23 May, 2012

P90X Day 26: Core Synergistics And…a Bonus

Today was the second time for Core Synergistics. I won’t have to do it again for another 4 weeks. Near the end, Tony says “this may become your favorite workout”. I’m not sure about that, but I will say that if I could only do one workout out of the set, this would be the one.

Why do I say that? It feels like the broadest based and most intense of the workouts. At the end of it, I’m completely exhausted, from head to toe, and I’m drenched in sweat. There is a great mix of cardio exercises and strength exercises. And while there are a few that make me grimace, there are none that are just completely awful. Or any that might cause you to want to make adjustments because of bad knees or week ankles. And there are no exercises that bring on feelings of inadequacy like some of the pull ups can. Everything is doable by just about anyone. It’s just hard, and it’s non-stop. But it works your heart, your legs, your arms, your abs, in short, everywhere.

Now, a brief word about the entire P90X program. I believe I mentioned way back at the beginning that there are actually three different programs. The one I’ve been doing is what most people think of when they say P90X, but it’s really called P90X Classic. There’s another one that de-emphasizes strength training a little bit, in favor of a workout program that gets you lean and fit. It’s a bit easier, and is called P90X Lean (some people call it P90X Lite). The third is the most intense and is called P90X Doubles.

The three different programs flip around the workouts a bit. In Lean, you replace Chest & Back with Core Synergistics. Doubles is the same as Classic, but starting in week 5, you add an additional workout 3 or 4 times a week. This workout is called Cardio X, and you also do Cardio X in lean, replacing Plyometrics.

Why do you care about all of this? You may not, but I’ve been curious about Cardio X for some time. It’s the only workout in the series that’s not part of P90X Classic. Also, I was curious about it in that I was wondering how hard it would be to upgrade to Doubles.

So, today I did a second P90X workout. Not because I felt like the first one didn’t do enough for me. But just because I’m crazy and I wanted to do this Cardio X.

So, what’s Cardio X? It’s a mishmash of several of the others. It has pieces of Yoga X, Plyometrics, Kenpo X, and even Core Synergistics in it. In fact, there’s only one Cardio X exercise that doesn’t appear elsewhere, a variation of Jumping Jacks that Tony calls Wacky Jacks. It’s also the shortest workout, being only about 45 minutes long. I got a good workout from it, and had no trouble getting my heart rate up like I like. I also felt better during the yoga segment than I normally do during yoga. Not sure why. Maybe because it was shorter. Definitely, this was the “easiest” of the workouts, and there’s no doubt that length was a contributing factor to that.

Anyway, this workout is another good one. It’s lighter on strength than Core Synergistics is, and is heavier on cardio (big surprise, given the name). But it’s still another broad workout. If I wanted to turn P90X into a much more cardio based thing, I think I’d do Cardio X, Kenpo X, Plyometrics, and Core Synergistics. And throw in a couple days of yoga and stretches.

And if I wanted to do Doubles, the length is perfect for me. I prefer to do morning workouts, but the standard P90X workouts are 60-75 minutes (90 for Yoga X), and I don’t have that much time in the morning. But 45 minutes I could easily do and have done. The plan for Doubles is that you do a morning Cardio X 3 or 4 times a week, and then your regular Classic workouts every day in the evenings.

So, will I do that? I considered it, but no. As I keep saying, I’m really concentrating on the strength training here, and I would hate to do Cardio X in the morning and then not have enough left in the tank to get a good workout in the afternoon/evening. It’s the second one that’s the more important to me, and I don’t want to sacrifice it. So, I’ll be sticking with Classic, but it’s still nice to know exactly what’s in Cardio X, finally, and how hard it is.

Tomorrow, back to Yoga X. Then Friday is X Stretch and the end of Phase I of P90X. Stay tuned.

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