P90X2 X2 Core Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review
My original video review (January 8th 2012)
Welcome to P90X2. X2 Core will more than likely be your first sampling of P90X2, so be ready for core engagement 101! This routine has 17 exercises following a dynamic warmup, coming in at about 56 minutes total run time. Although you may be used to kicking things off with Chest & Back on day of the original P90X schedule, think of day 1 and phase 1 of P90X2 as your practice and training session to prepare you for the strength training found in phase 2.
P90X2 takes the adage that you can't shoot a cannon out of a canoe. What this means is that in order to be a strong, capable athlete who can perform better during your training sessions, not to mention every day life, you need to have a good solid base. Phase 1 of P90X2 is all about starting to build that solid base.
This routine will be very polarizing for many who try it. For those of you who have good core stability and control may actually find this routine "easy" or pointless. However, those of you who are new to core training may find this routine to be very difficult and discouraging. Either way, stick with it, as I am sure this will help you focus on getting better in some way.
I really enjoy the dynamic warmups in P90X2. Sure, they may seem long to some of you, but remember that in order to train dynamically, you must warm up your body appropriately to engage the muscles that will be trained to maximize the potential from the workout.
This routine isn't too bad, but the introduction into P90X2 can and will be very humbling/frustrating for a lot of people. It will take some time to "build-up" to the intensified versions of these exercises.
If you have balance issues or are not engaging your core properly, some of these exercises may seem too easy or far too difficult. Use my video below, as well as the Coaching in the workout itself to focus on modifying exercises so that you can intensify over time.
I am not a big fan of the "X2 Diver" exercise in this routine. Personally, I think it seems a bit out of place in this routine. To have you catch yourself in a push-up position on the very first day of the program seems a bit extreme. I discuss this in my video below, and show a way to modify.
This, along with a lot of the other P90X2 workouts, will actually become more and more difficult the more you do them and the better you get at the exercises. A lot of these exercises have a decent learning curve to them so for example, the first few times you do it, you may only be able to get a couple reps of a specific exercise before you have to modify to finish.
As your skill level increases and you become better at a given exercise, you will then be able to do more repetitions, therefore increasing the intensity of the workout.
This is definitely a different routine than what one may be used to on day 1 of Beachbody's other programs like P90X or even Insanity. This is not a muscle scorching or even a hardcore cardio-esque routine. Instead, it is designed to systematically build up your skill and core strength so that you can maximize your results during Phase 2.
Having said that, this routine is difficult enough in its own ways, especially to folks who are new to this kind of training.
All P90X2 workouts have lengthy, dynamic warmups designed to prep the body for the athletic training. I am glad to see Beachbody do away with the rather outdated static stretching found in P90X, for example. Instead, by warming the body up dynamically, you are better prepared to move in a variety of planes athletically and therefore maximize your training.
The workout itself is split up into 17 straight exercises with very little break in between each one.
This routine is not intended to have you laying on the ground doing crunches all day (that idea is also out-dated), nor will it crank your heart rate through the roof, but there are a list of exercises here to get your body used to the idea of engaging the core.
For majority of the people doing this routine, there will be a lot of new and interesting exercises here to keep you interested!
Workout Design: 5/5
Have a towel nearby to ensure that your hands are dry. You will be doing push-ups on stability balls and medicine balls, it is dangerous to do so with wet hands.
Make every single repetition count! This is not a routine designed to go for max reps necessarily, instead, you want to focus on engaging your core and listening to the cues in the workout as well as any tips I can give you in the video below to maximize every single exercise.
Form is king.
If you reach a point where you can do full reps with great form, then don't be afraid of adding extra reps in to increase intensity. Do not rush things, however.
As I said, this is not the most difficult or crushing routine by any stretch of the imagination. However, this routine has its purpose in the P90X2 schedule, and that is so that you can practice properly engaging your core, not to mention working on some of these balance and coordination elements and movement patterns so that you can maximize your results from Phase 2 and 3.