P90X - My Thoughts
I finished the P90X Classic program last week and I wanted to give my view. I am absolutely thrilled at what I have accomplished in this first go round. Thinner in the waist, build in my arms and chest, better cardio, more alert, sleep better at night, and most of all - drastically cut down my alcohol intake which was contributing to the big gut.
From a physical point of view I didn't get the ripped abs that the informercial keeps pushing. There were some exercises I just couldn't do. In the Ab Ripper X DVD some require serious core strength and I'm still not there. Example: Mason Twists: While seated lift your legs and bring them in half way to your chest. For about 1 minute clasp your hands together and twist to your left and right touching the floor for 50 reps (plus the bonus). That is the last one of the routine - oh, I forgot to mention you are moving as fast as you can!
I want to stress that I am not disappointed at all. I have gone from pants that were a tight 42" waist to a loose 38" waist. My shirt is down 1 full size and could probably could go down a 1/2 more but I can't button the neck. It was great going through my closet and getting rid of the clothes that are way to big. Spring will be the next clean out as I'll need new shorts and shirts.
The Diet: It may take a bit to get used to the diet. Phase 1 is the first part and is called the Fat Shredder. You're allotted so much Protein, Carbs and Fats. You can follow the "blocks" or allocations of each for every meal and snack or follow their menu. A lot of eggs, cottage cheese, lean ground beef, turkey, pork, etc.
They have a 7 day menu laying out what you should eat for your 3 main meals and 2 snacks. You also have a protein shakes twice a week for breakfast, if you follow their menu. I followed their menu to get used to it, and it's a lot of work to prep for some these meals. Thank God for my wife! She was preparing these meals and Sundays was 3-4 hours getting them ready for the week.
After the 1st month you go to Phase 2 which is more carbs and less proteins. Phase 3 ups the carbs more. For myself I was a heavy guy and I should have stayed in Phase 2 if not trade off between Phase 1 and 2 in the final 30 days.
Bottom Line: If you were thin when you started or you need the energy, go to Phase 3 diet. If not, stick with Phases 1 and 2.
Starting the routine: I started my routine on a Wednesday which was luck since the longest workout - Yoga X - is an hour and a half long. Saturday was a great day to do that since I could take the morning to do it. The CLASSIC routine is what I started with. By the end of 90 days I could feel it in my body. This workout was 6 days a week with 3 days of weights and 3 days of cardio. the 7th day is either rest or the program X-Stretch.
Bottom Line: If this is your first time in a looooong time working out, start with the LEAN program. More cardio and using light weights with more repetitions. It will be easier on your body and if you decide to do another round you'll be in shape for the Classic program.
Equipment: I bought the Beachbody Chin Up Bar. This is one of the main pieces of equipment needed for the program. I really like this, it's compact and fits in the door frame. No fuss no muss. You can also use it for push ups for a greater range of motion but I haven't tried it yet. (Funny how this was never pushed in the videos!)
I also purchased the Power block adjustable dumbells. Here is an excerpt from my October 8th posting.
I picked up the Powerblock adjustable dumbells. Great units and a lot cheaper that Bowflex. These start at 15 lbs and go to 50 and adjust in 5 lb increments. The Bowflex has 2 different sets, 1 goes up to 52.5 lbs and adjusts in 2.5 lb increments while the other set does the same and goes to 90lbs. The difference:
Powerblock: $299 for the set
Bowflex 52.5Lbs: $399
Bowflex 90Lbs: $599
(Price from Dick's Sporting Goods)
For the starter I highly recommend the Powerblock.
They also recommend a Yoga block. I used the styrofoam packaging the Powerblock was in. Just a useful. I picked up a heart rate monitor from Dick's just to keep an eye on my heart rate. It wasn't one of the necessary items to have but it is informative.
Overall: I really enjoyed the program. It is tough getting started but once you get into the routine it's not bad. I personally should have started out with the lean program first to really burn calories to lose weight and get my body used to lifting, the moves, and stretching. It would have been an easier transition to the CLASSIC round where heavier weights are involved.
I am now into the LEAN program in week number 2. I'm following the workout routine that is outlined but I will follow Phase 1 of the diet program through most of it. I plan to do 5 weeks of Phase 1 and alternate the next weeks between Phase 1 and 2.
For follow on after this program I'm going to check out some of the other P90 programs as well as Turbo Fire and Insanity. I'm not worried if I don't look like the people in those commercials after the 90 days, this is a LIFE LONG COMMITMENT, not a 3 month quick fix.