I always seem to hear about the new latest and greatest workout routine from patients. Whenever they see a new infomercial that promises to melt the fat right off of your body, they always want to know my opinion of it. Since January is exercise month at CORE, I decided to dedicate this blog post to one of the programs that I have actually tried and completed, P90X.
Before getting to my opinions of P90X, let me first start with a disclaimer, this is not a routine designed for someone to jump into right off the couch, you need to have a pretty solid fitness baseline before beginning. Also, if you have any type of medical issues, do not begin P90X without the consent of your doctor. I recommend speaking with your physician before beginning any type of new workout regimen.
With that out of the way, let’s start with a brief run down of the entire P90X program. It is a 90 day program that revolves around 10 separate workouts. Each workout is about an hour long, and you perform six workouts a week. Most of the workouts are centered on weight training and adding strength, however you will also perform two cardio intensive workouts a week, as well as a yoga workout to close out each week. So if you are looking for a workout to really get you in better cardiovascular shape, P90X probably isn’t for you.
One of the things that I really like about the P90X program is the fact that it is based on muscle confusion. Any time you do the same exercise on a repetitive basis, your muscles will eventually get used to it, which causes a plateau in results. The strength training workouts in P90X rotate every three weeks, which means as soon as your muscles get used to the workout, it changes to ensure maximum results. The strength workouts are a mix of body weight and dumbbell or band exercises. You will be doing A LOT of different push up and pull up variations, so be prepared. And I do mean A LOT. But if you make it through the 90 days, you’ll see a huge increase in your ability to perform these two exercises. Also prepare to be sore, especially when beginning new workouts. After my first Chest and Back workout, I could barely lift my arms from my sides. Needless to say, it was not easy to adjust patients during my first week of program.
The program consists of two cardio intensive workouts that you perform each week throughout the 90 days. The first is a plyometric workout and the second is a kickboxing style workout. If you’re like me by the end of the program, you’ll be pretty tired of them, but they will definitely make you sweat. Like I said earlier, if you’re looking for a cardio intensive workout, this is not for you.
The last component of the schedule is yoga, you’ll perform this at the end of each week. My only complaint about this workout was it’s length, which is over an hour and a half. The first 45 minutes or so are more strength based yoga, involving many, many vinyasas. However the last 45 minutes, really concentrate on balance and stretching, which I found to be a great way to close the week, especially when I was sore.
In conclusion, if you are looking to add strength and can devote an hour a day, six days a week to working out, P90X is a great option for you. It’s obviously not for everyone, but if you stick to the routine, you’ll definitely see some great results.