So you want to shrink that keg you’ve got around your gut to a 6-pack, and you don’t have a lot of time before beach season kicks in. Your first instinct is to grab the biggest, baddest exercise routine you can find, stock up on protein powder, and go nuts.

Have fun with that, because in a day or two you’re going to be DYING.

Welcome to P90X. Advertised as a way to get you absolutely ripped in 90 days, it isn’t for the faint of heart or the flabby of arms.  You’re given twelve discs, each with its own unique workout, for use. The idea is to work out for six days, then take a rest for one, then do it again. The workouts are: Chest and Back, Plyometrics, Shoulders and Arms, Yoga, Legs and Back, Kempo, Stretch, Core Synergistics, Chest Shoulders and Biceps, Back and Biceps, Cardio, and Ab-Ripper. The way it works is that it keeps your muscles from remembering the movements and exercises and slacking off.

Just WATCHING the workout is painful, with the worst being Ab-Ripper. It makes me want to hug my little belly and whisper soothing nothings to it. Why do you hate me, P90X? What did I ever do to you? The Yoga workout is nothing to scoff at, either. You’ll be aching in muscles you never knew you had for days afterwards.

The program also comes with a nutrition guide and fitness guide, because all the muscle-ripping workouts in the world won’t help you if you stuff burgers and fries in your pie-hole all day long. That being said, the program is not the most flexible one out there, and requires what might be considered a shit-ton of motivation and willpower.

The long and the short of it is that the program will work, if you do exactly what it says and don’t cheat. If you can do that, then perfect. If you’re like me and might get a little resentful over the lack of flexibility in the program, you might want to look elsewhere. And please, for your own sake, if you’re not as fit as you used to be, please go slowly. The last thing you want is to be injured – that might put a kink in your tanning time.