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Women and P90X: What Can a Woman Expect?

Judging by the number of women coming to this site searching for a female-centric review of P90X , there are a lot of questions:“Can a woman do P90X?Is P90X effective for women? What kinds of success can women have with P90X?”Given that I recently completed 90 days and have been a woman most of my life, I thought I would weigh in on this one. (Multiple highhats!)

First, a little background:I’ve been active pretty much all of my life.My mom is a dyed-in-the-wool gymrat, and has been since I can remember (I totally remember sitting in the back of the Buick when Mrs Garber from church told my mom about this awesome new song for jazzercise, “Eye of the Tiger .”I remember being quite sure Jane Fonda was someone my mom actually knew in real life.)  If I was looking pale or pasty, she would lock my brother and I outside to go run around until the sun went down.  I was in ballet and gymnastics and all sorts of stuff as a kid.  In highschool , I did cheer and dance and track.After highschool, I went to the gym regularly and watched Ms Fitness USA for hours on cable (though I never had the tenacity to actually train for it.)In 2000, I started cheering again with a competition-level charity squad called Cheer SF , while being concurrently addicted to spinning (studio cycling). After my stint with Cheer SF, I discovered Bikram and, after that, Ashtanga yoga…  

Despite all that, as I get older it seems harder to keep my size down.I’m used to being the one who everyone thinks is “too skinny,” only it’s been a good 10 years since that’s been true.About a year ago, my boyfriend saw the P90X infomercial and we decided to embark on a 90-day fitness challenge.  We would each do our own workouts and see who had the better results.

For me: walking to work (2 miles), doing 90 minutes of Ashtanga Yoga and then taking a cardio kickbox or weightlifting class, for a total of about 3 hours of activity, 5 days a week. I had pretty good results- my goal was to wear the 24” corset to Folsom Street Fair and not look spongy. I think I did an OK job of it. (This despite a very pricy-yet-assy trainer at the Van Ness 24 Hour Fitness… if you are thinking of getting one, please get in touch first so I can help you find a decent one!)

For him: Rob was no stranger to the concepts of P90X, so he put together his own P90X-esque plan and self-motivated at home.

I had better results that first 90 days and Rob realized he needed a little more structure.Knowing spending $100+ on P90X would force him to motivate, he began the program in November, and I started following along in December/January, but really hit my stride of six P90X workouts per week in January and registered for on February 13, 2008.

So, that brings me to spelling out what, for me, are the measures of success (these can– and probably SHOULD– be different for everyone):

Size/measurements (and, yes, weight)

Being able to do cool stuff like pull-ups, arm balances and whatnot (you may notice that “being able to do cool stuff” is the theme that runs through my fitness pursuits. I might be 34, but I can still do the splits.)

Feeling good (including being confident in the way I look, how my clothes fit, having energy- I recently went off the anti-depressant Wellbutrin and knew that fitness would be a major component in my success there.)

I started at about 140 lbs; my “goal” for the past 10 years has been “about 127” (for no real reason other than it would be nice to get back to my post-highschool weight)So, that is where I started- here are my thoughts:

The Program: I started mid-cycle on P90X, so we switched to P90X+ midway through.When we did the first fitness test, I think I was able to .25 of a pullup, but was OK in other strength tests like push-ups and wall-sits from my yoga background.Cardiovascularly, I was lacking, despite that foray into the world of “cardio kickbox.”

P90X consists of six workouts per week, mostly strength training, two cardio workouts, and a yoga workout.I did P90X “classic,” but there are options that have you mix up the same workout DVDs into programs called “P90X Lean,” and “P90X Doubles.”

The strength workouts are really the core of this program.The workouts are really hardcore- I was one of those people who doubted you could get a good workout from a DVD.In fact, I get a better strength workout with these DVDs than I did with my last personal trainer.(Who really, truly, sucked.Wish I had that $600 back! See previous disparaging comments.)The workouts are very heavy on pull-ups and push-ups, which might be intimidating to some women.As I mentioned, I was able to do .25 of a pull-up.I started out with bands, and then progressed to the P90X Pull-up Bar.I am happy to say that I can now do 3 pull-ups in a row with just a little “body-English” cheating and can complete the whole workout with one foot on the back of a chair.Push-ups are easy enough to do on your knees, but you need to make a mental commitment to do as may as you can on your toes before going to your knees- For some reason, I find the psychological crutch of doing push-ups on my knees hard to overcome, so it really is a mental game to see progress here.

Note about P90X Plus: I really dislike the overuse of the Upper Plus program in P90X+.You do it twice per week.I notice a lot of people have concerns that P90X will feel repetitious.I’m here to tell you that it really doesn’t– unless you are doing P90X Plus as written, and then you might want to tear your eyes out vs. do Upper Plus again.

I do LOVE the Abs/Core Plus workout in P90X+.It has a lot of hanging ab work, which can take some building up to, but it is a great workout for those of us who hate crunches.(In fact, I hate crunches and some boat-type ab work because it makes the front of my legs go numb.This was a huge issue for me with Ab Ripper X.Numb legs suck.)

About the Cardio Workouts: The cardio workouts in P90X are Kenpo X and Plyometrics.Plyometrics will kick your ass and give you a great cardio workout.It will likely also take you several weeks to build up the confidence in getting through the whole thing, but you will.

It took me a REALLY long time to get to the point with Kenpo X where I felt like it was even worth my time cardio-wise.Emphasis on proper breathwork is essential.Do not watch the redhead; she is half-assing her way through the entire thing.I made the mistake of mimicking her for the first several times and literally had to flail like Fraggle on crack through the “breaks” to even get my heartrate in zone.Even with proper form, I still do use the “breaks” as an opportunity to really spike my heartrate with intense jumping jacks/running in place, etc.- this workout has a lot of downtime that you have to commit to fill.

A note about P90X Plus: The Kenpo Cardio Plus workout in P90X Plus is crap.Rob talked about it in his review from a “martial arts practitioner” point of view.I’m just talking about it from the perspective of someone who is looking for a good cardio workout.It has no flow, the moves go by so fast that is nearly impossible to do them with proper form… just not a well-thought out workout at all.

Interval X Plus:

Personally, I don’t feel like half the movements in this thing are true “interval” moves. Nor do I think that 30 second intervals are enough to feel intervals (in either the exertion or recovery sense of the word.) I am used to one minute all-out effort, 1-or-2-minute recovery. But, it’s like “slow jogging” and then “all-out Olympic sprinting.” I am not sure how I can kick some and then kick a little more and then LIKE TOTALLY REALLY KICK!All in one minute and feel the difference in between. My cardiovascular system doesn’t work like that.Plyo or a nice 150-min-188-max-BPM-max interval run for 50 minutes is better.

