So I'm halfway through my second week on P90X and I realize my post detailing my first week's experiences left out one very vital component to the program. At the end of each strength based workout is a 16 minute torture session called Ab Ripper X. Thus this workout is done 3 times each week. Obviously the name is a sadistic play on "Jack the Ripper" and "The Grim Reaper" at the same time. First let me say that as a triathlete and someone who has been Rolfed, I think I have a pretty good idea of how to handle pain. But Ab Ripper X takes human suffering to a whole new level.
Basically in the 16 minutes necessary to finish the workout, you are challenged to complete a total of about 325 Ab/Core specific movements. Honestly some of this stuff I have never seen before. There isn't a single crunch in this routine. Most of the movements in some way require you to engage muscles connecting your core abdominals to your hip flexors and vice versa. Needless to say finishing the main P90X strength work and having that be my last 16 minutes is like facing a life sentence without hope of parole. And I'm sad to report that I am no better at mastering some of these movements than I was the first day I started doing them.
But in all fairness, these movements really do get quick results. I noticed a difference in my stomach after the first workout. But like all P90X workouts, you want to be very honest with yourself about your initial fitness level before starting. Throughout the session Tony Horton advises you to use modifications of the movements and/or to take breaks rather than push beyond yourself. And you really want to make sure you do this workout after you have thoroughly warmed up. This is one workout where, although short in duration, you want to go in with your eyes open and your game face on. "Bring It!"