P90X Workout Review – A Scam Or Legit?

By | May 27, 2015

P90X Workout Review – My Review

Overall Ranking: 40 out of 100 pointsp_90x_first
Price: $100-300
Experience level: Beginner
Type Of Training: Bodyweight / Weights / Home Training
For what?: Fat Loss / Muscle Building
Owners: Tony Horton
Website: http://www.beachbody.com/product/p90x.do


So I stumbled upon a commercial about home fitness program called P90X and it sparked my interest, what does it consists of and more importantly, DOES IT WORK?

There was some quite interesting promises that it’s the newly found discovery that will melt off all of your excess fat and builds hefty amount of muscle simultaneously. But I get it. Even the best workout programs tend to have some misleading marketing in them so let’s not judge the whole thing based on a bit of marketing.

I will take a thorough look into the program and find out the pros and cons of it and ultimately is it worth of your hard earned money.

So keep reading if you want to find out is the program a real deal or a scam! Although be aware that this is quite in-depth review so you’ll get a thorough look of the program, so there is a lot of reading coming up!

Tony Horton, The Creator Of The Program

Tony Horton is certainly a bit of celebrity because of the success of his P90X programs. And he has a great physique even considering that the guy is 56 years old!

Tony is certified Personal trainer and he claims to have worked with numerous high-profile celebrities. He started his first personal training business out of his garage.

Tony Horton is not a familiar name in bodybuilding or strength training circles but regular folks know him way better since his P90X (Power 90 Extreme) programs are tailored towards everyday folks who are willing to shed fat and get into shape.

But let me tell you, if you think that you will get a body like Tony with P90X it will not happen. Tonys body is build in the gym lifting weights, not doing bodyweight exercises in the comfort on his own home. The reason for this is that the bodyweight training just isn’t heavy enough to really spark that muscle growth after a while.

What Is P90X?

PRIMARILY P90X is a 90-day fat loss program. It consists of a diet plan and a workout routine which you can do at your own home with some equipment.

P90X Advertises on muscle growth also but the way p90x does it is not the best possible way to go about it. The best way would be training with weights.

The workout regime is divided into different days consisting of:

  • Plyometrics
  • Yoga
  • Abs
  • Kenpo
  • Bodyweight Circuits that include some dumbbell or barbell exercises as well.

The rep ranges of exercises mainly move in between 15-30 reps per set.

Like I mentioned earlier P90X is a fat loss program. The type of training included in the manual is not good enough if you want to pack on some muscle in the process. But most of the people hopping into this regimen are also looking to gain muscle at the same time so there is a better way to go about training if you’re serious of changing your body composition.

That being said the program is catered to beginners and beginners will gain muscle doing basically anything so you will pack on some muscle, but again it’s not the best way. Why not take the full advantage of your beginner gains at the same time?

Weight training is simply the best way for changing your body composition, there is no way getting around that fact. If you’re interested in shedding off excess fat and getting fitter, weight training should be your #1 priority over anything.

Coupled with a correct diet that has the optimal macro-nutrient ratios with proper weight training routine, you will change your body composition the fastest and most efficient way.

Is P90X A Scam?

Not really. It has a diet module along with the workout regime and these both combined will keep you in a calorie deficit and make sure that you will be burning fat. Although there is a couple of potential problems with the way they’ve constructed the program.

The diet is actually made up quite well since it will be tailored to your individual needs by calculating your Resting Metabolic Rate and then you choose your objective if it’s fat loss, energy booster or endurance maximizer.

But like I already mentioned before, the lack of proper weight training this workout regimen does not deliver even nearly the best results possible.

And if you’re after the fat burning, like most of the folks that end up purchasing this program are, depending on your current body composition, it might not be the best option to restrict calories as much as their calculator tells you on top of doing the very straining workouts every week.

The SECRET: Muscle Confusion

This is partly true but mainly it’s just a marketing trick. I mean it holds some value that you have to provide a new stimulus to your muscles in order to “confuse” them and make them grow so that they cannot adapt to the exercises.

But to be honest your muscles really do not give a damn about “confusion” your muscles don’t really know what exactly you’re doing, they just know that they have to contract when you provide a resistance for them.

The best results of building muscle are found when you use heavy compound exercises and keep adding more reps or more weight over time. This kind of “confusion” gives the muscles a reason to grow because they get a signal that they need to get stronger in order to survive.

Although it is true that you should change your exercises from time to time to get stronger and overcome plateaus, but the way P90X advertises the muscle confusion it’s just a marketing trick.

