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P90X Ab Ripper X

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For the better part of this P90X blog (so far), I’ve skipped over the Ab Ripper X workout. The Ab Ripper X is a 15 minute workout, made up of 11* core exercises.  Each of the core exercises requires that you complete 25 repetitions. This may not sound all that bad, but if you add it all up, you are essentially completing 275 repetitions of core exercises in total. And, I might add, the exercises are not easy.

For most, an abdominal workout would include a standard “crunch,” “side bends” or maybe a “plank.” Maybe you’ve used the stability ball for core exercises. Maybe you’ve used an ab roller. Don’t take this the wrong way, but all of what you have done in the past is a walk in the park compared to the Ab Ripper X workout of P90X.

If you read my last entry – P90X – End of Week 2: Insights and Debrief, you would have seen that the Ab Ripper X is “tacked on” to the strength training workouts of Chest and Back, Shoulders and Arms, etc.  Prior to P90X, I’ve always done my core exercises on my strength training days, so that makes logical sense. However, after you complete a P90X strength training workout for an hour, “tacking on” 15 minutes of extremely challenging core exercises is anything but desirable. To give you a sense of what the exercises are like, I’ve rated each in difficulty and level of enjoyment, and provided some commentary. To give you a frame of reference, let’s say I perceive a standard “crunch” as having a level of difficulty of “1” (on a scale of 1 – 5) and my level of enjoyment of the “crunch” is “Liked.”

Exercise Difficulty Level of Enjoyment Comments
In & Out 2 Liked
Seated Bicycle 4 Hated *NOTE: You are supposed to do 25 forward and 25 backwards = Total of 50…This unto itself is what makes this move so difficult. Personally, I felt this a lot in my legs…not just my abdominals.
Seated Crunchy Frog 3 Tolerated In isolation, this isn’t a bad move. I actually do this on my own quite a bit. That said, after doing the first two core exercises, this one stunk.
Crossed Leg / Wide Leg Sit-Up 4 Disliked The difficulty in this is more the number of times that you do it, rather than the move itself
Fifer Scissor 3 Tolerated
Hip Rock’N Raise 2 Liked
Pulse-up (Heels to Heaven) 2 Liked
Roll-up / V-Up Combo 5 Disliked At first, I really disliked this, but the more I’ve gotten used to it, the more I like it.
Oblique V-Up 3 Tolerated
Leg Climb 5 Hated This is an extremely awkward exercise. What Tony Horton claims to be the easier version, was the harder version and vice a verse in my book.
Mason (Kayak) Twist 3 Liked *NOTE: Tony Horton tells you to do “40” and then pushes you to do something like 80…

One thing I’d like to mention, is that if you do any of the Ab Ripper X core exercises in isolation, they aren’t so bad. Further, if you were to do all of the P90X core exercises at only 8 – 10 repetitions each, they wouldn’t be so bad either. The real challenge is in the fact that you are legitimately doing 275 repetitions (actually over 300 if you do both forward and backward of the Seated Bicycle and 40+ of the Mason Twist) of very difficult core exercises all at once. THAT is the challenge of Ab Ripper X my friends.

Want to try P90X for yourself? Buy the P90X Extreme Home Fitness Program here.

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