Yoga:Oh, you really want me to go there? I hate the yoga in the P90X system with a hatred that I can barely explain.I love yoga as much as I hate Yoga X. In fact, if I didn’t love yoga so much, I might not think Yoga X sucks as much ass as it sucks. And, it sucks a lot.Mucho.Many the ass.I won’t do it.I’ll pop in a different tape, do yoga on my own, or go for a jog. Yoga is supposed to be about exploring the flow in life and ending up places you never thought you could end up, not about doing “runner’s pose” 49 times in a row. Tony doesn’t even know the difference between “cow” and “camel.” He might be good at other stuff, but he is NOT a yoga instructor.

The Results: My boyfriend had great results firming up with P90X without changing his diet at all. For me—I got about 70 days into it and felt exactly the same.Scales and measurements concurred.

For me, having about 15 lbs of fat to lose, it really will come down to the diet. The months I spend doing P90X as written without severe diet changes didn’t produce results. In the past 3 weeks, I have changed my diet in a major way.I’ve did the 6-day express plan and a really structured food plan, and am down about 8 lbs. And- in more exciting news- I actually havea picture that I am willing to use as a “before!” Woop!

I am 100% off of Wellbutrin. I feel strong.I can do cool stuff. Now, I just need to lose the fat.

(Ladies, did you really think eating whatever you want and lifting heavy weights would solve all your problems? Me, too!Not the case, sadly.)

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399 thoughts on “Women and P90X: What Can a Woman Expect?

  1. Hi Nadia-
    I would actually advise you NOT to add anything to your workout regime right now until you get your eating under control. You need to find a way to get in the calories you need to fuel your training before you even consider adding anything new. As with most anything fitness-related, fueling is SO MUCH of the equation. You need to start either increasing your portions or to get your cadding some healthy-but-calorie-dense foods like nuts, avocado, more whole grains, etc. to your diet to get your calories up. If that’s not palatable, add something like a bar or a shake that will be relatively easy for you to consume and will bring your calories up to where you are at a little bit of a surplus so that you can build some muscle and fuel your training/strength gains.

    Once you have your calorie situation figured out, if you want to add some weight training, work with whomever is coaching you on the acrobatics. I’m sure that the P90X disks have the types of workouts that would benefit you, but, not knowing what your training schedule looks like specifically it is hard for me to coach you on which disks to use when. You would definitely NOT want to jump into the P90X program as written on top of 6 days of acrobatics, as you’d likely get into a situation where you aren’t allowing for enough recovery– and, remember, it is ONLY during recovery that the adaptations that increase muscle strength happen.

    For the kinds of strength gains you need, I would bet your coach can give you just 4 or 5 compound movements for your lower body, 4 or 5 for your chest and back, and 4 or 5 for your arms and shoulders and tell you what day to do them to be sure you aren’t working the same muscle groups back-to-back.

    Since you are looking to build strength towards a specific functional purpose, you are in a little bit of a different boat here.

    In a nutshell, though:
    – Get your calories up before you throw in any more training
    – Add some weighted compound exercises that speak specifically to the kinds of functional strength you need for the acrobatics
    – Make sure you are recovering properly and not throwing in workouts that your coach isn’t aware of, or you could set yourself up to end up burnt out at best or injured at worst.

  2. Marcellina- I wouldn’t do Chest and Back back-to-back with Insanity. So much of Insanity is pushy/planky that you wouldn’t be giving your chest enough recovery. I think Insanity has PLENTY of chest in it, that maybe do just the “Back” part of “Chest and Back” (Or just the “Back” part of Back and Legs.) If you are feeling early fatigue in the workout the next day, it means those muscles aren’t recovered enough. You need the chest to be stable to get the core activated in Insanity, so not only are you not recovering your chest enough, you are possibly cheating your core out of doing the work.

    If i missed anyone else’s question, please remind me… I’m finally coming out of my post-marathon stupor. Thanks!

  3. Thanks so much for the response… I kind of knew that the answer would be changing my eating habits rather than working out more or harder since I’ve been seeing little to no results for my increased efforts these past few months. I eat healthily, just very small portions, I hardly ever feel hungry. I will go and see a nutritionist and perhaps in a few months look to add some weight training if I still need an extra boost. Thanks again for the detailed response.

  4. Smurf as always, many thank you’s to your wonderful advice. And yes you’re right Insanity is such as fast phased workout already that by the time I do the chest moves not only I struggle with it but my chest would be completely spent and the soreness is unbearable and I end up just barely doing it. Your website is such a motivation to my fitness journey. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  5. Hi, first of all, thanks for all the information! I was wondering if you could do some number crunching for me to tell me my bmr, and if you could recommend a workout… I’m 29, 5 feet tall, 110lbs. I’m currently nursing a 16month old, so I know I need to add calories for that (I’ve been actually eating around 2500). I’m interested in being fit and maintaining my weight, mostly… Is the P90X maybe too intense for that? I was thinking of doing something about 3x a week (I do the 30day shred now three times a week)… Thanks!

  6. Katherine- If you are lacto-ovo, no problem at all! (Please do read my comments on “Women, not losing weight on P90X” if you are looking to lose weight, though, as I do suggest swapping up the diet some.)

    Lucie- I promise I’ll crunch your numbers once i get back from my run– I want to make sure I get your BF numbers accounted for correctly. In general, though– Maintaining weight has more to do with the calories you take in than it does the workouts you are doing– I trained for a marathon on 40+ miles of running and two weight days per week and maintained my weight. Allllll about the food. 🙂 You can definitely do the workouts 3 days a week if that is all you are looking for, just make sure to cycle the workouts so that you are hitting all body parts and allowing for proper recovery. Are you doing supplemental cardio at all?

  7. Lucie- With a daily burn of about 1690, plus about 200 for breastfeeding at this point (on the lower end of the breastfeeding range, since baby’s not exclusively on the breast anymore), I’d say 1900 is a good starting point for your daily calories. If you have a heartrate monitor to track your calories burned in workouts, that is the best way, otherwise you can use an online estimator to see how may cals you are likely burning in a workout and “eat those back” on workout days, since your goal isn’t to lose weight. Of course, the only way to check the math on this equation is to weigh yourself weekly and see what your weight has done over the course of a month. If it’s gone up, you’d want to cut some cals or vice versa. If you are adding a significant amount of heavy lifting, about .5-.8 of a pound gain per month could be attributable to muscle gain, but don’t get tricked into thinking that any more than that is muscle– and that kind of growth would be only if you are really pushing the weights to fatigue within 8 or so reps. In the first couple weeks, you could put on some water weight, but that should even out by a month in.

    Hope that helps!

