P90X Injury!!

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Inspirational Quote: “If you get back up more times that you fall down, you always win.”

How cocky persons like me get hurt…

This quote is fitting because I sustained and injury during Wednesday’s P90X workout, Shoulders & Arms. However, it was really my fault. Having completed more than two cycles of P90X, I have done my share of crouching cohen curls. Perhaps this is why I was lazy with my form. Holding both weights at my sides, I crouched down way too fast into position throwing my lower back out. I yelled like a little girl and buckled to my hands and knees. I’ve hurt my back before but I’ve never experienced anything like this. I couldn’t stand up. Luckily my girlfriend was working out with me and came to my aid. The next morning, I could not get out of bed. I had to call into work and explain to them that I hurt myself “working on my fitness.” That’s Fergie by the way…

Professional Assistance Please!

I was unable to put my pants on and go to the bathroom by myself without assistance. The little things we take for granted right? It gave me a sense of gratitude in a strange way. The next time I have a bad day in the office, I’ll think back to this experience and feel gratitude that I can take a leak by myself without assistance or pain. I saw my Doctor the same day who specializes in sports medicine. He was an official doctor of the american teams during the Winter Olympics in Japan a while back. He prescribed a steroid and muscle relaxant to relieve my pain. He also said no strenuous activity for a week. This means I have to delay P90X classic another week.

Silver Lining?

P90X Injury

P90X Injury

Sure there is. I learned to take Tony’s advice of QUALITY over quantity seriously. He has been doing this forever now and who am I to reinvent the wheel eh? I also feel grateful for having all of my physical faculties. It’s only been a day and I feel much better. Having a glimpse of what it would be like having chronic back pain (or even worse, a cripple..) I feel much better about the things I can accomplish in my life. Sometimes we need these little “wake up” calls to notice the goodness and abundance in our life that we already have. Am I still going to do P90X? Hell yeah. I didn’t learn how to ride a bike by quitting. Just how surfers get back on that wave after being bit by a shark. Me personally, I don’t like sharks…and probably wouldn’t surf again. Besides, If I have the mental fortitude to pick myself up by my bootstraps after difficulty, I always win.

Questions for Readers:

  1. Have you ever injured yourself during a P90X workout?
  2. If so, how did you do it and what advice do you have to other P90X enthusiasts.


My name is Julian Placino and I am a Team Beachbody Coach. I've completed several Beachbody workout programs including P90X, P90X2, P90X3, Insanity and Insanity Asylum. Currently, I'm working through P90X3 Doubles! You can follow me on twitter @p90xsuccess. Click here to learn more about the benefits of becoming a Team Beachbody Member.

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  • Marckus_SJ

    I strained my right rhomboid doing chin ups in my 3rd week and I wasn’t even trying to be a hero. I think I was being a little sloppy. Bad form and overconfidence got the worst in this case. Very frustrating. I had to visit a sports medicine doctor who said no activity for 2 weeks. I felt pissed but learned a very valuable lesson. Did you know that the rhomboids are used when you prepare coffee? Man, the things you do with those muscles and you don’t even know!

  • Swdew

    I jacked up my knees doing P90x…But I just grit my teeth and furl my brow, while trying to do legs and back.

  • Justin

    I started the day before yesterday. Yesterday I woke up and couldn’t move my arm on account of my left tricep about 3 inches behind my elbow feels like it’s torn. I hurt it on the chest and back. I couldn’t feel it happen during the workout. Aside from that, I’m still sore in the chest. In fact, I haven’t been this sore in ages. I was even in the Marine Corps for seven years and don’t recall this amount of soreness.I don’t want to miss a day, but today is shoulders and arms, so I’m afraid I have to.

  • gus

    On week four I substituted one of the insanity workouts (cardio and balance, I think) and suffered a pretty bad upper leg injury (around my glutes and the side of my hip, sharp shooting pain). I think the problem is that the Insanity workout put me out of my groove and sort of shocked my system in an unhealthy way. Further, the Insanity workouts do a lot less stretching which may have set me up for an injury. It’s very frustrating, but, at the same time,I think I can learn something from this experience. It’s really important to listen to your body and to let up when you need to. Also, stretching is not optional; it’s mandatory!
    This injury has cost me a couple of days so far and will probably end up costing me another five or six. I can barely walk, and going up stairs is nearly impossible.

  • gus

    On week four I substituted one of the insanity workouts (cardio and balance, I think) and suffered a pretty bad upper leg injury (around my glutes and the side of my hip, sharp shooting pain). I think the problem is that the Insanity workout put me out of my groove and sort of shocked my system in an unhealthy way. Further, the Insanity workouts do a lot less stretching which may have set me up for an injury. It’s very frustrating, but, at the same time,I think I can learn something from this experience. It’s really important to listen to your body and to let up when you need to. Also, stretching is not optional; it’s mandatory!
    This injury has cost me a couple of days so far and will probably end up costing me another five or six. I can barely walk, and going up stairs is nearly impossible.

  • Chayla

    I injured myself doing Shoulders and Arms, as well. Upright rows. Please, don’t ask me how. This is my second round of P90X, I probably got sloppy, but I strained my trapezius. I’ve been walking around like Frankenstein for two days, but, surprisingly, Yoga X today loosened me up and made me feel human again. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY! Good form is crucial!

  • Julian Placino

    Hi Janine,

    Thanks for your comment and sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear about your injury and I hope you recover quickly. Which exercise in Core Synergistics did you feel caused your back injury? I ask because there might be something we could learn from your experience. I threw out my back doing congdon curls. I know now not to compromise for especially during this exercise! THanks.

  • Janine

    I hurt my lower back during the first time I did Core Synergistics. I am a pretty fit person, I run daily and take Yoga classes. I started P90X to support my husband on his journey of weight loss. So, for the first 4 weeks, everything was fine. Then we started Phase 2 and I did this DVD and sweated like never. I really loved it. Felt no pain until I couldn’t get out of bed the next morning. the first few days were really bad, I walked around like a duck. Could not straighten my back. I got a massage and stopped exercise completely over Xmas. I went to see a Chiropractor before New Years Eve and finally felt better. Today is my second appointment, and my back seems to get worse again. Its like a constant soreness I am feeling in my lower back. I am very concerned. I never had an injury in my back and cannot live a life without exercising. I am hoping it can get cured. I am starting P90X back up today but will take it easy. Running starts tomorrow.

  • Julian Placino

    Hi Lance,

    Thanks for your comment! Sorry to hear about your knee. First, i have to recommend you seek the attention of your medical professional first before doing P90X…especially with the hurt knee. Its always a good idea to first to do the fit test before doing P90X just to make sure you fit the necessary requirements. You seem to be an active guy so you should have a problem! Regarding plyometrics, yes it is definitely a higher impact routine. With this being said, Tony Horton instructs you on how to modify the moves to decrease the intensity. “Pam the Blam,” who you will be come familiar with will demonstrate the modified moves. Let me know if you have any other questions! Good luck!

  • Lance

    hey Julian!
    im sorry to hear about ure back inury and i hope it heals up nice!
    I am getting p90x for a chirstmas present, but in football i tore my MCL, and hurts to jump, and i feel insecure on it, i have a knee brace, but do you think i will be able to do the p90x plyo workouts and legs? or is it just to intense to deal with a knee injury
    your help would be appreciated!
    Lance

  • Julian Placino

    Michela,
    Thanks for your comment! I’m sorry to hear about your injuries! I’m glad to hear about your decision to do P90X. It really is a great system. Having been a gym rat for a while, I too was very skeptical about doing P90X. After a while, I stopped seeing results but kept going to the gym for all the wrong reasons. It became somewhat of a social thing for me where I could get distracted easily. I like P90X because it is a system that takes all the guess work out. I’ve never seen a workout system with the Longevity of P90X. It’s been out for like 7 years or something and still is more popular than ever! There is a reason for that. It’s because it works.
    I’m sorry to hear that you strained your calf muscle. Due to the variety of P90X, I too would get sore In places that I never knew I had. Sometimes I wouldn’t get sore until a couple days after. You did the right thing though by going to the doctor. Beachbody and I could rant all day long about how awesome P90X is but you should always listen to your body and do what is best for you.
    Regarding the muscle tear during Kenpo, it’s a good idea to make sure that your body is completely “warmed up” before you do Kenpo. If you are still not warmed up after the actual warm up, it’s a good idea to continue to warm up and stretch. Kenpo incorporates lots of fast twitch motions where you can easily hyperextend your muscles. For me, I like to warm up until I break a little bit of a sweat before I jump into the routine.
    Regarding starting over or not: Since it’s only been a week of P90X ( I say that like it’s something easy, great job with that for sure), I would go ahead and start over. Personally, I like doing things by the book and completing anything I do from start to finish. The week off from the injury could have served as a rest week and given your muscles time to recover. That’s not to say you should, do what you think is right. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
    I am feeling much better now. Thanks for asking. It’s been a few months since I wrote this post but I did learn a great lesson! I’m glad that you appreciate this post. Some people think I was careless ( I kind of was) but in my own little way, I wanted to help others not make the same mistake. After doing P90X for a while, you can get a little careless and lazy with your form. Don’t make that same mistake! I’ve actually completed 3 cycles of P90X and am now doing a P90X / Insanity hybrid.
    Hope this answers all your questions! Good luck to you!
    - J

  • Michela

    Hi Julian,

    I completed my first week of P90X classic with a round of Kenpo. So far, I’ve been LOVING this program; I’ve always loved to work out, but to be honest, I’ve never been in “the best shape of my life.” I’m very skeptical about diet plans, but once I saw the P90X infomercial and the real results from people who have been through the program, I was completely sold.

