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Showing posts with label P90X. Show all posts
Showing posts with label P90X. Show all posts

Saturday, 20 February 2016

50 Days In A Fitness Update

50 Days In A Fitness Update



Over the years I have done a lot of different things to work at being healthier and fit. Now on the closer side of 50 than 40 and with three young kids it is even more important. And I have learned a lot over the years. Almost anyone can lose weight in the short term and there are dozens and dozens of programs out there to help you if that is your goal, but for myself the changes often did not last more than a year or two or through an injury or two.

Now speaking of injuries, when doing programs like P90X, BodyBeast, Body 4 Life I found that by around day 200-250 I was injured, pulled muscles, tears, major pain and setbacks. Especially after the 40th year. I do not know anyone my age who does these soft of programs of CrossFit who has not ended up injured and sidelined, often for long stretches. I am not saying these programs or styles of workouts don't work, but as you try and push heavier weights, more reps or more sets on an aging body injuries seem inevitable. Even Tony Horton, Mr. Fitness himself wore a compression cuff for his elbow for almost 2 years during the Tony Horton 1 on 1 phase.

At my kids school they always have a big celebration on the 100th day of School. Today February 19th 2016 is the 50th day of the year, and the 50th day of my having similar workouts and I am feeling awesome. But even with all that daily stretching and body weight exercises for the better part of the last year I had nearly daily pain, either my shoulders, an old injury, or knees. This past fall my Mother in law read a book called The Miracles of Rebound Exercise by Albert E. Carter, and suggested I read it. I was fascinated by the science of rebounding and stimulating the lymphatic system for health and healing.

So since the new years and a Christmas gift of a rebounder my current routine is as follows. Most days I get up and workout starting at 5am:

5 Minutes Rebounding Health
5 Minutes Rebounding Fitness
Plank Challenge
7 Minute Workout HIIT
25-60 minutes Stretching and Body Weight Exercises

And then I teach 4 body weight exercise classes a week outside of that at lunch or morning before work.

This past week I added in:

Pull-ups
Bench Dips


Now I use the Perigee 7 App and because of doing plank challenges use a custom workout.

And between the stretching, and body weight exercises I am feeling great and looking forward to the next 50 days.


You can see my work out's by day tracking here. And to help keep me on track and tracking not just physical but other goals I use Coach.me and also certified as a coach to help others set goals and make changes. 



Thursday, 26 November 2009

P90X at 120 Days Out


I have been wo
rking out with Tony Horton for 120 days at the writing of this. I have done a full round of P90X, and am now doing a custom P90X+/One on One Hybrid program. I have had a lot of questions about P90X and thought one of the easiest ways to answer would be to write a concise review of each workout in the series. I can only say thank you Beachbody and Tony Horton for helping me get in the best shape I have been in for years.

How To Bring It
(13 minutes)

This short in
tro video is an overview of the series. It covers both the fitness component and the science and nutrition that went into the food plan and the supporting supplements. I watch it again every few weeks as a reminder and a little motivational pep.
Chest & Back
(54 minutes)

Push and Pull, alternating pushups and pull-ups or weighted exercises. This is a great workout. 12 exercises repeated for 24 sets. I was surprised how much I liked this workout since it only had 3 exercises that used weights, but it really pushes you to the limit.

Plyometrics
(59 minutes)

I really expected to not enjoy this workout. Yet it quickly became one of my favorites. Plyometrics is jump training - 30 moves repeated twice all in under 60 minutes. You will be dripping in sweat when you finish this workout, and aglow with the feeling of accomplishment.
Shoulders & Arms
(60 minutes)

Here are fifteen exe
rcises repeated for 30 sets in under 60 minutes. All but two have weights. I always feel great after this workout. You can feel and see results almost immediately.


Legs & Back
(59 minutes)

This is the only weight workout done in all weeks and all phases. It has 23 exercises so be ready to squat, lunge, and do pull-ups like you never have before.
Kenpo X(56 minutes)

You will burn major calories while throwing punches, blocking and kicking. A very intense high energy workout.

X Stretch
(58
minutes)

Is
designed to help you reach a higher level of athleticism, prevent injuries and to help avoid plateaus. Used in recovery weeks or on your rest day as an option to keep active. Not nearly as difficult as X but still a good stretch routine to help keep the kinks at bay.
Core Synergistics
(58 minutes)

I literally puked t
he firs t few times I did this workout. It is incredibly intense and because most exercises are designed to target two or three muscle groups simultaneously it will crush you (in a good way).

Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps
(56 minutes)


24 sets back to back, designed to work the whole upper body. This is my favorite of the original P90X workouts. My arms always feel massively pumped after this workout. Pushups, flys, dips and more. An awesome routine.

Back & Biceps
(52 minutes)

Another routine of 24 different exercises. A pull-up, a tricep exercise, then 2 bicep exercises. Tony Horto
n has created some awesome workouts, and this is one of the best.

Cardio X
(44 minutes)

This is a low impa
ct cardio routine that is fun and will have you burning calories. It is used in the Lean and Doubles version of P90X or as an alternate for Plyometrics if you need it when starting.

Ab Ripper X
(17 minutes
)

11 moves, over 300 reps in just under 17 minutes. Talk about killer. It took me about 6 weeks to get the number of reps and another 6 weeks to have good form. Almost everyone starting out questions this one - should they keep pace, or do the reps. It comes down to choice but each day try for better form and or more reps until you're matching Tony and the gang. (Note: this is on the Weight day DVDs also, so you don't need to switch them out.)



Interval X Plus
(40 minutes)

Propels your heart rate up and down with 3 speeds, creating more dramatic change in the shortest period of time. (40 minutes)

Kenpo Cardio Plus
(40 minutes)

This is an advanced version of Kenpo X with new moves to help you reach your ultimate fitness goals.


Upper Plus
(45 minutes)

This upper-body workout will work all your muscles from the hips on up in a completely new w
ay. This is a great workout, and doing a traditional P90X+ you do it twice a week. 20 exercises most done for 60 or 90 seconds straight.

Total Body Plus
(45 minutes)

This one did not really do much for me. 21 Exercises designed to work the whole body.

Abs/Core Plus
(20 minutes)

20 Exercises designed to take your abs to the 6 or 8 pack range. Yet you will really need to have a chin-up bar. Many of these exercises cannot be modified for use with the bands.

Tony Horton is a master motivator. His workouts keep you interested and coming back day after day. This is an excellent how-to fitness program. It is exciting and diverse enough to be challenging and to keep you motivated. For the most part the video's have 4 audio options also, normal Tony talking throughout, music off, music and cues and cues only. There is also a great video series on You Tube on the making of P90X. But what really matters is getting active, being healthy and making wise food choices. I will keep posting at the end of each phase and as I try new workout videos from Tony Horton, Beachbody and others. To the right is my current schedule I am in week 3, and you can download the workout sheets here.

P90X Articles in order Phase I, Phase II, Gear, Phase III, Fitness Options.
(Disclaimer: I am asked frequently if I am a Beachbody Coach, no I am not, I am just some one who has used their products, P90X, 1on1 with Tony Horton and more and liked them and achieved good results. I am not paid by Beachbody or any of their affiliates. You can see my full disclaimer here.)
Other Fitness Articles:Fall 2011 Programs
Workout program March 2012
My Gear February 2012
Fitness My Retrospective

TRX Articles:
TRX an Introduction
TRX Force

TRX Force Tactical
TRX Essential Flexibility

My P90X Series:
Phase I, Phase II, Gear, Phase III, Fitness Options, P90X at 120 Days Out
Health & Fitness Book Reviews:The Primal Blueprint 21 Day Total Body Transformation - Mark Sisson
The Ten Commandments Of Lifting Weights - Jared Zimmerer
Toadally Primal Smoothies - Todd Dosenberry
Caveman Resurection - Jeff Pickett
40 Days to Optimal Health - Dr. Scott Morris
Eat Stop Eat - Brad Pilon
The Primal Blueprint - Mark Sisson
The New Rules of Lifting - Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove
Bench Press by: Sven Lindqvist
Sly Moves by: Sylvester Stallone
Fit for Eternal Life: A Christian Approach to Working Out, Eating Right, and Building the Virtues of Fitness in Your Soul by: Dr. Kevin Vost
Body for Life 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strenght by: Bill Phillips
Lose Fat Not Faith by Jeremy R. Likeness
Living The Good Life: Your Guide to Health and Success by: David Patchell-Evans
Dump your Trainer by: Ashley Marriott and Marc L. Paulsen

Friday, 20 November 2009

Fitness Options for the Student Lifestyle

Want to be in better shape, feel the need to de-stress? If so, in this article we will look at the pros and cons of three fitness programs from Beachbody.com and how they can work with your student lifestyle. This article is a follow-up and continuation of my four-part series on my personal lifestyle change using P90X. We will examine 3 different programs from Beachbody and how they can be used to continue P90X or on their own to help bring a greater level of fitness to your life. We will be examining One on One with Tony Horton, P90X+ and the 10 Minute Trainer. As a disclaimer, I have not done the full program for these series but I have done each of the workout videos at least once.

