Tag Archives: power 90

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now

12 Nov

Over the last two years, I’ve learned a LOT about weight loss, fitness, and nutrition. I’d like to think that I wasn’t totally ignorant before I started on this self-improvement journey. Generally speaking, I’m a reasonably smart guy. I have a college education from a prestigious school, I’m a big reader, and I’m naturally inquisitive. That all said, I WISH I had known then what I know now!

I’ve recently been having people ask for my help and guidance on how they can lose weight, get in shape, etc. At times been shocked at how ignorant people are about nutrition and fitness! The things people hold as self evident truths about fitness and nutrition, while silly to me now, are many of the same things that I believed once upon a time! Reflecting on it, I’ve thought of a few things that I wish I had known, or done a bit differently when I got started:

1) Don’t Start Over Your Head – I had a few failed attempts to whip myself into shape in years past. I bought P90X from Beachbody because of the flashy infomercial and super fit people doing the workouts on TV. Boy was that a mistake! Not because it isn’t a great program, but because it was WAY too advanced for me at the time. What ultimately got me to stick to a routine was not getting in over my head right away. In February of 2012, I started with Power 90 (which I call “P90X-light”). Power 90 is geared towards a typical fitness beginner. The workouts are shorter, and less intense than P90X which made them more approachable for me and helped me to stick with the program. I lost 33 pounds in 90 days on Power 90, and then couldn’t wait to tackle P90X from there. The moral of the story is to start slow. If you are truly trying to change your lifestyle, the important thing is that you start doing something. By biting off more than you can chew right away, you are likely to get frustrated and give up.

2) You MUST Focus On Nutrition – Ask any serious trainer, body builder, fitness model, etc., about their physical conditioning, and they will tell you that results are 75%+ nutrition. Ever hear the old adage, “you are what you eat?” This is so true! If you are serious about losing weight, improving physical performance, etc., you have to have a proper diet. You simply cannot out-exercise bad nutrition. A definition of “proper nutrition” however is a bit subjective. For me, proper nutrition has taken the form of adopting a Paleo diet. For more on this, I recommend the book The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. At a minimum though, I recommend people eliminate processed foods, minimize/eliminate wheat and grain, eliminate sugar, and eat more vegetables. I’ve experimented with a variety of nutrition schemes, and hands down Paleo has yielded the best results and made me feel and perform my best.

3) Have A Plan – If you are serious about losing weight and getting in shape, you need a plan. Just going to the gym and fiddling with the various equipment does not count. In order to have a plan, you need a goal – lose 30 lbs?, gain muscle?, train for a sport?, etc… Sometimes, your goal may be obvious. When I started, I was 227 lbs and had a 40″ waist dress pant. My goal was simple – LOSE WEIGHT! I adopted a plan that limited my calories and gave me a broad workout with a mix of circuit and cardio training. Whatever your goal is, make sure you are selecting a workout and nutrition regiment optimized to get you to your goal. While on your plan, I also found it very motivating to keep records. I tracked my body measurements and weight so I could visually track my progress. Before and after photos are also a great idea. Keeping a workout log in a notebook is a must. Monitoring your reps/weights and tracking them over time shows your progress. It also makes just keeping track of what to do workout to workout easier.

4) Educate Yourself – Reading about fitness and nutrition has been very important to me. I’ve learned a ton about the subject I didn’t know, I’ve “unlearned” things I thought I knew that was just wrong, and I’ve incorporated new things into my routines and nutrition that have vastly improved my results. Knowledge is power, so educate yourself!

A post about nutrition

18 Jun

On Father’s Day, I played golf with my dad and brothers.  I grew up playing the course, and I know a lot of the people still there, although I don’t see them regularly.  During my visit, about ten guys stopped me and told me how great I looked and asked about how I lost weight and got in shape.  I am a big believer in nutrition, so I talked about nutrition mostly, and exercise second.

Yesterday, I got into a debate on facebook with somebody about doing P90x and following, or not following, the nutrition plan and the benefits/drawbacks.  My opnion is this: If you want results, you MUST follow the nutrition plan!  I have followed it to the letter since February with Power 90, and now with P90X.  I also take Shakeology.  I firmly believe that without both, I would not be where I am today.

