Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Filtering by Tag: P90X

P90X2 X2 Core Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

My original video review (January 8th 2012)

Equipment Needed







Welcome to P90X2. X2 Core will more than likely be your first sampling of P90X2, so be ready for core engagement 101! This routine has 17 exercises following a dynamic warmup, coming in at about 56 minutes total run time. Although you may be used to kicking things off with Chest & Back on day of the original P90X schedule, think of day 1 and phase 1 of P90X2 as your practice and training session to prepare you for the strength training found in phase 2.


P90X2 takes the adage that you can't shoot a cannon out of a canoe. What this means is that in order to be a strong, capable athlete who can perform better during your training sessions, not to mention every day life, you need to have a good solid base. Phase 1 of P90X2 is all about starting to build that solid base.

This routine will be very polarizing for many who try it. For those of you who have good core stability and control may actually find this routine "easy" or pointless. However, those of you who are new to core training may find this routine to be very difficult and discouraging. Either way, stick with it, as I am sure this will help you focus on getting better in some way.

I really enjoy the dynamic warmups in P90X2. Sure, they may seem long to some of you, but remember that in order to train dynamically, you must warm up your body appropriately to engage the muscles that will be trained to maximize the potential from the workout.


This routine isn't too bad, but the introduction into P90X2 can and will be very humbling/frustrating for a lot of people. It will take some time to "build-up" to the intensified versions of these exercises.

If you have balance issues or are not engaging your core properly, some of these exercises may seem too easy or far too difficult. Use my video below, as well as the Coaching in the workout itself to focus on modifying exercises so that you can intensify over time.

I am not a big fan of the "X2 Diver" exercise in this routine. Personally, I think it seems a bit out of place in this routine. To have you catch yourself in a push-up position on the very first day of the program seems a bit extreme. I discuss this in my video below, and show a way to modify.


This, along with a lot of the other P90X2 workouts, will actually become more and more difficult the more you do them and the better you get at the exercises. A lot of these exercises have a decent learning curve to them so for example, the first few times you do it, you may only be able to get a couple reps of a specific exercise before you have to modify to finish.

As your skill level increases and you become better at a given exercise, you will then be able to do more repetitions, therefore increasing the intensity of the workout.

This is definitely a different routine than what one may be used to on day 1 of Beachbody's other programs like P90X or even Insanity. This is not a muscle scorching or even a hardcore cardio-esque routine. Instead, it is designed to systematically build up your skill and core strength so that you can maximize your results during Phase 2.

Having said that, this routine is difficult enough in its own ways, especially to folks who are new to this kind of training.

Difficulty: 4/5

Workout Design

All P90X2 workouts have lengthy, dynamic warmups designed to prep the body for the athletic training. I am glad to see Beachbody do away with the rather outdated static stretching found in P90X, for example. Instead, by warming the body up dynamically, you are better prepared to move in a variety of planes athletically and therefore maximize your training.

The workout itself is split up into 17 straight exercises with very little break in between each one.

This routine is not intended to have you laying on the ground doing crunches all day (that idea is also out-dated), nor will it crank your heart rate through the roof, but there are a list of exercises here to get your body used to the idea of engaging the core.

For majority of the people doing this routine, there will be a lot of new and interesting exercises here to keep you interested!

Workout Design: 5/5


  1. Have a towel nearby to ensure that your hands are dry. You will be doing push-ups on stability balls and medicine balls, it is dangerous to do so with wet hands.

  2. Make every single repetition count! This is not a routine designed to go for max reps necessarily, instead, you want to focus on engaging your core and listening to the cues in the workout as well as any tips I can give you in the video below to maximize every single exercise.

  3. Form is king.

  4. If you reach a point where you can do full reps with great form, then don't be afraid of adding extra reps in to increase intensity. Do not rush things, however.


As I said, this is not the most difficult or crushing routine by any stretch of the imagination. However, this routine has its purpose in the P90X2 schedule, and that is so that you can practice properly engaging your core, not to mention working on some of these balance and coordination elements and movement patterns so that you can maximize your results from Phase 2 and 3.

Overall: 8/10

Team Fitness for Life Motivation

The fine folks in our Team Fitness for Life Facebook Challenge Group struck up a conversation the other regarding motivation and what drives us all to keep working out and leading a healthy lifestyle. The responses, in my opinion, were amazing, and really shows not only the diversity of where people are coming from, but also the dedication and the "spark" that so many of us have to work towards our goals - even if those goals are continually changing.

Our group is full of some inspiring people who are staying active and leading healthy lifestyles, and then reaching out to help others in the group with problems or questions they may have, every single day. Join our team today!

*Note* Our Facebook group is closed so only members of the group can see what you post.

The original question posted:

Question for the group, Ive been working out for about a year and a half now doing programs 90% of that time but some days now Its kinda hard to find motivation to workout. SOME DAYS, I just end up not working out because I stall and put it off, but most of the time is fine. My question is for people who have been working out for 1 year plus. How do you stay committed to workout every day and does your workout stay very strict even after this long?

The responses (some quotes are slightly modified to protect identities):

Honestly like you and everyone else I go through waves of motivation. However, without the workouts my core would grow weaker and my back pain would be unbearable. So for me, I workout to move and have freedom without surgery. A battle I seem to be loosing lately, but I will put it off for as long as I can. This group helps a lot to be honest. Many times I come home from work and I don't want to workout, but I see how many do hit their workouts and I push through it. Also my friends on teambeachbody help too.
For me its easy. My life depends upon it. Let that sink in for minute. I let myself go, tired and bored with fitness and for my lack of effort ended up with type 2 diabetes. Its a family tradition. I worked my ass and gut off. Blood sugar is a lot easier this way and I'm on minimum of meds. I found it harder to take time away from training, despite needing it. I have minor complications because it it. Motivation isn't hard for me.
I have periods of losing a little momentum too, most recently, seeing the consequences in the mirror is what got me back on track. I have to change up my routine from time to time to stay focused. I did P90X over a year ago, then went back to running regularly, then when X3 came out, I got into that. This may sound cheesy but sometimes when I'm not feeling the workout I'll go to Pinterest or Tumblr and read motivational quotes, there's usually one quote that triggers inspiration for me.
Like others here, one of the key reasons why I stay motivated is because of a back injury (and subsequent surgery) I had almost 10 years ago now. I constantly remind myself about the pain and anguish I went through by not being fit and when I was injured, I made a promise to myself that once I had my surgery and got better, that I would never let myself get back to a point like that ever again!
Obviously not everyone has had an injury/illness to initially spark their motivation, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it, but you need to find that "spark" inside of you that turns healthy living into a part of your life rather than just something to do with your free time.
You eat, shower, brush your teeth, drive, go to school/work, walk the dog, watch tv, etc. every day because they are part of your day. Schedule in your time to do something to improve yourself every day too. Sure, mostly all of us here use and enjoy Beachbody programs, but ultimately, if you can't stay motivated with them, then find something that you DO like and do it instead. If you don't have a lot of motivation at the time, still keep that time dedicated to improving yourself. Maybe all you do is some stretching, or a long walk, or meditate, but keep your dedicated time to improve yourself.
I used to work with a long-term care pharmacy, so we supplied medical needs to nursing and assisted living homes. I spent quite a bit of time in homes and have seen the unfortunate circumstances many of the residents were in. Sure, many of them were in their 80's and 90's so illness and disease had simply caught up with them, but so many of them were feeble and unable to care for themselves.
I exercise because I don't want to reach a point in my life when I am feeble, sitting in a wheelchair, unable to run/walk/jump and regret not using my most valuable tool (my body) when I had the chance. You are young, don't take your health for granted because it is not going to be there forever!
I just bag the excuses and do what it takes to push play! Some days I don't feel like doing it, but I remind myself that I'll feel better after and I ALWAYS do without fail. Trust me, if it's important enough to you, you WILL find time in your day to do it.
Great topic, & some great reasons above... I have been exercising my whole life... If I don't, I feel terrible !!!!! I'm fat cause I eat too much / simple maths... (But I'm fit & that surprises some people with what I can do) age 41
Find your WHY ?
To put it simply, what motivates me the most is that I don't want to be responsible for my early death. I do not want to be laying on my death bed someday knowing I could have lived a longer, more productive life if I'd only took the time to exercise and eat right. The things that adversely affect my motivation are boredom and unrealistic expectations. I have gone up and down in my weight for most of my life. Either I would try to eat well or exercise, but rarely both at the same time. As a result, I lived in a cycle of weight loss and weight gain, which usually included bursts of exercise that I either got bored of doing or my efforts ended in injury because I didn't know how to exercise properly. 
On January 3, 2010, I weighed 260 lbs. I had sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, I had very few clothes left to wear (my waist was 46"), and my kids reminded me daily that I was fat. Also, on this day, I read the obituaries in the Sunday paper. There were five men, all about the same age as me (plus or minus a couple years), all with big heads like me, and all of them with families like me. And, of course, they were all dead. This was the tipping point for me. It was on this day that I decided to exercise and eat well. 
Over four-and-a-half years later, I continue to do P90X, P90X2, P90X3 and hybrids of those workouts. I incorporate power yoga and stretching several times a week into my workouts along with the resistance routines and do them hard and fast. I am, by far, stronger, more agile, and alert than I have ever been. I think better, feel better, and simply function better when I exercise and eat right.
