to use P90X as an off-season conditioning program for all of
my sports: climbing, cycling, and running. Since I’ll be
climbing throughout the 90 days, the schedule is altered in
order to maximize my ability to climb decently on the
weekends. Race season is over and biking and running will be
minimal, for me. Some decline in climbing performance will
happen during the program but that is expected due to
excessive breakdown. If all goes well, this program will be
the launching pad for my next birthday challenge, to be
First Training Block
schedule will change from the normal P90X. In block one, it
M – Back
and Chest, Ab Ripper X
T – Shoulders and Arms, Abs
W – Plyo (also climb Wed evenings)
T – Legs
F – Yoga and Yoga Belly
S, S – climbing, cycling, surfing, and running
don’t get outside for some reason, Kenpo X will be added.
Don’t plan on doing much Kenpo.
Day 1 –
Sept 22, 2003
(chair placed way in front for pull-ups and knees for
push-ups) in order to do 15 reps on every exercise. It was
difficult, even doing the movements the easiest way near the
end. Did manage to do 15 reps across the board. Later in the
program, reps can be sacrificed to make strength gains, but
right now reps are paramount. Lactic acid build-up was so
severe that I spent the first 15 minutes post-workout walking
around trying to keep from losing my lunch.
protocol as above. This workout is easier because the muscle
groups are smaller so the lactic acid accumulation doesn’t
bring one quite as close to puking.
Plyo isn’t as hard as everyone said, but it’s still an
excellent workout and I’m sure to have used some muscles in
a way I’m not used to. Expect to be sore. Long climbing
session in the PM.
Only did half the workout knowing that I’ll get really sore
if I don’t. Good creative workout and none-too-easy…
Yoga – Am
starting to get sore, as expected. Yoga helped in a positive
way. Walking has become a bit difficult, and standing up…
man, what a pain.
hiked all weekend. Legs are sore but loosened up throughout
the weekend. Upper body felt decently strong. This will get
worse before it gets better, for sure.
Chest day was hard! Almost finished every push-up in good
style but had to drop to my knees on the last few reps of
diamonds. Don’t rest much between sets and do this workout
in about 30 minutes. It’s friggin ugly—a lactic acid
and arm day is easier, again, but muscles are starting to
“get slow,” which is a reaction that always happens during
a new weight training program as the muscles stay pumped
longer than they should, microtrauma is extensive, and
fast-twitch fiber is rendered useless. This period will be a
while and sports performance is going to suffer, but it’s
all in the grand scheme.
Fri – Am
pretty damn sore and yoga is perfect today.
Second straight climbing trip with longest climbing day of the
year on Sat, 9 routes (pathetic, really). Very tired and sore
by the end of the weekend. Feeling pretty maxed, but that’s
a good thing.
Getting better at the Back/Chest day and can now finish in
good style. Muscles are pumped a lot of the time right now,
with slight pressure in one elbow (from climbing mainly). Need
to be careful.
Standard day of Shoulders/Arms, except added a bike ride.
Wed – Had
to do a fit test today, so got really pumped early on. After
finishing the Wed night climbing workout with two intervals am
pretty thrashed. Need to back off a bit or risk injury.
Switched legs to leg and pull-ups. Great workout but ANOTHER
pull-up day is getting to be too much with all the climbing.
Surfed in the AM, a brand new sport for me, adding to my
overall soreness. Yoga sesh was abridged due to fatigue.
Sat – 2
hour bike ride in AM, 2 hour powerhike/scramble/run in PM. No
climbing due to exhaustion of upper body.
Climbed reasonably hard. Felt better as the day went on. No
elbow pain at all, so I seem to be recovery adequately.
Fell asleep at around 9PM. I’m tired. I like it.
One Overview – Great stuff. Adaptive phase going as
planned. Almost overdid it a few times but backed off just
enough (or so I think right now). Since it’s the first real
resistance training since last fall, I think the process is
going well and that the strength curve will rocket skyward
during the next block. Currently in severe breakdown but not
overtrained much, even with all the extra outside exercise.
