Monthly Archives: March 2014

Week 2 is DONE!


Two weeks down, 10 to go! 🙂 This was a super busy week, and I’m proud of myself for sticking with it despite the stress of UIL. Week 3 is another laden with meetings and field trips, but the carrot of seeing improvement is a tasty one!


Last week my quote was “I hated the Warrior.” And I did. I found it more intense than I was interested in being, and I hate anything burpee oriented. This week the hatred was more of distaste. 🙂 I’m not sure if my body is actually acclimating to the demands of P90X3 or if I was just mentally prepared. Either reason is plausible, and I don’t think I care which it is.

I still modified for the hopping. My right ankle (the good one…) pops every single time I jump up or walk to down stairs. That doesn’t seem particularly healthy, so I’m avoiding the leaping for the time being. Last Saturday I labeled 3 different moves as HORRIBLE:

  • Double Uppercut, Sprawls – I was far more successful with this move. Right toward the end of last week’s round I realized that I was performing the sprawl incorrectly, bending my arms, which added an unnecessary intensity to the move. This week I did it with straight arms (as Tony reminds you), and it was far easier to do correctly and even kinda sorta keep up with the folks on the video.
  • Elbow, Over the Top Elbow, Sprawl – Again, a sprawl-centric exercise. Correct form made this less horrible and merely exhausting. 🙂
  • Super Burpee – …. Are we seeing a trend? I took Tony’s advice and went at a pace that I could achieve instead of trying to be driven by ego and match the speed of the video peeps. Interestingly, this strategy created a better result… hm…

One leg jump squats were modified to squat reaches to save my ankles, but I actually did a bit of two foot hopping on the Spiderman squats. That seemed okay, so I’ll probably do the same this next week.

I chose NOT to do Dynamix this week but replace that time with some severe yard work. 🙂 I did a TON of yard work this weekend. Surely that all counts as an extra workout. 😉

14 days down, 76 to awesome!!!

P90X3: CVX – Round 2! FIGHT!


Today felt GREAT! Don’t get me wrong; I was sweating like mad (somewhat unusual for me), and I extended some pauses for a little more water (YEECH!), but the entire round of CVX today was energized. Honestly, it’s probably because I had some coffee this afternoon. I might experiment with a touch of caffeine an hour or so before school is out. Coming home after working all day is not the best situation for giving 1000%, but hey… that’s what MOST of us have to do if we are going to take care of our bodies. There are those crazy people 🙂 who manage to wake up at 4:30 or 5 to work out, but I am a morning person like Ronald McDonald is a chicken. I would LOVE to be a morning person(!), but that’s just not going to happen.


Last week I only did about half the workout using the weight. This time I did most of the session using a 5lb weight. To be honest, a big reason I didn’t use it last week is that I’m a bit conscious of the fact that my shoulders are far more defined and larger than the rest of my arms – a sure sign of my conducting and holding up instruments all day. A smaller reason was that I was a pansy. 🙂

CVX is performed in 2 rounds of 3 moves. Today I was truly able to kick up the intensity on the second round, unlike last week… except on lunges. I don’t feel comfortable sacrificing form for speed on lunges. The one move I felt I did far superior compared to last week was March and Reach. Using my TV as a gauge, I was able to kick both legs up to the height of my TV and hold myself accountable when my left leg started pansying out. During Crescent-Chair I looked down at my legs and was truly surprised: my legs look and feel stronger now that they ever did back when I was running track in middle school and high school. Take a moment and indulge my ego…


See! My chicken legs are improving! 🙂 I can tell you for sure that my legs are FAR different than they were a year and a half ago. Yoga, running, misguided gym adventures, and now P90X3 are truly changing my body, and I would encourage everyone to see what this minuscule 30 minutes of your day will do.

Stay healthy!


P90X3 Day 11: Catch up with Yoga & The Challenge!



I just couldn’t stay a day behind… not this early on.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I took Tuesday off and did Agility X on Wednesday instead. Great. But that still left me one day behind my ‘schedule’, so I decided to take perhaps the stupid route and double up to get caught up. 🙂 I mean, I specifically mentioned how short the yoga was last week, right?


