Friday, August 10, 2012

We return to our regularly scheduled programming

Okay... let's be clear.  I HAVE been working out since June.  I promise.  I just haven't been blogging about it.  I was trying to do the whole alternating P90X2 and Insanity each week, which was awful.  I didn't like taking a week off of weight training.  I didn't feel like I was making progress in either work out.

So, after trying that for the Phase 2 of P90X2, I gave it up and focused on P90X2 Phase 3.  I felt good.  I'm definitely still working on my tone.  My weight and body fat percentage are still up from where I'd like them to be, but I really am more at peace with it.  I'm strong, fit, and buff. ;)

I started Insanity a week ago, right as Leadership Academy started.  I managed to work out two days during Academy, which was awesome because I usually just run three miles.  This time, I did Plyo Cardio and Pure Cardio (the second with my friend, Angel).  I felt great!      

Here are my fit test results, which I did on July 30 and will be repeating every two weeks:
Switch Kicks: 48
Power Jacks: 58
Power Knees: 80 (left)
Power Jumps: 25
Globe Jumps: 9
Suicide Jumps: 13
Push-Up Jacks: 13
Low Plank Obliques: 48

Already, I have noticed that my knees are sore.  I squat down to get something from a lower cabinet and it's an effort to get back up.  I'll need to return to regular knee icing.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Insane Morning

I shouldn't say it was insane... because it wasn't.  I simply could not get into the Plyo Cardio workout this morning.  Maybe it's because it was 4:35 AM (don't ask), or because I ran 3 miles last night, or because I really just don't like Insanity workouts... whatever the reason, I did not have it in me to even try to not rest.  Don't get me wrong, I do think the Insanity workouts help, but I do not prefer them over the P90X2 workouts.  I wonder if I would feel differently if it was all I was doing -- and if I actually took the fit test and could see improvements. 

However, my 3-mile run last night was awesome!  The right music and the right route, plus I'm not sick this week... all made for a nice run.  I ran faster than I did when John and I ran at the beginning of the month, but not as fast as I would like.  I'm working on increasing my speed -- and in August I am going to start up half marathon training again.  I'm planning to do the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in January, maybe the Malibu Half in November, and possibly a fun "dirty girl" 5K mud run in November too (as long as Kari does it with me!).  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Working Out is Hard to Do

My workout routine has been so odd lately.  I don't like it at all.  We've been so busy -- lots of cool things are going on like vacations, weddings, parties, and general friend dates. I've been eating sort of better -- and have cut my alcohol intake a lot in the past two weeks, but I feel like I can't stick to my workout schedule.    Damn that needing to make money and find a job! ;)  I have been prioritizing it less in the last few weeks, which is such a departure from how it was before we went to Hawaii.  I'm not sure I'm busier now, but there's something going on for sure. 

I keep going back to the idea of working out in the morning.  BUT, given my previous not-so-positive experience with that, and the fact that in order for it to really work I'd have to get into bed at a reasonable hour and not fall asleep on the couch, I'm not sure it's the best idea. 

I'm not sure if I'm liking the alternating weeks of Insanity and P90X2.  I'm a little concerned that I'm not getting the benefits of both as much as I thought.  I wonder if that's part of the reason I'm not as motivated to stick to my schedule. It's something for me to think about this weekend when I'm purposefully not making plans other than to work on my to do list.

 I also have been running -- badly.  I can't keep a good pace, I'm worn out so quickly, it's a hot mess when I run. 

Okay, complaining post done. ;)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Plyo Cardio Circuit

Here's the thing that I don't like about Insanity - Plyo Cardio Circuit: just when you think you're going to get a break, Shaun T. makes you do more work!

Seriously, you do a cardio circuit, which is three-four exercises back-to-back for 3 minutes, then a water break.  But on the last circuit, rather than a water break, it's two-three more minutes of a completely different kind of exercise!  It's like a bonus circuit, except you don't feel like you won a prize.

I'm still feeling exhausted and that my workouts aren't having much of an impact.  We have a ton of leftovers from the party this weekend, so we are finishing those and then it's back to cleaner eating throughout June. 

In other news, I'm officially done with school and now have a Ph.D.! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fatigue Part 2

I wrote about fatigue once before (here) -- way back in January in which I worked out in the evening and then again the next morning.  The fatigue I am feeling now is of a whole different breed.

It's the fatigue from a week of vacation and then two weeks of weddings and parties (including lots of alcohol and rich foods!).  From stress with my upcoming graduation and the party to celebrate it.  From stress of job searching, and feeling that the search is going nowhere.  From trying to remember that not everything can be solved and that it's not all my responsibility to fix things.

All this to say that working out is hard.  I'm pushing myself through the workouts -- increasing my weight and reps -- but I want to stop and rest a lot more (especially during Plyocide, but that's normal). Next week I'm doing an Insanity Week, so we'll see how that goes.  If nothing else, it will be a change of pace -- talk about muscle confusion!   

Monday, May 21, 2012

Insane P90X2?

Now that I'm back from vacationing in Maui, I can stop and think about how it went.  Insanity is ridiculous.  Such a good workout to do on vacation though because it was short and didn't require any equipment to speak of.  It was awful because we had never done it before, and as I noted in previous posts, frequently said "What?"  and "Are you kidding?" to our computer as Shaun T. called out the exercises.  But, the ridiculousness of the exercises means I only gained 4 pounds over vacation -- which feels like a miracle!

So, I'm going to revamp my entire workout routine that I had set up for the next few weeks and transition into an Insanity-P90X2 hybrid.  I'm thinking one week of P90X2 then a week of Insanity... sounds like fun, right?  Plus the running I've added in?  Sounds great. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Insanity in Maui

While this also describes my vacation so Day 2 begins it has been super fun!... yesterday John and I did Insanity Plyo Cardio Circuit.

OMG. I took so many breaks (not long, but breaks nonetheless)! The 30 second water breaks were not long enough for my heart rate to really recover. I kept saying, "Are you kidding me?" It was nonstop. The warm-up was RIDICULOUS! The workout was crazy.

John and I did this together, which was awesome! It's one of the first workouts we have done together. We supported each other and had fun while doing it!

At the end, I told John I might consider doing a week of Insanity, then a week of P90X2 -- Insane P90X2. Then I woke up today with sore inner thighs and am wondering how good of an idea that is... just kidding! It's a good sore. And working out on vacation is hard, so I'm psyched that John and I ran 4 miles on Saturday and then did Insanity on Sunday. The goal is to work out today too, but we'll have to see how the day progresses.

This was the view we had while we were working out. Not so bad.

Calories Burned: 539
Time in Zone: 38:57 (93%)
Average Heart Rate: 151
Peak Heart Rate: 177

Thursday, May 10, 2012

interesting fact

Yesterday I actually went and did some number crunching on my weight, body fat, and body fat percentage from the beginning to the end of P90X2.  As I think I've mentioned, I haven't lost any weight.  That's usually the first question people ask, and they are surprised when I say I haven't lost any.  But, I hadn't really looked at the numbers to see what that meant.

January 12 --> April 19
Weight: 134.1 --> 135.7 (+1.6 pounds)
Body Fat: 32.2 --> 32.3 (+0.1 pounds)
Body Fat Percentage: 24.1 --> 23.9 (-0.2%)

So, yes, I gained weight, but the majority of it was muscle weight.  And, my body fat percentage still dropped, even though I technically gained a bit of body fat.  FASCINATING.

This reminds me that I should stop worrying about the scale every week.  It's constantly up and down.  I know that, and I still feel compelled to check it compulsively each week.  Since I'm going to be in Maui next week, and not checking it, it will be the perfect time to go to an every other week checking situation.

This morning I got up and did Balance & Power.  I like this workout a lot.  The moves are all really different -- with three rounds of 6 exercises.  I've been working on using the Stability Ball to do Sphinx to Plank Roll Ups and Plyo Bounces -- they aren't pretty, but they are getting done.  My core is SO MUCH stronger!  I'm not very good at the Forearm Alternating Side Plank on the stability ball.  I can do this with med balls, but the stability ball is just still unpredictable.

Calories Burned = 529
Time in Zone = 40:52 (83%)
Average Heart Rate = 137
Peak Heart Rate = 171

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

yay for Total Body!

I have been looking forward to Total Body and Ab Ripper ALL DAY!  I have gotten in such a habit of taking, at most, one day off between workouts, that taking the last two days off has been harder than I thought!

Here's what I like about where I am now -- before I did P90X2, when I didn't work out for a few days, I would also eat terribly.  The last two days, I have intentionally cut my caloric intake - mostly by not having an extra dairy serving or not having the protein bar.  So yay for that.  Plus, I always felt like the two days I would take off before really made me less toned -- like I could see the difference between workout me and not workout me.

I feel buff all the time right now. :) And so much stronger.  I did 12 push-up side arm balance moves ON MED BALLS!

