Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What Day Is It?

I realized something today? For the past couple of months my husband and I haven't referred to days by their proper names. I know that when Karlo asks me, "What day is it?" he's not asking if it's Monday or Tuesday. What he really wants to know is "Which workout are we doing today?" So when he asks me, "What day is it today?" My answer is always, "Today is Plyo" or "Today is Kenpo."

Well today was the best Tuesday ever because when Karlo questioned, "What day is it today?" my answer was, "Today is our LAST Plyo." Let me write that one more time . . . "Today is our LAST Plyo." I'm still taking that all in. I can say goodbye to Plyometrics until next year. Will I miss it? Not for a long time. But there may be a day somewhere in the future that I do. In the meantime, I am more than happy to file that DVD away in a safe place.

Monday, April 28, 2008

P90X Week 12

We are getting down to the wire now and I couldn't be happier. This is the final week of the real work-outs and next week is our final recover week. I'm counting down the days. Last week was a good strong week and I wanted this week to be just as strong. It started off great with Legs & Back and a good strong Yoga session. Today, however, was tough. Both my husband and I managed to completely skip lunch and not eat all day. By the time we got home, we were both starving, but did our Chest, Shoulders & Tris workout anyway. I was dead after the first set of slow push-ups. My word those are hard - and I love push-ups!

We pushed on and made it through the hour, but it wasn't easy. I got three quarters of the way through "two speed twitch push-ups" and collapsed onto the floor. I said, "I feel like a mashed potato" and Karlo said, "Please don't mention potatos, I'm starving." That was good for a nice laugh and it energized me to get up off the floor and finish the workout.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Perfect P90X Schedule

I just completed my second week of my own custom Phase 3 P90X schedule. The first week didn’t go very well as I didn’t take the muscle groups into consideration before rearranging the days. But last week went much better. I managed to do yoga on the weekend AND have Friday off as the rest day. I must have gotten the order right this time because I felt good and strong each day. I’m hoping this week will be just as successful.

Here are my custom weeks for Phase 3. I would highly recommend them if you’re interested in yoga on the weekend and Fridays off.

Weeks 9 & 11

  • Saturday – Legs & Back, Ab Ripper
  • Sunday – Yoga
  • Monday – Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper
  • Tuesday – Plyometrics
  • Wednesday – Chest & Back, Ab Ripper
  • Thursday – Kenpo

Weeks 10 & 12

  • Saturday – Legs & Back, Ab Ripper
  • Sunday – Yoga
  • Monday – Chest, Shoulders & Tris, Ab Ripper
  • Tuesday – Plyometrics
  • Wednesday – Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper
  • Thursday – Kenpo

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Push-up Machine

Last night was P90X Chest & Back and that marks my second time with this video. I liked it as much this second time as I did the first. I am strong with push-ups and find it fun. By the end of the video I did 225 push-ups (with my knees never touching the ground) and 80 (assisted) pull-ups. I rest my foot on the 'cheater bar' for most (but not all) of the pull-ups. The 50 minutes seem to fly by with this video and my brain receptors don't get nearly as excited when they see the 'cool down' words on the screen. Every day I'm feeling more and more excited to be getting closer and closer to the end of the 90 day commitment.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Brain Receptors

Despite my week going very well, last night was a particularly rough night. Tuesdays are always hard P90X days because they are the one day of the week that we have to stay late at work. Getting home an hour and a half later than normal just throws off my entire night. You see . . . I need to get everything done before America Idol!

So last night we rushed home and my husband announces that he’s going to skip our work-out, and in instead take the dogs for a hike. I was ticked. It was because of him that we were late and now he’s leaving me to do Plyometrics by myself while he has fun with our dogs? Sometimes life is so unfair! I was not a happy camper. I determined last week that having him around really helps me and having him out walking with the dogs just makes me mad, jealous and ruins my work-out. Plyo was not getting off to a good start.

But I was a trooper and got through the entire thing alone. It was at the end when I was reminded of a Dateline (or maybe it was a 60 Minutes) special about drug addicts and their brains' reaction when they were presented with images of drugs. The receptors in their brain went crazy just from looking at images of drug paraphernalia. That’s when it hit me that the brains of P90X athletes must experience the same reaction when they see those glorious words ‘COOL DOWN’ come up on their TV screen. God, I love those words. I think they are now my two favorite words in the English Language

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pinched Nerve

This evening was Shoulders & Arms and I was sailing through pretty well. Then, after my first set of Side, Tri, Rise, I went to lift myself up using my elbow when I suddenly felt the pain of 100 needles stabbing me square in the elbow. Oh . . . my . . . God did that hurt. I simply could not believe the pain. I could swear that I was just bitten by a poisonous snake and the venom was searing through my arm. Luckily, this happened to the arm that I just finished and I was able to do the next side with no trouble. But the pain was still there when it was time to do the second set of Side, Tri, Rises. Even with the pain, I did 20 on the painful side and 30 on the non-painful side. Since Tony said, "If anybody at home does 26, I'm comin' to your house" I just had to do it. We'll be expecting you Tony!!!

