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P90X DVD Workout
P90X is a revolutionary system of 12 highly intense workouts, designed to transform your body. * Chest and Back * Plyometrics * Shoulders and Arms * Yoga X * Legs and Back * Kenpo X * X Stretch * Core Synergistics * Chest, Shoulders and Triceps * Back and Biceps * Ab Ripper X * Cardio X Extra DVD for a quick overview of the complete P90X Extreme Home Fitness training system is included. To get you started, you will also receive a comprehensive 3-phase nutrition plan, specially designed to help you lose fat; a detailed fitness guide, packed with valuable fitness information to help you get the most out of your program; and a calendar to set your workout goals, track your progress, and stay motivated.
Get lean, bulk up, or grow stronger, with an endless variety of mix-and-match routines to keep you motivated
Muscle Confusion technique accelerates the results process by constantly introducing new moves and routines so your body never plateaus
Collection of 12 highly diverse and intense DVD workouts
Also includes comprehensive three-phase nutrition plan, specially designed supplement options
Personal trainer Tony Horton will keep you engaged every step of the way
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Average Customer Review:
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2709 of 2757 found the following review helpful:
Yes, it is like the informercial saysSep 01, 2007
This product is what I expected from the infomercial - the infomercial is a good representation of what you'll get. The DVDs are good, come in a small case (no excess packaging to exaggerate or compensate for lack of real product). The accompanying written materials are good too.
However, I found that I wasn't quite in shape enough when P90X arrived to use it well. I went back and bought Tony Horton's "Power Half Hour" and used that for a few weeks first - had to wake up some muscles I've let go dormant. I've been in good shape most of my life, but kind of got lazy lately - I needed to get a basic foundation before I could jump into the incredible workouts he provides.
Make no mistake; this is a commitment. The workouts are long, and hard, but they are engaging. No geeky cheesy cheerleader pep talks in the DVD, and no arrogant gym rat jerks either. If I win the lottery, I'll try to hire Tony as my personal trainer; he has a good positive attitude, and seems to keep the workouts real with a sense of humility and humor.
The segment timer is great. Though the workouts are typically an hour long, he has "chunked" them down into segments, with a "progress bar" on the screen - kind of like the bar on the computer - so you can adjust your pace or your mindset with the workout.
Tony uses both men and women of differing degrees of flexibility and fitness; there's always a body on the screen up there to help me with my own form.
I'm a former Marine - and this is used to replace my "daily thirteen." If only I knew about some of these workouts back in the day... So I give it a thumbs up from the perspective of some really challenging workouts I've experienced in the past.
Overall, a good deal. But be warned, it isn't for the fat couch potato. Like the infomercial says, its for folks that want to get in BETTER shape; the expectation is that you already are in shape and want to take it to the next level.
UPDATE: It is now 2012, I've had this DVD for a few years. It is still great, and I've added to it with other Tony Horton products from the Beachbody site. It works great for couchpotatoes (my husband), and I have a new appreciation for it being able to GET people in shape. It is the only DVD out there for people IN shape to get in better shape, but it DOES work for people to get in shape in the first place. But still, make no mistake -- it is hard work but worth it!
1229 of 1266 found the following review helpful:
Not a penny wasted!Nov 29, 2007
By Angelus Draven
*Original Power 90 review*
Let me first say that i'm one of the people that tried the regular Power 90 workout videos at first. I was pretty much a couch potato who would work out once in a while, and then just stop completely for several months. Power 90 is a decent workout for people who are trying to get back into shape who want to get into a mediocre level of fitness; or just maintain an average body.
Pros for Power 90:
1.)A good smooth start for beginners. It will get your body in decent shape.
2.)Short workout time. The workouts last from 35-45 minutes; stretching, warming up, workout, and cool down in all.
3.)Good mix of everything. Tony incorporates stretching, warming up, and cooling down all at the right times during a workout.
4.)Has a timer countdown on screen.
5.)Tony has great direction, tries to motivate you, and tries to be funny. Just by listening to him speak and guiding on how you should do a certain movement/stretch, you get a sense that he actually knows what he's talking about when it comes to fitness.
6.)Tony TOUCHES, but doesnt dive into what's in the P90X program. He scratches on Stretching, Yoga, Strength training, Cardio, Kicking/Punching. This sets you up and gets you somewhat used to what comes in P90X.
Cons for Power 90:
1.)When I saw the routine and the small "studio" they shot this in, I really wasnt impressed. But then again, it was my first workout
video, so I have nothing to really compare it to. It just gave me the impression that the workout would be cheesy and generic.
2.)Repetitive. You have Level 1 and Level 2 routines. Basically Cardio Level 1, and Circuit Training level 1. Once you get to level 2, you're pretty much stuck doing the same thing every other day, and it gets old after the first month.
Bottom line for Power 90: If you're only a beginner or would just like to maintain your weight/average body, Power 90 is for you. If you can't get through the regular Power 90, don't try P90X just yet. Work your way up.
*And now for P90X Review*
Like someone already said, the packaging for all 13 DVDs is great, and no excess garbage cases. The Nutrition Guide is very informative and well written, and so is the Workout Book they include. I dont follow the food guide to the 'T' since i'm on a budget, but they include great recipes for pretty much anyone's taste.
The reason I included a review of the regular Power 90 was to express just how impressed I am with the improvement and greatness that the P90X routine is.
