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Monday, January 10, 2011

P90X Lean Tracking

Day 1 – Core Synergistics (Jan 9, 2011)

Since it had been more than a week before I had worked out and several since I have been consistent, I decided to start over in earnest.  I feel ‘blobby’ and out of shape, even though yesterday I wore some older corduroys that used to fit snuggly and they were literally falling off me.  I also decided to switch it up and try the Lean version.  I’m not convinced it is as effective, but I’ll know by a few weeks, and can always go back to Classic.

I like the way core works in with the rest of the workouts.  By strengthening and engaging the core, you just get an all around better workout. Other than that fact, I’m not a huge fan of this workout.  Synergistics means working more than one muscle group out at a time.  This equates to “hard” and I translate it as “UGGH”.  There is a lot of ‘superman’ / ‘banana’ where you either lay on your stomach or back then stretch up in a curve.  There is also a lot of push ups, and I do have to admit that I’m getting much stronger in the push up department and although I still can’t get super low, I can do WAY more than I used to be able to.  I did modify some; I tried to keep the balance of keeping motivation up, but still feeling like I was making a difference.  I tried to ‘bring it’, but sometimes I just ‘showed up’.  Oddly enough, one of the hardest exercises (deep lunge, back fly, keep in lunge and do a curl, then do a press, then reverse curl and repeat) is my favorite.

Today I’m sore, more like a bruised feeling on my sides and my shoulder joints feel gravely.  My upper chest feels a bit stronger, and my neck feels like it’s tight a bit.

I didn’t modify my diet at all.  I rationalized that it was Sunday.  I had an extremely productive day cleaning, and normally I would have rationalized that was exercise enough, but instead I put it on my list of things to do.  : )

Day 2 – Cardio X (Jan 10, 2011)

Today is a snow day (although I am working some from home).  So the diet is mostly comfort foods: Eggs, sausage, and Thomas English muffins with butter.  There was also plenty of time for several relaxing cups of coffee.  I’m sure a glass or two of wine is in my future tonight.  The guilt is setting in though.  The ‘plan’ was to be strict during the week and more lenient on the weekends.  But… snow… in Alabama?  Makes it hard to get out of ‘vacation mode’.

Cardio X is only slightly under 45 minutes and can be used as a supplemental workout.  It combines moves from a bunch of different workouts.  Again, I’m not a huge fan for the same reason as core.  The momentum just isn’t the same as some of the other workouts.  Too much time to ‘think’ and what I usually think is “UGHHH”.  With workouts like Plyo and Kenpo, you’re ‘moving and grooving’ and spending so much time thinking about the choreography that the time is gone before you know it.  I might eventually swap this workout with Plyo, but I’m going to give the Lean a chance and do it as written for a few weeks.  I should have my diet modified by week 2, and should know by week 3 if I need to step up the gain.   Maybe by then I’ll have my treadmill and can just supplement with walking or running.  I will miss Plyo though, because it isn’t in Lean.  With Plyo you just feel like you’ve been through Hell and made it out to the other side, and that’s a good feeling.  I just don’t get that with Cardio X.  Not that it’s easy; it’s just hard in a different way.

I’ll post when I’m done. 

Okay, finished and showered.  Man!  Am I glad I made time for this workout today.  First off, it was quick.  Not only is it a short workout, it goes by quickly… a little yoga, then Kenpo, then Plyo, then core and next thing you know it’s cool down!  I really ‘brought it’ today because compared to some of the workouts it felt easy.  I’m still dislike the yoga, but have to admit that it is more ‘bearable’ now that I can actually do a sun salutation without collapsing. 

Second of all, I was getting cabin fever and I was getting that frustrated, short-fused feeling.  Now I feel stretched and although I’m a bit sore (especially around the waist) I feel almost invigorated. 

Yesterday I started off in my running pants and cami top, but then soon switched to proper workout attire, today I started off in the right gear.  I have it pretty warm in here in case of a power outage due to ice, so boy! After 10 minutes I was in a light sweat already.  You start out at a pretty good clip right out of the gate, so that made me feel better about the 40something minutes only.  Plus there aren’t any breaks in this workout.  I did hit the pause with about 10 minutes to go to cut out a rainbow and trace a shooting star for the wee child.  It was easy to jump right back in.

Tomorrow is shoulders and arms and then Ab Ripper X.  Surprising how much shoulders the first 3 days entails. 

Oh, the funny part was that the ‘tip of the day’ was “make sure you eat enough calories”.  Yup.  BIG check on that today!! 

Day 3 – Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper X (Jan 11, 2011)

I have now been cooped up in the house for so long I think a case of the stir-crazies has set it.  We did have a little night sledding session that was incredibly fun, but other than that besides going to the grocery store and work, the only time I’ve left the house in over a week is to go see a kid’s movie and straight home.  So, needless to say, I really needed the workout.  The cool thing about P90x is that every day brings something new.  You just pop in the DVD of the day.  I like the Shoulders & Arms because I find the exercises creative, and after a few weeks it is apparent that they really work, too!  I have paid for professional trainers in the past and only found one that was really worth the money, and believe me it was WAY more than double what I paid for the DVD set and that was just for a month. 

This DVD is (relatively) easy because you work at your own rate.  I’m not to the point of writing it down (even though he lectures you to no end in the video).  The reason I don’t is because I only own a 3 lb set of weights and a 5 lb set of weights, and I really need to buy some 8 lbs… I’m happy I’ve graduated from no weights/3 lbs, then 3 / 5 lbs, now strictly 5 and needing 8s, but really I’m probably somewhere in the middle of  5 and 8, but since they only make them in those increments… well… guess someone is going to be sore for a while : 0

Since I worked from home, plus started my double classes, I spent a LOT of time on the couch in front of the computer.  I did get to send my Very Bored child off with her dad for a few hours, so at least I didn’t feel too guilty to take another hour for myself.  And the Arms & shoulders portion is just a few seconds shy of an hour.  The Abs is about an additional 16 minutes.  (When I first started P90x I didn’t know they added it to the end of the DVD and I kept switching DVDs – D’OH!).  The time goes by extremely fast.  You do shoulders, then bi, then tri…. Then repeat the same set.  That takes roughly a little less than 10 minutes.  Then ballistic stretching, then more sets of 3 x 2.  The warm up is about 10 minutes.  I did contemplate bypassing the cooldown for Abs, but it was only 4 minutes, so I just finished.  The kiddo liked when I did ‘pot stirrers’ (I let her name what kind of soup it is) and made a boat out of a cardboard box to swim in the ‘soup’- that occupied her for most of the cool down and abs.

I did have a lot of interruptions, but unlike some routines (like Yoga X), it was easy to jump right back in.  If I was pulling more weight, it might have been a bit harder.  Tony is in a jovial mood in this DVD and does a great job keeping the banter up throughout the workout. 

The abs portion had its high and lows for me this time.  The low is that my tailbone has been bugging me.  I probably need to go to my chiro and see if it’s out of alignment or something because it seems like it’s got a big knot in it?  Weird.  So I had to modify by either putting my hands in a diamond shape to protect it, or a pillow when I needed my hands.  The high point is that I can actually do most of the exercises at full reps now!  I used to have to stop because my legs burned too badly, but I can push through.  I do still modify the Pfeiffer Scissors (sp?) by keeping my legs bent though.  All in all, I have to agree with Tony on this one… I hate it… but I love it! (Because it works!).  You can definitely see a huge difference in my abs.  Sure, right now instead of a 6 pack, I still have a 4 pack of wine coolers and a 2 liter Dr. Pepper, but you can easily see the definition forming.   : )

Day 4 – Rest Day (Little early) (Jan 12, 2011) – I decided to make dinner and then cookies with the kiddo in lieu of working out.

Day 5 – Yoga X (Jan 13, 2011)

Ah, Yoga X.  My least favorite workout.  I know a lot of people who swap this DVD out for something else.  But I’m not going to for two reasons… one is that I’m giving the workout a chance as designed, and the other is because my sister told me I was just wimping out because it is 90 minutes long.  Really, 90 minutes is only about 14 minutes longer than yesterday’s workout… so…

Zen Tony just doesn’t do it for me.  I have to approach this video as a tough workout to get through.  When I think ‘Yoga’ I think peaceful and relaxed.  The first portion of this workout is what I consider WAY too many ‘sun salutations’ (plank, chatarunga, upward dog (or cobra), back to plank, pushup, then downward dog).  I think the original fault in my thinking is that somehow this workout (although long) would be fairly easy and it totally isn’t.  Now I try and focus on how much more I can do each time.  In the past I have even quit the workout with 45 minutes left (but I did finish the next day).  Now I know that right around the point I think I just can’t do another sun salutation, it moves on to balance moves and the mood of the video changes as well.

One of my ‘tricks’ is that when the counter gets down to the next number, I call it out.  For instance it starts (for a majority of the workouts) with fifty-something minutes… so that’s 5, then when it goes to forty something minutes, that is 4, etc.  (This is also more fun when working out with someone to see who can call out the new number first). 

With Yoga X, since the number is so daunting… I go by moves.  Warm up, then sun salutations, then poses, then around the 45 minute mark is balance, etc.  It gives me something to focus on rather than OMG ANOTHER CHATURUNGA??? WTH???

Since I swapped rest days, I wondered if I should shift the work out down, or do a complete swap.  Since I was geared up to do Yoga- I just did that one.

