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P90X Lean Workout Plan for Women

By Dani Arbuckle ; Updated April 17, 2018

P90X, the 12-week home workout program from Beachbody, offers different schedules for different goals. The lean schedule is designed to build lean muscle while shedding unwanted fat, making it ideal for women who want to drop a few pounds and develop a toned, sexy physique. Following the included nutrition plan can help you achieve optimum results.

The Big Difference

While the classic P90X schedule has an even mix of cardio and resistance training, the lean schedule puts more of an emphasis on cardio. Some of the resistance training workouts are replaced by Cardio X, a workout that incorporates elements of aerobics, martial arts and plyometrics. Other workouts are swapped out in favor of the Core Synergistics routine. Core synergistics includes some light weight exercises along with core exercises and cardio.

How It Works

Because you're doing less resistance training and more cardio, you will experience less hypertrophy -- or muscle growth. This means that you will tone your muscles without bulking up. During the resistance training sessions, Steve Edwards, Beachbody's director of results, recommends choosing lighter weights to limit hypertrophy as well. He suggests choosing a weight that you can use to perform at least 12 repetitions before becoming exhausted. Edwards also notes that you can aim for up to 25 reps. You will still be building some muscle, but it will be lean and toned.

When To Use It

The P90X lean schedule is designed to kickstart your weight loss, but it isn't a permanent program. Edwards recommends starting with the lean schedule if you're looking to shed some fat. After completing the 90-day lean schedule he recommends following the doubles schedule, which is more intense but also designed for weight loss. After completing these two rounds Edwards recommends moving on to the classic P90X schedule to maintain your results.

P90X Diet

Your diet plays a huge role in whether or not you get lean on the P90X lean program. Following the P90X nutrition plan as you are completing the 12-week program can help you shed even more fat.

The nutrition plan consists of three phases. In the first phase, you'll eat a high-protein diet to encourage lean muscle development and fat-burning. In the second phase, you'll eat a balance of carbohydrates and proteins to increase your energy so you can keep putting maximum effort into each workout. The last phase is a well-rounded athletic diet of complex carbohydrates and low protein and small amounts of healthy fats.

Getting lean with P90X requires a combination of reducing your calorie intake from unhealthy foods, while ensuring you eat enough calories to support your increased activity level. Not eating enough calories will result in fatigue and poor performance.

According to the USDA, an active adult female needs 2,400 calories a day to maintain her weight. How many you need depends on your age, current weight and your specific activity level. A doctor or nutritionist can tell you how many calories you can cut each day to get to your target healthy weight.

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