps of the Mason Twists which I've only been able to do once before. So proud. Things are coming together. Under 3 weeks left in the program, so I definitely can not stop now. Keep pushing play. =D
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Which is harder? Jump Knee Tucks or Rock Star Hops?
Through various experimentation I have narrowed my areas of expertise to these four points:
- I could probably double my time of nonstop Jump Knee Tucks
- Mary Katherine Lunges are a killer right after
- Rock Stars are tough on the knees
- I could possibly be a real rock star in the future (maybe a guitar hero if time allows)
I feel a soreness all over, but it's a good feeling. Less than a month to go. I really enjoy mixing up the workouts week to week as it provides something new a fresh to an otherwise pretty straightforward workout.
P.S. If any of you watched the New Jersey/Carolina game. Only one phrase can describe it: GG.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Just a quick post. Super busy lately. I don't know how you guys write about your day everyday, but I enjoy reading about everybody elses day to day experiences with P90X. Tomorrow is Plyometrics and there's less than a month left in the program.
Keep crushing play!
Monday, April 20, 2009
It was the start of Phase 3 for our group, but it seems we have fallen off the wagon. And when I mean we, I really mean they. I'm still going strong as ever. Work ended a little bit late today so everybody's workout timing was somewhat off. Whatever workout you chose to do today (Chest and Back), you were on your own.
It was a beautiful day out, driving home with the tunes cranked up. I really wish I had my motorcycle to ride today but sadly I sold it last year before I moved =(. A new motorbike and I will reunite some other time in the near future I suppose. Being quite warm, I opened up all the windows in my room and did my workout. Again, no shirt since all that does is facilitate more sweat. I sweat a lot and it's really disgusting, so I won't go into any more details.
Previously I had picked up a sample of this creatine (Size-On by Gaspari Nutrition) which stated that you could mix it with water and it would act as your recovery drink. You could also sip it during your workout or just before bed. Now, I'm not huge on other supplements besides protein, but I thought oh, that's cool I'd just try it, doesn't hurt right?
After reading the package on this thing, it requires 24 oz. of water to mix. My shaker, which is massive in itself, can't even hold that much liquid at once (only goes to 20 oz). Do they really expect you to mix 3 full cups of water with this stuff? It ain't happenin' unless I get a Big Gulp from 7-11 and mix it in there, sorry. I even have the metal whisk ball inside my shaker (which works wonders to mix protein drinks/scramble eggs, buy it, I recommend it, GNC, check it out :p) but this powder would not mix properly at all. If you let it sit for a while, all the sediment drops to the bottom, and this is after you've shaken it for a good minute.
Upon first taste it wasn't that bad. It was some sort of lemon flavor, a bit tangy off the tongue, but that's probably because I was taking in the half centimeter of powder off the bottom of my shaker (kidding). During my water breaks, I was gradually sipping this drink when the real taste kicked in. After a dozen or so sips, the 14.5 g of sugar within really starts to rear its' ugly head. This is product that I would definitely not recommend. Drink your water people. I felt really bloated during the last part and with Ab Ripper. Note to self, next time no sugary recovery drinks right before V Up Roll Ups.
Chest and Back is one of the workouts that I feel that I struggle with the most. But when I do complete it, it feels exceptionally great. Why? Well, like most people, I never really had a ton of upper body strength. The strength was there in the arms, just not across the chest or there for pullups. The fatigue is there, so I know it's working, and I've even come to expect it. Tony is just a madman with the Wide Grips and he's totally right when he says that he's a pullup-boy. He cranks those out like no tomorrow.
How can you be in that much pain and have that much fun? Yay for Dive Bombers.
My core is probably weakest of all, so adding the Ab Ripper at the end of this is such a perfect combination. I would say I can keep up with the kids, but I am still only completing about 80% of Ab Ripper. I always need that mini-mini break in between that sets me back a few reps. I was getting my butt in the air today, were you?
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Cardiovascular endurance is definitely my weakness. I have always hated running in general, gave me cramps in my stomach and legs (not to mention shinsplints too), and I was always out of breath. Seems simple enough to breathe properly while running, but nobody ever told me how! As you could probably tell, I never liked running in track and field or cross country. I grew up as a somewhat chubby kid as my dad had before me. It's almost certain that he never played sports, recreational or otherwise, and that tradition similarly passed on. I could have been pushed into having a fit lifestyle but was instead coerced into reading books and 'studying' when I was younger. Sports was really out of the question in my household.
I argued this fact.
It was then on that mom and myself had a very strained relationship, and to this day we do not get along well. My dad was born here in
To make things worse, through the roughest times as an adolescent she would comment on how overweight and lazy I was...as a ten year old child. Yes, my mom came out and told me this, no beating around the bush. She's old fashioned like that, but nobody should ever, ever, ever tell their child this. You can just imagine how great my confidence and self-esteem were at the time. Despite all of that, I learned early on that these things could be ignored. Water off a duck's back if you will. These past experiences can be used as motivational ammunition, which in fact is why my workout went so great!
I opted for Interval X Plus this weekend. No, it isn't on our regular group program... So yes, I secretly snuck it in about a month and a half back and have alternated between this and Cardio X every week. The first time I did Intervals, I was totally gassing by the end, but I love it how it's straight to the point. It doesn't start off slow like Cardio does with a bit of Yoga. Oh no. It's 45 minutes of butt kicking intensity, and boy does it make you sweat! I felt really good even with Carlito 3-Way Pushups. I struggled with these before, but I was managing to jump between my hands on each rep! I felt so good Saturday that I got in Yoga X as well. The Yoga Belly 7 section was killer though and my form was failing halfway, but in all a great workout day. Flexibility is definitely improving. I should do Yoga more often.
Also, I ate super healthy throughout my entire Saturday, barely any meat at all. I am not a vegetarian whatsoever, but I could have passed for one (almost...who am I kidding :l ). Here is my food intake in no particular order:
- Protein shake
- 1/2 cup of oatmeal with 1 tsp of peanut butter (Skippy brings all the taste with 1/4 the fat)
- 1 1/2 cup of All Bran cereal with a portion of almonds, no milk
- Protein shake
- Protein shake
- Lots of soybeans with tiny slivers of beef
- Tons of broccoli
To top it all off I was drinking water the entire time and keeping super hydrated.
Went to sleep relatively early, around 12 AM. Woke up after It's supposed to be my rest day (which I usually go to the extreme and do absolutely nothing) but I checked out some of the comments that I've been getting, reading other P90X related blogs, and that was motivation enough to do a workout!...But not before watching a lot of hockey. =D Watched the Penguins/Flyers game on HD. I don't sit and watch TV much. Today is the exception though, and why do that when you can stream everything on the internet? Finished off the evening with the entire Canucks/Blues game and the end of the second period of the Anaheim/San Jose game. Playoff pool, go figure.
With a slight headache, I did X Stretch and was really hoping that would cure the dull throbbing in my head (not to mention I was inhaling water like no tomorrow) but didn't work at all. I guess I was not used to eating so lean even though I was loading up on the veggies the night before. Body just isn't used to it. I feel a lot better after eating a HUGE dinner. Tons of carbs...probably too many carbs actually. Sunday works out to be the Rest/Indulge day. Lots of meat and potatoes, pineapple, ham, brussel sprouts, and mushrooms. Psh, I feel like a stuffed mushroom by the way... Also, I should have gone to sleep about an hour ago, but decided to write this. Oh well, tomorrow is onto Phase 3. The workout is Chest and Back which we haven't done in a month. I will let you know of any improvements in the next entry.
Keep crushing play!
Friday, April 17, 2009
The last three days I've been rolling out of bed after 6:15 and reluctantly performing my morning routine. Get dressed. Grab a shake. Down my vitamins. Brush teeth. Etc.
I don't know what it is about Fridays that makes you bound out of bed. Traffic is usually light since everyone starts off their day a little bit later. The drive into work is not so monotonous. I felt good. Maybe it's because I'd get to leave work right at 4:30 PM. Maybe the traffic would be light on the way back and I wouldn't get stuck in rush hour for 20 extra minutes. Maybe it's knowing that nobody would be at home to bother me during my workout. Maybe it's because I'd be doing Core Synergistics at home for the first time. Today it was a little of all of those things.
First let me launch into the story about my P90X group and how we formed and started. It consists of 5 core guys which make up our little department at work. Now I had never really heard of P90X up until last year. From the grapevine, it was told that this magical program would get you completely ripped in 90 days. At that point I really just scoffed. Truly an impossible feat. Brushed it aside. About mid 2008 the conversation starts up about it again. A few of my friends obtain the disks and start, which then all of a sudden becomes extremely popular at the local high schools. Through a few trials and tribulations I hear that this is no easy program. People have puked trying to get through it, shut it off, stopped, and even resold their disks to get away.
Do I really want to even consider a program like this? See actual excerpt below:
Friend: holy **** so tired
Friend: just doing the push ups
Friend: 6 differents types
Friend: so intense
Friend: noway ill be able 2 do pull ups 2
He then proceeds to list all of the types of pullups and pushups that are performed without breaks, which is followed by me saying:
Mike: so awesome
Mike: if you can do all that ...
Thank you for a great first impression Chest and Back.
