P90: One Week In

I have worked out every day for the past 7 days straight.

Now, for you daily runners and routine-driven gymfolk, this may not seem like a very big deal, but for me, it’s pretty great. After all, this is an achievement I have never… er… achieved… before, and thus, I am going to be smugly self-congratulatory about it. Hooray for me!

As mentioned in my last post, I am taking the whole New Year’s Resolution thing to heart this year, and have decided to, yes, try to drop a few pounds, but moreover, to actively work on my fitness. Which, as you probably already know, is not exactly something I’ve ever been a big fan of. I mean, exercising? Voluntarily? Me?

But, hey, habits can be formed and broken, and I do believe it’s possible for even couch-lounging, Netflix-bingeing, lazy mofos like me to get into a solid fitness routine. One way that I’m trying to do this is with some wonderful workout routines that my sister created for me, and another way that I’m doing this is with the P90 home workout.

Some of you may already be familiar with Tony Horton and his somewhat infamous P90X workout: a hardcore home workout that produces results like this:

Unfortunately, as I learned from the one time I ever actually tried a P90X workout in the past, it really is meant for folks that are already in relatively good shape. I did like, half of the P90X Plyometrics video like, three years ago, and I basically still haven’t recovered.

Sooo, for not-quite-there-yet folks like me, Master Fitness Magician Tony Horton dropped the X and created P90. It’s a little (okay, probably a lot) less intense than P90X, especially in the beginning, but is supposedly structured around setting up a strong fitness foundation and working up to much more difficult/exerting moves. Working out at home is something that has long interested me since, you know, I’m a homebody who dislikes actively having to leave my house, but aside from a short run with Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred that culminated in, well, nothing, I’ve never attempted one before.

So, alas, somehow within the vast reaches of the interwebs, I managed to stumble upon P90, and figured, hey, why not give it a try? Nothing to lose, right? Well, except like, $90, but given what I spend on my hair every other month, it really wasn’t too difficult to convince myself to make the investment, hahaha.

For the uninitiated, P90 consists of three phases (A, B, and C) with three different parts that make up each phase: “Sweat,” “Sculpt,” and “Ab Ripper.” These workouts are present in all three phases, plus there’s a special workout for Saturdays (called, very imaginatively, “Saturday Special.”)

The calendar provided has you choose whether you want to emphasize “Sweat” (Cardio) or “Sculpt” (weight/resistance training), and then has you follow an alternating schedule of Sculpt A and Sweat A + Ab Ripper A for the first 30 days. Then you switch over to Sculpt B and Sweat B + Ab Ripper B for the next 30, and then, well, I think you get the idea. You do the Saturday Special every Saturday (it’s the same regardless of what phase you’re in), and Sunday’s your rest day.

I officially started P90 on Wednesday, 1/7, which means that I’m not actually a full week in. But since I worked out on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of that week (albeit following a different routine) I figure that it still counts. Plus, I did an extra day of P90 yesterday with my bro, even though technically the schedule only has you working out 6 days a week. So I feel like that has adequately prepared me to be able to share my thoughts on beginning this program, at any rate.

Things I like so far:

– You do it at home (duh)
– Only takes 30 minutes, and not so strenuous that you can’t supplement with additional weight training afterwards if you want
– I like the countdown timer, both for the overall workout and for each individual move
– Definitely is a solid workout, especially the cardio in “Sweat”
– Modifications are shown for every single move
– Tony Horton is surprisingly personable on screen
– So far I’m not sick of watching the same video multiple times
– Calendar makes it easy to follow and figure out which workout to do
– Meal planning booklet seems pretty solid, with lists of recommended foods and some pretty tasty-sounding recipes. (Can’t say the same for the 6-Day Shred mini-booklet that accompanies this, but see below for more on that.)