One other thing, this group touched on this....I find it incredibly rewarding when I "push play" or go ahead with my workout when I least feel like it. Usually the lack of interest beforehand is just on the surface, and a few minutes into the workout, I've rediscovered my focus. Some of my best workouts I started with a lack of interest but finished very strong.
It's so easy to do your daily workout when you're amped up, excited to make improvements in your fitness. But if you can show up on your worst days, when the last thing you want to do is expend that energy, to me that shows commitment. I get a renewed sense of motivation when I can do that.
What keeps me motivated is the great feeling I get after the work outs and being able to share my adventures with everyone here. There are days where I just want to call it quits, but with the support from everyone in this group, it helps to keep me accountable. Plus, I just turned 41 a few weeks ago and I just want to make sure I stay in good health for the long run.
What everyone else has said, "To put it simply, what motivates me the most is that I don't want to be responsible for my early death". I want to be there for my family!!! Another thing that motivates me is pregnancy (I know that sounds funny). Being 7-9 months pregnant and an extra 40 lbs with a sore back, swollen ankles and lack of energy was motivation for me to do something about that when I'm not pregnant. I hated not having the energy to play with my first son the way I wanted to while pregnant with my second, and I hated not feeling "fit". Although the pregnancy was temporary and there are lots of wonderful things about being pregnant, that last trimester was always strong motivation for me to stay active and healthy once it was over.
What a great discussion! I'm 49, and I've been working out solidly for about 15 years. My primary motivation has always been health. I wanted to be healthy for my family's sake, and now that my daughter is older and I'm hoping for grandchildren someday, I want to be able to play with them, be active with them throughout their lives. So many health issues are completely preventable just by working out and eating a healthy diet. And to be perfectly honest, I'm vain!  I love food and wine, my favorite hobby is cooking. So if I'm going to be able to cook gourmet meals on the weekends, AND pair them with the right wine, I better be doing something to balance it out, right?! So being dedicated in my workout schedule keeps me at the weight I want to be. So yeah, vanity! Additionally, with this recent injury I realize just how vital my workouts are to not just my physical health, but my mental health. Not having been able to maintain my normal workout schedule, I find that my stress level has gone through the roof. No doubt some of this is related to the injury and the way it's complicating my life. But the bottom line is that my workouts allow me to deal with the stresses of life, and keep them in their proper place. Like many others have pointed out, figure out YOUR why. And remind yourself of this on those days when you just don't feel like doing it.
What motivates me? This group said it best! 3 years ago I was 260 and I was wearing a CPAP machine to bed. Pressing play was the best decision I ever made.....that and saying "I do" to my wife!
About 4 years ago I decided to make a change. I was a pack a day smoker and it had been drinking way too much, way too regularly, for way too long. My wife and I were discussing having a child and my doctor said in my (then) present state I was unable to have children...and had the lungs and liver of a 55 year old (I was 29 at the time). So, I found myself at a crossroads. Continue down the path I was on and end up with diabetes, liver disease, and emphysema. Or lay down my selfish vices and work on creating myself as the type of father I always wanted. I chose life and quit smoking (one of the hardest things I've ever done), got sober (one of the 2nd hardest things I've ever done), and started pressing play in he early morning hours when the rest of the world is still asleep. 
Fast forward to the present day...sober and smoke free, lungs and liver healing themselves with each doctor visit...and just celebrated my daughter's 3rd birthday. My motivation cycles like everyone else...but I never let my routines get too far away. I know what happens if they do....I've been down that road and I owe my daughter a better image of what's healthy and "normal" than I got from my father. It keeps my mind calm and happy, my body healthy, keeps me sober, and helps me be a better father, husband, friend, worker, son, brother etc.
Motivation is a hard thing to conquer. When I first started exercising again after a long sabbatical I would tell myself, I have to work out. I was so focused on finishing P90X and proving everyone wrong that I forced myself to Bring It. Every day. After 90 days I said, "I feel great! I am going to do P90X+" and so on. What I know is, 3 1/2 years later when I miss a workout my mind is restless and my body is jittery. And I feel like I didn't accomplish anything that day. There isn't a question of having to workout, I just do it because if I don't, I know I will regret it immensely. 
Or to put it simply:
I work out for vanity.
The main motivator for me is that I don't want to go back to how I was 3 years ago. I was extremely out of shape and lazy. Also, my job has certain health and fitness requirements that must be met each year. Yearly medical exam and physical fitness test are a few examples. These things were getting pretty tough for me to pass and were a major stress in my life. I finally had had enough. Life is so much more fulfilling when you're able to be active. Like others said, it's an addiction now. Sometimes, however, I need some extra motivation as it's kind of easy to get bored doing the same routines you've done many times before. Right now, it's running. Something simple that changes up the everyday routine.

