Monday, March 31, 2008

Mon., March 31 Workouts

P90X Yoga X + Walk/Bike?

Monday... Yoga? Yes indeedy. Welcome to the final recovery week of my first P90X 3-month rotation. And here I was set for a crazy arm/back/leg routine followed by Ab Ripper, and... well, I did some Yoga instead.

Pretty rainy and cold today. What to do... chilly walk or uber-cold bike ride in some rain? Or, nothing. Ack!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Fri., Sat., Sun. March 28-30 Workouts

P90X Legs & Back + Ab Ripper X & Bike Ride (Fri.)
P90X Core Synergistics & Bike (Sat.)
Rest (Sun.)

Added lots of new family pictures @ -- don't miss them! ;)

So, wow... this is it. Today, Friday, the last full-on workout in Week 11, only some core/rest and then recovery week left. P90X. First run. Nearly over.


I brought it.


First, got down from 230ish to 201 between 1.1.07 and 1.1.08. Power 90, plateu'd for sure, wasn't so great on the diet thing, but... Insane results for 12 months of work, going from flabby no-exercise to, well... doing some/Power 90.

Then, currently, down from 201 to 184 between 1.1.08 and 4.1.08. P90X, all you.

AND followed the Fat Ripper I diet. (Key!) Feeling awesome.


I have to say -- yesterday's bike ride over lunch? Yikes -- in a good way!

History: Basically, my neighborhood is shaped like an O -- my house is at the bottom of the hill at the bottom of the O.

For the past few weeks/months, it's taken me 10 mins to walk from my house to the top of the development, then 10 more minutes to wrap around the other side and back down to my house. The access road is at the very top.

Simple, 2.2 mi. all the way around twice. Takes about 35 minutes at a brisk pace to make two laps, walking.

On my newly refurb'd bike? Like 3 minutes around. No kidding.

So... what to do. I jog off to the right on my wheels and into GreenBrier next store, another 'hood. Then up to Olive Chapel Road, turn right, and head towards Will's school -- Olive Chapel Elementary. Past that, and onward, down a huge hill, back up, onward... all the way to near the corner of Williams St. and Olive Chapel. MANY miles, then back... and still 10 minutes left before my lunch break is over. Nice burn!


This morning... the body payback. Aching back. Hunching over those mountain bike handlebars and pumpin' hard all that way in under an hour took its toll.

So... I really didn't want to get out of bed this morning. But I did, as always, and got right into legs and back, then flowed right into Ab Ripper. At the end? No more soreness.

That's one of the big lessons from this -- skip a workout, any pain and soreness gets worse and persists. Workout and bring it? The soreness and pain gets worked out, covered, and jacked up with natural endorphins and good stretching.

Like it should be. Onward to the recovery week, and the final pictures next week. Nice, nice, nice. Enjoy your weekend!


Today is the first day I've lived in North Carolina.

Well, you know what I mean. It's an amazing 75 degree, sunny Spring day. There's a stiff breeze, everything is in bloom, and there's hardly anyone on the road. I leave Kelly West, head LEFT this time, down Olive Chapel AWAY from the neighborhoods, Will's school, and the stores -- and instead, go a few seconds down the road to horse farms and the country.

I pass first cobblestone and paved driveways of the newcomers, then hit rock and dirt driveways of the long-time Tar Heels. The horses come up to the fence to shake their heads at me, and I carefully hug the roadside going down, down... to the American Tobacco Trail.

BOOM a hard right, and I'm on level, white sandy trails, closed in on both sides by still-naked pine trees, tunnel vision ahead as far as the eye can see. A few ups/downs, and I'm under US 64, then more, to the next road... and I turn around. Back down the path, past clusters of youngsters taking horses for walks, then back onto Olive Chapel Road, hit some high hills, crank down my gears, then back into Kelly West, and home.

10 minutes early.

Hardly any sweat on me -- lots of work and hills and legs humming happily -- and it's back to work.

