P90X Weekly Update: Week 1

This past Monday I started P90X after deciding I needed something to jumpstart the stagnant weight loss in the past year and a half. I had heard rumblings on the internet about the program, so I asked Bill what he had heard about it. He thought it might be worth a shot, but warned it was pretty intense.

I should have heeded his warning and just left it at that, but, I decided to ask around. “That’s insanity!” I heard. “It’s brutal” was another phrase muttered a lot when I mentioned it. I also heard of countless people puking, pulling muscles and having to go to the ER for various ailments. Still, much like the time I decided to listen to Marilyn Manson, I thought “I can always turn it off.”

So on Monday, with much trepidation, I started my 90 day journey with P90X.

Day 1: Chest & Back & Ab Ripper X: Olivia has preschool on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, so after drop-off on Monday, I made sure Sophia had a drink and a snack prepared and within her reach. I made sure she was dry and didn’t need to potty. I then explained that mommy needed an hour to do her work-out, so she could play in her room with her toys. Then I began.

I’m not going to lie. I was dying after the first 20 minutes of warm-ups. I was sweating and the thought “what the hell am I doing” went through my mind. Tony Horton and his crew were doing 25 push-ups, where I was barely getting 5…of the “girl” kind (on my knees). But I did my due diligence and attempted every single exercise. I don’t have a pull-up bar, nor did I have the ability to hang my resistance bands from the ceiling, so I modified the pull-up exercises the best I could, going by what they were doing. Whether it was right or wrong, I was doing something. I did push-ups, pull-ups and all sorts of weight lifting (or, in my case, resistance band work) for a full hour.

When I was done I was wiped. I also felt VERY nauseous and kept burping. But I didn’t puke. I saw that the Ab Ripper was starting, but I didn’t read the manual close enough at all, so I thought that was for the next day. Oops. So no Ab Ripper for me on Day 1.

Day 2: Plyometrics: Both girls were home today, so I told them I didn’t want to hear them argue for a full hour, made sure they had snacks, drinks and things to keep them occupied. My chest and back were extremely sore, but I plowed on.

I am now convinced that plyometrics are one of the tools of Satan and he drinks the sweat and tears that I shed. I did a full hour of jumps, squats, lunges and the like. As soon as we hit the cool down part of the workout, I burst into tears and started sobbing. I’m not sure if it was an emotional release or my body realizing I had pushed it to the brink of what it was capable of, but I felt much better after the crying.

Day 3: Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper X: Today was a bit iffier, as I had to get groceries after dropping Olivia off at school, get home, put them away AND make sure I was able to work out before having to pick Olivia up, but I had it timed just right. My legs were on fire and I felt like I couldn’t move, much less work out. But I started to realize that the program was designed in such a way that you weren’t using the same muscles as the day before (not as much, anyway) and therefore you ARE able to get it done. While I was not able to keep up with them on every exercise, nor was I able to get the same amount of reps done, I did complete the entire hour of Shoulders & Arms, and then attempted to do the Ab Ripper X. I was able to get through the first 3 or 4 out of 11 ab exercises before I completely fell apart. Since I was starting to feel a little nauseous, I decided I wasn’t going to push myself because I did what I could and I didn’t feel like I was slacking in any way.

The rest of the day my muscles felt like they were going to jump out of my body. I may or may not cursed when I bent down to get something from a lower cabinet. I was exhausted and I started craving protein. I ate almonds by the handful, lean deli ham and anything I could think that was protein-filled and in our house. Bill brought me home Steak tacos, which helped.

Day 4: Yoga X: This workout was intense. The only kind of yoga I’ve ever done was the twinkly music, relaxation type. But this was a full-on hard-core sweat-producing workout. It was an hour and a half long, the longest work-out of the week. It was really a bit too long, as after about an hour the girls came out and started staring at me and wanted to know when we could go do something fun.

After 40  minutes of intense poses and constant up/down work, I once again broke down, put my head down on my yoga mat and kept saying “I can’t do this, I can’t keep up, I can’t do this.” And then I thought “You CAN do this, and dammit you WILL do this, because you want to be in shape. So breathe and do what you can.” Luckily at about the 40 minute mark was the time the workouts got a little less intense and I was able to do a bit more of the relaxing things I had come to enjoy about Yoga in the past. By no means was I able to do all of the poses or workouts. I am not even close to being flexible enough for some of them. I sat a few out, but I would estimate that I only sat out 15 minutes worth of actual poses. I would try to catch my breath, drink water or do other stretches while they did things I didn’t feel comfortable attempting.

When I was done I had sweat more than on any other day, but then something amazing happened: I wasn’t as stiff as I had been before I started. Yes, I was still pretty sore, but I felt stretched and it was more tolerable. The whole workout routine was making sense.

Day 5: Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X: I woke up, still incredibly sore. Everything took extra time because I can’t ever remember working out this much in such a small amount of time. Bill had the day off, so he took Olivia to school and I took my time and started my workout a bit later than usual. At about the thirty minute mark I was sweaty, tired and ready to stop, but I plowed on and finished. I didn’t get anywhere close to the same amount of reps, but I felt that my form was pretty decent, so that is what was most important. I started the Ab Ripper and my legs started to cramp during the wide-legged crunch routine, and I took that as my sign to calm it down. I felt nauseous again and was wiped. It took awhile before I felt ready to do anything and I was still really sore. Sitting down and getting up from the toilet required a lot of effort and a few curses.

Day 6: Kenpo X: I was actually looking forward to this day, as it was supposed to be the “easiest” of the workouts according to what I had read online. Since my legs muscles were screaming in agony I was looking forward to some relief. But ‘easy’ and P90X are not something that really go together. While it was LESS intense than some of the other days, I was still sweating a storm and exhausted after I was done. The girls enjoyed watching this and even tried kicking and doing some of the moves as I did them. Although I had to shoo them out of my space after they kept walking too close to my kick-space. My legs can’t go as high, and there were a few exercises and moves that were way beyond my skill level, but I did the best I could and completed the hour.

Day 7: Rest or XStretch: Um…I rested. I didn’t want to see Tony Horton’s face today (no offense, Tony). We took the girls to the park, let them run around and I hobbled around after them. Most of my muscles feel recovered, except for my back, which is very tight, but I did a lot of punching yesterday.

All in all, this was a very intense week. I feel really awesome about myself and what I have done. I have lost no weight. I actually gained a couple of pounds. BUT I did not start the nutrition plan/calorie count. It seemed to me that I had enough this week to focus on, and I wanted to do it right and not get discouraged, so for me, it worked to do one step at the time. I am hoping by the end of next week, when I combine the workout with a calorie plan, I will see some scale results.

I have also decided that the “Classic Plan” is not something I am going to continue, as my goal is to lose weight, and not to bulk up. After discussing the program with a few folks and actually sitting down and looking through the fitness guide, the “Lean Plan” seems like it would be more ideal for me. The only difference will be that for the next two weeks I will be doing “Core Synergistics” on Mondays (instead of Chest & Back/Ab Ripper X) and “Cardio X” on Tuesdays (instead of Plyometrics). I am not assuming it will be a walk in the park, just less push-ups and pull-ups.  Which may be for the best, because I do not have the correct pull-up bars or the ability to have my resistance bands hang from the ceiling, so I am not able to properly do those exercises anyway.

Here are a few things I feel will help make my workout better after week 1:

  • I took my resistance bands back and bought the resistance tubes with handles. I always felt like I was going to pop myself in the face with the ones I had and it was hard to do some of the workouts with the bands.
  • I really need to be eating breakfast much earlier than an hour before I start working out, as I start feeling kind of nauseous after 30 minutes into it and I am really sure it is because I would eat too close to my workout.
  • Drink more water. Before, during and definitely after I work out.
  • Protein! I need to find a decent protein powder and perhaps make smoothies for my breakfast instead of eating Wheat Chex with milk. Maybe dairy isn’t so smart before such an intense workout. I also want to utilize all the sources of lean protein I can.
  • I actually enjoyed Tony’s methods. He’s a good motivator, he is always encouraging you to “hit the pause, take a break, we’ll be here when you are ready” but he doesn’t pussyfoot around and make you think that it will be easy. He admits it is intense and forewarns you that if you are a beginner you may not be able to keep up. That said, he pushes you to have great form, and he is constantly telling you to “write it down” so you know what you did. I did not write it down, because honestly I’m not worried about my reps. I’m worried about getting through it. Maybe that’s wrong, but the competition for me is not if I improved over the week before, but if I finished the week.  Maybe that will change as the weeks go on, but for now this is working for me.

So, that was my week 1. My goal is to update you weekly and let you know how I am doing, just to prove that if I can do this, anyone can. Plus, it is motivation to know that there are readers who are interested in what I am doing. Please leave me comments if you have suggestions or words of advice. I welcome it all.

I’ve got 14 hours before Week 2 begins.

8 comments to P90X Weekly Update: Week 1

  • Jennifer

    Hey girl! Good for you! I have had the program for almost a year..and have only “watched” it once. Just wanted to say that after reading about your experience, it kinda makes me want to get started today.


    Natalie Reply:

    Thanks girl! You should! Take it slow and do what you can. It feels good to know I’ve stuck with something, even if it is only for a week. Let me know if you do!


  • Good for you! I don’t have it in me to have my ass kicked by a video. I’d give that up in approximately 2 minutes. But you? You are the bomb!


    Natalie Reply:

    I never thought it would work for me, but after Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus and just feeling I NEEDED something, this just might work. Plus, knowing I have to write a weekly update for people gives me extra motivation. Even if it is only a handful of you ;o) So I appreciate all of the support.


  • Congratulations on making it through week one, looking forward to hearing what you think of week 2. I totally agree about the nauseous thing. I always had a hard time finding the perfect time to workout, before breakfast I didn’t have enough energy but after I would feel crappy half way through. The bar I found was the girl version of the Cliff bars, can’t remember the name.


    Natalie Reply:

    Thanks! I started the Lean program this week and I can already tell it is the way to go. Thanks for all of your help and advice, I appreciate all of it!


  • Way to go! I have done the 30 Day Shred twice, and can run a few miles at a time, and I don’t have the guts to try the p90X. So, I’m quite impressed. Good job! I remember feeling discouraged that I wasn’t really losing much weight through working out, so I started tracking calories, sodium, sugar, etc, and BAM. The weight started falling off. Every body is different, though, so what worked for me may not work for everyone. The diet was my main weight-loss tool, though, so I thought I would share!


    Natalie Reply:

    Definitely working on the diet too. I started this week and am sticking to a calorie budget, trying to stick to higher protein, lots of fruits and vegetables and minimal carbs (but definitely not getting rid of them. I love carbs) and fats.

    I’m going to attempt to really pay attention to my hunger cues and eat smart. I hope I see some improvement this week.


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