May 2, 2013 posted by

7 Lessons For Maintaining Fitness

7 Lessons For Maintaining Fitness

I’ve been getting a lot of mail on an article about maintaining results that I wrote for the Beachbody Newsletter so I thought I’d give it a longer life by posting here. Timing’s good, too, since it fits the theme this week, recovering after a hard event. Here’s an excerpt from lesson one (click on the highlighted sentence for find it–for some reason WP won’t highlight the entire excerpt).

Before you worry about keeping your results, you should celebrate. You’ve earned it! Your fitness won’t fall apart overnight, and a break will give you physical and—more importantly—mental relief from worrying about training, diet, and results.

Don’t worry about losing fitness. A little time off will actually improve your fitness by allowing your body to heal microtrauma (natural breakdown of muscle and connective tissue) incurred during regimented training. If you’re in need of convincing, consider that professional athletes are forced by their trainers to take full-stop breaks at the end of each season.

When re-posting articles I like to add an FAQ. This time, however, I must have covered the theme because everyone’s just sayin’ thanks. Except Bobby here. Man, this guy’s always got a question.

I celebrated finishing P90X by binging so hard it would have made Charlie Sheen proud. After a month-long bender I can still see my abs, so chicks think I’m fit, but my buddy Rodman, who used to be an athlete, says it’s just ‘cause I did a kilo of blow and that I’d better not jump straight back into X or I’m going to be in a world of hurt. Which is it?

Bobby from Norco


When I guy can fly to Vegas and party between two NBA finals games and still grab 18 rebounds the next night you should listen to him. Start slow or you’ll thrash all of your fast-twitch muscle fibers on day 1 and won’t be able to walk for a week. Or two.

I’ll write up a schedule for coming back after a break and post it here next week. Until then, enjoy the party!


  • After this posted I got this question:

    For INSANITY, it might not matter as much which 3-4 workouts a week someone chooses to do to maintain their results. But for P90X, should someone do the cardio workouts or the resistance workouts? Is there an ideal mix?

    Which should be answered in the article with this sentence:

    With either schedule, you’ll want to make sure you’re not doing similar workouts too close to each other. Don’t do plyometrics or work similar body parts back to back.

    Admittedly a little vague, but I’m assuming you read the fitness guides that come with the programs. What I mean is that things like plyometric and heavy weight training shouldn’t be repeated without requisite time off. A general guideline is 48 hrs for like body parts and 72 for plyo work but it can go up from there. Only low-intensity workouts of a similar nature should be done daily.

  • hey steve, it took me a little time to find the link to the actual article… just a heads up maybe you might want to make it a little more obvious for us ‘older folk’ 🙂

  • Thanks, Mike,

    I’m trying to make it more obvious but Word Press won’t accept/use my coding. I’m sure there’s a work around. Going to have to consult someone more tech savvy.

  • ” 72 hrs for plyo work” ….are you counting all the main insanity workouts as plyo? 72 hours seems like a long time…..can you expand on rationale for that length of time? Thanks!

    • Plyo has become a more liberal term lately and I suppose we’re partly to blame for that. Technically it’s anytime you jump but, like many things in training, there are degrees. A real plyo workout has you maxing on things like depth jumps. Most of our “plyo” work is tamed make the workout more do-able and enhance the “cardio” and caloric burn element. Only the ones we call plyo are hard enough to fit that description (never scheduled less than 3 days apart), and even most of those are toned down from targeted plyo that an athlete would do. For example, a basketball player does plyometrics during every practice but only considers targeted workouts as plyo. Most of our cardio workouts that contain jumping are a lot more akin to basketball practice than training.

      This is similar to the rule of only using static stretching after a workout. Some static stretching pre-workout can helps your body warm-up. True static stretching is the kind you hold for long periods of time (30 seconds per hold or more), which you’ll never see during a warm-up.

    • Thanks for that description. I hadn’t thought of power & resistance & pure cardio as having less plyo/jumping than the plyo circuit workout. But if I broke it down, I’d probably see the differences.

      This leads to my next question. I’ve been shortchanging my recovery/rest during Month 1 of Insanity by playing basketball on cardio recovery days and moving cardio recovery to the rest day (ie. I’m not taking any complete rest days). First question: was I actually shortchanging myself using this schedule?

      For month 2, I’m going to get my rest in. I think there are 2 options with a few variations

      1. Use an 8 day schedule, squeezing in basketball. The schedule will probably get messy since bball is always on Wednesdays.
      2. Scrap the workout before max recovery and use that day for basketball.

      I’m curious if you have opinion on which schedule might be more effective. I’m leaning towards 1 so I didn’t miss any INS workouts. I wouldn’t consider bball a plyo workout – upper-low level pick-up games with 25-39 yr olds (I’m 35).

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