The good folks at Beachbody.com want you to truly COMMIT to this P90X program, and to that end they encourage you to take your weight and body measurements before, during and after you’ve done the three months of conditioning. They even give you a little workbook to do record this information. Not only that, but they’d like you to take photos of yourself, in as little as possible, before and after! Make videos! Post photos and videos online! Show the world what you’ve got, and what you did with it!
But I understand the conceit (in all connotations of the word). If you can chart your progress, you’d be more encouraged by how your body changed, and more willing to go forward. Here are a few before/after photos of P90X users that I’ve found online:
|This one’s pretty impressive, though he’s two months over.|
|Wow, though it’s at different angles and postures…
Nah, I’ll give it to her.
|Amazing what a black background will do for a person…|
|Hey! No body hair-shaving allowed! Unfair!|
Okay, if I’m going to display photos of others, I guess, in all fairness, turnabout is fair play. Though it seems awfully vainglorious, after much trepidation and soul-searching I’ve decided to go ahead and post my “before” photo. It’s not terribly well-lit and it puts me in a, you know, vulnerable position. Please, be kind (click on the “read more” to go on):
|Yes, okay, maybe I’ve added a few pounds
since my knee surgery. That baking class
didn’t help, either.
Now, it’s not the high-impact nature that I hate. I can adjust the exercises to take care of my bad knees and back. In fact, I find that doing an exercise video for an hour to be superior to taking a class in several key ways:
1) You can modify the exercise without feeling shamed, or like the senior in the back of the Y class who wandered in because her Aquafit class was canceled;
2) You can swear unreservedly at the instructor; and
3) You can always say “Hell no!” and not do an exercise. Who’s going to know that instead of pretending to be a basketball player I’m pretending to skip rope? My heart rate’s still up!
No, the problem I have with plyometrics is that it is so very, very sports-oriented. Most of the exercises mimic some form of athletic endeavor. Tony says “Do you want to be better at baseball? (no.) Basketball? (no.) Skiing? (no.) Then Plyometrics is for you.” Hmmm. I used to have an asthma attack every time we had to do the Presidential Fitness Softball Throw in school. I just want to lose five pounds. Maybe I’ll just continue skipping my invisible rope over here. The Heissman position? Who the hell is that?
Participants: Two guys and a woman, including Eric, who has one prosthetic leg (hmm, I guess I really have no excuse) and Pam, whom Tony admiringly calls “The Blam.” Other times he just calls her “Pam Blam.” Consistency, Tony, consistency! We also find out that Tony is forty-five. God, will you leave no excuse for me?
|Watch out, Peter Dinklage,
I’m coming after you.
The bonus rounds involve doing complex movements based on pitching a fast ball, making a basket and doing some football maneuvers. Having no sense memory of any of these ordinary sports moves, I look like a drunken sailor having a coronary. This is where “Hell no” comes in handy.