P90X2 – Shoulders and Arms – the Exercises

I decided that this post would be dedicated to providing you actual information!  I know what you are asking — why the sudden change?  (Alright, no need to be a smart aleck.) I just figured that you guys might like to know a little about the P90X2 workouts, especially if you are thinking about buying the program. And as this is my favorite routine, I thought I would start with this one.

Warmup — The warmup is a complete change from the P90X warmup.  It utilizes the Stability Ball for Twists, Squats, Lunges, Atlas moves (pick up off the floor and put on the top shelf — a move in p90X), and Side Stretches.  This is followed by Foam Rolling. You use a foam roller and your body weight to address sore spots and other issues. Tony compares this to a massage… maybe I haven’t quite figured out how to do it properly, but I would still rather have a massage.  Foam Rolling is a nice “catch your breath” period in the middle of the warmup.  Then comes Roller Sphinx which is holding a perfect pushup form while your elbows are on the foam roller.  Roller Angel is a chest stretch also on the foam roller. 

The World’s Greatest Stretch requires you to lunge and put both hands on the floor near your front foot before twisting and stretching each hand up toward the ceiling.  Inchworm is a hamstring stretch.  Finally, you have Table.  You have seen Table before.  Hands and feet on the floor, stomach up, opening your shoulders.  Well, Tony made fun of the big guy in the back, calling him a flower pot and cereal bowl because he was not flat.  Of course, compared to me, his form was perfect.  If he is a cereal bowl, I am a washtub.  Bite me, Tony.  But it does open up you shoulders… 

 The warmup is similar in most of the routines.  (Leg routines have a few more stretches for the legs and no Table.)  The P90X2 Shoulders and Arms routine consists of seven exercise performed in three sets with a water break in between each.  You perform all seven exercises before a break. In the middle set, I use bands instead of dumbbells.  It seems to work for me.

The excercises are:

Balance Curls: Standing on one foot, you curl weight. 

Alternating Arnold Presses: Standing on one foot, you do shoulder presses rotating hands from palms facing to palms away during the move.

Overhead Tricep Pull:  Tricep extensions while lying on a Stability Ball.  Tony reminds you of the key to this exercise… “DON’T SMASH YOUR FACE!!”

Crazy Eights: You have seen these before, but never balancing on one foot. one arm stays engaged, holding at 90 degrees while the other does 8 curls.  Switch every 8 until you do 32 reps.

Six Direction Shoulder Fly:  Straight arms, light weight. Hands goes up and out, then to the front, down, back up in the front, to the side and back down for one rep.  These BURN!!

Y-T Press: With your chest on a stability ball, you raise your arms in a Y and then a T for a rep.  You feel these too, even with light weight.

Rocket Launcher Tricep Kickbacks:  In a lunge position, with a foot on a chair, do Triceps kickbacks. 

My arms are noodles.  It hurts to lift them up to type. (Do you see the pain I endure for you, my readers?  You are welcome! Ha!) This is a good workout. Nicely paced, it will get the job done. When you are finished, don’t forget Ab Ripper 2.  It boots right up on the DVD.

I hope you enjoyed this review.  If you didn’t, loyal reader, don’t worry.  I promise most of my posts will provide you with little useful information, as you have come to expect. (Warning: I will be reviewing the other P90X2 workouts… what’s the point of this journey if I don’t let you know what I am doing). 

If you want more information on P90X2 or any other Beachbody product, as always, you can head over to www.CoachCrystalFitness.com.


Birthday party and all that entails

No cats (or their dignity) were harmed in the making of my daughter's birthday.

My daughter turned five this weekend.  I remember birthdays being a cake, a few friends and family, and a few presents.  Well, things have changed.  We rented a place that includes inflatables throughout and invited tons of kids. The place was great.  They had the Frog mascot come in after cake and hand out “goodie bags” to all the kids.  I thought the “Dr. Fart whoopie cushion” as one of the “goodies” in the bag for the one year old may have been slightly inappropriate.  At least that went to family, and my brother and cousin thought it the most hilarious thing ever.

 After we loaded the kids up with sugar and sent them on their way, we had the task of  hauling home the enormous amount of plastic she recieved as gifts. What will the toy industry should we ever run out of oil to make plastic?  No more dolls that kinda look like famous Nickelodeon or Disney stars. Oh the humanity!

Speaking of birthday cake, this was not a great weekend for staying on the P90X2 diet or really any diet.  I just didn’t do it. I know I shouldn’t blame the cake (completely pink and covered with Barbie, by the way). And to be honest, it wasn’t just the cake. It was the eating with family who spent time with us for the celebration … the BBQ and the Buffalo Wings and the Coke… ok, so I fell off the wagon …and bounced pretty hard.

I did keep up with my workouts, which is something.  And the birthday cake is gone. (If all this talk of birthday cake has you hungry, check out www.cakewrecks.com .Cakes guaranteed to make you lose your appetite. Seriously, those guys are pretty hilarious! )

So its back in the saddle for the padawan.  Wish me luck.

P90X2 — A day of rest

Its a rest day on my P90X2 schedule. I would love to keep busting it today, but I feel the soreness every time I get up from my desk.  I know that a day off is what my body needs. I never used to have problems taking a day off (or multiple days), but I really want to keep going today.  I credit (blame?) Shakeology.  I have been drinking the new Tropical Strawberry formula for about a week now. 

It cerainly seems I have much more energy since I hae been drinking the stuff.  Now, I understand that it could be a placebo effect, but that wouldn’t explain the loss of weight I have had this week. (Did you know placebo was from the Latin, “I will please?”  Cool, huh?)  In any event, there is much more that is good for you in Shakeology than you would ever find in a “sugar pill,” like Protien, Amino Acids, Antioxidents, Phytonutrients, and Prebiotics, to name a few. 

Whatever the reason, the stuff is good and makes me feel good.  Head over to www.CoachCrystalFitness.com for the rest of the story on Shakeology.

Meandering — The Death Star is how big??

Star Wars Ships

Comparing Star Wars Spacecraft to U.S. Spacecraft

With a title like mine, can you believe it took me this long to mention the greatest science fiction movies of all time?

I am meandering again.  Hey, it happens. This picture was found on al.com.  It was created by the Huntsville Times.  (Coach Crystal grew up in Huntsville).  Huntsville is a NASA town, hence the Saturn Rocket as the comparison vehicle.  If you have never been to the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville (or Hunts-vegas as we call it), it is really worth the trip. 

While you are there, make sure you eat at Rosie’s for some delicious Mexican food.  I am certain there is something only the menu that is P90X friendly.  (But probably not the cheese dip, which makes me really sad, because it is so GOOD!! A treat every now and again is ok on any diet.)

So, did you realize how much bigger the Second Death Star was than the First?  I had no idea.  The both looked like moons to me.  I will have to rewatch the series just to check the size.  It shouldnt be hard, my two year old (almost three) is already a HUGE fan.  He got two lightsabers for Christmas (only one from me).

I actually had to tell him that we could not watch Star Wars because even I was becoming tired of them (that is all six movies, mind you).  I hadn’t watched Episode One since the it was at the theatres the first time, but he got that for Christmas, too.  I thought he needed to have the characters introduced and Darth Maul is still cool, even if the race scene is such a Ben Hur ripofff, in my humble opionion.


P90X2- Yoga

Well, I did it.  I actually listened to my wife (i.e. Coach Crystal).  She had been encouraging me to do the Yoga routine and I had been resisting.  All those who have completed the original P90X Yoga, you know my dread.  That routine was 90 minutes of moves that were extremely difficult for me.  I admit it, halfway through, I just started doing the Stretch routine on Yoga day.  Probably not the best idea.

P90X2 gives you much more flexibility in the workout order and when you are ready to move to the next level depending on you goals and fitness.  However, it does not recommend just skipping Yoga (as I had been doing).  I am not saying it had anything to do with my lack of Yoga, but I woke up the other morning with a crick in my back (as I write this, I wonder if “crick” is a Southern colloquialism.  Does anyone know?  If you have never heard of a crick, they are usually found in your neck when you sleep on it wrong and they are Uncomfortable). 

Anyway, I tried foam rolling (a new technique in P90X2 used during stretching) which helped but didn’t get rid of that irritating crick.  This morning, it was still there.  So I listened to my Coach (which is easier to admit than my wife, I am not sure why…) and did the Yoga routine in P90X2. 

To my surprise, it wasn’t bad.  It was 67 minutes instead of 90. It was still difficult, but it went fast.  Now, I will never be considered “limber,” and being really good at Yoga will probably always be beyond my ability, but I did my best.  And the best thing about it, the crick is GONE!!  Now, cricks come and go and I am not saying that the Yoga got rid of it, but, just to be safe, I am going to keep doing the Yoga routine once a week.  Maybe I will even love it, one day…

P90X2 Back and Base

Ahhh, Back and Base — you are a mother of a workout… Pullups (which I still suck at) combined with Plyo.  I hate you… and I love you.

Anybody that struggles with pullups, the heavy bands are really helping me up my reps.  Shameless plug — you can get a set through www.CoachCrystalFitness.com. Just click Equipment and then Shop.

I am improving my numbers and seeing the results.  I hope to post before and after pics in a couple of months.  i think there is going to be a pretty big difference.  Hold me to it.