by Lenny Liang
November 23, 2011
Earlier this month, Beachbody released the P90X iPhone app. It works in conjunction with the popular P90X workout videos, starring celebrity trainer Tony Horton. There are a couple of components to the P90X app. For $4.99, you get the base app, which allows you to conveniently log your nutrition and workouts in the P90X system. You can view your progress, as well as share your results. One of the defining characteristics of the P90X system is the concept of "muscle confusion," which uses constantly changing training cycles to help you achieve maximum performance. The P90X app automatically populates a calendar with the exercises you need to do each day, depending on the workout program you choose. In addition to the functions of the base app, you can also purchase guided workouts, which are essentially stripped down versions of the different exercises in the P90X system. Each of the guided workouts feature demonstrations of each move, as well as audio and tips from Tony Horton himself. The app comes with the "P90X Fit Test" and "Ab Ripper X" guided workouts. For the other 11 workouts, you need to pay $6.99 each, $29.99 for the five resistance workouts, or $59.99 for all the workouts, both resistance and cardio.
I confess that I am a P90X owner. I am a fan of both the system and Tony Horton. I also confess that I've never felt so conflicted about an app. I like it, but can't wholeheartedly recommend it.From just an app standpoint, it's great. It is an extremely useful tool to keep track of your progress. I also like the guided apps, which are helpful for travel and when you don't have access to the DVDs. Those who are highly self-motivated might even find use for the P90X guided workouts without the DVDs, although I think they're more of a supplement than a replacement for the home version of the system. The reason I can't recommend the full features of this app is because of its prohibitive cost, $4.99 is no small price to pay for functions which could be duplicated with a little discipline and a spreadsheet (or pen and paper). Still, I'll admit that the app does make tracking your workouts a lot easier. What seems excessive is the combined cost of the guided workouts, which offer me a lesser version of material I have already paid for in the DVDs. While $59.99 isn't an unreasonable price to pay in terms of fitness standards; a one month gym membership will often cost you more than that. But this is an iPhone app, and based on iPhone app standards, $59.99 is an extravagant cost. To put it into perspective, there are currently over 65 apps for $0.99 among the top 100 paid iPhone apps. That means that for the cost of the P90X app, complete with all the guided workouts, you could get 65 of the top paid apps for the iPhone. For some people, that's an entire app collection right there. If you're a P90X user, you will want to get the P90X app and all the guided workouts. Just note that you may have buyer's remorse if you do. P90X is available on the App Store now for $4.99.