Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 18: Red-CrossX

Well, yesterday I was a bit fried. I don't know why. Towards the end of work, I was hungry, tired, shaky, sleepy, and zoned out. I scarfed down an apple went outside for a brief moment, and I got a bit better. I decided to stay away from the gym after work, no jogging for me.

Today, I will also skip the gym, but for an entirely different reason. I'm scheduled to donate platelets. (For anyone unaware of the process, it's like giving blood except it takes like 2 hours and they stick both arms. They centrifuge the blood and return the red blood cells back via a process called Apheresis. See image below)

*******This isn't me - it was just a generic picture I found online of a guy giving platelets********

They suggest 24hours rest before any heavy lifting - and I have legs & back the morning after. It'll be just over 10hours... We'll see how it goes. I'd hate to think that I'd have to stop giving blood because I'm on a diet/exercise program. That's not cool.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 17: Tip of the day "Don't smash your face"

Yesterday I resisted yet another cake! Boy, it's hard to turn down fun-fetti vanilla cake. When 90 days are over I'm going to spend a weekend in a bakery shoving my face full of deliciousness.

The workout this morning was excellent. I took out all the stops and used my red bands (the 30lb ones) almost exclusively. The only two exercises I did not use the red bands were the in-and-out straight shoulder raises and the flip-grip-twist kickbacks. For those I used black bands (25lbs). Overall I feel really good, and I definitely worked harder today than I have in other weeks.

Also, a little "F-you" to Tony Horton... During the Side-tri-rise (the last exercise), Dreya Webber does 24 on her right side. Tony gets a little pissed that she did more than him, so he does 25 right as the timer buzzes. And says "If any of you do 26, I'm coming to your house." Well Tony, the key's under the doormat, whenever you wanna visit. BOO YA! 26 sucker, both sides!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 16: Plyometrics + Tuna Bags

Plyometrics seems to get easier and easier everytime I do it. Don't get the wrong idea though, when I say it gets easier, it's all relative to the starting difficulty (which is very challenging). I still struggle with the rock-star hops and the high intensity knee jumps, but with due time, I should have those down.

I figured since there isn't much to talk about today, I'll discuss another food item I've swapped into my daily diet. Starkist fresh white albacore pouches. Now, I'm not 100% what albacore is... but it tastes a lot better than the chunk-light tuna that I used to get. For anyone who doesn't know what I am talking about the package looks like this:

I really like this product, I eat them once a day for lunch. My only problem with these bags of joy are their flavor'd counterparts. If you're shopping in the store and you pick up a pouch of fresh-white albacore (or chunk light tuna) you'll notice the nutritional facts outlined on the right. 60 calories, 12% protein, etc. If you pick up a bag of zesty-lemon tuna or any of the other starkist brand seasoned tuna's you'll see the exact same nutritonal label. But read closer! On the seasoned bag, the serving size is 2.5! Where as the serving size for the plain kind is just 1. So although the information is identical, the quantities are completely different. Don't be duped like I almost was! I still haven't tried the flavored ones, but I'm sure they are delicious, just watch yourself! They are NOT the same!

Oh and by the way, a Tuna pouch runs anywhere from $1.00/bag to about $1.69/bag, depending on which store you get it at. So far the cheapest place I've seen them is at walmart (fancy that). This week I am trying the slightly more expensive cousin of the tuna pouch, the salmon pouch... I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 15: Chest & Back

Today was another great chest & back day. I upped a lot of my exercises and really pushed myself. I did find that this weekend was not so hot for the diet. I had a couple of alcoholic drinks, a couple coffees, and some cheese added to a lot of meals. I didn't blow it, but I certainly did not play by the book.

