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The T3sk3y Defenestrator

Reflections on P90X Phase II

I cannot believe that it’s already been 28 days since the end of Phase I.  The four weeks of Phase II really flew by – which means that it’s time to take a look back at how it went.

Phase II – like Phase I – is three weeks of hard resistance+cardio work and one week of recovery.  The resistance workouts are different than the ones in Phase I but the cardio workouts (Plyo, Yoga, Kenpo) are the same.  Here’s what the weekly schedule looked like:

  • Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps.  This workout was harder than anything in Phase I and really hurt the first couple of times.  There’s nothing like trying to do one arm push-ups after doing several dozen push-ups of other styles.  I never did have much luck with that one!  Generally, I couldn’t lift my arms after this workout.
  • Day 2: Plyometrics.  This is probably my favorite single workout in P90X.  Very hard, very exhausting – but it’s a good burn..
  • Day 3: Back and Biceps.  I’ve never looked forward to doing chin-ups as a break before, but spending 30 minutes focusing on the biceps makes them rubbery very quickly.
  • Day 4: Yoga-X.  Still not my favorite since I prefer dynamic high-impact exercise over standing in a painful position for 90 seconds at a time for 90 minutes.. but I’m absolutely getting better at it.
  • Day 5: Legs and Back.  This was very hard during Phase I – It’s getting much easier as I get stronger.  I could sit and listen to just the audio from the calf raise exercise all night long.  Go Sophia!
  • Day 6: Kenpo-X.  I find that I need to push myself pretty hard during this exercise to keep my heart rate high.  I love the workout, but it is one of the easier ones.
  • Day 7: Rest.  It’s still Rest-X in my book.

The Recovery Week (which I completed today) looks like this:

  • Day 1: Yoga-X
  • Day 2: Core Synergistics.  This is a solid full-body workout that has a little taste of everything.  Not sure which is tougher – Plyo or Core.
  • Day 3: Kenpo-X
  • Day 4: X-Stretch.  I hate X-Stretch.  Stretching for an hour isn’t really a good use of time in my book, so I substitute Cardio-X to amp it up a little..
  • Day 5: Yoga-X (again!)
  • Day 6: Core Synergistics (again)

Even though Phase II went by much faster than Phase I did – I found it took a little more intestinal fortitude to keep on track.  I did manage to keep pushing play every day, but there were some days I really wasn’t in the mood.  I think the chief problem was that the ‘shiny’ wore off somewhere around week 6 and the reality about how much time and effort it takes to keep hitting play sunk in.  There was a day (during week 5) that I had to quit Yoga-X after 45 minutes because it was making me violent with impatience.  Like I said.. I’m not good with static exercise.

The diet got better during Phase II as well.   To recap, Phase I was very high in protein and very low in carbs.  Phase II replaced a protein slot with a carb slot making it possible to have a carb source in every meal.  This was a much easier diet to follow and is actually probably a good long-term maintenance diet.  Having said that, I didn’t really follow the P90X diet well and just stuck to small portions/1 carb per meal/low fat.  As a result, I had more energy for the workouts and more free time since I wasn’t hand-making everything.  I also continued my 2 lbs/week loss in spite of Super Bowl & Birthday parties.

Physically I was less tired due to increased carbs and acclimating to a heavy workout schedule.  I was bedeviled by some low-back strain during weeks 6 & 7 that didn’t help the workouts but ended up not hurting them either.  It just meant that I took a week off from Ab Ripper-X to let it settle down.

The results?  I’m now down 16 pounds since January 3rd.  I’ve lost 5 inches around my mid-section and everyplace is much more toned up / firmed up.  For the first time in my life, I’m starting to get a butt.  I didn’t realize that it was possible to overcome my genetics inherited from a long but proud line of buttless people.  My clothes are starting to become baggy – but I’m going to hold off until the end to stock up on some new spring/summer threads.

Phase III starts after my rest day tomorrow.  It’ll be alternating weeks of Phase I and Phase II exercises – all done at maximum effort.  The diet swings to even less protein and even more carbs & fruit to give me the energy to go full blast.  With luck, I’ll leave another eight pounds in the pain cave.

Five weeks left!


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