The good news is that the plans are spelled out in Beachbody programs.  When you buy a routine, the plan is right there for you.  That’s the easy part… the hard part is sticking to it!  Personally, if you are going to work out as hard as you need to in p90x, insanity, or the like, don’t you want to maximze your results?!?!

I’m going to post more on nutrition going forward because I think it is soooo important, but for now, if you are starting a program or thinking about starting one, do the following:

1) get rid of the junk food – throw out the ring-dings and cookies.  If you don’t have it in the house, you can’t eat it.  Also, if it is out of site for most of your day, it will hopefully be out of mind.

2) shop the perimeter of the grocery store – this is usually where you find the stuff that is the best for you.  Vegetables, fruits, lean meats, etc.  The isles in the middle mostly contain the processed stuff, the corn syrup products, etc.  If food is in a box of some kind, it is generally not good for you!

3) cook more – cooking can be fun, preparing your food yourself allows you to play withe recipes, and discover new healthy foods you love.  For me, I had no idea steel cut oats even existed six months ago, now it is my FAVORITE food!

Phase II – Week 6

22 May

So, I’m in week 6, the second week of Phase II for P90X!  I’m continuing to see gradual results and continuing to love the program!

Phase II shuffles up the workout routines.  You do Chest, Shoulders, and Tris, and Back and Biceps in place of Chest and Back, and Shoulders and Arms.  CST is a hard workout!  You really pound away with pushups and intense exercises.  In this routine, we meet the “clapper” push ups, or plyometric push ups – where you literally launch youself off the ground (as if a pushup is not hard enough!).  Back and Biceps is nothing fancy… just lots of pull ups, curl variations, and dumbbell back exercises.

The plyo, kenpo, yoga and legs and back routines all stay.  My ability to get through plyo with intense effort and good form improves slightly each time!  I know my cardio strength is getting better all the time.  The pull ups continue to be a challenge, but I’m also lessening the assist I get from my pull up assist band device.  My goal is to not be using the bands by the end of this round!

Outside of my workout, I’m noticing a difference in my everyday life.  I play a lot of golf, and walking the course doesn’t tire me out like it used to.  I’m also playing better and hitting the ball further!  Simple things like walking up stairs are remarkably easy…. I just kind of “glide” up stairs now!  Even carrying my daugther(s) up the stairs is pretty simple!

As I continue to lose weight and inches on my waist, clothes are becomming a problem!  Things that fit fine 2 or 3 weeks ago are hanging off me.  Things that I had before the program, especially pants, are pretty much useless.  I am excited to go shopping for new stuff, but I want to wait until I hit a bit of a maintenance mode or my weight loss flattens out.

I’m eating more calories again.

Day 30 – p90X

22 May

Phase One is in the books!  Today I did my 30 day measurements, although pictures will have to be tomorrow.

I’m down from 36.5 to 35 at the waist – very happy with that considering all my progess to date!  Chest was down from 41 to 39.5.  Weight was down from 190 on day 1 to 183.5!!! I have steadily decreased my weight and torso measurments since February!

I’m anxious to take pictures tomorrow.  Today for some reason, I’m noticing my biceps are “bulging”.  I flexed in the mirror after noticing this, and for the first time in my life, I notice peaks forming at the tops of my biceps… I’m very excited to put it mildly!  I also notice when showering that I’m a lot more “firm” everywhere.  I’m hoping that my 30 day pics show some slight noticable difference between days 1 and 30.  I think they will based on my stats above, but we’ll see!

Phase Two of p90x switches up the workout routines.  You add the Chest, Shoulders and Tricep routine, as well as the Back and Bicep (these replace Chest and Back and Shoulders and Arms).  I really like the Chest, Shoulders and Triceps routine.  It is hard and you come out of the gate strong with slow motion push ups which are a killer! What’s great about this workout is that you don’t repeat.  You just keep going with new sets and very few breaks.

P90X – 5 days and counting to start!

11 Apr

I will begin P90x on 4/16/2012.  I am doing it in a challenge group, set up by my Beachbody coach.  He has been a tremendous resource for me!  Great for inspiration, exercise, and nutrition help!

I’m doing p90x “classic”.  I will be playing golf a few times per week though which will also supplement the workouts.  Golfing and carrying your bag actually burns 1500 calories or so!

