One year ago, I started P90X for the first time. I didn't have a specific goal in mind when I started. A friend of mine (David V. Libby) left P90X at my house one day and it sat there, unused, for the better part of a year before I picked it up. In retrospect, an odd combination of events led me to start, but these were the two biggest:BrunoPuppy

  1. I got a puppy. I had been biking (on a trainer) for over a year when I got my puppy, Bruno. He was very well behaved, but I couldn't really use the bike trainer without worrying about him trying to play with the spokes while I rode. I wanted to keep working out, so I needed to find something else I could do in my house.
  2. I decided to write more. Coincident with getting Bruno, I decided it was finally time to dedicate a portion of my working hours to writing. Prior to last year, I only wrote on nights and weekends. That left very little time for editing, publishing, and promoting. With the first draft completed of six novels, I wanted more time to see if I could turn them into anything, so I reduced my job to twenty-four hours a week and dedicated the rest of the week to making books.

Suddenly I had more time and required a different workout. P90X seemed like a logical place to turn. I brought a modest amount of enthusiasm and zero competence. The first day's workout (Chest & Back) struck me as impossible. I could do some push ups, but I didn't do a single pull up that day. In fact, it took me months before I could do any pull ups. I started to doubt that I ever would. I just really, really sucked at them. But I used a chair as a crutch and faked them the best that I could. When I started I had just two twenty-five pound weights and the pull up bar. I think that's all the equipment I needed for quite a while.

After that first workout, I never had any doubt that I could muddle my way through the program. I didn't really commit until the end of that workout, but once it ended I promised myself that I would finish the entire 91 days. I wanted to do it clean–no missed days, no substitute workouts. That requires a bit of luck (to not get sick or injured), but I guess I just got lucky.

In the first ninety days, I lost about ten pounds and a bunch of inches off my waist. I did every workout, but I really change my eating habits at all so I still weighed about 200 pounds. For round two, I decided to crank it up a notch.

I started my second round of P90X at the end of June, 2011. I reduced my intake to 1200 calories / day (I ate extra calories to make up for any I lost to my workouts), and I switch to the "doubles" version of P90X. "Doubles" adds an extra cardio workout on the strength days (starting with phase 2). July went really well. I lost twenty more pounds and really started to look and feel thin. I also began to execute honest, well-formed pull ups. Everything seemed perfect until I sprouted a new lump in my lower abdomen.

After many weeks off for surgery and recovery, I restarted my second round of P90X. I managed to finish by the end of the year and I lost another thirteen pounds. This year, my friend and I have been doing an extended round of P90X2. Once we finish that up I have every intention of going back to the original P90X for a third session. It's really that good. I thoroughly enjoy the discipline that P90X brings to my exercise schedule. I don't see any reason why I should stop doing it.

If you're not doing P90X already, you should really consider it. It doesn't require much equipment, takes an hour a day, and produces great results.

 

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