P90X – Day 15: Chest & Back with Ab Ripper X

Posted in Ab Ripper X, Chest & Back, Daily P90X Posts on July 22, 2009 by Dylan Bredengerd

Bring It.

I started out a little slow but got warmed up pretty quick. C’mon! It’s 5:00 A.M.! I think I’m realizing that I’m not performing as well as I’d like to on the push-ups and chin-ups. These are definitely my weak areas. I’m still using a chair to augment my arm strength on the chin-ups, and I’m doing the push-ups on my knees. And I don’t have the good form I’m looking for on the push-ups. I think the culprit might be a lack of complex carbohydrates due to my being in Phase 1 of the P90X Nutrition Plan, which is the Fat Shredder. Fat Shredder is very high in protein but very low in complex carbs. From what I’ve read, complex carbs are consumed and stored in your liver until they are needed, while simple carbs, like candy and sugary drinks, are converted and stored as fat unless burned immediately. So, by not eating a lot of carbs my body may not be getting the energy it needs to do battle with the P90X workouts and perform well.

Fortunately, my tub of P90X Results and Recovery Formula arrived today. This is has a lot of complex carbs in it (in addition to a lot of other workout recovery and muscle building nutrients). The P90X workout pretty much assumes I’ve been taking the recovery drink from Day 1, so I wonder if this might be the fix. Also fortunate is that this is my last week of resistance training before entering a transitional week of cardio training. Following that is Week 5, which begins P90X Phase 2; it also begins the Energy Booster phase of the P90X Nutrition Plan. That includes more carbs in the diet, so I’m really expecting to report a boost in performance and maybe getting off the chair and off my knees for the chin-ups and pull-ups.

Here are my stats and body measurements on P90X Day 15 (the last number on each line represents the current

Not bulking up just yet, but muscles are really firming.

Not bulking up just yet, but muscles are really firming.

measurement):

  1. Weight: 180 | 178
  2. Body Fat: 21% | 17 %
  3. Upper Arm: 12.125 in. | 12.125 in.
  4. Abdomen: 41.75 in. | 40.00 in.
  5. Waist: 36.00 in. | 36.00 in.
  6. Thigh: 22.75 in. | 23.00 in.

I didn’t expect dramatic changes is size, although I do see a little more definition. The results are actually happening in the form of significantly more firm muscles.

A Little Advice.

I can’t stress the importance of breathing. I didn’t used to think it was a big deal but I’m suffering from these sharp little headaches, and the only thing that combats them is to focus on deep breathing synchronized with my reps.

Keep Pressing “Play.”

Challenges aside, my attitude is really going through a change. Yeah, I groan when the alarm goes off at 5:00 A.M., and I don’t really look forward to what I’m about to do. But a little over an hour later I feel like I’ve really accomplished something, and my attitude is really positive as I begin my day. Doing these exercises first thing in the morning is the way to go for me. I found that when I did them in the evenings I sort of dreaded heading home to do P90X after a challenging day at work. I’d much rather relax in the evenings than work my butt off. So working out first thing sort of “gets it over with” and points my attitude in the right direction right out of the gate.

I will say that Ab Ripper X sort of dominated me this morning. After P90X Chest & Back, I was purely in “get it over with” mode on Ad Ripper X. I didn’t dog it, but I definitely didn’t smile through it.

The Workout.

Chest & Back Workout Tools: Weights or resistance bands, push-up bars or portable chin-up bar, chin-up bar or resistance bands, chair, water, and towel.

Chest & Back Light Cardio Warm-up & Stretch
March in place; run in place; jumping jacks; run lunges with alternate arm raises; side-to-side head rolls; expand/contract chest-back-shoulder stretch; topas shoulder stretch; standing side stretch; arm circles; ballistic stretches

Chest & Back Workout
Standard push-up; wide front pull-up; military push-up; reverse grip chin-up; mini stretch; wide fly push-up; closed grip overhand pull-up; decline push-up; heavy pants; mini stretch; diamond push-up; lawnmower; dive bomber push-up; back fly

Ab Ripper X Workout
In & out; seated bicycle; seated crunchy frog; crossed leg/wide leg sit-up; fifer scissor; hip rock ‘n raise; pulse-up (heels to heaven); roll-up/v-up combo; oblique v-up; leg climb; mason (kayak) twist; stretch

Check in next time for P90X Day 16: Plyometrics!

