P90 Workout Review



An Introduction To This P90 Workout Review

This P90 workout review has been written to give you an in-depth look into the P90 home workout program. This review begins with a brief overview of the program, followed by a look at what is included with the program. Next, there is a discussion on who the P90 workout program is aimed at, then a look into the the program structure and the workouts. Finally, there is a section on the results you can expect from P90 then a discussion on value.

As you’d expect, this review will address the typical questions you most likely want answers to in order to help you decide if P90 is the right home workout program for you.

By the end of this review, you should have answers to many of the questions you’re probably asking yourself, and I specifically answer the following questions:

  • “Is P90 only beneficial to someone who has never exercised before?”
  • “Will I still see results even though P90 is not an ‘extreme’ at home workout program?”
  • “If I have some exercise experience, will P90 be ‘too easy’?”
  • “How does P90 differ from the P90X series?”


The P90 Workout Program Overview

P90 is another BeachBody home workout program designed by Tony Horton, who also makes a range of other home workout programs, most notably the P90X series.

You have probably heard of the P90X series, and you have probably noticed that P90 is P90X but without the X (duh!). The X in P90X stands for extreme, therefore the lack of the X should make it obvious that P90 is a less-extreme home workout program.

Tony Horton originally designed the first Power 90 program targeted at beginners over a decade ago. As times changed, and people wanted more of a challenge, Tony decided to create the P90X series as we know it now over the next ten years. Subsequently, a modernized program aimed at beginners was required, so in 2014 Tony created the latest P90 workout program.

P90 is a program that gets people slowly into the fitness process. You may already be familiar with its bigger, badder older sister, P90X, but try to dismantle your preconceptions when going into P90, because P90 isn’t like P90X or INSANITY or MAX:30.

The original Power 90

Tony Horton’s original Power 90 program

For some context, I would describe myself as being at an intermediate level of fitness. I’m comfortable with most workouts and have completed P90X and other home workout programs, so I’m certainly not a novice. I’d been doing a lot of more intense workouts and decided to give P90 a shot because I felt burned out from the intensity of other programs and had been recovering for best part of a month from a sprained ankle, so it seemed like a good time to take it down a notch, and P90 was ideal: a refreshing and low-impact workout which still made me work up a sweat.


What’s In The Box?

  • DVDs
    Of course, you get the at home workout DVDs Beachbody is known for. This particular package includes ten individual workouts on 4 DVDs, with workouts that range from 30 to 45 minutes in length. The workouts are broken down into three stages intended to last about a month each, with five workouts per week and a Saturday workout that’s optional.
  • Simple Kitchen Guide
    The premise of this is fairly consistent with other Beachbody nutrition guides. It’s high quality and easy to use, starting off with a calorie estimator and some pretty basic 400 calorie recipes that are simple to make and don’t require anything fancy. Again, the nutrition guide seems to be trying to make eating clean accessible to anyone, and there are a bunch of 400 calorie meals that will get you going, but you should feel free to supplement with online recipes or cookbooks. It is worth noting that there aren’t too many allowances for different dietary lifestyles, although I’m sure you could make it work because the premise of the nutrition plan is pretty clear, and you can supplement or adapt to suit your own needs. Caloric intake and output are vital here, though, so I recommend food logging with something like MyFitnessPal.
  • 4 Step Power Plan
    This is the “Oh-my-god-I-got-the-DVD-now-what-do-I-do-someone-help” survival guide. Tony outlines what to do from the minute you open the box to starting your first workout, and there are QR codes that link to videos you can watch. I thought the QR codes were kind of gimmicky, but the plan is motivating and removes some of the anxiety that might come from starting a new workout DVD. The whole thing was fun and energizing.
  • 6 Day Shred
    This is a very strict, short-term diet plan for dropping 10 pounds in 6 days. It is to be completed during your first week. It has very clear explanations for what to buy, including a one stop grocery shopping list, and what exercises to do. It’s an intense version of P90 designed for people who want to drop weight quickly. I haven’t tried this one yet, but a friend did it for a wedding and dropped about 8 pounds, so it seems successful to me. I think it’s a great option for someone with good discipline in a hurry to get results. The diet consists mainly consists of high-protein foods with relatively low carbs and a Shakeology smoothie.
  • How to Hit It
    This is a video tutorial that is sort of an intro to the program, with fitness tips which I don’t think I’m allowed to repeat verbatim here, but which are basically the thesis statement to the program with some tips for keeping to the schedule and “hitting it,” basically powering through a workout. It’s a helpful little segment that’s a nice add-on to the beginning of the program and I think it helps to start feeling a connection to the trainer, because it really feels like he’s rooting for you and wants you to succeed.
  • Workout Calendar
    I love these things. They’re helpful for breaking down the workout routine and showing you where you’re at in the phases, and it’s motivating to see your plans on the schedule and keep you on track. This one doesn’t require much explanation other than that, except to add that I appreciate the color scheme of it and the layout. It’s not obtrusive at all and wouldn’t look unattractive or tacky hung up somewhere. Like all Beachbody workout DVD materials, it has a really high production value and is well laid out.
  • Pro-Grade Resistance Band
    As with all products in the P90 series a high-quality resistance band is included, which is a convenient alternative to using dumbbells. In my P90X review, I wrote about a major benefit of dumbbells over resistance bands – that you can increase the weight when the maximum resistance of the band becomes easy, you can’t do that with resistance bands – but a resistance band will suffice for P90.

