Tyler Robbins Fitness

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

Filtering by Tag: P90X2

P90X2 Plyocide Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

My original video review (January 9th 2012)

Equipment Needed

Cast

Roberto

Mark

Traci

Worksheet

Introduction

Welcome to P90X2! You will first encounter Plyocide on day 2 of the P90X2 schedule. Tony refers to this routine as "Death by Jumping!" This is a performance based routine with some balance and cardiovascular elements sprinkled in.

Plyometrics is arguably one of the most popular routines from the original P90X program, so it was natural for me to be excited to give this one a try. One thing most people don't realize, however, is that although the title may suggest it, the original P90X Plyometrics doesn't have that many tried and true "plyometric exercises" in it. This routine focuses more on the explosive nature of true plyometric training.

Pros

There is a good combination of balance, plyometric, and cardiovascular-based exercises here. If you truly push yourself, especially on the explosive movements, then you will get your heart rate soaring!

Unlike the original Plyo-X, this routine doesn't have any repeat exercises. I like the fact that the routine keeps rolling and keeps you interested throughout.

The pacing is perfect, as there are blocks of exercises that keep your heart rate up, but at the same time gives you quick enough breaks to recover a bit to get the most out of the plyometric exercises.

The end of the routine also has a great stretching sequence using Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching.

Cons

This is not a cardiovascular blaster of a routine to the likes of Insanity or Asylum. Keep in mind that that is not necessarily the point, however. Instead, this routine is based on sports performance and explosiveness (plyometrics). For that purpose, this routine gives ample resting periods to make sure you maximize your potential during the sequences that require 100% effort.

This routine falls a bit short on time. If you are coming off a program like Insanity or Asylum this routine will feel short, but again, with performance in mind, this routine is just about right in my opinion.

Difficulty

This routine is broken up into 4 main "classes" of exercises: balance, strength, plyometric or explosive, and cardiovascular.

Plyometrics can be very high impact, especially if you are trying to maximize every movement, so that will definitely get your heart rate soaring if you are pushing yourself during your reps.

The more cardio-based or agility sequences are a bit less impact, but they are more about speed and increasing your heart rate. Since these exercises are only 60 seconds long, you should be pushing yourself to the limit and should be exhausted by the time that timer runs out.

As I have said above, this is not as difficult as an Insanity or Asylum routine, but difficult enough in its own ways, especially if you are pushing yourself (like you should) to get 100% explosiveness on every plyometric movement.

Difficulty: 5/5

Workout Design

This routine begins with the typical P90X2 dynamic warm-up.

You progress through 5 "rounds" of 4 exercises per round. Each round has 1 of each "element" thrown in - balance, strength, plyo, cardio.

The pacing is perfect in my opinion, giving you time to rest and recover when needed in order to maximize your potential during the plyometric movements.

I really enjoyed the plyometric exercises in this routine, as they are more plyometric in nature and designed to increase sports performance when compared to a routine like the original Plyo-X.

It is also great having the PNF stretch sequencing at the end of the routine. It is a great way to cool down and maximize your stretching potential.

I think even one more round of 4 exercises would've made this a nearly perfect routine as it does feel a bit short, but definitely an enjoyable routine!

Workout Design: 4.5/5

Advice

For more information on PNF stretching, go here.

Overall

Most people need to realize that the original Plyometrics from P90X is no entirely "plyometric" there is actually quite a few exercises in that routine that are NOT plyometric.

I think they were trying to design a routine here that is part plyometric, part cardio, and then a bit of balance for more core/athletic training.

Plyometric exercises place a LOT of strain/stress on the joints so more recovery time between plyometric exercises is needed.

Having said all of that, I personally really enjoy this routine and am always dripping with sweat and pretty spent by the end.

Overall: 9.5/10





P90X2 X2 Core Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

My original video review (January 8th 2012)

Equipment Needed

Cast

Dale

Taylor

Barbie

Worksheet

Introduction

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Difficulty

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.

Difficulty: 4/5

Workout Design

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

Advice

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Form is king.

  4. 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.

Overall

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.

Overall: 8/10





Train Like a German Soccer Star

I came across this fantastic article over at the New York Times the other day. The article discusses some of the theory and practice behind training a World Cup winning soccer (football) team. Beyond a few points that I will point out below, the article is cool to read through, especially if you are interested in not just working out, but training. There are small hints at periodizational training, macro, meso, and micro cycles, recovery, mobility, etc. Basically, a way for fitness nerds to nerd out.

Mr. Verstegen, the founder and president of EXOS, a Phoenix-based company that trains professional and recreational athletes and corporate executives, was appointed in 2004 by Jurgen Klinsmann, then the coach of the German team and now the United States coach. He was brought in to improve the players’ fitness, agility, nutrition and resilience. At the time, the Germans were at a low ebb by their high standards, having not won a World Cup since 1990 or a European championship since 1996. Mr. Verstegen said his appointment was met with widespread incredulity among German fans, news media and even some players.

