P90X3 CVX Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review
When does it appear in the schedules?
P90X3 Classic Schedule: Phase 1, Weeks 1-3: Day 5. Week 4: Day 5. Week 8: Day 5
P90X3 Doubles Schedule: Phase 1, Weeks 1-3: Day 5. Phase 2, Weeks 5-7: Day 4. Phase 3, Weeks 10 & 12: Days 2 & 5
P90X3 Lean Schedule: Phase 1, Weeks 1-3: Day 4. Phase 2, Weeks 5-7: Day 6. Phase 3, Weeks 10 & 12: Day 6
P90X3 Mass Schedule: N/A
CVX is a cardio resistance routine. In this routine, you will be jumping, lunging, twisting, and squatting, all with a weight in your hand. Choose your weight wisely, because if you choose too light, you may not get as much of a burn. Choose too heavy and you won't make it to the end!
There are a lot of basic movements in this routine, many of which may seem too "basic" if you are just previewing this workout for the first time. However, with a weight in your hand, and the length of time used for the intervals, you are going to be getting a nice burn in your muscles while firing up your heart rate.
This routine is very efficient. You progress through 60 second intervals with very little rest. Assuming you choose the right resistance, you will be burning up your muscles in no time!
There are a nice collection of exercises here to cover your upper body, lower body, as well as recruiting much of the core.
For some reason, this routine skips the warmup. I am not sure if this is because it runs a bit late and they edited the warmup out later, but this may be the day you want to use "Cold Start" beforehand. You are using a light resistance with lots of repetition so it is not entirely needed, but some people may want an extra bit of warming up prior to starting.
This routine, at least in the Classic Schedule, comes up the day after The Challenge. If you are like me, you are always pretty sore the day after a chest and back thrashing, even in the shoulders. With so much shoulder emphasis in this routine, it can be a bit troublesome, so make sure you don't go too crazy with the weight that you choose.
Only a con for those of you who have Tony's Medicine Ball Core Cardio, but if you already have that routine, this one will be much of the same.
From what I can remember, every single exercise in this routine comes from Med Ball Core Cardio, although the structure of the workout is slightly different. Even for those of us who own Medicine Ball Core Cardio, however, you should still enjoy this routine!
I know I sound like a broken record here, but this routine is only as hard as you make it. Obviously if you choose a light weight, or no weight at all, this routine will seem easy. This is not Insanity where you are flailing your body around, moving your limbs and torso as fast as you possibly can, these are (for the most part) slow, controlled movements with a weight in your hands, so you are aiming for a weight that will be challenging to you and that you can safely take through a full range of motion.
The pacing of this routine is what keeps things interesting as well. There are very few breaks, and the breaks you do get are quite short. Your heart rate is elevated throughout. I cannot stress this enough - a high heart rate does not indicate intensity/difficulty, remember that.
No warmup here, you just straight into the action. This workout is set up with exercises in 'sets' of 3. So for a set, you would do 3 back to back to back exercises, each lasting 60 seconds, then immediately repeat all 3. After the set is over, you then move on to the next set. That means 6 minutes of work before a very short break.
There are 4 sets total, although you run out of time on the last set, so when you repeat the exercises, they are done for 30 seconds each instead of a minute during a "Burnout" phase.
The first time through all 3 exercises of a set, Tony has you going at a 'medium' pace and range of motion. When you come back and repeat the exercise, you then have short bursts of deeper range of motion and/or faster pace. These bouts of increased intensity generally don't last longer than about 20 seconds or so, and are called out by Tony.
There are a good variety of exercises here, as I said earlier, covering all areas of your body. Two areas you are guaranteed to feel it the most, I would say, is in your legs and shoulders. Definitely your shoulders!
There really isn't anything 'sexy' or crazy in this routine. It is a more of a "utility" routine, where you need to get 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise and get on with your day.
Workout Design: 4.5/5
So the million dollar question heading into this routine is, "What weight should I use?" Just to give you an idea of weight selection, Traci uses a 5lb dumbbell, Lauren uses a basketball (less than a pound?), and Keith uses a 10lb dumbbell.
Most men will probably fall between 5-10lbs and most women will probably be between 2-8lbs. I have used as much as a 12lb medicine ball when doing Medicine Ball Core Cardio (essentially the same routine) in the past, but those intervals were 30 seconds each, whereas CVX has you doing each exercise for a minute.
The first week I did this routine, I used a 4kg med ball (8.8lbs) and then in week 2 I used a 10lb dumbbell. I actually found the 10lb dumbbell slightly easier. I chalk this one up to being able to hold on to the dumbbell easier. With a med ball, you are actually using more energy/strength trying to grip and hold on to the ball, whereas with a dumbbell, you can just hold it in your hands.
Either way, don't let your ego get in the way, if you choose a weight that is too heavy, drop it and continue on with something lighter. Full range of motion, form, and safety are more important than how much weight you are using.
This routine is a great compliment to Agility X from earlier in the week. Agility X is mostly about lower body agility and plyometrics while getting your heart rate up, whereas CVX is mostly about upper body cardio-resistance, also getting your heart rate up.
As I said previously, there really isn't anything glamorous or exciting with this routine, but it is great at getting the job done. 30 minutes of muscle burning, heart-pumping fun.
Overall (not an average): 9/10