I know I have been quite remiss in updating my fitness blog but thought I would catch it back up now. I kind of fizzled out after a couple of weeks of Insanity.
I ordered my Insanity workout and was excited to get started. I went through the nutrition guide and figured out my meals, calories etc. I liked that it incorporated a lot more carbs than P90X. I was really shocked to see how many calories they recommended me to eat. For Step 1, they used the Harris Benedict Equation which for women is 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years). This calculates the basal engery needs which is basically how many calories you need to maintain your current weight without exercise. For me it was 1715, which seemed like a lot to me. For Step 2, you take the number from the Harris Benedict Equation and multiply it by the “exercise factor” which they assured me would be moderately active to very active while doing Insanity. I picked moderately active (1.55) just to be on the safe side. Step 3 is taking the number from Step 2 and subtracting 500 calories for weight loss.
Here is what I ended up with: 1715 x 1.55 = 2658 – 500 = 2158 the magic number of calories I was supposed to eat every day.
Now I don’t think I’ve ever consistently eaten over 2,000 calories a day in my life, but this sure sounded good to me. Carbs and more calories woo hoo! They made it sound like I would just burn hundreds and hundreds of calories doing the Insanity workouts.
I started out happily on week one eating meals specified in the meal guide. It seemed like a lot of food but they must know what they are doing right? I did the workouts religiously, they were tough but I made it though them ok. I figured P90X helped me get in shape for them.
Then came weigh day for week one. I gained 1.5 pounds! How could this be?! I recalculated everything to make sure I hadn’t miscalculated the calories, but I hadn’t. I decided to be extra religious on the food for week 2. Weigh day for week two was even worse, I gained 2 pounds! The horror! I was extremely upset to gain 3.5 pounds in two weeks after working so hard to lose weight doing P90X. I decided then and there to abandon Insanity and go back to P90X. I was totally disgusted.
In hindsight, I should have known something was wrong with eating that many calories and carbs. I think they totally over-calculate how many calories are being burned on the workouts. If I had used a heart rate monitor, I would have known how many calories I was actually burning. I have since invested in a good heart rate monitor. Perhaps I will try Insanity again but eat a lot less calories and also use the heart rate monitor so I will know how many calories are being burned.
The moral of the story: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
It’s been about a month since I finished P90X and in that time we had Thanksgiving here in the US. I was out of town for a week and didn’t eat the best, however I managed not to gain any weight. I have been working out but nothing too hard core. I am definitely ready to kick it up a notch and get rid of these last few pounds of baby weight. I am about 3 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight now, but I still have a bit of a jelly belly as I like to call it. Enter Insanity, another Beachbody workout video series featuring Shaun-T.
I will be starting the new workout tomorrow. I am hoping it will help me stay on track through the Christmas season and keep me from overeating and gaining weight. I’ll be blogging periodically about it which will hopefully help me stay accountable to working out! So yes, there is life after P90X and it’s called Insanity!
P90X as a Post Pregnancy workout
I started P90X about 3 months after I had my first baby. I was about 15 pounds up from my pre-pregnancy weight and still had a jelly belly. In hindsight, P90X probably wasn’t the best choice for a post-pregnancy workout. I did do some cardio workouts to prepare for it, so I was able to do the workouts fine. However, I didn’t quite lose the weight I was hoping for, I think I would have been better off to do a more cardio based workout to lose some of the baby weight, and then do P90X to get more buff.
- Working out in the afternoon worked out much better for me than working out in the morning. Also, drinking Accelerade during the cardio workouts helped tremendously when I was working out in the mornings. If I worked out in the afternoon after lunch, I was usually fine and then would eat a protein bar or drink chocolate milk for recovery.
- Chocolate milk as a recovery drink. I liked using chocolate milk because it was more natural than most of the energy drinks. There are some studies supporting and some discounting chocolate milk as a recovery drink, but it seemed to work well for me. I used skim milk and Nesquik to make my own.
- My Beachbody coach, John was a huge encouragement. Sign up on the Beachbody website, coaches are free.
What might have helped
- A mirror – it would have been nice for making sure my form was correct
- A heart-rate monitor – I really should get one for the cardio workouts so I can see how hard I am working
- A workout partner – I think a workout partner would have helped me push myself harder
Overall, I would definitely recommend P90X. It is a great mix of cardio and weight lifting. I really enjoyed the 13 weeks, it is a big commitment but it’s worth it. I am already looking to what I’m going to do next, I am planning to do a round of Insanity, which is another Beachbody series but it is more cardio based. I may then do another round of P90X when I am finished with it.
I was really happy to get to week 12 because the end was in sight! Not that I don’t like working out, but I was looking forward to a little bit of a less strenuous workout routine. I worked hard and ate clean week 12 but I only lost half a pound, I guess to make up for the two pound loss the week before. I found the last couple of weeks of working out the easiest, I guess I was getting pretty conditioned to the workouts.
