It’s all over the airwaves, blanketing every channel with those blood stirring infomercials. Tony Horton and is P90X program, Tony Horton and his workout crew, all of them shredded, ripped, walking talking perfect physical specimens of fit humanity. They look as if they were carved from granite, as tough as tree roots and as flexible as yoga practitioners. All of it due to 90 day’s worth of exercise, a formulation that has been lauded as the perfect way to go from 0 to ripped if you can just do what you’re told, if you can eat right, sleep right, and most importantly, exercise right. So is P90X worth doing after Insanity? Does it really deliver the results, and if so, why?
You ask Tony Horton, he’ll tell you it’s all due to the ‘Muscle Confusion’ idea he’s developed, where basically your body is prevented from plateauing due to always mixing up the kind of exercises and routines that you are asked to perform, day in, day out, month after month. Supposedly, your body will acclimatize itself to the same routine, and stop growing after a certain point of time. I don’t think so. Three months is not enough time for your body to grow used to anything, especially if you’re going from 0 to ripped. If you were already a body builder? Perhaps. But any novice or medium grade athlete would be challenged by a serious workout for a few months, and need not worry about Muscle Confusion. So forget that.
No; what’s really going on is that this is a serious, hard core workout. Sure, Tony Horton and Beachbody need some marketing gimmick to help convince people to give it a shot, and that’s where ‘Muscle Confusion’ comes from, but in reality what you need to focus on is that you will be doing a truly intense amount of exercise in a very limited period of time. Consider this: most exercise routines advise that you work out some 3 times/week in order to allow your body to recover, grow, and adapt. P90X has you work out as hard as you can for 6 days/week, 4 weeks/month, for three months straight. It’s beyond intense-it’s insane, and your body will either break, your resolve crumbling, or it will freak out and adapt, grow and grow and grow in order to try to keep up with the sudden stresses and pressures its being subjected to.
Consider this: P90X is a complex series of routines that are interwoven together to form a beautiful whole. You don’t just do bicep curls and chest flies; rather, you integrate such well rounded and challenging routines as Kempo, yoga, stretching and core work with isolated workouts that brutalize your back, shoulders, chest, legs and arms. What happens is that your entire body is subjected to an intense, rigorous and concentrated blast of exercise. Your muscles get shredded, and unless you get enough sleep and nutrition, you’ll end up being a mess. Which is why we need to emphasize here: EAT YOUR FOOD, GET YOUR SLEEP, OR DON’T BOTHER. Seriously-this is such a high level workout that if you skimp on these areas you might as well not pick up a weight at all.
However, if you take it seriously, sleep a ton, eat a ton, and focus and do what you’re told, you’ll be giving your body the best shot it has to completing this workout regimen. Not that you’re guaranteed to succeed even if you do so-it’s just too intense, and most people will probably go in without the necessary conditioning. If you approach it with the level of respect and focus that it requires, however, three months will see your body go through insane adaptions as it tries to adjust to the new and brutal requirements being asked of it. With luck, determination, sweat and pain, you’ll end up looking like those back up workout people behind Tony: lean, ripped, muscled and dangerous, like a snarling, feral wolf in human form. P90X: giving Extreme a whole new meaning.