Briefly stated, P90X proposes to "shred" fat off your body and help you build lean muscle mass within 90 days. But to do this, a person has to follow the nutritional guide provided by Team Beachbody, the manufacturers of said program. After leafing through their nutrition guide, my wife and I decided that it was not suitable to our physical needs. Essentially, there is too much emphasis on carbohydrates in the P90X dietary guide, to the point where one could legitimately wonder, "isn't this the kind of diet that would be better suited to fattening up cattle?"
Well, the argument certainly could be made that by taking on P90X's dietary advice you would have to make your whole lifestyle about working out. Incidentally, that's also one of the criticisms about P90X in general: that it requires an overall lifestyle change such that everything you do has to revolve around working out, and finding the time to work out. For those people who have that kind of leisure, that's fine. However, there are those of us -- myself, for example -- who just don't have the kind of time that P90X demands. Nor do I have any interest in eating in such a way that I'm constantly having to monitor my caloric intake, or working out to burn more calories than I take in (a poor bit of advice that I'll dispell at a later date).
So, to deal with both the nutritional end of things and the issue of time, I've taken on the Primal Blueprint for Fitness and for Nutrition. In a nutshell, the Primal Blueprint draws attention to the harmful effects of "cereal" grains, and emphasizes the overarching importance of a fat-burning metabolism. Thus, a person should not be eating grains, which sap the body of its mineral and vitamin stores, but should be eating whole foods, fermented vegetables, good fats, lots of protein from healthy meats, and discarding as much sugary intake as possible to avoid insulin spikes (which are correlated to an increasing rise in diabetes).
More though, Primal Blueprint speaks to fitness in a way that legitimizes an easy-going fitness routine that still maximises physical benefits. Says Mark Sisson, the creator of Primal Blueprint:
So while it is that P90X will kick your ass and make you burn, ache, and sweat -- which is all very useful when getting fit -- it does not propose the fluidity of Primal Blueprint as described in the quote above. Nevertheless, P90X can be used in conjunction with Primal Blueprint on certain days. For example, if you're needing to "lift heavy things" (a category familiar to primal-goers), you could easily sub in one of the lift routines from P90X, or even just a portion of a lift routine. Also, in the winter months, when it's really not easy on your body to run around outside, you could do one of the cardio routines from P90X, or, again, just a portion of one.Our exercises should make us stronger, faster, and more capable of accomplishing just about any physical feat the world throws at us. They should be enjoyable (pleasure-giving), brief (without sacrificing effectiveness), sustainable (lifelong), immediately accessible (to young, old, and untrained), and infinitely scalable (from beginners to elites). A fitness program, then, should meet these benchmarks.
However you chose to approach the Primal Blueprint, P90X, if utilised appropriately, can be of great benefit. As a stand-alone, however, I found P90X to be a little tedious and overly time-consuming. In turn, the harsh time commitment of P90X nags a certain point: can I sustain such a rigorous routine in the face of everyday life from now until old-age? My answer is "no". And I suspect that may be the answer for a large number of people who would like to reap the benefits of P90X but just can't afford the time.
There is a solution, however, and it consists in making a hybrid of the Primal Blueprint for Fitness and Nutrition, and P90X. And in my opinion, the relaxed pace of primal fitness is better adapted to the actualities of human living in the modern world where so much of our time is at a high premium, and where coping with even a minimal fitness and nutrition routine can rub us up against the demands of work, family, and other pursuits.
More to come...