P90X is one of the original intensive full body and diet plans from Beachbody and has inspired a number of closely related programs including the all conquering Insanity workout. I must admit that I am a latecomer to the P90X party, previously put off by the name (which sounded a little too like a secret government operation for my liking). The focus here is high intensity workouts combined with a sensible nutrition plan all designed to get you ‘ripped’ in just 90 days. Intrigued by promises of ‘muscle confusion’ and a varied program of workouts I jumped into the P90X world and boy did I sweat! It turns out this classic workout program can still pack a serious punch!
What is P90X?
P90X stands for Power 90 Extreme and is a 90 day training program combined with a three phase nutrition program designed to help lower body fat and build muscle. At first glance P90X can seem a little skewed to your meaty body building types but it’s actually great at adapting to your individual requirements. Choose a Lean plan for a higher cardio to strength ration, the Classic for a good mix of everything or the Doubles program for a crazy intense workout plan. For most men and women Classic is a good blend of everything P90X has to offer. Lean is a little light on the strength training for my liking but would work well for those who haven’t exercised in a while. Doubles, well Doubles should be reserved for those with a great level of fitness or a sadistic streak. The fitness guide included in your P90X bundle should help you choose the right plan for you.
Whichever plan you choose P90X follows the same formula, three training blocks of 4 weeks in length. These blocks are broken down into three phases, Adaptive, Mastery and Recovery. Adaptive is all about teaching your body how to complete a new group of exercises, Mastery is starting to reap the benefits from these new exercises and Recovery concentrates on healing and strength ready to start the whole process over again.
Tony Horton is the face and brains behind P90X and it’s difficult not to get swept along by his enthusiasm and frankly out of this world abs. He pulls you sweating, aching and crying through 12 approximately 60 minute DVD’s which tackle everything from Plyometrics to Yoga and (of course) a crazy intense Ab Ripper sessions. Tony will become a big part of your life over these 90 days to the point where you’ll probably hear his voice in your head as you reach for that chocolate bar or donut. This is good thing, to get the best out of P90X you are going to need to immerse yourself in it. Tony is mentor, friend and teacher all in one amazingly ripped package.
P90X is never boring and the wide variety of workouts means you are never going through the motions. In fact, P90X is built on the concept of ‘Muscle Confusion’ which may sound a little crazy but is actually built on some good science. Essentially this means you are continually introducing new exercises and training routines so your body never gets bored. Boredom for your muscles means they plateau and become accustomed to your usual workout. When muscles get bored you just don’t get as much bang for your buck so keeping your body on its toes through muscle confusion creates a more effective workout. This system is developed from the concept of Periodization, a training regime used by elite athletes to ensure their body is in optimum condition.
The nutrition portion of P90X is based on clean eating and regular small meals throughout the day. This isn’t ground-breaking stuff in terms of fitness nutrition but it is tried and tested. P90X takes a three phased approach to diet, starting with Fat Shredder, which fairly obviously is about losing some of that extra weight we all have lying around. Phase 2 is the Energy Booster designed to give you a boost to your performance as you move through your program and finally Endurance Maximiser, a balanced athletic diet designed to keep you in great shape. The diet plan is detailed, easy to follow and even comes with supplement options if that’s your thing.
Does P90X Work?
Yes, yes and a couple more yeses just for good measure. This workout kicked my butt in all the best possible ways. P90X helped me shift out of some bad exercise and eating habits and completely change my fitness routine. Your body will change and you will definitely feel more energised. I even managed to get a start on some ab definition. But, and this is a big flashing red but, P90X is hard work, time consuming and requires a reasonable level of commitment from participants. You will be working out 6-7 times a week for around an hour each time (although some will be low impact and stretching based). The diet although easy to follow doesn’t really allow for slacking and could become a little repetitive.
If you are able to handle the initial culture shock of a committed fitness routine P90X will pay dividends. Don’t worry either if at first you can’t manage to complete as many reps or get a full range of movement in every workout. Doing an adapted version or less reps is a great place to start and Tony and his gang will provide encouragement every step of the way. The most important thing I found to start off with is just to get through each workout even if I couldn’t complete every parts of it or I was a sweaty, aching mess at the end! I certainly felt a great sense of achievement as I managed to do more than one measly pull up!
Will I continue doing P90X after my 90 days is up? Well, I don’t think that many people could commit to following the program religiously for the rest of their life, but I will be using the workout DVD’s as part of a modified program and in conjunction with other workouts I love. I also be keeping a lot of the nutrition advice in my diet (aside from the occasional treat day!) P90X also offers a great way to get in shape for an important event.
P90X promises a ripped body in just 90 days and I absolutely think you can achieve that, however this will depend on your starting point. Whatever your fitness level or size you will be in much better shape at the end of your P90X experience.
Does P90X work for me?
Still not sure whether to part with your hard-earned cash and give P90X a go? I’d say that for most people P90X is a great choice of fitness program, it can be tailored to your starting level of flexibility and underlying fitness and you get a whole lot of content for the price.
Some women may be put off by the amount of strength training here but I would absolutely encourage both men and women to give this a go. Strength training does not make women bulky, it does make you lean, strong and give you an amazing shape. P90X has a great mix of strength, cardio and flexibility workouts that create a balanced exercise plan.
If weight loss is your main and only goal P90X may not be the plan for you. This is not about starving yourself or only shedding fat, it’s about building lean muscle which weighs more than fat. You will get smaller so concentrate on measurements rather than crying over the scales. Skinny doesn’t equal fit.
It’s worth considering you will need a few pieces of extra equipment to get the most from P90X. I’d recommend a pull up bar, dumbbells and a yoga mat to get you started.
- Varied workouts that never get boring
- You can pick the workout plan that suits you
- Balanced workout plans with amazing results
- 90 day money back guarantee
- Tony Horton provides motivation and a sense of humour
- You need to commit to working out nearly every day
- It may take a little to build up your fitness level so that you can get the most from the workouts
What’s Included in P90X Workout?
- 12 DVD Workouts
- 3 Stage Nutrition Plan
- Fitness Guide
- How to Bring It DVD
- P90X Calendar to track your progress
- Access to free Online Resources
DIFFICULTY - 91%
END RESULTS - 95%
VALUE FOR MONEY - 98%
They say no pain, no gain and that’s definitely the case with P90X. You will sweat, hurt, laugh and cry but if you commit to this program you will come out with an impressive body and amazing sense of achievement. This may be a classic workout but it produces results which continue to turn heads. Start confusing your muscles with P90X today.