Category Archives: P90X3

My “journey” through P90X3 :)

PiYo Week 3 – A complete schedule rewrite

With school officially going, I’m finding my rhythm again. My body hasn’t completely accepted the 10 hour work days yet, so working out is currently exhausting. I know that in another couple of weeks my energy levels will even out again, but until then I have to be exceptionally demanding with myself to get off the couch. It always pays off though, and by the end of the workout I feel great and energized, and by bedtime I crash. ๐Ÿ™‚

MONDAY – Upper… hmm…

I did some sort of upper body workout, but I have zero recollection of what it might have been. Then I ate nachos and had a margarita to celebrate surviving the first day of school (while also negating all calorie burn ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

TUESDAY – Buns

Ooh wee! Bun is a good one! This was a hardcore squat and lunge workout that had my legs burning in the most wonderful ways. ๐Ÿ™‚ In fact, it was so leg heavy that half way through (during a water break) I texted John that buns was kicking my buns, although I didn’t feel it in my butt. I definitely spoke to soon. No soon had I typed that, the workout changed and morphed into a glute burning incinerator. My quads and butt hurt for several days. ๐Ÿ™‚

WEDNESDAY – Left late, had a date, no workout.

THURSDAY – Open House #2,ย Core

After getting home at almost 9:00pm, I decided to go ahead and workout. Having done Core before, I knew what to expect and figured I would at least survive. ๐Ÿ™‚ Survive was the right word; I was tired, and while I did all the moves, I ended exhausted… and then slept hard! Core is incredibly hard on my wrists, even with my WAGS, and I end up modifying a large percentage of the moves. I don’t actually “pansy” on anything, but I utilize my power stands for virtually all planks and down dogs. It’s truly the only way I can get through the upper body intensive moves while allowing my wrists and forearms to heal from whatever stress or strain I’m currently experiencing.

FRIDAY – P90X3 Yoga

This was supposed to be Sweat, but I was super tired. My workout andย workย schedule has kept me flying by the seat of my pants, so I chose to have a yoga day instead. I haven’t done X3 yoga in FOREVER! That being said, it was interesting what poses I have improved upon and which have gotten worse in its absence. Crow is not an option. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I LOVE crow… But my wrists/right forearm just won’t have it. Some of the standing poses, however, are MUCH improved. Twisted half moon was darn near impossible back in March when X3 arrived on my door one Sunday morning, but my balance and strength now allow me to at least pretend I’m in an incredibly mediocre version of what was once simply pitiful. ๐Ÿ™‚

As a side note, it super sucks that my wrists – my right wrist and forearm in particular – are so messed up currently. I’m not totally sure when this happened. I’ve had a level of discomfort that then leads to numbness and general inflammation for as long as I can remember… at least a decade and then some. But this is something different. I am getting a sharp BURN in the base of my right hand that instantly jumps about an inch up my wrist. To be honest, I’ve only iced my wrist twice, so despite my frustration I’m not irritated enough to actually do anything about it. It’s just a bummer because I LOVE upper body, body weight floor moves of almost any kind. :/

SATURDAY – Sweat

I. Love. Sweat. It’s a great cardio! That’s all.

SUNDAY – Strength Intervals

This was my first go at Strength Intervals, and I have to admit it was far easier than I anticipated. Easy and short. :/ I ended up finishing Intervals and then adding in a round of X3 Isometrics. Man! That’s a great workout… I was never sure why it was employed so infrequently in P90X3, but it’s a great one and leaves your back and glute medius (upper outer butt) S ย  O ย  R ย  E. For this I will probably substitute a full body strength workout like Triometrics for this, as it was really too easy, or something like the bonus HIIT 20 that came with Piyo.

skinnystrong

 

2012-2014ss3

 

Another round of #TransformationTuesday made me curious to go back and compare some of my own pictures. The photo on the left is from the summer of 2012 when I ventured down to Hawaii. I really like this picture of me! That is one of my favorite shirts, and I was having a great hair day! ๐Ÿ™‚ The picture on the right is from the summer of 2014, and I love this picture, too!

