Phase 1 did not prepare me for this morning.
This punishing workout goes: Pullup, bicep, row, bicep. Then repeat that 6 times. What makes this challenging is that those muscles are all closely connected. Unlike Chest and Back (the most equivalent workout in Phase 1) in which you push and pull, today’s workout is nothing but pulling. By the end I was wrecked. On other days I’ve done close to 50 pullups in a workout. Today: 22
Let me show you how bad it got. Here’s a screenshot of the last pullup set in my workout tracker:
You see that red background? That’s how I record that my form was poor. It took two tries to even get that out of me.
Now for the good news: I did every exercise in this workout; I’ve never been capable of that before.
Phase 2 has begun!
The workout today has lots of dynamic pushups: clapping, side-walking, balance, one-handed, etc. They’re hard for me and I’m hoping I will adjust quickly. To give you an idea, I was doing sets of 11 pushups in the Phase 1 chest workout. This time I’m putting up, in some cases, only 4 pushups.
So the good news is there’s lots of room for improvement.
The diet remains hard. It’s always been the most difficult part for me. I’ve got lots of motivation left, though, so I’ll try to tighten it up. I’m trying something a little different this phase, so we’ll see how that goes.
Overall, I’m down 3.7lbs and 1.4% bodyfat. I’ve put on about half a pound of muscle. Those numbers don’t quite match each other when you take into account my original weight, but they’re trending down and that’s all I care about. I’m in this for the long haul.
I’m loving going downstairs and doing my workouts.
Today I was definitely pushing myself. Almost every workout got a bump in weight or reps. I was trying to pick weights I couldn’t do 11 reps with. I was mostly successful.
I expect my strength progress to slow or plateau soon. This is my last time doing this workout for 6 weeks. Phase 2 of P90X has me doing different workouts for chest & back and shoulders & arms. (Legs & back, my bane, isn’t going anywhere. Thankfully?)
I’ve got one last strength workout on Saturday, then I’m in my recovery week, which is stretching and cardio. I don’t enjoy cardio, so I’m hoping I have the motivation to go downstairs during that week. I want to keep my momentum going.
I did this workout yesterday, I just didn’t have time to make a post. This workout was easy. It looks like cardio is no longer my limiting factor, at least for this exercise. I pushed through to failure, but still had energy by the end. I considered hopping on the elliptical for a bit, that’s how much I had left in the tank. I had a tight schedule, otherwise I really think I would have.
Recovery was great. I feel like I’m at 95% today. A very tiny amount of soreness when I stretch, but that’s it.
I’m really excited by my progress. If I can summon the willpower to head downstairs on cardio days I think my results are going to be fantastic.
This workout was incredibly difficult. I don’t know what was different this time compared to the last time I did this workout, or any of the other times I’ve done it. All I know is that I was wiped out about halfway through.
There’s a typical pattern in my workouts: Enthusiasm at first, then I do a few sets and it’s hard and I see how long I have to go, then my second wind kicks in and I’m ready to go. Sometimes I’m disappointed when the workout is over.
That was not the case this time.
I hit my aerobic threshold almost immediately. I wish I knew what was different this time (this ain’t my first time at the rodeo), but one of the early exercises wiped me out. The rest of the workout was me gasping, hitting pause to recover, and questioning whether I wanted to continue.
Strangely enough, the thing that kept me going was visualizing what my charts were going to look like. The lines must go up! The least I will accept is my previous best!
I’m showing progress in every category, except for one, the In-Out bicep curl. That same muscle in my left shoulder/back gets exhausted very quickly when doing standing curls. I can also feel it when doing upright rows.
The dramatic growth in the orange line is chair dips. I only went from 20 to 24. Not nearly as impressive as the graph makes it look.
I’m switching up my diet slightly. I’ve quietly been doing Eat. Stop. Eat. as part of my fat-loss program and am pleased with the results, not just fat loss but also in focus and energy levels. What it boils down to is that two days a week, my “fast days”, dinner is my only meal. My fast days have been Tuesday and Thursdays, which also happen to be strength training days. I’d like to be able to take my supplements after a strength workout, but that would interfere with my fast. So I’m going to switch my fast days to Monday and Wednesday. Monday is a rest day and Wednesday is Plyo/Cardio, so those seem like good days for it.
Whenever I do a set and I’m physically incapable of finishing a rep (i.e. I fall down) I mark the number down in red. And, oh man, so many red numbers in the second round of today’s workout. 66% of the sets in the second round were to failure.
Results: my total pushups for the workout compared to last week went from 77 to 91 and pullups went from 26 to 27. There wasn’t much improvement in pullups because 48 hours ago I did 37 pullups; I don’t think I left enough recovery time in there.
Good workout this morning. I’m putting up good numbers that are at the top end of anything I’ve ever put up in P90X before. I’m setting a solid base that I can use for improvement.
During the videos Tony Horton is constantly pushing you to write down what you did. He’s right. My workout sheet has a single page for each workout type. So next week, when I’m doing this workout again I can immediately see what I did today and I can push myself further, even if it’s a tiny bit: 2.5 more lbs or 1 more rep. In two weeks I can look back and see that I’ve improved and push even harder to keep that momentum.
Only one sour note today: my knees are very unhappy. Thankfully, they didn’t get much action this morning. I’ll try Plyo X again next week, but if they start complaining again I’m going to have to swap in Cardio X instead.
Near the end of the workout, one of the support muscles in the back of my left shoulder started tweaking and spasming. From previous experience I know that that muscle would have stayed tight all day and possibly put strain on my neck as the two muscle fought. My neck is one of my historic weak points for injury.
So I pulled out my RumbleRoller and set to work. (thanks to Tom K. who told me about RumbleRollers) After a minute of discomfort I felt the muscle stop spasming. So go RumbleRoller.
On a side note, completely unrelated to working out, but something that I’m excited about: my iPad 3 is in transit and should be here tomorrow 😀
I may have to switch to Cardio X. Or maybe just be sure to do Plyo in the morning. I was off work today so I didn’t have to immediately workout when I woke up. So I procrastinated until the afternoon. My knees were not happy. I did about 20 minutes before I had to stop 😦
Good news is that my muscles are only a little sore from yesterday. Three months ago during P90X round 3 (I’m currently on round 4, for those counting) my triceps were agony on this day.
Good workout. I put in some solid numbers. Nothing record-breaking for me, just enough for me to recognize I didn’t lose a lot of the strength gains I made during my last half-hearted P90X course.
I stuck to my planned diet yesterday. Today will be the same. One day at a time.