R9 Forced Rest Week Plus Ranking The P90X Crew!

Last week for the first time in my life I experienced knee pain. It was not something I want to repeat and scared me a little thinking that maybe my trusty knees that have always been a source of pride for me may finally be showing some wear and tear. It was fortuitous then that I was forced to take several days off to run the scoring system at our Gymnastics meet over the weekend. Although it was very long hours and the stress was savage it was mostly off my feet giving my body a full rest of what is now 5 full days. I can’t remember the last time I took 5 days of complete rest but I think I probably needed it. I have been bugged by niggling injuries and a feeling of general malaise that I am hoping will have passed once I get back into my routine. Most importantly though, it gave my knees a rest from the jumping and squatting that seem to be very prevalent in my current training. I have noticed that all my recent posts are bootcamp posts which basically tells me that I was excluding my P90X2 and RKC workouts because I wasn’t able to make the grade physically. I also had noticed that it was harder and harder to get through the bootcamp workouts which I had suspected may have been a sign of overtraining.

So today I hope to enjoy a triumphant return to working out and I hope that my 5 days off will have cleared up any issues that I had. Time will tell, but I am definitely filled with a desire to get back to working out. As a reward I think I will start the PAP series now and make this phase 3 of round 9.

I read a great page online this morning which came from Tony himself via Facebook. It ranks the P90X workout cast from best to worst. Thanks to the folks at Jezebel.com for the laughs. Here’s the page.

R8D38/41 – The Return Of Cardio Plyo And A Brief Rest

Like I said yesterday, it’s been about 6 weeks since I did an Insanity workout so I was a little nervous about getting my ass handed to me while Shaun T tells me to “push, push, push” like a midwife on crack. I reckoned enough was enough, it was time to get back at it. Shaun T did not disappoint however I was very happy to find that I was able to do the whole workout at his pace without stopping except to stretch my calf during the warmup. I was so impressed with my achievement and the fact that I was able to do a legs and abs workout the next day for bootcamp that I decided (subconsciously of course) to take a couple of days rest. I took 3 of the next 4 days off and I think my body was just about ready for it. It’s funny how if you push yourself hard you still realize when your body NEEDS a rest. I am sure it always wants a rest but to listen to your body crying out for a break is a critical skill for the fitness enthusiast. I no longer feel guilty about taking a few days easy, I have learned to ignore the softness of my waistline after a couple of says off knowing that I will be back to the grind sooner rather than later.

My triumphant return was completed yesterday, even though I had made a secret deal to wait until November 1st. I went out to the deck and did the following:

5 chin up
10 ring dips
15 air squats


5 chin up
10 pushups
15 24″ box jumps


5 chin up
10 push ups
15 air squats

It felt great to get back to work, although it was only about 7 degrees outside I still just love being out there working hard. I really wish I had an extension to the house where I could have the benefit of the sun during the winter during my workouts. Hopefully I can make that dream real in our next home. Next it’s some arms and shoulders and then a tough cardio based bootcamp on wednesday to sweat all that candy out of the participants.

Happy Halloween everyone.

R7D50/1 – Round 7 SuperHybrid Rest Week 2

Surprise! When I took a look at my schedule I realized it was time for rest week again since I am already done 7 weeks of my superhybrid. I have to admit though I was so put off by the I:A that I have not done a single Insanity:Asylum workout since I started this new round. I promise I will, I have to suck it up and stick with it next week to at least get an idea of what doing all 3 of the workouts simultaneously is like. Also, I need to make sure I don’t go too easy this week, I want to make sure that I exercise every day and don’t get lazy like I feel I did last rest week. Especially since I will be going away for the long weekend to Niagara Falls and probably will only be able to take the kettlebell to do some RKC while I am there.

Last rest week was a dogs dinner as indicated by this excerpt:

The plan, as it was, looked like this:

3×3 Clean and Press Ladders Plus Dice Roll Snatches
Core Synergistics
3×3 Clean and Press Ladders Plus Dice Roll Snatches
Cardio Recovery
Core Synergistics
Cardio Core and Balance
Yoga X

I think the revised plan will look like:

Monday: Off, coaching
Tuesday: Hills and Sprints
Wednesday: WOD with gymnastics girls
Thursday: Cardio Recovery
Friday: Core Synergistics
Saturday: RKC
Sunday: RKC

In reality, the week looked like this:

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: Hills running
Wednesday: Part of ARX
Thursday: OFF and went to North Bay for Camping Trip
Friday: 5 RKC Ladders 34543
Saturday: 100 pullups, 100 box jumps (24″), 100 Push Ups
Sunday: OFF 5 hour drive home

The following week I was off work sick for 3 days with a 40 degree fever and then did the Warrior Dash on the weekend.

