P90X Review – 45 Days Done and Still Going Strong

16 Dec

p90x 150x150 P90X Review   45 Days Done and Still Going StrongI’m now halfway through week 7 of the P90X Program and am really starting to see some pretty great results. You can check out the Day 30 before and after photos here if you’d like. I expect far better results on to be posted on Day 60, as I’ll be freshly recovered and I’ll be getting into the bulking up stages of the program, but I still feel pretty awesome.

I only wish it was summer right now so I could get out and make use of my recent fitness gains.

Anyway, I’m nearing the end of the resistance portion of Phase 2. Next week will be a recovery week, which I desperately need. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still enjoying the heck out of the workouts, but I’m definitely sore and tired. I’m usually a pretty big humbug to be around this time of year, so the way I feel right now says a lot for my increase in mood from P90x.

Getting Through Workout Plateaus

While not all of P90X has to be followed to a T (the nutrition program is somewhat complicated) the one thing I really do recommend following is the tracking of your workouts on paper. The same goes for any workout program.

By writing down how many reps and at what weight you did them you not only have a reference for what you did last time, but you also have motivation to beat that record.

Far too often people will get stuck doing the same 10 reps at x weight for weeks and weeks. This is part of the reason so many people hit plateaus. You have to challenge yourself to bump up reps and weights if you want to see improved results. The same goes for cardio. You have to challenge yourself to get better each time. Tracking is a great way to do this.

Getting back to how P90X is going, over the past week or so I’ve noticed a pretty big bump up in my strength. This is probably due to my body getting used to recovering faster. It’s sometimes difficult to recover in 24 hours.

Specifically, I’ve noticed the most strength in my abs. I’ve gone from being able to do about half of the Ab Ripper X program to being able to complete the entire thing fairly easily. I even use a 3 pound medicine ball on the Mason Twist, and hope to bump up to a 6 pound by Week 9.

I’ll get full reviews of each program done soon and I’ll be blogging more once the holidays calm down a bit, but for now I’ll probably only post a few more until Day 60 or so, when the Day 1 / Day 60 Before and After shots will come.

Keep working hard out there everyone and Happy Holidays!

P90X Review – P90X Day 30 Before and After Photos

8 Dec

p90x 150x150 P90X Review   P90X Day 30 Before and After PhotosI’m now in the first part of week 6 of the P90X Program, about 35 days in, and I have to be honest. I’m sore, I’m having a bit of trouble recovering from each workout, and I’m getting to where I’m not enjoying the workouts as much as I did in the beginning. It’s starting to feel a little bit more like work than fun.

But that’s ok. I embarked on this journey for a few very specific reasons, developing a stronger sense of discipline being one of them. Grinding through a tough time and refocusing on my motivation is what will get me through this.

That said, I’m now over 1/3 of the way done with the program and I still feel AWESOME throughout the day. Normally this time of year for me is a bit dreary. I suffer from moderate SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and usually get a little bit down during the colder months with no sun.

But not this year. I feel great and I know P90X is the reason.

I’ll get a review of the Week 5 workouts posted soon, but right now I want to get into one of the big reasons I am doing P90X.

Physical nitty gritty results.  Here are four before and after photo comparisons of poses taken on Day 1 and Day 30. The results aren’t extremely astounding yet. I expect that to come closer to week 9 or so, but they’re definitely starting to show, which is great after only 30 days.

Front Pose

front P90X Review   P90X Day 30 Before and After Photos

You’ll notice that I was in decent shape before starting P90X, as the program recommends, but I was definitely getting a bit scrawny, and plump in some areas where I wasn’t ok with.

The biggest differences in this photo are the changes in my abs, and the changes in my shoulders. My abs are much more defined and my shoulders have beefed up quite a bit. You’ll probably also notice that I’ve got a bit more confidence in my look, which is huge for a person’s overall appearance.

Front Biceps Pose

frontbiceps P90X Review   P90X Day 30 Before and After Photos

This is probably the photo with the biggest visual difference. My biceps are much more defined, shoulders are much more beefy, and midsection is starting to pop. There’s also a lot more confidence in my face here, just as was the case in the first photo. If you look closely at my obliques you can tell that I’ve added quite a bit of strength there as well.

Back Pose

back P90X Review   P90X Day 30 Before and After Photos

The differences are subtle in these photos, but if you look closely you can see more beef up in my lats (upper back) as well as more definition and beef in my shoulders. You can also see the reduction in body fat in my midsection as well as the increase in muscle definition in my lower back. The biggest difference here is my posture. I find myself standing up straighter more naturally now whereas before I sometimes had to think “stand up straight.” This is no doubt due to the increase in core strength.

Back Biceps Pose

backbiceps P90X Review   P90X Day 30 Before and After Photos

Like the other biceps pose, this one shows major differences. My shoulders are much more beefy, my biceps are larger, my entire back is much more muscular, and my midsection is getting much more solid. You can’t tell here, but my legs are also much more muscular than they used to be.

Overall, I’m satisfied with the changes in appearance so far, but I know I’ve got a long way to go to get to where I really want to be. I’m going to keep at it and really focus on my nutrition over the next 30 days.

The biggest change, as I eluded to before, is in the way I feel. I hope that will continue to get better as I progress as well.