  8. Thank you so much! I will try to shoot for around 1900 and see how I feel. I suspect that I need to be more careful about what kind of calories I’m getting as well as try to improve my sleep in order to feel more energized. I’m not doing any cardio other than what’s in the 30 day shred (I’m not sure if that counts, really), but last week I went for a five mile jog and was totally beat the next day. That’s why I was wondering if maybe the P90X is too intense… if you think it’s doable on a three day schedule, I might give it a try! As far as the breastfeeding, am I correct in thinking that since 1 oz of breastmilk is 20cal, it takes at least that many calories for my body to make it? So if baby drinks 10 oz, I burn around 200cal depending on how efficient my body is in making it, and so on? I know it might be a weird question, but I haven’t seen much info on this anywhere, so I thought I might give it a try because you guys know a lot 🙂

  9. You are absolutely correct that the quality of the calories matter greatly– especially for people eating at or below their daily burn. On some level, a person vastly overeating on crap might have a shot at hitting their nutritional needs, just because the volume of food is so great. If you are feeling really run down, make sure you are getting carbs in the 2 hours before your workouts, and a mix of quick-acting carbs and protein (ideally in a 1-gram-protein to 4-grams-carbs ratio) in the half hour afterwards. Sleep is obviously important, though with the baby definitely at a premium!

    I’m not lactation consultant, but I know the guidelines for breastfeeding moms are 200-500 cals per day– I put you at the lower end of that just because you aren’t feeding exclusively. It would make sense that the calories involved in breastfeeding would be the caloric content of the milk + a little bit of caloric expenditure put towards producing the milk itself. It seems to line up nicely with your knowledge of the caloric content of the milk itself. Neat stuff!

  10. Thank you so much for your response! I will keep your suggestions in mind, and I think I will give it a try… I’m just ready for something that will challenge me and get me in shape. Now I only need to figure out what to do about the pull up bar (we don’t have door frames) and I’m good to go.

  11. Hey guys, I am a 19 year old girl hustling my butt through college.
    I am 5’4 and a heavy 130lbs. I feel so uncomfortable being this weight, my goal is to lose 10-15 pounds.

    Throughout my younger years I was always very fit and did gymnastics at a fairly high competitive level. Around age 16 however I got injured and had to give it up and since then I just never really had any motivation to keep up my fitness.

    Now, I feel like a big jiggly mess, my body is completely untoned and I feel like I couldn’t even run the length of myself if my life depended on it. (I wasn’t kidding when I said I haven’t done anything in 3 years)

    I have never dieted or needed to worry about what I eat, as up until now I never gained any weight. So I really do not know where to start, or even know how to count calories.

    I like to have something to follow and routines that I can really enjoy and get into, I have been thinking about doing p90x for a while now, but I know I build muscle mass quite quickly and I worry that I will look like hulk hogan by the time I’m done (which I don’t want haha). My main objective is to burn the fat from my stomach and thighs and possibly see my 6pack back again, that would be nice!!

    Any suggestions will be greatly greatly appreciated, I just really need to know where to start! Thanks.

    1. As I tell everyone I meet, I love P90X. It will do what you are looking for, if you work out and maintain your diet you will see the results you want. Now, the question is, where are you going to be working out? If you live at home, then sure, P90X will be easy for you, as you need limited space but will need a place for weights (or bands) and a pull up bar. If you are in a dorm room, well, space is precious, and P90X may not me the ideal workout for that environment. (When I was in college we had 2 people per tiny room and could hardly fit 2 beds 2 desks and clothes into the rooms. )

      You might want to look at Hip Hip Abs or Rockin Body. Very cardio intense and needs less room than P90X. (And no gear) For the most intense cardio I have ever done as a program, Insanity. It lives up to its name sake. Again, if you eat right and do Insanity, you will be shredded in 60 days. (But, you need to have some stamina to begin with or you WILL burn out early, so it is a great follow on to either P90X or Hip Hop Abs or Rockin Body)

      We also did a post on a few of the products:

      Hope this helps.


      To buy P90X, Insanity, Hip Hop Abs or Rockin Body follow the link below.

  12. i started p90x a few months ago and did it for about 1 week. I stopped because i own turbo jam and im constantly obsessed with cardio so it kinda got me a little tired and off track. The workouts are very intense for beginners so think it over before you begin. I thought i was in excellent shape from running ,cardio and kickboxing that i do. however it was not what i expected it was a lot harder. Well anyways i just started p90x again yesterday along with a short cardio before . I did he lean before im not a big fan f woman man muscles? there gross so if your a women just stick with the lean and no carbs!! you dont want to bulk! great workout overall but take the fitness test first before you start because you might be suprised how tuff it is. dont start it if you cant handle it.

  13. also the only thing that drives me crazy with p90x is that the workouts are soooooooooo long it get extremely bored because i cant stay in one place for very long !!!! everytime i start the yoga i end up quiting 10 min in because its like 2 hours!!!!! i dont have time for that even on days you do nobody is going to do 2 hours of yoga that ridiculous!! i can barely keep focused for 40 min!

    1. Yeah, at about 1.5hrs for Yoga X it is a bit long. 45 minutes of Yoga, then 45 minutes of stretching with a bit of core work. I have really begun to like it late at night before bed though. I used to really hate it. Since it was put out, Tony has 2 shorter Yoga videos in his One-On-Ones which are ony 45 minutes long. And both are decent workouts. Yoga X is still the beast of the workouts, but if you want shorter yoga, try one of them.

      As for all the workouts being too long. There I have to disagree. Most of the P90X workouts are under an hour. Which is not a mad amount of time to be devoting to being fit every day. If you want something shorter, you could try the 10 Minute Trainer series. It is a series of brutal 10 minute workouts that are 100% go go go. Short and sweet, and will help you get more fit, but nothing like P90X, INSANITY, or Turbo Fire.

      If the repetativness of weight workouts is what gets you, then you should try Insanity or Turbo Fire. The time flys by as you are in constant motion. No time to get bored as you are moving at hyper speed.


  14. Also, Angela, as a certified fitness and nutrition professional– I just can’t let some of the misconceptions in your post fly in case another reader sees them. You should NOT be avoiding carbs– they certainly have nothing to do with making your muscles bulk. Doing Classic won’t give you “man muscles.” Bulking a muscle is about three things– eating at a surplus of calories (generally, this surplus would come in the form of protein, though it doesn’t much matter); Lifting very heavy- 6-8 reps to failure; and having lots of TESTOSTERONE. In the absence of any one of those things, you will not get “man muscles.” So, lift away, eat a nice blend of carbs and protein, and track all your calories to be sure you are at a deficit (if loss is your goal.)

  15. I’m so glad I found your site! I just finished week 3, day 3 of P90X classic. I keep straining to see ANYTHING in the way of results, but so far have gotten nothing. I keep thinking my clothes are looser, but they’re really not. I keep expecting to see the scale go down, but it doesn’t. A general day of eating for me is an Herbalife nutrition shake for breakfast, banana for mid-morning snack, turkey sandwich and goldfish for lunch at work, yogurt for mid-afternoon snack, usually something grilled for dinner with a starch and a veggie, then I polish it all off with ONE glass of wine. I don’t get it, and I’m frustrated…but i’m not giving up! Exercising an hour a day, six days a week, has GOT to produce some results at some point, right? I mean…I was getting the same results without working out much at all before. Any experienced advice for me?

