PiYo Define: Upper Body Review

Today’s second PiYo workout was called “Define: Upper Body”. As with the Lower Body DVD, it was quite short (this one was just over 18 minutes long). You jump right into the workout which focuses on the upper body (no kidding, eh?), with a wide range of exercises from tricep push-ups to planks to beast moves. I definitely felt my core throughout the workout and again appreciated Chalene’s very clear instructions and cues.

I found the Upper Body DVD to be a little more challenging than the Lower Body video. I definitely had a “glow” (aka light sweat) after wrapping up the workout. Again, the DVD seems like a bit of an introduction for what’s to come and I didn’t find it as challenging as some of the past workouts I’ve done. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the workout and liked that it was short (it would be easy to add it onto one of my harder cardio sessions or even to pair it up with the Lower Body video).  As with the previous workout, there is a modifier as well as options to make the moves more advanced. There were definitely areas that I need to improve upon with this workout (i.e. those dang tricep push-ups…they always kill me!), so it’s nice to see that I can grow with this workout. I’ve been feeling a bit “off” the past week, so these past two days have been a nice gradual jump back into my typical workout routine.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s workout, which I believe is called “Sweat.”  Sounds promising!

Again, if you want some easy motivation, check out Workout Tip Jar or find an accountability partner or challenge group.

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

PiYo Define: Lower Body Review

Today’s PiYo workout was called “Define: Lower Body.”  It was quite short, just over 20 minutes long, so it went by fairly quickly. You start with a warm-up and then focus in on your lower body (naturally), with a variety of exercises such as downward dogs, lunges, and warrior pose variations, which is broken down into a couple of different series.

Being someone who is used to P90X3 and Insanity, I found this workout quite easy. I’m also pretty flexible in general, so the poses were not that difficult for me to do and I often found myself jumping into the more advanced versions (although it is handy that there is a modifier for those who aren’t as flexible or who are just starting out).  In general, the workout was pretty relaxing and I enjoyed the overall stretch and calmness of the video. I’ve noticed that this particular DVD is only in the first couple of weeks, so I’m assuming the following videos will gradually become increasingly more difficult. When I was finished, I had a slight bead of sweat on my forehead and felt pretty good overall. Still feeling like I needed to burn some extra calories, however, I did end up putting in a T25 to get some energy out (but that’s just me).

The set reminded me a bit of Chalean Extreme and, as always, Chalene provides excellent cues and tips throughout the workout. I’ve always enjoyed her workouts and I’m sure I’ll enjoy my 60 day PiYo adventure. I am, however, looking forward to some more fast paced workouts, which will hopefully be coming soon. I do have a feeling, however, that I may supplement some of the shorter, more relaxed days (like today) with some other workouts or runs just to keep myself challenged appropriately.

Again, if you want some easy motivation, check out Workout Tip Jar or find an accountability partner or challenge group.

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

A Sneak Peek at PiYo and the “Align: The Fundamentals” DVD

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but alas with the arrival of yet another new workout program, I thought it would be a good time to start updating this site.  Since P90X3, I’ve been doing Insanity and incorporating some running, which has been fun. I knew PiYo would be coming out in June, so it was a good fit while I awaited my new program.

Earlier this week, PiYo finally arrived! Wahoo!  I’m always like a kid on Christmas when I get a new program – it’s super exciting for me and I love trying new DVDs and workouts.  New programs are fun, different, and keep my interest piqued.  So when PiYo arrived, I was pretty giddy. 🙂

I purchased the Deluxe version that includes 10 workouts (11 if you purchase through a coach), a quick start guide, a 60 day workout calendar (two different versions), strength slides and booties, an eating plan, a tape measure, and a yoga mat.

The eating plan was very simple, and, to be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the lack of recipes included.  The guide/plan itself seems fairly easy to follow (it’s a three-step plan) and breaks down what you need to be eating in a day based off your calories. What you eat is separated into Primary Vegetables, Secondary Vegetables and Grains, Fresh Fruit, Lean Protein, and Healthy Fats. There is a list of different foods that fit into each category and it specifies how many servings of each you get in a day. One of my favorite aspects of getting these food guides is the new recipes I get to try out. Sadly, however, there really wasn’t a recipe section. The closest thing that was included in the guide was a sample “day” of eating.

