The Challenger:The Four Hour Body vs. P90X and Insanity – Day 1

Day One Weight: 174.5 lbs.

Day One Body Fat: 15.9%

Here we go. It’s been a year and a half, and I am back at it.

In my downtime, I picked up the book: Four Hour Body by Tim Ferris (my favorite author) and played around with weight gain/weight less and some other fun biological experiments. Some were too explicit to even mention… Ahhh.. the memories.

Here are the highlights:
1. Drinking a gallon of milk per day and performing one set of 10 reps on three weight lifting exercises, just three times a week, I put on ten pounds of lean muscle in a single month.
2. Eating a slow carb diet and pigging out (pizza, soda, ice cream, you name it!) one day per week, I pulled my body fat down to 7%.
3. Eating brazil nuts and a ton of grass-feed beef, I raised my testosterone to a very noticeable high (you’d be surprised what happens when you have super-hero-ish testosterone levels).
4. There is an entire chapter devoted to providing ladies with 15 minute orgasms… Enough said… (Guys: read this book; Girls: make your guy read this book.)

In the past six months, I have taken it pretty easy. Finished off my M.B.A., started a new career-focused job, and laid off the exercise all together. I didn’t forget to eat healthy, but I certainly didn’t restrain myself. Most of the gained muscle disappeared, my body fat went back to around 16%. My energy level also decreased.

That is why I am back. Just in time to get ripped for summer. However, I am going to do things a little bit differently. I am going to take the best of P90X, Insanity, and The Four Hour Body, put them into a personal training plan, and see what happens.

Here is the plan:

Diet (mostly Slow Carb) from The Four Hour Body:
Breakfast: Oatmeal and three whole hard-boiled eggs.
Snack One: Canned Tuna, light mayo, relish, and 20 raw almonds.
Lunch: Can of turkey chilli, cup of brown rice, sugar-free Jello.
Snack Two: Pure Protein Bar, 20 raw almonds.
After Workout: Protein shake with water.
Dinner: One chicken breast, one cup of whole wheat noodles.
Lots of water all day.

Monday: (30 Minutes)
Occam’s Protocol – Workout A (The Four Hour Body)
Weight Machine: Close-grip supinated pull-downs, 8 reps to failure, 5×5 count.
Weight Machine: Machine shoulder press, 8 reps to failure, 5×5 count.
Ab Ripper X (P90X)

Tuesday: (30 Minutes)
500 jump rope reps
1 mile run
75 Kettlebell swings

Wednesday: (30 Minutes)
Occam’s Protocol – Workout B (The Four Hour Body)
Weight Machine: Slight incline bench press, 8 reps to failure, 5×5 count.
Weight Machine: Leg press, 8 reps to failure, 5×5 count.
Weight Machine: Stationary bike: 3 minutes at 85 rpm.
Ab Ripper X (P90X)

Tuesday: (30 Minutes)
500 jump rope reps
1 mile run
75 Kettlebell swings

Occam’s Protocol – Workout A (The Four Hour Body)
Weight Machine: Close-grip supinated pull-downs, 8 reps to failure, 5×5 count.
Weight Machine: Machine shoulder press, 8 reps to failure, 5×5 count.
Ab Ripper X (P90X)

Cheat Day! Eat anything I want with the help of a few minimal movements before/after eating, coffee and grapefruit juice at each meal, and a few select supplements (PAGG Stack)

Rest; because I need my beauty sleep.

Having tested the weight loss and muscle gain methods in The Four Hour Body (they really do work), I no longer see it necessary to workout 90 minutes a day. Although P90X taught me a ton about muscle groups, importance of stretching, dietary basics, and discipline, I have been to the promise land: and it takes less than 30 minutes a day and is WAY more fun!

Ab Ripper X is a definite keeper. This is the one area of P90X that I will incorporate into my workout for the rest of my life. Tony is a genius for pulling these max-result ab workouts into one routine.

Insanity on the other hand… I did complete the entire 60 days. I was skinny afterwards, but really defined. I haven’t found any routine within Insanity that I need or want to keep doing. The best part of that workout was its shortness in length. I felt proud to have completed a program that most sane people wouldn’t touch, but beyond that… I’ll stick to jump rope and kettlebell swings for my major fat-loss routines. They are more effective and a lot less painful.

Day one is complete, I’ll probably also run a weekly post on this blog. I need to enjoy life… In the words of Tim Ferris, “Life doesn’t have to be so damn hard.”

Sit back, enjoy the show… See the results and make your own judgements. Will The Four Hour Body out-perform P90X in 90 days?

Insanity – Round 1 – Day 36

Insanity – Round 1 – Day 36: Fit Test; Max Interval Circuit

Bad blogger…. I missed a whole week of blogging and created lesson plans/class materials instead. I am teaching my first class on Saturday and all of my free time goes to that and school.

I do, however, make it a priority to squeeze my workouts in every day. So, recovery week was fairly easy. It was very slow-paced and Shaun T spent a lot of the time talking. It got to be way too easy by the end of the week.

