|Heart Rate Recovery||133 bpm||113 bpm|
"Well, what can I say? Its over. And thats a good thing."
P90X: WEEK 1
The first class was kind of exciting...like going to the first day of school. All I was missing was my Peanuts lunchbox and thermos set. (I could be cool and tell you I had a Green Hornet lunchbox, or a Batman one, or even Dukes of Hazzard, but it doesnt seem right to lie right off the bat.) But no lunchbox and thermos this time around. Only an exercise mat and bottle of water. And instead of math, social studies, and history, it was gym, gym, and more gym. (Not my favorite subject. In fact, my third grade gym teacher, Mr. Barletta, would never even believe Im doing this. But here I am.)
First day The first day was full of speeches, followed by pull-ups and push-ups. Most people didnt know what they were doing, so class was somewhat chaotic. Which ones a military push-up and which ones a fly push-up? And why is this room so hot? How many pull-ups should I be doing? How do I spot someone when theyre trying to do a pull-up (and failing miserably). Why am I sweating so much? And who are all these people and what are their names?
Second day Plyometrics. Translation: lots of jumping around, lunging, squatting, more jumping, and oh my God, more sweating. Im quite sure that in this session, I have single-handedly brought the precipitation level of Southern California to record levels for July, just from the sweat raining down from my body. I must remember to watch Al Roker tomorrow morning to see if anything is mentioned. I should also watch Willard Scott to see if he wishes me a happy 100th birthday, because thats how old I feel. Oh yeah, some healthy smart guy came and talked to us about vitamins and to encourage us to take the 6 horse pills a day they give us.
Third day Arms & Shoulders. Though Ive worked out my arms and shoulders for years, these were slightly different exercises and I had trouble learning the proper formwhich way to twist the weights, when to straighten the arm. Left class feeling stupid. And wet. And I still dont know who all these people are because our new nametags wouldnt stay on our sweaty shirts.
Fourth day Yoga. As Im not a particularly stretchy person, I have always felt that my attempts at yoga were akin to being stuck in an I Love Lucy episodetwist this, bend thatIm still arranging my foot while the rest of the class has moved on to something with their hands. By the time I get to my hands, theyre doing something with their feet again. And look at that girl next to me...How many legs does she have? Im fairly sure Im counting three...or is that her neck? And why does she look like a pretzel while I look like a butcher block? Oh God, here comes Tony to this side of the room. Im not supposed to be looking around. Im supposed to be concentrating on my breathing. I pretend to breathe. He adjusts my arms and feetOw.
Fifth day Legs. Horrible. Very difficult. Especially after a day of yoga, and plyometrics two days before. This is all very challenging. Not to mention the dilemma of what to eat after each class. Ive had the P90X nutritionist, Carrie Wiatt, look at my daily food journal. I had 11 green grapes on Tuesdaynot allowed. And every morning Ive been eating healthy cereal with raspberriesboth wrong. And at lunch I had salmon in a pita bread. Salmon good, pita bad. I thought I read the diet book they gave me on day 1, but clearly I did not read it closely enough. And classes are running long, which means we get home late, and were supposed to eat, but not eat past 8 PM...I get home and have six minutes to cook and eat a dinner that does not include cereal, raspberries, grapes, or pita. Tomorrow Im taking the diet book and bringing it to the grocery store.
Sixth day Kenpo. Whatever the hell that is. Sounds like a dog food. But no, its a kickboxing kind of karate thing. My form is terrible. But other peoples form is much worse (which shouldnt comfort me, but it does). And Kenpo involves more leg work. Ow again.
Its been a tough week. But oddly fun. Most people are complaining about being sore, which I am, but not as much as they are. (Again, comforting. Though not very nice.) So far no one has dropped out, and I think we have a collective sense of accomplishment, and a security in knowing that we are on the road to something good."
P90X: WEEK 2
I feel like we've come a long way in a short time. Let's start with me, shall we? First of all, I lost five pounds last week. All of it in sweat, I am sure. And I am starting to see some changes in my body. And this is only after one week. Very encouraging.
And as a group, I think we all found things much easier this week. It was still hard, but this time we knew what we were doing...or rather, what we were supposed to do. We still couldn't do half of it the way we're supposed to, but this week we knew when we were doing it wrong.
And the term 'pain in the ass' has never felt so close to home. Our collective glutes are very sore from last week.
Monday's class was particularly heinous. The room was so hot and sweaty, and we were doing pull-ups and push-ups to exhaustion, with a partner. My partner and I were doing a lot, and it took us longer, and we fell behind the rest of the class. Tony kept chastising us for going too slowly. We would have tried to defend ourselves, but we were afraid to open our mouths for fear of vomiting, so we just dragged along. By the end of the class, I barely had the energy to roll up my exercise mat. If I could have spent the night right there on the floor of the gym, I would have.