  16. Hi EDC- Without journaling, tracking weighing and measuring everything that goes in your mouth, it’s all a shot in the dark. You must start journaling what you are eating and knowing– exactly– how many calories you are taking in in order to have any idea where you are at. “Typical Days” don’t count– I know what I’d tell you my “typical day” is, and I know how few of my days are “typical.” Even after doing this for years with a huge amount of success, if a few pounds creep back on and I want to lose, I have to track and journal. “Just going back to how I ate when I lost that 20 pounds” never does the trick.

    I’d suggest you get signed up with The Daily Plate or similar free tracking program. Once you have a couple weeks of calorie data (weighed, measured, every bite!) and correlating weight data, then we can tuck into what might be going on.

  17. To blogger: Exactly how tall are you? if you’re something like 5’7″ then 127 would be too low of a weight for you. Always keep in mind as you get older your body needs to maintain a certain amt. of fat to keep your face looking youthful, do you want to forgoe that to have a “too skinny” body? It sounds like your body was at a setpoint of 140.

    1. So, by that logic, at 6’1 I should be 300 lbs when I am 70 so I can have a full face and look youthful. Sorry. I don’t buy it.

      As I am out and about drinking peach margaritas over brunch, and may not be at my nicest. I still call bullshit.

      Saying you need to have your fat plumping you up so you don’t have smile lines is crazy. Your comment sounds like an excuse not to moisturize and scarf bacon to me.


    2. Hi Zvalentia,

      I am “blogger.” I am 5’6 and a halfish, and I’ve been at 122 since earlier this year. Still well within normal on the BMI charts, and much better for my athletic performance, and I’m hardly looking “old in the face.” But thanks anyhow.

  18. I loved this review. Honest! I’ve attempted P90x about 3 times and never made it to week 3. I don’t want to get too muscular, just drop this gut and do some serious toning. And yes, the yoga stinks to hell. Boooo! I hated it because it was hard as hell. I was like, damn, I though yoga was supposed to be challenging. To me, this was the hardest workout.

    1. The Yoga video that came with P90X is tough. No doubt. Tony has since released 2 other yoga alternatives which are challenging in their own right. (Only about an hr long) You could give either one of them a shot, or grab a different yoga video all together. The key thing is to get past your 3 week wall as there is a recovery week coming up, and then the workout regimen changes.

      Have you started another program in place of P90X?


  19. Im on my recovery week of phase 1 lean. And I do every workout.. But damn it! I run away from yoga arms up in the air screaming.. Its to long.. And so boring. I’ve never felt so tense in my life before. I thought yoga was about flow and relaxation. I feel neither with the p90x yoga. 🙁 Any ideas on what workout I could do instead? What about doing plyo or adding another cardio??

    1. As you have read, Yoga X is not my favorite routine, but there are lots of alternatives. I find the stretching aspect of the video great. The Yoga has since grown on me. Tony also has 2 yoga other videos (Tony Horton One on Ones) and you can do X Stretch in its place. You can also grab any other Yoga Video out there and us it.

      I find that Core Synergistics should be thrown into the program more, and if you hate Yoga X, you could replace it with that. (Just do the Stretching at least once a week)


  20. I just found your site tonight, and have gotten some great info. However, almost all the women asking for advice seem to be shorter than me. I am 36, 5’11 and about 190 lbs. I am most comfortable and look the best around 155 lbs (although I would love to be 130, but that’s a dream!) I see myself as the staypuffed marshmallow girl, but most people tell me that I am not fat, just need to tone up. My friend has finished round one of p90x and has invited me to join her in her next round. I had surgery in June, and before that was doing kickboxing, pilates, yoga and weight training. Since the surgery, I have done nothing! (I was released to resume exercise by my surgeon in August) I know it will take me some time to catch up, but I believe I can do it. Can you recommend some calorie parameters and nutrition advice for someone my size? Also, I tend to be very low on energy and lethargic as a rule. I also take antidepressants and would love to kick those to the curb! Thanks in advance for your time….

  21. Hi guys,

    I have just done my first day of P90X but am confused. Which programme do I do? I weigh 63kg’s and am 5’6 tall and female. I would love to get done to 58-59kgs.. I thought I would do the ‘lean’ programme but no thinking maybe the classic would be better? anyone know which I should do?

  22. The generic answer here is: I’d suggest doing a round of Lean (90 days) and then a round of Classic. I’d add to that, though, that I’d suggest getting a heartrate monitor and seeing which burns more calories for you– the workouts like Chest and Back, or the workouts like Kenpo and Cardio X. If the workouts burn a nearly-identical number of calories for you (which could happen depending on your pacing and how hard you are pushing), then it wouldn’t much matter which arrangement of workouts you choose.

    The weight loss is going to be almost entirely dependent on your diet, regardless.

  23. I’m a female5ft & wt. 204.5. I have had 4 surgeries on my feet and my weight has increased by 50lbs in a little more then a year. I have P90X could this work for me. I go back to work in 2mo.

  24. Hi, Smurf,
    I am a 36 year old 5’4 199 lb woman. I just started p90x monday..I will finish this round on my bday so I am very excited to follow through (problem in the past) and see results. I have a few questions and hope you can help. What is your take on weight watchers? I am trying to choose between that , clean eating or calorie counting. Also how many calories should I be taking in a day. I do p90x in the am I plan to get on my treadmil, walk or do a tape for additional cardio in the evening, is this ok as far as recovery is concerned? Also do i really need results and recovery and/ or shakeology I recieve both on auto delivery but am feeling like I may have gotten caught up in the hype.. Is it really all they say it is and worth it or not really necessary. I also am thinking about getting brazillian but lift to add in 4 weeks before my bday…. I also was toying with doing a hybrid with insanity or turbofire instead of kenpo,plyo and yoga x what is your take on that. ..I am so excited to have found this sight!!! I look forward to your feedback…Thank you

  25. I just recently bought P90X and I am very excited to use it. I have some questions though. I had my second child about 6 months ago and was wondering if it is possible to really shape up with this. I was diagnose with PCOS about 3 years ago and I have put about 20 more pounds on in the past few months with staying home with my kiddos. I am 5’4 and 240lbs. I am constantly tired and have no energy. I also just look horrrible. I want to be what I use to be in high school. I have always been smal and it is driving me crazy not being small. I am just afraid of getting discouraged with the program. What is the best route for me with the P90X. I cant wait to hear from you! Thank You!

  26. Butterfly Mom- I love Weight Watchers. It is a super-solid program. (One note: Weight Watchers pushes their packaged products more than I’d like. Yes, sometimes they are great for convenience, but anything made stable enough to spend the bulk of its life in a bag, box or carton is generally crap. No matter what eating program someone is following, the principals of Clean Eating still apply. And, I love the Clean Eating Magazine!)

