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 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!


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!


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...


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...


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!


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...


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....


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...


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!
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.


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 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!


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Day 15...I'm going to miss Chest and Back

Today is day 15 folks.  1/6 of the way through P90X and I'm already noticing great changes in my body, energy levels and strength.

I was able to increase my reps and weight on all exercises across the board today.  Sometimes I did the same reps as last week, but I know my form was much better today.  So, I'm starting to certainly see some strength improvements. (And I'm officially down a notch on my belt)

One of the big improvements has been my performance in Ab Ripper X.  Today I got to 48 on the Mason Twists before my legs fell out of the air and I crashed.  I was 2 away from finishing with the folks on the DVD. 

As a side note, Monica flew out to Novi, MI to visit me and go with me to the Bears game tomorrow.  She went for a run on a treadmill and came back to the apartment while I was halfway through Ab Ripper.  Kudos to her for trying to follow along with the rest of the workout.  If it wasn't for her being in the room, I probably would have cashed my chips in earlier on the Mason Twists but she brought out the macho side and I had to work as hard as I could.  

So need to come to my house.  I Pushed Play Today!

Keep on Bringing It.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Day 14...Folding Down the Stretch. To the X-treme.

Its a tough day to be a Cubs fan folks. Staying up to watch last nights collapse was absolutely brutal. Remember, the Dodgers record during the regular season would have earned them 5th place in the NL central.

The cubs played like little leaguers out there. I am hoping for a miracle, too bad I don't believe in miracles. I give the Cubs a 12.6% chance of winning this series. (Its science...don't ask too many questions.)

Now, as far as the P90X is concerned. I have been real happy so far. My diet has been clean. If anything I'm probably not eating enough right now. Its hard to get enough calories when you're only eating foods that are good for you and avoiding carbs.

I did the X Stretch today. Well, I was running a bit late and only did the first half of the DVD. My mind is in another place with these stinking Cubs right now. I don't feel too bad since its a rest day regardless. I may go back and do the 2nd half later tonight.

Take care...have a good weekend. My wife is flying into Detroit to see the Bears take on the Lions in Ford Field. Should be fun but I'll have to work extra hard to make sure I don't find any excuses to miss workouts.

Keep Pushing Play!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lucky Day 13...Kenpo X and Injury

So, got up early this morning feeling great. I threw in the Kenpo X DVD, pushed play and got right into the workout. Everything was going OK...I even had some of the moves down (feeling slightly less white.)

About 15 minutes into the workout, I landed on my right ankle and just rolled it. I fell like a rag doll. It hurt bad folks. Pain shot up my right leg and thoughts of failure flashed through my head. I then remembered the words of my Jr. High Basketball coach who would make anyone that rolled an ankle walk slowly around the gym for 5 minutes. So, I walked around my apartment for a few minutes...I let the DVD play on. After a couple minutes the blood was flowing back in my ankle and I could move again. I was able to complete the rest of the workout just fine. I had to be a bit careful, but it worked out well.

Right now in the Kenpo X, I'm doing OK, but not fantastic. My kicks leave a lot to be desired. But I'm doing my best and forgetting the rest. Tomorrow is a stretch day, then its back to Chest and Back on Saturday for my last week before the recovery week.

I asked Brad Eickman (find his blog here) to check in on me over the next couple weeks. My history in the past usually has me going hard on a program for 3 weeks or so then having something like an injury or vacation etc getting in the way of my workout. I'll miss one workout, then its so easy to miss the second and so on.

So, I'm asking my two or three readers to check in on me. If for some reason you see that I haven't posted in a day or two, send me an email.

Well, that's it for today...loving the program and I'm starting to see results.

Keep Pushing Play!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Day 12...Progress Baby...Progress

So, I have to say I'm damn proud of myself.  12 Days of workouts in a row.  A Dozen.  

I'm 28, haven't worked out with any intensity for an extended period of time since college and I just worked out 12 Days in a row.  Now, I realize I'm just getting started, I still have 78 Days to go.  In the meantime though, I'm ecstatic I have made it this far.

Today was Legs and Back followed up by Ab Ripper X.  Legs was tough.  Some of the moves require a balance I just don't have yet.  I pushed through the moves the best I could.  Pull-Ups are still something I currently struggle with.  Back when I wasn't so fat, I could do about 10-11 at my best.  Now, my max is probably 3-4.  So I have to do the workout with a chair assist to get through 12-15 reps a set.

Now, the big plus for me today was Ab Ripper X.  I did OK through most of the moves.  Fifer Scissors and Pulse Ups are still moves I really struggle with.  I got as many in as I could at my own pace.  The big plus for me today was the Mason Twists at the end.  On day 1 I got about 9 in before I fell out.  Today I got to 30 with the DVD before I needed a break.  That's some big improvement.

More to follow tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to Kenpo X.  That was a nice workout last week...I'm going to do it in the morning before work.

Day 11 Down, 12.2222% through.

More Yoga today. This post won't be as intriguing as last weeks post on Yoga.

However...if you don't have a Yoga Mat or Blocks, GET SOME.

It made the workout, although still difficult, much more manageable. If you're trying to do Yoga on bare carpet. Last week I tried to do some of the moves and my feet were sliding towards the corners of the room. That doesn't help the situation. With a Sticky Yoga Mat, my feet were planted firmly and I could fail at the moves without any excuses other than my own weaknesses.

I am now seeing some of the benefits of the Yoga. I can not believe how much sweat I produced just trying to do a few of these moves. Its a definite workout, even if it is low intensity.

On a side note, I went out to dinner with my buddy last night. I was able to maintain the diet very well. I went to TGI Fridays. I ordered some grilled chicken and instead of veggies and mashed potatoes, I asked for double veggies. They happily complied.

Its little decisions like that which will ultimately ensure my success. Sure, I could have easily had a "cheat" night. I've earned it right? Screw that...I want atypical results so I'm going to have to make atypical decisions.

As Brad tells me...Its Simple, just not easy!

Keep pushing Play!