Last week, I started my second “block” or phase of P90X. It was nice to have a “recovery week” at the end of the first block. That said, the fifth week started out with a real bang with the P90X Chest, Shoulders and Triceps program.
This program made me long for the first Phase’s Chest and Back DVD. As you know, in that program you conduct two back exercises for every chest exercise. This gives you a bit of a rest between push ups. During the Chest, Shoulders and Triceps DVD, however, you do an equal ratio of chest moves, shoulder exercises and tricep exercises…with many of the shoulder exercises and tricep exercises recruiting the chest muscles as well. As you probably already know, I hate push ups. First off, women, especially, have to recruit their knees for assistance and there is something about that kills me. I like to think I’m strong enough without needing “knee assistance.” Secondly, I can’t do many reps. When doing strength training for my chest, I do bench presses (standard, incline and decline) and flys, which allows me to do more reps.
During the Chest, Shoulders and Triceps workout of P90X, you have no choice but to recruit your knees for assistance. I’d even go so far as to say that some men need to too. Is a matter of fact, one of the men on the workout DVD did go down to their knees for a couple of the chest workouts. And, although this may sound catty, I think that Beach Body could have afforded to choose a different woman for this DVD (there is always at least one woman on the P90X workout DVDs). Throughout the entire DVD, the woman (I did not catch her name) barely makes it through the push ups. Further, she never smiles and looks completely unhappy. Although I believe she is more Superwoman than Humanwoman, it would be much more motivating to have someone like Dreya (on the Ab Ripper X and Core Synergistics DVDs) do the workout. She smiles and doesn’t look like she is in pain the whole time.
Outlined below, I’ve provided the push ups, shoulder exercises, and tricep exercises the DVD includes, how much I enjoyed them and their level of difficulty on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most difficult and/or awkward to perform. It is recommended that women do about 12 to 15 of each of these, but in general, everyone should do as many as they can.
|Muscle(s) Worked||Exercise||Enjoyment Level||Level of Difficulty|
|C||Slow Motion 3-in-1 Push Ups||Tolerated||2|
|S||In & Out Flys||Liked||1|
|C||Plange Push Ups||Tolerated||3|
|C||Two-Twitch Speed Push Ups||Tolerated||2|
|C||Side-to-Side Push Ups||Tolerated||3|
|C||One-Arm Push Ups||Hated||5|
|T||Throw the Bomb||Loved||2|
|C||Clap or Plyo Push Ups||Tolerated||4|
|C||One-Arm Balance Push Ups||Tolerated||2|
|T||Dumbbell Cross-Body Blows||Liked||2|
C = Chest, S = Shoulders, T = Triceps
As you can see, most moves that I hate or dislike from this workout are push ups, while most that I enjoy are shoulder exercises and tricep exercises. The Pike Press, although in theory shouldn’t be too bad is extremely awkward to do. It requires that you do push ups bent over with your butt sticking up into the air. It sounds a lot easier than it is.
Overall, I wonder how much one can really get out of this P90X workout when it so difficult to do a third of it. I miss my bench presses and flys, and I look forward to the next P90X phase when I can get back to the Chest and Back workout!
Want to try P90X for yourself? Buy the P90X Extreme Home Fitness Program here.