The difference between the two?

I started lifting weights and completely overhauled my diet. I quit buying pre-packaged frozen lunches. I went mostly vegetarian, and I discovered that protein powder after you workoutย actually does work in building muscle. The difference in the 2 pictures is a whole 5lbs, but the definition is TREMENDOUSLY DIFFERENT! I have always been skinny, but I’ve never been strong.

skinnystrongย looks and feels much different than skinny.

Piyo-ish: Week 2 – The Week of Terrible Workouts…

Last week was a hot, busy mess as we teachers got ready for Monday’s start back to school. Strangely enough, now that it has started, it’s somehow almostย calmer with the kids here, probably because I know and understand that routine. The week was filled with meetings, open house, and genuine manual labor, all of which left me uninterested in the exercise grind on more than one day. :/

MONDAY – SWEAT

I do really enjoy Sweat. This was my 3rd time to do it, and I was able to complete it without all of the pauses I’ve employed previously. That by no means translates to it was easier or I dripped less; it simply means I didn’t feel like dying. ๐Ÿ™‚

TUESDAY – DECELERATOR

As I mentioned in Piyo Week 1, I am not sold on either of the Define workouts. I decided to replace them with equivalent routines from P90X3, and I think I’m on the right path in doing so.ย Decelerator isn’t specifically a lower body workout, which was what I should have been covering in Define Lower, but it was a good full body routine that left me feeling good (aside from my right ankle that pops all the frickin time…).

WEDNESDAY – Open house… no workout.

THURSDAY – I chose to go to the mall and then drink a margarita instead of working out. ๐Ÿ™‚

FRIDAY – CORE

I โค Core. ๐Ÿ™‚ What a superb workout! I’ll admit, not even Ab Ripper X gets me sore anymore. Core hit areas of my core than haven’t been attacked since I can remember. I did modify down to my forearms on many of the plank-centric moves, but by the end of the routine my abs and back were tired, and by Saturday afternoon they were sore. As I’ve said on any number of occasions, I do enjoy being sore as it reminds me I a) did something worthwhile and b) possess muscles.

Let me pause for a moment to talk about core muscles, because I am superbly disappointed in my lack of lower abs. Having worked my butt off for as long as I have, I’m frustrated that my lower abs are generally unseen. Yes, I have read all the articles and studies that say you typically have to have single-digit body fat percentages to see your lower abs, but I’ve also been experimenting with something. This works best in the shower… Get your mind out of the gutter! This is a fitness blog!

When I flex my abs my upper and middle abs instantly compress, and I can see obvious muscle definition. What I don’t see is much movement in my lower abs. Instead, when I flex my slightly rounded lower abdomen for the most part stays put. This is true even before I have food in my system. So I’ve been experiment with what I have to do (i.e. what I have to think about, squeeze, focus on) to engage the muscles between my hip bones, and I have to say that it takes a lot of effort on my part. Being a band director that teaches kids how to use strange muscles, what that tells me is that I’m not utilizing them enough to know how to use or isolate them on command. Iย haveย figured out how to flatten them, but it takes thought to access those muscles.

On the chance that I will come off deranged, self-absorbed, and perhaps giving too much information, I’ve made a point to work on flexing those muscles 30 times every time I take a shower assuming that eventually controlling my lower abs will become easier and hopefully translate to more a more effective ab workout when I’m actually capable to engaging the correct muscles.

SATURDAYย – INCINERATOR

Incinerator wasย wonderful! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ A burnout routine, it systematically wears out each of your upper body muscle groups one by one. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am 100% positive it was more effective that Define Upper. I commented to my dude how I’ve realized how much I love lifting weights and doing body-weight exercises. It almost pains me to admit that I might truly like it far more than yoga.

SUNDAY – NOTHING

3 days off… That’s okay. Sometimes your life requires something else, and as long as I’m being consistent the rest of the time, an off week isn’t the end of the world! ๐Ÿ™‚ I did sit in a pool and sip sangria though! That’s got to count for something, if for nothing else but my sanity!

