P90X Chest and Back and Ab Ripper – Review

P90X Chest and Back and Ab Ripper

P90X Chest and Back and Ab Ripper

This is my review on P90X Chest and Back and Ab Ripper.

I am going to review the whole P90X series over the next few weeks starting with disk 1, which I did last night.

P90X Chest and Back and Ab Ripper

I started P90X sometime last year, but have never have posted anything about it. However, according to my research here on my website, there are a few people who are interested in what I have to say about the series. So, I am not going by their plan. Instead, I will go with whatever disk I feel like doing, and I am starting with Chest, Back and Ab Ripper X.  When you buy the P90X set, there is a plan that will instruct you on what disks to do in what order and also what to eat.

I am not a part of Team Beachbody nor do I have any affiliation with them. I am a part of the Fit Club Network started by Monica Koon Ward who is a friend of mine on facebook and twitter, and I think I am a forum member of Team Beachbody (but have never posted there). Other than that, I have no affiliation with P90X or any of their subsidiaries.

If you’re not currently in shape I don’t recommend starting out with P90X. These work-outs are world class and are tough even if you are in shape.

Introduction:

Any of the chest days are going to be the toughest for me because it is where I am the weakest. Consequently, this is where I need it the most.

Tony does a great job getting you amped up. The best part about Tony is he is kind of a nerd; he really doesn’t care about trying to be cool on camera – he is who he is and he is comfortable in his own skin. This is very important because as another dedicated gym rat, I can tell the fakers from the dedicated pretty easily – somebody who cares will put  that much more into it and is there to help you and not into for a paycheck. I applaud Tony Horton for his effort.

The Exercises:

First, like most of the P90X’s, you start out with a warm-up where you do some static and ballistic stretching, running in place and getting your core temperature up for the workout, nothing ground breaking here….except the arm circles. Tony has you do about 11 billionity of these and my shoulders were burning after a while, but I actually get a hard-on for stuff like this so its just a matter of routine and is actually fun!

**Note: There are random water breaks done during the course that I don’t write about.**

Standard Push-ups:

Yep, just good ole-fashioned regular ole plane-jane push-ups. Tony has you pick a number and stick to it, it really does not matter how many push-ups you can do, whether it’s 1 or 10,000, it’s just a matter of doing them and doing them properly. The focus here is quality and quantity – knock those push-ups out!

There is some hot little German girl in this video knocking out full push-ups, so just because you’re a girl don’t think you can’t do full push-ups. (my pahtna Julie can do full push-ups too, so get it girls!!)

These push-ups are done slightly shoulder width part, be sure you look at a spot 45 degrees in front of you. If you don’t, you will mess up your reps (BAD).

Modification: If you can’t do the push-ups on your toes, then go down to your knees and do them.

Wide Front Pull-ups:

I use my Perfect Pull-Up Bar here, but these can be done effectively if you have resistance bands. Wide Front Pull-ups are done with a grip just wider than your shoulders with your palms facing away from you: for me, the door frame I use with the Perfect Pull-up bar is just barely wider than my shoulders, but it works.

Pick a number and stick to it.

Doing sloppy Pull-ups is not going to help you here.

Modification: If you’re using a pull-up bar, get a chair and put it in front of you with your leg on it to help you keep your number, the further the chair is out in front of you, the harder the exercise is.

Military Push-ups:

Pick a number and stick too it.

Military Push-ups are done with your hands directly under your shoulders. When you go down, make sure your elbows stay close to your sides.

I wonder why they call these military push-ups, I was in the military and never did these.  As with all push-ups, the modification is to do them on your knees. If you’re a guy, don’t try and be a hero if you can’t do them on your toes. Doing sloppy Push-ups won’t help you.

Modification: If you can’t do the push-ups on your toes, then go down to your knees and do them.

Reverse Grip Chin-ups:

Pick a number and stick to it.

Reverse Grip Chin-ups are done at shoulder-width apart with your palms facing you. These are usually easier because you also use your biceps.

