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The T3sk3y Defenestrator

P90X – a look back on 90 days of “Bringing It”

I hit a milestone recently that many strive for and many fewer succeed at: I completed all 90 days of P90x.

I’m sure most people that launch in to the routine have really great intentions of doing the whole thing, but in reality – it’s very difficult to dedicate 90 minutes a day to working out and even more time to eating healthy.  I’m also sort of amazed that we did it right in the middle of cold and flu season and ran the table without so much as a sniffle.

Phase III was a mix of Phases I & II.  It was an extra week longer, too – 5 weeks instead of 4 to make it a full 90 days.  Weeks 9 & 11 used the Phase I schedule and weeks 10 & 12 were on the Phase II schedule.  At the end was another “Recovery” week.  The quotes are deliberate – the Recovery week was brutal the way I did it.  The normal Recovery week is supposed to be:

Core Synergistics, Yoga, Kenpo, X-Stretch, Yoga, Core Synergistics, Rest.

I did this instead:

Core Synergistics, Yoga, Kenpo, Cardio-X, Plyometrics, Core Synergistics, Cycling 30 miles, Back & Biceps (had a random make-up).

Yeah, that’s all of the nausea-inducing chuck-fests back to back to back.  My body was wrecked after that run of workouts – but I dropped a final three pounds.

Like before, I’ve got some random thoughts on the phase and the program in general..

  • I was dumbfounded at how much stronger I was when I went back to the Phase I workouts in Week 9.  I basically doubled the reps and/or weight across the board.
  • I never thought doing 300 pushups in an hour would become sort of commonplace.
  • I did get to the point where I could knock out a half-dozen chin-ups, but I’ve still got a long way to go before being able to do multiple sets of pull-ups, chin-ups, wide grip pull-ups, etc.
  • I never really did get to a point where I dominated the Ab Ripper-X workout.  I got a lot better – but I’ve got a long way to go before I can do it straight through at full speed doing every rep.
  • X-Stretch is really a complete waste of time.  It’s all the worst parts of Yoga and it’s numbingly dull.  I did it once and successfully vowed to never repeat it.  I substituted Cardio-X to actually get some sweat going.
  • The ‘high carb’ third phase of the diet really didn’t work for me.  I’d soar and crash so bad with that many carbs that I either had to keep a constant drip of pasta going or I had to change it up.  Ultimately, I went with a 2400-calorie diet that limited fat intake.
  • I started having my recovery drink during the resistance workouts to keep my energy high and it made a huge difference.  I wish I would have figured that out earlier.
  • I finally came to peace with the Yoga workout that I struggled with in Phases I & II.  I started doing it late at night and I started playing my own trance-y music (Maserati!) instead.  That made all the difference – I didn’t get impatient since it was the end of the day and I got into the moment with music that took me someplace.
  • My Yoga mastery improved a lot – the only thing that really escaped me was the 5-minute “Warrior Three/Standing Splits/Half-Moon/Twisting Half-Moon” sequence.  I’d invariably get a severe cramp in one um, “cheek” and have to take a little break.

So.. was it worth the commitment?

Though I haven’t done the final measurements yet – I’ve lost 21 lbs since 1/4/11.  That translates into about 5 inches around my belly and two around my waist.   I didn’t really feel fat before.. but looking back, I was.  Being roughly six-and-a-half feet tall, extra weight could hide everywhere.  The difference really hit home this weekend when I purchased some 34″ waistline jeans.  I was struggling to get in to 38″ jeans at Christmas!

The biggest benefit I felt when I went for my first 30-mile ride with Balance Cycling to Wayzata and back.  I had far more power and energy in the first ride of the year than I did during my last ride of the year last fall.  Heck, I had more power than I’ve ever had on a bike – I wanted to keep going faster, and faster, and faster.

So, what’s next?  I made some big changes to myself and I don’t think I’m overstating the situation when I say that I think that I rolled the clock back five to ten years.  I want to continue to improve on that – and I’d like to drop another 10-15 pounds by the end of cycling season.  To get there, I’m going to keep up my better eating habits and I’m going to target 120 miles/week on the bike.  Then, when the weather turns foul again next fall/winter.. Heather and I will look at doing P90x again, or perhaps Insanity.  Now THAT (i.e. Insanity) looks painful..

