Day 26: Core Synergistics

Another couple of days break to catch up on sleep. Truthfully, I’m finding the hardest thing about P90X is the sleep I miss doing exercise in the evening. I’ll have to find some other plan.

Nevertheless – Core Synergistics again. I quite like this one. I also quite hate it. It’s mixed. I like that fact that I can do some moves that seem impossible, but I also hate the fact that all the moves seem impossible. It’s tough, but rewarding. Etc. (Add cliches as appropriate). I managed to do 4 back-to-back Reach High & Under without falling over (or touching the ground with knees)!

Anyway, the days I missed were Kenpo and Stretch. I’m not too worried about  missing the stretching. Yes, I know it’s important – but I also know that the next two scheduled days are Yoga and Stretch again. More bothered about missing Kenpo – I might have to find some way to squeeze that in. The morning of the stretch day, maybe.

Otherwise – dreading yoga tomorrow, but I know it’ll probably do some good. Looking forward to a new set of strength workouts next week – Chest/Shoulder/Tri anyone?

PS. As an afterthought – the Lunge & Reach exercise really kills my hamstrings – is that normal, or does that mean I’m doing it wrong? Anyone know?


Day 23: Core Synergistics

First off, I suppose I ought to say that despite really, really hating the yoga yesterday, it seems to have done some good. This morning I could definitely feel that the yoga workout had (a) properly worked some muscles and (b) loosened up some muscles. So maybe I don’t hate yoga quite as much as I thought.

Also, aching pectoral muscles – almost exactly the same list of symptoms they tell you might indicate a heart attack. Just saying…

Anyway, today was Core Synergistics. I’ve been feeling under the weather all day, and really didn’t want to do this. But I know I’ve slipped a few workouts recently, and I really, really want to stay on track. So this evening I was feeling a little bit better and I thought I’d give the workout a try.

I won’t go through the workout step-by-step, but three key things.

1) When I watched it first, it looked completely impossible, but it’s actually not as bad as that. It would have been completely impossible three weeks ago, but now it’s just tough. Can I do it all? No. Not even the easy versions. But can I do enough to get a really good workout? Yes.

2) I got cramp in my hamstrings. Ow. Now, this could be a really bad thing (and yes, ow) – but I think it’s actually a sign that my hamstrings are starting to loosen up a bit. For the first time, I seem to be able to actually stretch them slightly instead of just having them sit there like knotted string. So maybe that’s a good sign? We’ll see over the next few weeks, I’m sure. I wonder if this is down to the yoga?

3) I could actually do the Reach High & Under Push-Ups! Not at the speed that the P90X guys do them, but I could do some! For someone who couldn’t even do a push-up when I started three weeks ago, that’s so exciting it’s untrue. In fact, I was impressed I could do a full-length push-up, and then amazed when I could do the Prison Cell Push-Ups (without the jump), and then astounded when I could do the Reach High… ones. It really showed me how much I’ve improved, and how worthwhile this whole thing is.

Tomorrow, Kenpo (which is my favourite anyway), and then repeat Core & Yoga again. After yesterday’s complete downer, I’m looking forward to it again. So, that’s it – end today on a high!

Day 22. I. Hate. Yoga.

So, for three weeks of the first block I’ve managed to skip the yoga for ENTIRELY valid reasons, but I’m in recovery week one now and there are two lots of yoga. So, time to face the music.

Here’s my secret: I hate yoga. Not just yoga – I hate static stretches, too, and yoga seems to be an entire hour and a half of static stretches. They hurt. I hate it. I’m miserable throughout, and then at some point I burst into tears and pull it together again and then burst into tears and give up.

At this point, I’m sure someone’s going to point out that this is a benefit of yoga, that it releases hidden tensions and helps you achieve emotional or spiritual breakthroughs. All I can say is, in that case why do I feel so bloody miserable afterwards? It doesn’t feel like catharsis, it doesn’t feel like tensions are released, it just feels like I’m in pain throughout, and then at some point it just hurts too much.

Anyway – I made it to about 43m in today before I’d had enough. It’ll be interesting to see whether gradually the time I make it through gets longer or not.

Meantime, it’s over for now, and tomorrow is Core Synergistics, which I haven’t done before. Let’s hope that’s a fun one!

Night, all.

Day 21: Legs & Back (off-schedule)

Caught up tonight on the missed Legs & Back workout from Friday. Didn’t go so well – a good workout but I hadn’t eaten enough calories and I was shaking before half-way through. Still, I survived – more or less.

I’m still struggling with the pull-up issue. I kept sliding across the floor with 60lb bands, but on the other hand I’m really not strong enough to do a proper pull-up yet. I’m compromising by mostly-not-quite standing on a chair and lifting as much of my weight as I can, but then I’m wiped out half-way through the workout. I skipped the last couple of rounds of pull-ups completely.

I’m not sure if this is actually effective or not, but it definitely makes me feel like a complete and utter wuss. Not fun.

Anyway, I got a decent leg workout, so let’s keep remembering the positive. And tomorrow I start the first recovery week – should be fun.

Day 20: Kenpo X

Missed a couple of days again because I felt crap. Darn it. This may be a sign that I just wasn’t fit enough when I started this. Still, as long as I keep doing what I can, it’s heading in the right direction. So I keep telling myself.

As a bonus, though, I started back today with Kenpo X, which I’ve decided is my favourite workout of the week. I just love doing the kicks, blocks, and punches and imagining I could actually hit someone. (Although I do know I’d be completely ineffective in real life – not to mention not actually wanting to hit anyone).

It works up a good sweat and gets my heart going without ever feeling like work. How cool is that?

