Official P90X Fitness Diary: Day 19 (With Photos!)

This is it America – it’s the end of Phase 1 of the P90X program, and the moment you haven’t been waiting for with non-bated breath is finally not here. Photographic demonstration of the progress I have or haven’t made with the P90X fitness program/meal plan:

Day zero photos:

Day zero. High quality coat hanger.
Day zero. High quality coat hanger.

Day zero. Unreasonably pale.
Day zero. Unreasonably pale.

Day 19 photos

Day 19. What you're seeing is a smile that screams "comfort."
Day 19. What you’re seeing is a smile that screams “comfort.”
Mid talk. Nice picture, tech guy.
Mid talk. Nice picture, tech guy.

 

As you can see, I took the first batch of photos the day before the program started, and the second batch on day 18.

Some things are immediately apparent – for some reason, I’m compelled to make a dumb ass face in every photo I take. Also, I’m more tan in the Day 18 photos, despite taking the first pictures in the winter and the second photos in the ass-dead of winter.

Let’s stop relishing in how supremely uncomfortable these photos make me for a moment and analyze our findings on my guinea pig body.

Noticeable change

Thanks to the Ab Ripper work out, I feel like the abdominals, especially the obliques for some reason, have increased definition.

Interesting tid-bit: the exercises in Ab Ripper are predominantly affected by height. The motions required are easier for shorter people, and more difficult for taller ones. So while I don’t have specific numbers, I pretty much have to work infinite times harder than someone shorter than me at the same workout. On the flip-side, I’m also technically getting a better, deeper workout.

There has also been a small change in the chest (saying “the” instead of “my” makes it easier to write for some reason), of which has previously always been comparable to a small boy’s…with an eating disorder. That’s thanks to the ridiculous amounts of pushups required, but considering that the Chest and Back workout is probably my favorite, I’m not really complaining.

Finally, you can’t really see it in the photo, but my legs, specifically the quadriceps and hamstrings, are also more defined. There’s muscle now where I didn’t know muscle was possible, so that’s interesting.

I agree. Clearly an offensive foul. Good call.
I agree. Clearly an offensive foul. Good call.

You can’t really see it in the photo, but my legs, specifically the quadriceps and hamstrings, are also more defined. There’s muscle now where I didn’t know muscle was possible, so that’s interesting.

Non-noticeable change

Arms. Big time no difference. The antithesis of change. I’ve always struggled with arm muscle, dating back to high school, where I set the anti-record for how much I could lift in gym class given my weight. The truth of the matter is I’m not lifting heavy enough.

I don’t want to go crazy, but the weights I have right now are crappy, cheap, and hard to change weights. So I end up sticking with the same amount from exercise to exercise, even though the weight should be variable. I thought I could get away with cheap ass weights, but it’s starting to become clear that I really can’t. I plan to address this in the next phase by purchasing a pair resistance bands that I can easily tailor to maximize each workout.

Dear Resistance Bands,Please make my arms anything more substantial than "fragile."
Dear Resistance Bands,
Please make my arms anything more substantial than “fragile.”

The good news is that while I can’t discern a noticeable difference, I am able to do quite a few more pull-ups, an exercise that is also known as the bane of my existence. At the beginning of the workout, I was capped out at five, with subsequent attempts resulting in fewer and fewer reps. Now, I can get 10, but subsequent lifts are stronger, and I’m able to get out more reps in the same time constraints.

Next steps

From here, I take a recovery week, then begin Phase 2. The workouts are in a different order, and some new videos will be included that I hope will change things up a bit. Like I’ve mentioned before, the workouts are hard to build energy before because their pace is so slow, and you’re setting your own goals rather than meeting someone else’s, which is a difficult mental hurdle to clear. My one big recommendation: after the first week, where you need to listen to Tony Horton’s pointers, start listening to music. It makes the workout much more bearable, and you can avoid Tony Horton’s recycled dialogue this way. Every time I refer to him, I must say Tony Horton. I don’t know why.

Couldn't resist.
Couldn’t resist.

I’ll probably look to post pictures again at the end of Phase 2, so hopefully there will be more discernible progress then. Stay tuned!

…Tony Horton.

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