Cool Downloadable Workbook w/ Progress Tracker

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Day 78 - The Final Chapter of Round 1

Today, I am writing the final chapter of Round 1 of P90X.

I woke up this morning with my shoulder just slightly less sore than yesterday. This soreness is also in my upper left pectoral and lat muscle. My therapy sessions were ICE every hour for 20 minutes. This went on all yesterday and will continued all today until I tried Plyo tonight. Right off the bat, stretching game me the problems. Being that your shoulder muscles are also connected to the muscles in your arms, chest and back, every stretching move you do, in some way, makes use your shoulder muscles.

I finally had to stop about 10 minutes into the workout because of the aggravation on my shoulder. I don't know how to put in words how I felt as I sat there icing my shoulder. I felt highly aggravated, annoyed, sad, disappointed. I was mad that I was hurt; annoyed that I couldn't do the workouts; sad that I knew my shoulder needed more than acouple of days to get better; disappointed that I will not be able to finish or complete the rest of the week.

I don't know if I'm more disappointed with the fact that I won't finish my 90 days than the fact that my shoulder is hurt. I know that the injury was an accident and that there is nothing I can do about my situation. But it's just that I've come so far (in the program) to fall so short of the finish line. In comparion, it's training all session long for a big race, then twisting your ankle the day before a big race. Like studying for a huge final exam for months, and to fail by only 1 missed question. However, at the end of the day, I've come along way. I've come leaps and bounds of what I use to feel like, eat like, and LOOK like!!!! I've come farther in the past few 77 days than most people (myself included) in thier lifetimes. I've changed my life for the better and I have myself to thank for that. It was the dedication to the program and commitment to myself that I made each and every day of pushing play come high mountain or low valley that made me who I am now.

P90X, or specifically BeachBody, put together a program that puts everything a person needs to change themselves. They put together one of the best AT-HOME workout programs ever. It brings cardio, stretching, resistance training that hits every muscle in your body, Yoga to strengthen the inner-self as well as outside. It brings Plyometrics, Martial Arts, and some THE best support system for any training system with MillionDollarBody and W.O.W.Y. Those websites have become my second home. I've been people from around the U.S., as well a quite a few local Texans. We even get together once a month to do a P90X workout, plus it a great way to renew support, motivation, and dedication.

For the past 2.5 months I've changed. Changed on the inside as well as the outside. I've changed the way I eat; changed my self-esteem; changed the way I feel & look; changed my outlook on life; changed my thoughts & processes on the way I live my life.

Even though this final chapter in the book: P90X - Round 1 has ended. (Not completed, but ended) This by no means that the book is finished. Not by a long shot. I am taking the Christmas Holidays off to get my should back so that I can start P90X - Round 2 at the beginning of 2008. While, I might have fallen short of the finish line, I'm picking myself up and giving it my all until I cross it. Either First Place or Last Place. I still am going to finish it.

Until then, "Do your Best, and forget the rest!"

Monday, December 10, 2007


My new name for pain: The Obliterator

Because when your in pain, nothing else can exist. Not thought, Not emotion. Only the drive to escape the pain. When it's strong enough, the Obliterator strips us of who we are until we are reduced to creatures less than animals. Creatures with a single desire and goal: Escape.

While my 90 Days are coming up, they will have to take a small detour. Monday started my week 12 and CS&T. Well, I was going to failure on each and every workout since this is the last resistance week of P90X. And half way through my workout. Something happened.

As you all know, I have a left shoulder that has been dislocated and subluxated acouple of times in the past years and once recently acouple months ago. Anyways, while doing the leaning overhead tricep extensions, I had my elbow alittle to far back, which in turn, opened up my rotator cuff alittle more than I should have it and BAM!!! My shoulder subluxated again. I was in the workout room all by myself trying to get my shoulder back in.

But this time it was different. Usually I can get my arm back in within minutes. But for some reason, my shoulder didn't want to go back in. I tried almost every move I knew.

This time took more time.
Way too much time.

I could not get it back in before my shoulder muscles started to go into shock and tighten up. If anyone has every dislocated/subluxated a shoulder knows that all you senses heighten by 10x. Every move causes some amount of pain and if you move the wrong way, shards of pain shoot through your entire body as if you've been shocked by a enormous battery. All I wanted to do was to escape. Escape the pain, the situation, the room, my body. I wanted out. But I couldn't until I got my shoulder back in.

Luckily, after about 10 minutes, even with my shoulder and myself in shock, I was able to get it back in. Almost passing out, I sat down and let my nerves calm.

Needless to say I did not finish my day at work. My wife came to pick me up and I've been icing it ever since. Usually, I can pop it back in and the next day go about my business. This is day 2 after and it's still sore. Ice has been my closest friend.

I will not let this get me down. I will continue to do cardio and legs, some yoga and kenpo to a small degree to keep with the program. I'll be able to give a better progress report on my ability to continue the program after I try Plyo tomorrow.

Throughout the years and the numerous times my shoulder has subluxated has been a burden on me. This time in particular, when I could not get it back quickly and took every bit my will to not pass out and to continue to fight to get it back in, makes me feel like I'm falling apart. Like a old horse that's plowed to many fields, and I'm only 28 years.

It's time to ice.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Day 74 - My Yoga Belly getting smaller

It's the same-old-same for Yoga today. It's become a workout that I highly look forward to doing. I close myself off from the outside world, put on some nice smooth relaxing music, push play and the Breathe. That's it!!

I'm not going to lie, Yoga really wasn't/isn't that enjoyable at the beginning of my journey. All through Phase I and most of Phase II, I was Mr. Uncoordinated, Mr. Off-Balanced, and Mr. "OH MY GOSH, THIS POSITION SUCKS!". I counted down the minutes till the workout was over. Not anymore! Each and every time I've done Yoga, my "inner-self" has become stronger, "balanced", stretched out, and "quieted".

I don't know how it worked out, but after 3 days of some intense P90X, work, family, problems, bills, "you name it", having Yoga on day 4 is perfect. It couldn't go in any other days' spot.

Yoga has be the aid to "put my mind right."

Over the course of the past three months, the following is what I've learned by incorporating Yoga X and Stretch X to my life: (It's what I "think", it may not be true for everyone, but it's what I belive Yoga and stretching has done for me).

If you watch someone practicing yoga, you will notice that they are not straining or breathing heavily and that their face is placid and calm. Perhaps you may even notice that they seem very focused and they are not distracted by what is going on around them.

Yoga meditation and breathing techniques can relieve many of the physical symptoms of stress (palpitations, shortness of breath, insomnia, nervousness and more). It will help to tone and stretch your muscles and keep your body flexible, and they bring live-giving blood and oxygen to every part of your body.

How Yoga accomplish this? Essentially, the total yoga workout (physical, breath and meditation) works on the central nervous system and through that conduit, it lowers blood pressure and evens breathing to take the strain off your body and mind.

Yoga requires you to enter and remain in an altered state of mind and focus. When you focus your attention on your breathing, you allow problems and other thoughts to pass through your mind and continue on their way, and you remain connected to your body in the here and now. You don't become distracted by other thoughts or stressors. This takes some practice, but it is something that ANYONE can do!

When you relax your breathing and take longer, deeper breaths, you feed your body and help your mind and emotions relax and focus as well. Instead of the short, shallow breath you take when you are under stress or worried, your breathing becomes even and slow and you breath into your abdomen instead of up in your chest.

P90X has become more than one of those fly-by-night workout programs that come and go like a One-Hit-Wonder. Being that I'm in the final two weeks of P90X, I thought I'd try (knowing what I know now) to find a workout/nutritional program that can match (or beat) P90X. I've looked, and without going into a lengthy list of the programs I've read into, I have NOT found anything that comes close to matching what P90X can do for someone.

P90X has become a lifestyle for me that I will never give up. Not P90X itself, but the process of working out in a set pattern, eating healthy, incorporating jump training, stretching, and Yoga.

P90X... "It IS the Best, so forget the rest..."

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

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.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Day 72 - Plyo-Breathing

It seems that, after today, I only have Plyo two more times. :( Time flies by. The funny thing is that I've done Plyometrics 10 (TEN) times before and I still find it funny that while I've been able to get through the workout with alittle bit more energy each time, it never gets easy!

