Ab Makeover in 30 Days (P90X Abs)

By Nancy Andrews

Ab Makeover in 30 Days (P90X Abs)

Sep 12th, 2009 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: Success Stories

Nancy Abs Day300 Ab Makeover in 30 Days (P90X Abs)

Blast Fat Off your Abs with P90X!

Important Update July 2010:

I wrote the following post about 10 months ago when I was just starting to take off the huge amount of fat I had accumulated around my gut. Now I’m a new person at 51 years old looking to see just how ‘hot’ a gal over 50 can get. If you really want to transform your body – and your life – I can help you get there. Click here to learn how and learn a bit more about me.

Original Post:

How much stomach flab can a gal lose in 30 days? Now before you make a guess, this gal is a 50 year old woman who has a significant spine problem which means I have to be careful with my workouts.

But… before the reveal, realize that being careful does not mean I don’t ‘bring it’ to each workout. I do – just with a few modifications.  I have to admit I was a bit embarrassed over the Day 0 view but it’s important to share it to show exactly what P90X can do for women – even women over 50.

And now for the  picture:

Nancy Side before after 30days 600 Ab Makeover in 30 Days (P90X Abs)

For more pictures of me and my ‘Coach’ story, click here

Update to 30 Day Progress:

It’s now October 11th and I’m 60 days into P90X.  I’ve gotten a few emails asking me if I’ve continued to see such great progress.  Well the truth is…

Nancy frontv1 90days 275 Ab Makeover in 30 Days (P90X Abs)You Bet!!!!!!!

But of course I don’t expect you to just take my word for it so I’m providing a new picture of me with an even leaner mid section.  Trust me, if you have a flabby gut that you want to lose, P90X can get you there.

I’ll be back in another 30 days to show you the final picture from my 1st round of P90X (it’s a 90 day program).  I’m also going to work in rounds of Insanity with the P90X to accelerate my fat loss.

Update to 60 Day Progress: ——————->

Time for another update. I’ve completed the last 30 days (total 90 days) and for this last segment I added in rounds of Insanity. This really helped blast the fat off! The combined mix of P90X and Insanity is a 1 – 2 blow that even stubborn fat cannot withstand. Take a look:

Nancy’s transformation – side view – full 90 days

Nancy Side before after 0 90days 600 Ab Makeover in 30 Days (P90X Abs)

See all my full 90 day transformation pictures by clicking here.

After the first round of P90X, I started doing P90X Hybrid Workouts as my norm.  I have added TurboFire, some One on One workouts, and Body Gospel to my P90X and Insanity programs.  My current regime is mostly P90X with some TurboFire and One on Ones in it.

Here’s how I look relative to how I ended my first round:

Nancy Day 90 320 Front Ab Makeover in 30 Days (P90X Abs)

If you are interested in learning more about P90X, click here or learn more about Insanity by clicking here.  If you have any questions about my progress, Insanity or the P90X program please feel free to ask me a question below.  I’ll be sure to answer it quickly.

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  1. cool blog

  2. Do you do Insanity in the mornings and P90 later on in the day? Would you provide a brief description on how you combined the Insanity with the P90?


  3. Hi Kim,

    Right now I do all my main workouts in the morning. I do the resistance P90X workouts and then I replace the P90X ‘cardio’ workouts and the yoga workout with Insanity. I rotate the Insanity Plyometric circuit, Pure cardio, Power & Resistance and Core cardio and balance for those sessions. I’m actually working on a new workout routine that will take my P90X resistance workouts up to 4 times per week and just do 2 Insanity workouts per week. I find I lose more weight that way.

    I do occassionally add a 15 – 20 minute kettlebell routine in my afternoons now to really up my metabolism. Beachbody doesn’t have any kettlebell workouts but they should. Kettlebells are fantastic for helping you to burn fat.

    In my original 90 day P90X phase I was adding in 3 Insanity workouts per week in afternoon sessions the days I had P90X resistance workouts to burn more fat. That worked really well but was really tough to maintain. My current routine with the kettlebells as my 2nd workout is just as effective and easier on my joints.

    Let me know what other questions you have.


  4. Great points! Do you think I can replace dumbbells for kettlebells? Do you have a source to find some basic, but good, kettlebell workouts?

