Friday, September 28, 2007

P90X Weeks 4 and 5

Week 4 was supposed to be a "recovery" week. Let me say this for the record. Tony Horton's idea of recovery, and mine are not the same. This week, while lighter on the actual workout intensity in some regards is in no way a lessening of duration. In fact given the addition of an extra YogaX workout, this week actually in terms of time is longer than previous weeks. Add to the mix extra cardio and a workout called Core Synergistics and you have a formula for shear pain. Yes I said it. This week just like the weeks before it is quite challenging.

The reason for this, aside from the added Yoga focus, is the Core Synergistics workout. This workout takes all the moves and strength you have built up from them during the first few weeks and packs them into a single hour long sweat fest. Essentially what you are doing is movements involving your arms and legs through your core. These are the kinds of workouts people who are doing manual labor endure everyday. So for a sedentary population like ours, this workout can only be described as pure money. By the end of this week I knew I'd done something good for myself no matter how hard it was or how much a lie the promise of a "recovery" week might have been.

Week 5 we took pictures again. I was surprised to see that my stomach had indeed shrunk. But what was most striking was that my posture was 100% better. In the photos it seemed I was almost 2 inches taller than my original pictures. I was standing in the same shoes against the same wall as in week 1. Week 5 also begins the introduction of 2 new workout sequences, "Chest, Shoulders and Triceps" and "Back and Biceps". These 2 workouts and the new sequence in the "recovery" week are where the programs' promised "muscle confusion" system comes into play. Although I must say that after doing this program for the past 6 weeks, I've come to think the term is really just marketing mumbo jumbo. What is really happening is that your muscles actually become more intelligent and cooperative, not confused. These workouts really differ from work done in the gym in that almost no movement in the entire 12 disks is done in isolation from the rest of the muscles in the body. And if you ask me this is the true beauty of P90X. Even when doing pull ups, you are engaging your core for stability. The same is true for all the curls and push ups. Even when we use free weights in the gym this is not always the case. Our muscles have become isolated from each other by using benches and bars and pulleys. This is not how they are required to work in the real world. In this regard P90X retrains our bodies to work as they were designed. And like Tony says, "That's where the money is!"

5 comments:

Rolf Vellek said...

Very informative & well written; thank you - this is helpful as I go into week 4 of P90X.

ace said...

Thanks for the feedback. Good luck!

Chipley said...

I'm just starting Week 4 tomorrow. I have seen the positive results with Weeks 1-3. Excited about Week 4! Appreciate the feedback!

colette88 said...

I totally agree with you on Week 4! That didn't feel like a "recovery" to me either!

Fred (aka ace) said...

Yes it was a week I'd still love to forget. Keep up the good work!