12 May, 2012

P90X Day 15: Chest & Back

Bring It!

Six months ago, if you had described the various P90X workouts to me and told me that this one would be my favorite, I would have laughed at you.

But it is. I find myself looking forward to it on Fridays, and smiling all the way through it on Saturdays. And I’m still smiling and I finished it over an hour ago.

Why? Well, there are several reasons, I think.

One is that I’m just really starting to enjoy doing push ups. You may think that’s crazy, but it’s true. Doing push ups is the most basic measure of body health there is. When a Marine sergeant says “Drop and give me 20!” (or 50, or 100, or whatever it is), they’re don’t mean leg lifts, or crunches, or Groucho Marx walks. They mean push ups.

A second reason is that I think that it’s easier to measure how hard you’re pushing yourself and your progress on this workout than any of the others.

How do you know if you’re improving on the cardio ones? Well, if you’re completely out of shape when you start, and you reach the point where you can make it through the workout without feeling like you’re going to die, then I suppose you’ve made progress. But that’s not where I am. I have to use my heart rate monitor and see how well I’m doing. Even still, that’s more a measure of how well I’m pushing myself, and not of my progress.

For the stretches and yoga, it’s similar. You can tell if you’re improving because you don’t fall down as much and can stretch farther. But, the increases don’t come rapidly, and are often more mental than physical, at least at first.

Even on the other strength training days, I find it difficult to measure my intensity and improvement. They use a lot of weights, and I’m still struggling to find the right weight for me for each particular exercise. And even when I find it, I still can’t measure progress for a couple weeks. This week for most of the exercises on Shoulders & Arms, I did a lot fewer reps, but more weight. A few of them were even the opposite. More reps, but less weight. Hard to measure progress. And hard to measure intensity, too, when you do 3 or 4 reps, and then realize you need to switch weights.

But, for Chest & Back, it’s different. Most of the exercises are just variations on push ups and pull ups. You can look and see exactly how many of that particular exercise you did the previous week, and just do more this week. Every time you do that, you know that you either a) pushed yourself harder, or b) improved. And it’s probably both, but either of those is good. You get lots of endorphins during this workout. And as Tony Horton says, “That’s a beautiful thing.”

Of course, when it’s all over, and you’ve put it all on the mat (or carpet, in my case), then it’s time to start Ab Ripper X.

Tony describes Ab Ripper X perfectly, “I love it…but I hate it.” 15 minutes of pure torture. Actually, it’s not really. It builds up to it, but it builds up quickly. The first couple of exercises aren’t that bad. During the third one, I start to grimace, and it gets worse from there. But hey, there’s only 11 different exercises.

As I noticed last Saturday, my form was not the best this week in Ab Ripper X. Still not sure if that’s an effect of having a couple days off from this workout, or has more to do with having to do it after doing Chest & Back. But Ab Ripper X still kicks my butt, and I imagine I’ll be saying that every single time it comes up. Still, I’m just happy I don’t have to pause the DVD any more. Yes, on the two sit up exercises, most of my “sit ups” are more like crunches, but I’m still feeling it, and I’m improving, so I don’t feel guilty. I’ll get there. Some day.

Oh, one final note for Duane, if you’re still reading this: +5 on all the push ups again today, and +1 on all the pull ups. Have a great day!

11 May, 2012

P90X Day 14: X Stretch

Ahhhh…two weeks down. Until you’ve gone through this, you have no idea how good it feels to say that.

Last week this day was murder for me. This week it actually felt good. I’m really starting to worry about my mental health. Winking smile

Make no mistake. This is still the P90X version of stretching. They call this a “rest” day. Ha! But I’m slowly adding some more flexibility in my legs, and I can feel the stress and tension melting away in my neck and shoulders. It’s wooonnnnderful.

The only issue I have with it, is that afterwards I don’t feel like I got a workout. For the last four months, I’ve been counting calories on my workouts, and I didn’t stop until I hit my calorie goal. And I did this every day. Now, with my rest days, I feel fat, if I don’t burn off a few hundred calories. But, I know that my body needs the rest, especially while doing a workout series like P90X. Tomorrow, I’ll be glad today was stretching, and not strength training.

Tomorrow? Back to Chest & Back. 3rd time around, but last time until week 9, I think. Chest & Back means my nemesis also, Wide Front Pull Ups. And, of course, afterwards, there’s Ab Ripper X.

