P90X3 Workout Series Review

P90, P90X, P90X Plus, and P90X2 at-home workout programs by Beachbody have had a big impact on many lives. These intense, life-changing workout programs have helped people get cut, toned, and ripped. They’ve also helped people discover fitness and a fitness lifestyle. These are invaluable changes that can add years to your life as well as boost your quality of life. The P90x, Plus, and X2 programs are not, however, a solution everyone can partake in – which is where P90X3, and our P90X3 workout series review comes into the picture.

The schedules of extreme workout programs can be very demanding, downright overwhelming at times. Your mind and body go through a lot in a relatively short time. There is a lot to get used to and a lot of invest – you don’t hear success stories about people who don’t commit themselves. Therefore, in too many cases, those who begin these programs do not see them through to completion. It would seem that the most common reason for failing to keep up is time. Not everyone has the time to invest in working out. Some of these routines are about an hour long, and a few are even longer – and that’s just factoring in the DVD length. It doesn’t include setting up, dressing down, showering afterwards, etc. Throw those into the equation, and you‘ll find that a 57-minute routine runs, oh, between 80-90 minutes at the very least. Sometimes, a workout can last two hours, and that’s a difficult thing to commit to, especially for 90-consecutive days.

Precisely for this reason, P90X3 was created. It was released at the end of 2013, and it was made for those who don’t have an hour or two to commit to fitness daily. Tony Horton, who came up with the P90 series, is now almost 60. He looks pretty amazing for his age, and you can’t help but be sort-of taken in by him and his positive attitude. He had a genuine interest in making the road to health and fitness more accessible. He wanted to provide a solution for those with a limited amount of time. That, in a nutshell, is the basis and premise of the P90X3 solution. The DVD’s in this program are 30 minutes long. In other words, P90X3 is doable – a lot more doable than hour-long workouts, for sure. However, despite the shorter workouts, P90X3 is still pretty damned effective. The workouts may take half the time, but you do not necessarily get half the workout. Do it right, and you’ll able to reap the same benefits as you would from P90X.

P90X3 Workout Series Review: Schedules and Calendars

x3The P90X3 DVD series has four schedules which you can follow. Every single one of the routines, regardless of the schedule, is just about 30 minutes long. The other P90X-series videos work with time frames according to phase. With P90X3, the schedules are split up into blocks of weeks, but all workouts are a straight 30 minutes, even in the final block (weeks 9 – 13). Which version should you train with? It all depends on your body and your overall goal. What is it that you have in mind? The four schedules are:

  • Classic: The ‘go-to’ version, for those who are looking for a balanced total body workout.
  • Lean: A version for those who are looking to lose some weight, more than anything else. The Lean and Classic schedules will both help you lose weight, but with Lean you get better mobility and cardio fitness.
  • Mass: Looking to get big and pack on the lb’s? Mass is the one for you. Those who want to follow the Mass schedule will have to stick closely to the supplied nutrition plan.
  • Doubles: Doubles is intended for those who have more time on their hands, for people who are training for a specific athletic event, and for those who have a taste for genuine punishment. The Doubles schedule is precisely that – two of the 30-minute DVDs in a row, every day.

Do not start off with doubles. If you aren’t sure of which way to go, start with the classic. It is recommended to complete at least one round of P90X3 before thinking of Doubles. Remember: before beginning any P90 physical activity, consult with your doctor. This is especially true for those who have not worked out in a while, and those who haven’t been eating properly. These are called extreme workouts for a reason, and you want to be sure that your body is up to the challenge.

The final week of each of the three blocks is dedicated to transitioning to higher levels of intensity. The different schedules’ follow specific calendars, which highlight certain activities. The X3 program itself is not intense, per se. It is fit for beginners and advanced X’ers alike. Now, let’s take a look at the routines which come with the P90X3. Each kind of workout is broken down into four different categories: ‘resistance,’ ‘power,’ ‘cardio,’ and ‘core, flex, & balance.’ We’ll kick things off with the resistance branch of reviews:

P90X3 Resistance Review

This set of workouts is all about muscle-building. This will serve as the backbone of your P90X3 experience. Now, worry not ladies – you’re not going to turn into a muscle-bound hulk by the end of the 90 days because of these workouts (sorry, guys). Truth be told, your mass added will have a lot more to do with your diet than it will with these workouts. Regardless of your diet, however, these workouts will go a long way towards whipping you into shape. P90X3 Resistance includes six workouts:

