P90X3: Final Thoughts on Classic

So my initial journey through P90X3 has come to a conclusion.  The past three months or so have flown by and I’m glad I somewhat stuck with the plan.  Like most of the Beachbody routines I’ve tried (P90X and Insanity), my will to push play wavered towards the end of the program.  But unlike the others, I can see myself going back to P90X3 soon to try some of the other schedules such as “Mass” to see what gains it can provide.

My main complaint about P90X3 is the lack of a dedicated ab routine in the base product.  If you splurged for the Deluxe or Ultimate kits, they came with three additional workouts and one of which is X3 Ab Ripper.  Even though most of the routines involve engaging the core, it wasn’t the same as devoting a 15 minute segment to just working this area.  Towards the end, I resorted to replacing Dynamix with Ab Ripper X from P90X which helped alleviate this complaint.  Not getting the more expensive versions also meant I missed out on Complex Upper, which is described as “A 30-minute workout featuring explosive training for absolute upper-body strength and power”, which is right up my alley for my fitness goals.  So that was a bummer.

Besides that minor complaint, my overall experience with P90X3 has been quite positive.  First, the main hook of the program promising 30 minute workouts was the primary reason for trying it out.  Most of the general population probably has the same mindset as me when it comes to working out in that 45 minutes to an hour just isn’t feasible on a daily basis.  On days where I didn’t quite have the willpower to push play, the fact that it was only going to be 30 minutes got me over that hump.  Everything is relative and if I can waste 30 minutes watching a dumb TV show, then I certainly have time to get up and move.

Another big plus is that I achieved gradual measurable results as I progressed through the program.  Strength, flexibility, and my weight all went up, the last of which was my primary goal.  I didn’t follow the included nutrition plan but I made a conscious effort to intake more calories since I was expending more energy.  As has been well documented, my flexibility wasn’t winning me any awards so being able to finally touch my toes when I bend down has been a huge win.  As for strength, I’m now back to where I was when I completed P90X, but in half the time!  I still have a ways to go in all three of these departments so this is just the beginning of my journey.

The positives for this program far outweigh the minor quibbles I have and I wholeheartedly recommend P90X3 to fitness novices and veterans alike.  Tony Horton does a good job of keeping you engaged in the workouts while also pushing you like never before in only 30 minutes a day.  I hope to start a new round and follow the “Mass” schedule soon so look for recaps of that journey in the near future.  Until then, decide, commit, succeed!


Taping Tuesday: Rib Pain

Humans have 24 ribs, or twelve pairs, that help protect vital organs and aid in the contraction and expansion of the thorax when breathing.  Of the twelve pairs, the first seven are deemed “true ribs” meaning each one has an individual cartilaginous attachment to the sternum.  The last five pairs of ribs are “false ribs” because they either share a connection to the sternum or are floating ribs, meaning they only have a connection to the spine.

Because of the integral role ribs play in everyday functions such as breathing, coughing, and laughing, any injury to them can take several weeks to heal.  The area can’t be permanently stabilized as in the case of a broken arm in a cast because the intercostal muscles that are in between the ribs are utilized with the above mentioned actions and are thus always in motion.

Applying kinesiotape can help add support and stability to the ribs without compromising their function.  Depending on your comfort level with taping, KT Tape and Rocktape provide different methods.  The former uses four regular strips that is easier to handle and apply while the latter involves a fan-like approach to tape the ribs.

Taping Tuesday: Neck and Upper Back

A common area of complaint in the general population is pain in the neck and upper back.  A phrase frequently heard is “I carry my stress in my shoulders” and there is some truth to this saying.  High stress levels or an injury to the area can cause a breakdown of proper posture in the neck and upper back.


Instead of standing or sitting upright, the upper back starts rounding out, aquiring a hyperkyphotic posture while the head and neck travel forward into an anterior head carriage position.  If the body is in this alignment for a prolonged period of time, muscles become overstretched and weakened.  This can lead to tightness and tenderness in the upper trapezius and cervical paraspinal muscles, which run across the top of the shoulders and along the sides of the neck respectively.  This produces a complex called the upper cross syndrome as pictured above.

There are simple stretches and kinesio taping methods that can be used to help correct this detrimental syndrome as well as aid in symptom relief.  Doorway and wall stretches are two of the most commonly prescribed routines.  Taping is also quite straightforward as demonstrated by KT Tape and Rocktape.

P90X3: Week 12 Recap

Week 12 was the last “real” sequence of workouts in P90X3, since week 13 is considered a victory week.  This past week featured the ever tough Decelerator, which I have become quite familiar with as it is the lead routine in every week of block 3.  Crane push-ups have become slightly more manageable in terms of form and balance but it is still no walk in the park.

Eccentric Upper and Lower were challenging as always and I look forward to doing them back to back and twice a week once I start the mass schedule.  I managed to substitute Ab Ripper X for Dynamix this week for just the second time.  I had high hopes of doing this more frequently because I do get more out of 15 minutes of intense core work than another day of stretching.

P90X3 concludes with a victory week that cruises to the finish line with Isometrix, Accelerator, Pilates X, X3 Yoga, Dynamix, and ends with a final fit test.  With this journey almost at a completion, I can say that the past twelve weeks have gone by like a blur.  Even though I might have struggled during individual workouts, it was all about putting things in perspective and just pushing play from one day to the next.  Almost 90 days later, I’m glad I took this challenge and look forward to being able to say I’m a P90X3 grad.

Taping Tuesday: Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is a collection of four muscles that help stabilize the shoulder.  Other functions of this muscle group include arm abduction, external rotation, and internal rotation.  The four muscles involved are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis.  All have points of origin on the scapula and insert into the humerus (upper arm bone).


Kinesiotaping of the rotator cuff muscles aims to help support and provide additional stability to the four named muscles, allowing the body to perform more efficiently in daily activities or in an athletic environment.  It can also aid in the healing process of sprains, strains, or minor tears that do not require surgery.

Taping Tuesday: Triceps Brachii

Even though the biceps gets the majority of attention when people envision muscular arms, the triceps brachii is actually the largest muscle group on the upper arm.  Exercises such as push-ups, dips, and bench presses will all work the triceps, adding size or definition depending on your goals.  With any strenuous workout, injuries are bound to happen and taping the triceps can’t be any easier.  One strip of a kinesiotape of your preference is all that is required.

P90X3: Week 11 Recap

With week 11 in the bag, the light at the end of the P90X3 tunnel is starting to get brighter and clearer!  Just like last week, I modified the workout schedule and ended up omitting X3 Yoga and the Dynamix or  Rest day.  The biggest leap this week was the amount of pull-ups and chin-ups I was able to muster without the assist band during The Challenge and Total Synergistics.  I’m finally back to where I was at the end of my run through of P90X a couple years ago.  With that said, I”m still nowhere near where the guys in the DVDs are at but the improvement is nice to see.

Agility X and Triometrics got me feeling “like Kobe in the fourth quarter” as Tony Horton so eloquently put it.  I was gasping for air and tugging on my shorts whether it was from pushing myself harder or my cardio not being up to par recently.  I’m looking forward to really maxing out the workouts next week before the final victory week.

Taping Tuesday: Biceps

The biceps muscle is not just a “glamour muscle” but is involved with important daily functions of the arm and shoulder.  Specifically, it allows for flexion of the elbow and rotation of the shoulder joint.  Because it is such a prominent and practical muscle, it can be afflicted with many different ailments such as sprains, strains, tears, displacements, and inflammation.

Taping the biceps is as simple as a single piece of kinesiotape.

P90X3: Week 10 Recap

Well, this was quite the wild week in terms of actually getting my workouts in.  Due to unforeseen situations such as a different work schedule and the always fun migraine, I ended up falling behind by two days and skipped Pilates X as well as the rest/Dynamix/Ab Ripper X day.  I usually finish up the P90X week on a Friday and then start right into the next set on Saturday.  As you can tell from this post, I just ended week 10 today, a Sunday.

Just got to keep plugging along though, so I choose to look at this minor setback as a way for my body to have more time to recover for me to power through the last 3 weeks of this program.  The major difference I noticed this week was that I am starting to increase the flexibility in my hamstrings!  Before starting P90X3, I couldn’t bend forward and touch my toes due to the tightness in my hams.  I was in the middle of the cool-down of Eccentric Lower today when I performed said move and impressed myself with actual finger to toe contact.  Minor stuff but pretty exciting in my book.

This week’s actual schedule according to the books was supposed to be Decelerator, MMX, Eccentric Upper, Triometrics, Pilates X, Eccentric Lower, and Rest/Dynamix.  Next week is a repeat of week 9 and will be the last time we see Agility X, The Challenge, and Total Synergistics.  Until the next go-around of P90X3…

The Bacon Dongle Will Be Mine… In 6-8 Weeks!

Oscar Mayer’s ingenious bacon promotion, or “bacomotion”, has finally paid dividends for me!  After several weeks of trying, I’m proud to say that one of their delicious bacon-scented devices will be waking me up in 6-8 weeks.  I haven’t been this excited for an alarm clock and waking up in the morning sinceNinja Turtles were on early Saturdays back in the 90’s.

Look for a full report on this landmark device once it is in my possession.  Until then, I guess the sound and smell of real bacon will have to suffice.

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