Monday, October 18, 2010

Knee issues

Still having some knee issues and Sarah is having shoulder issues so we have been resting of late but keep in touch here because we will be back.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Slight Modification this Week

So I did not work out Monday because I had a game Sunday and was still pretty ragged Monday. Last night I did the following.

Hamstring Curl (Stability Ball)/Pull-Up
Hip Bridge on Stability Ball/Bench Press
Shoulder Press/Calf Raise
Bicycle Kick/Superman
Knee Ups/Prison Cell Push-Ups

Each pair was done as a superset as before with 3 sets of each and Prison Cells were max for 1 minute.

On a side note I am thinking about trying to do one or both of these events next year, probably the shorter of the 2 first as a warm up for the other. Warrior Dash (shorter/easier) and Tough Mudder (Bad Ass)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pushed it back a day

I skipped the workout Friday and did it on Saturday morning instead. I did the same workout again except I did the prison cell push-ups in between the hill sprints this time. I was originally planning on doing a push-up/pull-up ladder at the end of this, see here, but I was spent by the time I got to the end of the workout today and knew I had a hockey game the next day. Looking forward to a slightly modified workout this week.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Working Hard

I did the same workout last night as I did Monday but increased the weight/time on most of the exercises. I also added a couple things at the end of the routine. I did 1 minute of prison cell push-ups, see here the last 2 leg version, and some step work for another minute. I skipped the hill sprints because the knee is a little sore again and I don't want to push that back to where it was. One more time this week and then change things up again. I think I might add a push-up pull-up ladder on Friday but more on that latter.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stability Ball

No workout last night so I thought I would write a bit about the stability ball today. If you have a look back at the pictures of our new workout room here you will notice that we have no bench. The new workout does list chest presses as an exercise so how the hell did we swing that one. We are using the stability ball for any exercise that you would normally use a bench for. If you are not familiar with a stability ball they are available everywhere and look like this. I first used this as part of my rehab for my back when I was going to the physical therapist and it is great for strengthening the core. The idea behind using it for exercises that would normally use a bench is that it is not stable, as a bench is, and thus requires you to engage the core all the way through the routine which creates a more thorough workout and let me tell you it works. The other thing it does is it will not allow you to have one side compensate for the other resulting in unbalanced workouts and muscle development. If you are not evenly working out on both sides you will fall. The nice thing is you don't have to think about any of this, it just happens as a result of putting yourself on the unstable surface. You may need a little time to get used to using the ball especially if your core is not as strong as it should be but it will be strengthened pretty quick. You can also use the ball for any exercise you would normally sit for with the same results. There are also many other types of exercises you can do with the ball to great benefit, some of which can be found here. So for anyone not using a ball in their workouts I would highly suggest getting one, or more because they come in different sizes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Switching things up

We worked out again last night after taking last week off. It was good to have the time off, especially since my knee had still been bothering me, but it felt good to workout again. We switched it up and did a different type of workout last night, no Tony for the first time in a long time. I just felt we needed to change things up a bit so we are going to try some new stuff for a while and go back to a round of P90X later. Here is what we did last night:

Squat/Chest Press
Hamstring Curl/Seated Bent Back Row
Shoulder Press/Bicep Curl
Plank/Single Leg Calf Raise

Each pair was done as a superset, one followed by the other with no break between. Each superset was done 3 times before moving on to the next superset. Following this we did hill sprints as an interval training session. gonna repeat this workout Wed and maybe add something new as well.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

XStretch

Felt good to get some stretching in. I think this one needs to make it into the rotation more in the future.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps

We did not do the Yoga or the Legs workout last week due to my knee still being sore. I think I am going to give it a little longer break now while I am in between seasons for hockey. we are still doing the other weight routines and I think we will do some Xstretch this week in place of Plyo, maybe Yoga too. Last night felt good, especially the ab ripper workout which we really pushed hard on. Felt good to get that one in and I am looking forward to the Xstretch workout since we have not done that in a very long time.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back and Biceps

Knocked this workout last night and Ab Ripper too. Felt good and strong. Knee is feeling a little better, iced it again last night. I still might take the rest of the week off from anything having to do with legs just to be safe, we will see.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sore Knee

Knee is still sore so we skipped the Plyo last night and I iced it. Feeling somewhat better today. We will still be doing Back and Biceps tonight. We will see tomorrow how the knee feels.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps

This was one of those nights where I just had to struggle through and get the workout done because it needs to be done. Most of the time I enjoy the workouts but not this time. We still did it and that is a big part of keeping with a workout program, doing it when you really don't feel like it. Once you skip one day it becomes much easier to skip another so don't do it if you can at all avoid it. If you are sick or something sure but beyond that at least do something.

For those that don't get the P90X newsletter there was a good article in there today about how to control your portions, have a look here. It is mostly common sense stuff but still good advice and nice to keep it fresh in your mind. I think that is the nice thing about the P90X program, all common sense no magic just eat right and work hard.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Legs and Back and more hockey

We did legs and Back on Saturday and did a ton of pull-ups. Sarah is increasing pretty well with them too. The Ab Ripper is going ell too and I have actually been doing some of the moves like in and outs with my hands up in the air which is something I have not been able to do before. I had a hockey game Sunday and my legs are trashed today.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day off

My knee was sore again yesterday and last time I did yoga when it was sore it got worse so we took yesterday off and will do Yoga today.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back and Biceps

This is another workout we had not done in a really long time so we took some time dialing in the right weights to use. This is a good workout, had forgotten how much I like this one. Some of those exotic pull-ups are just ridiculous though. This workout goes by really fast too even though it seems to have more exercises than most of the others. Man that strip set of curls at the end really get s you, amazing how heavy 15 pounds can feel by the end of a bicep workout.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Work the whole core

According to a recent blog post in the NY Times by Gretchen Reynolds the latest research indicates that to stabilize the spine you should be working all the core muscles not just the deep abdominal muscle. You can read the blog here. Based on my experience this has certainly helped me and the P90X program had a lot to do with that. The overall P90X program, not just Ab Ripper X, works your entire core and you can feel the posture improve with almost every workout. I have turned the corner with my long standing back issues (maybe I should blog a bit about my experience with back problems) and I attribute a lot of that to strengthening my core, from the upper legs to just below the chest.

Plyo and a leg cramp

We did Plyo this morning, again it comes on a day when I have hockey. How is it that it always works out that way. I got some sort of minor pain in my left quad which caused me to skip a few exercises but it seems to feel fine right now. Not sure what that was all about, will see what happens tonight at hockey.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps

After somewhat of a week off last week while Sarah was out of town we were back at it again this morning. I did play a bunch of hockey last week but no P90X workouts. It has been a long time since we did this workout so today was a bunch of trying to figure out the proper weight to use so next week should go a bit easier. This workout seems to have a lot of dead time between exercises and I suspect we can shorten this thing up a good bit by skipping some of that dead time once we know what weights to use.

Notice there is no day number on this post, you won't see them any more. We talked a bit about this and are just going to be doing the workouts without regard for the 90 day program, still will be generally following it but not too much pressure. Can't wait to do Plyo tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 22

Another hockey game last night so no workout yesterday or this morning. One more game tonight and then probably will get Yoga in tomorrow night.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 21

I had a hockey game yesterday and after that one I was asked to sub in a second so I played 2 games yesterday and did not get home until near midnight. Needless to say I did not get up to work out this morning. I have another game tonight so looks like there will not be a workout today either. I am getting plenty of work with the hockey though so not too worried about it.

I have been sticking to my nutrition as I should even with Sarah gone which is good. She planned out some stuff for me before leaving which was helpful because I would have ended up just eating garbage otherwise probably. I just need to remember to make my lunch at night so it is ready to go in the morning.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 20

Did Plyo on my own last night. I think this is the first time I have worked out on my own since Sarah was sick once during round 1 and it is a little weird. I think I prefer having Sarah here to work out with, we will see how this recovery week goes with her out of town. I had a good workout and it felt good but it was just odd. I have hockey today tomorrow and Tuesday and am currently trying to figure out how I am going to fit the workouts in, will let you know when I figure it out.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Days 18 & 19

We did Yoga last night and that might have been the best I have ever done on that workout. I nailed all the moves in the first 45 minute vinyasa sequence except for about 5-10 seconds when I dropped on the last warrior 3 sequence. I did get back up in and finish though and man was I pretty stoked about the whole thing. I don't think I did that well on that even at the end of round 1. I continued to do well after that and even did much better on the yoga belly portion which I usually have issues with. I do think it also has something to do with doing the workouts at night since I always feel like I do somewhat better at night. I suspect the issue is one of not having eaten before doing it in the morning so you have more energy when you do it in the evening but that is just my guess. I do prefer how I feel after I am done though when I do it in the morning, it just gives me more energy for the rest of the day.