Modification: If you’re using a pull-up bar, get a chair and put it in front of you with your leg on it to help you keep your number, the further the chair is out in front of you, the harder the exercise is.

Wide Grip Push-ups:

Pick a number and stick to it.

As the title states, you’re in the push-up position with your hands farther apart than your shoulders. Just be sure not to go too far apart because you can seriously injure yourself.

Modification: If you can’t do the push-ups on your toes, then go down to your knees and do them.

Close Grip Overhand Pull-ups:

Pick a number and stick to it.

Close Grip Overhand Pull-ups are done by making a fist in front of you then sticking out your thumbs and having them touch. If you lost your thumbs in a horrendous train accident then guesstimate.  For me this is about 3½  or 4 inches apart.

Modification: If you’re using a pull-up bar, get a chair and put it in front of you with your leg on it to help you keep your number, the further the chair is out in front of you, the harder the exercise is.

Decline Push-ups:

Pick a number and stick to it.

I did this workout in my living room so I used my couch to do the decline push-ups. Decline push-ups are where you have your legs in a straight line from your toes to your shoulders (unlike normal push-ups where your toes are on the ground) and your feet are off the ground. This works different pectoral muscles – for me these are easier than normal push-ups.

Modification: Instead of using your feet on the chair, move back to your quadriceps, this will make it easier.

Diamond Push-ups:

Pick a number and stick to it.

Diamond Push-ups are a bitch for me! You make a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers with your hands directly under your chest. At this point, I’m already tired and I’m down on my knees doing these. A blow to my ego, but oh well.

Modification: You either go down to your knees to make it easier, or go up on 1 leg to make it harder.

Lawnmowers:

Pick a number and a weight and stick to it.

These are standing dumbbell rows. This is gut check time. Here you use your dumbbells or resistance bands again. This is where the magic starts to happen, when you’re already tired and think you can’t go anymore.

Dive Bomber Push-ups:

Pick a number and stick to it.

Dive Bomber Push-ups are like doing a downward dog, but you’re going under the fence with first your chest then hips then thighs in a very fluid motion. Then you reverse the move to go thighs, then hips, then chest also in a very fluid motion. Kinda like going under a fence face first, then going back under the fence backwards.

There is no modification to this one: Just keep going for the allotted amount of time.

Just when you think you are done – you take a water break – then do the exact same exercise ALL OVER again! Yep again, but this time instead of starting out with regular push-ups you start out with pull-ups. Yep, it’s a lot. This is why the system works.

P90X Chest and Back and Ab Ripper

Ab Ripper X:

If you do this properly and go through this short program as soon as you are done with the first half of the disk, you should already be warmed up and ready to go.

Ab Ripper X sucks! Not in a way that it’s not effective, but in a way that it is extremely hard. Being an ectomorph in my upper body and mesomorph in my lower body does not help either. I have very heavy, very strong legs, legs. That helps me during the leg day, but not during Ab Ripper X.  (However, for my pahtna Julie, these are awesome!)

Here is a P90X success story.

Interested? Go get it in my Beachbody web store. If you want a 25% discount sign-up as  a “Coach” and spread the word!

Thanks for looking at P90X Chest and Back and Ab Ripper.

About The Author

Charles Lloyd

Self processed fitness missionary and author of most of the ridiculous fitness articles written on Charles Lloyd Fitness.com. I am not really a writer, but a workout fiend who happens to have a blog. The single mission of this website is very simple: Get You In Shape. I have been blessed with the gift of good health and want to share it with you. Join Me.

57 Comments

  • Dillion

    March 27, 2009

    Does anyone else have any experience with this?

  • Tee

    June 4, 2009

    I been doing P90X for a few weeks now and its great, it’s not your typical late night infomercial bull crap. It’s a tough program but well worth it when you start seeing the results only after a week or 2. The worst workout in the whole series in my opinion is Plyometrics, its hard as hell. Yoga is kinda long and boring and feels pointless but it does help.

