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3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use P90X to Get Ripped

  Jul 29th, 2012

Why You Shouldn't Use P90X to Get RippedSince its release in 2004, P90X has been purchased by millions of individuals looking to get lean and ripped from the comfort of their own living room or basement.


Without question, nearly a decade after the inception of Tony Horton’s brain child, the terms “P90X” and “get ripped” are now synonymous with one another.


I’m not here to debate the fat burning effectiveness of P90X workouts.


In fact, if one were to follow the P90X system exactly as described for three full months, I’m confident they’d achieve dramatic results.


The operative word, “if”, in the sentence above is a crucial one. Not just for the P90X program, but for any body transformation system.


It doesn’t matter how effective a program is for improving the composition of the body if those who purchase it aren’t able to use it as it’s intended to be used.


Let’s not beat around the bush… Getting ripped isn’t easy. I don’t care what program you’re following!


As someone who’s transformed their body from fat to ripped on two different occasions over the past 5 years, I know full well the kind of hard work and discipline that goes into such a dramatic transformation of the body’s composition.


If you aren’t willing to follow a disciplined diet, and dedicate 4-5 hours per week to exercise, you aren’t going to be able to get ripped – with Insanity, P90X, or any other system.


Before going any further I need to be fair and say that I’ve never personally used P90X.


But I have interviewed several friends and acquaintances who’ve used it and believe I’ve gleaned enough insight to pass a certain level of judgement regarding this popular system.


You can read about one such encounter with a friend by clicking here.


Besides the fact that I’ve developed my own body transformation program that I believe in 100%, because I’ve personally used it to transform my physique (twice), I want to share 3 other reasons why I will never suggest P90X as the best solution for getting ripped.


P90X is Too DifficultReason #1: P90X Workouts are Unnecessarily Difficult

I remember at least three conversations I’ve had with those getting started with P90X in which they’ve told me the fitness test had them close to passing out and they didn’t know how they’d ever get to the point of completing a full workout.


Then they’d get into the actual workouts and it wasn’t any better. They left the workouts feeling beat down and were so sore that they could barely start the next day’s workout.


This scenario would continue day in and day out. While the soreness would eventually subside, the daily training intensity required of them was extreme.


Anyone that’s trained for any length of time knows that there are some days when you just don’t have it. By “it” I mean the motivation to put forth 100% effort and intensity into your training.


Weight training at least gives you some flexibility by allowing you to rest longer in between sets on days when you just aren’t feeling up to going at it full force.


The problem this poses is that it causes those using P90X to skip workouts with greater regularity. Instead of doing a toned down workout, they skip their training altogether.


Besides, you don’t need to kill yourself for a full hour 6 days a week to get ripped.


You need to make smarter nutrition choices and implement a system of progressive overload and fat burning cardio to reduce your body fat while building and developing your muscles.


You also don’t need to be doing a bunch of awkward jumps and pushup/pullup variations.


There’s already enough injury risk associated with weight lifting and resistance training.


There’s no reason to compound that risk with high impact plyometric exercises and other movements that place additional strain on your joints and force them out of their natural ranges of motion.


There’s nothing that P90X offers in terms of getting ripped that can’t be achieved with good ole fashion weight lifting, cardio and proper nutrition implements.


P90X Takes Too Much TimeReason #2: P90X is Too Time Consuming

Time is a valuable resource. It’s a resource that has no acceptable substitute and it’s one that we can never get back.


The time commitment required to transform the composition of the body is the biggest reservation people have before deciding to commit to following a bodybuilding or fitness program.


If followed to the letter, P90X requires roughly six days of one-hour workouts each week. That’s a commitment of six hours per week and only one day completely off from training.


You don’t need to work that hard and long to get ripped. I know because I’ve done it twice.


Four one-hour workouts per week with the right nutrition plan is sufficient for transforming the body. Why spend more time than you have to for the same end result?


Reason #3: P90X is Not a Long-Term Fitness Solution

The average person wanting to get fit and healthy simply isn’t willing to put themselves through six grueling hours of training each week for very long – even if the results are there.


Even if they stick it out for 90 days and get the fantastic results P90X promises, it isn’t feasible to expect anyone to be able to maintain the high level of motivation and dedication required to continue with it for much longer than that.


This is a huge problem!


Nobody wants to improve their physique only to lose their hard-earned results a few weeks or months down the road.


As I spend several pages explaining in my book, Ripped Out, being fit and having a body you can be proud of shouldn’t be some temporary endeavor, but a lifelong commitment.


P90X may be a solid temporary solution for transforming the body, but it isn’t a system that can be relied upon over the long-term.


As a said in the introduction to this article, I’ve never used P90X, but I’ve done my best to give it a fair assessment based on what I’ve gathered during a number of conversations with those who have used it.


If you feel that I’ve misrepresented this system in any way, or have other problems with P90X that you’d like to add, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave me a comment below.




3 Responses
  1. Kristi says:

    I have heard numerous comments about how hard the workouts are. I have also heard grumbling about a very unrealistic diet. This program might be good for people that need to look good in 90 days, but definitely doesn’t sound sustainable past that!
    I have used your program, and while it does take discipline and dedication, it is a realistic program.

  2. Hi Craig, I enjoyed reading your review! P90X didn’t get me ripped, but for a woman I got pretty darn close! Based on my personal experience I’ll just add my two cents in relation to the reasons you outlined above.

    1. Yea the workouts are hard…they’re supposed to be :o) I think anyone who thinks they’re gonna pass out isn’t fueling their body properly or hasn’t learned how to pace themselves. There are modifications for EVERY exercise. You are never encouraged to KILL YOURSELF during any workout. In fact the basic premise for the whole program is DO YOUR BEST AND FORGET THE REST. Sure, you may not be able to give 100% everyday but that’s no reason not to press play.

    2. There’s not really a huge difference between 4 hours a week and 6. Either way, you will need to make some sacrifices. Working out at home saves me a lot of time. For me it’s just a lot easier to press play and have someone else tell me what to do vs making up my own routines at the gym. Plus, there are ways to shorten the workouts if you really feel its necessary.

    3. I did P90X almost three years ago now and still enjoy doing the DVDs!! I use them to make hybrid programs and use them for cross training when I train for my half marathons. Maintaining a high level of motivation and dedication is difficult for anyone whether they are doing P90X or not! :o) Also, the “average person” is looking for a quick fix. If that wasn’t the case EVERYONE would be ripped! We both know the amount of work it takes. P90X taught me good habits that I’m still using 3 years later. It took me from the couch to a half-marathon in less than 6 months…so I’m pretty grateful. :o)

    I think in general the most important thing to keep in mind is that what works for one person might not work for someone else. It’s important to find what works for you and you’ve obviously done that! Other than that, the best thing we can do is keep paying it forward as best as we can so other people can experience how good it feels to be healthy and fit!!

  3. Craig Leonard says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Amanda!

    I especially like the “DO YOUR BEST AND FORGET THE REST” line.

    I don’t agree that the difference between 4 and 6 hours per week is negligible. That is over 100 hours in a year that I can be spending doing something else. My time is valuable (as I’m sure yours is) and that is a big chunk of time, in my opinion.

    Congrats on the half marathon!

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