My P90x2 Review: An Evolution of Fitness

I originally started doing P90x because I had made a slow and steady decline from college athlete to paunchy nearing-middle-aged man.  In my P90x review, I explain what made me choose to try using it to get back into shape, and how ultimately it helped get me into better physical shape than ever before.  Feeling practically like Batman already, I began wondering what I was really physically capable of if I kept working at it.  Basically, I wanted to take it to the next level.  Tony Horton did me right before, for sure, so I figured Id give P90x2 a shot, as its marketed as an extension, or evolution of the original product.  Is it?  In one word, yes.  Here’s my P90x2 review.

What Is P90x2?

workout equipment reviewP90x2, like its predecessor, is a workout system that revolves around a series of DVD workouts (12 to be exact), each designed to work different parts of your body in different ways, eventually giving your entire body an intense and ridiculously effective workout.  This one adds even more exotic, difficult moves, which will lead you to an even better body.

You’ll be doing the DVDs to a set schedule, but unlike P90x, which is a set 90 days, there’s a lot more flexibility.  There’s still 3 phases, each separated by a recovery week, but instead of 3 weeks each, the phases last for 3-6 weeks.  I did mine in 3-4 weeks each, but I’m planning on upping this on my next run through.  Also, while P90x had you going full steam 6 days a week, P90x2 lets you have an optional extra day off.

Another major difference to P90x2 is the emphasis on balance.  Honestly, I was a little bit skeptical, because none of the coaches I had in my youth had ever really put that much emphasis on it.  I thought those big fitness balls were sort of a low-grade, fitness-for-girls type of thing, but that’s what I thought about yoga, too, before P90x taught me how much it could improve my strength, muscle tone and control.

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Let’s Bring It Again

Tony starts us off with another DVD on bringing everything you’ve got to get the best results.  The first thing I noticed about P90x 2 How To Bring It Again was that the production values are significantly higher than those of the original.  Its sleeker, more modern looking, but honestly, that wasn’t my concern.  No, I was cashing in on the 90-DAY FULL MONEY BACK GUARANTEE to see what kind of results I could get!

 

Having neglected to follow the advice Tony gives on tracking your progress, and having kicked myself for it, I was all about the P90x2 before and after photos, which you’ll take at the 1, 30, 60, and 90 day marks.

 

They show visibly very significant gains in muscle mass and tone, and even more fat melted off than the original!
I tried keeping better track of my reps, sets, and weights like Tony suggests, but I’m frankly sort of lazy about keeping up with those things, so my notes aren’t as detailed as Id like.  I can tell you, however, that while I only lost around 10 pounds (having lost most of my excess baggage doing the original), I did gain an extra inch and a half of muscle on both my biceps and shoulders, and another on my chest and thighs.

One of the really amazing things was that while I suspected Tony might be able to help me get looking a little better, I really didn’t expect to feel so much better!  Seriously, if I was a superhero when I started, I have no idea what I would even be now!  My endurance is through the roof, I have so, so much more energy for daily life, and naturally, my confidence is crazy high.

You Can Do It, Too

I should point out that while this P90x2 review may be written by a washed-up college athlete who used the original and then P90x2 to get into completely awesome shape, the program is good for people from all walks of life, with varying fitness levels and goals.  Before I even started, I read P90x2 user reviews from everyone from stay-at-home moms to semi-professional athletes (I also know for a fact that there are pros who use it, but theyre probably too busy to write their own reviews).

I do want to say that while Im fairly confident that almost anyone with the right amount of determination can make it through P90x2, I would recommend that most people start with the original (click here for my review on it).  P90x2 will kick almost anybodys ass into much better shape, but its really hard work, and I think most people will just find it too challenging at first.  But if youre a serious fitness buff, though, and you already work out on the regular and are just looking for the best new workout on the market, this may very well be it, even if you haven’t done the original.

That said, I think its even more important to know your body and its limits with P90x2 than its predecessor.  Seriously, don’t get overconfident, even if you’ve done P90x before.  In part because of the new variable-length phases, it can be easy to overdo it and hurt yourself, and some of the exercises are downright dangerous if your’e not prepared.

Another thing I should mention is that while men will be building bigger muscles doing these exercises, women will be mostly just tone and shape up.  One look at any of Tonys very feminine female workout buddies should make it clear that this program isn’t going to turn you into a hulking she-beast!

It Goes A Little Something Like This

The first phase of P90x2, the Foundation phase, does exactly what it sounds like: it sets the foundation for the rest of the program.  This will help you be able to stick it out until the end without hurting yourself.

Pretty much as soon as I began, I had that familiar ass-being-kicked feeling I got during the intro phase of the original.  I thought the first P90x was difficult!  Having realized the benefits of this kind of tough work and hurt already, I knew this feeling meant I was on my way to some serious fitness.

