A Soft Landing

Sometime during the course of this month, I technically completed this long hybrid round. Though, it was only yesterday that I actually “checked off” my final Tai Cheng Neural reboot in preparation for a singles tennis match. The 147 day hybrid as planned sounds long and in actuality it took more like around 200 days to complete with interruptions from vacations, tennis matches and the common cold.

Yet it’s not really that “long” per se. Over the course of the round it cycles up and down in difficulty each week, punctuated with recovery weeks, scheduled (and unscheduled) recovery times. The nice thing about where I am at this point is that when I modify a few days–or stop altogether–I know I will resume. I trust myself to do that. Consequently, I’m uninjured. No overuse injuries from working out or injuries from tennis play. This is the “sweet spot” and the entire point of exercising to begin with.

The only nit with this workout regimen is that my cardio endurance is somewhat less  than say two years ago. I recognize that at 54 years old I’m also two years older and that is certainly a factor. I have learned that for me, at my age, it’s vital to incorporate adequate recovery time, especially when I’m playing singles tennis. For the past two singles tennis seasons, I’ve moved up a level and my results (score-wise. win-wise) have suffered. Yet, I’m stronger and moving well. I’m trying to learn how to play a more forward, aggressive style and stop punishing myself with endless running down of every ball, just because I can. I may win the point, game, set or match that way, but it’s also a recipe for injury. And injury is to be avoided. It puts me in a bad mindset because, injured, I can’t play and it’s difficult to exercise as I would like.

When I began this round in August 2016, I was dealing with a tweaked, weakened right shoulder. But I continued to do the kettlebell routines with my lowest 8 kg bell. I stayed at that weight for about 5 weeks with my weekly kettlebell day. The shoulder improved and (along with everything else) got stronger. By the end of this round I was swinging the 20 kg bell for most of my routines.

Back in August, I started this round weighing in at 160 pounds. Now, I’m still 160. I continue to believe I should be at 155, maybe even 150. Yet I give myself some latitude because 1) I’m still doing around 100 cumulative pull ups on certain pull up days and 2) my legs, back, chest and shoulders are bigger and stronger.

So, in all, this “Mother of all Hybrids” combo of P90X, X2, X3, Insanity and Skogg Kettlebell has been good for me. I expect to focus a bit more on the kettlebells, complemented with yoga, in the near term before re-starting this hybrid again.

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