R11D48 – Days Off Work

birthday workoutI usually take my birthday off work since there is nothing I want to do less than be at the office on my birthday. This year I took off Thursday and Friday and took the opportunity to do some hybrid cardio workouts involving the treadmill intervals. I did a 45 minute workout on Thursday with Oly lifts at 135lbs and jogging and according to my HRM it was about 500 calories burned. Friday I did another 45 minutes with bench and cardio mixed and again was around the 500 calorie mark. So for Saturday I thought it would be good to compare the burn from T25 so I opted to do Speed 3.0. That was a challenging workout! It was far more demanding than most of the others I have done so far but even so, after the 25 minutes I was only looking at about 350 calories. That said, I am wondering just how low my calorie burn was during some of the other workouts that were easier. I am going to try and keep some cardio going through this Body Beast phase so I don’t gain too much weight but it already appears that doing the heavy bench and lifts have added a pound or two. It will be interesting to see if I can really keep my weight in check as I try to increase my strength. I will probably be taking some creatine or something similar that tends to have a bloating effect on me so I expect a few pounds at the start but it should taper off as we go along. I have been keeping my stats private for now, but I will probably publish a weekly update.

I know it sounds counter intuitive to gain weight when I am already over my stable goal weight but in the end I think it is inevitable as I transition from what I consider to be inadequate volumes of work into the strength and size based workouts that Body Beast provide. The best I can hope is that I can keep it in check with insanity workouts, or maybe Speed 3.0 since it kicked my butt! As we get into the 3 or 4 week point I should start seeing my weight come back down but then again it’s all just hyperbole now, the results will speak for themselves. I just want to make sure I end up after the next 40 days or so closer to my ideal composition of 15% fat at around 230lbs.

R11D22-23 – Shoulder Good, Coordination Not So Much

anatomia-spalla-4My plan was to take Sunday off as a day of rest in case I had actually done something bad to my shoulder and then to go straight back to the same routine to see if it held up. I left the bar at 135lbs and planned the following:

5×5 Deadlift
5×5 Hang Clean
5×5 Power Clean

I didn’t want to get too complicated, just to make sure I did every rep of every set and see how my shoulder held up. Thankfully it was fine, not only that, it actually felt better after I was done. I am struggling a little to get the power cleans done since the weight is still a little unstable as I come up but I am able to hang on mostly and get the bar back in shape. I am amazed at how heavy it feels after knowing how easy it was last summer. I also know that it’s a matter of time before I am able to contemplate hitting 155.

That was Monday before coaching and the only residual issue I have is my left shoulder (not the really bad one) is still a little painful. I felt it during bars as I was spotting front stride circles. I will keep updating the issue and the progress. Tuesday I decided I needed a little cardio so I took on T25 Speed 2.0. Since Speed 1.0 was a bit of  letdown I was hoping that this would be a massive improvement and I was not disappointed. The workout has 2 sets of moves, as far as I can tell designed to simultaneously make you trip over yourself and make you feel slightly remedial in your agility. The good news is that the 2 sections are then repeated with shorter intervals, 8 counts instead of 16. Then, after going through them all a second time, you are then instructed to go through again even faster with 4 counts. Of course then there is a burnout which from what I could see through the sweat was more of a chicken dance meets mosh pit meets full body seizure. Fact is it’s a 2 count run through of the whole thing. I was able to keep up for most of the time however there were a couple of transitions that had me twisting my toes on the foam floor tiles or staring blankly like a 3 year old does when  you tell them it’s PJ time.

I have to admit I love this format, especially when the moves are challenging which these definitely were. As the tempo increases, the time seems to pass faster and the last 8 minutes or so are just a blur. Unless Speed 3.0 is another quantum leap, I think I will be doing this workout any time I feel like I need an agility boost. I liked is so much in fact that I am going to steal some of the moves for my next cardio conditioning at gym which should be Friday. I can’t wait to see the confusion on their young faces… hahah!