Pros over the regular P90:
1.) The workouts are HARD. Unless you've have an Olympian type body(which 99% of us dont), these workouts will kick your butt. If it doesn't, you're obviously not trying hard enough or doing something wrong.
2.) No matter what level of fitness or what sport you love to play, you'll benefit from these routines. Tony covers everything to improve flexibility, strength, endurance, and stamina. Any athlete will become an even better one after 90 days.
3.) Not repetitive. You can go for almost 2 weeks without doing the same workout twice. In the regular Power 90, you only tasted some of the things that P90X has. This expands on EVERYTHING you learn in Power 90; things like Yoga, Strength training, Cardio, High/Low impact movements, Flexibility, etc.
4.) Price. For 120 bucks, you get the Nutrition guide, Workout Guide, and 1 intro DVD + 12 Workout DVDs. Pretty much under 10 dollars per DVD. That would be about 30$ a month, which is an average cost for going to a gym. In the long run, the program pays for itself.
5.) In reality, all you need are workout bands and your own body weight to do everything in the program. The key thing is how you use the bands, so you dont necessarily need weights or the pull-up bar. However, if you're trying to bulk up, I recommend using weights.
6.) Presentation. The workout studio they shoot it looks great and truly fits the atmosphere for the whole P90X image. Direction and guidance from Tony like always, is outstanding. He tells you exactly how to perform a stretch/workout/warmup, why you do it, and where you should feel the burn or stretch. Like someone else pointed out, his workout buddies vary in body types so you can see the results of what each body type can achieve in the end.
1.) The workouts are long. I guess technically this isnt a con, since the program is meant to be (P90)Xtreme.
2.) Supplements are expensive. I was going to say over-priced, but then I look at the supplements that I personally like taking as an alternative to BeachBody's stuff. BB's supplements dont have as much protein as I like in my post-workout drink.
As you can see the Pros greatly outweigh the Cons...which there pretty much isnt.
Bottom line: Like other reviewers have said, if you're a beginner dont start out on P90X. Start out with Power 90 first. But if you're in decent shape, there's no other program out there that will turn you into a better athlete.
Lastly, follow a good diet. Whether you're trying to lose fat or bulk up, 60% of your results will be from your diet, believe it or not it's true.
1164 of 1209 found the following review helpful:
Why did I spend all those years in the gym?Nov 20, 2007
There's so many positive things to say about this product it's hard to know where to begin. I'll try to avoid covering too much familiar ground of the other reviews. So let's start by saying this: It absolutely works. What's great about this program is that it addresses ALL your fitness needs. Whereas most workout videos/programs tend to focus on either strength training or cardio or flexibility or target specific areas, P90X does it all. Just be aware that you'll have to invest in a pull up bar (although alternatives are given for substituting power bands, but nothing beats the bar), some dumbells or power bands (the bands work fine if you're looking to tone up or travel with them, but for people really looking to do some work and get their Bruce Lee on, dumbells are a must), a yoga mat, possibly some push-up stands (they're worth it, or you can just use your dumbells if you have the kind shaped like a hex or a square), and a heart-rate monitor isn't bad either. I'm 30 and I've been an avid gym rat since I was 15. This thing beat me up the first time through. Plus, I'm flexible like I've never been before which makes life so much better getting out of bed not being stiff. Best of all, my abs are chiseled better than when I was 20. Tough to argue with that. Alright, enough about me, I think one of the strongest points of this program is it's level of customization.
The way the program works is this: For the first three weeks you'll do strength training workouts on days 1,3, and 5(each bodypart being worked once per week with the exception of the back-you're gonna do A LOT of pull-ups/chin-ups). On days 2,4, and 6 you'll do some form of cardio (yoga, plyo, kenpo). And then on day 7 you have an optional stretch. Then on week 4 you completely remove the resistance days and they're replaced with other types of cardio and stretching (the Core routine is amazing). In weeks 5-7 you keep the same days 2,4, and 6, but you have all new videos for the resistance days so your muscles are forced to adapt and grow and avoid plateauing. Week 8 is the same as week 4, allowing you to catch up for the final push. Weeks 9 and 11 are the same as 1-3, weeks 10 and 12 are the same as 5-7, and then there's the final week, same as 4 and 8. I know it may sound a bit confusing, but it's all laid out very clearly and concisely in the accompanying book. Plus, you'll be doing abs on the resistance days.
What I just described is called P90X Classic. It's the standard arrangement of exercises. Again, here's where the customization comes in. If your goals are more weight loss and slimming down, the book rearranges the videos into what's called P90X Lean, de-emphasizing the resistance training in favor of the fat burning. And for those truly "touched in the head", there's P90X doubles. This has you doing 2 programs per day on certain days, one in the morning and one in the evening. This is truly the ultimate challenge (but also a bit time consuming as you'll need more than 2 free hours per day to dedicate to exercising).
Another great feature of the program is the inclusion of Cardio X. PlyoX is, by far, the toughest of the cardio programs. It will chew you up and spit you out the first few times you try it. For those that find it too difficult or may have some joint issues preventing them from jumping, Cardio X is designed to be a low-impact substitute. Throughout all the different programs, Tony and the crew will show alternate exercises for people that may have some health issues (knees, shoulders, etc. . .).
