Tag Archives: P90X

The Spice of Life


At some point during one of the P90X workouts, fitness guru Tony Horton extolls the virtues of avoiding workout boredom with the age-old adage, “variety is the spice of life.” And he speaks the truth.

I recently downloaded the P90X companion application for iPad/iPhone. It allows you to track your nutrition, workouts and overall progress.

The app also lets you follow the workouts without the videos. I like that a lot. With the app on the go, I can modify the workouts a bit. In fact, I’ve found that capability has given my workouts a much-needed boost.

After nearly 2 months of P90X, I’ve seen a lot of improvements; particularly my arm strength (triceps are really growing).

Since taking the workouts to the gym (sans Yoga X and Plyometrics), my results have really impressed me.

This might apply to you as well. Maybe your workouts and progress have plateaued. If you are comfortable with experimenting, don’t be afraid to change things up a bit. Discover what works, and press with that.

If you are new to weight training, running, or whatever, read as much as you can on the subject. Experiment a little, but do it safely!

Until next time…

Warmest Regards,

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


On 90-Day “Miracles”…

Hi, everyone. You may (or may not) have noticed that Aj’s Focus lacked a post this past Friday. I didn’t forget. Nope. Instead, I decided to just skip it altogether.

With each new post published, I learn something new about blogging and about my readers. So from now on, unless I’m just particularly inspired to write, Aj’s Focus will not publish on Fridays. Thanks to everyone who has been following!


Do this; get that. Guaranteed!

Back to the primary subject here. I’d like to take a moment to hit on something most of us have at least heard of if not seen on TV or perhaps even purchased. It’s what I call “Promises of the 90-Day Miracle.”

Many fitness-oriented infomercials today focus on guaranteeing astounding results within three months. We don’t often hear them refer to it as three months, though. Why is that?

For one, a period of days, no matter the length, just seems shorter than months, doesn’t it? Think about it. It’s the same reason car dealerships and banks focus on months rather than years in reference to auto loans.

It’s all about investing, whether it’s money or time…

In fact, some might say the two are nearly interchangeable. Isn’t it true the less time we think we’re putting into something laborious, the more money we may be willing to spend to do it; especially if there is a promise to fast track results.


Manual-style lawn mowers:

How many people do you know who still use them?

Hand-mashed potatoes:

The effort is sweet, but are Cuisinart-mashed spuds really all that different?

Plumbing, electricity, audiobooks

Must I go on?

Actual results may vary…

I know a few people who have experienced some amazing results from programs like P90X, Insanity, Tae Bo, TapouT XT, Body by Vi, to name a few.

Unfortunately, I know many more individuals who, after an honorable shotgun start, failed to complete even the first 30 days of a given program. Why is that?

Because real miracles come from real effort. And real effort takes a lot of time. And what is time? Money!

Keepin’ it real…

As you may know from previous posts, I am currently experimenting with P90X. I actually started the program about five weeks ago, but after a week of vacation, I steered a bit from the program. I really wanted to experience the whole deal. So I decided to just start over.

After already experiencing a few weeks of the program, I pretty much knew what to expect. But then I decided to crunch some numbers.

How many seconds does it take to get to the “90” in “P90X”?

I couldn’t find a wise old owl to ask. I did, however, refer to the materials that came with my copy of P90X.

As it turns out, an average week requires about 8 hours of gym time every week. That’s quite a bit of money…I mean time…considering there are 7 days in a week, but only 6 P90X sessions a week.

In this case, the prospect of total days spent doing P90X is pretty palatable when one considers other possible time measurements.

Here’s the math:

At 8 hours a week, I’m looking at spending more than 100 hours with Tony Horton and friends by the end of the program. That’s 6,000 minutes…or 360,000 seconds!

Tony doesn’t even know I exist, yet I know his poker tells after just 2 weeks!

The point to all this?

My point is…anyone can promise sweet results over a particular period of time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean things will be easy.

I awoke this morning at 4:15 in order to knock out “Chest & Back” without being late for work. After 40 minutes, I nearly vomited from the effort…literally. Tomorrow, I get to do it again. By Wednesday, I’ll be halfway to earning my next off day for the week.

I’m okay with all that. In fact, I often take slight nausea as a sign of a solid workout. Horton even mentioned feeling a bit queazy during today’s sweat fest!

Question: How far are you willing to push it?

Answer: That depends on the fight within.

If you focus less on the investment of time and more on improved performance from one workout to the next, I believe you’ll be much more likely to achieve the miraculous results you were promised by that TV actress with the impossibly tight midsection. Keep at it!

Thanks again for reading, and feel free to share your own 90-day fitness experiences via the comment box below.

Until next time…

Warmest Regards,


TBH…I Juice for Performance


Happy US Independence Day, everybody!

I said today would be an off day for my blog. But today is just too awesome, and this proud American is inspired to write!

Cool, Aj! Happy 4th to you, too! Now what’s with the header? TBH? I don’t get it…

First off, if you’re anything like me, a teen had to explain to you what the heck “TBH” means and why they and all their friends preface almost every Facebook status update with those letters. If you haven’t had that experience but are still wondering what it means, I’ll save you the frustration of being schooled by a middle schooler.


Here are a few examples of how to use TBH (or “to be honest”) in a text or social media update. TBH, I think this should be submitted to Urban Dictionary. Here goes:

    TBH…Nick’s new haircut is epic

    TBH…Ms. Thrasher totally kills us with homework on Fridays



Ok. I made up that last one for effect. YPH = You’re pretty hot. Man I hope my daughter doesn’t read this and start that new trend. NOT something I want as part of my legacy…

Regarding my (ahem) “juicing” habit…

Though I’ve never used “roids” to enhance a workout, I sure do like to juice before one.


