Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Filtering by Category: P90X3

P90X3 Complex Lower Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to the Elite block of P90X3. The purpose of the Elite block of training is to take the strength and coordination built from the first 3 phases of P90X3 and make your muscles as athletic and dynamic as possible. Through a training style known as post-activation potentiation, you will use a repeating "complex" to train your muscles to perform better.

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P90X3 Complex Upper Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to the Elite block of P90X3. The purpose of the Elite block of training is to take the strength and coordination built from the first 3 phases of P90X3 and make your muscles as athletic and dynamic as possible. Through a training style known as post-activation potentiation, you will use a repeating "complex" to train your muscles to perform better.

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P90X, P90X2, P90X3 "X"-travaganza Hybrid

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I will be starting this hybrid Monday May 5th, 2014. Want to join me?

To be honest, most of you may look at this schedule and think, "That's it? What is so special about it?"

Time and time again, I have witnessed people having "analysis paralysis." (Don't worry, I've done this too!) This is common amongst people who use Beachbody's programs. As they build quite a "library" of workouts, the feeling is that they think they need to squeeze every single workout that they own into their schedule. Variation can be good to keep interest and enjoyment high when following a workout schedule, however, too much variation can lead to stagnation and lack of improvement in any one facet or area.

The good news is that you have lots of options with a schedule like this. There are days built into the schedule that naturally bring choice and variation, such as the "Cardio Option" day. This can be used for those of you who still wish to use workouts from other programs (Insanity, for example). However, after mulling over the schedule time and time again, I can't deny the sheer simplicity, yet effectiveness of the original P90X schedule. I combined that with some of the concepts used in the P90X2 schedule, and added in some of my favourite P90X3 workouts where I felt as though they fit the best.

Phases 2 and 3 also bring the opportunity for lots of choice. I can already tell that many of you are mad at me for using "30-15" from Tony's One on One series. Although this is not from P90X, X2, or X3, it is so very similar to the original Chest & Back from P90X, that I swapped this routine in instead. Why? Well, because that is what I wish to do. I actually prefer 30-15, and find it to be a superior workout to Chest &Back. Which brings me to my next point, common workout swaps.

During Phases 2 and 3, feel free to use any of the following "swaps" to suit your needs/desires. I would recommend that you use a same routine multiple times in order to improve on it specifically, however, if you wish to do P90X Chest & Back one week, P90X3 "The Challenge" the next week, and then P90X2 Chest, Back, and Balance the week after that, you aren't really hindering results or progress as you are working your chest and back every time.

The real beauty of your interest in this hybrid, however, is the ability to download my workout sheets/modifications.

I have modified the workouts in certain places (some more than others) to suit my interests the most. There are some pretty big changes, for example, in routines like 30-15, P90X Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps, and P90X Legs and Back. I have added in some free weight and dumbbell bench work to work my chest and legs more and in different ways. I have swapped some pull-ups for weighted barbell and dumbbell work, and I have swapped out some "outdated" exercises from some of the workouts that are better suited with something else.

The nice part about being a part of my team and making me your Team Beachbody Coach, is that I can help you with these modifications, and you can ask me questions on how you can either modify these workouts the same way, or make changes that suit/fit your needs as well!

Common workout swaps:

30-15

P90X Chest and Back
P90X2 Chest, Back, and Balance
P90X3 "The Challenge"

P90X Shoulders and Arms

P90X2 Shoulders and Arms
One on Ones Diamond Delts and Just Arms
One on One Shoulders and Arms MC2

P90X Back and Biceps

P90X2 V Sculpt
One on One V Sculpt

P90X Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps

P90X2 Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps
One on One UBX

Hybrid Reasoning/Theory:

Phase 1, the foundation phase, is taking a page out of P90X2's (and X3's) book. Here, the goal is to become stable and strong from not only the core, but from the hips and shoulders as well. These are main locations where your body generates power and strength from, so if we can get these areas strong and resilient, then we will be able to excel that much more during the strength phases.

P90X3's schedule has Agility X prior to Triometrics. I personally think Triometrics is a better "lead-in" routine, as it has less tried and true "plyometric" exercise, and more leg strengthening and stability. You no doubt get a good leg burn in Triometrics, but it is more about stabilization than plyo and performance, so I have moved it to the first phase.

Phase 2 and 3, the strength phases, are intended to take the stability and core strength developed from the first phase, and translating them into better strength and endurance output. If you are looking for a bit more balance and coordination work, this is the time to try replacing my selections in the schedule for the P90X2 strength routines instead (Chest, Back, and Balance in place of 30-15 for example).

P90X2's Plyocide is paired with Legs & Back to improve the strength and stability of the legs first before progressing to Phase 3 where there will be 2 plyo sessions per week with both Agility X and Base & Back. Although Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps has been almost completely re-worked in my adaptation (download link above), I still like this routine because of the pacing and breakdown. Many of the same exercises are there, I just made some smart choices along the way that suit my needs.

