The P90X is engineered to get maximum results in a relatively short period of time. I've said it numerous times: "you get exactly out of this program what you put into it." If you press "Play" ninety times and follow the nutrition guide, you'll be thoroughly amazed by your results. I certainly was by mine!
That said, people often and unknowingly hamper their results, even with the best of intentions. It's so disappointing to see this happen to people who are otherwise giving their "all," because I know how hard it is to do so day-in, day-out.I I recently used a broad range of analysis to determine an unofficial estimate of people who start the program versus people who actually finish it. My conclusion? As best as I could tell, less than 2 people in 10 who start P90X actually finish the program and become a "graduate." I think falling into one of the below "pitfalls" is ultimately the undoing of most people who start the P90X.
By a mile, this is Pitfall Number 1. So many people I coach come to me with inadequate diets, actually thinking that they're doing the right thing. It's not their fault – the "right" thing is actually counter-intuitive! ("eat more to lose more") I've discussed this in other blog entries and articles, but "starvation mode" is a dieter's biggest enemy. People who are doing the P90X (or any exercise program really) want results fast, and therefore they eat less and less, with the belief that this will encourage weight and/or fat loss quickly. Actually, the opposite occurs. When your body isn't provided the nutrition it needs, it believes it's being starved and begins a "self-preservation" process, limiting the usage of stored body fat as fuel. This can go on for weeks, or often times longer than someone's desire to continue the program when they're not seeing results. Inevitably, they become "dropouts."
This is also very common. The P90X is an extreme program. It will test your mental and physical limitations (and also expand them farther than you ever thought possible!). Too often, people who do get past those first 30 days and start to see visible results, start pushing too hard. I really had to reign myself in from doing this. Pay attention to this next part: I got my Round 1 results by doing just what the program called for – no more and no less. Until the end of Week 12 and during Week 13, I never did any extra work outside of whatever that day's workout was. People who start to see results get excited (and rightfully so) and push harder and harder. This is unnecessary and risks developing injuries and/or "burnout." The P90X is a proven program and is designed to have you "peak" at Day 90 – Trust It!
"Perceived Exertion." That is a term used to describe when you think you're pushing yourself hard, but really aren't. This happens more often than you'd think. To get extreme results in a 90-day period, believe me when I say this, you have to push yourself hard during those 60-some minutes of the workouts. Hard.
I would strongly recommend two things to ensure that you're "Bringing It."
1) Invest in a heart rate monitor – they're "money." During Phases 2 and 3, especially during the "cardio" workouts, I would monitor my HR religiously, and anything below about 144 or so and I knew I had to step it up.
2) Use those charts! During every workout, before each exercise, I would look and see what I had done before and then make it a mental challenge to better that effort. I'd grit my teeth, shout out if I had to (scaring the dog occasionally) but always did either more repetitions or pushed more weight than the previous time. In Round 2, when this got even harder to do, I introduced a weighted-vest to my routines, and that really brought up the level. Bottom line: don't remain stagnant, always try to improve and your body will always be trying with you.
Well there it is folks. I push the people I coach, and am constantly upon them about these three things (right TXF'ers?). If these three "pitfalls" can be avoided, I truly believe you're much more likely to become a P90X "graduate."
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