Sunday, April 3

Bring It! The P90X Challenge

Those of you who have been reading from the beginning (once again - thanks, mom :) know that one of my goals for the year is to be in great shape in time for our trip to Brazil at the end of June. Check out that old post here.

In case you're wondering where I stand on this, I have actually made negative progress. Cringe... Working more hours than usual, intermittent sickness, church involvement, and extra things like gardening (post coming soon), cake decorating, oh, and occasionally writing a blog post :) have somehow absorbed my time and left very little for being fit. Also, the gym just hasn't really been calling my name lately. The times that I've had fitness accomplishments that I'm really proud of, like learning to rock-climb, becoming a seriously fast swimmer (no longer true, sadly), or training for a half-marathon have coincided with a time-limited window of opportunity. When I realized about a week ago that I had roughly 90 days left to prepare for our trip I got the kick in the pants that I so desperately needed.

Having heard great things about the at-home fitness program, P90X, Michael bought the DVD's off Ebay about two years ago. For some reason, working out at home has never appealed to me and although I tried out all of the DVD's I had no intention of committing to the program. And I didn't. The workouts were intense, my body ached all over, and even though I saw results in the short time that I tried the workouts, I tired of Tony Horton's repetitive banter. So I moved on to other things. Michael continued for a while after I did, but was soon far too busy with school to stick with it. About a year later I pulled out the DVD's and used them as an occasional supplement to other training or a "rainy day" workout when I didn't feel like running or going to the gym. This was definitely not a successful strategy.

Since then I've known several people who have managed to "get in the best shape of their lives!" and maintain great fitness with a reasonable time commitment (1-1.5 hours a day, 6 days a week) using P90X. Every time I hear one of these stories I think  "I really should give it another shot." Well, here's my chance.

As of Thursday I had 86 days until our departure for Brazil. Instead of following the schedule to a tee, I'll spend the first week or so doing cardio and yoga, which, believe me!, are still enough to work my muscles. I'm also substituting other workouts for Plyometrics (jumping exercises) for now because I'm afraid it would exacerbate the lower back pain I get whenever I up my physical activity, aanndd it makes me so sore that it essentially crushes my spirit... I'm also giving myself the latitude to go for a long walk or jog instead of doing a P90X workout when I reach the inevitable point that I am just too sore to do a DVD without landing in a heap on the floor. I have definitely had that experience and it's what led me to quit.

Check out my super-intense Kenpo moves! :)
Also, since we just have the DVD's I'm not following the nutrition plan or using the suggested supplements. Really the reason is that most of these plans include lots of silly, made-up "science" or legitimate information that's taken out of context. And obviously, I'm not going to pay someone to tell me what to eat - I've invested plenty of my own money in becoming licensed and registered to do just that for other people. I haven't investigated the eating plan fully, so it may be helpful, but as long as you stay in a good calorie range (I'm tracking this using the Livestrong app on my phone) and drink water before and after your workouts, you'll see great results.

So, I'm on day four and I'm going strong, although I'm definitely feeling it right down to my toes (really, my toes are sore!). I've found that playing the DVD's with the "Music and Cues" option is fantastic since Tony's dialogue just is no longer as entertaining as it was the first time. One of the great things about P90X is that in addition to strength and cardiovascular fitness it improves flexibility and balance, so I can feel an immediate difference in my posture. And I'm sure it's just wishful thinking, but I can already see some baby biceps and triceps peeking out through the pudge. :)

I didn't do the recommended fit test because I knew that I was in good enough shape to handle the workouts, but I do wish I'd done it so that I could use it as a baseline comparison. It's definitely too late now because I'm way too sore to do much more than a couple push-ups and sit-ups! I did record a starting weight, which I'll continue to do weekly, and I took "before" pictures, which I'll post next to my 30-, 60-, and 90-day "after" shots.

In case you're wondering if the program really works, I'll trust a guy who looks like this at the age of 52! You can also see some real-life success stories here.

Wish me luck! Any P90X alumni out there with some helpful pointers? Anyone know a good massage therapist for my poor, tired muscles? :)

1 comment:

  1. I am jealous you get to be so active to attain your goal... I wish I could do this with you. But none-the-less congratulations, I know you'll kick butt! Helpful hint since you won't really be able to track your progress by weight (as you will more than likely go down then up then down then up again) measure your theigh, waist, bicep, and even your bust size to watch your body slim down. I think it is way more satisfying to see an inch off your waist than 5 pounds off the scale :)