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Sunday, December 28, 2008

My favorite shake recipe!


First off I'd like to start by sharing that the shaker pictured here is awesome. Its the Fit and Fresh Vortex 3 in 1 shaker. I picked it up at my local Target for about $5. This shaker is perfect. Its got a nice agitator that sits in the top to break up the particles of Recovery Drink, Creatine etc and make sure they are mixed well. The other cool thing about it is the ice wand that rests firmly in the center. This helps keep your shake, smoothie or recover drink nice and cold.

That being said, I'd like to share the recipe for one of my favorite Meal Replacement Shakes. This is my "Sunrise Smoothie" and is great for those of us that can't find time for a good breakfast.

Here's the recipe.

-1/2 cup Orange Juice
-1 cup Non Fat Plain Yogurt
-1/2 cup Frozen Strawberries
-1 scoop Strawberry Protein Powder (I use the GNC Wheybolic variety)
-1 Banana
-and this last part is optional, but I add 1/4 cup of instant oatmeal (this is essentially 1/2 serving of Quaker Instant Oats, prepared.

Put all the ingredients into a blender, add a few ice cubs and enjoy.

The Nutritional information for this smoothie is
475 calories
35 grams protein
74 grams carbohydrates.

This might not be the ideal shake for the "Fat Shredder" phase of the P90X diet, but its a good one.

100 Days in! What's next?

Hey everyone.  Its been a while since I've posted.  With the holidays and the "honey-do" list expanding, I haven't had much time for blogging.
 
So, the one question I've received the most is, "What are you going to do next?"

Well, the answer for me is pretty simple.  I'm going to repeat phase 3 of the P90X plan.  The reason I'm doing this is that my wife and I are going on a 7 night cruise leaving on the 17th of January.  By repeating phase 3, I'll be able to keep going and working out with the P90X plan to get in great shape for our cruise.  After we get back from our cruise, I'll take some time off and start up a new round of P90x on Jan 31st.

My 2nd question I get is, "What are your results, what are the stats."

Well, I'll go with were I'm at today compared to where I started.

Right now I'm 100 Days in and my current weight is 197 lbs.  My starting weight was 215.5 lbs.
The biggest difference is in body fat.  On Day 1 I was 215.5 and 25.9% body fat.  That means I was 55.8 lbs of fat and 159.7 lbs lean mass.  On Day 100 I'm at 197.0 lbs and my body fat is at 14.6%.  That has me at 28.7 lbs of fat.  So, even though I've only lost 18.5 lbs total, I've actually lost 27 lbs of fat!  My lean mass is now 168.3 lbs.  That is an absolute transformation.

Another thing that will change is my posts here will probably be less frequent for the next month or so (especially when I'm on vacation!)  My posts will be a lot less of a diary of how I've been doing with P90X and more about my overall thoughts on health and fitness.  Of course I'll still write about P90X as I'll always love this program and how it changed my life.  However, there is life after P90X and I want to explore the other areas of fitness that I haven't had time to investigate.  Down the road I'm actually considering to start learning about martial arts.  I'd like to train in MMA a bit, even though I have no delusions of grandeur of competing.  However, I think that if one is working out only for the sake of working out, you'll get burnt out.  I'm trying to find other avenues of fitness.

So, look for more to come.  

Finally, if you've been reading this blog and are wanting to know have more, please email me at john@toughfitness.com.  I also am a Beachbody coach.  That means I have made a commitment to help others reach their fitness goals like I have.  My coach helped me tremendously and I'd like to pass that on to others.  I've had a few friends buy P90X and other Beachbody workout programs through me and its been rewarding.  I'd love to help you reach your goals.  Also, don't hesitate to contact me if you're also looking to learn about the Beachbody coaching opportunity.

Well, that's all for today...bring it!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Results Photos

I need to get to bed, can't comment much.

However, as they say, a picture is worth 1000 words. So here is 5000 words.






Saturday, December 20, 2008

Delay...pictures coming sometime today.

Hey everyone.  Sorry to say my pictures are delayed.  

The big snow storm delayed me getting home by half a day.  We've got a ton of errands to work on today but I promise, my 90 day results picture will be up in some form by the end of the day.

John

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Morning Humor

This was me before P90X....





Fat Man On A Little Bike - Watch more Free Videos

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What Day is it? Oh...Day 90? That's Right!!!

More to follow this weekend for sure.  I just wanted to say that I finished my workout today.  That's Day 90 folks.  I Decided on a goal.  I Committed to that Goal, and I Succeeded.

This isn't the end of my story.  There will be much more to follow.  But for today, I'm pumped.

Go Me!

Thanks to all of you for reading.  I appreciate all your help.  Seeing that hit counter go up keeps me motivated to keep bringing it.  

Remember, "Hope is not an action plan!"

John

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 89...Need some motivation.


I have to admit, I'm not sprinting to the finish line like I should be. I've suffered waning motivation in my recovery weeks throughout the program. I have to admit, I find it hard to get motivated for Stretching (which I skipped yesterday.)


I think it also has a bit to do with the season. As the days get shorter, its dark when I leave for work, dark when I get home, and cold and crappy throughout the day its easy to settle into a funk.


Now, I still have been working out. But, like I said, my motivation has been waning. I also slipped on my diet yesterday. I split a dessert with one of my co-workers.


So, I need a proverbial slap upside the head to get me going again.
Here's my plan. I'm not stopping after 90 days. My wife and I are going on a cruise in 4 more weeks. I am planning on repeating phase 3 of the plan to take me up to our cruise. I guess that's my self-rationalization for emphasizing the "recovery" part of this recovery week. I do feel like my body needs a break. Yet, I don't want to make excuses either.
Well, the line starts here for who wants to slap me upside the head. I look forward to your comments.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just Released, ChaLEAN Extreme

For some of you women readers that think you might not be ready for P90X here's a great alternative. This looks like a tough program, I'm sure I'll try it eventually.

Friday Morning Humor, Women Drivers?

Uh oh...I might be starting some trouble with this one.  This actually was pretty hilarious.  This woman refuses to be towed away.




Chick Refuses to Be Towed - Watch more Free Videos

I am home in Illinois today.  Did a quick body fat measurement with my calipers and I continue to make progress in that area.  Losing a bit every week.  I'm now down to about 16.4% body fat, when I started I was above 25.

Have a great weekend.

John

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Great Form beats Great Quantity (Day 83)

This post will be a short one. Yesterday was another round of Legs and Back. I'm starting to like this workout a lot. As my balance improves the leg exercises are getting simpler. And as my strength improves I'm really able to bring it on the pull-ups.

Yesterday I focused on form throughout the workout. I wanted to make sure very pull-up I completed was impeccable. I imagined that there were people critiquing my form and scoring me. If I didn't go all the way down, the rep didn't count.

Well, I was able to average 7.4 pull ups per set. (59 total) This was a good number for me. On one set I hung on the bar at full extension for at least a second or two between most reps. My arms were dead but I could take a breather and pull myself through one more time.

Tony Horton says on the video, focus on quality over quantity during legs and back. This was the first time I honestly took his advice.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Has It Come To This? --Guest post by Mike French

Today I bring another great post by Team Beachbody coach Mike French. As some of you may know, I'm an Air Force veteran, and I can relate to Mike on a lot of this. But, you don't have to be a military member to enjoy what he had to write.



I had a conversation with two members of my Unit the other day about
Fitness. A young NCO (middle 20’s) came into the room and joined in on the conversation. While the other two men were asking me about the finer points of a good Fitness Program, this young Airman jumped in and said: “As long as I can run a mile in a good time and bend over and touch my toes, I could care less about Fitness.” “Love handles, back fat…WHO CARES!” He continued with, “I don’t care about looking like one of those Men’s Health cover guys” Glanced over at me and said “No Offense”. I said, “None taken.”