Side Arm Balance/Side Plank Progression

Oftentimes, I get asked a question about form or something health/fitness related in my Team Fitness for Life Facebook group or an email from one of my team members. This usually leads to a long, drawn-out response from me, so I generally like to turn my responses into blogs so that I can then share with all of my readers (especially those who may not be on my team yet).

The other day, a member of my team asked about side arm balance form, and what they should be doing to become better at the exercise. Below is a list of "progressions" that can be used to help you build the required leg, hip, and core strength to accomplish such a difficult, yet important movement. These progressions can be applied to side planks, side arm balance push-ups, and glute exercises (like those seen in P90X3's Eccentric Lower, for example).

Here is my explanation on the progression:

Step 1 - The lower leg is bent, knee on the ground. Throughout all of the progressions listed, make sure that you are driving your hips forward, or in this case, I am driving my hips towards the camera by engaging my glutes (squeezing my butt cheeks). Not to the point that my hips are hyper-extended, but to the point where my body is straight. This helps strengthen the hip and knee of the upper leg while using the wider base of support created by the lower leg to maintain balance.

Step 2 - Both feet remain on the ground, but both legs are straight. The feet are staggered to, again, give a wider base of support for balance. This helps to not only strengthen the knees and hips, but will help you increase your spatial awareness (balance). Although your feet are staggered, make sure your hips stay square to the "camera" or perpendicular to the floor. Again, make sure the glutes are engaged, driving your hips forward.

Step 3 - Your feet are now stacked. This will definitely take some practice as your base of support is drastically diminished. By using the progressions from the previous 2 steps, you should have an idea on how to engage your core and your glutes to bring your hips forward. This is important to help you maintain balance. Now that your feet are stacked, more emphasis is now placed on your lower leg, increasing the intensity and forcing your lower knee and hip to become stronger.

Step 4 (and beyond) - The upper leg is now raised. It is probably no surprise to you to realize that this requires much great balance and control now that your upper leg is raised. Not only that, but more weight is now placed on your lower leg, forcing your knee and hip to become stronger. This will also work your upper leg in a different way, as the upper hip has to work harder to elevate your leg into the air. To take this a step further, you can turn your upper foot so that your toe is pointing towards the floor, which will engage your gluteus medius.

P90X, P90X2, P90X3 "X"-travaganza Hybrid

Check out my free 30 minute YouTube workouts

I will be starting this hybrid Monday May 5th, 2014. Want to join me?

To be honest, most of you may look at this schedule and think, "That's it? What is so special about it?"

Time and time again, I have witnessed people having "analysis paralysis." (Don't worry, I've done this too!) This is common amongst people who use Beachbody's programs. As they build quite a "library" of workouts, the feeling is that they think they need to squeeze every single workout that they own into their schedule. Variation can be good to keep interest and enjoyment high when following a workout schedule, however, too much variation can lead to stagnation and lack of improvement in any one facet or area.

The good news is that you have lots of options with a schedule like this. There are days built into the schedule that naturally bring choice and variation, such as the "Cardio Option" day. This can be used for those of you who still wish to use workouts from other programs (Insanity, for example). However, after mulling over the schedule time and time again, I can't deny the sheer simplicity, yet effectiveness of the original P90X schedule. I combined that with some of the concepts used in the P90X2 schedule, and added in some of my favourite P90X3 workouts where I felt as though they fit the best.

Phases 2 and 3 also bring the opportunity for lots of choice. I can already tell that many of you are mad at me for using "30-15" from Tony's One on One series. Although this is not from P90X, X2, or X3, it is so very similar to the original Chest & Back from P90X, that I swapped this routine in instead. Why? Well, because that is what I wish to do. I actually prefer 30-15, and find it to be a superior workout to Chest &Back. Which brings me to my next point, common workout swaps.

During Phases 2 and 3, feel free to use any of the following "swaps" to suit your needs/desires. I would recommend that you use a same routine multiple times in order to improve on it specifically, however, if you wish to do P90X Chest & Back one week, P90X3 "The Challenge" the next week, and then P90X2 Chest, Back, and Balance the week after that, you aren't really hindering results or progress as you are working your chest and back every time.

The real beauty of your interest in this hybrid, however, is the ability to download my workout sheets/modifications.

