P90X is an intense home fitness program. Created by Tony Horton, this program is meant to last 90 days, and is not for those new to exercise. The program is designed to help you get to the next level of exercise through muscle confusion. This is accomplished by alternating the type of exercise performed each day. This way, your body does not have a chance to become efficient at the exercise, and your performance continues to improve with less risk of a plateau.
You will perform strength moves several days per week. The program comes with a calendar that will explain which moves to do each day. You will need a full set of weights and a pull-up bar. The goal is to do as many reps as you can in the given period of time, and record your results. Each time you perform that particular workout, you will try and beat your previous reps or increase the amount of weight used. Plan to work out your back and chest, arms and shoulders, abs, legs and back.
You will perform cardiovascular exercise several days per week. The cardio workouts are called Kenpo, Plyometrics, and Cardio X. Kenpo is a mixed martial arts workout including various kickboxing moves, like punches and kicks. Plyometrics is a workout based on high-powered calisthenics. You will do short bursts of activity, with little rest. Cardio X is a mix of various aerobic activities. These workouts help you burn fat and calories, which aid in weight loss and body fat reduction.
Twice a week you will perform activities that help improve your flexibility and core strength. Yoga X is a long, low-impact workout, and provides a lot of strength and stretching moves. X Stretch is stretching. Flexibility is a major component of exercise that is often overlooked in many programs. This program ensures that your muscles are getting all of the exercises they need to be healthy, and stretching is especially important in a program in which you are lifting heavy weights.
Once a week, you will rest your body, and will not perform a workout. This allows your body to recover and heal stronger. It is important to allow yourself one day of rest when following this plan, because the workouts are intense. When you lift weights, you tear small muscle fibers. Resting once a week allows them to heal.
There are three periods of recovery in the P90X program. These occur during the last week of each phase. You will perform your regular workout for three weeks, and then perform special recovery workouts for one week. These workouts are slightly less intense and focus on core strength, cardiovascular exercises and smaller muscle groups. Examples of these workouts are Core Synergistics, Yoga and Stretch.
About this Author
Jessica Kucinski has been involved in the fitness community for nearly a decade. She began her career as a personal trainer, and soon entered the health care field, working as an exercise specialist for Healthsouth Physical Therapy. Kucinski has completed her graduate degree and is the current owner/head instructor of Montville Adventure Boot Camp for Women.