P90X: My Official Assessment
You’ve seen the infomercials. You’ve gone to the website. You’ve wondered…Is P90X worth the money? Does it deliver the results it promises? Is it right for ME?
If you are a friend of mine, chances are you’ve asked me all those questions personally and I’ve written you some ridiculously long e-mail or held you captive in the stands of an intramural basketball game talking about my measurements while our sons ran around the court. Sorry about that.
When e-mails, Facebook messages and friendly conversations take on lives of their own, it’s time to recycle those babies into viable blog posts. Efficiency is my middle name.
Back in October 2009, I did an Unofficial Preliminary Assessment of P90X. At that time, I was doing the program every other day, and I only did it for a few weeks before I mostly abandoned it to work out with a personal trainer at the gym. My husband, however, rocked the entire program and loved it. He got into the best shape of his life and then moved on to competing in triathlons. He’s a crazy man. And I’m incredibly attracted to him for it.
The good news is, a lot of what I said back then is still true. So, it probably wouldn’t hurt to go back and read that post first. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Today, I am on Week 11, Day 2, I’m in the homestretch, and think I have a full appreciation for the quality and value of P90X. So here goes my Official Assessment of P90X, answering a few of the questions my friends have asked along the way:
Who is P90X for?
* P90X is for fit people. This is not the workout you start if you haven’t exercised for years and you need to drop 60 pounds. In fact, there is a fitness test they recommend you take before you begin. For example, you should be able to do at least 3 pull-ups if you are a male, and at least one if you are a female. You should be able to hold a “wall squat” for at least one minute. You should be able to do at least 10 bicep curls with 20 lb weights if you are male, 10 curls with 8 lbs if you are female. The entire fitness test takes about 40 minutes to complete. If you cannot do the minimum requirements for the fitness test, there are other Beach Body workouts you can do to prepare for P90X. Honestly, you are not going to get much out of the program if you can’t complete the basic stuff. This is for your benefit.
* P90X is for people who like to work out at home. There is no way to do this program at the gym or outside. You must have a DVD player and a television, your pull-up bar or resistance bands, a yoga mat or carpeted floor and a few sets of free weights.
* P90X is for people who can commit at least an hour a day, six days a week to working out. Sure, there will be some days you will just need to cut it short, but those days should not be the norm. If you really want the full benefit of the program, you will need to carve out the time to do it every single day. The shortest workout is 45 minutes. Most are an hour or more.
What do I like about P90X?
*Surprisingly, the things I said I liked in my Preliminary Assessment, I still like today.
*The workouts are fun and interesting.
*They are extremely challenging (it will be a long time before I “grow out of” this program), but are easily modified for different fitness levels (it’s OK to drop down on my knees to crank out more push ups) and the moves are easy to follow.
*I love the variety—many different workouts and many different moves within each workout.
*I love the little timer thingy at the bottom of the screen, telling me exactly how much time is left in each set and in the entire workout.
*I love that real people (not models) are doing the workouts and they are really lifting weights (not just using dummy weights).
*And Tony Horton, the face of P90X totally cracks me up. I’ve talked to other people who can’t stand his humor. But those people probably don’t think I’m very funny either. So they are not my friends.
What don’t I like about P90X?
*Again, same things as before. Really, did I need to write another post? Maybe not.
*I don’t like the Kempo workout, but I realize I am not normal for feeling this way. I’ve talked to many other P90X-ers who find Kempo to be their most favoritest work out of all, and want to kick-box me in the face for saying I skip that DVD each week. On Kempo days I usually do some other form of cardio—either the elliptical, a run or the Plyometrics workout (which is pretty much an hour straight of jumping and is RIDICULOUSLY HARD yet SO STINKIN’ FUN! I’m jumping up and down right now as I’m typing this.)
*Most people I talk to do not like the Yoga. But Yoga and I are totally cool. My upper body strength and flexibility have increased tremendously since I started the Yoga. But the full work out is 90 minutes, and I’ve only managed to do the entire thing once. It felt like it went on for days. I’m pretty sure my kids grew an inch while I was stuck in downward dog. On normal weeks, I do about an hour of the Yoga, which still gives me a great workout.
What about the P90X Diet?
There is a diet plan that comes with P90X. I cannot find my diet guide to save my life. However, I do remember thinking the meal plans were very complicated. So, I guess I can’t really tell you much about that. If you already eat a healthy, balanced diet packed with fresh whole foods, no processed junk, no artificial yuk-yuk, then you probably don’t need to follow the plan anyway. But if you aren’t sure what to eat, then making dietary changes is vital to get results from this program.
Am I Seeing Results?
Absolutely. It would be impossible to do P90X and not see changes. I will write a complete post about this when I finish the program.
Is P90X Worth the Money?
P90X costs about $120. I paid that much for four 30-minute sessions with my personal trainer, plus the cost of the gym membership. And I did that for a full year! When you compare it to something like that, it is totally worth it. On the other hand, if you don’t meet the fitness requirements or if you prefer to work out outside of your home, it would not be worth the money for you. If you cannot make your house payment or feed your kids, it would not be worth the money for you. We borrowed it from our neighbor the first time through to see if we liked it. After Jon completed the program and loved it, we went ahead and purchased our own. I would recommend you do the same if you aren’t sure.
I will now open the floor for questions.
They use dummy weights on exercise videos?! Seriously?! I had no idea. Unfathomable. The deception is everywhere…
We really like P90X!!
The yoga isn't my fav – like you said – it went on and on and on. My absolute favorite workout is Plyo's! LOVE IT.
We haven't done the diet plan…. but I have made some of the recipes from it – and they rocked 🙂
Great post 🙂
I've always been curious….but I also don't like feeling like I can't so much as move a finger the next day due to muscle soreness. For some reason, the family still expects me to perform normal mom duties, working out or not.
How did your body feel the next day after the intense toning parts?
I've worked out hard with weights for many years, so I can't really say P90X made me any more sore (sorer?) than working out at other times. Sure, I get sore, but muscle soreness from exercise is actually a good thing. It means the little muscle fibers worked hard enough to tear, need to repair, and grow. And growth is what you want.
If you are getting so sore that you cannot function, then you are working out too hard. Pick a lighter weight. Go for a shorter amount of time. Do fewer reps.
If I get super-duper sore, I will sleep with a heating pad and take tylenol or motrin during the day. It should only last a day or two.