My P90X Journey – Days 6 & 7: Aggression, Our First Injury, and a Progress Report

Day 6 – Kenpo

Now this is the stuff. It’s punching. It’s kicking. It’s blocking. It’s punching and kicking. It’s punching and blocking. It’s more punching. Grr… Perhaps a little more co-ordination involved than I bust out in the average day, but all in all, a pretty successful session. Fun, fun stuff and enough activity to work up a serious sweat.

Day 7 – Stretching

You see, the genius of P90X is that it largely takes the guesswork out of things. There’s a full calendar, running 13 weeks, and almost every day is scheduled for you. Day seven is the first time when you actually get a choice. You can rest OR… you can do “X Stretch”. Now, you’ve just completed six days of hardcore exercising, at a pace and level much more difficult than you’ve ever done before. After day seven, there’s another six days of hardcore exercising to come. Logic would suggest that resting would be an excellent idea. But there’s this nagging voice in the back of your head – “C’mon. Don’t be an idiot. If you take the day off, you might not go back for day eight. I mean, that’s how you’ve always run into problems with exercise in the past, right? Besides, it’s stretching. How hard can it be?”

Well, voice, how hard was it? Yes, that’s right, I did the stretching. I’ve never been accused of being flexible, and that’s as true for my joints and tendons as it is for my politics. The stretching was a little more challenging than the old ‘head, shoulders, knees, and toes’ from kindergarten class, but I expected that. And yet, I was surprised at how much I was able to bend and twist, how far down I could reach. It even felt good – I pushed myself a little, and a little further, and a little further still.

And then it happened. A tug – subtle at first, and then more insistent, until reaching my knee on the single-leg hamstring stretch felt like a victory. A not-so-gentle reminder that I’m only seven days into this journey, and that perhaps I should be a little more satisfied with the small victories instead of reaching for the stars (™ Kasey Kasem) right away.

Week 1 – The Results Edition

Okay, I know. The manuals say that you’re supposed to check progress after 30, 60, and 90 days, and that all you’re supposed to do at those points is check your body fat percentage and take new photos. You don’t do measurements again until after the 90 days are up. However, from doing the 16 weeks of The Biggest Loser Wii game, I’m disciplined now to do a weekly weigh-in. I just can’t help myself.

Remarkably, the visual clues from earlier in the week that things seemed to be working were all correct. Through seven days:

Weight – from 191 to 187, down four pounds

Body fat percentage – from 25.8% to 22.8%, down three percentage points, or an 11.6% decrease

Suffice it to say that I’m astounded. Okay, well maybe it doesn’t suffice to say that. Let’s also say that there’s no way that I’m not sticking with it with those kinds of results. Tomorrow, we start all over again. Bring it on!

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