P90X2 – The COMPLETE Review: Part 3 of 3

How to Kill a Man with Post Activation Potentiation

By Jean Paul Fender

 

Post Activation Potentiation.  Only words, but words that have struck terror into the hearts of men and women.   If after these workouts you wake in the night crying for your momma, then perhaps you have begun to understand.   This is what you will have been training for during the past 8 or so weeks.  The fitness guide also recommends that due to the sheer Hell of this phase, to only do it for no more than 3-4 weeks at a time lest your body dissolve into dust.

The science behind P.A.P. is intended to create superior muscle growth by doing a resistance move, followed immediately by an explosive move with the same muscle group.   This is not just some catch phrase invented by Tony and Beachbody either.  P.A.P. has been getting a lot of attention in professional training circles because it makes one fast and strong by also training the nervous system.

Thus, we begin the final chapter…

– PHASE 3: PERFORMANCE –

P.A.P. LOWER

Time: 63 minutes
The “Kids”: Cedric, Adam, Colette

This workout was like being mauled by a grizzly after giving her cubs a slap in their cute little faces.  I would advise NOT planning any running, walking ( Heck, even  STANDING ) the day after doing this for the first time.  Why?  Because it’s weights followed by 2 plyo moves with an isometric hold to cap off each set.  And yeah, it hurts as much as it sounds!

PAP Lower is 2 sets of 4 moves with each set done 4 times. This is followed by a 10 minute cooldown of neural integrated stretching which if you have any common sense you will not skip!   Possibly the hardest move is the Side Bridge Leg Lift, an isometric move in the second set which at first will seem impossible to hold for more than a few seconds.  Done right, your legs will have nothing left in the tank after this.  But that’s not the worst of it.  In Phase 3 you won’t be doing this just once a week, but TWICE.   Therefore I advise taking advantage of your rest days and do X2 Recovery and Mobility.

I should also mention that due to the strength/plyo combo in Insanity Asylum, I would expect those who have gone through that program to initially fare better than the newcomer to PAP.

P.A.P. UPPER

Time: 53 minutes
The “Kids”: Christina, Robert, Wayne

Argh!!  No man who has a conscience would unleash this demon upon humanity!   If you’re following the program then you’ll be doing this the day after PAP Lower and that means from the waist down you’ll be an invalid for the first few times you do this.  And then, oh joy, you’ll be one from the waist up after this until your body realizes what you’re doing to it.

This routine moves fast like one would expect from true circuit training, which means your heart rate will go up to match.  This is a true athletic-style upper body workout that like PAP Lower, has 2 rounds of 4 moves, each done four times.  Oh, and with NO breaks.  The first round moves are resistance, plyo, iso, iso.  The second round is resistance, plyo, resistance, iso.  And like your legs, you will get trashed all the way down!   You may not want to skip the recovery drink after this…just sayin’.

Conclusion for PHASE 3

Doing PAP 4x a week will practically guarantee stronger and faster physical performance.  But it will take time, so don’t let the first week get you down.  Take advantage of the yoga and recovery workouts to make sure everything stays together, and follow the advice in the manual: Don’t do this for more than 3-4 weeks at a time.

Interestingly enough, Volume 3 of the One on One Series was supposed to be the test bed for X2.  But not a whole lot from those disks made it to the final product.  That’s good because in many ways OoO v.3 didn’t find its stride until Tony did the P.A.P video.  At that point you could see the light bulb going off in Tony’s head as he just knew PAP was the way to go with X2.  Good call!

 The Final Conclusion

p90x2 reviewP90X2 stands alone as the premier home fitness solution of our time.  Like the original P90X, Tony has found a way to accomplish what nobody thought was possible:  To create a program that was difficult, agonizing, and authentic.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, touches this program in terms of versatility and attacking your total body.   This is no gimmick kids, this is the real McCoy.  As such, P90X2 has earned the coveted 6 FEATHER AWARD for being all-around awesome.

As for me, it’s time to go back and complete Phase 1 so I can do the program in its entirety.  Oh, and there’s a free P90X2 muscle shirt for those who complete the program and send in their documented results.  That means Tony better check his mail in 90 days as I am creating a video documentary which will also be featured on this site that shows the misadventures of a 40 year old Dad pressing play.

That will be completed probably around March.  Look for it!

GO BACK TO PART ONE

GO BACK TO PART TWO

  

© 2012 – 2014, Dysfunctional Parrot. All rights reserved. No reproduction of written material is permitted.

 
 
  • brandyn

    I was wondering what you think of somebody attempting p90x2 without completing p90x? my order came a few weeks ago and I would much rather jump into p90x2 then complete a round of p90x first.  what do you think?

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      Absolutely!  Naturally a P90X grad would have the tactical advantage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t modify until you get the hang of it.  Tony even says that X2 is not necessarily harder ( although I think it is! ), just different.

      This advice depends of course on your current physical condition.  If you’re in reasonable shape already it shouldn’t pose a problem.  If you’re 350lbs with bad knees then take it VERY slow!

  • Welchshari

    Curious as to how you would compare p90x2 to The Asylum?? I did 2 rounds of the Asylum (love it!!) and now onto P90x2…..I am beginning my second week—but finding the Asylum hard to give up!

