Tag Archives: working out

Mass Building One Month Progress

7 Nov

A month ago I switched over to a mass building focused workout plan. I’m doing it while: 1) eating paleo, 2) taking creatine and BCAA supplements, and 3) a high quality whey shake. For the last month, I have not been counting calories, but rather relying on my paleo diet regulated hormones to tell me to eat when I’m hungry. It turns out, I’m eating a TON! I’m going to track calories for the next week or so to get a benchmark, but I’d guess I’m 2900-3500 calories a day. I’m also guessing my macronutrients are around 20% carbs, 40% protein, 40% fat.

My workout is based on volume training. Lower weights, for high rep/set counts. My split consists of Chest & Back, Legs & Abs, Arms & Shoulders. My workouts are about an hour each with the bulk of the workout being a push-pull alternating superset, with ten reps and ten sets. For example, my chest routine is a flat bench, followed by machine row. 90 second rest periods, for the ten set rotation. I then finish off with 3 sets of 12 reps incline dumbbell flies and lat pull downs.

Here is my 30 day progress:

Day 1

Day 1

Day 30

Day 30

A bit of visual progress perhaps… I’ve noticed that I’m adding muscle for sure. My arms and chest are definitely “thicker” looking and feeling. I’ve also noticed a difference in my glutes, quads and hamstrings.

My plan is to keep at this mass building through Christmas.

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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.

Week Three DONE; Now in Recovery Week of P90X

8 May

I wrapped up week three and I’m a couple of days into my “recovery” week.  Don’t let the name fool you… you still work it hard!

Recovery week in P90x is less resistance training which gives you time to repair and build muscle.  You do the dreaded Yoga X workout twice, Core Synergistics twice, Kenpo X and X Stretch.  Core Synergistics is a fun workout!  Nothing repeats, and you cycle through a variety of total body exercises.  The idea is that it focuses on core work, but you do push ups and squats and a bit of cardio too.

I have my nutrition very well dialed in now.  I know exactly how many calories I need to eat in order to lose a specific amount of weight.  I’m trying to lose 1-1.5 lbs per week now through the end of P90x.  I’m currently at 185 lbs, so at this rate, I should finish around 173… BTW, I haven’t been my current weight since college!

I’m amazed, but I’m as motivated today as I was when I started in February.  I look forward to my daily workouts.  I’m LOVING the nutrition because the good food I’m eating makes me feel great.  I haven’t been sick, felt tired, too sore, or rundown!  I have tons of energy to go to work, do my exercise, play with my kids, etc.  I feel at least 10 years younger!

After this week, we start phase two.  The resistance workouts change up a bit.  I’m looking forward to the variety.  Now that I have a good baseline, I’m going to be pushing very hard during phase two!  I have ambitious goals, and I want to go as far as I can with this round of P90X as I can!

Challenge Group – I’m doing p90x in a “challenge group”, sponsored by my Beachbody Coach.  It means that I started the program with a few others at the same time, and we talk daily on a closed Facebook group.  I think for someone with minimal motivation/determination, this is a great way to keep you involved!  For me, I like hearing about how others are doing, and I’ve even got some good recipe ideas from people!  If you can find a friend, spouse, or challenge group to do P90x, I strongly recommend it.

Life after p90x?  I’m already thinking about what to do after p90x.  I’m torn between a few options, all with some merit.  First, I’d like to do Insanity.  This is mostly cardio focused, and it is 60 days.  If I’m not “ripped” by the end of p90x, I know Insanity will help get me there for sure.  Second, I could do another round of p90x.  P90x is such a great total body workout, that it will improve my conditioning, and help get me “ripped”.  I can see that certain moves like pull ups will still be pretty challenging by the end.  Another round of p90x without pull up assist bands, wearing a weighted vest, etc., could definitely push my overall fitness to new heights!  Third, there is a new body building / mass building program coming out in June called body beast.  I don’t want to be HUGE, but I would love to add pounds of lean muscle.  I think my Day 90 results on p90x will help me determine what is next for me.

 

P90X Week Two Completed!

30 Apr

Yesterday I wrapped up week two of p90x.  Proud to report that I’m as motivated today as I was over 100 days ago when I started with dieting and Power 90!  Some quick stats on my change to date:

Starting Measurements:

Weight: 220 lbs, Chest: 45″, Waist: 45″, body fat: ~30%

Current Measurements:

Weight: 186 lbs, Chest: 40.5″, Waist 36″, body fat: ~18%

When I look at those stats, they blow my mind!  I’ve come a long way in just over three months!  I’m not at my goals yet, but I’m working towards them and more confident than ever I can achieve them!

Update on Nutrition – I’ve actually had to increase my calorie intake this past week.  I noticed that I’m losing weight a bit faster than I would like.  Sounds like a good problem to have, but as my primary goals are to increase my strength and reduce body fat, it is essential that I’m taking in enough complex carbs and calories to adequately repair the muscles.  The fat will come off in time, and the more lean muscle mass I build, the easier I will burn the fat.  I adjusted my calories up from 1800 per day to 2000 to see how things go.  I’m going to leave it at this level for weeks three and four and then see where I’m at.

My metabolism has found a new gear since going into p90x!  I was never really starving on Power 90… I ate 5 times a day, and less calories on Power 90, but the increased demands of p90x are calling for more energy!  I’m not actually quite hungry before “feeding times”, and I’m looking forward to food!

My new favorite food has become plain old steel cut oats.  From what I’ve read, these are basically a super food!  Not processed in any way, great complex carbs for muscle repair and energy, and incredibly versatile!  I am eating a large bowl for breakfast, and lately been having one in the afternoon to get the extra calories in.  I mix with banana and pb2, or fruit and 1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup.  It is absolutely delicious and I look forward to eating it all day!  I’m going to take Michi’s ladder to the grocery store the  next time we shop too.  I want to mix in some new foods and new variety as I’m finding that I’m eating pretty much the same stuff every day.  It is all still delicious, but I want to head boredom off at the pass!

This is the last week of the starting routine of p90x.  Next week, the workouts shift around for a “recovery” week, then we get three weeks of a new set of routines.  While p90x is anything but boring and repetitious, this gear switch every few weeks is the bedrock principal of their “muscle confusion” training technique.

P90X – Week One Complete

23 Apr

Today marks the beginning of week two on P90X!

Week one was great.  I continue to follow the plan, nutrition and workouts, to the letter!  My only “struggle” with the workouts seemed to be on weight exercises where I took too little, or too much weight and had to pause, etc.  Now I have a baseline, I’m good!  I did download the p90x app for my iPhone.  I’m glad I did because it works like the sheets, recording your weight and reps, but it ties in to the wowy.com site and it can also produce charts/graphs to show your progress over time.  I think visual evidence for my improvements over time will be very motivating!

My nutrition has been somewhat hard to manage.  I have increased my calories to 1800 per day (from approx 1500), and on days I work out and play golf, I try to add another 600-1000 calories.  This is because walking 18 holes and carrying your bag burns 1500+ calories!  Doing that, on top of a p90x workout is pretty demanding stuff, and I want to make sure I’m giving myself enough fuel.  Getting all those calories is hard though!  That is a LOT of food, even with a metabolism that is firing on all cylinders these days!  I’ve figured out the 1800 calorie days at this point, but struggling to add the extra calories on golf days.  I’m going to add natural peanut butter, oatmeal to protein shakes, and just a little bit of everything else to other meals.  Perhaps even add a low carb protein shake before bed.

I’ve been rebalancing my ratios a bit so I’m getting between 40-50% carbs daily, 30-40% protein and 20% or less from fats.  It seems to be working well as I’m continuing to lose my target 1 to 1.5 pounds a week, but my energy levels are good during physical activity.

I feel like I’m really starting to “lean out”.  I have minimal “flab” on my midsection, and I can even see the faint outlines of a six pack coming together!  I’m still not “ripped”, but my sides and upper stomach have the beginnings of some definition.  I believe my body fat is still in the very high teens to 20% range, so I figure it will be mid/later program before I really see some obvious definition.  I’d love to be in the low teens by the end of this round of p90x, but we’ll see!

My wife has done every workout with me so far!  She has also lost close to 9 lbs since we started.  She is also seeing results which is really motivating her.

Tonight is the start of week two… chest and back baby!