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 myp90xlog.blogspot.com 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.