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      Two different beasts entirely.  Asylum is hardcore sports training that really has no rival when it comes to intensity while P90X2 is total body fitness that establishes core strength as well as plyo and endurance.    

      P90X2 is also meant to be done indefinitely, while Asylum users will need to take the occasional break from the program due to the beat-down on the body.  The best solution?  A hybrid X2/Asylum routine.  In fact, the P90X2 manual even mentions it and has a sample schedule.

  • Dan

    DP, love your work.  Quick question: How do you like PAP Lower (or PAP Upper) compared to the original 1on1 PAP?  Is it like 1on1 Plyocide vs X2 Plyocide?
    -Dan

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      I give the edge to P90X2 because the MC2 workout is both upper and lower body.  While this gives a good introduction to PAP, it also means you’re only getting half the workout in a sense.  X2 devotes a whole disk to destroying each half!
      Plyocide on the other hand is probably more interchangeable with the rest of your P90X schedule because it’s practically all lower body anyway.

  • Jack

    Thank you so much for these reviews! I’ve been scouring the internet to try and find out whether I have do P90X before P90X2, but haven’t been able to get a straight answer from anyone who isn’t trying to sell me both packages and a green protein shake to boot. Seems to me that part 2 has more years of research behind it, more sophisticated science in the program and an extra rest day – do you think it’s worth starting with and sticking to cycling P90X2, or does P90X still have a place in the mix long terms? Thanks.

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      I’d use both personally just because I like to mix it up more, and not have to listen to the same dialogue all the time!  But as a stand alone package, X2 is more than enough for anybody!

      That having been said, certain P90X dvd’s may never again see the light of day after this.  Cardio X, Kenpo X and maybe even the 90 minute Yoga will likely all be ignored now!  But the strength workouts still count!

      Were I to choose the perfect program to cycle with this it actually would not be P90X, it would be Shaun T’s Asylum.

  • damon

    Good day. I love your reviews and have completed p90x, p90x2, insanity, asylum, and most recently asylum2. But always keep going back to p90x with some p90x2/insanity mixed in. Anyways, which p90x one on one series dvds do you recommend to get since i already have p90x2 and am looking for some nice variety in my workouts? The one on one series is now available to buy one disc at a time and would love to supplement/substitute some new workouts in the mix but am worried about getting the same workout just with different choreography.

  • txrsm

    Hi DP,

    Absolutely love your unbiased reviews as well as your training montage video for P90x2. Question, how long did you end up running the first and third phases? I know they give a 3-5 weeks span for those two phases but just curious. Thank again for all your hard work and information.

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      Thanks for the kind words! As I recall I did the initial P90X2 for the purpose of the video for the full 90 days with the proper schedule for each phase. It remains one of my favorite programs and hardly a week goes by I don’t do one of them.

      • txrsm

        Awesome to hear that you still do it. I am excited for this upcoming challenge. One final question, how much poundage do you feel is necessary for dumbbells with this program. I currently own a set of 30 lbs (60 lbs total) adjustable dumbbells that have served me pretty well through this round of P90x. I know everyone’s need is different but I am just trying to figure if there is a need to invest in the 55 lbs set or save up for the jump to the massive 90 lbs set. Keep in mind I am no Hercules or anything like that. Thanks again.

        • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

          I have a set of 40lb dumbbells that I use very rarely for things like curls. For 99.9% of any workout the max I can see the average person needing is 35lbs for P90X2 and even then only occasionally. As always, your mileage may vary. It is good to invest in bigger weight in case you feel like experimenting with other programs like Body Beast.

  • KR

    PAP lower is great workout and a great leg day. Just when you do it, don’t watch Cedric…he’s horrible. Tony constantly tells him to keep his body straight during Tony’s triangle and the moment Tony steps away, he stops. And not once did he do bridge lift correctly.

  • Hawk

    You lay out a good argument, but I’m still not quite sold at this point. I really haven’t heard a lot of talk about PAP from other fitness sources and the overwhelming focus on stability here seems to be a little overkill(let’s face it, to get strong, you pick up a heavy weight and lift, you don’t necessarily need one hand on a medical ball, one leg in the air, etc). I have the original and may get a Shaun T program and/or BodyBeast and do a hybrid instead.

  • Jason

    hi there, not sure if you would read it. but can you do p90x2 without any equipments besides dumbbells and chin up bar (ala p90x1) ?

    thanks.

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      You could get away with just resistance bands. You wouldn’t get the peak benefits of the program but you would still be able to get through it.

  • Scooby

    Do you recommend the deluxe version to get the 2 additional dvds? What are they anyways? thanks.

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      The bonus workouts are Complex Upper, Complex Lower and X3 Ab Ripper.

      The choice to get them depends on your income class! If you like a lot of variety and you have the money then sure. They are nice workouts, but they in no way whatsoever will change the results you have with P90X3. From a purely cost perspective they are hard to justify and I would highly recommend taking the money and spending it on Focus T25 instead for a superior return on investment.

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      oops…I replied thinking you meant P90X3.

      The bonus workout in X2 are Chest-Shoulders-Arms and V Sculpt ( Back and Biceps ). I really liked them but they’ll also cost $60. I don’t know if I can justify $30 per DVD when neither will make much of a difference in the outcome of the program.