Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday part 2

With today being a holiday it really felt like 2 Sunday's in a row.  But normally I have Sunday off from my P90X + schedule.   Not today.  I took the opportunity to sleep in and then kick off week 6 with Upper Body +.  I then fueled with my large breakfast (see below), killed a little time and then rocked out Abs/core.  My HR monitor said 359 calories burnt for Abs but I don't think that can be right.  I sweat pretty hard during those 22 minutes but I would guess maybe it should be close to 250.  I'll have to wear it again next time and compare. 

I have been using Loseit to track my food from time to time so I have a bench mark of where I am at.  I've heard so many good things about that I thought I better check it out.  It does seem like there are more food items in their database, even Beachbody products.  So far, it does seem slightly better than Loseit.   I don't plan on tracking every single food item every single day but will do it for several days this week.    With the holiday weekend, grilling out, etc.  I took everything in moderation as far as food and beverage.  Felt pretty good, little more sluggish this morning though.  But tonight we had one of my favorite meals that I don't have real often.  Wood fire pizza from Punch Pizza.  It's soooo good.  It's one food that I really really like.  I am finding it hard to track that one on Myfitnesspal. Maybe that's a good thing :-)

Typical snack day for me

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bunk bed X

I found out today that the completion of the bunk bed project can be tougher than a P90X workout.  As I got to the end, "all I needed" was to tap in the support boards for the mattresses.   Sounds easy enough.  Nothing is ever easy though with projects. The holes didn't line up and the middle was a 1/2" wider than the end.   This is where the fun began.  I had to use my experience with lunges, chair pose and a combination of numerous others complete it.  Squeezing the frame together while my wife pounded in the support boards was quite the workout!  I should have put my heart rate monitor on to see my calorie burn!

I paid a visit to my first Twins game at the new Target Field today.  Perfect day for it.  Started the day off with Kenpo Cardio X and it's infamous high block, knee kick burnouts.  During yesterday's leg and back session I was able to punch out a total of 68 unassisted pull-ups.  Vast improvement from my day 1 back in October.
On to week 6 starting on Monday.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Daily grind

This week I have been having one of those weeks where everything is hectic.  More so than usual.  Too many things to do, not enough time.  Sound familiar?  This is when it could get easy to cut "un-important" things out, like a workout perhaps?  Naaah.  Not for this guy :-0  I have been doing going strong since September with my fitness and nutrition and don't have a plan on stopping anytime soon.  I have more energy and feel great.  Why would I want to cut that out of my day?

I also started tracking my food once again and am a little lower on calories and protein than I thought.  Good thing I am monitoring it now.  I will post a few detailed examples yet this week on what my typical day looks like.    Here is an example of my meal break down and total calories.  I could up it some to maybe 2600, increase my protein and lower the carbs a bit but in the ballpark of where I want to be. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Step 6

It's been a few days since my last post.  Busy life activities have gotten in the way. 
A few lessons I was reminded of:
  1. Moving IT equipment for a client and hunching over a small monitor can be more grueling and tiring than a Plyometrics workout.  
  2. Shrek 4 has a great message about appreciating what you have in your life.
  3. The show "Lost" really makes you think.
  4. The grass doesn't stop growing.
  5. When in a hurry, nothing works.
  6. Painting and putting up bunk beds is a lengthy process.  I found it very familiar to P90X when I got to step 6 in the directions tonight before stopping and leaving the rest for tomorrow.  I started with a box and some paint.  Painting was completed and I started putting the frame together.  I ran into a small problem with a screw being stubborn.  I kept at it and was able to fasten it securely, finally.   It resembled  Ab ripper for me.  It's tough at first but after a little patience and determination, Waa laa, presto - all of a sudden I could do the whole DVD.   My presto moment for this project hopefully will be tomorrow.
  7. Before (AKA - lethargic, soft, uninspired)

After (AKA - Feeling better, losing fat)

Week 5 of P90X Plus started today with another episode of Upper Plus.  My pull-ups are starting to go up just a little bit each time.  I'll call that progress!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Here we are once again; Thursday.  It usually is my most challenging day to get my work out in.  Since it is recovery week for me, I had X stretch on the schedule.  I decided to take the day off instead, which also allowed me to "sleep" in until a little before 6.  After work, I met out a friend for Happy Hour.  This could be challenging and end up drinking too much beer or eating too much junk food.  I had a couple light beers, some sushi and lots of water.  Not perfect but not bad either.   

Legs and back tomorrow bright and early.  I am going to start tracking my calories this weekend again to see where I am at even though I seemed to find the right amount of daily calories.  I am maintaining at my same weight and not losing anymore weight.  I will be interested to see exactly where I am again.  I will post a typical day next week.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Education is key

I am researching some stats on exercise tonight for a meeting that I am running tomorrow morning.  There are some interesting ones:
  • The higher the education level, the higher incidence of exercise.  People 25 and up with a bachelor degree or higher are twice as likely to engage in sports and fitness activities
  • 70% of American adults don't exercise regularly despite the proven health benefits
  • Adults with an income at least 4 times the poverty level are twice as likely to get regular physical activity as those with income below the poverty line
  • The western US states have the highest percentage of people who are active in sports or exercise
There are many more but that gives you an idea.  Income, location, and education all play into if people are actively exercising. 

To me, it's a no brainer.  I have been there on the other side too.  I have always known the great benefits of exercise but have not always exercised.  Let's get America moving!

I continued my trek down "memory" lane with Chest, Shoulders and Triceps.  I guess it really hasn't been that long since I did this workout but it feels like it.  I feel like I regressed a little bit.   Maybe it was just one of those days.   Tomorrow is the busy day of the week and X stretch.  I may even take an extra day off since it will be very tight for time. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Man o man a Chevy!

Today was another visit from an 'ole friend, Plyometrics.   Yesterday I talked about my "calorie burst" and today I was reminded of how important nutrition really is.  Unless I was fooling myself and something else stood in my way this morning, the first 10-15 minutes were a little more difficult than usual.   I started to kick it into action and completed the rock star hops like Angus Young,   The last Mary Katherine lunges are the marking point for me that it's down hill from there.   Those are tough!  Especially right after the jump knee tucks.  

I'm catching the last few minutes of the Biggest Loser tonight.  Yes, it's TV and it's dramatic but it's still real.   These are real people changing their lives.  It's fun and motivating to watch.  You don't have to lose 200 lbs to be successful.  I know of someone doing P90X that has lost minimal but is wearing much smaller clothes and feeling great.   You can do the same!  Today is the best time to start changing things for the better!

Monday, May 17, 2010


I felt like I fell off the wagon in a way tonight.  I had "healthier" nachos:  Baked organic chips, black beans and chicken.  I then topped it off with salsa and cheese and guacamole.  I am always so hungry that I ate them up and then again.   The chips say 1 oz = 140 calories.  My handy converter shows me that 1 oz = 1/8 cup.  That gives me a little better visual but an 1/8 cup of chips can't be a whole lot.  That makes me think that I had a WHOLE lot of calories tonight.  But it's just one meal and I probably needed it.  I caught my daughter say "You're dinner is just a snack".  That must mean I eat at a high frequency? :-0  I haven't been writing my food intake down for several weeks but "mentally" monitoring.  After logging it for several weeks on a couple different occasins, I have a really good idea.  I have been able to maintain my weight at 167 with a goal of gaining muscle. 

My recovery week started by going old school and bringing back Back and Biceps.  One thing I noticed since the last time that I did this workout was at the end of the workout.  Usually I am pretty wiped out on the last pull up move.  This time I did 5 Lshaped pull ups.  No way I could have done that a while ago.  I call that progress!

I then did Ab Ripper X after work.  I am leaning way more to the side of loving it now than hating it.  AKA Tony: "I hate it but I love it!"  It does feel like a bigger isolated burn than the Abs / Core Plus DVD.  I am going to try and push it harder next time I do that one.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rolling into Recovery week 1

Time sure flies when you're having fun!  Tomorrow starts my first recovery week (day 202) as I welcome back my good friend Mr. Back and Biceps and Ab Ripper X.   I missed you.

I took my off day today to do some painting X.  I hoped to finish the project today but you know how that goes.  Especially since it was perfect outside today.  So nice, my daughter must have been practicing your best corpse pose:

Taste test #4:

Berry Vanilla Banana

  • 1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology
  • 1 banana
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 8 ice cubes
It tasted very similar to the Sunrise that I tried.  I really liked it but my daughters didn't.  They're bigger fans of the chocolate I guess.    Maybe if Shrek 4 was sponsoring it then they would love it!

