p90x how many calories

P90X Calories Burned and More

What Is P90X?

Also known as Power 90 Extreme, P90X is an innovative and unique home-based workout system that promises to deliver radical results to anyone brave enough to take on their regiment. 

Created by Tony Horton back in 2005, the ultimate goal was to build a program that would actually give clients results within 90 days while challenging and pushing anyone who dared to try it. 

Not only was Horton incredibly successful, but P90X has remained a popular program that can genuinely help get you the leaner. 

Combining cross-training, plyometrics, and more, each DVD targets a specific area of the body to maximize your movements and ultimately provide a full-body workout over the course of a week.

What is P90x?

How Did P90x Come About & Why Is It So Popular?

P90X is a follow-up to the original Power 90 program, a more simplified version that is suited to novices as well as intermediate fitness buffs. 

While Power 90 was, and still is, extremely popular, the creator Tony Horton wanted to amplify the program for more drastic and powerful results. 

P90X was created around the concept of muscle confusion, and it took 2 years of intensive research to turn it into what it is today.

By increasing the length of each workout, and upping the intensity, clients were able to get more dynamic and complete routines. 

The reason P90x has grown a cult following is simple — the routine just works. 

Combining the strict workout schedule with the accompanying nutritional guide, you are guaranteed to see a dramatic difference both in your physical appearance as well as your overall fitness level. 

Not only that, but it is more affordable than personal training or fancy gym memberships, and can be done in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

Where to Get it & How to Follow the Program

The cheapest price I found was from this Amazon seller. Your purchase comes with a complete set of 12 DVDs, as well as a fitness and nutrition guide. 

The actual equipment required will need to be supplied by you, and this includes items such as dumbbells, resistance bands, and a pull-up bar. But beyond that, it mainly just requires your own body weight.

Once you are ready to begin, you will follow a rotating schedule between the DVDs for 13 weeks. Every 3 weeks, the order in which you watch the videos will change, leading to something known as “muscle confusion”. 

This prevents your body from becoming too accustomed to a specific workout. Muscle confusion avoids your body from over adapting, leading to better and faster results.

Within each week you will be given one rest day. But for the other 6 days, you are to follow the program exactly as outlined in your provided schedule. 

For the rest days, you can either choose to completely avoid working out, or you can use it as a chance to stretch and help your flexibility and soreness.

Exercising is only one component of losing weight, gaining muscle, or getting fitter. In hindsight, diet is still the major factor. That’s why, in addition to the workout portion of the P90X program, there is also a nutritional guide that will serve to maximize your results. 

Similar to the DVDs, the nutrition guide is broken down into separate phases — each one balancing carbs and protein. How you choose to move through the phases is up to you, and you should rely on how your body feels along with the results you are seeing.

What Are The Benefits of The P90X Program?

The key benefit to P90X over other workout programs is that it is designed to achieve drastic results in a short period of time. 

Relying on high-intensity workouts and a circuit-style routine, you have to push hard every day in order to succeed. Those who are able to keep up will find that their heart rate stays up for the entire workout, an ideal situation when looking to burn fat. 

Each exercise is fully explained, making it feel like you have a personal trainer in the living room with you. It is far less expensive than traditional personal training, and it is also more convenient since you choose when and where you workout.

The variety provided by the 12 DVDs goes a long way in preventing boredom. While challenging, many find it to be a rewarding experience. 

Overall, it doesn’t require much in terms of additional equipment, and you will likely already have what they need, or be able to acquire it without spending too much.

What are the Disadvantages of Doing P90X?

One downside to P90X is that it isn’t intended for beginners. Most workouts are intense, and those who are not at a certain fitness level may struggle to keep up. 

Although this workout is effective for those trying to get in shape, it can also lead to injury if you are pushing yourself far beyond what you are capable of. 

To help prevent this from happening, there is a fitness test that you should take before beginning the program, which is available right on the Beach Body website.

How Does P90x Work?

The program works by having you complete 6 days of workouts each week, each based on an accompanying DVD. 

For every day of the week, you will focus on a different type of activity, ensuring that you don’t become accustomed to the routine. 

The DVDs range from under an hour to an hour and a half in length, and you will follow an included calendar in order to know what to work on each day.

What Workouts Can You Do with the P90x? 

There are 12 different types of exercises that are done during the program, and each one has its own DVD.

These include:

  1. Shoulders and Arms
  2. Chest and Back
  3. Legs and Back
  4. Back and Biceps
  5. Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps
  6. Ab Ripper X
  7. Yoga X
  8. Kenpo X (based on martial arts)
  9. X Stretch
  10. Cardio X
  11. Core Synergistics (core and conditioning workout)
  12. Plyometrics (jumping exercises)

What Tools/Equipment Do You Need to Complete the Program?