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P90X – Day 14: X Stretch

Posted in Daily P90X Posts, X Stretch on July 22, 2009 by Dylan Bredengerd

Bring It.

Wow! Two weeks are in the history books and… Ahhh… today’s X Stretch is just what the doctor ordered! I’m really careful not to just take this as an “off day.” It really is a nice relaxing reward following a hard week of “Bringing It.”

X Stretch is an opportunity to see how Yoga X is helping me become more flexible. I’m really excited that I’m experiencing a LOT more flexibility than I did just one week ago. A week ago the stretches were sort of like, Ohhh. Now they’re more like, Ahhh. Flexibility and balance are key to getting the most out of P90X workouts. But they don’t happen out of the box; they come with time. I specifically noticed more flexibility in the Camel stretch and Plough (these are sort of pretzel-like .) I also noticed that I can now touch my toes when doing seated stretches like the hamstring stretches. I haven’t been able to do that since karate class 20 years ago!

In short, this one just feels plain good and gets me revved up for P90X Chest & Back tomorrow.

A little Advice.

Today I’m really making more of a commitment to breathing. I’m getting these sharp headaches when I exert and it seems to be reigned in by breathing. X Stretch give me an opportunity to slow down and focus on breathing. I did get a headache at one point but was able to keep it at bay by breathing better.

Keep Pressing “Play.”

I’m really excited to have gotten to the two week mark. That’s huge! Week three puts the wraps on this section. Then P90X lets my muscles rest for a Week 4 during a transitional period of cardio workouts (Ugh!). The idea is that the muscles must rest to rebuild bigger. Proper nutrition is crucial to this happening of course. After Week 4 P90X “confuses” my muscles by moving into Phase 2–a new set of workouts and a new nutrition plan.

The Workout.

X Stretch Workout Tools: Yoga or Workout Mat, yoga blocks, water and towel

X Stretch Workout
Sun salutations; neck stretch; back up the car; head roll; expand/contract back-chest-shoulders stretch; topas shoulder stretch; wrist-forearm flex stretch; dreya forearm stretch; arm circles; shoulder-triceps combo stretch; ballistic stretches; standing side stretch; roller; plough; seated spinal stretch; cat stretch; glute stretch; wide-feet forward hamstring stretch; side twist; camel; cat stretch; back hero; kenpo quad stretch; bow; low squat; frog; seated single-leg hamstring stretch; seated two-leg hamstring stretch; ballistic hamstring stretch; split-leg hamstring stretch; toe flexor; downward dog with calf stretch; upward dog with ankle stretch; child’s pose with right and left side stretch

Check in next time for P90X Day 15: Chest & Back with Ab Ripper X!

P90X – Day 13: Kenpo X

Posted in Daily P90X Posts, Kenpo X on July 20, 2009 by Dylan Bredengerd

Bring It.

Ok, 5:00 A.M came a little early this morning, but it doesn’t take long to wake up when you’re fighting off a band of ninjas. Chuck Norris? What a sissy! But while I love all the “hi-yah” stuff this is still kicking my butt a little… ok a lot, but not as much as last time. That’s amazing because remember, this is only my second time! Yeah, I’m keeping up with it!

This is cardio with a dash of balance and flexibility. I’m trying to keep the punches fast and the kicks high. And I’ve got to remember to breathe! Coordination comes into to this too. There are some punch and kick combos that leave me scratching my head a little, but it’s only because my brain hasn’t done them before. And switching to the left side totally throws me sometimes. Just as P90X Plyometrics showed me how out of shape my cardio is; and Yoga X showed me how inflexible and unbalanced I am, Kenpo X will shows me how uncoordinated I am. Jeez, I’m a mess! But I’ve got to identify reality before I can fix it. P90X accomplishes both.