Some people wonder what's next once they finish. Good question. For most, you'll benefit from going through the program one more time as is. Or, you can try the lean or doubles. Maybe just do the classic again, but try and do things double-time or increase your weights a good deal. It'll probably be a month or so before you're able to truly begin to keep up with the videos the first time through-and then they switch it up on you (that's the beauty of it). So doing it a second time allows you to go hard from day 1. Also, Beachbody is releasing P90X+ in Dec. 07. These are 5 new workouts that you can substitute in to the existing infrastructure. But, be aware, these are for people that have already gone through the entire 'X' or are in world-class shape, as they are more difficult than even their predecessors were. They were designed specifically with the intent of building upon the foundation laid by P90X, by no means are they a jumping on point. Plus, they don't replace all the existing videos, so you would be far from a complete set should you choose to grab just the + programs. But hop over to youtube and put in P90X+ for a preview (I get tired just watching). With the inclusion of these videos, the ability to mix and match as you choose to in order to meet your goals, and the format that allows you to determine intensity and speed, you'll be able to keep your workouts fresh for a very long time.
And once you've gone through the program, you'll get an excellent feel for what each video does and how to customize the program. You may want to increase your flexibility by using the Stretch X and Yoga X a few times per week, supplementing it with some cardio and strength work. Bottom line, the choices are yours. Just remember, these are not for beginners and you will need an hour per day (hour and a half for yoga)-no "30 minutes 3X per week" nonsense here. If you head on over to the P90X website (just google it since we can't use URL's), click on the picture about half way down that says "Learn more about P90X" and then click on "Is P90X for me", there'll be a link to a PDF of the fitness test you can do at home that will give you a good idea of whether or not you're ready to begin the program.
Even with the additional equipment to buy, it is well worth the money. Remember, you're not expected to be able to keep up right away. It'll be quite a while before you do. Go slow and at your own pace. You are encouraged to just keep with it, even if you can only do 1 pull-up, do it and wait for the next exercise to begin. Just stay with it and you'll be amazed at the progress you make. The last thing you want to do it burn yourself out right away. When I first got the program I spent 2 weeks just "walking" through all the routines (and I was still spent). One final note, just be careful if you live in the upstairs of a building as I do, it can make Plyo day a bit disconcerting for the neighbors beneath you if they're not expecting it ;)
One last note because I've seen some of the negative comments on here: Buy it from the official site. Just say no to all the special offers so you don't get billed for anything extra (I declined all offers and have never had a single problem with extra charges). Just buy it from the regular site at P90Xdotcom.
Update Mar. 2010: There is no doubt as to the longevity of P90X. I've gone through round after round and it is still difficult. It feels like the harder I push myself the harder it pushes back. I had some friends pick up the Tony Horton One-on-One series and the Insanity series (both from Beachbody). I tried doing just Insanity for a while but I couldn't live without the resistance exercises. While the cardio pushed me hard, not having weights just didn't work. So what we've done is take the One-on-One's and the Insanity and work them into the P90X structure. 3 resistance days with abs (each body part at least once per week), 2 cardio days, 1 yoga day, 1 optional stretch. And that's it. I can still get cramps and be sore the next day if I push myself, especially in plyo. It never gets easy, I promise. So just "keep pressing play".
563 of 588 found the following review helpful:
The best home workout program for getting super-fitJan 18, 2010
P90X is a 6/7 day "fitness" program combing strength training, cardio, and nutrition. It is intended to be used by people who are already moderately fit (or at the least, not completely sedentary and unfit) and want an "extreme" training program. I would definitely not recommend P90X for people who are medically obese or who have never done any real exercise before. It is of course better than nothing, but very overweight people will struggle with many of the exercises. The Beachbody web site has a fitness test that it recommends people take before starting the program. This will tell you whether you have the basic physical and cardiovascular strength to get the most out of the program. For those who might not be ready for P90X yet, I recommend starting with Power 90 In-Home Boot Camp. It is a good primer since many of the exercises from that program make their way over to P90X. The majority of the one-star reviews on this program are from people who made the mistake of purchasing bootleg copies of the DVDs, and are unsatisfied with the videos or the seller. I have seen the bootleg videos and want to say that, even though this program is expensive, it is well worth it to have the full high quality videos from Beachbody. You are going to be watching these for over an hour a day. Trust me when I say that it makes a huge difference to have good professional videos that allow you to change the audio settings, give you audio cues for the exercises, and allow you to navigate easily through the workouts. If you buy from a third party, make sure it is a trusted seller with a lot of feedback. Trying to do this program with poor videos and no documentation will leave you very confused and frustrated.
HOW IT WORKS
P90X is basically a circuit training program that is cardio-heavy. You will be doing routines that involve quick repetitions with very little break in between (30-60 seconds max). If you are looking to gain a significant amount of muscle, this program is probably not for you and you should consider something like Mark Rippeteau's Starting Strength. You will get stronger and develop muscles, but not as much as possible with many other programs. The main goal is to get you "fit" and looking good. The way they do this is through calorie restriction. Whereas most muscle-building programs have you eating an enormous amount of calories (you have to fuel the muscle growth), P90X creates a calorie deficit to reduce your body fat and show off the muscles you do have. I would say an average of 6-12 pounds of muscle can be added through P90X, but anything above that is not typical. It's just not possible to gain much more when you're consuming the amount of calories recommended by the program.
You will need to invest some money in additional equipment to use this program. Expect to spend a minimum of $80 (for a barebones pull up bar, full set of resistance bands, and a yoga mat) up to $600 - $700 (for all the stuff below plus 3 months worth of supplements, protein bars, and drinks). Realistically I would say most people should budget $150 in addition to the cost of the program for accessories. The three main things you need are a yoga mat, a pull up bar, and either a set of dumbbells or resistance bands. Without these you can't participate in 80% of the exercises.
