P90: 2.5 Weeks In

Wellps, I’m a little over two weeks into the P90 program and somehow, miraculously, defying all logic and precedence, I’m still going strong.


Despite the scale-related setbacks that I’ve been experiencing, I’m actually starting to feel pretty great about having set up an actual fitness routine (though, as I explained yesterday, it’s not really that routine yet… but at least I’m still fitting it into my day somewhere!) and the slow improvements I’m making with the various moves in P90 Sculpt and Sweat A.

I still find myself following the modifier for a lot of things, like the press jacks (actual jumping jacks are kinda hard on my bazoombas), pushups, walking planks, and ab stuff, though even that is an improvement on where I was when I started. I didn’t really talk about this in my initial Week 1 update, but even though P90 is the “beginner” videos, I still found myself needing to modify some of the modifier’s moves at first.

There are a lot of moves that require you to be able to hold a plank in order to complete the move (sprawls, walking planks, the half-pushups), and I wasn’t really able to do them well, even following the modifier (which mainly meant just doing the moves slower or less deep). So I’d have to do the half-pushups on my knees instead of on my feet, or just try to hold a plank through the sprawls instead of actually, y’know, sprawling.

But now I’m pretty much doing the full moves as prescribed, and even upping my game and following the non-modified folks in the video, especially with the mixed martial arts moves and cardio. Hoorah!


Just another week and a half of the “A” videos and I’ll be able to move onto Phase B. Which is good, because as I suspected might happen, I am admittedly starting to get a little bit annoyed with watching the exact same video every other day.

Mostly it’s Tony Horton’s “dad jokes” that are starting to make me a little stabby. There’s this one joke that he makes in the Sculpt A video — one of the workout guys in the video’s name is Jim. So when he’s introducing the folks, he goes something like, “Jim! Jim Beam came to work out. Jack & Jim went up the hill to fetch a pail of… liquor!” *cue forced laughter from workout folks* Then Tony continues, “No, they fetched a pail of Shakeology! That’s what they did!” and that’s when my eyes get their own little workout because they are rolling SO HARD.

I’m thinking that I might start doing the videos with the captions + put on my own music, since at this point I think I’ve done the moves enough that I don’t need to really watch the screen to remember how to do them, I just need the cues to know when to move on to the next one.

Anyway, it’s not so bad that I’m tempted to stop watching (yet), since it is somehow gratifying to go through the same cycle of moves because I get better at doing them each time. I’ve also learned a few additional things about this workout so far that I thought I might share:

  • I am finding I like using dumbbells more than the resistance bands during strength moves. The resistance band handles hurt my wrists a bit, and it’s kind of awkward to attach the band to a door hinge because it means I have to do the resistance moves at a little bit of an angle.
  • I think I need a better/thicker mat — my tailbone hurts doing some of the ab moves (especially those targeting my lower abs, which require the use of my legs). I’ve cracked my tailbone once and bruised it twice in my life (I fall down stairs a lot…) so maybe this isn’t a problem that most people have, but I’m definitely thinking I need some more cushioning. Even doubling up my mat doesn’t seem to do enough, so I definitely think I need a thicker mat. Working out on carpet might also be a solution for this, but I have hardwood floors so womp womp.
  • As I mentioned before, in addition to the Sculpt and Sweat videos, there’s also one called “Saturday Special” that you do on, well, Saturdays. Duh. It’s a lot more intense, and still requires a lot of modification for me, but I think this makes sense since it’s the same video throughout the entire 90-day program, not just Phase A.
  • I’m really pleased with how immensely doable P90 is on a daily basis. The time really flies (God bless that countdown timer!) and before you know it, you’re done and you feel nice and sweaty even though it’s only been 28 – 34 minutes. It’s such a short amount of time that I have also started adding in a little bit of additional strength work afterwards if I have some extra time.

Anyway, even with Tony’s annoying dad jokes starting to get on my nerves, I’m still pretty happy with having started the program (as a reminder, I’m just following the fitness plan, not the nutrition plan — I’m not using Shakeology or anything), and while I’m definitely not in fighting shape by any means yet (dude, it’s only been two and a half weeks, haha) I am already seeing differences in my physical capabilities. Which, frankly, is surprising to me because I didn’t actually think progress would be noticeable after only two weeks. But I guess that’s because I’ve never paid attention before! Or, maybe it’s because I’ve never actually worked out this much before. Your guess is as good as mine. 😉

Timing is Everything

Hey friends. Thanks for letting me rant yesterday — not gonna lie, I feel better already just knowing that I’m not alone in being frustrated with the scale not budging. Misery does love itself some company, heh.

Anyway, I’m trying not to stay too long at my own pity party. Onward, right? My super big and impressive plan at this point is… to just keep on doing what I’ve been doing, as many of you have recommended. Like I said yesterday, I do know that I’ve got a lot of good things going on here. So I’m just going to try to stay off the scale for now, and instead concentrate on how I’m feeling. You know, focus on improving my form when I work out, getting stronger, and we’ll see how things look in another week or so.