I have modified the workouts in certain places (some more than others) to suit my interests the most. There are some pretty big changes, for example, in routines like 30-15, P90X Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps, and P90X Legs and Back. I have added in some free weight and dumbbell bench work to work my chest and legs more and in different ways. I have swapped some pull-ups for weighted barbell and dumbbell work, and I have swapped out some "outdated" exercises from some of the workouts that are better suited with something else.

The nice part about being a part of my team and making me your Team Beachbody Coach, is that I can help you with these modifications, and you can ask me questions on how you can either modify these workouts the same way, or make changes that suit/fit your needs as well!

Common workout swaps:


P90X Chest and Back
P90X2 Chest, Back, and Balance
P90X3 "The Challenge"

P90X Shoulders and Arms

P90X2 Shoulders and Arms
One on Ones Diamond Delts and Just Arms
One on One Shoulders and Arms MC2

P90X Back and Biceps

P90X2 V Sculpt
One on One V Sculpt

P90X Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps

P90X2 Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps
One on One UBX

Hybrid Reasoning/Theory:

Phase 1, the foundation phase, is taking a page out of P90X2's (and X3's) book. Here, the goal is to become stable and strong from not only the core, but from the hips and shoulders as well. These are main locations where your body generates power and strength from, so if we can get these areas strong and resilient, then we will be able to excel that much more during the strength phases.

P90X3's schedule has Agility X prior to Triometrics. I personally think Triometrics is a better "lead-in" routine, as it has less tried and true "plyometric" exercise, and more leg strengthening and stability. You no doubt get a good leg burn in Triometrics, but it is more about stabilization than plyo and performance, so I have moved it to the first phase.

Phase 2 and 3, the strength phases, are intended to take the stability and core strength developed from the first phase, and translating them into better strength and endurance output. If you are looking for a bit more balance and coordination work, this is the time to try replacing my selections in the schedule for the P90X2 strength routines instead (Chest, Back, and Balance in place of 30-15 for example).

P90X2's Plyocide is paired with Legs & Back to improve the strength and stability of the legs first before progressing to Phase 3 where there will be 2 plyo sessions per week with both Agility X and Base & Back. Although Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps has been almost completely re-worked in my adaptation (download link above), I still like this routine because of the pacing and breakdown. Many of the same exercises are there, I just made some smart choices along the way that suit my needs.

Phase 4 is all about performance. It is not time to take the core stability that has been achieved in Phase 1, along with the added strength developed in Phases 2 and 3 to then make your muscles dynamic and as useful as possible. I absolutely love the post activation potentiation routines, but I can see not everyone wanting to shell out the cash for P90X3's Elite DVD, so you can use the P90X3 workouts "Eccentric Upper" and "Eccentric Lower" in place of "Complex Upper" and "Complex Lower."

The Transition Weeks have a little bit of everything. There is some upper body resistance (Incinerator), some total body conditioning and resistance (X2 Core, Core Synergistics), some cardiovascular exercise (Accelerator), not to mention some low-impact stabilization (Isometrix). This is to give your body a bit of a break from the gruelling work during each Phase, yet keep your fitness level high to progress into the next phase. The P90X3 workouts are especially great for a transition week because they are efficient enough to be intense, but not too long to hinder recovery.

Closing Thoughts

I have been spending quite a bit of time "bulking" lately, doing some heavy resistance training along with Body Beast. For those of you who have been somewhat following me will know that I have been dealing with a heart condition known as Atrial Flutter. I had a procedure done to correct it back in January of this year (2014), but during the lead up to my procedure, I just wasn't mentally "into" doing strenuous cardiovascular activity.

Now that my heart is all fixed up, and I have reached my heaviest weight I have ever been, it is time to get back to overall fitness and strength training rather than just trying to put on weight. Sitting down, discussing these plans with my wife, we both said, "P90X really is just such a great all-around program!"

Then it dawned on me, that is what I will use as my cornerstone for this program, and use the P90X2 and P90X3 routines to round it out to be the best program/hybrid I have ever done. I can't wait to get started!

Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have with the program.

P90X3 Triometrics Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to Triometrics. The "tri" prefix is for 3 levels of intensity. This workout smokes your lower half by using 60 second intervals, varying amongst three levels of intensity in 20 second intervals.

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P90X3 Eccentric Upper Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Welcome to Phase 2 of the P90X3 Classic Schedule. "Eccentric" means muscle lengthening, so for example, lowering yourself from your chin-up bar under control. This routine uses a 3 count eccentric action with an explosive concentric muscle contraction (muscle shortening). Your muscles are stronger during eccentric movements, so it is a great way to increase "time under tension" to improve strength, durability, and hypertrophy!

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