Thursday, July 30, 2009

Burn Out Already?

So I thought I was having my first "burn out" of p90x yesterday. I slept through my alarm, didn't do the scheduled workout, and felt sluggish, not to mention mad at myself for being lazy. By the time I got home, I had that overwhelming feeling of "workout dread" come over me. If you ran track or cross country in high school, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's that feeling that hides deep in the the pit of your stomach for the entire day. Only as the race, workout, or whatever it is that you are scared of gets closer, does the nausea begin to seep out, building slowly yet steadily. Then, right before the gun is fired, this queasiness turns to terror because you know that it's going to hurt, no matter what. I haven't felt this since my half-marathon four years ago, but this is how I felt on Tuesday. I didn't want to do p90x, but I knew I had to.

I managed to suck it up and complete the Yoga X DVD and Legs and Back, today (Wednesday), but I think I need some motivation.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Breakthrough

You know how I know I am getting better? I did this move today. 15 reps on the right side and 13 on the left. I did ZERO last Monday.

A Blast from the Past

One of my best friends posted this pic online of us from high school. BTW, you can read her witty writing at

I guess deep down, I've always wanted to be tough and play with the boys. Here we are wearing our high school football team's biggest rival's jerseys for Halloween.

What were we thinking?

I did the Plyometrics DVD today and you know what I was thinking? That if Hawken football actually took the time to do this specific workout, they might've won some games that year.

Week 2 Begins

I slacked a little on the blogging this weekend, explaining in my last post that we were out of town on Sunday, so jump back a few days with me to Saturday. I started the DVDs over again with Chest and Back--the one that literally put me through the meat grinder before. But this time, it was different. I paced myself and the grunting lessened surprisingly.

Nick came downstairs and heated up his skillet for some bacon, eggs, and toasted sour dough. He was done eating by the time the video was over. Saturday workouts combine the assigned DVD with Ab Ripper X. One set into the abs, Nick was down on the floor attempting the maneuvers, his belly full of yolk and pork.

He made it through some of them, but not without making fun of Tony Horton's lingo or making me laugh in the process. I had to stop on some sets because his grunting was out of control.

Have any of you started the program yet? I am interested in hearing comments and concerns from my followers. It would also be great to have a virtual workout buddy so that we can compare notes. I encourage you all to get involved. I NEVER thought I would be able to get up at 6 a.m. and do this, but after a few days, you get in the zone. I can feel the changes happening and that is exciting.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

One Week Down

So I slacked a little on the blogging this weekend. I was trying to catch up on sleep and then we were in western PA on Sunday celebrating my father-in-law's birthday. Anyway, my most important accomplishment thus far is that I actually made it through one week of the program...and I started the whole thing over again on Saturday morning. (For Phase 1 of p90x, you do the same workout dvds for 7 days over the course of 3 weeks. Week 4 represents a recovery period as your body preps for Phase 2.)

Friday was a pretty easy Stretch X dvd, meaning that I wasn't doubled over in pain. You are still stretching for 60 min, which means that you are still working hard, just not with as much impact. I also went for a 40 minute run on Friday which felt good after getting my muscles loose.

If any of you are into running or cardio and are considering trying out p90x, I wouldn't quit just to use the dvds. I cut down my running days from 5 to 4 and alternate days now. Running has kept me thin, so I do owe it something and don't want to just give it up. But it didn't make me strong. That is what p90x is for.

I have to say that after only one week, I am definitely noticing results, not visually yet in the form of a six-pack, but in how I feel. My tummy is a lot tighter than it was last Saturday, and for me, that is a win.

Friday, July 24, 2009

somebody's watching me

I slept in this morning because today is the p90x off day, meaning that you do the stretching dvd. I figured I'll do it when I get home. But then of course as I am getting ready for work, what comes on the television? The p90x infomercial.

I think someone's trying to tell me something. Tony Horton wants me to bring it, x-style.

More later.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 6 - Kempo X

After our Wendy's run and two glasses of wine at Jen's housewarming party (I'm a light-weight when it comes to alcohol), I think Nick thought that I wasn't going to be able to get up this morning and "bring it" as Tony Horton says.

I brought it.

Kempo is basically Tae-Bo which Nick and I think is named after the combination of Tai Chi, Tai Kwan Do, and Billy Blanks, who I just found out was a B-movie star. Talons of the Eagle anyone? Expect No Mercy? Yeah I haven't seen them either.

Today's workout was not bad at all. If you are in any type of cardiovascular shape, you will be able to do it no problem. I think I did have an edge because I have experienced the insaneness that is Joni Mlakar. I was introduced to Joni's classes at Evolution Yoga by a co-worker. Her classes were 1h15 min and burned 1,400 calories. Intense.

I'm not linking to Evo's site because they let her go a few months after I started classes there. I was upset and I know a lot of other people who were attending her classes for much longer than me were devistated. Joni taught a great yoga sculpting class set to any and every kind of music (Sam & Dave, country, techno, C&C Music Factory).

