Hey everyone! Hope you’re doing great!
Big thanks to my man Lafe who sent in our first reader question. He asked about the popular home workout P90X (copyright reserved-no affiliation with Lang Athletics).
Lafe wondered if it was better to perform the workouts straight though-and take breaks as needed, or perform as much of the workout as you can until fatigued and pick up where you left off later in the day. Great question, as these workouts are demanding and often require a pretty high level of fitness to complete according to Tony’s programming.
Short answer? Perform the workouts straight through and take breaks accordingly. As your fitness levels improve you’ll be able to keep up with the intense pace of Tony and his crew. This also means only one workout per day, instead of trying to fit in multiple workouts throughout the day.
Long answer? Shorter bouts of exercise throughout the day have been found to accrue the benefits of a single, longer exercise session performed at one time. This means that two workouts lasting 25 minutes – performed, say, morning and evening – can produce the same health benefit that a single 50 minute workout would. But is this convenient? Amidst our busy schedules, it may not be a viable option to workout more than once per day. If your day allows for two shorter workouts (and you enjoy working out that often) then by all means, give it a shot.
My only concern with breaking a workout like those included in P90X into shorter sessions is that the variety of exercises, and subsequent balance in training, may be left out of the smaller individual workout. If you can make it through the full array of exercises, and pause before repeating the same exercises, then I wouldn’t have a concern about variety and balance of training.
(By balance of training, I am refering to agonist/antagonist muscle groups getting equal attention. These are muscles that perform opposite joint actions, and training them with equal volume/intensity promotes healthy joints and prevents im-balances that could lead to injury. ie: push/pull, bicep/tricep)
If you have the time, however, spending the hour or so to perform a full workout is the way to go. The fast pace and limited rest periods are a great form of density training. You can track your progress from week to week, or workout to workout, by increasing the number of reps performed for a given exercise – OR – by decreasing the amount of time you rest. The essence of density training is performing more work in the same (or less) amount of time. If you performed 1 more rep than the last workout…you’ve improved. If you rested 5 seconds less than the last workout…you’ve improved.
This is also a reason to keep a training log or journal, because you’ll have those notes to compare workout to workout and track your progress.
Before I get too long winded, P90X is one of the only fitness “products” sold on infomercials that I would promote. And I am not, in any way, affiliated with Tony and the others at Beach Body. They’ve simply produced a good variety of workouts that bring the intensity – and intensity is what is necessary to make any significant change in body composition and/or level of fitness.
Hope that makes sense:)
“live like no one else, so later, you can live like no one else”