Hi Kim I don’t follow the P90X nutritional guidelines …

By Nancy Andrews

Comments on “Hi Kim I don’t follow the P90X nutritional guidelines”, Page 4

Jul 23rd, 2017 | By Nancy Andrews | Category:

You are currently browsing comments. If you would like to return to the full story, you can read the full entry here: “Hi Kim I don’t follow the P90X nutritional guidelines”.

Comments Closed

Ask a Question or Leave a Comment »

  1. I am doing P90x the classic version and I feel that I am losing inches but I want to lose more weight. I want to shed off 10-20 lbs. I am on week 5 and no real weight loss but I do feel a difference in they way my clothes fit. Can I go to lean at this point or stay with classic but add the Cardio X?

  2. Hi Pris,

    I’m a big believer in taking measurements and pictures. If you are not doing both of these things, please start. The pictures in particular are surprising in how well they will show your progress. And I’m happy to see that you are not just looking at the scale but are realizing that as your clothes are fitting better, you know you are shaping up. I’ll address losing weight below but I do want to caution getting too hung up on weight. From start to finish I lost only 15 lbs but it ended up being 19.5″ I converted a lot of fat to muscle which is probably happening to you also.

    If you are not losing weight and you are really giving each workout your all, then look to your diet. I do find that the P90X diet tends to calculate to more calories than most women need. But if you are comfortable that your diet is right for you, then I believe you’ll see more fat and weight loss by adding in another cardio routine to the classic routine over what you will see by going with the lean routine.


  3. Thanks. I will start adding a cardio and look at my diet. I will also start taking pictures.

  4. I am 51 today, I do exercise regularly, but since menopause I have put on 12 unwanted pounds. I do cardio 3 times a week 30 minutes, heart rate at 138 mostly, and lift weights 2 to 3 times a week. My diet is not as good as it should be, I like to drink a glass or 2 of wine with dinner, and I often skip lunch, to busy. Love salt all of a sudden. What program will help me get to my goal of 12 lbs off and be stronger? This year I can finally do 3 jump pull-ups and after a hysterectomy that is big.

  5. Hi Cindy,

    Happy Birthday! I am 51 also (got you beat by a few months). :)

    If you want to shape up and lose weight and you are in decent shape, I recommend either P90X or ChaLEAN Extreme. ChaLEAN Extreme can be though of as the woman’s alternative to P90X. It combines the resistance training and cardio that you get with P90X but no pull ups! Now I do P90X and I love it but many women just don’t want to do a lot of pull ups and push ups and ChaLEAN Extreme is my choice for those people.

    As far as your diet goes, you really need to find a way to ‘fuel the furnace’ at the lunch hour. Consider any of the nutrition bars I review at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Nutrition-Protein-Bars.htm. These can be kept in a desk or in a purse and don’t cost much (most of them are under $1 each).

    Also, while I love a glass of wine myself, get rid of the wine during the week and only have a glass or two on 2 of the weekend nights. Make sure your diet in general follows a 40/30/30 ratio of carbs/protein/fat. And I can almost guarantee that you are not eating enough protein and you are eating too many simple carbohydrates. Fix that and you’ll lose some weight. I talk more about how to calculate your total caloric intake at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/How-Many-Calories-Should-I-Be-Eating-.htm.

  6. I had my first child 5months ago and have reached my pre baby weight of 115lb by eating correctly but I still have a squishy “water ” belly. Which schedule Should I follow? I’m one week into the classic but do I need more cardio to lose the belly and muffin top? Also I’m having a really hard time with ab Ripper x. What do you suggest I do to get my stomach muscles back up?

  7. Hi Aimee,

    A couple of thoughts:
    1) You stretched out your stomach for the better part of 9 months so expect to take 6 or 7 months to regain it.
    2) Stick with Classic
    3) Ab Ripper X is really hard at first. I never thought I’d master it but now I even do some of the moves with my arms up in the air and after I get done, I add on more ab work. Your muscles are really out of shape due to the pregnancy, be patient and it will come.
    4) P90X is a 90 day program – it’s not designed to transform you in only 2 – 3 weeks so realize you have to take some time to let it do it’s thing to your body.

    The biggest change comes in the last 30 days. That may not be what you want to hear but it’s true. To accelerate fat burning you should keep your diet to about 1250 – 1400 calories a day and make sure you keep to a 40/40/20 ratio of carbs/protein/fat. This is harder to do than it sounds. If you are not using a protein powder to supplement your protein needs you are not likely to be consuming enough protein.

    Drink at least 1/2 gallon of water a day. Water can raise your metabolism and is necessary to clear your body of the by-products of fat burning.

    In month 3 you can introduce ‘doubles’ into your routine. That’s an extra cardio session 3x a week.

  8. i am finishin my first week of p90x classic but i am not trying to lose waight…sould i do the kenpo x? what can i do to achieve my goal?

  9. Hi Armando,

    If you are not trying to lose fat but just want to build muscle it’s not only OK to skip Kenpo, it’s actually a good idea. Beyond that, to build muscle you need to eat at least 15x your body weight, possibly more. You need to have plenty of high quality protein to build muscle so if you are not already, be sure you are supplementing with a high quality protein shake at least 2x per day.


  10. so should i change kenpox for somethin else like one week chest and back and the next week shoulders and arms….how long do i have to wait to see results specialy in mi chest an abbs

  11. Hi. I just wanted to see which program you recommended to my husband and I. We both are pretty athletic, but have not worked out as much as we would like in our marriage so we each have about 30 lbs we need to lose. Do you still recommend the classic for us? I just don’t won’t to bulk up. I am already short, so I want to lenghten my muscles and lose fat. Also, do you have a simple easy method for our nutrition? I just don’t have the time or patience for counting up everything. I was thinking about just making sure I eat mostly lean meats, fruits, veggies and some whole grains and dairy or do I really need to be more specific then that? Thanks so much for your time. :)

  12. Hi Suzy,

    I do still recommend Classic. First, it’s so hard for women to really bulk up, that unless you are spending hours a day working out with weights and consuming a very specific diet with a lot of supplements, it just won’t happen. Secondly, remember you are always in control of how you look. By that I mean you would never just wake up one morning and have an ‘OMG what happened?’ moment, muscle gain doesn’t work like that. So as you get to the point where you like the way you look, you simply start adding more reps over adding more weight.

    On diet, here’s the short version of how to eat properly as a woman to burn fat and add a little lean mass:

    6 Days a Week:

  13. Eat 2 super lean meats each day; and 3 protein shakes. (You can substitute a 2 eggwhite omelet for one of the shakes).
  14. Eat as much fresh or steamed veggies as you want
  15. Eat 1 – 2 servings of fruit a day (1 if you really want to lean up) where your fruit choices are fresh pears, apples, peaches, nectarines, apricots, grapefruit, oranges and any type of berry.
  16. Limit yourself to 1 high fiber, whole grain item a day.
  17. Limit yourself to 2 servings of low fat dairy each day
  18. No potatoes
  19. Avoid all fruit juice, pop, alcohol
  20. 1 Day a Week:

  21. Eat or drink as much as you want and anything you desire
  22. Nancy

  23. I started Classic yesterday and am wondering if Lean is more appropriate for me. I am not looking to gain much muscle mass, more about trimming fat and becoming more lean. Don’t get me wrong I do want to be tone and have muscle, but I feel the cardio may be better for me then the chest and back, etc. If I choose to switch to lean, should I double up today and do days 1 and 2 to catch up?

  24. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for stopping by. I get that chest and back are hard but you won’t get all muscular by doing Classic, you’ll just get lean. Women only have a fraction of the testosterone that men have which is why we don’t bulk up. All the best women transformations I’ve seen over at Beachbody are of women who have done Classic, not Lean.

    If you insist on doing lean, no need to ‘catch up’, a workout is a workout.


  25. QUESTION: I have been in really good shape my whole life from doing sports, and recently just had a baby so Im a little on the trying to get back to my old body ways. I was thinking about getting the P90X but Im not really looking to lose weight. I have always been tall and skinny. I am just looking to firm up my stomach again, so that I can loose some fat in that area, but other than that im not worried about anything else on my body! Ive already slimmed down alot in my stomach but i still need help trying to tighten it up and its not as easy as it usto be. SO MY QUESTION IS IF I GET JUST THE AB WORKOUTS FOR P90X WILL THAT HELP OR SHOULD I GET THE WHOLE WORKOUT THING????

  26. Hi Nancy,

    I’ve just finished week 6 of P90X Classic. I’m loving the workouts and am excited about the new muscles I’m seeing… the problem is I desperately need to lose 25-30 pounds and have only lost 2 (I’m 158lbs and 5’4″). I can’t help but be discouraged when I’m “bringing it” each day and am cafefully monitoring my diet. I’ve never done an excercise program before where I haven’t lost weight. Here are my questions:

    1. Should I switch to the lean program to get more cardio in? ( I have a desk job so my days are not very active… also It’s not realistic for me to try and do doubles with my schedule)
    2. The protein shakes seem to have greatly slowed my digestion. Should I cut them out?
    3. I want to firm up, but if I’m being honest, weight loss is more important to me at the point. Is P90X the wrong program for me and should I switch to something else? ( I hate even thinking that becuase I’ve really committed myself to this program and love it! )

    What are your thougths?

  27. Hi Rhonda,

    When I hear that a gal is really bringing it to Classic but not losing weight I tend to look at the diet as the primary issue. If you want to lose weight, be sure you are not eating any more than 10x your weight in pounds. For you, I’d actually go as low as 1450 – 1500 calories a day. If you are calculating your calories via the P90X nutrition guide you’ll definitely be eating a lot more than that.

    I don’t know what protein shake you are taking. I’ve never found that a protein shake slows my digestion. You need protein shakes typically to get enough protein in each day without adding in too much fat. Are you eating veggies? Go for more high fiber foods. Also, Shakeology is great for regulating your metabolism and by using it as a meal replacement once a day, you will be getting 17 grams of high quality whey protein and over 70 nutritious nutrients. It will also help you reduce your total daily calories.

    I recommend you continue with Classic. But go ahead and add in 2 extra cardio workouts a week. To get one of these in, replace yoga for Core synergistics for a couple weeks.


  28. Hi Lanna,

    I apologize for taking a few days to respond. P90X is a total body workout. While that’s something I highly recommend, I don’t see the point of getting P90X just for the ARX (ab ripper x) and core workout. If you believe you are mighty fine everywhere but your abs, you might want to look at Brazil Butt Lift. The ab workout there is just as intense, if different, than ARX and it provides great toning for your butt and thigh area. You don’t mention your butt, but I find most gals would be happy with the toning, lifting and rounding it provides. I’ve been really surprised with BBL. I didn’t expect to see as much results from it as I’ve gotten. I’m not big on the cardio workout but the toning and shaping ones do the job.


  29. Hello! I am currently finishing week 3 of the P90x lean program. I am traditionally a runner, very fit and have plenty of natural muscle tone, so this is a fun new challenge to my body. Question re: how many calories you suggest I should be consuming per day to stay healthy and fit just doing the P90x lean program with no other extra workouts. I am 5’7 and would like to loose maybe 5lbs. Oh also, I am still breastfeeding my 5month old. Thanks!

  30. Hi there;
    I am 43 yrs old I always was fit, until about 6 yrs ago. I got married and started a new job, I was diagnoised with fibromyalgia and placed on medication. This all has a part in my gaining weight and having a more sediative life style. I would really like to try this program it makes sense. I was wondering if you believe this is something I would be able to accomplish? This is also if my doctor releases me for this program.
    I am very interested I am determined and believe this is a program that has every chance of working and with awesome results.
    Would love to hear from you.
    Thank you for your time

  31. Hi Diana,

    What is important for you to note when you review this with your doctor is that there are work-arounds provided for people who need to take it down a notch at first. But if your doctor OKs it for you, this can really change the way you look and probably the way you feel as well. If your doctor doesn’t like it, let me know and we’ll see what he does recommend. But be sure you find out why he does or doesn’t like it and what his recommendations for you are specifically if he doesn’t. Also note that because he doesn’t want to get sued (this doesn’t mean I think you would but your doctor has to protect himself from the one person who might), he is not likely to give this a rousing thumbs up. I was told by my doctors years ago when I suffered a significant neck injury that I would not be able to do a program like this – ever. I was told to set my sights on a little walking now and then and to take pain killers the rest of my life. I decided that the future they painted was not for me. It took me awhile to get where I am today, but the human body can be capable of a lot of positive change.


  32. Hello :-)

    I am 19 years old and 8 weeks postpartum. I am 5′ 6 and 176lbs. My pre baby weight was 146 and before i had my baby i was 200lbs. I am into my second week of the Lean program. What i want to do is tone up and lose weight. I want my healthy, fit, Army Strong body back! I’m breast feeding so I’m confused on how many calories to have in my diet seeing as how i must have enough to produce milk. Which protein drinks are okay for breastfeeding mothers? Also should i continue the Lean program or switch to the Classic? If i switch to the Classic should i start all over at the beginning of Phase 1 or can i switch over where i am at right now ( Day 4-Yoga X) and continue the remainder of my 90 days from there?

    Hope to hear back from you!

  33. I have found in the first 3 weeks of P90X classic that I have gained 5 pounds. I am not strict with the Nutritional Plan; however, I drink the Recovery Drink after every workout (excpet for Stretch or Yoga); I take the Slimming supplements, eat a protein bar, salads, prunes for snacks, and water, 1-2 4 oz glasses of grape juice every other day, and one regular meal a day (around 6pm), and some cereal (usually Life Cereal or Honey Bunches of AOats) about 10pm at night. Never overating. Why am I gaining wait?

  34. Hi David,

    A couple things hit me about what you are writing. First there is not enough protein in your diet and way too many carbs. Just based on rough calculations on what you supplied, your protein intake is not more than 65 grams per day while your carb intake looks to be fluctuating between 200 and 250+ grams per day. But there is still something missing. I mean eating too much carb and too little protein will prevent you from gaining lean mass and burning fat but it typically does not lead to weight gain.

    I have no idea what your version of a ‘regular’ meal is. But there may be a lot of hidden fat there. Look also at the milk because if you are not drinking skim or 1% milk, you may be taking in more fat than you’d think there also.

    To get real results, you have to follow a good nutrition plan. If you want to lose weight, as a guy, eat no more than 12x your weight in calories (not to exceed 2250 calories a day). Then you must eat those calories in a 40/40/20 ratio of carb/protein/fat. I know you are eating too much carb and too little protein from what you told me. I suspect you are eating way too much fat.

    Dump the grape juice, the Recovery Drink and cereal. Don’t eat more than 4 prunes for a snack but better yet, eat an apple or half grapefruit or peach or some berries which are all much lower in glycemic inded. Add 2 high protein drinks per day. I keep a list of my recommended protein powders at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm. So instead of a sugar rush (cereal) right before bed, make yourself a creamy protein shake. Your cereal shuts down your metabolism from burning fat while you sleep while my recommended protein shake will actually ignite your metabolism to burn fat.

    Remember, your body does care what type of calories you consume – all calories are not created equal.

  35. Hi Lana,

    Classic is so different from Lean that you need to start from the beginning. But if you are actually making a lifestyle change, that should not be a real issue.

    My general recommendation of 10x your body weight to determine a good daily calorie intake for women would be too light for you since you are breastfeeding. Try setting your daily caloric rate to 2250 and eat those calories in a 40/30/30 ratio of carb/protein/fat. Make sure the fats are primarily good fats!

    Any of the proteins I recommend at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm will be good for you. (Obviously you would not pick the ‘Real Mass’ protein because that’s just for guys trying to put on weight.)


  36. I started last week and just realized that due to me not reading I’ve been doing all the workout complete wrong, I started on dvd 1 then 2 and I’m in 10. So should I start all over since week one and also should I do the classic or lean, I’m 5’2 and weight is 172 so as you can see I really need to loss weight

  37. Hi Frida,

    You will see a much bigger transformation if you do the Classic version. This is hard for women to hear but when you are over weight by more than a few pounds, you need to build lean mass (muscle) to increase your metabolism. While you build lean muscle (don’t worry this doesn’t make you look bulky) you will burn fat when you manage your diet and by doing the cardio part of Classic (Plyometrics and Kempo). Moreover, what most women don’t realize is that your metabolism is raised after a resistance training session for up to 48 hours. After a cardio session, your metabolism will return to normal within 2 – 3 hours.

    Set your diet to 1500 calories (this is lower than my usual recommendation of 10x your weight but you are a shorter person and 1500 is sufficient calories for you). Eat your calories in a 40/40/20 ratio of carbs/protein/fat. That means you’ll have 600 calories a day as carb, 600 calories a day as protein and 300 calories a day as fat. This ends up being 200 grams of carb; 200 grams of protein and only 33 grams of fat a day. I can guarantee you this is less carb, WAY less fat than you’ve been eating and a lot more protein. You need a good protein powder to make protein drinks with to get to the protein requirement and not exceed your fat grams each day. My list of protein powders I use and recommend is at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm.


  38. So should I start all over and jump right in to it or should I do the stretch today and then start all over tomorrow?

  39. I’d just start over tomorrow.


  40. Hi. I am an overweight female (approximately 245lbs and 6′ tall). I would like to know which program I should start with classic, lean or doubles. I am trying to lose weight, and tone up at the same time. Thank you.

  41. Hi Nikia,

    Start with Classic. Lean does NOT produce anywhere near the same results. I don’t know if you watch The Biggest Loser program but if you do, you can’t help but notice that both Bob and Jillian push the women to lift heavy weights along with doing cardio. That’s what the Classic program does.

    In the 3rd month you can consider doubles if you want to take it up a notch. I don’t recommend doubles at the beginning because it’s counter productive to building lean mass which you need to do if you want to ignite your metabolism. Also, on your diet, eat no more than 1,900 calories a day in a 40/40/20 ratio of carb/protein/fat. This is a very low fat diet and it’s likely to be much lower in carb and much higher in protein than you have been eating. I find the only way to hit the protein requirement without blowing the carb or fat targets is to take a high quality protein drink (I take 2 or 3) each day. I have a full list of protein powders I buy and really like at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm.

    Let me know how it is going and be sure to stop by my forums at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/ for help and support from others just like you!

  42. I did the first work out today for the classic version – arms and chest. should I have immediately followed arms and chest with the ab ripper?

  43. Hi Ja,

    Yes, the typical way of doing it is to follow immediately with ARX. You could schedule for later in the day or you could do it on your cardio days. The important thing is to do it 3x per week with a day in between each session.


  44. Hi- I am an overweight female (5’4” and 168)- I started p90x a month ago along with my husband. I really wanted to do the lean option being that I wanted to loose weight but he just wanted to gain muscle. Our schedules are pretty hecktic so I gave in and settled with doing classical together. I’m glad i did so- I’ve gone down to 160 since beginning the program 5 weeks ago and my close fits nicer- compliments have begun pouring in from family/friends who I havent seen in a few weeks. So now I’m definately ‘Bringing It’!

    I’ve been watching what I’m eating closely, espeically since I am also doing this to lower triglycerides. I usually stick to breakfast bar and salads for lunch with lilttle to no dressing. Sometimes I do have a little chicken on it to give it ‘flavor’. After p90x I am not very hungry at all- but I know the importance of eating- so I shove a piece of chicken, rice, veggies (all fistful sizes) in my mouth.

    We just began month 2. Would I be overdoing my body by adding in possibly 30 minutes of jogging prior to p90x? Before my husband comes home I usually have about 2 hours to myself. So I would like to fit in 30-45 minutes of jogging on treadmill, then rest until he comes home and we begin the dvd. Is this a good idea? If not- what else can I do?


  45. Hi Jenny,

    First, congratulations – you go girl!

    I’m glad you now see the value in doing classic. At this point, I’d be careful about doing too much extra exercise. You still want to put on lean muscle (while burning fat off at an even faster rate) and if you do a bunch of cardo like jogging before the resistance training, you will interfere with that process. I like to see most people wait until the last month before doing doubles, but if you are really itching to do more, then on your plyo, yoga and kenpo days, add a run. But please do not do a run before a resistance workout.

    Also, realize that your diet is very vital for how your transformation will ultimately look. As you lose weight, you will actually need to cut a few calories. So if you are eating more than 1,500 – 1,600 calories a day, bring it down. And be sure you are eating your calories in a 40/40/20 ratio of carb/protein/fat. This is a very low fat, high protein diet. I find a good protein powder will really help build lean mass and burn more belly fat off. I keep a list of my favorite protein powders at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm. I have 2 or 3 protein drinks a day to get to my protein levels.

    Consider joining over at our members forums at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/ and keep us updated on your continued awesome progress!


  46. Hi Nancy,

    I would first like to say I am really amazed by you transformation with the beachbody programs! I recently bought Insanity after weeks of looking at reviews and transformation videos. However, as I waited for it to arrive I got interested in p90x as well. I am in fairly good shape but could lose about 7 to 10 lbs in fat and tone my entire body. I ended up caving and purchasing p90x. I am too excited and don’t want to wait to do one then the other. I was wondering if you have any ideas of incoporating insanity and the p90x lean version together into one awesome workout! Again awesome results. I am so excited to start my journey with beach body!!!


  47. Hi Christina,

    They are both very intense programs so you could easily over do it even if you are very fit. What I’d recommend if you are just dying to do both, is to follow the P90X Classic program in terms of resistance training sessions (this would be 3 sessions per week) with the Ab Ripper X. Then on P90X Plyo days, do either the Insanity Pure Cardio or Plyometric Interval. On Kempo day do one of the Insanity recovery or balance routines. On Yoga day do yoga or x-stretch.

    I did a really intense session for awhile which I’ve got posted at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/m/articles/view/test. just skip the kettlebell workout (it is a really short workout anyway). This is based pretty close on what I outlined above.

    Also don’t go too skimpy on calories while you do this. If you get injured or sick, realize that’s your body’s way of telling you to slow down.


  48. Hi. I have about 55 pounds to lose…I know I probably won’t lose it all in 90 days (though that would be nice), I do want to lose it fast. I’m not so concerned with building muscle at this point, I really want to lose the weight first. Should I be doing P90X lean or classic? I see a lot of people recommending classic over lean, but thats only with just 10 or 15 pounds to lose. Where would I see the most results? I do intend to follow the diet strictly.


  49. Hi Kristin,

    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.

  50. I am 33 yr old man, 210 pounds. I want to lose a good amount of weight and tone up my muscles. I have good muscle, but it’s covered by fat presently. Which is the better program to start? Classic or Lean?

  51. Hi Ben,

    If you want to lose weight, go with Classic. You will burn more calories with Classic than you will with Lean. There are several studies that show that working out with weights produces a much longer post workout caloric burn than cardio does. Your metabolic burn rate will be elevated after a resistance training session up to 48 hours vs. just 2 – 3 with cardio. It’s not how many calories you burn during exercise, it’s how many you burn all day long. Beyond that, adding more muscle burns more calories. You can add muscle without getting bulky if that’s what you want to do. So even if you think you have good muscle, you can make it leaner and metabolically more active with resistance training.

    Lastly, if you want to lose weight around the waist, you definitely need to go with Classic. Not only will you be doing 3 ab ripper x workouts per week vs. 2, the synergistic impact of developing muscle mass in your legs, chest and back will also help you develop more ripped abs. The higher intensity of Classic will enable you to burn more fat off your abs as well.


  52. Hi! I just started the p90x lean version, right now i’m only on day 4. I wanted to know what you suggested for losing weight and toning up. Should i stick with the lean or start the classic next week? Im 5″3 and 140 lbs so i definately want to loose the weight but i also dont want to be big and bulky like some of the women in the videos. I would like to just be tone and slim.


  53. Hi Michelle,

    I recommend Classic for best results. If you wish to change from Lean to Classic, start as though you are on week 1 of Classic, it is much harder than Lean.

