The New P90 – COMPLETE REVIEW: Part 2


PART ONE covered Stage A and B, so now it’s time to look at the final thirty day cycle of Stage C, the review of the food guide and the final score for the new P90.  Once again allow your non-Beachbody Coach reviewer to guide you through the cesspool of internet reviews and bring you again to the crystal shores of truth.  Oh yeah.

p90_cSTAGE C

Same as the other series, we have a Sculpt, Sweat, and an AB Ripper.  Only instead of dancing with the daisies, it’s now time to man-up and get busy.


Time: 35 minutes Sweat C takes the previous MMA combos and adds more complexity to them with kicks, incorporates some plyometrics and each move is now 60 seconds long.  In every conceivable way, this kicks the ever loving tail off Cardio X…a workout I historically have never liked. This workout is an excellent advancement for the true beginner but might leave an intermediate fitness enthusiast wanting.  I hate to say it, but cardio has historically never been Tony’s strong point and for the longest time I tried to understand why.  I think I’ve finally figured out what bothers me though.  After each 60 second move, Tony takes a short breather and this often breaks the flow.  I think the reason I like Focus T25 so much ( an conversely, why I like PiYO so little ) is that the flow is in beat with strong music and  you don’t get much of a chance to stop.  Slowing down is ok, but I recommend not stopping.


Time: 42 minutes When you are done Sculpt C, I guarantee that you will feel like you’ve done a top notch full-body workout.  Not only are there more moves to get through, but you will often deal with eccentric curls and rows.  That means up fast and down slow.  As usual the rep count is around 16, so only go heavy and switch to low reps if you feel you’ve advanced to that point. sology1Let’s take a moment to discus Shakeology…or at least the fact you are going to see ads for it.  A lot.  Beachbody is putting a heavy marketing force behind this and I often feel like Ice-T is singing “I’m Your Pusher” whenever it’s mentioned.  Each workout begins with a quick 10 second ad for either this or another Beachbody supplement.  The workouts also end with an extended feature that more often than not, is Shakeology and the food guide mentions it heavily. It’s their product to advertise, and I understand marketing.  Just be ready for the onslaught.


Time: 14:30 Sure, they’re only 10 reps per move but what it more than makes up for it in both the quality and quantity of exercises so you’ll never get bored.  There is a heaping of variety here and this ranks up with the best of Tony’s abdominal routines.  In fact, it you become good at this then AB Ripper X should be no problem at all.  Personally, I thought this workout was a real winner in every sense. FoodGuideBannerp90

The P90 “Simple Kitchen” Food Guide is short and sweet – totalling under seventy five pages.  It starts with a simple calorie calculator and then moves to 6 steps to transform your body.  As with all of Tony’s eating guides, it is easy to use and doesn’t require you to do anything beyond doing your calculations and then going grocery shopping.

Then the guide moves into the recipes which it describes as “daily fat burning recipes”.  The recipes are basic, nothing to complex or requiring a culinary degree to make.  A favourite recipe of mine is the Warm Quinoa Lentil Salad.  This recipe guide is to give you an idea of what to eat and you may need to get a good cookbook or just google 400 calorie meals to keep your diet interesting.

The guide has a heavy emphasis on Shakeology – seeing as that is what Beachbody sells.  Now, whether or not you decide to go with Shakeology (meaning: can your budget handle it) is up to you.  But the point Tony is making is a good one: Get a Daily Dose of Dense Nutrition.  The concept makes sense for this reason.  The food we eat doesn’t have the nutrition it should because of growing methods, nutrient depleted soil, etc.  Plus, blended nutrients are a whole lot more available for your body.  So, even if you decide to go with another brand, make sure it is going to contain a similar nutrient profile that Shakeology does.  And – just because I’m a fan of superfoods, throw some in to boost your nutrition.   It is pretty safe to assume that you aren’t going to get the max out of your workouts if you leave out this vital part of the program.