    Essentially, with any of the programs you listed, you’d be doing the same thing- eating a balanced diet at a deficit to result in weight loss. Just with WW, you have additional instructing, hand-holding and encouragement. (I did weight watchers myself my second year into college, when I just wasn’t as active as I was in HS.) 1500 is a nice generic range for most women to start (while you are on the shorter side, you are a little heavier, so I’d still start you at 1500 unless I did a full assessment and uncovered something different.) Log everything you eat, log your calories burned. Shoot for a 1000 calorie per day deficit to see about a 1.7ish lb loss per week (yes, I know this should get you a 2 lb loss per week, but people are notoriously crap at accurately tracking calories.) The good news if you decide to do Weight Watchers is that you’ll have someone monitoring your loss and moving your calories around until the scale begins to move. Otherwise, I advise people to give 1500 calories a few weeks until they decide they need to bring it down- more often than not, if the scale’s not moving, it’s because something is sneaking in there uncounted or incorrectly-counted so the person is actually eating more calories than they know, or thinking they are burning more than they are (some cardio machines count laughably high on the calorie burn.)

    Walking shouldn’t affect your recovery with P90X, just make sure you aren’t doing so much that you are burning yourself out mentally or neglecting other important aspects of your life. You really don’t need to be burning more than 500 additional calories per day (and, of course, hitting your food deficit) to see a really nice, steady loss, so don’t necessarily think “more is more.” Remember, this is about building sustainable habits to last a lifetime, not working yourself into a ditch for short-term results.

    I think that was all your questions- sorry it was a little scattered, but drop me a note if you have more questions or anything was unclear.

    Jackie- I’ll get to yours after the I hit the gym. It’s my first time back post-Christmas. Ugh. Post-Christmas never gets any easier. 🙂

  27. I am 25 and on day 6 of p90x AND LOVE IT! I’m not over weight… I weigh 113lbs and looking to get ripped….I use to run 4 miles a day and that was nothing compared to these work outs. I’m a mom of an 18 month old boy… having a baby was way harder than p90x.. come on people its suppose to be hard. I’m doing it with my husband and we keep eachother motivated to keep going. We both have a food journal and keep track of everything that goes in our mouths and I would say thats the key. we are already both seeing results and very sore. The yoga in p90x isn’t suppose to be calming and relaxing… its X FOR XTREME!!!! You’re suppose to BRING IT if you want to see results… I guess it isn’t for everyone, but if you’re gonna do it, then do it right and follow the plan and do each workout the best you can, and like I said….. BRING IT.. and press play every day 🙂 can’t wait for day 30… If you want to loose weight you REALLY need to follow the food play and eat exactly what they tell you. Our meals are awesome and I actually have a hard time meeting my calorie intake I’m so full. Good luck!

  28. Hello, I’m a 21 yr old Hispanic female and about 5`1 and weigh 160… I’m looking to get toned and lose about 30-35pnds. What workout should i do?

  29. Spot on! I’ve done 2 rounds of P90X. What I realized mid way through the first round is that I had to change my diet. I couldn’t eat the 2400 suggested calories and lose weight. It wasn’t until I lopped off a few calories per day and made some other changes that I began to see results. By day 90 I was super happy. By the end of round 2 I was ecstatic! The program works, but you’re absolutely right, we can’t just eat whatever we want and still see the results we desire. I’m doing Insanity right now and it’s a booger (smile). Wish me luck!

  30. Hello,
    I’m getting ready to start p90x for the first time, but just want to get a couple of concerns cleared up. I’m a healthy, fit 28 year old, 4’11” and 95 pounds. How many calories should I be consuming every day while on this routine? Should I be taking supplements? I eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, but don’t have a huge appetite. I take a daily multivitamin & drink lots of water. I want to do p90x to get a little more tone & definition in my muscles, and to be stronger.
    I was just planning on maintaining my diet, maybe eat a little extra protein during round 1 of p90x, and use common sense with the carbs… also listen to my body and when I’m hungry, just eat smart. If you have any advice, I’d appreciate it, thanks.

  31. Hi Leah,

    It sounds to me like you have already hit a pretty good sweet spot with your calories-in and workouts, so I like your idea of just moving some calories over to lean protein to account for the added weight work, but otherwise keeping things mostly the same. You’re already on a multivitamin, which is great just for insurance. After heavy weight workouts, I do notice a difference if I take a recovery drink (half-dose because otherwise it cuts into my calorie budget for “real food” too much.) The P90X Results and Recovery one is good, or I also like Endurox R4, which is available at GNC. And, I think Gatorade now has a specific “recovery” drink now as well, but I’ve not tried it out. I don’t super-love Gatorade products, but it might be worth a shot. In any case, you want to look for quick-release carbs and a little protein in about a 4:1 ratio, and drink it immediately following your workout. I usually only drink it if I come out of the workout really feeling like I need it. Otherwise, I just try to get a meal or balanced carb/protein snack in right after a workout.

    If you want more numbers around your plan: Based on your measurements, before workouts, you’d be going through around 1600 calories per day. Plus whatever you burn in the workouts– being smaller of stature, you’d probably be about in the 400 range– If you are taking in about 1800 quality calories per day, I’d call that a pretty good sweet spot for you (this accounts for margins of error in tracking, which nearly everyone makes.) 85 grams per day would be a nice goal for you on protein (.9 grams per pound of bodyweight.) If you are eating at the 1800 and 85 grams of protein mark and seeing your weight change change steadily in either direction week-over-week, we’d want to re-assess.

    Hope that helps!

  32. Wow, thanks so much, all that really helps! I will look into the recovery drink idea. I’ve never taken any kind of supplements or shake things like this, but I’ve also never done p90x. I’ve stuck with home DVDs over the past 5 years, but lighter stuff like Jillian Michael’s, Hip Hop Abs, and Turbo Jam. I just don’t want to burn out and wear my body down w/p90x — I wanted to eat in a way that maximizes the workout and really helps my body. Not interested in weight loss, but a couple of pounds (gain or lose) won’t bother me, as long as I’m healthy and my body is working well/looks toned.
    Really, thanks a lot. I know I’m “smaller stature” and it’s hard for me to find information relevant to me. You’ve given me somewhere to go from.

  33. I am 30 years old- 5’4″ 160 lbs (boo!) and currently nursing a 7week old exclusively. I am going to start p90x with my hubby tomorrow and my question is do you think 1800 calories is enough to continue to nurse and lose weight? Could I also do some walking on treadmill as well (20-30 mins or so?) or am I overdoing it being that I am still nursing?

    1. 1800 should be fine, but check with your OB or lactation consultant if you notice any impact on milk production. I think adding walking on the treadmill would be overdoing it– not so much because of the nursing, but because you are the new mom of a 7-week-old! Things like sleep and stress relief are essential to weight loss, so I’d rather see you using that time for rest or active relaxation than hopping on a treadmill.