P90 workout equipment


What Makes P90 Unique?

P90 has a fundamentally different premise compared to other Beachbody at home workout programs. Its goal is not to push you to your limits and to lead you on an extreme and difficult workout routine, it’s a home workout program that’s designed on all levels to be doable and efficient, something that will push you to get your fitness goals but not aim to work you out so hard that you collapse.

Simply put, it’s an approachable and doable home workout program that, while in my opinion is still challenging and won’t deter the beginner, the lapsed fitness junkies or the average person moving along on their fitness journey.

Understanding P90’s different premise is crucial to making a decision on whether or not to buy the product, because its appeal is in its approachability. Compared to INSANITY, Max 30 and other at home workout programs designed to really push you until you can’t go any further, P90 might strike you as a slacker program, which, let me be very clear, it is not. I have never encountered a Beachbody home workout DVD that was easy or didn’t push me, and P90 certainly was no walk in the park. Later on in this review, I’ll detail some of the specific workouts and moves that this at home workout uses to kick your butt, so stay tuned for that if you’d like more specific details on that count.

A unique feature that I thought to be cool is that the cast are filmed on a grid on the floor which Tony highlights when explaining the workouts. It’s a really easy, geometric way to learn the moves, and you don’t have to spend as much time trying to navigate your own body into the workouts. P90 removes a lot of the steepness to that learning curve, and they really push it as an on switch to fitness, which is a slightly gimmicky line that is nonetheless really accurate.


The P90 Workout Program Structure

In this part of the P90 workout review, I give a brief overview of the program structure and then provide a workout calendar for you to download.

In P90 there are three phases. In Phase A, you do one 30-45 minute workout every day for a month, then you move onto Phase B for the second month, and finally Phase C.

Every phase four workouts. They are:

  • A resistance-based workout, called Sculpt;
  • A cardio-based workout, called Sweat;
  • A core workout, called Ab Ripper;
  • A slightly more intense workout to end the week, called the Saturday Special.

You will learn about the specific workouts in the next section.

Click the P90 workout calendar link below to view a larger image, or right-click > save as to save the calendar.

Get the P90 Workout Calendar


P90 workout review sculpt c


P90: The Workouts

This part of the P90 workout review describes the workouts included in P90 and details some of the specific exercises in each workout.

The actual moves in P90 are pretty standard and require the use of a resistance band, which is included when you buy P90, and weights, but you could use something heavy in your house or even just your body weight. Although I have already stated that resistance bands should be sufficient, if you are already pretty strong, or want more of a challenge, some dumbbells would be a really good investment, and Tony does use them himself in the workouts.

Dumbbells like these, from Amazon, would be ideal.

Below is a table which details the foundation exercises within the Sculpt and Ab Ripper workouts – two very different workouts. This should give you an idea of the types of exercises found throughout the entire program. The subsequent phases build on these exercises to keep the program challenging.


P90 Foundational Exercises
Sculpt Exercises include:

  1. 1/2 Push-Ups
  2. Skier Squats
  3. Touchdown Press
  4. Standing Curls
  5. Launcher Kickback
  6. Step Back Lunges
  7. Walking 1/2 Push-Ups
  8. Sawyer Chin Pull
  9. Side Step Squat
  10. Deep Swimmer Press
  11. Rocket Launcher Curls
  12. Triceps Kickdowns
  13. Kayak Back Lunge
Ab Ripper Exercises include:

  1. Pacman
  2. Plantain Roll
  3. Ish Combo
  4. Rope Climber
  5. Pike Crunch
  6. Circle Crunches3
  7. Bridge Crunch
  8. Triangle Crunches
  9. Roller Bike
  10. Bug Crunches


Who Should Do The P90 Workout Program?

In this part of the P90 workout review, I discuss who P90 is suitable for and who will reap the most benefits. I also construct a case study consisting of four people of differing lifestyle and discuss if, and how, P90 would benefit them.

People say that anyone can do Beachbody programs, but I’m of the opinion that’s not always the case. For example, jumping straight from 0 to INSANITY isn’t always a good idea, and not all programs will work well with an absolute beginner. But P90 is a program that literally anyone can use. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that. There are modifiers for people who need it easier or adapted to be low impact, but the program is just challenging enough that it won’t intimidate or demoralize a beginner, but challenging enough to keep someone at a higher fitness level ticking over, although if you’re an athlete who’s at an advanced fitness level, the first phase might not challenge you enough.