Oh, and for those who were asking, yep, I did take measurements when I started P90. The program recommends re-checking your measurements and weight every 30 days, so we’ll see if I can hold out that long, or if I crack and measure myself earlier, haha.

So, speaking of P90, as you know, working out more than, like, once a week, is kind of a big deal for me. And incorporating a daily workout into my schedule has definitely been a learning experience. I am super lucky in that my (awesome) job with Yelp is a work-from-home position, which means I’ve got a much more flexible schedule than most folks who work a standard 9-5. So the great thing is that I have pretty much the entire day to workout. Of course, the not so great thing is… that I have the entire day to work out.

See, without the schedule regularity that comes with having to report to an office, my night owl tendencies take over. I think my internal clock is just permanently set to West Coast time.(For example, I’m writing this post at 1:30 AM.)  So I tend to stay up late working on stuff, and then sleep in until I either wake up naturally, unless I have a specific reason to get up.

Usually this is a call or a meeting that I have set up for the following morning, in which case I’ll set my alarm for juuuuust early enough to be able to get ready. So if I have a 9:00 AM call, for example, I probably am not getting out of bed before 8:30. If I have a 10:00 AM meeting, I’m probably peeling myself out from under the covers around 9:00, and then it’s just a wild flurry of showering and schnauzer feeding and applying makeup and donning mismatched clothing as I race out the door by 9:30. What can I say, I like to live on the edge?

Anyway, all of that is meant to illustrate the fact that I very rarely exercise the discipline to wake up early enough to accomplish anything other than the basic stuff I need to do to get ready before beginning my workday. So, as you can imagine, operating on a schedule like that means that working out tends to get pushed into the late afternoon or evening, when I have time again. Or, like in yesterday’s case, when my entire day suddenly found itself filled by an accidentally super-long nap (I was apparently one of the few non-government-employed folks who had MLK Day off from work), I didn’t work out until like 10 PM. Whoops.

And hey, that’s one great thing about choosing to do a home workout program — it is just there waiting for me at all times, ready to go whenever I get around to pressing play. I can literally work out whenever. Of course, they do say that working out later at night isn’t great because it ramps your body up too much before sleeping, but since I usually don’t fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning anyway, I’m not that concerned about it, haha.

I know there are tons of people who hit the gym after work, or get their workout in over their lunch break, so it’s not like I’m doing anything groundbreaking by not always working out first thing in the morning. But the thing is, I’m finding that on the days when I do manage to get my sweat on in the AM, I honestly feel like I have “better” days overall. Exercising first thing makes me feel so accomplished heading into the rest of my day. And I’d like to think that it helps inform my food choices as well, leading me to make healthier choices throughout the day because I’ve already been in a nice, sweaty mindset from the beginning.

Anyway, I guess I should just revel in the continued shock that comes with the fact that I’ve even made it through 16 days of active fitness and working out, regardless of the time at which I manage to do so. I mean, I used to spend more time actively talking myself out of going to the gym than I ever did actually working out. It would go something like this:

“Okay, you need to go to the gym. Just workout for half an hour, and you’ll be done. Or, well, I mean, sure, it’s only 30 minutes of actually working out, but once your factor in getting dressed, getting into the car, driving to the gym, finding a parking spot, walking inside, coming home, taking a shower, and getting dressed again for the day, it’s way more time than that. Maybe I should just skip it…”

Yeah, pretty pathetic, I know. But, hey, I am really, really good at talking myself out of working out. Which is, again, why I am so magical and amazing for having stuck it out with P90 even just this far, hahaha. As long as I’m doing it at some point every day — be it 10 AM or 10 PM — I still consider it a win.

It was actually being down in Macon and spending time with my sister that really helped put things into perspective for me when it comes to being able to fit working out into my daily schedule. My sister Jenny manages to do so much with her day, always including working out (she teaches fitness classes) and handling my niece Mia. She makes it seem so reasonable to hit the gym for an hour, especially when you do it first thing in the morning, because you still have your entire day ahead of you once you’re done! Meanwhile, I’ve spent the majority of my life totally clueless as to how to make the most of my day. (“Aw man, I only have time to watch five more episodes of Gilmore Girls in a row today, where did the day go?!)

Anyway, all of this rambling is meant to say that I am going to try and start making more of an effort to organize my mornings so that I can take care of my workout in the AM. Because it does feel pretty good starting my day off that way, and I’m all about doing things that make me feel good about the fact that I’m willingly sweating on a daily basis. I’m even setting an alarm for the mornings again! (You guys probably hate me so much after reading this post, hahahaha.)

When do you tend to work out? Is it by choice or by necessity?

P90: One Week In

I have worked out every day for the past 7 days straight.

Now, for you daily runners and routine-driven gymfolk, this may not seem like a very big deal, but for me, it’s pretty great. After all, this is an achievement I have never… er… achieved… before, and thus, I am going to be smugly self-congratulatory about it. Hooray for me!

