P90X, the home workout program from Beachbody, offers different schedules for different needs. The lean schedule is intended to let you build lean muscle while shedding unwanted fat -- making it ideal for women who want to drop a few pounds and develop a toned physique.
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 -- that is muscle growth. This means that you will tone your muscles without bulking up, giving you a physique that resembles a bikini model more than a bodybuilder. 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 exercises before becoming exhausted.
When To Use It
The P90X lean schedule is designed to start 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.
In order to actually get lean on the lean schedule, you need to limit your calorie intake. According to the McKinley Health Center, you should create a daily deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories from exercise and reduced calorie intake. This will result in safe weight loss at a rate of one to two pounds per week. But be sure to consume enough calories; women should never consume fewer than 1,200 calories in a day.