A year ago I tried the 20 minute “fast and furious” Insanity teaser workout. I was amazed at how good I felt after busting my butt for just 20 minutes. The high intensity interval circuits incorporate lots of jumping and plank moves using just your body weight. I decided I wanted to try the full set of workouts because Billy Blanks just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
When I started, I followed the schedule for a month. Then I made my own schedule where I would alternate each day between Insanity and running, with a short ab workout after each run. In the winter, I just alternated between Insanity and Jillian Michaels workouts. Eventually I started making my own circuit workouts based on those ones. It helped me lose weight, but it didn’t tone me the way I had hoped.
Now here I am, at the end of phase one (4 weeks) of P90X. During the first week, I wasn’t used to strength training in place of high intensity interval training. Even though I felt the burn in my muscles with each circuit, I didn’t feel like I was getting a good workout because I wasn’t sweating profusely or sending my heart rate through the roof.
P90X dedicates a whole workout to two muscle groups at a time. There are three workouts like this each week, and the other three workouts are yoga, plyometrics, and kickboxing. The seventh day is a rest or stretch day, and then you start over. The strength training workouts use weights and a pull-up bar, and you record your reps and weight on a worksheet.
I can’t say whether P90X is better than Insanity or vice versa, because I’ve had great results from both. Since Insanity is cardio based and I did it first, I slimmed down and probably would have become more toned had I followed the schedule exactly. Now with P90X, I’m furthering my training by building lean muscle.
what I like about P90X so far
- I really like how the workout is different each day. The Insanity workouts were relatively the same and the moves only varied slightly each workout, they were just reordered. P90X workouts are 100% different each day, and they alternate strength training. So when my arms and shoulders are sore from the day before, I can still do the plyometrics workout and recover in time for chest and shoulders the day after that.
- The strength training was a huge improvement in my workout regimen, and although Jillian Michaels incorporates weights, P90X was exactly what I needed to push myself to the next level. I love how it reminds me to write everything down, so I can set goals and try to beat my previous number of sets.
- After each strength session, there is a 15 minute ab routine. It goes by really fast and is definitely effective! I like how it automatically plays after the strength session so I don’t have to switch the DVD.
- Having a set workout schedule planned is very helpful for me. Before, I would plan to workout, but I didn’t make a decision on what workout to do until I was standing in front of the TV ready to go. The schedule makes it hard to skip workouts (I haven’t yet) because I don’t want to mess it up. If I skip leg day, I’d have to push my whole schedule and it would throw me off. I know this isn’t just P90X specific, but now that I have an idea of how to break up the week, I feel better prepared for next time I make my own workouts.
what I don’t like about P90X so far
- Most of the things I don’t like are things I can change. Some of the moves are painful on a hardwood floor, even with a yoga mat underneath. The ab workout requires a lot of balancing on your butt, and I need to fold up my mat for extra padding under my tailbone. Guess I just have to buy a thicker one!
- I’m very impatient, and even though I can already see minor changes in my body, I’m concerned that I’m not working hard enough because I’m not “ripped” yet. That’s just something I need to work on mentally.
goals for phase 2
- increase weight/decrease reps
- keep improving yoga poses
- remember to engage working muscles
- push harder!
- eat more protein
Stay tuned for progress photos in a few weeks!