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Beachbody Workout Reviews

What is P90X3 Total Synergistics? (A Review and guide to the workout)

November 18, 2016

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There are 16 exercises inside the P90X3 Total Synergistics workout. There’s some stuff you need to know about this workout before you try it (it’s not for everyone). Keep reading and I’ll tell you what that is.

Here’s what Tony Horton has to say about this workout:

“Total Synergistics is a Melting Pot of resistance training. Every exercise incorporates more than one muscle group and it uses stabilization training to force your muscles and your brain to work together…allowing you to move more athletically…grace, strength and power combined.” –Tony Horton

I don’t know how graceful you’ll feel after doing P90X3 Total Synergistics but that’s a beautiful summary.  Well said, Tony.

If you’re not familiar with the P90X3 program then here’s a reminder (Total Synergistics is just one of the routines in P90X3):

There’s some yoga in Total Synergistics but you don’t have to be a yoga genius to master it.

I’ll tell you which poses you need to brush up on as well as  every last detail about this routine so you’ll be completely prepared to crush it before you hit play.

Here we go…

As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the following are affiliate links. You can get more information about that here.

the cover art from the P90X3 Total Synergistics video

Instructor-Tony Horton

Category-Strength

Equipment

mat

dumbbells or tubing

pull-up bar

Length-32 minutes

HRM-143 calories

Choreography-Simple

My rating-A

Girls, if you need to add a few more dumbbells to your fitness tools then check out my favorite colored dumbbells.

*Remember you may need a pull-up assist band to use with the pull-up bar. I use one like this.  I use 5, 8, 10, 12 and 15 lb. DB’s for this workout.

The Important Stuff about P90X3 Total Synergistics

Dreya Weber is the team member demonstrating all the exercises with a band.  Girls, Dreya is a total badass. You will not look like her at any point but it’s a nice goal.

You’ll be doing each exercise for about 1 minute.  There are 16 exercises.

Tony mostly wanders around the set while everyone else does the workout.  I find that annoying but we all know that’s how Tony rolls.

Guess what?  Some of the moves in Total Synergistics require balance.  Don’t get mad and stop trying because you’re wobbling all over the room.  Try to do the exercise.  You’ll get better over time.  Exercises that require balance engage your core.  It’s all good.

Be familiar with these yoga positions before you hit PLAY:

chair pose example
Chair Pose
Tony Horton doing crescent pose
Crescent Pose
how to do a Boat Pose
Boat Pose
plow pose example
Plow
example of half-moon pose
Half Moon Pose
example of Warrior III pose
Warrior III

Remember to read to the end of this post for links to a few places you can compare prices on this video as well as tips and advice for mastering each exercise.

Warm-Up

The warm-up is a little over 3 minutes long.  You’ll do some jogging in place and then some upper and lower body stretches.

Main Workout (The Exercises in Total Synergistics)

Push-Up/Side Arm Balance

This exercise is a single push-up into a side arm plank.  You’ll alternate sides and hold the side arm balance for a few seconds. 

Tony talks you through the 1-minute interval and increases the tempo about halfway through.

Crescent Chair

Crescent and Chair are yoga poses (if you skipped over the images above then you should go look at them now).  This is a little harder than you expect it to be.  Make the lunge deep. 

As always, quality is more important than quantity.  The pace is slow so concentrate on nailing proper form.  Keep your chest up.

Pull Knee Pull

You’ll need your pull-up bar for this exercise (or watch Dreya and use the band).

If you’re using a pull-up assist band (like I do) then you’ll find it’s tough to lift your knees because your foot gets rearranged in the loop of the assist band and then you have to stop and adjust everything.

The other issue is that my pull-up bar hangs in a doorframe and I’m not real crazy about testing its limits.  When I raise my knees my body swings a tiny bit and I get very anxious about crashing to the floor.

What’s my point?  Don’t stress out if you need to modify this exercise.  You only have a minute (45 seconds).  Usually I choose to do regular pull-ups so I can get in as many reps as possible.  Do what works for you.

Another option is to do the version Dreya does with the band.  I’ve never done that version.  Dreya makes every exercise look like a ballet move.  It’s nuts.

Flip Flop Crunch

This exercise gets an A+ for originality.  You’ll be in low plank (on your elbows) so you’ll need a mat (if you’re not on carpet).  Roll into a side plank and then lift the top leg and bring your knee and elbow together.

It takes a second to figure out how to arrange your arms on the floor when you switch sides.  You have to stack them.

Yes, this exercise takes balance.  Go slow and steady and focus on your core.  We all want abs like Dreya and Alice.  You gotta start somewhere.

Crawly Plyo Push-Ups

You won’t know what Tony is talking about when he explains how this exercise works so just watch the team and you’ll be fine.  The exercise is a push-up with one knee flexed up to the ipsilateral elbow (*fancy-word alert*-ipsilateral means ‘same side’).  You’ll alternate right and left sides by adding a plyo (airborne) push-up in between.

I can do the first few of these like a complete superstar but by the 5th rep I’m humbled and barely squeeze out the last few push-ups much less get any ‘air’.  Alice is awesome at this one.

I feel this exercise in my hip flexors.  That always surprises me.

Weighted Relevé-Plié

This time you’ll need one dumbbellI use a 15 lb. DB.

This is a low-end plié squat on your toes.  Poor Jamie (head-band guy) struggles with this one so Tony goes over and picks on him.

If your legs start shaking (like mine do) it’s ok.  Try to keep your heels up the whole time.

Chin-Up Circle Crunch

You’ll head back over to your pull-up bar for this one.  Once again I have some problems executing this move with my equipment.  The exercise is meant to go like this: chin-up, hold at the top, bring your knees to your chest and rotate them in a half-circle, lower your legs, go back down.  That’s one rep.

I’ve already mentioned how terrifying it is to swing on a pull-up bar you have merely positioned (not nailed or welded) into a doorframe.  And then there’s the problem with trying to pull this off with one foot in an assist band.  I have to modify this exercise. 

I usually end up doing regular chin-ups.  Pull-ups/chin-ups of any kind engage your core.  You won’t get that extra oblique focus that you get with the circle crunch but don’t feel guilty about doing a regular chin-up.  It’s still hard and effective.

And you can always try the version with the band that Dreya demonstrates.

Boat Plow

This is a core move on the floor.  You’ll need a mat.  There are 10 reps.

You’ll alternate between a boat pose and a plow. (Check out the images at the beginning of this post if you want to see a perfect boat and plow.) Not everyone can put their toes to the floor on plow. 

Plow hurts my neck a little so I don’t push it.  Really fight to get your chest high on the boat pose.  Try not to collapse into your torso.

Balance Arch Press

You’ll need one DB.  I use a 12 lb.  You’ll be doing an overhead press but instead of going straight up and down you’ll move the weight up and over your head from shoulder to shoulder (making the letter ‘A’).

You have to balance on one foot while you do this.  There are 10 reps on each foot.  Balancing on one foot adds more than you think to this exercise.  Don’t cheat yourself by keeping both feet on the floor.

3 Hop Press

I use one 8 or one 10 lb. DB for this exercise.  You’ll shuffle three times to one side then lift the outside knee to your chest with an overhead press.  Keep the DB close to your chest when you shuffle/hop to the side. 

The move is controlled.  Don’t do this with lazy form or you’ll hurt your back.  There are 10 reps.

Glamour Hammer

Grab whatever weight you use to do hammer curls.  You have to balance on one foot so don’t get cocky and go too heavy with your weights.  I use 12 lb. DB’s

You do a front hammer curl and then a side hammer curl for 30 seconds on each foot.  Go at your own pace this time.

Branon Boat (about 8 minutes left)

This is another original ab move that I’d never done before P90X3. 

You’ll be holding a boat pose and pulsing your legs for 4 beats while you hold your torso stationary.  Then you’ll pulse your torso while holding your legs in place.  These are a challenge.

Flying Warrior

You’ll need a light weight for Flying Warrior.  I use two 8 lb. DB’s.

This exercise is frustrating.  You have to stand on one foot and do a double-arm front raise and then (without letting your foot touch the floor) you lean forward and (still balancing on one leg) do a double-arm lateral raise.  Thankfully, there are only 4 on each foot.

Guess what?  I suck at these. 

That doesn’t mean I go check my twitter account when we get to this part, though.  Sometimes I become Alice and blow through all 4 on my left leg (I can balance better on that side) without a bobble, but most of the time I hop around the entire room for about a minute.  It’s embarrassing. 

I kick my kids out of the room before I do this exercise.  (People laughing at me doesn’t help my balance.)

Squat Rockers

You’ll need one DB for this exercise.  I use one 15 lb. DB

You’ll be in the squat position for the whole minute.  You get into a low squat and ‘rock’ back and forth on your toes.

Tip-When you roll up on your toes try to push your weight over your big toes.  Your body may want to roll out over your pinkie toes but fight to keep your ankles forward.  Also, you may want to stop and stretch your lower back for a few seconds after this exercise.  My lower back knots up during this move.

Side Rise Punch

Go get one light DB (3 or 5 lbs.) for Side Rise Punch.  I use a 5 lb. DB.

I give this exercise 1 out of 5 stars.  Expect to feel like you’re quite possibly doing the move wrong.  It’s awkward.  I prefer to do a one-arm tricep push-up instead of trying to incorporate the punch. 

Even Tony’s team looks weird during this exercise.  The P90X3 masters should have swapped this one out for something else.

Warrior Squat Moon

You finish out Total Synergistics with Warrior Squat Moon.  (Remember those images at the top of this post?  Go peek at them one more time.) These are 2 yoga poses (Warrior III and Half Moon) that you blend together by adding a squat in between them. 

Guess what?  You get to balance on one foot again.  It’s the last exercise so stop complaining.  I actually really like this combination (even though I’m really bad at it). 

Go slow and fight for it.  Jamie inspires me during this exercise.  He’s more real life.  Alice and Dreya are the people you see on posters.  I like to stare at them but I kinda hate them, too.

Cool Down/Stretch

There’s a short stretch to finish this thing out.  Don’t skip it.  Your email can wait 2 more minutes.

Keep reading for links to a couple of places you can compare prices on this workout.

Now What?

P90X3 Total Synergistics is a total body workout packed full of original exercises.

I like to pair this routine with a short run but it’s a good stand-alone program, too.  If you’re bored with traditional weight-training then pull out Total Synergistics to add some variety to your workout.

You can find Total Synergistics in the family of P90X3 videos by Beachbody.

And don’t forget that you can also access every P90X3 routine in a regular membership to Beachbody on Demand.  (You need to try out Beachbody on Demand.  There’s a free trial so there’s no reason not to try it out).

You can get answers to all your questions about Beachbody on Demand here.

Thanks for reading!

Blog_Signature
  1. John says:

    Don’t like Total Synergistic.
    Can I substitute a regular full body workout not exceeding 30 in it’s place?

    • Hi John! Sure! If you don’t like Total Synergistics I think it’d be a good idea to replace it with another full body workout that’s about the same length. It’s smart to modify however you need to so that you love your exercise program. Thanks for reading! Mickie

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Cathe Friedrich Program Reviews

Beachbody Program Reviews

Aerobic Step Workouts & Info

Home Workout Reviews & Recommendations

Categories

Sign up for our free 5-day workshop to set up a home workout plan you'll love

Shop Aerobic Steps

how I can help you

Read my latest reviews

S1 Ep.12 The Piyo Program--Don't Make This Mistake if You're Thinking About Trying it Out

S3 Ep.7 An Honest Review of Les Mills on Demand (I wish I'd tried this sooner!)

S3 Ep.3 Morning Meltdown 100--An Honest Review (and my recommendation)

S2 Ep.8 A Deep Dive Into the Body Groove Program (Is it right for you?)

podcast episodes

top downloaded

tune into the show on apple podcasts!

I'm Mickie —your friendly home exercise guide. I'm here to help you make your home workout the best part of your day.

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