Hey boys and girls,
Since I’m just about done with Phase I of P90X2, I thought I’d write a review.
Let me first say I love the flexibility of it. Depending on your fitness level and/or if you want to continue to strengthen your core, P90X2 gives you the option of doing Phase I from 3-6 weeks.
That alone means you can mix it up when you decide to move on to Round 2 of X2.
But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Here’s a quick look at the 7 day schedule:
Day 1: X2 Core
Day 2: Plyocide
Day 3: Recovery & Mobility
Day 4: X2 Total Body + X2 Ab Ripper
Day 5: X2 Yoga
Day 6: X2 Balance & Power
Day 7: Rest or Recovery & Mobility
Let’s start with X2 Core. 18 moves in all, including Sphinx Plank Crunch (plank position, bring knee to opposite elbow, knee out to a 90 degree angle, leg back to original position) and 3 Speed Medicine Ball Pushups (push up position with a medicine ball under your face, palms on ball for a split second, palms back on floor). Every single exercise works your core to the extreme and the focus is on slow, controlled movements. If you do not have a strong core, you will be humbled by this workout very quickly. And even if your core is strong, you’ll be sore the day after.
Stand-out exercise: 1 Leg Medicine Ball Burpee (stand on 1 leg with medicine ball over head, down into a burpee, back up with medicine ball up high again).
Plyocide comes next (thanks Tony!). I’ve heard the same thing time and time again from P90X grads; “It’s not as hard as I thought it would be” or “It’s not as hard a Plyometrics was”. I agree. And here’s why, in my humble opinion; most of us were not in decent shape when we did P90X Classic. I know I wasn’t (even though I thought I was). I thought I was going to die the first day of Plyometrics. But most P90Xer’s (if they’ve kept at it) are in great shape. Therefore, Plyocide seems “easier”. I think it also has a lot to do with it being lower impact than the original. Either way, I love it. And the looks I get from people (yes, even other trainers) at the gym, keeps a smile on my face for the duration.
Stand-out exercise: Jack-in-the Box Knee Tucks (just like Knee Tucks from the original but you have to squat and bring your hands to the floor before each jump). Can you say ouch?
Then it’s on to X2 Recovery & Mobility. After the first two work outs, your body needs to recover. I love all the stretching and the use of the foam roller here is so important to your aching muscles. Some people may think they don’t need to do this work out, and I’m not saying they do. But I know it benefits me.
Stand-out exercise: The entire foam roller sequence.
X2 Total Body + X2 Ab Ripper are my kind of workouts, starting with the very first exercise, the 1 Arm Chest Press. While laying on a stability ball, you dumbbell press the weight of your choice (start lower than you normally lift) 10x, switch weight, then do the other side. What I love about this routine is it incorporates a ton of different muscle groups (depending on the exercise) while simultaneously working your core, a la Core Synergistics, without all the rolling around on the floor. I have a bad back and was never too fond of that work out. X2 Ab Ripper is only 16 minutes long but it feels like a lifetime. Why we need it on top of all the core work we’ve been doing all week, is beyond me, but like I said before, that’s my personal preference. Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym, and being in the seated position doesn’t do my back any favors. I’ll take Ab/Core Plus from P90x+ or the ab routine from 10 Minute Crusher Pack any day over X2 Ab Ripper.
Stand-out Exercise: Balance Kick-Back on Stability Ball (1 forearm on stability ball, entire rest of body in plank position, do a triceps kick-back with weight). Holy Christ was this hard! And I was only using 20 lbs. weights.
X2 Yoga. Well, for most P90Xer’s, you either love yoga or you hate it. I personally love it because I agree with Tony; the flexibility it gives me at my age is something I’ll be forever grateful for. The new Yoga is 67 minutes long, compared to 97 minutes of the original. But this one is very different. The flow is much faster for the first half and I don’t know if I didn’t drink enough water or slept wrong the night before, but the second half was very challenging for me. I was humbled (again) to say the least. Note to self: work harder on X2 Yoga next week. Push your limits.
Stand-out Exercise: The Hand-Stand poses. And no, I’m not even close to being able to do them. But I will get there.
X2 Balance & Power felt the most foreign to me. But I think that’s a good thing. I think. Muscle confusion is, after all, supposed to confuse the muscles. The emphasis is again on the core and while I loved exercises like the 1 Leg Plyo Squat Reach (stand on 1 leg, touch opposite hand to floor of standing foot, bring hand up over head, then jump) I wasn’t crazy about the Renegade Row 1/2 Lolasana (plank position with push up stands or weights, row with right hand, row with left, then jump forward and hold entire body over push up stands, back to plank) or the Crawly Crab Press (don’t even ask-you’d have to watch the DVD to understand). The point is, these moves didn’t feel natural, or even safe. Then again, they’re completely new to me and I’m probably doing them wrong. Time will tell.
Stand-out Exercise: Warrior 3 Row Press (start in Warrior 3 with weight in opposite hand, into row, stand, and do a one-arm shoulder press).
I also need to mention both the warm up and cool down for this phase. They’re quick, they’re effective, they utilize the stability ball immensely, and you’ll be breaking a nice sweat before the work out even begins.
A quick footnote; I’ve heard complaints about the lack of resistance work during this phase. And while dumbbells are used, because of the complexity of the moves, the weight recommendation tends to be on the lighter side.
But I trust Tony and the gang completely.
I lost 33 lbs. and 12% of my body fat in the first 90 days of P90X (and have been able to maintain it, while getting leaner and building mass, with the help of the One On One series).
So, if the first P90X was able to do that, just imagine what P90X2 can do.