Tag Archives: workout

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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Let the Insanity Begin!

10 Jul

Quick Recap – I am a 35 year old average guy.  I have a wife, two kids, and I run my own small business.  In February 2012 I weighed in at my heaviest ever… 221 lbs!  Since then, I’ve dropped 43 lbs and got in the best shape of my life through proper nutrition and exercise!  I did Power 90, then P90X – both programs offered by Beachbody.  I have been so happy with my results and how I’ve transformed my life, I became a coach!  Yesterday, I swapped out my final week of P90X (the recovery week), for Insanity.

For those not familiar with Insanity, it is a 6 day per week, 63 day program focused on cardio and core training developed by Beachbody (makers of P90x).  Workouts are 40-50 minutes in length and they use a training concept called “Max Interval Training”.  In laymans terms, this means you work your butt off for very intense bursts, then have a short 30 seconds to catch your breath, and then repeat.  The idea is that you get your heart rate very high, and keep it there mostly over the course of the workout and this: 1) cuts down on having to do very long periods of low/moderate intensity cardio, and 2) gives you an unbelievable workout in far under 1 hour.

I’ve done the first two routines so far.  Cardio Plyo Circuit, and Cardio Power Resistance.  My initial thoughts: HOLY CRAP IS THIS HARD! I may not be a pro athlete, but having completed Power 90 and P90x I am by far in the best shape of my life.  Despite my relatively high level of fitness at the moment, Insanity is kicking my rear end!  While P90X focused more on strength training, Insanity is very much focused on high intensity cardio.  The closest thing P90X has to Insanity workouts is Plyometrics, but I am finding the Insanity version to be much more difficult.  Second, the workouts are so fast paced and intense, they go by in a flash.  They are much shorter than the base P90X workouts in terms of real time (40 minutes in the first month compared to 70+ minutes if you include Ab Ripper X in P90X), and you jump from one exercise to the next, so you feel like the workout is over very quickly.  Third, this is THE workout if you want to get ripped!  I did Insanity now specifically for this reason.  Shed the last 5% or so body fat that I want to come off, and I can’t imagine Insanity won’t get me there (with proper nutrition of course).  I was literally dripping sweat after both workouts!  I was breathing so hard I couldn’t even think about talking.  These are HUGE cardio workouts with an obvious fat-melting effect.

A note on Insanity nutrition – The program does have its own nutrition guide.  Basically, it is very similar to P90X.  I’m basically following my P90X nutrition plan with slight modifications.  I’m keeping a 45-55% daily carbohydrate, 30% protein, 20% fat mix.  I’m dropping my calories down to the 1800-2000 range daily as I want to shed the last few pounds of body fat.  YOU MUST EAT CLEAN AND FOLLOW A PROPER NUTRITION PLAN IF YOU ARE EXPECTING RESULTS! Doing your “own thing” will not yield results as good or better than following the plans outlined by Beachbody!

P90X – Phase 3 Begins, 4 weeks to go

13 Jun

OK – I’ve been a bit remiss with the blog!  Not because I’ve quit my workouts, but because I’m working out hard!

On Monday, my wife and I started Phase 3 of P90X… I can hardly believe we are 2/3 done!  I’m really starting to suprise myself with my results!  I’m stronger, leaner, and feel better than I have in my life!

My weight is down 41 lbs since I started – I weighed in at 179 lbs the other day.  My most recent waist measurement is 34.5″, down from 45″ when I started in late January!  I can actually see my abs for the first time in my life!  I’m not quite ripped yet, but my body fat is not in the low/mid teens, aprox 13-14%.

My nutrition continues to be very clean.  I did cheat for the first time last week and I had a small ice cream when I was out with my wife and kids.  So be it!  I’ve steadily increased my calories as I’ve been less focused on losing weight, and mostly interested in building muscle and losing body fat.  It seems to be working.  I’m still losing weight slowly, but my energy levels are great, I’m eating constantly, and I can visibly see my muscles getting larger… and veinier!

In other news, I became a BeachBody coach on Monday!  I’m so excited about my results, that I want to share an hopefully help others make the journey!  If you are interested in BeachBody programs and would have me as your coach, message me, or go to: http://www.beachbodycoach.com/sculptwithdavid

I’m already looking ahead to what comes next.  I ordered Insanity which I plan to start in mid July.  After finishing P90X, and taking a deserved rest week, my wife and I will get insane!  My goal is to continue to shed body fat and build lean muscle.  Insanity seems like the logical choice.  I am assuming that based on where I should finish P90X, Insanity will get me the “ripped” look I set out after… can’t wait!

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.