  34. Hi, I just started Month 2 of P90X. I had no weight loss during month 1 and am very discouraged. I’m doing the program with my boyfriend who’s already lost 5 lbs and looks much slimmer. We eat pretty healthy (about 1500-1600 calories per day) and have a cheat meal twice a week. I know I should probably cut out the cheat meal. I’m 5’6 and a whopping 197lbs and I wish to shed 50lbs. I’m having a very difficult time trying to create meal plans. Am I eating too few calories with all the exercise we are doing? Or should I lower my calorie intake? I write down all my calories and keep track in the Lose It app for the iPhone. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Cyn,

      I’m sorry you are feeling discouraged, let’s see if we can help you get moving in the right direction.

      First, your calorie count looks fine– set a hard, well-tracked upper-limit of 1600 per day– Now, here’s the crucial thing: That includes whatever you’d eat in a cheat meal! If you want to have that “cheat meal,” you need to account for it elsewhere in your week– potentially by coming down into the 1400-1500 range on other days. If you are having two cheat meals per week, you could easily be consuming 1000-1500+ calories in each of those meals, possibly more if your cheat meal includes cocktails, and thus “eating back” nearly all of your progress. It’s also important to note that, if you are having two cheat meals per week, you are spending two days– or 28.5% of your time– in a calorie surplus, which isn’t going to make for the best results. Case in point, I used to give myself one “free day” on the weekends– I tracked one of those days once. It was not at all an unusual day. I consumed more than 4300 calories in a single day! Clearly, it was why the scale wasn’t moving for me. I never in a million years would have guessed that cheat day was so high, but it was. If you still want to have that feeling of the cheat meal, you need NEED to track one (honestly) so that you know how many calories it is likely to entail and account for those over the course of your week.

      It is absolutely essential that you have a clear view of your total calories in and calories out, and with two blindspots in your week, there is no way to do that. That’s not to say that you can’t have a “free meal” (most people who do this with success have only one per week, some people advocate for a longer time between them– 10 days to two weeks.), but you need to make up for it somewhere else.

      Now, if you want “fly blind” on this and keep those cheat meals untracked, you can bring your daily calories down until you hit the spot where you are making up for those cheat occasions. The way to do it would be to bring your daily calories down to 1400, stay there for two weeks and see if the scale moves. If it does, stay there. If it doesn’t, bring it down to 1300 and stay there for two weeks. Same deal, if it moves, stay there. If not, come down to 1200. If you don’t move at 1200, I’d say you really REALLY need to know what’s in those cheat meals.

      Hope that helps!

      Hope that helps!

  35. Hello,

    I am a 25 year-old mother of two. I have always had an active lifestyle (sports, exercise a lot with my family, gym) but that active lifestyle ended with the birth of my first child six years ago (boooo!). I got lax (seriously) and have spent a LOT of time looking at my pics from when I was fit in school and crying because I know that I have very high metabolism and have the drive and the capacity/ability to lose the tons of extra weight I put on, however, I just have no idea where to start… I know that I need to count calories/journal but I’m not exactly sure how to do it accurately and effectively. I also know that there should be a cap on the calories I eat daily but I’m afraid of starving all day! I used to weigh 245 lbs., but I committed to getting healthier about a year ago (w/o enough knowledge on how to do it) and started exercising once/twice a week (I had been pretty much sedentary for about four years prior) and started drinking water every day (which I have a HUGE issue with b/c I hate it lol) and I lost 43lbs., but its not enough… I have been looking into p90x and I’m just not sure where I should start. There’s so much information out there about health and exercise that I don’t really know where to begin… I am 25, 5’5” and weigh 200 (give or take 5 lbs at any given time b/c I can’t seem to get lower than that)… how many calories should I be consuming daily? What are your recommendations on how to jumpstart my progress to get healthy again? Can I do this with p90x? Which p90x program is the right start for me??? Please help. 🙁 Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer…

  36. Also, my target weight is about 140 lbs. I don’t want to be a stick, just want to be able to stand my reflection in the mirror. Ok, high school weight = 135. Weight 1 year ago = 245lbs. Weight now, 200lbs. Target weight = 135-140lbs. Thanks. Sorry if all the info is scattered… 🙁

  37. Hi gals, first off I want to say thank you for the main post. You are concise and straightforward, not to mention hysterical. Your use of caps lock coincides with a good sense of comedic timing.

    Anyway, I haven’t read the comments yet, but I wanted to know if anyone has good ideas on how to slim down my calves. I’m 5’2, 108lbs, and a pretty active person. I run (competitively up to the 10mi distance, hopefully half marathons in the near future), do yoga (various types, daily, want to be an instructor one day), and ride my bike (just for fun, flat terrain and hills). I have fairly high metabolism and rarely feel or act lethargic, but of course everyone needs down time.

    The reason I’m on here is because I just started P90X and, as excited as I am about the whole routine, I am worried that my efforts toward sticking to my New Year’s resolution from 2010 (yes, over a year ago) of slimming down my calves may be thwarted by this regimen.

    Like I said, I usually run distances up to 10miles, but no more than that. I used to run at a 8:30 mile pace, for shorter distances, but then I read that to make your legs leaner, it’s a better idea to run at a slower pace over a longer distance.

    Great, so I started doing that, but unfortunately all of my running makes me hungrier. And what better way to satisfy my hunger than, yes, gorging on carbs. Anyway, I am trying to cut out refined carbs and squeeze whole grain and high fiber content kind of things into my diet, as well as cutting out high fructose corn syrups in the juices I buy and drinking more water than juice to begin with.

    Okay, so the whole thing is obviously a work in progress, but I wanted to know if anyone that has completed the P90X routine can say anything about how LEGS are worked out? I have extremely muscular legs (my quads are killer and my calves have garnered the bewildered attention of 2 football players when I was in college) and a super weak upper body (I have only done one pullup my whole life, with the help of a running start), so I’m pretty much in the same boat as many women out there. I’m not looking to be super buff, but I do build muscle very easily and with the amount of lean proteins I eat, I am wondering how this workout plan will make me look in the end?

    Regardless of the physical results, I am giving P90X a go. Thank you for the heads-up about Tony’s yoga routines – I will not feel so bad clicking him off during that portion of the workout, since I do have a subscription to, and the one time I have done P90X yoga with my boyfriend, I wanted to murder him – and Tony, for creating an un-zen-like creature in the man that I loved.

    Anyway, I am getting riled up thinking about Tony’s approach to yoga, but to each his own – I’ll give what works (mentally) a go and hope that it all comes together, physically. And yes, any tips about how to slim down my legs (calves)(I do not have cankles) would be nice! Thanks everyone!


