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Taking P90X to the next level.

First let me start by saying that I think the P90X Workout system is great. The workouts are intense, effective and fun (at least once you are finally fit enough to do them - the first time I tried the Plyometrics Jump training I barely made it through the warm up and I'll admit I still don't look forward to it). However, I believe the system works best for people who are trying to lose a little weight and add some definition, rather than those of us who are already slim and trying to add 10 lbs or more of muscle. Having said that, if you follow the program closely and watch what you eat, you certainly will gain some muscle - my arms were noticeably bigger after 90 days and my body fat had dropped from around 14% to 7%, while my body weight remained the same.

About 5 months after I started the P90X program it became apparent to me, that all the exercises relying heavily on the use dumbbells added significantly more muscle than the workouts that rely more on body weight and gravity alone (such as Chest and Back which is mostly just push ups and pull ups). Sure my chest was toned and more than a little sore after these workouts, even after 90 days, but growth was minimal. Push ups can only take you so far, especially when you only weigh 150 lbs. Since I have a gym membership, I took the standard Chest and Back, and the Chest, Shoulders, Triceps workouts and replaced most of the push ups with exercises that can be done at the gym using the machines and free weights, and immediately felt that I had taken P90X to the next level. Here is my new Chest and Back Workout:

Date:          
Warm Up, Stretch, Std Push-Ups (25) 25 25 25 25 25
Wide Front Pull-Ups          
Incline Press (Barbell, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
Reverse Grip Chin-Ups          
Incline Press (Dumbbell, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
Closed Grip Overhand Pull-ups          
Bench Press (Barbell, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
Heavy Pants R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Bench Press (Dumbbell, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
Lawnmowers R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Decline Bench Press (Dumbbell or barbell, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
Back Flies R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Decline Push-Ups (Max Reps/25) R_______________ R_______________ R_______________ R_______________ R_______________
Elbows-out Lawnmowers R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Incline Press (Machine, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
Supermans 5 5 5 5 5
Bench Press (Machine, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
CHEST & BACK          
           

Download this as an Excel Spreadsheet:

Chest & Back.xls (24.00 kb)

And here is my new Chest, Shoulders, Triceps workout:

Date:          
Warm Up, Stretch, Std Push-Ups (25) 25 25 25 25 25
In & Out Shoulder Flys R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Chair Dips R_______________ R_______________ R_______________ R_______________ R_______________
Incline Press (Barbell, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
Deep Swimmer's Press R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Overhead Tricep Extensions R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Incline Press (Dumbbell, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
Scarecrows R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Lying Tricep Extensions R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Bench Press (Barbell, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
Y-Presses R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Side-Leaning Tricep Extensions R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Bench Press (Dumbbell, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
Weighted Circles R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Throw the Bomb R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Decline Bench Press (Dumbbell or barbell, 2 sets) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
Pour Flys (straight arms, out to sides, pour) R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Front-to-Back Tricep Extensions R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Incline Press (Machine, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
Two-Angle Shoulder Flys R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Two-Arm Tricep Kickbacks R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______ R______W_______
Bench Press (Machine, 2 sets 8-12) R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
R______W_______
CHEST, SHOULDERS & TRICEPS      
           

Chest Shoulders & Triceps.xls (24.50 kb)

I think the Back and Biceps and the Shoulder, Biceps, Triceps workouts are great as they are, just keep upping the weight whenever you can, and every once in a while (to maintain that "Muscle confusion" - and this applies to the chest workouts too), start at the bottom of your worksheet and work you way up. This will help you avoid or break through a plateau. For example, the last exercise in the Back & Biceps workout is the strip set curl, which for 90 days was always last on the list and my muscles were always pretty cooked by the time I got there. By doing the workout in reverse, this is the first exercise and your muscles are fresh, you'll be able to start with at least 5 lbs more than normal and all of the exercises on the bottom half of your workout sheet will show improvement. (After 6 months of following the worksheets in order I was struggling to improve since my body was used to the movements by now. After doing it in reverse, my body ached the next day in a way it hadn't for quite some time and 2 weeks later when I came to do it again in the right order, I was finally able to up the weights on almost all the exercises. Just be sure to mark on the sheet that you did it backwards that week.

I have been using these new worksheets for 6 weeks now, and I have gained another 3 lbs of muscle, most of it on my chest.


Categories: P90X | Fitness
Posted by Williarob on Thursday, February 25, 2010 6:44 AM
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