P90X3 (and X and X2) Results Pics with Star Wars accompaniment

Previous fitness posts are here.  You should read them (cuz they’re funny) but I’ll summarize.

About a year and half ago I had my tonsils removed. This sucked, impinging as it did on my Dorito consumption. But the upside of bleeding from the throat, enduring great pain, and therefore being unable to eat anything that didn’t come in a container with a Quaker on it, was that I lost about ten pounds.  When I recovered from the tonsillectomy, I resolved to keep the weight off.  So I decided to start P90X.  How hard could it be, thought I? Training, motherfuckers! Bring it unto me!

This is how I thought it would go.


This is what actually happened.

So I thought to myself:  Self, this is some hard shit, maybe you should try something else? But then I remembered this:

So I stuck with it. I did P90X, P90X2, and am now in the midst of a hybrid P90X-P90X2-P90X3-Insanity hybrid (schedule is here, if you’re interested).

After a while I got better at all the workouts. And eventually when I squared off against Horton I was more like this:

And over time the workouts did their thing — I got more fit and stronger. And I also felt a lot better. Here’s a before pic:


Possibly that’s a slight exaggeration.

Now, before we get to the actual after pic, let me say a couple things. First, Mrs. Kemp told me she would not be scandalized if I posted a pic, so all is well on that score. For my part, I’m essentially immune to shame. That said, this is a bit of a departure for me. I have two audiences for the blog. There’s some overlap, but they’re largely distinct. On the one hand I have the readers interested in my novels, and on the other I have folks interested in my fitness posts. It’s typical for fitness bloggers to post results-pictures but I’ve held off for a while because (a) I’m not a fitness blogger, as such, and (b) I thought it might be odd for readers of my novels to see me shirtless. But I finally figured: Why the hell not?  So here you go.

When I started P90X I was about 223lbs. Today I’m about 195lbs, and I think I’m as fit and strong as I’ve ever been. Because I’m 45, I’m not sure I’ll ever get built like a superhero, but that’s okay because that wasn’t the point. I have a lot more energy and just generally feel better. From a cosmetic standpoint, I’m happy with where things are at the moment and plan to just keep right on going.  All of which is to say:  If you’re looking for excellent home fitness programs, I recommend the various Beachbody products.

Without further ado, here’s the after pic (a terrible selfie, true, but at least in black and white to avoid blinding you with my pasty white skin :-).


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  1. Hadn’t realized we were the same age, which makes me even more interested in giving this a try. It can be very encouraging to know other young-like-us guys are doing what we can to get healthy. I started eating healthy (NOT dieting) two years ago and combined that with running and light weight work. I dropped 54 pounds and am truly in the best shape of my life, though I tend to bounce between 150 and 160 more frequently than I would like. I’m 5’6″, so that isn’t a horrible weight for me. I was actually thinking about your previous hybrid approach yesterday when I stumbled across a P90X3 infomercial. I’ve just started doing some other “kick your butt for 20-30 minute” high intensity workouts and although they show just how much work I have yet to do, I’m encouraged to try something like this to fine tune my results and maybe stabilize my fitness. Appreciate your humorous posts and the pix too.

    • Congrats on the weight loss, Carl. Nicely done, man. And good luck with the program you’re doing. As a rule, I think the best program for anyone is the one they stick with, so if that’s the one for you, rock on. :-)

  2. I’m 39 and planning tonsil removal. 1-10 scale, how bad?

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  4. I had a tonsillectomy myself a few years ago. In my late 30s. The recovery included a trip to the ER wherein the staff put me in a sealed, back room whilst they called the surgeon. I think I was separated from the rest of the ER so that the staff and other patients would relieved of the burden of seeing and hearing me vomit blood everywhere. Don’t worry, though–the surgeon said such an event only happens 1-2% of the time.

    BTW Paul, did you watch True Detective? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

  5. Nice work! I’m starting block 2 of P90X3 on Monday and am looking forward to the rotation of new workouts. So far, I’m really enjoying the program . . . never thought I’d be doing Pilates!

  6. I am a big fan of your books and now a fan of the fitness as well. I recently lost 75 lbs using diet,abstaining from good beer (I live in the pacific northwest) and riding my mountain bike everywhere I could. I recently thought about the next evolution in my fitness and that was muscle building. I think I will give P90X a try as it seemed to work well for you and you are not much older than me…but are older, just kidding. Thanks for letting me know the first go ’round with it is going to be brutal but it gets better. I thank you for your tips and your writing, I will use your Egil and Nix to read while I recover my dignity in my P90X workout. Thanks again

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