All of the programs that I’ve found out to be far from good like to come up with this kind of a “secret” that they’ve cracked the code and found out some new revolutionary discovery in exercise science that will guarantee exceptional gains.

And more often than not, it’s just a marketing gimmick to get rid of your money since there is nothing that relevant to be discovered anymore.

The proven basics of altering your body composition are still the same what they’ve been for the existence of our species. There is nothing special about P90X. Infact it’s not even close the best way to go about changing your body composition.


Like I mentioned before P90X has done a decent job at figuring out your individual needs by calculating your Resting Metabolic Rate since it is in my opinion the pillar of any successful weight loss or muscle building program.

The only problem is the ready made diets. There are diet plans for every day and there is quite a big variety of foods available and this can result as a quite a difficult task to cook all the different foods that you possible will not like.

A successfull diet is the one that you can stick with it and it should be made so that you’ll include food that you like to eat and not stick into a “cookie-cutter” plan that just tells you exact foods that you have to eat.

A better alternative to the ready made meal plans is to use IIFYM aka flexible dieting. It involves a bit more work in the start but you’ll thank me later since you get to decide what you want to eat!


Currently there are three different options you can choose from and check them down below:

For Who The Program Is For?

The whole P90X program is designed for beginners. If you’re an intermediate or advanced trainer you will not find anything valuable from this course in my opinion.

But the catch is that all the workout regimens in the program lasts around 50-60 minutes and burn around 500-700 calories and that is a lot.

The regimens are very straining on your body if you’re not a fit person. So the program is made for folks that are beginners and want to get into fit shape but at the same time you’ll need to be in quite good shape to tackle the grueling workouts 5-6 times a week.

This will scare a lot of people away and it’s no wonder why a lot of folks end up ditching the whole regimen within a couple of weeks. It’s just too much to ask from a beginner.

The way how you should do is to gradually build yourself up overtime and not just hop in to the deep end of the pool straight away if you cannot swim.

Equipment – What You’ll Need

With P90X you’re supposed to have atleast the following items:

#1 Pull-Up Bar – since 3 of the 12 different workoust will have you doing some form of pull-ups / chin-ups.

#2 Adjustable Dumbbells or Resistance Bands – Personally I’d always go with the dumbbells since they are by far better at building muscle and strength compared to resistance bands.

The truth is that with these 2 items you can actually make all the progress that you need IF you’re using a solid weight training program if you want to get the best results possible.

What I Like In The Programpositives

All of the things I found actually useful are very subtle basic stuff that does not matter all that much WHEN the big picture is in check.

  1. Habit of logging your workouts
  2. Tailoring your calorie intake based on your individual needs (although the fat loss calories are a bit too aggressive like I mentioned before)

What I Don’t Like In The Programnegatives

So there is a couple of reasons why I do not like the whole P90X program and let me explain my insight to you now.

  1. The Crash Diet / Quick-Fix Mentality – The whole program is designed to be completed in 91 days and after that, what you will do? Purchase another Beachbody product and end up spending another $100. And as I mentioned, the calorie restriction is too aggressive and you’re pushing the whole duration with quite low energy and you got these very straining workouts to complete. So if you ever get to finish the regimen, after you’re done with it it’s very common to go back and gain all the weight back quite fast since you’ve been feeling like s*it all the time and you want to eat a lot.
  2. Sub-par Training Methods / The Lack Of Serious Weight Training – The way P90X workout regimens are set up, are just not good. They are basically just a series of very simple stuff made over complicated that get’s your blood pumping. You could have the same effect by watching free 60-minute workouts from youtube. There is nothing special or good within the regimens, although P90X claims that by their “muscle-confusion” system which I already explained is only a marketing gimmick. Remember what I told you about real weight training? That is the way to go IF you want to make best results possible, there is no way around that fact.
  3. Lack Of Sustainability – If you want to really change your body, burn off that excess fat and get toned & fitter muscles, you need to find a program that is sustainable. Something that you can stick to atleast a year or two. 90 days is not ENOUGH. All these quick-fix workouts will fail in the long run. I don’t blame Beachbody, they are a HUGE and powerful company that makes billions of dollars because of the fact that they have dozens of different products that you can hop on and off after 3-months. But think about it, you could be investing way less money than P90X and workout with the same guidelines for the next few years or the rest of your life, while getting better and more sustainable results compared to P90X.
  4. Price-Quality Ratio – With over $100 price tag, this program does not provide a real value information wise or workout wise. The info you’ll get is very shallow and something that you could obtain with a couple minutes of google search.
  5. Non-electronic Product – Meaning that you have to first wait the DVD’s to arrive by mail. It’s really surprising that they do not have the option for a fully downloadable product so you could get your hands on the program RIGHT AWAY after purchasing it.
  6. Misleading Marketing – The fact that the program “has discovered the long kept secret” of fat loss, with the “mucle confusion” inducing workouts.