THEN… It hit me like a ton of bricks: Max Interval Circuit. It was a whole hour. Advanced moves in the first month, made an appearance in the warm up. The whole hour was a combination of moves that kicked my butt. The good news is that I am a little sore and was sweating like crazy by the time I was done.

I am going back to a low protein diet and hoping to shed that last bit of body fat. I am around 9.5% and 168 lbs. I definitely gained some new muscle in the first month, and saw a quick decrease in body fat at the beginning. I have found that it is getting a lot harder to lose body fat as it gets low. I have even been eating at 40%, 40%, 20%. Wish me luck.

Insanity – Round 1 – Day 22-28

Day 22:
Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs
Day 23: Cardio Power and Resistance
Day 24: Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Day 25: Cardio Recovery
Day 26: Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs
Day 27: Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Day 28: Day Off

What a week! I know… I have been a bad blogger… But I never miss a workout. I am done with the first four weeks of Insanity, and all I have to say is WOW. This program has really kicked my ass into shape. I am still loving it. Just a little scared of month two when the workouts get longer…

Now, that September has come, my life is kicking into high-gear. I work in an admin position at a college and this semester is jam-packed with programs and events. Last week we was the first week of class and it was busy… Outside of work, I finished up my MBA Statistics class (A-, not too bad), planned out the four classes that I will teach this semester, and completed my Motorcycle Safety Class (giving me an Motorcycle endorsement on my license.) It has been a hell of a week…

The point is, I cannot promise daily posts, but I can guarantee that you will hear from me at least once a week with pictures. I will also guarantee that I will not miss a workout. I will continue to respond to comments daily!

Today is day 29, I will try to post my opinion of Core and Cardio balance as soon as possible. Wish me luck… I am going to need in this fall.

P.S. If you want to get the latest updates, it might be a good idea to subscribe to my posts through the email input on the right. It will be much easier to get a notice via email, rather than having to check in everyday. Thanks for reading!

Insanity – Round 1 – Day 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21

Day 17: Rest Day – Class Lecture
Day 18: Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs
Day 19: Cardio Recovery
Day 20: Cardio Power and Resistance
Day 21: Plyometric Cardio Circuit

This week has been CrAzY, but I prioritize my workouts to make sure I get them in no matter what. Working out has a lot to do with momentum. When your active, you get more energy, more motivation, and are essentially more productive. When you are inactive, you get lazy, procrastinate more, and get less done.

As for Insanity, I am just over a third of the way through the program. I feel good and can actually see results. The body fat is melting away and my muscles feel a lot more solid. Pure Cardio is still the toughest workout to do. I am not so sure about cardio abs yet. I haven’t felt muscle soreness like ab ripper X used to give me. But there is enough jumping and core work throughout Insanity to get results. I think that I will opt for more ARX if I decide to do a hybrid.

Insanity – Round 1 – Day 16

Day 16: Plyometrics Cardio Circuit

I didn’t realize that the AC was off before I started my workout today. By the time the warm-up was over, my mat was SOAKED. It felt like 100 degrees, but I kept going anyways. Today’s workout was a lot rougher than normal. When it was all said and done, I checked the thermostat and it was 85 degrees in the apartment! I guess I am lucky that I didn’t pass out half way through.

Insanity – Round 1 – Day 12, 13, 14, and 15

Day 12: Cardio Recovery
Day 13: Cardio Power and Resistance
Day 14: Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs
Day 15: Fit Test 2

First off, I need to say that I didn’t realize that I was this far behind on posting! Sorry about that. I have been doing my workouts faithfully, though. This weekend was consumed by a final paper for my statistics class, along with lesson planning for the upcoming classes that I teach this semester. My life is insanely busy. Doing an insane workout regiment sounds about right for a guy like me.

Now, you have heard my opinions of the fit test, pure cardio, and cardio power and resistance. This week we added a little something new into the mix: Cardio Abs. I have be anxiously awaiting this workout, due to my apparent love of pain. From struggling through ARX in the beginning of P90X, to doing doubles three times a week, I have made huge gains in this area over the past 7-8 months.

Cardio Abs was a great workout, and I think that it will be a perfect change for my routine. It is different than P90X because you are keeping your abs flexed for the majority of the workout. There are a few rests, but when you work the abs, it could be 3-4 minutes of continuous strain. This workout combined with all of the jumping and core work in Insanity is a great ab workout. It was tough, but I made it all the way through with no breaks. I will let you know how my abs feel tomorrow. That is the real test…

Insanity – Round 1 – Day 10 & 11

Day 10: Rest Day (MBA Statistics Lecture after work)
Day 11: Plyo Cardio Circuit

What a great workout… The warm ups are getting a little easier, but the Plyo intervals are definitely not. Drills are the worst! For those P90Xers out there, drills are basically prison push ups on speed:

Hands in the air standing…. Down to plank… 4-8 push ups… chataranga run for 8 seconds… repeat. Try doing that as fast as you can for 60 seconds…

Not fun… But it is a body fat killer…

Tip of the day: I have found that it is easy to slow down in Insanity when you have already given 100% and are worn out. Be careful of this little fact. Be conscious of you intensity level and remind yourself to push even harder when you are tired. You will be thankful when you get the results.