August 20, 2012

Summer 2012 fitness update...going well! ...

Wow, haven't posted since MARCH!?! Well, I do post regularly on Facebook and at least weekly on Twitter. Anyway...

It's been over 3 years now since I switched to a vegan diet, and I now can't really imagine consuming meat and milk again. Exercise is a definite habit, and I regularly lift weights or do cardio, and hit these workouts hard. I've become hooked on workouts from BeachBody. I've done about 5 "rounds" of P90X (each round is 3 months), a round of P90X2, 2-3 rounds of Insanity (a 2-month program), a round or two of Asylum (one-month program), and I'm now on week 6 of the 3-month Body Beast program.

At my fattest, I weighed 172 pounds, which for my 5' 4" frame was too much. Shirley and I started WeightWatchers online (tracking "points" instead of counting calories), and along with some nutrition suggestions from the Beach Body programs, from The 4-Hour Body, and working out once or twice a day, I dumped the fat, got down to the 30-inch size waist pants that I was 30 years ago, saw better numbers at the annual physicals re heart stuff (lipid panel, heart rate, etc), and at my lightest was 130 pounds.

This morning I weighed 144 pounds. There's a little more fat on the midsection, but I'm not worried. I'm taking 5 grams of creatine morning and night, and that is known to cause a little water retention. But more importantly, our Omron electric bodyfat monitor shows me hanging in there around 13% fat, pants still fit just fine, and the tape measure shows that the biceps are about 3/4" bigger and the quads are an inch larger. I've definitely put on solid mass during the past month and a half of Body Beast. The final 4 weeks of the program is intended to get one a bit leaner. And I can always do a round of Insanity or Asylum if I want to hit the cardio hard.

It feels good to be lifting again!

Posted by Joe Litton | August 20, 2012 in Fitness, House | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 04, 2012

P90X2 phase 3: Whew! ...

I started P90X2 on 10-Dec-2011. Yesterday I started the 3rd phase of the program. It's a 3 month program - approximately. Each phase can be 3-6 weeks, depending on how one feels. I think I did the first phase for 3 weeks, then we had a vacation out of town and I did other workouts (crazy insane hike, some Insanity workout stuff, etc). There was also a conference I was at for a week in January, so during that week I did 200 pushups a day and a whole bunch of walking between hotels going from session to session.

I spent 5 weeks on phase 2, in order to get up to what I wanted to see in terms of form and reps on some of the exercises, and then took a few days "off", just doing a treadmill 5k and some other stuff before starting up on the final phase 3.

So...Yesterday was day 1 of phase 3: "P.A.P Lower" was the workout (P.A.P., by the way, stands for Post Activation Potentiation). OMG, I'm sore today. I think the main contributor to the soreness was 4 sets of "Step Up Convict", which was holding a 12lb dumbbell in each hand, stepping up with one foot onto a 24" plyo box I'd made, raising the opposing knee as high as possible, then stepping down off the box and backward into a lunge. 8 reps each side. There were 7 other exercises, but that one nailed it! I'm feeling it today from the butt down through the calves :)

Today was "P.A.P. Upper". It was another great workout. One thing that does bug me is that BeachBody (the company that sells some great workout DVDs, including P90X, Insanity, Asylum - I've done all of those - along with others that I've not done and now P90X2) ...BeachBody provides workout sheets for most of the workouts. But not for the P.A.P. ones. That bothers me. Tony Horton (the guy on the videos) states at various times in these workouts to write down how many reps one does or what weight was used.

So I've done what I feel BeachBody should have done, and have made a workout sheet for P.A.P. Upper. I'll make one for P.A.P. Lower as well, but I have yardwork and studying to do, so that other worksheet will come later.

My unofficial worksheet: P90X2 X2_PAPUpper.pdf (353.6K)

Posted by Joe Litton | March 4, 2012 in Fitness | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 11, 2011

P90X2: Day 2: Plyocide

"Plyocide" << :)

55 mins, 566 calories. Just as with the "X2 Core" day 1 workout, I can see where Insanity / Asylum graduates will recognize bits of some moves and will probably have a little easier time of it. The last 12 minutes of this workout is stretching with band (or towel), some yoga, etc (also in the warmup). I LIKE this inclusion of more/better stretching - partly because I probably wouldn't do it on my own! The stretching is something of which I'd never heard (but like quite a bit after this first try): Neuro-Integrated Stretching.

Equipment: Balance ball (already have). Substituted 8 & 12 lb dumbbell for some medicine ball stuff and used a towel for one of the exercises. Man, I *do* want to get a RumbleRoller /foam roller thing. For the jump box, I used one (shown in pic) that I built a while back (been trying to get to where I can do the Spartan 300 ...this is a 24" jump box and cost less than half to build (about $40 materials) vs buy.

