After months of doing Beachbody's Insanity program, I was looking to switch things up. Insanity brought great results in terms of athletic performance and weight loss. But I was ready to try one of the most popular home fitness programs in the world--Beachbody's P90X. If you've seen any of the before and after pictures or read the testimonials, you understand why it is so popular.
When P90X was first released, most home workout video programs were marketed towards beginners--people who were just starting to exercise and trying to get fit. It was one of the very first programs geared for a broader range of fitness levels, including the experienced fitness enthusiast, as well as beginners. All that you need are the videos, a few pieces of equipment and a can-do attitude.
There is not a lot of equipment required: a yoga mat, a few sets of dumbbells and a chin-up bar or resistance bands (to simulate chin-ups and the weights) should do it. Lots of people do the workout with just resistance bands -- convenient if you're traveling. Horton and his crew always demonstrate how to perform each exercise with either weights/the chinup bar or the exercise bands -- so that everyone, regardless of what they are using, is covered. Workouts are also demonstrated for both beginners and advanced skill levels -- there is no excuse to not give this workout a try.
The three-month program is based around a concept they call muscle confusion -- the workout schedule is changed every few weeks, so that your body and muscles stay stimulated. Each month is a phase, which consists of three weeks of weight training and cardio workouts, with one rest week for recovery. In the spirit of muscle confusion, each lifting workout concentrates on specific parts of the body, such as chest and back, or shoulders and arms. The cardio workouts include the super challenging Plyometrics (warning: it's one hour straight of jumping, which is as hard as it sounds) and Kenpo-X (a combination of martial arts cardio). Each week also includes the yoga workout -- this involves Horton leading a comprehensive 90 minute practice.
Of course, anyone who knows anything about getting fit knows that exercise is only part of the equation. Clean eating is equally crucial. P90x includes a comprehensive nutrition plan which has three phases and includes a book full of tasty recipes. Just a warning to vegetarians: protein is a big part of this diet. As someone who doesn't eat red meat or chicken, I found it a challenge to ensure that I was eating enough protein. It required a little bit of creativity, but I was able to make it work.
P90X is one of the most popular home workout programs in the world for a reason -- whether you're new to fitness and want to start getting in shape, or a seasoned gym rat looking to shake things up, P90X is a well-balanced program that if followed, will bring you great results.
Aubrey Chau is a communications professional in Edmonton. He is passionate about being active, current events and finding the answer to two eternal questions: 'why?' and 'where are my keys?' Twittering at: @achau13