So here it is, my full review of DDP yoga! I have reached the conclusion of the beginner’s schedule under Phase 1 and I am ready to share with the world my results and thoughts.
A little about me:
In order for you to gauge whether or not this is a suitable work out plan first you must know my background.
I’m a 27-year-old male around 5’8 weighing 76 kg and have no serious medical conditions apart from undiagnosed sciatica which I have been suffering from since late May this year (2016). I am a shift worker and attend work at a range of sometimes weird hours and also have quick turn arounds (so I’m tired a lot), this also means I have to stay healthy and immune, so exercise is vitally important!
I first found out about DDP yoga from watching a documentary film called the Resurrection of Jake the Snake Roberts. Long story short but it’s worth a look (via Netflix), a burned out beaten up former pro wrestler is pretty much circling the drain physically and mentally, he is somewhat saved by a yoga lifestyle program designed by another former wrestler known as Diamond Dallas Page. The film follows Jake on an emotional journey of total recovery and redemption, all achieved by this life style made by DDP. Its some really inspirational stuff and even better for a wrestling fan like me. And so after seeing this film I checked out DDP yoga.
My Sciatica problem:
Around this time and after spending a few years sitting badly and not using correct posture I had pretty much destroyed my lower back which led to a severe flare up of sciatica on my right side. I was working constantly at this point, something crazy like over a 100 hours in 9 days so there was no time for any exercise or rest which are as important as each other. Right now I would seriously consider ditching the midnight surfing in bed and read a book instead!
A shooting and somewhat debilitating pain would run all the way from mid butt all the way down to my foot. I’m talking weird twitches, pins and needles and even locking up of the calf muscle, at one point I could hardly hobble on said leg. Something had to be done and so I looked to DDP yoga.
Previous exercise and fitness/ diet
I have held a membership of a gym since I was 18 and on average would go at least a few times a week mostly but I’ve never been motivated to go any more than that. Mostly I would focus on cardio based exercise with some weight lifting but nothing drastically heavy. On average I would say that I’m in ok shape, I could run few laps of the local sports field no problem and still can.
In terms of diet I suffer from acid reflux which keeps me away from fizzy pop and a lot of dairy. I eat fruit every day along with some kind of vegetables and meat. More recently I have had less of an emphasis of junk food so I eat pretty healthily.
DDP Yoga Review
By the time August rolled around, my sciatica was getting no better or worse. At least by now I could spend my exercise time walking and I did a lot of it. The longer I would spend walking the better I would feel.
I received my DDP yoga pack for my birthday from my better half and it had been shipped all the way from the US (there was an extra charge for customs, so watch out for that if your UK based).
This pack included six DVDS, a poster of various yoga positions and a guide book appropriately titled DDP YOGA, Fitness + Nutrition + Motivation.
The book was not only an introduction to DDP’s story but also a helpful insight as to what could be achieved, it’s written in a motivational style and DDP talks exactly how he does in the video sessions. The basics are covered along with a brief guide to the workouts. Then comes the workout grid which acts as your workout calendar. I chose the beginner schedule considering I’ve never done yoga before and because of my sciatica situation.
The phase 1 guide notes talks about looking towards nutrition. You don’t have to be strict to begin with but just start to think about avoiding processed stuff and junk. The rest of the guide talks of the next 2 phases and a more in depth nutrition guide which also includes recipes for meals and juicing. I immediately followed some of the later phase stuff and still do, such as what foods you should and shouldn’t combine. Even the smallest of tricks make all the difference, like eating fruit at the beginning of the day only when your stomach needs the sugars.
The very back page of the book jacket is a display of the many DDP yoga success stories. Real people who have had real results, so this stuff is jammed with motivation and its exactly what you need before embarking on this journey.
So I’ve read up and now I’m ready, so far so good.
