P90X Fitness Program

A couple of days after Ironman Louisville I was visiting my parents in Canada and had trouble sleeping. I turned on the late night imagetelevision and saw a very interesting ‘Infomercial’ advertising a fitness program called the P90X. It intrigued me as I was looking for something different: after 8+ months of  training for Ironman I needed a distraction before I started training for Ironman Australia next year. I had been looking at Crossfit, but the P90X seemed to have some of the same philosophy—short, high intensity workouts—and as a perpetual traveller it would be nice to have some DVDs to train to.

I did some research on the Internet to learn about the program. There were a number of discussions, the most interesting being in the forums at www.slowtwitch.com. There were a number of believers in the program, including (as is usual with Slowtwitch) some scathing sceptics. I decided to go for it and ordered the program, along with a $20 chin-up bar and $40 set of resistance bands from www.amazon.com. It all arrived just before I left for a three week trip to Georgia and Armenia so I had no excuse not to give it a try.

The program consists of twelve DVDs, coving a range of exercises aimed at different parts of your body. The web site is very off putting since they promise that you will “Get absolutely ripped”.  No thanks. But they do have a  “Lean” program for those who don’t want to bulk up, instead, are interested in muscular endurance—perfect for triathletes. Unfortunately, I would not be able to follow their diet very closely as I would be eating out for about half the time over the ninety days, but I would try and stick to my 40%/40%/20% protein/carbohydrate/fat diet—my wife Lis said I was already close to it.

Before you start the program there is a fitness test which consists of series of different measurements and exercises to baseline your fitness. Lis measured me up, with some interesting results. My right leg was 1 cm smaller than my left, probably a reflection of four knee operations and my favouring the left leg. It was the opposite with the arms: guess who is right handed? I did OK with the pushups and other exercises, but chin-ups? Forget about it. As Lis commented, I have dweeb arms, and this proved it. Hey. I am in good company as Hamish Carter, who won the Olympic trialthon in Athens said the same thing about himself.

Anyway, with the test over, and some ‘before’ photographs taken, I was ready to roll. I will blog after each week with how things are, or are not, going. Watch this space.

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