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P90X: The “X” stands for, “Wow, this is really quite difficult.”

I’m almost halfway through the 13 week P90X fitness routine and wanted to share some thoughts on it.  I’ve exercised regularly for 30+ years, almost all just self-training — mostly lifting plus jogging/exercise bike type stuff.  When I see “As seen on TV” I take it as a reason not to buy the product in question.  But I heard of several people at work and on Facebook who used P90X and liked it so I decided to give it a try.

My philosophy on fitness is that God has numbered our days but that our choices make a big difference in how we live those days.  Narcissism and excessive exercise aren’t good, but letting ourselves go doesn’t optimize our work for the Kingdom either.  Illness can strike anyone, but I want to accomplish as much as I can with whatever days I have left and I want to minimize any burdens on my family.  I like to stay on the giving side of the giving/receiving equation as much as possible.  Exercise is also a great stress relief.  Therefore, I strive to stay fit.

Observations

Overall, I’ve been thrilled with it. It was sort of like having a personal trainer / class to participate in, but on my schedule and at a fraction of the cost.  I love the challenge.

Lots and lots of push-ups and pull-ups (many varieties of each), though you can use a chair to help on the pull-ups or use exercise bands.

Great variety of exercises: Lifting, stretching, plyometrics, yoga (just the stretches / moves with no religious stuff and actually a nice bit of humor — I wish they’d give it another name), core training and more.

The big theme is “muscle confusion,” where the routines change often and there is a lot of variety in the routines.

You need to be in shape to do this.  Seems counter-intuitive, eh?  But it is very demanding.  It isn’t just the exercises, it is the pace.  Those warnings in the beginning of the DVDs are no joke.  You do not want to dive straight into this.

Hardest routine for me: Legs and back.  One-legged squats followed by another thigh exercise followed by chin-ups will leave you breathless, especially when you do many cycles like that with little rest.  Honorable mention: Plyometrics.  Lots and lots of jumps.  Took me a while to be able to get through it without pausing.

Easiest – er, uh, I mean least difficult — Kenbo kick boxing.  Lots of variety and challenging, but at a fairly even pace.  Truly a fun workout.

You need to put your ego on the shelf and just do what you can in the beginning.  Follow the exercise, but do less repetitions or with less intensity.  Hit the pause button.  The people in the videos have been through the routines so of course they can do them better than you.  But you’ll make progress quickly.

Compete against yourself, not those in the video.  If you have to hit the pause button 10 times the first week and only 8 times the second, then you are winning.

The cost is reasonable — $140 for the program with 12 DVDs plus whatever you spend on bands / dumbbells, etc.  Not cheap, but way cheaper than a personal trainer.

I put the audio onto my iPhone so I can use it at the gym or if I travel.  Once you have watched the DVDs enough you know how the technique works.  I obviously can’t travel with dumbbells but the bands will suffice.  One of my employees did this while traveling, but apparently the person on the floor below didn’t appreciate him doing plyometrics (hence the call from the front desk)

The instructor (Tony Horton) He does a good job of explaining the technique and repeating it.

The warm-up and cool down periods are very thorough.

If you are just beginning I recommend skimming through the workout DVDs before you start.  It takes some of the mystery out of it and helps you get ready.

Their website and Facebook page have lots of good tips.  They try to sell supplements but I mainly go with my Veggie Boy smoothies.  I did try their protein bars — tasty, but on the expensive side.

I generally eat pretty well but I’ve taken it up a notch.  It wasn’t by design, more of just a thought that if I’m doing all this extra work I might as well do everything else I can.

It does take more time than I’d normally set aside for fitness.  The routines are 60-75 minutes and you do them 6 days a week.  But I definitely have more energy every day, so the investment pays off.

I really appreciate their philosophy: No gimmicks, no silly promises of quick weight loss with no effort, no fad diets, etc.  Just hard, consistent work and good eating.  And it works.

Be sure to check out their Facebook page!

Roundup

Some insightful thoughts about the pill and the sexual revolution by Raquel Welch — seems to be pro-life as well.

Go see a picture of a huge event of what, according to Liberal-speak, must have been a bunch of racists.

Below is a photo of a crowd of White people. Clearly the exclusion of blacks indicates these folks are hate-filled White racists. Can you identify this White racist event?

Predictable “Heads, we win, tails, you lose” reasoning from the evolutionists on the human eye — Just like they were wrong with junk DNA and not-so-vestigial organs, they miss again on the eye.  Its fantastic complexity mocks their neo-Darwinian theories so they take something they can’t quite understand (the blind spot) and use it as “proof” that an intelligent designer could not have made it.  Then they learn more and instead of recanting their theories they just change sides.  Hey, it is still proof of evolution!  Tautology 101.

University of Calgary convicts eight pro-life students for pro-life display — good for them for standing up for free speech!  Shame on the university.

John Piper on why homosexuality is wrong — a thorough and concise 7 minute message

A rather long list of specific contradictions made by Ergun Caner — I hope he repents.

Facebook group of the week: ‘Let’s eat Grandma!’ or, ‘Let’s eat, Grandma!’ Punctuation saves lives (I didn’t join it, I just like the title).

Roundup

Too funny: Oh Crap. My Parents Joined Facebook.   I post that as an unapologetic Facebook “creeper” (my daughters’ term) who enjoys the humor, photos and updates from the pages of his children.   We try not to abuse the privilege by posting stupid and/or too many comments, though I imagine that it is a purely subjective assessment on our part.