I went all out on the yoga. My thighs were seriously burning during the crescent-airplane sequence! During half-moon and twisted half-moon I used my yoga block (which rarely gets used anymore), but twisted is not happening. That’s fine. It will one day… maybe next year. I think I may have overdone my standing splits on one side as my “underbutt” (that’s a term all of my own 🙂 ) is a little unhappy right now. I have a hard time not wanting to perform a pose beyond what is acceptable for my body that day.

The bright spot in yoga today was Ted’s Chair. I did the arm balance successfully on one side!!! Woohoo! I love trick poses. 🙂 My crow was fairly exceptional (for me) also. For a more complete run down of the poses, see my previous yoga post.


Once I had completed the billion chaturangas in yoga, it was time for The Challenge! This time I had my fancy new pull up bands and push up bars to aid the process.

This week I set my numbers as 12 pull/chin ups and 16 push ups. I met my challenge, but boy was it hard, especially on the push ups. It got to the point that I would do about 6 and then complete the rest of the set 2 at a time with a brief pause at the top. In The Challenge, I’m still doing “girl push ups.” The pull ups were obviously far easier with the bands. I was sure to pause with the bands close to my body on each rep just like he tells the chick on the DVD. In fact, on many of my sets I did more than 12. Just for fun, and to see if I now magically had new found strength, I did a couple assisted pull ups and 2 unassisted chin ups.

No new magical strength yet.

BUT… I know that I have upper body muscles because they are exhausted. Tomorrow they’ll hurt. 🙂

Stay healthy!


P90X3 Week 2: Agility X or Yay for the Right Shoes




This is quite possibly the most nerve-racking part: UIL Concert & Sight Reading season. My band went to contest on Tuesday and played great. We left with the highest possible scores and some great comments from our judges. Despite being confident in my band, I was beyond stressed Monday and Tuesday. After contest, I arrived home around 5:15 and promptly fell into heap of exhaustion on my couch. Agility X was not an option. I couldn’t “bring it” even if I wanted to. There was nothing left to propel me. Instead, around 7 my dude took me out for dinner, and not even one brain cell was interested in calories or nutritional value when it came to my bean and cheese nachos and sangria swirl margarita. 🙂

I was slightly bummed though, knowing that I hadn’t even made it 2 weeks without altering the P90X3 schedule. :/ On Wednesday I started with Cold Start (the self-contained warm up regimen included in the program who want a little more than the 3 minute warm up) around 5:15 and then kicked off Agility X. This went better than last week! 🙂 While still worn out by the end, my endurance was far better than my first round. AND, with my new cross training shoes, my ankles weren’t hating me by the end. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Explode and Hold – I’m still struggling with the slow holds, but I didn’t almost fall over like last week.
  • Y Lunges
  • Joel Jump Squats
  • Toe Tap Skater
  • Near and Farrs – Still fun 🙂
  • Ring around the Posey
  • Scissor Kick Jumps – … My ankle got a little touchy with this. In fact, I even paused to give my ankle a few seconds to chill the heck out. This was still very difficult.
  • 8 Sprint 3 – better with the new shoes
  • Plyo V Lunge – I modified this again, doing the skips instead of the jumping.
  • High Step Shuffle
  • Gump Jump Push-Ups – 🙂
  • Tap That Line
  • Jump Knee Jump – The high knee jumps were MUCH easier this week!
  • Triangle Lunges
  • Squat Jump Lunge
  • 3.4 Run – This. Was. Better.
  • Long Jump Sprint – After watching this again, I realized that last week I did my arms incorrectly. I followed the modeling better, and shockingly it was easier. 😉
  • Plyo Line Push Ups – Instead of doing this exercise, I simply did as many push ups as I could using my new push up bars in the allotted time.

A quick shower later, I was lying face down on a table getting a wonderful massage. I should end all workouts this way!

Thursday… doubling up on yoga and The Challenge to make up for lost time… Eek!

Stay healthy!




Zucchizza! – a recipe in pictures

I wish this was an original idea; I saw something like this online which inspired me!


Preheat to 350.


Cut off ends and split in half.


Be sure to use PARCHMENT paper, not wax paper.


Olive Oil & SPG


Drizzle olive oil & season with SPG.


Bake for 20 minutes or longer, depending on the size.