P90 workout modified press up

An example of a modified press-up.

Because the workouts are quite repetitive, if you’re someone who needs a ton of variety, you may get bored, but I didn’t find it to be that way. I think the repetition of workouts makes it easy to get comfortable with new moves, and especially for a novice, that experience with good form is essential. You’re really building a foundation for future fitness success.

People who are brand new to fitness would do great with this home workout program. I remember, back when I was just starting out with home workout programs, just how daunting other programs were to me. There’s a lot you have to learn in a short amount of time, and it can feel like you spend the first few workouts scrambling just to learn the moves and feeling kind of embarrassed about the whole ting. This awkward phase goes away pretty quickly, but it might make the difference between a newbie sticking with it or giving up. All the moves have instructional videos before the workout starts that teach you, in a clear and concise way, how to do the workouts before you start, and this is a great little feature which doesn’t take a long time to do and which really keeps you up to date on form.

The program is exactly what it claims to be: an easy and accessible way to get into fitness or to take your moderate level up a notch. The workouts are clearly explained, nice to look out, and well lead, and the included materials take all the guesswork out of the program. I feel like this is the program I would recommend right away to anyone new or anyone scared of INSANITY or P90x because it’s shorter and easier, and also better explained. If you’re a reformed couch potato, a low-key fitness fan, a treadmill junkie, a runner in need of strength training, a new mom, a recovering athlete, whoever, this program is a good option, and I really recommend it!

Below, I have described four fictitious people with differing levels of experience and fitness levels and how P90 would benefit them (if at all). You should hopefully be able to align yourself with one of these people and it should assist you in deciding whether or not the P90 workout program is for you.

The Exhausted Parent Person one, let’s call him John, is a very keen fitness enthusiast up until a few years ago. He used to attend the gym 4 – 5 times per week and eat extremely clean. He was in great shape but a new job, along with two young children, keep him very busy and he has fallen into the ‘busy parent’ category. Now he’s lucky if he has the energy and time to do any form of exercise once per week, such as a brief bike ride. In addition, he has very little time to prepare healthy food and so often ends up eating fast food. As a result, he’s now overweight and extremely unfit.
Will P90 be beneficial? Yes
Why? As John has not exercised consistently for years his stamina and overall fitness level will be lower than they have ever been. Some argue that stamina and cardiovascular fitness levels return quickly, however, because John is now overweight and his heart has never been trained to exercise at this weight it will be a difficult journey to begin with. An extreme home workout program is out of the question: P90 is perfect for John.


The Athlete Person two is Stephanie. She’s a highly-skilled boxer who competes in the Olympics. She retains her high level of fitness all year round through intense boxing-gym training during the fight season and lots of running and intense home workouts off season.
Will P90 be beneficial? Probably not
Why? The workouts that Stephanie is used to are much more intense than what P90 offers. This is not to say Stephanie would find it easy – I’m certain she would still break a sweat! – but P90 is probably the kind of workout Stephanie would perform if she was told to ‘have a rest day’ or ‘do some leisurely exercise’. It won’t halt her progress but she’s unlikely to make any serious gains from it.


The One Returning From An Injury The third person on this list is Brad. He is a CrossFit fanatic, attending classes four times per week for over two years and is in great shape. Unfortunately, he suffered a shoulder injury at a CrossFit class several weeks ago and was advised by his doctor to avoid any extreme forms of training that would put serious stress on his shoulder.
Will P90 be beneficial? Yes
Why? Brad needs some form of rehabilitation on his shoulder before he can resume his CrossFit training. Undoubtedly, his doctor and coach would have advised him of the type of light exercises he should perform, building up resistance to strengthen his shoulder. P90 is the perfect rehabilitation program for Brad as the workouts are of a low-intensity and the exercises contained within are all low-impact, with modifiers that Brad can take advantage of whilst recovering.


Your Average Person Who Tries To Get In Shape But Has Other Daily Priorities Person four is Amy. She is career-driven and lives on her own with no partner and no children. In theory, she should have a lot of spare time that she could dedicate to exercise, however, Amy is a newly-qualified lawyer and frequently has to work long hours. It is common for her to be in the office up to fourteen hours per day!
Will P90 be beneficial? Yes
Why? Amy often gets home from the office very late and is exhausted from the long hours. Assuming she could find a gym that is still open late, she would have to travel to and from the gym which would simply add more time onto her day. After a long day she wants to get home, which is why a home workout program is perfect for her. P90 is perfect because it’s not too intense – Amy is probably too exhausted to take on an extreme home workout program – but Amy will still see great results and she can continue to complete the program after the ninety days as an alternative to going to a gym.