He finished by saying that he was deployed recently he got into much better shape “for him” he didn’t feel that the energy that one spends on exercising and eating correctly is worth it. In his words, “I like my beer and eating whatever I want WAY TOO MUCH to give it up.”

I was flabbergasted! Here is a young man who has very small children and
has chosen a career where his life might count on being in the best shape
possible. MY life or someone else’s life might count in him being in the best shape that he can be in! That is a responsibility that I take very seriously. I work out HARD every day and eat properly for a variety of reasons:

1.)I really enjoy the way proper nutrition and hard workouts make me feel.
I feel MUCH BETTER when I am taking in nutritious fuel and pushing myself physically.

2.)It is MY RESPONSIBILITY to be in the best shape I can possibly be in. As
a 15 year veteran of the United States Armed Forces, I have learned that the last thing you need to worry about in some of the extremely dangerous places that our Military operates in is your physical fitness. Once you are there you have no time to “get in shape”.

3.)It is MY RESPONSIBILITY to my Family to eat right and work out hard. I
add YEARS to my life by challenging my willpower, strength and cardiovascular system. That is my gift to my Family AND myself.

4.)I really enjoy looking and feeling good. Now when that young NCO stated, “I don’t want to look like one of those Men’s Health cover guys” Glanced over at me and said “No Offense”. He is missing the point completely. He has no idea what motivates me. My goals are not to look like a Men’s Health Cover Model. If we were all engines instead of people I would be a Diesel. That is why I am drawn to punishing workout programs like P90X and my beloved Kettlebell work. I like “suffering” and the health benefits that are a product of that suffering. I am always thinking of ways to make my workouts HARDER not easier. I prefer to choose the path that most people avoid. Mentally, that fires me up.

5.)I really like having muscle. Not “show” muscle that you oil up for a
photo shoot in a magazine. Functional, strong, flexible, useful muscle that can be used in the real world, not just in a Gym. I want to be STRONG. Stronger than the average man. I want to be in amazing cardiovascular shape. I also want a low body fat level. Low body fat is a product of eating nutritious, healthy, foods that push your Fitness forward, rather than holding it back. The simple fact is that when you eat properly and workout hard, your body fat level drops. It’s a nice byproduct of a healthy fitness lifestyle.

6.)Tami and I talk about the fact that we are teaching our four children
the benefits of a healthy Fitness oriented lifestyle. They are learning lessons right now that they will use for the rest of their lives. THAT is our gift to them. What if they saw Mom and Dad eating whatever they wanted all the time and every year, adding bodyweight, body fat, and becoming unhealthier? What would they take from that? That its ok to be lazy, to give in spur of the moment impulses nutritionally, and the fact that its ok to add dangerous body fat as you age because “That’s just the way it is.” NOT ON OUR WATCH I can tell you that!

Its times like this incident that I wonder “What are people thinking?” How
can they care so little about their own health? Living for the moment is more important than making planned decisions that enhance their lives. Don’t get me wrong, to each his/her own and I am not writing this in judgment. To value eating junk food, drinking beer, and not caring about fitness at all over being in the shape of your life, adding, years to your life through fitness, and being a good example of health to everyone you encounter in your life is something I just can’t understand or relate to.

Strength to you,
Mike

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Morning Humor, Exercise edition



Enjoy....hope your workouts go better than these guys.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

75 Days complete! Progress is still coming

Hey everyone. Its been a busy one around here. I don't begin to think that this blog is some huge deal or anything. However, it was a cool feeling yesterday to actually break 50 unique visitors in one day. I know I'm not about to give Matt Drudge at the DrudgeReport any worries, but its good to know that people are out there reading and a few are getting motivated by seeing that another out of shape guy is actually able to change his habits and in turn his overall health and fitness.

Yesterday was Legs and Back. It was a lot of fun. I have been having some knee problems and actually went out and bought a Jumpers Knee Strap similar to the one linked here. After talking to Brad Eickman, he suggested that I may be getting some tendinitis in my knee and that a strap like this has helped him out. I have to say this did alleviate my pain during the workout and I felt good throughout. I'm not sure when/where I hurt my knee in the first place. I just noticed it in pain during Kenpo a couple weeks ago.

In yesterday's workout I did 62 unassisted pull-ups. That's a huge improvement for me. I know upon reflection that I probably wasn't going down all the way on these. I'll work on that, but the improvement is still there.

Today is some more Kenpo, then Stretching on Friday. Saturday will be Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and the start of Week 12, the final week before the final recovery week. (Confusing, I know.)

Remember everyone: "Hope is not an action plan."

Keep Bringing it!

John

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Never Underestimate the power of guilt.


A little background. Right now I live in Illinois, but work in Michigan. How does that work? I drive out ever Monday and come home on Friday. I live in a furnished apartment out in Michigan during the week and go home every weekend. Eventually I will be assigned to the Chicago Office of my company, but that is being delayed.


Well, this arrangement has been going on all summer. It was supposed to be complete at the end of October but has been extended. It's really starting to wear on me as I just want to be home. For some perspective, since I started with this company in March, I've only been home to sleep in my own bed on a Tuesday or Wednesday night once.


Yesterday I was pretty upset. I absolutely hate coming out here. Don't get me wrong, I love the guys I work with out in Michigan. Yet I hate being away from my wife. I just want to stay home and live a somewhat normal life. So, yesterday I wrote an email to my boss explaining to him all my frustrations about the work situation and that I can't keep this up much longer. I hit the send button and get an "Out of office" reply. Turns out my boss is on a cruise and won't be back in for over a week. This had me pretty angry as its something I really want to get resolved soon.


Well, I got to my apartment, did a few errands, etc. When I finally got to my apartment again, I didn't want to do my Yoga. I watched a few TV shows etc. I was messing around on face book when I saw one of my P90X buddies update their status to indicate they just finished YogaX. That was the catalyst I needed. I felt so guilty. There I was, at 10PM just starting Yoga. Now, I didn't finish the whole Yoga Program, but I did do the first hour or so.
The moral of this lesson is this: Never underestimate the power of guilt. It works for your mom for a reason!
Keep pushing play!
John

Monday, December 1, 2008

More results

I haven't had time to write a lot over the past week.  Well, that's a lie.  I had plenty of time to write, but instead chose to spend time with family and have a great Thanksgiving.  This is essentially a follow up to my previous post; Ignore the Scale.

Here is a quick synopsis of where I'm at.

To recap, on Day 0, I was 215 lbs and 25% body fat.  That meant I was 161.25 lbs of lean mass, and  53.75 lbs of good ol' American fat.

Now, on day 73 I weighed in at 197.0 lbs and my body fat reading is at 17%.  That means I am now 33.5 lbs fat and 163.5 lbs muscle mass.

This is such a great feeling.  I love the results I'm getting.  In fact, I probably look at the mirror a bit too much, but at least I love what I see.  

Some other results.

When I started out, I essentially had 2 pairs of jeans I could wear.  Both size 34s.  Now those jeans are way too loose.  In fact, even my old 32s that I grew out of are now starting to sag a bit from being too loose.  My nice brown belt is way past fitting.  I could easily put in a notch 2 inches tighter than the last notch and still be fine. I need to go belt shopping but I'm a bit cheap right now.  

I have 2 and a half weeks left until I finish my 90 days.  I'm thrilled with the results so far.  

My plan after the end of the 90 days is to repeat phase 3 of the program.  Those 4 weeks of varied workouts would take me right up to the day we leave for our cruise to the Caribbean.



Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 72, Home Sweet Home

I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself. Over the past week my wife and I drove 2000+ miles round trip to my in-laws and back. I didn't miss a single workout. I skipped my rest day and moved it to today.

