On May 5th I completed my fourth round of P90X and Insanity. My first round started in January 2011 and was straight P90X Classic. My second, third and fourth rounds have blended the Insanity workout regimen into the P90X schedule to amp up the cardio and plyometric routines. Insanity is great for building cardio endurance. However, the cumulative effect of three rounds of Insanity contributed to an overuse injury to my left knee, which forced me to make modifications to my schedule in the final weeks of this round.
I’m not holding a grudge, though. All the hiking and backpacking, tennis, lunges and tuck knee jumps can be reasonably expected to take a toll on a near 50 year old body over time. I’m giving myself a bit of an extended recovery period now between rounds and will be picking up my round 5 routines with P90X-2. I believe 90 days of X2 will compliment my goal of allowing my knee to fully recover. Hopefully, in the fall I will be well positioned to start all that Insanity craziness again.
Between my knee injury and a very annoying sinus infection it took extra time to get through this round. 110 days, to be exact. But that’s not really important, because you have to play with the hand you’re dealt. Anyway, my intent is to press on and complete three 90 day rounds each year, so +/- 20 days is not a big deal in the scope of things.
At the beginning of this round, I stated that my goal was to not get all “jacked up” about the numbers. Focus instead on form and general quality of effort. Still, I continued to log gains most weeks with respect to pull ups. And, of course, as I approached certain milestones, I did focus on what I needed to do to break through. By week 12 I had achieved 350 cumulative, unassisted pull-ups (200 in Legs & Back & 150 in Back & Biceps). Again, this from someone who couldn’t do ANY pull ups on Day 0, Round One in January 2011. My four rounds of pull up progress chart as follows:
Pull Ups by Routine
I prefer the cumulative pull ups by week chart because it better illustrates improvements over time. I’ve annotated the chart to highlight areas of note, such as the performance dip in round 3 where I was struggling through an injury that prevented me from doing wide front pull ups. I also highlighted (in red) the weeks where I used average results for Legs & Back because my schedule had me doing Insanity routines in place of Legs & Back. Those red highlighted weeks dip because they are weeks where I am doing Back & Biceps. And my Back & Biceps results basically plateaued this round. I think it’s good that in my next round I’ll be doing a completely different program, because trying to take pull ups beyond where they are now would be counter-productive for me. As in: injury waiting to happen!
Throughout this round, I continued to anal-retentively record my heart rate and calorie burn statistics with my heart rate monitor. I began this round at 149 pounds and finished at 150. And I was in the 149-151 pound range throughout. The chart below shows average calories burned/routine for each of the 13 weeks. The blue bars are my round 3 results. The green bars show round 4 averages. I think it’s interesting to see how average daily burn decreases within each phase (weeks 1-3, 5-7, 9-12), but shoots back up at the beginning of a new phase (weeks 5 & 9). Also, my average calorie burn in the first 4 weeks almost exactly matched my round 3 results. But, as pull ups increased, my round 4 burn jumped higher in phases 2 and 3. The big drop in average burn in week 13 shows the impact of eliminating certain Insanity routines because of my knee injury.
Over the course of the 90 days, I burned just under 52,000 incremental calories while keeping my weight at or near 150 lbs. This means I averaged 660 calories/routine and 3,958 calories/week–the equivalent of 14.8 lbs of fat burn.
For you numbers-oriented personalities I present here, in full detail, my HRM stats for this round, by Routine:
If you’re geeky like me and enjoy tracking the minutiae of your daily fitness regimen, I’ve posted all the tools I use to create these charts.
Later this month, or in early June I’ll start up again with P90X-2. In the meantime, I’m going to relax and recover and try to eat right.