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P90X – Day 38: Back and Biceps

Back Exercises and Bicep ExercisesToday was my second week of P90X Back and Biceps. As the name implies, this P90X workout is made up of back exercises and bicep exercises. Both of which, I like. This DVD, similar to the Chest, Shoulders And Triceps DVD and Legs and Back DVD, is a no-repeat workout. When you do a workout that doesn”t repeat any of the moves, it is recommended that you do enough repetitions so that the last three repetitions are extremely difficult. If you find that you can do 12 to 15 repetitions relatively easily, it means you should up the weight you are using so that repetitions 12 through 15 are challenging.

The workout is designed so that you do two back exercises followed by two bicep exercises. Basically, you’ll find that during the second exercise of each set, your muscles are pretty tired, which ensures your muscles are maxed out. Here is the workout flushed out in detail:

1st Set of Back Exercises:

  1. Wide Front Pull Up
  2. Lawnmower

1st Set of Bicep Exercises:

  1. Twenty-one
  2. One-Arm Cross-Body Curl

2nd Set of Back Exercises:

  1. Switch Grip Pull Up
  2. Elbows-Out Lawnmower

2rd Set of Bicep Exercises:

  1. Standing Bicep Curl
  2. One-Arm Concentration Curl

3rd Set of Back Exercises:

  1. Corn Cob Pull Up
  2. Reverse Grip Bent-Over Row

3rd Set of Bicep Exercises:

  1. Open-Arm Curl
  2. Static-Arm Curl

4th Set of Back Exercises:

  1. Towel Pull Up
  2. Congdon Locomotive

4th Set of Bicep Exercises:

  1. Crouching Cohen Curl
  2. One-Arm Corkscrew Curl

5th Set of Back Exercises:

  1. Chin Up
  2. Seated Bent-Over Back Fly

5th Set of Bicep Exercises:

  1. Curl Up/Hammer Down
  2. Hammer Curl

6th Set of Back Exercises:

  1. Max Rep Pull Up
  2. Superman

6th Set of Bicep Exercises:

  1. In-Out Hammer Curls
  2. Strip-Set Curls

Pull ups and chin ups can be especially challenging for women. Similar to push ups, our upper body strength doesn’t naturally allow us to do mega repetitions of pull ups. If you aren’t strong enough to do a full pull up, you have a few options:

  1. Use a door mounted P90X Chin Up Bar in conjunction with a chair. Use the chair to rest a foot to help partially support your weight.
  2. Use Resistance Bands with a door anchor. This allows you to have full range of motion throughout back exercises.
  3. Use a Gravitron (a piece of equipment often found at a gym), which allows you to do a pull up or chin up while offsetting some of your weight through weights attached to a kneeling platform or standing bar.
  4. Use a pull down bar with weights.

Personally, I use a mix of options 3 and 4, depending on the exercise. As far as the bicep exercises go, I prefer using weights over resistance bands. Resistance bands tend to make some of the grip switches and angle changes (as done with the Curl Up/Hammer Down move) awkward.

I realize that I don’t go into detailed “how-to” descriptions on these moves. It would be relatively labor intensive to do so. However, I might video some of the more elusive exercises at some point in order to help give you some reference. Stay tuned on that.

In summary, this P90X workout was great. As compared to the push ups in the Chest, Shoulders and Triceps workout, all of the moves were “doable.” And frankly, I appreciate that.

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

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