Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 109: StretchX + Final Week Review

"I'm the leader, I can do what I want" -Tony Horton- Unknown (probably ab ripperX)

1.Thursday - P90X Diet
2.Friday - P90X Exercises (Cardio)
3.Monday - P90X Exercises (Weight)
4.Tuesday - P90X Dedication
5.Wednesday - Tony Horton
6.Thursday - Results
7.Friday - Final thoughts (last day)

I hate him, but I love him...

The review I have been waiting 109 days for: TONY HORTON

Welcome to the all out review and quote bank of the P90X instructor, Anthony Sawyer Horton Jr; the leader, the guide, and the face of P90X.

For starters, here's a little background information on Tony from wikipedia:
Born in Rhode Island, 1958 (making him 52 years old)
Moved to L.A. to become an actor
He started training stars in Gold's Gym
1998 Jon Cogdon and Carl Daikler formed beachbody company and had Tony star in Power90

So what gives? Does he do a good job? Without being too harsh, yes, he does the job. Tony sends the message through the TV and it's easy to follow. Does he ramble and talking nonsensical gibberish? Absolutely. But as far as being a reasonable fitness instructor I give him a 8/10. The only two points he's missing are -1 for not being eye-candy (like Chalean Extreme), and -1 for being a douche.

Okay, why do I think Tony is a scum-bag? Well for starters he's incredibly self centered, at least from what I can tell from the videos. Always talking about how many he can do or out-doing the kids in reps. Also, when Phil has a funnier line, Tony just gets flustered for the rest of the video because he didn't come up with such a whimsical thing to say. It's the little things. Doing 19 wide grip chinups when Erik did 18 just because he can't let anyone be better than him.

I also think there is something going on between him and Dreya Webber, even though I know Dreya is married to Ned Farr (Tony actually even says that in a video). But he says things like "Top's coming off!" and "Aerialist, gymnast, dancer, fitness extraordinaire, she's gorgeous. She's my buddy too" and just generally all the special attention she gets in the videos. If I were Dreya Webber, I'd be spending some time in the Beachbody HR department filing some complaints.

Over-acting? Absolutely. Do you think it has anything to do with being a failed actor but manged to star on infomercials? Perhaps. All I know is that he reminds me a lot of a commercials-actor that has advanced onto Hallmark movies but still retain that core idea of flashing pepsi-labels and saying "Ahhhhh" when he's finished. Maybe it's just me...Anyone have a sudden craving for a recovery drink?

He likes to comment on his age (at the time was 46 going on 47). But what he fails to mention is that those numbers accurately represent his IQ. He might know his fitness, but some of the random stuff he says makes me wonder if he paid attention in high school.

In general he just rubs me as a typical high school jock that's very pushy and always gets his way. But hate him all you want, he has been getting me into shape, so I need to give him some homage (in quote form).

I put together a quote bank...I thought it'd be silly not to provide that lovely little package for all of you:

Fiffer scissors, flex your feet and straighten your legs.
Time for crunchy frog, EVERYBODY gets their hands off the floor!
They're working hard I know you are
It's almost over, makes me sad
Halfway done, party's almost over what a bummer
This isn't Abripper 100 or 200, this is Abripper 339!
That's the face of a girl who's working hard!
Get em' up. This is AB RIPPER EX!
Tip of the day, don't do this everyday
Imagine you gotta do 100 of em, 25 doesn't sound so bad.
AbripperX, I hate it, but I love it

Back and Biceps:
'Semper Fi'... I'm not going to say it, I was never a Marine.
You don't have to write anything down for that one, just showin' up does the trick!
I almost blew out my esophagus!
You wanna see gorgeous, not this, my back!

Chest and Back:
haha...I love okra!
Scotty Fifer on the bands, he's the one man band-man.
German Potato Soup
Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was your body!
Look out dude, I'm coming with my bars!

Stirring up trouble
Slow-mo-throw, here we go!
... NO!? He's a machine! They call him La Maquina!...that's Spanish...

I love love love core until my daddy takes my T-bird away.

...otherwise get your knees up. Get your friggen' pants up!
This ain't no spray on... we do actual DNA removal!
Frog or Frag, depending on which part of the country you're from
I got shot in the buttocks, they say it's a milliondollar wound, but I haven't seen a dime
Wessly only bleeds on the inside
Cuz he's Mr. Flex-and-Breathe

Legs and Back:
Give me a 'Hey!', Give me a 'HoHo'
No Heels! I'll come to your house if your heels hit the deck!
I'm all rev'd up. I'm drooling for God's sake!
If you start to get squirrelly, come out of it.
He's from Belgium, that's what they do up there, it's cold all the time
Sounds like a bird in here.
Man lives on a boat... I don't get that.
Where do you feel that!? ... EVERYWHERE! *Dreya responds* "BOOTY!"
Man, I think I just ripped my pants...nope, I'm okay.
It's balistic, it's static, its Stablatic! I'm making up stuff!
Have you guys seen the world famous Karen potstirrers?
Women do what you feel, men do what you feel...I duhno there's a line there
Focus on my dinky calfs
I'd do this all day with you if I could, but I gotta check on the kids
That's strength, that's flexibility, it's the whole friggen' 9-yards.
The man's pure grissle from head to toe
Invented, well not invented, introduced to me by DRRRREY-YAAH
This is P-90-X, it ain't some silly little class...
Look at the teeth, WHYY? She's studying to be a dentist. Look at those teeth, unbelievable, off the charts, like chicklets going across...beautiful!

Did you see what Erik just said? He said he'll do his best.
Give me the double-double... doot-doot
...I don't wanna hear no excuses from any o'you!
Listen to me breathe...Vrrrrrp...Vurp...VVURRRPPPP
Hamburger bad, fries bad, coca-cola bad. There you go, I said it, drink your water people!
Pam, we call her BLAM!
Leap over the river, and through the woods, to grandmother's house, we go...
That's a short uncle
Jump over the guy you just beat up
You can do anything for 30 seconds!
Cat's gonna be puurdy
If you get tired during the lunge sequence, you're gonna run outa gas in this workout
Get sexy with it...VRRRMMMM
Get your little bucket near by, this is the 'X' in P90X.

Hey nice shirt man, you're wearing my shirt... guy stole my shirt
Tip of the day: Don't smash your face
Let the weight of your head do all the work. Mine weighs like 600lbs... and there ain't a damn thing in it.
I got one word for you WOW!" and what's wow upsidedown? "MOM!"
Like a pterodactyl backing out of trouble...CACAW

Slap it, slap it, make it feel good!

Get down into that Warrior2 Mr. Haas, this is YOGAX Ma-Brotha
Let's get BIZZ-EEE-YUR
You should feel this in your shoulders and biceps... I know I do
If you don't have a yoga block you can use a cat or dog.
This isnt a crazy cult or religion...its just Ohms.
Do your vin-ya-sa!!
She makes gumby look like the Tin-Man
ooooo...that's cushier!
Shauna freak of nature, beautiful thing
I suggest foot spray
Lift the left tail...err...heel
Add the toe, or not... add the toe, or not…
Last vinyasa of the day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 108: KenpoX + Final Week Review

"Wessly only bleeds on the inside." -Tony Horton- KenpoX

1.Thursday - P90X Diet
2.Friday - P90X Exercises (Cardio)
3.Monday - P90X Exercises (Weight)
4.Tuesday - P90X Dedication
5.Wednesday - Tony Horton
6.Thursday - Results
7.Friday - Final thoughts (last day)

Time for another perspective - DEDICATION. This is ultimately what makes or breaks a fitness program. If you can't capture your audience or if you just have the personality that does not allow you to do something day after day after day, you're not going to see results. That applies to everything, not just diets and fitness.

"You can do anything for 30 seconds" but can you do anything for 90 days?

90 days is short for a workout program. But step back, it's not that short. It's 1/4 of a whole year. It's not like you'll be ripped and at the beach in a weekend. And it's most definitely not a miracle drug. Results take time, it takes effort, and it takes a lot of determination. It's as much of a mind game as it is a physical game.

P90X is a 7 days/week program.

Some people might consider exercise as "I'll just do it and get it over with" Watch out for this! It's very defeatist. You're telling yourself you don't like what you're doing. If you really want to make it to the end of 90 days, you really need to be excited about working out, or at least eager to reach your goals. Trying to get yourself to do something you hate is like teaching a cat to play fetch, its HARD.

The videos do a reasonable job keeping you coming back. You very often hear "KEEP PUSHING PLAY" which by most accounts is an effective way to get you rolling. Not in the mood to exercise? Push play anyway... sometimes you'll start doing the goofy warm-up march then (what seems like only moments later) it's over and it was actually not bad.

Missing days: try not to do it, especially early. If you start missing/skipping days in your first few weeks, it's hard to recover. You start justifying in your head that "Oh, I've already missed a day, so my perfect attendance is already blown. What's one more..." which ultimately turns into laziness and forgetfulness and 1 month down the road you've thrown in the towel or restarted from the beginning. It's best to stay on track as best you can and avoid any problems by adjusting your days accordingly. Can't make a Wednesday Yoga? Do it Saturday and skip StretchX. Your days got shifted around, but you still did all your workouts.

Going to Spain for 2 weeks REALLY through me off. Not only did I return weaker and fatter than I left, but I was much less motivated. I convinced myself that if I didn't start up immediately, I wouldn't start up. So I took it upon myself to really push hard to get back into the game. Long breaks/sickness really hinder your overall performance. I honestly think my results and motivation would be significantly better had the routine not been interrupted by my 2.5 weeks off.

Same goes for the diet. But I think it's easier to get back on track with the diet after a small hiccup. Just don't blow it by performing a weekend binge.

Was I dedicated? Let's put it this way, if I could chart my dedication (X being day, y being % dedicated/motivation) It would look like this:

1 | 100%
10 | 100%
20 | 85%
30 | 100% - introduction to phase 2 EVERYONE LOVES CHANGE
40 | 100%
50 | 80% - about ready to leave for Spain
60 | 15% - in Spain
70 | 15% - in Spain
80 | 85%
90 | 75%
100 | 75%
108 | 65% - this last week I am so not motivated

It's easy to start strong and get pretty reasonable results and then crash after 30-40 days. Why not right? Well I think sticking with the whole program gives you better lasting results with habits which might stick with you. If you got do Phase 2 and stopped, chances are you've already returned to your normal diet and normal fitness routines (or lack there of). The longer and harder you invest your time, the longer and harder you will fight to maintain what you've worked for. You won't throw it all away at a moments notice.

Dedication can't be taught. It's just something you have to have. If you are thinking about doing P90X, set goals, ask yourself if it's something you can commit to, and be truthful to yourself and others. The best thing I have done to improve my dedication is to HOST THIS BLOG. Granted most of the people who read it I don't even know, and chances are I never will, and the blog writing process takes a lot of time... but it MAKES ME ACCOUNTABLE. If I skip a workout, I feel bad and that SHOULD be enough to keep me from skipping another, but having people read about my blunders makes me feel WORSE because I like to think they are on my side, they want me to succeed, and that they are struggling with similar problems.

So although just about any fitness program will help you lose weight / build muscle... if you can't stick to it, you won't get very far. So the big lesson of today is - Go get it. Want it. Just do it. Bring it. Keep Pushing Play. Get back on the horse. Man up. Get'er done.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 107: CoreSynergistics + Final Week Review

"Add the toe, or not... add the toe, or not..." -Tony Horton- YogaX

1.Thursday - P90X Diet
2.Friday - P90X Exercises (Cardio)
3.Monday - P90X Exercises (Weight)
4.Tuesday - P90X Dedication
5.Wednesday - Tony Horton
6.Thursday - Results
7.Friday - Final thoughts (last day)

Lets talk about weight-training P90X workouts. I love pull ups and chin ups. I think they are fantastic ways to build muscle and tone your body. Most people don't realize the amount of core-strength it requires to do a chin up, but take it from me, it's there. There are 2 phases of weight training workouts, phase 1 which is Chest/Back, Legs/Back/, and Arms,Tris,Shoulders. And then there's phase 2 which is Chest/Shoulders, Back/Bicep, and Legs/Back. All of the exercises are followed by ab-ripperX and done every other day (alternating with cardio).

These weight training exercises can utilize a couple types of resistance; bands, weights, or body weight. Everyone's already heard my gripe with body weight exercises when you're losing weight... so lets move on to free weights and resistance bands. I found resistance bands were convenient, although not as effective as free weights. Free weights give you a wider range of motion and also give you more variety of resistance, where as bands there might only be 3 or 4 set resistances (which for the most part were too weak/light).

That being said, they both will build and tone your body, but in different ways. High weight low reps for size and less weight more reps for tone. Bands unfortunately give a more toned effect while free weights give you the option for size.

Legs/Back - If PlyoX wasn't "The Mother" this exercise would be! Legs and back is pretty much the only workout that consistantly makes me feel like I am going to pass out. So many pullups, so many lunges, so many squats. If you haven't eaten in a while, you might want to grab some carbs before you embark on this journey. The pullups come at you fast. So be prepared. Wall squats are critical to your fitness, and don't worry you'll do a lot of them.

Chest/Back - This is the start of P90X. You might say "What have I gotten myself into?" It's a hard first workout, but it gets easier over time. Plus, they are muscles a guy typically wants to work out to get a nice upper body. Dive bomber pushups anyone?

Chest/Shoulders/Tri - Doing the in/out shoulder flies is brutal with the bands. A lot of the shoulder exercises really need to be done with light weight. Don't try and be a hero or you will get fried.

Back/Bicep - This is by far my favorite strength workout. Back, double bicep. What a way to pump up those arms! We're talking spaghetti arms the next day. If you have free weights for this exercise, I'd highly suggest using them. Bands on this routine are very limited as far as rotating your arms for hammer curls and anything reverse.

Chest/Shoulders - I often did this one at the gym with my worksheet. It's nice because you don't need that much equipment for it. It's all your pushups and shoulder raises connecting the chest to the arms. Guys should gravitate towards this workout.

Ab-ripperX - You've done it a million times if you've completed P90X. I know the whole damn thing forward, backward, and word-for-word. "Aww Adam had to be a hot shot", "That's a face of a girl who's working", "They're working hard I know you are", "Flex the feet and straighten the leg", "I think I'm gonna say 11, and 11", "20- hit my hand, 21- HIT MY HAND", "He's working hard, and that's what I want to see you do", "Nobody go, I wanna show the folks the form", "Audra's going straight for the toe", and many other memorable quotes. Okay okay, enough. Aside from ab-ripperX being engrained in my skull, it's a good little 15mins of core. If there's one thing that I'll continue to do long after my P90X career is over, it's AbripperX. Don't be fooled though, even though it's short, you can still feel a good burn.

All of the exercises above are very well put together, with limited rest time. This keeps your body pumped up and feeling the burn. They tend to have more exercises packed into 1hr than I would normally be able to do at the gym in the same amount of time, so it really focuses on you burning calories while you work out. They are critical to building muscle and Tony does a good job delivering them to you and explaining the form.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 104: KenpoX + Final Week Report

"Invented, well not invented, introduced to me by DRRRREY-YAAH" -Tony Horton- Legs&Back

1.Thursday - P90X Diet
2.Friday - P90X Exercises (Cardio)

3.Monday - P90X Exercises (Weight)
4.Tuesday - P90X Dedication
5.Wednesday - Tony Horton
6.Thursday - Results
7.Friday - Final thoughts (last day)

P90X sends your body through 3 types of exercises; Cardio, Strength, and Stretching. I'm going to take the time to review and go over the effectiveness of the Cardio and Stretching exercises offered by P90X. The primary ones I will cover are: PlyoX, KenpoX, YogaX, and StretchX. Keep in mind these exercises are separated by a strength workout every other day.

