Monday, January 31, 2011

P90X: Day 30

Has it already been 30 days since I began my P90X journey?

It certainly doesn't seem like it to me because I missed all of Recovery Week due to illness.

Even today, I think I may be harboring a very vicious sinus infection. Still, I brought it Tony-style for Week 5, Day 1.

And I surprised myself.

Here are a few noticeable differences from Day 1 to Day 30:

I did a heck of a lot more push-ups on my toes today.

I have developed the "one more!", "two more!", "come on, three more!" mentality. Meaning, that I now push out reps until I seriously can not do any more. I am accustomed to face planting it on to my carpet during pushups due to fatiguing my muscles, and know that when my arms begin to tremble and I truly can't eek out one more, ONLY THEN is it time to put the weights down.

Ab Ripper X, which is NOT my favorite ab routine, actually revealed something new today. Today as I was going through the exercises, I just wasn't feeling anything in my core area.  Since I've started using this ab workout 4 weeks ago, I've been frustrated that I only seem to feel the burn in my legs and hip-flexors.  Whereas when I do Chalene's ab workouts, my core is SORE. So, here I thought that nothing was happening in that area . . . until . . . we got to that side oblique move.  You know, this one?

Well, imagine my surprise when I took my position to do the exercise, knowing that for the past month, I've not been able to do any reps while lifting my legs, not to mention I couldn't keep my legs together OR straight during those attempts,



Just last week, I had to keep one leg bent and couldn't lift my torso and legs at the same time. Today?


Hmmm, someone IS getting stronger, and Recovery Week is a part of the program for a reason:  RECOVERY!

Stats after 3 Weeks on the program (having missed Recovery week completely):

  • Down 4 lbs (and I'm not sure this is correct, cause, well, this is as "special girly" week)
  • Down 3.5 inches overall
  • Forgot to record my body fat 30 days ago.  Right now, it's around 17%, but I'm not sure I calculated that correctly.
My goal for the next 30 days:

  • Drop 5 lbs
  • Continue to flatten out that stomach
  • Do a pull-up or a chin-up without the assistance of a chair
  • Become friends with the meal plan again after taking a full week off

So, it's now January 31.  How'd the first month of year treat you?

Friday, January 28, 2011

P90X Wagon Train


Falling off the wagon hurts.

Especially when you've been pushed.

Illness got me this week.  And my daughter.

THANKFULLY, I was entering Week 4 of P90X.  Better known as Recovery Week. Little did I know I would be spending this week trying to recover from illness.

The wagon is a funny thing.

We tend to use the phrase "I fell off the wagon" so casually, whereas, to a number of people, the phrase holds heavy meaning - and consequences.

I am glad to be in a place where "falling off the wagon" doesn't describe reaching rock bottom.  Not anymore.  Now it simply involves getting up off the ground, dusting myself off, and having the ability to take a short run to reach the moving vehicle. I am no longer running frantically in an attempt to catch up with wagon. It's in my sight. I can catch it. I'll be back on board very soon.

I've lost a week. One week. That's all. If it had to be any week at all, P90X Recovery Week was the one to miss.

That's a nice perk of regular, consistent, intentional exercise:  falling off the wagon isn't nearly as severe or life-altering when the activity has become such a part of the dailiness of life.

I'll being "Bringin' It" on Monday. It won't be pretty. No doubt I won't be able to pump out the reps I could last week.

But, what does that matter?

All that matters is that I'll be back on the P90X wagon train after a slight detour.

How about you? Still have your wagon in sight, or has it taken off and left you in the dust?

Can I give you a lift to help you find it?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thoughts on Legs and Back (and some Ab Ripper X, too)

Week Three of P90X is almost complete.

How am I doing?

Any unassisted chin-ups or pull-ups yet?


That's OK. Really.

Today was Legs and Back. After completing it, I realized that I had some thoughts that I needed to write down. If you are a new P90Xer, perhaps my musings will help you.

Switch Grip Pull-Ups
Wow.  I REALLY can not do these.  Both during the first and second set I was completely befuddled on how to manage these. Even with the assistance of a chair, I bonk on this move every time. And then, a "DOH!" moment. USE A RESISTANCE BAND, YOU NUMSKULL! Why not? I can easily throw it over the pull-up bar, drop to my knees and pull. At least this will insure that I am getting a solid workout for my back on this particular move by really being able to focus on the muscle, rather than being distracted about NOT being able to get it done on the bar.

Three-Way Lunges
This exercise does nothing for me. At least not that I can feel. It doesn't tax me (perhaps I need to do the straight-leg kick), nor am I sure if I am doing it correctly.

Sneaky Lunges
This one can be very tedious, so today I really watched my form. By the end of 20 reps I was breathing heavily. The key to this move is g o i n g s l o w l y. Go slowly (even though it takes forever) and really tighten your core and buns while you do each rep.  Only then will you feel it.

So, how am I doing on Ab Ripper X?

I am still feeling fatigue in my legs and hip-flexors when I do this routine. Earlier this week I wondered if I had made any progress at all in strengthening my abs. For while my stomach has indeed deflated quite a bit, Ab Ripper X is still really challenging for me. And then, Tuesday night during Fit Club, I completed ALL of ChaLEAN Extreme's awesome Ab Burner workout.  All. Of. It.

What did this mean?

My abs have gotten stronger.

Next week is my Recovery Week. I don't know what that means, but I'll follow the plan as I have been and then share with you my 30 day results at the end of the week. Right now, I'm down about 1.5 lbs a week, my arms are definitely returning to "cut", and my core is flattening back out. I see visual changes.

And mental changes? Huge.

It's funny how conquering a physical fear can make you feel like you can conquer anything.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups: My New Nemesis

How's your workout going?

Mine's all new.  And parts of it really mess with my head.

Like pull-ups and chin-ups.

Push-ups were my original nemesis during ChaLEAN Extreme.  And while they are now challenging me even more so during P90X than they did on CLX, I do feel a bit more prepared and able to keep up (even if I drop to my knees and eventually eat carpet).

But with the pull-ups and chin-ups I have moments of, "Will I ever be able to lift my body up without the assistance of a chair?"

I have one glitch that I need to attend to before Monday's chest and back workout - sweaty palms.  I either need some gloves, or need to spray the bar down with something tacky, for my bar doesn't have spongy grips on it. I do think this will help, for there's no question that I'm getting stronger everyday.  I just can't hang on.  Slippage.

Imagine me standing there, staring up at the contraption I bought myself for Christmas.  Yes, I bought a pull-up bar with Christmas money.  I want a return on my investment.  And I'll get it.

Let's talk about your workout for a moment.

Is it challenging?

Is there an exercise you can not do easily?

P90X is challenging.  P90X is not easy.  P90X is for me what marathons are for some.  I want to be a P90X'er and it won't be an easy process for me.  But I don't want same 'ole, same 'ole with my fitness routine.  I want to be moving forward.  And moving forward means choosing challenges that I can not complete on Day 1.  Or, Day 11.

But at the end of the 90 days, I am assured that I will see results.

Results like rocking at least a pull-up or two, sans the chair.

Pull-ups?  I'm talkin' to you.  Yeah, you.  I'm comin' for you.

But first, a hot shower.  And maybe a little Biofreeze.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why I Cried During Plyo (and not for the reason you think)


Yes, there is.

Only, it wasn't during the workout that I found myself suddenly tearing up.

It was afterwards.

As we, (the cast and I), finished the football drills at the conclusion of my very first go at P90X Plyo, I suddenly felt this well of emotion.  I was overwhelmed.  And then, just like that I cried a little.

(That's like saying, "I pee'd a little" or "I'm a little bit pregnant."  No.  I cried.  I admit it.  Full-blown tears)



I have been looking at P90X infomercials for YEARS.  I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD DO IT.

