Workout Journal – 3/28/17 – Plyometrics

Did you catch last night’s journal entry where I talked about Eric, the one-legged man?


Fine, I’m good with repeating myself.

Plyometrics is the workout in P90X that convinced me I could do it, even if I felt like a bus hit me afterward. Why? Because there’s a goddamned one-legged man, named Eric, on screen who does the whole workout. He modifies one move toward the end because it involves hopping on one leg for 30 seconds at a time and, well, it’s tough to hop on a leg you don’t have.

Plyometrics, or Plyo, is what Tony calls “The Mother of all P90X Workouts.” Yup. No argument from me. It was certainly an easier workout for the 42 year old version of me than it is for the 50 year old version. What Tony’s really talking about though is that throughout the entire program nothing will consistently work you like Plyometrics.

See, you get reasonably good at pull-ups and push-ups and you see your rep counts go up. You progressively lift more weights and you get more bendy every week with Yoga, but Plyo keeps kicking your ass for the entire 90s days.

First time I did the program I wondered why. At first I thought it was a flaw in the way my body worked. Maybe I was too old. Maybe I was just shitty at plyometrics. What I realized after living with the program for multiple rounds is that you don’t get “good” at Plyo for the same reason you don’t become a great soccer player by playing pick-up games once a week. The moves and the short rests are like a simulated sporting event. You jump, you squat, you crouch, you leap and you keep doing it over and over with little rest. If you trained for it you could ace Plyo, but that’s not really the point.

Another analogy is to the kinds of workouts athletes do. The drills that aren’t playing their sport but are designed to simulate the stressors on their bodies they’ll experience in a game so they’ll be ready for them.

Like I said, this was easier for 42 year old me than it is for the 50 year vintage version. I was modifying along with Eric on the hot-foot move because while I still have my left leg, it’s only got a partial ACL and doesn’t like the concentrated lateral move. Same with the twist-combo. I can do the ski pole part fine, but when it comes time for the full spin I’m running too big a risk of taking out that left knee. So I do different stuff and keep moving.

But I did it. I pushed play.

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