    I have done the P90 and the Insanity, but never together. Also, I have the really stubborn 10-15 pounds of fat (primarily mid-section) so it’s almost necessary that I do the intense version of workouts to see any real results. But doing doubles is very hard to maintain, especially with a busy schedule. I am glad to hear that your method of incorporating Insanity for the “cardio” workouts in P90 worked so well, especially since I do not particularly like the yoga and Kenpo workouts.

    You look fantastic! Thanks for the info!

  5. Oh when do you think you will be ready to share your new routine idea of 4 days P90 and 2 Insanity? I would be very interested in learning your routine!

  6. Hi Kim,

    I’ll get that up sometime this week. I’m working on getting a forum up which would be a better place to post things like that so hold on just a bit and I’ll let you know when it’s up.

  7. Kim,

    One of the killer exercises you do with kettlebells (KBs) is the swing which you really can’t replicate with dumbbells. It’s a bit hard to explain but the weight distribution with KBs is a lot different not to mention the grip.

    Go to walmart.com and type in kettlebells into the search function. I see Gold’s Gym has some decent ones. I’d start with a 10 lb KB. (The 5 lb KBs are too light and 20 lbs may be too much for you right out of the shoot.) I like this one at http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=12177343. Then you can have them ship it to your nearest store if you don’t want to pay shipping. I also kind of like the 8.8 lb one at http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=12177343. The key is to make sure that the handle is wide enough to have both hands grip it.

    I will be putting up a KB routine as well and am thinking about shooting a video to go with it – what do you think?


  8. Nancy,

    I think posting a video of your KB workout is a great idea. I, for one, can’t wait to check it out. I looked online for KB workouts and there are many! But I think showing your routine and how you incorporate it between your P90 and Insanity workouts provides a unique and custom option.

    I am very interested in hearing about your new routine with 4 days resistance and 2 days cardio. I am especially interested in hearing more about why you feel this burns more fat overall than more having more cardio.


  9. Hi Kim,

    We should have the new forum up end of this week so that’s where I’ll be posting workout schedules and videos.

    As for why I am a fan of resistance training for fat burning vs. cardio it has to do with how both work in the body. Now before we get too far into this, I want to note that Insanity isn’t actually cardio even though they use that term on some of the workouts. Cardio is more properly termed aerobic (“with air”) exercise. Insanity is high intensity interval training (HIIT) which is an anaerobic exercise. HIIT is good in small doses.

    Working out with cardio ends up not building any real muscle. And true cardio has you working at no more than 75% of your maximum heart rate which has you burning calories while you work out but not for much longer once you stop working.

    Resistance training is a process of producing microscopic tears in your muscle which then are repaired by your body which results in a larger muscle. This repairing process keeps your metabolism raised for a period of 24 – 36 hours post exercise – much longer than cardio will. Then the larger muscle mass you have built will actually burn more calories. This increased caloric burn from the increased muscle mass may not seem like that much but it is a daily, ongoing increase in burn rate (provided you maintain the muscle) which can be increased even more with more muscle building.

    Both cardio and HIIT can end up reducing muscle mass if you do either of them for too long in a given session. The reason for this is your body will exhaust available glycogen (sugar) stores and cannot access your fat stores for fuel efficiently enough to meet all its needs. Sure your body will burn some fat during cardio or HIIT but even in a highly efficient fat burner that rate is not likely to be over 50% of required energy needs during cardio or HIIT routines. It’s actually easier for the body to turn amino acids that it gets from tearing down muscles into energy than to burn fat.

    The benefit of HIIT is that it also has a more prolonged metabolism increase impact than does cardio. You can get significant metabolism increases with very short periods of HIIT – as short as 12 minutes (some studies suggest even less than 12 minutes). So shorter periods of HIIT (I like 15 – 25 minutes) mixed with resistance training produce the greatest impact on fat burning.

    Women’s magazines and other sources keep pushing aerobics as the best way to lose fat but it’s not true. Many women fear they will get too muscular with heavy weight training but that’s mostly myth also. There are VERY few women capable of getting very muscular. Moreover, adding muscle takes time. It’s not like you wake up one morning aghast at your sudden gain of 15lbs of muscle. At any time if you feel you are getting too muscular you can back off a few pounds on what you lift and add some reps. That will keep you looking lean and keep your metabolic processes up.

