Last week I discussed whether yoga and pilates are good forms of exercise for firefighters. So I’m going to keep running with this topic and let you know what I like and dislike about lots of different exercise programs over the coming weeks.
There are SO MANY different workout routines and forms of exercise out there. None of these are the ONLY or even BEST way to do it. Spokespeople for certain workout regimes may state otherwise, but these people are often making money from their efforts, so it’s important to hear from a non-bias source who’s an expert in this area (and does not make money endorsing any workout/diet programs).
Currently there are several informercial workout programs that are very popular. One example is P90X; a circuit-style program that includes high-rep resistance training and high intensity cardio intervals. One thing I appreciate about P90X is that it provides a lot of variety. This ensures that a person continues to get results if they stay with the exercise program for a long time. People are more likely to hit a “plateau,” in which they stop losing fat and/or gaining muscle, if they constantly do the same things (since eventually the body adapts to that stimulus and begins to lessen its response). Variety also reduces the likelihood of overuse injuries which occur when a person does the same repetitive motion over and over again. Lastly, it keeps people’s interest! People are much more likely to stick with an exercise program if it doesn’t bore them.
One thing I dislike about infomercial products, this one included, is that they instruct people to work out every day or almost all days of the week. From a scientific standpoint, that is not recommended. Especially for people just beginning a workout program, the body needs rest to repair tissues. Without it, you won’t be getting as much benefit from all your hard work. For each muscle group worked, there should be at least one day of rest in-between hard workouts. A cardio-only workout that isn’t very demanding for the muscular system (like running) may be completed more days per week, however, in a workout like P90X, the cardio and resistance training are done together (and all muscle groups are worked in each workout.)
So, if you do choose to undergo this video workout, which I do recommend, my advice is to complete a video only 3-4 times per week to avoid overuse injuries and let your body get more out of the workout.
In the comments below, let me know if you’ve tried P90X, or other workout programs like it, and what your experience was.
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