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Balanced Health and Fitness

Review of P90X Fitness Program

Just got my copy of Tony Horton’s P90X fitness program delivered to my front door, courtesy of UPS after ordering from Amazon.  It’s 12 DVD’s with a different workout on each one.

I started this program last week and man, what a workout!  I thought I was in half-way decent shape but this program is a “killer!”  It’s Marine Bootcamp combined with Jr. High Gym Class.  This is the first training workout that I actually had to train for!  It’s that intense.

The 12 DVD’s cover workouts for:

  • Chest & Back – geez, this one’s all push-ups and pull-ups with some weight training thrown in.
  • Plyometrics – man, were my legs store after doing this one.  Not quite the same as martial art plyo’s but intense nonetheless.
  • Shoulders & Arms – lots of training for your bi’s and tri’s.
  • Yoga X – think yoga is for sissies?  Think again.  This routine will have you dripping with sweat and burning some serious calories.
  • Legs and Back – as if the plyometric workout didn’t leave your legs sore enough.
  • Kenpo X – a modified martial arts routine that incorporates moves from the Kenpo fighting style.  Sounds easy but this is a serious cardio workout.
  • X Stretch – think this workout provides a breather?  Guess again.   You’ll be amazed at how much effort (and calories) you’ll expend holding some of these stretches.
  • Core Synergistics – sounds like an ab routine but it’s much more.  This workout targets your entire core muscles.
  • Chest, Shoulders & Back – great, more push-ups (kidding).  Get that V-shape by working the muscle groups of the upper body with this workout.
  • Back & Biceps – straightforward weight routine with lots of curls.
  • Cardio X – heart pounding, lung burning, non-stop cardio routine that will keep you reaching for the “Pause” button on your remote!
  • Ab Ripper X – short 16 minute routine but man, it works nothing but the abs.  Although you can do this workout separately, it’s also included at the end of some of the other workouts.

Also included in the program is:

  • P90X Fitness Guide – the “manual” explaining how the program works, how to perform your fit test, and a complete listing of all the exercises performed in the DVD’s.
  • P90X Nutrition Plan – a pretty straightforward “eat less, eat healthier” guidebook with meal plans and recipes.
  • P90X Calendar – something you can tack to the wall to track your progress.  I actually bought a package of “smiley face” stickers that I place in each box representing each day that I complete a workout.
  • P90X “How to Bring It” DVD – basically introduces the program.

What’s my honest opinion?  Well, first of all keep in mind that I am not affiliated in any with with P90X.  Also, the link I provide at the end of this post is a “straight” link to the manufacturer, not an affiliate link.  You can also get this program at, like I did.

I actually enjoy this program.  It’s combines a lot of “old fashioned, hard-core” body-weight exercises (like push-ups, sit-ups, etc) with traditional weight training along with some “new-agey” stuff like Yoga, Kenpo, and Stretching.  But make no mistake, you’ll leave a pool of sweat on the floor after every workout.  My heart monitor frequently records around 700 calories burned in each session.

What’s neat about the videos is that you feel like you’re in a fitness class.  The other people in the video demonstrate variations you can do on each exercise while Tony Horton keeps the pace moving at a pretty good clip.  At the bottom of the screen is a “timing bar” that tells you exactly how long you’ve been exercising as well as how much further you have to go.  There’s a separate “exercise timer” that counts down the seconds for timed exercises or poses.  In short, you always know how far you’ve come as well as what’s coming up.

Is it effective?  Man oh man, is it effective.  This is raw strength building.  You might think that something like Yoga is only for people in leotards but you have no idea how much strength it takes to hold some of those poses for the required length of time.  And every pose, I mean EVERY pose, begins from the push-up or “plank” position.  Your muscles will feel drained after every workout.

This program is for both men and women.  You’ll see at least one woman in each video giving the guys a run for their money.  Tony also explains how to modify the exercises depending on whether your goal is bulk or lean muscle.

As far as drawbacks go, the only one I saw was in the Fitness Guide.  Yes, it contains a complete list, and description, of each exercise on each DVD.  However, there are no pictures anywhere.  So the description for a sit-up is something like, “lay on your back, reach forward using your abdominal muscles to touch your toes.”  Come on!  Don’t these guys know a picture is worth 1,000… well, you know the rest.  This is the only place I would have LOVED a picture, a diagram, a stick-figure drawing, anything, to demonstrate how to perform the exercise.  The end result is that you really have to WATCH each workout first to see how the exercises are performed and then REWIND the DVD and actually perform it.

The good part is that you’ve only got to do this a couple of times until you learn how to properly perform the exercise.  For the traditional exercises, it’s no big deal.  I mean, everyone knows how to do a push-up, right?  However, for Warrior Half Moon Yoga Pose, you’ll first want to see where you’re feet need to be, what direction you’re supposed to be facing, and so on.

All in all, I think this is a great program.  There’s enough variety in the program so that you don’t get bored.  Tony does a great job of keeping you motivated while pointing out how to make the exercises more effective.  I’d highly recommend this program to anyone who’s looking for a DVD-based, strength building and conditioning training program.

The price for the P90X program is around $140 (prices will vary so shop around).  You can order it from a variety of places including the TV Infomercials,, or the P90X website at  Again, these are not affiliate links so feel free to visit these sites and take a look at the clips they have from the actual DVD’s.  It should help you decide whether or not this program is for you.

So, back to those push-ups!

Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach and
Personal Fitness Trainer (NESTA)

P.S.  Be sure to get my latest Fitness Blueprint called “Little Things That Improve Your Health.”  This ebook is packed with loads of helpful information on how to build a better body and you can get it FREE – for a limited time.  Just click on the title to be taken to the download page.  Enjoy!

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The P90X program is available from

P90X Extreme Home Fitness Workout Program – 13 DVDs, Nutrition Guide, Exercise Planner

  • 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

Tired of ineffective workouts that sound great but produce less-than-optimal results? Turn to the P90X Extreme Home Fitness system, a bundle of 12 sweat-inducing, muscle-pumping workouts designed to transform your body from regular to ripped in just 90 days. Hosted by personal trainer Tony Horton, the series of DVDs will help you get lean, bulk up, or grow stronger, with an endless variety of mix-and-match routines to keep you motivated. The secret behind the P90X system is an advanced training technique called “muscle confusion,” which accelerates the fitness process by constantly introducing new moves and routines so that your body never plateaus and you never get bored. The more you confuse the muscle, the harder your body has to work to

Rating: (out of 689 reviews)

List Price: $ 150.00

Price: $ 139.80


  1. My sister just did her first day of this program and said the upper body program that you do on the first day was torture! (but in a good way :) )

    I’m waiting to see her results before I give it a try myself…

    My sister didn’t get the pull-up bar when she ordered. SHe said she didn’t really think it would make a difference since her intent is just to tone rather than “bulk up”- do you think it makes a difference?

    Thanks for sharing your experience. :)

  2. Hi Nopalea,

    No, I don’t think the pull-up bar is going to make a difference. The reason is that the P90X program targets the same muscle groups with many different types of exercises so it’s not like your arms and back muscles aren’t going to get a good workout just because you don’t do pull-ups. That’s the main reason I like this program. If you don’t like a particular type of exercise (or find it hard or impossible to do), skip it and go on to the next one. You’ll work the same muscles groups in a different way with a different exercise.

    As far as you “waiting to see her results,” come on – join in now. If you want to get into shape, do it. Don’t wait for someone (or something) else!


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