Thursday, February 13, 2014

P90X3: Triometrics Review

For today's snow day, workout two was Triometrics, the second workout that you do in block 2 of the P90X3 classic calendar. I have somewhat mixed feeling about Triometrics. I went into the workout thinking that this would be a predominantly cardio-based routine. In fact, the workout seemed to focus more on lower body strength and balance with some cardio moves mixed in.

Triometrics is so named because each move you do has three levels. Since this workout is basically all legs, the progression generally consists of going deeper into each move that you're doing; for example, you might start with doing squats and then move to a deep squat where you have to squat far enough down that your hands touch the floor.

Here are the moves that make up the Triometrics workout. I'll list descriptions, including the three levels along with my comments in parenthesis. Each move was done for one minute, with twenty seconds at level one, then level two, then level three.
  • Calf Raise Squats: Do a squat reaching your hands to the floor. Come up extending your arms overhead and going up onto your toes. Level 1: Reach (towards the floor), Level 2: Touch, Level 3: Fists
  • The Duper Skater: Standing on one leg, bend into a squat and extend the other leg, swinging it forward and back. When you leg goes back, bring your same arm as standing leg to the floor. Level 1: Reach (towards the floor), Level 2: Reach and kick leg, Level 3: Tap floor and kick (Standing on one leg for a minute is pretty challenging work for the standing leg. Having to stabilize at the same time caused definite fatigue.)
  • Frog Jumps: Lower to the floor in a squat. Come up and do a little hop. Level 1: Fingertips (to the floor) to prayer, Level 2: Fists to floor and sky, Level 3: Palm to floor and jump (The Level 3 version of this move was definitely the best. The little bit of jumping was good to get the heart rate up.)
  • Warrior 3 Squats: Start in Warrior 3, standing on one leg with the other extended straight behind and parallel to the floor and torso tipped forward. Bend the standing leg into a squat and straighten. Level 1: Arms to the side, Level 2: Airplane arms, Level 3: Arms to the front reaching (Nothing working the standing leg quite like Warrior 3. I found this move to be quite a challenge for balance as my leg got tired, and I wobbled a little. On my less strong side, I even tottered over and had to get back into position. I found Level 2 of this position actually the easiest to balance in through it's supposed to be harder than Level 1 because you're working your shoulders more. Still, I needed the balance help more than I cared about my shoulders at this point.)
  • Speed Skater: Start on one leg and jump laterally to the other bringing the leg you jump off of back behind you. Have your arms follow your movement. Level 1: Singles, Level 2: Doubles, Level 3: Triples (We see this move in a couple of the other P90X3 workouts. The introduction of the triple jump is new here.)
  • Superman Lunge: In a squat, lean your torso forward and begin alternating your legs back into a long lunge. Keep low as if there is a 3 foot ceiling above you. Level 1: Step (back into lunge), Level 2: Skip, Level 3: Jump (I actually found doing Level 2 of this move to be the hardest. When you get to Level 3, you get to jump, which means you're not in the static low squat to lunge. This sort of gives the legs a break from the semi-isometric hold they were in.)
  • Sumo Kick: With legs wide and toes slightly turned out, lower into a sumo squat, bringing your hands towards the ground. Stand and do a snap kick to one side. Lower back into sumo squat and then kick to the other side. Level 1: Fingers (to the floor), Level 2: Fists, Level 3: Palms
  • Run Stance Squats: Begin with feet in a staggered stance. Alternate feet rotating back to front slightly less than 180-degrees. Tap the front hand to the floor. Level 1: Step, Level 2: Touch the floor, Level 3: Jump
  • Iso Squat: Begin on one leg with the other extended behind you. Bend your standing leg and reach the opposite hand towards the floor and standing leg. Stand up bringing your hand to the ceiling. Level 1: Bent foot behind you, Level 2: Bent foot next to you, Level 3: Bent foot in front of you (Another move on one leg -- these were definitely the hardest. Level 3 of this move was a real balance and strength challenge. It was hard to get the hand that was trying to tap the floor around the suspended front leg while maintaining good balance.)
  • Slater Squat: Bend down into a squat and get into plank position by stepping your feel back one after the other. Do a push-up. Step back into squat position and stay low (without extending your knees into standing. Level 1: Step up, Level 2: Jump up, Level 3: Jump up and add tuck jump (Yay! Finally a cardio move. I liked this pseudo-burpee, especially Level 3 with the tuck jump.)
  • Duper 2: Like The Duper Skater but with your leg extending directly to the side instead of back and front. Level 1: Leg out to knee up, Level 2: Leg out to knee up and tap the floor, Level 3: Leg stays out and tap floor
  • Jack Squats: With legs wide in a squat, like a sumo squat, and toes rotated out. Jump feet together staying low. As your feet jump together, bring your arms together overhead as if you're doing a jumping jack. Level 1: Reaching (to the floor), Level 2: Tapping, Level 3: Tapping and X-jump
  • Hell's Chair: Begin in Chair from yoga. Extend one leg out in front of you. After twenty second switch legs. For the last twenty second have you feet together in Chair. Level 1: Right leg lifts, Level 2: Left leg lifts, Level 3: Feet together (This was actually a nice rest, and I found my shoulders got more tired than my legs. Probably a result of doing Eccentric Upper right before this workout.)
  • Kablam: Begin in a lunge. Jump up and land in a squat. Jump back and land in a lunge with the opposite leg back than before. Continue alternating. Level 1: Step to step with arms in prayer, Level 2: Arms up skip, Level 3: Arms moving, jump
  • Burnout: Small jumps laterally side to side with feet together. To increase difficulty, bring your knees up high into a tuck jump as you jump side to side. (Fun! And we only did this for half a minute, so it wasn't very hard at all -- there was no time to get tired.)

Tony took fairly frequent breaks during this workout, some of what I considered to be significant length. This was a disappointment because the moves were overall not that challenging, and certainly not challenging cardiovascularly for someone who exercises regularly. By putting in so much rest time, this workout seemed to rob participants of the chance to get their heart rates up. Perhaps the frequent breaks were because this was more of a strength workout for lower body, and Tony wanted to have time for muscle recovery between sets. Still, I wish that things had moved a bit more rapidly. There were a couple of times where I found myself saying, "Come on -- stop talking -- let's go!"

That being said, this workout definitely gave my legs a run for their money and caused fatigue. By the end of the 30 minutes, my legs felt wobbly in a way I had not felt since Asylum 2: Power Legs. Not to cause any confusion -- I definitely did not like Triometrics nearly as much as Power Legs. While Power Legs gave you an amazing cardio workout while also working all the leg muscles, with Triometrics, it was really more static leg work. There were some cardio leg moves worked in, but they were not as prevalent as in Power Legs, which is definitely a minus. Triometrics more seemed like a resistance-style leg workout, without weights, with some cardio thrown in. This is fine, but remember the focus of this workout when you're going to do it. In the end I was glad that I did this workout and Eccentric Upper back-to-back on the same day for an hour of strength training. Tomorrow, I'll do a cardio day and feel good knowing I did some solid total body resistance training the day before.

1 comment:

Anthony Jones said...

Yes, I noticed that the breaks were too long - after an unscheduled break Tony walks round giving everybody fistbumps. My HR dropped to 104 so I might as well have been strolling the neighbourhood.
Plyo X is one of Tony's best - after four weeks of that I felt fitter and bouncier.
Triometrics is nothing like it - there's a quick 15 seconds of jumping at the end.
It's yet another "stand on one leg" workout, which I don't really need the day before doing Yoga.
I'm going to swap it with PlyoX as my average HR was 116 - and I'm a not-that-fit 48 year old.
Thanks for your review.