Tag Archives: P90X Success

Guest Post: P90X from a Guy’s Perspective

20 Jun

After an awesome guest post from Lyndsay, engagement pictures, and vacation – could this week get any more exciting??  The good news – it sure can.  The second and final guest blogger of the week: Adam!  Yep Lucy, you were right!  He’s going to share a couple thoughts on completing P90X as a guy – adding a little different perspective!  Enjoy :)

View More: http://emilyweisphotography.pass.us/kellyandadam

Adam’s the guy on the right – okay you saw through me, this was just an excuse to post another engagement picture.

Hello races, reps, and ramblers, and happy almost Friday!  Kelly and I are still on vacation with my family, but before we head back to the real world, I’m making my first foray into my fiancée’s blog.  Since we just finished P90X about a month ago, I’ve decided to give you some thoughts on the program from the perspective of a guy trying to gain weight.  I’ll do a quick recap of my results before discussing a couple points I feel are important to guys trying to pick or progress through a training program: P90X vs. the gym, and how to handle a nutrition plan (especially if you’re looking to gain weight).  I ask only two things of you as readers: 1) if you love this post, make some comments about how awesome of a guest I am; 2) if you hate this post, make some comments about how awesome of a guest I am.  Should work out well.

Results Recap

Overall, I was very pleased with my results from P90X.  I gained a ton of strength (increased the number of pull-ups I could do by about a billion percent), and I saw a lot of physical change as well.  By the numbers, I gained some inches in my chest and lost some in my waist (always nice), but I didn’t gain any inches in my arms.  I also lost weight throughout the program, which was not intentional (I’m a pretty slim dude to begin with).  You can check out this post for full results.

Adam Back Oct-May

The Battle Royale: P90X vs. the gym

Round 1: The Time

Performing an intense workout regimen takes a ton of time and dedication, whether that’s at home or at the gym.  While P90X is rather lengthy for a DVD based workout (averages >1hr/day for 6 days a week), it carries a lot of benefits over traditional gym-going. (Random side-note: who decided that Yoga X needed to be an hour and a half?!  Someone needs to have a talk Beachbody.)  With P90X, your workout time is not constrained by the hours of the gym, you eliminate travel time to and from the gym, and perhaps best of all, you don’t have to plan workout/work clothes and materials in advance (I find this last one to be a huge time saver).  P90X takes Round 1!

Round 2: The Iron

Working out at a gym has long been the standard for weightlifting and building mass for the average guy.  P90X claims to be able to get you nice and jacked from the comfort of your own living room, without all those big machines and huge weight racks.  Well… can it?!  Yes and no.  P90X can definitely be as effective as lifting at a gym; however, you need a broad range of dumbbell weights to do so.  With most dumbbells costing about $1/pound, it can get very expensive to accumulate the appropriate weights.  One option to get around this would be buying adjustable dumbbells.  I don’t particularly like them (they can be awkward to lift with and usually only go up to about 50 lbs anyway).  Also, you could use the bands that they suggest in the videos to avoid buying dumbbells.  I’ve tried the bands, however, and while convenient for traveling, I don’t think they’re intended for maximum bulk gain.  In the end, if you’re planning on slowly building your way to a home gym (as I am), investing in the weights for P90X makes sense.  If you don’t see that in your future, then you might be happier spending your money on gym fees.  Tough call, but I’ve gotta give Round 2 to the gym.

Round 3: The Accountability

One of the best ways to succeed in a workout program is by doing it with a partner.  The added accountability does wonders for your workout motivation wherever you may be training.  So what does P90X have over the gym in this regard?  Well, most of the moves in P90X can be done simultaneously with your partner.  Whether it’s camaraderie or competition you’re looking for, it’s just a little more fun if your partner is doing the same move at the same time.  It’s easier to shout at your wimpy roommate for not doing enough pushups if you’re in the privacy of your own home, too.  In the gym, however, a partner can still motivate effectively and provide accountability.  Also, if you’re not significant others, roommates, or neighbors, a gym can often be a convenient place to meet up with a partner for a workout.  Round 3 ends in a draw.

The Skinny Guy’s Nutrition Plan

I have always been on the thinner side, so you might imagine the horror when I realized I was losing weight (10 pounds off at first weigh in) during P90X.  I was following the nutrition plan to a T, and I couldn’t figure out why I was losing so much weight.  I did end up gaining a pound of that back before finishing, but I was still disappointed that I wasn’t able to gain weight during the program.  A few weeks later, we read through the Insanity program to get Kelly started on it, and it suggested eating an extra 300 calories per day if weight gain was the goal.  Whether this was omitted form the P90X nutrition guide or I just missed it I can’t say.  But I can tell you I wasn’t eating an extra 300 calories per day.  That would have added up to 2100 calories per week, and maybe then I would have been gaining weight!  In the end, I learned that as a skinny guy with a high metabolism, I probably need to be eating even more than the guide’s suggest to actually gain weight.

To clarify, this doesn’t mean I can have an extra Snicker’s bar or two.  You still need to eat healthy foods that are within the realm of whatever plan you’re on, but you just need to eat a lot more :)  For some guys, even sticking to a specific nutrition plan can be tough.  When eating out with friends, it can be socially embarasssing to order a salad, or perhaps veggies instead of fries.  If anyone gives you crap about it, I say forget ‘em; just say, “I’m trying to be a little healthier, and every bit counts.”  And if the still give you crap, just take solace in the fact that your six-pack will be laughing at their beer gut in about 3 months.

Final Thoughts

So in conclusion, I think P90X is an excellent at home workout plan for guys, especially if you are thinking of working towards a home gym in the future anyway.  It gives you an excuse to start building your army of dumbbells!  With that said, the variety of weights and machines available at a gym may still be more attractive to the most hardcore of lifters.  Secondly, if you’re looking to gain weight, it may be a good idea to eat an extra 300-500 calories per day above your nutrition plan (depending on your metabolism).

Before I sign off, I just want to take a minute to thank my amazing fiancée.  I’m so proud of her for achieving a dream of hers in starting this blog and putting her ideas out there to help others in a similar situation.  Thank you so much for being a part of her readership and helping me support her in her goals.  It means the world!  Have a good weekend, everyone!

-Adam

Final P90X Results and Review

30 May

After 3 intense months Adam and I are officially P90X graduates!  It has been a lot of hard work, planning, and early mornings, but man alive it has been so worth it!  Adam and I have both seen big changes in the mirror, but more importantly in strength and overall fitness.  I love what P90X has done for my running and my overall durability.  I just feel strong.  And I like it. This is a program that I highly recommend and can personally attest to the results.  Check out the P90X page to see more tips or thoughts on getting started.  The information below is based on Adam and I completing the “Classic” version of P90X. Onto the final results (and embarrassing pictures)!

What is P90X?

P90X is a home fitness program designed by Tony Horton and produced by Beachbody.  They are the same producers of Insanity, Turbofire, and many other at-home workout programs.  The program calls for a minimum of 6 days a week of workouts which vary from heavy lifting for the arms, legs, and shoulders, to high intensity plyometrics, to Yoga.  P90X is known for being an intense, but well-designed comprehensive fitness program.

Final Tape Measure Results:

(Kelly in blue, Adam in green, in inches.  Feb – May).

Waist: -2.25      -3

Chest: -3      +1.25

Hips: -2.5    -1.75

Calf: +.25     +.125

Bicep:  0    0    (I swear we did the arm workouts)

Body Fat Percentages:

(This is from Phase 2 – we didn’t get a fat caliper initially)

Kelly: -2%

Adam: -3%

Weight:

From Oct – May (We didn’t weigh ourselves again at the beginning of Round 2 Phase 1)

Kelly: -8.5 lbs. (down 10 lbs. from my heaviest last spring)

Adam: -9lbs.

Running:

While training for my half-marathon this spring I have consistently noticed higher and higher paces.  I believe a huge part of this is due to P90X.  I am stronger and faster.  P90X also helped me to attain my fastest half-marathon to date!  A full 15 minute PR from last year!

