P90X, Ninety Days of Hell in Review
I just finished P90X, and although I love my yoga, I am by no means a fitness girl. I prefer the kind of exercise that sneaks up on you, leaving you panting but you didn’t see it coming. You know, like dancing, sex or running from wild animals. So why would I even consider such an intense program? Well number one I didn’t know what I was getting into, and two it was my boyfriend’s idea. If you follow my hubs you may remember I starting dating the man behind the six pack I found for my Favorite Part of a Man hub. Well a year and a half with me has taken its toll on his once perfect abdomen and he wanted it back. I just wanted to look better in my bikini for my trip to Costa Rica.
Forget "I can't" and say, "I presently struggle with." -Tony Horton
The first day was chest and back followed by Ab Ripper X.. Ouch! As I was struggling to do one pull up, I thought I could seriously kill my boyfriend for getting me into this. Death by push ups was not how I planned to perish, but I could clearly see it was possible. Tony Horton the inventor of P90X, was trying to wake muscles in my body that had been fast asleep since about seventh grade. By day two, I was so sore I had trouble drying my hair. I just couldn’t hold my arms up, let alone hold that fifty bound blow dryer. Day two was plyometrics. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Well, its not. I immediately started having violent thoughts. Some aimed at Tony some at my boyfriend, some aimed at the makers of my tennis shoes. Plyometrics is also called jump training. This proved to be painful in a debilitating way as my bad knee buckled in total refusal under me. Of course I did it anyway and made it much worse. By that night my boyfriend must have realized that I was not on board with this P90X torture tour, because he was reading the manual and found a solution. There are three kinds of P90X: Classic, Lean and Doubles. Lean changed the order of the 12 workouts and removed Plyo. Over all it looked like you did a little less weight training and more cardio. So we switched. That saved me. Day three was Back and Biceps followed by Ab Ripper and I didn’t even want to kill anyone at the end of it. Yes, Ab Ripper is as awful as it sounds. Its 350 variations of a sit up. Its saving grace is it only lasts fifteen minutes and you feel very accomplished afterwards.
The work outs go from an hour to an hour and half. Being a working mom, its kinda hard to find the time. Some days I end up pushing the work out till eight or nine at night, which isn’t ideal. The other time consuming thing is the P90X Nutrition Plan. They want you to eat all day long and very specific things. During the first phase you are carbohydrate deprived and stuffed with protein. Egg beaters, string cheese and sandwich thins were my secret weapons. Try separating whites from yokes six per serving and you will learn to love Eggbeaters too. Besides sandwiches, the “Sandwich Thins” worked great for turkey burgers which we found ourselves eating a ton, and they only counted as 1/2 a carb, hallelujah. I eventually bought a food scale because a lot of the measurements are in ounces and its easy to eat too much or even too little. I did have fun coming up with recipes that stayed within these tight constraints and still tasted yummy. Three products I found indispensable were "Spark" as a pre-workout drink. It helped me find the energy to make it through even the toughest work outs. Tony encourages recovery drinks after every workout for better results. Endurox is similar to the P90X brand but a little cheaper. Lastly, I ate a Cliff Builders Bar everyday. They have 20 grams of protein while many others have only half that, and the chocolate ones are quite tasty.
Besides the different weight training days there are cardio days, yoga and kempo days. I thought since I love yoga and I’m naturally bendy, that I would love yoga days. Nope, Tony took the love right out of it. There are enough sun salutations and downward dogs to gag a maggot. Seriously, like forty minutes of the damn things before you move into balance postures and stretches. The unrelenting deep lunges really played havoc with my knee until I found relief in a knee brace. Now after three months of doing his Yoga X, on a good day I can do every move and find myself waiting for him to keep up with me.
The big happy surprise for me was Kenpo X. Turns out I love kick boxing. Doesn’t feel like exercise, which is the true measurement for me. Its almost more like dancing with drums. I really enjoy the high kicks and punching and wonder who it is I’m fighting with such fervor sometimes. Now that P90X is over this is the one area I think I will pursue.
On the down side, Tony likes to talk -- a lot. His little jokes become terribly monotonous after a few weeks of it. Luckily there is a mode where you can turn off most of his chatter, turn up the music and he only pops in for quick cues, sans the stories and quips.
There are other players. Each program has three or four students behind Tony. Which is good, cause you’ll get tired of looking at his rippedness soon enough. In some cases they are better at the moves than he, especially in yoga. They don’t get to talk much but you get little bits of their personalities and I definitely have my favorites to watch in each program.... and I’ll say straight up “Dreya” is never one of them. She’s the poster girl and always looks like she’s posing and pursing in a mirror. She’s quite accomplished though. She choreographed Pink’s famous acrobat performance for the Grammies. I do love powerful Pam, ultra flexible Shawna and Vanessa, who looks like a sweet Irish girl but could kick your ass. I could stare at Adam’s beautiful and nibble, I mean nimble body all day and wouldn’t mind it if Eric sailed me away in his boat for some private lessons.
With three months of P90X behind me I’m feeling very accomplished. I’m glad I did it, but even more glad its over. My boyfriend’s stats are better than mine with a loss of 10 pounds and 7% body fat, while I’ve only lost 2 pounds and 3% body fat. The minimal weight loss doesn’t bother me because muscle weighs more than fat and I’m definitely firmer and stronger. When we started I couldn't do one pull up. Now I can do a few and butt load of pushups. Speaking of butts, for me the real proof is in the rear view. I can say with totally honesty, I now like the way my naked ass looks in the mirror and for me that makes it all worth it!
"Do your best, forget the rest."