P90X3 Total Synergistics Review

1‘Total’ might be an understatement – this is a full-body blowout, and you’re going to be feeling this everywhere. Total Synergistics is the first workout you’ll be experiencing when you kick off the P90X3 schedule, and boy will you be jumping in head-first. Working muscle groups and your mind together – synergistically – is what this DVD is about. Every move uses more than one muscle group, and it involves some measure of balance. Packing 16-effective moves and a warm-up into 30 minutes is no easy task, but that’s exactly what Tony Horton and the gang have done here to incredible effects. The most shocking thing you’ll note when doing Total Synergistics is the lack of break time as compared to previous P90X series videos – hey, 30-minutes isn’t a lot of time, and there’s a lot to get done!

P90X3 The Challenge Review

2Ah, The Challenge… was a more appropriate title ever assigned to a Beachbody DVD? There’s something about push-ups and pull-ups that do in fact challenge us to work as hard as we possibly can. It’s a point of pride to perform as many as possible, and that’s exactly what you’ll need to do in order to make it through this video successfully. Basically, this DVD is made up of push-ups and pull-ups of all kinds. You pick a number of push-ups and a number of pull-ups, and try to hit that number in every one of the 16 exercises. I found that early in the program I was struggling to hit my number, and later on I was satisfyingly conquering it and climbing the ladder. There’s no better feeling than making it through the ‘burnout’ stage at the end of the video in which you are basically asked to push yourself to failure.

P90X3 Incinerator Review

3When do your muscles tap out? Let’s find out. This routine targets specific muscle groups, and puts them through a resistance activity followed by a weight activity. The plan is simple – work, and then continue working until you cannot keep going. By alternating between push and pull workouts AND dumbbell and body weight exercises, Incinerator keeps your body and your mind guessing in a way that is actually kind of fun. Of all of the P90X3 workouts, this one seemed to fly by fastest for me – and there is definitely something to be said for that. Not to mention, as a bonus, not many of these workouts are going to hit your glory muscles like Incinerator will.

P90X3 The Warrior Review

4Have you seen that movie Warrior? The one starring Tom Hardy about the estranged brothers who do MMA? Yeah, this is absolutely nothing like that movie, so don’t get any ideas. Modeled after a military-training routine, the Warrior is a DVD which incorporates upper-body, lower-body, and core exercises. This one requires no equipment – although a soft surface is a good idea – and can be done pretty much anywhere. To be honest with you, these equipment-less workouts irk me just a little bit in that they somehow feel like they’re less substantial than those which utilize equipment. However, there’s no arguing with the results – The Warrior gives you a serious pump and some seriously burnt out muscles.

P90X3 Eccentric Upper & Eccentric Lower Review

5These are routines which apply tons of force and tension on the muscle, and they allow muscle gain to increase with greater speed. But Eccentric Upper and Lower aren’t just for bulking up – they also serve as a great excuse for focusing on form and technique. Eccentric Upper is easily the more satisfying of the two, at least in my humble opinion. I think most will end up agreeing on that, however, as Eccentric Lower is basically a P90X3 take on the dreaded ‘leg day.’ Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t cherish both of these workouts – I credit them for my seriously improved tricep and quad strength and size. These workouts also reminded me of P90X more than any other – I never saw myself getting nostalgic over P90X, but I really can’t help but love Tony Horton. There’s just something so likable about the guy.

P90X3 Power Review

This next set is about power. It helps to define your shape, and boost your speed. Included are three different routines – Agility X, Triometrics, and Decelerator. . Power seems like an unimaginative name until you actually experience these three workouts and realize how fitting a name it is – these beasts will make you more powerful and explosive, period.

P90X3 Agility X Review

6First things first: Make sure you get yourself a decent pair of shoes for Agility X. This workout requires a number of quick movements, cuts, and most importantly – stability. You won’t run out of a bad pair of shoes like you’re Usain Bolt, but good shoes will go a long way towards ensuring you maintain proper balance and perform the moves correctly. Speed, balance, and endurance are sought by many people who are in training. The moves on Agility X will increase your ability to move faster, be more precise, and become more powerful in the process. Last, but not least, please do not cheat yourself on this workout. Agility X can be half-assed if you allow it to be, but you’re only cheating yourself if you don’t give it your all. If you want real results, put in some real effort.

