P90X3 – The Complete Review: Part 1 of 3


Wait…I have to review another workout series?  So soon?  Yes, before you know it another package has shown up on my doorstep and this time it is Tony Horton’s P90X3.  As most know, I’m a huge fan of the P90X series so the second this became available I went online and demanded Beachbody take my money.

What makes P90X3 unique is that every workout is 30 minutes and that my friends, is just sweet for a guy like me who has 4 kids and pet quail ( it’s complicated ).  The basic package has 16 workouts so I don’t expect boredom to become an issue anytime soon.  As always before every review of a Beachbody product I have to remind my viewers that I am NOT a Beachbody Coach as most reviewers out there have the ulterior motive of selling you the product.  I only desire your allegiance and whatever loose change you can readily spare.


What You Get:

This depends on how cheap you are.  I went for the BASE Kit ( $120 ) because nobody has sent me a briefcase of cash in the mail yet ( Just so you know, that really hurts ).  The option to have the DELUXE Kit ( $240 ) will net you 3 more workouts, a resistance band and some E & E workout supplement.  The ULTIMATE has all that plus a ton of extras like the chin-up bar, yoga mat, extra supplements and chin-up assist.  Purchasing Ultimate will also set you back a whopping $350 so you better be sure your kids have decent shoes first.


Unlike P90X and P90X2, P90X3 is not a graduate program so feel free to jump in without any prior exposure with the P90X family of DVD’s.  There are 16 workouts in the P90X3 Base System.  The Deluxe package has 3 extra routines.

There are also three one month “blocks” in P90X3.   Thus, due to the sheer number of workouts in P90X3 the review will be broken down into 3 parts with a dramatic conclusion that is sure not leave a dry eye in the house.


Naturally, this is divided into three phases because heck, P90X3 doesn’t make a lot of sense if it’s not 90 days.  Unlike P90X2 which had a Foundation, Strength and Performance Phase, X3 follows the idea of the original P90X:  Switching the workouts out with fresh ones every thirty days for the sake of muscle confusion.  There is the option to do a Classic, Lean, Mass, and Doubles schedule but for the sake of this review I’ll stick to Classic.  The workouts also appear to get more difficult as the phases move along.

Now the real trick begins: fitting a ton of workouts into a 3-Part review.


This is a simple 12 minute warmup by means of running, twisting and some yoga.  If you like to wake up early and hit “Play” right away then doing this will make the difference between a good workout and a great workout.


I made the horrible, awful mistake of doing a Body Beast: Bulk Legs workout the day before this.  Don’t do that, ok?

Total Synergistics is all balance and core and it is not often your abs are not being fully engaged as well.  It’s like getting in an AB Ripper X as a byproduct!  There are a lot one one-legged balance moves, push ups, pull ups and even a little yoga-style postures.

I look at Total Synergistics as a foundational workout that allows better performance with more focused routines.  I appreciated that things moved along quickly and I never felt bored while doing this.  Most of the moves are unique to this program and are actually rather brilliant.  However, compared to the original Core Synergistics of P90X, this one is somewhat easier but that is kind of to be expected considering the time constraints.


I would describe this as speed-plyo.  Lots of jumps and co-ordination drills and there is a natural temptation to compare this to Shaun T’s Asylum Agility.  There is not much in common with Asylum at all but I might argue the results from this workout are similar as it is a no compromise butt kicker.  There is also no writing stuff down as tape on the floor will be your measurement of progress.


Oh yes.  The tape.  Without the tape this is easy.  With the tape…justifiable homicide on your legs.  There is no way to measure your progress otherwise so get with the program and put some form of guide on the floor.  Without it I guarantee you’re doing less than you think you are.


The older I get the more I’m convinced yoga is simply not optional if you desire a well rounded fitness program.  Yoga helps maintain that youthful flexibility which has no problem abandoning you like a scorned woman.  I credit it with keeping my lower back pain in complete check.

So how does this differ from P90X and X2?  Well, to shove it all in 30 minutes means it has to get right to the point without much in the way of over-complicated moves and this makes X3 Yoga very do-able for the yoga nube.  Thankfully it is not a solid thirty of just boring vinyasa’s and downward dogs but has a good amount of balance postures and good ol’ fashioned stretches.

Amusingly, one of the final moves is “Plow” which Tony asks everyone to get into rather casually.  “Plow” for most people is more of an expedition than a simple task as it involves bringing your knees to your head while your back balances the fine line of being stretched and suffering spinal disk herniation.  So resist the urge to rush along.



bobbystevensonPush ups/Pull ups, repeat.  This is Chest and Back condensed in 30 minutes of your worst nightmare.  But don’t think you’ll match your P90X pull-up and push-up numbers because you’ll be moving faster with fewer breaks so be warned…this one’s a monster.

Another bonus…Bobby Stevenson!  I would storm the gates of Beachbody in full Scottish attire if they left this guy out.  It would be like spitting in the face of tradition as Bobby has been part of the cast since the original Power 90.

The workout is comprised of one pull-up and one push up per set and each set is done 2x with a 60 second break in between.  The idea is to choose 2 numbers ( ex. 25 – 10 ) and try and maintain those same numbers throughout the workout.  Easy peazzy right?  Well let me tell you, those pull-ups get hard real freaking fast so don’t feel bad if you need to use a chair or some form of assist.



Cardio with weights.  And for me it’s also the day after Christmas where I got an espresso maker.  My blood probably resembles that of a truck driver after a 14 hour stretch so I’ll try not to puke.  But since my love for you all transcends the attraction of a dog in heat, I return to the gym once more.

Tony has many strengths, but I’m not sure cardio routines are among them.  Not saying this is bad, because it is certainly a hard thirty minutes, but it left me feeling it could have had more punch.  I also recently did Focus T25, and Shaun T is the undisputed master of cardio/core.  But there’s also a personal taste factor here:  I enjoy my cardio to have a bit of a serious demeanour which again, Shaun T does so dang well.  Funny hijinks work with weight routines and chin ups but break the rhythm for cardio.  With cardio is just seems to irritate the crap out of me and if haven’t already guessed, the goofy antics in this one get a little thick.


The average guy will use a 10lb weight for this, but I’d personally advise a medicine ball.  The form-factor of a dumb-bell seems to have a magnetic attraction to my nuts, and for those of you who have never suffered the underwear apocalypse then you have been spared a pain worse than a Miley Cyrus comeback.


At the end of 30 minutes there is absolutely a feeling of a good workout, but I didn’t feel like I really got my days worth.  After a good T25 Beta or Gamma workout you’re just toast.  Here, not so much.  I’ll probably substitute in a T25 Core Cardio instead of this workout in the future.


Designed during visits to the U.S. Armed Forces, The Warrior succeeds at cardio where CVX fell a little flat.  It is an intense total body butt kicker that has many awesome moves such as Elevator Push-Ups and Super Burpee’s which really put the boots to your heart rate while not necessarily making you feel like it’s a cardio workout.  The idea here is that this can be done with no equipment in a small space if necessary.

The format is 4 moves…1x Upper Body, 1x Interval, 1x Core, and 1x explosive lower body.  No moves are repeated and the thirty minutes goes by fast.


Range of motion, flexibility, and stabilization.   This is your recovery workout and the rules of the day are activate/elongate.  Honestly, this one is fantastic and will be one of my instant go-to DVD’s for flexibility.

This differs from Yoga as that is more isometric.  This is stretching in motion that is designed to give greater range of mobility.  There is no huffing and puffing cardio, just a gorgeous stretch.

Conclusion thus far…

Looking good!  Very impressed with what I’m seeing and I really do love the fact I can get this done in 30 minutes.  Just remember kids, skip the Food Guide and your 30 minutes will NOT give you P90X-ish results.  That is what I notice a lot of people are ignoring so I’m going to bribe Mrs. Parrot into reviewing the Food Guide for Part 2 in addition to myself going after Block 2.  See you then!

Continue to P90X3 Review PART 2

© 2013 – 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

    Fantastic review !! Love reading your blogs !!

  • Joe

    Agree with the comment above! Your commentary is spot on and hilarious- thanks for doing what you do!

  • Joseph

    Agreed! Your fitness reviews are now the only ones I read – thanks for your work.

