I worked for 30+ years either part time or full time in the masonry trade. I started as a labor, then a bricklayer and finally a bricklayer/foreman. I started very young (13) and was not shy about working hard and fast. The year I graduated from high school was also the year that I first injured my back. From that day forward I lived with the pain and discomfort of low back pain and shoulder pain. I started going to a chiropractor bi-weekly for adjustments to align my spine (I still go from time to time for maintenance). I thought that I was going to have to live with the pain for the rest of my life or end up having surgery to fuse the vertebra and then live with the decreased mobility that is the inevitable result of the procedure.
Then one fateful December day, my wife, a rural mail carrier, came to me after a long hard Christmas delivery season and said that she was having trouble with some of the packages because they were too heavy and we needed to do something about building up her strength. In other words work out. My first response was why do I need to work out, I’m a bricklayer and I lift and carry all day and I’m strong enough for my job. Her response was “We need to do this because I don’t have the motivation to do it alone.” I complained and grumbled but as every good man knows’, when the wife says “Yes you will” we do it.
Shortly after that we started a program called Power 90. I thought “This program is silly and won’t do anything for me” I was wrong. 90 days later I was 20 pounds lighter, stronger and a bit more flexible than I was at the start. My wife was 15 pounds lighter and a lot stronger. I still had low back pain and shoulder pain but my chiropractor said that he could notice an improvement in the muscles that keep my spine in alignment.
Now we were ready for more. We were both in our late 40’s and knew that we needed to continue to work on our fitness and health so we moved up to P90X.
P90X is a completely different type of program from Power 90. Some of the moves were similar, but there was a lot more core, cardiovascular and flexibility exercises involved. We were doing Plyometrics or jump training for speed and agility, combinations of resistance exercises for strength and tone, ab and core work for stability and yoga for flexibility. An hour and a half of yoga! This was nuts! 90 days later we were stronger, leaner and a lot more flexible. I also noticed that my back pain was a lot less than it was when we started. My chiropractor noticed the increased tone and flexibility as well and added more time between visits.
Later I learned that Ad Ripper X workout didn’t only improve my abs but my entire core. The flexibility and range of motion from the yoga made me more resistant to injury from overreaching and twisting. These two factors combined decreased the discomfort from my daily work and I was getting hurt far less often. When I did overdo it, the recovery time was far shorter. I found out my shoulder pain was caused by an imbalance in the development in my shoulder muscles from the way I did my work, was now nearly gone. I WAS SOLD!! And since that time we have worked out for our health and fitness.
So what did P90X do for me? It increased my flexibility, improved my overall strength in my core and throughout my body. The nutrition plan taught us how to eat better, and as a result of the increased muscle and metabolism, more than we did before P90X. And the best part, I don’t suffer from daily back and shoulder pain. Don’t get me wrong. I still overdo it from time to time and I hurt by back or shoulder. But the recurrence of the injuries is now once in a great while and when the injury does occur, the recovery is much easier and quicker.
Is P90X a cure all for back and shoulder pain? No. Should you do P90X if you have chronic back or shoulder pain? You should discuss that with your doctor. All I can tell you is what P90X has done for me and my wife. P90X has made us stronger, leaner, and healthier and less prone to injury than we were when we started. The decision to join us in better health and fitness is up to you.