Western Rifle Shooters Association

Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Saturday, March 12, 2011

PT: P90X - The Extremely Effective "Poor Man's Personal Trainer"

The Trainer sends:

CA - I've noted many times on your blog an insistence for those who hope to survive the 'first big die off' to get their bodies in better shape.  I also understand that many people don't have a lot of money to hire personal trainers or have the scheduled time available to go to a gym or the discipline to figure out a good routine and stick to it.
I'm one of those.  I have to have some sort of accountability, because basically, it's my nature to be drawn to high calorie satisfaction in food and drink with no thought of what I must do to counter-act their effects on my personal physical abilities.  That's a nice way of saying I'm basically a lazy, fat-man wannabe.
However, there is hope:  P90X  (Disclaimer:  I have no interest in this program financially or professionally.  I only reap the benefits (and in the process, muscle pain) of following it.
This program, led by exercise guru Tony Horton from www.beachbody.com and made popular by endless infomercials at wierd times of the day and night actually does work!
Now in my opinion, anyone reading this blog regularly should, in fact, be at least doing 'push aways' (from the table - which is the hardest exercise to master) first, and then getting with their doctor to make sure they don't fall over dead from session one.
Make no mistake, this is not easy, but if you follow it, you will see results.  Improvement in stamina, strength and musculature.  Additionally, if you follow even some of the diet suggestions, you will lose more fat than you might have thought.
Horton has a tagline:  "Do your best, forget the rest!"  He's serious.  There is no guilt built in when you find you can't keep up with the 'class' at first.  Even after the first 45 days.  As long as you keep doing your best, you're getting in much better shape.
Trust me on this. 
The whole thing costs about $140 (which includes shipping). That's not too bad at all.  Just a bit more than the current price of a battle pack of Hirtenberger (when you can find it).  All you need are dumbells, a pull up (or in my case, I use a lat pull down) bar and a space big enough to do the exercises.  An 8X8 clear space is good enough.  Most of the dumbells I have I bought at garage sales.  Lots of lazy people out there willing to get rid of their weights for cheap.
The reason I'm so up on this is I've had to face the fact that I'm not 25, hell I'm not even 45 anymore.  But I will tell you this:  Back when I was 25 and hard core (our outfit did 5 miles every day along with an hour of PT), this program would have taken us easily to the next level.  It wouldn't have taken nearly so long as it has these days to get back to the kind of shape you need to be in at any age to even consider carrying a rifle, but, since doing this routinely (sometimes taking breaks due to work or just because), I can carry more weight, I don't get tired in the field as easily, and I have hope that I might just have what it takes should things go South.  Right now, today, as I type this, I just finished with the shoulders and arms routine.  I'm lifting more and doing more reps more easily than I was even two sessions ago.  It is the real deal in terms of getting you in shape.
Now personally, I really don't care if you decide to get this program or some other program or hire a personal trainer.  Whatever works for you; whatever you can afford; whatever motivates you is fine by me.
All I care about is that you understand that your fitness level is tied directly and in proportion to your chances of survival.  And if that's not enough, extrapolate that to your loved ones.  The longer you can operate, the better their chances are.
So.....your call.  If you can't hack it physically, all the wonderful, technological, state-of-the-art battle rifles, pistols, and night vision won't do you any good, because you'll either be dead from a heart attack as your adrenaline pushes through the roof and overloads your heart or you'll be dead because you just decided to sit and wait for the zombies on your couch.  Either way you'll be dead.
Personally, if I have to die, I'd prefer to die taking to the bastards who are trying to kill me.
But that's me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys, not only can you find dumbells at garage sales but the sports section of craigslist regularly has copies of P90X for sale. Mine was even unopened. Do I need to tell you that it won't cost $140? Do it or get eaten.

March 12, 2011 at 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Mark Matis said...

Physical fitness is good, and if one is still surviving after the Bad Guys are rotting in hell where they belong, it will probably be useful to you as you help to re-establish civilization.

