By December 10, 2009

Back to Basics

I have really enjoyed the at-home exercise programs. I started with the Power 90 Fat Burner Express fifteen months ago and aside from a few detours with kettlebells never looked back. I have to say, working out at home with Tony Horton and his minions has done more for my body than personal trainers, strength coaches, and mind-numbing laps in the pool ever did.

The biggest reason is consistency. Most of the workouts are forty-five minutes or less; the majority of those still are thirty minutes or under. It’s hard to skip a day when one could easily spend thirty minutes browsing a Web site, watching television, or playing a video game. If you have time to complain about not working out, you have time to actually work out.

Lately I’ve gone back to the original P90 Basic routine. It’s considered the foundation series for other workouts I own, like the Power Half Hour or the Great Body program. I’m all the way at the starter pair, Phase 1 (cardio and abs) and Phase 2 (strength). This time, however, I’m doing things a little differently.

The first change is I’m doing them with someone. Sedagive? has been a brave trooper through over three weeks of P90 Basic workouts. Even though she was trim and in good shape to begin with, she no longer has to stop in between exercises. She’s even motivated me to get up from the computer to work out a few times. Working out with someone makes a huge difference. It’s more fun, less monotonous, and having someone to suffer through the routine is a big boost.

The second thing I’m doing is breaking away from the pace of the standard program. Typically there’s a standard move, an advanced move, and an alternate move. The alternate move tends to be for those with a prior injury or who are too tired to do the standard move. The advanced move might feature a longer/deeper range of motion, or a faster pace.

I’m doing those things, in addition to throwing some other shit on. I’ve used hand weights a few times for the low-impact cardio component of Phase 1. I am doing the lunges and squats with forty pounds of weight. Instead of pacing my jab-cross combination in Phase 1, I’m punching at 80% speed for each thirty second drill.

I was concerned about “starting over” so to speak, but doing the P90 Basic routine with a partner and pushing myself beyond the advanced moves has made it feel like a new routine. Especially in the morning, when my muscles are sore 🙂 I’m not sure if that will be enough to keep my attention another 75 sessions, but for now I am happy to be back to basics.

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3 Comments on "Back to Basics"

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  1. sedagive? says:

    As someone who used to work out twice a day, running for 45 minutes and alternating upper and lower body strength training, I admit to not taking the length of the P90 sessions very seriously…at first.

    Although my regular routine was longer in duration, and I did that routine 6-7 days a week, it got boring and I was having a hard time staying motivated. I am very much a creature of habit and like a more structured workout, but staying on track alone was a challenge.

    I really like the sectional progression the P90 sessions offer. I feel like I am getting a more complete workout than before, and the added bonus of an enthusiastic partner is a huge plus.

    I was very surprised that I was sucking wind during the cardio portion. It clearly pushes me more than my running, where I would get comfortable and stop challenging myself. This may be the thing that brings me from “need to quit smoking” to “WANT TO QUIT SMOKING!” if only to keep up with that perky little Lisa in the back row…and eventually kick her ass.

  2. Agreschn says:

    Hey doc,

    I was just wondering for the P90 stuff if you need any accessories for any of the workouts? I’m looking at getting in better shape but don’t want to have to go out and buy a ton of stuff to have them be effective. If you have to buy stuff for some of the more advanced ones, that’s cool as I’m thinking of starting with the P90 Basic routine.

    Additionally, how much room/floor space do you need for these (only one person doing it, mind you). I’m in a basement suite so I don’t have a ton of room but might be able to make some in certain areas of the house.


  3. drfaulken says:

    Hey buddy — if you buy the P90 Basic set from you get an included resistance band (buy it here).

    For the vast majority of my initial P90 experience I used 5 and 10 pounds weights, with some 20 pounders at the end. You can buy these cheaply at Target or WalMart, etc. I recommend the soft, coated kind, it keeps you from buying weight lifting gloves.

    We’ve carved the living room out into two sections; my workout area is about fifteen feet long and probably six feet wide. This gives me enough room to do lunges and the various yoga positions.

    In your particular situation you may want to be mindful of your clearance. You can hop/jump around for some of the exercises (like jumping jacks or cross-hops), and depending on your height and the height of your ceiling could be an issue.

    Let me know if you have more questions 🙂