Movie Review
By Jeffrey Kieviet

Will This Be For Carryout or Delivery?


I do not work out. My body hates exercise. I know, you’re thinking to yourself “But Jeff, how is it that you look so good naked?” The answer is supreme pizza. See, most people just stick with basic pepperoni or cheese. But if you go that extra mile and get bell peppers, onions, olives, and other veggies, you complete the food pyramid and your body thanks you by shaping itself like King Tut. Pyramid; Tut; I only assume the guy was in good shape, they rarely make tubby statues. Except for Buddha. But I digress.

I have not seen all of the P90X videos. Nor have I completed all of the exercises, I do not follow their diet guide, and I treat my body like it’s a trashcan out back behind a Hooters. Take that as you will. But a few weeks (months) ago we got some DVDs of the workout program and some of my roommates started hitting the weights. Not many, and not often, but enough to get the blood flowing. I guess the program was developed for people who are already in really good shape to get into even better shape. But you take a person who survives on pizza and beer, make them do sit-ups & yoga for 90 days straight and eventually we’re having naked parties that rival ancient Greece. True, non of us did the program for 90 days straight, and very few of us continue to do much exercise these days, but I still try to throw in a DVD once in a while if for no other reason than to sweat out a week’s worth of toxins.

The gym has never been my favorite place. I don’t know if it’s all the people who are in better shape that make me feel out of place, or all the people in worse shape that make the efforts feel fruitless, but I can only sit in that place for 5 minutes before skipping out to work out at McDonalds. 25 reps of hand down to the fries, fry up to the mouth. Really builds up the biceps. So I like the idea of being able to workout alone in my house or among a small group of close friends. These videos turn my bedroom into my own personal yoga studio.

P90X also requires very few tools. If you have some barbells sitting around from that one time you were really motivated in college and a chair from your neighbor’s patio, you’ve got all you need. They recommend a few other things: weight bands, yoga blocks, stuff like that, but they’re not necessary. I went out and bought a few of the weight bands, but the “light” ones don’t provide any resistance and the “heavy” ones broke halfway through my first attempt. I guess I’m just too strong for the bands. Seriously, they’re like these giant rubber bands with handles on them, and they recommend you stand on them and stretch up. You know that feeling when someone is playing with a balloon and you cringe because any second you just know the balloon is going to pop? Well that’s how I felt about the bands, but as I started working with the “heavy” ones I started to really get the feel for them and get excited about the workout. But then that goofy clown called “life” pulled out his pin and pricked my metaphorical balloon-band. I guess I should just consider myself lucky that it didn’t snap and lash me across the face.

They’ve got workouts for everything. The DVDs are even labeled for what you want to workout: chest & arms, legs & back, cardio, etc. But I’ve kind of narrowed mine down to a select few. Yoga X is an hour and a half of strength training, balance, and stretching. I feel this video for a couple days afterwards and it works the entire body. I advocate doing yoga in general, mainly because I hate running and other exercise that makes it so I can’t breath. With yoga you are constantly moving, constantly stimulating your muscles, sweating buckets of pain, but I don’t ever have to stop or take a break. Other than the breaks they schedule into the video, of course.

Core Synergistics is a strange one. Synergy is when multiple things work in conjunction with each other. So while the focus is on your core (my weakest area), you’re also working out your arms, legs, and everywhere in between. This exercise makes me realize how truly puny I am. I walk around, 6 feet tall, almost 200 lbs, but I can barely hold up my own body weight when it comes to some of these exercises. That’s another thing I like about this program, it utilizes your own weight and strength to improve your exercise. So an out-of-shape Pillsbury Doughboy does the same workout routine as a Henry-Cavil-Superman, and they both feel the burn and start sweating bullets around the same time.

The last one that stands out (that I really should be doing more) is Ab Ripper X. This is only a 15 minute quick slam that tears the hell out of your stomach. And the worst part is, it isn’t even it’s own workout! It’s like something you’re supposed to do after a couple of the strength training videos (ie. Legs & Back) and you’re supposed to do it a couple times a week! Seriously, “Ab Ripper” isn’t a cute nomenclature; it’s a description of the Marquis De Sade torture you’re about to endure.

The guy who runs the workouts isn’t as bad as some of the other infomercial celebrities. He never really shuts up but he gets you through movements pretty well. A couple times I’m pretty sure he says “left” when he means “right,” but it could just be that I’ve gotten so far beyond exhausted that my brain stops working correctly. He also gives away a lot of personal information about the other people in the videos. “This is Pam. I call her ‘Blam!’” To help distract from the pain creeping into my quads I make up back-stories for the cast (the main guy saw Pam kill a guy in a gun fight for revenge after a drunken bar brawl).

I’ll probably never look like the bald guy in the Beachbody commercial; well, I might go bald. But if I’m going to spend most of my day lounging at a desk or stuck behind the wheel of my car, it’s better to do a couple workout videos a week rather than none. The last time I played sports outside it was Frisbee golf. Not the most aerobic activity. So if you ever want to have a pickup basketball game, I should be as fit as P17X by the end of 90 days.

Invented by Tony Horton

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