Round 4 Day 17-18. Plyo Plus Shoulders and Arms

No, I did not do P90X Plyo, this was Plyometric Cardio from Insanity. Although I did toy with the idea of going back to Plyo once this round we will see. I made a quick and easy shoulders and arms workout that was OK for shoulders but not that great for triceps. I am not worried about my biceps at this point but my triceps need a bigger workout than this. I think I may have to go away from the circuit training approach for this day so I can military press for my shoulders and then covert back to flat bench so I can narrow bench for my triceps.

Here is what I did yesterday.

95lb Military Press x10
35 lb In and Out Biceps x 10
Body weight free dips x 10
95lb Military Press x10
35 lb In and Out Biceps x 10
Body weight free dips x 10

135lb Military Press x 10
35lb Single arm Bicep Curls x 10
20 Military pushups
135lb Military Press x 10
35lb Single arm Bicep Curls x 10
20 Military pushups

185lb Military Press x 8
35lb Double Bicep plus Upright Row x15
Chair Dips (feet up) x15
185lb Military Press x 8
35lb Double Bicep plus Upright Row x15
Chair Dips (feet up) x15

35lb Side Shoulder Raise x 10
Band Tricep Push Downs (all 3 bands) x 10
35lb Side Shoulder Raise x 10
Band Tricep Push Downs (all 3 bands) x 10

It seems like a lot of sets and maybe it’s due to the fact that you are effectively trying to cover off 4 bodyparts in one day, bi’s tri’s, shoulders and traps. 22 sets is a ton compared to a couple of days ago when I did what I thought was 8 sets however if you split the pull ups out it was 16 sets. I still feel like I did more and yet not enough. I am thinking of splitting out and doing chest/tri, back/bi and shoulders on a separate day like I used to but that won’t be until round 5 most likely. I say round 5, but I am getting so far away from the Round 1 of P90X it seems almost ludicrous.

Day 81 – Last Resistance Day. I wish I had known.

I can feel the curtain closing as I embark upon these weight days for the last time during this, my first stab at P90X. Today was Back and biceps, the glamour workout as Tony calls it. This is week 12, week 13 being the last rest week which means that since I have done the last weight session of the week, my P90X weight days are completely done. I have to say it’s a bit odd that I didn’t realize that this would be my last workout. I have Yoga to do on Wednesday since I traded Kenpo and Yoga again due to time constraints.

So let me just get my head around what I still have to do here with my increasingly complex schedule.

Wed Sept 23 09 – Yoga
Thu  – Coaching
Fri  – Supposed to be Rest but will do day 1 of rest week – yoga
Sat – Yoga if I decided to skip yesterday (which given my track record of Fridays the last 3 weeks I may)
Sun – Core
Mon – Kenpo
Tue – Coaching
Wed – Stretch
Thu – Coaching
Fri – Core
Sat – Yoga
Sun Oct 4 09 – Stretch

If I decide to skip the middle stretch day and go straight to Core I may finish a day ahead but for now that will be the plan. It will mean that my last day, Day 90 will be Sunday October 4th. That will mean I will have finished the P90X program in 105 days. Not bad given that I will have also been coaching at the same time.

However, it is not time to reflect just yet. My arms felt like they were going to explode tonight, I tried to push a little harder but smarter, doing a little lighter weight on some things to get a better contraction. The top of my forearms where my french curls make me cry like a little girl are especially sore. Yes, even on day 83 you will still get some soreness. I kind of wish I had realized that today was my last weights day. I could have taken some pictures at full pump, I wonder if you can tell a difference at full and not full?

So sayonara to the pull up bar, although I am sure we will remain close. It’s time for me to get back to the gym and create my hybrid system. After that, I hope to return to do either the Lean version or maybe a second round of Classic.

Day 66 – Biggest Loser Finale Day

Back and Biceps

scaleI am responsible for running a program at my workplace for people interesting in losing weight. Although it is called the Biggest Loser the similarity ends there. There is no set workout schedule, no training only weekly information and motivation from me and the accountability of the weigh in. This is the 3rd installment of the program and to date our participants have lost a total of 153lbs!

