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p90x | choosing a fitness program

Many of you ask me about different fitness programs so I thought it’d be a great topic for a post!  The honest truth is… doesn’t really matter which one you pick!!  Just pick one and do it!! There are certain aspects you should look for in the program that I’ll tell you below. It should go w/o saying, but please get checked out by a health professional before starting a program!

I’ve done and own p90x. (I liked it more once I figured out how to turn off the music and dialogue and only kept the cues while I used my own workout music!)  I like it because it’s tough and it incorporates ALL aspects a good fitness plan should…and includes a diet plan!  You can’t get the body you want without proper eating!

What do you need in a workout program?

  • First of all, get real with yourself! Will you work out at home? Will you go to the gym?  What works best for you?  Decide this before you waste your money on a gym membership or on home fitness equipment. If you’re not sure, the only thing to do is make the best decision on either one and then try it out. Find the best gym for you and try it.  Do you find a way to go?  Same with a program…be realistic about a home program.  Find one that works well for you. Schedule it into your day. Which do you prefer?
  • Remember, you can also just look up daily workouts from a place like (great Crossfit post on styleberryBLOG) or you can buy a book like Jillian Michael’s Making the Cut or a magazine like Oxygen or M&F Hers.  You’ll need to decide if you’re self-motivated enough (yet) to star this routine on your own or if you need a video trainer or a real trainer to push you.
  • I HIGHLY RECOMMEND A PERSONAL TRAINER!!! I started out learning how to lift weights with a trainer. If you have never lifted weights before, I definitely recommend you hire a trainer for a few sessions at least. They will teach you the exercises and then watch you do them to be sure your form is correct. And, you’ll feel more comfortable in the weight room with all the men in there who seem to know what they’re doing.  (Notice, I said seem.)
  • Next, make sure you pick both cardio and weight lifting. You must do both!!! I’ve heard people say great things about Insanity and after viewing their website I want to buy it to try!! But, keep in mind that’s only cardio. You still have to get to the gym to lift.  So, by all means buy Insanity but what’s your plan to lift? Will you go to the gym or will you buy another lifting program or do your own at home?  Have a plan for both!
  • Then, make sure the plan meets your physical needs.  Yes, p90x is hard. It is supposed to be for athletes.  They give warnings everywhere on this program. And, I do not recommend this program if you have never lifted a weight in your life.  BUT, here’s my opinion……Do what you can do! I went to a cardio combat class during contest prep and it could be intense at times. It was intimidating to some. But, I always told the girls who were embarrassed and making comments about how they couldn’t keep up “Who cares! Show up and do what you can!”  You will get a workout even if you modify every single exercise.  If you are healthy, you can buy p90x and you can modify every single exercise if needed and you will still get a workout!  And, you will be able to progress and get better and stronger.
  • Don’t trust a product that has you doing crunches every day and says you will lose 10 pounds in the first week. It’s not possible! Just like diet, with workouts – variety is key. You will have to work every muscle, in different ways and vary your workouts.  I know that p90x does that.
  • Pick a plan and try it!  Make sure it incorporates weight lifting, cardio and a sound nutrition plan.  Find a plan you can stick to and JUST TRY IT!  Try it for 30 days or 12 weeks.  Go easy on yourself. Allow some leeway. Don’t make a plan that you can’t stick to and don’t expect to do anything 100% all the time! Be realistic. Start easy.  Maybe set a goal that you will work out 2-3 days a week. Schedule it into your day.  Make a plan to get it done.  Set that goal this week or next week and do it. You will feel better about yourself when you set a goal and you stick to it. Then, build on that.  Start to work on your diet, one thing at a time. Set the number of times you’ll eat out this week or every week and get your family’s buy in.

Feedback? Did this help you.  What plans have you tried that you like?  or didn’t like?  Did you fall victim to gimicks like the shake weight before you figured out what worked??  Did I forget any great info?  Please share !

Becky Baxter - Thanks for this information, Tori!! We have owned P90X for a year now. I purchased it for my husband and myself but once it came in and I opened the box and saw the “If your not in top shape, don’t use this program” it scared me off!! I have left the thing shelved in the bedroom for a year now. I’m going to break it out and give it a shot. 🙂 Thanks for the motivational speech!

tori - YAY! Just listen to your body. You’re not dumb! You know if it hurts or if it’s hard. And, don’t get discouraged if they’re doing more than you! You’ll get there if you keep it up! They also have different people on the videos modifying for every level so MODIFY! And then report back! I want to know!

Teresa O'Kelley - Great review! About 15 years ago, I asked my dr at the time if I was cleared to try Tae-Bo (new on the market – does that date it for you?). His response was, “Just do something!”

I have done the rollercoaster and those words still ring true. During one season in my life, the gym worked out just fine. Then, the excuses of my schedule and lifestyle changed, and I’ve never been back.

So, while I am in a new season of change, I will be pulling out those old DVDs of Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home and Biggest Loser workouts, and also check out Time Warner’s exercise on demand channel. We have viewed some of the P90X exercises and it looks intimidating for now…

What I would be interested in is how to modify exercises for those with weak wrists. I don’t mean to share my issue with everyone, but I struggle with moderate case of carpal tunnel in both forearms/wrists and that can cause a lot of issues holding weights, doing pushups/pullups, etc. Any ideas?

As for Tae Bo – I would dust those off, except they are VHS, and I don’t want to buy a whole new set. I tried one from CD/DCD exchange, but it required more equipment than I was interested in (punching dummy).

Now, if only typing could equate to a total body workout…

tori - That is awesome info! I’m so glad to hear the dr say that! I use push up handles b/c I have problems with carpal tunnel & tendinitis! Just modify what you can that hurts. I think lifting weights in general may help to strengthen them (at least that’s what I’ve been told) – just pick a light enough weight to start that doesn’t strain your wrists but is still strengthening them. You might want to ask the dr tho

Layla - Perfect, thank you!

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