Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When Hitting The Pause Button During Your P90X Workouts Makes Sense And When It Doesn't

P90X is a high intensity, high demand program. From the meal plan to the time commitment to the hard core workouts. Your trainer, Tony Horton, will often give you ways to modify the exercises. He will also many times during workouts suggest that you hit pause if you need a break. Should you push pause or push through?

Sometimes hitting pause is the right move. I'm all for being dedicated to workouts. I firmly believe that you need to do your best to set aside workout time that is clear of all distractions and interruptions. However, life happens and some things can't be planned for and can't wait. Other times you push yourself too hard, don't eat at the right time to either fuel your workout or avoid it making you sick. Though you do your best to avoid it, you may become injured during a workout. Pause the workout if: you are feeling dizzy or nauseous; if you have chest pains or feel like you might faint; you are feeling sharp pain anywhere; there's some emergency or some issue that has to be dealt with immediately.

Barring injury, sickness or emergency, I would suggest that you try not hitting the pause button during your P90X workouts. In general pushing straight through the workout is a way of building endurance and stamina. Keeping up with the pace of the workout helps you to push yourself harder than you might otherwise do. It helps you to really dig deep and bring it.

No matter your fitness level I recommend that you do not hit pause during the cardio workouts. The only thing that pausing your cardio workout does is make it longer. Cardio is all about getting your heart rate up to a certain range and keeping it there. That's how you burn calories. That's how you burn fat. If you can 't do everything they're doing on your TV screen, that's OK. March in place, jog around the room, do jump rope, do anything to keep you moving at whatever level you can. Let your heart rate get down a little if it's gone too high. When you feel ready, jump back into the workout. Before you know it you will be doing more and more of the workout right along with Tony and the gang.

You should also consider avoiding the pause button during the P90X strength training workouts. Keeping pace with the workout will help you burn more calories. You'll also get a little cardio conditioning, especially during Legs and Back. Since the exercises move often between muscle groups, you do get some rest in one area while you work another. So, keeping the DVD playing helps you to build your overall fitness. Since you're not doing cardio and the issue of keeping your heart rate up isn't there you can get away with hitting pause. However, it's too easy to let those breaks go longer than they should. You're even more likely to quit in the middle of a workout.

If you push through you'll finish the workout, you won't add extra time, and you'll feel great at the end. Just like with cardio, if you are too tired to do something in the strength training program, just keep moving until you're ready to join back in. The way the workouts are designed, you hit every muscle for that session pretty early on. So, if you miss an exercise or two when you're building up your fitness level you still won't miss working any muscles. They just get worked a little less than they will in future workouts when you're more fit.

With regard to Yoga, I would look at it the similarly to the strength training workouts when it comes to pausing the workout. Even though it has some distinct elements I do think of it as a strength building workout that also improves balance and flexibility. Besides, at an hour and a half why do something to make it longer!

I have one exception to the no pause rule. Between each strength training workout and Ab Ripper X I hit pause and give myself 5 - 15 minutes rest. After pushing myself hard in the main workout, I do not have the energy to jump right into Ab Ripper X and do it justice. Allowing myself that rest lets me get my strength back to train my abs as hard as I want. Since it really is a separate workout I think it's reasonable to give yourself a rest in between just as you would if you were going to do any other two workouts back to back.

Refrain from hitting pause during your P90X workouts and you'll see your fitness improve, you'll push harder which will get you better results and you'll save a little time.

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