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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A trainer's review of P90X

P90X, if you haven't heard the hype, is a heavily marketed hardcore fitness program in the form of a big set of DVDs. It is supposed to be a 90 day total body transformation program, complete with nutrition program.

A lot of people ask me what I think of this program, so here is a rundown of the positives and negatives.


-The workouts are actually really good with a lot of original exercises that really do the job. I particularly like the "Ab Ripper," a 15 minute ab segment that works every part of your abdominal muscles. The concept of "muscle confusion" - working the muscles in different ways each workout so as not to hit a plateau - is a good one and will get results.

-The plyometrics, cardio and strength training really will jumpstart your metabolism. This is a very complete program, with heart-pumping cardio, strength training and flexibility work.

-There is very little equipment necessary. You will want a pullup bar and some resistance tubes. You can get everything you need besides the DVDs for around $50.


-This program is being marketed to the average out of shape Joe and Jane, which can be dangerous. You should NOT try to do this program right off the bat if you've never exercised or are restarting after a period of being sedentary. That's a good way to get injured. Even if you don't, it's likely you will give up after not too long because of the difficulty of the workouts.

-This takes a lot of time. I like the program a lot but would like it even better if the workouts were not mostly hour-long ones. That said, the intensity it would take to get similar results in shorter workouts would be even higher.

Is the program worth the $100+ you'll spend on it? Yes, but only if you're already in decent shape and 100% dedicated. Otherwise you'll do a few workouts and put it on the shelf like so much other unused exercise equipment.

This is a great program, but certainly not for everyone.

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