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Is My Program Working?

Programs like P90X, Asylum, P90X2 and Turbofire (yes, I’m name-dropping) are designed for results. These aren’t flavors of the month– the techniques used are based real, science based training… which is why they work. Still, along that training path, virtually everyone runs into the same speed bump along the way… “Is my program working?”

Short answer… if you’re eating right and working out according to schedule… YES. Long answer: welcome to proof positive… what Steve Edwards calls the “Trilogy of grumpiness”: Sore, Slow and Hungry.

Welcome to Soreville

No, nothing’s wrong. Any time you incorporate muscles with a different load or movement than they’re used to performing, it’s a trip to Sore-ville. Sometimes it’s mild. In the case of graduate programs like P90X… it can be much more than that. You might think (especially if you’re out of shape or, as the fancy folks say, “deconditioned”) you’ve ruined something as you hobble around wondering why in the name of sweet, sweet Dreya Weber you can’t lift a cup of water without whimpering.  But truth is, most of the time it’s just your body getting a shock of the new.

Here’s why as quoted from a Steve Edwards article on the same subject:

“Most soreness comes from the breakdown of fast twitch muscle fibers. Our bodies have both slow twitch and fast twitch fibers. Slow twitch fibers have a low recruitment factor, which simply means they get fired up at low outputs… A simple example would be raising your fork to your mouth, which requires slow twitch fibers, compared to raising a heavy barbell over your head, which requires fast twitch fibers.”

That said, fast twitch take longer to heal, so you may feel it a bit more and longer. And that’s a sign of change because when muscle heals it gets stronger… and bigger. This change results in the ability to do more for longer periods of time… and when you can do that your larger muscles stop having to do the work of smaller muscles which means less soreness. Still, the ability to improve will always room for you on the Sore Bus… and that’s a good thing. (Read here about how to treat your soreness.)


Face it. We’re eating machines. We need food and nutrition to fuel our bodies. Lose food, lose life. The trick is eating the RIGHT food. When it comes to your program, you may find you feel hungry a little more than usual. That doesn’t mean you’re actually starving– it can simply mean your body is recognizing change and asking for the nutrients it needs.

“When your body is craving nutrients, you want to feed it. However, under the type of duress a hard program creates, you can’t possibly give it enough nutrients. Many of us try. We eat and eat. And while eating can help ease the mental anguish your body is going through, you can’t put all of these calories to use, and some will get stored in fat tissue.”

Sounds like a job for Shakeology. And before you roll your eyes at another Beachbody coach pitching, I’m just saying that’s exactly what supplements are used it for– providing the nutrients needed for recovery. You may be hungry, but supplying the right nutrition will help mitigate when the rumbly tumbly starts calling.


Felt a little out of sorts in the first round or so? A little slower than normal, perhaps?

As your muscles grow, they need to be trained to work in the ways you want them to. P90X is excellent with this as are most of the Beachbody Graduate programs. But during this growth phase, your muscles will be sore and may not allow you to move as quickly as one a little more conditioned. This is the “slow” aspect we’re talking about and why most improvement training happens in the off-season. It affects “The Game”.

Still, in the onset of a new program slowness = Sign of positive change.

I”ll let Mr. Roberts sum it up:

“… remember that these are stages, not chronic conditions. You should only experience them early in a program or new cycle of training…. But if they persist beyond 4 weeks, you’re overdoing it and risk overtraining. You may also experience them each time you transition to a new phase. In this case, though, they should be gone before you move into the next phase.”

So what if you’re NOT experience the trilogy of grumpiness? Well, chances are you need to step it up. Increase weight, duration and intensity. Bump it up to the next level and push a new round of changes– after all, that’s what we’re all in this for, isn’t it?

Want help amping your P90X or Insanity (or any other Beachbody program for that matter) training/transformational motivation and staying on track? That’s what I’m here for. Get a hold of me at or make me your official, free Beachbody Coach right here

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