P90X2

p90x2_deluxeP90X2 is another advanced fitness program by Tony Horton and Beachbody. I got P90X2 around the same time as I got Insanity: Asylum Volume 1 and it fell prey to the same delay–discovery of Cathe. So in spite of my intense excitement when P90X2 was announced, it has sat on my shelf collecting dust for several years. I loved P90X (and I do plan to finally review that this year) and couldn’t wait for #2. As you would expect, P90X2 is taking P90X to the next level. The website defines it as “training off balance…. Instability. Instead of working one muscle group at a time, with P90X2, you’ll do resistance moves on one foot, a ball, or some other unstable platform. Because your body is forced to maintain stability as you lift, more muscles are engaged with each movement.”

I’m not going to lie. The above quote might have been another reason I didn’t jump right into P90X2. I have balance issues. Not the normal balance issues either. I have metal heels from an accident that affects my balance. When you are balancing on one foot, that foot is constantly correcting to keep you stable. In order for your foot to perform this correction it has to have intact musculature and full range of motion. Due to having 2 metal plates and 12 screws in each heel, I have neither and therefore I have $hitty balance. So I frequently have to modify balance moves. Not all moves and I always try, because oddly, there are some I can do, but others are impossible. It’s a fact of life I have accepted. But it did make me leery (after I already owned P90X2, of course). If the entire program is based on balance–am I going to be able to do anything at all? Well, this did not turn out to be as big of a problem as I feared. For one, there is a way to modify most every move, taking the balance aspect out. And two, “balance” doesn’t always focus on standing–it comes into play in all types of ways that metal heels do not affect at all! Balancing in plank with medicine balls, using the stability ball for balance or instability purposes. So I was actually able to put the instability modality into effect much more than I expected. Bonus!

The base program comes with a Fitness Guide, Nutrition Guide, 12 workouts and the intro DVD by Tony. There are several deluxe versions where you can get all kinds of extras like a foam roller, medicine balls, stability ball and 2 bonus workouts. If you already own all the equipment (like I do) you can just buy the 2 bonus workouts which is what I did.

The Fitness Guide is a disappointment in comparison to P90X’s comprehensive fitness guide. Without P90X to compare it to, it is a good fitness guide. However, it is impossible not to compare it to its predecessor, so it gets a thumbs down. It breaks down the program in detail, the fitness modalities used and how the program is structured. It talks about the equipment needed, nutritional supplements, how to do body measurements and a fit test. Then it describes each workout and this is where it fails miserably in comparison to P90X’s fitness guide. P90X gave you such incredible detail about each workout. This one gives you a blurb stamped on a huge picture of Tony doing an exercise from that specific workout. It gives you no real information on each workout and what it does give you can already be found on the Beachbody website. Basically a waste of trees to produce it unless you want a photo album of Tony posing mid-exercise move. And finally it has your rotation calendar.

The Nutrition Guide is detailed and excellent just like the one in P90X the original. As far as changes/updates, it contains new recipes as well as the option to go Vegan or Grain Free. Other than that, it is similar to P90X’s plan. The plan has 3 levels that correspond to the levels of the program by varying the macronutrient ratios. P90X has different ways you can follow the plan, but P90X2 focuses on the portion approach which was apparently the most popular way to follow P90X (and the way I followed it when I did P90X because it is the easiest way to do it). You chose a plan based on what phase of the program you are in and how many calories you will be consuming and it lists how many portions of each macronutrient you get. I am using the term “macronutrient” very broadly btw–since it is more than protein, carb and fat. They break it down into protein, dairy, fruit, vegetable, fat, grains, legumes & tubers, condiments and snacks. Then they have lists, showing you the specific types of foods that fall under each group and their serving size. A calorie count is assigned to the serving size and it applies to everything that falls under that heading. For example if I wanted 1 serving of dairy (and under the first phase of the plan I would get 2 servings a day), I could choose from things such as 2 ounces of low fat cheese, 3/4 cup of cottage cheese, 1 cup yogurt, etc. and they all equal approx 120 calories a serving. So you build your menu that way.

P90X2-banner-2The fitness program is set up in 3 phases. Foundation, Strength and Performance. They give no set time period to remain in any of the phases but they suggest 3-6 weeks in the first two phases and 3-4 weeks in the final phase. They also give an optional recovery week rotation that you can insert wherever, whenever you feel you need it. Here is their brief bullet for each phase: Foundation: improve movement awareness (increase stabilizer muscle strength, mobility and neuromuscular patterns); Strength: improve strength and explosiveness; Performance: improve sports performance (speed, quickness, agility, explosiveness, coordination). These phases apply to the strength workouts. There are 4 other workouts that you use in all 3 phases of the program: Plyocide, X2 Recovery & Mobility, X2 Yoga and X2 Ab Ripper.

In the 10 minute “How to bring it again” intro DVD, Tony Horton covers everything that is already covered in the Fitness Guide, but with lots of visuals. He covers the different phases, the nutrition plan and the supplements Beachbody sells that they “recommend” you use with the program. I particularly liked how he went over all of the equipment used and you got to see how it is being used in the workouts.

How will I be approaching P90X2? Of course, not like the rotation calendars lay it out or even how it is suggested. I am “sampling.” So I will be doing P90X2 for 4 weeks: one week in Foundation, 2 weeks in Strength and 1 week in Performance. The reason Strength gets 2 weeks is because that is where the bonus workouts fall. I am also hybriding P90X2 with Jillian Michael’s BodyShred, so this is going to be one tough month!

P90X2_EquipmentSummary: This is a pretty equipment-heavy workout program. However, every single workout has a person doing a limited equipment version of every exercise. So it is not essential that you possess every piece of equipment used in every workout. Overall, this is a very good fitness program. There are some workouts I really liked a lot and will return to (V-Sculpt and P.A.P. Upper). And some I was unimpressed with (Plyocide and Total Body). IMHO, one of the drawbacks of many of these workouts is the very long warm ups. I think a thorough warm up is essential, I really do, but the length of most of the warm ups is just too much. They should have either made the workouts shorter or added more exercises for the same amount of time. And most of the warm ups are nearly identical. The only thing that really varies is the last few exercises and those depend on what type of workout you are doing–upper body strength, lower body, cardio component. It’s a decent warm up but not so awesome that you want to do it nearly every day for 90 days. Some variety would be nice. Or maybe just a better, shorter warm up if variety isn’t an option. The stretches at the end of most of the workouts are very similar as well.

The set is similar to P90X. A dark gym setting. There is a bar along the bottom of the screen that tells you what exercise you are doing, a workout countdown clock and a countdown clock for each exercise. As always, Beachbody makes workout cards available for free so that you can keep track of the weights/bands you used and how many reps you were able to do. Overall, I am glad I got the program even if I won’t ever use it as a program. I may combine some of the workouts with P90X for a nice strength rotation. And I will use some of the other workouts independently. Right now I am toying with finding a way to add P.A.P. Upper to Meso #3 when I do STS again in the fall. That is an awesome workout that needs regular use.

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Workout Reviews:

The individual workout reviews are broken down thus: the first reviews will be for the 4 workouts that are used throughout the program. Next is Foundation workouts followed by Strength workouts. Strength will also include the deluxe/bonus workouts since that is where you would use them if doing the rotation as laid out. And Performance workouts will be reviewed last. So lets get started!

