Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Law # 6


Take the onus off of weight, inches and body fat percentages and put the focus on MOVING. From dancing, rock climbing, mountain biking to ping-pong. I love that ping-pong. Think in terms of “can do” instead of “look like”. Sports are fun and help develop balance and coordination--which in turn accelerates your results. Jump, kick, run, spin, throw, skate, shoot, hit, score, compete…PLAY!

Every Sunday I head down to the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica and meet a group of friends for a two and half hour fitness extravaganza. We do a crazy combination of pull-ups, handstands, swinging plyometric dips, 15 and 25 foot rope climbing (hands only and sometimes up-side-down) a myriad of wacky push-ups--we even throw in a back flip or two, and finish with a rendition of AB Ripper X. Anyone that has attended one of the Santa Monica Fitness Camps has seen the fun first hand. It’s extreme with a capital X. I love it, because it kicks my butt. This is NOT a routine I would do alone. The main reason why I show up is to hang with my buds. As hard as the workout is, I believe the reason why we’re all there is for the camaraderie, laughter and encouragement.

We look at Sundays as an opportunity to incorporate sport into our weekly fitness routines. What started out as push-ups, pull-ups and dips, has turned into (thanks to Chuck and Mitch Gaylord) gymnastics for old guys. Sport is the main reason I stay fit. Every other Wednesday night, I meet up with a group to go rock climbing. Every fall, I get together with ski buddies and come up with ways to get our legs ready for the hill. Where do you think the P90X Plyo workout came from? The Leg/Plyo workout in the new Power 90 Master Series was the routine I used to get ready for this year’s ski season.

To me, there is nothing better than the great outdoors. My sports involve cool crisp air, gorgeous views and climbing up or ripping down mountains. When I’m skiing or rock climbing, I’m one with my surroundings. I’m happy as a clam and at peace with the universe. I also try to mix in other sports like inline skating, ping-pong (it’s a sport…sort of) basketball and mountain biking. These are great ways to get into shape. I encourage you to get involved in SOMETHING athletic—anything that would be fun and enjoyable for you. You need to care less about weight loss and more about accomplishment. There are so many different kinds of sports to choose from. Set a goal, take a class, sign up for a race, anything that gives you a reason to focus on “can do” as apposed to “look like”. When you’ve shifted to an athletic mindset you don’t obsess about calories, inches, and weight. You focus more on “can do” numbers like reps, range of motion and amount of resistance. Athletes care about improving their game, not how they look in their climbing gear.

If you can find one thing/sport that you really enjoy, then your day-to-day workouts will be less of a chore and more of a means to an end. Sport will also give you the opportunity to better connect and share with a partner. And whether your single or partnered with someone, it will give you a chance to meet like-minded folk. The people I know who have a regular sports pursuit are consistently fit over time, are rarely depressed and anxious and meet tons of amazing people in the process. (See Fitness Camps) Sport also develops balance and coordination--giving you a more well rounded level of fitness.

For some of you the excuse of time or money, or fear of looking uncoordinated in front of other people will keep you from trying something athletic. There were tens of thousands of Power90 and P90X customers who had those same fears, but they stepped through the door anyway and found a brand new and exciting reason for staying fit and healthy. Remember when you were a kid and you just did stuff? Explore and be curious. Open the door to Sport and you will discover a new and greater level of excitement.


Mary Cecy said...

Hey Tony, Thanks for the advice.
Benny's Bday/Xmas present is a new bike. He wants to go biking in this cold weather. Must be a kid thing... I love biking and am willing to embrace the cold and go biking with him. Now to learn to layer on!!

Thanks for the encouragement.

G-mama and I are going to sign up for a walk together. We live so close. There are a few of us that live close enough. You just gave me a great idea. THANKS! Gonna see if they want to get get together weekly to work out. Now that is what I think will be a great New Year resolution. Getting together with like minded friends.


leannwoo said...

Wow Tony, I just posted in my blog that my biggest goal for 2006 is to find something I LOVE to do. I haven't found that particular thing yet, but I'll keep looking. (I'm very jealous of those who have a great love of some kind of sport!) My husband loves, loves, loves basketball and is in the gym around 6 days a week. I know that when I do find that something I love to do I will find that one missing piece of the puzzle that goes with the workouts and eating right.

Anonymous said...

Tony –

Thanks for the great essay. I think you’re spot-on.

I also maintain my motivation by choosing lifestyle sports like climbing, skiing, mountaineering, and cycling.

I don’t use P90X as an end; it is a means to help me fulfill my athletic goals. When I’m doing pull-ups, I envision a wicked-hard climb I want to flash; when I’m doing Plyo, I’m thinking backcountry skiing and skate-skiing and racing. I don’t “work out;” rather, I’m in “training.” The reframe makes all the difference in my level of motivation.

I also enjoy working out with “elders” who can kick my butt in the outdoors. Experiencing their strength re-energizes my commitment to lifelong fitness.

I ran trails with the late, great Galen Rowell in the Berkeley Hills. Though I was a very fit 37, he was a way fitter 57. I had to crank to keep Galen’s pace, especially up hills. I’d match his stride running up Tilden’s Vollmer Peak and nearly puke at the top, while Galen calmly sipped water. Several months before the accident that took his life, Galen accompanied several younger mountaineers (nearly half his age) to Tibet to track wild sheep. Due to the length of the outing, which was entirely self-supported, each of the team members pulled rickshaw-type sleds, loaded with upwards of 150 pounds, through a variety of demanding terrain. Galen was 62, and although the other team members were in their “prime,” no one could match his physical or mental endurance. Perhaps Galen was genetically gifted, but his commitment to life-long fitness contributed to his legendary strength. Galen’s example still inspires. I think of him often when I’m training for the mountains. His memory gives me strength.

I’m also inspired by the “masters age” xc skiers up here in Tahoe in their 50s and 60s, who regularly spank fit 20-somethings. Same thing in the cycling community, especially in San Diego and Boulder, where you had better think twice before dropping an “oldster.”

Fortunately there are many stories to inspire, and many lifestyle sports to choose from.

Tony – many thanks for your dedication to health and fitness. Six months ago you became my virtual trainer, and an important role model. P90X is truly an awesome tool. Thanks for doing the good work.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony and all

I purchased for my Christmas gift to myself a brand new bike! In 2005 I got back on a bike for the first time in 10 years. I forgot how much I loved it - I also bought an indoor trainer so I can ride during the winter months. I can't wait for warmer weather to come to Ohio.

I agree find a sport that you enjoy and go with it!

Joyce aka Sage

AlfaSunshine said...

Well I love to ski. My son loves to snowboard. We go alone, but we always end up meeting nice people along the way. Hopefully we will go a few times this season. We usually go to the same place, but this is the last year my son will be young enough to put in the ski school which has been the main reason we've gone there. Me and my sister play tennis. We played over Thanksgiving and it was great. She's always been a little stronger than me since she has a physical job. That has changed a bit since I have worked my way up to the x. I just bought a new pair of 8 lbs weights to go with my 3's and 5's. Considering that I started p90 with no weight at all 8 months ago, I am fairly proud of myself.

It was fun watching you and your friends workout at the beach this summer. I felt like a bit of a stalker, so I don't know if I would do it again, but it was fun just the same.

Merry Christmas!! I'll be back from skiing next Friday and come back and post how it felt!!

psyknife said...

I get my kicks from belly dance... and I'm totally looking into taking this circus arts class at the Actor's Gym in Evanston. I've always thought it would be rather sweet to learn trapeze :-)

Laura Roth said...

Tony... owe you many, many hugs!!!

Since I first started BeachBody's P90 program on March 2004...I have lost a total of 89 lbs & 35" ...and I am still going strong :-).

The 11 laws are my "bible". Once I got the mind-set off of "ohh..I GOTTA workout tonite *sigh" mentality TO "OHHH..I get to workout tonite *yeaahhhh" {notice attitude change here}.

Since meeting you at the San Antonio camp last year and you really working my abs good that wekend...I have been so pysched in my workouts that I can not wait to WOWY each night (yes I schedule my WOWY calendar a month at a time).

So I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart TONY!!

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