I've hear that she is now working somewhere over in Bentlyville. If anyone knows, please let me know! It's too far for me to drive, but I would love to know that she is helping others get in shape.

Day 5 - Shoulders and Back

Yesterday was the first day of the program that I actually woke up feeling good. And by "good" I mean that I can now sit up in bed without having to roll to my side and push myself up. Progress.

The Shoulders and Back DVD was definitely manageable. As I said before, I am only using 3lb weights, but for now, I think that is enough.

I have to say that I'm not feeling as hopeless as before. I think I will actually be able to complete the entire p90x program. If you are just starting it today or are thinking about doing it in the future, trust me, those first 3 days are TERRIBLE. If you can get through that though, it seems to be getting easier. Maybe I shouldn't speak too soon.

I am continuing my running routine too. This is helping me move the lactic acid around in my legs so I don't stay as sore as long. My husband Nick has been running with me too which is nice. I like the company.

After my evening run, I did the Ab Ripper X video for the third time. You'll notice in the workout book that abs are paired with specific days. I'm working the abs 3x a week for 16 minutes each time. It doesn't sound like a lot, but honestly, my stomach feels tighter after just 5 days.

Let's talk diet for a minute too. I've been drinking my giant eagle whey powder/milk/strawberries shakes in the morning and pairing it with a Luna Bar for my snack. For lunch, I've been eating red meat or some type of protein or a spinach salad. Cottage Cheese makes a great pre-run snack. It's kinda gross, but I'm learning to handle it. Other than that, I am not really following a strict diet. I haven't had ice cream or cake, but I have been eating some chocolate here and there. I guess that is bad, but I'm a woman and crave it.

Last night, I basically blew the diet completely on the way home from a friend's birthday party. Nick and I were starving and went to Wendy's. (my idea) I had a jr. bacon cheeseburger, 5 piece chicken nugget, and half of Nick's fries. It's moments like those when I now know why I am 25.5% body fat. Bad Marla.

And I start over again, today. No Wendy's.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 4 - Yoga X

My alarm went off at 6 this morning. Nick snored through it. I finally got up at 6:35 and went downstairs for Yoga X. I didn't have that scared feeling in my stomach as I loaded the dvd into the player this time. I think it's because I have a past with Yoga.

In 2003, I got really into Power Yinyasa Yoga taught under the Barron Baptiste style. If you think yoga is for whimps, you should try this. As a student at Cleveland Yoga, I attended 2-3 classes a week in a heated studio that gets up into the 80 degree range when the class is full. You sweat like a bastard, but it is completely worth it. The heat allows your muscles to heat up so quickly that stretching truly becomes a joy. I did this consistently for about 1.5 years and really noticed a difference in my strength and mental toughness. Problem is that it costs $$$. If you have the money and time though, I highly recommend it.

So naturally today was going to be easy. right.

After almost 15 years of running, I've finally realized that running ruins your body. Yes Nick, I said it. I still want you to run regularly to get into shape, but I admit that it sucks. After years of pounding, I literally cannot straighten my legs or touch my toes. I am pathetic.

The yoga wasn't "hard" per say, but my soreness coupled with inflexibility didn't make it easy. The dvd is 1h 30min, so if you're getting ready to do this one, make sure you plan ahead of time. I was late to work.

The aching

What is a rotator cuff and how do you know if you've torn it?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 3 - Shoulders and Arms

I couldn't sleep last night. I think it was because I knew that I HAD to get up this morning at 6 a.m. to do the workout. Again, I could barely roll out of bed without yelling a profanity or groaning. Seriously, what am I doing?

I made it downstairs at 6:10 and struggled to bend over and put in the Shoulders and Arms DVD.

By 7:15 though, I realized that either this p90x thing may be getting easier, or that my dumbbells are just too light. I bought 3lb weights at TJMaxx for $5.99 because I am a cheapo. Nick told me to get the orange ones because he said "they were bad-ass." I don't know how "bad-ass" 3lb weights are, but I was able to do most of the exercises without a problem.

I'm wondering if I need to move up to 5 or 7 lbs, or if 3 will do all the toning I need.

Tony kept making us repeat the word "WOW" like Christoper Walken. Then he asked us what "WOW" spells upside down.

I made a protein shake with powder from Giant Eagle, but it took me 15 min to walk a half mile from the parking garage to the office this morning.

Tonight I'll run and attempt the ab ripper, even though I cry when I sneeze.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 2 - Plyometrics

Like I said in my last post, I couldn't get out of bed this morning. No joke. I haven't been this sore in awhile. I feel terrible. I completely ache and I feel tired. The worst part is the area opposite my elbows, the muscles between my forearms and biceps. I can't straighten my arms, and when I laugh, my abs remind me how tender they actually are. Even if I wanted to suck in, I can't.

Today didn't involved weights. It was mostly cardio via lunges and jumps. I handled the cardio well in terms of not getting winded, but there were a few times where I almost vomited. I'm not embarrassed to say that I pressed pause more than once.

We did some weird jumping moves and all 119lbs of me came down like a lump rep after rep. If you decide to do the plan and live in an apartment above someone, I recommend doing the workout when they're not home. Tony stressed landing like a cat. I hate cats.

I can't move.

Day 1 - Chest & Back

Nick and I rolled out of bed at noon on Saturday. This was supposed to be my first day of p90x. I was a little unmotivated because it was so late in the day, but I said I was going to do this.

The first thing you are supposed to do is take several full-length body shots as your "before" pictures. I feel like I am on the biggest loser, not because I am 300 lbs over weight, but because my pics are lame. Nick agreed that a sports bra from high school isn't the most flattering piece of clothing. He was right.

I know these are terrible. But, I guess that is the point. I can only go up from here.

My measurements on Day 1:

Weight: 119lbs
Chest: 33"
Waist: 27"
Hips: 34.25"
Right Thigh: 19.5"
Left Thigh:19.75"
Right Arm: 9.5"
Left Arm: 9.5"
Body Fat: 25.5% (if you want to calculate your body fat and don't have calipers, visit this website to do it mathematically with your measurements.)

Now that the pictures were taken, it was time to start the workout.

p90x consists of 12 DVDs that you repeat in a specific sequence over 90 days.

Day 1 - Chest & Back
I started crying a little inside when I began to put together the at-home chin-up bar we bought. I've never done a chin-up or pull-up in my life--I failed all of those fitness tests in elementary school--so why did I think I could actually do one now? I couldn't even put the bar together, and then I started whining. Nick laughed.

He grabbed the Iron Gym Bar away from me and helped me install it in our family room over the library door. p90x sells one, but I got this brand at Dick's Sporting Goods for $29.95. They also sell a model for $39.95, but the only thing additional it has with it is "extreme." We didn't know what "extreme" meant exactly, so we decided to go with the cheaper model. *Note - If you're a dude, make sure that your door frame is steady. Nick tried to hang on it and then do a one-armed chin up (his wrist is broken), and I thought the whole thing was going to come crashing down. The bar held me though, and I was now ready for the workout.

The first DVD was queued up, and Nick was right beside me like the supportive husband that he is, not with his workout clothes on, but instead sprawled out on the couch, feet up on the coffee table, with a plate of bacon, eggs, toasted sour dough bread sitting on his lap. "I'll write your reps down on a piece of paper and keep you motivated." Good idea Nick.

The Chest & Back workout was so awful that I feel like someone took a meat tenderizer and played my ribs like they were a xylophone. The only thing that made it remotely fun was Nick bagging on Tony Horton (the coach).

Tony uses the word and phrase "X-LIKE and BRING IT" (in caps because he shouts them at you in a Matthew McConaughey drawl) throughout the entire video. T-Bag also brags about how much better he is at life than you, but then reassures you that everything will be okay if you suck. I was totally motivated.

The work out was all push-ups, pull-ups, and chin-ups. If it makes you feel better to know, I couldn't do hardly any of it. I whined and whined and whined, but eventually finished the workout.

Soreness started setting in about an hour after. This morning, I could barely get out of bed , having to roll to the side just to push myself up.

1 day down, p89x to go. X-TREME!!!!

Why p90x?

For those of you who don't know me, which is probably none of you considering that no one is reading this blog, my name is Marla and I am a 28-year old female from Cleveland, Ohio, who is really into working out. That's right, despite the statistics, not all of us in this city are fat.

I grew up in a very active family and started dancing at age three. In high school, I took up competitive running and have continued logging miles every week to date, 10 years after graduation.

My brother, who is an insane athlete and runner (like 4% body fat, if that), and I competed in and won the co-ed relay category in the 2004 Cleveland Marathon. But since training for that race, I've really just plateaued. I run between four-five miles a day, five days a week. This has allowed me to maintain my weight between 115 and 120 lbs at 5'7".

Before you start thinking I am crazy for wanting to lose weight/tone up, I have to tell you that despite my thin physique, I'm pretty pathetic when it comes to muscle mass. I have huge calves, but that's about it. I'm also starting to get fat in certain areas that I thought was impossible for runners to have happen to them. It scares me to death.

I was upstairs cleaning one day a few months ago when I saw this infomercial for p90x. It sucked me in instantly. Ok...ok, so it wasn't Magic Bullet quality, but it was still pretty good. I won't bore you with the details. If you haven't heard of it, Google it or visit Basically it's a $120 investment for the video program plus some accessories, which I'll get to later. All in all, I spent $160.

I bought it online last Sunday, July 12, and decided that in order to make a commitment to this program, that I would blog about my journey. Essentially, I'm going to do the hard work for you.

If I can make it through 90 days of intense training and wind up completely ripped, you'll be more apt to do the program. If, after 90 days, I am still a big pile of suck, you can keep your $120+ and go have a doughnut. I hope you will follow me on this trip. I have a feeling it's going to be rough.