Over the past seven years, P90X has taken the country by storm. Millions of Americans have transformed their bodies with fitness instructor and P90X guru Tony Horton, who leads the 90-day high-intensity workout program that improves strength, power, endurance and mobility.
What makes P90X different from other at-home workouts? Simple: it's not just about improving looks. Yes, looking better is a by-product of this program, but it also incorporates athletic movements that will improve performance. Several professional athletes, such as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson, have taken note, using P90X in the off-season.
After seven years, Horton and Beachbody are ready to launch the next version of their 90-day program, entitled "P90X2." This time they enlisted the help of Dr. Marcus Elliott, founder and director of Peak Performance Project (P3) and one of the world's top sports scientists. Dr. Elliott brings a wealth of experience optimizing athletic performance and preventing injury with science-based training programs.
STACK had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Elliott about P90X2 and to find out how this innovative program will improve athletic performance.
STACK: Why was P90X so successful?
Dr. Elliott: P90X is a great program. It targets so many systems that are involved in an athletic body, and it doesn't require a bunch of equipment. Almost anybody who you talk to who has done it will tell you it was a great experience. If they were able to stick it out, they got thinner, more athletic and more powerful than they've ever been.
STACK: What's the difference between P90X and P90X2?
Dr. Elliott: The first program is great, but P90X2 is smarter and more functional. There's a little less of an emphasis on hypertrophy and on some of the areas of the body that might get overloaded, like the shoulders. There's more of an emphasis on hip, trunk and shoulder stability and overall athleticism and power. There's also more mobility work, particularly for the hips, which is huge in athleticism.
STACK: Muscle confusion was the big feature in P90X. What's next?
Dr. Elliot: We still use muscle confusion—continuously varying workouts so muscles never adapt and are always making strength and size gains—but P90X2 adds post-activation potentiation [PAP], which combines a strength movement followed by a complex power movement that uses similar muscles and movements. An example of a PAP segment is a Step-Up followed by a Skater plyometric movement. We also add a hip and trunk stability movement, like a Side Bridge. The result is increased power output in the complex power movement [compared to] if the power movement were performed on its own.
STACK: Are there different levels of difficulty for beginners and advanced athletes?
Dr. Elliot: That's one of the beautiful things about P90X. You can talk to future hall-of-fame athletes who are doing it, as well as 15-year-old high school kids who are all having great experiences with it. In P90X2, there are progressions that allow beginners to get into it, but it can also challenge professional athletes. At almost every stage, there are progressions or alternate movements that reduce or increase the challenge.
STACK: What type of equipment do you need?
Dr. Elliott: P90X2 still requires very little equipment. We ask people to get medicine balls, stability balls, a pull-up bar, a foam roller and a minimum number of dumbbells. The program can be performed with bodyweight if dumbbells are not available.
STACK: How will an athlete feel after completing the 90-day program?
Dr. Elliott: It's more than just losing weight or bulking up. You will wake up proprioceptive awareness, balance and a sense of stability with the legs, trunk and shoulders. The PAP segments will improve athleticism with big and powerful movements. It's about making your body feel like its designed to be an athlete.
P90X2 comprises 12 all-new training discs with workouts that include strength training, plyometrics and yoga; a fitness guide; a nutrition guide; and a 90-day workout calendar. The program is available for pre-order at P90X2.com for $119.95.
Stay tuned for STACK's full review of P90X2 in December.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock