P90X - Almost with a straight face

Sheazy wrote:

I'm really considering doing this. I can borrow the DVD's from a friend and don't mind picking up some bands and a yoga mat. I'm in decent shape - above all the minimum requirements for starting, although only barely on some - but would really like to start getting more serious about exercise. I'm honestly most worried about the diet change. I eat pretty well now, but never really pay much attention to calories, protein content, etc. So that will be a serious adjustment for me to even be aware of those kinds of things, let alone making decisions based on them.

Also, are any of you who are doing this using supplements in addition to a healthy diet? I've always been wary of them, but not for any good reason other than I think I'm just a skeptical person and there's a lot of 'miracle solution' type jargon surrounding them.

There is no supplement that will ever be better then glorious Whole milk! 1 gallon a day is what I recommend if you are looking to put on serious muscle.

Diet is fun subject there are millions of opinions on what works out there. I have my own that is only clean foods (Paleothic). The other that has worked for me in the past was eating weighed and measured portions in Zone proportions.

My favorite that i am unwilling to do is Dave Tate's take on how to gain muscle fast.

There was this dude who trained there who could just put on weight like f*cking magic. He'd go from 198 to 308 and then to 275 and back down to 198. And he was never fat. It was amazing.

I finally asked him one day how he did it.

"You mean I never told you the secret to gaining weight? Come outside and I'll fill you in."

Now remember, we're at Westside Barbell. And this guy wants to go outside to talk so no one else can hear. Think about that for a minute. What the hell is he going to tell me? This must be some serious sh*t if we have to go outside, I thought.

So we get outside and he starts talking.

"For breakfast you need to eat four of those breakfast sandwiches from McDonalds. I don't care which ones you get, but make sure to get four. Order four hash browns, too. Now grab two packs of mayonnaise and put them on the hash browns and then slip them into the sandwiches. Squish that sh*t down and eat. That's your breakfast."

At this point I'm thinking this guy is nuts. But he's completely serious.

"For lunch you're gonna eat Chinese food. Now I don't want you eating that crappy stuff. You wanna get the stuff with MSG. None of that non-MSG bullsh*t. I don't care what you eat but you have to sit down and eat for at least 45 minutes straight. You can't let go of the fork. Eat until your eyes swell up and become slits and you start to look like the woman behind the counter."

"For dinner you're gonna order an extra-large pizza with everything on it. Literally everything. If you don't like sardines, don't put 'em on, but anything else that you like you have to load it on there. After you pay the delivery guy, I want you to take the pie to your coffee table, open that f*cker up, and grab a bottle of oil. It can be olive oil, canola oil, whatever. Anything but motor oil. And I want you to pour that sh*t over the pie until half of the bottle is gone. Just soak the sh*t out of it."

"Now before you lay into it, I want you to sit on your couch and just stare at that f*cker. I want you to understand that that pizza right there is keeping you from your goals."

This guy is in a zen-like state when he's talking about this.

"Now you're on the clock," he continues. "After 20 minutes your brain is going to tell you you're full. Don't listen to that sh*t. You have to try and eat as much of the pizza as you can before that 20-minute mark. Double up pieces if you have to. I'm telling you now, you're going to get three or four pieces in and you're gonna want to quit. You f*cking can't quit. You have to sit on that couch until every piece is done.

And if you can't finish it, don't you ever come back to me and tell me you can't gain weight. 'Cause I'm gonna tell you that you don't give a f*ck about getting bigger and you don't care how much you lift!"

Did I do it? Hell yeah. Started the next day and did it for two months. Went from 260 pounds to 297 pounds. And I didn't get much fatter. One of the hardest things I've ever done in my life, though.

Sheazy wrote:

I'm really considering doing this. I can borrow the DVD's from a friend and don't mind picking up some bands and a yoga mat. I'm in decent shape - above all the minimum requirements for starting, although only barely on some - but would really like to start getting more serious about exercise. I'm honestly most worried about the diet change. I eat pretty well now, but never really pay much attention to calories, protein content, etc. So that will be a serious adjustment for me to even be aware of those kinds of things, let alone making decisions based on them.

