For those of you who don’t know what P90X is, imagine that you have a kind of quirky, slightly overbearing neighbor who comes over every day and forces you to work out for nearly an hour while yakking non-stop. That’s Tony Horton and the 12-Disc home workout series that I’ve been doing now for six weeks.
As the name implies, it is a 90 day work out, and if you so choose, you get one “rest” day a week, although you also have the option to stretch. As the X implies, it is EXTREME. Well, I don’t know if I would go that far. But it is intense, and as far as I can tell, many people have achieved great results and are now on round 2, 3 or 7 of the regimen.
Since I’m on the third day of week 7 of the Lean series, which is tantamount of halfway or thereabouts, I wanted to share my mid-regimen perspective.
First off, I think it’s practically impossible to do this everyday. Weddings, colds, injuries, sleep, life…whatever. Stuff gets in the way, especially when Yoga is on the menu. Tony butchers the ancient art by drawing it out to an hour and 30 minutes. I’ve only done it once through with the video and then go from the booklet (go it down to an hour) because an hour and half is pretty much impossible to allot to warrior two and downward dog.
The gimmick here is that you’re not supposed to plateau, and keep making gains in weight loss and muscle-building all the way to your 90th day. I have to say, that after my first 30, I was kind of disappointed. I had planned to lose about 5lbs, which I have no idea if I did or not, since I don’t own a scale. However, I did take “before” photos. I also took photos on day 30. My arms and back looked like they were more defined, and my butt had traveled north, but besides that, I didn’t really see that much difference. Also, with the amount of lunges and squats, I really expected my booty to be at mid-back by then.
So I checked my 30 day measurements vs my Day 0, and was surprised to find that I had lost an inch in my waist and half and inch in my hips. My “coach”, which is someone who BeachBody, the parent company of P90X, provides to encourage and advise you through your workout process told me to stop whining and “Press Play”.
Instead, I took a week off and then rejoined the effort with some spin/yoga in the mix. Spin, as some of you may know, is a fairly high-level cardio exercise where you pedal furiously on a stationary bike while some sadistic person yells at you over loud music to crank up your resistance. In my studio, after that torture, you get off the bike and the same sadist forces you to perform balancing exercises (Royal Dancer to Warrior Three to Airplane to Half Moon to Standing Splits all in a row, for those who know), vinyasas, and endless crunches. I thought all of this would be a good idea, except then I was exhausted the rest of the week.
Back to square one. So instead I’ve created an elaborate work out schedule that is too cumbersome to change. This way, I am taking advantage of being so lazy that it’s easier to work out than change the whole schedule.
In all, so far at least, I am happy with the results. I am more flexible, have lots of energy, and have figured out how to mute Tony so I don’t have to listen to him try out his accents ad nauseam. I’ve also taken longer than the allotted time, but I can see the changes in my body as my muscles grow stronger. Apparently most people see the biggest changes at day 65, and I am at day 45. Perhaps in a few weeks I’ll be gushing about my new six-pack, or something.
I’d probably recommend P90X to my friends, with the warning that it’s a pretty serious time suck. But hey, if you’re serious about getting in shape, that’s what it takes, right?