P90X3 Triometrics Review

7This DVD resembles the dreaded Plyometrics, which is an essential part of the P90X and X2 programs. This time around, the routine has escalating levels of intensity, so it has a kind-of gradual feel to it. Additionally, Plyo put most of its focus on jumping movements, whereas Triometrics is more about balance and isometrics. If you hate squats, you might consider skipping this thing altogether because Triometrics is absolutely loaded with squat and lunge movements. If you’re an ‘off the couch’ participant (ie, removed from proper fitness training), you’ll have trouble sitting down for a couple of days after first running through Trio.

P90X3 Decelerator Review

8This is one of the best DVDs in the entire series, in my opinion, because it focuses on the elements which constitute a proper landing, which bring good balance, and which are less explosive in general. Technique over bulk. Slow and steady wins the race every time. Now, decelerate sounds like the opposite of accelerate. So, naturally, I thought this would be a slower, more deliberate type of workout – I have never been so wring. Decelerator is all about resistance cardio and pull-ups, two types of exercises that will shock your system and tear up your muscle fibers like you wouldn’t believe. P90X2 veterans will remember the Holmsen Screamer Hold – although I didn’t remember it hurting so much.

P90X3 Cardio Review

This set of three routines is meant to keep your heart rate up and burn those fat cells, while making sure your body is becoming more efficient. Frankly, you could alternate between these three videos on their own and see some serious fitness results. You won’t be building much by way of muscle, but the fat will melt off before long and you’ll be in seriously good cardiovascular shape. This is Tony Horton’s answer to Shaun T’s Insanity workout series.

P90X3 CVX Review

9C. V. X. Cardio. Vascular Extreme. You’ll come to dread these letters and words by the end of your 90-days, but like a student waking up for school, you just need to be told that this is all for the best. CVX involves bringing cardio and weight training activities together, in a routine which gets rid of the dullness of cardio workouts by incorporating weights into the process. It is a very demanding DVD, and you’ll be able to feel the burn big-time. CVX grew easier for me over time, but early on in the program I can’t even begin to tell you how many problems this workout gave me. Let me just tell you from personal experience – do not attempt CVX on an empty stomach, particularly if you’re not used to the workout. Also, don’t forget your towel (and bucket, if necessary) – you’re going to be producing some serious sweat.

P90X3 MMX Review

10Kenpo X Part II? Well, not exactly, but MMX does bring to mind the Kenpo X workout from the original P90X series. MMX is a fun mixed martial arts DVD which has you kicking, punching, elbowing, and kneeing everything in your vicinity. As is usually the case, you find that your worst opponent is actually yourself. Kick your own ass and burn those calories with this set of exercises. This is probably my most preferred cardio workout offered by P90X3, but that might mean that it’s actually the easiest to accomplish. I don’t usually like the more difficult workouts. Still, this DVD is fun, and it’ll have you moving.

P90X3 Accelerator Review

11While Decelerator isn’t necessarily all about slowing things down, Accelerator is most certainly about speeding things up. Get ready for 30 minutes of some of the most unforgiving cardio exercises in the book. Get ready to move, and fast. Be prepared, stability is virtually a prerequisite for this DVD – you’ll be doing a lot of stopping and starting, sudden stops, twisting, turning, etc. Like the Yoga DVD’s in the P90X series, balance and coordination will come in time, and especially as your core strengthens. I would recommend focusing on your form early on before becoming more ambitious in your moves as time goes on.

P90X3 App Review

appThis goes hand in hand with the whole “excuse me, I have a life” attitude which so many X3 users share. The main reason we can’t all commit to hour-long workouts is because we have demanding schedules ourselves. The P90X app is a way for you to take your X on the road. Its interface is relatively simple and user-friendly, and it keeps you accountable. It is easy to configure, customizable, and helps you out along the way. You can see personal stats, document your progress, keep track of your diet, your weights, your reps, all from the privacy of your own iPhone or Android. Choose a calendar and get going.

Different P90X workouts are available for the app, either as a bundle or as individuals. This is great, because it provides you with the option of continuing your progress, even without a DVD player. Download the routines you want to take on the road with you, and keep on training. Remember that some of the routines require equipment, so download accordingly. The P90X app is updated regularly, although it seems that Beachbody no longer has support for it. The last update was made available during November, 2016, so time will tell as far as maintanence and future updates.

P90X3 Nutrition Guide and Meal Plan Review

shakeMuch like the app I just mentioned, the nutrition guide is one which is easy to follow. It doesn’t leave too much wiggle room, to be honest. The meal plan is meticulous. It tells you what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. Obviously, it is possible to modify or cheat – sometimes, it is even encouraged – for the sake of a proper, balanced life. Ultimately, it is best to stick with the nutrition guide which corresponds with your schedule and appropriate workout calendar. Calorie-counting really does have its advantages, folks. Doing it for life sounds like a nightmare. Who on earth would want to do that to themselves on a regular basis?

