- Exercise & Fitness
3 Best Fitness Discoveries of All Time
As an Ironman triathlete I work out a lot! In case you don't know what an Ironman is....it is a race consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. With an Ironman, the pros typically finish in 8-9 hours and the max time to complete the race is 17 hours!
I typically workout 15-20 hours a week. I’m usually not impressed with fitness fads or trends and I’m not one to believe in all the hype or infomercials. There have been a few programs / techniques that I feel have made the most difference in my fitness. These are Chi Running (running basically using Tai Chi principles), Total Immersion Swimming, and P90X. Yes, I know P90X has a lot of hype about it, but it is the real deal.
Each of these fitness techniques is described in this article. If you agree or disagree or have any other note worthy fitness techniques / methods, please add a comment
Typically, not much thought is put into running form and, as a result, many athletes injure themselves over time. Chi Running teaches you how to run with proper form. Chi Running is basically running using some of the principles from Tai Chi. I discovered Chi Running a few years ago and have been practicing it ever since. I periodically reread the book or watch the DVD again on technique. I even took a clinic in DC with Danny Dreyer (founder of Chi Running). I think Chi Running is great. I even have a friend that used to swear he would never run (the “R” word, as he called it). Now he’s doing Ironman Triathlons and Ultramarathons (races over 26.2 miles) with me – all because of Chi Running! You can check out the Chi Running website HERE.
Total Immersion Swimming
When I first started doing triathlons I couldn’t swim from one end of the pool to the other without stopping. I knew I had to do something to learn how to swim better…this is when I discovered Total Immersion Swimming. I bought the book and read it that very evening. The book is very well written and it gets you very motivated about swimming and swim technique. I also took a Total Immersion Swim Camp. This was awesome. They went over dry land exercises, buoyancy control, hand usage, etc. One of the most valuable aspects of the clinic was the underwater filming. They filmed you with an underwater camera as you swam the length of the pool. This helped me immediately realize a lot of the things I was doing wrong. Now I can swim 2.4 miles in about 1 hour and 15 minutes…which is not that fast, but it’s certainly better than what I could do when I first started and it’s all because of Total Immersion! You can check out the Total Immersion website HERE.
You’ve probably seen the infomercial for this – who hasn’t, right? I had to work one night on an evening shift and I noticed the infomercial on the TV. This looked like the real deal to me, so I ordered it. I was not disappointed. I regularly do P90X workouts. I don’t do the entire program because it’s too hard to do all of the P90X program and train for Ironman (lots of swimming, biking, and running!). Often, in the winter, I’ll do the entire P90X program, but throughout the rest of the year, I do several of the key P90X workouts – Core Synergistics, Yoga X, X Stretch, and Ab Ripper X. These workouts, combined with my swimming, biking, and running, provide a complete workout program that strengthens my core and prepares me for endurance events. Also, P90X is not for people that aren’t already relatively fit…it is a very intense workout program and it isn’t designed for couch potatoes. If you are a couch potato, you can definitely do P90X, but be forewarned – it is going to be really hard! That’s what I like about it – it’s the real deal! Plus, what else is cool about P90X is it doesn’t require much equipment – just a pull up bar, some dumbbells, and a yoga mat!