Calories Burned = 848
Total Time in Zone = 54:38 (62%)
Average Heart Rate = 129
Peak Heart Rate = 171

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hit My Plyocide Limit

I started the warm up for Plyocide yesterday, and just could not make myself get past the foam rolling.  I was angry yesterday for a variety of personal reasons, and in hindsight, Plyocide might have made me feel better, but thinking about it just made me more angry.  Since I didn't have plans to work out today, that makes 2 days that I won't work out. 

Luckily, I have big plans to do Insanity while in Maui next week.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Your Old Pal, The Frog

About halfway through the Frog, Tony Horton says, "So, if this is starting to feel easy for you, you can move your knees apart."

This has never happened to me.

The Frog hurts me for the entire 90 seconds I do it.  I'm getting better, but geez.

Calories Burned = 367
Time in Zone = 9:26 (15%)
Average Heart Rate = 103
Peak Heart Rate = 154

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Total Body Round 2

It turns out that working with a real set of weights is different than working with resistance bands.  Especially when you have two weights that are adjustable, so you have to pause to make sure you have the right weight.

I was really excited because I tried a few things differently this round -- like Push Up Side Arm Balance on Med Balls!  It's hard enough on the floor -- but when you do it with your hands on two med balls, the instability is so amazing for your core!  I was able to do 10, which surprised even me.  Maybe I'm almost ready for the 4 Med Ball Push-Ups (minus the fact that I only have 2 Med Balls). 

I also tried to do Boing Push-Ups, in which you hold the stability ball and "fall" toward the floor, do a push-up on the ball, and then "boing" back up.  I did 4-5 -- they were pretty ugly, but I'm still working on engaging my core in order to not collapse onto the ball.

The last exercise I tried with some different results was the Crunch Lever Pull-Up, in which you hold yourself close to the pull-up bar, in kind of a ball, and... well, here's a video of someone doing it.  (This person actually looks a little like me with their bleached hair... but I guarantee you it's not me!)  I used our handy pull-up assist to do a few of these (again, ugly, but I'm working on it!), and felt good that I was strong enough to hold myself up there. ;)  

Calories Burned = 804
Time in Zone = 49:40 (54%)
Average Heart Rate = 123
Peak Heart Rate = 171

Monday, April 30, 2012

Guest Blog - John's reflection on his heart rate

John again, guest blogging on Kenna's site. So, first things first. I got sick last week. So sick that I was sleeping 18-20 hours a day in between walking the dog and taking cold medicine. (If I owe anyone a phone call, let me know. I was a little out of it.) Admittedly, I continued to do the Phase 3 workouts for one of the four to six hours I was awake even though I was struggling and sneezing and generally unable to hold a plank for any time worth counting. I realize that rest was probably a better idea, but I made my commitment to this thing, and well, even though I was incredibly uncomfortable, and a little gross, I had some energy to burn from all that sleep.  I couldn't do much more cognitively than follow directions so why not let Tony order me around. Also, I was home alone, not potentially exposing other people at the gym. It seemed to work out. I did my best, and didn't listen to the rest.  

Personally, I was shocked that I was even getting sick with all the exercising and nutritionising :) we've been up to. Up until this week, I was ready to call P90x2 the equivalent of an apple a day, an insanely ripped 52 year-old pushy punny motivating apple named Tony Horton, but an apple none the less.  We usually have gotten sick at least once or twice by this time of the year, but up until this week it hadn't happened. Okay, so it did happen. I got sick, the world didn't end. I slept a lot. Today was the first day I've had a relatively clear head. 

So what happened? We went to Disneyland, walked billion miles and had a great time with friends and family. When we got home, I took the dog (Falkor) on a three mile run, and then I did the P90x2 Yoga. Now that I'm mostly well again, I'm feeling fantastic. Two things: 

1. I hadn't run since starting this routine because I was getting plenty of exercise. Why would I?

2. My average beats per minute on this run dropped 16 beats over a similar distance with four minutes shaved off my time. I could have run another three, but Falkor looked tired. He kept stopping to pretend to pee, but had nothing in the tank.

On January 28th, I ran 2.7 miles in 31 minutes with an average heart rate of 167 bpm. Today I ran 2.8 miles in 26:40 with an average heart rate of 151 bpm. I've been tracking all of my exercise since the beginning of the year. The P90x2 stuff is a little harder to quantify because the more in shape I get, the harder I push, so my heart rate stays pretty consistent, and I still feel pretty foolish at the end of every workout. I still can't do as much, as fast, or as hard as the folks on TV, but the running is a benchmark I can't ignore. Everyone has fast and slow days, but the heart rate doesn't lie. My current average heart rate for all of my runs taking into account the varying distances is 162. I haven't run in six weeks, and my bpm today was still 10 below that. I should have been a wreck. 

I guess I'm posting right now because I don't want to forget this feeling. These workouts can feel a little... a lot daunting. I'm not feeling any less like throwing up at the end of many of these workouts, and the results sometimes seem so incremental as to be imperceptible. So, if I have any advice today, it's that if you're struggling right now with wanting to continue, find whatever physical activity you liked to do before you started this program and go back to it. See if you notice a difference. Or, if you're just thinking about starting P90x2, go run out and, well... run, or play hoops, or flag football, or whatever you like. You'll be too tired to do it once you start the program, but pay attention to your last at bat. Then see how it feels to go back as the program comes to the end.  I didn't plan to run 3 miles today. Falkor looked a little pent up from being inside while we were at Disneyland so I thought I'd run around the block, but I felt so good I just kept going. 



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Insanity...for 20 minutes

I'm at a conference for the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology ( in San Diego. I didn't bring all my workout gear with me - why deprive John the ability to do pull-ups? Instead, I brought the Pure Cardio Insanity workout. I figured it would be a good introduction to what we are planning to do in Hawaii in 2 weeks (OMG).

I was sweating within 3 minutes. The warm-up was a workout in and of itself; I know because I had a technical difficulty with the sound and had to stop after the warm up because I couldn't hear anything. With P90X3, I probably would have toughed it out, but not with a new workout.

All that said, I could tell it was going to be a great workout and I can't wait to try more in the series in a few weeks!

Calories Burned = 250
Time in Zone = 14:02 (62%)
Average Heart Rate = 139
Peak Heart Rate = 179

Monday, April 23, 2012

Round 2 Begins

Yesterday I started P90X2 again!  This time around, besides continuing to work on my pull-ups, I want to work on my balance and continue to strengthen my core.  Plus, I wanted to generally improve in all the exercises in this round  As I've already said, I'm not going to be as strict on the nutrition restrictions -- we all know how well that turned out.  But, as my friend Julie says, 80% good nutrition is still good.

Yesterday I did X2 Core (you can read about my initial experiences here and here).  Last week I took some time to set goals based on how many I was able to do in the last week I did this workout.  Below is the run down of where I started in January to Week 4 of Round 1 to yesterday

Sphinx Plank Crunch: 13 reps --> 20 reps --> 20 reps
Warrior 3 Cross Crunch: 10 reps --> 10 reps --> 10 right/8 left (my hip was bothering me yesterday)
Single Leg Walk Out to Sphinx: 5 Right/4 left (3 touch) --> 5 Right/Left (1 touch) --> 5 Right/Left (2 touch)
Half Angel: 4 Right/Left --> 8 Right/9 Left --> 10 Right/9 Left
Roller Boat: 10 --> 12 --> 12
3 Speed Med Ball Pushups (30 secs): 0 on MedBall/8 on ground --> 0 on Med Ball (I couldn't get to this)/12 on ground --> I tried to this on the MedBall and realized I really need to watch the example more closely
One Leg Lateral Leap Squat: 12 (3-4 touches) --> 12 (3-4 touches) --> 14
Core Circles (40 seconds): 40 seconds on ground --> 40 seconds on stability ball --> 40 seconds on stability ball
Holmsen Screamer Lunge: 13 Right/14 Left --> 15 Right/Left --> 15 Right/Left
Med Ball Dreya Roll: 0 --> 14 with 8 lb Med Ball --> 13 with 8lb Med Ball (my goal was 15)
Plank Burpee: 8 --> 14 --> 3 on ball with each leg up
Banana Ball Switch Crunch: 10 --> 17 --> 12 (goal is 20)
3 Point Squat Press with Med Ball: 12 --> 15 with 8 lb Med Ball --> 15 with 8 lb Med Ball
Slo Mo Balance Climber: 10 on ground --> 20 on stability ball --> 20 on stability ball
X2 Diver: 5 --> 5 --> 5
Ryan Sphinx Twist Crunch: 4 Right/3 Left --> 9 Right/8 Left --> 8 Right/Left
One Leg Burpees: 8 --> 10 --> 6 (I started this exercise on the Med Ball, but again, need more instruction)

So, I improved on most of the exercises, and still have room on others.

Calories Burned = 560
Time in Zone = 37:35 (67%)
Average Heart Rate = 131
Peak Heart Rate = 179

Oh yeah, today I did Plyocide, and I still want to die.  Taking 5 weeks off that workout made it hard to get back to.