Tomato paste (not sauce) & calorie/fat conscious cheese


Spread tomato paste on fairly thick.


Cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted to your liking.



Stay healthy!


P90X3 Week 2: Total Synergistics




super ugly shoes, like sherbet threw up

Yesterday, in a moment of needing to spend more money 🙂 , I bought a pair of cross training shoes. I’ve always seen that section of the store, but I had never truly given any thought as to how they might be different from, say, running shoes. Let’s be honest, I buy my shoes based on what I think is trendy and not their potential function.

Even just one day down in the new kicks and I’m sold on their magic. The wide, flat sole and lower ankle profile not only kept me steadier in some of the balance poses, but while leaping my landings were far more stable. Woohoo! Hopefully we’ll see a long-term positive effect on my ankles.



Last week I was a bit disappointed that TS wasn’t as hard as I was hoping. This week I decided that perhaps I should just “bring it” more, as Tony would say. 😉

  • Push Up/Side Arm Balance
  • Crescent Chair – I tried to sink much deeper in to chair this time, resulting in some good quad burn.
  • Pull Knee Pull – Today I tried my new resistance bands for pull ups. I think perhaps my form wasn’t great, but we’ll see if I’ve managed to create any sore muscles in my back these next couple of days. If nothing else, I was able to wear myself out with reps.
  • Flip-Flop Crunch – I just really like this one. 🙂
  • Crawly Plyo Push-Ups – Last week I did a bad job of keeping my body low to the ground. Today I stayed as low as possible, and by the end I was so tired I didn’t actually reach the 1 minute mark. Yay!
  • Relevé-Plié, Weighted
  • Chin-Up Circle Crunch – So interestingly, the modified move with the bands didn’t work out so well. You’re supposed to do the move lying down, and the bands kept lifting me off the floor… hmm. This may be a work in progress. I did 2 chin ups on my own 🙂 and then held my body weight up while I did a few of the circle crunches.
  • Boat-Plow
  • Balance Arch Press
  • 3 Hop Press
  • Glamour Hammer – I did a few extra hammer curls on each arm. I’m highly aware of the fact that my shoulders are  bigger than my biceps… That will be remedied.
  • Branon Boat – Dang! This is hard! The leg half of this move is darn near impossible right now, but even my mangled version kept my abs engaged the whole time.
  • Flying Warrior
  • Squat Rockers
  • Side Rise Punch – For the 2nd week, I did this without weights.
  • Warrior Squat Moon – This went better today. I kept one of my push up bars close by and used it as a yoga block to help my moon balance. That was a good call.

I feel like my 30 minutes was better spent on this round of Total Synergistics. Despite already consuming my cherry smoothie, I’m starving. Time for my new favorite “pizza”: zucchini pizza!

P90X3: Days 6 & 7

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WEEK ONE IS DONE!!! Only 11 more to go! 😉

For anyone who has done other workout regimens, Beachbody or otherwise, and wonders if the intensity of a 30 minute routine is enough, I assure you it is hardcore. I still have a touch of soreness left over from Thursday’s upper body Challenge, and my quads are now sore either from CVX or Saturday’s Warrior workout, although I don’t know which.

IMG_3434 New for week 2 are the resistance bands and push up bars I bought today. The resistance bands will be used primarily for some of the pull up exercises I’m just not strong enough to perform. I’ve need to purchase the push up bars for some time now… I have truly terrible wrists that have been plagued by tendonitis for nearly 13 years. Bending my wrists results in fatigue and aching almost instantly, and the push up bars allow me to keep my wrists straight while still accomplishing the move. I’m really excited to use these!

I also sucked it up and bought some cross training shoes, as opposed to the running shoes I’ve been using. Tony talks about the importance of that flat, wider sole that allows for more stable landings and quick changes of direction. While at Academy today, I’m sure I entertained a few of the other shoppers by doing side skater moves, testing not only the stability but how they felt on my bum ankle. It will be worth the $$$.


Honestly, I hated the Warrior. It wore me out instantly, the moves were stupidly hard, and I did not enjoy myself. A ton of this workout is jumping, and my ankles are not in a place where jumping is pleasant. While a lot of people will push through the pain and invent some platitude about ‘no pain, no gain’ I would rather keep my joints in working order for as long as possible. The result was that many of the moves I modified tremendously to create a version that my flawed body could sustain.

  • Plank Sphinx Push Ups – Starting in plank, drop one arm at a time to forearm plank, back up, and then do a push up. When you do each of these is random.
  • Speed Skater – Leap from side to side, landing in a one foot speed skater position, sometimes doing two hops to cover more ground.
  • Down Dog Crunches – From down dog, lower into plank then crunch the right knee up toward the right elbow, your forehead, and then the left elbow. Raise back into down dog and switch sides.
  • Side Lunge Jump Shot – Side lunge to the right, reaching down to the ground for a phantom basketball. Return to the center, jump, and shoot. Same to the left.
  • Elevator Push Ups – Starting at the top of a push up, lower half way, then down to chaturanga. Which position you move to next is random.
  • Double Uppercut, Sprawls – Double uppercut with each arm, and then drop down to plank and hop back up. HORRIBLE!
  • Roller Boat – Starting in boat, curl up and roll backwards in a ball then back up into boat and hold. Repeat.
  • One Leg Jump Squats – With 90% of your weight on one leg and 10% on the toe of the other, leap into the air and land in a squat.
  • Thumbs-Up Push Ups – Do a push up and then extend the left leg and right arm. Do another push up and extend the opposite limbs.
  • Elbow, Over the Top Elbow, Sprawl – Swing your elbows around in a fighting stance and then drop down into plank and hop back up. HORRIBLE!
  • Fifer Scissor Twist – Lying on your back, hover the left leg just above the ground, and hold the right leg straight into the air at 90degree angle. Reach with your left arm to your right toes, and extend the right arm out to the side. Switch.
  • Warrior Squat Lunges – Start squatting with your left arm touching the outside of your right foot. Leap into a lunge with the right foot forward and extend the left arm up to the sky. Do 15 then switch.
  • Super Burpee – Start in a wide leg squat. Jump into plank, do a push up, and then roll into a side plank. Return to plank. Jump back into the squat, and then do a high knees jump. Other side. HORRIBLE!
  • Think Drills – In this football type drill, do fast feet until he tells you to squat down and touch the ground. Return to fast feet. This one hurt my ankles big time. Being up on my toes is really terrible right now.
  • Abrinome – Lying on the ground with both legs straight to the sky, stretch out arms at a low 45degree angle, and then like a metronome lower legs over hands, slowly and holding for a beat on each side.
  • Spiderman Squats – From a wide leg squat jump 1/4 turn to another wide leg squat, then jump to original position. Do this for 1/2 turn and full turn as well.

All of the ones in red I had to modify to remove the actual leaping. For some of them that meant I “skipped” to the next position or merely stepped. For others, like the super burpee I had to flat out leave out the high knee jump. Despite modifying for where my body is today, I was exhausted by the end and required a few pauses of ye olde DVD player. 

Although tired, I found enough energy for a headstand afterward. 🙂


On day 7 you are given the option to rest or do Dynamix. I truly had planned on Sunday being a nothing day. However, upon waking up this morning curiosity dictated that Dynamix find its way into my DVD player. That ended up being fine as the bulk of the workout is stretching. I’ll save the time of typing every single stretch here, but it’s a recovery workout that spends a little time on every muscle group that has been worn out during the 6 previous days. I enjoyed it, but the yogi in me wanted to stretch a bit longer than just 30 minutes.

Having finished the first of twelve weeks, I’m excited to see how I progress. I have been physically tired by each of these days, and I look forward to reaching the point where the workouts become easier. The changes it brings my body are also welcomed results! 🙂

Stay healthy!


P90X3: Day 5 – CVX

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Friday, sweet Friday! You could not have come soon enough…

For some reason, this has been the longest week, primarily at work and for reasons I can’t begin to articulate. It simply dragged on and on, which made this an interesting week to have started a brand new exercise program. 🙂

My arms, arm pits, pecs, and deltoids are SUPER SORE! I calculated it out, and during yesterday’s Challenge, I did 128 push ups, not counting the burn out… Holy frickin cow. However, I relish the soreness as it sets in; proof that I have indeed done something to better myself. Plus, it makes stretching and massages wonderful! My leg are no longer sore, but my inner thighs (adductors) still have a little going on when I lunge.

