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How Tough Is P90X?

From being a coach for over a year and a half, I have seen many people come and go with the P90X program. I have to be honest with you, and most people don’t have what it takes to have great success with this program. Is it because the program doesn’t work? Far from it. The program is the best that I have ever come across and used, and you will get results if you follow it properly. But that’s just it, most people don’t understand the amount of hard work it takes to have great success like I and the others in my success story section have. P90X is not an easy program people, and you will be tested and challenged in many areas, such as time commitment, cleanliness of the diet, and ability to push yourself beyong your comfort zone. The people that are able to follow the program properly and commit themselves are the ones who will succeed. So how hard is it?

I used to be a college baseball player, so I know what hard work is. We had to get up at 4:30 AM to make the 5:30 AM conditioning workouts, and they were tough. We usually had 3 stations: running, lifting, and abs, and I had to push myself beyond my comfort zone if I wanted to complete each station successfully. I thought those workouts were tough, that is until I started P90X. I knew that P90X would be tough when I ordered it, but I had no idea what was awaiting me during the first workout, Chest & Back. Not only did I want to throw up half-way through the workout, I literally was shaking so bad and my arms were so weak that I could only do one or two reps of every exercise after the halfway point. And that wasn’t the worst part of it. The worst part was when I was laying sprawled out over the floor after the workout and heard the Ab Ripper X music. I mean, how in the heck was I going to be able to do another workout? As much as I didn’t want to, I pushed myself through it. Day 1 of P90X done.

For the next few weeks, I experienced the worst soreness I’ve ever felt before. I couldn’t even lift my arms above my head for a good two weeks, not to mention how I had to waddle like a penguin after Legs & Back. I felt extremely nauseated during just about every workout. However, as sick as I felt and how sore I was didn’t stop me from completing any of the workouts. I made a commitment when I started P90X, and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. That commitment and dedication paid off because by day 90 I was completely ripped!

Like I mentioned above, it takes serious hard work and dedication to both the diet and workouts if you want to be successful with P90X. Unfortunately, when things get tough, instead of tackling the challenge head on, most people run away from it. If you’re someone thinking about getting P90X or are just starting the program, remember that if you want results, you have to commit yourself 110%! It’s not going to be easy! 

Ready to take the P90X challenge? Click here to learn more!


  1. I can’t believe I’m already on Day 23 of round 1! Already I have people emailing me about P90X, how its going, how hard is it….I keep telling them its the hardest thing I’ve ever done…and before I know it they’re already making excuses about why they don’t think they should try it. They SHOULD try it….not everything in life is easy…..and I didn’t gain all my weight in 90 days…so its not all coming off in 90 either…thats just common sense. You have to BRING IT people. hahaha ok I’m done.

  2. I felt the same way after day 1! Then came day 2! How in the hell was I going to do all that jumping when I cant move my arms! But I pushed through the pain. By day 5, every inch of me hurt! I work out in my basement, so the trip up the stairs after legs and back was near impossible!

    Keep pushing!! Do your best and forget the rest ( as Tony would say)

  3. Charlie /

    The comment about hearing the Ab Ripper X music after Day 1 of Chest & Back is dead on! I was laying there dying and feeling accomplished to “survive” my first workout… then the Ab Ripper X music hit and I had totally forgotten about it.

    After that 16 minutes of pain I went downstairs and had a protein shake with strawberries and bananas in it. My stomach didn’t feel right.. this was maybe 5 minutes after my first workout was over. I didn’t make it back up my stairs before I threw up.

    I learned 2 things that day. 1.) P90X is tough and it’ll push you if you do it right. 2.) Give yourself 10-15 minutes before going for a recovery drink if your body is that drained.

  4. I 100% agree, Josh. It really bothers me that whenever I scroll through the Beach Body message boards I see so many posts from people who are ready to quit because they’re feeling sore on Day 3. I am only on Day 14, but I guarantee you that I’m going to see this through. Not because I am physically any different than others who go through this program, but because I see the difficulty of P90X as a positive. Call me a masochist, but whenever I roll out of bed feeling like I’ve just been dropped off a cliff, I take great satisfaction in knowing what a challenge I have started. I know P90X is tough, but I would not have started it otherwise, because if the workouts were easy then it would not be worth my time in the first place. When I did my first day of Chest and Back and I had to do diamond push-ups in the second half, I cursed loudly and I flipped off Tony (still love him, though). But I did the push-ups. I think I was able to manage 4 ugly, sweaty, “heart-to-hearts” and I went on to finish my workout because I have too much pride to let myself fall short. At some point you just have to think to yourself, “Am I really too tired to do ONE MORE push-up?” However, that is the defining point for many people. Personally, I grit my teeth, take a deep breath, respond with the ever-eloquent “F*** it!” and grunt out another 2. I admire greatly those who can do another 3, and I hope that those struggling with their will can learn something that I was fortunate enough to realize relatively early on: anything you do, even physical activity, can be determined by your willpower. Somebody posted on another thread about a YouTube video “Will Smith’s Wisdom”, in which Will said something which I feel perfectly embodies the whole essence of my rant : “If we get on a treadmill, one of two things is going to happen: you’re going to get off first, or I’m going to DIE!”

    By the way Josh, if this is too long or you want me to get rid of something please message me (You’re my coach) so that I can change it, because I really think this post needs to be up here.

  5. Hey Josh! I completely agree with you! When I finished Day 1 of P90X my arms were so mushy. ABS too!!! I’m on day 50 and if I push myself the way I did on day 1 (which is EVERY DAY! BRING IT!!!) I’m still mush! I love this work out!

    Jack3d! helps me push myself beyond every barrier I thought my body had!

    Thanks Josh, for all your words of encouragement and helping push everyone that extra mile!

    Bring it!

  6. The people who make excuses are the ones who will never succeed with anything! Get rid of the excuses and believe that you can do anything!

  7. Awesome man! Pushing yourself is important if you really want to succeed!

  8. Awesome post man! You’re completely right about everything, and there is no doubt in my mind that you will be one of the few who has gotten amazing results! Thanks for post.

  9. Glad I can help man!

  10. It is amazing how much you can achieve when you put your mind to it. I had never been one to seriously diet, so I never really thought I could do it and I was always curious about what I could lose. I used to work out at the gym a lot, but I would go out and eat bad food and have some drinks, never really losing anything but rather maintaining. Well when I found myself at 190 lbs, and in probably the worst shape of my life I knew I was going to make a change, and not just get back to where I was in the past, but to actually get ripped.

    Well its been about 47 days, and I’ve dropped 21 lbs. already, and I am stronger, more flexible, and feeling better then I ever have, confidence has steadily risen as the weight has dropped. I think about it now, and how so many people, who have more weight to lose then I even did at the start of the year, and how they say its impossible for them to drop the lbs. Now, having begun doing it myself I have to say that that is nothing more than a cop out and that if they really wanted to make a change they need only get the mindset right in their mind.

    It’s amazing how many people, my friends and family, comment on how ‘skinny’ I am now, and I say how I’m not even to where I want to be yet. When you start losing weight and building muscle it becomes addicting. It makes you want to continue to push yourself and work harder each day, I factored in additional cardio last week on my weight lifting days and have to say it’s almost like I can feel the fat burning off my stomach and everywhere else. It’s easy now to pass up the fatty foods and the thought of going out and having a bunch of drinks doesn’t even seem appealing anymore, not just because of all the empty calories and carbs but because I don’t want anything to make me feel bad the next day. No way to push yourself when your battling the effects of too many drinks the night before. This program is great, and for anyone who claims to have started it and quit must never have really ‘started’ the program at all. I don’t know about other people, but when you start seeing the results, even if they’re small at first, there is no bigger motivator then to continue pushing and achieve the results that made you want to start the program in the first place.

  11. Charlie /

    I’ll admit I slacked off one weekend because I wasn’t feeling great. I wasn’t happy with myself either. Since I missed my Friday and Saturday workouts, I told myself I would re-do that week.. so I extended phase 1 another week and I’ve been going strong since. The great thing about P90X is that you don’t have to stick to the “90 Days.” I think if you feel like you need to extend the first phase to prepare you for the 2nd phase, it’ll only allow you to succeed more.

    Actually, I probably needed the first week for a “condition week” anyway because I haven’t worked out in a LONG time and it wasn’t until Week 2 where I was able to hang with at least 80% of the workouts, ESPECIALLY Plyometrics. I couldn’t do any of the jumping on Day 2, but when I got to the next week I could do a lot more of it.

    Anyone who hasn’t started this program and is looking to, it takes a commitment. I personally do the workouts first thing in the morning before work. I sit in a cubicle at work all day and feel drained at the end of the day from the static movement. At least when I work out in the mornings, I can feel it all day. I feel like I get my metabolism going early and that also helps me fend off over eating or snacking through the day. Plus my body wants more water, so that’s a good thing too. Any day I’ve skipped my workout in the morning to do it in the evening, I’ve beat myself up because I don’t feel that sense of accomplishment through the day and there are more distractions for me in the evening to deal with.

    The important thing I’ve found is like they say, just keep hitting play! There’s no better feeling than that first time you make it through the 93 minutes of Yoga X. From week 1 to week 2, there were so many more poses I could sustain for longer periods of time or poses I couldn’t do at all a week before I found myself being able to do. All the other days workouts prepare you for the next workout and that’s the best thing about this program.

  12. I am also taking it one day at a time, being patient with the results. There are days I lose confidence but I push on bc I know that if I quit, I will never know what it feelslike to get to that end result! It is sooo true- I’ve been eating junk and thrived on way too many carbs for years. It’s unreasonable to expect all the fat to disappear overnight. It takes time, no doubt! I just keep telling myself eveyday, I’m one day closer. And if I don’t reach
    my goal at the end, oh well… It’s a lifestyle change. The 90day mark isn’t the end. Many people are stuck on the idea that ALL it takes is 90 days. I’m on day 30 or so, and am seeing slight improvements. I still get sore doing the workouts but I push on. I plan to stick to the Fat shredder phase for as long as I can. My body is finally adjusting to having less carbs although cravings creep up sometimes!! Diet IS everything, it’s true. I have tons more energy now too. Keep at it everyone!!!

  13. Well said. Unfortunately, there are many people that begin the program and end up quitting, even if they see some results. Their problem is that they want to get ripped in a month, and don’t understand the patience involved to get excellent results.

  14. A lot of people have said something about having the will-power to just push yourself that little bit further… i haven’t got p90x yet, i’m going to get when i get payed next…
    will-power is so important…. i was using a bench press with my mate in his home gym and i was convinced that i could get another rep out…but instead of helping me get it back on the rack, he walked away and said, i know you can get that other rep out you pussy and if you don’t all the weight is going to fall on you and your gonna hurt a thousand times more than if you just harden up and push it out…..
    he walked away. and after about 10seconds of thinking that i couldn’t do it and that the weight is going to squash me, i realised he really wasn’t coming back. After that i just pushed it out and got it on the rack, i thanked him after that…because i learnt something about myself when i’m working out…i was willing to give up way to easy, just because i could…but when giving up wasn’t an option, i could do it. So now whenever i’m working out, getting ready for p90x i never give up. and i continuously push out a few more reps than the last time i did the workout….
    Never give up, try p90x like i am going too, and you might surprise yourself… i hope too.

  15. Josh, I wrote on your video you have posted on youtube. Explaining that I had done p90x before and was going to start it back up again. Well it has been the best 2 months of my life since that. I will have to send in pictures once I’m finished. Once the 3rd month is up, it really is just the beggining for me. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to do a competition with all the work done through the p90x system? haven’t seen that one yet.

  16. Brandon /

    I feel alot better after reading on your sight. I just started p90x lastnight and halfway through I felt like i needed to throw up. Toward the end i couldnt do anymore i would try to do a push up and i would just hit the floor lol I had to wait about 30 minutes before i could do the ab ripper x.

  17. It’s tough! Everyone experiences the same thing, and it’s important that you continue to push yourself if you want to get great results! Great job in finishing the entire workout.

  18. Hi….
    My wife and I just started with this program……….. we just pass day 1…………we love it.
    we are looking for feedback about the results of P90x trough the net and we found this site…. I like what everybody says, encourage me (and my wife)to keep looking forward to day 90.

    Just one question…… it’s necessary to combine the diet with the exercises for better results, I mean no cheating with what we eat???

    thanks for this

  19. Josh /

    The diet is the most important part of the program, and what ultimately will determine how great of results you get. If you don’t follow the diet, you’re not going to get the results you want.

    The first thing I recommend all new people to do is get the Club Membership, which gives you access to trainer tips, healthy recipes, and creates custom meal plans for you. There are many other benefits as well, and you can learn more by clicking on this link: Being a Club Member helped me tremendously when I first started the program!

  20. Sgt Lynn /

    Hey Josh,
    I’m a 30 year old U.S. Marine. I’ve seen alot of workouts, and tried many of them unsuccessfully, and didn’t have the personal discipline to pull it all the way through to the end. Something I’ve always regretted, and paid for over and over again by disappointment in myself.

    But that stops. It stopped two weeks ago, when I got P90X. Last night I was feeling discouraged, and was trying to motivate myself by looking at results videos – and I came across yours.