R11D15-18 – Work Rate, MMA and Sick Child Obstacles

tapoutxt vs p90x2 days off with a sick child could drive anyone crazy. Hours on hours of Timmy Time and Shaun The Sheep interspersed with bouts of a bored 3 year old trying to find something to do which in case you are wondering is a VERY dangerous proposition. I am glad to say though that I managed to work out both days after taking Sunday off with several localized sore patches. Monday I did T25 Lower Body Focus which was a very good workout, as you can imagine it’s mostly legs, squats, lunges and plenty of cardio. In fact, it’s a workout that I plan on doing again only once I have compared it with the P90X3 Lower Body workout. On Tuesday I was going to do the upper body P90X3 but instead since I knew exactly what I wanted to work I did a bench and curls workout to hit the body parts that I felt were getting a little neglected. Wednesday was a forced rest day with gymnastics coaching and daycare pick-up leaving no time for a workout. I was going to do some conditioning with the girls at the end of class but since I have been a little tired and sore all over I opted for the rest. I feel like it was a quality decision too since on Thursday I was able to crush the P90X3 MMX workout. In MMX, there is a lot of similarities to Kenpo X but with added sprawling (or burpees if you like). The advantage I have is that I have a heavy bag in the basement so the limp jabs and punches that you ordinarily associate with any martial arts workout are replaced by actual physical contact punches and kicks. Believe me when I tell you that the difference is night and day. I was drenched with sweat when I finished and my legs and shoulders really got a fantastic workout. However, since I have a copy of Tapout XT I am not so sure that this workout will ever see the light of day again. It’s OK, just not a really involved or accurate MMA workout. That said, it’s far better than George St Pierre’s Rushfit which is, in my opinion, a complete waste of time.
Today I plan to do T25 Ab Intervals and then coaching, and maybe take the workout with me and make the kids do it if it is any good.

In case you are wondering, it’s now Day 19 and I have managed to keep my percentage (days on vs days off) up above 85% until my forced rest on Wednesday. Mostly due to the 100% start but also my commitment to the high work rate required for me to have any hope of weight loss. I have dipped down to 83% (16 of 19 days) but after the weekend I should be comfortably over the mark. Remember working out 4 days a week is only 57% and 5 days a week still only 71%. If you are truly focused on weight control and long term health and fitness then 6 days a week (85%) with one day of Yoga or Pilates or Isometrics is what you should be aiming for. I know people have a problem with working out 7 days a week but if you are balanced in your approach and build low effort days into the mix you will be fine.  Here’s what I have done so far and I am moving towards Month 2 workouts in P90X3 and Beta workouts in T25.

Monday, 01/06/2014 1 T25 Cardio 100%
Tuesday, 01/07/2014 2 P90X3 Total Synergistics 100%
Wednesday, 01/08/2014 3 P90X3 Agility X 100%
Thursday, 01/09/2014 4 T25 Speed 1.0 100%
Friday, 01/10/2014 5 Oly Lift 5×5 @ 95 DL SQ PCL 100%
Saturday, 01/11/2014 6 ice clearing 45 min 100%
Sunday, 01/12/2014 7 T25 Total Body Conditioning 100%
Monday, 01/13/2014 Off 0%
Tuesday, 01/14/2014 8 Driveway Ice 45 min 89%
Wednesday, 01/15/2014 9 T25 Core Cardio 90%
Thursday, 01/16/2014 10 p90x3  warrrior 91%
Friday, 01/17/2014 11 P90X3 Dynamix 92%
Saturday, 01/18/2014 12 Oly lift and increase weights 92%
Sunday, 01/19/2014 off 0%
Monday, 01/20/2014 13 T25 Lower Body Focus 87%
Tuesday, 01/21/2014 14 Bench and curls improv 88%
Wednesday, 01/22/2014 88%
Thursday, 01/23/2014 15 P90X3 MMX 83%
Friday, 01/24/2014 16 T25 Ab Intervals 84%

R11D10 – Accidental Beta

lovebetaI seem to have had post fright in 2013. Apparently I posted a measly 72 posts in 2013 as compared to 143 in 2012. Let’s hope I can do a better job in 2014.

