29 April, 2012

P90X: Day Two: Plyohhhhmetrics

Day two is Plyometrics, a great big fancy word meaning “jump training”. Basically, this is 60 minutes of relatively high impact aerobics involving lots of jumping. The general impression I’ve gotten from my research is that Chest & Back (yesterday) and Plyometrics (today) are the two hardest workout routines of the series.

It’s nice knowing that going in. When you finish day two, you get lots of endorphins, because you can tell yourself with confidence, “I can do this.” I think it was oversold to me, a bit. I admit I was nervous about today, but I got through it without feeling like I needed to go crawl back into bed and die.

Tony Horton, the inventor of P90X has a mantra for the plyometric workouts. “You can do anything for 30 seconds.” That’s the length of most of the exercises. And it’s a true statement. All of the exercises are doable for 30 seconds. They’re definitely working your heart, but it’s not like you’re doing 30 minutes of wind sprints or Herbies (see, 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team).

I got through today with some pain, but it wasn’t awful. I think I have a few advantages over most people starting out on P90X though.

  1. I’m thin. 12% body fat is pretty good. I can’t imagine doing today’s workout a year ago when I was 35 pounds heavier, or a few years ago when I was 70 pounds heavier. I’ve seen lots of before & after pictures of people doing P90X, and those of you that were pretty heavy to start with, I don’t know how you did it.
  2. I’ve been working out now for 120+ days. That can not be discounted. There’s a reason plyometrics is day two, after a killer day one. You’re sore and tired, and that makes it even harder. But since I’d been working out, I didn’t get the first day soreness nearly as bad as most will.
  3. Another thing about those 120 days of workouts. I’ve been doing lots of cardio, particularly the last 6 weeks. I didn’t get winded from the exercises today like I would have even a couple months ago.
  4. While this is primarily an aerobic workout, there’s no doubt that it works your legs pretty hard. I admit that I’m kind of a wimp, but the one area of my body that’s always been relatively strong is my legs. I’ve added a little more balance over the last 120 days by adding a little more upper body muscle, but my legs are still strong.

The key to getting through this workout is pacing yourself. Yes, it’s supposed to be eXtreme. You’re supposed to push yourself, but if you throw everything you have into the first 15 minutes, you’ll never make it through all 60. I admit that I probably didn’t push myself quite as hard as I could have. It was my first time, and I wasn’t sure how much my body could take, or how hard the exercises were going to be. Most of them are pretty easy individually, it’s the long series of them that makes it difficult. Still, my heart rate was consistently over 150, and even over 160 for a little while. That’s a pretty good number for a 45 year old, and the 160s might even be high. After the first 30 minutes, I was definitely starting to feel tired. Even still, I’ll likely try to push myself a little harder the next time this workout rolls around.

How am I doing on the diet? Eh. I didn’t get to 2000 calories yesterday. I realize I need to eat more to have enough energy for the workouts, and to give my body nourishment to grow. But, one of my keys to losing weight has been simple: eat when you’re hungry, don’t eat when you’re not. I did eat more than usual yesterday, but getting all the way up to 2,000 would have meant eating when I wasn’t hungry. Still, my protein and carb numbers were pretty good. Even fat was ok, but a little high, proportionally. I did finish under 40 g of fat for the day, though, and any day I can do that I’m going to count as a win.

Today I’m doing even better. Have had breakfast, lunch, and a snack already, and am at 134 g of protein, and 8 (yes, eight) g of fat. I may even be able to have some popcorn tonight, if I can keep that fat number down (sorry, I don’t do air popped popcorn—tastes like cardboard).

So, I’ve made it through the first two days of exercise without passing out or collapsing. I am feeling it though, on both upper and lower body. Tomorrow is Shoulders & Arms, and another Ab Ripper X. More pull ups. I have to admit, I walked by my pull up bar this morning and my chest and arms complained just at the sight. And I’m already dreading the days with Ab Ripper. Tomorrow will be fun. Tune in for the next update. I’ll try to get it out tomorrow night, but may be Tuesday morning.


  1. Oversold? Next Sunday you and I are doing it together! Shoot, I have to be WI next Sunday....maybe the Sunday after...

  2. If it's any consolation, I'm definitely a bit sore this morning. But a few trips up and down the stairs seems to have improved things.