About two and a half years ago a friend of mine at work started doing P90X. I never thought of her as big or needing to lose weight, but it was amazing to see her transformation. She got so toned and thin (again, she never was big in my opinion, but she looked AMAZING! after doing the P90X). After about a year of watching, I asked her if I could borrow some of the workouts to check them out. I had heard that they were intense and wanted to learn, could I really do this. She brought in one disc for me to try but mentioned that there was a coworker who had a set that she wasn't currently using it.
I tried the first work out she gave me and really liked it. I asked my other coworker if I could borrow her discs for a while to try it before I made an investment. I decided to go with the Classic workout, which included one workout per day, with a rest or stretch on the 7th day. If you aren't familiar with P90X, the premise is muscle confusion. You alternate between days of cardio and strength training and there are three phases across the 90 days. For the first three weeks, you complete the workouts of Phase 1 with the fourth week being recovery with some workouts from the first phase and some others. For weeks five through seven, you completed the workouts of Phase 2 - two of the strength training workouts change and week eight is a recovery week again. Then, weeks nine through twelve are alternating the week from Phase 1 and the week from Phase 2. Week thirteen is a recovery week. I know that the workout rotation is by design to help you get the most out of it, but for me the rotation is key to my continued completion of the program too. I like the variety in the workouts and the fact that each day is different, but overtime you are doing the same workouts and can get better at them.
I would be lying if I said that it was an easy workout, after the 50 - 60 minute workouts, you can definitely feel it. If you really "Bring It" as Tony Horton says, you can get a serious workout. If you are a beginner, he tells you to "Modify, Modify, Modify". I can definitely say that I have gotten better at the workouts and really have come to enjoy them. Early on I would modify and could only do half of some of the exercises/moves, now I can get though most workouts. I did have two challenges - I don't have a pull-up bar. We tried to get one for the doorway in our basement, but it is wider than a standard doorway. I have improvised, either using free weights to simulate the movement or more often, substituting back exercises from the other routines when the group was doing pull-ups or chin-ups. I couldn't do the yoga workout - it is 1 1/2 hours long and I am doing the workout before I get ready for work. I can manage the extra hour in the morning, but 1 1/2 hours is too much. I also don't workout on the weekend. It is too hard for me to find the time in the morning and because I don't want to have to go to bed early, I don't think I could get up at 5 am to workout. As a result, I simply left out the Yoga and used the 7th day to rest, in effect, giving myself a five day workout.
I have just completed my second full time through the P90X routines. I had started it twice before but one time illness got me off track and one time falling and tearing up my leg sidetracked me. It is amazing to see the progress. Not only did I lose weight, but even when I stopped losing weight (right about the start of round two) I continued to lose some inches with toning. I can also tell a difference in how I workout. I stared with only a set of 4# weights and now have moved up to 5# and 8# for some moves. I would like to pick up a set of 10# weights before the next round. On the strength training, you have the option of 8-10 reps for size or 12-15 for lean muscle. I, not wanting a body builder shape, have elected to go the route of lean. With more reps, you also don't need as much weight. With P90X, even before you can see it on the scale or how your clothes fit, you get quick feedback the following day when you can feel it in your muscles - you know that you have done something because you can feel the tenderness.
Now that I am between sessions, I am working on the Yoga. I have gotten a set of instructional DVDs from the library and have been doing those, as well as doing 1/2 at a time of the P90X Yoga DVD. Let me tell you, I always thought Yoga was about calm and centering, I never really understood is a full blown workout. I am sweating after I do the P90X Yoga and can definitely feel it the following day.
The other nice thing about P90X is that although there is an inital investment to purchase the DVDs (you can find used copies - I've seen them both online and at local video exchange stores) and weights, once you have made the purchase there is no ongoing cost for the workout. Unlike a class or a gym membership, you can continue to exercise for months and years to come without the ongoing class fees or membership costs. This makes P90X a long term frugal workout option for me.
P90X works for me. I love it.
This post shared at Works for Me Wednesday and Frugal Friday.