In order to maximize your results with P90X, I consider the following “MUST HAVES”:
If I had to go back in time and repeat my first round of P90X, knowing what I know now, there is a short list of items I feel I couldn’t do without. Every one of these items, in my opinion, were critical to maximizing my results with the P90X program. I used each of them several times per week, if not every day. I hope this list helps you weed through all of the available equipment and supplements to determine which best meet your needs and your budget! (Please don’t feel like I’m giving you a sales pitch. These are all items I feel really work FOR ME and are worth the money, but my budget may be different than yours)
1) Pullup Bar with multiple hand positions = The workouts involve a variety of pullups, and having a good, seven position pullup bar will help you maximize this portion of your workout. Plus, you’ll be using it a lot so you’ll want a sturdy one that will last. I bought mine from Beachbody due to its stronger materials and durability, although it was a little more expensive than the knockoff brands (I paid $59). I’m glad I did, because it held up to my abuse just fine. (I’ve since installed a permanent pull-up bar I got on Amazon.com in my basement)
2) Dumbbells = I know the exercises can be done with bands, but free weights will definitely maximize your results. I lot of people I know use adjustable dumbbells (LifeSmart, Bowflex, etc.), which are much cheaper than buying a whole set of individual hex dumbbells like I have. They typically adjust from 5-55 lbs, and are very durable. Get them as Sports Authority, Academy Sports or online. I got my rubber hex dumbbells from Sports Authority when they were on sale AND when they were having a 25% off one item coupon (…a lot of individual transactions…I was lucky to find a very patient cashier LOL).
3) PowerStands = These are more expensive ($39) than the cheap pushup bars you can get at a retail store, but they are solid, very stable, and very durable. They won’t tip over shake when you are pushing hard for those last reps. They also put your wrists in the correct positon to prevent joint problems. I love my PowerStands. They take my pushups to the next level, and they will last forever!
4) Yoga Mat = Get one of these for Ab Ripper X and YogaX . If you try to do a bunch of situps with your tailbone directly on the floor, you’ll regret it! I have two… A regular one for Yoga and and “extra think” one to give my tailbone more of a break on Abs days… If I could pick only one, it would be the regular yoga mat.
5) Shakeology = This is by far my favorite Beachbody supplement (in fact, it’s the only one on my “Must Have” list). I gave it a trial run just to see what the hype was about (they offer a 30 day guarantee so you have nothing to lose). Well, after the first month on Shakeology, I signed up for home direct and have been using it EVERY day since. There seems to be 2 types of people when it comes to Shakeology – those who haven’t tried it and are skeptical about the price, and those who have tried it and now rave about it. It does cost twice the amount of regular whey protein, but it’s got more than 70 nutrients and supplements in it, so comparing it to plain protein powder isn’t a fair comparison. You’ll have to decide if it’s in your budget or not, but to me it’s worth the money. Within 6 months of drinking Shakeology every day, my high cholesterol dropped more than 25 pts and my body fat decreased by more than 40%. To learn more, click here.
6) Tap & Track (or another similar calorie tracking system like MyFitnesPal) = I love Tap & Track. It’s a .99 cent iPhone app that tells me exactly where I’m at on my nutrition. Following the nutrition guide is critical to getting great results, and tracking your calories, protein, carbs, and fat will help you do that. In a study, people who “tried to eat healthy” actually consumed 50% more calories than people who actually tracked their calories. Put in the effort to do this!!! You’ll be glad you did!
7) Workout Sheets = These are easy and free, but you’ve got to keep track of your weight and reps on everything. How else will you monitor your progress and know how to push yourself to the max?
“NICE TO HAVES” (depending on your goals and budget):
8) Whey or Vegan Protein Powder = You will need to consume a lot of protein to fuel your muscles. A good quality protein powder is critical to giving you what your body needs, especially if you’re not able to get what you need entirely from whole foods. Beachbody sells whey protein powder, but I primarily used Bluebonnet before switching to the raw vegan protein powder from SunWarrior brand.
9) Creatine = This supplement helps volumize the muscles with water so that they can draw more nutrients in to aid with recovery and muscle building. I use Elite-K and have several friends that swear by Pro Lab Creatine Monohydrate. It is important to cycle creatine, 2 months on and 1 month off. If you are unsure about using creatine, Google it and read multiple reviews.
10) Glutamine = This supplement is also naturally occurring in our bodies, and during intense exercise our glutamine stores are depleted, so replacing glutamine is important to giving our muscles what they need to repair themselves.
11) Recovery Drink = I lot of folks I work with swear by the P90X Results and Recovery formula…and for good reason. It refuels your body with essential carbs and protein after intense workouts.
12) Heart Rate Monitor = if you have medical conditions or a lot of weight to lose, you want to properly monitor yourself to make sure your not over doing it. A good HRM will also tell you how many calories you’ve burned in your workout, which is essential in tracking calories and helping you know how much to eat each day. The more you burn working out, the more you can eat 🙂