P90x3 vs. BBG Recap: P90X3 | Katie Proctor

As promised, I’m going to share a quick rundown of my experience so far with the #p90x3vsbbg Super Sweat Smackdown!

I started out with P90X3 and did it for 3 weeks from 11/9-11/22, doing all of the workouts except for the Decelerator. My goal was to be 100% committed to the nutrition plan, too, but I would be lying if I said I was able to do that, especially with Thanksgiving in the mix. I tracked my meals using MyFitnessPal pretty religiously for the first week but then went off track after traveling for a wedding. For this reason, I don’t have before/after photos to share BUT I did lose 1.5 inches from waist/hips even with the indulgent (and I mean indulgent) holiday weekend.

Here are my thoughts about this program:


Pros – 30 minutes each with a wide variety of power, agility and flexibility. I loved the more stationary workouts like Eccentric Upper and Incinerator, balanced with cardio (there’s even a kickboxing workout – MMX – and CVX was hands down my favorite workout doing cardio w/ weights) and stretching (Dynamix). There are even Pilates and Yoga workouts so overall the balance of workouts is excellent with this program. 



Comparative calorie burn/HR zones for stationary (Incinerator – top) and cardio (MMX – bottom) workouts

Cons – I did not get my pull-up bar installed and so it was difficult to modify some of the workouts, especially The Challenge. This is why I did not do the Decelerator workout, because I knew it relied pretty heavily on the pull-up bar. One week I did 3 “slower” workouts and, when you’re only working out 30 minutes a day, I should have set up my schedule for more of a consistent challenge. I also think that I was amped up on cardio after completing 8 weeks of T25! I know there’s a very specific rhyme and reason to the structure and schedule of all Beachbody workouts, but trying to do a condensed version (it’s normally a 10-week program) didn’t take the best advantage of this.

week 1 HR

week 3 HR

Week 1 vs. Week 3 HR zones and total time in each demonstrates the variability of “challenge” in the different workouts. However, lower HR is great for fat burn.

On average, I burned 175-350 calories per workout, which I tracked using my PolarM400 GPS watch and chest strap heart rate monitor (which, BTW, the black version is on sale for $50 off at Best Buy and Amazon right now! It might just be for Cyber Monday, so jump on it I am OBSESSED). I wasn’t as consistent with daily workouts as I have been previously, so had to throw in a few doubles days on the weekends.


polar flow log

Total calorie burn for duration of program (9000-11000 calories per week), with only 3-4 hours of workout time per week. NICE!

Nutrition Plan

Since P90X3 is FREE with a Beachbody on Demand subscription, the nutrition plan is made available for free, too. Here is the macro breakdown I followed for the first week based on the P90x3 meal plan:

daily nutrition goals

Note that the plan put me in a lower calorie category, but I prefer slow and steady weight loss and will never go below 1800 calories with daily activity.

What I noticed right away is how difficult it actually is to get in the daily required protein. I have tracked my calories before, but never specific macro goals, so this was eye-opening. I have always told people that you get enough protein without supplements, but now I know from firsthand experience that’s not always the case. I found myself needing a “fourth meal” most nights to meet my calorie requirements and specifically protein.

For example, one night I had a veggie burger with eggs and the other night I had oats with protein powder as my fourth meal. I did not like eating so much at night and recognized I needed to find a better balance of eating a bigger breakfast or snacks so I wasn’t always put in this situation. Here is a snapshot of two days’ worth of meals while tracking. As you can see, I didn’t perfectly hit my macros but I tried really hard! I love the idea of flexible dieting, because you can adjust the rest of your day easily if you go out to eat. This is not always the case with other diet plans.

meal plan day 3

meal plan day 3 - true

I also had a hard time getting in protein, because I follow more of a “pegan” diet which is a combo of paleo and vegan, if you like labels. This means that I don’t avoid plant foods like legumes, but I eat meat “light”, dairy-free and mostly gluten-free. That means no cheese to help make up some of that extra protein. All I have to say is thank goodness for my daily vegan Shakeology! I also loved this post on IIFYM (if it fits your macros) from Running on Real Food.

The P90X3 nutrition plan is really flexible based on your preferences. There are gluten-free and even paleo modifications if you so choose. I also like that they heavily promote LEAN sources of protein first, as well that beans, fruit and starchy vegetables (peas, sweet potatoes) are lumped in with carbohydrates, as they should be. I think some people don’t even realize how many carbs they eat in a day that aren’t bread or pasta.

Final Thoughts

I would recommend P90X3 to anyone who is crunched for time and is seeking a variety of strength, cardio and flexibility workouts. I probably won’t go back and do the program in its entirety, but I will definitely be using the On Demand workouts to supplement my training.

I’m switching up my original schedule and starting on 21 Day Fix Extreme today, so I can be in step with my Challenge Group. I will do my first week of BBG the week of Christmas while I’m on the road, and then kick off the new year with Hammer & Chisel (more to come on that BRAND NEW program, which gets released tomorrow!).

If any of these programs sound like they can help you achieve your health and fitness goals, let’s talk. I’d love to be your personal nutritionist and coach to get you into the best shape of your life!