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P90X2 Review: X2 Core

P90X2 is here and I’ve been putting the new program through its paces. Truth be told, I’m incredibly impressed. This isn’t P90X redone– P90X2 has patched the gaps and made improvements in a program that, when followed, guaranteed success. If there was one general complaint from the fitness intelligentsia about P90X it was this: intensity, duration and schedule of the workouts might lead to overtraining and injury in some users. And while I think that complaint is overstated if you take care of yourself through stretching and warm-up, P90X2 grabs this complaint and handily puts it to rest.

Gone are the 5 minute warm-ups. In their place are at least 20-25 minutes of warm-up and cool-down with a laser-focused intensity on 30-40 minute workouts. X2 Core kicks this off in typical P90X2 fashion:

X2 CORE REVIEW

Overview

X2 Core is the P90X2 “version” of Core Synergistics… but that isn’t to say they’re entirely similar. More like cousins. If you’ve done that workout, you’ll know it was a full-body, no-joke extravaganza inserted into the “rest week”. X2 Core Kicks off the P90X2 workout series with a new emphasis on balance, coordination and, of course, that stabilizing force between your chest and hips: Core.

Time

At 56 minutes  in length (including a 16-ish minute stability ball warm-up/foam rolling prep/stretch and a 6 minute cool-down), the actual work is roughly 32 minutes or so.

Warm-Up/Cool Down

I mention the warm-up/cool down because they’re critical and a large part of the P90X2 program. Don’t consider these the “boring” segments of the workout. They’ll truly refine your performance as you enter the “workout” phase and stretch out for recovery the next day. As you can tell, these are longer and personally, I welcome it. The foam roller is something I’ve used for a while but its introduction in P90X2 is a game changer and will work those trigger points (and you’ll quickly find/feel them) for better performance. That and it feels great while “hurting so good”.

The Workout


While you do engage in movement through the whole body, the name of the X2 Core game is obviously core… and you have to engage it by putting your focus on form. Pelvis pointed up/forward, butt tight and back straight. Once you do, the moves work you in ways you’re probably not used to. As Tony Horton notes in the workout: “This one creeps up on ya.” I never felt like I was being killed and the moves (thanks to a few rounds of Asylum and the P90X2 preview 1 on 1 DVDs) were very “do-able”. This may not be the case for you but either way, by workouts end? I was drenched. Medicine balls and stability balls play a large roll in this workout and will challenge your confidence– especially if you’re new to stability training. Still, Tony Horton gives some great tips throughout and really walks you through the moves in a way you can eventually work up to.

In the mean time, if you don’t have a stability ball or some of the other equipment, you’re not left out in the cold. You’re given towel, band and chair options.

Move Highlights:

  • Med Ball Dreya Roll: If you’re familiar with the Dreya Roll from P90X (almost a reverse burpee), this variant adds a medicine ball to the fun. Momentum is subdued thanks to overcoming the weight above your head, engaging the core to allow your body to come to an upright position.
  • 3 Speed Med Ball Pushup: Surprisingly high impact pushups done plyo style while keeping your feet on the floor. Hands explode up, tap the top of the medicine ball and come back down to pushup position. (Last move in the video above)
  • Holmsen Screamer Lunge: Start in lunge position and jump vertically while lifting back knee to waist level.
  • X2 Diver: Wide stance, drop to push up, explode back up to to wide stance.
The Verdict

X2 Core is a great entry point and kick-off to P90X2. Heavy on balance, stability and new moves. I’m mixed here. I found it challenging but I wasn’t dying while doing it. I’m coming into this program with a higher fitness level, so take that with a grain of salt based on your experience with stability. Still, the balance throws a nice kink in the game and offers a lot of room for improvement. There’s no doubt you’ll find a challenge somewhere in this routine and the sum of its parts will be increased core strength and coordination. Personally, I’m looking forward to taking the instability out and having all parts firing together for perfect balance in a few weeks.

Beginning your P90X2 journey? Questions? Feel free to email me here or at coachdan74@gmail.com. Better yet, let’s get you the support you need to line up your nutrition goals right now. Make me your (free) Beachbody Coach right here and we’ll get crackin’!

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