P90X2 FAQ, a P90X vs P90X2 Comparison & Review
P90X2 and P90X3 are NOT sequels to the original P90X program—they are each individual programs that are each an option for people of all fitness levels. In this P90X2 guide, I’ll give you an overview of P90X2, a P90X2 FAQ section, and my review of this workout.
It has been seven years since I got my copy of P90X. Since then, Monica and I have completely worn it out! Luckily, P90X2 came out and I now have my P90X2 Ultimate Kit.
If you’re trying to decide which of the P90X workouts—or which Beachbody program—is best for YOU, this should help!
P90X vs P90X2
The predecessor to the P90X program—Power 90 Master Series—was what got Monica and I into Beachbody over a decade ago because we were just amazed at our results. So, I’m sentimentally invested in the P90X series.
First, Power 90 evolved into P90X and now P90X has evolved into P90X2. I’m going to cover a lot in this post—I’ll start with a little bit about P90X vs P90X2.
Of course, many of the people I coach want to know exactly how the new P90x2 is different from the original P90X. I’m going to let my old skiing buddy, Tony Horton himself, give you the nitty gritty details in the video below. In short, when comparing P90X vs P90X2, P90X is valuable, effective, and more basic, while P90X2 is more focused on athletic performance and is great to use as base training for any sport.
When it came out, P90X was groundbreaking because it featured circuit style training—with yoga, plyometrics, resistance training, and cardio. This style of training creates “muscle confusion.”
P90X2 adds another level called PAP (Post Activation Potentiation). This breakthrough sports science technique pushes you right to the limit and then allows for more rest time. (I cover this in more detail below.)
Unlike P90X, which had three 30-day phases, P90X2 is more flexible with phases lasting from three to six weeks. It also allows for more individual goal setting. These workouts are so tough that they are designed in a five-day workout/two-day rest cycle. Believe me, you’ll need the rest—it’s an ass kicker!
Of course, because this is Beachbody (who never does boring), the new workout also features all new moves, two bonus workouts, and brand new recipes in the P90X2 Nutrition Guide (including more vegan and grain free options…more on this to come).
Tony is hilarious in this new version and, as always, he’s ripped and challenges you to push yourself to the edge. Watch the short video and you’ll learn more about how P90X2 will ratchet up your physical strength and athleticism:
The P90X2 Workouts & Kits
Here’s the line up of the P90X2 workouts:
- X2 Core
- X2 Recovery and Mobility
- X2 Total Body
- X2 Yoga – an hour and five minutes of strength based Hatha flow
- Balance + Power
- Chest & Back and Balance
- X2 Shoulders & Arms
- Base & Back
- PAP Lower
- PAP Upper
- X2 Ab Ripper
- V Sculpt – Deluxe Pack
- X2 Chest + Shoulders + Tris – Deluxe Pack
Here’s a breakdown of the P90X2 kits (for current pricing, click on each link to go to the Team Beachbody store):
The P90X2 Base Package includes the workouts above (EXCEPT the last two “Deluxe Pack” items), the Nutrition Guide, a Fitness Guide, and a 90 day calendar.
The P90X2 Deluxe Package includes everything in the Base Package AND the V Sculpt and X2 Chest + Shoulders + Tris workouts, a foam roller, two medicine balls, and a large stability ball.
The foam roller is going to be incorporated into a couple of programs, but you’ll see it in the X2 Recovery and Mobility section in particular. It helps iron out the kinks. I have been using it for about 18 months now and it really does help.
The P90X2 Ultimate Package gives you everything in the Deluxe Pack, except the foam roller (which is an upgraded model in the Ultimate Kit). It also includes a set of Tony Horton’s Power Stands (see my comments below).
Whatever Beachbody workout I’m doing, I’m big on investing in the Ultimate Kits so I have everything I need to maximize my results with the program. (I also love fitness toys!)
In this video, I’ll give you a detailed rundown of the P90X2 Ultimate Kit contents. (If you already have the equipment from the P90X Ultimate Kit, you won’t need to order the P90X2 Ultimate Kit.)
Everybody loves a deal, right? You’ll get a few extra things at the same cost if you order any of the kits from the links above, rather than straight from Team Beachbody:
- FREE Coaching: Get us assigned to you BEFORE you purchase HERE.
- (2) Additional DVDs: When you order from us, you’ll also receive two of Tony Horton’s One on One workouts on DVD (4 Legs and Upper Body Balance). Both these workouts will fit well with what P90X2 is trying to accomplish in its various phases.
Message me if you want to learn how you can easily get 25% off!
The Science Behind P90X2
Beachbody knew the new P.A.P. training in P90X2 would require some expert input, so they brought in Dr. Marcus Elliott of The Peak Performance Project (or P3).
Dr. Elliott works with professional athletes and has them doing a lot of P.A.P. workouts. He was the first to point out that this type of training is great, but the body needs to be conditioned in order to be able to perform at this level.
