We woke up at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning pumped to start P90X. We were pretty excited to actually begin the program since we have been planning to do it for so long but had to get through the half marathon before we could begin. Day 1 was no joke – the first fifty-three minute dvd is called “Chest & Back” and it is followed by the 16 minute “Ab Ripper X” (just the name scares me!).
Chest & Back DVD Summary
This DVD is a very “manly” workout, if you will. It is composed of primarily push-ups and pull-ups. After the ten or so minute warm up (a little cardio to warm up the muscles and some light stretching), Tony goes straight into the program which is set up into segments of four workout moves which are repeated once before a short break and the next set begins. After all workouts are completed, we repeat the entire set again. An example of a four workout segment would be:
1) standard push-up
2) wide front pull-up
3) military push-up
4) reverse grip chin-up
Obviously I have to use a chair to help me with all these pull-ups otherwise I’d just be hanging from the pull-up bar for 30 seconds. At some point I should be able to do a few on my own without the assistance of the chair, although that day seems far off to me at this point!
Tony instructs everyone to pick a goal number of reps and try to meet or beat that goal. The video ends with a short cool-down.
Push-ups – A Love-Hate Relationship for Women
Although there is no doubt the number of push-ups I will do in the next 90 days will outnumber all the push-ups I’ve done in my ENTIRE life, I have to say that I’ve become a push-up believer! I’ve always known that push-ups are a great workout, but I still dreaded them every time they came up in a group fitness class. After doing a little research on my new favorite (ok maybe not favorite) exercise, I found that not only are push-ups great for sculpting shoulders, arms, & abs (the glamour muscles), they also are a big calorie-burner! Push-ups improve cardiovascular endurance as they can really get your heart rate up. According to Livestrong.com, calisthenics that include push-ups can burn as much as 400 calories in a 40-minute workout. That’s as many calories as running 4 miles!
Speaking of glamour muscles, Ab-Ripper X, the 20 minute gut wrenching DVD that accompanies your normal P90X workout three days a week, is incorporated into Day 1’s routine. Tony clearly wants you to start off the program right.
Ab-Ripper consists of thirteen workouts, fifteen to twenty-five sets of each (forty for the last one). Tony starts off the video by telling you that you will do 339 ab exercises during the video and he’s not kidding. Well, the uber-ripped super-human crew on the video do 339 without flinching – we did more like somewhere between 225-275, with improper form for some.
Apparently, by the end of P90X we will be able to complete all 13 workouts with good form. At this point though, we can get through all workouts and even finish all reps on several of them, but there are a few that are extremely daunting. I personally have trouble extending my legs out straight during ab workouts so the Oblique V-Up and Fifer Scissor are most difficult for me. Mike has trouble with the Hip Rock & Raise, which is actually one of the easiest for me. It’s been interesting to observe the differences in our strengths and weaknesses.
My opinion so far? I can tell that these workouts are going to change how we look at fitness forever. Oh yeah, and we’re going to get ripped (ladies who are scared of being ripped – I mean in a good way, not in a scary front of body building magazine freaky way – that takes LOTS of supplements and heavy weights)!!!