The other day I did cut plyo short by about 10 minutes. My left knee was tweaked a bit and I didn't want to push it too hard. Its feeling better today.

Sorry I don't have more to post. Still getting unpacked back at home, will be heading out to Michigan tomorrow or Tuesday depending on the weather.

Keep pushing play!

John

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No letting up, No Excuses.



You know what I love about P90X?  Its portable.  Here I am 1000 miles away from home.  Yesterday I did Yoga in a hotel room.  Today I was rocking legs and back from my in-laws house in Colorado.  What other workout program can you take with you like that?  I threw my PowerBlocks and my pull up bar in the car and I was set.

Today was awesome.  I started off with hitting double digits for one set of unassisted pull-ups for the first time since starting P90X.  I did 11 unassisted reverse grip chin-ups to start.  Over-all in the workout I did 57 unassisted pull-ups.  That is freaking huge for me.  I now have officially transitioned from "presently struggle" with pull ups to being "OK" at pull ups.   For the first time I actually can picture myself knocking out 20 pull ups.  I'm not there yet, but its coming.

Oh, and no, I don't normally do pull ups with a hat on backwards.  That was my solution to make sure I didn't scrape my head too hard on the ceiling.  Not much clearance.  I was actually tilting my head to the side to get my chin over the bar.

Tomorrow is Turkey Day.  I am going to just have a "cheat meal" tomorrow and not worry about it.  I actually might decide to do two workouts tomorrow, but I'm undecided.  I'll probably do Kenpo in the morning and possibly Cardio X at night, or do some Turbo Jam along with Monica.  We'll see.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On the road again


Hey everyone!  This post will be very very quick.  I'm driving to Colorado today with my wife and puppy.  It was a good first leg of the trip last night and we'll do the majority, about 700 miles, today.

I just want to report that traveling is no excuse to not to P90X.  I was able to get in an abbreviated Yoga X session in our cramped motel room this morning.  My dog kept putting his head under the pillow, I think he wanted to sleep longer.  

Well, off to see if I can eat somewhat healthy at the free breakfast, then we're on our way.  Next blog post will come from Colorado!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Beyond 90 Days!

As you may notice, this blog is transferring from "My P90X Mission" to "Tough Fitness."  The thought behind this is with the finish line of my first round of P90X in site, I realize that I don't want to stop.  I want to continue and keep going with this journey.  P90X was simply the catalyst I needed to spark a lifestyle change.  With that in mind, I'd like to thank Mike French, fellow Beachbody coach for letting me reprint the following article he wrote.  Its great stuff.

Our Society is obsessed with Fitness and Nutrition. There are new workout programs and nutrition “miracles” being produced everyday. Some people have decided that Fitness just “isn’t for them”. 

Our Society has grown to accept that is “ok” to be sluggish and overweight. Eating whatever people want and wondering why they feel and look worse, month after month.

People find every excuse to eat something they shouldn’t or to skip a workout. “When I get home from work, I just don’t have the energy to workout.” “Its too expensive to eat healthy.” 

My personal favorite is “I just don’t have the time to workout.” LOL! I have the same 24 hours that that person does and I manage to work a full and part time job, give my wife and children the attention they deserve, and workout EVERYDAY!

People are constantly looking for the “Secret” or something that will give them that extra edge. Doesn’t matter if it’s a diet, workout or supplement. “THE ONLY THING YOU NEED TO ACHIEVE FITNESS IS YOUR BODY, A MINDSET OF REFUSING TO QUIT, AND WHOLE HEALTHY FOODS THAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY.”

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to use science as a crutch to make up for lack of workout effort and nutritional discipline. An example of this is someone that uses a “Fat Burner” and their Nutrition isn’t spot on. Its like eating a combination pizza and a “Diet” soda…What’s the point?

There is a saying that I absolutely love:

YOU CAN'T OUTRUN A BAD DIET!

What does this mean? You can't burn enough calories in a day to make up for poor nutritional choices. The calories it takes you an hour to burn can be ingested in 30 seconds! Not really fair, but its the hand we have been given! 

Want me to make it simple?

EXERCISE REGULARLY AND EAT HEALTHY FOODS IN MODERATION

Do both of those things every day, for the rest of your life. Stop making excuses and start taking responsibility for your own Fitness.

The Key to real Health and Fitness is consistency. Most people lack the commitment to get in shape and really make a difference in their lives. 

We live in a world of fast food results. We want our food NOW! (Why do fast food restaurants serve more people daily than any other type of restaurant? Why do people continue to eat there, even though they KNOW for a fact that there is nothing that could be worse for them and their health?) We want results NOW! When it doesn't happen we get frustrated and start looking for other ways to do it.

We want the quick fix. Six Pack Abs in 6 weeks! Get ripped for summer with the latest routine and diet in Muscle & Fitness magazine. Magazines LOADED with the latest supplements to add muscle, get rid of fat quicker than the next guy. Are they concerned with our health or making money?

That is why Beachbody products are such a blessing for all of us. Fitness first. REAL programs and supplements that WORK! We need to think beyond 90 days from now. Think 5, 10, 20 years from now! 

All that really matters is how long we live and how healthy we are during that lifespan. Our health is precious and we need to take care of it. 

Do everything TODAY to give yourself the best chance to live a long and productive life. Then replicate it tomorrow!

Fitness success comes from relentless hard work. Once you have it, you need to work to keep it. If you don’t it leaves allot quicker than it took to achieve it. Train hard. Be proud of your Fitness and don't apologize for it!

Get in shape and then NEVER put yourself in a position where you have to “Get back in shape.” 

Train to be ready for ANYTHING that might come your way. Running, swimming, and obstacle course, a pick up football game at a Family Reunion. 

I hope it never happens to any of us but what are we going to do if we have to swim out into the ocean to save a loved one, or your Family is involved in a car accident and you are forced to “run” to get assistance? Will you be ready? That is not the time to wish you had paid your dues with your workouts and nutrition. That is the ONLY reason that I run every week. I am NOT a runner. I would much rather lift something heavy over my head than run a step. Being in the Military, I have to prepare for the worst and in that preparation, I HAVE to run. Of course wearing 65+ extra pounds of body armor, chemical protective suit, Kevlar helmet, rifle and a full load of ammo makes it allot more interesting!

Granted, those are worst case scenarios but if you prepare for the worst, you will be prepared for anything.

Build lean, flexible, muscles, improve your cardiovascular Fitness, and burn calories. 

LEAN AND MEAN rules the day. 

CHALLENGE your heart and lungs everyday! True “MASS APPEAL” is a lean, trim, physique with long flexible muscles. It contributes to our overall health and longevity and makes us look and feel better!

WE CAN GET LEAN AND STAY LEAN ONCE WE HAVE COMMITTED TO TRAINING FOR LIFE.

Don't let your GOALS become your limits. Its easy to “relax” once you have achieved a goal. Don't waste time and let what you have achieved slip away slowly. Set new goals and then set out to accomplish them! Move forward and really see what you are made of and what you can accomplish!

One of my favorite quotes:

“YOU KNOW WHY I WILL ACCOMPLISH MY GOAL? BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T DO IT!”

Its not how much weight you lift, its how hard you work when you lift it. Remember, we are not just training for today but for many years down the road. Pay particular attention to your ABS and lower back. Your CORE is the key to your future health and fitness.

What you do today affects the rest of your life. We want to look and feel good right now, but we also want to look and feel good when we are eighty. Our lives are the sum total of our daily activities. 

Are your activities going to be positive and healthy, or negative and unhealthy? The choice is ours.

What should be EVERYONE’S goal? 

GET BETTER EVERY DAY!

