Positive Notes on Week 3 of P90X

Positive Notes on Week 3 of P90X

I started P90X 3 weeks ago for the first time with her majesty. I’m generally a positive person so I thought I’d write down some of my challenges I had and how things have changed in a short time frame.

Why P90X?
I’m a programmer who’s a work-a-holic so I sit for 12+ hours a day, 7 days a week. Recently, my part of the tech industry has gone into major upheaval (change is a constant, but this was crazy), and the only thing I can control about it is my well being to adapt to the change. I always found exercise to be a positive outlet; strength training for the frustration when code doesn’t work or a client drives me bonkers, and cardio for keeping my body warm and not achy from sitting so long. My business partner is a meat head and always raves about P90X that he and his wife do together, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Personal/Life Challenges

  • I hadn’t worked out in 4 years (used to do strength training + too much cardio 3 times a week). I couldn’t even pass the test they suggest you pass before you start P90X, but I forged ahead anyway. #growl
  • I run my own business so even if I only bill for 5 hours in the day, I still work 14. Being in software, you have to constantly research/read/experiment to stay up to date; this isn’t an option, you just have to do it whether you want to or not (most of us do via our short attention spans). I have to do this in addition to everything else required to run a small business (taxes, paperwork, lead generation, dealing with insane clients, etc). As such, time is in short supply, and valuable, for me.
  • I have 2 young kids who are spaztastic like me.
  • I’m a beer snob. I like trying new beers every few weeks, from light to dark, foreign and domestic. Water weight.
  • I’m not attempting to do the P90X diet. I want to, but not for round 1.
  • I’m taking zero supplements, nor shakes. While I’ve found positive results from protein bars when I was younger, nothing of the sort here.
  • I’m “not 23″, lulz. I’m 32. My metabolism is not what it was at 18 – 24 where I could eat 10 billion things and show nothing.

Results

So what’s positive that’s happened 3 weeks in?

  1. I found some “brand new” jeans from 4 years ago that I could fit into (32/32 vs 34/32). I wasn’t really trying to lose weight, just feel better and bulk up. 3 weeks in, though, clearly my beer stocked stomach is showing results.
  2. The first week I couldn’t even use weights. Week 3 I’ve maxed out to the 27lb band (red one) for most work outs, falling back to the black one for some of the harder arm/leg exercises. I’m already having to order heavier bands and maybe a few free weights for some of the leg exercises I’d rather use dumbbells for.
  3. Week 1 and 2, I couldn’t finish Kenpo X. Today, I did and only did 18 of the 20 reps on 2 of the exercises. Next time, I know for a fact I’ll finish no problem.
  4. First time Yoga, I couldn’t do half of the poses. Now, I’m just getting my tail kicked by Warrior 3 and Half-No-One-Is-Supposed-To-Bend-That-Way-Moon. While all my poses aren’t perfect, it’s insane how quickly I got better at doing + holding just 3 weeks in. I’m uber paranoid about hurting myself so am pretty impressed.
  5. Anytime a stretch required me to stand, lean to the floor with my hands and touch it, I’d get my hands to my knees. Now I can touch the floor. 2 years of working out on my own I never was able to do that; it shows just how much repetition + following P90X’s lead can really make you more flexible.
  6. I only got a heart rate monitor (+ app + connector) 2nd week in, but already it’s a lot easier to keep my heart rate in the zone. Yes, I do try to raise it, but I’m just amazed at how good I feel even in Zone 3 and 4… (yes, was on the floor week 1 and 2 breathing heavily, not moving).
  7. I could only do 1 pull up the entire workout week 1. Using the bands + chair combo sometimes, I can do a lot more, improving week to week. I’m still not happy with my current state, but looking at the worksheets, I’ve seriously improved. I thought it’d take 2 months, but apparently it doesn’t.
  8. As I slouch a variety of ways, whether at my desk or at Starbucks (other office), my legs will sometimes fall asleep if I get lost in the code. It used to take 15 minutes for an asleep limb to stop being in pain and wake up. Now it takes 15 seconds. I actually made my leg fall asleep on purpose the other day because I thought it was a fluke. That took me 2 1/2 months to get to back when I was working out 3 days a week even with a personal trainer (who cost bling I might add).

…the other positive thing that’s happened, and I didn’t intend for this, is that some of my friends who were doing P90X, unbeknownst to me, have being inspired to bring it more. Others who were on the fence about trying it have said they’d look into it. Two unrelated people have said the same thing: “The DVD’s have been on my shelf, un-opened for awhile… maybe I’ll try it next Monday.”

Remember folks, this scrawny, beer bellied work-a-holic programmer is getting results in 3 weeks in, feels better emotionally, and I’m only doing 80% of my physical best because of my lack of previous fitness + no good diet + 2 year old hugging me during leg squats + 4 year old falling on me during Yoga + her majesty demanding I do more cardio in addition to my regular P90X schedule. I’ve even switched to more wine vs. beer just because I don’t want to ruin this momentum.

Finally, if you’re still not losing enough fat to visibly see a difference, reading this thread on another forum helped a few people I know feel better.

So good luck and continue to bring it!

