Last night while working out I felt a little restless as I often do when using P90X. It’s not that the workouts are boring, it’s more that I have a walkout basement onto a large deck which has all the evening sun you could wish for and the lure of the open air is too strong. So since it was Chest, Shoulders and Triceps day I figured I would improvise a little. First I substituted pike presses with some wallball shots. I have an improvised 26lb basketball o’ sand that I use for this and it’s a great sub for any shoulder exercise plus for me since I don’t do much leg specific work I like anything that I can get a little extra quad burn. Instead of the scarecrows I wanted to be adventurous so I did wallball shots without the shot, instead I pressed the ball up with one arm so that I ended up with my arm fully extended switching the ball from hand to hand each time I came up from squat. It doesn’t sound hard, and it’s not that taxing but the balance component takes some skill. Rather than do pour flys I decided to do 5 clean and press, 5 one arm swings and 5 snatches per arm for a total of 15 reps per side. Doing all 3 movements one after the other was an unusual feeling and worked just fine. Last of all, instead of the fly/row/press which I have to admit I actually like doing I took the previous set one step further and did all 15 movements with one arm then repeated again on the other side doing the set twice. It was fun to switch things up a bit and also to improvise what I was doing on the spur of the moment. I think that I need to improve my library of kettlebell skills though, I need some funky moves to throw into my workouts. All in all, the workout was pretty good and I got to hang out on the deck in the sun while working out which just makes me more jealous of people in California and Australia who have weather like that all year round…
I then made my own ice cream. I know, some paleo people say dairy is bad but I really don’t eat any cheese or drink milk alone any more so I threw some Costco frozen fruit and a cup of cream and a tablespoon of honey into the World’s Best Blender and made some delicious ice cream. If you want a blender that will blow your mind and make you ice cream go get a Vitamix from Costco.
I’m also a tumblr now, although I can’t get the wordpress plugin to autopost yet, I am working on it.
It is phase 2 week 1 and that means chest, shoulders and triceps workout with Tony. I felt like I had been taking it a little easy and so after a conversation with a coworker the other day decided to break out the Mir Weighted Vest I bought recently and see how painful it would be to do P90X wearing the thing. Well, I lived to tell about it but only just. I went from cranking out 30-40 pushups each minute to about 15! The worst thing was that I had only put 20lbs into the vest!! I was amazed at how much more difficult it was doing the most basic things with the vest on. I know I have lost 60lbs but putting 20 back was torture. I don’t know how I had the energy to carry around all that extra weight.
Even without the weight, that workout is tough for me, not because of the movements but because I get increasingly frustrated with the lack of tricep work and feel that of all the P90X workouts, this may be one of the weakest. The problem is exactly what I fear P90X:MC2 will suffer from, an attempt to make things “interesting” leads to ineffective movements, overly complex and time consuming motions that waste valuable time setting up or mastering when you could and should be doing basic, slightly modified moves. A great example are the amount of overhead tricep extensions in this workout. That movement is never going to do much for size and has a high risk of injury. It would be far better to use close grip push ups or bodyweight dips on 2 chairs than to keep trying to isolate the muscle that way. Anyway, it’s nitpicking a bit, I find I sub my own dips on my dip station instead and I am happy.
Happy until I put on a 20lb weight vest that is…
Come to think of it, just wearing the thing with 50lbs in it would be a workout in itself, walking up that hill I ran last week with an extra 50lbs sounds pretty evil and just the kind of thing I would do.
I must be getting tired, I just edited the word “just” out of that last sentence 5 times! Who uses just 5 times in one sentence!?
I decided that I would modify my work yet again and this time develop a short workout that I could measure for rounds and time. That means you take certain movements and repeat them to failure which will give you both a repetition goal and a time goal. For me, because it was chest, shoulders and triceps I did bench with 135 lbs (due to my still sore shoulder), kettlebell swings or snatches with 25lbs and bar dips.
10 bench press (should be bodyweight) 135lb
10 single arm KB swings with 25lb (should be 35lb or 55lb) Technically I did one arm snatches, weight going above my head.
10 bar dips
Result: 7 rounds in about 22 minutes.
I managed to get through 7 rounds before my KB swings gave out. I was disappointed that I couldn’t bench my bodyweight for the workout but since my shoulder is still tender, although much better, I have to be careful. Surprisingly the KB swings didn’t hurt but were damn hard work. That was the first time I had ever worked KB swings into a workout, mostly because I don’t have KBs but use dumbbells instead. There is a great deal of technique involved with the KB swings and I don’t recommend doing them without doing a good deal of research into form before you start. THere are plenty of videos on youtube that will show you shockingly bad form and could lead to injury so do some searching and find input from people who are certified to teach the KB workouts.
I found a good site HERE with a list of available and recommended form for KB movements.
I literally dragged myself through this workout. Maybe I am overtraining, that did come into my mind again. Maybe I should be sticking to 3 on 1 off or 4 on 1 off. I don’t know but what I do know is that it is harder than ever to keep going through the workouts. Maybe my carbs are too low, maybe my GI intake is too low, I am not certain. When I look at my fitday though, it seems like I should be feeling better than I am. That is why I think maybe it is overtraining not out of whack eating. I am scheduled to do a major workout today, P90X chest shoulders and tri and it may not be prudent given that it will be my 5th workout in a row with a preceding set of several 4 and 5 workout stretches behind me. Trouble is, I don’t feel better when I don’t work out for a day and that scares me. I do realize now I think about it that my sleep isn’t where it should be. Maybe that is the issue, an extra 2 hours a night might fix me up completely. For now, I will soldier on with the CS&T today and see what tomorrow (rest day) feels like. I did shovel for about 25 minutes this morning too, at 530am which was an unexpected surprise.
BTW I was down only 1lb this past week, currently at 258.0