Workout Review: Should I Try P90X before OCS?

What is P90X?

P90X is an extremely popular 90-day DVD workout program by the ageless, irrepressible Tony Horton. It consists of hour-long workouts emphasizing bodyweight exercises, pullups, circuit-style workouts, dumbbells, and many, many ab workouts. If you haven’t heard about it, check out reviews on Amazon or Google, or just stop living under that rock.

P90X Ads
You can read some more in-depth reviews on Amazon by clicking the banner photo

The Good

P90X is not easy per se, but it is a simple workout routine to follow. All you really need is a pullup bar, some resistance bands or dumbbells, and a TV or computer (or iPad…basically a screen) and some floor space. There is no gym membership, travel, or expensive equipment to buy. With the convenience of the program, your probability of sticking to it is greatly increased.

Since Tony Horton and Co. have designed each and every day’s workout, you don’t have to worry about time and stress planning your own routine. He bases his constantly varied routine on the much-hyped “muscle confusion” principle which is endlessly praised on their late-night commercials. Just visit Youtube to get a taste.

P90X is a full-body workout emphasizing bodyweight exercises like much of the routines at OCS. Most of it transfers well to the PT there, especially the ab workouts, pushups and pullup routines. The Stretching and Yoga workouts are extremely valuable for recovery and injury-proofing before OCS, and have been praised on the blog before.

If you’re trying to lose fat or weight before OCS, this is a good program of not just workouts but also some complementary nutrition advice.

The Bad

P90X may be expensive for the struggling college kid ($140 new, but actually much cheaper used) and therefore out of your reach.

While hitting the bodyweight exercises well, P90X doesn’t mimic OCS workouts perfectly. Running (especially in boots), carrying very heavy packs, and longer periods of constant exertion without breaks are not well represented.

P90X doesn’t have hills like Quantico will.

Although the “fat-burning” and cardio aspects of the workout are famous, if you don’t need to lose weight, P90X is not going to help you build a significant amount of muscle through strength-training.

The Bottom Line: Is P90X a Good Preparation Workout for OCS?

If you’re not sure how you should be working out, or just would like some structure, P90X is a pretty good 80 percent solution. You can reach a high level of fitness, although your body will still be shocked by a few components of OCS and TBS, such as the weight-bearing humps in boots or longer runs.

If you are skinny and have good cardio already, your goals should be to increase strength for humps, upper body strength for all the pushing and pulling, and to incorporate some injury-proofing to your routine. P90X isn’t the best workout, but its benefits of structure and simplicity may be enough for you to give it a try.

If you added some running in boots and some practice humps with a pack, P90X could be a great pre-OCS workout routine.


Leave a Reply