Do Beachbody's P90 Programs Work?

athletic man doing pushups

Beachbody's P90 programs involve intense workouts and nutritional guidance that will help you lose fat and build muscle if the protocol is followed correctly. What originally started as the Power 90 workout eventually evolved into multiple iterations, all of which will prove challenging and effective, especially for those willing to stick to the prescribed plan.

Power 90

Originally released in 2001, this 90-day fitness challenge workout made bold claims about guaranteeing visible physique improvements. This was the workout video that made Tony Horton a household name. This workout was also released under the name Power 90 In-Home Bootcamp.

Equipment and Calorie Burn

A set of hand weights and a mat are needed for this workout. Resistance bands can be used as an alternative to hand weights. The Power 90 workout consists of a variety of workouts so the calorie burn varies depending on which workout is done, the intensity put forth into the work, and your body composition. Reference suggests a calorie burn of around 350-475 calories


Diet Spotlight says the accompanying diet must be followed in order for optimal results, but following the protocol of diet and exercise will yield results for most people. Brad Gibala says Power 90 is a "surprisingly good workout" and is an easy workout format to follow.

P90 Workout

The P90 workout is designed for people of all fitness levels - even beginners. It's a great way for a novice exerciser to start getting into shape and is designed to be done in a 90 day schedule with five daily workouts a week. Some workouts last less than 30 minutes while others last up to 45 minutes. A deviation from the more intense "X" series, this workout protocol still makes the claim to change a person's fitness level within the 90-day period.

Equipment and Calorie Burn

The workout requires a set of hand weights and a mat. You will also need some space to move. Depending on your body's composition and your level of intensity in the workout, you can expect to burn anywhere from 100-300 calories in a workout.


Lifestyle Updated praises the P90 Workout for being a workout "everyone can do." They also mention that the workouts offer modifications for most moves, making it a good choice even for people recovering from an injury. Sorey Fitness says the workouts are easy to follow, yet challenging. Amazon reviewers like how this program helped them to get back into shape after an absence from working out.

P90X Workout

This wildly popular P90X workout series was meant to be a more intense option than P90. This 90-day workout makes claims to get people into the "best shape" of their lives.

Equipment and Calorie Burn

P90X requires a chin-up bar and resistance bands - all of which are included when purchased in a Deluxe Kit. P90X makes a bold claim to burn an average of 600 calories per workout, but whether you actually burn that much is dependent upon your body composition and effort put into the workout.


Influenster reviewers say that consistent use of P90X will yield quick results. Total Shape praises the P90X series for being well thought out, saying it's as if an instructor took the time to pull together a personal workout for a client. Fit Mole makes the unpopular statement that P90X workouts are "overkill and unnecessary."

P90X2 Workout

P90X2 is the sequel to the P90X workout protocol. This version expands upon increasing athleticism and includes an additional active recovery day. It's not an entirely new way to work out, but instead is more of an extension of the original.

Equipment and Calorie Burn

In addition to the hand weights/resistance bands and pull-up bar from P90X, you will need a stability ball, a medicine ball, and a foam roller. The workout does utilize household items like chairs. There are plenty of optional items for sale with P90X2. Depending on the workout chosen and your body composition and effort, you can burn up to 700-800 calories in a workout.


A reviewer from Home Fitness Gurus says he experienced ab definition he'd never experienced before and said he experienced weight exercises he'd never experienced before. Amazon reviewers make claims of weight loss and increased strength after getting through the P90X2 schedule. Critical reviews of P90X2 say it's not as good as its predecessor P90X and even go so far as to call it "boring."

P90X3 Workout

P90X3 offers intense, 30 minute workouts. Known as the "excuse buster" workout because of the short workouts, users should expect fat loss and increased muscle if they follow the schedule and prescribed nutrition plan.

Equipment and Calorie Burn

Like other P90X programs, you'll need hand weights or resistance bands. You'll also need a chin-up bar and a mat and some room to move. Depending on which workout you do, your effort and body composition, you may burn around 300 calories in a workout.


Top Workout Reviews praises P90X3 for its short workouts and Miked Up Blog says P90X3 increases confidence and strength. On the other hand, The Fitnessista complained in her review that the workouts weren't challenging enough and said there was too much joking around and chit chat from Horton during instruction.


Reportedly unscripted, Tony Horton presents this series of advanced workouts that are designed to bust plateaus. Access to this workout series allows the user to pick and choose their workouts based on their goals. The series is marketed as a means by which the user can prompt "muscle confusion."

Equipment and Calorie Burn

Hand weights or resistance bands and a medicine ball are required for this workout. Some users report burning over 500 calories in a single workout with this program.


Fitness Health 101 says results are largely dependent upon which workouts in the series are chosen and the effort put forth, but also says the workouts are effective in helping reduce fat and build muscle. The Next Level says this workout offers some unique movement options.

Nutritional Guidance

Like most Beachbody workout protocols, a nutrition plan is included with the workouts. For best results, follow the nutritional guidelines prescribed. Beachbody also typically suggests their line of supplements and shakes to accompany the workouts above.

Getting the Workouts

All the P90 workouts are available through the Beachbody on-demand streaming service for a monthly fee, the cost of which depends on the package selected. You can also find DVDs for all of the workouts on Amazon or from other online retailers.

Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

These workouts will increase your stamina. If you follow the prescribed exercise and nutritional protocol, you will notice improvements in your body and fitness levels. These workouts are good for people who want to be given a schedule for their workouts and can follow nutritional guidelines.

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Do Beachbody's P90 Programs Work?