After a summer of excess last year my belly was growing into quite a specimen. I had been exercising, regularly running 4-8 miles but I was drinking a lot and eating pretty much anything and everything I wanted. My main reasons for being so irresponsible was the fact that I was moving to Egypt so had a period of saying goodbye to everyone in Canada, then everyone in USA and then everyone back home in England before I finally departed to Egypt.
On arriving to Egypt I planned to immediately join a gym, however being that Gym’s are a luxury item here I quickly learned that it was probably outside of my budget. Also the streets are not great for running and the pollution is pretty bad. Add the temptations to try everything that a new culture has to offer and as you can imagine, the belly continued to flourish!
At a bit of a loss I was complaining to a friend (In USA) who proceeded to tell me about a new workout he had just started called p90x. I had never heard of p90x before and I am glad I had not. If I had found out it was America’s number one infomercial I never would have gone near it! I hate being sold things in that way!
Another friend of his had finished and he kindly arranged for the DVD’s to be shipped to me so luckily I did not need to buy brand new.
I finish this Thursday (It’s Tuesday at time of writing) and when I do I would have completed a 90 day period of intense exercise, 6-7 days a week… That in itself is a hell of an achievement and makes it all worthwhile!
So what exactly is p90x?
For those of you that have not caught the infomercial (I have not actually seen it yet!). P90x is a fairly intense 90 day scheduled work out program. I requires between 1-1.5 hours of your time for 6 days a week and takes you through an awesome range of varied exercise over 12 videos. The program also comes with log sheets, a big thick workout guide and a nutrition plan.
You work different muscle groups on different days and also have a few cardiovascular sessions in there to keep your entire body working all week. They call this muscle confusion or some dumb thing like that…. But if you have been exercising for any amount of time you will know that working different body parts on different days and switching up your routine is just common sense!
Each month the routines change up a little and you have different videos in different places. Overall it really does keep you on your toes!
The workouts include weights and resistance in pairs (ie legs and back, back and biceps, chest and arms), jump training, yoga (love this one) and kenpo…. All are very fun.
Equipment is minimal with you just needing a chin up bar some dumb bells, a yoga mat and a chair or if that is too much it’s possible to do the whole thing with some resistance bands, a yoga mat and a chair. See my post Home Fitness Exercise Equipment for more info.
My P90x Results
For 3months my days have been arranged around p90x, I became addicted and loved almost every minute (had a few days I hated it here and there). I made every session so for starters I feel great about my commitment. This has really given me a new positive outlook on home exercise!
I started at 210lbs and now I weigh 201lbs. Not bad considering I did not diet very well and I clearly have gained muscle mass. My chest is stronger, my abs are showing through and my stomach is a lot flatter. I still have a few lbs to shed but not much at all…. Also I feel a lot healthier and a little more confident with myself.
Also I only had 2 22lb dumbbells so at times I could have done with more weight or resistance. If I do this again I will be getting hold of some resistance bands as they are much cheaper and easier to store, plus they seem to work the body really really well.
I noticed significant improvement in certain ares, such as Flexibility. My head touched my knee today whilst reaching for my toes! Also I started with 0 pull ups and I can do around 5 now!
Overall it’s lived up to the hype… I didn’t come out ripped but I did come out a lot better than I started and that is all I ever hoped for. I imagine if I do it another time and stick to the diet then I would get ripped.
Who Is P90x For?
P90x is supposed to be for people who already have a good level of fitness. They supply a fit test and you are supposed to make a minimum level before starting the program. I can tell you that I did not reach all the criteria but I started anyway and although I struggled to keep up at times, I still did the whole program and saw significant results. So I would say the program is for anyone with a general fitness level. If you have been inactive for a long long time or are very obese then I would consider starting with a lighter plan. You should also always consult your doctor before starting something like p90x or any physical activity!
I started P90x because I could not afford the gym so it’s great to replace the gym as it should work out a lot cheaper. If you go for the minimal equipment then that should set you back no more than $70.
For people who don’t live near a gym or have trouble leaving home (ie: mothers or caregivers) this workout can be perfect.
It’s important to look at all aspects of things like this so let’s take a look at some of the bad stuff. There are only 12 videos and many are repeated a lot…. This third month I have found myself answering back to the crap jokes made by Tony Horton. Also the ab workout (15 mins after weights) annoyed me for month two…. However I got really good at it and have been loving it for month 3.
P90x sucks time. I have worked my life around this and gotten up early, stayed up late whatever it took to get the workout in…. This is true for any fitness regime though, it requires a life commitment.
I always struggle to jump up just as the workout ends and switch off the DVD as they jump straight into annoying commercials for affiliated products… I hate this especially after a calming session of Yoga!
How Do I Get P90X and How Much Is It?
P90x is created by a company called Beach Body and luckily they sell the product on Amazon for $139.80. If you want to save a little more you can pick up a used copy for around $80-100. I would also consider checking Ebay if you want to go this route.
Here is my affiliate link to p90x on Amazon: P90X Extreme Home Fitness Workout Program – 13 DVDs, Nutrition Guide, Exercise Planner
For equipment ideas you can check out my post for Home Fitness Exercise Equipment
Any Further Questions
As of this coming Thursday (12th Jan 2010) I will be a so called ‘P90x Grad’ so I know what the program is like. If it interests you in anyway but you have questions then just fire away. I love talking about it so I would be glad to answer anything.
What Next For Me!
I am considering doing p90x again at a slower pace but I also really enjoyed the Yoga part so may well just look for a 2-3 month Yoga only course and just integrate some p90x here and there. Also Beach Body have a crazy looking workout that is called Insanity! I am tempted to give this a try in a few months…. And lastly there is an extension to P90x called P90xPlus but it looks, really hard!
Anyway I hope you enjoyed the post and let’s raise a glass (of grape juice) to your health!