“Core” has never been my strong suit in athletics. In general, the discovery of muscles anywhere on my frame often requires a thorough investigation and search – I’m largely a network of bones and thick tendons supporting the sarcastic brain that guides and directs me through life.
After my first few weeks with T3, Mo pointed out that I should probably spend more time doing core workouts. I had been doing my own workouts, but was not getting anything close to the fitness that I needed. Core at 6 AM became my favorite workout – get up , warm up with a 1K jog, and then 50 minutes of non-stop workout, designed for triathletes. I loved it, and I could see the results in my swimming and running. There were afternoon workouts in the heat where my vision narrowed and I wondered if I was really going to pass out (never happened, but I can keep trying). There were morning sessions where I thought a limb was about to detach.
Since moving to Australia I haven’t done anything resembling core. That’s 16 months for those of you counting. Sure, I occasionally put myself through my own quick workouts of push-ups, sit-ups, and squats after breakfast. I did get a pull-up bar for Christmas last year, but I can’t do any more pull-ups now than I could then.
So while in the states, I picked up P90X, a some “extreme home fitness” workout DVDs. P90X is not Richard Simmons, not Jane Fonda, not Zumba or any of the dance-based workout videos. Not a collaborative pet-owner workout system, not anything connecting you with your inner child or workout spirit, nothing that moves to the beat of music. Just this ridiculously fit dude named Tony Horton, and a bunch of brutal workouts.
Day 0 I took the fitness test, which I expected to pass with flying colors. I passed all of the tests, but 2 tests I barely passed, which caught my attention. This was not going to be easy.
Day 1 is Chest and Back. It destroyed me. Near the end of the workout, the instructor had each person count off how many diamond push-ups they were going to do in this round. His three assistants on the DVD each one-upped each other: “20.” “21.” “25.” I looked at the TV and confidently said “5.” I was dead, and struggled to do that. Immediately following on your Day 1 schedule is “Ab-ripper X”, an abdominal workout that is actually less pleasant than it sounds. I failed set after set after set of exercises. And it felt fantastic. As long as fantastic in your world equates to searing muscle pain and exhaustion.
Day 2 was plyometrics, which was hard but more in line with my strengths (quick movements using your legs). One of the guys in Day 2 only has 1 leg, and is doing a brutal jumping working with a prosthetic leg. As you’re suffering and failing to complete the set, you can’t help but feel a little weak compared to that guy.
Day 3 was shoulders and triceps – not my forte but I managed through it, followed by another “Ab ripper X” session, which again crushed me, but this time I only failed a couple sets.
3 days down, 87 to do (P90X comes from the fact that it’s a 90 day program). I’m really happy I’m doing this. No part of my body seems happy yet.