This morning we did Legs & Back and Ab Ripper and we increased most everything again but Ab Ripper was pretty tough. First of all the kids were up and they were joining in which always gets to me. I know they are just trying to get involved but I like to keep count of my moves and listen to the prompts, we may be the only people in the world that are doing a second round and have not turned off Tony on the DVD. Secondly I think doing the Yoga Belly portion last night and then core work again this morning made a difference as well. Finally, I think that Ab Ripper is always a struggle after doing Legs because it is really a core workout not just abs and that means your upper legs get involved as well which is a problem when you just finished an hour of Legs.

Sarah and the kids are going out of town for a while and I will be doing most of the recovery week on my own. Tomorrow will be the Plyo I did not do on Tuesday and then recovery week. I have 4 hockey games in 3 days next week though so I may need to make some adjustments, we will see.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Attitude

I don't often link to other blogs not because I don't read other blogs but simply because it has to be something real interesting for me to want to. With that said I read this blog this morning that I found to be very interesting and true on a lot of levels. I feel that I am trying to head more in this direction with this current round of P90X and it has been pretty obvious, at least to me, that it is different. I do not stress about the schedule getting screwed up or missing something or having someone come over for dinner which means we eat somewhat off plan. It is not that I don't want to follow the plan it is just that I want to live life as well. Now this approach is much easier this time around because I am not really trying to drop weight at this point and more just trying to be in good shape and stay that way which makes things a little easier. I realize this is a little different than what the blogger was saying but you get the point.

Day 17

We did Shoulders and Arms last night and it felt good. We both increased on pretty much everything. I like that workout a lot, it goes by fast and has a lot of varied exercises in it. We did modify a couple moves in this workout just because I did not like the ones in there but that is one of the things I like about this program, it is easy to customize it to your needs. Ab Ripper was brutal as always but we are doing good and getting strong. Looking forward to Yoga tonight!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 16

I played hockey last night so did not do Plyo but Sarah did the workout while I was out. I will do Plyo on Saturday after Sarah and the kids leave for their trip, they are going to visit some relatives.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 15

We had a friend over for dinner last night so we did the Chest & Back workout pretty late last night but it felt good. We both increased on a lot of the exercises again this week and Ab Ripper is going incredibly well. I had felt last week like my chest really did not get a good enough workout because my chest was not sore. I pushed to the point where I was collapsing on the last one each time but I don't really feel any soreness today either. Not sure what more I could do though, we will see if it is sore tomorrow. One thing that is obvious is the pull-ups are a really fast way to increase the width of your back and give you that V shape which makes a huge difference in how you look very quickly. Given the time we finished and the fact that I have a game tonight we did not do Plyo this morning and will push everything back a day this week.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Days 12-14

We did the Legs & Back workout Friday night and it went well. I increased a good bit on most of the moves, especially the pull-ups which is a good sign. I actually doubled up on some of the numbers from last week, maybe I was dogging it last week though. Saturday my legs were shot and I had a hockey game scheduled for Sunday so we skipped the Kenpo workout, still have not done this workout yet during this round but still getting plenty of cardio with the hockey. We instead took the kids camping Saturday night and did some walking in the woods, good time and it felt good to rest a bit. I did not get home from hockey last night until late so we will do today's workout tonight.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 12 postponed

I did not get home from hockey until late last night so we are putting off the Legs & Back routine until tonight. More to come...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 11 Plyo

I perhaps did not think through he switch of Plyo to today very well when we decided on Tuesday to do Yoga. I forgot I have a hockey game tonight at 9pm and then we have Legs & Back tomorrow morning. Oh well, we got up a little later this morning and did Plyo and I felt pretty good. My legs feel ragged right now but I felt much better during the workout than I did last week. I did have a bit of a sore right knee that caused me to skip the hot foots on the right side but other than that fine and feeling good. Still amazed at how fast you can get back in shape when it doesn't mean losing 30 pounds. Should be fun by the time Legs & Back roll around tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Days 9 & 10

So we switched things up a bit and diid Yoga X on Tuesday instead of Plyo. We did this because the kids spent Monday night at Grandma's house and this workout is so much better without a 2 year old whining and climbing on you during it. It is hard to avoid that though given the workout is 1.5 hours and she usually is up by 6:30 or so. We have been setting the alarm for 5 but we don't actually get down ther and start until more like 5:15. The workout went well, much better rhan last weeks Yoga fiasco. We both felt good on most everything and my foot, which had been bothering me if you recall, made it through with little trouble. We had received a replacement DVD for Yoga and so we used that to make sure it worked and it was fine. This is the 3rd DVD we have had that has had problems and we have had to replace. Beachbody has been great and replaced them all no problem but I went ahead and added the lifetime replacement plan for $15 and based on my experience would recomend it for everyone.

Today we did the Shoulders and Arms routine and what a good workout. These are just fun muscles to work, shoulders triceps and biceps. We increased on most everything and it felt really good doing Ab Ripper, which we are performing great on now. The body is absolutely coming back into top shape very quickly and that is good to see. I bought some weightlifting gloves because the new pull-up bar is textured and it was killing my hands and I wore them for todays worklout and loved them. They are Golds-Gym brand and I picked them up at WalMart for $9, see here. They have lots of padding and were very comfortable, I would highly recomend them if you need gloves. Still remains to be seen how they hold up but for $9 I think they will be fine.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Days 5-8

Did not really have time to post anything over the weekend but we were still working. We did Legs and Back on Saturday and it was good. I am pretty sure that is my least favorite workout of the program but you need to work your legs somehow and there are only so many leg exercises you can do, especially without equipment. My right foot/ankle was still a little sore and I iced it a bit but it did not stop me from doing anything. I was able to do all the exercises this time, the Super Skaters did not bother my knee at all. I think the knee is completely healed now but I will keep a close eye on it.

Sunday we did not do the Kenpo workout because I had 2 hockey games and we thought we needed a sleep in day anyway. I got plenty of cardio work during the 2 games anyway so not worried about that.

This morning we did the Chest and Back routine and pretty well increased on most everything and the Abs workout felt real good. As we thought we are quickly getting back into the shape we were in before stopping.

The nutrition has been going well and I think we are getting pretty used to it again. The biggest change for me is probably the no beer part since I had been drinking beer during our time off but no more. Looking forward to seeing how the Plyo workout goes tomorrow after another week of getting in shape. That is a very tough workout and in my opinion a pretty good barometer of how your fitness is going.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 4, Yoga X (Bonk)

What a crappy workout today was. It started out bad and just got worse as the workout went on. I could not hit the upward dogs without feeling like I was going to fall over and I had to drop out of a bunch of moves for various reasons. Although I tried to get back into them but was often not very successful. At one point I started getting a pain on the top of my right foot which meant I could not do the warrior sequences with my right foot back because it was too painful. It also didn't help that the kids woke up early today, that always gets to me when they are up. Amazingly the only part of this workout where I actually felt good was the Yoga Belly sequence (Abs workout). Oh well, need to just forget this one and move on. This is a good lesson for those of you starting on the program, don't get discouraged too much by a bad day because they will happen over the course of 90 days. Just keep working and make sure you are getting enough rest and staying hydrated because that can lead to a bad workout too.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 3

Played hockey last night and man my legs are shredded today after Plyo and then that yesterday. We then woke up this morning and did the Shoulders & Arms workout. Increased weight on most everything as did Sarah and it is amazing how fast you can get back into shape when you are not that far removed from it. After just a week of this I can already notice the difference when I look in the mirror. It should be fun to see how this round does over the course of 90 days. As was the case all through round one we struggled more today on Ab Ripper than we did on Day 1. It is clear that the recovery day is a key part of this program and the performance through the week on Ab Ripper is, I think, a good indication of this.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 2 with a bonus

We did the day 1 workout, Chest & Back, last night and finished up around 9:45 pm. We pushed it at a quick pace and finished the workout in something like 10-15 minutes faster than if you sit there and listen to Tony blathering on and on. Don't get me wrong, I like Tony but we were planning on getting up this morning to do Plyo so we wanted to finish and get to bed. We made some good gains over last weeks dry run and we were especially surprised at how much easier we were able to do the Ab Ripper workout. It is amazing how quickly your body can adapt to being worked hard. I don't think we are going to be nearly as sore this week as we were last week thank goodness, I could barely function last week.

