R4 D67/8 – Chest and Back (100%), Cardio Plyo (100%)

Santa-Workout1Getting back into your schedule is often harder than you think. The best way, then, is just to shut up and do as you are told. So I stuck with Tony and the gang and did the whole workout without skipping. It was a relief, gave me a great workout and got my focus back. It was a little odd doing the long slow weights thing again but made a nice change from the HIIT stuff I was doing before. I did find it challenging going at a slower pace though. I got a little restless about half way through, but instead of rushing ahead and skipping the time on the DVD I chose to rest, push out a few more reps and keep pace. I was so inspired that the next day I did the same with Shaun T and did Plyo Cardio but included all 3 rounds of the warmup and did every exercise as Rx’d. It was actually easy to keep pace and not think about it instead of planning which bits to skip and how to modify the workout. Since this is a reintroduction of sorts after a few days off, it has made the transition much easier.

It’s now Christmas Eve and I have to plan the next few days, there will be lots of food which is OK, but I really need to keep some sort of workout schedule going even if it is in room calisthenics at the Motel 6!

So I did a quick search for Hotel Room workouts. I found this which is uninspiring to say the least, this turbulence training bit which is more like it and finally an entire site dedicated to working out on the road. It’s really not rocket science, I mean the pushup and the squat / lunge are the basis for most of these workouts, so throw in some creativity and you should be all set.

R4 D44 – Plyometric Cardio Circuit & Kenpo??

KenpoYou know, I almost did Kenpo today. Maybe my memories are foggy or I just got a pang of nostalgia but for a second there I actually missed Tony’s attempts at cardio workouts. Maybe I will sneak in a Kenpo this week somewhere just to go old school and get a longer, lazier workout done. The reality is that the insanity workouts are great but of course, after a while they get repetitive. That is the good thing about having a couple of sets to choose from, even after this long (322 days of BeachBody and counting) you can still go back to a video that you haven’t done in ages. For me, these are the cardio workouts from P90X. Not because they are bad necessarily, but they are anemic in comparison to Insanity. However, a change is as good as a rest so a sprinkling of Tony may be fun.

Instead though, I hustled my way through Plyometric Cardio Circuit, even though I think I was supposed to be doing Pure Cardio. The reason I like PCC is that it is not all cardio, there is an assortment of plank based moves too. For some reason that makes the time go by all the more quickly for me. I would say that this is probably my favourite Insanity workout. I would pick one of the Max workouts but for the fact that they are killers to get through due to the extra round.


I wonder if there is another set I could add to the mix. I don’t know off the top of my head if BB has any other workouts I may like to sub for Insanity, and I don’t really want to get into the Tony 1-on-1 system since I am not that invested. I am also leaning towards more Crossfit and maybe even less cardio, but I don’t want to lose what little endurance I have. Also, I still enjoy the Insanity part of my program, I guess I am just feeling a little unsettled. Max will cure me of that I am sure, either that or forcing myself to do Yoga X or ARX…

Today (Day 45) is P90X Back and Biceps so hopefully I will get this out of my system today and concentrate on which Crossfit WOD to do for tomorrow.

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.

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 37 – Plyometric Cardio and DIY

I was cruising the internet last evening looking for DIY stuff for my garage. Now I have a chin up bar out there I was looking for ideas for other home made items and came across this little gem of a dip station and also this video of a similar but even more creative solution.

Either way, they both motivated me to try and build something this weekend if Ihave the time. I will post my results here, of course. If you have any suggestions for other home made items, let me know, I am always open to suggestion.

So last night I was doing the Plyo workout by Shaun T and thinking that although it is better than the P90X version in some ways, I have a hard time getting up to speed with the intensity right away. I actually wish some of the Insanity DVDs were about 10 minutes longer with a more graduated warmup. I seem to have calf issues with the warmup for insanity and when I do it causes the whole workout to be far more difficult because I have to keep resting to stretch my calf. I am also concerned over getting shin splints so I end up being (probably) overly cautious.