So, because I missed the legs and back workout, I’m going to do that tomorrow, and then on to my first recovery week! Wow, time has flown by fast. I just looked at the schedule, and I still get to do Kenpo next week (yay!) and 2x yoga, 2x core synergistics which will be new and 2x stretch. Then take my day 30 photos.

Day 17: Shoulders, Arms, Abs – the usual

Today’s shoulders and arms workout was increase-the-weights-throughout. Every single exercise I used a larger weight than last time. In a couple of cases I went up two weights.

Now – I could either just be pleased and carry on, or I could overanalyse this and try to understand why. Which do you think I’ll go for? Yep.

My theory is that now my shoulder muscles have improved a bit, my muscles are now working together better. That means that I’ve got a bit of improvement in each muscle, but a whole lot of improvement from the fact they’re helping each other out. So whereas my biceps (for instance) had some strength, I can use that strength much better now I have a bit of shoulder and back muscle to support them.

Or, alternatively, it’s a phase-of-the-moon thing, or random, or something else entirely. Who knows?

Ab Ripper also went okay. I can now get NEARLY (but not quite) through all the Mason Twists at the end. And I managed to do the obliques nearly properly today, as well. (Nearly? Well, I have to have my spare arm flat rather than at my head. Otherwise I think it was right).

So, progress. I do notice, though, that I’m less tired at the end of the workout than I used to be. Even though I’m doing the exercises to the max I can. I feel a little bit cheated, like I’m not getting a proper workout. Do I like being in pain? No. But I do want to keep going as fast as I can. I guess the change to block 2 will mix it up and make it harder again.

Plus, given that I still can’t manage all 7 days in one week, I can’t exactly complain it’s too easy 🙂

Anyway, musing and over-analysing all done, now it’s time for sleep. Night!

Day 16: Slept

I seem to be getting into a pattern here. One day a week, I crash out and go to sleep early instead of doing the workout. It’s not the ideal, but if I stick at that level I think I can live with it. Goodness knows I need the sleep.
Note to self: do not let this become more frequent – only one pass per week! Also, only on the cardio days, not the strength days.
Right, it’s a deal.

Day 15: Chest & Back, Ab Ripper – again

Beginning to get a bit bored now. This is the fourth week I’ve done this particular workout (since the first week was started then abandoned), and it’s still tough, but much less exciting than it was. I’m really looking forward to the recovery week next week, then training block 2.

Short attention span, moi?

Still, I guess I’m the P90X ideal target audience 😉

Other than that – I’ve got to 60lb resistance bands for the pull-ups/chin-ups, and reached the point where I was pulling myself across the floor rather than stretching the bands because I couldn’t get enough grip. So I switched to “assisted pull-ups” (and chin-ups) which basically means standing on a chair and trying to support my weight as little as possible with my legs. Given how tired my arms and shoulders feel, I’m guessing it’s more or less working. Argh.

Ab Ripper was, as ever, challenging. I’m still tending to run out of energy half way through the Ab Ripper, and reach the end at a metaphorical stagger. I don’t really want to eat a load more calories, as I want to lose weight – but it’s getting really quite unpleasant trying to struggle through. In the nutrition guide, Tony says you should eat more calories if you’re running out of energy despite getting 7 hours sleep. Seven hours sleep? Who the hell manages that? I’d love to, but I’d have to drop all the workouts!

I’ll see how that goes. Maybe a few more calories each day and see if it helps.

Otherwise, time for sleep. At least 5 hours of it. Night, folks!

Day 14: X Stretch – another first!

Hurray! I did X Stretch. Which wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting, although frankly hamstring stretches just make me want to burst into tears and hide. Not fun.

Aside from my personal foibles, though, the X Stretch was good, and definitely unknotted my back a bit. For some bizarre reason, yesterday’s Kenpo workout decided that my weak muscles of the day were in my upper back, which was definitely stiff before the stretch this evening. Much better now.

So – two whole weeks done! (Well, actually a part-week and a week, but still…). One more week of block 1, then I get to do my first recovery week. I’m very curious about the Core Synergistics, but another week until I get to try it out.

Now, off to read some light-weight fiction before bed: currently reading the Rivers of London series which are very funny.

Day 13: First go at Kenpo X (Fun!)

So, Saturday dawned, and I wasn’t completely wiped out from the Legs & Back workout yesterday. I did start to feel a bit achy, but I took my son to the park and played around walking lots and using his Fliker a bit (when he needed a rest), which seemed to help avert the stiffness and aches.

All of which meant… I was in a fit state to do Kenpo X this week! Hurray!

I really liked it. I haven’t done any kick-and-punch type workouts before, although I know there are a lot out there, so it had novelty value. Plus, if I really put my heart into it and imagined kicking and punching someone standing right in front of me … well, not only did it make the workout tougher, but I don’t think I’ll ever need therapy now. I’ll just keep this workout to hand!

I did find that because it was my first time doing it, I had to stop the DVD a lot and look at exactly how to do the moves. That obviously meant it wasn’t as good a cardio workout this time as it will be when I can keep going straight through. That’s fine though – I still managed to work up a good sweat. I also rather suspect I’m doing some of the moves wrong – they still work as cardio, but I really doubt I’d manage to hurt someone if I tried to actually hit them. 🙂

By the end, my shoulders and upper arms were burning. Legs, surprisingly, not – I think that’s probably either because I didn’t have very good form on the kicks to work my quads properly, or because I was so busy concentrating on how to do the punches and blocks that I forgot to squat low enough. Next week will probably be tougher on my legs (that’s how it’s gone in previous workouts).

Anyway, the other good news is that I managed to start my workout earlier than usual, so I’m all done for the day by 10:30 – hurray! A nice early night.

Tomorrow – stretching. Ugh. I HATE static stretches, they always hurt. Never mind. After that – week 3, then recovery week, then part 2 – excited again!