P90X3 Review and Results
First off, I will preface this by saying I am NOT a BeachBody coach, have no desire to be a BeachBody coach, and do not want to be contacted by BeachBody coaches. =) Okay, now that I got that out of my system…. P90X3 is the third installment to the P90X series brought to you by the delightful and super fit Mr. Tony Horton. I have done P90X but skipped P90X2 because of such varying opinions on the program…. I really should give it a shot though.
Anyway, P90X is sort of considered the holy grail of home workouts because it truly gets you into spectacular shape. Even celebrities and politicians have come forward as fans of the program, and you can add me to the list of fans as well. P90X is what opened the door to strength training for me, and strength training is what changed my body most drastically. With that said, I felt that P90X3 lacked the amount of strength work found in P90X and was more cardio based. For some, this may be a welcome change – for me, it just meant that the program was much easier in general (I like to be challenged).
But don’t take that as a “I hated the program!” sentiment, because it was actually quite enjoyable and I’m glad I completed it. There were a few workouts I fell in love with (hello, Triometrics) that I will continue to pop into the DVD player every now and then when I want to switch things up.
The pace of the DVDs varies… sometimes they move super quick, and sometimes they move so slow that you can tell Tony is talking simply to waste time. The program’s headline is something like “extreme fitness in only 30 minutes a day!”, cutting the time for the average P90X workout in half. BUT, this means a short warm up, short cool down and short or no breaks. I did my own warm up which added another 10 minutes, my own cool down, with another 10 more minutes there… so really, I spent closer to an hour working out.
Another thing to note is that during these programs, I kinda just do what I want. Sometimes I don’t work out Monday-Sat. I don’t follow the nutrition guide. Sometimes I substitute different workouts for ones I loathe (I’m talking to you, MMX). Overall I followed the program pretty closely but I believe that the second you start saying to yourself “ugh, I have to THAT workout today??”, is the second that you stop pushing your hardest, so I take a more relaxed approach.
The cast was full of the hottest and fittest people ever (Drea returned, in all her glory), and Tony was typical Tony, but not as funny and kind of creepy sometimes. Sorry Tony!
Let’s go down the workout list and I’ll give some general feedback on each one. I have the base package (so no bonus workouts or Ab Ripper) with the following workouts:
This is a full body workout reminiscent of Core Synergistics from P90X. Probaby one of the easier workouts for most people, but one of my faves. My rating: 4/5.
This one is killer! The point is to tape targets on your floor surface and use them to dictate movements. I never did it. Yes, I know…. bad. I just visualized the targets and I think I did quite well actually. This is a good cardio workout with some bodyweight moves thrown in for some extra POW. My rating is 4/5.
The Challenge is a whole lotta pushups and pullups, which is sort of my wheelhouse. To get the most out of it, be sure to increase reps each time you do the workout. The DVD itself is pretty optional though, in my opinion. It moves slowly and you may find it more enjoyable to listen to your iPod and just follow the list of moves in the fitness guide. Some of the pushup variations could have been more exciting – I was disappointed to not see any dive bombers. My rating is 3/5.
The official yoga DVD with P90X3 is a good, quick yoga session that I would say is geared toward beginners. For those of us who practice yoga regularly, it is insufficient. Time spent in each position is something like 10 seconds and it moves pretty rapidly. Personally I like to spend a little more time in each position and take a slower approach. My rating is 3/5.
This was an interesting workout that adds a resistance component to traditional cardio moves by having you hold a weight the entire time. It is a great workout in the sense that you will be sweating profusely at the end of it. Be careful on those side lunge jumps if you have a short ceiling like me – I hit a glass cover on the ceiling fan with my weight during a jump! My rating is 4/5.
Another total body workout here that focuses on bodyweight as resistance. I really enjoyed this one. It is fast paced, there is good chemistry between the crew and I just liked the moves. So with that said, I was disappointed when it completely fell off the schedule after month 1 of Classic! My rating is 5/5.
If you are coming into this one with not-so-great balance – be prepared to feel like you are doing nothing the whole time but flailing around. Isometric movements are great additions to any routine, but this workout was kind of “meh” for me. My rating is 2/5.
Dynamix feels more like a long warm up than a workout – but the less intense moves are a welcome change on transition weeks. My rating is 3/5.
Another cardio DVD. Sort of just the same old moves, so I wasn’t impressed by this one. My rating is 2/5.
Pilates and yoga can be similar, but I am a yoga girl by and large. Don’t kill me, but…. I did this workout once and decided I would substitute yoga for the remainder of the program. I just didn’t really find it enjoyable. The rapid breathing thing weirds me out! My rating is 1/5.
Ah, finally – some dumbbell action! Combined with bodyweight moves like good ol’ pushups and pullups – this is my kind of workout. Just make sure you are challenging yourself by using enough weight and doing enough reps! My rating is 4/5.
Where do I even begin? This was my favorite workout of the whole program. Lots of jumping and balancing, which I love. It’s definitely a leg burner too! The DVD is pretty fast paced and enjoyable. My rating is 5/5.
All right, time for complete honesty. I never did this workout. Didn’t even attempt it. If P90X taught me one thing, it’s that I abhor/loathe/hate/detest martial arts style workouts. I would rather do jumping jacks for 30 minutes/run in place/spin around in circles/lick the toilet seat/anything other than martial arts style workouts. I subbed Agility X or CVX depending on what kind of mood I was in. My rating…. can’t be fairly determined since I didn’t do the workout.
Eccentric Upper and Lower
These focus on working the negative, so they slow down the eccentric half of each movement. It is a challenging change if you don’t typically do these types of movements. A nice addition to the program, but probably not something I will use on a regular basis. My rating is 3/5.
This was a fun workout with a lot of variation. It is pretty much full body and incorporates a little bit of everything… bodyweight strength, plyo, agility, etc. I will probably do this one outside of the program because of how well-rounded it is – good for those days when you just want to do something different. My rating is 4/5.
To sum things up – X3 is no P90X, but it is an interesting change of pace and I don’t regret doing it. I learned some cool new moves, increased my cardiovascular endurance, and DID get stronger over the course of the program. X3, like most of BeachBody’s DVDs, are really nothing to take lightly – they have great programs for whipping your butt into shape without ever having to step foot in a gym.
As far as scale weight, I really didn’t lose much, but I wasn’t eating at a calorie deficit the entire course of the program. I lost about 3 lbs. As for inches, I lost a quite few, which is why going by scale weight alone is NOT a good indicator of progress. Take pictures and measurements.