I did spend a lot of time walking around in furniture galleries buying a new bedroom set. But needless to say, I think I am pumped up and ready to dominate Plyometrics tomorrow morning! Bring it! I didn't weigh myself this morning, but I think I weigh 160lbs, I'll double check right after I wake up tomorrow.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 14: RestX + Picture Update

So, I'm going to apologize for the pictures this week. I'm down in weight by about another 2-3lbs. I weighed in this morning at 159lbs (only 1lb away from my goal). But that's not why I am sorry. Just before I came inside to take these photos, my neighbor saw me outside weeding my garden and he insisted I come over and share a drink on his birthday. Well... a couple gin and tonics later, I came back and took these shots of myself and needless to say I seem a bit silly. It might be the alcohol talking, but I don't see any big changes this week.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 13: KenpoX (to be completed this afternoon)

Again, I got to wake up nice and late, as today I will be doing KenpoX in the afternoon. It still feels a bit strange not doing a workout in the morning, but I guess my body could use a little extra rest and some time to recuperate. My legs are still kind of sore from Legs&Back, and KenpoX does have quite a few kicks. Perhaps waiting 12 or so hours to fire-up the legs again is a good idea.

Tomorrow will be StretchX and hopefully a picture update. I have started noticing some changes to my front. And I can absolutely tell that I have lost weight. I think unofficially I weighed in this morning at 159lbs. That's only 1lb away from my goal of 158lbs. To imagine 10lbs in 2 weeks, that's pretty impressive. Especially from a guy that didn't have a whole lot to lose in the first place.

I've noticed that the number of followers on my site has grown dramatically since my first week of hosting. I hope everyone keeps reading, and keeps enjoying their time here! I have to admit, it's putting some positive pressure on me to keep going, and I thank you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 12: Legs & Back, urge to kill... rising

So today was another glorious legs + back day. I upped my 105 pull ups to a whopping 115! Not too shabby. I'm definitely feeling today's workout. My legs are very sore and my last switch grip pull ups were horrendous. I did less than last week on that particular exercise, but the others made up for it.

I have to admit the Groucho walk is probably the least intense exercise of the day. It's placed right near the end, right where you need it. And it's quite funny to watch everybody in the DVDs look like a complete fool - granted I also look like a fool, but they can't see me, so HA!

Urge to kill... rising. I think if I saw a dessert-cart wheel by my office right now, I think I would tackle the courier and devour the entire thing, cart and all. I was warned this might happen, and I can not be held accountable for my actions. I just need to practice the phrase "Seriously, your honor, I'm clinically insane. I'm doing P90X!"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 11: Better'n Eggs

YogaX this morning. Not much to report about. I was inching ever so close to being late for work, so I skipped Tony's 3 minutes of "Ohms" at the end of the workout. I still did Corpse Pose and all that relaxing stuff at the end (heck, I needed it).

So I want to tell everyone about my breakfast. I had to modify my normal 1/2 bagel with peanut butter to something different to get my carbs down below 1 serving per day. The nutrition guide suggests eggs (more specifically egg whites). I don't have the time or patience in the morning to sift yokes, so I bought some cartons of Better'n Eggs.

I bought both the yellow and white kinds. Neither contain yoke, but the yellow kind is fortified with coloring agents and possibly some chemicals for nutrients. Personally, I like the all-white kind best. It cooks better and tastes better. You'll have to draw your own conclusion.

A small carton (like the one pictured above) is about $2.00-$2.50 at the grocery store. It takes a bit longer to cook than a bagel and you have to clean the pan every night, but it seems to be doing the trick. 1 carton is good enough for 2 breakfasts. And it's really easy to mix in packaged sliced mushrooms, diced green peppers, and on the weekends; some cut up bacon.

For anyone intersted in buying this product: I reccommend it. The full nutrition label is to the right:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 10: Shoulders & Arms + RipperX

So today was another "easy" shoulder and arms day. I pretty much went all red/black bands. It was definitely more of a challenge, but still way easier than the first two exercises of the week.

The one thing I love about shoulder and arms day are the Tony Horton quotes. He says my two personal favorites, one is actually a favorite and the other is more "WTF, did he actually just say that?"

The two quotes are (in context):
*doing head rolls*
"Let the weight of your head do all the work. Mine weighs like 600lbs... and there ain't a damn thing in it."

*finishing arms and shoulders*
"I got one word for you "WOW!" and what's wow upsidedown? "MOM!"

Oh Tony... if I wasn't able to make fun of you, I don't know what my motivation would be to keep going.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 9: BirthdayX

3/22/2010 is my 27th birthday! Hooray, I'm old.

Now that we have that under our belt, let's talk about this morning's Plyometrics! I feel great. I survived and actually thrived in some cases! Not once did I assist myself by putting my hands on my knees during lunges/squats! That's a personal improvement I really wanted (and needed) to make. I dug really deep today and was dripping in sweat.

This week is also going to be a challenging week at work. I had a morning conference with Spain at 8:00am, but each day following today, I'll be working 10+hours to get my remote testing done. Hopefully that won't put a hamper on my workouts.

And if only to make things even more challenging, I've already had to pass up cake twice! And likely a 3rd time tonight. Man-oh-man, and I thought the workouts were tough, try saying no to cake and icecream. I'd put it right up there with finding $100.00 on the ground and reporting it missing instead of pocketing it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 8: Chest&Back + Weigh-in

After my StretchX "Day-off" I went full force back into my chest&back routine. Things went pretty well. I didn't see any improvement in my diamond push-ups or dive-bomber push-ups, but I was able to tack on some additional pullups and regular pushups. AbripperX, however, is still hit or miss. Some days I dominate it, others I flop big time. Today was more of a flop. I had to pause multiple times to recover, but I stayed with them the whole time, albeit a few reps short.

Another challenging thing I've noticed, weekends and eating out are not good for the P90X diet! Chinese food, although I didn't eat any carbohydrates, I know is not good for me...and I may have had a little more than my otherwise regular portion size.

This morning I weighed myself. Before my shower, I weighed 162lbs, down approximately 6lbs from the beginning of the program. Now, I understand the whole concept of good tests and taking multiple measurements, etc. So I know there is some wiggle room with a 6lb reduction in weight. But I know I have lost! So that's all that matters. I just need to keep it going!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 7: StretchX and Picture Update

No news today. Weekends make the diet tough - no eating out (at least not easily). I went with my work pose to have Mexican food. I had a taco salad. Albeit; no shell, no rice, no beans, and no dressing. I basically had a salad with steak and jalapenos. It fit the diet, but it was not as satisfying as a jumbo-burrito!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 6: KenpoX (to be completed this afternoon)

I actually feel more tired waking up today at 6:45pm, than I did all week waking up at 5:15am to do my workout routines. Either way, since it's Friday, I plan to do my P90X workout sometime after work. I've been told it's a snooze-fest, so the goal is to add 2.5 weights to my hands while I do the program.

Tomorrow will be my first rest day, and I very much look forward to that. I'll give StretchX a try, seeing as how I figure it's there for a reason. Plus I will take week 1 photos and post them.

I can already tell I have lost some weight. Probably in the 2-4lb region. Not bad for 1 week of diet & exercise, although in all honestly I think it's heavily bias toward the diet, and not the exercise.

I feel pretty good and I look forward to increasing my reps/weight next week!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 5: Legs and Back - Welcome to Pain Land

This exercise is right up there with Plyometrics. The only major difference is; Plyo was intense cardio, this is some intense muscle building. If I had to place this exercise in the gambit of others, I'd put it as number-2 most difficult so far. That being said, I'm having a hard time remembering Chest&Back (my previously rated #2).

Tony comments at the end "If you did this right, you did over 120 pullups." Okay, I didn't actually achieve 120 pullups, but I added up my sheet and I was able to do over 100. Not bad. I really liked the switch-grip chinups. I was really able to push myself hard to get in the mid-teens. I attempted using a chair a couple times - I didn't enjoy it. I think I'd rather struggle on my last few than use a chair. We'll see if that changes later. My avg pullup was in the 12-13 range (up +2 from chest&back).