Photos:

Adam and I initially started a first round of P90X in October.  With this round we ate generally healthily, but didn’t follow the nutrition guide to a T.  Additionally we started this round over the holidays and got a little over half-way.  Adam had to drop after about 5 weeks of P90X so in week 9 or so I jumped ship and we started a brand new round so Adam could join in again.  This explains the transition from Oct – May.  The plan from Oct – Feb was based on healthy eating, completing a minimum of 4-5 workouts per week.  The plan from Feb – May was based on following the nutrition plan and a minimum of 5-6 workouts per week.  There were some cheat meals in there around the holidays as well.  These photos show our complete progress of the entire 6-7 months of following the workouts.

Kelly Back and Side Oct-May

Adam Back Oct-May

Pros:

  • If you put the work in, you will get results.
  • There is a wide variety of exercises (yoga, lifting, plyo, kenpo).
  • You can literally do the whole thing in your house.
  • It’s well organized and set up for you – you don’t have to think!
  • Tony is motivating and knowledgeable (and intense).
  • They show a wide range of levels and modifications.  I used these modifications heavily in the beginning.
  • Tony never makes you feel bad if you can’t do something initially – Do your best and forget the rest!
  • It’s a great program for men and women.  Adam and I could successfully do it together even though we desired different results (gain muscle vs. lose weight).
  • It’s a great program to do with a partner of either sex!  It was great to have something Adam and I could share and do together.
  • The videos include a warm-up and cool down which makes each workout comprehensive and complete.
  • From a woman’s perspective: you don’t bulk up.  This was a big fear of mine.
  • From a man’s perspective: you build muscle and can get bigger!
  • After purchasing P90X you get to keep it.  Unlike a gym membership, you have the videos and program as an investment.

Cons:

  • The workouts are long and a commitment.  Minimum of 60 minutes, but average 75 minutes.  Yoga is 90 minutes.
  • 6 days a week workout.  I would’ve loved 5 days a week.  This gives you flexibility and you can always get another workout in another way.  6 days a week made it hard to plan around P90X if you are super busy or travel often on the weekends.
  • Some of the ‘characters’ might annoy you, including Tony.  For me this was never a deal-breaker, but something to note.
  • From a guy’s perspective: To really maximize results it can get expensive.  Adam really could’ve used heavier weights.  He needed more of a range of weights (and at $1 a pound, 2 thirty pound dumbells is 70 bucks).  It’s an investment that you’ll use over the course of time, but it’s certainly an investment.
  • The nutrition plan can get a bit stale.  At times I felt there weren’t enough options in each of the categories (we did the portion plan).

 Final Thoughts

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with my P90X results.  When I look back on my pictures I don’t remember looking that way.  It’s pretty amazing what hard work and dedication can do!  I really enjoyed the set-up and ease of the program and it is something I have recommended to family and friends.  Personally I think it’s an awesome program for both men and women.  Initially I couldn’t find a lot of info for P90X for women, but after completing the program myself I can definitely say it’s effective for either gender.

P90X is intense so I would make sure you’re relatively fit before beginning the program.  You can always do a “pre-P90X” in the form of Power 90 or another Beachbody program.  Another option is modification.  Many moves I couldn’t complete in the beginning and made modifications to make the moves easier.  This strategy worked great for me.  Then it was super thrilling when I could complete them!

This program can change your fitness level and life, but it is definitely a commitment.  Do your research and prepare before diving into it.  If you’re able to stick with it the program is very rewarding.  It has taught me a lot of good habits that I look forward to carrying forward with me.  P90X is something I will definitely hang onto and do again (probably before the wedding :)).  This has been one investment I’m thrilled I purchased!

Thanks P90X for an awesome program!

-Kelly

Note: I am not affiliated with Beachbody or P90X in any way, shape, or form.  I am not a coach nor do I work for the company/know someone who does.  The opinions expressed are mine alone and I was not compensated in any way.

P90X Phase 2 Results!

1 Apr

Adam and I have successfully completed Phase 2 of P90X!  Can I get a hallelujah? We are feeling very pleased with our progress and overall are extremely happy with the program.  Here are the results and highlights!

These results are based on following the nutrition guide (with a few cheat meals such as Match Day, a cast party, a little bit of Easter candy etc), running 3 times a week (Kelly), and doing a minimum of 6 workouts per week (sometimes 7).

Phase 2 Tape Measure Results:

(Kelly in blue, Adam in green, in inches. Phase two results are followed by total results in parentheses.)

Waist:    -.5 (-2)      -.5 (-2.25)

Chest:      -1 (-2)      +.5 (+1.5)

Hips:      -.5 (-1)       -.5  (-1.5)

Calf:          0 (0)           0 (0)

Bicep:     -.5 (0)        -.25 (-.25)

Body Fat Percentage:

(We just got our fat caliper about a month ago, we have no previous recordings)

Kelly: -2%

Adam: -2%

Weight:

I finally found a scale!  I’m still trying not to focus on a weight number, and spend more energy focusing on overall fitness, feeling, and inches.  Because of this philosophy, I haven’t weighed myself at every milestone.  However, I weighed myself at the very beginning of the whole journey in October (beginning of round 1 or ‘pre90x’ as I’m calling it… now I’m on round 2).  From then until now I’ve lost 8 lbs.  I was shocked!!  I’m thrilled with the number, and it’s a true reflection of all the hard work put in.  I’m also pleased because it’s been very slow and steady weight loss – the best kind.

Adam has also lost weight – somewhat to his dismay.  He lost 10 lbs and both of us audibly gasped at his number.  Adam is naturally very thin (poor thing ;)) and now weighs slightly more than he did his freshman year of college.  This is a little bit of a yikes.  He was in level 2 for the nutrition plan, but we’ve both agreed he needs to significantly increase his calories.  What a problem to have, right??  He certainly looks thinner, but we weren’t concerned because he looks more toned and muscular and feels great.  You really can lose weight on P90X!

Running:

My pace is consistently sub 9 minute miles .  In fact I haven’t had a run over 9 minute miles in a month at least.  This is still hugely surprising for me.  P90X has definitely made me faster!  My average pace previous to P90X was 9:30-10:30 and now I’m about a full minute faster at an average 8:30-9:15.  That’s pretty amazing to me.  My asthma being under better control could also be a factor – so it might not be 100% P90X.  But I can’t wait to see what Phase 3 will bring.

Photos:

60 day results

These results are just from “round 2.” Slow and steady progress!

Our results since October.  Slow and steady!

From Halloween to now!

It’s a little tough to see the results from Halloween – but this was the best picture I could find!  During that time period I had a knack for deleting anything that didn’t have a nice angle.  That is the nice thing about life now – I don’t get stressed when I see a camera!  I’ll post more pictures in my Phase 3 results when we “graduate” from P90X in May.

Low Points of Phase 2

  • Adam needing to hide food from me because my cravings were out of control. Yeah that’s low – not my proudest moment.
  • Eating wayyyy too many m+ms at a cast party – missing the control focused days of Phase 1!
  • A super slow run on a very cold, sick day.  Glad that’s behind me.
  • Not feeling quite as motivated as I was in Phase 1.  Hoping the switch up to Phase 3 will bring rejuvenation.

Highlights of Phase 2

  • I did my first pull-up!  Just this past week I did 12 pull-ups in one workout (not consecutively).  What an improvement (from zero).  :)
  • I did all the moves in Ab Ripper X – including the bonus Mason Twists!
  • My first 10K – and a fast one at that.  Definitely starting to consistently notice increased speed.
  • I tried on bridesmaid dresses (for my brother’s wedding) without having a complete meltdown!  Every dress was okay :)
  • Adam was matched to Nashville and we celebrated with a little bit of non-P90X approved food.
  • Adam and I were in a musical and still managed to find the time to fit in all our workouts.

Coming up: Phase 3

Phase 3 is the last phase in P90X and will bring more carbs – it’s a total change in the diet plan!  It’s been interesting to see our bodies react to the different ratios of protein and carbs.  With all this running, I’m certainly happy to be in the higher carb phase now.  Additionally, I’m excited to go back to our original videos – the workouts from week one.  Looking at our workout sheet today, we blew reps out of the water.  Going from 5 “regular” push-ups (which I was incredibly proud of at the time) to 20 in one set is amazing.  It’s very clear this is working!  The progress is incredibly empowering and motivating; it has made all the early mornings worth it.