We got up at about 5:45 am this morning and did the Plyo workout for day 2 and man is this one tough, I love it. I had forgotten how I sit there throughout saying how I hate the current sequence the most and then we get to the next one and I hate it even more. I think it is more to do with the fact that it just seems to go on and on and on and never ends. I love this workout, what a sweat it works up.

So what is the bonus? I have another hockey game tonight so it is a rough week again and we are a day behind because we did not start the workouts until Tuesday rather than Monday. Sunday/Monday will be even more fun since we have Kenpo in the morning then I have a hockey game at 12:45 and another at 6:40 then we have to get up Monday morning and do Chest & Back again. This brings up a question I get from people from time to time about "how do you fit the workouts into your schedule" and this is an example, be flexible and do them when you can. Sometimes this will mean doing one at night and then another in the morning, try to keep that to a minimum, or doing a workout very late at night because you don't get home until late. You need to just make the time to do it and stick with it. That being said don't be afraid to change the schedule up a bit if needed or skip a day and then continue as long as you are not making a habit of it.

I also weighed myself this morning just to get an idea of where I am starting at. This morning I was153.6 with a 14.7% body fat number. I know these scales are not as accurate with the body fat number as calipers but I think this number is a reasonable estimation and if nothing else I can compare numbers over time from the same source to make sure I am trending in the right direction. We also discovered last night when we went to open our new whey protein that we had somehow managed to buy strawberry rather than our usual double rich chocolate. This flavor turns out to be nasty, so much so that Sarah is going to try to exchange it today because it is basically undrinkable. The problem is it has that fake sugar in it that just tastes horrible (we use this brand).

I forgot to mention that over the weekend our Yoga DVD had some errors in it so I contacted beachbody and they are sending a replacement. I have said before and I will say again, spend the extra $14 for the lifetime replacement plan since this is the 3rd DVD that has gone bad on me since I got the program. If you did not get it when you bought the system but are still within the fist year they will let you add it.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 1, sort of...

We took a trip to NC this weekend to see some family and so I did not post anything. We got up Friday morning and did the Legs & Back routine before we left. The workout went well but I did find the exercise that I can't do because my knee hurts too bad when I try it. The Super Skaters were just too much for that leg. It was strange too because nothing else in the routine gave me a problem but I knew as soon as I did the first one of these I had to stop. It felt like my knee was just going to give out on me right from the start. I just skipped this exercise on that leg and will try again this week.

We took it a little easy on the nutrition this weekend but not too bad and I did do the Yoga workout with my sister-in-law on Sunday. She has been doing Yoga for a few years and it was nice to get some feedback from her on this workout. Having never done any yoga other than this workout I was never really sure how this yoga routine would compare to say a class at the local gym. She was impressed with it and familiar with most of the moves. She says the level of difficulty is in line with some of the more advanced classes she has taken, good to know.

That brings us to today, day 1. I had a late hockey game last night and apparently there was some miscommunication between my wife and I as to when we would workout today so we did not get up and do the workout this morning. We will do it tonight but I am not sure how the rest of the week will work out because I have a game Wed. as well. Maybe do Plyo tomorrow morning after the workout tonight. We will need to go right to bed after the workout though. Looks like another long week of workouts but it feels good and I am already seeing some changes in m mid section after just last week. We are still getting used to the nutrition plan again but it is going pretty well.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yoga put me on my ass.

We got up to do yoga this morning and it was immediately apparent that all the vinyasa's (Plank to Chataranga to Upward Dog to Plank to Downward Dog) were going to be a killer with our triceps being as sore as they are. We made it through all of them but the chataranga's were sketchy for sure. In general I thought we did better than I was expecting given the amount of time we have gone without doing this workout. That said, we are for certain not nearly as flexible today as we were at the end of round one but again I think that will quickly change.

It felt great to get through these exercises and it certainly loosened up all the tight muscles from the past few days. I may have jumped up and gone to shower a bit to fast though because after showering I became somewhat lightheaded and a little nauseous and had to lay down for a few minutes. After a bit I was up and eating and feeling better. I think that between the start of the workout this week as well as the hockey stacked up earlier in the week and the fact that I am doing the phase 1 nutrition plan which is light on carbs things just caught up with me a bit. I am fine now, once I ate I felt much better, but I will have to keep an eye on that and make sure I am eating enough and getting enough sleep.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Man am I sore

Shoulders and Arms today and my triceps were still sore from the Chest and Back workout, don't really understand why they don't include triceps in that name since with all those push ups they get shredded. We did look back at our weights and reps from round one for this workout since we needed to get an idea of what weight to use to start out with. It went a little slow given we have not done this one in a while but overall a good workout. This workout was not too much trouble other than the fact that we were sore. Doing Ab Ripper was pretty tough given how sore we both are in the core but I felt pretty good and was able to do more reps of most of the exercises. I am pretty confident we will get back up to speed within the first 2 weeks.

We are trying to get used to the P90X nutrition plan again and that is a little tricky but I think we have it down now. The main thing is to make sure we are eating enough with daily intense workouts and also make sure we are taking our vitamins so we don't get run down and sick.

Below is the picture of our new workout room. The Power Tower is under the Suspension trainer since we did not need it for the workout that day but when we do workouts requiring it we move it to where you see the chair on the right.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Plyo!!!

There is nothing like a good old fashioned ass kicking to get the day going. Perhaps this Sunday night hockey, Monday morning Chest & Back, Monday night hockey, and Tuesday morning Plyo was not such a good idea. We rolled out of bed at 5:15 again this morning and man were my legs sore. When the alarm went off I moved my legs and they hurt. I was thinking how nice it would be to just go back to sleep. I told Sarah after the workout that she could have easily talked me in to skipping this one but we got up and did it and I am glad we did.

This workout is just hard right from the start and it never really gets any easier but I do love it and the results it gives are undeniable. The first thing I noticed was my gut was sore when we did swing kicks. I was thinking we did not get a great core workout with Ab Ripper yesterday because we were not finishing the exercises but man my core is sore today and it was obvious when doing swing kicks. Things just got more brutal as the workout went on and my heart rate monitor was beeping all the way through because I was having a tough time staying down in my training zone. I thought I was going to need to get my little bucket there for a while but we made it through. I was concerned about my knee before this one given how high impact it is but the only time it ever bothered me was for a short piece of the hot foot and during the gap jumps. I modified a little and it was OK. I also had to modify a few exercises towards the end of the workout or I might have needed my bucket for real.

This was the workout we were thinking we might be tight on space in the new workout area for with all the jumping around but it turned out to be fine. I think it actually is better than the old house was at the end after we rearranged our furniture for showing the house. I did take a picture of the new workout room this morning but I don't have it with me now so I will try to post it tomorrow. I am looking forward to not having a game tonight but I am sure my legs are going to be shot tomorrow. My back and chest are pretty sore today after yesterdays workout but it feels good to be back at it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Back at it, finally!

