Tag Archives: P90X

Three Multiple Muscle Moves

Are you feeling a little pressed for time?  Here are three exercises I’ve picked up here and there that maximize your effort by working two or more muscle groups.  Now, I don’t recommend doing this all the time, since a balanced workout regime with approximately equal amounts of cardio and strength moves is important, such as Beachbody’s P90X.  These will get you through a day when time is in short supply, however.  Let’s face it, any workout beats the daylights out of no workout!  (Don’t forget to warm up first.)

  • Pushup and dumbbell row.  You will need a pair of dumbbells of a challenging weight.  Start in a plank position with your hands grasping the dumbbells, even with and slightly forward of your shoulders.  Keeping your back and legs straight, do a pushup.  When you return to the starting position, lift the left dumbbell as high as you can, with your elbow as close to in-line with your shoulder as possible, and return it to the floor.  Repeat, with the right side.  That’s one rep.  Go for maximum reps, stopping short of failure.


  • Squat and dumbbell curl.  You will need a pair of dumbbells of a challenging weight or a resistance band.  Start in a standing position, feet slightly wider than shoulder width, holding the dumbbells or band handles down at your sides, palms facing forward.  Drop into as low a squat as comfortable while keeping your back straight and feet flat on the floor, and raise back up.  When you reach the start position, do a basic two arm curl.  That’s one rep.  Go for maximum reps, stopping short of failure.


  • Lunge, hammer curl, and press.  You will need a pair of dumbbells of a challenging weight or a resistance band.  Start in a standing position, feet slightly wider than shoulder width, holding the dumbbells or band handles down at your sides, palms facing inward.  Step forward with your left foot into a lunge, with your right leg as straight as possible.  Perform a hammer curl (a curl with hands facing inward).  At the top of the curl, perform a two arm overhead press, rotating your hands so they face forward.  Return to starting position and repeat on the right side.  That’s one rep.  Go for maximum reps, stopping short of failure.

2 Years and 40 Pounds Ago

I did a P90X workout last night, Legs & Back, when I had a sort of epiphany.  I was doing calf raise squats with two 20 pound dumbbells.  Suddenly, it occurred to me that this was just about what I weighed before I began taking care of myself a couple years ago. 

In retrospect, it was no wonder that I was tired and sore all the time.  Lugging around that extra weight was a literal burden!

There are all sorts of clever sayings and pithy comments about fitness and health which I could quote right now, based upon this experience.  But I won’t, because no clever saying or pithy comment is going to motivate anyone who isn’t ready to change. 

That sort of motivation must come from within, or it’s only for show.

Stuck in a Rut?

I recently finished my fourth round of Beachbody’s P90X. Now, I am looking forward to doing something different. It isn’t that I don’t like P90X-far from it. You don’t do something so challenging four times unless you really like it. And I do like the challenge, the potential for always doing one more pull up, one more push up, or moving up one weight from what I did the last time. The thing is, even with its inherent muscle confusion basis, doing the same workout program all the time can get a bit boring.

In the past I have done Body Gospel, Rev Abs, Shakeology 30 & 50, P90X Plus, and P90X2, all from Beachbody. Clearly, there is something about this company’s programs which I like. I think at the heart of it, all of these program share one underlying trait: support. The trainers lift you up, they don’t talk you down. If you can’t do something perfectly, they encourage you to do what you are able to. Or, as trainer Tony Horton says, “Do your best and forget the rest!”

I’m ready for a new trainer: Shaun T. and his Insanity-The Asylum program. Last night I did the first workout, “Speed and Agility”.  I thought because I’ve been working out for six days a week for a couple years, I’d be able to breeze right through this. Well, it didn’t exactly end up that way. Do you remember the Biblical saying “Pride goeth before a fall”?

The warmup alone was an eye opener for what is to come! It wasn’t that I’m not in good shape. Rather, it was a tough workout because I was doing agility and other moves with which I was not familiar. There’s going to be a steep learning curve. You know what? I look forward to it!

There is perhaps a life lesson here too. I assumed that past experience with one thing would enable me to do another somewhat related thing with no effort. This was untrue. While experience can inform and guide us, it is not a substitute for effort and learning.

Welcome to the Asylum!

Welcome to the Asylum!

Never Stop Learning

My copy of Insanity-The Asylum arrived last night! I can’t wait to start after I finish my current round of P90X!  I’m less than two weeks from completing my fourth round of it.  Obviously it’s something I enjoy, although I may have said a few discouraging words during slow motion push-ups (I both blame and thank you Tony).

As much as I enjoy P90X, I’ve gotten into a wee bit of a rut, and I think it’s time to mix things up a bit.  The Asylum is totally different than P90X, so I’m going to be using my mind and my body in new ways.  Learning new things-that’s what keeps fitness fun instead of a chore!

Henry Ford once said “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.”   I believe him, and I would add that when we are no longer motivated to learn, we are no longer motivated to live a fulfilling life.  So I plan to keep learning all my life.  What is your plan?


"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." Henry Ford

Stay young by always striving to learn new things.

Unexpected Setbacks

Well, really is there any other kind of setback? If we knew beforehand, we’d be able to plan around potential setbacks. A recent, first time gout attack set me back for about three weeks in my workouts. I went to bed on a Sunday feeling fine and woke up Monday morning with excruciating pain in my right big toe. It was about double its normal size and as red as a ripe tomato. To say that this took me by surprise is a bit of an understatement!

I was about 2/3 of the way through a round of P90X when it hit. The problem, aside from the pain, was that so many of the moves rely upon balance. Try balancing without putting weight on one your big toes, and you will see the challenge I faced. Some moves were more difficult than others since they were predicated upon raising or landing on the toes. Even simple moves like pushups became problematic.

So I adapted. I did my pushups on my knees. I concentrated on landing and balancing on the ball of my foot. These helped, but several of the days before I sought treatment were washouts-no workout at all. (Yes, my manly man-plan of ignoring the problem did not work.) With the help of tart cherry juice and super anti-inflammatory medication, my toe is pretty much back to normal now. So are my workouts, which is a tremendous relief to me since I really missed them.

My point is that unexpected setbacks are bound to occur now and then. We can just accept them, or we can work past them. The choice and the consequences are ours.

Anytime you suffer a setback or disappointment, put your head down and plow ahead. Les Brown

It’s all about how we handle adversity.