Take the 90 Day P90X Challenge—A Review

This Fitness Program will Challenge Even Those who Think They’re Fit

Copyright © All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission; Author’s Google profile; Posted September 4, 2012

The classic pushup strengthens the upper body; photo US NAVY


It’s been said that the largest selling category of books are cookbooks and the second largest category are diet books. I haven’t seen the stats, but I would be willing to bet that fitness books/video is in there somewhere.

Although I’ve done over a dozen marathons, a handful of ultramarathons, too many triathlons to count, and spent my fair share of time at the gym, I’ve never really gotten into a structured workout program.

At least, not until I decided to try the P90X Extreme Home Fitness program.

Why this one? I think it was that “Get absolutely ripped in 90 days” claim. Being always up for a challenge, I decided to give it a shot. After a few years of slaving over this keyboard every day and fitting in runs when I could, I needed a change of pace.

What’s Included in the P90X Program?

The heart of the program are the 12 nicely-packaged workout DVDs (plus one with the program introduction). Each workout is 1 to 1 1/2 hours long. They are:

  • Chest & Back
  • Plyometrics
  • Shoulders & Arms
  • Yoga X
  • Legs & Back
  • Kenpo X
  • X Stretch
  • Core Synergistics
  • Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps
  • Back & Biceps
  • Cardio X
  • Ab Ripper X
Also included is a comprehensive book that explains the program and describes each exercise and another book that covers fitness nutrition complete with recipes (we’re getting back to that cookbook thing, aren’t we?).

How Does this Workout Program Get Results?

The problem with most fitness plans is that they basically do the same thing over and over. The problem with this conventional approach is that the body gets used to the routine and begins to plateau, even if you amp up the intensity.

On the other hand, this program relies on a concept called Muscle Confusion®. By constantly working different muscle groups in different ways, the body never becomes complacent; hence, no plateau.

How is this Fitness Program Structured?

The program is comprised of 3 training blocks; each includes 3 intense weeks and 1 recovery week. Each block builds on the previous one. Each block is comprised of 3 phases:

  1. Adaptive Phase. This is where you learn to do the exercises, of which there are many!
  2. Mastery Phase. Where you get down and make some real physical changes.
  3. Recovery Phase. This allows your muscles a chance to heal so you can take things to the next level.

The Nutrition Plan

Speaking of nutrition, in this program there are no packaged meals. There are no rigid meal plans. Instead, each of the 3 phases offers a portion approach, a daily serving chart, and an approved food list.

Phase 1 is the Fat Shredder, phase 2 is the Energy Booster, and phase 3 is the Endurance Maximizer. As you can see, the nutrition phases correspond to the training blocks.

What Can You Expect?

You might as well know up front, it never gets easy due the the muscle confusion. You can expect to be sore when you get out of bed in the morning. I’ve found that it helps if I do 15 or 20 minutes or so of stretching before going to bed.

If you do the workouts and follow the nutrition plan, which isn’t difficult since it only cuts out junk food, you can expect to get ripped. You will also shed those stubborn pounds that the other fitness routines couldn’t deal with.

What Other Equipment is Required?

You will just need a few things—a chin-up bar, a yoga mat, and resistance bands and/or dumb bells. When you buy P90X online, they will offer to sell you these things as well, but I just clicked through those screens, bought the items at Walmart, and saved a lot of money.

My Conclusion?

The P90X delivers the promised results—weight loss and a ripped body. That said, you must commit and live up to your end of the bargain. The program is not easy. The program takes time, sweat, and effort.

It’s not a magic pill or an infomercial shill. It’s not a bogus “get fit in 10 minutes a day” scam. This is the real deal. So, are you up to taking the 90 day P90X challenge?

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