Calories Burned = 632
Time in Zone = 40:02 (72%)
Average Heart Rate = 141
Peak Heart Rate = 179

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pictures at the end of Phase 3

Here are my after pictures (4/13) next to my before pictures (1/12). 

You can definitely see I'm more toned in my abs! 

My shoulders and back always did look good. ;)  You can tell the difference in my hips too! 

 Check out my bicep and my beautiful tricep muscle!


(1/12 --> 4/13)
Weight: 134.1 --> 135.7
Body Fat Percentage: 24.1 --> 23.9
BMI: 21.8 --> 22.1
Chest: 34" --> 35"
Bicep: (r) 10.75", (l) 10.5" --> 11" (r & l)
Waist: 27" --> 27"
Hips: 35" --> 34"
Thigh: (r) 22.5, (l) 22.75 --> (r) 23", (l) 22.75"

Fit Test 

(1/12 --> 4/21) 
Pull-ups: 0 --> 1 (from standing)
Vertical Leap: 11.5" --> 14.5"
Push-ups: 8 "regular" --> 16 "regular"
Toe Touch/Flexibility: +5" past my toes --> +7" past my toes
Wall Squat: 1 min. 32 secs. --> 1 min. 48 secs. 
Bicep Curls: 30 with 10-12 lbs resistance band --> 13 with 15 lbs weight
In & Outs: 30 --> 39 
Jumping Jacks for 2 mins & Still Able to Breathe: Yes --> Yes
Heart rate immediately after jumping jacks: 170 --> 174
Heart rate each minute after jumping jacks: 131-110-95-91 --> 128-109-106-98 (weird)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Alert! Alert! Guest blog post

Okay, so Kenna just recently finished Phase 3 of P90x2. I thought I might help out while she is between phases. 

Today was my first day of Phase 3, and I just "completed" my first P.A.P. Lower workout. I put "completed" in quotes because my legs were so shaky during the fourth round of the second half of the workout that I kept failing or falling. So far, it is the hardest leg workout I have ever attempted. Between being dizzy, wanting to vomit, and my legs going all wobbly, I collapsed during the final moments just before cool-down and sort of muscle-spasmed for a few moments. I've never felt so weak/depleted. That being said, here are my list of the hardest workouts of P90x2 in order or crazy.

  1. P.A.P. Lower (see above)
  2. Balance & Power - The first time I tried it, I cursed Tony Horton. Literally, I couldn't stop saying during the workout, "F**k you, Tony Horton! It's not funny."
  3. Base & Back + Ab Ripper - Pull Ups, Plyo, Pull Ups, Plyo...

Oh yeah, while I'm spouting P90x2 stuff, don't eat raw onions before working out. Seems pretty simple, but one of the meals calls for a broccoli salad with raw onions. Eaten at lunch with a 4pm workout is bad for anyone involved. By that I mean you (the onion eater) and anyone who wishes to be in the same house that evening. 

I would tell you more, but, like they say in every video, I've done my best, and I forgot the rest. 



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

clearing the mind

I love how P90X2 (and to some degree all workouts) help to clear my mind.  I mean, it's hard to consider how to respond to this or that or think about drama when you are standing on one leg trying to do half moon or twisting half moon or 5 Warrior 2 lunges with your thigh burning. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

PAP Upper Week 3

So, here we are in the final work out of Phase 3.  We finally ordered an actual weight set -- although the bands have been AWESOME and the 3 lb weight we have gets the job done for the most part.  But, in the PAP Upper Renegade Rows exercise (on dumbbells you do a push-up, then a row with each arm), the 3 lbs was pretty easy.  So, in the same visit to Big 5 when I picked up my super cool LA Gear training shoes, we tested a set of dumbbells.  See, in the P90X2, they have hexagonal weights, but in order to have a good set, we needed round ones.  John was worried that when I did the Renegade Rows, the weights would roll away from me and I might get hurt.  So in the Big 5, I took my heels off and tested it out.  We agreed that I should use the yoga mat to give the weights a little bit more purchase.

It worked great!  The additional weight might not have been enough, so next time I might go from 10 lbs to 15 lbs.

Other improvements in this phase I've discussed a little -- like being able to do 6 plyo push-ups on my knees rather than 4 ugly regular ones.

I also went from resting 4 times during Plank on Med Ball and 3 times during Superman to 2 times and 1 time respectively.  I really wanted to be able to do both for the whole time, but it just didn't work. Oh well, something to work toward next time.

Plus, since it is the last day of the Phase, and with only a week of Recovery left, this round of P90X2 is basically done, I decided to try out the pull-up one last time.  See the videos below of the pull-up attempt and chin-up attempt, respectively:

You know what this means?!  I DID A PULL-UP!  Goal accomplished!  They weren't the prettiest things, but they got DONE, and now I can improve from there!

Calories Burned = 504
Average Heart Rate = 128
Peak Heart Rate = 164

Thursday, April 12, 2012

PAP Lower Week 3

So today was the last PAP Lower workout.  After two-and-a-half weeks of listening to Tony Horton tell me that I shouldn't wear running shoes for this workout, John and I finally went out and bought some inexpensive training shoes at Big 5.  Although I wanted the pink LA Gears, I ended up with black LA Gears. LA GEARS! Seriously, I did not think this brand still existed!

The shoes did make me feel a bit more stable, so that was a plus.  AND, I realized that it didn't matter what shoes I was wearing, because I'm working out on laminate flooring, my feet are going to slip.  So, since I'm using my yoga mat to pad up my elbow, I used John's yoga mat to provide some stability for my feet.  And hallelujah, on the last round of the Side Bridge Leg Lift, I was able to hold the pose for the entire 30 seconds on each side, with my arm raised in the air (which somehow made it seem easier!).  This has been a difficult exercise for me, and I thought I would need to be content with just staying in the position with my hip up, but bringing my leg up and down to rest.  Today I just breathed, and rocked it!

Here are some other things I improved on:
  • Step Up Convict - from 3 lb weights to 8 lb med balls in each arm, adding a heel raise at the top of the position.  
  • Squat Cross Reach - from 5 ugly reps to 8 pretty reps 
  • Skater Plyo - I could always do the 8 reps, but I definitely got faster and more powerful doing them 
I still need to work on my one-leg line hop and my monster slalom.  I'm just not confident with my left knee on the monster slalom.  

It occurs to me that I have not gotten a cold since I started this workout.  I mean, usually I get a cold sometime in the first few months of the year.  But nothing.

I'm looking forward to Round 2 of P90X2.  Here are some things I'm looking forward to in particular:
  • Adding running, alternating 3 miles and intervals each week
  • Adding the push-up in between upward dog and downward dog in yoga
  • Continuing to work on the pull-up
  • Continuing to work on this blog
  • Med Ball Push-ups 
  • Having pizza (John and I agreed to have some when he is done with his last phase!)
  • Doing Insanity the week we are in Maui in May
Calories Burned = 691 (compared to 774 in Week 1) 
Average Heart Rate = 139 (compared to 143 in Week 1) 
Peak Heart Rate = 177 (compared to 182 in Week 1) 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

3 workout days left!

This morning, as I was completing yoga, I realized that I only have three more workout days left in this phase -- PAP Upper, Lower, and Recovery+Mobility!  OMG!  Then I'm taking a week of Recovery+Mobility before starting Round 2 of P90X2.

I've been working harder during the PAP workouts, trying to hold positions longer or do more weight or use one fewer resistance band on my pull-up assist.  I don't necessarily feel like I am getting that much better at the PAP workouts.

We'll see how I am doing on my goals tomorrow and Friday -- I'm weighing in tomorrow and doing measurements and pictures on Friday!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Modified Plyo Push-Ups

Earlier in the P90X2 workouts, I was doing Plyo Push-Ups and felt pretty strong.  While I couldn't clap at the top of the push-up, I still felt pretty awesome for being able to get my hands (and sometimes feet) off the floor more than once.

Then I got to PAP Upper, and the Plyo Push-Ups are explosive, meaning fast.  Before, I would do 1 or 2, take a little break, maybe I'd get to three, but they weren't explosive.  Right, so now I haven't been feeling so awesome.  I'm okay with the fact that I could do 4 of the 6 I'm supposed to do, but I just wasn't sure I was getting the maximum benefits of the explosive nature of the movement.

Then I watched the modification.  Now, why didn't I think of that before?  In the workout, the woman Christine is doing her plyo psuh-ups on her knees.  So I thought I'd try it.


I did 6 modified plyo push-ups and CLAPPED at the top of each one!  Hooray!

In other news, it's harder to blog about this third phase.  Maybe it's because I'm not tracking my reps and weights as much or because it's so repetitive that I risk boring myself and you with the recounting of it.  I like it and feel stronger each time, so that's a plus.