  << Click to viewPlywoodJumpbox


My unofficial worksheet: P90X2 Plyocide.pdf (353.9K)

90X2 day 2: Plyocide << :)
55 mins, 566 calories. Just as with the X2 Core day 1 workout, I can see where Insanity / Asylum graduates will recognize bits of some moves and will probably have a little easier time of it. Stacey Fenkel mentioned importance of Yoga; the last 12 mins of this workout is stretching with band (or towel), some yoga, etc (also in the warmup). I LIKE this inclusion of more/better stretching - partly because I probably wouldn't do it on my own!

Equipment: Balance ball (already have). Substituted 8 & 12 lb dumbbell for some medicine ball stuff and used a towel for one of the exercises. Man, I *do* want to get a Rumble Roller /foam roller thing. For the jump box, I used one (shown in pic) that I built a while back (been trying to get to where I can do the Spartan 300 http:// ...this is a 24" jump box and cost less than half to build (about $40 materials) vs buy.

Posted by Joe Litton | December 11, 2011 in Fitness, P90X2 | Permalink | Comments (2)

December 10, 2011

P90X2: Day 1: X2 Core

P90X2 was delivered to our house this week, and today I began the program. I'd already done a year of P90X, did the 60-day Insanity program, the 30-day Asylum program, and some hybrids (combos of the workouts)... plus treadmill and other fitness things. So I feel that I ought to be able to handle this.

Workout took 55 minutes and burned 430 calories. Insanity / Asylum definitely helped make some of the balance moves a little easier. At first I thought, "Geez, this is a pretty easy workout, I hope they're not all like this" ...WRONG! ...It gets going, and I WILL feel this at least in the abs tomorrow (or today :)

Since there are no workout sheets available on the TeamBeachbody site (at least not yet), and none were included with the P90X2 package, I plan to make a workout sheet each day as I do these and will post them. Please post comments or email me with  suggestions for improvements to the sheets if you are doing the workouts.

Equipment: We've had a balance ball for years, so no prob there. We don't have any medicine balls (two 12-pound balls would be ideal); for some exercises I substituted a 12lb dumbbell; I did clap/plyo pushups instead of medicine ball pushups. And I used a rolled up yoga mat in place of the foam roller for some stuff.

As recommended, I took measurements / pics, but haven't donea day 1 video yet ...will do later (days 1, 30, 60, 90). Don't ask me to post that stuff here, 'cause if I do, it won't be until the end of the program.

My unofficial worksheet: P90X2 X2_Core.pdf (350.7K)

Posted by Joe Litton | December 10, 2011 in Fitness, P90X2 | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 01, 2011

Asylum done, 1st eye surgery done, new low weight...

Finished the 30-day Asylum workout routine on Monday 26Sep. On Tuesday 27Sep had surgery on the lower eyelids to correct "ectropion" ...basically, they were sagging, exposing too much of the cornea. The bugger is that I'm not allowed to workout - at ALL - for 10 days. So I've been watching the WeightWatcher points, and staying a few below the daily allotment most days, given the lack of activity.

This morning was weekly weigh-in day for me, and I've hit a new low of 132.4. This is a bit of a milestone for me, since I'd been holding at a very steady 163 for much of our time in Florida. My high weight was 172, so I'm down about 40 pounds from that, down 30 from the 'steady' weight I'd held most of the past 7 years, and down 20 since we started WeightWatchers Online in late May.

My guess is about 5 pounds of fat to go. Next weekend when I can workout again, I'll start 10 days of an Asylum / P90X hybrid workout. And then it will be time for the 2nd eye surgery, to fix the heavily drooping upper eyelids and restore peripheral vision to what it should be. After another 10 day period of no working out, I'll be ready to dive back in and get back into a regular routine!

And with coffee is ready :)

Posted by Joe Litton | October 1, 2011 in Fitness | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 24, 2011

Two days of Asylum left..Closer to goal...

Bottom line: Lost 1.4 pounds this week

Weight/bodyfat this morning: 133.0 pounds, 14.7% fat
Weight/bodyfat last week:      134.4 pounds, 15.5% fat

Doing the math on that means that I lost 1.3 pounds of fat, and 0.1 pounds of lean mass. So this does tell me that putting more protein in the diet (all vegan, of course) and doing 5 small meals a day has been a good thing.

The math also shows that to hit my goal of 12% bodyfat, if I lose only fat, my target weight would be 127 pounds, assuming I have no change in lean mass. My God, that sounds like a featherweight, but I'm only 5' 4", so I guess that's reasonable.

These last bits of fat are not easy to lose! I've been doing the Asylum workouts in the mornings and doing 3 miles on the treadmill in the evening, rarely going beyond the 29 daily WeightWatchers points. Total calories burned from workouts is typically around 800/day, and has been as high as 1200. So even with a butt-load of activity and light, healthy eating, it is a s-l-o-w process!! But it's a steady process.

And that's the key. Now where's my coffee?

Posted by Joe Litton | September 24, 2011 in Fitness | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 17, 2011

One week of Asylum left..weight & Bodyfat slowly going down

It definitely gets harder to lose pounds and bodyfat percentage as the amount left to lose diminishes. This week I did Asylum in the mornings and treadmill 5k in the evenings, stuck to the points plan (OK, I went over 1 point once, but was under on other days) ...and the results are that over the past TWO weeks I've lost a pound. But I'll take it.

