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After the success of the P90X at-home workout program, the highly-anticipated sequel – P90X2 – was released in 2011. For those X’ers who could not get enough of the P90X and P90X Plus, comes this harder, more extreme workout regimen, chock-full of muscle-confusing routines and powerful result-yielding workouts. There's no denying it: P90X was a game-changing program. There is good reason for its popularity, reason which has nothing to do with Beachbody’s marketing campaign. The P90X series, the brain child of fitness instructor Tony Horton, was – and continues to be – an immensely popular health and fitness solution, because it gets results. Without results, it wouldn’t still be around. Even with all of the most convincing buzzwords available, gimmicks and promises will only take you so far. The P90X series delivers, and the P90X2 DVD set is the next step in that life-long journey to health, fitness, and strength of body and mind. We will cover the ins and outs of this revolutionary series here in our P90X2 workout series review:
P90X2 Workout Schedules and Sheets Overview
“Alright, alright,” I hear you cry, “I’ve done P90X and I liked it, but what does the P90X2 schedule look like?” Well, at a glance these two could seem similar. Some of the routines even bear the same names. P90X2 has new routines, though, which break down as follows:
- X2 Core: The basis of the X2 workout series.
- Plyocide: Focuses on movement and coordination.
- X2 Recovery and Mobility: Using rest as a tool for balance and alignment.
- X2 Total Body: Muscle-building techniques, based on resistance exercises.
- X2 Yoga: Isometrics, motion, strength, and balance.
- X2 Balance and Power: Making the most of your core.
- Chest, Back, and Balance: Working with platforms of varying sizes to increase strength and balance.
- X2 Shoulders and Arms: More routines to get those “showoff muscles” looking great.
- Base and Back: Pull-ups and plyo for working these two essential groups.
- P.A.P Lower – Horton’s Post-Activation Potentiation techniques for lower-body fitness and strength.
- P.A.P Upper – Horton’s Post-Activation Potentiation techniques for upper-body fitness and strength.
- X2 Ab Ripper: The dreaded Ab Ripper routine just got more intense, with newer moves and powerful results.
The worksheets and schedules which are provided by Beachbody or other fitness/health/workout forums are very beneficial, and they can lend you a helping hand in getting organized. This is key. Making the decision to work out and get in better shape is great, but you should ideally follow it up with a well-structured plan. This is true in regards to the actual physical activities, the nutrition plan, or any supplemental day-to-day activities such as meditation or even sleep. You need to maintain your focus, and keep your eye on the prize. The little victories along the way are great, and each day, each workout, each meal, each meditation session – these are all getting you there. The body and mind form a kind of circle. They feed off each other, and draw strength from each other. You cannot expect to achieve the results you want, inside and out, if you neglect one of them.
Doing that is by no means easy, which is why schedules and worksheets have been tailored specifically for those who are training with the P90X2 program. Like P90X, it has a very demanding schedule, but it also has some flex to it, time-wise and nutrition-wise. The new P90X2 routines allow the workout sheets to be varied. Along with the P90X Plus workouts – which you should also check out – you will have no problem getting a really healthy workout, which keeps things interesting and doesn’t let you hit any plateaus. Here’s my personal brief review of some of the routines introduced in P90X2. This is not a professional opinion by any means, just a few thoughts from my own experience.
P90X2 Ab Ripper Review
Let’s start with Ab Ripper, because it’s the worst. And the best. Even those who haven’t completed the original 90-day challenge will agree that the Ab Ripper DVD is something which you can take with you for life. Even folks who haven't attempted a P90 program may have heard of or attempted an Ab Ripper X routine – it's that famed for its effectiveness. P90X2 Ab Ripper is a tough ab workout which gets results, and will be your most frequented workout over the course of the 90 days. Those who have been through the original Ab Ripper may notice that the difficulty has been taken up a notch – this workout is no joke. With that being said, this all depends on your state of fitness. The P90X2 Ab Ripper routines work your core muscles more so than P90X, which gives you a more well-rounded workout. All it requires is a mat – nothing else.
Length: About 17 minutes.
P90X2 Core Review
The stronger your core, the more physical activities you can properly engage in. A strong base is necessary for the routines which make up P90X2. The very first things to do in the P90X2 workout involve your core, specifically because of that reason. The moves themselves take some getting used to, even if you are seamlessly transitioning from P90X to P90X2. You can tell that Horton had seriously worked on this sequel, and made it a priority to step up the routines. P90X2 Core requires a stability ball, weights or bands, roller or bands, a mat, a medicine ball, and a towel.
Length: 57 minutes.
P90X2 Plyocide Review
Ready for some jumping around? You'd better be. P90X2's plyometrics routines are more plyo-based than the original P90X series. They are also less repetitive than in the original DVD. There are some cardio elements in the mix, but those looking for a plyo-cardio workout may be disappointed. P90X2 Plyocide requires a stability ball, foam roller or bands, a mat, and medicine ball.
Length: 57 minutes.
P90X2 Recovery + Mobility Review
In order to succeed in P90X2, you need to know how to move. This is what this DVD is about, really. Using your body in the best way, and learning how to move around properly, while getting your body warmed up and prepped for other exercises. Tony even tells the viewer to pause the DVD and take the time to work on any problematic body parts. It is a very personal sort of activity, so it changes from one person to another. P90X2 Recovery + Mobility requires a roller, a bar or towel, and a mat.
Length: 58 minutes.
