Friday, December 23, 2011


So the year is nearly over, and of course one looks back over the year past.

How have we done?

Personally, concerning fitness, I am breaking it down by month.

Mid-July began again in earnest. Began working with a support group to help with eating.
Doing INSANITY workout.

August - weight dropping off, eating great, INSANITY workouts.

September - first two weeks - INSANITY and great eating, then...
Three week trip to West Coast. Great eating and pretty good working out, even on the cruise.

October - began P90X again. Wow, what a butt kicker! eating good, not great. weight loss begins to plateau

November - good work, decent eating too.

December - Blah. But weight maintained. is a new day. What expectations for now til January? And of course the new year brings P90X2.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nothing like a cold... knock you off track.

Actually, I can't completely blame the virus for my slow down last week. It was a combination of TOO BUSY with family and work and feeling BLAH with a cold.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent with a stuffed up head and feeling blah. Had lots of busy family things to do and the last thing I wanted to do was workout.
Monday morning I slept in, hoping to knock down the virus even further, having started to feel better by Sunday evening.

But Monday evening I decided that, even though I wasn't feeling 100%, I was going to get back in the swing. I ROCKED out the Chest and Back workout, getting personal bests on nearly all push ups and pull ups.
And this morning I was back in the swing, getting up early enough to get my PlyoX workout in, which I relished with extra strength and vigor.

The jury is out about working out when sick. Some like to "push through". Others like to nurse the cold a bit and then get back into the swing of things. You know best what is best. A common cold is one thing, but something worse like Flu or Strep would call for more rest than activity.

So anyway, pushing through and feeling good (albeit a bit sore). Now if can get my nose to stop running......

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Phase III Malaise

I have reached, once again, Phase III of P90X and I have come to a familiar malaise, that general feeling of discomfort or uneasiness. The last few times I have slogged through P90X by the time I get within a few weeks of finishing I get bogged down. I would think I would be psyched that the completion is near, but instead I tend to find it harder to focus and harder to motivate myself to push harder.

This time IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT. Now that I have identified it and called it out I AM GOING TO WORK through it! P90X2 should arrive in the mail any day, which should be a good external motivator since that will be kicking my butt starting in January.

So time to get off the computer and on with the rest of the important things I need to do today.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gearing up for the thanksgiving holiday

Thanksgiving is just a few days away. For me and my family the Turkey dinner comes second, after a hectic morning at my Church. America's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit passes in front of our Church and we serve a Pancake breakfast from 6:30 to 9:30am in the basement, and hot chocolate/coffee and donuts out the front door to parade goers, and of course enjoy the festivities ourselves. But it is a hectic morning prepping the kitchen and then I walk the parade viewing area for a few blocks up and down from the Church promoting the breakfast and the enticing 'warm bathrooms'. Hundreds of people eat breakfast or donuts, and even more stop in to warm up and see our amazing church building .

Since I am a lower carb guy I will be avoiding the pancakes and will instead slip in a few eggs for breakfast before the crowds show up. After the parade and clean up (about 11:30) we will head across state 2.5 hours for the turkey dinner with all the fixings at my in-law's house.

But the holiday can be a land-mine if one is not careful about what one puts on their plate and in their mouths! For those who are already fit Thanksgiving can be a splurge day. Good for you. I am not there yet. I have made avoiding desserts (other than fresh fruit) a good habit. But the rest of the thanksgiving meal can be a real hazard.

Turkey- yum... Will eat in moderation of course.
Potatoes - white starch with little redeeming nutritional value. Mashed adds fats. (but sweet potatoes have nutritious value)
Stuffing - white starch with even less redeeming value.
Gravy - starch, fat....
Rolls - white starch.
Salad - good (with a small amount of dressing)
Cranberries - if the real thing this is a good thing. Canned? blah.
Veggies - Yum.

So you see what my plate will primarily consist of - turkey, veggies, cranberries, and salad. But hey, love all those things!

Most importantly Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for all God's blessings. And increasing health and fitness is a blessing to me!

Enjoy your family, enjoy your meal. But there is no need to be a glutton about it. Be smart and even if you fail at that, start again at eating right!

And of course, through it all, keep working out!!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Change of scenery

This morning I just didn't want to work out. I know that getting the workout done first thing in the morning is so much better for me. Not only do I personally feel I am most effective at that hour, but I am more likely to get it done if I do it right away. On days that I don't work out right away I spend all day trying to figure out when to fit it in, and sometimes the day just gets away from me.

With Jennifer also doing a beachbody workout (Insanity again) it means I either have to get up earlier to workout in the basement and be done before she gets up, or we work out on different floors. Working out at the same time is easy enough if I am doing Plyometrics, Yoga, or even Chest & Back or Legs & Back. I put the DVD in the computer in the kitchen eating area and either get to work in the kitchen or family room. Other routines, requiring weights, are not as convenient to drag all the dumbbells up the stairs (the pull up bar is at the bottom of the basement stairs and I can dash up and down to use it during the workout).

This morning I just didn't want to drag the weights upstairs since Jennifer got a head start and was downstairs. But I packed my gym bag and after the 12:15 Mass, on my 'lunch break", I dashed over the my local "athletic club" with the Back and Biceps worksheet I had printed off the Team Beachbody website.

Doing it at the gym gave me two advantages today. One, I worked out with someone, an acquaintance from the club I know. He was there and we were able to push each other a bit. But also being there I was able to push up my weights and do fewer reps but with more poundage, and that felt really great! I really need to get sets of 30 and 35 pound dumbbells.

So today's change of scenery was a good thing for me. Sore in newer ways, including some sore hands because the chin-up bar is not padded! But for the most part I hope to stick with workout out in the morning so I am not taking time away from other things during the day.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Motivation, and working out with others....

P90X, and all the Beachbody products, are programs on DVD. The intention is that people can workout at home and that is the attraction. Going to a gym can be intimidating. Everyone else seems to be in much better shape there (Planet Fitness certainly has tapped into a rich vein with their policy of no grunting, muscle heads, etc.), and of course one had to actually get up, get dressed and GO to the gym. Working out at home eliminates the excuse of having to get out to the gym.

Not that working out at home isn't without its hazards. One of our basement light fixtures is missing a globe because one son hit it while working out. Some workouts are better done upstairs because with all the jumping the ceiling in the basement is low. . And of course, the same lack of motivation that keeps you from going out to the gym can also keep you from putting in the DVD and pushing play!

In my house, sometimes the big problem is that with 4 of us doing two different Beachbody programs and at different days/phases sometimes we end up having to wait and schedule around each other to use the DVD player. Some mornings we have one working out in the basement, and another working out in the kitchen playing the DVD on the computer.

Results can be a great motivator, and having so many of us in the house doing these workouts also motivates. "What workout did you do?" "How was it today?" are ways we keep each other pushing play (not to mention comparing aches and soreness in the evening). And others find motivation with the Beachbody on-line community on Team Beachbody and through Twitter and Facebook.

Today, in a few minutes after my wife finishes her INSANITY workout, I am going to be doing something I have never done. I am working out, P90X legs and back, with my 15 year old son. The DVD is enough pain. Should be interesting to see this young, fit, black belt do circles around this still getting in shape 45 year old! Wish me luck!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Government help to end the trend?

Our local paper, The Detroit Free Press, has an article today about how the government is considering various approaches to ending the trend of obesity. This includes school breakfast/lunch program changes, taxes on soft drinks, and requiring posting calories/fat content at fast food outlets (we saw this last one at work in California, and influenced my sons' choices at our very RARE visit to a fast food joint, while on vacation). But I think ultimately it is about personal responsibility!

Those who want to be healthy must make healthy choices. And I am not sure I agree that the government could decide what is a 'healthy' choice with all the food industry lobbyists doing their best to influence decisions. The Free Press article writes of a healthy breakfast at a local school of wheat bagels, juice and milk....all high sugar/starch choices, with NO PROTEIN. A meal like this has a high glycemic impact which means the kids get a sugar buzz first hour of school, sleepy afterwards from the crash. I remember those days in boarding school when had waffles or pancakes. Hyper students first hour from the starches and sugary syrup, napping in second hour class. Breakfast in the Kelly household this morning? 2 scrambled eggs with about 2 cups of veggies each or organic oatmeal with cinnamon and vanilla /no sugar (lower protein in this one, but the boys will follow with a snack of nuts later in the morning).

So perhaps the question is whether government can influence health choices? Perhaps, but ultimately those who want to make poor choices will do so. Those who want to make better choices will go out of the way to do so. Making sure government doesn't interfere with being able to make good choices might also be a part of the challenge. For adults perhaps it will be business requiring fitness for health insurance coverage. In the schools offering ONLY healthier school lunches, removing soft drink machines and the like, and increased gym would go a long way. Ultimately it is about a society creating a culture of fitness one person at a time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

P90X - The genius is in the order of workouts?

As I am in the midst of week two of P90X (and I have done this program, but not with the dedication of this round), something interesting has occurred to me.

You probably know that the big deal of the program is "Muscle Confusion". The program is organized in three phases. The first phase, first three weeks, you do the same workout every Monday (Chest and Back), every Tuesday (Plyometrics), every Wednesday (Shoulders and Arms), etc. After three weeks your muscles begin to adapt to the routine of the workouts. In sports we call this muscle memory. You shoot lots of good free throws, or play catch with the baseball for hours so that your muscles know exactly how to throw the ball with just the right velocity, power, range. This is important when you play a sport. Practice makes perfect (actually...perfect practice makes perfect).

On the fourth week, called recovery week, the routine is switched up with less heavy lifting, more stretch and core stuff. Then you start Phase 2. In Phase 2 you again have the same workout for three Mondays, three Tuesdays and so on but they are different workouts Monday/Wednesday than phase 1, not only switching up exercises but how you work different muscle groups on those days.. Your muscles have become confused by the change from Phase 1 and recovery week, and now have to adapt and get stronger. Another recovery week at the end of Phase 2 and then you have 4 weeks Phase 3, alternating workouts from Phases 1 and 2 to further confuse and force the muscles to adapt and get stronger.

But this past week I realized something in the ordering of the workouts beyond the Muscle Confusion of the various phases. The order within the week helps to grow the muscles as well by working, resting, and working another part of the body in another way. Monday works upper body, on Tuesday that mostly rests while you work lower and cardio in Plyometrics. Wednesday upper body again, Thursday (Yoga) is a stretch of all of it, Friday Uppper and Lower (Legs and Back) and Saturday Cardio and stretching (KenpoX Karate). Abs are every other day, allowing them to rest and recover.

Maybe I am just a simpleton and it took me this long to realize it, but there is genius not only in the variation between the 3 Phases, but in the order of the week itself. And quite frankly, as someone with a relatively short attention span, the variety within the week as well as the phases helps keep my attention.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The mental battle for fitness

As we know, the key components of getting fit is input and output: diet and exercise. As a local radio commercial puts it "Move more, eat less." But overlapping that is the mental aspect of fitness.

There are two main themes that frequently come to mind. One is denial, and the other is the mental sabotage of the fitness routine.

Denial is that state of refusing to accept the need for fitness. Our mind tricks us into believing that we aren't really in bad shape, and we have a picture in our mind of a fitter person than we really are. St. Paul says in the 13th Chapter of his 1st letter to the Corinthians that we see now through a glass (mirror) dimly. Even looking at the mirror we can deceive ourselves.

For many, it takes an outside shock to help us out of that denial. Clothes no longer fitting, or for many it is seeing ourselves in a photograph that is the shock to the system that breaks through the denial, and that we have allowed ourselves to get so far out of shape!

The other aspect of the mental battle, particularly once we begin to workout out and eat properly, is a long ingrained self-image as one who cannot get into shape, and we sabatoge our workout regime despite the success we may be having. Tom Venuto wrote great article on this, found here

In a nutshell he says that we have to change our Self-Concept. Tom writes...

People who don’t understand self-image erroneously put all their attention on changing their eating and exercise behaviors, but the problem with this physical-only approach is that it’s not addressing the SOURCE or cause of the behavior. The source of your behavior is your mental self-image. You are more than just a body. You are a body, a mind and a spirit. You will always act - and can ONLY act - like the type of person you SEE yourself to be in your mind.

If you see yourself as a fat person, you will behave like a fat person. If you see yourself as a lean, fit and healthy person, you will behave like a lean, fit and healthy person. A fat person would never work out faithfully every day of the week, so why is it any surprise that someone with a “fat person” self-image would skip workouts? Their brain is programmed to skip workouts. Someone with a “fat person” self-image would never eat healthy, low fat, low sugar, low calorie meals, so why would it be surprising that they cheat on their diet and binge on junk food? After all, their brain is programmed to eat junk. Is this starting to make sense?

