In the past several weeks, I’ve really been hard at work. My whole approach toward fitness is evolving, and I am very close to my ultimate goal weight. Today, I am 7 pounds away from reaching the weight I’d like to maintain. Once I reach that weight, I will have lost 125 pounds since getting back into training on 1/1/11.
My friend, Crystal, really got me into FocusMaster six months ago; she kept me motivated by being a weekly workout buddy (sadly, she moved out of the Capital District this past weekend). Around the same time, I started DDP Yoga. Since keeping up with both of these very different approaches toward total wellness, I’ve lost 33 pounds (and if you include the 10 pounds I gained back when I was on my honeymoon, that would make 43 pounds.). I’m spending a lot less time in the gym doing traditional cardio (maximum 2x per week for only 30 minutes maintaining a heart rate between 120 and 150), and, as of July, I’ve completely eliminated weight training.
In this time, my body and mind have changed dramatically.
It used to be that I’d be sore for 2-3 days after training a muscle set. That, in and of itself, is a demotivating factor. Who wants to go to the gym when they’re already really sore? That body-mind connection used to give me an excuse to say, “I don’t need to work out today.”
Since July, I’ve been working out 12 times per week, that’s twice a day during the week and once a day on weekends. And I’m never overly sore to the point where I can’t do the next workout. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, and my stamina is way up. That I attribute to FocusMaster, which is a fairly high intensity, fast-twitch workout.
I’m also the most flexible I’ve ever been, and that’s all because of the DDP Yoga.
I’m really careful about the way I talk about DDP Yoga, because it’s really not like traditional yoga. During the recent HBO Real Sports of Bryant Gumbel feature on DDP Yoga, Dallas Page reinforces this while talking about traditional yoga: “It’s pretty peaceful; not mine…” (Dallas talks from about 4:25-6:00 in the linked YouTube video). DDP Yoga really only borrows yoga motions and combines them in sequences with plyometrics and calisthenics, so it’s not like most yoga out there.
I’ve now gotten through all of the workouts that come in the DDP Yoga Combo Pack, my last being Double Black Diamond this past Saturday. And I can do all of the moves with few modifications needed to make them easier. I have the most issues with the hip and balance exercises, but, little by little, I’m getting them. All of the power moves, squats, push ups, crunches, I’m awesome with, especially the slow burn pushups.
My progression with the slow burn pushups is astonishing. Back in April, I couldn’t even do a normal push up without modifying on my knees. In the very first workout, Dallas starts you out in a plank position, just holding it out with your core engaged. As you progress through the workouts, he starts adding the slow burn part. At first, it’s 3 second increments; first you hold for 3 seconds, then you take 3 seconds to go down, hold for 3 seconds, come back up in 3 seconds, then repeat. In the advanced exercises, those 3 seconds progress up to 10 seconds, and that’s super challenging. I can now do 10 second slow burn push ups with no problem whatsoever. I’m working my way up to his Psycho Extreme push ups.
The other thing I’m working on is a move called “Black Crow“, also known as crane pose in traditional yoga. I can’t quite balance on my arms yet, but I’m getting there.
Once I get those, I have DDP Yoga Extreme waiting for me. I’m looking forward to being able to do this workout, but I have a ways to go until I’m in good enough condition.
Aside from a pesky under-developed back retractor muscle, I’ve had no issues with my back and neck since starting DDP Yoga. Those of you who have known me for the last 20 years know that I have had consistent issues with lower back and neck injuries that have been completely debilitating when they’ve decided to act up. Neither has been an issue since April. I haven’t been to a doctor to image my spine to know whether those injuries are gone for good, but I think it’s a safe bet that the 20-40 minutes/day of DDP Yoga are at least beneficial.
To celebrate completion of 6 months on DDP Yoga, I made myself a big salad, something I know Dallas would be proud of (he’s really big on salads). If you’ve been following on the blog here, you probably have seen that I’m pretty obsessed with this salad, but I’ve never had a real one.
The Cobb Salad.
Egg, Avocado, Tomato, Chicken, Onion, Bacon, Blue Cheese (EAT COBB)
I tossed my greens (sliced butter and frisee lettuce) with some honey mustard and topped them with all the good stuff.
As a special treat, I made myself peanut butter cup brownies from a few recipes I cobbled together online.
Today, I start the next six months of DDP Yoga. I anticipate that within the next month or two, I’ll be trying to find the balance between training and diet to maintain my weight. I fully expect DDP Yoga to be integral to that.