The last week is a recovery week and I took the recovery a bit far… I only worked out once the entire week. In my defense, I came down with a nasty cold and was also out of town for part of the week. I still lost a pound, so I was happy about that.
The final numbers:
- Waist: 2 inches
- Hips: 3 inches
- Chest: 1 inch
- Right Arm: .75 inch
- Left Arm: .5 inch
- Right Thigh: 1.25 inch
- Left Thigh: 0
Lost 8.5 inches total
Lost 11.5 pounds total
Overall I guess I can’t complain too much, however, I was hoping to lose a little more off of my waist and also a few more pounds. I am still 4.5 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. I can wear a lot of my clothes, but some of them still don’t quite fit. In hindsight, I probably should have done something more cardio based to get rid of the extra fat and then P90X to gain muscle.
I would definitely recommend the P90X DVD’s, I plan to do another blog post recapping what I learned along with suggestions and what I think would have helped me do better. I am so happy that I made it through the entire program and I’m looking forward to using some of the workouts in my regular workout routine.
I had a bit of a rough time with week 10. We went out of town for the weekend and also went to a family reunion. As you can imagine, there was a lot of temptation and not the greatest food choices. I took along protein shake mix and protein bars, but you can only eat so much of that stuff. I also missed a workout. Not surprisingly, I didn’t lose any weight during week 10. However, I was able to start wearing some of my pre-pregnancy clothes so that was exciting.
Week 11 went much better, I was more committed than ever after having a bad week 10. I worked out hard and ate well and managed to lose a record 2 pounds! That was the most I had lost in a week since I started doing P90X. I have noticed that I have been a bit more sore after workouts in phase 3, I’m not sure why that is. Maybe I have more muscle to get sore now. Or maybe it’s because I switched to afternoon workouts, although I’m not sure what that would have to do with anything. At any rate, I will be interested to see my measurements and weight when I get to the end of week 13. I am already starting to think about what I’m going to do after P90X. I need a good regular diet plan that will help me maintain my weight, also I’m thinking about doing another workout called Insanity (also by Beachbody the makers of P90X) after I take a little break.
Week 8 was my second recovery week, and I was glad when it rolled around. I was still recovering a bit from a cold and sore knee. While I didn’t gain any weight like I did on my last recovery week, I didn’t lose any either. I’m thinking maybe I need to cut the calories a little during the recovery week although I don’t remember seeing that anywhere in the guide. At any rate, I was a little bummed not to have lost any.
I was excited to start phase 3 since I have heard that is when a lot of people see the best results. I felt like I was a little more intense on the workouts this week. I think one thing that has helped, is that I started working out in the afternoons. My baby has started taking longer afternoon naps than morning naps now, so I decided to switch. I feel like I have more energy in the afternoon than in the morning. Also, I have been continuing to use Accelerade before, during and after my cardio workouts. It has really helped me work harder I think. I am happy that I did lose a pound during week 9. It’s hard to believe I am on the last phase already, I just need to keep going and not lose steam now!
If there is one thing I’m good at, it is being persistent. I think that is coming in very handy with this workout routine. Even though I’ve been feeling a little discouraged, I’ve kept going. I figure the worst that can happen is that when I get to the end, I won’t get the results I want and I’ll just have to try something else. For week 6, I was happy to see that I lost another pound. I had really hoped to lose more like 2 pounds a week but so far that just isn’t happening. I am hoping it is because I’m gaining muscle.
I continued to struggle with energy levels while doing Plyometrics and Kenpo X. I also tweaked my left knee a little and it started giving me some issues. It’s odd because in all my years of working out, I haven’t had any injuries and this is the second issue I’ve had with P90X. (The first being my left shoulder blade.) Either I’m doing something wrong or I’m just getting older and not as resilient as I once was. Or perhaps my body is a little different after going through pregnancy. At any rate, I need to be more careful.
Unfortunately, I came down with a cold during week 7 so I ended up taking one sick day which was Plyo. It was probably just as well since my left knee was still bothering me. Despite having a cold and a bum knee, I still managed to lose a pound.
I finally broke down and bought a recovery/energy drink. I keep having issues with crashing during cardio workouts so I thought I would try it. I had a 40% off coupon from GNC so I bought some Accelerade. I really wanted it more for an energy drink than a recovery drink. So far I’ve used it with two cardio workouts and I really think it makes a difference in my energy level. Or maybe it’s just all in my head, but at least I think it’s working. A commenter on one of my previous posts gave me a link to another article singing the praises of chocolate milk as a recovery drink so maybe I’ll try it again after I finish the Accelerade. Previously I had been drinking fat free chocolate milk after a workout for the recovery drink. The thought of drinking it during a workout seems odd but maybe I’ll try it. The recovery drink mixes are a bit pricey and I’m skeptical about some of the ingredients. I like to keep things as natural as possible.
I’m looking forward to my week 8 rest week and hoping that phase 3 will bring even better results!
Week 4 was my recovery week which means I got to take it easy, relatively speaking. It was a welcome respite since my left shoulder blade had started to give me some problems. A few trips to the chiropractor and the recovery week got me back to normal though. I really enjoyed doing Core Synergistics during the recovery week, I think it might be my new favorite workout. One bummer about the recovery week however is that I gained half a pound. Even though I was working out and eating clean, I still managed to gain. I know half a pound isn’t much, but it was a bummer nonetheless. The workouts are a lot easier during the recovery week. I did my measurements and have lost a total of 3.5 inches. Only a measly half inch on my waist though so that was a bit of a bummer since that is where I need to lose it the most. I’m not really sure what kind of results most people see. I should check out the P90X website but I haven’t had time.
I had been tracking my calories on Fitday.com, but I got a new phone not too long ago (Sprint HTC EVO 4G
) and decided to try out some of the Android apps for calorie counting. I downloaded a couple but Calorie Counter was my favorite and I have been keeping track with it. It has been working really well. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it doesn’t show the percentages of carbs, protein and fat like Fitday does. It has a really good database of foods plus the bar code scanner is excellent. I am still doing the Fat Shredder diet although I think I go over the 20% fat pretty often, it’s really difficult for me to stay that low on fat for some reason.
By the time week 5 rolled around, I was ready for some tougher workouts. The mix up of new weightlifting routines was nice and I was actually a little sore after them so that is a good sign that they are working. After week 5, I lost another pound so I was happy to see that. I’ve lost a grand total of 5 pounds now so that is a pound a week on average which isn’t too bad. I was hoping for more but I guess slow and steady wins the race.
Even though I haven’t quite seen the results I wanted to see, I will be interested to see how the rest of the program goes. Maybe I had my expectations set too high. I will just be happy when I can wear my pre-pregnancy clothes again, that is my main goal here. It is no wonder that people are overweight, losing weight is hard work! I plan to stick it out and hopefully by the end of 12 weeks, I will be back in decent shape.
As I noted in my last post, I decided to repeat week 3 of P90X since I was on vacation and only ended up doing two workouts. I came back strong on week 3 and had a good workout and diet week. I ended up losing another 1.5 pounds which was great. I am also hopefully gaining muscle at the same time.
I fully intended to buy a recovery drink mix, but I ended up not getting one. I am not totally convinced of the merits of recovery drinks, not to mention that they are expensive. I looked at Accelerade at my local Vitamin Shoppe, but decided not to get it. I wish I could get some sample packs to try before I buy a huge tub to see if I like it. Obviously, one needs to eat or drink something after a workout but so far I think chocolate milk is working fine.
One thing I did differently this week was use a real pull-up bar. It definitely made a difference in the intensity of my workouts. I like it better than using the resistance band. I must admit that I am getting a little bit tired of P90X basically taking up 6 mornings a week, it’s a big time commitment but I’m happy with the results so far. I am looking forward to my recovery week where the workouts are a little less strenuous before ramping up for the second phase.
After a good start with week 1, week 2 went pretty well also. I lost another pound after my second week so I was happy for a total of 2.5 pounds lost. Week 3 threw me for a bit of a loop since we had a long weekend of vacation. I took my P90X DVD’s with me and had the best of intentions of working out while I was on vacation, but it just didn’t happen. I did however do a 7.5 mile hike and do a lot of walking so I guess that counts for something. I didn’t do too badly with my diet until the last day when we went to a Mr. Gatti’s all you can eat pizza buffet. Not the best place for P90Xer but you win some you lose some… I think since I only managed to get in 2 workouts during week 3, I am just going to repeat it instead of starting the week 4 recovery. Then I will do the recovery week after my “second” week 3.
The diet is getting slightly easier. I did discover that I need to eat more carbs before the cardio workouts. I kept crashing during Kenpo and Plyometrics, I simply felt like I ran out of steam about halfway through. From now on I’m going to try eating a small piece of fruit before cardio as one of my Twitter friends suggested. I also bought some Clif Builder Protein Bars which are somewhat like the P90X protein bars, they have the same amount of protein (20g) but they are all natural and taste good and are cheaper than ordering P90X bars. I got a big box of them at Sam’s Club. I still haven’t gotten a “real” recovery drink and have been using chocolate milk. I am thinking about trying Accelerade because it has the same 4:1 carb to protein ratio that the P90X recovery drink does. I need to do a little more research on recovery drinks though.
One thing I have noticed about the workouts, is that I feel like the resistance bands aren’t challenging enough for the pull up exercises. I am going to work on rigging up a way to do pull ups so I can get the full effect. My husband and I have a small gym in our basement so we will figure something out. I think our weight rack and a bar secured to it might work, we are going to try it.
I have been posting about my P90X workouts on my Twitter account and have been amazed at the awesome support I’ve gotten. I have gained a few P90X followers and some of them have had some excellent advice. I have been using the P90X hashtag on posts (#P90X). Even though I’ve gotten off of the P90X path a bit, I am coming back strong and am determined to stay the course.