Eco-fascist celebrities exposed as hypocrites— surprise!  Translation: “I’m a rich, important celebrity who frequently travels on planes for work, pleasure and to tell you that you aren’t important enough to travel on planes, and that traveling on planes is the worst thing you can do to the environment.”

The Pugnacious Irishman (is he still as pugnacious as before or has marriage mellowed him?) had a great post on how Christians should respond to the atheists’ anti-God bus sign campaign.  Short version: Don’t whine because they are using the public square to advance their views, just ask some good questions and have some answers of your own.  It isn’t hard to expose their faulty foundations if you do a little work.

Let’s see: A knee patch was considered unsafe “because the device often failed, forcing patients to get another operation,” but it was approved after ““extreme,” “unusual” and persistent pressure from four Democrats from New Jersey” who just happened to get significant donations from the manufacturer.  Go figure. 

But all the politicians said they weren’t influenced by the money!  Sure.  The law of reciprocity is a very well proven phenomena of human nature.  The Hare Krishnas give you a flower for a reason.  They know that even if you know you are being manipulated you’ll still have an impulse that you must listen to them as “repayment” for their “gift.”  So never be fooled into thinking that large donations don’t generate changes in behavior.

But you can totally trust these folks not to lie to you about health care reform.

Yes, I know that Republicans do the same sort of things.  It just shows how ridiculous our campaign finance process is and how naive voters are to put up with it, and why we always, always, always need to fight government growth.

Popular Facebook status

This is a popular Facebook post going around:

_____ thinks that no one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day

The blogger formerly known as the Queen of Hearts had this one in response:

In a perfect world, no one would ever ever die because they cannot afford health care, and no one would ever go broke because they got sick. But that is no justification for picking your neighbor’s pocket in the latest boneheaded attempt to create utopia. Or having the government steal the money for you.

Which inspired this from me:

No one should die or go broke because they can’t afford health care. Then again, no one should take money from neighbor A and give it to neighbor B and call it charity on his or her part (i.e., taxes).
Also, I find it odd that anti-choicers who support the single payer plan only focus on helping 4% of the world’s population. How much do they donate to help the 96% to ensure that they have the same care?
 
Once again, folks, all other things being equal we’d all like for everyone on the planet to have the same health care that Ted Kennedy had.  But that ain’t gonna happen. 
 
So the question is how to optimize the model, and it is a false choice to say it is the status quo or the Democrats’ plan.
 
If you think you have a plan that optimizes the common welfare then put it up for honest debate. Just don’t call it charity or invoke the name of Jesus in doing so, and don’t make it a false dichotomy of supporting Obama vs. being a greedy bastard.

Roundup

Gotta love the eloquence of Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar” when he obviously couldn’t think of a real answer:

Republicans are a**holes.  Barack Obama is not an a**hole.

The Democrats in the audience really seemed to be taken with that logic.  Classy.  What a bipartisan uniter!  I saw elsewhere that he may have apologized, so that is good.

Seriously, that is just the tip of the iceburg with Van Jones.  Read all about him and his unelected, unaccountable role here.

Update: Turns out he is a 9-11 “Truther” (i.e., he publicly stated that he thought it was an inside job).

More fantasy creation by evolutionists to explain the unexplainable about DNA — funny how an allegedly blind process has to have such spectacular foresight.

Good news for the right to free speech in Canada! — That was very surprising and very welcomed.  Hopefully the U.S. can learn from them and toss out the politicians whose real belief is that free speech = speech they agree with.

The growing power of social media in politics— I’m glad to see conservatives on the leading edge of a technology change for once.  McCain was completely outmaneuvered by Obama on this front.  Still, I’m avoiding Twitter.  I spend enough time blogging and Facebook (though mostly blogging).

Congratulations to Marie for getting part of her book published online.  It addresses eating disorders from a spiritual point of view, but the advice applies to any sin.  It includes a great overview of the messages of the Bible and how we can avoid idolatry.  I encourage you to read it all.  Here’s an excerpt:

If you are trapped in the cycle of bulimia or anorexia, nothing is going to change until you let God renew your mind. God has chosen to reveal His mind, priorities and desires for His children through His Word, the Bible. If you have been born again, this is probably not a new concept to you – the inerrancy of Scripture is, after all, one of the fundamentals of the Christian faith. However, often even sincere believers can buy into false beliefs about truth, themselves, the world’s standards, and even God. How does this happen?

For one thing, our own human nature is inherently dishonest. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). We are masters at fooling ourselves (through rationalization) and others (by hypocrisy) in more ways than we realize. We have a propensity to see things the way we want to and to play by our own rules if we can get away with it. This is the whole basis on which “doing your own thing” is acceptable. Refusing to agree that there is absolute truth (and that God determines it; not us) has lead to the climate of moral relativity in which we now live. Unfortunately, this proclivity of inventing our own truth often leads people into unbiblical conclusions about God.

. . .

Are you willing to agree with God that this obsession with being slender at all costs is idolatry? If we are ever to win the battle against an eating disorder, we need to recognize the dichotomy we place between God’s standards and the world’s. Next, we need to resolve to re-program our minds with a biblical definition of beauty to replace the world’s superficial definition.