Working on my Fitness

A Funny Thing Happens When I Push Play On P90X3 Workouts


After my long layoff from workouts, it’s taken a little kick in the booty to get me back on my grind. I decided to go with a workout I hadn’t done before in P90X3. I also chose it because I bailed on P90X two workouts in, a couple of years ago, and because these workouts are just 30 minutes long. I need to work my way back up to where I was before with the occasional 45-60 minute workouts.

I’m just not wired like the folks who can work out forever every day. Unless I’m doing a fun workout, once I get to the 45 minute mark, I become extremely aware that I’m working out and don’t enjoy or maximize whatever time is left. I envy folks who can do hour plus workouts. I just don’t have the attention span. I’d rather work really, really hard for about 30 minutes and get it over with. And it’s working with P90X3! That’s what I want to talk about today.

The past week, I’ve felt really blah going into the time I’ve slotted for my workouts. I even contemplate not doing it at all. But that passes, and then I talk myself into just hitting play and half-assing it. I figure any effort is better than none. But, by the time I finish the workout I realize that there was no slacking on my part during the workout. I still ended up going all out!

How does this happen? I might have an idea. Tony Horton basically has us doing exercises and moves for about a minute apiece. Just about anyone can give their all for 60 seconds, right? So before you get to the point where you’re not feeling the workout anymore, it’s time for a break or to move on to the next exercise. Plus, for me, Tony Horton is hilarious. His sense of humor distracts me from even realizing I’m doing a workout sometimes, and he helps the workouts just fly by. Before I know it, there are just 5 minutes left and I’m pushing to finish strong!

Whatever you’re doing, Tony, keep it up! You’re helping me get through my winter funk a lot more easily than I anticipated! Thank you!

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Getting On Track In 2014

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The calendar year has only just begun for me. January 2014 was an extension of a terrible 2013 in my household. After being diagnosed with heart disease in late 2012, my father deteriorated all through 2013, including multiple hospitalizations. Knowing there was no cure, and that his particular type of heart disease would eventually take his life, our family banded together and took care of him. We were all caregivers, so his remaining time was as comfortable as possible. We accomplished that and my father has gone home to be with The Lord.

I spent a lot of quality time with my Dad that I wouldn’t trade for anything. But, in the process, my commitment to fitness fell by the wayside; especially from August on. I usually fight hard to avoid the late summer/fall slump, but it got me this year, and that’s perfectly fine.

So, I am now officially starting my 2014. And what better way than with a new fitness program that I haven’t fully committed to before? I dabbled with T25 a couple of times and it looks like a good challenge. I’m also intrigued by P90X3. (It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Beachbody programs, even though I’m no longer a coach.)

In the next couple of days I will decide which program to dive into and purchase. (Feel free to chime in with any suggestions/recommendations.)

I’m also going get more back on track with my nutrition. Staying up to make sure my Dad was ok around the clock (I had the graveyard shift) or spending extended hours in a hospital visiting, doesn’t tend to help with eating right. So I’m going to slowly overhaul what I put in my body, starting with more water! Gonna down a glass/bottle first thing when I wake up and keep myself hydrated throughout the day. I’ve been drinking tons of Mt. Dew in recent months. And while I’ll still allow myself to drink it, I don’t want to consume the quantities I have been! It’s my favorite pop!

So here’s to a much better year!

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Why I Haven’t Pulled The Trigger On GymPact


GymPact is a wonderfully thought out mobile app that pays you for following through with your scheduled workouts. On the flipside, it will also charge you an amount you pre-determine, for any missed workouts. Talk about accountability, right?!

Say you commit, via the app, to doing 3 workouts a week. You can get credit for that by going to a gym (and checking in via GPS), syncing your account to RunKeeper, or even doing at home workouts (provided you wear an arm band). You must workout for at least 30 minutes in order for your activity to count. If you fail to work out, it’ll cost you a minimum of $5. If you meet your weekly goal, you’ll probably net $2/week. It varies from week to week, based on how many people miss their workouts and what they wager as a penalty. Make sense?

