*REGARDING THE TAPE*
I know I am going to get this question a lot, so please read here. To determine the length of tape, and how far apart each piece should be, you can find this information on the "WATCH THIS FIRST" DVD that is included when you PURCHASE P90X3.
When does it appear in the schedules?
P90X3 Classic Schedule: Phase 1, Weeks 1-3: Day 2. Phase 3, Weeks 9 & 11: Day 2
P90X3 Doubles Schedule: Phase 1, Weeks 1-3: Day 2. Week 4: Day 5. Week 8: Day 5. Phase 3, Weeks 9 & 11: Day 4
P90X3 Lean Schedule: Phase 1, Weeks 1-3: Day 6. Week 4: Day 5. Week 8: Day 5
P90X3 Mass Schedule: Phase 1, Weeks 1-3: Day 2. Week 4: Day 5. Week 8: Day 5. Phase 3, Weeks 10 & 12: Day 2
Welcome to Agility X, P90X3's athleticism routine. In this routine, you will encounter a number of very athletic movements through agility sequences, balance coordination, and plyometric exercises.
I know that this routine is listed as a "cardio" routine in the P90X3 series, and it will no doubt get people's heart rates up. But in my opinion, the real strengths in this routine lie in the athletic movements and sequences.
There is a great combination of exercises here. There are some great agility sequences that remind me of my college soccer days. There are some balance/coordination exercises, specifically designed to target mobility and balance. Then there are some familiar looking plyometric work, but with some added nuances that add a great dynamic and athletic spin to already-great movement patterns.
So many sports rely on not only explosive power in a vertical and/or horizontal plane, but rotational power is also needed, so it is nice to see a lot of those movement patterns added not only to the agility sequences, but the plyometrics as well.
The tape lines on the floor are used very well, so I highly recommend watching the "Watch this first" DVD that comes with your P90X3 kit to determine the length of tape, and distance between them on the floor.
You will actually need quite a lot of floor space in order to maximize the benefits from this routine. I have 4 foot pieces of tape, spaced 5 feet apart (seen in video, above). On top of the space needed for the tape, you will need to actually have space outside of the tape as you will be moving around the box created.
This is not really a problem for me, as I have the floor space needed, but I listed this as a con since I could see a lot of people simply not having the space needed to maximize the benefits from these sequences.
It would have also been nice to have a few agility ladder sequences in this routine, although not critical, as many of the movement patterns are duplicated with creative use of the tape.
As with any routine, the difficulty level is determined simply by effort you put forth. I will discuss how to maximize the benefits of this routine later on in the "Advice" section, but I will say that most exercises here 60 seconds in length, many of which has you moving as fast as you can go.
I found that, at times, I was clutching my knees, gasping for air, especially the first time through this routine. The nature of the exercises (power/explosiveness) works your anaerobic energy systems, causing you to fall into a post-exercise oxygen demand, or EPOC. Basically, your body attempts to recover from explosive exercise after you are done the 60 seconds.
I found that this routine was a great combination of movements, allowing you to recover enough between explosive exercises to maximize each exercise. This is not comparable to a top-notch, Max Insanity routine, but it shouldn't be. This routine is about athleticism and I found that the difficulty was right where it should be.
This is, of course, a 30 minute routine. 30 minutes gets you a short, couple minute workout at the start, followed by a 27 (or so) minute workout. Cool down is at the end, and lasts a few minutes, but is not actually included in the 30 minutes.
There are 18 exercises, each run for 60 seconds, short breaks in between each. No repeats here. The workout follows a pattern of alternating a plyometric exercise with either a balance/coordination/strength exercise or an agility sequence.
I like the fact that plyometrics are alternating, because as I said previously, plyometrics are power exercises, so you should actually have some recovery time in between them to allow your body to recover and maximize the explosive benefits.
I love the design of this workout, and as I said earlier, the rotational movement patterns that are added. I can definitely see myself doing this routine time and time again in the future, especially when training for specific events.
Workout Design: 5/5
My biggest fear with this routine is that most people will "miss the boat." If you are more concerned about burning calories and doing "cardio" (I use that term loosely), then I recommend you go and do Insanity.
I have nothing against Insanity, in fact it is one of, if not the toughest home workout program out there. However, Insanity is about moving your body around in a frantic manner in attempts to get your heart rate up high.
Having said that, Agility X will burn calories and it will work you hard, but the real goal of this routine is to improve athleticism and speed, but you must be open to using this routine to its fullest potential.
Every single movement you make in this routine, you should be focusing on contracting your muscles and moving your body as fast and as explosively as possible. During the agility sequencing, you should be making quick turns. When jumping, you should be attempting to jump through the roof. When you are landing, your goal should be to land with control and minimize ground contact time.
The goal of athlete training is not to just move in a linear direction as quickly as possible, if that were the case, every athlete would be a great sprinter. Instead, most sports rely on body control to explosively move in a direction, control their momentum to either stop and/or change direction as quickly as possible. That is where agility, combined with plyometric power come into play.
Here is a great explanation (and demonstration) of how speed and agility is accomplished. Remember, Agility X goes beyond just "working out," it is about "training!"
You will need a decent amount of floor space, and the right mindset to maximize your results from this routine, but if you have the space and right approach coming into this one, you should enjoy it as much as I do!
Overall Score (not an average): 9.5/10