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P90X2: Workout Schedule, Equipment, and Phases

Updated on March 28, 2016
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Tony Horton's P90X2: The Best Weight Loss Program and Exercise Video

My husband and I had been doing the original P90X for a year and a half when P90X2 was released. We decided our bodies were ready for a change and bought the new program. I was extremely happy with the program and it was a great 90+ days!

Among other improvements, P90X2 focuses more on core and multi-muscle work, an area that the previous program didn't emphasize as much. In fact, the whole first month is dedicated to core and multi-muscle workouts! For women especially, I think this workout is absolutely one of the best I've ever done.

Below you will find a complete P90X2 schedule, an explanation of each phase in the 90-day program, and a description of mandatory and recommended equipment.

By the way, If you haven't already done P90X, I recommend starting there before jumping into P90X2. That way you'll be more familiar with the program and will able to take advantage of everything it has to offer.

Exercise at Home with the P90X2 DVD Set

How P90X2 Differs from P90X

Just like P90X, P90X2 is a 90-day program split into three different sessions and includes a nutritional plan. However, unlike the original program, P90X2 incorporates more schedule flexibility.

For example, the first phase (Foundation) can be from anywhere from 3-6 weeks depending on what you need. The program also allows you to take a recovery week whenever you need one. Since you know your body better than anyone else, the program emphasizes that you should listen to the cues that it gives you and adjust your workouts accordingly.

Personally, I love this philosophy and stayed in the Foundation Phase for a week or two more than planned because it was so good.

Below, you can hear Tony himself describe the differences between P90X and P90X2.

Tony Horton explains the difference between P90X and P90X2

How P90X2 Differs From P90X3

P90X3 was specifically designed to cut down on the length of the workouts. The promise of the workout series is that it will get you ripped in only 30 minutes a day.

If you're short on time, then you might want to consider looking into the P90X3 series. Just know that it won't be easier - only shorter!

Okay, let's dive in!

P90X2 DVD: Phases and Schedule

The P90X schedule is divided into 3 Phases: Foundation, Strength and Performance (in addition to a recovery week).

Phase 1: Foundation

The Foundation Phase emphasizes core and balance exercises and is usually the first month or 30 days of the 90-day program. Many physical therapists complained about the number of injuries they saw due to the program schedule in the first P90X. The new version addresses this issue by spending more time building up your core muscles to help prevent injury. Plus, you can spend extra time in this phase if your body needs it.

Phase 2: Strength

The Strength Phase begins to incorporate more of the original P90X routine into your workouts but with an added twist - instability! The Strength Phase is usually the second month of the program. By using instability in your workout, you engage your core muscles as you work other muscle groups and end up burning more calories. While the Foundation Phase had very little weightlifting, the Strength Phase begins to incorporate more weights and the use of medicine balls. The Strength Phase includes Plyocide (similar to P90X Plyometrics) as well as chest, back, and balance.

Phase 3: Performance

The Performance Phase emphasizes all the tools of Phases One and Two to increase your performance and is usually the last month or 30 days of the 90-day program. This phase incorporates repeated movements along with weights and plyometric exercises. It is the most intense of the phases and will increase your power and strength.

I've included the workout sheets below. I've found them to be a great resource! The app is also an easy way to keep track of your workouts and progress.

P90X2 iPhone and Android Apps

If you want an easy (and paperless) way to keep track of your workouts and nutrition, you can download the P90X app from Beachbody. It can be used for any of their P90X series workouts (P90X, P90X2, and P90X3).

It's available for both iOS and Android from either the App Store or Google Play. I bought the app when we were doing the old P90X and found it really useful.

It's now been updated and you can use it for everything from syncing your program with your calendar, recording your sets, reps and weights, to scheduling your own workouts like running, hiking and swimming and sharing your results.

Now let's get into the P90X2 workout schedule.

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P90X2 Phase 1: Foundation

The Foundation Phase is the first phase of P90X2 and is usually done in the first month. It should be between 3 and 6 weeks depending on your overall core fitness.

Listen to your body. If you need more time in this phase, take it. It's better to spend an extra week or so here than suffer injury in the next phases because your core wasn't strong enough.