    I felt great right after the workout, but the next day, I felt a sharp pain in my calf when I woke up in the morning and could barely walk. The pain also got worse through out the day. After visiting a doctor the next day, I found out that I strained my calf muscle and have to stay off of my leg for a week. That’s a week without P90X!

    During Kenpo, I must have hyperextended my leg or messed up my form enough during a kick to tear the muscle. It makes me really appreciate Tony’s comments during the workouts – I like that he allows you to do modifications and he tells you to take it slow if you need to. I can’t wait to get back into the program, but this time, I’ll be MUCH more careful. Do you or any other readers know whether it’s better to resume where you left off in P90X after an injury or to just restart it? I was hoping to pick up where I left off next week.

    In closing, thank you for writing about your injury. It’s very encouraging for those of us who have been hurt but want to get back up! I hope you’re feeling better now. Have you finished P90X yet?

  • Julian Placino

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for your comment but sorry to hear about your injury! That sounds exactly how I hurt my back but except my pain was felt instantly. There should should be some kind of extra warning for the move! I was prescribed a steroid and a muscle relaxant. It took me about 1 full week to be able to do some light cardio and Yoga, 2 weeks to start resistance training (very light weight, I was still very gun shy) and about 3 weeks before I could hit the program again at about 95%. Do what is right for you though. I made sure to eat very clean during those weeks because I put on weight pretty quick if I don’t exercise regularly. Good luck with your back Eric. I hope you feel better soon. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Eric

    I got injured the same way on Saturday. Went down too fast during crouching cohen curls. No sharp pain, and I was able to finish the workout (bad idea) and shower, but then I laid down for a bit and I wasn’t able to get out of bed for 28 hours. My lower back was done for. Couldn’t stand, sit, roll over, nothing. I made it to the doctor this morning and got some anti inflammatory drugs and a muscle relaxant. Needless to say, I’m gonna be a bit more careful with my form, especially when it comes to my back. How long did you have to stop working out, and how did you ease yourself back in?

  • Julian Placino

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for your comment and I am sorry to hear about your injury. As you know, I am not a medical professional and I and can’t offer medical advice. However, I can tell you what I would do, or have done.. I hurt my back a couple of weeks ago and wasn’t able to walk. I tried some Bengay and icy hot which seemed to relieve some of the pain. I went to the doctor and he prescribed me a steroid and some muscle relaxants. 2 weeks later I was fine. Regarding pushing yourself to the limit, Tony says, “make sure the last 3 reps” are hard. Its good to work hard but listen to what your body is telling you. Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck Tony!

  • Tony

    I just was doing the pike press, and I pushed to do 10. The first time I did 5 and then 8 and then I got a sudden pain on the left side under the armpit, like under the shoulder blade side of the chest muscle. What would it be? And what should I do? I feel like I’ve strained a muscle.

  • Julian Placino

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for your comment! Sorry to hear about your injury. You are definitely not alone! Make sure to get that checked out. My doctor prescribed a steroid and some muscle relaxers. It’s been a week and a few days since I hurt myself and I am feeling much better. Before I start P90X back up, I’m going to run through a rest week to east back into it. I’m trying to visualize how you hurt your lower back during Rock Star Hops? For me, the Plyometric workout itself is pretty rough on my knees. Then again, jumping around is pretty rough on the spine. I find myself having to do the modified moves (what Pam the Blam does…) when it gets too intense. I make up for it my checking my heart monitor and making sure I am still in the zone. Regarding how to prevent it, how are your shoes? I am seeing a podiatrist this Thursday so get my feet fitted for some medicated soles. Apparently, I have very flat feet which is bad for the back. Happy Healing to you Jason!

  • Jason Shives

    Hurt my lower back doing the second set of Rock Star Hops in Plyometrics today.! I am in the 2nd week of the 3rd month! Felt like my vertebrate slipped and popped back in. I immediately fell to the ground. Hoping to be able to get back into it. I feel your pain, literally. I think if I would been emphasizing the quality over quantity as well. I was really pushing for more height, don’t know any other way to have prevented it.

  • Julian Placino

    Hi Anna,

    Thanks for checking on me! It’s cliche but, “no pain, no gain,” right? Sorry to hear about your knee injury as well. You’re right, it is frustrating not be able to get a good workout in. P90x has become a part of my life and has developed into a habit. I feel like something is missing when I don’t get a chance to exercise. I’m feeling much better now and should be able to continue this Thursday. Thanks again for checking on me. Talk to you soon!

  • http://www.coachannagray.wordpress.com Anna Gray

    Hope you heal quickly. I am also dealing with a knee injury from taking a hockey puck to the knee. Its very frustrating to not be able to get a good workout done. This makes me appreciate p90x even more. Happy healing.