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Ab Ripper X And 5 Tips To Fight The Good Fight

Ab… Ripper… X!

The little workout that would, could and does isn’t afraid to strike nervous discomfort in the abdominals and hip flexors of P90Xers the world over. Even Tony “The Taskmaster” Horton uses hate to describe Ab Ripper X . And while Ab Ripper X may look all innocent at first glance– it’s only a 15 minute routine with a piddly 11 moves, after all– if you’re a P90X fitness program Freshman, it can be a frustrating struggle those first few weeks, maybe even months.

But hey- when you’ve broken out in a flop sweat and your stomach is burning with the heat of a thousand suns, there’s no need to get frustrated. Two things to keep in mind: A) You’re cracking into it after pouring energy and endorphins into 50-60 minutes of an intense resistance workout and B)Everyone begins the same way– with a struggle, in pain and with multiple rests. Chances are high you won’t finish Ab Ripper X in its 15 minutes the first few weeks. You may take 25 or 30. But no matter how much you struggle, struggle THROUGH it. Here’s some tips that may help:

  1. DON’T QUIT. Rest is A-OK, quitting is not. Pump out all 25 of each of the 11 moves no matter how many pauses it takes.
  2. If you truly, honestly can’t finish (and by can’t, I mean muscle failure can’t, not “this hurts” can’t) keep a mental tally of where you’re fatiguing. Do all you can, then struggle through TWO MORE and then shoot for one beyond that on your next Ab Ripper X workout.
  3. Breathe out with every the contraction. On some moves, that may be fast. On other moves, slower– but you’ll be amazed at what breathing does to both take your mind off and reduce the burn, which in turn will keep you going longer.
  4. Go at your own pace and take rests as need be. While that might mean pausing a few times in the beginning, that’s OK! Pretty soon you’ll be keeping up with Tony and his crew– and maybe even passing them up.
  5. Don’t do Ab Ripper X every day. You may want to attack it, but abs are “built in the kitchen” and sculpted every other day. By that I mean your abs need time to rest and recover and it’s the nutrition that’s going to make them pop– not a daily pounding.

After nine weeks, 27 workouts and over 7,420 total abdominal moves, your abs will be poolside ready and waiting when they see daylight after 12 weeks of melting the muscle mayo they’re hiding behind. And when you can hold your own through all 275 moves and begin to mildly scoff in the general direction of Ab Ripper X, a pair of ankle weights will take you right back to the first time you met. After all, when it’s all said and done, Ab Ripper X is the gift that keeps on giving.

Speaking of gifts that keep on giving, make P90X work for you with nutrition tips, help and support. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at or make me your coach.

If you’d like to learn more even more about P90X, check out my P90X Review! 

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