One one hand, THAT'S AWESOME! Gives me something to keep me on my toes and something concrete to base my endurance and stamina against! On the other, it kinda makes you feel that you haven't progressed, in terms of endurance and stamina, being that you've done it 10 TIMES Hopefully, all of that just made sense.

Last Plyo-Post, I mentioned that I found out something new about the breathing and how it is one of the most important things to focus on during working out (in addition to form.

ACE, who is a die-hard triathlete and I had a conversation. He was telling me about key points on breathing and "HOW TO" breathe properly when exercising. Instead of paraphrasing, I thought I'd quote him:

Aside from just focusing on breath with control you may want to also think about "how" you breathe normally. Most adults breathe into there chest area, so when they inhale you can see their chest rise and fall. This doesn't fill the lungs completely. And less oxygen = more fatigue. Watch your son breathe sometime. Especially as he sleeps. I'm willing to bet that his chest stays still and his stomach moves up and down. This is called belly breathing and it is much deeper than the shallow breathing most of us adopt as we age. Basically your son is literally filling his body with oxygen which in turn can mean more stamina and faster recovery. Ever wonder why he can just go and go and go? Belly breathing plain and simple.

All that aside it isn't hard to move back into that type of breathing pattern. Just lay on your back with one palm on your chest and the other on your stomach. As you breathe try to keep the palm on your chest still while you try to push the palm on your stomach up. You want to think of filling your belly with air. Once you get the sensation you can practice it whenever you think about it. Soon it becomes normal and you should see a big difference in a lower heart rate and overall stamina.

Taking his advice, I continued through the rest of last week's (week 10) workouts and paid close attention to my breathing during Yoga and Kenpo X (which I substituted with Billy Blank's Fat Blasting Cardio). At first, it was hard to breathe the "proper way" as described by Ace. However, about 3/4 the way through Plyo, I had it down. While my breathing awkward through the entire workout, and trying to focus on breathing and jumping at the same time, the workout was actually "harder", but I actually had "energy" during the workout. Weird isn't it. Usually, I'm huffing and puffing and starving my body of needed energy by re-directing it to support my breathing. Not this time! My "focused breathing" allowed my energy to be expelled on my Plyo.

Which leads me to TODAY'S Plyo workout. With my new breathing technique in had, I blasted through Plyo with more energy that I've had during any other time I've done plyo. While, it wasn't "easier" it terms of difficulty and intensity. I did have more energy so that I wasn't bonking at the end of workout and being able to pushing to till the time hit 0:00 on every exercise, and when Tony called for 2x the intensity, I could go that extra "bonus" he wants.

Wacky Jacks, Single/Double Heisman's, Mary Katherines, and River Jump were a few exercisers where it's a great chance/time to focus on proper breathing.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Day 71 - Chest & Back One Last Time

Back to the Basics with Chest and Back this week. The chest workout is great because it needs no weights and there are only three back exercises that need weights. Being that this is the last "Resistance Week," I decided to work out at home instead of working out at my work's gym. I wanted to "hang out" the Tony and the Kids for my last week. Plus, since I don't/didn't have to worry about changing weights, it was perfect to see if I could "hang" with the boys.

I'm am so amazed on my progress these few short months. Looking at my rep. stats, I've almost doubled my reps on every exercise. In addition, I'm doing pull-ups ON MY OWN!!! That's the kicker that makes me smile each and every time. On week 1, I could pump out 15 standard pushups before the clock ran out. Now, in week 11, I pushed 30. Pullups, I went from being able to barely do 3 to doing 8 before I even think of going to the chair to burn out.

As for pushups, I'm super impressed with my diamond and decline pushup numbers. Week 1, I could only do 6 of each before my arms gave out and I faced planted to the ground. After 10 weeks of P90X, I've MORE THAN DOUBLED my decline pushups with 17, and TRIPLED my diamonds with 25. WOW!!

The reason why I know my chest muscles have grown in size and strength are due to the combination of 1)Muscle Confusion in P90X and 2)The sequence of exercises in each workout incorporating biceps & Triceps.

Tony's talked about developing a "muscled" chest requires that you also build your triceps and front deltoids. The three work as a unit. And what do you know, I strengthen those two muscle groups and all of a sudden, BOOM, my chest got stronger and toned. In addition, we all know that women prefer men whose torsos have an inverted triangle -- a broad chest and shoulders and a narrow waist.

Once more P90X has thought of it all. They put Chest and Back together. If you develop your chest at the expense of your back, you cause a muscular imbalance that makes you prone to injury and also gives you really sloppy posture. You may have a champ's chest, but you'll walk around looking like a wimp. With the amount of Pull-ups and upper/lower back exercises in P90X: The "wimp" look with never happen and the Power-V will be all the ladies see. :)

Well, The Chest and Back chapter of my First Round Journey is complete. I did my best, and forgot the rest, and I'm completely satisfied with my results thus far. If I've gone this far during this first round, I can't wait to see what I transform myself into during Round 2.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Day 70 - Alitte R & R --> Recap & Re-think

10 WEEKS!! I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!!! I've gone strong for 10 weeks. It feels like only alittle while ago I was 25 lbs over-weight. You wouldn't have caught me dead outside without a T-shirt on. My self-image was shot.

Week 10 Photos

After coming off being sick for a week and trying to "Bring It", I think I look good.

While I'm not 100% of where I think I should be, it's almost night and day of what I use to look like 70 days ago. Now that it's been 70 days, it feels like a blink of an eye that I've been spending with P90X. Only acouple more chapters in this book of my First Round of P90X until the end. But I've come leaps and bounds of where I've been. Not only have I changed myself for the better, everything about my life has changed. My self-image/self-confidence has increased 10x fold which has helped out in my marriage. I'm now the new cook in the house.

People have come up to me and noticed my changes and say they are going to start up getting back in shape. I told them if I can do it, they can do it better.

The things that I've learned/learning from P90X are going to stay with me for a lifetime. P90X hasn't taught me how to workout, I already knew that. It's taught me how to make smarter decisions in and out of the kitchen. I'm eating healthier that I ever have in my life. At first, it wasn't easy. I had to make small choices in my eating habits, then those good choices become good habits, and after a bunch of small good habits, then it becomes a lifestyle. Now, I'm easily saying "NO" to double portion portions, No to the extra gravy, No to the calorie laden dessert, No to late night snacking or eating just for something to do.

It's taught me commitment by pushing play EVERY day. I made a promise to myself Day 1 of this program. Bring it each and every day. No matter what the time. Obviously there was week in there were I was sick as a dog. However, when I wasn't sick it didn't matter if it was 1pm or 1am. I pushed play. It didn't matter if I was on the road, in my room, or on vacation. I pushed play. At the end of the day, I can see and feel my rewards.

It's taught me humility, I still cannot keep up with the Kids when doing some pushups and pullups, but that's something I can work torwards. I'm not in a competition with anyone but myself. Sometimes competing with others or stressing ourselves to prove that we are better, can be a lot of fun and provide enjoyment and rewards. Friendly competition with friends, when all are participating with goodwill, is entertaining.

There is a downside in trying to win or achieve more just for the sake of feeling superior to another person. Just because someone does 30 pushups or 20 pullups doesn't mean that I have to do that many. If my arms are giving out at 12 or 15. Then I stop. Even though there are 15-20 more seconds on the clock, that doesn't mean to bust out 5-10 more. There's a point where over exerting yourself does your body more damage than doing what you can, and moving on. Do your best and forget the rest.

This week and chapter comes to a close with Stretch X. A good relaxing workout to end a great week.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Day 69 - Kenpo takes a back seat

Over the past three months, Kenpo has gone from my absolute favorite workout (that gets my heart pumping, my legs kickin, my hands punching, and that fat burning) to one that I just seem to hit play, go through the moves, and move on with my life.

Don't get me wrong, I still "BRING IT" during Kenpo, but it doesn't have that "BAM" anymore. I've had to add hand weights to make the blocking section actually worthwhile. Ever since Day 1, I've had to 2x the punching and kicking to get a good workout.

Months before I started P90X, I came into possession of some Billy Blanks Tae-Bo DVD's. I admit it, I did tae-bo. Proud to say it, because if anyone knows how to merge martial arts and cardio workouts together it's Billy Blanks. Anyways, while cleaning/looking through my DVD collection, I found some. I thought that since it's kenpo day today, and I remember that these DVD's are pretty intense and they're very similar to Kenpo X, I'd give it a shot.

