Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Can't Believe I'm Already in Phase Three

When I first began P90x, I thought the months would drag, doing the same workouts for 13 weeks! But it has really sped by. In this phase you do the Phase 1 workouts in weeks 9 and 11, and Phase 2 workouts in weeks 10 and 12, with week 13 being the final recovery week - wherein you collapse and die...I mean wherein you congratulate yourself for a job well done, and stand in front of the mirror looking pleased.

In the past few weeks I have eliminated yoga and replaced it with XStretch. The yoga is an excellent program, but it is very long and very hard to do along with the difficult resistance work. The stretch is very yoga inspired and a full hour itself, and it definitely filled the flexibility need, although it's lacking the strength work in Yoga X, which is why I'm skipping it! Doing it the day after Back and Biceps (Phase 2) or Shoulders and Arms (Phase 1) is just too much, and it was having a serious dread factor for me. I didn't even do it in the last recovery week. I am sure I will pull it out again sometime in the future, but not in a P90X rotation. I have also used Ab Ripper X only once or twice a week, rather than 3 times.

As I get closer to the end of the 90 days, I appreciate this program even more. I think that in the future I will pattern my workout weeks on the P90x protocol -three days of strength, two of cardio and one flexibility. I may even alternate one month P90x/one month other workouts or perhaps 2 weeks P90x/2 weeks other workouts just to maintain the great results I have gotten with these discs. I think the results would have actually been incredible if I had really cleaned up my eating, but I haven't changed that at all. I am considering making November "Blast Off the Fat" month and eating super clean (no processed foods, refined grains, etc), but it is cooler and this is when I like to bake! So, while I may watch it a bit, I ain't makin' no promises.

As far as results go - I have gotten stronger, developed better balance and greater cardio endurance. My "problem areas" look much better, and my "non-problem areas" look excellent. I have lost quite a bit of fat from all over, and like I said, this is without changing my eating habits - which are not horrible, but not super healthy, either. I just think my body likes the amount of weight work in this program, and that my metabolism is doing well as I build up more muscle. I still can't do a pullup, but Husband will be making me a pullup bar that I can use when I do another round of the X sometime next year, and hopefully I'll be able to do at least one then! I can do a lot more pushups on my toes than I could do at the beginning, and can do kinds of pushups that were really too difficult for me when I started.

I have learned a lot of new exercises, and feel like I have come to understand weightlifting more - which muscles are worked with which exercises, etc. I think I could advise someone on designing a weightlifting regimen, and know that if I were stranded somewhere without my DVDs, I could keep myself in shape. I told myself that I would not purchase the personail trainer certification program until I finished this, because I figured it would be a good education as well as a good physical challenge, and it definitely has been.

I'm too tired to say anything else but P90x ROCKS!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Deep Into Week 7...

...And I am getting tired! Not tired of mah man Tony, but physically tired! Next week is the second recovery week, and I am definitely looking forward to it mentally, and my body is craving a weight-free week

The resistance workouts that were added in Phase 2 have been a lot more challenging than those in Phase 1, although it is the cumulative effect of five days of high-intensity workouts taken together that makes this program so tough. I am glad that I did not like the Kenpo disc and so have two days off each week...if I didn't, I think I be really burned out and maybe slacking off. I have been taking the extra day off on Wednesday or Thursday instead of Saturday, and I usually feel ready to work hard again the next day.

An interesting thing is that some days I am stronger than others, and I don't know why. On certain days I can lift heavier weights, or do more pushups or whatever, while other days I need to take more breaks as well as choose lighter dumbbells. Last week I felt really wiped out, and now that I think about it, I remember that I stayed up until 2am at least three times last week, watching a televison show online, believe it or not.

Now, a little about the workouts of Phase 2. Shoulders, Chest and Triceps is one of the hardest workouts I have ever done, and Back and Biceps is not far behind. I collapse on the next-to-last exercise in SCT, which is a pushup that then goes into a side plank pose:

I wish that exercise came earlier in the workout, since it is a move I like a lot - I think I might skip to it early on the next time I do that DVD so I can do more than one rep without my arm literally giving out.

Back and Biceps doesn't feel that tough when I am doing it, but near the end my muscles are so fatigued I can hardly hold my pen to write down my weight/repetitions. I'm not kidding - my hand almost doesn't work to grip the pen! I've heard about working your muscles until "failure" but this is the first workout where I have actually done that - I try to lift the weight one more time and physically cannot do it. This happens even though I have chosen to lower the weight I use for biceps, because I don't want to look like Ahnold.

After the recovery week (Week 8) I will be in Phase 3, which alternates the workouts from Phases 1 and 2 every other week. I am looking forward to that, as I enjoy all of them. I am pleasantly surprised that I have not gotten tired of any of these workouts. I have never done a "rotation" before, rotation meaning doing particular DVDs/types of exercise/instructors for a certain length of time instead of just picking something random each day. I thought that a rotation would cramp my spontaneous side, but in fact it has been a good discipline for me. I think in the future I am going to do rotations more often. I am already thinking about what to do during December!

I do plan on buying 3 of the 5 workouts from P90X plus, but I am going to take at least a month away from Tony and do something less intense. On my current workout wishlist is:

Anni Mairs 4 pack
Squeeze Stronger
Core Fusion
Chalean Extreme (which will probably be what I do from January through March)
New Bar Methods
P90X Interval Plus, Upper Body Plus, Upper/Lower Plus

When I will be able to afford all those, and in what order I get them, has yet to be determined.

Now it's time to read to Moppet 3 while I nurse the baby - just lyin' down sounds mighty good after all this exercise talk!