The most famous "sports bra" incident. Until now...

I also noticed that Tony hasn’t cornered the market on creepy comments as I heard Shaun T say to one of his participants “You hadn’t ever worn a sports bra before this”, a comment which could be interpreted one of several ways but just seems a little ewww.

On an unrelated note, I found out how to display each post in full on the blog front page rather than just an excerpt of each one. I prefer this to be honest. All I did was to change the <?php the_content(”); ?> from <?php the_excerpt(”); ?>. I used to know this stuff, it’s just all changing so quickly now it’s hard to keep up.

As a final note to get you back on the fitness track, someone sent me this short piece this morning which basically reinforces the notion of eating smaller more frequent meals:

The Dreaded 4:00PM Hungries

Neil Peace, MD, General Practice, 02:17AM Mar 17, 2010

Every one of my overweight patients describes intense hunger (or at least food seeking) at about 4 PM. Why? Mothers blame it on stress – kids come home – time to prepare dinner – and they eat. Executives say it’s the pressure – deadlines looming – and they eat. The builder says they finish work and suddenly hunger – and they eat. Many reasons are given. The 4 PM phenomenon is universal.Is it Ghrelin? This hormone from the stomach correlates with food seeking. Cummings1 showed a rapid rise in Ghrelin between 2 PM and 6 PM. But this 2-6 PM rise in Ghrelin is similar to the 8 AM to 12 noon rise in Ghrelin, before lunch, and yet people do not report the same intensity of food seeking before lunch. Frecka2 concludes that Ghrelin is more a follower than a leader – of eating patterns. The evolutionists say the 4 PM food seeking drive dates from 100,000 years ago. Then, you needed food before the sun goes down (a strong drive at 4 PM enhanced survival).

Ghrelin or not, I know that to ignore the 4 PM “hungries” invites weight loss disaster.

It seems most overweight patients try to “get through from lunch to dinner” without a snack. In my experience, this long gap is followed by over indulgence at dinner and a tendency to keep eating after dinner. “I had a full dinner but I didn’t feel satisfied, and I kept nibbling.”

Research is moving towards the “small and often” eating pattern. I urge patients to eat at about 4 PM. If the snack is ready beforehand, then there’s a chance it will be the correct energy intake. If the snack at 4 PM is a spontaneous purchase, then, in my experience, there is a high risk of excess energy intake.

I think the three-meals-a-day gorging-style of eating is out of date in 2010, but that debate can wait.

It is not easy to convince patients to stop at 4 PM and eat. I wish employers understood this phenomenon and catered to a short break at 4 PM.

Many Family Physicians are employers.

As a Family Physician what do you do for your own 4 PM “hungries”? What does your staff do at this time?

Round 2, Phase 2, Week 1 – Back Tweak = Back Day!!

I am sporadic in my updating only due to the fact that I am sporadic in my work. I tweaked something in my back the other day and being cautious doesn’t really jive with what I am trying to achieve. However, I have found if I am careful and warm up properly that I can still achieve what I need to while hurting. The Insanity Plyo was the worst. Trying to keep up with Shaun T while feeling like you have daggers up and down your spine is not optimal. But, as they say, you do what you can.

I am really happy to be in Phase 2 if only to enjoy the “other” DVDs in the P90X set which you only get to do during weeks 4-7. Maybe it is a reflection of my enjoyment of a good shoulder workout I am not sure. Anyway, I managed to get through my Back and Biceps day yesterday despite being incredibly uncomfortable. I figured if I was going to be home all day with a sore back, the least I could do is try and get some bodyparts done. As strange as it may sound, doing pullups when my back is sore is a great benefit. By the time the workout was done (it took me almost 90 minutes) I did feel a great deal better. However, I couldn’t manage any Ab Ripper today, it was just agony.

The Pain... It's in there somewhere.