I have got to be cheating with these Side, Tri, Rises. I don't find them challenging at all. I feel like I can do them all day long. I must be using my obliques to pull me up. Is that possible? Can I cheat on these? I'm watching the folks on the video and we all know how strong they are. They look like they are working hard and I'm barely exerting myself. I MUST be cheating.

Fifteen minutes after the work-out was complete my elbow still hurt and my pinkie finger was completely numb. That was the strangest sensation. I don't want to experience that again anytime soon.

Nice Turn of Events

Last week was bad. I felt tired and weak and was all around losing my desire spark for P90X. But I think I learned my lesson and this week I made a new schedule. So far we did Legs & Back and then Yoga. Both were good strong sessions – probably the best yet. I must have done something right because I just noticed that my legs are a tiny bit sore – a good sore . . . "it feels like I worked out" sore. Hmmm, now that I think about it, that may have come from gardening this weekend. But either way, I feel good and I’m not dreading working out tonight. In fact, I’m looking forward to it. I plan to tackle Ab Ripper X at lunchtime to get it out of the way. I find it much easier to break up the two work-outs rather than doing Ab Ripper immediately after the lifting sessions.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Vertical Punches?

Tonight was Kenpo and I sailed through it. It sure does feel nice to complete a work-out with ease, given my shaky start to the week. And tonight I was on my own. My husband couldn't join me, but I still managed to be full of energy. And the very best part . . . it's now Thursday night and that means I'm off until Saturday morning. What a great feeling that is. I LOVE Fridays!

Without Karlo joining me during the work-out session today, I had to get my laughs from the video. I'm still wondering what "vertical punches" are. Tony cracked me up every time he referred to straight arm punches as "vertical." Were we supposed to lay on our backs to throw those punches? I think Tony might be a little confused with vertical vs. horizontal. Somebody should let him know the difference.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm Back

I’m happy to report that yesterday was P90X Plyo day and I sprung back to life. Thank goodness. It was the first day of the week that my husband joined me and his infectious, bouncing energy must have rubbed off. Maybe that was my problem all along. I was just missing him. I enjoyed the Plyometrics routine and decided that it is one of my favorite videos.

Tonight was our first experience with Back & Biceps and again, it wasn’t too bad. I felt much better than I had during the beginning of the week. We often struggle with biceps exercises at home because we don’t have enough dumbbell weight to challenge my husband. And I seem to be in an awkward stage where 10 pound dumbbells seem much too light, but yet I’m too spent to do too many reps with 15 lbs. I think tonight’s work-out was the only one that really gave me instant soreness. My arms feel like they got rolled through a pasta machine and I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow.

But I have to say, the pull-ups are much more pleasant these days. My husband installed what I call a “cheater bar.” Here’s a picture of our set-up. It illustrates the obvious benefit of a post & beam home . . . fast and easy pull-up bars in almost any room. If you look closely you will see a small piece of wood nailed up against the post. I use this to rest my foot on (and cheat) during most of the pull-ups. Now if I could just find a way to cheat so the skin on my hands stops falling off.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It’s Official

I’m getting weaker. And I don’t like it.

This entire P90X week has been dreadful and I can’t figure out why. I’m unmotivated and I actually feel weaker. Last night was Chest, Shoulders and Tris and I had a good attitude going in. I know I’m strong in this area and last week I positively kicked booty with Chest & Back. I was a push-up machine. So I expected to breeze through last night’s work-out. Not!

I felt tired and I struggled to do many of the moves. I’m getting disgusted with myself. Is it just because it’s now nice outside and I’m resentful of the fact that I’m stuck indoors? This entire week I’ve been working out alone because my husband was traveling. I think that makes it harder. It’s just plain more fun to work out with a buddy. It motivates me and my husband always keeps me entertained. Last night was particularly dreadful as he just got home from a 6 hour drive and didn’t want to work out. Instead he went for a hike with our dogs, as I retreated to the ‘torture room.’ That just stunk.

The upcoming three weeks will be among the longest weeks of my life, but I’ve made it this far and I refuse to quit. I hope I’m not alone in experiencing this Phase 3 slump. Please, somebody . . . tell me it’s not just me.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

OK, Maybe it's Getting Physically Harder Too

What is going on? I think I'm going backwards now. Last week I chocked up the unbearable Yoga X to the 'push-up/pull-up bootcamp' the day before. But yesterday I did Legs & Back and this morning yoga was dreadful again. This is very discouraging. Three weeks ago, I could feel myself improve in every aspect of Yoga X. Now I'm feeling weaker. This is the second week of true "P90X Classic Version" and previous to these past two weeks, we tackeled Yoga the day after Core. I really think that makes all the difference. Actually, with our old routine, we did Kenpo, Rest, Core and then Yoga. That seemed to be the perfect set-up for the long and challenging Yoga. But trying to follow a tough day of hard lifting, it just sucks.

