Gordon Davidescu wrote this article.

I am a Big Man.  I am a Pretty Man.  I am: The Gordon Davidescu. 


I also stink!

No, I do not mean that I am a bad person, or that I am doing something of low moral quality that would perhaps justify a balancing man
to come my way.

I mean that there is a nearly toxic smell that is
coming from my body. I have just finished day six of the first week of
the standard P90X workout program, and my shirt is soaked through; my
hair is damp like a person who didn’t have an umbrella at the time of a
cloudburst. I’m even looking forward to the holy Shabbos for an entirely different reason along with the allure of its beautiful divine sanctity.

Let’s go back before the stank. 

It all started months ago… when I was a huge, weak, wee, lad…

I kept on getting these different ads on GMail for a Seattle based gym that promised extreme results in about 8 weeks. I have unfortunately allowed myself to get into a sort of a gelatinous form in the last four years; I think it has something to do with my line of work (I sit at my computer in my apartment all day so I don’t even get the opportunity to exercise my way to the office) along with the fact that Seattle seems to be overcast and cloudy much of the year.

That doesn’t exactly entice a person to want to just get outside and get their workout on, so to speak; sometimes it’s a struggle to convince myself to just cross the street to the local market to pick up a pound of wheat berries.

Meanwhile, my now former neighbor Blythe told me that she had come across what seemed to be an extremely effective workout system called P90X.

She told me that it would cost a couple of hundred dollars but it was an all encompassing workout system that would involve every part of the body. The other thing that made it different, she said, was that it incorporated something called muscle confusion: bear in mind that not everyone thinks it works — but for the sake of the program we can assume that it is more effective than 90 minutes of daily television watching.

Between when she told me about the workout program and when I actually went ahead and bought it a few months had passed and it took watching an infomercial on television to convince me to just get it. I think it had something to do with the fact that I could actually see it explained step by step for me in a visual manner rather than just hearing about it; of course, having a friend vouch for it made the difference between quickly dismissing what could have been considered a laughable infomercial. How many times do you see a commercial for a teddy bear meant for wearing on your seat belt, and how many of these bears do you actually own?

I have exactly zero.

The two boxes arrived about a week or so after I ordered — but I wasn’t able to start until this week because of the fact that there was a major Jewish holiday and I went to Southern California for a few days to see some friends for the last time before the big move back to the east coast.

One box contained the set of 12 (yes, twelve!) DVDs along with a nice tight resistance band, and the other one contained what seemed like about a thousand pieces that still have to be put together to form either Optimus Prime or a chin-up bar. I’m hoping it’s going to be the latter but I would probably be more entertained by the former.

I have no overhangs on my doors and the chin-up bar relies on having those precious overhangs for stability. I hope to get a friend of mine to go to Home Depot or some such place to help me select the right hardware to make sure I don’t come crashing down after the first chin up.

The way that P90X works is that you get exactly 13 weeks worth of workouts. Every day in every week there is a different workout. There are three different phases. For the kind of workout I chose to use, which is known as “Classic”, the first three weeks are the same followed by what they say is a recovery / ab focus week.

I hope to discuss the latter weeks when the time actually comes, assuming that I make it to then in one piece.

This first week has been somewhat abbreviated, to be honest. I didn’t get started until Tuesday, when I did the DVD called “Chest & Back, Ab Ripper X.” What’s worse, I didn’t even do the Ab Ripper X part of the program because I thought it was meant for a different day.

When I finally relocated the manual, I realized that I did the exercise routine that I was supposed to do on Sunday had I started on Sunday. Being that I saw ahead of me that the seventh day of the program always is meant for resting and for the Jewish people, there is no greater day of rest like the Holy Shabbos, it seemed that I had to switch things around a little bit.

I noted that Day 4 was called Yoga X and I (of course) mistakenly thought that it would not be as difficult as the Chest and Back exercise regimen. I could not have been more wrong about it. The first forty-five minutes alone were some of the most grueling of my entire workout life. The next forty-five minutes were also quite difficult but were a lot more relaxing, comparatively speaking.

The following day was all legs and back exercises followed by that lovely “Ab Ripper X.” The legs and back exercises were one thing but let me tell you, they really meant it when they decided to call it Ab Ripper! By the end of the workout I was feeling cramps in muscles I didn’t even know existed.

Finally, there was Day 6: Kenpo X. Kenpo is apparently an ancient form of martial arts that goes back to about 520. Kenpo X, on the other hand, is a rigorous workout developed for the P90X workout program.

At the beginning of the DVD, when I saw that the workout involved only a bottle of water and towel, I thought it would surely be a lot easier than workouts that involve weights and the chin up bar. It reminds me of an ongoing problem that I have in an online game called World of Warcraft: I find myself trying to go somewhere in the game and suddenly think, “I think I’ll just take this shortcut” and then my character is immediately killed by a large angry mob. Many times when you think, “Hey, I found a shortcut!” the best course of action is to turn around and go the long way.

I hope to follow up this article with a few more detailing how I am doing. I would like to note here that I bought the P90X with my own money and that P90X did not ask me to endorse them in any way; I am writing this article series because I want to see to what extent I can do well using the P90X system.

11 Comments

  1. Love the review, Gordon! You are a brave man, you are, to expose your human flaws of the flesh in such a delicious, public, and belly-ripping way, my friend! The Dark Knight has nothing on you! SMILE!
    I look forward to your progress and articles on your progress.
    You have set a mighty high standard for excellence in storytelling when it comes to working out!

  2. Short update (was meant to be in today’s article but in the time between going into edit mode and saving I was locked out; that will teach me to make last minute edits!)
    Saturday was indeed a joyous day of rest.
    Sunday was a great change from the first time I did shoulders & ab ripper x; for one, I actually did ab ripper x and it lives up to its name.
    I just finished Plyo X and though it was a bit easier than the first time I did it, I am still quite, quite drenched and am ready to hit the shower 🙂
    I am looking forward to writing those articles and making the progress – hopefully by the time day 90 comes around we can post the “after” picture next to the “before” picture and marvel at how well it happened. Thank you for the high compliment on my storytelling. I hope to keep it up! 🙂

  3. NO LAST MINUTE EDITS!
    YOU KNOW BETTER, YOU DO!
    It sounds like a good program if you can stick with it, Gordon, and then use it to keep your body in fine working condition. Working from home in a chair with an internet connection is a killer — believe me, I’m living that sorrow with you.

  4. Gordon —
    Yes, there’s still the workout, but not as intensive. I need to actively remind myself to get up and walk around much more than I actually do…
    Be more like Dananjay: Tell me your article is done and ready for publication and then revise it another 50 times! SMILE!

  5. I have been reading that the best way to get your workouts done is to make sure that you have plenty of friends (online or otherwise) that are reminding you of their own workout progress, therefore reminding you that you need to do your own! 🙂
    I shall strive to be Dananjaylike. 🙂

  6. Gordon!
    What a wonderful article. Loved every word of it!
    I go on a 90 minute walk most every day and your article just made me realize i must now find a way to get some upper body workout into my schedule.
    look forward to your “after” update! i shall now proceed to work on my finished article. 🙂

  7. Dananjay,
    Not only that but from what I understand, doing the same 90 minute walk every day will have your body plateau after awhile and not have such a good effect.

  8. Thank you, Katha! They say that you have to follow a fairly strict diet and unfortunately I have not been doing it (yet) so I’m not going to look like Mr. Atlas at the end of this time but I am already looking better 🙂