With so many at-home cookie-cutter workout routines out there, I figured it would be a great idea to discuss one of the best: P90X. After all, P90X is pretty cheap compared to paying a gym membership and hiring a personal trainer.
Will P90X turn you into a bodybuilder, a powerlifter, an Olympic gymnast, a marathon runner, or a sport-specific athlete? Oh, hell no!
Could P90X possibly get you in the best shape of your life with a minimal initial investment? Could P90X strengthen your body, improve your cardiovascular fitness, help heal nagging injuries, and dial in your 6-pack abs for summer? Oh, hell yes!
Click here to check out all of the Project Swole P90X articles, tips, tricks, hints, and reviews. As of this writing there aren’t very many P90X posts, but I am going to cover every P90X topic that I can think of in the coming months.
P90X is an intense workout program. Not everyone is able to keep up. Want to make sure you can handle P90X before you commit? Simply use the free P90X Fit Test. It only takes about a half an hour to do the test.
While majority of people will pass, and you can still use P90X if you’re determined, it is recommended that if you fail you try an easier program first. Now here is a quick summary of what to do.
Here are some items you’ll need for the P90X fit test:
a tape measure
a stop watch or a timer
These are easily found around the house. Many digital watches come with a timer function, even the cheapest ones. The next few items may take more effort.
You will need to measure your body fat twice using body fat calipers, either mechanical or digital. Digital calipers are preferred as they are more accurate.
You will also have to measure your weight twice using a scale. These items can be found at gyms or you can visit your doctor’s office.
You will have to monitor your heart rate. A heart rate monitor is useful for this, but if you do not have one, you can check your pulse the old fashioned way. To do this, take your pulse at your wrist or neck for 30 seconds, then multiply by two. Do this right after waking in the morning.
Lastly, you will need a pull-up bar to perform the pull-up section of the test. Make sure to warm up before starting the test. Warm up by stretching and running. Then it is time to begin.
This is what that pull-up bar is for. Grab the pull-up bar with hands palms out, and arms spaced shoulder-width apart. Then simply lift yourself up until your chin is level with the bar. Pulls ups are tough, and the P90X program contains substitutes. To pass the test, do 3 pull-ups if you are a man, and 1 if you are a woman.
For this test you will need a wall. First, measure how high you can touch the wall while standing. Stand flat on your feet against the wall and record the highest point you can touch. Next, move one step away from the wall, and jump. Record how high you touch. Make sure to jump from a standing position. Do not make a running leap. Subtract the standing height from the jumping height to find the vertical leap. To pass the test, have a vertical leap measured at least 5 inches for men, and 3 inches for women.
Position yourself stomach down on the floor. Put your hands down, keep your body straight, face forward, and push yourself up with your arms. Do as many push-ups as you can. To pass the test you must do a minimum of 15 push-ups if you are a man, or 3 regular push ups, or 15-knee push-ups if you are a woman.
This will test your flexibility. On the floor, sit with your legs pressed together in front of you. Bend forward as far as you can, but without straining yourself. Make sure not to push yourself too hard, as injury could occur. Measure how far your fingers are from your toes. To pass the test, be able to reach within 6 inches to your toes.
Now to measure the strength of you leg muscles. Lean against a wall then bend your legs until you are in a squatting position with your knees at a 90 degree angle. Once in this position start the timer and hold as long as you can. Once you slide to the floor stop timing. To pass the test, last at least 1 minute.
First find a weight that you will be comfortable doing multiple repetitions with. While heavy weights are better, do not go so heavy that you can only lift it once. To do the curl, place your arms at your side, facing out. Bend your arm so the weight comes to your chest, then back to your side.
This movement, up and down, forms one repetition. It is important that while curling, you do not use other parts of your body. Only the biceps should be used. To pass the test, do 10 curls with 20lb if you are a man, or 10 curls with 8lbs if you are a woman.
This will test the strength of your abdomen. Sit with bent knees, feet in front of you. Put your hands at your sides for support. Lift your legs, and without touching the floor, bring your knees up to your chest and back out. Bringing the knees in and out is one repetition. Repeat as many times as possible. To pass the test, do at least 25 repetitions for both men and women.
Now for the last test. This test is for your heart rate. First do jumping jacks for 2 minutes. Try to do them as fast as possible in the last half minute. Then immediately measure your heart rate either using a monitor or by taking your pulse. Measure your rate again 1 minute later. Then measure again 2 minutes later, 3 minutes later, and 4 minutes later. There is no score for this test; simple completion means you are able to use P90X.
By taking the P90X Fit Test, you will know whether or not you are able to use the P90x workout program. If you cannot complete the exercises, P90X may not work for you. Like any endeavor, starting P90X is the hardest part. As you go, you will become stronger, and be able to do what you could not before.
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