Friday, May 30, 2014

What Equipment Do You Need For P90X3?

This is a question that I constantly see on forums, websites, and from friends of mine that are just starting out with the program. If you're new to P90X3 it can be a little difficult to understand just what equipment you'll need to be successful. As someone who has completed P90X twice and P90X3 once I wanted to provide some insight.

Weights or Bands?

I'm about to shock some people, but I prefer (quality!) resistance bands over traditional weights. I know,crazy, right?

When you think resistance bands, you probably think of the cheap and nearly useless bands you see in traditional stores. Don't let those junky bands cloud your view of resistance bands. There are some GREAT sets that can provide some incredible resistance.

Why do I choose resistance bands over weights? As someone who does a lot of computer related work I've developed a bit of wrist pain over the years. My first round of P90X was done entirely with traditional weights and my wrists were killing me towards the end.

I didn't want to go through the pain again during my second round of P90X, so I started to do a bit of research on resistance bands. I was actually pretty surprised at how many different sets were available. And I was even more surprised at some of the results people got by using a quality set of bands.

I took the plunge and purchased the Bodylastics Strong Man XT set and I couldn't be happier. I actually felt like I had BETTER results than my first round simply because I could do more reps with better form. The Strong Man set is awesome because you can change resistance levels by simply clipping and un-clipping different bands, with levels from 3 pounds all the way up to 262 pounds.

A Pull-up Bar For Pull-ups and Chin-ups.

P90X3, like its predecessors, incorporates a lot of unique pull-up and chin-up moves. For these I've been using is the tried-and-true Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar.

This thing is a classic and is the most popular pull-up bar on the market, for good reason. It's built well, can withstand a lot of weight, and is super-easy to attach to a door.

Since it's so easy to detach I also use it to help provide greater stability and range of motion for push-ups. And it has held up for more than 3 years now, even after some serious use from my friends and I.

One quick note, some people may not have enough clearance above their door frame, or a thick enough door frame to properly use this type of pull-up bar. Fortunately, that's where the Bodylastics resistance bands come back in. The door anchor and a heavy amount of resistance can be a really solid substitute for a traditional pull-up or chin-up. Or, if you're not quite strong enough, a great way to start building upper-body strength.

A Post-Workout Drink.

Beachbody loves to push their extremely expensive post-workout and nutrition drinks during their videos and on their websites. While I've heard a lot of great things about them, I've always avoided them because they're simply too expensive.

Myself, as well as millions of other people, have stuck to the traditional (and effective) when protein powder after a workout. There are TONS of brands to choose from and I've tried plenty.  From the absolutely terrible Body Fortress drinks to my favorite, Twinlab 100% Whey Protein Fuel (Vanilla Rush).

Generally I'll mix it with some skim milk and natural peanut butter after a workout. But there are times that I'll add in some low fat vanilla ice-cream just as a rare treat. Hey, we all bend the rules sometimes, right?

The Twinlab protein powder that I use is not the most popular, but I find it to be the best tasting out of the handful that I've tried. That said, feel free to check out all of the different brands of protein powder available on Amazon by clicking here. You can read user reviews, check current prices, etc.

That's It!

Hopefully this answers your "What equipment do you need for P90X3?" question. While there are other (optional) pieces of equipment such as stability balls, push-up stands, yoga blocks, etc, the above is what I've personally used to complete multiple rounds of P90X and more than 2 months of P90X3.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to BRING IT!

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