I got sucked in. After a few days of watching my husband emerge from the basement covered in sweat saying things like, “You’d love this,” or “Today’s workout kicked my butt,” or “When was the last time you cleaned out the kitty litter?” I decided to give P90X a go. Not to mention the fact that I’m getting a little sick of everyone telling Jon how fabulous he looks since he started cycling, only to have them look at me and say…nothing.
Lots of people(like three of you) are asking how long I’ve been doing it, if I like it so far and if it’s worth the money. So in an attempt to answer all your questions, here is my (drumroll, please)
Unofficial Preliminary Assessment of P90X.
How long have you been doing P90X?
About two weeks. But I’ve sort of been on an every-other-day schedule. Turns out that I have some other stuff to do besides spend hours in my basement sweating. So at this rate, I will actually have accomplished P180X when it’s all said and done—sort of like the modified/remedial version.
How do you like it so far?
Like all things in life, I’ve got pretty strong opinions about P90X. How boring would Fitness Friday be if I didn’t? I’ll break it down for those of you following the modified/remedial P180X version:
Stuff I Like:
•The P90X Guy (whose name escapes me) is hilarious. Anyone who can make me laugh out loud gets bonus points immediately. However, we’ll assess his humor factor at the end of 90 days (or 180 days). It may become like listening to my son Elijah tell the only joke he knows: “What do you call a snail on a ship? A SNAILor! Get? SNAILor????” Funny the first few times. After that? Not so much.
•The warm-ups and cool-downs are awesome. I just like the way he stretches the muscles. Very effective and stretchy.
•Most of the workouts are fun, intense and challenging. But not so challenging that a normal person cannot do them. Unless you are my neighbor. My neighbor (a normal person) did P90X for a few days and had to call in sick to work because he was so sore. I’m not kidding. I found this to be hilarious and laughed out loud when I heard about it—bonus points to you, normal neighbor!
•The workouts are designed to be easily modified to adjust to your fitness level (though it is definitely NOT a beginner’s work out. If you are just starting out OR you have knee or back problems, this is not the workout for you.) It’s nice to see five different people on the DVDs lifting different weights and doing a different numbers of reps, rather than everyone being perfectly choreographed and synchronized. It’s also nice to have men AND women working out during each DVD—real people who are P90X grads. Sort of feels like you’re in a gym and not a Malibu health club. I’ve never been in a Malibu health club, but I’ve been to Malibu. Everyone sort of looks like this:
Unless, of course, you’ve had one-too-many appointments with Dr. 90210. Then you look like this.
Beware. It’s a fine line, y’all.
•At the bottom of the screen, it displays the amount of time left on the particular workout, the amount of time left on the entire work out and what is coming up next. I LOVE this feature. I’m a girl who likes to know where I am, what’s coming up and how long before I can stop.
•You don’t need much equipment: Dumbbells, a chair or bench and a pull-up bar. Here’s a little story about that: we bought a pull-up bar but didn’t have a place to hang it in our basement. Jon decided to hang it in the doorway between my master bath and my walk-in closet. This not only renders the pull-up bar useless during the actual work out, but it also precludes me from closing my closet door. GRRRRRRR….Thankfully, we have a pull-down machine and resistance bands, which work just as well as a pull-up bar.
•You do something different every day of the week. And then, every three weeks, you change the order of weekly routine. This is the key to P90X—muscle confusion. Like I need more confusion in my life.
Stuff I don’t like:
•The Kenpo work out. What’s Kenpo, you ask? It’s sort of like kickboxing, but more irritating. If you like kickboxing, then you’d probably love it. Jon loved it. I hated it. I felt uncoordinated and couldn’t get my heart rate up to save my life. So frustrating! I happen to be a genetic mutant who loves to exercise. I think God let me do an hour of Kenpo so I could have compassion on all of you who hate exercise. I promise you, next time Kenpo comes up on my P180X schedule, I will say a prayer for you. And then I will hop on the elliptical instead of doing Kenpo.
•Speaking of an hour, the workouts are LONG. Most days, you will do a full hour. On some days when you add the abdominal workout, you will go an additional fifteen minutes. On the yoga day, downward dog will hold you hostage for a full ninety minutes! Ninety minutes!! First of all, who has ninety minutes to work out? Not me. That’s why I stopped after 45 minutes. And second of all, who can possibly “clear their mind” (a repeated command from P90X Guy—whose name still escapes me) while their two-year-old is asking, “Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, can I work out wif you? Mommy, I’m doing homework!, Mommy, can I have apple juice? Mommy, why are you making that sound? Mommy can I play Play Doh? Mommy, can we watch Dora? Mommy? Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?”
•The eating plan is confusing. And this from a girl who is not at all confused about what she should be eating. I keep looking at it, wanting to follow it, but every time I do, I get brain-muscle confusion. Sort of the same way I feel when I see this:
•You cannot do this in a gym. You must do it with the DVD. I just got a gym membership and I’m still wondering how to incorporate the two.
Is it worth the money?
Well, remember the normal neighbor who called in sick after doing a few days of the work out? He is letting us borrow it for free. So, yes, for us it’s been worth every penny. Would I pay $120 for it? Maybe. If I was really bored with my workout routine and felt like I completely reached a plateau (brain or otherwise).
At this point, it is really too early to tell how this will work out and if I’ll stick with it for the duration. From past experience, I know that working out this hard definitely produces great results. However, since starting P90X, I’ve actually gained five pounds. I’m sure that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that I’ve added back into my diet dairy, sugar, grains and meat after fasting those things for 40 days. Yes, I blame it entirely on Kenpo. And mark my words, if another two weeks goes by and I continue to gain weight, I’m TOTALLY breaking up with P90X. Like for SURE.
Remember, there is nothing new under the sun, and that is true with proper fitness and nutrition,too. Fads don’t work. Miracle diets don’t work. If you want to be fit and healthy, you need to exercise hard and often (which P90X offers). And you need to eat a diet loaded with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while eliminating high fat/low nutrition food (which I’m pretty sure P90X offers, but I’m too confused to tell you for sure). Body for Life and Jillian Michaels offer similar plans—They are just packaged differently.
I’ve heard it said that the BEST exercise is the one you will actually do. Simply put, it really is about finding the workout routine that you enjoy the most–you won’t do something you hate.
Don’t believe me? Just ask Kenpo.