    I highly recommend this program to anyone but like Charles said if you’re not currently in shape I don’t recommend starting it.

  • Stephen

    September 7, 2009

    I agree with Tee’s comments. I’m now starting on my second go-round with P90X. I finished the first 90 days a year ago, so now I start again. 🙂

    Plyometrics is tough and should be used with caution if you have high arches and are a bit older (eg., 40+) because it can contribute to plantar fasciitis (it did to/for me). On days scheduled for plyometrics I do something else (eg, a rowing machine).

  • heel lifts

    December 20, 2009

    Excellent work. You have gained a new subscriber. Please keep up the good work and I eagerly await more of these absorbing posts.

  • Megan

    March 12, 2010

    Hey, I’ve been thinking about doing P90X, but had a question. What do the days look like? I know there are 12 disks, but clearly you do not do each disk daily. So how many, and which disks are done per day? I’m curious as to how this works before I commit to doing the program.

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 12, 2010

    Megan, The system works on the basis of muscle confusion, so there are different disk for different days depending on what stage in the program you are in. Also there is a nutrition program that is laid out for each day. Since I am a coach for Beachbody you can order it directly form Beachbody through me. Here is my store address http://www.beachbodycoach.com/charleslloyd or go here and follow the instructions. http://blog.charleslloydfitness.com/2010/03/06/starts-shape-today-coach/ If you have any other questions please let me know. Thanks

  • Jacob

    March 28, 2010

    i am currently not in shape at the moment, but i have had a pretty good bit of workout experience in my lifetime, im 19…..yall said not to do this if your not in shape, so i was just asking if i should give it a try since ive had workout experience before.

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 28, 2010

    If you have worked out prior to this then you should be good to go. But dont think that its will be easy. Its a very very hard workout. You can order it from my store at here .

    Honestly since you have workedout before your best bet is to become a “Coach”, you will save 25% off anything from Beachbody, and you have the oportunity to ear some money helping others. Go here then click on the “Coach” link. Plenty of people have done it, including me and it works out great.

  • Jacob

    March 29, 2010

    ok. thanks

  • Jacob

    March 29, 2010

    WOW!!! i just got done with the workout for day 1. (chest and back) holy crap that was tough.. i could barely make it through. then ab ripper x right after? lol… my arms feel light which i hope that is a good sign. but anyways. i had a couple of questions with my first workout… 1) Is it ok to take muscle milk (cookies ‘n creme) instead of the recovery drink? Do they both basically do the same thing that tony is talking about? 2) And my second question, Are you supose to go straight to the ab ripper x workout or wait a few minutes after you finish the chest and back part because i went straight to the ab ripper x……it was hard but i made it at my own pace :)… any replys would be great!! thanks

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 29, 2010

    Thats awesome Jacob, Yeah a lot of people who read my website think I am kidding when I say the workout is crazy CRAZY hard, even as a fitness trainer its hard. The thing with Muscle Milk is it taste very good, but there is just way too much sugar and fat in it to be considered a viable option. Honestly your best bet is the Shakeology that Beachbody sells you can grab it here. Or you can go to Costco and get the Vanilla protein shake, or to GNC and grab the Optimum Nutrition protein powder. But to get either of those protein powders up to the levels of Shakeology you have to source a green powder + Acai freeze dried powder which makes it more expensive than the Shakeology to begin with.

    As for the recovery drink, even though I sell the P90X recovery drink in my store (and it is decent), I think Accelerade Lemon/Lime is a much better deal, cheaper, and the ingredients are virtually identical. It has both carbs and protein which is what you need after a workout.

