How Well Does P90X Really Work?


Does P90X really work?If you’ve ever had a case of insomnia you’ve likely seen an advertisement for P90X. It’s the total body workout you can do at home with just a little bit of space.

Overview
Tony Horton is a great trainer and fun to listen to when you’re attempting the exercises he does in the videos. The exercises start at a moderate to easy pace, and gradually build up in difficulty. There is a fitness test to see where you stand at first, and you are able to track your fitness level at strategic intervals. Throughout the program Horton reminds and urges you to go at your own pace and level and only move up when you’re ready.

QUICK UPDATE: The new version is out! Check out our P90X2 review here.

The Claim
In just 90 days you can go from flab to fabulously fit, or as they put it “Get absolutely ripped in 90 days. Guaranteed or your money back”. Money back guarantees are a proven successful way to get people to let their guard down and give it a try. Their strategy is to hope that if you just sign on for small monthly payments, you’ll either forget to return it, not want to go through the hassle of returning it, or be too embarrassed to return it, or promise yourself that you’ll try it again in the future.

During their commercials they show several people that have successfully completed the 90 day workout. The company that owns the system is BeachBody and their claim is that you can get a beach-ready body in just 3 months following their system.

The Hype
The hype comes in the form of making it seem like just anyone can complete the workout. It takes a strong will and a lot of little things going right in order for you to see the kind of results that are shown in the ads.

The problem is not so much the system, but the user. The makers of P90X cannot do the exercises for you, and they can’t cook and eat your meals. All they can do is tell you what works, and give you the system.

Without eating properly and taking nutritional supplements, along with completing the program every day according to the recommended schedule, you will likely see results far less drastic than what you’ve been led to believe.

The Cost
P90X clocks in at around $140 including shipping and handling. It’s broken up into 3 payments of $39.99. You get 12 different workouts, a fitness guide, and a eating guide, as well as a calendar to track your progress, or to remind you of your lack of progress.

The Commitment
You have to be committed to completing the program, and that involves staying with it for a full 90 days. Not many people can take on a physical challenge like this and make it all the way through. The makers of the product know this, that’s why they have the fine print at the bottom of the screen when they show any of the examples that says “results not typical”. This means that a majority of the people that try the program, and make it all the way through, will not see results such as the ones they are showing you.

This is a common tactic used in many television commercials that show people having used the system or product with great results. It’s very effective, but it’s also very misleading. You should take a realistic approach to the program if you give it a try and set reasonable expectations.

Evaluation
P90X is very thorough, and the program that is outlined in their package is something that will definitely increase your fitness level if you’re able to stick with it. But this is the key, you have to stick with it and actually complete the program. This is how fitness companies, including health clubs and gyms across the nation, make their money.

The desire to look and feel great is a strong one in us humans, and we can easily convince ourselves that we have what it takes to get model fit. After a few weeks or even a month of intense exercise, most people throw in the towel and resort to their old way of life.

Does P90X Really Work?

If you stick with most any workout regimen for 90 days, you will see results. If you stick with P90X will you see the same sort of results as the people on the infomercial? Probably not. These people most likely used supplements or did additional training in order to get the results that you see. It’s all smoke and mirrors in the fitness for TV industry and anything goes.

It is not very hard to manipulate before and after pictures, or find those that easily shed pounds and gain muscle. If you enter into the program with reasonable expectations, and just want to become more fit and healthy, it will most definitely “work” for you, but so would starting a program of brisk walking for an hour each day.

Our Recommendation
Unless you are bent on getting extremely fit in 90 days, you should pass on getting P90X. But if you’re training for the Olympics and you forgot to workout for the last 4 years and you just have 3 months left, it may be an option for you.

What do you think? Does P90X really work?


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lance LJ November 23, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Lately I have become one of those who have bought P90X to give another shot at making a pack of 6. It is a great workout video with an interesting trainer and I am more than motivated to wait and see what becomes of my flabby muscles in around a month’s time. So far so good, but I haven’t become like the trainer as yet. I do realize that it is going to take a lot of hard work and special concentration towards my diet in order to achieve that target.

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Cameron January 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm

If you’ve seen the infomercial on P90X then you’ve seen all you need to.
What you see is what you get.

Just like every other workout/exercise program you can’t just rely on the DVD’s. You need to think about it in the kitchen too, and make sure you’re getting the right fuel!

One thing i would say is that there is a fitness test before you actually start out the program. They recommend you do not carry on with the program if you can’t pass the fitness test. So this system isn’t for complete beginners. Just take that in to account before you start those payments :)

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Claude July 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm

p90x has been around for awhile now. Thousands of people have tried it and if you do and say everything they tell you to, you will be in much better shape. In fact, if you work out this hard for 90 days, there is no way that you won’t be much fitter. That’s where the motivation comes in – this is not an easy work out program. It does increase the intensity gradually as you go, however, the early stages of this work out is still a challenge. If you have medical conditions, I would strongly recommend seeing a doctor before starting this regime. I think some people may get discouraged from this, but if you can stick with it, you will have results – probably not what you’ve seen on TV though. This may be something to do with a group of friends three times a week in someone’s home – having people to hold you accountable when you can’t do it for yourself may be the key in being successful with this.

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Lynda Schab August 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Honestly, I’m afraid to try this program because of the commitment required. Not to mention I have some knee issues, so I’d have to alter the routine a bit. I do have a friend who followed the program faithfully and she lost weight and looks amazing! For me personally, again, I know myself enough to know I probably wouldn’t stick with it, so I wouldn’t spend the money. But I love the concept and from what I’ve heard from others (and have seen with my friend), if you’re willing to commit, it really works!

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