My Experience with P90X Lean

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I passed the fit test and chose to begin the P90X Lean routine. In the introductory “How to Bring it” video, Tony suggests trying the lean, classic then doubles routine for extreme results. If I was able to lose 40 lbs by myself with no professional instruction, this shouldn’t be hard. Wrong again. Just because it’s called the lean routine doesn’t mean you should take it lightly. It seems to focus more on cardiovascular workouts than upper body resistance exercises.

P90X Workout: Core Synergistics

This a core workout that is mostly cardiovascular but does involve some resistance exercises. This works out muscles that I did not even consider to be core. After doing this workout for the first time, I felt muscle soreness in my pecks, triceps, abs, upper and lower back, quads, gluts and hamstrings.

The great thing I like about this workout is that it allows you to work many of your core muscles at the same time. After the 90 days, I did feel my posture and overall core strength improve rather dramatically. Things like getting out of bed, lifting something above my head or picking something up on the ground felt easier. I know that sounds silly but I really felt these subtle differences become not so subtle.

P90X Workout: Cardio X

This is a cardiovascular workout that incorporates movements from Yoga X, Kenpo X, Plyometrics, and Core Synergistics. For me, this definitely beats running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike. It is not as long as the other workouts but if done intensely, you can definitely work up a sweat and burn calories. The full Plyometrics workout is not incorporated into the P90X Lean Routine.

P90X Workout: Shoulders and Arms

Having not so broad shoulders, I feel I benefited greatly from this workout. This effectively works out your shoulders, biceps, triceps and core when stabilizing weights above your head. Using they P90X worksheets helped me track my results and see my improvement over time.

P90X Workout: Ab Ripper X

I still can’t get through this without taking breaks. This routine is done immediately after completing Shoulders & Arms, Legs and Back, Chest Shoulders and Triceps and Chest and Back. It’s 12 moves but man does it work your upper, middle, lower and oblique abdominal muscles.

P90X Workout: Yoga X

Buckle up! If you have never done much Yoga before, you are about to get your butt kicked. In a good way I’ve seen Yoga before on TV and in the Movies and really didn’t think much of it. It may have been the guys wearing spandex that turned me off. During the first 10 minutes of this P90X workout, I sensed that this is something unlike I have ever done before. The movements were slow and I held postures that I thought humans should never be allowed to do. In hindsight, it was just different. Different in a very good way.

Yoga X seemed to work in between muscles that are typically not used during traditional workout routines. I found this to be beneficial to every day movements like sitting down, standing up and walking that I usually took for granted. Again, the movements were slow but I worked up a sweat like no other. In the beginning, I couldn’t get through the routine without taking frequent breaks.

After around day 60, I was able to complete the routine without taking breaks. This was a huge win for me personally considering where I had started from. Nothing to me is more motivating than seeing results in my physical performance. In my opinion, once you are able to complete this routine without taking breaks, you truly have reached another level of fitness. This in a way is my favorite P90X workout because it seems to require the body, mind and dare I say spirit into its completion.

P90X Workout: Legs and Back

I have never been much of a pull up guy. If you aren’t either, then you’re about to get out of your comfort zone too. This routine educated me on the different kinds of pull-ups someone can do to strengthen back bicep muscles. The workout goes back and forth between legs and back, resting one set of muscles then blasting the other. In the Lean Routine, this workout is discontinued in phase 3. I did have empty fields on the corresponding P90X worksheet. I look forward to doing this workout again in the Classic and Doubles routine.

P90X Workout: Kenpo X

This takes some getting used to because there is quite a bit of coordination involved in throwing punch and kick combinations. For me, it was easy to slack off during this workout by not using my entire body for each kick or punch. Tony emphasizes the importance of using your hips when throwing jabs, cross, hooks and uppercuts. This feels awkward at first but after doing the routine several times, it starts to feel right. This is a great workout after a stressful day because it makes you feel like you’re kicking someone’s ass.

P90X Workout: Chest Shoulder and Triceps

Before I knew about the P90X Exercise Program, my chest always seemed to be a focal point of my weight training. This may have stemmed from high school locker room talk of who could bench more. What I liked about this routine was the variety of movements involved in working out the chest, shoulder and triceps. To me, this beat doing bench presses and regular old triceps extensions.

P90X Workout: Chest and Back

This P90X workout mainly consists of different variations on pull ups, push ups and dumbbell back exercises. It is a two round routine which the order of the exercises is flipped on the second round. This might sound confusing but it’s not when you do it.

P90X Workout: X-Stretch

Honestly, I did this one like once. I mostly chose the rest option.


My name is Julian Placino and I am a Team Beachbody Coach. I've completed several Beachbody workout programs including P90X, P90X2, P90X3, Insanity and Insanity Asylum. Currently, I'm working through P90X3 Doubles! You can follow me on twitter @p90xsuccess. Click here to learn more about the benefits of becoming a Team Beachbody Member.

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