Day 6 – Legs and back (January 14, 2011)
I should have posted right after the workout, but it is several days later.  This is another workout that goes pretty fast.  I like how you swap between leg moves and pull ups.  Since I can’t really do a pull up, I have taken to putting chair at good distance away and doing sort of a reverse push up, using my body weight.  I’m trying to focus on my chest.  Can always use a little extra perkiness, right?  Luckily my legs are pretty strong.  Tried to stay lower in the wall squats now that my legs don’t shake as badly

Day 7 – Kenpo X (January 15, 2011)

Was a Saturday AND Kenpo Day!  Can’t beat that!

Kenpo is getting easier… seems eerily too easy sometimes.  I brought it, and sure I needed a good shower afterwards AND I was sore the next day… I just didn’t feel like I had burned as many calories as I used to think.  I had balance issues, but I think once I get used to staying in the routine, that will go away.  I used to be able to do the three kicks without touching the floor (or falling over).

If you want to know if P90x is right for you then Kenpo X is a good place to start.  I know it got me hooked.  It has just the right mix of challenge and fun, and Tony is at his best.  Plus the girl on the video has great form.

Day 8 – Core Synergistics (January 16th)

I had a lot to do for school on Sunday, since my internet had been crashing for a couple of days and I spent a lot of time trying to figure it out or just dealing with it almost inoperable.  But! I MADE time for my workout.  It was nice to get it over with in the morning and then shower and put on actual clothes (since I could work out in whatever haphazard sweat/PJ/jean combo working from home and snowed in for a week).

I really focused on engaging the core this time around, and I think I got a much better workout. 

Day 9 – Cardio X (January 17th)

Had !TWO! papers for school due.  Still, I MADE time for the workout.  It was only about 43 minutes, so that worked out.  I even had enough time to spare to empty and fill the dishwasher.  Luckily I had such a big lunch I wasn’t all that hungry at dinner, because by the time I got off work and went to the store, it was late.  Sometimes that is a struggle… if I eat first… well my motivation is shot.  If I wait too long, then my sugar gets too low.

He did say something that got my attention- something about if you are doing lean this is your second work out of the day… I hope that he meant “doubles”?? I have to look it up.

I’m starting to not dread sun salutations as much.  I hope that trend continues.  And I even did all of the Superman/Banana because I noticed after Core I was sore in some good places : )

Still need to modify my diet.  I’m eating some pretty crappy things lately.  It is amazing what you get used to.  Need to get out of vacation/snow mode.

Day 10 – Shoulders and Arms/ Ab Ripper X (January, 18 2011)

Boy oh Boy the Sabastiani Merlot and baked pork chops were calling to me!  “Screw the workout” they said “It’s late!  You have to get a jump on school… it’s been a LONG day… wouldn’t it be nice to sit down and have a nice dinner?  It might help make your child better rounded to sit down and eat with her.”  The last statement was the most compelling.  So, I fought justification with justification- when I get a new kitchen table we’ll do better.  Maybe by then I’ll be working out in the morning.

So, I made my child her dinner, popped in Pipi Longstockings and changed into my workout clothes.  I think the deciding factor was that I knew the workout was strictly weights, and ‘just hit play’ is easy on this workout.

It is easy, no thinking required.  A shoulder exercise, a bicep exercise, and a triceps exercise.  Repeat those.  Small break.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  Small break.  The time flies by.  Since I don’t have the option of using heavier weights, I don’t even have to think about that right now.  Next week will probably be different, but it was the perfect fit for the night.

Abs… well… Abs get a FAIL.  I did the first three:  In and outs, bicycle and crunchy frogs.  I even lifted my arms for a set (I could feel it in my back too much still).  Then my tailbone started to bother me again.  I tried to fast forward to ones that didn’t involve smashing my tailbone on the floor… but after one more set I just said “f it”.  I need to go see my chiro at the very least… but I just don’t know when I’ll have time.  Maybe Saturday.  I think a spongy mat is in order at the very least.

I’m glad I sucked it up and did the workout.  I could really feel how sore the other workouts have made me and that equates to ‘they are working!!’ Although, I do have to admit that I don’t think the results are the ultimate reason you do P90x… I mean, you chose it because it does work (why do something that doesn’t, right?)… but you make the daily choice to “press play” because you are part of something (sometimes because ‘what happens if I don’t’).  I feel much more energized, stronger, healthier, and I am in better shape.  But mostly I feel like I’ve accomplished something substantial sticking with it.

Day 11 - Swapped Rest day (January 19, 2011)

Was *just* about to go work out when there was a knock on the door.  Cable guy.  While he *might* have enjoyed watching me do downward dog… I wouldn’t have : p

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