Monthly Archives: May 2014

Block 3, Week 1

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Block 3 is an interesting one, and I think I’m a fan.

The first month was a whole lot of cardio and the stepping stones of strength building. Month 2 was far more resistance training, and now in the third month it’s a good mix of both. It’s neat to go back to some of the Block 1 workouts and discover that I’m better at them which makes them more fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

A super rotten Thursday required sushi and a beer with my dude, so yoga was put off until later. In fact, you’ll notice on my calendar that I still haven’t gone back and done it. My plan is to do it Sunday morning. But even so, I’ve gone back to adding in more ashtanga stretching before I start the workout purely from missing my old fashioned yoga time, and this week the doglets and I took two 1.5 mile walks.

Back in the fall John and I were running quite a bit. I hate running. I don’t enjoy while I’m doing it, and I’m not a huge fan of it afterwards either. ๐Ÿ™‚ I find it boring and hard on my ankles. It’s particularly bad on John’s knees. The ONLY pro to running in the fall in addition to my full ashtanga sessions + resistance training was that the layer of fluff on my abs was virtually gone. Some of that has come back (also partially due to a brief obsession with nuts and “healthy” whole grain fig bars ๐Ÿ™‚ ) which is frustrating as my goal was to have a 4 pack by the end of P90X3. Bummer.

But… but, but, BUT….

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I can do the splits for the first time in like 18 years! ๐Ÿ™‚ My hips need to rotate more squarely, but even at this point I have finally loosened my hamstring and hip flexor enough to get this far! Not bad for a girl who turn 32 next week. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Day 57: Decelerator – A NEW WORKOUT!

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I’m on the final stretch!

Yesterday I was feeling exceptionally good about the gains I’ve made this last chunk of time, and just as my arrogance knew no bounds, I started a new workout(!) with today’s Decelerator. Some of the moves have been used in other P90X3 workouts, so I’ll skip the explanation for older moves.

DECELERATOR

  • Bounding Squats – Very much an agility move. You leap to a corner of an imaginary box, landing on one foot and holding.
  • Crane Cracker Push-ups – THESE KICKED MY BUTT. I in no way can do this move. I tried my hardest. Heck, I just spent the last 45 minutes researching videos online of how to do this balance move and trying their advice… Nope! Scarlet, my usually very supportive dachshund, I’m sure was giggling like crazy. I fell on my face the last time. You do a push up then pull your right knee up to your right elbow. Put the weight of your right leg on your bent right elbow, lean forward, and lift your left leg. Nope… Not yet, but it WILL BE DONE!!!
  • Good God Squats – With a flat back parallel to the ground, do squats on your tiptoes.
  • Elevator Pull-Ups – Just like elevator push ups but on the pull up bar. Think bottom floor, middle floor, top floor, holding as Tony calls out which floor you pull up to.
  • 2-Pop Hopย – Standing in a low squat, jump up landing on one leg. Slowly lower into a one leg squat for 3 counts then put your other foot on the ground and continue to lower for 3 more counts. Switch sides.
  • Crawly Plyo Push-Ups
  • Holmsen Screamer Hold – Start in a low lunge. Leap into the air landing on one leg. Slowly lower yourself on one leg back into the lunge.
  • Chin Pulls – Do a chin up. While holding your body at the top, raise your knees to your torso. Lower your entire body.
  • Joel Jump Freeze
  • Starfish Push-Up – Do a push up then roll into a side arm balance with arm and leg raised.
  • Duper 2
  • Vaulter Pull-Ups
  • Elevator Tiptoe Squat – In a wide leg squat, raise up on your toes for the whole move. Much like elevator pull-ups but with wide leg, tiptoe squats…
  • Superman/Bow – Superman on your stomach transitioning into Bow pose. Repeat.
  • Spinning Plyo Squat Lunges – Hop back and forth from a parallel squat to right leg lunge to squat to left leg lunge to squat to complete 180…. continue this loop for 1 minute.
  • Big Brother Burpees – Do a push up. Crunch your right knee to your right elbow. Roll into a right side arm balance. Jump your feet to your hands then leap up into the air. Repeat on the other side, again and again…

This workout was hard! I really enjoyed it though and look forward to improving that dang crane cracker push up move… I WILL get it.

One of these days.

๐Ÿ™‚

For dinner: sauted asparagus, a fried pastured egg, and a pinch of fresh parmesan.

BLOCK 2 DONE!

BLOCK 2 DONE

Block 2 is DONE!

Well… almost. This last week, my Week 8 Transition Week, I actually did flat out skip 2 workouts… I skipped my Thursday Pilates and Saturday Yoga. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Two of my favorites! Thursday I went to an elementary musical with extended family, and Saturday we took my band to Schlitterbahn. I feel slightly guilty that I missed those two, and I genuinely planned to doย both today, but shockingly CVX left my lower body extremely sore.

Which brings me to my next thought: the P90X family of systems is bizarro… In Block One I did CVX every week with no problem, but after 3 weeks of other workouts CVX kicked the crud out of my glutes and thighs! I know that the whole premise of the P90X effectiveness is based on muscle confusion, but this was a shock to me. Neat. ๐Ÿ™‚

I decided to truly rest today. I’m still totally worn out from Schlitterbahn, and my lower body is still sore. I am GREALY looking forward to starting Block Three tomorrow! The third month is a seemingly random organization of workouts which I like. It’ll keep my on my toes and out of boredom as I head down the home stretch.

Despite my day of rest, I did take some time this morning to do my Block 2 after pictures. Here ya go for your silly, egregious enjoyment. ๐Ÿ™‚

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You can definitely see a difference in my arms(!), but you can’t really see the change in my abs and legs in these pictures. When I have my final before and after pictures I’ll be sure to take pictures that do all the hard work justice!

Strawberry Balsamic Pie

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STRAWBERRY BALSAMIC PIE

  • about 1 cup quartered strawberries
  • 1 tbsp thick balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • Pillsbury pie crust

Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl, mix strawberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile unroll pie crust. Using a 1 cup measuring cup as your guide, cut out 4 circles slightly larger than the measuring cup. Press the crust into 4 muffin tins. Remove fruit from the refrigerator and stir in flour. Spoon fruit mixture into the crusts filling to the top. Cut the remaining crust into strips for decorative top crust. Bake 10-15 minutes. Serve with Cool Whip. Makes 4 servings.

OMG yum!

This was totally a thrown together experiment to get rid of some strawberries that were turning and use an extra pie crust. DELICIOUS!

 

220 calories per serving based on MyFitnessPal.

End of Week 7

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I always find that I’m somehow shocked by just how busy the end of the school year is. My afternoons and evenings seem crowded with and endless array of small things but things that eat away at my precious “free time”. These last two weeks I’ve found it impossible to blog… or want to… about my quest for a 4 pack ๐Ÿ™‚ even thought I’ve done a good job of staying committed.

Monday – I managed to blog about my evening of Eccentric Upper.

Tuesday – Heck, I even managed to blog about Triometrics and my attempts at following the nutrition guide.

…and then the rest of the week kicked in…

Wednesday – I cranked out my yoga and then went on a lovely (needed) date with my dude. Yoga went really well actually… not that it usually doesn’t. I decided before I even started though that I was going to go hardcore. I held each posture as deeply as possible, and my little legs were exhausted by the end of my half hour.

Thursday – Eccentric lower followed by a birthday dinner for one of our band director friends. I have some dumbbells with removable weights that I bought about a billion years ago, and I finally decided to use them. John has used them, but I’ve focused on my 5s and 8s up until now. I made them 15lbs each and used those for the squats and lunges. Itย definitely made a difference as my butt and hamstrings were nice and sore the next day. I also got my new glasses. Yay for good vision or something, butย hooray for new fancy frames!!!

Friday – I really enjoy Incinerator. Since getting better at push ups (read do them the right way), I like the challenge of having a set timeframe to do as many as possible. That being said, I need to either do more reps or suck it up and get the heavier weights because I feel like any workout called “the incinerator” should leave my arms incapable of virtually anything afterward. It’s still great!

Saturday – My only workout was mowing. I did have some delicious tequila based wonderment at Tacos and Tequila for an early Mother’s Day with my parents and dude.

Sunday – John did a round of MMX with me Sunday afternoon. It never fails to amaze me just how much I can sweat during MMX, especially since I’m not a big sweater. Despite hating the sprawls and renaming all of the sprawl moves to “Sprawls Suck #1”, “I hate F’ing Sprawls #2”, and “Sprawls are a g** d*** piece of s*** #3”, I didย ALL of the sprawls this go round. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

On a completely different note, following the nutrition guide is not easy or convenient. While I know I do a good job of eating well and eating balanced 95% of the time, following a nutrition guide that really expects you to eat WHOLE foods is difficult for the busy bee I am. Admittedly… I didn’t even make it a week before deciding that as long as I watch what I put into my body I don’t need the nutrition guide. It’s probably WILDLY helpful for folks that aren’t sure how to regulate their intake but is far more micromanaging that I feel I need to commit.

Tonight for dinner

  • roasted sweet potato spears, no oil, just cinnamon
  • roasted okra, 1 drizzle of oil for 20 pieces, salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 1 Quorn “unit” as my dude would say, AKA a Quorn chick’n patty with Stubbs BBQ sauce

Triometrics + My 2 Weeks of the Nutrition Guide

Today’s Triometrics was much better than last weeks. Out of my three weeks of Block 2, this has been my best round of Triometrics, which I guess is kinda the point… ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a feeling that at the end of this week I’ll once again feel like I finally got the hang of the workouts only to to go into transition week that uses none of them.

I amย crazy sore from Eccentric Upper yesterday!!! Those sore muscles are tightening up as the day progresses, especially the muscles from pull ups.

Honestly, I’ve been hoping Block 2 was going to do something magical to my butt… I am starting to think that is not going to be the case, but maybe my after pictures will show something else.

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As I have previously mentioned, P90X3 comes with a nutrition guide which I have for the most part ignored. Out of sheer curiosity I’ve decided to try to follow it for 2 weeks.

First, you’re given a set of basic questions to answer:

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My total came to 2 which puts me on Plan B.

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The numbers on the chart correspond to the number of servings of each that I should eat. In the book they say that as long as you get the right number, it doesn’t truly matter when these servings happen. That being said, this distribution in designed to keep you feeling energized throughout the day.

BREAKFAST:

  • Quaker Protein Oatmeal Cranberry Almond – 1 carb
  • Coffee with creamer
  • Dannon Light & Fit Greek Pineapple Yogurt – 1 protein

LUNCH:

  • Quinoa – 1 carb
  • Shrimp & Tofu – 1 protein
  • Sesame Oil – 1 fat
  • Everyday Salad with Flax Seed – 2 carbs + 1 fat

SNACK:

  • Orowheat 100% Whole Wheat English Muffin – 2 carbs
  • Muscle Milk 100 Calorie Vanilla Creme Protein Shake – 1 protein

POST-WORKOUT SHAKE

  • Spinach, cherries, Jay Robb protein powder, almond milk, PB2, cinnamon, ginger – 1.5 carb + 1 protein + 1 fat

DINNER

  • Bulgur/Red Quinoa mix – 1 carb
  • Black Beans – 1/2 carb
  • Red Bell Pepper – 1/2 carb

TOTALS

  • 9.5 carbs – 12 needed
  • 4 proteins – 6 needed
  • 3 fats – 6 needed

By the power of math, I need 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 25% fat.

