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: P90X3 Advice

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.

Read More




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

Check out my free 30 minute YouTube workouts

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 Keep in mind that seated or prone crunches are quite "outdated."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."

Read More




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!

Read More




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.

Read More




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!

Read More




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.

Read More




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.

Read More




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!

Read More




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.





P90X3 Dynamix Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to the "recovery" routine from P90X3. This routine goes well beyond what we usually consider to be a "stretch" or "recovery" routine and is now one of my favourite recovery routines I have ever done!

Read More




P90X3 The Warrior Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

This routine follows Tony's standard "UCML" pattern (Upper, Cardio, Middle, Lower). It was designed to be done by the military personnel that Tony visits at various stations across the globe. What's great about this routine, is that you get a tremendous sweat, muscle burn, and workout with no equipment besides your body and mother earth!

Read More




P90X3 CVX Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

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!

Read More