Also, are any of you who are doing this using supplements in addition to a healthy diet? I've always been wary of them, but not for any good reason other than I think I'm just a skeptical person and there's a lot of 'miracle solution' type jargon surrounding them.

As far as supplements go, I just take a good multivitamin and have some whey protien I throw in chocolate milk after a workout. You don't have to get really fancy with it.

Counting calories and watching protein/fat/carb content is really just a good thing to get used to anyway. You can always stop doing it if you don't really feel you need it anymore, but it's never a bad skill to have.

rabbit wrote:

I went in...with much more enthusiasm and energy than I could deliver onto the rubber.

Aw, c'mon, nobody?

Minarchist wrote:
rabbit wrote:

I went in...with much more enthusiasm and energy than I could deliver onto the rubber.

Aw, c'mon, nobody? :)

We're too busy sweatin' to notice small things like that

My little brother uses P90X. It works, he looks good, but the whole "extreme" aspect is spot on. You have to stick to the program.

Mex wrote:
Minarchist wrote:
rabbit wrote:

I went in...with much more enthusiasm and energy than I could deliver onto the rubber.

Aw, c'mon, nobody? :)

We're too busy sweatin' to notice small things like that

Well said.

day 10 in the books. Starting to notice a bit of mental fatigue. I get to my basement put the DVD in and immediately look at the clock to see how long this is going to take. Once I get into it, that goes away but I was hoping to still feel mentally fresh longer than this.

NotThatRob wrote:

day 10 in the books. Starting to notice a bit of mental fatigue. I get to my basement put the DVD in and immediately look at the clock to see how long this is going to take. Once I get into it, that goes away but I was hoping to still feel mentally fresh longer than this.

During I don't have a problem with it but I'm already getting annoyed at it taking an hour and a half every day. Still, it's temporary and pretty awesome so I'm still all about it. Plus one day a week off helps me look forward to being really lazy.

I was saying to rabbit I don't think I have room in my life for 80 to 90 minutes a day in the long term. I think I'll be trying Power 90 to start since it's 30 minutes a day and I KNOW I can hack that.

Why things have to get so busy with work on the home stretch to Christmas, I'll never know.

Mex wrote:
Minarchist wrote:
rabbit wrote:

I went in...with much more enthusiasm and energy than I could deliver onto the rubber.

Aw, c'mon, nobody? :)

We're too busy sweatin' to notice small things like that

That's what she said?

My supplements are a multivitamin. I've done creatine in the past, and it DID pop my muscles a bit when i was lifting, but it was short lived and faded as soon as I went off. I've mostly focussed on really altering the protein content of my diet. My normal day (and I'm a creature of major routine) looks like:

Wake up.
Water.
Dress.
Coffee/Email.
Workout with Coffee/16 Oz. Water
12 Oz skim milk with nestles quick
shower
work for a bit
4-egg-white omelette with a little cheddar cheese.
work some more
coffee/game
Can of tuna/water
work some more
game/coffee
A few apricots or an apple
more coffee
water
A normal, well rounded dinner, consisting of 4-8 Oz of some sort of lean protein, a lot of vegetables, and a small portion of a starch.
6-8 Oz of wine from 6PM through bed time/email/more work/game
More water.

There used to be Gin in there on a regular basis, and a sh*tload of carbs in the form of various breads/crackers/whatever. I find over the last week that I'm averaging about 1700 calories a day in, about 40 percent protein, and I'm steadily losing weight and have good energy. Tracking it all at livestrong.com.

I should mention that there's Power 90 System, the basic system. It's probably easier on beginners and will be a smoother transition if you led more of a sedentary lifestyle

rabbit wrote:

I've done creatine in the past, and it DID pop my muscles a bit when i was lifting, but it was short lived and faded as soon as I went off.

That's really just a result of it adding water retention. It's really more for aiding in recovery and giving you better energy during workouts (by fueling your ATP stores).

I've been doing a Crossfit program at work for about six months now with a group. I work at a place that provides a full gym so it's really convenient to change and head over to work out. It's a good program, a big mix of running, weights, jumping, bodyweight exercises like pushups, situps, dips, pullups, and squats. I like the fact that I can show up and be told what to do, I do it with others, and I go to lunch. I don't have to think about it.

I'm 6'0'' and 230lbs, down from a max of 250+lbs last year. The actual weight I don't care about as much, but I've moved from a size 40 to a size 36 pants AND I was able to run/jog a mile without stopping a couple of weeks ago for the first time since I can remember! I'm only able to do pullups with a hefty assistance band, but it's getting easier as the months pass. I'm a thicker dude, so I really enjoy the weightlifting portion. I was able to deadlift 345lbs a couple of weeks ago. I feel more in control of my body, I feel strong, and it definitely transfers over to my mental health.

I really recommend some sort of habitual and consistent exercise, ESPECIALLY for people who's career requires sitting on their ass. Programmers, writers, musicians, drivers, etc. Seriously, get up and do something. You'll feel better.

mooosicle wrote:

I should mention that there's Power 90 System, the basic system. It's probably easier on beginners and will be a smoother transition if you led more of a sedentary lifestyle

Both Jess (wife) and Certis are starting Power 90 pretty much right now.

For those who might be interested, we've been covering a fair amount of nutrition/exercise stuff at my med school. The best evidence available (re: the best controlled studies conducted anywhere) indicates some interesting stuff:

1) Exercise is poorly effective for losing weight, but is effective at maintaining weight-loss.

2) Fad diets are not only ineffective long-term, but result in rebound weight-gain that exceeds the original weight.

3) The type of diet one chooses (Atkins, Paleolithic, Mediterranean, South Beach) is largely irrelevant as long as it provides sufficient nutrients (re: fat, protein, and carbohydrates, along with vitamins and micronutrients). Far more important for success is to pick the diet you're most likely to stick with for good.

4) Dietary changes must be permanent to maintain results; returning to pre-diet eating habits will cause rapid weight-gain. Basically, you need a life-style change rather than a temporary diet.

5) The absolute most important factor that far outstrips all other factors is portion control. The math is very simple: calories in < calories out = weight-loss.

Basic first steps:

Don't drink calories; cut out sugar-sweetened drinks.
Increase servings of fruit and vegetables, especially vegetables.
Limit sweets to once a day.
Eat multiple small meals.
Reduce portion sizes of all foods by 25-33%

As the specialist doctor who gave the lectures put it: "I don't care what you eat, just eat less of it!"

To be clear, exercise is an important factor in weight-loss, but it's important to maintain the results you have; it's the reduced portion sizes that will get the excess weight off of you.

Fish oil has been shown to reduce serum triglyceride levels, but I'm not sure what the evidence is for the other claimed benefits.

Hope this helps.

Coldstream: entirely logical all of it. I've always believed it was calories in < calories out, balanced diet. I've done pretty well on that front for the last 15 years, just sliding 5-10 pounds over every few years when I get complacent. Something (age) usually snaps me back and I lose it pretty quickly.

Coldstream wrote:

Eat multiple small meals.
Reduce portion sizes of all foods by 25-33%

A trick I use for this is to use small plates and the smaller fork, along with eating more slowly so your body has time to process how much you've consumed. It's amazing how much easier diet changes are with some mental tricks.

One thing that gets too oft overlooked or just down-played by the medical community is that exercise is what keeps your metabolism elevated when you're in a caloric deficit, and it's also what keep your muscle mass from being catabolized. Without that stimulus your body is going breakdown metabolically expensive muscle tissue in order to preserve fat stores for the apparent famine you're suffering. This is one of the leading causes of the yo-yo diets: by dieting alone you depress your metabolism and then lose muscle tissue only exacerbating the issue. "Hey! I've lost the 10 pounds I wanted, time to have some cake!"