p90_rating1P90 is a solid and long overdue replacement for its aging predecessor.  The set is appealing and the workouts far more challenging and modifiable.  Tony balances his unique training style with sound experience sure to appeal to a broad range of viewers. For this review I sought to look at P90 from the perspective of a beginner, and not someone who just got through a month of Asylum.  Some complaining out there seems to be from P90X grads who find this too easy.  To them I say…duh!  What did you expect from a series designed for beginners?  Trust me, if you’ve ever tried the original Power90 you’d reconsider that position.  But if you’re one of those people that have a hard time doing ten pushups, let alone doing a pull-up…this is your ticket right here. Where P90 falls somewhat short is in variety.  Each one month cycle has alternating Sweat/Sculpt workouts with an Ab Ripper every second day.  The Saturday Special is done only once at the end of the week.  This might make getting through a month somewhat challenging as the repetition can bore many.  An extra three workouts such as a beginner yoga and plyometrics routine would have done wonders to make each Stage go by much smoother.  I would have preferred breaking the Sculpt workouts into separate upper and a lower routines. A solution to variety is that P90 is also an ideal hybrid package.  If one feels like amping up the cardio but maintaining the solid core weight training, mixing in a little Focus T25 would make for a perfect hybrid.  Then once you complete P90, I would move right on to a P90X3/T25 mix.  No doubt Beachbody hopes for this as they have been selling a lot of workouts that try and stick to roughly 30 minutes due to insane demand for anything that can save people time. When one considers the target audience, P90 nails it.  But after the 90 day cycle I would highly advise moving on to more advanced packages such as the P90X series or creating your own hybrid as boredom can be a powerful foe.  4 Feathers out of 5.

© 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.

  • SEM

    Great review of the new P90. I have the original and I like to use it every now and then. I use it as active rest…lol.

  • holyguy7

    I was thinking of purchasing it, but then again, it would be TOO easy for me. I am currently doing a P90X / Insanity Hybrid right now. My wife is doing Insanity / Asylum Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 Hybrid. I hope the results will be good.

    • Aside from Ab Ripper C, I would say everything else would be far too easy for someone who is doing a P90X/Insanity hybrid. My suggestion would be to move higher to P90X2 and take a pass on P90.

  • holyguy7

    The workout I am REALLY looking forward to is the upcoming Insanity MAX 30. Now, that looks like a workout I would purchase. Are you planning on getting that one as well?

    • No question, I will absolutely be reviewing Insanity Max:30. Once it becomes available I order them right away and reviews are generally not far behind!

  • Maurice

    Great review. i wonder if you plan to review Athlean-X. I’m hesitant to try it since I’m so used to follow video routines “Beachbody” style.

    • I hear many things about the Athlean X system…good and bad.

      The big thing holding me back is the idea of dropping money and not receiving anything tangible. I really don’t care for online videos.

      Nonetheless. I may have to personally dive into it soon though as the requests are piling up!

      • SEM

        That might be my only down fall from getting it. Did not know it was strictly an online program. If I do invest in it, I better get a bigger computer screen…lol

  • Again, a great review. While I’m not a beginner, I’m going to buy this and mix it into my routine as I do a hybrid of various workouts (Bob Harper, the various Men’s Health w/o’s, T25, etc.).

    • Jett?! When worlds collide…! Funny seeing you outside the BOF page…

      • And as for P90… this looks perfect for my sister, as she is someone who needs a good “beginner” P90X. And I’m a fan of the old Power 90 for what it was, so it’s great to see them update it. But if you’re fairly in-shape, I’d suggest P90X3 as a good 30 min alternative to P90X. But ultimately, P90X still holds its own as the best beachbody program, in my opinion. I also suggest checking out Tony Horton’s YouTube channel, as he has been posting very regularly and has also been posting some great alternative workouts FOR FREE on there. Really cool to see him heavily invested in his youtube channel.

        • I’ve done P90X3 and I like it as well. I’ve started P90 and I do like it, though I’m mixing in a few other workouts in as well so it’s more of a hybrid program.

      • Ha! I’m here!

  • Keith

    Did you get the P90 bonus workouts with Speed Sculpt and Speed Sweat? Did you like them?

    • I didn’t get them but I’m hoping to borrow them off someone who is thinking of getting the deluxe package. Should that happen I might do a follow up.