    I get comments from women regularly fearing that Classic will make them bulky and I keep wondering where that fear comes from. You mention the ‘women in the videos’ and I have to say that only 1 looked a bit beefy in the arms to me. What you need to understand is that to look like that, they did bicep curls right before the video. Unless you are spending hours a day in the gym lifting serious weight AND taking a lot of supplements, you will not bulk up. I lift far heavier than most women and I’m not bulky. However, if I do several reps of bicep curls with 20lb dumbbells, I might look muscular for a short while until the blood drains out of my arms.

    The thing is that you are always in control. You avoid getting bulky by lifting lighter weights for more reps. Tony Horton covers that in just about every weight workout. If you work up to lifting with 10 – 12lb weights, you won’t get bulky. And it’s not like you’d wake up one morning with some awful OMG moment where just because you lifted heavy (15lb – 20lb for biceps as an example) you’d suddenly become big. Building muscle is a very slow and gradual process.


  54. Hello Coach Nancy,

    I have been practicing Bikram Yoga for almost 2 years and am in fairly good shape. I can stand to lose about 5 pounds of fat that with Bikram doesn’t seem to come off. I’m 5’6″ and 128 pounds. I will be starting P90X on June 1. I am so excited!

    My questions are:

    1. Should I do the lean or classic program?
    2. At my job, I sit for 10 hours a day and feel that the calories I calculated may be too high. Do you have a suggestion of how many calories I should eat?
    3. On YogaX & StretchX days, would it be o.k. to substitute for a Bikram Yoga class?

    Thank you very much for your time!

  55. Hello Coach Nancy,
    BTW…thought I should let you know I am 43 years young! My metabolism has definitely slowed down!
    Thanks for all that you do!

  56. Hi Kimberly,

    Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you came back and told me your age because that does make a difference. Younger gals have more lean muscle mass than those of us older. By the time you hit 40, your body is definitely losing muscle mass. In your case, because you have been active with the Bikram yoga, you are in much better shape and have had less loss than most women your age.

    In your case, you only need to lose a few pounds so I’d recommend a modified Classic routine. You love the yoga so you should continue to do that. Replace the P90X yoga and Kempo with your Bikram yoga. Keep the strength training routines and the Plyometrics. When you get to recovery week, you can do all Bikram yoga.

    Be sure to get enough protein in your diet while you do this. What you want to do is to build 2 -3 lbs of lean mass while you actually take off 7 – 8 lbs of fat for your best look. Not only is protein essential for building lean muscle, it also raises your metabolism so it helps you burn fat.

    Let me know if you have other questions!


  57. Thank You Coach Nancy, that helps so much! I’m sure I’ll have more questions along the way!

  58. Hello Coach Nancy,

    I plan on starting P90X next week and from reading other posts, I plan on starting with the Classic. I was 140 lbs before I became pregnant and at 4 months post partum, I am still carrying 30 extra pounds. I am breastfeeding but do have a significant amount of weight to lose so am not sure how many calories I should consume. I read in some other posts that you do not recommend the P90X nutrition plan for women.

    Thanks, Julie

  59. Hi Julie,

    I don’t recommend the P90X nutrition guide in that it calculates too many calories for women. That said, you are breastfeeding so you need to be a bit more careful than other women in determining just the right amount of calories to consume. Normally, I’d have you on a 1,600 calorie diet if you wanted to lose weight quickly (I’m assuming you are saying you are at 170lbs? 140 + 30 If you weight less than that I’d take that calorie count down.) But since you are breastfeeding, let’s add in an extra 350 calories and set you at about 1950 – 2000 calories a day.

    What you need to realize is that how you eat those calories is critical to your weight loss. So for you, eat those calories in a ratio of 50/33/22 of carb/protein/fat. You get extra carbs and a bit more fat than what I normally recommend since you are breastfeeding. But realize that this will still likely be far more protein and far less fat than what you have been eating. You’ll need a high quality protein powder so you can take shakes to hit your protein target without blowing it on the fat side. I keep a list of protein powders I recommend at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm.

    I don’t know how long you are planning to breastfeed but if you stop during the 90 day period, you will have to take those 350 breastfeeding calories out of your diet.


  60. Thanks Nancy. I appreciate the advice.


  61. Hi Nancy,
    I am currently in my 3rd week of P90X classic. I find that it is getting easier, but am very concerned with weight loss. Although i am considered “obese”, i am built very strong. A normal day of work is walking around constantly and lifting heavy objects. I have not been following the P90X nutrition plan, but have cut my calories down to 1500-1800 daily. Is a low-carb approach a better idea? Should i continue with the classic version? Or should i move onto lean since i have a LOT of weight to lose?

  62. Hi Dianna,

    Keep with Classic for best results. Lean won’t take as much fat off of you as Classic will. See my post at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2076 for more on this subject.

    You don’t say how much you weigh but the P90X nutrition guide calculates far too many calories for women. I recommend that women looking to lose weight take 10x their weight with a minimum of 1400 calories and a maximum of 1800 if they are doing P90X. You appear to be in the right calorie range.

    Eat your calories in a 40/40/20 ratio of carb/protein/fat. This is a low fat, limited carb and high protein diet. It will greatly speed up your fat loss. But it’s hard to get enough lean protein in your diet unless you take 2 protein shakes a day. I keep a list of the protein shakes I buy and like at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm. Also eat your carbs in the form of veggies (fresh & steamed), fresh fruit, a smidge of dairy if you like that and only 1 serving of starch/grains a day. I’m a big fan of organic foods but focus that mostly on dairy, fruit and greens (salad).

    Keep at it and you will see results!


  63. Hello,
    My name is Michael. I’m almost 23 years old, 5’11″, and I weigh 225 lbs. I have probably about 45 lbs I would like to lose and build muscle and definition. I just started Day 1 of P90X. I brought it and I’m pretty sore. Lol. My problem is that I’m not any good at meal planning. Reading the nutrition guide is brain numbing but I do my best. Here was my day 1 menu:
    I split my meals to 5 small meals for the day and had a daily vitamin. But my calories only add up to about 945 for today. Is that not enough? Even though I followed the workout and I did 5 small meals (1 meal every 3 hours), had vitamin, and had the right food groups? Meal 1 was an egg on a whole wheat english muffin, meal 2 was a protein bar – then I worked out, meal 3 was 1 banana and 1 can of tuna, meal 4 was some green salad and a fruit cup, and meal 5 was lean slices of roast beef with some more salad – then I did the ab ripper before bed. I also drank about 9 cups of water.
    The calories add up to approximately 940.. and that’s like half the amount it shows you should eat.. is this unhealthy? I have a lot of fat and am used to eating fatty foods and drive through fried stuff. Please give me advice on if this is healthy, if it will make me burn fat faster, if its ok or if I should add stuff and if so – what I should add. sephsword at gmail dot com

  64. Hi Michael,

    WAY TOO FEW CALORIES! Eat a minimum of 1800 calories a day based on the information you provided me above. If you don’t eat enough calories not only will you end up feeling really tired after a week or two but your body will go into starvation mode and you won’t lose much if any weight. And you wont’ build lean muscle either. If you want to burn a ton of fat and add muscle eat your 1800 calories in a 40/40/20 ratio of carb/protein/fat. Trust me this works. If you are having trouble with the diet, sign up for the club membership at beachbody if you’ve not already and use their meal planner. It’s been totally revamped and it’s a great tool!


  65. getting ready to start P90X and am confused as to which program I should follow. 5’3″ 136# just got done with Insanity 2 wks ago and just recovered from a rib injury. Did Chalean Extreme prior to Insanity. My original thought was to start with Lean but now I’m thinking Classic since I just came off of Insanity and from reading some of the posts here. I’ve seen inch loss from doing the other programs but still need to loose about 15 lbs. I’m just now doing getting back into some cardio since my injury and don’t really want that to flair up again. Is classic too hard for that type of injury. my doctor has cleared me for working out but did say to not do anything that hurts in that general area for awhile. Also do I follow a 40/30/30 ratio or 40/40/20 ratio due to my height/weight range. Any help you can give would be appreciated.

  66. Hi Debbie,

    I think you’ll have to feel your way through Classic to see if you can do it as you doctor suggests. The two exercises you’ll have to test out are push ups and pull ups. Either done with good form should not be a problem. But either done with poor form can be an issue. So test it out. Perhaps pull ups are going to be a bit much out of the shoot but you could get a lot out of doing pull downs with a resistance band (one person always does pull downs when the others are doing pull ups). Those are easier over all and easier to get good form on.

    As for diet, go 40/40/20 carb/protein/fat if you want to lose fat around your abs. The higher protein and lower fat consumption really boosts your metabolism overall and lean proteins like what you can get from high quality protein powders will take fat off your middle at an accelerated rate over other diets. I keep a list of what I buy and use over at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm.

    Good luck!


  67. Hi Nancy,

    My husband and I found out we are expecting :) …We are on month 3 of classic program and I’ve lost 13 pounds (bummer its all come back in the next few months). Can i still continue p90x while pregnant? I usually lift between 8/10/15 pounds- should I downscale on weight? I feel comfortable continuing right now- but of course my husband is concerned.


  68. Congratulations Jenny!

    I have to say that I’d take the intensity of all the workouts WAY down (less weight and low impact moves) until you hit the end of the 6th month and then I’d have to say stop until after 6 weeks post delivery. Also, no Ab Ripper X. So if you have been doing 8/10/15, go with 5/8/10. Plyo do the Pam ‘the Blam’ moves. Go slow with yoga also or change that to the x-stretch routine for even more safety.

    I know that may be a bummer but you need to put the baby’s health first.

  69. you’ve stated in above posts that you can replace plyo and cardio(kenpo/cardio x) days with Turbo Fire HIIT. Would it matter which TF workouts you incorporate into P90X?

  70. Hi Debbie,

    TurboFire comes with a 15 minute HIIT, a 20 minute HIIT and a 25 minute HIIT. So as I suggested yesterday, I’d pick from that group in a manner that does not exceed 60 minutes total in a given week and no more than 3x per week. So if you were only replacing Plyo and Kempo, you could pick from any of them and be fine.

    There are other workout routines included with TurboFire but they are not HIIT. I hope this clears up your question.


  71. I am on day 15 of the program. I have not lost any weight at all. The program is awesome and I love it. It has definately helped me get stronger and feel better, but the weight isn’t coming off. I wanted to see if I should stick to the Phase 1 diet and start over with day 1 or continue on to Phase 2 workout program and use the Phase 1 diet. I am 5’10 and 224 pounds. There is definately a lot of weight to lose, but I had lost 36 pounds before beginning the program by just switching to healthy options. However, I am a chow hound and love to eat lots of food. Thanks.

  72. Hi Judy,

    I’m glad you are enjoying the program. As for weight loss, the P90X diet calculates way too many calories for women. The problem with their approach which tries to add in calculations based on metabolism is that there is no adjustment for whether the person is male or female. The fact is that a man and a woman who each weigh 160lbs each have a very different body mass composition with the man having far more lean mass than the women. Moreover, the 20% add for general activity is just too much for our very sedintary society. And finally, adding in 600 calories for the P90X routines means you are adding calories so the exercise component won’t take weight off.

    I highly recommend you follow the guidelines I have posted over at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2105. This is far fewer calories but it is quite adequate for what your body needs to support itself and will enable you to lose weight at a reasonable pace. At the end of the day, getting to your right weight is both a process of eating good foods and the right amount of them. You need to lose the ‘chow hound’ mentality unless it’s your one cheat day a week.


  73. Thanks so much for the response. Now, just one more thing. I have really just made good decisions about what I eat so far so am not too familiar with counting calories, etc. So, would the 1800 Phase 1, Level I be sufficient in the 40/40/20 ration? I ask this because I am a little confused about how to calculate the fat at 360 calories a day. For instance, a bowl of oatmeal. It has 160 calories and I assume it is under the carbs. What about the fat? Would it also go under that category?

  74. Hi Judy,

    The phase 1 follows a 30/50/20 ratio of carb/protein/fat so it’s off a bit. But more importantly you need to realize that it’s not a solid 1800 calories a day, it’s 1800 – 2399 range. So you’ll need to downsize it a bit.

    Better yet, if you are a club member you can use the low carb express diet guide that is better and if you substitute a snack you can make that change and see where you are really at.

    Remember you have to measure everything in the beginning. You have been eating too much and, like most of us, really need to relearn what proper portion size looks like.


  75. Hi Nancy,

    My husband and I will be starting P90X this Sunday. We have both committed to do Classic for the 90 days. I was hesitant about Classic over Lean or Doubles but feel confident after reading your site and seeing better results for women who do Classic.

    While I need to loose weight, my husband needs to gain weight. He has very low body fat, extremely low. He naturally looks a bit sinewy but is tall and thin. I on the other hand am short and need to loose quite a bit of weight.

    I am 5ft ‘tall’ :) with small bones. I currently weigh 159 lbs and this is after watching my calories for the past month and walking on the treadmill. (I was 164 but lost 5lbs) So my question for you is about calories intake on P90X. Being only 5ft tall and 159lbs I am concerned about taking in too many calories on this diet. (And I am SURE I will be upping my calories from my current 1200-1250). Will upping my calories cause me to gain weight?

    I am very unfit…not much strength. Nervous but excited to ‘bring it’ and honor my commitment.

    Any suggestions for this short overweight girl who is about to bring it would be appreciated!


  76. Oh! I am 39!

  77. Hi Nancy, you are awesome! I need some advice. I am 5’4” 190 lbs. I have a petite body frame (even at this weight, my wrists and fingers are super small!). When I was thin, I was not particularly strong. Just thin. I don’t have a muscular frame at all. I have A LOT to lose and I want to make the best out of the p90x program. I want to see consistent results. What I’m confused about is how many calories I should be taking in a day and at what proportions (fat, carbs, protein)? I actually get terrible migraines and get very weak if I don’t eat enough protein in a day, so I won’t be scared by your protein recommendations:o) From what I’ve read so far, it seems like you would recommend the Classic version to me? I was going to start on the Lean but I totally get your point. I have practically no muscle mass and I’m totally out of shape. I typed in my numbers into a p90x calculator and I think it said I was supposed to eat like 2800 calories a day?! That makes no sense. That’s about how much I was eating that got me so fat!!! I just cannot imagine getting into week 3 and not seeing any results! Help!

  78. I should probably add that I have a VERY sedentary life. I have a desk job and work 10-14 hours a day! Age 32

  79. Hi Rachel,

    You need to eat more than 1200 calories a day while doing P90X. However, I would not recommend you follow the P90X diet plan because it will calculate too many calories for you. I have an article at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2105 that addresses what you and your husband who needs to gain weight need to eat.

    As my article indicates, it’s not just about the calories, it’s the macro nutrient balance between carbs, protein and fat. You will see so much more progress if you follow my recommendations. I do strongly urge you to take in some of the protein you need via a protein shake because that’s the only way you can get enough protein in your diet while not blowing the carb and fat targets. I keep a list of the proteins shakes I use at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm. Your husband will need that and perhaps some protein bars which have more calories and carbs than the protein shakes. My husband and boys eat bars in addition to taking protein shakes and I keep a list of what we buy at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Nutrition-Protein-Bars.htm.

    As for being unfit, don’t worry about it. Most of us start out pretty weak. You’ll need to do your push ups from your knees and may need to use resistance bands to do pull downs in lieu of pull ups. But just keep pushing yourself really, really hard each session. You need to lift as heavy and intensely as possible to spark lean muscle development. Go for 10 reps where the last 3 start to burn or your arms start to shake. Don’t go for the high reps as Tony says is OK for women – best results come from lifting as heavy as you can with good form.


  80. Hi Candice,

    Go for the Classic and lift as heavy as you can with good form. As I suggested to Rachel, when weights are involved and Tony doesn’t give you a specific number of reps to do (as he does with ’21s’ and static arm curls) you go for about 10 where the last 2 or 3 start to burn. Don’t listen to the ‘advice’ that you’ll get toned by doing up to 15 reps at lighter weights. I really don’t know why Tony says that. (I know he’d never do that.) Because we women have a much tougher time adding lean mass than do men, we have to work it harder, not easier.

    As for diet, read my article at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2105 and review my list of protein powders at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm for best results. The P90X nutrition plan calculates WAY to many calories for women. That’s because it doesn’t recognize the difference between men and women. A 175 lb man has much more lean body mass than a 175 lb woman and would need more calories. But the P90X plan doesn’t acknowledge any difference. Moreover, they have you add in 600 calories for the workouts which is silly because you’d end up covering the energy expenditure and even if the rest of the calculation worked, you would not create any calorie deficit to lose weight.

    Since you are a very petite frame and very sedentary in your lifestyle outside of what you’ll so with P90X, you could eat even fewer calories than my calculations would produce but do eat at least 1500 – 1600 calories a day given where you are starting.


  81. Thanks so much Nancy! OK, one more question. I read your articles and you stress a 40/40/20 ratio. So should I just ignore the 30/50/20 ratio of carb/protein/fat recommended by beachbody, and start with the 40/40/20?

  82. Hi Candice,

    Because my overall calories are lower than the P90X nutrition guide, the percentage of calories that come from carbs goes up a bit. You do need some carb for energy so my ratio works well for the lower calorie totals. One last thought. If you really want to lose weight – especially around your abs, only consume 1 grain/starch serving and only 1 serving of dairy per day. The remainder of your carbs should be from veggies and fruit. I go organic with my dairy and fruit and salad greens always. Those are items that can have hormones, antibiotics or pesticides which are not good for you. I sometimes go organic with veggies and meat but not 100%. You don’t need to worry about organic with eggs or chicken because they don’t use hormones or antibiotics with fowl.


  83. really doesn’t undersand what I am doing wrong. I am still putting on pounds even with the workouts from p90x. Even if the calories were the same as before how can that be when you begin to workout. I am so frustrated I am ready to quit working out and go back to eating what I want. ughhh I started in Feb. just eating better and making healthy choices and lost almost 32 pounds and now have gained 5 pounds back in just about 14 days.

  84. Nancy, I really appreciate it! You are blessed for being so kind. I’ll try to check in in about 2-3 weeks and let you know my results on the Classic. Although I’m overweight all over of course, the weight does concentrate in my stomach and breasts. I’m definitely an “apple.” Actually, I could be passed off as a pregnant woman. I’ve found over the years that the only way I could ever drop a lb is by limiting my carb intake. So I will try my best to stick to the 40/40/20 ratio.

  85. Judy,

    I thought you were going to try my recommendations. If you don’t want to, I can appreciate that but I don’t understand where your thinking changed overnight. Making healthy choices is a great first step but if you are not measuring what you are eating, the odds are that you are eating more now since P90X is vigorous exercise. In your own words you said you were a ‘chow hound’ who loves to eat ‘tons of food’. That seems to indicate to me an propensity to over eat.


  86. You are very welcome Candice!

    As Tony Horton says (over an over on the DVDs) just ‘do your best and forget the rest’ which is pretty good advice. It doesn’t matter where you are now or how you got there the important thing is that you are taking control now and making positive changes. Had you asked me 10 months ago as I was ready to begin P90X if I though it was even possible for me to get in the shape I am in today I would probably have said no. P90X can really change your life so just show up, press play and bring it!

    On the diet issue, if you are a Beachbody Club member consider using their menu planner which they just overhauled and I love. The Low Carb Express menus are very close to a 40/40/20 ratio.


  87. Thank you Nancy!!

  88. Hi Nancy,

    I’m in week 3 of the Lean program and am actually gaining weight and inches. I am going to take your advice and switch to Classic. My goal is to drop 2-3 pant sizes. Since I am on day 17, should I finish out Phase 1 of the Lean program so that I have a recovery week next week or should I start with Classic tomorrow?

    Part of the weight gain is probably due to water retention since I’m not conditioned to do these intense workouts. I lost 38 lbs doing mostly cardio and pilates. I am trying to take in 1500 calories, but I’m usually at 1200-1300 even though I eat 5x a day. I weigh 188 and am 5’4″.

    Thank you

  89. Hi, I just stumbled upon your site while researching which P90X program I should follow.

    I am a woman, 5’4″ and started my weight loss journey a little over 3 months ago at 275lbs.

    I am now down to 245lbs after just completing 3 months of the Chalean Extreme program. In the 3rd month I started adding cardio on the weight days (getting on the treadmill with an audio program named Cardio Coach)

    I was going to re-do Chalean Extreme again even though my husband purchased P90X because I thought I wasn’t ready. But after reading some of the info on it I have completely gotten pumped up to wanting to do it with my husband now.

    I am going to do do P90X Classic like you recommend but I am planning on hopping on the treadmill after the resistance days for extra cardio, just because I want to lose a lot of weight still (but want to keep with with strength training as well)

    For the first month of Chalean Extreme, I started by eating 2300-2500 calories a day (because of my high weight of 275lbs). For the 2nd month, I ate between 2100-2300 calories a day. And for the last month I have been eating 2000-2100 calories a day.

    How many calories a day do you recommend I start P90X with?

  90. Hi Michelle,

    Sorry this took me a day to get to a response.

    Congratulations on making a commitment to a healthier, leaner lifestyle!

    I’d take the recovery week and then start Classic. You really will need at least 1500 calories a day but half the battle is eating the right foods, not just managing the calorie total. Lean proteins are key to building lean mass and burning a ton of fat. Many women don’t eat enough protein. I have an article on this at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2105 that discusses these other considerations. Give that a read if you’ve not already and see if you have additional questions.


  91. Hi TJ,

    Congratulations on completing a round of Chalean Extreme and seeing great results!

    Now P90X Classic is a really tough program which I’m sure you’ll succeed with but the thing is that the focus needs to be building lean mass while you blast off the fat. When you keep that goal in mind, doing unnecessary cardio on top of the program is not only not going to materially advance your goal, it can actually be counter productive. On your resistance days, you need to work HARD. Lift as heavy as you can with good form. Do as many push ups and pull ups as you can (or pull downs if you are using bands). The idea is to challenge your muscles to the max and then let your body start the repair and recovery process. If you don’t let your body rest and recover, the body will be hindered from building the lean mass that will increase your metabolism and burn more calories 24 hours a day. More lean mass is ALWAYS better than more cardio.

    I have an article on the P90X diet at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2105 but in a nutshelll, don’t eat more than 1800 calories a day. What you eat is as important as the calorie total which I discuss in the article.

    Eating a few less calories than you do now (but the right ones with a lot of lean protein) coupled with giving your resistance training your all, will create huge changes. When you get to the 3rd month of Classic P90X, you will be conditioned enough to add in a bit more cardio in ‘doubles’ fashion if you want to accelerate your weight loss.


  92. Hi Nancy,
    thank you so much for your advice :)

    I will be going no higher than 1800 calories a day… hmmm I wonder if I should have done that while doing Chalean Extreme… I could have lost a lot more weight!! oh well, at least I did lose 30lbs!

    Today I did day one of P90X Classic.. unfortunately the resistance bands we had weren’t quite heavy enough for the pull-downs. My husband had brought home extra resistance bands to add to oursafter I had finished my workout (he didn’t tell me he went to get some)

    I did go as hard as I could on the push-ups (though most push-ups ended up on my knees LOL) and made the pull-downs as hard as I could for the resistance I had. I loved it but my husband did the workout after me with the added resistance to the bands and he was definitely waaaaaaaay more tired than I was by the end, so next time I really have to bring it!

    Unfortunately for Ab Ripper X, I have an old tail bone injury that prevents me from sitting in a 45-degree angle to do many of the moves at the beginning…. I tried to modify but my modifications weren’t targeting my abs all that much. I was breathing quite heavy though LOL so I got a bit of cardio from it LOL. I am most likely going to end up doing the ab workouts from Chalean Extreme in its place.