Last night I had to go by memory and of course it all went horribly wrong. As I started the T25 workout I was wondering why the participants seemed to be trying harder than usual, a few minutes in and Shaun T revealed that this was a BETA workout, not an Alpha so I was thrown into phase 2 without any notice. What I did notice however was that I was not really able to keep up like I would have liked. The workout itself was T25 Core Cardio which has kind of an innocuous name. It was a tough workout though, lots of core work standing, planking and so on, no situps however, that’s not really the way to do core nowadays anyway. My biggest problem at the moment is once again my size and flexibility. I remember after doing a round of P90X and Insanity how impressed I was with my flexibility, and I know that it doesn’t take long to regain the range of motion but for now getting my feet to my hands coming up from burpee is killing me. I am impressed by the Y25 workouts though, I was assuming that they would not be as tough as they are, but once again BB has done a great job in designing workouts that are almost infinitely scaleable both up and down. Personally I am trying to keep up and not scale back at all but last night I did end up modifying a little and at one point stopping a full 10 seconds before the end of the move. Tonight is my daughters swimming class so I am hoping to get a P90X3 workout done (CVX or Warrior) as soon as I get home. However, she was off daycare with a fever today so I am not sure if she will even be well enough to go.

Core Cardio was challenging but then again Shaun T did say several times that the base for this workout was Alpha which is supposed to last a month. Maybe in another 3 weeks I can try this one again and see just how much easier it is once I am in better shape. So far so good though, there is a lot of jumping so my calves are pretty sore most of the time, and my hands seem to be sore from the planks and shoulder touches etc but that’s probably because my floor isn’t that forgiving. I noticed last night my quads started to give out after only about 15 minutes which I am guessing is because of the ice workout. We will see tonight if they are still trashed or if my sleep and rest is adequate.

R11D5-7 – The Weekend

shaun-t-not-impressedI completed the Olympic lifting schedule. Sticking with my 5×5 routine of deadlifts, power cleans and squats. Since it was my first time back I stuck with the 95lb bar and checked my form. The goal is to get back up to 135 as soon as possible for everything and then work back to 200+ by the summer. A 200lb clean is nothing to sneeze at, but I really should be aiming for a 300lb deadlift and squat, the only problem is that I don’t have a squat rack so that’s an issue. That said, I often get asked by people WHY I work out like I do and as often as I do, and my answer is not necessarily what they expect. I suppose they want me to tell them about the health benefits and so on but really all I want long term is to be able to get through my life with the ability to take on any challenges I may face. For example, on Saturday I had to clear the snow and ice off my upper deck which is probably about 400sf. The ice was about 5 inches think in places and broke off in chunks weighing upwards of 60lbs each. I took particular enjoyment out of hurling these massive sheets of ice off the balcony down on to the lawn below and in total I probably shovelled and tossed 600lbs+ of ice off that deck. It took me about 45 minutes but I am happy to report that I was not sore the next day and regardless of the awkward size and shape of the blocks I was able to handle them with ease. That’s the reason I work out. So if I come up against a high demand incident I can blow through it rather than have a heart attack trying to do something I am not prepared for. Of course, being healthy and living a long life are important, but those are very ethereal goals and personally I like to have something more concrete to push against. Tony Horton calls it being durable and less prone to injury and at my age I tend to agree that being able to handle high demand situations is critical. It doesn’t matter if it’s self inflicted like my deck clearing or accidental like having to shovel yourself out of a ditch, either way I don’t want to be the guy who has a coronary in the snow.

Which brings me to Sunday where I picked T25 Total Body Circuit as my opponent and was forced to take back everything I had said last week about T25 being too easy. This was a tough workout. Now let me state that if I was in the kind of shape I was at this time last year then maybe this wouldn’t have been so hard and if I compare it to the bootcamps that I was running last year it’s a distant second. However, current state dictates that I report what it was I felt and I have to admit nausea came into it a little at the end. I was sweating like a thief and  at one point I actually had to rest during the burnout at the end. It was a little shameful and extremely motivating to know just how far away from my peak I am and to know that as painful as it was, it’s a step in the right direction. It was, however, a very enjoyable workout and one that I think I would like to repeat (actually it’s the only one so far that I think I would enjoy a second time). It’s now Monday and I have done 7 days straight, and since I am not anywhere near burnout yet I think I will continue until I require a day off through time constraints or simple rest requirement. I will try to hit a P90X3 workout tonight like I did the other day (likely CVX since I want to save the chinups).