Aside from that, the quick start guide breaks down each of the DVDs and what you need to do in order to get started on the program. Basic and easy to follow. I’ve opted to follow the Strength version of the Calendar, as it incorporates the extra Deluxe videos. Today’s workout was called “Align: The Fundamentals.”

In essence, Align isn’t really what I would call a “workout” so much as it is a guide for you to watch and follow so that you are prepared for the moves in the upcoming workouts. Chalene carefully breaks down a variety of moves for you with very clear instructions and cues. In addition, she has a modifier that she shows you as well as options for more advanced exercisers.  Even though this DVD wasn’t necessarily the most fun, sweat-dripping workout, it’s extremely important for everyone to do prior to jumping into the workouts. Having the fundamentals before you start will better prepare you for the workouts so that you do not injury yourself and so that you get the most out of your workouts.

I’m curious and excited to see what the next 60 days bring and look forward to having you join me on this new journey!

Again, if you want some easy motivation, check out Workout Tip Jar or find an accountability partner or challenge group.

 

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

P90X3 X3 Ab Ripper Review

This is kind of an addendum to my last post as I did it on the same day as I did Complex Upper (it’s on the schedule with it).  This P90X3 workout – X3 Ab Ripper – is shorter than the rest, rounding out at 15 minutes.  I was already pretty spent from Complex Upper, so I was a bit unsure of what to expect (particularly when Tony explains that it’s 8 of the hardest ab exercises put on DVD…*gulp*).

I almost felt like Tony was messing with my head. First he warns you of the extreme ab punishment you’re about to endure, then he throws Tin Man Windmills at you, which to be frank, were pretty easy. I should have known it would end there.  After your leisurely introduction, he then throws some really killer ab exercises at you, including Dolphin Hops (these start off not too bad but by the 15th rep, my abs and shoulders were dying), C-Y Reaches (again, not tooooo bad), sphinx crunch holds (the sphinx always gets me…), 5-Way Abrinomes (I actually love these, but my husband begs to differ), hip drop twists (challenging, but really fun), bridge burners (ouch), and speed bikes to burn you out (oi vay!).

Overall, I really enjoyed this short ab attack. It had a good variety of different exercises that worked different parts of your core, so it kept it interesting and thorough.  It seems like it would be an easy DVD to add to other workouts when you’re looking for a little extra in the ab department.  Thumbs up from me.

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

P90X3 Complex Upper Review

Yay!  Finally we have a new P90X3 workout – Complex Upper.  Technically, I could have done this workout during the third block of the Classic Schedule, but I chose to save it for the Elite Block.

According to the guide, Complex Upper is “designed around the science of Post-Activation Potentiation, which requires a weighted resistance exercise followed by an explosive movement. Studies as far back as the ’60s confirm that a heavy contraction exercise done prior to an explosive movement enables activation of high-threshold muscle cell motor units (how we define muscular efficiency), which translates into absolute strength or power” (pg. 17). The workout is pretty much exactly that – moves that alternate from heavy contraction to explosive movement.

Complex Upper reminded me a bit of the Challenge – but more so if the Challenge was on overdrive.  The layout of the exercise is very simple, you do 5 exercises and then you repeat them 3 more times and round it off with a burnout.

The exercises you do are as follows:

1 – Slow Mo Chin-Ups – 12 reps

2 – X Plyo Push-Ups – 8 reps

3 – Lunge Thrust Presses (harder than it looks!) – 12 reps

4 – W Pull-Ups – 12 reps

5 – Push-Up Bird Dog Crunches (challenging but actually kind of fun in a “feel the burn” kind of way) – 12 reps

The first round the progression doesn’t seem tooooo bad.  I felt the burn but kept up pretty well with the cast.  However, as you repeat the progression, it definitely challenges you (both mentally and physically). I really liked this workout. It was pretty fun, fast-paced, and challenging, plus I have plenty of room to improve (which is a good thing!).  There’s something super rewarding about seeing yourself progress and get stronger (which is why it’s important to record your reps/weights/comments, etc.).  Plus, another tip gets to go into my Workout Tip Jar. 🙂

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

P90X3 Final Results (Review and Update)

Well, my 90 days of P90X3 are officially over. The last three months seriously flew by and I am so proud of myself for sticking with the program for so long.  My results are good (not jaw dropping, but incredible for me!).  They are actually much better than I expected (c’mon 30 minutes a day!).  Not only have I lost weight and inches, but I’ve gotten so much more energy and well-being from this program. I feel amazing, strong, happy, and healthy. My journey is not over – I still have plenty more weight to lose and more muscle to build, but I’m on the right path.

