Everybody wants to get fit at some time in their lives. Whether it’s an abiding passion from their teenage years or a sudden resolution upon turning fifty, people everywhere are susceptible to sudden violent desires to get fit. Some go to the gym, others take up running, while some decide to start an at-home workout such as Power 90 or P90X. If so, the question rapidly becomes: which is the right workout for you? Should you start slow and pace yourself, or go extreme straight away?
The allure of an extreme workout cannot be denied. The promise of a radical change in your appearance within a couple of months, the challenge of testing yourself against something formidable, the vain desire for immediate gratification now instead of six months from now. That is why so many people take the plunge with P90X, Tony Horton’s 90 day workout of infamous reputation.
Others decide that fitness is not a sprint but a long term marathon, an endeavor that requires months upon months of dedication, and should be seen as a life time commitment. As such, they don’t throw themselves headfirst into the first and most radical workout they can find, but rather assess their fitness level honestly and pace themselves, taking their time to become fit as their body becomes conditioned.
The reason to not go extreme is simple. If your body is not accustomed to fitness and exercise than your joints, ligaments and muscles will not be conditioned and prepared for that level of abuse. Most people think that extreme workouts are simply a question of determination, but in truth there is a huge amount of conditioning necessary to not only do an extreme workout once, but six days a week for 3 months.
The second requirement and potential reason to not go extreme is because a workout such as P90X requires the kind of physical discipline that most people simply don’t have as novice trainees. It’s easy to be fired up for a week, or even three; but usually people quit before one month is out because extreme workouts are just plain hard, and after the novelty has worn off, they can be incredibly taxing to keep doing.
So assess yourself carefully—is your body conditioned, your joints and ligaments sufficiently toughened to sustain three months of abuse? Do you have the kind of mental discipline to hang tough for not only the first two weeks, but every week for three months? If so, then an extreme workout might be for you. If not, then you should pace yourself with a workout such as Power 90 so as to increase your chances of success.