Saturday, January 31, 2009
I have been a little preoccupied with work and the Super Bowl coverage but have still been able to get the workouts in! I had another less then steller Yoga experience. Last week I did very well with Yoga and was actually looking forward to it on Thursday. Well, that lasted for about 10 minutes into the workout before I started to get frustrated. It is just such a SLOW workout and I am the type of person who has trouble sitting still or relaxing. Hence the reason I get frustrated with Yoga. I ended up fast forwarding through probably about 30% of the workout. I did get a real good burn doing the Yoga belly exercises but the rest of it annoyed me. I am such a baby sometimes - patience is a virtue that I do not possess!
On Friday I did Legs/Back and ARX. I love the Legs and Back workout. It always brings out the best in me and my whole body feels beat down afterwards. My left shoulder is also holding up great. In the past this DVD always made my left shoulder hurt like hell but not anymore. ARX went okay. I had to rest on both the Oblique raises (left side) and the Mason Twists. The key to ARX is to remember to focus on your breathing ... well, this is sometimes easier said than done because I lost steam on both of these exercise and caught myself holding my breath, literally! Gotta breath Jeff!
So I used the website recommended by Glenn in the comments section below to order Nitrix. Nitrix was $63.99 at GNC for 180 tablets, $72.99 at Nutrition Depot for 360 tablet, and 48.99 (+7.90 S&H) at MassNutrition.com for 360 tablets. Seemed like a no brainer to me to order it here! It is amazing to me that GNC stays in business with how overpriced everything is. GNC offers Gold Members 20% off the first week of every month and they are still priced more than most places online.
I will have the Nitrix on Tuesday and will begin stacking it with BSN's CellMass then. As always after a few weeks I will post a review of the products and let you know what I think of them!
Later today I am going to do Kenpo and then tomorrow is my rest day. Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and I am going to eat and drink very unhealthy. I have been eating clean for many, many months now and since my Steelers are in the SuperBowl I am going to indulge. We are planning on Primanti Bros sandwiches (a Pittsburgh Favorite), hot wings, mass quantities of beer, fries, burgers, hotdogs, fat people dips and chips and probably a bunch of other fat laden foods. I feel a little guilty but sometimes you got to let go. Hopefully I can.
Here We Go Steelers!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I am feeling pretty good right now. The second round of the X is going good. Pittsburgh is going to the Super Bowl. I am finishing off a very solid month at work. Pittsburgh is going to the Super Bowl!!
Yesterday I did Shoulders, Arms and Ab Ripper X. I had a nice workout and absolutely love using dumbbells. I have 5-25 lb dumbbells right now and after two weeks I already need more weight. Gonna have to make a trip to the Sports Authority this weekend and pick up some 35 pounders.
I took Matt's advice and decided to add to my calorie intake. This morning I had my protein shake and two whole wheat bagels. The midmorning snack was a power bar. I had a footlong turkey and ham sub from subway on whole wheat for lunch. The afternoon snack was another power bar and some apple slices. Dinner tonight was 3 whole wheat chicken fajitas with some long grain rice and a glass of milk. I also had a protein drink after I did yoga. Overall, I got in about 3200 calories. A little extra fat and a ton of carbs.
On Monday I am going to start the Cell Mass and Nitrix supplements.
Super Bowl prediction: Pittsburgh 31, Arizona 17
Thanks for Reading,
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Anyways, yesterday was my plyometrics workout. I coasted a little through this one mainly because in the back of my mind I feel like I am losing too much weight. I was down to 161 pounds yesterday morning. A full 20 pound loss since I start P90X! Unfortunately for me, weight loss is not my goal this round -- muscle gain is!
So, I am going to change up the diet some. My current intake is about 2600 calories a day with a breakdown of 40% Protein, 40% Carbs, and 20% Fat. I've decided to jump into the Phase 3 of the P90X nutrition guide which is 60% Carbs, 20% Protein, and 20% Fat. Hopefully, by doing this my body will burn all the excess carbs instead of the fat and I will stop losing weight.
Another thing I am going to do is add some weight gaining supplements. The first product I am going to use is Cell Mass. Cell Mass is a Creatine based product that is to be used as a post-workout/recovery drink. It is also advertised as helping with muscles mass while you sleep .. we shall see! The second product is Nitrix>. Nirix is supposed to help blood flow to your muscles, which in-turn will decrease fatigue, which will allow for more reps, which will tear your muscles more each workout, which will over time create greater muscle growth (yes, I just took a deep breathe after reading that!).
The bottom line is that by following both the P90X nutrition guide and workouts I have turned my body into a lean, mean fat burning machine. And I do not know what else to do to make it stop!! I am sure eating pizza, fried chicken everyday, and a six-pack of beer Would fatten me right up but that lifestyle is no longer an option. It needs to be done eating clean with the aide of some supplements.
Alright -- now it is time to go workout!
Thanks for Reading,
Monday, January 26, 2009
But, I struggled on and had a pretty good Ab Ripper X session. My old nemesis Fifer's Scissors really did a number on me today and I made it to rep 35 on the Mason Twists.
My diet was spot on today. We just finished up a chicken and broccoli stir-fry dinner!
Tomorrow is Plyometrics.
Thanks for Reading,
I needed it to because we went to see Gran Torino yesterday afternoon and then went to a local Italian restaurant for dinner. I did not eat or drink a thing at the movie theater but the Italian place got me. I had a fresh baked roll that was awesome. Then I did okay with a salad, avoiding all the fried appetizers! Dinner was lobster ravioli and it was amazing. It was in some sort of sauce that was probably 99.5% fat - I felt like a huge fat ass for the rest of the night!
Well, it didn't weight me down that much because when I got on the scale this morning to take the official weight of the 1 week point of P90X - I lost two pounds - down to 162. Which is good because I was able Bring It hard this bast week but also bad because I really want to gain a few pounds back.
I am not quite sure what my next step is going to be. I might change up my supplements a little from being so Protein heavy and focus more on gaining some mass. (CellMass and Nitrix) I might have to buy a few more heavy dumbbells -- 40's and 50's - and start lifting extremely heavy.
Well tonight starts Week 2 so see you in few hours!
Thanks for Reading,
Saturday, January 24, 2009
After working two consecutive 16 hour days that included 12 hours of driving I have decided to take the scheduled rest day today instead of tomorrow. I will do Kenpo X tomorrow morning and then jump right into week two on Monday. Bottom line is that I am exhausted and wouldn't be able to Bring It like it needs to be broughten!
The good news is that despite being on the road and stuck at the Dallas Convention Center all day was able to eat pretty clean! I packed Protein bars, apples, and carrots and found some grilled chicken for lunch so all-in-all I did okay. However, it does amaze me at how hard it is to eat healthy on a normal basis. Most places do not even offer whole grain as an option and fried is pretty much every item on the menu. No wonder the good old USA is so damn fat.
Tomorrow is Kenpo X.
Thanks for Reading,
Friday, January 23, 2009
I did got to the 24 hour Fitness with my buddy and we busted up Legs & Back. Instead of using a pullup bar I used a the lat pulldown machine and it worked the hell out of me. I did some squats and did the lunges off to the side. We were both too tired to do an Ab workout....I wanted to bring him through the ARX routine because he would have hated it!! But we will have to wait for another time!
I am back at the hotel and have another early wake up call. I got upgraded to a nice suite because I have enough nights to be a Gold Elite Member with Marriott and unfortunately that was the highlight of my day.
We finish up around 2pm so I should be home around 7pm tomorrow and I plan on doing Kenpo shortly thereafter.
Thanks for Reading,
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I had another strong nutrition day. I had to leave at 6am again today so I had a whole wheat bagel getting ready and a protein shake on the road. After my appointment I had a protein bar and then went to lunch with a coworker and had a grilled salmon with veggies on the side for lunch. The midday snack was eight apple slices and dinner was baked chicken breast with broccoli on a bed of long rain rice. I also had a 60G protein drink after I did Yoga.
The yoga workout went very well today. I struggled on a few of the warrior poses and I still can only do the crane for a couple of seconds. Yoga belly was very difficult today because of the overall soreness of my abs. I had a real nice sweat going after yoga this time. I forgot to put my heart rate monitor on so I am not sure of how many calories I burned -- I was a little mad at myself for forgetting but what you going to do?
I am leaving for Dallas at 5am tomorrow and was planning to take this as my off day since I am in a hotel room. But my buddy called me and talked me into going to 24 HR Fitness with him. So I figure we can both do Back & Legs at the gym and then I can keep on track and not rearrange the schedule at all.
Thanks for Reading,
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
No these are not my abs -- at least not yet! I went with an ab pic today because my own abs are so darn sore! I am one of those people who feels the most soreness on the 2nd day after a workout and today was no exception. I mean my abs were killing me all day. I was actually dreading doing Ab Ripper X because of the pain. BUT I am so glad I did Ab Ripper X because it actually alleviated the pain a little and I feel much better now. And I did ever rep on ARX which is very cool.
Anyways, I started out this morning with a chocolate whey protein shake and a whole wheat bagel with some peanut butter on it ... very good. I had a Pure Protein Bar for a mid-morning snack and a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat with some apple slices for lunch. The midday snack was another protein bar and a couple of whole wheat crackers. After my workout I had a 60G Wheybolic Extreme Protein drink and for dinner I just had a salad with leafy greens and carrots and Annie is making some sort of chicken and asparagus dish -- which should be good! Overall a very solid nutrition day, right around 2600 calories and a nice balance of carbs and protein. I also had about 10 bottles of water which is an absolute must. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate....your workouts will be more crisp and your body will just feel more healthy.
As for the Arms and Shoulders workout today I was able to BRING IT! Grunts and yells today people. I cannot believe how different the workouts are using Dumbbells over resistance bands. The bands are effective but the dumbbells are just awesome. The burn I am feeling using the dumbbells is so much stronger than the bands and in hindsight I wish I had used dumbbells my first go around with P90X -- live an learn! If I keep bringing it like this those abs in the picture above are going to be mine!
I am going to post my before photos in a little while. I will just put a link at the bottom of this post and also somewhere on the right toolbar
Tomorrow is the pain-in-the-ass 92 minute long Yoga X. I am going to do it and try to remain positive the entire time. I have to travel to Dallas early (4am) on Friday morning for a convention and I will be back Saturday evening. Since Friday is Chest and Back and that is a hard DVD to do in a hotel room I am going to take Friday as the Rest day. I will do Chest and Back on Saturday and Kenpo X on Sunday. This way I stick to the schedule and do not miss a day. I think I may only have to travel one more time in the next 90 days but my goals are to be in shape for this summer because in June I am going to the Outer Banks with my family and in July I am going to Pamplona, Spain with my buddies for the Running of the Bulls -- I need to be in shape so I don't get trampled!!!
Thanks for Reading,
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to talk about the nutrition portion of P90X and this seems like the appropriate time to do that. First off, my goal is to put on 6-8lbs of muscle. So, that being said, I have decided to modify the recommended nutrition portion a little to meet this goal. Normally the first four weeks of P90X has you eating 60% Protein/20% Carbs/20%Fat. This is called Phase One or the Fat Shredding Phase. This is when your body is basically shocked into losing weight by consuming mass quantities of protein and burning all the stored up fat that you have. The next four weeks, or Phase Two, is a more balanced 40% Protein/40% Carbs/20% Fat intake. In this Phase your body has become accustomed to the hard workouts and the carbs are added to give you more energy for the workouts. And then the last four weeks, Phase 3, is 60% Carbs/20% Protein/20% Fat. This Phase is designed for you to be able to Bring It as hard as possible with all the carbs. That is the Reader's Digest version of how the nutrition plan works, pretty simple actually.
Basically what I am going to do is skip Phase One and start at Phase Two. The reasoning is that I really do not want to lose anymore weight and since I am in decent shape already carbs are going to be needed. And because I want to gain muscle I will probably jump into Phase Three between days 30 and 45 -- depending on what my body feels like.
Now how am I going to get there? Whey Protein Powder, Chicken, Lean Steak, Pure Protein Bars, Whole Grain Bread, Whole Grain Bagel, Whole Grain English Muffins, Whole Grain Waffles, Broccoli, Carrots, Apples, Bananas ...etc. You get the picture, basically just eat clean - FIVE Times a day - pretty simple!
Now I get a decent amount of emails asking about supplements so I'll give my opinion. Some people do not believe in using them but I do. When I was 23 years old I never used supplements but now that I am older any boost I can get is cool by me. I am currently using EAS 100% Whey Protein for my morning protein shakes. My midday snacks are usually Pure Protein Bars, which really give me the necessary calories and protein intake to keep me going during the day. I have tried a number of Pre-Workout supplements but am currently using BCS Labs Phenom Amped pills. I like the pills over the drinks because the drinks make me feel bloated and heavy and that isn't good before you workout and the pills really get me jacked up! As for post workout drinks I have tried a few including the P90X Recovery Formula, but am currently using GNC Pro Performance Wheybolic Extreme 60. I loved the way the P90X Recovery Drink tasted but I felt like I needed more protein so I switched and am happy I did. When I run out of the Wheybolic Extreme 60 I will probably just take the regular EAS protein in its place. Lastly, I am also taking Creatine - AST Sports Science CM750 Creatine Caps - this is the first time I have taken Creatine but according to reviews it can be an essential tool to building muscle and since that is my goal, Creatine it is!
Sorry for the length of this post but I hope you found it interesting. I particularly wanted to talk about this to those of you who are considering doing P90X because this will give you an idea on what you need to do nutrition wise. The supplement part is completely up to you but I wanted to give you the full picture of what I am doing and what has been successful. Please comment if you have any questions and I'd love to hear what others think about my nutrition goals.
Tomorrow I will post my pictures. My wife/photographer is doing inventory at work and has not been around to snap the pics for me but she is off tomorrow so I promise to get them up!
Thanks for Reading,
Monday, January 19, 2009
"Do your best and forget the rest."
Write it down -- Day 1 Chest and Back is in the books! I can barely hold my arms up to type this post! It was that good. A little housekeeping first: My starting weight is 164.4 lbs. My body fat is 18.4 percent. I used both a digital BF scale and old fashioned calibers to get this reading. Now onto day 1....
It has been almost two months since I last did P90X and I almost forgot how darn hard it is. If you are considering the P90X program I want you to know that it is difficult. If you think you are going to buy the discs and half-ass your way through 90 days and come out looking like a Spartan from the movie 300 you are mistaken. Don't get me wrong, you can look like Gerald Butler but you have to earn it. And the way you earn it is through hard work, sweat and pain!
During the Chest and Back workout I burned 518 calories. With a max heart rate of 179 BPM and an average of 130 BPM. My reps on both the pullup bar and pushups decreased significantly from when I finished round 1 about two months ago. The good news is that my left shoulder felt great throughout most of the workout. I felt a little tenderness during the diver bomber push-ups the second time through but immediately backed off.
AB Ripper X was absolutely brutal. I started to hurt on the backwards bicycles and the pain did not stop until I was laying on my side unable to move after 32 reps of the Mason Twists. I did every rep until I got to the Twists and a couple of times I felt like I was going to vomit. But as I said above this is when you have to push yourself. When you feel like you cannot do another rep is when you have to - no exceptions.
I'd like to talk a little about my goals and what I am expecting from P90X this round. I was going to write about nutrition today but at the sake of not writing a novel I'll save that for tomorrow. Anyways, during my first round of P90X I weighted in at 181lbs to start. I lost 17 lbs and my starting weight this morning was 164 lbs. Now that I have lost the weight I wanted to, and P90X was great at doing that, I now want to add about 6-8 lbs of lean muscle. While reducing my BF% to the 12-14% range. The plan is to alter the nutrition guide some (I'll go over tomorrow) and calorie intake to accomplish this goal. I honestly believe that the P90X program is versatile enough to be both a weight loss and muscle gaining program and I plan on proving that. So, my main goal is to weight about 170lbs and be extremely ripped in the shoulders, chest and abs. And the journey has just begun!