I will be increasing my food intake, and changing things slightly.  I’m aiming for a more balanced diet that will be 45% carbs, 35% protein and 20% fat.  My goal is to slow my weight loss (shooting for about 1 lb per week), while maximizing my fat loss and strength increase.  With my p90x and golf, I’m estimating about 2400 calories per day… that’s a lot of food!

Today I bought the Wahoo Blue HR.  It is an iphone 4S compatible heart rate monitor.  I’m going to benchmark my p90x workouts so I can get accurate calorie burn amounts, as well as my golfing.  I’m going to track EVERYTHING very meticulously so I know I’m doing things right!

Very excited to get going.  I’ll post my fitness test results and weigh in and measurements before I get going on Monday!  For the rest of the week, it is going to be just cardio.  I tweaked my shoulder and it is getting better.  I want it 100% for when I start.

Pre P90X Week

9 Apr

OK – so a few changes to discuss.  First, I’m continuing to melt off pounds.  I look and feel as good as I have in YEARS!  I weighed in today at 191, down another two pounds on the week.  I’ve lost 29 pounds since starting roughly 9 weeks ago!  Second, I have committed to a P90X challenge group which will begin on April 16, 2012!

The P90X challenge group is organized by my Beachbody coach.  It is a group of his students who all agree to start and finish a round of P90X together.  The idea is that everybody pledges to do it, and we all help in keeping each other accountable.  Research indicates that people who work out in a collective like this are more likely to stick with the program they are on.  I’m still feeling extremely motivated, so I don’t think I need a support group, but it surely can’t hurt!

I tweaked my shoulder a couple of weeks ago and it continues to bother me a bit.  As such, I’m going to just do cardio this week and ease off the push ups and lifting moves that seemed to bother it.  I’ve been advised that if you go from one program to another, it is good to have a “rest” week.  My plan is to do the fitness test later in the week, perhaps Friday.

My wife has also started the  workouts and nutrition plan.  She is also doing great and down about 8 lbs so far.  She’s amost at her goal weight already, as she didn’t have much to lose in the first place.

Goals for P90X.  I’m going to map out some concrete goals for P90X.  I plan to stay on a fat shredder type diet for most, if not all, of hte 13 weeks of p90x.  I’m guessing that I’ll be starting at around 189 lbs based on my current weight loss trend.  I’d like to lose weight still, but I’m much more concerned with body fat % reduction.  I have calipers that I’ll be using to test my body fat throughout the program.  I’ll also be taking measurements.  My primary goal will be to reduce my body fat % as much as possible.  I’m really after the “6 pack” abs look.  I know that the workouts are important, but 80% + of my work will be because of nutrition.  I’m going to continue with Shakeology.  I’m using myfitnesspal to track EVERYTHING I’m eating.  I believe I will be using an 1800 calorie a day fat shredder nutrition plan to start.  I’ll reassess based on results and energy level as needed, or every 30 days.

I don’t know my exact body fat % right now, but I would guess that it is high teens to 20%.  I think I need to get to 10 or better to hit my abs goal!

Myfitnesspal is a GREAT ap!!! A must have for anybody trying to watch their nutrition.  You can scan bar codes, see your protein/fat/carb ratios, monitor friends progress, etc.  It is superior to the WW app I used in every way, and it is FREE!  Plan to use this for a long time to come.

Also ordered a Wahoo Blue Heart Rate monitor.  I’m very interested to see my calorie burn when I play golf, and do my workouts.  I’m going to be tracking calories burned and consumed very, very carefully while on the program because I have such ambitious goals.  This product syncs via blue tooth with my iphone, as well as other apps that are fitness oriented.  Should be interesting.

My Journey Will Change Direction

29 Mar

I’ve decided that I’m ending my Power 90 journey early… not because I’m giving up or quiting, but rather because I’m stepping up to P90X!

I’ve come a long way so far in Power 90.  In only 52 days, I’ve almost hit my original goal weight of 190 lbs (I’m currently at 194).  My endurance is so much better, and I’m stronger.  I started this transformation originally because I wanted extreme results (abs and the whole “chiseled” look).  I’ve qualified this by setting a desired body fat of 10% or less.

My wife started the program after me, and I’m going to give her a week or two to catch up.  Then, we’ll be turning it up a notch!

I’ll continue with the blog and keep chronically my progress on Power 90 until then.  Before starting P90X, I’m going to do a complete set of photos, fitness test, and possibly a professional body fat % measurement.

Stay tuned!