Complete Guide to P90x to Decide if this Workout is for You
P90X is an intense 90 day workout system which is based around the principle of ‘muscle confusion’. This is a concept where you consistently alternate your workout schedule and routines to “confuse” your body to prevent it from adapting to a fixed workout schedule or routine.
This method is supposed to accelerate results and prevent hitting a plateau.
In this article, we will take a detailed look at P90X and at the end of it all, if you decide this system just isn’t for you there are a couple of other programs you can take a look at as good alternatives that might be better suited to your needs.
Quick History Of P90X
Way back in 2001 the world was presented with Power 90. It was a workout created by Tony Horton which was designed to transform your body in only 90 days. However, that launch was not particularly successful even though it was a pretty great program. Maybe it was the marketing strategy that stunk!
A year after that, Beachbody CEO Carl Daikeler and Tony Horton joined forces to create a follow-up to the Power 90 program which would target the more physically fit public. What came out of that was the super successful P90X program which was launched in 2004 and has been going strong ever since then.
Since the massive success of P90X, Tony Horton has followed up with a range of variations to the original program including P90X Plus in 2008, P90X One on One in 2010, P90X2 in 2011 and P90X3 in 2013.
But know this… if you can’t do the original P90X, don’t bother jumping into any of the follow-up versions because they don’t get any easier. They are meant to challenge the advanced exerciser and offer progress to the original P90x’ers!
The P90X Workout Overview
This fitness program lasts for 13 weeks and I’m going to tell you straight away that it is grueling. It involves having you exercise for 6 days per week. That is extremely tough for a newbie. And these are not short little routines to squeeze into a busy day. Most of them last for almost an hour.
There are a wide range of exercises incorporated in 3 schedules including cardio, plyometrics, strength training, stretching and yoga. Here are the 3 separate workout schedules:
- Classic Schedule: This one includes 3 days of resistance training + 3 days of cardio, stretching and yoga.
- Doubles Schedule: This one replicates the ‘Classic’ schedule and also adds in some extra cardio.
- Lean Schedule: Here you will do 2 days of resistance training + 4 days of cardio, stretching and yoga.
All three schedules include 12 total workouts which are outlined below:
- Chest & Back: targeted strength & definition workout for the upper body in 53 minutes
- Plyometrics: high powered 59 minute cardio workout founded on jumping
- Shoulders & Arms: another strength and definition workout lasting for 60 minutes, involving curls, flies and presses.
- Yoga X: this yoga based workout includes balance exercises, breathing exercises, flexibility exercises and strength exercises lasting over 90 minutes
- Legs & Back: a 59 minute workout incorporating lunges, squats and more.
- Kenpo X: intense cardio for 59 minutes using lots of kicking and punching.
- X Stretch: flexibility routine that involves a range of stretches for 58 minutes
- Core Synergistics: conditioning workout that targeting multiple muscle groups for 57 minutes
- Chest, Shoulders & Triceps: focused strength building upper body workout for 56 minutes.
- Back & Biceps: adds strength and definition to your arms and back during a 52 minute workout
- Cardio X: intense 43 minutes of cardio to blasts away the body fat.
- Ab Ripper X: an intense ab workout lasting 16 minutes that works your entire midsection.
The P90X program also includes several guides to support your transformation which include:
- P90X Fitness Guide: A 100 page booklet which explains how to properly execute each exercise in the P90X program with correct form. This helps to avoid injury and ensures the best possible body shape. sloppy form can lead to a sloppy build.
- P90X 3 Phase Nutrition Plan: A 113 page booklet will lots of recipes and meal plans to use while completing the P90X program.
- ‘How To Bring It’ DVD: Special bonus DVD giving you an overview of the P90X program.
- P90X Workout Calendar: The 90 day calendar used to track your P90X results.
6 Benefits of P90X
#1 – Intensity is what Works
I need to point out that P90X has been designed with active individuals in mind. This is not for the fitness newbie. This is one of the more intense home fitness programs that will challenge even the greatest fitness enthusiasts. It involves working out for 6 days each week, with the workouts lasting for 60 minutes on average and some workouts stretching to 90 minutes in length.