Calories Burned = 526
Average Heart Rate = 132
Peak Heart Rate = 172

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Not Missing Plyocide

As I sit on the couch on my rest day, watching John do Plyocide, I keep thinking how much I DO NOT miss Plyocide.  Although there's not as much variety in the workouts in Phase 3, since it doesn't have Plyocide, I don't feel like dying as much.

The Phase 3 workouts don't have a workout sheet, but I think I'm going to make one for myself so I CAN keep track of my reps and improvement.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


It is after midnight and I am still awake. With no caffeine, 2 glasses of champagne at Jeannette's bridal shower, and a beer for good measure, I am still awake. Perhaps the extra carbs are working. Or perhaps reading Josh's dissertation and doing laundry is also riveting.

I do enjoy this being up late thing though. Figures it is on a night I'm home by myself. Week 2 if Phase 3 starts tomorrow!

Friday, March 30, 2012

my husband is MacGyver!

My husband is super handy.  From building outdoor balcony seating to living room shelving to carrying me to bed when I fall asleep on the couch -- he's really indispensable in my life.  I thought I knew the full extent of his helpfulness.

I was wrong.  Check out this amazing pull-up assist he made!  It's 2 resistance bands connected to one handle and then fed through the arm attachment (which you attach to the bar and put your arms in bent to do core exercises).  Well guess what also fits in the arm attachment -- YOUR FOOT! 

John's home-made pull-up assist! 
I am super psyched about this because it means I did 5 -- FIVE -- pull-ups with assist in each round of the 2nd complex of PAP Upper!  Which means I did 20 assisted pull-ups! 

Calories Burned = 504
Average Heart Rate = 127
Peak Heart Rate =165 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Checking in on my goals

When I started the program, I had the following goals for this program

  1. Follow nutrition plan as described in the P90X2 materials (minus the 5 cheats)
  2. Be able to do 1 pull-up by the end of the program 
  3. Get a 4 pack before summer 2012 
  4. Reduce my body fat to 20%

I'm not on track to reach any of my goals, well, maybe the one about having 4-pack abs ;). I am surprisingly okay with it.  Given how achievement-oriented I am, I expected to be way more disappointed, but I actually feel pretty good.    

I should clarify -- I'm working toward my goals, but I'm not confident that I will be able to reach them all by the time this first round is over.  I am also not sure that I WANT to reach them -- for instance, to get my body fat down to 20% (which means a decrease of at least 4%), I'd have to really restrict my diet, and I've learned that I'm not willing to do that. 

Maybe it's a result of the unexpected outcomes, like having more sustained energy throughout the day, being able to get through the workouts (even with modifications) and being proud of that, knowing I'm getting stronger, having visible changes in my body, increasing my flexibility.

Yesterday afternoon, when I did yoga, I noticed that my chattaranga was much better after having done Superman during PAP Upper.  What a surprise!  My low back was simply stronger and more flexible! 

So, at the end of the day, I'm really happy with my results, even if they aren't what I had originally anticipated. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

PAP Upper - Week 1

So, the people in PAP Upper get really sweaty.  I did not get as sweaty as them.  I think I needed to work a little harder -- again, the first workout is always a little weird to get used to.

Again, 2 complexes, 4 workouts each repeated 4 times in a row with a water break in between the complexes.  One of the exercises I was most proud of was the Plank on Med Ball.  I couldn't do it for the whole 60 seconds, but I could do it better than I expected!

And again, the workout was fast and fun.  And there's a lot of room for improvement!

Calories Burned = 479
Average Heart Rate = 126
Peak Heart Rate = 169

Sunday, March 25, 2012

PAP Lower - Week 1

I am so glad to have started Phase 3.  That last recovery week was like cheating week. I guess I may not need 7 whole days of recovery, but something closer to 4.  Good to know.

Today I got to do PAP Lower.  PAP stands for Post-Activation Potentiation -- Tony Horton says "You've probably never heard of that before."  No kidding, it sounds completely made up.  But, as I read on the Team Beachbody website, it was a killer workout.

2 "complexes" -- which are four exercises each, repeated 4 times in a row with a 5-10 second break in between each exercise.  Then a 1 minute water break in between each complex.

I wasn't terrible in the first complex -- step up lunges, side-to-side & front-to-back single leg hops, skater plyo leap, and Tony's triangle.  I can't even really explain these right now because of time, but I promise I will.  Then I got into the second complex and was pretty bad at the squat reach in which you balance on one leg, squat down over a medicine ball, and then extend your arm and leg in opposite directions -- they were doing 8, I made it up to 6.  Then this complex includes killer katherine lunges with height, monster slalom (which bothered my left knee), and side bridge lift (which I could only hold for 5-8 seconds at a time, compared to 30 seconds.

BUT, I LOVED this workout!  It was fun and fast.  The warm up was different too, which was a welcomed change of pace.

Calories Burned = 774
Average Heart Rate = 143
Peak Heart Rate = 182

Friday, March 23, 2012

Skipped workout

For the first time since I started, I skipped a workout last night. When I got home, I just did not feel like doing yoga. I needed to work on a manuscript for an article I'm working on - but it turned out that there weren't that many edits. But I just did not want to workout. So today I will be doing yoga.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Slow Week

Recovery Week always seems to creep by.  Perhaps because the workouts are less intense.  Perhaps because I feel less need to really eat the 1800 calories I should be eating because I'm working out less.  Perhaps because the workouts alternate between Recovery + Mobility and Yoga.  Whatever the case, it's slow.

BUT, I'm resisting the urge to move on to the next Phase without it.  I feel like the recovery gives me a chance to rest, regroup, and heal in preparation for the next phase.

I'm really excited about Phase 3 Performance.  I haven't yet viewed the DVDs, but that's on my list of things to do this coming weekend.  There are no workout sheets for it, evidently because there isn't enough time in between the exercises to do anything but catch your breath (according to something I read on the Team Beachbody website)!  We'll see!

In other news, John has finished his first month of P90X2!  I keep asking if he wants to write a blog, but I think I am going to just put my computer in front of him and see what happens. ;)   

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pictures at the End of Phase 2

I am going into Recovery Week which means Phase 2 is coming to an end.  I've really enjoyed this Phase and have been feeling great, getting stronger, but I'm not sure that the results are visible.  Also, in this last week, I didn't really eat all the meals the right way.  Even this morning, I'm not feeling up to breakfast.  Maybe it's partly the diet cheating?   

Here's the progression of pictures from Phase 2 on March 17, Phase 1 on February 12, and before I began on January 12.    

Friday, March 16, 2012

Base + Back Week 4

I wish I had started working the negatives for pull-ups sooner.  I am feeling muscles I didn't know I had.

Yet the little voice in my head says that perhaps it was too ambitious to think that I could get to a pull-up in 3 months.

I'm trying to ignore that voice.

So I'm at the last Base & Back workout.  I enjoy this workout a lot -- the balance of plyo and pull-ups is pretty cool.

Plus, I'm getting a lot better a Superman Banana X and Oblique Roll Crunch, mainly by engaging my core more.  Huh, I guess there's something to that. ;)    

No Kip Pull-ups [modified]: 12/40-50 lb RB --> 12/50-62 lb RB (5 negatives)
Plyo Frog Squat: 22 --> 27
Wide Leg Close Grip Chin-Up [modified]: 12/40-50 lb RB --> 12/50-62 lb RB (5 negatives)
Chair Jump: 20 --> 20
Chin Pull: 12 (6 each chin-ups and pull-ups)/40-50 lb RB --> 16 (8 each)/50-62 lb RB (8 negatives, 4 each)
Plyo Lunge Press: 16/3 lbs each hand --> 30/3 lb each hand
V-Pull Ups: 12 (6 each arm)/40-50 lb RB --> 24 (12 each arm)/50-62 lb RB (5 negatives)
Surfer Spin: 22 --> 22
Kippy Cross Fugly Pull: 15/40-50 lb RB --> 16/50-62 lb RB (5 negatives)
Jack-in-the-Box Knee Tuck: 16 --> 20

Calories Burned = 647 (compared to 731 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 125 (compared to 133 in Week 1)
Peak Heart Rate = 170 (compared to 172 in Week 1)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shoulders + Arms Week 4

I really do enjoy the Shoulders + Arms workout and am sad to see it go.  I think I like it because it's only 7 exercises and it's fast-paced.

I'm getting better at Ab Ripper -- but every time Tony Horton says "Time for Abrinome, oooh, everyone loves Abrinome,"  I say, OUT LOUD, "I hate Abrinome."  Also, while doing Gate Bridge Lift this time, I turned off my damn heart rate monitor, so whatever I've written below is based on an average of the last 3 weeks.

In other news, I weighed in this morning and gained 2 pounds this week.  Let's review -- red wine, and CHALLAH.  My work bought delicious preztel challah for a program, and because we had a bunch left over, I took it home for a dinner party.  Then we had even more left over, so throughout this week I've been eating it.  I think I've had like 5 rolls.  Otherwise, I've been pretty good this week, so I'm pretty sure that eating bread has messed me up.

Also, let's talk timeline.  Since I've been doing 4 weeks of workouts and then 1 week of recovery, I'm in a 5 week rotation.  Recovery Week starts on Sunday (hallelujah!) and then I have Phase 3: Performance.  I'm thinking I'll only do Phase 3 for 3 weeks then go into Recovery, since I've gotten so exhausted in Week 4 of the other Phases.  So, that means I should be with the program by April 21.  I'm also reminded that next week I need to spend some time reviewing the new workouts for Phase 3: PAP Lower and PAP Upper.

Here are my Week 1 to Week 4 stats:
Balance Curl: 16/15-20 RB --> 16/25-30 RB
Arnold Press [alternating arms]: 5 each arm/15-20 RB --> 10 each arm/10-12 RB
Overhead Tricep Pull: 12/15-20 RB --> 12/10-12 RB
Six Direction Shoulder Fly: 6/10-12 RB --> 10/3 lb each
Crazy Eights (8 curls with one arm with the other in an isometric hold, then switch): 32/10-12 RB --> 32/25-30 RB
Y-T Fly: 8/3 lb each --> 12 3 lb each
Rocket Launcher Tricep Kickback: 16/3 each --> 20/3 each

Calories Burned = 571 (compared to 585 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 118 (compared to 118 in Week 1)
Peak Heart Rate = 154 (compared to 157 in Week 1)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Swollen arms

For the first time in my life, my upper arms are actually swollen from working out. I noticed this when I tried to flex my arms to check out my beautiful biceps. ;) There was no definition where there was some last week. Besides that, my biceps are still hurting when I try to straighten my arms. I feel like a guy with huge muscles who can't lower and straighten his arms by his sides. I think more ice is on my agenda tonight.

In other news, I am exhausted this morning. This happened last phase in Week 4, which suggests to me that I should probably do these phases for only 3 weeks, and then move into Recovery Week. It could almost be blamed on the time change, but since it happened last phase too, there's more to it than that.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chest + Back + Balance Week 4

It's the beginning of Week 9, which means it's the last week of Phase 2 of the workouts.  The time is flying by!  As you might remember, I started working the negatives in the pull-up part of the Back + Base workout, and continued this again today.

This is the first workout I have done while still sore from a previous workout!  YAY!  And BOO!  My biceps, triceps, and lats are still wondering what the hell I did on Friday, and more importantly, why I did it.  As a result of this soreness, I wasn't able to maintain some of the resistance band weight that I got to last week.  But, given that soreness and I haven't been meeting lately, I'm okay with it.

Here are my numbers from Week 1 to Week 3 or 4 (depending on which exercises I worked the negatives on):
Pull-Up X: 15/40-50 lb RB --> 15/40-50 lb RB (I actually did 15 at 50-62 lb RB during Week 3)
Plyo Push-Ups: 9 --> 12
Core Crunch Chin-Ups: 8/25-30 lb RB --> 10/50-62 lb RB (3 negatives)
Push-Up Side Arm Balance: 16 --> 17
Lever [modified]: 20/25-30 lb RB --> 12/25-30 lb RB (I think I did this exercise wrong in the beginning,which  is why I was able to do more at the beginning)
4-Ball Push-Ups [modified]: 12 --> 18 (I did these on my knuckles, lifting one leg at a time, and alternating legs every 3 push-ups)
Chin-Pulls: 12 each/40-50 lb RB --> 12 each/50-62 lb RB (4 negatives each) (You do two chin-ups and then 2 pull-ups, and repeat)
The Impossible/Possible [modified]: 8 --> 10 (I put my feet on a small footstool and then put my hands narrow -- you're supposed to put your feet on a stability ball and your hands on a med ball and then do a push-up, I'm not there yet)
"L" Pull-Up: 12/40-50 lb RB --> 15/25-30 lb RB (I did 15 at 50-62 lbs in Week 3)
3-Ball Plyo Push-Up [modified]: 10 --> 10 (I did this with my hands on the floor, doing a push-up, then moving from the left to right)
Vaulter Pull-Up: 34/40-50 lb RB --> 30/50-62 lb RB (8 negatives) (You put one hand in a pull-up position and one in a chin-up position for 2 reps, then switch hands)
Elevated Stability Ball Pull-Up [modified]: 8 --> 12 (The idea is that you put your hands on a stability ball and put your feet on a plyo box -- I put my feet on a small footstool and put my hands on the floor under my shoulders)
In & Out (1 rep wide, 1 rep narrow): 20/40-50 lb RB --> 22/40-50 lb RB (I did 22 with 50-62 lb RB in Week 3)
Swimmer's Push-Up [modified]: 10 --> 10 (You're supposed to do this on 4 med balls -- yes one for each appendage, and then lift opposite hand and feet, then do a push-up.  I skip the med ball part)
4-Grip Pull-up: 12 each/40-50 lb RB --> 6 each/50-62 lb RB (2 each negatives)
Double Wide Push-Up: 10 --> 12
Double Wide Pull-Ups: 15/40-50 lb RB --> 15/40-50 lb RB (I did 15 with 50-62 lbs in Week 3)
Chattarocker: 3 --> 3 (still really working on this!)
Towel Pull-Up: 20/40-50 lb RB --> 25/50-62 lb RB (5 negatives)
Plyo Push-Up: 8 --> 8 (getting my feet AND hands off the ground!)

Remember how when I first tried doing the Superman Banana X and the Oblique Roll Crunch I just giggled on the floor the whole time.  I've started to figured them both out much more!  Granted, they aren't perfect, but they are getting better!

Calories Burned = 758 (compared to 591 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 126 (compared to 114 in Week 1)
Peak Heart Rate = 168 (compared to 160 in Week 1)

Friday, March 9, 2012

917 calories!

So, Base + Back -- pull-ups and plyo -- we meet again.  This time, I worked the negatives on every other pull-up exercise.

I am so sore already.  It is so much harder than I thought!

Then, half-way through the workout, John gets home and cooks bacon.  Seriously?  You might remember when Mom cooked bacon when I worked out at my parents' house.  It does not inspire me to get done earlier; it actually makes it harder.

Then, the fire alarm goes off.  Seriously?

I took Falkor on a walk (perfect timing), and tried to keep my heart rate up by running in place (which isn't as good as I hoped).  John was supposed to bring the cats out -- but while trying to get the second cat into the carrier, the first one tried to get out, so he was fighting them as they alternated in trying to get out of the carrier.

Then the carrier door falls off.

Poor John.

All this to say I worked out for 90 minutes instead of the normal 71.

Calories Burned = 917
Average Heart Rate = 130
Peak Heart Rate = 174

Thursday, March 8, 2012


When I looked at the scale today, I didn't worry about the numbers.

P.S. I'm craving carbs. {11:27 AM}

P.P.S.  When I practiced yoga at the YMCA, I was frequently distracted by the kids playing in the courtyard.  When I practice at home, I'm distracted by Falkor.  I let him out on the balcony to enjoy the beautiful weather after being cooped up in the house all day, and he just whines whenever someone walks by on the back walkway.  So I spend several minutes saying, "Falkor, stop it!" and I am distracted.  At least until I make him come back into the apartment and he gets into his bed to chew on his antler and his rope.

Calories Burned = 343
Average Heart Rate = 99
Peak Heart Rate =  146

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shoulders + Arms IS fun!

Truthfully, the 52 minutes of Shoulders + Arms goes by much faster than the Ab Ripper.  Seriously!  It is perhaps the most fun workout -- perhaps because it is 6 exercises repeated 3 times.

On the plus side, I actually did the Oblique Roll Crunch right!  The way I knew that is because my core actually felt like it was working the whole time!  Engagement engagement engagement!  Hooray!

Calories Burned = 490
Average Heart Rate = 111
Peak Heart Rate = 150

Food Update

Sometimes, the food is just right.  The Herbed Veggie Soup and Chicken Salad Pita are delicious.  I made the individual Meat Loaves for the second time last week and actually followed the recipe correctly, so they were much better than last time!

I can do without most of the salads, except for the Broccoli & Chicken Salad which is amazing. So, John and I have decided to stop making them in general.

I love grapefruits -- we're eating them every week.  I love them more now that we have grapefruit spoons -- who knew they were so amazing! I also love the Soy Sausage Muffins from P90X and the Breakfast Quinoa. 

Oh yeah, and we're eating ProMax bars -- especially the Cookies n Cream, Nutty Peanut Crisp, and Cookie Dough.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hotel Workout

Turns out working out in the hotel isn't that different.  I put the door attachment in the bathroom door because it had the most space around it.

These are my resistance bands hanging over the bathroom door in my hotel room.  Worked out pretty well!
Yes, that's three resistance bands that I'm using.  It ends up being about 50-62 pounds.  I was doing the Chest + Back + Balance workout, so it's alternating push-ups and pull-ups.  It was kind of fun figuring out how to do the push-ups that have my feet up high using the furniture in the hotel room.  I guess I should be grateful that I had a "king" room, which had an extra super cute low wing back chair that I could put my feet on.  

Starting this Friday (when I do Base + Back) I'm going to start working "the negatives" -- starting at the top of the pull-up position and lowering myself down slowly.  John says this will help me get to pull-ups faster, and since I'm starting my 8th week, I'm getting a little anxious that I'm not going to get there.

On the plus side, when I was working out, I caught a glimpse of my arms in the mirror.  Naturally, I flexed to see how it looked, and OMG, my bicep is clearly visible-- it's this nice bump!  I'm so excited. 

I didn't do Ab Ripper in yesterday's workout because of time. I had to ice my knee a little bit because I strained it oddly the day before, and then had to get ready for breakfast with Erin before I went to a meeting! 

Calories Burned = 561 
Average Heart Rate = 127
Peak Heart Rate = 164

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I LOVE Foam Rolling!

The only workout I look forward to is Recovery + Mobility.  Don't get me wrong, I like the other workouts.  But I long for Recovery + Mobility so I can spend my time on the foam roller.  It hurts, but so good.

I am in Seattle for work today and tomorrow, and at first I planned to leave my foam roller in LA.  But, then I realized that after sitting on a plane for 2 hours, and given the wildly successful foam rolling experience I had last week (in which I foam rolled my hips for 30 minutes and this week they feel amazing!), I decided to bring my foam roller with me.

I am so glad I did!  I feel so much better, especially since I did Base + Back last night, so the soreness is just starting to set in (yay!).  In fact, it's my legs that are sore, so I must have done those plyometric exercises really well (I know I did more reps this time... but I'm not going to go into right now.)

Now, working out in a hotel room is interesting.  I am in a nice hotel, but I still had to put the carpet out of my mind as I did my exercises.  Then I had to wash my hands and feet when I was done.  Also, this carpet was kind of slippery, so it wasn't as easy to stay in downward dog at the beginning of the workout for very long.

Calories Burned = 300
Average Heart Rate = 93
Peak Heart Rate = 125

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I am so grateful for the support of friends and family.  From reading my blog, to checking in, to asking what I am eating/drinking when I visit, to the "atta girl" comments -- it's all been really helpful.  Thank you! :)  

I don't have much to check in on today workout-wise.  I did Shoulders + Arms and felt good.  I trying different resistance bands to strengthen my muscles more.

Calories Burned = 638
Average Heart Rate = 125
Peak Heart Rate  = 156

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Weekend Caught Up

Remember yesterday how I said I felt so great doing Chest + Back + Balance & Ab Ripper despite the Saturday night of cheating?

I spoke too soon.

I was supposed to get up at 6 AM to do Plyocide.  I got up at 7 AM.  I thought the workout would be hard like it always is, but I didn't anticipate being so fatigued.  I guess the weekend caught up, after all.

On the plus side, in this phase of Plyocide, when doing balance moves, if my foot touches the ground, I'm doing the 2 push-ups like the folks in the video are doing.

Calories Burned = 668
Average Heart Rate = 139
Peak Heart Rate = 176

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Working Out at Mom & Dad's

Halfway through my workout this morning, Mom cooked bacon.  I think she was trying to taunt me.  She says she was trying to inspire me to get through it and be done.

So, we are up at Mom & Dad's house this weekend.  It's the first time I've done a workout not at home.  In fact, I did TWO workouts -- Recovery & Mobility and Chest + Back + Balance & Ab Ripper.

I meant to bring our pull-up bar up with us.  I brought the resistance bands and foam roller, and completely forgot the pull-up bar.  This meant I had to figure out how to do my modified pull-ups.  I tried attaching the resistance bands to the treadmill -- that didn't work.  I tried to have John hold the resistance bands -- that didn't work, especially since he was sitting in a comfortable reclining/rocking chair.  Mom said, "You might have to go outside."  Dad said, "Yeah, and hook your bands on the fence."

So I went outside.  John told me it was 30 degrees, and I was pretty sure I was going to freeze because I wasn't going to go put on a shirt.  However, the sun was shining, and for the 45 - 60 seconds I was out there doing my pull-ups, I was okay!

I was a tiny bit better on the Superman Banana X with a little more room, but only a tiny bit.

The whole thing was a good test of modifying the workouts to the location I was in.  It was also good to find out that the cheating I did the day before didn't wreck my workout.  I didn't feel sluggish at all.  I guess that's what happens when you go to bed at 10 PM and get up at 8 AM.  

Recovery & Mobility
Calories Burned = 275
Average Heart Rate = 92
Peak Heart Rate = 132

Chest + Back + Balance & Ab Ripper

Calories Burned = 765
Average Heart Rate = 124
Peak Heart Rate = 168

Friday, February 24, 2012

X2 Back + Base

When I thought about what might included in the Back + Base exercise, I figured it was back exercise and leg exercises.  Yeah, no kidding.  What I didn't consider is how the leg exercises would work.

Can you say Plyocide + Pull-ups?

This workout is 10 exercises repeating for 2 rounds.  It alternates pull-ups, which I modify using resistance bands equaling 40-50 pounds, and then a plyometric exercise.  omg.  On the plus side, I think I can increase my resistance band weight next week so that I can get that much closer to the reality of a pull-up.

And after you're done, you do Ab Ripper.  I'm still terrible at Superman Banana X -- I think in part because I don't have enough room in my living room to do it.  I'm still working it out.  My hips were also bothering me more today, so some of the ab exercises (like Roll V Hold and Row Your Boat) were killing me, and I had to rest/readjust several times.

Most of the time I was working out today, I was thinking, "I can't wait for tomorrow when I can do Recovery & Mobility!"  I need that foam rolling!

Calories Burned = 761
Average Heart Rate = 133
Peak Heart Rate =  172

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shoulders + Arms

I have realized how much I like working out at home.  I like that no one (not even John) is watching me, that I don't have to wait for machines or weights, that I'm home.

Today I did Shoulders + Arms, and really enjoyed the focus on that one body part.  With 3 rounds of the same exercises, I experimented with different resistance bands -- increasing and decreasing after round 1.  I am definitely stronger than I give myself credit for, so I want to increase the weight I lift! 

Calories Burned = 585
Average Heart Rate = 118
Peak Heart Rate = 157

P.S.  I should also say that if you are going to buy resistance bands, either buy the ones that have their own handles, or buy multiple handles.  I find that I have to pause the workout when switching band weights because I have to switch the handles from one band to another.  It's great because the set of bands we have range from 2-4 lbs to 25-30 lbs, but it only came with one set of handles! 

Overestimated appetite in the AM

I am contemplating what looks like a half full plate of food. I've already been eating for 15 minutes, and I'm starting to think I won't make it. This breakfast is 3 egg whites, breakfast potatoes (using one whole potato for just myself), and 3 slices of turkey bacon. Don't even get me started on the grapefruit (which I'll eat later in the morning). It's too much. And egg whites just aren't as good as regular eggs. I need to scale back breakfast.

In the time I've written this, I did finish the turkey bacon. A girl has to have her bacon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pleasant Soreness

I woke up today with sore lats!  I'm thrilled!  It's a sensation I've been waiting for since this whole thing began!

Yesterday I did the X2 Chest + Back + Balance workout -- which is basically the pull-up/push-up workout.  Seriously, the exercises alternate.  Luckily, I had two things on my side: 1) in the morning, I watched the DVD to get a sense of the exercises and modifications; 2) at least some of the exercises were familiar (e.g. 4-Grip Pull-Up, Plyo Push-Ups, Push-Up Side Arm Balance).

I was TERRIBLE at Chattarocker.  It basically has you going from Chattaranga (from yoga) to Sphinx to Plank  while moving your feet back and forth.  I just didn't have the upper body strength to make it happen.  I didn't go any exercises on Med Balls -- I'm just not confident enough yet.  I used bands (red & black together to equal 40-50 pounds), but I think I need to increase the weight I use.  It wasn't easy per se, but I really want to better prepare myself to do a pull-up.

All the weight training workouts in this phase also include Ab Ripper.  I'm still working on that Superman Banana X!

Calories Burned = 591
Average Heart Rate = 114
Peak Heart Rate = 160

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beginning the New Phase

As I begin this new phase of exercising (Strength) and eating (Energy Booster), there are a few lessons I learned from the last phase that I am implementing.

1. Watching the DVDs BEFORE I start the workouts -- probably in fast forward -- just to get a sense of what I'm supposed to do and how to modify.

2. Limit cheats to not more than 1 per week.  A cheat is defined as having something that I've specifically given up -- such as sweets, alcohol, or caffeine. (The idea of 5 total cheats over the whole time is just not doable!)

3. Don't stress out about cheating, but don't get complacent.   Keep tracking the cheats. 

4. Even on the days when it's just Recovery and Mobility workout, have a protein shake -- my body needs the calories and protein!  (I've been skipping the protein shake in the first phase if the workout wasn't "hard enough" and then not having as much energy... hmmm...)