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After loggingย everything that I have eaten through dinner, this is where I am currently. I’m pretty darn close to what the Nutrition Guide wants me to eat in terms of percentages. The serving numbers aren’t quite right, but I think I trust the MyFitnessPal tracker as it is factoring everything from some of the processed food that was in today’s consumption. For example, I wasn’t totally sure how to count my Quaker oatmeal since it is a protein blend that includes whey protein. I still have about 100 calories left for the day, and that will probably go toward a tasty snack. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Block 2, Week 3: Eccentric Upper

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Today was my third round of Eccentric Upper. The first week left sore for days in muscle groups I don’t generally even notice. The second week didn’t do a whole lot. We’ll see how today ends up.

Before I started I did some shoulder stretches I found on one of my yoga inspiration’s YouTube channel. I actually think it really helped. My right shoulder has a bit of a knot in it right now, but throughout the workout it seemed to be less present.

I can happily report that I am doing ALL push ups like a big kid now. ๐Ÿ™‚ The entire first block I spent doing girly push ups, but Tony mentions in this particular workout that you should suck it up and do it like a big kid (perhaps with a lesser range of motion) to engage more core. I took that as a direct challenge, and the last two weeks I’ve committed to “real” push ups using my power stands. Turns out I can actually do it! ๐Ÿ™‚

I did a mix of chair assisted pull/chin ups and using the bands. I’m pretty sure I’ll feel it tomorrow. I tried very hard to feel the muscles in question, and it really is kind of amazing how mentally focusing on a group of muscles makes you work them more vigorously.

Some of the shoulder moves I swapped for different forms of bicep curls. I’m trying very hard to even my arms out…

After E.U. I did 90% of Ab Ripper X… 90% because I skipped the couple of moves that work the upper abs exclusively. A scoop of Jay Robb protein powder mixed into some almond milk and the world’s saltiest dinner rounded out the evening. ๐Ÿ™‚

Briny Disaster… X-P

Well, that was a disaster.

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I was very excited for a round two of my delicious Sesame Shrimp and Garlicy Quinoa! I stood at the fish counter this afternoon considering a small piece of sockeye salmon but instead was tempted by the gastromemory of my quinoa concoction from a few weeks ago.

I have a strong feeling that I double salted the quinoa…

But the green beans were quite tasty!

End of Week 6!

Day42

This past week has been exceptionally busy. I’m greatly looking forward to the calm that come with the end of today.

MONDAY – ECCENTRIC UPPER

I’m at a point that I really probably need heavier weights. I really need 10lb weights for all the bicep moves, but I’m also a cheapskate. I have these bands that I bought to help with pull ups and chin ups, so I decided to use them this week in place of my 8lb dumbbells. It’s just not the same. You lose the tension at the bottom of all the curls. I may have to break down and get the heavier weights despite my attempt to not spend any more money.

I wasn’t as sore this week from Eccentric Upper. This could be a good thing, but I’m also the kind of person that wants the soreness to know I’ve done something.

TUESDAY – TRIOMETRICS

I had a band director’s meeting after school and didn’t get home until nearly 7:30. Despite wanting nothing to do with a workout, I did Triometrics and was wildly uninterested in it almost the whole time. I thought that as I got into it, I might become a little more motivated, but it’s hard to want to sweat after a 12 hour day. I got through it, and that’s all I can say about Tuesday.

WEDNESDAY – NOTHING…

Between an eye appointment and dinner with our new 3rd band director, I didn’t get home until after 10pm. Working out wasย not an option.

THURSDAY – ECCENTRIC LOWER

This is another workout that I really need the heavier weights. I’m thinking I’m not pushing hard enough through this particular routine as it doesn’t leave me sore or nearly as tired as some of the others. Again, some of the moves in this are weighted, and I’m past the point of my 8lb weights providing enough resistance. Last summer I was going to the gym and doing weighted squats and lunges with a minimum of 40lbs. I need a better option so that I can achieve similar results.

