Playboy.com's Death March to Fitness Glory: Preparing for Phase 2

By Playboy.com Staff

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Our editors are a quarter of the way through the P90X Challenge. Check out our triumphs and struggles here!


Today marks the end of our third week in this gratuitous exercise of self-discipline, rigorous workout routines and stuffing food down our throats countless times a day. Be that as it may, we’re actually only a quarter of the way through! Ah, the beauty of the P90X fitness system.

This week, we begin to shift our focus to recovery and abs; our usual Chest & Back, Plyometrics (jump training) and other high-intensity routines take a backseat. Instead, we’ll be engaging in plenty of yoga, stretching and the occasional cat-pleasing martial arts display (see Fraser below). Our Playboy.com editors have been working fairly hard the last three weeks, ridding ourselves of superfluous fat, toning our cores and eating like ravenous piranha, so this so-called down time will be a nice break before we step it up to the training phase next week.

While P90X is challenging, it definitely can be considered a life-changer in the pursuit of getting healthy. At the moment, there’s not one dominant factor that’s holding the team back, but you can see an energy drop throughout the group as the day goes on. Hopefully by the time we do our next check in, we will all be top of our game.

Here continues Playboy.com’s Death March to Fitness Glory!

Benefits: While doing this program I’ve come to the conclusion that despite the fact that I’ve resigned myself to a life of scheduled eating, I in fact am enjoying workouts and the self-perceived larger guns I seem to be sporting these days. Whether or not it’s a fantasy my mind has created to stop me from looking in the mirror about a dozen times per day, it’s a nice gesture after the excruciatingly sore muscles that make an appearance after each session.  

Failures: No matter how hard I endeavor to work out in the morning, it just never seems to materialize outside my pillow.  

Diet: I despise yolk-less eggs, not-so-secretly enjoy turkey bacon, but have found solace in an occasional toasted hot dog or burger. (Chicken, of course.)

Results: I recently decided to take up the company running club and have found that Plyometrics does have a use beyond unfair military-style torture.

Benefits: On a positive note, I’m able to do push-ups now, which aids greatly when peeling myself off the floor after Plyometrics. Weight has dropped but I’m convinced that it’s more from tear loss than fat loss.

Failures: This past week has been a whirlwind of restaurants and bars: one giant buttered bread basket of failure. I loved every minute of it.

Diet: Up until this point it was all protein shakes and egg whites. My natural instinct for gastronomical eats waned and I started craving surprising things, like vegetables. My id, realizing something was amiss, decided that couldn’t go on for too long.

Results: My resolve to win my colleagues’ money has weakened in the last seven days. But my ability to rationalize anything has strengthened, especially when it pertains to missing a workout or why a bottle of wine is a fair carbohydrate trade.

Click below to check out the rest of the competitors!

Benefits: Before I started P90X I was concerned about the relative mental stability of my cat, who seemed to be growing bored with everyday catlike things like naps and string and staring motionless at the intersection of the wall for hours on end. Then I started what in her eyes must have appeared to be intricate cat-pleasing performance art every morning in the form of Plyometrics and Kendo X and she seems happier, like I’m doing it all for her, which I suppose is a plus.

Failures: I tend to question my goals in life when I reflect that I spend at least part of my day running in circles around a towel.

Diet: I threw caution and care to the wind and ate upwards of ten ballpark hotdogs over the span of 72 hours. I have no regrets.

Results: I’m batting 1.000 in my softball league after four games, which my teammates tell me, despite my insistence to the contrary, is not solely based on my good looks. 

Benefits: Staying on top of my eating and really like the Cardio X routine, so I am losing weight.

Failures: I called up my sister, who is constantly training for bike marathons, and she confirmed my worst fear: repetitive videos you are supposed to do for 90 days can get dull. As a 25-year-old, I should be staying up late eating tapas and connecting with cool, likeminded people at bars and waking up in a mad panic fifteen minutes after my alarm was supposed to go off. Instead, my days as of late have consisted of waking up at 6:30 (which, incidentally, cannot be made better by the promise of an egg white omelet because they’re stupid), attempting to wash my hair with jelly arms, watching the morning news worrying about the impending zombie apocalypse and arriving at work an hour early because what the hell else is there to do in the morning. Is this some kind of Groundhog Day?

Diet: If I didn’t have someone making my meals every day, I don’t know if I could handle this. I’ve also saved about 150 bucks since I’m not eating out or drinking.

Results: When I go to pubs I can’t even imagine eating an entire portion of fish and chips.

Benefits: I’m surprised by how quickly I improved at Ab Ripper X. I still can’t complete every move, especially depending on the preceding workout, but I find I can do more every time. And my muscles recover in less time every day, it seems. The first time I did Legs and Back, I was hobbling for two days; now I feel the strain, but it’s less intense and totally manageable.

Failures: That said, I’ve struggled to keep up with the workout schedule, especially on weekends. I feel guilty about skipping but try to put more into the workouts I do. Yoga has been a sweaty, awkward mess every time I attempt it, and I’ve yet to complete the full workout.

Diet: The diet has been relatively easy to stick to in my daily life, though a few weekends of out-of-towner visits have made it impossible not to cheat at dinnertime. I’m drinking only low-carb alcohol (vodka with soda water and red wine) and have abandoned beer (my summertime favorite) completely.

Results: I feel stronger and more able, and I notice that clothes that were previously a little snug now fit looser. I don’t weigh myself frequently, but if comments from friends and coworkers are an accurate gauge, I’m definitely making progress.


The System

P90X is a total body system incorporating high-intensity circuit weight training, cardio and plyometrics in a fast-paced fitness program that is based on the concept of muscle confusion. By regularly changing the targeted muscle groups, P90X forces your body to adapt to the various workouts and to not become “comfortable” with any one exercise. By doing this, your body will build and tone muscle faster and learn to recover quicker – as it will learn to anticipate that your day-to-day movements are unpredictable.

Want to compete with us? Pick up a P90X system yourself HERE.


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