P90X – Disc 1 Review. Day 1

Originally Posted

It’s been way too long so that should tell you something right off the bat.

P90X is not for me.  I will stick with it intermittently but honestly, I’ve past the stage of having 90-120 minutes to work out every single day.  Full diclosure?  I’m old.  This is a young man’s game – working out and hoops (regardless of what the CAC heros around here will tell you) – and I’m just not interested in spending 2 hours setting up shop, changing weight plates, having a weight bar or bands or chairs or yoga mats.  I’m married with three awesome kids that treat me like the god I am.  Why waste these days sitting trying to hang out with Tony Fn Horton?  No chance this guy has a healthy marriage.  Not one chance.

But – I promised in Consumer Reports style – to give you the nuts and bolts (thanks to Rory Duyon of WEEI for that clip) of what P90X is all about.  I just don’t have the time.  I am still dedicated to losing weight and actually contributing on the court again (i.e – solid debut for an old fat man in A1 this past week despite the loss.

I have a “Fit By 40” philosophy and I have plenty of time to diet appropriately, exercise, but still actually enjoy my life and work for a living.  Not exactly sure – unless you are single and under the age of 25 – how someone can dedicate themselves to this program.

Also – I don’t own the discs as they reside on my computer and I have to consistenly connect my computer to the main TV in the living room (it is nice to work out in 42-inch Sharp Aquos heaven though).  Actually, the disc reside on an external hard drive, which is connected to a laptop, which is THEN connected to the main TV.  Knee bone connected to the thigh bone.  AND THEN – you have to disconnect it so the wife can watch insane shows like Teen Mom and Wife Swap and HGTV and….no need to continue.  So – the whole process is a drain on me and any of the workouts can take up to 2 hours with set up and dismantling included in the time.  So if someone wants to donate the discs – I can surely do this in the basement with my nice and easy exercise bike along for the ride, but with that said…


DISC #1 – Chest and Back: For me – this is single-handedly the toughest workout out of the seven or so discs to complete the first stages (three weeks) of this program.

Warm-up: You start with a 10-minute warm up which – for me – is highly recommended.  I’ve actually adopted a few of the stretches into every day life just to get the motor running in the morning.  Mostly ballistic stretches as they try to focus your energy into (obviously) your chest and back muscles getting warmed up.  You can slip into making the exercises more about your shoulders but Horton does a good job refocusing you by showing different variations of the stretches – as well as the upcoming exercises.

Standard Push-ups: Could not be simpler to explain.  I chose the pull-up bar/push-up stand rather then purchasing the weight bands or expanding my free weight collection.  You have 30 seconds to bang out as many standard push-ups as you can.  Horton recommends you do not burn yourself out with the first series – cause as you will see – you do each “station” a second time around.

Wide Front Pull-Ups: The disc starts to exchange push-up exercises with pull-up exercises.  These are the easiest of pull-ups as you can extend your hands as far as possible (or as little depending on what you are looking for).  I can’t say I recommend the pull-up bar vs. the bands because I’ve never used the bands, but I have a feeling you can control the tension of the bands a little better for pull-ups – especially if you are in as lousy shape as I am.  I was able to do 15 push-ups in Round One.  I would like to say I did 15 pull-ups as well.  Actually – I did, but I’d be lying if I didn’t use the help of a chair (first amendment of an exercise recommended by Horton).  I was able to do 2-3 on my own in my doorway and then if you put a chair in front of you and place the ball of your foot on the seat portion (or the back if your doorway is 18-feet high as it seems in the video) and then continue with the pull-ups – they are much, much easier.  For me – I’m not looking for bulk so I have no need to be pulling up 250-pounds 10-15 times in 30 seconds.  I am looking for weight loss and definition (if I’m lucky) so utilizing the chair is a big plus.

Military Push-Ups: little harder on the push-ups and again, they are promoting to hit as many as you can in a short period of time.  Focus on form rather then reps and you should be able to get through 8-12 with no problem.  Again – this series repeats itself so be careful of burnout.  SO I obviously “mailed it in” a little during this series.

Reverse Grip Chin-Ups: Again – I found the chair “enjoyable” since this was my first time through.  So I was really able to bang out a bunch of reps (which is my goal) and not worry about how heavy it is to pull my carcass up through a chin-up.  Five toes on a chair – 17 chin-ups.

Wide-Fly Push-Ups: As I stated in the Wide-Front Pull-Up section – extend your hands far apart and this is where the trainers get fancy with one leg on top of another, etc.  Basically taunting beginners like myself.  This is maybe 8 minutes into the disc and I hate Tony Horton.