Don’t miss this this video by him to learn about P.A.P.:
One of the best things about P90X2 is that the phases are not rigid as in P90X.
P90X2 is performance-based meaning that once you master one skill you can move on to the next one. It also comes with a number of performance-based assessments, which are helpful in tracking progress, but it’s really important to work with a Coach to be sure that you are truly ready to move to the next Phase.
I’ve been doing these types of assessments with the people I coach for a long time now. Here’s a video on how I use performance to measure fitness results:
In Phase I (the base training phase) of P90X2, you can expect to:
- Move better
- Feel better
- Reduce likelihood of injury
This Phase is really about building up fitness in your stabilizing muscles. The goal is to fix imbalances that most of us have.
If you are like me, and have a repaired ACL, you know what I’m talking about. My left knee was repaired, so my left leg is not as strong as my right. This was far worse before I started working out, but those years of left leg weakness have caused hip flexor issues in my right leg.
P90X2’s Foundation Phase is designed to level those types of things out and get you ready for Phase II.
This Phase is going to be hard…okay, very hard. In Phase II of P90X2 you can expect to:
- Get stronger through wider range of motion
- Get more supple (who doesn’t want that?)
- Look good (hahaha)
P90X2 will combine strength and stability. You’ll be doing pushups with your hands and feet on balls. You’ll do levers (a brutal pull up maneuver). If you have carpet, your stability ball will burn a hole in it.
Phase III is where the money is at—it’s all about performance. In Phase III of P90X2, you can expect to:
- Jump higher, run faster, ride faster, and be more explosive
- Start to fee like a kid again
It’s amazing what fitness will do for your attitude. Get to Phase III of a program like P90X2 and you’ll know what I’m talking about. You really will feel like a kid again.
This is the phase when the P90X2 workout employs P.A.P. (Post Activation Potential). It’s truly fascinating.
It only works in conditioned athletes, so you don’t want to even attempt this type of workout until you’ve done the work in the other phases or you could get hurt. P.A.P. increases the production of muscle cell motor units, adding explosive power. P90X2 will have you doing a weighted resistance exercise prior to an explosive exercise, which results in amazing muscle growth.
P90X2 Nutrition Guide
Right after P90X first came out, we broke down every aspect of the P90X Nutrition Guide in order to help our customers nail the nutrition aspect of this program. The results was our P90X Nutrition Guide Made Easy. We’e done the same thing with the P90x2 Nutrition Guide—check out our P90X2 Nutrition Guide Made Easy guide.
If you’ve done P90X, you will recognize the three-phase nutrition program—Fat Shredder, Energy Booster, and Endurance Maximizer. This time, vegan and grain-free options are also included. In short, the P90X2 Nutrition Guide is a more comprehensive nutrition plan than the P90X Nutrition Guide.
Ah, not so quick. Just because Beachbody introduced P90X2 doesn’t mean it’s meant to replace P90X. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, it features new workouts, an updated nutritional guide, new recipes, etc., but the goal of P90X2 is to be an evolved extension of P90X. It’s designed for folks who demand more out of their bodies and more focused on athleticism. For people who need a solid workout that’s geared toward fitness and weight loss, P90X is likely the better choice.
Does P90X2 have more “Muscle Confusion?”
What was called “muscle confusion” in P90X is a bit different in P90X2. Tony Horton and his team are always on the cutting edge of fitness research and P90X2 is filled with a newer approach called Post Activation Potentiation (PAP). This breakthrough sports science technique pushes you right to the limit and then allows for more rest time.
All sorts of athletes have been using this training method for years. Most them had professional coaches who closely monitored their progress. In recent years, training plans have become readily available. The problem with those plans, and a weakness of P90X, is that they are “cookie cutter” plans.
Frankly, you might not be ready to move from Phase I of P90X to Phase II of P90X, but there it is on the schedule: Recovery Week—Phase II. P90X2 will change that by using flexible training periods. (We highly suggest you work with a Team Beachbody Coach to figure out how and when to switch phases. Guess what? We do that for FREE.)
This is the number one question I’ve been getting. Any Beachbody workout is going to kick your butt at first—they’re designed to challenge you. If you’ve done P90X, then you remember doing it for the first time and not being able to walk right for a few days, right? The point is to push you toward Muscle Confusion.
P90x2 is going to repeat this experience. Until you get in the groove, it’s going to be tough—but, not any tougher than P90X. One of the things I appreciate about P90X2 is that it pushes me harder for five days, then gives me two rest days. That’s doable.
The truth is that P90X2 isn’t harder than P90X, it’s just better.
No! As I mentioned above, P90X2 is designed for a of five days of butt kicking workouts and two days of rest. Workout days are intense, so believe me you’ll appreciate the two days of rest.
Beachbody went a different route with this program. Instead of more choices, you’re encouraged to spend more time in the phase that best suits you.