Only 76 more days to go.

10 May, 2012

P90X Day 13: Kenpo X

Hello, Kenpo my old friend.
I’ve come to attempt you again…

Apologies to Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel.

Anyway, today was again the cardio workout from hell, Kenpo X. Hey, at least I didn’t do it twice today. So, there’s that. Still think I’m not quite pushing myself hard enough though. Hard to get my heart rate consistently above 150. I need to work on that next week.

That reminds me. When you buy P90X, they will try to sell you on a lot of extra equipment. You don’t really need it. You can do everything with a couple sets of bands. I like the pull up bar and a few sets of weights, because I find it too easy to cheat with the bands. But, to each his/her own.

They also try to sell you on their protein shakes, bars, recovery drinks. You can get stuff just as good or better at GNC or Kroger. Or even make most of it yourself. You’ll probably want some sort of protein shake, just because the protein demands of the diet are so very high that you’ll be hard pressed to get the amount they want otherwise.

But, there is an area in which I do recommend following their lead. The heart rate monitor. It’s invaluable on the cardio days. You may feel like you’re pushing yourself, but then you check the heart rate monitor and discover you’re not. It’s the only way you’re going to know that for certain. Now, you don’t have to get the one from BeachBody. I’m pretty sure any decent heart rate monitor will do. I picked a relatively inexpensive and highly rated one on Amazon. Works great for me.

Tomorrow is Stretch X. Week 2 is essentially in the books, now. One more week of the same, and then the first pace change comes. Remember, it’s all about muscle confusion.

09 May, 2012

P90X Day 12: Legs & Back

I think my body knew that Legs & Back was coming today and it was trying to give me excuses. I sat down funny this afternoon and twisted my left hip, which responded by aching the rest of the day. Then, when returning from getting my kids from the sitter, I got a charley horse in my right calf. That was about 30 seconds of pure agony, and I was on my way to work out at the time.

So, whatcha gonna do? You guessed it. Ignore it and work out.

I think I mentioned this a week ago. Legs & Back is part of the whole P90X muscle confusion thing. You do a killer exercise on your legs. Your calves and thighs are screaming. So, of course next you go do some pull ups. Then it’s back to the legs. Then back to the pull up bar. Man, I hate that pull up bar. But, in a strange way, I’m starting to want it, too. I like the fact that every time I do them, I’m a little better.

Tony always talks about using a chair to assist you on the pull ups if you need it. I had serious issues figuring out just how best to do that in my limited space, and dealing with the fact that my pull up bar isn’t very high. Sunday night I finally worked it out, so I was able to test it today. It worked well, and allowed me to do a few extra reps on each one. Yes, they’re a little bit of “cheating” reps, but I’m getting more of a workout from those than I would by not doing any at all. On the sheet I marked those separately, so I marked how many I did without the chair and how many I did with it.

Some of the leg exercises make your legs just scream at you. You’re beyond thrilled when they’re over. But, if I have any complaints at all about P90X it’s that (to me, anyway) it seems much more focused on upper body than lower body. That’s not really an issue for me, because that’s what I want too. But there are times when I feel my legs aren’t getting the same attention as my arms.

To illustrate my point, Day 1 is Chest & Back. But how do you do Chest & Back? Mostly push ups and pull ups. Yes, you’re getting definition on the chest and back, but you’re also seriously working your arms. Then Day 3 is Arms and Shoulders. A lot of curls and other weight lifting. Day 5 is Legs & Back. Finally the legs get a workout, but how do you do the back? More pull ups. Now, in defense of P90X, Day 2, Plyometrics is jump training cardio. That works the legs, but it works them through cardio jumping. Day 6 is Kenpo, and that’s kind of a kickboxing cardio workout, so your legs get some more cardio work again. But if you’re expecting leg curls or leg lifts, you’ll be disappointed in P90X (at least that’s my experience so far…but I’m only 12 days into it).

Anyway, because of that, I truly appreciate this day. And I’m incredibly sore afterwards. For a while. The whole thing is incredibly physically challenging and exhausting. When I got to the second sets on the pull ups, I was thinking to myself “I can barely lift my arms up over my head, and you want me to do pull ups? I can do fall downs, but not pull ups.” Still, as I mentioned earlier, the chair helped, and even without the chair, I did better on the pull ups than last week. Just work for improvement every week.

