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P90X Mid-Program Review and Results

P90X Review and ResultsWell, I’ve officially passed the half-way mark of the P90X Extreme Home Fitness program. In light of this milestone, I wanted to officially give you a mid-point P90X review. Over the last seven and a half weeks, I’ve come to some conclusions about the program and here is my P90X Review thus far:

  1. Program Comparison: My pre P90X workout regimen included working out six days a week, with my seventh day dedicated to Yoga. The six days consisted of 3 days of 45 minute strength training workouts and 3 days of 35 minutes or so of aerobic exercise (running, elliptical, etc.). I did abs on strength training days and sometimes, when I was inspired to do them, on Cardio days. P90X is similar. However, as I’ve discussed in earlier posts, the P90X premise is “muscle confusion” and as a result, utilizes a wider variety of exercises during the strength training workouts and non-repetitive exercises for the cardio programs (as compared to running on a treadmill).
  2. Overall Impressions of the Program:
    1. Cardio Workouts: Personally, I don’t think that the cardio workouts (Plyometrics and Kenpo) are all that strenuous once you get the hang of them. I think you get a better aerobic workout from a 3.5 mile run. The challenge in these workouts are 1) they are different and 2) you are aerobically challenged through rapid, high repetition strength training exercises. Which, in the end, means strength training AND cardio. The Classic program does not utilize the “Cardio X” DVD, so I’m not too familiar with that workout, but from what I see, it is a combo of Yoga, Kenpo, Core Synergistics and Plyometrics…again, strength training based. I need to go on a run to see if my cardio is diminishing…
    2. Strength Training Workouts: The diversity in the strength training exercises is good. That said, the chest exercises (which are ALL pushups) are challenging for women. Women don’t have the upper body strength that men do, and so, workouts like “Chest, Shoulders and Triceps” burns out your chest muscles quickly.
    3. Flexibility Workouts: These include the Yoga and Stretch workouts. It is great that P90X incorporates flexibility training into the program (as many of us neglect this part of a workout regimen). The Yoga workout, however, is too long at an hour and a half. I wish it was only an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes.
  3. Does the Program Work?: In short, if you haven’t been exercising or if you haven’t been eating right and you decide to change one or the other, or both, you are going to see results. This is true with ANY program. That said, if you are an avid exerciser and eat very well 85 – 90% of the time, your results may not be all that dramatic. In truth, no matter your program, results come down to two things: 1) Genetics and 2) Diet.
    1. Genetics: If your genetic makeup is such that you have to do very little to stay in shape, P90X will help you become leaner. If, however, your genetics require you to work very hard for results, then you may have difficulty becoming extremely lean (such as Tony Horton or Dreya). For example, if you were to consider the players of your favorite baseball, football or basketball team, you would know that each player’s body is different…even though they all train and eat similarly in season. Much of this is due to the different genetic makeup of each player.
    2. Diet: I’m not going to sugar coat this: No matter what workout program you follow, the more strict you are about your diet, the more results you will see. I tested this, for seven days straight I was extremely strict about what I ate. I eliminated ALL starches, sugar, alcohol, sweets (even my healthy 88% Cacao Dark Chocolate) and packaged foods. Further, I didn’t go out to eat AT ALL. I lost a few pounds and looked leaner than normal. However, as soon as I had a really nice dinner (with dessert) and a couple of nights with some alcohol, that “extreme” look went away. You have to decide how important it is to you to cut out everything that you enjoy. Personally, I think life is too short to completely give up things that you love. Further, if you eat healthy and exercise regularly, then your body is probably at its “natural” healthy weight.
  4. General Results: My rule is to eat very healthy 85 – 90% of the time and indulge on weekends (85% / 15% rule). Even so, the results I’ve seen are extremely slight. The kind of results that only my husband and I notice when I’m naked. I have a slightly “tighter” look to my physique. My clothes don’t fit too differently, but I do feel as though my tone has slightly increased. NOW, Tony Horton claims that you don’t plateau with this program and that results accelerate, so we will see at the end of the second half where I stand.
  5. Measured Results: To prove how slight my results are, I took my measurements and weighed myself prior to starting the P90X program and compared them with my measurements today:
  6. Measurement Pre P90X Mid-Program
    Weight* 127 126.5
    Chest 30″ 29.5″
    Waist 28″ 27.5″
    Hips 34.5″ 34″
    Right Upper Thigh 22″ 21.75″
    Left Upper Thigh 22″ 21.5″
    Right Mid Thigh 19″ 19″
    Left Mid Thigh 19″ 19″
    Wrist 6.25″ 6.125″
    Neck 12.5″ 12.5″
    Right Bicep 10.5″ 10.25″
    Left Bicep 10.5″ 10.5″
    Right Forearm 9.5″ 9.5″
    Left Forearm 9.5″ 9.5″

    * My goal in doing this program isn’t so much to lose weight, but rather to test the theory of “muscle confusion” and its impact on body fat. I presumably have lost a total of 1/2 a pound in weight and 2.6 inches** across my whole body. I don’t think that these results are dramatic at all.

    ** I took these measurements with a tape measure. So, it’s safe to say that human error of +/- 1/4″ is reasonable.

I’ll be anxious to see how the second half of the program goes. Stay tuned!

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