Plyocide is 54 minutes long. The warm up is 11 minutes and the stretch is 12 minutes. This is the second P90X2 workout I’ve done and again, it is not at all what I expected. First, I thought it would be harder than Plyo X (from the original P90X). True, it has been several years since I’ve done Plyo X and I have done multiple rounds of Insanity programs and many other high intensity HIIT/plyo workouts in the years between the last time I did P90X and now… but still, I remember Plyo X being much harder than this. This was a decent workout, but nothing I would bother coming back to when I have so many other more effective workouts in the same vein. Beachbody likes to use its “coaches” (i.e. sales people) as the crew members. One of the coaches in this workout is a very pretty blond woman with the loudest, most obnoxious laugh I have ever heard from a woman (except maybe Janice from Friends). WTC? And she kept laughing and laughing at everything Tony said whether it was funny or not. That is another deterrent from doing this workout again–having to listen to that grating laugh.

This workout (after the long warm up) is structured in circuits. There are 5 circuits and each circuit consists of 4 exercises. The first exercise in every circuit is a non-plyometric exercise. Usually a balance move. And if Tony or any of his crew members touch the floor with their other foot (the one that is supposed to be elevated) during the exercise they have to drop and do push ups before moving on to the next exercise. A good bit of equipment is needed for this workout. There is one crew member who will show modifications (usually a towel or nothing) if you do not have all of the equipment. For the warm up you need a stability ball and the foam roller. For the workout Tony and two of the crew members have blue tape on the floor in an “+”; this is a floor marker used for a few of the exercises. The non-equipment crew member has nothing. He just imagines the lines on the floor, which is what I did. You need a plyo box–a high step works for this. I used mine at 14 inches. You also need a medicine ball. And finally, you need a resistance band for the first part of the final stretch. No equipment dude uses a towel. The final stretch is 12 minutes of something Tony calls it neuro-integrated stretching.

The warm up starts with the stability ball. You do twists, holding the ball and bringing it side to side. Squat, bringing stability ball overhead at bottom of squat. Side stretch with the ball overhead. Alternating reverse lunge bringing ball overhead while in lunge. Atlas; start with ball on ground to your side, grab ball and bring to ceiling on other side of body. Next is the foam roller. You will use the foam roller for 3 minutes to roll out whatever you wish; Tony and crew are doing their own thing so just follow them. This is probably more useful after doing Recovery & Mobility once. Next is Roller Sphinx; get into low plank with forearms on foam roller. The rest of the warm up exercises use no equipment. World’s Greatest Stretch: get into runners lunge and twist body to each side, raising hand to ceiling, then changing legs. Inch Worm: bend at the waist (legs straight) and walk hands out until you are plank; walk feet to hands. Scorpion: lay on stomach and bend and raise one leg, rolling it to the side while making sure to keep your shoulders on the ground. Groiners: wide jump mountain climbers (feet come outside of hands).

Exercises:

Circuit 1
1. Wide Leg Tiptoe Squat (touch fingertips to floor at bottom, come up on toes at top)
2. Killer Katherine Lunges (jump lunges with medicine ball; each jump bring ball from hip to hip; after 10 reps bring overhead hip to hip; repeat for a total of 40 jump lunges)
3. Fast Feet Chair Jump (get into chair pose and do fast feet in this pose; jump on Tony’s command)
4. Slalom Line Jump (using line tape on floor, jump side to side over tape moving forward and backward)
Water break

Circuit 2
1. Warrior 3 Lunge (get into straight back leg lunge with finger tips on ground; come up into warrior 3 then back into lunge)
2. Jack in Box Knee Tucks (come down into squat with hands touching ground; from this position come up into tuck jump)
3. Think Drill (starting position is wide legs, bent over with one hand on ground–this is “set”; on Tony’s command you will come up and do fast feet with different feet positions and different hand positions and also go back to “set” on his command)
4. Spartan Squat Lunge (get down into squat with fist touching opposite foot; jump from squat to lunge raising fist overhead during lunge and touching opposite foot during squat)
Water Break

Circuit 3
1. Super Skater Kick (balance move; on one leg come into skater then come up into front kick)
2. Depth Charge (need plyo box; step onto plyo box, jump off then jump; turn around and repeat)
3. Frog Burpee Hop (do a burpee with a wide leg tuck jump at top)
4. One Leg Slalom (same as Circuit 1 #4 but on one leg)
Water Break

Circuit 4
1. One Leg Squat
2. Surfer Spin (360 jump squats)
3. Power 90 Cross Hops (using the tape X on floor jump back and forth diagonally)
4. Wide Leg Jump Press with Medicine Ball (air jack legs while pushing medicine ball overhead)
Water Break

Circuit 5
1. Launcher Lunge (holding medicine ball with legs wide; touch ball to floor outside of one foot and raise overhead to the other side of body lifting leg up behind you)
2. Toe Tap 360 (put medicine ball on floor; tap toe to ball and go in a circle around the ball, tapping it)
3. Flying Fighter Kick (jump front kick, back kick combo)
4. Set Sprint Plank Plyo Jump (you do all of the listed moves on Tony’s command; when you do plyo you are always in plank, so you are jumping feet and hands off the floor in plank)

Recovery & Mobility is 57 minutes with a 7 minute “warm up”–no cool down/stretch since that is basically what the entire workout is. This is an excellent workout and one I need to make a point of doing regularly. This falls in the realm of P90X’s Stretch X which I also love. This one is even more beneficial than that one. More than any other workout in P90X, Stretch X is the one I continue to come back to. That will be the fate of Recovery & Mobility. After I finish this P90X2 month, I think Recovery & Mobility will become my Sunday rest day workout. You spend 20 minutes of this workout on the foam roller. The first time I did this workout I was having shoulder problems and tho it did not cure my problems it did make my shoulder feel a lot better. Equipment needed for this workout is a foam roller and a weighted bar (5 pounds). If you don’t have a weighted bar, use a broomstick or just use a towel. I used a towel. I have weighted bars but due to my shoulder strain I stuck with the towel and it worked fine. If you don’t have a foam roller there is a crew member who does various stretches during the foam rolling segment and you can follow him. Though if you have no foam roller, Stretch X is a better rest day workout, I think. Also, during the stretches at the end of the workout the modifier does alternate (less advanced) stretches. So there is something for everyone in this workout. This is definitely something the body needs if you are pushing it hard the rest of the week. Though the foam rolling is directed by body part, Tony gives a lot of instruction on what you are looking for when foam rolling so there is nothing wrong with spending more time on muscles that need it. For instance, the first time I did this, when doing the upper body, I spent more time on my shoulder than any other muscle group.

