P90X Materials
Invented by Tony Horton
Launch year 2003
Current supplier Beachbody

P90X, or Power 90 Extreme, is a commercial home exercise regimen created by Tony Horton, known for a high level of intensity.[1] Developed as a successor to the program called "Power 90", it is designed to take 90 days, and consists of a training program that uses cross-training and periodization, combined with a nutrition and dietary supplement plan.[2]


Tony Horton

The system was developed by Tony Horton, Beachbody CEO Carl Daikeler, Beachbody Fitness Advisor Steve Edwards, nutritionist Carrie Wyatt, Creative Director Ned Farr, and workout video director Mason Bendewald.

In 2002, Daikeler asked Horton to create a fitness program for people who were already fit. Daikeler hired Ned Farr to document the process of developing the new program. Horton consulted various fitness experts and experimented with several disciplines to develop the workout program.

Farr used a documentary approach when filming the infomercials, using raw home footage supplied by P90X graduates. "P90X: The Proof" infomercial won a Telly award in 2009[3] and "P90X: The Answer" infomercial won a Moxie award in 2010.[4]

In 2010, P90X sales dropped off dramatically,[5] however, it still represented half of Beachbody’s $430 million revenue in 2010 and has sold over 4.2 million copies to date.[5]

In 2011, the sequel to P90X was released, P90X2. Also a 90-day workout regimen, P90X2 focuses on an applied sports science called Muscle Integration.[6] Instead of working one muscle group at a time, P90X2 uses resistance on unstable platforms to engage more muscles with each movement.[6]

In December 2013, P90X3 was released and featured 30 minute workouts as opposed to hour-long ones. P90X3 includes 16 routines, and includes yoga, mixed martial arts, pilates, and plyometrics with upper and lower body workouts.[7]


P90X uses the term "muscle confusion" in their advertising to refer to their training methods.[8] Muscle confusion is said to prevent the body from adapting to exercises over time, resulting in continual improvement without plateau.[9]

There are eight programs associated with the Power 90 name: P90, Power 90, Power 90 Master Series, P90X, P90X+, P90X One on One, P90X2, and P90X3.[10]

Program overview

P90X is a 90-day program that combines a variety of exercise techniques, including strength training, cardio, yoga, plyometrics, and stretching.[11] The program consists of a nutrition guide, fitness plan, calendar, and series of DVDs demonstrating a variety of techniques. Others within the video demonstrate moves at lower and higher levels of intensity.[12] The program provides a fitness test to determine if the program is suitable for an individual.[13]

Exercises overview

Standard home gym equipment recommended for use with P90X: Yoga blocks, yoga mat, dumbbells, pull-up/chin-up bar, push-up handles, gloves, and chair
Standard home gym equipment recommended for use with P90X: yoga blocks, yoga mat, dumbbells, resistance bands, pull-up/chin-up bar, push-up handles, heart rate monitor, and body fat tester. A chair, plastic plate, and wall are also things you may need.

The P90X program cycle lasts 13 weeks, exercising six days per week. The program has three "rotations" or emphases, called "classic," "lean" and "doubles," that the individual selects according to their personal goals. There are a total of 12 DVD workouts included with the program; each targets different skills and muscles. Most of the workouts are less than an hour in duration, although the abdominal workout ("Ab Ripper X") is performed three times per week, after six of the rotating workouts, which adds approximately 15 minutes of exercise to the times in the table below.

