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  1. 1. Hyde 1oTravis Hyde10-27-11Mrs. Corbett7th Period P90X: A Truly Balanced Workout Program The human body requires a variety of exercises to maintain health. Cardiovascularexercise eliminates excess lipids and cholesterol, and resistance training strengthens muscles andstabilizes the body. P90X is a fantastic workout program that utilizes a notoriously wide range ofexercise types, giving its users the most effective workout possible. Two of the most significant aspects of physical fitness are strength and endurance.Strength is targeted by resistance training, and endurance is affected by cardiovascular exercise.Each has been demonstrated to be equally as important for physical health. In a study conductedby Len Kravitz, resistance training in post-puberty adolescents decreased glucose production,which is important for diabetes patients; however, no change in cholesterol or triglycerides wasdetected. In a separate group undergoing cardiovascular training, however, cholesterol andtriglycerides were reduced at a statistically significant level (Kravitz). It is often thought thataerobic exercise is solely responsible for burning fat, but this is clearly false. All types ofworkouts affect fats in the body differently. In this study, for example, resistance exercisesreduced glucose production. This does not necessarily impact weight directly, but it is animportant long term factor of the weight loss process. Weight training has also beendemonstrated to increase bone intensity while aerobic exercise increases the health of the heart(Anderson). Each of these two types of exercise is demonstrably as important as its counterpart. While resistance exercises are important for muscle strength, bone density, and bodystability, aerobic workouts address a more popularized problem: fats and cholesterol. These areboth beneficial nutrients to the human body, but are very harmful in large quantities (Smith).
  2. 2. Hyde 2This means that it is important to undergo cardiovascular training in order to keep lipid levelsdown. Excess lipids can contribute to heart disease or other health risks (Smith). Cardiovascularexercise is therefore vital to maintaining a safe and healthy lifestyle. Cholesterol is a steroid offat that exists in two distinct forms. HDL-Cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein), often called the“good” cholesterol, removes other cholesterol from arteries. LDL-Cholesterol (low-densitylipoprotein), is contrarily labeled the “bad” cholesterol because it contributes significantly tohealth problems, including cardiovascular disease (Wells). As seen in the aforementionedclinical trial of exercise in both healthy and obese youth, aerobic exercise lowers LDL-cholesterol and raises HDL-cholesterol in post-puberty adolescents by a statistically significantamount (Kravitz). It is therefore demonstrably true that cardiovascular endurance trainingdirectly lowers the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, or other heart-related health problems.Obesity level is also decreased due to the increase in HDL-cholesterol and decrease in LDL-cholesterol and blood lipids. The exercises in P90X constantly change over a period of 90 days. The program’screator, Tony Horton, has labeled the technology behind the program “Advanced MuscleConfusion” (“How Does P90X”). This variety of workout routines targets nearly every possiblemuscle group. It allows users to increase both muscle size and definition. An issue eliminated bythe program is the “plateau effect,” a steady decrease in fitness improvement. Because theroutines of P90X never repeat completely, “plateauing” is not a concern among users. Growthand improvement is a continuing process. The program maintains an excellent level ofcustomizability throughout. Resistance bands and dumbbell weights of various weights are usedthroughout the course, and push-ups or pull-ups can be moderated via knee position or use of achair. This level of personalization allows watchers to grow and improve at a necessary level of
  3. 3. Hyde 3comfort. Risk of injury is significantly less due to the modifiable difficulty level. The variety ofP90X produces better results, enables appropriate user modification, and decreases the risk ofuser injury. P90X is effective because it utilizes both cardiovascular and resistance training. Forexample, the first day of the program consists of resistance training for the chest and backmuscles, while the second day is comprised of a plyometric cardio workout. This level of varietyallows for increased fitness level in all categories. P90X’s strength training and aerobic routinesare spread across multiple weekdays. The resistance exercises of the program mostly use bodyweight as a resistance factor. These exercises include push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups. Otheractions require resistance bands or dumbbells. These types of exercises increase strength, andincreases in strength are linked to increases in sprinting speed (Haff). Increased speed is directlyresponsible for an increase in sports performance; therefore, it is clearly true that P90X directlyimpacts sports performance. On the contrary, plyometric training is a highly intense aerobicconditioning system. It incorporates jumps, utilizes rapid movements of the legs and arms, andsimulates running. Aerobic exercises, including simulations of high-intensity running, arecorrelatively and causatively related to increased cardiovascular endurance (Cappa, Behm, andPower). Improvements in endurance will allow athletes to perform longer and more efficiently.This is not the only benefit to plyometric conditioning, however. Plyometrics directly affect theresponse speed of the nervous system. Muscle spindles are less likely to send signals that limitwork ability when muscle tension increases (Markovic and Palve). This allows for a secondaspect of increased performance – advancement in neurological function. Another long termeffect is the increased muscle contraction rate due to the increased firing rates of motor units(Markovic and Palve). This increases speed in all parts of the body on an entirely new level.
