P90X2: Phase One, Core

March 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Bikini season is approaching. Gasp! 2011 had not been kind to my waistline, I needed to take action. My local gym shut their doors, my bank account is on lock down (no beloved dance classes), not to mention the chocolate monster I now live with. This quest to get my body back has been going on for months now. Everyone knows it’s easier to gain than to loose. Spare tires, that is. Money, it’s the opposite.

You’ve heard of the at-home fitness programs transforming living room warriors from couch potatoes to hot potatoes. Mister Red is a huge advocate of P90X, so I’ve dabbled passively to see what it was all about. I didn’t go through the whole 90 days, but I did get about 40 of my fair share.

What I don’t like about P90X wasn’t rooted in annoyance of the nerdy fitness guru, Tony Horton (the man who doesn’t age). What stained my dress was my buns and thighs only got real attention once a week. My shoulders were burnt out by pulls ups (or in my case, half ups) and push ups that I started cheating at them instead of getting stronger. However, I loved the yoga, makes you feel so good and tall, but sometimes I didn’t have an hour and a half to dedicate to it.

Next I tried Insanity with Shaun T, who can’t pronounce “with” correctly (wiff) and really likes his own abs. I went though 60 days of high interval cardio training. I was pleased to drop the LBs I had gained working in Alabama (when in the south, eat butter). Still I wasn’t in the best shape I have ever been in, and once the program was over, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I practically undid almost everything I had done while going Insane because I didn’t have a replacement regimen. Lesson learned. After a rigorous program, you need to replace it with a something else immediately.

Now it’s on to P90X2. In this one Tony is more goofy than ever but I like it. However, I’ve only been through phase one. Obviously this might change over the next two months, but for now, we’re friends. The P90 crew really listened to people’s reviews of P90X. In 2, each exercise has someone who is modifying the movement for people who are traveling, don’t have access to equipment or just starting out. “Tip of the day,” no excuses. The yoga portion is just as tough, but it’s condensed to just a little over an hour. All the exercises are given about 20 more minutes, but there are 2 recovery days per week instead of one. Coming from a dance background, dancing three hours a day, I never understood how someone could feel completely worked out in 20 mins, personally I need at least an hour. They’ve also added some equipment: a stability ball, medicine balls (you can use soccer or basketballs), and the golden foam roller.

The foam roller is literally changing my life. Tony promises it will give you the mobility of a teenager. That might be a stretch, but it’s certainly helped me become looser and worked on some knots that I could never get to. I love the foam roller so much, I do it in front of the TV at night and have noticed I’ve been sleeping much better. It’s something that I will surely continue after the program and would recommend to anyone anywhere at anytime.

The first phase, I just completed, is all about core. There is a lot of work with the stability ball. The first week I was flopping all over. I could not stay on the ball, but by the third week, that ball was my bitch. Needless to say, I’m seeing improvement. On one of the recovery days, I’ve chosen to do a long distance bike ride, foam rolling after. I love riding my bike, so it doesn’t feel like working out.

This week I am entering the strength phase. I’m a gal who really likes lifting and toning. Because there was so much core already in phase one, the abs routine was only required once a week. This phase I’m psyched to get it two times a week. I need it and I love it. There is nothing better than feeling centered.

In addition, I’m eating more consciously, specifically portion control. I hate the word ‘diet’ because it should be a lifestyle of eating habits and in truth, I eat really healthy. The trick is: eating to nourish your body and not eating to nourish your emotions. A good rule of thumb is to eat slower, keep your hand out of the Wheat-Thin box and give yourself a portion in a bowl. Oh yeah, and I’m trading my beloved Cheez-its for Wheat-Thins and vowing not to have them for dinner. More veggies and fruits all around and cutting out chocolate.

I’ll give you an update after 60 days and then again after 90. I’m too embarrassed to share my before picture with you at this flabby moment, but now that I’m officially accountable I’ll happily donate my shame after 90 days of kicking ass.

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