How to Intensify the P90X Kenpo X Routine


The extreme effectiveness of the P90X® home fitness program has never been in debate, but if you want to crank up the intensity of some of the workouts, there are options for doing so.

The Kenpo X routine is one of 3 workouts in P90X that are primarily cardiovascular in nature, and all 3 of them are awesome for burning a lot of calories. The Kenpo X routine in particular is largely made up of various combinations of kicks and punches, so it stands to reason that if you make your hands or your legs heavier, you will crank up the intensity, and thus get an even larger benefit from the workout.

The trick to these tactics, however, is to never lose sight of the safety factor. Our bodies are used to fighting against gravity at a certain level, and by adding extra weight to our feet or hands, there is the possibility for injury if a dose of common sense does not go along with the effort.

Ankle Weights

The easiest way to add weight to your feet is to wear ankle weights. I found many, many different versions of ankle weights at, including one manufacturer that would let you choose a weight anywhere from 1/2 a pound all the way up to 20 pounds – very cool.

The trick to ankle weights is to make sure that they are snug and do not move around as you exercise. The Kenpo X workout is a lot of bouncing, jumping, and kicking, and if your ankle weights move around, it will at the very least be uncomfortable, and it could cause an injury as well.

One tip to keeping your ankle weights from moving around is to wear ankle-high socks underneath the ankle weights. Not only will that allow the ankle weights to be more securely attached to your leg, but it will also minimize friction or chafing from the weights themselves.

Weighted Gloves

You could also wear ankle weights on your wrists, but most ankle weight varieties would slide around quite a bit, and in addition, you simply don’t need that much weight on your hands. Even a minor increase in how much your hands weigh will make all of those punches a lot harder, giving you a significant boost in the intensity of the workout.

Beachbody has their version of weighted gloves in the Beachbody Store, and they weigh .75 lbs on each hand. Back over at I found a 2 lb pair (1 lb each hand), and a 6 lb pair (3 lbs each hand).

Just as Tony Horton points out in the Kenpo X video, always be sure not to bang your joints when you are doing your punches and your kicks. That advice applies even more whenever you have weights strapped to your body. The momentum of your kicks and punches will pull on your joints if you don’t reel in that energy by using the proper form and technique during the workout.

Bonus: Weighted Vest

If you really want to go all out, you can even strap on a weighted vest when you do Kenpo X. You won’t get as much out of the vest during Kenpo as you would during Plyometrics, Cardio X, or even just a walk or a jog, but if you’re going to get the vest anyway, why not really Bring It during Kenpo as well?

All of the P90X workouts are extreme, and this post about cranking up the intensity is not meant to imply that you have to have this type of equipment, nor that you should even consider bringing up the intensity until you start to feel comfortable with the P90X workouts.

However, if you do want to really push yourself to your limits, and you feel like you are ready to take your workouts to the next level, use this information in order to make an informed decision about how to proceed, and as always, be sure to listen to your body when you are exercising.

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One Response to How to Intensify the P90X Kenpo X Routine

  1. Jon says:


    Thanks for the comment you posted on my blog about the intensity of Kenpo X. The link that reads “kick it up a notch on your own” is actually the article you wrote on your web site!


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