Sunday, March 29, 2009

Month 2, Week 3, and Repeat

From Monica:

With the Burn Month down and the Push Month halfway through, last week I struggled. I admit it, I was slacking. Part of it was that John's motivation was down and the other part was just me being lazy. It's like when you are heading to work and you know you are going to be late. You start thinking up a million excuses when in all reality, you are just running late...that's it. I can't blame my not working out on John when it's my own fault. From what I have noticed, I love the lifting workouts and I am excited to do those. The cardio workouts, however, still kill me every time I do them. For some reason, they just have not become any easier.

So, this week starts Week 3 of ChaLean Extreme Push Month for me...again. Yes, I am repeating just Week 3. The hardest part is getting behind on my planned schedule, but I have really enjoyed this month and I don't mind repeating one week. It must be that my confidence is boosted when I look back over my tracking sheet and am completely overjoyed with the amounts I am lifting.

You see, I started CEx doing the Burn Phase and just testing out the weights I should use to fail at ten to twelve reps. When I began the Push Phase in early March, which shoots for six to eight reps, I jotted down the heaviest weight that I had lifted in Burn and planned on moving one "weight" up on each of the similar workouts. I say "weight" because I am using Power Blocks, like John is, but the female (lighter) set. The weight ranges from 3 to 24 pounds in threes. I am telling you, these weights are fantastic! The point is that now that I am starting Week 3 again, I am looking back and seeing numbers up to 24 pounds on my tracking sheet. I can't believe it...I am maxing out my weights!

If you know me at all, you know I am a bit of a penny pincher, so my immediate response is to worry about spending more money on weights, but then I have to step back and realize what I have accomplished. Out of the three different squats on Push Circuit 1, I am lifting 24 pounds on two of them. The other is a single-leg squat where I am lifting 18. Another big improvement is my push ups, also in Push Circuit 1. They are at the very end of the workout and they are done SUPER slow. I was lucky to get 5 weak push ups completed during my first session. Yesterday on Week 3 (number 2), I did 7 Super slow, Super strong push ups. I guess in the end I can say that this kind of strength is the kind I have always wanted and wasn't disciplined enough to accomplish. I wonder if I feel like John did when he could do a whole set of pull ups along with Tony. Whatever it sure feels great.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just like Jack Palance

From John:

Quick Post today.

I was out in the front yard the other day and for some reason got in a Plank position while in the yard. On a whim I tried to do a one armed push up.

Now, in the middle of Chest, Shoulders and Triceps I've never been able to do one armed push ups. This exercise comes in about 2/3rds of the way through the workout and by then my arms and chest are pretty tired.

However on Sunday morning I was nice and well rested. I was able to crank out 5 or 6 one armed push ups with decent form. Its good to try out some of the moves you struggle with in your workouts when you're well rested. This changes your mindset from "I can't" to "yeah I can" real quickly!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Needing to change my game plan.

I reach a milestone today. Its been 6 months since I started my journey to fitness with P90X. I don't know the exact calculations, but I've probably filled up the equivalent of a small kiddie pool with sweat over the last 6 months.

My wife has had to do a lot more laundry since I've started. All those workout clothes add up. (I love my wife, she spoils me. Thanks Babe!)

I'm now able to crank out a set of 15 pull ups, when I started back in September, 2 pull ups were tough.

However, despite all the progress I've made with P90X, I'm starting to hit a wall. I'm seriously running out of motivation. It's not that I no longer wanting to work out. The other day on Tuesday I went for a jog which quickly turned into a brisk run. I loved it. My point is that I'm a bit bored with Tony Horton.

Tony, if you're reading this, "It's not's me." LOL. Any time you do the same workout program for 6 months you're bound to get to the point where you need to change it up. I've noticed a severe lack of intensity from myself lately. Maybe you guys out there reading have picked up on it. The intensity has been there when I start a workout, but the mental intensity hasn't been there throughout my day. As a result, my diet has suffered, and I'm not as focused.

That being said I have a new game plan. I go on a business trip to Philadelphia and in turn New Jersey and New York next week. When I get back, I'm going to start to do ChaLEAN Extreme with Monica. Well, Monica is on week 7 or 8, so I'll be starting from the beginning. I'm sure we'll find a way to work out together as the schedule allows. (We actually got to work out with one another last night by doing CEX Burn Intervals and Extreme Abs.)

The one modification I'm going to have to make with CEX is to find a way to fit in pull ups. I don't want to lose all the progress I've made in this area.

Thanks to all of you reading. I also want to say a special thanks to all of you who checked in on me regarding my previous post about Ab Ripper. It helps me to realize there are a significant number of you out there reading.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Need help!

From John:

I have a confession to make.  I've been skipping Ab Ripper X.

It all started about 10 weeks ago before I went on vacation.  I started separating Ab Ripper X from my workouts.  I found I could do a lot better on Ab Ripper if I had some rest time between Ab Ripper and my main workout.  Its so much easier to to Ab Ripper well when you've had some rest.

I got in a habit of doing Ab Ripper later in the evening after my workout.  Or I'd do it early the next morning before work.  What started to happen a few weeks ago was that I'd do my main workout, tell myself I'd do Ab Ripper the next morning, then not do it.  Instead of getting Ab Ripper in three times a week, I got to the point I was doing it only once.

Then it happened last week, I went the entire week with no Ab Ripper.  

Let me say clearly, I'M NOT PROUD OF THIS!

