Monday, October 12, 2009

P90X: What's all the fuss about?

By now you've seen P90X everywhere. You've seen it on TV at all times of day. You've seen it plastered on web page after web page. You've seen it on QVC. And certainly you've heard of it by word of mouth. Chances are that you know someone that is an active P90Xer, has tried P90X, is about to try P90X, or at the very've had someone ask you, "Have you heard about this P90X? What is it?" So you get the point. P90X has reached tipping point levels.  So what's all the fuss about?

What is P90X?

P90X was created by Tony Horton, a fitness expert and celebrity trainer.  He assembled a team of people including experts (including himself) in the fields of weightlifting, bodyweight exercise, muscle development, fat loss, yoga, pilates, cardiovascular exercise, and nutrition to develop a compehensive program that would promote fat loss accompanied by moderate gains in lean muscle.  It was developed to be a '90-Day' program. 

It includes 13 instructional DVD's, a detailed breakdown of all exercises in a P90X booklet, and a nutrition guide.  The DVD's include: introductory DVD, chest & back, plyometrics, shoulders & arms, yoga x, legs & back, kenpo x, x stretch, core synergistics, chest-shoulders-triceps, back & biceps, cardio x, and ab ripper x.  Its premise is muscle confusion; a concept that theorizes that if you constantly keep the muscles guessing, then your progress and gains in strength and muscle growth will not plateau.  The key is consistency, intensity, and continuing to increase in weight (in weightlifting exercises).

There are lots of pull-ups, push-ups, squats and lunges in P90X.  Whenever someone asks me for a brief description of P90X I'll respond, "pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and lunges".  And ask any fitness guru and they will tell you that you can get in great shape with only those 4 exercises if you 'bring it' with intensity and consistency.

Does it work? 

Yes.  I'm a testament to P90X's legitamacy.  It's not a get quick, take a pill, no-work fix.  P90X is an intense, difficult program.  It will push you to dig deep and work hard.  If you eat right, and maintain consistency you will see results...guaranteed.  As we've talked about before, you cannot out work a bad diet when it comes to weight loss, specifically fat loss.  So if you use P90X to get in shape and don't eat right, you'll get in shape but may not reach your fat loss goals. 

Who should use it?

Anyone looking to get in shape, lose fat, and build muscle should use P90X as a base fitness program.  I say 'base fitness program' because I think P90X is a great start.  Once you've used P90X to establish a baseline of fitness you can modify P90X and use other workouts like turbulence training to vary your workouts and keep things fun.  If you are starting from a baseline of extreme out-of-shapeness, there's no need to fret.  You can skip exercises and modify P90X to fit your current needs.  Just keep pushing yourself to get to a point where you can do all the exercises and keep up.  Trust me you'll get there. 

When I started P90X 2.5 years ago I could only do 1 or 2 pull-ups and very few push-ups.  Now, I'll push out nearly a couple hundred push-ups and about 130 pull-ups in any given workout.  If I can do it, you can do it.  I was as fat and out-of-shape as anyone who has ever started P90X (or any fitness regimen) and worked my way into great shape and a healthy level of fitness.


We've talked before about the importance of surrounding yourself with other like-minded people.  It really helps especially when starting a new program, new 'way-of-life', or anything new.  It helps to have community for advice and support.  You will get frustrated and have 'bad days' so community if of the upmost importance.  P90X offers community message boards and it's a great way to start the program.  There are limitless resources available and trust me, they help.  Forums such as the one over at MDA are valuable as well.

One Final Note

P90X is sold as a 90-day program.  But it doesn't have to be a 90-day program.  You can make it a 180-day program or a 4 year program.  I've been doing it for over 2.5 years and I've completed 8 rounds of P90X.  I love it and it's great for me.  I've also modified the workouts and added other workouts during those 2.5 years to fit my needs and change things up.  You can do the same.  If gaining lots of muscle mass becomes your goal, you can modify it to fit your needs OR change your workouts completely to not even include P90X.  It certainly is not the be-all, end-all of fitness and there are plenty of ways to whip yourself into shape.  However, P90X is a great place to start and you'll mold yourself into tremendous shape and develop tremendous strength, endurance, and cardiovascular fitness.  Let me know how I can help and what questions I can answer.  Bring It!

Until next time...


  1. I love p90x too! and I've been doing it going on 10 months now.

  2. Way to go MOM! Keep up the great work and keep us updated.

  3. i just finised my 90 days & will be starting over again next week

  4. This is an excellent non-biased non SALES PUSHY review of the programme! Your honesty and approach inspire me to want to get it! I'm a former personal trainer who hasn't worked out in a long time (through illness and injury) and I'm slowly getting back into training! Thank you for your positivity in rating this programme!

  5. Sara: That is awesome. What kind of results did you see? What's your favorite and least favorite workout?

    By the way, EVERYONE: feel free to request blog topics. If I'm not familiar with the topic, I'll get someone in here to help or research it myself.

  6. Lisa-Stephanija: Thanks for the feedback. I've seen great results and know lots of other people who've seen the same. Let us know when you start and how you are progressing.

  7. Great post. I'm definitely gonna do it. Momma did it and she looks fine!

  8. It does work, but it's damn hard.