Pull Up Bar - General consensus is that the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar - Extreme Edition is one of the better pull up bars. You need to be able to do wide-arm pull ups, and the Iron Gym is good for that. People seem to like it slightly better than the P90X Chin-Up Bar. I personally use the GoFit Chin-Up Bar. It mounts to my doorway and although it's not specifically designed for wide-arms pull ups, you can do them easily enough. My house is not built for most door-mounted pull up bars so the Iron Gym wouldn't work for me. The GoFit is also fairly unobtrusive so I just leave it up all the time.
Weights/resistance - Each workout shows you how to do the moves using resistance bands. I've used them before for Beachbody's Power 90 program. Although you do get a good workout, I did not like the bands because all of the bands I have ever owned (by several different companies, including Beachbody's P90X Resistance Bands Workout Kit--3 bands: Light, Medium, Heavy), have broken. It is not fun to have a band snap you in the face while using it. I do like how you can use the bands for pull ups though (you wrap the band over the pull up bar, sit down, and pull toward you). This is nice if you can't do a full pull up before starting the program. If you can, I recommend dumbbells, although this can get very expensive. Dumbbells cost about $1 per pound, and you will need several different types for the different exercises, especially as you get stronger. When I first started I was fine with a set of 10s, 15s, and 25s, but really could have gotten more out of the program with a greater range. The second time I did P90X I bought the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells This made a huge difference. It is so convenient to be able to easily change the weights without having to bend down or line up a ton of weights on my floor and then put them all away once done. It also makes a big difference because I can make very small changes (15 pounds may be too light, and 20 pounds too heavy, so I can set the weights to 17.5 if I want). The bulky size of the SelectTechs do make them awkward with some of the P90X exercises. There are maybe 5-6 moves that are difficult to do because of the size of these dumbbells, and I actually switch to regular dumbbells for those. You can do every move in the P90X program with them, just not all the moves comfortably. Their convenience makes up for it though. Unless you are very strong to begin with, I do not recommend the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Single Dumbbell for P90X beginners. It is just too bulky, and really is not needed unless you are super strong to begin with. There are not too many exercises where you will need to lift more than 55 pounds per arm, even if you do develop a lot of strength. And if you do, you can always just increase the reps. If you already own a complete set of dumbbells and have a weight rack to easily get to them, then that is the preferred option for this program.
Yoga Mat - Apparently there's a lot of opinions on yoga mats in the yoga community. Beachbody recommends the fairly expensive Manduka BlackMatPRO 71-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat. If you've never done yoga before and you're not sure how much you will like it or whether you'll stick with P90X, I advise getting any yoga mat. I have the YogaAccessories 1/4" Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat which works fine. You'll be using this 4 times a week so make sure you like it. Beachbody actually recommends the Manduka mat for plyometrics, and I plan to purchase it for that reason and see how it is. Given how much you are jumping during plyo, it makes sense to have some more shock absorption under your feet when you land. My mat does tend to bunch up some when doing Ab Ripper, which can be annoying and why I now want the more stable Manduka mat.
Yoga block - Whether you're very flexible, or not flexible at all, I recommend a yoga block like the Hugger Mugger Cork Yoga Block, which helped me out immensely the first time I did yoga, and helps a lot now that I'm more practiced since I can get a better stretch. In a pinch you could probably use a very thick book wrapped in a towel to accomplish the same thing.
Push up bars - These allow you to get better range of motion and get a better work out. They are also easier on your wrist. Push ups tweak some people's wrists when they do a lot of them, which is why these are good. If you have dumbbells you can use those almost as well (but not as conveniently or comfortable). I use the TKO Extreme Training Push -up Bars They are plastic but very sturdy and work amazingly well. P90X does make their own brand called "Power Stands," which are pretty much the same except they have a bit of an angle to them on one side, which may be more comfortable on your wrist for a few of the moves like decline push ups.
Sports bottle - Of course any water bottle will work, but I really like the CamelBak BPA-Free Better Bottle with Bite Valve. It's better than a regular bottle because the built-in straw means you don't have to turn it upside down to drink from it. This is a minor thing but it makes my workouts more enjoyable.
Heart monitor - I don't use one too often, but I can see how it would be very useful for making sure you are working hard enough during plyometrics and kenpo. If I look at my heart rate monitor during kenpo and my rate isn't high enough, I will pick up the pace. I don't really recommend anyone purchase one just for this program until they get into it and decide they want one, as it really isn't that necessary.
Apparel/Shoes - I wear VIBRAM FIVEFINGERS SPRINT FOOTWEAR - MENS for everything but plyo and yoga. Yes, they are incredibly odd-looking, but they are great because they are very lightweight, which helps a lot during Ab Ripper and is less weight on me during pull ups and kicks. You can also do the majority of P90X barefoot. I don't recommend these (or going barefoot) for plyo unless you have very strong feet. For Kenpo, Yoga, and Legs and Back, I recommend shorts with a very short inseam. You are doing so many lunges that longer basketball-type shorts get in the way.