My Recommendation: BRING IT!

 

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!

 

DDR – it isn’t just for mommy any more

Christmas night, the T3sk3y family had game night in the Chaska Pinball Shrine.  For old time’s sake, my wife and sister decided to fire up Dance Dance Revolution on the Dreamcast.  Before long, William wanted in to the act.   Hilarity ensued..

One last pair of teasers – and an explanation

Dan and Jacqie

Dan and Jacqie

Wow, it takes a long time to sift through 800+ images.  Last weekend, I had the blessing to attend my sister’s wedding in La Jolla, California.  I had a new role this time – a wedding photographer.  My sister Jacqie hired an actual pro to shoot the wedding – and she managed to get me signed on as her 2nd shooter.  My “job” was to shadow Lisa (the photographer) and get shots from different angles / styles / etc.

Upon this rock

Upon this rock

This will be my last teaser post until I have them ready to go.  Since there are about 500 that survived the 1st cut – it may be a while.  I’d like to send a big thanks to Lisa and JLee for letting me tag along with them on Saturday.  I’ve added the links to the two incredible artists (Elle G Photography and JLee Imagery) to my photography link list on the right.

Because I know everyone is going to be checking..

.. I’m going to give up just one teaser:

The Bride

The Bride

What we do when Mommy is away..

The first thing that we do is practice our Karate:

William working on his Karate moves

William working on his Karate moves

Next, Elizabeth eats things that Mommy doesn’t let her eat.. like her fingers!

Mommy wont let me suck my thumb

Mommy won't let me suck my thumb

What mommy doesn’t know WON’T HURT HER!

Take that, Mommy!

Take that, Mommy!

But, don’t worry Mommy.. I’m keeping a good eye on my little sister.

William watching out for his little sister

William watching out for his little sister

Hey daddy.. do you think you could do something about my hair before starting to play in the studio?

See the rest of my daddy’s pictures at his SmugMug site: Studio Light Practice pictures

4th of July Flowers

H3th3r, Wi11iam, 31izab3th and I spent the 4th of July on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound this year.  It was the classic ‘small town’ 4th with parades, three-legged races, and lots of fireworks.  I love fireworks.  I’m gradually getting the 600-odd photos I took during the trip sorted and edited (it’s quite a job) – so as a teaser, here’s a couple of fireworks shots that I took:

A Lovely Bouquet

A Lovely Bouquet

Photographically, I shot a 4-5 sec. exposure on f/11 at about a 50mm focal length.  I set the focus to Manual and focused at infinity.  When I heard the mortar, I clicked the shutter.

A daisy for you?

A daisy for you?

You can see the rest of my fireworks photos here: Fireworks Photos

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be continuously updating my gallery from the trip to Whidbey Island.  If you can’t wait until they are done, check back frequently on my SmugMug page.  The quick link to the photos is here: Whidbey Island 2008

Many new family photos online

For those checking here for Teskey family updates..

I’ve got a couple of new galleries online for your viewing pleasure.

Grandma Fran’s 90th Birthday in Waseca, MN

Jay and Chris’ wedding in Albert Lea, MN

Check out the entire 90th birthday party gallery here: (link)

The gallery from Jay and Chris’ wedding is here: (link)

I love my new raincoat!

This is from a couple of weeks ago.. but it’s such a cute shot.  William got a new raincoat – and he couldn’t wait to try it out and go splashing in some puddles.

William and his new rain slicker

The William Sonata

My son may be a musical prodigy in the making..

This made the rounds of my family a couple of weeks ago – but at the time I wasn’t able to link to it here due to some technical limitations at SmugMug with video. Now that Adobe has released H.264 support in Flash – it’s playable and embeddable!

If this isn’t playable – and you want to be able to see more cute little clips on here – upgrade your Flash player to Version 9 here: Firefox, Other Browsers

Enjoy..

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