Today... is the first day I've FULLY lived in North Carolina. Too awesome.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thu., March 27 Workouts

P90X Yoga X + Bike Ride

Yes, that's right -- bike ride. After letting our mountain bikes sit unused in various storage areas over the past few years, we took them over to Cycling Spoken Here last week and they got them back up to speed.

I picked them up last night -- wow. WOW -- I forgot how much fun riding was! Figuring a route with lots of up and downhills, I'm going to try switching from my 3 mi. or so walk at lunch to an even longer but similar-timed ride. Can't wait to get out there and tear it up!

Yoga... more of the same. Calm, movements, holding postures, the manifold upward/downward dogs, all good.

Got my first set of tank tops for the summer last night -- dang, who's arms are these anyway?

Tim in a tank top? Yes, ladies and gents, it can, and has, happened. No worries -- the speedos are out. Foeva.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wed., March 26 Workouts

P90X Back & Biceps + Ab Ripper X

Tons of pull-ups, lots of bicep pumps -- it's magic, right Tony? Then on to the awesome Ap Ripper X, every move.

I'm getting miffed at myself -- all this work, 90 days nearly done, and still I have a pouch. Will be posting for some advice about this once I pass the last week (recovery next week).

I mean... crazy great results, right? BUT... next up, scraping off the last of this tummy roll hiding there under my new medium shorts and small/33 pants. (Man, I just smile typing that!)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tue., March 25 Workouts

P90X Plyometrics + Walk

The sweat machine was running at 11 today -- X-City in the house. Love burning 900-1K calories with this routine. Feelin' fine and ready to rock my Tuesday!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Mon., March 24 Workouts

P90X Chest, Shoulders & Triceps + Ab Ripper X & Walk

Finally... time to bring my new free weights to bear on this amazing routine. Talk about feeling the burn, it hurt so darn good.

I have to admit, the bands worked great to get me where I am, but free weights really add a whole different dimension to every move. Especially for building the chest, shoulders, and tris in this workout.

When it was all said and done -- and here it is, nearly three hours since I brought it, post-perfect breakfast a la the diet guide -- my upper body is STILL vibrating a bit internally. I made sure that ALL of the final three moves were super duper tough, and the push ups were insanely collapsing at the end. Then all Ab Ripper moves, too darn good all the way around.

Which is good, because Easter was a rockin' good time. Had nearly the whole crew of local transplants, tons of kids crawling all over our awesome playset, tons of wine and food flowing, good basketball on the tube, and a good time was had by all.

Allowed myself my usual once-per-week splurge meal/dessert, and will bring extra laps/moves early this week to burn up whatever's left.

Lots to do this week, bringin' it to all areas of my life -- here, on Week 12. The FINAL full week of workouts before the recovery week, then final photos from my first full 90 days. Watch for those on April 5-6. :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter @ 2008

Weekend Workouts:

Fri. P90X Legs & Back + Ab Ripper X
Sat. P90X Core Synergistics (Did Plyometrics instead!)
Sun. Rest Day

Excited to have a large group of friends coming by on Sunday for a big feast. ;) A McGramerLock party to rule them all! Well, sort of... That's a mash-up of all of our friends last name, all transplants (who isn't in this part of NC?) who stay put for the holidays, and crash in each of our homes in turn to celebrate holidays. Great stuff.

Hoping we can get some warmer weather on Sunday -- lots to do to get ready.

Last full week of regular P90X coming up, then rest week, then FINAL PHOTOS, then on to the next round.

Love it! Happy Easter...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thu., March 20 Workouts

P90X Yoga X + Walk

You know why I like Yoga? Well, it isn't because of the 1,000 (feels like) upward/downward dogs, warriors, etc. It's because Tony gives us a chance to focus our minds, practice some balance moves, really get the muscles blood-rich and stretched out, and help me bring my heels lower to the ground/really get FLEXIBLE for the first time in my life.