We hauled our squishy asses out of bed at 5:15 this morning to get a workout in for the first time in a long time and it feels good to be doing something again. To be clear we are not exactly starting a new round today since we are going out of town this weekend but at least we are working out. The plan is to use this week to get back into the swing of things and figure out how to use our new workout space at the new house and then start a round next week when we get back. The space worked well for us with what appears to be enough room for both of us to workout. We have a TV and DVD player mounted on the wall in the corner with mirrors mounted on both walls adjacent to the TV. We have the same weight equipment we used at the old house but because of the construction materials used in the house, engineered wood I-beams, I was unwilling to mount the pull up bars I made for the old house to the ceiling. To get around this we bought a couple of pieces of equipment. We have a Stamina 1700 which we picked up on ebay for $50 and a Fitness Gear 360 we picked up on sale and with a gift card we won so it cost us $100. The Power Tower fits under the Fitness Gear piece for storage so we have more floor space for Plyo and other such workouts but for today, Chest & Back, we obviously needed to use them both. The equipment worked out well with the exception that my pull-up bar on the Fitness Gear piece is textured and I need to get a pair of weightlifting gloves. There are a few improvements to the room we may make but all in all it was a good space. I will try to post a picture of the new room soon.

As far as the workout goes it was not nearly as bad as I think I was expecting. I did have a hockey game last night with a bunch of kids half my age and I have another with them again tonight so that makes things a little more difficult. I intentionally did not go back and look at the numbers I was getting, reps and weight, when we stopped because I did not want to discourage myself but I am sure my numbers today were much lower. Neither of us were able to knock out very many pull-ups, that is one ass kicking exercise, but we did push through and do as many as we could. I was sweating like crazy by the end of the workout and then remembered we still had 16 minutes of Ab ripper X to go. Holy Crap!! This is where the real slide showed itself. At first everything seemed reasonable as we struggled through the In & Outs, Bicycles, and Crunchy Frogs and then we came to the Crossed Leg Wide Leg Sit Up. Neither of us could get our asses up off the floor very well but we did struggle through and get some of these done, not sure how many as I was struggling enough to not even count. The rest of this workout went pretty much the same but we did get through and I suspect we will quickly get back into the shape we were in before. One nice thing is the knee did not bother me at all during the workout although this one does not use it much. I was thinking some of the warm up stuff might be a problem, like running in place, but no pain.

I am just now thinking about how crazy Plyo is going to be tomorrow, that time off is probably really going to show in that workout. Oh well, Bring It!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Getting Close

The gym in our new house is coming together. We have all the equipment assembled and the TV and DVD player are now mounted on the wall. One wall is now mirrored and the other will be done tonight. Now all I need to do is make sure my knee is OK. It is still a little sore when I run, seems fine playing hockey though strangely. I do not want to jump in too early with Plyo and set myself back again. I will keep you posted but looking like we will be starting another round very soon.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another bit of a setback

Well we finally got some equipment put together in our new "gym" at the new house. I still need to mount the TV and DVD player so we can have that where it belongs but it could be used where it is now. The diet has been OK but not great and I am feeling soft. I wanted to get some workouts going at least a few days a week but I injured my knee this past week in a hockey game. The doctor says I probably have a small tear in my meniscus and am to let the pain be my guide as to when and what I do. I apparently am not going to hurt it more but I was not able to do steps very well at first and it is still feeling pretty unstable, there is no way I could do something like plyo right now. It is getting better though and I am planning to try to play hockey Sunday and see how that feels. Hoping to get back into at least some workouts, a prep run of a few weeks before starting another round, maybe next week or the week after.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ahhh Pudding

Well we settle on the new house next week and I can't wait to get unpacked and get back to working out. We have been pretty good as far as eating goes and no weight gain has occurred, it is amazing how easy it is to maintain once you reach the weight you want but how fast you can gain when you eat wrong. I am sure the first few weeks will be tough given the fact that I am turning from a rather tight in shape to something more resembling a squishy bowl of pudding. This is another interesting thing I am learning, weight is not everything. I am certainly much more healthy today than 2 years ago but I am also not as healthy as a few months ago although I am still the same weight. It should be relatively fast though to get back to where we want to be once we get unpacked and ready to start the daily workouts again. Another interesting thing about this program has been the long term affect on our diet. I had mentioned previously that I felt that it had been life changing and we would never go back to eating like we had before but i is hard to know for sure until you stop the daily workouts for a while but the diet stuck and I don't think I could ever go back to the way I was eating before. Don't get me wrong, we eat things that are not on the plan, desserts mostly, now but only occasionally and in much smaller portions than we used to.

Can't wait to start bringing it again, stay tuned.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Still here

Well we finally completed the sale of our home but are still staying at my mother-in-laws and there is little space there for working out especially ow that we have put all of our various junk there. We are currently scheduled to settle on the new house on May 28th so hopefully that will happen on time and we can start back up in earnest shortly thereafter.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Came across this article in the NY times today and I have to say I have some real problems with some of it. The basic point of the article seems to be that we as a society are unfairly treating overweight people as if the fa=ct that they are overweight is their own fault and we should not be doing that. The author says "I’ve sat in meetings with colleagues who wouldn’t dream of disparaging anyone’s color, sex, economic status or general attractiveness, yet feel free to comment witheringly on a person’s weight." Well I am sorry but the only one of these other things that is even close to analogous is the economic status one. To somehow compare someone being overweight to them being Black or Hispanic or female or even ugly is ridiculous.

I don't totally disagree with the writer and I try to give people the benefit of the doubt in most cases but when I see some grossly obese person ordering a burger with a diet coke it doesn't exactly make me think they are not responsible. I also see every day at my work overweight people taking the elevator up the 3 floors to our offices instead of the stairs that I am taking, I had a woman at one office that would not take the stairs up one floor and would sit there and wait for the elevator. We also have a shuttle bus at my work to take you between buildings and the same overweight people consistently take it as opposed to walking the 500 yards to the building they are going to so I am sorry but I don't feel as if they are somehow not responsible for their situation.

Perhaps the most ridiculous thing in this article is the assertion by the author that somehow the stress caused by peoples "lack of understanding" is somehow to blame for the health problems associated with being overweight. "Over time, such chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes and other medical ills, many of them (surprise!) associated with obesity." Give me a break! I understand that we are not all genetically wired to be really thin but we also are all responsible for our own lives and our own health and more importantly for setting a good example for our kids as far as healthy eating and exercise. If you are comfortable being a few pounds overweight I think that is fine as long as you generally eat healthy and remain active but there is no such thing as a healthy obese person, sorry. All it takes is for you to lose the weight and feel how much less stressed your heart and lungs are walking up and down steps to realize that even a 30 pound difference, what I was carrying around, is huge and can really stress your system.

The problem is people don't want to hear that it is real hard work, like an hour or more a day of pretty high intensity exercise, to really get yourself in shape. Once you get there you can usually maintain with less than this but it is very hard work to lose the weight once you have put it on. This makes perfect sense if you consider the kind of lifestyle we lead today compared with what it would have been through most of our evolution. We evolved to work best with lots of exercise and today we spend most of our time siting on our fat asses eating junk and we wonder why we are getting fatter. Get up and get moving and start eating right. Take control of those portion sizes and skip the junk, that includes diet soda. But whatever you do don't try to say that me not understanding your weight is somehow the reason for the health problems you are having or are going to have because that is just a cop out.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Just checking in

I am still here. We have settlement on our current house next week and are working hard to get it all cleaned up and ready to go. We also found a new house so that is taking some time with getting everything ready for that. we don't move into the new house until the end of May so we will be at my wifes mothers house until then and it is pretty tight. I am hoping we get a chance to do some workouts starting after the sale of the current house finishes. We will absolutely start another round once we move in. My wifes high school reunion is in September and she wants to finish another round before then. Just wanted to let everyone know we have not forgot about the workouts and we will get back to it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Taking a break

This move is taking all of our time lately so we have not been working out other than the hockey I have been playing. We will get back at it as soon as things settle down but meanwhile we will try to get some workouts in when we can. I will likely not be blogging much until things settle down though.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Round 2, Day 11


We were supposed to do Legs and Back last night but my legs were, and still are, feeling pretty tore up after doing Plyo for the first time in over a month so we switched it up a bit. We did Back and Biceps last night along with the Ab Ripper X we did not do the other night after Plyo and we will do the Legs and Back workout Saturday. Last night was a good workout as far as Back and Bicep and we both bumped up weights and or reps on most exercises. Ab Ripper X was another story. I think I have mentioned before, and Tony talks about it a bit during the DVD, that this workout works your upper legs a good bit as well. It is really more of a core workout than just abs but that can be a problem if your legs are feeling like ours were. We pushed through and did pretty well, better than when we first started this but not as good as we were at the peak for sure. By the time it was over we were both sort of laying on the floor like a pile of jello or something, kind of like this.




