After receiving my P90X2, I popped in the P90X2 X2 Shoulders and Arms, since the original P90X Shoulders and Arms is one of my favorite P90X workouts. Plus the volume 3 P90X One on One workout, Shoulders & Arms MC2, was an even better workout. MC2 was a beta test workout for the new P90X2 version so I was excited to finally see which moves made the final cut.
First of all, I was glad to see the workout was only 52 min long as the original was 59, one of the longest in the P90X series. Plus, as much as I love the original P90X Shoulders & Arms, there were too many moves which would easily lead to overtraining for the experienced lifter. When you are first trying out P90X to lose weight, it’s a solid workout. But as you go heavier with the weights, and/or trying to gain muscle mass, the sheer volume of exercises combined with the constant dumbbell switching made the workout too long. Therefore many moves need to be cut out to avoid the dreaded overtraining zone.
You begin X2 Shoulders &Arms with a very light warmup using core exercises and the stability ball. No more cardio like jumping jacks, running in place, or even the usual stretch exercises we are all accustomed to. After the brief warm up, you spend a long time using the foam roller to massage the muscles. This whole warmup process is an entirely new concept and I admit it felt strange to not do my usual stretch exercises. Especially since I know how important it is to properly warmup and stretch before a rigorous exercise. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how good I felt after using the roller and proceeded to have a terrific workout.
The original P90X Shoulders & Arms used basic shoulder compound exercises along with less effective, isolated arm exercises. The workout used Tri Sets, starting with a Shoulder exercise, then a bicep exercise, followed finally by a Tricep exercise. The Tri Set was repeated, sometimes followed by a short break ,before moving onto the next Tri set.
The Tri Sets were back for the P90X One on One MC2 Shoulders & Arms, but a greater emphasis on heavier exercises. Thankfully, the number of exercises was reduced so you can focus on getting a killer workout in order to effectively improve your muscle gains further.
For example, instead of standard Shoulder presses you now do 3 drop sets of eight reps, similar to Static Arm Curls from P90X Back & Biceps. Instead of standard bicep curls, you now do seated bicep curls on a stability ball which targets the bicep muscles further. Plus we have the pleasure of doing Crazy Eights, first introduced in the Volume 1 P90X One on One workout, Killer Arms. Crazy Eights is a more challenging version of Static Arm Curls. With Static Curls, you use one arm to hold a weight in the half curl position, while doing 4 standard bicep curls with the opposing side. Then you switch sides to repeat for a total of 16 reps. With Crazy Eights, you do the same but with 8 reps on each side for a total of 32 reps. definitely a good bicep muscle builder!
MC2 Shoulders & Arms also uses the stability ball to do overhead, single tricep extensions which engages your core to make a terrific tricep exercise. Another P90X One on One Killer Arms exercise is included as well, the 6 way Tricep Arm Extension.
With P90X2 X2 Shoulders & Arms, much of the same MC2 moves have been included as well. However, gone are the Tri Sets and in its place are Giant Sets. With P90X2 X2 S&A, you will now do 6 sets in a row, repeated 3 times, with a water break in between each set.
“What makes P90X2 X2 Shoulders & Arms completely unique is that you do all of the following exercises by balancing one foot in the air or resting on a stability ball.”
Wow! This causes you to engage your core and increase the intensity which yields greater, total body strength improvements. You will likely need to use a lower weight than you are normally accustomed to, which is good news for a lot of folks that don’t want to buy heavier weights.
The main workout begins with standard Bicep Curls and serves as a good warmup.
Sadly, my beloved Shoulder Press Drop sets from MC2 did not make the cut; instead you will do Arnold (Arnold Schwarzenegger) Shoulder Presses. Arnold presses (called Deep Swimmer Presses in the original P90X) hit the often missed posterior deltoid (rear) shoulders muscles in addition to the lateral (side) and anterior (front) shoulder heads creating a well balanced shoulder workout.
Next up is the return of the Stability Ball Overhead Tricep Extensions with a slight modification. With your back and shoulders centered squarely on the ball, and with arms straight up in the air, proceed to do dual armed Overhead Tricep Extensions.
Crazy Eights thankfully are back and crazier than ever since you are now balancing on one foot.
6 way Tricep Arm Extensions are back but with a twist. Instead of palms facing down, you use a neutral (side) grip to slightly increase the intensity. Feel the burn!
Next up is an improved deltoid shoulder exercise from MC2, V and T Tricep Extensions. In MC2 you stand, bent over, and do circular rotations. With X2, you lie with your chest on the stability ball and do a 2 part rep set of arm extensions. From arms hanging down, you pull up with your shoulders to do V shaped arm extension out in front of you and return to the starting position. Immediately after, you do a T arm extension by bring your arms out to your sides to complete one rep. Like the Arnold Presses, this move will hit all 3 heads of the Shoulder to keep your muscle gains very balanced.
Dual hand Tricep Kickbacks also make a return appearance, but this time you will do the P90X2 Rocket Tricep Kickback version. This is the one move where you won’t be balancing on one foot, nor use a stability ball. Instead you will place one foot on a Plyo box, chair, or step stool, and make a lunge while having your body bent down with your chest pressed against you quadriceps. Now proceed to do standard Tricep Kickbacks and fee the enhanced muscle confusion at work!
P90X2 Shoulders & Arms 2 Review Conclusion
Overall, the P90X2 X2 Shoulders and Arms does an excellent job of balancing between the Shoulders, Bicep and Tricep muscle groups. By balancing our bodies, we also improve core strength, balance, and stabilizer muscles to newer heights.
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