Home / Fitness Training Programs / What is the Difference Between Tony Horton’s Power 90, P90X, and P90 Extreme?

What is the Difference Between Tony Horton’s Power 90, P90X, and P90 Extreme?

The following question and answer offers support for those enjoying the benefits of the Tony Horton 10 Minute Trainer workout.

After a period of time, what is the next exercise program of Tony’s that will to take your fitness level to the next step?

(If you are not familiar with Tony’s workouts, please jump to the bottom of the page for related articles and learn more.)

The Difference Between P90 and P90X

Question: I enjoying working out at home, and I’m a regular user of the Tony Horton 10 minute trainer.

I’m looking to increase the intensity and can’t decide what to do next.

What is the difference between P90 series and P90X?

Do I need to gradually work up to P90X?

Carol Bardelli, Team Beach Body Coach: Thank you for this great question!

Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer is a great beginner program for anyone looking to jump start their fitness goals.

As with any exercise program, it’s important to change your workouts as your fitness increases. Your body adapts to exercise.

If you don’t incorporate new exercise routines your body will stop adapting. This little known phenomenon will stop your progress in its tracks.

Power 90X is designed to constantly challenge your body and accelerate fitness. But it is designed for people with at least an intermediate fitness level.

If you feel you’re not ready for an extreme fitness program like P90X, Tony Horton’s original Power 90 is geared for you.

pic-tony-horton-power-90Power 90 is often confused with Power 90X. These two programs are very different. Power 90X, and Power 90X Plus, are extreme in home boot camp programs.

Power 90 is a less intense fitness system designed for those at beginner and intermediate fitness levels. Power 90 includes six fun and easy cardio and body-sculpting workouts.

Tony Horton designed Power 90 on his exclusive Sectional Progression training technique. Every movement within this system targets a specific zone for maximum fat burning and toning.

In as little as 30 minutes a day you will increase your fitness, slim down, and get toned fast. When you’re ready, you can graduate to Power 90X and Power 90X Plus.

Best of luck with your fitness goals!

Question: How do you know which program to go with? I am 34, 5′-10″, 152lbs.

The last thing I want to do is lose weight. I am very slim with a high metabolism. I am considering trying this program but unsure if this was meant for skinny guys! Would any of these programs work for me and if so, which one?

Carol Bardelli, Team Beach Body Coach: You bring up an important issue in choosing a fitness program that fits your personal needs. Your body type and metabolism play a crucial role in choosing your exercise regimen.

Results depend on matching your body type and metabolism to a program that supports your goals.

Ectomorph Body Types

pic-ectomorph-male It appears that with your fast metabolism and slender frame, you’re an ectomorph. This means you’re not naturally muscular, and what’s referred to in bodybuilding as a hard gainer. You’ll have to work harder than the average Joe to gain every ounce of muscle.

Power 90X is designed for skinny guys too, and can show you step by step how to build muscle. Tony Horton was a 98 pound weakling. Yet he went on to develop an outstanding physique. Power 90X was born out of Tony’s knowledge on how to build the body you want.

The Power 90X Classic program, outlined in the Power 90X guidebook, will suit your goals. You can limit or even skip the cardio portion of the program as you do not need to burn fat. You should concentrate on the resistance workouts, being sure to lift as heavy as possible. To build muscle the P90X workout guide calls for 8 to 12 repetitions of weights heavy enough that you reach failure on most sets. This pushes your muscles to the limit and stimulates growth.

The P90X nutrition guide will instruct you to eat more calories and protein than someone whose goal is fat loss. You need to eat to support muscle growth. Be sure to also get adequate sleep, as this is when muscle is actually built.

Endomorph Body Types

pic-endomorph-maleAt the other end of the spectrum, someone who’s an endomorph is typically round and soft, and often has a slow metabolism.

Endomorphs also have under developed muscles and need to concentrate on building muscle mass. Because they typically gain body fat easily they need to choose a program like Power 90X Lean that supports fat loss.

They will combine cardio workouts with resistance workouts to build muscle and burn fat. Building muscle will increase their metabolic rate and help burn fat. If they’re very overweight and out of shape, they can start with an easier beginners program like Kathy Smith’s Project You.