I mean... at the end of this program (which is only two weeks away, give or take the recovery week) I'll be:

1. The lightest I've been in my adult life.

2. Have the most lean muscle mass in my adult life.

3. Be the most flexible I've been in my ENTIRE life.

4. Be eating better and more aware of my food choices than at any other point in my life.

5. Have a workout habit that will pay dividends and keep me in great shape for the REST of my life.

All stemming from Mom -- thank you Mom! -- giving me this program for Christmas, a thoughtful present for a motivated son. Onward!

At the top is a fresh picture of William -- he's at school right now being filmed for a new video, showing kids dressed as what they want to be when they grow up. His choice -- Karate Instructor. LOL! Love it!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More on HOA's: Cary News OpEd Piece

This reply to another Apex resident (and former HOA member) appears in today's issue of the Cary News:

It's unfortunate that an attempt to "handle issues in a neighborly way" went awry for Joseph Coletti as an active Board member of his neighborhood Homeowner's Association (HOA).

In my experience with our Kelly West HOA in Apex, some simple steps can be taken by homeowners to avoid confrontations and misunderstandings with their neighborhood associations:

1. Prior to purchasing a home, ask your Realtor if the neighborhood has an HOA. If it does, request a copy of the convenants and architectural (ARC) guidelines and review them before making a buying decision. Our Kelly West documents can be obtained via, and many other HOAs also have websites.

In our neighborhood, some residents moved in without being properly educated by their Relators at closing about what an HOA is, that its core mission is to increase property values through enforcing a shared set of rules, and, most importantly, being furnished with this pair of important documents.

2. Once you move into a neighborhood, seek out the HOA president or a Board member and inquire about meeting days and times. Attend the next meeting, introduce yourself, and ask any questions that you may have. Inquire about open positions and consider joining the Board during the next yearly meeting.

3. Before you make any exterior changes to your home (fence, shed, paint, landscaping, driveway, etc.), consult your covenants and ARC documents for guidance. Ask your Board members if you have any questions. Many HOA's ask homeowners to request permission before moving ahead with some of these projects, so be sure to add this step into your timelines and decision making before moving ahead.

4. Remember that your HOA is run by volunteers, who do their best to stay up-to-date with their communities as a whole. Unfortunately, many do not have the time to pay personal visits to homeowners, who number from 100-500 or more based on their neighborhood size.

As a result, the must rely on a contracted Community Management Company to advise the Board on legal issues and handle enforcement of the community's shared rules.

5. If you receive a letter from such a company advising you of an issue with your home, be sure to call them back in a timely manner to discuss the issue at hand, discuss next steps to meet your obligations as a homeowner, and keep the lines of communication open going forward to avoid fines or other possible punitive measures.

If our Relators stepped up to educate their clients about HOAs and their roles and rules, and our neighbors took a few minutes to obtain and read their covenants and ARC documents, many challenges and misunderstandings could be avoided when it comes to our community associations.

We're lucky to have a positive, professional HOA in Kelly West and in most communities across Apex and the Triangle, and their hard work results in increased property values in their communities.

Tim McLain

Kelly West HOA Board Member

Apex, NC

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tue., March 18 Workouts: Dunlop's Cured

P90X Plyometrics + Walk

My visit to X-city was crazy good today. I've got all the moves nailed, put out a nice sweat, get the heart rate up, and really feel the burn on the final reverse squats and Peter Townsend's. (You Xers know what I mean.)

It's great to have a bod that can take Plyo and come out the other end feeling wasted, a little tired, but not utterly destroyed. Strong lungs, good breathing, solid support muscles, no stomach getting in the way.

Heck yea, you know I cured my terminal Dunlop's Disease weeks ago.

What's that? Never heard of Dunlop's?

It's that chronic afflication that strikes video gamers, middle aged dad's who work at computers, etc.

You know -- our belly's "dun-lop" over our belts.

My old 38 pants are gathering dust, and my old belt, worn and stretched, is taking a much-deserved retirement.

I'm in small workout pants, size 33 jeans, and medium shirts. Curing Dunlop's without surgery and just hard work and following a crazy-good diet that can truly last a lifetime -- priceless.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Mon., March 17 Workouts

P90X Chest & Back + Ab Ripper X

Good ol' fashioned butt whuppin' today -- get on the ground, do all kinds of push ups, head over the pull up bars and do the basics, many, many times. In between, some lawnmowers and back-focused weight moves, and culminate it with the crazy stomach-warming Ab Ripper X.

It's Monday, I'm on Week 11, the scale rested nicely at 184 on Saturday morn, and I'm feeling and looking better than ever.

This is the start of my last two weeks of my first-ever P90X run, and I can't wait to take the fit test at the very end. Should be... interesting... in the X-treme. Right, Tony?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sat. & Sun., March 15-16 Workouts

P90X Core Synergistics
P90X XStretch

Man was I ready for the weekend... long week. ;) Feeling more "durable" post-core city, and looking forward to the stretch.

William did *great* at his Apex soccer tryouts, and we look forward to a Spring/Summer of soccer fun. Practices and games, here we come!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fri., March 14 Workouts

P90X Legs & Back + Ap Ribber X & Walk (74 degrees today, woot!)

This last four-week phase of P90X is different. Focusing on utter muscle confusion. No more standard workouts on standard days -- it's all about reshuffling some of the days to make the body get a lil' nuts when recovery mode hits. One week we're hitting one muscle group on Monday, the next week it's another, and so on.

Today was a return to the awesome back and legs routine. Tons of pull-ups, some wall squats (nailing those hardcore!) and standard squats, then rolled into Ab Ripper X. Man, the tummy is burnin'.

That said, moving to the new energy diet level 1 has resulted in... well, my tummy seems to be the same or GROWING. Not cool. I'm considering moving back to the fat ripper diet again, and hoping that this will start shrinking my stomach again.

Decisions, decisions. Enjoy your Friday and your weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thu., March 13 Workouts

P90X Yoga X

Yoga isn't easy... far from it. All those upward/downward dogs, warriors, balance postures, etc. really add up -- in a great way. After the first 30 minutes comes and goes, you're a whole new person.

You start tired and ricketey, and then the moves come slow and steady... until you're wide awake, matching your breathing to the moves as best you can while Tony yaps (I mean, adds to the experience) and all the work starts to burny burn and your nerves are bouncing like rubber bands and NICE the work feels sooo good.

Yoga -- a big part of the X in P90X. Working on my flexibility for the first time in 37 years -- priceless.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wed., March 12 Workouts

P90X Back & Biceps + Ab Ripper X

I was never one for pull-ups. The handful of times we were challenged to pull a few off during gym class in school were, well, laughable. All but one or two of us couldn't do one, let alone 4-5, or *gasp* 16 reps at a time times 10ish like TODAY.

There's something innately masculine about saddling up to my chin-up bar in my doorway, resting my fingers over its padded length, extending my body down, down... then putting all those chest, back, and arm muscles to work to go UP UP UP, chin over, then down, down... again.



100% manly goodness -- 16 in a row till OUCH pause, do some bicep moves, then saddle up again, this time hands reversed. PULL... 10 or so sets during the entire workout.

Then, 55 minutes later, on to Ab Ripper X.

Every single move, keeping it real and strong, feeling the burny burny crunchy crunchy in the tummy, lifting the lower back off the floor, extending skyward, and using my breathing to keep things moving, modified sit-ups, more, more.

Love, love, love it. P90X is where the money is. For life.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tue., March 11 Workouts

P90X Plyometrics + Walk

Early in the morn
The plyo, the plyo








The one-legged man


Monday, March 10, 2008

Mon., March 10 Workouts

P90X Chest, Shoulders & Biceps + Ab Ripper X

Man this combo hurts so good. All kinds of moves to isolate the triceps -- heck, I never saw 'em before I got deep into this program. Now they pop out just enough to say hello with I'm not flexing at all, like old friends from high school coming back to say hello. (That sounds a little creepy, doesn't it?)

