Posts Tagged ‘Chest’

My P90X Journey – Day 57: The Home Stretch Begins

July 21, 2010

Today, we move into phase 3 of the P90X program. All of the workouts are ones that we’ve seen before, but the combination switches every week from here on out. This week is a repeat of the combination from weeks 1 through 3.

My strategy tonight? Bring the pain. On all the lifts and flys where I was using 12 pound weights before, use 15s this time and try to not drop by too many reps. On the chin-ups and pull-ups where I was using 70 lbs before, use 80 this time. On all of the push-up variations where I’d been staying on my knees so that I could actually get in a decent number of repetitions, do them all from my toes, even if it meant that I could only do 1.

And it all worked. It wasn’t even as big of a change as I would have expected. I mean, the second time through the set of exercises was really hard, but I pushed through it all. I was even able to bang out push-ups – more than I expected I would.

On the downside, I apparently lost my sit-up muscles during this last recovery week. Very annoying…

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My P90X Journey – Day 43: I Didn’t Even Tick it With My Back Leg

July 7, 2010

I don’t know if it was the three days off. I don’t know if it was the act of putting pen to paper, as it were. Maybe it was a little of both, or maybe it was neither.

Whatever the cause, I’m over the hurdle. I kicked the gym’s ass today (I won’t say that I kicked P90X’s ass, because I don’t need that kind of karma). Chest, shoulders, triceps, and abs – I rocked them all. Topped my personal best on pretty much every exercise in the routine. Doubled my best on a couple of them. 10 complete wide-leg situps, over a personal best of 4 and not being able to do any more often than not. 10 mason twists, when I’d never been able to do a single one properly before.

To be fair, the last of those did almost bring about my 2nd P90X vomiting episode. Only almost, thankfully…

This was a good day.

My P90X Journey – Day 29: We Now Return You to Your Regularly-Scheduled Programming

June 23, 2010

Sorry for that interruption earlier – suffice it to say that I was a little bit excited about today’s workout…

Wait a minute – day 29? You may be asking what happened to days 25 through 28? What happened to checking the progress at the end of week 4? Well, they’re really just a casualty of that whole balancing exercise and life thing I’ve talked about earlier. The exercise wasn’t a casualty, but the blogging about it was. So, let’s see if we can’t catch you up, shall we?

  • Day 25 was X Stretch, which is just a fantastic stretching routine. In fact, this day – this particular day – may well have been my favourite day out of the entire program so far. I’m really happy with the flexibility I’ve developed. In a figure-four stretch, I can actually get down and reach my heels. In a straight-leg stretch, I can grab my toes. I don’t think I’ve ever been this flexible.
  • Day 26 was Core Synergistics for the second time in the week, and I can quite comfortably say that I dislike this particular routine the most among all of them. It’s just hard in a much different way than any of the others; it has a lot of parts to it that are just not natural movements.
  • Days 27 and 28 were essentially a waste. Day 27 was supposed to be Yoga X and Day 28 a rest/stretch day. Due to a social commitment and a general lack of energy, we decided to flip them around – take the rest on Sunday and do the yoga on Monday. Best laid plans, and all that. Let me tell you, when trying to do high-intensity yoga, sweat is your enemy. I don’t know what the heck was going on, but my hands and feet were both sweating like a teenage boy on prom night. I seriously don’t know how the hot yoga folks do it. When your hands are sliding forward, and your feet are sliding backward, it’s just a little difficult to hold a textbook downward dog. I mean, you only have to go into that position 30 or 40 times during the workout. So yoga only lasted about 10 minutes before we threw in the towel – no point in getting hurt.
  • By the way, about that social commitment – if you’re in the Toronto area, and you ever get a chance to check out a burlesque group called Les Coquettes, it’s money well-spent. They did a fantastic show at Revival on Sunday night – some of the most creative dance I’ve seen in a long time, an amazing aerialist, and attitude up the wazoo. Fun and funny. Not for the kiddies, needless to say…
  • No change in weight for week 4, which is about what I expected. Recovery week, and all that.