All three of these programs are hosted by International fitness sensation Tony Horton. Last year at one
point, P90X and 10 Minute Trainer were both in the 50 top-selling infomercial products; currently P90X is number 1 after 6 years on the market according to industry tracker IMS (Infomercial Monitoring System). Tony has, over the last 20 years, established himself as one of the premier personal training experts. He has worked with such stars as Tom Petty, Billy Idol, Sean Connery, Annie Lennox, Jason Scheff, Rob Lowe and many others. He is a little quirky and a little verbose but his workouts get the job done. The workouts are hard enough that you can get great results, but enjoyable enough that you keep hitting play. At the writing of this, I have hit play over 100 days in a row and worked out with Tony through his DVDs.
One on One With Tony Horton
This is a fantastic series that can be purchased in two different
ways. It can either be a subscription service and you get billed and receive a new video each month in the mail, or you can just buy specific workouts that appeal to your personal taste. They started the year Tony Horton turned 50. The advantage of the subscription service is they send out freebies and gifts from time to time such as bonus workouts, a special holiday workout, a jump rope and more. The cost is about the same at about $20 each. The workouts in this series so far are:
To find out more about this series or other workouts in the collection follow the links below. I have created a random workout generator that uses 1 on 1's and P90X if your interested.
Volume 1, Disk 1: Plyo Legs
Volume 1, Disk 2: Power 90® Road Warrior
Volume 1, Disk 3: Killer Abs

Volume 1, Disk 4: Just Arms
Volume 1, Disk 5: 30-15: The Upper-Body Massacre
Volume 1, Disk 6: Fountain of Youth
Volume 1, Disk 7: Super Cardio

Volume 1, Disk 8: Mammoth UML
Volume 1, Disk 9: Bun Shaper
Volume 1, Disk 10: Medicine Ball Core Cardio
Volume 1, Disk 11: Recovery 4 Results

Volume 1, Disk 12: Diamond Delts
Volume 1, Bonus Disk - Holiday Workout
Volume 2, Bonus Disk - Pay It Forward
Volume 2, Disk 1: Cardio Intervals
Volume 2, Disk 2: Core Ball Sandwich
Volume 2, Disk 3: Patience "Hummingbird"
Volume 2, Disk 4: 10-Minute Crusher Pack

Volume 2, Disk 5: Butt and Belly (I Dare You)
Volume 2, Disk 6: Back and BellyVolume 2, Disk 7: On One Leg
Volume 2, Disk 8: Iso Abs
Volume 2, Disk 9: Cardio Confusion - Mason's Choice
Volume 2, Disk 10: 100/30/20
Volume 2, Disk 11: On One Leg 4 legs
Volume 2, Disk 12: Upper Body Balance

Volume 3, Disk 1: Chest, Back & Balls
Volume 3, Disk 2: ARX2 (Ab-Ripper X 2)
Volume 3, Disk 3: Shoulders and Arms MC2
Volume 3, Disk 4: Base and Back
Volume 3, Disk 5: MC2
Volume 3, Disk 6: Plyocide
Volume 3, Disk 7: Stretch And Recovery
Volume 3, Disk 8: V Sculpt
Volume 3, Disk 9: Core Synergistics MC2
Volume 3, Disk 10: UBX
Volume 3, Disk 11: PAP
Volume 3, Disk 12: Total Body X


The advantage of this series is you can buy just a few to start and add to your collection over time, or join the subscription service and get a new one each month for less than I spend on coffee in a week. These are heart intense workouts - just Tony in his home gym or on the road, doing the workouts he does to stay in shape. My favorites are Just Arms and Diamond Delts. These advanced workouts are for those already in shape and some require more equipment than P90X. But they are worth it. Most of the workouts come in between 40 and 60 minutes. They are filmed with 2 still cameras and 1 camera man following Tony through his routine and interacting with him. They are a lot of fun and full of new exercises or variati ons from other exercises in Tony's cannon.
P90X+
To be honest, I
was very disappointed in this series. Having graduated from P90X I thought this would be a great way to take it to the next level. It adds 5 more workouts to your collection and they become the core, and the original 12 workouts from P90X supplement this regime. The new workouts are Interval X Plus, Kenpo Cardio Plus, Upper Plus, Total Body Plus, and Abs Core Plus. The problem is you absolutely ne ed a chin-up bar for some of these workouts and for a few exercises you need Beachbody's specific chin-up bar. Nowhere on the product website does it have any information stating this. If you did P90X using exercise bands, you're out of luck or need to figure out the modifications yourself. The other disappointing thing about this series is this: in the original P90X Tony works out with 3 other people in each video and most people are in 2 of the 12 videos. For P90X+ it is the same 2 people for each of the five video s. Where are Pam, Dreya, Joe, or some of the others? My final criticism is the feel of the videos. They feel like infomercials; you are constantly being sold the Tony Horton Power Stands, the Chin-up bar, Bowflex Select Tech dumbbells (which Tony uses and raves about in this series but in his home gym on the One on Ones he uses traditional dumbbe lls), and then the supplements. However these are good workouts. Th ey are intense and do take P90X up a notch, but I really think a better continuation of P90X could have been done, by using more workout partners, by offering modifications like in the original P90X and by being less sales oriented.