But, I know why you’re really reading this and it’s not to see how enlightened I am about my new-found health – it’s to see what my results actually were and if the program is worth the moola, time, and energy! So here we go…

P90X3 Classic Schedule Final Results

Total Weight Loss – 17 lbs (which is an additional 3.8 lbs since Month 2 – this was a bit discouraging at first, as 4 lbs doesn’t seem like a lot, but clearly more was happening in my body as you’ll see with the measurements below…)

Total Inches Lost:

 

Block 1 Change

Block 2 Change

Block 3 Change

Day 90 Total Results

Chest

– 1 inch

– ¼ inch

– ½ inch

– 1 ¾ inches

Ribs

– ½ inch

0

– 1 inch

– 1 ½ inches

Natural Waist

– 1 ¾ inches

– 1 inch

– ½ inch

– 3 ¼ inches

Belly Button

– 1 inch

– 1 inch

– ½ inch

– 2 ½ inches

Hips

– 1 ½ inches

– 1 inch

– 1 ½ inches

– 4 inches

Abductors

– 1 inch

– 1 inch

– 1 inch

– 3 inches

Arms

0

0

– ¼ inch

– ¼ inch

Thighs

– 1 inch/thigh

– ¾ inch/thigh

– ½ inch/thigh

– 2 ¼ inches

Total Change

– 7 ¾ inches

– 5 inches

– 5 ¾ inches

– 18 ½ inches

That’s right, despite only losing 3.8 lbs in month 3, I still lost 5 3/4 inches with a total inch loss of 18 1/2 inches.

On to the before/after pics.  Now this part was probably the most difficult for me.  I still have more progress to make and I’m a pretty private person (I don’t exactly want my picture sprawled everywhere).  I decided to make a compromise…to post pictures of just my body so I retain some privacy but also display the see-for-yourself results of the program. So here they are:

p90x3results

Fit Test Results

At this point, you’re probably tired of reading, so I’ll be brief.  Essentially, I improved on every area of the fit test.  You can see my results below:

Task

Improvement

Pull-Ups

* improved by doing an additional 5 more pull-ups with much less support

Vertical Jump

* jumped 1 inch higher

Push-Ups

* can do 25 more push ups on my toes than initially

Flexibility

* can stretch 3 ¾ inches farther

Wall Squat

* doubled my wall squat time (lasted 1 minute 38 seconds longer)

Bicep Curls

* did 5 more reps

In and Outs

* did 20 more in and outs

Jumping Jacks

* heart rate recovered much more quickly

 

Final Thoughts

Overall, I was super impressed with this program and my results.  Yes, I don’t go from where I was to being super ripped, but I have definitely shown major improvements in all areas. I lost a much needed chunk of weight, dropped inches, and gained incredible energy and a higher overall level of fitness.

Of course, buying this program isn’t going to guarantee you results – you have to put in the time and energy. You need to follow the exercise schedule and, more importantly, the food guide. If I was eating poorly, I never would have attained the results I did.  Beachbody pretty much hands you a recipe for success, but you are the one that needs to f0llow through in order to be successful. To do this, you need to follow the guide and use whatever tools you can to help you succeed, whether it’s downloading Workout Tip Jar or finding an accountability partner or challenge group.  I believe that you can succeed. If I can (who has pretty much struggled with her weight since Grade 1), then you can, too. 🙂

What’s Next?

Now that I’ve officially completed the P90X3 Classic Schedule, what’s next on the agenda for me?  Well..I’m not stopping there!  I’m going to continue on and complete the additional P90X3 Elite Block (4 extra weeks which incorporates three new workout videos).  I’m pretty excited to try the new DVDs and to see what 4 extra weeks can bring me results-wise.  I’m noticing that the elite block is pretty strength-based, so I may incorporate some extra cardio along the way (maybe throw in some running or Insanity videos).

Have any of you finished P90X3?  I’d love to hear your results!  Please share below! 🙂

 


 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

P90X3 Week 12 Review (Results and Update)

ONE WEEK LEFT??!!  How crazy is that?  That’s right…Week 12 of P90X3 is done, meaning there is only one week left of my 90 day P90X3 experience.  However, my journey won’t end there, as I plan on doing the additional 4 week Elite Block, so technically my experience gets extended for another 28 days….

