Tuesday, April 28, 2009

P90X Day 65 - Plyometrics

So during Plyometrics I wanted to find out the age old question:

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)
Rock Stars come a set after the Knee Tucks, but that does not necessarily make them harder! I still think getting your knees to your chest is more challenging than getting your ankles to your butt. (In some strange world, that last sentence makes a lot of sense and doesn't sound sexual at all)

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

P90X Day 64 - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps w/ Ab Ripper X

Hi people.

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

P90X Day 57 - Chest & Back w/ Ab Ripper X

Okay, no sad childhood story today.

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

P90X Day 55 & 56 - Interval X + and Yoga X, X Stretch

This weekend was very eventful. Started off Saturday morning quite early with a workout (No sleeping in. That's reserved until Sunday). I wasn't sure what workout I would do since I had spent the last few weekends trying different workouts and getting as much cardio in as possible. Being on the Classic version is great, but I am not quite ready for doubles yet. Time is also a huge factor since I can't really do cardio at home so I would need to do it at work. At the moment, I can't force myself to get up at 4:30 or 5:00 AM and get all sweaty before work at 8.

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 Vancouver while my mom was born overseas. She had a strict, no nonsense attitude and continues to be extremely old fashioned. I am open-minded and embrace a Westernized culture. (Yin and Yang anybody?) I am fluent while she struggles with her English accent, and primarily speaks in her native tongue. I have Caucasian relatives on my father's side but there is a large communication gap with my opposite grandparents.

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
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • 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 10. 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

P90X Day 54 - Core Synergistics

My alarm clock is set for 5:30 AM and the snooze button is always hit at least 5 or 6 times before my body is fully awake. You might say I give it a good interval workout, 5 minutes per press. I get in as much sleep as I possibly can within that 5 minute time frame.

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: p90x
Friend: holy **** so tired
Friend: just doing the push ups
Mike: what?
Mike: lol
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: wow
Mike: so awesome
Mike: if you can do all that ...
Mike: godly

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

P90X Day 53 - X Stretch

Today was X Stretch. We had a small group today. Two and a half people (don't ask). More details to come.

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

Hello internet.

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?