I’ll keep you posted on the next 5-7 weeks and our progress.  Traditionally, Phase 3 is five weeks, but we have a vacation and race week/graduation in there so we’ll have to do some modifying to make it work.  We’re a little bummed at the timing, but hey, that’s life!

Keep bringing it!

-Kelly

P90X: General Tips Part 1

22 Mar

For those of you getting ready jump on the P90x bandwagon, here is my list of things I wish I had known before getting started.  I’ve also included some other tips I’ve picked up along the way that have been very helpful.

  1. You really need to do the Nutrition Plan if you want great results.  
    • See here for my thoughts.
  2. Workout with a partner if you can.
    • It’s much easier if you’re accountable to someone.  Even if that person is far from you (i.e. you’re not doing the workouts together, just the program) it still helps to have someone to check-in with.  Use the message boards for more support, especially if you don’t have someone willing to join you!
  3. Weigh/Measure/Fit Test at the Beginning
    • Adam and I didn’t initially do the fit test or measure ourselves (back at round 1).  We only took pictures and our weight, thinking it was enough.  Now that we have made huge strides, we are kicking ourselves for not taking the time to do it right from the start. It may be embarrassing (the picture part was mortifying I can attest), it may be unpleasant, and it may take some time, but it is SO worth it at the end.  This is a big regret for me.
  4. Start out with some basic equipment.
    • It’s difficult to progress if you don’t have the right equipment.  You don’t need everything, but make sure you have the required equipment.  See here for more thoughts on this.
  5. Plan ahead with food!
    • Prepping our food for the week in advance has been a game-changer for us.  Our lives are then allowed to be more “normal” and less hectic.  Adam and I take the time to portion out our veggies, fruit, snacks, and some meat in advance in tupperware or plastic baggies.  Making lunches or snacks is a breeze with everything grab and go.  We usually do this once a week (Sunday evening normally).
  6. Don’t worry if you can’t do everything.
    • Tony’s saying is really true: Do your best and forget the rest!  There are many moves that I still can’t do 100% after months of doing P90X.  Every time I work out I just try to push myself a little bit harder.  It isn’t about perfection – it’s just about making it happen.  Some mornings, just pressing play is the victory and that’s okay!
  7. Find weekly inspiration.
    • P90X is hard, and at times it can be challenging to stay motivated.  At least once a week, google before/after pictures, look up resources/articles online, look up some fitness pinterest boards, or find a blog detailing someone’s progress.  Do something that reminds you why you started this journey. It’s rejuvenating and reminds you to keep bringing it.
  8. Mix up your diet.
    • It’s easy to get in a rut on the nutrition plan by sticking with what you know.  Keep trying new fruits and veggies or different recipes.  The new additions stop you from getting bored and remind you that there are plenty of P90X friendly options.  Prior to P90X, Adam refused to eat yogurt (he thought he didn’t like it) – now he is addicted.  You might discover you like more things than you thought!
  9. Hydrate (with water)!
    • This is the obvious one found everywhere, but it is so important!  Drinking enough water is crucial to success. Not only does it keep you from getting dehydrated, but it keeps you full.  Your body can often confuse hunger with thirst.  I bought a water bottle and set a certain number of refills per day.  This also helps me cut down on soda or sugary drinks.
  10. Before you start, make sure you’re ready.
    • Take the time to plan appropriately and begin P90X when you’re truly ready. I mean this in several ways.  Make sure you have your kitchen stocked.  Make sure you have the basic equipment (including measuring devices like a food scale, measuring tape, and fat caliper).  Make sure you did the fit test and took pictures.  It is better to postpone one week and have everything ready.  Adam and I sort of rushed to just get started for the first round and didn’t have our act together.  For round 2 we made sure everything was set (and even pushed back starting a week), and we’ve been so much more successful.  Set yourself up for success from the beginning!

Keep pressing play!

-Kelly

What tips do you have for getting started with P90X?