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P-Lindy-X PLUS (Part 4 of 4): The Code of the Elementary School Playground

April 12, 2010

Bobby has recently finished his 90+ day P90X Plus program. These are his concluding thoughts on the PLUS program.

A year after I began working out hard-core with the first P90X program, I realized I have come a long way in my mental attitude towards working out. The physical results are obvious for me, but as I’ve mentioned before, it’s the mental changes that are probably the most important, especially since the only lasting power the physical changes have is dependent on my mental attitude. I found P90X PLUS, for me, at least, was an easier program to do mentally than the original. The downside is now, I’m spoiled by the forty minute workouts, and it’s hard for me to go back to a P90X classic day. But that’s only one of the differences between the programs:

Why PLUS is better than Classic P90X

1. The workouts are shorter. P90X regular had so many hour and a half days, that, along with showering and preparation,made it almost impossible to do anything BUT workout. Granted, it was only for three months you’re expected to keep that schedule, but I’m now looking for long-term workout programs, and I picture myself going back to PLUS a lot more often than the classic.

2. Every exercise switches up moves all the time. There’s no hour of doing nothing but push-ups and pull-ups, for instance. (I must add, though, I actually enjoy the original workouts for the fact that you fee like you accomplished something great by simply finishing the workout.)

3. Every move is geared towards building your core; and every work out is built towards building your cardio and fat-burning endurance. There was no question that my core, balance, and athletic endurance were better after PLUS than classic.

Why P90X CLASSIC is better than PLUS.

1. You get better bulk with Classic. A lot of classic is weight-lifting 101. It’s a lot better at building bulk than PLUS, whose time-based reps make for better leanness.

2. Classic has a wider range of workouts. Whereas PLUS has shorter workouts, you do them more often, and there’s only so many times you can do one workout before it starts to get stale and you look forward to working out even less than normal. Classic has twelve exercises, though, and just as you start to get tired of one, you move on to another.

3. For swing dancers, you can’t beat Plyo and Legs/Back Though Intervals PLUS and Total Body PLUS have a lot to offer swing dancers in terms of cross-training, if you want to be a guy who can throw a girl or make it through a fast song jumping and smiling, there’s no better workouts than Classic Plyometrics and Legs/Back.

4. You can’t do PLUS near as good without it. As they mention in the literature they email me every week, P90X Classic is not meant to have any particular focus; it’s not an athletic builder like PLUS, it’s not the ideal body toning that most women look for, and it’s not even geared towards incredible body building and bulking up. It’s a starting point, a way of getting your body a little bit of everything it needs before you start targeting on your goals.

Overall, that’s probably my main advice to anyone wondering if they should do PLUS over Classic; If you’re looking for something to give you more fat-burning/athletic results, try out PLUS. If you want to bulk up, there are specific ways you can do P90X Classic to maximize bulk. (It does involve you signing up for the P90X newsletter, though.)

Personal P90X PLUS moment of Glory

My apartment complex’s gym is small, so I try to workout when no one else is there, like noon or 9 p.m. so I can move everything out of the way and set up P90X camp. However, I was halfway through my workout one time when someone came in with their personal trainer for their session. I moved my stuff out of the way and continued to work out in my corner while I listened to the trainer give instructions to his client.

The trainer would demonstrate a push-up exercise, and ask his client to do ten. The client tried one, then complained and moaned, basically saying the trainer was crazy to ask him to do that much physical work. This guy complained so much that if I wrote a character in a novel that did as much, people would think he was a terribly-written character; no one would complain that much. This client was a man in his thirties, not really overweight, and a person who could easily put on muscle if he wanted to.

I finished my DVDs, pretty spent myself, and had noticed the other guy and the trainer were eye-ing me every now and then in some of the workouts I was doing. The trainer, probably because he was bored, and the client, probably because he thought I was crazy. Starting to pack up my stuff, the client’s moaning was at an all-time-high. Something in me stirred. I was immediately back in third grade on the playground, being picked almost last for dodgeball.

So, taking a cue from the code of the elementary school play ground, I quietly got down on the ground and proceeded to break my personal record of Plyometric clap push-ups by doing seventeen of them. I did it with an air of boredom, as if this was how I finished up every workout I do. These are from the p90x classic series, where you do a push-up and lift your feet and hands into the air, and clap while your body’s in midair before landing. Even though they’re not quite as hard as they look, they look really impressive. I finished them, got to my feet, and noticed the moaning man was just sort of staring at me. His trainer, I swear to God, asked me if I needed a trainer.

The Mental Work-Out

The fact that I could, when exhausted, do seventeen of those plyo push-ups is a good reminder of how much working out is all mental. Working out smart is much more important than working out hard, as anyone who’s ever tried to move a body knows. Making sure you push through certain workout pain but give up before other work out pain is a mental game. Realizing you are doing something almost solely for results that will come later, often much later, takes psychological power, not physical power.

Recently, I know a lot of people who tell me they are starting it, but I hardly ever hear of their continued progress. They break down, they realize it’s quite a large undertaking. (And it IS.) At the beginning, a few years ago, I too dabbled with P90X, and ultimately decided I didn’t have enough time to make it a priority. Then a friend of mine said “I’m the busiest person I know, and I still stick to the schedule,” and said it with an air of “so I don’t want to hear your excuses.” My first reaction was anger–what did he know about how busy I was? But I soon realized, regardless of who was busier, he was right.

If you really want to change, you MAKE time to work out. You Push play. And of course, it isn’t easy. But at least once you push play, half the mental battle is over. To this day I am very proud of how I stuck to the original program and made time to do it. That memory has continually renewed my spirits in tackling new projects.

So if you want to do P90X, or do PLUS, prepare mentally: Catch yourself if you find yourself looking for excuses NOT to workout. Plan your workout schedule for the next day before it happens, and try everything in your power to get it in; put on your gym clothes if you find it gets you in the mood; start off each workout by reading something inspirational, or looking at pictures of other people’s before and after pics (there’s thousands on the internet). Challenge a friend to do it with you, keeping in touch to talk about the experience. Reinforce yourself positively, not negatively: If you only make it through half a workout, but did your best, don’t beat yourself up for not making your goals. You worked out far more that day than you would have otherwise.

And, when you’re staring a beast like P90X in the eye, know deep in your heart that you can do it. But don’t stop there. Do it.

Workout Breakdown: Kempo-X Plus

As far as I can tell, there isn’t much reason to ever do the original P90X Kenpo X again, unless you just get bored with Kempo Plus. The Plus program is shorter, gets you sweating, and allows you to do more fun moves than the original Kenpo. I could do without the “throwing knives” move, which I can’t help but see as a pretty worthless recovery move following the high-energy Gladiator, but otherwise, it’s a great improvement on Kenpo.

What next?

Next up, as far as workouts go, I’ll being doing a few pieces on some of Tony Horton’s One on One workouts, which were made to freshen up the P90X schedule for people wanting new workouts. Also, at some point in the future I’m thinking of doing Insanity, known as “P90X’s evil twin brother.” It’s 60 days, though, instead of 90, and is done by Beachbody, who also did P90X. It is a weightless program, which means it’s main goal is probably muscle tone and cardio shape–results women tend to look for most in looking for an exercise program. For that one, I would love to have some of you guys do it on the same schedule, and help write about it. To give a different point of view (and help keep me motivated.)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 11:05 pm

    I will do Insanity with you.

  2. April 15, 2010 8:34 am

    If you start Insanity, let me know as I would love to do it with you. I started it with Trey, but he petered out and I do MUCH better at sticking with a program if I am doing it with someone (even if that someone is not in the room with me while we actually work out). The little bit of it I did, I liked though (P90x really wasn’t my bag, but Insanity was kinda fun in a kill-me-now way.)


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