P90x Reviews, Or How To Shape Up In 90 Days

I’ve always tried to stay active and remain in decent shape, but at a recent birthday party, somebody brought out one of my college football photos. It occurred to me that despite my efforts, my overall level of fitness has been pretty consistently degrading since then. After brooding over it a couple days, I decided I was going to take serious action about it. I’ve had some friends who have had luck with P90x, and the program has been pretty consistently popular since its debut in 2004. I’ve read positive P90x reviews from both men and women of various degrees of fitness, with different goals, so I decided to see what it could do for me. You can also read about the experiences of 140+ other P90x users who have left comments at the end of this post.

P90x Review #1: Got 90 Days?

I’ll admit it: one of the reasons I went with P90x is because I was after quick results.  We’ve all seen programs that supposedly offer similar improvements in your physique instantly, but those are pretty obviously scams.  P90x packs a FULL BODY TRANSFORMATION IN JUST 90 DAYS!  I’ll tell you before I even get into it: if you’re ready to give it everything you’ve got for those 90 days, this absolutely does work.

When I popped in the intro DVD, I only had a vague idea of what to expect.  The guy who greets you, P90x creator Tony Horton, is a buff dude.  He’s a fitness coach with over 20 years of experience, and he knows just what to say to encourage you to push through the workouts.  I’ll tell you, “Do your best and forget the rest!” doesn’t look that great in writing, but when you’re pouring sweat and feeling ready to drop to the floor, it’s really inspiring!

P90x review
And he’s not just encouraging, he really knows his stuff.  This whole workout is based on a technique he came up with called Muscle Confusion.  Basically, he constantly has you changing up your routine, working on different sets of muscles, so your body never has time to fully adapt to the exercise routine.  I’ve tried other workout DVDs in the past, and not only did repeating them get tedious and boring, they all had a various obvious plateau effect: after a certain number of viewings, there were no more results.  Tony avoids this by having you doing so many different exercises that it’s rare to ever do the same exercise twice within the same two weeks.  At first, I kept waiting for familiar ones to come back up to give myself a break, but no, there was no opportunity to get used to it.  I never “hit the wall” with P90x.

P90x Review #2: This Is How It’s Done

I should point out that this program isn’t for lazy people or anyone not really willing to put in the time and effort.  It’s 6 days a week, and every workout is an hour to an hour and a half long, and they’re tough!  If you’re up for it, though, you’ll start seeing and feeling a difference pretty quickly.  Track your progress closely, and you’ll see.  I don’t think I would have kept doing it if I hadn’t LOST 8 POUNDS BY WEEK 5!  This wasn’t just weight loss, I was also building muscle.

There’s a solid mix of strength training and cardio on the 12 workout DVDs that make up the core of the program, but the included P90x Fitness Guide explains how to adjust the program to meet your own needs.  For example, if you’re mainly looking to burn fat, or you don’t want to put on too much muscle, you can use the Lean version of the program, while athletes getting ready for competition may be interested in the Double version, which requires two hours every day!  Being a former athlete whose overall fitness has declined steadily since college, I opted for the standard program, while my wife started doing the Lean version.

You can also tailor the program in other ways, too, which is why it’s good for everyone FROM STAY-AT-HOME MOMS TO PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES like Matt Diaz of the Atlanta Braves.  For example, Tony offers up alternate moves for people who aren’t able to do the harder exercises he’s doing.  I used a lot of these at first, but as the system worked me into better shape, I found myself able to do almost all of the main exercises.

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P90x Reviews #3: Breaking It Down

Tony has you doing workouts on the DVDs to a schedule designed to maximize your gains through the Muscle Confusion technique I mentioned.  He targets different parts of the body with each one, and you can tell he’s not just haphazardly throwing every exercise he knows at you.  You can actually feel him systematically and methodically strengthening and toning your body, muscle by muscle.  Here’s how the DVDs break down:

  1. Chest & Back You’ll only use this the first 3 weeks, and then for a couple weeks at the end.  It’s a good mix of intense strength training exercises for your pectorals, back, biceps and triceps.
  2. Plyometrics This is cardio, especially useful for your legs.  Used weeks 1-7, and then 9-12.
  3. Shoulders & Arms More strength training, same schedule as DVD 1.  I didn’t realize how little I worked my shoulders until I started this one.
  4. Yoga X While the other DVDs only run about an hour, this one is 90 minutes long, and you’ll be using it every week.  The stretches are vital, though, to protect and lengthen your muscles.  And honestly, THEY FEEL GOOD! P90x Reviews Breaking It Down
  5. Legs & Back These strength training exercises you’ll do 3 weeks on, 1 week off, until you finish P90x.
  6. Kenpo X This is an intense cardio workout.  This one’s a real fat burner.  You’ll do this DVD every week, and in my case there was a very clear, obvious increase in endurance every single week, and I credit this one with a lot of the weight loss, too.  Remember what I said about tracking your progress!
  7. X Stretch This is another important stretching video you’ll do every week.  I love how Tony switches it up so you don’t get bored with the same stretching DVD, and I’m sure it’s also part of the Muscle Confusion technique.
  8. Core Synergistics This is a tougher strength training DVD for your whole body.  You won’t even pull out until weeks 4, 8, and 13.  This one beat me down, and built me back up!
  9.  Chest, Shoulders & Triceps This strength training DVD comes out for weeks 5-7, 10, and 12, and is like a more intense version of the workouts in the beginning.  I was glad the early ones prepared me for this.
  10.  Back & Biceps Same as 9, but for different muscles.
  11.  Cardio X This 45 minute workout is a very, very intense cardio workout for people who want more of that.  This is mainly used if you do the Double version of the program.
  12.  Ab Ripper X This is only 15 minutes long, but you’ll do it every week.  I’ve tried in vain to build my abs up in the past, but this is the first time in my life I’ve ever had a 6-pack!

P90x Reviews #3: What You’ll Need, What You Won’t

One of the selling points for me was that the P90x reviews I was reading said I wouldn’t need to buy much.  All I bought, besides P90x itself, was a set of dumbbells, a chin up bar, and a yoga mat.  I eventually bought a heart rate monitor, too, which was actually really, really useful. When you buy the product, you’ll get the P90x 3-Phase Nutrition plan, which will help you eat right at every stage of the program.  To me, this is a much tastier and cheaper option than any kind of meal supplement or protein replacement, and the whole thing is pretty comprehensive.  There are plenty of recipes and daily meal schedules, so I always had the right mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to power my transformation and stay within my calorie allowance.  I was never hungry.

So Does P90x Work?

P90x can be divided into three phases of 3 week strength training sessions, each separated by a week of cardio and regeneration.  Here’s how each went for me

  • Fat Shredding Phase The first 3 weeks is all about getting you ready for the rest of the program.  The Nutrition Plan had me eating a ton of protein to help build muscles as I burned the fat off.  I could feel myself getting stronger and my muscles became more defined as the weight fell.  I lost about 5 pounds during this part.
  • Energy Booster Phase I thought the first phase was tough, but this is where the REAL work begins.  More carbs will be introduced into your diet because you’ll need more energy for the higher intensity workouts.  My system kicked into overdrive and I found myself more energetic generally.  I only lost 3-4 pounds during this phase, but my muscles were getting visibly larger, and hard as rocks!
  • Endurance Maximizer Phase The last phase had me on a more athletic diet, working towards permanent results.  The long, intense workouts had me toning and firming muscles while burning a lot of fat.  I lost almost 7 pounds at the end.

I should mention that I was also burning a pound or two during the cardio and regeneration weeks, so by the end of the 90 days I had LOST OVER 20 POUNDS!

Tell Me What Have You Got To Lose?

how-to-shape-up-in-90-days

One of the biggest things that enticed me to try P90x was the 90-DAY GUARANTEE!  I figured as long as I didn’t just sit on it when I got it, I could see not just if I could handle the workouts and time commitment, but  if I was actually satisfied with the final results.  By the end of the program, though, I had lost nearly 20 pounds, including the band of fat around my gut, and actually gained a couple inches on my arms and chest!  Call me a satisfied customer!

If you do decide that you’re satisfied and want to keep the product, you can purchase it for 3 convenient payments of $39.95, which is cheaper than almost any gym membership you’ll find, and it’s good forever.  There’s a lot of focus on permanent results in the program, but some people do the whole thing over again.  So far, I’ve been pulling out particular DVDs to give myself a tune up every now and then.

Ultimately, my results were great, and pretty much in line with all the other P90x reviews that I’ve read.  I LOOK AND FEEL BETTER THAN I HAVE IN MY LIFE!  My wife says I look fantastic in a small T-shirt, and I can tell from the looks I get that she’s telling the truth.  Honestly, I encourage anybody in decent shape to try out the 90 day trial and see where it goes.  If you’re interested, the only place to get it is the official Beachbody website.

Brian Prost

Hi, I’m Brian & together with my wife Lisa I set up this website to help folks who want to get fit, lean or bulk up but without having to dramatically change your current lifestyle. Like you, we have busy lives and busy schedules so we’re always on the lookout for whatever can get us in the best shape in the least time and without having to go hit the gym. Whatever your fitness goals, we hope you find something useful here and make sure to leave a comment in the "Speak Your Mind" box below :)

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