Tuesday, July 19, 2011

P90 Hexed

Well, we’re now at day 45 of Paul’s 90 day challenge! For those of you who remember, I started blogging and working out every day, following the P90X program. Since we’re at the halfway point, why don’t we recap?

Ok! Let’s see… umm. Well, I’ve blogged semi-consistently. Aaaand, I did a bunch of P90X in a row. And then I didn’t. But I was on vacation, so... well the internet was sparse. And I couldn’t very well put a chin up bar in my suitcase could I?

AAAH! Stop looking at me like that! I had perfectly good reasons for not sticking with this friggin’ program! For starters, I didn’t like it. What the hell is the point of doing a fitness program where every day you stare at a chin-up bar and think to yourself “I wish I could just go for a run”. How broken is that? Running is good for you! I should just be able to go for a run! I should be able to write a blog that uses less exclamation points than periods!

Ok, let me break it down. P90X in a nutshell is: 3 days of weights, 1 day explosive training (think “jumping”. It’s called Plyometrics), 1 day yoga, 1 day endurance training, 1 day rest or stretching, and 3 days a week of core abdominal work. I’m a gonna go through each element now:

This is done well. If you want to put on muscle you need to hit each muscle group once a week, and they do this by breaking the days down into Chest & Back, Arms & Shoulders, and Legs & Back. Wait… wasn’t that Back in there twice? Yes, that’s the one failing of the weight programs, where they acknowledge that most guys who want a “Beach Body” don’t care about leg workouts. As a consolation they dumb down the leg workout and throw in extra back work, which is ridiculous. Just give me my leg workout, I don’t need to look like I’m riding a chicken.

I like this, but it’s not necessary for most folks. It’s good for any explosive activity though, and if you play hockey or basketball it’ll be excellent. Paul approved.

Holy crap was this the most ridiculous experience ever. Erika and I tried it out, here’s how it went:

PAUL: Wait, what am I supposed to do right now?

ERIKA: Warrior pose I think

PAUL: What the hell is that? I can’t see the TV, he’s got me looking at my balls and then just shouting out random nouns like they mean something to me!

ERIKA: When did we switch to Warrior 2?

PAUL: Dammit! I’m jumping ahead to Right Angle Pose, at least I’ve seen a photo of that.

ERIKA: Ouch!

TONY HORTON (on the TV): Then back into Warrior 2, reverse, 2, , 1 and out


ERIKA: ARGH… why won’t he ever tell us how to do anything properly?

TONY HORTON (on the TV): And calm yourself… focus on a pleasant thought

PAUL: I’m holding Tony… we’re looking into each other’s eyes… he can’t get to the surface… he’s not struggling anymore…

The guy never repeats anything, never gives any clear instruction, and acts like you should be relaxed. Suffice to say that if they really cared about my inner peace this video would end with Tony Horton being gored by a rhino.

You’re not going to get in good cardiovascular shape in front of your TV without an exercise machine. Leave your freaking house.

Rest is important, but to be honest, I think the stretching option is only in there so that they can claim to have 90 straight days of training available. Stretching needs to be done more than one day a week to be effective.

I really think this is good, especially making sure it’s done 3 days a week. The downside is dealing with Tony’s “look at me!” personality over and over again since you see the same video 3 times a week.

So the take home message? If you want to gain muscle you would be fine with the weight workouts and abs three days a week. Then go for a couple of runs as well, even on the same days as the weights if you want. There’s no reason not to do cardio the same day you do a weight workout. You don’t need to eat up all of your spare time with this thing, it’s pointless.

Also, as a side note it’s incredibly annoying that the whole time you watch these videos he says “Left” and “Right” meaning his left and right, instead of yours (since you will naturally want to mirror image the screen). Staggeringly frustrating.

So that’s my P90X summary. See you on Wednesday!

1 comment:

  1. I *just* learned what "plyometrics" are this week at Bootcamp. Bootcamp to get us in shape for the 10-day long hockey game. Bootcamp which is trying to kill me. Stupid Bootcamp.