Lately I’ve been contemplating buying Tony Horton’s P90x home fitness workouts. I have a membership to World Gym that I half-heartedly use, but I need something to use in the comfort of my own home for those days when I just don’t feel like driving 40 minutes to and from the gym. Especially with winter coming, I’m not going to want to brave the Buffalo blizzards just to burn a few calories.
What Is Tony Horton’s P90x?
Admittedly, I first heard about P90x because I was commissioned to research and write about it. At first, I figured it was just another product that made bogus claims and delivered very few real results. Yet, the more I read, the more intrigued I became. Suddenly, I began hearing stories from family and friends.
“My sister is doing it to burn off her post-pregnancy baby weight! She likes a really kick-butt workout!” my friend said.
“Oh yeah, my sister has that,” my sister’s boyfriend told me. “She says it’s really intense!”
My cousin-in-law was the one who really floored us, though. “You lost a lot of weight!” my mother-in-law remarked one day. “What’s your secret?”
He looked to the right and left furtively, leaned in and said, “P90x.” He then proceeded to bust out his laptop where incriminating photos of his “fat days” were documented. “Check this out!” he said, beaming, pulling up his shirt to reveal an honest-to-goodness Brad Pitt six-pack. Unbelievable! Here I had it: the living proof that all those “before and after” photos were possible.
I thought back to one picture in particular I had seen on their website. It was a girl who had almost exactly the same body type as me – overall pretty athletic but a bit too thick in the thighs and lower stomach. When I saw her transformation, I was really moved and thought, “Now that is how the human body is designed to look!”
How It Works
What I like about the P90x program is that it doesn’t rely on gimmicks. What any personal trainer will tell you is that the way to bust fat is to never get stuck in a routine. You need to alternate cardio exercises with strength training exercises. You also need to alternate moments of intensity followed by moments of recovery during your workouts. The “muscle confusion” caused by cross training and interval training leads to the breakdown of fat and the building of new muscle. As you know, muscle burns more calories existing than fat, so this means you’ll be losing more weight just going through the daily motions of life. As you know, it’s hard losing weight, so we need all the shortcuts we can get!
I also like that P90x comes with a sensible diet plan that is based on deriving good nutrition from all the food groups. You’ll be eating breakfasts like mushroom omelets, turkey bacon and chicken scrambles, soy sausage on a muffin, and protein shakes. For lunch, you’ll have chicken salad, shrimp stirfry, steak and arugula, and turkey burgers. For dinner, there are recipes for lemon-dill salmon with asparagus, turkey, gravy and butternut squash soup, honey-chili chicken breasts, beef and broccoli stirfry, and swordfish, artichokes and wild rice. Snacks like string cheese, soy nuts, and protein bars keep you going between meals. All in all, I think this is the sort of “diet” I could definitely get into!
What You Get
The P90x program comes with:
- 12 Different Workouts On DVD: Chest & Back, Plyometrics, Shoulders & Arms, Yoga, Legs & Back, Kenpo X, X Stretch, Core Synergistics, Chest / Shoulders / Triceps, Back / Biceps, Cardio X, and Ab Ripper X.
- Diet Plan: Phase 1 (Fat Shedder – High Protein, Low Fat), Phase 2 (Energy Booster – Balanced Amount of Carbs, Fats and Protein), Phase 3 (Endurance Maximizer – Adding Complex Carbs).
- P90x Fitness Guide
- P90x Workout Calendar
- Online Support
The total cost of this program, including shipping, is $179.70 (or three monthly installments of $59.90).
I’ve also seen this program on Amazon offered for $139.80 (or $157.88 including shipping). However, judging by the comments from reviewers on the site, it seems you “get what you pay for.” Some people complain about DVDs that don’t work at all, DVDs that skip, being charged $40 for the replacement of said dysfunctional discs, and being transferred to tech support based out of India.
What You Don’t Get
As with any “total fitness program,” they have supplements that you can opt to buy. For instance, in the “Fat Shredder” phase, you’re having a protein shake for breakfast twice a week and every day you’re having a protein bar and “recovery drink” for a snack. A tablespoon of protein powder is added to several of your lunch and dinner meals as well. So what does this mean to your pocketbook?
- P90x Peak Recovery Formula Drink (30 day): $49.95 ($6.95 S&H)
- P90x Meal Replacement Shake (30 day): $39.95 ($6.95 S&H)
- Whey Protein Powder (30 day): $39.95 ($6.95 S&H)
- P90x Peak Performance Bars (30 day): $23.95 ($5.95 S&H)
So that tacks on $180.60 per month. Ouch. It’s quite the investment, isn’t it?
Do you have to use their brand? Of course not. You’d certainly save on shipping charges by procuring your own supplies, but it would be irritating to compare labels and ensure you’re getting a comparable value. You may also opt to buy resistance bands or dumb bells, which aren’t necessarily needed, but you may want to get faster and more dramatic results from your strength training.
The workout DVDs and diet plan promise to give you a beach body in as little as 90 days. I simply do not believe claims that you can lose “40 pounds in 2 months,” as one woman claimed. Yet, I would be happy to lose a healthy, normal 16 pounds in 2 months, while noting increased muscle mass and definition. If you have 100 pounds to lose and you don’t like to leave a workout really sweating and panting, then this may not be the workout for you. If you detest the idea of working out every single day, then you probably won’t get the most out of this system. Basically, you need to put in the grunt work for three months and stick to your guns, and then you can ease off a little and just maintain the new physique you’ve created.
My final word is that it’s a smart, healthy way to lose weight… if you can afford it!