Posts Tagged ‘Stretch’

My P90X Journey – Day 49: Hey Jackie… Phhttt…

July 13, 2010

…Yeah, I said phhttt. No, I didn’t get the workout in on Saturday night when we got home. Yes, I should have done it in the morning before we came to the party. Yes, that means that I’m down to P86X now. Still, phhttt.

Good hard kenpo workout yesterday, but it wasn’t particularly satisfying. Felt really uncoordinated through the whole thing, like I was doing everything with my left hand.

Today’s stretch routine was much better. I’m still really happy with how much more flexible I’m getting, particularly laterally.

And so we hit the end of week 7, rolling over to another recovery week starting tomorrow. A little more weight loss (20 pounds total this year), which means the BMI comes a little closer to getting out of the overweight range. A little more of a drop in body fat percentage. Everything confirming what I’d been feeling – this is still working. Perhaps not as quickly or as consistently as I’d like, but it’s still working. And in 11 days, more photos.

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

June 1, 2010

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!