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Anyone know RL friends or whatever, and have personal reviews on the effects and results of p90x?

Strong urge to buy it right now, and have been really set on a program like that for a while now.

So if you have any extra info that isn't on their site or on reviews in general, please post it here!

[Mainly looking to get it for overall fitness improvement, not so much for the fat loss (but I'll want that later)]


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There's also something called 'Insanity' which is pretty much the same thing.

I have never done either of these personally all the way through, but these workouts do indeed work. I used to do something similar to these, kind of along the lines of what people do when they train to fight in mma. And there's a lot of people out there who train for mma, just because it's a great workout and you don't even have to get in the cage or anything.

I would say if you have the money and want to do it then go for it. If you thought you were sore from all the working out you've done previously just be prepared if you start either of those workouts ^_^

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I personally don't like p90x. My buddy says he does it, but what he really means is that he "does" it.

Let me put it this way, a program like p90x promotes bad form. The reason is, somebody who doesn't really know anything about working out, sees p90x and sees that it's an intense workout (which to somebody that doesn't work out, a intense weight training program may or may not look exactly the same as p90x, and they're both vastly different from each other), and thinks I'm gonna go and do that! Well, great. Now let me give you another example of something that we've all watched other people do, and that I'd say at least 85-90 percent of people I've seen do it, do it with bad form. The push-up. We've all watched other people do it since we were in kinder garden, because it's part of phys-ed class. A true push-up you should be coming down and your chest should be 1/4-1/2 inch off the ground. But instead, what do we see? We see people putting a slight bend in their arms, extending their necks towards the ground, to fool themselves into thinking their going down further than they actually are, and bouncing on their joints. And the sad thing is, there are some people that can only do about 10 of those lol.

Anyway, do you see where I'm going with this yet? The point is, if nobody is there to force you to do the exercise right, then unless you have been working out for a few years (and I mean actually learning to work out, and not just going through the motions, which sadly, is what I see from most people that go to the gym I go to, and for that matter, any gym I've ever been to), then you won't do it right. I'm a trainer as well, and when I'm trying to teach people how to work out right, I tell everybody the same things. For instance, I always tell people to do an exercise with very very light weight for the first time, because you need to learn form before anything else, and make sure you learn it right. Another thing I tell them, is I tell them how their bodies work. Basically, when you're under stress, you're survival response takes over. For instance, when you're doing skull crushers, if you're not experienced, and it's heavy, what do you think will happen? You're elbows flare out, and your triceps come parallel to the ground, and it turns into some odd form of flat bench, that I've never learned, but apparently is very popular with new guys lol (just before anyone says close grip, close grip bench which works the triceps as well, is with your elbows tight to your side, not flared out).

The other thing that happens is your fight or flight response takes over, or should I say your flight response, because rarely have I seen fight take over. There are two limits you have, your mental limit, and your physical limit. Your mental limit is nowhere close to where your physical limits are. When you are at your most hungry, and you feel like your starving, you still have enough energy to run 20 or so miles. But your mind would tell you "no, go ahead and take a break, the roads not going anywhere. Lets sit here and think about how hungry you are instead!" This is no different than when you feel worked, and your mind tells you "stop, those weights aren't going anywhere, we're only gonna do another sit in a minute, why push yourself!?" You never get anywhere unless you push to your physical breaking point.

Half the gym is a mind game with yourself. You have to train yourself to not listen to your instincts: both the survival instinct that makes you do things wrong, and the flight response that makes you want to stop and take a break. So back to p90x, if you aren't experienced enough, you won't be able to follow the program. But either one of two things will happen: either your mind will fool you into you thinking that you're doing an awesome job, or you won't be experienced enough to know how bad you're doing it, because nobody is telling you that you are doing bad. There's no feedback with a DVD, which is terrible for somebody just starting out. There's guys I train that I've been training for months, who still do bad form, and others who kind of edge back into bad form and I have to give them shock therapy to get back to good form. Trust me, it takes time to break past this. After all, it's thousands of years of evolution, in which being this way kept us alive, but trust me, the gym is no place for these things. So you're basically training yourself out of things that caused our species to survive.

Another thing I don't want you to be fooled by, is the progress you will make if you do this. Yes, I said it, you will make some progress. When you first start working out, with bad form or not, you're body will be shocked into something it's not used to, and another part of evolution will work for you, and you're body will begin to develop rapidly to counter this new form of physical exertion that is being placed on it. Two things though, first off, you're body will get used to it eventually, and then you'll be stuck wondering "well why am I not getting stronger???" The other thing, is I see guys that got strong with bad form, as I'm sure you have. Look at a body builder, then look at these guys...notice a difference? Working out with bad form develops your muscles in bad ways, and it causes them to be misshaped, and the end product, is you look very odd. Don't be fooled though, that's not the bad thing about bad form. The bad thing about bad form is getting hurt, which happens. I hurt my back and tore my shoulder from bad form, when I first started working out, because I didn't have somebody like myself (oh irony how you mock me lol) to teach myself when I first started. If you work out with bad form, you WILL hurt yourself, that's my personal guarantee. In any case, I'm drifting, back to progress. As I said, you will make progress, but it will be short lived. It's better to learn right from wrong, and grow right, and continuous, then to take the fast track.

Nothing about the gym is fast and easy...nothing. I've been doing weight training for the past 5 or 6 years and I've hated it every single day. But once you start, you can never stop, or you will lose everything you've gained. My body is a little more adapted to it now, but about 6 or 7 months after I first started working out, I took a one week break, and I lost about 10 lbs...no joke. Now it would take me a little bit longer to lose that much weight, but if you stop working out, you will lose everything you've gained guaranteed.

Now, that out of the way...you have to ask yourself a few questions:

Are you looking to slim up, and that's it?

Are you looking to get jacked like Arnold?

What kind of body type do you have? Ectomorphic? Mesomorphic? Endomorphic? (look here for the definitions)

If you answered yes to anything after the first question, then p90x is NOT for you. p90x is a cardio program, which burns a ton of calories, but doesn't really get you stronger. As I said, you will see yourself get stronger if you've never worked out before, even with a program like this. But you won't gain much, so don't get too excited about that.

I'm ectomorphic myself, so I do strictly weight training, and I still maintain around 5 percent body fat (which is around the healthy minimum, don't ever try and go lower than that). If you're endomorphic, and wan't to get like arnold, then you will need some sort of cardio and a weight training program. If you're endomorpic then you probably only need a minimal amount of cardio and a weight training program. I said cardio program, but I'll get to that in a second.

Another thing you should keep in mind, is that if you're looking to slim up AND get stronger, don't be fooled into thinking you should slim up first, and THEN get stronger. That's the wrong order. Use your fat to help you, and it will help you. You see much better strength gains as a fatty than as a skinny twig...it's just the way it works.

Anyway, there's only one thing left to take care of: a cardio program. Whether you need something to supplement you're weight training, or whether you're looking for explicitly cardio (and you want to just look like a twig...lol, I don't know why anybody other than a woman would want that, but to each his own), I wouldn't recommend p90x to anybody just starting to work out, for the reasons I already stated. There's a program called "CrossFit", which I tried for a bit, and was great. The programs are different, but the key difference that I note between p90x and CrossFit, is that CrossFit has actual physical trainers that say "WTF are you doing!? that looks like shit." I took the program, and I was a step above some of the other people, admittedly, but that was the beauty of it, the trainers were on there asses about form every day (yes, every day they tried to cheat and do things wrong, but as I said, it's in our nature to cheat). p90x doesn't have that. AOB did say something about Insanity, but I've never seen it/participated in it, so I'm not really sure what it does.

In any case though, if you're not looking to be a twig, then you WILL need to learn proper weight training to supplement your cardio (as I said, I'm ectomorphic. So when I tried crossfit (just trying it out for a month) I lost about 3 months worth of strength because it was way to much cardio for me). Unfortunately I only know 2 other people who I would trust to train somebody other than myself, and I know a lot of other people who go to the gym and "work out" (just going to the gym for 5 years alone doesn't automatically make you good at it, it takes effort to learn it right). I've noticed personal trainers are more often than not overweight, and have NO idea what they're talking about...teaching things that are mildly incorrect, or just blatantly wrong. Me and another trainer, and one other guy I go to the gym with (who happens to be a fighter), are the only guys I would trust to train anybody. And I know a ton of other trainers...if that tells you anything. All I'll be able to tell you from here, is to be skeptical about personal trainers, and try a few of them. Don't just go out and find somebody that's been working out for a few years and assume they know what they're doing. A guy I know has been working out for 4 or so years, and has literally some of the worst form I've ever seen. Don't trust time as experience.

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Nice. Lots of info. I was looking for basically that, a more negative or neutral side instead of the 3 billion super happy positive reviews. LIEK OMIGAWD P90X MADE ME LUK GR8888

I have a good understanding of weight lifting and cardio, the stances and forms you need (both visually and the actual feel while doing the exercise) to isolate the muscle you're working on, so I won't be cheating or using bad form often or at all . I get onto my friend about that all the time when I go to the gym with him. dry.gif I have the determination to go through something physically abusive for the sake of getting what I want, if it will make enough of a difference in my life.

I would think I'm ectomorphic, based on the descriptions on that link.

Basically here's a rundown of my past experience and what I'm looking for.


- Good amount of previous home-gym and personal trainer workout sessions in the past with bodyweight, weights, and machines.

