P90X, the wildly popular extreme home fitness program from BeachBody, claims it can get you into the best shape of your life in 90 days. I’ve done it, and it can.
The secret to P90X‘s success is that it is not only designed to push you to your limits each and every workout, but the order of the workouts is strategically designed to avoid strength plateaus, so you continue to grow and improve every step of the way. This technique is called muscle confusion, and it is the single best way to get results fast.
If you’ve never heard of Tony Horton‘s P90X, you must be living under a rock, but just in case, P90X is a 3 phase, 90 day fitness program comprised of 12 workout DVDs. What sets P90X apart is it makes no promises of being easy, but nothing that is worth it ever is, right?
The program lasts for 12 weeks and is split into 3 phases. Each phase consists of 3 weeks of hard workouts, followed by one week of recovery workouts so your body can rest and rebuild. Rest is deceiving, though, because the workouts are still tough and long- around 60-90 minutes a day. The next month, a new phase begins, with different DVDs in a different order. The workouts are 6 days a week, with one rest day, or a stretching DVD if you so choose.
The 12 DVDs range from strength training to cardio, yoga to stretching, so you’re body is constantly on its toes and you never get bored. The P90X workout DVDs include:
Chest and Back
This DVD focuses on push and pull techniques, alternating different push ups and pull ups through out.
Ab Ripper X
Ab Ripper X is the ab workout, and it’s exactly the same through out the entire 12-week program and done almost every other day. It’s only 16-minutes long, but intense: every exercise is done for 25-reps, unless otherwise noted, for a total of 339 ab and core exercises.
This is the hardest DVD by far, with a full hour of constant jump drills to get your heart rate up and blast calories. It can be tough on the knees, so some may want to swap it out for the Cardio X DVD, or follow the modified moves.
Shoulders and Arms
This DVD alternates bicep, tricep and shoulder exercises with free weights for killer muscle burn.
Don’t be fooled by yoga: it’s tough, it’s sweaty and you’ll be shaking in the first 5 minutes. While your muscles may be screaming for mercy, at the end of the DVD you’ll feel relaxed, flexible and ready for anything.
This DVD is a bit of a floater. It can be used in place of Plyometrics in case you are at a lower fitness level or have an injury, or can be added into your week strictly for variety.
Legs and Back
It seems like an odd combo, but it works. This is the only leg focused workout, but do P90X for a week, and you’ll see you get enough of a leg workout during the cardio DVDs.
Kenpo is usually everyone’s favorite DVD. Kenpo is a type of karate, so you’ll kick and punch your way through a fun, sweat soaked cardio workout.
The name is a bit misleading, because even though the focus is on the core, not many traditional core exercises are used. Synergistics means working together, so the majority of this workout is your upper and lower body working together to transfer momentum through your core, strengthening it at the same time.
Chest Shoulders and Triceps
Free weight and body weight exercises are used to strengthen the chest, shoulder and tricep muscles.
Back and Biceps
You’ll never see more variations of a bicep curl than you will in the workout.
This full body stretching DVD isn’t necessary, and is scheduled on your rest day if you so choose to do it. Once you get started, however, it’s not a bad idea to get in a good long stretching session, as your muscles will be tight, tired and sore.