Round 3 – Day 1 to Day 6 (Light Of My Life)

Day 1 P90X – Chest and Back.

It has been so long since I have done a P90X workout that I really genuinely enjoyed listening to Tony and the gang. Of course, being day 1 I am keen, full of energy, able to keep up with the kids and taking it all in stride. I am ignoring the menace that awaits me tomorrow and the following day and just enjoying doing the work. I stuck with the workout as instructed and even agreed that I would do the ARX workout instead of skipping ahead and doing things in my own time. It is actually a relief to submit to someone else since all I have done for the past few days is plan and work around the new female in my life. I was able to slip away for an hour during an afternoon nap and that reminded me just what a great system this P90X and Insanity workout system is. Not only that, I have been building a deck and my soreness is more of a reminder that I need to stick with the program just to survive my new life!

Day 2 Insanity - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

I didn’t feel too bad after yesterday, my chest is a little tight but knowing that today was cardio I thought I was relatively safe. Of course I was forgetting that part of the Insanity workout involves more than a few minutes of plank and pushups and that my fate was already sealed. Once Shaun T went into the level 1 and ski abs I immediately regretted yesterday and my shortsightedness but realized that at least this was the worst I was going to feel. At least that is what I told myself at the time. By the end of the workout, as short as it was, I was face down in a pool of sweat and the floor of my gym once again looked like a slaughterhouse. I had forgotted just how hard the warmup was, and although I accurately remembered how long the workout was, I had obviously blocked out the memory of exactly how difficult it was. Needless to say I was spent both physically and emotionally and just thankful that today there was no abs.

Day 3 P90X – Shoulders and Arms

I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Although the lack of sleep due to the baby hasn’t really affected me so far I was still physically a wreck. I hurt all over, I couldn’t stand up straight and my calves were on fire all day. I went into the workout relieved that I didn’t have to do any more pull ups and that for me today is a favourite session. I soon found out that in fact my weights are significanltly down and the soreness in my chest prevented me from effectively doing my shoulders. Regardless, I soldiered on knowing I wouldn’t have to coach or go to work for the coming weeks and that I could in fact rest almost on demand.

Day 4 Insanity – Cardio and Resistance

I thought the last time around that I had done a few of the Insanity workouts. In fact, my memory sucks and I found out that in fact I have only done a couple of them. It was therefore a horrific shock that I didn’t know this workout ahead of time. I managed to do most of it, however the power jumps are killing me. I have to admit that I just love the Insanity workouts, the intensity is amazing, the time is short and I sweat bullets knowing that my heartrate is sky high. Not knowing what was coming however made me nervous and as such I think I will do better next time. I was drenched again and I swear I lose 5lbs each workout!

Day 5 Rest

Day 6 One on One with Tony Horton – Fountain of Youth Yoga

I had made a deal with myself that I would incorporate Yoga back into my schedule and rather than do the 90 minute P90X version I managed to get my hands on a copy of FOY Yoga. The thought of being alone with Tony in his basement made me queasy however he was personable, likeable and altogether different. The workout was great, just what I was looking for, a short but varied Yoga workout that I can fit into my schedule. Of course I couldn’t actually do much of it, partly due to my soreness from the past few days of deck work, baby holding and walking and my new Round 3 and partly due to the fact that I gave up Yoga so long ago any flexibility I had is long gone. I have the workout on my Patriot Box Office Media Player so I had Tony on the big screen upstairs while my daughter slept in her pack and play baby holding cell. If you don’t have one of these things yet, get yourself one, it is amazing. Full HD and the ability to play almost any media type.

So that is me all caught up. My daughter is 8 days old, my new workout is 6 days old and I feel like I am 70. Ah, just like the good old days.

Round 2, Day 3 – Damn Doms

Shoulders and Arms – February 3 2010

If you love ab workouts you are unstable.

But my arms still hurt from day 1! I remember clearly the feeling of week 1 last time around, it has all come back with startling clarity since I woke up this morning and rolled into my bottle of advil.

