Friday, January 24, 2014

P90X3: CVX Review

After The Challenge yesterday my gelatin-like arms were ready for a day off. A cardio workout was just the ticket. In general, I have find the P90X cardio workouts to be less than challenging, so I did a six mile run at the gym this afternoon to make sure to get my heavier cardio in. However, CVX seemed to be more than just cardio; it seemed that at least some weight work would be involved. I like adding some light weights to my cardio work on occasion -- it's like doing double duty, so I was excited to try this workout!

The workout started right away -- no additional warm-up. Each set of three moves was repeated twice with a very short break after the second time through. The first time through each move was done at a moderate intensity; the second time through was done at higher intensity with either more speed or a greater range of motion. You need one dumbbell for this workout in the three to twelve pound range. You are going to be moving the weight quickly, so keep it light. I started with an eight pound weight, and that ended up being to heavy for the quick movements. I dropped down to a five, which was what the woman in the DVD was using, and that worked perfectly.

Here are the moves from the workout. Remember, each set of three is performed twice.
  • Press Jacks: Holding one weight, do jumping jacks with the feet and extend weight overhead.
  • Atlas Twist: with feet wide, lung to the right with weight on the right foot. Turn your torso and food to the left as you extend both legs and press the weight to your left shoulder. Repeat. Switch sides mid-way through. (I remembered this move from the original P90X workout Core Synergistics.)
  • March and Reach: Extend your arms overhead. Lower the weight and kick your leg. (It really worked the shoulders. The second time through this move was when I realized my eight pound weight was not going to workout and begged for Seth to go upstairs and get me the five pounds.)
  • Traveling Tire Twist: High run moving forward as through four tires and twisting your arms and torso towards the opposite knee. (This move was a little awkward, but easier when done fast.)
  • Frog Squat Reach: With your feet wide and externally rotated and arms towards the floor, bend your knees into squat. Come  up, lifting onto the balls of your feet and extending your arms overhead. (I really liked this move. Coming up on the balls of your feet after doing the squat did a nice job working the calves a little. I'm trying to strengthen my calve muscles and really appreciated the.)
  • Arc Press Lunge: Start in a lunge with the weight next to the hip of the forward leg. Explode upwards switching legs in the air and bringing the weight up and over your torso stopping on the other hip. (The people on the DVD do this move as more of a skip than plyo jump, especially the first time through. This is an easy move to make easier -- the modifier does it without jumping -- or harder -- just jump higher.)
  • Hop Overs: With a towel on the floor, stand to one side and jump both feet laterally over landing in a squat on the other side. Jump side to side. (Fun! We did this first with one foot following the other and then with both feet at the same time. Very similar to some of the jumping you do in the ladder drills in Asylum 1 and 2.)
  • Balance Pull: With weight on one foot, extend the opposite leg off the floor and to your side. Bring your lifted knee into the weight in front of your torso. Extend your leg back out without touching. Switch mid-way through. (You basically do a move like this is every exercise DVD I have; however, the addition of the weight makes it feel different. I felt like I was engaging my core more and really crunching my abs.)
  • Twist and Pivot: Holding your weight in both hands in front of the chest, begin to pivot your feet one at a time, keeping one underneath you and the other extended slightly behind. (Very easy move. The main challenge is keeping your elbows up and really twisting to work the core muscles.)
  • Side Reach Jumps: Step out to the right, bending your right knee and lowering the weight below knee level. Step back in, bend both knees, and jump like you're shooting a basket ball. (Again, I've done moves like this before and always find them to be effective, but the weight made this a bit different. I was moving more slowly, but that was okay. With the weight I really focused on form.)
  • Crescent Chair: Start in Chair position from yoga with weight at chest level. Step back into a lunge extending the weight overhead. Reverse. (This move was the same as one we did in P90X3 Total Synergistics just with the weight added. The work with the weight worked the shoulders, which felt very tired by the end.)
  • Globe Squatters: In a sumo squat, hop off the floor as you circle the weight up over your head to your right hip. Land in a deep sumo squat. Then reverse the arc as you jump again. (This was another move that was for the shoulders. Since you jumped only very slightly until the second round, the weight work was the focus. There were a lot of shoulder moves with the weight throughout and you moved quickly, so by this point my shoulders were feeling the fatigue.)
I really enjoyed this workout. I was beat from The Challenge yesterday and a six mile run at the gym today, and this workout was a bit of work to get through. Even though I was using a light weight, my arms definitely felt it, especially my shoulders. It was great to get in a bit of resistance training with my cardio.

Because you are holding a weight, you might end up doing the moves slightly slower than you would for a purely cardio workout. As a result, my heart rate didn't seem to go quite as high, but the challenge of using a weight more than made up for it -- I felt I got a very good workout. Again, another winner!

I have two more workouts left until I finish the first week of P90X3. Up tomorrow is The Warrior. Sunday is the optional workout Dynamix. I will then repeat the schedule from week one for weeks two and three before moving onward to some new items on week four. I'm looking forward to seeing what this weekend's workouts have in store for me.

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