Classes this week were somewhat shorter, which was nice. Because we knew what we were doing, there was less instruction time needed, and we could get things done faster. Though faster means harder, with less resting time...and last week we quite enjoyed the resting. Resting is good.
Also good: the recovery drink. Every night after the workout, we are instructed to place two scoops of the recovery powder in a glass of water and drink. Think liquid creamsicle. It is my favorite part of the day. I have taken to finding the biggest glass in my house, and filling it with as much water as possible, just so I can make the experience last longer. I would drink it from a large garbage can if I could. (Memo to self: Get a large garbage can.) The recovery drink is heaven. Just thinking about it now makes me weep with joy.
Carrie Wiatt came and talked to us and fielded questions from us regarding nutrition. I never realized just how many people have food issues. One person can't give up coffee, another can't give up peanut butter. Someone asked if it was okay to eat some sort of chocolate zone bar thing that is basically a candy bar. Helllooooo...no it is not okay, you addict. (Carrie was much nicer in her response, and in fact, said that, though not recommended, she could have the bar if she really wanted it as her allowed snack.) Someone else couldn't understand why diet sodas weren't just as healthy as water. Do they not know how to read an ingredients label? People are messed up with food, and lots of people in the class are having trouble following the diet. Carrie is quite patient, however, and I think people are starting to understand that they've got to pay more attention to what they put in their mouths. I still feel guilty about those 11 grapes I had last week. (Making me ponder what kind of person have I turned into? What kind of freak worries about eating too many grapes? Something must be wrong with me...Give me that chocolate bar and a diet soda please...)
We took time this week to get to know each other's names, talk a little bit about ourselves and why we signed up, how we think it's going, etc. It was a very good bonding experience. People were especially complimentary of Tony, who is a terrific teacher. He's doing a great job, finding the right balance between pushing us and patting us on the back, making us laugh when we want to grimace. One person has dropped out, but two people have dropped in. We're all very excited and pumped up for what lies ahead. We are now a cohesive group. A cohesive group in pain.
P90X: WEEK 3
You know it's going to be an interesting week when someone throws up during the first day's workout. In the person's defense, he apparently had some food poisoning. But if he had thrown up merely from the endless pull-ups and push-ups of the day, we would not have thought any less of him. Every one of us felt like throwing up. I think many of us had lower numbers this week than last week, i.e., fewer pull-ups and fewer push-ups. This is because we were doing them faster this week, with less rest in between sets. Hence the group predilection for vomiting.
Day 2, our old friend plyometrics again. Who knew jumping could be so hard? Let's just say I have newfound respect for grasshoppers, frogs, and the like. Major props to the kangaroo kingdom as well. And how about all those bratty two-year-olds who seem to live in the grocery store aisles with their so-called parents, jumping and screaming and throwing canned food without breaking a sweat. Those little urchins can do plyometrics for days on end (and on linoleum no less)...so why can't we do it for 45 minutes? And today, we had to do it without music. Tony sang to us sometimes, but it wasn't quite the same. At the end, there was a bonus round that included a baseball pitching movethe wind up, the pitch, the crouch, then jumping up again. Oy. Did I feel ridiculous. (Notice the conspicuous absence of a question mark.) Then we had to do it left handed. Ha! The Dodgers will not be calling me anytime soon. Forget the Dodgersa team composed entirely of octogenarian grandmothers would not want me. I will ensure that Ned's camera comes nowhere near me during this move, should I ever dare to attempt it again.
Day 3 we had music again. We relived the '80s, which seemed to be a popular decade amongst many in the class. You haven't curled till you've curled to Bon Jovi. We also had visits from two Power 90 alumni who lost something like 600 pounds between them after swimming here from Cuba and undergoing heart transplant surgery while escaping from a Mexican prison (or some similarly triumphant story), which gave us all inspiration to hang in there. Their story also had something to do with the Power 90 tapes...maybe they watched them in the Mexican prison? Subtitled, no doubt. Anyway, they look great now (you can't even see the scars from the transplant surgery) and they are oddly anxious to go through the hell that the rest of us are currently enduring.
Day 4 was yoga. I still suck.
Day 5 was the leg routine, but this time Tony threw in some pull-ups too. If possible, we were even sweatier after this class than ever before. I mean, we were drenched. One girl in class pushed too hard, and she limped her way out. Hopefully, she will recover and return next week, but it was a lesson for all of us to know our boundaries.