The major stumbling block of Round 2 is going to be Gymnastics Coaching. I was able to do it last time but once Round 1 was done and we started coaching again at the end of the summer the time demands seemed to overwhelm me. Maybe it was because I was trying to get to the gym instead of loitering in the basement. This time I am sure I will do better, but with late nights at work now mandatory I think my evenings are going to be both long and painful. Great.

After Plyo yesterday I am a little gelatinous. Not just in the way that I can see my outer layers jiggle in the mirror in the basement but rather my legs feel like I have been de-boned. I can only say that re-reading the entries from week one last time around are of little comfort to how I feel. I just need to get through tonight then tomorrow I can rest at coaching.

Post workout – I hate Ab Ripper. Regardless of how many times I say it, I can’t begin to explain how much I hate that 10 minutes of my life. I have never been fond of Abdominal workouts but this is just pure unadulterated hell on a stick for me.

Round 1, Day 3

The latin translation is below:

Left intolerable ripping
Right intolerable ripping
Unbearable discomfort
Realization that abs are for idiots

G-Day 3 – Shoulders and Arms

Here is the plan for today, shoulders and arms G90X styleeee!

Shoulders and Arms
First Circuit:
Alternating Shoulder Presses
Straight Bar Bicep Curls
Tricep Cable Pushdowns
Second Circuit:
Deep Swimmer’s Presses
Full Supination Concentration Curls
Feet Up Bench Dips
Third Circuit:
Upright Rows – Straight Bar
Static Arm Curls  – Straight Bar
Overhead Dumbell Tricep Extension
Fourth Circuit:
Standing Front and Side Shoulder Fly
Seated Concentration Curls
Tricep Extension and Close Grip Bench Finish
Bonus Circuit:
Hero Flys (Shoulder Fly to Y Position)
Straight Bar Curls with French Curl Finish
Free Dips on Dip Station

I will fill in the weights and other details including the obligatory whining about how sore my arms are going to be later…

Day 73 – The Flooring Aftermath

Chest, Shoulders and Arms.

So P90X took a back seat to the flooring. I knew it would have to so I was prepared. Besides, the flooring installation was the kind of thing that is the reason that I was doing P90X in the first place. The ability to work like a normal person, to work through days of back breaking floorboard installation and the constant stand-up-kneel-down that is required to get that particular job done.

The bottom line is that I made it through. I said before I started that Yoga was going to do my floors and I was right. I was amazed at how many times Yoga sprang into mind as I worked the floors. All those lunges, the savasanas, the balance and strength poses all came into play. Most of all though, the constant level changes was what helped me out. My ability to get up from the floor quickly and to get down into position quickly saved me countless hours during the install. Towards the end of the first day I came to a pretty amazing revelation, that I would not have been able to do this floor at the pace I did if I had been working out my old way. Sure I would have been fit, but not anywhere near as flexible as I needed to be. In fact, I can almost guarantee that if I had tried to do the floor before P90X came along that I would have been in bed on day 2 unable to move due to my tight hamstring and ITB pulling my back out. That in itself is a huge deal. The fact that I was able to do 5 days of install and come back to work without feeling much soreness or pain is virtually unbelievable. I guess it is true what these P90X grads say, that you do get in the best shape of your life and that you are able to do things you wouldn’t have been able to do 10 or even 20 years ago. Honestly, the last time I would have been able to do something like that would have been when I put the floor in the basement and even then I remember my back went out, it took me weeks to finish and I was a mess for ages afterwards. Previous to that I would have to go back to the late 90s before I started having back problems and that was 10 years ago.

Today I did day 73, I was a little off my numbers from the last time I did that particular workout but I felt great. I made it through Ab Ripper with very little problems and I was amazed at how little strength I had lost. Then again, I did spend a huge amount of time on my triceps and arms and shoulders during the flooring. I don’t think my pullups will be the same, in fact I think that is the one thing that will have suffered the most through all this. No matter, it doesn’t take long to get back into the swing.

There are 2 things I now have to work on, sorry, make that 3.