    Good work Jacob, Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 29, 2010

    Oh yeah, and yes I immediately go straight into the Ab Ripper X, as if you are not tired enough to begin with. That will really polish you off…lol

  • Jacob

    March 29, 2010

    Thanks for the quick replys! yeah, your right, the muscle milk has 6g of saturated fats. I was thinking if it would be okay to just go ahead finish this formula drink up, and then get the regular whey protien drink bc i hear this one is way better if you are trying to avoid alot of fats. I bought the container that lasts about 2 weeks. Do you think its okay to go ahead and finish this up? because i only drink 1 a 12 fl oz. cup a day. or is even this too much? I just don’t want to waste the money i already spent 🙁

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 29, 2010

    Yeah since you already have it, you may as well just finish off the tub. Muscle Milk is my favorite protein shake, but there is so much fat and sugar in there that its not really considered a viable option, especially when you are trying to cut weight. It’s a whole different story when you are bulking though. Let me know if you have any other questions Jacob. 🙂

  • Jacob

    March 29, 2010

    I only see about 4g of sugar. I have been drinking water for the past two weeks. i have completely dropped the soda drinks and all i eat are salads, subway grilled chicken sub only, different kinds of fruit. Is it really necessary to eat 5 meals a day? i am 6’4 and wiegh at about 190 lbs. so im pretty skinny thats why i figured the muscle milk wouldnt really effect me, im mainly trying to get ripped lol, so i guess ill knock out this muscle milk pretty quick and switch to something better to keep the fat off.
    again thanks for the great replys… looking forward to plyometrics tomorrow! (i heard this one is tough)

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 29, 2010

    Cool, Let me know how it goes Jacob. If you are 6’4 190 lbs, I am guessing you are an ectomorph or some combination of one. Meaning for you to get ripped you are going to need a very low body fat percentage to get there, even more than a endomorph or mesomorph. So it will be even more important that you get on a proper diet/nutritional program.

  • Jacob

    March 30, 2010

    WOOOOOO i am dog tired. just finished day 2 plyo…omg…..am i breathing? really? im still alive? lol. now that was a workout. i took alot of breaks because my heart is not used to that much moving and cardio. Is it ok if i took a good bit of breaks? i mean, i still kept moving but i had to chill in front of a fan for a bit. i hope this was ok. man, what a day… woohooo!!! 🙂

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 30, 2010

    Dude that kicks ass Jacob!!! Now you are learning the power of the X…yeah that was kinda lame, but yeah, I cant tell you how many people have wrote me the same thing. The workout is silly hard. Good call on those breaks, its ALWAYS better to take a break than to compromise your form. Just wait till you get on Leg day….lol!!!! Oh yeah and make sure you are getting your protein in, this is what is going to get you muscle mass and ripped. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Jacob

    March 30, 2010

    yeah, im getting my protein in. atleast i hope enough. i drink one 12fl oz. of muscle milk about an hour after my workout, 1 serving has 32g of protein. im pretty sure their is protein in my snacks that i eat. im about to go to GNC and buy some protein bars for even a bigger boost for protein :)……

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 30, 2010

    Good, the general rule of thumb is to have at least 0.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight if you want to build muscle mass. So what that means is if you are 190lbs you want to take in atl least 142.5 g/protein per day. This was and still is my biggest issue, thats A LOT of protein to eat in 1 day for me, especially clean foods, and not junk protein (ie snickers, over-sugared peanuts, etc). GNC sometimes has a good on on ON (optimum nutrition) protein.

  • Jacob

    March 30, 2010

    do u have to consume that exact amount to get ripped?

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 30, 2010

    To accelerate muscle growth and provide your muscles all of the required essential amino acids, yes, at least that much.

    Most bodybuilders consume 1 ~ 1.5g/per pound of bodyweight. Since you are not bodybuilding then 0.75 will suffice.

  • Jacob

    March 31, 2010

    i just ran into a major problem. i just tried doing the workouts for shoulders and arms and my triceps are still very sore from monday doing all of those pushups and pullups, so i don’t want to rip a muscle. wut should i do?

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 31, 2010

    Good question. In this situation, do as much as you can (or none at all) without compromising form. Doing exercises with sloppy form is worse than doing nothing at all. Since you are just getting back into it, there is almost no way you will be able to complete the whole DVD you are working on. I still have problems doing some of the DVD’s mainly because my lower body is WAY stronger than my upper-body. There is no shame in knowing your limits, which goes back to why you need A LOT of protein, so your muscles can synthesize the amino acids to repair your muscle and joint tissue.