Phase 4 is all about performance. It is not time to take the core stability that has been achieved in Phase 1, along with the added strength developed in Phases 2 and 3 to then make your muscles dynamic and as useful as possible. I absolutely love the post activation potentiation routines, but I can see not everyone wanting to shell out the cash for P90X3's Elite DVD, so you can use the P90X3 workouts "Eccentric Upper" and "Eccentric Lower" in place of "Complex Upper" and "Complex Lower."

The Transition Weeks have a little bit of everything. There is some upper body resistance (Incinerator), some total body conditioning and resistance (X2 Core, Core Synergistics), some cardiovascular exercise (Accelerator), not to mention some low-impact stabilization (Isometrix). This is to give your body a bit of a break from the gruelling work during each Phase, yet keep your fitness level high to progress into the next phase. The P90X3 workouts are especially great for a transition week because they are efficient enough to be intense, but not too long to hinder recovery.

Closing Thoughts

I have been spending quite a bit of time "bulking" lately, doing some heavy resistance training along with Body Beast. For those of you who have been somewhat following me will know that I have been dealing with a heart condition known as Atrial Flutter. I had a procedure done to correct it back in January of this year (2014), but during the lead up to my procedure, I just wasn't mentally "into" doing strenuous cardiovascular activity.

Now that my heart is all fixed up, and I have reached my heaviest weight I have ever been, it is time to get back to overall fitness and strength training rather than just trying to put on weight. Sitting down, discussing these plans with my wife, we both said, "P90X really is just such a great all-around program!"

Then it dawned on me, that is what I will use as my cornerstone for this program, and use the P90X2 and P90X3 routines to round it out to be the best program/hybrid I have ever done. I can't wait to get started!

Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have with the program.





P90X3 X3 Ab Ripper Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to P90X3's core-centric routine. It may be a big surprise to most, but X3 Ab Ripper does not appear in the regular P90X3 schedule. Inevitably, questions will be raised as to whether or not this routine is "worth" the extra cost, so between this review, along with my reviews for Complex Upper and Complex Lower (Elite DVD), you can decide for yourself whether or not you wish to purchase.

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When should you add Ab Ripper X/X2/X3 into the P90X3 schedule?

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Well, since P90X3's release, I have had this question probably more than any other. I figured I might as well throw my thoughts into a blog so that I can direct people here when I will inevitably get asked again in the future.

Below, you will find each of the P90X3 Schedules and when I believe you could slot Ab Ripper X3 into it. If, however, you don't have Ab Ripper X3, feel free to use either the original Ab Ripper X, Ab Ripper X2, or some other ab/core routine that you wish to use.

First though, a couple thoughts:

  1. P90X3 is very "synergistic" in nature. Nearly every single workout has lots of core engagement that works your abs and core while synergistically working other areas of your body.
     
  2. Keep in mind that seated or prone crunches are quite "outdated." Even within the past 10 years since P90X was released, we have more information as to what builds a strong core. Your core is by far one of the most activated muscle groups in your body on a day to day basis. Nearly every single action you do on a day-to-day basis engages and activates your core. Sitting or laying on the floor to work your abs is fine and all, but what I am trying to say is that there are far better ways to work your core and improve your overall midsection. Which brings me to point #3...
     
  3. I believe that most people ask me when to use Ab Ripper X3 with their regular P90X3 schedules because they believe that working their core will give them a "6-pack." Although this isn't entirely untrue, remember that unless you are terribly, terribly out of shape and sedentary, then you already have a six-pack...it's just hidden under some body fat. In order to get a defined midsection, a well-rounded exercise program (like P90X3) and a healthy diet, specific to your goals and needs, is what will reveal your abs.

Despite reminding people this, most are still insistent on doing more core work, so since it isn't necessarily detrimental to your overall goals to add a 15 minute core routine every couple of days, here is how I would add in some bonus core work:

Classic Schedule

Phase 1

Total Synergistics
Agility X
X3 Yoga + X3 Ab Ripper
The Challenge
CVX + X3 Ab Ripper
The Warrior
Dynamix

Phase 2

Eccentric Upper
Triometrics
X3 Yoga + X3 Ab Ripper
Eccentric Lower
Incinerator
MMX + X3 Ab Ripper
Dynamix

Phase 3

Weeks 9 & 11

Decelerator
Agility X
The Challenge + X3 Ab Ripper
X3 Yoga
Triometrics
Total Synergistics + X3 Ab Ripper
Dynamix

Weeks 10 & 12

Decelerator
MMX + X3 Ab Ripper
Eccentric Upper
Triometrics
Pilates X
Eccentric Lower
Dynamix

Doubles Schedule

Phase 1

Total Synergistics
Agility X + Dynamix
X3 Yoga + X3 Ab Ripper
The Challenge
CVX + X3 Ab Ripper + Dynamix
The Warrior
Dynamix

Phase 2

Eccentric Upper + Accelerator
Triometrics + Dynamix
X3 Yoga + X3 Ab Ripper
Eccentric Lower + CVX
Incinerator + Isometrix
MMX + X3 Ab Ripper + Dynamix
Dynamix

Phase 3

Weeks 9 & 11

Decelerator + Accelerator
MMX + Pilates X
The Challenge + X3 Ab Ripper
X3 Yoga + Agility X
Triometrics + Isometrix
Total Synergistics + X3 Ab Ripper
Dynamix

Weeks 10 & 12

Decelerator + Accelerator
CVX + Pilates X
Eccentric Upper + MMX
Triometrics + Isometrix
X3 Yoga + CVX
Eccentric Lower + Dynamix
Dynamix

Lean Schedule

Phase 1

Accelerator
The Warrior
X3 Yoga + X3 Ab Ripper
CVX
Isometrix + X3 Ab Ripper
Agility X
Dynamix

Phase 2

Triometrics
The Warrior
X3 Yoga + X3 Ab Ripper
MMX
Incinerator
CVX + X3 Ab Ripper
Dynamix

Phase 3

Weeks 9 & 11

Decelerator
MMX + X3 Ab Ripper
Eccentric Lower
X3 Yoga
Triometrics
Eccentric Upper + X3 Ab Ripper
Dynamix

Weeks 10 & 12

MMX + X3 Ab Ripper
Decelerator
Triometrics
Pilates X
Decelerator
CVX
Dynamix

Mass Schedule

Phase 1

Total Synergistics
Agility X
X3 Yoga + X3 Ab Ripper
The Challenge
Pilates X
Incinerator
Dynamix

Phase 2

Eccentric Upper
Eccentric Lower
X3 Yoga + X3 Ab Ripper
Eccentric Upper
Eccentric Lower
MMX + X3 Ab Ripper
Dynamix

Phase 3

Weeks 9 & 11

Eccentric Upper
Eccentric Lower
X3 Yoga + X3 Ab Ripper
Eccentric Upper
Eccentric Lower
MMX + X3 Ab Ripper
Dynamix

Weeks 10 & 12

Total Synergistics
Agility X
X3 Yoga + X3 Ab Ripper
The Challenge
Pilates X
Incinerator
Dynamix





P90X3 Incinerator Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Although one of the most underused routines in the P90X3 schedule, Incinerator will more than likely become one of everyone's favourites. This routine uses weighted resistance exercises, alternating with body weight "burnouts."

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P90X3 Eccentric Lower Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to Phase 2 of the P90X3 Classic Schedule. "Eccentric" means muscle lengthening, so for example, lowering yourself into a squat under control. This routine uses a 3 count eccentric action with an explosive concentric muscle contraction (muscle shortening). Your muscles are stronger during eccentric movements, so it is a great way to increase "time under tension" to improve strength, durability, and hypertrophy!

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P90X3 Triometrics Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to Triometrics. The "tri" prefix is for 3 levels of intensity. This workout smokes your lower half by using 60 second intervals, varying amongst three levels of intensity in 20 second intervals.

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P90X3 Eccentric Upper Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to Phase 2 of the P90X3 Classic Schedule. "Eccentric" means muscle lengthening, so for example, lowering yourself from your chin-up bar under control. This routine uses a 3 count eccentric action with an explosive concentric muscle contraction (muscle shortening). Your muscles are stronger during eccentric movements, so it is a great way to increase "time under tension" to improve strength, durability, and hypertrophy!

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P90X3 Pilates X Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to P90X3 Pilates X. Like yoga in the original P90X, Pilates X may be an introduction into Pilates for many of you. Although it may be very difficult and frustrating for many of you are first, give it some time and allow yourself to improve over time with this one.

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P90X3 Isometrix Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

As Tony mentions, Isometrix is all about taking the toughest sequences from Yoga, and putting them in this routine. Absolutely zero impact, as the goal of this routine is to keep your body as still and motion-free as possible while engaging your stabilization muscles throughout your body.

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P90X3 Accelerator Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Accelerator is a no-equipment cardio routine that plays around with varying speeds. Get ready to shred up your core with a number of planks, along with fast-moving, total-body cardiovascular exercises. This is one very enjoyable routine!

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P90X3 "The Challenge" questions and discussion about hypertrophy, break periods, sets and reps

Our team struck up a conversation in our P90X3 Challenge Group the other day, I figured I would share with my blog readers.