Considered extending the block another week but with the elbow
pressure decided a week away from pull-ups might be perfect.
With a “recovery” week coming up, climbing should improve
a lot next weekend. I’m using recovery in quotes because our
first test group, Jon, Ian, Mason, and Audra all thought the
first recovery week felt harder than the preceding weeks.
notes: Started the Carrie Wiatt 50% protein diet in week
3. While not optimal given the extra exercise I’m doing, it
was manageable and I can feel the normal associated feelings
with a high-protein diet. It’s not nearly as hard as the
entry Atkins plan would be and I’d think anyone doing P90X
that needs to shed a little fat could handle it for 4 weeks.
Continuing for at least the next week so should have more
perspective on it then.
is going to be great, I can tell. Plan to climb fairly hard
this weekend. Along with the 90X schedule, will climb Wed
night, bike ride, run, and surf one day each this week.
Yoga X & Yoga Belly 7
Tuesday: Core Synergistics
Wednesday: Kenpo X
Thursday: Yoga X & Yoga Belly 7
Friday: Core Synergistics
Today I used to video instead of the notes, so it was my first
glimpse of Yogi Tony. Yogi Tony’s class is brilliant, and I
mean that in an Eddie Haskell sort of way. “Now relax,
center yourself and breathe… Hey, Ian, you worthless piece
of @#&!. You call that a %^&@#g downward dog? I should
kick your lazy….” I laughed so hard a couple of times that
I fell out of my pose. Genius, in my opinion, but perhaps not
in a way America is ready for.
Tue – Had
Ian explain just what the hell the core movements were so that
I could do it. Fun workout, and really hard if you go to
exhaustion as much as the notes tell you to. Whew! Also rode
my bike this morning. Have a not-so-strange craving for rice.
Diet Note: Only one week into the Plan One high protein diet
and I’m having trouble. One of yesterday’s meals must have
had some slightly bad meat b/c I woke up sick during the
night, then had protein issues (feel like ass but hard to
explain). I am noticing the normal high-pro associated
feelings in general: dehydration, fat loss, bad breath,
feeling sluggish, always wanting to eat more but never feeling
like I’ve had enough, even though I’m full (lack of blood
sugar). Usually this last feeling wears off and the person
will eat less, food boredom, which along with dehydration is a
part of high-pro weight loss, the part that comes back. The
other loss is real, fat loss, which really get rippin’ once
my calories drop. In my case, I don’t have tons of fat to
lose and am doing a fair amount of extra exercise, so I’m
starting to bonk—totally normal given the parameters. But
I’ve done this before in varying degrees, so it’s not
exactly surprising. Self-experimentation is fun stuff, except
its not always fun. I’m sure this makes a ton of sense.
I was tossing and turning in bed a 4am trying think about
something other than losing an eating contest at
all-you-can-eat meat night at Earl’s BBQ, I had a revelation
about how to word the caveat about the high protein cycle. I
knew there was a reason I was doing this.
Sick of protein, I didn’t eat much Thursday and felt better
(and big part of the high-pro phenomenon according to
studies). Lack energy somewhat but not horribly. Really wanted
pizza Friday night but skipped that and ended up slacking by
eating a bunch of ice cream.
Did a lot
of yoga this week, which is great. I’m have the world’s
tightest hips and they’ve never gotten very loose (and
won’t), but I’ve used this as an excuse not to work them,
causing me to lose some of the little range of motion that I
had. Feel like I’m starting to get it back. Cool.
for another road trip so weekend climbing plans have been
Sat – Had
a ‘sports day,’ in order to burn off the ice cream.
Here’s how it went:
10:30 – surf (don’t know how to surf so this consisted of
lots of paddling and getting thrashed by waves)
– mtn biking. Got shut down on trail because of my dog, so
sesh was shorter than planned.