10 Minute Trainer
After doing P90X th
ese videos seemed a little cheesy, but after doing each of them I have an even greater respect for Tony Horton. He packs a lot of punch into 10 minutes. These videos can either be done alone or stacked. I have met some people online who do one in the morning and one in the evening. If you use the warm-up on the videos you are looking at under 15 minutes. If you do your own you can cut it down a little. Yes you can achieve results in just 10 minutes of hard exercise a day. You basically do 10 exercises for a full minute; most of the exercises are selected to work multiple muscles at a time. The Abs program crushed me my first time through.
When you buy the kit it comes with an exercise band and a door attachment so you have everything you need. It also comes with workout cards so you can do the workouts on the go without the videos, rapid results guide, 10-minute meals and more. I have met people in the teambeachbody.com forums and chats who have lo st up to 60lbs using this program and the nutrition guide that comes with it. For the extremely busy student this might be a great choice, especially if you cannot squeeze 60 to 90 minutes from your day for P90X. All in all it is a good workout series but not my cup of tea. The other really nice feature is, on Tony's blog every so often, he posts up the exercises to create a new 10 Minute workout.

Tony has created numerous 90 day boot camps that can be done in your home. He is acclaimed as a fitness expert and based on the stars and athletes who have used his programs he is definitely a success. But what matters most is that you make a choice to live a healthier lifestyle, learn to make better choices and start moving with one of the workouts outlined above. It will help give you a start at a lifetime of learning to be healthier and to get fit.

Tony Horton Timeline:
1998 Great Body Guaranteed (with Debbie Siebers)
2001 Power 90 (P90)
2002 Power Half Hour
2003 Tony and the Folks! (with Judi Williams)
2003 Tony and the Kids! (with Judi Williams)
2004 Ho' Ala ke Kino - Awaken the Body
2004 P90X
2005 Power 90 Masters Series
2007 P90X+
2008 10 Minuite Trainer :
2008 Tony Horton - One on One Volume 1
2009 Tony Horton - One on One Volume 2
2010 One on One Volume 3 The Making of P90X MC2

(First Published in Imprint 2009-11-13 as 'Fitness Options for the Student Lifestyle'.)


P90X Articles in order Phase I, Phase II, Gear, Phase III, Fitness Options.
(Disclaimer: I am asked frequently if I am a Beachbody Coach, no I am not, I am just some one who has used their products, P90X, 1on1 with Tony Horton and more and liked them and achieved good results. I am not paid by Beachbody or any of their affiliates. You can see my full disclaimer here.)
Other Fitness Articles:Fall 2011 Programs
Workout program March 2012
My Gear February 2012
Fitness My Retrospective

TRX Articles:
TRX an Introduction
TRX Force

TRX Force Tactical
TRX Essential Flexibility

My P90X Series:
Phase I, Phase II, Gear, Phase III, Fitness Options, P90X at 120 Days Out
Health & Fitness Book Reviews:The Primal Blueprint 21 Day Total Body Transformation - Mark Sisson
The Ten Commandments Of Lifting Weights - Jared Zimmerer
Toadally Primal Smoothies - Todd Dosenberry
Caveman Resurection - Jeff Pickett
40 Days to Optimal Health - Dr. Scott Morris
Eat Stop Eat - Brad Pilon
The Primal Blueprint - Mark Sisson
The New Rules of Lifting - Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove
Bench Press by: Sven Lindqvist
Sly Moves by: Sylvester Stallone
Fit for Eternal Life: A Christian Approach to Working Out, Eating Right, and Building the Virtues of Fitness in Your Soul by: Dr. Kevin Vost
Body for Life 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strenght by: Bill Phillips
Lose Fat Not Faith by Jeremy R. Likeness
Living The Good Life: Your Guide to Health and Success by: David Patchell-Evans
Dump your Trainer by: Ashley Marriott and Marc L. Paulsen

Friday, 30 October 2009

The 90 Days of P90X is really just the beginning.

