P90X Series: Chest and Back

Tony Horton
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Upper Body Strength

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This workout is basically all push ups and pull ups, with very little of anything else in between. For those of us who can't do a single pull up, it's a bit irritating in that it's impossible to get anything out of an exercise you just cannot complete at all. There is the bands option but you have to have somewhat higher ceilings for the whole door/band attachment to work the way it does in the P90X DVD (which does have one exerciser using bands). I still don't think bands are a good solution because the exercises, even with the bands doubled up, just aren't difficult enough to really push you and improve your strength. I will say that this DVD has really helped improve my push ups. I could barely squeak out five big girl push ups before and now I can do LOTS :) For that reason alone, I can't write this one off.

Instructor Comments:
Tony is silly and goofy as usual. Tony's Tony, nothing new here.



Tony leads this 50 minute chest & back workout "the mother of all P90X workouts" in a gym set w/ 3 backgrounders. One shows band options and 1 does chair pullups. You will need dumbells or bands, a pull up bar or support for a band, and optional chair & pushup bars. There is a countdown timer for the workout & each exercise duration.

This dvd is almost all pushups alternated with pullups with a few other chest & back exercises thrown in. Exercises include: push up and pull variations, rows, single arm rows, back flys and include some rest breaks. There are two rounds of 12 exercises in this w/o.

If you dont have a pull up bar and/or arent a fan of pushups this is NOT the workout for you (for me). I dont have the bar so I subbed in various rows for the pull ups and Im not a huge fan of pushups so I didnt really enjoy this w/o at all. Its a solid workout and with a bar- definitely advanced, though Tony does a good job of providing a lot of options. Without a pullup bar its really hard to even modify these w/o's and I dont really recommend the set if you dont have a bar or good alternative.



The workout is a very tough gym style workout which alternates pushups and pullups in various incarnations.

You do two very hard cycles. You go at your own pace, and you do as many reps as you want (there is a timer, but no countdown of reps).

I used a chair with my pullup bar, in addition, I used bands wrapped around my pullup bar to simulate pullups.

There are some dumbbell/band back exercises: 'Heavy pants', 'Wide Pants', 'lawnmowers'

At the end is the fabled Ab ripperX - a brutal ab workout - I think it's 15 hard exercises - 25 reps a pop.

I give this an A+. A solid workout with great music. Great for men and women alike. You can go for heavy, or you can go lighter for endurance. It's your choice, and the p90x literature helps you build a rotation that suits your needs.

Instructor Comments:
Tony does very well in this dvd. His bantering with the crew seems natural and the entire crew seem to be having a lot of fun.

This workout is truly gym style. So the background instructors decide how many reps they will do, and what speed they will follow.

Tony is diligent about informing us to write down what we did, and to follow our own body. He also encourages us to really push to failure, instead of sticking with the number we chose.

I'd give him an A in this one.



This is a VERY difficult BUT......very modifiable chest and back workout using primarly pushups and pullups as the main exercises. Modifications are shown for use with a resistance band as an alternative to the pullup bar, and a chair was used to help assist one background exerciser with her pullups. That's the way I did the workout and I really loved doing it! I loved the music, set, flow of exercises and the way you can tailor this to your fitness needs/preferences.

He does 2 rounds of 12 exercises after a thorough warmup which I won't describe here. You are to choose what your "goal" is for each exercise. If you are lifting weights he wants you to choose a weight that will really challenge you on your last 3 reps of either 8-10 reps (for building mass) or 12-15 (for definition)

Here are the twelve exercises in order:

Standard Pushups-most of the background exercisers did 30, just to give you an idea of how many they were doing

Wide Front Pullups-The background folks were doing 15-20!!!!

Military pushups-Almost like a tricep pushup
Reverse Grip chin-up

Wide-fly pushup

Closed Grip overhand pull-up

Decline Pushups

Heavy pants-Sort of like bent over lat rows

Diamond Pushups-

Lawnmowers-One arm rows

Dive-bomber pushups-OUCH!!!!

Bent over back flys

Repeat the same 12 exercises but instead of them being in a chest, back, chest, back order...., they are back, chest, back, chest.

There is a really nice cool down too as in all of the P90X's.

Grade A!!

Instructor Comments:
It's a more subdued Tony. I really like him in this one!

Janet Frost (frostyjan)