Rest week, then, as it has been in the past, is often an unwelcome break from the schedule and a pathetic excuse to get out of doing much of anything. So I am resolving right now to work the schedule as promised:

3×3 Clean and Press Ladders Plus Dice Roll Snatches – Skipped! Actually scheduled rest according to my new Firstbeat Coach.
Core Synergistics – Done!
3×3 Clean and Press Ladders Plus Dice Roll Snatches – Probably will do Crossfit or shceduled rest.
Cardio Recovery
Core Synergistics
Cardio Core and Balance
Yoga X – Probably will do Tony Fountain of Youth, I can take my patriot box with me to Niagara and do yoga in the room.

R5D59-60 – Recovery

I have finally managed to shake this lingering sickness. The baby is better, my wife is recovering nicely and thankfully we were both in good enough shape to enjoy this past weekend at Orangeville for the gymnastics competition. My workouts have suffered though, over the course of a week I have managed only 2 workouts, a light and medium day of the RKC. Interestingly, my aches and pains are much improved and although I hadn’t really planned to take the week off, my body certainly had other things in mind. I have never really been one for rest weeks, I find them frustrating and a block to progress, of course that is because I am an idiot. Your body needs rest, your body cannot perform without adequate sleep but also without adequate rest cycles. You can not go anywhere once the tank is empty, but fill up when you are at 1/4 and you will go forever. My new found respect for rest weeks will continue to add to my personal knowledge and probably enable me to go further with my fitness than I have been able to previously. If only I can remember to rest when I start to feel sore instead of waiting until I actually run myself into the ground. I am supposed to do RKC heavy day today or tomorrow, depending on time availability and then I will be back on track. However, I am coming to the end of the RKC and will have to find a KB integration method to help me maintain my love of the KB workouts and allow me to explore my next big thing.

R5D54-8 – Inadvertent Rest Week (revised!)

I posted the other day that I am sore a lot recently. I am getting out of bed in the morning stiff and not feeling that great. So last week I tried to take it easy, it started on Monday which I had to take off because of the mock meet and the fact I was short on time. I only worked out 4 days during the week, and as the weekend progressed I got more and more sick. It’s now Monday and I feel awful. My back is incredibly sore, I seem to have picked up a bug from the baby and I really feel like I have been through the grinder. I think it is my own fault though, I have a feeling that my short (or barely there) warmups are causing me more grief. I think that the one great thing about following along with DVD workouts is that you tend to spend more time warming up than you do if you are by yourself. My RKC workouts are not for the faint of heart and are short and brutal. However, not warming up properly before I do them is leading me to be more sore and may eventually lead to back problems. At least that is what I think is going on here. I can’t think of any other reason that I would be so sore. The only thing that has changed is the fact that I have been trying to take advantage of how short these workouts are. But not doing the full 10 minute warmup is a mistake I am finding out. Hopefully this sickness will pass quickly and I will be able to get my full 5 days workouts in and have enough rest time to sleep and get the girls ready for their competition. It’s going to be a busy week, especially with the first competition so I am hoping the excitement and adrenaline will help me through!

So much for that. I spent half of Monday and all Tuesday on the couch with a terrible cold. It’s Wednesday and we are 2 days from competition and I hope I can shake this thing. It seems like an eternity since I worked out (I did heavy day on Sunday) and hopefully I will be able to get back to doing light day today and get back in the groove. Got to love being sick…

R5D25-6 RKC, Breakfast Of Champions, Partial Rest Week.

eat_more_fishFriday I was still recovering from the swings and so I decided to bust out a lighter KB and do some TGU. I did 5 a side with the 25lb KB and then, since I was feeling adventurous, I did another 3 a side with the 45. I remembered I had weaseled out of the cleans and C&P the day before so again I set my sights on doing something extra. I did 5 Clean, 5 Clean and Press and 5 snatches with each arm with both the 25lb and 45lb KB. The snatch with the 45 was, if I am honest, borderline dangerous but I think with the 25 I am getting the hang of it.

