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Is P90x a Good Workout for Beginners?

author image Rick Rockwell
Rick Rockwell is a self-employed personal trainer and experienced freelance writer. His articles have been published throughout the Internet. He has more than eight years of experience as a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and lifestyle coach. His company, Rockwell Fitness, is dedicated to educating and empowering others to live healthy lifestyles.
Is P90x a Good Workout for Beginners?
Exercising at home. Photo Credit: Sean Murphy/Digital Vision/Getty Images

P90X, short for “Power 90 Extreme,” is an intense 90-day home workout program that promises results to people who follow the nutrition plan as well as the exercise plan. It was developed by Tony Horton and a number of nutrition experts and other fitness advisers. It is divided into three phases, with each month being one phase, and further subdivided into Classic, Doubles and Lean versions. The program consists of 12 workouts and a nutrition plan. The exercises combine strength training, cardio, plyometrics, yoga and stretching.

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Minimum Suggested Requirements

Before you start P90X, it is important that you know whether or not you are able to participate in the program. The designers of P90X have included minimum suggested requirements built into the Fitness Test. People who are interested in P90X should perform the Fitness Test. Those who can meet the minimum requirements set out may proceed with P90X.

The Fit Test

The Fit Test is comprised of pull-ups, vertical jumps, pushups, toe touches, wall squats, biceps curls, in-and-out ab moves and jumping jacks. Beginners should have a vertical leap of 5 inches if male and 3 inches if female. For the minimum, male beginners should be able to do 15 pushups and females should be able to do three “male”-style pushups or 15 “female” pushups from the knees.

For the reach exercise, all beginners should be able to reach within 6 inches of their toes. New exercisers should be able to hold the wall squat for at least 60 seconds. For the biceps curl exercise, new users should be able to perform 10 curls with 20 lbs. if male and 10 curls with 8 lbs. if female. Anyone doing the fit test should be able to do 25 ab movements as well as two minutes of jumping jacks.

Introductory Programs

For people who are not ready for P90X, there are several BeachBody programs available for their skill level. Power 90 and Slim in 6 are two beginner-level programs. In addition to Power90 and Slim in 6, there are other programs like TurboFire which will increase your cardio ability before you start P90X. A good flexibility and strength-training program should get everyone ready for P90X.


Never start a workout program without your doctor's permission, particularly if you have health issues. Always listen to your body and stop if you experience pain or unusual discomfort. Do not proceed with P90X if you take the fitness test and cannot meet the minimum requirements. Make sure that the surface you are exercising on is appropriate for the exercises you are performing, both in terms of performance and safety, including your own joint health.

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