Does P90X Work? Is P90X a Scam?

As with any popular and mainstream product in America, P90X is not without its critics. I think this is especially true with fitness and nutrition products in general. Earlier this week I received some questions from my readers that made me stop and think for a bit. If you’ve had any degree of success with the P90X system these questions will be all too familiar to you: Does P90X work? Is P90X a scam? I say familiar, because it’s likely that your friends and colleagues have asked it, even after witnessing your results with their own eyes.

Does P90X Work? Is P90X a Scam?

Does P90X Work? Is P90X a Scam?

Along with the questions also lie the criticisms. The most significant criticism I’ve heard to date came from a former personal trainer. While some web masters may choose to hide or delete negative comments from their site, I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to have their opinions heard. That being said, here’s what Michael wrote:

I notice there are a lot of review pages for this and other programs. Most pages are being promoted by the maker of the product, or someone selling the product. Real bunch of winners. I’ll give an honest review that’s unbiased, since I have no vested interest in selling anything, as I am a working professional not working in the field of fitness at the present moment. I used to be an accomplished personal trainer for many years. But that was long ago in a galaxy far away. So let’s begin:
I think it sucks! Tony is full of crap. The same goes for the Insanity workout, the Hip Hop Abs CD, and most of the other stupid workout videos. The workouts are dangerous (the exercises are fast, sloppy, and ballistic), and just because you change the exercises (in P90X), doesn’t mean you have enough intensity to make changes. Intensity (loose definition: is some how performing more work than you did last time). And even if you have enough intensity, which is hard to do if you don’t know what it means, then you can easily get injured by performing new exercises without learning good form. There is a learning curve for form everytime you learn a new exercise, and if you rush it, sorry, you get injured. A week or two, or even three is not enough time. So so sorry. The good news is: Anyone can lose weight on a well balanced maintainence calorie diet (the Zone is a good start), and then, working out with weights hard (and I mean hard. no “girly” weights. that goes for women too!!!) 30 minutes 2x a week, HIIT cardio training once a week, low intensity arobics 3x a week for an hour, and having good enough form not to get injuried (something this program can’t guarantee, sorry. You need a workout form coach to actually see you in motion to correct the mistakes. And it can’t be done in a video. Who’s watching you? God. He better be, because with the injuries you are going to incure, you better be praying). Anyway Tony, and the rest of the gang, you are either very unethical, or very very stupid. Either way the program is a bunch of crap. Stick to the basics, and learn good form from somebody who knows what good form is in real time, not on a CD. Don’t be cheap, it’s your health we’re talking about. You don’t need a trainer forever. Just a few workouts to learn good safe form. What you don’t need, is just another hyped up bullshit program with actors getting paid to say whatever. I give the lowest rating to this program for being totally unethical or stupid or both. Any questions?

And about the issue of exercise boredom: I’m an MSN, and trust me, I know it’s “real fun” and not boring when you have a chronic injury and are laid up at home, or even worse, in the hospital after surgery. Yeah, real real fun. I repeat, stick to the basics. Nobody said the basics were that fun. They are what they are, and it is what it is. Only a few hours a week, but the pay off is great.
Then maybe, when your in decent shape, understand about what is safe form, and have decent flexibility, then for variety, you can proceed forward and use these programs with extreme caution.


basically i want people to think before act emotionally.

My Response to Michael’s Comments

Hello Michael. Thanks for your comment. I truly appreciate your unbiased view about P90X and passion towards the topic of physical fitness. With your background as a personal trainer, there are many things the fitness community could and should learn from your previous experience. You made several great points about P90X that perhaps a better solution could be devised.

For example, “You need a workout form coach to actually see you in motion to correct the mistakes.” I believe this to be sound advice. I am currently reading a book called Talent is Overrated, by Geoff Colvin that talks about how people get better at doing things through deliberate practice. According to the book, an element necessary for improvement is feedback. How do you know if you are getting better if you don’t know how you are doing right now? Regarding improvement of proper form, perhaps a P90x’er could use a mirror, video equipment, or workout with a buddy? Tony does mention that working out with friends is much more fun, but he doesn’t emphasize having your friends watch to ensure that you have perfect form. Being assisted by a trained professional would certainly improve the feedback and quality correction necessary for deliberate practice.

I share your enthusiasm and conviction to help others with physical fitness and overall health. However, I respectfully disagree with completely dismissing Tony Horton as a credible fitness professional and P90X as a legitimate fitness program. It’s undeniable that Tony Horton is in great shape especially at 51 years old. If it is not P90X that keeps him in shape, something is. With this being said, there is obviously something he is doing right. I admire Tony for his enthusiasm towards physical fitness and dedication towards helping others. Is he compensated for it? I’m sure he is compensated well. It is my personal belief that the compensation you earn is in direct proportion to the value you add to the world.

Much like you, I believe people should think before they act. That’s my problem sometimes to be honest with you! I have a tendency to act on emotion without thinking things through. That’s just how I’m wired I guess. Is P90X for everyone? Certainly not. I think everyone should do as much research as possible regarding any decision in life to do what is best for them. That way you will have multiple options and be able to choose from choices. I started this website as a hobby and because I believe in this product. I also accept that it is important to look at things objectively. This is why I am grateful for you stopping by my site and helping me to remember to always look at things from a different perspective. Good luck to you Michael!

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.