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!