P90X3 Review: A Detailed Look

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Jun 12, 2020

The P90X3 program is a 90-day workout system from Beachbody that can be accessed as part of your Beachbody on Demand subscription or purchased as DVDs.

Designed for both fans of the original P90X series and for those who want to get in better shape with the minimal time commitment, the P90X3 fitness series aims to boost your fitness with thirty-minute workouts.

The program is again led by Beachbody fitness expert Tony Horton, and it’s not a sequel to P90X, but rather is a standalone fitness plan meant to give you comparable results in less time.

In this analysis, we’ll explore what the program offers to help you decide if it is the right fitness solution for you.

Pros
  • Possible to purchase the program directly or gain access through a Beachbody on Demand subscription
  • Shorter workouts that are easier to fit into your schedule
  • Minimal equipment needs
  • Beachbody on Demand is cost-effective compared to popular alternatives
Cons
  • P90X fans might not find it as beneficial as the other programs
  • Less emphasis on cardio than previous versions
  • Content isn’t upgraded constantly like other fitness subscriptions

Is P90X3 Effective?

Beachbody claims that the program’s super-efficient workouts focus on providing you with “concentrated intensity” to give you the best results possible in thirty minutes.

Can you really get in a good workout within this timeframe? We posed this question to Arizona chiropractor Matt Tanneberg, and he confirmed that it is.

“You can get ripped from a 30-minute workout at home,” he told us, “[While] exercise is not more effective for the first 30 minutes, at the beginning of a workout, you will inevitably have more energy. This will allow you to push yourself harder initially than you will be able to push at the end of a workout.”

In other words, a shorter workout can lead to a harder sustained output for its duration.

Workout Details

P90X3 workouts include moves from a variety of fitness disciplines, including total-body resistance, Pilates, plyometrics, yoga, agility, mobility, mixed martial arts.

There are 16 30-minute exercise videos that come in four categories:

  • Muscle Building Resistance: Total Synergistics, The Challenge, Incinerator, The Warrior, Eccentric Upper, Eccentric Lower

  • Cross-Training Power: Agility X, Triometrics, Decelerator

  • Fat-Burning Cardio: CVX, MMX, Accelerator

  • Core, Flexibility, and Balance: X3 Yoga, Pilates X, Isometric, Dynamix

The order and frequency you complete these videos depend on which P90X3 program you choose. Each program lasts for 13 weeks.

  • Classic: This traditional version is designed to get you toned and strong and is the recommended starting point for your first time through.

  • Lean: For those who want to build up their endurance without bulking up, this program focuses on workouts that help you tone without adding bulk.

  • Mass: If your goal is to build up muscle mass, this program uses videos that focus more on strength exercises with less emphasis on cardio.

P90X3 is designed to alternate intense workouts with light recovery days so that your body has time to rest. Certified personal trainer Rachel MacPherson approves of this approach.

“Thirty-minute high-intensity workouts are very effective,” she told us, “as long as they are balanced by recovery days and you listen to your body if any pain or injury occurs.”

P90X3 vs. the Original P90X and P90X2

P90X3 workouts are shorter. Amazon reviewers also indicate that the program is slightly easier and more straightforward than the two previous versions.

You will need less specialty fitness equipment, and your baseline fitness level can be lower when you get started. For this reason, some reviewers recommend doing P90X3 before trying the traditional program.

Pricing

The P90X3 program is part of the Beachbody on Demand subscription which is priced at $160 for 12 months.

The annual membership includes access to all of the Beachbody on Demand workout programs (more than 1,400 classes) plus a 30-day supply of Shakeology nutrition shakes, a Shakeology shaker cup, and a Beachbody Guide to Nutrition.

If you sign up for this plan, you are committing to a monthly Shakeology delivery for $129.95 per shipment, plus $2 shipping. You can cancel this subscription at any point from your account.

Alternatively, you can also sign up for Beachbody on Demand without the Shakeology subscription for $99 per year.

Your membership will automatically renew until you cancel. The company states that you can cancel your account at any time, though you won’t be reimbursed for the time you haven’t yet used unless you cancel within the first 30 days.

The program is also occasionally sold as DVDs. Availability may change, so you’ll need to search around to find them. While this gives you the advantages of paying for the program once and owning it for life, you’ll lose out on any updates as well as the full content library from Beachbody on Demand.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

The DVD workout program has over 300 reviews on Amazon that average 4.3 stars. Here are the key takeaways.