Things I dislike so far:

– I am pretty sure I’m going to get tired/bored/annoyed watching the same workout videos every other day until I get to move on to the next phase.
– The accompanying “6-Day Shred” eating plan pamphlet that is included offers a ridiculous diet that goes from 1200 to 800 calories over the course of a few days, WHILE still expecting you to work out. Ridiculous! Nobody should be consuming only 800 calories a day, even if it’s to “shock” your body into weight loss or some crap.
– Shakeology and 21-Day Fix commercials EVERYWHERE. I mean, I kinda get it, this is a business and selling their $129.95 milkshake powder is how they probably make most of their mula, but OMG if I want a shake I will throw a banana and some almondmilk into a blender, kthxbye.
– They’re only available as DVDs, not Blu-Ray. I want my Tony Horton in HD!

Now, all that said, I’m pretty surprised that I’m not already bored with having followed the exact same workout video multiple times. I guess after a while if I do get annoyed with the repetition, I can always mute the sound and put my own music on, and then just follow the moves visually. Or I could always sub in some of the alternate workouts that my sister designed for me until the next phase begins. Or, I guess I could just move onto the next phase early, too. I guess only time will tell how I adapt!

So there you go, my thoughts on this workout so far! I’ll update you again once I hit Phase B, provided I make it there, of course, heh.

Have you ever followed a video-workout program before? Do you prefer working out at home or at the gym?


  1. Kristinsays:

    How’s the music on p90? I’ve done a bunch of chalene series like clx and turbo fire. Love them. I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life and am getting back in a routine after having a baby last February. Ps I live in falls church.

    • The music seems pretty standard. Upbeat, lyric-less background music, seems to get the job done for sure! There is this one funny part where Tony mentions something about scary movies and they add that “scary house/Halloween organ riff” to the music really briefly, so it seems like the producers had fun with it!

      There’s also an option before you start each workout on the DVD menu to turn the music on or off, but I’ve done it with the music on every time so far.

  2. Caitlynsays:

    When you say commercials everywhere – can you clarify? Do they constantly mention that their shakes will help you see results, etc. within the workouts themselves? or are there actual commercials on the DVD? or just some inserts in the package that you can throw out? Just wondering how easy it would be to tune that out. I’m a freak about not being sold to when I’ve already paid for something… or when they do those oh so subtle ads within a show like Biggest Loser – oh look we just HAPPENED to be near a Subway, we should get lunch, what a healthy option – I want to punch the TV. I really can’t handle it. Everything else you mention is very appealing to this homebody who wants to get in shape… but that could be enough to keep me from trying it. Thanks for the info!

    • Oh, yeah, I should totally clarify! I definitely share your sentiment about not wanting to be sold additional stuff after I’ve already made a purchase.

      There is like an 8-second commercial for Shakeology that airs before Sculpt A and Sweat A, and then at the very end of the DVD they do another commercial for either Shakeology or 21-Day fix. But the one at the end is super easy to avoid if you just stop the playback after the workout is actually done (if you just leave it playing in the background, it will start, but I’m sure most people would shut their machines off anyway.) The mini-commercial in the beginning is the only unavoidable one, but at least it is really short and fairly unobtrusive. We’ll see if the commercial content is any different in subsequent phases, but it’s definitely tolerable for now.

      • Caitlynsays:

        Thank you that’s helpful. 8 secs is definitely not horrible… but the principle of it still bugs me. $90 should entitle you to workout videos without ads. Probably one of those times I’ll just suck it up since a workout in my living room would be a really good thing.

        Thanks for following up!

  3. So awesome – I’m proud of you! Excited to hear more about how it’s going at lunch on Friday. And yes, please ignore their (ridiculous) nutrition recommendations. K thanks. 🙂

    • Oh, most definitely! I was actually impressed reading the little full meal-plan booklet (other than the constant recommendations to make Shakeology part of your diet, lol), because the recipes and guidelines seemed pretty commonsense and good. You know, eat these foods, eat less of these foods, try to avoid these foods, etc. But then I read the stupid little 6-Day Shred booklet and got all ragey at just the THOUGHT of only consuming 800 calories a day for a week. ::shudder::

  4. I used to have a Jillian Michaels…30 day shred dvd, and the first time I did it I was successful at not getting bored, but when I tried to do the program again my heart wasn’t as in it. Is each day actually 30 minutes? or is sculpt b 30 min and ab ripper 30 min? Just curious, as I would maybe be interested in this. I’ve tried p90x and think the moves are too advanced without a trainer watching your form and speed.

    • Sculpt A is like 28 minutes, Sweat A is like 30 minutes, and Ab Ripper A is 8 minutes. I think the Phase B ones get a little bit longer (like, 30, 34, 12, or something like that), and then Phase C is a little bit longer still, but so far it’s working out not to be a huge time commitment, so that’s really a plus!

  5. Are you taking any sort of before and after measurements? I am sure a lot of readers would be really interested in this. I’m so proud of you for sticking with it!!

    • Yes! The workout package has materials where you can chart your measurements (every 30 days), and encourages you to take “Befores,” so I am tracking where I started weight-wise and took my measurements on Day 1. We’ll see how much progress I make! 🙂

  6. Do you need additional equipment or is this bodyweight only? Looking forward to hearing more about it as you progress!

    • The started package comes with a resistance band, and so far that’s the only thing that I’ve used (and only is used in “Sculpt”), although they offer some modifications for advancement using dumbbells as well. But yeah, otherwise it seems to be all body-weight/body resistance based, which is nice for those of us with an, er, lacking home gym, hehe.

  7. Laura Janesays:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Beachbody products. I did 90 days of P90X and then 60 days of Insanity (losing about 60 pounds). I’ve done several more rounds of Insanity and have also done P90X2. I’m currently doing Insanity Max 30. IN LOVE because it’s a different workout Monday-Friday! Also, I had a couple months worth of Shakeology. I used it as a meal replacement and loved it. My mom is doing Slim in 6 by Beachbody. I have a friend doing Piyo and she loves it. Beachbody all the way. Let me know if you want more info! Great job on your first week of getting back in to working out! Try not to view it as a chore but a way of life. 🙂

  8. Ages ago I decided to try P90x and Tony Horton seriously annoyed me. I think it’s an awesome option for working out at home, and it definitely challenged me, but I most definitely have a personality clash with him.
    I’m also not a fan of the Shakeology crap. I could rant, but I won’t 🙂

    • Rant away if you like! You won’t find any argument from me — I’m not super into supplemental foodstuffs and meal replacements and stuff like that. I’d much rather, you know, eat food. Something about the actual act of chewing that just does for me, I guess.

      And I can totally see this not working if you find Tony Horton’s personality really grating or annoying. Just like with a normal fitness class, if you don’t jive with the instructor, it’s probably not for you! I think Tony Horton has like a dad-ish sense of humor, like, his jokes are pretty lame but I appreciate that he’s trying, haha. But again, who knows? Watching him say the same stuff over and over again might get pretty annoying for me too… only time will tell!

  9. amanda junesays:

    Glad to see you posting again! I’m interested to hear more about P90. Honestly I’ve never even considered trying P90X, haha — I know I’m not even close to in shape enough to survive it, but this sounds more manageable. How intense would you say the workouts are? (For reference, I also did 30-day shred back in the day and at this point it would probably take a couple weeks for me to even be able to make it through an entire workout of hers without stopping for breaks. I’m weak!) I’ve lost almost a hundred pounds and at this point am not overweight…just in really, really bad shape fitness-wise. It’s kinda hard to be motivated, but I know I would feel a lot better if I got off my rear and did something. Just not sure if I can handle Tony. 😉

  10. As someone who has been gaining and losing the same 20 lbs. I love the concept of an at home workout. Also Shakeology is amazing.

  11. I started the 21 Day Fix on the 2nd and have worked out every day this year too (which is crazy in my book!) but I am actually feel really good and am down 3.8lbs! I decided to try out the 21 day program first and if it worked maybe do P90x so I am interested to see how you do!

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