    For now just do what you can do, If you stick to the program AND DIET. You will see results, its impossible not to. Let me know if you have any other questions. Good job Jacob.

  • Jacob

    March 31, 2010

    well good news. i think it was just my mind telling me that i couldn’t do it. but i said forget it, i know im stronger than this. so i booted the cd right back up and made it through the whole thing with very little breaks. like i said, i think it was just me being a wimp, so i toughened it up a lil bit and BAM!! now im done. woohoo. o and by the way, since you say i need more protein, should i drink two muscle milk cups a day? or is that too much fat that i would be consuming? like, wut if i drank one in the morning, then i drank one after i work out in the afternoon? thanks.

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 31, 2010

    It depends on if you are trying to bulk up or cut weight, the problem is you cant do both at the same time. If you want to put on muscle mass you will also put on fat weight also. If you want to lose weight, then you will also lose muscle mass at the same time. There is no way around it. So yeah, it pretty much depends on what you are trying to do.

  • Jacob

    April 1, 2010

    i have yoga X today. sounds boring but i heard its actually a very important part of p90x. this should be fun lol.

  • Jacob

    April 1, 2010

    4 days down ,,, 86 days left…

  • Charles Lloyd

    April 1, 2010

    86 days is nothing, Im on year 12, lol!!!:p

  • Jacob

    April 2, 2010

    nice, ill b there, eventually,,, lol

  • Jacob

    April 2, 2010

    just finished day 5 wooohooo movin right along..:) ….holy crap!!!!!! 1 leg wall squats ….. OOOUUUCCHHHHHHHH!!!! lol

  • Charles Lloyd

    April 2, 2010

    Leg day is my favorite P90X workout, Good job on your first 5 days Jacob!!

  • Jacob

    April 3, 2010

    thanks. i just got off work. bout to do the kenpo workout.

  • Jacob

    April 3, 2010

    kenpo complete!! that was a fun workout!!

  • Charles Lloyd

    April 3, 2010

    Yeah Kenpo is way fun. Make sure you are getting your diet in…I would say that is at least 90% of the program, and will help you with energy and strength with your workout.

  • Jacob

    April 4, 2010

    im not following the diet plan completely. Is this ok? Im still taking in my protein and drinking plenty of water to stay away from all of the sodas lol. I eat fruits and vegetables as much as i can each day. I don’t have much time to make everything that they recommend in the nutritional guide so i kind of made my own diet up. i hope this is ok. 🙂 day 7 complete!!!

  • Charles Lloyd

    April 4, 2010

    The nutrition plan is 90% of the program. If you skip out on the plan, you are hampering your results. My suggestion is to follow it to the letter, if not then as much as you can. The nutrition plan is where most people fall and its 90% of the program. Good job on your first week in.

  • Jacob

    April 5, 2010

    day 8 complete. man,,,,,, today i felt exhausted,,,but i still made it through. its prolly cuz im not getting enough rest.

  • Jacob

    April 6, 2010

    plyo was a lil bit easier this time! 🙂

  • Charles Lloyd

    April 6, 2010

    The P90X plyo is kinda easy….now the Insanity plyo…..now that is a different story. Good job on keeping on track Jacob

  • Jacob

    April 7, 2010

    here is my plan. i was thinking i should go through a full p90x program trying my best, then go through again maybe on the doubles im not sure yet. and the after my 2nd run through p90x, i might try the insanity.

  • Charles Lloyd

    April 7, 2010

    Sounds like a plan, but like I said before if you are going to go through the programs you may as well become a “coach” that way you will save 25% and make some money off the programs. Let me know if you are interested.

