P90X Reviews: Chest & Back

As I write this P90X Review, I am completely exhausted! I just finished my P90X Chest & Back workout. I could wait until later to write up my P90X review, but I don’t want to forget any details. Generally, right after I finish the workout, I have some particular thoughts & comments that I want to share. P90X Chest & Back is the first workout in the Classic and Doubles rotation. We have more customers start with Classic than any other rotation, so this workout is generally the first one of the series. Even if you do the Lean rotation, you’ll still get your shot at Chest & Back, but it will be in the 9th week. For me, back in 2006, Chest & Back was my first ever P90X workout, and the one that I will never forget. I remember being so sore the following few days. I also get customers writing me all the time, expressing the same thing. "I’m so sore!" If this is your first time with Chest & Back, you are not alone, and everybody gets sore doing P90X. In time, you get better and better, and stronger and stronger. You’ll still get sore, but it’s manageable. I swore off P90X my first week in 2006, but I never stopped, and here I am years later, still doing P90X. It grows on you! But don’t let my last couple sentences scare you off. Starting any new exercise program will likely put you in the same place. Sore. Read this article when you get time. Sore, Hungry, and Slow: 3 Signs that Shows Your Prgram is Working.

As you go through this workout, or any P90X Workout for that matter, don’t beat yourself up if you’re not able to keep up with the crew on the DVD. You’re starting a new program, and you’ll get stronger, in time. So when you’re done before everybody else, stretch, take some deep breaths, get ready for the next exercise. Before long, you’ll be right there with the crew. Don’t let yourself get discourged either. Don’t let your mind tell you that you can’t do it. You can do it. You may struggle in the beginning, you may be terribly sore in the beginning. You may feel like you’re too "weak", that you can’t do that many push ups, or you have to do push ups on your knees. Don’t think that because you have to use the chair on pull ups that you don’t belong in the "P90X" workout group. You will get stronger, you will adapt, it will take time, and if you don’t give up, you can do it! Now that I said that… P90X is an advanced workout. If you are a beginner, you’re breaks may be longer than most, you might have a harder time than most. You may have to modify several moves. You may even opt to do half of the workouts until you get stronger. But regardless of circumstances, P90X can be modified for everyone! At least it can be modified for everyone if you are dedicated and committed to the program. But please, be smart. Watch your form and technique, don’t get sloppy. There is a fine line between giving a 110% and trying to do too much!

Couple more items before I get to the actual workout. The first is an article you may want to read when you have time. How chin up exercises can be a complete upper body workout. Also, this workout is going to require pull ups. You can use the P90X Chin Up Bar, (link also includes a couple videos), or you can modify and use a resistance band, the DVD shows this version as well. For those of you that want to add some extra intensity to your push ups, check out the PowerStands by Tony Horon. If you have wrist issues (I do), then the stands are a great addition, simply because it allows you to keep your wrists straight instead of in a bent position on the floor. And with that. OFF we GO!

P90X Reviews: Chest and Back

This workout is approximately 53 minutes in length. Tony Horton runs you through a warm up, followed by a stretch which lasts about 9 minutes total. The main part of the workout is about 40 minutes, and then about a 4 minute cool down and stretch at the end. This workout is another favorite. I went over this in the Back and Bicep review, but since its another big pull up routine, I want to touch on it once more. I get a lot of questions on pull ups. Some people really struggle with pull ups. Don’t worry, as with everything in this program, you will get stronger at pull ups. Don’t say, “I can’t do pull ups.” Instead say, “I currently struggle with pull ups.” Until you get stronger, simply MODIFY the pull ups. Several ways to do this. The first way is by using a chair. Set it out in front of you, and put one leg on the back of the chair. Use your leg to assist you in the pull up. The further the chair is away from the chin up bar, the harder it is. The closer the chair, the easier it is. Play with this distance, until its right for you. Then also adjust as you get stronger. Another way to make it easier or harder is by bending your leg or leaving it straight. Bending your leg is easier. Keeping your leg straight is harder. After a while, you can move the chair all together. When I started doing P90X, I was able to do 3 wide grip pull ups. Now when I am in my best P90X shape, I can easily get 15-18. You will get stronger, just work hard, and it will come in time. Don’t let this discourage you if you struggle with pull ups.

This workout is 12 moves, repeated twice. The second round is a repeat of the first, but with a slightly different order.

Round 1. The first round, you should pace yourself, consider stopping a couple reps short of your max.

  1. Standard Push-Ups. I absolutely love pull ups. As you get stronger in them, you’ll begin loving them too, if you don’t already. Pull ups are just a great overall exercise to strengthen your back.
  2. Wide Front Pull-Ups.
  3. Military Push-Ups. Try to keep your elbows, so they touch your sides, don’t let them flare out, if at all possible.
  4. Reverse Grip Chin-Ups. A back workout, but you get to add some biceps in too. Nice.

    Water Break

  5. Wide Fly Push-Ups.
  6. Closed Grip Overhead Pull-Ups. Your hands are close together here. I do this by keeping my hands to where my thumbs can touch on the bar.
  7. Decline Push-Ups. Use a chair, and make sure you keep your back straight, as with all push ups.
  8. Heavy Pants. Taking a break from the pull up bar and getting in some nice old fashioned dumbbell exercises for the back.

    Water Break

  9. Diamond Push-Ups. My least favorite push up, but also a very effective exercise. We all have our favorites and least favorites. You may love this one.
  10. Lawnmowers. Again, using the dumbbells.
  11. Dive-Bomber Push-Ups. A tough exercise, but a favorite of mine "sometimes". :)
  12. Back Flys. Make sure you have good form on this exercise. TOny Horton shows some good pointers in this one, so watch closely.

    Water Break

Round 2. And then you repeat the same sequence all over again. The second round you’ll have to dig deep. This is the round that you will want to just "go for it".

  1. Wide Front Pull-Ups.
  2. Standard Push-Ups. a
  3. Reverse Grip Chin-Ups.
  4. Military Push-Ups.

    Water Break

  5. Closed Grip Overhead Pull-Ups.
  6. Wide Fly Push-Ups.
  7. Heavy Pants.
  8. Decline Push-Ups.

    Water Break

  9. Lawnmowers.
  10. Diamond Push-Ups.
  11. Back Flys.
  12. Dive-Bomber Push-Ups.

And that’s all there is to it, simple exercises, but there is nothing simple about completing this workout. Don’t forget, track your progress! P90X Worksheets and/or the advanced excel P90X worksheets.

You can watch all of the videos by visting our P90X Videos page.

As always, if you have questions, comments, of if you would like to send us your P90X Review or Success Story, you can contact us here. Be sure to check back for our next review, or subscribe to receive our blog in your email.

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