I've had enough people ask me about this program--what I think about it, etc.--that I figured it would be easier to do a blog post and refer people to it rather than answer the same questions multiple times. So, since inquiring minds want to know, here's the lowdown on our involvement with this exercise program.
First, a little background--I had not done much of anything in the way of exercising since we all got hit with the flu in October, and then I injured my knee trying to run in November and my back in December. But after the holidays were over, I was feeling lethargic, doughy, and a little depressed. My friend and neighbor Chris encouraged me to borrow any of her DVDs to try out, since it was too cold to go running outside. So in January I started working out using 3 different fitness DVDs that I borrowed from Chris. Two of those were produced by Beachbody, which is where P90X comes from as well.
Shortly after I began getting back into the exercise routine, my friend Jen sent an email noting her new email address. I noticed one of her web sites listed at the end was a Beachbody web site, so I checked it out on a whim and saw P90X featured, but didn't really look at it. Soon after this, Chris asked me if I had heard of P90X, and I started to feel like maybe I should be checking this program out!
So after investigating, talking with Jennifer, praying about it, and discussing it with Ted, I placed our order. I started on April 16 as my Day One and haven't looked back! I guess I should clarify that I've been doing the fitness part of the program. I have to confess I haven't even cracked open the nutrition guide, but since there are 7 of us in our family, I really don't feel like cooking separate meals. We eat pretty healthy, so I've opted to focus on the exercise and just make sure I'm avoiding stuff that I know is bad for me anyway.
Before I get to the Q&A section, I want to make clear that I am NOT profiting in any way from the sale of Beachbody products. If you would like to purchase any, I would love to recommend that you do so through Jennifer's web site and support a godly woman who is a wife, mother, and Christian songwriter.
And now for some FAQs...if your question isn't answered here, leave me a comment or shoot me an email. :-)
Q: How much did you have to purchase to start the program?
A: I ended up only purchasing the 12 DVDs ($119.95) and a set of resistance bands ($39.95). I have 3-pound and 5-pound weights but knew I'd need something more.
Q: Did you find you needed to purchase anything else?
A: I'm fortunate to have a neighbor loaning me a pull-up bar, which is one that hooks over any door frame, so I did not spend the $60 to buy that. However, it's a vital part of the program, so I intend to check out the stash at Walmart, since I saw one recently for $20, I think. (Should have bought it then!) I don't actually do pull-ups YET, but I loop the resistance band around the bar, kneel down a ways away, and can imitate the motion quite well. The DVDs show one person using the bands, so you can always adapt using either bands, weights, or the pull-up bar, depending on your exercise.
Q: Any other products that might be helpful?
A: After trying yoga with me today, Ted thinks that he should use the yoga blocks if he's going to do that again! When I workout in the basement on the berber carpet, I think about maybe getting a yoga mat, but upstairs on the cushy carpet, I don't really need it. I'm starting to wonder if I might want to order the push-up bars to ease the strain on my wrist--yesterday my wrist was in considerable pain after Friday's routine and then doing arms yesterday morning. However, after icing it a couple of times yesterday, it was fine this morning.
Q: How is it going so far?
A: At the time of this posting, I've made it 18 days straight!
Q: How does the program work?
A: If you don't know anything about it, I recommend checking out the description on the web site. But a quick rundown is this: There are a total of 12 DVDs, and you follow the program of your choosing. (I'm doing P90X Classic.) The first 3 weeks you do the same thing--meaning each Friday I'm doing chest and back, Saturdays are Plyometrics, etc. Then there will be a recovery week with different assigned workouts. Then weeks 5-7 the same rotation (but different from weeks 1-3), followed by a recovery week, and so on. It's all about muscle confusion.
Q: Do you get any days off?
A: There is one rest day scheduled, but so far I have opted to do the X Stretch DVD. Believe it or not, it's a full hour of STRETCHING! I didn't know you could possibly stretch that many body parts!
Q: How much time commitment is there?
A: I went into this thinking it would be an hour a day, and that's roughly correct. Every other day, however, you do the Ab Ripper, which adds another 16 minutes. Yoga is 1 1/2 hours, but if you were pressed, you could get away with doing the first 49 minutes (the latter half is balance and stretching poses with a bit of core work as well).
Q: Do you think I should try this?
A: It totally depends on your current fitness level and amount of activity. If you are already pretty active and in relatively good shape, you'll probably do fine. If I had started this in January after my few months of couch potato-dom, I would have had a VERY hard time. But since I had established a fairly regular routine of getting up early and working out several times a week, I was better able to make the adjustment.
Q: Any suggestions for getting started?
A: I highly recommend a partner or at least someone to hold you accountable. Ted is both a workout and accountability partner; however, he can only work out with me on the days he does not have mandatory PT on base, which typically is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. But he has done every other workout with me (at least partial workouts on weekdays, full workouts on weekends). And on the days he has his own thing going, he still helps me roll out of bed at 4:30 a.m. to do my thing. I would NOT have made it even this far if it weren't for his help!! Also, I do post on Facebook what day I'm on, so there is accountability there as well.
Q: Can you notice a difference yet?
A: I feel as if I should look in the mirror and totally see a P90X poster-worthy body, LOL. Honestly, if I focus on appearance, it's hard for me to really tell a difference at this point. However, the reason it seems reasonable to even expect to see a visible difference is because I truly CAN tell I have improved a lot in my strength and endurance. It's amazing how far I've come with the Ab Ripper, for example! Stuff I couldn't even do the first time around I'm able to hang in there and complete all the reps for.
Q: Anything else to note?
A: Yes--I have to give a great big caveat to my recommendation. Because while I do like the program so far, and I'm excited to continue, I must give a warning about the fact that there IS some language thrown around in the DVDs that really is unnecessary. I was actually shocked the first time I heard Tony Horton throwing around swear words! I had never heard that on any other workout DVD and just never thought it would be an issue. As our kids get older, there is a good chance they'll join us during workout time, and it's disappointing that we have to deal with that issue.
Also, I just have to say I'm not a big Tony Horton fan. He's awfully pleased with himself, LOL. I have to say I enjoyed Debbie Siebers as a workout instructor much more! But still, he's making me work, so I'll give him that. :-)