P90X Phase 1

After seeing Tina’s amazing results from her P90X voyage, I really felt like I should give it a try.  But it’s something you have to work up to.  And 90 days is a big commitment.  I started thinking about this last fall but decided to wait until after the holidays were over.  I couldn’t imagine being able to keep up with the schedule with all of the travel we had planned.  The new year rolled around and I didn’t yet understand how I could fit it in to my schedule.  But I wanted to get started, and soon because I didn’t want to cut in to biking season by too much.  I knew I was going to have to work out in the morning and Tina offered to take over dog-walking duty in the morning so I could use some of that time.  The workouts are an hour (2), and 1:15 (3), and 1:30 (1) so it is not an insignificant chunk of time.  I figured if I got up at 5 AM, that would give me enough time to work out, cool down, and eat a healthy breakfast and get to work at a reasonable time.  So I started getting used to getting up a bit earlier every day.  I also spent more time thinking about the diet plan and how I would have to change my eating habits to follow it.  I was also thinking about how I could save money while still following the diet, because it’s not a “diet” in the sense of the word that everyone hates.  The P90X diet plan is not only about eating the right foods, but eating a massive quantity to provide enough energy to get through the workouts.  When Tina was following the program, our grocery bills doubled.  I wanted to try to find ways to eat efficiently so we could avoid that again.  Once I felt that I was able to get up and be awake early enough to do a workout and when I had figured out how I would have to adjust to the diet plan, I was ready to begin.

P90X starts with a fitness test on Day 0 to make sure you can handle an advanced workout program.  I passed, but the test definitely illustrated some weaknesses (upper body and core strength, flexibility).  The next morning, February 27th, I recorded my starting measurements, took some “before” photos, and started my P90X journey.  My goal in doing P90X is to increase my overall level of fitness, strengthen my core, and tone my muscles.  I’m not really looking to build bulky muscles, as I think that would be counterproductive for the sports I tend to enjoy (biking, kayaking, etc.).  I’m hoping that I will see improvements in both of those sports when the weather warms and I get back outside.

I just finished Phase 1 on Saturday (Day 28).  When I started, I had hoped to write some notes daily and perhaps a weekly summary.  After the first couple of days taking dilligent notes, I trailed off.  I was always in a rush to get out the door after the workout and by the time I got home, I was too exhausted and had too many other things to do so I’ll have to rely more on memory.

I felt like I was playing catch-up during the first week because I didn’t know the moves and wasn’t sure how much weight I should be using for the resistance exercises.  Fortunately, I did take good notes during the workout on reps and weight, with indications of whether I should increase or decrease the next time.  I’ve also never really been a huge fan of workout videos or even classes.  I don’t like trying to follow people.  I feel like I’m perpetually behind and likely to fall over from confusion.  These (for the most part) aren’t bad.  I felt like I had enough time to complete each exercise (for the most part) and they were clearly explained, with helpful tips.

Week One:

  • Chest and back was decent.  I was a bit overzealous at the start and ran out of steam toward the end.  Then, Ab Ripper X killed me.  My core was definitely out of shape.  And then I spent the afternoon moving about 400 board-feet of pine from the driveway to the back yard.  I was exhausted!
  • Plyometrics was awesome!  I thought I would like this workout and I was right.  I was completely drained by the end but felt great!
  • On Day Three, I woke up with incredible pain in my right shoulder.  It was beyond soreness and I was stressed that I would have to stop already. Tina convinced me to try the workout (Shoulders and Arms!) and see how I felt. I could hardly bear any weight and couldn’t lift anything above my shoulder, but I managed to push through.  Ab Ripper X was still killer!
  • On Wednesday, yoga helped me stretch my shoulder and also really illustrated how inflexible I am!
  • My shoulder was still slightly sore for Legs and Back but I was able to get through it.  Abs continued to kill me.
  • Friday was my first round of Kenpo X.  I hated it.  This is one of those exercise videos that makes me feel like I’m out of sync and going to fall over.  While I definitely worked up a sweat, I didn’t feel like I got a great workout because of the confusion.  I thought that going for a run might be a better replacement.
  • I took Saturday as a rest day because I didn’t have time to work in X Stretch.  I survived the first week!

Week Two:

  • Week two was better than the first because I knew what I was doing.  I also experienced no shoulder pain.  I felt like the workouts were more effective.  Again, I particularly enjoyed Plyometrics.  I even liked Kenpo X this time around.  Ab Ripper X was still torture the three times I did it.  I did feel like I was running out of energy during some of the workouts, perhaps indicating that it was time to switch diet phases.

Week Three:

  • Week three was smooth sailing.  With the change in diet, I had noticeably more energy during the workouts.  I increased weights in the resistance workouts and pushed harder in cardio.  I found that I could stretch a bit more in Yoga.  Even Ab Ripper X was slightly less painful and I could nearly keep up with the pros!  I started to feel a bit more exhausted in the evenings, though some of that could be from getting up even earlier (4:40) so I could get to work on time.

Week Four:

  • Week four was recovery week.  For those unfamiliar with P90X, that does not mean “take it easy” at all.  Instead, you allow your muscles time to rest while you focus on stretching and cardio work.  This means a double dose of Yoga X, a round of Kenpo X, two rounds of Core Synergistics, and X Stretch.  Stretch is fantastic and I’m sad that I haven’t been doing it as an optional workout on my rest days.  I really felt good afterward but it’s hard to make the time for it when I’m playing catch up to do all the things I was too tired to do during the week.  Core Synergistics is a brutal workout.  I definitely felt it from my chest to my thighs.  All my notes say is superman-banana=ugh.  I was actually pretty worn out by the final yoga workout.

With that, I had finished Phase 1.  I’m pretty happy with how things have gone and the results so far.  I took measurements again and a set of photos.  At this point, I’ve lost about five pounds and a couple of inches on my waist.  I also see definite changes in muscle definition and tone.  Now on to Phase 2.  Bring it!

2 Responses to “P90X Phase 1”

  1. Neeko says:

    My Day 0 is this Saturday April 2….good to hear you are sticking with it.

  2. Jesse says:

    Good luck! It’s more fun than pain! Bring it!

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