Power 90X is geared to allow anyone to tailor the system to their needs. Whether you’re overweight and want to burn fat, or you’re thin and need to gain muscle, Power 90X is designed to help you achieve your fitness and physique goals.

Best of luck!

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20 comments

  1. Hi, I’m a new mom to my 15 month old son and I breastfed him until he turned a year old. I still have a soft stomach and pouch. So I wonder if the 10 minute workout could be used as a post-natal exercise to help me get back to my pre-pregnancy shape. I already had my OBS/GYN doctor approve me to workout when my son was 6 months old. Thank for your time.

  2. I would like to know which exercise product would be recommended for me. I am just starting to exercise. I was an athlete in High School. I am 40 years old, 5’6″, currently weigh 235 pounds, and have Chondromalacia in both knees. Thanks for your help.

  3. Hi Christie,

    Glad to hear you’re ready to get back in shape. The optimal time for a new mom to start working out is soon after her doctor clears her for exercise. Many women can start exercising after their six week post natal exam. But it’s never to late to get started on the journey back to your pre-pregnancy shape. Always consult your doctor before starting any program.

    Regular exercise has many benefits beyond your goal of just getting fit again. Exercise increases energy levels, improves brain function, decreases stress, improves self image, and boosts self esteem. Exercise also improves quality of sleep, which is vital to new parents. Studies suggest exercise prevents many diseases including breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Working out really can be a cure for what ails you.

    Post natal issues like loss of muscle tone or loose skin on your stomach are common. Recovery depends on heredity, as well as proper diet and exercise. Tony Horton’s 10 minute Trainer workouts are a great place to start. Tony has designed 10 Minute Trainer to maximize fitness result in the least amount of time. Using compound movements, Tony’s “Super Stacking” exercises are like multi tasking for your muscles.

    Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer system fits into a new mother’s busy schedule. You can easily tailor the workouts to your lifestyle by doing just one, or combining multiple 10 minutes workouts for faster results. Core training is built into the 10 Minute Trainer workouts. You can expect to achieve your best abdominals possible if you follow this system. Be sure to incorporate Tony’s nutrition tips into your diet for optimal results.

    Best of luck with your goals!

  4. Hi Julie,

    First, you should consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program. Because you have Chondromalacia patella, also known as “Runner’s Knee,” you need medical clearance. That taken into consideration, Beachbody offers many exercise products that can fit your rehabilitation needs.

    Chondromalacia is a common cause of knee pain. This condition usually affects young, healthy athletes, and you likely developed it during your high school athletic phase. It’s caused by irritation of the undersurface of the kneecap. This is due to the high impact of activities like running.

    The most common treatment of runner’s knee is resting the joint, and adhering to a prescribed physical therapy program. This means if your doctor gives you the okay, you can still exercise even if you suffer some residual pain. Most orthopedic conditions, including degenerative disorders like arthritis, benefit from appropriate exercise.

    Due to your knee condition and present weight, you should choose low impact activities like swimming, walking, and resistance training. If you can’t do leg exercises like squats or lunges, you can still improve your muscle strength with modified leg exercises, and upper body workouts.

    Low impact exercises, and instructions on modifying exercises, are provided in most Beachbody fitness systems. Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer offers brief, highly effective workouts that fit into any schedule. Yoga Booty Ballet combines gentle yoga exercises with low impact dancing. Kathy Smith’s Project You is geared specifically for people needing to lose weight. Kathy can guide you to your fitness goals and a healthy weight loss diet while making the journey enjoyable.

    Best of luck with your goals!

  5. I am considering purchasing Tony’s program. I feel I need a change from the firm tapes I presently do. I have lost close to 60 lbs. in the last year and a half and workout everyday. I am looking for guidance as to what program to look into. I only have time to commit 30 to 45 mins. a day. I was considering the power 90 program and see now that there is a power 90 master series along with the power half hour. I do like to work total body and am looking more for weight training than cardio. the p90X I could probably do but don’t have that kind of time. Please advise and thanks

  6. Hi Denise,

    Congratulations on your weight loss. Keep up the good work!

    While all of the Beachbody products are of the highest quality, Tony Horton’s Power 90X stands out as unique. Power 90X is an in home boot camp designed to take your fitness to the next level.

    The Firm has great products, but they are designed chiefly with women in mind. Tony Horton’s exercise systems are excellent for both sexes. While The Firm uses light weights combined by aerobics, Power 90X uses the science of Muscle confusion. Muscle confusion, unlike repeating the same routine over and over, accelerates your results. By constantly introducing new moves and routines into your workouts, your body never plateaus.

    Repeating any workout, including The Firm, to the exclusion of other exercise routines or activities leads to diminishing results. You end up working hard to stay at the same fitness level. Power 90X solves this common phenomenon. By changing up your routines on a regular basis, your fitness level soars.

    Most of the Power 90X workouts are under an hour, several are about 45 minutes. And there’s never anything boring about working out with Tony and the gang. They make you laugh along with making you sweat. Before you know it, times up. You’re finished with your workout and you’re that much closer to the beach body you want and deserve.

    Do the Power 90X routines, eat according to the P90X nutrition guide, and in 90 days you’ll be fit beyond your wildest dreams. Even if you have to find an extra 15 to 30 minutes in your day, it will be well worth the extra time and effort.

    Best of luck with your goals!

  7. I have three kids under three, my youngest being 7 months. I have become overweight. I need to lose 50 lbs. I have P90x, but have read that you shouldn’t do that if you have a lot of weight to lose. Should I be doing something different?

  8. Hi Danielle,

    Congratulations on deciding to get fit and healthy.

    While it’s a challenge to lose weight and exercise with young children to care for, it is doable. Exercise programs like Power 90X are designed specifically for in home use. This means your lifestyle and exercise plan can dovetail and work well together.

    Other men and women have lost 50 pounds or more using Power 90X. Start with the P90X fitness test and see if you can do the minimum amount of fitness moves required to start. Power 90X is fully customizable and you can adapt any and all exercises to fit you present fitness level. Once you begin, you will only get stronger and fitter.

    If you find you aren’t ready for Power 90X, start an exercise program for beginners like Kathy Smith’s Project You, also available through Beachbody. When you’ve lost some weight and gained fitness you can move on to Power 90X. It’s important to change routines often as you get fitter or you will hit a fitness and weight loss plateau. Power 90X has plateau prevention built in due to the variety and amount of workouts in the system.

    Remember, it’s vitally important to stick to a sound nutrition plan that supports your fitness and weight loss goals. You can follow the Power 90X eating plan regardless of what exercise system or fitness pursuits you choose. Eating right is more than half the battle in achieving a fit and healthy body.

    Best of luck!

  9. I am a 33 year old mom of two young boys and am currently 50 pounds overweight. I have not exercised in years. My past exercise routine consisted of walking 4 miles a day and using the “step”. I lost about 40 pounds doing this 12 years ago. Of course, marriage and two kids have brought me back up to my high school weight plus 10 pounds. I have a lot of endurance and am a relatively “strong” person, however I have never been “athletic” and lack coordination to the do the moves in P90X. I bought the program because of the different DVDs that are available. I do understand the plateaus that you go through and was very excited about the variety of the of these DVDs. Unfortunately, I do not think I am capable of working out with these DVDs yet. In addition, I do not have much time also. I would like to use the treadmill also. I need to know for my workout needs which would be better, the 10 minute workout, as it seems this may be best to go along with the treadmill, or the P90 program. I am looking for variety to get through plateaus, moves that I am capable of doing and something I can do with the time that I have available. So I need your opinion, again, which would be a better fit for me, the “10 minute workout” or the “P90” program. Thank you.

  10. Hi Audra, congratulations on deciding it get fit and healthy.

    Power 90X has been used by people who had a considerable amount of weight to lose. But you say you haven’t worked out in years, so Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer would suit you better. It’s designed for people who are just beginning their fitness journey. And it’s a real time saver for busy moms like you.

    Once you lose some weight, and gain strength and fitness, you can graduate to Power 90X. Fitness should be an ongoing process throughout your life and not a quick fix. Changing your fitness routines often is what prevents plateaus and speeds your progress. Power 90X is specifically designed to do just that.

    While walking and step aerobics are good cardio-vascular exercises, you need to add resistance training to your routine. Muscles atrophy when not challenged by strength training and this means you’ll have a slower metabolism. Both Power 90X and Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer combine resistance training and aerobic exercise. This gets you fit faster and saves time.

