Sweet, sweet, sweet victory…yeah

Posted on October 2, 2012

I know it has been a while since my last post and for that I apologize. However, the last three months have been pretty busy and I have had very little downtime. This has been in large part a result of my commitment to completing the P90X workout program. In fact, it has consumed so much of my free time I have barely had enough time to finish season 6 of Dexter, watch The Reluctant Hero – Don Knott’s quartet of movies, and still fit in my daily nap(s). Yet I have persevered. I am now on approximately day 77 of the 90 day program. Yes, for the last 3 months I have been putting an hour to an hour and a half every day into toning the precision mechanism that is my body (even longer if you wish to take a shower or do the workout in anything more than your birthday suit – a short aside: I do recommend performing your workout in clothing as there is no sight worse than someone struggling on the last few leg squats wearing nothing but the uniform of an ancient Greek Olympian).

Have I noticed a difference? Well, I will let you decide for yourself. Check out my before and after (77 days) pictures:

As this is a family blog, I have taken the prerogative to artfully censor excess skin from potential virgin eyes. What’s that you say? The censor blobs were just a cheap way for me to prevent anyone from seeing tangible evidence as to how hard I have been working? Well, using the powers of modern technology, I will seamlessly insert a digital shirt on my body so you can see the actual results:

There is no need to express how impressed you are as I can already imagine. You also do not need to ask for the keys to my obvious success either. I would like to take this opportunity to share some tips I learned along the way in the event that you, my loyal/casual/accidental reader decides to embark on your own rigorous exercise journey instead of sitting at your computer lazily perusing blog posts as a way to avoid those chores you know you should be doing right now.

Here are my (fill in the number of tips you end up writing here David) tips to P90X success:

1. Keep attainable goals in front of you: Take my advice, you can’t go into the program with a goal like “be confused with Barry Bonds at the beach within 6 weeks”. In 6 weeks, when you are still only being confused with Barney Fife, you will face overwhelming temptation to quit the program.

(Note: Is that the second Don Knott’s reference in a single blog? Yes, yes it is. I am only one away from a new blog record!)

Instead, I chose to set small, attainable goals that I could check off as I progressed through the program. For example, here are the ones I set for myself. Feel free to use them for your own motivation:

David’s goals:

– Make it through a workout without crying

– Do 1 pull-up without the aid of a chair or your wife

– Obtain a pec that casts a shadow

How did my performance match up to my goals? Well, let me tell you I was able to meet nearly a third of my goals.

2. Just get started: The longer you wait in the day, the harder it is to start. Once you put the DVD in and press play, you feel like a quitter if you stop. Just pressing play is a great way to harness your desire to not let yourself down in order to not let yourself down.

3. Skip the Yoga: The program consists of a variety of different workouts that serve to provide “muscle confusion”. This is the secret of the P90X routine. Some routines are standard resistance workouts, some are high impact aerobic, and some are martial arts based. My least favorite addition was Yoga. I think it was inserted in the program for one of two reasons:

1.     It is put in to torture participants to the point of quitting so that only the most dedicated complete the program and submit their photos to the website.

2.     Tony Horton owes a debt to Mr. Yoga. (I’m pretty sure his first name is Phil)

After the first workout, in which I only completed half of the Yoga DVD but succeeded in 100% humiliation of myself in front of my workout partner, I did a little experiment to verify the effect of the various Yoga positions on the body’s joints. Here is the result of putting a lifelike human hip joint in the “Warrior 3” position.

Me analyzing the results of my experiment

And, like any good scientist will tell you, one must verify their findings. 13 Barbies later I had 13 of the same results. I’m sure Lynsey will understand her dolls were sacrificed for the sake of science.

4. Purchase some supplements: I started the program fueling my body with items such as donuts and pizza. After a short while I realized I wasn’t getting the results I was looking for. So I started by purchasing some post-workout protein drinks. Besides feeding my body with large amounts of muscle-building protein immediately after a workout, their yummy flavor served as a proverbial carrot to lure me through my daily exercises. The next addition to my regimen was some pre-workout Creatine. And just recently I began using a pre-workout concoction called 1MR. This stuff is intense. It’s goal is to provide the energy to allow you to do more reps during resistance training. The first time I tried it I realized I was sweating like a Freshman asking a girl to dance at prom (Freshman can’t go to proms you say? Well the one in my analogy clearly snuck in…providing even more reason to sweat… making my analogy that much more potent). Then, once the workout was finished, I still found I had plenty of energy. And by “had plenty of energy” I mean I was as jittery as Don Knotts at a National Association of Backfiring Cars Convention (I did it!! 3 Don Knott’s references in a single blog! I have finally proven my complete and total dominance of current pop culture!). While I wasn’t used to the feeling of having that much energy coursing through my ridiculously large muscles, I harnessed it to do the dishes, pick up our dog poop, paint two rooms in the house, and finally trim our Banzai tree in the shape of the Apple logo. After that 5 minutes had passed, the feeling began to gradually diminish. When I finally looked at the 1MR canister, I realized it had a warning that I shouldn’t have any soda, tea, or coffee in the same year as taking this product as one serving contains as much caffeine as three cups of coffee.

Side note: If you are deciding between flavors of 1MR I recommend the Cherry-Lime. That is the flavor I chose. And let me tell you, they really nailed the flavor. Although I think it would be more fair to the consumer to clarify that the flavor is more like “a cherry and a lime left out for 3 months to rot”.

5. It’s not just exercise: In order to really experience the results you are probably looking for, you must integrate stringent dietary requirements in addition to the vigorous workouts. Now I didn’t integrate a literal “diet” as much as I just started eating slightly less of same stuff I usually eat.

Here’s an example from a recent trip I took to McDonald’s:

McDonald’s clerk: would you like to supersize your order sir?

Me: supersize?! Really?! Look at this body. LOOK AT IT! See this ab? No? EXACTLY! How will I ever see an ab when you expect me to be super sizing meals all day? I most certainly will NOT supersize my order. Just the fries please

That is about all the golden tip nuggets I can squeeze out right now. How do I plan on spending my time now that I will be finishing the program? Well, I will still do some of the resistance workouts and I hope to hit the gym frequently with my friend Mo. But first, I am going to celebrate with a viewing of every P90X workout DVD and every time Tony Horton gives an instruction, I will victoriously shout “no”.

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