Thanks for Reading,
Sunday, January 18, 2009
So, tomorrow I will jump back into routine of healthy living and I am pumped up. To give a little recap if you are a new reader: I completed my first round of P90X at the beginning of January. After ten days off and light cardio I began the P90X PLUS. After two weeks of the PLUS I again hurt my left shoulder and was forced to stop. It has now been about a month and the shoulder is feeling good (thank you, cortisone!) and I am ready to Rumble.
In the next few days I will post "before" pictures so I again have a comparison point. Most of my posting will be after 9pm since I usually workout in the evening after work. The differences from the last round will be that instead of resistance bands being used for the weight lifting portions I will use dumbbells. I used dumbbells when I started P90X PLUS and even over such a short period the results were very noticeable. I am hopeful to get these noticeable results again!
Another change is that I will also be blogging for the Health and Fitness Website: Wellsphere.com .
Hence, that new big old emblem with my smiling face on it in the upper right hand corner. I was contacted by Wellsphere about a month ago and asked if I would like to become a featured blogger on their site and specifically in the Strength and Conditioning Community. At first I didn't feel like doing it because of what I assumed would be a large amount of time required by me to do the transition. But they offered to re-post every entry I have ever made and to even make it look pretty with pictures. They even offered to give me a username and password so my workload was basically just writing blog posts! Then I started investigating the Wellsphere community and found out they offer a ton of interesting articles and advice on everything imaginable in the health and fitness world. If you have a question about say Whey Protein - articles at your finger tip. Resistance Training - articles everywhere.
So, I decided to go ahead and start blogging for them because I felt they provide a needed service to myself and more importantly to those of you who read my blog. And selfishly, it was not going to require a ton of work on my side -- seemed fair! They also offer a variety of ways to communicate with each other and some nice fitness goal tracking software. Very good site -Check it out.
To sum it up: I am still doing all my posting here at the Carrot but those posts will also be available at Wellsphere. If you would like to check out my personal site at click HERE
Tomorrow's post will be about Day 1 and also the nutrition goals being used.
Thanks for Reading,
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
According to Tony Horton and his BeachBodies cronies the P90X + is what was next. So, I did some low impact cardio exercising for about a week and jumped into the PLUS
Now take this review for what it is and that would be an incomplete. The reasoning is that I re-injured my left shoulder two weeks into the PLUS and unfortunately had to stop out of fear of really harming myself. Now that my shoulder appears healthy I am going to start again but not with PLUS, I am going with the good old P90x Classic.
After going through the PLUS exercises twice I came to the realization that I did not like them as much as the P90X routines. To me they felt a little forced and at times awkward. I liked the fact that they were only 40-45 minutes and that the downtime between exercises was reduced making the video even more fast paced than the original. But, the flow of the PLUS felt forced and the exercises seemed like Tony was just making stuff up to show how EXTREME he was. Sometimes doing a regular old push-up or chin-up in not a bad thing? I also realized that Beachbodies had two workout schedules floating around for PLUS which makes me believe that others felt the same awkwardness that I did about the PLUS. Having a background in Marketing my experience would lead me to assume BeachBodies released this product to early or before it was adequately tested and had to make an adjustment. Unfortunately most products do not recover from these types of adjustments.
Now does this mean I hate the PLUS? No, I actually really like Interval X, Kenpo Plus and Total Body Plus. I'd be happy if I never see Upper Plus or Abs/Core Plus again. What this means is that I think some of the PLUS routines would be nice to mix in with the original P90X but as a stand alone product P90X PLUS would get a failing grade from me but since I didn't do the full 90 days it will get an: Incomplete.
