My Thoughts on P90X2: Part One
A slightly shorter post today, as I’m splitting this one up into 3 parts, to be released over the next 3 weeks. I’ve been back into the P90X2 workout recently (after sampling P90X3 after it was released late 2013). I just wanted to share all my thoughts while they were fresh in my mind.
Muscle Confusion: Fact or Fad?
Anyone who’s familiar with the P90X workout has probably heard the term “muscle confusion.”
If you’re not, here’s the basic overview. (You can also read more about it on this post.)
Muscle confusion is a workout strategy that’s designed to keep you from hitting a plateauin your workout.
The basic concept is that it works by mixing up your workout—exercises, sets and reps—until your muscles get “confused.”
This keeps your muscles from adapting to a single type of movement, and helps you avoid the plateau effect.
Even though many people rave about the results from muscle confusion workouts like P90X, the exercise world is pretty well divided on the subject.
The term itself is nothing new. It’s been around since the days of Joe Weider (the creator of the Mr. Olympia contest).
Some bodybuilders, though, aren’t convinced that muscle confusion is real. They prefer to stick to the same workouts for 6 to 8 weeks at a time, giving their muscles time to adapt.
According to exercise physiologists, there may be some truth behind this term. Lifting weights isn’t just a matter of specific muscles contracting. There are also neurons coming from the brain that tell the muscle fibers when and how to fire.
By regularly mixing up your routine, you may be able to improve how efficiently your muscles contract, which can lead to more power in the long run.
Clearly, this debate isn’t going to be solved any time soon. But as with many things related to exercise, if you want to see what works best for you—and for your body—then you’re better off trying it for yourself.
There’s one thing clear about muscle confusion workouts, though—by changing up the exercises frequently, you’ll never get bored.
If you’re ready to see whether muscle confusion works for you, it’s time to check out P90X2, the follow-up to the original. (Click here if you aren’t sure whether to go P90X or P90X2)
But don’t expect P90X2 to be a walk in the park. This workout is so intense that you may only be able to do it one or two times a year. Still, muscle confusion or not, you’ll still be ripped when you come out the other side.
I’ll wrap it up here for part one. Next week I’ll be covering what happens when you over-train your muscles, and the importance of rest and recovery, something that is overlooked by over enthusiastic individuals.
Update: Part Two is Here!