P90X is a ninety-day workout regimen made popular by endless overnight infomercials. Perhaps you're thinking of trying it, or you're just curious about what it's like? What better source of information than someone who has just started it? You don't want the opinion of a graduate, or even someone who gave up on the program. They're either brainwashed, or a damn dirty quitter. That's why I've decided to share with you the Top 10 Things You Should Know...

10) BRING IT, but plan ahead. It's going to be difficult to carry anything after a P90X workout: groceries, babies, a melodically complex tune. Anything you need to carry, you better carry now. It's especially important to plan how you're going to feed yourself following 70 minutes of P90-madness. I suggest laying out a trail of approved food (perhaps suflower seeds), and several thimbles of recovery drink, on the path you'll be taking to the shower. You can thank me later.

9) Have fun! The host of the program (Tony Horton) is very sincere, but he only knows a small number of inspirational slogans. "BRING IT", "Hit My Hand", "Do your best, and forget the rest." By the end of the first week you'll know them all by heart and pressing Play will feel like you're going to visit a pleasant (perhaps slightly challenged) friend.

8) Don't be afraid. P90X was not developed & used by the US military to extract high-value secrets from enemy combatants. That's just stupid. You should be ashamed of yourself.

P90X7) Follow the plan. After every arm exercise you're required to strike a pose and kiss each biceps muscle. Don't pick and choose, this is a professionally-developed program used to promote (I'm not making this up) muscle confusion. You don't want your muscles only half-confused. Perhaps they'll remember their own names and who is president, but they'll have problems doing long division. No, you want those muscles to be downright challenged (like Tony).

6) Understand the tradeoffs. For each person who graduates from P90X, ten people in the "cheese-belt" will gain 75 pounds. This might not seem fair, but, well, perhaps it is a bit unfair. You're going to lose maybe 5 to 10 percent of your weight, but they'll be gaining a total of 750 pounds. Well, at least you've made the effort to understand it.

5) Keep hope alive. These DVDs were filmed over the course of several months because enormous quantities of Canadian enthusiam had to be trucked in to replenish the background exercisers (exercisists?). If you're a "glass half full" person already, get yourself several more glasses. You'll need them.

4) Budget wisely. This program doesn't require a huge investment in equipment. You will need to save up for a large quantity of small white t-shirts or black tank tops. After graduating for the first time, you'll be required to wear these. Men should purchase a boy's small, and women should look for toddler sizes: 3T to 4T. If you decide to do the program twice, you'll be required to go shirtless for at least 75% of each day. This can be tough in the northern climates.

3) Track your progress. You're required to take six photos of yourself on day 0, 30, 60, and 90. Take a moment to browse through photos of graduates. Notice the consistency of the "after" photos? Days 85-87 are dedicated to shaving, waxing, and body oil. That gives you a few days for any rashes or razor burn to clear up before your final photo shoot.

2) It's the work, not the gear. You don't need a lot of equipment to get ripped, you just need the effort and willpower. You'll be doing a lot of pushups, pullups, chinups, pushups, pushups, and pullups. Some of the moves require weights, but in most you're just using your body's own weight against itself. This is the same strategy as Judo, where you make your opponent his own enemy. Make your body fight itself. I also suggest taunting your body for added BRINGING-IT-NESS.

1) Recover. Three days a week you'll be doing Ab Ripper X, and Tony will end by telling you "If that's your last workout of the day, it's a good time for your recovery drink. I highly recommend it." If you've ever paid attention during a catastrophe or natural disaster, you'll know there are phases to the emergency response. In "rescue" mode, they're looking for live victims. They get in fast and get people medical assistance. In "recovery" mode, they take their time and move methodically. That's because they're only expecting to find bodies. 

I hope you enjoyed my summary. If you're still interested in P90X, I think I might know where you can buy a used copy in a little while. Cheers!



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