There are so many exercise programs out there today, making it hard to know which is good for you and which one is not. The truth of the matter is that they are all good. Exercise, lifting weights and ultimately seeing the results that you want comes down to a few things....healthy eating, consistent workouts, proper recovery, and hard work. Yes, there are others but those are the main points. Talk to 10 different trainers and they will tell you 10 different ways to see results. Smart and experienced trainers understand there are many ways. Before I get into my opinions on both programs I want to let you know that first off, I am a P90X certified trainer. Secondly, I really like crossfit and think it is intense, awesome and fun. I have also contemplated getting a certification in crossfit.
So...should you be doing them? If you are new to working out then the answer is probably no for you unfortunately. Both programs are for people who have a foundation in exercise and have been working out for a long period of time. Hard to say how long but I would give a range of 3-9 months. Bottom line, you can't just jump into these types of programs, your body is just not ready. I am a firm believer in the stabilization phase before progressing into more intense exercise...neither of which is done by Crossfit or P90X. The stabilization phase main objectives are....
1.Correcting muscle imbalances. 2.Improving stabilization of the core. 3.Preventing tissue overload by preparing muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints for the upcoming imposed demands of training. 4.Improving overall cardiovascular & neuromuscular condition. 5.Establishing proper movement patterns and exercise technique.
Let's talk about the 2 programs.....
Crossfit....The athletes you see on TV, they are just that...athletes. These people train day in and day out. They are probably trainers themselves who have trainers who train them. They are most likely from some type of fitness and sports background and have been doing this for years. They have worked on not only there CORE, joint mobility, and muscle imbalances but have been lifting heavy weights that put stresses on their body for a long time. I see so many people come into my gym who can't even body squat. Now, let me ask you a question. If you can't body squat properly would you put an extra 45-115lbs. on someone's back? Another common probably is a hyper-extended/arched back when performing exercises overhead. A good majority of people can't physically just lift their arms straight in the air overhead. Why would you have them do it with more weight? In order to do this properly, people must loosen up their back and get more flexibility and joint mobility in their shoulders. These are a few examples...I could go on. If you are a crossfitter, take a look around in the gym next workout, you may see some of this. If you don't, then props to the trainers. Bottom line here is this....Is Crossfit awesome....yes. Can and do your hear of people getting hurt doing it....yes. Did or did they not have a prior injury before... don't know, maybe. Can it also get you into fantastic shape....yes. Like anything else, there are good trainers and there are not so good trainers. Make sure if you attempt to do crossfit that you are ready for it and have a good trainer to progress you accordingly.
P90X.....Like Crossfit, P90X is a great workout well-known around the nation as a "tough" program. P90X should not be done if you cannot pass the basic fitness test in the beginning of the program. Furthermore, there are a lot of pullups, shoulder exercises, and plyometric type exercises that can lead to an injury in people that are not ready b/c it puts stresses on the body or they train too hard, too fast. My recommendation for P90X is this.....if you are not ready, don't worry about it and force it. Two alternatives here are P90( the program before P90X) OR 10 minute trainer with Tony Horton, P90X creator. 10 minute trainer is a great workout where the moves are explained thoroughly by Tony and you get a great workout in 10 minutes. Want a 30 minute workout? Do 3 different discs. This is perfect for a beginner. Have you seen all the before and after pictures in P90X? Do you think this is really from 90 days? These people did the program probably 3 or 4 times. I know I sound like I am bashing P90X right now but I do really think it is one of the best workout programs out there IF you are READY. Plain and simple, it just works you hard. I have done it and absolutely loved it.
In conclusion, it might sound like I am a "conservative" trainer. In fact, I am the complete opposite. I work people hard, really hard. I even push myself too hard at times b/c I am just an intense person. Just ask the members in my boot camp if I am tough. But...I also believe that a well-rounded workout program needs to include many elements such as a good program design catered to the individual, nutrition, flexibility and foam rolling, and corrective exercises. Put all these into play and you will be off to a great start to have a healthy and great looking body.
Moral of the story here is this....everyone wants to get in shape and look great in a matter of months. You can do this but do it in the right way exercising with proper form, eating accordingly, working on muscle imbalances and increasing your flexibility. More importantly, research and educate yourself to form your own opinions on what could be good or bad for you. If you are patient, consistent and work hard....it will come. Getting in shape is a life-style change, it's not temporary and if done properly, does not include shortcuts or quick fixes