The life of a Dad who strives to be the best dad possible

P90X2 vs. P90X Workout


With the launch of P90X2 in late 2011, I have received many questions about the differences between the two programs.  Is P90X2 more difficult?  Are the workouts longer or shorter?  Is it as good as P90x???  The list of questions never ends.  So, to save time and some of my limited cranial capacity (since my kids demand nearly all of it), I thought I would quickly post about a few of the differences and my thoughts as well.  Plus, I am including the Beachbody video of the man himself, Tony Horton, discussing some of the advances from P90X to P90X2.

From simply a logistical view, there are a few changes.  First, P90X has you exercising six days a week while P90X2 is “merely” five.  The extra rest day was to permit adequate time for effective recovery given the increased effort and intensity in P90X2.  Second, P90X was a clearly defined 90-day training program, with specific workouts for every day, with the ninety days broken into three, equal 30-day periods.  P90X2 also has three phases of training, but the length of each period is more fungible.  You set goals for each phase and progress when (and if) you are ready.  Phase 1 and 2 generally last 3-6 weeks and Phase 3 generally lasts 3-4 weeks.  Lastly, the P90X2 workout lengths are relatively similar (approx. 60 minutes each) except that the P90X2 Yoga DVD is shorter, 68 minutes rather than the 90+ is was in P90X.

Conceptually, P90X focused on using “muscle confusion” to maximize your potential gains.  P90X2 continues to use muscle confusion but incorporates a “functional” concept for each and every workout.  Think: sports plus science plus you!  It is instability; it is mobility; it is flexibility (and even something called “neuro-integrated stretching”… yeah, whatever that is) all mixed into one program.  Plus, in Phase 3, Tony Horton decides to bring in Post-Activation Potentiation, or P.A.P.   I am not going to give away the cow here but you can easily google and find that phrase and the riveting literature that accompanies it.  Suffice to say, the stuff works and works well.

Just like the souping-up of the P90X program, the Nutrition Guide that accompanies the P90X2 workout has been augmented as well.  (Note, yes, I fully intended the pun in the preceding sentence.)  The Nutrition Guide focuses on performance eating.  Ummm, what?  The guide is highly customizable so that you can tweak and test your diet until you find what works best for you to maximize your performance.  Plus, by popular demand (and because Tony Horton began a vegan diet after P90X) there are grain-free and vegan options.  Not bad eh?

Lastly, when it comes to equipment, with P90X, you needed either weights or bands and a pull-up system.  To get the most out of P90X2, you will need a little more.  Ideally, you’d have (a) dumbbells or bands, (2) a pull-up system, (3) a stability ball, (4) a quality foam roller, (5) medicine balls, (6) push-up stands, (7) an exercise or yoga mat, and (8) one or two yoga blocks.  YIKES.  Have no fear, Beachbody has (unsurprisingly) provided all of these as additional purchase options when getting P90X2.  All sarcasm aside and in complete candor, having used many different kinds of fitness accessories from many different manufacturers, I do think that Beachbody not only provides quality equipment but does so at very reasonable and competitive prices.  Can you find cheaper stuff?  Of course you can; that’s not difficult.  Will it last as long?  Does it work as well?  Maybe and maybe not.  I firmly believe that you get what you pay for and I think you get great stuff at good prices from Beachbody.

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  • stay-at-home Dad
  • Independent Coach
  • Beachbody Bussiness