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Extreme Is The Name Of The Game: Are You Up For That Challenge?
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Extreme is the Name Of the Game: Are You Up for That Challenge?

From P90X to Insanity, Tapout XT and a substantial number of others, the word the developers and trainers want you to hear and to fully understand is "extreme". It is right on the front cover for P90X. It is on all of the marketing art for Tapout XT (the XT stands for "extreme training"). Most of the fans get it. These are extreme programs, not for the faint of heart, weak of knee or wishy-washy of will. If you don't have the dedication and the baseline fitness going into day one, you are not going to make it to the end of the first week, let alone the whole program. You will either give up or you will get injured. Either way, it is important to know that "extreme" is not just a word that is bandied about lightly here. And, you have to know how to tell if you are ready for what's in store for you or not.

Both P90X and Insanity have the perfect way for you to tell if extreme is right for you or not but for some it is just as ominous as the rest of the program. Both suggest (strongly) that you complete the fit test before diving into the scheduled calendar of work. In fact, Day One for both programs is the Fit Test. Be realistic with yourself. If you can't make it through the entire fit test, it might be a better idea to try a different workout program, building up strength and endurance before trying once again. If you do make it through but are not very impressed by your numbers, take heart- that fitness test is repeated throughout various stages of the programs. If you are following the exercise routine and doing your best to eat clean, those numbers should all be improving, some dramatically.

Even if the program that you are using does not have a real or listed fit test, it is still a good idea to have some idea of how fit you are. Since most follow the basic principles of fitness, you should be able to handle some running, do a full pushup and know basically how strong you are. Remember, an "extreme" program is called that because it is harder than most and is not one that should be attempted by just anyone. You wouldn't hop up off the couch one day and pop in Tapout XT or Insanity, for instance and be able to handle all of the moves.

Even fit people may find themselves sucking wind on some days or faltering on the challenging moves. Everyone has to start where they are and then improve- it is a fitness journey and sometimes you have to throw up, towel off, get a drink of water and get right back at it.

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