5. Practice pull-ups each week, even if I decide to modify the exercise.  I tried doing a pull-up on February 12, and although I wasn't there yet, I was closer!

6. Update my heart rate monitor as appropriate (John says if my weight swings by 5 pounds) to get the most accurate reading on calories burned.

7. Do more foam rolling in the week, especially if I am just hanging out watching TV.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ready for Phase 2

Today is the last day of my Recovery Week and I am SO READY for it to be OVER!  While I love the reminder that the body needs some rest in order to perform better, I am bored this week.  There's something about doing something different for each workout that I just enjoy.  I am actually cutting my recovery week a day short and doing only 2 days of yoga instead of 3 days because of some scheduling issues.  Plus, we change over our nutrition plan each Sunday, so starting the workout week on Sunday also makes more sense.

For the Recovery & Mobility workout, I did one day of whole body foam rolling, then in the other two days, I focused on either my lower body or my upper body.  One of these days I am going to take Tony Horton's advice and do some foam rolling while watching TV, but I'm just not there yet.  In this next phase, that's one of the things I'm going to add.    

Recovery & Mobility Day 1/Day 2/Day 3:
Calories Burned = 188/169/219
Average Heart Rate = 86/84/90
Peak Heart Rate = 118/116/138

Yoga Day 1/Day 2:
Calories Burned = 334/381
Average Heart Rate = 98/103
Peak Heart Rate =  145/150

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fat Shredder? Part 2

Maybe I didn't have enough fat to lose.  I said that the last time, right?  Anyway, I've noticed a pattern with my body fat percentage over the four weeks of the Fat Shredder plan plus the Recovery Week: 

Week 1 = 23.9
Week 2 = 23.8
Week 3 = 24.4
Week 4 = 23.6
Week 5 = 23.8

Don't get me wrong, I am super excited about my results so far -- I have more energy, I'm stronger, and I can see the difference in how my body looks.  BUT, I was expecting something different.  And perhaps trying to drop my body fat percentage down to 20% was as ambitious as not having more than 5 diet cheats in 90 days.  Plus, this body fat percentage is in range with where I'm supposed to be as a 31 year old woman (between 19 and 29%).      

And here's the thing.  I'm starting to realize that the weight I'm at might be the weight I'm at.

So I'll stop complaining and continue to look forward to Phase 2. ;)    

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pictures at the End of Phase 1

Hey -- it looks like I've lost inches.  
Here I am ...
February 12

Remember this... from
January 12

Again, February 12 
January 12

And here's a bonus one! 

X2 Balance & Power Week 4

So here it is everyone -- the last work out of Phase 1!  I'm pretty excited because I think that I've really improved on the Balance & Power workout.  It's also the workout in which I groan and grunt the most throughout.

Sphinx to Plank Plyo Bounce [on floor, one arm at a time]: 6 -->6
1-Leg Plyo Squat Reach: 7 Right/8 Left --> 9 Right/10 Left
Russian Twist: 12 (no weight) --> 29 (holding 8 lb med ball)
Sphinx to Plank Roll Up [on floor]: 8 --> 12
4-Direction 1-Leg Squat Hop: 0 (hard on knee) --> 8 R/L with no touches!
Forearm Alternating Side Plank: 6 each side --> 11 each side
Decline Sphinx Plank Press [on floor]: 5 --> 8
Weighted Katherine: 20 with 3 lb --> 30 with 3 lb
Plank X Crunch: 5 --> 14
Renegade Row 1/2 Lolasana: 8 with 3 lb --> 12 with 3 lb
Glute Bridge Roll Out: 20 --> 22
Over/Under Boat: 14 --> 24
Warrior 3 Row Press: 8 with 3 lb --> 9 with 10-12 lbs
Split Lunge: 5 Right/7 Left --> 9 Right/Left
Crawly Crab Press [on floor]: 6 Right/Left no weight --> 8 Right/Left 3 lb.
Lateral Plyo Push Up [on floor]: 4 --> 12
Lunge Kneel Knee Raise: 10 Right/Left 4-6 lbs --> 10 Right/Left 10-12 lbs
X Plank Spider Twist: 7 --> 15
Dumbbell Row to Side Plank: 5 Right/Left 3 lbs --> 10 Right/Left 3 lbs
Super Burpees [on one leg]: 5 Right/Left --> 5 Right/Left
Plank Ball Crunch [on small footstool]: 12 --> 20

Calories Burned = 641 (compared to 777 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 134 (compared to 142 in Week 1)
Peak Heart Rate = 176 (compared to 178 in Week 1)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

X2 Yoga Week 4

My hips are the tightest spot on my body.   As much as I love yoga, it is murder on my hips.  They don't seem to be opening as much as I'd like, especially considering all the hip work that is done in all the workouts.  

Perhaps I need to focus on my hips with the foam roller in the coming Recovery Week!  I may also have to break out The Stick!  It might be able to get into my hip flexors a bit better than the foam roller.  

I am ready for the Recovery Week!  My yoga practice today wasn't one of my best, and I think I might have hit the overtraining period.  This week has also been insane in some other ways, so my stress level has been elevated, which hasn't helped.

Calories Burned = 333 (compared to 455 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 98 (compared to 109 in Week 1) 
Peak Heart Rate = 140 (compared to 157 in Week 1) 

Friday, February 10, 2012

X2 Total Body & Ab Ripper Week 4

Sometimes, I'm not sure how to distinguish the workouts from each other.  X2 Total Body involves weights and balance poses as does X2 Balance & Power.  I get that they are different kinds of workouts, but anyway.

X2 Total Body is not an easy workout.  Nevermind that this is the pull-up workout and I still am unable to do a pull-up.  I get so sweaty lifting weights in this workout -- something I never really got from lifting weights at the gym (without running first).  So that's a good thing.

Here's the rundown of my improvements from Week 1 to Week 4:
1-Arm Chest Press: 12/10-12 resistance band (RB) --> 15/25-30 RB
4-Position Pull-Up [modified]: 5/10-12 RB --> 10/35-42 RB
Push-Up Side Arm Balance [on floor]: 5 --> 20
Switch Lunge Press [modified]: 12/10-12 RB --> 15/10-12 RB
Warrior 3 Kickback: 15/3 lb --> 15/3 lb  (I wish I had tracked how many times I touched on this, but I didn't)
Warrior 3 Curl: 15/3 lb --> 15/10-20 RB
Boing Push-Up [floor]: 5 on bosu --> 10 plyo (This is a ridiculous exercise where you start standing with a stability ball in your hands, keep your legs straight as you fall toward the floor with the ball in front of you, do a push-up and bounce back up.  I couldn't keep my core engaged when I tried to this on the ball, so I kept collapsing into the ball and decided I would just work on plyo push-ups instead.  I can't clap when doing plyo push-ups yet, but I can get my hands into the center and  back out.)
Crunchy Lever Pull-Up [modified]: 10/10-12 RB --> 15/35-42 RB
Mule Kick Burpee: 5 --> 6 (These weren't always pretty, I need to still work on holding my body in the air longer)
Swimmer's Curl in 1/2 Chair: 10/10-12 RB --> 12/10-12 RB
Balance Kickback [on floor]: 10/3 lb --> 10/6 lb (I'm pretty sure my form isn't that great on this one!)
Rocket Launcher Preacher Curl: 12/10-12 RB --> 12/15-20 RB

I'm also getting better at Ab Ripper -- with the obvious exception of the Superman Banana X, which has been my nemesis from the beginning.

Calories Burned = 611 (compared to 768 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 123 (compared to 125 in Week 1)
Peak Heart Rate = 168 (compared to 172 in Week 1)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

X2 Plyocide Week 4

I still want to die when I do Plyocide.  This is a workout in which you don't track how many reps you do of each exercise.  I can't say for certain that I have improved, but I was able to do the Set Sprint Plank Plyo Jump  exercise (the last one of the workout) for the entire 60 seconds, and when I did the same exercise at the beginning, I was lucky to get through 30 seconds before stopping.

Calories Burned = 621 (compared to 714 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 140 (compared to 146 in Week 1)
Peak Heart Rate = 183 (did not record for Week 1)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

X2 Core Week 4

Week 4 has officially begun!  This is the last week of the Fat Shredder Phase of the workouts.