Yesterday I didn't let myself come up with any excuses.  I let the DVD roll and went straight into Ab Ripper like the old days.

What I need from some of you that are reading is to check in with me.  I need some help in the accountability area.  Send me a facebook message or IM asking if I've been keeping up with it.  I need that accountability check to help keep me in line.

Other than that, things have been going well.  

Thanks for reading folks!

Keep pushing play (and not hitting stop early.)


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Crappy Workout!

From John:

First off I'd like to congratulate Demi Bean for becoming a P90X graduate.  She is also a Beachbody coach and has shown amazing results.  Great job Girl!

I just finished up today's workout.  It was a really hectic day.  Monica and I went to the range to meet my brother.  I got to try out my newest handgun, a Springfield XDM .40.  The gun shot great.  Monica and I both got to mess around at the range and Monica took some time and looked for her own gun.  Who'd have thought I'd marry a girl that wants a Glock?  After that we hit up Subway, split our usual Oven Roasted Chicken Breast sub and did our  grocery shopping.  

When we finished up our shopping at two stores and got home, we had to slap another coat of paint in the kitchen.  I took a quick nap, then woke up to do my Chest, Shoulders and Triceps workout.  The first half of the workout went great, then I just started to "bonk" in the 2nd half.  My reps and weights couldn't keep up with the week before.  I think the problem is that I didn't eat that much today and just didn't have the fuel in my body to keep going.  

But, you have workouts like that now and then.  I know I pushed myself, I got to the failure point on every single set.  But sometimes you just don't have it that day.  You can't dwell on these days.  Just simply write your notes down, talk about what you think the problem was, and focus on the next day's workout.  As Tony Horton says, "Just do your best and forget the rest."

Now, time to go to a surprise party for a neighbor.  Should be fun.  I'm bringing my MGD 64.  

Keep pushing play!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Counting Calories

From Monica:

Yikes! I read the title and are already downsizing the window as you read this. Stop! Don't! I promise that counting calories isn't as hard as you might think it is.

First of all, what are you eating anyway? Usually the same types of things from day to day that are actually easy for you to determine the calorie count of. I don't know about you, but I am not eating baked goods everyday which I would agree are probably the hardest foods to figure calorie counts on. Dessert for me has included grapefruit with Splenda (82 calories for the whole thing), Popcorn (175 calories to split a bag with John for non-hydrogenated and buttered), a banana (100 calories) and decaf coffee with creamer (coffee is less than 5 calories, the creamer is about 17). These things are all very easy to figure out.

The first thing you have to do is determine how many calories you should shoot for. I am 5'5, 132 lbs and I work out at a high activity level 5 days a week. John went to the Beachbody website for club members and found the calorie intake calculator. We calculated that I need 1698 in calories for my stats and activity level to be able to burn .5 pounds of fat each week. With the heavy weight lifting, I will build muscle in those areas, so my weight will probably not drop...but my body fat % will.

The key is writing it all down. I calculate my calories on my breakfast and write it down. Then I pack my morning snack, my lunch and my afternoon snack and I go ahead and write that down at the same time (I personally recommend packing your own snacks and lunch. That way you are regulated on what you can eat). When I get home from work I tally up my day, add in anything I didn't write down and determine what I have left for dinner and "dessert".

I have been doing it for 8 days now and only cheated one day! Now to show just how realistic I am being, let me paint you a picture. I work at a bank. I sit at the front desk and I socialize with almost every customer who comes in and leaves. On my desk is a jar of candy for customers. Across from my desk by the entry is a plate of cookies. The teller line has candy jars with Jelly Bellys, lollipops and caramels. Almost every week it is someone's birthday or another special event that leads to people bringing in goodies. These are the temptations that I deal with daily, and I am not talking about the R&B group!

One more piece of advice is to think about everything you eat. For instance, a regular Oreo cookie is 55 calories (how about half a grapefruit?), ten Jelly Bellys are 50 (how about coffee with creamer?), A fun size candy bar is about 100 (how about an entire banana?). are fueling your body and if you are working out, then you are wasting your time if you aren't watching your diet. Just take a shot at it like I did and let me know how you do. I can't believe how easy it is and that I have accomplished 8 days of this. It feels awesome!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'm the worst blogger ever!

From John:

I'm sorry guys. I haven't posted in over a week. Work has been getting busier for me which is a good thing. I haven't missed any workouts, but to be honest, I haven't been in the blogging mood lately. Also the previous week was a recovery week and besides saying how much I love Core Synergistics, its hard to say too much about recovery weeks.

The last couple days have been fun. I didn't start week five on Saturday as planned since Monica and I had a lot of errands on Saturday and had to babysit our niece and nephews while my sister and parents went to the funeral of a family friend. So I started on Sunday and did doubles, substituting Cardio X for plyo this week.

Yesterday was Back and Biceps. What a difference between the last time I did this workout. I upped every weight significantly and pushed hard. On my last strip set, Monica came by to watch or give moral support. In the middle of one of the sets I shouted at her to come help. She figured out what I meant and gave me a little spot to get the weight up the last 2 reps. Thanks babe! Its amazing how much easier it is to push yourself when you have someone there cheering you on and willing to land a little bit of a hand to spot you.

Diet has been pretty good, but not perfect. Yesterday I ate too many carbs because we need to go grocery shopping. Monica, we need to buy salad!

Thanks for your is everyone else doing out there. I'd love to hear from your comments.