    Kettlebells are a great way to work in HIIT with low impact on your knees, and other lower body joints that many people have problems with.


  10. Thank you, Nancy for the explanation. I guess my only question now is how to strike that right balance between too much and not enough (cardio, HIT, resistance). I am trying to find the right mix of workouts that I enjoy and can stick with, e.g. resistance portions of P90 and several of the Insanity series minus the yoga and Kenpo. I know yoga is important, but I really hate it. I like the idea of four days of resistance and 2 days of HIT/cardio, but I want to make sure I am getting the most out of my exercises and not missing out on potential gains/results by cherry picking the workouts I like and blowing off the ones I don’t. I look forward to seeing your new routine to see the specifics of your workout. Where will the forum be located? Will there be a separate category for forum? Or will there be a link from your page?

  11. Hey Kim,

    It took us a little longer than I hoped to get the forum up and I’m still just adding info but it is at least now up. You can find the forum by clicking on the ‘Member’s forum’ tab in our header navigation or click here for the combo routine. Sign up – it’s free!

  12. Hi Nancy,

    I can’t seem to find the kettle bell workout? Is there any more information posted on the details of that workout yet?

    Looks great!!! Thanks and please let me know.

  13. Hi Kim,

    I will get that up soon – possibly tonight. In the interim I do have an alternate HIIT workout posted up over in the members forum area at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/m/articles/index/.


  14. Nancy,

    I have a question regarding diet. How do you feel about the theory that binging occasionally helps to boost the metabolism and burn more fat vs eating a low fat/calorie balanced diet consistently? I’ve read that having a day a week where I can eat whatever I want and increase my calories by at least 30% can help to boost my metabolism. Have you heard of this?

  15. Hi Kim,

    I apologize for taking more than a day to come back at you on this. I’m fully supportive of a cheat or indulgence or binge day (whatever you want to call it) each week. I have one and I go all out – nothing is off limits. While I eat anywhere betwen 1400 and 1600 calories a day Monday – Saturday, Sundays which are my cheat days I probably eat more like 3000 calories, maybe more. Last Sunday I had a heaping plate of nachos for a snack. And I had Tiramasu for dersert which followed a main course pasta dish that had tons of cheese and a creamy garlic and shrimp sauce and rolls with tons of butter. Tomorrow, who knows, maybe bacon for breakfast with a serving of coffee cake followed by more indulgences later.

    I agree with you that it helps keep your metabolism from getting too efficient at a given calorie intake. I have not seen the 30% boost figure before but it would not surprise me. And, of course, from a mental perspective it’s great too because you don’t have to give up some of your greatly loved (but bad for you) foods. You just wait for your cheat day and have whatever you want.

    I’m going to get up some more pics soon and get that kettlebell workout up later this weekend. But for now I’ve at least got my coach page updated with a 90 vs. 150 day view of me. Check it out at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?page_id=271.

  16. Nancy,

    Wow. You look simply amazing!

    Thank you for your response; it’s great to hear that you are in full support of a once-a-week binge. I’ve already started your P90/Insanity Combo Workout and I hope to get results as great as yours! Thank you for being so inspirational and sharing your success story, as well as details on your fitness regimen.


  17. Thanks Kim!

    Just workout hard during the workouts and eat clean those 6 days a week that aren’t a binge day and you should see great results. I prefer to weigh myself only once a week and to take measurements on that day. I can have a week where I don’t lose weight but I’ll see some modest change in the tape measure so don’t get too focused on just what the scale says.


  18. Hi Nancy,

    One quick question–do you think it matters if you have your binge day on a workout off day? I want to keep my off day for Wednesdays (so I can do cardio on weekends), but want to do have my binge day on a Sunday. Do you think it matters at all whether you work out on a day you are eating excessive calories?

  19. was wondering which of the three choices did you do? slim, double, or the other one?

  20. Hey Kim,

    I missed your question from last week – sorry! As long as you keep your binge day to a once a week event and, preferably the same day each week, then you can pick any day you want – even if it’s not the same day as your workout off day. Go for it and enjoy!

