“Fit On A Budget Series”: Does P90X work well for college kids?

For those who don’t already know, P90X is a 90 day work-out program that can be completed at home. It’s gained notoriety through its many infomercials and widely publicized success stories. For anyone who wants to get fit quickly, the program is very tempting, as Beach Body markets this program as one that will get you ripped quickly. According to the many success stories that can be found online, it appears that most obtain desirable results after just 90 days of use.

This program can be very convenient for many people. But, would P90X work well for the average college student? Each student has many factors to consider that some, perhaps adult home owners with full-time jobs– wouldn’t have to consider. In this blog I attempt to outline these differences and present some pros and cons to help you decided if P90X is right for you.

I believe P90x may work for the average college student. But it depends on the college student of course! Read the important factors below that I based on my own experiences that I believe others should consider as well.

“The 5 important factors to consider”

1. Do you have a large enough workout space? This one can be a toughie if you live in a small dorm or if you live in a house/apartment with many people and share a room.

You’ll need a place to:

a) kick and punch in every direction (Kenpo X, Cardio X)
b) “swing kick” over a chair (Plyometrics, Cardio X)
c) lean against a wall  (Legs and Back, Shoulders and Arms)
d) lay out yoga mat (Yoga X, Core Synergistics, Ab Ripper X, Cardio X, X Stretch)
e) do push-ups (Chest and Back, Chest Shoulders, & Triceps)
f) do pull-ups (Chest and Back, Legs and Back, Back and Biceps)
g) store a weight set or resistance bands (all)

2. Is it conducive to your budget to purchase the P90X system and equipment?

Most college students are on a strict budget that includes money for books, school supplies, food, and clothing–basically, the essentials. Know that this workout system comes with some upfront costs.

a) The P90X system goes for 3 payments of $39.95 on beachbody.com (I purchased mines from Amazon.com).
b) The average weight set can be relatively cheap to quite pricey depending on the brand and weight (I borrowed a set).
c) The pull-up bar can range anywhere between $19.95 to upwards or $40.
d) Resistance bands (if you chose to use these INSTEAD of the pull-up bar and weights, it can be quite affordable! The DVDs allow for reasonable accommodations for this method).

Keep in mind that once you pay for all of this up front, it’s yours for life. You’ll always have a set of weights, a DVD program to use, and a pull-up bar. As the product advertises, it’s your own “personal” gym. If you decide a gym membership isn’t really your thing, you’ll always have this at your disposal.

3. Can you make the time commitment? For a busy college student, setting aside an hour and a half a day can literally be the difference between making it to class on time, finishing a paper, or a restful night’s sleep. But, I would say daily exercise is necessary for everyone anyway. So, whether or not the P90X method is best for you, setting time aside for your health is always a good idea.

4. Can you commit to healthy eating habits? The DVD series comes with nutrition guide. I chose not to follow the nutrition guide, but rather go by the USDA’s My Plate (formerly the food pyramid). There’s nothing like wasting a ton of time and money on a program being stunted by an unhealthy lifestyle. “Healthy eating habits” will mean different things to different people. Make sure you keep in mind healthy eating is paramount for this series.

5. Can you commit 90 days? The program is designed to go for 90 days, so you may as well commit to it for that long! There are plenty of other DVDs on the market that can satisfy your needs if a 90 commitment is not right for you. If you’re paying full price for P90X and all of the expenses it comes with, make it worth the money you spent.

The bottom line: Based upon my experience with the program,  it did help me become more fit. I did not loose tons of weight or gained insane amounts of muscle (I’m still in the day 70-80 range, though. Not done yet!). It worked for my tight college student budget because I considered it an investment–I shelled out the money upfront knowing that I was going to stay committed and use it for life. Sure, I’m still paying some of it off, but I’m doing it knowing that I’m using it for everything it’s worth. It’s convenient for me because I can do my workout at home and  I don’t need to pay a gym membership every month. If I’m studying in my room all day, I can take a quick break to workout, shower, then get right back on schedule.

The limitlesson I got from this experience is that choosing to get fit isn’t about how it makes you “look” on the outside, but how healthy you’re getting on the inside. I didn’t go into this wanting to look like the incredibly ripped people on the DVD cover. I went into this knowing that at the end of the 90 days, I would be 90 days more healthy, and that’s all I wanted. The only expectation I had was that I wanted to start a workout program that would get me excited about being active again, which is what it did for me. I think that getting past the idea of “working out to get hot” and working towards “working out for a longer and healthier life” is beneficial. Working out and being healthy isn’t about instant gratification or wanting quick results. It’s a journey! Once we get to that point, it will be less about finding that “perfect workout program” and more about making lifestyle changes that make us stronger, healthier, and happier.


Coming soon- My P90X story

One thought on ““Fit On A Budget Series”: Does P90X work well for college kids?

  1. Great post. 🙂 I just received my order of P90X in the mail today and contemplated directly returning it because my college meal plan would make it too hard to follow the meal plan, but your insight was very reassuring!

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