Anyone who's seen an infomercial lately has likely heard of the workout called P90X. Online forums discuss its merits, gym rats report being reduced to Jell-O after workouts, and Internet ad copy promises "sculpted muscles" and "the body you've always wanted." Even senators in Washington are using it [source: Gavin].
In fact, so many people are trying P90X that it has become a $400 million a year business [source: Martin].
So what is it? Developed by fitness trainer Tony Horton, P90X is based on an exercise philosophy called "muscle confusion." This is the practice of constantly switching forms of exercise so muscles never fully acclimate. P90X consists of a rotation of a dozen exercises, none requiring anything more than a 6-foot-by-6-foot space, a pull-up bar, and some dumbbells or resistance bands.
People who order the P90X system receive (among other things, such as a fitness guide and a workout calendar) 12 DVDs containing videos depicting a particular workout.
One DVD features exercises for the chest and back, while another features a shoulder and arms workout. Other DVDs focus on different body parts or workouts, such as cardio exercises and yoga.
The P90X routine calls for exercise six days a week, for 13 weeks. In return, the consumer is all but promised shredded abs. This can be a pretty radical change in lifestyle for a person watching late-night infomercials.
But it's not all about exercise -- there's an accompanying dietary component as well. This is the P90X Diet, and in this article we'll discuss how the P90X Diet works, plus its drawbacks. To get started, see the next section.