The warm up consists of a series of sun salutations. Starting at #9 below you are doing stretches. It doesn’t seem like a lot but you actually hold each stretch for a long time.
1. Leg swings using the foam roller for balance
2. Step back lunge twist (hold bar or towel by both ends in front of you, arms straight; reverse lunge, twisting torso/bar or towel to opposite side)
3. Squat press (put bar/towel behind neck; squat and while at bottom of squat press bar/towel overhead and stand while still holding bar/towel overhead)
4. Single leg touch down (balance on one leg; reach down and touch the foot planted on the floor then reach overhead)
5. Foam rolling for approx 21 minutes: lower right leg (3 minutes), upper right leg (2 minutes), lower left leg (2 minutes), upper left leg (3 minutes), right inner thigh (1 minute), left inner thigh (1 minute), right upper body (4 minutes), left upper body (4 minutes), upper back (1 minute)
6. Step back lunge twist
7. Squat press
8. Single leg touch down
9. Vinyasa to pigeon
10. Frog stretch
11. Hamstring stretch
12. Roller angel (lay on your back on the foam roller and raise and lower your arms over your head then down into goal post)
13. Shavasana foam roller (corpse pose on foam roller)

X2 Yoga is 66 minutes long. The timer actually starts at 67 minutes, but Tony spends a full minute on crew introductions. This is a solid yoga workout and so much better than P90X’s Yoga X workout which I hated. First off, this is a little over an hour which is already a big plus over Yoga X which was 90 minutes. And tho there is repetition in X2 Yoga it moves faster and there isn’t as much repetition. Overall, just a better workout that I actually like. It is challenging, too–but not painfully so (like Yoga X!). I am making all these comparisons between Yoga X and X2 Yoga, but I have to point out it has been 5+ years since I’ve done Yoga X; however, when I did it, I did do it many times during P90X and hated it every single time. The second time I did P90X I only did Yoga X 1 or 2 times before I substituted Bob Harper‘s Yoga Warrior for Yoga X in the rotation. Since this is a yoga workout, I am not going to break it down move, by move. But I will list the highlights and how it flows. Also–there are two modifiers in this workout. One doing easier versions of the poses and one doing the most advanced version. After Tony’s one minute intro, you start with some warm up neck stretches, side stretches, arm circles, and finally you go through Sun Salutation several times. Once Tony feels you are warmed up you will spend approx 12 minutest doing slightly more complex Sun Salutations, moving faster with chair pose and leg raises while in down dog that move into warrior 1. Next you will do a series where you move from crescent to warrior 3 to half moon to reverse half moon to standing split to crunch raises. Once that series is complete on one side of the body you will go into crane pose before repeating it on other side of body and again ending with crane. Next you will do a warrior series: warrior 2 lunges, triangle, reverse warrior, bound warrior, runner’s lunge, single hamstring stretch. Next is some ab work: yogi bicycle, abrinome (this is like windshield wipers but you hold for several seconds on each side), split leg reach crunch (laying on back, legs raised and spread in a V–crunch hands through split legs). Bridge or wheel. Happy baby. Frog. Pigeon. Forward bend. Plow into shoulder stand. Spinal twist. Shavasana (corpse pose). It ends with sitting in cross-legged position doing “Oms.”

X2 Ab Ripper is 16 minutes long. The final minute is stretching–cat & cow and child’s pose. The only thing you need for this workout is a mat. I actually like this workout a lot better than P90X’s Ab Ripper. At least the way I remember Ab Ripper. This one is more interesting. More variety. But still tough. But we’ll see if I still think that when I do P90X again.

Exercises:

1. Scissor Twist (similar to bicycles but with straight legs, also, you will have straight arms and touch fingertips to opposite toe)

2. Row Your Boat (you will go in and out of boat pose by bending and straightening legs and doing a rowing motion with arms)

3. Superman Banana X (the same as superman bananas from P90X, except you extend your arms and legs in an X)

4. Oblique Roll Crunch (get onto one hip laying almost on your side, bottom arm on ground, top arm behind head; raise straight legs and shoulders/elbow in oblique crunch, then roll to other side and repeat; alternate sides)

5. Roll V Hold (get into V-sit/boat pose and hold for a few seconds, then roll onto back then roll back into V-sit)

6. Abrinome (this is like windshield wipers but you hold for several seconds on each side)

7. Gate Bridge Lift (start laying supine, shoulders/head raised, legs straight and lifted 6 inches off the ground; raise legs to ceiling and lift hips, lower legs back to start then open them wide in V, close and repeat)

8. Phelon Twist (sit on bottom with legs straight in front of you and on ground, wrap you arms around your ribs and lean torso back; twist torso to side and hold; alternate sides)

9. Scissor Clapper (do scissor legs while in V-sit, clapping hands under raised leg)

10. Tornado (lay on back with straight legs raised to ceiling; rotate legs in a circle)

11. Balance Bike Crunch (bicycles in V sit)

Foundation Workouts:

X2 Core is 56 minutes long with a 18 minute warm up and a 6 minute stretch. Actual workout time is approx 30 minutes. This was not what I expected from P90X2. First let me say this was the first P90X2 workout I did and I expected it to be harder than any P90X workout. X2 Core isn’t a beginner or easy workout but it was not super advanced like I expected. Due to the title, I also expected it to be harder than P90X’s Core Synergistics. It was not. It used a lot more equipment, but was not harder. Now, don’t misunderstand. I didn’t dislike this workout. I actually liked it a lot and it is a good workout, just not the difficulty and intensity I expected. It had a very long warm up. Oddly long. So long, that at one point I thought it was the actual workout and I had this mixed up with Recovery & Mobility.

For this workout you will need a stability ball, foam roller, medicine ball and a mat. If you do not have all of that equipment there is an exerciser showing substitutions. The warm up is long–18 minutes, so I’m going to break it down. It starts with the stability ball; you will do approx. 4 minutes of stability ball moves. You do twists, holding the ball and bringing it side to side. Squat, bringing stability ball overhead at bottom of squat. Side stretch with the ball overhead. Alternating reverse lunge bringing ball overhead while in lunge. Atlas; start with ball on ground to your side, grab ball and bring to ceiling on other side of body. Next is the foam roller. You will use the foam roller for 6 minutes to roll the calves, the thighs, hips, glutes, triceps and lats. Next, still using the foam roller for another 2 minutes, you do something called the Roller Angel; lay on your back on the foam roller and raise and lower your arms over your head then down into goal post. Next is Roller Sphinx; get into low plank with forearms on foam roller. The next warm up exercise uses no equipment and is called World’s Greatest Stretch; get into runners lunge and twist body to each side, raising hand to ceiling, then changing legs. Inch Worm: bend at the waist (legs straight) and walk hands out until you are plank; walk feet to hands. Scorpion: lay on stomach and bend and raise one leg, rolling it to the side while making sure to keep your shoulders on the ground. Groiners: wide jump mountain climbers (feet come outside of hands).

Exercises:

1. Spinx Plank Crunch: get into elbow plank; touch knee to opposite elbow then same elbow, back to low plank; alternate legs.

2. Warrior 3 Cross Crunch: balance move; warrior 3 then stand (still on one leg) and bring knee to opposite elbow.

3. Single Leg Walk Out to Spinx: stand on one leg, squat down then walk out to one leg plank and drop to elbows, walk back to one leg squat and stand.

4. Half Angel: in side plank, raise top arm and top leg.

5. Roller Boat: start in C sit, roll back and when you roll up, come into V sit.

6. 3 Speed Medicine Ball Push-Up: get into plank with medicine ball in front of you, jump both hands on and off medicine ball.

7. One Leg Lateral Leap Squat: slow balancing skaters in which you touch the floor after each leap while balanced on one leg.

8. Core Circle: get into elbow plank on stability ball and roll forearms in circle on ball.

9. Holmsen Screamer Lunge: get into a deep lunge and jump up, bringing knee up when jumping.

10. Med Ball Dreya Roll: holding a medicine ball and squat until your butt touches the ground, roll onto back, then roll back up to feet and jump–never using hands.

11. Plank Burpee on Stability Ball: one leg burpee on stability with push up.

12. Banana Ball Switch Crunch: lay on back holding stability ball overhead, legs straight, ball and legs raised a few inches off the floor; come up, passing stability ball to feet and straighten back out; pass ball from hands to feet and back.

13. 3 Point Squat Press with Med Ball: holding medicine ball squat and stand, raising medicine ball overhead and coming up on toes, squat again and this time when you stand and overhead press do it to the side, then middle, then other side and so on.

14. Slo-Mo Balance Climber: get into elbow plank on stability ball and bring knee to same side elbow; alternate sides.

15. X2 Diver: stand with legs wide apart and fall forward onto hands, do a push up, then push yourself back up to standing.

16. Ryan Sphinx Twist Crunch: get into elbow plank but only on one elbow; with the other hand, reach under body then come up, turning into side plank then kick top leg out in front of you and touch toe with top hand.

17. One Leg Med Ball Burpee (alternate every 3 reps)

X2 Total Body is 62 minutes long. The warm up is 15 minutes long and you will need a stability ball, foam roller and either a pull up bar or resistance band connected to the door. The stretch is 8 minutes long and you will need stability ball for that. This workout was more what I was expecting from P90X2. It was challenging and had a lot of unique exercises. However the warm up still seems excessively long. And though I did like this workout, I didn’t love it. Not sure how I would use it in the future, or even if I liked it enough to use it again. I hate to keep saying it, but for what this workout is (total body strength), I have tons of workouts that give me a better and more thorough total body workout. This workout is structured in rounds. There are 2 rounds that are repeated for a total of 4 rounds. If an exercise is done on one side of the body then when done in the repeated round you do the exercise on the other side of the body. Equipment needed: stability ball, foam roller, weights (or bands), chin up bar (or bands w/ door attachment), 2 medicine balls. There is a limited equipment modifier if you do not have all of the above equipment. At the very minimum you need some resistance bands and a towel.

The warm up starts with the stability ball. You do twists, holding the ball and bringing it side to side. Squat, bringing stability ball overhead at bottom of squat. Side stretch with the ball overhead. Alternating reverse lunge bringing ball overhead while in lunge. Atlas; start with ball on ground to your side, grab ball and bring to ceiling on other side of body. Next is the foam roller. You will use the foam roller for 3 minutes to roll the whatever you wish; Tony and crew are doing their own thing so just follow them. This is probably more useful after doing Recovery & Mobility once. Next is Roller Angel; lay on your back on the foam roller and raise and lower your arms over your head then down into goal post. Roller Sphinx; get into low plank with forearms on foam roller. The rest of the warm up exercises use no equipment. World’s Greatest Stretch: get into runners lunge and twist body to each side, raising hand to ceiling, then changing legs. Inch Worm: bend at the waist (legs straight) and walk hands out until you are plank; walk feet to hands. Scorpion: lay on stomach and bend and raise one leg, rolling it to the side while making sure to keep your shoulders on the ground. Groiners: wide jump mountain climbers (feet come outside of hands). Table: get in crab position, pressing hips up, head falls back. Final warm up exercise is scapular retraction using a resistance band connected to door or pull up bar; keep your arms straight throughout this mobility exercise; either pull back on band while keeping arms straight and retracting shoulders, or pull shoulders up (arms straight) while hanging from pull up bar, again you are retracting your shoulders.

Exercises:

Round 1:
1. One arm chest press (on stability ball)
2. Four position pull up (pull up bar/band pulls with 4 different hand positions)
3. Push up side arm balance (each hand is on a medicine ball; do a push up then turn into side plank; alternate sides)
4. Switch lunge press (dumbbells; front lunge w/ overhead press, reverse lunge with Arnold press)
5. Warrior 3 kickback (dumbbells; tricep kickbacks while in warrior 3)
6. Warrior 3 curls (dumbbells; bicep curls while in warrior 3)
Water break

Round 2:
1. Boing push up (stability ball; do a push up on the ball then forcefully push up, lifting ball off ground and partially standing)
2. Crunchy lever pull ups (on the pull up bar you will kind of roll your body (with knees bent) so knees come to bar then chin to bar–never dropping legs or body; with band you will lay on back with legs bent and do a sort of chest press with band, keeping legs bent and raised off ground)
3. Mule kick burpee (mule kick into plank, bring knee to same side elbow, do a push up, knee to elbow other side, push up, then jump feet in and repeat)
4. Swimmers curl press in 1/2 chair (dumbbells/balance move; cross foot over knee and squat into chair pose doing bicep curls into overhead press)
5. Balance kick back on stability ball (one arm elbow plank on ball, tricep kickbacks with other hand)
6. Rocket launcher preacher curl (get into low deep lunge and do bicep curls)
Water break

Repeat rounds 1 & 2

X2 Balance & Power is 62 minutes long.  Warm up is 14 minutes long and you will need stability ball, foam roller and dumbbells for the warm up. Cool down/stretch is 8 minutes long and uses the stability ball. This was a very good workout that I really liked. Unfortunately, the first time I did it, I had a strained/pulled shoulder/neck muscle. I was in pain and so had to modify some things. I felt like I didn’t give this workout 100% because of pain. So I will be doing this workout a second time and updating this review. It was very challenging and excellent. Functional fitness. There was a lot of balancing in this workout, however, it was not impossible for me as a I feared. Now, there were some one-leg moves I had to tap down on the floor with my other toe to keep from falling over, but for the most part the balance moves were done with a stability ball and my metal heels did not hinder them at all. All that did hinder me was poor balance (non-heel related) and the fact I did have to compensate for a hurt shoulder. Overall a tough workout! ***The second time I did this workout my shoulder/neck had healed and I was able to give it my all. Definitely a great, total body workout. However, like the other workouts in Foundation phase, I do feel there are better total body workouts out there, however this is an excellent workout for a recovery week during heavy lifting phases in other types of programs like STS and Body Beast. This is not an easy workout, so do not misunderstand the use of “recovery”–I mean it as giving your muscles a break from the traditional lifting exercises done in heavy weight programs like the ones mentioned. It is even a good recovery workout to use during P90X. You will still get an excellent and challenging workout.

For this workout you need a stability ball, foam roller, dumbbells, medicine ball and a resistance band. There is a crew member who modifies all of the exercises if you do not have the equipment. The workout is structured in 3 rounds of 6 exercises each + a 3 exercise bonus round.

The warm up starts with the stability ball. You do twists, holding the ball and bringing it side to side. Squat, bringing stability ball overhead at bottom of squat. Side stretch with the ball overhead. Alternating reverse lunge bringing ball overhead while in lunge. Atlas; start with ball on ground to your side, grab ball and bring to ceiling on other side of body. Next is the foam roller. You will use the foam roller for 3 minutes to roll the whatever you wish; Tony and crew are doing their own thing so just follow them. Next is Roller Angel; lay on your back on the foam roller and raise and lower your arms over your head then down into goal post. Roller Sphinx; get into low plank with forearms on foam roller. The rest of the warm up exercises use no equipment. World’s Greatest Stretch: get into runners lunge and twist body to each side, raising hand to ceiling, then changing legs. Inch Worm: bend at the waist (legs straight) and walk hands out until you are plank; walk feet to hands. Scorpion: lay on stomach and bend and raise one leg, rolling it to the side while making sure to keep your shoulders on the ground. Groiners: wide jump mountain climbers (feet come outside of hands). Dumbbell squat press. The warm up ends with mountain climbers done on elbows on stability ball. Then you get a water break before the actual workout starts.

