When it comes to working out, there are endless options available to you. You can simply hit the outdoors and bike, run or swim, join a gym and workout on your own, get a personal trainer, join a boot camp or work out on your own at home with a DVD system. You may want to consider the comprehensive workout DVD system by Beachbody known as P90X.
P90X® is a complete 90-day home fitness system designed to get you in the best shape of your life. Created by trainer Tony Horton, the program includes 12 intense workouts that use resistance and body-weight training, cardio, plyometrics, ab work, martial arts and yoga, along with a nutrition plan, fitness guide and workout calendar.
P90X was designed and created by one of America’s most well known fitness experts, Tony Horton. While he initially had dreams of becoming an actor and moving to California looking to fulfill that dream, his path led him elsewhere. He ended up at World Gym in Venice, California and ended up collaborating with a former triathlete and Ironman named Mark Sisson. He introduced Tony to or interval training and Tony soon went on to become an accredited personal trainer. After taking on many famous clients, including Bruce Springsteen, Billy Idol and Usher, Tony Horton was approached by Beachbody to help develop and star in a series of workout videos. Tony Horton wanted to create a program that encompassed every aspect of exercise regimes he learned along the way and provided the interval training he believed so strongly in. Finally, he went on to create one of many fitness training programs designed by Tony Horton himself known as P90X.
P90X is a home DVD exercise program that promises to give you the body of your dreams in only 90 days. The program features 12 different DVDs containing workouts for specific days throughout the three month span and is rather versatile. The intense set of DVDs includes resistance training, core work, cardiovascular exercises, jump training referred to as plyometrics, martial arts, yoga, ab exercises and body weight resistance training as well. It is a program designed to shock your body with muscle confusion, changing your workouts daily so that your body never acclimates to one activity and stops showing results. Variation training such as that offered by P90X has long been used by athletes all over the globe for top conditioning. This type of exercise regime has been shown to provide improved fitness results over time as opposed to programs that do not change and have you doing the same types of workouts day after day.
If you decide to embark on the P90X journey, you should expect to workout most days of the week with only one day of rest. Each of the workouts ranges from approximately 60 to 90 minutes and is so rigorous that it is suggested you consult with your physician prior to commencing the program.
Prior to embarking on your P90X journey, you will also need a few other tools to complete the workouts. Although P90X is an at home workout program, it requires that you have a pull-up or chin-up bar, various resistance bands, small dumbbells and a yoga or exercise mat. Each of these items is used throughout the series and can be purchased either with the program itself or separately at your local sporting goods store.
What’s Included in the P90X Workout Program
P90X is different from other workouts in that it offers a variety of different options when purchasing the program directly from Beachbody. There are three different P90X packages including the Basic, Deluxe and Ultimate. The Basic retails for $39.95, the Deluxe is $79.90 and the Ultimate is $109.85.
The Basic includes 12 P90X workout DVDs, a 3-Phase Nutrition Plan, the P90X Fitness Guide, a P90X workout calendar, worksheets to track your progress and the famous 24/7 online support that comes with all Beachbody products. The Deluxe includes all of the above included in the Basic plus the P90X Chin-Up bar, three Pro-grade resistance bands and the P90X Results and Recovery Formula. The Ultimate package includes everything that comes with the Deluxe package as well as an additional five P90X Plus Workouts, Tony Horton’s Power Strands and the P90X Chin-up Max. If you are having a tough time deciding which of the three packages you should purchase, read on for a detailed description of the workout program and use that to help you decide.
The Core Synergystics workout DVD is a favorite among P90Xers because it targets the core muscles while giving a cardiovascular workout at the same time. It is also considered part of the “recovery week” segment of the program. Working out your core not only improves your posture and endurance, it also helps tone your abs and gives you added back support to prevent back pain and injury. The Core Synergystics DVD is only used once during each of the three months on the program, but it plays a major role in your success with P90X. It is intended to build and support a variety of different muscle groups while also providing body conditioning. The DVD is approximately 57 minutes long and includes workouts referred to by Tony Horton as prison push-ups, squat runs, towel hopping and low lateral skaters.
Plyometrics involves a lot of jumping and makes this DVD one of the hardest in the series. The jumping involved in plyometric exercises helps strengthen your core while also improving strength in the lower body, speed, endurance, agility and overall athletic performance. It is mostly a lower body workout consisting of a variety of strenuous jumping exercises created by Tony himself. The video is 58 minutes long and includes exercises such as the Airborne Heismans, Mary Katherine jump lunges and rock heroes. Be sure to wear a supportive pair of shoes while doing these exercises and perform them on a soft surface such as carpet or an exercise mat.
Kenpo is a cardiovascular kickboxing workout designed to tone your legs and butt while making them leaner and stronger. It is a favorite among ladies and includes a variety of punches, blocks, kicks and strikes. The DVD is 55 minutes long and is mostly comprised of boxing and martial arts moves such as uppercuts, cross punches, hooks, jabs, front kicks, back kicks, inside and outside blocks and much more. If you have been looking to try martial arts as a workout in the past, this is one DVD you are sure to enjoy. Not only will you be introduced to some of the more popular martial arts moves, you will so get an incredible workout and relieve stress at the same time.
This DVD is probably one of the easiest in the program and the shortest as well. It is 35 minutes long and is intended to raise your heart rate and give you a low-impact cardio workout. It involves basic cardio moves done at a fast pace with little to no rest periods in between.
Chest & Back
This DVD is exactly what it says in the tile. It is a chest and back workout DVD that focuses on push-ups and pull-ups to build your upper body strength. You will use your floor mat and pull up bar quite a bit during this DVD and incorporate free weights as well. This DVD is the first in the 90 day workout series and will give you quite an introduction as to what to expect for the remainder of the program. In the DVD, you will do two rounds of 12 different exercises. Some of the creative exercises that Tony will have you do are Dive Bomber Push-ups to challenge your strength, balance and core at the same time. The DVD is 53 minutes long and is sure to leave you feeling the workout for days to come.
Legs & Back
After working out your upper body to extremes, you will follow it with a lower body and back workout in the Legs and Back DVD. With this workout, you will be doing plenty of squats and lunges to strengthen your core while working your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and virtually every other muscle in your lower extremities. Some of the exercises Tony will have you perform are wall squats, sneaky lunges and super skaters. The workout DVD itself is 58 minutes long and takes you through 24 different exercises.
The Yoga DVD is one of the longest workouts in the program at 92 minutes. If you have yet to try yoga, you may think of it as a relaxing workout comprised of only breathing and stretching exercises. This P90X Yoga DVD is certainly not a relaxing workout and will have you thinking twice about the ease of yoga and how challenging it really is. The yoga exercises will help improve flexibility, strength and balance while enhancing your breathing techniques and relaxing your mind. The yoga workout is done at a slower pace than the rest of the workouts in the series but is definitely not considered an easy one. By the end of the 90 days, you will notice that you are more flexible and can get your body into positions you only dreamed of prior to beginning yoga workouts.
Shoulders & Arms
The Shoulders and Arms DVD works the shoulders, biceps and triceps using a variety of free weights. Expect to perform plenty of flies, rows, chair dips, shoulder presses, bicep curls and tricep exercises throughout this 59 minute DVD. This workout includes 15 different exercises and will give your arms and shoulders a workout comparable to any that you would get lifting weights in a gym or in a weight lifting class such as Body Pump.
Backs and Biceps
In the Backs and Biceps workout, expect to get a lot of good use out of your pull up bar. You will be using it to do a variety of pull ups, moving side to side on your bar, as you work out every aspect of your back and upper body muscles. Some of the exercises you will be doing will be a variety of curls, including open arm, hammer, static and one arm curls. The DVD kicks off the workout with sets of “twenty-ones”. “Twenty-ones” refers to doing three sets of seven for any particular exercise. For example, when working the biceps, you would start with a set of seven working only the lower portion of the muscle, then seven working the upper portion and the last seven doing the full range exercise.
Chest, Shoulders and Back
If you love working your upper body, you will love this DVD in the series. The workout includes every type of push up imaginable, including slow motion, military, clapping, one arm and diamond push-ups. Tony Horton also introduces some exercises that are new to most beginner and amateur P90Xers such as pike presses and pour flies. The 55 minute workout will help strengthen your upper body and give you definition across the board.
The X Stretch DVD is typically done immediately following other workouts in the series. It is suggested that you do the X Stretch workout after weight training and/or cardio days to help your muscles recover, keep you limber and prevent injury.
Ab Ripper X
The Ab Ripper X is one of the toughest ab workouts on the market. It is only 15 minutes long but it is intense, non-stop and will help improve your abs, obliques and core muscles. The Ab Ripper X is intended to be added to the other DVDs three times per week as an added workout.
Prior to beginning the P90X workout, Beachbody features a fitness test on its website to help you determine your probability of being able to complete the program. The test will provide you with minimums for the main exercises performed throughout the series. During the fit test, you will be doing push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups. If you are not able to complete the minimum number of exercises during the fit test, Beachbody suggests that you begin with another workout in their series that is not as grueling. P90X is a difficult workout, not intended for individuals who have not worked out in the past. If you decide to continue with the P90X series after completing the fit test even though you have not met the minimum requirements for the various exercises performed, you may not see the results you had hoped for and may need to do the program several more times to see results.
Free Online Support
The free online support provided by Beachbody is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is available to anyone that has questions about P90X or any other workout program in the Beachbody suite. This is a very valuable asset to have while embarking on the 90 day P90X series since it gives you a community of trainers and athletes to answer the many questions you may have. It is also a tool to provide encouragement along the way as well since you can take part in a forum with others on the P90X program.
The Fitness Guide provided with the program will provide you with a detailed description of each exercise you will be doing in the 90 day series. It will explain the muscle groups each exercise targets and proper ways to perform them.
Tracking Chart and Calendar
The Tracking Chart and calendar are designed to help you monitor your progress. It should be kept visible, such as on a wall, so you can refer to it and track where you are throughout the 90 day period.
