Sunday, October 2, 2011

P90X - Things to Consider BEFORE Attempting This

I know, I know. I'm not even half way through the Slim in 6 program, and I'm already thinking about starting the next program. But, I have the P90X DVDs in hand of course I'm reading them. Wow, this is a lot of work!

P90X is organized into training blocks. The beauty (or insanity) of this program is that its emphasis is on muscle confusion. So, every block is constantly changing the muscles efforts. Each block is 4 weeks long (3 weeks of varying, but preset order of programs, followed by one week of recovery). The recovery week focuses on cardio, core strength, balance and flexibility...just not intense strength training.

These are simply not a bunch of workout videos thrown together. 12 videos total includes:
  • Chest & Back
  • Plyometrics
  • Shoulders & Arms
  • Yoga X
  • Legs & Back
  • Kenpo X
  • X Stretch
  • Core Synergistics
  • Chest, Shoulder & Triceps
  • Back & Biceps
  • Cardio X
  • Ab Ripper X
Also, there are some required equipment for this series:
  • Pull-Up Bar
  • Resistance Bands and/or Free Weights
  • Push-Up Stands (not required, but more effective for a deeper push-up

There is a method to the madness. Just as a synopsis, there are three modifications to the routine. All 3 plans last for 90 days (13 weeks) and require at least six days/week (the 7th day is always a rest day). Almost all videos are around 60 minutes, but Yoga X is 90 minutes and Ab Ripper X is 16 minutes. The 3 plans are the:

  • "Classic" is muscle intensive. The only video not used is the Cardio X. Of course, you can always include the Cardio X sporadically, in addition to the required videos if you desire :) If you do this, be sure to include Cardio X on the days when you are doing your strength training workouts, or if you over indulge on dinner!
  • "Lean" is more cardio intense and less strength building than "Classic". If someone isn't ready for the muscle burn of the "Classic" or simply is doing this program to lose excess fat, this may be perfect for them. Do not be swayed into thinking that the "Lean" program is not intense though, even if you do not utilize the Plyometrics, and Legs & Back videos.
  • "Doubles" adds another cardio workout to the "Classic" plan 3-4 days a week. Other than that, a large chunk of the program is similar to the "Classic" plan. This is designed for people who want more cardio, presumably for weight loss. This is intense...some days you are working out in the morning and the evening, so definitely purchase additional workout clothes, unless you want to do laundry more often!
There is definitely not a "one size fits all" approach to this regimen. Regardless of the specific plan one choses to follow, muscle confusion is the main reason people see such benefits from this program. Even if you change up the program after the first "block" due to time constraints, it works. Stick with it for the prescribed 90 days, and you will look better.

As I get closer to starting this workout, I'll touch base on additional things to consider before starting it, why I'm doing it, my personal goals, and also the individual videos associated with the program. Surprisingly, while weight loss is my primary objective overall, I'm leaning towards the "Classic", as I think the running will get me to where I want to be with cardio.


  1. New follower from Bloggy Moms! :) I look forward to reading more about this! Jst bought myself a new pair of running shoes, can't wait to get running again. I've also been eyeing the P90X program. Might be more than I cn handle right now...but I really want to try it someday!

  2. Thanks Jamie for the note! I'm not ready for the P90X either...yet! I think many people purchase it thinking that they can just jump into it and look great at the end of the 13 weeks...but it seriously assumes a level of fitness that most people don't quite have yet. That, or that you are 20 and have tons of energy, no kids, no family and can devote the time to it effortlessly!

    This is exactly why I started with the "Slim in 6" program...Its a nice "bridge" between relatively fit (eg running several days a week) and ready for P90X. I at least recognized that I wasn't ready, but knew how to get there.

    Some people simply cannot commit to a 6-week program in order to see if they are ready for a 13-week program. Its tough. And what is one's plan if after the 6-week program they are not quite ready still? Knowing that this is possible, one has to be ready for that potential defeated feeling. So, just stay strong and stay focused and I know you will get there. It may not be right now, but it will be if you stay active!


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