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P90X DVD Review: Does It Actually Work?

Exercise Products | February 25, 2013 | By

p90x DVD Workouts

Regardless of how many claims are littered across packaging information and infomercials, there are no shortcuts to getting in shape.  This is a fact anyone who wants to try getting in shape needs to come to terms with—especially if they’re planning on buying a DVD program in order to accomplish that.  No matter what the DVD says, getting in shape comes down to you and where you’re willing to push yourself.  That said, P90X by Beachbody is one of the better fitness DVDs on the market today.

The home workout craze started with Jane Fonda and Jack LaLanne and came to a head with the promise of 8 Minute Abs.  P90X—and their sister production “Insanity”—is the latest craze in home fitness and unlike the shortcuts promised before, one that can be very effective.  The problem, of course, is that you have to actually work for it.

Organized into twelve discs and offering a couple different paths to take, P90X is a rigorous 6-7 day-a-week exercise program that lasts for 90 days.  There is also a recommended diet paired with the workout to maximize the results.  The exercises require a set of dumbbells or bands, a pull-up bar, a chair, a towel and ample space—making the startup costs relatively low.

Pros and Cons of P90X

One of the problems that can easily crop up and lead to more money is of course the plateau you hit by your weight limitations: if you begin lifting for mass, and the most weight you have is 25-30 pounds, you’re going to plateau before the first week is out.  Smaller weights are great for toning and strength training but can easily hit their limit, too (you shouldn’t be doing 30-40 reps to get the full benefit of the program).

These costs, however, can still be less than the price of a gym membership and absolutely cheaper than the personal trainers therein.

Aside from the Yoga and ab dvds, each disc is about 50 minutes long and usually very intense throughout; a remote is necessary to have on hand, though will be used less as you progress.  P90X works by producing muscle confusion at high intensities (a cardio workout in itself) and by incorporating intervallic training.

Depending on which workout plan you choose to follow, your workout will change every three weeks, pairing different muscle groups together and assuring maximum confusion; and the diet changes accordingly as well, knowing when you need more or less proteins, carbs, fats.  If followed correctly, P90X will deliver you into a much better shape than when you began.  The problems, of course, are following it correctly.

A rigorous schedule, P90X isn’t meant to be missed—there aren’t make up days in the schedule—and as you only work one muscle group independently per week, missing a day can feel very strange when you pick it back up (which, can mean a 2 week absence).

The exercise certainly doesn’t take into account the soreness you’re likely to experience in the beginning and later as the exercises get harder: core synergistics, plyometrics and yoga, if you’ve never done it, are easily the hardest discs in the bundle and can put you out of commission for a day or longer depending on your body.  The routine can sometimes feel like it’s slipping through your fingers as you make up missed days and shift the schedule.  There is also the fact that the exercises themselves are meant for a person already in shape and are not intended for those with knee, neck, back or spinal injuries—eliminating a lot of the middle aged and elderly people looking for a good workout program.


Overall, P90X is a fantastic workout program if you have the fortitude, commitment, means and dedication to see it through.  P90X requires you to do the work to get the results you want.  It’s not a get-fit-quick program, it’s a lifestyle program: incorporated as much outside of your workouts as within.

Ultimately it’s up to you whether you make P90X work or not, but know that it isn’t for the faint of heart and should you accomplish the 90 day challenge, you will have really accomplished something victorious.