P90X – Bring It!

Okay, my post about the FB pledge to better health with P90X has generated lots of questions for me (and I suppose smiles for the makers of the DVD- and NO, I do not have any financial or other ties to them!) I will explain what it is and why I personally enjoyed it, but more importantly, I want to encourage you to find what will push YOU a bit out of your comfort zone.

P90X is a series of exercise DVDs. To be honest, I learned about it several years ago when I was in a hotel exercise room and the infomercial was on the locked-in TV channel, so I was a captive audience. Time seems to be my scarcest resource, so exercising at home is my preference. That being said, both my body and my mind get bored with simply walking the dogs or riding the exercise bike, and I am not one to spontaneously drop in to push ups or heaven-forbid, sit ups! Each DVD in this series is different, from old-fashioned calisthenics (though who knew their were over a half dozen kinds of push ups??) to yoga to kick-boxing. I am generally in good shape, but the first week of this program, I literally felt like a truck had run over me- and that was with only being able to do maybe 10% of the exercises! I’m happy to say that in several weeks, I could do everything (okay, except the yoga, which I never mastered.) And, for full disclosure, I developed a shoulder injury that was aggravated with the pull ups, so I had to put P90X back up on the shelf, but I did so with vastly improved upper body & torso definition and strength, and I went back to a self-modified version of this program after I rehab’d my injury.

Would I recommend P90X for you? Maybe. From my standpoint, this type of program is best for the person is at or within roughly ten pounds of their ideal body weight, is already doing some kind of cardio consistently, but wants to get serious about changing their body shape and strength, AND will commit to the hour per day that this program demands. Talk to your doctor and see what she recommends.

The take home message here is that if you stay in the same exercise program for prolonged periods and expect different results, you are setting yourself up for disappointment (especially if you are walking or running.)

BOTTOM LINE: I have always encouraged cross-training for this reason, but pushing yourself to the next level- more intensity, more muscle groups, or simply different muscles- is the best way to break out of a body plateau.  

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