Upon reaching the end of a journey, or achieving a goal, we often realize it is not in fact the end but really just the first step in a new journey. I started feeling that part way through P90X. At some point late in phase II or early in phase III, I stopped counting down the days until my 90 days were done and started counting up a number of completed days of being more active and living a healthier lifestyle. That was a big mindset change and I am not sure specifically when it happened but it was a very importa nt shift.
P90X is an amazing program. If you follow Beachbody's motto: "Decide, Commit, Succeed", it is possible to start a transformation that can last the rest of your life. My transformation surprised me; in the last 13 weeks I have worked out 90 days straight. I achieved 11 of 13 goals for the fitness test and I have reached 9 of 14 goals on the fitness level (see chart). But what the chart doesn't show is the body transformation. I lost 56lbs of bod y fat, gained 23lbs of lean muscle mass and lost 33lbs on the scale. I went from a 46 inch pants to a 38 being loose, and from a 3XL shirt to a L. I have succeeded in establishing working out each day as a habit in my life. As well I have started creating patterns of healthier food choices.

There have also been some unexpected benefits and changes. First m y asthma seems to have drastically improved. I have used my inhaler only once in the last 60 days. Also for the last few years I had been having problems with heartburn at night and sometimes it would trigger a coughing attack and I would have to get up, sip some warm liquid, use my inhaler and sleep propped up. That has completely clear ed up. Finally, as I gained weight over the last few years I started snoring - the more weight I gained the worse it got, bothering my wife and sometimes waking myself up. That has completely cleared up also. Those things combined were unexpected benefits contributing both to greater health for myself, and as for the snoring, for my wife also. That combined with how much better I feel, the fact that I have more energy, and I am sleeping better and the sleep is much more restful and restorative, makes this journey well worth the effort.

After the first 4 or 5 workouts I did not want to miss any days. Hitting play was hard a few times when I did not get to begin my workout until 9 or 10 pm because of life, but I managed to do it every day. The hardest part for me was the nutrition. My biggest temptation was pizza - almost every week I wanted pizza. My problem was, in the past, I would often eat all or most of a pizza in a single sitting. I was able to avoid this temptation for most of the 90 days; I did have 1 medium slice part way through and one of my first meals after finishing was pizza, but I limited myself to a reasonable portion. It was also hard to give up pop and carbonated energy drinks. I went the full 90 days without either. I have started drinking a lot more water, and find myself choosing green, red or herbal teas. I still have my one coffee a day at work each morning. I am not prepared to give that one up yet. I also avoided alcohol for all but Thanksgiving Day. Speaking of Thanksgiving, that weekend was a blow-off. Only about half of my meals would have been P90X approved, but I had great times with friends and family.
For a number of years now I have written a journal, often answering the following questions from Crusade a Babylon 5 spin off Science-Fiction TV Show. Each episode began with these questions:

Who are you?
What do you want?
Where are you going?
Who do you serve?
Who do you trust?

In part they have become my own personal driving questions. At the beginning of each term I would journal and answer each question. Those questions were also guided by daily goals, which were:

1. To get enough sleep.
2. To eat right & exercise daily.
3. To refuse to be a perfectionist.
4. To carefully control finances.
5. To ask for help when needed.
6. To pray and read the Bible daily.
7. To not pressure self into planning my entire life today.

I can say that in the last 7 years I had lost discipline in all areas of my life. My personal dream or personal mission statement would be: "To learn to live life to the full, while finding balance between body, mind and spiritual development." What doing P90X has helped me to do is achieve discipline in the physical area of my life, but that discipline has been carrying over into the other two areas of my life.

Since I started this journey I have known about 15 people who have also now started it. So far only 2 are still following the plan. I have also encountered about 20 people who ask about my weight loss, and when I say I am doing P90X they have said that they started it, but did not make it out of the first week, or first month. Many have said they wish they had the commitment to start again and see it through. One even said they would have to find the disks. In order not to be in that category I have accountability - the two men I email after each workout to say it was completed, and the Beachbody online community. The forms and online chats have been very motivational.

