I’m almost halfway through the 13 week P90X fitness routine and wanted to share some thoughts on it. I’ve exercised regularly for 30+ years, almost all just self-training — mostly lifting plus jogging/exercise bike type stuff. When I see “As seen on TV” I take it as a reason not to buy the product in question. But I heard of several people at work and on Facebook who used P90X and liked it so I decided to give it a try.
My philosophy on fitness is that God has numbered our days but that our choices make a big difference in how we live those days. Narcissism and excessive exercise aren’t good, but letting ourselves go doesn’t optimize our work for the Kingdom either. Illness can strike anyone, but I want to accomplish as much as I can with whatever days I have left and I want to minimize any burdens on my family. I like to stay on the giving side of the giving/receiving equation as much as possible. Exercise is also a great stress relief. Therefore, I strive to stay fit.
Overall, I’ve been thrilled with it. It was sort of like having a personal trainer / class to participate in, but on my schedule and at a fraction of the cost. I love the challenge.
Lots and lots of push-ups and pull-ups (many varieties of each), though you can use a chair to help on the pull-ups or use exercise bands.
Great variety of exercises: Lifting, stretching, plyometrics, yoga (just the stretches / moves with no religious stuff and actually a nice bit of humor — I wish they’d give it another name), core training and more.
The big theme is “muscle confusion,” where the routines change often and there is a lot of variety in the routines.
You need to be in shape to do this. Seems counter-intuitive, eh? But it is very demanding. It isn’t just the exercises, it is the pace. Those warnings in the beginning of the DVDs are no joke. You do not want to dive straight into this.
Hardest routine for me: Legs and back. One-legged squats followed by another thigh exercise followed by chin-ups will leave you breathless, especially when you do many cycles like that with little rest. Honorable mention: Plyometrics. Lots and lots of jumps. Took me a while to be able to get through it without pausing.
Easiest – er, uh, I mean least difficult — Kenbo kick boxing. Lots of variety and challenging, but at a fairly even pace. Truly a fun workout.
You need to put your ego on the shelf and just do what you can in the beginning. Follow the exercise, but do less repetitions or with less intensity. Hit the pause button. The people in the videos have been through the routines so of course they can do them better than you. But you’ll make progress quickly.
Compete against yourself, not those in the video. If you have to hit the pause button 10 times the first week and only 8 times the second, then you are winning.
The cost is reasonable — $140 for the program with 12 DVDs plus whatever you spend on bands / dumbbells, etc. Not cheap, but way cheaper than a personal trainer.
I put the audio onto my iPhone so I can use it at the gym or if I travel. Once you have watched the DVDs enough you know how the technique works. I obviously can’t travel with dumbbells but the bands will suffice. One of my employees did this while traveling, but apparently the person on the floor below didn’t appreciate him doing plyometrics (hence the call from the front desk)
The instructor (Tony Horton) He does a good job of explaining the technique and repeating it.
The warm-up and cool down periods are very thorough.
If you are just beginning I recommend skimming through the workout DVDs before you start. It takes some of the mystery out of it and helps you get ready.
Their website and Facebook page have lots of good tips. They try to sell supplements but I mainly go with my Veggie Boy smoothies. I did try their protein bars — tasty, but on the expensive side.
I generally eat pretty well but I’ve taken it up a notch. It wasn’t by design, more of just a thought that if I’m doing all this extra work I might as well do everything else I can.
It does take more time than I’d normally set aside for fitness. The routines are 60-75 minutes and you do them 6 days a week. But I definitely have more energy every day, so the investment pays off.
I really appreciate their philosophy: No gimmicks, no silly promises of quick weight loss with no effort, no fad diets, etc. Just hard, consistent work and good eating. And it works.
Be sure to check out their Facebook page!