Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Journey through P90X and Personal Training Part 1

Back in November I purchased P90X in an attempt to get into shape. It was great for a week or so, then I started getting discouraged and skipping workouts, and gave up altogether by Thanksgiving. After New Year's Eve I decided that I needed to get back into it, and also made the decision to become a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. It's been about 3 weeks that I've been working out daily, and studying for the first course of the personal training program and I have never felt better than I do today.

I'm going to attempt to keep updates going on my P90X progress and my NASM Certification status through this blog, and hopefully I can help others who are attempting either or both of these as well!

The first week of the P90X program was brutal, I'll be honest. The program is meant for people who already work out and have reached a plateau and need something extra to get them to their peak physical condition. P90X is a very intense workout program and if you do not devote yourself to it, you will not see the results you want. Don't get discouraged if you are having difficulty keeping up with Tony and his workout team. They have already been through the program and once you and I are finished, we will be able to keep up with them easy!

The first week of the program, I did not have resistance bands, which was a big mistake on my part. I would highly recommend getting a minimum of 3 levels of bands, unless you feel confident that you can do pull-ups for 60 minutes. I currently use http://www.amazon.com/Resistance-Bands-Workout-Kit--3-bands/dp/B0030DBFB2/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1297197169&sr=8-12 which you can find for fairly inexpensive on Amazon..

Once I got the resistance bands, my workouts improved tenfold. I weighed in at 130lbs 3 weeks ago, with a 30 inch waist and 36 inch chest. Now I am down to 122lbs, 28 inch waist, and 35.5 inch chest. I am a 5'4", 24 year old female, just for reference. I do not plan on "bulking" up. I simply want to tone up and feel great.

Working out alone did not get me these quick results. I have cut out all fast food (except for the occasional hamburger), cut out soda and coffee, and I cut my portions by 1/4. I did not, and would not recommend, cutting out everything "bad" for you and eating only salads. By depriving yourself of the foods you love, you set yourself up for a binge, and for guilt. The trick is to limit your intake of the foods you love. For example, I absolutely love sweets. Any kind of chocolate or candy can derail my diet if I never allow myself to have it. To get my fix of candy, without getting too much, I will buy a bag of Hershey Kisses and let myself have 5 a day. 2 after lunch, and 3 after dinner. That is just enough to curb my cravings for sweets, but isn't so much that I feel sick or guilty for eating them.

Another trick I do is chew gum. Whenever I get a craving for something I know I shouldn't have, I'll pop a stick of gum in my mouth and after a few days I no longer crave the bad stuff. I also have 1 cheat day a week where I can eat 1 greasy, fatty, delicious meal and not feel bad about it.

In addition to those tricks, I drink a lot of water. Sometimes I'll add some crystal light to my water for some flavor or I'll get a flavored vitamin water. I also have the P90X recovery drink, which tastes great and really does make me regain the energy I used during the workout. There are times that I will think I am hungry but I'll drink a glass of water and realize I was just dehydrated. I now try to drink a glass of water whenever I feel slightly hungry, and if after 15 minutes I still feel hungry I will eat a snack or a full meal if it is that time. 

After limiting my intake of fast food, soda, and sweets, I've found that if I do over-indulge and eat more than I should, I end up feeling very tired and sick.

Just yesterday I convinced my roommate, who has lost a good deal of weight the past couple of months, to start working out with me. He lost weight by eating better and cutting his portions, he didn't do much physical activity and is just hovering around the same weight. Doing the first workout with him yesterday was really a lot of fun (for me at least). I felt competitive and pushed myself harder than previous workouts, and today I am feeling it. In a good way! I'll keep updates on him, if he allows me to :-)

I'm glad I convinced him to workout with me because I can start using the skills I am learning for personal training and learn what works, and what doesn't work. 

Tip of the day - Believe in yourself. If you believe you can do it, you really can do it and you will surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.


  1. Hi Sara :)
    My name is Tatianna, I am happy to find someone new on the fitness blogging. I just created a fitness blog too and I am pretty exited. I checked out your blog by accident, just stumbled upon I guess, I think I might be the first one to leave a comment, which is pretty exiting :)
    Anyway, I am studying for personal training as well, I am about to take my final exam.
    I tried P90x as well but, I got bored really quick, I thought it was a bit too slow for me. I usually create my own workouts, which are more fun.

  2. Hi Tatianna!

    Thanks for the comments I appreciate it and I'm glad to know that someone finds what I write about interesting :)

    Let me know how your final exam goes for personal training. I'm still in the early stages and hope to be all finished up by August (fingers crossed). I hope you do well!