Day 88 – The whole rest week problem

yogahulkSo I have figured out why I am hating P90X all of a sudden. It is this lingering painful last rest week. I have always been the type who like to finish practice with a sprint. When I played rugby throughout all my youth either in England for my school or County, here in Canada for my High School, Town, University or Province it was ALWAYS the case that conditioning was last thing at practice. That way you left everything you had on the field and left with a real sense of achievement and pride. Finishing the P90X program with a rest week is like Friday practice before the game. It’s just lame. I wanted to be shredded and beaten down, to be chiseled and have abs like granite and after the last week of resistance training I did. It’s now almost 2 weeks later and I still haven’t got through the rest week because I am not achieving anything. That lack of final punch has left me unmotivated and listless. If the program had been P83X it would have been almost perfect. The only thing that would have made it better would be a week of stress testing workouts. Some way of really pushing you past your boundaries to see what you and your new body can do. Sadly, I think that they have taken that theory and instead of making a kick-ass, bust your balls, show me what a frigging hero I have become week, they have made a “new” program called P90X Plus out of it to wring more cash out of their bloated cash cow that is

Colour me disappointed.

What I wanted, and what I will therefore invent would be a set of lets say 4 workouts with 3 “recovery” days (Yoga, Core, Stretch). The 4 days would consist of an hour long workout designed not to train you but to test you. A final week long fit test if you like to show you just what you have spent the last 3 months doing. Sure it is great to say I did 88 pullups in a session or that I did 350 pushups during a single workout but wouldn’t it be better to say that I completed the Graduation Week of P90X in all it’s painful gut wrenching muscle screaming lactic acid spewing hell?

Maybe it’s just me.

At least they could give you the option of trying handstand pushups or inverted pullups even if to most people it would be pure insanity. I have all this new muscle and the only thing that is confusing it right now is the fact that I am still putting fake boxes on fake shelves instead of crushing cars with my bare hands. Durable in the real world? Sure, that is nice. How about phenomenal in my own basement? That is what I was looking for from days 83-90.

Now I’m just irritated and I still have to do yoga before I can say it’s over.

Day 85 – Core Syn

We all have our idiosyncracies

I have been looking forward to Core Syn this time around, if only due to the fact that skipping days due to coaching makes me feel like I am dogging it a little bit. So a good hard workout is exactly what I required to get me back in the swing. Core Syn, as usual, didn’t disappoint. In fact, I was prompted by a video post on another blog to try the plank to chataranga run with proper form this time. Now I am a pretty muscular person and that particular move is challenging for me due to the amount of space my arms and legs occupy. Imagine if you will not being able to go from downward dog to runners pose because like Tony demonstrates in the DVD your leg gets caught up underneath you and jabs you in the chest. That is the kid of issue I have to deal with. I have come to realize that most people who do P90X either do it to get bigger, leaner or fitter. There are not many people like myself whose goal it is to get smaller in places. Like I have stated I didn’t do this for weight loss, but a reduction in sheer mass would not go unnoticed nor unwelcome.

So the core strength and the flexibility were the two things that I knew I could improve upon. Core Syn gives you the opportunity to litmus test yourself against your goals. So far, and since I am on day 84ish you would think by now I should be doing OK and I am. However, I have issues with my back and legs that are probably pretty foreign to most people. I lost about 20% of the mass in my right thigh during the days before my back surgery in 2001. That mass has never returned and as such my body has compensated with different strength in different areas. One upshot of that problem is that occasionally I get leg pain after I work out. I am not sure if it is parts of the muscle rebuilding or the nerves repairing or (hopefully not) that it is more damage being done. Either way, sometimes when I stand up the day following coaching or a hard leg workout my leg will give out. House and I have that much in common, well, that and the misanthropic nature that comes with a deep-seated hatred for pretty much everyone. Recently I have been having pain through my hip flexor area of my right leg and it feels nerve like, not muscular and indeed my leg gives out sometimes if I am not careful. Point being that although many of my goals have been met, my position on my back remains the same. My confidence may build on the strength and flexibility fronts but there are still things I am learning about my body and my previous injury which, despite the surgery, is still a concern. I’m going to be 42 in February and if I feel like this when I am 60 or 70 I will be happy. Since I wasn’t happy feeling like this at 32 but have steadily improved, I can’t help but think that things are pointed in the right direction. However, and as a side dig at myself, walking around at more than 250lbs isn’t good for you, period.

Bear that in mind all you P90X’ers, be careful what you wish for.