HOWEVER, once again I would like to remind people that if your Ops Plan includes a requirement for personally carring heavy gear any significant distance, YOU WILL NOT SURVIVE!

Not in the urban areas, where the Bad Guys not only have ubiquitous CCTV (theirs as well as private versions thereof which they WILL access) but also have no shortage of quislings. After all, just HOW do you think those politicians get elected?

And not in the rural areas, where the Bad Guys know EXACTLY what to do with their air support. Hiking across God's Green Woodland, you will show up quite nicely on their IR video. NO MATTER HOW GOOD the foliage.

There IS NO GOOD WAY to do an urban action and survive. And rurally, you had better plan to leave the action area in an enclosed vehicle and be FAR AWAY by the time the Bad Guys' air support arrives.

So go ahead and get fit. That IS worth doing. But DO NOT expect that to be a significant factor in your survival of an action. If you are able to carry the bags of groceries from the car to the kitchen, you ARE already fit enough for any survivable action.

March 12, 2011 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous some guy said...

Thanks for this post - I'll look into the P90X program. Might I recommend a FREE program, as well, which has helped me considerably? The Canadian Armed Forces developed a program which can be found here:


I follow a variation of this and in my mid-50's it has helped me lower my blood pressure quite a bit. Of course I must recommend any one starting an exercise program get checked out by his or her doc! (I can't remember where I found this program - it may have been on this blog!)

March 12, 2011 at 2:39 PM  
Anonymous USMCTANKS said...

I Also purchased this "program" and it does work...as long as you work.I have been working the program for 1 year,I feel better, look better, have no problem at 50 years old carrying my gear on a 10 mile march. My wife started the program after I finished the first 3 mo's and now joins me on hikes and runs. As an added bonus because we both have more energy and are happier with the way we look and feel we can't keep our hands off each other. Thank for all you do CA. Matt III

March 12, 2011 at 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a lot of people who have done P90X with good success, even moreso with the more intense Insanity program that they have.

One thing though, and I'm sure it's of no concern to those on this blog...but the whole drastic 2 month transformation from a fatty or pencilneck to lean and bodybuilder-ripped that they show... that's straight up false advertising. Most of the people in the after pics are'nt even the same person as the before pic...that, or they're using the old trick of showing a pro bodybuilder who has been out of action for awhile in the before pic, and then showing them with all the muscle they quickly regain from training again in the after. That sort of thing pisses me off but you WILL get fit and look way better if you stick with it...just don't expect to look like an extra from '300'.

March 12, 2011 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger Anon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 12, 2011 at 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another more reputable and andvanced rescource for combat fitness:


I HIGHLY reccomend it. No fruity bodybuilding nonsense...it's all for guys looking to get in shape to go into harm's way,

March 12, 2011 at 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another good protocol for working out that I found recently. Bit simpler, also besides push ups it has sit ups and body weight squats.

Its basic functional fitness, its free and doesn't require gear.


March 12, 2011 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger SamenoKami said...

Kettle bell. $50.

March 12, 2011 at 11:30 PM  
Anonymous Jay Stang said...

I am in the middle of P90X, and I can tell you it is working, and not a scam. It is pretty intense. Ab Ripper X is freaking unreal. Pulse Up/V Up's will leave you in the fetal position in the very beginning.

When I am done, I will be able to show my wife what I looked like 5 years before she knew me.

As for the transformation pictures, don't just look at P90X. There are thousands of people who have posted transformation videos on Youtube who aren't fakes or paid endorsers, just regular people. When I am done, I will send my before and after pictures to WRSA, and Pete can decide whether he wants to post them or not.


March 13, 2011 at 7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the most worthless and idiotic routines possible. If you think this is a good idea, or if you "can't hang" with it, you are so far beyond hope both physically and mentally, you should resign yourself to dying in the first batch during the die-off.

This is essentially a spastic and less functional form of cardio. You'd be much better served just starting a good running program. The "weight lifting" component in here is just laughably pathetic. You're lifting little weenie weights for the same idiotic meta-cardio effect as the rest of the flailing about like a fool in front of your TV that this program is. Again, better served by just running, and would also be less conducive to injury.

