How I Miserably Failed P90X
Well before Jimmy and Riley were born, I resolved to stay in shape throughout their infancy. This is something that’s important to a lot of new dads (and moms too). Well, two months after the twins were born, I did what lots of people seem to be doing the moment they spot some flabbiness: P90X.
Before I get into details, let me just make a few general comments about P90X. First off, the whole premise is that you do ridiculously hard and uncomfortable moves for about an hour or an hour and a half… 90 days in a row. On top of that, you’re supposed to eat things like soy sausage muffins and asparagus soup and grilled ahi tuna salad. No joke.
Secondly, the dudes on P90X are ripped, but not necessarily jacked. I think this is why I keep convincing myself that I can do the program. A lot of workout programs are led by dudes who have been roiding since high school. Me? I’m a stick who played a lot of chess as a kid. So the last thing I’m gonna do is listen to some crazy, oiled-up body builder tell me how to add 70 pounds of muscle. In contrast, the guys on p90x look like they might work at Goldman Sachs during the day and just happen to be workout freaks on the side. They’re the kind of guys I can look at and think: “hey, maybe I can look like that too…”
Of course, the reality is that I can’t.
If I was a workout freak of any kind, it wouldn’t have taken me almost 25 minutes longer than Oprah Winfrey to finish the Marine Corps Marathon. And if I was a workout freak of any kind, I wouldn’t classify 18 holes of golf as my exercise for the weekend. You get the idea.
Well, my plan to “do P90X” was dead on arrival because it’s by far the most unrealistic workout ever. In fact, I’ve now failed it twice. The first time was because “law school was really ramping up and I really needed to stay focused and blah, blah, blah” Translation: I quit because it was miserable. I have no idea why I thought things would go any better when I tried it once again just two months after Jimmy and Riley were born.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how I failed the program:
Before I even broke a sweat, I decided not to follow that ridiculous diet. Zero chance I’m eating pears and granola for breakfast. Besides, there’s nothing more American than a donut and coffee in the morning. I’ll just do the workouts…
Day One was a “Chest and Back” workout, along with a separate workout for abs. They had me doing lots of pushups (which I can do) and pull ups (which I can’t do).
Day Two was a ridiculously hard workout called “Plyometrics” where you’re pretty much just supposed to jump all over the place for an hour. It totally sucks.
Note: at this point in time, the kids are sleeping just a few hours at night. I’m seriously wondering if this is even a worthy cause. Basically, I’m laying a foundation for many excuses to come…
Day Three: I decided that the stretching part of the workout was taking too long. And other exercises that I thought were stupid were taking up too much of my time as well. It was questionable, but I think I can say I “finished” the workout. Either way, I decided it was time to show off what I had accomplished over those past three days: hello sleeveless shirt!
If you now have a visual of me in a sleeveless shirt, I apologize. Moving on…
Day Four was yoga – “definitely not doing yoga.” FOR GOODNESS SAKE THE WORKOUT IS AN HOUR AND A HALF LONG!!! And I’m really tired. And I just don’t want to do it. And it sounds hard and boring. And I hate stretching.
Note: Aaannnnnnnnnd were totally falling off the tracks.
Day Five was legs and abs. Unfortunately, it fell on a Friday and I just didn’t have the time for all of it. I did the ab workout with Jackie (which always makes things a little more…interesting). I rationalized not doing the leg workout by telling myself that leg strength isn’t really something that dudes in their twenties should be worried about anyway.
So thus far, I’ve told myself that the following things are pointless: the diet, the stretching, some of the more awkward maneuvers, the entire yoga workout, and the entire leg workout. And I’m about to add another…
Day Six was karate. The problem was that I spent much of the night before up with the kids so that Jackie could get a few hours of sleep (a luxury for her). And then I played golf the next morning. And now I’m supposed to do an hour of karate? Uhh, no. So I improvise, telling myself that a 30 minute jog is basically the same as 55 minutes of intense karate. Much better.
Day Seven was a day of rest with the option of doing an hour of stretching. Shockingly, I opted for the day of rest.
The next week got worse. Slowly but surely, I was doing less and less of the workouts. At some point I had to admit that even if I continued what I was doing for another 70-80 days, I wouldn’t look like the dudes on the infomercials who had religiously followed the program. So I stopped entirely. So much for my transformational story about going from slob to stud…
As a new dad, I can blame a lot of things on Jimmy and Riley. For instance, I recently used the word “tummy” in a serious conversation. I say “cute” way more than is acceptable for a man. And I spent a recent Friday night watching the Lion King – for which I definitely blame the kids. But for failing P90X? I can pretty much only blame myself. The kids merely accelerated my inevitable downfall.
P90X isn’t just the most impractical workout for people with newborns; it’s the most impractical workout ever. So if you’re thinking about doing it and you have newborn twins, then you should prepare for a miserable failure.
And if you don’t have newborn twins? Well, you should still prepare for a miserable failure…