The journey continues with the fourth installment of the P90X2 review.
The P90X2 Chest, Back, and Balance workout provides a good push/pull regime of pushup and pullup exercises.
However, many of the exercises in this workout seem somewhat ‘gimmicky,’ in that they had to include some type of tricky variation.
While I did feel that I got a decent workout, this one seemed to deviate from the ‘old-school’ feel of the original P90X program.
Okay, it’s two days after the P90X2 ‘Chest + Back + Balance’ workout, and I’m in a little pain…but in a good way.
I definitely feel it in my chest and back, but also my abs. Strange, but it didn’t feel all that difficult while doing it; I’m glad that I held back a little for the first go round.
Okay, right off this got a little silly…4 medicine balls, really? Unfortunately, I just had the one, so I had to improvise a few exercises.
You’ll also need the stability ball, and a pull-up bar (or bands).
There were no weights needed for this one.
All push and pull
This was the first workout of the ‘Strength Phase,’ and I believe the manual stated this is where it kicks in.
The workout consisted of alternating push-ups and pull-ups for a total of 21 exercises.
While the workout was tough (and fun), I had a few misgivings about this one.
To me, this workout seemed fairly ‘gimmicky,’ in that every exercise had to have some type of tricky variation. I don’t have a problem with some variety, but I would have appreciated some basic hardcore pushup exercises.
Granted, this was also a ‘balance’ workout, so most of the pushup exercises were done on the stability ball and/or medicine ball(s). But this is where the ‘gimmicks’ kicked in.
Was it really necessary to do pushups on 4 medicine balls? Then follow it up with the ‘Impossible/Possible’ doing pushups on 2 medicine balls while keeping your feet on the stability ball?
I really felt like I was training for the circus rather than trying to get fit.
Looking back, I think there was just one push-up move not on a ball, and this one was even had to be a special ‘Double Wide’ variant.
Can we please get back to some basic moves? Changing things up is fun, but you still can include a few old-fashioned moves from P90X.
Fortunately, Tony couldn’t figure out a way to incorporate medicine balls in a pull-up move.
Again, like the chest exercises, many of the back exercises had to have some sort of variant rather than just traditional, “let’s knock them out” type of pull-ups or chin-ups.
Mostly, the variations were switching hand-grips during the exercise:
- Chin Pull – Switching between chin-ups and pull-ups
- Vaulter Pull-up – One overhand, one underhand, switching grip every 2 reps
- In & Out – 1 rep wide, 1 rep narrow
- 4-Grip Pull-up – Wide, palm to palm, overhand close, chin-up
Again, while I liked the variety, switching grips takes time, and I found that I had to pause the DVD a few times to crank out my max reps.
I also liked the ‘Pull-up X,’ which had you do the pull-up spread-eagled, and the ‘L Pull-up’ was good for the abs. Both of these required more strength, as ‘kipping’ wasn’t possible.
I’m still trying to figure out the ‘Lever,’ which required maintaining a straight body parallel to the floor during the pull-up move. We’ll see next time if I can improve on this one.
Lastly, the original P90X mixed up the pull-ups with weighted exercises like the ‘Locomotive’ and the ‘Lawnmower.’ I would have liked to see a few dumbbell exercises during this workout.
As I said, I have a good bit of soreness, so the workout obviously had some effect.
It just seemed like Tony was trying too hard to make sure this program was far removed from the original P90X. Unfortunately, it lost some of the ‘hardcore’ aspect of the original program.
I’m also all for incorporating a few balance moves, but in the future I’m going to have to improvise some of the moves to take the place of the ‘circus’ exercises.
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