Thursday night I had CPW rehearsal. After working out, I had sushi with John and then spent the rest of the evening rehearsing.

FRIDAY – INCINERATOR & PILATES

I was feeling a strange wave of energy Friday afternoon, and Incinerator went great. I NEED HEAVIER WEIGHTS… Some of the moves like the Rocket Launcher Rows literally felt like I was doing nothing because my 8lb weights are providing virtually no resistance. That’s a cool realization to have, but that’s $20 more I need to spend… I commented later that I didn’t feel totally exhausted, which unfortunately is the whole point of Incinerator, so I either need to change my speed of reps to get more in, or I’ve got to get more resistance to make that happen.

After Incinerator, I did the Pilates workout… So fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

John and I went to a saxophone concert Friday night.

SATURDAY – MMX

Saturday was solo and ensemble contest day. I was at work by 7:30am and didn’t get home til almost 3.

I joked with John that I need to call this “I hate f’ing sprawls”. I hate them. MMX makes me sweat more than any other workout in the set, but the sprawls are mentally tiresome. It is a lot of fun, though I like that the P90X Kenpo has more kicking.ย My left hip was CRAZY sore from some move in Pilates…

Saturday night John took me out to Gloria’s where we had our second date as a sort of anniversary celebration. โค

SUNDAY – MUCH NEEDED REST

My body is tired… Between about the super busy week, not sleeping wonderfully, and still committing to P90X3, I’m worn down. My left hip is super duper sore today. My underbutt is a touch sore from MMX. And I noticed this morning I have a little catch in my right hip… some kick I did yesterday must have irritated a spot that has given me trouble on and off for a few years now. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I say much needed rest… I had a CPW concert this afternoon, and this evening we spent a few hours at friend’s house for a birthday/Spurs celebration. The weekend was gone before it started. I’m ridiculously in need of down time. Hopefully, this much calmer week can give me some time to sit!

I’m proud of myself as I have approached the half way mark! Tomorrow starts week 7 of 12. Week 6 was rough… Honestly, it would have been incredibly easy to let my work schedule dictate no workouts this week, and it was definitely a hard to get mentally ready to burn my last ounce of energy at the end of each day. Heck, this one blog has my whole week… I WILL PERSEVERE!

I will…

…and sweat in the process.

MMX Round 1: FIGHT!

Delays, rearranging, etc…

I ended up taking last Friday as my rest day to give my hamstring tendon a break. Saturday I did Incinerator, and then Sunday I jumped into MMX. I was pretty excited about this workout as I was a big fan of Tae Bo back in the 90s (I had my prized Billy Blanks VHS), and I’ve really enjoyed P90X Kenpo. MMX is the next logical conclusion in my fake fighting progression but shockingly maybe harder…

Can I tell you how much I hate sprawls?

I detest them. It puts unnecessary weight on my wrists, and I hate them. In Tony’s efforts to make MMX a solid 30 minutes sweat fest, he sprinkles sprawls throughout a good bit of the fighting. Unlike some of my other posts, I’m not going to take the time to specifically outline the workout; I would basically be writing punch combinations, and that’s boring.

The gist of it all is that mixed into the punches, jabs, uppercuts, and kicks are a whole bunch of sprawls that I am just not interested in… But I did them anyway. There was one combination (Jab/Cross/Sprawl/Hook/Uppercut/Sprawl) that simply for the health of my wrists John helped me modify into a move with knee ups and torso twists. ๐Ÿ™‚

I wasย disgustingly sweaty by the end of MMX – like sports bra completely soaked through sweaty. ๐Ÿ˜› It was disgusting. John said it was awesome. It probably was awesome, and I felt like a badass, although I’m sure videos would prove otherwise!!!

MMX was fun. Super hard, but fun.

Because I’m so far behind in my blogging with my crazy work/personal schedule this week, Round 2 is almost here. Hopefully I’ll do a little better with some of the combinations this week. Nonetheless, IT’S FUN!