Hi Kristin, Congratulations on moving forward! Here’s what you need …
Hi Kristin, Congratulations on moving forward! Here’s what you needOct 2nd, 2010 | By Nancy Andrews | Category:
Comment posted If I want to lose weight, should I do the ‘Classic’ or ‘Lean’ P90X routines? by Coach Nancy.
Congratulations on moving forward!
Here’s what you need to know about losing weight. First, what you want to do is burn fat, not burn off muscle. If you are overweight now it’s because you have been consuming more calories than what your body needed to sustain itself. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn 24 hours a day. So when you work to increase your muscle mass while you restrict your calories and eat the right balance of macro nutrients (more on that in a minute), you can dramatically decrease your body’s fat stores.
Many women suffer from an incorrect assumption that if they lift heavy weights they’ll turn into some muscle bound bulky being. That’s an incorrect assumption. The only women who can do that are on more than a weight lifting program, they are on special workouts and diets and take supplements to get that way. It takes them a LOT of effort and frankly you cannot reach that level by doing P90X. Moreover, what most women don’t get (because women’s magazines mislead them) is that while cardio can burn calories while you do it, it’s calorie burning shuts down soon after you stop doing it. On the other hand, weight lifting has a much higher and longer metabolic impact when you measure the post exercise period 24 – 48 hours out.
So for the biggest impact, do Classic which has the weight lifting component 3x per week. You will still do cardio 3x per week also and it’s a nice 1 – 2 punch that gets you shaped up faster than Lean will.
Finally, do not follow the P90X nutrition guidelines as they calculate too many calories for women. I recommend instead that you use a formula of 10x your weight (but not more than 1800 calories if you want fast weight loss) and eat those calories in a 40/40/20 ratio of carb/protein/fat. This is a very low fat diet and it will also be higher in protein than what you have been eating. I find the only way I can hit my protein requirements and not go over on carbs and fat is to drink 2 high protein shakes a day. I often use Shakeology for one of those protein drinks and for the other I use Myofusion. I keep a list of all the protein powders I use at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm.
Coach Nancy also commented
- Hi Kishan,
Classic is always better than Lean no matter whether you want more fat loss or more muscle gain. Resistance training produces a greater change in your body from a hormonal standpoint which is good for both fat burning and muscle growth. Also high intensity training like resistance training (and plyo) will produce a much greater and longer lasting post workout calorie burn. That post workout metabolic increase is much more important than the calories you burn during a workout.
I recommend a good protein shake post workout as your body will be in an optimal state to shuttle the protein into your muscles. If you are looking to primarily grow muscles (versus burn fat) than adding a little carb into the shake is a good idea.
- Hi Laura,
Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation!
First, Lean is nothing more than a glorified aerobics program which is not what you need. I am P90X certified (which means Beachbody says I can teach P90X to others) and in that training the instructor admitted what I’ve always known – that Lean is not a very effective version – that Classic is the one that works. I am actually a P90X certified instructor and during our training for our certification our instructors admitted what I have always known – Lean doesn’t work nearly as well as Classic. So if you are serious about making changes, go with Classic.
As far as diet goes, I urge you to rethink your concerns. I’m not sure if you are losing any weight at 1300 calories but if you aren’t then something is very wrong with your metabolism and adding in a lot of intense workouts won’t fix it, it will make it worse. Secondly, even if you are losing a few pounds with 1300 calories, that doesn’t mean you should stick to that level when adding in what can be 300 – 500 calories of exertion (and that’s just during the exercise period – post exercise caloric expenditure will raise this even higher). You should follow my P90X diet guidelines (find a link to that article in the upper right hand column), not just for the calories recommended but for all the changes you need to make to your diet to see fat loss. At 1550 calories, you’d still be creating a net caloric deficit when you add in the P90X workouts. And you will be feeding your body what it needs for the metabolic changes to occur. Starving yourself to try to get a few extra pounds lost fast won’t allow you to exert yourself at the maximum you need to bring to spark the metabolic changes you need to get change to occur. Weight loss is NOT a mathematical equation no matter how many times they try to imply that on shows like The Biggest Loser and women’s fitness magazines.
