My husband and I just completed 13 weeks of P90X. For a thorough review after 8 weeks , please see my previous post.
Most of what I shared at 8 weeks I still agree with. I would probably drop my overall rating from 4.5 out of 5 stars to 4. Given the amount of time we dedicated to exercise during this program, I think we should have seen better results. I attribute this to the lack of cardio in the program. P90X classic dictates two days of cardio per week (plyo and kenpo). I would say only plyo was really cardiovascular for me. One day a week of cardio, no matter how much you’re exercising, is not going to produce significant change. I know I’m stronger after this program, but if you still have a layer of fat on top of your new muscles, you won’t be able to tell that much has happened. While we didn’t do the diet, I’ve done plenty of exercise programs without a dietary change and seen impressive results (for example, Tae Bo). With P90X, I lost a grand total of 1 pound and 1.5 inches (1/2 off my waist, and 1/2 inch off each thigh). I would have liked to lose 2 inches off my waist, and I don’t think that goal was unrealistic. My husband didn’t want to weigh or measure, but you can see from our before and after photos that he had better results than I did. However, he was sedentary before beginning this program.
I do think the strength training component of P90X is great. To women worried about bulking up, you can clearly see that I added no bulk after 3 months. I did as Tony prescribed, and always aimed for 12-15 reps. My husband did 8-10 reps of the exercises and did add some size to his chest and shoulders.
In order to improve this program, I would suggest doing the three strength training videos each week (either chest/back, bis/tris/shoulders, and legs/back… or chest/tris/shoulders, back/bis, and legs/back depending on the week) plus three days of true cardio. I would recommend 45-60 minutes of cardio, not including the warm-up or cool-down. Plyo would count, but then you’d have to do something else for the other two days. Of course, this wouldn’t leave time for Yoga, but I think more cardio is really necessary.
My last complaint with P90X is the lack of change in the final month. Weeks 9-13 offer no new exercise DVDs, and I have to say it made me lose my motivation and intensity. By week 12, I was downright sick of legs/back (you do the exact same leg DVD for the entire program, while the upper body DVDs change some). I also was totally sick of Ab Ripper X. More variety is crucial.
What next? Given that I feel I could really use some good ol’ cardio after two 90-day programs deficient in quality cardio (Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis and P90X classic), I’ve bought Insanity. It’s a 60-day program based almost entirely on cardio. My husband is not up for doing this one, so I’ll be going solo. Wish me luck!
P90X before and after photos: