Does P90X Really Work?

Posted in Health
Sun, Dec 6 - 12:32 am EDT | 9 years ago by
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For just 3 payments of $39.95 plus $19.95 shipping, you can go from regular to ripped in 90 days from home.  Results may vary.

The makers of P90x would have you not pay attention to the bold or italicized text, but looking beyond the type, does P90x really make you ripped?  I think it can, if you’re “regular” as their website tosses in the slogan.  If you’ve seen the before pictures from testimonials on the infomercial, regular means relatively skinny but not muscular.  Definitely not a lot of flab on the participants though so if you think this program is going to burn off your fat in 90 days, it won’t.

The problem with P90x (like so many other programs) is the infomercial portrays the workouts as being fun and centers around an empty gym-like area with 5 in-shape people completing very challenging exercises requiring coordination, strength, and flexibility.  In real life, you’re going to get a set of DVDs and not that much space to workout in.  You’ll probably give up after 10 or 15 minutes because your version will feel nothing like that portrayed on TV.

The good aspect of p90x is all they’re asking you to have is a chin-up bar and a set of dumbells.  The workout also contains concepts (strength, cardio, flexibility) that will work to get you in shape.  Their go to premise of muscle confusion is spot on, but save yourself the $140 plus expenses and selectively make your own workout to get in shape over the next 90 days from the web and for free.

If you’re serious enough about a 90 day plan, take this basic outline and add in ideas from YouTube and other fitness sites on different exercises you can use.

Your Workout

4-day weeks with 1 hour for each workout

Take Monday, Thursday and Sunday off (or days with the same space apart)

Day 1: 15 minute abs, 20 minute run, 10 minute pushups, 15 minute stretching

Day 2: 25 minute fight cardio (punch, kick, jump, etc.), 10 minute stretch, bike or other cardio for 25 minutes

Day 3: 15 minute abs, 15 minute pushups, 15 minutes running, 15 minutes stretching

Day 4: 20 minute fight cardio, 10 minute abs, 15 minute cardio, 15 minute stretch

Within these parameters, challenge yourself to find new and diverse ways of working out.  For stretching, seek out Yoga to stretch your muscles out completely and make your body more limber and stronger.  For abs, seek out at least 10 different ways to work your upper and lower stomach and obliques.  Also, incorporate some back exercises to strengthen your overall core.

As far as cardio exercise, don’t just rely on straight running, jogging, or walking.  Try backwards running, lateral dashes where you touch the ground, sprints, interval runs, cycling, swimming, stair stepper, and other similar exercises.  With push-ups, work on endurance, explosiveness, and other muscles within the push-ups like shoulders, triceps, and biceps.  To do this, alter hand position, how far your hands are spread apart, your foot elevation, and movement while you do the push-ups.

When you incorporate the fight cardio, be creative.  There are any number of fight combinations and routines that will not only get your heart beating, but also build strength and coordination.

If any exercise is too difficult for you right now, just modify the exercise.  For example, if you aren’t ready for a full push-up yet, do the push-ups on your knees and gradually move them further away from your body as you get stronger.  If you can’t do sit-ups with perfect form, try laying flat on your back and just touching your toes.

The P90x will work, but so will your own home workout minus all the money.

Here is an example of a “regular” body:

Reviews on the Internet are positive in favor of P90x for the simple fact that everything is laid out in front of you (so you don’t have to do the planning yourself). However, this is no easy program and does require you challenge yourself – as would any other workout that worked.

Here is an example of someone that has made noticeable progress:

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  • Sean

    Like a broken record- it really is about lifestyle. If you have the time to dedicate 60 minutes 6 days a week – SURE! you’ll lose the weight. Hell anyone with that kind of time for fitness better!
    I support the program for it’s flexibility with each individual – the customization is the key to it’s success. Not to mention it’s pretty user friendly.
    The problem is once you get past the 90 days.. and you succeed. Then what? Huh? Guess you better buy another one of their products ehh??