Individual Work Out reviews
Being a phase 1 beginner I was introduced to the yoga sessions via the first recommended workout, the diamond dozen (there is a level below this called beginner if you are seriously beaten up). This 45 minute tutorial is presented by Diamond Dallas Page and with the use of fitness ‘models’ and by that I mean real people who have had results. He instructs you how to do all the various moves. To begin with this was a challenge and already I was feeling my sciatic muscles being used and manipulated along with other places.
DDP insists on making the workouts your own and there is a modification for every move. Most sequences involve dynamic resistance which gives you results if you put in the effort. Of course every sequence is finished off with the now famous diamond cutter move which involves flexing and putting in as much as you want/can.
The next workout I tackled next would be Energy! A 25 minute burst of energy which for me was a challenge in the leg department. This would involve standing splits on one leg and even some planking. Already the multiple use of muscles was beginning to take shape. This workout started out as a big challenge but eventually I needed to look for more, although I still use Energy every week and combine it with another workout! (And that is essential for results, especially if you are quite fit, many of the programs can be combined to get up the minutes)
Fat Burner turns up the heat a little and is the 30 minute long bigger brother of energy. Here we explore more planking and use of the legs which is a worthy challenge to even someone who considers themselves fit. Dynamic resistance fits well into this work out leaving most parts of the body given a good test just as long as you put in the effort.
My first month would consist of me doing energy and fat burner multiple times a week and this really gets the ball rolling of learning the style DDP teaches. He’s loud and larger than life in his sessions and gets you sweating and shouting!
After the two-month mark I felt ready to start combining Energy and Fat Burner with the shorter workout Red Hot core. This focuses on the important core muscles and even moves into more complicated and flexible yoga moves.
As I got to the end of phase 1 I was also introduced to a longer workout called Below the belt. A leg focused session which includes more flexible stuff and even some impact style planks. The initial sessions hint at what is to come and that is longer sessions with big results, but you have to stay persistent. Results will only come with dedication and trying hard and PERSISTANCE.
The work outs are designed to test you and all of them at first I struggled with. The beauty of this program is that most of the time you are standing still. No travelling to the gym or exercising out on dangerous roads or in bad weather. All you need is a yoga mat and DDP insists you get a heart monitor just to keep track of things.
Having only really touched the surface in phase 1 there are an abundance of workouts that are to follow along with multiple combinations but they require the ground work of the initial ones first. Eventually the sessions will get up to an hour long which I am very much looking forward to as the results are already apparent in me. I’m only up to DVD 3 of six after 40+ sessions and 13 weeks!
Results and Conclusion
My sciatica and any pain caused by it, is 95% gone. Most of which is with thanks to DDP yoga but not only has this program helped that but has also got me in better shape. For the first time in years I look in the mirror and can see muscle definition in my abdomen and chest so it definitely works!!. I’m stronger and more active, there’s now a spring in my once painful step.
Along the way, I have learned that sciatica also requires rest to heal and so I have combined my efforts to yoga and rest. These days I’m either in bed, doing yoga, writing or at work.
In conclusion his workout plan does work. But the rules are simple.
- Do it 3 to 4 times a week (but what if I haven’t got time? Make time its better than the gym!)
- Be consistent
- Measure your goals (Simply tallying up the amount of workouts is a motivation in its own right)
- Put in the effort (the more you put in the more you get out)
- Eat right 80% of the time (Swap that cup of coffee for juice once a day and build from there)
- HULK IT UP! (As DDP would say)
Everybody differs and people who are quite fit will need to look for challenges in more depth but there are so many different work outs to combine the possibilities are quite endless. I am only at the tip of the ice berg right now and so much better for it. People of all physical abilities can try this program and get results.
Diamond Dallas Page is forever telling you to make the workout your own and that’s what you got to do.
For a peace of mind, body and soul try DDP yoga and stick at it to see eventual results. Once a week isn’t enough! This workout is well worth the money!
Have you tried DDP yoga? Did you get results, let me know in the comments and for future free book content sign my mailing list today!!!!
Now you’ve read my most successful blog post check out my first book Open Evening! A thriller about the unexpected set in a small town American high school. What starts out as your standard horror quickly twists and turns! Click on the book for the link!