11 Responses

  1. Mark Fuqua

    I have considered P90X, though I must admit…it seems pretty intense and at the same time seems too good to be true. How long do you spend each day?

    ps. Please don’t leave the Flex world…we need you.

    Mark

    • It is intense. 6 days a week, 1 hour 15 minutes each day (1 hour 45 minutes if you do Yoga + Ab Ripper), for 90 days (most do it twice, like I plan on doing). There are others like Power 90 that aren’t that intense. I still can’t finish some of the workouts, but “I show up and hit the play button” as Tony says. You only have to do 1/4th the workout each day, and you’ll still get positive benefits… although, people tend to forget how physically adaptable the human body is, hence your 15 minutes will start morphing into 20, 30, etc. That’s why P90X changes it up; you do a different excercise each day for a few weeks, and then switch it up; it’s all guided (including the food which I don’t do).

      It is too good to be true; I’m working my ass off, so even if I do P90X wrong, or P90X wasn’t actually valid, I’m still working my ass off, thus results come whether it’s good or not, lol!

      I think people like it, me especially, because it’s scheduled, the DVD gives you a progress of how far you’re through it, it has positive messaging, and a group feel (so you’re not alone… even if you are).

      The 2nd big reason is you don’t need a bunch of crap; just a pull up bar and bands or 4 dumbbells. Yes, you can buy all the stuff (mat, block, shakes, supplements, diet food + food they supply, extra weights, heart rate monitor, wireless support for it, app for it, blah blah blah), but you don’t have to. At all.

      I’m not leaving Flex, but I am fixin’ to dominate the JS stack so I can effectively shut down the ignorant and the h8z, both for my clients, and for y’all.

  2. as3isolib

    I have the vids for this but have yet to start it. I think the biggest challenge is that I don’t want to dedicate an hour or more to it. If you readers also find an hour + being too much time, you can do some of these workouts, which happened to help me go from 265lbs to about 215lbs in less than 7 months. I didn’t even change my diet (which is fairly healthy already). One is the 300 workout that the actors did to get in shape for the movie of the same name. The other is called 4 minutes of hell, and believe me, the name is appropriate.

    https://workflowy.com/shared/e81690cd-43db-cc99-2434-0387ad8fc97b/

    This in addition to doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & Yoga at least 3 times a week do a decent job of keeping me fairly fit.

    • Thanks for the alternatives & recommendations!

      1st thing I try when I’m done with P90X round 2, is the 300 workout. I read that only 1 guy actually finished it, the blacksmith. #iCantWait!

  3. Alan

    I thought about the P9X workout; however, it’s too much of a time commitment. I first began training about 15 years ago. I’ve had more trainers than I can count and I was even paid to workout and take fitness supplements (other guys on the team took steroids) when I was a professional Cheerleader & Coach.

    So I’ve done it all. I find that they best workout to do are simple 15-30 min workouts a few times a week. It’s not how long you workout, it’s how intense / diet / properly giving your body time to heal / and how you’re able to work multiple muscle groups at once. I went from a 1-2 hour a day gym routine to a 15-30 min 3x a week workout with similar results.

    You only need to workout longer (60 min) if you’re really consuming that many calories. E.g. instead of doing a 60 min workout, do a 15 min workout and skip the snickers and soda.

    Check out these links for longer explanation and example workouts.

    http://www.mensjournal.com/everything-you-know-about-fitness-is-a-lie
    http://www.bodyrock.tv/
    http://www.youtube.com/user/StrongLikeSusan/featured

    • Thanks Alan! I feel like my workout time is 1 hour+ working out, and 1 hour+ reading… still learning. I did zero research back when I first started 9 years ago, now I’m playing mad catch up; these links help!

    • …oh yeah, and I still don’t know what I don’t know.

  4. What an honest, bold post. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure you’ll kick ass.

  5. 1) You’ve stirred my interest to give this a try. But committing to one hour 6x/week could prove to be a real challenge.
    I attempted the fitness test this morning but I’m not sure if my result counts as a pass or failure. My 1.5 pullups did not break any records, but I did manage the 2 min jumping jacks. And this was just the test?!?

    2) Before and after photos please or it didn’t happen :-) If I manage to stick with this for any significant period of time I’ll promise to do the same. Trouble is I don’t usually last very long…

    • 6 weeks in, we’re still trying figure out a schedule. I like before dinner, her majesty does not. She wants to do it in the morning, I hate mornings. We sometimes end up doing it after the kids go to bed since it’s easier to do together and no pressure. The only problem there is you get uber hungry after working out and I believe should eat something… which causes me to digest food in my sleep and it’s not restful. So… going to try to do late morning, we’ll see how it goes. Hard with kids, but I’m sticking with it.

      • I’m hanging in there – so far. I’ve completed day 5, week 1. Yoga was tough, Plyometrics too. Actually it was all really tough but I do like it so far.
        I’m trying to do the exercises in the mornings – who needs work, right? I’ve noticed it takes me way longer than 1 hour to complete a 1 hour program…

        I’m starting to think that if you can do half of the stuff they show you in week 1 you’re pretty fit already…

        I’ll try to stick with it. Well done – week 6! Awesome. Glad you’re bringing it ;-)