Strive for daily improvement. Vow to get better every day. Forget about the past and don’t worry about the future. Concentrate on the present, what you can control RIGHT NOW. 

If you improve your Fitness today, the future will take care of itself...

Even the best exercise plan can be destroyed by eating too much or eating the wrong types of foods. Eating a dessert can add more calories than you could hope to burn in an intense hour long workout. 

Scary as it is, you could ruin your entire day of nutrition and hard work in your workouts in less than 5 minutes by eating junk food.

Exercise: Body Weight
130 lbs. 155 190
Calories Burned in 1 hour 
Calisthenics (Total Body PLUS), vigorous effort 472 593 690

(1)100 gram Kit Kat Candy bar has the following “Nutritional Value” 
a. 520 calories
b. 32 grams of fat
c. 46 grams of sugar

Depending on your body weight by eating ONE candy bar you have exceeded or almost exceeded ONE hour of a Butt Kicking workout like Total Body Plus.

It doesn’t need to be a candy bar. It could be a forkful of our kids macaroni and cheese followed by a “small” chocolate and “Only one soda”. It all adds up and before you know it you have taken in hundreds of extra calories that you don’t need. 

Believe me, I know because I did the same thing AFTER my spectacular Day 90 results in July 07. I “relaxed” and put on 15 extra pounds, quickly. (By Oct 07)

I had to fight each day to reclaim my “Abs” and conditioning. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

No more excuses. No more , “Well it was only something small, it won’t hurt me.” You better believe it will. Make no mistake about that. Once you get into the habit of having “something small” every once in while, it quickly becomes every day.

Am I saying NEVER eat cake or candy again? Of course not. Make it a special treat, like at a Birthday Party or Holiday, not something you do because you are bored.

No More Excuses, make a difference in your future...TODAY!

Live stronger EVERY day!

Mike 



Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Sunday Morning

Good morning everyone.  This will be a quick update as I'm getting ready to watch the Bears play today and enjoy a beautiful sunny (albeit a bit cold) day.

Yesterday was Chest, Shoulders & Triceps.  This is a great workout.  I decided to wear a heart rate monitor for the workout.  It was interesting that for the lifting workout and Ab Ripper X I burned over 700 calories.

This morning was Plyo.  I wore the Heart rate monitor again.  Almost 800 calories burned during Plyo.  My heart rate topped at 182 bpm with an average heart rate of 139 bpm.  This is great info to know.  Like I said previously, a heart rate monitor is a great tool.  (I'll give a full review of my Polar F6 after a couple weeks of use.)

This week will be interesting.  Monica and I are driving out to Colorado tomorrow.  I'll do Yoga in a Hotel on Tuesday.  We'll be at my in-laws this week and driving back on Saturday and Sunday.  Friday is my normal rest day.  However, this week I plan on skipping my rest day and moving the rest/stretch day to next Sunday when we're driving back.  It might be a bit tough getting my workouts done on the road, but I've come too far to slack off this week.

I also have to give a public recognition out to my lovely wife Monica.  She has completed 3 weeks of Turbo Jam and she's loving it.  I'm very proud of her commitment.  Great job babe!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Week 9: Update and Friday Morning Humor.

Today is my Rest/Stretch day to finish out week 9. I'm so pumped that I've come this far. I remember having conversations with Brad a couple months ago begging him to check in on me around week 3 because I had a habit of falling out of a program after a few weeks. Not this time. I've completed 9 weeks and going strong.

I'll go with some real content before I get into my selected comedy of the week. Yesterday I did Kenpo X. However, this was my first time doing Kenpo X with a Heart Rate Monitor. What a difference did that make. I have previously commented that I thought Kenpo was an easy workout. Well, it was easy for me, because I wasn't bringing it. I was going through the motions and lacking intensity. As a result, my heart rate wasn't that high.

This past week I purchased a Polar F6 Heart Rate monitor. I'll give a more extensive review after a few more workouts. I'm still getting to learn the device. But one thing is for certain, my effort in Kenpo wasn't good enough. When that "out of zone" alarm started beeping at me I knew I needed to make my kicks a bit higher, my punches a bit more intensified to get my heart rate back up in the zone. During breaks I needed to get my knees up higher to make sure I didn't drop below my target zone. In the end it told me I burned 578 calories and 50% of those were fat calories. All good stuff, so if you don't have a heart rate monitor...get one.

So, here it is. This is especially for all my Canadian readers (and apparently looking at my site meter map there are a bunch of you.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thoughts on new layout

Anyone have any thoughts on the new layout. I was a bit annoyed that the old template didn't show the full width of some of my embedded content like videos etc.

Please comment with any feedback on the new layout.

Oh..Day 61 down, Legs and Back today. Lots of progress on pull-ups. More to follow tomorrow.

**********UPDATE***********

Discovered how to change some of the dimensions. (I'm a geek who just learned some HTML. So sticking with the old template with some modifications.

John

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

60 Days In

Hey everyone, today is Day 60. When I get back to my apartment here in Novi, MI and complete Yoga X, I'll have completed 60 Days of P90X (Anyone realize that P90X is actually 91 Days?


Yesterday I did Shoulders and Arms. First time with this workout since week 3. I still think it's my favorite lifting workout in the program. I definitely felt the burn yesterday. I also did OK at Ab Ripper X.

Well, its a short post today. I'll leave you guys with 2 things.


1. This picture is probably offensive to some. Its a 60 Day Sobriety chip for Crystal Meth Addicts.


2. I am now over 1000 hits on this blog. That's probably not a ton, but its good. Every day more and more people are stopping by to read. Thanks for your support.


********* UPDATE************

Here are my 60 Day Results (Actually, Day 58, but close enough)

Monday, November 17, 2008

My home made pull-up bar

If you're tall like me you might not like some of the "door frame" pull up bar options out there. I'm 6'2", have long arms, and when I'm hanging from a door frame mounted pull up bar with my knees bent my knees are seriously about 8" from the floor. I don't feel like I can get an effective workout with these options. They work well, but they aren't my preference.

So, I decided to make my own pull up bar. And, it cost me less than $25 at Home Depot. The basic design is a few lengths of 3/4" pre-threaded pipe, some pipe elbows, and some 3/4" floor flanges. I didn't use the pre-cut and threaded pipe since I had access to some pipe, and a pipe cutter and threading machine. However, you could easily pick up a few sections to your desired size. My dimensions are 42" wide, 8" in length from the ceiling which works well and gives me plenty of room for my noggin above the bar. Check out the pictures below.










Now, I put the pipe pieces together with the elbows and secured them tightly with a pipe wrench, and ensured they were square and level. I then attached the floor flanges securely. As you can see I also used a 2"x6" board. I marked out where the bar would line up on the 2x6, marked the hole locations and pre-drilled the holes where the floor flanges would be mounted.



I also pre-drilled and made sure to countersink the holes where the 2x6 would mount to the ceiling. I secured the board to the ceiling with some 3" long wood screws, ensuring that I was very secure into the floor beams. After the beam was secure, I mounted the pull up bar to the 2x6 with some #14, 2.5 in. wood screws.



Finally, I'd recommend getting your wife to try out the bar first. When I was sure it could handle my beautiful wife Monica, I tried next. (If your wife happens to be much heavier than you...skip this step.)



I'd like to caution all of you that you need to use your own judgement regarding how secure this bar will be. Mine seems rock solid currently, but like any piece of equipment you might hang from, check it regularly to make sure its still solid. If it seems to develop any wiggles or jiggles, you aren't secure and discontinue use.



******UPDATE*******


This by far is the most popular post to date on my blog. So I figured I'd write a bit more.


