P90X has become the "buzz" of the fitness community and everyone seems to be sharing their opinions, fears, and excitement over this newest fitness rage. So I thought I would take this blogging opportunity to share my insight on this program from the stand of a PTA, personal trainer and the wife of a Tony Horton fan!
My husband has always been intrigued by infomercials, and frequently asks my opinion of the product being sold. I have to admit that the p90x was the first to catch my full attention. I was intrigued by the philosophy of this program and found similarities in my own exercise prescription philosophy. The use of body weight and dumbbells challenging the muscles as a group vs machine training in isolation. I loved the emphasis placed on varied workouts preventing adaptation or plateau and creating muscles confusion. This muscle confusion is the base for creating growth and enhancing the nervous system. So I decided to bite the bullet and make my very first infomercial purchase. This would offer us an opportunity to work out together in the comfort of our home and give me the hands on experimenting that could also benefit my cliental.
This program is laid out in a fashion that varies the body part being worked out daily. Alternating between the upper and lower extremities, martial arts, plyometrics, core, stretching and yoga (which happens to be the toughest work out of them all). The beauty of the program is that you need very little space and equipment, in addition to the elimination of travel time to and from the gym. It promotes mobility and strength in all three planes of movement and emphasizes strength of the stabilizing muscles.
So how could you go wrong based on all of the pros listed here? Well just like any other exercise program, if it lands in the hands of an individual who doesn't have the ability or knowledge of where to begin and how to progress, or someone who has not been priorly educated in proper body mechanics with exercises such as lunges, push ups, or squats, it can serve as a danger. Although the videos do a good job of consistently reminding you to start slow, with fewer reps or light resistance and to listen to your body, this can still serve as a challenge to the type "A" personality, or the individual who is a newbie to fitness. It can also be a danger for the person who decides to just pick and choose their daily workouts vs following the schedule, if...... he only chooses the muscles that he can see in the mirror, such as the chest, biceps, and abdominals. Remember that there some very important muscles on your backside that are also being admired and if you neglect these scapular stabilizers, hamstrings or glutes, your performance could be greatly inhibited and your workouts may come to an end sooner than you wish due to injury.
My recommendation is, if you have been active with a strengthening program at the gym for more than a year now, take this opportunity to change up your routine. You will quickly note the benefits of this program. If the majority of your exercises have been performed on machines, be cautious and consider professional (personal trainer, physical therapist or MIHP????) guidance with initiating this program. If you are just beginning a fitness program, then take note that in each workout video they will have one of the instructors showing an alternate approach to each exercise whether it be positioning, or different forms of resistance. Stick with this form until you become stronger. Also, if you note any neck pain with doing shoulder exercises, consider using one arm at a time vs both arms together. This will allow an increase in the natural rotational pattern our body requires with upper extremity movement.
Please tune in tomorrow for how to periodized your P90X workout into the training schedule for the endurance athlete.