Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I love DAY 10

DAY 10 = Arms & Shoulders (and, of course, Ab Ripper X)

I'm still thinking this is the "easiest" workout.  I did not do it in the AM as I was busy trying to scratch my eyes out of my face (apparently I've developed allergies, yuck!).  I, of course, waited to the very last possible minute to do it and not be late to my nephew's 2nd bday party.

If you recall, I wasn't a big fan of my workout from this workout last week, mostly because of the inconvenience of using "selectorize" dumb bells.  This week was much better because I already knew what weights I wanted to use and when I needed to change them out.  I increased almost all of my weights and felt like I got a good workout, especially with the first 2 sets of exercises.  I did 15 reps of each exercise (except the ones where "everyone" does 16 reps) and 25/30 dips.

My biggest problem w/this workout was intense finger/hand cramping!  Holy cow!  By the end of the workout, my form was def suffering because my hands were screaming and it was all I could do to keep a hold of the dumb bells.  I didn't do the bonus set simply because I'd procrastinated too long and was running out of time (which means I also didn't do the cool down that I promised I was going to begin doing today!).

Ab Ripper X was better today than it was on Monday, but my abs were def burning!!

I know Tony annoyed the heck out of a bunch of people in other blogs/reviews I've read, but he still isn't bothering me.  I like him.  He's more "real" than any other exercise instructor on a DVD I've used and he doesn't lie...there's nothing I hate more than being told I have 1 more only to do 27 more!

My goal for tomorrow is to not snooze so I can have enough time to do my 98 minutes of Yoga X BEFORE work so I can have the afternoon off!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Jumping right in to DAY 9

DAY 9 = Plyometrics = ouch

I'm not sure what from exactly, but my quads feel like I'm trying to work out in shorts made of cement.  My legs feel so heavy; it's why I cut my run exceptionally short last night and it's why plyo was not so fun this morning.  I'm hoping that's a good sign and it means all is working according to Tony Horton's master plan.

I remembered to wear my heart rate monitor this time and I was in my zone during all of the plyo exercises and below on the breaks.  I had it on (I started it as I started the warm up) for 48:32 and I was in my zone for 31:33.  My max HR was 165 and average was 137 (this wasn't my best effort today; I expect better numbers next Tuesday).  I burned 307 calories (which means The Man will probably burn about 17,389 and drop 10 lbs during the workout).

I gotta be honest, I slacked a little on the last "hot feet" move; I hate calf burn!!  Just an ok performance today, I'm glad it's over, but I'm a little disappointed w/my effort.  I'm going to try something new and different for the rest of the week...I'm going to actually do the cool downs!  I've always been terrible at cool downs and I think my body's starting to feel it so I'm going to make an effort to complete the cool downs, especially the stretching, this week.  Starting tomorrow.  Or maybe the next day (just kidding).

Monday, April 28, 2008

DAY 8: Here we go again

So today started the cycle again, with Chest & Back and the wonderful Ab Ripper.  As previously mentioned, due a post-Benedryl fog, I decided not to complete my work out in the AM and had to "look forward" to doing it after work.  The Man got off work early and was already finished w/both workouts when I got home.  He sucks (but he'd also already made the meatballs for tonight's dinner, so he doesn't suck that much :) ).

I'm not going to lie, Chest & Back kind of sucked today.  I'm not sure if it was because it was early evening or because I knew what was coming this time or if it was just my mindset, but it was tough today.  I think I did a good job on the push ups:
30/31 regular
20/21 military (hands in closer, fingertips pointing away from head, elbows stay close to sides)
20/25 wide fly (regular stance, just wider hand placement)
17/18 decline (feet up on the couch)
5/10 diamond (hand in diamond shape, legs wide...the second set was from my knees...I know, I'm a wuss!)
10, 8 dive bombers (hands and legs wide, take forehead to floor, followed by chest, followed by hips, then back up and repeat.  Yes, they are insanely hard...I was grunting and making all kinds of noises to get 8 my last set)

The pull ups were another story.  I just don't think I've got the hang of proper form using the cheater chair.  I'm going to do a little playing around to see if I can get it right.

