You may have seen late-night ads for the P90X workout program–DVDs, a series of “recovery drinks” and energy bars, and books describing how to get ridiculously fit in only 90 days. I’ve never considered myself too out of shape, but I decided to give P90X a spin to see if it would live up to the results its late-night hosts promise. Here’s my review of the P90X workout program.
One of the good things about P90X is that there’s no magic involved. It’s a lot of hard work and good diet, and if you follow it, it’ll definitely get you in shape, although not everyone’s going to have rippling muscles and an eight pack. It’s an athlete’s life, put in a book and a bunch of DVDs, and if you don’t have the money or time for a personal trainer, it’s definitely a good alternative.
The first week of P90X, and the subsequent three weeks, was packed with grueling workouts, about an hour long each. This isn’t a whole lot of time to dedicate, but it’ll rip and tear every muscle in your body. I had muscles hurting that I didn’t know existed, and that’s not just cliché–seriously, I had no idea where my hamstrings were until they were on fire. Luckily, ten minutes of warm up and cool down on each disc helped keep the workouts safe, and the yoga workout in the middle of the week, while difficult, eased a lot of the tension I was now feeling in my body. After the first month, the program switches around a bit to keep your muscles confused and growing. New DVDs are introduced, and some of the old ones are avoided until the final month.
That brings me to what I believe is the only negative aspect of P90X, besides the sometimes-annoying host of the program: the program is DVDs, not a personal instructor, so it’s up to you to make sure your form is correct on each and every exercise. As there are hundreds of exercises, it’s practically inevitable that some users will do some wrong, and this can result in injury or bad results. To combat this problem, the makers of P90X have established BeachBody.com, with forums on P90X where users can meet and work out together to work on their form. Still, you’re learning form from other people that learned from DVDs. On at least some of the exercises, it’d be nice to see more angles. Overall, it’s not a huge flaw with the program, but if you’re new to fitness programs you might want to take a gym class before attempting P90X.
So, how were my results? Very good. I was liberal with the diet program, but I quit junk food and did the exercises every day, and after three months I was lean, I’d lost a few pounds (a lot of fat was replaced with muscle, so the weight loss was only five pounds or so) and I felt more fit than I’d felt in years. I recommend P90X, but only if you’re already in decent shape and can really dedicate time to let the program work. It’s not a miracle, it’s real fitness that you’ve got to work for, which makes it more honest than most of the infomercial fitness products out there.
Have you tried the P90X workout program? Post your thoughts below.