Common Compliments:

  • An effective way to get in shape and lose weight
  • Minimal equipment necessary
  • Helpful nutrition guide includes
  • Easy to modify for people with injuries
  • People were able to fit the workouts into their days easily

Common Complaints:

  • Problems with Beachbody customer service
  • Most workouts aren’t actually 30 minutes
  • Some users preferred earlier versions for their longer workouts and more intensive focus on specific body parts
  • Not enough focus on cardio

Alternatives to P90X3

Beachbody on Demand is just one of many home-based fitness programs. Some popular alternatives include Les Mills On Demand, Daily Burn, Aaptiv, and Peloton App.

Beachbody on Demand Les Mills On Demand Daily Burn Aaptiv Pelton Digital
Price $99 per year $9.99–$14.99/mo. $14.95–$26.95/mo. $14.99/mo. or $99/yr. $12.99/mo.
Ways to View Content Streaming videos Pre-recorded Les Mills workouts available on-demand and for download On-demand and live stream workouts (available at 9 am EST) On-demand (audio content only) On-demand and live stream workouts (20+ new classes offered each day)
Types of Exercise High-intensity 30-minute strength training sessions Strength, yoga, HIIT, core, step aerobics, cycling, martial arts, dance, and kid’s workouts Group fitness classes based around cardio, yoga, Pilates, HIIT, flexibility and other workouts Treadmill, outdoor running, elliptical, walking, rowing, strength training, stretching, indoor cycling, meditation, stair climbing, and boxing workouts Yoga, cycling, running, strength, meditation, boot camp, stretching and cardio workouts
Workout Length 30 minutes (excludes warm-up and cooldown) 15–60 minutes 10–60 minutes 10–60 minutes 5–60 minutes
Approx. Number of Workout Routines 16 for P90X3, 1,000+ for all of Beachbody on Demand 500+ workout videos in 9+ fitness programs 1000+ total videos in 20+ workout programs 2,500+ total workouts, more workouts added weekly 10,000+ workout videos with more content added daily
Extra Equipment Needed Dumbbells, resistance band, yoga mat Fitness mat, some classes require additional equipment like free weights or a stationary bike Fitness mat Many workouts require access to gym equipment Most classes require access to a spin bike, treadmill, or free weights

One key difference between P90X3 and the other fitness subscriptions above is that it is offered as a standalone program. You are meant to complete all of P90X3 in 90 days, and there are multiple program blueprints you can follow based on your goals.

Likewise, P90X3 and every other Beachbody on Demand workout series is filmed on a closed set with just a few participants who tend to stay consistent throughout each video. The company releases new series relatively infrequently.

The four other programs, in contrast, put the focus on making you feel like you are in the studio with the rest of the participants.

All but Aaptiv film real workout classes, and each company releases new content each week. Peloton App and Daily Burn even let you live stream the classes and interact with others taking them at that same time as you.

The Bottom Line

You’ll find a lot of value in this workout program if you love Beachbody style workouts (including the original P90X) but want a shorter workout session, enjoy working out from home but want the “accountability” of a virtual trainer in front of you, and don’t mind completing the same workout video multiple times.

The program also makes sense for those who are looking to build up strength and tone up without having to invest in lots of expensive weightlifting equipment.

The program will appeal to anyone who wants the flexibility to exercise at any time without being tied to a class schedule, and prefers workout programs with a definite start and endpoint (like 90 days).

Additionally, Beachbody subscribers will gain access to hundreds of additional classes through the platform.

However, this program might not be the best option if you want your performance metrics integrated into the workout experience, prefer not to complete the same workouts more than once, or want consistent access to fresh content.

Other than that, P90X3 offers a lot of value as a home exercise routine.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of P90X3:
  • 3 Customer Reviews
  • 100% Recommend This Product
4.0 out of 5
5 star: 66% 4 star: 0% 3 star: 0% 2 star: 33% 1 star: 0%

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  • Great program

    • By Mr. B.,
    • Maryland,
    • Jul 13, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I bought the product to get in shape after my knee surgery.

    I had knee reconstruction surgery and the recovery process was kind of long. The program is very versatile because you can work for mass, get lean, or just get in shape. The part that I love is that it is only a 30 minute. I like the original P90x, but I think it is way too long. Contrary to what the other reviewer said, the program was really good for my knees and made them stronger.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Mind your knees

    • By Jake,
    • San Diego,
    • Jun 12, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    Program has similar moves as other DVD fitness programs, that's OK. However, I discovered that my knees/shins did not like all the jumping around. Note: did not have ANY knee/shin issues before any of the P90X programs. Also, I work out every day, am in excellent shape. I just wanted to mix it up. Change is good. Just be mindful of the move options.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • My son loves it.

    • By Larry Stark,
    • Euless, Texas,
    • Jun 11, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    My son does jujitsu and was looking for a way to improve his flexibility, agility and balance. P90X3 has done all of this and more. His conditioning is so much better than it ever was. He will definitely be doing this for years to come.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


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