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Does P90X Really Work?

October 3, 2009

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Disclaimer:  I apologize to Tony Horton in advance for this screenshot.  Perhaps not the most flattering shot in terms of facial gestures, but the height on that pull-up more than makes up for it.

If there is one question I get about doing P90X it is simply this:  “Does it work?”  Fair question I feel, since infomercials are full of claims that sound great on TV, but once you get the products in the mail, you often times read the fine print and thus come out with a different result.  So, I’m happy to report that as of Day 33, P90X DOES NOT fit into this lame-o category of making claims it can’t live up to.

Case in point:  Pull-ups.  If there is one exercise I have always hated it is pull-ups.  They are hard, gruelling and frustrating.  So when I found out that P90X requires the purchase of a chin-up/pull-up bar I had two choices:  suck it up and do it for results attainment….or cry to Mama and go home.  I elected to choose option #1 and here are my results below.

On the Legs and Back workout, you mix in back and leg workouts, but the back is expected to do 8 separate sets of pull-ups combining Reverse Grip Chin-ups, Wide Front Pull-ups, Closed Grip Overhand Pull-ups and Switch Grip Pull-ups.  Switch Grips are the hardest as they require you to do 2 Closed Grip Overhand Pull-ups, then hang as you switch your hands to do 2 Reverse Grip Chin-ups.  Sounds tough?  Yes, it is.  This program is definitely not for the faint of heart.

The first week I did a combination of regular and assisted pullups with a grand total of all reps equating to meager results.
Week 2:  27 total pullups
Week 3:  47 total pullups
Week5:  69 total pullups

For you mathematicians out there, Week 3 results were almost two times that of Week 2.  Week 5 was almost 1/2 as much of Week 3.  In other words, I’m one Proud Papa.  That’s like running 3 miles in 30 minutes, then running it in 16 the following week and then running it in 12 minutes the last week.  OK, perhaps that’s an out of balance comparison, but I still think terms of a runner, so cut me some slack.  Regardless, you can’t argue these results.

Pullups aren’t my only area of progress.  My cardio feels stronger, my endurance to work through the DVDs is longer and with the help of my accountability partner, Rich, (check out his blog here), I’m pushing myself on each workout as is he.

Hey, Jeff – where are the videos of you crushing it??!!  I hear ya.  Yes, all in good time I will be recording myself doing these workouts.  I promise.  In the meantime, know P90X is the real deal.

TIP OF THE DAY:  When you are counting out reps for exercises, rather than count up from 1 to 25, try counting down from 25 to 1, etc.  The lower the number gets, the easier the mind accepts the efforts left to get to the end.  Try it and let me know what you encounter in the comments section below.  OR if you want to report your own progress, please email me or post it in the comments as well.

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