P90X With a Little Weightlifting Mixed in Log

  1. P90X With a Little Weightlifting Mixed in Log

    Hi guys, I used to be very active on this site and learned a ton about nutrition and workout technique, but lately I've been slacking a bit. I'm still in fair shape, though not as big as I once was. I'm in senior year of a mechanical engineering degree and work as well, so time is not available like it once was!

    Nevertheless, my neighborhood has a basic gym with up to 100lb dumbbells, a rarity for apartment gyms, so that has helped me to not lose everything. Unfortunately, they don't have a squat rack, just a bar, so I can only do deads, not squats. I've reached plateaus in most body parts, mostly just because of non-dedication to the routines, lack of writing down my sets, and lack of proper (ie, enough) diet.

    Anyway, I thought I'd try P90X for a change of pace and because I want to gain some athleticism, which I currently do not have much of, unfortunately. I tried running but it is so boring! Plus my knees started to ache about two weeks into it, and since I already have a bad back I am not willing to sacrifice another body part. Another weakness for me is my inflexibility, which I think contributes to my back problems. My goal from this program is to retain, and hopefully add, muscle, and cut fat.

    I started my second week today, so thought I'd start a log here. Hopefully people can learn from my experiences.

    Changes to the Program

    Having been through the first week, I have decided to change the routine up a tad. There are six workouts per week, three of which are weight training days. The other three are cardio or yoga based workouts. On the weight days I am going to substitute some of their weaker movements, or add some of my own that I believe the program lacks. For example, today was chest and back day; mostly just a bunch of pushups and pullups. They also have some back thickness movements, but my dumbbells at home only go up to 65lbs or so per dumbbell. Since I usually DB row 90-100lbs, I have decided that on this day, in the morning, I am going to go to the neighborhood gym and do 3 sets of high weight, low rep DB rows, and also 3 sets of high weight, low rep DB incline presses. Then in the P90x workout I will skip about half of the rowing movements (there are 6 sets total). My hope is that this will allow me to keep my strength and size throughout the program.

    I am only in phase one, but here is what I plan to add:

    Chest/back: add 3 sets of DB rows, 3 sets of incline DB
    Shoulders/arms: add 4 sets of BB shrugs (there are no shrug movements in P90x, plenty of presses though)
    Legs/Back: add 2-3 sets of heavy deads or squats (when I can get to the university gym). Hopefully I can alternate.

    I think adding these weighted movements will help hit the areas neglected by P90x, and hopefully add some strength to the endurance I will be building. As I move into phases two and three I will update what I will be adding/changing.


    Before now, I have NEVER counted calories. This has undoubtedly been my biggest weakness. Luckily, I always eat pretty healthy, sticking to low GI carbs and lean proteins. Unfortunately, I've never paid much attention to fats or to including fruits and vegetables into my diet. Also, I tend to cheat several times per week.

    For this program though I am sticking to a totally strict diet. I am using fitday to track calories and macro breakdowns, and adding healthy fats like nuts and flax to the diet. I am currently trying 3200 calories per day, but think I might drop to 3000 soon. I think this will make a big difference. I won't bore you all with daily food intake, but will update weekly with macro breakdowns and calorie averages for the week.

    My main proteins are chicken and turkey breasts, with the occasional red meat in the form of a stew or steak. Main carbs are low/mid GIs like brown rice, oatmeal cereal, and cream of wheat, though I will be having a fruit smoothie (that I make at home) daily, or sometimes twice daily. Also, apple juice will generally be consumed (only .5 cup) after the workouts. Fats will be mostly from nuts and olive oil.


    I've purchased the following equipment:

    -Adjustable dumbbells (the kind where you add the weight plate then screw on the collar, the old school kind). I have 120lbs total weight for these in 10s, 5s, and 2.5s, though can only have about 55x2 or 75 on one dumbbell due to size constraints and plate constraints. This is why I am adding the gym exercises.

    -Terrell Owens Bodylastics elastic bands (don't laugh!). These are actually very high quality (read the reviews on amazon), and the thickest bands are no joke. I bought them mainly to add resistance to the dumbbells when I max out, though I think using the gym's dumbbells is going to supersede this idea. Probably a waste of money at this point. One idea I had for them was to put a band behind the back to add resistance to pushups. We'll see how these play out.

    -Foam mat for yoga, plyo, and ab days.

    -Pushup handles, which I'll be using on all pushup exercises.


    It's always a good idea to have clearly defined goals. Mine are to retain all my muscle mass and drop from my current body fat of about 14% to around 8-9%. An added bonus would be adding muscle mass and/or strength at the gym when I'm done. The health benefits from the diet and cardio are of course beneficial, as well.

    Pics edited out
    Last edited by hypo; 12-02-2010 at 09:37 PM.

  2. Forgot to add my thoughts about the program so far.

    I am on phase one, which goes like this for three weeks, then I get a recovery week which is mostly cardio, yoga, and stretching:

    Sunday: Chest/Back + Abs
    Monday: Plyometrics
    Tuesday: Shoulders/Bis/Tris + Abs
    Wednesday: Yoga
    Thursday: Legs and Back + Abs
    Friday: Kenpo
    Saurday: rest or a stretching program

    Currently I am on week two, day one.

    The workouts are really intense! Totally different from what I'm used to, but that is a good thing. After my first plyo day I was walking quite funny and had trouble with stairs, so I can't imagine what it's like for people who've never worked out before. Every workout I push myself, and feel very winded and at times even a little nauseous. I currently have to take little breaks after about the halfway point to catch my breath, but I'm sure after a few weeks I can keep up.

    The ab workout is only 16 minutes long, but brutal. The instructors do 10 sets of 25 reps each right after another. I started from 10 reps per set and am working my way up by one rep each week, and have to take little breaks. I never paid much attention to my core, so this should help a lot. After my first ab day the tops of my legs and lower back were killing me, so this really is a total core workout.

    I really like the Yoga. Like I said before, flexibility is a big weak point for me and I can see this program helping me a lot with that. The balancing in this workout also is pretty difficult; something I need to work on.

    The plyo workout is unlike anything I've ever tried before. It is seriously intense. I need to work up my leg endurance before even thinking about keeping up with them, and my cardiovascular endurance needs a lot of work too. Lots of jump squats, calf hops, things like that. But this workout especially will get you into excellent cardiovascular shape.

  3. I am keeping a very detailed excel sheet to track progress. From week one two week two (Chest and Back day, which I just did), I went from 135 pushups to 153, and from 32 unassisted pullups to 40. These numbers are through the course of the hour long workout, of course. I also took less breaks. So I am definitely making progress.

    Today's weights in the gym were 3 sets of 95x6 DB rows (felt easy, good form) and 3 sets of incline DB bench presses which went like this: 70x8, 75x8, 75x4 (to failure here).

    I am also getting better sleep and feel tired earlier. I try to get at least 7 hours a night, but do more if I can. Another bonus is I feel I have more energy in the mornings, and have even skipped coffee a few times, which I never do. Might simply be due to the better and longer sleep. Not sure if this is placebo or genuine, but either way I like it.
    Last edited by hypo; 11-21-2010 at 10:55 PM.

  4. i love that ab ripper x bro ill follow this.. you have a pretty good body frame u should be cut up by the end of this

  5. Diet breakdown for week 1 (- 2 days, because I didn't start the log until then):

    Avg Calories per day: 3192
    Protein: 372g
    Carbs: 280g
    Fat: 72g

    =47/34/19 Protein/Carb/Fat split.

    I'm also happy to report plyometrics was much easier this week. Instead of laying down panting, I started taking calm, short breaks about halfway through.

  6. Week two is finished, here are my stats.

    Diet summary for the week:

    Avg Calories: 3049
    Fat: 66g, 19%
    Carbs: 267g, 35%
    Protein: 344g, 46%

    Workout comments:

    Workouts are going well, I am gaining reps on all the exercises, including pullups which I am happy about. I've decided to drop the rowing motions all together on chest/back day and just do 5 sets of DB rows in the gym on the same day.

    Today in the gym I did 5 sets of 95x8 DB rows and 3 sets of 75x6 DB incline press. So I made good progress from last week. Technically this comment belongs in next week's summary, I suppose :b

    On shoulder day I have decided to use a lighter DB pair, about 25 lbs per hand, and add resistance with bands on the heavier exercises like upright rows and standing presses when needed. That way I don't waste time changing weights. So the bands are coming in handy after all. I also use them for light weight isolation movements like straight arm side raises (side delt movement).

    General Comments:

    I'm not sure if I see any weight loss yet, and I haven't been to the scale since starting. I am gaining reps, however, and cardiovascular endurance has improved quite a bit. I am cutting calories to 3000 per day, and sticking with the 50/30/20 split.

    I also started taking CEE before and after workouts, just because it was cheap enough to try. Other than that and a multi, no other supplements.

  7. Well, I quit the P90x after three weeks. It was a nice change, but I felt I did not have the time to properly do the program, especially with finals week coming up. I am going to keep the yoga in my workout routine, though, because I like it!

    I am currently doing Max-OT style training with carb cycling for a steady recomp over the winter.


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