Category Archives: review

P90x – Finishing Week 1

Today was the last workout of week 1 of P90x!  Day 7 of the week is rest or x stretch.  I may do the stretch tomorrow in the evening before bed or I might just go to sleep, lol.  I’m pretty tired this week from the workouts and from bad sleep. I woke up at some point last night when my husband woke up with a stuffy nose and dropped his glasses on the way back to bed and was up for a little while.  So I started my workout at almost 6 am…about 30 minutes late.  I considered waiting until after work to exercise, but I knew I was already tired and wouldn’t get to sleep in much anyway so I just went for it.  It was hard, but I pushed play and pushed through.

So let me tell you about the workouts I have done the past few days.  I already talked about the first two here.

Shoulders and Arms – This workout is brutal.  In a good way.  It repeats a shoulders – biceps – triceps rotation for an hour.  Brutal.  One note for this workout for me was that I needed a wide range of weights.  My triceps are stronger than they were before INSANITY, but still relatively weak.  So I ended up using 8 lbs for some of the tricep workouts and up to 20 for some of the shoulder ones.  Very wide range.  My shoulders BURNED during this one because let’s face it – most bicep and tricep exercises use the shoulders as well.

Yoga X – This is a 90 minute yoga class.  The first half is the classic yoga poses – lots of chatarunga and warrior poses.  These are the burner poses where you pour sweat holding positions.  Then the second half is the balance and ab section of the workout.  My balance is awful, just awful.  So it will be interesting to see how I progress over the next 12 weeks.  This workout is really long and wore me out.

Legs and Back – Or it’s alias – pullups and lunges.  This workout didn’t seem that hard while I was doing it, but I certainly felt it the next day.  One thing about this workout – you don’t use weights for most of the exercises.  That’s pretty cool – you get a crazy leg burn from mostly bodyweight moves.  I did this one yesterday and I will tell you that this morning when I woke up my butt was so so sore.  I point this out because I found that I had to modify a lot of the moves to accommodate my knee.  My knees aren’t the greatest and had been feeling much better after all this weight loss but I still have bad days.  Unfortunately going into Leg Day it was clear I was having a bad day.  I didn’t squat deep sometimes and modified some of the one leg exercises to put weight (some, not all) on the non working leg.  So even with these mods, my buns are burning…which is excellent to me.  I used the Equalizer again for the pull ups/chin ups and felt like I got a good back workout with that.  Honestly, I probably will stick with this until I am in a place where I can actually do a pull up.  I get a better workout than I do with bands for my back because I do have to pull up my body.  I am still using a bent knee position – so it’s not my whole body weight but I have noticed that as I straighten my legs it gets harder so that’s how I’ll advance the move.  Here is a video on pull up variations on the Equalizer if you are interested just to see how it looks.  Note – I only am doing this modification because I already had an Equalizer.  I did not buy one just for P90x.  If I didn’t already own one I would go with the bands.

Kenpo X – Today’s workout.  Now I will be honest – right now this is my least favorite of the P90x workouts.  I don’t hate it at all, so don’t mistake my least favorite statement = hate.  It is just a weird workout to me.  The actual Kenpo parts are fairly low intensity for me for cardio.  My heart rate maxed out around 140 but was mostly around 120-130 the whole time.  The “breaks” which are the high cardio intervals from my body’s measurement are jog/jumping jack/x jump time.  I didn’t mind the lighter workout today because of the buns being fried and the poor sleep I mentioned earlier.  But I was surprised it was so light because the folks on the DVD were drenched, lol.  Maybe I’m just getting super fit, hahaha!

In general I am really digging P90x after one week.  I definitely like the variety of workouts over the course of a week – cardio, yoga, weights, and whatever kenpo is supposed to be.  I feel my body sore in all the right places.  I still think I’m going to be tired of Ab Ripper X in about another week or two…you do it 3 times a week.  But other than that – no complaints 🙂

Okay this is extra long so I’ll leave it here today.  Questions on P90x?  Leave me a note 🙂

Hungry for Change

Tonight I watched the documentary Hungry for Change on Netflix. This documentary is extremely popular in the Instagram fit community and finally say down and watched it.

Dude.

This movie took all of the stuff I try to (1) remember daily (2) tell my family (3) live and put it into a coherent 90 minutes. It was fantastic.

It started with a commentary on the food industry. How many manufacturers use addictive food additives and tons of chemicals to get us hooked. How fat free foods are filled with sugar and in fact are awful for us because of that. How just eating real non processed foods are better for us because the body knows how to handle them.

Then it went into discussing eating whole foods, juicing, exercise, affirmations….just everything. Discussed what foods the body uses to detox naturally and how they detox. About visualization and how treating yourself positively changes your body’s way of functioning. I took so many notes. This movie put a lot if the jumble of what I have read recently in straight lines for me. It explained why I felt so awesome right after the reset and why as much as I love my husband, I feel a little less awesome since his job brought him back to me lol. How I need to stand strong in eating cleaner so I can get back to where I was instead of feeling 85%. How I need to really make sure I have 6-8 servings of produce, most of them vegetables.

Ok I will stop rambling incoherently at 1am about a food documentary. But I will ask you to check it out and please watch. As far as I’m concerned this needs to be required watching for every single person, it’s on that level lol. I will be back on my hardcore grind starting when I wake up. I am still eating well, I just am making an ok choice instead of the ideal one just a little but too much for my liking. Time to change that. Time to CHANGE!

Have you seen it? What did you think??

Month 2 of Insanity

Still trying to figure out where December went!  Trying to get into a new rhythm with blogger.  Ever since they changed the iOS app, I haven’t really liked it.  You can’t save drafts which is really annoying since I usually do not write a post all at one time.  I’ll figure something out soon though!

Anyway, wanted to give you a few words on the 2nd month of INSANITY now that it’s almost over.

This month was REALLY hard.  Not just because it’s a hard program – but because it was December.  I had a lot of social events and some travel and just a lot of life things.  Because of this I don’t think I have really lost much weight.  I am a little disappointed with this…but at the same time I’m very happy that I haven’t done what I usually do – which is gain tons of weight during the 31 days of December.  Adding to the usual December issues is the fact that the hubby is back full time…which makes it a little harder.  We have lots of habits that individually I think we addressed while he had to work in TN…but together we have to now address them.  We are working on that together though, so that’s good.

Now for the workouts:

Max Interval Plyo.  This is pretty much my favorite of the month 2 dvds.  Not expected because I HATED plyo in phase one. This workout sounds like a cardio workout, but in my opinion, it was really more of a strength workout.  Lots of squats, lots of pushups in ways you didn’t even know you could do pushups, lots of one legged exercises.  Very sore arms and shoulders from all those pushups.

Max Interval Circuit.  This is my dreaded workout of month 2.  It is WAY more plyo intense to me then the plyo…so maybe it’s partially a case of the unexpected.  It’s also super long at an hour and often by the end of it my tank is pretty empty.  This workout is often coupled with the fit test in month 2 – so that adds to the dislike of it.  Personally, I have to pick when I workout and do it all at one time.  So when this is combined with the fit test it is 1.5 hours of pretty much pure hell.

Max Cardio Conditioning. This is the pure cardio of month 2 and while it is intense, I feel like pure cardio is harder.  I do like the workout though.  It’s a good length and in general a pretty awesome workout.  I also like the switch up of the non-interval style training once or twice a week.  It’s nice to just go all out and be done with the exercise for the day.

Max Recovery.  Okay this workout is a blend of the recovery workout and the strength workout from month 1.  It breaks down into 5 segments and each one has a slightly different focus area of the body or skill.  It’s a really refreshing change up because these workouts this month have a TON of jumping.  It’s nice to stay on the ground and stretch it out.  It’s not an easy workout – don’t think that.  It’s got a lot of strength moves and the yoga moves are a challenge (at least for me).  I always leave this workout feeling pretty good.

You also do the Core Cardio and Balance workout through this month, which I like.  That is one of my favorite workouts because it really works my problem strength areas.  I have had poor balance and poor core strength for a while and this workout really tackles them both.  I also like the slightly slower pace because it allows me to focus on form, which I feel gives me the best burn.  I am the most sore after this workout while not being so exhausted I just want to sleep.

I’ll be done with INSANITY on January 2nd.  I am very excited to be able to say I completed the program and put in for my t-shirt!!!  Am I crazy for being hype over this shirt 🙂

Anyone with questions about either of the programs I have completed (totally claiming it already!) – the Ultimate Reset or INSANITY – please drop me a comment or an email at healthyengineer@gmail.com!  I would love to help you out or coach you through completing these programs!

Insanity: Month 2 Coming Up!

I officially finished Month 1 + Recovery Week today!  I am so pleased with myself for sticking to the workouts and am excited (and just a little bit terrified) of Month 2.  I wanted to give a little bit of a review of the first part of INSANITY and give you an idea of what you will see.

The first month of INSANITY consists of 4 workouts + the Fit Test (descriptions from the Beachbody website)

Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs – Skip the intervals—this nonstop cardio workout is all extreme.
Cardio Power and Resistance – Build lean muscle and upper-body definition with strength-training and power moves. 
Cardio Recovery – Shaun goes easier on you once a week so you’re ready for the next round.
Plyometric Cardio Circuit – Burn fat with intervals of intense lower-body plyo and sweat-inducing cardio

These workouts repeat for 4 weeks, typically 2x each Plyometric Cardio Circuit and Pure Cardio.  The last 2 weeks of the month the Cardio Abs are added in.

Now I will be honest – I have to modify during the workouts.  I do most of the pushups on my knees and as I get more tired some of the more plyo moves become static.  I did notice over the month of the program that I could do more and more though.  My point here is that you shouldn’t feel like you can’t do the program because you can’t do certain moves or can’t do every workout start to finish.  I STILL can’t do that move where you balance on your toes and hands and do leg lifts.  Yeah.  But I found a sub (I did it on my knees, but I did do the balance move w/o the leg lifts as well to get stronger) and kept working it out.

These workouts are about 30 – 45 minutes each.  Not too bad at all, and pretty easy to fit in my morning schedule.  (Phase 2 is a little longer – about an hour each workout – which will be a good challenge for me for another reason I will discuss in another blog post pretty soon.)  I also really liked the format, it was pretty different for me.  The warmup was about 11 minutes – then you go into a long 6-7 minute stretch.  So by the time you actually start the meat of the workout for the day, you have burned quite a lot of the workout.  Mentally I think this was really helpful.  The stretches are fantastic and I have noticed that my flexibility has improved a lot.  I do add some stretches to my warmup stretch, as I have some that were given to me by a trainer long ago that have really helped with old injuries.  I probably could just do the ones on the DVD – but I’d rather be safe then sorry sitting up in the bed with my leg in ice.

Now for the fun part – results.  I haven’t taken my pictures yet – I will do that the morning of my fit test.  But I have lost at least 7 lbs and have gone down to a size 18/18w on the bottom (started with a loose-ish 22w).  These are big changes that I worked hard for!  I am significantly more flexible.  I also have finally really rid myself of my really bad knee pains.  I have always had bad knees from injuries in high school sports.  I work out in the basement of our home and sometimes I literally wondered how I would get upstairs post workout. It was a problem that doctors told me unfortunately would not get better until I (1) got in better shape and (2) lost weight.  So I just pushed through.  I was smart about it and it’s one reason why sometimes I don’t do the full plyo move or will switch mid set to a less jumpy modification (a power squat to a regular squat), because I didn’t want to turn a sore knee into an injury.  But I knew I needed to keep working out.  At some point in the last few weeks I realized that post workout I’m running up the stairs like nobody’s business with absolutely no pain.  And that I’m feeling less soreness in general in the knees during/post workout.  This is a huge thing, as I’ve just had to live with it for ages.  I’m so happy that finally, I am feeling good.  This doesn’t mean I will change my knee strategy for workouts, but it’s just nice to feel something different that is a health/fitness improvement.  My mom saw me last week for the first time since starting INSANITY and she told me she hasn’t seen me this small since high school.  Which is pretty awesome since I weigh at least 10 lbs more now.  But I wasn’t working out in this manner, so it was a flabbier 225-230 then I am now at about 240.

Would I recommend INSANITY?  HELL yes.  I would.  I love it so much.  I was really concerned that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I found that I could do a lot more then I though I would be able to do.  I love the changes to my body and how good I feel now.  If you feel like you are in ok shape, even if you are overweight, you will benefit. I would not do this program if I was an absolute beginner to working out, as it is really advanced.  It could be done – and you would lose weight.  But if you are completely out of shape there are other programs/plans you could do that you would get more benefit from.  If you have old nagging ankle/knee injuries like me, you could do it for sure – but you just need to see a doctor and make sure you won’t damage things worse or to find out what modifications you need to do.

I’m simply terrified for month 2, but I was simply terrified for month 1 and I managed that ok 🙂  I think it will be totally fine – just have to dig deeper – right!!