With its butt-busting strength training and cardio routines and accompanying nutrition guide, P90X gives you everything you need to get ripped. As the P90X host Tony Horton likes to say, with P90X you have options, including the ability to choose from different "tracks," each aimed at a different goal. To shed maximum fat, follow the Lean or Doubles tracks and be scrupulous about your diet.
The three P90X tracks are Classic, Lean and Doubles. The Classic track focuses on building muscle, the Lean track focuses on fat loss and the Doubles track includes twice-daily workouts suitable for advanced exercisers. The main difference between the Classic and Lean tracks is the amount of cardio versus strength training. The Lean track includes more cardio and less strength training.
With two workouts per day, the Doubles track includes the most cardio and strength training. However it is only recommended for P90X Classic or Lean graduates who are fit enough to handle the intensity of double daily workouts.
The three cardio workouts are Kenpo X, Cardio X and Plyometrics. Kenpo X is a fast-paced calorie-burning workout based on martial arts. For about 45 minutes, you'll be throwing punches, kicking and "jumping around like a mad man," according to Horton.
Cardio X is a combination of P90X workouts designed to burn calories, build explosive strength and promote flexibility. You'll start out with a little yoga, move into some Kenpo X moves and then get a taste of plyometrics.
Plyometrics, with its non-stop intensity, is the most strenuous cardio workout in P90X. Plyometrics is jump training, meant to build speed and power while burning a lot of calories. The hour-long workout will keep you moving constantly and your heart rate will skyrocket.
Cardio X and Kenpo X are featured in all three tracks, but plyometrics is not part of the Lean track. This is because it's very challenging. The Lean track, although designed for fat loss, is also the easiest track and best for those who are less experienced. If you follow the Lean track, you'll get a taste of plyometrics in Cardio X, which will prepare you for the full plyometrics workout should you decide to repeat the program following the Classic or Doubles track.
Building lean muscle helps you burn calories, so the strength training portion of the P90X program is a necessary adjunct to cardio. No matter which track you choose, you'll work each major muscle group each week in challenging sequences meant to cause "muscle confusion." Muscle confusion prevents your muscle gains from plateauing so you keep getting stronger and leaner.
The workouts provide instructions for building both bulky muscle or long, lean muscle, and the exercises are done back-to-back at a pace that will get your heart rate almost as high as the cardio workouts. You'll be replacing fat with muscle, so the numbers on the scale might not move very much, but your body fat percentage will drop and you'll look leaner and tighter.
The Nutrition Plan
The nutrition plan is an equally important component of the P90X program. The plan emphasizes clean eating and avoiding processed foods and empty calories. It differs from other diets in that you are not changing your eating habits just to lose weight, but also to fuel your workouts and increase your performance.
Because the P90X workouts are so intense, you'll be able to eat more calories. The nutrition guide teaches you how to choose your calories wisely, because when you make poor food choices you'll feel it in your workout the next day.