After screwing everything up last week, I tried to build myself a better schedule that took the major muscles groups into account when shuffling around the work-outs. Today is day 2 and I'm already wondering if I did the right thing. There must be some way to rearrange the days so that Yoga X falls on a weekend. Maybe next week I'll start the week with Yoga (following the rest day). That just may be the smartest solution. We'll see . . .

Thursday, April 10, 2008

P90X is Getting Harder

Not physically harder, but mentally harder. When we got out of work today it was 70 degrees and sunny. We both sat in silence during the commute home, dreading the fact that we had to go home and work-out indoors when our bicycles are just hanging in the garage, begging to be ridden. This stinks!

And I'm pretty sure that our poor dogs HATE P90X. If they could get to the DVDs they would chew them up — or at the very least, pee on them. The hounds have been neglected for the past couple of months and we are all getting sick of it. We used to come home and take the dogs for a hike. Now they just watch us disappear upstairs and come back down too hungry and tired to give them any attention.

Today was the last day of Phase 3, Week 1. It was Kenpo and I usually really enjoy Kenpo. But today I was a bit tired and sore from my disaster of a P90X schedule and my heart wasn't in it. I found myself thinking, "OK, only 4 more Kenpos to go . . ."

Learning as I Go

This P90X week has been a disaster and I learned my lessons for next time. I always think I’m being smart by switching up the workouts to best fit my schedule – for instance pushing Yoga X up to the weekend when I have more free time. Up until this point, the moving around of the days has worked out just fine. This week, however, not so much.

First, we tried doing Yoga X the very next day after the push-up / pull-up bootcamp. That was torture and Chatterunga was nearly impossible. But it didn’t end there. Last night was the Legs & Back video and guess what we did the night before? Plyometrics! Brilliant. My poor legs were dogging it and now today I’m sore and learned my lesson. If I’m going to switch the schedule around, I at least need to be mindful of keeping like muscle groups away from each other. By the time I get this right, P90X will be over. Ahhhhh, what a pleasant thought that is. Let me type that again . . . P90X will be over! I’m just going to sit here and savor that thought a little longer.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Week 1 of Phase 3

I decided to officially switch over from the Lean version to the Classic version for Phase 3 of P90X. Strangely, I find the weight lifting days somewhat easier than the other days. I think this is because I am so conditioned to extremely tough weight lifting routines. Tony doesn’t make me cry or make me feel as though I’m going to puke, like my husband does. And I didn’t realize that we were going back to Shoulders & Arms. For some reason that video just bores me. Throughout Phase 1, it was always too easy. This time I upped my dumbbells to 15 lbs on the biceps exercises. So I switched between 10 lbs for the shoulders and triceps and 15 for the biceps. That definitely poses more of a challenge, but I still find it boring and the clock drags. I also wanted to add the third weight lifting video because this week it’s Legs & Back and we are getting closer and closer to cycling season. I want to workout my legs more than anything else right now.

Yesterday was Plyometrics and we enjoyed it. The first time I did Plyo, I expected it to be undoable. The second time I was in dreadful stomach pain. But this time was a normal day and we did it in the afternoon, rather than the morning. I find that to be much easier. The biggest challenge that we will face in the next 4 weeks is the rising temps. Our house is normally nice and chilly – perfect for working out. But as the temps outside increase, so will the temps in our spare bedroom. I hate working out in the heat. Uuugh. Next year we have to start this program in January so we can be done by April.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Start of P90X Phase 3

This weekend we entered into Phase 3 of P90X and it started with a bang. I loved the Chest and Back video. It was nothing but push-ups and pull-ups for 50 minutes. And I gotta say, I kicked booty. I was a push-up machine. Even Karlo couldn’t believe how many push-ups I did. Where the strength was coming from, I don’t know.

One thing that helped me was following Tony’s advice on pacing yourself. He explained that the video was broken into two identical segments. So once you completed the first part, you were going to have to do it all over again. I kept this in mind and despite the fact that I had more in me, I kept all my push-up reps to 20, wanting to save some energy for the second half. And it worked. I was expecting to lessen my reps to 15 for the second half (the girl on the video was doing 12 on some of the exercises), but I continued to do 20 reps of every set (except for the ‘’sneaking under the fence’ ones). It was a blast.

