Ok, but as discussed above, many individuals don't have the time, money, interest, or trust to go to a big box gym and pay a gym membership along with the money involved for a personal trainer to maybe show them how to move better and get in shape.
I would also argue that working out at home can be far cheaper than renting equipment at a gym, again, assuming that the individual works out at home safely.
Exercise really sucks the big one. I mentioned the potential downside of skilled movement earlier, but I've always found that learning skilled movement is far more rewarding and satisfying than jumping around doing various callisthenic moves. I think that's why so many people gravitate toward things like dance, martial arts, and yoga for fitness purposes – you get the chance to learn a skill as you get fit.
I share that same sentiment with those that I "Coach" and clients of mine all the time. Ultimately, the best exercise is the one that you enjoy, and therefore stick to. If you like mountain biking, do that. If you enjoy yoga, do that. If you enjoy martial arts, do that. However, none of these types of exercise programs involve lifting weights as this author is clearly trying to argue, is the only way to health and fitness or the ideal body. You know, because everyone who exercises does so to achieve an ideal physique.
Despite all the discomfort, your body isn't really changing much. Your mileage may vary of course. If you're a rote beginner and fairly weak, many P90X drills are in fact legitimate forms of strength training. Once your strength reaches a certain level however, you'll need weight.
Agreed. Progressive resistance training requires new stimulus to continually change and therefore improve your body. I don't see how this is a downfall for a program like P90X, however. As I mentioned above, as an individuals begins to get stronger, they can then choose whether or not they wish to expand their home gym and invest more into getting more equipment.
You could get hurt. I was unable to find data on comparative injury rates between P90X and other forms of training. I'm left with anecdotal reports from colleagues, friends, and clients, as well as own my understanding of exercise principles. Over the past few years, I've spoken to several orthopedists, MD's, and physical therapists who've expressed genuine concern about P90X based on the number of injured patients they see on a regular basis.
When P90X was initially designed and marketed, the goal was to create a home workout program for individuals who already have a decent level of fitness. Beachbody is a company, and although they warn those who are not physically ready to begin a program like this, will take your money in exchange for the program from anyone willing to pay.
This is a common problem, as far as I'm concerned, with human nature, not a home workout program in general. Time and time again, I experience individuals who finally reach their breaking point and wish to make a change right then and there.
Although it may have taken them years of neglect to get to a poor state of health, they wish to then make a complete 180 and improve their life in a short period of time. This usually causes individuals to make a drastic lifestyle change, including going as hard as they possibly can at a workout thinking that puking or pushing as close to unconsciousness "must be good" for the cause, when in actuality, it isn't entirely necessary. Again, this is a problem facing all forms of physical fitness, not just pinpointing one specific program such as P90X.
Please allow me a moment here, because there are so many great ways to destroy this claim, I'm not even sure where to start. Here's how I'll tackle it: Since I know many P90X converts liken themselves to being super-intense athlete types, maybe it might be instructive to look at how the typical Olympic athlete trains. Let's take the sport of weightlifting. When you look at a 3-minute video clip of great weightlifters in training, it's quite exciting and inspiring. You'll wanna go straight to the gym after watching these amazing lifters.
Being one of these lifters however, is a very different story. The truth is that, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, nearly all National and World-level weightlifters perform no more than about 6 exercises, and perhaps a few slight derivations of them. It's really like being a monk – if you've got even a speck of ADHD in you, you won't be able to hang. Every day is pretty much the same old thing: snatch, clean & jerk, pulls, squats. Every day. Over, and over, and over again.
This is a terrible comparison, in my opinion. An Olympic, or any serious athlete for that matter, is devoted to improving one, or a few specific attributes. P90X is a program that is designed to improve the overall health and fitness of individuals in a number of areas. An Olympic lifter wishes to improve their overall strength, etc. They certainly wouldn't go out and run 40 miles a week because that is not specific to their goals.
I would imagine that an individual looking to start a program like P90X has no immediate goals of powerlifting in the Olympics, so some variation to their fitness is by no means problematic (directly).
Muscle confusion isn't about preventing plateaus; it's about giving beginners enough variety so they won't immediately get bored and quit. And when you constantly vary your training, you might not be as likely to quit, but you're not going to make any real progress.
Fair enough, I agree. P90X is, again, about improving overall health and fitness in a number of ways, using limited resources found in a home gym. It does not make you "great" at any individual aspect, but can improve your health and fitness to a point where you can then hone in on something specific down the road, that is, if you wish and if it suits your needs/goals.
Now, is there any truth to the whole "muscle confusion" idea? Sure. In fact, I used to read about it all the time in Muscle & Fitness back in the 70's. It simply refers to the fact that a monotonous physical stimuli will lead to reduced adaptations over time, as compared to a more varied stimuli.
Where people go wrong however, is that they overestimate the amount and scope of variety that's really needed to minimize plateaus (eliminating them, contrary to P90X's marketing promises, isn't possible). The weightlifters I mentioned earlier simply vary their loads to accomplish that purpose. They don't, for example, do a 4-week "incinerator" phase, because if they do, they'll lose much of the progress they made previously.
Again, correct. I agree. The problem with this article is that the author starts it off by saying that "Muscle Confusion" is mostly B.S., yet then goes on to explain at how it is a marketing term used years ago that can be used to eliminate plateaus.
Most people need to realize that "Muscle Confusion", which is a form of periodization, has been around for a long time. Beachbody is a company, and as a company, they like to sell products by using buzzwords and catch phrases to their products to make them marketable. That is an open and free market my friend.
Of course a weightlifter would not use an "incinerator" phase from P90X (whatever that is), just as much as an olympic cyclist wouldn't spend weeks trying to improve his bench press...they simply do not correspond to their goals.
Having said that, just because something (like P90X) isn't appropriate for some (i.e. weightlifters) doesn't mean that it isn't appropriate and effective for others.
I think that the author misses the point of a program like P90X. Yes, nearly every single successful athlete, bodybuilder, powerlifter, etc. needs a well-structured and designed progressive resistance training program to suit their needs and goals. Athletes, especially, need a program that is specifically tailored to the needs of their sport, this is known as sport specificity training.
Having said that, there are many ways to approach a problem, in my opinion. If an individual, who is out of shape, or wishes to lose some weight, but either does not have the time or money to make a commitment to a gym with the "expertise" of a personal trainer, then a program like P90X can be a very viable option.
This argument that progressive resistance training needs to be done in a gym is weak, at best, since it is entirely possible for individuals working out at home to continue to add to the equipment used in their home gyms in order create progression for their goals. Not only that, but one thing that P90X does quite well, in my opinion, is use gravity as a form of resistance, since weights are not always an option.
I agree with the author, the best way to build a great physique is with progressive resistance training. However, this can be achieved in a number of ways, especially for beginners, those looking to lose weight, or even those who do not wish to be a part of a public/private gym setting.
In the world of big box gyms, there is the potential to hire a very knowledgeable and experienced personal trainer that is sympathetic to your needs and can design a program to suit your needs. However, this can be a costly investment.
On the other hand, individuals can make investments on their own, by building a home gym, and practicing safe and effective exercise technique at home, especially with the help of a good Beachbody Coach. Having said that, like the world of public or private gyms, it is entirely possible for an individual correspond with a Beachbody Coach that does not have much knowledge, or worse, shares incorrect information or exercise technique.