Wednesday, May 9, 2012

P90X Day 12: Legs & Back

I think my body knew that Legs & Back was coming today and it was trying to give me excuses. I sat down funny this afternoon and twisted my left hip, which responded by aching the rest of the day. Then, when returning from getting my kids from the sitter, I got a charley horse in my right calf. That was about 30 seconds of pure agony, and I was on my way to work out at the time.

So, whatcha gonna do? You guessed it. Ignore it and work out.

I think I mentioned this a week ago. Legs & Back is part of the whole P90X muscle confusion thing. You do a killer exercise on your legs. Your calves and thighs are screaming. So, of course next you go do some pull ups. Then it’s back to the legs. Then back to the pull up bar. Man, I hate that pull up bar. But, in a strange way, I’m starting to want it, too. I like the fact that every time I do them, I’m a little better.

Tony always talks about using a chair to assist you on the pull ups if you need it. I had serious issues figuring out just how best to do that in my limited space, and dealing with the fact that my pull up bar isn’t very high. Sunday night I finally worked it out, so I was able to test it today. It worked well, and allowed me to do a few extra reps on each one. Yes, they’re a little bit of “cheating” reps, but I’m getting more of a workout from those than I would by not doing any at all. On the sheet I marked those separately, so I marked how many I did without the chair and how many I did with it.

Some of the leg exercises make your legs just scream at you. You’re beyond thrilled when they’re over. But, if I have any complaints at all about P90X it’s that (to me, anyway) it seems much more focused on upper body than lower body. That’s not really an issue for me, because that’s what I want too. But there are times when I feel my legs aren’t getting the same attention as my arms.

To illustrate my point, Day 1 is Chest & Back. But how do you do Chest & Back? Mostly push ups and pull ups. Yes, you’re getting definition on the chest and back, but you’re also seriously working your arms. Then Day 3 is Arms and Shoulders. A lot of curls and other weight lifting. Day 5 is Legs & Back. Finally the legs get a workout, but how do you do the back? More pull ups. Now, in defense of P90X, Day 2, Plyometrics is jump training cardio. That works the legs, but it works them through cardio jumping. Day 6 is Kenpo, and that’s kind of a kickboxing cardio workout, so your legs get some more cardio work again. But if you’re expecting leg curls or leg lifts, you’ll be disappointed in P90X (at least that’s my experience so far…but I’m only 12 days into it).

Anyway, because of that, I truly appreciate this day. And I’m incredibly sore afterwards. For a while. The whole thing is incredibly physically challenging and exhausting. When I got to the second sets on the pull ups, I was thinking to myself “I can barely lift my arms up over my head, and you want me to do pull ups? I can do fall downs, but not pull ups.” Still, as I mentioned earlier, the chair helped, and even without the chair, I did better on the pull ups than last week. Just work for improvement every week.

And, as I mentioned yesterday, Ab Ripper X follows Legs & Back. Ab Ripper is the most intense 15 minutes of the whole series (at least that I’ve discovered so far). And you’re already exhausted before it starts. Still, that probably makes it an even better workout, but I swear afterwards that I just want to crawl into bed and turn out all the lights.

Tomorrow, Kenpo X. Again, my body can use the change of pace. The designers of this series knew what they were doing. And no more Ab Ripper X until Saturday. Hooray!

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