Before Starting P90X

I am a winter workout person.  During the summer months I am more than active enough gardening a two acre property and keeping moving outdoors.  It’s only in the winter that I am less active and so need to follow a more routine workout schedule.  In the past this has meant having a personal trainer come to the house 1-2 days per week and then filling in with something myself 2-3 other days a week.

This year I wanted to change  up my winter routine a bit.  While I have a personal trainer I’d like to kick it up a notch.  The P90X looked interesting so I thought I’d give it a try.  P90X  is a home exercise system developed by Tony Horton.  It is comprised of a series of 12 very extreme workouts. It claims to improve physical fitness in 90 days through a rigorous set of exercises.  It uses an approach called ‘Muscle Confusion’ by constantly switching up the order and variety of moves.  The approach is supposed to prevent the body from adapting to exercises over time, resulting in continual improvement without plateaus.

I am a 48 year old mom looking to stay fit, not bodybuild.  For me, the main reason to work out is to stay healthy and ensure that my body is strong enough for heavy gardening each spring, injury free. Since my goal is overall fitness and not bodybuilding I’m going to adjust the P90X program to suit my needs.  That means stringing it out for longer than the 90 days and combining it with some other workouts so I don’t get bored or to bulky.

I decided to loosely follow the P90X Classic routine.  I am going to alternative between the recommended P90X routine and a cardio routine.  During the first two weeks, my tailored P90X routine will be roughly as follows:

Workout 1 – Chest & Back
Workout 2 – Cardio X and Ab Ripper X
Workout 3 – Plyometrics
Workout 4 – Cardio (my own)
Workout 5 – Shoulders & Arms
Workout 6 – Cardio X and Ab Ripper X
Workout 7 – Yoga X
Workout 8 – Cardio (my own)
Workout 9 – Legs & Back
Workout 10 -Cardio X and Ab Ripper X
Workout 11 – Kenpo X
Workout 12 – Cardio (my own)

This schedule allows me two ‘days off’ for rest and recovery during the first two weeks. I’ll fit these in based on my personal schedule and how I feel. Remember, my goal is not bodybuilding, it’s just overall fitness and weight training to help maintain strong bones and muscle mass, which depletes as we age. In addition, my personal trainer will still be working with me one day per week (just in case this program doesn’t suit me in the long run). On those days we will follow whatever muscle groups my personalized P90X schedule dictates. An advantage of this approach is it should give added diversity to the specific exercises I do.

My plan is to try and follow this program from late October through to the end of March.

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There are three different P90X programs or streams:

  1. Classic
  2. Doubles
  3. Lean

The Classic program is the program most people will do.

The Doubles program is, as the name implies, almost “double” the amount of work you do in the Classic program. Once you are into the Doubles program you may do a resistance workout in the morning, and a cardio workout in the afternoon.  Double workouts are only appropriate if you are super fit, or if you have a lot of time on your hands (since you will be working out for more than two hours per day), or you are a serious athlete getting ready for the season.

The Lean program is focused more on leaning out, or weight loss.  This is done by replacing two workouts: In the Classic program you start with a Chest and Back workout (resistance training), and the next day you do Plyometrics.  In the Lean program you start with Core Synergistics (core and cardio), and on day two you do Cardio.  So the Classic program has one more upper body workout; the Lean program has an extra Cardio workout.

I’ve chosen to start with the Lean program (since this is a site about how to lose weight).  Note however that the purpose of P90X is to get fit, not just to lose weight; that’s just a side benefit.

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What you need to know before starting P90X

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