Part of self-improvement is exercise. Any man you find dedicated to this will tell you that lifting and other forms of exercise is one of the central pillars of having a happy life. The saying “there are those who work out, and those who work” is pure bullshit because it totally encapsulates the insecurities of people who aren’t willing to put in the time to better themselves. Even if you have the busiest job in the world, you need to make time for a workout. No excuses. Put those thoughts of “New Years Resolutions” aside and start immediately. This article is dedicated to those who are willing to get into it, but not sure on how to go about it. It can be tough when you don’t know where to start, especially when there are thousands of places out there telling you thousands of different things. It can be overwhelming, but sometimes you just need a little structure and a regimented schedule i your life to push you in the right direction. P90X is the best way to go, bar none. It helped me get serious about fitness, and it will do the same with you.

First, you have to get P90X. Either borrow it from a friend, pirate it, or buy it. Don’t let the price put you off, as it is a worthwhile investment in your health. In addition, it is so much less than paying for a gym membership, and you can keep it with you forever. P90X is comprised of a series of DVDs, progress charts, and an accompanying booklet that details the workouts, as well as outline your nutritional requirements.

The program alone won’t be enough, as you will need to get some equipment to work out with. Luckily, the items you need are few compared to getting a decked out home gym. All you’ll need is a few sets of dumbbells, a pullup bar, pushup bars, and a yoga mat. If you don’t want weights, you can just grab a few resistance bands. P90X allows you to use either free weights or resistance bands. Choose one or a combination of the two. When getting weights, get a set of 12lb, 20lb, and 25lb dumbbells. Though you will need a 45 or 50lb dumbbell set for some of the back workouts, it is cheaper to pick up the heaviest resistance band available for those. If buying resistance bands, you can go with four different ones. Get a 20lb, 40lb, 60lb and 100lb band as well as handles to hold them. I prefer the handles that have moving parts to easily take the bands in and out. You can get just one set of handles if you get the ones that easily allow you to switch out bands. The weights of the bands are the level of resistance you will get with them, not their actual weight. They all weigh¬†around a pound or so. Also be sure to pick up covers or door assist items for the bands. These will prevent the bands from breaking or tearing when placing them between doors or other places for some workouts. For a pullup bar, be sure to get one that can be used with a door if you can’t install one yourself. Find one with high reviews, and don’t buy a plastic one, as you don’t want it to break while you do chin ups. Pushup bars are ultimately optional, as you can do pushups on your own, but I would recommend getting some because they allow you to have greater range of motion in exercises. For a yoga mat, get a thick one. You want it to be comfortable.
After you’ve got the program and the equipment, you can now start! Make sure the room you do it in is big enough, but you can easily manage a small space if you have to. Now all you have to do is press play and follow what they are doing on screen. It’s that easy. Sure, you’ll have to watch them show the correct form to know what to do, but you will easily pick up on the routine and know what to do right away. I strongly suggest that you do the “Classic” schedule because it is simple and effective. In fact, I only ever did the Classic routine because of its easiness to remember and its simplicity. If you don’t have the booklet, then the routine is as follows:

Weeks 1-3
Sunday: X Stretch or Rest
Monday: Chest and Back + Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: Plyometrics
Wednesday: Shoulders and Arms + Ab Ripper X
Thursday: Yoga X
Friday: Legs and Back +Ab Ripper X
Saturday: Kenpo X

Week 4
Sunday: X Stretch or Rest
Monday: Yoga X
Tuesday: Core Synergistics
Wednesday: Kenpo X
Thursday: X Stretch
Friday: Core Synergistics
Saturday: X Stretch

Weeks 5-7
Sunday: X Stretch or Rest
Monday: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps + Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: Plyometrics
Wednesday: Back and Biceps + Ab Ripper X
Thursday: Yoga X
Friday: Legs and Back + Ab Ripper X
Saturday: Kenpo X

Week 8
Sunday: X Stretch or Rest
Monday: Yoga X
Tuesday: Core Synergistics
Wednesday: Kenpo X
Thursday: X Stretch
Friday: Core Synergistics
Saturday: X Stretch

Weeks 9 and 11
Sunday: X Stretch or Rest
Monday: Chest and Back + Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: Plyometrics
Wednesday: Shoulders and Arms + Ab Ripper X
Thursday: Yoga X
Saturday: Kenpo X

Weeks 10 and 12
Sunday: X Stretch or Rest
Monday: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps + Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: Plyometrics
Wednesday: Back and Biceps + Ab Ripper X
Thursday: Yoga X
Friday: Legs and Back + Ab Ripper X
Saturday: Kenpo X

Week 13
Sunday: X Stretch or Rest
Monday: Yoga X
Tuesday: Core Synergistics
Wednesday: Kenpo X
Thursday: X Stretch
Friday: Core Synergistics
Saturday: X Stretch

Follow this to a tee, and you will have no confusion. Just put in the DVD and press play. All you have to do is follow them. Feel free to shut off your brain and just do it. It is important that you stick with it, because trust me, some days you will not want to do it. You may even go through periods where you want to quit every day. Stick with it though, because it will pay off, and anything in life that is worth it requires hard work and dedication. You will see the transformation before your very eyes. You will see that you get better at different exercises as time goes on, and you may even find yourself wanting to go harder on moves you think you’ve mastered. Keep it up, do them all and at the end of three months, you will feel so much better than you did before. When I first did it in high school, I was totally shredded, had a rocking six pack and felt like a fucking conquerer. Keep your sights on the end result, and just follow the videos. They also give you tips and advice throughout too, so there is always something to gain.

On the nutritional aspect of it, you can either follow what is in the booklet, or stick with a common sense diet. Cut out junk food, fried food and sweets completely. Limit alcohol intake to only the weekend, incorporate plenty of vegetables in every meal, and make sure to have a good sized piece of meat every meal too. Drink only water, eat at least three meals a day, and above all Рstick with fresh food. No pre-cooked or pre-prepared frozen packages.

Now get out there and bring it.