By far the most effective cardio exercise in P90X is PlyoX "The Mother" as Tony would say. He's not lying. This is one of the hardest workouts in the whole program. Most people, who are not fit to start, cannot (or choose not to) do PlyoX. It really is designed for people who are already somewhat athletic. For those who don't know, Plyometrics is Jump Training. It's a lot of squat-jumps, lunge jumps, toe-taps, and it's designed to get the blood and sweat flowing. If you're doing PlyoX once a week, you will get stronger legs and burn a ton of calories, but unfortunately it's not for everyone. Some of the moves in PlyoX are a lot easier/harder than others. For example the three hardest are: Jump Knee Tuck, Switch-Run-Stance-Squats, and Rockstar Hops. Some of the easier moves are: Circle Run, Double Airborn Hiensmen, and River-Jumps.

Another cardio workout is KenpoX. Kenpo is very different from Plyo. It's a tae-bo style kick-boxing like workout. I found it to be very easy and required hand weights to increase the intensity. That's not to say I didn't benefit from the routine. Kenpo, although you think cardio, arms, and legs... it really works your core! I find my abs are tightest after doing Kenpo than they are after doing ab-ripperX. Perhaps it's all the body-turning punches or the balancing required to do an hour's worth of kicks. But the system works. Clearly being distracted with my arms and legs moving all over the place, I forget to realize the balance + core work required for me to stay upright. Kenpo also has a really long warm-up and cool-down, so the actual workout portion is very short. Great for those days when you just don't have enough time.

YogaX - what a great workout. Everyone dreads it because it's just too damn long. But when you do the moves and you breathe, do your vinyasa pushups, hold those poses, reach farther, stretch wider, it's a solid way to exercise. Prior to P90X, I had never done any yoga. Now that I have, I'm more inclined to believe it works. I like to think of yoga as ISOMETRICS. I doubt many of you are familiar with that term anymore, it's a dated exercise program that has you basically FLEX a muscle in a static position, which then helps strengthen it. A good example might be: pushing a wall or flexing your bicep for 1 minute. I think yoga works in a similar way. You're holding your body up in strange positions on one leg or face down and it does require strength to do that. Also I've been told Tony's yoga is just too hectic and not soothing enough to be considered "real yoga" but it worked for me, and each morning it's hit or miss whether I want to do it or if I'm just not feeling it.

One final cardio thought. All of these cardio workouts are "Get out what you put in" style workouts. If you're just doing the motions to make it through the DVD, you're not going to benefit. You really need to push yourself, JUMP HIGHER, PUNCH HARDER, STRETCH FURTHER. Without drive, these cardio routines are pointless. If they are too easy for you, add weight. If it's too hard for you, try to keep up as best you can, then take a 30 second break.

Lastly, StretchX. I only did stretchX twice. I don't have that strong of an opinion on it. I think most people skip stretchX. It's short, it's easy, and it's basically a watered down yoga. You don't have to skip it, but 6 outa 7 days is enough Tony for me. Kudos to anyone who is disciplined enough to include StretchX on that 7th day each week.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 103: Legs + Back Final Week Report

"The man's pure grissle from head to toe" -Tony Horton- Legs&Back

So today I am going to start something different. Since this is my last week, I want to start giving future P90Xers some insight on how the program went for me. Without being too unorganized I think I will give everyone a rough outline so that if you only want to read about a specific topic, you can tune in that day:

1.Thursday - P90X Diet
2.Friday - P90X Exercises (Cardio)
3.Monday - P90X Exercises (Weight)
4.Tuesday - P90X Dedication
5.Wednesday - Tony Horton
6.Thursday - Results
7.Friday - Final thoughts (last day)

Let's Begin: P90X Diet

For starters, I have never been on a diet before. It has never phased me that eating specific items would have such a large impact on weight loss (and for that matter, weight gain). To date, I have lost over 20lbs (168lbs --> 146.5lbs) which is fairly impressive considering I was told I didn't have much to lose.

The first two weeks on the P90X diet I was constantly hungry. The high protein diet does not give the satisfaction of a carb-rich meal. I called it rolling hunger, because you'd be hungry - so you'd eat - but you'd still be hungry. A few hours later, the hunger would go away. You wouldn't be hungry - and you'd eat your next meal - then hunger would come back and then vanish. It was a bit strange, but after week 2, I never felt that sensation again.

In my all honest personal opinion, I think the diet has had a more sculpting effect on my physique than all the exercises. But another thing I have learned is that dieting is NOT EASY. Temptation knocks at your door on a regular basis, sometimes daily, sometimes more frequently than that. I started my diet right at the height of "Birthday Season" where it seems like everyone you know is having cake and ice cream. But thankfully, that was when I was at my strongest. I resisted all cake-attacks up until almost Phase 3. But cake isn't the only temptation, and in fact it's one of the rarer ones.

The most frequent thing to resist is going out to eat. Eating out can be okay. I've found it possible to special request two sides of vegetables instead of rice/potato. You can often ask for calorie information and you have to make smart choices. But it is always hard to quantify how much you ate, and if you obeyed the P90X diet. The less eating out you do, the better your diet will be, WITHOUT QUESTION.

Eating with others or family is challenging too, I am lucky because I live alone. Although you want to eat healthy, it's not always true that your family embraces steamed broccoli with unseasoned chicken (a frequent meal I ate). Or, likewise if your family is cooking for you, it's all up in the air as to what's on the menu.

Your best bet is to prepare your food for yourself. You know what your goals are, you know the nutrition plan, you know what needs to be done. And like many things I will say in the next couple of days - it all comes down to you! You decide to go out to eat, you put the cooked food on your plate, you do your grocery shopping. If you have no will power and can't leave the bag of chips closed - give them away. If those cans of soda in your fridge keep calling your name and you crack them open, throw them out. Breaking the diet is just as bad (and in some cases WORSE) than skipping an exercise (we'll get into that on a later date).

Dieting is hard, I struggled, I cheated (although only a few times), but I've kept it up and the results show. I think if anyone is serious about starting P90X and decides to negate the diet, I'd suggest they highly reconsider. I've mentioned this before, but I think the diet is 60% of the results, so unless you want to exercise and listen to Tony for a total of 225 days (I just did 90days / 0.4 = 225 days of exercise without the diet = 90days exercise + diet) I'd start eating healthy.

For anyone who doesn't know the diet is mainly protein, reducing carbs, and no sweets or alcohol. If you're interested to know what I primarily ate during my journey, I posted it just a few days ago (perhaps I will throw in a link - if I remember to do that).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 102: Platelet Donation (Reverse ARX + 100/100)

"If you get tired during the lunge sequence, you're gonna run outa gas in this workout" -Tony Horton- PlyoX

Yesterday I did two things, and I will give both creators due-credit:

1. Reverse Ab RipperX (suggested by Hatori)
2. 100 pullups/100 pushups (suggested by Brett)

I have to admit, both work. My strategy for reverse ab-ripper-X was to not cheat. Do all 25, do them slow and methodical, since I don't have Tony's timing. Holding each leg climber and doing nice slow mason twists and holding your arms up on bicycles really burns the core.

Also, for my 100/100 routine, I did sets of 10. 10 pullups (wide front), 10 pushups (standard), back to 10 pullups, back to 10 pushups, etc. etc until I reached 100 of each. It took me about 14minutes and it was mostly me standing around saying to myself "WHAT AM I DOING?" then jumping up to the bar, rockin' out 5 or 6 only to come back down and give myself another minute before I could get the 4 to finish off the set. The pushups were definitely easier than the pullups. And most certainly the first 3 sets I pumped out one-two-three. But once I hit 50, I was running low on gas.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 101: Gym without work-sheets

"Get sexy with it...VRRRMMMM" -Tony Horton- PlyoX

So P90X news:

1. I posted my Day 98 pictures last night.
2. I'll be going to the gym to do arms,tris,shoulders without a worksheet. I don't know why I forgot it this morning, but I checked my bag twice now and it's not there. So I'm going to either try to look up the workout list online and print it out or just WING IT. We'll see how busy I am at work first.

On the side, I bought a car last night! "Bought" in the sense I finalized a sale value and put down a deposit so that nobody can buy it. It's taken me a long time to buy a car (about 3 years) so this day is long over-due. I'll take delivery on it next Monday! Woohoo!

Feeling sprite today. Weighed in at 146.5lbs, much better than the 149lbs yesterday. But like I always say, you can never do day by day. You must chart trends and the trend continues to go down. So that's good.

Wednesday - Giving platelets again.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 98: Picture Update

Day 100: Chest and Back

"Imagine you gotta do 100 of em, 25 doesn't sound so bad." Tony Horton -AbripperX-

Days will be a little out of order, I will post Saturday's pictures today (but after work). So you'll see Day 98 post in the near future (even though the day count is lower). It makes sense.

The weekend was a lot of work. We got more done on the kitchen cabinets and we took down a tree, plus I did yardwork and cleaned the house. Ontop of that we had a wedding reception to go to. Very busy weekend, sorry I did not post anything.

I'm up a few pounds this morning. I believe it read 149lbs, I was a bit glazed over this morning, as I did not get a full night sleep. New squirrels have found their way into my attic, so exterminating them will be my mission for the next couple of days/weeks.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 97: KenpoX

"That's strength, that's flexibility, it's the whole friggen' 9-yards." -Tony Horton- Legs&Back

I think I am going to have to post a "Tony's Quotes" post. I'm realizing that by posting one a day, they are losing any kind of organizational quality. I think the next time I have some free-time at work, I'll try to put them together nicely into categories (or by video) and give everyone a nice bank of Tony quotes to work with. Feel free to add any quotes I haven't yet posted in the comments section, I'll add it to the list.

147.5lbs today, no changes from earlier this week. I do find I can see a six-pack sneaking its way out (about time too, program's almost over). I figure I have 1 more regular week and 1 rest-week left. Perhaps I'll throw in some ab-ripper-X's on my last rest week to finalize any definition down there.

The whole backpack thing is working well. My numbers are way down, but it's super hard. Legs&Back is always challenging, but adding 25lbs really takes it up a notch. I 'll be taking pictures tomorrow, hopefully they'll be good!

Father's day this weekend. I won't be going home to see him, but I've sent him a gift certificate to the Store de Liquor. So hopefully that is well received.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 96: Legs and Back

"Lift the left tail...err...heel" -Tony Horton- YogaX

Funny, how yesterday I said I would probably axe YogaX in my upcoming round 2... when after completing Yoga, I realized I kinda like it. Well it's definitely not my favorite, but I can tell it "works" and I do feel pretty good when performing the moves. All the pushups/vinyasas/warrior poses do work your muscles fairly well. So who knows, maybe I won't axe it, but it's all up in the air right now anyway, with less than two weeks left to go in my first 90-days.

