Exercise has always been part of my lifestyle, starting in elementary school when my dad took me to the track to run laps with him. Throughout my school years, I played sports. Since then, I’ve bounced between workout routines.
Last summer, I ran most days. When the mornings got darker and colder, I decided it was the perfect time to try P90X, Tony Horton’s intense 90 day home fitness program. Overall, I had a great experience.
Here are the pros and cons:
1. It gave me a system: I gained momentum with each completed day. Without a program of some kind, I never would have worked out six days a week. Once I got into it, I didn’t want to negate the potential benefits by deterring from the plan even a little bit.
2. I didn’t have to leave home: I know convenience alone isn’t enough to motivate people to exercise, but not having to brave cold, dark winter mornings definitely contributed to my success.
3. It works! My goal was to tone my muscles. I lost about five pounds total, but definitely uncovered abdominal muscles and toned my arms.
4. Cardio and muscle building combined: I love cardio but typically won’t push myself to do resistance training. Most of the P90X workouts gave me the endorphin rush I love from cardio, but also incorporated resistance training.
5. Travel friendly: We spent two weeks visiting family over Christmas. I brought my DVD’s, resistance bands, and yoga mat. I progressed through the program even while traveling.
6. Cost effective: I bought an unused DVD set from Craigslist for $40, a set of resistance bands from Amazon for $30, and a pull up bar from Craigslist for $10. While I love the accountability that personal trainers and boot camps provide, P90X proved to be a cost effective alternative within my current budget constraints.
1. It’s time consuming! The shortest workout is 43 minutes. The yoga workout is more than 90 minutes! I had planned to keep doing the workouts, but the time factor has deterred me. I definitely sacrificed other ways I could spend my early mornings, and I didn’t want to make that a permanent lifestyle. I’m currently in the Craigslist market for Insanity because the workouts are shorter.
2. You need (minimal) equipment: I bought these resistance bands from Amazon, and they worked out great. Having weights would have been preferable for certain workouts, but overall, the bands worked well and I didn’t want to invest in different sized weights. You also need a pull up bar, which I got from Craigslist but hate using. I already had a yoga mat.
3. No accountability, unless you do it with friends: I love going to my parents’ boot camp when I visit California because it’s fun to work out with my family and meet new people. It can be a little lonely and tedious to work out by yourself, at home, 6 days a week.
The verdict: I recommend it, especially if you want dramatic results and want to change your habits at the same time. By the end of 90 days, you’ll be addicted to exercise and want to keep it going, even if you choose a different approach after the program ends. You also get a great sense of accomplishment and set great patterns for future successes by sticking with something for 90 days!
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