I’ll post more updates this weekend as Week 6 comes to an end.

I’d love to hear your feedback and your stories as well. Post in the comments how your workouts are going. If you have a before and after story to share, share it!

Here’s Exactly Why Your Workouts Aren’t Producing Results

1 Dec

woman drinking water 199x300 Heres Exactly Why Your Workouts Arent Producing ResultsFor those of you following my P90X journey, it’s still going well. I’m actually past day 30 and will get some pictures up soon, but I’d like to take a post to address an important issue that I know a lot of you are struggling with, and something that is extremely vital to long term health and fitness.

I’ve always been a firm believer that nutrition is half, it not more of the battle when trying to make a significant change in your health and fitness, and overall lifestyle, however many people out there struggle with their fitness goals because they have not yet learned this lesson.

I know several people personally who go to the gym religiously, but then follow up their workouts by consuming mass quantities of pizza and alcohol because they think they deserve it. This is the equivalent of washing your car and then driving it through a mud hole. You’re basically undoing all of the work you just did.

A lot of people will also eat pretty well following a workout with a nice protein shake and then a healthy meal to follow, but then they won’t touch a healthy piece of food for the next three days. Unfortunately that’s the same as washing your car, waiting 4 hours, then driving your car through a mud hole.

The Muscle Repair Process Needs Continuous Fuel

Your muscle fibers go through a rebuilding process for up to 48 hours following a workout. They need good fuel in order to do repair themselves and grow and become toned. If you do not fuel them properly (protein, water, good carbs, and good fats) you will actually LOSE muscle. And when you lose muscle, you decrease your metabolism, which contributes to fat storage.

My point: Your muscle fibers cannot repair themselves with continuous poor nutrition.

Now I’m not saying you can’t have the occasional slice or the occasional brew, but if you do try to keep it in moderation and don’t do it more than once a week.

Take this as an example. I was watching The Biggest Loser last night after a grueling 60 minutes of P90X Plyometrics X. On this episode the contestants were sent to a Marine Boot Camp for a week of basic training exercises. This should whip anyone’s butt pretty good right? I went into it thinking they’d all lose 20 lbs.

Well it did whip their butts, but they didn’t all lose weight. The contestants all said the workouts were extremely intense and probably burned more calories in their workouts than they did in any other week, but do you know what happened? Nearly half of them gained weight that week.

Why? Because they took in more calories than they burned, and they didn’t fuel their bodies to recover from the workouts.

The food at the mess hall isn’t exactly the breakfast of champions. It’s things like french toast, danishes, greasy sausages, pancakes, syrup, and then some. This kind of food is MURDER to a good workout. All of the manufactured sugar and processes preservatives strip the water right out of the body. This means the body has no water to repair the muscles fibers and lean muscle cannot grow.

Now for all of you out there wondering how putting on muscle helps you lose weight, well that’s another blog post entirely, but the basic gist is that muscle burns many more calories (up to 5x) than fat does to survive. This means the more muscle you have, the more fat your burn naturally. This is  a large contributor to why skinny muscular people stay that way, and why overweight people continue to gain weight.

I’ll post a good way to get started on your nutrition plan soon. Until then, just use your head and ask yourself if what you’re eating is good for your body.

Day 30 P90X before and after pictures to come.

Recommended Resources:

If you’re looking for a simple and easy to follow weight loss plan for your new years resolution goals, or you simply just want to live a healthier lifestyle (always a good idea), check out the following weight loss systems. The first is running a promotion for the upcoming new year.

Strip That Fat – Focused on lighter workouts, cardio, light weight training, and healthy eating. Caters towards women, but also works for men who are not looking to be extremely bulky. Great for tennis, golf, runners, cycling, etc.

P90X Home Workout Program – Extreme focus on fitness. Utilizes an intense blend of cardio, weight training, plyometrics, and yoga to build your body and increase performance in all areas of fitness. Also promotes an incredibly healthy diet, all designed to whip you in shape in just 90 days.

P90X Program Recovery Week Review – Bring It!

28 Nov

p90x 150x150 P90X Program Recovery Week Review   Bring It!I know I haven’t posted in almost a week, and we’ve had the holidays to trudge through, but no worries. I’m still going strong with P90X. I figured since this was Week 4 of the P90X program, a recovery week,  I should go ahead and recover from blogging so much too icon smile P90X Program Recovery Week Review   Bring It!

In all seriousness, the term recovery is a bit misleading in the P90X program. Normally you would think a recovery week would mean one or two days of cardio and a few pushups and situps here and there to get the blood flowing, but not with P90X. This sucker ain’t no picnic, and I love it.

The recovery week went like this: (more…)

P90X Days 14-18, Recovery and What it Means to You

19 Nov

p90x 150x150 P90X Days 14 18, Recovery and What it Means to YouAlright, so I’m dusting off the P90X section of this blog after not posting for a few days. It gets a little bit too repetitive to post every single day, so I think I am going to keep it to about twice a week unless there is a big change, which is actually coming up, because next week the workout switches up a bit.

Anyway, I’ve got a couple of lessons to share with you in this post that are very important to your health goals, whatever they may be so listen up.

I’ve never been one to lie. Today will be Day 19 of the P90x program. And while the workouts are getting easier, my strength is noticeably increasing, and I look and feel much better, I am still (more…)