Another thing I want to post before it gets too late in my round 1 is my diet. I've broken it down into two things: Calories and protein. Just to give everyone an idea of how I eat and what I am eating. Keep in mind, there are some days (Fridays) where I eat lunch out (sometimes) and weekends, when I have a non-standard meals. But Monday-Thursday I eat the exact same thing:

1 powerbar = 250 calories / 10g protein

3/4 Cup of Peanuts = 600 calories / 26g protein
1 cup of carrots = 50 calories / 1g protein
1/2 cup of raisins = 250 calories / 2.5g protein
1 yogurt = 150 calories / 14g protein
1 bag of tuna = 100 calories / 20g protein

lunch total = 1150 calories / 63.5g protein

1 apple = 150 calories / 0g protein

1 bag of salad = 50 calories / 0g protein
salad dressing = 100 calories / 2g protein
Parmesan cheese = 100 calories / 15g protein

dinner total = 250 calories / 17g protein

GRAND TOTAL = 1650 calories / 90.5g protein

** I usually eat ONE extra (maybe 2) on days I work out really hard - they represent about 25-50% of the time. Otherwise I don't add anything ontop of my regular diet. The tea, really doesn't count**
5oz chicken for salad = 275 calories / 20g protein
1 skim milk protein shake = 270 calories / 34g protein
-2 cups skim milk = 160 calories / 16g protein
-1 scoop of protein = 110 calories / 18g protein
1 extra powerbar = 250 calories / 10g protein
1 cup of tea = 0 calories / 0g protein
2 packets of splenda = 5 calories / 0g protein (estimate)

SUPER GRAND TOTAL (if consumed all) = 2455 calories / 154.5g protein

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 95: YogaX

"Get your little bucket near by, this is the 'X' in P90X." -Tony Horton- Plyo Intro

So yesterday I completed reverse abripperX. It was strange, but I'll do it again. Instead of the mason twists being a pain in the butt, the late fifer-scissors and crunchy frog were seriously intense. Because I wasn't marching along backwards with the video... I know for a fact my "counts" for the fifer-scissors were fast. It's impossible to wait til you hear the number if no body's counting to you. So to make up for my quick counting I went up to 35. And if reverse abripperX is good, perhaps I'll do two rounds of ARX in a row, one forward and one backward with a 5min pause in-between. We'll see. It sounds like a good idea now, while I am comfortably hanging out in my office... but immediately following a P90X workout, perhaps the idea is a little over zealous.

As for what's going to happen after 106 days? I don't know. I definitely want to keep my fat down and I enjoy the workouts, so why not continue? Perhaps I wont do weekly photos (maybe I will). Maybe I'll axe YogaX. Perhaps I'll throw in some more running? It's all very up in the air, but I know I don't want all my hard work to be for nothing. So continuing seems like one of the only viable options.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 94: Chest/Shoulders/Tri

"Cats gonna be puurdy" -Tony Horton- PlyoX

Feeling pretty dog tired from Plyo+Backpack. Today I'll be doing chest/shoulders/tri's at the gym (first time not with bands or video...). We'll see how well I do without timing/adequate weight information. Hopefully I make it through alive.

First day of reverse AbripperX.

Short post today because I'm very busy at work. But I'm 2 weeks from finishing!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 93: Plyometrics

"Pam - they call her BLAM!" -Tony Horton- PlyoX

About two weeks left, and I missed my Chest/Back workout yesterday. What a shame! I did a great job this weekend on my diet, no thanks to one person who kept offering me cup-cakes and telling me to lift my shirt in public (The answer was "No thanks" for both accounts). I am at 147.5lbs and going to do Plyometrics with a backpack this afternoon, after I get paint for the kitchen cabinets.

I have been using sucralose (Splenda) a lot in calorie-free things like tea + coffee. It's not quite the same as a spoonful of sugar but it's tasty and I can still get the caffeine rush at 2:00pm, guilt free.

I haven't done ab-ripper-X in reverse yet, but perhaps this week I will give it a shot and do a quick review of what it's like. Supposedly it's quite the adventure.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 91: Picture Update (2x)

Last week I didn't have my camera cable, so I couldn't update my pictures. But I took the liberty to include them in this update. Photos taken this week were a bit blurry, but still show decent results.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 89: Pizza and Tax Returns make me happy

"I'm all rev'd up. I'm drooling for God's sake!" -Tony Horton- Legs&Back

Yesterday was tough. Mowed my lawn, did my laundry, and P90X'd all in about a 2.5hour time frame. I was pretty toasted last night. Today, however, will be an entirely different story. In fact, it's already spectacular. I finally got my IRS tax return today! Woohoo! I'm not poor anymore!

And ontop of a wonderful tax return finally arriving, I am going out for pizza at lunch. I debated for a long time if I would bag my lunch and eat healthy, or if I would actually eat pizza. After consulting a few others, looks like today will be my first pizza slice in over 89 days. The excitement can't be matched.

Supposedly tomorrow would have been my final P90X day for round 1. But because of my Spain trip, I have a few more weeks to go to truly be finished. I will keep updating the blog and pictures and I will officially end Round 1 when I have completed 90 days of exercise. But so far I am very pleased with the results.

