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P90X2 Review: X2 Ab Ripper

P90X’s Classic Ab Ripper X has built itself a cult status among P90X grads. When anyone says, “I hate it… but I LOVE it”, there’s no doubt you know know what they’re talking about and agree with them all day long. With the common denominator of “my abs feel like they’re being burned with the fire of a thousand sun-baked knives”, ARX delivered “ouch” well into several rounds of P90X. Obviously, P90X2‘s Ab Ripper sequel had a lot to live up to. Does it? That’s what we’re here to find out…

P90X2 Review: X2 Ab Ripper


While Ab Ripper X focused intensely on isolated upper and lower movement (with an oblique move and a half thrown in), X2 Ab Ripper once again changes the game. It’s still an ab workout, but it’s about core engagement this time as well. You’re on the floor or “V” position for all of these exercises, so while no equipment is required (that is, until you start adding ankle weights if things ever get “easy”) you want to make sure your “sit bone” has something besides concrete to offer a little padding.

P90X2: X2 Ab Ripper isn’t used as frequently as ARX was– in fact, you only meet X2 Ab Ripper on Day 4 and only once a week after the X2 Total Body (Review here) workout in Phase I. Of course, all that makes sense in the training system as Phase I is very core-centric. Anything more would be overkill. Phase II (Strength) gets back to the 3-a-week schedule before dropping it down to ZERO times a week in the Phase III Performance (PAP- details here) module.


Like ARX before it (and I’ll mention the Classic routine a lot– they share a lot in structure), a short and sweet 16-ish minutes. Having sampled almost every one of the moves used here in the 45-minute 1 on 1 Series Ab Ripper, I was worried Ab Ripper X2 would be a long haul but it’s not. Of course, that 16 minutes is a LONG 15 minutes of work and one minute worth of cool-down.


Just like ARX, there’s no warm-up. It’s straight to the business of making your abs and core scream for mercy and work for their inevitable day in the sun. Cooldown consists of about a minutes worth of Cat Stretch and Child Pose, so if you’re a P90X Ab Ripper X vet, you’ll have this down to a science.

The Workout

Like I mentioned earlier, X2 Ab Ripper brings the whole core to play with not just focused ab moves but compound, rotational movement as well. We’re talking full trunk engagement. That being the case, you’re not piling on the reps. Most are 20 max and three are so focused and slow, you’ll only do 10. The exception here is The Scissor Clapper–a variant on the Fifer Scissor move where you’re in the V position and clapping under each leg lift. You get 30 of those beauts.

With the addition of compound movements, you’ll be feeling X2 Ab Ripper by engaging ALL of your abdominal section.

Move Highlights:

  • Oblique Roll Crunch: An oblique situp (V-up) alternated on each side. The catch is you’re rolling across your back into each new rep, which requires full ab engagement between each count.
  • Abronome: This move was introduced in the 1 on 1 series and is an instant classic. I was happy to see this move made the cut as it’s a worker. With legs extended above your head (your body forms an “L”), you drop your extended legs to the left, then up and over to the right– aka, a human metronome.
  • Tornado: The Abronome’s spiteful cousin, Tornado is just like it sounds– legs fully extended above head and then moved in a slow circle over your body. Not all that bad on its own but thrown in as the second-to-last move is just plain mean. If you’re looking for full engagement, this is the move you have to approach as “game on”.

Focus. There’s a potential to allow some cheating and I’ve heard some early adopters mention this workout isn’t as tough as they thought it would be. I promise, if you’re not feeling this, you’re not engaging. Where this is a CORE + Ab workout, you’ve got to concentrate on keeping that midsection engaged.

X2 Ab Ripper moves are slow and deliberate. We’re not powering through 25 explosive ab moves. Take your time and focus on form and your core will be a force to be reckoned with in no time.

The Verdict

X2 Ab Ripper– like the P90X2 workouts before it– is a slight game change. X2AR keeps the Ab Ripper DNA front to back, but (if you’re looking for a car) analogy, it’s upgraded the engine. With a focus on form and making your moves deliberate, you’ll feel this from chest to hip. It’s a nice change of pace from the hyper-focused intensity of Classic Ab Ripper… but no less difficult.

In the mean time, check out the details on P90X2 here and feel free to spread the love via Facebook, Digg, Twitter or link if this was worth your time. Comments are always appreciated so thanks to so many of you who’ve given these reviews a shout-out.

Beginning your P90X2 journey? Questions? Feel free to email me here or at Better yet, let’s get you the support you need to line up your nutrition goals right now. Make me your (free) Beachbody Coach right here and we’ll feel the burn together! 


6 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Alan Fowler says:

    Great post. Thanks for the insight.

    Question: if you can’t do all the reps continuously (i.e. only 10 without taking a break), do you recommend just doing the number you can, rest while the video continues, and move on to the next exercise? Or, do you recommend, doing the number of reps you can, pause the video, take a break, recover, press play, and then finish the reps before moving on the next exercise?

    Starting P90X, that’s a question I always had regarding ARX?

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      No problem, Alan– thanks for checking in!

      I’d recommend pressing pause and finishing the rep set. There’s always the mantra of “Do your best and forget the rest” but abs recover quickly and can take the ARX reps. Pausing will take a few extra minutes to finish but over the course of a few weeks, you’ll be keeping pace in no time. Still, if you run up against a brink wall after an honest self-evaluation as opposed to giving an excuse to come up short, write that number down and beat it by one or two next time. As for the X2 AR, I’d recommend the same with the obvious exception being any kind of “non-standard” discomfort that would indicate a strain.

      • Alan Fowler says:

        Gotcha. That’s how I had been doing it. I’ve done P90X twice, and it always seemed to be the wisest move to get as many reps as possible. (After all, I believe Tony says, “take a break if you need it.”)

        Love you blog! Keep up the great work!

        • Coach Dan V. says:

          Thanks, Alan! Appreciate the comments and look forward to seeing you around. If you’re interested in linking into Dan V.’s Fit Spot!– a private accountability/workout group we’ve got going– definitely let me know– two rounds of P90X under your belt makes you a regular pro!

          In the mean time we’ll keep things rockin’ around here. Thanks again!

  2. Alan Fowler says:

    That sounds good, Dan. Please send me the info.

    I’m pretty self-motivated, but being a part of community always helps for motivation, questions, etc.


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