    Also, do feel free to keep up our conversations over at our forums at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/. That’s where I’m most responsive.


  21. Hi Stefanie,

    The three choices as Beachbody defines them are Classic, Lean and Doubles. I did Classic and I strongly recommend that to others – especially women who want significant results. Too many women are brain washed to think that more cardio will result in more weight loss but that is not true. Weight lifting will actually produce much bigger change in your body. For one, you’ll pull in and tone up more quickly and by adding muscle (don’t worry with women that just means a bit more attractive curves in the right places) you’ll burn more calories 24 hours a day. The calorie burning effects of cardio are very short in duration.

    In my 3rd month I tried a bit of the doubles routine which is basically the Classic version with extra cardio thrown in. I didn’t keep up with that because it was a huge drain physically and time wise.

    If you want to discuss this in more detail, please feel free to come over to our forums at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/.


  22. Nancy,

    I forgot my password but the password retrieval function on your Website does not work. It keeps requiring me to enter a captcha but won’t accept it when I do.

    I wanted to ask about your diet on the members forum, but I can’t log in. The question is whether you have also cut out using milk in your protein/pre-/post-workout shakes after you switched to no grain/added sugars?

  23. Hi Kim,

    We did just test the system and it’s working for us but I can’t find anyone registered under your email. Why not sign up under the email you are using here?

    Anyway the quick answer to your question is I drink the same amount of milk now as I did before but it’s not a lot. I consume about 12oz a day and then only with protein to blunt the impact on blood sugar. That said, I have read that lactose (the natural sugar in milk) has a reasonably low glycemic rating so it’s not that bad to consume and if you ‘budget’ for it with your carb totals for the day, it will be fine.

    However, be wary of any flavored milk product. Those can be loaded with added sugar. And it’s not just cows milk I’m warning of. Some of the worst added sugar offenders are the soy and rice milks I’ve seen in grocery stores.


  24. Hi Nancy,

    I will try again to sign on to the member’s forum. Thank you for your prompt response!

  25. Sorry, one last question while I got you here–do you eat grains on your cheat days?

  26. Yeah baby! I eat anything I want. Today is my cheat day and I’ve had a slice of strawberry-rhubarb pie and some Ritz crackers – neither of which I’d even consider remotely on a non cheat day.

    I’m kind of thinking of making a run to a fast food joint because I’ve not had any french fries for a long time.

    My hubby has already bought some decadent chocolate lava cakes for dessert tonight.

    By the end of the day my goal is to always feel like I ate too much and get that disgusted bloated feeling. Then I’m ready to eat right the rest of the week.


  27. :-D that’s great! Thanks again for all the great tips! Enjoy your cheat day!!

  28. Haha! I am. :)

  29. Hi,
    I would like to tone up my body, but not add too much muscle. I don’t want to look too bulky (not as bulky as some of the women in the advertisments). Do you think I’d be okay doing Insanity, or do you think it’d have too much muscle build up for me? I’m 5’3 and 114LBS and just need to tone up (I have some flab on my stomach and would like a flat stomach, but not a 6pack) etc.

    Thank you,

  30. Hi Renee,

    Insanity is not a muscle building workout. It’s designed to take fat off. I’m not sure what photos you are looking at but there isn’t any weightlifting involved. There are some ‘level 1′ and ‘level 2′ drills as Shaun T. calls them that have you do some quick push ups but it’s not enough to make anyone muscular. Since you are in pretty good shape, you are well suited to do well with it. However, I will warn you that this workout is tough! Don’t get discouraged if you can’t keep up at first (no one does). However I must admit that it quickly becomes kind of addicting. To learn more about Insanity click here.

  31. Hi Nancy,
    congratulations on your weight loss! I just wanted to ask you a question. When you said that you work in insanity routines within your p90x routines, do you do the whole insanity work outs? Or do you only do 15-25 minutes of the actual workout? The reason I ask is because you mentioned that if you do too long of HIIT you end up burning more muscle than fat. I currently have p90x but I find the cardio workouts aren’t intense enough so I wanted to try doing what you did which is incorporate insanity cardio workouts into p90x.
    Thank you!