I noticed something today in the Challenge. Taking shorter breaks causes the "pump" to arise faster and stay longer after the workout. Is that just me or am I being crazy? It took me longer to recover from the workout as well compared to X and X2 versions of Chest and Back. Usually by the end of the cool down my pump has subsided from where it was in the middle and my heart rate is back down. Not with the Challenge. I noticed it last week too but this is the only one I have noticed it with. So I was wondering if anyone else noticed their pump lingering and heart rate higher than what they would consider their normal resting heart rate? Like 20-25 minutes after.

Alright, when it comes to rest periods, anything under 30 seconds rest is considered "Endurance." 30-90 seconds rest is "hypertrophy" and so on. Since this is circuit training, you are alternating muscle groups, so while one works, the other "rests." So, technically, after a set of pull-ups, by the time you do your push-ups, take a quick rest, and then get back to the pull-ups, you have fallen right in that "hypertrophy" zone. A workout like Chest & Back ends up lengthening this time frame from "back" set to "back" set by a longer period of time. Not only that, but the repeat only happens after 12 different sets in C&B whereas in The Challenge, you repeat right away, blasting the same muscles again.

As for the heightened heart rate, that is known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) - scientists make acronyms for everything by the way!

Basically, your body uses 2 forms of energy production - aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen). It isn't a definitive switch from aerobic to anaerobic, but more of a combination of both at any given time. As long as your body is able to keep up with energy demands by breathing fast enough, then you will stay in aerobic (walking, light jogging, etc.). As soon as you really start to push the pace, your heart rate and breathing will increase in pace, but you will eventually reach a point when your heart rate and breathing can't keep up.

*NOTE* - One exception to this rule. When you have to generate a lot of force or power (i.e. lifting a very heavy weight), your body uses anaerobic metabolism.

For a routine like The Challenge, your body just can't keep up with the demands of cranking out reps with such little break, so you end up with a backlog of oxygen demand. Think of it as an assembly line in a factory. As you get backlogged, you start writing "I-O-U's." So, when the workout is over, your breathing and heart rate stay elevated to pay back all of those I-O-U's. The more you push yourself, the more I-O-U's you have to pay back.

Is it fair to say that this (The Challenge) is a better hypertrophy workout than Chest and Back because of the way you blast your upper body? Also, could I use the information of I-O-U's to determine how hard I push myself? The longer it takes for my heart rate to recover the harder I pushed myself kind of way?

Yes, I would say it is better than Chest & Back for creating a "pump" because your breaks are shorter, although both are probably pretty equivalent in the "hypertrophy" department. The optimal rep range for hypertrophy is 6-12, so by cranking out pushups and pull-ups, you are actually working your muscular endurance more. As for the IOU's, the more you do a specific routine, your body will get better at recovering faster than before. This is your body's way of adjusting to the demands.

So if my reps turn out to be less than what they're all doing, I could achieve the same thing by fast forwarding to the next move if I finish early?

Let's elaborate a bit. Your muscles are all made up of 2 different types of fibers, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 are Aerobic, have good "lasting" properties (can work for long periods of time) although don't generate much force.

Type 2 fibers are MORE anaerobic, can generate greater forces, although aren't as good for long periods of time. With a routine like The Challenge, you are working both types of fibers. Again, both types of fibers may be "working" at any given time, but more emphasis gets placed on one type over the other at certain points depending on the work being done.

With a routine like the Challenge, although Type 2 fibers are more anaerobic in nature, you can actually transition Type 2 fibers to become more aerobic, or more "efficient." Type 2 fibers have a series of "sub-types" within. So, they can perform better at a routine like The Challenge and become better at aerobic metabolism, but will lose a bit of overall strength in the process (ability to generate large amounts of force).

So, this is where a program like Body Beast (or any hypertrophy-based program) comes into play, and what I have attempted to teach people in the past. By putting on mass, you aren't just trying to become a body builder, but increasing the size of your muscle fibers so that when you do a routine like The Challenge, you can "transition" those type 2 fibers to become more aerobic and therefore, theoretically do better than you have before - improvement!

Just to note, everyone is born with a specific ratio of Type 1 to Type 2 fibers. This NEVER changes. So, this is why some people are just naturally born as better endurance runners and some others are better at generating strength/power (i.e. football players).

Whether you are doing the "Classic" or "Mass" schedule, however, think of The Challenge as a preparation routine for further strength and size gains down the road. The Challenge is designed to get you at least competent at push-ups and pull-ups. When you enter Phase 2, you will then start doing routines like "Eccentric Upper" which is designed to increase "time under tension" and therefore elicit some hypertrophy gains.

So think of The Challenge like a University course - Muscle Building 101. You would then enter phase 2 - Muscle Building 201. If you have even a decent level of fitness, then jumping into phase 2 would be fine, however, you will maximize your benefits by following the schedule as-is.