Program Exercise Week Muscles Worked Type Ab Ripper X Length Equipment
P90X Chest and Back 1-3, 9, 11 Pectorals, Back, Biceps, Triceps Strength Training Yes 52:50 Weights or Bands, Push-up bars, Pull-up bar or bands, Chair, Fitness guide and pen, Water and Towel
Plyometrics 1-3, 5-7, 9-12 Legs, Full Body Cardio No 58:36 Heart rate monitor, Mat, Stool or Chair, Water and towel
Shoulders and Arms 1-3, 9, 11 Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders Strength Training Yes 59:53 Weights or bands, Wall, Chair, Fitness guide and pen, water and towel
Yoga X 1-13 Full Body Cardio, Stretch No 92:24 Mat, Yoga blocks, Water and towel
Legs and Back 1-3, 5-7, 9-12 Quads, Hamstring, Calves, Back Strength Training Yes 58:56 Weights or bands, Wall, Pull-up bar or bands, Chair, Fitness guide and pen, Water and towel
Kenpō X 1-13 Full Body Cardio No 58:46 Heart rate monitor, Water and towel
X Stretch 1-13 Full Body Stretch No 57:32 Mat, Yoga blocks, Water and towel
Core Synergistics 4, 8, 13 Full Body Strength Training No 57:27 Mat, Weights or bands, Plastic plate, cardboard or towel, Water and towel
Chest, Shoulders and Triceps 5-7, 10, 12 Pectorals, Shoulders, Triceps Strength Training Yes 55:44 Weights or Bands, Push-up bars, Plastic plate, cardboard or towel, Chair, Fitness guide and pen, Water and towel
Back and Biceps 5-7, 10, 12 Back, Biceps Strength Training Yes 51:36 Weights or bands, Wall, Pull-up bar or bands, Chair, Fitness guide and pen, Water and towel
Cardio X doubles Full Body Cardio Workout No 43:18 Stool or Chair, Mat, Yoga blocks, Heart rate monitor, Water and towel
Ab Ripper X weekly Abdominals, Core Strength Training N/A 16:07 Mat, Water and towel
P90X+ Upper Plus 1-3, 5-7, 9-12 hips up: chest, back, biceps, triceps, shoulders Strength Training No, Abs/Core Plus instead 40 min push-up stands, weights or bands, pull-up bar, water and towel
Interval X Plus 1-3, 9, 11 Full Body Cardio Workout No, Abs/Core Plus instead 40 min Heart rate monitor, water and towel
Total Body Plus 1-3, 5-7, 9-12 Full Body Strength Training No 45 min push-up stands, weights or bands, pull-up bar, water and towel
Kenpo Cardio Plus 1-3, 5-7, 9-12 Full Body Cardio Workout No 40 min water and towel, heart rate monitor
Abs/Core Plus 1-12 Abs and Core Strength Training No 20 min Mat, water and towel, weights or bands, pull-up bar

P90X delivers complete exercise list in worksheets and calendar, which both help exercisers to keep track of their workouts.[14]


The nutrition plan is composed of three phases. The first 30 days emphasize higher protein and lower carbohydrates. The second phase increases the percentages of carbohydrates. The third phase further increases the carbohydrates.

In popular culture

The singer P!nk told the Oprah Winfrey Show on February 5, 2010, that she gets her body in shape for tours with P90X. She was interviewed after her "Glitter in the Air" performance at the 2010 Grammy Awards show.

Singer Bruno Mars references P90X in his hit "The Lazy Song".

Paul Ryan, Republican Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2012 election, has used P90X.[15]

Actor Breckin Meyer from the TV show Franklin & Bash stated he used P90X to get into shape for doing shirtless and nude scenes.[16]


  1. ^ "Clips from Last Night: Tony Horton on Paul Ryan's P90X plan; Race team details surviving their horrifying car crash – Piers Morgan - CNN.com Blogs". Piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  2. ^ "What is the P90X workout? Rep. Paul Ryan credits Tony Horton fitness routine for keeping in shape". NY Daily News. 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  3. ^ "The 35th Annual TELLY Awards | Winners". Tellyawards.com. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  4. ^ "ERA Announces 2010 ERA Moxie Awards Winners | Electronic Retailing Association". Retailing.org. 2010-09-23. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  5. ^ a b By Esmé E. Deprez (2010-11-18). "Beachbody: Thinking Beyond the Infomercial". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  6. ^ a b "P90X2 Extreme Workout Program – P90X2: A New Level! –". Beachbody.com. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  7. ^ "P90X3 - The Complete Review: Part 1 of 3". Dysfunctionalparrot.com. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  8. ^ Vicky, Hallett (9 December 2008). "Ask the Misfits". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 August 2009. 
  9. ^ Tsouvalas, Dean (26 October 2009). "The Ultimate Business Traveller Workout". ExecDigital. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "At Home Workout Videos & Fitness Programs". Beachbody.com. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  11. ^ By Kat Carney CNN Headline News (2004-04-30). "CNN.com - Get the jump on fitness - Apr 30, 2004". Edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  12. ^ Farr, Ned (Infomercial Director); Horton, Tony (Instructor) (2003). P90X Extreme Home Fitness Workout Series (DVD (x12)). USA: Product Partners, LLC.
  13. ^ http://www.beachbody.com/text/products/programs/p90x/p90xFitTest.pdf
  14. ^ WorkoutBooster.org (2014-06-20). "P90X Workout Schedule, Sheets and Exercises". Workoutbooster.org. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  15. ^ "Paul Ryan's workout: Is P90X for you?". CNN.com. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  16. ^ Salam, Maya (2013-06-28). "Breckin Meyer Dishes on Nude Scenes With Mark-Paul Gosselaar [Exclusive Video] | Yahoo TV - Yahoo TV". Tv.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2014-08-15.