I popped in the "Fat Blasting Cardio" it's 45 minutes of not stop kicking, punching, stepping, and every combination under the sun. I remembered that this video was my favorite when I did them back "in the day".

After pushing play I remember why I loved it! If there was any place within the P90X system that could use a re-vamp or some pointers it's Kenpo X. And if they want to know what a TRUE kicking/punching/balance cardio workout should contain, they should watch this workout. While P90X has the workout flow, sequencing, and structure, this workout has the "meat and potatoes". My heart rate was up there in "The ZONE" throughout the entire workout. The workout more motivating, the moves never got old, and I didn't have to do 2x the moves or add hand weights to get a workout.

I'm not saying it, maybe, just maybe when I start Round 2 of P90X, I'll be substituting various Tae-Bo DVD's for Kenpo X. If not for the Kenpo X, at least when I do cardio. However, I've heard that Kenpo X+ (which I think is coming out with the P90X+ package) is bigger, badder, and better than Kenpo X. We'll just have to come back and compare notes after P90X+ comes out. But, being that P90X can be modified and intensified so many different ways, (and depending on $$$ of P90X+) I might just stick with P90X.

Week 10 Photos are coming up online tomorrow so we'll see what kind of results I've gained in a week. While I've stayed off the weight scale, my pants scale feel roughly the same so I think I didn't lose/gain any weight. But I'm at (what I think/believe) is my ideal weight of 180-185lbs. So now, I'm going to focus on body fat % loss and definition.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Day 68 - Legs

YES!! IT's pullup day today.. Oh yeah, I have legs too :)

Today, I really wasn't as pumped on doing the workout. It's Friday, it's been a really long week, work has been hectic as every... blah...blah...blah... I just wanted to come home, have a nice dinner and have alittle R&R for the rest of the day. I was actually trying to talk myself outta doing Legs & Back today. Giving every excuse under the sun about slacking off today for God Only Knows type of reasons. So I had to take a step back and take some of my own advice I've been giving out.

I was already home, my son was asleep, wife busy doing "girl stuff" on the computer, and I had the living room all to myself. So I made myself a deal. Push play for 10 minutes and re-evaluate after that.

Well, after an hour and twenty minutes later (the ENTIRE Legs&back and Ab Ripper X) I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was so glad that I pushed play. After the 10 minutes, I was already in the groove, my heart rate was up and I already had done a few pullups. So there was NO WAY I was going to push STOP.

I knew after the first exercise of Reverse Grip Chin-ups that I wasn't going to stop, NO WAY, NO HOW. You want to know why? Because I busted out 12 chin-ups. NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!

Man, I was pumped. I just did more reps today that I've ever done. I was excited, I even ran into the office where my wife was and had to tell her what I just did. While she thought I turned crazy, jumping up and down about doing chinups, I was ecstatic. I even did more of the much hated: Squat Jump Switch Pickups.

On all the leg exercises that called for weights, I used 15#.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day 67 - Yoga saved me $1320

Another great Yoga Workout done!

Today is going to short entry day because Yoga for me hasn't changed.

However, I would like to comment that I'm very excited about my flexiblity increasing since I started just 2 months ago. But what I'm most happy about is how it has helped me more than in my flexibilty.

If you look at my Back view Week 1 photos, you'll notice that I'm "off-balance". If you look close, you'll notice that my whole right side looks higher than my left. I think it is due to the past years of having to sit infront of a computer screen.

Prior to P90X, I would wake up with stiff necks, lower back pains, and stiff upper back. I've gone to chiropractors who want me to come 3x a week for at least 3 months to help fix my body to go back to "normal'. These hour long sessions are $40. If you do the math, that's $120/week -> $480/month -> $1440/complete.

While I didn't have the $$$ to do this, and insurance wouldn't pay for it since it wasn't work/medical related. I decided to go for about a month. Well, after a month of this chiropractoring and $480 later. I did not feel or see any results. I still was waking up with stiff necks, lower back pains, and stiff upper back. Plus, that's $480 being taken away from being used towards bills and family. I decided to discontinue.

Well, after just one month of P90X, and looking at my Day 1/30 comparison photos there is are huge "SEE-ABLE", "FEEL-ABLE" results.

1. A HUGE difference can be seen in my alignment of my hips/shoulders/spine.
2. I've stopped having upper/lower back problems.
3. I'm not waking up with any type of stiffness.
4. My posture has improved significantly
5. My shoulders and hips are parallel with the floor now.

These results came within the same time frame that a month of going to the chiropractors couldn't do. Plus, w/ P90X at $120, that's only $40/month rather than $40/hour.

P90X not only has improved my body's skeletal support structure it's also saved me $1320!!!!!!!!

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day 66 - It's good to be BACK (& Biceps)

It's great to be back in the swing of things.

Coming back full-bore after being on the sick bed for a week is TOUGH. Coming back full-bore doing P90X ... You gotta have Big Cahonies!!!

Chest, Shoulders, and Tri's left half of my upper body still feeling blasted from the workout. Now it was time to get the other side. And, today I got to work on my "now" most favorite exercises: PULL-UPS!

Week 7 I had had to take P90X on the road, so all my "weights" were with the GREEN band (and we all know how much I dislike using the bands because I like NUMBERS!!) I wanna know what I'm pulling/pushing, not a color. But either way, I used my reps from week 7 with the weight #'s of week 6 and added 5 lbs. I know I'm getting strong because I was able to hang with the +5lbs.

I've noticed something about P90X and myself. I definitely like the workouts (A.K.A. THIS ONE!) is that there is NO REPEATS! Every exercise I give it my all, go to or near to failure on each and once I'm done.. I'm DONE! I can go all out on that exercise and get it out of my mind and move on to the next exercise with the thought of : "Crap, I gotta go back and do it all again." Don't get me wrong, I still get pumped on all the other workouts, but I think it's just a mental thing for me.

Another reason why I like this workout is that I'm still doing more pullups than I EVER have before in my entire life. If you look back on my Fit Test Day 1, I struggled to barely pull out 3 wide pullups. Now I'm hitting 8-9 consistently since the starting of phase III. I don't know what happened, but it just hit midway through phase II.

I believe it's due to the fact that I stopped using the chair during all my workouts as a crutch. It makes sense. At the start of P90X, I used the chair on ALL my pullups. I didn't even try to do any by myself, and that started me into the habit of always using the chair and never pushing myself to do them by myself. After I started to work out at my work's gym since I wanted to start the Doubles program and working out at the gym during my lunch time freed up time at home to pull out Cardio X. While working out at the gym, there were guys doing pullups like they were second nature. They'd do 8-10+ at a time. Me...HA, I still used a chair as a crutch. But how "cool" (or whatever you wanna call it) to see someone doing pullups with a chair?

So I made a mental change. At the start of each and every pullup exercise, I will do as many pullups on my own as I can, then after giving everything to pull myself up, I'll have the chair there ready for me to use to bust out the remaining. And that's how it all started. At first it was 4, then it was 5, then 6, then 7, now I do at least 6-7 on my own before I even start to get fatigued enough to pull out the chair. My main goal is to bust out 15. I don't know why, it's just a number that strikes me as a milestone.

Being that I only have two weeks left until my first round of P90X is complete, I still have a long ways to go, but we'll see when I do the fit test on Day 91.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 65 - The "Mother" Returns

This is the one workout that NEVER gets any easier. I don't know if it's that I just got off the sick bed and layed low for 5 days or that my endurance is still that much outta shape. (I hopin it's the sick part haha) While this time my heart rate stayed around the range it usually should 165-175 bpm, unlike the 190-200 bpm last week, and I was able to complete the entire workout, I was still sucking air pretty hard.

It seems that this workout has gotten harder for me since phase II. I remember in phase I, I was hoping not to throw up. Phase II, I was Plyo King and Domonique had nothin on me, what ever he jumped -->I jumped. Now in Phase III, I' somewhere in between.

After talking to some of my friends who are avid runners, tri-athletes, and other that are WAY MORE knowledgeable about about stamina/cardio, they told me it's all about the breathing and how it is one of the most important things to focus on during working out (in addition to form).