The 3 dumbell back exercises (heavy pants...I love that name and I love when the guy in the background on the DVD says he wants to do skinny pants...lawn mowers, and back flies) were ok.  I need to up my weights next time, I do believe.  

It was kind of nice having The Man there while I was working out so he could check my for me (though I've pondered adding a wall of mirrors to our living room to check my form, I don't think it works aesthetically!).

I finally finished Chest & Back  and had to move right on to Ab Ripper.  I've done Ab Ripper 3 times and haven't had any trouble.  Until today.  It hurt!  The first 3 moves (including crunchy frogs which still make me giggle every time he says it!):  in & outs, bicycles and reverse bicycles, and crunch frogs all hurt my quads way more than my abs.  I didn't not finish all of the last exercise...I know, I'm a slacker.  

Then, The Man and I attempted to go for a run. I lasted about 3 minutes before I decided today wasn't the day to double up (he went for about 25 minutes).  I'm looking forward (for real, no sarcasm here) to Plyometrics tomorrow, though I did just take Benedryl again,  stupid itchy eyes, so I'm hoping I can still bang it out in the AM.  8 days down, 82 to go!

And on the 7TH DAY, she "rested"

Today was supposed to be the "rest" day or the Stretch X day. Instead, I ran about 4 miles and walked 1.5. This was more of a social run/walk than "exercise", but it was still something. I am planning to incorporate some running in in addition to my P90X workouts this week. Nothing crazy, just some easy runs and maybe a day w/some interval training to keep up my cardio. I just finished an 11 week session w/a personal cardio trainer from my FIL's college program (kind of like a "student teacher", but a trainer) and I don't want to lose the gains I made there.

It's Day 8 now, and I haven't done my work out yet. I took Benedryl last night for stupid itchy eyes from allergies and though I still got up a little after 5, I didn't feel up to push ups/pull ups. I want to be able to do this work out well, so I'm waiting until after work. Something to look forward to. Great. Feeling a little "fat" today...could be the Smiddicks & Moosehead. Or maybe the pizza & 1/2 cheesesteak. Or maybe the Parmesan garlic chicken tenders. Or maybe the cookies I baked yesterday. Hmmmmmmm

Saturday, April 26, 2008

DAY 6: Kenpo

I wasn't sure what to expect today, having no idea what "Kenpo" was.  So, I googled "kenpo review" and read a few other blogs to get an idea of what was in store for me.  I didn't learn all that much, as the reviews varied from "too easy" to "omg was this tough".  So, it's Saturday, a lazy day, and we had lunch plans at 12:30.  I kept putting the workout off (at one point even starting the DVD, doing a few minutes of the warm up, then watching the rest as I read) and finally pushed play at the very last minute possible to complete it and still have time to get ready for lunch.

I was not a big fan of the warm up...mostly because it was kind of hard.  It was mostly a bunch of Yoga poses, ending with some static stretches.  The workout began with a series of punches.  I've done a lot of Tae Bo, so I liked this.  I wish Tony had a few more form cues, though.  I keep feeling as though there was a pre-workout tutorial I should have completed before these workouts.  Kicks followed punches and blocks (which was new to me) followed kicks.  

I don't really have much of an opinion about this one.  I forgot to wear my HR monitor, so I couldn't tell how long I was in my zone, but it didn't "feel" very much like cardio to me.  Maybe I'll have more of an opinion on this one next week.  I AM very much looking forward to my day off tomorrow, though I think I'll probably go for an easy run in the AM.  

On a side note, I FEEL as though changes are already happening to my body...yippee!

Friday, April 25, 2008

DAY 5: sucks

So, today marks the first day I swore at the TV during P90X...this isn't unusual; I frequently let out a stream of choice words at Billy Blanks during Tae Bo...but that's because he LIES! He's always saying one more set and you do 753 more reps. Liar face. Thankfully, Tony is NOT a big fat liar, he just works my @** off! (Hopefully, literally!)

Today is (scratch that, WAS, because I already did this morning! Woo hoo) legs and back. I should probably preface this by telling you I HATE LEGS. Lunges could be my least favorite exercise ever. The workout starts off w/the usual warm up and stretch. Then, the "fun" begins. And by "fun", I mean scream-at-the-TV-feel-as-though-your-legs-will-fall-off-wonder-why-you-aren't-still-snug-in-bed fun.

I wasn't sure what to expect w/this workout because the worksheet only showed 2 sets of 4 different types of pull ups. There were no clues to what leg torture lay ahead... The basic format was 2-3 leg exercises (like squats, more types of lunges than should even exist, wall sits & single leg wall sits, groucho walk, and calf raises) followed by a pull up set. Each leg exercise was repeated anywhere from 15-30 reps, varying by exercise. I gotta be honest...I did not complete every exercise. A couple of times I wussed out at 15-20 reps. The one I specifically remember bailing out on was a calf exercise. I hate sore calves; they hurt and my calves are already sore from Days 1-4, so I was just a big baby and slacked a little.

I think I did better on the pull ups already (though it could just be wishful thinking). I was able to do 1 at the beginning of each set 4 of the 8 times, as opposed to just once back on Monday. This is officially my least favorite to date, I just don't know if it's because I was tired, I hate legs, it's been a long week, or if I just really didn't like it.

I made myself do it this morning so I could be done for the day since it's FRIDAY, but I just realized I still have to do Ab Ripper tonight at some least it's only 16 minutes. Speaking of minutes, after the 98 minute marathon that was Yoga yesterday, this workout seemed like a sprint!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

DAY 4: Yooooooga

So, this is the first time I haven't done my P90X workout in the AM before work...I snoozed when the alarm went off and I didn't feel like having to rush since this work out is.....wait for it....over an hour and a half!!!  Of course, come 3:15 I was wishing I'd never heard of a snooze button!

About 30 minutes into this workout, I was sure this was going to be the first workout I did not was slooooooooooow.  I was def sweating and feeling the burn, but it still didn't "feel" like I was working out.  Nor, did it feel the clock was moving.  Just at the point when I felt like saying forget this, it got better.  A little over 50 minutes into the workout, it changes from moving poses to balance poses.  Phew.

The moving poses aren't all that hard, once you realize you're not going to be doing them for 90+ minutes.  I even did the extra push up from plank to downward dog most of the time!  And it may just be wishful thinking, but the push ups felt better and easier.  I'm actually (slightly) looking forward to the next time now that I know the routine.  One thing that was a little difficult for me was not being able to see Tony;  our flat screen is mounted above the fireplace, so I couldn't see it from certain poses w/out disrupting my balance.

I liked the balance poses; they were challenging, but less so than the moving poses.  Just when I thought it was getting easier, Tony through in some ab work...he has a name for it I don't remember...all I know is it burns!!!  It was a great way to end the workout.

I'm still not a huge fan of the fact it's a 90+ minute workout, but I don't hate it as much as I thought I would 25 minutes into it.  I'm actually kind of looking forward to the next time!

What I'm not looking forward to is Legs & Back a mere 8 hours from now...

Tivoed Gray's Anatomy is calling me...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day 3...was this really....EASY?!

First, let me just tell you how my body felt when I woke up this morning...OUCH! Crazy sore, but in a good way. I def know I've been using some different muscle groups; I love feeling the burn! Pretty much all of my body is sore right now, except my quads, hams, traps, and tris (and I can already feel the sore coming on in my traps and tris from this mornings workout!).


The warm up was a little rocky, getting loosened up and ready to go (the fact it was 5:15 may have played a role in that, as well). I liked the set up of this workout: shoulder exercise, bicep exercise, tricep exercise, then repeat all 3. Set your own goal- 8-10 reps for growth, 12-15 to tone (NEVER 11!!). I did 15 reps of everything and will need to increase my weight next time (started off w/10's for everything and made some minor adjustments, 15's or 7.5's along the way). There were 4 sets of 3 different exercises in all, completing each cycle twice. There's also a Bonus Round...I did NOT do the bonus round due to time constraints, but I plan to do it w/The Man tonight. I will also do Ab Ripper w/him.

