Guest Author: Andrew Berrigan, Independent Team Beachbody Coach
(Andrew is a member of my coaching team and developed this excellent Body Beast – P90X Hybrid for those who love the weights but don’t want to compromise functional fitness and flexibility. He can be reached directly at AndyB@fitnessrivalry.com–John T)
P90X is an extraordinarily well-balanced functional fitness program. Whether you’re looking to improve your strength, stability, flexibility, agility, speed, or all of the above, the X has something to offer you. Because P90X covers so many different aspects of fitness, it could with a little work be tailored into a strength- and mass-building program.
When it comes to strictly building muscle mass on the other hand, Body Beast is the program of choice. The program was designed from the ground up with the goal of bulking up and eventually shredding out those who complete it. However, due to Body Beast’s laser-like focus on mass-building, other areas of fitness are somewhat neglected.
A successful pairing of the two programs would enable one to develop strength and muscle mass while simultaneously preserving and even enhancing flexibility and stability. With that as my overarching goal, I created the B90X Hybrid.
The B90X Hybrid progresses through a series of four phases, with an optional fifth for those who really want to amp up the weightlifting at the end.
- Base Phase: The first three weeks establish a base to build upon. All muscle groups are worked, and you settle into a pattern of yoga, stretching and recovery that will extend throughout the program.
- Blast Phase: The next three weeks change up the workouts, keeping your muscles guessing while you reduce the reps and up the weight.
- Balance Phase: A week of recovery follows as you prepare to transition to the lowest reps and highest weight you’ll see in the whole program. A total body workout breaks up the stretching and yoga, ensuring you won’t take a break from lifting weights for too long.
- Bring-It Phase: The last six weeks will see you alternating the routines you saw in Base and Blast, lowering the reps and upping the weight in the process.
- Bonus Phase: For those who just can’t get enough lifting, three more weeks are included at the end. It’s almost all Body Beast here with the addition of the Tempo Sets and the subtraction of stretch days (though yoga remains).
- Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
- Chest & Back
- Back & Biceps
- Shoulders & Arms
- Ab Ripper X
- Yoga X
- X Stretch
- Build: Back/Bis
- Build: Legs
- Bulk: Legs
- Beast: Cardio
- Total Body/Lucky 7
- Bulk: Shoulders (Bonus Phase)
- Tempo: Chest/Tris (Bonus Phase)
- Tempo: Back/Bis (Bonus Phase)
Other (All Optional)
- X2 Recovery & Mobility
- X2 Yoga
- X3 Yoga
- Fountain of Youth
Body Beast was designed with the same mass-building goals of the B90X Hybrid schedule, so no changes to any of those workouts. For P90X, you’ll be performing many of the resistance exercises targeting a set range of reps that changes over the course of the phases. For example, you’ll be aiming for 10-12 Scarecrows on Day 1 of the schedule, but on Day 64 you’ll be aiming for 4-8. The specific rep ranges are spelled out on the custom Workout Sheets included with the program, and the idea is to pick a weight heavy enough that you won’t be able to do any more than the upper-most number of reps in the range.
Also, a handful of P90X exercises have been replaced with safer, more effective exercises from Body Beast. These are spelled out on the Workout Sheets as well.
Finally, don’t be afraid to let your Body Beast experience and equipment change how you approach the P90X workouts. For example, instead of doing Lawnmowers in Back & Biceps (with your off-arm pressed against your knee), feel free to do One-Arm Rows (with your off-hand pressed against the bench). Instead of chair dips, feel free to do bench dips (and if you have the equipment, then absolutely do parallel bar dips instead).
The Whole Enchilada
When you download the B90X Hybrid, you’ll get a page of instructions (nothing too complex, don’t worry!), a printable calendar, and custom Workout Sheets for all the resistance workouts you’ll do in the program (minus Total Body/Lucky 7, which you’ll only do once).
And there you have it! Are you ready to Beast out to the X? Then download the B90X Hybrid and get started. By the way, I’d love to hear any feedback you might have on the program. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
Andrew Berrigan is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and can be reached at AndyB@fitnessrivalry.com.