Personally, I love these workouts. I can really feel my body, especially my core, getting stronger with each one. That said, they can be awkward at the beginning. For those that aren't used to balance poses or aren't flexible, they can be even more challenging and you may need to spend more time in the phase if you need to work on these areas.

I highly recommend the X2 Recovery DVD. It feels amazing to stretch and use the foam roller to work out the kinks in your body!

P90X2 Phase 1: Foundation Schedule and Workout Times

Day
Workout
Ab Ripper
Duration
Day 1 (Monday)
X2 Core
No
57 Minutes
Day 2 (Tuesday)
Plyocide
No
57 Minutes
Day 3 (Wednesday)
Rest or X2 Recovery and Mobility
No
58 Minutes
Day 4 (Thursday)
X2 Body
Yes
64 Minutes and 17 Minutes
Day 5 (Friday)
Yoga
No
68 Minutes
Day 6 (Saturday)
X2 Balance and Power
No
63 Minutes
Day 7 (Sunday)
Rest or X2 Recovery and Mobility
No
58 Minutes
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P90X2 Phase 2: Strength

The Strength Phase is the second part of P90X2, and is usually the second month as well. This phase focuses on using your core along with large muscle groups and is recommended for 3 to 6 weeks.

In this phase, like in P90X, we are back to doing Ab Ripper three times a week. This wasn't needed in the first phase since it incorporated so much core.

P90X2 Phase 2: Strength Schedule and Workout Times

Day
Workout
X2 Ab Ripper
Duration
Day 1 (Monday)
Chest + Back + Balance
Yes
60 Minutes and 17 Minutes
Day 2 (Tuesday)
Plyocide
No
57 Minutes
Day 3 (Wednesday)
Rest or X2 Recovery and Mobility
No
58 Minutes
Day 4 (Thursday)
Shoulders + Arms
Yes
53 Minutes and 17 Minutes
Day 5 (Friday)
Yoga
No
68 Minutes
Day 6 (Saturday)
Base + Back
Yes
56 Minutes and 17 Minutes
Day 7 (Sunday)
Rest or X2 Recovery and Mobility
No
58 Minutes
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Phase 3: P90X2 Performance Phase

The Performance Phase of P90X2 (the third month and last phase) is the most difficult because it incorporates everything you've already done and pushes you even farther. For all of the athletes out there, this will feel familiar.

Unlike P90X where the third month of the program just blended the first two months by week, this phase has all new exercises and challenges that incorporate strength and energy-intensive, explosive moves.

Expect to be sore after doing these workouts, even if you have been a P90X workout master. It's hard, but in a great way. Phase 1 and Phase 3 are my peresonal favorites!

(By the way, P.A.P.'s are explained below the workout schedule)

P90X2 Phase 3: Performance Schedule and Workout Times

Day
Workout
Ab Ripper
Duration
Day 1 (Monday)
P.A.P. Lower
No
63 Minutes
Day 2 (Tuesday)
P.A.P. Upper
No
53 Minutes
Day 3 (Wednesday)
X2 Yoga
No
68 Minutes
Day 4 (Thursday)
Rest or X2 Recovery and Mobility
No
58 Minutes
Day 5 (Friday)
P.A.P. Lower
No
63 Minutes
Day 6 (Saturday)
P.A.P. Upper
No
53 Minutes
Day 7 (Sunday)
Rest or X2 Recovery and Mobility
No
58 Minutes

What Does P.A.P Stand for in the P.A.P Upper and P.A.P Lower Workouts?

P.A.P. stands for Post-Activation Potentiation. Basically, this means incorporating explosive movements after heavy resistance training.

This type of training has proven to be effective in maximizing performance of explosive-based activities like jumping, throwing, sprinting and weightlifting.

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What Equipment Will you Need for P90X2?

The equipment in P90X2 is very different than in the original P90X. If you have already done P90X, you will continue to use your pull-up bar, weights, resistance band (if you don't have a pull-up bar or weights), yoga mat, and yoga block.

Though they talk a lot about being able to do the workouts even when you're traveling with just the resistance band and a hand towel, I recommend buying some if not all of the equipment.

Don't forget to your P90X workout or log sheets, or the app. It's important track your workouts so you know where you need to go next! Here's what you will need to begin P90X2:

Required Equipment for P90X2

  • P90X2 DVDs and Nutrition Guide
  • Resistance Band or Weights

Highly Recommended Equipment for P90X2

  • Copies of the workout sheets or the app to record your progress. I keep a three ringed binder with all of my P90X workout sheets.
  • Foam roller or RumbleRoller: This is my favorite addition to the workout. I had never used the foam roller before and I'm officially addicted. It is an amazing tool for working out kinks in your muscles and relieving muscular pain and tightness. The Rumble Roller is a more intense roller with nodules that act like a masseuse's thumbs and it comes in differing levels of firmness depending on your needs. Either roller works, and both are recommended.
  • Stability ball: Although this takes up a lot of room in your workout area, it's a great tool that helps work your core and is a key part of the warm-up and cool-down portions of P90X2.
  • Pull-up bar: There are only two exercises that you need the pull-up bar for in the first phase, however, you will need it again in the following phases. You can use the resistance band for these exercises if you don't want to buy the pull-up bar.
  • Yoga mat: If you don't have a yoga mat, they are inexpensive and great to have for many parts of the workout. It's not just for yoga!
  • Yoga block: If you aren't that flexible, the yoga block is a great tool. Personally, I don't need the yoga block, but my husband wouldn't be able to do the yoga workout as well without it.
  • Medicine balls: The medicine balls are great, but if you are trying to cut back on the equipment, you could do without them and use weights in their place. There are a few exercises where you do push-ups on top of the medicine balls, which is incredibly hard! Beachbody recommends two medicine balls per person, but there is one exercise in which each person uses four medicine balls (push-ups with your hands and feet on the medicine balls.)
  • Powerstands: I really don't think these are needed, but they were designed by Tony Horton himself, so of course they come recommended and are used in the workouts
  • Plyometric stand or step stool: Any solid surface that you can step up on will work.

P90X vs. P90X2

We've done both P90X and P90X2, and personally, I'm partial to P90X2. Here's why:

  • For women, there is more core work and less straight lifting.
  • You are working the whole body rather than just one muscle group, e.g., biceps.
  • There is more flexibility in the scheduling (you can take more time in the Foundation Phase, for example).
  • For men, you still get the lifting in the P.A.P Phases.
  • YogaX is a lot shorter in P90X2. The other yoga was too long and difficult to do if you had time restraints.
  • I feel like my entire body is more sore and taxed from P90X2, which in my mind is a good thing!
  • Less pushups and pullups, but more plank and plyometric exercises.

If you haven't done P90X, I would recommend doing one 90-day round before doing P90X2. You will be in phenomenal shape after the 180 days! It really is the best DVD workout program out there!

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P90X or P90X2 vs. Insanity

Insanity is an entirely different workout. It is mostly cardio and plyometrics and has no weight training, which can be appealing for some women. My husband and I combined P90X with Insanity before we started P90X2 and we really enjoyed it.

We combined them by substituting Insanity on the cardio and yoga days of P90X, which allowed us to benefit from the cardio of Insanity and the strengthening of P90X.

Personally, I prefer a program that combines weight training with cardio and feel that P90X2 does the best job of this. I also add in a running day on one of the stretch days which I find helps me achieve my cardio goals.

Have you tried P90X2?

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    • Robin profile image
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      Robin Edmondson 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks for the comment, Kitty. I'm glad it worked for you. I bet you'd like P90X2. I think it's a better workout for women with a lot of focus on core.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Author Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

      I did the first P90X routine with the schedule and diet and all...lost 15 pounds in 3 months! But...sadly, I've fallen out of it. However, if you follow the rules you'll be looking and feeling great in no time. Great hub!

    • Robin profile image
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      Robin Edmondson 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Walking the dogs is great exercise - especially if you can find a few hills to climb! Since going back to work it has been more difficult going to the gym and we can't walk or run together in the morning because of the kids. We have quite the setup in our garage with four of us (two of our neighbors have joined us) working out at 6:00am. I have either played sports or worked out my entire life and I really like this program. It's hard though, and if you haven't worked out very much, it probably wouldn't be the best starter program. Thanks for the comment, Rebecca!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      A new one on me, sounds like an innovative new way to work out and be athletic. Good for you and your family for having such a rigorous fitness routine! I need to do more than just walking the dogs. Thanks for the motivation!

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