Monday, September 5, 2011

Fitness Program: P90X Review

I started the P90X program back on July 4th.  I am now in week 10 of 13 and I have to say that I am quite pleased with the results so far.

When I stated looking for a fitness program for myself, I really had two things in mind.  Lose some weight and improve my overall level of fitness.  I knew the losing weight part was going to involve by diet and exercise.

Now, when I use diet in that context, I was not thinking about diet as in some sort of fad thing where you starve yourself.  No.  I was looking for a balanced nutrition plan.  Not being a dietician or a nutritionist (I'm not sure what the difference is), I knew enough to know that the diet fads were not the way to go.  While cutting calories will accomplish short term weight loss goals, these fads are simply not sustainable.  I don't think any of them can truly become a lifestyle change on their own.  When you cut calories, your body goes to its fat reserves to find the extra calories that it needs just to function.  The problem is that you are neglecting your body's need for X calories a day, so when your body does receive calories, the first thing it wants to do is store it as fat so it can keep it in reserve.  That is exactly the opposite of what you want to do.  With the P90X plan, you actually increase your calorie intake.  Why?  First of all, your body simply needs X calories per day just to function.  This is the couch potato caloric intake.  On top of that, you need calories to get you through other activities throughout the day, including exercise.  The idea here is that you need to convince your body that it will get all the calories it needs, so it doesn't go into fat storage mode (and give you enough energy to complete the workout) while convincing your body to dip into those fat reserves to fuel the calorie deficit of the workouts.  The P90X nutrition plan does just that.  I actually increased the amount of food I ate and the weight just melted off in the first month.  There were some meals where I looked at my plate and just thought there was no way I was going to eat all of that food!  That is the kind of diet/nutrition plan I like.  Bottom Line?  You need to eat to lose weight.  You just have to eat the right things.

I was a pretty decent athlete in high school, so I knew what it was like to be in great shape.  I also understood the amount of work and effort involved.  A 10 minute a day routine just doesn't cut it.  Neither does walking around the block every morning.  I wanted something that was going to work all parts of my body.  Also, I wanted something I could do at home that was instructor led.  In other words, a list of workouts on page 36 wasn't going to cut it for me.  I knew that I needed something that I had to keep up with, probably video.  I was prepared to have to do some cardio on my own.  Maybe a bike ride, perhaps a jog around the block. What I didn't want was a jazzercise,. hip-hop dance, or Taebo like video where I just do the same thing every day or every other day.  What I found with P90X was that it mixes a lot of traditional workouts with a nice mix of cardio and a few other pleasant surprises.  The very first workout was push-ups and pull-ups.  Basic, simple, this ain't no Taebo workout.  About half the videos are just good ol' hardcore gym type stuff.  Pick up a set of dumbbells and start pumping!  Chest, back, shoulders, triceps, and biceps.  There is also a legs workout with squats and lunges.  There is plyometrics where you get your feet off the floor and do some jumping around.  There is Yoga, yes Yoga.  A kickboxing video (Kenpo), a cardio video, and an all-around core muscle workout.  There is also an abs workout as well.  A real good variety of workouts that change everyday and keep things interesting.  Finally, the thing that made me buy this fitness program was the last workout.  Stretching.  A whole video dedicated to just doing stretching.  I had contemplated started my new "get fit" plan by doing some stretches on my own and just trying to improve flexibility and tightness so that I wouldn't get killed when I started a program.  Well, this program has it built in.

Overall, I am very happy with this choice and when my first 90 days is over, I plan to do the whole thing again after a few weeks off, and by off, I mean I will probably do the "rest" week routines.  All I know is that I feel a whole lot better and I can't wait to get home from work and do that day's workout.  That should tell you everything you need to know right there. 

1 comment:

  1. P90X, on the other hand, is designed with a different purpose. The nutrition plan is designed to help you change your body composition, not just just lose weight. Which means you will be eating to build muscle, not just lose fat. It's designed with a heavy dose of resistance training, again so that you build muscle, not just lose fat.
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