P90x – I Hate It, But I Love It
My review of P90x
Most of you have seen the TV infomercial for P90x. If you have, then you probably own it cause they do a heck-uva job promoting that thing. In fact, it’s one of the top 5 fitness DVD’s on Amazon.com. Well, I bought P90x back in 2009. I’ve now gone through it about 7 times and it gets harder (not easier) every time – which is a clear sign of an effective work out program.
Before I jump on the new P90x-2, I decided to make sure that I was in really good shape, so I started P90x back in March, and I’m about to start Phase 3 next week.
I know some wonder if P90x is right for them, and since I own several (maybe dozens) of “workout-at-home” products, I decided to write a quick review of my thoughts on P90x. So, for what’s it worth….
First off, the instructor is Tony Horton…. and…. he might get on your nerves. But the truth is, I actually like the guy! He explains each exercise, and even motivates you with his corny jokes and his casual discussions with the other trainers.
Secondly, it’s not for everyone. It’s not for beginners. It’s not for cardio junkies that only want to burn calories. It’s not for those who love going to the gym or the YMCA. And it’s not for those who don’t own dumbbells or a place to do pull ups. In fact, it’s not for those who don’t like pull ups! Oh, and let me repeat the first thing….. IT’S NOT FOR BEGINNERS. If you’re knew to working out, then please start with something like Power 90, Supreme 90, or even Jillian’s 30 Day Shred which actually is pretty darn good (and hard).
But, for those who want a proven, workout-at-home program that is guaranteed to give you some amazing results and strong muscles, then P90x may be just for you. If you follow it, you will get you ripped.
I’ve been working out for years but it wasn’t until I ran across P90x that I understood “muscle confusion.” What a brilliant concept. I use to do 3 sets of curls. 3 sets of bench press. And 3 sets of 2-3 other exercises. But now I know better.
Muscle confusion is basically working out the muscle in a variety of ways so that the muscles never get use to (plateau) one sort of exercise and therefore stop reacting. Muscle confusion is switching up resistance training exercises so your body doesn’t become accustomed to the same repetitive movements every time you work out. So, it keeps your body guessing so your muscles are having to constantly react, and when they react, you get stronger.
What I love about it is that every day is different. One day is chest and back, the next is plyometrics, and the next is biceps, triceps, and shoulders. And it keeps changing every day (with yoga, martial arts, cardio, legs, and even stretching for increased flexibility). You follow this weekly routine every day for a month (6 days per week), and then bada-boom-bada-bing, you switch it up by adding different DVD’s to the mix. And then again at month 3. What makes this so effective is that you’re really only working one muscle group per week — which allows plenty of rest days and time for that muscle to repair and grow.
You get workout forms that you can fill out and track your progress so that you know what you did last time, and whether or not you need to add more weight, or add more reps. And to keep up with the “muscle confusion” theory, I always try to use several different muscle confusing techniques such as different rest periods between sets, adding more reps or more weight, or even changing the speed of my repetitions.
It also comes with a fantastic nutritional program (so I’ve heard). The truth is, I don’t follow it. I try to eat pretty healthy for the most part, but I don’t want to be a fanatic. Plus, I love the Bar-B-Q Nachos and sweet tea at Strouds on Fridays!
Like I’ve said, I’ve gone through P90x 7-8 times since 2009 and I’m telling you.. it’s good stuff. It continues to challenge your muscles with increased amounts of resistance, keeps you from getting bored, pushes you to challenge your body in new ways, and it works! I’ve seen better results from P90x (in terms of fat loss and muscle gain) than any other fitness routine I’ve ever done. And I always go longer than the 90 days. That’s the beauty of it. You can continue with it as long as you want. I was healthier at 38 then I was at 22. I think I even got some new muscles that I never knew I had.
The only negatives (in my opinion) about the program is the Yoga DVD is about 45 minutes too long (90 minutes total while the rest of the workouts are about 55 minutes or less), and the Ab workout is always the same, 3 times per week, throughout the entire 90 days. Since P90x is so big on “changing” the workouts to confuse the muscles, I figured they should at least have done the ab work out in a different order.
Oh, and while the workout music is not so bad, I still find myself putting on Eminem in the background.
Overall, I give P90x 5/5 stars, mainly because it is my default workout program. Sure, I’ll try other workouts, DVD’s, and Bowflex exercises, but it seems like I always return to P90x.