  • Ryan

    I thought the program was great. Very tough and you need to eat and sleep right. Heck I can do more pull ups than I ever could. Yes, it is demanding and you need to be consistent. After 45 days I kinda slacked off, but when you have a job, school and other things to do you slack off pretty easy. Still would recommend it to those who think they want to change their body.

  • seth

    P90X is the only program I’ve been able to follow for an extended period of time. I was able to eliminate the expense of my gym membership and workout every day at home. Plus, I found a great deal on the DVDs. The entire program plus the bands and chin up bar cost me less than $150! AND, I’m seeing serious results. I’m running farther and faster and my biceps have exploded (for me- they’re not turning heads anywhere except my wife). Is it the perfect program? No, but if you can commmit, it’s great.

  • Scott W.

    First off, I’m not here to try to boost the sales of this set or anything like that. In fact, I used to write for this blog and I just wanted to add my opinion of P90X after being skeptical of it for so long. With that said…

    I acquired the P90X set from a friend, so lucky me I got it for free. If you do a little research in to the program by surfing the web and asking questions, there is really nothing misleading about it. You obviously have to be in some kind of good shape to use this program and they offer a lot in regards to eating right and preparing yourself for the program. If you are totally out of shape then this program is not for you and you should attempt some kind of starter program and dieting beforehand.

    It IS an intense workout and does require commitment and hard work. First you have to read the beginning part of the documentation and do a self-test to assess whether you are ready for P90X by completing the test to it’s standards. If not, then you can do the regular P90 program which is much less intense and cheaper.

    The system does explain that you will need dumb bells and a pull up bar OR resistance bands. Some gyms even have programs based around this program. The system also comes with a nutritional guide.

    I am ALWAYS skeptical of TV infomercial exercise programs, but this is one I would recommend to anyone that works out but has plateaued and wants to take things to the next level and get ripped and stronger. Is it expensive? Very. However you may be able to find a used set on eBay or

    I workout regularly with weights but I wanted something to push me and to change things up a bit. The P90X dvds are relatively fun to watch while you work out and it helps to try to match and even out perform the other people on the DVD.

    Lastly, if you plan on using this program you will need to dedicate at least an hour and a half, as the routine DVD is about an hour long and you’ll be doing the Ab Ripper DVD a few days a week and that’s another 20 minutes or so. “results may vary” goes along with everything in life, but if you follow the instructions, prepare yourself and have the right equipment and commitment, this program WILL work for you.

    If you are not sure if P90X is for you can can click on the link below, read about it and even download the fit test.

    Is P90X right for you?

  • Scott W.

    Oh, and almost forgot. It’s not the ones that say “results may vary”, because that’s a very true statement. For some it may take longer (or shorter) than 90 days. It’s the ones that say “Results Not Typical” that everyone should be very skeptical about. Makes you wonder what ARE the typical results?

  • Julie

    Nice review Scott W. I couldn’t agree more. The one thing I might have to disagree on a little bit is the price. I base this on the fact that I’ve had expensive gym equipment (treadmill, treadclimber, elliptical, smith machine, rack and full set of dummbbells, oylympic bars, yoga equipment, balls, ab accessories, powertec, hoist, and other multi-station gyms) and I’ve had an outside gym membership for over 25 years. At Golds, I was paying $35 a month. I switched over to the YMCA so I could go to more than one gym in my area, and I still forked over $400 for the year. Comparatively, P90X is about $130. If you want to get a chin up bar, spend $50 on an Iron Gym doorway bar. Bands are cheap and weights usually cost about 50 cents per pound. There’s one more thing missing in this review. The program comes with an online support community – trainers who will teach you about working out, caloric balance, and nutrition as well as people of all fitness levels who have gone through the whole program (often more than once) or who are going through it with you for the first time. That type of support helps keep you motivated and consistant. Consistency is what brings results. I didn’t get ripped, but I didn’t expect to. Take a look at the girl in the video. I wouldn’t exactly call her ripped, but she’s in a lot better physical condition than when she started. Also, Beachbody programs come with a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you follow the program (including the nutrition) and you thinks it sucks, you have the option of sending it back. This program isn’t for everyone just like joining the Army or Air Force isn’t for everyone. You’ve got to be mentally tough and ready to commit. Julie

