The P90X test isn't for the faint-hearted. After all, its moniker stands for "Power 90 Extreme," and extreme it is. Because you run into numerous risks when you start a high-intensity workout program, it's important for beginners to make sure that they're healthy enough to do P90X.
If you're not good physical shape, intense training such as P90X can damage your joints, due to its high-impact nature, and increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, according to a 2014 study published in the German medical journal Heart.
To ensure that you're ready for P90X, start with the program's Fit Test, and take it from there.
P90X Fit Test
The 40-minute Fit Test is comprised of pull-ups, vertical jumps, pushups, toe touches, wall squats, biceps curls, in-and-out ab moves and jumping jacks. Beginners should have a vertical leap of 5 inches if male and 3 inches if female. For the minimum, male beginners should be able to do 15 pushups and females should be able to do three “male”-style pushups or 15 “female” pushups from the knees.
For the reach exercise, all beginners should be able to reach within 6 inches of their toes. New exercisers should be able to hold the wall squat for at least 60 seconds. For the biceps curl exercise, newbies should be able to perform 10 curls with 20 pounds if male and 10 curls with 8 pounds if female. Anyone doing the fit test should be able to do 25 ab movements as well as two minutes of jumping jacks.
The P90X Fit Tests asks that you wear a heart rate monitor during exercise, and measure your resting heart rate as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. You should notice your resting heart rate decreasing over the course of the program.
If you don't have a heart rate monitor, you can simulate it by counting the beats of your pulse from either your neck or your wrist, and multiplying by two.
For people who are not ready for P90X, there are several BeachBody programs available for their skill level. Power 90 and Slim in 6 are two beginner-level programs, as well as TurboFire, which will increase your cardio ability before you start P90X. A good flexibility and strength-training program should get everyone ready for P90X.