P90X Reviews: A Complete Program Overview

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P90X Reviews
P90X Retails for $119.95.

In the coming weeks, I will be completing a complete and comprehensive overview and review of P90X. Each DVD will be reviewed separately, and labeled accordingly. Please be sure to check back often, or alternatively, subscribe to my fitness blog to catch these P90X Reviews in your email. For now, please enjoy the overall workout overview. And if you have yet to try P90X, it’s a life changing experience!

P90X Reviews: The basic P90X workout comes included with the following:

“How to Bring It” DVD. This DVD is a short instructional/introduction to the P90X workout. Explaining briefly the program, what is needed, and what to expect.

Chest & Back. This DVD, depending on which rotation you follow, will depend on when you perform. In the most popular rotation the “Classic”. You workout with this DVD in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd week, and then again in the 9th and 11th week. The workout also has a “Lean” and a “Doubles” rotation. All of the rotations are explained in the fitness guide. This review is based on the “Classic” (the most popular) rotation.

Plyometrics. An extreme cardio routine, “jump training”. This workout is done every week, except on “recovery weeks”. Make no mistake, the recovery week, is not a time where you sit on the couch and eat potato chips. it’s a tough week in it’s own right, Just different than the typical weeks where you lift weights.

Shoulders & Arms. This DVD goes right along with the Chest & Back, and used during the same weeks.

Yoga X. This is a Yoga/Stretch DVD. This workout is done every week, and on the recovery weeks, it’s often done twice per week.

Legs & Back. This DVD is used in every week of P90X, with the exception of the recovery weeks.

Kenpo X. Kenpo X is a cardio kickboxing type routine. This cardio routine is used in every week of P90X.

X-Stretch. A stretch routine which is performed every week in P90X. It’s not a requirement, and is done on your 7th day, if you choose to use it.

Core Synergistics. A total body workout. Used with lighter weights, and is mixed with cardio moves as well.

Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps. This workout is used in the Classic rotation on the 5th, 6th, and 7th week, and then again in the 10th and 12th week.

Back & Biceps. This workout is used in the same weeks as Chest, Shoulders, Triceps.

Ab Ripper X. This ab routine is brutal, and is used in every week of P90X, with the exception of the recovery weeks. It is usually performed on the same days as the resistance/weight workouts, or 3 times per week.

Cardio X. This DVD is not used in the Classic rotation, however, it does have its place in the other rotations. It can also be a substitute for Plyometrics if you are not “ready” for Plyo yet.

Also included with P90X is a Fitness and Nutritional guidebook.

P90X Reviews: Equipment needed for P90X:

Resistance bands or dumbbells. The workout demonstrates the use of both, and you can get a great workout using either. It’s personal preference which you decide on. I personally enjoy both, and use the bands when traveling, and weights while at home. If you are looking for a alternative to dumbbells, and want an “all in one” dumbbell setup, you might consider PowerBlocks as an option. A chin up bar, or a place to do pull ups. As an alternative, you can use the resistance bands to simulate pull ups. You only need a door attachment for this option.

P90X Reviews: Program Highlights:

  • Led by one of the best fitness trainers at Beachbody, Tony Horton.  Tony both motivates and inspires you throughout the program.
  • Program utilizes Muscle Failure and Muscle Confusion. I have linked both of these terms to articles I have written, explaining what this is.
  • Program offers variety in the program, by changing the workouts to prevent boredom, and again, to promote Muscle Confusion.
  • Program has a detailed fitness guidebook. An invaluable tool throughout the program.
  • Program utilizes weights/resistance bands and cardio has the basis of the program.
  • Program provides a Nutritional guidebook, which includes recipes and nutritional information to assist you in your nutrition throughout the program. The guidebook provides details on what to eat and when. Your diet, will change along with the program, for the best results. Let’s face it, your success in either program is going to be a direct result in both the exercise AND diet. Having a detailed guide, like the one included this program is a definite benefit!

P90X Reviews: Additional Information:

P90X workouts last about 60 minutes on average, with the longest workout lasting 92 minutes (Yoga X). The ab workout is about 16 minutes.

P90X is best suited for advanced fitness levels, however, I have seen beginners start with P90X and achieve excellent results! As a beginner, you can optionally modify the P90X program and start with it. Complete as much as you can on each workout, or alternatively, you can do half of the weight routines, and take breaks on cardio and abs.  As a beginner, don’t necessarily try to keep up with the DVD.  If weight loss is your first fitness goal, you may want to start with something like Power 90 first, then P90X after.  i did this, and not only did I lose 30+ lbs in 90 days with Power 90, but it gave me a head start with P90X!  I can also personally recommend Chalean Extreme as a pre-P90X program.  You have options, no matter what you decide.

P90X focuses on one muscle group at a time. With the exception of Core Synergistics, P90X focuses on working one muscle group at a time. For example, while using the Chest & Back DVD, you will perform a chest exercise, followed by a back exercise.

P90X emphasizes controlled exercises. Each rep and exercise is done with an emphasis on control. Perfect form and when the form starts to diminish, you should stop the exercise. The movement itself is a normal average speed.

P90X Reviews: Summary

Some of the statements I made in my above review are my personal opinion. I have completed P90X (several times) and believe that P90X is a solid program. I would without a doubt say that you will be happy with P90X!  Both are complete in every way from nutrition to exercise, to providing the exercise rotation etc.  P90X is full of intensity,  it’s not an easy program by a long shot, but if it was, you wouldn’t get the results people all over the world are getting with P90X!  If you have seen the infomercial on television, or seen before and after photos of P90X graduates on the internet, you will see that the program works.  These are real people, just like you and me!  You can have the same results with time, dedication, and discipline!  Results that will transform your life!  P90X is a program you can use over and over again.  As of this writing, I am on my 9th round of P90X!  You can easily modify and make a hybrid routine, after you complete a P90X round, email me and I will be happy to send you a modified version that I have done.  I recommend doing the first round of P90X “as written”.
In my final words , I strongly encourage you to pick one of these programs, P90X, Power 90, Chalean Extreme, etc. you can’t go wrong in getting started in a fitness program, and either one of these can take you to your fitness goals. Even Tony Horton (fitness instructor in P90X) will tell you, that variety is the spice of life.  So try them all!  Build a fitness library, change it up, spice it up, keep your fitness moving forwards and break through the plateaus of doing the same old cardio and weight routines. I sincerely hope that you have found this review beneficial.  Please feel free to send me an email. Good luck on your journey, and I’m here if you need some help along the way!  I’m a Team Beachbody Coach and more than happy to assist you with questions, robert@extremely-fit.com. Don’t for get to take a look at my ChaLEAN Extreme Reviews. And stay tuned here for more P90X Reviews as well.

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  1. Don Bell

    I just purchased this and I am in day 2 of the 1st week. I can barely put my coat on or walk today at work so I hope this video is worth it. A program predicated on muscle confusion is bound to work but my only concern is I am only doing chest and back once a week. In my normal routine I was doing those exercises twice a week. And is it ok to do the ab ripper more than the routine is calling for?

  2. Robert Harden

    Don, Trust the program. Are you doing the Classic rotation? If so, you will work your back again on Legs & Back day. Don’t give up, I’ll never forget my first week of P90X, I swore I’d never do a second round. That was in 2006, and I’m still doing P90X and Beachbody workouts. They work, just takes some time. I would say you could do Ab Ripper X at least twice per week. Email me at robert@extremely-fit.com if I can help you with any other questions etc.

  3. Susan

    I just finished day 2 of P90X (3/3/10), after having done Chalene Extreme (Plyo X). I guess I had gotten used to Chalene, because, boy, am I sore! But I was sore when I started CE too. I do have a question, though. Even with CE, I still have a ways to go (LOL). Can I use bands with the pull up bar to perform those routines? Haven’t done pullups since college many moons ago. Thanks.

  4. Robert Harden

    P90X does have the optional pull ups using a resistance band. There is always one person demonstrating this on the DVDs. You just need a resistance band and a way to secure to the wall or ceiling, or the resistance band upgrade kit. If you have a pull up bar and want to work up to doing pull ups, you can throw it over the bar for the modification too. Hope this helps!

  5. Susan

    You can only do them if you have pull up bars like the ones on the DVD? I’m a renter, so I have a door mounted pull up bar that I can remove when done. So I guess the bands won’t work with those? I guess I can use a chair (and pray!). Thanks for your help!

  6. Robert Harden

    Susan, if you have a pull up bar, you could probably throw a band over the bar and then kneel down on the floor. If you can, I would try to use the chair and use the bar. Like the DVD demonstrates, you can move the chair closer in, or further out to change the assistance you need. In time, you will get stronger, and need the chair less. You can do it!

  7. Nappytdy

    Hi Robert,
    Do you have worksheets for P90X like you did for Insanity? I was looking through your info and I didn’t see any. I know you have a spreadsheet, but I was wondering if you had some time of plan that the programs follows.

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