To make a lasting change, you must work on the physical AND the mental planes. Of course you have to change your lifestyle, exercise and nutrition habits, but the real secret is not trying to force new behaviors, but changing the self-image which controls the behabior. Put your energy on a new mental picture, and the new picture will create new behaviors. Best of all, the new behaviors that spring from a positive new self-image will come without as much effort or willpower because they’re hard-wired into every cell of your body. The “unseen forces” are now working for you instead of against you.

Tom then goes on to recommend a four step program to create a new self concept; 1) Create your new image 2) create a written description of your new self image 3) act the part 4) Reinforce the image daily...even hourly.

I recommend the link to read the article in its entirety! So whether you are in the "I'm not so bad" mindset which is preventing you from getting started, or trapped in a destructive mindset concerning that self image that knocks you off track of a fitness routine already begun you can get beyond it to get fit and stay fit!

Monday, October 3, 2011

3 weeks later....

Home from vacation! Lost a few pounds while gone and got a workout in almost every day except the last 4, when we had to leave our cruise ship in Cabo because my 13 year old son had to have an emergency surgery to remove his appendix.

We were going to go to a conference on Mackinac Island this week, but that is now been set aside, so I am starting P90X TODAY! Or should say re-starting with a real sense of purpose. Good eating, and not going to miss a day of workout (except for scheduled day off) for the next 90 days should product the results.

INSANITY was great (lost 40 pounds). Looking forward to the next 90 days of P90X and then P90X2 for the new year, God willing!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The challenge of travel

As I write I am finishing my first week of a three week vacation. Being due a 3 month sabbatical because I have been at my position for 10 years, I opted for this shorter vacation for many reasons, including a desire to not be away from home or church for such a long time. We also have kids at home which makes getting away for a longer time harder.

Travel presents its own set of challenges for the striving for fitness. But with some planning and resolve, travel does not have to derail your fitness plans. The challenges are two-fold: exercise and eating (yeah, the same two as being at home!)

Our three week vacation plans include(d) 4 days of travel with a night in different locations, a week at my parents house, a few more hotel nights, and then a seven day cruise.

Exercise is grounded in our Beachbody programs. Although I have 'finished' INSANITY, I decided that I would bring the max DVD's with me (wife and sons brought ASYLUM). I also brought Tony Horton's Fountain of Youth Yoga from the One on One series for a change of pace. We also borrowed a portable DVD player from a neighbor to play them on. Also brought the running shoes.

Traveling to the West Coast, the time change has worked to our advantage. We've been in bed early and up really early so we can get out workouts in. I have done them in hotel fitness rooms, hotel rooms, and now here at my parent's house. One day I have not popped in a DVD has been the day we left the hotel extra early to go to the Grand Canyon, but I did hike up and down hills for over 6 miles, much of it on uneven ground! My wife and sons have been intermingling ASYLUM with running since they are training for a half marathon in mid-October.

Eating healthy on vacation can be a bigger challenge. Restaurant food is not only expensive but often laden with calories and unhealthy ingredients. One of our first stops after renting our car and driving to our first hotel was to go to a grocery store to shop for healthy, nutritious foods, and a cooler to put them in. We made sure the hotels we stayed at had microwaves or we did alot of paleo-type eating (raw veggies, fruits, nuts, etc.).

Eating at my parents house was/is different challenge, with issues of lots of prepared foods, and other packaged things we would not usually eat at home. The bigger challenge here is portion control and not falling into old patterns of extended family type eating. Snacking has to continue to be fruits, etc., rather that other available, but less healthy options.

The cruise portion is the part that worries most people, but thankfully I have positive cruise experiences in the past. You can lose weight on a cruise! I have. Food choices have to be carefully made, which more me means avoiding the starches and sugars. The waiters are happy to substitute extra veggies for the starches, and fresh fruit for sugary deserts. And just because food is available all day and evening doesn't mean you have to eat all the time! Yes, I eat more on a cruise than I do at home, but I avoid unhealthy. The key is to burn calories. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Last cruise I counted in one day I climbed up or down over 70 flights of stairs on the boat! There is also a workout room on most boats, a deck for jogging, and on the boat we are using (Disney) a basketball court. And of course you can always do those Beachbody DVD's in your room.

CHOOSE to eat well and CHOOSE to exercise and your vacation does not have to be disaster to your waistline!