But then I made the mistake of doing Yoga the next day. The schedule called for Plyo yesterday and Yoga a couple days later, but because Yoga is so long, it’s just easier for us to tackle it on a weekend. Well, just one day after the push-ups, it was torture. I simply could NOT go down to a nice chattarunga. My elbows were flaring out and I didn’t have the strength to control my move. I basically had to fall flat on my stomach. Uuugh. But I got through all the other parts of yoga with no problems. Next week we will have to switch up the schedule to fix this problem. There is a reason that the routines are mixed the way they are.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

P90X Phase 2 Completed

Yesterday was our last day in Phase 2 and it was actually our “Rest day.” So why was it that I woke up this morning more sore than I’ve been in weeks? We did our usual bicep blast yesterday afternoon and this time I increased my weights by 10 pounds. But I don’t think that was to blame for the extra soreness. It may have something to do with the new medicine ball we found in the gym. Karlo and I had fun throwing it back and forth to each other. Well, I had fun throwing it, but I wasn’t too crazy about catching it. As usual, Karlo was too rough with me and threw the ball too hard at me. Every time I caught it, I felt as though I just got rear-ended in a car wreck. My neck would snap as my body got thrown back by the weight of the ball. That has to be why my entire neck and upper back were sore this morning. So much for ‘resting.’

It feels good to have completed the second Phase. I feel all around stronger and I have improved on every single video. I can’t think of anything that I can’t do in each segment. I still have to use a chair to assist with some of the pull-ups (mostly the wide arm ones), but overall my pull-ups have gotten much better.

Other areas of improvement that I have noticed:
  • My leg strength has improved. I can do the wall swats almost with ease.
  • My cardio has gotten much better. The last time I did the bunny hops over the towel I realized that at the end of the one minute, I wasn’t even breathing hard. I stopped jumping and my breathing immediately regulated back to normal.
  • All aspects of my yoga routine have improved. I learned some tricks to get through the once impossible parts and my flexibility is astonishing me.
  • My abs have also improved greatly. It feels GREAT to be able to do Ab Ripper X without crying – still a little cursing and grumbling – but no tears.

We snapped a couple of pictures to document the end of Phase 2. I was pretty excited that my biceps are starting to get pointy :-)

I intended to take a picture of Karlo’s biceps, but I think his Popeye forarm is more interesting to note. I should also include a footnote here that Kalro looked like this before P90X. P90 is making him smaller (trimmer) not bigger.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Tip of the Day

Yesterday we did the P90X Cardio routine and I missed it. Now that we switched to Plyo, we only get to do Core during Recovery week. And it seemed so easy and SHORT. The whole video is 40 something minutes, which compared to the hour + seems like a walk in the park. I like it because it's short. My husband likes it because of Tony's Tip of the Day. Yesterday's tip was "Make sure you are eating enough." That was like music to Karlo's ears. Any excuse to eat MORE. So last night when Karlo returned from the kitchen, where he grabbed a handful of homemade Hungarian treats, and got a glare from me he said, "What?? Tony said to make sure I eat enough." Thanks Tony! Now there are no more precious homemade treats for me.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

One Question About P90X Yoga X

I only have one question. Is there anybody out that NEEDS to do a push-up between plank and down dog during the vinyasa session???? I have to know. It just kills me when Tony says, “Do a push-up if you need to.” I feel that I need a lot of things during these 45 minutes of hell and doing extra push-ups is not one of them. Why doesn't he offer, "Take a nap if you need to" or "Have a drink of water if you need to" or better yet, "Cry if you need to." Maybe in Phase 3 I'll need to do the extra push-ups, but right now, I don't feel the need.

One more day of 'Recovery' and then it's on to Phase 3. gulp

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Just Breathe

The tip of the day for the Stetch X video is “just breathe” and that sounds easy enough. But the truth is that breathing isn’t always easy – especially when you’re stretching. This was only my second time with this video, as this is our second P90X Recovery week. As you can probably guess, when given the choice to “Stretch or Rest” well, that’s a no brainer. We always opted to “Rest.” Not sure if resting is the proper term. We normally still lift weights at lunch time. The P90X sheet should say “Stretch X or gain an extra hour of your day.” I have nothing against stretching, but getting an extra hour in my day is glorious.

So last night was my second Stretch X video and my husband’s first. We were both not mentally into it. We were both tired. My husband must have yawned 50 times within the first 10 minutes. Then we got silly. Watching Karlo contorting his body is quite humorous (stretching has never been one of his strong points). But we both started laughing at the stupidest things. Maybe we are getting burnt out. We are losing our minds.

I have to say, I’m glad we stuck it out despite not having our hearts into it. The neck and shoulder pain that I’ve been struggling with for the past two months felt much better from the stretching. I was amazed, overall, at how much more flexible I have become since starting P90X. The increased flexibility is just as exciting as the increased strength. You know the saying, “you are only as young as your spine is flexible.” Don’t blow off the stretching!