All it all, I’m hanging in there and my body is totally getting used to the workouts so it doesn’t punish me with soreness like it did just last week.

A Little Advice.

I really want a heart rate monitor so I can make sure I’m in my heart rate zone and not doggin’ it or working to hard. But my allowance is all chewed up this month.Whaaa!

Keep Pressing “Play.”

I’m feeling excellent. I’m coming up on the two week mark and I’m really excited about it. Just 10 more weeks and I’ll be a P90X grad! Then the transformation will be complete! Most awesome is that I can see and feel some muscle definition and much more firmness!

The Workout.

Kenpo X Workout Tools: Heart rate monitor, water, and towel

Saunders Stretch Cycle
Straight arm reaching torso twist; prayer squat; forward-facing side lunge; extreme side lunge; kneeling lunge/reaching arch stretch; hip-width forward hamstring stretch; lying hamstring stretch; pigeon into kenpo quad stretch; frog; cobra to downward dog with calf stretch

Kenpo X Workout
Twist & pivot; twist & pivot with hook & uppercut; jabs; jab/cross; jab/cross/hook; jab/cross/hook/uppercut; cardio break; step drag/high-low punch; jab/cross switch; hook/uppercut switch; knee kick; ball kick; cardio break; side kick; back kick; three-direction kick; side lunge with high sword/low hammer; step drag/claw/low punch; cardio break; high block; inward block; outward block; downward block; star block; cardio break; front shuffle with high block/low punch; knee/back kick; front & back knuckles/ball kick/back kick; hook/uppercut/low side kick; elbow series; vertical punches; cardio break

Check in next time for P90X Day 14: X Stretch!

P90X – Day 12: Legs & Back with Ab Ripper X

Posted in Ab Ripper X, Daily P90X Posts on July 20, 2009 by Dylan Bredengerd

Quick Note: I always like to include the specs of the workout in my blog post, but really the purpose of the blog is to let you see how a regular guy is handling P90X. So, I’m going to start moving the workout specs to the bottom so you can get right to the,”pain and suffering” portion of the content (Kidding! Kidding! Kidding! Well, maybe not totally kidding.). Remember, my saying is,”It’s all about the content!”

Another Quick Note: I’m also going to try to chop these posts. I tend to get a little verbose, and I respect your time and appreciate you visiting my blog.

Bring It.

This time last week I was really struggling with delayed onset muscle soreness. I was counting on this to loosen up in the next week or so, and that’s exactly what happened. Also, remember that last week I couldn’t fully extend my arms without a lot of discomfort (due to previous Week 1 workouts)? Gone baby! We’re good to go! This was one tax worth paying! Now the workouts just leave me a little weak for a bit afterward while I recover. I’ve got the P90X Results & Recovery Formula on order so I’m interested to see how that helps. I hear that it doesn’t give to a boost like an energy drink; it just help you feel “normal” after a workout and during the day in between workouts.

I’m still a little disappointed that I’m not doing a lot of chin-ups or push-ups (I’m still using a chair to help with the pull-ups), but hey, I’m really weak in this area and it’s only Week 2! I’ll keep “bringing it!”

A Little Advice

Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! …

Get it? I can’t believe how challenging it is to focus on proper breathing while doing all these exercises. I really have to focus, but I’m seeing how important it is. Right out of the gate today I developed a huge headache that almost caused me to stop. It was because I was holding my breath while exerting. Dummy! It felt like I just about gave myself an aneurysm! Besides, it feels like proper breathing actually puts the exercises load on the working muscles, thus working them better without the help of my diaphragm and abs. Frankly, the exercises are a bit harder when I’m breathing during exertions.

Ab Ripper X was still pretty tough. Jeez, I can’t wait until I can do just half of the reps that Tony Horton and the gang are doing on the DVD. I’m beginning to realize that a six pack is a trophy for a lot of really hard work.

Keep Pressing “Play.”

