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Soreness From P90X

First of all, sorry about not writing a post for the past few days, but I was out of town for a Craig Holiday Leadership Training event down in Columbus. Anyways, one thing that I get asked about almost on a daily basis is whether the soreness that you experience with P90X is normal or not. When someone asks me that, I always tell the story of my first two weeks into the program, which I will share below.

The first time going through Chest & Back and Ab Ripper X left me laying on the floor, completely exhausted. At that point I knew that I was in for some serious soreness, but I had no idea just how bad it would really be. The next day, my chest, shoulders, back, and abs hurt so bad that I didn’t want to move my arms! As bad as I hurt, I knew that I needed to still work out that day and do Plyometrics. Most people don’t understand that this soreness is common, and think that working out will actually hurt them, but really it won’t. The day after Plyometrics was pretty bad, and not only could I still not move my upper body, but my legs were extremely sore as well, so pretty much I didn’t want to move at all. Even though I was still sore in my shoulders from Chest & Back two days earlier, I made sure I did Shoulders & Arms that day. Fast forward a few days to the rest day, and my entire body hurt so bad that I didn’t even want to get out of bed! Legs & Back left me walking around waddling like a penguin, and there wasn’t one part of my body that wasn’t sore. This soreness lasted about 2 weeks, but then began to decrease as I got into better shape.

There are a few things that you can do to help with the soreness. The first is take the Recovery Formula, which is one of the supplements that I highly recommend. I’ve been using it for quite some time now, and it always helps with post workout soreness. Also, no matter how bad you hurt before you start the workout, the pain seems to lessen as you warm up and stretch. Remember, it’s not going to hurt to work out when you’re sore! In fact, there is no doubt that you will be sore the first few weeks, and you just have to push yourself through it.

To learn more about P90X, click here!


  1. Coach, I’ve only ever really experienced intense soreness after the very first time I did plyo and ab ripper x (my thighs and abs hurt for days). Other than that I don’t get sore. Am I not pushing hard enough?

  2. @Mike. I still get sore from my workouts, and I’ve been doing them for over two years. You always want to really push yourself.

  3. Daniel /

    Hi. I am sending this from my iPhone. I don’t have a computer and can’t always get online(yeah, it’s an iPhone thing but I love it). Do you email back to poeple? I hope so.

    Here we go:
    I’m 36 (male) and about 165 lbs. Not in bad shape but definatly not great shape.
    I live in my semi and can only go home a day a week. I started P90X in mid April and way overdid it on day one. I was extremely sore and did plyo on day 2(I didn’t want to be the guy that got sore doing a workout ,waa, and quit. Aparently I should have. When I woke up on day 3 I couldn’t hardly move my arms and couldn’t push at all( could pull fine). I couldn’t even push the release on my breaks! Had to use my foot. Anyway the doctor took me off work for 2 weeks and gave me muscle relaxants and pain killers and told me NOT to work out again for at least 1 month. OK fine, then a wisdom tooth broke and screwed for another few weeks. Well now I’m healed and ready, financely caught back up and back at it. But I need major help!! I can’t afford a fridge for my truck and am desperatly trying to get the proper nutrition from canned and dry goods. I can pretty much only shop at wal mart and need to know what to get. After figuring up my calories yesterday night I had only eaten 1410 cals and 68g of protien and I’m a level 2 and need 2400!! And I’m not hungry, I’m only used to eating 1 or 2 times a day. Please, please help. The recovery shake made me throw up thi first time(I may have been overheated but now I’m nervous) and I don’t know what to do. I don’t care if I have to eat the same few meals over and over for the next 3-6 months, I just don’t want my workouts to be wasted. If you can tell me what’s good to get, I’ll get it. I wand to build some mass and slim out. I realy don’t look bad now but don’t look like you(who does?). I live in KY and this is finally perfect evening workout weather(and in TN where I go) and want to take full advantage of it while I can. Please help me work out a meal plan I can have in the truck and I’ll follow it to the letter.
    Thanx, Daniel.

  4. Martin /

    I don’t feel soreness after ab ripper X.
    I’ve tried Ab Killer (OoO) and first exercises hurt, but I don’t feel sore the next day.

    I walked to my uncle’s gym week ago and do 5 exercises x 3sets x 20-30 reps [with weights or not] and my sore lasted till yesterday.

    I think I’ll replace 2 ab workouts in a week by these gym session and do only 1 ab ripper x in week. I want bigger “valley” between my abs so I need some weights.

    Josh – Are you still doing only ab ripper x?

  5. @Martin. It’s all about muscle confusion. I add in weights to my ab routine, which creates more muscle confusion.

  6. @Daniel. Extreme soreness is very common because it’s a complete shock to your body. Remember, you’re doing something that you’re not used to and you’re tearing down and rebuilding the muscle. During my first week, I was the exact same way and couldn’t barely move my arms or legs. Anyways, you’re just going to have to find foods that don’t require a fridge, like peanut butter and sugar free jelly on whole grain bread. You also should look into a meal replacement like Shakeology, which is what I use for lunch every day. You can find some healthy snacks on this site as well.

  7. Thanks for linking me to this Josh! it really eases my mind about how I was feeling. Now the problem is the fact I worried myself to the point of postponing my workouts. Should I stat back at day one or do plyo? It’s been three days. I feel kinda dumb now, please let me know thanks! Rickie

  8. @Rickie. Just pick up where you left off. Let me know if you have other questions or need help with anything!

  9. Hey Josh, I am 14 years old and am out of shape, I want to get a fit body by next year to try out for the football team and I’m using P90X to kick myself into shape asap, but I only felt a little sore the first week and I’m not sore well a little bit but not as much as you explained. Should I go like extreme? And burn myself out as much as I can every workout?

  10. @Karan. You need to push yourself, but not to the point of injury.

  11. Gerwyn Griffiths /

    Hi Josh how are things ,i have purchase p90x this week and it is on it way and also i went on youtube to see the review on the p90x and i came cross you and how much it help you please could you give me any tipps that may benefit me and how long does it take to see the diffrence . i really looking forward to the p90x so any tipps I would be greatful thanks m8

  12. Josh /

    What you need to do is check out the Q&A section of this site, which has a ton of excellent tips to help you through the program. Plus, you can make me your coach and I’ll be here to help you and answer any questions that you have. It’s free, and here is the link to sign up:

  13. hello coach. I did 3 day workout before starting p90x and this will be my 3rd time trying. 1st time i did 3 months everyday and gave up at the end because everyday workingout was too hard plus i was skinny, so i didn’t see much result.

    i am starting today and i am planning to do 5 day workout skipping yoga and kenpo and do the biking for 1-2hours. is that okay?

    I am asian and i eat lot of rice 3 times a day. but I am trying to get protein, so i drink 90% protein shake.

    any suggestion for my both questions?

    thanks coach

  14. @John. I really don’t recommend that you skip any of the workouts because of the importance of all of them. First, though, are you looking to gain mass or lean out?

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