P90X – Motivation

The road ahead
Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: qmnonic (Matt MacGillivary)

Motivation: Why start? When you’ve started, and how to keep going

It probably seems a little backwards to talk about motivation after blogging about P90X FAQs and nutrition. If you ask me, it doesn’t make sense to get people all fired up about the program if they’re not properly informed of what they will be getting themselves into in order to get to Day 90 and beyond. Because if your expectations aren’t set up or tempered properly, you’re just going to set yourself up for failure right out of the gate.

Why start?

Everyone’s got different reasons for wanting to start P90X. I’m not going to get into that because your reasons are your own—regardless…the benefits of working out and eating better on a regular basis are obvious. The fact that you want to start on P90X is great. You might have even gone as far as taking the Fit Test and you passed with flying colors. The motivation and momentum is building and you’re raring to start. But…you also need to set realistic expectations and plan for when your schedule goes awry.

Before You Start – Reality Check Checklist

These were the questions I asked myself before deciding to go through with P90X. And really, these are questions you could ask yourself before embarking on any fitness and/or nutrition regimen change:

  1. Will I have enough time every day or as close to 5-6 days a week to work out and/or prepare the meals?
  2. Am I willing to adjust my daily routine to accommodate working out and/or prepare meals?
  3. Is my workout time going to be uninterrupted time for just me?
  4. Do I have all the necessary workout equipment?
  5. If I am facing interruptions to the schedule (i.e. vacation, holidays, business trips—things that that are non-emergency events), what am I planning to do during this time for workouts and meals?
  6. If I find myself at a party or get together, what am I going to do during this time for meals and drinks?
  7. If I find myself sidelined due to injury, what am I planning to do while I am getting better?

If you’ve answered yes to the majority of the first 4 questions you’re off to a great start and increases the likelihood you will stick with the program.

As for the last 3 questions, be really honest with yourself. If you find yourself struggling to answer these questions, that’s a good thing, because these are probably the most common reasons why people get off track and find it really difficult to get back into it afterwards. Decide what you will plan to do (realistically and reasonably) if you end up in these situations.

Now pat yourself on the back because you’ve just proactively worked out a contingency plan. You’re now way ahead of the curve over just about everyone else. And if for some reason you do find yourself in the above situations, you now know what to do to handle it as best you can and get back on track.

When you’ve started

Here are some pointers when starting out:

  • Read through the fitness guide, especially the section on lessening your chance of injury. Common sense stuff summarized.
  • If you haven’t done much working out prior to starting P90X, don’t try and kill yourself (and your motivation) trying to keep up with Tony and the others. As he repeats several times across several workouts, you will get better over time. Do your best and forget the rest.
  • If you are undergoing Phase 1 of the nutrition plan you might feel like you have less energy. You’re supposed to feel this way as you are taking in more protein than carbs.
  • Make sure you are drinking your recovery drink and have taken in enough protein to reduce the time you spend with sore muscles.
  • Unless you’ve done a lot of various workout regimens, you probably have not tried out a lot of the workout types that P90X offers. Don’t skip the workouts you hate that you’re not good at. In fact, you should really be expending more effort on those workouts you have no background in because it will help you physically, overall, in the long run.
  • I’ve done lots of weight training and cardio, but had done almost next to nothing for yoga and core. Guess which workouts I had a lot of problems trying to get used to at the start?I couldn’t do Dreya rolls for the first 5 weeks in the Core Synergistics workout. Then the breakthrough came in Week 6 and I’ve been able to nail those ever since. You can still make progress no matter how late in the program you are. Case in point, it took me 12 weeks to finally do a right angle pose grab on my left side that is part of the Yoga X workout. But I finally did it!
  • Take your Day 1, 30, 60 and 90 day photos. That helps you track visually how far you have come along. You’ll be surprised how much change can occur!

How to keep going

There are a ton of different ways to motivate yourself to keep going. Supportive friends, family, the teambeachbody.com site and Beachbody coaches are great sources of motivation and encouragement. Remember, you are not the only one going through this; there are tons of folks out there going through the exact experience as you are. Any questions or concerns you may have about sticking to the program I am sure have already been asked online. Google around and find out how those folks kept going and see what works for you.

Me, I use social media, twitter in particular (and Facebook to a lesser extent), to log my workouts. It forces me to publically hold myself accountable and stick to the schedule.

And, I also remember a tweet Tony Horton said recently that struck a chord with me:

Write down how you feel when you blow off your workout. Write down how you feel the moment your workout is over. Compare the two.

I think of that quote every time I feel like I want to sleep in or not work out. And then I drag myself out of bed, change into my workout clothes, make breakfast and work out. And after working out, I feel great and ready to take on the day.

I hope this post helped set the right kind of expectations about starting and staying motivated and didn’t scare anyone out of trying P90X. 🙂 If you do decide to go through with it and stick to it, you will see results.

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