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P90X Review

I recently purchased a series of DVDs called P90X, and after doing all of the routines I decided to write a p90x review. I'm sure you've seen this advertised on TV because the infomercial is played at all times of the day and night. This is an intense 90-day workout program perfect for cutting the fat to show that hard-earned muscle. If you hate doing the boring cardio routine of either a treadmill or stationary bike, P90X is for you.

P90X

They Tell You No Lies

The infomercial is probably the most accurate marketing I've seen, but it's not perfect, of course. They claim the workout commitment is one hour a day. Most of the routines are right around an hour long, but then they tack on another twenty minutes for an INTENSE abs workout. One workout (yoga) is an hour and a half long.

Compared to other infomercials, however, at least this one tells you straight up that it's going to be difficult and results won't be overnight.

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No ten minute abs claims here.

This is a workout program that requires a substantial time commitment from one hour to one hour and twenty minutes a day, six days a week. No wonder this program works; look how much you are exercising! Don't buy this if you're not prepared to work.

After completing the ninety days, you'll be noticeably leaner, faster and stronger and be able to leap tall buildings with a single bound! Seriously, if this program doesn't get you into shape, you must have been dogging it the whole three months.

Take the Fit Test First

P90X claims: "This workout is for you IF you have achieved a respectable level of fitness." AND THEY MEAN IT! And you can expect to sweat. A lot.

The P90X fitness guide includes a fit test. You need to take this test before you pop in the first DVD. For example, men should be able to do 3 pull-ups (Palms facing forward, grip wider than shoulder width), and women, one. Even if you can't complete this many, you can still use the program. You just work your way up one pull-up at a time. Here's the link to the fit test. (opens with PDF reader)

Muscle Confusion

The P90X workout was designed around the "Muscle Confusion" theory. By providing an extensive variety of different moves that take time to master, the program is constantly challenging the body's muscle into new growth. The more you confuse the muscle, the harder your body has to work to keep up; the more variety you put into your workout, the better and faster your results will be. I know body builders who subscribe to the muscle confusion theory; they never do the same workout twice.

Switching up your routine will keep you from experiencing the plateau effect, when muscle gains stop because your muscles are accustomed to a specific workout. P90X avoids this plateau effect by switching things up to keep the body guessing for the entire 90 days.

P90X2 – The Next Level of Extreme Fitness

You do a three week routine followed by a so-called recovery week, then repeat. This recovery week will challenge you as much as any week in this program. However, it does provide a break in resistance training to allow the muscles to rebuild.

Solid Nutrition Plan

Maintaining a healthy and nutritionally balanced diet designed to support this extreme fitness program is an important part of this program. Here P90X provides a three-phase nutritional plan that coincides with the workouts: phase one is heavy on the protein; phase two is an all around balanced eating plan while phase three is heavy on the carbohydrates. Compare this to muscle confusion - we'll call it nutrient confusion.

P90X

The material in the P90X plan will show what kind of foods to eat and when to eat them. The P90X nutrition guide gives you recipes, daily meal plans, food logs and even a grocery shopping list. I think that diet is really important with P90x, more so than any other workout plan, because of its intensity and possibility of burning muscle if not fueled properly. Here's where liquid egg whites really come in handy.

Do You Accept the Challenge?

This program will challenge you, no doubt about it. If you can commit to this you will be in the best shape of your life when you're done. You CAN add size and definition with bodyweight exercises and proper diet. The resistance workouts are a quickly paced circuit training workout. You will do plenty of reps. The leg workouts are almost 100% bodyweight exercises, although you do hold dumbbells for a few exercises. I like to do a set of leg presses on my Body Solid leg press after the P90X leg workout is over, just to make sure I can't walk the next day!

P90X

The cardio workouts are anything but boring. Plyometrics (jump training) will kick your A$$ (so will the Ab Ripper X routine). One of the cardio workouts that I enjoy is called Kenpo X, a martial arts workout. This workout is a series of jabs, crosses, left hooks and uppercuts (basically shadow boxing), along with throwing many kicks.

While I was punching air, I thought it would make the workout more intense if I was actually hitting something. I ended up hanging an old canvas heavy bag from my power rack so I could actually hit something while doing the Kenpo DVD.

Does It Cost Too Much?

You get 12 separate routines for around $159; that's roughly $1.75 per day for a ninety day program.

P90X

But that's not the only cost: You will need dumbbells or resistance bands and a pull-up bar. Dumbbells up to 50 lbs. should be enough to start off with.

Even though I love my Ironmaster dumbbells, they take to long to change weight plates to be used for P90X.

Powerblocks are meant for P90X. They literally take seconds to change from 5lbs to 45lbs. I picked up a used pair of powerblock classics on craigslist.

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Powerblock Classic dumbbells

You will also need a yoga mat and maybe yoga blocks depending on your flexibility. P90X also recommends a heart rate monitor. Push-up stands are optional, but using the stands takes the pressure off of your wrists. So if you have wrist issues, stands will help or just use a dumbbell as a push-up stand instead.

As you get stronger, to go really heavy on rowing exercises you'll need up to at least 90 lb. dumbbells. This is where I use my Ironmasters. For exercises that require elastic bands, if you have one you can use an upper/lower pulley station instead of the elastic bands.

Even with these additional expenses, P90X is still cheaper than a health club and perfect for the home gym exerciser.

Conclusion

Overall, the P90X system will not get you huge but, if you want to uncover that hard-earned muscle and get the lean, ripped athletic-type look, then P90X is the BEST cutting routine out there. You can bulk using the system if you do it properly by doing reps in the 6-8 range with heavier weights, and upping your caloric intake, a lot!

One of the best things I've noticed about P90X is that every week I can do more pull-ups; I get leaner and more flexible (which I really needed work on), and my endurance is through the roof! There's no doubt in my mind that P90X has helped me with my bodybuilding goals.

Buy the P90X DVDs HERE. If you buy the DVDs off of eBay and the seller offers to email you a .pdf copy of the nutritional and exercise guide books after the auction, you are buying a pirated set of DVDs. Don't support this practice.

Buy it, then BRING IT!


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