And now we’re back up to date. Day 29, the beginning of week 5, and the turnover to a new set of weekly routines. Today, we had chest, shoulders, and triceps, plus our old friend AbRipperX. Apparently, there are new and different ways of doing pushups that we hadn’t yet explored during weeks 1 through 3. I confess that I found this rather surprising… and extremely hard. This was not a pleasant day in the gym, with absolutely no sense of satisfaction. Until…

It seems that taking the week off from the AbRipper X program allows you to come at it again with a renewed purpose. For example, did I mention that I’m now able to do a sit-up? Yeah, I know, it was a different post, but you’re reading them all – I know you are. Yes, all of a sudden, I’m able to get up for a complete sit-up. Four of them even! I mean, it takes a solid 5 seconds to get all the way up, and I need to compose myself again and re-clench for 10 seconds afterward. But still – four sit-ups!

And then I got back upstairs afterward and, when I looked in the mirror, there they were – abs. Two chunks of abdominal muscle, one on each side of my belly button, as if out of nowhere. I’m serious – they weren’t there yesterday. They weren’t even there this morning. It’s just weird.

Tomorrow (well, today at this point) – big day. Day 30. The first official checkpoint. New photos. Will I feel like sharing? We’ll just have to see…

My P90X Journey – Day 15: When it Was, Shall We Say, Unsettling…

June 9, 2010

It’s possible… (strike that) It’s likely… (no, not that either) I’m almost certain that… (don’t hold back) Yeah, I definitely did not wait long enough after eating before working out.

I am a creature of habit. No, really – I know that’ll come as a shock to those of you who know me well, but it’s true. I have the same breakfast (within a slight variance) every morning. I have the same set of programs open on my computer all the time. I do the same things in the same order before I go to bed almost every night.

That’s an important reason why the P90X program is such a good fit for me. No guesswork involved. Every day is planned, every workout is laid out for you. So, while yesterday’s rest day might have been a good idea in theory (and probably was a really good idea for my leg), in practice, it felt tonight like I was starting back at day 1 all over again.

The other routine that I’ve developed along with the workouts during the week is that we do them as soon as I get home from work – if I don’t sit down and get comfortable, it’s a lot easier to commit to going downstairs and getting them done. After the workout’s over, then we eat supper. Unfortunately, due to traffic and other complications, we didn’t get home after work tonight until past 7, by which point I was absolutely starving. That’s fine – we figured we’d just eat first and then wait a little while for the food to settle before going down for today’s chest/back/abs workout. As a result, we didn’t start until 9.

Yeah, I definitely did not wait long enough after eating before working out. You’d think an hour-and-a-half or more would be enough time for food to work its way along. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.

Pullups? Hard. Pushups? HAAARRRRD. AbRipper X? Well, I didn’t quite throw up…

My P90X Journey – Day 8: Where it Doesn’t Get Any Easier the Second Time Around

June 1, 2010

Um, ow…

I don’t know what exactly it was that made me think that this was not going to be an especially difficult day. It’s not exactly like the stars were lined up in my favour:

  • I was still feeling day 6 today – a little grab from the right elbow up through the triceps, which lines up perfectly with the upward blocking motion from the kenpo workout.
  • The day got off to a lousy start because of a power outage in our neighborhood – by the time I got to work, I had very little time before a long afternoon meeting, which meant that the day felt completely unproductive.
  • The day 1 version of the chest/back/abs combination wasn’t, y’know, easy or anything. All the various and sundry push-ups were more than a bit of a challenge.

Still, this was the second time around for the exact same workout. I knew what to expect. I thought I knew how to pace myself through the first set of reps so that I’d have enough gas for the second set.

Yeah, I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Wrong to a humbling degree. So brutally wrong that I couldn’t even knock out any reps of a couple of the push-up variations on the second set. All kinds of wrong. Ten different flavours of wrong.

Did I mention I was wrong? Okay, just checking…

Now, Erin did raise a good point. This was the 8th day in a row of between an hour and an hour-and-a-half each day of intense exercise. The theory being it’s not like it should be a shock that there’d be a cumulative effect. Seems reasonable, I suppose.

Still, it wasn’t a total loss. Each time the AbRipper comes around, I’m seeing a bit more progress. Full set of in-and-outs today. Full set of bicycles, although the reverse bicycles are still too much for both my coordination and my hip flexors. Decent number of oblique raises.

And yet, well, ow…

My P90X Journey – Day 1: The Next Day

May 26, 2010

I feel like I am trying to swim through a vat of glue, which is not good, since I can’t swim. This is also going to require an earlier bedti…zzz…huh? What?

Today after work – plyometrics, which I believe originated in Nazi Germany. Yep, pretty sure I read that on the internet somewhere…