Started WeightWatchers online on 21 May 2011 at 152.0 pounds. Today (17 Sep 2011) I weighed in at 134.4 pounds and show 15.5% fat. Goal is 12% (or less) of bodyfat, so that means if I gain no muscle and lose only fat, I have 5 pounds to go (for years I held steady at 163 lbs; highest was 172 a few yrs ago at annual physical, so down close to 40 pounds from the high).

We know what THAT means: HELL WEEK! Gonna be doubles again this week, and refine the diet a little more: higher caloric load in the morning and decreasing during the day (smallest meal at dinner). LOTS of water. Proper sleep. No alcohol (which has been pretty light anyway). So we shall see.

Goal for this coming week: Drop 2 pounds of fat. We shall see. For now, I do believe a man needs coffee!

Posted by Joe Litton | September 17, 2011 in Fitness | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 10, 2011

Weight up slightly, bodyfat same/slightly down...

This morning's weigh-in: 136.0 ...That's up 4/10 of a pound from last week.

But bodyfat this week has bounced slightly between 16.0% and 15.5%'s 16.0% this morning, which is exactly what it was last Saturday on weigh-in day. I've been taking measurements each Saturday as well, and after measuring several times I can see that the chest is 1/2 inch larger. Looks like I'm moving to that C cup :) ...Actually, with the pull-ups, push-ups, etc and with getting plenty of protein and doing the 5 small meals a day program, it seems reasonable that perhaps a little muscle was added, a little fat lost, and the net result is small weight gain with bodayfat same or a little reduced.

It's definitely an adjustment to my mindset to be OK with seeing the weight the same or a little UP. The goal is lower bodyFAT, and hopefully more lean mass, so while the progress is slow, this is good. Still, there's something real satisfying on the weeks when I can look at the chart and see the weight dropping. I think I need to start keeping a chart of bodyfat ...seriously!

Where's my coffee?

Posted by Joe Litton | September 10, 2011 in Fitness, Health | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 03, 2011

Weight slightly down, measurements same, bodyfat down...

The Asylum workout continues to whup my butt. I must admit, however, that I'm looking forward to getting going with P90X again after this; I miss the lifting! There's definitely some strength work in Insanity, and even more in Asylum, but these 2 workouts are a lot more cardio vs P90X (which does also get the heart rate up).

Speaking of heart, I took my blood pressure this morning. Definitely not high. It was 105/67. This was about 15 minutes after the workout, so I thought maybe it'd be high. No idea what that means, but I feel good, so I'll take it as a good thing.

OK, so the numbers: Weigh-in this morning was 135.4, so I'm down 2/10 of a pound. But last Saturday the bodyfat measured at 17.0% and this morning it was 16.0%, so I am definitely pleased with that. Now I'm really wanting to see 15.something! The weight can stay the same or even go up, as long as the bodyfat diminishes.

I think the combo of regular workouts and 5 meals a day is what's making the difference now. Five meals a day?!? Well, they're small meals. Trying to hit the recommended 40-40-20 / 300 numbers for the meals: approx 40% protein, 40% carb, 20% fat, and roughly 300 calories (up to 500 or so cals on some, to hit my own needs). Also doing this within the confines of 29 daily Weight Watcher points. The is just the start of week #2 of Asylum, so we'll see how this has panned out on 26Sept, when I finish the program.

Hmmmm...I think it's time for coffee!!!!

Posted by Joe Litton | September 3, 2011 in Fitness, Health | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 27, 2011

Insanity Asylum: Fit Test today, workouts start tomorrow

Gulp. Asylum starts tomorrow -- well, it sort of starts today, since I'm about to do the Fit Test to gauge my current fitness (I'll repeat the test after 30 days to measure progress).

This past week I took a break from crazy workouts (completed the 60-day Insanity program last week). Instead I did a few miles each day on the treadmill, did some stretching each day ...basically just let the body rest a bit. Now it's time for another month of crazy.

This morning I weighed in at 135.6 pounds. Bodyfat varies a bit each day (I measure using a handheld Omron Body Fat Analyzer). This morning it was 17%; last weekend after finishing my final Insanity workout (and weighing slightly more), fat measured at 16.5%. Well, the key is just that the trend on fat percentage declines over time. My goal is 10-12% fat.

So. I've written the prescribed workout on a calendar for each of the next 30 days. Time now to down my standard pre-workout drink (Vega Sport Performance Optimizer) and do the Fit Test.

UPDATE: OK, Here's results from the Fit Test. Some of these exercise names make no sense unless one has seen the dvd; for example, one rep of moving pushups means doing moving pushups along the length of the "Agility Ladder" and back. So the real key will be to see if the numbers go up wtih each test. The test is done again on Day 15, and then on Day 30:

(click image to see larger)

Posted by Joe Litton | August 27, 2011 in Fitness, Health | Permalink | Comments (0)