    1. Hi Jane,

      Thanks for writing in! It sounds like you really are on the right track with your fitness program, and I think you’ll find the program does a nice job of getting you closer to your physique goals for your upper body. As for your calves, those really are one of those body parts that there’s not a whole lot you can do– I assume you are already skipping highly-targeted workouts to make them bigger (like heavily weighted heel raises or calf presses on a machine), so you just kind of have to roll with it knowing those calves help you perform better on your runs (and also increased muscle mass in the calves has been shown to have a correlation with reduced incidence of tibial stress fractures, so you are reaping benefits from them.)

      If you have all-over body fat to lose (it doesn’t sound from your post like you do), sure, you’ll see them slim down some if you get into a calorie deficit, but the calves aren’t really a hotbed for fat storage– They really do seem to be one of those body parts where it’s all about the genetics (I know lots of super-fit ladies with cankles, for example.) You can make sure to keep them stretched and rolled out with something like The Stick or a foam roller, but, again… I doubt it’s going to be a cosmetically drastic change.

      You will be happy to know that there is nothing in the P90X program that is going to target them excessively. Keep your weight on the heel raises in Legs and Back to the 12-ish rep range, but I’ll bet your musculature there is already well-developed as a product of your running, which you don’t want to mess with, so the limited parts of P90X that target the calves won’t further develop them. I also bet once you get your upper body better developed, you’ll be less self-conscious about your calves.

      So– sorry that was kind of a “mixed news” response, but I do feel like you are on the right track and will see some nice results from the program.

      Incidentally, as for running and lean legs– sprinters (and I mean 100-400M runners) train differently than longer distance runners, and do have visibly different musclature as a result of how they train (or, another way to look at it is that they train that way because of what kind of muscle they have- In other words, someone with more fast twitch muscle likely performs better at sprints, thus trains at that distance and develops that look. While someone with more slow twitch fiber would be seen to perform better at longer distances and would be sent down the path of longer distance training and would end up developing that “distance runner look.”) Regardless, if you are training for 10 mile races, you are already firmly in the kind of workout people talk about when comparing the “lean” look of distance runners vs the more muscular look of sprinters. The speed you run your workouts at has little to do with that, so changing your pace per mile isn’t going to be the distance between having, say, Flo Jo legs and having Shalane Flanagan legs.

      1. Hi Smurfette,

        Thanks! I guess I have always been self-conscious about my calves … those football players’ comments didn’t really help. Buuut, I did want to say I appreciate (and almost expected) your mixed news response.

        I guess I should mention that I started my running “career” as a sprint-distance runner. I did mostly bounding-type events – hurdles, long jump, and triple jump. I have a natural buoyancy that kind of parallels my energy, and I think over the years I have yearned to rein that in and really discipline myself to, well, last longer. Last year, I really did make it a point to focus on my legs to slim them down a bit, and while I know I will never be a Shalane or a Kara, I do like to know what I’m getting into with new additions to my workout regimen.

        A good point comes up throughout the other threads – calorie intake and precise diet measurements. I tried to count calories awhile ago, and I think I just have one of those personalities that is reverse psychologizing itself, so to speak, where I get really discouraged the moment I measure the first bite, and I end up scarfing down three times as much as I originally wanted.

        I think what really helps is recently, keeping a diary of my food intake and describing the portion size without actual units – say, “deck of cards” for the size of a fish filet – and almost mentally translating that into caloric units. I know that sounds silly, but it helps me control my ravenous hunger more than precise efforts.

        Anyway, in regard to diet: if I am running, say, 15-20mi a week and cross-training moderately throughout the week for about an hour each time, with a one or two day rest (usually Mondays and Thursdays), how many calories a day is my target? Again, I am only 5’2, 108lbs (my happy weight is about 103-104, but I fluctuate between 100 and 110 easily), and 28 years old. I ask this only because I am not open to trying the diet plan that comes with the P90X package. That said, do you think it’s worth a go?

        Thanks again, everyone here is really helpful. Most other forums are just all boy blabber.


        1. First… I have to say a hearty “Hello!” to my sister from another mister! I was a “field” and sprint girl in highschool, too– Long Jump, Triple Jump, 100M– I famously walked across the finishline in a 200 because I “went out too fast.” Now, I love running long distances so I really do feel an affinity with your background.

          Usually when someone talks to me about muscle bulk, I talk to the them about bodyfat creating the illusion of muscle bulk. I’m not entirely sure you are in that boat, though, especially vis a vis your calves/legs. You are on the low end of normal for your BMI. You can move down to where you want to be and still be in the “normal” range, though, but I doubt that will all (or even majorly) come from your calves. So, I propose that you do the program to get your upper body in slammin’ shape and let the calves carry you through your distance runs for a while and just kind of see what they do.

          As for getting to that 103-104– I hate to be the bearer of bad news (again) but you are going to have to be more precise in your measurements if you want to get there. You are not dealing with weight that your body has any interest in getting rid of for health reasons, you are dealing with what we call “vanity pounds.” I know they might not feel that way to you, but what it means is that your body is happy to store them for times of famine, but you want to lose them for times of skinny-jeans-and-mini-skirts and your body just doesn’t hold that as a priority.

          Here’s the math: Before workouts, you are probably going through about 1694 calories per day. With the workouts you described, you are probably burning about 300 cals per day (either a 2.9 mile run at 20 miles/week, or a P90X workout.) If you want to take those 3 or 4 lbs off a half a lb a week at a time, I’d set you at 1494 calories per day. That is a VERY slim margin for error, though, so you need to weigh and measure everything you eat to get there.

          Often times people try to do the “Well, I know I am consuming 250 calories in my afternoon mocha, so if I just cut that out, I will be reducing overall and hit my deficit” thing. Almost inevitably, that gets made up elsewhere subconsciously. So I just propose that people weight and measure everything and really know where they are at as best they can.

          If you find 1490 doesn’t create movement for you after at least two weeks of being well-documented at that level, you can bring it down to 1390 per day for the next couple of weeks and see if that does the trick. It certainly should by that point, unless something odd is trickling into your eating that’s not getting tracked (or there’s something odd on the “calories out” side like doing Bikram yoga and believing that it actually burns 1200 calories for 90 minutes…)

          Another option that could work for you with so little to lose is to just crank it down to the 1300 range and keep your eating totally clean for 4 weeks and be done with it quickly. It depends on your personality and propensity to “scarf” if you are too focused on calories. Everyone has a different path, it’s about finding what works best for you.

          Whichever feels right to you… If you want to drop me an email, as well, you are welcomed to

          1. :)!

            You’re right, I consider them “vanity pounds” and thus, do not really put a lot of pressure on myself to lose them. I feel good, physically and psychologically, so why bother?

            However, I’m easing into the workout regimen and seeing results already (I tend to lose weight easily)(or at least get a flat stomach really easily)(the legs are another story!), so I am looking forward to a mirror reflection that will encourage me a little harder to count calories for real.

            I will keep your e-mail info in mind and continue this discussion with you off the boards, but I really appreciate the support you’ve given through this! Keep up the good work!


