Does p90x Really Work? Here’s The Catch

Ripped muscles, taut abs, six packs, & bulging biceps are the physique dream for many fitness enthusiasts.

Now, if you have been in the hunt for the perfect fat burning workout program, you’ve probably come across P90X. Read Our Review below & check out our favorite alternative to the famous program.

I can't promise the same results from Adaptive Body Boost. ANYONE who promises results is peddling nonsense. What I can promise is if you have no other major health problems.

The ADB Program will change your health and physique for the better in a very short time.

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My Journey!


History Of P90

Launched in 2003, the P90X has been heavily marketed on TV, and the now ubiquitous advertisement has inspired viewers with compelling after and before photos, moving testimonials from regular folks, and snippets of trainer Tony Horton’s non-nonsense workouts.

Understandably however, people are still skeptical about this "magic" fitness program. A major reason behind the skeptic owes to the fact that a majority of these programs are rather faddish, and often do not explain exactly how they deliver their results.

Another reason why people usually back-off from these programs is that they don't think it's possible to turn their torso into a lean machine or don't know how.

However, P90X has gained so much prominence is the last decade, and as a result, manyof our readers have sent meemails seeking our opinion on the effectiveness of this product.

Will p90X deliver you the result? Does PX90 work? Or is it another quick weight loss scam that will leave you disappointed? You may be surprised.

In the P90X review below, we shall explore everything you need to know about this fitness program.

What Exactly is P90X?

P90X is a complete home fitness system that is designed to get you in the best shape of your life. It’s an intense fitness program that promises a lean, ripped body in 90 days. The P90X program is developed with a "stay at home and build muscle" mindset, which is fine.

It is among the first fitness programs of its kind to be all but explicitly targeted for men.

The “X” stands for extreme, after all, it was a savvy marketing ploy back in the TRL days.

What Does P90X Consist of?

Unlike a majority of the fitness programs, the P90X takes a multi-dimensional approach to burn fat, build strength and increase flexibility.

The program, for instance, uses a variety of exercises ranging from yoga, stretching, plyometrics, cardio routines, weights, resistance training, ab workouts, and martial arts.

 As a result, the program will not only challenge your body and allow you to achieve a great-looking physique, but it allows you to have a functional fitness as well.

Beyond the exercises, P90X also provides a complete and easy-t0-follow nutrition plan that is divided into three phases that will match the three phases of your workout program. The nutritional plan, which will tell you what to eat for the best results, is divided into endurance maximizer, energy booster, and fat shredder.

The entire nutritional plan is available in a guidebook that tells you what to eat exactly to lose fat, gain lean muscle and boost your energy, along with healthful and delicious recipes. Each phase of the exercise works in combo with the exercise routines to ensure a greater impact on the body’s overall health and appearance.

Tony Horton - Founder

The brain behind P90X is elite trainer Tony Horton. Tony has spent more than two decades developing his expertise in all areas of fitness.

Built like Brad Pitt, but with a sense of humor like Will Ferrell waving a cowbell, Tony has mastered skills and knowledge in:

  • The ‘Mater of Motivation," Tony uses encouragement, humor, and discipline to transform anyone's body
  • Using the P90X is similar to working with Tony as your personal trainer
  • P90X clienteles is diversified ranging from Hollywood stars, professional athletes, to ordinary people looking for extraordinary bodies.

Understand that P90X is not a weight-loss program as much as it is a fitness program; nevertheless, the rigorous workouts are excellent at burning fat as well as ripping your muscles.

Who Is It For? - Will It Work For YOU?

Nothing much has changed in this regard. At its core, the program is still designed to appeal to that person, for whatever reason, would prefer working at home rather than the gym.

As far as what they may be looking for, the reasons differ a lot.

Nonetheless, the program promises gym-quality fitness without the need for a gym.

The program is also an ideal product for the guys who may know working out, but would rather have someone guiding them and telling them what to do every day.

Who Is It Not For?

Like we mentioned previously, the program is more or less of an extreme sport. While the extreme qualities are a little overblown and can be modified based on your abilities, you're not going to get the best out of this program if you're not willing and ready to push yourself to the limits.

The P90X Claim - Is it Legit?

The P90X, also the Power 90 Extreme, which is dubbed "The Ultimate 90-Day Home Fitness Boot Camp" is a program that promises to get you ripped in 90 days.

The marketing for this system is primarily built around the idea that you can get ripped in 90 days; that you can go from flab to fabulously fit, or as they put it, "Get ripped in 90 days. Guaranteed or your money back."

During their commercials, they usually show several people who have completed the 90-day workout.

According to Horton, you’ll need to follow the P90X workout schedule for three months to see the results, which BeachBody calls “groundbreaking.”

However, the 90-day span is such a short time and should throw up some red flags, which we shall discuss later. Plus, given you'll achieve your results in a short period, it means it's not a gradual process, but you'll have to work out daily, which again should be a reason of concern.

The P90X System: How it Works

The program is available in a set of 12 high-intensity DVD workouts that you perform throughout 90 days. During the 90-day course program, you'll need to commit to working 6-7 days per week, for one to one and a half hour at a time.

Each workout on the program is presented in a circuit format, whereby you gradually move from one workout to the other with little rest in between, thus keeping your heart rate up.

Some of the DVDs, such as the strengthening DVDs will target certain parts of your body each day, for instance, chest and back, shoulders and arms, legs and back, triceps, biceps and so on.

Other DVDs will focus on plyometrics or the explosive “power” moves, Kenpo kickboxing, abs/core, cardio, kickboxing, yoga and stretching.

Here’s a snippet of the P90X circuit training:

Chest and Back

The chest and back DVD is a 53-minute workout that will target the chest muscles with variations of the push-up.

Here, the variations include;

  • The traditional push-ups
  • Wide-stance “fly” push-up
  • Push-ups done with the hands close together

The chest and back workout usually target the back muscles.

The variations of the pull-up and pull-down exercise are done with resistance band with your hands positioned at shoulder width, wider, narrower, or reverse grip.

Also included in the chest and back workout are rowing exercises that are performed with resistance bands or dumbbells.

Plyometrics

Of all the workouts in the P90X, the Plyometrics circuit is the most intense.

After a lengthy warm-up, this cardiovascular routine will then lead you through a series of jumping moves that primarily target the lower body.

To perform the plyometrics, you’ll need an excellent pair of shock-absorbing shoes and a soft mat.

It’s worth noting that the plyometrics is a high-impact routine, and you should avoid it completely if you have back, spine, hip, knee and ankle issues.

P90X Yoga

Contrary to the mild yoga you're accustomed to; the P90X yoga workout is an intense program.

For a start, it’s 90 minutes long, and more importantly, it is a challenging quest, especially to those who are not accustomed to yoga.

Other P90X Workout Programs
  • You can count on the “Ab Ripper X” and “Core Synergistics” to work on your core
  • The “Leg & Back” workout, which emphasizes on squats and lunges should work on your legs.
  • The “Leg & Back” workout, should again ire up your glutes
  • The “Back” workout specifically targets your back
  • The “X Stretch” should allow you to improve on your overall flexibility
  • The “Cardio” and “Plyometric” workouts are aerobic exercises in the form of explosive jumping cardio routine.
  • The “Strength” workout is a total body workout that will work on a plethora of muscle groups to build strength.
  • The ‘Arm” workout is yet another workout that targets your arms, shoulders as well as biceps.

Over the 90-day program, you'll change your workouts every week.

You can also design your schedule to the kind of results you want. For instance, you can focus more strength, cardio, or going the super-intense "Double" route of two workouts in a day, all depending on what you want in the program.

With the above workouts, your muscles will get stronger; you'll experience a boost in your cardio health, and shed fat on this plan designed and led by Tony Horton.

The P90X Nutrition Plan

Evidence suggests that the best bodies are built in the kitchen.

Beyond the fitness guide, P90X also include a nutrition plan. A combination of diet and workouts will work together to improve your fitness and physical performance.

The P90X 3-Phase nutrition plan was designed by experts, and it will provide you with the right amounts of calories and nutrient you need to burn stored fats while building lean muscles.

What we like most about this nutrition plan is the fact that it's customizable to meet your specific fitness goals, allowing you to get the absolute best results from your program.

P90X 3-Phase Nutrition
PHASE 1- P90X FAT SHREDDER

The first phase entails a diet rich in proteins. Proteins are bodybuilding foods, and they will help build and strengthen your muscles, while at the same time allow you to shed at quickly.

Phase 2- P90X Energy Booster

The next phase of the nutritional plan demands you consume a balanced mix of carbs and proteins, and lower the total amounts of fats.

This meal plan should provide you with the extra energy boost for enhanced performance.

Phase 3- P90X Endurance Maximizer

The last phase of your nutrition should fuel your workouts. As such, it demands you consume an athletic diet that primarily revolves around complex carbs and lean proteins.

The P90x 'Secret Weapon'

Every fitness program has some secret weapon or its major selling point.

What makes P90X a unique program and what makes it stand out from the rest?

“Muscle Confusion”

For those with first-hand experience with the program, they can all agree that the system works, and its success is largely due to its muscle confusion aspects.

In P90X, the muscle confusion states that you should consistently switch up your exercise selection to continue burning fat, building muscle, to avoid plateaus.

The "muscle confusion" concepts insist varying your workout schedule and introducing new moves so that the body never fully adapts. It takes a similar approach to the periodization techniques that athletes usually use to get their bodies in top condition.

Importance of Muscle Confusion

See, the human body is versatile and adaptable at the very least. However, when you perform the same movements repeatedly, time and again, whether at home or in the gym, your body becomes used to it.

In effect, when you start going through a workout without any difficulty, your body hits a plateau, comes to a standstill and henceforth, you will not witness any progress.

To fight that and avoid muscles from becoming familiar with certain aspects of the workouts, you have to take your body from the comfort zone and perform something it’s usually not accustomed to.

This means new routines and workouts within the program to challenge the body muscles, keep them “confused” and encourage growth.

This could mean new exercises, heavier weights, varying rep ranges, less rest, changing the order of exercises and more.

What matters here is you change something, and this change should allow you to achieve results progressively.

The P90X system takes this concept and runs with it. The program offers up to 12 different workouts in all, and they will allow you to switch things up and ensure your body will never know what you are going to do next.

Why is P90X so Effective?

Undoubtedly, a lot of people are having success with the P90X program.

But before jumping straight into the program, let's look at some of the reasons why and what makes this program so effective.

  • Offers a Variety of Workouts

As we had indicated above, P90X will allow you to perform a plethora of exercises, all which are an essential key to the success of the program, from a physical perspective that allows you to generate results continuously.

A second reason is probably the fact that having varying workouts at your disposal means that you are unlikely to get bored with the system. Remember the biggest reason why people usually drop from any program is because of boredom and failure to stick with it.

Contrary to a majority of the programs with a high drop-off rate, users of P90X don’t struggle with the system; in any case, P90X is going to motivate them to continue with the program and get the results they want.

  • A Full Meal Plan

The second factor that plays a huge role in the success of the P90X is the complete diet offering.

Regardless of how good a workout program is, if you do not consider what you eat, then it would be all for nothing and highly unlikely they would the results they wanted.

A common impediment we see with a majority of the fitness enthusiasts is they start working out to "eat healthier," but the only way of seeing real success is by following a specific diet plan.

Those who are excited about this program get themselves on the diet program as well as the workout, and that’s why they start experiencing success on the program.

Why We Love P90X?
  • Freedom: At its core, P90X can be done anywhere. Given it emphasizes bodyweight exercises, it means that you will not need much to get started. Also, the entire program can be streamed online, meaning you can follow along with the program whether you're at home or traveling.
  • Comprehensive: This program is the go-to solution for all your fitness needs; it caters to every objective that you might be looking to work on. Whether you are looking for weight loss, strength training, cardio training, or flexibility, this program will work on every of your major muscle groups.
  • Customizable: Contrary to a majority of the fitness programs, P90X doesn’t pretend to be one-size fits all. It offers a variety of workout schedules that can be tailored to meet the diverse range of fitness goals, nutrition preferences and time.
  • Room for Growth: At its best, the program is not easy. For instance, if you are not feeling fatigued, the system will allow you to go a step further to challenge your body. In a nutshell, the system is specifically created with modifiers that will not only make the entire system easy but also harder if need be.
  • Minimal equipment required: The system will allow you to perform a variety of workouts without having to use any equipment. In any case, dumbbells or resistance training band or chin-up bar are the only ones that will require equipment. However, we do recommend investing in an impact-absorbing yoga rug and a heart rate monitor.
  • Less risk of injury: Sure, no full-proof workout will cushion you against injuries, especially if you're starting. However, injuries often happen when you perform the same motion repeatedly. Given that P90X has you changing up your routine constantly, it will reduce your risk of repetitive use injuries. Moreover, by working your muscles in different ways, it allows you to increase your muscle resilience.
  • Entertainment: Tony is naturally a funny guy. Tony and his crew will crack jokes and keep you entertained to keep your mind off the pain.
  • All day calorie burning: While running will burn a lot of your calories while doing it, lifting weight and doing interval training will have you burning calories around the clock.
  • Athlete-caliber workouts: Tony is an experienced fitness trainer, who has worked with A-list athletes, and celebs, so you are guaranteed of a professional program.
  • Online support: Anyone that purchases the program is entitled to complete access to online fitness support. This is in addition to an online forum where you can connect to other P90X users and Beachbody experts.
  • Money guarantee: Depending on which version of the program you purchase, you’re going to receive a money-back guarantee, which goes a long way to show the commitment of the brand to offer quality products.

What We Don’t Like About the P90X

  • Cost

The ultimate kit is relatively costly, but the base kit is surprisingly affordable.

The good thing is that buying the DVD is still cheaper than hiring a personal trainer but on the flip side more expensive than getting a gym membership.

  • Time

 It takes roughly one hour to complete your daily workout for 90 days, though some of the programs are shorter.

  • Intensity

Though the flexibility of the program allows both beginners and the experienced fitness enthusiasts, some of the workouts can still be challenging.

It can be hard to suggest that P90X is the best home workout solution for everyone.

  • Workouts are an Overkill

In my honest opinion, at the very least, I think the exercises on this program are overkill, and to an extend unnecessary.

If the professional athletes train for 5-7 days, why would an average Joe who wants to lose weight or look better workout every single day?

I think there is no need to that, and its just part of P90X’s extreme branding.

With this regimen, you are going to get incredibly sore.

While the program will get you the results you want, it’s by far one of the least approaches to doing it.

Is P90X Worth It?


The P90X has a reasonable upfront cost of ownership.

However, the addition of elements such as the chin-up bar, resistance bands, and dumbbells, make the workout even more effective.

Despite the upfront costs involved in purchasing the program, it’s by far more affordable than buying equipment for a home gym or hiring a trainer.

The P90X is worth the investment, and it presents an awesome opportunity for men and women alike to get the best shape of their lives.

Conclusion: Editor’s Verdict

Does P90X work?

Yes, it does.

It's thorough, and the program is outlined in their package, something that will increase your fitness level if you can stick with it.

Consistency is the key here; you'll have to stick with it and complete the program.

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Brice Mansa - ISSA Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach

Brice Mansa is a certified personal trainer from the ISSA. He took his knowledge from college to provide a more broad education method (blogging) to enhance the lives of thousands of people. Tired of being limited as a personal trainer in a gym with a single client, he stepped up his game. ASCVS.org is proud to host him and the team of 4 other certified personal trainers and kinesiologists. When Brice isn't training or writing he likes long walks on the beach, puppos & motorcycles. We hope you enjoy his content, tips & stories!

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