  93. Hi TJ,

    Don’t worry about doing push ups from your knees, I started with all my push ups from my knees. On ARX, one thought is if a pillow under your tush would help. The men in my household have tiny tushes which then makes their tailbones hurt and they find the pillow trick really helps. Also in the beginning your abs probably won’t feel it as much as they will later. We find ARX actually gets harder the longer you do it because as your get your ab muscles to respond, you start to work the muscles at a deeper and deeper level.

    Congratulations on getting started! That’s often the hardest part – now just be sure to show up every day and do your best.

  94. Hi Nancy,

    Oh yes, although I complained about not feeling it in my abs when I modified for ARX, the next day my abs were SORE SORE SORE! So it is working :) Unfortunately, the pillow trick won’t work for my tail bone as it fractured before and I won’t even begin to try putting weight on it until I am way under 200lbs.

    I completed week one eating 1800 calories a day and I lost 4lbs already! yay! I know I can’t expect that big of a weight loss every week though, but that is a great motivator to keep going on.

    Unfortunately, I went against my intuition and did the plyometrics workout (LOTS of modifications) on day 2 and I now have an injured left knee. It only hurts when I am putting weight on it while trying to straighten it from a bent position (but it doesn’t hurt every time I do it) or when I kneel and put weight on it. I knew it is too hard of a workout for me at 245lbs but… I tried it anyways.

    So for this week I will just do some treadmill walking on the cardio days (possibly a couple of weeks) and once my knee is healed I am going to mix the moves from the cardio days from Chalean Extreme to make a 1 hour cardio workout.

  95. Good for you TJ! Now you are right, you won’t lose 4lbs each week but it sure helps to get a reward for finishing your first week.

    I’m sorry to hear you got injured on plyo. When you do your treadmill, do vary the speed and/or incline if you can to create a change in intensity from moderate to high intensity. That will help you burn more fat.


  96. Thanks in advance for answering my question Coach Nancy. I have read all of your posts here in this thread and understand you recommend the P90x classic version over the lean version for weight loss, but I wanted to give you my specific situation to see if you still recommend that.

    I am a male, 5’11″, and weigh 235 pounds and have a nice big belly…lol. I want to lose about 50 pounds and eventually be ripped. While I have not lifted weights for 15 years and I eat horribly, I have stayed in shape cardio-wise through biking. I just easily completed a 350 mile 4-day bike ride at a very fast pace so my legs are in great shape. I really don’t exercise anything else besides my legs and, as a result, my legs have plenty of muscle and are popping, but my upper body not so much. I was originally thinking I should do the lean program for 90 days to get rid of my belly and then follow it up with the classic program for another 90 to get ripped. But after reading your posts here, I am confused and wondering if I should start with the classic program.

    You talk about the importance of doing the classic over the lean program to lose weight because the classic builds up muscle, which burns more calories throughout the day. I am confused though because I already have good muscle definition in my legs, but am flabby in my upper body. I wonder if the muscle in my legs is a sufficient enough amount for burning calories in the resting phase to lose weight and so I should, therefore, start with the lean program to lose my belly. So, based on this info, which program do you recommend I start with?

    Also, I am planning on sticking to a diet like nutrisystem and eating about 1,800 calories a day so would like to hear your opinion on that.

    Thanks again.

  97. Hi Joey,

    Classic will do more for you than Lean. No exceptions!

    You seem to be missing that your body will not only burn more calories with more muscle mass, it burns more calories during the recovery period that runs 24 – 48 hours after exercise than doing a bunch of cardio. Fat around the waist is particularly responsive to intense weightlifting routines. You’ve not been doing intense weightlifting with your legs and just working out the lower half of your body isn’t enough. The best transformations, men or women, have all been on Classic. I get that you have some muscle in your legs but obviously it has not been enough to burn off calories for you. Secondly, you are also missing that that additional muscle you build on your upper body will make you look better as you work on reducing your belly fat.

    My husband had quite a belly on him when he started P90X. No he has a bad back and a bum knee and for the first 3 weeks he only did the resistance workouts. Then he slowly added the cardio for the remainder of the 90 days. But here’s the thing I want to get across to you about his transformation. He made a ton of progress in the first month without doing any cardio. Moreover, after he finished the first 90 days, he was burning fat so effectively he dropped cardio completely and now does only resistance training. He dropped another 15lbs doing that (after losing 30lbs in the first 90 days) and is leaner and more ripped than ever. At 53, he’s got a 30″ waist! Weightlifting burns more fat than cardio ever will! You can see his transformation pictures at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?page_id=2079.

    You do need to fix what you refer to as eating ‘horribly’. Nutrisystem is a way to manage calories but you won’t get enough protein from it. Please read my article at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2105 or a bigger discussion of how many calories and how you need to portion it from a macronutrient basis (carbs/protein/fat). You will need a high quality protein powder. I have a list of what I recommend at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm.


  98. Hi Nancy,

    I am a 19 year old female at 5’9″ around 215 lbs. I have been a competitive athlete my entire life (softball), and played at the college level for 2 years. I just recently gave up college softball to focus on other things, and I am trying to decide whether I should do P90X classic or lean. I have always been more on the muscular side, but ever since giving up softball I have put on some (fat) weight. I am definitely looking to lose weight (atleast 30 lbs), but I’m not sure which program to do/start with. I definitely don’t want to bulk up, considering I no longer need as much muscle mass because I don’t play a collegiate sport anymore, but I do know the benefits of resistance training….which is why I’m a bit confused about what to do?! Also, if you could give me some tips on my diet to get the results I am looking for I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

  99. Thanks Nancy!

    I get it now…I am going to do the classic and can’t wait to start! I also really appreciate you posting pictures of your husband. He has pretty much the exact same build as me in his Day 10 photo…my belly is just a bit bigger but pretty close and his end result is what I want so thanks for responding back to me!

    I will take another look at the diet by reading the links you included and I will definitely keep in touch.

    Thanks much!

  100. Fantastic Joey!

    I figured you would start to rethink things when you saw my husband’s pics. BTW what I didn’t mention is that he actually got down almost 50lbs and decided that was too lean and went up a bit. But what is really amazing is that right now his metabolism is so stoked (and all he’s doing is resistance training) he has to eat quite a bit of calories to maintain. I get a tad jealous some days when he treats himself to dessert after dinner!

    PLEASE take pictures! You’ll be amazed at your own transformation.


  101. Hi Mary Kate,

    My current saying is “the heavier I lift, the leaner I get”. Go Classic for the maximum fat burn. Intense resistance training beats cardio for fat burn if you measure the burn over the 24 hour period that starts with the exercise session. I hear that you feel that you are on the muscular side in terms of build but what makes you look bulky is the fat. I am actually a very muscular build myself but I’m lean. I will put up my biceps (when pumped from lifting) against any women bodybuilder. And my abs are ripped with muscle. Just don’t creatine supplements if you don’t want bigger muscles.

    The rest of it is diet which you must master if you really want a new you. Check out my article at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2105 and you will need a high quality protein powder to hit the protein requirement and still stay within the carb and fat limits. I keep a list of the protein powders I use at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm.

    Please let me know how you progress!


  102. I will indeed take pictures.

    Thanks again Nancy!

  103. Coach Nancy,

    Just a quick follow-up question:

    So I am going to do the Classic version, but the P90X Fitness Guide says, for the resistance training, I have a choice between 8-10 reps to failure for muscle growth/size OR 12+ reps to failure for lean muscle…which rep format would you suggest for me and what did your husband do?

    Thanks again!

  104. 8 – 10 reps. That’s what my husband Bob did and it’s what I do. Lift as heavy as you can while maintaining good form. Good form is really important to get the most out of each move. Tony H will tell you the last 3 reps should burn.


  105. Coach Nancy – I’ve always been active and use to run and lift weights until recently when my lower back started hurting. I started with p90x lean for about a month and lost weight. I then switched to Insanity for 60 days and gained a couple of lbs. However i noticed a difference in my arms and legs. I’m thinking about going back on p90x and not sure if I should do Lean or Classic. I’m 5’1 114 lbs and would like to lose 7-10 lbs. My biggest problem is my stomach and love handles. I’m also back on South Beach Diet but have been unsuccessful. Any recommendations is greatly appreciated.

  106. Hi Jenny,

    I always recommend Classic. Strength training builds more lean mass (you won’t get bulky) which burns more calories 24/7. Also the caloric burn rate post exercise remains higher, longer than with cardio. Classic has you do Ab Ripper X three times per week as well so you get in another ab workout for you stomach and love handles.

    As for diet, I have an article at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2105. My macro nutrient ratios are a bit different than SB but the biggest difference is that I recommend only 1 grain/starch serving a day (unless it’s your cheat day). You are not overweight so your changes will be slower (in terms of pounds lost) than most.


  107. Thanks Nancy! Do you by chance have a sample menu of what 40/40/20 consist of?


  108. Hi Coach Nancy,

    I have been doing the P90X Classic version for 2.5 weeks now. I’m 5’4” and weight about 143. I’d like to lose 10 pounds or so. The scale hasn’t really moved that much yet. I know, P90X isn’t a “weight loss” program, but I’m a bit frustrated considering how hard I’ve been working. I’ve also been sticking to the P90X diet plan (am in phase 1). I’ve only cheated once, and it wasn’t even that big of a deal (just one small brownie). I don’t see why this isn’t working for me yet. Do you suggest I’m asking for too much right away, and just need to keep at it for a while before the results come?

    Thanks for your help/advice!


  109. Hey i got P90x i gave it a try like a month ago but then i quit do to that i wasn’t really watching what i was eating i really wanna do this right this time i’m overweight 255lbs 5’5 25 yrs old. i wanna know which one should i start with the classic or lean. and how much cal. should i intake. i do drink water so that wouldnt be a problem all i have to do is watch what i eat and make sure i keep pushing play. i’ve got insanity as well but i’ll leave that for later because it’s really hard to do right now being so overweight. thanks for the help! looking forward from hearing from you.

  110. Hi Jennifer,

    Do Classic. If you read my replies to all the great gals who have asked me before you, you see I not only never recommend Lean, I explain why Classic is better. I have an article on determining how many calories and how much carb/protein/fat is right for you at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2105.

    You are right that Insanity is too much given your current weight. Do P90X Classic first. In month 3 of P90X, if you want to strip off more fat, you can add in 2 Insanity sessions per week extra in a sort of ‘doubles’ routine. Any 2 of the first month routines will do nicely.


  111. Hi Kim,

    You really need to follow my diet recommendations over at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2105. The P90X nutrition plan doesn’t work for women. Your first tip off should be that it calculates the exact same calories for men as for women even though a 5’8″ man who weights 175 will have a LOT more lean mass than a woman who is 5’8″ and weighs 175.

    Tony Horton has made comments recently about how he really thought this program was only going to be used by more elite athletes and has been surprised at how many other people are using it. I don’t think he really thought about women using it when he made it and, in my opinion, kind of missed the mark when he keeps telling women to lift high reps instead of lifting heavy for less reps. I know he knows better. Women can’t bulk up (without a huge amount of effort and a lot of supplements) so when you lift heavy, you’ll build lean mass, not bulk.

    Now you are in better shape than many who start this program so your results will be a bit slower. But you should lose at least 4lbs in the first month and I believe you will do that or better if you follow my diet guidelines.

    So train real hard, eat per my plan and let me know how you do. BTW, my plan gives you a cheat day once a week so you can not only have that brownie, you can have more.


  112. Hi Jenny,

    I do find that the Beachbody menu planner if you select the ‘low carb express’ option is very close to my 40/40/20 eating plan. Other than that, I have posted occasionally about what I eat over at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#forum/Nancy-s-Diet-0.htm.


  113. Hi Nancy – thank you. If I’m 5’1 114 lbs how much calories should I intake on a daily basis? I’ve been trying the 40/40/20 and doing P90x Classic and have not lost weight. I also seem to be having trouble with the 40/40/20. My fat intake is extremely HIGH.

  114. Ok, thanks, Nancy. I’ll try to change up my eating and see how that goes. Thanks for the advice!


  115. Hi Nancy…
    I am an exotic dancer in Las Vegas, and I want to be very lean with long toned muscles. My body style is thicker than the petite/ thin model types my managers seem to favor “… especially my legs are thicker (I used to lift heavy – leg press, 4 sets, 360lbs for 15reps moving up to 630 for 6 reps…) Would it be your recommendation to do p90x Classic (which I already own, and I wont ask about lean because I have read and agree with your opinion) … or, should I invest in “Insanity” to get a better result. I also heard Insanity is a shorter work out, which would definately help if I could get a quicker work out and the same or better results. Goals- burn fat, sculpt muscle, LEEEEEAN out my thights and tummy mostly, but arms as well….

  116. Hi Jenny,

    I’m a bit confused about whether you are really following the 40/40/20 ratios given your comment that your fat intake is extremely high. If it is then you are not following the 40/40/20 ratio since that’s actually a very low fat diet. And if you aren’t actually following it, how many calories are you taking in a day?

    At your height and weight, you are into what I’d call more of a fine tuning stage. You don’t need to lose a lot of weight so the weight loss will come a bit more slowly but it should come if you eat 1400 calories a day in the ratio I recommend and workout consistently and hard. Also, take the focus off of your weight and put it on your measurements. Have you lost any inches? That’s really more important than what you weigh. If you haven’t been taking measurements start now and take them once per week. Also only weigh yourself once per week at about the same time of day. I take my measurements and weight the morning of my cheat day before I start ‘cheating’.


  117. Hi Diane,

    I want to preface what I’m going to say next with what will seem like an obvious statement to you. Your needs are different from those of the majority of my clientele. You are already in shape and given your profession, have to focus on leaning out what is an already fit body. So my advice to you will deviate from what I’m telling my other clients.

    First, do the P90X Classic resistance workouts. You already know the value there so I don’t need to expound on that. Do those 3x per week as the schedule you have you do but skip the ab ripper x (ARX) on those days. On 2 days a week (not your resistance days) do ARX, a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout and a session of exercises to lean your legs. I’m in the process of video taping some HIIT workouts but if you are in a hurry, my 2nd best recommendation is for you to get the Tony Horton One on One Medicine Ball Core Cardio workout (you’ll need to use the drop down box and the workout is about 1/2 down the list). It does a great job working your legs and midsection and throwing you into a fat burning mode. I will also video record for you a leg sculpting routine but you can create your own version for now of different squats, lunges, piles, and side leg lifts. The key for you will be to work the leg muscles from a number of different angles with no weights and reps in the 15 – 25 range, 1 – 2 sets per exercise.

    Then your regular dance routines should provide you some low to moderate level cardio which, coupled with the resistance training and the HIIT will keep your body fat low.


  118. Hello Nancy,

    I actually e-mailed you on July 26, 29 & Aug. 2! I’m not sure why you are not receiving them, so I decided to try your blog.

    I actually asked you a few questions on the press/play website before I started on June 1. I’m less than 3 weeks away from turning 44! I was the one who asked about Bikram Yoga. I have already lost 8 lbs (starting at 130 am now 122) and have dropped a whole size in clothes and have lost about 6% body fat! I’m so glad you suggested Classic instead of Lean! Thank you for that!

    I have been following the diet to a “T” (Except for the last 2 weeks because I was waiting on an answer. I have been keeping my diet at 40/40/20) and feel that it is working! My question is…Should I still go up to 60% carbs for the final phase (I’m already 2 weeks into Phase 3)? I’m slightly nervous about adding so many, however, I’m excited I can eat 2 pieces of fruit!

    I eat all organic…everything! All of my carbs have been oatmeal, lentils, brown rice, quinoa, fruits & vegetables.

    I did not purchase the recovery drink because there are some ingredients in it that I stay away from. Shakeology has whey protein in it and I found out (during the first week of P90X) that I’m allergic to whey! However, I have found some great rice proteins that have helped!

    Will Shakeology ever have a rice protein?

    Also, I want to start another program after this, which do you recommend Turbo Fire or Insanity, obviously to keep my results from P90X and even go further!

    Thank you for all the inspiration!


  119. Hi Kimberly,

    I’m not sure where you tried to email me but the Beachbody system routinely does not notify me of new messages. Given that I support people here (blog and forums), Facebook, & Youtube, it’s important that a system send me notices of new messages. Beachbody is the only one that fails me. But more importantly, I always give public questions here on my blog first priority. That’s because your questions will be someone else’s questions and given that I’ve got over 600 clients, I need to leverage my answers. Moreover, your question and/or my response may spark a question in someone else. My goal is to help as many people as possible with the time I have to devote to this. I trust this makes sense to you.

    Now onto your questions…. First you have a question about changing your diet. My recommendations (fully discussed at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2105), don’t include a change in macro nutrient composition. I have you stay with the 40/40/20 ratio (plus 1 cheat day). It’s a lifestyle diet. So the 60% recommendation isn’t mine and I don’t recommend it at all. Sounds like it might be the P90X nutrition guide recommendation but I’ve been pretty clear in many places here on my blog that the P90X nutrition plan does not work for women. Stay away from it!

    I’m glad to hear you eat primarily organic. I recommend that to everyone based on organic food availability and your budgets. You seem to highlight a lot of grains in your diet where I recommend only 1 serving of grains and/or starches a day. (This would exclude lentils and beans which are legumes and not starches.) So you could have always had more than 1 serving of fresh fruit a day on my plan. I recommend you choose your fruit from berries (all kinds are great), cherries, apples, pears, peaches and other pit fruit, and grapefruit. Those are the lowest glycemic impact fruits and most of them have the highers fiber content.

    I’m actually not a big fan of rice protein. I believe Organic Hemp Protein Powder (click here for a great source for affordable organic help powder) with all the necessary amino acids, good fiber and essential fatty acids is a better choice. Three tablespoons of hemp will provide 15 grams of protein and works well in a smoothie with fruit. I use hemp to add a bit more protein from a vegan source to my Shakeology. If Shakeology ever introduces a 100% vegan version, I would hope they use hemp. But I have no insight to whether a 100% vegan source Shakeology is in the works or not.

    As for the next program, I usually like to see people do another round of P90X. But perhaps you are looking for more variety and I can understand that. If buying a 2nd program what I would do is get Turbo Fire and do a P90X/TF hybrid workout. I’m going to have one up later today and will come back and post up a link to it here when I’ve got it done. The reason why I like Turbo Fire is the HIIT workouts. You can workout for less time and get the same or better results than a longer workout. And HIIT plus P90X is killer in terms of ripping fat off of your body but keeping or building the lean mass. Insanity is a secondary choice. It’s very addictive but a lot of physical stress. I’ve already go a hybrid workout up at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/m/articles/view/test (just skip the kettlebell workouts which is a bit much unless you are into extreme fitness).


  120. Nancy,

    Thank you so much for a speedy response! You are really fantastic!

    I figured after my first round of P90X I will start the 1 cheat day a week! I was trying to be obedient to P90X and follow the guidelines to get the max. results. However, because of your previous postings on nutrition, I thought I would ask before changing my carbs to such a high % (so glad I didn’t make the change)! Also, I have been following your rule of only 1 serving of grains a day.

    Yeah…for 2 servings of fruit!

    I will definitely look into the Hemp Protein!

    I will be sure to purchase Turbo Fire and will look for your post later today on the P90X/TF hybrid! That sounds exciting!

    You have the best advice and I appreciate all that you do in this blog and elsewhere!

    Have a great day!

  121. Hi Nancy – I just got through my first week and I found it hard to be consistent with 40/40/20 diet. Fruits have high carbs, olive oils have high fats…any suggestions? The only meal I have 40/40/20 is my breakfast and I’ve been having the same breakfast all week.

  122. Hi I have done p90x workouts but have never had a consistent workout program set up with it, im about 5’10 178. I am decently built, but I want to get moer toned, would classic or lean be better for me? or will you get just as toned n lose some weight doing classic, i just dont wanna add on weight i would like to be about 172-175 can classic take me to that?

  123. Hi Nick,

    Thanks for stopping by! Regarding your question I encourage you to think this way – it’s the workout that should focus primarily on adding lean mass and your diet to bulk up or burn fat. Sure some cardio can help with fat burning but resistance training will burn more calories in the 24 – 48 hours following the workout than will cardio. And the lean mass you add will burn more calories 24/7. Moreover, if you workout intensively those resistance training sessions will burn the same calories as the other workouts with the exception of Plyo which you’ll do during classic anyway.

    I have a post on diet that you may find helpful at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?p=2105.

    In summary, do classic and you will lean up if you follow my diet guidelines. My husband did classic, did not even do all the cardio in the classic program and lost 50lbs while adding a lot of lean mass. He actually got so lean he added back on 5lbs so he didn’t look quite so thin. You can see his transformation at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/?page_id=2079.


  124. Hi Nancy,

    I’m will be 29 in a couple weeks, i’m about 250lbs (too scared to go on the scale right now) and 5’5. My husband is worst. I have being reading a lot of you’re posts and I subscribed at beachbody. I want to change or lifestyle. My birthday gift to myself is getting my health and life back on track before my 30th. So my husband and I want to start one of the programs. The problem is I dont know wich one to do, I read so much, i’m totally confused. A friend gave us he’s Insanity and P90 DVDs. I like insanity because there is no equipement required and we’re king of tight right now. But it’s seems difficult for someone carring that much extra weight. P90 seem a little bit easier but it requires a bar and I know i wont be able to get one right know and It’s not the king of exercise i was ever able to do when i was training (10years ago). Can you help me choose a program? I want to get everything ready to start in a couple weeks.


  125. Nancy,

    I purchased the P90x set of dvds but can’t seem to decide whether or not to use the Classic or Lean version. I used to be a very strong/fit athlete a few years ago but have packed on the pounds since taking on a full-time job (poor food choices, too many happy hours, and mostly a sedentary life-style). I have approximately 30-40 pounds to lose and I’m really looking to lose weight and just be very lean and fit. I see that you suggest the Classic, but I’m still not sure.

    My concerns regarding the classic aren’t that I’ll “bulk up” b/c I know I won’t be taking the supplements and lifting the amount of weight necessary to do that, but I just want to pick the routine that will be the most effective AND easiest to stick to. I tried the Ab Ripper X dvd just to get a taste for P90x (made it through with only a few less reps on the standard setting, which I was quite proud of), but I was ridiculously sore for almost 4 days after that and didn’t feel like doing much of anything on those days b/c of it. I’m worried that I’ll start the Classic and just be so sore that I won’t stick to it or skip days, etc. I’m sure that the lean will still kick my ass, but since it’s more “cardio-focused”, I’m wondering if it will limit the soreness and keep me engaged in the program?? Or maybe there’s some kind of recovery trick that I can do to minimize it? I’m totally committed to making a change, but I also don’t want to be absolutely miserable for the next 90 days of my life haha

    I’ve also taken note of your nutrition/dietary suggestions, and they seem like they make a lot of sense and that they’re something I can likely stick to, so thanks for that.

    What are your thoughts/suggestions?

  126. Hi Sophie,

    I still recommend Classic. However, I’m quite clear that everyone (men and women) need to start where they can. That means doing far fewer reps and making. I could not do all of Ab Ripper X for weeks. I had to do push ups from my knees (so did my husband when he started) and I could not do a pull up for the life of me. My husband’s saying about starting P90X is that you need to ‘check your ego at the door’ while Tony Horton’s saying is ‘do your best and forget the rest’. So don’t even try to do it all or not make modifications. You’ll still build the lean mass you need to increase your metabolic burn rate which you won’t get from doing Lean.


  127. I’m a female who NEEDS to lose about 100 pounds and am confused about which program would best suit me. I’m going back and forth between the lean program and the doubles, and would really like some help. Suggestions?

