Developed as an at-home workout program, the P90X program involves 12 different exercise videos. The overall goal of the program is to rely on a “muscle confusion” strategy, which consistently challenges the body to strengthen muscles and burn fat. The exercise program involves strength training, cardiovascular workouts, jump training, abdominal exercises, yoga, martial arts and gentle stretching. To ensure a safe and effective exercise, carefully monitor your P90X heart rate zones.
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Cardiovascular Heart Rate
During cardiovascular workouts and endurance training, your target heart rate should be 70 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Exercising at this heart rate zone strengthens your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. This heart rate zone burns a high amount of calories, approximately 50 percent of which are from fat. Aim for this aerobic heart rate zone for all of the P90X cardiovascular workouts. These videos include “Plyometrics,” “Core Synergistics,” “Cardio X,” “Kenpo X” and “Ab Ripper X.”
Strength-Training Heart Rate
During strength-training routines, the heart rate does not need to be as high. You may experience a heart rate in the 60 to 75 percent of max range. This heart rate zone may occur in the P90X strength-training workouts. These programs include the “Chest & Back,” “Shoulders & Arms,” “Chest, Shoulders & Triceps,” “Back & Biceps” and “Legs & Back” videos.
Stretching Heart Rate
For the “Yoga X” and “X Stretch” videos, aim for a lower target heart rate zone. The heart rate should slow to approximately 50 to 60 percent of your maximum heart rate. Considered the “healthy heart zone,” this heart rate range warms the body gently while burning fat calories. At certain points during the workout, your heart rate may increase above 60 percent. Although this higher heart rate is reasonable during strenuous portions of the stretching workouts, a lower heart rate should be maintained throughout most of the routine.
Personalized Heart Rate Zones
To determine your maximum heart rate, men should subtract their age from 220 and women should subtract their age from 226. Depending on the type of workout you will be doing, determine your target heart rate zone. For example, you will aim for a heart rate zone of 70 to 80 percent while doing the “Cardio X” workout video. Once you have determined your preferred zone, multiply this percentage by your maximum heart rate. For example, a 30-year-old adult’s maximum heart rate would be 190 (220-30 = 190). For a cardiovascular workout, you will keep your heart rate between 133 (190 x 70 percent) and 152 (190 x 80 percent).
Generalized Heart Rate Zones
If you have not figured out your personalized target heart rate zone, there are general guidelines you can follow. The American Heart Association provides a chart with general heart rate guidelines for various age groups. For example, the target heart rate zone at age 30 is 95 to 162 beats per minute. The target heart rate is just 80 to 136 beats per minute at age 60.