Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Getting Pumped with the P90X

Since the start of the New Year, I’ve been taunted and tormented on a daily basis by body transformations, sculpted ab muscles and the belief that in 90 days, I too could transform my 5’7” frame from flab to fab all thanks to a program known as P90X. Yes, the ubiquitous infomercial featuring fitness trainer Tony Horton has appeared on my television set almost every morning since January 1st.

As I lay in bed, slowly trying to muster up enough energy to rise from under the security and warmth of my down comforter to begin my day, I grab the remote, click on the TV and regardless of the channel – I’m greeted by Tony and his crew of sculptured clones. “Before and after” photos jar me awake offering plenty of inspiration, especially given the fact that when I do finally remove myself from the mattress, my image in the bedroom mirror resembles a carbon copy of the “before” images just witnessed on screen.

Weighing in at 142 pounds and standing at just 5’7”, most would consider me already in good shape. But the roll of flab around my stomach and the love handles that no one seems to be grabbing these days except for me - need to go once and for all. Besides, my desire for sculpted abs, bulging biceps and prominent pecs recently became even more pressing given the number of candles that graced my birthday cake this past March. So after years of working out with minimum results, I figured it was finally time to get serious and resigned myself to the fact that this was certainly more than just a coincidence – the universe and Tony were clearly trying to tell me something. “Get out of bed, get off your ass and get going.” So, that’s exactly what I did and started the P90X program.

Day 1 – Monday morning, 7am sharp – Chest and Back. (Ugh, I am so not a morning person!) Out of bed and onto the floor of my apartment, I laced up my sneakers and pressed play on the DVD player. With my chin up bar securely in place, a glass of water on the bed side table, and my inner voice asking “why?” - I was begrudgingly ready for one hour of pure hell. Surprisingly, I survived - though while Tony and his team knocked out 20 wide grip pull-ups with pure ease, I struggled to complete a mere 4. The push-up portion proved much more successful and after 50 minutes, I actually pounded out a variety of 160 push-ups. I know; I impressed myself as well.

Day 2 proved a bit more challenging – Plyometrics. No, this is not a physics lesson, just an hour of endless lunges, squats and jumps. This was indeed “the mother of all workouts” – as it’s so aptly refereed to by Tony Horton himself. My legs were literally on fire, once they finally stopped trembling.

Day 3 focused on arms and shoulders. Thanks to a few bootcamp classes, this hour seemed to fly by since I was already familiar with most of the routines and shockingly survived the workout quite nicely. With my confidence boosted a bit, I examined my shirtless torso in the mirror - not bad I thought. Only three days in and already I’m feeling great, looking good and ready for my “after” photo. Oh, did I mention the “after” image doesn’t come for another 12 weeks?!?! Yes, 12 weeks. 6 days a week. Welcome to the P90X workout.

I was actually feeling pretty optimistic though about my prospects, until day 4 arrived – Yoga Extreme. Now, I’ve taken a handful of yoga classes in my lifetime, and survived each of them - until now. Yoga Extreme is meant to last an hour and a half, well my workout came to a crashing halt at the 20 minute mark. I literally collapsed and crumbled into a ball on the floor of my apartment as every muscle in my body, and some that I never even knew existed, ached in pain. I was completely defeated and if I heard Tony utter the words “downward dog” one more time, my fist would have gone through the television screen, if only I had the strength. Desperately, I reached for the remote with every ounce of energy I had left, shut the TV off and rolled right back into bed. I was P90X’d out!