The slow/fast push ups are crazy, and I'm really digging the pain when I get to the end of Ab Ripper X. Hurts so darn good.

Awesome weekend behind me, great week ahead. Last night, I headed over to Kohl's to take advantage of a crazy sale on... get this... swimsuits. Yea, swimsuits. I only have XL, crazy-leg-length shorts. So, a solid Nike blue swimsuit, medium, fits like a glove. Score.

Next up, some workout pants. Really like the black medium's I bought a few weeks ago, so I head over to the racks and... what the heck. Here's a few small's and medium's. Grab a few of both.

The mediums are loose and way too baggy. The SMALL's -- fit like a glove.

S m a l l 's...

I'm still taking that in as I sit here in a pair. SMALL PANTS ON TIM MCLAIN.

Super woot.

As if that wasn't enough... I went (was given permisssion, thanks Deb and Will!) to see U23D on Saturday at a local DLP/Dolby theater -- man o man.

Get a taste of the awesomeness here!

Perfect 3D goodness, latest tech, and of course, Bono and his crew rocked Argentina hardcore. I find all of U2's concert films to be exceptionally emotional. I enjoy putting on Rattle and Hum on the ol' PSP when I'm in a plane on the way back from an event, always gets me psyched up to re-enter family mode, makes me remember just how much I really missed Deb and Will.

Slane Castle is just a rockin' good time, but U23D hits it out of the park. You're right in Bono's face, and you can clearly see the audience reaction to each and every note. It just amplifies the concert experience I hope I get to have someday with U2... live.

Don't miss this film -- U23D for the win all the way.

"As Tim retreats to iTunes and pulls up all the rare and unreleased tracks to kick start his morning..."

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sat. + Sun., March 8-9 Workouts

P90X Core Synergistics & X Stretch + Walks

Ahhh the weekend. Nixed Kenpo X -- tended to make my muscles killer sore all weekend long and as much as I 'brought it' it still wasn't a big calorie burner in my mind -- and inserted the Core workout. Wow... lots of fun moves in that baby, and really helps me work on my developing stomach/chest area, plus the upper thighs. Really good stuff.

Made a big breakfast spread for the family, rearranged the storage area in the garage/got out the Easter box, and the weather is even fairly good to boot. Warm, but wet with the sun finally starting to peek out.

I'm going to hit U23D early this afternoon while Will goes to play with a friend, just relaxing really. Mass Effect arrived yesterday -- fun stuff on the ol' 360 indeed.

Have an awesome weekend, wherever you are. ;)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Fri., March 7 Workouts

P90X Legs & Back + Ab Ripper X

Wall squats for teh win... wow. Between over 100 pull-ups and many more squats of all flavors, you can't help but yelp a bit when you realize you still have Ab Ripper to tackle. But at the end of that, you've tripled your sweat and MAN do you feel spent... great, great workouts Mr. Horton.

Rockin' in the weekend with TONS to do today at work. Then it's break time, and Will heads back to school on Monday, tracked in. Have a great one!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thu., March 6 Workouts

P90X Yoga X & Extra Walk

I know, I know... Yoga day. Time to wax poetic about the breathing, the stretching, the wonderful sun salutations, the balance postures, the ooooooooooom's. All nice, all make me feel like $2M (100% more than you'd think!)

I'm noticing that my downward dogs lead to heels that are NEARLY touching the floor -- a huge improvement over Day One. The really, really long sequences of Warrior 1, 2, reverse warrior, etc. are straightforward, and my legs are solid as a rock.

