I hate workout videos. Moreover, I hate working out at home. Or at least I thought I did.
But shortly after my second daughter was born, I found myself desperate for a convenient way to work out 5-6 days a week. We are lucky enough to have a gym membership, but I was having a hard time making it there because of nap schedules. (Or my obsession with keeping nap schedules…which is a topic in need of it’s own post, or better yet, a nice round of therapy…but I digress.)
So there I was about 4 months post-baby, feeling all squishy and sedentary complaining to my hairdresser about finding a way to workout. (Clearly, a first-world problem I know.) My hairdresser recommended I give Beachbody’s P90X a try. (And naturally, I trust my hairdresser’s advice explicitly.)
After hours of careful Google research, I decided to give it a go. I knew I wanted a strict program to follow. No floating around the gym without a plan or jumping from class to class without a goal. I wanted to push myself and not just lose weight or build stamina, but push my body to be as fit as it could be.
Since it’s January, a month filled with New Year’s resolutions and fresh starts, I thought I’d give you ladies my honest thoughts on the program…
(*I should note that this is not a sponsored post and I am in no way affiliated with Beachbody.*)
What is P90X?
P90X is 90-day program consisting of a set of 12 intense workout DVDs that use resistance and body-weight training, cardio, plyometrics, ab work, martial arts and yoga, along with a nutrition plan, fitness guide and workout calendar. According to Beachbody’s website: “P90X uses targeted training phases so your body keeps adapting and growing. You’ll never “plateau”—which means your body will never get used to the routines, making improvements slow down or even stop.” Tony Horton (P90X Creator and Trainer) refers to this as “muscle confusion.”
What you need
Weights, bands or a pull-up bar, and a yoga mat. *You really should have a pull-up bar and this actually posed a problem for me initially. At the time, we were living in a rental house and I didn’t want to install one over a door. Eventually, I took the workout book (that has all the workouts written out) with me to the gym for the workouts that are really pull-up intense. I used the pull-up machine with the weighted assistance built-in.*
What are the videos like? For real.
Initially, I thought the workouts were super hard. (Probably because when I started I had the upper body strength of a prepubescent boy.) Some of the workouts are so loaded with push-ups and pull-ups I was a little discouraged. Fortunately, my husband started the program shortly after I did and was really encouraging.
The strength training videos are broken down into Chest & Back, Shoulders & Arms, Legs & Back, Chest, Shoulders & Triceps and Back & Biceps. The cardio, core and agility videos are Plyometrics, Yoga X, Kenpo, Cardio X, X Stretch, Core Synergistics and Ab Ripper.
It took me a bit to get used to doing real push-ups in a variety of new and challenging ways. And I’m pretty sure in the beginning I wasn’t doing anything close to what a real pull-up should look like. The good news was the more I forced myself to keep on with the program the more I improved, in turn, motivating me to push myself further.
Plyometrics and Core Synergistics are awesome agility and core-based workouts. Kenpo and Cardio are fun and on the easier side. Yoga X is great – I love that this program incorporates yoga and stretching videos. Ab Ripper X is short, sweet and gets the job done. It’s about 15 minutes long, making it easy to tack on to other workouts.
My results after the initial 90 days were great, but it wasn’t until I did the entire program for the second time that I really saw amazing results. I think this was partly because my postpartum body was so out of shape the first time through the program. I can honestly say I was probably in close to the best shape of my life after the second time – which is saying a lot.
This program is awesome for someone looking for an intense system to tackle at home or that maybe can’t afford a gym membership or personal training. The big negative is that you are working out at home (mostly — I eventually took their detailed guide to the gym with me and did the strength-training workouts there) and need to motivate yourself. This isn’t for everyone, as some people really need more accountability and guidance than that.
It’s been almost two years since my Beachbody P90X experience started. I’ve gone on to try Beachbody’s Insanity system and from there did a P90/Insanity hybrid. While I love Beachbody’s programs, I’m ready to start something else. Something like CrossFit or similar, so that I can be in a group atmosphere again.