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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Day 73 - Go Up, or Go Home!

Well, this is the last time that I'll be able to do the Shoulders & Arms workout. I took what was written in the P90X fitness guide to heart today:

Phase 3: .... At the onset of this stage, you should be rested and ready to leave everything you've got on your exercise mat. No holding back. This will be the time to push to exhaustion and near muscle failure on every single set. Give it your maximum effort, each and every day, and you will know the true meaning of X...

I took this to heart on Chest and Back and today was no exception. I blasted through today workout, with only one thing on my mind: Perfect Failure

What I mean by perfect failure is to do AS MANY moves as I can till I can't push/pull anymore. BUT!!! With perfect form. Quality over Quantity the saying goes. Tony says that people stop way too early. They stop because their mind hits an invisible barrier where you start to tell yourself it's OK to stop. People need to go past that barrier and they'll hit a new level. Keep pushing/pulling with the best form you can do till your BODY (not mind) can't give any more while maintaing proper/perfect form.

I had the gym (at my work) all to myself. I had some great workout music playing, I had my dumbbells, water, and my P90X worksheets.

I tried to go up +5# on every exercise. If it was 20# in week 9 and I did 15 reps, then I moved up to 25# this round. Keeping to my original goal of honing and toning I still kept in the 12-15 rep zone. Perfect Failure. I surprised myself that I was able to do more weight and still keep up the same number of reps. I continued this mental perfect failure battle through the entire workout.

After it was all said and done I was amazed as I looked down at my sheet. I have come along way since Week 1. My weight has gone down, my muscle tone has gone up, my definition is starting to show through. Comparing my week 1 # vs. Week 11. WOW!

My max on dips when from a struggling 20 to a tricep pumping 36 in the time giving. Some bicep exercises went from 15# to 30#. Maxing 12 reps of 20# to 15 reps of 25#.

Another sign of a GREAT workout is the "Face Washing" Test. You know you've worked out that after you can barely wash your face because you arms are PUMPED! My arms had such a workout that I had an amazing pump. The skin around my biceps and triceps were taught to where I thought my muscles were going to pop through. As I tried to go into the shower room to wash my face, it was a laughable site. I could barely touch my face. But I digress.

While I was happy with my workout today, at the same time I was annoyed at myself that I hadn't been "BRINGING IT" like this since Day 1. Instead of pushing myself to the brink each and every workout, I tended to go up to the point to where I mentally stopped. Never pushing through like I did this workout. What I thought when I was giving 100% was me merely going till my mind told me to stop. If I had been pushing through my mental stop, who knows the results that I could have right now. Instead of doing curls w/ 25-30#'s, I could be in the 30-35# range.

A perfect example is my pull-ups. All the way through Phase I and most of Phase II, I'd been using the chair as a crutch. I never tried to do any without the chair, knowing that my Fit Test Day 1 I could only do 3. It wasn't until I kicked the chair away and started doing pull ups on my own, going to failure, and ONLY then would I burn out using the chair that I started getting results. I went from doing 3-5 on my own from Phase I till the end of Phase II, to doing 10-13 in Phase III. Pushing myself past my mental block I put up about my inability to do pull ups. That's what I started seeing results.

I'm nearing the down hill run of Week 11. With week 12 on the horizon and the final week of my resistance training on P90X, I still have alittle bit of time to keep trying for "Perfect Failure".

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

2 comments:

Sam said...

Nick,
Congratulations on bringing it each and every day! You're almost at the home stretch. Good job!

Your postings are really fun to read and give a lot of insight into your workouts and have certainly helped me in mine.

Sam
http://p90xdiary.blogspot.com/

SSgt Chad (27 SOCES/CEOCW) said...

Hey fellow P90X users,

I just stumbled on your blog while looking for success stories of P90X. You have done a fantastic job and you are a true inspiration for me.

I am starting week 3 this Monday. I can already see results in every aspect of my life. From the clothes I wear to my balanced energy level all day long, P90X is working great for me. I love all the workouts.

My diet is going great too. I am doing the Weight Watchers Flex Points right now. Me and my wife do that diet together to keep ourselves on track. Maybe in the future I will give the P90X diet plan a try but for now I am sticking to what has been working the best for me.

Keep up the great work and please keep posting so that I can watch your progress.

Chad