In a moment of madness, I have decided to take part in a potentially suicidal fitness program, called P90X.
It comprises 12 different DVDs, each with a different workout on, and it’s supposed to make you super-fit in 90 days.
The blurb from the website:
"The secret behind the P90X system is an advanced training technique called Muscle Confusion™, which accelerates the results process by constantly introducing new moves and routines so your body never plateaus, and you never get bored!"
So, found the program on Ebay, acquired myself a pull up bar and yoga mat, and rescued my ancient set of dumbbells (purchased many years ago when I last decided I was going to get fit) from the attic of my old house.
I should point out at this stage that, whilst I am not a total couch potato, I am definitely in no way fit. I’m only little, but I’ve been reading a lot lately about how being skinny does not necessarily mean you are healthy.
I spend my day at work sitting at a desk. In fact we are actively discouraged from leaving our desks unless absolutely necessary. Then I go home and sit at my workbench. I do cycle to and from work most days, but I really don’t put a lot of effort into it to be honest. So, in conclusion, P90X may not be designed for the likes of me, given that it does seem to assume a fairly good level of fitness before you start.
Anyway, I thought I’d blog my experience with it, as (a) it will probably shame me into keeping going and (b) it may be interesting to see if a small, mainly vegetarian girl can get herself some guns!
Day 1 is called Chest and Back. Followed by something called Ab Ripper X.
Chest and back is basically 50-odd minutes of different types of push ups, pull ups and dumbbell lifting. My dumbbells are 3 kilos each, which, I discover, is much too light for the purposes of this DVD, but I’m sticking with them for now and just doing extra reps.
The guy who will, to all intents and purposes, be your personal trainer throughout these DVDs, Tony, is actually not too irritating. He has very large muscles and is terribly enthusiastic about everything.
I discover that I am incapable of doing a single pull up, but that's okay, because Tony says I'm allowed to put one foot on a chair until I'm strong enough to do them properly, hurrah!
During the workouts, Tony suggests you write down the amount of reps you do on each thingy, so you can aim to do a little more next time. This is fine at the beginning of the 50-odd minutes and my notes are rather neat, but by the end of the DVD I can no longer move my arms properly and it therefore turns into illegible scrawl.
This is hard.
The Ab Ripper X (grrrrrrrrrr) is my idea of hell. There is a lot of balancing on your butt cheeks with your legs and arms raised. This generally makes me fall over. A lot. I am completely hopeless at this DVD. The boy made encouraging noises about it just needing practice, but I have absolutely no sense of balance and am therefore unsure about this.
I wake up. My arms hurt. A lot. And my ribs feel like someone has punched me very hard. But today is plyometrics, yay! This is something I’ve been meaning to have a go at for ages, as it’s apparently really helpful for roller derby. It involves a lot of jumping designed to produce fast, powerful movements.
This is another 50-odd minute DVD. And it’s brilliant fun! I jump, I leap, I pretend to be a frog and I love it. I rather suspect the people who live in the flat under me love it a lot less. You are supposed to land super-quietly on the balls of your feet, but I own no trainers and am prone to generally being a bit stompy. Especially for one so small.
Anyway, the DVD finishes and I am unable to feel my legs. Sadly, the numbness does not continue and my legs start to gradually ache more and more.
Walking is difficult. And painful. I like plyometrics a lot less today. Especially when I have to walk down stairs. Stairs really really hurt.
I am supposed to skating at rec league this evening, so I cycle to work with all of my skate gear. It is somewhat of a struggle.
I lurch down the corridors of my office like a small, grumpy zombie and am for once grateful of my firm’s policy of keeping us chained to our desks.
I’m afraid that Day 3 is going to be a big, fat fail. I have developed a vile headache half way through the day and think the likelihood of me cycling to Bermondsey, playing roller derby for two hours, then cycling all the way home again is exactly nil.
Sorry Tony, but today I am definitely not ‘bringing it’.
November/December performance dates
5 months ago