Area 51 – Bodyparts (Abs, who knew?)

I will put up before pictures but at the moment I can’t stomach them so these will have to do. Just goes to prove that anyone can find some abs, even if it is only one or two! I am having a hard time imagining that I will be significantly different than this at the end but I hope that at the very least my final pictures will be even a slight improvement over today.

Core Synergistics – The wannabe workout.

Core is a weird workout, it’s not difficult enough to be a real challenge which is good for rest week but at the same time you get the feeling that the moves you are doing are just the cast offs that didn’t make the show. They are the red headed stepchild of the other 3 weeks, they are the returning houseguests that didn’t make it in to the house again this season. Although the quality is there and the workout is still a good one, you can’t help but feel a little sorry for the exercises that didn’t quite make it on to the first team.

My weightloss has stalled, I have weighed about the same for 2 weeks running now and although I feel like my body is still changing I would like to see a better reflection on the scale. People say that numbers don’t matter but in fact that only really applies to people who are already at their desired bodyfat level or who are working out with weights for the first time. NOT the first time in a while either, but the first time. Even then, the ability to put on weight as muscle is so incredibly difficult that saying that you are “losing fat and gaining muscle” is completely bogus. In actuality, and any bodybuilder will attest to this, you are always either gaining muscle OR losing fat but to do both at the same time is insanely challenging once you are past the first few months. For this reason I know that my stagnant weight is nothing to do with muscle gain, but is more a reflection of my “alternate” food choices over the last couple of weeks. It may not seem like much to say that I had one bowl of low fat ice cream and fell short on my vegetable intake for 3 or more days but at this level when you are trying to balance your diet carefully those things have a huge impact.

So this is how Rest Week 2 looks on the Classic Program:

YogaX     √Done
Core Synergistics     √Done
X Stretch
Core Synergistics
Rest or X Stretch

Day 26 – Time is really flying

I can’t belive it is already day 26. Tuesday will mark 1/3 of the program completed! I am feeling good because it is rest week and I no longer feel like I have been beaten with a baseball bat, I am sure next week this optimism and sense of wellbeing will be replaced with hostility and pain but until then I can say I could do this forever!!! Today is core synergistics again and I am looking forward to it becasue it is quite a fast paced workout and now I know what the exercises look like and feel like I can put a bit more effort in to it.

I love once you get the hang of things. This core workout is not bad once you are able to keep up. It is a lot of abdominal stuff but not as challenging as Ab Ripper thankfully. I guess because it is rest week they kind of want to go easy on you which is nice however my heart rate monitor is showing me still way ahead of where I would usually be with my gym workouts. One bizarre upshot of this workout is that I finally got around to documenting some of my own conditioning that I use for the Gymnastics girls which will come in handy next year. It has only taken me 5 years to get around to doing it!! Like I mentioned in a previous post, it is amazing how similar some of the moves and structure is to what I put together for them, I guess that means I am on the right track with my methodology.

I am supposed to be studying for my Nutritionist Certification at the same time as I am doing P90X, however I am far far behind in my studying compared to my 26 days of workouts. Hmmm… about 22 days behind actually.

Day 23 – Uncharted Territory

Core Synergistics.

If you ever decide that you think this may be a fun time, maybe even that you are up for the challenge I suggest you bear one thing in mind.

Tony Horton is a lying 0% bodyfat weasel.

Tony doing his one arm pushup...

Week off my butt! This is not rest, this is just a Little bit of everything from pushups to core, from plyometrics to curls all rolled into one vicious little workout. I envisioned a week of pampering, gentle stretches, cool breezes wafting over my body as I massage my aching soul with simple, preferably laying down, comforting exercises. Not likely. If you call this a rest week then you need your head examined. Just because we don’t do chinups for a week doesn’t make it a week off! The workout had weights and most of the exercises that didn’t have weights were core of some kind. In fact, at one point it felt like I was in one of my own Gymnastics classes because the moves were so similar to what I get the kids to do every fall. Anyway, once I got over the shock of not being wrapped in cotton balls and tickled with a feather I found the workout was OK. It wasn’t gut wrenchingly difficult, I didn’t make any of the scary noises I tend to do during the regular workouts so I suppose in a way it was a “break” from the usual. It was, however, a lot of abdominal work which I assumed it would be. Some of the moves I found difficult, some indeed were impossible for me at this point. I am not looking forward to being able to dothem because frankly they look painful but I suppose at some point I will be able to.