So, on to the good stuff – how did I do?  Again, not much in the way of the “duh duh duh” scale – no change.  In the past, this may have gotten me a little bit bummed, but I’ve been noticing other things that reinforce the concept that the scale really doesn’t tell you everything.  For one thing, my body is definitely smaller than it was last month.  How do I know?  Well, the pant test of course!  I decided to try on a pair of pants that I haven’t really been able to wear since I got married.  They’re one of my favorite pairs and I am always awaiting the day that they finally fit.  A month ago, I couldn’t get them on. Just the other day, well, they finally fit!!!  Slipped on, did them up, no problemo.  Last year, when I was a good 5-10 lbs lighter, I still couldn’t get them on, so I know something’s working.  It feels great to see progress in different ways.

As with the workouts, I am continuing to feel good and enjoying them. I’m generally able to eek out more reps or go up in weights, which is nice.  That independent pull-up is still a bit off, but I eventually I know I’ll be able to do it. Yesterday, I decided to pull out an Insanity video to see how they felt with my new fitness level. I popped in Plyometric Cardio Circuit and was amazed at how much easier it was now than it had been in the past.  I’m not saying it was easy, but it was definitely easier.

I guess what I’m trying to point out is that even if your scale isn’t budging, you could be seeing changes in lots of different, more important ways, such as your measurements, how your clothes fit, how improved your overall fitness level is, etc. The point is to keep trucking along. If you’re eating healthy and working out, you’re heading in the right direction, and that’s ultimately what matters. I still have weight to lose and more progress to make, but I’m on the path to accomplishing it and I couldn’t be prouder.

This coming week is the “Victory” week – it looks like it’s a lot more low key, preparing you for your fit test and your measurements/after photos.  I’ll be sure to share my progress next week on my overall results of the 90 day program and will continue to fill you in on my progress throughout the Elite block.  Thank you for taking the time to share in my journey. I hope, in some way, it helps you on yours.

Again, if you want some easy motivation, check out Workout Tip Jar or find an accountability partner or challenge group.

Are any of you doing P90X3?  I’d love to hear about your results so far! Please share. 🙂

 

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

P90X3 Week 11 Review (Results and Update)

Week 11 of P90X3 has whizzed by and I’m amazed at myself for how consistent I’ve been with this program.  I don’t know if I’m in a different mind set or if it’s the variety in the workouts or if it’s simply because the workouts are only 30 minutes, but this has been such an easy program to stick with.  And that’s half the battle, isn’t it?

This week, as with the others, has continued to be a combination of fun, challenge, and exhilaration. I enjoy my workouts and often look forward to them.  Now that doesn’t mean that every single day I’m jumping up and down to do my workouts. I’m human! I definitely have days where I’d rather just veg on the couch and watch TV than go workout. More often than not, however, I still do press play on the DVD. Why’s that?  Well, for one thing, I have an amazing challenge group that I’m accountable to. Two, my husband is my workout partner and I don’t want to let him down. Three, I remind myself how awesome I feel after I’ve done. That third point really resonates with me, because I do feel so much better after I workout. And who doesn’t like feeling good???

My weigh-in this week was a bit anti-climatic as I literally had no change (wah wah wah).  In the past, this may have discouraged me, but I know that I’m seeing so many other changes (in how my clothes fit, in measurements, in how I feel, etc.) that a number on the scale is really not that big of a deal. Sure, I’d love to see that number continue to go down, but I know it eventually will and I’m going to stay positive and proud of my accomplishments thus far.  I’ll keep trucking along and if I don’t continue to see changes, then I’ll start making alterations to my eating plan or up my exercise a bit more. In fact, just a couple of days ago, I saw some pictures of myself that were just taken. When I compared these new pictures to my original “before” pictures, I was amazed and my changes.  Now I don’t have a miracle change where I go from looking like a bloated walrus to a svelte cheetah, but the changes are noticeable (smaller stomach, more defined muscles, slimmer hips, etc.).  Do I have a lot further to go?  Absolutely, but I’m on the right road there.

I truly hope that if you are on your own journey (whether it’s P90X3 or some other program) that you achieve your goals and are proud of your accomplishments. As someone who has literally struggled with my weight for my entire life (since about Grade 2), I know how difficult it is. If I can do it, so can you!  If you want some easy motivation, check out Workout Tip Jar or find an accountability partner or challenge group.  Enjoy!