    Man, are you a motivator. I have you to thank for giving me the motivation to see it through to the end – and further. I’m going to watch your video every day if I have to. Who knows, I may end up requesting you as a coach.

    Keep on keeping on, brother.
    Sgt Lynn

  21. Anthony Vu /

    Today was the first day I began, and I threw up before the cool down. LOL

  22. Josh /

    Haha that’s very common man!

  23. Josh /

    Hey man! I’m glad that my video has motivated you to do this program! If you can commit yourself to both the diet and the workouts, you are going to get results. Make sure you go through the entire “Q&A” section on this site to help you get started. As you already know, you can make me your coach on this site and I will be here to help you through the program. Here is the link anyways:

  24. Steve /

    I could not agree more. I endured baseball training at the professional level and it was as difficult as P90X. I finished the first DVD and literally crawled outside my back patio door and lost my cookies.
    I am pleased to report that I am now going to be starting week 4 of P90X and the soreness is still there, but not as pronounced as it was the first 2 weeks. I am seeing strength gains every session and getting more definition in my abs.

    My advice for anyone who is thinking about quitting..don’t. You’ve come this far and made the investment. Keep your eyes on the prize at the end and you will get there!

  25. Well,
    I’m through my first week and it’s been great. Yes, it has been tough, painful, and is really testing my willingness, but isn’t that what it’s all about. I’ve read a few comments sounding negative on the program due to the amount of work and dedication required. To me, that is what it’s all about. Anyways, I think the program is very well done and my only bit of advice is to keep plugging. When you reach a point of fatigue and/or can’t handle one of the moves, simply subsitute with another your comfortable with, but KEEP MOVING. Not everyone is going to be comfortable with every exercise demonstrated on these discs, but that’s o.k. Be willing to learn new exercises, work through the entire CD (training time), but most importantly keep moving. The goal is to get in shape by exercising and also becoming stronger mentally. Most quit when their head (negativity) gets in the way.

    Thanks for letting me vent,

  26. I’m really glad to have found this page. I was searching for motivation and I found it!. I did my first day of P90X last night. I’ve had the DVD’s since spring and just started. I had every excuse in the book. I’m going to fail my diet, I’m a smoker, I work too much, I’d rather sit and watch TV. Well, finally a funk set in. Over the past few years I developed a painkiller addiction and my smoking increased. My anxiety was through the roof. I went through a stressful job change, move, and financial difficulty. Finally depression. After last night that all went away! I’m a weakling but I still pushed through. Suddenly my excuses don’t hold water. The diet will take work but will fall into place as long as I keep pushing and putting better and better food in my body. My craving for cigarettes has dropped drastically (I was too tired to light up last night! and the oxygen from the breathing felt so good). I found the time to do it while I was doing laundry after my second job (2 hours for laundry, plenty of time to workout). Oh, and the biggie: painkillers….who needs em. The endorphine rush beats that ten fold. It’s a natural good feeling. I got better sleep, and I feel calmer. Nothing beats a healthy body full of natural energy. This is all after DAY 1!!. No I couldn’t make it through all the workouts. My muscles were failing almost 15 minutes into the workout. Heart to heart pushups and dive-bombers killed me, but if I couldn’t do a rep, I just held it there. Same with the pull ups. I figure if I add effort and resistance it doesn’t matter if I do 0 pullups as long as I try and hold it. It will get better I tell myself. Oh and I agree. Hearing ab ripper start-up as I was laying there thinking about my sandwich was killer. I did put off the food, but after 5 minutes of flailing around on the ground like a fish out of water, I headed for my sandwich hehe. Since I’m so weak I think I will repeat week one while working on the nutrition plan and eating to boost my metabolism. Does that sound like and ok thing to do? If I can push through it, anyone can. I’m already looking forward to tonights workout simply because of the way day one made me feel!

  27. @Ash. I’m really glad to hear that you’re understanding the importance of living healthy, and you seem very determined to make a permanent change. As you progress, though, it’s going to be important that you stay committed because I have seen thousands of people fall back into their old lifestyle. In fact, probably over 90% of people don’t have what it takes to commit to the entire 90 days. I can tell you that if you can commit yourself to the entire 90 days and stay clean, you’re going to be a different person both inside and out. I’m rooting for you and am here to help! Make sure you keep me updated.

    Remember, modify where need be and keep working on improving that diet, which is the most important part of the program. Let me know how tonight’s workout goes!


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