Here's a rundown of how I improved from the first week to the last week:

Sphinx Plank Crunch: 13 reps --> 20 reps
Warrior 3 Cross Crunch: 10 reps --> 10 reps (this one I was pretty good at!)
Single Leg Walk Out to Sphinx: 5 Right/4 left (3 touch) --> 5 Right/Left (1 touch)
Half Angel: 4 Right/Left --> 8 Right/9 Left (Goal is 10)
Roller Boat: 10 --> 12 (with good form)!
3 Speed Med Ball Pushups (30 secs): 0 on MedBall/8 on ground --> 0 on Med Ball (I couldn't get to this)/12 on ground
One Leg Lateral Leap Squat: 12 (3-4 touches) --> 12 (3-4 touches)
Core Circles (40 seconds): 40 seconds on ground --> 40 seconds on stability ball
Holmsen Screamer Lunge: 13 Right/14 Left --> 15 Right/Left
Med Ball Dreya Roll: 0 --> 14 with 8 lb Med Ball
Plank Burpee: 8 --> 14
Banana Ball Switch Crunch: 10 --> 17
3 Point Squat Press with Med Ball: 12 --> 15 with 8 lb Med Ball
Slo Mo Balance Climber: 10 on ground --> 20 on stability ball
X2 Diver: 5 --> 5 (still need work on my form on this one!)
Ryan Sphinx Twist Crunch: 4 Right/3 Left --> 9 Right/8 Left
One Leg Burpees: 8 --> 10

Overall, I'm pretty excited!  I improved on most of the exercises, and definitely could feel the core engagement more as I got into weeks 3 and 4.

Calories Burned = 547  (compared to 727 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 129 (compared to 147 in Week 1)
Peak Heart Rate = 180 (did not record for Week 1)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Crisis of Faith in the Diet

I am becoming less sure that the things I have given up are the right things. I am feeling DEPRIVED of foods I love, and GUILTY when I indulge. Perhaps this 5 cheats situation has created a monster.  I have found this week that I have less patience and tolerance for things, comments, people.  I am consumed with thoughts of what to eat, what not to eat, how to manage eating and not eating.  

Perhaps I am not being true to my philosophy of food.  Food is more than a means to an end, more than fuel for life.  It is central to good conversations with good friends, to laughter and sharing.  Not that food has stopped being that these last 3 weeks.  We have had people over for dinner and made recipes from the P90X2 recipe book, and the results are the same.  Good conversation, laughter, sharing with good friends.

So then it's something else.  In the beginning, I gave up sweets, caffeine, and alcohol, in part because the P90X2 Fitness Guide recommends it.  This can be an incredible detox experience -- and it seemed like a good idea to detox.  Additionally, it is giving me insight into my relationship with these "vices."  I thought caffeine was going to be the hardest one to give up, but other than going to bed earlier (and getting up earlier), not having caffeine hasn't been that big of a deal.  I noticed it in particular last night.  We had plans to go out to Bootie LA for our cousin's birthday -- starting at 9 PM.  You're probably thinking, "But, Kenna, you are usually asleep on the couch by 8:50."  I knew a nap would be in order.  It was hard to wake up from the nap, but after getting up, washing my face, and getting ready, I was up dancing and hanging out until 1 AM!  John suggested burpees to wake up, and I wanted to punch him in the face.  But, perhaps it was a good idea.

The alcohol is also not that big of a deal.  Don't get me wrong, some things, like dancing at Bootie with friends who have had a few drinks when you haven't isn't as much fun as I had hoped. But, I don't generally feel like I am missing out on much by not having alcohol.

It's the not having sweets that is killing me.  Or rather, it's the guilt I feel when I have two delicious banana-walnut oatmeal chunk cookies at Earic and Aisha's house that is troubling.  And the desire for these sweets, the frustration I feel at giving it up.  The Fitness Guide notes that if you can't go 90 days without these things, it's probably time to look your relationship with them.  I have always had a sweet tooth, and at the same time have had good self-control.  My mom occasionally notes how, as a child, if given a bag of M & M's, I would eat half and save some for later, while my brother would consume the whole bag in one sitting.  This remains true -- I can have sweets in the house for a week and snack on them over time, but if John is up late and looking for something sweet, I wake up in the morning and my mini chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe's are significantly decreased.    

Let's also be honest.  This is the first diet I've been on in my life.  This is the first time I have actually attempted to give anything up.  So, as I start the 4th week, I am beginning to feel the mental effects of the nutrition plan.  Don't get me wrong -- I love the rest of the food, and am continuing to enjoy the cooking that I get to do.  I've noticed that I don't crave the sweets, and don't feel deprived of them, when I am in my normal routine.  I don't need to sit down with a serving of cookies like I did before.  It's when I'm dining with friends that I notice my ability to refrain from sweets goes out the window.

I've been getting some advice -- people who say one glass of red wine is not so bad, others who say one bite of something isn't going to hurt, John who says I should let today (Superbowl!) be 1 cheat if I want.  I think I'm going to go in moderation -- Kent is supposed to bring over delicious mac n cheese (one of my all time favorite foods), so if I feel like having a bite, it's not going to be that big of a deal. If I want to have a cup of mac n cheese - that's a cheat.  If I want to have a beer, then I will count it into my overall cheats.   I just have to decide what will make today be good for me.

I will tell you -- I don't like being so obsessed with food.  The exercise feels like a normal part of my life, but this constant worry about food is for the birds.        

Balance & Power [I was so much stronger this week than last week!]
Calories Burned = 646
Average Heart Rate = 134
Peak Heart Rate = 173

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I am a morning person but...

I don't think morning workouts are for me.  Due to my schedule these last few days, I have had to get up early to work out before my day begins, instead of working out in the late-afternoon or early evening.  I am not sure my body thinks this is a good idea.

I feel stiffer in the morning, slower to warm up.  My muscles protest, and fatigue more easily.  Although I am still improving in many exercises, I don't feel as good doing them in the morning.  Perhaps the ability to move around throughout the day is helping my body warm-up and prepare for the workouts.  Luckily, this is an occasional issue, arising only when other things, like filing my dissertation, getting a facial, and seeing friends, require that my day not be punctuated by a workout.

On the plus side, I did the Ab Ripper this morning, and figured out better how to do the Superman Banana X, with less giggling and more core engagement!  It wasn't perfect, but it was much improved!      

Total Body (separated Ab Ripper from this because of time)
Total Calories Burned = 666
Average Heart Rate = 130
Peak Heart Rate = 170

Ab Ripper + Yoga

Total Calories Burned = 551
Average Heart Rate = 107
Peak Heart Rate = 152

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fat Shredder?

So much for that.  I GAINED 1.8 pounds this week, 1.3 of that being body fat! How is that possible?

Let's think back.  I ate some bread on Sunday morning after the race, which I have basically cut out otherwise. I've been closer to 1800 calories per day this week than previously -- so perhaps the previous results were because I had fewer calories than I actually needed?  Add that to the fact that I'm burning less calories in the workouts??  For the rest of this week, I'm working out harder.

UGH.  I've been exhausted by 8:30 PM as well, which kind of puts a damper on date nights with John, which we usually start at 8:00.  Maybe this is a sign that I need to move on from Fat Shredder sooner?  I guess I need to read up on that.

Today is a rest day, but yesterday I did Plyocide -- and I think I got better at the exercises in general:
Calories Burned =  589
Average Heart Rate = 137
Peak Heart Rate = 179

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week 3 Begins

And here's what I don't understand -- how can I be burning less calories?  I'm doing more reps, getting better at the exercises, and yet, each week, the number of calories I burn is decreasing.  For instance, two weeks ago, I burned 727 calories doing X2 Core, last week is was 607, and this week it's 523.  John says I should stop worrying because I'm burning a fair number of calories in each workout, but I just don't get it.

I also recognize that my average heart rate during these exercises is also decreasing -- from 147, to 134, to 126.  Could these be related? ;)

Maybe it's a combination of things -- losing weight, becoming familiar with the exercises, becoming more efficient in doing the exercises.  What do you think?

In the end, it's not the calories burned, it's how I see them.  I have this desire to burn MORE calories with each workout, and in order to do that, I have to do more reps, and do them better each time.  So, the goal changes a little depending on the perspective.

Calories Burned = 523
Average Heart Rate = 126
Peak Heart Rate = 175

P.S. There's a new page called "Lessons" (do you see it up there at the top?) where I'm noting the things I am already considering doing differently the next time I do this workout.  It's nice to think about the next time... although at 3 weeks in, perhaps this is still the honeymoon phase. ;)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

TinkerBell Half Marathon

Kari & Kenna after the TinkerBell Half Marathon 2012
Today I finished my 7th half marathon at the Inaugural TinkerBell Half Marathon!  I got to run with my very good friend, the Amazing Kari Lev.  How much training did I do to complete this race?  In early December, John and I completed the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Half Marathon, and I had run a few miles here and there throughout December.  But since 2012, I've not run one mile.

Kari and I walked the last 6 miles.  We talked, laughed, and enjoyed the process.  It was never about the time for this race -- it was about doing an ALL-NEW race themed with a character I absolutely adore, with a true, loyal, and beautiful friend.  PLUS, I looked great when we were done -- as evidenced by the above picture. ;)    

I actually felt really great throughout the race -- sore, but not tired.  P90X2 must be doing something!

After the race, I decided that I could eat some Pop Chips without counting it as a cheat -- I mean, 2220 calories?!  I could have eaten ANYTHING!

Calories Burned = 2220
Average Heart Rate = 145
Peak Heart Rate = 179