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Love Working Out: Make It Varied, Make It Fun

You know what eventually gets boring? Doing the exact same thing over and over and over and over and… you get the drift. The reason vacations are awesome and why sometimes just listening to the sound of wind through your car windows beats listening to music or even talking is a little jewel called variety. Variety allows you to appreciate what you have, enjoy what you experience and anticipate what you haven’t.

So here’s the potential problem people encounter when they fall out of a fitness program:

“Having a problem lately, I can slowly feel my commitment slip away. I love working out and eating right but lately I’ve been getting lazy with the workouts and although I eat clean I’ve gotten less strict. Not sure what I need to do to spark some intensity.” 

First and foremost, momentum builds results. Your program is designed to train you into those results. Results build enthusiasm which build continued momentum. “Start-stopping” does none of the above and it’s important to remember results always lag a bit behind momentum anyway. So how do you maintain that momentum…? Trust your program and ENJOY what you’re doing.

Make Your Workout Fun

Here’s the deal– we’re doing P90X, Pump and Asylum to get fit and improve the quality, longevity and swimsuit pic taking ability of our lives. Don’t be afraid to switch it up. Keep things FRESH. Do what you love. Personally, I keep to the P90X, P90X2, Insanity and Asylum programs because I enjoy the heck out of them– they’re incredibly fun for me.

That said, once you’ve put these programs through their paces and allowed them to do their job, it’s OK to mix it up for a week or two. I’ve skipped cardio days and gone out to do hill intervals, pace pavement through winding city streets, hit up local group fitness classes and –gasp– even hit the gym with weight machines. After all, Beachbody doesn’t advocate fitness dictatorship– half of their programs are designed to get you OUT in the real world to do things you may not have been good at before starting. I mean, P90X2 has a built in “do whatcha want” day. Heck, go hit up some basketball, bike like a bat outta h-e-double-hockey-sticks, go to the local park and do some pullups and muscle ups— do something that’ll make your workouts feel like you’re falling in love all over again.

To put a point on all that, Tony “I am P90X2” Horton tweeted a few months back about how he was sitting in his hotel room wrestling with whether to work out, so what’d he do? Not P90X stuff– he went for a run. Switch it up a little from time to time– Tony would be proud and you’ll love what you’re doing when you’re putting all your new-found or improved fitness results to work.

Beachbody Workouts Are Built On Variety

Let’s face it- as much as you may love P90X, some days the thought of doing another round of Crazy 8s or listening to some of the chatter falls into the excitement list somewhere between “eating cold oatmeal” or “scrubbing grout with a toothbrush”.  Fact is, P90X is incredibly varied and almost infinitely modifiable. So is Insanity, Asylum and pretty much every other Beachbody fitness program out there. But they’re not necessarily made to do infinitely. That’s where hybrids come in and why my Beachbody fitness DVD collection rivals my movie collection… and that’s saying something.

If you enjoy working out at home and not having to think about what to do beyond slipping a DVD in a player (like myself) there’s also a huge variety of Beachbody action out there to keep things fresh. If you’re a P90X lover, there’s 36 One on One DVD workouts to choose from. Like cardio? Insanity is crazy and Turbofire is high energy. Like sports-style training? Asylum (a personal favorite) rocks. Like Dance? Turbo Jam, Hip Hop Abs, Rockin’ Body. Need lower impact? Body Gospel, Slim in 6. Want to incorporate some other disciplines? Brazil Butt Lift and Rev Abs. I mean, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The Free Day

Before P90X2 introduced “The Free Day” (IE- one of your rest + recovery days), I was using Saturday as a total body blast with P90X+ or Asylum. If I was feeling crazy, I might hit up a spin class. My buddy Sean dedicates a day to chest only. I dedicated my Saturdays “Game Days”– a day I’d put all my other training to the test with something a little different.

The key is you’re using a fitness “cheat day”. Not in slacking off or eating like crap but as a day where maybe you cheat on your program a little. Go hard, have fun, work up a sweat and do something you’re excited about– something that doesn’t require you to “just push play”.

I’m not saying you can’t or that’s a cause to abandon your program, you need to keep some structure but again… HAVE FUN. If you’re having fun, you’ll never ever get burnt out. And if you don’t get burnt out, you won’t fall back into consistently eating like crap and choosing warming up the couch instead of warming up your muscles. “Having a problem lately, I can slowly feel my commitment slip away...” becomes a thing of the past.

I realize I”m beating the same bush here but I hope you get it… if you’re tired of your program, invest in a new one. Get out. Make up your own hybrid. Just be sure to make it fun and varied. In the end, you’ll find there will be no end to your desire to work out and stay fit. And when you do get back to the program that brought ya, it’ll be like falling in love all over again.

Find balance, find what works and I’ll be here for reality checks and encouragement along the way


2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Alan Fowler says:

    This is great advice, Dan, and so true. When I finished P90X the first time, I excitedly started Insanity, but ended up hurting myself. When I healed, I completd P90X a second time, but I was much less motivated with it. When finished with the program, I really struggled to think of what to do. Fortunatley, I found Tony’s One on Ones. While I found that those aren’t a perfect substitute for the P90X videos, it dawned on me . . . rather than freaking out over finding the perfect routine, I should just focus on doing something, anything, rather than nothing. Once I adopted this approach, working out became fun again, whether I was biking or doing a video.

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