One thing I wasn’t quite sure of when I heard about it was the foam roller massages you’ll be giving yourself on alternate days during recovery weeks.  Holy crap, though, it feels amazing!  I wasn’t doing it right at first, so I thought it might be bunk, but I figured it out quickly enough.  You’ll feel the effects immediately as you hone in and work the tension and soreness out of your muscles.  Myofascial release (yep, that’s what its called…) is a proven technique with a lot of research behind it, and its so easy I cant believe it’s only now gaining popularity among the fitness community.

The other thing you’ll be alternating on recovery weeks is YogaX2.  For a program that focuses so much on balance, there’s a surprising lack of pure balancing moves to this one.  Still, this is clearly an evolution of the original Yoga X: the moves are more advanced, and the whole workout is quicker and shorter than the original, while packing more punch.

The second phase, Strength, is where the fun really begins.  This is when you’ll really be getting seriously into the balancing act.  Seriously, be really careful.  While my balance was better than it had been in years thanks to P90x, I still fell off the balance balls a few times in the beginning.  I banged up my elbow a little bit, and was surprised I didn’t bang my face on the floor one time, but my body was able to adjust pretty quickly.  I’m not saying the balancing became easy, I’m saying I stopped falling so much.

It quickly became apparent why there is so much focus lately on balance in workouts.  It burned, in a really good way, and I felt my muscles turning to rock as I held difficult poses to avoid toppling off the balance balls. Seriously, it may look easy, but it actually takes quite a bit more work than regular exercising.  You’ll feel your entire core tense up, as well as any supporting muscles of the exercise.  I promise you, you will feel the system working on muscles you didn’t even know you had!

The final phase, Performance, focuses on taking you from just looking good to being a fully functional action hero.  Unlike the third phase of P90x, this isn’t just a mix of the two first phases.  There’s a lot of new stuff that will continue to challenge you and push you to the limit.  However, like the original, the third phase is seriously tough, but will make you tougher than tough.

I actually had to start off with simplified versions of a few of the exercises in the last phase.  And here I was getting cocky!  This phase I actually did for 5 weeks, until I was satisfied with how I was getting through the workouts.

While P90x introduced the revolutionary technique of Muscle Confusion, the Performance Phase of P90x2 introduces something called Post-Activation Potentiation, or PAP.  The easiest way to explain it would be to say that youll be putting a very heavy load on a muscle, followed by a short burst of explosive but light effort.  This has recently been proven to stimulate both muscle growth and performance.

I cant say for sure if it was the PAP, or the balancing, or just the combination of exercises, but overall, I finished the program LOOKING AND FEELING LIKE A HUNDRED MILLION BUCKS!

Is P90x2 Worth It?

I’ve seen a couple of P90x2 reviews that complain about the amount of exercise equipment youll need to get the most out of the program.  Sure, you can sort of do it with just a set of dumbbells, but to get the most out of it, you will need some things.  While some people are saying this is a cash grab on Beachbodys part, you dont have to buy any of their exercise equipment; I already had most of it, and picked up the rest at my local sporting goods store.
Another thing you need to understand is that you really can only do so much with body weight.  My coaches back in school used to stress the hell out of this.  If you really want to get in the best shape you can be in, you need to move more weight around.  And seriously, once you start feeling how the balance balls work, you will know they’re worth it.

Think of it this way: how many of us have shelled out a ton of money for gym memberships we used only very briefly, for really no results?  Or how many of us have bought huge, expensive exercise machines like Bowflex, only to have them sit unused, taking up basically a whole room in your house?  (Ill cop to both.)  P90x2 is still cheaper than any of that, and will put you on a fast track to amazing health.  The gear doesn’t take up much room, and I’ve even been able to continue my workouts while traveling because its so light.

If you’re still unsure if its worth it, consider the fact that if you buy from the official Beachbody site, youll get a guarantee that will last the duration of the program.  A lot of the big box fitness stores offer extended guarantees on their products, so if you buy your exercise gear at the right place, you risk literally nothing but time.  Try it, I promise you, IT WORKS!

I really don’t want to come off as an ad writer in this P90x2 review, but I’ve been pretty thrilled with the quality of the results I’ve achieved with P90x2.  My wife is certainly happy, too, and I can tell from the looks I get that she isn’t the only one!  I highly recommend this program to P90x graduates and general fitness buffs (and I recommend the original to basically everyone).  If you are ready to get into better shape than you ever believed even possible, I urge you to head on over to the Beachbody site to give their risk-free trial a shot.
Editors Rating

  • Weight Loss
  • Muscle Gain
  • Cardio Training
  • Strength Training
  • Value For Money
  • Overall Performance

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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