Scenario: Happily going through your workout routine. Loving every minute of it without a care in the world. Then BLAM – curveball from life and now you haven’t worked out in too long and can’t figure out what to do next.
Have you been there? I certainly have and I’m there again right now. My move is way more of a disruption then I predicted it would be, ugh. I have been busy until late in the evening every day, which means I’m not getting up early to workout. I am trying to bust my butt to get the new place unpacked so this week is the last week of this mess. I have mentioned this before – I don’t do well in life when I’m not exercising. It makes eating right a MUCH bigger struggle then it normally is for me. I am doing a lot of moving – cleaning, moving boxes, lifting things, unpacking, ect. I haven’t sat down much at all. But that kind of movement is different than an hour of Combat, know what I’m saying? Long story short – I’m at the point where it’s been a week since my last workout because I have only taken one day off work this whole time, so it’s been late hours packing and unpacking and moving.
Here is a handy checklist I have created for anyone else who is wondering when it is worth it to start a program over versus just picking up where you left off:
1. Has it been more than two weeks since your last official workout?
2. Was your break due to injury?
3. Have you been inactive during the break (meaning little to no physical activity outside of normal everyday tasks)?
4. Are you in month 1 of your program?
5. Do you feel that your fitness has decreased at all?
If you answered more yeses then nos….you have two options – start over (which if you are in the first few weeks of a program is easy to do without losing much) or repeat a lower intensity week (go back to month one, weeks 1 or 2 and repeat that. see how you feel and go forward from there). And if you answered yes to question 2, you should automatically start over. Why? Because you start to lose fitness within one to two weeks of stopping exercise. Yes, 7 days off of exercise will literally set you back in physical ability. So this means that if you have been inactive or doing mostly nothing you are actually getting a little weaker/slower then you were before. With the 60-90 day programs (all of them..not just Beachbody), the intensity tends to build gradually over the weeks. When you take time off and lose fitness, your body recognizes that change, but your brain doesn’t. Your brain is going to want to go balls to the wall and kick butt…but your body is not ready for that like it would have been with no break. So you may end up injuring yourself, which does no good to anybody.
Obviously this checklist is short and there are other things that come into play – your beginning fitness being the main one. If you are already someone who has lost a ton of weight and are in great shape – you may just need the one drop back week to get back into the swing of things before going back into the program. If your program is Combat or TurboFire or P90x, you can probably get away with just a few shorter workouts, because the intensity of the workouts is very similar. Something like INSANITY – I would start that month over at a minimum. If you are injury prone, definitely be careful. I have horrific knees, so if I were doing INSANITY right now, I would most likely start over so I can build up again. Combat I’m less concerned because the program is inherently low impact.
So what am I going to do? I am going to start over with Combat. By the time I get to a point where my living room is free and clear (and so it’s clear – I’m going from a whole basement to workout in to a living room of a 1 bedroom apartment…so that’s why it’s taking so long) it will most likely be this weekend – almost 2 weeks of not doing a workout. I am going to try to get to the apartment gym…but with work and moving stuff left…it’s unlikely. So I would like to do at least the first week of Combat over with the shorter workouts. Well I was only finishing up week 2 anyway…so if I’m going to do week 1 over, I might as well just do the whole thing. And I’m totally good with that. I like the fresh start idea a lot, it’s something that I thrive on.
Okay, so if you read my blog regularly or follow me on instagram (@healthyengineer) you know that I haven’t really been all that excited about my P90x journey so far. I LOVE the workouts…but I am not getting the results I should be getting 30 days in. Maybe I’m not lifting heavy enough. I don’t honestly know. I have really no clue since I have seen people shrink with this program. The only thing I do know is that me +P90x right now aren’t working out so fantastically.
For a while I was determined to push through it. I thought that since I made this commitment that I would be a failure if I quit the program. I thought that I wouldn’t be giving it the good old college try and it would be unfair to not give it the full 90 days. But then I started realizing that honestly – who gives a damn. Really. My goal here isn’t to best any program but to get in the best shape and health I can get in. And if a program isn’t giving me what I need, then I need to stop and re-assess.
I realized that it was this thinking – that I’m quitting or I’m failing – that has been something I have struggled with for YEARS with weight loss. I have the wrong mentality. It’s not quitting, it’s fixing or re-adjusting, or just doing something new because I want to do something new. This isn’t a 90 day mission to lose weight, it’s a rest of my life mission to be better for myself. So that means that if it’s broke I need to fix it. Because if I don’t fix it, this P90x feeling, then will I be able to give my all for the next 60 days? Did I miss an opportunity? Exactly.
So with all that said – it’s time for a change. I scoured the internet and found a basis for a new program – a INSANITY ChaLEAN Extreme TurboFire hybrid
. What? Yes. I have owned ChaLEAN Extreme for years and never actually done the program because I never had the weights for it. Then once I did I was just kind meh on the program. Recently I’ve seen some amazing results from my teammates that have been awesome and have me re-thinking it. What I didn’t realize was that those workouts are shorter – most under 45 minutes, which is also a plus because I would get to sleep in just a little more than I do now. I already adore INSANITY and TurboFire as you know, so I feel like this is an opportunity to add in the weights but still get the cardio I think I need right now. I never thought of combining these programs like this at all.
So the plan is to take this schedule and stick it on the wall and start this tomorrow. I’m going to do this like P90x – give it 30 days and see. I believe that I will know relatively quickly – I did with every program so far – if it’s going to be right for me or not. I’m excited for this but a little nervous since it’s got some hard hard cardio days. I will keep a log here of course and let you guys know how I like it!!
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Questions?? Hit me up at healthyengineer@gmail .com 🙂