Tag Archives: workout

P90X again?

Whenever I catch up with friends, whether at work or anywhere else, this question always comes up: are you still doing P90X?

Well, friends, yes. Yes I am. I’m actually starting another round of P90X this coming Monday. And I’ve got a few new faces looking to come along for the ride with me on this one. I couldn’t be more excited for them. Like I’ve mentioned before, I love being a coach for people who have made the decision and commitment to make positive change and progress in their lives. I’m good at helping people reach their own conclusions about what needs to be done and at making people realize how unnecessary it is to stress, in general. (You can either affect change, or you can’t. Stress is the inability to cope with that reality, in my opinion. But, I digress.) And when it comes to P90X, the commitment to the program is a commitment to positive change and progress.

I’ve thought about jumping onto other exercise regimes. I’m a fan of what Team Beachbody has to offer, and things like Insanity and T-25 Focus came to mind, with the big sell on those programs being how little time it takes per workout. The workouts from P90X, comparatively, need more than an hour a day, which was starting to seem like too long a time to commit after my 2nd round at it. But I think the real reason I was looking elsewhere was that I was beginning to get bored of the routine.

So I took a break. I still kept active, but I didn’t work at it nearly as hard as when I was in the program. And then the holidays arrived and oh, how the food appeared. The wonderful, tasty, so-bad-for-you-but-you-can’t-resist food made its way to my gullet. And I indulged. And it was good. And I realized that you can balance the good-for-you with the not-so-good-for-you and not blow up and rebound back into your pre-P90X self. Sure, my weight would flex up and down, week-to-week, but I remained stable. I could have real pizza again and I remained stable.

And with that realization, I knew that breaks were okay. We all need them, not just because the work is hard, but because breaks from anything consistent can make you crave for that consistency again. The recently boring eventually becomes un-boring again. And the routine that you’ve gotten used to and that you know gets results becomes the go-to routine, once again.

And that’s where we are now. I know P90X works. And I’m going to make it work for me once again. If you thought those photos from April of last year were impressive, just you wait.

Bring it, 2014. I will be.

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-Mickey

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Every end is a new beginning: P90X Round 2, Day 1.

And so with the end of my week-off between rounds of P90X, we start all over again with the second foray into bringing it. I was the last of this new workout crew that I’ve apparently gathered to do my routine for the day and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I pretty much hit all my previous numbers out of the park for this workout, and it really shows just how important rest is to the body, not only in the short term every night with a good amount of sleep — something I need to get better at for this round of things, because I think it will greatly increase the quality of my results — but in the slightly longer term as well. A week off of extreme workouts has seemingly done wonders for my pushups, and apparently a ten-pound increase in dumbbell weight is a perfect amount to feel the burn, but surprisingly easy to adjust to. (I was expecting to not even get to the 8-10 rep range, but apparently it’s just right.)

It just feels great to be back on it again. I can honestly say that I missed the daily workouts. The break was nice, but I found that even just the last couple of days preparing for round two had me more focused than other day of the break week. It actually like more than just a week off, which I think is a testament to how much this program has changed me. To feel the absence of a workout as something that I wish I could “fix” would not have even skimmed across my mind in January. That me would have been content with ending my day with hours online and sleep right after. But that me is long gone, and the new me just doesn’t feel right without a workout. (Again, it is important to take that rest week and I probably could have squeezed in a rock climb or break dance class somewhere in there, but I’m glad I opted for rest.)

So here’s to a new beginning to an end that will come, but will again just open up another beginning. I’m taking my body to physical levels that I’ve never before experienced or seen on myself. I’ve had a glimpse of the unhealthy side of the spectrum of my (poor) health potential, so I’m very excited to see what lies in store this August when I get to the furthest I’ve ever been in physical fitness.

The times they are a-changin’ in my personal reality. And it’s about time, too.

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– Mickey

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P90X Round 2 – Day Zero.

So Monday is the big return to P90X, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve got some new future P90X graduates coming along for the ride. My good friend, Kelly (whose movie reviews you can find at The Lazy Critic) and I just did our fit tests to see our starting points for this round. For me, this was also my exit fit test from the last round — I know, I should’ve done it at the start of the rest week — and it was great to see and feel those results. Seeing my numbers for this test just makes me extra excited for the increases I’ll see close to August. And it was great to start at day zero with someone completely new to the program as coaching him through the warm-up and the test really solidified my own knowledge and processes in this program. Also, having someone looking to me for guidance and advice means I have to really stay on my game so I can lead by example. (Add that to the dozens of friends who read my P90X round one wrap-up, and you’ve got a lot of people keeping me accountable!)

And I was also really satisfied with my Day Zero results. My max push-ups are their highest, I surprised myself in actually being able to do close to a full standard pull-up — I can do a chin-up completely unassisted, but still working on the pull-up — I’m more flexible, especially at the waist (as a successful sitting toe-touch indicated) and the ease of cardio-like movements (i.e. two minutes straight of jumping jacks, where the last 30 seconds has you going as fast as you can) was surprising. I probably could’ve gone another two minutes before feeling winded, which was far from my reality in January. I think I’m more ready and more excited to jump into this round than I was to start the whole thing in the first place.

