Tuesday 6 January 2015

Dumbbells & P90X/2 - 5 Weeks Later

Fun Rating: ★★☆☆☆    Difficulty Rating: ★★★★☆     Results Rating: ★★★☆☆

   It's been difficult this month to tell if this workout has been particularly effective. December is certainly the fattest month of the year, and I've been doing my best against it. My self control is better than I thought it was, and I don't feel I've overeaten at all, for once, but I have eaten more bad things than I usually would have, and while I made adjustments for them, such as swapping out a planned healthy snack for a planned unhealthy one so that I don't have both (and the fact that I planned to have a festive snack made me binge a hell of a lot less), it still wasn't ideal. So, as an added precaution, for the last 2 weeks I upped my workout by adding in 20 minutes of dance before starting the dumbbell circuits, and I also added 30 minutes of ashtanga yoga in the evening on that same day. The P90X/2 workout was hard enough, and if I'd added 20 minutes of cardio to the beginning of that I don't think I'd have been able to finish even one of the two P90X/2 circuits, and I didn't do yoga those days either because there is such a thing as too much. I was careful and upped my calories a smidge on the yoga days, though, to ensure I could get through the workouts.
   So, in a way, yes, I cheated this month and screwed up my results from the workout by adding in extra stuff, but I maintain that the extra work was cancelled out by the festive season, so the results I've gotten are more or less down to this month's workout.

   Unfortunately, my mind was so heavily pre-occupied by my shop throughout December that I didn't really notice how I was feeling about the workout. Usually I can tell you that I was feeling a difference (perhaps initially imaginary) after a week or so, but this time my mind was focused on one thing and one thing only that I just didn't notice. Exercise was actually the only thing I was able to make time for in between fulfilling orders, everything else went out the window, so until I stepped on the scales and grabbed the tape measure yesterday, I didn't have much idea of whether or not I'd gotten anywhere this month.
   I also admit that I've been really scared to actually step on the scales. I always am, if I'm honest, I'm scared that all the hard work will have gotten me nowhere, but I just can't think like that. That's partly why I only weigh and measure once a month: it gives me enough time to actually achieve some results, rather than just catching a fluctuation. But over December I've been worrying that maybe I actually didn't do as well as I'd thought I had over Christmas (as in that perhaps my eating was worse than I thought, and my workouts weren't hard enough), but I guess I couldn't have done as badly as I thought since I lost another inch and several pounds. I'm dead chuffed with the results if I'm completely honest - yes, it's all coming off slowly, but losing weight slowly helps to keep it off, as well as avoiding unsightly sagging skin. Fortunately I was never in a postition for that to have ever been a possibility, but even if I was, with things going as they are it would be only a small concern.

   Either way, December's workout has been tough. I enjoyed the dumbbell circuit the most (that's been a fairly consistent fact: I've actually enjoyed the strength/weight-based circuits far more than cardio/pilates/plyometric circuits over the past three months), and I loathed the P90X/2-styled workout, so it's safe to say I won't be buying any of those DVDs - at least, not yet. I need to be able to enjoy the workout in order to find the energy to actually do it, and this was my limit. You'll recall that I changed one of the two workouts in November because I hated it that much. I couldn't muster the enthusiasm or the energy to do it, so I was doing it badly - poor form and lacklustre. I figured it was better to swap it out for something a little easier and more enjoyable so that I could work harder on that and effectively burn more, and I maintain it was the right thing to do. December, however, I stuck to it, because it wasn't quite hard enough for me to hate it.
   Also, on a note that's less important for you but more for me, I actually finished season 2 of Dragon Ball Z on the 23rd of December. I was bummed out, because I watch them while working out and my workouts actually, rather conveniently, last exactly the amount of time an episode takes, from the very second the start credits begin to the second the end credits begin. So I decided I'd just restart season 2 on the 24th until I could buy season 3, but on Christmas Day, Seeg gave me season 3. Hell. Yes. I was really chuffed with that, so I only had one day in December that I had nothing new to watch. If I'm honest it's part of the reason I love doing workouts that aren't DVD-based anymore, but that's not the only reason. The last 3 months I've done workouts from FitnessMagazine.com and from Women's Fitness Magazine, and they've actually been a lot tougher than any DVD I have, including the 30 Day Shred.

   But, this month I'm returning to DVD workouts again - though I'm also sticking to the alternating workout thing, since it seems to work. Jillian Michael's Kickbox Fast Fix has 3 different 20 minute workouts, focusing on different things. There are bound to be one or two I love, and one or two I hate, so at least by alternating them and doing each workout 2 days a week I can keep myself enthusiastic rather than going through a 10-day period of dreading my workout because I'm focusing on a boring routine. If December had been only P90X/2, I wouldn't have finished it. Alternating it with a workout I really enjoyed but was still a challenge kept me coming back, if just so I could get through the rubbish one and do the good one again.


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