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People are attracted to the image of workout systems like P90X.

Its hardcore, no compromises approach appeals to the aspirations in everyone who yearns for a fit body. It causes even the toned, anatomically perfect people on screen to break a serious sweat, so it must be one of the most effective options. And who doesn’t want fast results?

The reality is often what we perceive we need and what we actually need are two very different things.

Claims that anyone can do P90X and that one simply needs to tough it out isn’t typically helpful motivation. In fact, it’s more likely to cause someone to quit than empower them if they aren’t ready for it.

Naturally, any workout should challenge you but if you feel like you’re at the foot of Mt. Everest when you pop in the P90X DVD something is wrong.

On a whim, I bought the USS Enterprise of electric toothbrushes. My teeth are important, I reasoned, therefore I need a state-of-the-art tool.

How wrong I was. Once the post-purchase haze settled I went back to the modest but effective manual brush. Using it felt more comfortable.

It reminded me of a lesson I sometimes forget.

At times the simplest, least expensive equipment fits your individual needs the best.

The same is especially true with fitness.

Part of the appeal of P90X is that it eliminates the need for pricey workout machines or a gym membership. All you need to get started is a chin-up bar, resistance bands or dumbbells, and an exercise mat.

People opt for resistance bands for three main reasons. First, because they’re flexible, accommodating a huge variety of exercises. Second, because they’re lightweight and highly portable. Thirdly, they’re wieldier than free weights to many, making the workout experience more natural.

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When it comes to workout programs people gravitate towards the ones that yield quick results.

P90X promises a ripped body in only 90 days. Of course, everyone is convinced that they’ll be able to keep up the rigorous workouts every day before they get it. However, living up to the commitment is tougher than it seems on paper.

At the end of the day, P90X is a system for people that are already highly active. If you’re like many people, you’re looking to level up your body but aren’t aiming to practically take on the lifestyle of an athlete either. The good news for this group is most P90X alternatives aren’t as physically demanding and they don’t take as much time. Once you master any of these you can always step it up a notch and reach for P90X.

Note that although P90X has been popular for quite some time, it hasn’t quite been replicated yet. Its workouts are not only intense but thorough. It requires 60 to 90 minutes of your time, six days a week.

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Lack of a gym membership is no longer an excuse. It’s time to get off the couch and work off the body fat that has been limiting your self-esteem.

There are more methods than ever to step you through a balanced workout at home. Apps like Nike Training Club and high-tech solutions like Peloton Guide aim to replicate the benefits of working with a personal trainer.

Workout videos may seem like an old hat, but they serve an important purpose. Over the years they evolved into full fitness programs. They replicate the atmosphere of a live fitness class. And it’s helpful to see the exercises executed with great form. Video fitness programs also include extras that make getting started easier, and ensure that beginners are using the right equipment.

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Although the hype has cooled down and many competitors have tried to top it over the years, 90X is as effective as when it was released.

Part of the popularity of P90X can be attributed to the fact you don’t need a gym membership or extensive equipment to do it. You can get outstanding results with a modest collection of gear.

I’ve broken this list of equipment for P90X into two sections. The first is made up of must-own workout gear. The second section breaks down the stuff recommended by Tony Horton that you don’t need to get started. Pick up the absolutely essential equipment before you start the program then add optional gear once you are sure P90X is for you.