Thursday, April 19, 2012
How To Choose The Right Exercise Program
In my last chat I was asked why P90X2 wasn’t as good for weight loss as P90X. Ironically that same week Tony Horton hosted some coaches for a workout at his house where they burned over 1,200 calories in an hour doing an X2 workout. This doesn’t mean the question was dumb. It means it requires a longer answer than I could give at that time because it starts new topic; how to choose the right exercise program.
If everyone burned 1,200 calories during an X2 workout it would be amazing for weight loss. But many people do not because P90X2 is what we call at Beachbody a post-graduate program. Its predecessor, P90X, is a graduate program and the series original, Power 90, is an intro program. Trying to do P90X2 before you’re ready is like walking into French IV when you haven’t taken French 1. You’re not ready and, thus, won’t be able get the most out of it. In fact you’ll probably feel lost.
At Beachbody we’re creating fitness solutions for the entire planet, and most of this planet doesn’t play in the NBA or NFL. P90X2 was created specifically for our customers who’ve become so fit they require an elite program on the level of the professional athlete. If someone lets you borrow a surfboard are you going to paddle into Pipeline and attempt to catch your first wave? Probably not. Choosing the wrong fitness program will drown your results just as fast. A brief rundown of the Beachbody line-up will help you understand why.
P90X2 and Insanity: The Asylum are currently Beachbody’s only post-graduate programs. They were designed for our customers who’d mastered P90X and Insanity. If you can’t do those programs it doesn’t make sense to begin something harder because you won’t have the fitness base to complete the individual exercises, much less the workouts. And if you can’t do the workouts you won’t get very fit.
As an example let’s take the workout P90X Chest & Back. I’ve had people tell me they only burned 150 calories in this workout. I’ve burned over a thousand. The difference is when you can’t do push-ups and you can’t do pull-ups and don’t modify correctly so that you fail at 10 reps or more per exercise than the difference in that workout is night and day. I’m completely pumped from my very first set to the last, 45 straight minutes pushing my anaerobic threshold—it’s everything I can do to not puke! But someone who can’t do the exercises won't get pumped will likely max their caloric burn during the warm-up! This is exactly why we have you do a fit test before you begin: to see if you belong in P90X in the first place.
For X2 we expect you to be able to do P90X. If you can’t do, say, Warrior 3 in Yoga X you’re not going to be able to do Warrior 3 curls or kickbacks--just one of numerous examples. We do offer exceptional modifications in X2 but, like X, they still require you to find a point where you fail at the required number of repetitions to work their magic. As I said in another post, you can’t claim X2 workouts mastered until you can use the same amount of weight (in its difficult positions) as you can with P90X.
In Asylum, Shaun yells at his cast that “this is not Insanity, people!” as if that program is light cardio. Most of you know that Insanity is anything but so it shouldn’t surprise you that if you can’t do Insanity you might not make it through the warm-ups of Asylum.
Beachbody’s graduate programs include: 90X, Insanity, Turbo Fire, P90X+, and Debbie Siebers’ Slim Series. These programs were based off of intro programs that are similar in style but accessible to almost anyone: Power 90, Hip Hop Abs/Rockin’ Body, Slim in 6. If you’re inspired by P90X but can’t do the fit test, a round of Power 90 will give you much better results and will ultimately have you mastering X and X2 a lot quicker than beginning with the harder program.
In addition, our intro line has many other options to fit your personality. We now have what I call gentle, moderate, and hard into programs. Our goal is to have workouts for every single demographic. We want to eliminate all possible excuses for not getting healthy.
If you’ve never exercised or are coming off an injury that’s impaired your ability to move you might consider Tai Cheng because it will retrain your movement patterns. Love the idea of martial arts training but want something more challenging, try Rev Abs. If you hate to exercise but love to dance you might try Hip Hop Abs, Turbo Jam, Body Gospel or Yoga Booty Ballet. Conversely those who are challenged by coordinating their moves might prefer Slim in 6 or Kathy Smith’s Project You, which use simple exercises to great effect. Those who like pumping iron should consider Power 90 or Chalean Extreme. And if you’re ultra-time crunched we’ve got 10 Minute Trainer to get you in the habit of daily exercise.
As for results; all of our programs work exactly the same. Seriously, our test groups get similar results in every program we make (we don’t release them until the do). We screen the test groups to make sure the right people are doing the right program and you should too. Of course X2 graduates are ultimately fitter than Power 90 graduates but that’s because they’ve done more homework. Just like a French IV graduate is more fluent than a French 1 there is a logical progression to getting fit and it’s much easier and quicker if you’re taking the right class.