P90X Review Day 6, Kenpo X


Kenpo X has so far been the most enjoyable workout in the P90X® program! Even though it is an hour long, the hour goes by very quickly, and you get a great workout – almost without even realizing it!

As with all of the P90X workouts, you can modify the intensity up or down to suit your own abilities and level of fitness. Despite the fact that there are a lot of kicks, punches, and elbows thrown during this workout, you could easily tone it down enough even for a beginner by simply slowing down and taking more breaks.

Tony Horton directs the workout as he does all of the P90X routines, but the other 3 people in the video are really an inspiration, too. They do the moves so well, and it is easy to pattern yourself off of what they are doing until you get good at the movements.

In addition, many of the moves are clearly “street fighting” style, which is one of the many descriptions that is given about Kenpo in the P90X book. Although there are a lot of standard punches and kicks, there are also many moves that could easily be translated into a real-world self-defense type of situation. In that regard, not only are you getting a great workout, but you are gaining confidence and peace of mind as well.

It all starts out with a 10-minute long stretching and warm-up session, and that alone is 1/6th of the workout time, plus another 5-minute cool-down at the end. The stretching and warm-up session includes plenty of great leg stretches, several yoga poses, and also other activities to get the blood flowing in your muscles before you actually start throwing kicks and punches.

There are numerous moves that you’ll do throughout the Kenpo X routine, and most of them are simply put into different combinations in order to keep it fun, interesting, and intense.

From the upper body you can expect to see:

  • Jabs
  • Crosses
  • Hooks
  • Uppercuts
  • Swords
  • Claws
  • Low Punches
  • Inward/Outward Blocks
  • High/Low Blocks
  • Star Blocks
  • Vertical Punches
  • “Knuckles”
  • Elbows

From the lower body you’ll be doing:

  • Knee Kicks
  • Ball Kicks
  • Side Kicks
  • Back Kicks
  • 3-Direction Kicks

The biggest challenge with Kenpo X the first few times (in addition to the non-stop action!) is that several of the moves are combinations that consist of 3 or 4 individual movements. Again, these are put together in a “street fighting” style, so they have both exercise and real-world value, but it can be hard to remember the combinations until you get proficient. Don’t be afraid to watch any of the P90X DVD’s when you AREN’T exercising, just so you can get some practice with the moves.

The intensity of the Kenpo X workout can be modified in several different ways, and Tony repeatedly reminds you to take a break if you need it:

  • Speed up/Slow down the movements
  • Take breaks (there are several optional 90-second break periods)
  • Kick/Punch/Move with more or less force
  • Skip the breaks and do calisthenics instead, as they are doing on the video
  • Keep jumping/hopping/bouncing around, even between movements

One of the really fun parts about the P90X Kenpo workout is that they crank up the energy on several of the moves after the first 10 or 15 repetitions. Tony and the others start adding vocals to their strikes, the music changes and speeds up, and overall you just get a sense of urgency and excitement. It’s great to keep you motivated!


Kenpo X is one of the most enjoyable workouts in P90X, and at the same time, it is one of the most well-rounded because you are using your entire body. Some people like the Plyometrics workout as a good cardio routine (and it is!), but I’ll take Kenpo X any time as far as the “fun factor”.

Overall, Kenpo X is an awesome workout, it’s fun, and you get many, many benefits from just that one workout. 2 thumbs up!

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4 Responses to P90X Review Day 6, Kenpo X

  1. […] P90X Review Day 6 – Kenpo X […]

  2. […] seen by this point in your training. In order, those sections include exercises from Yoga X, Kenpo X, Plyometrics, and Core […]

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