p90x workout

I am now in the fourth week of the P90X workout, which is the “rest” week.  The theory is that you go hard with the resistance training for three weeks, then in week number four you do no resistance training.  Instead you concentrate on cardio and stretching, so you are doing Yoga, Core Synergistics and Kenpo.

Today I did my fourth Yoga X workout since starting, and I now have a new favorite phrase: “Last Vinyasa”.

A Vinyasa is a series of poses in yoga.  In P90X it’s part of the Sun Salutation sequence: plank, chaturanga, downward dog, upward dog.

After the warm up in Yoga X you spend about half an hour doing variations of this sequence.  The first few are easy; the last few are killers, so when they flash on the screen that you are doing the Last Vinyasa, it’s a happy time!

Unfortunately even though you are 45 minutes in to the workout there are still 45 more minutes to go when you do your last vinyasa, but that’s fine.  The final half of the workout is balance poses and stretching, so although it’s hard it’s not as intense as the first half.

Of all the workouts I still find Yoga X to be the most difficult, and the most draining.  I am always most exhausted after the Yoga X workout (which hopefully means it’s working).

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Today I did the full Kenpo workout and what a blast that was.  Kenpo is a style of martial arts and the P90X workout uses a combination of jabs, kicks, hooks, uppercuts, sword movements, blocks, elbows, knee kicks, ball kicks, side kicks and three-direction kicks to work up a sweat.  If you’ve ever taken a cardio boxing or kickboxing class this is similar. I will admit I had no idea what I was doing and had a little trouble keeping all the hooks, jabs, uppercuts and kicks in sync.  But it was definitely one of the funnest workouts I’ve done yet.

What I liked:

  • It was fast moving and fun.  A little practice and you can get the moves down.  I didn’t worry about getting the kicks high at first but found even by the end of the reps I had better control and balance.
  • It’s a pretty good cardio workout. Move and lean your whole body into the moves and you’ll work up a sweat.  The trick is to do more that just move your arms around — get your whole body into throwing the punches and kicks.  I can see it getting easier over time though once you master the balance aspects.
  • The lunges and kicks are great for the glutes — yeah baby!
  • As with all the P90X CD’s, Tim Horton does a good job of working stretches into the beginning of the routine.  While he does add a short cool down at the end of the session I would also recommend you add some stretches at the end of the workout.

What I didn’t like:

  • Not knowing the moves made it a bit hard at first which probably took away from some of the cardio benefit I should have been getting.
  • Cool down and post stretches are a bit short.  You should definitely add in some post workout stretches to lengthen those muscles and help reduce soreness the next day.
  • I think over time I’d want a boxing bag or speed bag to add a bit of intensity (and fun!).
  • I was a bit disappointed with the insert of running on the spot, jump rope moves and jumping jacks (even the X jumping jacks).  This was a bit lame and boring.  Perhaps they are put in to kick up the cardio intensity a bit.  If so, find another way that fits in with the overall fun of the rest of the workout.  Boring workouts just mean you don’t do them well or at all.

How I did:

  • Can you say lack of coordination.  My first time with many of these moves I definitely had the flailing arm thing going on and did not have the best footwork.  However I suspect it just takes a bit of practice.
  • Finished the full 55 minute workout without too much difficulty.

I’m now way off my original ‘plan’.  While I’ve been doing workouts consistently I’ve mixed up the order a bit to suit both my schedule and mood.  S’okay by me though — it still meets my objectives of improving my overall fitness level.  Tomorrow I might try some Pilates (remember my dislike of Workout 5 – P90X Yoga!).  I have some old Winsor Pilates DVD’s I’ve pulled out.  Let’s see how they compare.

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Day 6 – Kenpo X

October 26, 2010

As I near the end of the first week of P90X, I had my first exposure to Kenpo, which is essentially a boxing, kicking and martial arts style workout.  Having now gone through the first week, it’s easy to summarize how the P90X workouts are structured: they alternate between resistance training and cardio work. So, […]

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Day 5 – P90X – Legs & Back

October 25, 2010

After doing the P90X Yoga X workout yesterday, it was refreshing to get back to a more traditional (for a guy) workout.  Legs & Back is exactly what it sounds like: traditional leg and back exercises. I’ve done lunges, squats and chin-ups before, and this workout has lots of squats, lunges and chin-ups, so I […]

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