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P-Lindy-X PLUS (Part 2 of 4): Inspiring Words From a Bench Warmer.

February 9, 2010

[Part 2 of 4. Part 1 is here.]

DAYS 35-55
Since P90X PLUS totally changes the work-out format it used in P90X regular, I will too. Alternate Story-Telling Form, baby. (Which is journalism speak for “I’ll just put everything in a bunch of odd-numbered lists.”)

5 Things That the Second Month of P90X Plus Does

1. Sucks. By which I mean, sucks the life out of me. It might have been the weather, or the holidays, or the Plyometrics, but it was a rough month, work-out wise. I have upped my weights and improved my numbers and my shape some, but it just all-around felt cruddy this month. Month one I would strut to the gym. This month I crawled.

2. Is weird. Along the lines of number 1, I’d find myself getting too winded to do double-dip push ups, but then twenty minutes later I’d be doing the best spider man push-ups ever. I’ve been trying to recalculate my calories and protein and such to make sure I’m eating enough, and here’s hoping next month will be better.

3. Brings Plyometrics back. Month 2 replaces Intervals (see below) with Plyometrics, which I am happy to say I quickly found my old rhythm with. And, even after having done Plyo roughly 30 times so far in my life, I’m still tweaking the exercises slightly to get more burn–doing so gives me something new to look forward to with this old workout.

4. Reminds me that even new workouts don’t remain new forever. The novelty of the new workouts is fading, and I’m excited for another recovery week to change it up. But, after the first recovery day of Back and Biceps and Ab Ripper X, I want the PLUS workouts back.

5. Works. In my first recovery day, I revisited Back and Biceps, the first P90X exercise. I did noticeably better than my final P90X week of Back and Biceps–a sure sign of success. I attribute it more to my core and the push-up speed of P90X Plus than to my raging, almost frightening, guns. The Plus workouts has built up my core and gotten me used to faster push-ups. I think I pushed myself too hard, though, as it hurt a little to breathe the next day (all the chest muscles being sore).

A Brief History of Bobby White’s Athletic Career

Mid 1980s to early 1990s Played little league baseball as an outfielder prone to daydreaming. (Calvin and Hobbes, my favorite comic of all time, had quite a few episodes about this very subject). Played little-league basketball as “the tall kid who can’t play basketball,” also prone to daydreaming.

Middle school Played JV soccer as a stopper, known and somewhat admired for my daredevil desire to throw my feet randomly at my opponents legs. (Didn’t realize this was actually my desire to dance.) Managed to bench warm an entire game in a politically correct world where every kid was supposed to play every game, and on a team so bad it only won one game that year. Daydreamed on bench.

High School Soon gave up soccer for theater, started doing well in an activity for a change. Decided I was not meant to be an athlete, and was at that dumb point in your life when you think it’s as simple as that. Played chess. The chess master at school was also one of the best soccer players. I daydreamed too much to be good, though I did make some plays that were just stupid enough to be called ballsy. At the end of high school I went out swing dancing with some friends of mine.

College, Part 1 In a wanna-be-Oxford school, I was able to get up at 6 in the morning on three days in a row to try out for crew, decided against it the fourth morning. I was also in twenty other clubs and organizations at this point. Saw Hellzapoppin my first month at college. Decided I was meant to be an athlete.

College, Part 2 Picked up fencing as my PE credit, enjoyed it immensely, and wasn’t bad at it. I also played my part in an inter-mural basketball team against some thug-like seminary students, which were known for throwing elbows, lying about fouls, and generally un-sportsmanship behavior, and probably this very day are baptizing innocent babies with their dirty, heretic hands and possibly damning the poor souls to eternity of hellfire. Here I finally shone in the field of athletics, as I unapologetically threw myself knee-first at every opposing player, and brought a certain element of old-testament retribution to the game. I was thrown out after playing a quarter, if I recall correctly.

Conclusion Some days when I feel like crap working out, I happen to remember what my physical life was like fifteen years ago. I was uncoordinated, unwelcome on any team unless they wanted me for comedic affect, and had such low self-esteem for anything I did involving sports that I didn’t even try to see if I was any good. (It’s stupid, considering how high my self-esteem was for anything art related. I don’t think there was much of a difference for any of us, back then, athletes, artists or academics. I think a lot of it had to do with how supported you were in your endeavors, not what they were. For instance, when I was 18, I didn’t think “There’s no way I can pick a girl up and throw her over my back.” Quite the contrary, I was so excited to do so I was extremely unsafe and dangerous, but luckily those times are over and everyone I threw around is safe. I imagine there were quite a few athletes who simply told themselves they weren’t meant to be good at math, and therefore never even tried.)

Epilogue Today at the gym, I looked at a college-ish age athlete working out, obviously training for something. And, compared to what I was about to do in my P90X Plus, it was nothing. It was striking to think that when he looked at what I was doing, he might easily assume I was a hard-core athlete. I’ve never felt like one before, is all I’m saying.

Workout Breakdown: INTERVALS

The hell does Intervals mean? Replacing Plyometrics for half of the new P90X routine is a new 40 min. full-body and cardio workout called Intervals, where you do a move first in a relaxed, somewhat lazy way, then at medium speed, then full tilt energetic speed, all of it over the course of a minute. You do 11 exercises this way, then there’s a break, then you do them in reverse. The exercises range from lunging moves to plyo moves to core moves, and even two push-up type moves.

What’s so different about this exercise?Considering how much of the new workouts are devoted to core strength and upper-body strength, this exercise is one of the few to really engage the leg muscles directly. Also, Tony spends most of the introduction explaining how an interval workout burns calories and builds endurance better than a straight-up heart racing workout. (Okay, he actually just says it does, he doesn’t explain how). He makes it sound like a new thing, but actually, the original Plyometrics and Kempo were obviously designed to raise and lower the heart-rate, as are all the new workouts, just not as blatantly, I guess.

Is it any good?I do like this workout. It follows the general theme of the new workouts; which is work out fast, keep moving, and change up everything to keep it interesting. It works too, at least in conjunction with the entire program, as I noticed pretty clear improvement almost every time I went back to the workout. It also put me in great shape to jump back into the Plyo workout without any problems.

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