Building Core Strength and Balance
P90X2 is broken down into 3 Phases, building on the concept of muscle confusion that was introduced by Tony Horton in P90X. However, P90X2 has taken muscle confusion to a whole new level. P90X2 applies the latest in science and training techniques by using total body movements, incorporating multiple muscle sets in a single move. For example, you don't just do dumbbell curls to work the biceps, but you do dumbbell curls while standing on 1 foot in Warrior 3 yoga pose. This type of move engages muscles in the arms, back, legs, glutes, and core all at once. Imagine the 1 arm balance pushups from P90X, but with your hands on medicine balls. Many of the concepts in P90X2 are used by elite athletes to build muscle, improve flexibility and mobility, and prevent injuries. If you are someone that got ripped doing P90X then you are going to love P90X2!
I am on my 4th week of P90X2 and I am in phase 1 which is the Foundation Phase. This phase focuses on core strength and balance to prepare the body for more strength training in the second phase. The workouts in this phase are very unique and very different from the original P90X routines. I watched most of the videos all the way through before doing any workouts and I thought to myself, "This doesn't look too bad... I can do that." But I spent most of that first week very frustrated falling off balls, tipping over, and trying to keep up with the pace on the videos. It seems that I was lucky to get half the reps in before Tony was moving on to the next exercise and leaving me in the dust. This was a very humbling experience, especially after I had so much success with P90X. It was like going back to square one again.
Well, after thinking back to my experience with P90X, I remembered how much I struggled with P90X the first few weeks. Now that I have completed several rounds of P90X, many of the moves have become very natural for me and I forget how difficult they were in the beginning. So I was determined to press on and do my best with X2. The second week felt much better. I was still having difficulty and falling down a lot, but at least I felt like I was moving in the right direction. It is a very strange feeling because I am used to doing moves in isolation: Arms, Legs, Chest, Abs, etc. With this program you are working everything at the same time so you don't feel one specific body part getting totally maxed out, but everything gets worked in conjunction. This is called Functional Fitness. It's more like real world scenarios. In the real world you are not just using one muscle group at a time, but you are using your total body to accomplish a task.
- Day 1 X2 Core. As the name implies, this workout focuses a lot on strength in your abs and back through stability. A lot work is done on the medicine balls and stability balls. It is amazing how much more difficult it is to hold a plank position when balancing on a ball. You will also see some new twists on old moves like the Dreya Roll, Banana, Lunges, and Burpees.
- Day 2 Plyocide. This of course is the natural progression of Plyometrics or Jump Training. This workout includes a lot of jumping and squatting exercises.
- Day 3 X2 Total Body. This workout really combines a lot into each move. Most exercises in this workout include legs, arms, and core balance all in the same move. For example you do a chest press, but instead of lying on the floor or a bench, you lie on the stability ball requiring you to balance as you press the weights. Another example is the Swimmers Press, but do it from a half chair posture for your legs. This workout was true to its name and really attacked every muscle in my body.
- Day 4 X2 Yoga. Many people hated the Yoga from P90X and often skipped it or only did part of it. The good news for those people is that the Yoga in P90X2 is much shorter, and I personally think it is more interesting. I am not really a huge fan of yoga, but I understand the importance of flexibility so I do it. This yoga workout seems to move at a good pace and kept my attention. I think it is big improvement over the Yoga routine in P90X.
- Day 5 X2 Balance and Power. So far this is the most difficult workout for me. Like the Total Body, it works many different muscle groups throughout the routine. There is a lot of integration of stability balls and medicine balls to enhance the balance aspect of the moves. There were several exercises that made me say "Are you Crazy Tony Horton? I can't do that!" I really struggled on many of these exercises and I think it is going to take quite a bit of repetition to master this workout.
The P90X2 schedule calls for 2 rest days. I adjusted my rest days so that they fall on Saturday and Sunday. Since I regularly play basketball on Sundays this schedule works out pretty well for me.
I am starting my 4th week of this phase and I plan to stay here for a few more weeks until I can get a little better handle on the moves. I feel like each time I do the routine I am getting a little better and getting more and more out of the workout. This workout is totally different from anything I have ever done. Many of the exercises feel very foreign and expose my weaknesses. But I love the challenge! This is just the type of workout that I need right now to keep me motivated and interested. It is certainly not easy, but I love a good challenge and I will continue to work on my weaknesses. And who wants easy anyway?
If you have mastered P90X and you are looking for a new challenge, then you have come to the right place. To learn more about P90X2 or find out if P90X2 is right for you, just leave a comment below or sign up to have me as your Free Team Beachbody Coach. If you are ready to buy P90X2 for yourself, then ordering from me will get you 2 Free Bonus Workouts and discounted shipping. Better yet, buy the Challenge Pack and get everything you need to succeed at a huge savings.
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