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The P90x Routine Explained

Updated on January 17, 2014

What Exercises are in the P90x Routine?

If you have not seen it on late night TV Infomercials, read about it on the web or heard about it from a friend who has tried it...P90X is a 90 day home workout program that also included a 90 day nutrition plan. It was developed by Tony Horton in conjunction with BeachBody and some other big names in the fitness and nutrition world. This 90 day home workout routine claims to drastically improve ones fitness by the end of the 90 days and if you browse You Tube for P90x. You will quickly find tons of people video taping themselves going through the program with day 1 and day 90 transformation pictures/video. These transformations are a result of the daily workouts that are matched with a nutrition and dietary plan.

The P90X Routine consists of daily workouts that come to you on 12 DVDs. On each DVD is an intense workout that will have you sweating off lbs, becoming strong as well as more flexible. These individual exercise routines are done in a specific order outlined in the workout guide and gives you something that has been branded as "Muscle Confusion". This "Muscle Confustion", is meant to introduce new and different exercise movements that target different muscle groups every day. Which in turn prevents your body and muscles from plateauing due to the constant needed for adaptation to the different exercises. This is very similar to a Cross-Training type work schedule but takes it one step farther.

Each DVD contains an extremely targeted workout for specific muscle areas. The exercise routines on the DVDs normally last around 60 minutes, including warm-up and cool-downs if you do not take any breaks along the way to catch your breath. The P90x Routine comes with detailed worksheets to help you track your progress from exercise to exercise as well from day to day and week to week.

The P90x Routine Is Not Easy

P90x Routine
P90x Routine

P90X DVD Breakdown

The DVDs are broken up into either muscle areas or exercise types. They range from high intensity cardio workouts to stretching to muscle building. You will end up having your favorite workouts and you will have ones that you dread doing. The best thing about them is that Tony Horton makes it very easy for anyone to quickly learn the exercise routines so anyone can get going immediately when they get the DVDs.

Here is the DVD breakdown:

Disc 1 – Chest & Back : This is s strength and definition workout that uses classic upper body exercises. The warm-up is pretty basic, but meant to get your arms and shoulders moving so they are ready for what is coming. What is coming involves 6 different styles of push ups, 3 different pull ups and 3 individual upper body free weight movements. By the end of this workout you will have pushed or pulled yourself up more times that any other time in your life, but it makes you feel great when you are done. The cool-down is also basic and helps lower the heart rate while stretching the previously worked areas.

Disc 2 – Plyometrics : An intense jumping movement cardio routine to increase athletic performance. The warm-up is a little more intense that the first DVD and is meant to get your heart rate up so you do not injure yourself with the cardio routine to come. In that cardio routine you are doing many exercises that get your body off the ground. Like jump squats, airborne heismans, leapfrog squats, rockstar hops and jumping knee tucks. These plus the other exercises in the routine are done at a swift pace with 30 second breaks in between. At the end of it you are definitely sweating. The cool-down is designed to lower your heart rate while keeping the entire body loose and moving.

Disc 3 – Shoulder & Arms : A circuit of curling, pressing and fly exercise to increase overall upper body strength. This warm-up is similar to the first, where you are mainly warming up the joints and muscles of the areas that the routine is targeting, so shoulders and arms in this case. The workout itself consists of 6 different curl exercises, a few press and fly moves as well as some arm extension movements. It is all about getting strong and shaped arms plus larger shoulders. The cool-down again is also basic and helps lower the heart rate while stretching the previously worked areas.

Disc 4 – Yoga X : An intense yoga routine that improves overall strength, flexibility, balance and breathing. Now this one can become one of your favorites or one that you hate. The warm-up is a typical yoga warm-up with breathing and stretching. The routine itself is nothing like the relaxing yoga you see in the park. It is a full body workout, with lots of great stretches and strength plus balancing building yoga poises. It is a bit longer than some DVDs and by the end you might feel like you did a harder workout as well. The cool-down is a basic yoga cool-down.