  • Clifford

    Thanks for the review. I really enjoy your style of writing and your honest opinion of the workouts. Looking forward to part 2

  • Jeff

    While I’ve really enjoyed most of these workouts so far, I couldn’t agree more on your take on CVX. They basically took the Medicine Ball Core Cardio workout from the 1-on-1 series, re-arranged the moves, then put in a bunch more stoppages / breaks. The 1-on-1 version was one of my favorite go-to cardio workouts in a pinch, and I might just go ahead and do that workout 1-2 times on CVX days.

  • Mike

    Your reviews are the best on the web. Thanks DP!

  • Joe
    • So many parasites in this world. I left him a disapproving note but stuff like this comes with the territory. Won’t say it doesn’t bug me though.

      • Joe

        On a positive note, to be able to identify this it shows you how much I read your blog!


    I love the review. I’m glad I am not the only one who felt the routines left me wanting more. I did nine rounds of P90X classic and got into pretty good shape. Over the summer, my wife suggested we try T25. Being a Tony purist, I was somewhat suspect. I hated X2 because I felt it was too gimmicky, and it seemed rushed to market. When I started T25 I was very turned off by Shaun T, mostly because I was so used to Tony. Then I started to get used to him and his style. I finished 60 days of T25 and was in way better cardio shape than after nine rounds of classic X. So, I started X3 a few weeks ago and am so disappointed. I feel like I rarely break a sweat during any of the routines. I really wanted to love X3, but I am finding it necessary to order the Gamma workouts for T25 so I can maintain my strength gains.

    • Carina Keller

      You must be in AMAZING shape if you didn’t break a sweat in x3! I have not had that problem at all and I’ve done all 3. Sheesh,

      • JCCFP

        Thanks for noticing. I am in really good shape after nine rounds of P90X classic. I went from 294 lbs to 195 lbs in 18 months using P90X. So your sarcasm is really justified in my case. I love classic X. Why is it so hard to believe I find a 30 minute exercise a lot easier? Even Tony says that cardio is NOT his strong suit. Well, I’ve got news for you, it is Shaun T’s. And going from a very light cardio program to a very intense one is more challenging to me.

        I’m sorry you don’t like my opinion. Maybe you should follow your parent’s advice about not saying something if you don’t have something nice to say. Oh, wait, this is the internet, where there are no repercussions for saying anything…

        • Carina Keller

          Wow! You took it the wrong way. I was simply saying you’re in amazing shape if you can get through the program without breaking a sweat. That’s was all.Maybe the Sheesh threw you off. In any case, my apologies. Keep up the good work.

          • JCCFP

            I did take it the wrong way, and for that I apologize to you. I read the “sheesh” as sarcasm. Thank you for clarifying. It’s good to see not everyone is in attack mode on the internet.

            Have a nice day.

          • AJL

            Doesn’t hurt to reach out and ask for clarification before jumping into someone’s ass. Lesson learned I hope.

    • Kerry Lee Haas

      Finally! More honest people that aren’t under the payroll of Beachbody. I am a Classic P90X girl. I love that I feel tired and sore after the workout and sore the next day. I put 5 weeks into P90X3 and am so disappointed. The only time I was sore was during week 1. I enjoy the results I get from the P90X/Insanity hybrid so that’s what I immediately went back to. Wouldn’t you know it, the soreness returned. I lift heavy and give my all to each workout. X3 just isn’t enough. I was also disappointed with T25. Why can’t they make a P90X/Insanity hybrid in one workout series? I want to feel challenged, not have a quick fix.

      • JCCFP

        There is a T25/P90X hybrid out there. Say what you want about T25, but it’s a great cardio program. The hybrid basically swaps the P90X cardio out for T25 cardio routines. It also adds lower focus as a rotation with Legs and Back. Look it up under T25 P90X hybrid and it should come up on Google. The guy even created a PDF of the schedule.

        Good luck.

      • I know what you mean. While I do indeed like P90X3, there is a danger that many will see this as a replacement for longer, more intense workouts ( although I think T25 Core Speed is awesome! )

        I look at X3 and T25 as workouts you would do when time is short but both programs should take a backseat to their longer counterparts. Can you get as much benefit in 30 minutes as opposed to an hour? Some studies say yes, but my muscles often say no!

        • JCCFP

          I’m quite sure the reason they put out both programs was to appeal to those who heard P90X required up to 75 minutes a day, six days a week. That’s too long for most people, at least mentally. I admit the reason I tried T25 in the first place was because finding 75 minutes a day was getting really hard to do. There’s no doubt I’m not that uncommon in my thinking.

  • Uncle J Knows

    This is the first time I have read your blog and I love it. Funny but not forced and very informative. You are good at what you do. Thanks for the review.

  • Bert

    Great review
    I would like to know one thing . I too completed the first P90x, I loved it but I felt a little tricked by its promotion. The commercials always said 45 minutes a day. It ended up being quite a bit more with the 15 minute Ab ripper and the 90 minute yoga. My question is , is this truly 30 minutes a day or are there other parts of the program that extend the time. Thanx

    • Glad to say it does stick to 30 minutes…roughly! There is occasionally a 2-3 minute cooldown but that’s all. Any pre-workout warmup is included in the 30 minutes unless you decide to go the extra mile and do the “ColdStart” workout.

  • Naddy

    Ok so I just watched the p90x3 infomercial. I am a 32 year old female who gained a whopping 80 pounds during my 1st pregnancy 2 years ago and I’ve only been able to lose half of the weight gained:(( I am in very bad shape since I am 5ft4 175lbs. Is p90x3 a good program good for someone who’s really in bad shape/bad cardio. Will I be completely overwhelmed with this program… Then again I need a major kick in the butt so what I want to really know is is it a good program to start to achieve the best shape of my life?? Thanks

    • Leslie

      I am in horrible shape and have some injurines and I am doing the workout with a P90X veteran. I just modify. If I can’t squat, twist and jump (exagerating a bit) all at once, I just do squats during that time. Into week two and I am doing more….

    • Kerry Lee Haas

      P90X3 is a good precursor to P90X. You can modify all of the moves if you need to.

  • me

    Very helpful in my decision making. Thanx much, Supreme Overlord.

  • Hawk

    Maybe you could post a poll where we choose the best BB program…not just based on best value, packaging, difficulty, or even effectiveness, just simply the overall best/favorite.

  • Dave3979

    I’m starting month 2 of P90X3, so far I’m loving it. In the past I’ve done several rounds of P90X- loved the workout but 60mins. was just getting too long.

    I’ve read a few of your other reviews/rants…I find them very enjoyable…of course also being a Canadian perhaps we have the same world view.

  • Petrina Hamm

    Great review! Another option for those who want to simplify meal planning a bit is to get the Challenge Pack – they’d get a month’s worth of Shakeology at a deeply discounted price (esp. if they order while sale is still going on through the end of January). I’m about to start Block 2 and am loving it. I would tend to disagree with other’s posts that it’s okay for everyone- I think those who are new to exercise or have taken an extended break would get discouraged/frustrated from the start and give up early on in the program. My two cents for what they’re worth…and I know some would discount by a cent or more given that I am a BB coach. ;-)

  • Chris Smith

    So happy that Tony gave a shout-out on his personal page. I’ve read all of your reviews and have found them to be both entertaining and informative. Keep up the great work!

  • Kelly Hanner

    Great review! I am loving X3 so far!

  • François le français

    Dear Miss and Mister Parrot.
    I have the same goal as you : to become versatile. I have a question about how precisely I can mix a P90x3 calendar and a Beast Body Lean calendar.
    Step one px then step one BB. Then 2 and 3?
    Or circle 3 months P90x then 3 BB?
    I really care about muscle flexibility.
    Thx and great review by the way.

  • Jake P

    I have never done any sort of P90 or T25 or workout videos. I started
    P90X3 about 5 days ago hoping to lose weight. I am a 6′ 240Pound guy.
    Total Synergistics and Agility X are brutal for me, I can barley do
    them. But I am trying my hardest to do everything. I did the Challenge, I
    can barley do one pull up on my own, I do use a chair for some help. I
    did enjoy the CVX, that is my favorite with the few days I have been
    doing the workouts. I just wanna know if you have any tips for me to
    help me achieve what I am going for.

    • Robert

      A really really late reply but oh well. The tip is to just keep at it, be persistent. It doesn’t matter if you can’t do an exercise perfectly as long as you do _something_.

      If you can’t do a proper pushup all the way to the floor, at least crack the elbows, go down a little bit (but stay off your knees!). If that’s too much, just hold plank for as long as you can while really concentrating on keeping your core tight. If jumping up and down is too rough on the knees, maybe try gentle squatting for those moves until you get stronger.

