Beachbody Reviews

A Review of P90X3 The Challenge (Welcome to the Push-Up Party)

June 18, 2016

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The Challenge is a push/pull routine in the P90X3 series of workouts.

You’ll do 2 exercises in each interval.  One exercise is a variation of a push-up and the other is a type of pull-up.

Ladies, start each push-up move on your toes (not your knees).  I bet you’ll be surprised at how strong you are.

There’s not a lot of BAM! BOOM! KAPOW!  in this routine.  It’s pretty boring.


It’s effective.

I do The Challenge a lot.

Remember this is what the P90X3 series looks like:

Now let me explain all the exercises and the equipment you’re going to need to do The Challenge…

This post may contain Amazon (or other) affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. You can get more information about that here.

the cover art of the P90X3 The Challenge video with a close up image of a man's back

Instructor-Tony Horton



Pull-Up Bar (with assist band or chair)


*I recommend you have these for this workout. Power Stand is the brand name. They’re out of stock sometimes on Amazon so you might have to keep checking back until they’re available.

Tony Horton's PowerStands

These are just a pair of stands you put your hands on to do push-ups (look up push-up stands on Amazon and you’ll find other styles).  There are a crap ton of push-ups in this workout and the stands will make the exercise more comfortable (on your wrists).  I happen to have this brand (this brand is more expensive but they have big grips, a big base so you don’t have to have perfect balance, and they don’t swivel), but any push-up bars are fine.

Length-32 minutes

HRM-238 calories


My rating-A

The Important Stuff about P90X3 The Challenge

P90X3 The Challenge has four groupings of 2 exercises and a BURNOUT section followed by a 2 minute cool down/stretch.

Each grouping has 2 exercises—one is a variety of a pull-up and the other is a type of push-up (a Push/Pull workout).  You do each exercise once and then repeat them both.  There’s a one minute rest between groupings.

Tony tells you to pick a number (of reps) that will represent your goal before the workout starts.  My goal was 20-25 push-ups (in every grouping) and 10 pull-ups.  I hit those numbers in some of the groupings, not so much in others.

Tony’s team picks ridiculously high numbers for their goals. 

Try not to feel like a loser because your numbers are so much lower.  Also, remember there’s a clock.  If you pick a higher number you may find yourself sacrificing form to hit the number of reps you set.  That’s bad.  Form is important.  Always go for quality over quantity.

Alice is showing you how to do every exercise using the band (instead of the pull-up bar).

Notice the hand positions on each exercise.  The variation on hand positioning is what makes each exercise distinctive.

If you’re using an assist band on the pull-up exercises (like me).  Do NOT try and go as fast as the P90X team.  You’ll start swinging.  This is bad for two reasons:  You’ll be doing it wrong (bad form), and you’ll be putting all kinds of strain on the door jam where your pull-up bar is anchored.  Seriously, you’ll pull that shit right out of the wall.  #humiliation #pain #injury

Notice that if you’re using a push-up helper (like the Powerstands) that you don’t need to go all the way to the floor in these exercises.

Girls, Alice is most likely a pro lifter and may even appear regularly in weight lifting magazines.  I doubt she’s eaten bread since 1980.  She’s amazing but you’re not Alice.  Don’t feel bad about it.

Read to the end for tips on each exercise as well as links to a few places you can compare prices for this video 🙂


There’s a warm-up about 2 minutes in length of low-impact exercises to get blood flowing to your muscles.

Main Workout (The Exercises in P90X3 The Challenge)

Grouping I

Wide Pull-Ups

I’m always completely spent after this first set of pull-ups.  (If you picked a really high number as your rep goal then you’ll be reevaluating it at this point.)

Standard Push-Ups

Remember to look at the hand positions.  And if you’re using an assist for this exercise you don’t have to go down deeper than the level of your hands.

Repeat both exercises.  Switch the foot you’re putting in the assist band on this set.


Grouping II


Seriously, Alice, where is your body fat?

Military Push-Ups

Remember my goal for push-ups?  It was 20-25.  I usually only get 16 reps here.  It makes me feel like a wimp but these are hard. Sometimes I get in 18 but never 20.

Repeat both exercises.

BREAK (there’s an attempt at comedic relief by Tony Horton during this one minute…

Grouping III

Close-Grip Pull-Ups

Wide Push-Ups

Repeat both exercises


Grouping IV

Vaulter-Pull Ups

One hand has the palm facing you and the other palm is facing away.  Switch hands on the second set.

Stagger Push-Ups

Put your hands in the 12/3 position on the first set and then change to the 12/9 position on the second set. (These are approximate positions).

Repeat both exercises.

BREAK (*group hug)


This section is about 2:30 long.  I suck at Burnout.  My goal here is 5 pull-ups and 10 push-ups.  I don’t usually hit that—but I never give up.  You have permission (from Tony) to pick the version of each exercise that you do.

*Tony (and the crew) do this pattern in Burnout: 2 pull-ups/3 push-ups and repeat that as many times as they can for the interval.  I go ahead and do all my pull-ups all at once because it’s a pain in the ass to position my foot in the pull-up assist band for only 2 pull-ups and so I end up wasting a lot of time trying to maneuver my foot in and out of the band.

Cool Down/Stretch

The cool down/stretch is about 2 minutes long.  Stretch whatever needs stretching—and include your chest, back, and shoulders in the list.

Now What?

You’ll feel like a beast after doing P90X3 The Challenge workout.

You’ll experience the sensation that your arms are fluffed out away from your sides for the rest of the day because you’re so pumped up.

Go pose in front of the mirror for a few minutes.  It’s fun.  Whatever.

You can find P90X3 The Challenge in the family of videos of P90X3 by Beachbody.

This workout is also a part of the Member Library in a membership to Beachbody on Demand.

You can click here to learn more about Beachbody on Demand.

As always, thank you for reading!  I love you guys!  You’re awesome!


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  1. Karissa says:

    I love your honesty girl, big ups to you! Thanks <3

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