The New P90 – COMPLETE REVIEW: Part 1

21

I don’t want to say that the original Power 90 was simply dated because that would be an understatement.  How dated was it?  So much so that the Carbon 14 results are inconclusive.  The music sounds like a porn shoot at a K-Mart and production values look like they were made with my old Commodore 64 as it has that weird banner on the right hand side during the entire workout.

originalp90

The workouts were also easy.  I mean over the top easy.  Sometimes I wonder how an amazing feat like P90X ever came to be with Power 90 as a predecessor.  But in all fairness, this was back when Beachbody was nothing like the fitness behemoth they have become today where every almost product they come out with now is a near perfect mix of sound, talent, production, and solid fitness science.  Times have indeed changed.

Simply put, the old Power 90 program no longer fits with the honor of the Beachbody name.  But no more.  Like all things Hollywood, another reboot has come and this time it is the new and vastly improved P90…hold the X.

No longer is Tony Horton the new kid on the block making quick workout videos.  He is now in his A-game and doing what he does best at the prime of his fitness knowledge.  So sit back kids and allow the most trusted name in fitness reviews ( and not a Beachbody coach ) to give you the full picture of the new P90.

What you get:

p90_boxIncluded in your standard package are the following goodies:

– B-Lines resistance band with a door attachment.

– Bonus P90X3 DYNAMIX workout disk. ( nuts…already have it )

– Food guide

– Free T-shirt contest which frankly, I’m all over that like catnip.  I collect these things like a serial killer.

– P90 disk pack containing 4 DVD’s

There is an option for a fifth disk which has 4 extra workouts if you’re feeling loaded.  My advice?  You’ve come this far so you might as well get it.

STAGE A

Everyone has to start somewhere, so Stage A is where the beginner kicks it off.  Those accustomed to the P90X series will find much in this a bit easy but try to remember…the hard core crowd is not the intended target audience here.  Each Stage is broken down in three workouts: SCULPT, SWEAT, and AB RIPPER.  Every Saturday has a the Saturday Special workout to end the week.

There is a short intro video that introduces you to the program which of course mentions Shakeology.  Tony also points out the need to place a large H ( no…it does not stand for ‘Horton’ ) on the floor with tape which will be used as a guide for proper positioning and will be especially handy during cardio.

The set should seem familiar.  It is the same as P90X3 only the colors have been changed to a lighter, more pleasant atmosphere.  Unsurprisingly, P90 has come a light years from its small beginnings.

p90_set

SWEAT A

Time: 25 minutes

This is a fairly simple routine that uses a lot of MMA style moves such as punch combos.  Yes, it’s easy if you allow it to be.  For the more experienced cardio-bunny, don’t be afraid to modify by going deeper and faster.  Remember, to get the most out of the Sweat workouts, having the “H’ guide on the floor is a must.

SCULPT A

Time: 27 minutes

This is a total body routine with rows, curls, squats and presses.  The nice thing about even a simple routine like Sculpt A is that if you load up with enough weight, the difficulty ramps up accordingly.

What I noticed right away was the inclusion of short demo reels before each move.  They are unintrusive and move along quickly so they are unlikely to get bothersome over time.  I seem to recall the same method used in Tai Cheng and it looks really professional.  For a beginner series like P90, this is a brilliant idea.

p90_howto

AB RIPPER A

Time: 8 minutes

The first of three gut busters, and it has to be simple right?  Well, you might be a bit surprised.

Each move is only for ten reps as this is supposed to be a beginners workout, but the moves have an old-school feel that are truly effective.  It moves fast so there are no demo-reels.

The cast is naturally there for demonstration, but one of the guys is 52.  Don’t get me wrong, he looks in great shape…but Tony is what…56 now?  Either Tony Horton is a cyborg, has daily infusions of Dick Clark’s DNA or is from the planet Gallifrey.  I have old videos of Power Half Hour when he was in his early-forties and he looks practically the same.  Honestly, the man doesn’t freaking age.

tonyhorton_timelord

stagebSTAGE B

As expected, it is time to increase the intensity as you will have done STAGE A for almost a month.  That means you’ll also be dying to change things a bit for your own sanity.

SWEAT B

Time: 32 minutes

“B” might stand for Bad hair day with a couple cast members, but to each their own when it comes to fashion.

The MMA gets more complex with some kicks thrown in and I found I was moving more actively than in Sweat A which was to be expected.  Already this is superior to Cardio X, which if you know me, was never a workout I liked.

SCULPT B

Time: 30 minutes

Still keeping with the total body concept, you will do squats, rush-ups, rows, curls, kickbacks, and presses.  The movements now go from simple to deeper range of motion.  Push-ups are now full range and there is a bit of plyo thrown in to spice up the leg work.  Simple curls now work up to advanced moves such as 21’s.  You get the idea.

p90reps

AB RIPPER B

Time: 14 minutes

Many moves are from AB Ripper A, but now there are a few more that come to the party.  What began as an introductory abdominal workout has now begun to blossom into something with teeth.  In terms of intensity, this comes just short of hitting the original P90X.

Most moves are still 10 reps.

SATURDAY SPECIAL

Time: 25 minutes

Tired of bouncing back and forth between Sculpt and Sweat?  Thankfully there is a nice bookend in your cycle that breaks the monotony.  Saturday Special is as you might have guessed, on the calendar as a once a week workout.  It has a very heavy core focus which is evident from many of the move names:  Mountain climber twists, kick twists, standing twists…it’s a bounty of twists sure to lay waste to the layers of instant pudding that line your midsection.  No need to do an Ab Ripper after this one.

PART 2 of 2: STAGE C, the Mrs. Parrot commentary on the P90 Food Guide, and the final score. 

© 2014 – 2015, Dysfunctional Parrot. All rights reserved. No reproduction of written material is permitted.

About Author

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.

  • Vivek

    Nice Review Jean!

  • Keith

    Recently discovered your page and really enjoy your reviews. I’m wondering is this reboot also intended to replace the P90 Masters Series as well? Those were supposed to be for people not quite ready for the full intensity of P90X. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts about how the Masters Series compares to the new P90 workouts and how those ones now fit into the P90 universe. Thanks.

    • Wow, I just about forgot about the Master Series! I did them quite a few years back before I shifted the focus of this site to fitness reviews and have since sold my disks. I really should see about writing a review for that.

      But yes, I would imagine there would be significant overlap with P90. Naturally P90 has better music and production values than the Master Series, but as I recall it was still a very well made program. It seems Beachbody has more or less chosen to place it on the backburner in favor of P90 which makes sense from a financial point of view.

      The format between P90 and the MS is very different as MS has separate leg workouts, but has fairly simple cardio and no ab rippers. Given a choice I would take the new P90 every time. Still, a review is warranted!

      • Toddster

        DP, this is my first visit to your site, and I’ve had a grand time reading various reviews. Thank you for both the information and the comedy!! I completed P90X twice, then P90X+, and switched to the P90 Masters Series as a maintenance program. I thought that P90MS was a great balance of variety, intensity, and time (most workouts were at about 45 minutes, which for me is just right). I encourage you to review it – I greatly anticipate your insight, and whether you would still rate the new P90 above the P90MS. I am currently doing P90X3…

        • Big DITTO on P90MS … I did a sandwich round between the old P90 and P90x in 2011. My only gripe on P90MS was the long rest periods or gaps of time between exercises, especially in the cardio workouts.

          Plyo was awesome. Wish there could have been a second sculpting routine … got old after a while.

  • Great review. As someone who had done P90X multiple times, I’m looking for something new from Tony. I got P90X3 last January, but couldn’t get into the full program for some reason. Of late, I’ve been doing a lot of the workouts from Mean’s Health which I really like. I’m definitely going to check this out, though I might need to skip Stage A all-together.

  • Andreonna Garrett

    Hi, I was wondering if you could focus on the difference between the old version of Power 90 and this new one. I have the older version, and find it quite boring and monotonous. I was wondering if there is a greater variety of exercises in the new version? I am trying to determine if it is worth the money to upgrade to the new version. Thanks!

    • The difference is night and day! The old one is as you say, boring and monotonous. It was made back when Beachbody was three guys and an office in a broom closet.

      The new version has vastly improved variety, much more workouts, and doesn’t stab your eyeballs to look at it. It has nothing in common with the original.

      If you survived the original, then you of all people deserve to try the new and improved!

      • Andreonna Garrett

        I hate to say I did not survive the original. I made it to phase 2 and realized it was pretty much phase one. Are the phases in the new version actually different, or just more reps?

