My true focus for the first half of the year was (and still is) leaning out (i.e. reducing my level of body fat, maintaining muscle mass, improving overall health & fitness). However, I realized that I was also lacking a bit of strength. Before I could focus on leaning out, I wanted to regain some of the strength that I'd lost between Sept-Dec of 2010. So, I chose the P90X program to help me focus on that. I really wanted to build my strength back up and get into a more regular routine - which this rotation did all of that and more. So, in my opinion, I've accomlished my original goal 2 weeks early! I made it 6 weeks this time around, which I'm very happy with.
P90X 6-Week Results
Overall, I'm VERY pleased with the results of the first 6 weeks of the program (but 7 calendar weeks; remember did week 5 twice). I've been so focused this week on being in a plateau that I hadn't even realized how much good progress I made. I'm proud of myself! From a body composition point of view, here are my results: (Not bad!!)
- Lost 13.8 pounds
- Lost 5.5" overall
- Lost approx 3.2% body fat (10.88 pounds of fat!!)
Anyway, I know what training types/styles work for my body when it's time to start leaning out and improving endurance (muscular and cardiovascular). For me, that means a high volume, high intensity protocol that consists of circuit strength training, HIIT, and cardio intervals. More importantly, it also means following a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. The latter is where I've been struggling over the past couple of years, for various reasons. The difference is that now I truly feel mentally strong enough to take on this challenge. I know that transformation is largely 80% diet and 20% training. If the primary is lacking, the latter won't make up for it. Keep it real and keep it focused.
Strategy for the next 6-8 Weeks
It's time to get more aggressive, without overtraining (which I have a tendancy to do). My planned protocol for the next 6-8 weeks is shown below. Due to my travel schedule, I plan to do 2 weeks of high volume, high frequency (similar to below), followed by 1 week of moderate volume & frequency. Then I will repeat that for a 6 week total cycle. If I'm still feeling good, I'll finish with 2 weeks of low volume/frequency training. Again, what I'm showing below (aside from the first one, which is pervasive) are objectives for the high frequency, high volume training weeks.
- Nutrition & Hydration: CLEAN EATING spread over 5-6 meals per day with 1 Gallon water per day (minimum). Allow myself 1 off day per week (BFL style) with 1 splurge meal. Note this is not a pig out day, but a day to allow myself to eat more starchy carbohydrates; I'm also factoring in a splurge meal per week (eating out, relaxing with friends, etc.). I want to keep it reasonable with 90% compliance throughout the week. There is no need to go into pre-contest mode. Slow, steady progress with consistent eating is my focus.
- Strength Training: 3-4 Strength Circuits per week (using Supreme 90 Day and some of my other bootcamp/strength circuit workouts). Depending on the chosen workout, the duration may last between 35-70 minutes.
- Cardiovascular Training: 1-2 HIIT sessions per week, 1-2 kickboxing sessions per week, 2-3 steady state cardio sessions per week (i.e. done first thing in the moring or post-strength training. I find that 30-45 mins of incline walking works best for me here), 1-2 machine-based cardio intervals per week
- Metabolic Conditioning Training: 1 full body kettlebell/TRX workout. Since it's getting warmer, I usually enjoy doing this on Saturdays outdoors.
- Stretching: 1 long stretching session per week
Time to keep on bringin' it! :-)