This week I finished my first week of the second phase of the P90X Program! As I entered the second phase, I re-assessed my progress thus far and my nutrition plan. I decided to make a few changes:
1. Switched to the Doubles Program – P90X offers three versions of their program: Classic, Lean, and Doubles. The P90X Classic version is for people who want to put on some mass and lose fat (this is what I followed for Phase 1). The P90X Doubles version is for those who want some extra cardiovascular exercise, either for sports performance or weight loss. The P90X Lean version is for those who want a more cardio-based slightly less intensive program. I wanted a little bit more of a challenge, so I switched to the doubles program, and will now be incorporating cardio on three of the resistance days. I decided that I would do my cardio in the evening after work, and that I would switch it up between a 30-45 minute jog outside :], a quick sprint workout on the treadmill (30 minutes of 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off), or the Cardio X video. After the first week, I have really enjoyed the “bonus” runs in the evenings :].
2. Increased Calorie Intake – As I mentioned in my P90X Week 1 Experience post, I was going to be eating around 1500-1600 calories a day, and following the “Fat Shredder” macros (which is about 50% protein, 25% carbs, 25% fat). After this first few weeks, I felt like I was not eating enough, and definitely did not want to cause myself metabolic damage (learn more here) , so I have been increasing my calorie intake, and have come to a happy 1700-1800 calories a day (and I feel SO MUCH BETTER :]). As I mentioned above, I am now following the doubles program for phase 2, so on the days that I also have an evening cardio session, I eat around 1900-2000 calories. After this first week, I feel stronger, leaner, and definitely feel like I am on the right track :] (you always need to listen to your body and what works for you).
3. Added Creatine – I have been contemplating adding creatine to my supplement stack for a while now. After writing my post about pre-workouts, I started to do more research again, and found this amazing article by SimplyShredded.com: The Ultimate Creatine Guide for Maximum Muscle Gains. Great read! To summarize:
“Creatine works. It’s not going to make you super strong overnight, but it will allow you to lift heavier. You keep at it, and over time, creatine will make you stronger. Not only that, it has the potential to help in a variety of ways – cell membrane, neuroprotective, and so forth.”
So, I have now added 5 grams of Optimum Nutrition Creatine powder, to my morning green smoothies, and it may just be in my head…but I really do feel like I am getting stronger and lifiting heavier!! yay!
4. Added Homemade Protein Bars
With the increase in calories, I really needed some high protein, good quality options to add to my nutrition plan. When I was following the Jamie Eason LiveFit Trainer on Bodybuilding.com, I used to make all of her homemade protein bars (delicious!). So, I decided to create my own version of one of her chocolate protein bars. I have been experimenting with amaranth flour vs buckwheat flour; and hemp milk vs. protein fortified flax milk…and I think I almost have the perfect chocolate protein bar!!! I plan to share this recipe soon!
Ok so, the first week of the “doubles” P90X program consisted of the following (note: phase 2 actually starts on Day 29):
- Day 29 – AM: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps + Ab Ripper X – These exercises are intense. The push-up variations are hard, including one-handed push-ups. I had to do these on my knees (lol), but my goal is to be able to do at least 5 by the end of the program…(hmm, actually I’ll be happy with 2-3 :P).
- Day 29 – PM: Cardio Session: The P90X program provides their Cardio X video for the “extra” cardio session; however, with the beautiful summer weather, I could not resist going outside and going for a “fun” run instead. By “fun” run, I mean no set distance, no set pace. Just going for a run, and enjoying it :]. I do try to at least go for 30 minutes; if I do more great, if I am tired and only hit 20 minutes no problem, as long as I enjoy it!
- Day 30 – Plyometrics – Still a great workout. I also bring 100% to these, and I always feel the burn!
- Day 31 – AM: Back & Biceps + Ab Ripper X – In one word, I summarize this workout with: WOW. I LOVED it. I love working my biceps anyway, and this one hit the spot. GREAT workout.
- Day 31 – PM: Cardio Session: I went on another 30 minute “fun” run outside :] Felt great.
- Day 32 – Yoga X – I only do the first hour of this video (since I do it in the mornings before work, and I don’t have time for the full hour). But the first hour captures the moving asanas sequence which is TOUGH, so I am ok with just the first hour. I feel that I have improved on some of the poses, but the Warrior 3 and the Half-Moon and Twisting Half-Moons are so hard! I still can’t get through these without falling over! lol. But hey, I am doing my best ;]
- Day 33 – AM: Legs & Back + Ab Ripper X – Same video as Phase 1, and same great leg and back workout. Just as Tony says, it all really depends on the intensity that you bring to the workout – “you’ve got to bring it!”. And I do, and man do I feel it!
- Day 33- PM: Cardio Session: The weather wasn’t very good, and I think doing medium intensity cardio on the treadmill is borrrriinnggg. So I decided to do a sprint routine for 30 minutes on the treadmill. I ran at about 8 or 8.MPH5 for 30 seconds, then jumped off for 30 seconds; repeated for 30 minutes, and ended up having a great endorphin releasing sweat session :P.
- Day 34– Kenpo X – Still loving Kenpo! Such a fun cardio workout :].
- Day 35 – Stretch X or Rest – I had a hectic Saturday (day 34) of trimming my tree and cleaning up my backyard, so instead of doing this stretch video I decided to REST (yes my body needed it!) and did some foam rolling as well to help with my patellar tendonitis.
I am excited about Phase 2. I love the increased intensity, and I feel that with the changes I mentioned above, I will continue to see great results! :]
In good health,