P90X and Increasing Performance | Mission Blog
By Ev Eric
If you are a P90X Athlete, you know that P90X is based on the idea of Muscle Confusion: changing things up so that you don't plateau and your results continue to increase. Part of this that isn't really addressed in the program is following a plan to make sure your choice of weights and reps increases to help prevent plateau. The advice I'm going to give is especially important if you are doing more than one round of P90X. This will help you get the most out of the program over time.
As you know, on many of the resistance exercises, Tony emphasizes to not do any more than 8 to 10 reps for building size or 12 to 15 for long, lean muscle. When you start out with P90X, you should be choosing weights that max you out at the bottom of those ranges. So, if you're doing Standing Bicep Curl, try to pick a weight that lets you do 8 or 12, but not 9 or 13. Over time, you should eventually be able to use that same weight and get to 10 or 15 reps. When you get to the point that you can consistently do the 10 or 15 reps, maybe even an 11th or 16th rep, it's time to get a heavier weight.
I usually increase by 5lbs at a time. So, when I was doing bicep curls with 25lb weights, once I got to where I could consistently do 10 reps, I picked up the 30lb weights and went back down to only doing 8 reps. Once I get comfortable with 10 reps at 30lb, go to 35lb and so forth.
Static Rep Exercises
What about exercises where there is a set amount of reps: Static Arm Curls, for instance which has everyone always doing 16 reps? For exercises that work similar muscle groups, when I go up 5lb, as in the example I posted, I go ahead and try to do the static rep exercises with an increased weight. You may or may not be able to do it. Just monitor your progress as your weight/reps increase, go ahead and try heavier weights on static reps, if it doesn't work, then wait until your next rep increase or weight increase to try again.
Using this guide, P90X should never end up in stagnation. You are constantly improving and always increasing your performance, thereby increasing your results over time!