  128. If you’ve read my replies here, you’ll notice I am very consistent. Do Classic.

    Lean won’t build muscle mass the way Classic will. Since you want to lose weight you may be thinking you don’t want to gain lean muscle but lack of lean muscle is part of your current condition. More muscle and your body burns more calories. More muscel and you can exert more forcefully during your workouts and expend more calories. Did you kow that the body burns extra calories after a resistance workout for 24 – 48 hours? After a cardio routine the ‘after burn’ lasts only 2 – 4 hours. And the body burns more calories after a resistance workout than it does after a cardio routine – with a higher percentage coming from fat!

    Doubles are way too much for an out of shape, significantly overweight woman such as yourself to consider at this time. Get fit first and then consider doubles.

    At the end of the day you need to accept that you took years to put on all the extra fat you now want to lose. Make a real decision to improve your lifestyle and aim for 30lbs (maybe as much as 40lbs) over your first round of P90X.


  129. I’m afraid to do the Classic program because I don’t want my fat to turn to muscle. I’ve always thought that if I did muscle training I would still be as big, just muscular, and I don’t want that. I just really want to be petite again.

  130. Fat NEVER turns into muscle. I don’t know where you got that idea but it’s wrong. You didn’t get fat because you were lifting weights, you got fat because you didn’t exercise (or at least not much and not the right way) and you ate too many calories primarily coming from fat and carbs. I’m not trying to be mean but you have to acknowledge what really caused your problem if you want to fix your problem.

    Doubles is the Classic routine plus more cardi BTW so I’m not sure why you were considering it if you are so resistant to weight lifting. In the end, you’ll do what you want and certainly doing Lean is better than nothing at all. But if you want results like mine, do Classic.

    Good luck.


    P.S., Eating right is half the battle. The P90X nutrition guide calculates far too many calories for women. Follow my diet guidelines at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/ for best results.

  131. Hi I’m on Week 9 Of P90X lost 17 lbs so far not eating anything more then salads and 3 oz of meat a day counting my calories usually only 900 per day. Once I achieve my Idea weight what should my calories intake be. Loving the workouts.

  132. Hi Sue,

    If you are doing P90X, especially Classic you need more than 900 calories a day. Even if you are doing Lean you need to eat at least 1200 calories a day. Also 3oz of meat isn’t going to be enough protein. For optimal results you want to add some lean muscle while you burn fat. Having enough protein in your diet helps with both objectives. Please see my article on my P90X diet at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/.

    As you’ll see when you read that article, I strongly recommend a sustainable lifestyle change, not a starvation diet you have to get off of after 2 – 3 months. With a lifestyle change you will always be in control of your body.

    Good Luck!


  133. Hi Nancy – I am on week 8 and I have gained a couple lbs since the beginning. Am I doing something wrong? I’m 5’0 112 and I intake about 1200 on days where I’m not doing p90x and on days i do i usually intake about 1500 (depending on many calories i burn ont he workout).

  134. Hi Nancy, i am a full time student and an active softball player. I tryed the p90x classic workout before and didnt finish it, but now i am ready to start (and finish) it again before condictioning starts. But i dont really know if i should dont know if i should try to do classic again or do lean. Because i am already very strong for my size (5ft 6in, 175lbs). I know that you prefer the classic version but what do you think is better for me?

  135. Hi Jenny,

    You didn’t give me much to have insight to what might be the problem. Let’s start by you providing a few answers to these questions:

        How many pounds are a ‘couple’?
        I’m assuming you’ve been keeping measurements – what has happened to your waist size?
        P90X is a 6 day a week program so are you doing the full program? I ask due to your comment that your caloric intake is 1200 on your non P90X days. It came across as though you do P90X for less than the 6 day a week program.
        Are you following my 40/40/20 carb/protein/fat ratio? Managing total calories is not enough.
        Are you doing Classic?

    Let me know the answers and I’ll have more to work with to help you.


  136. Hi Haylea,

    It’s still Classic. In fact, in your case, it’s really best to do Classic so you get an evenly distributed upper body workout. Weightlifting does not make you big unless you are taking steroids. I lift very heavy for my size and I keep getting smaller, not bigger. But eating is important and for most students, diet isn’t well managed and that’s before we get into things like how much alcohol most students drink. To lose weight you need to manage your diet. Please read my guidelines at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/ if you have not already done so. I’ll guarantee you that if you do Classic and you manage your diet properly, you’ll slim down while you gain strength.


  137. Hi Nancy – thank you for the quick response. I have gained 3 lbs since starting the program. I have been following the program 6 days a week. On the days where I’m stretching, my daily intake is 1200. Should it be 1200 everyday or should it include my workouts as well? I’ve been trying to do the 40/40/20 but it seems rather difficult to have every meal exactly 40/40/20.
    Your input is much appreciated.


  138. Nancy – I forgot to ask another question with last post. The yoga is hard for me to get in with an almost 2 year old demanding my attention. I have Jillian Michael’s yoga, is it ok to substitute?


  139. Ok, my first post didn’t show up for some reason? I had a question on resistance bands versus free weights. I’ve been using the bands since my weights aren’t heavy enough to feel the burn. I’m only on week 2 of phase 1 of the classic version but want some great results! I did Insanity and lost 16 lbs (5′ 10″ weigh 190 now) and am hoping to do well with P90X!

    Does it matter as far as results, whether I’m using bands or free weights? I need to go get the bar, which is on my list to do this week, but have been using the attachment for the door frame for now. I have 5 lb weights but they’re too light for most of the workouts, except for a few shoulder and tricep moves, due to an old shoulder injury from volleyball many years ago.

    I was going to get 10 lb weights, but don’t know if that will be enough?


  140. Hi Jenny,

    I’d eat 1200 – 1300 everyday except for 1 day which should be your cheat day. The problem with limiting calories all the time is that your body gets too efficient at getting by with lowered calories. The more you lower, the more efficient it gets. So with a cheat day, you substantially increase your calories which confuses your system to the point where it not only won’t work to keep getting super efficient, it actually won’t process all the calories you take in that day. Let me put this in perspective, I normally eat between 1500 – 1600 calories a day except for my cheat day where I’ll easily eat over 3,000 calories a day. I eat anything I want on cheat day.

    As for following the 40/40/20 ratio at each meal, you don’t have to be that precise, consider it a daily target. What you do want to do is eat more of your carbs before 5pm.


  141. You may substitute JM’s yoga. I find TH’s yoga too long myself.


  142. Hi Kristen,

    The first time you post a reply, I have to approve it manually before it shows up. So it did show up as soon as I approved it. Going forward you posts will show up immediately unless you put a link to some other site in it which then the system will hold for my review. Here’s what I responded to your first post with:

    5lbs dumbbells are way too light for someone who has finished a round of Insanity. You need to push it harder – much harder. You should be getting a burn after 8 – 10 reps. P90X only works when you do the resistance with intensity.

    Go for bands if your budget is light because you can incrementally increase the resistance by moving where your feet are positioned on the bands. I like this Band Set (click here) you can get at Bodybuilding.com because it comes with 3 bands & a door piece (for lat pull downs) and a carrying case so you can take it with you. Also the price is very good.

  143. Nancy,

    My husband and I are starting week 5 of P90X. Neither one of us would have passed the fit test at the beginning, but we are doing our best.

    He is starting after being inactive for a long time with a repaired Achilles tendon on one side (and the other ankle is a candidate for rupture and repair also) and a couple of repaired hernias. (He’s doing a fine job of bringing all he can without endangering his weak spots.) He’s 5’11″, (started P90X at) 212 lbs, and 40 yrs old. Discovering this was a path he wants to follow was a big deal for him, and he is anxious for the process to yield quickly. His body is responding nicely, about 8 lbs on the scale lost so far, and quite a bit of strength gained, but not quickly enough to suit him. Diet-wise, he is not following any kind of rubric, although we both are eating more healthfully after starting this program because it’s impossible to do the workouts with a food hangover.

    I’m 5’6″, (started P90X at) 183 lbs, and 35 yrs old. I started working out in 2001 at 280 lbs, and I plateaued at about 175 in 2007. I learned to be committed to diet and exercise by letting the process take time / be slow–my gung ho phases were not sustainable. I have ridiculously good cardiovascular health and stamina, (from doing almost entirely cardio workouts 4-7 days a week for 9 years, and I’m a singer.) I joined him in P90X for three reasons: 1) I’d love to be stronger, but I’m too lazy to lift weights by myself. 2) I realize that muscle gain may break my weight loss plateau. 3) My inspiration for exercise was flagging. I am significantly stronger now, have visibly lost fat and gained muscle, and I’ve lost about 3 lbs on the scale. I have not re-measured yet, but I’m scheduled to re-measure tomorrow. Diet-wise, I’ve been doing the same thing for a decade: I try to limit my intake to between 1600-1800 a day (but I usually I only succeed about 50% of the time–I am a textbook compulsive eater,) and I try to make sure not more than 35% of my calories come from fat. Beyond that, I have not been measuring / restraining the specifics of my food intake.

    Because he is concerned about the process moving ahead quickly, he is now expressing an interest in checking out / following the diet guide. I had skimmed it and already decided that it recommends too many calories for me to lose weight. I am big-boned and big-muscled and traditionally have a very slow metabolism. His metabolism is silly fast, and his pre-injury physique was pretty scrappy. I would like to follow a simple formula, like the figures you’ve recommended to people throughout the above posts: a total number of calories for my gender / height / body weight and a content ratio, (although accomplishing the ratio will involve learning new ways to count my food….) I think I could do that alongside him whether he decides to follow the P90X diet or not.

    What I’m hoping you’ll respond with are numbers.

    For me: I do not want to lower my calorie intake to a level that will promote the fastest possible weight loss, because I know I simply will not sustain that. But I could work with a range, like, here’s the lowest number for fast weight loss on P90X and here’s the highest number for gradual weight loss on P90X. I am aiming for 140-150 lbs as a maintenance weight (a 30-40 lb loss, I really am big-boned!, I probably look 160 now), and I’m not going to cry if it takes another year to get there. I’ve been on this road for a long time.

    For him: He wants the weight loss and visible toning to accelerate, but he is not accustomed to restricting his eating, so something very stringent and restrictive may end up being a blocker.

    We’ve already discussed doing the (exercise) program twice in a row and in some sort of maintenance capacity after that.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

  144. Nancy,

    I got an error message that said “Stack overflow at line 15″, and I don’t know what that means. I can edit and resubmit if necessary.


  145. I’m guessing seeing the first post that it had to do with length. However the good news is that it looks like I got the whole thing.


  146. Hi Teresa,

    In the end, this comes down to what you and your husband really want. When total health, vitality as well as having a lean body are one of your top priorities in life, you’ll both be able to commit to a diet. Although not enough people exercise, getting the exercise done is actually the easy part. An hour a day and… poof!… you are done. Managing what you eat, is for most of us a 16 – 18 hour a day job.

    The truth is that you are eating about the right amount of calories… except when you don’t. I’m not at all sure how often that is. Your husband should be eating in a 2200 – 2500 range but I’m guessing he’s eating more. As for eating healthier, that’s great but what does that really mean? (Don’t answer me – my question is rhetorical)

    You can read my post at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/ and make all the appropriate calculations. If that’s too much work for you, then just follow these simple guidelines and I guarantee you, you’ll be eating healthy:

    6 Days a Week:

    1) No Sugar, no fruit juice, no alcohol, no diet pop, no dried fruit, no cereal (excludes old fashioned oatmeal). The sugar ban is big and, of course, includes any food made with added sugar, fructose, honey or sugar by any other name.

    2) Only 1 serving of breads/grains/potatoes or other starchy foods per day. Breads should be restricted to my list at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Bread.htm. Rice needs to be brown rice.

    3) Only 1 serving of organic dairy a day.

    4) Eat lean meats. About 3oz – 5oz at dinner for you and 6oz – 8oz for him. Eggs are good eats as well. You may (and in my opinion should ) eat whole eggs, not just the egg white. 2 – 3 eggs for you and 3 – 4 eggs for him.

    5) Consume 1 – 2 protein shakes a day. Get a high quality whey protein isolate like IsoFlex which mixes well with water (as well as being a great value when purchased at the 5lb size). Your husband could add a little organic milk to his (6oz water + 3oz milk works well if you mix the protein with the water first and then add in the milk)

    6) No more than 2 organic fruit servings per day. Restrict fruit choices to berries (any kind of berry is fine), cherries, apples, pears, apricots, and grapefruit.

    7) Eat at least 1 salad a day using organic greens (2 salads a day is better). Use low fat organic salad dressing. You may also add in tomatoes, peppers and even avocado (yes I know it’s high fat but this is so good for you, it’s OK) and make it all organic.
    8) Eat at least 1 1/2 cups of veggies at dinner (no corn, no peas, and limited use of carrots). I am a bit loser here about organic because it’s hard to find frozen organic veggies.

    1 Day Per Week:

    Eat and drink anything you want and eat and drink as much as you want. Go big! I typically eat about 1500 calories a day and when I hit cheat day I eat over 3000 calories a day. There are a number of physiological and psychological reasons to eat big on cheat day which I cover in my article I linked to.

    Good Luck!


  147. Hi Nancy,

    First off, just wanted to say I have really enjoy your website. I find it very motivating. The questions and answers have the most helpful for me. I do have a couple of questions I was hoping you could help me on.
    I am currently about 140lbs, 5′ 3″, 32 yrs old. I have started the P90X Classic routine, and loving it. At this point I should be mid-way on week 4 except I got sick with the flu and missed about 5 days. Being that I missed a whole week, should I skip the Recovery Week (which is where I should be) and maybe re-do week 3? I’m trying to fit as much in (that will benifit me the most) as I am going away in late November. I would love to complete the program by then.

    I was reading your posting to Teresa re the amount of food to eat per day. Would you recomment the same for me? 3 – 5oz of lean meat per day, 2 – 3eggs per day, 1 serving of bread/potato, 1 – 2 protein shakes, ect.

    I look forward to your response. Thanks Nancy.

  148. Hi Nancy – I noticed under your response to Teresa, you indicated that she should not have sugar and fruit juice. However under the nutrition guide book, we are allowed fruit bars as a snack. Is that not correct? In addition, are there any desserts that we can have after dinner?


  149. Hi Jenny,

    I don’t actually follow the P90X nutrition guide. Simple sugars outside of the acceptable fruit list I provided in my response to Teresa are just going to contribute to insulin spikes which (this is a simplified answer) ends up causing your body to hoard fat. That’s not what you want. Now I’m not going to go into all the detail here, but right after a resistance workout if you really lift heavy, there is a window where you can use simple sugars to an advantage. However, that’s only going to work if you have emptied the glycogen our of your muscles so the sugar you do consume goes to replace it. If you are carrying significant ab fat, you don’t need to concern yourself about feeding your muscles in a narrow window after working out. You are insulin resistant (your body manufactures more than enough insulin and does it too frequently) which is what is causing the ab fat.

    Short answer – stay with my guidelines if you have ab fat. If you don’t, you have more flexibility in your diet.


  150. Hi Tee,

    Thank you – I’m glad you are getting something out of this site! And congratulations for taking on P90X Classic.

    When you miss a workout or two, I recommend you just move on. But get past 2 workouts and I say start over on the partially completed week. In your case, that means to repeat week 4. I know you want to get as great results as possible by late November but what your body is telling you when you got sick is that that your immune system was too weak to fight off the virus. When you work out hard, you can add a lot of stress to your body which affects cortisol levels and can significantly suppress your immune system. So back off and re-do the recovery week. Also review both your diet and exercise routine. Are you eating properly? Are you trying to do doubles too soon? I don’t recommend doubles before month 3 and even then, most people are not ready for that level of stress.

    As far as the general guidelines, they are pretty good for most people. I mean if you want to be precise, go read my extended article I reference in the response to Teresa which will show you how to calculate for yourself how much you need to ensure you are going to lose weight. I spend more time there with ratios and the ‘whys’ of the diet I recommend.

    I wish you the best success!


  151. Hey Tee,

    I had a few more thoughts that came up as I was thinking about your getting ill. Aside from not over doing exercise, nutrition is ultra important. This goes beyond just what I recommend generally for weight loss. Two things to consider. First, I really like the Shakeology meal replacement system. It’s just chock full of nutrients your body needs including whey protein isolate which is the highest form of whey protein.

    I know Shakeology is expensive so if that’s not an option for you then at least make sure you are getting the best whey protein isolate you can. I recently switched to IsoFlex which I love. It’s all whey protein isolate (no cheaper whey protein concentrate in this) and Isoflex has a unique and proprietary process that maintains some of the most important components in the protein. These include:
    * 57% Beta-Lactoglobulin – assists the body in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and can help prevent muscle breakdown.
    * 18% Alpha-Lactalbumin – high in tryptophan, a natural relaxant which can help to reduce stress, improve the mood and increase serotonin levels.
    * 17.5% Glycomacropeptide��” contain high amount of BCAAs and can help stimulate body to release cholecystokinin (CCK) after eating to signify satiety (the feeling of being full) and help with weight loss.
    * 3.0% Immungoglobulin ��” responsible for producing antibodies to fight against pathogens. They bind to toxins to prevent infections and also enhance the immune system.
    * 3.0% BSA (Bovine Serum Albumin) ��” provides essential amino acids.
    * 2.0% EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) ��” increases the intake of nutrients and growth factors by the cells. It is a powerful anabolic protein molecule.
    * 1.0% IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor) ��” this is a hormone released by the growth hormone which can promote growth and support lean muscle mass.
    * 0.2% Lactoferrin ��” is an iron-binding protein which helps with iron transport throughout the body. It is also a powerful antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal glycoprotein.

    With all these extraordinary Bioactive Full-Spectrum Whey Isolate Macrofractions, your immune system, along with your muscles, will get the support it needs and you’ll feel better and make more gains more quickly.

    I get my Isoflex from Bodybuilding.com (click on link to go to BB.com) because they have such great prices and super fast delivery. If you buy the 5lb tub, you are buying, IMO, the best whey protein isolate at a price lower than most of the cheaper and less effective whey protein concentrates.

  152. Hi Nancy,

    I’ve actually been using Myofusion by Gaspari. I will definately make the switch if you feel the IsoFlex is a better product. I have not been doing doubles….there’s no way my body could handle that right now. I don’t think I’m working myself too hard – I actually think I could work harder. I find the weekends the hardest in keeping to the schedule because there’s always so much to do, but I try my best to fit it in.

    Thank you very much for your advise Nancy!

  153. Hi Tee,

    The Myofusion is a really good protein also. I didn’t realize you had purchased it when I responded or I would have addressed that. I actually buy both the Myofusion and IsoFlex. IsoFlex is my choice during the day because whey protein isolate is so quickly absorbed by the body so it helps my muscles recover. I often mix a shake 1/2 Shakeology and 1/2 IsoFlex vanilla flavor for right after a workout so my body gets the best nutrition I can give it with plenty of whey protein isolate. Then my pre-bedtime shake is Myofusion chocolate which is a slower release protein because it has whey protein, microcellular caesin and egg derived proteins. I let those proteins do their slow repair while I sleep. I used to just buy Myofusion but now I buy both that and IsoFlex. It’s totally optional.

    Both mix well with water although I find the Isoflex has a tendency to settle more quickly than Myofusion if I don’t add a little milk. Both have great taste. I find I like the vanilla taste of Isoflex more than Myofusion’s vanilla but I LOVE the Myofusion chocolate taste. If I were going to buy only one, I suppose I’d choose the IsoFlex now that I’ve found that due to the unique manufacturing process that retains all the protein compounds.

    I’m glad to hear you are not doing doubles. So maybe its just your hectic schedule that overwhelmed your immune system.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!


  154. Hello Nancy,
    I am on starting on my fourth week of Lean. I just found this site and am beginning to think that I need to change it to the classic. I am 5’4″ and 197 lbs. I want to lose weight but I definately want to tone up while doing that. Do you have any suggestions for me?


  155. Hi Nancy,

    I’m on my second week of P90 and am doing the lean version…after reading your responses I see you recommend the classic version. I also am taking cycle classes at my gym 3 mornings a week. I’m 26 years old, 5’6 and 140 pounds. I’m getting married the end of March and would like to lose at least 10 pounds but preferably 13 or 14 by January (3 months from now). I eat well, watch my carb and sugar intake. At what phase do you normally see results start taking place? And do you feel that my goal is attainable?

  156. Hi Jackie,

    First I’d like to challenge you on the weight loss targets. If you think about it, focusing on weight only is short sighted. What are your real goals? I’m guessing if you answer that honestly, it’s not a number on a scale but how your body looks. Where I’m going with all of this is that what most women really want is to remodel how their body looks. We want to lose fat but don’t we also want our booties to be high and tight? Don’t we want lean, ripped abs? Weight loss does not get us there. Fat loss coupled with lean muscle gains does.

    So if you can agree with that, then Classic is the way to go because you do far more resistance training which will add lean mass in all the right places. And research now shows that the metabolic lift you get from resistance training lasts almost 2 days while all you get with cardio is a metabolic uplift for a few hours. Finally research also shows that the amount of fat burned from weight lifting is far more post workout than what you get from cardio. It’s not what you burn while you exercise, it’s the metabolic impacts post exercise that matter most. In the end resistance training can both add lean mass and burn fat.

    Moreover, I would not overdo the cardio. Too much cardio is just going to be counter productive to the end goal of adding lean mass while you burn fat. Too much cardio ends up raising your cortisol levels which then tends to eat away at your lean mass. Moreover, chronically elevated cortisol levels can raise your blood sugar levels which then causes your body to product insulin to bring your blood sugar levels down and that can put a quick halt to any fat burning and throw you into a fat storage mode.

    So is your goal attainable? Forget the weight loss goal and set one that is body composition related. Switch to Classic and be sure to eat right (the P90X nutrition guide is all wrong for women, please see my article at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/) and you can have the body you really want by January.

  157. Hi Kim,

    Please read the response I just wrote to Jackie. Do Classic for best results. All women who have had stellar results that I know of have all done Classic. Also read my article at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/ for diet guidelines because what the P90X nutrition guide recommends is way too many calories for women.


  158. Hi Nancy,
    I have a dumb question I am sure, but when counting calories, how can I tell what percentage of carb/protein/fat are in a food? How do I calculate it? I want to make sure that I am doing this correct.

  159. Hi Kim,

    If there is no nutrition data on a label, you’ll have to look up the macro nutrient composition. I just type in the food, for example raw avocado with the words nutrition facts into google and look for the nutritiondata.self.com listing and go to that.


  160. But how do you tell the percentage. If you are doing 40/40/20. How can you tell what percentage is what. If I am eating 1800 calories a day, I know that 720 is protein and carb and that 360 is fat. but if you have something how do you calculate it. I may be over analyzing it, I dont know.

  161. Hi Nancy,

    I just received my P90X and I’m having a really hard time deciding which workout plan to follow. I was an athlete my whole life and in college, however since graduating (’09), I have stopped trainning and put on about 20 pounds. I am in law school now, so I spend hours upon hours sitting and reading. I’m still pretty strong and have muscle, but it seems to be under some layers of fat. I cannot deicde if the lean or classic is better for me. I know I have to change my diet, since I am not working out the way I used to, but I’ve never really had to workout on my own, or motivate myself. I’ve always had a coach or trainer forcing me to do it! My main goal at the moment is definitely to loose weight and fat. I would really appreciate you giving me some feedback as to which workout plan I should follow and any other tips you would find helpful.
    Thank so much!

  162. Hi Kim,

    On nutritiondata.self.com, you’ll get the total calories and then they provide the break down between fat, carbs and protein in grams. Fat and protein each carry about 4 calories per gram and fat contains about 9 calories per gram. So you are able to take the grams x cal/gr for each and figure it out that way. Is that what you needed? I was a little confused by what you are actually looking for.


  163. Hi Melanie,

    Any exercise is good but between Lean and Classic, Classic is better. The thing is that based on your age, you are about to cross an invisible line and it’s not a good one but you can’t avoid it either. Now every year you will lose about .5% of your weight in lean mass. In other words, you are now going to start losing muscle. This is a natural course of aging but if you work out with resistance training you can avoid that. So the thing is, you’ve probably have already lost some muscle which means that the weight gain is more than 20lbs of fat it’s something like 21 or 22lbs of fat and 1 or 2lbs of muscle loss. Classic is the version most focused on building muscle through resistance training so it will do more for you. Resistance training burns more calories and burns a greater percentage of those calories from fat when you calculate from the point of exercise through 40 hours. Cardio only elevates your metabolism and burns additional calories for a couple hours post exercise compared to the near 40 hours you get from weight training.

    Plus as I tell gals all the time, cardio does little to remodel what you have. You typically just become a smaller version (at best) of what you were. But with resistance training, you lift and firm that booty, you create abs to die for and flabby arms become lean and toned. That’s what most men find sexy. Pick what you want but the greater transformation will always come from doing Classic as long as you ‘bring it’ to each workout.



  164. Hi! I just finally bought the p90x system and I will be starting it Sunday the 24th.

    I am super pumped to bring it.

    I used to be a very active and fit person, I danced ballet for 14 years and participated in horseback riding competition all those years, too. College hit me like a ton of bricks and now I’m 28 and 40 lbs heavier than I should be. I am fairly active and have an active job, but between my lack of regular exercise (compared to what I used to do/get) and my diet…..well here I am. I did pass the Fit Test, at least!

    My question for you….

    I was thinking of doing the Lean version now and then the Classic after a little break. Does that sound like a good plan for me, or should I just do the Classic now?? Building muscle doesn’t bother me, and I’ve always ‘bulked up’ easy in the past. I just want to lose the fat that covers all the muscle, too! :-)

    Thanks so much
    Any input would be greatly appreciated!!!


  165. Hi Samantha,

    Classic, if properly done will burn far more fat than Lean. I’ve expanded many times in this thread of comments about why. Lean is much more cardio based which only burns calories for 2 – 3 hours typically after exercise while resistance training will burn extra calories for 39 or more hours. That’s more than 10x the post workout elevated burn rate! Moreover, that post exercise burn is more from fat when you do resistance training than it is when you do cardio. And finally, you’ll build more muscle faster which elevates your base metabolic rate.

    One thing I caution women is not to say you’ll bulk up with resistance training. The weights I lift are more heavy than most women ever will and I am smaller in my measurements than before and continue to decline the longer and heavier I lift. I’m not bulky. In fact even the women who go into body building seriously are actually very slim. What makes their muscles pop is the fact that they’ve cut their bodyfat down to about 15% which is extremely low so all muscles appear very pronounced.

    Finally even if you lost the same amount of fat with cardio as you would with resistance training (you won’t but I’m saying this the sake of argument), all you’d do is be a bit leaner version of what you are now. If you have a flat butt, you’ll still have a flat butt. If you have droopy shoulders, you’ll still have droopy shoulders and if you have no ab definition, you won’t develop great abs. It’s resistance training that remodels us.

    So it’s Classic every time I’m going to recommend over Lean. Good luck and I wish you the best success no matter what you choose.


  166. I am on week 3 of P90X Classic version. I’m 5’2″ and 121 lbs, 33 years old. I am using Team Beachbody’s “Balanced Slim Down” from their personalized meal plan which has me at 1700 calories per day. I would like to lose 10 lbs and tone as well. I’ve been reading your comments and notice you recommend 10x body weight for calories per day. Would you recommend this for me as well? There would be a 500 calorie difference and I just want to make sure I’m doing the right thing. Thanks!

  167. Hi Marianne,

    Thanks for stopping by. I do put upper and lower limits on the calories. So low end I suggest you not go below 1400 per day. That is still a 300 calorie drop from where you are at. I also recommend you take a cheat day once a week to prevent your metabolism from getting too efficient working off of low calories. Make sure also you hit the right carb/protein/fat targets. I don’t use the BB ‘slim down’ menu so I’m not sure how many protein grams it’s advising for you.


  168. Thank you, Nancy. BB ‘slim down’ recommends a protein range from 43-149 grams based on a 1700 calorie diet. I’ve been using a 30/40/30 (carb/pro/fat) target.

  169. Hi Nancy – I am finishing up my last week on p90x. Should I start a different workout or do p90x all over again?


  170. Hi Nancy! I just bought the p90 x program. I want to know, if I want to lose 15-20 pounds which routine should I start with? classic, lean or doubles…. My principal goal is to lose weight not to gain muscles….

  171. Hi Isa,

    If you’ve read through my replies here, you should anticipate me saying that you should do classic. It’s so hard for most women to add muscle that you don’t need to worry about gaining bulky muscle. I mean use me as a guide. I’ll guarantee you that you won’t lift anywhere near as heavy as I lift and I am not bulky (see my most recent picture at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/11/leaning-my-legs/).

    Look if you are under 30 and have less than 20 pounds to lose, then you have more leeway to pick whatever you want but if you are over 30 OR have more than 20 pounds to lose then do Classic. You will burn more fat with Classic than Lean. Just follow my diet recommendations at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/

  172. Gosh Jenny I swore I responded to this but now I don’t see it. I’m sorry!

    It depends on how you feel. Another round of P90X is great but if you are feeling some level of resistance or if you get bored doing the same workouts then why not mix it up a bit with a P90X hybrid? P90X works well with either Insanity or Turbo Fire where you do the P90X resistance workouts and then replace the P90X cardio with workouts from the other programs. I’ve got a P90X/Insanity hybrid work out up at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/m/articles/view/test (kettlebell workout bits can be skipped) and a P90X Turbo Fire workout at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/m/articles/view/Nancy-s-P90X-Turbo-Fire-Hybrid-Workoutt

  173. Thank you so much for the response Nancy! I actually purchased Turbo Fire last and already have Insanity. Which hybrid program do you prefer?

  174. Hi Jenny,

    I got on a role and created a super hybrid of all three programs for you. Check it out at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/m/articles/view/P90X-Turbo-Fire-Insanity-Hybrid-Workout.

  175. Hi Nancy,

    You look amazing! Way to go! I started P90X today. I am 32 years old, am 5’2″, 140 lbs and have really high “bad” cholesterol. I have two children, with the youngest being 3 yrs old. I have been on the Slim-Fast diet for two weeks, with really no success. I try to drink about 90 oz. of water each day. I have studied the diet that comes with the P90X videos, but honestly cannot afford all of those foods. I am on a very strict budget. I need help finding a healthy diet that will help me lose weight, lower my cholesterol and also be AFFORDABLE. I hope to hear from you soon. Have a great day!

  176. Hi Dawn,

    Congratulations on starting P90X. Do the Classic version for best results.

    For diet, please read my guidelines at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/. The calorie calculations in the P90X nutrition guide are too high for women. As for Slim-Fast, quit that stuff it’s over priced and not really going to get you where you need to be. What you do need to invest in is a good protein. Now I see you indicate you are on a tight budget but really the Slim Fast stuff isn’t cheap and when I say get a good quality protein, you are going to replace some food you would ordinarily eat with that so it isn’t additional to what you’ll eat, it’s part of it and a good protein can be purchased at a per serving cost of $.50 or less so even if you put a little milk in it, you are still very cheap for a meal.

    I strongly recommend the Gaspari Myofusion protein as it has a very good protein profile, tastes really good (I buy the chocolate) and purchased in 5lb tubs is pretty cheap per serving. Follow the link and I think you’ll find that the shipping costs from Bodybuilding.com are really cheap.

    Good luck an check back in with progress updates!


  177. Hi Nancy! Thank you for all of the suggestions and advice, I feel that I learned a lot by reading the questions and answers above. I started P90X today. I am 130 pounds, 5’4, chubby on stomach and arms. I am getting married in 6 months so I want to be really toned and lean for the big day. I have decided to do the Classic routine and I was wondering whether it would be a great idea to do cardio on the side 3-4 times a week? I am excited and wondering if you could provide me some motivation. Tony says to trust the work out and I want to. Also, I am vegetarian so I was wondering if you could provide me some advice on where I could get my protein. Should I drink a protein shake in the morning before my work out? Any advice is appreciated!

  178. Are we supposed to be eating whats in our book. the energy booster. I am just wanting to know the kinds of food to eat.

  179. to lose the maximum amount of weight

  180. Hi Kim

    I don’t follow the P90X nutritional guidelines because it calculates too many calories for women who want to lose weight. Instead read my guidelines at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/.


  181. Hi Nancy, not sure if you missed my comment dated November 25:

    Hi Nancy! Thank you for all of the suggestions and advice, I feel that I learned a lot by reading the questions and answers above. I started P90X today. I am 130 pounds, 5’4, chubby on stomach and arms. I am getting married in 6 months so I want to be really toned and lean for the big day. I have decided to do the Classic routine and I was wondering whether it would be a great idea to do cardio on the side 3-4 times a week? I am excited and wondering if you could provide me some motivation. Tony says to trust the work out and I want to. Also, I am vegetarian so I was wondering if you could provide me some advice on where I could get my protein. Should I drink a protein shake in the morning before my work out? Any advice is appreciated!

  182. Hi Nikki,

    I apologize for missing the first comment. I took a little time to research what could work for you being a vegetarian. You really need to be sure you are getting enough protein and most plant based proteins aren’t my favorite. BUT I have found one I can fully endorse. It’s Vega Whole Food Optimizer. It’s a lot like Shakeology except it uses plant proteins in lieu of whey protein. If you click on the link, you’ll go to Bodybuilding.com which happens to have the best price I’ve found so far on it.

    As for the rest, just trust the program as Tony says. If you’ve not done it before, you’ll be in for a surprise. It’s pretty tough and doing more cardio just ends up putting more stress on your system which can raise your cortisol levels higher than they should be which will actually set you back, not move you forward towards your goals.

    After the first 2 months, if you want to do more, then add a bit more cardio on your resistance training days.

    That said, if you want to add some walking to your total exercise, that’s fine because it will not raise your cortisol levels while it will help you burn a few more calories.


  183. Hello Nancy,
    My boyfriend and I are on day 5 of the P90x classic and after yesterday neither of us enjoyed the yoga x workout. I would prefer to do an extra day of cardio on day 4 for the yoga days instead. Is this okay? I am a female 31 years old, 5′ 3″ 145-150 (my scale doesn’t work) pear shape, good muscle memory. My goal is to lose a couple pants sizes or 10-15 lbs, build muscle and get rid of my belly fat. I work in a hospital, go to school and am fairly active on my days off. We have been folllowing the nutrition plan but not entirely with the protein shakes and bars. I do not take supplements either. Prior to doing P90 X I had not been able to get to the the gym, but have always done more cardio, and once I start to see results exams and school interfere with my workout and I take time off.

    I have been reading the posts and see that you often recommend a lower cal diet for women which also made sense to me. What would you recomend? And is it possible to accomplish losing 10-15 lbs on classic PX90?

    Thanks ,

  184. Hi Kristin,

    Absolutely you can lose 10 – 15lbs doing P90X Classic. However, as woman, I strongly recommend that you replace what is recommended in the P90X diet guidelines with what I recommend at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/. The P90X diet is too high in calories for women and I don’t agree with the 3rd phase eating guidelines at all.

    You do need adequate protein. Because your fat intake is limited you really need a quality source of protein powder which will be your lowest fat, lowest carb source of protein. I have a list of protein powders I use and recommend at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/#topic/Protein-Powders.htm.

    When you read the P90X diet guidelines in the article I’ve linked to above, you’ll be able to calculate your own calories and macronutrient mix (carbs/protein/fat) for your situation.


  185. Is it ok to substitue the yoga with either core synergistics or something else. I really dont like it at all. What do you recommend.

  186. Hi Kim,

    I’d rather see you do X-stretch if you are not going to do the yoga.


  187. what should be my calorie intake per day. I am 5″5′ and 160 pounds. I have been doing the classic for about 1 1/2 weeks i have noticed that I am stronger but not losing weight and i have been following the diet in the P90X book for 1800 calories a day. Let me know what i should be doing if I am doing this incorrect.


  188. Hi Kristy,

    The P90X diet guidelines calculate too many calories for women. It seems obvious when you think about why they didn’t comprise different calculations for men and women because a man that is, say 5′ 8″ and 170 is going to have a lot more lean mass (and, hence, a higher caloric need) than a woman 5′ 8″ and 170lbs.

    I have my guidelines at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/ which will walk you through where you should start.

  189. I just got the P90X program two days ago, but im not sure which workout schedule i should do; the lean or the classic ? Im in a pretty good shape, i used to have six pack abs but i stopped working out and now have a small layer of fat over them and yu can barely see them now. I specially have a little bit more fat at the bottom of my stomach. i want to get rid of that fatty layer over my abs so they will show again but i also want to gain muscle so im not sure on which one i should do… I also have soccer pre-conditioning on mondays, tuesdays, and wensdays and we do quite a lot of running. but im not sure if its enough because i havent really seen big results. i just mainly want to get rid of my belly fat quick and fast but at the same time want muscle. i also bought protein so i am all ready but i am just not sure what to do…should i take the lean, classic or even do the doubles. or mix up between two of them please HELP! i lost my diet plan but i think i eat pretty healthy. i just really want to loose that fat part down low in my stomach and make my abs show again but i also want to gain muscle while loosing fat. please let me know what i should do, it would really help me a lot. Thanks!!

  190. I forgot to mention that i am a pretty lean guy i think i got like maybe 10% or 11% fat wich is pretty good. But somehow i still have a fat lower pooch on my stomach and its really bothering me because i want to get rid of it fast but i also want to gain some muscle at the same time but not too much just to the part were it actually looks toned. so what should i do? do the lean for a couple weeks and then once my fatty pooch goes away, start toning my musles or do both of them at the same time.? and im also not sure what to do about the diet plan because i lost that. if you can give me some ideas on what to do to lose the belly fat it would really help.

  191. Seriously JC, do Classic. Lean won’t transform you. Belly fat is going to go away with focused exercise plus a higher metabolism. That’s what Classic does. Also you need to eat right – I’m not sure how clean you eat but I do know men who are ‘hard gainers’ (high metabolisms which makes muscle mass hard to put on) often eat poorly – at least well below suboptimal because they can and not put on weight in general. But that isn’t going to get you six pack abs.

    Check out my diet recommendations here. I have a post entitled ‘My P90X diet’ that is located under the ‘Popular Posts’ section in the right hand column. But in your case, up the calories by another 500 per day for the muscle you’ll put on doing Classic.


  192. Okay, so i read everything you told me and looked at your P90X health article and i decided to stick with the Classic Version. But i am still really lost with the whole dieting thing, i don’t really get the whole 40/40/20 thing and i have no clue on what that is? And i just don’t think i have a wel diet because im not sure if i eat too much or too little? right now what i do is i wake up and for breakfast i have a protein shake that has 25 grams of protein and it’s only 105 calories. and that’s all i have so im not sure if that’s enough for breakfast? then for lunch i usually have a sandwich and sometimes a salad with beef and a dressing and some chocolate milk. and i dont know if i should have a snack between breakfast and lunch? then i have dinner and i am not sure what to have for dinner to tell you the truth but tuna sounds like a good dinner for me i dont know? and then i workout and have another proten shake that has 22 grams of protein but has muscle recovery and such. and throughout the day i’d say i probably have at least three fruits a day mostly, oranges, apples and bannanas. i have very little vegetables and i dont like them very much but i wanna know what types of vegetables i should eat more of ? and i think i should probably have a nack here and there too but im not sure. And like i said before i am actually a pretty lean guy and i have a pretty decent fat percebtage but i STILL somehow have a little fatty pooch in my lower stomach and probably a little all over my stomach but the biggest area i see the fat is in the lower part of my stomach. i really want to get rid of tat badly and i wanna get toned in my arms and just gain some muscle pretty much. i am totally lost on what i should do with my diet and what i eat, i need a lot of help in this because i tried to workout a while ago but somehow i didnt really notice a diffence and i think its either because i have too much or too little food. it would be greatly appreciated if you gave me some suggestions and just gave me advice.


  193. Hi JC,

    OK the 40/40/20 ratio means how much of your calories should be split 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein and 20% fats. This is a low fat diet. Now you are not eating enough calories from what you listed. And you definitely are not eating enough protein. So take your weight x 15 and if you don’t want to lose any more weight, add 500 to that. So if you weigh 150, it would be 150 x 15 = 2250. Now let’s say you keep it there in order to lose a few pounds. Then 40% of that would be 900 calories from carbs (225 grams) and 900 calories from protein (225 grams) and 450 calories from fat (50 grams – each gram of fat is more calorie dense than carbs or protein).

    If you are not using a protein powder, you’ll probably need to to hit the protein totals. There are many sites and apps for phones that can help you keep track of calories and your carb/protein/fat ratios so you may need to use one for awhile until you get a better feel for what you need to eat each day.


  194. Okay, thank you so much this helped a LOT !

  195. Hi Nancy,

    I am 5’2 and weigh 138. I started P90x Lean version on Monday and I am wondering if I should start on the Classic version instead. My goal is to lose about 10 lbs. and just get lean and tone overall. Please help me in making the right decision!

    Thanks so much!

  196. Hi Laura,

    Classic produces a bigger change – especially when you eat the right diet (see my P90X diet post under Popular Posts). But in the end, do the version you will commit to. Only you can make that decision. :)


  197. hi Nancy, i’m so glad i found this site. I saw a video of you on youtube and i’m just so proud of you!!! I’m hoping you can help me with my questions. I’m 5’3 25 years old and 210 pounds. I’m really excited about doing p90x. I read through some of your replies and saw that you recommend the classic one. As you can see, i need to lose at least 80 pounds. I have insanity and p90x. I’m also planning on getting chalean turbo fire in the future. I want to do three rounds till December. Feb-May (round 1) May-aug (round 2), Aug-nov (round 3). Now i want to start with p90x and go with insanity then chalean. But i don’t know which one will get me to lose around 80 pounds by november. I honestly don’t care about the “weight” i want to be size 4-6 from a 16/18 size. I don’t want to look bulky and from what i’ve read, i won’t get “bulky” from doing p90x. My question is, what combination will get me to where i want to get. Should i just do p90x classic/double for the whole three rounds? or mix insanity and chalean? I need advice as to what workouts i should do to lose 80 pounds? Will a combo of insanity, chalean and p90 be better or doing p90x for three different rounds be better? i’m lost!!! thanks so much nancy.

  198. Hi Rose,

    Start with P90X Classic and do a full round. You are not ready for Insanity or P90X doubles (I don’t recommend that for anyone). I say you are not ready because you are out of shape and quite overweight. Just doing P90X Classic will be a huge undertaking. You’ll see what I mean when you start. When you are done with one full round of Classic and are under 175lbs you may consider a hybrid round of P90X Classic with Insanity.

    I get that you want to lose 80lbs but start with the first 5lbs and work from there. You MUST eat right. You cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet. Please see my diet recommendations under My P90X Diet for guidance.


  199. thanks nancy for the reply. You’re right about doing insanity right now in my condition… i’ll wait on that. I understand what you mean about getting my eating right and i do struggle with that especially at night. I do really good up until 5pm and after that because of bad eating habits, i always feel eating junk food is the only thing that will do. An example of what i eat is in the morning i’ll have a whole wheat toast with peanut butter or at times whole wheat cereal and soy milk, for lunch i’ll have brown rice, veggies and some lentils and after that i’m not satisfied eating anything but chips/fries, etc… it’s like after 5 i have to eat something “heavy” i struggle with that. Can you suggest anything about this? Other than that, i know i’m ready to do this! thanks again nancy


  200. Hi Rose,

    You are way too low on protein. Please read my article at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/ to understand how much more protein you need in your diet. Not only does it help build muscle, it helps raise your metabolism (so you can burn fat) and it helps keep you satisfied for much longer.


  201. Hi Nancy,

    I’ve ordered P90X and should be receiving it within the next couple days. I’m 20 years old, and a full time student weighing 165lbs at 5’4″. I’ve played soccer my whole life until I started college almost 2 years ago. I’ve had 3 knee surgeries from injuries due to soccer and have always struggled with my weight. Even when I was one of the most fit on my team I was never small and therefore never loved running. That being said and after reading though this thread I’ve decided to do the classic version. I’m looking to lose weight and just be healthy again. However, I did have one question about your diet plan. You say only 1 serving of dairy a day- I’m a big milk drinker. I drink organic skim milk and go through approx. a half gallon every 2-3 days. That on top of my usual greek yogurt for breakfast and maybe a cheesestick for a snack later. What does the dairy do for me and why do I need to minimize my intake of it? I’ve always grown up with the mentality that I need milk to keep weight off and to prevent bone problems in my future. I was also wondering if you could link my anywhere that had meal plans suited for the life and budget of a college student? Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks!!

  202. Hi Stacy,

    First, conventional wisdom isn’t always right. There is a lot of money spent by the dairy industry to make you feel like you have to get in at least 3 servings of dairy a day when the studies they site are not that strong. And by my count you are getting 5 – 6 servings a day – way more than you need.

    So why do I restrict dairy? First milk should not be considered a beverage but a food. And as such it starts to cut into what you may have to eat. I mean if you are drinking close to a quart of milk a day + a serving of Greek yogurt + a cheese stick, you are taking in 500 calories in dairy products. When you consider that you really would only need about 1500 calories in total, that’s 1/3 of your daily calories. Beyond that, many people are sensitive to dairy. You may not be all out allergic but it can lead to bloating or allergies.

    By taking the dairy down, I’m not totally eliminating it because many people, including myself, like dairy. But until you start releasing the weight, you should approach dairy cautiously and limit it. When you get close to your ideal weight, then add a bit more in if you like.

    As for student meal plans, I’d need more input on what you are looking for. If you go over to my members section I have a section on food which includes things I buy that are priced right and work in a diet.


  203. Hi Nancy,

    I am seriously trying to lose anywhere 50-60 lbs. I am 27 years old, 5’4 and 190 lbs. i have a desk job so i am not very active during the day, however I do enjoy working out . I recently purchased P90X, I love the program, but working out has never been an issue for me. But I want to lose this fat and honestly the quicker the better!! So with this being said, I know its will boil down to what and how I eat. I see where you have advised other women not

  204. Hi Nancy!

    I am seriously wanting to lose 50-60 lbs. I am 27 years old, 5’4, and 190 lbs. Being active and working out has never really been the issue, but I have never really ever stuck to a good nutirtion plan. I recently purchased the P90X program and I love it, however I know the weight loss is really going to boil down to what I put in my body. And after reading some of your responses to other women not to follow thier nutrition plan I’m afraid Im at a loss as to what I should be eating. Im doing the classic program, what type of meal plan would you suggest for me to reach my goal! i would love to see significant changes by the summer at least : )

  205. Hi Rochelle,

    I have an article entitled “My P90X Diet” which you can see is the most popular post on my site. In that article I go through what I recommend instead. Take a look at that and then let me know what additional questions you have.


  206. Hi Nancy

    Yes I am about to start the P90x program and was wondering which workout would be better for me. I am 6’5″ tall and I did weigh 370lbs. I recently lost 105 lbs so now I weigh 265 lbs and im feeling better but I would like to tone up and lose about another 35-40 pounds. Also to lose that weight should I add a extra cardio workout on some days or what would you recommend for the fastest and best results. Also I’m not big on protein shakes and supplements but a couple of my buddies have done the program and are telling me I really need to use some type of protien and supplements. Thanks

  207. Hi Keven,

    For the first time out, do the Classic routine. Don’t add in any extra cardio – you don’t need it. If you workout hard by lifting as heavy as you can while still maintaining form and continuously push yourself to do a little bit more at each workout, your body will start to respond. The body needs recovery time and adding in more cardio can interfere with that. The weight will come off if you eat right while you workout hard.

    And as for diet, you’ll need at last 200 grams of protein a day – 250 would be better. The problem with that is you can’t get that much protein each day without eating a small mountain of chicken and another mountain of egg whites. Other protein sources will have too much fat in them to be significant contributors to your protein totals (you can eat other proteins – you just need to be aware of the fats in them and keep the fats under control). So for ease of consumption, protein shakes are recommended. Two scoops of a high quality whey protein will get you anythere from 45 – 50 grams of protein with nearly no added fat or carb. I keep a list of all the protein powders I’ve used and recommend over at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/members/forum/topic/Breakfast-Ideas.htm#topic/Protein-Powders.htm.


  208. Hi Nancy – Just stumbled upon your site. I’m impressed with the amount of info here, and I like your approach!

    I am a 37 yo female about to complete my first round of P90X Lean. Stats: Ht 6′, wt 160#, bf approx 30-ish% depending on measurement technique. Athletic background of outdoor sports as well as weight training and yoga to varying degrees of seriousness in the past. Over the last few years I’ve put on 15-20# due to less activity and a stressful work situation. I decided to do P90X Lean b/c it seemed less intimidating schedule-wise and would allow me to still do some of my outdoor activities (rock climbing, biking, etc) without being wrecked. I am now in week 11 of 13, and unfortunately my stats (including measurements) have really not changed. I’m a bit disappointed, but I have noticed gains in my fitness; ie, I can do more push-ups, more Dreya Rolls, use heavier weights, in general feel fitter and like I’m getting back a good base of fitness.

    I am still feeling positive despite the lack of results because I am realize I have some things working against my fat loss goals – I work a lot of hours, sometimes involving alternating night/day shift-work with fragmented sleep, I only average about 7 hrs, and my diet isn’t always perfect. For the most part I eat paleo low carb 1800-2200 cal/day with at least 160g protein/day. My normal macronutrient ratio is 40% pro/40% fat/20% carbs. But I have a stressful job and am prone to emotional/stress eating, which occurs more frequently than I’d like… instead of one “cheat” meal it usually turns into two-three per week, and it’s usually sugary/fatty stuff like baked goods/candy… those days needless to say are usually higher carbs and calories. I know, I need to work on this!

    Anyway, the reason I’m giving all this background info is that I would like to figure out what to do next. I am considering P90X Classic, Insanity, or a hybrid of each. Needless to say, my goal is primarily to lose fat. Would like to get down around 20% bf where I used to be. Any advice about which program I should try, given the information above? I have really enjoyed the P90X workouts, but I don’t want to stagnate or stall fat loss any more than I already have. I have heard that Insanity is good for fat loss, but I’m concerned that it will be too stressful on my body given my already chronically elevated cortisol situation and lack of ability to really optimize my sleep and recovery time. That’s not goo for fat loss either! Alternatively, I could combine the two… I look forward to hearing your opinion. Thank you!!

  209. Hi Dawn,

    Thanks for stopping by. OK you are clearly an intelligent woman but as regards your body, you are ignoring the obvious. Don’t take this the wrong way, this is very common with women. So let’s start…

    First, only you can control your eating. I mean just don’t start with the fatty, sugary carbs if you can’t stop. I get the compulsion factor once you start, I suffer the same myself. That’s why having 1 cheat day a week is so great. You can allow yourself to open up to the compulsion and eat as much as you want. I’ve been know to eat amazing quantities of food on my cheat day with things like over sized crumb cake muffins, an entire box of mac & cheese, butter on Ritz crackers and more. But when the day is done, so am I. To be honest, by the time the day is done, I’m feeling so bloated and sluggish, I look forward to eating right for the rest of the week.

    Moreover, what you need to do is to substitute good foods you really enjoy for those you are eating now that are bad for you. For me, a half cup of Oikos brand 0% fat organic Greek yogurt mixed with some Truvia (stevia sweetner) and vanilla extract is really yummy. And it has no fat, very few carbs (about 4 grams) but has a nice serving of protein (12 grams). I love fresh berries. I make a chocolate protein pudding. My list goes on but the point is that you need to develop your own list of foods you get comfort and satisfaction from that won’t work against you. You say you are eating Paleo so I assume you’ve ditched grain products and dairy from your diet? If you haven’t, do so. Typically though if one is eating Paleo, you would not get 40% of your calories from carbs. It would be quite difficult unless you are eating a lot of sugary fruit which you need to dump.

    Next, Lean is all wrong – especially given your other exercising. And Insanity will make things worse. Do the resistance and yoga workouts from P90X and do your other activities and that’s it. So in total you should aim for 3 resistance workouts where you lift heavy in the 8 – 10 range (don’t listen to Tony suggestions that women can lift less heavy and do more reps – that’s not going to provide the stimulus you need), do 1 yoga workout and 2 – 3 cardio workouts each week. Doing more does not produce greater results, it produces less results. Sounds like you may have chronically elevated cortisol levels (the stress hormone). That won’t respond well to more cardio than what I’ve listed. Doing Insanity given where you are at right now would be insane. Don’t do it. Once you get your hormones balanced, lose the fat and increase your muscle mass, you could then consider it. Insanity is a program for really fit people. It is not a good fat loss program for most people (despite what they say on the infomercial). Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun and a challenge (I do a few workouts from time to time) but it’s just not right for you right now.

    Getting 7 hours of sleep is plenty if it’s good sleep. If you are not getting good sleep, consider adding some Melatonin, 5-htp and/or GABA provided you are not on medication for depression. If you are, you’d need to run these ideas past your doctor to make sure there would not be any interaction with your medication.

    Good luck!

  210. Nancy –

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. That was exactly what I needed to hear. I like your direct approach. I just requested that BeachBody change my coach to you (I have never used the one assigned to me).

    Your answer about how to direct my future workouts was kind of what I expected, so I’m psyched to start your plan!

    Regarding the food, I am very motivated to try your technique of strict 1600 cal 6 days/week with the one higher-cal day. I am hoping that having that “cheat” day will help me to turn down the “cheat” foods when they appear on other days, and I will do some hard thinking about healthy substitutions for comfort foods when I need them. I had been trying to be strict paleo so no dairy, no whey, low fruit… but I have been eating lots of fat and lots of nuts, which I don’t think is helping me at all. I feel deprived (have a sweet tooth) but still eat too high of cal due to all the fat!

    I am going to add whey protein back to my diet (around workouts), which will help with the sweet tooth but still provide good protein. There are lots of concoctions you can make with whey that taste dessert-like, as your mentioned. You are right, I only eat grains as a cheat. I’m going to try to cut my fat down and do 40/30/30 ratios at least… I think not eating grains will make 40/40/20 hard but I’ll strive for that. I will limit my fruit to 1-2 servings/day and no other dairy (except on cheat days!).

    I do already take melatonin, which helps. Normally my sleep quality is good when I’m not on call in the hospital. I will watch my cardio amounts to keep the stress as low as I can and keep increasing my weights. I wish I had found your site sooner b/c I feel like I’ve wasted some time, but it’s all been a positive learning experience. I really appreciate your advice and look forward to implementing these changes! I’ve joined your forum and want to get on your newsletter list too.

    Cheers, Dawn

  211. question. thinking about buying p90x but not sure if i would do classic/lean. I am 5’2″ and 115 . I run 35 miles/week and also do triathlons (swim2xweek/bike 2-3xweek). However, my trainer wants me to put on some muscle to help with injury prevention. I also, despite all my training, have “the pooch” tummy that sticks out. Suggestions for me? I need to strengthen my quads/hammies/hips and i deperately want to get rid of the big tummy. Thanks!

  212. oh i am also 38y.o and have never given birth (not sure if that makes any difference). my diet tends toward vegan although I once in while eat lean chicken or fish.

  213. Hi Karen,

    Just do the 3 resistance workouts per week you’d see in Classic. You don’t need more cardio. Yoga is your call depending on whether you stretch much on your current regimen. Do Ab Ripper X (ARX) also 3x per week – no more. Unless you are taking 2 servings of VegaOne per day, you need to up your protein significantly. I’d suggest a good whey protein powder. You need to be consuming a good 1.25 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass and it’s nearly impossible to to do that on a mostly vegan diet. Remember that resistance training is the spark for muscle growth but you also need protein and recovery to make the growth happen.


  214. Hi nancy

    Im 22 yrs old my weight is 250 my height is 5ft 6in i mainly just want to loose wieght first. i have p90x and turbo jam i started the p90x yesterday (lean program)

    So my question is should i stay with the lean program or should i start the turbojam first for a while?

    My goal is to loose atleast 60 pounds=]

  215. Hi Liliana,

    If you want to lose fat you do Classic. Classic will take more off of you than Lean.


  216. Greatly appreciate it!!!
    I will start 2morrow on the classic!
    Just wanted to point out ur site is very usefull thanks once again!=]

  217. Hi Liliana,

    Diet is also very important to get great results. Please see my P90X Diet article (#1 under most popular posts).


  218. Hi Nancy,
    Im very inspired by your site and by all the information you have posted!
    I am a 21 y/o 5’5 at 154 lbs. I am pretty athletic, captain of my softball team, but off season now and graduating in May. I have usually always been pretty muscular but with fat, I reallyyy want to reduce my muscle size and lose weight. I want to be a cop, but truly am struggling so much with my stamina running wise- I barely take in my required calories, and go to the gym about 3 days a week if that. I just started going back because I used to be 207 lbs and lost it all by cutting calories and finally being treated for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrom) and focusing on my nutrition. Now I seem to be a plateau. I actually hit 148 but gained a few lbs and that’s when I started exercising. I used to be extremely bulky (mostly due to PCOS and too much lifting- not enough estrogen but now I’m on birth control), I even did some p90x when I was and bulked more so I stopped (PCOS was probably because of this). Now that I’ve lost a lot of weight, I really need to lean out my arms/legs/stomach, I would like to lose 20 more lbs, and not build up muscle but flatten out my still chubby stomach, and tone/lean the rest of my body. I have been taking ensure total nutrition and eat lean protein as well as incorporate fruits and whole wheat carbs in my diet in moderate poritions. Any suggestions for speeding up my metabolism or helping with my stamina? Are there any good supplements for weight loss and leaning the body? And most importantlyyyyy, I was wondering if I should do Insanity to lose the 20 lbs / lean out my body?
    Thank you for your help!

  219. Hello Shannon,

    Insanity is for fitness more than leaning out. P90X Classic will lean you out better but only if you eat right. If you do classic and lift heavy and eat right, you lean out. For those women who come to me frustrated that they are not making progress while doing P90X Classic, it’s a 90% or better probability that it’s diet that is off somewhere. If you’ve not yet read my P90X diet post (see my #1 most popular post listed in right hand column) please read it.


  220. Hi Nancy,
    I am starting the P90x program to get into shape for summer and lose a few inches off of my hips and tummy. I also want to get toned but I do not want to bulk up. Do you suggest the classic or lean program? And what should my calorie intake be? I am 18 years old 5’5.5 inches tall and weigh about 135 lbs.
    Thank you for your time,

  221. Hi Jessica,

    My answer is Classic. You won’t get bulky. Do I look bulky? I not only do Classic I assure you I’m lifting far heavier than you will. Lift as heavy as you can in the 7 – 10 rep range. Don’t listen to Tony when he says women can lift lighter in the 12 – 15 range – he knows better. Women don’t bulk. If you don’t manage your diet correctly though, you can end up adding muscle and not losing fat. So read my diet recommendations under ‘My P90X Diet’ and work hard doing Classic.


    P.S. I just added a picture of me I took yesterday at the top of this page. Really, you won’t bulk by lifting heavy weights.

  222. Hi Nancy,

    I’m very interested in getting the P90X workout series but my problem is that it is impossible for me to set up a pull up bar cause we don’t actually have the right type of door frame in our house (plus all of them have doors attached to one side). The only “equipment” that I have are a yoga mat and two 3-lb dumbbells. Should I buy a resistance band instead to substitute for both pull up bar and 8-lb dumbbells? If yes, what kind of bands can I get? Or, can I just do other exercises when the next moves require the said equipment? I’m 25 years old, 5’3″ and 122 lbs. I’ve been exercising irregularly (i.e. only whenever I feel that I’ve gained weight, which is NOW) and I want to lose (and keep off) 7-10 more lbs and have a strong and toned body through sticking to an effective program like P90X. Can I achieve that with minimum equipment? Thank you so much for your time.


  223. Thank you so much I appreciate your advice

  224. Maureen,

    Before we talk equipment, we need to discuss how you get great results. You need to lift heavy. 3lb dumbbells are NOT going to grow any muscle. Even 8lb dumbbells, which are OK to start if you are weak, are not going to get you the results you want. Let me put this in perspective. I use 15lb dumbbells for my small muscles like triceps and some shoulder moves but for most exercises I’m using 20, 25, 30 and 35lb dumbbells. So you need a lot more weight.

    Good news is that when you get a quality resistance band set, you can get the equivalent of light and heavy weights. The set I like is very reasonably priced AND includes a door ‘holder’ piece so you can do pull downs in lieu of pull ups. Find this great travel resistance band set at BB.com (click on the link).


  225. You are very welcome Jessica!

  226. Wow, I didn’t know that, thanks for your prompt reply, Nancy. I can’t wait to be fit and strong like you. I hope you continue inspiring people, especially women, in taking care of their bodies and their health.

    All the best,

  227. Nancy,

    I am not sure of where I should be with my daily calorie intake. I am 5’6″ and weigh 125 and would like to be 115-120. The P90X says I should be eating around 2100 calories a day and that just seems like a lot.

    Also how often would you recommend to actually get on the scale, I do about every other day and seem to get really frustrated. One day I will be down a few pounds and then a few days later I’m up again.


  228. Hi Coach Nancy,

    You look amazing! I love to come to your blog because you help me to keep pushing “PLAY” everyday!!. Right now I’m on my 2nd week of round 2 classic. So once I’ve finished the 90 days of classic, what’s next for me? Did you repeat the classic again or did you move to Lean or Double after finished the 90 days?

    Also, will my baby belly pouch disappear with the p90x program? I haven’t see any results yet, and I’m starting to get discouraged. Do you think the classic program will tighten my loose skin after pregnancy?…When will I see the results?

    Thank you!

  229. Hi Tiffany,

    Please read my P90X diet article. The standard nutrition guide calculates too many calories for women. I address this and other questions you ask in that article which you can find under my ‘Most Popular’ post listing in the far right hand column.

    Never weigh yourself more than once a week. Pick the same day and same time. Then keep track of your monthly cycle because that also will be a factor in what the scale says. Better than the scale, keep a record of your measurements each week or every other week. Once a month, take pictures.


  230. Hello Coach Nancy,
    I just started P90X CLASSIC on Monday 04-11-11! My body is aching and its tough, but i like it .. I just turned the big 30yrs ,5’3′ ,150 lb and apple-shaped( love carbs) . is the classic right for me ? the MOST important part of my body that i would love to see a dramatic results is my abdomen, all my life i had all these confidence issues due to my apple shaped upper body . I want to change my life and my body. At one point in my life like 2yrs ago, i went down to a size 6 137 lbs , i went to see a weight loss doctor who px me weight loss pills ( phendimetrazine 35 mg) worked out ( 6 days a week) threadmill 30 min and taebo ab dvd , everything went down, i was really happy, but i still had belly fat no ab, thigh , arm definition, it took about two months to lose 20 lbs , after the weight loss, i stopped working out and eating anything at any time , i was so busy with school and work that i let myself go , my MD told me that i would eventually gain the weight back , if i didnt watch my diet .. i really want to change my life and body ,i don’t know how many calories i should consume ? should i add the diet pills or will it be too extreme? is the classic right for me ..? please help i need some good advice, Thank you for your time nancy…

  231. Hi Julissa,

    Classic is the way to go. The problem with your routine before was that it was too much cardio based. Cardio does not reshape you – at best it only makes your current size smaller. For diet, you need to eat right, not just slash calories. If you don’t eat the right amounts of protein and the right carbs (which will be less than what you ate before and a more limited selection) then you won’t get the definition you seek and your belly won’t slim down. Please read my article at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/ carefully because I walk through how to compute your ‘right’ calories and tell you what carbs are acceptable to eat. Best part of my diet is the cheat day which keeps you sane and able to commit for a lifetime.


  232. Nancy, I have been doing P90x for the past 3 weeks. One thing is very confusing to me, the more I read about P90x; I have read that too few calories can hoard up fat; and too many calories will of course, diminish the weight loss also. Assuming that the protein, carb and fat ratios in the food consumed throughout the day are as recommended, how do I tell if my reason for not losing weight is too few, or too many calories.
    Thanks for your help

  233. Nancy,
    You are INCREDIBLE! I’m a “skinny fat” girl. Which means I look thin in jeans but when I’m in a swim suit (or naked) I look very fat. I did the first 30 days of P90X classic in conjunction with Weight Watchers and saw VERY little results (NO weight loss). So, the wind blew out of my sails (and I have not done any exercise for 2 weeks)…UNTIL I just saw your website. You look so awesome and you are so kind to be sharing your knowledge! I was debating on starting over with the lean program or pushing on and starting month 2 of the classic. Also, I have been told that maybe I am not eating enough and that is why I am not losing. But I have a hard time believing that, because of the whole calories in/ calories out thing. (I’m not starving myself and I eat pretty clean.) I am a mom of two boys and I really want to swim in public with them this summer so I have to get my butt in gear! I would be so grateful for any advise.
    Thanks again for sharing your pics and knowledge!

  234. Hi Nancy,
    You are INCREDIBLE! I am a “skinny fat” girl which means I look thin dressed but not at all in a swim suit (or naked). I finished the first 30 days of the classic in conjuction with weight watchers and then took off 2 weeks because I was discourages with my results. I feel motivated after seeing your website. I was debating if I should pick up where I left off with the calssic or switch to lean. I feel I have 15lbs to lose (2 dress sizes). Some people tell me I am not losing because I am not eating enough but I have a hard time believing that because of the whole calories in/calories out thing. I don’t starve myself and I eat pretty clean. Nancy, you are such an inspiration and so kind for sharing your pics and knowledge!

  235. Sorry, I didn’t think the first one went through. Computers HATE me!

  236. Hi Vickie,

    If you are really a ‘skinny fat’ girl, you don’t need to lose weight. What you do want to do is to lose fat and gain muscle. And the only way to do that is with proper exercise with a focus on resistance training and eating properly for the exercise you are doing. So if you want to change your body, you need to to the Classic routine and lift heavy as you can with good form in the 8 – 10 rep range. Doing more reps with lighter weights will not stimulate your muscles to grow. Also, Weight Watchers is not a good diet to follow when doing P90X. The problem with it is that all it really does is look at calories and does not manage your macro nutrients properly (protein, carbs, fats). You want to eat more protein than the Weight Watchers plan will provide and frankly if you are overall thin, you need more calories.

    Doing P90X Classic with intensity requires you to fuel your body properly so that it can repair itself. If you eat all low calorie and not enough protein, your body will end up unable to make necessary repairs to help you add lean muscle. Go too low and your cortisol levels will raise. Cortisol will effectively eat away at the muscle mass you do have. So by under-eating and not eating enough protein, you can actually move backwards.


  237. Vickie,

    My site is set up so that the first time a new person adds a comment or asks a question, that comment/question is held for me to read. I get mostly good questions from real people but I also get about 20% total spam and I work too hard on this site to let those spammers have their say or litter my site with garbage.

    Once I read a question/comment I will approve it and then it shows up.


  238. Thanks Nancy! I got it , more protein and push on into month 2 of classic!
    By the way, your site clearly reflects the time and energy you put into it. There is nothing else out there as helpful. You are doing a great service to women by helping us to rebuild our bodies which then rebuilds our self-esteem, relationships… and the list keeps going. Great Kharma!
    Thanks so much,

  239. Hello Nancy,

    Monday 04-25-11 will be my 3rd week of classic p90x i dont want to sound desperate but when will i see the scale numbers go down:(( is it a good idea if i switch to doubles at week 5 ? my total calories per day are 1800 i am 5′ 3″ 149lbs sometimes i dont get hungry and skip the snacks part of my diet plan …should i eat 1800 claories a day no matter what???? if i switch to doubles i will have to take in more calories right ?

    Thanks nancy for your advice and taking the time to read and answer my questions !!!

  240. Hi Julie,

    1800 calories is too much! Read my article at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/06/my-p90x-diet/ to calculate what you should be eating. Also you didn’t indicate if you are doing Classic but that’s what you should do and lift as heavy as you can in the 8 – 10 rep range. I have no idea why Tony suggests women could lift lighter and do more reps. We women have a hard time putting on any muscle so we need to stimulate it as much or more than men to get lean muscle.

    Also you should be getting as close to 8 hours sleep as you can. 7 hours is really the minimum you’ll need for recovery. Short change your sleep and you’ll elevate your cortisol levels and that could keep you from losing any weight. Don’t do doubles your first round of P90X. That’s too much exercise and that also will increase your cortisol levels.

    Finally drink a gallon of water a day. Water raises your metabolism and it helps your body rid itself of toxins.


  241. Hi Nancy

    I’m on week 2 of lean and feel as though I have no energy. I do follow the portion plan for my meals. The work sheet suggested I eat at Level 2 but found that was to much food as I would like to lose 20lbs. So I decided to eat from Level 1. The low energy level is a huge problem. I’m 5’10″, 155lbs and 38yrs. Could you make a suggestion on what I should do? I’m also wondering if I should switch to Classic as I read through some comments I see that the Lean program isn’t actually what I thought it was.

  242. Hi! My husband and I just started p90x. We are in week 2 , day 4. We started with the lean version. He is pretty fit and just needs to build muscle. But I have quite a bit of weight to lose. I am 5’6″;176 lbs. Should we switch to the classic version? If so, do we start over from day 1 or just pick up where we are now ? Thanks so much for your help!

  243. Nancy,
    you are such an inspiration! I’m in week two of the lean version and since i havent lost any weight since starting this program i started to search online for something that would explain it. I understand that lean is not as great as classic but my problem has been confusing me greatly! I started my weight loss with changing my diet and doing cardio on the treadmill and elliptical for 30 minutes a day, everyday. the change was amazing, my weight was dropping about two pounds a week and i was dropping at this rate until I started p90x lean. I actully ended up gaining 3-4 pounds and i’ve been kicking butt in the workouts. I see results, have not measured myself, but I see the results. But I feel stuck.
    Now, i’ve read tons of the comments and you always mention diet when lack of weight loss is questioned, but i’m on high protein low carb/fat diet with 1200 calories… and now i’m stuck. I want to say its muscle gain, but that just seems strange after only two weeks. Please help!

  244. Hi Vanja,

    I apologize for taking longer than normal to respond. If you want to lose weight with P90X, you really need to do Classic, not Lean. Aside from that, people who don’t lose weight are off somewhere in their diet. The first thing to do (if you are not already) is to keep a journal of exactly what you are eating each day. Just guessing at the calorie counts tends to significantly underestimate how many calories you are really eating. I’ve recently been using FitDay myself.

    If you really are eating only 1200 calories then that’s too few for P90X. The problem with going on very low calorie diets is that they work for awhile (hence your initial success) but then the human body adapts and gets efficient at getting by with very few calories. You need to increase your daily calories somewhat (I cannot day by how much because I have no data on you) and take a cheat day once a week to keep your body off balance and impair it’s ability to get efficient at low calorie levels.


  245. I am starting my 7th week of the lean program and I am not seeing any results, can I stop and start the classic version from the begining.