I’ve recommended the app/service to several people already, but have yet to sign up myself. Money is always a great motivator, and that’s the app’s premise, but when technology like this is involved — as well as my hard earned dollars — I’m not so quick to jump in.

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Smoothly Transitioning Into Les Mills Pump

Les Mills Pump

A few days ago, I noted that I was going to start Les Mills Pump since I had just finished ChaLEAN Extreme. While both are strength/weight-lifting programs, they have very different approaches.

ChaLEAN Extreme focuses on a small number of reps, but with heavy weights. By contrast, Les Mills Pump uses lighter weights, and a ton of reps, using different counts. I’ve blogged before that my body seems to respond a little better to the high-rep programs, but both make we feel strong.

Five days into another round of Les Mills Pump, I can already feel the difference! For example, I was doing squats before (they’re a staple), but the switch in approach (using the barbell, and varied rep counts), really works the muscle in a different way. I can feel other muscles being worked down there, too! The same goes for some other exercises. I’m sore all over again!

But that’s what the body needs. Once it gets used to something, you need to shake things up! I like that I can switch to something else in my collection and start to feel immediate change. It’s also kicked my metabolism up another gear! I’ll take it!

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Finished ChaLEAN Extreme; Ready For Another Round of Les Mills Pump!

Les Mills Pump

I’ve made a strong effort to not have an end of summer fitness slump. In years past, I’ve seriously slacked off when the calendar turned to August. But since my first post on that issue, it’s not been a problem! And again, my key, is committing to a long program, with the workouts planned out for me. I tend to stick with those a lot more consistently than I do on an a la carte workout plan.

I feel really good about finishing yet another round of ChaLEAN Extreme. So much so that I decided to keep going with a strength training program to start the fall. I really liked Les Mills Pump after I finished it last year, so I’m going back for more! I still haven’t been able to talk myself into doing P90x. Maybe it’ll happen some day, but that day is not today.

On the program’s “walking” days, I’ll run (weather permitting) or do a TurboFire workout. And, of course, I’ll alter my schedule so that I don’t necessarily need to do a workout on the weekends. Because my weekends are for football, and it’ll be extremely hard to get me away from a TV, or parking lot, and get me to push play on any DVD. You gotta know your lifestyle and plan your workouts around it!

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Knocked The Dust Off My ChaLEAN Extreme DVDs

ChaLEAN Extreme

It’s been a couple of years, but I thought it was high time I busted out my ChaLEAN Extreme DVDs. I typically do the program once per year, beginning in late Spring, but last year, I decided to do Les Mills Pump instead. I loved LMP, but missed my annual 3-4 month run with CLX. So, this Spring, I decided to do it again. And man, oh man, how I’ve missed it!

ChaLEAN Extreme, and my workout-by-workout review of the first time I did the program, remains some of the most popular posts on my site (behind the running podcasts).

In the 2+ weeks I’ve been back at it, I can tell I’ve already gotten stronger! My improvement with push-ups is how I typically measure strength in the Burn Phase. I increase the amount of unmodified reps I do with each workout. Score!

But I’m also doing things a little differently. I usually do some type of TurboFire/ChaLEAN Extreme Hybrid, and that’s not change, to a point. For the Burn Phase, I’m adding 20-30 minutes of some TurboFire workout onto the end of my ChaLEAN Extreme strength workout. And in between those days, I’m doing my Couch to 5k running program. In the past I’ve noticed that CLX sometimes bulks my thighs up, and the only way to stop that, is to add more cardio! So, I’m doing a bit of cardio every day.

When I move on to the Push Phase, I’ll switch things up by doing the c25k running plan on the lifting days, and a full TurboFire cardio workout on the non-lifting days. I think I’ll need more intense cardio during that month because there aren’t any compound, cardio-inducing moves in ChaLEAN Extreme during that phase.

I haven’t thought about what I’m going to do during the Lean Phase. I’ll probably go back to doing Couch to 5k on cardio days, and just CLX on designated strength training days. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get there!

I just wanted to post an accountability updated on what I’m up to these days with my fitness routine. It feels really good to be settled into a schedule, and I’ll definitely stick with it!

Hope everyone else’s Spring fitness plans are working out well! If you need any help or suggestions, just let me know!

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