Tuesday, January 21, 2014

P90X 3: Agility X Review

After work today, I tried the second workout in P90X3, Agility X. I have to say, that I was definitely feeling it from the pull-ups yesterday -- my upper body was sore! Good news though; today's workout was cardio with a focus on agility.

One of my biggest complaints about the original P90X is that I found the cardio easy. I was hoping that P90X3 would pack a bigger punch in the cardio department. After all, we were only exercising for 30 minutes, so we were, in theory, supposed to be going harder. I have to say that judging by Agility X, I will mostly find the P90X3 cardio uninspiring as well. Agility X was fairly easy for me, with only a few moves towards the end proving a challenge. I should point out that I have done the fairly advanced agility workouts in Asylum and Asylum 2 and am as Insanity workout graduate, so I might have an overly high standard for what I want my agility cardio to be.

Setup for the Agility X workout was basic. You just needed two strips of tape around four feet long on the floor either three or four feet apart, depending on how tall you are and how hard you want to work. I am very short, 5 feet tall, but wanted to work hard, so I opted to have the tape 3.5 feet apart. I probably could have done the four feet no problem, and will try that again next time. I used painters tape on my carpet, and this worked nicely.

As I did for my Total Synergistics review, I'll list out all the moves, as explained in the P90X3 fitness guide, followed by my comments. Like with Total Synergistics, the workout began with around four minutes of warm-up with light jogging, jumping jacks, and active stretching. We then got into the main section of the workout. Many moves used the tape that was set up on the ground.
  • Explode and Hold: Begin at the back of the left tape, jump forward to the middle of the right take with your right food, and then jump to the front of the left tape with your left foot. Reverse. (This move required some balance as Tony occasionally had you hold the move. Overall, not too challenging. The stopping after the jumping kept the intensity low.)
  • Y Lunges: With your left foot between the tape, lunge forward at a 45 degree angle towards the front of the tape. Revers and switch sides. (These are basic off-center lunges. Lunges are always good, and you do these at a decent pace. Good basic move -- not cardio though.)
  • Joel Jump Squats: At the back of the right tape, bound forward at the diagonal to your left foot, landing on the inside of the tape and tap your right fingers outside of your foot. Reverse and tap opposite fingers. (Similar to Explode and Hold. Required some balance and worked the legs a little since you were squatting down.)
  • Toe Tap Skaters: Standing on your left leg, extend your right leg out and jump towards the front of your right tape, landing on your right leg. Do this side to side. (We did a more intense version of these in Asylum 2 using the agility ladder. Shaun T, I miss your intense cardio workouts!)
  • Near and Farrs: At the left of the tape, jump inside the tape on your right foot; stay inside while jumping on to your left foot and then jump onto your right foot outside the tape. Reverse with left. (This was a fun move. I tried to go as quickly as possible and focus on agility. Fun and easy.)
  • Ring Around the Posey: Start on the outside of the tape. Run around the circle and alternate direction on cue. (Just...just. I cannot describe in words on foolish this felt.)
  • Scissor Kick Jumps: On the left of the tape, fan your right leg up as high as you can coming over the tape, follow with the left, repeat over the next line, then reverse. (I had trouble getting my leg very high on this because I don't have great flexibility. To compensate, I went as fast as I could and hopped as much as I could.)
  • 8 Sprint 3: Starting behind the tape, run in a figure-8 pattern. On cue either run facing front, run facing the tape, or grapevine. (The cues came fast on this. While this set of moves wasn't challenging per say in terms of cardio, it definitely takes concentration to make sure the feet and body are doing what the cue says. I kind of felt foolish on this move too.)
  • Plyo V Lunge: Standing in the center of the tape, lung across so your foot goes to the outside of the tape. Step, skip, and jump on cue. (I liked this move. Doing the jumping lunges in the middle was a good bit of work. We mostly did the skipping lunges, but I could make this harder next time by doing all of the lunges as plyo jump lunges.)
  • High Step Shuffle: Stand with the line of tape in front of you. Run with high knees behind and in front of the lines. Grapevine in the middle on cue. (Another set of moves that felt kind of silly. I am not sure what's up with this grapevine business. Also, the tape is too short to make going up and back along it any meaningful cardio. I believe also it was at this point in the workout that Tony started dissing on using the treadmill at the gym. Really, Tony? I did a 30 minute HIIT interval on the treadmill with hills and speed intervals that was ten times the cardio I am getting here. How is my time being wasted on the treadmill again?)
  • Gump Jump Push-ups: In plank with your arms between the tape and your legs on the right line, do a push-up into a side arm balance (t-stand). Then jump legs to the other line and move hands so you are diagonally between both lines on the other side. (I really liked this move. It was fun and required concentration. It reminded me of yesterday's Total Synergistics workout, which I had enjoyed much more that the Agility X workout I was doing right at the moment.)
  • Tap That Line: To the right of the tape, turn and face the line and begin to tap with your toes. Move around the tape changing directions on cue. (This move was fine, if easy. I had the same problem with it that I did with the other moves along the length of the tape -- the tape is too short to make any work done along it seem hard.)
  • Jump Knee Jump: Facing the long side of the tape, tuck jump over the tape two times. High knees back and repeat. (Loved this! Two power jumps over the tape followed by sprinting reminded me of some of the Asylum ladder drills I loved. I finally got a bit out of breath!)
  • Triangle Lunges: Starting between the tape, lung at a 45 degree angle with your right foot, then side lunge with your left foot, then lung backwards with your right foot. (I liked this set of lunges in three directions. Again, not cardio, but you really can't do too many lunges, right?)
  • Squat Jump Lunge: Sit down into a squat and then jump up. On landing, cross your right leg over the left and lunge towards the tape. Squat jump again and repeat to the opposite side. (The workout was improving -- I liked this move as well. The Squat Jump Lunge can be modified to be even harder by jumping both the squats and the lunges in all three directions. Do this and you will start to feel the work.)
  • 3.4 Run: Sprint to whatever part of the tape is cued (left/right, up/back, diagonal). Tap the tape with your fingertips before moving to the next spot. (This move was fun. The cues were fast, and this made them challenging to follow. However, I wished again the tape was longer. You can increase the distance between the tape, but it's hard to make the tape too much longer and still fit in a reasonable space in the house. Not having as much distance to travel made this a bit less of a challenge. It was still a good bit of work to keep up with the cues though, so I think this move made me work at a decent pace.)
  • Long Jump Sprint: Facing the long side of the tape, squat and jump over both lines. Land in a deep squat and sprint back with high knees. (We did this in Asylum! As always this is a great move. I was breathing deep at the end of a minute of this.)
  • Plyo Line Push-ups: In plank, walk the line with your hands. On cue, explode p in a lateral plyo push-up. (Definitely the hardest move of the workout. My chest was feeling it!)