In case you hadn’t already guessed, the first person above – John – is me, and that’s the situation I was in before I started this website and discovered the benefits of home workout programs.


The P90 Workout Program: What Results Can You Expect?

Being honest and realistic, P90 isn’t going to give you the extreme transformation that you might get from P90X – that part should be clear by now. What we have established, however, is that you will see results.

As you know by now, P90 is aimed at the beginner, and as a beginner you’re much more likely to achieve your goals and get your desired results by starting off slowly and building up to the more intense programs.Why? Because, as a beginner, your fitness levels will be low and attempting an intense home workout program before you’re ready will almost certainly result in you either:

  • Burning yourself out
  • Injuring yourself

or, most likely:

  • Simply giving up because you can’t handle the pace and intensity!

It is better to yield great results from the right program rather than embarking on the wrong program looking for the fast, extreme transformation that you’re not ready for.

The message here is to know your body. Don’t rush into anything. I made the mistake many years ago. If you do injure yourself, like I did, it simply pushes your goals further away from you because you then need to nurse your injury and recover before embarking on another program.

So, what about the figures? Well, we know that a good diet alone sheds an average of 1 – 2lb per week. Combine that with the P90 home workout program and the fact that, as a beginner or someone with little recent exercise experience, you are going to ‘shock’ your body into doing something it’s probably never done before (daily exercise!), 3 – 4 lbs per week is a very realistic goal. As such, by the time you’ve completed the 12 week+ program, you could realistically lose up to 48lbs!

Below is an image of a guy named Brian who runs his own blog. The image is a before and after shot from the first time he completed P90. As you can see, he is severely overweight in his before shot and, whilst the after shot doesn’t depict an extreme or unrealistic transformation, the after shot demonstrates a significant change: the most noticeable being that Brian’s gut no longer ‘hangs’ over the top of his pants. What’s left of his gut is what most people (myself included) would call ‘puppy fat’.

P90 workout review transformation

Brian’s transformation picture is both realistic and inspiring!


Is P90 Good Value For Money?

I often talk about all the extra value you get when you purchase a home workout program, such as expert guidance, nutritional plan, etc. all of which are typically excluded from a gym membership, unless you fork out extra cash. In this respect, I don’t think there’s any question that, at only $60 for the entire program, P90 is fantastic value for money.

There’s not a lot more I can add to this section, really. The simple fact is you get an entire program – all the workouts and nutritional guidance you need – for the approximate price of one month’s gym membership. Even if you decide, for some reason, that you don’t like the program, it’s worth $60 just to find out! Whatever you think about the program, you’re guaranteed results!

In addition, as with pretty much all other home workout programs, P90 comes with a 30-day money back guarantee! So if you really don’t like the program or you find, for whatever reason, you’re not getting the results you were expecting, you can simply return the program to BeachBody and get your money back.


The P90 Workout Program: Conclusion

This section of the P90 workout review will firstly answer the questions put forth at the beginning of this review, then there is a final recommendation followed by advice on where to get P90.

Firstly, let me answer the questions asked at the beginning:

  • “Is P90 only beneficial to someone who has never exercised before?”
    No. Exercise intensity must be continuously increased as a user of any home workout program becomes fitter in order for him or her to continue progressing, therefore the P90 workout program will deliver the best results to a beginner due it being low-intensity, however, results will be seen by other users, regardless of their fitness level and exercise experience.
  • “Will I still see results even though P90 is not an ‘extreme’ at home workout program?”
    Yes. As above, the less experienced you are, the more impressive your results are likely to be but, at the end of the day, regardless of your level of experience you’re still exercising. You can’t not get results as long as you’re putting the effort in and maintaining a healthy diet.
  • “If I have some exercise experience, will P90 be ‘too easy’?”
    Definitely not. Despite the fact that P90 is not considered ‘extreme’, it certainly isn’t a walk in the park. It will push you just as hard as any gym routine you might attempt and it’s still a hell of a lot more challenging and rewarding than any of your typical $10-$20 at home workout program that you can pick up from the local store, it’s just not as intense as most of the other BeachBody products. I strongly advise you to avoid thinking P90 is easy.
  • “How does P90 differ from the P90X series?”
    We know by now that the P90 workout program is not as intense as P90X, and that’s the most significant difference, however that, in turn, allows you to continually complete P90 again and again after you’ve completed the ninety days, without rest if you prefer. This is in contrast to P90X (or indeed any other intense at home workout program) which, as you may or may not be aware, requires significant rest after completing the program to allow the body to recover.

Hopefully this article has given you the advice you required to decide whether or not P90 is for you. If it is, good for you! Get P90 here!

If you believe you need something more advanced, then take a look at some of the programs in the For The Advanced section.

Either way, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!