Watch out – disclaimer: this post got a little longer than I originally intended 🙂
I feel as though my summer has “officially” started today. I am no longer wrapping up the school year, I am totally and utterly free!! As a result, it’s time to find something to fill some time and stay active.
About 9-10 weeks ago now, I somehow injured my right ankle slightly – probably an overuse injury from jogging too much without enough rest or perhaps from jogging without the appropriate footwear. In any case, it was enough of an injury that I had to stop my regular jogging schedule and allow it to heal. I plan to get fit for orthotics this week which will supposedly help support my high arches and help me avoid similar injuries in the future. However, due to my 9-10 week hiatus from my usual jogging pattern, I feel pretty out of it in the fitness arena. As a result, I’m biting off a new challenge: the P90X fitness program!
Today was day 1 of the 90-day program, which claims that if you stick to its varied workouts and follow a similar nutrition regimen to what they recommend you can “get ripped in 90 days.” Need a visual? Think the chiseled, muscular physiques of the actors from the film 300, many of whom used the program before beginning to shoot the film.
Yeah, yeah. Psycho, right? Most likely, yes. I’m going to admit right here, right now that I may very well not be able to meet this challenge and have to quit, and if that’s the case, so be it. I’ll be the first to admit there are multiple ways to get into & stay in good shape; P90X is not the plan for everyone and may not even be right for me.
But here’s the thing: I’m looking for something challenging because I like a challenge, and because I’m on summer break & I have the time to really focus on a more intense fitness regimen. In addition, I’m looking for something where I can see results because the whole goal for me is to tone up and feel good in my own skin again after my lowered activity level the past 9-10 weeks.
Will I be as hard-core as the program prescribes? Probably not. In fact, I plan to follow the slightly modified P90X Lean version of the program, which focuses more on cardio and slightly less on upper-body resistance training. I also plan to focus on my nutrition to the extent that I become more consistent with my eating habits and eat well, but not necessarily psychotically follow the nutrition plan outlined by the program’s creators, the first phase of which (dubbed the “Fat shredder”) looks to be very similar to the Atkins diet. I know that Atkins has real weight-loss results, but, I also know that it’s pretty hard to maintain and would change my daily eating so much that I wouldn’t really enjoy food anymore (which is just too much for me! I love eating!)
As a result, I plan to just eat well, attempting to hit all food groups each day, and also to up my protein intake, which will probably be the hardest part for me. To help with this, I will be adding one supplement to my diet: a Whey protein recovery drink after each workout to add 15 grams of protein to my daily intake and help replenish & rebuild muscle. There are many other supplements suggested by the program creators, but I’m going to try to keep my involvement in all of these little extras (be it specialized equipment or diet aids) to a bare minimum, since I don’t plan to follow this program for the rest of my life (plus, I’m too frugal to buy all the stuff!)
Whew. Anyways! Today was my first workout. Since I’m following the Lean program, I started off with Core Synergistics, which isn’t introduced until Week 4 for the P90X classic track. It was pretty tough, yet doable. I couldn’t do all of the exercises yet (need to build my core quite a bit for some of those), but I could do most of them. Same goes for the suggested # of reps. Some exercises I could do all of the reps along with the video, others I had to stop early and rest.
Overall I sweat a LOT and felt pretty good about my first attempt and look forward to repeating it & getting the moves down a little better. However, it’s important to know that with P90X, the core reason people see results is that the program is based on a philosophy of muscle confusion to keep you from getting to comfortable with the moves and also to avoid hitting plateaus. Therefore, after about 3 weeks of following this Week 1 routine, the program will change to re-challenge my muscles (yep, right around the time I actually learn the moves and can perform them to my own personal satisfaction, I’ll be outside my comfort zone once again. Yay!)
First impressions were pretty good. I can tell from just one workout that if I can somehow manage to stick to the workout sequence and eat mostly healthily, I will be happy with the results. Now all that remains to be seen is whether or not I’ll be able to do that. I may not know the answer to that until a couple of weeks have passed but I’ll prepare for the worst & hope for the best – wish me luck!!