Tuesday, May 28, 2013

P90X Cardio X and Stretch X

This past Memorial Day weekend was another busy one at work. After working 14 hours on Friday and then Saturday morning (for the second week in a row), I was ready to have some free time. I decided to fill this time with checking out a couple more of the P90X workouts.

For Saturday, I was scheduled to do the Plyometrics workout. I like this workout a lot, and found it to be perfect cardio. During the Plyometrics workout, Tony had mentioned that you could substitute the easier Cardio X workout for the Plyometrics workout. Because I had just spent the better part of the last 48 hours at the office, I decided a slightly easier cardio workout was just what I wanted and popped in Cardio X.

Cardio X is slightly shorter than the other P90X workout, clocking in at around 45 minutes. Unlike what you would think from the title, this workout actually is not very cardio intensive and will likely not prove a challenge for most individuals who do cardio regularly. 

The program started out with a brief warm up. This was then followed by over fifteen minutes of yoga. We did vinyasas -- sun salutations, warrior one and two, runner's pose, and reverse warrior. At this point I was thinking, "What?! I thought this was supposed to be a cardio workout?" Nope. We were almost twenty minutes into the workout before we started any cardio at all. 

The cardio segment started with some moves from the Kenpo X workout. As you likely know from my previous post, the Kenpo X workout is not my favorite -- I found the cardio not to be high enough intensity and the form of the people on the DVD to be suspect. Since the Cardio X DVD is supposed to be a cardio workout for easier days, I felt okay with the inclusion of the easier Kenpo X moves here but had the same issues with them as before. 

We then moved on to some slight plyometric work. This was the best part of the workout for sure and truly an easier version of the Plyometrics DVD. Some of the moves such as airborn heisman, tires, swing kicks, and jump shot, where taken directly from the Plyometrics workout. They added a new move called Wacky Jacks, which seemed like a misguided move from an elementary school dance class.

The workout finished with some new moves. Most were fairly easy and basic, but a few such as the dreya roll (in which you rolled from your back and shoulders to a standing position) and superman/banana (where you rotated from your stomach to your back) were challenging.

While the last fifteen minutes or so of this workout with the plyometrics and new cardio moves pleased, overall the workout was a dud. It was way to easy and too much time was devoted to yoga and stretching. (And as you know I'm anti stretching extensively before a workout.) My understanding is that this is a supplementary workout if you're doing the Classic P90X schedule. It might be a fine workout for someone just starting with cardio training, but everyone else might want to just do the Plyometrics workout to get a good sweat. 

The second workout I checked out this weekend was Stretch X. For those who are following the Classic schedule exactly, this workout is not introduced until week 4. However, I was feeling stiff, my hips were bothering me, and wanted a good stretch. I know that the Yoga X workout it too intense for me at the moment -- I'm not very flexible and it doesn't provide enough modifications. I had been reading online that some people were substituting Stretch X for Yoga X and were having a good experience. I wanted to give it a try. 

Stretch X was exactly what I was looking for! I finished the workout feeling well stretched and relaxed. It was a great stretch workout with a little bit of yoga inspiration. The workout started with some sun salutations to warm up the muscles. We then moved onto an excellent neck stretching segment, followed by some great back, shoulder, and arm stretches. I especially liked the inclusion of wrist and forearm stretches. I can't think of another stretch workout that I've done that featured wrist stretches, but this felt fantastic!

We moved onto some more seated/supine back stretches. Following that we moved onto legs, which was what I, with my sore hips, had been waiting for. I actually wish that there had been even more hip and glute stretches. There were a few, but I could have used even more. The focus was definitely on the hamstrings, which makes sense since this is a very tight area for most people. 

I absolutely loved the Stretch X workout, and will make a concerted effort to do it frequently going forward. I am apt to not want to spend time stretching because it's "boring" but know that it's important to my health. This hour-long workout is just what I need!


Seth said...


Seth said...

Go Superman/Banana! Go Wacky Jacks!