Category Archives: p90x

P90x: month 2

Whoa — I seriously don’t know where the last week has gone! I was crazy busy last week with recruitment for a new class of graduate students for my department. It was really fun, but also exhausting and took a lot of pre-planning. Luckily it coincided with the recovery week for my P90x schedule, so I didn’t have to worry too much about missing workouts.

Here’s how P90x month 2 went…

week 1: It was really tough switching workouts! I guess I really did get used to the first month of exercises. But, I totally crushed pull-ups this week… especially on legs & back day. I did 8 pullups in a row!

week 2: This week I was moving up in weight during exercises. My triceps were sore from Monday’s workout. Otherwise, settling in to this round of workouts. Note: back & biceps day is HARD. Somehow I always think this workout won’t be as tiring, but it comes back and says “Don’t you dare underestimate me!”

week 3: I couldn’t believe it was already the last week of this cycle! crazy. This month really seemed to go by fast. I’ve officially decided this month’s workouts are always harder than I think they are going to be. Again, my triceps were pretty sore from Monday on Wednesday’s workout.

recovery week: I had a lot of things going on this week, but I fit in an extra day of yoga and some running to make up for not doing as many lifting days. By the end of last week I was starting to feel kind of burnt out, so I was so glad to have a recovery week to help me reset a little.

This week I’m on to the last round of exercises. I have seen a lot of changes so far in my strength, and I think it will only get better these final 4 weeks. I’m already excited to compare my initial and final photos! I hope my hard work shows.

Anyone else seeing some good improvements from cross training?

Your P90x Questions: Answered!

I know, I’ve been a bad blogger and not posted recently! I really have been thinking of you guys though. Work has just been pretty crazy the past week. Forgive me?

In my last post, I asked you guys for some of your questions about the P90x workouts. I got some great questions, and hopefully this post will give you all the details. As always though, if there’s anything else you are wondering about — just ask!!

How does the program work? Is it repeat workouts?  In general, P90x is broken up into 3 months of workouts. For a month, you repeat the same workouts each week for 3 weeks, with the 4th week as a recovery week Each week has three weight lifting days and three cardio-type days, and one rest/stretch day. Here are’s what a typical week looks like in month 1:

Monday — Chest & Back, Ab RipperX
Tuesday — Plyometrics
Wednesday — Shoulders, Biceps & Triceps, Ab RipperX
Thursday — YogaX
Friday — Legs & Back, Ab RipperX
Saturday — KenpoX
Sunday — Rest day, or XStretch

In month 2, the Monday & Wednesday workouts are changed to Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, and Back & Biceps. For month 3, the “month 1” and “month 2” workouts are alternated over 4 weeks with a fifth week being the recovery week.

The recovery week takes out the weightlifting and plyometrics and adds in a workout they called Core Synergistics  — This week of workouts is designed to lighten the load on your muscles to allow them some time to heal — sort of like tapering before a race.

What exactly are plyometrics and kenpo?
Plyometrics is jump training. This workout focuses on explosive moves to work on both strength and speed. It can improve running speed, jump height and functional fitness for many sports.
Kenpo is a form of karate/martial arts. This workout keeps your heart rate up while doing a few series of karate kicks and punches. It can also improve your balance and flexibility.

How long are the workouts?
Many of the workouts are around 55 minutes to 1 hour. The Ab Ripper video is an additional 15 minutes. Yoga is the longest video at 90 minutes. Because of this, it does take some dedication to stick with the program. I am thankful to be doing these workouts with Ryan and another friend, so we help keep each other going when someone isn’t in the mood — just like meeting up with friend for running would do!

What are the workouts like? Are they really intense?
Most of the weightlifting workouts are set up in circuit-style. For example, on the Shoulders, Biceps, Tricps day you do one exercise focusing on each area and repeat twice, then move on to another small circuit. I will admit, the workouts are hard…but that’s kind of the point , right?!? There is not much time between many of the moves, and often only have a few 30 second breaks. Many moves (especially with pushups and pullups) are supposed to be done to your maximum number of reps. The good thing is that there are ways to modify almost every move if you are struggling, and you can make it as hard as you want. I think the first two workouts (Chest & Back, and Plyometrics) are the hardest! If you decide to start this program, give it some time… sometimes you just need to get in a rhythm… and over time you will make improvements. These types of circuit-style workouts will focus on improving muscular endurance, muscle tone, and cardiovascular fitness.

What equipment do you need?
P90x was designed to use minimal equipment. Here is a list of what I use:
Free weights (could also be substituted for exercise bands)
Pullup bar (could also be substituted for exercise bands)
Yoga mat (just so I’m not sweating all over my carpet!)