Saturday I ended up doing around 30 minutes on the treadmill in the morning to try and stop my back from aching which worked out fine. I was supposed to do deadlifts and so I set up the 25, 45 and 70lb behemoth and decided I would do 3 tabata sequences (12 minutes total) deadlifting each KB with a high pull (or upright row) after each DL. The 25 was easy, although seemed longer than 8 sets. The 45 was a challenge and since I was still doing a high pull with each one, it was very taxing and my shoulders were on fire. The 70 just sat there like a fat pug smiling at me struggling with the 45 but out of sheer determination I gave it a shot anyway, it was only 70lbs, right? The High pull didn’t last long, I think I made it through one of the 8 sets. By the time the last set came around I was wheezing like an asthmatic goat and begging for someone to kill Tabata, whoever he is.

Sunday we went out to breakfast with an old friend from work with whom we had worked a few years ago to get her weight down. She brought her charming fiancé and while we caught up on old news the conversation inevitably turned to weight loss. Now I am not a preacher by any means but if someone is asking for advice I am happy to help. I tried in vain to explain my Paleo findings from the last 6 months to them but in the end it all started sounding a little too Conspiracy Theory. I often say that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that people do what I do but I do encourage people to follow a similar path and to do their own research. The conversation was an eye opener for them, and I think a good opportunity for me to sort out in my own head where I am with my diet and exercise. Maintaining this blog has been a way for me to monitor my progress, attempt to safeguard me from being too extreme and to keep up with recent discoveries in the world of fitness and nutrition but also it gives me the opportunity to help other people to start discovering their own potential. By potential, I don’t mean physical potential, I am talking about the potential to take control of their lives by erasing everything they know and starting over from a new place.

Starting over is never easy, in fact, making small adjustments is never easy and with that in mind I am going to shake up my life a little by entering into a 7 day rest week. I am going to maintain my RKC swings and other lifts but I think a sprinkling of P90X and Insanity may do me the world of good as a break. I am already on a fish kick to restart my weight loss, since I discovered the real reason for my plateau this weekend during our breakfast. “I’m happy where I am” I admitted. I am comfortable with my weight and my abilities at this point, but I think I may be even happier further down the road. So I am revamping things a little in order to get the engine started again.

So here goes:

Day 1 – Monday – P90X  Plyo or Insanity Cardio Plyo
Day 2 – Tuesday – RKC 50 Swings
Day 3 – Wednesday – RKC TGU plus Clean, C&P, Snatch practice
Day 4 – Thursday – P90X Kenpo or Insanity Pure Cardio
Day5 – Friday – RKC 50
Day 6 – Saturday – Same as Wednesday
Day 7 – Sunday – Fountain Of Youth Yoga or Yoga X

Plus… More fish! (But not less bacon…shhhh!)

R4 D50 – What’s The Frequency Kenneth?

If I could, would I want to?

Frequency, consistency, repetition.

That is my problem with Yoga. The fact that I don’t work it in enough to get used to it or any good at it means every time I do it I feel a mixture of great and mind numbingly sore. The only consistent part is the constant disappointment I have with my flexibility. Of course, we will have to see if losing 50lbs or more helps with my flexibility or if it truly is a muscle mobility thing and not a layer of fat thing. Not that I have a thick layer, but there is probably more than there should be and according to the useless BMI scale I am “very obese” at 6ft and 260lbs.

So I took Tony to the basement and did Fountain of Youth Yoga, a far more appealing session than the P90X version however at the same time slightly less satisfying. It is quicker, no doubt, but maybe that is not the best thing about it. I think maybe I was more in the mood for stretching than actual yoga so possibly I wasn’t quite in the right frame of mind. Whatever it was, I struggled and by the end my back felt more sore than at the start. However, you can’t always count on soreness as an indication of wellness. I was OK before I started, but I know I was tight and immobile. When I finished I was in more pain but was far more mobile which in the long run is a better place to be.

On to the rest of “rest week 2”.

R4 D50 – Rest Week Part II

Since I am not strictly sticking to the 6 days on 1 off routine of P90X or Insanity, I am thinking that a whole week of rest is going to be a little excessive. So since a change is as good as a rest I am thinking that 4 days should suffice and of those 4 days 2 should be Yoga for the simple reason that I haven’t done it in a while and my tolerance is way up for twisting myself into a ball and trying to wrap my spine into a twizzler. I thought I was going to bag my rest week plan and sub some Crossfit instead but now I look at the schedule, it actually seems pretty appealing.

That means yoga tonight.

