The First Week Of P90X: What To Expect

the-first-week-of-p90xAlmost three years ago I popped in that first P90X DVD and made a feeble attempt at Chest & Back…. which is not only the Day 1 P90X workout, but probably one of the hardest workouts of the program (or any program).  Forget the follow on Ab Ripper X workout.  I was fucking plowed through by the halfway mark of Chest & Back.  It was a pathetic showing and I felt defeated.  But there is this philosphy in P90X that Tony spouts from the TV as you roll on the floor like a harpooned porpoise…

He says “Do your best and forget the rest… just keep showing up…  keep pushing play”.

That mantra not only got me to show up for the next days workout, it taught me a lot about not fearing things that are hard.  And that with practice and patience, you can do anything.  Two years after that first failure, I got certified as a P90X Trainer.  Time had taken me from a 208 lb weakling, to a 153 lbs sheet of muscle.  I could do anything.

The First Week Of P90X: What To Expect

Day 1: Chest & Back + Ab Ripper X

I don’t know what to say about Day 1… I still fear it.  It never gets easy.  Easily one of the best workouts ever devised, Chest & Back is a mix of push ups and pull ups… with some weights on some of the back moves.  You get through the first round only to find out that you repeat the whole thing over again.  Starting out, don’t expect to do much in that second round… your upper body will be toast.

I am only going to talk about Ab Ripper X once, except to say that it is an exceptionally good pilates based core workout.  Starting out, if you can get 10 out of 25 reps done on each move, you are doing better than most.  Some moves may be undoable at first… but your core is weak and as it strengthens, so will your ability to do these moves.

Day 2: Plyometrics

Plyometrics is just cardio jump training.  This workout will be very challenging at first but you will see progress quickly if you just hang in for the hour long plyo session.  Modify at first and DO NOT expect to keep up with the moves (this goes for all the videos at first).  Don’t drink to much water and get ready to have better cardio abilities than you ever have in your life.  This workout will scare you in the first week but it’s really doable in the later weeks.

Day 3: Shoulders & Arms + Ab Ripper X

This may be the first day that you actually enjoy.  The only problem is that your upper and lower body are both so sore that you feel like you shouldn’t workout.  You should.  This workout is a little easier and will loosen up your chest and back while working your arms.  The workout is challenging but not as much as the first two, so get ready to build a little confidence here.  At the end you still have that pesky Ab Ripper workout to deal with.  Suck it up and do your best, which is probably still not much.  Don’t let it discourage you.

Day 4: Yoga X

Day 4 is the most interesting day.  If you are not familiar with yoga, you might expect it to be easy… it’s not.  You will be very surprised and probably frustrated at your lack of any ability to do yoga.  The good news is that you will get better at yoga faster than you can imagine if you stick with it.  It’s crazy.  I am the most inflexible and non-agile person on the planet… yoga changed that in a month.  Put your frustration aside and realize that anything worth doing takes practice and patience.  By month 2, this may be your favorite workout.

Day 5: Legs & Back + Ab Ripper X

Legs are my jam… but I am different than most people.  This workout can be very challenging as it basically alternates between lunge/squat moves and pull ups.  Again, realize that the moves will be advanced and hard to do at first so just hang in for the ride.  The end comes up really fast and the amount of pull ups is ridiculous.  You will groan when you realize you have to do Ab Ripper at the end again.  Knock it off.  You like it.  It’s good for you.

Day 6: Kenpo X

Finally a workout that you can do without wanting to die.  Kenpo is a kicking and punching cardio workout that will entertain and exhaust you in a great way.  The stretching section at the beginning is glorious after the pounding your body has taken over the previous 5 days.  Enjoy your Kenpo day as it’s really a more relaxing workout.

Day 7: Rest/X Stretch

If you are not flexible, do X Stretch.  Actually, everyone should do X Stretch in the first round of P90X.  It will help with muscle soreness and also move you along quicker when it comes to getting good at yoga.  X Stretch is easy and relaxing.  If you don’t do X Stretch, enjoy your rest day… you earned it.

The First Week Of P90X: What To Expect

For more great information on getting started with P90X, read my articles about doing modified Pull Ups and Push Ups.  Remember also that Week 2 will be significantly better than Week 1.  It may be hard to believe, but if you do your best in every workout in the first week, you will already be seeing progress.

And that’s the magic of P90X.

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Ryan GillespieRyan Gillespie
P90X Certified Trainer / Diamond Beachbody Coach

I currently live in sunny San Diego California and work with people around the country and Internationally on their health and fitness goals. Join my Free Beachbody Team, follow me on Facebook, or friend me on Facebook to join my Free Accountability and Support group. Start today!

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