Thursday, June 02, 2011
“I just want to look good on the beach”
Your training program should have a definitive target you want to achieve with it. Prior to working for Beachbody my world was mainly filled with people who wanted to be better at sports. Then it transitioned to overweight folks who wanted to drop weight for a myriad of class-reunion-type motivators. Since 90X hit a few years back it’s been coming full circle, but not totally. The Beachbody community is filled with athletes but most, it seems, are still more motivated by aesthetics than performance. The most obvious anecdote I have to cite is a college baseball player I was working with. As I tweaked his training towards pure performance he finally came clean and said, “I do P90X because I just want to look good on the beach. I only want to make sure it doesn’t hurt my sport so that I don’t lose my scholarship.” Target defined.
As a lead in to seeing how I create my programs you should know that I don’t care how I look on the beach. My personal programs are created for performance. I often experiment with other styles of training, for work mainly, but I’m always looking at everything in relation to how it will improve biomechanics. Aesthetics is simply a by-product of performance.
On that note here’s another anecdote. I write up scientific evaluations on all of our workout programs. We need these in foreign television markets who aren’t as liberal as the United States when it comes to what you can advertise on TV. Marketing slogans, such as muscle confusion, won’t fly unless they can be scientifically defined and, of course, all of our programs are based on training principles so this is easy—they just don’t always make sexy copy. So, anyway, the scientific advisor board (or whatever it’s called) in the UK, upon reading my definition of how P90X was a targeted performance and that body composition changes came as a natural extension, came back and asked us why we didn’t advertise it that way because they thought it sounded impressive. Apparently, looking good on the beach doesn’t have the same clout on the sceptered isle as it does here. Luckily (by design) P90X can be used for both.
The point of today’s post is a warning that the training program you’re going to read about over the next few months is leaving the beach aspect out. It’s how to use Beachbody’s program for increased performance for my sports (cycling, running, climbing). Only.
“Twelve inch arms don’t drop nobody,” is something that my bodybuilder friends used to like to say. The fact is, however, that in strength to weight ration sports small arms are exactly how you drop people. With the plan I’m laying out I’ll get fitter, and look ok to some, but I won’t be targeting my six pack or the gun show. So if you’ve got a reunion coming up and were planning on wearing a tank top you’ll probably want to amend this program, which can be as simple as my final anecdote of the day.
We’re shooting an X2 vid and, in this program, we do most movements out of unstable or athletic position to induce more muscles to fire. During one set of a biceps movement Tony drops into a stable platform and picks up more weight. “Sometimes,” he says. “Maybe all you care about are your guns.”