Feel free to flush $140 down the toilet for a workout routine that wouldn't be appropriate for little girls.

March 13, 2011 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Phelps said...

Maybe I'm too anti-fad, but I've been on Stronglifts 5x5 for a couple of months, and seeing results just as good as P90X, and more strength gains than the folks I know on P90X.

And it's 100% free.

The ideas aren't complex. Lift heavy weights and eat like a horse.


Lean is good. Strong is better. If you are training for endurance, you'll get endurance. If you are training for strength, you'll get strength and endurance for the same effort. As for muscle confusion, the head SL5x5 guy puts it best. "Lift more weight than you did last time. Congratulations -- your muscles are confused."

March 13, 2011 at 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you are able to carry the bags of groceries from the car to the kitchen, you ARE already fit enough for any survivable action."
HAHAHA oh, dang, I would respond but I can barely reach the keyboard from down here on the floor,...laughing too hard...survivalist experts unite!

March 13, 2011 at 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Jay Stang said...


If you are only planning on escape and evasion, you might not need an elevated fitness level, just an ability to exfiltrate.

If you actually plan on doing some fighting, or beating back the zombies when they come after your womenfolk, fitness will be needed. It takes a lot of energy to fight; just watch a UFC fight. Better yet, do some MMA or wrestling of your own. No one here can count on not having to go toe to toe with someone in hand to hand combat.

When I finish P90X, I will either jump back into MMA, or continue on with P90X Plus.

Fitness is vital.


March 13, 2011 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger triptyx said...

I finished the first 90 days of P90X. As mentioned above, don't expect to go from overweight to classical muscle builder (the P90X uses flat light with the camera to de-emphasize musculature on a model at day 0, and then uses sidelights at day 90 to emphasize tone), however, completing the course will leave you in far better shape.

One thing I don't think you get enough of in P90X is interval cardio - which trains the body to better use oxygen and recover faster from exertion (working hard for a short burst, then "resting" for a short burst, rinse and repeat - folks with organized sports background may recognize "suicides" which are a form of interval training). For great cardio and interval, check out http://crossfit.com/ . They are trying to sell you on paying for a Crossfit gym, but the site has a free "workout of the day" on it (look in the center column of the homepage) that will give you a different cardio/interval training routine each day. I did something very similar with my brother over the holidays for just a month and a half and went from 2 pullups at a time to 9 or 10 in that short period.

Whatever you're going to do, be it walks, P90X, Crossfit, whatever, stick with it and most importantly push yourself! If you're easily completing the workout you've set for yourself for the day, it's time to crank it up another notch. If you're getting bored, change it up by implementing parts of Crossfit or another fitness routine.

Get fit to live folks! III

Disclosure: I have no monetary interest whatsoever in either of these programs.

March 14, 2011 at 4:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've used this program before, and it works amazingly. Follow the diet and exercise portion together and you get in shape quickly like nobody's business. It will whoop your ass, I promise you. You'll be so sore after a few days of it, but it works. No kidding.

March 14, 2011 at 5:13 AM  
Anonymous Jay Stang said...

Sorry, Anonymous, but you don't know what you are talking about. P90X works. The Marine Corps is starting to use it. Tony Horton goes to military bases and puts active duty troops through it regularly. Marines do it on their off time. Unfortunately, you are wrong.

March 14, 2011 at 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay I agree with you, but what can you say to a 40 pound overweight beer gut that sits in front of a keyboard for most of the day and disses most anything that is effective? I'm 52, I use P90X. I also use a treadmill, stepper, and free weights. I ride horses, build fence, try to stay in shape, and I shoot. I'm certainly no Mr. Olympus but I tell ya what, I can outwork about 90 percent of these kids half my age. They whine when it gets too hot or too cold, have to take breaks, just generally they have no idea what a hard day's work is. Lord help em when it all goes in the crapper.

March 15, 2011 at 1:06 AM  

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