As always, this is just my opinion and it is a limited opinion based on only two weeks so take it for what it is.
Thanks for Reading,
Monday, January 12, 2009
Well, I have been taking the cortisone pills and I am feeling wonderful!
My shoulder pain is pretty much gone. So is every other little ache I have ever had in my body! This stuff rocks! I can see why people become addicted to pain killers -- they are great. So everything bad I ever said about Brett Favre and Rush Limbaugh and their pain pill addictions I take back.
Now that I am feeling great I am going to do another round of P90X Classic. I wasn't really digging the PLUS all that much so back to the original it will be. I am excited to start because last time I was in pretty awful shape conditioning wise. This time I am starting at 165 lbs and about 17% body fat. I already found out how P90X works for fat out of shape guy. This time we will see how it works for someone who is in decent shape. AND I am using dumbells instead of the bands this time. Should be fun.
Also, fellow P90X blogger Joc over at Bring It! is going to start the new BeachBodies workout called ChaLean Extreme. It looks pretty intense and really focuses on weight lifting and building muscle through lifting as opposed to a lifting/cardio mix. So, I figured since Joc already ordered it we can all follow her progress and she can be our fitness guinea pig! Thanks Joc!
I will be done with my Cortisone cycle on Saturday. I will then begin a new creatine cycle and start on Monday the 19th --- I cannot wait!
So why am I going back to P90X Classic instead of P90X PLUS? I'll save that one for tomorrow's post. I have to go watch Jack Bauer waste some terrorists on the Tivo! Also some exciting changes are going to happen to the blog, once I get all the details I will post the info here ...stay tuned!
As always thanks for reading and I'd also like to apologize for my sporadic postings while I was dealing with this injury. But I am back now and am excited to Bring It again!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The good news is that the last time I was at the Doctors in October of 2007 my weight was 185lbs and yesterday it was 165lbs. A 20lb loss baby! And my blood pressure was high during that October appointment and yesterday it was a quite normal 128/74. I was pretty happy with that. Also, when I took my shirt off the Doctor asked me if I was doing "serious body building"... I thought that was a nice compliment, so Thank You P90X.
Okay, so my plan is to take this cortisone for the next week and if it goes well I'd like to start another round of p90x next Monday. My shoulder is not hurting at all as I type this so maybe the cortisone is already working? I also seem to have a much better range of motion and I actually woke up this morning and was sleeping on the shoulder - which I was unable to do the last couple of weeks - all good signs.
I'll keep everyone updated and thanks to those who have send emails wishing me well!
Monday, January 5, 2009
First off, I have an appointment with my Doctor on Thursday to look at my ailing shoulder. It seems to be doing better. I can raise my arm up in the air again and the pain has subsided tremendously. I am hopeful that I can jump back into the program after the Thursday meeting and I will keep you all posted.
I am also considering moving my blog to a health and fitness site. They have contacted me and want me to become a regular writer on their site. I would keep the same format and everything would look pretty similar except the site would be .
Thanks for Reading,
Friday, January 2, 2009
I wanted to drop a quick post about how everything is going with the shoulder injury. Unfortunately my Doctor is closed until Monday so I was unable to make an appointment. So, I basically took the last 6-days off and did nothing but rest. I still have been maintaining the healthy eating. I have dropped my calories down to about 2000 a day and am only have one to two portions of carbs. I reduced the calories because I felt I didn't need as many since I was no longer doing P90X PLUS.
The good news is that my shoulder feels somewhat better. I can at least now raise my left arm in the air without excruciating pain so I have that going for me! I have been in a bad mood and a little on edge since the injury so it is affecting me. Starting Monday I am going to hit the treadmill and stationary bike at least 4 times a week.
I was thinking about changing the content of the blog around to focus on maintaining health and fitness while dealing with an injury. Especially if the Doctor says that it is long term or surgery is needed. I am planning on begging him for a cortisone shot and if he complies then I'll jump back into a new round of P90X if not I'll probably change the format a bit.
Keep on Bringing It and thanks for reading!