1. Adjust the P90X program to get me back into the gym

2. Borrow some of the P90X moves to adapt for Gym coaching which starts tomorrow!!!

3. Finish the Nutritionist course and send in my exam.


Photos of the floor to come, just so you can see how I did 😉

Day 59 – 2 Out Of 3 Ain’t Bad

Shoulders and Arms

It’s official, I am 2/3 done P90X!!! I am staggered by my tenacity and perseverance. Well, they are the same thing which makes me amazed at my complete disregard for my Literature Degree! Redundancy in all forms should be eliminated. You will notice I didn’t say completely eliminated, but I digress…

I feel like I am back at the first week again. I am sore all over but I love it! It is amazing to me that the week off does you so much good while feeling like it is doing so much damage to your progress. I guess you have to take a step back to take 3 steps forward in this case. I never subscribed to the notion of rest weeks since I worked ona 4 days off 1 day off schedule. It always seemed the case that 2 or 3 times a year I would be forced to take time off anyway due to vacations etc so it never really bothered me. I certainly never thought of taking a week off out of every 4. Once I have revamped the workout a bit for the long term I think I will stick with the week off schedule although maybe stretch it out to 1 week off in every 6 or 8. I just realized how sore my traps are. OW!!! The shrugs in the shoulders and arms workout are the ONLY trap exercises in the whole system. That is something I will need to address going forward. I think that every time you do shoulders you should address the traps also. I will have to look closer at the exercises but I don’t recall ever doing shrugs or upright rows other than during the S&A workout. At the very least they could incorporate some upright row into shoulder press…. Oh wait… Maybe I do remember now… I will have to check and get back to you.

I also found last night that I had modified the workout quite heavily to accommodate some higher weight tricep exercises. I found that the kickbacks, something I despise as a workout move, were insufficient and that my triceps were simply not getting an adequate workout. I also had a lot of joint pain between my sore shoulder and sore elbows I needed to change things quite a bit to get the right workout. For example, I substituted any of the tricep movements with laying close grip bench press. I can do 135lbs with ease and after about 30 reps or so I am on fire. That is how it should be, but if I stuck with what Tony was doing (we are getting along much better this time!) I was nowhere near where I needed to be fatigue-wise. Since I get a lot of pain form my elbows doing fully supinated curls, I had to modify to give me a decent burn while sharing amongst straight, hammer and french curls. For some reason I had done the Congdon curls on one knee which I replicated last night. The stress on my spine doing it like they do in the video is reckless in my position.

The sun was out, I was doing weights with the sun beating down on me, I was a happy camper.

Day 17 – Modification time

Shoulders and Arms.

(My home gym, pictured here, messy but plenty of room)


Since I have issues with some of the movements in the workout, namely the triceps kickbacks which are relatively ineffective in building any kind of triceps strength, I have decided to replace them with variations of laying triceps extensions. I have the bench at home and laying extensions with close grip bench press are great replacements for the kickbacks. I tried it tonight and other than having to adjust the weight a little, it  is going to work out really well. In other news I am up to almost 20 of each of the ab exercises not including the stupid leg climbers which I just hate and can’t seem to do at all. I finished my sets of the regular workout a couple of minutes early and got a head start on the Ab Crippler  and as such was able to accomplish much more over a slightly extended period. I didn’t rest more, I just completed more because I had more time. The other benefit was that I took a couple of minutes rest before I started which made a world of difference. However, my hip flexors are still pitiful when it comes to bicycles. It’s not that they are weak, I can do hanging leg raises no problem even with straight legs, but constant motion like the in-and-outs followed by bicycles just kill me.

At the end of this week, since it will be the end of the 3 week cycle, I will post my actual numbers for the movements to document my improvements. Next week is supposed to be a “rest” week but I see there is Yoga in there so it can’t be much of a rest! It’s interesting to see how my numbers are fluctuating, but also they are not entirely an accurate reflection of my improvement potential since I am restricted to the weights I have available. I don’t want to go out and buy more dumbbells so I think I am going to start using the barbell for some of the heavier curls and shoulder presses. As long as I don’t spend any time changing weights, it should work out OK.