- In enough shape to start a demanding plan, in terms of both cardio and strength (I very most likely won't be starting on the lowest weights and crying the whole time)

- Tons of mental determination to push through pain and soreness and plateaus, which has been a major asset to me for working out with grueling plans

- Understanding that I may need to change my lifestyle or diet to actually see results

- I set a small goal to be able to run 30 minutes straight at a good pace by spring of this year (at the time it was Dec. of last year) and I stuck with the 4 day a week running plan, even though I got destroyed every day by pushing myself over and over physically and mentally past the breaking point, and at the same time I was mentally watching each step to make sure I was hitting toe/midsole first and that my back was straight with a lean, etc. (Stuck with plan, emphasized good form on every session)

Hope to gain:

- results after a reasonable amount of time (results are not overnight and I am aware of this, and accepting of it 100%)

- NOT looking for bulky size (and I know p90x is not made for bulk)

- Great endurance combined with good strength.

- ^ on that subject, a physical level that will allow me to go mountain biking for hours, or play basketball and run back and forth down the court, and jump like a madman with ease (plyometrics, etc)

- Flexibility for daily life improvement and better range of motion during sports or activities

- Agility again for daily life improvement

- My balance sucks right now and they have routines for that

So basically, I'm a previous exerciser of different sorts, both high rep routines with mid weights, and low rep routines with max weights, as well as bodyweight. Looking to get into a more overall and "Real" training plan. The cost isn't that much of an issue. Biggest things for me is that everything is laid out for me from the start. I suck at building nutritional plans for myself, and can never seem to wrap my head around a good meal plan (talking hour to hour, day by day basis), as well as workout plans that hit every muscle, and in the specific way that I want to.

This plan just seems to have everything laid out for me already, and is the type of plan that I want, but I wanted to get more info before I just jump into it.

TLDR: Have previous workout experience, can push myself WAY beyond what I think my limits are, understand good form, etc, and looking for physical fitness instead of bulking. I can weight lift later on, hit my desired strength level, then return to this plan if I need to.

So, again I really appreciate the responses and the time you took to write all that out means a lot to me. You have a lot of information that I was wanting to know, and confirmed a lot of things for me as well. Based on what I wrote in my post, would you say that p90x would be a good workout routine for me?

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Agree with GDI, from skimming through it, they gave it out for free to us... and if you have a good work out program that works all ready, P90X isn't going to help much. Basic concept is when you hit your peak on your current work out, or before, change it up.

Check out the crossfit site, plus it's free, and has great ideas.


P90X insanity is the newest version.

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LOL you put the TLDR part at the bottom of your post...jerk! lol, jk

I'm glad you put in the part about running and making sure that your toes hit the ground instead of your heals and rolling forward. Most people don't realize that, so it gives me a little more faith in you. Most people say, "yea I have good form!" then you watch them and its shite.

Anyway, based on what you posted, p90x might be OK with you. Keep in mind though, p90x is for the "I want it now!" crowd, and as we all know, and as I've already mentioned, nothing about the gym or working out is fast and easy, or now for that matter. So maybe for a month at a time only. But I guess that all depends on what the videos contain. I don't know how the program varies from DVD to DVD, or if it's like when I was a kid, and my mom used to do Richard Simmons: Sweatin' to the Oldies, where it was just the one repetitive session.

CrossFit is also one of those programs where it's laid out for you. I won't say they worked out your whole body when I did it (they said they did though). What I noticed is a heavy emphasis on legs, shoulders, and core, and it seems like they forgot about the chest, biceps and triceps altogether. But, it is one on one training almost. You are in a class, and there are a few people in there, and a few trainers to watch you. The particular trainers that I got were also qualified nutritionists, and they tried to turn me onto the gluton diet. The thing I liked most about crossfit, is now I know these exercises, and I can do that at home/at the gym whenever I want, since most of them are body weight exercises (since they focus on cardio). What GamerRadar was trying to get you to do, was look at the exercises that they post up everyday, because CrossFit is a national franchise, so everyone across the country involved with CrossFit does the same workout. Of course, I still recommend at least taking the class for a month, 2 months, 3 months before you go and do these things on your own. The point is though, you don't really need anything after that. No videos, no gym, no nothing (you might need a few things, like rings, get a pull up bar, etc just so you can do cardio workout they do. They do train you to do squats and overhead press and what not, so if you want to do that, then you will need a gym). So long as you're OK with not building a lot of muscle then this is a good option.

Basically, you can't really rely on that "at home" stuff too much. I always train people never to use machines, so even getting an at home "gym" I would steer you off of. I could go into detail about that, but I actually need to go to the gym right now, so I'm trying to wrap this up a little quicker than my last post, so you're gonna have to take my word for it for now lol. So unfortunately, for doing anything other than cardio...it's really unavoidable to not go to they gym (unless you're a millionaire and can buy dumbbells at $1.50 a lb). If you're doing mountain biking, I would imagine you would want to do squats, leg curls etc. So you might not have a choice but to hit up a gym. That's why I'm trying to turn you onto CrossFit. The one I went to had bars for doing squats, pull up bars, kettle bells, which isn't a full scale gym, but I think for your purposes, might do the trick. Besides, right outside was a full scale gym, so I had a different workout I did when I wasn't in CrossFit. Once you start mountain biking, you could probably cut back on that, and just do cardio, or maybe nothing at all (depending on long each day you mountain bike continuously)

TLDR Lazy bastard...read the post!! haha

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TLDR Lazy bastard...read the post!! haha

The TLDR part wasn't for you , moreso for others that might not read our lengthy conversations, lol. wink.gif

I do have a pair of 10-50lb bells at home which I really like for working out. Also might get a pair of 60s and 70s (non-adjustable) depending on my progress with X. I don't just rely on bodyweight exercises to get the job done. I'm also pretty comfortable using dumbells and handling them at heavy weights alone. I might need to get some wrist straps as I move up in weight, though.

In terms of long range fitness plans, I'm thinking like:

- p90x to start me off. Learn the nutritional intake for certain types of routines. Learn what routines will get me the results I want, which are for now a "total fitness" type of setup.

- After I complete p90x, move onto a small gym (there's a good $12/mo gym near me with 100lb bells and enough machines to get what you need done if you're a regular weightlifter)

--- Then I'd use the gym to build my strength while maintaining a solid diet that I learned and tweaked from p90x

- After I get to the desired strength level, or bulk level if I'm on that road later on, I'd cut back to p90x again to get me back to total fitness, because I'm feeling that I leave those areas stale too long then I'll entirely lose what I've gained with X. So about the time I'm at a good strength level (few months of heavy gym lifting), I'd be back on X with the high intensity and agility routines. Then I can alternate to keep each one at a solid level, and keep progressing without entirely losing what I've gained, or just incorporate the plyo and flexibility routines into a weight routine with less cardio, etc. If I went to a gym to get in touch with a personal trainer, it will most likely cost me several times more than getting a premade program like p90x. I'm a very curious person, and I like to research into the things I'm doing, so I will be constantly forging forward into new ideas or styles for what I'm working with. Like with running, I kept watching videos on proper running form until I finally got it down, and reading about pronation vs no pronation, etc.

I really just don't have any idea of a routine that will get me the goals I'm wanting outside of something like p90x or similar, without going to a fitness trainer and spending a shitload of money for one on one sessions on a near daily basis. I'm the kind of person that needs to experience something first, then will move onto tweaking and perfecting it. That's why I'm leaning towards a pre-built plan for starters.

Now if you can find me a total body plan on the net for free that has nutritional guides with meals, and routines for flexibility, agility, endurance, moderate strength, and balance all in video form for easy to follow instructions, then hit me up! But I've yet to find something like that so far. ^_^

Again, really do appreciate all the feedback. I'm not a total newbie to the world of "real" exercise (not lame or flimsy exercise plans), but at the same time I do not have enough knowledge or resources to build myself a plan that will take care of the areas I'm concerned about. So this really does help me a good deal.

I'm just trying to figure out the best way of approaching my goals of a fit lifestyle, starting from near zero. p90x seemed like the easiest and most stress free way to dive headfirst into training in a correct manner for the facets of fitness that I'm aiming at.

Thanks for the info and help so far

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well for me, I'm a weight trainer, dare I even say body builder (don't do competitions...yet, and don't really work legs as much as I should). For Me, I bench with 100lb dumbells on flat, 85 lbs on incline, I do dips with almost double my body weight strapped to my waist, etc etc, so I need a gym that has the things I need.

What you need though, is a workout that varies, and unfortunately a gym is the only place you can truly achieve that. With body weight exercises, the sky's the limit. But if you need a creative workout that uses weights, you need a gym (or, as I mentioned before, unless you're a millionaire). Getting a few dumbells helps, but you need more than just dumbells.

Also, as I mentioned before, if you stop working out, you lose everything. I think you don't fully understand the extent of that. You can't stop weight training or cardio for 3 months and then come back and expect to pick up where you left off. You're more likely to pick up from scratch with a gap that large. If you want to do both, you need to do both at the same time. There's no way around it. Also, as I mentioned before, if you're trying to trim up, and then later bulk up, that's the biggest mistake you can make. You can eventually achieve your goals like this, but it will be harder for you. Let your fat work for you...turn it into muscle straight from the start. If you just do cardio, you're gonna do a massive amount of work to, burn enough calories that your body starts to dip into it's fat reserves. Then you're gonna have to eat like a mad man later on to bulk up.

Try this instead, if you want to bulk up and trim up, just eat less, and work out. The idea is to burn more calories a day than you are consuming, that's all you need. I know you said you want to do mountain biking too, and you need endurance for that, but mountain biking aside, if you want to just trim up, that's all you need. That being said, combine that with weight training.

As far as gyms, unfortunately, I've never seen a gym that cost $12 a month that was actually decent. And also as I said before...never use machines!! Machines are good for two things, and two things only: For somebody that's just starting out (which even when I train people, I put them straight onto free weights anyway, so they never touch machines), and when you're doing a burnout set, or cardio work out. The reason for the second thing, is when you're exhausted, and moving fast, sometimes it can be dangerous if you are exhausted, and the weight falls in some odd way...it could hurt you. A machine prevents that though. But...that's the ONLY time I'd recommend using a machine. Also, back to CrossFit, the exercises the post every day on their website are free. But I'd feel more comfortable if you didn't just try them, without somebody there to coach you on how to do them properly, it takes a lot of coordination to do properly. That's why I recommended you enrolling in the program. Unfortunately, as I said, nothing about the gym is quick and easy...well...it's also not cheap. Personally, I volunteer at the YMCA where I live, and they give me a free membership (say what you want about the YMCA as a gym, but they have literally the best gyms I've seen [outside of the military], and because it's the YMCA, nobody wants to go there because they assume it's lame...and the particular YMCA I go to, has two weight rooms, and the weight room I go to, only the serious...well most of us anyway, weight trainers are in, because the rest of the people that aren't, are in the second building's weight room). So it's all about finding something that works for you. I volunteer as a trainer, and I get a free membership. Maybe if you have a YMCA around you, that could be something you could pursue. The CrossFit I participated happened to be in a YMCA (a different one than I work), and yes, it cost me 50 a month, but 50 a month for 2 months, hopefully 3 months, is a small price to pay for the knowledge to take what you learn and apply it.

About the food...starches and grains are a no no (if you're trying to trim up, if you're looking for energy, then go for it). The reason is, when you consume grains (you're pastas, breads, oatmeal, etc), it ends up in your small intestines and it blocks up your little absorber things, and then the rest of the stuff you consumed just flows right through you. Then you're body tells you that you didn't get what you needed nutritionally, and it says, gimme more! That's the reason you're hungry after you eat Chinese food. Think about it from an evolutionary point of view. Herbivores eat things like these grainy plants, and the idea is that the grain is supposed to pass through the animal, and fall somewhere else, with a fresh load of fertilizer. That's how the plants reproduce. Ideally, you would want to get ALL your energy from fruits and vegetables (with the exception of a few, and I'm not sure what they are off the top of my head, but the ones you want to avoid are the ones abnormally high in sugar). That brings me straight to sugars...your other no no. Sugars are terrible, but even worse, sugar free. But lets start with sugar first. When you're tongue tastes sugar, it sends a message to your brain to start producing insulin to counter the sugar when it reaches your stomach. That will fatten you right up, because it tell your body to store fat, but not use it. Now, sugar free...as I said, when you taste sugar (or something sweet in this case, because your tongue doesn't know the difference), your body, again will start producing insulin. But now, the problem is there is no sugar to counter the insulin...so now you have an excess of insulin in your system...bad juju. Have you ever heard somebody say they chew gum to burn calories? Well next time you hear that, you can just laugh at them. The whole time they're chewing, their tongue is telling their brain to prepare for a lot of sugar...and nothing ever gets to their stomach. Here, lets laugh together...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

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As far as gyms, unfortunately, I've never seen a gym that cost $12 a month that was actually decent.

I enjoy machines to learn proper form, but I've always liked freeweights. I love the control you have to have in order to be successful with them.

Also, my base strength is not high enough yet to warrant me using weights higher than what this gym has available. If I ended up needing heavier than what they have to offer, then I can see myself moving to a bigger chain of gyms. My friend has been lifting for quite a while now and still can get a solid workout from this gym, so I think it will work for now.


So much info in this thread so far, very nice!

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I don't know why I didn't recommend this before, but go and buy a book called

The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding

Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote it. It's about 800 some odd pages, and costs $16. That book is looooaddded with good information. About half of it has to do with body building, but even still 400 pages about working out for $16? Not a bad deal. When you read it, even if it seems like something you might already know, read it anyway. Take everything he says literally. If he says to let dumbells drag your arms down as far as they physically will go when you're doing flys, then do it.

The only thing I read so far out of that book that I don't fully agree with is when he was talking about cardio. He did say that even somebody who is ectomorphic should do at least 30 mins of cardio 4 times a week (I think it was 4). I probably should take that back. It's not that I don't agree with him, I fully do for the audience of the book: bodybuilders. But for me, I don't take it serious enough to be in competitions, and to eat and work out like a true bodybuilder does (eating 6 times a day, and working out 2 or 3 times a day). I just don't agree with that for me. So for things like that, you may have to be aware that it is for bodybuilders, but if you're not sure about anything, ask me before you decide for yourself, and I'll try and clear it up.

Also, I'd be skeptical about your friend. Just you saying that he is still lifting in a sally gym (sorry, don't know what else to call it lol), after he's been working out for a while, signifies that he's not doing something right. The most important thing about lifting is form, so it doesn't matter if you're doing 10 lb dumbbells for flat bench and that's all you physically can do, because you hit failure every time at about 4 reps (physical failure, not mental 'I wanna stop now' failure), then that's perfect. But if somebody is doing that weight and never increasing, then something is wrong. In other words, all I'm saying, is don't really listen to what he has to say like it's the word of God, cuz chances are, he'll turn you onto what he's doing, and then you'll be stuck in that gym too.

