P90X Review

Written by on 13 September, 2013 in Sport & Fitness, Workout Routines

Review of P90X

So I Thought I was Quite Fit

I had done a marathon and off the back the training was running 5k in 21 minutes. I thought I was working hard in the gym and had my own little goals. Then I broke my ankle, 6 months later running was still out of the question and I also found out I the pain in my hip was a popped disc in my back touching a nerve.  I wanted to do something that would push me and keep the physiotherapist happy. On my days off work at home, I’d seen the P90X and insanity infomercials; P90X seemed the way to go.

Gym Buddy

A guy and me at work knew it would be tough so decided to train at the gym for 2 weeks doing all the usual exercises to prepare and then start P90X.
We started on the chest and back; what a shock. We were dripping and could’t finish the whole routine. We joked how their phrase about muscle confusion actually pertained to how we couldn’t write with our pens to fill out our sweat covered workout sheets. The same was true for all the other weight routines, but as Tony says “Do you best and forget the rest”. With my broken ankle still only 6 months behind me I had to modify the plyometrics to 45 mins on an exercise bike and I figured this and kempo were the cardio days and also stretched the muscles.

Time to Rest

Rest week is far from a rest. “Core Synergystics” puts together everything you have done into a killer yoga/cardio routine but because we had put in the work it was doable.

The actual yoga routine is quite long, it really helps stretch your aching muscles and relaxes you, ready for the next week. You may find it easier doing a shorter yoga class at your own gym.

Protein and Food

I had always thought that protein supplements were gimmicky, but after starting phase 2 (don’t even look at the worksheet or videos until you’ve done phase 1) we were both noticing our muscles aching more than before, in fact it felt like we had flu. We tried protein supplements and the pain stopped from then on.
The nutrition guide is hard to follow to the letter but as the weeks went by we naturally started craving the right stuff. I remember getting a big bag of salad and shoveling it in plain; something I would never have done that before.

Why P90X Works

There is no gimmick here. There is just a great range of exercises. For 3 days you will doing good old fashioned boot camp workouts. Chest and back, then shoulders biceps and triceps then legs and back. Within each of these you are alternating muscles to give yourself a break, although at first the pace is relentless and, as they suggest, you will find yourself hitting pause. You will also notice that you are working each muscles at lots of slightly different angles; I had no idea there were so many different press-ups.

The workouts are varied enough to keep you interested and Tony is amazing, he’s doing the routines and chatting away (is that motivating or demoralising?). His jokes keep the mood up until you’ve heard them 10 times, then you’re laughing ironically, then you watch with the sound down.

This is not for the faint hearted, but if you can survive the first week you’ll notice a difference. Get someone to do it with you for motivation. Write down your progress and you’ll look back and laugh at how weak you were at the beginning. When you’re done you’ll have an excellent base to train for something more specialised, another beachbody workout or do it again! I’m on my third round.

The Results

I rather worryingly went up in weight (6kg/14lbs) at the start as I built up muscle, but then these same muscles started burning some serious calories in the later stages as I worked harder and I ended up lighter and leaner.

Looking back at the worksheets I improved on everything, in some cases tripling the weights I was lifting 20 reps of lawnmowers @ 8kg to 20 reps on 25kg.
I couldn’t do wide are pull ups at all at the start, at the end I was doing 14.
I can do the full 350 situps in the abs routine and 250 pressups on chest day.

With the exercises memorised and having got used to the pace in the videos I can do this at the gym on my own with the worksheets and notice how much everyone else in the gym seems to be standing around in between exercises, whereas my rest is walking to get the next set of weights.

Unfortunately there’s no before and after pics; there’s no way I’m getting waxed and tanned like everyone else has done.

As with any exercise routine you should check with your doctor first and this is definitely no exception.

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2 Reader Comments

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  1. wow iam glad to hear you have lost weight from p90x.i want to lose about 50lbs,do you have any advise for me?from what i have been told its hard for women to lose weight

    • daddy0 says:

      Firstly it goes without saying (as with any workout routine) you should check with your doctor.
      I wouldn’t focus on the weight; you will lose fat but put on muscle. Even the infomercial for p90x shows a guy putting on 15 pounds but still stays looking lean and athletic.
      The key is to stick at it, 90 days goes quicker than you think. I have helped friend (much younger than me!) at the gym and they think its impossible at the start. At first nearly every exercise feel awkward and clumsy and the length of the routine feels too long and hard. As you’ll notice, this is because you are doing very similar exercises at lots of different angles (fully working each muscle group). After 2 weeks you’ll adjust; all those little muscles and angles you’ve never done before will get woken up, but in the first week or two try lighter weights. In any case you might prefer to be doing lighter weights for the whole 90 days and more repetitions.
      Throw away your scales and snacks and start!