Well, it's becoming more frequent of me to skip blog posts and consolidate several days into one. Fortunately, I haven't been skimping on my exercise or diet however. Actually, I've improved significantly in both aspects over the last week or so. I have been working out at about 5:00 AM every day, eating small meals at regular intervals throughout the day, and following the P90X Nutrition plan precisely. I took P90X seriously before, but I think the new year and new semester at school was just what I really needed to really kick things into gear. I had around 3 weeks off in between semesters, and since I'm a full time student I had nothing else to do in that break. One would assume that having so much time off would make it easier to work out extra hard and follow a diet, but in all honesty I find it to be easier when I'm more busy rather than less.
I suppose the temptation, and means for that matter, of eating whatever and whenever I wanted have disappeared. I spend a lot of time on campus, so I bring the food I intend to eat with me. I make one smart decision in the beginning of the day, and leave myself with little option of deviating from the plan this way. Also, since I start school at either 9 or 10 AM 5 days a week, and I commute, I must get up early anyhow. I could probably sleep in until 6 or even 7 if I wanted to push it, but I have a habit of being up early enough to show up far ahead of my scheduled classes. I've been waking up at 4:45 each morning and starting my workout between 5-5:15 without fail. Sure, it's hard to find the motivation to get started with it when I just cracked my eyes open and want nothing more than to sleep in for a few more hours, but I force myself. It's become easier with time, because I actually enjoy starting my day with P90X rather than ending with it. It invigorates me, and both mentally and physically prepares me for the rigors of the school day.
Needless to say, I'm satisfied with my progress just over this last week. Beforehand, I was satisfied with simply taking the initiative to keep pressing play. Aside from the brief shoulder injury, I never skimped or skipped. That just simply won't cut it though. Perfecting the diet, and just as importantly the schedule on which I operate, is extremely important to my success with this program. I'm glad I made the change, honestly.
So I've been following the prescribed schedule, though I screwed up somewhere and ended up with my rest day being somehow pushed up to today. It's normally Saturdays, so I must have skipped the order and done the wrong workout at some point. I think I skipped Yoga and did Cardio X the one day, but then I must have done the wrong exercise following that. I don't know. Regardless, I didn't take my rest day today. I did Kenpo X yesterday, and although I was tempted to either do it again or do the Kenpo Cardio Plus version, I decided the best course of action was to do Cardio X. That's a well-rounded workout and it includes exercises from Plyo, Kenpo, Yoga, and some original cardio moves. I really enjoy Cardio X, and in all honesty I seem to get more out of the cardio based exercises more when I work out early in the morning. Don't get me wrong, I love resistance training in P90X, but when I really get moving with something like Kenpo X or Cardio X first thing in the morning... well let's just say it perpetuates throughout the day. When I start with a resistance workout, I still feel good throughout the day but it's more of a regular lifting sore and I seem to have less overall energy.
Needless to say, I can't cut out the resistance exercises just for this reason. I am, however, considering another option which may allow me to continue doing only cardio based exercises in the morning without skipping the resistance. That option, obviously, is to take up P90X Doubles. Now, when I first started P90X, I didn't think there would be any realistic way for me to do the Doubles program until at least after my first run through Classic. Having seen just a preview of what was to come, before I ever even started, I knew it was going to be difficult. When I did my first few workouts, I realized just how difficult the program was. I feel more confident now however, because I've become accustomed to the program. I know P90X is all about breaking plateaus, and I don't mean to say that it has been repetitive in any way. What I mean is, although the exercises provide lots of variety, I'm at least used to working out 6 days a week. Now that I've been doing it so early in the morning, I feel that I can accurately gauge my energy level later on and I think it's safe to say I could handle another workout.
The determining factor is going to have to be school however. I just finished up my first week of classes, but it's been all introductory stuff. In fact, the first day was Wednesday, so I've really only had 3 days rather than a full week. Next week, I'll start to get into the meat of my classes and become more affected by the work load. If I can handle all my school work along with a second workout each day, there's no question about it; I will definitely start Doubles. However, if I feel that trying to consistently perform an extra workout several times a week will drain me to the point of affecting my performance in school, including hindering my ability to complete homework assignments or studying at any level less than what I consider optimal, I will not be able to commit to doubles. School is simply the most important thing in my life right now, and in all honesty I have no real deadline for getting in shape. I would love to be in great shape sooner rather than later, but it's not worth the sacrifice if it gets in the way of school. I could always just do another workout on SOME days, but of course I would have to know ahead of time whether or not I'm going to be able to do 2 workouts on a specific day. I would have to start the day thinking, "Ok, I am going to do cardio this morning because I know I will be able to do Legs and Back later today." There can be no room for uncertainty, and uncertainty is the nature of school work in many cases.
Regardless, I plan to kick it into a higher gear pretty soon. Whether this is in the form of doubles, or simply doing my own workouts at the gym, I will work out more. I will, and have been, working out harder as well. I think we can all admit that we don't always work out at 100% of our capacity. Everyone has days where they could probably do more, or do better, than what they actually perform. I've been able to avoid this more and more as the program goes on, and it's just one more thing I really attribute to the early morning workouts.
Well, I think it's safe to say the early morning workouts and the nutrition plan are going to stick, because it's becoming second nature to me now. I better get to bed though now, because it's much later than I should even be awake! Tomorrow is officially my rest day, but I plan on going to the gym to work out on my own anyway. I like "rest" days in a way, but I also feel unproductive. I can consider this the start of something new.