For those of you who have sore backs, don’t let the workouts slip if you can. Especially if it is a back day. I have an inversion table which works wonders for me, but before I got it, doing pullups was an acceptable substitute. The one thing it took me many years to figure out was that moving, exercising, walking and doing chinups made me feel better not worse. The temptation is to lay down and do very little, in fact I posted a page once on what to do when your back goes out however when I wrote that page, I was still far from understanding that the key to rehab of a back injury is exercise. I was also under the impression that back pain was in your back. Since then I have come to understand that my personal pain is a mixture of piriformis, ITB and hamstring issues all rolled into one causing pain through my sciatic nerve and down my leg.

So I am moving a little slowly, just around the time that I am realizing that I am not doing enough and need to step it up a notch.

Round 2. Days 12-16, Insanity Hybrid is here

Human DNA removal. One way or another…

I couldn’t wait. Reading other blogs about people abandoning Kenpo and Yoga to do Insanity workouts drove me to a jealous rage. I ripped open my Insanity package and on day 13 instead of doing Kenpo I decided I would bust out the easiest of the Insanity DVDs. I decided upon the rest week workout. Mostly because frankly the write ups about the rest of the program scared me and the fact that at this time I am still a similar shape to my pregnant wife. However, I thought if I don’t start this now, I will end up waiting for the perfect time and I will never get stuck in. Besides, how hard can the recovery workout be?

Human DNA removal. One way or another...

I quickly realized that Shaun T, with his friendly demeanor and charm is not the type of guy to take it easy on you. He is also not the kind of leader who wants to chit chat and joke around. He is my kind of instructor. Upon starting the rest week workout I found out one thing right away, in Shaun T’s world, warmup means follow his lead until your lungs hurt and then stretch. Anyone who has done an Insanity workout knows what I am talking about. His warmup, the part before the stretch just to get you started was more difficult than an entire Kenpo workout. Granted they have different goals in mind but this was a rude awakening. The rest of the workout was full of surprises. Not the good kind that make you smile, but the kind where you are lulled into a false sense of security and then kicked in the pancreas with a steel toed shoe. For example, after wheezing through the “warmup” you are allowed to stretch for a few minutes and you can’t help but notice that as the stretching is going on that you are speeding toward the end of the video. In fact, once the stretch is done and Shaun T brings his evil little face to the front of class to start you can see that there is only about 20 minutes left. That, my friend, is the first punch to the throat. You see, if you have never set fire to yourself or jumped into a frozen lake, to you, 20 minutes is no time at all. But to Shaun T, 20 minutes is enough time to destroy your physique, break your spirit, make you simultaneously cry and throw up in your mouth a bit and make you wish you had put down a tarp before you started.

Needless to say, the rest week of Insanity with 7 days of this workout is a daunting thought. What scared me the most was the fact that if this was the recovery week, how hard was the regular workout going to be? My pancreas aches just thinking about it.

Day 15 was chest and back, and I almost kissed the TV when I saw Tony who now officially is the Good Cop of the pair. I was already into week 3 and frankly not seeing the kind of weight loss I was looking for and so despite my better judgement I decided that I was going to officially Hybrid my workout and instead of doing Tony Kenpo I would do Shaun Kenpo instead. Chest and back went just fine and I was back to the kind of weights and reps I was doing the first time around. Since I already have all the size I could ever want, I am back to doing 15-20 reps of almost everything and upwards of 300 push ups and 50 pull ups every session. My pull ups are lagging behind a bit due to the extra weight I am carrying but I expect to be breaking the 100 barrier before long.

My usual Plyo day was replaced with Shaun T’s Plyometric Cardio Circuit which was not as Plyo-esque as Tony’s was, but was far more cardio oriented, a theme you can expect throughout the Insanity program. I will do a full run down of the workouts later as I become more familiar with them but for now let me say that the feelings I had during the recovery week workout were replicated and amplified during the PCC workout. At one point I looked across the floor, as I lay panting, at the drip trail of sweat arcing across the floor and though to myself how much it looked like someone had slaughtered some large animal in there. Seriously there were pools of liquid, spray trails and large drip marks everywhere. It was like a weekend away with Dexter…