  4. 4. Hyde 4Plyometrics offer an entirely new advantage to exercise – strengthening the nervous system.These newly discovered techniques make P90X a very important conditioning program. Another portion of the P90X workout is Kenpo X. This uses a series of punching andkicking exercises in order to strengthen cardiovascular endurance (“How Does P90X”). Thisoffers yet another level of depth in the aerobic workout component of P90X, adding to theaforementioned level of constant growth and change. It also exercises core muscles and improvesbalance and stability (“How Does P90X”). This is significant because it offers an incredibleamount of performance training for martial artists. A powerful core group and superior balancingskills can make the difference between a black belt and novice fighter (Fredericson and Moore).Kenpo X specifically is an important style of training for martial artists of all types. P90X offerssupport to martial artists and other athletes alike with its Kenpo X program. Yoga is also a significant portion P90X. Yoga develops balancing skills and alsocontributes to flexibility in subjects of any age group (Odle and Dupler). Balancing is veryimportant in both every-day situations and in all sports, particularly gymnastics or ballet.Flexibility increases agility, an important skill in sports with lateral movements, such asbasketball. Yoga has also been popularized due to its ability to lessen tension in various muscles(Odle and Dupler). This is a massively important aspect of physical health because it improvesperformance and lessens the probability of injuries. Yoga is a valuable component of P90X andother exercise routines because of its contribution to balancing skills, flexibility, and musclerelaxation. Perhaps the most used muscle group in the P90X routine is the core group. It is targetedby the routine AbRipperX. This system targets all parts of the core, not just the front abdominalmuscles (“How Does P90X”). AbRipperX is demonstrably an effective workout because it
  5. 5. Hyde 5targets all parts of the core system. The core muscle group is responsible for powerful andexplosive movements, and its power can determine the effectiveness of any athletic movement(Fredericson and Moore). It is clearly one of the most important muscle groups in the body.Abdominal muscles comprise the front of the core, paraspinals and gluteals form the back, thediaphragm is located at the top, and the pelvis/hips are found at the bottom. This muscle groupstabilizes the body, absorbs shock, creates dynamic motion and supports healthy posture(“Functions of Core”). Because these muscles are responsible for so many types of motion, theyare critical to strengthen and define. Weakness or lack of coordination in the core group can leadto injury or strain (Fredericson and Moore). It is therefore vital to strengthen these muscles andkeep them flexible. P90X is clearly one of the most versatile and rigorous conditioning programs to date. Itincreases strength, endurance, speed, flexibility, and balance. The aerobic training isdemonstrably an effective method of reducing lipids and cholesterol, and the resistance trainingcuts fat and builds muscle endurance and strength. I am undergoing this course to test itseffectiveness in the reduction of my lipid count, cholesterol count, and BMI level. I have anHDL-Cholesterol count of 42, an LDL-Cholesterol count of 92, and a triglyceride count of 70(ATTN: Pediatrics / Adolescent). I am 6’0’’ tall and weigh 172 pounds, giving me a BMI (body-mass index) level of 23.3. This is toward the upper end of the spectrum in the normal weightcategory. Every week of the course, I will document any changes in weight, and at the very endof the course, I will receive a second screening of my cholesterol and triglyceride levels. I willcompare my body composition before and after the process. P90X is a conditioning program made for all athletes of all types. It gives those focusedon aerobic discipline a rigorous workout in the Plyometrics and Kenpo X programs, it offers
  6. 6. Hyde 6power-lifters and strength-based athletes conditioning in resistance training, it presents gymnastsand dancers a wonderful course in Yoga, and it gives any ordinary person a chance to discovertheir peak level of fitness in 90 days. It eliminates harmful cholesterol and increases the count ofthe beneficial kind, it strengthens the heart and lungs, and it tones the body to reduce the risk ofinjury. The level of versatility, challenge, depth, and user customization in P90X isunprecedented by any exercise program to date.