… the jungle of different fitness programs may sometimes look overwhelming. How to choose the best exercise for getting the tight beach muscles? Or how to get into the best shape ever?
First of all, how do you define “being in shape”? Is it having a tight six-pack and beach body? Or being able to run a marathon? Or doing 100 push ups? Being in shape is subjective for us — we all consider it in various different ways. However, being physically active and within normal weight have clear health benefits, not only physically but also mentally. So no wonder that workout programs come and go, and some are here to stay.
Over a past few years when I have been doing personal training, I have observed the increased interest in physical well-being. Clients are more and more willing to put
some more time, effort, sweat and tears into their training as well as want try new workouts. The latest workout “hits” seem to be P90X and CrossFit – rough workouts that make you want to puke at the end but the reward is the improved fitness level.
P90X is a 90-day home workout program that is delivered on DVD’s. This type of workouts are great for people who may not have access to the gym facilities, or want to work out in privacy. Surprisingly many people are concerned about working out in public – whether it is worry about the looks, or feeling intimidated by all the machines, dumbbells and general gym “culture”. Workout-wise P90X is a mix of strength training, cardio, yoga and kicking&punching, which definitely makes you break the sweat. The home workout programs do require a certain amount of self-discipline, although the 90-day plan helps to stay on track. At least there is a certain timeline when the program is done. However, my concerns on the commitment level is related to consistency. What happens after 90 days? Are people going to drop it all, let the DVDs dust on the shelf, and return to couch potatoes? For the long-term results, it is essential to maintain the regular exercise routine, also beyond the first 90 days.
If you are interested in nearly real-time personal experience about P90X, check out weblog Jessica Lynn Writes . Jessica started her P90X adventure four weeks ago, and reports the progress in her blog.
While P90X is aiming more to muscle growth, CrossFit is more generalized and broader fitness program. CrossFit combines strength and endurance that can be used to improve performance in any kind of sport. Workouts vary from 5k runs to deadlifts, burpees, rowing, various kettlebell exercises, sprints …. just to mention a few. Hence crossfitters are typically involved in other sports too — I personally love cycling and triathlons, and CrossFit has become an essential part of my training plan.
CrossFit consists of WODs (Workout Of the Day); daily changing workouts that make it interesting and exciting, giving new challenge every time. While Crossfit is not a DVD program like some home fitness programs, it can be done at home or (CrossFit) gym. Well, practically anywhere . I have done push up, sit up & sprint workouts in the public park. Yes, it looks weird when a girl runs 200 meters, gets down for 50 push ups, runs, does 100 sit ups and runs again …. but who cares?! I love to be in good shape. CrossFit gyms – or boxes as we call them – provide classes and group workouts that are likely to increase the motivation to stick with the program. I personally highly recommend a group workout, or at least a couple of beginner’s class in order to figure out the correct form of exercises if you are not familiar with various types of (strength) training. The professional, well-trained CrossFit instructors push clients to exceed their goals and compete against themselves for improved fitness level; although CrossFit provides also the competitive element in the form of official CrossFit games.
Making the way through the fitness jungle is not an easy task but being fit is definitely worth it. And remember that the best fitness results are always a result from combination of healthy eating and motivating workouts – whether it is CrossFit for one, running for another, yoga for someone else…
Stay tuned for the next blog posting about Personal Training and its Pros&Cons.