  • I don't have the time.
  • I have two children.
  • It's too hard.
  • I don't have the equipment.
  • I can't workout at home.
  • It's too expensive.
  • I'm 38.
  • I'm 39.
  • I'm 40.

Sure, I had to stop briefly during the 58 minutes of jumping and leaping and squatting and, yes, audibly grunting.  But what I discovered was an internal drive to get in those deep breaths, a little water, and then, JUMP BACK IN.  OK, so I had to slow down the pace at some points, but I finished. Strong.

And then the tears came.  As a complete surprise to me, I might add.  But just as quickly as they came, did I realize WHY they came.

The tears were due to a HUGE TRUTH about myself.

I have kicked an enormous habit.  What habit?  The habit of falling into a sedentary lifestyle? (For that was the path I was choosing).  No, that's too easy of an answer.  This truth goes much deeper.

The habit, my friends, was one that I think I've carried around all my life.  That being:

The habit of approaching challenges with the immediate belief that I couldn't possibly conquer the looming task before me due to one thing or another.

I'm a pretty confident person - and still, I've always carried this load either on one shoulder, or the other. Sometimes both.  And while I may have plodded through anyway, the fear has always lingered.  At times, the load would win - stopping me from trying something new.

Due to my experience with Team Beachbody, ChaLEAN Extreme, and now P90X (all two days of it), I think I have kicked "I can't" from the auto-pilot position in my life.  The physical success, and the business success from my journey with this company has actually fanned out into other areas of my life as well.

  • I'm submitting writing pieces for freelance gigs more often.
  • I'm auditioning for my first play since Zane was born.

The auto-response of "I can't" is such a sucky place to be.

It infringes on LIFE.

So, today, while panting, gulping water, and bending over to catch my breath, I cried.

Yeah, Plyo hurt.

And yet, that hour of physical exertion, felt a whole heck of a lot better than living with the beliefs I used to house in this body of mine.

Please, if you don't want me telling you that you CAN do it - don't ask.  I'll only annoy you with my answer.  Someone else put it this way . . .

"What do you REALLY want?  Sympathy?  Or a Solution?"

I CHOSE a solution.

And then cried like a baby.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bringin' It: But It Ain't Pretty

And so, it has begun.

My journey through the world of P90X.

How did DAY ONE go?

Here are some random thoughts from this first-time P90X'er:

  • Push-ups. I thought ChaLEAN Extreme had prepared me for the push-ups.  No, CLX gave me the STRENGTH to go from doing 12 push-ups on my knees to 12 push-up on my toes.  In P90X we do a zillion push-ups.  I found I had to drop to my knees during several reps of:  regular, wide, military, diamond, and decline.  5 different styles of push-ups.  No mercy.
  • Pull-ups.  Pulling up my body weight is INSANE.  I can not even do one pull-up without the use of a chair.  I was successfully pushing out about 10-15 this way, being mindful of not putting too much pressure on my foot for assistance, but, even so, by golly, this is tough.  I can't even envision the day when I don't need the help of a chair - although I know the day is out there.
  • Effort.  I tried to eek out "one more rep" on a number of exercises, but sometimes after stopping, I felt (wondered) that maybe I stopped before I should have.  Maybe I wasn't trying hard enough??????? (Aw geeze, Joline, shut-up!  I AM DOING P90X!)
  • This is a lot of food. I am totally following the meal plan and could not believe the size of my omelet at breakfast today.  Talk about good, clean, fuel.  I certainly won't be going hungry while eating 1650-1700 calories.
I did take a new "before" photo last night, and measurements.  And while my measurements weren't at my Post-ChaLEAN results, they weren't back to my "Pre-ChaLEAN" numbers either.  This was encouraging.

Biggest visual shock?  The stomach area.  While I really toned this up in CLX, I can see how a few months of not being as consistent, combined with holiday fun in the form of yummy food, has had it's toll on my mid-section.

We'll get rid of that lickity-split.  Just you wait and see.

I'm doing this program with over 20 other people.  Accountability rocks.