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01 January 2010 @ 10:24 am
P90X - 30 day results  
*I was initially going to post this only to my Fitness filter, but didn't know if anyone else would be interested in these updates - there will likely be 3 in total, one today, one in 30 days, and one in 60 days from now. Next time I will post it only to the Fitness filter, so let me know if you would like to be on or be taken off of the filter.*

Molly and I started P90X on December 4th, and we are currently 4 weeks done (1/3 of the 90 day program). We are supposed to take photos and measure body fat percentage today, and I thought I'd share my results so far.

Phase 1 (the first 4 weeks)
This is basically alternating workouts between some kind of weight training and cardio every other day, 6 days a week. Most workouts are 1 hour, but 3 days a week you have to do an additional 15-minute Ab-Ripper X, and one day a week is Yoga X which is 1.5 hours. Being in my clinical year of veterinary school, where I'm working at least 12, if not 14-15 hours per day, has made it very difficult to find the kind of time necessary to do the workouts. Just adding dental flossing to my day was difficult, because by the time I'm going to bed, I'm panicking that I'm only going to get 5 hours of sleep. But Molly and I made a commitment to doing it so we "just kept pushing play."

Weeks 1 and 2
These were hard. Luckily, I was on a 2-week rotation where I got out at a reasonable hour - this made starting the program much easier, because I felt like I actually had the time to devote to it. I was sore all over for the better part of the 2 weeks, and by the end of the second week I could mostly keep up with the video, rarely not being able to finish the exercises. I definitely quickly saw changes in muscle mass, especially in my arms, chest, and quads.

Week 3
This week was rough, because I started a new 2-week clinics rotation where the hours were ridiculous, and sometimes I didn't get much time to eat. I found myself doing the workouts at 8 or 9pm, when I hadn't eaten anything since 12:30 or so. I know this is less than ideal, but there was literally no option for me to eat anything between those hours. I felt overall exhausted and often couldn't finish the set in the exercises. I don't think that has to do with the exercises themselves (they were the same videos as weeks 1-2), but had more to do with my lack of energy and nutrition in general. This was very frustrating.

Week 4 (this past week)
This week was "recovery week" with mostly cardio-type exercises and very minimal weight-lifting. We did substitute the Cardio X video for the Yoga X video, because Cardio X is half the time (45 minutes), and according to Molly's heart rate monitor she burned the exact same amount of calories on both routines. I feel like I haven't seen any further muscle building the past 2 weeks, probably due to my energy dropout last week and the lack of lifting this week, but I do still see some definition built in the first two weeks. Both my strength and stamina are most definitely improved; for example, I could actually hold the upward dog position (some yoga is mixed in to the Cardio X video) correctly on the tops of my feet instead of on my knees, which I definitely could not do the first 2 weeks, and I could do the "optional" pushups throughout the video as well.

There is a pretty strict diet plan in terms of the balance of protein, carbs, and fat, but they give you lots of suggestions of appropriate things to eat so variety hasn't been a problem. Cutting out the refined sugars and being so low on carbs (one serving per day, where two pieces of normal bread is one serving) has been hard for me. I never used to think that a low-carb diet would be difficult, but when it is so very low, it's definitely difficult. I think in Phase 2 (the next 4 weeks) we increase to 2 carb servings per day. Also, avoiding refined sugars during the holidays has been downright evil. Anything mint-chocolate is my absolute favorite, and December is mint-chocolate season. I've allowed myself one small "cheat" per week, if I otherwise followed the diet that week and I didn't use my 100-calorie "snack" for two days. If this makes a difference in my results, then so be it. I believe everything in moderation is the only way to make it sustainable. Other than this, I've followed the diet plan very well.


Day 0 Day 30

  Day 0 Day 30
Weight 143.4 lbs 142 lbs
Body Fat 18.2% 16.5%
Chest 34 in 35 3/4 in
Waist 30 1/2 in 29 5/8 in
Hips 38 in 37 1/2 in
Right Thigh 21 in 20 1/5 in
Left Thigh 20 1/2 in 20 in
Right Arm 11 1/2 in 12 in
Left Arm 11 3/4 in 12 in

Although it's hard to see in these photos, I do think the amount of fat my shorts cut into around the mid-section is less. And I do think my stomach is slightly flatter.

I know I can't be disappointed with the weight number, because that takes into account any muscle I've built. But I'm slightly disappointed with my body fat percentage. We're getting our numbers from a crappy Target scale that claims to calculate body fat percentage so I'm not sure how accurate it really is. I wish we had done it properly with calipers. Technically, we weren't supposed to do measurements until day 90, but I wanted to do them in hopes of seeing changes in measurements numbers in lieu of relying on body fat percentage from our scale.

We're going on vacation to Mexico tomorrow for a week so obviously we can't exactly start Phase 2 and continue with weight lifting while we are there. Instead, we are going to repeat the "recovery week" cardio exercises we did this past week, try to maintain our diet while on vacation, and then start Phase 2 when we get back. It will definitely be a challenge to do while on vacation, but I figure something is better than nothing. I've read that most people see a much bigger change during days 30-60, and then an even bigger change during days 60-90 - so Bring It.
beyondmountainsbeyondmountains on January 4th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
i'd like to be put on the work out filter. looks like good results so far, i'm super impressed that you've been able to start this while doing your rotations.
Ethan Danielthinkindigo on February 20th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
i could have sworn that i had added you last month, but it looks like i didn't. you've been added. the 60-day post is here.
phisheee!!!phisheee on February 20th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
i'd like to be on the fitness filter... looks like you're getting good results, and lord knows i could use any amount of motivation to do something with myself! thanks!
Ethan Danielthinkindigo on February 20th, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC)
sure thing! the 60-day post is here.
andrew_beckettandrew_beckett on April 12th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
I'd like to be on the work out filter as well (sorry this is a little late) Jenny and I just ordered p90x now that she has been cleared to resume regular workouts.
Ethan Danielthinkindigo on April 12th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
no problem, you've been added! here are some quick links:

60-day post
80-day post

i only made it to 80 days and missed the last 2 weeks due to surgery. i really wish i had gotten to do those last 2 weeks, because the results were really starting to show. i am definitely planning on doing it again after the next (and hopefully final, forever!) surgery this summer.

super good luck to both of you! the first month sucks the most, but if you keep doing it, you'll both be incredibly pleased. and proud.