Further down the road, about late 2008. We have this giant space upstairs at work which could possibly double as a workout space if we had some yoga mats. The suggestion arises. P90X can be done after work, but we all have to invest about an hour and a half a day. Hour and a half a day?! That seemed like precious time that could be spent doing other things like sitting on the couch watching TV (not that there was anything good on anyways). Oh, also, you may have to work out on your own at home because pull-up bars couldn't be drilled into the doorframes at work. Hmm.
I could already see the integrity of this failing as we spoke. There were half of us on the wagon and half of us off.
A few slight jabs are thrown in about who can lose the most weight after 90 days. Hey now. I could stand to gain weight if anything. For me, that's not fair at all since I am in decent shape and probably the most fit out of our entire department. Okay, maybe not just decent. I hadn't stepped foot in a gym since high school. So what if that was 3 or 4 .. going on 5 years ago?... Maybe we commit and if we don't work out, it's $5 a workout we skip. Or maybe we can just try it and see how we like it. We're pretty much P90X ready, we just have to bring it... Right? Right!
As the new year rolls around, we have an exciting game going on at work at the same time. It's a challenge to see who can sweat the most out of each department. Points are awarded for cycling, running, treadmilling, yoga etc. Perfect. Now is the time to get in shape and start P90X! January 2009 would be when we all started X'ing together. Again, another story for another time.
Flash forward today (yes I know the days will be off from January to today, but the reasoning will be saved for another entry) with Core Synergistics. I can hear the DVD clearly today when working out myself. Everyone else is either at the hockey game or drinking at a pub watching it. I'm truly better off. Halfway through and I'm making Gumby look like the Tin Man. (Hahaha, I love Tony Horton's quotes. Listen to the DVD closely and you'll know)
I felt good with the Prison Cell Pushups. My back was feeling good today and I was jumping up into my hands. But then I get to Plank to Chaturanga Run and I just get completely destroyed. Also, I want to know how anyone can do this without their shirt riding up?! HAHA. Seriously, every time I do this with a shirt, it completely rides up and annoys the living bejesus out of me. (See working out at home does have its' advantages, workouts with no shirt on)
I think that Core is one of the most difficult workouts in the program. Props to you who are doing P90X Lean, having this week in and week out. (I will stick with my Plyo, thank you very much). Enabling your core works you out so much instead of just half-assing the workouts. The moves aren't difficult at all unless you're using your abs, glutes, and lumbar spine. In all, good workout... BUT! There are gripes (not grapes...) though with working out at home.
You can work out shirtless. (your pets won't care, AND they aren't judgmental either)
You can pause the DVD to switch weights, plus you can actually HEAR what Tony is saying and rewind if necessary.
No whining from co-workers (sorry guys)
The motivation isn't always there if you don't have your workout group with you (not a problem if you're self motivated)
If P90X is done in your bedroom (like mine), your space may be very minimal
You may get interrupted by your family (go away, I'm busy!)
That's all for now. Wow, why did I have to write so much?
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I remember my first time doing X Stretch (back in January...yes if you think about it the timing is off, so what?). I was sweating similar to the first 20 minutes of Plyo. No flexibility, no anything. Terrible.
Fast forward 53 days. Actually not too bad considering I'm going full throttle 6 days a week. I am lavishly enjoying my Rest days and skipping the X Stretch about 80% of the time. I think I am regretting it now. Think of the results I could possibly be at. How much more could I have improved?
I don't even think I broke a sweat at all today. I was going pretty hard, reaching as far as I could. I can strongly say that I am the most flexible now than I have ever been in my life. I can reach down, touch my toes. I can do the seated two legged hamstring stretch which I have never been able to do before, plus a few inches to spare. Yoga block here I come.
There is this issue with my feet randomly cramping up though with X Stretch. Always happens, but it becomes less and less frequent now. I had it a lot worse during Ab Ripper X, but it has subsided. Tomorrow I get to work out at home as everyone is going to watch the Canucks game at the bar. Right now, Core Synergistics is more important to me than getting drunk downtown and ingesting empty, unnecessary calories. And yes, I watch what I eat. Nutrition is super important to me. Ask anyone.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
This is a new post. I've never used this service before so it's completely new to me. I've seen and heard the word 'blog' thrown around a lot, but I've never had the need to sit down and write about all the things I've done throughout my day. Personally, I always thought of it to be a waste of time. Growing older, I find it difficult to even retain even the littlest of memories, which has spontaneously pushed me to start writing things down. I have tons of ideas and thoughts, vivid dreams and inspirations...but they end up going to waste since they are never on paper or in text.
Maybe that will all change. Recently I was inspired to start this thing-a-ma-bobber after hearing and talking about nutrition, health, and workout programs. I always wanted to be a writer =). Someday I will complete blocks and blocks of text that even you may comment on. We will see.
Well, in my current program, I am on the rest week before the start of Phase 3, round 1 of P90X. I will talk about it more (type about it more?) in later entries. That's what these things are, right? Entries?