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P90X2 Review: X2 Total Body

In the classic P90X program, there wasn’t really a specific, whole body workout– or at least, one titled for it. P90X2 changes that with the introduction of X2 Total Body. Very similar in spirit to the whole body workout of Core Synergistics if it married P90X+’s Total Body workout, this one is a doozy.

I’d been speaking with my lady-friend about P90X2 and how, with its focus on “not-killer-but-challenging” balance and core in the first phase, might be a better introduction for a lot of people over P90X’s “jump in head first” program. This workout proves that wistful theory wrong. Without a P90X base, X2 Total Body would be very, very difficult as it not only employs strength to the whole body, but strength with the outlier of balance. Let’s get into it, shall we?

X2 Total Body Review

Overview

P90X2: X2 Total Body is the fourth workout in P90X2’s Phase I. Coming off a “rest day” of Recovery + Mobility stretch and foam rolling, this is the first workout to really focus on a strength element training series. No part of the body goes untouched but this isn’t a workout you can simply pick up the heavy dumbbell and go to town. You may find you have to drop your weight to maintain control and balance as most of the moves are performed in an “athletic stance”– IE, on one leg, balanced on a ball, etc. On one hand, this is great for eliminating the ability to really cheat a lift… on the other… you’ll find stumbling and catching your balance will take a lot of time in this workout. Good news? Each week will get better and each move solidifies your standing as the human version of a weight lifting mountain goat.

Oh, and the “world-famous” P90X original cast-member Dreya Webber makes an appearance here as well.

Time

X2 Total Body is roughly 62 minutes. But in usual P90X2 style, a large portion of the time is taken up in warm-up and cool-down: 13 minutes is devoted to warm-up in stretch and foam rolling while about 9 minutes is devoted to cool-down stretches. In all, that leaves about 40 minutes for workout action which is split into 20 minute sections (IE- rinse, repeat) with a water break in between each portion.

As a note, you may want to build some extra time into X2 Total Body the first time or two you go through it as you may need to adjust your weight and find your balance throughout the moves. This will get better as you progress but first time through will take some tweaking.

Warmup/Cooldown

At this point, get used to the idea– P90X2 isn’t messing around when it comes to prepping for your workout. You’re devoting time here so you don’t lose time from injury later on down the road. Use your warm-up and as suggested, pause and extend your foam rolling time if needed. I know it’s not the glamor portion, but you’ll never get to the glamor portion of the workouts if you get injured.

The Workout

Two rounds, 12 moves each. I mentioned this earlier but P90X2: X2 Total Body is a workout with unorthodox moves built to challenge your strength and balance and force them to work in tandem. Personally, I love this aspect of the program as in a lot of ways, it takes you back to square one. There’s no heroes here blowing through the workout– X2 Total Body takes concentration, focus and determination.

Stick with the moves. They will be frustrating at many points. I had a team member make this comment:

Total Body is TOUGH. The first round was very difficult for me but the second round I got the hang of some moves… it was still very difficult!

Move Highlights:

Push-up Sidearm Balance: Tough. Place hands on two medicine balls (or fully inflated volleyball/basketball), and do a push-up, moving from extended push-up position in to a sidearm raise. Up the ante by raising the leg as well. While I didn’t find the push-up all that difficult, I struggled here and tumbled a few times on the sidearm action.

Boing Push-up: Holding a stability ball at arms length, drop to the floor with it and perform a quick push-up, using your force to then push yourself back up to a standing position and back down again. (It’s the last move in the video above).

Balance Kickback on Stability Ball: Laid out in a plank position with elbow and forearm resting on a stability ball while holding a dumbbell in and doing a tricep kickback. Wow. Core has to be engaged or you’re going overboard. Not just the tricep working on this one– it’s everything from the waist up.

Tips

Make sure to pay attention to the moves as some focus on ONE LEG ONLY. I found that  first time through I switched legs. I was wrong– that’s what the second round is for:  to work the other side of the body. Tony Horton mentions this but it’s easy to miss. Remember, when doing the leg balance moves that come midway through the first round (Switch Lunge Press, Warrior 3 Kickback and Warrior 3 Curl) — stick to the one leg only. You’ll get the other as you repeat the moves later.

Take some time to get comfortable with idea of being on an unstable platform so you’re not spending all your time falling and trying to regain your balance. Find that sweet spot on the med/stability balls where you can find your balance and execute the move with good form.

The Verdict

Total Body is the P90X2 workout I had in mind when I heard of its emphasis on Stability training. Challenging, unique and P90X with a “real world” twist. Probably one of the more difficult workouts and one that will take definitely practice to “perfect”. Most of the moves are pretty standard but with a stability twist thrown in that takes that “standard” and makes it feel like the first time. In short, X2 Total Body X2 lives up to its name: A calorie-burning full body workout that gives the resistance training fan some love with a dose of challenge thrown in for fun.  I’m looking forward to owning this one over the course of the next few weeks.

In the mean time, check out the details on P90X2 here and feel free to spread the love via Facebook, Digg, Twitter or link if this was worth your time. Or hey, click the subtle link below if you want to give P90X2 a shot. Here’s a fist bump for the support!

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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4 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Nick G says:

    Woah… That mountain goat video is crazy!
    Great review, I’m really looking forward to this one.

  2. Steve a says:

    On third day, rolling on the floor with the foam roller for half the time…. Boring, hope p90x2 is challenging bc I feel the original may be better, I’m only on day three lol, any suggestions?????

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Haha– I know, I know… seems crazy but it really does pay off. Trust the program– it’s ridiculously sound and progress based. The first week is definitely weird compared to P90X’s method of throwing you right in head first but week 2 it’ll come together. Also, this day is built in for Recovery + Mobility but can also be used as a “choose your own fitness adventure” type day as well.

      And the foam rolling… check this out to get a feel for why it’s so important:

      http://howdoigetfit.com/videos/beachbody-videos/foam-rolling-your-muscle-recoverys-new-bff/

      How’d you like the first two workouts before the rest day, Steve?

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