The last thing, is I don't think you should use machines...period. Machines make you dependent on them maintaining the motion for you. That's bad bad bad. Also, some of them are actually bad for you. Keep in mind, they had to design one machine to fit everyone. Why should somebody that is 6' 4" be doing "bench" on the same machine as somebody who is 4' 11"? Also, these machines are designed to keep you from hurting yourself, which is another problem with personal trainers that I have. It all comes back on them if you hurt yourself. So the way they do things, is to design your workout/machine, in such a way where you can't hurt yourself. The real way to do it, is just to teach somebody how to do the exercise proper in the first place. The example I'm gonna use here, is the bench press machine. How many of these bench press machines have you ever gotten on, that will ever allow you to bring the weight to your chest (imagine there is a bar that comes across, that bar should touch your chest, come to a stop, and then go back up)? I haven't seen any that allow that. The reason is, is because a lot of people go into the gym, and think it's all about moving the weight around. So they come in and see how fast they can move it down to their chest, and allow their tendants and ligaments and what not to act as springs, and give them a little recoil to get the weight moving back up. This is dangerous for obvious reason...those things don't heal if you tear them. So how do trainers, and the designers of these machines fix this? They design it so you can't do that. Half the work out is the negatives - when the weight is going back down. It's not a race. When the weight is fully down, in this case, just touching your chest (not bouncing off!!!!!), your chest is completely stretched. Weight training, in a nutshell, is just tearing muscle, and your body filling in the tears with new muscle cells. So when you're completely stretched out like that, it's tearing your muscle...this is a very good thing.

Soooo...yea then....don't use machines lol

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I did not ready any of this thread and will summarize p90x up quickly:

The first month or so you will feel like you got beaten or runover every damn day. After that you become noticeably stronger pretty quick and can almost double your weights. Overall I'd say it's a fantastic workout if you can stay on it. Note that I didn't do the diet and just the exercises.

My boss has been doing p90x for years and he is ridiculously fit.

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The first month or so you will feel like you got beaten or runover every damn day.

Sounds good. No, really, it does. Even though it hurts a lot, it's good because you know you're making progress in the right direction. I also have a lot of things to help reduce post-workout negative effects, which I can tell make a big difference already. Did a 1000 calorie (based on my polar watch) bike ride for 1 hour previously like 6 months ago (was in good shape). Next day at work I was nearly unable to walk. I had to take an energy drink every 3-5 hours of work just to keep moving at an acceptable pace. Now, I did the same ride, in less time, and being slightly out of shape, took these supplements that day. [natural "clean" whey isolate w/ aminos + flaxseed oil w/omega 3s + electrolyte refill supplement + L-glutamine before bed]. I still felt beat, but the after effects were far less harsh than previously. That a proper stretch routine after working out seems to be instrumental in keeping yourself with the least possible amount of post-workout soreness and pain.

They design it so you can't do that. Half the work out is the negatives - when the weight is going back down. It's not a race. When the weight is fully down, in this case, just touching your chest (not bouncing off!!!!!), your chest is completely stretched.

Yeah, I like dumbbell exercises more than machines and stuff. I already knew and understood that you benefit more-so from them because you're also incorporating stabilizer muscles, which helps a lot in the real world. But I didn't really think or "realize" that machines would limit you like that. My friend loves machines because he says mixing them into your weekly rotations off and on "shocks" your muscles. I can understand his logic, but I don't think he's entirely right. Shouldn't you just change to different free weight exercises to shock your muscles? Like working your biceps with standard curls one day, then going to one arm curls the next day or whatever.

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Yeah, I like dumbbell exercises more than machines and stuff. I already knew and understood that you benefit more-so from them because you're also incorporating stabilizer muscles, which helps a lot in the real world. But I didn't really think or "realize" that machines would limit you like that. My friend loves machines because he says mixing them into your weekly rotations off and on "shocks" your muscles. I can understand his logic, but I don't think he's entirely right. Shouldn't you just change to different free weight exercises to shock your muscles? Like working your biceps with standard curls one day, then going to one arm curls the next day or whatever.

Yea, basically. You shouldn't really ever use machines except if you're doing a burnout. So let's imagine for a second that, for each muscle group you work, you do 3 exercises for 5 sets a piece. So for chest, one day you would want to do (for example), barbell flat bench, barbell incline, dumbell flys. The next time you do chest, you might want to do dumbell flat bench, dumbell decline, and cable flys. Or for triceps, maybe one day you would do dips, skull crushers, and cable tricep extensions. The next time you work triceps maybe you would do close grip bench, reverse grip bench, and rope tricep extensions (which is never touching the ropes together, and when you get to the bottom, rolling your hands). etc etc for all other muscle groups. dont ever do machines to mix up your work out. he was right to say that you need to shock your muscles, because it is true that when your muscles recognize a repetitive motion, just like you and I, it will find ways to get by without doing extra work. But machines aren't the way to go.