I found this notable, especially when we highlight some of the other aspects of the article later on. Oftentimes, I find that individuals aiming to do a workout or start a workout program lose sight of forest because of all of the trees. In other words, training programs should be set up for an ultimate goal rather than individual workouts. I find that too many times individuals get so focused on how hard or enjoyable their one workout ought to be, rather than focusing on the long-term changes.

This is especially true of the program P90X2, which I have been adamant about since its release. That program, in my opinion, is a perfect example of the sum of the parts being greater than any individual workout. What I mean is that the program is designed to improve you from becoming better at specific things so that you can improve yourself rather than just getting a good sweat on. Sure, there are some great workouts there, but the true benefits come from the improvements in movement patterns and mobility.

Anyways, back to the article. Check out what Mr. Verstegen had to say when he was asked what a typical World Cup training session would look like:

It would depend on how close we were to the next game, but we’d often divide the structure into four stations, a mini-circuit, with a different exercise at each station. We might have the players do things like a T-Hip rotation exercise at one station and a miniband lateral walk at another. That’s where you strap a band across the thighs or ankles and walk sideways. We were ridiculed in 2004 when we had players exercise that way. But hip stability is essential for soccer performance and injury mitigation. People don’t laugh about it now.

Go back and read those last 2 sentences again:

We were ridiculed in 2004 when we had players exercise that way. But hip stability is essential for soccer performance and injury mitigation. People don’t laugh about it now.

That is exactly what the P90X2 program is focused on - hip stability. So why would some average Joe care about hip stability? Well, when you focus on hip stability, as well as other mobility-centric movement mechanics, you are become better at doing other things. When you are better at doing other things, i.e. running, walking, climbing, squatting, etc. you are less prone to injury and more prone to excelling - aka, being a badass.

Being better at movement allows you to break through plateaus and push your workouts and training to the next level. Some of you may be familiar with my entire series on getting the most out of P90X3. Well, in the coming weeks, I will be doing a similar series on P90X2 so that I can help those of you who are either unsure about X2, or are struggling with it to get the most out of the program and realize the potential of, what I consider to be Beachbody's best program, and possibly the best home workout program of all time.





Side Arm Balance/Side Plank Progression

Oftentimes, I get asked a question about form or something health/fitness related in my Team Fitness for Life Facebook group or an email from one of my team members. This usually leads to a long, drawn-out response from me, so I generally like to turn my responses into blogs so that I can then share with all of my readers (especially those who may not be on my team yet).

The other day, a member of my team asked about side arm balance form, and what they should be doing to become better at the exercise. Below is a list of "progressions" that can be used to help you build the required leg, hip, and core strength to accomplish such a difficult, yet important movement. These progressions can be applied to side planks, side arm balance push-ups, and glute exercises (like those seen in P90X3's Eccentric Lower, for example).

Here is my explanation on the progression:

Step 1 - The lower leg is bent, knee on the ground. Throughout all of the progressions listed, make sure that you are driving your hips forward, or in this case, I am driving my hips towards the camera by engaging my glutes (squeezing my butt cheeks). Not to the point that my hips are hyper-extended, but to the point where my body is straight. This helps strengthen the hip and knee of the upper leg while using the wider base of support created by the lower leg to maintain balance.

Step 2 - Both feet remain on the ground, but both legs are straight. The feet are staggered to, again, give a wider base of support for balance. This helps to not only strengthen the knees and hips, but will help you increase your spatial awareness (balance). Although your feet are staggered, make sure your hips stay square to the "camera" or perpendicular to the floor. Again, make sure the glutes are engaged, driving your hips forward.

Step 3 - Your feet are now stacked. This will definitely take some practice as your base of support is drastically diminished. By using the progressions from the previous 2 steps, you should have an idea on how to engage your core and your glutes to bring your hips forward. This is important to help you maintain balance. Now that your feet are stacked, more emphasis is now placed on your lower leg, increasing the intensity and forcing your lower knee and hip to become stronger.

Step 4 (and beyond) - The upper leg is now raised. It is probably no surprise to you to realize that this requires much great balance and control now that your upper leg is raised. Not only that, but more weight is now placed on your lower leg, forcing your knee and hip to become stronger. This will also work your upper leg in a different way, as the upper hip has to work harder to elevate your leg into the air. To take this a step further, you can turn your upper foot so that your toe is pointing towards the floor, which will engage your gluteus medius.





P90X, P90X2, P90X3 "X"-travaganza Hybrid

Check out my free 30 minute YouTube workouts

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.