Amazing! Sure, I’m already seeing some marked results physically. And I do have much more energy than I did when I was more gooey (Ok, I’m still a LITTLE gooey.) But one of the coolest things is what this is doing for me mentally? I’m becoming more confident because I’m visualizing the end result. And I’m able to do that because the 90 day period is short–tough… but short–and I’ve seen the real results that others have gotten to confirm it in my own mind. I never forget Proverbs 23:7a: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Think Neeeenjaaaa! Whaaaa!

The Workout.

Legs & Back Workout Tools: Weights or resistance bands, push-up bars or portable chin-up bar, chin-up bar or resistance bands, water, and towel.

Legs & Back Light Cardio Warm-up & Stretch
March in place; run in place; jumping jacks; run lunges; side-to-side head rolls; shoulder rolls; crossed-wrist shoulder stretch (front and back); ballistic stretches

Legs & Back Exercises
Balance lunge; calf-raise squat; reverse grip chin-up; super skater; wall squat; wide front roll-up; step back lunge; alternating side; closed grip overhand pull-up; single-leg wall squat; deadlift squat; switch grip pull-up; three-way lunge with two-kick option; sneaky lunge; reverse grip chin-up; chair salutations; toe-roll iso lunge; wide front pull-up; groucho walk; calf raises; closed grip overhand pull-up; 80/20/ cyber-speed squat; switch grip pull-up

Ab Ripper X Workout
In & out; seated bicycle; seated crunchy frog; crossed leg/wide leg sit-up; fifer scissor; hip rock ‘n raise; pulse-up (heels to heaven); roll-up/v-up combo; oblique v-up; leg climb; mason (kayak) twist; stretch

Check in next time for P90X Day 13: Kenpo X!

P90X – Day 11: Yoga X

Posted in Daily P90X Posts, Yoga X on July 18, 2009 by Dylan Bredengerd

Bring It.

I’m not sure that there is a P90X workout that makes me sweat as much as Yoga X does–maybe Plyomentrics. This is an hour and a half long workout–a long one! The first part of this workout are the Moving Asanas. This is really the toughest part. It’s a lot of lunging and holding and up and down movements. This is where I really get drenched.

The Yoga X Balance Postures aren’t really any easier than Moving Asanas. They just challenge me in a differnt way. Yoga X has shown me how inflexible and unbalanced I really am.

The Floor Works gives me a break; that’s sort of the downhill run. Remember this is stil P90X; so it ain’t your mamma’s Yoga! But it’s all good and I can see what it’s doing to me.

We finish up here with More Floor Work. Oooh, that’s nice. Tony Horton knows how to calm us down and reward us for working so hard. I really cherish this part of the workout. It’s the antitheses of the front end.

Yoga Belly is like Yoga plus Ab Ripper X. It’s not as intense as Ab Ripper X but it still works your abs through some pretty bendy and challenging moves. Frankly, I’d rather do a ton of sit-ups rather then hold these ab crunching positions while balancing.

A Little Advice.

Two words: “Yoga Mat.” When I first did Yoga X, I thought my Berber carpet would do just fine and a workout/yoga mat. Nope. As my hands and feet sweat they slide a little when I do positions like downward dog (which is basically standing on all fours with your tail bone in the air). It’s really annoying. I’m looking for a mat that’s at least .25 inches thick and about 6 feet long. And I’d like a heavier one that won’t shift when I move fast doing other exercises.

Another good thing to have are a couple of yoga blocks. These are foam blocks that serve a couple of useful purposes: They extend reach for very flexible people (e.g., reaching beyond your foot when doing something like a seated hamstring stretch).  But they also extend my reach when I bent over and supposed to be touching the floor with my hands (not quite there yet).

Keep Pressing “Play.”

Today I feel amazing. I did Yoga X when I got up so I could start my day with something that would carry me through the day. But frankly, I wanted to get it done so I didn’t have it hanging over my head all day. I tend to procrastinate and look for things to do that will keep me from doing what I know I need to do. Overcoming that is called discipline. That may not be a novel idea to many, but in some areas of my life I’m greatly lacking. But today I have a tremendous sense of accomplishment having completed almost two weeks of P90X! I feel like a real P90Xer rather than a guy who’s trying it out.

The Workout.

Yoga X Workout Tools: Mat, yoga blocks, water, and towel

Yoga X Warm-up & Stretch: Mountain pose; wide-feet forward; hamstring stretch; wide-forward bent-over torso twist; split-leg forward hamstring stretch; standing side stretch; astanga sun salutations; downward dog calf stretch

Yoga X Moving Asanas: Runner’s pose; crescent pose; warrior one; warrior; two; reverse warrior; triangle pose; twisting triangle; chair to twisting chair (prayer twist); right-angle pose to extended right-angle pose & grab; prayer twist from runner’s pose to side arm balance; warrior three to standing splits; half moon to twisting half moon

Yoga X Balance Postures: tree; royal dancer; standing leg extension; crane (pre-handstand)

Yoga X Floor Work: Seated spinal stretch; cat stretch; frog; bridge or wheel; plough into shoulders stand w/leg variations into plough; table; cobbler pose; one-legged hamstring stretch into two-legged hamstring stretch

Yoga X Belly: Touch the sky; boat; half boat; scissor; torso twist hold; deep torso twist hold; touch the sky

Yoga X More Floor Work: Side twist; glute stretch; happy baby; child’s pose; shavasana (corpse pose); fetal pose; meditation pose (lotus)

Check in next time for P90X Day 12: Legs & Back!

P90X – Day 10: Shoulders & Arms with Ab Ripper X

Posted in Ab Ripper X, Daily P90X Posts, Shoulders & Arms on July 18, 2009 by Dylan Bredengerd

Bring It.

I LOVE this workout–probably because this is the one I’m most strong in. Check out the progress in the number above! I was amazed at how much strength I’ve gained in just a week. My reps on some of these exercises even doubled; others saw significant improvement. My muscles are completely used to working out now–again, in just a week! Following the workout I have some weakness, and maybe a tiny, tiny bit of… well, it’s not really tightness, it’s more like I felt like I worked out. I think this will even go away over the next week or so. I actually do feel stronger!

Ab Ripper X is still a tuffy but I’m challenging my self and I just know there’s a “six pack” developing under this disappearing belly. But I won’t lie to you: P90X Ab Ripper X is tough. I hate it, but I love it!

A Little Advice.

I’m going to buy some adjustable dumbbells tomorrow as well as some better resistance bands. All I have right now are a set of 15 pound dumbbells, but they are a bit heavy for some of the exercises right now. I would also like to have the resistance bands as an option–and they travel better than dumbbells when I need to take P90X on the road. Also, this workout is definitely a “recovery drink workout.” I ordered some today and I’m looking for it to help me provide the post-workout nutrients that my muscles need as well as help be get bigger a little quicker (it has a little Creatine in it). Other P90Xers swear by it.

Keep Pressing “Play.”

Today was really when P90X got real for me. Looking at my increases in reps (see above) really motivated me. I’m just amazed that P90X can actually deliver results in just a week. I can’t wait to see what this all looks like at the end. Suffice it to say that I’m impressed by P90X. Tomorrow is P90X Yoga X–not one of my favorites but I need the balance and flexibility training it provides.

The Workout.

Shoulders & Arms Workout Tools: Weights or resistance bands, wall, chair, water, and towel

Shoulders & Arms Light Cardio Warm-up & Stretch
March in place; run in place; jumping jacks; run lunges with alternate arm raises; side-to-side head rolls; shoulder rolls; crossed-wrist shoulder stretch; expand/contract chest-back-shoulder stretch; arm circles; ballistic stretches

Shoulders & Arms Workout and Progress
(R=”Reps”, W=”Weight.” Resistance bands may be substituted for weight and is noted with a “B.” Current week’s performance is the last set of numbers, e.g. “R=15 W=15”, and is preceded by previous weeks. Each exercise is performed twice, however for the purposes of showing progress in the simplest way I’ve only shown the first set.)

Alternating Shoulder Press: R=12, W=15 | R=17 W=15
In & Out Bicep Curls: R=16, W=15 | R=17 W=15
Two-Arm Triceps Kickback: R=16, W=15 | R=15 W=15
Deep Swimmer’s Presses: R=8, W=15 | R=17 W=B
Full Supination Concentration Curls: R=13, W=15 | R=17 W=15
Chair Dips: R=10, W=NA | R=20 W=NA
Upright Rows: R=11, W=7.5 | R=20 W=7.5
Static Arm Curls: R=8, W=15 | R=20 W=B
Flip-Grip Twist Tricep Kickbacks: R=8, W=15 | R=20 W=B
Two-Angle  Shoulder Flys: R=16, W=B | R=16 W=B
Crouching Cohen Curls: R=31, W=B | R=35 W=B
Lying Down Tricep Extensions: R=15, W=7.5 | R=30 W=7.5

Bonus Round
In & Out Straight-Arm Shoulder Flys: R=13, W=B | R=15 W=B
Congdon Curls: R=13, W=B | R=20 W=B
Side Tri-Rises (Left & Right): Left=0,  Right=5 | Left=13, Right=16

Ab Ripper X Workout
In & out; seated bicycle; seated crunchy frog; crossed leg/wide leg sit-up; fifer scissor; hip rock ‘n raise; pulse-up (heels to heaven); roll-up/v-up combo; oblique v-up; leg climb; mason (kayak) twist; stretch

Check in next time for P90X Day 11: Yoga X!

P90X – Day 9: Plyomentrics

Posted in Daily P90X Posts, Plyometrics on July 17, 2009 by Dylan Bredengerd

Bring It.

This is cardio kids! This is building endurance, and I NEED it! I’ve got to be honest; I don’t look forward to Plyometrics each week. I hate it, but I love it. This is what builds cardiovascular endurance. I’m familiar with that “out-of-breath feeling” that comes from a run to the top of the stairs. This is the fix for it! Really though, I’m not good at Plyomentrics. This one beats me up and gets be soaked. But I want a high performance body, and that requires a high performance cardiovascular system–one that pulls in massive amounts of air and then circulates nutrient-rich and oxygen-rich blood to strong muscles that work hard. I’ve got to have it, and it takes work to get it!

A Little Advice.

I like to workout in bare feet (I like bare feet in general.) but P90X Plyomentrics moves me around so quickly and so much that I managed to give myself a little blister on my right big toe. Ouch! Looks like I’ll be wearing shoes for this one. I’m also going to get a workout mat. Doing this on bare carpet isn’t comfortable, and my feet and hands sometimes slip just a little when they get sweaty. A quality workout mat will fix that.

A couple of other things I need to do are to get a recovery drink into my system after the workout, and get a heart rate monitor. I’m not using the P90X Results & Recovery Formula. Frankly, I’m a shopper and I like to get a deal on the stuff I need. That’s why I’ve found a good alternative recovery drink that I’m going to try out. And the heart rate monitor is important for making sure my heart rate is in the proper zone, i.e. I’m not overdoing it or doggin’ it.

Keep Pressing “Play.”

I’m excited! I’m seeing some results; my body’s past the point of constant soreness and tightness; and I’m bouncing back from the P90X workouts quickly. I’ve got some momentum and I’m headed for my goals! After I get this “beach body” I’ll need to figure out what to do with it! Maybe I’ll sight up for an ultimate fighting championship tournament, or join Cirque du Solei! (ever seen those people? Sheesh!)

The Workout.

Plyometrics Workout Tools: Heart rate monitor; workout mat; stool or chair; water and tower

Plyometrics Warm-up & Stretch: March in place; run in place; tires and run lunges; lunging drills; deep prayer squats; quad stretch; hamstring stretch

Plyometrics Workout: Jump squat; run-stance squat; airborne heisman; swing kick; squat reach jump; run-stance squat switch pick-up; double airborne heisman; circle run; jump knee tuck; mary katherine lunge; leapfrog squat; twist combo; rock star hop; gap jump; squat jack; military march; run squat 180 jump switch; lateral leapfrog squat; monster truck tire; hot foot

Bonus Round
Pitch & catch; jump shot; football hero

Check in next time for P90X Day 10: Shoulders & Arms with Ab Ripper X!