Thursday, July 19, 2012

Week 9 Time!

Week 8 was my recovery week. And during week 8 I only got one workout in. I did KenpoX one night. I was out of town for much of the week, and I did do a ton of swimming, so I was still active.

Still week 9 started last week. Chest and Back. It was great to get back to resistance training. Tonight is Plyometrics. My goal with Plyo tonight is to stay with the DVD.

I made that my goal for my last go around with Kenpo X. And not only did I stay ahead of the DVD, but on a lot of the movies I did one or two reps extra. I also did all of the moves during the breaks. Running in place, jump rope, jumping jacks, and X jumps. It felt great to finally be able to do that.

Ab Ripper X. Sigh. Didn't get to that last night. It was late when I finished Chest and Back so I decided to do my post-workout recovery drink and supplement routine and hit the hay. Tomorrow night I will be doing ARX after my resistance routine, no questions asked.

ARX continues to be the one area of P90X that I am deficient in. I feel like I've made progress, but not nearly the progress I've made in the other workout routines.

Also started Phase III, Level II nutrition last night. Supposed to go fewer protein servings, more fruit and carb servings. I am doing the more fruit and carbs, but I am also keeping my protein intake at Phase II levels. I need the extra protein with my ectomorphic build.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Heading Into Week 8

I continue to get good results with P90X! I have 3 more days of week 7, then I am into week 8, rest week.

So far I have dropped about 12 lbs. Not really my goal but I did need to lose some fat around the midsection. I am showing good definition in most body areas, but not building a lot of mass. Though this is a program about overall fitness, not so much about building mass.

I have tried to incorporate much of what this guy suggests related to supplementation:

Supplementation is ON TOP of eating enough calories, not instead of. So if you do take this guy's advice be sure you are still getting lots of whole food calories. Try to hit your goal caloric intake, whatever that might be. But avoid processed foods or junk foods.

Headed into the final month of P90X, I've decided that when I am done I will repeat another 90 days! Now that I am more proficient at the moves, and getting better about staying with the DVDs, I think months 4-6 will be where I see the biggest changes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One Month In: RESULTS

It will be one month tomorrow since I started P90X. The last 27 days have been a whirlwind. From being really sore and not finishing workouts, to feeling pumped and ready to go, P90X has been a lot of fun, a lot of work, and definitely something I would recommend.

The warnings are all over P90X: don't do these routine unless you are fit enough. They give you a fitness test before you begin. I was able to pass all of them, except one: pull-ups. I was shocked to find I couldn't do a single pull-up! That was my #1 exercise in my late-teens, early 20s. I would use the beams in the basement to do pull-ups.

The first workout of the program was called Chest and Back. Lots of different style push-ups and pull-ups, with a few other exercises thrown in. I started out doing all exercises with 10 lbs dumbbells, but quickly realized that those were too light for many of the exercises. I ended up with 16 pound dumbbells. Perfect for some, too light for others, and too heavy for some other exercises. I also have resistance bands, and the over-the-door pull-up bar.

I crashed out that first night. The exercises are hard. For pull-ups you use a chair until you build up the strength to do them without leg help. But it was the pace that got me that first workout. I made it through 1/2-3/4, and ended up light-headed, nauseous, and had to just take it easy.

The next night was Plyometrics. WOW. That workout is killer. I made it through 1/2 of it and was just spent.

I then went through Arms and Shoulders without issue. Then came KenpoX. LOVE THAT WORKOUT. A lot like Taebo, the hour flew by as you try to master the moves, especially the combination moves. I was feeling great following that workout.

On Saturday came YogaX. UGH. I've never been a fan of yoga. YogaX didn't change my mind. I have since replaced YogaX with StretchX in my routine. Tony Horton (the creator of P90X) would probably yell at me for that. I don't care, yoga just isn't for me.

Sunday night was Legs and Back. I powered through that workout, which is intense.

I skipped the rest night, and went right back into Chest and Back to start week 2. I powered through this time, with no issues. I then did Plyometrics, and made it 3/4 of the way this time. That workout is killer.

I rested the next night then did Arms and Shoulders, KenpoX, and StretchX. Coming to Legs and Back again on Sunday night. This time I made it 3/4 of the way and had to bow out. The feeling that I might crash was there and I decided against taking any chances. You have to listen to your body.

I went right into Chest and Back the next night. Finishing without issue. Then took a rest night due to schedule (daughter's softball game). The next night I dove into Plyometrics and this time finished strong! And even did the bonus time moves at the end! Great workout. I can't wait for Plyometrics again in Phase II.

I finished week three with Arms and Shoulders, KenpoX, Stretch X and Legs and Back all without issue this time.

Week 4 was a rest week. A couple days of a routine called Core Synergistics (great workout by the way) a Yoga night. Stetch X a couple nights. And one night of KenpoX (YES!). I did Core, Stretch and Kenpo, took the weekend off. And last night did Core again.

So the results?

First let me mention Ab Ripper X. Supposed to do that 16 minute ab routine after each lifting routine (Chest and Back, Arms and Shoulders, Legs and Back). I did it about 4-5 times through first month. Most nights after the lifting I was done. I was just too spent. Ab Ripper X is extreme ab moves. The first time I tried it I could hardly do any reps on any of the routines. As the month went on I got better. I've decided that ARX will be a must do on the schedule from here on out. No excuses.

Second, on each routine my performance got better throughout the month. More reps, better form, less fatigue. Etc. I can't wait to see what month 2 brings.

Third, I am starting to see results even after only 4 weeks! I'm down about 10 lbs even thought that wasn't my goal. I have more definition. I am stronger (I can even do at least one pull-up now!) and my endurance is better.