  32. Hi Amanda,

    This is a great question! First, as a general rule, if your are doing HIT routines, the optimal range to keep your metabolism up and build muscle is a routine in the 20 minute – 40 minute range. I don’t like to go longer than 30 minutes.

    Now, let’s look at a typical Insanity workout – say the Pure Cardio or the Plyometric Circuit. Both of these run about 40 minutes long. There is an 8 – 10 minute warm up which is the toughest warm up I’ve ever done (way more than what Tony H does), then another 7 minutes or so of stretching. So the ‘hard core’ part of Insanity in the first month is really about 20 – 25 minutes long. So if you are in good shape and looking to shred fat, adding these Insanity routines in particular will help you meet your goals and you can do the entire routine. But don’t do it more than 2 days a week.

    And, please note that these routines are VERY high impact which is hard on most people’s joints. You don’t indicate your age but I’ve found consistently that for folks in their mid 40s and beyond, you need to be careful with how much high impact work you do.

    Right now I’ve been doing a lot of variation in my workouts. I just ended 3 weeks of high intensity resistance training in a schedule I created (doing resistance training 5 days a week with my weekends off). During my last 3 weeks, I only did the Insanity warm up on my ‘blast my abs’ days which were 2 days a week. This grueling ab routine had me do the Insanity warm up to get the heart pumping hard (really bringing it all out in the 3rd cycle of the warm up), followed by Ab Ripper X, followed by another 15 minutes of ab wheel, ab strap and kettlebell exercises. I wanted just a bit more lean muscle and this definitely added that – my abs are really looking outstanding.

    Next week I’m going back to P90X 3x per week (all resistance training workouts) plus 2 days where I do Insanity & ARX. This is an awesome layout for getting swimsuit ready.

    I don’t know if you have Insanity yet but if you don’t you can learn more about it at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?page_id=356.

    Good luck Amanda and remember to ‘bring it’ to every workout!


    P.S., Thank you very much for your kind words on my transformation.

  33. Hello!
    Can I just first say that you look great! Secondly, can I tell you that my body looks exactly like your body looked in day 0 and I am HALF your age! Sad, I know but this blog was very helpful. I was going back and forth on whether to do the p90x or Insanity. Then I read here that you incorporated Insanity into your p90x workout on days 60-90. Did you just do p90x in the MORNING 6 days/week and 2-3 times a week do Insanity in the AFTERNOONS? I really want to understand. And my assumption is that you waited until the last phase to combine the two because you were in better shape by that point and could handle the two? My last question is did you follow the nutrition guide exactly? or did you just make smart choices and use common sense to eat right?
    Hope to hear back and again, CONGRATULATIONS! You really do look great!

  34. Hi Shana,

    One thing I recommend is not to get down on yourself no matter where you are at. The thing is that if you commit to change, it will all be history soon!

    OK I recommend doing P90X Classic first for at least the first 60 days. It’s hard – real hard – but you’ll see amazing changes. Now Insanity is a ‘cat of a different color’. I’m not a big fan of it all by itself but if you combine it with P90X the right way, it can really accelerate your changes. But it’s even harder to do (at least to do it right so you get the benefits) than is P90X. So start with P90X Classic.

    As for how to combine it. That’s going to be dependent on your overall fitness levels and/or time available. Look we all have busy days and doubles is a lot of time. And doubles with Insanity can be too taxing for most people. But what is very doable is in the 3rd month of P90X, take out the Plyo, Kempo and potentially yoga and replace them with Insanity. I have a chart over at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/m/articles/view/test. The P90X workouts are in light blue, the Insanity workouts are in the orange/tan color and the kettlebell workouts you can skip or do the easy HIIT workout I have linked to at the bottom of that page. I HIIT workouts are very short but very intense and it’s the intensity that speeds up the weight loss NOT the length of time.

    Let me know if you have more questions.


  35. Thanks Nancy. I am 2 days into p90x now, today was plyo. And you’re right. Its hard. i found that i felt very nauseas afterwards and it lasted through the better part of the day. I think my body is not used to working this hard. Did you have any nausea at all and if so, what helped? I am not going to stop though. I am just hoping my body will adjust. Day 3 tomorrow!

