What is Plyometrics?
The second disc in the first round of P90X DVDs is Plyometrics ( ie plyo). Thanks to Wikipedia, plyo is best described as “a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in sports.” In my words – plyo is a lot of jumping around that conditions you to run faster.
The goal of plyometrics is to load and contract the muscle in rapid sequence, resulting in stronger legs and quicker reflexes. P90X Plyometrics is one of the DVDs that we will do each week, with the exception of the three recovery weeks. I anticipate that this DVD will be one of the primary contributors to my (hopefully) increased running speed at the end of the program.
Plyometrics, by definition, is high impact. Your body is the only weight you’ll be using in this workout and you WILL sweat (Day 1 I barely broke a sweat and I think that didn’t even happen until the abs). Some argue that this is the best workout in the DVD series. At the very least, it is the biggest calorie burner.
The video starts with a 10 minute cardio and stretching warm up and then goes straight into the workout. During the warmup,as usual, Tony introduces his fitness groupies, one of which has a prosthetic leg. Tony reminds us, if this guy can do it, you all can! The workouts, in sum, involve movement in a upward, forward, lateral, and/or backward motion. Some examples of workouts include: jump squats, side to side lunges, run stance speed squat and jump knee kicks. There are several other moves that have names that do nothing to describe the move, so I’ll leave them out. Each move is designed to be performed 25 times. After 4 moves, the sequence repeats, and then is followed by a 30 second water break. The workout is nearly 60 minutes in total, including a 5 minute stretch and cool-down.
My 1st Plyo Workout
When we woke up for our first plyo workout, I was so exhausted that I felt like I’d been awoken in the middle of the night. My head was still throbbing from my caffeine withdrawal headache and my body was aching in response to the push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups I did the previous day. To say the least, I wasn’t in the best shape. I was also starving, but I typically do not eat anything before early morning workouts so I didn’t this time either. Tony even warns viewers to NOT eat anything for at least an hour before the workout due to its intensity.
During each move, my heart rate got WAY up, and got especially high on some. About twenty minutes in, I felt nauseous (this only happens to me when I work out hard very early on an empty stomach), so I had to stop and eat half a banana. I didn’t necessarily feel like I couldn’t do the workouts because I lacked the cardiovascular fitness (I did just run a half marathon), it was more that my stomach was begging for food. My blood pressure must have dropped too low. I pushed my way through the entire video, but had to stop a few more times due to nausea – not a fun feeling!
My 2nd Plyo Workout
Today was our second round of the Plyo video (we are on week 2, but day 8 – we skipped the day of rest in order to get the videos in the order we want them in). This time I felt GREAT. I was able to complete all of the exercises and got a fabulous workout. I may go as far as to say that this is my favorite video so far! I definitely think that this video is going to improve my running speed and increase my results!
Results Thus Far
In other news – stepped on the scale first thing this morning and I’ve lost at least 3-4 lbs in 8 days on P90X. My weight this morning was down 7 lbs from the highest I’ve seen it in the last 2 weeks, and down 4 lbs from the lowest weight I saw before we started the program (first thing in the morning). So I’m going to be conservative and say I’ve lost 3 so far! To give some background, I am tall for a woman, so 4 lbs isn’t as significant as on a shorter person. However, I had a normal BMI before starting this program (22) and I have a good amount of muscle already (especially in my legs), so I don’t anticipate on losing a significant amount of pounds (of course a few would be nice!). Rather, my goal is to tone my upper body and increase my running speed!