Friday, September 9, 2011

INSANITY results, and a new challenge

As of Saturday I am 'finished' with INSANITY. Overall I have liked the workout program, but not always the workouts themselves while doing them. I have surprised myself that with all the jumping I haven't had more problems with my knees and ankles. And I was also surprised by the amount of upper body work in the form of all sorts of push ups of varying types. Nowhere near the upper body work in P90X, but more than I thought.

The results? Since July I have lost over 35lbs. A pretty good start. I have a ways to go yet, but am hopeful.

The biggest change for me has been getting the eating in line. Having an eating plan and sticking to it has been the key, which I have done extremely well since the end of July. Eat well and feel better about workout out. Work outs go well, motivated to eat well. Rather than living a vicious circle of failure it is replaced with a positive reinforcing circle of progress.

So what is next? I am due a sabbatical from work but instead we are just taking a 3 week vacation out west. It will involve air flight, multi-state driving, and staying in some hotels, at family's house, and a cruise ship.

The challenge is to keep the positive circle going. It is important to have an eating plan includes being flexible about location and content while traveling but also knowing that portion control and individual food choices can be done well. And of course the nonnegotiable is EXERCISE.

We are packing INSANITY and ASYLUM dvd's, workout bands, and of course running shoes for those days playing the dvd's will not be convenient. Jennifer is picking up a tiny dvd player today to pack so not having a player won't be an excuse. And hotels and the cruise ship and workout rooms.

Last time I took a cruise I lost weight! I took the stairs instead of the elevator most of the time, worked out in the weight room, and watched my food intake. I am making it a personal challenge that in the 3 weeks I am away I will lose 10lbs. It is 3.3 pounds a week, upper end of what is considered a healthy weekly weight loss, and I am pushing for upper end!

We leave Monday and with smart phones and an iPad, I will keep you up to date as we go.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Perhaps it is what we are eating.....

There are many challenges in striving for fitness. Some people are just lazy. Others so busy (or so they think) that they can't find time to workout. For others the challenge is on the eating side. Some are ignorant of what a good diet is...and there is plenty of conflicting advice on what a healthy diet is.

For some, the challenge about food is deeper than being lazy, slothful, or ignorant. For some, the problem has become akin to an addiction. Food cravings to some foods can be the result of allergies or sensitivities to some ingredients. Another component can be mental with compulsive behavior to overeat in general, or of certain food.

Beachbody certainly has plenty of food plans available for weight loss and increased fitness. Most of the programs come with a food plan included. If you are a member of the Team Beachbody site (not the free membership, but the premium one) you have access to on-line diet planning including shopping lists. and there are other eating plans out there that can be helpful, ranging from Atkins and South Beach (Low Carb) to Weight Watchers (with portion control and accountability)

But for some, compulsion becomes obsession. In this case there is a program using the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous that helps with eating issues. Foundationally a spiritual program, there is an acknowledgement of a powerlessness over the compulsion and a need for help from your 'higher power' to help with a program of personal development and growth.

Although unlike AA, where the starting point is if you don't have the first drink you won't have the 7th or 10th, you do need to eat. Overeaters Anonymous acknowledges you need to eat! But with the combination of the spiritual component of turning your will and your life over to the care of God and seeking his help with your eating, combined with various tools such as an eating plan, regular meetings to share experience, strength and hope, and accountability to a sponsor, one can experience freedom from compulsive eating.

So even if you are working out regularly, but can't seem to stick to a healthy eating plan, there is help.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Not the mental illness, mind you. The Beachbody exercise program. Started it about two weeks ago and WOW is it tough.
I like the Plyometrics in P90X and this is day after day of jumping, running, etc.

Jennifer, Sam, and Andrew finished this program with GREAT results. Jennifer is now doing Phase II again (has 2 four week phases with a recovery week between - total program 60 days). Sam started ASYLUM, the sequel to INSANITY, but hasn't continued it. Jennifer, I believe, plans on starting ASYLUM after she finishes this re-do of Phase II of INSANITY.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Phase III plans

So I started Phase III off with a bang this morning. BEFORE doing Chest and Back and AbRipper, I went out for a 20 minute run.

My goal is to add something to each day of Phase III. A jog before, or a second workout in the afternoon (assuming I do P90X in the morning). This other might be a jog, brisk walk, or even a swim at the local athletic club near my office. Cardio X might also be another good option for a second workout later in the day.

Because I had a rough week in the middle of Phase II and re-did the week, I am now on Schedule to be done with P90X shortly after Easter. And if past experience s an indicator, Holy Week will be crazy to get all my workouts in. But as Tony Horton says, "I'll do my best!"

Jennifer and the boys have finished INSANITY. GREAT RESULTS!
This week Jennifer is running and doing some Jillian Michaels workouts, and will restart INSANITY with Brazil Butt Lift (another Beachbody workout) to supplement it. I am hoping to convince the boys to do P90X with me. The three of them are waiting anxiously for the release of ASYLUM, the sequel to INSANITY, due out in April.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I am writing right now between Evening Prayer and my second Mass of the day for Ash Wednesday. And of course people are talking about 'giving things up for Lent'.

There are different things we can give up for Lent; those we should give up anyway (that which is not good for us, or is sinful), those which we can give up which can be bad for us if not practiced in moderation, and those things which are not objectively good nor bad, but we give up as an offering of thanksgiving, and a reminder that we are not slaves to our impulses and desires.

Smoking would be an example of the first case, sweets in the second, and perhaps meat or a certainly thing you like like television.

An orthodox priest and I were having a discussion about the stricter Eastern Orthodox fast for Lent. I asked him if he expected his 7 year old son to keep this strict discipline. His response was that if he couldn't resist the temptation for a cheeseburger in Lent when he is 7, how will he learn the discipline to say no to sinful things when he is 16 or 19?

Doing Beachbody programs imply a measure of discipline. Following a meal plan, exercising 6 days a week, etc. are a discipline. But as you may know, or have seen from the increasing number of videos on YouTube about P90X, Insanity, etc., - discipline yields results.

So if you haven't started, or fallen off the track, Lent is a great time to restart your discipline! Give something up (food, tv, etc.) and take on something good (exercise, Shakeology, etc.). The physical results will show for themself! And the spiritual aspect of a disciplined life is a nice bonus as well!

Friday, March 4, 2011

An insight on my occasional back pain

Every couple of weeks this winter I have had some back problems. Mostly in the sciatic nerve. Starts just above the tail bone and goes down a leg or both.

Sleeping (well, rolling over while sleeping) is painful, and it is particularly bad after sitting for a few minutes.

Twice it was bad shortly after shoveling snow (duh).

Started hurting again last night. Went to the Chiropractor this morning (this usually helps).

Realized something important. Each of the last three times it has happened has been after doing Plyometrics. And the other presenting symptom has been really sore hamstrings.

My chiropractor noticed that my legs were particularly tight. And YES, extra tightness in the hamstrings can cause lower back discomfort. So perhaps the culprit is so much the back as it is not stretching well enough after Plyometrics, and then keeping limber throughout the day.

It doesn't happen every time I do Plyo, but each time it has been sore it had been after it. Will have to see if there is a correlation. So I will get up from this chair in a minute, stretch again, and work and hope for the best.

Yoga X in the morning should help stretch it out!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Wasn't it one of Newton's laws of physics that things in motion tend to stay in motion, and things at rest stay at rest unless changed by an outside force? (Thank you Sr. Jocelle for H.S. physics).

After a decent recovery week last week we started this week with Shovel X, the pet name I have for having to shovel 9 inches of snow. Tuesday I got in Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders because it is the start of Phase II (muscle confusion...start shaking things up). But Weds and Thursday I was a slug. Slept later than I wanted, didn't get in the workout either day, and now I am procrastinating again....

So as soon as I hit "publish post" I am going downstairs. I am going to do 1/2 Plyometrics X (my favorite workout anyway), going through each set 1x rather than twice AND THEN go into a full Back & Bicep workout. This will catch me up from Weds/Thursday. Oh yeah - then I get to go out and shovel again (only 2 inches).

The main barrier for me is that I have been staying up later (for no good reason) and then not getting up early to work out first thing in the morning. I HAVE TO GET MY WORKOUTS IN FIRST THING, or I find every excuse of busy to not get it done at all. Early to bed, early to rise... makes this man more likely to get his workout in (healthy and wise?).

So I guess just I need a good swift push to get this body at rest back into motion!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Recovery Week

This week is known in P90X as recovery week, but I have another name for it. I call it "that darn week I have to do YogaX twice".

The big idea with P90X is what Tony Horton has dubbed "Muscle Confusion". The idea is that you work for three weeks a set series of workouts so your muscles begin to adapt. In baseball we call this part Muscle Memory. You take HUNDREDS of swings of the bat in practice, perfect swings hopefully, so that in the game your muscles know exactly what to do (and why hitters, when they get into a slump, have such a hard time adjusting their swing - they have muscle memory to undo).

Then, after three weeks of the series you mix it up by moving away from the heavy lifting, pushing, and pulling you have been doing and mixing up the week with a couple of KenpoX, YogaX, and something unpleasant called Core Synergetics.

I put up with this week. Not a fan of YogaX (okay - honestly...I am a wimp and am not good at it AND I don't like how long it is). And Core Synergetics is not one of my better ones either.

But next week I begin Phase 2 and we get a new set of workouts for the arms/chest/back area. And I really like all those and Plyometrics.

The muscles, with these changes, aren't allowed to plateau, but are required to adapt to the new work and therefore grow bigger. The 'confusion' is actually good for increasing fitness.

Today is a rest day. Tomorrow morning I get back at it...with Yoga X!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Milestones for starting weight-loss & getting fit

Most people know about the New Years resolution. "This year I am going to 1) exercise 2) eat better 3) lose weight..." I suppose many of us have made that resolution year after year. And I am sure many of us have also broken it within a week (day?) or two.

People are 'calendar-centric'. In other words, we are based in time and the calendar becomes our guide (or can be a beastly master...but that is a blog entry for another day). I know in one way I am out of sorts because i started this round of P90X as soon as I came back from vacation. My first day was a Wednesday. While most others start on a Monday and tweet, blog, and Facebook post "today is Thursday - Yoga X day", my Thursday is Plyo day.

Others wait to start or re-start a diet/fitness routine as a new month begins.

But in addition to New Years Resolutions there are other milestone dates or occasions that either call people to start then, or looking forward to an event they plan their 90 or so days out to begin. I know it was in my head that starting right away after returning from vacation would have me finish P90X by Easter. Others start in the late winter in the hopes of getting in shape by summer and swimsuit season. Yet others use the beginning of Lent to not only "give something up" like sweets, but to take on the discipline of diet and exercise. Perhaps a cruise/school reunion/wedding are in your future and become a target date.

Recently I was listening in on the National Coaches Call with Beachbody CEO Carl Daikeler and he noted that many people grossly over-indulge Super Bowl weekend, and the week(s) following the Super Bowl are a prime time for people to be looking for the opportunity to begin a program.

This really rang a bell for me. In 2003 it was Super Bowl weekend that inspired me to begin my first real push to fitness, losing weight and running. Unfortunately this got derailed with I broke my ankle (running) and became quite slovenly afterwards, putting weight back on.

It was during this later time period that I bought my first Beachbody product - Power 90. Used it occasionally (actually sparingly) over the next few years. Only got really serious again after getting P90X...but that is a blog post for another day.

Anyway - one of those milestones are coming up this weekend. Perhaps a take off on a bible quote might be appropriate..."Eat, drink, and be merry - for tomorrow we die(t)." But more than just diet - we need to transform our lives.

If you need advice and encouragement in choosing a fitness program, or getting on track (whether it be the Super Bowl or on any day), I can help! either click on an ad to the right, or check out my Independent Team Beachbody Coach page

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Week One DONE!

It is amazing how after a few weeks away from the regular practice of this program, P90X, restarting is always a challenge. Muscles get lazy and don't want to do all this hard work. And even though I did train for the half marathon this fall, by upper body work was lacking!

I did the first week starting Wednesday. I took Saturday off because my day was busy, but got all the workouts in otherwise. This morning I started Week 2, which is a repeat of the week 1 pattern: Chest and Back today, Plyometrics tomorrow, Shoulders and Arms, Yoga X, Legs and Back, Kenpo X, and rest (or Stretch X). I hope to do it in that sequence this week, not taking a day off on Saturday. We will have to see.

The other exciting news is that my wife and 14 & 13 year old sons have started INSANITY and they tell me it lives up to the title! They are sweating buckets and sore as all get-out after two days (plus the Fit Test to start). On top of it, the 13 year old did Insanity at 2pm yesterday, 75 minutes of personal training with his baseball team, and then 90 minutes of baseball practice. He is sore today!

It has been interesting in the morning. My wife does the Insanity in the basement while I do P90X in the kitchen on the computer (running down to the basement between sets to do the pull ups). The boys workout after they complete their daily homeschooling.