One thing I've noticed as I've gotten stronger and more confident at pull ups is that the problem I thought I had wasn't a problem at all. When doing pull ups from my door frame mounted bar, I was concerned with my feet hitting the floor. Funny thing is, now that I have the strength to go out and do 10 pull ups, I don't notice this anymore. I just cross my feet, bend my legs and crank out some pull-ups. Funny thing how excuses go away once you get stronger huh?

That being said, I now use my door frame mounted bar about as much as my home made bar. It mainly depends how cold it is outside and whether or not my wife's car is in the garage. Going forward, I'd probably be just happy with a door frame mounted pull up bar. That being said, the best door frame mounted bar is easily the P90X pull up bar pictured here. if you are looking to get a bar like this, please visit my coach page and click "shop for products." You can get this bar through me for $49.95 plus S&H.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day 58, Ups and Downs (aka Plyo X)

Hey everyone, had a great weekend. My dog Buster is well on his way to becoming head of the class in his PetSmart training class. It was fun, Monica and I got to enjoy working with him at the new store in Yorkville, IL.

But, that's not why you're here. I guess I'll write about P90X.

So, on Saturday something happened that I haven't experienced in over 2 years. I woke up, went to the scale AFTER breakfast mind you and weighed in at 198.8 lbs. I haven't been under 200 lbs since I left the Air Force back in May of 2006. In fact, the last time I am sure I was under 200 lbs was late 2005 when I took my last Air Force fitness test. I was 193 lbs back in September of 05. My weight started going North when I knew I was separating from the military. Plus, we didn't own a scale until late 2007 and by that time I was around 205. My accu-measure body fat calipers are continuing to show progress as well.

I was very excited to get back into Chest and Back! I posted on facebook that I'd miss Chest and Back. Well, I loved going back to it. I actually pushed too hard at the beginning. I nearly doubled my reps from week 3 on the first few sets. By the end I wasn't quite keeping up that spread, but still drastically exceeded my reps on all my exercises. (I also got to do the workout on my new home-made pull up bar. I'll blog more on that and how to build one later this week.)

Today was Plyometrics. I always love this workout. I did very well, nailing 63 Jump Knee Tucks (but no video this week, sorry) on the second round. I actually focused on improving my form on a lot of the exercises, I focused on getting a bit more height and just upping the intensity level. I'd like to see where my heart rate has been. I have a Polar F6 Heart Rate monitor on order from Amazon. It should show up this week. I'll review it after a couple workouts.

Finally, I took my day 58 pictures since I'll be traveling this week on day 60. I am a bit disappointed in the results. I know I'm making progress, I know I'm stronger, I know my body fat is decreasing, but I'm just not "thrilled" with the results. When I post them, please let me know what you think. Maybe you'll see improvement that my jaded eyes are missing.

Well, keep it up everyone and remember:

HOPE IS NOT AN ACTION PLAN.

John

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Morning Humor

Since Friday is my rest/stretch day, I normally don't have a lot to report.

Therefore, I've decided that a new tradition will be for me to post something funny or humorous, maybe something that is barely mildly amusing. It could be anything.

Today, for the first ever weekly Friday Morning Humor Post on P90X Mission, I bring you this video.

What happens when the sound check guy goes on too long:


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 54 or 55...somewhere in there. Anyone have a calendar?


Core Synergistics is quickly becoming my favorite workout in the P90X program. Ever move is designed to activate the muscles in your core to support your body throughout the exercise. From the first exercise to the last you are pushing your body, getting a good sweat going and having fun.
I love that it has push ups, lunges, a bit of yoga type moves throughout that all work what seems like your whole body. Yesterdays workout tore me up, but in a good way. I was loving it.
So, today is day 55 (I think.) Funny how the days start to run together. Tonight I have Yoga X and I'll be done with my first recovery week.
Next week starts Phase 3. I haven't decided yet, but I'm considering adding some morning cardio to my workout. I might go roll a bit on an elliptical machine a couple days a week to help burn off a bit more fat.
Well, that's all for today. More to follow I'm sure. Oh...and this Sunday I may post my day about day 60 photos.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ignore the scale!

This post is just a quick note to talk about my progress for the past couple of weeks. My weight on the scale has been hovering right around 200-203 lbs give or take.

However, one thing that is drastic is to look at my body fat percentages. I've been using accu-fit calipers to measure my body fat. When I first started at Day 1 I was 215 lbs, and my body fat percentage was about 25%. So, that meant I was 53.75 lbs fat and 161.25 lbs of lean mass.

A couple weeks ago I was 202 lbs and 21% body fat according to my caliper test. That puts me at 159.6 lbs of lean mass and 42.4 lbs of fat.

This past Sunday I was right at 201 lbs on Sunday morning. But my body fat was 19.5%. Basic math would put me at 161.8 lbs of lean mass and 39.2 lbs of fat.

So, these may not seem like dramatically amazing numbers or anything. But there are some very noticeable trends and lessons you can take away from this. In the past two weeks I've shed 3.2 lbs of fat, and increased my muscle mass by 2.2 lbs.

I think in phase one, with the super low carb diet I was dropping a lot of fat, and making some changes in my body. I wasn't really putting on a lot of muscle, in fact I may have lost just a bit. However the body was making some drastic changes. Now, with that groundwork laid and my body ready and primed to work hard and make progress, I'm able to do the hard work and reap the results.

Another lesson to be learned: Ignore the scale. You don't work out to just lose weight. If that were the case, and your goal was to lose weight, you wouldn't mind if I came by and cut off your leg. I'm sure you could drop 20 lbs easy if I chopped your leg off above the knee. You could be at your goal weight in a couple hours right? Of course that's nonsense. A fitness goal should never be based on a goal weight unless you fight people for a living.

Focus on how you look, how you feel, how you perform in all areas athletically. Focus on the old pair of jeans you own that don't fit so well anymore, focus on the inches you'd like to lose around your waist. Don't depend on the scale alone to measure success. You need to use the scale along with the context of body fat.

Remember: Hope is not an action plan!

John

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Day 51...Core Synergistics (Quick Post)


Today I got up and went right into Core Synergistics.

Since this workout is only during recovery weeks, its been about a month since I last did this workout.  What a difference a month makes.  I did considerably better on every exercise across the board.  Right out of the gate I was doing 30 staggered arm stacked foot push ups.  I had no problem with the banana rolls.    On Prison Cell Push Ups, where I was getting about 4-5 a month ago, I was able to do 11 today.

So, this P90X thing sure as heck works.  My functional strength is noticeably improved.  My flexibility is probably the best its been since I was 7.

Well, like I said, this would be a very quick post.  Keep on Bringing it.

Remember: Hope is not an action plan!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Day 50!


I don't know what the stats are of people that start P90X vs the number of people that finish it.  I'm sure there are some folks that buy the DVDs, do the first workout, and quit halfway into Plyometrics on Day 2.  The reason I bring this up is that I wanted to quit on Day 2.  I sucked at Plyo and thought I was absolutely terrible.

However, here I am, sitting on Day 50.  I'm starting the 2nd recovery week and my 60 and 90 Day photos are just around the corner.

On Wednesday during Legs and Back my right knee felt a bit of pain.  Because of this I made Thursday a rest day and pushed Kenpo X back to Friday morning.  I think this was a good decision since I'm feeling no pain now.  Kenpo went off without a hitch on Friday and I was able to do Yoga X today.  My wife Monica has started Turbo Jam this week.  Today was an off day for her, but bless her heart she did Yoga today with me.  

Thats a short post for today.  My weekend was very busy.  We took Buster, our mutt, to Petsmart this morning.  A new store opened up just down the street.  He was very excited.  He starts obedience school next Saturday.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hey...I have a new reader!

Its fun when I get some feedback that my blog has inspired or motivated some folks. I mainly write here for my own gratification and journaling, but knowing a few people are checking in on a regular basis is a good feeling.