Round 1:
1. Sphinx to Plank Plyo bounce (get in elbow plank on stability ball and bounce up onto hands)
2. 1-Leg Plyo Squat Reach (one one leg, squat and touch the floor then hop when you stand)
3. Russian Twist (with medicine ball between knees and holding a dumbbell)
4. Sphinx to Plank Roll Up (start in elbow plank on stability ball and roll up to straight arm plank)
5. 4 Direction 1 Leg Squat Hop (on one leg, jump in a box formation; each time you jump you squat (still on one leg) and touch your fingertips to floor)
6. Forearm Alt Side Plank (on stability ball)
Water Break

Round 2:
1. Decline Sphinx Plank Press (with feet on stability ball get into forearm plank (forearms on floor) and push up to straight arm plank)
2. Weighted Katherine (plyo jump lunges holding dumbbells)
3. Plank X Crunch (get into plank; raise one arm and opposite leg, hold briefly, then bring same elbow to knee under body; alternate sides)
4. Renegade Row 1/2 Lolasana (dumbbells; do renegade row then jump feet in so they are almost between hands, lift one foot off ground and bring knee to forehead; alternate legs)
5. Glute Bridge Roll Out (lay on back with heels on stability ball; raise hips and roll feet in and out)
6. Over/Under Boat (resistance band or towel; fold band in half and hold on either end, pulling taunt; get into boat pose then bring feet in and out, passing band under and over feet)
Water Break

Round 3:
1. Warrior Row Press (one dumbbell; warrior 3 and row while in warrior 3, come up (still on one leg) and do overhead press)
2. Split Lunge (one leg static lunges with one foot on stability ball)
3. Crawly Crab Press (lay on stability ball, balanced primarily on elbows/triceps and holding optional dumbbells; push from elbow to elbow while pushing other arm/dumbbell overhead)
4. Lateral Plyo Push Up (one medicine ball; with one hand on medicine ball, plyo push up side to side; medicine ball stays stationary but you alternate which hand is on it but jumping (with hands) side to side)
5. Lunge Knee Knee Raise ( dumbbells; lunge with one knee on floor, dumbbells at shoulders; push to standing, back leg coming up into knee raise while doing overhead press; lower back to kneel)
6 X Plank Spider Twist (get into plank; twist body, kicking leg underneath you and touching toe with opposite hand)
Water Break

Bonus Round
1. Dumbbell Row to Side Plank (dumbbells; get into plank holding dumbbells; turn into side plank, raising one dumbbell overhead; alternate sides)
2. Dumbbell Super Burpee (dumbbells; one leg burpee, to push up, and overhead press when standing)
3. Plank ball Crunch (get into plank with feet on stability ball; roll ball in and out, bringing knees to nose)

Strength Workouts

P90X2-Chest-Back-and-BalanceChest + Back + Balance is 59 minutes; warm up is 13:30 minutes and you need stability ball and foam roller. Stretch is 6:30  minutes and you need a stability ball. This workout reminded me a lot of the original P90X. You alternate pull up variations with push up variations. The big difference is the use of equipment for all of the push up variations. However, there is a limited equipment modifier for every exercise. So if you don’t have 4 medicine balls and/or a stability ball (or if that version of the exercise is too advanced for you), there is someone showing you how to do the exercise without the equipment. That same person will also be doing the band version of all of the pull up variations. This is a pretty advanced workout; particularly if you are doing the full out version  of the workout (using all of the primary equipment). I used bands rather than the pull up bar, sometimes I used the equipment for the push up variations and sometimes I followed the modifier if it seemed to advanced for me. This workout definitely gives you something to work toward. I would like to use this workout in a rotation that also includes Mark Lauren’s bodyweight workouts. It would compliment that type of functional fitness work very well. Equipment needed: stability ball, 4 medicine balls, foam roller, pull up bar (or bands), 2 hand towels, plyo box (or chair) and a mat.

The warm up starts with the stability ball. You do twists, holding the ball and bringing it side to side. Squat, bringing stability ball overhead at bottom of squat. Side stretch with the ball overhead. Alternating reverse lunge bringing ball overhead while in lunge. Atlas; start with ball on ground to your side, grab ball and bring to ceiling on other side of body. Next is the foam roller. You will use the foam roller for 3 minutes to roll the whatever you wish; Tony and crew are doing their own thing so just follow them. This is probably more useful after doing Recovery & Mobility once. Next is Roller Angel; lay on your back on the foam roller and raise and lower your arms over your head then down into goal post. Roller Sphinx; get into low plank with forearms on foam roller. The rest of the warm up exercises use no equipment. World’s Greatest Stretch: get into runners lunge and twist body to each side, raising hand to ceiling, then changing legs. Inch Worm: bend at the waist (legs straight) and walk hands out until you are plank; walk feet to hands. Table: get in crab position, pressing hips up, head falls back. Final warm up exercise is scapular retraction using a resistance band connected to door or pull up bar; keep your arms straight throughout this mobility exercise; either pull back on band while keeping arms straight and retracting shoulders, or pull shoulders up (arms straight) while hanging from pull up bar, again you are retracting your shoulders.

Exercises:

1. Pull-Up X (wide arms/wide legs)
2. Plyo Stability Ball (plyo push ups, hands on stability ball)
3. Core Crunch Chip Up (do a pull up and roll knees/ feet up between arms)
4. Push Up Side Arm Balance (push up into side plank, each hand is on a medicine ball)
5. Lever (you do a chin up while swinging your rigidly straight body like a lever)
6. 4 Ball Push Up (push up with hands and feet on medicine push ups)
7. Chin Pull (2 chin ups, 2 pull ups; keep alternating)
8. The Impossible/Possible (decline push ups, but feet are on stability ball and each hand is on a medicine ball–or both hands on one medicine ball)
9. L Pull Up (pull up with legs held straight in front of you so body is in an “L”)
10. 3 Ball Plyo Push Up (set 3 medicine balls in front of you and do plyo push ups, jumping from ball to ball, side to side)
Water Break
11. Vaulter Pull Up (hands are opposite–one hand in chin up position and one in pull up position; alternate after each rep)
12. Elevated Stability Ball Push Up (push ups with feet on chair or plyo box and hands on stability ball)
13. In & Out (wide grip pull up alternate with close grip pull up)
14. Swimmer’s Push Up (push up then raise one arm and opposite leg; alternate sides–also, hands are each on a medicine ball–so 2 medicine balls total)
15.  4 Grip Pull Up (1 wide grip, 1 palms facing each other, 1 overhand close grip, 1 chin up; keep going through series)
16. Double Wide Push Up (wide push ups, each hand on a medicine ball)
17. Double Wide Pull Ups (wide pull ups)
18. Chattarocker (get into plank, go down into a chaturanga (or tricep push up) while down in bottom of chaturanga, step feet back and drop forearms to floor, push with feet back into bottom of chaturanga and push back up to high plank)
19. Towel Pull  Up (you need two hand towels; drape each over pull up bar and do pull ups holding the towels)
20. Medicine Ball Plyo Push Up (one medicine ball; plyo push ups alternating hands on ball and hands on floor)