So, if you’re wanting muscle growth, you’ll hit Phase II harder. If you’re working on flexibility and balance, you’ll hang out in Phase I longer.
The Guidebook will outline how to adjust the program to suit your needs. You’ll see, it’s easy to tweak P90X2 to get the most out of it.
Times have changed and diets are changing, too. Beachbody make a concerted effort to stay current with nutritional research and dietary needs. You’ll see more vegan options, options for gluten free folks, and new recipes for everyone in the P90X2 Nutrition Guide. There are also more options on how to alter the diet to suit your needs, too.
Check out our P90X2 Nutrition Guide!
Although P90X used anaerobic training, it wasn’t really a “cardio” program. You were supplementing that with other activity.
You might have thought the interval style training included cardio, but that was just because it was a tough workout. The same is true for P90X2.
You’re heart rate will increase because it’s a challenging workout, but it’s not going to keep you at the sustained level to qualify as a true cardio program. But, frankly, the PAP approach seems to get my heart rate soaring so even though Beachbody doesn’t call this a cardio program, it sure feels that way to me.
You can do P90X2 with just exercise bands and some basic furniture. Heck, you could do this work out in a hotel room if you had to, especially considering you can stream it On Demand. So, don’t hold back thinking you need to buy a bunch of stuff, because you don’t.
BUT—if you’re like me, you get excited about new workout toys. If you really want to go all in and add to your home gym, you can pick up a few things that will really help you maximize P90x2 (and your other workouts).
Here’s the list I suggest to clients all the time:
- Resistance Bands: Free weights are awesome, but you can also do it with easily transportable resistance bands. The point is to get something that gives you resistance to really push or pull your muscles.
- Pull-Up Bar: I highly suggest a pull up bar. They make ones that just fit on a door frame. You’ll be glad you have it.
- Pull-Up Assist: While you’re at it, consider investing in a pull-up assist. It gives you an edge with your form and efficiency and it’s way safer than using the back of a chair.
- Yoga Mat: No matter how young you are, having a cushioned yoga mat under you when you’re stretching and doing some of the moves in P90X2.
- Yoga Blocks: You’ll be wanting yoga blocks if you want to increase your reach and get some added stability.
- Stability Ball: Stability balls are good for your core and can be used for tons of different moves. Totally worth the investment.
- Medicine Ball: P90X2 uses stability and a medicine ball to throw your body off a balance in order to get your core in better shape. You could use a basketball or other substitute, but I recommend trying the real thing.
- Foam Roller: One of the side effects of pushing for muscle confusion and exhaustion in P90X2 is a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles. This kind of soreness happens to everyone, even seasoned athletes. There are sections of P90X2 that have you stretching and giving your body a chance to heal and recover. The Foam Roller or Rumble Roller will help tremendously with this.If you use the Rumble Roller, prepare for some intensity. It’s covered in little nubbies that, when combined with your own body weight and gravity, will dig right down into the muscle tissue. It’s a little like meat tenderizing for you muscles. That being said, the therapy really gets the muscles to release. Check it out:
- Push-Up Stands: Tony Horton’s Powerstands keep your wrists in a more natural position and are one of my favorite pieces of equipment. These are a little different than the original ones—a bit shorter with a wider base. If you already have a pair of Powerstands and they are stable, then you should be good to go.
Over the years, thanks mostly to Tony, I’ve come to understand how important yoga is to a well rounded workout regime. So, I want to talk a little bit about P90X2 yoga.
You might expect P90X2 yoga to be even more challenging than Yoga X from P90X, but it’s not. In my opinion, it’s actually easier because it is much shorter and has better sequencing and goes straight to the point!
Yoga X is the first workout I did from P90X2. Compared to P90X’s 90 minute yoga session, P90X2 Yoga lasts for about 65 minutes.
Over the years, a fair amount of people have complained to me that there was so much that they could not do in P90X Yoga and they had to fast forward a lot. This was a major disruption in their flow, which I am fairly certain the new program will resolve.
One of the things I like most about P90X2 Yoga is that it’s flow yoga. In flow yoga, you move rather quickly and coordinate your breath with the movement. You’re not required to get into a position and hold it like you would do with Patience Hummingbird, for example. Instead, the quick movements enable you to get a nice flow going.
There’s also some ab work and you’ll work on your balance, particularly when doing the Warrior III pose. Check out this video for more details:
I am really happy with the changes Tony Horton made to P90X2 Yoga. In my opinion, it’s a definite improvement from P90X Yoga.
Free P90X2 Coaching
I hope these P90x2 FAQ questions have answered all your questions. If not, shoot me a message. Interacting with you guys is one of my favorite parts of being a coach, so ask away!
I hope you make the wise choice to sign up for our FREE coaching program so you can take advantage of personalized help with your P90X2 workout. Click below to learn more about our coaching program: