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No Gym Membership Required!

April 14, 2010

Was I surprised when my husband, Chad, told me that he was going to start P90X?  Not at all.  Was it something that I recommended?  Not at all.  Did I discourage him from doing it?  Not at all.  Was I surprised that I was woken up last night by moans and groans of pain after just 2 days of workouts?  Not at all.

There are several benefits of workouts such as P90X.

  1. Structure.  Pre-designed workouts designed and led by a certified instructor.
  2. Motivation.  “If you perform this workout program for 90 days you are guaranteed to… look like me, lose 20#, drop 3 dress sizes, etc.”
  3. Convenience/Accessibility!  Workout at home!  No gym membership required.  It may be suggested that you purchase some exercise equipment, ie. dumbbells, stability balls, medicine balls, etc.  But you avoid monthly membership dues, crowded fitness floors, peer pressure, body image barriers, jammed parking lots, etc.  I think this is by far the best reason to consider something like P90X.

There are also several drawbacks to workouts such as P90X.

  1. Generic design.  Maybe that’s a little harsh.  What I mean is that the workouts are designed for the masses, not for the individual.  So how do you know if you start P90X that you will be able to raise your arms after 2 days (I had to put Chad’s hat on this morning for him), or walk up stairs without excruciating pain?  What’s right for some people, may be totally wrong for others.
  2. No feedback.  I watched Chad do some of the workout last night.  He started with basic lunges- lots of them.  The guy on the video was slightly out of breath performing the exercise while explaining how to do the exercise.  As I watched Chad, his chest was leaning forward, his front knee was over his toes, he wasn’t taking a big enough stride… but no one besides me was going to tell him that.
  3. Motivation.  Yep, I think its a drawback too.  Two reasons: 1. You’re watching all these incredibly fit, beautiful people perform these workouts making you believe that someday you too will look like them!  In reality, we are all unique, a healthy weight for one person may (and likely will) look completely different than the weight of someone being paid to exercise.  2. There is no one telling you to push “play” on the video.  You either choose to workout or you choose to sit on the couch.
  4. “Quick Fix” Phenomenon.  So your 90 days is done.  You’ve gained 5 pounds of muscle and lost 20 pounds of fat.  You feel great!  Now what?  Do you think you can keep working out 6 days a week for the rest of your life?  Have they taught you how to continue to workout on your own?  To be honest, I’m not sure what P90X recommends in the end.  My point is, do you know how to continue to exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, or will you be back to where you started in another 6 months?

As I mentioned above, I feel it is an incredible benefit to be able to workout at home.  Convenience is King in our fast-paced society.  (Gyms will literally base their choice of location on the population within 5 square miles or 10-12 minute drive-time to their location.)  That said, I advise caution when you consider a home workout DVD or the like.  If you are a beginner, make sure that your doctor clears you for exercise and knows what program you are going to try.  Ideally, workout with a partner and try to help correct each others form.  Finally, educate yourself about the product before you start!  It is not worth risking injury or inability to perform basic functional tasks if the video program is too advanced for your current fitness level.

Plug time 🙂  Here’s a little introduction/ education for you regarding ABSolution!  Progressive Core Training Made Simple, core exercises that you can do at home!  http://www.swenmarie.com

Be Well!

Swen


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