Yesterday morning I decided I needed some kind of group exercise. I wasn’t up for working out alone and I didn’t want to run two days in a row. I knew I couldn’t do too much arm work with my bad shoulder. There is a small group that meets at 6 a.m. to do P90X at a neighborhood gym, and I figured that was a good option. I got there a little late (not that surprising) and they were already into the warm-up. There are usually about five or six people who show up, but yesterday it was me and three men. By the time I grabbed a mat and started to join in on the warm-up, I heard Tony Horton say this was the “mother of all P90X workouts”, Plyometrics. Oh, great.
When I hear Plyometrics, I start thinking about grade school gym class calisthenics… Just a whole lot of jumping going on. My least favorite type of exercise is Plyometrics-style workouts. Unfortunately, I felt kind of trapped. I was already late and I had said hello, pulled out the mat, started the warmup…. Maybe it was pride, but I really didn’t feel like I could walk out at that point. So for the next 53 minutes I did P90X Plyometrics.
Apparently Plyometrics really began to be used about 40 years ago as a type of “Shock Training” for Russian athletes to increase strength and power. The idea was that over time Plyometrics training increased the amount of force an athlete produced, and therefore helped them become more explosive. There are plenty of reasons I have no business doing plyo workouts. I have nine children for one (bladder and gravity are two good clue words). Besides the physiological component, I can just think of a lot of other ways to workout than to jump around for an hour. Explosiveness is not something I really need for long distance running or anything else I am doing in my fitness life. But I was stuck, so I went with it.
Actually, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. He emphasizes soft landing and not the loud, heavy-footed kind. When they did the big jumps, I modified the workout or just did some hamstring stretches (I wasn’t the only one in the group modifying the workout, either). In the end, I was glad I hadn’t left. Although I would never have done this kind of thing on my own, the group exercise factor really helped. That is not to say that I am looking to do another plyometric workout again anytime soon!
Have you done P90X Plyometrics? How did you like it? What is your least favorite workout?