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.