A couple of my friends and site visitors have sent me e-mails asking what is the hardest P90X workout. How about all of them. Some are more challenging then others. What I like most is that you really can’t half ass any of them. Each exercise pushes you. It comes down to how you feel that day and where your intensity level is at.
Since I consider myself an expert in the P90X field. I decided to make a list from the hardest P90X workout to the not as hard (not easiest) workout. My factors in deciding these are based on what is going through my mind when I pull the DVD out of the booklet and how sore I feel the next day.
The Hardest P90X Workout is…
- Plyometrics– I have been doing P90X for almost a year now and Plyometrics still kills my legs. Of course this is the workout that does the most for me as I am a big skier/snowboarder and runner. My legs have never been in better shape. The next day my legs are on fire and my ass hurts from all the lunges and squats.
- Chest And Back – Push Up, Pull Up, Push Up, Pull Up, Push Up, Pull Up, and then repeat. Really? Is that chain of events necessary. Tony Horton does not like us. With so much emphasis put on those muscles it really is a killer. My arms are on fire and veins are popping out. Guaranteed to be feeling it the next day.
- Back And Biceps – Pull Ups, Curls, Pull Up, Curls, Pull Up, Curls, and repeat. My arms are dead after doing this. Switching from the pull up bar to dumbbells and going at a quick pace always keep me on my toes.
- Chest, Shoulders, And Triceps– Push Ups, Shoulder Press, Tricep Extensions for an hour. There are different varieties of those exercises. I have never finished this workout without feeling exhausted after it. My arms are destroyed when I am done.
- Shoulders And Arms– Lots of shoulder presses and curls along with some tricep work. I struggle with this one because my right shoulder has a small injury I got when I was younger. It does feel good to stretch out those shoulder muscles even if I have to use a lighter weight. Do I need to say anything more about my arms getting a workout here? I think you get the point.
- Legs And Back – This is one of my favorite workouts and I was debating about putting this higher. I kept it lower because it is working the upper and lower body. The workouts above focus on one or the other. With two different body parts being worked there is a lot of energy to crank out as many pull ups and lunges/squats as I can. This workout is the one that I do the most pull/chin ups on as it is the only exercise you are doing for the upper body. My legs, especially the calves, still feel tender the next day.
- Yoga X – I never realized how much I would get out of doing Yoga until after I did it a couple times. The only weight involved is your body weight. All of the poses and balance postures put so much emphasis on those little in between muscles. The stretching really loosens me up. I have noticed a big difference in my softball and golf swing from doing Yoga. It sounds easy to do but when I am done I still break a sweat.
- Kenpo X – This is more of a fun workout to me than anything. Lots of kicking and punching going on. When I started using weighted gloves it felt like a workout again. That little bit of extra weight makes a differnce when throwing punches as it now forces the core to work.
- Core Synergistics – To be honest, I have only done this workout a couple of times. It’s probably because it fell on the off weeks and I was too focused on the other workouts to enter it into my routine.
- Cardio X – Since I am big into running I never got around to doing this one except for the couple of times it feel into my recovery week. I remember it being good but to me I’d rather run for an hour because I know that the other workouts are going to be back the following week.
- Ab Ripper X – I must be crazy right? Abs at #11. Ab Ripper is tough. I am not denying that. My take on it is that since it is right after the toughest workouts it makes it harder to do. The few times I did Ab Ripper without doing anything else made a big difference. I was able to complete the whole thing with no problem. I still felt the burn but not as much as if I was trying to do a ton of pull ups for an hour and then do abs.
- X Stretch – This is a tamed down version of Yoga X. The workout is under an hour where Yoga is near an hour and a half. I like it but not as many balance poses.
Can the hardest P90X workout list change?
This list could change at a moments notice as they are all pretty tough to do. I feel pretty confident about numbers 1-7. These workouts always kick my butt. Even after doing them each dozens of times I still “feel the burn” the next day.
I guess its a good thing though because it tells me that P90X is not just a 90 day program as it is a lifestyle change about how to workout and get results. If one of these particular workouts decides to attack me then I will redo the list and award it the #1 position. In the mean time these are what I feel to be the hardest P90X workout.
Sounds about right.. I think I would switch Kenpo and Core synergistics though, it might just be me, but core tore me up.
Yeah, I would put synergistics higher as well; that workout kicks my butt.
I would put chest and back #1 and plyometrics like 6. I am a big running, so plyo or kemp do not do much for me.
if all you P90Xer’s really want to get a “hard workout” and be in amazing shape… try going Crossfit. i would challenge all of you to try to RX “Murph” in under 50 minutes. if you don’t know what it is check it out… you could actually do it at home. P90X is aerobics for men….
Brad Gibala says
Shane – Don’t be that guy and do the CrossFit is harder than P90X thing. Its all about getting in shape. Because somebody will say that they do Plyometrics with a 50 pound vest on, going uphill in a rain storm. That sounds like a hard workout huh?
I’d have to put Yoga a the top for me.. My flexibility is extremely limited and my 6’4 210lb frame makes this workout killer.. I definitely would agree that it all depends on what your strengths and weaknesses are.. but Yoga is 1.5 hours of sheer hell in my house..
Brad Gibala says
LOL. Yes, Yoga X is tough.
I’m introducing my friend to P90X today, she doesnt work out and really wants to lose weight. What would be the easiest workout for her to do?
Brad Gibala says
Have you done P90X? I always tell people to start with one of the P90X workout plans. If she doesn’t work out at all then she might be better off starting with a ChaLean Extreme.