The purpose of my doing the P90X program was not primarily weight loss. I stated from the start that I took up this program as a challenge both to see if I could do it, but also to confirm to myself that regardless of how I may feel every day from a pain perspective, that my body is still capable of amazing things even after my (now long past) back surgery. I remember talking to a guy at a gym I used to go to who had a similar scar on his back (this was only months after my operation) and he was 8 years on. He was playing squash every day and told me that he was doing the things that he did before his back started giving him problems. I aspired to that, but at the same time I was concerned that it may take the 8 years to get back to “normal”. Well, it is now 8 years down the road and I suppose a few months ago I would have complained that I was not capable of things I would have done before my back problems. However, today I would be proud to say that I can do things that I would probably not have attempted back then, even though I would have been 8 years younger!!

So Bob was the biggest loser, he swept the last month and the final grand prize. I think the program has proven it’s value, not only to the winners, but also to the participants who have an accountability system in place which is helping them control their weight. It amazes me that even though we work in a Health Care institution, we have practically zero fitness programs or facilities at work. In doing the nutrition course I am finding that the vast majority of the health problems people have are caused by, not only aggravated by, diet and lack of exercise. I was floored to find out that 77% of cancer related illness is CAUSED by diet. Isn’t it common sense then that we should be working harder on prevention than on curing? Can you imagine the effect on the economy if even 25% of hospital visits, prescription charges, doctors fees and so on were cut by people being healthier? If nothing else, imagine the effect on your income tax rate!! Canada in 2008 was projected to spend around $180 Billion  on healthcare. Even if we could cut those costs by a mere 10% we could (apparently) eradicate homelessness (cost:$3.5B) (ref:http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/main_nowayhome_cost.html ) we could ALSO provide day care and early childhood education from age 2 to JK completely free for every Canadian family which (although figures are up for debate) would cost somewhere in the region of $10B. That would still leave $4.5B for infrastructure repairs, increases in salaries for teachers and the police and to employ enough judges, court staff and jail space to ensure than anyone caught using a gun in Canada or selling drugs to kids is jailed for the remainder of their natural lives.

But I digress…

Day 46 – Wedding Gifts and Dancing Queens

Back and Biceps, Ab Rippler

Nice Camera, uses Memory Stick Pro Duo though...
Nice Camera, uses Memory Stick Pro Duo though...

Nicole decided that we should donate our digital camera to her dad for his new business – www.torontolandlordagent.com. That opened the door for us to go to the Bay and use some of our gift certificates from the wedding to get a new digital camera. We chose the Sony CyberShot W230 which not only does 12MP shots but also is capable of HD quality movies. So thanks to all those who gave us Bay Gift Certificates for the wedding, although it has taken us almost 2 years we finally spent the cash!! So if you know of anyone who needs to rent their condo / apartment / house, just give John a call!

The workout was good today, with the basement door open these hot humid days really kick up the sweat factor which is great. My chinup bar is doing well although there is a slight bend in it from the close grip pull ups. I still have way more confidence in it that that flimsy chinup bar we got from some fitness place. Maybe once I get down to the 200 mark I would feel better about it. Don’t hold your breath people!

My progress with Ab Ripper is still moving along. I cheat a little head start as I have previously mentioned but now I am able to do 25’s on at least 8 of the 11 exercises, even bicycles which I frigging HATE!!! I still can’t do leg climbers, in fact if I didn’t see the video I would debate the validity and the mere possibility of that particular move. The Mason Twists at the end are a particular sticking point for me due to the stupid arm size issue. I am not able to touch the floor with my hands clasped together. Not going to happen, biceps too large, chest too large, shoulders ridiculously huge. I still get a really painful stretch through my lower back doing crunchy frog but at least I can make it through. The ones I have the issue with are the full situps and the situp with the Vsnap kicker. My upper body significantly outweighs my legs so even with my legs straight it is a struggle to counterbalance myself to get all the way up.

In other news, Jeanine won So You Think You Can Dance last night, something we are very happy about. Our favourite, Kayla, who is a dead ringer for our private class dancer and star of the stage Laura, came 4th which I think was very strange especially since that useless weasel idiot who came 3rd beat her. Anyway, congrats to Jeanine on a job well done and to Brandon who is a stellar performer in his own right but who was just too similar to last season’s winner.