1 – 3:00
– rockclimbing. Easy day, 3 moderate routes all 5.10 (quite
easy for me).
4:30 – trail run. Loop from Topanga over to Will Rogers and
5 – 6:00
– beach volleyball. Hadn’t played in years (though I used
to play a lot). Still will be a little sore from moving in
“Bend It Like Beckham”. Can’t finish off a sports day
without a sports movie. Great film, by the way and you'd have
to be one cynical bastard not to think so.
Sun – “
Get the crap kicked out of me day”
“surfing” at Santa Cruz Island on a board that was way too
short and narrow for me to navigate. Also somehow missed the
reef warning orientation and ended up being hurled towards
some rocks and thinking, “I’ve been withheld some critical
need-to-know information!” My “wonder if feet work like
anchors” solution had the right effect on inertia except
that it looked as though I’d been lufa-ing with a cheese
grater, making me the slowest moving bleeding thing in the
water amongst one of the highest concentrations of White
sharks in the world. Switched to a boogey board because 1) it
was far easier to catch waves and avoid rocks, and 2) sharks
apparently don’t like the color yellow, which happened to be
the color of my fins. Trying to learn some technique, I
starting watching Dogtown and Z-Boys but fell asleep on the
couch about 2 sips into a beer and dreamt about sharks biting
I feel like
I’ve spent the last 4 weeks doing absolutely nothing
within’ my comfort zone. My body is so sore that I’m
can’t even begin to point out any particular sore areas, as
it’s one big numb blob (except for my feet, that look as
though practicing Wu-Tan on Freddy Krueger). For 8 months I
did almost nothing but ride my bike, run, and eat pasta. Now
I’m doing everything but ride my bike, run, and eat pasta.
Can you say “adaptive phase?” You betchya!
fascinating to observe oneself going through this, especially
since brain power—exacerbated by lack of carbohydrates, the
only proper brain fuel—falters as well. My friend Andrea
summed this up so creatively I’m going to borrow her
comments. She’s been following a similar overtraining
schedule since the surf came up. After spending more time in
the water than sleeping this weekend, comments on our ride
home last night began with, “I’m having delirium,”
progressed to “…becoming defunct, “ when finally she
became “a lump of human flesh melting into the seat” just
before I poured her into her apartment.
alrightly then … here’s the schedule for the next three
M – Back
and Bi’s, Ab Ripper X
T – Chest, Shoulders, Tri’s, Yoga Belly
W – Plyo (climb Wed evenings, of course)
T – Legs and Pull-ups, Ab Ripper X
F – Yoga and Yoga Belly
S, S – climbing, cycling, surfing, running, v-ball, boogie
board, swim from sharks, get hurled into rocks, etc…
Moving into 40/30/30. Hoo-friggin’-ray!
Recovery week did its job. In spite of overall fatigue, the
upper body is looking forward to today’s lactic acid bath.
bi’s isn’t as hard as back and chest but it’s no picnic.
Creative and cool, it lacks one aspect—a proper warm-up
(note: add this in!) I pulled a muscle at my first set of
pull-ups. No biggie in the long run but it affected today’s
workout so that I couldn’t push as hard as I’d have liked.
Tue – The
pulled muscle also affected my sleep because it woke me up
every time I moved. No exercise today either. Grrrr
After my first day with no exercise in a long time I woke up
feeling really stiff and sore. Certainly, this has an aspect
of overtraining associated with it. But it’s not P90X to
blame, its days like Sat. But other than my feet and back,
which are healing, I feel pretty good. So good, in fact, I've
begun thinking about a birthday challenge.
CAREFULLY and the back is getting better. Will ride my bike
easy and maybe skip climbing tonight… maybe.
all I did was bike about an hour and do yoga and I’m STILL
sore, especially biceps from Monday’s back and bi workout,
which is killer. Hope to do more today, though I can still
feel my back and don’t want to take any steps backwards. Did
Yoga Booty Ballet—umm, no comment, but I HAVE to do it since
we're going to market it and it's definitely an estrogen thing—to
warm-up and then did the chest, shoulder, tri for the first
time. Really creative and fun and a serious hammering,
especially for the shoulders and tri’s.