Day 10 – P80X!

Shoulders and arms

10% may not sound like a lot but when I started this thing I was doubtful that I would be able to make the first week!

I haven’t been feeling very well today, my stomach is very sore for some reason, I have cramping and bloating. I am trying to think if it was something I ate over the last few days or maybe it is some kind of stomach bug. Either way, today has not been fun at all. I was having serious doubts about my ability to do shoulders and arms but as usual I thought I would start and see how I felt.

How I felt was like throwing up. My stomach was incredibly painful at times, but I managed to make it through the workout, even managed to add some weight to the reps from last week. I tried to settle my stomach with some antacids but nothing seemed to work. It feels like food poisoning however I haven’t thrown up like I do when that happens. I am wondering if this is what an ulcer feels like…

I can’t really say much more, the workout was difficult enough with the extra weight never mind battling a sore stomach. I also did not do the Ab Ripper today, it was simply not going to happen!

Day 3 – Better Late Than Never

Shoulders and Arms plus Ab Ripper

Gluten Free Living - ya it sucks but so does indigestion
Gluten Free Living - ya it sucks but so does indigestion

We had a busy day today driving to Hastings for a family get together and after all was said and done it was 7pm when we got through the door at home. However I am still in the romance phase with P90X and nothing was going to stop me from getting day 3 out of the way and getting to bed. Having said that, I was exhausted as soon as I woke up and managed to get through the day without the use of my right hip flexor which I am fairly sure turned to stone overnight. Everything below the waist hurts. Some things above the waist felt like they hadn’t hurt enough yesterday and so were looking for a little more sympathy today. This rolling, cascading carnival of pain that runs through your body is certainly challenging and makes even the most mundane of daily tasks like getting into the bottom drawer of the refrigerator at work seem insurmountable.

In recent months I have developed a sore shoulder at the gym, so much so that I have an ultrasound appointment to get it checked out so I was understandably concerned about Shoulders and Arms. It was a sore workout. I can’t really supinate much with my left arm so the out and in curls were a challenge. I also am used to doing significantly more weight but in shorter sets so it was difficult to get accustomed to the 15-20 reps I was doing. All things considered, it was a pretty good workout. Usually at the gym I blast my shoulders with military press for almost 30 minutes by themselves so I am not entirely convinced that this workout will get me any results, X or not. However, I am open to a new approach to my physique and I will see what  happens. If I feel like I am losing some strength in any of my workouts I can always substitute some heavy lifting once in a while if I am so inclined. However, I think that as much as this is a workout change, it is also for me a philosophical change in my approach. So for now I will submit to the process and see where it takes me.

As for the workout, the movements were predictable, most of which I have done in the gym myself at some point. I am not a fan of the tricep pushbacks, I feel that you can’t really get a good extension with a significant enough weight to really see a change but maybe that is just me. I also wish I had a dip station I could do hanging dips instead of the bench dips. I was quite proud of myself, I managed to contain my sobbing to a short period during bench dips when I really felt like I was going to come apart like a rotisserie chicken.

Ab Ripper took my by surprise again. This time I was able to do more, I counted at least a 10% improvement over the first time. But my abs feel like they are made from crushed glass that is ripping my internal organs apart as I move. I was unable to get off the floor for a few minutes after we finished. So much so I was still laying there when Nicole had headed upstairs for her recovery drink.

One more note. I am not following the diet. I know, I know, each time I come across a site where someone says that I think “you idiot, diet is the key, THE KEY DAMMIT” but in my case I have a legitimate excuse. I am studying to be a certified nutritionist and I am designing my own program. Now since the P90X program was developed by nutritionists I am going to see if I am anywhere close to the level of knowledge that it took to create the program. I have analysed my requirements and am able to determine exactly what I need given my personal situation. It is more as a lab with a controlled subject (me) doing a controlled exercise program (P90X) so that I can see exactly the effects the nutritional changes are making to my body. The other gotcha in my case is that I don’t eat wheat. So following a program that calls for wheat based products becomes problematic.