P90X Diet Plan
When doing the P90X program, it is also crucial that you follow the nutritional plan that comes with it. It has long been said the 80-90% of the results you will see in your body come from your diet. With that said, you will need to adhere to the nutritional plan if you want the mean and lean results that others have seen after completing P90X.
The P90X Nutrition Plan is made up of three phases to follow while doing the P90X program. You will begin the program in Phase 1, commonly referred to as the Fat Shredder Phase. Phase 1 is comprised of a diet high in protein, minimizing carbohydrates and fats. If you are not used to cutting carbs, you may feel a bit sluggish in the beginning and experience minor headaches. This will pass after a few days when your body is used to your new way of eating. This type of diet produces quick weight loss, with less bloating and water retention. During this phase, you will also burn fat quickly, while building your muscles and strengthening your core as well.
Phase 2, called the Energy Booster, will help re-energize you by incorporating more carbohydrates into your meal plan. The extra carbohydrates will mean you will have more energy to help you perform better all around. You will also continue to minimize your fat intake to ensure that you build lean muscle.
The final phase is referred to as the Endurance Maximizer. During this phase, you will increase your carbohydrate intake once again. This last phase will give you that extra push to complete the program by suggesting you eat a diet comprised of complex carbs and lean protein.
If, during the 90 days on the program, you are feeling sluggish, not seeing results and/or not adjusting to the dietary changes, you can change the timing of the phases to suit your personal dietary needs. If you would like to remain on Phase 1 for a longer period of time in order to continue with accelerated fat burning, you can do that as long as your performance does not suffer. If you do not feel you can perform off minimal carbohydrate intake, you may want to move onto Phase 2 of the eating plan immediately to ensure that you have the energy to complete the workouts.
In addition to the phase descriptions, the nutrition plan also features recipes for meals and snacks to eat while doing the program. The video that comes with the plan will further explain the benefits of adhering to a strict diet so it is suggested you watch it prior to beginning P90X.
The P90X Program was designed to increase your overall strength, build your core, improve agility, burn fat and help you achieve maximum results through repeated muscle confusion. If you decide to embark on the P90X journey, you should expect to be challenged day in and day out for a solid three months. This is not a workout for beginners and you will realize that once you complete the fit test. With that said, if you follow the program and put effort into it each day, you will see results and it will help you accomplish the fitness goals it promises to deliver.
With any workout program, there will be pros and cons to consider. Insanity is widely popular and seems to have more pros than cons. Below are a few to consider when deciding whether to begin Insanity and start your insane cardio journey.
- The P90X program will help you shed fat quickly.
- It will increase strength without giving you the added bulk and large muscles typically seen with strength training and weight lifting.
- You can do the workout at home, with minimal equipment.
- The plan features a diet to guide you nutritionally throughout your weight loss journey.
- The DVDs are very different and, with 12 different workouts, you will not get bored doing the same video day after day.
- You can do the program more than once, seeing improved results each time.
- The program is not for beginners and is designed for those already in good physical condition.
- If you are obese, have other ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart problems, you are discouraged to use P90X.
- The program is designed to lean you out and not increase size. If you are looking to bulk up, this is not the program for you.
- The nutritional plan restricts carbohydrates to a point that some doctors and nutritionists do not deem healthy for an extended period of time.
If you are working out on a somewhat regular basis and not seeing the results you want, then P90X is what you may be missing. As I said earlier, this is not a program for beginners but instead for those in good physical condition looking to improve their physique and see results. P90X is a simple program that can accomplish that because it can be done at home with minimal equipment. The workouts are challenging but they will give you the results you have been looking for. The free weights, resistance bands and pull-up bar provide variety to at home workouts that typically do not include any equipment other than a DVD player. If you are still not convinced and need more input from others that have taken on the P90X challenge themselves, read the reviews below and decide for yourself.
After making a New Year’s resolution, I needed something to help me keep it and decided on P90X to do that. I was sick of going to the gym day in and day out and not seeing any results. I started P90X, stuck with it, and by the end of March I had lost 18 pounds. I was finally seeing the muscles in my stomach that I always knew I had but could never see in the mirror! Love it.
Aldyn Ferguson – Sacramento, CA
As a mother with a 4 month old, I felt like a prisoner in my own home. I couldn’t go to a gym because I did not have someone to watch my daughter and it was way too cold to try and exercise outdoors with her in the stroller. My only choice was to workout indoors and I dreaded putting in yet another boring workout DVD. A friend suggested P90X and, without many other options, I decided to go ahead and give it a shot. I started it and immediately felt stronger. Prior to having my daughter, I ran on a treadmill every day and didn’t do much else. With P90X, I was giving my body an all around workout that was actually building my muscles. Prior to doing P90X, I was afraid to lift weights because I didn’t want to get big. I’m now addicted!
Marissa Ellison – Boston, Massachusetts
I should have listened to the many people that suggested I “start out with something easier”. I started P90X (without doing the Fit Test) and quickly realized it was not for me. It was much too difficult and I was hardly able to complete the first day. In its defense, I am almost 80 pounds overweight and I realize that it is not designed for people with this much weight to lose.
Sean Cromie – Chino Hills, CA