Tag Archives: p90x workout

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.

Successful 12-miler!

12 Apr

Well I’m pleased to report I had a great run this morning!  Yes, you’re reading that correctly, this morning.  This Friday morning…before work.  Okay so it was a little insane, but what’s a busy gal to do?  I had to squeeze it in some time!  My pace was on the more conservative side with an average around 9:20/9:25.  I stopped a few times and I know I’ve got some inaccuracies in my tracker so I’m not 100% certain, but that’s okay by me.  The weather was cold, at least cold for this week (we hit the 70s a couple days ago)!  My weather app said it would be 39 degrees…but it was a mighty cold 39 degrees.  It was consistently very windy, and I was glad I opted for gloves and ear warmers to shield me a bit.

I ended up choosing the ludicrous time of  Friday morning for my long run because I’m headed out of town this weekend.  I’m going bridesmaid dress shopping with my sister and future sister-in-law in Atlanta!  I’m very excited for the trip, but it also presented some logistical challenges.  A month or so ago I went to Atlanta and ended up doing my long run in a great park.  The difference?  That run was 5 miles, this one was 12.  I didn’t want to be sore and paranoid about hydration on a day dedicated to helping out my soon-to-be sister-in-law.  Nothing says ‘this day is about you’ like “We need to stop and get more water…I need to stretch more…I can’t walk that far…I’m tired.”  Do you see all the I’s in that?  Running this morning will allow me to relax and go with the flow as far as plans for the weekend.  I also did a triple day this week (running at lunch and P90X videos in the morning and evening) to help front load a little bit.  It will be great to not have to think about things!  I should get home early enough Sunday to squeeze in my last  P90X workout.

All the planning and thoughts about the timing of my long run are wonderful and make some sense – but wow when my alarm went off at 5:20, it seemed like just about the stupidest idea in the world.  I kept trying to think of another time I could make it work.  After a couple minutes of letting myself come to the conclusion I needed to run (and possibly dozing back to sleep during that time?) the snooze alarm went off and I went to work getting ready to head out.  In training for the Mini-Marathon, I have focused on keeping all my long runs in the morning.  I want to simulate a race run as much as possible.  In previous training periods I did all my long runs (or any run) in the evening or afternoon, and had quite a shock race day.  This morning I felt like I really was getting my routine down.  I had everything laid out the night before so could just go on auto pilot.  After eating my English muffin and filling up the bottle for my fuel belt, I was out the door!

And yikes, when I turned the corner it was windy.  Cold, I’m-gonna-be-happy-when-this-is-over windy.  Thankfully, the first few miles passed pretty quickly, and happily, I experienced no knee issues.  I noticed my miles were coming in a bit on the slower side: in the 9:10s-9:30s.  I haven’t seen those numbers in a while so it was a bit disheartening, but I reminded myself the goal was just to get the mileage in!  Slow and steady wins the race.

On this particular run, I was excited to try something new (always smart to do it before race day).  Normally I use Gu gels, but I had just stopped by the running store and picked up some chews to try.  Generally when you’re running over an hour it’s important to refuel with something to give your body some carbs and energy it needs.  I try to eat something every 40 minutes if I’m running over an hour.  My chews were pink lemonade flavored and I couldn’t wait until mile 4 to give them a try.  Shocker: I didn’t like them!  Now don’t get me wrong – I loved the taste.  What a great change from Gus (I sort of want them just as a non-running snack)!  But there was something about the act of chewing while running that I found difficult.   Pathetic right?  I did end up finishing the bag over the course of the run.  I could certainly handle them, but it was an important discovery that this won’t be my favorite form of refueling.  I’ll stick to my Gus for now.

Yummy! But… discovered it’s a challenge for me to chew and run.

The rest of the run was pretty uneventful.  Kind of what you’d expect from a dark, cold, early, long, pre-work run.  Wow when I put it that way – the run was actually fantastic given all those modifiers!  Throughout the run I wasn’t really pushing for speed.  I wasn’t slacking, but it was certainly on the slow and steady track.  It was nice to have a relaxing long run.  It was quite a bit windier near the river, which was a good challenge too.

Normally these bridges are gorgeous, but holy windy today!

When I got home I realized my average pace was officially on the slower side (didn’t I just do 10 miles at an 8:14 pace last week??).  Thankfully Adam was there to remind me “wasn’t your goal between 9 and 9:30?”  Hmm… I guess I had forgotten that.  I mean come on – it was early, I was barely functioning, let alone remembering what goal I had set earlier in the week!  Adam suggested that my body just knew and remembered what my goal was :)  I stretched as much as I could and got ready for work.  I was very fortunate to have Adam there after the run.  He packed my breakfast/lunch/dinner – what a doll.  That was a huge help in getting me out the door and to work on time.  Maybe it’s a good thing he isn’t doing this race!

After a bit of reflection about my run – I’m really feeling quite pleased with it!  It was tough to do it this morning, but I still managed to complete it.  AND – complete it with little to no pain.  I’ll call that a win-win.  I saw this picture on Pinterest this morning and laughed – an accurate summary of my morning!

Probably true for this morning!

Now onto the weekend and wedding details in Atlanta!  A great start to a great weekend for sure.

Happy Friday, and have an awesome weekend!

-Kelly