      If your heart feels like it’s about to explode during cardio, slow down, but try to keep going (throw in a pause to get your heart rate down before continuing if you have to).

      There’s lots of workouts that I struggle with but at least I’m there, breathing hard and being soaked in sweat. And during stuff like Yoga where the moves might be easy for some people I’m struggling which means I have to push even harder which in turn means I’m probably improving quicker than those who find it easy. For example, the tree stand is a joke for me, I can stand there all day looking into the sky so that particular move is pretty pointless for me, but it’s a nice break.

      Or, to go the cheesy route, “do your best and forget the rest” ;)

  • Scooby

    I’m still working on T25 and do weight training about 5 days a week. I’m curious, what series would you recommend after I finish up T25? Should I try p90x3? Any advice on progression from one to another? If it helps, I’m a 50 year old male. I’ve been weight training at the gym for years consistently 5 days a week. I tend to skip cardio when I’m short on time, I know not good. I have an athletic look, not big bulky look. My goal is get overall fit…heck, I’d like to look like Shawn T but…

    • Depends. If you wanted to keep the same time but add variety X3 is good. If you want to up things a bit I’d say go for X2 instead or even Asylum if you’re feeling ambitious! T25 still has vastly superior cardio to X3.

  • Jenny

    I’d be interested in the amount of fitness level lost or gain (or loss) difference for those that don’t like the program all that much if you stuck with it the entire time specified. I say this because in the past year it seems I can workout in much smaller time increments (as long as it’s varied) and still make gains in fitness and maintain or lose weight depending if I’m sticking with decent nutrition. My thoughts are that we are so conditioned with some of these programs that we have to put in a certain amount of time for it to be hard core, well….that may actually be true of the hard core part, but in my experience it could be more mental that we have to put in at least an hour to get great results. I’m a p90xclassic and P90x +, Insanity, T25 (Alpha, Beta & Gamma) and (former Crossfitter) currently doing a p90x3/T25 hybrid. Anyway I somewhat feel like p90x classic isn’t hard while I’m doing it, but I always see results and am sore no matter how many times I do it. Anyway best of luck to all of you on your fitness journey. Oh (one more thing), one of you mentioned barely breaking a sweat, it doesn’t matter what workout I do (even Insanity) unless it’s in the middle of the summer that I get really sweaty. So I’m not so sure sweat level has a lot to do with how hard you are working or how good the workout is. ;)

  • Paul

    Great review. That looks like a great chin-up bar. What’s it called and who makes it?

    • Here is the link to an identical one…


      I got mine from some small fitness shop about five years ago. But it has served me very well!

      • Paul

        Thank you! Is there anything about it that you don’t like? Would you buy this one again if you had to get a new door-way chin-up bar?

        • If I had to nitpick about this particular chin-up bar it would be that the main bar you grab hold of is held stable by large thumbscrews that occasionally come loose making the gripping bar wiggle. I thought about welding it down but the bar is aluminum and I don’t have the tools for that. However, it’s not that big a problem.

          I like it better than the P90X bar because it has the full bar to grab hold of for even better pull-up variety. The P90X bar just has a big blank space in the middle. But again, it’s all about personal preference.

  • Mongogfu

    I hate to bring it up, but…SUPREME 90 DAY ANYONE?
    I went back to S90 and gave X3 to my nephew as a “gift”.
    Hands down S90 has more intense workouts and most under 45 minutes.
    x3 might be “ok” for athletes training for a sport that can use x3 workouts as added conditioning without overtaxing the muscles.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Rebuttles welcome.

  • Seahawkfan

    I have enjoyed all your reviews and often refer to your site before or after individual workouts. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into this.

    I completed T25 alpha, beta and gamma and based on your recommendations just started P90X3 this week. Yoga X practically killed me. I didn’t have a drop of sweat on me and didn’t feel like I got a workout, but I couldn’t come close to doing some of these moves. It was a big eye opener and pretty depressing to realize how inflexible I am. Never having done yoga I struggled to figure out some of the poses without constantly watching the screen. I also fell over a lot. I know that will get better as I repeat this each week.
    I have to disagree with you on CVX. I just finished it and I thought it was a really good workout. I pushed pretty hard for the whole 30 min and felt it. I know what you mean when comparing it to Shaun T. in terms of being sweat producing and heart-pounding but it has the added element of strengthening that I enjoyed.
    The Challenge is simple in terms of format but it became clear near the end that I picked too high a number of reps. Man I suck at pull-ups!

