Plyometrics

I have now completed 10 weeks of P90X, and so I decided to take a break for a few days by taking my family downhill skiing for a long weekend.  Three days of skiing; how would my body react?  How did P90X prepare me for skiing?

The answer: very well, thank you.

I skied for three days, and my legs felt great.

I believe there are two workouts in particular that contributed to my success.

First, the Legs & Back workout is an obvious source of leg strength.  Specifically, all of the squat-type exercises were great for strengthening the quads and glutes, which are critically important when hitting the hills.  The calf exercises also helped for the lower legs.

During the legs & back video Tony Horton even mentions that squats are critical for skiing, and I believe he’s correct.  He mentions that he’s a skier, and that he “shattered his knee” while skiing as a youngster, so it’s not surprising that he has designed workouts to help him, and us, prepare for one of his preferred sports.

Second, the Plyometrics workout was a big help.  Again, that’s not surprising.  All of the jumping around is a good simulation of the skiing motion.  In fact, some of the exercises are very similar to skiing.

Other workouts also helped.  Yoga, for instance, improves flexibility, which is important in every athletic activity.  Arms are used when going down the hills, and when propelling yourself to the lifts, so the upper body workouts also contribute to overall fitness in general, and ski specific condition in particular.

Obviously P90X is not designed as a skiing workout.  However, next year, in the weeks leading up to the start of the ski season, if I’m not doing P90X full time, I will certainly do a Legs & Back, Plyometrics and Yoga workout each week to prepare for hills.

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How many ways can you say I’m sore?!  My arms are still definitely recovering from my first workout and I am feeling a little sluggish.  Two solid workouts in a row are starting to show.  But, nevertheless, my adjusted routine called for Plyometrics so that’s what I tried.

Plyometrics is largely jump training.  I kept thinking of football training sessions and basketball while I was attempting most of the moves. The P90X Plyometrics routine is a high intensity cardio workout to say the least.  It’s also high impact.  If you have any issues with your knees don’t bother with this one.   Just some of the exercises include Jump Squat, Run Stance Squat, Airborne and Double Airborne Heisman (lateral leaping), Swing Kick, Circle Run, Jump Knee Tuck, Jumping Lunge, Leapfrog Squat, Rock Star Hop and more.  Are you seeing a pattern here?

What I liked:

  • It’s a lot of fun.  Who knew running tires and lateral leaping could be entertaining.
  • Great range of motion and balance training.  Being able to complete these moves requires not only cardio fitness, but balance and flexibility.
  • Most of the exercises involve the lower body with lots of moving squats and lunges.  As a woman I LOVE that.

What I didn’t like:

  • It’s definitely high impact.  You have to be extremely careful to monitor your level of tiredness to avoid potential injury.
  • It’s long.  This is a 55 minute workout program of high intensity moves.  Again for me, I’m not sure I want to put in a full hour + each day.

How I did:

  • OK, I crashed.  I stopped the video with 20 minutes to go.  The Rock Star Hop did me in.  I was tired to begin with and although I gave it my best, I just couldn’t complete the full 55 minutes.  And be aware that the intensity increases in the second half so pace yourself well.

Tomorrow I’m scheduled for my own Cardio session.  Or perhaps I’ll take one of my rest days if I’m still feeling sluggish.  There is no point in not being able to make it through the workouts in my view.  I must say, when I set my routine I did not know that there was so much cardio in P90X.  Cardio X, Plyometrics and Kenpo are all cardio workouts.  But then again, as a woman bodybuilding is not my goal so I’ll stick with what I’ve designed for the first two weeks, then readjust.

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Which P90X Program Should You Do?

October 20, 2010

There are three different P90X programs or streams: Classic Doubles Lean The Classic program is the program most people will do. The Doubles program is, as the name implies, almost “double” the amount of work you do in the Classic program. Once you are into the Doubles program you may do a resistance workout in […]

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