Winner!!!!
Winner!!!!
Such an amazing technical dancer
Such an amazing technical dancer

Day 38 – 1 Week To The Top

Back, Biceps

I always imagine the half way point of any venture as the top of the mountain, once you are past half way, things always seem to go more quickly towards the finish line. One week from today I will be half way through the P90X program and although my “transformation” is not significant, that was not my goal. In fact, as I stated at the outset my goal for doing this was only for the challenge and the variety. The fact that I have lost a few pounds and made some significant fitness gains is a bonus.

It has been really weird not going to the gym every day and still getting the quality of workout that I have been. I have always been of the opinion that you need to be in the gym to get the quality of workout that you need to succeed in fitness. This stems from the arrogance of my initial certification as an ACE Personal Trainer. When I got certified, the culture was that the gym was the law not the guideline and the notion of working out without weights was almost non existent. Since then a lot has changed, the improvisation of the fitness industry and their desire for money has generated a whole industry around working out at home. From the very early days of at home aerobics to Billy Blanks and his Tae Bo all the way up to P90X and beyond, the fitness industry now accepts the notion that you can get a great workout anywhere you want to. Ask any Personal Trainer worth their salt and they will now be able to give you a dozen alternatives to replace your gym exercises no matter if you are at home, at a hotel or even at the beach. My experience with P90X has taught me that not only is it possible to get a top class workout at home, but also that the workout that I impose on my kids at gym every year is a reflection of my own insight into that area. Without even knowing it I had developed a workout regime that could very easily have served as an at home workout for anyone willing to put in the time and effort.

Speaking of gym, I am going to start (hopefully) to develop the conditioning for the year before we start, that way I will have lists defined, workout schedules made and a well balanced approach to their fitness ready to go. Much as I enjoy making stuff up as we go, it does make me stressed and can occasionally lead to unbalanced workouts. So this year I hope to incorporate some of the Plyo and other P90X stuff into the conditioning and to have a set of workouts of various lengths I can pick from.

Day 31 – Building a better bar

Back and Biceps – Yes, they are real. Greg Valentino – The man whose arms exploded. Bear in mind he is 5’2″.

Yes, they are real. Greg Valentino - The man whose arms exploded.

The other day I found a pretty strong hollow metal bar at Home Depot for under $20. Today before my workout I drilled holes in my basement door frame and slid the bar in. I now have a guaranteed bulletproof, 400+lb holding chinup bar from hell! I just need to get some kind of grips or foam or something to go with it and I will be in chinup heaven.

Speaking of chinups, even after just a week off my chinups are back down to miserable numbers again. I was doing sets of 10-12 at least during week 3 and today during Back and Biceps I was struggling with 5!! Maybe it was the week off, maybe it was just that I was tired, I am not sure but whatever it was it frustrated the hell out of me! The workout was good again, I am LOVING these non-repeater workouts at this point. I am in the frame of mind where I just want to attack everything and try as much as I can and these week 5 workouts are just the ticket. I am also at peace with Ab-Crippler X, I know I will get there eventually and I am just putting up with the pain for now until I conquer it! I am getting better every time I do it and I find if I cheat a little and start a couple of minutes early once they get to crunchy frog we are at the same point and I seem to do OK from there. It’s the bicycles and Crunchy Frog that are killing me now. My lower back is very painful when I do them and that does not help.

I am disturbed also at the degree of pain from my shoulder, of course I haven’t gone for my ultrasound yet which I got the Rx for months ago. However it is not just chinups that are painful, the more I do bicep curls the more painful it gets. I can work around the pain however it means that each set of different hand grip bicep curls kind of meld into one big hammer curl set. I will try and get to the doctor next week once Bob comes back to work and see what they say. Maybe a cortisone injection will be enough.

It has just occurred to me that I may be saying the same crap over and over again. I haven’t gone back and read any of my old posts, I hate to read my own stuff, so maybe I am boring you with my repetition…

I have been watching some of the Big Brother stuff on YouTube and I have to say what a great summer that would be! Get up early before the other idiots are around, have a coffee in the California morning sun, lay around in the pool for a while or the hot tub, work out outside, do some cardio, have all your groceries bought and paid for… What a blast. Of course you would have to put up with the kind of brainless degenerate narcissists that would choose to go on Big Brother but still I think it would be worth it.

So anyway, today was difficult but enjoyable. The arms were pumped afterwards and I even resisted the temptation to put on a little gun show inthe new mirrors. That will have to wait until the fat show has left town!