How “in shape” do I really need to be?

Yesterday, Day 21 of The Asylum, was “Back to Core” again. Nothing exciting to report there, except that my lower right back pain is a bit more noticeable than usual today. This is a dull pain that is kinda like a bruise, in that it only hurts when I move a certain way, and it’s more annoying than actually painful. That pain has been there for about 18 months now — I first noticed it about 4 weeks into P90X — so I don’t worry too much about it, hoping someday it’ll just disappear.

Today, on Day 22, I have come to only the second (and last) “Rest” day of The Asylum. This day of rest has me thinking seriously about my relationship with this type of training program. Why do I do it? Will I continue with future volumes of The Asylum? (I assume there will be future volumes, because this one is called “Volume 1”.)

Shaun T's AsylumIt was pretty obvious to me from the first few days of The Asylum that this program is made for people who want to be in top shape. Of course, I would have thought the same thing about Insanity — in fact, I did think it, when Month 2 of that program started — but that program was primarily aerobics with a little bit of strength training. The Asylum, on the other hand, is more about sports skill development, and really — once you are already in Insanity shape — pushing the envelope of what your body can endure.

In all honesty, now that I think about it, this program would not be so difficult if there were more rest days. Pushing, pushing, pushing, every day, resting every three or four or five days — that’s rough for a desk jockey. Even an in-shape desk jockey. But, then, I think that is part of the point of The Asylum.

Whatever. That may be what professional athletes need to do. Keep pushing, even in the face of extreme fatigue. It is not, however, what I need to do.

The other side of the coin is that I had entered The Asylum, hoping that it would help melt away those last 10 pounds of gut fat. That is not happening. I am beginning to wonder if anything short of starvation would make that stuff go away. I’m eating right, exercising like a demon, but still it persists.

Having said all that … hell, yeah, I will continue with future volumes of The Asylum!

I just get too much of a sense of accomplishment from going through these programs. When I completed  P90X, I really felt as if I had done something meaningful for myself. Same with completing  Insanity.

When I complete The Asylum, I don’t think it will be the same feeling. It will be more of a sense of having survived something that few can endure, and being better for it. I mean, I’m in the best shape of my life, so I’m going to keep pushing my body to the limit.

When I complete this program, and after a well-deserved week off — actually, it’ll be about a week and a half of yoga and light aerobics — I’ll get into a hybrid of some sort, and start gearing myself up for P90X2, which should arrive in December. I already have a bit of an idea what P90X2 is about, because I subscribed to the One-On-One Volume 3 series, where Tony Horton tested out the routines that would become P90X2, so I’m pretty stoked to get around to using exercise balls, getting more balancing and core work in, and developing strength and more all-around fitness with Tony.

Yeah. This is all good.

I guess the answer to how “in shape” I need to be, is simply as good a shape as I am willing to push my body through. Not done yet!