Supreme 90 Chest and Back

This is a continuation in my review of the Supreme 90 Day workout series. Like all S90 work outs it uses a common warm up and cool down.

Work out: Chest and Back

Length: 22:15

Equipment: Dumbbells, Ball


4 Super sets.  Each SS is 3 exercises, repeated 3 times in quick succession.  Almost no rest between super sets


Way too fast. Instructor is describing the next super set while you are still doing the first set. There are 3 fitness models racing through it, but they go at different paces. There is one guy doing almost no weight and flying through, a girl going a little slower and a guy doing heavier weights at a reasonable pace. That third guy is the only one I could keep up with. It’s also very visually confusing to look up in the middle of an exercise and there are 3 people doing 3 different things. No heads up display to tell you the progress of the workout or what the exercises in the current super set are.

Some of the ball exercises were difficult to imitate. My feet were sliding when trying to lean on the ball. Also with adjustable dumbbells it is a scramble to change them fast enough. I was having to pause the video to complete a super set before they started the next one. My Power Blocks were slowing me down, I don’t know how anyone with SelectTechs could keep up without liberal use of the pause button. The work out was too short. I think the super set thing would work if it had been done a little slower and paused at least a minute between super sets to describe the next.  You could still get the burn of a super set, without feeling lost.  The targeted muscles were effectively worked and I got a good burn and was sore the next day.  I just didn’t enjoy the process.

Score (out of 10): 3

Compared to P90X:

P90X Chest and Back works out the same muscles and is better.  It’s more fun, you can keep up with it, and it has pull ups.  If pull ups aren’t your thing or you only want to spend half an hour then I guess Supreme 90 has the edge, but if you want to enjoy it then P90X.


Stay tuned for the next installment.  On a side note if you are trying to decide on Power Blocks vs Select Techs I recommend Power Blocks.  I did a bunch of internet research and played around with both at the store and Power Blocks feel much sturdier, change weights quicker and are more compact.


Supreme 90: The Warm Up and the Cool Down

This is a continuation in my review of the Supreme 90 Day workout series.

One cost saving measure that I totally understand from a lets-make-this-on-the-cheap stand point that really gets in the way of my enjoyment is that every work out has a boilerplate (that’s good jargon) warm up and cool down.

This has an aim for the middle effect where before a leg work out you are stretching arms and after a cardio work out you are really slowly stretching out your calves.  In trying to be all things for all work outs it doesn’t do a good job at any one of them, but here’s the review:

Work out: The Warm Up

Length: 4:19

Equipment: None


Lots of dynamic stretches.  Starting on the mat and then working up.  Gradually transition from stretches to calisthenics like jacks, jumping lunges, skaters etc…


Host Tom leads and 3 back ups try to follow.  Occasionally they get out of synch.  Not “I’m doing this at my own pace” out of synch, that’s fine.  Instead they are “wait, what are we doing?” out of synch.  One of the girls looks incredibly disinterested, the other one’s feature is that she is a flotation device, if you know what I mean.

I like the earlier dynamic stretches, they do a good job of working all the little support muscles of the legs.  They would incorporate nicely into a pre-run stretch.  There’s not much of an upper body stretch.  The blood pumping exercises are good, but they don’t necessarily match with the start of the actual work out.

Overall I give the common warm up low to middling marks because if they expect you to do this 90 days you are going to need more variety.

Score (out of 10): 5

Compared to P90X:

P90X wins on this one, Tony takes the time to tailor the warm up to the work out it goes with.  There are a lot of common elements, but on a heavy lifting day you get the blood pumping to the right muscle groups.  Also, I like the continuity of the entire work out, warm up and all, being on one video track.

Work out: The Cool Down

Length: 5:57

Equipment: None


The Warm Up crew returns with more static stretches


The problem of the cool down not matching the work out is even more dramatic than the warm up not matching the work out.  It is half legs, but more than half of the work outs are just upper body.  While with an improper warm up you will get into the swing of things eventually once the workout starts with the cool down it’s more important to stretch out what you just pounded so hard.  The cool down makes a bigger impact on how you recover the next day or two.

Also with this workout the transition from high activity of the work out to the warm up is “wait a few seconds for the next video to begin”  there aren’t any transition activities to bring your heart rate down gradually.

Score (out of 10): 4

Compared to P90X:

P90X wins on this one too.  Just worked out upper body?  There’s no wasted time on stretching legs.  Also being one continuous work out you slow down gradually and do a couple transition things to keep moving after you are done with the resistance.


I’m not biased, P90X doesn’t win all reviews.  Check back soon for more updates.


Supreme 90 Review Series

This spring I woke up to find my self 5 years in the past and I ended up doing this really cool fad workout called P90X.  After finishing / surviving my second marathon in December I was taking a break from running.  I had developed Pavlov’s Dog Leg where every time I saw a running shoe my knees automatically started aching.  P90X was good fun and I look a lot more muscular now and the best part was that I did it for 90 days without getting injured.  I did have plenty of 3-day-aches in all my muscles, but I’ll take that over a hobbled Achilles tendon.

Ninety days ended up being a huge commitment, I don’t know if I’ll do it again, but I definitely plan on doing individual work outs here and there.

