P90X Review

The Concept
Get Ripped in 90 Days
 P90X promises to give you a lean, ripped body in 90 days! To fulfill this promise, founder Tony Horton utilizes a large variety of exercises and workouts and a concept called “muscle confusion”. It works like this: As we start any exercise program, our bodies adapt by improving (stronger, leaner, etc.). Eventually, our bodies get calloused to the stress and improvement halts. Muscle confusion means that the P90X program accounts for that by changing up the type of stress so the body shows constant improvement.

The Good
P90X is a very comprehensive exercise program. It includes strength training, flexibility, core training, yoga, and plyometrics. Altogether, it has a good variety of workouts that will keep you interested and motivated. The P90X program also includes a nutrition plan. Many clinical nutritionists might balk at some of the P90X nutrition strategies, but most veteran exercisers will vouch that the strategies are effective. Tony also gives good explanations in a fun and entertaining manner. The P90X program is obviously well thought out and organized. Lastly, it comes with a money-back-guarantee, which is always comforting.

The Bad
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, the P90X program is not for the faint of heart (pun intended). I’d never prescribe it to an out of shape adult, especially those over 40. If you fall into this category, you may want to instead consider the Power 90 program. It’s designed more for those just starting out. But, if you’re already fit and looking for a solid plan to kick your butt, P90X may be for just right for you.
Clocking in at 60-90 mins per day, the workouts might feel pretty long for the average exerciser.

I question the use of plyometrics for non-athletes. As a sports performance coach, I obviously understand the benefit of plyometrics in a training program, and prescribe them all the time. But, because of their intensity and risk of injury, I don’t think it wins the risk-reward argument. Frankly, I feel that plyometrics in fitness is just a gimmicky, impressive term that trainers use to impress their customers. Sometimes fitness pros get too caught up in safety. This is one time that they went too far in the opposite direction. Just one man’s opinion.

As for the muscle confusion, I’m not sure this is really an accurate term/concept for what’s happening. Yes, you’re getting a huge variety of activities (which make it exceptional enough), but you’re still going to adapt at some point. If muscle confusion for the sake of continuous improvement is the goal, it might have been better to stick with one plan for a while, and then change it, and then repeat. Besides, If you’re just starting out, it’ll be months before you need to change the stress of the workout anyway. Is it bad to change up your training plan so soon? Of course not, it’s just not necessary, yet.

Summary
There are a lot of crappy exercise programs being marketed to unwitting consumers. P90X is NOT one of them. Although a little gimmicky, Tony Horton uses solid physiological principals in the development of the P90X program. It’s definitely one of the best exercise programs on the market.

Here’s a link if you’re interested:

Get Ripped in 90 Days

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