We will be taking the day off today to go and do a little house hunting, should be fun.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Round 2, Day 10

Note to self: Do not eat Italian Sausage prior to doing your Plyometrics workout. I still love this workout but man did it kick my ass last night. It was apparent that we had not done this one in over a month by how dog tired we were by the end, as Tony says I was rickety. I could barely keep my legs under me by the time we got to the gap jumps and after the workout they just did not want my weight on top of them at all. We made it through though and it felt good. A little sore in the triceps and shoulders today from Tuesdays workout but it feels good. My legs are a little sore from Plyo yesterday so it should be interesting doing the Legs and Back workout today. Looking forward to it though.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Piece of Equipment

In spite of the fact that I purchased and love the P90X program I am not generally interested in what I see on TV infomercials. My son, who is 4, loves all of them and thinks we need everything he sees on TV but that is besides the point. Given this I was surprised at how interested I was in a recent infomercial I saw. We had just finished a workout and I switched back to broadcast TV from the DVD and there was a commercial for the Dosho Gym 5000. As intrigued as I was I am still pretty skeptical. This device was apparently designed by the same guy who came up with the original bowflex stuff. I own the selectech 552 dumbbells from bowflex and I like them a lot so I thought maybe this is the real deal. After doing a little digging around on the web I have not been able to find many reviews of the Dosho Gym other than complaints from some bodybuilders who have actually never used the system so I am not putting much weight (no pun intended) behind what they say. Besides these are some of the same people claiming the selectech dumbbells are junk and I could not disagree more with that, you can't just drop them on the floor like iron dumbbells but they are pretty sturdy and a real space saver.

What I have found out about the Dosho is the dumbbells only adjust up to 45 pounds each in 5 pound increments but there is an add on you can buy that will increase that to 70 pounds, I would like to see more like 100 pounds but 70 is certainly better than 45 which is no where near enough. I am not sure how useful the "lift assist" part would be for me but the bench appears to be constructed pretty well and would give me a range of exercise capabilities that I don't currently have at home and variety is a good thing. I like the fact that the dumbbells are a sturdy metal construction. This is one of the complaints people have about the selectech dumbbells, they are a plastic and the adjustment mechanism can break if you drop them. I have not had problems with this but I am careful not to drop them. The Dosho dumbbells appear to be a design that would not suffer from this problem. The price is also attractive given that I was thinking about buying the next level selectech 1090 and the cost of the Dosho is $100 less, I would need to spend an extra $79 on the extra weight for the dumbbells but still cheaper. It appears the only way to get this equipment is by ordering through the web sit and this is a drawback. I would like to be able to go into a retailer and try the equipment first before shelling out that kind of money.

Bottom line for me is this looks like a promising idea but I think I will wait for some reviews and/or the ability to try the equipment in person before I buy. If anyone has any more direct experience with this I would love to hear about it.

Round 2, Days 7-9

I played hockey Sunday night but Monday we did not work out due to some more house hunting activities. We did Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps last night instead and it went well. We are going to have a tough time keeping up with the 6 day a week schedule with the house thing going on. The plan is to make sure we get the 3 weight workouts in every week along with at least one cardio workout which we may vary from week to week. I am thinking tonight we might do Plyo. I love that workout and we have not done it in a long time. Once we find a house and get settled again we can do another 6 day a week round.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Round 2, Day 6

Skipped Yoga last night due to house hunting crap and puking kids. Will be playing hockey tonight though, should be fun. My biceps and back are crazy sore today. I can't really straighten my arms my biceps are so sore.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Round 2, Days 4 & 5

We had some house hunting stuff to do Thursday night so we skipped the X Stretch and Ab Ripper X. Friday was Back and Biceps and I am sore as hell today. We pushed pretty hard and even did Ab Ripper after the workout to make up for the skip the night before. Although it seemed we had lost a little ground at the beginning of the week we caught up as the week went on. Feels good to be back at it and it is nice to have reached my weight loss goal since I no longer feel guilty about missing a day. It is so much easier to maintain than to lose. If you are still in the loss part keep going because it is well worth the effort in the end. Looking forward to some Yoga tonight and another hockey game tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Round 2, Day 3, Legs & Back

Played hockey last night so the Leg workout today was a little brutal because my legs were a little sore. I also felt like I had not done a pull-up in like a month. All in all we did pretty good with this one. We seemed to not have lost much ground on this workout, not sure if it is just that we have been back at it for a couple days now or what but it felt good. Looking forward to some X Stretch tomorrow but not so much Ab Ripper.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 2, Round 2 Cardio X and Ab Ripper X

I felt pretty ragged with the cardio work today. I was sweating so much it was unbelievable. The ab workout went pretty well though and I am sure by this time next week I will have gotten back into the shape I was in before the flu. Tomorrow I have a hockey game to play so we will not be working out, that is why we started Sunday instead of Monday. Looking forward to more weight lifting.

Rewind, Day 1, Round 2

We started back in with round 2 last night at the beginning. In case you do not recall we are not doing the classic P90X schedule but are instead following the modified schedule given in one of the P90X newsletters here. It is pretty amazing what a couple weeks off can do as far as taking a step back, I am sure throwing in a bit of puking and starvation due to stomach flu does not help either. we both were back to about where we were the first week of round 2 before and Sarah had to take it a little easier on a few things due to still having a bit of soreness in the back but we did it and it felt good to get back at it. I also weighed myself this morning and came in at a whopping 147.8 pounds, again amazing what stomach flu does to you. On another note we just accepted an offer to sell our house and will be settling on April 6th. At that point we will be moving into my mother in laws house and we have no pull-up bars there so it should be interesting to see what we can figure out as far as continuing once we move in there, we will figure something out.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Getting Back At It

Well as my last post said we slacked off pretty good on vacation. Perhaps, based on some comments I got I was a little unclear as to what we were doing. We decided to make the vacation into an actual vacation and took the week off from the exercises and were less strict on the food for the week as well. We are not feeling guilty about this and we had every intention of starting back up when we returned this week. I say had because upon returning home we all, including the 2 kids, came down with a stomach virus for a few days which means we did nothing this week either (nothing like a house full of vomiting when you only have 1 bathroom). On the bright side the stomach virus more than made up for the lax nutrition last week and neither of us has put on any weight. we have yet to discus this but I think we will restart the 12 week program we were 3 weeks into previously on Monday assuming we are all feeling completely better by then.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I am a slack ass

So I have been on vacation now for a few days with valentines day thrown in for good measure and I have gone all out with the candy. I was pretty tired and sore from all the shoveling I had done for the first two days but that is gone now so I think it is time for me to get off my fat lazy ass and do a workout tomorrow. And no more candy tomorrow either.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Round 2, Day 16, Cardio X & Ab Ripper X

I like this Cardio X workout and it goes by real fast. It is over before you know it and you are sweating like hell and feeling good. I do admit it is easier than other cardio workouts like Plyo but it is a good one to do to maintain some cardio while trying to put on some muscle like we are now. Ab Ripper is just an ass kicker. It is still amazing to me how one time I do this and feel great and then the next time I can barely get through some of the exercises. I did something in the middle tonight and my stomach is tore up right now. I don't think all the snow shoveling has helped me much over the weekend and it looks like I am going to be shoveling a shitload of snow again tomorrow, it is coming down hard tight now.

I am feeling a little guilty about our upcoming vacation because we are seeing some results now, my arms are looking bigger or at least shaped differently now. I am hoping the vacation doesn't set us back but I need to remember this is not a race but a lifetime trip. I think there is a gym there we can use a couple days to make sure we don't lose any ground and then we can hit it real hard when we get back.

