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Losing Weight with P90X

P90X has had the reputation to be a weight loss program.  I would tend to disagree.  P90X is a fitness program designed to get your in the best shape of your life but people tend to lose weight while doing it.  This is usually the case because most people want/need to lose body fat in order to get “ripped”.  Then there are those (especially women) who just want to get as lean as possible.  This is here to show you how.

Before we start, I want to make sure everyone knows that no matter what schedule you choose (classic, lean, doubles) you can get great results depending on your desired goals.  If you are looking to lose some body fat and gain some muscle in the process then classic will be for you.  Lean and doubles tends to increase leanness due to the higher amount of reps and cardio nature of these schedules.  That being said….

Who should try tailoring P90X for maximum weight loss?

  • Those who want to avoid over developing their muscles.  (women tend to want this more)
  • Those who need to lose rapid amount of body fat in 90 days
  • Those looking for endurance over strength

Keys to Losing Weight with P90X

  1. Nutrition/Diet: This is the most important part about getting lean.  Most people are afraid of overeating (which can be true) but with a program like P90X it is more important that you don’t under-eat.  Really? Yes!  You will be burning a ton of calories on this program and eating the right amount of calories is crucial so you don’t go into starvation mode and your body holds onto the fat.  This will help you avoid the plateau effect and increase your strength and endurance as you progress.  The P90X nutrition guide does a great job of giving you the right amount of calories.  If you aren’t losing the body fat like you desire, Steve Edwards (P90X nutritionist) suggests, zig-zagging your calories by eating less than suggested on some days and “normally” on others.
  2. Resistance and Reps: Using the proper repetitions and resistance is crucial for not only getting the best results with this program but also for tailoring the program for your goals.  If you want to get lean we need a combination of some muscle gain with weight loss.  The best way to do this is with higher reps and lower weight.  Using enough weight to fail at the end of each exercise is going to be the goal.  The key is to know when to fail.  For staying lean anything over 12-15 reps will be enough.  But as you progress going as high as 25 reps will increase heart rate, endurance and promote lean muscle.  Increasing your weight as you progress is going to be key.  If you read my article on Gaining Mass with P90X you will know see that this is the opposite of that approach.
  • Pull ups and push ups need to be modified so you can do higher reps.  Using a chair (pull ups) or dropping to your knees (push ups) will be the best way to accomplish this.  Try beginning, both pull up and push up exercises, regularly then drop to a chair or knees when you fail.  Finish each exercise until complete failure.

The Schdule:

Some people will think that doing this program to stay “lean” would be much easier than for gaining mass…they would be wrong.  Technically using heavier weight/lower rep is more intense than higher rep/lower weight but you won’t notice.  This lean program will build muscle endurance.  You will be very sore while your body adapts.  Don’t be afraid to drop weight mid set in order to reach your high rep goals.  Remember to keep good form as much as possible to avoid injury. Feel free to pause if you need to continue in order to reach your rep goal.  If you stick with it and you will get some great results.  Below is the Lean X schedule courtesy of Steve Edwards, pay special attention to the amount of reps for each week/phase:

LEAN X

Weeks 1 through 3

  • Day 1: Chest & Back, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 2: Plyometrics
  • Day 3: Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 4: Yoga X
  • Day 5: Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 6: Kenpo X
  • Day 7: Off

Targeted number of reps: 12 to 16 (focus on the higher number)
Recovery
Week 4

  • Day 1: Core Synergistics
  • Day 2: Kenpo X
  • Day 3: X Stretch
  • Day 4: Core Synergistics
  • Day 5: Yoga X
  • Day 6: X Stretch
  • Day 7: Off

Targeted number of reps: maximum
Weeks 5 through 7

  • Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 2: Plyometrics
  • Day 3: Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 4: Yoga X
  • Day 5: Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 6: Kenpo X
  • Day 7: Off

Targeted number of reps: 16 to 20
Recovery
Week 8

  • Day 1: Core Synergistics
  • Day 2: Kenpo X
  • Day 3: X Stretch
  • Day 4: Core Synergistics
  • Day 5: Yoga X
  • Day 6: X Stretch
  • Day 7: Off

Targeted number of reps: maximum
Weeks 9 and 11

  • Day 1: Chest & Back, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 2: Plyometrics
  • Day 3: Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 4: Yoga X
  • Day 5: Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 6: Kenpo X
  • Day 7: Off

Weeks 10 and 12

  • Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 2: Plyometrics
  • Day 3: Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 4: Yoga X
  • Day 5: Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 6: Kenpo X
  • Day 7: Off

Targeted number of reps for weeks 9 and 10: 20 to 25
Targeted number of reps for weeks 11 and 12: 25 (try to max out each exercise)

Please feel free to comment or visit the message boards with any questions.  You can also email me

-Coach Sean

 

6 comments
Ryan T
Ryan T

yep, i already have you as a coach now. added you on fb a few days ago

Ryan T
Ryan T

For more in this category of losing fat over the 90 days AS WELL as gaining muscle, what would you suggest in terms of the nutrition and diet for this particular goal

Emile Zagacki
Emile Zagacki

I think your post was actually a great start to a potential series of articles about this topic. So many users act like they understand what they're preaching about when it comes to this stuff and in reality, nearly no one actually get it. You seem to understand it though, so I think you should take it and run. Thank you!

Harlan Bridgens
Harlan Bridgens

Thanks for the great insight. I was curious about this particular niche. Great article.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Ryan: Great! Make sure you hit me up on fb or email!