Saturday, February 22, 2014

P90X3: Incinerator Review

I'm a day behind in my P90X classic schedule for block 2 because of my cold; however, I was able to get back to exercising today and got to check out Incinerator and MMX.

Incinerator is a total upper body strength training workout that mixes body weight exercises, dumbbells, and the pull-up bar.

For this workout, you work each muscle group twice -- doing two different moves that target the same muscle and then moving on. Most of the work is done with dumbbells. The goal is to do ten reps, so it's important to pick a weight that is heavy enough to make you fatigued after only ten reps of each move. If you're like me and don't have as wide a variety of weights, you can do more reps to make yourself fatigued, but this seems to be less Tony's focus for Incinerator. (He does on a couple of moves show the strategy of lighter weights with more reps though. So I think even Tony understand that you might not have every weight available.)

Hopefully, I'll be able to pick up some heavier weights soon. I used ten pound weights for most of my moves. Sometimes that worked great, and I was tired by the end, but sometimes, I had to move quickly and do more reps to get my muscles tired by the end. By the end of the workout however, my body was definitely feeling it. I was shaking on the burnout! I think I did what needed to be done to have a successful workout with Incinerator.

Here are the moves for the workout. We did a quick warm-up and then moved into the program. All the moves were times, but the goal was always to do around ten reps at least. Since you worked the same muscle group twice in a row, you had to be very smart about the weight you picked.
  • Renegade Row: In plank, holding a dumbbell in each hand, row one arm at a time up to your torso. (I've done this move before in Asylum. Going with a moderate weight works well here since you have to balance in plank.)
  • Pull-ups
  • Floor Flys: Lying on your back, do straight arms flies. (Since we only did ten reps, the ten pound weights were way too light for me. I compensated by doing many more reps.)
  • Push-ups
  • Rocket Launcher Row: Stand in a wide lunge leaning forward. Do lat rows. (Again, the lats are a strong muscle and doing ten reps is not that hard. Go heavy.)
  • Chin-ups
  • "A" Press: Lying on your back, extend your arms straight up with palms fating each other at chest level. Bend and bring them down so your triceps are on either side of your body. (This move is similar to a chest press -- go heavy!)
  • Military Push-up: Narrow push-up with arms going back and scraping along the torso.
  • Monkey Pump: Holding dumbbells at shoulder level, do an overhead press, then bend to 90-degrees. Close your arms and re open. Lower your forearms parallel to the ground, then lift to perpendicular and repeat. (I had never done this move before. Tony says to go light here, and he means it. My ten pound weights were, for the first time in the workout, way too heavy. I will probably use five pound weights next time. This move is very tough.)
  • Pike Press: In a pike-up position, do shoulder presses. (We did this move in Insanity. I did it in P90X3 while holding dumbbells to get a little bit more range of motion in my arms, and it was great. This definitely intensifies the move and makes it better.)
  • Pterodactyl Flys: Stand in a wide lunge leaning forward with arms towards the ground. Lift both arms straight to the sides, keeping the hands to the floor. (Ten pound weights were perfect for this move. I did ten reps and it was the perfect amount of struggle. These definitely work the back of the shoulder.)
  • Flipper: In forearm plank, walk your feet a few inches forward and pitch your hips up. Lower your hips and then repeat raising them back again. (This move was fairly odd feeling. It didn't feel that hard, but I'm not 100% sure I got the form right the first time through.)
  • Popeye Hammer Curls: Do bicep curls alternating hands and bringing the weight across the body. Each set of two -- so one on each side -- is one rep. (I probably could have done this move with twelve pound weights or more since you're alternating, giving each arm a little rest in between moves.)
  • Kneeler Curls: One one knee leaning forward, extend you arms towards the floor with palms up. Do bicep curls. (This position is difficult to maintain. Ten pound weights worked well for me. One of the ladies in the DVD used tens as well and did more reps since the weight was lighter for her. It made me feel good to see someone using the same strategy I was employing for this move.)
  • Hail to the Chief: Lying on your back with arms straight up, alternate bringing a weight to the shoulder in a tricep "scull crusher" type move with the hand holding the weight meeting the opposite shoulder (instead of going to the head). (You do ten of these on each side. The ten pounds worked for me because I was getting fairly tired at this point.)
  • Skyfers: Tricep dips in table-top position. Really extend your hips up into table top when at the top of the move.
  • Arm and Hammer: Do bicep curls alternating weights to the front and then to a side hammer curl. Each set of two is one rep. (I probably could have done this move with twelve pound weights, but since each set of two counts as one rep, you're really doing 20 curls here instead of ten. So you might not need to go as heavy as you think.)
  • Rocket Launcher Kickbacks: In a lunge, leaning forward with elbows raised behind you and along the torso, extend your arms. (Tricep kickbacks are tough in this position because you really have to focus on keeping the elbows raised. Ten pounds was perfect for me here.)
  • Burnout: On cue from Tony do push-ups, hold plank, go into low plank, balance with one arm and leg out, do side t-stands, and go into Downward Dog. (We did this for over two minutes. Midway through my entire body was shaking. This is hard after all the other work you've done in the workout. I had to take a quick ten second break on my knees and then get back into it. What a way to end!)

I loved this workout! It offered great variety in the moves that you did and the equipment that you got to use. We effectively worked the entire upper body: chest, shoulders, lats, triceps, and biceps -- nothing got left out, and I felt like we used all the muscles pretty equally.

This workout is definitely best if you have a wide variety of weights at your disposal. This is something I want to work on. I have threes, fives, eights, and tens at the moment, but really need to get some heavier weights -- at least a set of twelves. As I've said many times before in this review, you only have to do ten reps so go heavy. Still you have to play it smart and remember that you're going to be doing another exercise to work that muscle group again, so don't work to complete failure and be sure to maintain form.

Another fun part of this workout is that you don't repeat any moves. You do each move once and move on, which differs from a lot of the P90X3 workouts but definitely helps to keep things fresh. I would say that as a result this is one of my favorite workouts in the set. A keeper!

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