The first thing you will need is the program itself, which you can either purchase as a full DVD set, or you can stream directly from the website. 

Those who choose to stream can pay a monthly subscription fee, and will also get access to any of the other programs offered by Beach Body. 

In addition, you will also need to have the following equipment at home in order to complete all of the exercises:

  • Traditional or adjustable dumbbell set
  • Resistance bands
  • Chin-up bar
  • Yoga mat

Other equipment that is beneficial, but optional include:

  • Push-up stands
  • Yoga blocks
  • Heart rate monitor

How Does a 1 Week Routine Look?

Each day you will focus on a different part of the program, ultimately switching between all of the DVDs every 3 weeks. A typical week is broken down as follows:

  • Monday (Day 1): Chest & Back plus Ab Ripper X
  • Tuesday (Day 2): Plyometrics
  • Wednesday (Day 3): Shoulders & Arms plus Ab Ripper X
  • Thursday (Day 4): Yoga X
  • Friday (Day 5): Legs & Back plus Ab Ripper X
  • Saturday (Day 6): Kenpo X
  • Sunday (Day 7): Rest or Stretching

How Many Calories Can You Burn with P90X?

The number of calories you burn is dependent on different factors and can be influenced by your fitness level as well as your current size. 

working out p90x calories

Variables to Consider

The key variables will always be:

  • How much you weigh. One of the main variables is your present weight, as those who weigh more will burn more calories each time. 
  • What activity you are doing and how long you are working out for. Other variables include what the specific activity is, as well as the duration of the exercise, with high-impact aerobics burning more than slow-paced activities such as yoga. The higher your heart rate throughout the routine, the more calories you will ultimately be burning, and the longer you keep that up, the longer you have to burn calories.
  • How intense the activity is. Intensity is just as important as duration, and the harder you push yourself the more you will see that number grow. If you are only giving 50%, then you can only expect to see 50% of the results. 

How to Calculate Calories Burned?

Doing the calculations on your own is tricky since the variables are different depending on who you are and what portion of the program you are doing. 

To make things simple, there is an easy-to-use calculator online. Input your weight, choose the workout, and pop in how long and how intense it is. 

The calculator will then do all the math for you, and give you an exact number that you can then use to help you track everything.

How Much Does the Average Man Burn?

If we put the average man at around 190 lbs in weight and have him work out at a mid-level intensity for one hour, we can then calculate a range of calories burned.

For lower-intensity activities such as Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps the average man will burn 440 calories

Higher intensity exercises like Plyometrics can burn up to 661 calories in an hour.

How Much Does the Average Woman Burn?

Similar to men, the number of calories burned is dependent on what exercise you are doing. 

The average woman, around 140 lbs can burn approximately 302 calories during Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, and up to 544 calories during Plyometrics.

Does It Work?

Whether or not P90X will work for you is going to depend on how committed you are to the program. Owning the program doesn’t automatically give you results, but working hard and following it as prescribed certainly will.

Amazon Reviews

On Amazon, P90X has an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. While all of the reviews praise the actual program itself, the only real complaints users seem to have is regarding their actual order or delivery. 

As for the program and the results people have, reviewers have said that it is extremely effective and they have managed to lose the weight that they were aiming for.

One reviewer said, “This is the only [program] that I see effective results in fat burn and muscle building”, 

On the other hand, other reviewers mention, “It’ll make you ache and it’s definitely been a great investment in my physique and confidence”. 

YouTube Reviews

A quick search on YouTube brings up hundreds of videos that feature people who have tried the program and gotten results. 

Showing their transformations from start to finish, nearly everyone on the website gives P90X a full 5 out of 5 stars. 

One YouTuber review mentioned, “[they] have lost over 85 lbs”, and one user writes: 

“I can’t say enough good about this program. It’s incredible and has honestly changed my mind.”

Round-up: Should You Try The P90x?

The P90X program is extremely confident in how effective it is and offers clients a 100% money-back guarantee if they don’t see results. 

This is a testament to how well the program actually works. In combination with all the positive reviews online, it is easy to see why it has remained popular for so many years. 

While it won’t be the ideal program for complete beginners, those who have a good basic level of fitness will find it both challenging and rewarding, leading to impressive results that no other at-home workout systems offer.

PS! This is the cheapest place to get the whole program in case you’re interested.

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Article by:

Daniel DeMoss

I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.  

Get in touch: [email protected]