Another thing I forgot to tell you (or I think I did) was make sure you have enough rest in between each muscle group. They say its 2-3 days rest (so if you work chest on Monday, you shouldn't work chest or triceps until at least thursday). Keep in mind that there are push muscles, pull muscles, and legs. The push muscles are triceps chest, and to an extent, shoulders. The pull muscles are biceps, back, and to an extent, shoulders. The legs are calves, the muscle on the front of your shins which i cant remember the name of, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. (I consider shoulders front delts, ant delts, rear delts, trapes)

That being said, there are a few trains of thought here:

The first is to do all the push muscles on one day, the pull on another, and legs and shoulders on another...rinse and repeat.

This is a good way to do it. You get all the muscles involved in a workout at the same time. The only disadvantage of this, is you exhaust your muscles, meaning you won't get as much of a tear as you would otherwise (or that's the theory).

Another is to do front and back...in other words chest and back on one day, biceps and triceps another day, and legs and shoulders another day.

This is something I generally wouldn't recommend. The advantage is obviously that you aren't exhausting a muscle that you're working with another muscle group. The disadvantage is that you are more than likely going to work a muscle group before it has full time to recover (i.e. you work chest and back on monday, and bis and tris on tuesday...both push and pull muscles are worked two days in a row, and need at least 2-3 days rest). While you may be working chest, for example, on one day; chest actually uses a lot of triceps. The same with biceps and back. Back and chest both use shoulders.

Another way, and this is the way I do it, is to do every muscle group on it's own day. In other words, for example, I do chest on monday, back on tuesday, legs and shoulders on wed, triceps on thurs, biceps on friday. Giving each muscle group ample time to recover.

I think this is one of the best ways to do it, but you don't work a muscle group but once a week (if you don't include the minor tearing that you get from working the associative muscles).

The exception to all this, if you've noticed, is shoulders. This is kind of an iffy one, because almost everything uses it. To be honest, I just don't care enough, and it doesn't get worked enough for me to want to care on the other days I work out. So putting a shoulders day right after chest and back, doesn't bother me so much.

Another exception is abs and forearms. You shouldn't ever have to work abs, but in the event you want to break coconuts with your abs (and you shouldn't ever really want to), you can work both abs, and forearms with only a 2 day recovery period (or so I've heard). The reason I say you shouldn't ever need abs, is because if you work out with perfect form on all the other exercises in the gym, your core will get enough of a workout that you won't need to work it any more.

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A lot of great information.

One thing missing. What works for you may not work for someone else. P90 is great to help peeps to get moving. Another issue which is out of your control is they way god made you. Some peeps can do 10 crunches a week and always have a six pack. Some can do hundreds of stomach excercices and always have a beer gut.

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[quote name='whatsupdude' timestamp='1302103163' post='5661']One thing missing. What works for you may not work for someone else. P90 is great to help peeps to get moving. Another issue which is out of your control is they way god made you. Some peeps can do 10 crunches a week and always have a six pack. Some can do hundreds of stomach excercices and always have a beer gut.
I generally talk about body building and weight training, but i do know a bit about everything. I try and give the best advice based on what somebody wants. but knowing about their body and what they want, i tell them what is good for them. I dont give advice good for me to somebody else (except for to myself). the way god made you falls generally into the 3 different body types i mentioned. actually the reason why some people do hundreds of stomach exercise and still have a beergut is explicitly because they are misinformed. i always giggle a little bit when i see people in the gym doing crunches and they tell me its because they want to get skinnier.

doing crunches works your core, thats it. it doesnt get you skinnier (if anything, it gets you bigger by making your muscles bigger)

people ask me how often they should do core exercises (they actually call it abs, which is just dumb. you want all of it, your abs, which i cant remember how many muscles that is, your sides which is still abs in my book, and your lower back), and the answer i give them, is unless your a body builder, you should never need to. then i lift up my shirt, and ask them how often they think i do abs. the answer is that I never do abs, and i have a 6 pack. The reason for this is whats on top of your abs, not your abs itself

remember that figure in your biology text book from the 2nd grade? where it was a guy who had all of his skin and fat cut off, and it shows your muscles? that guy was ripped. everybody has that underneath. whats on top is what makes it look less so: your fat. as i said, I never do abs, but im also in good shape (I'm around 6 percent body fat...dont go below 5 or you risk illness because too little fat weakens your immune system). Therefore, having so little fat on top of my abs, makes me look ripped.

cardio isnt just running, cardio is anything which you do for a long period of time that elevates your heart rate. so to burn fat (or in this case, to get a 6-pack, or even an 8-pack if you want to get crazy), you have to do cardio enough to get rid of the fat. I'm ectomorphic, so I don't have to do any cardio. I just do my normal workout, which combined with eating right, means that i don't maintain a lot of fat. if you are mesomorphic or endomorphic, you will have to do a bit more than i do. its not all green grass on my side, so don't get jealous. as I mentioned in a previous post, its much harder for me to build, and maintain muscle mass than it is for the other two body types, which since i lift like a body builder, makes my gym-life difficult. anyway back to the subject...a beer gut is a deceptive term. its the reason light beers exist. its not the beer that makes you fat (although alcohol does effect your metabolism, muscle growth and regeneration, and even cognitive processes), its the lifestyle that accompanies somebody who drinks excessively. I think anyone who has been on TS with me at night, knows I love to drink. I'm still in very good shape. This is one of those things "do as I say, and not as I do" however. Drinking is soo bad for you, in more ways than just how it is viewed socially, for the reasons I listed above. I do it because I like it, but if youre serious about your health, you shouldnt do it hardly ever.

back to cardio...lol. doing 20 crunches at a time isn't cardio. doing 100 crunches at a time isnt cardio. doing 300 crunches at a time isnt cardio. to do enough cardio to where you start to burn fat, you have to have your heart rate elevated for approximatly 25-30 minutes (don't quote me on the exact number, because i dont remember exactly what it is). so you should be doing something that takes at least that long if you want to burn fat.

the other thing you should do to trim fat, is eat less calories than you require every day. In that arnold book i recommended, he even has a list of common daily activities, and how many calories you burn doing them. I don't have the list in front of me, but im sure google knows as well if you really want to know. the idea is to eat less than you need every day. NEVER starve yourself. if you starve yourself, you may think that you're doing good, but this is like the example in a previous post about sugar: its something that a group of ill-informed people think, and then since it's a group, everyone else follows the bad example, without anybody correcting them.
Anyway, when you starve yourself, you're body goes into survival mode. even if you know when your next meal will be, because you planned it out, your body doesn't. so your body acts as though it wont eat for a long time, and slows down your metabolism, and attempts to store eveyrthing as fat. so when you eat again, its going to store almost everything you consume as fat, which given the nature of this post, is not what you want. what you want is to eat less than you need, but you want it spread out over the day. make it seem as though your eating full meals, give your stomach a little something here and there, so it doesnt think youre starving to death. if youre hungry, thats a bad thing (understand the difference between hungry, and just not being use to eating less than before)

one thing about calories that is important which is about running/walking, is it doesnt matter how fast you move, you will burn approximately the same calories over the same distance, no matter if you're running at 8 mph, or walking at 3mph. the difference comes that if you want to run 3 miles, it will take you approximately 22.5 minutes, as opposed to 1 hour. so you save a ton of time (maybe run another 6 miles on top of that, and burn 3 times as many calories than the guy walking). there are differences in calories as far as your heart beating faster, and you sweating and what not. but compared to how many calories you burn per hour, its not enough to really take strong note of.

now, ALL that aside. im not saying you shouldnt have a strong core...you absolutely should. but, if you work out the way your supposed to, your core will get stronger through every other muscle group in your body. its impossible to 100 percent isolate a muscle. its even harder to work a muscle group without working your core in some way. so if you work out the right way, your core should be plenty strong enough (or unless as i said before, if youre a true body builder, you will need to extra)

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[font="Comic Sans MS"][size="3"][color="#FF8C00"]Interesting thread that captures much of the personal philosophies of staying fit. What I took away from it is pretty consistent with what the Navy has taught me about personal fitness over the years. Keys to success are:

1. Don't eat like an idiot. If you do, staying fit becomes so much harder, especially as you age. Believe me, at 46 keeping the pounds off can be a challenge. The old saw about eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper can and does work pretty well (although for cultural and practical reasons this can be challenging).
2. Find an exercise program you like and can stick with. The best ones incorporate resistance training and cardio.
3. Form is EVERYTHING! Doing exercises the wrong way rob you of their benefits and it often leads to injury.
4. If you can't get to a gym or can't afford one, or if you are simply limited in the amount of time you can spend working out, just doing pushups, situps, and pullups with a 30 minute run can work wonders. The only equipment you need for this is a good pair of running shoes and a pullup bar.
5. Know the difference between being sore and being injured, and act accordingly.
6. Most important, BE CONSISTENT and stay with it. You weren't built in a day, and staying fit is a lifetime journey, not a destination. Most fitness programs FAIL because most people think that getting fit is something you achieve and then are done with.

Well, that's my rant. For the most part, I run four 5K's per week and do lots of calesthenics (pushups, pullups, etc.) and manage to stay in pretty decent shape for my age. I count myself lucky that I'm stil able to run and that haven't managed to hurt myself too badly over the years. Lots of guys I work with can't run any more b/c they've blown out their knees and/or hips. Military life can be rough that way, especially for Army and Marine Corps folks (humping those damn 80# rucks everywhere).

Well, it's noon and I'm off to the gym for a run! :P


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