P90X vs P90X3 – Which Is The Better Schedule?

P90X3 Schedule

P90X3 is designed as an all-around all-inclusive program starting off with a “foundational” period which focuses on core, balance, agility, and stabilization, rather than muscle development. Agility X is a pleasant routine of driving you to move from one unstable position to another without losing pose in this stage that works – like so many need it to be it’s not a classic cardio routine. The second stage of X3 focuses on traditional weight training, hypertrophy, and contains more conventional cardio routines like MMX and Triometrics.

P90X Schedule

P90x, on the other hand, gets right into heavy resistance in the first week and strikes all body parts with workouts like Chest & Back, Shoulders & Arms, and Legs & Back. Most moves are done from a steady two-legged position which de-emphasizes the heart. Plyo X is the centerpiece cardio routine. Tony describes two strategies to P90X: 1) 8-10 Repetition Range for adding muscle, and 2) the 12-15 Rep Range for remaining thin (this does not pertain to push-ups and pull-ups which are consistently maximum reps). I have done both approaches and included them in the information.

Comparing P90X3 and P90X Resistance Workouts

For the purpose of this comparison, I will only use the three resistance workouts from:

P90X3: Eccentric Upper, The Challenge, CVX, Total Synergistics, Eccentric Lower, and Incinerator. I drew real info from the X3/Maximum 30 Hybrid from my workout sheets.

P90X: Back & Chest, Shoulders & Arms, Legs & Back, Chest Shoulders & Triceps, and Back & Biceps. For the 12-15 Rep Range data in addition to the push-up and pull-up numbers, I pulled on real data from workout sheets.

I added up my correct numbers for four distinct variants:

  • Number of Push-Ups: the total of all push-up types, whether on knees or feet.
  • Pull-Ups: the total of all pull ups, whether with an assist or without.
  • Weighted and Un -weighted Reps: the whole variety of repetitions excluding push-ups and pull-ups; if a move used one arm or leg at a time the repetitions were only counted by me once.
  • Overall Weight Lifted: the amount of (reps x weight) for all the weighted moves. For example, if I did ten repetitions with a set of 20-pound dumbbells the Entire Weight would be 10 x 20 = 200.

NOTE: If the move demanded only one dumbbell to be held with two hands then the dumbbell weight cut on in half.

Block 1 (or Phase 1 or Month 1)

Typical Block 1 weeks are shown in the chart. In a normal Block 1 week the amount of push ups and pull ups are about the same. I contained CVX in this outline even tough I believe it is more cardio than weights. I counted all the CVX repetitions to figure out with how much the total weight was. Since I hold a single 10 pound dumbbell in CVX, I cut that weight in half and used 5 lbs in the Total weight calculation. Despite all the CVX low weight reps you lift more than twice as much Entire Weight in P90X than a week of X3.

Block 2 (or Phase 2 or Month 2)

P90X3 Block 2 comprises where every move is against an average 2 count Eccentric Lower and  Upper workouts. To account for the additional “time under tension” I counted my repetitions and then multiplied by 2 to hopefully result in a significant comparison to the P90X Block 2 workouts. With the doubling, push-ups are about the same between plans. P90X pullups in an average Block 2 week are about 50% more than P90X3 even with the Strange 2X variable. The weighted and un- total weight and weighted reps are similar between both program after applying the doubling variable that is eccentric.

Results Over a 13-Week Program

What does this mean for a full 13-week plan? Just what I thought: I ‘m getting more work out of P90X vs. P90X3:

Because of The Challenge, I usually do more push-ups with the P90X3 Schedule than the P90X but pull ups are another story. They are about 30% more in P90X.

P90X3 appears to have many more representatives than P90X, both when doing P90X in the 8-10 rep range along with the 12-15 rep range. But over half of the counted repetitions come from just doing CVX 5 times in the program. Another 1170 reps are the result of doubling the Eccentric Upper and Lower representative numbers to account for the 4-count moves. No wonder I ‘m hurting again.

No surprise here with my total weight lifted over 13 weeks. Even with doubling the Total Weight from Weird Upper and Lower, P90X3 offers just about 75% of the weightlifting possibility of P90X.

What Schedule Should You Do?

P90X3 is an excellent beginner-intermediate plan for someone who’s just starting out on their fitness journey. There is plenty of work and the advantages from the other 10 workouts that I didn’t discuss are tremendous. This system clearly is excellent for anyone who has limited time if the alternative is doing nothing. In case you are looking to improve your all around fitness, coordination and equilibrium then P90X3 is for you.

P90X, on the other hand, would be fantastic for one with someone who has previously completed P90X3, or a fundamental degree of fitness already. P90X3 would be a gentler alternative although it can surely be met by beginners. If you’re looking to grow more muscle, you will probably get better results by doing the P90X schedule than the X3.

As far as fat loss, either program will function fine provided that you account for the reduced calorie burn in P90X3 by eating less. If you are not inclined to balance your daily calorie consumption with actual exercise calories burned off (meaning you are going to eat the same thing whichever program you do), then you would lose more weight on P90X just because you’ll burn more calories. They are both great Beachbody Workouts.