  • Flyfisherdude

    Jean, since you’re Canadian, I would like to see a review of your fellow Canadian Craig Ballentyne’s Turbulence Training, and his Home Workout Revolution. I understand his programs are downloadable immediatrly after purchase. I also understand he holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Pysiology. Thanks in advance.

  • Ian

    DF, great reviews as always. Have you heard about RUTHLESS, 20 workouts 20 minutes each, if so I would be really interested in reading about your thoughts on this program.

  • PMfx

    Hello Jean. I always enjoy your reviews and consider them accurate. I often come here before I buy the next Beachbody product. The only thing I would slightly disagree with you is; on Tony Horton’s aging. Compared to the original P90, he looks more gaunt now. He is more muscular than ever, but his face looks too thin. I think its from the pressure of the pursuit of getting fitter and fitter. I enjoy his exercise programs as much as any DVD trainings out there. (I think I buy almost as many as you do.). I think he should take it a little bit easier.

    I have to agree with you on the Shakeology comments. I own my own business and understand the need to Market. I think Beachbody is pushing this one too far. Your (and your wife’s) comments were more than fair. Probably too polite, being Canadian. (So am I, by the way.)

  • Esteban Diácono

    Hey there Mr. Parrot!

    First of all, thank you for taking the time to write these great reviews, and specially for putting some great humor in them. I’m turned 40 last years, and decided for the first time in my life to actually DO something good with my body. I’m currently finishing the C series of P90 (not without some struggling), and I was wondering where to go next. I really don’t have the time to do 1 hour training sessions, so i’m currently deciding between P90X3 and T25. Which one do you think it would be a good follow up for a beginner like me? Thanks in advance, and keep up the good work!

    • That’s a tough call. Both programs have modifier options. T25 has an easier Alpha round before it drop kicks you. P90X3 is more rounded with weights, plyo and yoga.

      Therefore, if strong cardio is your goal then go T25. If more weight training floats your boat, then go P90X3. But honestly, you can’t go wrong with either!

  • BT

    I could not agree more with your review. That’s for your input. After p90 I’m moving to x3 or the original p90x I haven’t decided yet. I’m afraid with x3 I won’t get the mass I’m looking for, some peoples results look skinny with abs. I might try the mass schedule idk. 30 min a day sounds like I could keep it in my schedule and not fall off.

  • Jake

    My friend purchased this program.
    Quite honestly(Parrot let me know if you agree) you could simply do a hard full body weight training session 3 days alternated with 2 days of cardio, or 2 weights and 3 cardio to get the same benefits as what one might get with New P90.

    Simplified, it’s alternating strength work with cardio.
    And, by increasing the resistance on weights and doing more intense cardio each month you can replicate the workout style of New P90.
    I now BB is in this business of making money and I get it…they provide excellent products.
    But, a lot of their workouts can be duplicated by someone with experience.

    • Absolutely yes…there is no secret sauce in any of these workout videos except the fact that the planing is done for you. Beachbody generally ( with some whopping exceptions! ) makes a brand very appealing to look at and follow along with.

      Most any workout that is alternating cardio/strength of similar intensity would pretty much give you the same results as long as one sticks to a respectable food plan. P90 especially, is not exactly complicated. It all comes down to how you like to do your workouts really!

  • Rami

    Thanks, love all your very honest reviews. Question for you on hybrids. For me, the cardio in P90 is very easy, thats why I do the Sculpt 3 times a week instead as weights has always been a hard one for me. I’m going to finish P90 and then do T-25, but it seems to make a lot of sense to me to move forward with a T-25 / P90 Sculpt C hybrid when I am done. Do I am doing weights two days a week (well, weight training that is good for ME) and then high level cardio twice a week.

    I would do that until I got bored, which could be a month or much longer. What do you think of that combo?

  • InLaLaLand04

    This is a really good review. I hurt my knee 1 month in to doing TurboFire. I am finally feeling confident on that leg again but I know I want to keep my feet on the ground so to speak. Would you recommend this program as way to ease back in to working out? I also have Focus T25 but couldn’t commit past the initial 3 weeks. Thanks!

    • P90 would absolutely be lower impact. One thing I like about Tony’s workouts is that they generally are good for long-term use. Sometimes the balls-to-the-wall workouts like Max 30 or Turbofire have to be done with greater caution.

      For myself, I usually restrict myself to 2 weeks at a time with something like Insanity. Any more than that and I’m just asking for an injury considering I’m 43.

  • Perry

    I really like the sculpt workouts in this series. Is there anything out there more advanced in this vein but not so extreme as P90x2?

    • X2 is somewhat unique. Although something similar but not quite as tough would be either 21 Day Fix Extreme or X3.

  • Nikhil Laghave

    I am considering starting P90 as a starting point as I have gotten terribly out of shape. I have completed P90x3 in the past (2 years back), but when i tried it again, I am just not up to it anymore (after gaining 20 lbs). I also did bit of Les Mills Combat in between and loved the cardio routines, however the strength training workouts are still quite hard (not sure how P90 compares with those).

    I am considering P90 for the strength training workouts and substituting cardio workouts with ones from Les Mills Combat. Doing P90 all the way sounds boring as I would be doing the same exercises.

    I also have a herniated disk (L4 – L5) and would like to avoid any jumping, that is why the martial arts kick and punch cardio looks like a better fit for me

    Does that seem like a reasonable starting strategy?

    • That actually sounds like an excellent idea. P90 is a perfect “get back in the game” program.

  • Perry

    Can you elaborate on P30X/T25 mix? Are you saying to do both work outs in one day or switch back and forth between the two every couple of weeks?

    • Alternate days generally. In many cases doubling up is perfectly fine too provided one is up to it. The nice thing is you can pretty much mix and match to whatever suits your desire.

  • John

    Mr. Parrot,
    Long term new P90 or X3 for overall gains and to asset sports?
    My cousin wants to use one of these to enhance his twice weekly hour long JUDO classes.
    P9OX would burn him out.

    • As a former martial artist, I agree. P90X would be too much. P90 would be good but will suffer from a lack of variety. I would go with X3 and modify where needed to ensure enough is left for the dojo.

  • Chris

    Hi Mr. Parrot —

    Love your reviews! I hope you’ll see this question and share your thoughts. I have a 20-year-old daughter who would like to lose some weight and really needs more activity in her life. She’s definitely a fitness beginner, so I was considering recommending this program or 21 Day Fix to her. The thing is, she has some special needs, and one aspect of this is coordination difficulties. She can have trouble translating what she sees to her own body. How would you rate the complexity of the MMA-style Sweat segments? Would they be hard to follow for someone who is slow to pick up complicated movements? She gets discouraged fairly easily, so I’d like to set her up for success.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    • The MMA combos in P90 are nowhere neat as complex as other MMA style workouts such as Tapout. The most you would need to consider is maybe punch/uppercut/kick. And even then, modify to one punch, one kick. Tony is also very, very accommodating in this workout to first timers.

      Given a choice, I would do P90 over 21 Day Fix in this situation. P90 is geared to a beginner whereas 21 DF tries to hang out in intermediate territory.

      • Chris

        Wow, thanks for the quick response! That’s very helpful.

  • Rachel

    I’ve been trying for a long time now to get my dad onto a more committed workout routine. He’s notably overweight, nearly 64 years old, and still has a full-time job so he makes a lot of excuses (“I’m too old, too busy, I hurt myself working out once six years ago,” etc). I get very worried about him because he’s so tired so often. I really think P90 would be the best thing for him and would make him healthier and give him more energy. Do you agree? Is this program basic enough for him? Or should I search for something that’s scaled down even more?

    • I have somewhat the same issues myself with my own Father. After a recent surgery he has pretty much retired to the couch and it is very hard to explain to that generation that health is something one gives to themselves…not something the doctor provides in a pill.

      If your dad is open to the idea of beginning a fitness journey, P90 would absolutely be an excellent place to start.

  • Dance Doctor

    I’m curious how P90 would square up to 22 MHC. I have been very active in fitness in past, especially P90x, but a couple of shoulder injuries sidelined me for a prolonged time. Now trying to get back on fitness track and thinking I should start a little milder and rebuild foundation…eyeing the Body Beast ultimately.