Greetings, friends and readers.
I decided to jump-start the bloggy blog once again as I’m taking on another fitness adventure. The triathlon was great and I’d love to do another one or two next season. However, the afternoon after I finished the triathlon, everything changed—we got a puppy from Austin Pets Alive! (link)
APA! is an amazing organization that seeks to make Austin a No-Kill City, a feat that’s already been done in cities bigger than us. As a volunteer with APA!, I’ve seen the direct results of everyone’s efforts in helping to save animals from euthanasia. We picked up our Maggie after the race, and our lives have never been the same. Couple that with moving in together and working long hours, and I had hardly any time to sleep much less work out.
The first month with the pup was hard, naturally, but things have settled in and she’s doing well. Minus the fact that she’s a teenager, and likes to show it.
After I felt mostly settled in at our new apartment, I knew I had no more legitimate excuses not to work out. I tried to come up with a routine and failed. Getting up at 5am to go to the gym before work wasn’t going to keep happening, and going at 7pm after work also was difficult. Several friends and people I know had been doing P90X, and I looked into it. I knew it worked, no doubt about that. But I couldn’t decided if it was for me or worth the investments. I took the plunge and bought it anyway.
It works in three phases, 28 days each (there’s one more recovery week tacked on at the end to make it 90 days). The first three weeks of each phase are the same 6 workouts (3 cardio, 3 weights) followed by a rest day. The last week (which I have yet to reach) is a mix-up of workouts designed as a recovery week for your hard work for three weeks.
The mealplan follows the similar three phase pattern, with the first month as fat-burning, second as energy, and third as stamina. You eat a LOT of protein in the first phase, but it’s definitely kept me energized.
I’m two and a half weeks in and really enjoy it so far. Yes, I have missed a few workouts (as is likely to happen), but I’m still holding strong and I’m already noticing improvements. I followed their mealplan hardcore during the first week. Since then, I’ve kept to the general outline of amount of proteins and such you should eat. I use the recipes of theirs that I like and modify others to fit my tastes Unfortunately, with my work schedule, I can’t eat dinner until several hours after my lunch, so I have two snacks in the afternoon. Plus with tailgating season in full swing, Saturdays are hard to do.
It’s pretty well understood (but not always easy to follow) that in order to see physical results in your body, you have to eat well. You can polish a car and vacuum the seats all you want, but it won’t be a good car until you give it the right fuel and maintain it. Or something like that. I feel better already and I’m starting to notice results from the hard work.
Here is how the workout is formatted for my first three weeks and my thoughts on each one:
Day 1 – Chest/Back + AbRibberX
Day 2 – Plyometrics
Day 3 – Shoulders/Arms + AbRibberX
Day 4 – Yoga
Day 5 – Legs/Back + AbRibberX
Day 6 – Kenpo
Day 7 – Rest day (or catch-up day for me when I’ve missed something)
The chest and back workout is a tough one to start out. You do a lot of pull-ups. Or, if you’re like me, you attempt to do pull-ups and fail miserably. It’s a workout that definitely makes you wonder what you’re getting yourself into.
Plyometrics is okay. It’s a good cardio workout and it keeps you moving. You’re tired but not dead afterwards; always a sign of a good workout.
Shoulders/Arms is a great workout. I’ve never felt comfortable doing weights, either free weights or machines, and this workout really shows you proper technique. I can do all the exercises with whatever weights I choose.
Yoga is awesome. I already fell in love with yoga from the classes I took at 24 Hour Fitness. Yoga and swimming are the two exercises I can do that I can completely lose myself in and quiet my brain. That’s a lofty task for my buzzing mind, and the quiet is peaceful. P90X’s yoga starts out with moving poses. I was doing well, but about 40 minutes in, shit got real. We did poses that I’ve never done before, which is fine, but were extremely difficult. I stuck with it, breathed, and took breaks where I needed to. The second half is balance poses which I also like. The great thing about yoga is the ability to make leaps and bounds with your progress in just a few sessions. There is no competition in yoga. No reps, nothing. Just breathe and you succeed.
Legs and Back is a tough but good exercise. I see why we only do one legs workout a week. My butt hurt for 3 days afterward.
Kenpo is very similar to the kickboxing I did for a year and a half at a local academy. It was a good cardio workout and got my blood flowing. However, since I’ve done kickboxing before, not much of it was new. I do like that the warm-up is yoga poses.
AbRipperX is a tough cookie. 15 minutes of pure core work. Not just measly crunches, but deep-in-your-torso work. Again, it’s one of those exercises that you can see improvement with each time you do it. Having a strong core is such an important part of any exercise you do. You will be a better runner, cyclist, swimmer, dancer, yogi, kickboxer, anything, if you have a strong core. Plus it helps protect your body from injuries otherwise sustained by your joints. So, while AbRibber is tough, I don’t mind 45 minutes a week to help me overall.
These past few weeks have been crazybusy at work, so I’m getting home near or after 7pm each night. This making working out tough. Even though I just have to turn the tv on and push play, it can be hard when all you want to do is sit on your balcony and pet your dog. Furthermore, getting up early enough before work to do an hour workout is even harder. I’m back to the same challenges as beforehand.
However, I will stick through it. I feel better and look better already. Not many exercises programs or regimens will show such results so quickly.
Until next time…