Between each move, Tony Horton would pause and take a good half a minute to move onto the next exercise. Shaun T hardly ever does this in Insanity and the Asylum workouts and pretty much never does it in T25. All of the stopping in P90X3 gave me way too many breaks and really kept me from getting a good cardio session in. The moves were done for too short a time with too many breaks to really make me feel like I was working super hard. Also, after doing the agility ladder drills in Asylum 1 and 2, the agility moves with the tape felt like they were for beginners. The last five minutes of the workout were definitely the most challenging and, in my mind, the best part.

The workout finished up with a four minute cooldown. For the first minute, people just seemed to wander around on the DVD, apparently catching their breath, though I felt pretty much fine. We then moved into a pretty good stretch segment for the legs, stretching calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, and quads. The entire time, Tony went on a tirade about how stupid the gym was and how dumb gym culture is. I thought he sounded like a moron at this point. I am sure the man has a gym at his home. He insisted that the P90X3 workout was all you needed. I gave Tony-on-the-screen a look of intense skepticism and displeasure.

I guess you can safely figure that I'm going to say Agility X is not my favorite workout. I found it to be not challenging enough. There were some good moves sprinkled in, especially towards the end, but overall, this workout compared less than favorably to other workouts that I have done with an agility focus. Maybe I am spoiled by Asylum 1 and 2 and their ladder agility drills -- this workout certainly made me want to do Asylum again.

In sum, I am sure that this workout is fine as supplemental agility and cardio work. If you haven't done agility work before, some of the work in P90X3 will help prepare you for Asylum 1 and 2. I think that this workout could have been harder if we have moved more continuously from exercise to exercise. There was a lot of stop and go which interfered with getting the best cardio workout possible. I'll do this workout whenever the P90X3 calendar calls for it, but I don't think that it will be one I'll revisit when I'm done with the program.

Tomorrow is X3 Yoga. I'm not a huge yoga fan, but I probably need yoga more than anything. Getting some yoga done in thirty minutes sounds very appealing (I'm talking to you, 90 minute yoga torture session from original P90X). I can't wait to give it a try!


Jason Ride said...

Literally just bought the dvds! Please keep posting, I'm about to start myself and it's good to hear how others are getting on :)

P90X Review

Nicole Sibley said...

Glad to hear it! I'm starting week four of the program next week and will be posting about the new workouts soon. Good luck as you start P90X3!

Lynn Maki said...

"The workout finished up with a four minute cooldown. For the first minute, people just seemed to wander around on the DVD, apparently catching their breath, though I felt pretty much fine."

BAHAH yes! Me too! I just got P90X3 to "move up" from Autumn and 21 day fix. So far I am NOT impressed.

Lynn Maki said...

"The workout finished up with a four minute cooldown. For the first minute, people just seemed to wander around on the DVD, apparently catching their breath, though I felt pretty much fine."

I agree!! I bought P90X3 to have a harder work out after doing 2 rounds of 21 day fix. So far I am NOT impressed.

Nicole Sibley said...

So, true, Lynn. I am definitely not into the cardio workouts from P90X3. However, I love the workouts with push-ups and pull-ups. I find that I am working The Challenge into my workout calendar a lot.