Jun 1, 2009

p90x - month 1

Yesterday I finished up the first four of thirteen weeks of P90X. I missed one optional stretch day so my perfect record is bust. But the required stuff I've completed. After my first post regarding the post-traumatic horrors of Week 1 I can report that things have gotten much better. I can't exactly say the soreness is completely absent but it's manageable. After week one you repeat the weekly series for two more weeks. Because of this the same muscles get reworked and therefore they've gained some capacity.

Week 4 is a 'rest' week. Designed to allow some recovery time. This is ridiculous because they throw a new DVD into the mix - Core Synergistics. It's another gut busting routine and you do it twice in Week 4. Plus you do the Yoga X twice as well. I was more sore in Week 4 than I was in Week 2.

Core Synergistics is a routine to work your core torso muscles. This should really be retitled Hardcore Synergistics. The ruotines are generally combination routines as opposed to single muscle routines. From a cardio perspective it's the hardest for me. I had to stop the DVD a few times to catch my breath. But for that reason it's also one of the best. You could simply take Core Synergistics and Yoga X and have a top notch workout routine from those two DVDs. They are both intense and well rounded.

At the end of Week 4 you also take your 30 day photos. I'll spare everyone the actual pictures. Comparing these against my Day 0 photos you can see improvements. You can search the internet for what others have achieved. I'm by no means ripped but I can see the increased tone throughout my body. I haven't done any weight measurement since I'm not particularly concerned about that but I can tell there's been a drop in fat content as well. I'll probably ramp up my diet towards the end so I finish strong.

A couple of observations
  • I'm not sure this is the right workout for people looking to add a bunch of bulk. I don't notice a lot of bulk added. Rather I have become more toned. Maybe that'll change over the remaining 9 weeks as I get better at the routines and can increase the weight resistance I use. But since a lot of the routines use your own body weight as resistance this isn't a body builders routine. For me, that is good. That last thing I need is to have all my suits stop fitting me.
  • Until you get reasonably decent at doing Yoga X it's impossible to truly appreciate what the 'model's are doing on this DVD. At times I stand back in amazement at the flexibility and balance these people have. It's truly impressive. Especially the instructor, Tony Horton. He's 45. I just want to headbutt him sometimes. They make it look so easy that unless you are doing it you can't imagine what's so hard about it. I can't imagine not doing yoga from here on out. It's clearly one of the best workouts you can do.
  • As you get better at each routine, the routine gets more intense. This is a great aspect of the process. Instead of each routine getting easier it actually gets harder as you progress. You do more reps so you have less down time between sets and therefore you work harder and get a better workout. I'm not sure if it's designed that way but it's cleverly done if it is.
  • Even after 4 weeks I'm still completely inept at parts of the routine. Mainly the advanced yoga moves and the pushup/pullups moves. One-handed pushups? That entry got the big zero. I just hope I can get to a respectable level by the end of the 90 days.
  • I'm impressed with the huge variation in routines and innovative moves used. There are really some unusual routines that mix up which muscles you use. This also helps in creating a well rounded workout and one that doesn't get boring.
The next four weeks use similar DVDs but the strength sets are mixed up with new routines. I fully expect to be in agony again next week but perhaps I'm wrong. I just did the first strength workout and was spent at the end.

It's hard for me to not look forward a bit and wonder what I'm going to do after the 90 days is up? I know I should just focus on finishing but it's my nature to be pragmatic about these things. Should I do it again? Stop? Keeping doing it forever? I'm not sure what the maintenance approach should be. 1 to 1.5 hours per day is a commitment that means other things go to the wayside. Reading has all but stopped for me. I'm not sure how to incorporate all the things I want to do and maintain this level of exercise. I suppose I'll figure that out when I get to it.

No comments: