This is also in a blog post – if you cared to read it there! = )
Even though I am still very new on the coaching scene, there has been one question that I am seeing over and over again…. That question is “What equipment or supplements do I really need to make the most out of P90X?”
Well, the question may not be worded exactly like this, but you get the idea. = ) In response, I am creating a list of “MUST HAVE” items that I feel were extremely important in helping me MAXIMIZE my P90X results.
Now before we go any further, let me tell you this. I don’t want you to feel like I am simply trying to sell you these items. The items on the list below are things that I use, have purchased with my own money, and that I believe truly work. Every item on this list was used a minimum of several times per week, with many of the items being used daily. Because all of our budgets will not be the same, you can take my list for what it’s worth – and add or take off things you may, or may not want to use.
So, let us take a look at the list:
1) Dumbbells – Let’s be honest – exercise bands are “ok” and they will do the trick, especially if you’re just starting out. However, to MAXIMIZE your results with P90X you’re going to need a set of dumbbells. I highly recommend getting yourself a nice adjustable set simply to save on space and money. In case you haven’t priced them, individual dumbbells are expensive (around a dollar per pound). If you’re wanting to get a complete set, then you’re going to shell out some serious cash. (However, you might get lucky and find a nice deal on craigslist or something similar.) I honestly believe that purchasing an adjustable set is the way to go. Academy sports has a pretty nice set made by LifeSmart that run around $170, and this would be all you need…unless you’re the “Incredible Hulk.”
2) Pull Up Bar – W/ Multiple Hand Positions - There really isn’t a way to get the full extent of what P90X can do for you without doing pull ups. I realize that the video shows you how to modify pull ups with the bands, but you’ll never reach your full potential using bands. The bottom line is that you need a bar! Beachbody actually sells a really nice one that hooks under your door frame, but the problem Beachbody’s bar is that it’s $75 bucks! You can find similar products at your local sporting goods store, and even though the quality might now be as good as the BB pull up bar, it will still get you through a round of P90X.
3) Push Up Stands - Push up stands add about 6 extra inches of depth to your push ups, and this 6 inches can have a great impact on your results! These are definitely a must have, and there are a lot of different purchase options. I personally have the Beachbody push up stands (link here) and love them! You can get cheaper versions at walmart, but they’ll likely break on you after some time. Both the Push Up stands and Powerstands (by Beachbody) are constructed with metal, and will last you for years and years.
4) Yoga Mat - As Tony H. says, “You should’t be doing yoga without a mat!” This is absolutely true, and you’ll notice that your knees, hips, (and any other joints that regularly contact the floor) will start to ache without the proper cushion.
5) SHAKEOLOGY - If there was only one supplement that I HAD TO HAVE, this would be it. This is bar none, my most used and favorite Beachbody supplement. It literally has everything your body needs to keep pushing play every day! You can read my complete review of Shakeology right here, but to summarize – I was very skeptical about this product, and now there is no way I’d go through a round of P90X (or any fitness program) without it. Please take the time to read my review, you will not regret it.
6) Whey Protein - In order for your muscles to grow, you’re going to have to take in A LOT of protein. Unless you enjoy eating 35 cans of tuna a day, I’d definitely recommend you purchase a good quality whey protein to supplement your intake. You can buy whey protein just about anywhere, and for any price. I would do a little research and see what works for you. One thing to keep in mind is that different people react differently to supplements. Some folks are lactose intolerant and need the more expensive whey isolate, where as other folks have an iron gut and can use the cheaper, less refined whey powders. My advice is to research it, and start cheap. You can always buy a more expensive product if you think you need it.
7) Glutamine - This is naturally produced by our bodies, and is needed for protein synthesis (making new protein). When you exercise hard it becomes depleted, so its a great idea to “refill” or counter this depletion with a supplement.
8) Creatine - In summary, creatine makes your muscles hold more water and draw in more nutrients that your muscles will need for growth and repair. Before taking creatine make sure you do some research and learn all about the proper methods of taking it. You don’t want to take creatine non-stop, and it should be cycled. Do your homework before taking this one!
9) Jack3d (or other pre-workout supplement) – Read my full review of Jack3d right here. Basically, this allows me to work harder and have more gains. In my review, I explain all about how the product works, so make sure and check out my article.
Optional – Well, kinda!
10) Tap and Track (or other calorie tracker) – If you have an Iphone, go and pick up this app! It allows you to enter literally EVERY CALORIE you eat, and it is constantly updated by its developers. You pretty much get all the nutritional information about every food or restaurant int the palm of your hand. If you don’t think that keeping track of your caloric intake is important, then you aren’t ready to get in shape! EVERYTHING you eat has an effect on your body, and this app can help you plan ahead and prevent stupid mistakes. Plus, and most importantly for me, it will automatically calculate your percentages of carbs, protein, and fat. This was something that I was struggling with before I purchased this $2 app – it’s definitely well worth it!
11) Heart Rate Monitor – Ok, this one is not a necessity… but, if you can afford it then go and pick one up! You know what they do, and it helps you stay in your zone. Keeping in your “target zone” is really important when you’re trying to burn calories and lose fat.