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Yesterday I did two workouts, one in the morning and one at night. I knew it would be okay to do so, because the second one was all stretching. I'll put it to you like this: I almost fell asleep on the last one, it was so damn relaxing and pleasant. Also, I had a glass of pinot grigio, hahahaha, because wine makes me stronger. :D Oh, I slept like a LOG last night, too. (After watching the BEST DOLLHOUSE EP YET. I love that show, whatever.)

One of the stretches that absolutely woke up muscles I didn't know were being used was the seated spinal stretch. Oh my god, that felt amazing.

Sit on the floor, pull your right heel into left buttock (like you're sitting on your ankle) and let the right knee drop to the floor. (Sit tall.) Place left foot on the floor on the right side of your knee - you should feel a bit like a pretzel. :) Now. Here's the stretching part: reach straight up with your right hand and place left hand on the floor behind you back by your tush. Twist your torso to the LEFT and drop your skyward right hand's elbow to the outside of your left thigh. On exhale twist further. Do this for 5 breaths. Switch to other side and repeat. Mmmmm, that's good.

The other one that feels great after a week of abuse is the glute stretch.

Lay on your back and pull leg in, place your right ankle on left thigh (your right knee will be pointing away from your body, see?) Reach your right arm on outside of your leg and your left arm through the hole between your legs. Clasp hands around left shin, lie back and pull left knee towards your shoulder. 5 breathes, trying to go deeper with each exhale. Repeat.

The key with this stretching is to breathe low and deeply, timing your movements with your inhales and exhales.

One of the better arm stretches is to get into Child's Pose and really stretch those arms out. Then without moving your body, walk your left hand to the left a bit, then place your right hand on top of your left hand. you should feel that aaaaaaaaall the way from your hips to your fingertips. :) Repeat with the right side, then go back to neutral.

P90X Day 8 - A Repeat of Day 1

Day 1 was Chest and Arms, so it was all the push ups and chin ups. I felt that I didn't have heavy enough weights (8 pounds) so I bought some 10s (I have 15s, but that's too much for good reps - not for long!) Much better performance this time, I had better form and control so that tells me I'm getting stronger. Plus, with heavier weights and I upped my reps? I'm feeling pretty bad ass. :) My arms have shrunk one inch, too, which is great because I was on the road to Mom Arms. You know what I'm talking about, I don't want mud flaps. Hahahaha. I want First Lady arms. <3

I was able to add 2 more reps to each of my chin-ups, too and move my "helper chair" (like a helper monkey, but without poo flinging) further away, making it more difficult. Using the chair is like a counter weight to your own body weight. I'm obviously not going to be able to pull up my body's weight first time out, so the chair cuts that down to 75% of my body's weight. The further away the chair, the less counter weight it provides.

Ab Ripper
I didn't do this on Day 1 because I'm a dummy and didn't see that I was supposed to. It's an absolute killer. They have people that are crazy ripped doing this vid and they're sweating and grunting and it's only 16 minutes long, so I cut down the reps I expected of myself from the required 25 to 20. On one of them, oblique sit ups (I'll explain below) I only eked out 10 on each side. They're crazy hard. I'll get there eventually.

Oblique Sit Ups lay on your side, cant back 30 degrees. Keep your feet together, and your floor-side arm flat against the floor and by your side. Free hand behind your head, and bring up your feet - do not separate them, do not bend your knees - and raise your torso. The goal is to smack your thigh with your elbow. Um, not yet, I can't. 25 each side. I did 10, and my knees were bent on the last two.

All of that water weight I've put on since starting this? To the tune of 4 pounds? Gone this morning. I won't go into detail, but my body is a processing machine. Healthy kidneys at my end. :)

The first three weeks are basically the same as week 1. Week 4 starts a new rotation to "confuse the muscles." That's evidently how you trick your muscles into being bad ass. I'll keep you posted, hahaha.

I didn't start my baking bonaza today like I'd planned because I couldn't find the bran and rye flour that I wanted. I'll hit the Whole Foods and get the high protein stuff that makes for chewier bread. I'm making this pumpernickel bread. That might be one of my all-time faves. This recipe has a crazy number of ingredients, but it's authentic Russian Black bread! Mmmmm. While I'm using all of that stuff, I'm going to try and bust out some proper NYC bagels, too. Those won't get baked off until tomorrow and I'm going to make mini-bagels so there's not so many calories in each one. Portion control from the get go, woot.

My sister and I are going out tonight for drinks and hilarity and I'm super excited. I've not had any fun since I got back from SXSW and I'm due, methinks. Okay, spamming over! :)



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
I do that stretch starting in the Child's Pose position all of the time and love it. I've never found another one that can go all the way down the back like that and I'm always amazed at how I never see anyone else doing it. I also do one starting in Child's Pose where you twist to put the back of one shoulder on the floor (or as close to that as possible) while reaching the hand from that shoulder out as far as possible. That one stretches the lats and feels wonderful.

On the Oblique Sit Ups I remember the first time I did that one in a class. The instructor said, "You should feel a little pinch". "Little pinch, my ass!" was what I thought at the time. But you'll be knocking that one out in no time, I promise. Those muscles seem to adapt to that one quickly and I think my form and rep count were correct the very next time.

Keep up the hard work! It makes it easier to stay motivated when you can see results right away, doesn't it?
May. 2nd, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
I just did that stretch you described and that feels goooooooooood. Especially after all the pull ups I did today. Oy.

It totally helps when you can SEE results, yes! If not for the muscle definition coming out (whoo hoo!) the surge of energy and PRIDE I have knowing I can grab a chin up bar (um, right now with one foot on a chair, ha) and pull myself up as many times as the guys in the video are? It's awesome.
May. 2nd, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
Last night's Dollhouse was BADASS! Alan Tudyk was fucking amazing.

Yay for drinks and hilarity! I wish I was there to drink and hilaritize with you. *HUGS*
May. 2nd, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
I really REALLY thought that Alpha was Ballard! And something happened to him so he had to embed all sorts of clues for himself, or the like. (That would have been cool.) But the actual reveal BLEW MY MIND. I honestly didn't see that coming.

Alan Tudyk's range was fucking legend last night. <3 <3 <3

ME TOO! I'll just have to drink one (or three) for you, huh? ;)
May. 2nd, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
I thought Alpha was Ballard too, back when the show was in the first three or four episodes. Which would have been really cool. But then I read a spoiler so I knew it was going to be Tudyk.

His range was freaking fantastic. I suspect Alpha still has all those multiple personalities programmed into his head, which would be AWESOME, because then we can get to see him play multiple characters. I had no idea he could do all that!

I'll just have to drink one (or three) for you, huh?

Fuck that, I want the whole bottle. *g*
May. 2nd, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
I am so anti-spoiler, it's not even funny. (Not for others, I just like the ride, that's all.) I would LOVE to see all the different personalities come out, although I cringed when I heard in the promo for next week Eliza's "southern/Texan/something" accent. Err... accents are hard. The guy that plays Victor, though, he's AMAZING. He nails them every time. What a terrific actor that kid is.

Whole bottle, check! :D
May. 2nd, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, Victor is a master of accents. I think he's just terrific.

Or if you want to have a pitcher of sangria in my honour, I wouldn't object to that, either. :D
May. 2nd, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
I made a light rye last week during the rain and wind. Boy, with this humidity, I'm glad I got that out of the way before the weekend. I love making pumpernickel with sunflower seeds and serving it up with smoked salmon. Okay, it's officially time to get some lunch!

I've been toying with making bagels, but Central Market has frozen H&H bagels at the same price as buying them in NYC, so I haven't made the effort. I've had excellent results with pretzels, though. I'd be curious how yours turn out.
May. 2nd, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
Mmmmm, smoked salmon!! That sounds perfect for tomorrow.

That website I linked to with the bagels - she also has one for pretzels, too, and I was flip flopping on which to make. Her pretzel recipe looks terrific.
May. 3rd, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
Her chubby soft pretzels are just what mine came out looking like! I made them for a beer tasting, so used IPA instead of water and a mix of rye and white flour. The mustard was also IPA based. Oh, yeah! Big hit.
May. 2nd, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, I envy you with the arm stuff. The rest of me is getting better, but my arms definitely flap in the breeze.

I've been losing weight by being sensible. I measure in dress sizes. Four years ago, I was a 22 heading toward 24. Two years ago I was a 16. Today, I'm a 12 through the hips and a dwindling 14 up top. It's going to be awhile before I can do the type of workout you're managing. I really respect you for doing it.

Thanks for the bread recipe, too.

And I've kept my promise to one of the sixth graders I tutor and read "Twilight." *whimper* I come back and read your snark and analysis every once in awhile to keep sane. On the plus side, at least in the first book, Edward seems to have a sense of humor. Bella, not so much.

Saw where you mentioned smoked salmon. Have you ever made gravlax? It's really good, and not difficult.

Edited at 2009-05-02 08:19 pm (UTC)
May. 2nd, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
I started all of this off when I was a size 14 and I'm now down to a 6, which is what I was before I married my husband. It's GREAT to feel fit and hale, and it had been years since I had. You keep going, you're doing TREMENDOUS work and bettering your life. Size and weight can be seductive, but I'm looking for strength and fitness - I have these personal goals of what I want to be able to do with my body, and that's when I know I've really accomplished something, not the scale count, you know?

I've not made gravlax simply because I live in Texas and salmon is expensive for us. I do enjoy it, though!
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 10th, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)
I totally didn't see the Ab Ripper X on Day 1 the first time, either, but I'm looking forward to doing it tonight. Today's my Day 8, and I'm still weak on pull-ups -- I max out on 3 to 4 the first time through, and get worse from there. I think I'm going to try supplementing the workout with some bicep barbell curls. From a previous fitness regimen, I remember that adding some decent muscle mass to my forearms, biceps, and shoulders, which is what I need to bang out more pull-ups.

And I love yoga, even though at this point I get blocked at the part of the workout where they go down and put an arm behind their back and the other under the thigh and link them. I'll have to try to do the whole 90-minute workout next Monday.

Thanks again for recommending this. I'm TOTALLY loving it so far, despite the soreness and the feeling like a wet noodle. : )
Jul. 10th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
Are you using a chair to assist you on the pull ups? I did for the first 5 weeks. I recommend that, if you're not. (And trust me, you don't want to add anything extra as far as weights go. you'll burn out. no, really. you've not even hit the hard stuff.)

If you'll focus on increasing your dumbbells' weight for all the curls/rows, etc., that right there will give you increased ability. that and the push ups.

i'm so glad you're enjoying it! I just finished a Kenpo, and I'm so loving that one. It's my all-time fave of the workouts.
Jul. 10th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
Kenpo's a blast, though my first attempt was a little clumsy on the form for the back kicks. And my bod has to learn the patterns of the four-punch sequences. *grin*

Usually what I've been trying on the pull-ups is a combination of regular and chair-assisted. For me, the difficulty with that is that my antique doorjamb is too large for the standard P90X bar to fit in, so I ended up buying an inside-the-jamb bar and using the wall anchors and screws from the install package to socket it in.

Regardless, I'm 6'1", and the door is maybe 7' tall. If I'm using a chair, the angle is such that I'm pulling at a mixed horizontal-vertical angle rather than more up and down. What I've been trying this morning is one leg un-tensed on the floor and curling the other one up, so that I get a little support but not too much.

(That, plus living on the third-floor of a three-story means that if I do the over-my-head stretches at the beginning of the Day 1 workout my fingers are scraping the ceiling. *grin* )
Jul. 10th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
Keep in mind that you burn CRAZY calories the first time you do these workouts because your body isn't efficient at it. It took me a bit to learn the different punches, too, and now I just talk along with Tony as he calls them out, lol.

Could you use a stool? Something that will let you hang at the bottom, but still assist you in the boost up? The Mister is 6'1" as well, and he hangs his legs bent at the knee to do it. Show off.

We need to move you somewhere with vaulted ceilings! :D
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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