Friday, October 9, 2009


Sorry I have not been my usual diligent self with my posting. Without a clear cut workout plan I am having trouble. I am not having any trouble working out – just working out with direction. However, to add to that I am having fun with the workouts.

For the past week I have been doing the P90X workouts in the morning. I was actually a fan of the format from the original Power90 series a few years ago. I used the Power90 series of DVD’s for a few months and they were challenging. The Power90 series did get rather monotonous – there are only 2 DVD’s with 4 full workouts plus 2 really short abdominal workouts (about 5 minutes each). I believe the plan was to alternate each of the first two workouts (the series 1 /2 – beginner) for about 6 weeks and then do the same with the last two workouts (the series 3 / 4 advanced) for the last 6 weeks. I am pretty sure that I just jumped into the second series and did those off and on for a couple of months. They were fun to supplement running and outdoor activities when the weather was rough – I lived in the Midwest for a dozen or so years and being from Texas – I did not do well in the winters.

That being said – I started up the original Power90 videos again last week. They were still good just not as fresh – I still like the format. I was going to take it slow since I had not done much strength training for the past 6 – 8 months. I was able to complete the advanced videos. They were challenging but manageable. Unfortunately, manageable means that I would probably get bored with them pretty quick. I found a friend that had the P90X DVD’s (the X stands for Xpensive) and he let me borrow them. Tony Horton looks a lot different in the new series – his hair is much darker, his face is leaner but he looks a little bit like gaunt. I know that he is a little older but he looked better before he went Xtreme.

So this week I started the P90X program. Now, from the get go, I am not following the plan. I am not usually willing to cut out the things that I enjoy for one purpose. I know that I would see better results if I was able to concentrate on one or two objectives – and believe it or not I am working on these goals. I would like to drop some body fat, I would like to put on some lean mass and I would like to get faster at endurance based activities (racing). So with this P90X program I am going to continue to run / bike / swim and probably some fun activities as well.

In one area that I am pretty good at being smart is not letting my ego get in the way in the weight room – and I am continuing this with the videos. I have no problem picking a weight that is appropriate for my strength and my build. So for the first video, which was mostly body weight anyway, I stuck to 20 pound hex dumbbells (I later pulled out some 10’s and 30’s – depending on the exercise). They were using higher weights in the video but they were quick to point out that proper form is more important than weight. They were also very diligent about writing down your weights and reps – something that I used to do religiously but have gotten slack. I am going to pull out a workout log and start charting the progression again. That is something that always used to keep me motivated – I enjoyed seeing the improvement – even if it took weeks to go up just a rep or two. I will keep you guys posted on my progression with the P90X videos – and just to be fair, I think almost all of these video series will produce results if you follow them. I am such a proponent of working the ‘PLAN’ that give me sweating to the oldies and I think I could see results.

The workouts this week involved 4 P90X workouts – Chest and Back, Plyometrics, Shoulders and Arms and Legs and Back. I skipped the YogaX workout – I think that I am too type A for a 90 minute yoga routine in the morning. I think that the workout really could benefit me with coordination and balance but I don’t have the time in the morning during the week and – simply – it put me back to sleep. So on that day I did about 10 minutes of the yoga video and then did two rounds of abdominals – 1 Power90 and 1 P90X. I also skipped the Kenpo (TYBO) workout. I will pick this workout up this weekend because it looks like fun. I will give further, more extensive reviews of each of the workouts once I get the routine established.

On top of the P90X workouts I continued the Tabata treadmills (good, quick, hard workouts) plus the stadium, plus a couple of endurance runs, plus a quick swim.

Regarding the STADIUMS – I really got them dialed in this week. I added a little more time to the recovery (30 seconds) to allow full force for the working set. I programmed my watch for 15 seconds of work followed by 1:45 seconds of recovery. Once again for the first 10 reps this seemed too easy but it got more challenging. I was able to complete each work set with intensity in the 15 seconds – many sets were successful by split seconds. The total amount of work during the 30 minutes was less than last week (or the week before for that matter) but I was able to maintain the intensity. In the weeks prior, doing more reps lead to more work / fatigue but the intensity was not there – I was dragging on the last half of the session. I am not sure which is better but I have always thought that when doing repeats you want to maintain the same intensity throughout the workout – 1). To help prevent injury due to fatigue and bad form and 2). To really push the upper limits of your VO2max. If you are overly fatigued then it may feel like you are giving everything but your speed has dropped off and you limit your adaptation. My bad analogy is like when you are doing the bench press – you go through your workout, then the working sets and then after you are completely spent you decide to do a burnout and try to do as many reps with just the weight of the bar. This is hard – it hurts – but are you really lifting very much weight? Are more muscle fibers really being recruited? Or are you just doing work? Anyway – I am going to try and continue this method for the foreseeable future and try to know a few seconds off of the recovery while trying to keep the intensity.

I will also keep a close eye on recovery – that is something that will dictate success or failure!


Big Daddy Diesel said...

Its good to see that you have the same idea about following that program. By not following it to a "T" I couldnt do that and sacrafice doing the things I love for just one program. My laundry list far more takes priority over a video. I enjoy hearing your experience with it

Flatoutjim said...

I agree Tony looks a tad Junkie'ish.

Keep up the good work dude.