Computer - I recommend a computer simply because logging your P90X results and food intake will go a long way to keeping you motivated and sticking with the program. It is imperative that you use worksheets to log what you do during strength training, so you can improve on it the next week. There are so many exercises that you won't be able to remember what weights you used and how many reps you did from previous weeks. The worksheets that come with the program are kind of bland, and you can find much better ones on the Internet. The most popular logging programs for Excel are XtremeFit and P90Xcel. I use the latter and it is awesome. I can track my progress so much easier with it, and it has excellent printable worksheets that are easier to use than anything else I've found. The Beachbody web site is also an invaluable tool and has an unbelievable amount of support on it for people doing the program. There are thousands of people doing P90X at any given time and their coaching program means there are always people willing to answer any questions you have about the program.
Nutrition is key to this program. It is possible to achieve the results you want by not following a good diet, but it will be much more difficult. You can work on your abdominal muscles for three months straight and really improve, but if you don't reduce your body fat down to about 10-14% (for men), you will never be able to see your abs because they are covered up by a layer of fat. Good nutrition also keeps you from bonking during the workouts, and during this program, you WILL need to have proper nutrition if you're going to get through an hour of weightlifting and have the energy to then complete 15 minutes of ab ripper. P90X's nutrition plan unfortunately has some serious flaws. During the first 30 days (phase 1), you have to consume a protein/carbs/fat ratio of 50/30/20. For most people, this will be incredibly difficult to do. If you've never tracked your diet before, it is highly likely you aren't coming anywhere close to those ratios and they are probably reversed. You have to eat massive amounts of protein during the day to get these ratios. It is not hard to do once you understand your diet, but you will need to spend just as much work on your diet as you do the workouts. The only way I can do this is to count calories and keep a food log. I use a site called Fitday to log my foods, which shows me the ratios I need. During phase 1, I consume an average of 8 egg whites a day and 6 servings of protein powder a day. Yes, that is a lot. But that is one of the only ways to reach those ratios. Many people may be turned off by counting calories, which is why Beachbody came up with a Portion Plan. It uses color coded blocks to tell you how many portions of certain foods you can have, and by following this plan you are supposed to end up with the correct ratios. The only problem is it doesn't work. It is absolutely impossible to reach their ratios on the portion plan. If you are interested in the math, here is my example:
The program calls for me to get 2400 calories during phase 1 (Level II). At 50% protein, that's 1200 calories from protein, 720 from carbs, and 480 from fat. The Portion Plan gives you 100 calories per serving and requires 7 servings of proteins a day. Let's look at the food that gives you the most protein on their plan: egg whites. 6 large egg whites = 21.5 grams of protein x 4 calories per gram = 86 calories of protein per serving. Let's take it a step further and say I get all 7 portions of my protein that day from egg whites. That equals 602 calories, leaving me to try to find an additional 598 calories of protein for the day from my portions of carbs and fat. Even if you choose your servings of carbs and fat from foods on their plan that are also high in protein (like baked beans for carbs and avocado for fat), there is just no way to end up with their ratios. You need closer to 12 servings of protein a day. I don't know how they let this portion plan end up in the final program but it contradicts their requirements. My suggestions is that people who are serious about results track their food for a month until they know how to eat, and everyone else just eat tons of protein a day for the first 30 days.
Aside from that, their ratios in the program do make a lot of sense. Here are the three phases:
Phase I (day 1 - 30) - Fat Shredder Phase - 50/30/20 (protein/carbs/fat) The first month is designed to add muscle, so it calls for lots of protein. Although they call it the "fat shredder" phase, unless you are very overweight, you will more than likely lose a higher percentage of fat after the first month, once you have put on a lot of muscle during this phase. They really should have renamed this phase. Since muscle weighs more than fat, people should not be discouraged if they see zero weight loss the first entire month. I highly suggest measuring your results with a tape measurer or a body fat calculator like the Omron HBF-306C Fat Loss Monitor rather than the scale. It is actually best not to even step on a scale the first month. During this phase I recommend foods with very high levels of protein and low levels of fat and carbs, like egg whites, turkey breast, and some protein powders. Don't just get any protein powder, look for one that has significantly more protein than carbs. A very good protein powder during this phase is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey, Double Rich Chocolate, 5.15-Pound Tub (24g protein, 3g carbs, 1 g fat). Some powders have too many carbs in them, which was my mistake the first time I did this program. Be careful with protein bars as well, which also contain lots of carbs. No more than 1-2 a day. Protein powder is almost always better than a bar during this phase. Look at the nutrition info for chicken breast. You can get chicken breast that has a decent amount of fat in it, or you can actually buy low fat chicken breast that has only a couple grams of fat. Bottom line is that during this phase, you should be thinking "PROTEIN PROTEIN PROTEIN."
Phase II - (days 31-60) - Energy Booster Phase - (40/40/20) - Since you are increasing your carbs here, you should have more energy to complete the workouts. If you have been dogging it the first 30 days, now is the time to step it up. Increase the intensity of your workouts, especially the cardio ones. You should start to see a decrease in body fat percentage here if you haven't already. If you decide to do the doubles program, I would suggest increasing the carbs a bit to handle the second workout.
Phase III (days 61-90) - Endurance Maximizer - (20/60/20) - By now your body is used to the program, and all the extra carbs should mean better workouts. Now you can switch your protein powder to something like BSN Syntha-6 Ultra-Premium Sustained Release Protein Powder, Chocolate Milkshake, 2.91-Pound Jar which has a lot more carbs, or eat protein bars instead.
I wont' spend too much time discussing them since so many others have, but below is some general info that I have observed. You are going to need at least 1 hour a day for P90X, 6 days a week. 1.5 hours is more likely when you factor in setup, breaks, and ab ripper. The workouts are very well done, and with the exception of a few faults I've noticed, I can't find anything too wrong with them. The audio options are great and let you select music and voice, voice only, and alerts only. There is a time graph at the bottom showing your progress and how much you have left to go, and a time indicator for each individual exercise. The host, Tony Horton, is a great host. He is humorous and lighthearted, but not annoying. The rest of the staff in the videos do not speak much so they don't get on my nerves either and are all pretty likable. Even though I've done these same workouts dozens of times and can recite them verbatim, I don't find them particularly monotonous or get bored with them. Nothing is worse than a workout video with a host who is too cheerful and annoying. Tony has a lot of energy, but he comes across as a normal guy; frequently making jokes about being tired or commenting humorously on something one of the staff is doing. He understands exactly what the average viewer is thinking and responds to it. He tells you how to modify the exercises if you're getting tired, shows you common mistakes that the home viewer is likely to make, and gives you very helpful tips on how to improve your form. It's almost like he is personally watching me do the exercises. The first time I did it, I would not understand a routine or be puzzled about my form, and then I would hear Tony's voice telling me how to improve it or giving me a useful tip that made a huge difference in the exercise. I could easily go have a beer with this guy (light beer of course).
1. Chest/Back - 52:00 - Almost entirely push ups and pull ups.
2. Plyometrics - 60:00 - This is the most awful (in a good way) and difficult workout I've ever done. Keep a bucket nearby because it is highly possible you will throw up the first time you do it. Each exercise is about 30 seconds long, but you are jumping around for a solid 50 minutes. This is basically a HIIT workout. Even when I did my second round of P90X, it took me 4 weeks before I was fit enough to get through this entire video, and that included taking extra breaks during every segment. This workout will not only get your cardiovascular fitness in amazing shape, but also improve muscle elasticity to make you jump higher, run faster, throw farther, and hit harder. I STRONGLY advise people to listen to Tony's tip of the day when he says to "land like a cat." If you don't land softly, all that stress and weight will get you injured. I was laid up with a stress fracture for 4 months, most likely from doing this barefoot the first time and landing too hard on my feet. One problem I have with P90X is that I don't think they stress safety considerations for plyo enough. If you are significantly overweight (I would say a BMI of 27 or higher), you should NOT do this workout, or you should change the intensity so you land very softly. Do not do plyometrics on a hard surface or bare floor. Use a carpeted surface or a plyometrics mat (the Manduka mat I mentioned above is great). If this workout is too much for you or if you aren't really concerned with getting the athletic benefits from it (ie, you want to lose weight rather than become more athletic), you have the option of skipping it and doing the bonus cardio video that comes with P90X. If you're a runner, you can substitute a run on this day and the kenpo day.
3. Shoulders/Arms - 60:00 - Designed in a series of three exercises per round, working your shoulders, biceps, then triceps. I recommend everyone make sure they have a small weighted dumbbell set like 5 or 10 pounds for their triceps. This is my favorite workout because it is so well structured,
4. Yoga X - 1:34:00 - If you've never done Yoga before, this will kill you the first few times, and is one of the toughest workouts in the series (behind plyo). It takes tremendous core strength and balance to get through some of the routines. I always thought yoga looked ridiculous but it has given me so much better flexibility and strength, that I can't imagine not doing it anymore. I couldn't do the crane move at all the first time I did this. Within 4 weeks I could hold it the entire 60 seconds. It is scheduled perfectly in the week so that it cures a lot of the pain and soreness from the previous 4 days of working out. If you are an advanced yoga practitioner, you may find this video a little too basic for you.
5. Legs and Back - 60:00 - This is a fairly tough workout. When I was on the track and saw someone doing lunges, I always thought they looked ridiculous and wondered what it accomplished. This workout is filled with lunges and they will work the heck out of your legs. If you have never done lunges before, try doing about 30 deep lunges or squats in a row and you will have a feel for how they can build muscle. The back portion is all pull ups.
6. Kenpo X - 60:00 - This is the weakest workout in the whole program. It is a very fun workout, but it's just not intense enough. It's all kicking and punching. I constantly find my heart rate dropping too much during the punches and blocking. I augment this workout by moving my feet around a lot during the punches and blocks to keep my heart rate up. During the end of it when Tony is doing some of the blocks and elbow series, I will just imagine I am fighting dozens of guys in a karate movie and shadow fight wildly, moving all over the room for the entire time. I am not one of these people that looks for extra intensity during workouts but a decent portion of this program is just too slow to really burn calories. I would advise people who don't feel think Kenpo X is enough, to substitute it with a 1 hour run, or just use the Kenpo Cardio video from P90X Plus by Beachbody.
7. Stretch X - 60:00 - You can skip this and take a rest day instead, but this video is great for increasing flexibility and reducing soreness from the previous workouts. At 1 hour long, it is no joke, but you're also not going to be exhausted afterwords and you'll end up burning a couple hundred calories during it.
8. Core Synergistics - This workout is started during week 4, what is teasingly named a "rest week." This is an extremely tough workout designed to utilize all the muscles in your core. I hate this workout while doing it, but like a lot of people, find it is a really fun one.