As mentioned in my last post, I am taking the whole New Year’s Resolution thing to heart this year, and have decided to, yes, try to drop a few pounds, but moreover, to actively work on my fitness. Which, as you probably already know, is not exactly something I’ve ever been a big fan of. I mean, exercising? Voluntarily? Me?

But, hey, habits can be formed and broken, and I do believe it’s possible for even couch-lounging, Netflix-bingeing, lazy mofos like me to get into a solid fitness routine. One way that I’m trying to do this is with some wonderful workout routines that my sister created for me, and another way that I’m doing this is with the P90 home workout.

Some of you may already be familiar with Tony Horton and his somewhat infamous P90X workout: a hardcore home workout that produces results like this:

Unfortunately, as I learned from the one time I ever actually tried a P90X workout in the past, it really is meant for folks that are already in relatively good shape. I did like, half of the P90X Plyometrics video like, three years ago, and I basically still haven’t recovered.

Sooo, for not-quite-there-yet folks like me, Master Fitness Magician Tony Horton dropped the X and created P90. It’s a little (okay, probably a lot) less intense than P90X, especially in the beginning, but is supposedly structured around setting up a strong fitness foundation and working up to much more difficult/exerting moves. Working out at home is something that has long interested me since, you know, I’m a homebody who dislikes actively having to leave my house, but aside from a short run with Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred that culminated in, well, nothing, I’ve never attempted one before.

So, alas, somehow within the vast reaches of the interwebs, I managed to stumble upon P90, and figured, hey, why not give it a try? Nothing to lose, right? Well, except like, $90, but given what I spend on my hair every other month, it really wasn’t too difficult to convince myself to make the investment, hahaha.

For the uninitiated, P90 consists of three phases (A, B, and C) with three different parts that make up each phase: “Sweat,” “Sculpt,” and “Ab Ripper.” These workouts are present in all three phases, plus there’s a special workout for Saturdays (called, very imaginatively, “Saturday Special.”)

The calendar provided has you choose whether you want to emphasize “Sweat” (Cardio) or “Sculpt” (weight/resistance training), and then has you follow an alternating schedule of Sculpt A and Sweat A + Ab Ripper A for the first 30 days. Then you switch over to Sculpt B and Sweat B + Ab Ripper B for the next 30, and then, well, I think you get the idea. You do the Saturday Special every Saturday (it’s the same regardless of what phase you’re in), and Sunday’s your rest day.

I officially started P90 on Wednesday, 1/7, which means that I’m not actually a full week in. But since I worked out on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of that week (albeit following a different routine) I figure that it still counts. Plus, I did an extra day of P90 yesterday with my bro, even though technically the schedule only has you working out 6 days a week. So I feel like that has adequately prepared me to be able to share my thoughts on beginning this program, at any rate.

Things I like so far:

– You do it at home (duh)
– Only takes 30 minutes, and not so strenuous that you can’t supplement with additional weight training afterwards if you want
– I like the countdown timer, both for the overall workout and for each individual move
– Definitely is a solid workout, especially the cardio in “Sweat”
– Modifications are shown for every single move
– Tony Horton is surprisingly personable on screen
– So far I’m not sick of watching the same video multiple times
– Calendar makes it easy to follow and figure out which workout to do
– Meal planning booklet seems pretty solid, with lists of recommended foods and some pretty tasty-sounding recipes. (Can’t say the same for the 6-Day Shred mini-booklet that accompanies this, but see below for more on that.)

Things I dislike so far:

– I am pretty sure I’m going to get tired/bored/annoyed watching the same workout videos every other day until I get to move on to the next phase.
– The accompanying “6-Day Shred” eating plan pamphlet that is included offers a ridiculous diet that goes from 1200 to 800 calories over the course of a few days, WHILE still expecting you to work out. Ridiculous! Nobody should be consuming only 800 calories a day, even if it’s to “shock” your body into weight loss or some crap.
– Shakeology and 21-Day Fix commercials EVERYWHERE. I mean, I kinda get it, this is a business and selling their $129.95 milkshake powder is how they probably make most of their mula, but OMG if I want a shake I will throw a banana and some almondmilk into a blender, kthxbye.
– They’re only available as DVDs, not Blu-Ray. I want my Tony Horton in HD!

Now, all that said, I’m pretty surprised that I’m not already bored with having followed the exact same workout video multiple times. I guess after a while if I do get annoyed with the repetition, I can always mute the sound and put my own music on, and then just follow the moves visually. Or I could always sub in some of the alternate workouts that my sister designed for me until the next phase begins. Or, I guess I could just move onto the next phase early, too. I guess only time will tell how I adapt!

So there you go, my thoughts on this workout so far! I’ll update you again once I hit Phase B, provided I make it there, of course, heh.

Have you ever followed a video-workout program before? Do you prefer working out at home or at the gym?