My Experience with P90X: Success or Bust?
by Brandon A
(Newcastle, Ontario, Canada)
Last year, when I was 21 years old, I made a conscious decision to get into better shape. After trying a few different diets, training regimens, and exercise plans, all to no avail, I decided it was time for a more professional approach to help me reach my goal. A friend of mine enlightened me on P90X, sharing his success story, and recommended that I tried it.
He lent me his set of P90X DVDs and his guidebook, and I got started just a few days later. Before I began, I had to invest in some equipment, including resistance bands and dumbbells, and essentially restock my kitchen with healthier food choices based on what the nutrition guide recommended. When I started the first routine (Chest and Back), I didn't find it all that strenuous, but after my first workout, I was in absolute agony. Knowing that this was likely natural, I told myself to stick with it and battle through the pain, and so I continued on.
I ended up making it through the Plyometrics and Shoulders and Arms workouts before I gave up. Plain and simple, the workouts were just too difficult for me. Yes, they gave me the freedom to use different weights that were more comfortable for me, but my body simply wasn't in good enough shape or condition to handle this kind of workout. It was the morning after the Shoulders and Arms routine that I realized I had to give up, and to be quite honest, I breathed a huge sigh of relief that afternoon. My muscles felt like they had been torn from my body, I was aching all over, and I just couldn't take it anymore.
Having said that, I realize that my failure is nobody's fault but my own, and the blame certainly does not lay with the system. Tony Horton's instructions and advice were very clear, and his sense of humor was actually uplifting at times. Beyond that, despite my personal failure, I will be the first to tell you that P90X really does work (assuming you stick with it, of course), as my friend's results could not be more clear and defined. The workouts were great, the videos were very instructional, and the food guide was wonderful (I should mention that perhaps because of P90X, I'm still eating better today), I just wasn't prepared.
The bottom line is, while P90X is a top of the line system as far as fitness regimens go, it most certainly is not for the faint of heart. Give it a shot if you'd like, but be aware that if you're doubting your body's ability to stand up to the challenge prior to inception, there's a very real and viable chance your hopes and dreams could come crashing down quickly.