    It’s not necessary to be “athletic” to exercise. Power 90X and Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer allow you to modify the exercises to fit your present fitness level. For example, while doing squats or lunges you can hold on to a chair or a wall.

    Remember to include resistance training in your workouts at least twice a week to build muscle which burns fat. You won’t get bulky, women who do resistance training build sleek, sexy muscle. Aerobics alone won’t super charge your fat burning the way Power 90X or 10 Minute Trainer will do.

    Best of luck!

  11. I would like to know if P90x really would work for me? Like with all the internet programs out there, do I need to do it every day as I am a truck-driver an not home everyday? Also I broke ankle. My ankle had a plate put on one side and four screws on the other and it has limited mobility. Will P90x still work for me as I would like to have abs and a nice body?

  12. I just started Power 90 yesterday. I looked at both options, Power 90 and P90X. After watching a few of the P90X videos, I realized that there was no way I could cut it doing P90X. I’m going to do Power 90 for the first 30 days, then access my progress. If I think I’ve progressed enough I will forgo the final 60 days of Power 90 and go straight to P90X. If I’m not ready, I will stick with the Power 90 until day 60, then re-access.

  13. Hi Keith.

    Like many sound nutrition and exercise programs, Power 90X will work if you follow the program. Power 90X was originally designed to get already fit people super fit. But many people beginning and intermediate levels have successfully used P90X to achieve their fitness and weight loss goals.

    Unlike many diet and exercise programs that promise fitness in minutes a day, Power 90X is honest. Tony Horton doesn’t use the slogan “Bring it” for no reason. Power 90X is demanding. You can achieve great heights of fitness, but you will have to work hard. Like Tony Horton says, “This isn’t your mama’s workout.”

    How much time you devote to working out directly reflects on the results you’ll get. If you work out less and do not stick to the Power 90X nutrition plan, you will achieve less satisfactory results. Most of the P90X workouts are under an hour. Surely an hour a day is not to much to sacrifice for a fit and healthy body.

    As for limited mobility and other health issues, always consult your physician before starting any fitness and diet program. Power 90X exercises can be modified, and some skipped all together. Tony Horton shattered his knee while skiing, yet he went on to design Power 90X. Many people with physical challenges simply modify the more difficult moves in P90X.

    Power 90x will work for you as long as you work the program. As for nice abs, dieting off abdominal fat is more important than doing ab exercises. You can have hard abdominal muscles, but if they’re covered in body fat they won’t show.

    Best of luck with your goals!

  14. Hello I’m 17 years old, and I’m really over weight. I want to lose weight, and I have already started a new diet. My question is if P90X will help me loose weight faster, and if it will help tone excess skin resulting from loosing so much weight, thanks.

  15. Hi, I just purchased the P90 series to lose some weight. I am stuck in an endomorph body; I’m 29, 5’9 and around 260. My question is should I incorporate some extra weight training into the P90 workout? I was thinking 3-4 sets of bench press, row or pull ups and squat or lunge. Is that too much for the program?

  16. Hi two years ago, I lost like thirty pounds pretty fast and now the skin on my abdominal area is stretchy. I recently started doing P90x, and I’m on week two. I was wondering if P90x will help tighten up the stretchy skin from losing weight on my abdominal area?

  17. What happens after I finish P90? Is there program to maintain?

  18. I am disabled with lower back problems, nerve damage in my legs, and in need of a left knee replacement. I had my right knee replaced a couple yrs. ago. I am unable to do any jumping, or lifting anything above 10-20 lbs. I am supposed to have surgery also for spinal stensois. Do you think I would be able to do the P90 program?

  19. Hi Carol, I am 5’5″ and weigh 87 Kgs. or 190 pounds. I am a male and now have decided to lose weight and get in shape. I actually had an accident around a year back and stopped exercising altogether. I gained so much weight. Though I won’t say I was slim before my accident. I still was around 78 Kgs. I need to know which program would be good for me p90 or 10 minute trainer. I have a bit of hypertension which the doctor says is due to fat and once I lose weight, my blood pressure would return to normal. Please help me choose one product. Thanks, Josh.

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