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P90x Review: Week 1

6 Aug 2011

I started P90x this past week. The home fitness program was a present for my birthday, nearly a year ago now. My sister, a BeachBody coach [Jess’ page], gave me the gift because I raved about the Insanity program and thought maybe I would like P90x as well.

I was eager to try it – or so I thought. P90x is nothing like Insanity, I soon discovered. First of all, I love bodyweight training, and I like Shaun T. It didn’t bother me that he would get tired and pant his way through the tougher bouts of the workouts. I thought that was inspiring, and it didn’t make me feel bad to get in additional rests here and there outside of the 30-second mico-recovery he would give you in between circuits of squats, jumps, and any type of push-up/plank variation you can image.

Tony Horton, on the other hand, annoyed me. Also, I am used to doing cardio every day in addition to resistance training. So going one day without one of the other went against the grain for me. I also wasn’t sold on the nutrition component–I’ve had enough protein bars in my day and the results & recovery formula tasted too good to be good for you.

When I evaluate a fitness program, I look for five things:

  • Effectiveness: Does it do what it claims to do? In this case, get you in the best shape of your life, thanks to “muscle confusion?”
  • Nutrition: Is there one? Is it sound, well-balanced and sustainable?
  • Efficiency: How long does it take to do routines? Is the time commitment reasonable?
  • Workout Quality: Are the workouts challenging? Are they varied enough to hit all muscle groups and functional movements? Are cardio, flexibility, strength, and core work all integrated?
  • Intensity: Is it for beginning, intermediate, or advanced exercisers? What population, if any, should think twice or get a physician’s clearance before pursuing?

I started P90x shortly after receiving it, but I didn’t like it. First, I was measuring it against Insanity, which is not the right thing to do since they are two completely different programs. Second, I expected an hour or less time commitment six days a week. Most of the workouts require more time than that, so I wasn’t entirely sold on its efficiency. I felt like I could accomplish as much, if not more, in less time. I stopped after the first few days.

So now, out of curiosity and a genuine passion for trying new exercise programs, I’m giving it another shot. I’m planning ahead, carving out time in my calendar. Honestly, there will be days when I won’t get the entire 90-minute yoga session in because it’s just a long time. Still, I’m going to stick with it and write all about it.

Next week, more on how P90x meets the criteria so far.

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