This article is intended to be a condensed review and overview of P90X3 and its workouts to give you a good idea of what to expect if you order the program. These are just my preliminary thoughts so far after using it for about 7 weeks. More detailed reviews are in the works, so stay tuned.
To begin with, you probably figured out that P90X3 is a sequel. 🙂
If you have not heard of P90X, I suspect you have been living in a remote cave in Costa Rica for the last 10 years. For those of us in North America, it’s almost impossible to avoid it. P90X is constantly featured in magazines and TV commercials. Tony Horton, its creator, appears regularly on the daytime TV talk circuit. In the last U.S. presidential election, one of the big news stories was the fact that Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was a P90Xer. Even First Lady Michelle Obama has a copy.
P90X is one of the most popular home workout programs of all time. For good reason. It works. Go on YouTube and search for P90X and you’ll get inundated with countless testimonial videos of insanely ripped people who rave about how this workout program has changed their lives.
Capitalizing on the runaway success of P90X, Beachbody released P90X2 in 2011. Although the program sold well, it was not nearly as popular as its predecessor. This is a shame, because P90X2 is one of my all time favorite workout programs. It was not just “more of the same.” Instead, it focused on core strength, functional fitness, and scientific training principles, which is a refreshing change of direction for the home fitness industry. No stale and recycled moves. Only the most advanced and state of the art training. Read this article on the P90X2 workouts here.
Beachbody released P90X3 in December 2013. Like its immediate predecessor, P90X3 pushes the home fitness industry in a new direction. This time, it’s about shortening the length of the workouts. Here’s a short P90X3 promo clip:
One of the biggest complaints about P90X is how long the workouts are. Most are about 60 minutes. On top of that, there is an optional but really mandatory 15 minute ab workout that is tacked at the end of the strength training routines.
The P90X workouts often felt like an endurance contest because you are working out for 60-90 minutes each day, six days a week. The biggest time offender was the notorious Yoga X routine, which clocks in at 95 minutes. While I love doing yoga, I don’t want to do it for 1 1/2 hours each week.
Unless you’re an endurance athlete, working out for this long each day doesn’t really make much sense. The latest scientific studies have found that the greatest benefit from any exercise routine occurs in the first 20-30 minutes. That is when your heart and lungs are working their hardest. After this time, the body settles into a predictable rhythm and you start to get diminishing returns for your efforts.
Some studies have even shown that working out for more than an hour decreases the testosterone level in men. Yikes! Not a good thing for guys who want to build muscle. The bottom line is that spending hours at the gym is not only a waste of time for the average person, but it may be counter-productive as well.
The Workout Philosophy Behind P90X3
P90X3 was designed to address the complaints of P90X, while at the same time incorporating the latest scientific studies involving exercise. It is a 90-day general fitness program designed to get you in the best shape of your life with just 30 minutes of intense exercise each day.
That’s right, each of the workouts is only 30 minutes long, including the warmup. The P90X3 workouts were developed to produce the greatest physical change in your body, in the most efficient way, in the shortest amount of time. Those of you who are familiar with Tony Horton may find it hard to believe that he can produce a 30 minute workout, but it’s true.
Don’t think for a second that less time means “easy.” It actually means faster and more intense. Expect super short rest breaks or none at all.
Who Can Benefit from P90X3
In my opinion, anyone can benefit from P90X3. Even though it is marketed as an “extreme” workout program, anyone at any fitness level can complete it because there are modifications to lower the intensity for all the exercises. Each workout features Tony Horton and three cast members. They will demonstrate how to do each move with different equipment and intensity levels.
Someone who is just starting off obviously doesn’t need to do the exercise exactly the way Tony does it (he’s a fitness animal and likes to show boat a bit–you know it’s true Tony ;)). They key is to just “do your best and forget the rest.”
Having said that, certain people might really appreciate what P90X3 has to offer. For instance:
- Busy people, including working parents. I fit into this category. Although I love my workouts, sometimes an hour long exercise routine is a big stretch for me because I have three school aged kids. Someone is always needing help with something, and their after-school activities keep me running around nonstop. That’s why I really appreciate the fact that each workout is only 30 minutes. I always have time to work out. This is the ultimate excuse-buster. If you don’t have 30 minutes to devote to your health and fitness, you need to stop complaining about your life!
- Tony Horton fans. You know who you are. I’ve been a fan and admirer for a long time because it was the Tony who showed me the way to a life that is fit and fulfilling. Read my article about P90X results for women here. I own everything from his workout catalog. I owe my present life to him.
- P90X or P90X2 grads. How would you like an extreme fitness program that can get you the same results as P90X or P90X2 but with only 30 minutes a day? While these programs are amazing, you might not always have an hour a day to work out, so P90X3 is your solution. You get all the goodness of a Tony Horton workout system with a smaller time commitment.
- People who are looking for passion, excitement, enthusiasm, and humor in their workouts. Tired of training like a hamster on the elliptical machine, or waiting in line at one weight station after another at the gym? Try something completely different. Tony not only gets you in the best shape of your life with P90X3—he keeps it fun. In the DVDs, it’s obvious that he loves what he does, and is very good at motivating people. His corny jokes are legendary, but that’s part of the fun of his routines. It’s like working out with a crazy buddy. Tony has created some of America’s best-selling fitness programs—P90X, P90X2, 10-Minute Trainer, Power 90. And as your personal P90X3 trainer, Tony will be right with you every step of the way. Encouraging you, guiding you, and challenging you to make the most of every 30-minute workout, to help you get in the best shape of your life.
- Anyone looking to significantly boost their fitness levels. Even though I said P90X3 can be done by anyone, that doesn’t mean the workouts are easy. If you go the hardcore route and do the exercises the way Tony does them, you will be challenged. You will experience muscle failure. No joking. If you want exceptional results and aren’t afraid of a challenging workout, P90X3 is right for you. I’ve been working out for over 3 years and the hardcore level kicks my butt!
Like all its predecessors, P90X3 is designed to be done at home. That means you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to get great results. Other than a TV and DVD player, the few core items that are required can be ordered directly from Beachbody or picked up at your local sports store. Everything necessary to get you in the best shape of your life can fit into a small closet.
P90X Chin-Up Bar. I highly recommend the Chin-up bar offered by Beachbody. I have had mine for almost three years. It receives daily use and abuse and is still working great. The foam grips started to peel a little, but I wrapped them with “boxer’s” tape and they’re good to go. The cool thing is that it can be easily attached to any door frame without the use of screws or bulky mounts. I have seen cheaper alternatives, but they are not the same. The quality is inferior, and they don’t have as many hand grip positions as the P90X Chin-Up Bar. This is one of the best investments you can make towards your fitness.
P90X Chin-Up Max. This little piece of gear is designed to help you do pull-ups with correct form even if you don’t yet have the necessary upper body strength. Using elastic bands, it safely assists as you pull your body towards the bar. You can also adjust the assistance level.
Tony Horton’s PowerStands. Pushup stands are designed to maximize the benefits of each pushup by increasing range of motion. They also help relieve wrist pain. I had regular pushup stands but I ditched them when I got the PowerStands. The reason why they are more effective than ordinary pushup stands is because the base is wide and round (almost a foot in diameter). That means you don’t have to worry about the PowerStands collapsing under your wrist. They also have oversized hand grips so you hardly ever feel any wrist pain.
Resistance Bands. Almost all the weight training workouts can be modified to incorporate resistance bands. I have these and they are great. They are still going strong after three years. I take them with me whenever I need to do my workouts away from home. I have gotten awesome results at the park while hanging out with my kids or in a hotel room.
Bowflex SelectTech adjustable dumbbells. Resistance bands are great, but their main downfall is that you can’t really adjust the exact amount of resistance on them as you could with a real dumbbell. It’s therefore difficult to gauge whether you’re getting stronger. I have found that the Bowflex adjustable model works great for this purpose. I can adjust the weights from 8-50 lbs., which means I don’t need a whole rack of separate dumbbells. Another great investment because you can use them with other Beachbody workouts such as P90X or Body Beast.
The Included Workouts
P90X3 is a general fitness program. Meaning, it doesn’t focus on any once facet. Instead, it incorporates training modalities such as strength, cardio, balance, agility, core work, and flexibility to ensure that you get well rounded results. It’s the complete all-in-one package. This is one of the things I love about Tony Horton’s workout programs. They are always well designed with plenty of variety.
You will rarely get bored because you’re doing different things and working different muscles each day. In the future, I will write more in-depth reviews of each P90X3 workout, to include breakdowns of the individual exercises.
Broadly speaking, resistance training is about increasing your strength by using resistors such as bands, weights, or just gravity. P90X3 incorporates dozens of resistance type exercises in over six different routines. When you do these workouts, expect to get stronger week by week.
Total Synergistics . This is a full-body resistance workout that triggers fast, powerful changes to your body’s composition, and first appears in Block 1 of the program. There will be exercises which will hit every major muscle group. Nothing is left out. In Total Synergistics, your shoulders, arms, chest, legs, back, and core will get worked hard.
The Challenge. The challenge is a resistance workout that focuses on the upper body, specifically your chest and back. It also appears in Block 1. The routine strengthens your entire upper body by stacking push-ups and pull-ups in ways you’ve probably never seen. It is a tough workout that will leave you exhausted and exhilarated at the same time.
Incinerator. This is a total body workout that debuts in Block 2 of the program. It is designed to “burn out” muscle groups by stacking different exercises one on top of each other with tiny breaks in between. The idea is to bring it until there’s nothing left to bring. Incinerator is a full burnout session that pushes you past your limits and practically forces muscle failure.
Eccentric Upper. This is the upper body workout in Block 2. It uses slow motion training to ensure that the muscles are worked as hard as possible for as long as possible. Don’t expect to throw weights around. Instead, you will go up or down slowly and in a controlled fashion in order to bring the burn to the muscles. Time under tension is the key to creating lean-muscle growth fast. This upper-body blast will have your arms, shoulders, chest and back begging for mercy.
Eccentric lower. In this lower body workout, you’ll be slowing down the eccentric (or negative) half of each movement to carve a ripped lower body—faster. Again, each rep is done at an excruciatingly painful slow count. Your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves will cry “uncle” and plead for mercy.
The Warrior. The Warrior is another total body workout, but incorporates isometric training. Meaning, instead of moving around, you will hold your body in uncomfortable balanced positions to ensure that all the major and minor supporting muscle groups are engaged. The warrior is your one-size-fits-all workout that can be done anytime, anywhere.
Balance and Agility Training
These workouts have a cardio aspect that will raise your heart rate and get you breathing hard, but they also train you on balance and agility. You will be able to move better, faster, and stronger as you learn how to use your body like a precision instrument.
Agility X. The name says it all. This workout is a fusion of aerobic and anaerobic training in order to improve your precision, flexibility, balance, and strength. Think “catlike.”
Decelerator. This cardio workout is nothing like you’ve ever seen before. Instead of simple movements such as hopping and jumping, it focuses on controlled and precise moves which test your agility and balance. The idea is to be able to move fast but to also be able to stop on a dime once you are in motion.
I have to admit that Tony Horton has not always produced the toughest cardio routines. That honor goes to Shaun T, his Beachbody stable mate. However, P90X3 is different. Tony really has outdone himself because the cardio workouts in this program are crazy intense. They are manageable at the easy level with modifications, but at the advanced level, they are extremely difficult and may cause you to cough up a lung.
CVX . Stands for cardio vascular X. This is one of the toughest cardio workouts Tony Horton has ever put on DVD. It incorporates resistance training with a cardio workout. The goal is to raise your heart rate as high as possible in short bursts to create a full body burn. Thirty minutes is more than plenty because you will feel every second of this workout.
MMX. The workout is based upon the sport of MMA (mixed martial arts). It’s designed to burn fat by taxing your strength, endurance, and flexibility with martial arts-based cardio moves. Expect a lot of kicking, hopping, punching, and sprawling. It’s about twice as hard as the original Kempo X from P90X.
Accelerator. This is another cardio workout that doubles as balance and agility training. The key to this routine is power. It’s not just about strength, it’s also about speed. You will launch your body in ways which you didn’t think was possible. The goal is to increase your cardiovascular and muscular efficiency, resulting in more bang for your fat-burning buck.
Triometrics. This is a plyometrics-type workout that incorporates jumping, hopping, leaping, and other moves that defy gravity. You will increase your speed and power in a fraction of the time with this explosive next-generation plyo workout. The longer you stay off the ground, the harder you work.
In all of Tony Horton’s workout programs, he incorporates some kind of flexibility training. You need it for several reasons: (1) to be able to properly recover from all the resistance and cardio training which takes a toll on your joints and muscles; and (2) to elongate your muscles and connective tissue in order to avoid injury.
X3 Yoga. This is one of the most laid back and fun yoga routines Tony has ever devised. It’s a flow-style practice that improves your musculoskeletal flexibility, balance, stamina, and core strength at the same time. For the most part, it’s light and easy, but there will be a couple of moves that offer challenges.
Dynamix . This workout uses dynamic stretching techniques in order to increase your range of motion, flexibility, and stabilization. You’re not scrunched on the floor in one stretching position. Instead, you’ll gently move in a way to give your muscles more length and flexibility. The goal is to maximize the results you get from the entire P90X2 program.
The core is the foundation of all movement. To be able to move with power, agility, and grace, you need a core that is up to the challenge. These workouts are designed to strengthen your midsection so that your core will be able to support every range of motion. Consistent core training will allow you to move better, feel better, and release lower back pain.
Pilates X. The core is not just about your abs, it also includes your lower back and obliques. This Pilates based workout routine adds power to your core, increases muscle elasticity, and stabilizes your joints. Be warned, it is not easy and expect to feel very uncomfortable for the full 30 minutes.
Isometrix. What happens when you take the most hellish balancing moves from yoga and put them in a single workout? You get Isometrix. It’s all about isometric contraction combined with instability. The idea is to turn your body into an unshakable platform to work from. You don’t have to lift heavy to feel the burn. Staying balanced in one position will produce the same results.
What’s Included With Each P90X3 Base Kit
The workouts. Every one of the 16 workout routines I discussed above is included with each P90X3 program. That is a lot of training for your money. Something else that needs to be mentioned is the high production value. Beachbody is the undisputed leader in home fitness. They know how to put together a workout program that not only gets results, but looks really impressive as well. You will not be disappointed.
Fitness Guide. This is your step-by-step guide to getting the most out of P90X3. It includes detailed explanations of each workout routine. Because the workouts are so short, Tony doesn’t have a lot of time to explain what each move does. That is what the P90X3 Fitness Guide is for.
Nutrition Guide. To get ripped, exercise is only one-half of the equation. The other half is nutrition. They say six pack abs are created in the kitchen and from my experience, this is true. I got the best results when I started to pay close attention to my nutrition, including my macronutrients. The P90X3 Nutrition Guide offers a simplified approach to healthy eating to help you get ripped, and stay that way. It includes dozens of delicious and easy to prepare recipes created by the nutrition masters at Beachbody to ensure that your macronutrients are dialed in perfectly and your body is getting the right kind of fuel.
P90X3 Workout Calendar. With so many workouts to choose from, you’ll need this guide to explain what days to do each workout and for how long. It also tells you how to get specific results by mixing up the training schedule. For instance, there is a schedule if you want to gain muscle mass and another one if you’re only interested in cardio conditioning.
How to Accelerate DVD. Tony appears in this easy-to-follow P90X3 intro DVD to show you how to achieve your best results in the fastest time. Lots of tips, tricks, and trainer advice to be had. For someone who is new to the P90X family, this is a great resource. This is probably the only time where you’ll see Tony act serious.
24/7 Online Support. Tap into the massive online fitness movement that Beachbody created. Meet other people doing P90X3 and stay motivated with exclusive around-the-clock access to fitness experts and peer support.
Personalized coaching. This is available only if you order P90X3 from a Beachbody coach (someone like me). I will help you get the best results with my one-on-one guidance, tips, and advice. In my experience, getting a knowledgeable person to help you with a new fitness program will double your chance of success. If you’re just starting your fitness journey, stack the deck in your favor by getting me as your personal P90X3 coach. To learn more about my no-cost personalized coaching, send me an email at connectwithJade@getresponse.com or send me a Facebook private message. Let’s get the conversation started!
Money back guarantee. If you don’t love your P90X3 program and don’t get the results you want, just request a refund on the program within 90 days. You have plenty of time to see for yourself what it can do for you before returning it. How cool is that?
P90X3 Deluxe Packages
If you want to maximize your results, consider investing in one of the deluxe packages below.
P90X3 Challenge Pack. The P90X3 Challenge Pack is the total package, offering integrated support and nutrition for achieving your health and fitness goals. Each Challenge Pack includes everything listed above, PLUS your first 30-day supply of Shakeology, delivered through Home Direct (Beachbody’s autoship program that ensures timely delivery of Shakeology to your doorstep every month), PLUS a FREE 30-day trial membership in the Team Beachbody Club, where you’ll find all the support you’ll need, including meal planning and access to the Beachbody trainers, to complete your Beachbody Challenge.
You’ll save about $45 over the cost of purchasing P90X3 and Shakeology separately. Additionally, the Challenge Pack comes with FREE shipping for the initial order. (Free Shipping Offer may not be available in AK, HI, U.S. Territories, or Canada). In my opinion, this is the best deal around on fitness and nutrition. This all in one package can literally change your life.
P90X3 Deluxe Kit. This package includes everything in the base kit, plus 3 additional explosive workout DVDs that will take your results to elite levels (Complex Upper, Complex Lower, X3 Ab Ripper) the Elite Block Calendar, 3 Pro-Grade Resistance Bands, and a month’s supply of E&E Energy and Endurance Preworkout Formula.
P90X3 Ultimate Kit. Includes everything in the base and deluxe kits, plus the Premium Beachbody Jump Mat, a month’s supply of P90X Results and Recovery Formula, the Gym-Quality P90X Chin-Up Bar, and the P90X Chin-Up Max.
P90X3 Results from Pre-Release Testers
P90X3 delivers results backed up with testing. Before Beachbody releases any workout program, it first must undergo rigorous testing by a group of real people to ensure that it delivers the promised results. This is the reason why Beachbody produces the best, most respected DVD workout programs on the market. Watch this testimonial video from Kevin, a very happy test groupie:
Below are actual P90X3 results with before and after photos of real folks who were part of the P90X3 test group. In the future, you’ll probably see more before and after testimonials from actual customers who used the program.
Keep in mind that the results depicted below are 100% real, but they were produced in a controlled environment. Meaning, all these people followed the Nutrition Guide to the T (no excess calories or cheat meals), and did not miss any of the workouts. Not everyone can be that disciplined, so your real life mileage may vary.
Before and After Gallery
Check out the before and after gallery P90X3 testers and judge for yourself if this new workout program lives up to its promise.
At the time of writing this article, I’m on week 7 of P90X3 and I love the program. It is polished, fun, engaging, and effective. I was getting a little burnt out with long work outs and my schedule is becoming more hectic as my kids add activities, so Tony’s Program couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
It allows me to get an intense workout every day for only 30 minutes. This is just about perfect for me. I get to look as if I’ve been tearing it up in the gym all day, every day. Meanwhile, all I do is push play on my DVD player from the comfort of my own home every morning.
Is P90X3 better than P90X or P90X2? No. The workouts are shorter, but not necessarily better. It’s a great workout if you’re time constrained. This is its main selling point. However, its predecessors are also great workout programs in their own right. In fact, P90X is probably a good follow up program once you have completed P90X3.
Along the same line, you don’t need to have completed P90X or P90X2 before you take on P90X3. I know people who started with P90X3 as their first workout program after years of neglect and they’re doing fine. It is not a “graduate” or “advanced” program, so no worries if you’re fairly new to working out.
Did you find value from this P90X3 overview and review? Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below.Do you have any questions about this article or anything relating to health, fitness, and weight loss? Email me at connectwithJade@getresponse.com. I love to hear from my readers!