Conclusion On P90X Workout Review

All-in-all I was not a bit surprised with the P90X program. I thought that with all the marketing coming with it, it would be quite invaluable and found out that the program didn’t surprise me with it’s quality.

But now let me get a couple things straight with it. It is a somewhat successful WEIGHT LOSS program and if you’re just looking to shed excess fat you can get some results using the p90x. But I still think there are far better ways to lose weight than P90X.

The workouts are really overcomplicated and I get the classic “crash-diet” feel of this whole system. I cannot see a sustainability with this regimen. You complete it in 3 months and after that you’re pushed to buy the next P90X product called P90X:2 and after that, ofcrouse P90X:3. Or another Beachbody product. And there goes your money again.

You should find something that you can stick to for the rest of your life, not just a “90-day quick-fix”.

If you’re looking for a program that maximizes fat loss and muscle gains at the same time P90X is not the best out there. And by muscle gains I do not mean a ridiculous bodybuilder type of look, I mean the muscle growth that really shapes your body and brings out the best of you.

If you follow P90X as it is instructed you probably will shed off that excess fat and experience some minor muscle gains, but if you’re serious about altering your body composition, why not use a system that gets the best results you possibly can?


12 thoughts on “P90X Workout Review – A Scam Or Legit?

  1. Matt

    I must aggree with you concerning P90X being for beginners. A healthy motivated 25 year old might be able to handle it, but the average person needs to “warm up” to this. I often recommend for my people to do Jillian Michaels 30 day shred first to get the muscles used to working out prior to throwing them into the P90X. Also P90X has some dangerous exercises. Just my thoughts. I have my own program similar to the P90X that removes the dangerous exercises on my website.

    1. Jesse Post author

      Thanks for the input Matt. Always more than appreciated!

      I’m just being curious but what exercises you find out to be dangerous in the P90X?

      All the best to you 🙂

  2. tmc88

    If P90x is not the best out there for fat loss and muscle gain like you said, then what program or combo of programs do you suggest?

    1. Jesse Post author

      I’ve reviewed over 20 workout programs that are meant for changing body composition and by far the best option is Body Transformation Blueprint. The program is very effective and it is based on actual exercise science and cuts through all the crap and gives you all you need and nothing you don’t whether you want to build muscle or burn body fat or do them both.

      Check out my review on Body Transformation Blueprint HERE if you’re interested 🙂

  3. Jesse Post author

    It usually takes me about 40-60 mins for complete the workouts. You really do not have to live in the gym in order to experience great gains. Focus on quality instead of quantity, that is the idea!

    All the best to you and keep growing stronger both mentally and physically 🙂

  4. Juan

    i think you’re supposed to do it continuously. not stop after 3 months, i think was a little silly to say. but i will have to see after i get into actual shape. because i’m getting crazy results right now. but i will check out the other stuff, it doesn’t hurt to check what else is out there, i think you may be right.

    1. Jesse Post author

      Thanks a lot for the comment Juan.

      In my experience most of the people do A LOT of program hopping with beach body products. They lose interest in one after a 3-month cycle and buy the next one and so on. But yeah you could do it for the rest of your life you like it.

      All the best to you and keep working hard 🙂

  5. Robert

    Hi Jesse, I just used your link and I just watched the entire video pitch for “Body Transformation Blueprint”. Sean claims that in “90 days” (there it is again) you will see big time results. I read your columns and in them you said that anyone saying that you will see these big results in 90 days is ridiculous, it takes years of training to see any REAL change. I am confused, is Sean saying the same thing as the rest with his “90 day results” claim or is it different when he says it based on his program for some reason? Like your columns and reviews.

    1. Jesse Post author

      You’re on point here. There is a bit of sales pitch even in Sean’s program video. And that is quite contradicting with everything the program actually stands for and also Sean’s youtube videos like this one couple months ago he went into detail on how much muscle you can actually gain.

      His sales pitch video is quite many years old and I agree it has a bit of this “90 day BS” that he actually goes against big time and promotes lifting weights for long period of times (years) to see the best progress possible.

      Although there is some minor sales pitch things in the presentation, you can rest assured that this program is as legit as they come.

      I truly stand behind this program and have made really good gains with it. I suppose every product uses a bit of marketing to make it more appealing.

      All the best, Jesse 🙂


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