X2 Shoulders & Arms is 52 minutes; 13 minute warm up (stability ball and foam roller used) and 6 minute stretch (stability ball used). This workout is set up in rounds/circuits. There is one round/circuit of 7 exercises that you do 3 times with a water break in between each round/circuit. Almost every exercise is done with the balance component added in the form of standing on one leg or placing one foot on the stability ball. However, if you are not into that, it is easy to make this a straight up strength workout with no balance component. Just keep both feet on the ground. How many reps you do for each exercise is up to you and the weight you choose to lift. Obviously form is paramount. So, however many reps you can do in the approx. one minute given for each exercise with good form. I was in the 15-16 rep range for most of the exercises. This is actually a pretty solid workout. Since you do the circuit 3 times, I ended up increasing my weight each circuit until the 3rd circuit I was finally pushing hard. Of course, when I return to this workout I will get an even better workout because I will be starting with the proper weight rather than figuring it out as I go.

I generally don’t have a problem with Tony’s quirky personality but he was more irritating than usual in this workout. One of the crew members is a man named Jason who is apparently a friend of Tony’s and a singer. Wow. Their interactions were so effing annoying. Sometimes it was hard to see the TV because my eyes were rolled so far back in my head. Other than that, you get a good workout for your shoulders and arms once you settle on the proper weight to use. Equipment used: dumbbells (or band), stability ball, foam roller, plyo box (or chair). There is a limited equipment modifier for every exercise.

The warm up starts with the stability ball. You do twists, holding the ball and bringing it side to side. Squat, bringing stability ball overhead at bottom of squat. Side stretch with the ball overhead. Alternating reverse lunge bringing ball overhead while in lunge. Atlas; start with ball on ground to your side, grab ball and bring to ceiling on other side of body. Next is the foam roller. You will use the foam roller for 3 minutes to roll the whatever you wish (but the idea in this workout is to focus on arms and shoulders); Tony and crew are doing their own thing so just follow them. This is probably more useful after doing Recovery & Mobility once. Next is Roller Angel; lay on your back on the foam roller and raise and lower your arms over your head then down into goal post. Roller Sphinx; get into low plank with forearms on foam roller. The rest of the warm up exercises use no equipment. World’s Greatest Stretch: get into runners lunge and twist body to each side, raising hand to ceiling, then changing legs. Inch Worm: bend at the waist (legs straight) and walk hands out until you are plank; walk feet to hands. Table: get in crab position, pressing hips up, head falls back.

Exercises (you will do this round/circuit 3x, with a water break between each round):
1. Balance Curl (bicep curls balancing on one leg)
2. Arnold Press (alternate arms and stand on one leg)
3. Overhead Tricep Pull (skull crushers on the stability ball)
4. Six Direction Shoulder Fly (arms will be straight the entire time; side raise (palms facing forward), close arms in the front and bring down to sides, raise to front again, open arms to sides, then bring down to sides–oh, and stand on one leg)
5. Crazy 8 (bicep curls; but hold one dumbbell isometrically while doing 8 curls with other arm; change arms–do this twice each arm for a total of 16 reps each arm + stand on one leg)
6. Y-T Fly (use light or no dumbbells; put torso on ball, feet wide and on floor and chest raised; raise arms in a Y then in a T)
7. Rocket Launcher Tricep Kick Back (get into a deep crescent lunge, either on the floor or with one foot on plyo box and do tricep kickbacks)

Base & Back is 55 minutes long. Warm up is 15 minutes long and uses a stability ball, foam roller and pull up bar or resistance band. Stretch is 11 minutes long and uses stability ball. I really liked this workout. The basic structure is alternating pull up variations with lower body plyometric exercises. It is set up in 2 rounds and each round has 10 exercises. However, it’s really just one round that you repeat. It is an excellent workout tho it does have some drawbacks. The first is the too long warm up, but all of the workouts in this series suffer from that. The second is I think the rest periods between exercises are too long. This is possibly because I was using the resistance band rather than doing pull ups. If I was actually doing pull ups I might need longer rest periods. The solution to these long rest periods is either don’t stop the exercise when Tony and crew do–just keep going for another 10-20 seconds. Or start the exercise earlier. Either way, you spend more time exercising.

The warm up starts with the stability ball. You do twists, holding the ball and bringing it side to side. Squat, bringing stability ball overhead at bottom of squat. Side stretch with the ball overhead. Alternating reverse lunge bringing ball overhead while in lunge. Atlas; start with ball on ground to your side, grab ball and bring to ceiling on other side of body. Next is the foam roller. You will use the foam roller for 3 minutes to roll the whatever you wish; Tony and crew are doing their own thing so just follow them. Next is Roller Angel; lay on your back on the foam roller and raise and lower your arms over your head then down into goal post. Roller Sphinx; get into low plank with forearms on foam roller. The rest of the warm up exercises use no equipment. Scorpion: lay on stomach and bend and raise one leg, rolling it to the side while making sure to keep your shoulders on the ground. World’s Greatest Stretch: get into runners lunge and twist body to each side, raising hand to ceiling, then changing legs. Inch Worm: bend at the waist (legs straight) and walk hands out until you are plank; walk feet to hands. Groiners: wide jump mountain climbers (feet come outside of hands). Leg swings using foam roller for balance. Final warm up exercise is scapular retraction using a resistance band connected to door or pull up bar; keep your arms straight throughout this mobility exercise; either pull back on band while keeping arms straight and retracting shoulders, or pull shoulders up (arms straight) while hanging from pull up bar, again you are retracting your shoulders.

Exercises:

1. No Kip Pull Up

2. Plyo Frog Squat

3. Wide Leg Close Grip Chin Up

4. Chair Jump (start in yoga chair pose and jump)

5. Chin Pull (2 chin ups alternate with 2 pull ups)

60 second Water Break

6. Plyo Lunge Press (plyo jump lunges with overhead dumbbell press)

7. V Pull Up (pull ups side to side; so wide pull ups, but you bring you chin to knuckle and alternate sides)

8. Surfer Spin (180 jump squats–but you’re not squatting deep and your arms are up like you’re surfing)

9. Kippy Cross Fugly Pull (wide, fast pull ups; kippy means you are using your lower body for momentum)

10. Jack-in-the-Box Knee Tuck (squat tuck jumps–touch the floor with finger tips when squatting)

2 minute Water Break then repeat all exercises

V Sculpt is 53 minutes long. 13 minute warm up that uses a stability ball, foam roller and pull up bar/band, and the 4:30 minute stretch  that uses stability ball. V Sculpt is a bonus workout that does not come with the base program, so you have to either purchase it as part of one of the deluxe packages or just purchase it separately. And it is worth it! Excellent workout! V-Scult refers to the muscles worked I suppose–back and biceps. The other bonus program that comes with it is X2 Chest, Shoulders & Tris. V Scuplt is has a lot of unique and effective exercises. He works the back not just with pull ups but with dumbbells, too. And he works the biceps in all sorts of interesting and challenging ways. Lots of plank work so your core will get some work, too. You need lots of equipment for this workout but there is always a limited equipment modifier just as there is in all of the workouts. The difference with this workout is–everyone needs a resistance band. It is not just used as a substitute for a pull up bar and/or dumbbells (though it is used for that, too). Some of the exercises require a resistance band. Equipment used: balance ball, pull up bar or band, dumbbells, resistance bands, medicine ball, foam roller, plyo box.

