Reader Warns P90X Exercise System Includes Yoga and Kenpo

BA writes: “We ordered the popular P90X exercise DVDs. When we discovered yoga was part of the program we promptly shredded that DVD and substitute that day with stretching. Some of the exercises and even stretching positions bother me they just feel so ‘yoga like’.  Also, is Kenpo not a good idea?”  

Our thanks to BA for alerting us to the presence of both a yoga and kenpo component in the P90X exercise program.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, the P90X exercise program is a popular fitness regime that incorporates “muscle confusion” which is a method of cross-training that prevents the body from getting used to certain exercises that cause it to “plateau” or cease to benefit from the movements.

The founder of this program is Tony Horton, a long-time fitness expert whose is a big advocate of yoga. In this video, he calls it the “fountain of youth” and says: “If you want to get your mind, your spirit, your body in a place that’s going to take you to the end of time, you have to do yoga. If someone said to me, Tony, if you can only do one type of exercise for the rest of your life, I would pick yoga.”

As for Kenpo, this blog will explain this martial art in more detail, but it’s essentially an unarmed fighting method that is rooted in Taoism. The “Way of Kenpo” is described as “that state where the mind/spirit and body are united as a single element we call the Spirit of Kenpo.” In other words, kenpo is a way of life in addition to being a martial art. How much of this is incorporated in the P90X program is unknown to me because I haven’t seen the program videos (they cost almost $200) but I can confirm that this is indeed an element in the program. (However, I did read some criticism of Horton’s Kenpo workout on a Kenpo discussion board where members claim it contains very little Kenpo and is more like a kickboxing workout.)

This is just another example of how people in search of better fitness are being bombarded by practices that are founded in eastern religious traditions. In a country where people can be sued for praying at a football game, it never ceases to amaze me how yoga and other religious practices are making their way – unimpeded – into the  American fitness industry and, for that matter, mainstream America.

But don’t get discouraged. Monday’s blog will prove that the best workouts respect God’s design for our bodies!

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