It all started yesterday, with “The Challenge” workout that is introduced on Day 4 of the P90X3 Classic program. The Challenge alternates between pull ups and push ups for the entire 30 minute routine. The unique twist is that you are requested to pick 2 numbers: one for pull ups and one for push ups. Your goal is then to complete the same number of reps you chose for pull ups and for push ups throughout the entire routine.
“Don’t let your ego get in the way” of picking the number of reps you can do for the entire routine, we’re cautioned by Tony Horton. Yet in spite of this warning, everyone in the cast signs up to complete something like 20 pull ups and 40 push ups for each set.
I refused to be baited and set my goals to what I felt I could do in an initial attempt without injury. Remember, it’s been almost a year since I last did any upper body work because of Tennis Elbow. So I set my goal at 5 pull ups and 15 push ups per set. In doing so, I believe I selected the right level of difficulty. Toward the end, I was kipping some of those pull ups and cranking out 15 military push ups mid routine required effort. I expect I will be able to increase these numbers as the program progresses, but I don’t seek any dramatic increase. Better to focus on form and no kip pull ups. I did not break a sweat in those 30 minutes but by the end of the routine, my arms were pretty burned out.
Today, I had the opportunity to further the destruction with the CVX routine. CVX is short for Cardio Vascular Extreme. It’s a cardio workout where the extreme element is the introduction of weight into most of the exercises. We’re advised to pick a weight ranging anywhere from a helium filled balloon to 12 pounds. But in no event should we exceed 12 pounds. I opted to use an 8 pound medicine ball throughout. The moves by themselves are not difficult. Adding weight ups the ante. My 8 pound med ball quickly became heavy in the first set. I stuck with it but, man, are my shoulders on fire. I also had a pretty good sweat going. At the end of the routine, the cast is high fiving one another and saying what a fun workout it was. For me, it would’ve been fun if I used a 4 lb weight. So, with 8 lbs, it wasn’t fun, per se, but it was a good workout.