Sunday, March 7, 2010

Round 3 / Day 9: P90X+ Interval Plus

The first few minutes of Interval Plus were deceptively easy. After a five-minute warm-up, Tony announces that we're going to do 15 different exercises -- each for one minute. That doesn't sound so bad, I thought. How's this going to be different from Insanity Pure Cardio?

(What are you looking at, Tony?)

More after the jump.

Here's how Interval Plus differs from Pure Cardio:
  • There are no breaks between the 15 moves -- you just keep going. (Pure Cardio doesn't really have rest breaks between exercises either, but Shaun T does take a few seconds to explain what he's about to do next. Tony doesn't, which amps up the intensity.)
  • After the 15 exercises are done, you have to do them all over again -- in reverse order. So you're actually doing 30 one-minute intervals.
  • Each exercise is done at a super-low intensity for the first 20 seconds; the next 20 seconds are done at a moderate intensity, and the last 20 seconds are done at a full-out, balls-to-the-wall sprint.
  • Shaun T's not as annoying as Tony.
Without further ado, behold the 15 exercises in Interval Plus:

Run in Place: You, uh, run in place.

Knee Kick, Front Kick: Alternate Knee Kicks and Front Kicks (remember them from Kenpo X?) using the same leg for thirty seconds, and then switch legs.

Hop Squats: Squat and hop for 20 seconds; then raise your arms straight up in the sky and keep going for another 20 seconds. For the last 20 seconds, touch the floor every time you land, and reach for the ceiling with every jump.

Charleston Kicks: These are identical to the Kick Step Backs from Insanity Max Cardio Conditioning (but with a fancier name featuring down-home Southern charm!).

Loading Docks: Same as the Lunge & Reaches from Core Synergistics (but without using a weight). I know Tony probably felt some pressure to add some new moves to P90X+, but does simply changing the name really make this exercise any different?

Jockey Squats: Just like Hop Squats from Insanity Max Interval Plyo, only with an equine theme.

Tires: Despite the name, this move is nothing like Monster Truck Tires from P90X Plyo. Instead, for the first 20 seconds, you do slow high-knee raises like the kind you do at the start of just about every P90X workout. For the next 20 seconds, you do High Knees like the kind you do at the start of just about every Insanity workout. For the last 20 seconds, do Wacky Jacks from Cardio X.

Speed Skaters: Just like Super Skaters from P90X Legs & Back, but for some reason, they are no longer deemed to be "super."

Three-Count Push-Ups: For the first 20 seconds, do push-ups with a one-count at the top and bottom. For the second 20 seconds, do 'em with a two-count. And for the last 20 seconds...figure it out.

80/20 Squats: Think Siebers 80/20 Speed Squats from Legs & Back -- but for the final 20 seconds, touch the floor with each landing and reach your arms straight up at the top of each jump. Alternate legs. Poor Debbie Siebers (of Slim in 6 fame): Tony no longer credits her onscreen for this move.

Side Lunges / Side Kicks: This one gives me horrible flashbacks to Kenpo X.

Deep Jack Seats: This move is sort of a cross between P90X Plyo Squat Jacks and Yoga X Chair Poses.

Plyo Lunge: Can you say Mary Katherines from P90X Plyo?

Jumping Jacks: The old familiar jacks -- though for the last 20 seconds, you do X Jacks from Kenpo X.

Carlito Three-Way Push-Ups: Who the hell is Carlito? Is this named after the Al Pacino/Sean Penn movie? Why doesn't Tony just call these Suicide Jumps like everyone else?

After a one-minute water break, you jump right back in again and repeat all fifteen moves, only in reverse order.

My verdict: Interval Plus is a pretty decent substitute for P90X Plyo or Insanity Pure Cardio. There's plenty of variety here, and the nonstop action definitely keeps your heart racing. Although the individual moves aren't as challenging as those in Insanity Pure Cardio, the length of the Interval Plus workout makes it a tougher session overall .

(It's still not as crazy-intense as Insanity Max Cardio Conditioning, though.)