There have been times where I put more of my focus on the doing the moves, jumping higher, etc... instead of focusing on keeping my breathing controlled and steady. Which in turn makes me HAVE to (not want to) stop early not because I'm pushing myself to hard, it's because I've spent all my energy huffin and puffin to the point where I feel I can get air in fast enough.

The work of breathing is increased during exercise and requires up to 15% of the total energy spent in high intensity exercise. The harder the respiratory muscles work, the less blood flows through the legs. This means that the respiratory muscles take blood instead of it being sent to the arms and legs. Therefore, anything that lessens the respiratory muscle workload means more blood (which contains oxygen, sugar for the muscles and gets rid of lactate and carbon dioxide) can flow to the legs and arms during intense exercise.

The respiratory muscles are subject to fatigue just like other muscles in the body and this fatigue can reduce blood flow to the peripheral muscles(i.e. arms & legs).

The impact of this on the athlete is the impact on the ability to inhale adequately. The athlete may perceive breathing is very difficult causing them to work even harder to breathe and thus causing problems related to the work of breathing.

So basically, the more I focus and control my breathing, the more "energy" is given to my body to perform the tasks. Interesting, Something so trivial to think about becomes something so important to remember. Who would have thought?!?!

I would like to comment that the Glucomsamine that I've been taking has (at least in my mind) helped out with my knees. They don't snap, crackle, pop as much. I can do more of those side to side ski twist hops without my knees tingling or starting to hurt. I can also tell in my wrists and hands, they don't pop as much either.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play

Monday, November 26, 2007

Day 64 - Chest, Shoulders, Tri's---Oh My!

Well, I'd like to first say that I'm back to my old self again. Old self in way of pre-cold. I was actually looking forward today to Chest, Shoulders, & Tri's. This is one of my favorite workouts.

As I said in the past post, last week "didn't happen." Nope, Nada, No Way. I went 9 straight weeks without any major hitches to working out. I was staying focused and pushed play practically everyday. Since Phase II, I've almost been pressing play 2x a day. However, with me being sick last week and the thanksgiving holidays where I'd be traveling to visit family, friends, and the in-laws. I decided to let my body get back in better health before going back to X-treme workouts. So once again, last week of me not working out didn't happen. I'm picking up right where I left off. Week 10

And today marks the beginning of Week 10. After being off for acouple of days being sick, I knew that I wasn't going to come in today and throw up some awesome rep/weight numbers. With my worksheets in tow, I was off to workout during my lunch break.

Today's workout was pretty good. I took a little longer than my usual hour workout, but I went at a consistent pace to get the burn on the last three and transition to the next exercise with just enough down time to make the workout flow.

I tried to stay as intense as I could during this workout. While I didn't feel like I was back at day 1, it felt more like day 30. I had a number in my head (usually the number that I pushed the last week in Phase II) and aimed for that. I was going to hit that number no matter what. If it was 30, then I did 30, if it was 10, then I did 10. Sure, sometimes I took alittle intermittent pause at rep 15 & 25, but I got it done. I didn't quit. I gave it my best effort with my best form.

And as Tony says: Do your best... And forget the rest.

I can't believe I'm in week 10 already. At first, the weeks seems so long, then gradually phase II seemed to be here and gone. Now, each week feels more like a day they're so fast. Only 2 more weeks left (not counting this week) till my P90X journey is over.

However, even though this chapter of P90X will close, this is in no way means the book is finished. This is just the beginning, just round #1. With the way P90X is set up with the different ways to modify, to intensify, there is no way to burn out on P90X. P90X could be done several times over and it never get old. In addition, from what I've been reading and hearing, beachbody is coming out with P90X+. 5 new dvd's (supposedly out at/around Christmas) that take the already insane P90X to a whole new turbo charged level. With P90X and the addition/mixing of P90X+. You'll never get bored, never be under-challenged, and probably never have to step into a gym again.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy "Cold" Thanksgiving!!!

For a little over a week, I've been battling a pretty nasty cold. Coupled with a recent trip my took to see my in-laws (who ALSO happened to be sick), suffice it to say that I've been feeling like crap lately.

However, playing it X-Style, I tried to continue out my training regimen.

Last Monday I attempted Chest,Shoulders,& Triceps. Let me tell you that it DID NOT go well. My body felt like it had been put through a cement mixer with concrete bricks. Coupled w/ the head pressure and running nose, I had absolutely 0% energy. My rep/weight numbers were really low that day. Tuesday (Plyometrics) was a complete disaster. Didn't get 15-20 minutes into the workout and I had to quit. I thought my heart was going to burst it was beating so fast. My heart rate monitor said I was around 195-200. HOLY COW!!! Usually on a good plyo day it stays around 175-180. I finally stopped shortly after seeing that and asked myself, "Wait...Is it even safe to be working out while you're sick?"

Who doesn't catch a little cold right in the middle of the week when your workouts were going so great? There's been many times that my workouts were 100% the best I've ever had and right when I was on top of my game - I caught some cold bug and it frustrated me to no end!

Common sense tells me that the body should fully recover before engaging in an intense workout, but is a light day or a less intense cardio day okay?

On one hand you don't want to break progress by waiting too long between workouts, yet on the other hand, you don't want to remain sick because the body will have to allocate nutrition in building muscle tissue as opposed to building an immune response."

Well after some research and getting some advice from one of my friends ACE, who is an amazing Triathelete, This is what I've come up with:

The rule is: If your chest is congested, you have a fever, chills, dehydrated, or any other cold ailment from the neck down, DO NOT WORKOUT. Chest congestion and any type of exercise do not mix well. Aerobic or anaerobic activity can overwork your heart and can cause your chest cold to develop into a bronchitis or pneumonia. Lifting weights can naturally increase blood pressure. Combined with over working your heart, you can really cause damage if not careful when exercising while ill.

However, if you have a head cold with minor sinus pain, sniffles, sneezing, etc., it is fine to workout as long as you have a normal energy level and are not feeling sluggish. Be careful not to overdo your activity with high-intensity workouts. You need to drop your intensity level a bit because your body is using energy to fight whatever is that's making you feel ill. Keep hydrated by drinking 3-4 quarts of water a day and eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. This will enable your body to fight off the “bug” causing your symptoms.

There is no evidence that you can “run off” or “sweat out” a cold. Studies have proven that you cannot decrease the duration of the cold or flu symptoms by exercising. In fact, if you workout too hard, you can actually get more sick.

So, being that it was the Thanksgiving holidays, and my family is/was going back to see the in-laws, I decided to take the rest of the week to let my body get back to 100%.

Being that I would only miss 4 actual days of workouts, I will just start back up next week as if this week never happened. I'll be able to come back to the workouts at 100% and give it 110%. While I'm a little disappointed and annoyed that I will have to break up my 90 day straight workout, I think it's in my best interest to get well.

I'll be back NEXT WEEK pushing play.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day 63 - A little R&R Today!

After the past two days of feeling sick with a stuffy nose, I woke up today with a full blown head cold. NOT WHAT I WANTED! But when you have a wife and kid that had the crude this week, I knew I was bound to get it. I carried a bottle of Purell around. HAHAHA.

Thankfully, today was Stretch or rest day. And we all know that "Rest Day" isn't even in our dictionary. Luckily, STRETCH X is in the dictionary.

Every time I think about what and how P90X is changing my life I get super pumped up.

For instance, stretching... One of the most important "things" to do that I NEVER did was stretching. Mainly because I was about as flexible as a steel beam.

I was -1 on my toe touch on day 1. Day 60 I'm +4 from a cold dead stretch.

NUFF SAID!!! The results and pictures speak for themselves.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play. (Hopefully, with a head cold)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Day 62 - Kenpo X


Come on everyone, you know the song!! Kenpo X and I met again today. I had my hand weights, my rising sun head bandana (Mr. Miagi gave it to me), along with Tony and the Kids.

Not much on today's workout. Just like the rest. A kick-butt, sweat pumping, ninja kicking, karate punching good time.

I have to admit that I DID NOT want to workout today. I have 0% energy, 0% focus, 0% mind set yesterday and today when doing my workouts. I guess I'm getting into that holiday slump. Don't get me wrong, I'm seeing GREAT results, I have a great support team on MDB P90X Forum, but I've been feeling alittle stuffy in the head, and with long days at work it doesn't help.

SO... after talking it over w/ my friends on Texas P90X Warriors Forum in MDB, I've come up with 8 ways to keep you on target. If I've forgotten any, please give me a shout and I'll add them

1. Put your money where your muscle is.
A trainer still charges if you cancel without notice. Treat yourself the same way. Pay your wife, husband, or friend $5 if you miss a scheduled workout. Or take the opposite tack: Pay yourself for every session you make. Put the money in a fund for a set of some nice SelectTech Dumbbells.

2. Set a 10-minute rule.
Make a deal with yourself that even when you're dog tired, you'll push play for 10 minutes on your scheduled days. If after that ten minutes, your "bonking" stop. But if your like me, once your started, and already sweating, you might as well finish.

3. Track the benefits.
Keep a job-performance journal on the days you exercise and the days you don't. You'll find that you do more on the days you exercise, despite taking time out for your workout. Keep track of your weights and reps. You never know where you going, if you don't know where you've been. That's why I put together my Interactive P90X Workout Spreadsheet

4. Schedule your training.
Make appointments for exercise as you do for meetings. WOWY (Working out with You) has been an excellent tool for me to workout and keep a schedule. Also, you can work out with people from around the world. Having a workout buddy makes you credible to your workouts.

5. Cross off your workouts.
Mark an X on your calendar on the days you exercise. Researchers found that those who used this simple system of tracking workouts made more progress than those who didn't. Which is a perk added to the Interactive workout Spreadsheet

6. Ask your wife to join you.
You'll follow an exercise program better if you work out with your spouse. Nearly half of men who exercise alone quit their programs after 1 year, but two-thirds of those who exercise with their partners stick it out. Or so they say.

7. Set specific goals.
Research shows that people who set goals that are too general ("I want to get in shape") typically don't achieve them. Make specific, challenging, yet realistic goals. And set a deadline. WOWY allows you to set weekly/monthly goals which you see every time you log in.

8. Switch it up.
This is where P90X shines brighter than the sun. It's all about change. There is always something new. With the muscle confusion schedule that P90X has, there is never a dull moment. Even the moves themselves can be "modified" to increase/decrease the intensity per your fitness level.

Hopefully, I've gotten them all.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play

Friday, November 16, 2007

Day 61 - These Legs were made for walking!

Before I get to the workout I'd like to say that I've lost my Day 1 photos. I can't find them anywhere on my computer. The crummy part is that the only place where I know there is a copy is the photo album that I created using HOWEVER, once you upload them that's it. You can't download them to back to the computer. EVEN IF THEY'RE YOURS!! So I'm looking for another photoalbum site.

So long story short, there won't me any Day 60/30/1 comparison photos because I can't find my day 1. I might throw up Day 60/30 comparison photos. Man, am I bummed.

Ok, now for the workout.

I'm starting to like my back days more and more. Ever since I busted out 7 pull ups and then 9 pullups during my fit test, I want to get my back muscles to where I can do just as many pullups as I can dumbbell curls. I don't know what happened but I'm liking working out my back more and more.

I used (again) 15# dumbbells during my leg exercises to intensify my legs. All-in-all another great workout at the gym at work. I have cardio later on tonight.

Keeping you up on my nutrition so far:
I've been keeping true to P90X meal plan during phase I & II. I've also become a MDB/WOWY member (million dollar body / Work out with You) and they give you access to a personalize meal plan that changes EVERY WEEK, unlike every month with the P90X provided nutritional book. I put in that I was doing P90X, when I started, my goals (weight loss/gain, etc) and a personalized meal plan was created for me. Giving me breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks EVERY DAY!!!

It also gives you 3 printable weekly grocery lists. Which is great! I can go to the store and buy for for 1, 2, or 3 weeks. Since my job is on a bi-weekly payment schdule, I can portion out my $$$ and food every two weeks, so I don't buy too much or too little

Another plus is that WOWY/MBD meal plan gives you the opportunity/choice of going even more personalized by allowing you to pick and choose the foods you want to eat (A.K.A. Tier I&II of Michi's Ladder) and it will create a schedule for you. Can you say AWESOME!!!!

So for Phase III, I am going to use the personalized meal plan that MDB made for me. The ONLY reason why I'm switching is that the meals are easier to prepare (especially since Phase III for me falls right in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is alot of traveling) and it switches EVERY WEEK! The meal plan is still proportioned out via P90X specs.

I've been using the meal plan for about a week now and it's a nice change. I'm still going to add in old Phase I & II favorites.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 60 - Yoga and Progress Report


Well today is the DAY. Today was JAM PACKED with P90X. I had to do:
1) Yoga X -- Have to stay on schedule
2) Fit Test -- See where I'm at on Day 60

Let's go down the list and see how today went.

First off is Yoga. So far, this workout has gone from being rough and tough and almost impossible to go through without having to take a break from all the sweating your doing, or crying out in pain from the positions you have to put yourself through to a workout that is almost that "ZEN-like" state.

I've gone against the grain and instead of listening to the P90X music, I've been using the music off selection and put in a meditative CD of mine. I turn up the volume to where the sound fills the room (without being obtrusively loud). So I just have to hear the queues on when to change. If anything comes out of this workout it's that I'm calm, collected, and more approachable after Yoga. The little things don't bother me as much after Yoga. The cry son, the barking dog, the bills in the mail, the mess I have to clean up after son spills something. It just doesn't bother me as much. But of course, that "zen" state can only last for so long ;). HAHA.

I know that they say you do the fit test after Day 90 in the program, but just like the photos and seeing your progress, it's also nice to visually/graphically see your progress in numbers as well. That's why I've decided to do the fit test on day 60 and day 90. I've incorporated a simple graph system for each of the steps in the Fit test in my Interactive P90X Workout Spreadsheet.

While I did surpass all my Day 1 numbers, it was my pull ups that completely shocked me. While on day 1, I was fighting/kipping/struggling to bump barely 3 pullups (it wasn't a pretty site) I am so proud of myself for getting 7 (really 7.5 but it wasn't a full 8, so I round down) pullups. Here are the numbers:

Day 1:Day 60
1: Resting Heart Rate6560
2. Pull Ups37
3. Vertical Leap2025
4. Pushups3047
5. Toe Touch-1+4
6. Bicep Curl w 20#1930
7. In & Outs5590
8. Heart Rate Maximizer
1 Min Rest146135
2 Min Rest130117
3 Min Rest126111
4 Min Rest108108

Now it's come down to taking photos. Can it get better than this? Working out solid for 60 straight days. Through all the ups and downs, I have something to show for it. Oh in this case, something I don't have: My dwindling stomach fat. Hopefully with the extra cardio that I'm doing in Phase III, my 90-day pictures will be amazing.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 59 - Armageddon III

So far... So Good with Phase III. I'm really excited about having Chest&Back and Shoulders&Arms this week. I like chest and back because it uses every pushup under the sun so the workout can be less free weight intensive. I loved seeing that I did X amount of weight in Phase I and now I'm doing X + 10#, 15#, etc. And today was just that sort of day.

I used the weights and reps that I did in Week 3 (Phase I) and added 5#. So if I curled 25#'s in Phase I, then I picked up the 30#. I thought it was a good way to see where I was at in terms of strength increase, and if 5# increase was too little, then since this workout repeats itself, I was able to go up (or down) another 5#.

I did put a limit of no more than 10#, because the point of my journey (this round) of P90X is to shred some fat and get my muscle tone back. I have the mass, I just need the definition, and with me doing 12-15 reps on each move, putting a weight increase limit on myself would help from blowing my arms out and be out with an injury for the rest of the Phase.

If you've been keeping up with the posts on my blog, you'll remember that I have an old left rotator cuff injury and that a month or so ago, I re-subluxated it. Well, I've added rotator cuff excersices (i.e. Scarecrows both vertical and lateral) to my each and every arm/shoulder workout. This will help build up my shoulder muscles and strengthen my rotator cuff muscles.

I can't wait to see what my 60 day progress photos look like compared to day 30 and day 1. Since tomorrow is Day 60, I am going to revisit the fit test and see "the progress". On the Interactive P90X Workout Spreadsheet that I have, I added a progress tracker that is similiar to the one on the MDB/Beachbody website. This will be a great way for me to SEE my progress not only in pictures but in a graphical way.