That amazes me you can do that on 1700 calories a day. I've tried that before and felt like death-warmed over every time. I might try to lower my caloric intake though as I'm gaining alot of muscle and losing a fair amount of fat but not really losing weight.

I'm not remotely hungry. Livestrong gave me a "budget" of 1400 calories a day, based on a goal of 2 pounds a week, weight of 191, height of 5'10" Age of 43 and light non-workout activity. My workouts clock in between 400-500 calories a day, so thats a net budget of 1800-1900. I just stop eating when I'm full.

Really upping my protein intake made the difference. When I'm peckish at 2PM, I eat half a can of tuna, and I feel stuffed till dinner, for like 60 calories.

Ah that's it, I put in my info at Livestrong and it gives me a goal of 2000 calories a day to lose 2 pounds a week. So keeping that in mind and my P90X, I'm at the right level.

Please understand that I'm writing this in a nice, supportive tone.

rabbit wrote:

My supplements are a multivitamin. I've done creatine in the past, and it DID pop my muscles a bit when i was lifting, but it was short lived and faded as soon as I went off. I've mostly focussed on really altering the protein content of my diet. My normal day (and I'm a creature of major routine) looks like:

Wake up.
Water.
Dress.
Coffee/Email.
Workout with Coffee/16 Oz. Water

What? Coffee X 2, but no food before exercise? Food, water, one hour wait, exercise. No exceptions.

12 Oz skim milk with nestles quick
shower
work for a bit
4-egg-white omelette with a little cheddar cheese.

Good start. Add a fruit here.

work some more
coffee/game
Can of tuna/water

Good start. Add a fruit or vegetable here.

work some more
game/coffee
A few apricots or an apple
more coffee
water
A normal, well rounded dinner, consisting of 4-8 Oz of some sort of lean protein, a lot of vegetables, and a small portion of a starch.

Good.

6-8 Oz of wine from 6PM through bed time/email/more work/game
More water.

No. No booze every day. Sorry. No.

There used to be Gin in there on a regular basis, and a sh*tload of carbs in the form of various breads/crackers/whatever. I find over the last week that I'm averaging about 1700 calories a day in, about 40 percent protein, and I'm steadily losing weight and have good energy. Tracking it all at livestrong.com.

Depends on who you are and just exactly what you're doing in your workouts, but 1700 sounds a bit low to me.

Coldstream wrote:

1) Exercise is poorly effective for losing weight, but is effective at maintaining weight-loss.

I'm guessing this is because the amount of exercising you have to do to account for surplus calories that made you fat is too high to squeeze into a normal routine for the average sedentary worker. Those folks on The Biggest Loser are doing hours and hours of cardio and weight exercises a day, but who could do that except people who make losing weight their job?

WiredAsylum wrote:

There is no supplement that will ever be better then glorious Whole milk! 1 gallon a day is what I recommend if you are looking to put on serious muscle.

When you do this you're busting the weights hard for a couple of hours a day?

Whole milk is the truth. Add some ground turkey (6lbs per week for dinner) and weight gain isn't so bad. If only I wasn't living on 60 dollars a week.

CptGlanton wrote:

Please understand that I'm writing this in a nice, supportive tone.
...
Depends on who you are and just exactly what you're doing in your workouts, but 1700 sounds a bit low to me.

Well, the workouts are 40-50 minutes of lifting or aerobics, backed with the occasional run or hike. I don't NOT eat when I'm hungry, and obviously I don't eat the same thing all the time, every time. That's kind of a median day for me. I do actually slide bananas, apples, and apricots in on a pretty regular basis, along with berries when we can get good ones. We buy apples by the peck and keep them in the fridge.

