Sunday, 25 May 2014

Power 90X Review

The Good

  • The workouts are all very different so it doesn't get boring.
  • You will build both strength and endurance.
  • Uses many body weight exercises such as push ups and pull ups, which are good for grappling sports.
  • Plyometrics is really tough and will get you into shape.
  • Allows you to use lots of tools such as dumbells, barbells, pull up bars, and has alternate exercises for bands too.
  • Cues for exercises are usually good.
  • Music has been selected appropriately for the type of workout. Slow relaxing for yoga and stretch, fast and rough for hard cardio or weight workouts.
  • High production value and cool looking workout studio.
  • Some of the workout buddies are quite interesting.
  • Time display and exercise display is clear.
The Bad
  • Workout length is long at 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 mins for Yoga.
  • Could have possibly done with more variety for AbRipper X with a 2nd ab routine video. Possibly if you have P90X+ you have access to this so a minor problem.
  • Tony Horton's jokes tend to get old and grating.
  • Too much Dreya worship.
  • Complicated diet plan split into macro-nutrient blocks.
  • Small cut and splice in one of the weight workouts during bicep curls. Very minor but annoying.
What did it do for me?
Above all else, P90X will get you into shape for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. I had more energy while rolling and could hold chokes for longer. I took creatine for the whole 90 days, using it only on the weight training days, so that might explain why I could hold my muscles in an isometric position for much longer. At the end of it I could feel my arms were fuller, especially the triceps and also the area around my chest felt much stronger. My quadriceps and hamstrings also felt harder than before and they could push much harder and felt stronger when doing tackles or triangle chokes. As a measurement to how strong I got, during the first week I could only do 8 reverse grip pull ups from fresh but this doubled to 16 by the end. My wide front pull ups also doubled. I really felt this pulling power helped during jiu-jitsu to pull the opponent using his kimono.

The Workouts
They're all around 1 hour long with Yoga X being the exception at 1 hour 30 minutes. I did set out to do Yoga X but found it tediously long so switched to the One-on-One yoga videos that Tony made, which are the one with the hummingbird and fountain of youth yoga. The hardest workout is probably Plyometrics but you get used to it but at the same time it never gets easy. The easiest is KenpoX, which I consider to be a junk workout so replaced it with other things such as Cardio X or yoga during the last months when I was overtrained. There are some really good muscle developing workouts among the P90X DVDs but the best has to be Chest & Back because I felt so pumped afterwards. Your upper body will feel like it wants to stretch out of your skin at the end of it. Core synergistics is interesting and seems to fly by because you only do it on the recovery phases so the workout is still novel. Legs and Back however is rough because you do it every week and it's working two major body parts. I would have liked an alternative for this as with the upper body.

Just past the second month of P90X I could slowly feel my body start to fall short. I was constantly tired and could not push as hard in the workouts. At this time I was doing BJJ about 3 times a week in addition to P90X so that was a factor. If I had had more self-control I really should have slept much more and eaten better. Towards the last week I developed bursitis in my elbow which is on ice at this very moment. Whether it was due to pushing hard during P90X and also doing BJJ I don't know. All I know is that it starting with a clicking sound in my elbow while doing pull ups.

As always, I started off really well. Eating lots of greens, fruit, eggs and lean meat like tuna and chicken. This is tough to do over 3 months so there were times I wavered and ate sweet stuff but never greasy fried food. I tried to eat as clean as I could but could not follow the diet because of it's complexity. This is where I always seem to fall short with the Beachbody routines. I prefered the Mitch ladder and simple calorie counting of P90. I plan to do P90X2 soon so will try to tighten up my diet by preparing lots of food on the weekend.

I really started P90X to step up my game in BJJ and I think I achieved that. About half way through this I entered a competition and won my first match since becoming a purple belt against a larger opponent. I've also been doing well against people at my club who give me problems and have received lots of comments about how strong I've become and I look more macho. This has not been apparent to myself but it's nice to hear such positive feedback as it fuels my fire.

Front photos:

Side photos:

P90X is simply a great workout that you can do in the morning and get it over with to give you results 3 months down the line. I would recommend this to anyone who has the persistence to see it to the end. It's not easy though. There are times when I wanted to quit and stay in bed. I will follow this up with P90X2 so stay tuned for that in 3 months from now.  

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