Another key to success with P90X is that you need to focus on lifting as heavy as you can with good form during the resistance training components of the program. Do not listen to Tony when he suggests that women can lift light and do more reps for ‘toning’ – I know he knows better but I suspect he never expected women to really embrace the program. What works for men works for women – lift heavy and you challenge your central nervous system which then triggers hormonal changes. You won’t bulk up – women only have at their height (when you are young) 1/12th the testosterone that men have which is the main hormone for muscle growth. So we need to work harder, not less hard to see changes. Push, push, push and you will see changes.
Finally, you need to focus on your shape, not your scale. Burning fat and adding a little muscle won’t make as big a dent on your scale as it will in reshaping you. Take pictures before you begin and every 30 days and at least every other week take tape measurements. That’s what is most important. Many people see their biggest scale movement at the last 30 days. And, you can and should do more than one round of P90X for maximum results. I saw significant results just on my first round although I only lost 15lbs. But I lost 19″ which is the big victory – not what showed on the scale. By the time I did P90X 3 times, I had a bikini body which I was (and continue to be) so proud of given I was over 50 when I first started P90X and post menopausal when I did the program (post menopause your body’s hormones almost completely shut down so it’s harder to produce the changes).
- Hi Carmen,
You’ll want to do Classic, not Lean. Classic works best to burn fat and add muscle which is what you need to shape up your abs and tone your arms. If you don’t want to lose any weight, just eat more. Follow my P90X diet guidelines but start at 13x your weight for a daily calorie target.
- Hi Trina,
Right now I’m drinking BioChem Whey Protein Isolate which is really good tasting for an isolate and is from hormone free cattle. It’s a bit more expensive than other brands but less pricey than the all natural raw whey I was taking before. I also use Garden of Life’s Raw Protein – vanilla flavor which is a sprouted plant based protein but I have to warn anyone that it’s a lot more chalky tasting than a good whey protein. After that, most brands of protein are fairly comparable. I like Myofusion and Optimum brands and at Walmart the Body Fortress brand has a pretty good tasting vanilla whey.
- Hi Amanda,
Congratulations on finishing week 1 and looking to move forward. Week 1 is the toughest. I have an article on how to eat for lean muscle growth and fat loss over at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/. I’d recommend a few more calories – more in the range of 1650 – 1750. The article goes through what those calories should be made up of. Let me know if you have additional questions after you read the article. Thanks!
Recent comments by Coach Nancy
- Healing at a Deeper Level
Thanks for stopping by and contributing. I think a LOT of us women have this issue but just don’t think it’s sub par health. I know I really had my eyes opened. It’s funny that you mentioned the heat flash because that surprised me too. I thought for sure my temps would go up during on but they don’t. I’m working on a follow up post now that will go into a bit further why most of my added calories have been from carbs.
- P90X Supplements or Insanity Supplements Do You Need Them?
Iso Pure is a good whey protein isolate. Since it’s an isolate, it’s VERY quickly absorbed so it’s best used right after a workout. I can’t tell how muscular you are by weight and height but it doesn’t matter if you are trying to lose body fat or increase muscle mass, the protein will help you do both. A rule of thumb is that you need 2 grams of protein per KG of weight if you are just trying to lean up and 3 grams per KG if you are trying to add mass for men. For women, it would be less at 1.5 grams per KG if you are going for lean and 2 grams of protein per KG if you are trying to add muscle.
- My P90X Diet
On the Mike’s mix stuff, if it’s the ‘mike’ version (men’s formula) don’t take more than 1 scoop even though the label says a serving is 2 scoops. Remember that recovery drinks that are 4 to 1 in carbs to protein are best used after a resistance training workout and help shuttle amino acids into muscle. But the also will shut off fat burning which is why you don’t want to take it after plyo, yoga or kenpo.
On the calories, I’d start with 1500 and see how you feel. With resistance training you want to be sure you get enough calories but the P90X nutrition guide calcs too many calories for women typically. Now if you are active on top of doing P90X (a runner for example) then you probably should go higher than 1500. But start there and see how you feel.
I can’t believe you need to lose much body fat at you size which is what the fat shredder plan is aimed at. It’s probably a toss up for you but again, if active, go higher with the carbs than 30% of total calories.
I’m no fan of the portion approach. While it’s just my belief, I think that it’s harder to stay on track with it and if you do get off, it’s harder to figure out exactly what to change to get back on track.
Feel free to ask more questions!
- Nancy – How Do I Make You My Coach?
I’ll email you directly!
- My P90X Diet
Great question! If you want to lose weight, don’t ‘eat back’ the calories. Stick with the 10x. P90X is tough but you can do it!!!
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