        Would you say this is a little more similar to P90X, instead of the other P90?

        Sorry for all of the questions, you’re the first person to actually compare the two.

        • The phases A, B and C have a lot in common, but they are more than simply adding a few reps which is all the original did. Here there is some complexity added and many times additional moves as well.

          I would say that no, it is not similar to P90X much at all. It is really its own thing. There are 3 workouts in each phase that get steadily more complicated. P90X is a little different.

          If you want a program with more variety but allows for beginner options, another way to go might be P90X3. I find myself doing a P90X3/T25 hybrid quite a lot.

          • Andreonna Garrett

            I’m actually looking for a program to use alongside training for a 5k. I was hoping to utilize this program to increase my performance, and build muscle to loose fat faster.

  • Cynicalman

    I was just watching the Master series videos and noticed Tony was doing the demo reels even back then.
    BTW I love your site. Thanks for all the hard work.

  • John Paul Jones

    DP, as you mentioned bad hair day with Sweat B, I had to do that workout first. I thought that the haircuts worked, but as with everything, YMMV. The one bit I found infuriating was Tony’s truly horrendous attempt at a Pom accent. I cringed each time for the British guy when Tony pulled out a bollocks Austin Powers impersonation. However, the singing at the end made up for all that, as it was Tony Horton goofiness at its best.

    As for the actual workout, it was what I was looking for, a glorified cool down for the Insanity month 2 workout I did right beforehand. For a beginner/back into fitness workout, solid. The difference in “flow” between Tony and Shaun T provides a good example of how to do things in fitness videos.

  • Pat

    Enjoying your site immensely. Impulsively purchase p90 the other night and was wondering what the heck I got myself into. (Wine, credit cards & late night infomercials are a bad mix apparently) Anyhow, I fell off the exercise bandwagon a couple years ago and hope p90 will ease my out of shape body back into working out. I hope this can be modified very low impact as my knees and one reconstructed ankle won’t tolerate too much impact.

    • Absolutely this can be modified. It is also very easy on the knees so don’t worry about “Insanity” levels of joint carnage!

  • Jerome

    DP,
    Really like the simplicity of the new P90.
    Strength training alternated with cardio.
    The only drawback is no real yoga in the program.
    I think a brief 20-30 minute yoga session once a week would work great.
    Where in the weekly schedules would you suggest the yoga session?

    • One way might be to substitute one day of yoga in each week in place of cardio or strength, but alternate each week which one you replace it with. Other possibilities are to do it on the weekend, or do two workouts each day with one being yoga.

  • K.D.

    i bought P90X a few years back because the infomercial assured me that it was great for beginners. Well, maybe young beginners. i hurt myself in no time, and really couldn’t do many of the exercises. Worked out okay, though, because i resold it for almost as much as i paid. I am now trying Tai Cheng and it looks more like my speed. When I’m done, maybe i can go to P90x!

  • hcornetto

    My question for this program is – if I have completed rounds of Chalean Extreme and Hammer and Chisel, will this program still be challenging, or should I move on to P90X3?

    I went to the beachbody website to do comparisons of their products, and they placed Chalean Extreme as an advanced routine, and this program as beginner/intermediate. I am considering purchasing, but if it is less difficult than the programs I have already completed, then I’m not sure this is worth the money for me personally. I’d like to hear your input of which is the more challenging program.

    • It is very challenging even today, although I would ditch several workouts in favor of superior ones. Cardio X is pretty tame, and Kenpo X just plain sucks. The resistance workouts are where P90X shines. If you want to take it to the next level, X2 is the most challenging, while X3 packs a lot for a convenient 20 minute package.

  • Tito

    DP,
    Is it me or are the B and most definitely C workouts of the new P90 as hard if not harder than most of the X3 workouts?
    In fact my buddy went through the entire program and surpassed gains in muscle compared to those of his friend who started P90X3 at the same time his started new P90.
    And their similar in stature(height, weight, and age).
    Can you lend your input as to why you think this occurred at least in their particular case?
    I viewed P90 and it’s a solid no nonsense program.
    Weights alternated with cardio, simple to follow.
    I think yoga instead of dynamix would have been a better choice for recovery and flexibility.
    Look forward to your response.