This was Day 34 of P90X for me. Week 5—Day 6, which meant Kenpo X again!

I've done Kenpo X five times now (day 6, 13, 20, 24, and today), so you gotta figure I know the routine pretty well by now. I certainly feel like I know how to do the lifting videos at this point, and I'm a damn genius at Ab Ripper X. But Kenpo X is different. There are a lot of moving parts in Kenpo X. I realized during the jab, cross, hook, uppercut section that doing everything exactly wrong might feel the same as doing everything exactly right; especially to the self-taught.

I'm sure it's the same thing with Yoga X too, but I've taken yoga from an instructor for several years, so I think I know what the forms are supposed to look like. When Tony Horton (on the P90X DVD) tells me to go into Prayer Twist, I hear Brett (my yoga instructor) in my head telling me to do the following:

  1. Tone my abs,
  2. Keep my front knee above my ankle,
  3. Straighten and lift my back leg,
  4. Push the ball of my back foot towards the back of the room,
  5. Press my elbow into my thigh,
  6. Pivot my belly over my leg,
  7. Puff out my kidneys,
  8. Breathe into my back,
  9. Straighten and lift my back leg (again),
  10. Relax my face,
  11. Lift my front toes, and,
  12. Lower my hips.


Seriously, Brett (pictured to the left, on his day off) will say ALL OF THAT during one prayer twist. He's a real chatterbox. Tony barely says anything about what I should puff and where I should breathe. So what if I had a Kenpo X instructor watching me flail around today? He probably would have laughed until he threw up, and then made me throw a single punch again and again for an hour until I got it right.

Does it matter though? Would I burn more calories with the right form? That hardly seems logical. Usually doing it wrong = inefficient, and inefficient = more energy expended. I can't imagine a bunch of martial artists haning around trying to figure out how to throw a punch like a botard so they'll collapse in a sweaty heap. They probably prefer to throw a million punches without huffing and puffing.

One interesting thing about week 5—even the routines you've done before are harder. Week 4 was supposed to be a recovery week. It was mostly cardio, core, and stretching. Week 5 added two new routines on days 1 (chest, shoulders, and triceps), and 3 (biceps and back). Turns out that those new videos are really hard. It's part of the P90X "really hard" workout scheme. They give you a bunch of "hard" stuff to do for a month, and then (as soon as you feel like you've got a handle on that), they crank it up to "really hard." It's a very cunning plan, and well executed too. I've been just as sore for the past 4 days as I was for the first 7. But, like I said, the interesting thing is that even the routines you thought you knew become harder. The legs and back on day 5 was difficult on weeks 1, 2, and 3, but it's even worse when you've done a million pullups on day 3. Even the yoga kicked my ass this week.poison_03

There's a guy in the back of the Kenpo X who does the whole routine with a smirk. He's got the confidence of a 80's hair-band guitarist in the middle of a solo. Look in his eyes—he just wishes that a home intruder would break in during this video. He would tear that thief's head off and then "hook, uppercut" the bloody stump. The rest of us are also praying for a home intruder, an armed one, who will just shoot us before we have to do one more panting back kick.




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