I met another person starting off P90X. His name is Matt and he's blogging about his experience as well. Check out his blog: P90X Beat Down!


The past couple days have gone well. Tuesday was Yoga, and like every week in Yoga I'm making definite improvements. This past week I probably produced more sweat than any other week in Yoga, but I was hitting a lot of the moves. Here's a tip I like to use. For me, I don't like to do the Yoga. I find any reason to procrastinate. So Tuesday morning I moved the coffee table out of the living room and put my Yoga mat down on the ground before I left for work. When I got back home, I had that visual reminder staring me in the face. It helped me to get right into it when I got home. I didn't waste any time at all.


Yesterday was Legs and Back. About 15 minutes into the workout I felt a little tweak in my knee. It was a bit painful, so I lowered the intensity and weight on some exercises. I also cut back on lunges with my right knee bent. I finished the workout and by the end the pain was mostly gone. I'm just hoping it was one of those random pains but I'll be keeping a close eye on it. My original plan was to put off today's Kenpo until Friday but as the day goes on I think I'll get Kenpo done this afternoon.


Finally, I'd like to let you all know that I've signed up as a Beach Body coach. Beach Body is the company that produces the P90X program along with several other popular home workout programs. As a coach I'll be able to help other people reach their fitness goals. My first customer is my lovely wife Monica who just started Turbo Jam this week.

As a coach, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you all to play WOWY or "Work Out With You" on the Beach Body site. Every day you log your workout on the site you're eligible for the daily prize up to $1000.00 in cash. If you want to sign up to play the game you can follow this link to my coach page. Go there and click on "Play the Game."


Well, that's all for now. I'm almost to the 2nd recovery week.


Remember: Hope is not an action plan!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Weekend Update!

Hey everyone out there in cyberspace. The past few days have been absolutely crazy for me. Here's a quick run down.

Day 43: Saturday.
-Had a lot of chores to do around the house. I put off a lot of the stuff I needed to get done before the winter hit until too late. Monica and I were able to get a lot done in the yard etc on Saturday. Due to Halloween festivities I had a bit of a headache when I woke up. But I was able to get to Chest, Shoulders and Triceps in the late afternoon without much trouble. I really pushed it during this workout.

Day 44: Sunday.
-Today was the mother of all days for me. I started out with Plyometrics around 7:30. I didn't do anything crazy like 60 Jump Knee Tucks but worked my way through the entire workout pretty hard. Its funny, during the first exercises in the Plyo program (squat jumps) my legs always feel terrible. I get this sensation that I'm going to suck and have a tough day. Without fail this sensation starts to disappear and I can push hard through the workout. So, a lesson to be learned is if you're hurting, push through for another 2 minutes. You'll often get past that resistance and find you're 2nd (or in this case...my first) wind.

After Plyo I had a very busy day. First off we put some waterproof/stain on our deck. Then we took almost everything out of our garage and reorganized it so we could get Monica's car back in our one car garage for the winter. After that I fixed a doorbell, installed a programmable thermostat, winterized the lawnmower etc. It was a very long day, but very productive. Next weekend I have to finally organize my toolbox for the first time since we moved into our house 15 months ago.

Day 45: Monday.
-This was a very rough day. I had a meeting I needed to be at near Detroit, and I needed to get out here by 11 am ET. So I woke up at 4 am CT and was in my car and out the door by 4:40. I drove out to Novi, MI and got into the office at about 10:30 am. I took a 5 minute break and was back out the door to go to a sales presentation. It was a 45 minute drive to the client where we had our presentation last for a couple hours. My plan was to cut my day off after that, yet our office is small and 2 guys were out sick. So I had to return to our office and man the phones until 6PM. I so did not want to complete my workout. I had every excuse in the book on my side. Yet I didn't give in.

I got back to my place, and just focused. I told myself I'd start Back and Biceps and just get through it to the halfway point and stop for the day. Well, when the first break came I couldn't stop. So I told myself to finish it up and we'd skip Ab Ripper X for the day. Yet, when the disc started playing Ab Ripper I threw my mat down on the ground and just brought it. I was so proud of myself for not succumbing to the temptation to skip a workout.

Also...yesterday was day 45. That means I'm halfway through P90X. I was once a very avid runner. Often, I'd run out and backs, which meant I'd run out a few miles in one direction and come back home or to school etc. The best feeling in the world was when you got to your furthest point out, tagged that telephone pole or stop sign etc and did a quick pivot and started to run back home. You knew that with every step you were on your way home and you'd be finished any minute. This feeling helped you to push harder until you saw "home" again. Well, that's where I'm at on this P90X journey. I just tapped the telephone pole...I'm heading home.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Day 41...Kenpo X with an additonal X

Over the past few weeks I've loved Kenpo X.  The thing is I didn't feel a lot of intensity.

So, this past weekend I picked up some Everlast Weighted Gloves.  They are 1lb each (2lbs for the set)

This made such a difference in the workout.  The intensity level shot up.  I finally "felt" the workout when I was through.  I'm sure this will significantly affect the benefit I get out of Kenpo X.

I paid $20 bucks to pick these up at Dicks.  I found out that they're $5 cheaper on Amazon so I included a link here on this page.  I'd highly recommend them if you aren't feeling a lot of intensity in Kenpo.




40 Days and Nights

Hey everyone. These posts will probably start to get boring. I don't know, but having done most of the workouts now multiple times, there's not a lot more I can say about them all.

I did Yoga on Tuesday. Its still a tough workout for me to get excited about. Every week I don't want to do it. However, when I'm done with Yoga I'm always glad I did it. Its an interesting dynamic. This week I noticed some definite improvement. I'm starting to anticipate all the moves and I'm ahead of Tony sometimes.

A side note about the Yoga and X Stretch routines. My flexibility is shooting through the roof. I've always been very inflexible. I'm starting to notice that I'm getting a further reach on some of the stretches, getting my hands to touch my toes or the floor in some stretches where I previously was no where close. Its a good feeling.

Yesterday was Legs and Back. This was a day of some definite improvements. I pushed through the Wall Squat without breaking. (Single leg wall squats are getting closer) These are huge for me. In college at the Air Force Academy, we'd have to do wall squats (There it was called "the Mother"). I sucked at them. I was always the first to pop out of position. For me to just breathe my way through 90 seconds is huge.

I also noticed some good improvements in pull-ups. On every set besides the switch grips I was able to knock out a few reps without a chair and then add the chair in. This is the first pull up workout where I was able to do that. This muscle confusion stuff really works.

So, 40 days down. 44.4% of P90X is complete!

Thanks to all of you who check in on me...I appreciate it.

Remember: Hope is not an action plan! Bring It!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Day 38: 3 Days of the X to wrap up.

Well, lets start off with a highlight of the last 3 days.  I nailed 60 Jump Knee Tucks in the second round of JKTs in Plyo.

Here's a video:





The goal in this challenge is to do as many as possible.  Obviously, when trying for quantity, you can't get your knees up that high.  But man does this get the heart pumping.

Lets do my 3 day review.

Day 36:  Couldn't believe this was day 1 of week 6.  I have a history of ditching workout plans around week 3-4.  Getting to week 6 is huge for me.  This workout went well.  I started to up weight and go for 8 reps as my goal.  If that meant a rep out of my comfort zone on an exercise...so be it.  Workout went great.  

Day 37: Plyo. I love Plyo.  Its right up my alley.  I sweat and breathe like a maniac, but I love this workout.  I must be wrong in the head.

