Monday, May 20, 2013

Big Weekend at Work and More P90X

This past weekend was a busy one at work. It was the first of two alumnae reunions and also Commencement for the graduating seniors. Smith has a really wonderful tradition called Ivy Day, which takes place the day before Commencement. All the alumnae and students assemble wearing weight and ribbons in their class colors. The alumnae process through the graduating seniors who then join the parade, ending in the Quad where there is a ceremony.

I was also able to capture a couple of small videos of the parade. They are only so-so since I was taking part, coordinating a class, but they'll give you an idea.

I also made the time to try a couple more of the P90X workouts.

Yoga X: After my busy week, I decided I would relax with a nice yoga workout. I was a little bit intimidated by the 90 minute length, but I thought I could do with that long a period of relaxation. I was hugely in error. Yoga X was super super hard.

The first 15 minutes went well; I was doing traditional moves that I knew (warrior, runner's pose, triangle). We moved quickly, but fluidly -- I was feeling fine. Then things got crazy. We got into some advanced yoga moves that I had never seen. I'm not very flexible, and with the limited instruction and no modification, the moves were sometimes impossible for me to do. I wish that they had been a bit more descriptive about how each pose should feel. Even the most inflexible person on the DVD was much more flexible than me, so a person doing beginner modifications would be a help, especially for a yoga novice like me.

The Yoga X workout moved through around 50 minutes of vinyasas followed by some balance moves (which I was a bit more successful with). We devoted only the last 10 minutes or so to some relaxation, but at that point I felt sore and over stretched, especially in my legs. I ended up feeling more sore the next day as a result of this workout than most of the others.

The next time I do this workout (which I'm kind of dreading and might be rarely), I plan to tackle the workout in pieces and try 45 minutes at a time. Because of the intensity of the workout, I found that in the last half, my muscles were too fatigued to maintain good form. Breaking up the workout will help me maintain good form and build my flexibility and confidence with yoga.

Legs & Back: I found the Legs & Back workout to be extremely excellent. This workout was very much legs focused and used the weight of your body for resistance. Since this is my favorite method of resistance training, I was very pleased. The workout is probably 75% - 80% legs and the rest back. 

The back workout is done using a pull-up bar or resistance bands. (Unfortunately, I was unable to use my pull-up bar because the door I usually hook it up to was in heavy usage.) Using the resistance band instead of the pull-up bar is definitely much easier, and I'm getting ready for a new challenge. A lot of the "back" moves are pull-up / chin-up variations, which were familiar from the Chest & Back workout.

The leg portion of the workout featured many lunges (side, back, front), squats (including killer static wall squats), and calf raises. I loved all the variations on lunges and squats. I don't do a lot of work on my calves, so that was a great thing to throw in. My legs felt nicely worked but not killed.

All in all, P90X is proving to be a great program. I've been really enjoying doing the DVDs around every other day instead of daily as a program since weight training is not my favorite thing (although this is definitely helping me like it more). I think my approach of mixing in cardio, such as running or kickboxing, on alternating day is a good approach for me. I know that Beachbody has a P90X Insanity Hybrid schedule, which I would doubt really enjoy. That will be a good option after I finish the program once through using the Classic Schedule.

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