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

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.


  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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