Created by fitness professional Tony Horton, P90X is a 12-DVD exercise program drawing from multiple disciplines to burn fat, build strength and increase flexibility. Along with the DVDs, the program includes a nutritional plan, workout schedule and online support. P90X isn't a weight-loss program as much as it is a fitness program; nevertheless, the rigorous workouts are effective at burning fat.
Science of Weight Loss
Weight loss is achieved by creating a calorie deficit, which can be done by eating fewer or burning more calories. To lose 1 pound of fat requires the reduction or burning of 3,500 calories. If you eat 250 fewer calories and burn an additional 250 calories a day you will lose 1 pound in a week. For your health, your goal should be to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds a week, although if you have a significant amount of excess weight, you might see greater results initially.
Burn Fat with P90X
P90X doesn't provide information on the calorie burn of its exercise program. However, by learning calorie burn counts for similar exercises, you can get a general idea of how many calories you use during a workout. According to the Harvard Medical School's Health Publication, which gives calorie counts for performing 30 minutes of various activities, a 155-pound person burns 233 calories performing vigorous weightlifting. Most P90X workouts are one hour, so you can expect to burn approximately 466 calories with the weight training DVDs. Vigorous calisthenics burns 298 calories every 30 minutes or 596 an hour and kickboxing burns 372 calories every 30 minutes or 744 per hour. Your calorie burn will depend on how much you weigh -- the more you weigh the more you burn -- and the intensity of your workout. Following the P90X Classic schedule which has three weight training, one calisthenic, one kickboxing and one yoga workout during the first week, you would burn approximately 2,666 calories. Using the P90X exercise program without changing your diet would result in a 1-pound weight loss every 10 days.
P90X Nutritional Plan
The P90X nutritional plan isn't a weight-loss diet. Instead, it is an eating program designed to fuel the body through the vigorous P90X workouts. The nutrition guide provides instructions on determining the number of calories you should eat to maintain your health while still burning fat. The plan has three phases for each 30-day segment of the 90-day program: Phase 1 Fat Shredder, Phase 2 Energy Booster and Phase 3 Endurance Maximizer. The difference between your current calorie consumption and the P90X nutrition plan will determine how much and how quickly you'll lose weight. If your calorie consumption decreases by 500 calories a day, you will lose 1 pound per week following the P90X nutrition plan alone.
P90X Exercise and Nutrition Plan
The fastest way to speed up fat loss is to combine a healthy diet and exercise. Following the P90X exercise and nutrition plan, you can create a calorie deficit of 6,166, which will result in a 1-pound weight loss every five days for a total of 18 pounds during the 90-day program. These numbers are estimates; other factors can impact weight loss, including lifestyle, muscle growth and body composition fluctuations such as water retention. P90X suggests taking body measurements and fat percentage along with weight to get a more accurate representation of fat loss.
- P90X Fitness Guide; Beachbody; 2005
- Beachbody.com: The P90X Extreme Home-Fitness
- P90X Nutrition Plan; Beachbody; 2005
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights