Jungle Jam 20% Off Sale

If you are a brave soul in need of a pull-up bar and like the looks of the Jungle Jam I ordered (and subsequently had to fight for), Beachbody.com has the bar on sale for 20% off, or $35.96 + $14.95 shipping through April 29.

Here is the link for the bar with the discount applied: http://www.beachbody.com/coupon.jsp?code=EMAIL_P90X425_JJ

Jungle Jam from Beachbody.com

The BB site sometimes has cookie issues with Mozilla Firefox, so you might want to order via Internet Explorer or manually enter coupon code EMAIL_P90X425_JJ in the check out process.

If you are worried that Beachbody will send you the wrong bar, too, well, I was told that I was the only person who had ever gotten the wrong bar shipped to me, and I was such a pain regarding the botched shipment that I’m confident that future Jungle Jam orders will be just fine.


Little Kitty Paws, With Little Kitty Claws

I went home for lunch to do my chest and back workout and wound up with a lovely injury that will make pull-ups very interesting over the next week. Neville Longbottom, my younger cat, was chilling in my lap as I loaded up the DVD, rolling around and generally being a complete purring idiot. Then he lost his balance and rolled right off my lap. Of course he made a desperate, last ditch effort to hang on and my right hand got in the way of flailing kitty feet tipped with razor sharp claws.

I now have a 2″ long vertical gash in the meaty part of my palm on the outside edge of my hand below the pinky finger and a shallow puncture wound right below it. I’ve got a liberal amount of antibiotic ointment and a taped gauze pad over the mess, but obviously P90X wasn’t happening during lunch after that. :ouch:

I just hope I don’t wind up oozing blood from the scratch during Chest and Back tonight. Sigh. As it stands, I will have to devote 30 minutes to clipping off some feline talons tonight.

Ah, the joys of being owned by cats. :were:

Three Full Pull-Ups!

I slept in this morning since I didn’t crawl into bed until 1:48 AM after a day of hanging out with my boyfriend and my parents across town, but I have my P90X chest and back workout planned for lunch and the Ab Ripper workout slotted for the 20 minutes immediately after I get off from work.

I have been giving the Door Gym a go every time I pass through the bedroom/living room doorway when I’m in the apartment, however, and today managed to do three full pull-ups with palms facing forward away from my body. Go me! :slappy:

I probably should have done it before I had breakfast, though, because I felt the distinct urge to forcibly eject my protein shake and cereal afterwards. :yuck:

I don’t think I’m breathing properly when I do the exercise, as this is very similar to the feeling I used to get when I first started doing squats and was unconsciously holding my breath like a purple-faced moron. Me -> :eekb:

Ah well…here begins 90 days of “extreme home fitness” in the form of P90X. I can see those 10 pull-ups within my grasp already.

Nutrition: 1700 calorie low zig zag day

1: Whey shake and 1/2 c. Post Selects Pecan Crunch cereal w/3 T. raisins
2: 3×1 spinach omelette and large navel orange
3: Chocolate protein shake
4: 4 oz. grilled pollock, 1 c. sauteed broccoli, 1/2 c. brown rice
5: Oatmeal tuna salad and 1/2 banana
6: 3/4 c. FF cottage cheese and large navel orange

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D
Water for yesterday: 20 cups

12:00 PM P90X Chest and BAck
10:00 PM P90X Ab Ripper X

The Awful Truth:
1. 3 Ferrero Rocher pralines
2. 2 Pillsbury crescent rolls

Short-term Goals:
1. Print out new 50/30/20 recipes.
2. Mail out FSA claim.
3. Work on paper doll project.
4. Do thumbnails for 5-6 new prints.
5. Clean the bathroom and kitchen.
6. Vacuum and tidy living room.

Cardio Ambivalence

As I typed up my workout plan for today, I found myself fighting the usual battle in my head over cardio. Today is supposed to be another chest/back/abs training day according to the schedule I posted earlier this week, but that was before I heard back from Beachbody about the pull-up bar situation. Now that I am actually going to start P90X on Monday, it is tempting to use Saturday and Sunday as extra cardio days to burn up a thousand calories or so for the week.

I’m of two minds about cardio.

One side (we’ll call her “Coddling BFL Purist Maggie”) is telling me that I should alternate lifting and cardio days to prevent burn out and give my body time to recover from the resistance training, that too much cardio is catabolic and not feasible while I have so many work demands and am not planning on becoming a figure competitor or model. 60-90 minutes of cardio a week have worked for so many (to a point…plenty of BFLers look like they could use just a wee bit of extra cardio to knock off the last stubborn pounds), so why go against the book?

The other side (“Hooah Drill Sergeant Maggie”) keeps reminding me that I’m not one of those unlucky gals whose metabolisms freak out and go into survival mode over a bit of extra treadmill time, just 180 extra minutes a week would significantly boost fat loss, and that I’m just letting my hatred of actually performing cardio justify wussing out of a proven method of deflating the post-bulk fat cells on my body. Drill Sergeant Maggie reminds me that I have never physically broken down from any exercise regimen–not in the Army, not on BFL, not on Leanness Lifestyle. It points out that fitness competitors DO take on extra cardio during competition season to get and stay lean, and that I actually thrive on higher activity levels. And it yells at me to stop being such a blork and just get my ass in gear and do what needs to be done.

My experience last fall taught me that more cardio–up to 300 minutes a week total (60 minutes of HIIT and 240 minutes of medium intensity steady-state)–DOES get me leaner much faster than 60 minutes of BFL HIIT alone. I was probably at my leanest around the first or second week of November on 1400-1500 calories a day, 3 resistance training workouts, and 50 minutes of extra cardio daily. It DOES work for me. Don’t let anyone kid you–if your metabolism hasn’t been completely shot to starvation mode hell by a history of eating disorders, overexercising, or health issues, cutting 500 calories a day from your maintenance level diet and putting in 500-800 calories worth of hard exercise a day WILL cause the pounds to fall off of your body, even if you have only 10 lbs or less to lose. I went into BFL with a normal metabolism, no EDs in my past, and good health.

Calories in – calories out = -750 to -1000 calories/day worked like a charm for me to the tune of 1-2 lbs per week when I was in turbo Leanness Lifestyle action mode.

But my upper body got scrawny. I was starting to see ribs under my clavicle, and I could tell that my arms were going to be straight, skinny girl tubes instead of the Angela Bassett guns I’ve always coveted. Looking back, I think I probably cut the calories back too aggressively while simultaneously raising my cardio level too high.

So I’ve been hesitant to go that route again. I’ve kept my calories above 1600 during the past few months when I’ve been on a professed cut, and haven’t succumbed to the lure of double cardio sessions in a long time. With SGX, I even took the leap of faith into daily moderate-steady state cardio without HIIT, the foundation of the Body-for-Life cardio program.

After 7.5 weeks of SGX, I had indeed retained all of my upper body lean mass. In fact, I’m pretty sure I gained more of it judging by photos and measurements.

I just didn’t feel the fat draining from my cells at the same rapid rate that I did on LL, and objectively speaking, I KNOW I have a good 8-12 lbs of fat I need to shed before I am anywhere near ripped based on my frame, measurements, and caliper measurements. ๐Ÿ˜•

So therein lies the crux of my dilemma: How do I balance out my desire for consistent, reasonable and measurable fat loss at 1 lb per week with my knowledge that the type and quantity of cardio required to achieve that has a high likelihood of withering away a large percentage of the muscle gains I’ve made in the past months?

Deep down inside, I know I can’t repeat last October and November’s level of activity and calorie restriction without sacrificing muscle mass and courting 3-5 lbs of rebound weight gain when I go back to normal intake and activity, but it is still tempting sometimes to do it because it was so addictive to see the scale weight fall almost daily. It was a nice, visible validation of my effort and proof that fat loss really was just a matter of doing the math, doing the diet, and doing the exercise, not some mystical and obscure secret formula.

That’s why I’m going to let everything sort of take care of itself during P90X. I am going to do the workout program as designed while using my own diet plan based on BFFM’s ratios and calorie suggestions. I am starting out at the BFFM regular fat loss target for activity modifier 1.55 of around 1700 calories a day. The P90X literature claims that each daily workout is worth around 600 calories burned, so with a sedentary, no workout maintenance level of 1700 calories, six workouts a week, five low zigzag days, and two maintenance level high zigzag days a week, I will have an estimated deficit of 3245 calories a week.

P90X Mathematics

Weekly Energy Expenditure Without Exercise = 1735 calories x 7 days = 12,145 calories/week
Weekly Calories Burned via P90X = 600 calories x 6 days = 3,600 calories/week
Weekly Calories Eaten = (1700 x 5) + (2000 x 2) = 12,500 calories/week

Weekly Deficit = 12,500 – (12,145 + 3,600) = -3,245 calories/week

If my meals are clean and the calorie burn estimates for P90X are accurate, I will drop around 0.927 pounds every week without additional cardio. The workouts average 60-90 minutes in length and are of the high-intensity calisthenics variety, so it’s possible, even given the “high” cutting calories I’ll be consuming.

Looking at this program, I think I’ve found a way to balance out BFL Maggie and Drill Sergeant Maggie. The BFL side likes the six workouts a week and splitting of cardio and resistance days. The drill sergeant side likes the fact that the workouts are hard, reminiscent of Army PT, and long enough in duration to burn the right number of calories to make the mathematics of fat loss work. And the third part of my brain, “Super Hungry Cereal Wench Maggie”:, is bouncing up and down with glee about the 1700 calories per day.

Oh, and in case you were wondering…I decided to do my chest/back/ab workout after all. I’ve had so many carbs today that I am bursting at the seams to go lift, push, and pull some heavy stuff.

And, quite frankly, I’m so stuffed with high carb baked goodies today that I would probably wind up cleaning up my regurgitated breakfast, lunch and dinner from the treadmill if I attempted to run. :yuck:

Nutrition: 2000 calorie high zig zag free day

1: 3/4 c. FF cottage cheese and large navel orange
2: Navel orange and Einstein Bros. cranberry bagel
3: Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (4″) and toasted coconut doughnut
4: 3 oz. grilled chicken with broccoli and 4 oz. sweet potato
5: Thai chicken pasta salad
6: 3/4 c. FF cottage cheese and large navel orange

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D
Water for yesterday: 20 cups

6:00 PM Chest/Back/Abs
(Optional) 6:45 PM Moderate steady-state cardio – Treadmill (4 mph/ 10% incline / 25 minutes)

The Awful Truth:
1. 12 sour gummi worms, heh
2. 2-3 oz. assorted chips

Short-term Goals:
1. Print out new 50/30/20 recipes.
2. Adjust schedule for P90X series.
3. Work on paper doll project.
4. Do thumbnails for 5-6 new prints.
5. Clean the bathroom and kitchen.
6. Vacuum and tidy living room.

The Truth About Maintenance

I just found a new blog to read: I Am That Girl Now. The author, Meg, has lost over 50 lbs and is now in maintenance and sort of coming to grips with the idea that the changes she had to make in her lifestyle to get where she is physically can never be undone if she wants to keep the body she has earned.

She wrote a really GREAT post on the maintenance struggle today which should be required reading for us all, whether we are just starting our transformations, approaching goal, or treading water in maintenance: http://iamthatgirlnow.blogspot.com/2005/04/til-death-do-us-part.html

Check it out. It’s worth the read.

Not So Bendy

I put together the Door Gym, slung it over my doorway this morning, and hopped up to see how many pull-ups I could do when fresh and well-rested.

Two and a half. :whistle:

Well, better than nothing I guess. The P90X program should raise that number up significantly over the next three months as I drop excess body fat and get more practice with the movement.

I then popped in the Yoga X DVD and attempted to keep up with the insane, painful contortions of the bendy people on the TV screen for 35 minutes. This aspect of my personal fitness requires even more work than my pull-up ability if this morning’s performance was indicative of my current level of flexibility. :tongue:

Dietwise, I’ve also pretty much set a basic meal pattern for myself. You probably wouldn’t think so from the huge list of recipes I’ve posted on my site, but I’m actually one of those boring people who can eat the same thing every single day and not go out of my mind from the monotony. Back in my non-fitness oriented days, I had 2 eggs and a bowl of raisin bran with milk every day for breakfast, white rice and stir fry for lunch, more white rice and stir fry for dinner, and I was perfectly content.

The key is that I have to LIKE what I’m having every day. If I do, I never get tired of it.

So here’s my basic meal plan at 50/30/20.

  • Meal 1 (8:00 AM) : Proatmeal PWO combo (1/2 c. (dry) oatmeal, 1/2 serving fruit, 1/2 t. honey and 3/4 scoop Myopro whey) OR PWO shake (1/4 c. dextrose with 1 scoop Myopro whey and 1 t. GNC Creastack)
  • Meal 2 (10:30 AM): 3 egg white x 1 whole egg omelette, 1 c. spinach, 4 oz. sweet potato (baked into chips), 1/2 serving fruit
  • Meal 3 (12:30 PM): 3 oz. lean chicken or beef (or 4 oz. fish), 1 c. steamed or sauteed veggies, 1/2 c. rice, and 1/2 serving fruit
  • Meal 4 (3:00 PM): Peanut butter banana yogurt shake
  • Meal 5 (5:30 PM): Thai chicken salad w/1.75 oz. (dry) WW spaghetti or 1 serving fruit
  • Meal 6 (8:00 PM): 3/4 c. FF cottage cheese and 1 serving fruit

Total calories come in at 1600-1725 calories depending on whether I use more starchy carbs or go with fruit. Higher calorie zigzag days will include two extra servings of fruit, an extra cup of rice (yay!), or a randomly determined splurge carb item around 200 calories. The P90X nutrition plan puts me at nutrition level 1, or around 1800 calories a day on average, so I’m on target for that.

My menus will look a LOT like the above with only a few variations as determined by whatever fruits and veggies are cheapest that week.

Nutrition: 1600-1700 calorie low zig zag day

1: Proatmeal PWO comboรขโ‚ฌโ€œ1/2 c. (dry) oatmeal, 1/2 banana, 1/2 t. honey and 3/4 scoop Myopro whey
2: 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. steamed zucchini/squash, 6 oz. sweet potato
3: 1.5 c. plain FF yogurt, 1/4 scoop strawberry whey, 1/2 banana
4: 3×1 omelette, 2 c. spinach, 1 large navel orange
5: Thai chicken pasta salad
6: 3/4 c. FF cottage cheese and large navel orange

Nutrition Stats:
1628 Calories
202.1 g carb (49.7%)
158.3 g prot (39.9%)
24.1 g fat (13.3%)

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D
Water for yesterday: 16 cups

7:45 AM Yoga X DVD (35 minutes)
8:00 PM Other half of Yoga X DVD (45 minutes)

The Awful Truth:
1. 1 Hershey miniature bar
2. 1 T. unsalted peanuts

Brownie Points:
1. Reorganized living room as workout area.
2. Did a lot of cooking and salad making. ๐Ÿ™‚
3. Followed schedule almost perfectly yesterday.
4. Did not have ANY of the take out chicken wings ordered for dinner at work last night.
5. Added around two dozen new smilies to the blog’s comment and posting forms.
Short-term Goals:
1. Print out new 50/30/20 recipes.
2. Go to the bank.
3. Work on paper doll project.
4. Do thumbnails for 5-6 new prints.
5. Clean the bathroom and kitchen.
6. Vacuum.
7. Clean ceiling fan blades. How does cat hair get UP there? ๐Ÿ™„
8. Submit paperwork for dental reimbursement from FSA.

The Joy of Changing Routines

This morning I woke up sore just about everywhere except my quads and abs. The soreness from the Ab Ripper X video faded about two days ago, and it takes some major weight and reps to make my mega-quads break down, so that wasn’t too surprising. It is, however, day two after my chest and back workout, so yesterday’s DOMS is still going strong, and now I’ve discovered that while the P90X Legs and Back workout is not so hot on quads, it absolutely blows out your bum, hams, and calves. Standing up and sitting down is going to be a chore for a few days. ๐Ÿ˜›

This is a good thing really. I think my quads have outstripped my other leg muscles in development due to my love of squats, my focus on running as my primary form of cardio, and the fact that I sit on a stability ball at work for 10-12 hours a day. I don’t think there is a single day during the week that my quads aren’t getting some form of passive workout because of my choice of chair.

With the pull-up bar problem resolved and three additional resistances tubes arriving tomorrow from Amazon, I might just start full-blown P90X next Monday. I tried to do a pull-up today at Gold’s and couldn’t even manage ONE lousy one. Not even ONE!

Okay, so I didn’t try until I’d already blown out my arms and shoulders with 10 sets of shoulder exercises, 7 sets of biceps, and 5 sets of triceps at maximum effort, but still…How humbling.

Clearly I need to get to work on pull-ups ASAP.

I’m going to hook up the Door Gym tonight since I get to keep it now, and try again when I’m rested. I refuse to be defeated by a stupid bodyweight exercise. ๐Ÿ˜ก

I’ll post another round of progress pics, measurements, and the P90X fit test results on Saturday or Sunday.

Nutrition: 1600-1700 calorie low zig zag day

1: Proatmeal PWO combo–1/2 c. (dry) oatmeal, 1/2 banana, 1/2 t. honey and 3/4 scoop Myopro whey with 1 t. GNC Creastack
2: 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. steamed zucchini/squash, 6 oz. sweet potato
3: Peanut butter banana shake
4: 3×1 omelette, 2 c. spinach, 1 banana
5: Thai chicken salad with apple
6: 3/4 c. FF cottage cheese and large navel orange

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D
Water for yesterday: 16 cups

8:00 AM Shoulders/Biceps/Triceps at the gym
3:00 PM 1 mile walk (4 mph / 15 minutes)

Optional: Ab Ripper X DVD

Training Details:
Shoulders/Biceps/Triceps (Start: 8:00 am / End: 8:54 am)
(Free weights and cables at Goldรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs Gym)

Warm-up – Treadmill walk/run at 4-6 mph / 0% incline / 5 minutes

2 drop sets x 10 reps each weight x 12.5 lb/10 lb – Dumbbell Side
3 sets x 10 reps x 17.5 lb – Arnold Press
2 sets x 10 reps x 10 lb – Front Raise (Raise weight next time)
1 set x 10 reps x 17.5 lb

2 sets x 8 reps x 20 lb – Dumbbell Curl
3 sets x 10 reps x 15 lb – Dumbbell Concentration Curl
2 sets x 10 reps x 17.5 lb / 15 lb (~5 reps at 17.5, rest at 15) –
Incline Dumbbell Curl

2 sets x 10 reps x 45 lb – Barbell Lying Tricep Extension
3 sets x 10 reps x 60 lb assistance – Assisted Tricep Dip
2 sets x 10 reps x 42.5 lb – Tricep Pushdown

The Awful Truth:
1. Stayed at target calories, but didn’t eat very clean for meal 6–Chinese take out at work (mmm…rice) and about 4 snack size candy bars.

Brownie Points:
1. Got to the store and bought 7 dozen eggs, 16 lbs of naval oranges, 6 bananas, and a container of cottage cheese. The cashier was pretty astounded.

Short-term Goals:
1. Reorganize living room as workout area.
2. Print out new 50/30/20 recipes.
3. Go to the bank.
4. Prep more meals 3 and 4.
5. Work on paper doll project.
6. Do thumbnails for 5-6 new prints.

Jungle Jam, Baby!

After 5 live chats and 1 detailed email complaint in 7 days, I finally got word from the Beachbody.com customer service department that a Jungle Jam pull-up bar will be shipped to me via Fed Ex from their warehouse. For those of you who are new on the scene and didn’t know, I ordered the Jungle Jam on 3/31/2005 and subsequently waited 14 days for what turned out to be the WRONG item to arrive. Last Thursday my BB package arrived, but alas, it was a Door Gym, not a Jungle Jam.


I’ve been nagging Beachbody’s customer service staff on an almost daily basis ever since about getting the right bar.

I can be annoyingly persistent about stuff like this. I hounded Amazon.com and their rebate processing contractor for nearly 8 months about a $200 mobile phone rebate they tried to screw me out of two years ago. I got the rebate in the end, too.

Anyway, Matthew from customer service just sent an email stating that since the error was on the warehouse end and my order was correctly showing as a Jungle Jam in the database, he had to wait to hear back from the warehouse before he could clear up the problem. I guess they did a quick item count or something to make sure I wasn’t BS’ing them about getting the wrong item. The Door Gym isn’t offered through the BB website, but it IS going to be offered through one of their TV infomercials, so the warehouse apparently carries inventories of both models of bars.

They must have decided I was right, because I now have a lovely Fed Ex tracking number and a Jungle Jam is on its way to me at no extra charge. The rep even said that I don’t have to send the Door Gym back at this point, probably because I’d demand reimbursement for the shipping charges. I’m sure it’s cheaper and easier for them to just let me keep the thing instead of dealing with another week or more of my civilized harassment, hah!

I’m probably nicknamed something like the “Jungle Jam Bee-yotch” over there at Beachbody Headquarters. ๐Ÿ˜›

Now what am I going to do with TWO pull-up bars?