If it works in your living room, wouldn't it work even better in a class with an instructor and blaring music? That's the idea behind P90X Live, which piggybacks on the fame of the popular P90X DVD workout series that came out in 2003. Combining body-weight movements, such as lunges, squats and push-ups, with dumbbell weight exercises, the one-hour mash-up of aerobic and strength is just now kicking off in clubs around the country. Our class at Fitness 19 in Chino was led by Ann Alperin of Eastvale, a P90X true believer who became a certified Insanity and P90X Live trainer after she followed the DVD workouts and lost 76 pounds in the last two years.
Fitness 19, 12873A Mountain Ave., Chino, http://www.fitness19.com
Facing a floor-to-ceiling mirror wall, 20 women and two men each grabbed a rubber mat and two sets of dumbbells (one light, one heavy) and claimed a spot on the shiny wood floor. It was the second P90X class here; Alperin told us we'd methodically work cardio, upper-body strength, lower-body-strength and core using simple exercises.
After a warmup, the workout instantly went full-throttle — a 12-minute cardio blast of Death Stars (leaping with legs and arms flung out in an X shape), half-burpees, one-minute planks and one of the most exhausting movements I've ever done: the Wacky Jack, a lateral knee-to-elbow prance that makes you look like a court jester on a caffeine high. I was relieved to move on to strength exercises, thinking it'd be easier, but it wasn't. Halfway through 12 minutes of lower body (dumbbell-loaded squats, lunges and plyometric jumps), 12 minutes of upper body (a hellish 60/45/30-second dumbbell lateral-raise/push-up ladder) and 12 minutes of core (bicycle sit-up, plank and down-dog-to-mountain-climbers), I was drenched.
Since the P90X Live exercises and the well-timed, motivational rap-techno music will be standard in all classes, you'd think the instructor wouldn't matter much. But Alperin's warmth, enthusiasm, easy-to-understand explanations, on-floor technique advice and patient big-sister reminder to "go at your own pace" clearly endear her to her students. She posts an Instagram group photo after each class. Some told me that they follow Alperin from gym to gym through various classes that she teaches four nights a week.
$10 for non-members. Free with a $19-per-month Fitness 19 membership.