Update on my sister's blog: (  She got a computer virus and may be out of commission for a few days until she has it resolved. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

5k at last

I've been looking forward to doing a 5k for a while. I was a little scared of it for some reason and put it off. I didn't feel prepared. But after 6 months of P90X, the extra cardio and leg work really made me confident to conquer it. I ran with a friend and we had a good steady pace going. We didn't wear a watch to pace ourselves, just went with it. I felt pretty good the whole time until we punched it down at the end a little early. We needed to dial it back a notch, catch our breath then kick it in high gear one more time to the finish. I was tired but recovered pretty quickly. 25:06 (yeah baby!), close to an 8:00 mile. I'll take it. When I was running on a treadmill at the Y, I wasn't near that.   Today's race really reminded me of how important it is to set goals, no matter the size.  I wouldn't have been able to do this today with my race time last fall, no way.  But a little at a time, day in, day out, waaala, presto!  All of a sudden progress is in front of me!  Who knew :-)

Taste test #3:
Shakeology chocoloate covered strawberries
  • 1 cup water (changed from 1/2 on site)
  • 8 ice cubes
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
  • 1/2 frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • = delish!
My wife and 2 daughters all tried it.  I wasn't hearing any complaints.  Would make a great dessert or after dinner treat.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Taste test 2, "Crane" and cravings

Taste test part 2:
On tap tonight:  Greenberry Shakeology

I tried the "Sunrise" recipe from the Shakeology site.

1/2 cup orange juice
1 package (scoop) Greenberry Shakeology
6 ice cubes
3/4 cup water

I liked it a lot.  If I had to choose between chocolate and greenberry and was forced to make a decision, I'd probably go chocolate.  Very good stuff.

I was going to take a picture of it but I had already slurped it down.  I guess you get the picture, it's green.

Yoga X today:
Another early one for me today.  I had to leave early for a meeting so splitting the session once again.  Will make up the rest this weekend. 

"Drop down in warrior 2 Mr. Hass, this is Yoga X my brutha" - Tony H.  There's no slacking in Yoga!

Scary, I know!

I went to the dentist yesterday and was asked the question, "do you eat healthy all the time?"  I had to think for several minutes and still struggled to find a "bad" food that I really crave.  After thinking about it more, I realized that I don't have many.  Later last night I had it, "Doritos"!  I do love Doritoes but haven't bought them in ages.  I used to crave beer more but not as much now.  I guess this is what happens when you really take health to the next level???  Let's say it's an effect of eating healthy and exercising!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Taste testing

The big package arrived today.  I have been eagerly waiting for it so I can try out Shakeology and the recovery drink by Beachbody.   I used the following recipe that I found:

1 Chococolate Shakeology package
1 banana
8 oz Almond Breeze almond milk
1 tsp almond butter w/flax seed
3 ice cubes

It seemed a little thick so I added just a touch of water. Not sure what I thought until I found myself risking injury to lick the blender blades clean :-) Mmmmm. The impressive part is that it is LOADED with "good" stuff. Not sure what my daughters thought either?? (This is my idea of sarcasm...) I am guessing the chocolate mustaches are a "thumbs up"!

Tomorrow I am going to try the Greenberry and recovery drink.

I heard from a customer today that had his infamous day 1 of P90X. I like his sense of humor as he talked about how Tony and the gang really kicked his a*%. "Knights of Columbus that was tough!" was my favorite quote of the day. I laughed for a while. I remember that first day very well. It really wasn't that long ago but at the same time it does seem like it. Mabye that is because things have changed so much for me since then. That was only Oct '09. I can't wait to see his progression in the coming weeks and months.

On to another early Thursday and a little Yoga X......

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Maximum heart rate

I had a typical question come up the other day regarding maximum heart rate.   I know a little about it but thought it would be a good time to bring up my favorite friend Google.  The standard max rate calculation is 220 - your age for adults.  From there you should take certain percentages of that number to hit your different "zones".   Someone correct me if I am incorrect but I don't believe there really is any difference in this calculation for men or women or for heavy or petite sized people.   It's all based on age......

With this in mind; I was monitoring my HR this morning during my Interval X session.  I only put the monitor on at about half way point of the workout when I was maxing out already.  I had it on for the the remainder  and was right between 155-165.  Since I am 38 and an expert mathematician :-0:

According to this chart I was right in that interval / intense range.  Sounds about right according to how I was feeling and sweating!  Maybe the 90% should be called something different like "hovering over pulling on shorts trying to catch breath"?  At the anaerobic level, you burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time.  This increases your metabolism the most.  You burn less fat from the activity but more calories are used overall, which is beneficial for fat loss and muscle gain.   

