By December 23, 2008

P90 Home Fitness Program, end of week eleven

It took me a little longer than the fourteen days expected to go from session 55 because I spent one day getting holiday stuff taken care of, and the rest I just blew off. Frankly, going through the P90 Phase 3 and Phase 4 program has taken its toll on my enthusiasm. The standard workout seems robotic and the repetition is killing me. As such, I was very happy to break the recommended routine and do a six-day detour to Hawaii.

The Beachbody P90 Fat Burning Express Hawaii edition, that is. Here’s my opinion of this DVD after a second helping.

Here’s the short version: the Fat Burner Express workout is far more entertaining than the traditional basic P90 system. It is shorter than the Phase 3 and Phase 4 workouts, but I have so much fun that I put more of myself into each movement. I found myself shouting along with trainer Tony Horton and trying to best my previous session. Jump higher, punch faster, lunge deeper.

That being said, I can see the weaknesses in the program now. The Phase 1 and 3 workouts feature an ab routine afterwards (100 and 200 reps, respectively). The Fat Burning Express doesn’t have a single isolated ab movement. Sure, your abs get used in the majority of the exercises in the video, but doing the “Twister” ten times is nothing like doing twenty bicycles after cranking out 160 other ab movements.

After doing a hundred pushups in the Phase 4 on top of military presses, front raises, and a bunch of other crazy shit, I don’t feel like I am getting enough of an upper body workout, either. The legion of squats and lunges in Phase 3 prepared me for the relatively easy leg workout of the Fat Burner Express. However, the FBE’s leg exercises are more “static” and are probably better for your overall core development. For example, one of the exercises in the FBE is called the “chair to prayer.” You extend your arms all the way up and mimic sitting in a chair. This is hard enough, but then you transition to a yoga-style “prayer squat,” wherein you enter a DEEP squat stance, with your elbows pushing your knees apart to open up the groin. You do this twenty times, alternating each side.

It’s a different feeling than doing twenty lunges with forty squats in between, but it’s still a good workout. Those of you familiar with the weight lifting “pump” might get more satisfaction from the P90 basic workout. The FBE takes a far more sneaky approach to the workout. By throwing tons of different exercises at you, your muscles never get close to failure like one may experience with true weight lifting. It may not feel impressive at first, but when I woke up the following day with tight legs I knew the Fat Burner Express program was no joke.

I have twenty-four workouts left. In addition to going back to Phase 3 and 4, I have also been restricting my diet a little more. Two weeks ago, I gave up cheese for the rest of my routine. Last week I gave up potatoes, and this week I am giving up other starches and pasta. I think desserts/sweets are on the chopping block for the week thereafter, and then things will get even more fucked up after that. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here are my stats:


I am really proud of my progress. My midsection is being stubborn, but at my age I think this is unavoidable unless I make some drastic dietary changes.

9 Comments on "P90 Home Fitness Program, end of week eleven"

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  1. erin clare says:

    Awesome stats, Doc!! And good job keeping it up! I’m currently in the same boat about the tummy. But everyone at CrossFit basically swears by the Zone diet. All the trainers do it and the ladies that do it (some of them moms of 1 or more kids) have six packs. They didn’t get it just from the workouts, they focused their diet. The best part is you can overeat…it just has to be a Zone recipe. They break it down by the necessary proteins, carbs, and fats associated with the size of person you are. I’m somewhere between a 2 block/3 block girl. It’s a bit of a learning curve and I’m still learning but everyone swears by the results and they wind up loving being on the diet. Of course, when I say “diet” I mean lifestyle change in relation to food. You may want to just read up on it and see what you think. You eat more during the day but the portions are smaller.

    Keep it up!! You’re looking awesome!

  2. drfaulken says:

    Thanks for the kind words. I’ll check Zone out, particularly if I decide to graduate to the P90X program after this. I already eat four to six times a day, so that part won’t be so hard. The tough part is finding diet-OK food that I can get at restaurants.

    I’m dreading going back to the P90 basic course. I did the Phase 4 work out yesterday and it kicked the shit out of me. I’m supposed to do the Phase 3/200 today, which is mostly cardio and my least favorite workout. Oh well, no sense in putting it off … these love handles aren’t going to disappear on their own.

  3. Starbuck says:

    you don’t have love handles. You think you do because you cinch your belt so tight so that your gun doesn’t fall out…and i mean gun not cock 🙂

  4. Lewis says:

    Keep going mate. Your doing well judging by those stats!

  5. oldblueday says:

    I just started this p90 (I’m on day #20) and I’m already getting a bit tired of phase 1-2. I do extra little bits to make it harder, so I am sweating by the end.

    I’m going to switch to phase 3-4 at day #30, but I’m not sure I can carry on with two workouts for 60 days. Esp since you said they get kind of boring.

    Have you looked into those phase 5-6 ones they sell on the website?

    Good luck, doc, wishing you the best!


  6. drfaulken says:

    Hey there, thank you for your comments.

    It’s brutal doing just the two workouts. Did you get the Fat Burner Express (Hawaii, 2005) one, too? It came for free with my order but I don’t know if that was a limited time offer or what.

    I didn’t know about the Phase 5 and Phase 6 workouts. To be honest, the Phase 3/200 is pretty good for me, and I’ve been adding more weights to the Phase 4 workout. I don’t really need more intense routines, just different ones.

    I am pretty burned out on P90 right now. It’s been a battle to do any of the workouts, and I just do them whenever I feel like it. The system is good, but monotonous. I feel like P90X would be a lot better in this regard, but I don’t think I am physically ready for it.

    Good luck to you too, and please keep me posted on your progress!

  7. oldblueday says:

    I’m with you (at least on the phase 1-2). I can add more weights, which I am, but I’m starting to get bored.

    I haven’t tried the Hawaii one, though I do have it. Is that a replacement for phase 3-4? I’ll have to take a peek at that. Better backdrop at least, I’m guessing.

    Have you been taking the supplements? I want to try it with sustainable diet changes, so I don’t need to take pills, protein shakes or bars. (those bars just seem like candy bars with some nutritional value – I’d rather eat a tuna salad sandwich). I think the diet is the hardest part for me. 6 meals a day?

  8. Bowflex Sale Guy says:

    “but I have so much fun”

    That’s great as having fun while exercising can keep you going instead of getting bored and quitting.

    Keep us posted.

  9. oldblueday says:

    Switching to phase 3-4 tomorrow, but I did switch to those “Perfect Pushup” stands and it does make a big difference. I actually just ordered the travel version.

    Also used dumbbels instead of the resistance bands today, and that made a huge difference. They’re just not as portable or baby-friendly (kids can’t really get hurts on resistance bands… well, not as easily).

    I’ll let you know how the transition is.

    We’re having some fun!