Why This P90X™ Grad Doesn’t Recommend it to Friends or Family

Adam dons his "Animal Instict" pose for his after pic!

Since my husband and I graduated the famed P90X™ program in October 2009 we’ve become a sort of celebrities amongst our friends and family. When ever they have questions about it or even another workout program they always consult with us. They even refer us to their friends and family asking them about it! lolol

So I figure I’ll make this post to explain not only why we got the program and what our results were after, but why we no longer recommend BeachBody’s® P90X™ to anyone we care about and what I recommend instead.

First lets go over what intrigued us about the program in the first place…

Structure

I ran track and was a cheerleader in grade school. Therefore I always had a coach monitoring and adjusting my exercise regimen as I gained strength and stamina. This is opposed to the pop in a random DVD or go to the gym and kick and punch away over an indefinite period of time regimen I adapted as an adult. I always thought it was a good idea but never a priority for various reasons at different periods in my life.

This program, P90X™, was lead by a fabulous trainer whose physic shamed many half his age. We believed that if anyone can help to reshape our bodies Tony Horton sure could even without him being live in our home gym. We knew we would get intensity increasing exercises designed around the idea of “muscle confusion”, how quickly the body adapts to other predictable, static exercise programs (like The Firm™), to help us get the most of our 90 days… Speaking of which, I also liked the fact that there is a beginning and an end.

I first started out on the “Lean” track which, after 3 weeks, I didn’t think was intense enough for me. I had a “more-is-more” mindset about the frequency of my workouts. I was stuck on the old adage of reducing calories in and increasing calories exerted. BIG BAD idea, I’ll explain more about later.

Intensity

As I mentioned, I like to push myself when it comes to exercising. I’d be the girl at the gym on the stair-mill for 30-45 minutes, bench

Pullup bar blisters anyone?

pressing where the boys were, doing all the up-downs in the cycling class and kicking high in the Tae-bo class.

I ambitiously upgraded to the Doubles track after Week 4 (Recovery).

That means, out of the total 6 days a week workout schedule I was working out twice a day 3 days a week for the next 3 weeks and then twice a day 4 days a week the the the last 3 weeks.

That could be anywhere for 1 hr and 15 minutes to 1hr and 30 minutes of exercise on any given day… very hard and intense exercise at that!

Tracking

Using the charts that came with the program we were able to clearly see how we progressed. I REALLY liked that. It was great to see the numbers go up in reps and weight because we could see that “stuff” was happening as well as feel it in your body. We were sore somewhere everyday…

Opportunity

if you don’t already know, Beachbody is a wellness, nutrition and supplement company that employs Independent Distributors to sell products and recruit others who use and/or sell the products and services. That meant there’s an opportunity to profit from sharing out story with other and recommending the products/services for a piece of the sale.

We flirted with this idea of becoming Beachbody® distributors, called coaches, while we were trying out the P90X™ program our selves. I even met some awesome, motivated coaches like Taryn Perry, Blake Warrington and, most recently, Steph Perez.

But, when I checked out the programs none suited what I would do myself much less recommend to others with integrity. That may change in the future though as I’m sure Beachbody® will not be left behind as the fitness market tastes evolve.

What I didn’t like

P90X Nutrition Guide

Even though I am a home based entrepreneur I found it challenging to keep up this type of schedule. And, although I had body composition improvement it was near where I’d hoped after working so hard for so long.

As we neared the end of the program we started researching what we could get into next. Was it going to be P90X™ round 2, another BeachBody® product like Turbo Jam™ or Insanity™ or another route entirely?

What we found was people getting the same or better results working out less than a 1/3 of the time with a workout style called H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Training). I was intrigued to say the least especially since husband, Adam, injured his elbow (tore a tendon, sprained a ligament, pinched a nerve… not really sure :/) in one of the last weeks and couldn’t do anything at all for 6-8 weeks.

What We Learned

Honestly, we would have gotten bigger returns had we changed our diet (not in the way the P90X™ food guide suggested though)… and worked out less! It is designed, in my opinion, for the woman (and man) who likes to work out for the sake of moving her (his) body almost every single day and no one else, in my humble opinion.

When I saw trainers who helped people get the results we wanted, with no special equipment, in 15-30 minute sessions 2-3 times a week of H.I.I.T exercises I was SOLD! Also, when I discovered modern nutrition education books like: Protein Power, The New Glucose Revolution and most recently, The Primal Blueprint I realized I would have never seen ultimate long term success with the P90X™ workout program or accompanying nutrition guide.

What I Recommend Instead

After about 6 months of research and just over 5 weeks of real world practice I’ve been able to trim almost 10 lbs of fat without any exercise, except climbing the stairs at home, chasing the kids, wild sex and tons of laundry. This is after I discovered that 80% of your body composition and fat loss success is diet ALONE.

After: (Oct 2009) Still 15lbs to go!

What that means is you’ve got to clean up your eating first. Learn how to eat for body fat loss and muscle gain or maintenance. The scale will start to change in the right direction. If you don’t do this first you run the risk of sabotaging your exercise efforts and therefore your results without even knowing it.

It’s never been about low-fat, whole grain eating and slow-simmering cardio in the illusive “fat-burning” zone as was once falsely reported by our nutrition expert/conventional wisdom 30 years ago! So, please don’t think. ” Oh,  I already know how to eat already.” If you did chances are you wouldn’t be intrigued by intense exercise programs like P90X in the first place, now would you Ms. Huffen Puff?

I strongly recommend you pick up a copy of the books I link to above. I HIGHLY recommend The Primal Blueprint even if you forgo the others. Then, you can join me for the “60 ’til Summer Slim Down“! There’s plenty of time left to get bikini ready in 2010.

Love,

Malika

4 thoughts on “Why This P90X™ Grad Doesn’t Recommend it to Friends or Family”

  • I’d definitely say get some gloves to avoid the blisters on the pull up bars. The funny thing is though, I never had the blister problem. Were you using the perfect pullup or another brand? It might have more to do with the grips plus that wonderfully dry Texas weather.

    I’m still experimenting with P90X Plus. The gains aren’t as dramatic as one might expect (law of diminishing returns). While I’m still making progress, I think I need to use better bands or more weight.

  • I have to admit as I weight loss consultant I was a little skeptical about what you’re reason might have been for hating on the P90X. I use to weigh 225 with a body fat percentage of 50% and now I weigh 165 with just over 6% body fat, and I’ve tried all the BS out there you can think of, including P90X. At 165 and 6% body fat it was to tuff and intense for even me and I run a six min mile. What you’re saying is 100% absolutely true and I would even say that diet is even closer to 90% or 99% of your physic however you do get better results from working out. My average client will drop as much as 30 lbs in 30 days and I am not a trainer so I can’t train them and I applaud you for sharing your experience and your truth with people.

    • @Allan, you think I’m hating? LOLOL… Well I’m glad it caught your attention, which was the point :0). You really think diet is that high (90-99%)? I always here so much about the workout side of it, so many hours a week go in to doing exercise and the diet portion is, in my humble opinion, is grossly under rated. I’ve learned so much about blood glucose regulation, insulin sensitivity and other food facts that simple have gone under RECOGNIZED and over looked by fitness pros at large. I just stopped exercising and applied it myself to see what would happen. 50 days later and 10lbs lighter… I’m like 90% organic everything, no grains, low starch!.

      You’ve gotten amazing results with what ever you are doing though. If you can duplicate that with your consulting clients then stick to it for sure! Thank you for contributing your experience to this post!

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