How do I modify the program to work with running?As I mentioned in my first post about starting this program, I want to keep up my running while I am completing it. I the best method of modifying the program would probably be differently for everyone, but here’s what I’m doing. On the weekends, I do a swim or bike ride one day, and my long run the other day. During the week, I can add in a short run in addition to another workout (usually on Thursday with yoga), or substitute a run (usually something longer or more intense — intervals/tempo) for the plyometrics day. I have been changing this up just depending on the week and what’s going on.

Hope I’ve answered all your questions! And hopefully I’ll get back to a bit more regular posting this week.

P90x: month 1

P90x Review

I started the P90x program on January 8. See my post about starting the workout series here.

If you don’t know much about P90x, the general program consists of 3 weightlifting days (two focused on arms, and one focused on legs/back), as well as 2 cardio days (plyometrics, or kenpo) and one day of yoga. 

Weekly Thoughts
Week 1: One week in to the P90x program, I am feeling SORE. Almost from head to toe, but mainly in the upper body. Unfortunately we had to start on a Tuesday, so we will likely be doing an extra week of “month 1” workouts. Since we started with the Plyometrics routine, late in the week my calves were screaming at me! My sides are pretty sore from pullups and abs from the AbRipperX workout. But, I know I’m already improving. Feels good to be in a nice strength routine!

Week 2: Plyo’s was much easier this week than last week.  Legs & back really wiped me out this week. Not really so much on the day of the workout, but more that I was SUPER sore the next day — mostly in the glutes.

Week 3: Small improvements this week, but starting to make progress, I think. Getting better especially with the pull-ups. Still had glute soreness after the legs day, but not as bad.

Bonus week for “month 1” workouts: We decided to do another full week of month 1 to get on track with our days. Didn’t complete the legs workout this week because I ran a half marathon Sunday. Changed around the schedule this week a little due to being excessively tired Monday. Yoga on Monday. Completed lifting days on Tuesday and Wednesday.  P90x+ Intervals workout on Thursday. Took Friday off, and swam on Saturday.

Overall thoughts so far:
This is a very tough workout, but they do a great job of showing modified moves if you are new the program. The first two days are the hardest workouts (Chest & Back, and Plyometrics). My first time ever through these workouts, I had to take a break during plyometrics because I thought I was going to faint! And I even felt like I was in pretty good shape at the time! So if you try these workouts, don’t get discouraged. Use the modifications to get through it, and you will improve over time.

What I like about this program is although there are a few rest breaks built in (and I do believe it is enough time), you definitely get your heart rate up for most of the workout. Sometimes in going to the gym it is easy to wait a long time between sets or give yourself too much rest.

The next month changes up workouts for the two upper body lifting days. It will be fun to change things up!

Anything you want to know about the program so far? Ask me some questions!

Working Out with Tony

Tony Horton that is.

Tony and I started a 90(ish) day journey about two weeks ago into the world of at-home strength training. I have been meaning to tell you guys about this, but somehow the post just hasn’t gotten written until now! I’ve done the P90x program before, but this time around I want to write a few blog posts about it.

image source:

My starting point:
Although I was still regularly working out at the gym, I felt like I was mostly maintaining strength rather than improving. The P90x program focuses on muscle confusion, and therefore an increase in both muscle and cardiovascular fitness. I thought completing this routine again could change things up for me and improve my muscular strength all around.

I won’t be following Tony’s plan to a T because I want to make sure I have enough time to fit in cardio (running!) workouts (for half marathon training!). So, instead of completing the plyos, kenpo or core synergistics workouts, on some of these “cardio” days I will go for a run or a swim. I also plan to go to yoga at my gym most weeks instead of completing that DVD. In addition, on running race weeks, I may take off from doing the legs day right before the race.

Finally, I also won’t be following the nutrition plan. Instead, I will focus on healthy daily eating and limiting unhealthy foods in my own way. While I realize this will probably not allow me to have the best results possible, I want to make sure I am leading a sustainable lifestyle rather than going on a “diet”.

In my previous rounds of the program I never made before and after measurements, but this time I am because I’m interested in how much I will improve. (Side note: I don’t like to worry too much about weight or size, and I don’t think we should compare ourselves to each other, but I am hoping to show some measurable results.)

Overall my goal of completing this round of P90x is to tone up and encourage a total body workout. I have also been struggling a bit at the gym, so I think this will be a good change for me right now.

image source:

Measurements & Before Photos
Day 1:

Looking at my before photos, I think I could maybe improve right away by working on my posture! 
Waist (at narrowest part): 29 inches
Hips (at widest part): 37.5 inches
Thighs: 21 inches
Biceps: 12 inches

I will post some thoughts after each month of the program to let you know how it is going and some of my reactions to it.

Keep Pushin’ Play!

Anyone else have strength related goals they are working on?