  • Michael Goupil

    DP – love your reviews and find them accurate; which is not always the case from others I’ve seen. I am considering X3 but after X1, Tapout, Rushfit, I am wondering if it will be enough in the strength department….well, compared to X1 that is. I love the full body functional fitness and comprehensive format of X3, at least on paper, as well as the time frame. But… 1. Does it give you a good muscle pump. I’m not a body builder, but love X1. 2. Is it comparable to Rushfit in the intensity and “results”. Currently I Hybrid some Tapout Cardio/Muay Thai with X1. Thanks for your awesome service to the fitness community. Mike

    • I would say that none of the ones you mentioned are truly dedicated to increasing strength to a large degree. P90X2 would be my recommendation if that’s what you want and maybe even mix in a little Body Beast, although X2 would have better core.

      That having been said, the other programs ( Tapout, Rushfit ) help increase stamina and are a hit in their own right. Personally I’ve been mashing all my programs together into one crazy non-stop hybrid!

      • Tom Young

        Terrific review! Would appreciate your thoughts on doing the lean version as a prep for moving into Insanity. It appears there is a strong similarity in many of the moves, and the pace also a good prep for Shaun T.

        • I’m sure either lean or regular would be fine for moving forward to Insanity. Although I would recommend doing Max 30, and not the original. The original just clobbers the joints and is hard to sustain long term. Plus Max 30 has more variety and kicks your butt just as well.

  • galvinbryant

    Excellent review! I’ve been a P90X fan for a while, and now I’m a Dysfunctional Parrot fan. At my age (55) strength is les important than flexibility, cardio and balance. Plus, I got the 50 year warranty, so I need to be careful with the body now that it seems to have expired. I take it the cardio workout is a lot like the one from the original P90X? Like you, a lot of people I know either used a cardio from another workout or supplemented with running. I thought the Plyometric workout was excellent, and really got my heart rate up if done intensely. Does P90X3 have some thing similar?

  • Liquid Johnny’s

    So would this be considered a good workout for beginners?

  • Coffeebean10

    Dysfuntional Parrot love yourreview! So let me behonest… I am not into a magic bullet, or into this and that diet so your comments and of your fellow followers are very helpful and refreshing. Now about myself. I am a very overweight individual (5’9″, 260 Ilbs.), am now a diabetic but controlling it by diet and have sleep apnea. All of my doctors have told me these are 100% controllable if i just loose the weight. So yes, this is all on me no excuses. So I m not looking for preachers. I have three kids a job in IT security I love but frankly is quite a lot of hours of work but like I said love a lot. So trying to go to the gym has not been successful. So long story short, is this the right workout due to the 30 minutes and is the diet book really condusive to someone like me (disclaimer for all: you are not physicians andI do not believe anyone here would be my physician so in a court of law, I take this advice at my own peril). Thanks in advance!

    • P90X3 would be good yes, but you may have to modify it a fair bit given your physical description.

      A better option might be to start with the new P90…


      Once you have that, moving on to X3 would be an easier transition. After that I would recommend Focus T25 to ramp up the fat burn cardio.

      Regarding diet, the #1 culprit is bread/wheat. It adds weight and screws with your insulin. Try to eliminate breads as much as humanly possible and you should see some accelerated results.

      All the best! I anticipate good things for your health in the new year!

  • Alex

    First, I’ve always enjoyed your reviews as a p90x fan. I started phase one of x3, and while I’m very satisfied with most of it, and frankly I admit I’m only posting because this is a gripe, Agility X is very irritating in spots. The figure 8 moves are silly and ridiculous and require a lot of space. And the 3/4 move is aggravating because Tony calls out the changes at speeds only he can keep up with, so I’m left guessing where to jump next. Again, it’s probably unfair I’m only posting because I have a gripe, but this is my first legitimate gripe across X11, x2, and x3. Overall, it appears Tony got jealous of Shaun T and created x3. Which is great.

