I wanted to get in a quick workout today.  I only had half an hour, but I wanted to do some resistance training.  I decided to do the P90X Shoulders & Arms workout, but with a twist.

Instead of doing the entire routine, I only did half of it.  With  P90X Shoulders & Arms it’s easy, because this routine is divided into five sections.  Each section has three exercises, and when you have done the three exercises, you repeat them.  So my “speed it up” solution is simple: I don’t repeat them.

I do the first three exercises, and instead of repeating them, I go on to the next three, and so on.  The last three exercises are the “bonus round”, so I skipped them as well.

With only one rotation through the exercises, it’s easy to go through the entire routine in less than half an hour.

I assume that I don’t get as good a workout if I only do each exercise once, instead of twice.  However, I suspect that probably 60% or 70% of the benefit comes from the first set, so I get most of the benefit in only half the time.  I make sure of that by always doing maximum reps, or using maximum weight, with each exercise.  When I know I have to do it all over again I “hold something back” on the first set.  When I know I’m only doing that exercise once, I go all out; there is no need to hold anything back.

That’s why I believe that I am getting almost all of the benefit, in only half the time.

The other advantage of a quick workout is it allows time to do the Ab Ripper X routine, the 16 minute core workout added on to the end of all resistance training sessions.  Again, I may only do the first few exercises, but I’m still getting lots of benefit.

The first few times through the workout I did it in full.  Now that I am more in to maintenance mode, the quick version works for me.

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Now that I’m in week #2, this was the second time through doing the Shoulders & Arms workout. I did the first P90X shoulders & arms workout on Day 3.  I found this workout to be better than the first one, primarily because I knew what to expect.

I recorded my first shoulders & arms workout on the P90X worksheets, so it was easy to see the weight and reps I used last week.  (The worksheets have 10 columns, for 10 weeks of workouts, so it’s easy to track your progress).

My strategy today was simple: try to improve on what I did in the last workout.

My overall goal is “lean” as opposed to “lift weights to increase bulk”, so I attempt higher reps with lower weights, as opposed to low reps/higher weights to build mass.  So, if last week I was able to do 10 reps, this week, I’d shoot for 12.  If I could do 15, then it’s time to increase the weight and drop back the reps until I can improve.

I was able to improve, so I was satisfied with today’s workout.  With two of these workouts done, it will be easier to set goals for improvement in future workouts.

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Day 3 – Shoulders & Arms

October 23, 2010

Day 3 in either the Classic or Lean P90X program is the Shoulders & Arms workout, followed by Ab Ripper X.  My strategy was simple: start with reasonable weights, and try to make it through the workout.  Here’s how it works: There are twelve exercises in the basic routine, plus three more in the bonus […]

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