9. Chest, Shoulders & Triceps (Phase II) - 58:00 - Things are changed up here somewhat to work different muscle combinations. This is one of my least favorite workouts. I do not feel it is nearly as effective as either Chest and Back or the Shoulders workout from Phase 1. Instead of a lot of "regular" push ups, you do a lot of crazy things like one arm push ups, clapping and plyo push ups (where you get completely airborne), and balance push ups. The workouts are much more interesting, but also much more difficult. I can do 70 regular push ups by phase 2, but still can't do a single one arm push up. I know that balance push ups work my core more, but I still don't feel like they're as effective at building up my chest as crushing out 30 regular military push ups. Form is pretty much everything here.
10. Back & Biceps (Phase II) - 56:00 - It's nice to have a change in the routines during this phase.
11. Cardio X - This is just an optional workout designed for people who are on the "lean" program, meaning they are more concerned with losing fat than gaining muscle, so they do extra cardio. Most of the routines are just designed to make you sweat, and a lot of them are the same routines from Plyometrics. As I mentioned, you can also use this in place of plyo if that turns out to be too much. It's a nice little bonus.
12. Ab Ripper - 16:00 - This is done three times a week, and follows the strength training. It focuses more on your core than other ab workout videos. If you think about skipping this or dogging it during the workout, you will pay dearly during Core Synergistics in week 4. I highly recommend those that workout in the mornings do Ab Ripper later in the evening. I found that I was too wiped out when trying to do it immediately after the strength training videos. My only complaint is that they should have included a separate disc for ab ripper, or at least included a title selection on the discs it is on so you can skip the strength training workout before it if you're doing it later in the day. Otherwise you have to fast forward through the entire strength training workout to reach it.
Do not weigh yourself every day, and do not get discouraged if you fail to lose weight, or even gain weight. During Phase I your goal is to increase muscle. It is actually not uncommon to gain weight since you're putting on muscle. Looking at a scale every day may just discourage you. The first time I did P90X the scale said I lost a measly 7 pounds my first month, but my body changed drastically. I dropped down 2 inches off my waist and put on a lot more muscle. I check my weight and body fat percentage every two weeks, and my measurements every 4. Use your measurements and body fat, along with how well your clothes fit to measure progress, not weight. I have found that rapid weight loss usually occurs with many people between 3-4 weeks after starting the program. Make sure to take before pictures, then take pictures again at day 30 and compare them. If you don't see a difference you are doing something wrong. This sounds like a cliche, but I had MANY compliments only halfway through the program. As ridiculous as it sounds, I actually had girls walk up to me, feel my arms, and ask me if I had been working out. This program will transform your body.
There are two things that will determine success with this program: intensity and nutrition. You can "dog it" and halfheartedly go through the workouts and write down that you have completed each one, but if you do not bring intensity to the program, you will not get nearly as much out of it. You must be mentally prepared for P90X and push yourself past your mental limits. This means pumping out two more push ups when your body is telling you you are done (body always quits before mind). It is extremely easy to just go through the motions on ab ripper and complete it, which is what I did the first several weeks. When I decided to concentrate on form and really work on feeling a burn during each exercise, I got so much more out of it. I cannot stress this enough. After a few weeks on the program when you think you know how to do everything, watch the crew do the entire rep before doing it yourself, and see if you can improve your form. I drastically improved my form the second round I did P90X, and found a big difference in the way I was doing the exercises. For instance, I started going much lower in my squats during Groucho Walk (yes that is an actual exercises). I also dropped down much lower in my form during Warrior 1 in Yoga, and realized that an extra 4 inches makes a BIG difference and a much better workout. The second area for success is nutrition. You must make sure you consume enough calories every day and get in enough protein. Many people fail with this aspect. Diet is more important to body image than exercise and you must cut your fat, sugar, and salt intake if you want to see your abs. I know so many people that do this program and don't follow the diet guidelines at all, and then don't understand why they don't get the results they want. On the other hand, if you are super intense in the workouts, you can get away with a poorer diet.
Overall, this is one of the best and most efficient workouts for people who want to get super-fit in a relatively short amount of time and are willing to work hard to get it. You need drive and self-control to really get the most from this program, but if you put some effort in, you will be amazed at the results.
EDIT 10/5/10: 3 rounds of P90X later, I have learned a few things and made some mistakes, and the best advice I can give anyone doing the program, is to 1) lower the number of reps closer to 7-10 like Tony does and use heavier weights. This goes for men and women. The last 3 reps of each exercise really do have to be super tough. It's a shame I didn't figure this out for so long. You should really be struggling on that last rep and if you can just barely get it up, great. If you can pump out ten reps without feeling too bad, then keep doing reps until you can't do anymore, and on the next set, increase your weight. 2) Don't lift the weight too fast. There are a couple times where Tony tells you "this should be a slow controlled exercise." He should say that for everything, and I think he goes a little too fast on some of them. Slower movements will provide much better gains. A 3-1-3 tempo is great (a 3 second positive, a 1 second isometric squeeze in the contracted position, and then a 3 second negative to bring the weight down). You may have to decrease the amount of weight you're using by going slower, but this ensures you are developing the muscles more and not cheating by throwing your body weight into it.