As for the glass of red wine every day -- there's a lot of evidence out there that the non-alcohol ingredients of Red Wine are particularly good for your heart, and that moderate alcohol consumption (the slow trickle effect) is good for your cholesterol levels. Not making it up, I've done quite a lot of research about it, as heart disease isn't unknown in my family history. Justification? Sure, I enjoy red wine. Alas, I don't find any evidence that Gin is good for me in anyway, except spiritually.

My alternative end-of-day reward would be something far worse for me most likely, like a really rich chocolate, or ice cream.

The evidence for red wine and reducing cholesterol is well known; I believe similar claims have been made about chocolate. I would not say that drinking alcohol every day is conducive to getting into good all-around condition, though. Lots of people have a weekly reward meal (google "cheat meal") while on a strict diet (mine was always Friday afternoon), and yes, you can have the occasional beer/wine while on a diet, but having a reward every night goes against trying to get into better condition. Part of the reason for doing a strict diet is to break yourself of the habit of thinking of food in terms of a reward--once you get there, it's a revelation.

Hijacking back to P90x...

I've come to realize that the yoga portion is 90 minutes of hitting every weak spot I have. Flexibility. Endurance. Balance. It's 90 minutes of suck on a Saturday morning. Somewhere in the middle of it I realized it's the equivalent of getting up every Saturday and watching, really intently watching, the Phantom Menace.

But now, with a few hours behind me, I realize that's not quite accurate. Because, after yoga I feel calm, not bitter. And I know that next week I will suck a little bit less, not more.

But those are a long 90 minutes for me. Need to move it later in the day when I'm marginally more limber.

Cpt. I can see your point, and if I was trying to reverse a lifetime of bad habits I'd be right there with you. In my case though, I've been in "good" shape pretty much since I was in my 20s. We run a nearly-organic household, with minimal junk in the house, eat mostly whole foods, bake all our own bread, buy local, etc.

I think these things are highly situational, and I feel confident that I know both my body and my mental habits after 20 years of paying attention. You're advice is not bad or wrong, I'm just saying it's not universal. A "diet" for me is mostly about paying attention. The simple act of keeping track tends to reign in any wackiness in my nutrition, I find. I don't actually see myself as being on a "strict diet" -- I just see myself trying to arrest a little bit of a backslide, where I gained about 5% bodyweight I didn't have when I finished Marathon training last year.

I generally have no interest in a "reward meal" -- I don't want to each a sh*tload of rich food just for the sake of it. I'd much rather enjoy every day to its fullest, in a sustainable long term way, which for the most part is what I've done. THe shift to a higher-protein diet in the winter is pretty much a lifelong one for me, as I tend to use the winter to lift, since I hate doing long runs/rides in winter, and just can't do 2 hours on a treadmill in a gym without going insane.

So for me, it's mostly just paying attention (whihc means I eat less), and swapping out some carbs & fats (homemade bread, butter, syrup, pancakes, etc.) for protein (egg whites, fish, chicken).

If I found that I was craving carbs at the end of the day, but still having a glass of wine because somehow I NEEDED it, well, then I'd be concerned. But I live with the daughter of an Italian wine-making family, the idea that I'd eject a glass of wine at dinner on some sort of principle, I dunno, seems shortsited. THAT would be an unsustainable lifestyle change, and I think we all agree, the best changes are those you can stick to.

Also, I'm never going to stop loving food, or thinking of it as a source of pleasure. Food, Hugs from my kids, Gaming, Sex and Excercise are pretty much the pleasures that get me through life. And if you don't think an egg-white omelette can't be a near-orgasmic foodie experience, you need to come over to my house and I'll make you one.

NotThatRob wrote:

it's the equivalent of getting up every Saturday and watching, really intently watching, the Phantom Menace.

Hah! Perfect.

I quite like it, but Im also an afternoon Yoga person. I'll do mine around 5. With my son, who's into it.