P90X equipment break-down:
It’s no secret that at-home workouts have gotten a serious upgrade over the past few decades, and the P90X program is a shining example.
However, getting your hands on the DVDs is only half the battle as the program works best when paired with the right gym equipment.
So, if you are serious about getting into shape, these nine tools are just what you need to build your own P90X equipment set.
What You Need To Build The Ultimate P90X Equipment Set
Before I start counting down the tools you’ll need to build your own P90X equipment set; I should mention that some of them are essential (must-haves) while others are just recommended (nice-to-haves).
Of course, having all of them around will make your workouts more effective and, in some cases, easier.
But, at the end of the day, it’s totally up to you which of these tools you’ll actually invest in.
From the day you dive into the program to the day you “graduate” with a set of washboard abs, your entire effort starts and ends with this base kit.
The kit includes 12 high-quality DVDs, which feature Tony Horton performing a bunch of diverse and highly intense workouts.
These are the 12 focus areas of the program:
- Chest & Back (upper body exercises for large muscle groups such as pull-ups and push-ups);
- Plyometrics (jump training);
- Shoulders & Arms (isolation exercises such as curls, presses, and flies);
- Yoga X (strength yoga);
- Legs & Back (lower body exercises such as squats and lunges);
- Kenpo X (martial arts-inspired cardio);
- X Stretch (stretching exercises for injury prevention);
- Core Synergistics (core-strengthening exercises);
- Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps (upper body exercises for both large and small muscle groups such as flyes, presses, and extensions);
- Back & Biceps (arm exercises for toning such as curls and pulls);
- Cardio X (low-impact conditioning);
- Ab Ripper X (abdominal exercises for the ultimate six-pack).
Thanks to his guidance and clear instructions, you can perform each move to the tee and feel as if you’re working out at the gym with a personal trainer by your side.
The kit also includes a bonus DVD, named “How to Bring It,” which is an overview of the P90X program.
The DVD guides you through the entire process, letting you know what lies ahead of every step of the way.
But, that’s merely the end.
The base kit also comes with a nutrition plan which is specially designed to work alongside the P90X program and help you get the most out of your meals as well.
In this three-phase eating plan, you’ll find a bunch of info on how to fuel your body correctly throughout the three months.
And if you don’t think you’ll be able to stick to staying motivated as time passes by, note that the kit also has a calendar that’ll help you set your goals and track your progress little by little.
But, buying DVDs isn’t the only way to get access to P90X workout videos.
In fact, besides the 12 videos that are featured in the P90X DVDs, the streaming service grants you access to several other training programs, including P90X’s “sequels” (P90X2 & P90X3).
Much like the OG, these two require the same bravado but focus a little more on flexibility and balance.
But, if you want my opinion, I think that the DVD kit is a better investment than the streaming service.
And that’s because even though the latter costs less, it only lasts for 30 days.
Meanwhile, the kit is a buy-once-use-forever kind of deal, and you can get multiple run-throughs out of it.
If you take a quick look at the DVDs, you’ll see that pull-ups and chin-ups are an integral part of the program.
That makes sense considering both of these exercises use your body’s weight to strengthen not just your arms (biceps, in particular) but also your back.
However, chances are you don’t have a place around your house that could double as a pull-up bar- which is why it’d be a good idea to get one before you get started with the program.
The good news is that they’re very easy to install as all you have to do is either attach the hang to a door frame or mount it up to the ceiling (FYI, that depends on the tool’s design).
Of course, not all pull-up bars are created equal, so be sure to pick one that can support your weight and fits your doorway.
The pull-up bar I’d recommend is the Iron Age Pull-Up Bar. It is adjustable so that it fits just about any door.
It’s also equipped with a patented smart hook technology which reduces the pressure every time I pull up and keeps me from sliding and falling off, and it comes with protective pads that prevent the door from getting ruined.
As their name implies, resistance bands provide your body with external resistance that makes your muscles work harder than usual.
Since the goal of the program is to push your muscles to the brink, this piece of equipment is a must-have.
Due to their flexibility and lightweight, resistance bands are perfect for P90X-ers who are now making their first steps to the program.
And since they share a lot of similarities with dumbbells, they can be used interchangeably, especially in strength training exercises.
Note, though, that the result won’t always be the same as dumbbells also use gravity.
Oh, and another thing: Since the tool is all about flexibility, you can also use it in stretching exercises.
They are made of 100% natural latex, which means they’re super durable.
Each band sports a different color, which helps to identify their resistance easily.
That being said, having a set of dumbbells around would help you greatly in getting the most out of each session.
However, using just any set won’t do the trick as the goal is to challenge your muscles more and more as you advance through the program.
That’s why you should invest in a pair of dumbbells with removable plates that’ll give you the chance to increase the load as you get stronger.
As for the recommended weight for beginners, the program suggests you work with tools that weigh between 5-70lbs.
However, whether you start with 5 or 50lbs depends solely on how strong you are at the moment.
I highly recommend the Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells. It is practical to adjust their weight through a user-friendly dial system (that spares the hassle of removing plates every other workout and perhaps losing a few of them down the road).
They are also space-efficient and come with a whopping two-year guarantee.
But, even though this exercise doesn’t require any special equipment, I’ve come to notice that using a pair of push-up stands can help me make the most out of each rep.
And that’s because, due to its design, the tool minimizes the strain on my wrists and forearms, reducing my chances of injury.
Since my hands are not touching the ground, I can go down deeper during each rep and work more intensely on my shoulder muscles.
