Saturday, February 22, 2014

P90X3: MMX Review

This morning, I got to try out the last new workout for the first three weeks of block two on the P90X3 classic calendar, MMX.

I was very skeptical of MMX going in since I remembered the Kenpo X review from the original P90X, which I found to be less than stellar. I was pleasantly surprised -- MMX was awesome! It was a very advanced kickboxing / mixed martial arts workout that has you moving fast. A word of caution, there isn't much explanation in the MMX workout and the moves are complex and come quickly. A familiarity with this style of workout is definitely necessary for this reason.

Also, you will stumble and fumble the first time through the workout. There isn't any explanation or preview before you jump into the moves, so you'll be struggling to keep up at first. It might make sense to watch this DVD before you try it for the first time, especially if you're new to kickboxing. After you get used to the moves, you'll be glad to not have to wait for explanations. The workout is only 30 minutes, so I'm glad that it moves fast.

Finally, you can take the moves at any speed you want. I was doing this workout for the first time today, so I took the moves a bit slower in some cases to really focus on form and learn moves that were new to me. I can speed it up next time.

I've done a lot of kickboxing-style workouts, including Les Mills Combat and TurboFire. Many of the moves in P90X3's MMX workout were familiar, but there were some new moves as well. I'm listing out a few of the moves / terms that other might not be familiar with. Then I'll go ahead and list out the moves list for the MMX workout. Here are some of the moves that I found new and exciting.
  • Superman Punch: Hop forward on your leading foot as you do a cross punch
  • 4-Punch Scramble: Run back with jabs going forward left-right-left-right
  • Sprawl: Half-burpee with wide legs
  • Crescent Kick: Kick you leg up and around you body in an arc back into fighter stance
  • Gladiator: Jump kick into a downward punch
  • Sprawl/Scramble: While down in a sprawl, scramble the feet 180-degrees before standing up (This move requires a lot of space, which was a bit problematic for me. Do you best.)

Now that I've listed out some of the less common moves, here is the complete moves list for the workout. The workout began with the most comprehensive warm-up I've seen in P90X3 so far. The warm-up lasted a full five minutes and consisted of some basic cardio moves (jogging, jumping jacks) and a lot of leg stretches. We then moved into the main workout. During the MMX workout, each move was done once on the right lead for thirty seconds and then again on the left lead for thirty seconds. There were short thirty second breaks after each set of four moves.
  • High Low Jab / Cross
  • Hook / Uppercut / Front Knee
  • Triple Jab / Cross / Back Knee
  • Hook Elbow / Down Elbow
  • Jab / Over the Top Elbow / Crescent Kick
  • Superman Punch / 4-Punch Scramble / Sprawl
  • Lead Uppercut / Hook Elbow / Snap Kick
  • Sprawl / Power Knees / Hook and Upper Elbow (The Power Knees were done while down in the Sprawl. While in plank, you brought the knee up the the chest and back twice on the same side before standing up.)
  • Upper Back Elbow / Hook Elbow / Back Kick
  • Jab / Cross / Sprawl / Hook / Uppercut / Sprawl
  • Push Kick / Snap Kick
  • Hook / Uppercut / Hook / Uppercut / Sprawl
  • Front Leg Check / Front Snap Kick / Superman Punch
  • Jab / Cross / Sprawl / Scramble (Here the Scramble was done while on the floor in the Sprawl.)
  • Jab / Cross / Hook Elbow / Over the Top Elbow
  • Gladiator / Sprawl / Jab / Cross / Hook / Uppercut

As you can see, the combinations for the MMX workout were complex and seemed to get even more complex in the second half of the workout. The sequences with the Sprawls were especially challenging because they were so fast -- you had to get down to the ground and back up with speed! This really got me breathing and my heart was going. This was definitely the best cardio workout by far of any of the P90X3 workouts I've done.

This workout was definitely a blast! I was mentally engaged the entire time, focusing on getting the moves and form down and on going as quickly as possible. I love kickboxing -- it's one of my favorite types of workout. I'm pretty demanding about what I consider to be a good kickboxing-style workout, but P90X3 MMX is definitely one of them. I love the pacing, variety of moves, and integration of new moves that I've never seen before. This workout is definitely not for beginners, and I would worry that because of the lack of tutorial a newbie might get hurt. If you haven't done kickboxing before, taking this workout way slower than the participants on the DVD when you do it. They are very very fast -- I struggled to keep up with them -- and if you don't know how to do kickboxing, you can definitely risk injury. Focus instead of watching what everyone is doing in the workout and learning proper form.

This is an upper body focused workout. I actually think my only complaint is that I wish they had included more kicking in the workout. The Sprawls do work your legs though. Getting up and down a lot definitely means your getting your leg work in, so I'm guessing that's why MMX is kick-light. The sequences with the Sprawls are definitely the hardest ones, so I wouldn't want to get rid of those for any reason.

I loved the MMX workout and can't wait until I get to do it again next week. Great cardio in thirty minutes!

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