Dueling Fitness Blog: P90X3 Review, Week 2 (With Photos)

Hello again, ladies and gentlemen. I’m back with another exciting installment of the Dueling Fitness Blog: P90X3 Edition. Read on and you will experience hatred, love, fear and other emotions you didn’t even know you had. It’s been two short weeks, but I can assure you I have been working hard to make Shaun pay for ever challenging me. But before we go any further down this tear-jerking roller coaster, I have a confession to make. It didn’t take long, but this week is the first installment of:

The Injury Blog

That’s right. My old nemesis, Injury, has returned to dance on my fragile body. I met him long ago, when Shaun and I tried the first P90X routine. Then again when we completed Insanity. Of course, I say “we” as though I was of any use. It’s more difficult to run back and forth with a sprained ankle. Push ups are nearly impossible with an inexplicable elbow injury. Even this blog would have been started sooner had it not been for a freak trampoline accident that no doubt severed something in my right big toe (I’m looking at you, Shaun).

What’s the problem this time? My spine. More specifically, the upper thoracic vertebrae. I have been having back pain which, considering my history with working out, I find difficult to attribute to poor form. More likely it is the way I recline or can be linked to an impact I took. Either way, it’s painful to do some of the routine and, in response, I will need to lower my weights. Sadly, this will affect my final results. I can only hope the problem can be rectified with good posture before I feel the need to see a doctor. Now, let’s get back to the program.

Making it Work

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical as to whether a 30-minute workout would be enough. Let me tell you, P90X3 delivers like it says it would. In the first two weeks, there are identical videos for each corresponding day, so I can only comment on the Total Synergistics, Agility X, Yoga X3, The Challenge, CVX, The Warrior, Dynamix (because resting isn’t an option when you are up against an El-Ters) and Cold Start videos. Despite the smaller time frame, Tony Horton gives us the workout we need. To be honest, some of the time cut from these videos is from the warm up, stretching and cool down, so there isn’t as much paring down as there appears to be. Also, less time working out means less time taking breaks, so the program removes two to three minutes alone just by nixing those rest periods.

But don’t let that fool you. You are still saving 15 to 20 minutes by following this program over the original P90X. You have the luxury to exercise and shower in the time it would have taken to complete 3/4 of the original. But trust me, you will feel it.

Of the videos I have gone through thus far, I would have to say The Challenge is my favorite. It’s just pushups and pull ups, but the real fun is seeing if I can beat the numbers I chose the previous week. As many of you know, doing one pull up is an accomplishment (one I couldn’t complete a year ago). Trying to increase that by one for each section of the workout is the real challenge, and I’m already at 4 pull ups and 12 pushups (up from 3/10 the previous week).

The Atrophy

P90X3 is good, but it still has its flaws. For one, you need a lot of investment. Weights, a pull up bar, resistance bands and a yoga mat are all requirements for the program, but I think the scarcest necessity is space. Where these videos were once lauded as needing only 6’x6′ worth of workout space, I find it is now difficult to find enough, especially when exercising in my apartment. Oftentimes, Tony encourages you to jump farther or step wider, making the small area I have that much smaller.

I also purchased resistance bands in preparation for this regiment. I think they would only be useful to me in one of the videos I have done, and even then it is much more convenient to use weights. When I have to start wrapping the band around my feet and jury rigging it to get the necessary resistance, the whole process is no longer worth the effort.

Of the eight videos I have completed, my least favorite is definitely Cold Start. It is essentially a video specifically for warming up, which extends the 30-minute workouts to about 42 minutes, which is essentially P90X. And the last thing I want to do before a pushup routine is to warm up with pushups.

The Bottom Line … X3?

Ultimately, I thoroughly enjoy this new program. I am still skeptical that it will produce  the promised results, but I am looking forward to finding out. If you would like to follow my path, I have some advice for you: Follow Tony’s advice. Watch the How to Accelerate video and be sure you have tape on your floor. If I haven’t done anything active before a workout, I will do the Cold Start. Drink water and don’t overdo it. And don’t forget to eat right. There’s a reason these programs (and pretty much any other routine) come with nutrition guides. Diet is just as important as exercise.

Speaking of, I promised a little cheat day for myself from my regularly scheduled diet. Well, I flipped a coin and it came up Super Saiyan, so on the second Sunday of my calendar, I will be eating a whole chicken in place of my regularly scheduled lunch. If you have questions, let me know and I’ll tell you how it turned out.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I feel obligated to inform you that I have been adding a little extra exercise every Sunday. Before Dynamix, I run 5 to 6 miles. I wish there was an alternative, but it is the only way I can truly enjoy the podcast without any distractions.

But There’s More

As promised, I have the progress pictures from before and two weeks into the program. And now, for your viewing pleasure:

Week 0

Once a gentleman…


 Week 2

…always a gentleman.


Judging from these alone, Shaun is going to be hard pressed to win. I have already dropped down to a 32″ waistline (as measured by my belt). He might as well give up now and concede to Team Tech Guy. That is all for now, and thank you for reading.

2 thoughts on “Dueling Fitness Blog: P90X3 Review, Week 2 (With Photos)

  1. I definitely see the difference in your waistline. I liked X3 mostly for two reasons: half an hour workouts (Like T25, which I got great results from) because I actually ate appropriately), and the variety of workouts. Shaun T’s programs have more repetition and I found myself getting bored quicker. I loved the sweat I’d work up during CVX. What weight are you using?

    1. Thank you for the question. Initially, I was using eight pounds. Then I reduced my weight down to three pounds to hopefully avoid further injury and allow my back to recover. I do not get as much of weight workout, but the cardio is still impressive and I feel the soreness in my shoulders by the end of the routine. I hope you are looking forward to the next update. Have a great day.

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