Friday, March 2, 2012

M90F (vs. P90X) - Day 12: Holy Psoas!

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Series:  "M90F: Matt's 90-day Fitness"

Day: 12

Activities: LOWER BODY - Rollerblading, Plyo-lunges, Calves, Walking.

Got out the old, old roller blades; they worked just fine!  They can probably handle more rollerblading than I can at this point.  This brought to mind the issue that so many people have with exercising; they say to themselves "when I get (insert product here), then I will exercise."  The fact is, your body probably can't handle any equipment worth buying until you're in better shape.  It's like celebrities you have a $5 million dollar kitchen and stock their fridge with microwavable dinners because they can't cook.  You don't need fancy equipment; you just need to do it; make the time, and do it.  The idea that you need some product shows that you just don't want to work hard.  I've got news for ya: to get in shape, you have to work hard.

15 minutes was all I rollerbladed for today; 3 reasons:  #1) I felt like it wasn't as good of a workout as walking* (note on this in a sec), #2) I was a bit unstable and realized only after I stopped that I was mentally resisting the idea of being this unstable for an hour, and #3) I wanted to do lunges today because it's lower body day today for me.  *On the note about it not being as good of an exercise as walking: I think this is wrong; I think that rollerblading is a great exercise.  I had felt like all I was doing was coasting because I was too unstable to really push it hard, but when I took off the rollerblades and began my walk, I noticed how easy walking is!  For what I lack in ability to push it hard, I get exercise value in trying to not fall over.  Tomorrow I think I'll just rollerblade for an hour instead of walk (plus upper body exercises).

This brings up cross-training.  Even if you do a couple particular exercises as your core program because they're great exercises, you should cross train.  Any time you limit yourself to what exercises you do, you are further away from a real-life fitness (we used to say this in martial arts; the more rules, the less realistic).  You should also cross-train to prevent injury, both from overuse, and from slight repeated errors you make because your body isn't perfect (which can cause injury).  Let your body recover and throw in alternates once in a while (swimming is great if you have a pool; helps build lung capacity; I used to use this back in my running days).

Plyometric lunges today (think Neo in the Matrix trilogy before he takes off to fly) instead of longer sets.  Basically just go down into a lunge position, then jump as high as you can, switch feet in the air, and land; repeat with the other side.  I could only do sets of 8 (i.e. 8 with each leg, so 16 jumps) before I was barely jumping off the ground!

I also did standing jumps onto cement platforms we have surrounding the walking track; just jump straight up, put both feet onto some sort of bench/platform, then jump back down.  I was really surprised how much it works my lower abdomen!  There's always seemed to be a debate about if there really are "lower abs" or not.  Well, I think the muscles this exercise is working are the ones everyone is wondering about.  They're not part of your "6 pack" abs, but right below that.  Did you know?  They're called Psoas.  Check it out:  I didn't even do more than about 1 main set of these since tomorrow is upper body day, but you can be sure they're on the menu now!

Happy Friday!  Get out there and work off some calories before you relax tonight!

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