In addition to the intense weekly workout schedule, the workouts combine elements of circuit training and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) requiring you to move from one exercise to the next with minimal rest in between each exercise. This ensures that you apply maximum effort during each workout and allows you to reach optimal fitness levels very quickly.
#2 – Nutrition Plan Included
Some home workout systems supply you with just the exercises. But unless you include following a proper nutrition plan, even the best workout program on earth will fail to make you look leaner. Getting the nutrition right is critical.
P90X addresses this by including a fairly decent and simple, clean eating type of eating plan that works in tandem with the working out to get you lean and ripped.
The P90X nutrition plan is broken down into 3 phases:
- fat shredder
- energy booster
- endurance maximizer
Each of the phases will work to supply you with all the energy you will need as you complete all the workouts and also burn away and reduce your body fat as you progress through the program.
There are also a variety of recipes for you to help you incorporate the foods you should be eating. The recipes are designed to ensure that your meals are healthy, flavorful and will also prevent boredom from setting in because you’re always eating fresh, new foods.
#3 – Multi-Functional
In my mind, this is a very important plus point of P90X. Since it is a multi-functional workout program, it allows you to achieve many noticeable fitness results. The workouts are effective in so many ways to to burn off excess body fat, increase strength levels, improve your cardiovascular fitness, increase your muscle tone and size, improve your balance, maximize your flexibility and much more.
#4 – Clearly Laid Out System
Another great thing about P90X is that it’s super specific. Each weekly workout is outlined in a clear weekly routine schedule. Plus it provides you with detailed instructions on how to perform every exercise and prepare every healthy meal that you’ll ever need as you go through the program.
This is important to anyone who is interested in saving a lot of time worried about guesswork out of the P90X program. You never have to think about or plan out your workouts or meals for the week ahead. All you have to do is follow the instructions because it is all laid out for you.
#5 – Varied Workouts
One final benefit of P90X is the variety of workouts and the wide range of different exercise styles including bodyweight exercises, cardio, kenpo, mixed martial arts, plyometrics, Pilates, stretching, weight lifting and yoga.
This makes each workout seem fresh, more fun and exciting. Even though the program lasts for 90 days, you’ll never feel that your routine is getting stale or boring. This variety also helps prevent the chance of hitting a plateau and helps you to get consistent results for the full 90 days.
#6 – Workout from Home
This can be a big time saver when you don’t have to pack a gym bag and travel to a fitness club. Plus you will save a lot of cash if you completely replace going to a gym with a home workout. membership are expensive and gym experience can be frustrating with waiting for equipment and inconsiderate members.
6 Cons of the P90X Program
- Some of the workouts can just be too much for those who are badly out of shape and/or just starting out. Leads to quitting the program early on. In fact, many will quit after the first 2 weeks.
- It’s time-consuming. With the shortest workout lasting 43 minutes, this is not for you if you can’t commit at least an hour almost every day of the week.
- You need to have some fitness equipment. This likely will not be a problem if you are already a person who works out a little bit at home. You will need to have a resistance band or tube, dumbbells, a pull-up bar and a yoga mat.
- Muscle confusion is not scientific – it’s more of a marketing angle to get you to believe this is the best way to workout. It’s not that is doesn’t work, it’s just that it is overly hyped as some sort of miraculous method.
- The diet plan is kind of cliche and not truly not anything special. It does work. But it’s the kind of plan you can find out easily on your own. It’s the type of eat clean and 6 times per day information which has been published for years.
- Might be too expensive for some at over $139 for the Base program. and more if you buy the Deluxe or Ultimate programs to get the additional equipment needed to do all of the exercises.
I hope this article has helped you learn enough about P90X and how it may or may not work for you.
Yes, it can really help you to boost your fitness levels and shape your physique if you are already an active person.
Is that YOU?
If it is, grab this program so that you can take your body to the next level.
BUT – If you are just starting out, this might be too extreme for you!!
In that case, I suggest that you take a look at Bodyweight Burn instead. It’s a very sensible program and more affordable than P90X.
Now, if you are almost 40 (or over 40 years old) check out Old School New Body.
Both are awesome programs that are well suited for someone who is out of shape and wanting to get started.