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Bridal Fitness on Paper - P90X Core Synergistics Monday, September 12, 2011 ~ 10:42 a.m.

Bridal fitness- p90x strong After dieting and exercising for over a year, I finally reached my own bridal fitness goal this past January. I actually wrote a blog post all about my experience back then, where I shared some tips that helped me lose weight, and explained my fitness routine at the time. A very essential part of my exercise regimen leading up to my wedding day was the DVD exercise program, P90X. P90X has gained a good amount of popularity over the past couple of years, but just in case you haven't heard of it, the home exercise program consists of 12 DVDS and a nutrition diet plan to help you reach your fitness goals in 90 days. The DVD includes a variety of exercise styles including resistance and body-weight training, cardio, plyometrics ("jump training"), ab work, martial arts, stretching and yoga.

P90X may look like a bodybuilder's dream, but I definitely credit the program for helping me lose weight for my wedding day. There are no special tricks or gimmicks attached to this fitness program - it's just plain, honest-to-goodness hard work. I was reminded of this just last week when my husband decided to try doing the P90X Core Synergistics cardio workout with me. The routine is tough for me, even after doing it regularly for over a was even harder for Dale because he has only done that particular workout once before. Seeing him panting and grabbing his knees reminded me of just how difficult P90X was and still is! You know it's a hard core workout when you still feel sore the next day, after doing it for so long!

P90X home fitness DVDs
I know that "Boot Camp" fitness classes have become popular for the past couple of years, and P90X is a great at-home alternative to these types of workouts. If you're looking for a challenging, reliable fitness program to get your body into shape, this is it. The way that I like to think about it, is P90X puts it all into your hands. You have everything you need to make it happen - the workouts, the physical challenges and the know-how - and the rest is on you.

I first started the P90X workout program about 9 months before my wedding day, closely following the fitness schedule, working out 6 days a week. The program is divided into cardio and resistance training routines. Cardio exercises include Kempo (kickboxing), Plyometrics (jump training), Core Synergistics (abs, butt and thighs) and Cardio, which is a mix of all of the other cardio routines. There is also a two hour Yoga routine, as well as resistance training routines that focus on specific body parts (Back and Biceps, Shoulders and Arms, Legs and Back, Ab Ripper, Chest and Back, etc.). For the purposes of this review, I'll be focusing on the Core Synergistics cardio routine only.

Bridal Fitness Review - P90X Core Synergistics

Overall: Four and a half diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
4.5 out of 5 diamonds
It's hard work, and I LOVE it!

Core Synergistics is one of four cardio routines in the P90X exercise program, focusing on the core - abs, thighs and butt. Nearly an hour long, the video has three rounds, plus an extra "Bonus" round, if you're feeling extra energetic that day. The routine includes several variations of push ups and squats, as well as a couple of isolation ab exercises. You'll move at a steady pace, but there isn't a lot of jumping around required, with a few 45 second breaks in between rounds.

Cost & Equipment Three and a half diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
3.5 out of 5 diamonds
The entire program will cost you about $150 (including shipping), which you can divide into three payments over a three month period.
As far as workouts go, I realize that $150 can be a pretty hefty price tag for an exercise program, and for that reason I gave it 3.5 diamonds. However, it's well worth it, in my opinion. The fact that I still find the workouts challenging over a year later is proof in itself. If nothing else, the cost will keep you from giving up too early, right?!

Besides the DVDs, you'll want to have a set of dumbbells (I use a set of eight's and a set of twenty's) and/or lightweight resistance bands, a yoga mat (the thicker the mat, the better, in my opinion) and a chin-up bar that fits in your doorway. You'd also get some use out of a set of push-up stands and a heart-rate monitor, although these two items aren't essential to getting an effective workout. I also recommend a good sports bra, water and a towel, because you'll be tired, sweaty and thirsty, by the end, trust me!

Time Commitment: Three and a half diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
3.5 out of 5 diamonds

As far as workouts go, the P90X program definitely requires a bigger commitment than most. If you strictly follow the program as described, you'll end up working out about an hour a day, six days a week. The Core Synergistics routine, in particular, is about an hour long.

When I first started P90X, I workout out 5-6 times a week. This included three 1-hour cardio workouts, two 1-hour resistance training exercises, a fifteen minute ab series and an hour and a half long session of yoga and stretching. It's a hefty time commitment, yes, so sometimes I would omit the yoga workout so I could have another day off. However, my destination wedding was the motivation that I needed to get serious about working out. I would literally picture myself in a bikini on the beach whenever I felt too tired to go on!

Now, having reached my weight loss goal, I usually do 2-3 P90X workouts per week, combined with one INSANITY session and a fitness class or two to keep things interesting. I typically do one of the resistance training workouts and 1-2 cardio workouts per week. I end up doing Core Synergistics, in particular, about once a month. The hour-long routine starts out with a 10-minute warm up and stretch, and includes two, 45-second breaks in between rounds, which are about 12 minutes each. The last, fourth round of workouts is considered a "bonus round," before a five minute cool down.

Level of Difficulty: Four and a half diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
4.5 out of 5 diamonds
It's pretty much impossible to finish this workout without feeling like you've worked hard and accomplished something big for yourself, physically, and maybe even mentally.

I feel like I should preface this part of my review with the fact that I tend to gravitate toward the really challenging, high impact workouts most. If I'm not sweating and exhausted by the end of my workout, then I usually feel like I gave myself a break that day, and that I'll need to work that much harder the next day. As I'm sure you've gathered from my previous Bridal Fitness reviews, I dedicate a good amount of time to working out because I love taking the time to focus on myself and I want to feel and look good inside and out. For me, there's nothing worse than feeling as though I wasted that hour that I set aside because I didn't push myself hard enough. For that reason, I love and appreciate workout programs like P90X because it's nearly impossible for me to finish a workout feeling like I didn't try hard enough.

I'm sure that you've gathered by now that P90X is challenging...although it's not quite as challenging as the INSANITY fitness program, which I reviewed a few weeks ago, if you recall. P90X moves at a slightly slower pace, and focuses not only on cardio, but on strengthening, which means that you're not running around constantly, and you do get breaks in between rounds and sets. When I first started P90X, Core Synergistics, in particular, was one of the most challenging workouts that I had to do every week. However, it quickly became one of my favorites, because I always finished feeling as though I had worked my entire body, rather than just specific body parts, as many of the other workouts in the program do. Core Synergistics will force you to use your muscles while doing push ups, lifting weights and doing squats, while also moving at a quick enough pace that you'll be out of breath and getting a good cardiovascular, aerobic workout, as well. It's the best of both worlds, in my opinion! I also appreciate having the extra bonus round, for when I feel up to the challenge.

Effectiveness: Five diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
5 out of 5 diamonds
If you stick with it, Core Synergistics and the P90X workout routine will work WONDERS for you.

P90X offers two different workout programs. The Classic workout schedule, which is designed to help build muscle, and the Lean routine, which is best for those of us looking to slim down and tone up! :) Essentially, the Classic schedule has a bit more resistance training and anaerobic exercise, while the Lean routine requires a bit more cardio, aerobic exercise.

I worked out a lot at the gym before I started doing this exercise program, but I never saw the results that I saw from using this DVD home fitness program. I think that us girls are often too scared to lift weights, because we're afraid we'll bulk up. So we focus on cardio to keep trim, and that's it. P90X showed me what resistance training can really do! I toned up, and suddenly had muscles and a kind of strength that I had never had before. That, and I've noticed a significant difference in my metabolism since I integrated resistance training into my regular workout routine. More muscle means your body burns calories at a higher rate, thus making it easier to maintain your weight. It really makes a difference, trust me!

The P90X workout has everything you need in order to be successful in reaching your fitness goals. The hardest part is sticking with it. You'll want to quit half way through the exercises, at first, I'm sure (as I did!), but just tell yourself to try your best and do as much as you can. Tirelessly fumbling through the last 30 minutes of a routine is better than quitting half way through and not doing it at all, right? Right!

Enjoyability: Three diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
3 out of 5 diamonds
Core Synergistics is challening, and for that reason, it's not exactly the funnest workout routine in the world.

While I do enjoy seeing and feeling the results of P90X, I don't do P90X because it's fun. I do it because it works! This is also why I combine it with other exercises and classes that I do enjoy doing more like Pilates and BarWorks! P90X will push you to your limits physically and mentally, which is an awesome feeling too, if you ask me!

If you're curious about a specific workout and you'd like for me to review it, please do leave a comment below or feel free to send me an email at Sarah - at - apaperproposal - dot - com.

Insert Comment | View Comments (10)




Stephanie Elizabeth {Fab You Bliss} (California)

Sep 12, 2011 12:56 PM

Sounds like a great workout. I'm surprised I haven't heard of it, but I'm definitely going to check it out.

Aleah + Nick (San Diego + Seattle)

Sep 12, 2011 2:13 PM

This is such a thoughtful post and it's great to hear your insight! I've been pondering this and your post helped immensely!

Dale (Playa del Rey, CA)

Sep 12, 2011 2:28 PM

P90X is a great workout! While it's definitely hard work, don't be intimidated. Tony Horton's motto, which he constantly reiterates through his videos is, "Do your best, and forget the rest." During the exercise routines, he has different participants demonstrating beginner and advanced versions of the exercises. This allows you to grow as you progress through the 90 days.

These exercises are great for guys, too. Make sure you get your significant other working out with you, it helps keeps you motivated, and makes it more fun. Working out with Sarah pushed me that much harder, since she NEVER stops in the middle of an exercise!

erin (South Carolina)

Sep 13, 2011 7:49 AM

thank you for this post. i've been debating spending the money on it but have been a little scared to do so! it's great to get your insight.

Erika {Borrowed&Bleu} (Orlando, FL)

Sep 13, 2011 9:31 AM

This isn't a program I'd ever heard of, so thanks for sharing your experiences!

Rhiannon {Hey Gorgeous} (Grand Rapids)

Sep 13, 2011 9:49 AM

I know so many people who use this as their work out method and I feel like I need to give it a shot; you give such an indepth breakdown of the product which is wonderful :) And I am typing this as I eat a bowl of Kraft Mac and Cheese haha oh dear....

Jessica (Sonoma County, CA)

Sep 13, 2011 9:49 AM

Great post! I did p90x for awhile & it was a great workout regime! I highly recommend it!

Sarah {A Paper Proposal} (Los Angeles)

Sep 13, 2011 10:08 AM

Ahh, I just LOVE receiving all of your comments on these bridal fitness posts! I'm happy that you guys got some use out of my review! It IS a tough workout, but I would definitely encourage you guys to try it out if you're looking for a good, reliable workout routine to get in shape for your wedding day (and beyond!)

Christie O. {Hindsight Bride} (Mammoth Lakes, CA)

Sep 14, 2011 12:18 PM

Wow, how exciting. I ordered P90X about a month ago, and it doesn't seem to be working. My husband says I have to actually take it out of the box and use it, LOL. You've given me new inspiration. One question: Did you do their whole meal plan thing too?

Sarah {A Paper Proposal} (Los Angeles)

Sep 14, 2011 12:49 PM

Haha! Yes opening it would def help! ;) I actually didn't follow the meal plan...I was already dieting (on my very healthy PB&J-centric nutrition plan =P). My husband did P90X with me for a while at first, and he bought some protein powder that I still use in my smoothies though.