Back in 2007 at the age of 27 I finished my first round of P90X and it’s when I wrote this review. Its 2018 and just about all of it is still true.
I have done many rounds of P90X over the years including hybrid programs. It became a big part of my life for the better part of five years. More on that below.
You probably know by now that P90X is a workout program based on the concept of “Muscle Confusion” where you do 12 different workouts over a 90 day period.
How I like to do my reviews is share my before and after photos first with my thoughts about P90X below. So here you go.
Round 1: 2007. Age: 27
Before starting P90X, my workouts consisted of running 20 miles a week followed with 50 push ups and chair dips with 100 sit ups. Six months before starting P90X I completed the Detroit Marathon. I was in good cardio shape but did not have a lot of muscle because of all the running. I was “skinny fat.” And I ate and drank whatever I wanted.
Upper body got bigger. From day 1 to day 60 I can see the V shape coming from my shoulders to waist. My forearms look bigger too. Probably could have gone without the flash on the camera for the Day 90 photo and not stuck out my chest either.
It looks like my chest and shoulders got a little bigger in this photo.
I can definitely see that my back, shoulders and arms got bigger and there is some definition now. I contribute a lot of this to doing chin ups and pull ups. I think all of those pull ups made me a little wider so I now have more of a “V” shape.
Either I had a little gut and no chest muscles when I started or I lost the gut and now have chest muscles. My arms and shoulders look bigger now too. I can see the outline for my oblique ab muscles now too.
P90X kicked my butt those first 90 days. Here I am thinking I’m in phenomenal shape from running a marathon and then I barely do 2 pull ups the first time I do Chest & Back. It was an eye-opener.
Week 1 resulted in soreness like I had not felt since practicing soccer 5 days a week when I was growing up. It hurt to walk, lift my arms, or do just about anything. The first month was a real challenge, especially doing pull ups.
Reps and weights gradually increased during Month 2. Definition started to show all over. Month three was a lot of fun. I was not as sore anymore.
The first time I did P90X Legs and Back I was only able to do 3 total pull ups. At the end of the 90 days I did 82. The first time I did P90X Chest and Back I could do 75 push ups and 2 total pull up / chin ups. At the end of P90X I could do 220 push ups and 52 pull up / chin ups.
It took 100 days to finish my first round of P90X. Started at 165 pounds and ended at 175 pounds. Body fat percentage went from 13% to 11%. What makes my results different from most is I put on 10 pounds of muscle where most people lose weight.
I did not follow the P90X meal plan during my first round at all. It was a bit complicated and I thought I ate well to begin with.
I started P90X in the beginning of summer and went out on my buddies boat almost every weekend partying my ass off. We only get a couple of months of warm weather here in Michigan so if you can get out on the lake, you do it. If I would have not partied every weekend that summer my P90X results would have told a different story.
Friends and family were telling me I looked different after my first round of P90X. None of them had ever seen me with muscle before.
The only downside to getting into great shape with P90X was I had to buy new clothes. None of my old clothes fit anymore. My “runners body” clothes were obsolete.
During my first round of P90X I used a Whey Protein Powder from GNC.
It was immediately noticeable how much of a difference P90X made in my overall fitness. Sports were so much more fun.
Golf drives went from 230 yards to 250 yards with occasional 270 yard drives. And while I took 100 days off from running I went for a 5 mile run after my first round and dropped 2 minutes off my time.
I went from hitting line drives and ground balls at softball to hitting them off the fence some 300 feet away.
Shaved nearly five minutes off my mile swim time from 50 minutes to 45 minutes. Mountain biking was noticeably easier from all the core and leg work. Skiing and snowboarding were a lot more enjoyable as I did not have to take as many breaks.
Round 2: 2010. Age. 29
After looking at my original P90X results I don’t think they give P90X any justice. I was very happy with my original results but to get the most out of P90X you really need to follow the meal plan and that was something I did not do.
I have a lot more definition now then after my first round of P90X. It should be noted I did a round of Insanity and various Tony Horton 1 on 1 workouts in-between rounds of P90X.
Many of my reps (pull ups & push ups) along with the amount of weight I could lift were slightly higher. The biggest factor came from following the meal plan 90% of the time along with using Shakeology everyday. What a difference it made.
After hearing Beachbody sell me on why I need to take the P90X Recovery Drink and P90X Protein Bars a hundred times after each workout I went and bought it for round two. Soreness did seem to go down faster. My best guess is Shakeology did more for me than the other two did.
Ten Years Later
Since that first round I’ve done three more rounds, a number of hybrids, and individual workouts from time to time. Its my humble opinion that P90X is the best at home workout program ever made.
I think about how much my life has changed since 2007 when a friend told me he was doing P90X to get into shape for basic training for Marines Officer Candidate School.
He told me I should buy P90X, start on my own, and when we had the same workouts on a particular day to go to each others house. That is what we did.
My friend undersold P90X and told me nothing more than “its extreme”. What “extreme” means could mean a number of things. Six months prior to starting P90X I ran the Detroit Marathon and thought that was extreme.
When I went looking to buy P90X I viewed the P90X infomercial on Beachbody’s website. Did I see people doing pull-ups? P90X definitely got me out of my fitness comfort zone and it brought my base fitness level way up.
It’s crazy to think how much my body and fitness changed while using a pull up bar, Bowflex Dumbbells, and occasionally some resistance bands or push up bars.
Tony Horton and Beachbody put P90X together so well. And to think you could get in this sort of shape in your home. Plus it challenged people to get out of their comfort zones and try things like Yoga and Plyometrics. After I started to get the hang of pull ups I began to look forward to doing P90X all the time.
Then there’s the whole thing P90X did for me and countless others as Beachbody Coaches.
I cannot say for sure if I will do another round of P90X. But as I approach 40 years old I probably should as Tony Horton was 45 when P90X was released. Hopefully I’ll be able to hang with him when I’m 45.