Monday, April 28, 2008

The P90X Manifesto

Sara and I are both about to dive back into regular, dedicated workout programs. As it stands, we're both heading back into P90X, tweaked here and there for various reasons (but gearing back up so we can check out Plus!). Whenever I start something like this, 90 days of concerted effort, I try to establish a theme for the duration, something like a manifesto.

Manifestos abound: I recently read an interview with Michael Pollen, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and the more recent In Defense of Food. In the latter, he states his food manifesto: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

"Eat food" seems silly, but when you think about it, food has become hard to define. What he's saying is simple: eat stuff you know is food. Anything with more than three ingredients, he says, isn't food – and he's right. I've been one of those people who feels like they can't do with out the convenience of energy bars, gels, water additives and supplements. All that "manufactured" food serves a decent purpose, but come on – how did Steve Prefontaine fuel up and recover?

Not to go off on a food tangent, because I leave all that to my brilliant foodie blog partner Sara. But it did make me think about manifestos – simple guides for everyday life, based on knowledge, principles or sense. It's all about shifting back to what is true, what is real, and what works.

I burned out on p90x last year, and after a long period of inactivity it's tough to gear back up for another rotation. What will keep me pushing the physical envelope? Losing weight, while an admirable goal, never has and never will sustain this kind of effort. Why am I going extreme when all I really need to do is a few runs and maybe a spin class or two? Because it's concentrated, well-planned, and because I had already unconsciously created a P90X manifesto.

It's not a catch phrase; "Bring it" doesn't do it for me (although I like and appreciate the less-touted "Decide. Commit. Succeed"). But I think each of us has a manifesto for any planned workout program. Here's mine for this next 90 days:

Dedicate yourself. Crave the effort more than the results. Value all achievements.

Got one? Want to create one? We'd love to see them.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

And we're back!

I know I disappeared for a bit, but it was all for good reason (and not just me whimpering in a corner because of my stupid hamstring.)

First, I had two weeks of intensive work - getting two films finished in time for the film festival deadline (haven't heard if either made it in yet) and then a mere 24 hours after finishing the second one, I had to pack my bags and head to Italy for about a week and then to Tunisia for another week.

The good news is having done the Italy part for six years now, I knew what to expect. Long gone are the days of packing resistance bands and expecting to ever get any strength training done while I'm there. Now, I just focus on my running - and to great effect: I ran pretty much every day that I was there and on Sunday, I did two runs (a 6 then a 4-miler).

Tunisia, on the other hand, didn't work out quite as well. And by "quite as well", I mean at all. Now that I'm home, the past week of no working out has built up my enthusiasm (and a good bit of bottled up energy) to get right back into my workout routine... As soon as I kick this jet lag. Don't worry, I know the exercise will help the jet lag, I'm just going to start out lightly: today, I'll go for a 40 minute run.

The great news is that while I was gone, a little package arrived for us! The lovely folks at extremebeachbody sent us a review copy of P90X+ - the newest Tony Horton workout. I'm so excited, I just glanced through the dvds and the workout plan and hope to start my schedule this coming week! So stay tuned for some P90X+ excitement and new workout reviews. We'll also be giving away a P90X+ package sometime soon, so be sure to check back or subscribe to our feed.