27th November, 2012

What to expect in P90X Phase 1

This post is a summary of phase 1 of which covers week one through four.  My goal in writing this is to give you a brief overview of what to expect in phase one of the program.  Repeat this week three times and add a recovery week and phase one is complete!


I welcome all feedback.  Feel free to leave a comment here or !


Chest and Back, Ab Ripper X

Day one.  This is the first workout you will do in P90X.  This workout is all about pushups, chin ups and pulling some weights.  I like to use dumb bells and the chin up bar for this workout.  The bands are also quite effective.   The only tip I have for you on this workout is to keep your core muscles tight especially when lifting weights.  When doing the pushup moves tense your core, flex your butt and quads.  This will make the moves a bit tougher at first – but will help strengthen your core pretty quickly.  This is key.  The next day you will feel this workout your pectoral muscles, your lats, and your upper back.  15 minute Ab Ripper X follows this routine.



As Mr. Horton says in the beginning of this video “this is the mother of all X workouts”.  This is the most challenging workout in all of P90X.  If you can make it though this workout you are golden.  No equipment is needed for this workout other than a good pair of shoes that are made for jumping.  Tennis, court or cross trainers.  I get arch pain using my running shoes.  The first 10 minutes is stretch and warm up.  The first three sets are tough.  A lot of jumping.  When doing any move where your feet leave the ground keep your core tight and land softly on your toes – bending your knees.  This will protect your lower back and knees.  If you feel anything uncomfortable – stop jumping and modify the move.  If you have knee or lower back problems modify every move where your feet leave the ground.  Follow “Pam the Blam’s” lead.  If this workout is just too much for you at first swap in Cardio X for the first week.  The next day your chest and back will probably feel better – but your butt and thighs and calves will be sore.


If you want to make this workout easier – swap in Cardio X


If you want to make this workout more challenging – consider doing Plyometric Cardio Circuit or Max Interval Plyo.


Shoulders & Arms – Ab Ripper X

This workout is strait forward.  Shoulders, biceps, triceps.  Repeat.  The one thing that is key to remember is to keep your core tight especially when lifting weights or bands over your shoulders.  This will help prevent pulling something in your back or core.  15 minute Ab Ripper X follows this routine.



Yoga X

Ahhh the yoga.  This workout is 90 minutes.   Key to yoga is to breath through the discomfort.  Keep your core tight.  Ever week you should make it a little further.  If this workout is just too long consider stopping it around the 50 minute mark.  Around the 50 minute mark the “hard” stuff finishes up and it goes into flexibility mode.  When working on moves like Crane be very careful.  Don’t expect to be doing Crane the  first week.  Its possible that you may not be able to do Crane in the first phase.  You should be able to do brief periods of crane by phase 2.  Expect to fall forward or backwards when learning this.  Clear the area around you.  You could also consider picking and swapping in the X2 Yoga routine here.  It has a faster pace and wraps up in under 60 minutes.



Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X

This is a strait forward workout.  I have one warning however.  There is an exercise in this routine that has caused me an injury every time I’ve tried it – "Alternating Side Lunges".  Every time I’ve tried it in any cycle of P90X it has tweaked my hamstring in my upper inner thigh.  I’ve tried it with low weight even no weight and still I have noticed it pull my hamstrings.  At the least this can force me to skip the squat moves in the remainder of the workout at worst its put me out of commission for several days.  If you notice any discomfort doing this exercise stop and consider skipping it.  This could just be a strange problem for me – I’m interested in hearing your experiences with this exercise.  The next day expect your butt and thighs to be sore.  15 minute Ab Ripper X follows this routine.


Kenpo X

Lots of kicks.  Lots of punches.  Little bit of jumping.  This workout is pretty easy.  It works your core and cardio.  Make sure to keep your core tight while punching.  If your workout space is carpeted consider trying this without shoes but wearing socks.  Many of the exercises require you to twist your feet.  Wearing shoes can cause your shoes to catch on the carpet and maybe even wear out your carpet.



Rest or X Stretch

This your rest day.  If you can make time to do the stretch workout this will really increase your flexibility over the course of the cycle.   This is a very mellow workout and is short compared to the rest of the DVDs.  It focuses on flexibility and recovery.  If you’re really sore – this would be a good workout to do.


I will sometimes schedule  my cycles so that this day lands on a week day which gives me a little more flexibility in dealing with work.  On those weeks where life happens and I need to skip a workout I will use this day to make that workout up.  If you just want to take this day off do it!


Recovery Week

This week is lighter – and you’ve earned it!  The recovery week is really important.  You will start to really see changes occur in your body at the end of the recovery week.   After this brief rest its time for phase 2!


Dad. Nerd. Beachbody Coach. I've changed my world and I'd love to help you change yours.

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