Consider this the starting line to the extreme physical and mental challenge ahead. It’s time to show what you’ve got. It may take some time to get used to the rigors of this program, but with patience and determination, you will go the distance.
WEEKS 1-3:During this phase, your goal should be to master each movement and finish the workouts in one piece. So for now, focus less on the amount of weight you are lifting and instead try to achieve your desired number of repitions while maintaining strict form. Remember to record your rep count and weight.
WEEK 4, Recovery & ab focus: After three weeks of taking a pounding, your body will be begging for some relief – and this transition comes just in time. Don’t expect this week to be easy. As a matter of fact, it may seem harder than the previous weeks if cardiovascular fitness is your weak area. But it will allow your body to recover from the hard resistance and will enhance your adaptive process. You’ll also focus on tightening the entire midsection into a hard, ripped sheet. Core strength, balance, and flexibility are the focus of the week as your body increases its stabilizer – muscle strength during recovery and ab focus.
WEEK 5 – 7: If you rally want to add some size, now is the time to go for it. Use enough weight on each exercise se that you max out at 8 to 10 reps. If you just want to continue developing lean muscle, use enough weight so that you max out between 12 and 15 reps. Never do 11… (we kid you). Also keep in mind that your body only builds muscle while at rest. To try to get at least seven hours of sleep – which should be easy, because this schedule will wipe you out.
WEEK 8:Recovery and ab focus
Once again, your body will thank you for a reprieve from the previous three weeks. This second recovery week brings back the workouts that focus on those seldom-used muscles, including the entire midsection. At this point you should be more comfortable performing core exercises, and by the end of the week you will begin to feel stronger and ready to hit the weights in the next phase.
WEEKS 9-12: “Extreme muscle confusion” is what this phase is all about. At the onset of this stage, you should be rested and ready to leave everything you’ve got on you exercise mat. No holding back, This will be the time to push to exhaustion and near muscle failure on every single set. Give it your maximum effort, each and every day, and you will know the true meaning of X. C’mon – we dare you.
Can You Extend Each Phase?
Given your newfound knowledge about the adaptive phase, this is an understandable question and a valid one. There are a few reasons why you may want to extend one or more phases of the program. Perhaps you had trouble learning the movements, had an “off” week when you didn’t feel you pushed hard enough, got sick, or were just plain busy. I can be effective to continue a phase for an extended week or two, no problem. But never do a phase longer than six weeks. You’ll always get better results by shaking thinks up on a regular basis.
Confused? Good, you’re getting it – or at least your muscles are.
We offer tow alternatives to the classic P90X routine. While both of these programs are designed to generate slightly different results, they are just as intense as the classic version. Additionally, they are also good options for subsequent rounds of P90X. Just be sure to take at least a couple of weeks off between programs.
The Doubles plan of attack is for those who want some extra cardiovascular exercise, either for performance or weight loss. Keep in mind that P90X is stressful within the realm of its standard schedule. Those attempting Doubles should be completely injury-free and have plenty of energy to add another workout to the schedule three of four days per week. The Cardio X workout is the least intense of the P90X series, but it’s still a serious calorie-burner.
This phase is identical to the classic way of doing P90X. During this phase your body will be adapting, and no further breakdown is likely to be beneficial. Remember to record your rep count and weight amount on your FREE P90X Worksheets, downloadable at Beachbody.com/P90X or Teambeachbody.com/P90X.
Here we go. Add Cardio X three times per week. It’s recommended to do this workout in the morning on an empty stomach. Then do your regular P90X workout later when you’ve got more blood glycogen for energy.
With for days per week of cardio in addition to your regular schedule, you’re going to have to eat very well to sustain the final four weeks. This is essentially “hell week” just like high school football season; except that it’s not one week, it’s four.
Note: If you start to feel excessively tired, don’t be afraid to skip your morning workout. If you’re overtraining, it’s no longer beneficial, so pay close attention to your body and how it’s reacting.
P90X Lean : More cardio and less resistance for maximum weight loss
P90X Lean is for those who want a more cardio-based and slightly less intensive program. Make no mistake, this is the real deal and no picnic. Infact, you may sweat more than in P90X. What you sacrifice in overall gains in strength and speed, you’ll make up for with positive changes in lean body mass.
During this period your body is going to get accustomed to the rigors and demands of P90X by forming engrams, or neuromuscular patterns that allow you to turn new movements into routine. Your aim should be to finish each workout and perfect each movement, as opposed to focusing on weight or resistance. As your body gets used to exercises, it will do them move efficiently and the amount of weight you can use will greatly increase. You should begin to see this skyrocket towards the end of week 3. Remember to record your rep count and weight amount on you FREE P90X Worksheets, downloadable at Beachbody.com/P90X or TeamBeachbody.com/P90X
Before you get comfortable, you’ll need to back off a bit. While not easy, this week will allow your body to recover from hard resistance training while continuing your adaptive process. Core strength, cardio, and flexibility are the focus of the week as your body builds more engrams and increases stabilizer-muscle strength.
Your body should have adapted quite well by this phase, and it will be time to focus on reps and failure. During these weeks you’ll want to attempt to increase the weight you use for each exercise. During this phase, try to finish between 12-20 reps and be at or near failure at the end of each set. Remember that your body only gets stong while at rest. So be sure to get enough sleep!
“No pain, no gain ” is what this phase is al about. At this stage, you should be ready to leave everything you’ve got on your exercise mat. No holding back, no more getting used to anything – this will be the time to push to exhaustion and muscle failure on every single set! Let’s drop the reps a little and try to fail at 10-12 on weighted movements. After four weeks of complete hammering, your body wants to rest. So instead, let’s push your personal envelope and see what you’ve got. We want you best effort, each and every day! When the going gets tough, the tough get going: be at your best when your best is needed; take no prisoners . . . you get the idea. You’ve come this far – now let’s put the X in “extreme”!