 

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

P90X3 Week 10 Review (Results and Update)

Well, Week 10 of P90X3 has officially come and gone.  Last week I was sick, so this week was my recovery week and trying to get back at it!  Workouts were all good, but for some reason, my eating went a little awry (I blame my parents visiting from out of town.  Scratch that.  I take responsibility, as I was the one who chose to eat the unhealthy things this week, so yes, it was all me!).  However, since this is a lifestyle change, I know there will be days where I’m not always eating perfectly clean, and that’s life, so hey, I’m okay with that.  This week, I’ll get back to normal routines, so, as Pete the Cat would say, “It’s all good!” (how can you tell I’m an elementary school teacher?).  Again, my eating wasn’t completely off, but I did have a few extra indulgences here or there throughout the week, so my progress wasn’t likely as significant as it has been in the past.

Weight-wise, I’m down another 0.4 lbs (so hey, still a loss despite not having the best eating week!), which brings me to a loss of 15.6 lbs.  Wahoo! Slowly inching towards that 20 lb mark!  My ultimate goal would be to get to 20 lbs by the end of the 90 days, which gives me a goal of losing 4.4 lbs in 3 weeks.  Definitely doable, but it will take some dedication and focus. Time to zero in on the finish line. 🙂

On the bright side, I keep track of my weight loss each week on a chart that I made. I’ve done this for years and every time I start, my chart ends up looking like an elevator (as in it goes down, then up, then down, then up, then down, then up, etc.).  Not usually very pretty (and clearly not really making my goals!).  Usually I end up getting frustrated, recycling the chart, and starting over afresh (because who really wants to see that?). This time round, however, my chart has consistently gone down! This is literally the first time ever that my chart has never gone up.  I have to thank P90X3 and clean eating for that (and the support of my husband).  You can check out my chart below (sorry it’s blurry!)…

weightlossjourneyresults

As for everything else, I’m still feeling great. I actually bounced back from the flu in pretty much record timing – which I’m going to thank my healthy lifestyle for the speedy recovery (P90X3 + clean eating + Shakeology).  I still have tons of energy, still look forward to my workouts, and still noticing changes in my physique and clothes.  This week was nice, because it was slightly different than last week, so there was more variation.  The workouts, being short and varied, keep things interesting and fun to do.

In all honesty, I couldn’t be happier with the program. It’s getting me the results I want and it’s keeping me “in” the workout (as in, I don’t feel any urge to “quit” or switch it up).

Anyway, I think I’ve been rambling for a while, so I’ll stop boring you all with the details. Again, if you want some easy motivation, check out Workout Tip Jar or find an accountability partner or challenge group.  Enjoy!

 

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

P90X3 Decelerator Review

Today’s P90X3 workout was Decelerator.  Technically, this is my second time doing it as my first time was last week, but I just didn’t get a chance to write a blog post about it (the whole flu bug kind of put a cramp in my schedule).

It had been a while, so it was fun doing a new workout. Decelerator’s focus is on “deceleration training,” which concentrates on slowing down after an explosive movement to help you stabilize and protect your muscles and joints (basically helping you to learn how to land more safely and avoid injury). Throughout the workout, you alternate between lower body (squats, screamer holds, dupers, hops, etc.) and upper body exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, chin pulls, etc.). Some of the exercises are definitely easier than others.  Some I simply couldn’t do (I definitely had to modify on a few) – take a look at crane cracker push-ups and you’ll understand why!  The elevator pull-ups and chin pulls were pretty much insane. When I first looked at the chin pulls, it didn’t look too bad, but then I tried them. Um, yeah…never mind. 😉  There were also some interesting combinations and twists on classic moves, such as the superman/bow and big brother burpees, which were fun to do (well, my husband wasn’t exactly a fan of the bows, but I liked them!).

Overall, I enjoyed the workout. It didn’t “destroy” me like some of the others, but it also wasn’t “easy.”  Honestly, it’s kind of hard to describe.  I liked that it focused on landing safely and avoiding injury, because getting sidetracked by an injury is no fun.  Plus, it’s yet another tip for my Workout Tip Jar. I earned my “reward” the other day and bought myself a new pair of lululemon pants (in a size smaller…wahoo!). 🙂 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.