Disc 5 – Legs & Back : A total body workout through squatting, pulling and lunging. This warm-up is similar to the first, where you are mainly warming up the joints and muscles of the areas that the routine is targeting. The routine is divided into lunge/squat movements to target your legs and then pull-ups/chin-ups to target your back, with a few other movements like groucho walks and chair salutations to keep the workout interesting. By the end you might not want to walk up to many stairs due to the leg workout portion. The cool-down again is also basic and helps lower the heart rate while stretching the previously worked areas.


Disc 6 – Kenpo X : Punching and kicking to improve cardio, endurance, coordination and balance. This might have the most intense warm-up in the DVD set. It gets your heart rate going plus stretches out your entire body. The workout itself starts out with a plethora of punching movements like jabs, uppercuts and hooks. Then it moves onto kneeing and kicking movements, then blocking moves. It all ends on putting many of the moves together in quick succession. If you do not sweat doing this routine, you are either Bruce Lee or some weird alien. The cool-down is simply to get your heart rate down.

Disc 7 – x Stretch : A stretching routine to prevent injuries and stiffness. There is no real warm-up to this one, it just goes right into the routine since it is all about stretching anyway. The workout is made up of 34 stretches that will make any who does it feel better after they are done. They are not easy and sometimes you might not even get close to how far Tony can stretch. There is no cool-down.

Disc 8 – Core Synergistic : Targets multiple muscle groups to improve over all body conditioning. The warm-up is a cardio and stretch routine to get you ready for the entire body workout to come. The workout routine itself is 20 full body exercise movements that work your core in every way. There are banana rolls, lateral skaters, supermans, squats, and plank movements. You want a strong core for every day activities, then this is the workout that will give you that. The cool-down brings your heart rate down plus gives your entire body a good stretch from this intense workout.

Disc 9 – Chest, Shoulders & Triceps : A strength and definition workout to target all upper body muscles. The warm-up is a light cardio and stretch warm-up, with emphasis on the upper body. The workout routine is actually 24 regular upper body movements that you would normally see athletic people do at your local gym. It will help build a well sculpted upper body that looks great at the beach. The cool-down is a simple set up stretches for your upper body.

Disc 10 – Back & Biceps : Powerful exercises to increase muscle in biceps and related back muscles. The warm-up is a simple one to get your biceps and back warm. The workout is loaded with curls and pull-ups to turn your biceps into cannons, plus flys and lawnmowers to have a back to match. The cool-down is short and simple to stretch your arms and back.

Disc 11 – Cardio X : A low impact cardio routine to help burn calories and tone the entire body. The warm-up once again is to get your heart rate up. This workout routine is a high energy mix of all the best moves from Yoga X, Kenpo, Plyometrics and Core Synergistic. You thought you sweat when you did each routine along, well welcome to sweat town when you combine them all. The cool-down is to try to get your heart rate down to a manageable rate.

Disc 12 – Ab Ripper X : A targeted workout to tone and sculpt the abdominals. No warm-up with this one, just right into it. There are only 11 exercises in this routine but let me tell you this routine will kick your butt every time and your abs are going to love it when you are all done. Think of every way you can work your abs, you are doing it in this routine. The cool-down is just a simple few stretches.

And your favorite P90X Routine is?

What P90x Routine is your favorite?

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Putting All P90X DVDs Together

So now you have a pretty good idea of what all the DVDs in the P90X Routine have to offer. The best thing about the P90X Program is that you are not doing the same exercise day after day and after 30 days the schedule gets changed so the daily exercises are in a different order. This means that P90X does not get as boring as just normal workout videos that you buy at the local movie store. Also another benefit, is when you are done your 90 days, you can easily grab your favorite DVDs and just pop them in to do them when ever you want. I still do the Ab Ripper X at least 1 time a week as well as the Yoga X once a week because they are so good.

So if you are looking to do a great 90 day home workout, the P90X Routine is a great product for any person with any fitness level. I am not saying it is the best one on the market but I did it for the 90 days and it did help me achieve weight loss and overall better fitness. I did not become a super ripped model, but that does not matter since I got what I wanted out of it.

My favorite routine was the Ab Ripper X and my dreaded routine was the Chest & Back because of all the push ups and pull ups, which I completely dislike.


The P90X Routine From Hell

Which P90X Routine Do You Hate The Most?

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