Success Story: Mark H.


Success Story! So proud of you, Mark!

Why I’m Writing this

I’ve always considered myself an all around athlete.  I’ve been blessed with the capability to run, swim, bike, rollerblade, play all kinds of competitive team sports and hold my own in pretty much all of those activities.

You could call me your typical “weekend warrior”.  I work a 9-5 Monday-Friday, and on the weekend you will find me out in the yard doing work or on the playing field having fun. I play two competitive team sports regularly – flag football and arc pitch softball – and both of these require varying degrees of physical fitness.

If you are a similar “weekend warrior”, I hope you will read this and start on the road to a healthier, stronger, and more athletically capable you!

A Steady Decline in my Physical Abilities

In my early to mid 20s, I worked out when I felt like it, not really following a set schedule or routine for more than a couple months at a time. Not surprisingly, I suffered through a couple major injuries that were very tough to come back from – a separated shoulder and patellar tendon reconstruction (due to very bad case of tendonitis).

The recovery from both of these injuries was challenging, and I suffered a cascade of strained muscles, ligaments, and tendons as a result of trying to play sports in the same way I did before these injuries, without the proper workout program to support my body!

My friends and family all loved to poke fun at me for injury record.  I was the running joke when I showed up with a new injury, which happened more frequently than I’d like to admit.  The sad part is, most of these injuries I suffered (including the serious ones) were very preventable.  If I had only known about p90x in those days…

Why I Purchased p90x

I first heard about p90x when I was in my late 20s.  I think I was watching one of those late night infomercials.  Considering myself a wreck of injuries at that point, I was reluctant to try out such an advanced workout routine and just did not want to commit the amount of time it required, so I brushed it off as another gimmick.

Fast forward to 2010, when a couple good friends of mine decided to purchase the program and give it a shot.  I watched as they leaned out, got stronger, and just looked so much healthier and happier than before doing p90x.

I was sold, and thanks to my competitive nature I felt compelled to achieve the same success as them, if not better!  Plus, I loved the idea of not having to travel to the gym, wait for equipment, and in general waste a lot of precious time in my day.

My Experience

The biggest lesson I learned from my friends’ experience with p90x was to take it easy in the beginning and allow your body to adjust to the workouts.  This was quite the opposite to my previous approach to working out, and consequently, I pushed too hard, too early, and too often, which made the entire workout experience negative and kept me away from the gym!

I still remember that first week like it was yesterday.  It was hard work, but I just kept “hitting play” and remained conservative and consistent.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much warm up and cool down time was built into each program.  Never before had I done so much stretching in my entire life, and I found that I looked forward to – rather than avoided – the stretch days and yoga days.

I had never done Yoga before but it soon became one of my favorite workouts (to be honest, I did try doing Yoga once with my wife but it was so hard I gave up after a half hour)!  Now I do Yoga multiple times a week in addition to my P90x workouts.  It has made me a better athlete, and ultimately a better person.

Eating well on this program was not a problem for me, as I had long ago established good eating habits.  But I was amazed at how much I could actually eat!  I was consuming close to 2600 calories a day, and never once felt like I was starving!

One thing was for sure; I constantly fed and rested my body to recover from the intensity of this program.  Fortunately, Tony Horton and the P90x team just took the guesswork out of everything for me.  All I had to do was stick to the script and watch as the results showed up on my body!

My Results

After just 30 days, I felt better than I had in years or after any continuous workout program I had done before.  I could also see noticeable changes in my physic.  My torso began to straighten out, I had better posture, and I was well on my way to better fitness.  My chiropractor even took notice of my posture and how much better I was holding up to adjustments.

Although my net weight loss was 10 pounds (172lbs final weight), I believe the amount of fat I lost was far greater than 10 pounds.  I certainly added some new, lean muscle, so the “net” weight loss had to be offset by the muscle gained.

About a month and a half into the program, we had scrimmages for my flag football league in the spring.  I play in an ultra competitive league with many ex-college and high school players, so it’s not your average group of athletes.  These guys are serious.

I was excited to try out my “new” body, and man did it surprise me!  I was much faster, quicker, and more agile than before.  For the first time since I was young, I could feel my core muscles working in unison with the rest of my body.

After 90 days and well into the spring flag football season, I was a changed athlete.  People would often say to me “you look different”.  I was never fat, but my posture and muscle tone did not fit the competitive athlete inside my head.  Now I had the body to match, and I was ready, able, and willing to “bring it”!

Next Steps

I just finished my second football season and 3rd softball season since my first round of P90x, and I’m happy to report no injuries!  During the seasons, I would do anywhere from 2-3 various P90x workouts for maintenance, as well as a lot of stretching.  This was critical to good performance and remaining injury free.

As I enter the winter break, I am preparing for my 2nd round of P90x to prepare for the spring again.  I can’t wait to build on the positive improvements to my body from the 1st round and continued maintenance, and finally get to try it out on the field.  Stay tuned!

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