I think I would say P90X3 is my favorite workout program, possibly tied with the 22 Minute Hard Corps program. Both are programs by Tony Horton but P90X3 is what really got me pushing my body to and past its extremes. It’s also the main one which I keep coming back to when I’m not sure what else I want to do to work out.
My first experience with Tony Horton was when I was younger. We were living in a one-bedroom house so my bedroom was in the attic. My step-mom had given me a copy of P90X to try because she had been using it at the time and thought I would like it since I was very active in drumline and marching related things.
I was pretty excited to try it out. I had always seen commercials for it and wanted to get it but I also didn’t have any extra money to spend on it.
I was doomed from the start. I had only gotten the DVDs, not knowing there was a calendar, so I had no idea what order to do them in so I just picked whichever once sounded good at the time.
I did enjoy it and ended up doing parts of the yoga video a few times. The main problem was since I was doing it in my bedroom I was limited in what I could do. If I were to jump I would shake the entire house so that got rid of anything plyo-related. I also could touch both of the angled wall/ceilings if I stood in the middle and put my hands out.
All of that combined with having to use random items from my room as weights and only being able to do things at night when the temperature went down led to me giving up very quickly. I still have the DVDs, though I don’t need them anymore since everything is online now. I’ll still hold on to them in case I ever find myself without internet.
A Bit About The Videos
After a couple other programs, my wife and I decided we were going to do P90X3. Something we noticed quickly is that Tony is insane. He was a little more mellow in P90X and I never really did all the videos to get a good glance at his personality. But watching him every day for 90 days really let us see the real Tony.
He usually has a tip of the day and a couple of them are really funny. I think our favorite one by far is, “Don’t smash your face.” Sometimes when we are talking we’ll just say, “Tip of the day: Don’t smash your face.” We also say it to our students sometimes.
The program is broken up into 3 groups. The first 2 groups are 4 weeks each with the first three of each repeating. The fourth week of both groups is the same. Every week for the whole 90 days ends with “Dynamix,” which is a stretching and recovery video. The third group is 5 weeks with the final week being mostly recovery videos.
My favorite video is probably “Eccentric Upper.” It’s a series of pull-ups, push-ups, and a few other upper body exercises. The focus is one the release of each rep. So if you are doing a pull-up, you would pull up at normal speed then go down slowly. In a count of four, it’s up on 1 then down 2 3 4. It’s a killer and I’ve only ever managed to finish the burnout once.
My least favorite by far is “Pilates X.” If you’ve read my post on PiYo, you know I can’t do the breathing for pilates. It just feels like holding my breath and leads to tension in my whole body. I might have lasted about 5 minutes each time I tried this video before tapping out.
One of the biggest things about this program is that you need shoes. Tony says it in the videos but it really is important.
When we first did this program it was in the living room of our old house. It was a hardwood floor which was easy to clean so there was no problem with us wearing our outdoor shoes to work out. We just pushed the coffee table into another room then swept after.
Now we have a room designated for a gym which is hardwood with foam puzzle piece mats laid out. It’s not as easy to clean up dirt or other things from outside so we don’t wear our outdoor shoes in it.
At first, I figured it would be fine to just do everything without shoes. It worked for a while and I thought I was fine but the added strain from the lack of support did a number on my ankles and feet. I actually had to stop doing the higher intensity workouts for the sake of not causing further injury.
I finally saved up enough to get myself a designated pair of workout shoes, which I actually just bought yesterday. I’m looking forward to being able to do some jumping again. I never thought I’d ever say that.
I think the main reason this is my favorite program is how fun Tony makes it with his constant jokes. You’ll be in the middle of doing something and he’ll make a joke but you can’t laugh because it’ll mess up your technique. He even gets the other people in the videos laughing at him.
The other programs I did before this helped me tone down to the size I was in high school. This program built me up to look more fit because I’m putting in an effort than just fit because I happen to be active. I also went from the 3 and 5 pound weights I was using when I started 21 Day Fix to having 15 then 30 and 35 pound weights for things. And we’re almost to the point where we need to buy heavier ones again!