How spending 90 Days in your own living room can get you fit
Tony Horton’s workout program, P90X, is designed to get you into shape, without ever leaving your house
Brendan Stasiewich, Staff Writer
If you haven’t heard of P90x, the high-level home workout regiment led by personal trainer (and entertainer in the P90x workouts) Tony Horton, then you’ve either been living under a rock or are trying at all costs to avoid a workout that would make TLC workout shows look like a cakewalk.
The basis of P90x, which was launched back in the ancient days of 2003, is simple. A workout a day for 90 days chosen for you from one of the 12 workout DVDs, and a meal plan to be used for best results.
There are three fundamental reasons why I believe P90X works so well, and ultimately became so successful.
The first is that when it comes to working out the only person holding you back from reaching your goals is you. When it hurts, you stop, and that pain is what makes many people hate the thought of exercise. Some people have a voice inside their head saying, “keep going,” and some people need to be pushed. Tony Horton in P90X is that voice. He pushes you and lets you know that even if you have to take the odd break, the pain is a good thing and he’s right there doing it with you. He also does this at a fraction of the price of a personal trainer.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle, Horton does a great job in P90x to give variants for each exercise to fit different skill levels. For example in the “Ab Ripper X” DVD, perhaps the most famous of the workouts, when doing the Leg Climb he tells participants the different ways they can lay their leg on the ground to make the workout “hard,” “easy” or “easiest”. However, none of the variants are particularly “easy” for anybody doing an ab ripper for the first time, which is why P90X is probably best fit for individuals who already have an active background.
The second reason to love P90X is that it gives you a home gym without needing much equipment at all. Many people hate the thought of having to go out to the gym, but P90X gives you the opportunity to sweat all you want in the comfort of your living room. All you need is a couple dumbbells of varying weights, and a pull-up bar. When I did P90x I didn’t even use a pull-up bar, instead replacing pull-ups with even more pushups in the “chest and back” video.
The only problem here is that you can only get so big without the use of heavy weights at the gym, so for those bodybuilders looking to see “huge gains,” P90x is not a great alternative. However for us normal folk just looking to gain strength and be in great shape, look at the mastermind Horton who’s one of the most fit guys you’ll ever see.
The final reason why I believe P90x is a great workout is because of the DVDs themselves, they’re not easy. I did P90x in my grade 12 year because I didn’t have access to a gym and didn’t want to look like the smallest guy in the world in my basketball uniform. The Shoulders and Arms DVD leaves your arms feeling like noodles, the Plyometrics DVD is perhaps the hardest home cardio workout you’ll ever do, and the rest of the DVDs in the pack never fail to leave you hurting the next morning.
Of course the advertising scheme for P90x follows the same trend as every other workout marketing technique with before and after pictures designed to make the “after” photo look a lot better than it actually is. More tanned, better haircut, and perhaps slightly photoshopped. But don’t let this throw you off; if you’re looking to get into doing some home workouts then I’d definitely suggest trying out P90x, and sticking to the model it gives.
90 days isn’t a big commitment at all, and if done right there is no chance of trying the program out for three months without seeing results.