R11D4 – Active Rest? That’s Speed 1.0

ThanksShaunTI caught up with Speed 1.0 last night and I can only hope that is is deliberately slow and easy in order to contrast with Speed 2.0 and 3.0. It was, if I am honest, like a day off. I suppose it’s kind of an introduction to Interval Agility training with speedy agile movements mixed in with static stretching. Yes, I said it, STATIC stretching. It’s a bit weird but I have to keep in mind that this is the very start of the workout schedule. Contrasting it with Agility X with Tony is like comparing Artistic Gymnastics and Rhythmic Gymnastics, they both seem pretty cool until you compare them and then you realize why nobody likes Rhythmic Gymnastics. Anyhoo, it was nice to have a slower night because for the past 3 days I have felt like I have had a 6 inch nail in each butt cheek. Every time I start to walk I realize that doing lunges after so long doing so little is a recipe for dis-ass-ter. Seriously my butt is so painful I should name it Rob Ford, the worlds biggest pain in the ass for 2013.

Tonight I have to pick a P90X3 workout and I would have done Yoga but for last night so I think I may take the Challenge and see what happens. If I was smart I would check out the videos first so I know what to expect but as my wife will vehemently deny, I love a surprise. There is a big difference between not knowing what workout to expect and being told halfway to the mall to go to 1 store to purchase one item that you will in fact be “quickly” going to several other stores just to “check something out”. But I digress. So far my foray back into home fitness has been a resounding success. I feel invigorated, sore and I am finally getting over the hacking cough I have had since Christmas. I am wearing my heart rate monitor again and truly getting back into the swing of keeping my eye on what I am doing and also what I am aiming for. It’s nice to have longer term goals, I spent the approach to Christmas a little frustrated with my workouts not really organizing myself to maximize my effort and time. New year, new gear, and this time, the gear is a positive attitude towards a more rigid schedule. Happy Friday everyone!

Actually I have changed my mind, I have a hankering for some Oly lifting tonight so I will be doing 5x5s tonight with deadlifts, Clean, power clean etc. Tomorrow I will be doing the Challenge because it’s basically just pullups and pushups and it’s going to be warm enough to go out on the deck and do pullups or at the very least do them in the garage.

R11D2 – Maybe I’m Crazy. P90X3 + T25. Plus Free Rant!

focus-t25-vs-p90x3So I managed finally to get my hands on P90X3 and instead of thinking that I would just do the thing alone I am thinking that maybe I can do a hybrid of T25 with P90X3 until I have gone through every workout in both just to see what they are like. On Monday I did T25 Cardio, the first workout in the schedule and last night I did P90X3 Total Synergistics which is also the first workout in the schedule. Just for information sake I will list the workouts below but before I do I want to get something off my chest.

It seems that Beachbody, like so many parents today has taken on themselves to cave in to the whining child that is their public and given them what they asked for… the public said they didn’t have time, when in fact what they were really saying is “I’m too lazy to do an hour every day and it’s too hard.” So with T25 and P90X3 what they have done is create a Insanity for Dummies and a P90X for Dummies. If you are basically too lazy and unmotivated to get through the workouts in P90X or P90X2 then P90X3 is for you. It’s really not about people who don’t have time because let’s be honest, I can go and do a P90X workout in 30 minutes no problem. I can’t do an insanity workout in 30 minutes but then again, they are not an hour either.