  246. Hi I was wondering, I do my work out and then I have my supper is this ok or should I change anything or is there anything I may need to know. Thanks.

  247. HI Coach Nancy,
    My name is Sammie and I am 30 years of age and I have no children. I have always wanted them but was told by doctors that I would have a better chance of conceiving if I lost weight. Currently I weigh 320 lbs. I am 5 feet 5 inches tall and my stomach covers my private area. I have never been this big before in my life but I know that it did not happen over night so I do not expect a miracle over night. My doctor has also informed me that if I loose 50lbs it will get me out of my pre diabetic stage. I have a friend who has achieved success with P90x but she was not as big as I am (this is how I got the P90x program). I notice that you are promoting the classic program in a number of your postings. I am a little apprehensive about doing it because I am not sure if my case is the same as others. I don’t know if I should be trying to build muscle and loose at the same time? I am new to this exercising thing I never did it because in my culture being a little thick was okay ( I just did not control it good enough). My overall goal is to be half my size without surgery and right now that is the option that doctors are throwing in my face but I would like to at least try to get this weight off myself any suggestions?

  248. Hi Sammie,

    Do you ever watch the show The Biggest Loser? I bring this up because the people on there are very overweight and yet you never see Trainers Bob or Jillian saying “gosh you are too heavy to do resistance training”. And that’s because if you really want to make a change in your metabolism you need to build muscle which you are sorely missing. So even in your case, you need to do the resistance training which is the core, the ‘secret’ of why Classic is always better than Lean.

    What you do need to do is take it easy on the moves. You won’t be able to do push ups from your toes so you’ll do them from your knees. And if that’s too hard in the beginning you’ll do them leaning against a wall. You won’t be able to do pull ups either. Use a band and do pull downs. You can modify the workout to work at your level. What I would be careful of is Plyo, Cardio-x and Core Synergistics. At this point a brisk walk (if on a treadmill do it at a slight incline) would be best for you until you lose about 20lbs and build some muscle.

    Most importantly change your thinking about eating and make your workouts a priority in your life. Don’t look for excuses, look for creative ways to fit it in when you are tight on time. Follow my diet guidelines I lay out in my article ‘My P90X Diet’ which you can find listed in the Popular Posts section in the right hand column.

    Do these things and you will change! I appreciate your looking to do this the healthy way and not just opt for surgery! Let me know how it is going for you!


  249. Thank you. You just dont understand how much your response really means to me. Ill take pictures throughout my journey and send them to you.

  250. Hey!

    So, I did the p90x classic previously, and while I did like the muscle definition, it wasn’t the body I wanted, So I’m starting to do the lean version. My question is what should my food intake be? I really try to stray away from counting calories (I’m recovering from an eating disorder so I avoid number as much as possible) so what is a good way to make sure I’m getting enough nutrients? Also I’m 5’3″ at about 115 pounds and I’m 19.

  251. Hi Maria,

    You don’t say what your goals are so I really can’t provide any guidance unless you’d like to share that. But honestly, if you don’t count calories then I’m not sure what you are looking for other than that you should eat plenty raw, organic fruits and veggies in as many bright colors as possible. After that, make sure your protein levels are up and then see how you feel.


  252. Wonderful Sammie! I’m here for you as are others here. It will take time but if it’s a lifestyle change, you don’t need to lose a certain amount of weight by a given date – and that’s a powerful mindset.


  253. Hi. I’m naturally very skinny. I have a small build, but I’m tall. I want to lose my belly fat and lovehandles with P90X and work on a six pack. I want to gain good balance, flexibility, bulk up my legs, tone up, and really up my cardio. However, because I’m thin, I do NOT want to work on my arms and upper back at all, because too much muscle on my upper body will make me look too masculine. So I was planning on completely skipping arms and back? Should I do lean or classic (lose weight, then build a small amount of muscle, and finally tone). What exactly should I do?

  254. Hi Leah,

    If only it were so simple to build up muscle that we women had to worry about becoming too muscular. :)

    Thing is, we only have a fraction of the testosterone that men do. In fact at our zenith, we only have 1/16 of their levels and it goes down from there. So it’s not like you do an arms workout a few times and suddenly you get masculine muscle. And if you are naturally thin, it’s actually more likely that you will have a harder time putting on any muscle. Do do yourself a favor and do Classic and gain strength without a bunch of of unsightly muscle. When you attain the look you like, just don’t increase your weights – increase your reps.

    Lean is not as good as Classic for fat loss with muscle tone improvement.


  255. Hi Nancy.

    I’m a 23 year old 5’0 female. My diet this past year has been really bad. I find myself going from 105 to now 120. I’m not as healthy as I’d like to be and would love to be able to lose the 15 lbs i’ve gained this past year as well as find more energy. It’s terrible to say but even though i’m 23 and should be full of energy I feel that weight gain has really slowed me down. I constantly feel tired. Would p90x classic be the best choice for me and should I really follow their diet plan? It just seems so much.

    Thanks and many appreciations.

  256. I am on day 18 of the p90x Lean program. I am 5 feet tall and 145 lbs. I want to lose about 30-40 lbs. I have seen changes in my body as far as being more toned and seeing and feeling muscles I have never seen before, which I love! But i don’t feel like i am getting rid of the fat that I need to. I cut back on eating and am incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my diet and less carbs. Should I start over and do the classic program to increase weight loss? Or would you suggest to keep going with the Lean program and maybe add in more cardio (like jogging) 3 or 4 days out of the week? I’m feeling discouraged and frustrated because I want to lose weight and I have already gotten to day 18 of Lean and really don’t want to start all over, but want results! Not to mention, Iv’e been working hard! Any advice or suggestions you have for me for maximizing weightloss are greatly appreciated!

  257. HI Coach Nancy,

    I’m 5’0 111 lbs and my goal is to weigh 103 lbs. I have done p90x twice, insanity once, and P90x/insanity hybrid once and felt that i gained weight while on those programs. I was doing TB/CLX hybrid and while on the weight watchers diet, I hit 105 lbs two months ago. Have since gained all the weight back (due to binge overeating on chocolates, chips, and gummies). I finished up hybrid program last week and started your p90x/insanity/TB hybrid program this week. I feel like i’m bulking up and gaining weight again. Should I revert back to the TB/CLX hybrid program? I really just want to lose weight.

    TIA! Jen

  258. Hi Ami,

    Look the root cause of your weight problem is your diet. Workout programs are designed to work best with a body that is properly nourished. Your results from Lean or Classic will be far diminished if you don’t control what you eat first. So my recommendation is to cut out the junk food, reduce any alcohol and eat more fresh fruit and eat salads with lean meat as 2/3′s of your diet. Once you do that, the weight will start to slide right off and your energy levels will increase. You are very young so while I still think Classic is the better program, you would see results with Lean and right eating.


  259. Hi Anna,

    Doing Lean with more cardio is absurd actually. I don’t mean that to be offensive but cardio isn’t what you need, it’s more resistance training. Whether you start over or not is your call but the notion of not starting over because you are at day 18 of the program mystifies me. What were you going to do at day 90? P90X is not a magic pill it’s a coordinated fitness program. To retain it’s benefits, you need to continue to work out. That may be P90X round 2 or some other program but in the end, unless you are in some fitness competition where you need to finish by a certain date, I don’t get the reluctance to start over.


  260. Hi Jen,

    Your issue is diet. You need to master that to get your 100-ish figure back. Most people struggle with diets because they are restrictive. If you’ve not read my P90X diet (it works with other programs as well), I highly recommend it (find a clickable link in the upper right hand column under Most Popular Posts). The reason why this diet works is that you get a cheat day. I’ve been able to keep with my diet for almost 2 years now and it’s because I always know that there’s a cheat day in my not too distant future.

    After that, it’s up to you on what program you do. Just be sure to keep resistance training in it. Too much cardio and HIIT training will eventually reduce your lean muscle mass due to elevated cortisol levels that result and the lack of muscle fiber stimulation that only resistance training can provide.


  261. Hi Nancy,

    I’m 14 and I am not exactly skinny but not fat, I really want to lose fat everywhere especially my stomach, arms and face area, I don’t have a muffin top on my stomach but I want it to be flat and toned with some abs maybe, I also want smaller thighs, cause my thighs Are HUGGEE. I want to look like this by the end of the 90 days


    So which one will provide me with that ( classic or lean) I go to school so I’d have to do the workout after school…
    Also when would it be a good time for doing the workouts I can only do them after school, should I do it before dinner or after dinner and if I have to do two workouts should I do them together???

    Thanks again much appreciated

  262. Hi Blanche,

    Given you are very young, your body will respond to just about any exercise if you do it consistently. I still like Classic even for young gals like you, however. To get real lean like the gal in the picture, you need to work your diet carefully. Get rid of junk food, eat lean meats, eat a lot of veggies but not a lot of fruit. You can get an overview of the diet I recommend if you click on my article ‘My P90X diet’ in the popular post section.

    Workout before dinner then don’t eat any grains or potatoes or fruit with your dinner to stay in a fat burning mode all night long. If you need to do 2 workouts, stack them together.

    Good luck!


  263. Hi Nancy,

    I’m 5’6 and 160 lbs. I just wanted to know which P90x workout you recommend, Lean or Classic? What diet plan do you recommend? I don’t want to look bulky but look lean and healthy.


  264. So does that mean i should do lean with some changes or classic with some changes? and also should i take whey protein as well in my diet (but not the p90x brand because i live in the UK)??

    Thanks again nancy

  265. Hi Blanche,

    As I said, Classic is always best so my recommendation is for you to do a round of Classic. My point was that given your age, your body will respond to any consistent exercise but if I were you, I’d do Classic. Lean is more aerobic and less resistance training but despite what the women’s magazines lead you to believe, resistance training will both burn more fat and put curvy lean muscle mass where you want it. You will not get bulky unless you don’t mind your diet. If you can find a quality whey protein that fits your budget, then get some and take a serving (20 – 25grams of protein) 30 – 45 minutes before working out. As you will be eating dinner shortly after working out no need to have a serving after working out.


  266. Hi Vanessa,

    Classic won’t make you bulky. I continually wonder why women fear that. As if it was so easy to put on muscle that you’d wake up one day and shriek over huge muscles that popped up overnight – that NEVER happens. We women have only 1/12th of the testosterone that men have at our peak (it goes down from there the older we get). Testosterone is the hormone primarily responsible for building big muscles so since we have so little, we don’t put on much muscle. In fact we have to work very hard to put it on which is why I recommend you lift as heavy as you can with good form to stimulate your muscles.

    I invariably find that women who claim they bulk up are just not eating properly. Diet is just as important as exercise in creating the figure you desire.


  267. I am a teenager using P90X to lose weight and tone up, even though I don’t need to lose more than 10 pounds. I am 5’2”, and 130 pounds. Is it better that I use the lean version, or should I go with classic? If I’m younger will I tone up and lose weight faster, therefore completing the program more quickly? Should I still be running and using P90X at the same time, or is that too much? Please help, I’m not experienced with these kind of programs.

  268. Hi Brandon,

    Classic is best. You will see faster results since you are younger provided you do follow a clean diet of about 1400 calories a day and comprising of mostly veggies, protein and fats. Limit fruit. Ditch completely any food that is processed like cereals (except old fashioned oatmeal), breads, cookies, cakes and any other baked good with white flour and any type of sugar. Also ditch pop, energy drinks, fruit juice, other drinks if they have any sugar in it and diet pop. No need to add running to the mix, P90X is more than enough exercise to get anyone into shape.


  269. Hi Nancy,
    I think my question was misunderstood. What I meant to convey was would it be better to start over with day 1 of Classic instead of continuing to do Lean, since I have read that Classic is better because of more strength training. I fully understand that P90X is a fitness program and not a magical pill.

  270. Nancy:

    I am 37 mother of three, I am small frame but not toned…I think my legs look horrible especially thighs and butt. I have small bones never really been muscular even when I cheered when younger. I am trying to stay small but have really toned legs..with muscle. I hate to sound vain, but I use to have a cute butt…My husband love big booty…I am not sure if the babies or age did it. But it’s not there anymore. How can I get my butt back and legs toned? I’ve been working out for about 6 months now, running, and light lifting at the gym. Not sure what routine or schedule to follow. I love to run(cardio) but I want to stay small but I also want to add muscle…can I do cardio and weight ligting?

  271. Hi Sandy,

    I totally get being ‘booty proud’ – I really like my booty. I had a great butt when I was young and then, like you, lost it but the good news is that with proper exercise, you can get it back. Best booty builders are uphill sprint hiits (high intensity interval training), deadlifts with fairly heavy weight. If you are looking to firm, lift, and tone, I highly endorse Brazil Butt Lift (have it and use it).

    Regular cardio and/or running won’t build you a nice booty. You don’t use the right muscles. You can run and lift weights but don’t run immediately before lifting weights. Best to lift weights 3 days a week and run on alternate days 3 or 4 days a week. Be sure to eat a clean diet with plenty of high quality protein.


  272. Hi Nancy,

    I am 31 years old, 5’7″,and 175.5 pounds. I really want to loose weight and tone my body. Looking at different body types, I have realized that I have a pear body. My upper body is thin, but my lower is wide. My legs are too big. I would like to have leaner and tone legs!!! I have not worn a bathing suit for the past 11 years. I only wear the top with a short. A friend of my gave the PX90 as a gift. How should I start or how should I do it??? What type of diet do you recommend me??? Do you think if I do PX90, I one day can wear a bathing suit??? I would appreciate your response!!!!

    Thank You in Advance


    Lorena A.

  273. I am a teenager and have done most of the classic P90x schedule in the past. However, to achieve a leaner body figure, should I switch over to the lean schedule? Or stay on the classic schedule? P.S. I have a completely clean diet. Im a huge health nut. I dont eat any processed foods, thus sticking to whole foods. And if I do go on the lean schedule, should I double up? An answer would be appreciated!
    Thank you!

  274. Hello Liz,

    Not sure where your body is at or what you are going for in terms of a look. Since you are young, you could add in some running or do a P90X/Insanity hybrid routine for a bit more leaning.


  275. Hi sorry haha I am 5’2 5’3 and weigh about 115 pounds. Im looking to be leaner and not as muscular.

  276. I am 24 years old and less that 5ft tall I just finished my first week of the classic p90x. I was wondoring if I should continue with the classic or should I do the Lean? I want to loose my belly fat, lift up my butt and tightend up my legs and thighs. I work a lot and dont have time to cook, what kind of foods should I eat? Is it ok for me to eat fruits and vegetables?
    Thank You so much =)

  277. Hi Coach Nancy! I have been doing some extensive research on p90x and I am excited and ready to get started! I’ve been reading up on the diet and I see that you recommend 10x your body weight, however I noticed that the calories a bit lower for shorter people. I am a female 5’0 and 200 lbs. I was thinking I should start at 1800 calories with the 40/40/20 ratio. Is this what you would recommend?

  278. Hi Tooshort,

    If you read carefully, you’ll see that I cap out the daily calories for women at 1700 calories a day. I’d start there but then keep the 1 cheat day.


  279. Hi Olga,

    Classic, when properly done will strip far more fat off of you than Lean ever will. For one thing the schedule has you do 3 ARX routines instead of the 2 that Lean has on its schedule. But to really get great results, eat properly. Please read my P90X diet article for what I recommend. You can find it listed under the popular articles section in the right hand column.


  280. Hello Coach Nancy,

    I’m 23 yrs old 5’2 and weigh 169lbs. My goal is to get down to get down to 115-120lbs, which is the ideal weight for my height. I really want to lose weight and tone up. I’m not interested in building bulky muscles which is my fear. I just purchases P90X and was told that is not designed for weight loss rather for toning and muscle building. I wanted to know which program I should follow? At what time of day is best to workout for great results? Also, how much calories I should consume for a quick weight loss ( I was thinking of 1200 calories)? I will greatly appreciate the feedback.


  281. Hi Ann,

    You can let go of your fear of getting bulky muscles. Women don’t build much muscle mass even with resistance training. To get muscular as a woman you need to put in a lot more effort than P90X and probably take steroids. What I do see women complain of as ‘bulking up’ is adding a little muscle without actually losing any (or any significant amount of) body fat. That’s a diet problem, not a workout problem. Look, you got where you are at by eating all wrong. Now fixing a problem that has likely been years in the making will take a little time. P90X (or any other 60 – 90 day program) will not peal off the 50lbs you are looking to lose in just one 90 day session. Expect to lose 20 – 30lbs your first round and then commit to another session or another appropriate program to continue losing.

    As far as diet goes, I provide a fair amount of diet guidance here on my site. Going to 1300 calories would be too drastic a calorie cut for P90X. Instead, start with a daily caloric range of 1600 calories. Be sure to measure all your food and keep a log because I can assure you, when 50 or more pounds overweight, you don’t know what portion sizes are.

    I do realize that P90X states that it’s directed at shaping up and adding lean muscle. That’s OK. That’s what a workout program is supposed to do. Diet is the other part of the equation. The dietary guidelines in P90X have too many calories for a woman who wants to lose weight but 1600 calories (which is much lower than what you’d calculate with their formula) will help you. You also need to eat correctly so do read my P90X diet article which you can find under the ‘popular posts’ section in the right hand column.

    Finally for best results do Classic version. You need more lean mass to rev up your metabolism, not more cardio. Good luck and let me know if you have other questions.


  282. thanks for the feedback. Greatly appreciate it. :-)

  283. I just purchased p90x and I start Monday I’m a female and in the weight range of 290 how many calories of protein fats and carbs should I have? Is it best to do the shredder plan the whole 90 days since i want to lose more fat? I was wondering how many calories a day of carbs protein and fat should I have. I was told 50 protein 30 carbs 20 fat..Im new to this fitness stuff and was wondering how many calories each is that. I can afford protien shakes but shakeology is too pricey for me at the moment will I still se results without it?
    Sorry for rambling just trying to get everything in order before I confuse myself and do more harm than good.
    Thanks in advance

  284. Hi Sheena,

    Congratulations on starting P90X! It’s a tough program but start where you can and strive to improve over time. As far as diet goes, the diet guidelines calculate too many calories for women who want to lose weight. I strongly recommend you read my P90X diet article for how to calculate what specifically you should eat. You can find that article under my ‘Most Popular’ posts section in the upper right hand column. You don’t need Shakeology to be a huge success. It is a very healthful drink but you can do well even without it.


  285. Hi Nancy,

    This article is very helpful! I originally thought it would be better for me to do the lean version of p90x but now see that it would be more helpful for me to do the regular version. My question is more about the diet, though. I am about 5’5 and 160 lbs, in my early 20s and looking to lose my college weight. I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 4 years and have recently switched into veganism. I was just curious about what you thought in regards to how many calories I should be consuming and how much protein I should look to get. I eat a lot of whole grains and try to work a lot of beans, nuts, and quinoa into my diet. I know a lot of protein supplements are from milk, so I was mainly curious if I could go without or if finding a vegan protein supplement would be beneficial. Thank you so much, all of your articles have been very helpful!


  286. Hi Liz,

    I have an article about diet that you can easily find under the ‘popular posts’ section in the upper right hand column (called My P90X Diet). While I’m honestly no fan of vegan diets if that’s your preference you can use Garden of Life’s RAW protein. It’s got all the essential amino acids and it’s made from sprouted grains and seeds. It has added enzymes and probiotics and it’s vegan, organic, gluten free, lactose/dairy free, and unlike some vegan powders, soy free. You really don’t want to consume soy unless it’s fermented as is natto. I find the taste ‘earthy’ and it’s not my favorite but it’s a great product for vegans who will struggle otherwise to get enough protein.


  287. I am new to p90 x and am confused as which one to purchase…didn’t realize there were different versions? I want to lose about 20 pounds but biggest goal is tone up significantly. I know the lbs. will come off with a diet change. Any advise as how to decide which one?


  288. Hi Nicole,

    There is only one P90X. Within the program are options on which workouts to do and when that differ. So you can just get P90X and feel good about that. As for which version, hands down the women who have made the best transformations do Classic. It’s best to build lean mass which is how you ‘tone up significantly’. It will also produce the biggest impact on your metabolism which is how you lose more fat than doing a lot of cardio type exercise. Let me know if you have any other questions.


  289. Hi Coach Nancy,

    I just finished the brazil butt lift. I lost weight and toned up my body all over =). I am at a stand point and need to lose 10 more lbs. Im 5’2 and 140. I have always played soccer so I have thicker legs than I want and need to lose more weight around my legs and abs. I lift 3x a week with 10lbs, run every morning, and do legs workouts and have seen a lot of improvements and I like the weight amount Im lifting. I havent bulked up at all just leaned out. I read your posts and my question is would the classic be best for me? Could I stick with my 10lbs and still lose weight?Should I do more cardio?I want to be lean and toned. I dont want to look so thick but still keep my curvy body. I eat protein at every meal and eat low carbs. Thanks for your time.


  290. hi. for p90x are weights or resistance bands better to use during the workout plans classic, lean, and doubles? I want to be lean and shrink my size but still look toned.

  291. Hi Monica,

    There are advantages and disadvantages to both dumbbells and resistance bands. Resistance bands tend to be cheaper and allow you to incrementally increase your resistance at very small levels which I think is a good thing – especially for women who can struggle jumping from, say, a 15lb dumbbell for a bicep curl to a 20lb dumbbell. I personally use dumbbells for most moves. I do use resistance bands for a few moves like an overhead tricep extension.

    A common misconception women have about weight lifting is that lifting heavier produces larger, bulkier muscles. Actually it does not. But I’m not about to go into the physiology of that here in a comment. What I will say is that your ‘bulkiness’ or lack thereof will be more a diet issue. I and every other P90X woman I know who has had a great transformation have used the Classic version and lifted as heavy as possible with good form. Go for more weight lifted and fewer reps (don’t listen to Tony – he knows better) for max results.


  292. Hi Marie,

    P90X Classic produces the best results even for you. You could skip the cardio since you run (excessive cardio – and most cardio is excessive – is worthless). If you really want to lean your legs, trade out some of that running for sprint HIITs (high intensity interval training). It will also produce and amazing booty!


  293. i just had my 5th c-section 10 weeks ago. i want to get in shape and be able to fit in my clothes again. should i do p90x classic or lean. i want to do which ever will give me the better results. i am 5’5 1/2 and currently weigh 173. i weighed 145 before i got pregnant. please help!!!

  294. Hi Amber,

    For starts be sure to get your physician’s approval before you start any significant workout program. The Ab Ripper X routine is pretty intense so be careful with that until you are fully healed.

    Classic works better than Lean. Really. What I’d do is start Classic but do what you can. If you are out of shape, you will likely need to make modifications. When I started my first round of P90X I could not do push ups from my toes, I had to go from my knees. So start where you can and work up. Not sure if you are breast feeding if you are, your diet will need to accommodate the calories you need for that. But you can cut out junk food and most grains. Only 1 whole grain or potato serving per day. You can back fill calories with more protein and low glycemic fruit for carbs along with greens and veggies.


  295. Hi Coach Nancy,

    I just found your website. It’s very informative. Your fitness transformation produced wonderful results! I was wondering what are your thoughts towards including coconut or almond milk into the P90x diet (or any healthy diet)?


  296. Hi Nancy,

    Ok so I just turned 24, I am 5’2 and 196 lbs. I have not always been overweight, but I gained a lot of weight after I got married 5 years ago from eating nothing but processed and fast food and doing a lot of sitting on the couch. I am going to start p90x classic next week. I have started it a few times but life always gets in the way. I am determined this time though. Could you give me an example of what to eat during the day though? When I am dieting I only eat about 1000-1200 calories a day. I know that is not enough, but I get full! What do you recommend?


  297. Hi Renee, I have an article on diet which you can find in the upper right hand column under ‘popular posts’ which will give you a good guideline for eating. As far as getting ‘full’ on 1000 – 1200 calories a day, I find that odd given you admin you ate your way to your current weight which would have meant you ate a lot more than 1200 calories a day.

