February's Great Fitness Experiment

t's big, it's bad, it PUTS THE X IN EXTREME!!! (It also puts the yelling into infomercials!) That's right, after over a year of pleading from you guys, I've finally got a hold of a copy of P90X for a Great Fitness Experiment! At $140, this workout is a little out of my budget and sadly I'm not cool enough to get them to give me an evaluation copy but fortunately for me Christmas came twice this year. See, Gym Buddy Megan's husband Sensei Don got her P90X for Christmas and she generously offered to share the love (and pain) with me.

For those of you who have not been sucked into one of their mesmerizing infomercials - they're everywhere, even on QVC! - nor have been accosted by one of the many P90X devotees - they're almost as rabid as CrossFitters! - it's a series of 12 intense workouts and a diet plan designed to take you from Pillsbury doughboy to winner of the bake sale ('cause you're cooking beefcake!). You do a different workout each day, 6 days a week for 3 months.

In addition to all this, P90X has the one aspect in a workout that is like catnip to me. No, it's not buff shirtless men doing crazy pull-ups (although it does have plenty of that). It's a challenge. This is not one of those "it's so fun you won't even know you're working out!" workouts. This is a "I will beat your body into submission and you will lie in a puddle of your own sweat and thank me for it" workouts. Apparently in my mind, P90X is the dominatrix of fitness (my "issues" duly noted.) They even have a test you have to pass before you are authorized to do the workout! I love tests! I love numbers! I love elitism!! Seriously, the best way to get me to try a workout is to tell me you think I can't handle it. Strangely this tactic does not work with household chores.

The Gym Buddies and I did the test before January's Great Personal Training Fitness Experiment with Lindsey and passed, except for one thing: women are supposed to be able to do one pull-up. There was a time when Gym Buddy Allison and I would have snorted derisively at one measly pull-up. As they are wont to do, our newly born children have made us humble. None of us could get higher than halfway. But tonight as Megan and I did Day 1 of the program, I discovered that I could eke one out! (Yes, I jumped a little. I'm still counting it.) This is important to me because there was an incident in college where I got locked out of my apartment and had I been able to do a pull up onto our deck I would have saved myself the humiliation of having to ask the boys next door to break into my own house for me and then promise to wash their car in a bikini before they'd let me in. (Which I totally didn't do, by the way.) So thank you for saving me from future embarrassments Lindsey! After one month we will repeat the test.

Megan and Don are going to be playing the program straight, doing the whole 90 days and the diet plan - a high-protein low carb plan similar to South Beach. Myself and the other Gym Buddies are only committed for February. I will not be doing the diet plan (more on that tomorrow.)
Unfortunately, this is going to be one of those Experiments that will be very difficult to follow along with at home unless you own the DVDs or are willing to buy them. (Check your local library! Many have exercise DVDs and you might just get lucky!) But after you read about tomorrow's workout (an hour of plyometrics - my quads are burning just thinking about it) you may be grateful for that.

Any of you tried P90X? Have any recommendations/hints/warnings for me? Do you love arbitrary tests and challenges as much as I do or do they scare you off? Anyone else ever been in a situation where a pull up would have been a really hand skill to have??