  • bf

    I commend the beachbody people for this program and gettingg people interested in fitness. However, i do find the p90x misleading. The people and the results they show on the commercial are misleading. This program alone will not get you the result shown on the commercial. Many of the people shown on the commercial have completed this program a minimum of 2-5 times, compete in other activities outside of the p90x program (ie. weightlifting, cycling, aerobics, etc, are completely dedicated to the supplied nutritional guide and take what I consider to be enhancing suppliments (ie. creatine, nos etc which are bad for the body internally)- al of which is stated on their personal profiles. Also im sure that a few of them are paid models and it is interesting that about 90% of the peoplw interviewed are former marines and/or firefighters talking about their results when all of a sudden an emergency call comes on over the radio (come on). It also doesnt hurt that all the results are shown on people with dark tans which drastically enhance anybodys definition. I firmly believe that if one can incorperate a weightlifting, cardio and flexibility (yoga or pilates) program for 6-7 days a week for 3+ months you will have the same if not better results on your own. ANybody exercising that much for that long will see results. Just make sure you are hitting every major muscle group of the body. However, the concepts incorperated in p90x are very sound – muscle confusion is key. Never let your body get too accustomed to any one workout routine. Overall, I believe the p90x to be a good program to get into shape for those who are unfit, detrained or for those looking for a well organized easy to do program to jump start into a healthy lifestyle. It is not the “Ripping Routine” that it is portrayed on tv. But if you stay with it for about a year you might get the results portrayed on tv.

  • bf

    Let me rephrase. As a HOME WORKOUT ROUTINE, this is probably the best program I have seen and it is very effective in getting people into shape not “ripped”. The commercial results are misleading and unless you are commited to the routine, food plan and plan on not only continuing the program after 90 days but adding outside activities and using suppliments (something i dont suggest) dont expect to see the results you see on tv. Is P90X the best program to get into health and “ripped” – NO – but it is a way to get people into a healthy lifestyle and condition in the comfort of their own home.

  • dave martinez

    all I can say is that I agree with all the positive comments. I did this program and I looove it. I lost alot of bodyfat (without losing muscle) and I feel great. I also saw an opportunity to become a coach for beachbody, where I will be helping people with their questions about the programs offered and also motivating them in staying with the workout, even though sometimes it gets pretty hard and you want to quit, haha.
    I love being a coach and I really like seeing that I’m making a difference in someones life and I’m promoting something I truly belief in.

    If you’d like me to be your coach and help motivate you on your progress or you have questions about becoming a coach, let me know.

    you can contact me via my beachbody website…..

    hope to hear from you guys soon.

    oh yeah, my friend tried insanity after he did P90x and he really got ripped, it was very impressive. So I plan to try that one next.

    keep pushing play guys!! :D

  • Jason

    I stand by this product 110% I am currently using it and I will say that I did not go into this expecting to come up cut. I’m fat, out of shape tube of lard that could barely do 5 pushups. I have since lost 45lbs and feel mush better. I know that for me to see the results shown on the infomercial I would have to do the DVD 2-3 times. As it stands now I still cant get all the way through the DVD. I’m to sore to workout the next 2-3 days. I do half and just keep trying. After the 90 days just start over.

  • Chris Miller

    I have been through one round of P90X and all I can say is that it works. I am stronger, leaner and have more energy. I have very little I
    Vested in this(maybe $250) and do not have a ton of space but I am able to complete all exercises with ease. If you are looking to change your life, I say go for it. Stick with it and you will not be disappointed.

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