Day 6, Kenpo. And we had Mr. Ken Po himself helping Tony teach the class. (Okay, his name wasn't Ken Po, but he was apparently instrumental in its current formation.) I try my best at all these boxing moves, but I gotta' say, I have never felt more like a girl in my life. That's not accurate even, because the girls in class are kicking our butts in this one. They are so much better than most of the guys, and infinitely better than I am. Thanks to P90X, there are now about 20 women who can beat me up at a moment's notice. Nice.
P90X: WEEK 4
Greetings from the incredible shrinking man. Because I have been sticking to the diet without any cheating (really truly), I think I've lost somewhere around 13 pounds in three short weeks. And I was a skinny dude to start with. Although I like what it's doing to my upper abs, I'm starting to worry what it's doing to my face. If I get any thinner, people will start confusing me for Lara Flynn Boyle. I have sent an emergency email to our diet guru, Carrie Wiatt, and I await her response. Tony tells me not to worry, that I look "ripped." But then in the next breath, he tells me I look "emaciated" and I start to worry again. So here I sit, ripped and emaciated.
I don't think anyone else is losing weight at this rate. I can only surmise that my body just isn't used to all this sweating. And I think I'm the only one who's followed the diet so strictly. Perhaps I should cheat like the others. People have been eating pop tarts, pizza, pasta, and eclairs. I must be insane. I will await word from Carrie. Maybe she will tell me to go out and have an ice cream sundae. Wouldn't that be nice?
Monday's class was yoga. This week is a recovery week, so no pull-ups and push-ups...a welcome break for my back and chest. Though misery for my shoulders, hips, and knees. Warrior I and II burn my shoulders to no end...who knew just holding your arms in the air could be so painful? I have newfound respect for referees...cheerleaders...protesters...people waving to the camera on the "Today Show"...pretty much anyone who has to hold their arms up in the air for more than five seconds. All those people must have very strong shoulders. In case you haven't guessed, I still find yoga very challenging. When in Prayer Pose, I am praying for class to end.
Monday night I get a response from Carrie. "Eat more."
Tuesday is our first core class. In case you were wondering, rolling around the floor like a banana makes people laugh. We had to roll like a banana, then flip over to a Superman pose, then roll like a banana again. People felt silly and awkward and there was much giggling. And groaning. There was also a lot of Plank Pose and a healthy dose of push-ups. So much for this being a recovery week. It seemed like an easy class, but we were all sweaty and soaked by the end.
Wednesday was our first stretch class. I had a feeling it would be deceptively difficult, and it was. Though some in the class, a few women in particular, are descendants of Gumby, I am clearly borne from the lineage of Frankenstein. There is one particular stretch that involves putting your body in such a position that it looks like you are making love to the floor. And because my hips are apparently made of cement, they would not push down into position. Tony said that the people in the class who have a lot of sex will be best at this move. He then kindly announced that I was the worst at this move. You do the math.
I am now utterly convinced that everyone else is referring to me as that guy having the least amount of sex. Over time, I will try to establish a better nickname, though I know in my heart that, sadly, none will be more appropriate.
Thursday was more yoga. Oh, goody. More moves where my hips won't open up and Tony can call attention to it.
Tony gave a food speech, yelling at the pop-tart gobbling, pizza-loving, wine-drinking gluttons amongst us. It was something people needed to hear. We were also ordered to write down everything we eat in our food journals, and turn it in next week. I think this will really help people. You're less likely to eat a Krispy Kreme if you have to go write it down five seconds later, knowing a group of strangers is going to read the entry in a matter of days.
And speaking of food, we got bars. After weeks of promises, the protein snack bars finally came through. Unfortunately, Tony didn't announce until the following day that the bars were to be used sparingly, in emergencies, when no other healthy food items are available to us. This advice comes a bit late to the people who already ate four or five in the first day. They are tasty little things. I've only tried a blueberry one, though I look forward to trying the cookies n' cream variety. Maybe tomorrow. Carrie did tell me to eat more, after all. And speaking of that, I believe I have regained a few pounds. I've been eating more, plus this is a somewhat less sweat-inducing week, so I don't think anyone will be confusing me with Calista Flockhart just yet.
Friday, more core. And Saturday, everyone's new favorite: Kenpo. We're not really very good at it (some of the women excepted), but everyone seems to enjoy the attempt. Our hearts are all racing pretty fast.
One month down. One girl has a six-pack already. I have a two-pack (three if I flex really hard). And more than a few people look noticeably thinner and buffer. We're happy we're seeing results, and we're even more happy that one month of this insanity is over.