Extreme Fitness: P90x, R.I.P.P.E.D, and CrossFit

 

 

 

These days a power walk around the block a few days a week just doesn't cut it. Lately the fitness motto seems to be, "Go hard or go home." And with all of the hardcore training routines out there, from at-home DVDs such as P90x and Insanity to group classes like R.I.P.P.E.D. and CrossFit, it's easy to see why.  

 

Training hard works. Period. Challenging your body in an extreme way not only torches fat and builds muscle, it can transform even the worst couch potato into a true athlete.  

 

I like to keep things interesting, so I've tried a few of these intense workouts including P90x, R.I.P.P.E.D and, most recently, CrossFit. And after each session I mostly feel thrilled to have made it through without dying.  

 

I'm kidding.  

 

Kind of.  

 

If you're a gymaphob, P90x may be your kind of workout. You can sweat (and cry if you need to) in the privacy of your own home to a series of 12 DVDs -- one targeted to each major body part, plus cardio, plyometrics and even yoga, to name a few. All you need are hand weights, resistance bands, a safe way to do pull-ups and the motivation to push "play" every day. I must confess, I've only done P90x a handful of times in the 18 months I've had it, but only because I don't have enough room in our living room. I do, however, steal my favorite moves and do them in the weight room at the gym. What can I say? I'm a gym rat.  

 

If you prefer a group class, get ripped with R.I.P.P.E.D. This regimen has it all including Resistance, Intervals, Power, Plyometrics, Endurance, and even a Diet component. It's brand new to our area, and the class at the Columbus YMCA is the only one within 90-plus miles, according to rippedusa.com.  

 

Each five-to-10 minute segment is set to great music and led by the fabulous Michelle Linn, who is also a certified Zumba instructor. Don't let her pretty smile and petite little bod fool you; she will kick your butt! R.I.P.P.E.D. is an intense 50 minutes and due to its popularity, starting June 19 will be available on Tuesdays at 5 p.m., in addition to the regular Thursdays at 5 p.m.  

 

I have a friend who's been dying for me to try CrossFit. It took me a month to work up the nerve to join him, but last Saturday I finally caved. I'm so glad I did. Our instructions were to run a mile to the bridge and back, stopping every two minutes for 15 air squats, 10 jumping jacks, five burpees and 50 jump ropes. The point being, the faster you force yourself to run, the fewer times you have to stop to do squats, jumping jacks, burpees and jump ropes. Sheesh. 

 

Upon our return, after a sprint to the finish, we then had to complete 20 pushups, 30 kettle bell swings and 30 sit-ups. Even though my initiation was a so-called "easy" workout (Ha!), I was proud to have survived my first time, and with a Marine no less. I plan on going back soon for more torture. CrossFitness 24/7 is located in East Columbus at 208 Conway Drive. Bring water, a towel, and your big-girl panties. 

 

Whichever intense workout you choose to pursue, remember that in order for your body to perform you have to eat well. Put high-quality fuel in the tank, combined with an extreme fitness routine, and you'll pack a one-two punch that will not only change your body but also your life.  

 

Leah Sullivan of Columbus has been on a productive journey to a healthier lifestyle and shares some of her experiences with Dispatch readers. Follow {Nourish} on Facebook.

 

 

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