Make mine a double

There is an article in the NY Times, here, discussing a possible move by the government to change some rules for food labeling to make portion sizes more clear. While I agree it is a problem that a company would label an apparently single serving package with a calorie count that does not match the contents I can't agree with everything in the article. According to the article consumers "may also have trouble seeing it (serving size), where it usually appears in small type in the Nutrition Facts panel on food packages. In surveys conducted by the foundation, many more people say they look at the calorie number than at the serving size on which it is based." My problem with this is that we are not expecting people to be personally responsible for what they are eating. Am I supposed to believe that posting an honest calorie number on the package is going to have an effect on someone who can't take the time to even look at the serving size now, I doubt it. If you don't care enough to look at the serving size, or ingredients, or whatever on a package then I think it makes no difference if the labeling is correct or not because people won't read it anyway. The issue is not that the food is marked wrong the issue is that we eat too much of it and we sit on our asses and watch TV all day long. We evolved to be active creatures not sedentary, our metabolism does not work like that of a sloth. The government is afraid to recommend to people an amount of exercise that will truly help improve their health because they think it will somehow cause some to become discouraged so they dumb down the suggestions but somehow this is going to change peoples behavior. Don't get me wrong, I think there should e honesty in labeling but we also need honesty in what we can expect that to achieve, probably nothing in my view.

Round 2, Days 14 & 15

We took the day off on Sunday, aside from a lot of shoveling. Monday was Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps and we pushed really hard on this one again. We are both making some good gains in our workouts and I think looking better as well. We will have a bit of a strange schedule this week since we leave for FLA Friday for 10 days. We will not be sticking to our schedule exactly while on vacation this time but we will be bringing the DVD's and probably do Plyo or something. Not sure how it is all going to shake out but I will try to post some while we are on vacation. We also have another snowstorm coming through today with more than another foot of snow, I am pretty tired of shoveling.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Round 2, Day 13, Back & Bicep

This might be my favorite of the weight workouts, can't say favorite of all because I love me some Plyometrics, but what a bitch this was after shoveling the driveway with like 30" if heavy wet snow. We did increase our weight on most everything though and Sarah is still making gains on the pull-ups, I think she did a couple more unassisted last night. My arms are sore as hell this morning from the workout but man it feels good. Used to be I would complain about being sore after a workout now if I am not I am pissed that I did not work hard enough. My back is feeling pretty good which is surprising because shoveling usually does a number on it. I think I will post something soon about coming back from the back injury just for the hell of it.

Round 2, Day 12, Ab Ripper X

We did Ab Ripper a little early Thursday because our son, who is 4 wanted to do it too. He love doing Mason twists for some reason. It is amazing how much more of this you can do when you don't do another workout the same day.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Round 2, Day 11, Legs & Back

Good workout last night. Sarah was pretty excited about an increase in the number of unassisted pull-ups she was able to do. I also saw some pretty good increases in what I was doing as well. My chest and shoulders were still pretty sore from the previous workout but that went away after the warm up. I am looking forward to doing the X Stretch routine tonight, not so much Ab Ripper X.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another Whole Foods Uproar

Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey has done it again. Unless you live in a cave someplace you probably have heard of this company and John Mackey through one of the recent "controversies" he has stirred up. First was his apparent attempt to talk up his company while talking down a competitor on some message boards while posing as someone other than himself. While he was doing this he was working towards buying and eventually did buy that competitor, Wild Oats. He later authored a Wall Street Journal opinion piece which caused a stir because he put forth what some felt were some bad ideas on ways to make our health care system work better for us, you can read it here. The list goes on and on and all it takes is a quick google search on him to find a slew of controversial stories. The bottom line is Mackey is a strident Libertarian who espouses those principles loudly and that does not always make him friends. For the most part I agree with much of Mackey's views so perhaps it is no surprise that his latest move seems reasonable to me as well.

Whole foods has introduced a new employee wellness program that they call the "Team Member Healthy Discount Incentive Program." Employee wellness programs are nothing new and with all the health care talk lately they seem to have taken off. Usually these are relatively uncontroversial but in this case, based on the news stories and the comments of people in response to those stories, it seems this one has got people upset. The basic idea of this program is that each employee has the opportunity to gain additional employee discounts on Whole foods products beyond the current employee discount by demonstrating certain biomaker achievements such as blood pressure and BMI targets. There is an article here that has the details of the program but make sure to click the insert flyers and read the actual literature on the program because the article itself is very misleading as to what the program really is.

The complaints I have heard about this are all pretty much focused on the fact that these markers are not really a very good indicator of health and therefore people should not be "punished" for not meeting these targets. This opinion is uninformed based on my reading of the program documentation. The base employee discount in place prior to the program remains in effect for all employees regardless of these numbers and the program simply allows an employee to increase the discount they receive beyond that base discount if they wish to participate. This punishes no one but does reward people for some things that are broadly accepted as being indications of an overall reduction in risk of certain types of medical problems which in my opinion is a good thing. While it is true that there are some cases where a BMI can be very misleading, for example bodybuilders, this is not the norm and according to most accepted science today the markers being used in this program are good indicators of health risks especially when you take them all together as the program does. For more information on BMI and its limitations have a look at what the CDC has to say here. Similarly the CDC comments on cholesterol here and blood pressure here. Based on the research I have done it is beyond comprehension to me how anyone could argue that the markers used in this program, especially in combination with one another, do not indicate an increased risk of future health problems which is what the program is aiming to prevent, how radical.

The one complaint that seems to have some merit is one of concern for privacy. It appears the program is worked through the company and the company is collecting this medical information on its employees so there needs to be a good system of policies and procedures in place to assure employees this information will not be distributed or used inappropriately. Ultimately the company needs to make the privacy policy known to employees and enforce it vigorously but each employee must decide for themselves if it is something they would like to participate in which is why this is a voluntary program. The bottom line is if this program gets one Whole Foods employee to modify their diet somewhat or start an exercise program to bring their markers to a healthier level (read reduced risk level) how can that possibly be a bad thing? Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Round 2, Day 10, Cardio X & Ab Ripper X

This workout really flies by. It seemed like we just started and we were done. I do feel like it is a pretty good workout although a little less intense than the ones from the P90X Classic program. This is a good cardio routine to have in a maintenance phase though, or a mass building phase like we are in. As far as Ab Ripper, will this damn thing ever get any easier??? This is a great core workout and short too. I am looking to get my hands on something else for this though just to keep things fresh and new. It is kind of tiring doing the same ab workout all the time.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Round 2, Days 8 & 9, Hockey and Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps

Monday night I had a hockey game so we did not do a workout but I still got some work in playing the game. Tonight we did the Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps workout again and it was good. We both increased either reps, weight, or both on most of the exercises so we are moving in the right direction. We also started doing the workouts with just the cues on and listening to music on the iPod instead of the DVD's. It is strange to not hear Tony and his bad jokes throughout the workout. We also are using a different set of workout sheets this time based on the spreadsheet available here. I modified the workout sheets some but they are pretty good. I like these better than the ones we had been using because they actually have an entry for every exercise instead of only some like the ones I downloaded from the beachbody site. This spreadsheet has a lot of additional things in it as well beyond just workout sheets and some of it is probably useful to most so check it out.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Round 2, Days 6 & 7, Yoga X & Rest

My Saturday night hockey game was postponed due to the snow storm that blew through but by the time I found out we had already skipped Yoga X for the day so Saturday ended up being the rest day. We did Yoga X Sunday and we were pretty surprised at the results. Based on how poorly we did when doing the yoga moves in the Cardio X video last week we had assumed we were going to have big problems getting through Yoga X this time, not so. I think we both did at least as well as we ever have on this routine and it felt really good. We both felt very strong and unbelievably balanced. I felt like I could have stayed in tree or royal dancer forever. Today should be Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps but I may be playing hockey tonight so we may push everything back a day. I will find out later. I did weigh myself this morning too and was a whopping 151.6 pounds, holding steady and feeling strong.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Round 2, Day 5, Back & Biceps

My arms were so shot after this workout!! Both Sarah and I were really going big on the weights in this one. At one point I looked over and she had veins popping all over her arms. The pull-ups were a little rough and the numbers were not so big but I did add weight to those this time as well. We both still were a little sore in the back from Wed. Legs & Back routine. I have a hockey game tonight so I am not sure how or if we will get in the scheduled Yoga routine today. Oh yeah, we actually took the kids out for dessert last night at cold stone creamery and had some ice cream. This is the first time in a loooong time we have had ice cream, it tasted great and the kids had a blast so it was well worth it. It is nice to have reached a weight and fitness level where we feel like we can have some things like that sometimes without feeling guilty. I will say that it sat like a rock in my stomach and we had to wait until pretty late to workout because of it but oh well.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Round 2, Day 4, X Stretch & Ab ripper X