  • Kathy

    Hello, I have done Insanity once, Done T25 once and Gamma three times, also Chalean Extreme 3 times, Now I am currently have a problem with my feet, They get really sore while doing Speed 3.0, I have tried 4 different shoes and nothing helps so I was am giving my feet a rest for a few weeks by not doing cardio, so I am looking at lifting weights until I can resolve my feet issue, Does P90x3 have a lot of jumping? I have done the original p90X and would like to just tone up more, I will be honest my eating habits are not the best, I am 44yrs old female, height 5’4 and currently weigh 135. I like the shorter workouts as I also have 4 children and am busy, I have looked at Body Beast and read your reviews, What program would you recommend. Thank you for any advice.

    • Compared to T25, P90X3 has very little jumping. Only a couple workouts like Triometrics and Agility have plyo so your feet will get a good rest.

      That having been said, X3 is a good fit. I’m just in the middle of Insanity: Max 30 now and the plyo in that is fairly intense and even for myself, my feet often begin to ache. Guess you just have to know your limits!

  • mariapetrova

    Super helpful review, and a great sense of humor. Thanks so much!

  • SMW

    Great reviews D Parrott! I have completed several rounds of T25 (Beta) & Jillian Michael’s Body revolution (Phase 3). Now I hybrid the two. Might get x30 but after your review might keep these works. I want to be challenged. Have you done Shaun T Asylum? Is it worth it?

  • John1927

    Will the classic version still build a decent amount of muscle?
    And, what do you think of adding weights and bands to the challenge workout?
    To make it a more effective muscle building routine do weighted chins/pull ups and add resistance tubing while doing the pushups.
    Also, adding more boxing punches to MMX during the transition or breaks?
    Any thoughts?

    • As with anything, add the right amount of weight and you’ll get the results! If you’re able to do weighted pull-ups and somehow use bands for push-ups, I would imagine even quicker and more impressive results. Sounds like you’re on the right track for sure!

  • John

    Could I sub 12 minutes of bag punching for cold start?
    That way I can maintain my boxing while I go through the 90 days of X3.

    • Totally. Aside from the review, I hardly ever use the cold start video. More often than not I just skip rope for 5-10 minutes and then get down to business. Working a bag would be as good or even better I’m sure.

  • Sam Blair

    Hi, I’ve read your reviews on both p90x3 and insanity max 30. Which would you recommend in terms on enjoyment, effectiveness, and results after?


    • Ok…this is actually a hard one to answer but here I go!

      In terms of RESULTS, it depends what you want going in. Shaun T is the best for cardio and endurance. But Tony is tops for well rounded fitness and good weight training. I think the results from X3 might come out on top here.

      EFFECTIVENESS- It’s a tie, but for the same reasons mentioned above. It depends what you want going in.

      ENJOYMENT- I must admit, I love Shaun T’s music tracks and they do a lot to keep me going even when I’m running low. As a trainer he’s great and for cardio/plyo there’s none better.

      Tony is slower paced but covers the parts I feel Max 30 misses such as decent muscle work. To be honest, I mix them up so much I’m not sure I could do one without the other these days!

  • Olaf Biesot

    We’re going to start today, classic version. We will do the Cold Start as often as possible.

  • Lawrence Holbrook

    John Paul, I really appreciate your fitness reviews, and I’ve purchased several products based on your recommendations. I’m currently in the first month of P90X3 and, while I’m enjoying it overall, I wonder if you can suggest a replacement for Total Synergistics. I’d prefer something more up tempo as I like to add more sweat to my balance and core work. Thanks, Lawrence

    • I find T25 has a lot of core workouts that are excellent drop-in replacements. A growing trend seems to be half hour workouts such as Max 30 and even free workouts such as STRONGER which I recently reviewed. If you want solid core work but don’t want to spend a dime, check that out first.

      • Lawrence Holbrook

        Thanks. I think I’ll have a go with one of the STRONGER workouts. Your review was so positive, I’m now eager to check them out. Cheers.

  • Jerry

    After closely looking at X3 and the original, at least to ME it seems that P90X is the better of the two.
    With that, can you offer ANY suggestions that could bring P90X down to 30-40 minutes without detracting from it’s full benefits?
    I realize that Yoga X can be cut, but what about all the other workouts?
    I have toyed with the idea of simply eliminating breaks, and fast forwarding when TH is joking and talking.
    How would DP make P90X an effective 30-40 minute version of X3?
    I believe that your answer will be helping many more than me who have the same questions in mind.
    And, coming from a trusted, reliable source like yourself who has earned his respect through his credibility and accuracy will allow me and others to follow the condensed version of the original with complete confidence.

    • Funny you should bring this up, as I will be discussing this briefly in my upcoming 22 Minute Hard Corps review.

      Many workouts in P90X are 45 minutes to an hour. A lot of that time is in the warm-up/cooldown. So much so that something like Chest and Back at 1 hour is down to 40 minutes. Reduce chatter time and you could shave it down to 30. However, your reps might suffer as you would run out of gas pretty quick at that rate with no rests. This is why X3 is the better of the two when time is a factor, but the original is a more complete workout.

      What you can do is have your own custom warmup/cooldown ( 2 minute jump rope for example ) then have your finger on Fast Forward. That’s about the only way I can think of to shave it down.

      Thanks so much for the credibility and respect compliment, but you should know my wife was laughing as she read that! :)

  • Erik

    I’ve just completed a third month of Insanity having started with 21-Day fix in the fall followed by P90x. I’m down 60 lbs since last July am fairly close to where I eventually want to end up. I’m trying to decide what do next and have narrowed it down to P90x3 and Hammer and Chisel. Any thoughts on pros and cons of which way to go? BTW: Priority of goals: 1) increased athletic performance 2) Lose last ten pounds and or related inches

    • If increased athletic performance is your goal, then you may wish to look at Shaun T’s Asylum. It is tailor made to that end. It will also loose those last inches for sure.

      However, if given a choice between H&C and X3, I would lean towards X3 to start. Tony is very functionally fitness minded and has the edge here.

      • Erik

        Thanks! I actually thought I would do Asylum based on your review but it seems jumping rope is a big part of it for which my low basement cieling wont allow. Plus, having just completed Insanity and adding in a third month, as many a girl has told me: we probably ought see other people for a while.

  • I did my first The Challenge today. It was very hard because I can’t do a chin up. I was using a chair to help, which is fine, but it makes it very difficult to push myself. Instead of really pushing at the end I feel that I was just using the chair more. Not intended to but that’s what happened. So I had gas in the tank at the end. Any suggestions on different ways to approach this, or is it just keep on trying?

    • JourdinTheSarcastic

      I had the same problem. I ended up using heavy resistance bands instead. I figure that should still get me a workout while I work up to chin ups. I’m coming off of a major shoulder injury and trying to get back into things. There is no need to feel ashamed starting with resistance bands, not everyone has the muscle naturally and many others, like myself don’t have the range of motion. Hope that helps

      PS I use my chin up bar and something Beachbody calls “resistance bands door attachment” to set up my chin up routine. I triple wrap my bands. What I’m getting at here is to make sure you have a proper way to attach bands to a door frame or chin up bar, and (if you are strong but just lack the full motion) get your hands on some VERY VERY heavy resistance bands. Trust me, you’ll get a good burn going

      • Thanks, I went out and bought some bands to help with the pull-ups. I think they will work much better than the chair!

        • JourdinTheSarcastic

          Good stuff! Keep up the good work!

    • Yup. Just keep plugging away! First few months I got into this stuff I was dying. Another option is to fasten a thick band to the ceiling and pull down on it. Make sure it is secure though!

    • Scum_Frog

      Try the modification using the bands to get the workout in as well as build your back strength, but keep working at the chin/pull ups. Maybe try for 1 chin/pull up and then quickly move to the band to get your reps in. Another option is to use a pull up assist (or to save a few bucks the pull up bar can be rigged up using a band as well to serve in the same function) Where there is a will, there is a way.
      The Challenge is one of my favorites in P90X3!

  • Jason G. Pritchard

    Hello there,

    I have serious problems with the yoga in p90x3 – what are a few good replacements? Thanks (btw Im doing mass x)

    • Are there particular objections you have that might assist in my advice?

      Other yoga-ish type workouts ( ie. stretching ) that work good are Asylum Release, T25 Stretch, DDP Yoga, or my personal favorite…popping in a movie and doing my own thing. I find that half an hour with a foam roller and some basic yoga postures on my own goes a long way.

      Just about every program has some sort of recovery/stretch component, so you have plenty of options. Any particular thing you’re looking for?