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P90X 2 Phase I Review (The first Experiment a Gym Buddy has ever quit…)

Posted Feb 29 2012 12:25am

This hilarious video demonstrates the “renegade row with 1/2 lolasana” move. I can’t do it but I love that this guy can! Even better though are his little girls’ modifications. But this is a good example of what I’m talking about: super creative, fun, really wish I could do it. Although you should have seen me go head-over-heels trying!

Gym Buddy Krista quit our P90X 2 Experiment a mere three weeks in. I blame the balls.

Let me back up. A month ago when we first started P90X 2 I was super excited. If you recall I loved P90X 1 and have been waiting for this one for months. All the Gym Buddies were really pumped but none moreso that Krista who has been begging for a serious butt-kicking for months now. She loves heavy lifting, brutal intervals and peanut butter cookies. (The last one has nothing to do with P90X but Krista’s PB cookies are pretty much the best I’ve ever had so I had to throw that in.) The Barre Experiment was… not her favorite.

P90X 2 showed up and we thought we’d be right back in heavy-lifting – and heavy-breathing – heaven. And we might have been, if we could have done the moves. Do you remember “the Impossible” push-up that Tony Horton challenged us with? (It’s a push-up with your feet on an exercise ball and your hands on a basketball.) Now imagine an entire workout of moves like that. Day after day.

At first we kind of laughed about it. The very first workout had us do a plyo push-up where you basically fall straight down from standing and land in a plank on the floor. It hurts. And not in a good way. In a I-just-broke-all-the-small-bones-in-my-wrist way. He offered a variation – fall from your knees instead of your feet – but my wrists were still in so much pain the next day. So we just swapped that move out for a different type of push-up and moved on.

But then came Boing Push-Ups and Plyometric Medicine Ball Push-Ups and Inverted Ball Push-Ups and 120 pull-ups in a single workout. It got to the point where we were subbing out nearly every single move in a few of the workouts. Which made us all wonder why we were even doing P90X 2 if we were basically just making up our own stuff for it 90% of the time.

Finally last Friday we did our first “chest, arms and balance” workout. We’ve rechristened it the falling down workout since that’s basically all we did for an hour. I am covered in bruises and carpet burns from how many times I ate it. It’s really disheartening to not be able to do any of the moves. They make it all look so easy on the videos – even the girl makes them look like a piece of cake [Edited to add: a couple of the commenters called me out for my bone-headed phraseology here and I agree. What I meant by this was that typically women don't have as much upper body strength as men and yet the tough P90X girls were banging out pull-ups with the best of them. I am jealous of this, especially because I do sometimes use the excuse "I'm a girl, that's why I can't do 120 pull-ups" and now I don't even have that!) - and yet in practice they're really tricky. The hardest part is all the balancing on balls it requires. I believe I had my feet up on an exercise ball and each hand on a medicine ball trying to just balance, let alone do 12-20 push-ups, when Krista threw in the towel both literally and figuratively.

She explains, "I'm really disliking it and because the moves are so ridiculously [redacted], I’m constantly feeling like I’m gonna hurt myself OR I just don’t do it and I’m not getting a good workout. It’s like Tony is just trying to show off and doesn’t really mean for people to do the workouts. I feel bad cause I was really excited for this and was looking forward to it; however, after 2 weeks, I really dislike it and I’m not getting a good workout. If I was working out alone, I woulda quit a long time ago, but I didn’t wanna let you guys down. However, I don’t want to get hurt, so instead of doing everything low impact or different than it says, I’m just not going to do it very much. Hope you’re not too disappointed.”

I was disappointed. But not in Krista. I felt like I’d let her down by pushing her to try things that might injure her. Plus this marks the first time a Gym Buddy has ever quit mid-Experiment. Sometimes they whine a lot (heck, I do too) but they usually stick it out. Anyhow, Megan and I are sticking with P90X 2 (I remain hopeful that it will get better in Phase II!). Allison is doing her pregnant thing. Daria is generally up for whatever (she brought in CrossFit on Monday). And Krista has worked out her own schedule for the next few weeks.

Here’s What I Liked:

- Variety: Tony keeps things really funny and light as well as fast-paced. You will not get bored with this workout!

- Challenging: I love a good challenge. And I’m secretly hoping that all this ball stuff is going to get easier as I practice it.

- Creative: Think you’ve seen it all? I can guarantee you that some of these will be new to you.

- Tony Horton: He’s awesome and hilarious and completely ripped. (That man is 53!!!)

Here’s What I Didn’t Like:

- Injury pr0ne: One of my primary complaints about P90X 1 was how easy it was to get injured and P90X 2 is the same way.

- Overly creative: Novel moves are only fun if you have a prayer of executing them. I’m no super athlete but I don’t think I’m terribly wussy or weak either and there were quite a few moves I couldn’t even get close to doing, even with the modifications.

- No book: I know, I mentioned this already but I still really wish it had a book like the first one!

Any of you doing P90X2? How’s it going for you? How do you feel about new workout moves – do you love novelty or do you prefer to stick with what you know and do well? Any advice for me?

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