The title of this post is a bit of a lie because we did not do X Stretch since we did not have the time. I had a hockey game but we did get the Ab Ripper X routine in before I left for the game. This is the first time we have ever done the Ab Ripper X DVD without doing some other workout before it and I have to say it is much easier to keep up with them when you are not dog tired from an hour of working out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Round 2, Day 3, Legs & Back

I have always thought this was a rather poorly put together routine compared to the rest of the ones in the program but as Tony says "it is what it is." We kicked it up a notch again on this one and I am more convinced than ever that I was dogging it during round 1 and am sort of wondering what kind of results I might have seen if I had pushed harder. Of course there is the case to be made that I am in much better shape now after the first round and that is why I am able to push it harder this time, whichever the case may be Sarah feels the same way and we are holding nothing back this time through. I wore a backpack with a 10 pound dumbbell in it during the pull-ups this time and still did at least as many as I did on the last workout of round 1. I also added weights to almost all the leg workouts, some I increased weight from the last time and some I added weight for the first time to exercises that Tony had suggested not to use weights for. As an example I used 5 pound dumbbells during sneaky lunges, I had to drop them for the last 30 seconds but still that is an increase and I am determined to be constantly increasing this time through. According to our schedule we are supposed to do X Stretch and Ab Ripper X tomorrow but I have a late hockey game so we might just do the Ab Ripper before I leave but we will see. Feeling stronger and really good about the prospects for progress during this round.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Round 2, Day 2, Cardio X & Ab Ripper X

This is a decent lower level cardio workout that should do well at keeping our cardio up to snuff without killing our efforts to gain muscle. I still think that once you hit the Plyo part it is at least as hard as the Plyo video just shorter. This was the first time we have done Ab Ripper X since finishing round 1 and let me tell you what a difference 2 weeks makes. I wouldn't say we dropped back to where we started but we for sure lost some ground. It felt good though to get back at it and I am excited to put on some muscle over the next 3 months. We are both pretty sore today which tells me we did something right yesterday. Diet is still going well although it feels funny to use the word diet. We really just eat differently now than we used to and that will probably never go back to the way it was before.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fit Test Results

I keep forgetting to post my fit test results from after day 90 so here goes.

Resting Heart Rate:
Day 1: 54
Day 90: Forgot this one but will try to get it in the morning
Max Pull-Ups:
Day 1: 6.5
Day 90 13
Change: +6.5 (doubled it!)
Verticle Leap:
Day 1: 86" Standing, 103" Jumping, Difference 17"
Day 90: 86" Standing, 105" Jumping, Difference 19"
Change: +2"
Max Push-Ups:
Day 1: 26
Day 90: 36
Change: +11
Toe Touch:
Day 1: -2" (the negative means I couldn't reach my toes)
Day 90: +2.75"
Change: +4.75"
Wall Squat:
Day 1: 58 seconds
Day 90: 2 minutes 45 seconds
Change: 1 minute 47 seconds
Bicep Curls:
Day 1: 11 reps, 25 lbs.
Day 90: 20 reps, 25 lbs.
Change: +9 reps
Max In & Outs:
Day 1: 25
Day 90: 47
Change: +22

Round 2, Day 1, Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps

We started the workouts from the beachbody mass building variation of P90X today, see here. The gist of this thing is lighter on the cardio, no abs on weight training days, and low reps high weight constantly increasing intensity throughout the 12 weeks. I like the no abs on the weight training days because it frees you to work that much harder knowing there is not an extra 15 minute workout after you are done. I added weight to the push-ups for this workout by putting a 10 lbs. dumbbell in a backpack and placing it low. This worked out well and really kicked things up a notch. Both Sarah and I really pushed very hard in this workout and we talked after we were done about how we probably dogged it a little in round 1. I think I could have pushed more for increases all the time and got a little lazy about that. Not this time, we are going to ignore the rep recommendations in the plan spelled out in the beachbody newsletter and go with our own approach to hypertrophy, well not our own ideas but something different from their suggestion based on our own research. We are going to target a maximum of 10 reps on each exercise and work to always be gaining from one workout to the next. For example if I did 9 reps at 25 lbs when doing the scarecrow this time next time I will do 10 reps and then the next time I will increase the weight and do as many as I can, presumably something less than 10. The idea is to always be increasing and it is something we did not do well enough during our first round. We are going to follow the workout schedule beachbody recommends though and see how that goes although depending on the week we may do only 5 days instead of six if I have a hockey game or something.

Cardio X and a New Round of P90X, Sort Of

I popped in the Cardio X DVD on Friday night and it went pretty well. This is a mix of Yoga, Kenpo, and Plyometrics. It is mentioned as a substitute for Plyometrics for people that are not ready for that yet and it is good but I don't think I would really compare them. The Plyometrics section of this is every bit as hard as the Plyometrics DVD but it does not continue on for an hour. I was actually thinking while I was doing the Plyo section that it might be harder than the Plyo DVD because it seemed, at least to me, that there was less break time in this one and you just kept going. One thing that was very clear to me from doing this is that when I do have to perform Plyo again I am going to be hurting, amazing what 2 weeks can do to you. I will probably work this routine into the rotation going forward as well just for some variety.

I did no workouts over the weekend but I did play hockey Saturday night which got me sweating pretty good. Sarah and I will be starting up a new round of P90X today but following the plan set out in the beachbody newsletter for gaining mass, you can check it out here. We may modify this one a little as well by mixing up the cardio work and possibly dropping one of the cardio days at times to make it a 5 day a week schedule instead of 6 but we will see how it goes. I am looking forward to getting back down to work and Sarah is as well. We are absolutely noticing how easy it would be to get back into sitting on the couch watching TV and when that happens you just want to eat. I did weigh in again this morning and I was 150 so I am not adding weight but it is absolutely time to hit it hard again. I would like to add 5-10 pounds of muscle mass before doing another round of P90X classic again so it is time to bring it again.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tried another one

Last night I did the other free bonus workout that came with the P90X package. this workout is called UML (Upper-Middle-Lower). The idea is you do exercises in sets of 3 the first being an upper body exercise the next a core exercise and the final being a lower body exercise. The upper body stuff is all some form of push-up, and the lower body stuff is questionable. By questionable I mean some of it seems much more like core work than lower body work. The idea behind this workout is a good one but it is way too short and not very intense. The total run time is about 38 minutes but by the time you take out the warm up and cool down it is really a 26 minute workout. After doing Plyo this is like taking a nap. I will use this one again during our alternative schedule focused on mass building to mix things up on non weight days but this is no tough workout. It will be nice for a change though.

I also got a question last night about why I don't just throw a DVD in every night instead of trying to follow a schedule. The answer is that if I have a set schedule for a 12 week period I am much more likely to actually do the workouts than I am if I have to rely on picking one and doing it at random every day. This is one of the things I liked about P90X to begin with, I had everything planned out for me. Prior to this I was designing my own 8-12 week programs but that required a good bit of work and I am just a lazy ass at heart.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New workout

The original plan was to start a new schedule this week but my wife is sick so we are waiting until next week to do that. What we are going to do is some form of the mass building P90X schedule described in the P90X newsletter here. I am going to do a couple of weeks back on the phase 1 nutrition plan to start this off and then return to phase 2, my wife is going to simply maintain the phase 2 nutrition. We are a little less strict about the nutrition now but basically continuing with the plan. One thing I have noticed since finishing is how easy it is to get back into a sit on your ass and watch TV mode in the evenings when you don't have our workouts scheduled. I have worked out a couple of times since day 90 including the fit test which I will post results from later but we have had some lazy nights. The thing about these lazy nights is we both want to snack as soon as we sit in front of the TV even though we have not been snacking since starting the program, interesting. Last night I popped in a disk and tried the interval cardio routine which was included free with the P90X introduction DVD. This was some of the same or similar move to plyo but not as intense as the plyo routine. The arm up was too long but it was fun and I will use it more to mix things up in the future. Looking forward to starting back into the workouts next week.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 90 Pictures and Measurements/Review

So I thought that since we have now finished the 90 days I would summarize some of my thoughts on the program as well as give some things that I think might be useful to anyone considering doing the program. Oh yeah, I also have my day 90 photos.

Equipment:

According to the fitness guide that came with P90X the following equipment is recommended, and surprise you can buy it all from beachbody. I would not recommend buying the gear from beachbody though since from all the research I did you can easily beat their prices at a local sporting goods store and not have to wait for delivery.

Yoga Mat - I used it for many of the workouts and I would recommend one for anyone without a very soft floor to workout on but not required by any stretch of the imagination. You can get one of these for as little as $15-20 at Dick's or other sporting goods store.

Chin-Up Bar - You really are not going to get too far in this program without one of these. If you have resistance bands Tony shows alternatives for all the pull-ups but some of them are not entirely the same. I built my own pull-up bars out of black pipe, a couple of elbows, and a couple of floor flanges. I lag bolted the assembled pipe, using the flanges, to a 2X8 and then lag bolted that to the rafters in the unfinished part of my basement.

Dumbbells and/or Resistance Bands - You can use either but you don't need both but one or the other or a substitute such as the selecttech dumbbells are absolutely required. I bought the bowflex selecttech dumbbells mentioned later and I like them.

Heart Rate Monitor - I bought a Sportline from Sports Authority for $70 on sale but there are various ones at different prices and if you want to skip this it is not needed for the program. I like it and use it but you could save some money by skipping it.

Yoga Block(s) - They say you need 2 but I only used one and you could get by without it and use books or something. I do recommend something though if you are new to yoga since it will help you get into some of the positions and get you a better stretch. I bought mine from Sports Authority for $10 for 2 but you can get a pair for as cheap as $5.
Body Fat Tester - I saw no point in this but get one if you want. I do not feel that I missed anything by not having this and I do have a scale that give a body fat reading. These scales are notoriously inaccurate but you can get a good idea of progress from one if you always use it at the same time of day under the same conditions and ignore the value and just pay attention to the change over time.

Power Stands - This is just a specific set of push-up stands that beachbody sells and you don't need to have push-up stands for the program if you don't want them. I did buy some and used them because they helped prevent wrist pain. Keep in mind you will be doing a lot of push-ups so you may experience some wrist issues. I bought mine from Dick's for $20.

Selecttech Dumbbells - I bought these after much research and I loved them. The web site is here. I decided to buy some adjustable because of space issues but after researching I discovered they were much cheaper than buying the same number of regular dumbbells. If I bought the equivalent regular dumbbells to the selecttech 552 I would have spent around $1000 and these cost me $350. These are not the only adjustable out there but from the research I did you want to stay away from anything but these or the Power Blocks because the rest of them suck. I tried a bunch and most were hard to adjust which will be a giant pain in the ass while doing the workouts.

This seems like a pretty extensive list but there are some other things you will need to have handy to do some of the workouts. These are not likely to be things you need to buy but you will still need them. You need a chair or stool for some of the workouts for things like chair dips. You also will want to get a good pair of cross trainers to wear during most of the workouts and make sure they fit well or your feet will be sliding all over during the plyometrics workout.

Supplements:

Again the fitness guide has a convenient list of products available from beachbody. I know some people have used these and had good results but my research led me down a different path. From what I was able to discover the beachbody bars and supplements were at best no better than what I could get locally and at worst not as good and more expensive. I took the following but do your own research based on your goals and decide for yourself what you want to do for supplementation.

Gold Standard 100% Whey - I took one serving post workout and one serving in the morning on a rest day. This tastes great, I like the double chocolate, and is loaded with protein and almost no sugar. I always took this with skim milk, it tastes nowhere near as good without the milk.

Muscletech Cell-Tech Hardcore - This is a Creatine product and I took half a serving during phases 1 and 2 which is 5 grams of Creatine. I upped the dose during phase 3 to the manufacturer recommended serving which is 10 grams of Creatine. I took this post workout and in the morning on off days. I noticed a fairly significant difference in phase 3 and I sort of attribute it to upping the dosage on this so I would probably start there if I were you. The one drawback on this is it is high in sugar but that is supposed to be part of how it works. If you don't buy the hype on this you can get a Creating supplement without the sugar and use that in the same dosage.

Multi Vitamin - I intentionally did not put down a brand here because I think that is less important than taking one. here is one supplement that I would say you should take it is this. You are going to be working your body hard and draining it of its resources so this could be helpful in helping you stay healthy during the 90 days. If there is one complaint I have heard from a few people it is they got sick while doing the program. It is a 90 day program so that is bound to happen sometimes, it did to me, but I could see how if you were not real good with the nutrition you might have problems and this could help too.

Vitamin C- 1000 milligrams a day. This was something I took prior to this program and not something I did as part of this.

Fish Oil - EPA 600 milligrams/DHA 400 milligrams/Other Omega-3's 200 milligrams. This is also something I took before the program partly to control cholesterol but also as part of my weight loss program. There have been some interesting studies linking fish oil to weight loss so if that is your goal you might want to research it. You can find a million things about this by doing a google search.

Nutrition Bars - I found 2 I liked Clif Builders and Zone Perfect. The Clif Builders are a high protein bar and the peanut butter is yummy. The zone perfect is not really as high in protein but is tasty as well. There are a bunch of these out there though for you to choose from. I bought a bunch of singles and tried them all early on and picked the ones I liked to buy later. I used these as a snack from time to time when I was out or in a hurry but that is all I used them for.

Nutrition:

Not much to say here other than follow the nutrition plan if you want to see results. It is my opinion that this is probably about 70% of the program. The amount of effort and will power this will take will depend on what your habits today are. If you eat junk all the time this is going to be tough but stick to it. If you slip don't beat yourself up just get back on that horse and go at it again. If you follow this plan for 90 days it is likely that you will change the way you eat for good which is what you really should be looking for, lifestyle change. Once you feel like you are to this point you might want to be a little more lax on the nutrition and just do something like following the rules outlined by fitbomb here, he also has a great description of the nutrition plan there so I won't repeat it.

Tips:

If you want to be successful in this I suggest you do your homework and plan ahead. Order the program and take some time to read through everything and then get online and do some research. Do this before you start so you will know what you are getting into. I would go so far as to suggest that you do as many of the workouts as you can prior to actually starting the 90 days. At the very least watch them all but doing them will allow you to get a decent idea of what rep counts and weights you will be doing and will give you a chance to see how they are se up and the speed at which they move.

Get some workout sheets and use them. There are some available from beachbody online such as this one for Chest and Back. These are what I used but when I start again I will probably make my own because there are some things missing from these and some entire workouts have none and probably should. It is key that you track you progress though and constantly try to increase. This is something I think I could have done a better job on. I don't feel like I pushed hard enough to increase on every exercise in every workout which is what I plan to do next time around.

Hold yourself accountable somehow. Blog about your progress, tell your friends, tell our family, work out with a friend whatever it takes to make it harder for you to just stop without someone asking you about it. This can be helpful and the good thing is the workouts are much like the nutrition, once you get through 90 days of this you are likely to want to continue because it becomes a lifestyle change.

Read other P90X and fitness blogs. Read the nutrition and health articles in the newspaper or look around online for similar stuff to keep your interest up. The bottom line is have fun and keep pushing play and bring it and you will like the results you see.

So are my pictures and I plan to do the fit test Friday night and post the results I do have measurements thou so here it goes. I am actually including extra pictures here that are a little more close up. Have a look back at my previous pictures if you want to see the differences.

Weight -
Day 1 - 160 pounds
Day 30 - 155 pounds
Day 90 - 155 pounds
Chest -
Day 1 - 38"
Day 30 - 36"
Day 90 - 38"
Waist -
Day 1 - 35.5"
Day 30 - 33.5"
Day 90 - 30"
Hips -
Day 1 - 35"
Day 30 - 33.25"
Day 90 - 29.5"
Right Thigh -
Day 1 - 21"
Day 30 - 22"
Day 90 - 22.5"
Left Thigh -
Day 1 - 20.75"
Day 30 - 21"
Day 90 - 21.5"
Right Arm -
Day 1 - 13.5"
Day 30 - 13.5"
Day 90 - 13.5"
Left Arm -
Day 1 - 13.25"
Day 30 - 13.25"
Day 90 - 13.25"