EDIT 1/18/11: I know this review is insanely long, but I wanted to offer some more advice. Exactly one year later and I am feeling something in my back that I have never felt in the three rounds I have done of this program - soreness. That's because I did Chest and Back yesterday, and really focuses on working my back muscles. It sounds dumb, but I actually envisioned my back muscles working and moving while I was doing the exercise. When I did back flys, I pulled all the way back with the weights and tried to make my shoulder blades touch. When I did pullups, I dropped ALL the way down so my arms were hanging, and focuses on working my back muscles to pull myself up, rather than using my arms. When I did lawnmowers, I kept my arm tightly tucked to my chest to ensure I was using my back and not my shoulder. The difference I feel today is huge in comparison to what I was doing, and I wish I hadn't wasted all that time doing back exercises with poor form. When Bobby is doing back flys incorrectly and Tony corrects him so he doesn't use his shoulders, it is a perfect example of how easy it is to minimize your results by using poor form. I know I said intensity and diet were the two main things you should focus on while doing this workout for success, but a year later, I think I should add a third - proper form.
342 of 356 found the following review helpful:
No trash, just hard work.Dec 01, 2007
By one who knoas
This is the best thing going if your intent is real fitness. There's a lot to say so forgive me if this comes off as a bit disjointed.
Production values: I have no complaints. Tony is a likable guy, his banter is tolerable, and his tips are good. The camera work, music, photography, etc. leave little to be desired. He has three sidekicks in each tape, and they are all nice eye candy for both sexes. They tend to do the typical hard, middle, easy version of the movements which is what you would expect.
Equipment requirements: The only specialized equipment you'll need is a yoga mat, chinup bar, and some dumbbells. The tapes move at a good pace so you should probably get two sets of dumbbells, thats what I have and I find it works. With only one set you will pause the tape too much to adjust. If you can afford and have the space for a full set of hex dumbbells than you have the best possible setup. With two sets of adjustable bells I rarely feel like I'm working too heavy or two light, I just use 15 and 25 pounders. For some movements a five or ten pound plate held in your hands is sufficient.
Difficulty: This is pretty hard. Harder than most workouts by quite a bit. Lots of movements, not a lot of rest time. Certain tapes are tougher than others but you will wipe yourself out on all of them unless you are not trying or are in elite shape.
The tapes: Good variety on a good schedule. If you keep it up you will get fit, there is no way to avoid it. Some of my favorites include Legs / Back, Ab Ripper, Stretching and Yoga, and Core. There are no tapes that I feel are not useful or well done.
The movements: Lots of movements in each tape, not a lot of rest typically. This builds muscle endurance and tone. Good assortment, quite a few movements I've never seen. Expect to make close friends with your pull up bar.
Who should use them: Unless you are verging on morbidly obese I think you can use these tapes, but you will be frustrated and wipe out early. Assess yourself, assess whether you can handle not finishing workouts for quite a while until you get into shape. For most people, though, they can handle these tapes, if they are prepared to start slow and work at it and are of proportional weight. It will be a long time before you reach a fitness level where the tapes don't challenge you. For most people that probably won't ever happen.
Who should not use them: Don't use these if you fall into the following categories:
1) You are determined to get massive as quickly as possible. P90x is not bodybuilding. Its overall fitness. You won't get huge, you'll get strong and have good muscle endurance which helps out in the real world. Pure bodybuilding involves many fewer exercises, fewer reps, much heavier weight, and would be quite difficult to pull off with the P90x limited equipment requirements. Plus you need a special diet to really get the gains.
2) You expect this to be the solution to your weight problems. This will help. A lot. More than enough to satisfy the "get exercise" requirement of any diet. But exercise is not enough. You still, in my experience, need to make friends with hunger, and get used to the fact that you should be somewhat to moderately hungry much of the day if you really want to cut weight. The whole grazing diet craze where you eat 6 small meals a day and never feel the slightest bit hungry sounds great on paper but I never lost weight with it unless I did, in fact, eat small enough meals that I did, in fact, feel significant hunger. Maybe you are different.
3) You have sports specific needs. If you train for sport than you should know what you are doing anyways, or have a coach, so I don't need to say much on that.
What it lacks: The program still has some problems. The cardio routines are all well done, and will get you working, but it is still not as efficient in building endurance as pure cardio like running or swimming and sprinting. I still do them but I add a regular running routine that involves a lot of sprinting. There is no faster way.
The plyometrics routine is good but probably not tough enough to train for sport or develop real explosiveness and power. Too many movements, not enough rest, not enough focus on exploding with 100% of power that a typical sport plyometrics routine would have you do. Its still a good workout though, no question.
Lack of focus on lower back. You'll do some lower back work in some of the tapes but not enough to prevent injury long term if you have a history in my opinion. This is probably an equipment limitation. I supplement the tape by doing a workout once a week consisting of barbell dead lifts and barbell good mornings and my back doesn't go out anymore, thank God. Three sets of each, go heavy, max effort then some downward dog and child's pose to stretch it out. Stretch and warm up beforehand, obviously. Your lower back will be like steel cables if you do this. I also do heavy squats in the same workout since they are the key to overall body strength but the legs routine is plenty for most people.
Some of the worksheets are not as detailed as I would like, and are missing exercises, especially the legs worksheet. They are also frustratingly small.
All in all if you do p90x you will have real fitness that you can use in the real world. You won't impress other guys at the bar with how big and buff you are, but if you can keep your weight under control you will end up ripped and toned, and most people agree thats the most appealing look anyways for both sexes.
Just expect to work hard to get it. Fitness isn't free. Good luck to you.
Disclaimer: I don't do the p90x diet plan nor do I use their supplements and recovery drinks. Too expensive for me and I can whip those up on my own by doing some research. For all I know they are awesome but in reality if you eat a varied healthy diet and maybe drink some grape juice immediately after working out and then a meal after you've cleaned yourself up you should be good to go.
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