On diet, I have followed the P90X Phase I Level II diet to a tee throughout the program. If anything I've not eaten enough! About 2 weeks in I started really losing my appetite. I've had to force myself to eat most of the time. The diet changes a bit for phase II, we'll see if that rekindles my want for food.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Moving On

In my last post I updated the fact that I wasn't doing Strong Lifts 5x5 anymore. As I stated then, I still think it is a good program, and that it is the best strength training program if you are going for sheer strength and power. But I decided to move on for a couple of reasons.

 First, the time commitment. My schedule has changed since last March (2011) when I started Strong Lifts. My old schedule allowed me to be at the gym by 5, home by 6. My new schedule would push all that back by an hour. 7pm or later is just too late to be getting home each night. One day I plan on having my own power-rack, and then I can do Strong Lifts at home.

 Second, I have recently decided that overall fitness is more important to me than pure strength. While it would be nice to one day squat 400 lbs, deadlift 500 lbs, and bench press 225, it really doesn't get me anywhere. I want to be able to play basketball without wearing out. I want to be able to run a 5K. So fitness is my goal. Overall fitness is NOT what Strong Lifts 5x5 is about. It will not help your stamina in team sports, or running, etc.

 So the main reasons I am not doing Strong Lifts any longer is because I can't do it at home, and I can't get overall fit by doing it.

 Enter P90X!

 As you can see the name of the blog is My P90X Log. (I had to add bringit to the url because was already taken.) If you haven't seen the infomercials, P90X is an extreme, at home fitness program. Consists of 15 DVDs, housing various workouts. The only equipment necessary are dumbbells, a pull up bar, or powerbands. You can get one of those handy "over-the-door" pull up bars. That is what I am using along with dumbbells and powerbands.

 There is a complete nutrition guide for the program. I will write another posting about that later as I have some tips for newbies.

 So how is it going? WOW. I've done three days.

 First day was the chest and back workout. 3/4 of the way through it I carb crashed. Second time I've ever done that working out and it is not fun. Your body runs out of short-term energy stores and you get faint and nauseous feeling. I stopped the program, but even just 3/4 of it made me feel it for the next couple of days! 

Second day was plyometrics. It consistes of high impact aerobics. Yeah, high impact is taboo in workouts these days, but Tony Horton, the creator of the system, tries to minimize the impact for you by training you how to land softly. That workout kicked my butt. I completed a little more than 1/2 of it and was totally spent. Great workout none-the-less.

 I should note that most of the workouts are about an hour. And are fairly fast paced.

 Tonight I did the shoulders and arms exercise. Great workout. Since I have already been working out my arms and shoulders I was able to complete the full workout. The soreness is setting in though! I then followed up with the Ab Ripper X exercise. That is about an additional 15 minutes, and you are supposed to do workout 3 times a week.

 Ab Ripper X destroyed me! I was able to only complete 5-10 reps on each exercise that I did, and I skipped a few. There are a total of 339 reps in 10 or 11 movements, about 25 reps of each. All on the floor (with optional mat), and you can feel them in your core for sure. Obviously core is something I've neglected for far too long.

 So anyway, welcome to my log. I hope to regularly update on my progress!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Back in the game, sort of.

I am happy to report that I am back to doing some lifting, mostly lower-weight, high-rep dumbbell exercises. I am trying to incorporate more of an overall fitness program. I am still a big, big fan of Stonglifts and really agree with a lot of what Mehdi preaches. Chiefly being that you can only get stronger by doing heavy lifting. Let me give you an example. A few years ago I started using my cousin's workout center in his basement as a measuring stick for my strength. At first I could barely do one rep on the bench chair with all but two plates on the stack. I started doing dumbbell lifting, mostly upper body only. Over the course of a year of doing that I was able to do multiple reps at the same "all but 2 plates" stack, and a couple of reps with all but one plate on the stack. Then last year I did Stronglifts 5x5 from March until September (when my schedule began to change). Last fall at my cousin's house I was able to complete a single rep with all the plates stacked! And multiple reps with all but one plate. That is the power of SL 5x5. You will get stronger. It is not the program to lose weight on, or to build stamina for running or playing basketball. It isn't even the program to bulk up with. But you will get stronger. I lift more now, even after stopping SL 5x5, than ever before. My goal is to have a workout room in my garage. I am going to build a garage in the next few months and I am going to get a power rack put in there. Then I can go do SL 5x5 at home and won't be as beholden to schedules. I will update this blog on my progress.

Friday, March 2, 2012

UPDATE: Schedule Changes And Bad Knees

I have noticed that this blog continues to get hits even though I haven't posted to it in months. Some of you may be wondering what happened. After all, with the gains I was seeing why would I stop?

Well the answer is that I wouldn't stop, except I was forced to. First, I had a trip in August so I continued the program up until that trip.

When I came back from the trip some changes at work forced me to alter my schedule, affecting my workout plan. The result was that several weeks went by before I was ready to get back into the gym.

When I decided it was time to return, I started doing some exercises at home. I have always had bad knees. Over the years I've had various twists and sprains and hyper extensions playing all manner of pickup sports. Well when I started doing squats with no weights just to ease back in, my knees began screaming.

Note, while doing Strong Lifts my knees were fine as long as I really watched my form and made sure I wasn't stressing the knees. I have been trying to do knee strengthening exercises because now I am a bit gun shy to get back into doing heavy squats again.

So stay tuned, I do plan on getting back to this program. I am going to invest in some good knee sleeves first but I've never found a program that made this much sense. Logically, this is the best program going and this is the program to use if you want to build real strength.