          2. Hi Smurf! Just wanted to let you know I’m on day 27 of the workout. It was a rough first week (plyo had me limping around town for days!), but with my running and slightly shifted diet contributing to the buildup, the P90X routines became a great fit for the rest of my workout and diet schedule.

            I had a question about timing these things – I am currently squeezing in my workouts when I can (usually after work) and still in the bad habit of binging at night, post-workout (when I am ravenous) and then not eating such a hefty breakfast because my stomach is so full. How do you suggest I schedule my meals/snacks throughout the day to maximize metabolism and minimize fat buildup? My legs are still jiggly as Jello and though I remain hopeful about them, I’d like to adjust my diet a little bit more now that I have the workouts under more control.

            Thanks! Happy spring.

          3. Jane, M’Dear… Come on now! You know the answer to this question because you said it yourself– you need to stop binging at night and frontload your day with a healthy breakfast. You just have to commit to doing it, there’s no magic words I can give you. The good news is, you’ll only have to gut it out a few nights before you wake up ready for that breakfast (in fact, if you don’t wake up pretty much NEEDING that breakfast, you are probably still eating a little more than you need at night.)

            Incidentally, I’m not a person that preaches that eating at a particular time of day will make you gain weight vs eating at any other time of day. so long as your total daily calories add up to within your limit. But, nobody I’ve ever met binges at 7AM, but MANY people I know binge at 7PM, so finishing eating by a particular time is more a function of removing the temptation altogether by having you done with your calories before “binge time” rolls around.

            I can offer all kinds of suggestions– Pack your post-workout meal or snack before you do your workout so you aren’t rummaging around for something, once you’re done eating brush your teeth, chew gum, drink herbal tea, etc., to get through the rest of the night. But, at the end of the day, you going to have to just commit to not do it. There is no simpler answer than that. Review your food log if you need to convince yourself that you ate plenty and are not going to starve. You’re not, I guarantee.

            I wish you continued success!

  38. Hello 23 years old, 5’7 with a weight of 150ish here. I’m on my 1st week of P90x Lean routine but I have a hard time doing the cardio workouts as I cannot stand being in the same 5×5 area for so long. I can tolerate the weight training work outs.. well because I have no other choice. But if you could give me some other suggested cardio work outs that are equivalent to the P90x that would be great. I’m trying to lose 20 pounds by summer.
    Also suggestions on what I should be eating would be really appreciated too, thanks!

    1. Bianca- Honestly, it sounds like you just don’t care for P90X. Frankly, you DO have a choice. If you don’t care for working out in your home, or don’t care for a P90X style workout, what can we point you towards that you might enjoy? You can patchwork all you want with putting running or Zumba or Cardio Kickbox or any number of things in place of the cardio days, but if you just don’t like the workout there is no reason to try cutting off your toes to shove your foot into a shoe that doesn’t fit. The choices, actually, are pretty much endless!

      As for what to eat, 1500 meticulously-tracked, weighed, measured and journaled calories comprised of a balance of protein, whole grain carbs and healthy fats. For most folks a ratio around 30-45-25 is great (protein, carbs, fat.)

  39. Hi Smurf, I’m new to this P90x 🙂 but I thought what the heck let me try something. I’m about two weeks into it but i still dont know if its working or if I’m doing it right. So far I am doing “doubles” and following the eating plan but after reading other posts I’m nervous that I might not see my results as soon as I’d like to. I’m 5′ 10 and 245 lbs and have a athletic backround. So my question is should i continue following the healthy eating plan that p90x has of 3000 calories or should I lower my calorie intake?
    Thanks so much

    1. First things first, that calorie count they have you on is way too high. (Not surprised.) Your BMR puts you at no more than 2000 calories per day to realize a 500-calorie deficit from food, so as a first step, I’d bring you down to that.

      Second, what does your athletic background entail? How are you adapting to the doubles? For you, the #1 thing is going to be torching through as many calories as possible to create the largest possible deficit. This means lifting nice and heavy, keeping a consistent, intense effort up through the whole workout period… but also not working out so much that you are tempted to go over on that 2000 calorie limit.

      1. 🙂 I’m a female veteran. I literally just got out of the military almost a year ago which is when my weight increased. My athelic backround not only comes from the military but basketball, volleyball, swimming etc the list goes on. I’m keeping up with the doubles with no problem or complaints, I feel like its challenging but exciting at the same time. The calories just seemed high to me, so I will try the 2000 calorie like you suggested and post my progress 🙂 How long do you think it should take for me to start seeing results?

        1. Thanks for your service! And, yeah, sounds like you can handle those doubles with no problem– remember, though, that the name of the game is burning as many calories as possible, so don’t be afraid to switch it up if you find yourself getting complacent or half-assing the Kenpo and Cardio X after a while. It sounds like you’ve got a competitive streak, so a pick-up game will serve the same ends and keep things a little more interesting for you.

          As for when you should see results– In the near-term, the majority of your results should be showing on the scale. I highly encourage people to only weigh once a week, especially when undertaking a new regimen, otherwise you’ll drive yourself nuts. If you don’t see the scale move in two weeks at that 2000 calorie level, you should go over your food logs with a fine-toothed comb to be sure nothing is slipping through the cracks uncounted. If you’re sure you are counting everything as you should, then we can talk about what to do in response. As for performance gains, I find that most people come back after the first step-back week needing to up their weights and intensity and find that, if they push themselves, their performance is getting noticeably better and they can do things they couldn’t at the start of the previous month. As for visual/tape measure changes, you should see progress by re-taking your photos and measurements once a month.

  40. Hi. I have done p90x lean and lost 15 lbs without changing what I eat but just eating less. I’m 5’4, and weighed 130 (goal was 120). You can eat whatever you want, just portion it! With the help of p90x and an app called LiveStrong on Iphone, it kept me in check. You put in your height, weight, and amount you want to lose. It tells you how many calories you are to eat a day. I have never consumed 1800 a day like p90x advises me to. That’s too much! You enter everything you ate and also the exercises you have done and it will tell you if you went over or not. Thats pretty much it. Restricting your diet is only going to make you miss those favorite foods even more. I refuse to go out with friends while they’re eating all the good stuff and just having a salad. That’s torture. It’s all about portion and fitness. Good luck!


    1. Wendy, this is a really open ended question. What are your goals? Where are you starting from? What do you like to do? Are you trying to tighten up and lose a layer, or are you significantly over your goal weight? How old are you? How often can you commit to training? Are you willing to dial into and maintain a meal plan?

      Lots of info is needed to answer that question. The simplest answer is “The one that you enjoy doing.”

  42. I know I am late but I really just wanted to totally agree with you on the Yoga X point. I HATE it so much. I always thought Yoga was supposed to be relaxing and centering but it is such a pain to do…I push play with so much dread every time it is Yoga day. I am not at a point where I feel comfortable being in a class, are there any yoga dvds that you recommend? Love the review!

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