6th Law of Exercise: Sports
Take the attention off of weight, inches, and body fat percentages and put the focus on MOVING—from dancing, rock climbing, and mountain biking to table tennis. 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 2-1/2-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 upside down), and tons of wacky push-ups—we even throw in a backflip or two. We finish with a rendition of Ab Ripper X. Anyone who has attended one of the Santa Monica Fitness Camps has seen it firsthand. It's extreme, with a capital X. I love it, because it hurts me so good. This is NOT a routine I would do alone. I show up every Sunday morning to hang with the crew. As hard as the workout is, we're there for the camaraderie, laughter, and encouragement.
We look at Sundays as opportunities to incorporate sports into our weekly fitness routines. What started out as push-ups, pull-ups, and dips has turned into gymnastics for old guys (thanks to Chuck Gaylord). Doing sports is the main reason I stay fit. On the occasional 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 Plyometrics workout in P90X® came from? I also use the Plyo Legs routine in Power 90® Master Series to prepare for 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 (trust me, it's a sport), basketball, and mountain biking. These are sports I love that help me stay in shape. I encourage you to get involved in SOMETHING athletic—anything that would be fun and enjoyable for you. Try to care a little 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, or sign up for a race, anything that gives you a reason to focus on "can do" and not so much "look like." If you shift to an athletic mind-set, you won't obsess as much about calories, inches, and your weight. "Can-do" numbers like reps, range of motion, and resistance become more important. Athletes care about improving their games, 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. Sports will also give you the opportunity to connect better and share with a partner. Whether you're single or partnered with someone, it will give you a chance to meet like-minded folks. The people I know who have a regular sport pursuit are consistently fit over time, are rarely depressed or anxious, and meet tons of amazing people in the process.
For some of you, the excuse of time or money or the fear of looking uncoordinated in front of other people can keep you from trying something athletic. There were tens of thousands of Power 90 and P90X customers who had those same fears. They stepped through the door anyway and found a brand-new and exciting reason to stay fit and healthy.