The P90X2 guide states "this workout picks up where X2 Core leaves off." I think that is a very fair assessment. This workout is part Core Synergistics, part Total Body Plus, part Asylum: Strength (if you are familiar with any of those routines). Tony describes it as a total body workout, even though there is another DVD called "Total Body" but the focus here is on core balancing and really working your weak spots. There is a lot of work on the stability ball, which makes the work very intense and difficult. There are a couple lower body plyo moves. Some moves access the triceps and shoulders including some push-up type exercises, and there a number of planks and sphinx position, with or without the stability ball. Some of the exercises are straight up ab/core work, including a mason twist with a medicine ball between your legs while twisting and holding a weight.
Just as a little side track, I talked to a NYC personal trainer about the original P90X program, and he said to me "P90X has everything, except for twisting core work with medicine balls" which is something he does with his clients often in addition to strength training, cardio, yoga, etc. Thinking about that, except for Ab Ripper X mason twists, there really was nothing. As this is the last of the workouts in the "Foundation" (month 1) sequence, I can safely say that during this month, that part of my body, as well as many other weak spots are accessed daily. You want to talk about core strength, this month may be the most incredible set of core workouts ever put in sequence.
The workout is about 62 minutes and you need a stability ball for sure, although one of the cast members modifies many exercises by doing them one-legged and on a chair. There is an option for a medicine ball on a couple exercises, but I found you can get away without it. Weights or a band are pretty necessary, a lot of moves include a weight. In general the exercises are pretty hard to describe, as they are all compound, synergistic moves, so whereas in my reviews of the DVD's I could name a move and you could pretty much get the gist, it is more difficult here. I will say, the forms are very complex and I left the workout feeling like I only completed about 70% of it, since there were times it took me a minute just to get balanced on the ball! Here is a preview of some moves: imagine Warrior 3 with weights. You do a row for your lats in warrior 3 position, then stand up still balancing on one foot and do an overhead press. Or sphinx pushups while your feet are on the stability ball. The "poster child" for this exercise is the lolasana, which is basically grabbing onto power stands, jumping and tucking your knees into your body while balancing yourself with your upper body alone on the power stands. Think male gymnast upper body strength for this one. I was not able to do this by a long shot, but they show a 1/2 lolasana which worked well for me!
There are 3 sets of 6 intense moves, with breaks in between. The cooldown is shorter than in Plyocide, so you are really working for a long time, much of the 62 minutes. Not to give it away, but there is a "bonus round" which is a key element to many of the original P90X routines. This included 3 more moves of extra intensity. The best description I can give you for this workout is that it is everything in the world that you don't want to do, but it is everything in the world that you NEED to do. If you get off on Shaun T yelling at you and doing an almost mindless (I don't mean that in a bad way) cardio sprint at 110%, this workout will seem slow and too complicated. But, I was amazed that even after not being able to complete many of the moves to the full potential, I felt great, worked, tired, and got a great sweat on during the workout. Instead of just creating a P90X duplicate, or something overly sexy, P90X2 slows you down and asks "what do you people REALLY need to get stronger?" The answer is: X2 Balance and Power. This is a first class workout, and I look forward to being able to complete more of it as I practice the form. I give it an A-, only because it might be too difficult for some people to really get down in 1 or 2 tries. But I think after several times through, it will be my favorite workout in month 1. I should also mention Tony is the funniest I've ever seen him on any DVD here. He sings for about 90 straight seconds during the cool down, and his sister Kit is one of the cast members! She spends a lot of the DVD rolling her eyes at her brother!