But 90 days? That is a lot more down to earth, and a lot more doable. Give it a shot, and it can change the way you eat and treat your body. A lot of thought and scientific research has gone into producing the previous P90X diets and guides, and this newer one is no exception. Count your intake, follow a plan, and witness the results of your labor. Eat better, eat healthier, and keep track of your progress. What we eat directly affects our body, our mind, and our levels of energy. Going on a 90-day fitness journey is tough, and you will need to provide your body with the tools needed to face it. Give your physical form a way to stay on board, by following the P90X guide. Check out Shakeology if you’re looking for tasty ways to work in nutrition.

P90X3 Before and After Transformation Results

The most significant transformation, as far as I am concerned, was with regards to the eating. I wasn’t a junk food binger before P90X3, but I was definitely a weekend eater. I took advantage of the weekends to pack what seems like a week’s worth of snacks into my body. I stopped my weekend eating, and it has been good to me. I don’t believe in total and complete junk food abstinence. To everything there is a season – even for spicy Doritos. As for my actual shape and muscle build – my back and my abs definitely felt the results, a lot more than other parts of my body. I did the Classic schedule, and excluding one week where I was sick – I do have kids, after all – I managed to stick to it. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to, and oh man, it was tough getting back to it after a week’s break.

Side note: sticking to this program is essential. I honestly had no choice, during that one week. I was in bed, vomiting, diarrhea, the whole nine yards of toilet paper, as it were. If you are healthy, willing, and able – stick to it. I went through the 90-day program in the winter, following a premeditated new year’s resolution, to get my beach body on. If I go for a second round of P90X3 (and I am definitely going to) I will do it more towards the spring, starting in April rather than January.

P90X3 vs. P90X

xThere really isn’t a point to comparing these two programs. Yes, they are both 90-day, at-home solutions, but the X3 is unlike anything else that came before it in the P90-series. It incorporates elements from the P90X and X2 programs, but at its core, it is a different kind of approach.

There are three separate calendars to follow, along with their varying nutrition plans. The X3 workouts are all 30 minutes long, unlike the P90X and X2 whose routine time frames vary by phase. This is probably the most significant difference between the two. When you come home all bent out of shape because some yahoo yelled at you at work, or because some douche bag violently cut you off in traffic, you do NOT have the patience for, say, an 80- something-minute yoga routine or an hour-long arms and shoulders DVD. But 30 minutes? Like I said, it is a lot more manageable. It allows you to better prioritize and divide your time. That makes one hell of a difference, physically and psychologically. The P90X was introduced in 2003, and the P90X3 was released over a decade later. Many advancements were made in that space of time, specifically in the field of nutrition, and the P90X – although it is a great workout – is a little outdated in that sense, when compared to the P90X3.


With a price tag of $120, and a 90-day money-back guarantee, there’s no reason to back down from this modern challenge. If you have the time, and are able to commit – do it. Otherwise, wait for a time when you’ll be able to go through it. Don’t waste your money on something you won’t use. It would be a shame to order it and give up after a few weeks. Decide, commit, and change for the better. Sometimes, all you need is some incentive, and that is precisely what the P90X3 provides. In a word, the P90X3 workout is functional. More than anything, that is the word that comes to mind. It keeps it real. It is able to target several muscle groups and give them a proper boost, depending on your schedule.

It isn’t as in-depth as the previous program DVDs, nor is it meant to be. The P90X3 solution has a more straightforward schedule, and a healthy rotation between the discs allows that schedule to stay fresh and engaging. Make no mistake – it still hurts like hell if you do it right. It is going to be a tough road ahead. The P90X3 can afforf to push the envelope, because it is only 30 minutes long. The time factor changes a lot of things, and it condenses matters into more-manageable increments. Horton worked on the P90X3 for a good while, and engineered it so the amount of equipment needed is pretty minimal. This is another major advantage, as far as I am concerned. Resistance bands or weights, a bar, and a mat. That’s pretty much it. It allows people to simply press play, get on with it, and then get right back to the rest of their day.


Looking for more ways to inject fitness into your life? How about fitness trackers? Check out our Polar Loop and Fitbit Alta, Blaze, and Surge reviews here at EduMuch!

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