Extreme Home Fitness Workout Programs – What’s the scoop?

by Amy Cieslik Langone, Head Trainer, Master Trainer

If you’ve ever been up too early on a Sunday morning and turned on the TV, you’ve probably seen an infomercial for P90X (among a variety of other infomercials for home exercise “gems”). My husband and I have both actually done P90X, so I’d like to share some of the good and less-than-ideal parts about the program and how it relates back to home exercise.

What you’ll need for P90X:

A basic dumb bell set (either free weights, or an adjustable set), or a few resistance bands of varied resistance.

What they try to convince you purchase with your order that you won’t actually need to get great results:

A chin up bar, creatine, whey protein powder, push up bars, meal or snack replacement bars.

Let’s start with the good. The workouts are challenging, no doubt about it. Even as a personal trainer and lifetime fitness enthusiast, I found myself challenged. There is also some great variety. The exercises used in the program are unique twists on time tested exercises that breathe a little fresh air into the standard bicep curl and basic squat.

Everyone knows that nutrition is integral to achieving great results, and P90X does include a decent nutrition plan that explains what types of food to eat, how often to eat it, and even the healthiest ways to prepare it. Perhaps one of the best things about P90X is that you can do it in the comfort and privacy of your own home. No need to worry about who is watching or judging you. I found the workouts fun, challenging, and a welcome shake up to my normal routines.

Now for the not-so-great: There is no way to ensure that proper form is used in the exercises if the only personal trainer you have is one talking to you through your television set.

There is a lot of room for error in performing the exercises, particularly with plyometrics (where jumping, bounding and bouncing are combined with deep squats and lunges). Anyone with an existing knee issue would need to heavily modify the leg exercises. With any and all exercises, bad form and technique can lead to serious injury, especially when you’re being told to use heavy weights for more challenge.

For duration and frequency, P90X asks 60-90 minutes of your time, 6 days a week for three months. It is certainly doable, and the routines are appropriately split up into different muscle groups, but this is a lot for almost anyone!

Lastly, the potential downfall of the program is that there is nothing to hold you accountable to actually putting the DVD in and using it every day.

Herein lays the benefit of in-home personal training. It can afford you the same wonderful benefits of extreme home fitness routines without the potential for injury or the possibility of slacking off. Knowing that you have someone dedicated to your success and results is priceless!

Click here for a price quote for our in home personal training service.

Amy Cieslik Lagone, trainer to greater Billerica. "I firmly believe in total, all-around fitness--being in shape isn't just about one thing, such as a flatter stomach, slimmer hips, more muscle tone, or better definition. Being in shape is a lifestyle.”

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