23 April 2010

P90X: Day 22.

So today is the start of Week 04 of my P90X regimen. This being a "recovery" week, the workouts will consist of yoga, kenpo (which is by far the most fun to do), stretching and core work with no weights/resistance. After the completion of the recovery week, Phase 01 will end and it'll be back to a more rounded workout in Phase 02.

I can definitely see improvement so far. I've gotten leaner and a little more chiseled due to the high-intensity interval training that is the foundation of the regimen. My strength has also increased in some respects -- most notably push-ups and pull-ups (the Chest & Back workout does not mess around). I think I'll have to end up buying some actual dumbbells for use in the arm workouts though -- the resistance bands can get somewhat uncomfortable doing some of the bicep exercises and leave red bruises on my forearms. And I almost never bruise. The next time I'm in Columbia or KC I'll have to see what I can do about getting some second-hand weights.

I'm really appreciating the conditioning aspect of the program. Plyometrics damn near destroyed me the first time but it's gotten easier over the weeks (and now I'm kinda looking forward to getting back on it after recovery). I can almost say that it's done more for my stamina and lung capacity than just running a couple of miles after my old gym routines. The abdominal workout is a beast. I definitely have goals in mind while doing that routine, but the first few times I did Ab Ripper X were intensely painful and eye-opening. "I hate it, but I love it" (c) Tony Horton -- I can't say that I "love" Ab Ripper quite yet, but I don't gas out as fast now compared to my initial efforts. So I'm loving that.

I'd read about people simply skipping the yoga workout, and I didn't really understand why they'd want to do that -- until I actually tried it. It's probably obvious to many of you, but yoga is hard! I didn't realize how inflexible I was until I attempted some of the asanas. Needless to say, my face and the yoga mat are best friends. But I'm planning to stick with it because body awareness, flexibility and balance are things I'd like to improve upon. (And dammit I want to be able to do Crane for a full minute without falling on my head!)

I think I'll pass on this pose though

Next week I'm going to try adding a kenpo session after the muscle group workouts in Phase 02 for some additional calorie burning. We'll see how that goes; it's really getting nice outside so I'm tempted to go for some runs and maybe finally get some color on me at the same time. Even though the standalone regimens are designed to (and have succeeded in) putting me in my target heart zone (I've been on the brink of collapse more than a handful of times) I do feel like I need to increase cardio intensity. On the diet side, I've cut down on carbs and increased protein intake significantly -- now I go through cans of tuna and frozen tilapia like nobody's business. Salads are still a major part of my meals, and while I'll partake in dessert or snacks once in a while I'm usually pretty good about it. Although I'm not following the recommended diet plan exactly, I've been encouraged by my results so far so I will probably continue to keep tweaking my diet to get the most out of the program and may switch completely over to their recommendations at some point.

Overall, I feel really good about getting fit, and I'm glad I started this thing!

I'll post another P90X update when I complete Phase 02, or sooner if anything of note happens.

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