P90X2 Total Body Review
As the title plainly suggests, this is a total body workout. It has some elements of balance, it keeps your heart rate way up, and it is one of the longest and more difficult routines of phase one of P90X2, which has the ability to get more difficult as time goes on. It is a workout which will leave you feeling spent and wasted, every time, but in the best possible way. Lord, I am getting tired and cranky just remembering it… P90X2 Total Body requires a stability ball, a roller, weights or band, pull-up bar, two medicine balls, and a mat of some kind.
Length: 64 minutes.
P90X2 Yoga Review
First off, this yoga routine is a big improvement from the original. It is shorter, it is more accessible, and it is about flow, breath, and movement. It is yoga, but it is also a standalone workout with different goals. Having done P90X already, this DVD is not too difficult, technically speaking. Yoga is awesome, and I am unabashedly biased when it comes to this routine. Requires a mat and a yoga block.
Length: 68 minutes.
— Official P90X2 (@p90x2) June 9, 2014
P90X2 Before and After Transformation Results
Thankfully, I had already completed a round of P90X before attempting P90X2. When I took on the challenge of Tony's new creation, I wanted to put more of an emphasis on the diet. During P90X, I cheated on the nutrition plan more often than I’d care to admit. Well, not cheated, really. I knew I wasn’t going to go through the entire plan, but I wanted to do it with the P90X2 program. In the end, I think I did well. I didn’t keep an eating journal or anything – this is just a general feeling I have regarding the diet. P90X2 helped me improve on my athleticism in particular. I was in good shape when I started the program, but I am a greedy trainer. I wanted more. P90 programs have caused me to develop a serious crush on fitness and strength, although I don’t have a specific end goal in mind. Right now I'm just doing my thing, trying to balance career, family life, and fitness. This is a lot easier said than done! Like many others, I have a lot of balls in the air, and I try to give every area of life the focus that it deserves. The secret, as far as I am concerned, is to not let it get you down. Don’t feel bad if you miss a meal, a day of working out, or anything else. Prioritize, and follow through to the best of your abilities. At the end of the day, nobody's perfect! Completing 88/90 or even 70/90 days of a workout program is still an impressive accomplishment.
If you decide to get going with P90X2, you're probably already familiar with Horton’s work. You know what he and his crew are about, and you agree that it is awesome, or else you wouldn’t be here. Most beginners kick things off with P90X, as it is the more popular, traditional entry in the P90X series. Ultimately, I got what I wanted out of P90X2, and I think you can too. Could I have gotten more out of it? Probably, but that's not the point. Again, beating yourself up about shortcomings is a lot less productive than taking pride in what you have accomplished. I now have a lot more moves in my arsenal, and that counts for a lot. I know my body better than before, for sure. Your transformation will differ, obviously. Mine was very satisfactory. It is a continuing journey.
P90X2 vs. P90X Comparison and Differences
P90X2, like its predecessor, is a 90-day at-home workout program. The main differences between them are:
- Goal: While the P90X is designed to get you into the best shape possible, the P90X2 is meant to provide the X’er with improved athletic ability, agility, and speed. The muscle-building and fat-burning aspect of the P90X2 is almost incidental. Naturally, when you are doing the kind of extreme workouts which make up the P90X2 program, you will be looking better and fitter.
- Time: P90X is made up of three 30-day phases. Each phase is designed to correspond with that month’s phase of the P90X diet plan, and is also designed to best avoid flat-lines (aka plateaus). P90X2 is more flexible with the timeline, with phases lasting between 3- 6 weeks. Individual phase-goals are there, so you aren’t left high and dry in the middle of the program. Small victories keep you going, and this stays true to any kind of workout solution. P90X is a 6-day workout week, and P90X2 is a 5-day workout week.
- Workouts: P90X features 12 different routines, and P90X2 has 12 new routines, and 2 more extreme workouts. P90X2’s yoga routine is 60 minutes, unlike P90X’s 120 minutes. That was actually one of the most common complaints Beachbody got about P90X – the lengthy yoga routine. They took their customers’ feedback to heart, and implemented a fix in P90X2.
- Nutrition: Both plans incorporate a 90-day nutrition plan, but they differ in a couple of ways. P90X2 was released later, so it has newer recipes and more up-to-date scientific research behind it. Unlike P90X’s plan, the P90X2 diet also includes grain-free and vegan options.
Forbes Interview during my P90X2 media tour in NYC. http://t.co/1wwR8P91
— Tony Horton (@Tony_Horton) December 17, 2011
If you completed a round of P90X or P90X Plus, and are interested in stepping up your game and your athletic abilities, check out P90X2. It is not a P90X replacement, but rather a supplement. Some might be content with a second round of P90X, but those who are hungry for more will get their fill with P90X2. Note: P90 programs are all very challenging, by definition. They are result-oriented, and they may take a lot out of you. P90X2 can be strenuous, to say the least. This is especially true for those who have not worked out in a while, or those who haven’t been eating right. For some of the soreness I had to deal with following my round of P90X, I actually turned to Jerusalem Acupuncture to get my body right.
Before starting any of the P90 or P90X programs, make sure you consult your physician. Extreme activities are just that – extreme. Make sure that you are up for the task, before commencing these workouts. Like the P90X, the P90X2’s cost is around $120. Is it worth the price? Depends who you ask. I have no doubt that anyone who has gone through the P90X program will say ‘yes’ without thinking twice. The cost of fitness and health is subjective, and ultimately it’s up to you, and you alone to decide what is too great a cost. If you have the time and the money to invest (not everyone does), get it. Invest in yourself, and watch as your investment pays for itself in feeling great, looking awesome, and building the body you've always wanted. This is not a way to turn you into a bodybuilding beast. There are other workouts for that kind of deal. The P90X2 is a way for serious X’ers to achieve more and climb higher. Get ready for your next challenge!