Monday, May 30, 2011

What's Wrong With P90X?

Some late night reading and stumbling back and forth on the internet when I came across a NY Times piece recently published about Beachbody's P90X featuring Tony Horton. I couldn't resist my thoughts.


Obviously this campaign has been going on for quite some time (since '02), with great success (over $400 million in yearly revenue) and plenty of capital to keep it going. People are talking about it, yes including me. I have clients and friends ask ALL the time whether or not it's 'worthy'. My brother even gave it a trial, against my wishes :) If we look at RESULTS FIRST, we see some positives. They have helped people realize it's up to them to take
responsibility of their health. Obviously they have gotten financial results, but I am here to pose that it is actually NOT healthy. That we need to retire this distorted perception of what it takes to be healthy and fit.

What did they get right?
- It's novel
something different every workout. People don't want to do the same stuff.

- It's inspiring
Tony Horton (52) and his posse are RIPPED! Who doesn't want that for 3 easy payments of $39.95?

- It works - at a cost (and i'm not talking $)
(for a short time anyway... more to come in below) I want to see some after...after pictures of these people. Anyone can change in 90 days, but is it lasting?

- They make you feel like you're a part of something 
 We all need RIPPED community.

Okay. I could learn a few things from the above.

Where they went WAY WRONG!

- It's novel
There is no specificity, and I am sorry but playing on the public's misunderstanding of fitness is not ethical. Muscle confusion? Seriously? Do you think you can truly confuse your body? Myth- there is no such thing as muscle confusion. Stick to movements that are pertinent to your specific goals. Use novelty when it gets old.

- It's WAY beyond limits 
Tony makes it look easy, because it's within his limits. The average couch potato who he inspires will quickly find it's outside of his. But shouldn't we work harder? No. The body is always learning. You are then teaching yourself that exercise is hard. With that the chance of injury is exponentially greater. I cannot tell you how many people we have seen post P90X injury.

- It's not sustainable
I am all about sustainable health and fitness. This is NOT sustainable. You'll most likely become injured first, but in the long run working out 6-7 days per week intensely for an hour and a half is not sustainable. Most cannot handle 30 minutes 2-3X/wk.

How P90X Can Be Better?

- Have plans based on specificity (life movement, gym movement, aesthetic and movement goals)

- Teach the Elements Of Effort and how to work within limitations.

- Using E/E, teach people how to listen to feedback and determine when they are finished with a given workout. No need to base it on time, only what YOU can do.

- Teach biofeedback testing to determine whether a specific movement or exercise is best for that day.

ALL of this can be done for the MASSES, which is pretty cool. There is no trickery and/or understanding you have to have, just a human body.

If you're tired of spinning your wheels on different programs and want to learn the principles I teach at The Movement Dallas, shoot me an email

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