Day 38:  Back and Biceps.  Today was great.  Last week I complained about how bad my pull-ups are.  Well, I took Tony's advice to "do my best and forget the rest."  I'm just working as hard as I can right now and I'm going to let the results come to me.  I'm not going to worry about the number of pull-ups I do or don't do.  My goal when I started this was to build strength and drop fat.  My goal was never to do 25 pull ups at a time.  Now, that could eventually happen, but I'm not measuring my success on that standard.

Well, Yoga X tomorrow and I'll be over half-way done with week 6.  I'm looking forward to Kenpo this week because I picked up some weighted gloves to make that workout more intense.

Remember:  Hope is not an action plan!

John

Friday, October 24, 2008

36 Days in! Going Strong

Past 3 days have gone very well. Wednesday afternoon I did legs and back. This workout is hit-or miss for me now. I struggle with the first exercise, balance lunges. I know my form is terrible, but so is my balance. I'm usually tumbling at some point in the exercise. I need to just ignore that aspect and keep going. I can't let my frustrations with this one move ruin the rest of my workout.

Ab Ripper after Legs and Back is always a killer. If you work your legs hard, they are so fatigued by the time you get to Ab Ripper that the ab exercises become a struggle. However, I'm still improving in some area every time I do Ab Ripper X. I'll have it almost down by 90 days.

Yesterday was Kenpo X. This workout is always pretty easy for me. My kicks aren't as high and as pretty as I like, but I always do well at this workout and it is fun. However, this is one of those workouts I wouldn't want to be doing if anyone was watching. However I do look forward to the day I can rebuff the attack of an assailant with a vicous SWORD! HAMMER!

Today is Rest/Stretch X day. Depending on how early I get back to IL I might rest, or I may Stretch.

Remember, Hope is not an action plan!

John

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Days 31-32, Back and Biceps, Yoga X...and a new goal.


Hey everyone. I'll begin to talk about my first experience with the P90X workout "Back and Biceps."


This workout kicked my ass. As I said on day 1, I presently struggle with pull-ups. Even in college when I weighed 180 lbs I wasn't that great at pull-ups. Back then I could do about 10 on a good day. If I had a 25 lb weight vest on back then I'd probably only be able to do 2-3. That's where I am about now. I'm using a chair to give me an assist, but I don't feel a great improvement in the pull-up area yet.


Another thing in this workout is the fact that you do curls FOREVER. The workout is one of the shortest in terms of duration, but it has you doing curls for what seems like eternity. My biceps are feeling it even 2 days later.


Yeserday, Day 32, was interesting.


I got home from work early. I was dead tired and wanted to do anything but Yoga. I watched a show on my tivo, got on facebook. Anything to avoid Yoga. I finally got my butt off the couch about an hour later and cranked out my Yoga. The One thing I did different was I had all but one light in the other room on, along with the light from the TV. I don't know if this made a huge difference, but my focus was a lot better.


I noticed that my mind was clear throughout and I felt a lot of improvement. I still struggle with Warrior 3, but its coming along.


Also, I've got one new goal for my P90X Mission. Monica and I are going to go on a cruise in January. It will be a 7 night cruise in the Eastern Caribbean on NCL's Norwegian Dawn. I hope to be in amazing shape and avoid wearing a shirt at all opportunities!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Day 30 Baby...Bringing It and loving the results.




Hey folks. Here's the deal. 31 Days ago I took all my photos and results.

I started at 215.3 lbs on my bathroom scale. Today I actually was at 200.4 lbs on the same scale (but that was after Plyo, weight before Plyo was 203.0 this morning) So I'll say I've dropped about 12 lbs in 30 days. That's freaking awesome.

My strength levels have certainly improved. I'm picking up more weight every week when I come back to the same routines.

Today in Plyometrics I was able to get 59 Jump Knee Tucks on the 2nd round on Plyo. And I even double timed the Mary Katherines with Tony and Dom...yes Brad. I'm coming after your 66. I would have broke 60 today but my dog Buster was very curious about what I was doing and jumped along with me during the last 3-4 seconds and I stopped a bit early to avoid breaking my puppies leg.

Thanks for all your support. Brad, Malena and everyone else that takes the time to post and give me support. Especially my wife Monica.

60 More days to go...Bringing it.

Hope is not an action Plan...

John

Friday, October 17, 2008

Welcome Back...

After 2 Days off I'm glad to say that I was able to get over the cold or flu I was facing and get back into my workout routine.

Yesterday I felt good enough to do Core Synergistics after work. I'll admit I held a bit back at times and I wasn't 100%. However the biggest thing for me was to get back into the groove and routine of working out.

In my past I would do really well with a workout routine for 2,3 or 4 weeks and then just stop completely. I'd roll an ankle and stop running, I'd have to travel for work and miss a workout and just stop cold. That was my ultimate fear as I fell sick this week. I feared that I wouldn't get back into Pushing Play.

Well, I did it. I Pushed Play yesterday and I'm back in the groove. I'm going to do Yoga today then roll into week 5 starting tomorrow. 30 Day pictures will be posted by Sunday evening.

Take care kids.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Still Sick...Game Plan.


Hey everyone.  I'm still sick today.  I didn't go to work.  My schedule calls for Core Synergistic.  Now, my plan is to postpone Core Synergistic until tomorrow.  I'll do Yoga X on Friday which is scheduled to be my rest/stretch day.  If I get those workouts completed, I'll go into week 5 on Saturday morning as scheduled.

Now, if I'm still sick tomorrow I have a game plan.  I'll re-do the recovery week and get healthy and rested, delaying the start of week 5 for another week.

Take care all...

John

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Days 24 & 25, Kenpo and Bedrest


This will be a quick post.  I started coming down with a cold on Sunday afternoon.  I had a sore throat, stuffed up etc.  Yesterday I made the trek out to Michigan and was able to come out and get through Kenpo X yesterday evening.  I did a pretty good job at Kenpo, but I wasn't 100% in terms of health.

Today I took a turn for the worse.  I went into work and felt all day like I had a screwdriver inserted through my nostril and into my brain.  I essentially got kicked out of the office.  So, I went to the grocery store, bought some chicken stock, carrots, celery and whole wheat bow tie pasta.  I mixed that with some grilled chicken I already have and made a healthy Chicken Noodle soup.  

Luckily the P90X schedule in this first recovery week had me scheduled to do X Stretch.  Brad said skipping today wouldn't hurt me.  So I spent the day watching TV and napping.  I have to say, some of the shows on Lifetime Movie Network are pretty trashy...that's for sure.

I'm starting to feel a bit better this afternoon, I should be good for tomorrow.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Days 21, 22, & 23


Hey everybody...been a few days since I have posted here. I've been enjoying the beautiful weather we've had lately and spent some time with the family. I haven't missed my workouts, just a few posts.


So, lets start out with day 21. It was Stretch X or rest day. Don't sue me, but I decided to rest. Mainly I saw Yoga on the schedule for the next day and decided that I didn't 'need' the stretch day.



Day 22- Yoga X. This was fun. Monica joined me in the Yoga class. Monica has taken beginners Yoga classes before and said something to the effect of, "That's not the freaking Yoga I did." She was a trooper and tried her best. I did OK this week. I'm getting a lot better at the flow and knowing what is coming next always helps. I was thinking back to a few weeks ago when I could barely go through some of the motions. Now my strength has improved and I'm able to get the push ups between moves that Tony calls out. I'm still only doing the first 55 minutes of the DVD, but I'll start to add in the balance postures in the next few weeks.



We spent the day at my parents house. Now my folks eat terribly. They do weight watchers off and on, but truth be told, they have a terrible diet. In fact my Dad's recent health problems have been a motivator for me to get in shape and change my lifestyle. I feel that when I look at my dad, I can see my future if I don't get my physical fitness levels in check. But, that's beside the point. The main point is that you can eat healthy when away from your house. I was polite but assertive and instead of having greasy burgers for dinner, I asked if my mom had any fish or chicken in the freezer. Sure enough she had a bag of frozen tilapia fillets and we were able to make a nice little alternative dinner for Monica and me.



Day 23- Core Synergistics. What a tough but fun workout. I felt lost at times in this workout, but caught on quickly. the Plank/Chautaranga run made me want to laugh. My living room is a bit too small for some of the moves where you're rolling all around the floor (I also realized that my dog sheds a heck of a lot while on the floor.) The workout kicked my butt. The Dreya Roll move was a killer. I couldn't stand up. I'll get there.



So, here's the update of the day as well. I'm officially under 205 lbs. I weighed in today at 204 lbs. So, less than a month ago I was almost at 216 lbs. My diet has been great. I've really stuck with it. Its not been perfect, but I'd give it a solid A.



So, I'm going to keep Bringing It during this recover week. Next Sunday I'll be posting my 30 day photos.



Keep it up everyone!



John

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Kenpo X...Day 20, that's 2/9ths complete.

So, Essentially I've completed the first 3 weeks of P90X. I've been loving the program so far and I'm starting to notice some results. Clothes are baggier, belts are a bit looser etc. I haven't been home in almost 10 days and I'll be interested to see what the results on the scale are. (I know...I shouldn't focus on the scale since I'm building muscle while losing fat, but its a reference.)

Kenpo today was good. I am a bit better with some of the moves. I didn't roll my ankle today either. I'm actually considering going for a short 2 mile run after work. My wife and I signed up to run a 10K at the end of October (Her company is a major sponsor of the run and wants to field a team of 30 runners). I decided to start P90X after signing up. But I haven't been running or training for the 10K at all. I'm not too worried about the run. I'll likely substitute the 10K for the Plyo that would normally fall on the Sunday. (Who knows, the day of I might decide to do both.) My plan for the 10K run is to run/walk it. I'll run 5 minutes, walk a minute and so on. I'm not in the race for a time.

Anyway, I plan to run a few miles every couple days in the next two weeks to get my legs prepped for the day so I don't face injury. I'd be pissed if I go and get hurt in a stupid 10K run and it slows my progress in P90X. I don't think it could affect my P90X results at all as long as I stay injury free.

Well, that's it kids. 20 Days Down.

Keep Pushing Play...

John

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day 19...Legs and Back and Bringing It Hard!

Today's workout didn't start that great.  I was working Legs and Back and during the first 15 minutes of the workout I wasn't feeling 100%.  I was falling all over the place during some of the lunges and almost wanted to quit for the day.  My wall sits were pathetic.  I paused the DVD, drank some water, gathered myself and came back in more focused.  I brought it hard after I started over.  

Its a big lesson, if you're just not feeling it on one day, the problem might not be your body, it might be between your ears.  As Tony says, focus on the workouts for the duration.  Try to block out what you did before your workout and what you have to do after.  Focus completely on your workout at that exact moment.  Focus on the rep and set you're on in the present.

That being said, I am excited to show you all the video below.  I did well on Ab Ripper X today.







Keep Pushing Play!

Keep Bringing It....

John

Day 18...Almost my frist stumble

**** Update...just realized I'm 20% through P90X****



Yoga...let me set the record straight. I'm not yet a big fan of Yoga X. I find it a bit boring, slow, and I feel totally out of my element.

I got home from work yesterday with the intent of starting Yoga right away. I instead saw my comfy couch and curled up. Yup...I was blowing off my workout. But, I couldn't do it. 30 minutes later I woke up...bitched and moaned a bit to myself but I put in the DVD.

After a few minutes into the disc I decided to give the workout my entire effort. I really started to focus on all the moves and try my best. I'm certainly no super star. I'm just hoping to get to the level of not making a fool of myself.

The important message of the day is that I did it. I pushed play, did the workout, and tried my best. I noticed significant improvement in some areas from the first Yoga workout a couple weeks ago. Knowing what to expect is a big help, but I'm also thinking I'm having some significant strength improvements that are helping out as well.





Thanks to Brad for helping to kick my ass in to gear. I'm looking forward to Legs and Back this afternoon, then it's Kenpo tomorrow morning.





Keep Pushing play...





John

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What Is P90X?

Hey everyone...I'm writing this post to make it easy for me to refer people to one spot when they ask the question, "What is P90X?" Since starting the program, I feel like I've joined a mini-cult. I'm talking with people that have fitness on the brain and who love to help other people reach their fitness goals. So...this is the post that I'm just going to have for reference to refer people to when they ask the question i'm getting every day.





If you like what you see...Go here to sign up and purchase P90X.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Day 17 Folks...How huge is that?

Today was shoulders and arms. I got home from work, and went straight into the workout. I love this workout. I think its one I can do well on and I can keep pushing myself. I upped my weight from last week on all exercises to try to keep it in that 8-10 rep range. All in all...great workout.

Ab Ripper X was tough as usual. Didn't do as well today on the Mason Twists today as I did last Saturday. I think that might have to do with being able to get an awesome night sleep last Saturday. I don't think I have as much energy after a day of work. Who knows. Biggest thing is the workouts are getting better continuously.

Sorry for the short update today.

Keep Bringing It!
*********UPDATE***********
I'm hoping to put together a Day 90 Transformation movie. In the meantime, I'm practicing a little bit with some computer video editing software. So, I've been working on some videos and taking a few with my digital camera as I work out . This isn't really the best video in the world, but its just some practice cutting scenes and entering titles and effects etc. Please don't mock it too badly. Also, by getting some video of myself, its letting me realize my form leaves a bit to be desired.

John


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Da Plyo!


Hey Everybody! Day 16 Down and what an interesting day it has been.

Like I said, Monica was in town this weekend. She came out to Detroit to visit and we got to go to see the Bears play the Detroit Lions in Ford Field today. The game was great. But the story in regards to my workout doesn't start or end there.

Last night I got to see the no-good piece of crap loser Cubs waste away the best team they've had in 30 years by losing 3 straight to the Dodgers and getting swept in the first round. That game didn't end until 1:30 am ET or so.

We woke up around 8:30 am today and had to be ready to leave the house by 10:00 am. That didn't leave a lot of time for Plyo. I committed myself to doing my Plyometrics today after I got home from the game.

So, we met some of my buddies, caravaned down to the stadium and got there around 11. The guys started tailgating, opening up the cooler and passing around the beer and chips. Well, I had water and one of my CLIF Builder's Bars. (I wasn't a total saint, I did have 2 Light Beers today for a grand total of 212 calories.)

We got to the game to see the Bears spank the Lions and win 34-7. The game ended at 4:05, but Monica's flight wasn't until almost 9 PM. Driving out to my place in the suburbs and heading back to the airport would have been stupid. So we met up with my buddy Chuck from college and hit up a restaurant. I had a soup and salad while I watched the entire table (including Monica) pack in some nachos and chicken strips. I'm proud of myself...its these little decisions that will get me where I want to be.

Well, I left and dropped Monica off at the airport around 7...I stopped by Trader Joe's to do some grocery shopping. I guess I was on the right track because the cashier commented on how healthy I must be. She said I had the most health conscious cart she checked out all day....no lie.

So, I got back to the apartment around 7:45 or so. I opened the door and noticed the coffee table pushed out of the living room. (I did this earlier in the day to be a visual cue for me not to slack off when I got home.)

So, I put away the groceries, changed my clothes and rocked out some Plyo X. Oh...Brad, I got 43 Jump Knee Tucks on the second time around. I think that will make your top 10 and I'll get more next time.

It wasn't my best workout. Being at the end of the day, my body didn't want to comply all the time. But I pushed through, and succeeded.

The biggest thing is that I Pushed Play...and I brought it!

Later folks...Bring IT!

John