And, as I mentioned yesterday, Ab Ripper X follows Legs & Back. Ab Ripper is the most intense 15 minutes of the whole series (at least that I’ve discovered so far). And you’re already exhausted before it starts. Still, that probably makes it an even better workout, but I swear afterwards that I just want to crawl into bed and turn out all the lights.

Tomorrow, Kenpo X. Again, my body can use the change of pace. The designers of this series knew what they were doing. And no more Ab Ripper X until Saturday. Hooray!

Indiana Primary Postmortem

I’m happy today. Neither of Congressman Dan Burton’s (R-IN-05) nor Senator Dick Lugar’s (R-IN) names will appear on my ballot this November. In addition, after I agonized over whom to support in IN-05, I finally selected Susan Brooks, and she won. She’ll be a good Congresswoman. Jackie Walorski won her primary in IN-02, and I think she will likely win in November as well. People not from IN are going to be amazed by this woman if she makes it to Washington, DC. Watch out.

But enough about that. Let’s think about what happened and what it means. I want you to mull over some facts for a minute. We had no statewide ballot initiatives that would affect primary turnout significantly for either side. President Barack Obama (D-USA) ran unopposed, and I think we’re all finally in agreement that former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) has sown up the Republican nomination. For Governor, both the Democrat and the Republican ran unopposed. There may have been somewhat of an uptick on the GOP side for the the Lugar/Mourdock Senate race. There were about 400,000 votes in GOP Pres primary in 2008, and closer to 600,000 this year. But in 2008, operation CHAOS was in full swing. Former Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) almost won IN, where there were over 1.2 million votes cast in the Dem primary. So, it appears that neither the GOP nor the Democrats should have had any kind of significant “built-in” enthusiasm edge. I’ll give you a slight one for the GOP, but I don’t think it’s huge.

So, comparing apples to apples, then:

Governor race:

Candidate Votes
Mike Pence (R) 530,384
John R Gregg (D) 202,186

Even if you think there was an edge for GOP voters, you’d have to convince yourself it’s close to 3:1 to be able to spin this as good news for Gregg. This is a brutal looking result for the Democrats. Hard to imagine that Pence is not going to be our next Governor.

Presidential Race:

Candidate Votes
Mitt Romney (R) 398,188
Barack Obama (D) 216,128
Ron Paul (R) 95,467
Rick Santorum (R) 82,620
Newt Gingrich (R) 39,769


Obama did a tick better than Gregg. Basically, it looks like we can set the bar at around 225,000 for Dem voters (and that’s probably on the high side) in this primary, and about 615,000 for GOP voters.

But, I said earlier there was little to no “built-in” enthusiasm edge. Yes. That means there was no intrinsic reason based on the ballots themselves for either side to have a big advantage over the other.  The 3:1 edge we’re looking at here is the result of an extrinsic enthusiasm gap. It appears to show that GOP voters in IN are much more enthusiastic about this election than Dem voters. This will likely carry over to November. I think we can write off IN as a swing state for the White House. It won’t be blue this time.

Finally, there’s the Senate race. I’m going to spend a bit of time talking about this:

Candidate Votes
Richard E. Mourdock 387,982
Richard G. Lugar 256,108
Joe Donnelly 202,320


Donnelly did about as well as Gregg and Obama. And 50,000 votes worse than Lugar, who lost to Mourdock by over 125,000 votes. Again, this is not a good sign for Donnelly.

But the Democrats have a plan.

As I said yesterday, we’re a purple to red state here. We think of ourselves as conservatives, but also centrist. That’s why we had Senators like Dick Lugar (R-IN) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) for many years. The IN Dems will try very hard to paint Mourdock as an extremist and Donnelly as the centrist willing to cross the aisle.

It’s going to be a hard sell. Donnelly is a little bit of a Blue Dog Democrat, only voting with Dems 69% of the time in his term. But, Mourdock will be quick to point out that in every single key vote, Donnelly sided with his Democrat brethren and against Indiana. He voted for ObamaCare. He voted against ObamaCare repeal. He voted against the GOP budget. He voted in favor of the Senate Payroll tax bill. He voted against debt reduction. He voted against defunding NPR. In short, every time he could have voted to save Hoosiers money, he voted the other direction. Frankly, of the two, Mourdock seems more likely to be the one to cross the aisle on a vote where his vote might matter.

Honestly, the IN Dems have to be kicking themselves this morning. There’s no doubt that Lugar’s loss gives them an opening. Centrists are now in play, and we have a lot of them here. But Donnelly is an exceptionally weak candidate. He’s a two-term Congressman, that wasn’t likely to be re-elected (he would’ve been facing a rematch against a better funded and better organized Jackie Walorski). They never really thought that Lugar would be defeated, and Donnelly was the only person they could find willing to run against him.

But, facing what looks like a GOP headwind in November, at least in IN, Donnelly has a big challenge. There’s six months to go, and you never know who’s going to make the key mistake in a campaign, but it’s hard to see Donnelly coming out on top right now.

UPDATE: Earlier version of this post had stated incorrectly that Donnelly was a one-term Congressman. He has served two terms. My mistake.

P90X Day 11: Yoga X

I missed my update yesterday, as I was too busy keeping up with IN primary results. I did get the workout in though.

Same as last time, Yoga X kicked my butt. But, I needed it. There’s a reason for the cycle in P90X. You do a day of strength, a day of cardio, then strength again, then stretch. Then you follow that up with strength, cardio, and end the week with another stretch. Your body needs that stretch time to recover.

But P90X yoga is not your every day yoga workout. I never thought you could work up a sweat doing yoga, but I did yesterday. And I suspect that as I get more limber, working up a sweat will actually be easier. Can’t wait.

Anyway, short update today. I have a bit more to say about Yoga X, but think I’ll wait until next week. Today’s workout is Legs & Back. More wall sits and pull ups. Hooray. And can’t forget (like I did on Monday), Ab Ripper X is today too. Another hard day of P90X. Just like all the rest.

08 May, 2012

Memo: If You’re Not Fighting the War in Social Media, You’re Losing It

I’m going to pick on @indgop on Twitter for a bit, but not because I don’t appreciate IN’s GOP, but because they need to get better at dealing with social media. And I’m sure they’re far from the only ones.

I follow most of the big political players on both sides of the aisle. So, I follow @RNC, and @BarackObama for example. I like to know get the straight scoop not just form my side, but from the opposition as well. That way I see how they’re using social media, and learn how to combat their spin with truth. So, of course, here in IN, I also follow @INDems and @indgop.

@indgop is the official Twitter account for the Indiana Republican Party.  Currently, @indgop has 1,386 tweets, 3,015 followers, and is following 1,909 (I’m one of those 1909. Thanks for following). They have tweeted 21 times so far in the month of May. In the month of April, they tweeted 36 times. @indgop tweets so infrequently that I’ve had to check several times to make sure that I’m still following them. That’s not a good thing.

Indiana is a purple to red state. We voted for President Barack Obama (D-USA), but in 2010 rode the Republican wave and elected a 2nd GOP Senator, and increased the GOP U.S. House delegation as well. We have a GOP governor, but have often had Democrat ones, and up until recently have generally had 1 GOP Senator and 1 Dem Senator.

So, let’s compare @indgop to @INDems, the official Twitter account of the Indiana Democrat Party. Despite being in a red-ish state, @INDems has more followers, at 3,512. Now, they follow far fewer, a mere 319, but have tweeted over twice as many times, 2,903. So far in May, they have tweeted 87 times. That’s in 8 days. In the last 38 days, @indgop has only tweeted 57 times.

If you’re not fighting the war, you’re losing.

There’s no reason @indgop should be behind @INDems in either tweets or followers. There are far more conservatives in IN than libs, and there should be more for @indgop to tweet about as well. We have the Governor’s mansion, both chambers of the General Assembly, both U.S. Senators, and 6 of 9 of Indiana’s Congressmen are Republican. And, while it’s not a state level position, the mayor of Indianapolis is also a Republican.

I RT @INDems several times a day. A lot of their tweets are not party related, but simple things like reminder’s about today’s primary. I can’t remember the last time I RT’d something from @indgop. Given my political leanings, I would much prefer it was the other way around. But, if I see something useful, I’m going to RT it, no matter who it comes from.

