Saturday, March 19, 2016

Exercise Prosperity: My Review of P90X



Hi! Today I'm super excited to finally be writing about one of my favorite things on Earth: P90X! I'll share my review of P90X and give you some (hopefully) helpful pointers for starting it yourself.

As I shared previously in my Exercise Prosperity post, I began my life-changing "consistent exercise" journey with P90X—which has three programs within its 12-video series to choose from: Classic, Doubles, and Lean. The exercise videos are the same for each program, but they're combined differently.

P90X also has an eating program, but I haven't followed it. I'm certain if I had followed their healthy diet exactly from day one, I would have seen better weight-loss results. When I started P90X, I simply wasn't concerned about the food I ate because I already eat healthily every day. I just really wanted to utilize a great exercise program, and I did exactly that! Yay! I might want to try their food recommendations later when I'm not quite so busy. :)

In terms of supplies for P90X, I use the following:
  • free weights
  • removable pull-up bar that Greg installed over our basement door
  • yoga mat
  • chair
  • wall
  • water bottle
  • towels—one large (for sweat), one small (for a pull-ups and towel hopping)
  • small child's board book as a target (they recommend a towel, but a small square is easier for me to avoid than a bulky towel)
When P90X was a brand new endeavor for me, I decided to exercise three days per week. At first, exercising that frequently was very difficult for me. During the first two weeks, I very nearly thought I might not be able to walk, raise my arms, or get up from sitting ever again! Ha ha. Slowly and thankfully(!), my body adjusted to my new exercise regimen and I was able to survive the P90X videos without feeling like I would collapse and/or break if I moved off the couch! It took about seven weeks before I felt I had made real progress. After that, I continued to improve—it was such an awesome feeling! Aah! I love P90X!

I followed the P90X Lean program, in its entirety, as listed in their training blocks One, Two and Three. For weeks one through three, the videos are in the same order. Week four mixes up the videos. Weeks five through seven have new videos and combinations, plus a couple of old videos mixed in. Week eight has another combination of new/old videos. Weeks nine through 13 are all completely mixed up! Those different combinations of exercises definitely keep your body guessing—which is the great catalyst for seeing positive changes!

Because I was exercising only three days per week, it took me a mighty long time to get through their video combinations. No, I most definitely did not do the P90X program in 90 days as it says you can! Also, I never completed their X Stretch video because I was already resting for four days of my week! I decided that I wanted each of my exercise days to be hardcore and worth my while!

Based on my three-days-per week workout schedule, it would have taken me 26 weeks (or six+ months) to finish the entire P90X program, but I think I took a little longer than that because I inserted my Jillian Michaels and New York City Ballet Workout videos every once in a while. I wish I would have kept track how long it actually took me to finish the program, but it's been too long and I don't remember!

After I finished my first round of P90X, I started the fun all over again! Eventually, and because I felt that the P90X videos had done such a great job helping me become strong(!), I decided I was ready to move onto the Insanity workout program! The reason I chose Insanity was because I had heard such positive reviews from my friends who had endured and finished the program. That said, I decided to research Insanity in the first place because Beach Body had put the Insanity infomercials at the end of the P90X videos, so I always watched them while I was stretching out...such a clever marketing trick! (I'll be writing about my Insanity adventure next!)

Side note: I'm pretty excited about the fact that I'm now exercising five days per week(!) with P90X and Insanity combined! Thus, I've improved my body's abilities even more! I'll be posting about the joint benefits of P90X and Insanity in the near future!

Here are just some of the things I love about P90X:
  • Variety. You'll rarely get bored with so many videos to choose from!
  • Strength and cardio. It really is such a great combination of strength and cardio exercises. Muscle confusion is what makes a huge difference in our bodies.
  • Motivation. Tony Horton is truly one of the most motivating trainers I've experienced. You can't help but want to do well with Tony yelling at you! Ha ha.
  • Humor. Tony is continuously cracking jokes! While he can totally be on the cheesy side at times, he truly makes exercising FUN! I would absolutely love to meet Mr. Horton one day! Like in a geeky I'm your #1 fan! way. Ha ha. I'll include my favorite Tony quotes a little later. :)
  • Stretching is vital to a good workout! Tony does a really great job making sure we are warmed up and stretched out before bringing it! That said, because I'm Gumby (that was my nickname in high school), I always end up stretching at the end of every video, except Yoga X.
  • Depth. Tony covers such a wide variety of exercises. Each video fulfills a different bodily need and is so good that I honestly cannot choose my favorite!
  • Happiness. Exercising to P90X honestly and truly makes me SO happy! I can't think of one time I didn't become happy simply by doing P90X!
Here are my thoughts about each P90X video:
  1.  CHEST & BACK: This push-ups and pull-ups workout is tough. I still can't do more than two regular pull-ups without having one toe lightly based on a chair, but I'm very close! (Two unassisted pull-ups was my record, which I haven't done in a while.) To clarify, I can do many pull-ups with my helpful chair toes, but without that little bit of help, I just cannot get myself up! I talked with a friend of mine who is a teacher of yoga and especially acro-yoga. (She's amazing!) She suggested that I might be too flexible for pull-ups. As I've thought about it further, I believe she's right. My body stretches a lot—probably too much to pull all that weight together and up. But it's probably just a theory that makes me feel better! Ha ha. I'll definitely keep working at pull-ups until the day I die! Truly, Chest & Back is so beneficial for making you strong all over! I remember the day when I was finally able to do Diamond Push-Ups and Dive-Bomber Push-Ups, I felt like the Queen of Fitness!
  2. PLYOMETRICS: It's a jumping/cardio video that's simply amazing. Every exercise is valuable! When I first began Plyo, I thought I would die-o! Ha ha. It just wiped me out! But now, I can totally do all the exercises straight through without pausing the video—I just huff and puff like the video demonstrators do! :)
  3. SHOULDERS & ARMS: This video feels a little easier to me than some of the others. Don't get me wrong, it's not super easy, by any means. It's just that the video really covers the shoulders and arms more than anything else, so the rest of your body isn't as tired. I remember the day (about two months ago) when I did more tricep Chair Dips than Dreya (the amazingly fit and strong blonde in the video)! I was ecstatic when I realized I was in the same fitness league as her! :) *My absolute favorite part of the video is at the end when they're doing the second round of Side Tri Rise. Dreya does one more rep than Tony and he gets so frustrated because he can't ever have anyone outdo him! After Dreya does 23 reps, Tony goes back and does 25. He then says, "Don't do it again! If anyone at home does 26, I'm comin' to your house!" Ha ha. Well, for months I've been doing 26 reps every time, and just the other day I did 28! Yeah, I have yet to see Tony at my front door, but I would gladly welcome a Side Tri Rise showdown! :)
  4. YOGA X: Oh, wow. I wish Tony would create an entire fleet of Yoga X videos! Ha ha. Seriously, Yoga X is transformative—I'm amazed at how it makes me feel brand new every time I do it! I like it all, but my favorite exercises are the continuous military-type push-ups and Yoga Belly 7. They're on the difficult side, but so effective! I remember the first time I actually did Torso Twist Hold and Deep Torso Twist Hold. I felt like I had climbed Mt. Everest! Ha ha. Okay, that's a bit extreme, but the first few times I tried those moves, my body just absolutely would not do them. Thus, when I actually did them well, I felt utterly triumphant!
  5. LEGS & BACK: This video will kick your butt and all its fat! Ha ha. Again, it's simply amazing. I know this video really helped me be strong enough to learn how to snowboard a few weeks ago. (YES! I'm a snowboarder now! I'll blog about that awesome experience another day!) I can't say enough good things about Legs & Back!
  6. KENPO X: is a fabulous karate-type cardio workout with lots of kicks and hits in it. I feel completely tough whenever I do Kenpo X! In fact, my oldest son said something like, "Mom, are you training to be an MMA fighter?!" HA! I told him no, but he was convinced I was going to be some awesome tough girl, ready to fight the bad guys at a moment's notice! I take that as a total compliment! :)
  7. X STRETCH: As I said before, I've never done this video! I know, shame on me. I just really want all of my exercising days to count, so I do the other/harder videos instead. Another reason I haven't done it is because I'm super stretchy, and I always really stretch out after every workout. Thus, I don't feel the need to do X Stretch. I'm guessing it's a great workout for people of average stretchiness! Ha ha.
  8. CORE SYNERGISTICS: There aren't enough praise words I can use to describe this video! Like Tony Horton says, it really just covers it all! I know this video helped me be able to do the previously mentioned yoga poses! Also, I completely freaked out (in a great way!) a few weeks ago when I was finally able to do Towel Hopping for one full minute—and I probably could have gone 20 seconds longer! Side note: I truly believe the Insanity workout program is what got me to the point of being able to towel hop for so long! Not to mention, I'm fully capable of doing Dreya Rolls the entire time—with either regular straight jumps, or straddle jumps at the top! Again, accomplishing that difficult exercise was a huge moment for me...I can do what Dreya does! Say what?!!
  9. CHEST, SHOULDERS, & TRICEPS: This is another fabulous weight-lifting/resistance training workout. It's taken me a long time to be able to do Plange Push-ups and Clap Push-ups—but I can finally do them! Granted, I do a smaller number than the participants in the video, but at least I'm doing them! I haven't been able to successfully do Plyo Push-ups yet, but I know I'll get there one day! :)
  10. BACK & BICEPS: This video feels a smidgen easier to me because it doesn't work your entire body like some of the other P90X videos. That said, it's still a great workout. Every body part needs to be worked, and this video totally does the job for our backs and biceps!
  11. CARDIO X: In my opinion, this workout is probably the easiest besides X Stretch. It's a little shorter and not as intense as the others. Cardio X is the perfect video on days when I'm tight on time, or if I'm feeling a little less than my optimal self. Please don't be disappointed with my review because Cardio X totally gets the job done and I feel amazing when I'm finished!
  12. AB RIPPER X: Ouch! is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Ab Ripper X! Ha ha. It is truly difficult and utterly amazing! Ab Ripper X has made my core so much stronger, I almost can't believe how far my abs have come! I remember the first time I was able to do Mason Twist with my legs straight and nearly vertical in the air, I was beside myself with happiness! Yes, the Queen of Fitness makes another appearance! Ha ha. And I literally shouted for joy a few weeks ago when I realized that my form for Oblique V-ups is actually better—and my legs move higher(!)—than the video's demonstrators! Yeah, I never thought in a million years that I would ever be to that level! *Ab Ripper X is added at the end of Chest & BackShoulders & ArmsLegs & Back; Chest; Shoulders & Triceps; and Back & Biceps. That way, when you do the previously-listed videos, your body gets an even better workout with the abdominal exercises included!
Now, let's talk about money. While P90X seems expensive, if you divide the average purchase price by 12 months, it basically becomes less pricey than a monthly gym membership with an annual facility fee! For example: P90X's cost of $140, divided by 12 months, equals $11.67 per month! And the longer you consistently do P90X, the higher your return on investment!

For example: I've been working out to P90X since the first week of July, 2014. Thus, if you take my special purchase price (it's not available anymore) of $135/20 = $6.75/month! Yet when I take into account what I've gained in terms of my healthy body, well, I've actually earned myself money because I'm not having to pay for healthcare costs!!! (Yes, that totally deserved three exclamation points!)

Do you see how amazing P90X can be for everyone?! Of course, all of the awesomeness that P90X has to offer completely depends on how dedicated each person is. If you're not willing to put in the time and sacrifice that's needed for consistent exercising, P90X becomes a very pricey addition to your home video collection! Ha ha. I don't know if this helps, or not, but (as I've said before) once I made the very serious decision to change my lifestyle, I've never looked back. I will never stop exercising—it's a part of my soul now that has been deeply ingrained and will never be removed...unless I'm physically incapable through a horrible disease or accident! :)

Bring It is the phrase that defines P90X the most and is at the start of every video, but I must share my other favorite Tony Horton P90X quotes! You might think some are lame, but they make me laugh or motivate me every time I hear them! And I can't even count how many times I've heard them, so it's saying a lot that I still enjoy them! Ha ha. I've enlarged the text size of my absolute favorite favorites, so hopefully you can see the difference?

Chest & Back:
"I know it's burning, it's supposed to! It's supposed to burn, and it's gonna burn more!"

"When the burn comes, breathe...breathe MORE. Don't hold your breath!"

"Keep pushin' play, keep pushin' play."

"Remember, Rome was not built in a day, and neither was your body. All you gotta do is your best, and forget the rest."

"Don't get hurt! It's about gettin' results, not about gettin' hurt!"

"Five more inside my brain. Can my body match my brain? I want my body to match my brain!"

"Too many people when they exercise stop way before they should, 'cause they got somethin' inside their mind that says, 'Ahh, that's too much pain...'"


Plyometrics:
"Get ready! 'Cause it's comin'! It's so good, it's a love/hate!"

"You're a board—board...but don't get bored!"

"Don't take big old breaks. Don't run off and get a pastrami sandwich, or somethin'. That'd be bad! Cheeseburger bad! Fries bad! Shakes bad! Coca-Cola—oops, I said it! Drink your water, people!"

"Merciless! Merciless man!"

"Get your mind right!"

"Just a second! he said...there's no just a second!"

"We've got 15 tiny little seconds!"

"I'm grabbin' my knees. I'm hittin' my own personal pause button...I'm back!"

"You can do anything for 30 seconds!"

"Suck it up! Bring it!"

"Nobody said this was easy!"


Shoulders & Arms:
"Get your mind right."

"If anybody does 26, I'm comin' to your house!"

"Wow. Say it with me, everybody, and what's wow upside down? Mom!"

"Like a pterodactyl backin' out of trouble! Caw!"

"Alright, let's love ourselves!"

"By the way, tip of the day: don't hold your breath. I want you to breathe throughout."

"Bring it! Bring it! Comon'! X me!"

"Use your worksheet—it's there for you!"

"Tip of the day: don't smash your face! Okay?! Let somebody else do that."


Yoga X:
"Adjust my shirt."

"Yummy, yummy, yummy. The hard work's over...sort of."

"Fight for that leg to come up. Chest up. Look up. Arms up. It's all about...up."

"How do you make a chair pose pretty?"

"How high can you go? Don't think about your feet on the floor, think about your hands in the sky. And then, stop thinking."

"Five, four, fight for more, three, two, and relax."

"Take in the fact that you just did that...that is sweet."

"Best downward dog of your life! They're comin' in to shoot the cover of Downward Dog Magazine!"

"Settle in."

"We got shake! That means somethin' good's goin' on!"

"Now if you can believe it, I'm not gonna say a word for an entire minute!"


Legs & Back:
"Happiness is this right here!"

"Burn burn burn burn!"

"No heels! I'll come to your house if your heels hit the deck! Okay?! Keep 'em up!"

"Let the mind go somewhere else."

"What is your goal? What is your goal? What is your goal?!" (He said this while looking at three different cameras.)

"I'm a fan of different."

"Do your best and forget the rest."

"Five times...five times...no weights." *This quote doesn't read as funny as it is in the video. It makes me laugh every time I hear it simply because of Tony's pronunciation and timing!

"Quality over quantity. Form's everything."


Kenpo X:
"I don't believe in age, I don't believe in aging...WHATEVER. I believe in moving and eatin' good."

"Kickin' some booty today! Woo hoo!"

"I'm a fan of variety."

"Here comes the party—are you ready?!"

"Bring it!"

"Boom to the moon!"

"X-Time!"

"Take care of your body, and it will take care of you. 'Cause time keeps tickin', you keep gettin' older...you can get better, or you can get all gooey, crotchety, old, pathetic, icky, gross. Not me! Not into it!"

"Get your freakin' knees up! Get your pants up!"


Core Synergistics:
"The good old jumping jack...been around forever...still works wonders."

"Like machines, I tell ya!"

"Let's do it again 'cause we've got a whole bunch of boxes...we gotta put 'em up here."

"Don't go yet! Wait for me! I wanna go!"

"Make an X...it's called P90X!"

"Hello! Core Synergistics! Talk about getting into shape!"

"Comon' crazy hoppin' people!"

"Alright, let's do some huggers...some huggin' and some lovin' of thyself."

"You are less vulnerable and you are more durable."


Chest, Shoulders & Triceps:
"Look at me, I'm lookin' at you!"

"Don't stop breathin'...you stop, you die."

"Nothin' to it!"

"Information is power, with power there is change, change is good."

"I'm just talkin' so you guys get a break! Aren't you happy?! Same for you at home!"


Back & Biceps:
"Good good good!"

"Comon' get on your horse! Woo! Wack it, wack it! Here we go!"

"This is X-Land, everybody! We're in the X!"

"It's not all jokes, folks, we're gonna get busy. Trust me."


Cardio X:
"Exhale in namaste first...pray that everything goes well!"

"Let's go kids!"

"Let's go man! Let's go punk! What'd'ya'got?!"

"We're havin' some fun now!"

"Keep your chest up and your eyes up, so you can see me...and all my kids, all my friends, all my pals, all my grads!"

"Let's go! Get low!"


Ab Ripper X:
"Ab Ripper X...I hate it, but I love it!"

"They're workin' hard, I know you are!"


Aren't those quotes so much fun?! I can perfectly "hear" Tony's hilarious voice when I read them! Ha ha. Yes, I'm a cheesy lady and I love endlessly happy quotes!

So. If you've decided you want to try P90X...congratulations! In case you're interested, here is the link to the P90X worksheets that go along with some of the videos (not every video needs a worksheet). I just found the worksheets online the other day, but I wish I would have known about the them sooner! Then I wouldn't have had piles of notes with my reps and weight listed on them! Ha ha. To clarify, I have the original worksheets that came with my P90X system, but I didn't want to use them in case I didn't like the program and wanted to sell it. Happily, I will never, ever(!) sell my P90X program! Still, it's helpful to have access to their worksheets so I can print them anytime I want.

There you have it! I hope you've enjoyed my review! I will be a fan of P90X until my dying day! I highly recommend P90X to anyone and everyone who is healthy enough(!)—but please don't start it without unquestionable knowledge of your body's good-health status. I don't want anyone having a heart attack based on my recommendation! You can always start small and gradually work your way up to P90X—there is no shame in being careful! Now, I must jet...for it's time for me to go workout! Yay yay!

P.S. I'm not receiving any sort of compensation or kick-back for reviewing P90X, I've simply done it for the greater good! :) Furthermore, the advertisement boxes on Enthusiastic Fantastic don't generate anything other than a few cents every month!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent descriptions and your utter joy was apparent.

    I have a suggestion for your pull ups: Negatives.

    Use your chair, start in the "up" position then lower your self slowly.

    Do several of these lowering yourself slowly reps every pull up workout.

    Soon you will be able to do more reps pulling up.

    ReplyDelete

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