P90X vs P90X3

Hey everyone and welcome to my P90x vs P90x3 comparison review. A little bit about myself: I am a certified personal trainer through NASM, hold a bachelors degree in exercise science and am an active beach body coach! My biggest passion is fitness and helping those around me achieve their health and fitness goals as well.

I have been getting a lot of different questions about the various P90x series and their differences. These series were not made to follow any particular order. It is not completely necessary to go from P90x to P90x2 to P90x3. The one you should choose all depends on what types of goals you have in mind. Although P90x2 was harder than the original P90x, P90x3 takes a step down in terms of overall intensity. That does not mean you cannot get just as good results with it and I’ll show you why in a second. By the end of this you should have a better idea of which one would be better for you. Get right into my P90x vs P90x3 article!

If you want to learn a little bit more about each specific program check out the P90x review as well as my P90x3 full review. If you like this comparison article you might also like my Insanity vs P90x comparison article.

P90x vs P90x3: what are the differences?

P90x is meant to tone and burn fat in a whole hour, whereas P90x3 adds stabilization to the mix and only lasts a half hour.  The differences between both programs depend on your goals. Both of them are great at-home workout products. Either P90x or P90x3 will change your body for the better.

Check out the chart below to check out the major differences between P90x and P90x3:

Program length90 days90 days
Number of workouts12 workouts16 workouts
Average length of workoutsClose to one hour30 minutes
InstructorTony HortonTony Horton
Style of trainingFunctional training mixed with traditional resistance trainingFunctional full body resistance training
Recommended fitness levelIntermediate/advancedIntermediate - just because the workouts are shorter
Muscle building/toning?BothBoth
Weight loss?YesYes
Recommended/required equipmentAdjustable dumbbells, resistance bands, pull-up bar and floor matAdjustable dumbbells, resistance bands, pull-up bar and floor mat
Does it work with shakeology?YesYes
Price$119.85 for the P90X base Kit
Check out the P90X base kit here
$269.70 for the P90X Deluxe kit
Check out the P90X Deluxe kit here
$329.55 for the P90X Ultimate kit
Check out the P90X Ultimate kit here
$205 for the P90X challenge pack
Check out the P90X challenge pack here
$119.85 for the P90x3 base Kit
Check out the P90x3 base kit here
$239.70 for the P90x3 Deluxe kit
Check out the P90x3 Deluxe kit here
$329.55 for the P90x3 Ultimate kit
Check out the P90x3 Ultimate kit here
$205 for the P90x3 challenge pack
Check out the P90x3 challenge pack here

The biggest three tips in order to be successful with either program.

  1. Purchase either program with a challenge pack. The clients of mine that go through either program on shakeology see significantly better results than those who don’t.
  2. Make sure to sign up with me Tyler Read as your coach (and certified personal trainer) otherwise you will get assigned a random coach that is probably not as qualified, and might not even contact you. My coach ID is 1339221. I will help you on your reach your goals and provide great motivation!
  3. Get beach body on demand instead of DVD packages. If I had this when I first started using P90x it would’ve saved me so much money overall over the last 12 years. No more worrying about scratched DVDs or bringing DVDs with you. Also, most people don’t know which program to start out with (and frequently choose the wrong one),  You have access to all of them with beachbody on demand! You have to purchase the equipment for the program separately.

P90x vs P90x3: Overview

The original P90x overview

All of the P90x programs lasts 90 days long. That is what the 90 stands for in the name. Overall it is 12 workouts spread across 12 different DVDs. It is based off the principal muscle confusion that will help you push past plateaus in order to achieve the body that you want. It is meant to switch up the exercises to keep your body guessing and adapting. You will be doing the original P90x six days a week for the entire three months.

And just like the majority of at-home workout products, the main goal is to lose weight and body fat. The instructor for all of the P90x series is Tony Horton. Tony is extremely ripped and in shape especially for his age. He is one of my favorite fitness instructors overall and maybe only Shaun T of the insanity program, Max 30 and T25 is better than him in my opinion. To get a better idea of the P90x program you can check out my P90x calendar here!

There are four different packages that are available for the original P90x. Follow the links to find out a little bit more in information about each package. You can also get the programs on Amazon.com, but remember that I will not become your personal coach compared to if you bought it from the beachbody site using my coach ID! Amazon is a great place to read ton of reviews though.

  1. The base kit includes all 12 workouts (with two bonus workouts), a three phase nutrition plan,  a fitness guide, how to bring it video, a 90 day calendar, online support  as well is a 90 day moneyback guarantee.
  2. The deluxe package includes everything that the base package did with the addition of a chin up bar, program grade jump mat, one month of beach body performance recover (postworkout drink) and three levels of resistance bands.
  3. The ultimate package includes all of that as well as chin-ups Max (resistance bands that help assist pull-ups), Tony Horton’s power stands and three additional one-on-one advanced workouts.
  4. The challenge pack option combines shakeology nutrition with the P90x workouts (highly recommended).

P90x3 overview

Just like all of the other P90x series, P90x3 is also a 90 day program. The number three in the name not only represents the third workout series of P90x, it also stands for 30 min. Instead of the grueling hour-long workouts that were performed in the first and second installments of P90x, all of the P90x3 workouts hover around 30 min. long. Although some people might be thinking that this should be a walk in the park compared to the first and second programs, you should think twice. Although they were only 30 min. long, the intensity is very high and I guarantee you will be soaked in sweat by the end.

Just like the first two, P90x3 is a huge combination of different types of exercise such as yoga, mixed martial arts, Pilates, plyometrics, resistance training as well as cardiovascular training. Instead of containing 12 different workouts, the third installment contains 16 different workouts. You can Check out the full P90x3 calendar here to see all the workouts.

Just like and P90x, there are four different packages to choose from in P90x3. Let’s go over them. If you want to learn more click on the links.

  1. The base package includes the 16 primary workouts as well as the one bonus workout. You also get six free gifts which are the fitness guide, nutrition guide, workout calendar, how to accelerate DVD, resistance bands and 24 hour support. It also comes with a 90 day moneyback guarantee.
  2. The deluxe package includes everything that the base package did with three additional workouts (so 20 total), 3 different resistance bands, and a one month supply of beach body performance energizes, which is basically a pre-workout.
  3. The ultimate package includes everything that the deluxe package did as well as  a beach body jump mat, beach body performance recovery (post workout drink), a quality chin up bar and the chin up Max (resistance bands to assist pull-ups).
  4. The last option is the P90x3 challenge pack which combines shakeology nutrition with P90x3.

P90x vs P90x3: who are they meant for?

Let’s just start off by saying that neither one of these programs is easy. If you have been away from exercise for a long time, I would actually try and use a different workout program that either one of these two (maybe Cize or 21 day fix) to ease you into exercise. That being said, overall the original P90x is a little bit more challenging just because of the fact that the workouts are longer. This does not mean it is more intense per minute, it is just overall more exhausting. You will see fantastic weight loss results from both P90x and P90x3. They both have great diet plans to follow and Tony is fantastic in both of them.

The real thing comes down to time. Since all of the workouts in P90x3 last almost exactly 30 min. long, it is a lot easier for people that have busy schedules. And to be honest, in terms of motivation and consistency, it is easier to convince yourself to do 30 min. of exercise rather than one hour. If you have trouble getting yourself to go to the gym or to go on the run with your friend, P90x3 might be a better option for you.

If you are extremely overweight, have not worked out in the long time or have joint problems or are post rehab, neither of these exercise programs is probably the best to start with. I would suggest something a little bit less impactful in that focuses purely on weight loss at first.

One thing that I think the original P90x focuses on more is resistance training. There are more push-ups and pull-ups involved then in the original P90x. Although both will help you tone up muscles, the original P90x helps promote muscle growth a little bit more than the third or even second P90x.

P90x vs P90x3 results and overall quality

Both of these workout programs will give you a fantastic results especially if you are looking to lose weight and tone up. In terms of the overall quality of the workouts, both will leave you completely soaked and will burn a ton of calories. I do however believe that the quality of the exercises, and the way the routines flow is better in P90x3. It just makes sense because the original P90x came out close to 12 years ago. They have had time to make some improvements as they came out with newer routines.

The P90x vs P90x3 results that you will likely obtain will be similar if you have never done either one. I believe this is true because it is difficult to push yourself as hard as you can for a full hour. You can on the other hand push yourself as hard as you can for a full half an hour. There are studies that show that 30 min. of exercise can be as good as one hour. I think the original P90x is a good program to move up to after you finish P90x3.

P90x vs P90x3: Differences in the diet programs

Who Has a Better Nutrition Plan, P90x or P90x3? We all know that nutrition is more than half of the battle when it comes to getting into shape, losing weight and shaping the body that you want. Both programs will help you calculate how many calories you need every day while on the program. They do this by calculating your basal metabolic rate. Overall both programs will suggest that you eat the same types of foods as well as avoiding the same types. The biggest difference between these two programs is the recipes that they provide you. Both provide you with easy to make recipes that taste decent as well.

Both programs have worked significantly better for my clients that combine them with shakeology. This is the challenge pack option. If you do not know what shakeology is check out my review here for my article on how it works here.

P90x vs P90x3: equipment that is required

Just like the nutrition guide provided, the overall equipment that is needed for both P90x and P90x3 are very similar. Here is what you will need:

  • Either dumbbells or resistance bands. I recommend investing in a good pair of adjustable dumbbells because it will be very helpful for a lot of different at-home workouts.
  • A pull-up bar to fit in a doorframe
  • A comfortable workouts mat for floor exercises. Trust me you don’t want to be doing some of these things on hardwood.

That is all of the essentials to do either P90x3 or P90x. Although these are the recommended pieces of equipment, if you really want to you could get away with just a resistance bands or dumbbells. This is especially true for P90x3. In terms of equipment that is absolutely needed, you need the most for P90x2 and then P90x and the least for P90x3.

P90x vs P90x3 conclusion: price and overall value

I hope my P90x vs P90x3 comparison article helps clear things up so you can make the best decision for which one is best for you. My overall recommendation is to get beachbody on demand challenge pack and get the equipment for the program you would like separately. If you decide to go with either one of these programs use one of the links below to make me (a personal trainer) your personal beach body coach! Or if you decide to wait until later, you can still make me your coach by using my Coach ID number:1339221 when you sign up. Otherwise you will be assigned a random coach. I will make sure that you are successful! Let’s go over the different packages and prices once again.

In terms of price, both can be purchased from the beach body website (the cheapest place to buy them) for approximately $120. Let’s go over the prices of the packages were more time


  1. P90x base package costs $119.85
  2. The P90x deluxe package costs $269.70
  3. The P90x ultimate package costs $329.55
  4. The P90x challenge pack cost $205


  1. P90x3 base package costs $119.85
  2. The P90x3 deluxe package costs $269.70
  3. The P90x3 ultimate package costs $329.55
  4. The P90x3 challenge pack cost $205

For all of these packages you have the option to do three separate payments of $40 as well. Don’t hesitate, get out there and start making healthy changes so that you can achieve the body that you deserve!

Well this concludes my P90x vs P90x3 comparison article everyone. I hope I helped break down the differences between the two so that your decision can be easier. Both programs will show you fantastic results but if you are just getting back and exercise I suggest P90x3 over the original.

Like I tell all of my other clients of personal training, the hardest thing about exercise is is simply getting started! Once you get going it is a lot easier build momentum and reach your goals! Your results will keep you motivated! The worst thing to do is freeze up and not choose a routine. Get Started today so that you can start seeing the results that you desire tomorrow!

If you want to wait before you purchase any program, you can still sign up for the free beachbody account to get community support, schedule and log your workouts as well as track your progress all for free. And you still get all of the benefits of having your own personal coach! Just make sure to add me (Tyler Read) using my coach ID number 1339221 in the coach referral section. Then we will get started together so you can reach your fitness goals! Here is the link to the free team beachbody account.

If you like this comparison article you might like some of my other P90x comparison articles as well. Check these out: Body beast vs p90xP90X vs P90X2 and max workouts vs p90x.

I also have some comparison articles with P90x3 that you might enjoy: Insanity max 30 vs p90x321 day fix vs p90x3 and P90X2 vs P90X3. Enjoy!

You can also see the individual workout calendars for p90x3 on my site. Here is the Classic p90x3 calendar, the lean p90x3 calendar and the mass p90x3 calendar.

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