P90X has become one of the most popular high-intensity interval training workouts in past years and when it comes to shedding fat fast and building muscle quickly, few can hold a candle to the program!

With summer just around the corner, starting a workout program like P90X may be just the ticket to get your summer body in order before hitting the beach.

The program allows you to work out at home and keep things simple so you don’t need much equipment or tons of extra space.

Along with the coaching from trainers, plenty of different workouts, and an easily accessible archive of videos, P90X makes it easy to reach your fitness goals before your big event or occasion!

The Basics

While the name tends to roll off the tongue, it can be much harder to nail down exactly what P90X consists of and how it helps people lose weight and get fit.

There are so many different workout programs available that choosing just one, especially one you don’t understand, can be a leap of faith!

P90X is hosted on the Beachbody platform and is an original creation from the company.

The entire program is available through the On-Demand section of their streaming service and while it may evoke the same type of Netflix vibes, you won’t be sitting on the couch for any of these videos.

Everything on Beachbody’s streaming service is fitness-based and designed to encourage you to get moving and get fit.

The entire program focuses on several different exercises and routines that make up the system. These focus on different areas that will see lean muscle growth over time.

The sections that make up the system include muscle building, yoga, cardio, core, and bodyweight training.

You’ll also do lots of different recovery methods and find which one works best for you and your body.

These recovery systems emphasize how important it is to allow your muscle fibers to heal and reduce the risk of soreness after hard workouts.

While the videos are accessible for anyone and everyone, the entire P90X system is designed for those who are already well into their fitness journey.

Beginners may have a hard time getting started with the workouts and sticking to the strict plan of exercises and meals. 

There are 22 different workouts included in the entire system and each one is tuned to help you reduce body fat and build muscle mass.

The program within each workout is circuit training where you’ll do several exercises in a row before moving on to the next move.

There are small breaks throughout and a warm-up and cool-down at the beginning and end of the entire section but be prepared to sweat when doing P90X.


  • Several different approaches for an advanced training program
  • Video content makes it easy to follow along
  • 22 different workouts in the entire system


  • Only accessible on the Beachbody On Demand platform which demands a constant internet connection
  • Too difficult for beginners
  • Sessions are designed to last about an hour which may preclude those who only have about 20-30 minutes to workout

The Before and After

This program, while accessible to those who are just starting on their fitness journey, is essentially designed to help those who are already a little fit build more muscle and become more toned.

To that end, before and after pictures and testimonials are more about getting lean and toned than shedding tons of weight.

Many have seen a decrease in fat within their body composition and an increase in muscle mass. This is common with HIIT workout programs like P90X!

Those who build up more muscle find they don’t have as much fat within their composition and are more easily able to keep the fat off. Muscle burns more calories than fat after all!

Many who do P90X find they have more energy and are more flexible when even doing normal household chores and activities.

This increase in energy and increased flexibility is an effect of increased mobility for anyone who wants to take part. While it may take some time to reach these results, the end product is worth all the effort you’ll put into the program!

The Comparison

P90X reached acclaim as many celebrities regularly workout with the program but there have always been comparisons drawn between this program and its competitor, Insanity.

There are some unique differences between the two programs though.

Both focus on changing your body composition and helping you create and develop more lean muscle but the approach changes from one program to another.

P90X works on a system that takes 3 months to complete.

You’ll need to be dedicated to the program for it to work as the entire system takes more time to reach fruition.

In comparison, Insanity is only 2 months long. You won’t need to commit for nearly as long as P90X but the workouts are more intense and require a dedicated mindset each day.

The workouts themselves with P90X are about an hour-long where the average with Insanity is just 45 minutes. This gives you a little bit of wiggle room with your daily schedule to fit in a full workout.

You’ll need to set aside plenty of time with P90X and studies have shown that most people don’t’ want to or can’t dedicate this much time to a workout.

The system with P90X does require some equipment. Insanity uses only your bodyweight and focuses solely on cardio-training for 6 days out of each week.

P90X mixes in cardio and strength training together to get a complete program that targets your entire body.

Both programs offer a nutrition plan that you can follow to keep your workout on track as you go.

After all, workouts will only take you part of the way!

P90X’s plan tends to be a bit more detailed than Insanity’s and will help you stay on track the entire time you’re running the workout program.

Overall, P90X is focused on losing weight for participants while simultaneously building muscle.

Insanity focuses on shredding and shedding weight fast without the subsequent muscle build-up afterward.

Regardless of your overall goals, both programs have you working out or 6 days out of every week with just one rest day!

The Plyometrics of P90X

There’s a section of P90X that offers workout users a chance to work their lower body with a group of moves that targets the area directly.

Rather than simply relying on the program to connect the lower part of your body with a few moves, you can target the area and start building more lean muscle mass more quickly!

You’ll start the entire sequence of plyometrics with a warm-up before starting the circuit.

This warm-up is typically a lower-impact move like jumping jacks that will loosen up your muscles and get you ready to start the workout itself.

Then you’ll move into the main portion of the workout program which includes 5 exercise groups, each containing 4 moves and then three moves in a bonus round.

Get ready to sweat! You’ll do the four moves in order then repeat them in the same order for another round before moving on.

Group 1

This is a simple start to get you going on the workout so don’t max yourself out in this first set of moves.

Start by doing jump squats. You’ll squat down and then jump as high as you can descend into a squat when you land and then repeating the motion.

Try to keep everything in a smooth motion from start to finish. Focus on your form to keep your body in line during this time.

Move into a run-stance squat for your next move. You’ll stand in a staggered stance similar to if you were planning to start a race. You’ll then squat down and stand up four times before switching sides.

Next is the airborne Heisman! You’ll jump to the side and plant your outside foot on the ground while keeping your inside foot up. This will be striking the same pose as the Heisman trophy then you’ll switch sides and do the same thing again.

You’ll move into a swing kick to end the round. Set up a stool or chair in front of you. Standoff to one side and a few feet away from your object.

Lift your left leg, keep your knee completely straight and then swing it up and over your object before planting your foot to the left of the object.

Group 2

This is an advance of the moves that were finished in group one!

Start with a squat reach jump where you’ll stand in your staggered stance to start. Squat down and touch the floor that’s directly in front of your lead foot.

You’ll then jump turning to the other side, squat down again, and touch the floor in front of you again.

Run-stance squat switch pick-up is the next progression of the run-stance squats. Instead of moving in a slow and controlled motion for this move, you’ll jump and switch legs before returning to the start position.

Double airborne Heisman has you jumping two times to the side instead of the one above! Easy, right?

Circle runs start with placing an object on the floor near your workout area than running in a circle around it for 30 seconds.

You’ll switch it up and run in the opposite direction for another 30 seconds while remaining facing forward each time!

Group 3

There’s a good chance you’ll be pretty tired by the time you reach the third group so listen closely to the directions that your coach and trainer give during this time!

Take advantage of the breaks offered during this time and be sure to stay hydrated.

You’ll start this round with jump knee tucks. You’ll jump up in the air and bring your knees to your chest.

Land and drop into a squat immediately then jump again to keep a continuous cycle of jumps and lands during the move.

Next, you’ll do Mary Katherine lunges. Start in a lunge position and then drop your back knee nearly to the ground.

You’ll jump up and switch and swap your legs before landing, dropping to the original position and switching legs again.

The tricky part: Keep your arms up the entire time.

More squats! These are leapfrog squats. You’ll start in a squat position and hop-forward twice before hopping backward. Resist the urge to stand upright at any time!

Twist combos have you on your tip-toes then hopping and twisting your hips to the left. This twist will push your toes to be pointing to the left as well before you hop and twist to the right and repeat the motion.

Group 4

The great thing about doing workouts on video overdoing them in-person is that you can easily pause the video for a quick water break!

Take time out if you need a quick breather and keep pushing forward to help you see progress more quickly.

Start this group with a rock star hop. You’ll stand facing to the side then jump up while bringing your knees up and kicking your feet back toward your butt.

As you’re jumping, you’ll make a circle in the air with your lead arm.

You’ll then move into a gap jump! This will require a little imagination!

Jump forward off your left foot as far as you possibly can before turning and jumping back off your right foot like you’re traversing an imaginary river.

Squat jacks are simple variations of the jumping jack. You’ll start with a jumping jack move but instead of landing on your feet normally with your legs straight, you’ll land in a squat and bring your arms down with you as you go.

Finish this round with a military march. You’ll stand in place, lift your leg as high as you possibly can and then reach out with the opposing arm and switch sides. You’ll most likely feel a little like a tin soldier here!

Group 5

This is the final round! You made it! Almost anyway! Keep pushing through to the end!

Start this one with a run squat 180 jump switch. Begin in a runner’s stance then jump, twist 180 degrees to the right, and land. You’ll repeat the motion but jump and land to the left instead!

Move into lateral leapfrog squats. Start in a low squat position then jump side-to-side, staying low the entire time.

You’ll do monster truck tires next by hopping forward and to the right is a 45-degree angle landing on your right foot to finish.

You’ll then hop forward and to the left in the same degree pattern before repeating the entire thing another two times then reversing the process.

The final move in this final group is a hot foot! You’ll stand on one foot and jump forward, back, left, and right for the allotted time. You’ll then switch sides and repeat the motion.

The Workouts

There are 22 different workouts in the entire P90X system so there are lots of different variations for your 3-month commitment!

You’ll most likely repeat these more than a few times during this duration but a large number of workouts means you’ll target different areas of your body each day.

Included in the plyometric workouts are things like core focus, yoga, and Kenpo boxing.

You’ll see lots of different moves and workouts that will give you tons of confidence and help you shed weight fast.

By activating lots of different muscle groups in your body, P90X teaches your muscles to work more efficiently and burn fat more effectively.

They are intense! Don’t think you’ll be able to breeze through one of these workouts and go on with your day. Each one is designed to push you to the max and make you work hard every day.

While trainer Tony is more than ready to encourage you and help you make good decisions, you won’t get away without working up a sweat.

The Equipment

Unlike other bodyweight training programs, P90X does require some equipment to make sure you get the most from each workout.

You’ll need a set of adjustable dumbbells to finish your program.

As P90X focuses on building strength with traditional weight training plus cardio and yoga, you need a reliable set of dumbbells. Going with an adjustable set is the best way to get the most out of your investment!

Resistance bands come in handy in nearly every workout program so you won’t waste your money by getting a super reliable set for your home or home gym.

You’ll want some that vary in strength and resistance so if you’re just getting started you can go with an easier resistance and work up to something stronger.

P90X also calls for a pull-up or chin-up bar!

There are tons of different variations on the market including some that can be easily put up in your doorway so they’re unobtrusive.

Be sure that your chosen variety can handle the weight and resistance you’ll be putting on it during the program itself.

Push-ups and their numerous variations are also essential to the P90X routine. Going with some push-up stands or grips can help you get started!

These are optional as the routine calls for push-ups themselves and they can be done without any equipment whatsoever.

You’ll also want to invest in a yoga mat! A good yoga mat gives you traction and helps keep you comfy when you’re busy working out.

You’ll also be doing a fair amount of actual yoga with this program so you may as well look the part too!

The Nutrition Plan

No workout and fitness plan is complete without a good nutrition plan!

P90X provides its users with a plan that will help them shed fat and gain muscle mass effectively.

The P90X nutrition plan has 3 different phases that all correspond to how your body responds to the actual workouts and fuels them accordingly.

You start by eating and doing nutrition that will help you shred fat. This focuses on high-protein-based diets that fuel your body without giving you excess fat to be stored.

You’ll move into the second phase which is an energy booster. This is a mix of carbs and protein with a lower level of fat. This fuels you for your more intense workouts and helps to feed your muscles while keeping the fat at bay.

The last level is endurance maximizer. This is the highest level and includes a mix of complex carbs, lean proteins, and lower fat.

You’ll fuel your body and help get you over the final hump when it comes to your training and help you reach your fitness goals.

The Next Level

Once you finish P90X, what else can you do?

There are a few new iterations of this popular program so you can keep pushing yourself and your fitness to new heights.

The first level is P90x2. You’ve gotten past the first level of fitness and you want to hone your skills; this is a great next step. You’ll focus on creating and honing explosive power and improving your muscle performance.

All of the same moves and adaptations apply to this version just like it does with P90X.

The Condensed Version

If you don’t have a whole hour each day to dedicate to learning and achieving with P90X, turn to the P90X3!

You’ll be able to get in an intense workout each day in only 30 minutes with this program.

You’ll still go through many of the same moves, intensity, and you’ll sweat just as much! But if you’re in a rush, this is a great option to still get in a great workout.


P90X is a hit workout program for a reason!

With great coaching and trainers, this Beachbody classic is a good way to help you burn calories, shed weight, and build lean muscle. The 90-day program focuses on workouts that take about an hour every day.

If you’re not sure you have that kind of time to dedicate, there’s a shorter option available that only takes 30 minutes!

Hitting the gym can be a drag.

Getting a chance to work out in the comfort and security of your own home is a big draw when it comes to this program!

After you get a few days into P90X, you’ll feel yourself start to change and the results are well worth the blood, sweat, and tears of the 90 days!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *