Wednesday, February 8, 2012

P90X2: The First 30 Days



UPDATED 2/14: View my 30-Day Transformation by clicking here.


In September 2011, I took a leap of faith and decided to challenge myself by pre-ordering P90X2. I had been doing P90X for about 6 months in 2011, and figured I’d come a long way and it was time for a new challenge. I had really no clue what I was in for, except for the fact that Tony Horton was back and promised new, challenging, muscle-confusing workouts. I ordered the base package ($119.95), figuring I would be able to piece together whatever else I needed.

When my P90X2 package shipped around Christmas, I was really excited!! I had actually started a new round of P90X in October to get me nice and ready for the new workouts. After my package arrived, I immediately began reading through the Nutrition and Workout Guides, learning about each workout and checking out all the yummy recipes. I also began to pull together the equipment I needed to do the workouts, which they recommend the following:
  
  • Medicine Balls (up to 4)
  • Stability Ball
  • Pull-Up Bar
  • Foam Roller
  • 16” Stand / Step
  • Yoga Mat
  • Pull-Up Assist

Now, if you remember I said I bought the base package because I already have a ton of equipment. I’m torn now after doing the first 30 days as to whether or not I should have splurged and got the larger package. However, I’ve been able to modify and substitute equipment where needed. Here is the equipment I’ve been using:
  
  • One 8 lb. weighted ball from one of my old FIRM workouts. This is a little smaller than a medicine ball in size, but works fine. Also, I just am not ready to do push-ups on four medicine balls. A couple more rounds of P90X2, and yah, I will get there. However, to start off this is working great for me!
  • I’ve got a 45 cm (smallest size) stability ball, so no substitutions there. However, I think I’m right in-between on what size I need. There are some moves that I could really benefit from the bigger stability ball.
  • I don’t own a pull-up bar, nor do I have anywhere in my house I could hook one up. All our doorways just won’t work for one. In the case of P90X and P90X2, I have always used a Resistance Band for my pull-ups. I have a resistance band with a strap that hooks over the top of a closed door to hold it in place. Once I got over my fear of the band possibly snapping and coming at me (it hasn’t yet… phew!), I have seen really great results. I just have to remember to really move back away from the door and challenge myself, and feel that burn! They also feature a Pull-Up Assist, which is a resistance band type thing you place your foot in, rather than using a chair. I don’t own one, but if I had a pull-up bar, I’m pretty sure I’d buy one of these!
  • Foam Roller…. Alright, while you can just do boring old stretching in place of a foam roller, I will tell you right now this is one piece of equipment I wish I would have gotten before starting P90X2. It’s at the top of my “to purchase” list for sure!
  • Some of the workouts use a stand for decline push-ups or to step-up on. There was no way (personally) I was buying one of these, as I have my handy dandy TransFIRMer from my FIRM-ing days. It was nice to be able to dust off the old TransFIRMer and put it back to work. It’s the perfect height and my hubby is glad to see its no longer gathering dust.
  • You definitely need a yoga mat, if you have one already… you are good to go! I found I have to use this on some of the pull-up variations, as my resistance bands are located over a door that goes from our kitchen into the garage. The kitchen floor is slippery, and I found myself sliding around trying to do the pull-up variation they were doing in the workout. The yoga mat keeps me in place, and of course, it’s used in the Yoga workout as well.


Now, on to the workouts! The first 30 days of P90X2 is titled “Foundation” because you are really focusing on building your core and focusing on balance. I’ve gotta tell you, when I first previewed the first workout I knew I was going to have a hard time. I’ve had two babies and if there is anything on my body that is weak, it’s most definitely my core. Since having babies, I really haven’t been great about keeping up with any type of core workout except when Core Synergistic’s would come up in my P90X rotation. I was scared going into these first 30 days, I thought I would never be able to do some of the moves they were doing in the workouts. Boy, was I wrong!

X2 Core

X2 Core focuses on strengthening your core muscles through instability. Equipment used includes a stability ball, medicine ball, foam roller, and weights (or resistance bands). This workout contains moves like Sphinx Plank Crunch, Warrior 3 Cross Crunch, Core Circles on the stability ball, X2 Diver, etc.

My first experience with this workout was pathetic, thanks to the weakness of my core. On many of the exercises I was barely able to push more than 3 reps out. I kept pushing forward though, because your core really can build strength quickly. By week 4, I was pumping out the reps and surprising myself with how much strength I had gained in a short amount of time. I’m not able to do ALL the reps by any means, and on many of the moves I am modifying by either not using a stability ball or the medicine ball. However, I have come a LONG way from where I was on the first day.

Plyocide

My P90X2 "Before" picture, January 2012
Stay tuned to see my full transformation!
Not sure Tony Horton could have given this workout a better name. Holy hell, this is one INTENSE workout. However, when you finish there is no doubt that you will feel a sense of accomplishment for pushing yourself through. After you warm-up and do some foam rolling, Tony leads you through 4 moves that you do for about a minute or so. The first move is always low-impact, and the following three moves are some sort of plyometric exercise. Plyocide and I definitely have a love/hate relationship…. There is no doubt about that!

X2 Recovery + Mobility

I’m ashamed to say it, but I haven’t pulled this one out yet. I know, I’m naughty. I love to stretch, but I also know this one uses the foam roller. I’ve been putting off doing it because I want the full effect… which means I need to order my foam roller. Stay tuned, I promise to do this workout in the second 30 days. I swear, I really will.

X2 Total Body

Here is where you get back to using good old dumbbells. They aren’t pulled out too much during the first 30 days, being you are mostly focusing on core and balance. However, during this workout they are put to good use. Moves include a 1-Arm Chest Press on the stability ball, a couple different pull-up variations, the good old Push-Up Side Arm Balance, Warrior 3 Kickback and Bicep Curls, Boing Push-Ups, and a personal favorite – Swimmer’s Curl Press in ½ Chair.

This is a great workout and again, just like in X2 Core, as the weeks went on I really progressed and saw my strength, balance, and core getting better. You do 12 exercises, and then start from the beginning repeating the same moves for a second round. If you are short on time, this is definitely one you can modify to only do half of the workout.

X2 Yoga

Tony’s new yoga workout isn’t too far off from the P90X YogaX but it’s a little shorter. X2 Yoga wraps up in 60 minutes, instead of 90, and incorporates new moves that weren’t done in the P90X version. It definitely gets a sweat going and there were many times I was left in awe by how advanced the people in the workout could get … it was crazy! However, there is always a modifier and you can guess who I was following most of the time. Ha!

X2 Balance + Power

This workout really focuses on balance, form, and core stability. You will need a couple sets of weights for this workout, stability ball, and medicine balls. This is another one that I was completely pathetic on the first week. I practically fell on my face doing a couple of the moves, but just modified the best I could and pushed through. The one that really got me was the X Plank Spider Twist. However, I stuck with it and saw huge improvements in the amount of reps I could do by the end of the first 30 days.

There you have it, my review of my first 30 days doing P90X2. I saw a total weight loss of about 5 lbs (my scale took a crap, so I don’t know how much I weighed on day 30), and saw a total loss of 6.5” off of my overall body. I’m pretty darn close to my goal weight and trying not to pay too much attention to the scale, but rather how my clothes are fitting and how I am feeling. I am HAPPY to report that my clothes are fitting very loosely and that is an awesome feeling! I’ve also been taking progress photos, which I will share here at the end of my first 90 days.

If you have any particular questions about P90X2 or are interested in ordering, contact me at alissaangelo@gmail.com.

Stay tuned, I will be back with more on month 2 of my P90X2 journey!

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