Also on board for round 2 is my good friend and roommate, Emma, who, as I’ve mentioned before, was one of the catalysts for this entire journey. We’ve both been wanting day one of this second round all week, and I’m glad to see her ready to jump into it again. This kind of journey is always more fun when you’ve got company, and as exciting as it is to have a rookie on board, having an experienced teammate is just as important. Because if there’s anyone who can definitely keep me accountable, it’ll be the person I have to see at home everyday doing the same program as me.

And apparently, we’ve got a fourth on board, also a newcomer and also a good friend of mine. I don’t know much about what she’d like to do and what her preparedness level is in terms of equipment — she’s got the fitness level for this for sure — but I’m excited to have her along for the journey as well! I introduced her to the program with Yoga X, and we did that routine together once. She’s done a bunch of yoga before, and even she said that these are movements and poses that she hasn’t tried previously, and I think that’s got her interested. I’ve yet to confirm the details, but it looks like we’ve got some superheroes-in-training lined up for this round.

Round 2, you’ve got company. We’ve been waiting for you.

– Mickey

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Inside on a Friday.

It’s been such an eventful week that I made the decision to just stay in after my work shift today. It wasn’t an easy decision — I was invited to hit the bar with some friends I don’t get to see all the time, but really wish I could see all the time — but it’s something that had to be done. And I’m okay with that. I know a lot of people, my close friends included, see Fridays as a party day because Saturday is a sleep-in day, but as someone who has had to work Saturday mornings for the last 9 years, it’s actually easier for me to stay in than it is to have a crazy-good Friday night. And that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy my Fridays out on the town. I’ve definitely functioned as a teacher on Saturdays after a 2-hour sleep before. It might have just been minimal functionality, but the point is I’ve never had to call in sick to my music school due to a hangover. It’s just that I wouldn’t be able to maintain a regular Friday like that all the time.

I’ve written about needing time to yourself and to enjoy days off before. I still think it’s a very important thing to do. The infamous “me-time” that you hear about in magazines, TV shows, health & well-being websites, and other things like that may seem pretty repetitive and kind of corny, but they’re not all wrong about it. It’s really important to take that time off to recharge, refocus, and reflect in order to keep your mind and body in balance and at peace. Always being on the go is great for productivity, but a replenished you is even better, not just for how productive you are, but how good the quality of your productivity can be.

Tonight was a chance to reconnect with my roommate. Before we both got busy with multiple projects and expanding social lives, it was a nightly routine to sit around and hang out watching reruns of Community before heading to bed (or more her heading to bed and me heading to my PS3). This was the first time in a while that we were able to do that for a little bit, and it felt like a recharge for our friendship. (Not that it was drained in the first place, just that our schedules and wakefulness finally lined up like it used to.) It’s always nice to catch up while relaxed on the couch as opposed to quick check-ins on the way to sleep because a way-too early day awaits. And even though this felt shorter than our usual hangout sessions, it was still nice and definitely necessary.

This Friday-in was also the final resistance workout of my first complete round of P90X. And for the first time in my entire life, I was able to do a full motion chin-up during a workout without any chair or counter-weight assistance. That accomplishment alone  was worth staying in. I’m currently 30 pounds lighter than when I started and as I’ve mentioned before, there are muscles and definition showing up that I never thought I’d ever see on myself. If anyone ever had any doubt as to the effectiveness to this program, I submit myself as primary evidence to the contrary.

And that was how my night went. Now I’m ready to get a solid sleep session in, endorphin’d-out from my workout, prepared for dreamland time. I can’t wait until Saturdays mean a sleep-in day once again. (But that’s another post altogether.)

– Mickey

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Motivation through example.

I like sharing my stories and thoughts with friends, family, and clearly the general public. It’s not so much about bragging, but just about celebrating accomplishments with others. I like when people, either friends or strangers, tell me about something they’ve achieved. (Remember the world-record setter that I wrote about? Prime example.) It always makes me smile and it often reminds me to either keep going toward a goal I’m working on, or to renew a goal that I might have let fall to the wayside.

But I forget that the stories I share may have the same effect on the people reading it. I teach music, and as a teacher, I try to find ways to motivate and inspire students to practice and perform. So naturally, when I write these blogs, I find it unusual not to try to do the same. For those of you not in my social networks, I post random instagrams, statuses and tweets like anyone else. And apparently, even those little glimpses into my everyday can have the same effect as these entries.

Today, a friend of mine at work congratulated me on my progress through P90X. A lot of others have been doing the same, for which I’m grateful and humbled, as well as encouraged, but what stood out to me in this case was that he was on the phone and went out of his way to put the conversation on hold to tell me. He said that watching my progress makes him want to get healthy and workout too.

And I get that. When you work with a large group of people, many of whom are fitness-motivated, the effect can rub off on you. It did for me, and apparently my commitment has started doing the same for others. Again, I post these updates as a celebration of achievements and the sharing of that just to share and smile. But finding out that it inspires others from the people who feel inspired just makes me want to work harder and to actually go out of my way to motivate others too.

“Lead by example” is a motto I’ve always tried to live by in moments of leadership. And even though I’m doing this program for me, I feel that I have to push and finish and bring it so that I can motivate you to reach your goals. Because now I realize more than ever that if I’m sharing these celebrations with you, it’s because I want you to celebrate your achievements with me. I want to be motivated by you too.

You already inspire me by reading this. I guess writing these blogs and doing P90X are officially not just for me anymore. I’m doing this for you too. And I thank you for motivating me to do so.

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– Mickey

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