Yet as this 90 day, 13 week journey ends where do I go from here? First, for the next few weeks I will be experimenting with some other workouts from Beachbody. I will be trying the workouts from Tony Horton's One on One. Also 10 Minute Trainer and P90X+. I have also borrowed some kettlebells from a friend and am going to try some weight routines for them. My goal now is to decide on another plan and do another 90-day challenge, to maybe reach some of those long-term fitness goals. What program that will be is yet undetermined but I will be starting on November 9th. All I know for sure is I will continue to push play, and work out every day, and try each day to improve my food choices. Therefore the journey continues or begins again.
(First Published in Imprint 2009-10-30.)
(Graphic's courtesy Peter N. Trinh.)
P90X Articles in order Phase I, Phase II, Gear, Phase III, Fitness Options.

(Disclaimer: I am asked frequently if I am a Beachbody Coach, no I am not, I am just some one who has used their products, P90X, 1on1 with Tony Horton and more and liked them and achieved good results. I am not paid by Beachbody or any of their affiliates. You can see my full disclaimer here.)

Other Fitness Articles:
Fall 2011 Programs
Workout program March 2012
My Gear February 2012
Fitness My Retrospective

TRX Articles:
TRX an Introduction
TRX Force

TRX Force Tactical
TRX Essential Flexibility

My P90X Series:
Phase I, Phase II, Gear, Phase III, Fitness Options, P90X at 120 Days Out

Health & Fitness Book Reviews:
The Primal Blueprint 21 Day Total Body Transformation - Mark Sisson
The Ten Commandments Of Lifting Weights - Jared Zimmerer

Toadally Primal Smoothies - Todd Dosenberry
Caveman Resurection - Jeff Pickett
40 Days to Optimal Health - Dr. Scott Morris
Eat Stop Eat - Brad Pilon
The Primal Blueprint - Mark Sisson
The New Rules of Lifting - Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove
Bench Press by: Sven Lindqvist
Sly Moves by: Sylvester Stallone
Fit for Eternal Life: A Christian Approach to Working Out, Eating Right, and Building the Virtues of Fitness in Your Soul by: Dr. Kevin Vost
Body for Life 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strenght by: Bill Phillips
Lose Fat Not Faith by Jeremy R. Likeness
Living The Good Life: Your Guide to Health and Success by: David Patchell-Evans
Dump your Trainer by: Ashley Marriott and Marc L. Paulsen

Saturday, 10 October 2009

The Gear To Bring it For P90X

What gear do you need to do the workouts for P90X from Beachbody? I am frequently being asked about what equipment it takes to do the fitness program that I have been on now for nearly 3 months. Between the articles I have written, and friends, family, fellow students and co-workers asking me questions about my weight loss, I decided to write this article comparing three equipment lists: the recommended equipment, with what I think is the minimum equipment, and then finish with my gear that I have been using. I hope that this piece will help answer some of those frequent questions and emails and about my fitness journey.

Recommended Equipment:
Chin-Up Bar or Exercise Bands with mount.
Dumbells or Exercise Bands
Heart Rate Monitor
Exercise Mat Mat
Exercise Block Blocks

Body Fat Tester
Powerstands or Pushup Stands
DVD Player

This list is pretty self explanatory, and Beachbody does sell versions of all of this equipment. I have only bought one piece of equipment from them and it was excellent, worth every penny.

Minimum Required Equipment:
Chin-Up Bar or Exercise Bands with mount.
Dumbells or Exercis
e Bands
Exercise Block


DVD Player This is the bare bones list. You could get by without the exercise block if you are already pretty flexible or improvise one from something around the house. Every video, every exercise can be done with the exercise bands, so if you don't have a chin-up bar or dumbbells, you can do eve
ry exercise band with just exercise bands. A while back I was travelling with work and did all my workouts while on the road with my bands and playing the DVDs on my laptop. I dropped the heart rate monitor because even though they can be purchased for around $40, on a student budget that is a little pricy. You can tell if you are working hard; you might not know if you are exactly in your cardio zone but close enough. I do have one, but only because it was given to me a few years ago, and I really only use it for the fitness tests.

My Gear:
Exercise Bands with
mount.
Power Block Dumbells
Heart Rate Monitor
Exercise Mat
Exercise Block
Powerstands
DVD Player
I use the exercise bands for all the pull-ups and chin-ups. I use my Powerblocks for all weight exercises; the set I have goes from 2.5lbs to 90lbs a side. I made a mistake and bought the cheapest exercise mat I could find. I regret it. I am already planning on upgrading to a much better one this fall. After phase I of P90X I bought the Powerstands from Beachbody. They are fantastic. My pushups have
better form and greater reps. I have done a few of the workouts with just bands while on the road. The B-Line resistance bands sold by Beachbody look great but I went to a physiotherapist here in town, at Kinetex Rehab on Columbia, and paid about a buck a foot. I would recommend 7 feet, and tie a loop in the ends for handles. The DVDs are $120 on the Beachbody site, and about the same price here in Canada at Wal-Mart or Zellers. But I know a number of people who bought them and gave up; you can probably find a set cheaper to fit the student budget. I do most of the workouts in my den, and have done all of them there. Normally I do Plyometrics,  X and Kenpo X in the living room because of the carpet for extra cushion. But I have done a few of them in a small hotel rom. You can adapt all of these for even the smallest dorm room.

The final tool I use is not equipment but it is equipping, and that is the forms and message boards on teambeachbody.com. There are specific message boards for different start dates, a dedicated Canadian contingent - even a group dedicated to IT junkies. I have posted pretty regularly to 4 specific forms and used some of the advice and support from them to help me get the results I am seeing.

Hopefully that will answer many of the questions from students out there about what you need to have to do these workouts and start making lifestyle changes to get healthier and in better shape. Yet in the end it doesn't really matter what equipment you have if you're not using it, so if you decide to give P90X a try remember what Tony Horton the host of the video says: 'Do your best and forget the rest'. And keep pushing play on the videos and work out every day.

(First Published in Imprint 2009-10-09 as "Gear to Rock the P90X: On the road to a healthier lifestyle".)
P90X Articles in order Phase I, Phase II, Gear, Phase III, Fitness Options.
(Disclaimer: I am asked frequently if I am a Beachbody Coach, no I am not, I am just some one who has used their products, P90X, 1on1 with Tony Horton and more and liked them and achieved good results. I am not paid by Beachbody or any of their affiliates. You can see my full disclaimer here.)

Other Fitness Articles:Fall 2011 Programs
Workout program March 2012
My Gear February 2012
Fitness My Retrospective

TRX Articles:
TRX an Introduction
TRX Force

TRX Force Tactical
TRX Essential Flexibility

My P90X Series:
Phase I, Phase II, Gear, Phase III, Fitness Options, P90X at 120 Days Out
Health & Fitness Book Reviews:The Primal Blueprint 21 Day Total Body Transformation - Mark Sisson
The Ten Commandments Of Lifting Weights - Jared Zimmerer
Toadally Primal Smoothies - Todd Dosenberry
Caveman Resurection - Jeff Pickett
40 Days to Optimal Health - Dr. Scott Morris
Eat Stop Eat - Brad Pilon
The Primal Blueprint - Mark Sisson
The New Rules of Lifting - Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove
Bench Press by: Sven Lindqvist
Sly Moves by: Sylvester Stallone
Fit for Eternal Life: A Christian Approach to Working Out, Eating Right, and Building the Virtues of Fitness in Your Soul by: Dr. Kevin Vost
Body for Life 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strenght by: Bill Phillips
Lose Fat Not Faith by Jeremy R. Likeness
Living The Good Life: Your Guide to Health and Success by: David Patchell-Evans
Dump your Trainer by: Ashley Marriott and Marc L. Paulsen

Friday, 2 October 2009

The fitness journey of a 40 year old undergrad - A Review of P90X Phase II

In this second article on a fitness journey, I will be reviewing Phase II of P90X, discussing difficulties and setbacks, and highlighting the overall benefits of the program or healthy lifestyle changes in general. After achieving great results in Phase I, I had some setbacks and encountered difficulties in Phase II right away. The first day of Phase II while I was wrestling with my son, my daughter decided to come to his aid, she dove onto my back as I was lying outstretched on the floor, and landed just below my shoulder blade with both knees. She bruised some ribs and the bruise was visible on the surface for days. It is still bothering me today. However I decided to follow two of Tony Horton's Mantras "Do your best and forget the rest!" and "Modify, Modify and Modify." I continued to push play every day and managed to workout each of the 28 days of Phase II.

Phase II is very similar to Phase I in that the first 3 weeks you do the same workouts and then have a recovery week. Because I began on a Monday my workouts Monday through Sunday for Phase I were: Chest & Back & Ab Ripper X, Plyometrics, Shoulder & Arms & Ab Ripper X, X, leg & Back and Ab Ripper X, Kempo X and X-Stretch or rest. For Phase II The Monday and Wednesday workouts change to Chest & Shoulders & Triceps & Ab Ripper X for Mondays and for Wednesdays Back & Biceps & Ab Ripper X. Then both recovery weeks are  X on Monday and Saturday, Core Syne rgistics on Tuesday and Friday, Kenpo X on Wednesday, X Stretch on Thursday and optional on Sunday. For me personally I find it easier to work out every day. I find if I take a day off, it can easily become two or five or 10. So I always do the stretch routine on Sundays just to get a workout in. In this Phase I had to modify Ab Ripper X. Instead of attempting 25 reps of 11 different exercises, I had to drop out 4 exercises because the starting position was too painful on the ribs. What I did do was focus on adding reps or improving form on the rest of the exercises. By the end of the 3rd workout week I had 25 reps in 9 of the eleven exercises and had started and was up to 8 reps for the last 2. The important thing was I pushed play on the videos each day; I worked through the pain and through a cold in week two. Some days with the cold combined with the ribs, I did not want to workout. What has kept me going was seeing the changes thus far, remembering my long term goals and being accountable to two other guys for working out.
I started P90X with two other guys - my brother in Kingston, and a buddy who is a Grad from UW. Neither of them made it past week 1. But each day after working out I email them and report my workout and some comments, such as the fact that I puked the first time I did core synergistics, or I still suck at stretching , or upped reps or weight on every exercise. That accountability really helped me to push play when I was under the weather. It is a great motivational factor. The other thin g I am finding is the further I get into the program, the more results I see, and the better I feel as I am focusing more on the nutrition side. I find myself reading labels and comparing nutritional information even on protein bars. I find I am less and less willing to cheat and physically feel it more when I do. We went out for dinner with family for my daughter's third birthday. I had about 8 or 10 french fries. It was the first fried food I had had since starting. Later that night I felt terrible. My workout was compromised because of the junk fuel in the system. I could not believe the difference it made. To really achieve optimum results you need to clean up the nutrition as well as exercising more. Now we'll look at Phase II results.
My results in Phase II were better than expected. I did not do any measurements other than the scale during the four weeks. For full results see chart with complete details and comparisons with day 0 and day 28. However in summary, I have gone from 34.7% body fat to 14.2 in 56 days. My resting heart rate has dropped by 11 beats per mi nute. I have reached 10 of 13 goals for the fitness test and 8 of 14 for measurements. I have also dropped from 244lbs to 218lbs in just 56 days. Phase 3 will end on October 25th. The next piece in this series will run the week after that.
The important thing I learned this month was to keep at it; even if I slowed down, to keep exercising daily and keep making wise nutritional choices.
I am feeling better, sleeping better and find my overall quality of life has improved. Those are expected results; what I did not expect was for people to notice as much, and make as many comments. I have about a half dozen friends who picked up the program with plans to start it. I have now worked out 56 days in a row. I am starting to plan ahead for what to do after the program is over. When I started, it was a countdown - a certain number of days left in my 90 day program. I am now counting up 56 days of working out in a row, of being healthy and active the rest of my life.
(Graphic's courtesy Peter N. Trinh.)
(First published in Imprint 2009-09-25 as 'A Fitness Journey: 40 years old and an undergrad".)P90X Articles in order Phase I, Phase II, Gear, Phase III, Fitness Options.
(Disclaimer: I am asked frequently if I am a Beachbody Coach, no I am not, I am just some one who has used their products, P90X, 1on1 with Tony Horton and more and liked them and achieved good results. I am not paid by Beachbody or any of their affiliates. You can see my full disclaimer here.)
Other Fitness Articles:Fall 2011 Programs
Workout program March 2012
My Gear February 2012
Fitness My Retrospective

TRX Articles:
TRX an Introduction
TRX Force

TRX Force Tactical
TRX Essential Flexibility

My P90X Series:
Phase I, Phase II, Gear, Phase III, Fitness Options, P90X at 120 Days Out
Health & Fitness Book Reviews:The Primal Blueprint 21 Day Total Body Transformation - Mark Sisson
The Ten Commandments Of Lifting Weights - Jared Zimmerer
Toadally Primal Smoothies - Todd Dosenberry
Caveman Resurection - Jeff Pickett
40 Days to Optimal Health - Dr. Scott Morris
Eat Stop Eat - Brad Pilon
The Primal Blueprint - Mark Sisson
The New Rules of Lifting - Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove
Bench Press by: Sven Lindqvist
Sly Moves by: Sylvester Stallone
Fit for Eternal Life: A Christian Approach to Working Out, Eating Right, and Building the Virtues of Fitness in Your Soul by: Dr. Kevin Vost
Body for Life 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strenght by: Bill Phillips
Lose Fat Not Faith by Jeremy R. Likeness
Living The Good Life: Your Guide to Health and Success by: David Patchell-Evans
Dump your Trainer by: Ashley Marriott and Marc L. Paulsen