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P90X – End of Week 2: Insights and Debrief

I got through another week of Tony Horton and his P90X workout routines. In short, it went a lot better this week. I haven’t really given you a lot of information on the background or philosophy of P90X and I think I should. As you may or may not know, P90X is an extreme home fitness program. It is led by Tony Horton, a well-known fitness guru and personal trainer. In my opinion, he knows his stuff, but he is d_mn annoying. I recently learned that Tony Horton tried his hand at being a stand-up comedian for awhile. Throughout his videos he makes it pretty clear as to why comedy was a short lived career: he isn’t funny.

Tony Horton aside, P90X is a 90 day program of 12 workout routines that is based around the idea of “Muscle Confusion.” In short, the more you confuse your muscles, the better results you’ll see.  There are 3 different programs one can choose. Each differs as follows:

  • The Classic: This is the most basic of the three programs. It is meant for anyone who is interested in becoming “ripped” or in better shape.
  • Doubles: This is meant for those who want more cardio, either because they want to lose weight or want to get into peak performance shape.
  • Lean: Generally geared towards women, this is meant for those who want more cardio and less strength training…or those who don’t want to build muscle as much as tone.

Each of these programs comes with three training blocks. The first two training blocks last 4 weeks and the third training block lasts 5 weeks. Each block includes the following phases:

  1. Adaptive Phase: The body is learning how to do the exercises.
  2. Mastery Phase: The body responds to exercises and experiences the change
  3. Recovery Phase: In this phase, your muscles heal and allow for the next phase of confusion

Personally, I like strength training and am not the biggest fan of cardio, so, I’ve chosen to do the Classic Program. Here is what it looks like:

Block Weeks Day Workout Routines Time Requirement
Block 1 1 – 3 1 Chest and Back + Ab Ripper X 53 minutes + 16 minutes
2 Plyometrics 59 minutes
3 Shoulders and Arms + Ab Ripper X 60 minutes + 16 minutes
4 Yoga 92 minutes
5 Legs and Back + Ab Ripper X 59 minutes + 16 minutes
6 Kenpo 56 minutes
7 Rest or Stretch X 58 minutes
4 1 Yoga X 92 minutes
2 Core Synergistics 58 minutes
3 Kenpo 56 minutes
4 Stretch X 58 minutes
5 Core Synergistics 58 minutes
6 Yoga X 92 minutes
7 Rest or Stretch X 58 minutes
Block 2 5 – 7 1 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps + Ab Ripper X 56 minutes + 16 minutes
2 Plyometrics 59 minutes
3 Back and Biceps + Ab Ripper X 52 minutes + 16 minutes
4 Yoga 92 minutes
5 Legs and Back + Ab Ripper X 59 minutes + 16 minutes
6 Kenpo 56 minutes
7 Rest or Stretch X 58 minutes
8 1 Yoga X 92 minutes
2 Core Synergistics 58 minutes
3 Kenpo 56 minutes
4 Stretch X 58 minutes
5 Core Synergistics 58 minutes
6 Yoga X 92 minutes
7 Rest or Stretch X 58 minutes
Block 3 9 and 11 1 Chest and Back + Ab Ripper X 53 minutes + 16 minutes
2 Plyometrics 59 minutes
3 Shoulders and Arms + Ab Ripper X 60 minutes + 16 minutes
4 Yoga 92 minutes
5 Legs and Back + Ab Ripper X 59 minutes + 16 minutes
6 Kenpo 56 minutes
7 Rest or Stretch X 58 minutes
10 and 12 1 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps + Ab Ripper X 56 minutes + 16 minutes
2 Plyometrics 59 minutes
3 Back and Biceps + Ab Ripper X 52 minutes + 16 minutes
4 Yoga 92 minutes
5 Legs and Back + Ab Ripper X 59 minutes + 16 minutes
6 Kenpo 56 minutes
7 Rest or Stretch X 58 minutes
13 1 Yoga X 92 minutes
2 Core Synergistics 58 minutes
3 Kenpo 56 minutes
4 Stretch X 58 minutes
5 Core Synergistics 58 minutes
6 Yoga X 92 minutes
7 Rest or Stretch X 58 minutes

Since I’m only starting the third week of the first block, I have yet to try the Core Synergistics DVD, Chest, Shoulders & Triceps DVD, Back and Biceps or the Stretch X workout routines. So, I’ll write about them as I experience them.  Plyometrics was my biggest nightmare the first week, but was much more doable and tolerable in the second week. Finally, as I’ve gotten comfortable with the strength training workout routines, I have been going to the gym for those. This is because:

  1. Working out in my condo has not been all that fun.
  2. I have decided that resistance bands are not nearly as effective as weights.
  3. Tony Horton and his “less than funny jokes,” incessant plugs for P90X and constant “bring it” commentary are getting old.

Also, for those workout routines that are non-strength training oriented, I’ve started playing with the audio. These are the audio options for playback of the P90X DVDs:

  1. With P90X music and Tony Horton speaking the entire time (includes cues, jokes, commentary, introductions of his groupies, etc.).
  2. With music only
  3. With music and Tony Horton providing main cues only (no joking and side comments)
  4. With Tony Horton providing main cues (no music, no joking, no side comments, yada, yada)

Of course, you can turn the volume off completely if you want. Personally, I give each DVD its own setting, depending on the music and how annoying Tony Horton is during workout routines. For instance, I like the Kenpo DVD with full audio. However, with Plyometrics, I will play only the cues and will use my own music. I guess my point is that you can manipulate the DVD workout routines to fit what you like best.

Hopefully, you now have a better picture of the program. I will be writing about Ab Ripper X next. I’ve done the workouts, but have wrote specifically on the main workout routines for the first week. Also, I take a yoga class at a local yoga studio on my seventh day, so I haven’t tried the Stretch X DVD yet.

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