The Challenge of P90X

I like challenging myself.

This is the reason why I was training for a marathon before moving across the country, this is why I have trained and completed a half marathon well below my goal time, and it is why I am currently on round 3 of P90X.  This program, even after going through it twice, still takes a lot out of me.

I finished my most recent round, took a week off, and then started back up again.  It’s almost as if I am starting from scratch with how sore my body has been the last week.  Not that I lost a lot of strength, but I feel less flexible and a lot less “in shape”.  The program works.  But you’ve got to put in your time.

Ah, yes, “muscle confusion,” the cornerstone term of P90X, referring to the varying workouts that he says are necessary to combat workout plateaus.

Muscle confusion contains “absolutely nothing new in it whatsoever,” says Todd Miller, an associate professor of exercise science at George Washington University, who is an expert in strength and conditioning. P90X “is very high-intensity exercises that you’re doing for an hour a day. That’s a lot of freaking exercise. If you do any high-enough-intensity workout and couple it with a [healthy] diet, you’re probably going to get pretty much the same results.”

What Horton calls “muscle confusion” exercise scientists call “periodization,” and they’ve been calling it that for decades.

“Maybe the videos are well produced, or fun,” Miller says. “But the reason the program works is ultimately because people do it.” That’s not a slam — the hardest part of any exercise program is getting people to keep at it. And Horton manages to do that, despite the fact that . . .

“It’s awful,” says Richard Burr. “It doesn’t matter how many times you do it, it still makes you cry.”  (Source – The Washington Post)

You never really get used to P90X.  You push your body more than it has ever been pushed (it brings me back to the days of High School Football).  But this time, it’s enjoyable.  No more do I feel like playing in the games are the only fun parts to working out.  It is just one heck of a workout.

What are you challenging yourself to do today?

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