We are finishing Phase 2 (Day 54!) and although I didn’t see a dramatic drop in the scale, I am very happy with the physical changes I’m seeing and my increase in strength, flexibility and running speed. First I’ll explain the changes I’m seeing in these areas and then I’ll post both Mike and my measurement changes.
Physical Appearance: My arms, shoulders and back are definitely more toned. We went out for Mike’s 30th birthday on Thursday and I wore a tank top for the first time in months (even San Diego is freezing in the winter) and felt great! Above is a picture of us on Mike’s birthday, which happens to also be St. Patrick’s day. As for my legs, when I touch them, they feel MUCH harder. Although I haven’t lost any inches on my legs, I definitely can tell that they are more muscular. My stomach is very flat and I can even see a four-pack starting to develop!
Strength: I can see a big difference in my strength. I am able to nearly do a chin-up. I’m SO close! I’m hoping it will happen in the next week (I wasn’t able to even barely able to do 1/6 of one before). Also, during the fit test I could only do 10 push-ups on my feet and during Core Synergistics on Monday I was able to do NINETEEN one legged, staggered hand push-ups (which are arguably harder than regular ones). I’m guessing I can do over 20 regular push-ups now. Also, I have started adding curling 15s for some of the sets of bicep curls, although I mostly use 12s. I was able to do 30 curls with 10 lb weights in the fit test and now I can easily do that with 12s! During Ab Ripper, I finish nearly all of the sets with good form. I’m still getting stuck on the oblique v-ups, but I always finish all of the mason-twists, including the bonus.
Flexibility: I can tell a big difference in my flexibility and strength during yoga, namely. Yesterday we performed our last workout in Phase 2, Yoga X and I noticed big changes. I was able to put my hand flat on the ground during triangle and twisting triangle, which was difficult for me before. I even was able to grab my wrists during the Right Angle pose (I was able to just grab my hands before). I was very happy to be able to hold the Crow pose for the entire minute with only one tiny toe touch. I was able to hold the Wheel pose (a back bend) for the entire 1 minute 5 seconds AND I did the optional 1 leg kicks. I could also perform Plow with perfectly straight legs. And to finish, I swear I could put one of those yoga blocks against my foot and grab it during the one-legged sitting stretch at the end, if only I had one to try it with!
Running Improvements: My “easy” pace has gotten faster. On Saturday we ran 12 miles at a 9:35 min/mile pace and sprinted to the finish, feeling great. I looked back at my logs for my prior races (one in August 2010, one from January 2011) and both times I ran 12 miles, I ran with a friend at slightly over a 10 min/mile pace. I also ran six miles the week before last at under a 9 min/mile pace. On occasion my legs feel heavy due to a particularly difficult P90X workout (ie Legs and Back or Plyometrics) but overall, running at a 9:30/pace or faster comes easily.
Nicole’s Measurement Changes Since Day 1 (changes from phase 1 to 2 in parenthesis)
Weight: -8.6 lbs (-0.6 lbs)
Chest: -1.75 inches (-0.5 inches)
Waist: -1.75 inches (0 inches)
Hips: -0.75 inches (-0.75 inches)
Right Thigh: –1 inch (0 inches)
Left Thigh: 0 inches (0 inches)
Right Bicep: 0 inches (0 inches)
Left Bicep: +0.25 inches (+0.25 inches)
Mike’s Phase 2 Measurement Changes Since Day 1 (changes from phase 1 to 2 in parenthesis)
Weight: -5.2 lbs (-2.5 lbs)
Chest: +0.5 inches (-.05 inches)
Waist: -3.5 inches (-1.75 inches) (WOW!)
Hips: -1.5 inches (-0.5 inches)
Right Thigh: 0 inches (-1 inches)
Left Thigh: +0.5 inches (-1 inches)
Right Bicep: +0.25 inches (-.25 inches)
Left Bicep: -0.25 inches (-0.5 inches)
Phase 2 was definitely harder than Phase 1 workout wise (both because the strength training workouts were harder and because I ran three times a week), but Phase 1 was much more difficult food-wise. The 2nd carb in Phase 2 was a life saver. Also during Phase 2 I allowed myself a few more calories on some days because I was literally starving when I tried to stay around 1,800. We also had more cheat meals during Phase 2 (you can read about those in my last blog entry).
As for Mike’s results – we were shocked that he lost 3.5 inches on his waist! I knew that he was slimming down (not that he needed to) but I didn’t realize how much! I’m actually thinking that he may need more calories to help build more muscle rather than lose more fat. He’s already eating over 3,000 but we may need to up it a bit.
As for me, I’m pleased with Phase 2 results, although I am really ready to ramp it up for Phase 3. Although it’d be nice to have seen the scale move down a little more, I know that I lost fat during Phase 2 and replaced it with muscle. We only have 5 weeks to go until we’re P90X graduates and I plan to BRING IT hard until then!