P90X: Not Just for Beefcakes

At the end of May, I started doing Tony Horton’s P90x workout video series. I’d heard about it a lot, and figured “there is no way I can do this”, but I figured wrong. I could do it, and I enjoyed the hell out of it, for about a month, when some issues with medication and knee pain forced me to stop. Laziness persuaded me to not pick back up, but Mircea and I have been doing a random P90x workout here and there the past several weeks and have agreed that when we return from our trip we will complete the entire p90x program together. I really hope we do follow through because it is a lot of fun.

A little bit about the series is that there are several different workouts, to name a few, there’s a core class, cardio, kenpo karate, a grueling 90 minute yoga, a fantastic stretch, great chest and arms workouts, as well as a legs workout that pretty much killed my knee. The abs workout is great too, but it’s only 20 minutes and it’s completed after a 60 minute workout so it can be a real killer. As Tony says “Ab Ripper X; I hate it, but I love it”, and I echo those sentiments exactly.

I urge anyone who is even slightly interested in P90x to go out and spend the money because it is totally, totally worth it. I do a lot of modifications for things that mostly my knee doesn’t let me do, and yeah, sometimes I use 5 lb weights while they are using 30+ but the point is to do it, not shy away from it or become a muscle man or woman.

I started the workout with a woman that I work with, who is about 45 years old and not in very good shape. Neither of us could even do a push up when we started (I can do knee pushups, but that isn’t saying much) and in the first 30 days (the only days I stuck with it) I could do 5 regular pushups-something I couldn’t even do when I was in high school. Linda, however, as she’s completed the full 90 day workout, is able to to do one armed push-ups, and plyo-pushups (where you clap when you come up). She’s a freaking powerhouse, and it’s funny because she pretty much looks the same. She was laughing that she’s far from the super-ripped people they show on the infomercials, but she feels fantastic and is so proud of herself for all she’s done. She’s going to complete it again and maybe she’ll get ripped this time-but either way-she’s got a great accomplishment under her belt.

The other funny thing is that when I started this I was getting up at 5 to do the workouts, and I’d get done about the time Mircea came downstairs in the morning and fed the cats. He’d give me so much shit for grunting, etc as I completed my workout, or for lying in a pool of my own sweat sobbing. I kept saying “ok, bigshot, you try it”. Well, recently he did try it, one of the easier workouts (Cardio) and he about died. It was hilarious. HILARIOUS!!! The next day we did the tricep and arms workout and he stopped halfway through with a soaking wet shirt (mind you, he was using 8 lb weights). During a set of pushups (i was back on my knees) he basically collapsed and I said “You haven’t said it yet”, and he turned to me and said “yeah, yeah, I was wrong. I’m sorry I gave you so much crap for this”…cracked me up.

It’s definitely a challenge but I dare anyone to try it. If “knees McGee” can last 30 days (and I should have lasted longer) and middle aged Momma can do it, anyone can give it a try. Modification is key, and I often did other exercises when there were knee-centric workouts, and there are options instead of pullups when you’re just starting out. Go ahead-try it!

A note on Tony Horton: I couldn’t love this guy more. To “know” him on your tv is to love him and he just has a great attitude and even at 5 in the morning I was thinking positively the whole way through the workout. He’s far from just another “beefcake”. Check out his personal blog. Great guy.

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