  • Jacob

    April 7, 2010

    how can i b a coach? does it cost money? im interested lol

  • Charles Lloyd

    April 7, 2010

    Yeah it’s cost $40 to sign up. Read this post http://blog.charleslloydfitness.com/2010/03/06/starts-shape-today-coach/

  • Jacob

    April 16, 2010

    finished day 19. Moving right along. 🙂

  • Charles Lloyd

    April 16, 2010

    Good job. Stay with it.

  • MIKE

    August 2, 2010

    i am now on week 6 of p90x. i used to workout all the time but have been off for about 2 years due to a busy schedule. i really thought that i would have a tougher time with it after reading reviews but it wasnt too bad. dont get me wrong it was still hard. do i really need to do the diet to get results? i am just over 6’3″ and weighed 167 when i started. i havent followed the diet other than just trying to cut most sugar and fat out of my diet. i have gained about 10 pounds since starting and it seems like it is all muscle. i hate the ab ripperX because it is so hard but am loving the resluts that i am seeing. i am so glad that i was finally able to find a workout program that i can fit into my schedule.

  • Charles Lloyd

    August 3, 2010

    The diet is 80% of the program, if you want to maximize the results you MUST do the diet section.

  • Allen

    December 23, 2010

    So I am on my 3rd week of doing P90x and sticking to the diet, except I give my self Sunday as a “cheat” day. I feel better and more energized but haven’t really seen the results as far as the scale goes. It’s like I am staying at the same weight or slightly over, could this be because I am gaining muscle or eating tons of protein?

  • Charles Lloyd

    December 23, 2010

    Both Allen, muscle weighs more than fat, so if you have more strength and are staying about the same weight, this means you are both losing fat and gaining muscle mass. Make sure you change your diet when the book says so, its more important than just the workouts. I give myself a cheat day also. Hang in there, its worth it.

  • Russ

    February 15, 2011

    Nice breakdown of workout #1. Chest and back is a beast!! Then the next day it is followed by plyometrics… what a combo!

  • Thomas

    July 2, 2011

    ok so i bought the P90X but i started it right when i got into MMA so i ended up stopping, now i am back and ready to start again but i can not find my stage things that say which discs to do on what days, is there anything i can do? Thanks

  • Charles Lloyd

    July 2, 2011

    You dont have your book? Yeah you need that and the nutrition guide to take full advantage of the workout. Contact Beachbody and they should send you the guide if you cannot find it.

  • Carlos

    September 6, 2012

    Hi Charles, I started working out 3 weeks ago, so for now I’m just trying to get abs and get tone, not into building muscle mass at this moment. My problem is I love drinking beer, I only drink in the weekends (2 times per week), but I usually drink 6 to 7 beers each of those days.
    Since I started working out, I started to drink light beer (90 – 100 empty calories per beer), and drinking 3-4 beers the first day and 6-7 beers the second day. I been following the Nutrition Guide every day of the week except the 2 days I’m drinking beer, which I usually eat less calories to balance my calories intake with the empty calories the beer has.
    My question to you Charles is, Is there a way for me to drink beer 2 days a week without compromising my Nutrition Program?
    And what I’m doing the 2 days I’m drinking beer would it work? or should I cut my beer intake more?

  • Charles Lloyd

    September 10, 2012

    Carlos, In general alcohol and exercise don’t go hand-in-hand. I cant advice any type of alcohol when doing P90X/X2 Insanity or any other workout. Drinking alcohol and exercising is burning the candle at both ends, both take a toll on you body, one positive…one negative!

  • John

    December 10, 2012

    sorry to bother but which workout would you reccommend doing: p90x or insanity if I want to shred fat and build muscle?

  • Johnny

    February 11, 2013

    Coach Charles:
    Received P90X as gift last week.
    I had contemplated getting Rushfit, but will train P90X.
    How is P90 going to compare with Rushfit?
    I viewed all the disks and yoga x I way too long.
    Can I sub with stretch x or my own stretching routine for 45 minutes?
    The chest back I will be ok since I was doing 500 pushups every other day last summer doing sets of 30-50.
    Thanks for input and suggestions.

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