Countdown till Progress Reports (& Pics): 1 DAY

In the past few posts, I've been contemplating on wether or not to continue the "Doubles Routine" for Phase III. I really enjoy working out with the videos at night, but with the weight room at work, it poses a perfect opportunity for me to use a wide assortment of free weights, benches, mirrors, etc. Plus, it frees up time for me at the end of the day to throw in Cardio. It's a win-win situation. In addition, since this journey is all about complete and total transformation, AND I still have this "tire" around my waist, there is NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO CONTINUE CARDIO!

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day 58 - Plyoland

If there is one workout that I've gone from loving to "not" loving is PLYO!!!
ESPECIALLY when doing plyo right after a recovery week. It's 2x as tough.

I thought by Phase III that I would have become Mr. Plyo by now. Jumping circles around Tony and the Kids. HAHAHAHAHA!! Ah, man how that is completely the opposite of what I did today.

I don't know if it's because I came off of a recovery week or what, but today's plyo kicked my butt. (Which is awesome!!!) I'm glad that I'm not at the point to where I'm breezing through the workout. I hope that I NEVER get to that point to where plyo is "easy" for me.

I did manage to push through each exercises till the buzzer rang 0:00, powering and paining through my least favorite moves like "squat jump switch pickups" and "hot foot". However, there where a few times where I wanted to cut my jumps short, quit while there is still 5 or so seconds on the board. Then I thought to myself:

Who are you cheating? Tony doesn't care, the kids don't care. They all have the bodies that they want. Your only hurting yourself by not pushing through. You've come THIS far. You have 60 Day Photos coming up. Why "quit" now. Get your flabby butt back out there and JUMP!!

I think this workout is my "Love to Hate" workout. While I don't look forward to pushing play on this day, afterwards I'm glad that I did.

Today, I think that even though I found Plyo "tough", my endurance has increased. I was able to continue through the burn, and move from one exercise to the next with shorter breaks. I've been using the P90X Recovery Drink from the very beginning, I took a little bit before the workout and had a small amount in my water bottle during the workout. Then, finished off the rest of the recovery drink afterwards. I truly think this played a part in me having more "energy" to power through.

Countdown till Progress Reports (& Pics): 2 DAYS

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 57 - Chest & Back Reunion


In addition, it's also a reunion with my old Phase I favorite Chest & Back. One thing I love about this workout is that I get a great workout in my chest. Before "in the old days", I do chest workouts, but afterwards I'd feel it more in my biceps and triceps than I did in my pecs. NOT THIS WORKOUT!!! This programs uses the best pushups combination to hit every angle in my chest and targeted to where I definitely feel it the next day. And I KNOW I'll feel it tomorrow after the workout I just had.

Another great about this workout is that you use your own body weight 95% of the time. Only 3 exercises do you use free weights. I was in the gym, huffin and puffin and sweatin using only a 6ft x 6ft area and my own body weight. Of course there were other guys in the gym on the bench press, leg squat machine, etc.. looking at me doing my pushups and pull ups.

But I kid you not, my arm, shoulder, and chest muscles were popping and looking ripped just as much (probably more) than theirs. Funny thing is that I noticed two guys, look over at me after I got done doing Hindu pushups, then look at their arms in the mirror, then back at me and give one of those appreciative head nods of acknowledgement. One of them even came over asking what program I'm on. I told him PHASE III of P90X!!

The response I got back:

"WOW! I've seen that infomercial for it, but I thought it was bull. After seeing what you have to do, I'm convinced it's not."


However, something happened today that made it all worth it. All the pain that Tony has put me through, pushing play every single night, changing my nutritional intake COMPLETELY, putting up with the great tasting recovery drink, keeping track of my weights, signing in every workout in WOWY, this list could go on and on and on......


I cannot believe it. Just a mear 8 weeks ago I could barely, barely do 3 regular pull ups and not a single wide grip pull up to save my life. The first pullup move: Wide Front Pullups. I've always had to use a chair. You know how many I pulled before even having to think of going to the chair????? 5

That's right 5... F.I.V.E....... The big 5.0

Holy Smokes. I was able to pull 5 pullups of my OWN body weight without the help of the chair. Of course, after that five, I put my foot on the chair and maxed out, but MAN!!! This was a GREAT start to an awesome workout. Looking at the rest of the rep/weight count on my workout sheets I was able to do at least 2x more "unassisted" pullups that I did in phase I.

If this is all I got out of doing P90X, along with this new great looking body, and TODAY as Day 90. I'd be happy. The great thing is that today isn't day 90, it's day 57. Which means I still have 33 MORE days of this!!!!


Countdown till Progress Reports (& Pics): 3 DAYS


I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Day 56 - Recovery Stretch/Cardio


Once again, today is SUPPOSE to be a day of rest. However, if you know be by now, you'll know that IS NOT an option for me. So away we go for some cardio and stretching.

I'm really enjoying my Doubles program this phase. I haven't taken any measurements, but I KNOW that I've lost some body fat %. I've had to go buy a new pair of pants, my abs are now showing through (well, they're at least peeking through), I can see the ripples in my shoulders and arms when I move things around.

YES! YES! I confess, I walk around w/ my shirt off alot more than I use too. Ok, you got me. I had to break out the sleeveless shirts again!! I'm man enough to say it!

I did cardio early in the morning so that I could get that outta the way before Church. Even though this week has been a recovery week, I've added cardio in on the days where I don't have any cardio-like workouts. (Ex. Yoga & X Stretch) Core and Kenpo get my heart pumping to that fat-burning range without any help.

Stretch was really nice to end the week. Get my body all limber and flexible so that tomorrow I can hit it hard and run full bore for the last and final Phase. I'm also ready to start a new meal Plan as well. Phase III menu has some tasty looking recipes, (I think they should put more pictures in the book. EVERYONE likes to see what the recipes look like).


Countdown till Progress Reports (& Pics): 4 DAYS


I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Day 55 - Recovery Yoga

Ouch! Eww! Oh! Uhhh! Eeeep!!!
Those are just a few of the noises I was making today during yoga. I get going hard and strong in Core this week, as well as "mistakenly" doing Chest/Shoulders/Triceps on Monday kinda put my muscles into "I hate you" mode and decided to stiffen up and become sore on the one day that being sore and stiff DOES NOT HELP!!!

Eventually, after the hour and a half of contorting my body into positions that are equally as painful to be in as they are to get into, I became pretty stretched out and actually pretty good afterwards.

Once again, if you don't have a Yoga Block, I highly recommend buying/borrowing/making one. This really saved me today. I was able to get a nice stretch, and use the different heights of the block to support me so that I didn't have to "hang" there.

My left rotator cuff still gives me problems when I do my left hand high in the air. So modifying for me, I just put my hand on my waist and point my elbow as high as I can.

One of my friends even used a 5lb bag of sugar once because they didn't have a yoga block and needed something ASAP. Another friend used a small, but thick, hardback book. So you see, there are lots of items around the house that one could use to get the job done.
Wow! Has it been 8 weeks of 13 ALREADY!?!? I feel like I'm an oldie now. I'm about to start the Final and Last of the phases: Phase III.
It's almost like that senior in high school feeling when you know that your going to graduate and move on to bigger and better things, but you have to leave your friends behind. Well, I'm not really leaving anyone, but you guys get the idea.
I'm excited about this phase because it changes every week!!! WOO HOOO!!!!
My wife made be go buy some new pants the other day because she was tired of me wearing pants 2 sizes to big.
I'm going to be posting my week 8 photos tomorrow and Day 60 photos are coming up on Thursday.
I truly don't think I would have gone this hard, this long and stay this focused if it wasn't for:
1) Me keeping this blog of my progress
2) Keeping/Posting all my workout weight/reps and Photos
3) All of you checking in on me
So tomorrow will close this chapter of Phase II with the posting of Week 8 Photos. Yet, another chapter will open with Phase III.
Countdown till Progress Reports (& Pics): 5 DAYS
I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Day 54 - Core Syn

Core two times in a week. WOW! When P90X says this will be a recovery week, they were totally kidding. The only thing related to recovery is the P90X Recovery Drink that I have after these butt-kicking workouts.

Once again focusing on keeping my core "engaged" this was a great workout. I tell that I'm losing body fat and gaining muscle definition because my abs finally are starting to show through... WITHOUT ME HAVING TO FLEX!!!! hahaha. I've gotten a 2.5 pack now, all I need now is the other 5.5.

My favorite exercise that I love to hate is the Prison Cell Pushups. I don't know why, they just are.

Short and sweet entry today.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Day 53 - Day of Stretch

So far this recovery week has been great. It couldn't have come at a better time with this week having longer hours at work.

Today, my wife got tired of seeing me wear all my "before" pants around. These pants "DID" fit me two months ago, now they're 2 sizes too big. TWO SIZES TOO BIG!!! Aaaah, that feels good to say. All this hard work is paying off.

So she treated me to getting a new pair of slacks for work. I WAS a 36", now I fit comfortably in 34"s. I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!

I'm seeing great results from these past 50ish days. I can't wait to take/post up my week 8 photos and shortly there after, I think by 4 days, I'll be posting my 60 Day Comparison Pictures.

I do have to admit, while my chest, arms, back and leg muscles are starting to show through, I'm still having the hardest time with this tire of mine. It's turn from snow tire, to truck tire, to car tire, now it's a spare tire. While it is decreasing, it's still a tire non-the-less. It seems that this is the hardest place for us men to get rid of stored fat. AAAAARG!!

Oh, well, I'm doing my best and forgetting the rest. It'll come off in time. Plus, when I compare what I look like now to what I looked like on Day 1...... WOW!!! It's almost night and day. So that's encouraging.

I noticed in X Stretch today that I'm getting farther and farther down in my stretches. I think because my stomach isn't getting in the way anymore. (joke)

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Day 52 - Recovery Kenpo

Kenpo Today was like Kenpo any other day.

So far so good with kenpo. I'm still using my hand weights, still keeping at a slightly faster pace than Tony and the kids, and still coming out completely drenched and worked out.

I've commented in the past about my knees popping and cracklin (due to my old age of 28 yrs-haha). I've always heard of that adding Glucosamine in a person's daily vitamin supplement could help in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues.

Being that I am, as well as everyone else using P90X, do alot of kicking and do high impact moves in Plyo, Cardio, and Kenpo. I thought I'd do some research on Glucosamine and share it:

Glucosamine is an aminopolysaccharide (a combination of an amino acid - glutamine and a sugar - glucose). Glucosamine is concentrated in joint cartilage where it is incorporated in longer chains known as glycosaminoglycans and finally into very large structures known as proteoglycans. The proteoglycans function to attract water into the joint space for lubrication of the cartilage during movement.

Glucosamine is a dietary supplement that lacks the damaging side effects and long term toxicity of COX-2 inhibitors or NSAIDS such as ibuprofen or aspirin
Reverses osteoarthritis
Protects joints and tendons from injury
Decreases inflammation

The principle behind glucosamine supplementation is that the glucosamine is delivered to the joint space and incorporated into proteoglycans of joint cartilage to maintain structure and repair damage. Glucosamine may also stimulate chondrocytes (cartilage cells) to begin producing healthy new cartilage matrix (both collagen and proteoglycans). Usual Dosage 1500 mg.


I think that if it can't hurt you and if the only thing that it can do IS help you, especially if it helps reduce arthritis and joint deterioration. WHY NOT TAKE IT?!?! I'm going to pick me up a bottle from the Natural Health Food Store on the way home from work today.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Day 51 - Hard to the CORE

That's what I feel like after finishing this workout.

Today's CORE I tried to focus on keeping my core engaged throughout the entire workout. Last recovery week I would have my core muscles engaged at the start, then after awhile when I'm getting alitte tired, I find myself just going through the motions without my core engaged. This time since I've been through the workout 2x and needing only Tony's queues on what move to do,

I was able to focus more on my core than:
1)What moves comes next
2)What does this move look like

Yes, it's easier to do the moves without having your core muscle tight and YES, it takes focus to keep them that way since ever move doesn't make the Automatically kick in like when your doing Super-Banana Man. But, No Pain-No Gain. And what is the #1 Lady Killer???? Nope, not arms. You could have arms like Mr. Arnold himself, but it's the chest, stomach, back and botty collectively that women love. (Or at least that's what I'm told ;) )

With keeping/focusing on my core muscles being "flexed" or "engaged". This workout was 2x as tough. I didn't have them so tight, so flexed that I couldn't move or breathe. It was a consistent "tensed" feeling that I tried to maintain. MAN-O-MAN, WHAM-BLAM-A-JAMA!!! That about sums up the workout today.

Keep Focused, Stay Focused!

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Day 50 - Recovery Week Ooops

This week's entry's are going to be relatively short due to this week is a very busy week at work and at home. My company is getting ready to release a new version of our Oilwell Logging Software and this means lots of over-time, staying late at the office, trips to our test site facility in Austin, etc....

I will try to give as much detail about my trials and tribulations of P90X this week.

I've been trying to do the "Doubles" workout sequence of P90X since Phase II. I'm proud to say that I've actually kept up with it. At first it was tough, working out twice in one day was something I've never done before. To help with the weights and from taking time away from my family's time when I'm at home. I've started using the weight gym at my work during my lunch time. I think of it as that I'm getting paid to workout (even though it's my lunch hour). I work out, shower, eat, then back at my seat before the next meeting starts. It's AWESOME!! With working out during lunch time, that allows me to do Cardio at night when I get home.

Well, today is Day One of the Recovery Week for Phase II. Except that I forgot today was recovery week and I ended up doing Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps. OOOPS!!!

Or is it? Even though I'm suppose to be in Recovery Week, and I'm suppose to be taking a break from resistance training. I'm glad that I made this mistake. I had a great workout. On some exercises I've even had to go up in weight or will have to go up in weight next time, because I was able to perform 15 perfect form reps, with the ability to do 16. At this point, it's time to up the weights. So I've noted on my workout sheets which ones I need more weights on and which ones I'm still going strong on. This is also another reason why working out at my work's gym is a plus, they have a full set of weights incrementing by 5 lbs.

I love Phase II!!!! Not only because of the new moves and fresh new workouts, it's the MENU!!!! Pita's, Burrito's, Pasta, CARBS!!!! This phase had some delicious recipes. My favorite was the grilled chicken burrito and the grilled chicken pita. I even spiced up my own life by combining the recipes: The cucumber from the pita, the cilantro from the burrito, etc.. to make my own NEW FAVORITE recipe. I could eat it everyday (well, maybe not).

With the addition of the carbs into my diet and the extra cardio workout. The carbs couldn't have come at a better time. I haven't had the "bonk" or "wall" in my workouts because I follow the P90X menu. I've even incorporated some of MDB's personal meal plan recipes to change it up some.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Day 49 - Day of Cardio/Strech

Well, this day is the day of Rest for me according to "The Program."

But is resting Xtreme? No!!! So are we going to rest? No!!
What are we going to do? P90X!!

While I did want to take today easy, and let my body "cool down" from a hard week. I didn't want my last day of pre-recovery week Phase II to go out sitting. So I threw in some Cardio in the morning. It was a nice light workout that burned some calories and made my body feel fresh.

Today, it was family day. We went to church, went for a nice walk since the weather is great, and hung out with some friends for a nice bbq of chicken, vegtable kabobs and salad. It was great. Even though some had steak, potatoe salad, etc.. I didn't even blink. I didn't want to eat the "un-"healthy food. (Not that steak will EVER be unhealthy ;) ) It's that since doing this program, I've made new habits of making healthier decisions. I've made these choices over and over again to where now they're not choices, they're habits.

At the end of the day, I close this chapter of P90X with some X stretch. Stretching out all the troubles of the week, the soreness of muscles, the stress & tightness.

Just taking into account that my body is changing before my eyes to a physique that I haven't had in years and congratulate myself for making it this far in a program that is all about self-determination, self-motivation, and self-sacrifice.

Tomorrow is Recovery week and Count down to Day 60 Photo Results.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Day 48 - Kenpo Kid: The Sequel

These pictures put a whole new meaning on Kenpo X for me. Since the starting of P90X, my son has loved to do Yoga and Kenpo with me. Before bed every night he asks if he can do yoga-kenpo. Well, a few days ago was Halloween, and guess what my son wanted to go as??? That's right!!!

Since there are no "kenpo" costumes, we found the next best thing. A Ninja Costume. It fits him perfect, and it is completely "him". He made the more perfect ninja. He is soooo smart too, he incorporated some yoga moves and made them his own "Ninja Moves". It was very hilarious and made me so proud. And being today is Kenpo for Me, I thought it was appropriate to post pictures of my little "Kenpo Ninja".


Kenpo today was great! I stayed with the gang like I always do. My balance has increased the past couple of weeks. I did all the combination kicks without letting my kicking foot re-touch the floor. I had my Kenpo Gloves on as usual, and got a great workout, as usual.

My left hamstring is/was still a little bit stiff yesterday's leg workout, so just as I did yesterday, I increased the cool down stretch time to have more time to do acouple more stretches on my legs. I never want to have to Frankenstein walk ever again. That week hurt.

I've noticed that with all the plyo, kenpo, core, and cardio that comes in this program, I've noticed that my knees are getting a bashing. They're starting to alittle pain in them from time to time. They crackle more than they use to, but it might be from me getting old. (hahah, I'm only 28). But it's starting to concern me; you see all these people that are in the old age and can't walk cause of knee problems. I don't want to have to chase my grandkids around in a scooter, or those walkers w/ the tennis balls on the legs cause I didn't take care of my knees.

I'm pushing my body pretty hard, and I think now it's starting to push back. I'm going to invest in some Glucosamine or the likes for my recovery week and phase III. It suppose to help the ligaments and joints.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Day 47 - Legs To Die For!

Friday FINALLY!! Good, Great, Awesome, Can't Be Beat Friday!!! As you can tell, I'm pretty happy about it being Friday. Not because it's the weekend tomorrow, it's because:

While this business trip has been fun, and I was able to "BRING IT!" each and every day in my hotel room and not have security come get me after a round of Plyo, I'm ready to go home. I get to see my wife, my son, my own bed, and my workout room!!!!
Well, I'm home. Made it safe and sound. Gave the son a BIG BIG hug, the wife a kiss, and the dog a rub on the head. Now It's PUSH PLAY TIME!!!
Legs were alittle stiff after driving and sitting for 3.5 hours, so I made the stretching portion before and after the workout alittle longer. My left hamstring has been alittle bit tighter this week so I thought alittle bit more extra care would do me better.
Now for the workout:
I don't know what I ate, drank or did. But, I killed it today on pullups. I added at least +1 or +2 NO CHAIR, TOTALLY ALL ON MY OWN pullups on each pull up exercise. I think because I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express it gave me more power (remember those commercials on tv?).
Using my #'s from week 6, I start off doing as many pull-ups on my own, and then when I cannot go any farther, I stick a leg on the chair to burnout till failure. This week, MAN-O-MAN, if I had 3 wide grip is week 6, I had 4 this week. I had nine switch grips last week, I had 10 this week. Each time, I did +1, it got me more pumped up to do it again on the next exercise, and on the next exercise. My goal was to do at least +1 OMO (on my own) pullups before reaching for the chair. I didn't care if my overall total reps went down, it's that I made up for it by doing more pullups OMO.
Ex. Week 6: 3 omo / 11 total
Week 7: 4 omo / 10 total
I also intensified the leg workout as well. My hands were attached to my 15# DB's through the entire legs portion of this workout. That was the weight were I could stay w/ Tony, not overload or cause pain my my shoulders/arms, and intensify my workout to get that little extra that will help me to the "next level".
Since my trials of taking P90X on the road are over, I would like to comment on how it worked for me.
With the aid of my green band and my dvd's, I received a workout just as good as I would have at my own house or gym. With some modifications by using the green band loop method to increase/decrease resistance, and the fact that I had to use the "door hinge" method of securing my band during pull-ups/downs, I was able to get the burn, resistance, pump, etc.. that my DB's give me.
However, I would like to add that while the green band sufficed, sometimes it was WAY too much resistance or sometimes too little resistance. If someone was to travel alot and/or cannot afford solid DB's or don't want to waste their time w/ those twist lock DB's, a complete set of bands, which come in three sets: 3 bands-15 to 30lb, 3 bands - 20 to 40lb, or 10 bands.
All-in-All, the P90X system is completely portable, do-able, and achieveable in your on the road constantly. All you need is "fight" mentality to fight the temptation(Flight syndrome) of slacking and using your travels as an excuse to fly away from staying fit and healthy
I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Day 46 - Yoga

Nothing to end a long day of sitting and working than to stretch out and work my "inner" self.

I think today was my best Yoga workout (if you can call it a workout). Since the start of P90X, yoga put me in some painful and uncomfortable positions that I could barely even do. Each time, I became alittle more and more flexible, alittle bit more and more relaxed, and my inner body became stronger each and every time.

Today, all I did was BREATHE! I was the most relaxed during this workout than I've been. The positions just seem to lock into place. I didn't focus on my balance, it just happened. I didn't focus on my flexibility, it just happened. I didn't focus on the time, it just passed on by.

I think the key this time was that I turned off the volume to the DVD, and put in some meditation music. I've been through the workout enough to "kinda know" what's coming next, so I just used Tony's changes in form to queue me to change.

There were/are still some positions that I cannot do YET, and there are some moves I have to modify so that I take care of my left shoulder. Alot of those moves are the poses were the right hand is on the ground, and the left one is stretching up and back. Those positions put mine/your rotator cuff in the fully open position, and if my muscles are fatigued or weak or pushed to far, my shoulder has a susceptibility of popping out. Which is NOT on my list of things to do. So I just put my left arm on my side/hip and try to open up my chest as much as possible.

Also, it was just me in the room. No son running around, no dog, no TV on the background. No outside noise.

It was great.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Day 45 - Rubberband Man

Back and Biceps was today. It was just me, my green band, and my hotel room. I was skeptical at first on if I could use only my green band and get a full Bicep and Back workout.

Since I didn't have a door attachment for my bands I followed one of my MDB (Million Dollar Body) forum buddies advice about putting the band in a open door hinge. I wrapped my band w/ a hand towel so that the hinge or door wouldn't cut or pinch my band. I knew that the band would/can either be too much or too little. In this weird and awkward door hinge time. It was just enough. I did the ISO hold move on every rep, and just did as many in the time alloted for the pull ups. So instead of doing 8-10 or 12-15. I did 16-20. I'm impressed. Got the burn that I'll definitely feel tomorrow.

I have to say that with only one band and a door I got quite a good workout. While I still fancy the chin-up bar, the band is a great alternative. However, after using it during the first part of Phase I and now exclusively during this week, I would highly recommend if a person were going to strictly use just the band to get a complete set. Sometimes the green band wasn't enough, sometimes it was WAY TOO MUCH! So the B-line package of bands would do the trick. Especially if one was to travel alot. Also, get the door attachment. Right now, I've had to use the "door hinge" method to do my exercises.

I, however, would rather use DB's over the bands. Since the "weight"/tension on the bands are never constant, I don't know exactly what I'm lifting. And with me having an engineer mind, I like concrete numbers. I like it when I see one week, I lifted 20#, the next week 25#. W/ the bands, all I can go off of is the # of reps or the size of the loop in the band.Don't get me wrong, I still get a great workout w/ the bands, but I'm a DB man. If you need to get more weights, depending on how much more weight you need, you might want to look into some "Selectable" weights. You know.. those dial-o-matic DB's. Of course there are the SelecTech by bowflex, which are the 5-25, 5-52, and the 10-90. $$$$$, but there are some cheaper ones around town. I know Rebook makes some that 5-25# for about $50/DB. I saw some at Target that went from 5-25 but they were around $60/DB.

I would like to also add that I've had to eat out for lunch and dinner and I've done really well. While everyone is getting steak, loaded mashed potatoes, sugar and fat loaded desserts, hamburgers and fries... I'm getting grilled chicken, salmon, rice pilaf, sweet potatoes, vegetables, grilled chicken salad. I'm not saying I'm been a saint, a few indulgences like lobster tail, or ordering raspberry lemonade instead of water.

So even though if someone is away from the P90X meal plan, or out with their friends, etc.. You CAN stick to your guns and eat healthy. It's not a matter of "Oh, I'll just eat unhealthy this once." Because that once will turn into twice, then thrice.. Then, your off your diet and the whole world falls apart (joking).

It's a choice. If you can't change the little things like holding out on dessert, getting the right size portions, feeding your body the right fuel. Don't expect any type of gains or losses that you want.

I'll be back tomorrow pushing play.