After school I taught some kids to do crow pose. 🙂 Neat.


I have to assume that CVX stands for Cardio Vascular X. The routine is hardcore cardio. I’ll admit, I used the breaks  given and then gifted myself a few more here at there. The “X” part of it – the extreme element of CVX – is that it is weighted cardio. Tony (I’m now on a first name basis with him) tells you upfront to pick a light weight… 5lbs for girls, no more than 12.5s for guys. He even suggests that you could just use a ball instead of the weight. One of the chicks on the video used a basketball, and I’m positive even that would have worn me out. I used a 5lb weight for a little less than half of the 30 minutes, and then I knew I was entering the Pansy Realm and so completed the rest of the workout without.

This is another interval-circuit type workout. There are 3 moves done back to back and then repeated (at a higher intensity) followed by a break. Then you continue with a new set of 3 moves, etc.

  • Press Jacks – Jump the legs out while doing a shoulder press.
  • Atlas Twist – Lunge to one side “picking up” the weight then turn and reach to “put up” the weight.
  • March and Reach – Hold the weight above your head and then straight leg kick one leg up bringing the weight down to meet the leg with straight arms. Switch legs.
  • Traveling Tire Twist – Run a few steps forward, shifting the weight from one hip to the other with each step, then run a few steps backward still shifting the weight.
  • Frog Squat Reach – wide leg squat bringing the weight to the ground between your legs then pressing it above your head as you reach up onto your toes
  • Arc Press Lunge – Back lunge with one leg swinging the weight up and over to the front leg hip, then skip or hop into the opposite lunge swinging the weight up and over to the opposite leg.
  • Hop Overs – small hops up and over a towel or your weight
  • Balance Pull – While balancing on one leg, extend weight above your head and other leg behind you and then crunch the free knee and the elbows together. Switch.
  • Twist and Pivot – This is usually one of Tony’s warm up moves, but now he incorporates holding the weight.

This final set is done once normally and then is used as a burn out circuit of one of each move for 2 minutes:

  • Side Reach Jumps – Side lunge in one direction. Bring the feet back together and leap up with arms in the air, then lunge in the other direction. Repeat.
  • Crescent Chair – Start in chair then reach back to crescent. Repeat with other leg.
  • Globe Squatters – deep wide leg squat then leap in the air arcing the weight up and over from hip to hip with each jump

Exhaustion is an understatement. I was wildly tired. I didn’t finish the second set of the second group before I put down the weight, and I was still very tired by the end. It obviously was an incredibly effective cardio routine. My heart rate stayed pretty high the entirety of the 30 minutes (which stretched to about 40 with my pauses and water consumption). And the poor doglets lost their evening walk as I lost all motivation once I sat down with my protein smoothie (disgusting today…).

Tomorrow is The Warrior! 🙂 It looks fun!

Stay healthy!


P90X3: Day 4 – “The Day My Arms Died”

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I woke up this morning feeling far more rested than I have the last several. The good thing about being exhausted is that you finally reach a point that your body can no longer object to sleep. I didn’t sleep ALL night, but I did make it more than 4 hours, and that’s a start. 🙂

My butt and inner thighs are still mildly sore today. Nothing compared to what I would get when I did P90X Legs and Back, but there is definitely some muscle work going on. When I climbed out of bed this morning, the first thing I noticed was that my “good” ankle was incredibly sore… Bummer. My good ankle, strangely enough, is on the leg with the worst balance, and I’m guessing that as I fought for the Half Moon and Twisted Half Moon in yesterday’s X3 Yoga I overworked maybe the one healthy tendon in my entire body. 😛


Oh. My.

The whole “challenge” is that you pick your number of reps that you plan on doing in pull ups and push ups and then commit to sticking to that number throughout the workout, despite how exhausted you may be. I was pretty conservative: 8 assisted pull ups (read with chair) and 16 knee push ups.

  • Wide Pull Ups then Normal Push Ups ….. REPEAT
  • Chin Ups then Military Push Ups …… REPEAT
  • Close Grip Pull Ups then Wide Push Ups …… REPEAT
  • Vaulter Pull Ups then Staggered Push Ups ….. REPEAT

Oh. My.

The victory of today was that I did ONE full on chin up all by myself without the aid of a chair! I tried to do a second and was unsuccessful. My arms were totally exhausted by the end of this. BUT WAIT… That’s not it!

Just as you the routine comes to an end, Tony invites you to an additional 3 minutes of burn out! You are supposed to pick your favorite move of each and then do a rotation of 1 pull up then 3 push ups… REPEAT…. until the 3 minutes is over.

IMG_3321 - Version 2

I’m actually pretty proud of what my arms already look like. Kelly Ripa has been my “arm crush” for years, and I spent a lot of this past summer working on getting my Ripa arms. 🙂 Knowing that, there was a little pride on the line with The Challenge. I really think I’d actually get a better, more complete workout if I get some bands before next week’s Challenge as I’m simply not able to capable of performing the pull ups or chin ups to any sort of satisfaction.

Just to be absolutely ridiculous, my jello arms and I rounded out the day’s beat-down with Ab Ripper X. 🙂

Here’s to having a body as young as my sense of humor!

Stay healthy!


P90X3: X3 Yoga

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Day 3… Exhausted.

I’ve had a string of about 5 or 6 days in which I haven’t slept much for one reason or another. I’m a bad sleeper, and I easily fall into wake up habits… like waking up at 2 in the morning repeatedly. The combination of sleeping poorly, returning from spring break, being in the heat of UIL, and now starting P90X3 has left my body super tired.

I’m happy to report that yesterday’s Agility X left my butt and inner thighs getting progressively more sore as the day has progressed! 🙂


I’ve been excited all day to try out this incarnation of yoga, interested in how my own background would affect this half hour. This version is heavily influenced by Ashtanga and, while only 30 minutes, gives a good sampling of the Primary Series. Generally, when I practice, I’m doing the full series (with some other goodies mixed in) and spend a solid hour+ doing yoga. The 30 minute window seemed far too quick, but I’m sure for the non-yoga-geek it is wonderful! I was telling my dude afterward that, although short, I could totally see myself popping in this DVD on days that I want a quick/fairly intense yoga workout.

  • Child’s Pose
  • Downward Dog to Forward Bend
  • 3 Sun Salutations
  • Sun Salutation to Crescent
  • Airplane Over Leg – While in crescent, hold arms out like an airplane while leaning over bent leg.
  • Sun Salutation
  • Warrior 1
  • Warrior 2
  • Reverse Warrior
  • Bound Side Angle Pose
  • Sun Salutation B
  • Warrior 3
  • Half Moon – I HATE half moon… But it’s fun to work on. 🙂
  • Twisted Half Moon – If I hated half moon, then I despise this one. It’s really difficult, and I have a feeling I’ll have to address this in my daily practice if I ever plan on succeeding in this awkward balance pose.
  • Standing Splits – I’m getting much better at these!
  • Crescent Pose
  • Wide Leg Forward Fold with Toe BindMy head touched the ground today!!!
  • Triangle
  • Twisted Triangle
  • Tree Pose
  • Extended Leg with Toe Bind
  • Ted’s Chair – This was neat! I’ve done a posture like this at a Vinyasa class before, so the pose was not new. However, the variation of turning the posture into an arm balance was wildly exciting! I can’t wait to work on this new arm balance! It’s so fun to be upside down. 🙂
  • Crow – Love this one too!
  • Vinyasa to Floor
  • Child’s Pose
  • Cat-Cow
  • Bird Dog to Dog Dancer
  • Camel
  • Figure 4 Series – part of the seated series that works the hamstrings.
  • Plow or Shoulder Stand
  • Fish – Usually I’m afraid of fish, but my back has been getting progressively stronger through my daily yoga. I tried it today and was successful.
  • Shavasana

I was glad to see that a pretty solid mini-routine was designed for P90X3. Kudos to the the creators of this particular workout! Tomorrow is The Challenge… Push ups and pull ups… Time for bed so I can have any sort of energy to “Bring it!”

(Just FYI… I think saying “Bring it!” is super cheesy, and I only type it with the most severe and dorkiest sarcasm possible. 🙂  )

Stay healthy!