I don’t know about you, but toning my shoulders has always been an issue for me.
Push-up stands also allow me to rotate my arms during the exercise, which helps me engage more muscles.
The Perfect Fitness Perfect Push-Up handles are the ones I’d add to my toolset. They sport ergonomic grips which minimize the strain and make it easier to hold the pose.
They are also designed to latch onto the floor, so no matter how hard I push, they don’t give in.
Their construction allows them to rotate. Allowing sets of free moves and engaging more muscle groups.
Let’s be honest, yoga isn’t the first thing to spring to mind when guys want to get lean and bulk up.
But, the truth is that this form of exercise comes with multiple benefits, some of which include an improved posture, a stronger core, and increased flexibility.
So, even though I cringed at first, once I completed the program, I thought that yoga was a much-needed addition to the mix.
In some cases, I actually saw it as a welcome break between the intense workouts.
But, in order to strike every pose correctly, I had to keep a yoga mat with me at all times.
This part of the P90X equipment is crucial as it provided both my hands and legs with a firm grip and made me feel comfortable throughout each course.
After all, no one likes the feel of a cold, hardwood floor while trying to stay put in an already awkward position.
The good news is that I used mine not just for yoga, but also during other parts of the program such as Kenpo and Stretch when I needed something steady below my feet.
The mat I’d recommend is the Toplus Yoga Mat. It’s made from a special non-slip material that helps to stay put even in the most uncomfortable of positions.
It has a two-layer design which means it doesn’t tear up easily and could last several years. It’s thick enough and gives that comfy feel when practicing poses that require me to “plant” my feet in the ground.
As mentioned above, I think yoga compliments the program in an exciting and often challenging way.
However, I wouldn’t be able to pull off all those poses if it wasn’t for my yoga blocks.
These cushion-like tools basically served as pillows between me and the floor, and help me stay balanced whenever I was trying to strike a challenging pose.
As I was advancing through the courses, I got better, but the blocks still helped me hold my poses for longer – which, of course, made my muscles that much stronger.
And if you’re wondering, no, I don’t think yoga blocks are an essential part of the P90X equipment set.
But, speaking from a newbie’s point of view, I’d say they’re a beneficial addition.
If you’re planning to make these a part of your army, the Amazon Basics Yoga Blocks are just perfect to start with.
They are made of high-density foam, so they’re not likely to flatten easily, plus not forgetting their size, these are large and steady enough to support even the heavyweight champs.
They are also slip-resistant, so I don’t slide to the sides every other second, and their round-around edges prevent me from injuring myself.
The tool is a shock-absorbent mat that protects your ankles, back, and knees when you’re doing plyometrics.
And yes, I get your point: Why invest in another piece of equipment when your go-to yoga mat can also do the trick?
Well, fun fact: These two may look alike, but they have nothing in common.
Unlike yoga mats, the jump mat is made from high-intensity, slip-resistant foam, which provides you with an extra-steady grip during the workouts.
Plus, it’s larger than most regular yoga mats, allowing you to move freely without being afraid of landing hard on the floor.
The extra-absorbent, high-density foam and the ease of storage are among some of the features that make the Beachbody Premium Jump Mat my top recommendation for jump mats.
It also has an anti-slip surface that provides me with a secure grip.
One of the primary goals of the P90X program is to force your body to burn more calories than it usually does.
To do that, it forces your heart rate to go through the roof through specific HIIT exercises and puts you in anaerobic mode.
However, it can be hard to know exactly when your body has hit that sweet spot so that you know if you should push harder or not.
But, you can spare yourself the sweat by using a heart rate monitor to track your heartbeats.
A piece of advice, though: Since there are lots of options out there, don’t fall wallet-first into flashy models.
Just pick a no-frills model that’s reasonably priced and can keep track of your heart rate as you exercise.
After all, that’s all you need.
The heart rate monitor I’d recommend is the Amazfit Band 5 Fitness Tracker because it is affordable, it has an accurate heart rate tracking system, its battery can last up to 15 days before it needs to be recharged and, it is waterproof, so even though if I’m sweating, it won’t break down.
What Is The P90X Program?
Power 90 Extreme, or P90X for short, is a high-intensity, at-home fitness program that promises to help you get ripped in just 90 days.
The training regime was initially designed by Tony Horton, a renowned celebrity personal trainer, and the Beachbody fitness team.
Both parties wanted to fuse several exercising disciplines in order to help their clients achieve the best results.
That’s why P90X is a balanced mixture of calisthenics, resistance training, HIIT, plyometrics, stretching, cardio, martial arts, and even yoga.
In fact, each part of the program focuses on a specific muscle group/training technique, allowing you to target and strengthen different parts of your body.
But, why is P90X so fixated on switching between training styles?
Well, it all boils down to muscle confusion.
By rotating through various workouts, you tackle the same muscles in different ways.
So, you intentionally mess with their recovery time, and you avoid hitting a training or weight loss plateau.
But, even though the program allows you to work out from the comfort of your home, it’s not recommended for total newbies.
And that’s because it calls for a 7-days-a-week training streak and it’s three months long.
Plus, each workout lasts about one hour (maybe more), and most of the exercises are pretty challenging, to the point of making you work out to failure.
So, not to discourage you, but if you’re just starting on your fitness journey, you’d better start small.
Perhaps by lifting weights for a couple of months prior and then moving onto P90X.
From the DVD base kit to the heart rate monitor, these are the nine exercise tools you need to build your own P90X equipment set.