My only issue w/this workout is my own. We have BowFlex select-a-size dumbbells and it was kind of a pain taking them back to the base to adjust the weight (which is why I really didn't that much this workout). It will be better next time since I now know what weights I'd like to use.

I've also noticed an increased appetite...I am HUNGRY a lot! I have read that one of problems people have w/P90X is not taking in enough calories for the increased workload. I've been trying to eat snacks at regular intervals, usually Nature's Valley Sweet & Salty Almond granola bars (OMG, soooo good! They actually ARE sweet AND salty!) and Wild Bill's beef jerky along w/my 3 regular meals.

I don't remember if I've pointed this out yet or not, but I do NOT plan to follow the P90X nutrition plan (though I am impressed w/the science behind it and think it's a well rounded plan). One step at a time, people. Baby steps.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ab Ripper and Day 2

So, I did Ab Ripper last night after dinner and....I like it!  It's only about 15 minutes and there's an "end" in sight, each move is performed for a goal of 25 reps.  It was challenging, for sure, but doable.  Ab Ripper gets a hearty two thumbs up from me (this time, at least).  That being said, my abs are already on fire and I don't even want to think about laughing tomorrow!


After a whopping 2 hours of sleep, when my alarm went off at 5 AM I was not looking forward to jumping around with Tony.  However, knowing my husband would be doing it when he got home made me push play.

It's not....that bad.  Basically, it's 30 seconds of 3 different moves, followed by a 1 minute move,  and then repeat the whole thing over again.  For 4 or 5 different sets....I lost count.  The good news is, they were all doable, even if I did want to throw things at Tony at various points throughout the workout.  I'm not familiar w/any BeachBody workouts, so I don't have a background of their moves.  It would be helpful if Tony gave a few more form cues, I mean, I'm not quite sure how he can talk non-stop the entire time and NOT slip in a few cues.  Before completing, I wouldn't have thought this could be considered a "cardio" workout...I was wrong. Next time, I'll remember to wear my HR monitor so I can let you know just how long I remained in my zone.

Oh yeah, and I am a big fat slacker, no bonus round for me today...I wanted something to look forward to next time (which means my husband will do it tonight for sure, drat!).

On a side note, I am crazy sore and it's only been 24 hours since chest/back and less than 12 since ab ripper.  I love being sore!

Monday, April 21, 2008

And We're Off-Day 1

Chest & Back:

I decided to complete Day 1 BEFORE work, beginning at 5:00 AM.  Good thing I am a morning person.  The warm up was pretty easy.  So far, so good.  Little light stretching, lot of Tony talking.  And now the pain begins.  We start w/standard push ups.  Not bad...I put a couch pillow on the floor beneath my chest to make sure I go low enough.  Not bad, I think I busted out 30.  On to wide grip pull ups.  I do one, then I need to use the cheater chair (one foot on the chair to "help" me complete the next 29).  We continue to alternate between push ups and pull ups (with a couple of dumbbell exercises thrown in there) for the next 10 sets.  Then, we do the same thing all over again.  I'm not gonna lie to ya, the push ups were killing me!  By the time we got to Dive Bombers, I could only do 5 w/good form.  After the initial pull up, I could complete NONE w/out the cheater chair.  I was oh-so happy every time a water break appeared on the screen!  Woo hoo-I never thought I'd be so excited for a beverage not containing hops!

Tony pretty much NEVER shuts up throughout the entire workout.  While it may bother me 87 days from now, it didn't bother me today.  I actually started the DVD w/the "music/cues" option and realized that "muted" Tony so I started over in the "normal" mode.  I liked hearing him chatter; it helped pass the time for me.

Fast forward 13 hours and I'm ALREADY sore!  And I'm usually a "2 day" sore (it takes me about 48 hours to experience my full sore)!  I already feel it in my bis, tris, lats, delts, and pecs.  I'm not looking forward to waking up tomorrow and trying the Plyometrics!  Off to complete the Ab Ripper to complete today's workout!  Oh yeah, my abs are already sore, too, from holding my core during the chest/back exercises!

Day 0-Am I Fit Enough to Get Fit?

So, today's the day my husband and I set to begin our P90X journey.  Great.  Can't wait.  It all begins w/the dreaded "before" photos.  We had to take 6 photos, while wearing shorts and a sports bra (not him, he just wore shorts):  2 front views, 2 side views, and 2 AHHHHHHH rear views!  Not pretty; if I were more confident, I'd post them for you to see. But, I'm not.  Plus, I take comfort in my anonymity. We then had to measure our chest, waist, hips, R/L thighs, and R/L biceps (thus inciting a lengthy debate as to exactly where the measurements were to be taken).  One more measurement before we have to actually do something:  resting heart rate (52 for me).  

Onto the action.  We were supposed to warm up for 10 minutes, breaking a "light sweat" varying between movements such as jogging in place, jumping jacks, marching, etc.  After 3 minutes of laughing at each other and running around our living/dining rooms, we declared ourselves "warm" and moved on.  The first test was pull ups.   I could do a whopping....1!  Yeah!  Pathetic as it is, I did meet the required pre-reqs to continue (kinda like having to be this tall to ride).  Due to rather low ceilings, we opted to skip the vertical leap test.

All of these pre-tests require you to perform until "failure"...which to me meant going at least as long as my husband did before I quit.  Test 3=push ups.  I completed 39, soaring well above the sorry required THREE!  On to Test 4 which is the toe touch (and another debate about how far apart feet should be....I said 12" like the President's Challenge test The Man said they should be together...I gave in).  I reached 9' past my feet.

Test 5 is the dreaded Wall Squat...I call them Wall Sits.  You basically put your back against the wall and pretend you are sitting, with your quads parallel to the floor.  Sucks.  I lasted 1:14, :14 beyond the required 1 min (and :02 longer than The Man).  Moving on to Test 6:  Bicep Curls.  I used 10lbs and completed 35 reps (needed at least 10 reps at 8lbs to be "cleared" to begin).  

Test 7 tests abdominal strengths:  "In & Outs"....basically, you put your weight on your butt w/your hands on the floor beside you and bring your knees to your chest then extend w/out letting your feet touch the floor.  Repeat until you can't repeat anymore (which for me was 30 times).

The last test we needed to complete was a Heart Rate Maximizer.  We had to perform jumping jacks for 2 min, with the last 30 seconds being as hard as we could, then take out HR immediately after and at 1 min intervals for the following 4 minutes.  No problem.

This pre-test was easy enough, right?  Now we're cleared for take off...oh no.

Please allow me to introduce myself...

Who. Am. I?

I am a thirty-something (newly turned 31) fairly fit, admittedly lazy, former athlete with an appetite that could rival that of a 21 year old frat boy.  Did I mention I'm barely 5'2?  Not a whole lot of room for any extra pounds, without being mistaken for a weeble.  I'm an HPE (that's Health & Phys Ed) teacher, so I should be able to develop my own workouts, but I have a little problem w/motivation.  I've always been active (in HS I ran cross-country, swam, dove, played hoops & softball and I played collegiate water polo), but much prefer the competition/camaraderie that goes along w/athletics to "working out".  As a "grown up", I have run (at one point running 20-30 miles per week), swam, lifted, roller-bladed, sweated away w/Billy Blanks' Tae Bo, dabbled in a little Yoga, swore at Mya doing Yourself Fitness for PS2, got my groove on with DDR, and tried the gym, all while packing on a few extra pounds.  Fast forward to now and a late night infomercial on P90X.  I'm sold (that's not saying much....if I wasn't too lazy to get off the couch to get a credit card, I would probably own everything RonCo sells-I'm gullible like that)!  My husband's best friend had recently given it a shot and had a favorable review, so $148 later (w/the oh-so reasonable shipping/handling fees) here we are...

It seemed like the perfect fit-an at home workout for those who are already reasonably fit, as most of the at home options are for those for whom just getting off the couch and getting another beer out of the frig is a workout.  I checked out a number of blogs before starting and very few seemed to fit "me", so I thought I'd  blog and track my experience w/P90X day-by-painful-day.  Here we go!