Mike and I are now through with “Week 4″ of our modified P90X routine – but it’s been 5 weeks. Due to weekend trips, vacations, schedules, me trying all these fun new classes (hot yoga, Dailey Method’s new Dailey Interval, Xtend Barre), it took us nearly two weeks to get through our final week. Our modified schedule is basically as follows:
Weeks 1 & 3: Chest and Back, Plyometrics (I skipped this week 1 since I was still recovering from the marathon), Shoulders & Arms, and Legs and Back
Weeks 2 & 4: Chest, Shoulders and Tris, Plyometrics, Biceps and Back, and Legs and Back.
Between these four core P90X workouts I was doing the above classes, running about 3-4 times a week, and even got some hikes in on our trip to Ventura! For me, variety has been key in keeping me interested and excited about working out. Although I still love running VERY much (hence why I’m still running quite frequently), I’ve been having a great time getting some of my muscles back.
My muscles actually seem to remember my old P90X days. For example, week one of Chest and Back I could only do about 15 traditional push-ups. By week 3 in the same workout I was able to do 25! My strength is coming back and it feels great.
One change to this round of P90X was that I have been using the P90X Chin Up Assist. This handy little contraption hooks on to the pull-up bar and allows you to get the normal range of motion for a pull-up without actually being strong enough to lift yourself up. Although I worked my way up to being able to do two consecutive unassisted pull-ups during my first round of P90X, I’ve lost that strength (I actually have yet to attempt to do a pull-up this round, I should really try!).
The P90X Chin Up Assist has been incredible. Although I’m not able to do as many reps as I was using the chair, it really works my back muscles the way a pull up or chin up should. I used to kind of half ass my pull ups using the chair because it’s really hard to not push all your weight into your feet during that method. The Chin Up Assist gives you some extra help but there is no cheating – you have to do the work to get yourself up. If you are strong enough to do pull-ups, you can start doing unassisted and then when you get tired, switch to the chin-up bar to get those extra reps and extra results!
The Chin Up Assist comes un-assembled but it’s easy to put together (trust me, if I can, you can). Once you’ve got it together, you just hook it onto the middle of your pull up bar and then put one foot int the stirrups. Then you put your other foot on top of the first foot (it’s important to put both feet in to avoid uneven weight distribution). Once you’re strapped in, you lift yourself up! You can adjust the resistance of the straps as you get stronger to provide less support. The lower the strap hangs, the less resistance.
The Chin Up Assist costs $39.90 and you can buy it on my website here: http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/fitnessfatale (click Shop Team Beachbody on the right side and then Equipment and Gear click Chin Up and Push Up and chose the “Chin Up Max”). In my opinion it’s totally worth it and will definitely help you get the results you are looking for with P90X or any workout program that involves pull-ups.
The reason I was completing this 4 week P90X program with Mike was because he was wrapping up his 90 day program. Now that he’s finished, we’re still determining what to do next. More P90X? P90X2? Or something else….we’ll see.
Do you do pull-ups? Would you find something like the chin up assist helpful?