P90X3

I am now 2/3 the way done with P90X3! I am loving the results so far. I have maintained weight while losing an inch on my waist, and am really toning up. We are on vacation in Puerto Rico and I'm grateful that the past 60 days of this program have gotten me beach-ready! 

Overall Impression

Most of the positives of phase I still hold true in phase II: Tony is still at his best in these fast paced, 30-minute block exercises. The major introduction in phase II are the eccentric workouts (pronounced E-centric, not ek-centric) which are strength workouts focusing on the negative motion. The variety of workouts is great, and while there are more departures from the original P90X in this phase, I love all of the discs. Like phase I, I feel there is a good tip of the hat to the things that made X1 so great, but even more things that separate this new set as a step forward in the world of fitness. The workouts are well thought out, diverse, work lots of different muscle groups and create a great burn in 30 minutes. My two favorite new discs are Incinerator and MMX, read below!

I am only 1/3 the way through P90X3, but the workouts are so diverse I figured I better get kicking on the review now while phase 1 workouts (weeks 1-3) are still fresh in my mind!

Overall Impression

P90X3 is only 30 minutes a day.  For some people, that's awesome.  For others, they might miss the original 60 minute P90X concept.  In fact, at first Tony Horton pushed back to Beachbody when they asked for a 30-minute a day P90X.  That is, until they presented him with research that said the most effective time of your workout is the first half hour.  With that in mind, cramming the most effective, integrated exercises into those 30 minutes will yield the best results, perhaps even more than doing 60 minutes of more spread out work.  

The good news is that P90X has not only adapted, its creator has as well.  Tony has never been more fast and on task as in P90X3, so even though the workout is only 30 minutes, you get a more packed 30 minutes than anything in P90X 1 or 2.  This is also means fewer jokes and breaks!  Don't worry, Tony is still hilarious as ever, but doesn't ramble.

You might wonder...so, 30 minutes does that include warm-up and cool down too? There is little to no warm-up built in, unless you decide to do the 7 minute "Cold Start" warm up that is available to you on every DVD.  The cool down is an additional 2-3 minutes after the 30 minute workout.  So, basically 30 minutes is either all main set, or short warm-up and main set, and every workout is followed by an additional short cool down after the main 30 minute set.

So, what I found is that even though it's only 30 minutes, it is great, hard work.  Additionally, I feel like this DVD series has the best aspects of both X1 and X2.  X1 was the most awesomely integrated series of workouts that hit every muscle group over the week.  It is no wonder it completely changed the face of at home workouts!  But many of us have been doing P90X since 2004, and it feels a little tired and slow, even though it can still be quite effective.  X2 was refreshing because it was new and different, but at times had the feeling like it was just being too new - the moves were show off-y, and had a lot of balance components that made them very difficult, plus you needed a ton of equipment which was impractical for a home workout.  P90X3 takes the "back to basics" look of P90X1, but includes some of the great innovations of sports science over the past 10 years to introduce a great variety of new moves and concepts.  The synthesis is something that is true to the original P90X formula, but freshly packaged.  

So, the combined power of P90X tradition with new research and innovation, all in a 30 minute package, means this is an A+ workout in the making! The only complaint I have had from some customers is that it isn't difficult enough for them.  Yes - this is no Asylum in terms of feeling like you were hit with a Mack truck at the end of your workout, but the workouts are smart, and best of all since they are only 30 minutes, you can hybrid with another program and double up if you really felt the need.  A lot of my long distance running friends are excited to finally have a program that allows them to do P90X and a distance run in the same day!

At the end of the day, P90X3 is about practicality.  The make-up of the workouts themselves and the fact that it is only 30 minutes makes it doable by a larger chunk of the population than the previous incarnations of P90X.  Yet, it still pays homage to the things that made P90X work in the first place: hard work, variety, and an A-class personal trainer.  Personally, I am loving every second of it!