Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's after P90X... Enter the Kettlebell

Being the lazy blogger that I am, I haven't told you what my exercise life holds for me after P90X. During the last month of P90X I started to wonder what I'd be doing next. There was another round of P90X, P90X+, an upcoming workout called Insanity, or something totally different. I looked around for what others had done after P90X and something in the "totally different" popped up.... kettlebells.

What was a kettlebell and how did you workout with one, I wondered. I had heard of them before and as it turns out had even seen them. They were this weird "cannonball with a handle on it" I had seen old time strong men using as well as lurking in the background when seeing Russian military on TV.

Since kettlebells looked like they could seriously hurt the family jewels, I looked for some expert training. That training came in the form of Zar Horton a RKC Team Leader at Firebellz. So back on May 26 I took my first kettlebell training with Zar. I was amazed at how fast they got my heart going and I could see they would help strengthen my back and hips (something I need due to an old injury), provide overall strength with compound movments, and provide some serious cardio. I had thought I was all bad-ass from P90X but learned there was further I could go.

So during the last month of P90X, I added on some kettlebell workouts - the "Program Minimum" from the kettlebell book "Enter the Kettlebell". After P90X, I started going to a kettlebell bootcamp at Firebellz Tuesday and Thursday and doing the "Rite of Passage" workouts from "Enter the Kettlebell". Most of my workouts are 45 min to an hour and burn around 500 to 900 calories (one weekend 2hr workout burned 1500+).

I'm having a good time and planning on going to some kettlebell teacher training - the new HKC from Dragon Door. Soon I'll post my training log and explain some of my workouts.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Have Walked 1000 Miles

Today I have office walked 1000 miles between 10/13/2008 and 8/14/2009! The last 200 miles or so have been on my new Vibram Five Fingers. I now walk between 1.5-2.0 miles an hour at an incline of 1 (almost) all day at work (my desk is over a treadmill, see post linked earlier).

Here is my walking log.

(The Proclaimers - I'm Going To Be (500 Miles)) * 2

Friday, July 31, 2009

P90X Finished 7/15: Day 90 Results

Again with being late, I finished P90X on 7/15 on only now posting. The last couple of weeks I started doing "Enter the Kettlebell" Program Minimum and now that P9X is complete I've transitioned to the Rite of Passage and a Kettlebell Bootcamp - more on this later.

Just photos for now, I'll update with stats this weekend. Realized I forgot to take the final fitness exam. I shouldn't have lost any fitness since P90X completeion (maybe even gained with my kettlebell workouts) so I'll do that this weekend too.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

P90X Day 60 Progress

Well I've been bad reporting my progress. I haven't missed a day of P90X and my diet has been good, but my blogging isn't reliable. So without further delay here is my progress so far:

MeasurementP90 Start 1/26/09P90X Start 4/11/09P90X Day 30 5/11/09P90X Day 60 6/10/09
Body Fat (scale/navy method)23%/22.9%17%/14.4%16%/10.7%15%/8.5%
Right Mid-Thigh24"21.5"21.5"21.5"
Left Mid-Thigh24"21.5"21.5"21.5"
Right Upper-Arm14"14"14.25"14.25"
Left Upper Arm14"14"14.25"14.25"
Cholesterol128 (1/24/2009; was 162 5/10/2008 and 147 9/27/2008)Waiting until donation at end of P90X
Blood Pressure112/6498/62
Resting Heart Rate66686662

Saturday, April 25, 2009

P90X Week 2 Complete

I finished my second week of P90X with no missed days. I'm doing much better balancing my diet to the proscribed micro-nutrient balances. My scale says I lost .5 lbs (172 even) and 2% body fat (16%); not sure I believe the scale but we shall see in 30 days. Here is my weekly eating summary:


The workouts went well this week. I was able to push harder as I knew what was coming. Even the lack of a pull up bar didn't stop me as I have bands to use in a pinch. My lack of pull up bar was solved today as I assembled my new tower - this time is has a straight bar that goes all the way across - we will see how it works out tomorrow for Chest and Back. I'll keep the bands poised as they will help me work the muscles to exhaustion.

I love the whole program and really feel like my muscles are getting a great workout. I now have a continuous heart monitor to make sure I push hard on the cardio workouts. Yoga X remains my favorite day - a good streatch along with a great workout. I can't imagine why people hate or skip yoga. The streach helps you heal overworked muscles, yoga helps realign you body to heal and reduce chances at injury, and it is a serious workout. Some of the most impressive (balanced with strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance) physiques I've seen have been on people that practice yoga.

During the week I've tried a few protein bars and some new recipes:
  • Cottage Cheese Pancake - I mixed equal parts of cottage cheese and egg whites with some whey protein to make something to eat before going to bed. Needed some protein that takes a while to digest overnight.
  • Chocolate Gold Standard 100% Casein - Another overnight slow acting protein experiment. Not much fat or carbs. Tastes ok, but has a strange flavor in there.
  • Chocolate Syntha-6 - A mixed protien powder that was recommended to me. Has fiber and tastes good but maybe a bit too much in the way of carbohydrates.
  • Detour Lean Muscle - Tasty and a good mix of protein, carbohydrates, low sugar, the right kind of fat, and fiber. It is quite had to find a bar that meets this profile - they all seem to have too much sugar, no fiber, too much fat, etc. I'd love Zone bars if they weren't mostly sugar.
  • Detour Oatmeal Bar - More carbohydrates than it's lean bother, but should make a good after workout meal instead of oatmeal in a pinch.
  • ZeroImpact Meal Replacement Bar - A bit dry (keep a glass of water handy) but tasty and has an awesome protein, fiber, carbohydrate, fat, and fiber profile. The most impressive thing about the bar was that the ingredient list didn't look like a chemistry exam and they claim a zero glycemic impact. I'm considereing giving their whole line a try sometime - they seem to be putting together a diet program but the site has some dead pages. Wonder how they would work with P90X.
  • Mixed a frozen bananna and skim milk in with my chococolate Shakeology and it was good. Shakeology is my pre-workout breakfast before doing chores. It isn't exactly pure chocolate goodness a bit of a greens shake flavor that is pretty strong. I'll give the greenberry flavor a try next month.
The reason for this shopping is that I'm taking a trip to New Jersey for work from Monday - Wednesday night next week. Somehow I need to keep up my right eating while on the road. Doing the workouts should work as I have a set of bands, use my computer to play the DVDs, and plan to do my workouts in the morning.

The protien powders are a bit of a stop-gap measure to help me keep up the protien requirements without adding much fat. I'm looking at recipies and making more chicken breast to reduce the dependency. I'd like to go mostly natural whole foods if I can... doing some nutritional reading and planning some meals. Not that it would work out on the road though.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

P90X Day 7: X Stretch and Week 1 Wrapup

Yesterday was the final workout of the week, X Stretch, and it was a welcome feeling for sore muscles. Over the course of 62 minutes I got all the kinks out of my muscles - some of the soreness I wasn't even aware of. I also have added to the end of every workout some back stretches I saw Tony demo on the Team Beachbody site.

Overall the week went well. I didn't "bring it" as much as I could because I was learning the routines. I've worked out a decent diet, but it has settled down to 1800 - 2400 calories a day with 2000 being comfortable and more making me feel too stuffed. The break down for the week was an average of:


Unfortunately my weight and body fat didn't change. I'm still 172 lbs and 18% bodyfat according to my scale. So I'm either eating just enough, not eating enough (I do walk at least 4 miles a day while programming in addition to P90X), the body fat measurement lies (which I'm sure it does), or this is just a normal plateau. In any case I do feel some improvement.

Today was the first day of the second round. I got rid of my pull-up bar that just wasn't working for me (sold at a small loss to someone training to become a fireman). So I used my bands for the pull-ups until I can find a good replacement. Today I worked out much harder and used push-up stands to increase my range. By the end of the workout I was shaking and really needed the recovery drink and feel a little soreness but good.

I'll update weekly until the routine changes for the rest week or if something interesting comes up.

Friday, April 17, 2009

P90X Day 6: KempoX or Revenge of the Legs

Today was the "last" day in this week's cycle (tomorrow is X Stretch so hopefully nice and healing). KempoX was a good workout with a bunch of kicks and punches and some combinations. The only flaw of this workout was a lack of warm-up as it goes immediately into some dynamic and static stretches. I had to stop and jog in place and do some jumping jacks to get ready early in the morning.

The leg workout from yesterday made it's presence known throughout the entire workout. I could feel the muscles in my legs and butt complaining during the kicks and knees. But is was the good pain of the kinks from yesterday working themselves out. Also walked 4.5 miles while working; my after workout break in a chair really should be cut short.

Still sorting through my diet. I'm hitting the guidelines for the most part 1888 calories 47% protien, 27% carbs, 26% fat. This is still under the recommended 2400 calories but still I feel I'm stuffing myself (sometimes to the point of discomfort) and the percentages are a little off.

The diet would have me keep to 20% fat but I'm not one in the camp that fat is bad and most of my fats are good ones from avacado, olive oil, and flax seeds (sure some from beef but less than 1/4 the fat I take in is saturated and never trans). The carb intake is hard to keep down given the sugars in the recovery drink (which is expected and desired).

Be back tomorrow after my X Stretch and a week recap. My weekly weigh in is first thing in the morning (weighing yourself more often can lead to madness). So far I'm loving the workout. I'm a little tired and sore but no pains (for some reason my back soreness from P90 went away after pylo). The only complaint is the gastrointestinal distress at eating much more than I'm used to anymore.