BLOCK 2 = New Workouts! Eccentric Upper
May I just say that I’m super pumped to be starting the new block! 🙂 Part of me is slightly bummed that block 1 is done solely because I had finally figured out a lot of the moves just in time to get something completely different. But different can also mean exciting!
Tony describes “eccentric” as the part of a move in which the muscle lengthens. This whole workout focuses on the lengthening of the muscle through the “negative” part of the move, example being the down part of a push up. I had just commented to my sister last night (who BTW is doing P90X3 also right now with her husband) that I was going to miss The Challenge, but I can assure her and everyone else that Eccentric Upper picks up where The Challenge left off. To make these moves achieve an eccentric focus, the push ups take a 3 count down with a 1 count up while pull/chin ups also use a 3 count lowering and 1 count back up.
- Standard Push Ups – All of my push ups were done with power bars on my knees today, except the burn out. Tony suggests that you suck it up and do it on your feet with a smaller range of motion to engage more core. Next time I’ll try that.
- Standard Pull Ups – I did a strange version of assisted… I was really trying to wear out my arms today. (I was successful FYI.) Knowing that the bulk of the energy was to be spent on the lowering, I used the chair to get up and then lifted my legs on the way down so that I was lowering my full body weight.
- Military Press – Push weights above your head and close together then slowly lowering until triceps are parallel to the ground. I have enormous shoulders, so I used my lighter 5lb weights.
- Military Push Ups – I’m really focusing on making my elbows graze my sides as I do these.
- Chin Ups – See standard pull ups.
- Deep Swimmer’s Press – Starting in a half curl position with arms parallel to ground, quickly complete the curl up then twist arms up into a press. Slowly lower back down to half curl.
- Fly Push Ups – basically wide arm push ups
- V Pull Ups – Technically these are wide arm pull ups in which you pull your chin to one hand lower and then pull up to the other hand. I instead used the bands and did a basic wide arm pull up band pull. You quickly pull the bands down and then slowly allow them back up. I really felt this in my lats.
- Upright Hammer Pull – like an upright row with a bicep twist up at the top
- Staggered Push Ups – I was just happily pushing away and missed the fact that you were supposed to 5 then switch which hand was in front… Instead I did all 10 before I realized my mistake, requiring me to then do 10 on the other side. BONUS! 🙂
- Rocket Launcher Row – Standing in a wide lunge and leaning your weight over your front leg, these are like military rows as you pull the weight into your arm pit keeping the elbows close to your sides.
- Lateral/Anterior Raise – Holding the weights like hammers with thumbs up, extend your arms to shoulder height out to the sides, lower, then do the same in the front.
- Plyo Push Ups – No plyo for me. I don’t trust my wrists for this right now. Instead I did 15 regular push ups.
- Vaulter Pull Ups – just like those from The Challenge
- Pterodactyl Flys – In another wide lunge, body leaning forward, lift the weights to shoulder height out to the sides.
- Rocket Launcher Kickback – Wide lunge, body forward, tricep kickbacks… I did this with 8lbs… Should have done 5.
- Flip Flop Combo – Curl up, hammer down slowly.
- Tricep Skyfers – These are kind of like tricep dips… Actually, they are tricep dips, but you make a stomach-up table with hands on your power bars, 1 leg up in the air, and then dip down.
- Kneeling Preacher Curl – In a lunge with one knee on the floor, curl those biceps!
- Burn out – Burn out for this was a push up/pull up combo again. This time it was 1 military push up then 1 wide arm pull up, followed by 2 of each, then 3…
I love The Challenge, and I love this one as well. I have always been exceptionally conscious of my arms; my upper arms like to hoard body fat. By the time I was about 24 I was definitely noticing an increase in their circumference. I can hear my mother saying, “Oh my gosh! You never had fat arms!” And while it is true that I never had arms that waved in the wind or were the size of small tree trunks, shirts that fit my body were obviously tight on my upper arms.
The thing about arm and leg fat… well all fat in general… is that it has to come off of everywhere for it to come off the places you want. I started speed walking a 3 mile trek everyday, which allowed me to wear my cute little green polka dotted shirt with the tuxedo pleats(!), but it wasn’t until I started doing yoga that a little pose called Downward Dog changed my arms. And then a couple of years later, my dude introduced me to P90X Shoulders & Arms and then the muscles started to chisel out. 🙂
I ended with half of Ab Ripper X before I decided I was exhausted. 🙂