The warm up starts with the stability ball. You do twists, holding the ball and bringing it side to side. Squat, bringing stability ball overhead at bottom of squat. Side stretch with the ball overhead. Alternating reverse lunge bringing ball overhead while in lunge. Atlas; start with ball on ground to your side, grab ball and bring to ceiling on other side of body. Next is the foam roller. You will use the foam roller for 3 minutes to roll the whatever you wish; Tony and crew are doing their own thing so just follow them. Next is Roller Angel; lay on your back on the foam roller and raise and lower your arms over your head then down into goal post. Roller Sphinx; get into low plank with forearms on foam roller. The rest of the warm up exercises use no equipment. World’s Greatest Stretch: get into runners lunge and twist body to each side, raising hand to ceiling, then changing legs. Inch Worm: bend at the waist (legs straight) and walk hands out until you are plank; walk feet to hands. Table: get in crab position, pressing hips up, head falls back. Final warm up exercise is scapular retraction using a resistance band connected to door or pull up bar; keep your arms straight throughout this mobility exercise; either pull back on band while keeping arms straight and retracting shoulders, or pull shoulders up (arms straight) while hanging from pull up bar, again you are retracting your shoulders.

Exercises:
1. Around the World Pull Up (pulling up in a circular fashion; so pull up to right hand, move body to left hand and lower body; alternate sides)
2. Alt Hammer Curls (with on foot on plyo box)
3. Med Ball Renegade Row (one arm renegade row with other hand on medicine ball)
4. Band Bicep Curl (wrap band around one foot and do bicep curls)
5. Pull Up X (wide grip pull ups with legs held out wide)
6. Med Ball Renegade Curl 9Same as #3 except you do a bicep curl instead of a row)
7. Wide Leg Row Twist (need resistance band; sit on ground and wrap band around feet, hold both handles in one hand; one arm rows)
8. Balance Dumbbell Curl (dumbbell curls while sitting on stability ball)
9. Switch Grip Pull Up (2 pull ups/2 chin ups; keep alternating)
10. Romanian Band Curl (sit on stability ball and wrap resistance band around feet; alternate bicep curls bringing band across body, hand to opposite shoulder)
11. 21 Pull Up: 7 low pull ups (pulling yourself halfway up), 7 high pull ups (pull yourself all the way up to bar, then lower yourself halfway). 7 full pull ups
Water Break
12. Entman’s Chin Up (Chin up while holding medicine ball gripped between ankles)
13. Ball Preacher (preacher curls on medicine ball)
14. Stability Ball Lawn Mower (lawnmower rows while in one arm elbow plank on stability ball)
15. Renegade Roman Curl (two dumbbells; get into plank and alternate curling dumbbells to opposite shoulder)
16. Zip Kip Pull Up (pull ups holding body very straight)
17. High-Rep Balance Curl (30 bicep curls while standing on one leg; change leg after 125 curls)
18. Straight Arm Pull Over (one heavy dumbbell; lay on back on stability ball and do pull overs with dumbbell)
19. Renegade Hammer Curl (same as #15, but this time do hammer curls)
20. Zip Kip Chin Up (same as #16 except you are doing chin ups)
21 Close Body Curl (bicep curls keeping arms very close to sides of body so you bringing dumbbells up into arm pits)
22. Cross Fugly Pull Up (fast pull ups using body as momentum)

X2 Chest + Shoulders + Tris 48 minutes long and is the other bonus workout in this program. I didn’t like it as much as V Sculpt but it obviously goes hand in hand with V Sculpt, working the muscle groups that V Sculpt neglects. It is a solid workout and I did like it; just not nearly as much as V Sculpt. The warm up is 12 minutes and uses the stability ball and foam roller. The stretch is 4:30 minute and uses the stability ball. This workout is equipment heavy though there is always a limited equipment modifier who uses bands instead of dumbbells and a chair or nothing instead of all of the other equipment. Equipment needed for this workout is stability ball, foam roller, plyo box, mat, dumbbells or resistance band, medicine balls.

The warm up starts with the stability ball. You do twists, holding the ball and bringing it side to side. Squat, bringing stability ball overhead at bottom of squat. Side stretch with the ball overhead. Alternating reverse lunge bringing ball overhead while in lunge. Atlas; start with ball on ground to your side, grab ball and bring to ceiling on other side of body. Next is the foam roller. You will use the foam roller for 3 minutes to roll the whatever you wish; Tony and crew are doing their own thing so just follow them. This is probably more useful after doing Recovery & Mobility once. Next is Roller Angel; lay on your back on the foam roller and raise and lower your arms over your head then down into goal post. Roller Sphinx; get into low plank with forearms on foam roller. The rest of the warm up exercises use no equipment. World’s Greatest Stretch: get into runners lunge and twist body to each side, raising hand to ceiling, then changing legs. Inch Worm: bend at the waist (legs straight) and walk hands out until you are plank; walk feet to hands. Table: get in crab position, pressing hips up, head falls back.

Exercises:
1. Chattarocker Push Up (get into plank, go down into a chaturanga (or tricep push up) while down in bottom of chaturanga, step feet back and drop forearms to floor, push with feet back into bottom of chaturanga and push back up to high plank)
2. Strip Press 1 (overhead press with one foot resting on a plyo box or chair; use the heaviest dumbbells you can lift for 8 reps)
3. Strip Press 2 (same as #2, but drop to a lesser weight–another 8 reps)
4. Strip Press 3 (same as #2 & #3 but a lighter weight than #3–another 8 reps)
5. Tricep Extension on Stability Ball (skull crushers)
6. 3 Ball Extravaganza (push ups but with each hand on a medicine ball and both feet on one stability ball (so 3 balls total); do a push up and bring one knee in to elbow; alternate sides–you can do this with 2 medicine balls under hands and feet on ground, or do it in decline position with both feet on a chair or plyo box and hands on ground)
7. Callahan Press (rest one foot on plyo box or chair and bring dumbbells up into goal post arms; bring dumbbells together in front of body so elbows almost touch then return to goal post position and do overhead press; alternate these two moves)
8. Iron Man Kickback (tricep kickbacks while lying chest/torso on stability ball)
9. Push Up Side Arm Balance (2 stability balls, one under each hand; push up then rotate into side plank; alternate sides)
10. X2 Circle Fly (lay chest/torso on stability ball with very light or no dumbbells; hold dumbbells in front of you in a “Y” with straight arms and circle them; 15 seconds each direction)
11. 3 Ball Dip (tricep dips with each hand on a medicine ball and both feet on one medicine ball; you can do this with just your hands on medicine balls or you can find some way to have your feet and your hands elevated in other ways–with push ups stands, plyo box, chair, etc.)
Water Break then repeat all of the exercises

Performance Workouts:

P.A.P. Lower is 62 minutes long. 14 minute warm up that uses foam roller and 11 minute neuro-integrated stretch using resistance band. P.A.P. stands for Post-Activation Potentiation which translates into contrast training. Tho P90X2 came before Cathe‘s Ripped w/ HIIT, Ripped w/ HIIT is the first place I read about this technique (tho Cathe has been incorporating it in her workouts for many years). All it means is you perform a heavy loaded exercise, then follow it with an unloaded explosive equivalent of the same (or similar) movement pattern. P.A.P. Lower uses complexes of 4 exercises. The first is a weighted/loaded exercise, then you perform two different explosive/plyometric exercises (unloaded/no weights) and end with a bodyweight exercise. What is the point of P.A.P? To improve strength and power.

This was a pretty good workout. It was advanced and very challenging. It moved at a brisk pace so there is a cardio component as well. As for workouts based on the science of P.A.P., I prefer Cathe’s. IMHO her workouts just do the job better. However, this is a very good workout and one I will return to to mix things up.

Some of the equipment in this workout seems unnecessary to me. You need a plyo box, weights, resistance band, foam roller, tape on floor, 2 medicine balls. There is limited equipment modifier in this workout who does the entire workout with nothing but a towel. However, I think the plyo box (or high step at 14 inches, which is what I used) and dumbbells are necessary. The foam roller and resistance band are very useful in the warm up and cool down. The tape and medicine balls aren’t needed. The tape is on the floor and used as visual markers for you to jump over. Just use your imagination–that’s what Tony and the modifier did. The medicine balls are used for the same thing–markers; even more unnecessary than the tape IMHO. Also, I felt that exercise #2 in each complex should have been done longer. They are only done for a few reps; I think you would get much more benefit from doing more reps of that particular exercise in each complex. And actually, it is possible to add more reps. Though there isn’t a long rest time between exercises, you do get time, mostly for equipment set up and to get in place. So in the future I will just take on more reps.

The warm up for this workout is a bit different from the warm ups in the other workouts. It does contain some of the same exercises, but has some new ones mixed in. This warm up begins with heel walks, which is exactly what it sounds like: walk around on your heels. Next is feet smacks which is basically walking on the balls of your feet. World’s Greatest Stretch: get into runners lunge and twist body to each side, raising hand to ceiling, then changing legs. Inch Worm: bend at the waist (legs straight) and walk hands out until you are plank; walk feet to hands. Fire hydrant: get on all 4s and bring bent leg up in the back and circle into a fire hydrant move–bent leg to side. Scorpion: lay on stomach and bend and raise one leg, rolling it to the side while making sure to keep your shoulders on the ground. Groiners: wide jump mountain climbers (feet come outside of hands). Marching skippers (hop skipping). Leg swings using foam roller for balance. Speed slalom (jump side to side). Speed front/back hop. Lateral plyo skaters. The warm up ends with 3 minutes of foam rolling the lower body.

Complex 1:
1.  Power Step Up Convict (plyo box and dumbbells; a pendulum lunge on the box–so, while holding dumbbells, step onto box while raising other knee, then step off the box and do a reverse lunge)
2. Explosive Skater Plyo (8 reps)
3. Explosive One Leg Line Hop (on one leg hop side to side for 5 seconds and forward and back 5 seconds; repeat then change legs)
4. Isometric Tony’s Triangle (lay on side, bottom leg bent, top leg straight with toe directed down and heel directed up, start with straight leg behind body as far as it can go; raise leg to ceiling and hold for a second, then bring t the front of you, touching the ground with toe (so lifting leg in a triangle formation), then raise to ceiling again and hold for a second and bring back to start at back of body–do 5 each side)
Do this complex 4 times with no break between complexes then take a one minute water break before moving on to Complex 2

Complex 2:
1. Power Squat Cross Reach (one dumbbell and two medicine balls as markers; you will be on one leg, so one medicine ball is below the raised leg as a marker and the other is to the outside of the leg you are standing on; dumbbell is held on same side of body that has raised leg; do a one leg squat so that raised leg’s knee taps medicine ball then, while remaining in squat, reach dumbbell toward other ball, bring dumbbell back and stand)
2. Explosive Split Squat Jump (plyo jump lunges–6 reps)
3. Explosive Monster Slalom (jumping side to side–use tape on floor as marker–30 seconds)
4. Isometric Side Bridge Leg Lift (side plank with top leg raised; hold for 30 seconds each side)
Do this complex 4 times with no break between complexes

PAPupperP.A.P. Upper is 52 minutes long 13 minute warm up (uses foam roller and resistance band) and 6:30 minute stretch (uses stability ball). Holy cow this workout is incredible! So very challenging and exhausting! I must find a way to incorporate this workout more frequently. It was painful but clearly so effective. And the entire crew and Tony were suffering throughout this workout. It challenged everyone! P.A.P. stands for Post-Activation Potentiation which translates into contrast training; for more information on it see the description in the P.A.P. Lower review.

It is set up in the same way as P.A.P Lower–in 2 complexes of 4 exercises that you repeat 4 times with no break in between. This one focuses more heavily on isometric exercises than P.A.P. Lower does and man, do you ever feel it. This one also uses a ton of equipment. There is a limited equipment modifier personally, I like the equipment versions! Equipment used: foam roller, dumbbells (or resistance band), resistance band, pull up bar (or resistance band), two towels, plyo box (or chair), medicine ball, weighted bar (or towel, or resistance band) and stability ball.

The warm up in this workout is also different from the others in this program. It begins with heel walks, which is exactly what it sounds like: walk around on your heels. Next is feet smacks which is basically walking on the balls of your feet. Burpee salutation (sun salutation but add a burpee/push up). World’s Greatest Stretch: get into runners lunge and twist body to each side, raising hand to ceiling, then changing legs. Inch Worm: bend at the waist (legs straight) and walk hands out until you are plank; walk feet to hands. Scorpion: lay on stomach and bend and raise one leg, rolling it to the side while making sure to keep your shoulders on the ground. Groiners: wide jump mountain climbers (feet come outside of hands). 3 minutes of foam rolling your upper body. Roller Sphinx; get into low plank with forearms on foam roller. Plange push up which is just tricep push ups. Band pull apart; using a resistance band and holding the band portion with hands about a foot apart and palms to ceiling; pull band apart with straight arms until arms are wide. Atlas; start with ball on ground to your side, grab ball and bring to ceiling on other side of body.

Complex #1:
1. Power Renegade Row (10 rows (5 each side) and 10 push ups–so row, push up, row, push up, and so on)
2. Explosive Plyo Push Up (6)
3. Isometric Plank on Medicine ball (feet on ball, forearm plank, hold for 60 seconds)
4. Isometric Superman (holding weighted bar, or towel, or resistance band in front of you, hold superman for 45 seconds)
Do this complex 4 times with no breaks between complexes then take a 1:30 minute water break before continuing on to complex #2

Complex #2
1. Towel Pull Up (you need two towels and a pull up bar or resistance band attached to door; loop towels over pull up bar or through resistance band handles; grab a towel with each hand and do 10 pull ups, or 10 resistance band pulls)
2. Explosive Medicine Ball Pike (10 pike sit ups holding medicine ball)
3. Explosive Step Up Hammer Press (you need plyo box (or chair) and dumbbells; one foot rests on box while you do hammer curl to overhead press 5 times then change legs and do it 5 more times)
4. Isometric Roller Angel (these are the same roller angels you do in the stretch; lay on your back on the foam roller and raise and lower your arms over your head then down into goal post)
Repeat entire complex 4 times with no breaks

5 responses to “P90X2

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