Well, at least I can rest assured that I will be on par with these ladies:

Namaste TV Bloopers

Follow Yoga (Fountain of Youth Yoga) with Core, Cardio and Balance and then Core Synergistics and you have a pretty quiet week with lots of muscle lengthening stretching and flexibility. On thr 4th day I may even go the whole hog and do Yoga X… We shall see.

As far as my workout schedule is going, I read this today over at “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” and liked it’s simplicity.

How about a weekly plan?

Monday – Strength training – Upper body pushing movement [Anaerobic – ATP]

Tuesday – Sprints [Anaerobic – ATP + glycogen]

Wednesday – Strength training – Upper body pulling movement [Anaerobic – ATP]

Thursday – Yoga/slow biking/walking/jogging for 30-50 mins [Aerobic]

Friday – 10-20min high intensity conditioning workout [Anaerobic – ATP + glycogen]

Saturday – Strength training – Lower body [Anaerobic – ATP]

Sunday – Rest

Round 4 Days 26-28 (Rest Week) – Rest and Fit Test

So I figured I should take some time to unwind my body and change things up a bit. I was scheduled for a 4 day run of Core Synergistics and Core, Cardio and Balance however after a day of running and one installment of CC&B I figured I would make a change. So instead I did Stretch X, something that I was in dire need of since my whole body was starting to feel compressed and the Insanity Fit Test. This was my second attempt at the Fit Test, the first (prior to Round 3) made me quit so getting through this was going to be goal enough.

The Insanity Fit Test comprises of the following:

How the Fit Test works is you do 8 different exercises for a minute each doing as many reps as you can. Here are my first results with the Insanity Fit Test:
Switch Kicks                125
Power Jacks                  45
Power Knees                 84
Globe Jumps                   8
Suicide Jumps              13
Push Up Jacks              25
Low Plank Oblique     50

You do 8 different exercises for a minute each doing as many reps as you can. Here are my first results with the Insanity Fit Test:

Switch Kicks                125
Power Jacks                  50
Power Knees                 114 (on weak side)
Globe Jumps                   14
Suicide Jumps              11
Push Up Jacks              50
Low Plank Oblique     36
Since this was my first time I had nothing to compare to however since I have been doing the Crossfit workouts I have become much better at the “minute on/minute off” type of interval training. Given that I actually quit the last time I tried it, I have to figure I am pretty far along. I will try to do another run through next “rest week” approximately a month from now and see how that goes.
**Note, I did this again HERE for comparisons sake.

Round 2. Rest Week Review.

So I have been at this a month already and pitifully I find myself unable to crush the workouts like I did during round one. I know I am still some distance from the weight I was during round 1 and that may be enough to explain however I find myself disappointed at my effort level. This week, being rest week, does nothing to assuage that feeling. In fact, I find that I am angering myself by not pushing harder during the workouts. However, this being a week “off” I am not really supposed to push that hard. So I opted for 3 sessions of Core Synergistics from P90X and 3 sessions of the Core, Cardio and Balance from Insanity. With the delay in scheduling due to coaching I am taking approximately 10 days to get through a rest week which is, lets admit it, sub-optimal. So much so that I am thinking that tonight I should bust through into Phase II with a Chest, Shoulders and Triceps workout. I guess I will have to see how I feel however since I will be able to leave work at 330, maybe the planets are aligned in my favour. The two rest week workouts I have been doing have been pretty good, enough of a rest from weights, enough of a boost from cardio. However, the test will be getting back to Phase 2 and seeing if I am really rested enough or not.

So it is time to plan for Phase 2. I am uncertain as to whether to add the Max line of workouts to the mix yet. I think that is going to have to happen at least 2 weeks from now, maybe even into Phase 3. I still have Cardio Power and Resistance, Pure Cardio (with and without Cardio Abs) and Cardio Recovery to add to my current schedule. So here is the plan for the next 3 weeks.

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, Ab Ripper X
Day 2: Plyometrics
Day 3: Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X
Day 4: Yoga X
Day 5: Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X
Day 6: Kenpo X
Day 7: Rest or X Stretch

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, Ab Ripper X
Day 2: Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Day 3: Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X
Day 4: Pure Cardio with or without Cardio Abs
Day 5: Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X
Day 6: Cardio Power and Resistance
Day 7: Cardio Recovery

I am modifying slightly to go back to a 7 day workout, given that I will still be off 2 days with coaching at least this will give me an opportunity to fit all the workouts in. Once I have tried Cardio Recovery, I may scrap day 7.