 

P90X3 – DONE!

finish-start

 

BAM!

3 months ago I “pushed play”, as the Beachbody community would say, and now 90 days later I have reached the finish line! I’m really proud of myself and happy with the results that come with working your ass off… figuratively and literally… except that technically I have worked my ass UP. ๐Ÿ™‚

So – visual results (Day 1, 30, 60, & 90 respectively):

90daysfront

Legs are the big winners here I believe.

90daysside1

Shoulders, a little ab, and butt win!

90daysback1

Hard to see with this particular sports bra, but my back has greatly improved, especially my pull up muscles.

And a bit of silliness…

Day1&90flexbw

OVERALL REVIEW:

P90X3 is a good workout. I’m a member of (prepare to barf a little) a P90X3 for Women group on FB, and these women lament constantly about how 30 minutes just doesn’t push them. I have to repeatedly bite my virtual tongue, because if these chicks aren’t totally worn out after these particular 30 minute workouts, they areย not pushing themselves with any sort of real intensity. I can (and have) lolly-gagged through a couple of days for one reason or another and ended without having broken a bit of sweat, even having done all the moves. Other days, I pushed to the max and was dripping. While only half an hour, the workouts are intense and some of the moves difficult but by no means impossible. There are a couple Iย stillย can’t do, but it will happen… eventually. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tony Horton is silly and a huge dork. This obviously appeals to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that no one takes themself too seriously on the screen. The cast seems to genuinely enjoy their workout, and they should – it’s fun!

Admittedly, my body was torn down far more with some of the old school P90X regular workouts, but two things:

  1. I don’t have time or energy to spend an hour working out after a day at school.
  2. The pictures prove that the program is indeed effective.

Do I recommend P90x3 to those of you interested? YES.

I’m pretty pleased. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t have my 4-pack yet, but it’s coming. I have made big gains in pure strength as evident by my pull up (I can now do 4 in a row!) and chin upย success, and I had gains in muscle mass everywhere but especially in my legs and butt. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s been a great 90 days, but as my original picture suggests, this finish line is the start of the next part of the process.

Tomorrow I start the Elite Block (or my version of it) – a slightly more hardcore month:

  • PAP Upper & Ab RipperX
  • PAP Lower
  • Yoga
  • PAP Upper & Ab RipperX
  • PAP Lower
  • Pilates
  • Rest/Dynamix

Be healthy!

Sweat. Eat your veggies. Sleep. Yay!

Summer Goals

โ˜Run at least 3 times a week (heat permitting)

โ˜Splits on both legs

โ˜Pigeon Pose every day

โ˜Single shoulder stretches every day

โ˜2 consecutive pull ups

โ˜4-pack abs ๐Ÿ™‚

โ˜Handstands without the wall

โ˜Cut out added sugar entirely

 

Day 80 of P90X3 – OMG! Progress!

It is officially summer! ๐Ÿ™‚

As a teacher, this is the time that allows me to regain sanity for another school year come August.

As a band director, this is the time of the year that Iย actually get weekends off. No working Saturdays!!!

Now that I have this said time off, I plan on utilizing it to its full potential. Monday, I had to go to school and do the check out process for the summer. My band hall is being used for summer professional development, so I spent a good bit of time emptying what is usually MY space to be used by an indefinite number of strangers for the next 2 months. It rained… Almost all day. ๐Ÿ™‚ Super duper pleasant! I had thought as I drove to school that the temperature was so nice, this might be a great day for a run. But then it rained. So I did my Decelerator instead, cleaned my kitchen, and proceeded to watch 5, yes 5, hours of Orange is the New Black in one sitting. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tuesday morning it was 66 degrees when I woke up!!! By 8:30 my running shoes were tied, and I hit the pavement in my neighborhood for an easy mile. I haven’t run in probably 5 months, so I’ll take a 9:28 minute mile! My dude and I took the doglets to the vet and then came back to a joint MMX workout. It never fails to impress me just how much I can sweat during this particular workout.