Next post I will evaluate where I stand on my goals, seeing as how I only have two weeks left to reach them.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 88: Powerbar Flavor Guide

"Get down into that Warrior2 Mr. Haas, this is YOGAX Ma-Brotha" -Tony Horton- YogaX

I talked before about my morning diet switching from Egg-whites to Power-bars. Well, a lot of people have been asking "How can you eat those things? They're gross!" Or at least something to that nature. I thought I'd give you my interpretation...

1. Powerbars are not CANDY bars. That means, you shouldn't expect them to taste like Snickers or 3Musketeers or Almond Joys. They are a nutritional supplement and should be compared to things like Protein Shakes, Slim-Fast, and other Nutritional Bars (luna, harvest, etc.). So once you understand that, yes, you'll likely accept that they aren't a dessert you'd find on a restaurant menu.

2. They come in many different flavors and most flavors are okay - but there are some stinkers out there. Because I have tried them all, let me give you a quick rundown of the choices and then I will rate them by taste(T -how does it taste in my mouth?) and repeatability(R -can you eat it day after day?) and perhaps an explanation of why they were rated that way. (10=best, 1=worst)

Honey Roast (6/10)- One of the better tasting bars, but too sweet to eat daily
Chocolate Brownie (5/10)- Has these strange brown crunches in it very dry needs water
Cookies'n'cream (3.5/10)- One of the worst tasting bars and most easily melted
Peanutbutter (8/10)- Most probably the best OVERALL taste is good and can eat it repeatedly
Oatmeal Raisin (7.5/10)- Delicious! Tastes like and oatmeal cookie but like the honey, its too sweet
Vanilla Crisp (5.5/10)- Decent taste, but it's the kind of flavor you can't have too much of
Berries (2.5/10)- By far the worst power bar invention to date. Stay away! You've been warned
Caramel Cookie (5/10)- Very sweet, but it's different enough that you could have it a couple times a week
Chocolate/Peanutbutter (7.5/10)- Take what's good from the peanut butter and add some chocolate, it's a safe bet.

Today is legs and back w/a backpack! YogaX was fine last night. I wasn't as excited about YogaX today as I was last week. Probably because I was just not into it. I'm getting better and stronger in the half-moon section of the moving part (first part). Gonna really dig deep this afternoon for legs + back.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 87: YogaX

"haha...I love okra!" -Tony Horton- Chest&Back

2nd week in a row, where waking up at 5:15am is just NOT happening. I think this is the first time in P90X history, when I'll be doing YogaX in the afternoon. Previously, even bad weeks, I could wake up and get yoga done before work. I will NOT be wearing a backpack for yogaX.

I weighed myself this morning. 148lbs. That puts me at a total weight loss of 20lbs. Pretty good so far. I'm amazed that I can still lose a pound or two here and there. I thought after the initial first push, I'd be at my minimum. Well turns out that minimum is a moving target.

I do want to send out a warning to any video-game players (in particular RTS people)... Starcraft 2 is coming out in about 1 month. July 27th 2010. For many of you, this release won't matter. You're lives will continue on at a normal pace. But for many others, it will be a life-changing event that will be similar to a hostile takeover! I already know how the BETA has affected some P90Xers and I am pretty sure it will affect me when the game comes out, but hopefully P90X will be complete and I'll just be in either Round2 or doing the workouts semi-regularly. We'll see what happens, I'm super excited about the game. I've been watching some play-by-plays on youtube, very fun!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 86: Shoulders and Arms

"Did you see what Erik just said? He said he'll do his best." -Tony Horton- PlyoX

I don't think I'll use a backpack for today's workout. Shoulders and Arms just doesn't jive with added weight on my back, unlike many of the other workouts, this one is not body-weight dependent. So looks like this afternoon's workout will be pretty standard fare.

Let's review some more equipment that I have been using: Bands.

I'm using "B.M.P. Set of Five Resistance Bands". BMP Stands for Black Mountain Products, what that has to do with fitness, I don't know. But the bands were cheap and I got them for $32.53 (free shipping, but had to pay tax). The bands come in 5 distinct weight ranges 2-5 yellow, 5-10 green, 10-15 blue, 15-20 black, 20-30 red. They are fully formed handle + band, so there is no clips, handles, stoppers, or anything that you have to remove and re-attach. To date, I've primarily used the black and red bands. There are a few shoulder exercises that are too difficult to do with the heavier ones, but I have found no use for the lower-weight bands. Even when I "double up" and hold two in one hand, I stick with green/red or blue/red.

I find the grips are very nice, but I think they are just made out of thin plastic. So if you strain too much they might snap in the middle (some of the bands at my gym have snapped and the handles are terrible to work with - they really dig into your palms).

A nice bonus - the bands come with a small door-clip. This allows you to place the clip at the top of a doorframe (that has a door) and you can feed the band through it so you can perform band-pullups. It's a nice bonus. Again, I haven't used this feature, but it's there.

after almost 86 days of using them, I haven't had any indication of significant ware, tearing, or signs of degrading. They seem to hold up pretty well. And for $30, how can you say no?

My only complaint is that they don't have a 40-50lb band. I'm finding that red is not enough for some of the bicep workouts where you crouch down. Even making a double-loop around my feet.