Close-Grip Overhand Pull-Ups: I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m already burnt out of pull-ups.  But I manage 10 of them.  The title is self-explanatory.  Can you tell I’m getting ornery?

Decline Push-Ups: A-HA – I knew the chair being part of the “tools you need” had nothing to do with making things a little easier for the noobs.  Oh no, no, no….get into the push-up position and then put your feet up on the chair so your legs are higher then your torso and from feet-to-head – you are on a decline.  OR head to feet – it’s an incline.  No matter how you look at it – extremely difficulkt already especially for someone with the lower-back strength of a grape.  My lower back takes a beating since I continually pray just one ref will call an offensive charge in the CAC leagues and every time  – I am proven wrong and my back hates me for it.

Heavy Pants: Oh – I forgot you were instructed to use weights with this disc as well.  Just awesome.  Put dumbells at each side of your legs and crouch down in a baseball catching position to get your grips on the dumbells.  Then – in a “pulling your pants up” type-motion – pulling the weights from the floor to about waist-height – rip off as many as you can.  Easier then it sounds.  Something finally I have a grasp on and can maintain balance.  The issue is – I chose too light of weights cause you should not be able to run through 15-20 reps the first time around.  Keep reps to 8-10.

Diamond Push-Ups: HAHA!  NEXT PLEASE!  Place your hands in the shape of a diamond and place then under your chest – right about the level of your heart (breastbone).  Then as your elbows give out after one fn push-up – try and get off the floor without moving your hands.  Obviously – I will not be trying these the second time around.  Your hands make the shape of a diamond or a heart.  Stick with those items on Valentine’s Day.

Lawnmowers: Finally something I can relate to!  Here is Billy Durbrow back in his Vermont college days doing his best lawnmower…but I digress.  But really – it is just like it sounds.  Place one foot out front (lets start with the right) and then extend your left leg back in a straight line.  Bend over and with your right hand grab a dumbell and start pulling the dumbell up as if you are starting a lawnmower.  Keep track of your reps for 30 seconds and then switch legs and arms and do it from the other side.

Dive Bomber Push-Ups:  These are a little difficult to explain but incorporate a little yoga and back stretching into them.  Enough funny videos – here is an actual trainer in action taking care of her dive bombs.  I like bombs. Shockingly – I find these easier then most of the action going on if I take my time and do them right.

Back-Flys: This is an exercise I actually know before doing them!  YEAH! But I’m a rookie – so I’ll explain them.  Sit right on the edge of the chair and place the dumbells underneath your legs.  Your legs should still be bent at the knee as if you were sitting back in the chair – but since you are inched up – the dumbells should be easily under your legs – not under the chair though.  Bend at the waist and pick up each dumbell and in a “butterfly-stroke” motion (for all your swimmers) – pull the weights out a little and back so your elbows are basically going behind you but you are keeping your back as straight as possible.

Obviously – enter any of these named exercises into You Tube for a demo – but this entire routine (toss in three water breaks) should take you 47 minutes according to Mr. Ass Hat Horton.  You go through this entire routine one more time – they do mix up the exercises a little – but geeze, who cares at this point.

Hilariously – there is a disk called AB Ripper X that you are supposed to do after this disc.  And you peroform Ab Ripper X three times each week.  In Week One – I quit.  In Week 2 – I was able to get through it other then the “V-style” crunches (I subtituted my own quick crunches and did over 100 of them.  This disk totals about 18 minutes.  It’s quick and dirty but extremely high-intensity sit-ups.  Think Mytro doing 500 situps and then laughing at you….the guy is a pro-volleyball player for pete’s sake and I think he would have trouble with this disk.


  • If you do not have time to absolutely burn nor a completely free TV that no one else wants to use EVER.  Then this is for you.  I mean maybe if you are a 5am riser (I am not) – you could do this before work.
  • Diet is extremely important and protein shakes (Labrada) are great ways to catch up some time lost to Horton on your TV.  They come in Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry ice cream flavors.  Trust me – I’d tell you they were garbage bodybuilder fuel they were trying to sell you – but this stuff is absolutely delicious and is like 250 calories of pure protein.  Winner.
  • The next disk is Plymometics – and I can honestly say – for this group, this disk is an absolute MUST if you want to stay in hoops shape.  Preview coming next week.
  • I am down 15-18 pounds depending on the day.  Little frustrated as I have not been able to do much on the bike or with Mr. Ass Hat Horton.  Have had a lot of interviews – so cross your fingers for some good luck for me (for a change).
  • I hope this helps – email isbrianfabry@gmail.com if you have any questions or want the disks.
  • My next blog though – will be a possible 2-on-2 Tournament coming to a theatre very near to you….stay tuned.