Your P90x Questions: Answered!

I know, I’ve been a bad blogger and not posted recently! I really have been thinking of you guys though. Work has just been pretty crazy the past week. Forgive me?

In my last post, I asked you guys for some of your questions about the P90x workouts. I got some great questions, and hopefully this post will give you all the details. As always though, if there’s anything else you are wondering about — just ask!!

How does the program work? Is it repeat workouts?  In general, P90x is broken up into 3 months of workouts. For a month, you repeat the same workouts each week for 3 weeks, with the 4th week as a recovery week Each week has three weight lifting days and three cardio-type days, and one rest/stretch day. Here are’s what a typical week looks like in month 1:

Monday — Chest & Back, Ab RipperX
Tuesday — Plyometrics
Wednesday — Shoulders, Biceps & Triceps, Ab RipperX
Thursday — YogaX
Friday — Legs & Back, Ab RipperX
Saturday — KenpoX
Sunday — Rest day, or XStretch

In month 2, the Monday & Wednesday workouts are changed to Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, and Back & Biceps. For month 3, the “month 1” and “month 2” workouts are alternated over 4 weeks with a fifth week being the recovery week.

The recovery week takes out the weightlifting and plyometrics and adds in a workout they called Core Synergistics  — This week of workouts is designed to lighten the load on your muscles to allow them some time to heal — sort of like tapering before a race.

What exactly are plyometrics and kenpo?
Plyometrics is jump training. This workout focuses on explosive moves to work on both strength and speed. It can improve running speed, jump height and functional fitness for many sports.
Kenpo is a form of karate/martial arts. This workout keeps your heart rate up while doing a few series of karate kicks and punches. It can also improve your balance and flexibility.

How long are the workouts?
Many of the workouts are around 55 minutes to 1 hour. The Ab Ripper video is an additional 15 minutes. Yoga is the longest video at 90 minutes. Because of this, it does take some dedication to stick with the program. I am thankful to be doing these workouts with Ryan and another friend, so we help keep each other going when someone isn’t in the mood — just like meeting up with friend for running would do!

What are the workouts like? Are they really intense?
Most of the weightlifting workouts are set up in circuit-style. For example, on the Shoulders, Biceps, Tricps day you do one exercise focusing on each area and repeat twice, then move on to another small circuit. I will admit, the workouts are hard…but that’s kind of the point , right?!? There is not much time between many of the moves, and often only have a few 30 second breaks. Many moves (especially with pushups and pullups) are supposed to be done to your maximum number of reps. The good thing is that there are ways to modify almost every move if you are struggling, and you can make it as hard as you want. I think the first two workouts (Chest & Back, and Plyometrics) are the hardest! If you decide to start this program, give it some time… sometimes you just need to get in a rhythm… and over time you will make improvements. These types of circuit-style workouts will focus on improving muscular endurance, muscle tone, and cardiovascular fitness.

What equipment do you need?
P90x was designed to use minimal equipment. Here is a list of what I use:
Free weights (could also be substituted for exercise bands)
Pullup bar (could also be substituted for exercise bands)
Yoga mat (just so I’m not sweating all over my carpet!)

How do I modify the program to work with running?As I mentioned in my first post about starting this program, I want to keep up my running while I am completing it. I the best method of modifying the program would probably be differently for everyone, but here’s what I’m doing. On the weekends, I do a swim or bike ride one day, and my long run the other day. During the week, I can add in a short run in addition to another workout (usually on Thursday with yoga), or substitute a run (usually something longer or more intense — intervals/tempo) for the plyometrics day. I have been changing this up just depending on the week and what’s going on.

Hope I’ve answered all your questions! And hopefully I’ll get back to a bit more regular posting this week.

4 thoughts on “Your P90x Questions: Answered!

  1. Nadiya

    Don't sweat it, we all have busy weeks 🙂

    Thanx for answering my question. Wow it really is quite an intense workout. Congratz on being able to get through it and keep up with running.

  2. Holly KN

    Thanks, Kristen – this definitely gave me a little more insight into the program (OK, OK, admittedly I could've Googled it, but HEY…this post just pops up in my Google Reader automatically!!!).

    I'm intrigued by the P90X system, and particularly how you're trying to integrate it with your running life! (This delicate balance is always the greatest challenge of intense cross-training, for me!) Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  3. Running Junkie

    I have started the P90X a couple of times but I have never finished it! I just get really bored with the same routine after a while and I just want to go back to running. Or perhaps it's because I usually work out during work and with those I have to wait until I get home. Motivation in the afternoon = zero.

    Great answers though!


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