Is P90X Right for YOU?

written by john c ashworth

Do you know what P90X is? It’s likely you do, or that you at least have some vague idea of its existence. A series of workout DVDs documenting an intense training system that seems really great in the infomercials. Don’t they all?

The 90-Day training system is certainly working for people. You might even know someone who has been raving about it or who has transformed their health and fitness as a result of taking on the challenge. In fact, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan uses it too. But who are these people? Whether you know them or not, if you’re thinking of trying P90X, it’s important to know what this incredibly popular training system is, and why it might not be the right choice for you right now.

We don’t often stop to think about the “Who?” And suddenly P90X is a household name and everyone’s convinced they need to try it? A workout program you can perform any time you want in the comfort of your own home with very little equipment? How can you beat that? Well, for starters, by staying with it. Because for countless individuals I’ve come across who have given the P90X system a try, it’s not just the high-impact exercise, and the intense and demanding nature of the workouts, it’s the idea that in order to transform like the stars in the ads, you’re looking at six solid and grueling days of training per week, every week for three months. And that’s just the beginning. Are you…or should I your body truly ready for that kind of challenge?

That’s why the “Who?” question from above is so important. Sure, it’s working for some folks, but those folks are typically younger, fitter, and definitely free from injuries. Anyone else who’s over thirty-five, hasn’t been physically fit for more than a year, and who would have trouble performing high impact movements repeatedly day in and day out, would likely do much better with a slower, and much lower-impact start.

In fact, based on twenty years of experience in the fitness business, I could count on two hands the number of people I’ve worked with who I would recommend P90X to right from the start. Now, that doesn’t mean you’re out. It just means you have to be careful.

Here are a six questions you can ask yourself to help you decide whether or not P90X is right for you right now.

1. Who do you know that P90X has worked for? And how are those people like you or unlike you? Based on your answer to these questions, you will begin to get a better sense of whether or not you’re right for the P90X program right now.

2. Can you perform 10 push-ups of any kind? One push-up? Five pushups? This tells us a lot about your overall functional strength, which is vital to have in place when embarking on any exercise program, and especially one as demanding as P90X.

3. Do you get unreasonably out of breath after climbing 5 flights of stairs?

4. Are your joints free from injury and pain?

5. Are you ready, willing and able to devote an hour per day, six days per week for the next 90-days without a break?

6. What will you do to ensure proper technique and form so that you stay safe and free from injury while exercising?

I look forward to discussing this on the air with Leigh Mills tonight. Stay tuned for the archived video. Interview airs around 5:15 on NBC 15 in Madison, Wisconsin.

If you’re interested in a full fitness assessment, where I could evaluate for you, your readiness for this type of program, send me an email: john(at)




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