If you’re new to this blog, you should know that about 2 weeks ago, I made a pledge to myself to juice at least once each day. l literally pull juice from organic produce and ingest whatever concoction pours forth from the magic juicing machine. So, no. By juicing, I do not mean anabolic steroid injections. That would be illegal and (more importantly in my mind) stupid.

So far, I’ve honored my pledge. Every morning for the past 11 days, I’ve pushed veggies and fruit down the chute of my Jack Lalanne juicer. The taste has grown on me to the point I can juice just about anything and find something enjoyable about it.

I just finished a spinach, beets with stems, carrots, orange, and goji berry mix. So delicious, and I’m ready to hit the P90X arms and abs routine with everything I’ve got.

So I’m signing off to go complete today’s workout with Mr. Horton and company. I’ll let you all know how things went after super-feeding my body on micronutrients. TBH…it’s gonna be epic!

To life!



11:35AM – Just completed the Shoulders & Arms Plus Ab Ripper X routine. My teenage daughter joined me. What a troop! If only she was old enough to join the ranks. Uh…ok. Maybe that’s one way in which she doesn’t need to be like her old man.

According to my heart rate monitor, I burned about 830 calories in about 75 min. How did I hold up after juicing? TBH…it was grueling! Still, I felt more energized than I did Monday morning when I juiced after my workout.

I’m completely soaked. It’s time to hit the shower and start celebrating the awesomeness that is the United States of America! *

* I struggle with this all the time. Is USA singular or plural? Of course we’re referring to all the states that make up the Union, but I guess it’s the singular Union to which we refer. Oh well. Let’s celebrate!

Weekend Update

Hi, everyone. I hope this weekend has been kind to you and that you have been kind to yourself and to those around you. If you’re not feeling recharged, is it possible you may be misutilizing your downtime?

We’ve been chatting about short-, mid-, and long-term goals lately. If your weekends aren’t living up to your week-long expectations, consider adding a couple of short-term goals to list.

These last few weeks (read months) have been especially challenging for me. I need to recharge. A good, long vacation with my family is what will do the trick, but that can’t happen but more than once or twice a year (for me, anyway).

So the last two weekends, I’ve made a point to drive my family out of town. Just day trips, but far enough from the city to know my only business at the time is to do stuff. Admittedly, if you have a teen and a preteen like I do, that’s not always a stress-free mission. When you nail it, though, the effort pays for itself.

Last weekend was a visit to a car museum, lunch, an earthquake-formed cave tour, and a couple hours at a trampoline jumping center. I happened to fall ill that day, but everyone enjoyed the time out of town.

This weekend we drove to the coast for some much-needed R&R. Forecasts called for thunderstorms all day, but we took our chances. The early afternoon was indeed dreary. So we ate up some time on a self-guided tour (my favorite kind) of a US Navy ship. We got there early and had the ship practically to ourselves. From there we grabbed lunch and headed to the beach. No rain, no lightning, and the sun even decided to show its brilliant face for the last couple hours of our visit. Totally worth the trip!

Why the Sunday post, Aj?

Well, we’re still focused (or should be) on our fitness and nutrition goals. Tomorrow, though, we’ll hit on stress (both positive and negative) and its influence upon how we perform in the gym. Recharging events like these are a big part of managing stress, particularly while we await those mega events called vacations.

Remember to take time to decompress after each long week, and if you live with others, try to create opportunities to do so together–unless, of course, those others tend to be part of the stress campaign waged against you each week. In that case, just get away!

Bring it on, Monday!

With the downtime behind me, now it’s time to prepare for the week ahead. For me that means a trip to the mega grocery store down the road (mega stressor), another juiced breakfast (still at it and starting to like it…a lot), setting up my uniform, washing the sand from my beautiful car, grilling some fresh steaks and veggies, and (of course) making time for my first workout of the week.

On that last “to-do”…

I follow another blog, Coach Crystal’s Padawan, which is written by another family guy who, like myself, is interested in fine-tuning his fitness and health profile.

As you already know from previous posts, I seek out inspiration from other positive people all the time. Last week it was my mom regarding her juicing activities. This week, it’s Scott (the aforementioned Padawan).

Scott has taken on the Insanity challenge and appears to be making great strides toward some of his personal goals. I’ve done a few Insanity workouts as part of my unit’s PT program. So I know first-hand how grueling many of the workouts can be. Big time kudos, Scott!

My Mission: Get inspired, overcome, and adapt…

I’ve recently been challenged by my local gym. Two years ago, a neat little gym opened up no more than a mile and-a-half from my house. It’s one of those 24/7-types and though small, it has everything I need to get in, get out, and get back to my family. Or rather…it had everything I needed to do all that.

A couple weeks ago, management decided to cash in on specialized workout offerings, such as Zumba and Insanity-like group workouts. While that may be great for some, it’s not for me. I do group workouts at work, and now they’ve gutted my little gym. In place of squat racks and dumbbells, it’s one great big dance studio. Boo.

We have a copy of P-90X. I have a pull-up bar, a few weights, and an open space in the garage. It may not be Insanity, but I’m going to take the Tony Horton challenge. Goodbye expensive, unused dance studio. Hello mortgaged at-home gym!

Thanks for the inspiration, Scott. I encourage anyone reading this to seek out those who motivate through action. The only thing better is to be the one who motivates.

Until tomorrow then…

Warmest Regards,