Deb and Will are heading to the Zoo -- he's back to school next week after track-out -- and I have lots of work to plow through. Will do an extra lap at lunch around the ol' neighborhood and feel the calorie burn -- the scale read an awesome 185 straight up today.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wed., March 4 Workout(s)

P90X Shoulders & Arms + Ab Ripper X & Walk

There's something insanely fun about working the glamor areas. You know, the shoulders, triceps, biceps, the whole upper-deal. There's a little pain -- and darn it if I still need to replace my red band, working on some free weights -- but there's a lot of results too.

And hitting Ab Ripper right after it is awesome. You've not worked your core much at all -- and then BLAM it's from one workout to another. My stomach is really feeling it, but time.

Bring it!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tue., March 4 Workout(s)

P90X Plyometrics + Walk (75 degrees here in awesome NC!)

Woah. Show stopper this morning. I'm in the middle of Plyo, heart going like mad... and guess what?

No crashola. No... OMG this is HARD. It was pure energy -- no stopping, taking Tony's paltry 30 second breaks alone, then hitting the next moves.

I kept it moving, plenty of energy, all the moves, and all the way through the sports extra at the end and out the other side.

In the kitchen for some recovery food and breakfast -- a multi-grain bagel, some strawberries, and cottage cheese. BLAM, done. Adding in new carbs for a few days? Priceless. Least that's what I'll chalk it up to -- more energy, more calories, better workouts, and... more results? I hope so!

Make Tuesday great. I'm all over it...

Monday, March 03, 2008

Mon., March 3 Workout(s)

P90X Chest & Back + Walk (Hitting 70 today in NC, na na na...)

A few changes to kick off Week 9. And what a great week it's going to be!

First, a diet change -- if I'm honest with myself and my body, I've been "bonking." Is that the right word? Basically, following the P90X Fat Ripper I diet means lots of protein, fish, egg whites, fruit, etc -- carbs are pretty much out. That's led to a big weight loss, from 204ish when I started on Day One, to 188 now as I start Week 9.

But this carb starvation has also led to a declining amount of, well... energy. My workouts have been solid, but my reps have stagnated and I'm wishing I had more energy at hand. And I've started going to bed earlier and earlier. I used to hit it around 11, but once I started getting up at 5:40 a.m. to work with Tony, I've racked it back to 9:30-10. I've been hitting the sack as early as 8:30 on some nights now, because I can't keep my eyes open.

So, as unprofessional as I am at this, I'm going to chock that up to a need to move to a new P90X diet, the next level, where we mix more carbs with the same good stuff from the original plan. So witness me eating a whole wheat bun over the weekend with a Boca Burger, hitting a small patch of Mac n' Cheese, and even put a very small cone around a small scoop of ice cream on the fun, amazing family Sunday cruise we took.

The book says that, in some cases, adding 100% more calories makes for even bigger gains in results in the end, so I'm taking that to heart and adding 'em and hoping my scale doesn't shoot up.

Ok, the second change... I'm skipping the break week (I feel like I'm in a confessional here) and hitting my last weeks HARD right now. I don't want these new carbs and calories to frack up my newly found waist, and I'm counting on the new foods to pump up my energy. I feel great all around, no pulled muscles/weak spots, and I'm anxious to turn the new diet into serious results.

I'm also replacing Kenpo X with Core Synergystics, and adding in an additional workout on Sunday, in addition to hitting my usual lunchtime walk around the neighborhood.

So, new foods, more energy, trying to get in touch with reality here, and BRING it from Week 9 - 12, and cap off an amazing transformation with some serious results all around. Will keep you posted -- have a great week folks. BRING it wherever you are!

Also, something to keep in mind when you view the photos below. ;) I've subscribed to Tony's 15ish rep routine for lean muscles over the 10 reps with crazy weights to add mass. That's one reason I'm not popping out with insane guns/muscle mass, but instead, am looking leaner. I'd love some more size BUT Deb don't like a guy with too much muscle. Go figure -- and I gotta respect that.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Week 7 Photos

Finally got around to updating my progress photos -- more here. Bringin' it!

Saturday: Kenpo X
Sunday: Stretch & Rest

Enjoy your weekend!