Colour me disappointed, not in Beachbody for creating supply for the demand but in the public who have whined and complained their way into forcing what was an extreme home fitness program to be proud of into a anaemic imitation of what used to be. I am sorry but there is no way I would wear a P90X3 tshirt and think I was making a statement. I still have my P90X shirt because it means something to me that I made it through. But, this is only the beginning, but based on what I felt like after Day 1 of P90X and Day 1 of Insanity, P90X3 and T25 are going to be nothing more than an excuse not to get too sweaty…

Anyway, to give it the chance it deserves, I am going to do the workouts and let you know how they are. I probably won’t go into a blow by blow of the moves involved but I will give you an idea of how hard (or not) they are.

T25 Cardio was pretty easy especially if you have ever done an insanity workout. Just the sight of Shaun T with hair makes it a little less threatening. There was one or two moments when my calves were burning but then again I have been sick and unable to workout for almost 3 weeks. Given how out of shape I am, this workout was easy and at no time were you off your feet so no pushups or burpees. It was a little entertaining, but then again, humour has never been Shaun T’s forte.

P90X3 Total Synergistics was kind of a hodge podge of a bit of everything, some squats and lunges, some pushups and plank work and even a couple of chinups. it did seem overly generalized but I suppose that’s to be expected at the start of the program. I am hoping that we will get a little more specialized as time goes on.

Here are the workouts that I will be doing over the next few weeks, there are 30 total and so I should be able to cover them off in 45 days or so with my Oly commitments. I will try to arrange them in some sort of order but basically I will be taking the schedule and doing whatever is next, skipping what I have done.

T25 workouts (3 sections, Alpha, Beta, Gamma)

Total body circuit
Lower body focus
Ab intervals

Upper focus
Core cardio
Dynamic core
Rip T circuit

Extreme circuit
Speed 3.0
The Pyramid
Rip T

P90X3 – Separated into 4 sections, Resistance, Power, Cardio, Core / Flex and Balance)


Total Synergistics
The Challenge
The Warrior
Eccentric Upper
Eccentric Lower


Agility X


Cardio Vascular Extreme (CVX)
Mark Briggs Inspired MMA Workouts (MMX)

Core, Flex & Balance

Pilates X
X3 Yoga


Steep Hill To Climb – R11D1 – T25 Base Round

t25Our December trip to Cuba (Royal Hicacos) was fantastic, I was able to run on the beach, work out every day and have the best fresh food to eat whenever I needed. This was a really big deal for me since after my surgery I have not run at all for fear of hurting my back. As it turns out, running didn’t really cause me any pain at all.

Coming back was tough, as a family we went into December getting sick and our trip to England was marred by a chest infection and for me, pneumonia. At least my daughter seemed to be OK although she still has the cough we have all shared all month. I did manage to work out twice in 11 days in England, and the day we got back home I did some Olympic lifting to try and get back in the swing. That put me back in the walk in clinic and served me with a bout of antibiotics. So here we are, a week into the new year and I have been unable to work out since mid December. That means an inevitable weight gain (I estimate 10lbs) and of course the disappearance of any of my previous stamina.

I have been here many times before, but I have to admit the older I get the tougher it is to take. So I face a big uphill battle to get back into shape but I am aiming at Feb 1 as my goal to be back in my daily shape which means Oly lifting with 135lbs as a minimum and the ability to run a mile (1500m) without a break at a reasonable pace. I have also just received a copy of T25 with Shaun T that I will be trying to get through in the next 3 months in the long term goal of hitting 220lbs by the summer. I think it’s about time for me to get back into a 90 day program since that has worked so well for me in the past.

So with my usual impulsive decision making I am declaring this Day 1 of Round 11, T25 base. My hope is to use the 5 workouts for T25 mixed with Oly lifts, pullups and Kettlebells to give me a shot at keeping my workout percentage over 80 for the 90 days. That would mean 72 of 90 days which should be OK. I have no exposure to T25 so I am not sure what to expect or how it will fit in with my HIIT weight workouts but I am sure we can find a way. I don’t want a total cardio setup with no room for weights, it may turn out that 3 days of T25 and 3 days of weights will suffice.

I will update every day where possible starting tomorrow with my weight which I am unsure of but I have a feeling my be just shy of 250lbs.