  36. oh! I knew I had one more question. Do you eat your biggest meal of the day after your workout!? Ususally i have oatmeal before and im always confused as to what to eat afterward.

    And in regards to my previous post (right above this one) I eat usually an hour and a half before my workout. I dont know if this is contributing to my nausea.

  37. Hi Shana,

    The first time I did Plyo I did feel nauseas. And I felt crappy all day long and SERIOUSLY questioned whether P90X was right for me. But then I slapped myself out of it and decided that I’d go forward. Next week just go a bit more slowly and take breaks where you need them. It does get better!


  38. I would not eat too close to any intense workout although an hour and a half should be enough clearance time. Post workout I recommend a high protein (low carb; low fat) shake. This helps muscle repair and doesn’t interfere with fat burning.


  39. Nancy,
    If it isnt too much trouble can you give a rough example of your workout day in relation to how and what you eat. For example, 8 am-wakeup, eat fruit, 10 am workout, 11 am protein shake, 12 noon, turkey sandwich for lunch, etc. Or if you have this on a website somewhere i’d like to see it.

    Also, i notice in one of your post you recommend only one serving of starchy carb a day (bread, cereal, rice). Any ideas for low/no carb breakfast options. i dont want to always waist my 1 carb at breakfast time.

  40. Hi Shana,

    You need to come hang out in our forums at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/ . That’s where I keep stuff like that and we chat among ourselves. Heres a thread that talks about my diet and recently I added info about my workouts: http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Sample-eating-plans.htm. Please note that I’ve now done more than 1 round of P90X and now feel comfortable taking a few more liberties with the program. But when I went through it the first time, I followed the workout schedule exactly. I workout around 8AM when school is in session and around 8:30AM in the summer (when we all sleep in a bit longer).

    As far as breads, I’ve got threads that talks about that and what protein I buy and even what protein bars I buy. You can find those theads at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#forum/Nancy-s-Pantry-0.htm.


  41. Hi!! I just had a tummy tuck 2 month ago. I did not received muscle repairment during the surgery, because my plastic surgeon said that in spite of my twin pregnancy ; my inner abdominal muscles are not streched due to the twin pregnancy. So he said that if i work out my core I will have definiton at last. The big question is how do I will get motivated enough if I am not a sporty person or athletic. How you did it?????? I want to reach that goal as well as you did. Please help me out !!! Thanks and Congratulations for you amazing achievements! Hugs, Brenda

  42. Hi Brenda,

    Thanks for stopping by. I started out with P90X which is an outstanding program but is very lengthy and time consuming. Now I do my own workouts and follow my own diet (diet is very important in weight loss and especially losing belly fat). I’m going to launch a new site soon with my own diet and workout videos so if you are interested in that, send me an email (pressplayfitness@ gmail.com – I put a space in there to keep spammers from scrapping my site).


  43. I just read your article and I cant wait to start p90x now I was literally saying wow at each picture and thought the one with the blue swim suit was it and than I seen the last one and it just blew my mind. All I can say is you inspired me. I’m 4’9 and 186 Ibs and weight just shows up on me because of my height and thought it would be hard to get rid of the extra skin. I was wondering did you have surgery to get rid of the excess skin or did it tighten as you lost the weight? Your day 0 is pretty much how Im built atm.

  44. Hi Jen,

    Thanks for the kind words! As for my skin tone with the fat loss, no I have not had any surgery it tightened as I went along. Now everyone is different but I believe my skin tone was improved as I went along for a few reasons. First, I stay well hydrated. Drink at least 64 oz of water, up to a gallon of water a day. Yes it’s a lot but not only will it help your skin, it will help your metabolism and you’ll burn more fat. Secondly I eat a lot of high quality lean protein. (Check out my diet recommendations at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/.) Protein is used by your skin as well as your muscles for repair. I also take a good multi vitamin. And with P90X, you’ll be adding lean muscle which will help pull the skin where you want it.

    Finally, my weight came off steady which is very important. It gave my skin time to adjust. My husband lost his weight fairly quickly (over 50lbs lost in about 4 months and much of it came off his belly). He did have a little loose skin for a while but over time, it tightened up.

    Good luck!


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