A few weeks ago I was wandering through Fry’s and I came across a program called Supreme 90 Day.  It’s like a super budget version of P90X for only $20 (P90X is $140).  $20 is a sweet spot for pricing because it’s worth a try even if it turns out to be terrible.  So I thought I’d give it a try and I plan on posting a short review of each work out as I do them for the first time.  I shall style Supreme 90 as S90 since it’s such a clone of P90X it might as well have the same snappy short hand.

First Impressions:

First and foremost S90 is an imitation.  The way I view it going in the absolute best S90 could be is equally as good as P90X.  It’s not fair and if you don’t like it leave a comment and a link to your blog (you might be able to get your last name as a domain name unless your name could be construed in any way as a porn reference).

I didn’t do the P90X diet, but I read through it and it is pretty much a framework for a diet.  It breaks the foods you eat into categories, gives examples of each and for each phase of the diet tells you how many to eat at each meal.  For example phase 1 day 1 eat 5 proteins, 2 dairy, 1 fruit, etc…  There are also sample recipes and a shopping list to take to the grocery store.  It’s complete, it’s a framework, it’s flexible.  The S90 diet is a little pamphlet that has 30 days of recipes.  Not very flexible, not equivalent in any way.  Since I’m not doing the diet it’s not a big deal but it’s a harbinger of things to come.  P90X is 7X more expensive for a reason.

The most telling thing about the opening the box impression is that there is an insert for a cubic zirconium ring offer on the inside.  I guess the market research by Telebrands came to the conclusion that people who work out also buy costume jewelry.

Major differences from P90X:

  • No pull up bar.  If you don’t like pull ups I guess this is good news.  I love pull ups.  P90X got me a T-shirt from the Marines booth at an expo because I could do 15 dead hang pull ups.
  • Yes exercise ball.  If you like your work out moves to feel even more like they are simulating sex (already have the sweating and grunting, why not add some hip gyrations in there).  I’m actually looking forward to this as I bought a ball years ago and haven’t used it very much.
  • Shorter work outs.  I cheated here, I’ve looked ahead at all the workouts to see their length.  With P90X you are doing at least 60 minutes a day.  Some days you do 20 minutes of abs after that and yoga days are 90 minutes.  That was a big time commitment.  I’m talking about getting up at 5:30 AM to do Sun Salutations before the sun has even risen.  S90 workouts are 30 – 40 minutes.  Much easier to stick to.
So we’ll see how the work outs go.  I’ll put the good and bad up here.  I’m going in with an open mind and I’m not out to trash any one.  Also you’ll have to do with only my scintillating descriptions as I don’t think I’ll put any screen captures up because I don’t want to run into the strong arm of Telebrands’ legal staff.  They make YOU pay the shipping and handling on the subpoenas.  (ba -dum- ching).  But at least you get to pay off your settlement in 100 easy payments of $39.95.  Ok that’s the last one I promise.

Make a 2 mile run feel like 5 miles

I’ve survived a couple marathons.  Completed is too generous a term. I swam in high school, water polo in college.  I was an OK goalie and it’s not as exhausting as playing in the field.  A couple years later I was living next door to a velodrome in Allentown and so I bought a road bike to ride around the cool asphalt course adjacent to the track.  I started doing triathlons about the same time because once you have spent hundreds of dollars on a bike the only barriers to entry are a $10 set of goggles and whatever a swimsuit and shoes cost.

Rejected. Not shown: 10 shots that went right past me.

Little known fact: when there is nothing scheduled at the Lehigh ‘drome they leave the gates open and you can go ride around.  You don’t have to have a snazzie track bike or anything, although you should hide out of shame if any real cyclists show up or else they will mock your sissy brakes and lack of kit.

I’m solidly middle of the pack when I compete.  I’m just in it for fun and fitness.  Recently I did P90X and it was a good time.  It got me interested in doing more strength training and focusing more on overall fitness rather than racing.  When I run long distances I’m always either Injured or Recovering.

I’ve recently heard about CrossFit and I like the idea of mixing up cardio and strength, but I don’t have any fancy equipment.  By “heard of” I mean “read on Wikipedia”… that’s the extent of my knowlege, but it sounds cool.

I’m trying out something new with the last couple of runs.  I work in some quick exercises through a short run and try to run fast (I can hold a blazing 8-minute mile).  Here’s what I did today:

-Jumping jacks and ballistic stretches to start
-1/2 Mile run
-2 minutes light stretching (hamstrings, quads, calves)
-1/2 Mile run
-30 Push ups
-1/2 Mile run
-40 alternating side step lunges
-1/2 Mile run
-20 plyometric jumps onto a thigh-high retaining wall
-Cool down / walk around and gasp
-12 pull ups

In a later post I’ll describe how I built the pull up bar beside my house.  That thing is awesome and way better than the doorway iron-gym style pull up bar.

The distances were very approximate because my total distance ended up being 2.5 miles.  I’m looking for more exercises to incorporate that don’t need any equipment.  Last time I did burpees,  very exhausting.

For each exercise I started running immediately after finishing the last rep, no waiting.  The run-after-lunges was particularly excruciating.  My legs had that one-ton, running-through-mud, feeling that they have in the bike-run transition of the triathlon why you ever thought a tri would be fun.

I was thoroughly exhausted after the run and the whole process took about 30 minutes including warm up and cool down.  I’d say it was a good way to workout  before work without having to wake up before sunrise and was equivalent to a leisurely run twice as long.