So, I AM
doing a bd challenge on my real birthday that comes in the
middle of this program. That means more cool testing, since
I'll try and have a little peak, then his it back up again
after. It will extend the overall program a few weeks. No
problem with that. It's a blast.
Fri – My
friend Leigh made a comment something like, “when do you do
any housework or chores with weekend’s like that?” My
answer is that you should see my place right now and you’d
know, I don’t. Okay, so maybe I will tonight.
climbing day, except that it was ridiculously hot and got cut
short when my partner got heat stroke. I wasn’t far behind.
We still got in 6 routes—a full day for most people—plus
two-hours of hiking in the heat.
sports day and I was up before dawn and loading my van with
apparatus to surf, road bike, mtn bike, run, climb, or
boulder. The morning started with what was supposed to be an
easy to moderate 50-mile group ride but turned into a 70-mile
reasonable hard training ride. The “no drop” policy got
thrown out the window and near the end I found myself off the
front with 3 other people out of a group of 40+ starters.
After nearly two months off, this was much more than I
needed—and riding through the smoke and ash didn’t help.
Pretty worked, I opted for an afternoon surf. My legs were
cramping each time I tried to get up on the board but the
water was by far the most comfortable place to be in
yesterday’s 100-degree smoky weather.
On my drive
home I was hammered (theme for my weekends, it seems), even
though it doesn’t feel like I’ve been doing as much volume
as normal. Blame it on 90X, perhaps (or for sure). Certainly,
this morphing process I’m going through is going to pay
dividends once I’m adapted to it!
I’m tired going in, my back feels okay today so I’m back
on the normal schedule.
notes: I ate way more than Carrie’s food last week. It
is simply not enough food for my schedule, which isn’t
exactly surprising. I can’t say that I did a good job of
swaying, as I ate anything that was around. Considering I went
to a birthday bash and a wedding, this generally wasn’t near
the pinnacle of Michi’s Ladder (Beachbody's "foods you
should eat" list).
Mon – Did
the “gun show” workout. Can still feel my rhomboid muscle
I tweaked last week but there is no real pain. This workout is
awesome, especially for, well, the guns. Not nearly as
physically painful as the chest/back combo, it does pump up
your biceps beyond belief. These meathead friends of mine in
school used to always say, “12-inch arms don’t drop
nobody.” They would have loved this workout. Practiced apnea
for the first time in ages. Did 2 minutes post workout sitting
at my desk, so I should be able to get 2:43 with a little
work. Also, I feel better right now, post workout, than I did
last night. The Gun Show as a recovery workout? Must be the
Tue - just
did 13 yoga poses for 43 sec, and 2-minute breath hold (a way
off still), and 430 push-ups, 430 crunches, 430 leg-lifts and
430 jumping jacks in 45 minutes. That'll work just fine for my
bd challenge. It's just all that pesky other stuff...
got to go fill-in the shoulder and tri exercises to round the
workout off. Really like the no repeat workouts. Very
rattled off 14 routes at the gym in a couple of hours. This
isn’t too impressive, really, especially considering how
pumped I was at the end. Glad I’ve got a few weeks to go.
Wed - The
little back muscle pull has become a slight irritant. Maybe I
need more than one day off. Only did some yoga and bouldered
in the backyard tonight. Really feeling stiff for some reason,
but what's new?
Since I'm working on my film all weekend, I altered the
schedule that had my climbing again tonight since I won't get
a chance over the next 4 days. This is the first time I've
climbed three days on in ages (years maybe). Only did easy
routes at the gym, got incredibly pumped, my fingers are
pretty stiff, but at least I'm not injured. Woke up in the
middle of the night with a calf cramp. Weird, in that I
haven't cramped much in years but this year has been full of
it, in all different conditions. Weird. I could absolutely see
this as a limiting factor of the challenge, so I'd better get
serious about sorting out the problem.
Fri - Did
legs and pull-ups and drank too much at Carl's Halloween
Not much exercise, for me. Sat did an easy ride to map a good
bd challenge running course then ran 4.3 miles at a 6:20 pace.
Sunday did a hard group ride of around 50 miles. Diet sucked.
Mon - Did
the "gun show" early and my lat is acting sorta
strange. Supposed to climb tonight.
session at climbing gym. Finished it with 160 leg lifts and
dips. Tried to add pull-ups but didn't have enough skin left.
Tue - not
feeling too well, so a day off. Worrying a bit about some
stiffness in my hip joint. First noticed it a few weeks back
and it seems to be getting worse. Especially today, and all
I've done is lay around Hmm, doesn't feel serious
but won't go away. Irritating.
Wed - Hip
was really bad tonight. So bad that I kelp waking up. Ended up
doing some self bodywork and found a trigger point that
released some of the pain and stiffness, at least through the
night. A slight irritant has turned into a big concern, but it
just can't be a real injury... can it? Bad training day. Did a
little yoga and climbed a little in the backyard.
Thurs - Hip
is much better, so whatever trigger point I found must have
been on the right track. I'm now pretty certain that I can
correct this problem if I can just find time to get a massage.
Tonight climbed in the gym for a couple of hours, then did 30
sets of: 4 pull-ups, 4 hanging straight leg raises, 4 bar
dips, 8 push-ups, 8 supine leg raises, 16 crunches. That's 360
of the 430 pull-ups, etc, and it took a little under an hour.
Not bad, though I realize this may prove different during this
Planning to test some of the challenge events this weekend to
work out logistics. Hope access still exists to MST3K
(climbing area), otherwise my scheduling has some serious
issues. Yoga today... Yes!
Had to work during the middle of the day Sat, which
facilitated a ridiculously early start. Drove out to Conejo
Mountain and recon'd the area. Did 8 pitches of climbing on
routes I'll do during the challenge. Also, sussed out the mtn
biking in the area, and it should work out pretty well. Was
very tired Sat night.
planned to surf and climb but it rained (you don't want to
surf near LA after a rain!) Plan be had us driving to the
desert, where I did 22 pitches and faired pretty well.
Granted, quite a few were low-angled granite, and not the same
test the Echo will offer during the challenge. Still, I'm
feeling a little more confident.
Mon - Less
than two weeks before the challenge so the entire training
schedule is now challenge specific. This week I'll test a
bunch of stuff out. Time is an issue, I'm swamped! Oh well,
it's not birthday pretty hard... yadda, yadda, yadda....
Overdid it a bit the last couple of days, especially after all
that climbing on Sun. Did at stack of push-ups, pull-ups,
bar-dips, leg lifts, etc and did mileage in the climbing gym
on consecutive nights. Last night I physically had to stop due
to strain on a tendon. Hope I didn't injure anything, but it
feels like I stopped in time. Other than that, things are
going okay. A bit tired but I have two easy days ahead, whew.
Fri - P90X
filming has kept me pretty busy. For training, I watched a lot
of exercise as opposed to actually doing any. It's okay, I
needed the break.
Sat - Did a
bunch of routes at Echo, around 15, that are all the
problematic ones in the challenge and many of the harder
routes. Ended up changing the schedule a bit because of it.
Hard day and everything worked okay. No problems from the
Sun - More
test-run stuff at Mystery Science Theatre. Added an 11b but
decided that two 11d's were too sharp and hard so scrapped em.
Mapped the bike course.
training is finished. The hay is in the barn, as they say.
This week will focus on recovery, hydration, and logistics
(which can't be underestimated). Not too upset with my
progress and fitness level. I'd like to have more recent
endurance training under my belt but, well, I don't. So be it.
Engrams can go a long way.