Weighed- 149 this morning. Plyo was tough with a backpack, but do-able. Only ones I had problems with were: Twist Combo, Rockstar Hops, and Jump Knee Tuck... because the backpack has a mind of its own.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 85: Plyometrics

"Scotty Fifer on the bands, he's the one man band-man." -Tony Horton- Chest&Back

Worked out over the weekend using my Backpack. I kept the weight at 20lbs. A couple of conclusions can be made:

1. Jumping Jacks DO NOT HAPPEN with a backpack on - the books bounce around way too much and it throws off your timing.

2. Wear a shirt. It would seem that the shoulder straps really dig into your bare-sweaty skin and hurts quite a bit.

3. When I do pull ups with the backpack, I do about the same as I was able to do in earlier weeks. Which makes me wonder how much "stronger" I really am.

4. Kenpo is difficult to "Hit with your hip and your body" when you're sloshing around a few extra pounds behind you. I think for it to be effective I'd have to really balance out the weight front/back.

5. I'm going to continue the backpack through Plyometrics this afternoon, I hope it goes okay.

6. Still haven't figured out what I'm going to do to increase the difficulty of Ab-ripperX. I couldn't put a book on my chest. Too many moves require your hands, and some of the moves are with your back on the mat anyway. I'll need to be creative.

My arms REALLY feel the extra weight when I do any pull-ups. I highly suggest adding extra weight to anyone who has lost more than about 10lbs. And with the warmer and more humid afternoons, I am sweating more and more during each exercise. It's getting pretty gross.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 83: Why P90X isn't fair

"If you start to get squirrelly, come out of it." -Tony Horton- Legs&Back

Before I say anything, the title of this post is not an excuse or me whining. It's a challenge.

Why I think P90X is not fair (and this may be different from person to person). When I started P90X I weighed 168lbs. Currently I weigh 149lbs, which is fantastic. Here's where the fairness comes in... nearly all of the exercises P90X requires are body weight (squats, lunges, pull-ups, chin-ups, sit ups, push-ups, the list continues). Granted, yes, when I started I could only do 20 chinups, now I'm doing 25ish, but where's the glory? I've lost 12% of my body weight (resistance) and am now doing 15-20% more reps. To me, that's not all that impressive - it's more like EXPECTED results.

So, what do I plan to do about this imbalance? Well, for starters, yesterday's legs and back I wore a backpack containing two of my heaviest college books (Anatomy and Physiology + Biology) throught the whole workout (with the exception of wall-squats). This brought my weight to 173lbs. Doing chinups and squats at this weight is far more note-worthy and respectable than doing them at my new weight. So my hopes for the rest of Phase 3 will be to continue challenging the system with improvements. Without added resistance, I'm mentally beating myself up.

I'm not yet sure what I'm going to do with ab-ripperX, perhaps 1 book on my chest, but we'll see. KenpoX tonight after work. I'll see what happens with the backpack.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 81: Legs and Back

"Let's get BIZZ-EEE-YUR" -Tony Horton- YogaX

Afternoon YogaX + AbripperX went really well, although, I did miss my afternoon free time. Oh well it happens, I don't want to sound like I "bitch-bitch-bitch" all the time. It was my own fault.

So this morning, I was having hallucinations while dreaming. It was wild. I can't remember a more vivid dream. But clearly it was about Spain, because nobody but children could understand my crappy Spanish. But there were shopping malls, volcanoes, rental cars, flights, getting lost, whole-rooms worth of luggage (including things like lamps & shelves), hippies, basket weaving, jello-molds, you name it... it was in this dream. Without getting into too much detail, it was the kind of dream that you wake up and you're in a cold sweat not knowing if what happened was reality or fantasy.

I think I need to lay off the late night video games (late being 10:00pm).

Weighed in this morning at 150lbs. Pretty much right where I was last week. Back and Legs this afternoon - always the toughest workout. Lets see how I do.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 81: YogaX

"'Semper Fi'... I'm not going to say it, I was never a Marine." -Tony Horton- Back&Biceps

I forgot abripper yesterday. Don't ask how it happened, but it did. So today after work I am going to finish what I started. Yoga, today. Not a big surprise, should be pretty simple. I really need to get back ontrack with morning workouts. Working out in the afternoon just isn't as effective and I feel like I have no free-time. The worst part about the whole bit is I'm still going to bed at a reasonable hour in hopes I will be able to wake up early the next day - only to discover the snooze button. Curse the person who invented the snooze button!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 80: PlyoX + Back and Bicep

"Give me the double-double... doot-doot" -Tony Horton- PlyoX

Two stories today, both kinda short, but both kinda funny.

1. On my drive to work, I was eating my powerbar breakfast (keep in mind at 78degF/24degC powerbars tend to have a consistency of playdough). I got to a stoplight and needed to unwrap the packaging a bit more to gain access to the bottom half. Well in my haste, the powerbar slipped out of the wrapper and landed on the car floor. I picked it up a little saddened by the event. I looked at my now fuzzy powerbar and continued eating.

2. Yesterday I had a PlyoX workout buddy! It was fun doing it with somebody else, because NOBODY wants to volunteer to do Plyo. About 25 minutes into the workout, he started to struggle and then said "It's a lot easier reading about P90X on your blog, than actually doing it!" It was funny, but I was dying too. It was dry and I hadn't done Plyo in a while. We paused a couple times, but he made it through! Well done Dr. P