Week 5 contained a collection of workouts that were a good deal more intense than any of the previous ones. Starting with Eccentric Upper where each move focused on eccentric or lengthening of muscles for three seconds followed by one second of concentric motion (muscle shortening). This philosophy is repeated with a variety of push-ups, pull-ups, and moves with weights to work the chest, back, biceps, and triceps. I was already pretty burnt out by the time the burnout session at the end started but I am looking forward to signs of improvement in the next three weeks.
The next day’s workout was Triometrics, which consisted of plyometric/cardio moves that were each broken down into three segments, totaling a minute. The first 20 seconds focused on the core move, while each subsequent 20 seconds added modifications to make it more difficult. The nice thing about this structure is that depending on your level of fitness and comfort, you can stay with any of the phases for the entire minute. It was a good workout to follow the upper body-centric nature of the previous day but the burnout segment (side hops) was relatively mild and could have been more intense.
Eccentric Lower was the next new workout for the week and followed the same overall structure of the upper routine by the same name. Three seconds of muscle lengthening followed by a quick one second of muscle shortening. In my opinion, this was easier just for the simple fact that no pull-ups were involved. A variety of squats, lunges, kicks, and other lower body moves made the workout go by fast with very little repetition. I didn’t think “calf dog” worked the named muscles enough and will try replacing it with calf raises with weights the next time.
Incinerator is another total upper body workout and has become my favorite routine so far. The premise behind this DVD is to work the same area with two moves in a row to achieve failure. Whether it was chest, back, biceps or triceps, all those muscle groups were definitely hypertrophied by the end of the 30 minutes. With only one dedicated upper workout in the first block of P90X3 (The Challenge), I am glad the second block has two. I prefer less cardio and more strength training so this week’s exercises were just what I wanted.
The last new workout included in week 5 was MMX, basically Kenpo X from P90X but intensified with less breaks. I liked the fast and more complex nature of the martial arts moves in this video and felt I got more out of it in half the time (30 minutes versus an hour). A big criticism of the Kenpo workout from X1 was that it is too easy and I think Tony took that to heart as MMX pushes you right from the beginning with more kicks and combinations. Gone are the blocking moves and instead, your whole body gets into it with sprawls thrown into the mix.
I really enjoyed this first week of block 2 and look forward to spending the next three weeks with this set of exercises. The increased focus on the upper body has got me excited, even if they are pretty tough so far. I hope to see some good gains going into the last block of P90X3.