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P90X3: 30 Day Review

A friend gave me the P90X3 to try, and asked me to give my impressions after the first 30 days. For a little background, I’m a 45-year-old mother of four who keeps reasonably active, but still looks a tad overfed.

The P90X3 was created by legendary fitness trainer and “personality” Tony Horton. Tony created the original and very popular P90X and P90X2 workout programs that he claims can transform an average body into a “Beach Body” in 90 days.

The P90X3 basic set comes with a set of nine DVDs, a glossy book, and a calendar. It’s a 90-day program of 30-minute workouts. There are 18 different workouts, and the program has you working out 6 or 7 days per week. There are four different workout schedules to choose from: Classic, Double, Mass, and Lean. I chose Lean.

All the workouts are led by Tony, with a supporting cast of smiling, sweaty disciples. For those of you not familiar with this elite trainer, he’s a mildly handsome guy (think Phil from Modern Family, but ripped) who has come a long way from peddling the Thighmaster with Suzanne Somers in the 90s, and good for him. But Tony is an incurable dork. Sorry to be the one to tell you, Tony, but your dorkiness is terminal.

Tony, clearly, spent a lot of time in high school upside-down in a garbage can, but now he’s on top of the world. His (now fat and bald) high-school enemies are no doubt wishing they’d treated him better, because 56-year-old Tony is ripped, rich, and a kind of famous.

The P90X3 program would be perfect for teens looking for a quick workout to squeeze between homework and the hours spent staring at their iPhone. With a strong emphasis on cardio, agility and flexibility, the “Classic,” “Double,” and “Lean” workouts would be suitable for a young adult wanting to improve their fitness level. However, teens should probably check with their pediatrician before starting the “Mass” workout schedule, since it involves lifting weights.





The workouts themselves are good. It’s hard to argue that you can’t find 30 minutes a day to work out. And it’s a program that you could easily travel with. For the Lean program, all you need a yoga mat, small towel, DVD player, water bottle, and maybe a roll of masking tape (don’t worry — nothing kinky going on there). Some of the workouts in the other schedules, however, require weights, pull-up bar or stretch bands.

The workouts cover cardio, agility, muscle strength, flexibility, core strength, and balance. You spend a whole lot of time in the “plank” position. There’s also a lot of lunging, squatting, hopping, and jumping. The workouts are highly varied, so it doesn’t get boring, and they incorporate some exercises you probably haven’t done before. This suits me as I get bored easily. Overall, the P90X3 workouts are creative, intense, challenging, and above all — just 30 minutes. What’s not to love? Well…


Tony Horton likes to talk. REALLY likes to talk. Initially his enthusiastic banter is mildly amusing and serves as a distraction from any physical pain you may be in. But, by the third workout, I was ready to put my head through the TV monitor. His dorky jokes, his stream-of-consciousness babbling, and his cringeworthy attempts at teasing his poor workout partners are annoying and sometimes inappropriate. I really feel for his on-screen buddies, and hope that they were generously remunerated. The workouts have a “Music Off” option, which I guess nixes the music. How about “Tony Off” option?


I’ve been doing the workouts for 30 days. Yes, I’ve lost a couple of pounds and an inch or two, and I do feel stronger. I think if I add three sets of Stop Eating So Much Crap, my weight loss will accelerate. But I’m happy enough with the results and motivated to continue so I’ll provide an update when the 90 days are up.


P.S. A couple of my discs were slightly defective (skipping, pixelating). I read online that quite a few people had this problem. I also read that the company will replace the damaged discs, but only if you bought them directly through the company’s website (, not through other retailers (eg. Amazon). Something to consider.


~Joh Oakley

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