In a nutshell, the high level of activity strengthens your heart and makes you healthier.  That is our overall goal isn't it?

Example of me at 90% :-)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Form form form!

I started do a little video recording of some of my workouts to piece together a transformation video.  I watched about a minute of it and noticed my form on the moves isn't good.  Much worse that I thought since I never really see myself while working out.   This was a good thing to find out for me.  I am now more aware of it and can make the corrections. 

I also found out today that my P90X hat that I ordered is on back order.  Looks like it will require a little patience.   Can't wait!

Tomorrow is Interval X.   It is quite the burner!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Raw foods for Mother's Day

It was my wife's pick today for Mother's day brunch.  Perkins? Olive Garden? $25.00 buffet?  Nope, not her style or mine; the buffet espeically.  All you can eat is not a good thing :-)  Ever hear of no such thing as a free lunch?  "Hey, I paid for it, I am going to eat as much as I can stuff into my mouth!"  Gross.  My stomach hurts just thinking about it. 

We tried a restaurant in Uptown Mpls called Ecopolitan.  It is a 100% organic vegan raw restaurant; no dairy, no meat and nothing cooked.   Sounds drastic but it was good.  This is a little far for me to eat just raw foods and vegan but the more I eat healthy, the more I crave it.  Fruits, veggies, mmmm good.  My daughters had the pesto pasta with the noodles made out of zuccini.  My older one liked it but my younger one wasn't loving it.  She did like my wife's flaxseed tostadas though and the smoothie and the dessert. 

The dessert we had came out looking HUGE.  Usually that would be about 8,000 calories but this was made up of strawberries, dates and bananas mostly.  Can't feel too bad about that and it was GOOOOOD!

I got up early today to fit in Tony's Fountain of Youth yoga from his One on One series.  It is shorter than Yoga X and is nice in a pinch for time.  Still a great yoga session.

On to week 3 tomorrow.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Eventful day

I decided to run around Lake Calhoun again today in preparation for next week's 5k.  It doesn't seem like much but I haven't done one before so kind of excited for it.  I did have to miss Kenpo Cardio, which I am beginning to really like.   The inside walking trail of Lake Calhoun is 3.1 miles equivalent to a 5k.  It was 42 degrees, cloudy and windy, especially on the lake.  I bundled up a little more and headed out. 
25.59 was my time.  I am pretty excited about that.  I was going into the 5k with a goal of getting under 30:00.   Back in September, I NEVER would have been able to do this.  Thank you Tony Horton and P90X.  All the cardio and leg workouts have definitely prepared me for this.  Looking forward to next weekend. 

Then it was off to the mall to continue my quest for pants that fit.  I have become a unique size and can't seem to find one pair of khaki's.  One downfall to getting in shape :-0

To cap the day off I geeked out and watched some fellow P90X'ers on QVC and got even more motivated!  Who's with me and wants to try it out?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Nutrition - calories Nutrition! Caloires!

I was reminded today on the importance of having a great nutrition plan.   Before I started P90X and became serious about my health and fitness, I didn't think I needed to lose any weight.  I wanted to "get fit" or "tone up".  I took the nutrition and the workouts to the next level and the weight and fat started to fall off.  Now I feel like I am at my ideal weight (maybe even a tad light) and want to gain muscle back.  I eat ALL the time with small meals and snacks, holding steady on my weight but still dropping a pound here and there.  Today it became obvious that I need to up my calories even more.  Right now I am at about 2600.  I am going to take it up to about 2800 or 2900 and see if can maintain and build more muscle.  It becomes quite a game of continuous tweaking.   If this was easy, everyone would be ripped and feeling great!

I had been splitting the Upper and Abs / Core workouts the first few times of this round.  Usually doing Upper in the AM and then doing Abs / Core after the work day.  This seems to work well but not if I have something going on after work that day.  I started with abs then moved to Upper and seemed to run out of gas a little bit at the end of Upper.  That was one hint that I might want to look at my caloric intake for the day.

I also decided to test out Shakeology and see what the excitement about the product is.  I ordered a sample months worth.  It could be a good snack or possible meal replacement in my quest to add more good quality calories.

Tomorrow I am planning to replace one of my favs Kenpo Cardio with a run around the lake.  I want to prep one time for next weekend's 5k.  I am curious on what I can do for time.  Should be fun!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Unexpected day off

Oh Thursdays, my most challenging day.  Instead of waking up at a crazy early time I decided to "sleep in" until 6 today.  Hectic day of volunteering at school and crazy work schedule are making me push Yoga X to the weekend.  If I get crunched for time I'll substitute Tony's Fountain of Youth.  It's half the time but nothing really can replace Yoga X and crane.    Upper Body and Abs / Core tomorrow then week 3 I am going to mix it up and replace Friday's workout with Legs and Back.  That is a great DVD and I am feeling the need to bring in more of a leg workout.  Thanks Krist for the suggestion!

Tip of the day:
If you are hooked on foo foo coffee drinks from Starbucks that are loaded with whip cream and calories; try tea instead. 
For example @ Starbucks

Tazo black awake tea:
0 calories, 0 Fat, 0 Carbs and 0 Proteing
AND it tastes good and has caffeine still for a little kick. 

Compare that to:

Grande White Chocolate Mocha w/whipped cream:
470 calories, 18g Fat, 63g Carbs, 0 fiber and 15g Protein

I'll stick to the Awake tea, it's so good!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wiped out

Yep, 2 words to define Interval X once again.  The constant non-stop action make this workout a definite calorie burner.  I didn't have my heart rate monitor on today.  I'll have to next time so I can get a good reading on the total calories burned.  I was soaked afterwards.   No picture needed here :-0.

Plyo Lunge:  This really works the legs with the jumping lunges and your arms straight up.  Especially at the end of the workout.  "Wow"!

After work I de-stressed some by doing Abs / Core +.  I am trying to concentrate more on engaging the core muscles and definitely am feeling it.   It is a nice change from Ab Ripper X.  I still hate and love that one.

Up tomorrow:  Total Body Plus

Monday, May 3, 2010

Out with the old....

Time to clean out the closets even more.  I have a whole stack of pants now that I hopefully will never need to wear again.    Cutting the waist size has been kind of fun and even made going shopping "not torture".  Before I would have to heavily caffeinate myself just to make it a couple hours in the mall.  Now I find myself looking forward to going.  I even get some looks sometimes like they are thinking "really?; 31?"  I take that as a confirmation that a small waist is not exactly the norm in today's society.    Next up is to wipe the closet of the shirts and replacing with an M vs the current L's in there.

I completed Upper Body + again today to start week 2.  I am saving Abs / Core until tomorrow due to time constraints this morning.    Two direction circle flys with only 10 lbs weights is a burner.   Looking forward to tomorrow's Interval X +!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Just another typical Sunday for me today.  It was my rest day and I really needed it.  Last night and today I have been feeling pretty tired.   Today was needed so I can be all ramped up and ready to start week 2 tomorrow.    Each night I prepare my lunch and snacks for the next work day and on Sunday I try and get a bunch of veggies cut up for the week.  It makes it much easier during the week.  Carrots, celery, green beans, snack bags of almonds and snack containers of almond butter all were on the list.   The nutrition is about 60% of the plan of any workout program.  It takes a little more work and planning but so worth it.

Doesn't it just look better than junk food?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Finishing up Week 1

I started today taking my 2 daughters to the Fun Run in town to raise money for the High School cross country team.  I ran the 1.5 mile course with my 5 year old and tried to keep her on pace while my 8 year old ran ahead.  They both did great and really seemed to have fun. 

Then it was time for Kenpo Cardio + and a make up session of the Abs / Core that i missed from yesterday.   I was full of energy getting back from the very casual run and busted out the Kenpo.  I have been moving faster on it and really trying to concentrate on keeping my heart rate up.  I kept it around 155-160 for most of the time.  Once I was done, I was pretty drenched.  The good kind of sweat!  I am feeling great!

Word from the Beachbody Summit that is going on this weekend in Los Angeles:  A new workout called Turbo Fire is set to be released in late May or early June.   It is taking Turbo Jam to the next level.

A brief excerpt from the preview:
"Turbo Fire will feature a combination of intense, lengthier workouts with plyometrics (jumping exercises) and tough cardio interspersed with shorter, more intense workouts called "HIITS", which stands for High Intensity Interval Training. These are similar to Turbo Jam Fat Blasters, but shorter and with more plyometrics, greater intensity and shorter breaks. HIITS are brutally tough--they force you to work in your anaerobic zone, and will melt the fat right off you while toning EVERYTHING up.! "
It sounds very intriguing to me!