Today, Wednesday, we utilized thisย no school(!) day again with a doubles pairing of Pilates in the morning and Eccentric Upper in the afternoon. It was the first time John had done either of these workouts, and he thought they were great! Although he’s been supportive of the results I’m getting with this program, I think he was a little impressed with the design of Pilates and E.U. coming from his far more hardcore background.

In the process of Eccentric Upper I discovered something exciting…

I CAN DO A PULL UP!

Seriously! Like, by myself! No chair! No assistance bands! A full fledged pull up! Just one… But ONE PULL UP!

Okay, so I don’t do P90X3 dressed like this… ๐Ÿ™‚ I went back and created proof of my progress well after I showered. And THEN…. I discovered something else!

I can do THREE chin ups!!! I gotta say, I’m impressed. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Super, super impressed! There are probably a plethora of more intelligent sounding intensifiers that I could use to describe just how impressed I am with my little chicken arms, but I’m going to go with my standby “super”. ๐Ÿ™‚

Progress. It sneaks up on you!

Day 75 & the Dietary Week from Hell

block375Oh my… This week has been a dietary nightmare. This was our last week of school (heavens open, angels sing) and with that comes a plethora of baked treats and excuses to eat out. The idea of packing a lunch for the 176-180th time had zero interest for me, and my rebellion led to some tasty, very much non-vegetarian outings this week. While most of the cookies/brownies/etc found their way into the hands of others or the I-Can’t-Eat-Another-Cookie receptacle, I am reaping the consequences in this sluggish state in which I find myself. I was super good this week and did every workout on the specified day! What a novel idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday I rocked the Challenge. Last time I did it, my numbers were completely unrealistic choices. This week I was far more conservative, and it paid off as I was able to do do every push up and every pull using correct form, unlike last time in which I ended up on my knees. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ After the Challenge, I went out with my dude on one of our “ironic” dates… Those are a whole other story. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thursday, I came home and went all out on my X3 Yoga. I pushed every move to the limit, and the result is a sore butt. ๐Ÿ™‚ Woohoo! After feeling like a badass, I went out for a friend’s birthday dinner and had the most delicious martini.

Today was Triometrics. Perhaps not my best performance. ย I got home late last night, plus the last day of school is always an energy drain. I took a quick power nap and then made my way through the workout with a few more pauses than usual. I will,ย however, give myself props for doing a couple of the moves plyo for the first time! Yes, I’m on Day 75, and there are still moves in which I having “firsts” in terms of success of completion. I was going to double up and do a second workout today to balance out some of the calorie excess of the week, but as I drank my protein shake outside, it was just so darn pleasant! I instead opted to mow to avoid wasting my first weekend of the summer on yard maintenance. ๐Ÿ™‚

All of that being said, it IS the last day of school, and that in and of itself warranted a tasty beverage, this time a Lime Cactus Michelob Ultra – only 90 calories of awesomeness. ๐Ÿ˜€

GOAL FOR TOMORROW: Stop eating like a moron.

AgilityX – Block 3, Week 3

block372I am getting wildly close to concluding my 90 day journey… That sounds completely cheesy, but I’m going to stay with that tone. ๐Ÿ™‚ Today was Agility X which is definitely not my favorite activity. In addition to it simply being an exhausting workout, it’s pretty hard on my already bad ankles. ย When I switched to the “right shoes” back in the first block, I felt a real change in how my left ankle in particular reacted to the workouts. However, shoes can only protect you so much from landing unsteadily or the sheer pressure put on those joints after a high knee tuck jump. I also don’t think I tied my shoes well, allowing my feet to swim a bit, and I feel the early sting of a blister… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

After my P90X3 “half hour” (I put this in quotes since I rarely spend only 30 minutes… pauses bring that number closer to 35 I’m sure), I did X3 Ab Ripper from the book since I don’t have the elite block DVD.

Let me pause to rant that it costs an arm and a leg for one extra DVD… I didn’t order the P90X3 Deluxe Kit because it seemed ridiculous to pay $125 extra for one DVD. No part of me was interested in the pre-workout drink mix, and I knew I could get resistance bands for a heck of a lot cheaper and Ye Olde Academy. So ultimately, this Deluxe kit was really an extra $125 for one singular DVD… And honestly, I really just wanted the Ab Ripper workout. It’s crap Beach Body… CRAP! Off my rant…

Dolphin Push Ups! These are fun and far more than just an ab workout. You can see how much upper body is engaged. Cool move.

After abs, I spent about half an hour stretching and watching bad TV. Opening my hips and lengthening my hamstrings are an endless pursuit. I spent a good bit of time in pigeon, and that logically also moved into some work on my splits. I’ve posted some pictures of my recent success with my right leg splits. Great! How about the reality of my UNsuccessful left leg splits! ๐Ÿ™‚ I look like an awkward moron trying to get out of them! ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally, I took a bit of time to work on hopping from crane to plank like a REAL yogi! ๐Ÿ˜‰ By the time I taped it, my wrists were DEAD, and so my crane looks terrible. The whole point is that my upper body and core strength has improved to the point that I can do this move on a somewhat successful level. It’s super neat to see this kind of progress and makes me proud, even if it’s not the prettiest version ever!

For dinner: Morning Star corn dog ๐Ÿ™‚ and 1.2 billion sauted green beans!

Block 3, Week 2 DONE!

It has been exceptionally hard these last two weeks to find the time to sit down with my laptop for anythingย not work related. School lets out for the summer this Friday, so I’ll have time for ME again! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been good about keeping up with my workouts despite my inability to blog about them. Block 3 seems completely random. I know it’s all about muscle confusion, but I do enjoy the regular schedule of the previous 2 blocks.

  • MONDAY – DECELERATOR –ย I really like this one. I enjoy that it’s a total body workout, plus I want every opportunity to try the crane cracker push ups again. ๐Ÿ™‚ BTW… I couldn’t do them this week either! Monday was Memorial Day, and I spent the bulk of my time with John. I didn’t even start this workout until almost 9:00pm which was dumb. I could only truly give about 75% effort.
  • TUESDAY – MMX – I did NOT enjoy this workout this week. Perhaps it was the humidity, perhaps it’s the end of school year pressure pushing down on me (sing that last part like Queen), but every sprawl move was torture. I did them all, but I didn’t like it.
  • WEDNESDAY – Spring Concert – My band gave their final concert of the year, and there was no exercise save the ridiculous waving of my baton. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • THURSDAY – I doubled up in a strange way. Thursday should have been Triometrics, but I didn’t want to miss Eccentric Upper so I combine that with Pilates. EU+P=sore biceps&hip flexors
  • FRIDAY – MY BIRTHDAY!!! – Friday I turned 32, and my dude did a spectacular job of making me feel very loved. We went out for dinner that night, and I didn’t even consider P90X3.
  • SATURDAY – ECCENTRIC LOWER – One of my goals in this program is butt transformation. ๐Ÿ™‚ This week I used 15lb dumbbells for the weighted squats and lunges, and boy do I feel it today!
  • SUNDAY – I probably should have gone back and down Triometrics today so that in the end I can say I have only skipped yoga that once, but instead I spent 3 hours mowing, weed-eating, mulching, digging, sweating… I feel like I probably burned just as many calories in that 3 hours as I would have doing Triometrics, plus my yard looks livable again!

I have 3 weeks left!!! EXCITING! My weight is actually up a couple of pounds, but I’m going to assume that some of that is muscle mass. I’m proud of the hard work I’ve done, and while my before and after pictures are not going to be crazy huge changes since I wasn’t super out of shape, I can feel the difference in strength, endurance, and confidence in how I look. Heck, I mowed in a bikini top today! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Block 3, Week 1

block3week1

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….

IMG_7040

 

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™‚