P90X – It’s as Simple as Muscle Confusion

If you’ve seen the infomerical, you’ll probably recognize trainer Tony Horton as the designer and coach of the P90X workout DVDs.  For a guy who’s 52 years old, he’s an excellent example of what a healthy lifestyle can not only do for your body, but for your health in general.  The Power 90 X workout system is one of my favourite weight loss products out there because despite the gimmicky black box cover with Horton doing his “X” crossed arms, there is indeed an intelligent science behind his method.  What also makes this a great exercise tool is that you can in fact do this in the comfort of your living room or basement because it doesn’t require any fancy equipment.  Now you may think that the exercises can’t be that hard if you don’t have gym equipment, but believe me, they are!  What you should always remember though (like it says in the fine print of any exercise or weight loss program) is that you should always check with your family doctor before beginning any such program, and that you should always take full precaution with any previous history of illness or injury.  But other than that, here’s why this system is effective – in my medical opinion.

The first and foremost thing that P90X relies on is “Muscle Confusion”.  Our muscles in our body are very smart.  If we do the same exercises day in and day out, we develop “memory” in our body.  So when you go to do that exercise after about 1-2 weeks, your body suddenly says “Oh I remember this routine.. I’m gonna hold on and store enough energy so that I can keep up with this exercise so that I don’t change”. This is also known as the “plateau effect”. You can end up spending hours in a gym, or on the tread mill, and at the end of a few weeks realize that you look exactly the same.  However, when you introduce a new set of exercises every 1-2 weeks, your body doesn’t have time to memorize.  Now it says “Hey I don’t remember these movements… I guess I need to expend more energy to keep up with this”, and hence you burn more calories because you’re keeping your body confused.  The P90X system does just this and continues to offer new and harder exercises as you go along, not allowing your body to learn and memorize.

The second part of the system relies on nutrition.  Like any good exercise program, nutrition is about 50% of the battle.  You can do the most intense workout of your life, but if you don’t feed your body the proper fuel to keep up with that workout, it’s going to start to break down.  It’s like saying you want to drive from Toronto to Montreal, but instead of gas in your car, you fill it with water.  Just because the tank is full doesn’t mean it’s going to get you anywhere.  Same concept applies to exercise.  The biggest misconception is that in order to lose weight you need to eat less.  There is a HUGE difference between dieting and nutrition.  Diets starve our bodies and make them weaker, whereas proper nutrition makes our bodies stronger so that we can burn off more calories.  The P90X system also understands this change in body morphology and offers nutritional guidance to keep up with your bodies requirement.

Are there any downfalls to the system?  Well unfortunately, no system is perfect.  Let me go on the record by saying that nothing replaces a properly qualified personal trainer to work with you on a regular basis.  Because I have worked with personal trainers I know exactly the magnitude of difference one on one coaching makes when doing an exercise.  Basically, you can spend an hour doing an exercise incorrectly and get maybe 10% out of it, or you can do it correctly for 15 minutes and get 100% out of it.  You save time, risk of injury, and get better results.  A television can’t offer you that kind of guidance and that’s why Tony Horton has the fine print that says you can’t sue him.   Also, if you have certain dietary restrictions or can not eat certain foods, then the nutritional guide becomes limited and can limit your results.

Overall though, I would say that compared to most stuff out there, this program is definitely a good investment if you don’t have any serious medical setbacks, injuries, or dietary restrictions.  For about $120 plus shipping and handling you’ll get a great variety of exercises at various difficulties, a 90 day money back guarantee, and hopefully some success in the privacy of your own home.  The doctor gives Tony Horton’s Power 90X two flexed thumbs up.

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2 Responses to P90X – It’s as Simple as Muscle Confusion

  1. Khaiam says:

    the P90x system isn’t just the nutrition guide and workout! there’s also a package of vitamins you have to buy and a special nutrient drink as well as a mirad of suppliments you have to take after each workout. the sustem isn’t as simple as it seems. that’s why I offered to send you the intro video when I was talking about it the other night. you may want to make some ammendments to your article.


  2. Dr. Umar Dar says:

    Thank for the update! When I said that it was a simple system, I should have been a bit more clear and said that the basic concept of the system is quite simple and effective. You may also want to reference my article on supplements which explains how and why professional athletes and bodybuilders use them. I believe that for the best results (getting the hard six pac), the supplements and nutrition drinks are essential, and again another example of when supplements are a good investment. You will however achieve very good results with proper nutrition and the exercise program because of the type of “functional training” offered in this program.

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