But the pull-ups were NOT the hardest part! The sets of 2-3 wall squats + deep lunges were brutal. The sneaky-lunges and the 80-20's were both very challenging. Infact nearly all the exercises really tested my abilities. I often found myself putting my hands on my knees to get up. I'll try to reduce that next round.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 4: YogaX - harder than it looks

... not to mention longer than it looks.

So, morning #4, I woke up extra early so I could squeeze in the 1.5hr long YogaX exercise. I thought "Child's pose, cobra, downward dog... this is going to be a piece of cake." Wrong. The first 45 minutes of YogaX are dynamic moves + holds. Often enough, Tony will throw in a random pushup into the mix making you even more strained. By minute 15 you wonder "Do I really have 1.25hrs left to go?" And unfortunately the answer is YES! Aside from not being able to point my leg straight, the only pose I absolutely could not do was the Crane Pose. I think I originally was doing it, but I kept falling back (in fear of crashing down on my face).

After the first 45minutes, YogaX takes a turn for the better. It moves to balance poses. It's a lot of ankle work and sometimes a little awkward, but for the most part, it's easier than the dynamic moves from earlier. My favorite part, and the part that I thought worked the most was what they referred to as "Yoga Belly 7." I'm assuming that's short for the 7 or so yoga exercises that strengthen/stretch your stomach muscles. I certainly felt that, and it consumed the end portion of the workout (the last 15mins or so).

At the very end, T-minus 4 minutes, the whole yoga exercise becomes a sleep fest. Corpse pose, is basically laying down on your back and trying not to fall asleep at 6:45am.

*I attempted the wheel pose and pinched my back pretty bad. Highly suggest sticking with the barrel pose (as he suggests for beginners).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 3: Easy Peasy.

Arms & Shoulders was a breeze compared to Plyometrics and Chest & Back. I found myself starting an exercise with blue bands (the medium ones) and progressing up to black bands (med-hard). In a 1 case I even went to red (hardest). Overall the workout was good. I felt motivated, I think dumbbells here would be a huge advantage. The people in the videos were doing well above 25lbs for some of the workouts, I think eventually I will probably want to do that too. I think towards the end of the 90 days the bands will be a limitation, but I'll stick with it.

Also, yesterday after work, I was able to put in a 3mile run with a couple small exercises thrown in at the gym. I definitely felt it a lot more now that I'm working out twice a day and eating 0-carbs. Speaking of zero carbs, it's very strange. Even after I eat, I still kinda feel hungry. There is no satisfaction feeling in my stomach when I'm done eating a big bowl of egg-whites or a lunch comprised 100% of veggies and tuna. If being slightly hungry all the time is what it takes to lose significant mid-section fat, I'm going to continue doing it. But I just want to confess to the world, that it is a strange feeling. I will continue to keep it up.

BONUS! This time I was almost able to compete with the Ab ripperX program (albiet with some form inconsistancies). Infact the only exercise I had to take a break on was the bicycle and only because Tony is a douche and makes you do 25 forward, then 25 backwards. Either way, I failed on the reverse section. But I did manage to make it through all 40 mason (Russian) twists plus his extra 7 he tacks on at the end making it a whopping 47 twists... did I mention Tony's a douche?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 2: Full Steam Ahead.

So, no bumps in the road yet. Things seem to be going pretty good. Sunday afternoon I did the Chest&Back workouts with AbripperX tacked onto the end. I actually found the 15minute AbripperX to be more challenging than the 1hr workout before it. I made it through, most of the pushup exercises I accomplished 20reps (both times), with the exception of the diamond pushups (only did 10). And Chin/Pullups I did around 10 per set (both rounds).

This morning, I woke up early @5:45 to get the Plyometrics workout in. Boy, they weren't kidding. I found myself slacking multiple times, not necessarily to catch my breath, but I often found myself half-squatting or half-lunging, when I should be digging deep! It's a sacrifice I had to make in order to stay with them. I assume by the 3rd + 4th week I'll be able to "BRING IT" as they like to say in the DVDs.