Here’s the problem with this. If I RT @INDems, and others do as well, that will help them gain followers. They already have more than @indgop. And gaining followers will help them get out their message for their actual party tweets. Now, maybe right now in IN it doesn’t really matter. We won’t be giving our electoral votes to Obama this time around. And Mike Pence is going to be the Governor next year. And we’ll still have two GOP Senators from IN next year, regardless of what happens in the primary today.

But, @INDems is playing the long game. They’re not thinking just about 2012, but about 2014 and 2016. They’re laying the ground work for it now. And, who knows, maybe they’ll get lucky, and pull off an upset somewhere even this year. But, come 2014 & 2016, when things maybe aren’t so bright for the GOP in IN, @indgop is going to be behind. And once you’re behind in social media, it’s very hard to catch up.

Make no mistake. It may not happen here in IN, but social media will play a role in this year’s election, and may very well be the deciding factor in some elections by 2014 & 2016. If your state or local organization is behind here, you need to work with them to catch up.

Unemployment Will Be 7.9% On Election Day

Probably even lower.

President Barack Obama (D-USA) and his team feel that this is the magic number that will guarantee them victory. There are several adages about unemployment and Presidential elections. At least one of them will likely be proven false this year. Here are a few that I know of:

  • No incumbent President since FDR has been re-elected when unemployment is higher than 7.3% on election day.
  • No incumbent President has failed to be re-elected when unemployment is lower than 8% on election day
  • No incumbent President has failed to be re-elected when unemployment has fallen in the last 24 months prior to election day.

The causality part of the third will likely be true. Unemployment was 9.5% on November 6, 2010. Unless there’s a complete collapse, or the BLS suddenly starts telling us the truth, unemployment will not be that high.

In fact, it’s clear from the last quarter that the BLS is gaming the numbers to help Obama. They’re working to make the second adage go in his favor. They want to get unemployment down under 8% on election day. If you think I’m just a tinfoil hatter, and I’ve gone off the deep end, let me remind you:

  • Getting unemployment down to 8.1% required eliminating 522,000 people from the workforce in one month.
  • This was after eliminating 333,000 people from the workforce the month before to get it down to 8.2%.

The April report had 506,000 fewer people working than the February report, and yet unemployment was 0.2% lower. Someone is gaming the numbers. I state this as an absolute fact.

So, if we take that as a given, and also take it as a given that they’re going to continue to game the numbers until unemployment is under 8%, what does that mean?

After adjustments, the BLS increases civilian population by roughly 305,000 every month. To get this number I took April 2012’s numbers and subtracted April 2011’s. Then I divided by 13. Now, this number isn’t consistent. Last month it was only about 180,000, for example. That’s why I wanted an average over 13 months.

The other thing to be aware of is that the BLS has artificially lowered the labor force participation rate to 63.6%. This number represents the percentage of people in the United States that the BLS believes either has a job, or wants one. The BLS has lowered that by .6% over the last six months.

If we take these numbers as predictive of the next six months, what does that give us as possibilities for election day? I looked at job growth figures of 150,000 per month, 125,000 per month, and 100,000 per month.

Here are the results:

Add’l jobs per month Labor force Participation Rate Not in labor force Unemployment Rate
100,000 63.6% 89,040,000 8.4%
100,000 63.3% 89,773,000 8.0%
100,000 63.2% 90,018,000 7.8%
125,000 63.6% 89,040,000 8.3%
125,000 63.4% 89,529,000 8.0%
125,000 63.3% 89,773,000 7.9%
150,000 63.6% 89,040,000 8.3%
150,000 63.5% 89,284,000 8.1%
150,000 63.4% 89,529,000 7.9%


Even at a measly 100,000 jobs created per month, the BLS only has to lower the participation rate from it’s current 63.6% to 63.2% to get unemployment below 8%. At 150,000 per month, they only have to go to 63.4%.

But they can make an even bigger impact, if they desire. The last six months, the participation rate dropped 0.6%. There’s nothing keeping them from doing that again. At 150,000 if they dropped the participation rate all the way down to 63%, unemployment would be at 7.4%. If they’re willing to go all the way down to 63%, they can hit an unemployment number of 7.7% with a mere 50,000 jobs added each month. In fact, they can get it to 7.9% if only 10,000 jobs are created per month.

You think it won’t happen? Just watch. But on November 6th, I’m going to be saying “I told you so.”

This will be another post that I will update monthly as the election nears.

07 May, 2012

P90X Day 10: Shoulders & Arms

Every day at the beginning of the P90X videos, you’re reminded to “Bring It”. Today, I definitely heeded that reminder. As I’ve said previously, I have a lot more energy these days, and my P90X workouts are reaping the benefits from that.

Tony constantly reminds us to pick the proper weight. If you’re trying to build up muscle mass, you want to pick something heavy enough for that exercise that you can only do about 8 to 10 reps. If you’re just trying to build lean muscle, you should be looking at around 12 to 15 reps. If you can’t do 8, or can do more than 15, you’re outside the right range for the exercise, regardless.

I’m trying to build muscle mass. Not because I’m trying to look like The Hulk, but because more muscle mass will make it easier to manage my diabetes. This is the whole point of this process. So, I’m looking at the 8 to 10 rep number for everything.

And, for the most part, that’s squarely where I landed. I went through each exercise until I couldn’t do it anymore. One of them was interesting in that it seemed like I could pretty much do it all day long at 15 pounds, but at 25, I could barely do it once. What can I say? I’m a wimp.

Anyway, I “brought it” today, and I was thoroughly and completely exhausted at the end. I’ve never been so glad to make it to the cool down exercises. And I’ve never been so sad when after the cool down exercises were over, the music started up telling me that Ab Ripper X was about to begin.

I’d already left it all on the carpet. I had nothing left. Or so I thought. In some ways, the ab exercises are like plyometrics (you can do anything for 30 seconds). You just tell yourself you can do anything 25 times. And you just grit your teeth and do it. And I did. In fact, I did much better on Ab Ripper X than any time so far. Made it through the whole 15 minutes without pausing, and my form was much better too. But, talk about wiped. I am finally starting to understand why it’s P90X, and not just P90.

Thank God tomorrow is Yoga X. Yoga is hard, but at least it’s not lifting. If you told me I’d have to lift anything tomorrow that’s heavier than my iPad, I think I’d run screaming in terror.

But still, ten days down. 80 days left. Phineas Fogg went around the world in 80 days. I should be able to make it the rest of the way around P90X.

Stay tuned.

P90X Nutrition & Diet

The nutrition and diet one is going out before my regular daily post today, so that I’ll be certain it gets done.

As I’ve mentioned before, P90X is divided into three phases. I’m currently in the first phase, which lasts 4 weeks. Each phase has different goals, and each phase has different nutrition plans as well.

One of the first things you’re supposed to do before even starting P90X is figure out what you should be eating. They have a simple little “rough estimate” caloric intake calculator.

Take your weight in pounds and multiply by ten. This is your resting metabolic rate. This would be how many calories you’d need to consume on a daily basis, even if you never got out of bed.

Take that number and multiply it by 20% (.2). This is your daily activity burn in calories. The 20% is a guesstimate, and based upon averages. If you lead a very sedentary lifestyle, it’s probably less, and if you’re out in the fields working the plow all day long, it’s probably more. It’s just a starting number. You’ll figure out as P90X goes on if it’s too high or too low for you.

Take the two numbers you came up with, add them together, and add an additional 600 for P90X (yes, that’s how many calories you’ll be expected to burn during a P90X workout—obviously, this number is flexible too based upon your size, and what kind of shape you’re in).

For me, the number I’ve come up with after adjustments is about 2,000 calories. And, I have determined that (so far, anyway) that’s probably on the high side too. This puts me at nutrition Level I.

For Phase 1, nutrition Level I looks like this on a daily basis:

Item Servings Calories Per Serving
Proteins 5 100
Dairy 2 120
Fruits 1 100
Vegetables 2 50
Fats 1 120
Carbohydrates 1 200
Condiments 1 50
Snacks 3* 100


The snacks are supposed to be a single serving of their Shakeology drink, a protein bar, and a recovery drink.

There’s also a complete meal plan with recipes. Here’s a sample day:

Meal Items Notes
Breakfast 1 Mushroom Omelet
1 cup fresh strawberries
8 oz. low fat cottage cheese
6 egg whites
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp. chopped green onion
1/2 Roma tomato, chopped
1 1/2 oz. low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
Snack Protein Bar
Recovery drink
Lunch Chef Salad 3 oz. fat-free turkey breast, chopped
3 oz. extra-lean low-sodium ham, chopped
1 1/2 oz. fat free mozzarella cheese, chopped
1/2 Roma tomato, chopped
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup chopped hearts of palm
1 oz. avocado, diced
2 tbsp. low-fat ranch dressing
Snack 2 oz. soy nuts  
Dinner 6 oz. salmon
2 tbsp. Lemon-Dill Sauce
1/2 cup asparagus
1 cup wild rice
1 cup red pepper soup
1 tbsp. Whey Protein Powder
2 cups white wine
1 onion, finely chopped
5 roasted red peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 cups chopped celery
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 tbsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. each ground white pepper and ground cumin
1 dash salt

Protein Powder:
Used in protein shake


As you can see, you’re eating a lot, even on 2,000 calories! But, I have to admit, this meal plan scares me. That’s a really huge breakfast compared to what I normally have. And, as a diabetic, I tend to shy away from larger meals, regardless. A really really big meal for me these days is around 500 calories. And to be honest, I can’t remember the last time I had one that big. Last week, I had one dinner over 400. Most of my meals are under 300 calories. But I eat several of them, and have several snacks a day. I told my wife a few weeks ago, that in some ways I feel like I’m eating more than ever, because some days it seems like I never actually stop eating. But it’s all in what you eat and how much.

So, I’m not following this meal plan exactly. Tony Horton would be mad at me, no doubt. But I simplified it even further, and boiled all of those calorie numbers above into grams of protein, grams of fat, and grams of carbohydrates. I’m taking so many natural supplements, that I’m not all that concerned about getting in plates of stuff with lots of colors. And I’m pretty good about that, anyway. Much better than I used to be anyway.

The simplified math for me, is 230 g protein, 180 g carbs, and 40 g fat. Per day. That’s a heck of a lot of protein. Normal recommended amount for your average Joe is around 60 g per day. I put in a sample day of mine from about a year ago, and came up with 42 g. But for the last two months I’ve been doing about 120 g. It’s also very low in fat. A typical healthy diet would probably be just south of 60 g fat (depending on your size, of course) per day. Most people do quite a bit more than that. 40 isn’t impossibly low, but you really have to work at it.

For me, the carbs aren’t a problem. I’ve been carb watching for years, and I know about what I can eat on a given day and still stay healthy. Other people will have problems getting their carbs down this low as well.

Phase 2 is a little different. It’s one less serving of proteins, and another serving of carbs. I may or may not increase my carbs at that point. It will depend on how my body is doing. Phase 3 does some serious carb loading. I personally don’t see how I’ll be able to do that, but we’ll see how things are going when I get there.

I'll add some more info later on specific nutritional needs and why the diet is broken down the way it is.

06 May, 2012

P90X Day 9: Plyometrics Revisited

9 days down. Ten percent complete.

I know. I’ve promised diet & nutrition stuff for several days. The weekend has been far busier than I expected. That’s my only excuse. I will try to get to it before bed tonight, but if not tonight, it will definitely happen tomorrow.

So, day 9 is back to Plyometrics. This is the relatively high impact jump training set, if you recall. If you also recall, I didn’t feel like I was pushed quite as far as I could’ve been last time while doing it. Heart rate was consistently in the upper 140s/lower 150s. Not a bad workout, but I was hoping for more.

For the last several days, I’ve felt like I’ve been getting more out of the P90X workouts. Some of it is that I’ve been pushing myself harder. But I think part of the reason I’ve been pushing myself harder is that I’ve had more energy from this high protein diet I’ve been on (see, I really do need to talk diet & nutrition).

Today again followed the recent pattern. This week’s Plyometrics was harder on me than last week, and I have the heart rate records to prove it. Instead of 140s/150s, this week I was 150s/160s. I like those numbers much better. Technically, I could get up to about 170 and still be “in the zone”, but I don’t like how that feels. It stops feeling like a workout then, and more like something I shouldn’t be doing. Again, I have to admit, that I still don’t think I got quite as much out of today as possible. I started to run out of gas by the end, and slowed down somewhat for the last set or so. Still, it was definitely a hard workout, and I’m pooped.

Tomorrow, Shoulders & Arms. Lots of weights. I have a more complete weight set now, so hopefully I can skip the bands that I used last time.