    One good solution is to drink 2 high quality protein shakes a day. Many people find they can get those down without too much effort. Read the article and ask my any questions you have about diet there.


  298. i need advice. i am just starting out with p90x. i dont have a pull up bar so will the resistance bands help me? i want to lose 15 or so lbs and tone my entire body. i want to be able to look great in a 2 piece by next summer and lose the flab i am dealing with. which p90x workout is for me?

  299. Hi Coco,

    Resistance bands are a good tool for working your back. Admittedly you won’t get as strong a back with them as you would with a pull up bar and pull ups but you can still get a good workout if you use heavy resistance bands and work your back intensely.

    I never get the concept of ‘toning’ a body. There isn’t any such thing as toning outside the whacky world of women’s fitness magazines. All you can do is 1) add to or reduce your bodyfat and 2) add to your muscle mass or suffer muscle atrophy. So in order to look your best you want to reduce bodyfat while adding lean body mass (muscle). Diet and exercise work together to accomplish this. As far as exercise goes, the more large muscle groups your work with resistance training, not only will you add more muscle mass, you will alter your hormonal profile such that you’ll be ready to burn more fat. So with that as a background, P90X Classic will do more for you than Lean. Once you get to the body structure you like best, you can always then move to a 2x per week resistance training pattern and add more cardio if you are fearful of too much muscle.


  300. Nancy,

    I’ve read almost all of your posts and want to thank you for all of the great information! I also want to ask how you can stand to repeat yourself for everyone? haha :)

    Here’s my question(s): I’m 29, 5’3 and weigh approximately 140 pounds. I am naturally pretty muscular (legs) and most people freak out when I tell them I weigh 140. I am getting ready to start the P90X (yes, Classic) but in the midst of losing weight, gaining muscle mass (toning up) I am really hoping to target my butt. I’d like it to firm up/shrink/you know, look sexy again! Do you think I should add some sort of special butt exercises/dvds or should P90X do the trick? I would hate to finish the 90 days and then have to work on my butt when I could have been adding it in all along.

    Also, I know you’ve told people to not do cardio with the workouts at least until the 3rd month, however, when I was working out I would do 30 minutes on the elliptical after weight training. I guess my question is should I be concerned with adding my own cardio? Will I really get enough from the P90X dvds?

    I know that the scale is not really a good indicator of health/fitness and that it’s all about the way you feel/look but society has brainwashed us into thinking that it’s all about a number. I know that I can weigh 130 pounds but my husband says my goal should be 120-125. Honestly I have an idea of how I want to look and I really don’t care what I weigh as long as I can achieve that goal. I’m hoping that with pictures/measurements I will be able to really track my progress.

    As for my calories, I read that you state 10x your body weight which means I should be eating about 1400. What’s the lowest amount of calories I should be consuming? Also once I reach my goal weight/fitness level what should I do to maintain? Should I continue P90X like normal and how many calories should I consume to maintain?

    Thanks again for all of your answers, it’s great that you are sharing all of this wonderful information to us!


  301. Hi Sarah,

    Welcome to our group! When I read through your post I thought to myself that you really know all the answers but you really are just looking for confirmation. ;)

    So… I believe that your hubby is too focused on a scale concept whereas you know that with the right amount of lean mass, 130 may be your better weight. We are of similar height and I’ve been as low as 126 but looked leaner at 132 because I was sporting more lean muscle. When I go to a leaning stage (as I’m about to now as I’ve enjoyed my holidays a bit too much), I start with writing down my measurements now and where I want to be. That’s my ultimate guideline. I do also measure my weight but that’s not something I look much at other than to use in rough bodyfat computations. So keep with your mindset on that.

    As for additional cardio, my general recommendation is for people to just do P90X Classic and ignore too much cardio. The reason being is that we want to add lean mass and burn fat. Long cardio (more than 30 – 40 mins) works against both as it raises cortisol levels which can cannibalize muscle and promote fat storage. However, this must be adjusted for the overall fitness level and age of a person. You are younger and fitter than most I work with so you are more capable of doing more. That said, just do the Classic for month 1 as it will be a challenge – especially for your core and upper body. Once you are complete with month 1, I’d like to adjust your routine a bit to make sure you hit your objectives. I’d add in some changes to the core P90X program that will really ramp up your fat burning and get that tush of yours high and rounded! I’m not sure if I’m your Beachbody coach but if you’d like me to be just follow the instructions at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/07/nancy-how-do-i-make-you-my-coach/. I can get you super lean and even your husband will be wow’d! (And it’s free to you.)

    Finally, for calories, 10x is also my general recommendation. Minimum would be 1300 but I’d prefer to see you at 1400 – 1500. If we start working together, I’d adjust that, potentially, once we calc your lean body mass (total weight less your body fat).

    Thank you for stopping by and chatting! I wish you the very best in 2012!


  302. Hi Nancy,
    I just bought p90x and am extremely torn between Classic and Lean. Im 21, 5’4, and 133lbs. Judging in my height and body type/shape I think 120lbs would be a great weight for me. I am pretty fit in terms of physical capability and I already have a good amount of muscle, but a decent layer of blubber covering it lol. My main goal is to drop about 10 to 15 pounds and look extremely lean and toned. I have a couple questions I was hoping you could answer.
    -Which version would you seggest I use?
    -I already have a recovery mix and vitamins, are there any other suppliments or anything i should buy? (keep in mind i am a college student and broke lol)
    I had others but cant remember, maybe ill post again if they come back to me.
    I appreciate any and all feedback. Thank you!

  303. Hi Breanna,

    -Which version would you seggest I use?

    I recommend Classic. If you want to lose fat and build a bit of lean mass, it’s the way to go. Cardio alone (much more cardio in Lean than in Classic) won’t produce the changes in your figure that Classic will. The increased amount of resistance training in Classic not only puts lean mass where we women need it (upper body – but you won’t look overly muscular because we don’t have much testosterone) AND, perhaps even more importantly, generates a much larger post exercise caloric burn – up to 40 hours post workout which is what most women considering Lean don’t realize.

    -I already have a recovery mix and vitamins, are there any other suppliments or anything i should buy? (keep in mind i am a college student and broke lol)

    Use up what you have first. As far as recovery mix, I strongly recomemnd you consider the Xtend BCAA product as a pre/post workout product when you are ready to purchase again.

    Given your age, you should see some amazing results if you work hard and eat clean! :)


  304. Need advice on calories and exercise:
    I’m 34 – 5’5 and 140.6 pounds with a bigger build. I was 143 before 3 kids, but my body was in much better shape. I’ve lost 15+ pounds of baby weight with lots of cardio and counting calories, but can’t get rid of my belly (6 mo post-par tum). Within the last month I was doing cardio daily and dropping the pounds quick…legs were thin, etc and now I feel like everything is bloated back up though the weight hasn’t changed since I quit doing the cardio and switched to p90x. I started the p90x lean (day 4 now), but am going to switch to classic after some reading and feeling like it didn’t do much for me (I feel like I get more of a work out at Zumba).

    Will I lose weight doing Classic or should I keep doing the Zumba 1x a week and do I need to add more cardio? If so, how much? How many calories would I need doing Classic, breastfeeding and Zumba 1x a week? I’d like to be lean but muscular.

  305. Hi Sara,

    Do switch to Classic and lift as heavy as you can with good form Also don’t eat all the calories that P90X diet guidelines calculate, it’s too much for women. Please read my diet recommendations which you can find under the popular post section in the upper right hand column (My P90X Diet). If you do it in a committed manner, you will lose weight but more importantly inches as you burn fat and build lean muscle.


  306. Hi Nancy,

    I’m 31, 5’4 and 150 lbs and i’m on week 5 of P90x Classic. I’m really frustrated at this point because so far i’ve only lost 2 lbs overall. My husband is doing really well but not me. It becomes even more frustating because i’m the one who shops for the healthy food, weighs and calculates calories and cooks these meals. My husband has been the only one to benefit thus far. He says he can see a differeance in my body but i can’t. My body fat% is 26.4 which is .5% higher than it was 2 weeks ago and my weight hasn’t budged. I feel discouraged. I eat 1500 calories per day and try to get in lots of protein to build lean muscle. What’s happening? I had really hoped to see more weight loss by now…

  307. Hi Sarah,

    I’m not sure where to begin. I get that you want faster results but it seems like you are overlooking what results you are getting just because they are not as great as your hubby’s. You need to get over that. Men will always see faster results than women because they have so much more testosterone and human growth hormone. Can’t change the difference between the sexes. But what bothers me is that you are discounting the 2lb loss and what your husband thinks is a real figure change. The fact that you don’t ‘see’ it suggests to me that you are not taking tape measurements. If you aren’t then you are missing the boat. Tape measurements are the better measure. And your .5% change in body fat means nothing – especially if you are getting it from a scale – the scales are notoriously inaccurate with body fat measurements.

    What you need to focus on is lifting as heavy as you can in the 8 – 10 rep range while maintaining good form. We women need to lift heavy. Ignore Tony’s suggestion that women can get by with lighter weights and more reps. That’s not going to produce the big changes you want. And your diet is probably off as well. If you want to make me your coach, I can work with you on that. Please see the instructions on how to do that at http://www.pressplayfitness.com/07/nancy-how-do-i-make-you-my-coach/.


  308. Hi Nancy,

    I am 36yrs old female and my height is 5.3 Last year around september I did Lean version of p90x for 6weeks and I did not lose a pound. More over I gained couple of pounds. I was lifting weights of 8Lbs to 10lbs and my arm size grow big. I want a long lean body. I don’t want to bulk up.
    Now I am thinking of starting the program again but this time I really want to drop 20lbs and tone up at the same time. Please let me know which program I need to follow? I would really appreciate.


  309. Hi Nancy
    I’ve been reading some of these posts and I just wanted to thank you for being so patient and detailed with your helpful explanations.
    I am 24 years old , 5.4 height and weight 145 pounds. exactly 92 days from today is my birthday and I really want to lose 35 pounds by then , I am a full time student and after soooo long, this term is the first semester that I am not crazy busy with university so I can have time for exercising, I just got my P90X classic DVDs, I am not going to be using the shake they recommended, my diet is very clean, mostly fresh fruits and vegetables , don’t drink alcohol and don’t smoke, I am very careful with my diet,

    1) may I ask how important is the shake ?
    2) can I use my regular whey protein?
    3) to maximize weight loss can I do a one hour treadmill session in the morning and do P90X afternoons?
    4) if treadmill would interfere with the program, can I do any other program at the same time ( say Brazilian butt lift which has been sitting in my drawer forever)

    Thank you for your time

  310. Nancy: I have tried to read through all the posts so as not to duplicate questions but there are just soooo many. You do such a great job in answering and have such great advice. I got the p90x program as a gift and need some help getting started knowing whether to start classic or lean. I am 46, weight 128 and am 5’6″. I want to get rid of my belly, muffin top, and the extra fat on my thighs and backside. I also want to firm up my arms from the jiggles. I know I am not overweight but want to get off the extra jiggle and firm up. I am pretty active walking and doing aerobics already and am ready for a challenge. I have a pretty decent diet with fruits and whole grains but probably not enough protein. During the holidays I splurged on sweets and here I am! Which program would be best for me? I am a little bothered that several on this forum said they saw few results after 3-4 weeks. Is this normal? Thanks so such for your time,

  311. Hi Emma,

    Losing 35lbs in 90 days is a bit much given what the P90X program is designed to do (burn fat while adding lean muscle). In fact, only a few men have gotten that much weight loss in 90 days. Instead, I strongly urge you to focus on burning fat and adding some lean muscle. In my first round of P90X, I only lost 15lbs but my figure change was remarkable. To answer your specific questions:
    If by the ‘shake’ you mean Shakeology, the value of it is to supplement diets where you may not be getting 7 – 9 servings of fruit/veggies (with the focus more on veggies) each day. If you are doing that already, then you are already in a great position.
    Yes you can use regular whey protein. You’ll need to structure your diet to get at least 120 grams of protein in each day.
    To maximize weigh loss (again I think you have the wrong focus), it’s diet, not additional exercise. If you have time to do more then take a brisk walk. Too much high or even moderate intensity exercise just raises your cortisol levels which will hinder fat burning and weight loss.
    Again, for the first 2 months focus on really ‘bringing it’ to your P90X sessions, particularly the weight lifting/ resistance sessions. Too many women do not push hard enough when lifting weights even though the post workout elevated caloric after burn is much longer (up to 40 hours) with an intense weight workout. So if you do too much cardio, you interfere with the recovery process and hinder your next resistance workout performance.

    Lift heavy with good form in the 8 – 10 rep range (ignore Tony when he says women can lift lighter for more reps – he knows better but doesn’t really believe women will bring it the way men will). If you are doing the resistance training correctly, you’ll be too sore to do a bunch more cardio. In month 3 after building up muscle, you may add up to 3 lower body workouts in addition each week. Brazil Butt Lift could work well then.



  312. Hi Camille,

    Classic is the one to add lean mass and burn fat so it’s the one I recommend. ‘Lean’ was only created because there was a belief that women would never really do Classic. But we can and do complete the Classic version and the women who have had the best transformations have all done Classic.

    Your concern is fair but the problem with women who are not getting results is that they are self sabotaging their efforts. Most women just don’t work hard enough on the resistance part of the workout. You need to really push yourself which means you’ll be sore a LOT! But sore is good because that means you worked hard enough to produce changes that will change (for the better) your hormonal balance. Also many women don’t eat properly while working out. This problem is compounded by the misguided advice in the P90X nutrition book. It calculates way too many calories for women. As a way of proving how it gets it wrong, consider that the inputs to calorie calculation are no different if you are male or female. But a male 30 years old who’s 5’7″ and 175lbs is going to have a lot more lean mass than a woman who is 30 years old and is 5′ 7″ and is 175. Follow my P90X diet guidelines for what to eat and how many calories you need.

    Finally, I also want to touch on the fact that many women 1) watch the scale when they need to be watching their tape measurements and 2) think they can accelerate their results by adding in more exercise. Your measurements are far more important than the scale. Also doing too much exercise will chronically elevate your cortisol levels which will hinder or even prevent weight loss. In addition you’ll not recover properly between resistance workouts so you’ll not be able to push yourself to new personal bests and shortchange what the program can do for you.


  313. Hi Nancy,

    I am starting the classic version of p90x in a few days. 10x my body weight would be 1400 calories. I am 5’4, and my goal weight is to lose about 15 lbs and tone up. My question is, is 1400 calories enough? And once I start losing weight, at what point should I stop recalculating and reducing my calories?

    Thanks so much for your help! Love your articles!

  314. Thanks so much for your reply. One other question-is it possible to break up each days workout in parts or in half at least. Finding an hour and a half all together (including showering afterwards etc) is hard to do these days with family and work etc. Also, do you recommend the day you cheat on your diet be the rest day for the program or does it matter? Thanks again for your great information and replies! Camille

  315. Hi SP,

    Start with the 1400 because you can always adjust if you feel it’s too little calories. And remember you are going to have a cheat day once per week. The P90X guide calcs too many calories for women wanting to burn fat and gain just a little muscle. I hear regularly from women who start gaining or don’t lose any weight when they follow the guidelines in the P90X book.


  316. Hi Camille,

    Well the best way to do the workouts is the way that gets it done! So if you absolutely need to break them up, then do so. However, I strongly recommend that you do the resistance training workouts from start to finish. Go ahead and do ARX later if needed. Cardio and/or yoga can be split with no issues but resistance training is best done all at once.

    One other consideration is whether you lapse into a mind set that says ‘well at least I got 1/2 of the workout done so it’s not a tragedy if I miss the other half’. I like to just get my workouts done for the day so I don’t have to worry about making time for the next one. That’s just me.

    As for cheat days versus rest days, that’s your call. I have been sync’ing up mine for a couple years now but I’ll soon be doing my cheat day on Saturday while keeping my rest day on Sunday. Because you will feel sluggish after eating bad foods, I find either getting the workout done prior to starting to indulge or having it on a rest day works best.


  317. I want to lose about 50 lbs in about 5 months. I want to start the p90x today but I’m not sure whether to do the classic or the lean. I am 20 years old and 190 lbs. I also have a lot of underlying muscle. I am just trying to decide which work out plan would be best for me.

  318. Hi Larisa,

    50lbs in 5 months is very aggressive. Look, you didn’t put on 50 lbs in 5 months so why try to force your body to drop it that fast? I’d encourage you to adopt a healthy lifestyle that you can sustain rather than think of this as a shorter term project.

    Classic will produce better results than Lean but you really have to work both to get the best results. Whether or not you have a lot of underlying muscle (you probably have far less than you think). But the fact is that a program of resistance training with some cardio will do better than a program of mostly cardio with just a little resistance training.

    Also, you need to eat really clean to get top fat loss. If you’ve not yet read my article on how to eat while doing P90X, please do. You can find it under the Most Popular section in the right hand column.


  319. Hi Nancy,

    I just wanted to say how informative your advice has been reading through your blog and comments and would appreciate if you could give some to me as well! I’m a 22 yr old female; 5’10 and 195 lbs. Despite being overweight, I’m still pretty active cardio wise – I try keep up with about 25 miles of running a week, go to the gym pretty regularly, although only using the cardio equiptment, and do yoga about 3 times a week. Nutrition has been a problem with me (I know what to eat, but tend to overeat) and I’ve also never tried an overall fitness program – which is why I’m very excited to start p90x! I know I’ll still keep up with my current running schedule (although maybe cut down to 20 miles) in addition to doing the program. I’m looking to drop about 40 lbs. and I was wondering if you think eating about 1500 calories a day would be too little with the classic program. Thanks in advance!


  320. Hi there,

    I am about 2 weeks into P90X Lean and I am wondering if I chose the right program. My main goal is to lose about 20 lbs (especially in the stomach area) as well as build a bit of muscle in my arms. I am a female and I did make the proper adjustments to my diet…do you think that I should stay with P90X or should I try a workout more like Insanity with more cardio…thank you!

  321. Hi Angelica,

    Based on your goals, (lose fat, tone abs and build a little upper body muscle), P90X Classic is the better choice than P90X Lean or Insanity. If you are not loving the P90X (e.g. Tony isn’t your type), I’d go with Les Mills Pump over Insanity. If you have more questions (I’d be surprised if you didn’t), let me know.


  322. Hi Lizzy,

    First, you should NOT try to run 20 – 25 miles a week and do P90X Classic. It’s counter productive as the total amount of stress on your system will raise your cortisol levels too high for too long and your body will not only try to hold onto fat, your appetite will go up and if you struggle with overeating now, it will be much worse. Moreover, you’ll get so worn out, you won’t be able to give the resistance training segments the type of intensity that you need to get the right level of muscle stimulation and hormonal change.

    Just to the Classic and if you like yoga, keep that. After 2 weeks, if you want to remove Kenpo and run instead, that’s fine. Once you get to the 3rd month, you can add some short runs (2 – 3 miles) later in the day from when you do the resistance training (not before).

    Finally, 1500 calories is a bit light for just P90X Classic but would be OK if you add in a cheat day once a week. You should focus on getting enough protein in your diet (many women fail at this and get poor results because of it). If you add in some running in the 3rd month, you’ll need to up your calories by about 200 per day.


  323. Hi Lauren,

    I have an article that goes through the diet I recommend. Find it under the ‘My P90X Diet’ link in the upper right hand column. Yes, 1800 calories may be too much for you so read that article and let me know what your questions are then.


  324. Hi Coach Nancy,

    My boyfriend and I are starting P90x at the beginning of the week (Lean version) and I was making the final choices for dieting, etc. While he is willing to do whichever one I choose, after reading the comments, I am wondering if it would be better to do classic rather than lean. I’m about 5’2″ around 130ish lbs and I mainly want to lose the excess tummy fat, the love handles, and tone my thighs back up. What would you suggest?


  325. Hi there!

    I just finished week 1 of P90X! I’m doing the classic. I’m 192.0 pounds. I would like to loser weight, and I hope I do, but I what I really want is to just be healthy! I stopped using the scale and plan to take pictures.

    My question to you is – How many calories do you think I should be eating in a day? I’m 5’6″ 192.0lbs, and I’m A 30 year old female. As of now I am consuming 1500 calories. Also, I don’t have the nutrition info that comes with the P90X workout DVD’s so I just do my best to eat well. I was wondering how much protein, fat, and carbs I should eat in a day to lose weight?

    Thanks so much!

  326. Hi De,

    Sorry I missed this. I always recommend Classic because it shapes you up better and is the better fat loss choice. You get far more metabolic change when you add in more resistance training. The post workout caloric burn is much greater than what you’d get from Lean.


  327. 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!


  328. Hi Nancy! I’m 19 and I’ve been struggling with my weight since I was about 15. I was always a skinny kid, and I was pretty thin around 15, I was about 130-140 but then I gradually got bigger, at my biggest I was around 170/180, I’m 5’3 and this was when I was around 16 going on 17 or so. I started losing the weight within the last few years (not trying, it just randomly came off, i actually didn’t even notice it), and now I’m back at 155. I ordered p90x in March and did about two weeks and stopped and there’s no excuse for that, I just did for some reason. I’m very determined and confident this time to lose the weight, especially because it’s summer time! The thing about my body is that, I have had pretty bad habits all through my teenage years, I wasn’t eating right at all.. But now, I never really gain weight anymore. I just stay around 155. I’m trying to eat healthy from now on, because I realized when I do, I see a change in my body, inside and out. I feel amazing, and I want that feeling all the time. So, I’m definitely making a life change with my eating habits. I just can’t seem to get this weight off. I feel stuck! My goal is to be around 110-120. I’m just wondering, with my age and body type considered, will I lose this weight fast with p90x? Will I see results 30-60 days in? I’m nervous to do p90x, I don’t want to do it and not see any results. Any advice?

    Thanks for reading!

  329. Oh and I was also wondering about the food plan, I’m on a budget so I can’t by most of the dishes they suggest in the nutrition guide. Would it be the same thing if I just ate the healthy foods that I can get, with the right amount of calories they suggest?

  330. Hi Nancy,

    Can you please tell me what brand protein shake you recommend. I currently drink one serving of shakeology, but i would like to also include a protein shake. Thanks

  331. 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.


  332. Hi Nancy i just would like to know wich of the workouts should i do, iam female 5.2 and 109 pounds , i have this belly that its annoying and i have wings under my arms(not too bad but enough to bother me) but i dont want to loose too much weight because i kind of look skinny so i dont know if i have to do the classic or the lean workout of p90x

  333. 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.

    Coach Nancy

  334. THANK YOU!!!! I will do the classic then and i would check the diet guidelines,thank you for answer back i was really confused.

  335. Hi Nancy,
    I am female 5’3″ and 155lbs. I carry all my extra weight in my stomach and flabby arms. I was considering doing lean, until I read previous comments to other readers. I am hoping the classic will help me get in the right direction, but I am nervous that the diet plan is what will set me back. I live with a fiancee who is doing the p90x with me, but he is very skinny, he is just toning his muscles, and mostly doing it to support me. I eat pretty healthy already, salads, nutritional shakes and plenty of fruits. I average about 1300 calories a day, do you think staying with my own healthy eating and adding p90x will give me the weight loss results I am hoping for? any advice would be great!

  336. 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).

    Good Luck!

    Coach Nancy

  337. HI, I’m 5’8 and 200 lbs. I am trying to be lean but have more muscles. i got little upper body muscles. so i was wondering which programs do you recommend for me and should I drink protein shakes after the workouts?

  338. 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.

    Coach Nancy

  339. Thanks Nancy,
    which protein shake do you recommend? would you recommend 100% whey by amp?