May 11, 2015

modified P90X

I'm back on P90X. The more I do it the more unsatisfied I am with it. But. Tony Horton, while annoying to many, is just a very good motivator. And the videos just take the thinking out of doing stuff. I'm happy to have someone push me rather than me on my own pushing myself. So in the words of Tony Horton, "modify modify modify".

A few things I've learned doing this routine that irk me.

  • It's too damn hard. It's neither a sustainable workout regimen from a mental standpoint nor is it sustainable from a physical standpoint. 7 days a week is just undoable. Period. But worse, the body really has no chance to recuperate and most research now shows that recuperation is singularly important for progress. More is not necessarily more when it comes to working out.
  • P90X breaks its own rules over and over. In particular "if you want to build muscle then don't be doin' 12, 13, 14 reps". And yet many of the moves in P90X are 16 or more moves.
So to fix all this I've tossed out some of the routines. Yoga is gone. First, I can't stand yoga. I don't find it calming or karmic. It's just plain annoying. Second it completely borks my back every god damn time. Some of it feels good but there are numerous poses that just put too much strain on the lower back. My 25 year old buddy started yoga and now he has a slipped disk. He's screwed. So that's gone. Kenpo X is gone because it's kind of boring and just isn't high intensity enough for me. And X Stretch is gone because stretching seems to have no benefit. So what are we left with? Here's my week through schedule:
  • Week 1-3 - Weight training, Plyo, Weight training, Rest day, Legs & Back, Rest day, Rest day (where weight training refers to the two pairs of alternating workouts; I switch each week)
  • Week 4 - Rest day, Core Synergistics, Rest day, Core Synergistics, Rest day, Core Synergistics, Rest day
  • Week 5-7 - The same as Week 1-3 but alternating the weight training pairs
  • Week 8 - Same as Week 4
  • And so on.
Basically this keeps the 5 weight training routines, Plyo X (which really does put the X in P90X) and Core Synergistics (which I feel is the best routine for my dainty back. 

After 3 months of this I'm going to switch it up again and do single muscle focused workouts. In other words:  one muscle group, big weights, total exhaustion. 

So one day might be thrashing my triceps, one day will be knocking out upper back exercises. One day for legs. One day for lower back (squats and deadlifts). Etc. The other aspect of this is to focus more on the muscles that count. For example back muscles are generally underworked (not in P90X but in general). Biceps are overworked. As Horton says, "the glamour muscle." Although in reality it's a shitty muscle to work on because it's significantly smaller than the tricep. You want big arms work on your triceps. 

This is much more manageable. MUCH MORE! I don't feel physically and mentally drained and I'm in Month 2 already.

The second thing I did was stop the insanity with the 16+ reps. I just do up to 10 reps for any exercise now unless it's more about cardio/high-intensity training such as the Plyo routines. If it involves a weight, it's 10 reps max. 

The only problem with this routine now is the Back and Bicep weight training routine. Combo lifts are great but when you work the bicep it trashes you in the back moves (namely pullups) because your biceps are integral to doing the back moves. But they're too exhausted to work the back out sufficiently. Barring any editing of the video there's not much I can do about this.

So far I feel like I've gotten better results than the previous times I've done P90X. But I'm anxious to see what happens after the 90 days and my single muscle focus sessions.  Visually I kind of know where I can get to minus the detrimental effects of some 3-5 years of age I've put on since last doing this seriously. So I should be able to figure out if the effects are greater.

No comments: