It’s very common for people to ask me for my thoughts on the P90X home exercise program from Beachbody, so I figured I’d share some thoughts on the topic here.
First, there are lots of things to love about P90X. Tony Horton, the instructor, is truly the master of motivation. Working out for results is all about giving it your best effort, pushing yourself hard, and improving from workout to workout. Doing that at home, where you don’t have anyone else around to motivate you, is so much easier with Tony Horton coaching you through your workouts. Definitely one of the best things about the P90X program is that the DVDs include the master motivator, Tony Horton, to coach you through each workout.
Another great thing about P90X is that it’s based around classic bodyweight exercises that to this day are still by far the most effective exercises to burn fat and get you fit. No gimmicky exercises in P90X, just the most proven effective exercises that will get the job done.
The main thing I dislike about P90X is the high volume aspect of the program. The main program in P90X includes 6 workouts per week, with workout times that usually run anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. P90X also has a “doubles” program that includes a whopping 9 workouts per week with one rest day (i.e. 3 days per week the program calls for two separate workouts per day; one in the morning, and one in the evening).
Whether we’re talking about 6 or 9 workouts per week, there’s simply no reason anyone needs to exercise that often. And you certainly don’t need to exercise for 60 to 90 minutes to get amazing results.
Now granted, Beachbody markets P90X as an “extreme” exercise program, so they don’t exactly shy away from that aspect of their program. They acknowledge that it’s a tough, hard program, and not for everyone. But I question why they’ve chosen to put so much effort in marketing such an over the top, high volume exercise program to the masses, rather than one of their lower volume programs such as 10 Minute Trainer. I think that one of their lower volume programs would be significantly more appropriate for the vast majority of people who see Beachbody infomercials on television.
If you’re a busy person who struggles to find time to exercise, P90X is NOT going to work well for you. You might be able to stick with P90X for two or three weeks, but few people will be able to complete the entire 3-month program, and even less people will be able to continue such a high volume exercise routine beyond that. The average person who’s just looking to improve their fitness and get in shape (i.e. the average person who sees a P90X infomercial) will be best served by finding a 3 or 4 day per week workout program that they can stick to indefinitely, and therefore make an ongoing habit of regular exercise.