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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

P90X adn tabata's

I have officially jumped on the P90X bandwagon. My volume of run / bike / swim has dropped off a bunch but I still want to increase my fitness. I have no illusions about P90X helping with my speed (triathlon or running or swimming) but I do believe that it can help me gain some strength (not necessary muscle mass) and lose some body fat. I have done exercise programs in the past and they can keep me motivated and it helps a lot that I am following a plan. I do so much better when I do not have to think about what I need to do – I tend to overanalyze and this can get me in trouble.

So on Sunday I did day one of the P90X program. I read a lot about it on various forums and the consensus was that it is hard and that I would be sore all of the time. I will admit that it is challenging but I have been doing strength training on and off for a number of years. The first workout involved a lot of pull ups / chin ups and pushups. These are exercises that I really like. I have a bias towards body weight exercises because I am not usually the strongest person around – but pound for pound I can put up a pretty good fight. I also really like body weight exercises because you have two ways to win – either lose a little bit of weight or gain a little bit of strength and you can do more!

Anyway – the first video kicked my butt! It seemed like there were a couple of dozen sets of pull ups. Now when I say I like pull ups and chin ups that does not mean that I can just sit there and crank out 10’s of them. I once challenged myself to do 30 pullups in 3 sets (1 minute rest) – I tried all sorts of combinations 10 – 10 – 10 / 12 – 10 – 8 – it took me a couple of years to reach this goal – today – I’m not sure if I am there…

I’m like only good for around 10 – 12 the first set and then I drop off quickly – this will be a challenging workout for months to come. The pushups were another matter. I can crank out a lot of pushups (50+ if needed) and I have the endurance to keep the reps up – but even this was challenging – just as it should be!

I am going to try and keep doing one of these sessions each morning and still get my cardio in at lunch or at other times. I have continued to do the Tabata intervals on the treadmill – on Monday I successfully did the 8 reps at 12 MPH! It was much harder that the 11 MPH the previous week but it was manageable – I will increase it next week.

On Tuesday I was out of the office all day but I still got the p90X workout in and in during the morning and during the afternoon I ran 4 miles on the treadmill. I did an easy 10 minute warm-up and then increased the pace to just under 7 minutes per mile (6:58) – I kept this up for 2.75 miles and then did a burn out last ¼ mile at 6:00 minutes per mile. It felt good – hard but good. It is still hard for me to imagine running that fast for an entire 5k. My PR at that distance was 19:09 last March – which is a 6:10 pace. I think that I have a long ways to go to get back to that speed.

6 comments:

  1. The speed will come back, especially in 2010. You will be amazed. The base you have built will pay dividends for sure.

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  2. I have been eyeing P90X for a while and waiting till some I knew had an opinion on it.

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  3. I'll let you know when I have done it a little bit longer - it helped that I knew someone that had the set and was not using them!

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  4. I am really interested to see how you handle the P90X as well as the endurance training.

    I'll be starting masters swim workouts, and cycling club spin workouts really soon, so it should be interesting.

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  5. Please update your progress on the P90X workouts! I work full time at a YMCA. Of the dozens of people I've talked to who've tried it, only one stuck it out and finished the program. One! And he is 21 years old.
    I say this not to scare you. In fact, my research and observations on the P90X may say a lot about the people working out at YMCAs, hahaha! From following your blog, I can see you know your body well. You are also in FAR better shape than those who I've seen attempt it.
    I suspect the program does a great job of motivating people to begin, but a poor job of allowing the rest and recovery necessary to keep people coming back to it. Most people I know either got hurt or burned out with a couple weeks. For your goals, it seems a good idea. For the average health seeker (our bread and butter here at the Y), it is a nonsustainable workout option.
    Please let me know how it goes!
    P.S. Love your blog. Very informative and well-written. Keep up the good work, and enjoy your training!

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  6. I think it's good to switch focus in the offseason for awhile. I can't run and I'm not interested in swim and bike right now so I need to do the same.

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