10 Minute Trainer – Day 1

Hurray! Restarted an exercise programme, feel great. Knackered, of course, but great.

10 Minute Trainer day one today, I did all three (well, as much as I could). Which is about 42 minutes* if you don’t pause, or just under an hour if you faff about as I did. But hey, it was the first time trying, so every so often I had to pause and go “I do WHAT now?”.

In case anyone’s actually reading this for information – if you get the Basic version of the 10 Minute Trainer, you get 5 workouts, and a schedule that has 3 recommended workouts daily for 4 weeks. A few of the days have just one workout – they’re kind of recovery days. If you get the Deluxe version, you get an extra three workouts (plus a different warm up and cooldown), and an extra schedule for “accelerated results”.

I got the Deluxe version, but I’m starting with the basic schedule anyway, so that I can switch over after month 1 and not get bored. My logic is, if I do the version with all 8 workouts, then switching down to 5 will be boring. Whereas if I start with 5, then adding 3 more after the first month will keep things fresh. Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong – to be honest, as long as I do a hard 1/2 an hour of exercise each day, it probably doesn’t matter too much.

The schedule for day one is Cardio, Lower Body, Abs. I made it through the whole of the Cardio workout, nearly all of the Lower Body workout, and about half of the Abs one, if I’m being honest. Although not the first half. More an intermittent half – maybe every other move. I really enjoyed it, in between the bits where I felt like I was dying. And I feel REALLY great now it’s over.

Plus, I had a crap day today, so I enjoyed practising the kicks. I’m not mentioning any names, but I was definitely imagining a face on that target today.

It feels really great to be exercising again – can’t wait to start slimming down again (whether or not it helps me lose weight).

* Each workout is 10 minutes of exercise, but just a little more in elapsed time. That’s because Tony takes a few seconds here and there to explain the moves, and because of a few seconds of stuff of intro/wrap-up. There’s also a 2:20 warm-up, and a 1:20 cooldown. Those both seem a bit short to me to be honest so I’d recommend doing a little more, especially on the cooldown.

Restart: again

So, after some time messing about trying all sorts to find a solution, here I go again.  P90X? No. Failed? No. Why? Read on.

In September, just around the time of my last post, for family reasons I changed the hours I work at my job (increased them 25%), and generally changed around my whole schedule. P90X, which was taking me about 2 hours each evening, just didn’t fit any more. I tried to carry on, but I was exercising at the expense of sleep, and it just didn’t work – I was exhausted inside a week.

I’ve spent the time since then looking for solutions – P90X for a shorter time? Do the first half? Go to a gym and do exercise? None of them have quite worked for me, not enough to get into a routine. I won’t go into the whys, I’ll just say the new plan: 10 Minute Trainer.

Yep, I’m still sticking with Tony Horton – I really enjoyed the P90X workouts (until I got too tired), and felt better for them. I’ve hated watching myself gradually slide back to unfit. I know the 10 Minute Trainer won’t give me the quick results that P90X did, but it’ll get me fit gradually and it’s do-able with my lifestyle.

For anyone who hasn’t looked at 10 Minute Trainer, it’s a set of 5 (or 8, with the Deluxe version) 10-Minute workouts – you can do 1, 2 or 3 of those a day, depending on how much time you’ve got free. I’m going to shoot for 2, but see how it goes. I find these always take a bit longer than they say (I’m slow at learning physical moves) and I’m shooting for a hard 1/2 hour of exercise every day. Maybe 40 minutes. If I can do all 3, then I will, but I’m expecting that 2 will be about right.

I’ve watched the DVDs through already, and they’re clearly not an easy option! One of the things I like about them is that they’re not one-muscle-at-a-time: in order to get a decent workout in the time, Tony’s packed a lot of complex moves into the workouts. It’s going to be tough, but the plus side is that those were the exact type of exercises I enjoyed most from P90X. Think Core Synergistics, or Yoga. Using all your muscles at once. I’m really looking forward to trying this, but I’m expecting the first couple of weeks to be tough.

I ordered the Deluxe version, which has 8 different workouts, but I’m going to start with the basic plan so that when I start getting bored with those I’ve got something to add.

So, I’ll be restarting the exercise this evening, with (definitely) Cardio, (probably) Lower Body and (maybe) Abs. I’ll post again whenever I can on how it’s going – as much to keep myself honest as anything else!

**EDIT**: I also realised I didn’t mention the caffeine & diet thing. Just before I stopped P90X, I said I was cutting caffeine and improving my diet. So, you’re wondering (or not) how that’s going? Great! I’m not drinking caffeine at all now for nearly 2 months, and my diet is much improved (although I still have bad days there). Hopefully those improvements will help give me a solid base to start from as I start working out properly again.

Day 29, Day 32: Catch-up on missed blogs

I notice I forgot to blog after Monday night’s workout, so this is a 2-in-1 blog. Not, sadly, 4-in-1 as I missed two workouts. My son’s first day at school and my evenings got taken up with nametag sewing. I genuinely don’t have enough spare time to do that and P90X. 😦

Still, it’s a once-a-year thing, so never mind. Moving on: Monday (day 29) was the first time trying the Chest, Shoulders & Triceps workout. I enjoyed it a lot, although there did seem to be quite a few exercises that weren’t new. I guess I should have expected that really, but since every workout until now has been new exercises it felt a bit odd.

Once I’d got over that the workout was good – enjoyable, hard work, and boy did I feel it the next day. I followed it up with half of Ab Ripper before I totally ran out of energy. Must remember not to cut my calories too low – I keep eating about 1200 (not including the post-workout recovery drink), and that really doesn’t seem to be enough to get to the end of P90X.

Today, Yoga. This is only my second time of doing it, for various crap reasons, and the first time I wussed out/was exhausted/had done as much as I could (delete as appopriate) about 40-something minutes in. This time, my goal was to get maybe 5 mins more than that – to the end of the dynamic stretches.

Guess what? I got to the end! Whoopee!

Did I do all the stretches and poses? Like hell. There was plenty in there that I couldn’t do, especially as my balance is utterly terrible. Still, I made it to the end and tried everything even if I failed completely at a few (half moon stretches, I mean you!).

So, going from less than half to the full DVD feels like good progress. Maybe from here on out the stretches will get a bit longer!

Day 28: Argh! Ow!

Have you ever noticed how two different health goals can sometimes completely oppose one another? Like when you exercise more, and it makes you hungry so you eat too much? Or you eat less, and it makes you too tired to exercise?

For the last two days, I’ve cut out caffeine. I definitely needed to – I practically live on Diet Coke, and it’s horribly bad for me. But the down side of the move is that I’ve now had a raging headache for 2 days. Not a slight, niggly-but-I-can-live-with-it headache, I mean a real raging migraine. I got through yesterday with strategic dozes, but today’s been horrific.

Which led to a dilemma. Do I miss MORE of P90X, or do I try to exercise with a sick migraine, or do I exercise on painkillers. The problem with the last being that it’s very easy to overdo the exercise and do some damage.

I went for option 1 – missing the second Yoga this week. Which kind of sucks. Although, frankly, not as much as this ****ing headache does at the moment.

Anyway, hoping I’m in a better mood tomorrow, and the headache is a thing of the past. And that I remember NOT to start drinking Diet Coke again once this is over…

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!