My breakfast consisted of eggwhites and mushrooms. It was pretty tasteless. And I actually burned the roof of my mouth eating it. I was running low on time (approaching 7:30am) and I needed to head out the door for work, so I at them while they were piping hot. Big mistake. I've been peeling the skin off the roof of my mouth all morning. Lesson learned; wake up at least 10mins earlier for the next exercise.

How do I feel? I feel pretty good. Waking up early and getting the exercise out of the way is definitely a wise decision on our part. Let's just hope I can get to bed ontime so that I can keep up the pace!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 1: Before Photos!

Well you asked for them, and now I'm giving them to you... these are my before P90X photos. These were taken Sunday morning before my first workout 03/14/2010. I weigh about 168lbs, I don't have measurements for my waist & arms, but they are not particularly out of control. I will try to take photos of similar poses for optimal comparison. For anyone doing the P90X with me, good luck! It's going to be a long 3 months!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Current Habits vs New Habits

Old Me: - - - - - - - - - - - New Goal:

Wake up: 6:45am - - - -5:45am
Breakfast: Bagel - - - - -Egg Whites
Lunch: Sandwich - - - - -Bag o'Tuna
Dinner: Salad - - - - - - -Salad w/Chicken
Gym: Run 40mins - - - - P90X for 1hr 15mins
&Lift for 20mins
Go to bed: 10:30pm - - - 9:30pm
Weight: 168lbs - - - - - - -158lbs
#Chinups: 22 - - - - - - - -30
#Pullups: 15 - - - - - - - - 25
#Pushups: ?? - - - - - - - -45
Stomach: Flabby - - - - - -Six Pack

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gold's Gym Power Tower & Knee Raiser XR 10.9 Build

The other day I purchased a power-tower, in lieu of a door-frame pull up bar. The reason for this was because all of the door frames on my first floor are not standard-trimmed doors, but archways. This forced me to be a little more creative. Thankfully, for $117.00 I was able to purchase a 5-star rated power-tower which gives me the added benefits of dips, pushup grips, and knee-raises.

Getting the box home was an adventure, considering the box is about 6ft long and weighs nearly 100lbs. I had to utilize all my duct-tape and strap the beast into the trunk for the 20ish mile ride home. It made it all in one piece, thank goodness.

Once home, I realized there would be "some assembly required." This made perfect sense because the tower is actually close to 7.5ft tall, but the box was significantly shorter than that. So I opened it up, took out all the parts and found myself knee deep in steel pipes, screws, nuts, washers, and not a tool in sight. Good thing I always keep a set of sockets in my car. They don't tell you this in the instructions, but a 13mm socket + socket wrench, an adjustable wrench, and a screwdriver is very useful for the job at hand. They do, however, tell you that it will require 2 people. Luckily I had my clone handy (the one normally kept locked in my basement).

I wasn't able to finish the job before 10:30pm... so I had to wait until today to finish it. Thankfully I have high ceilings in my great room as the tower itself appears to be touching the ceiling of a normal sized room. It took me a little over an hour, perhaps 1hr 15mins, to finally assemble it. I gave it a try and it seems pretty solid. It's more stable front to back than it is side to side, so I'll have to watch my swinging. Overall I hope dropping $100+ on this piece of equipment will keep me motivated and get into great shape. Below, I have a picture of it completely put together.

1 Week Before Starting

This is my first post.

A friend an I are about to embark on a journey. Together, we shall try to conquer the P90X fitness program. I will do my best to document the voyage as frequently as possible. My expectations are:
1. Give daily/weekly updates on how I feel (mentally, physically, and emotionally)
2. Keep track of any physical/appearance changes
3. Post pictures (if I can remember to take them)
4. Review products I purchase to help me along (shakes, equipment, food, etc.)
5. Just keep friends/family informed
I have heard this program to be grueling and difficult. I really want to make it through and I really want to confirm/deny the P90X's ability to get people into great shape in 90 days.