Beachbody Inc.'s P90X program is designed for people who are already in shape, so if you are new to fitness, it may be too intense for you. On the other hand, if you have been exercising regularly, P90X can help you shed fat quickly and replace it with lean muscle. The program is strength focused, but it also includes cardio and flexibility workouts and a nutrition program.
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The P90X program has three tracks, each designed to accommodate different goals. The Classic track focuses on building muscle, the Lean track focuses on fat loss and flexibility and the Doubles track includes twice-daily workouts to help those with the extra time reach their goals sooner. With two workouts per day, the Doubles track is best for weight loss because it involves strength and cardio work every day. The Lean and Classic tracks include two days of cardio and a day of yoga, but the Classic track includes three resistance days, while the Lean track includes only two.
The three cardio workouts are Cardio X, Kenpo X and Plyo X. Plyo X is the most strenuous of the group and will burn the most calories. A plyometrics workout, it requires high lower body strength and oxygen capacity, so not everyone is ready for it right away. Cardio X combines moves from Kenpo X, Plyo X, Yoga X and Core Synergistics in a quick, intense, fast-paced workout with no breaks. Kenpo X burns calories as well, but it is more of a longer, slower workout rather than a quick, explosive one. Kenpo X is the best P90X workout for those who are less fit.
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 separately, and your routine will change every three weeks. 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
For dieters, the nutrition plan is the most important component of the P90X program. It's called Michi's Ladder. The word "michi" is Japanese for "the way." It provides a path to overall fitness. 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. The intensity of the exercise is so high that you'll be able to eat more calories. Michi's Ladder teaches you how to use your calories wisely because when you make poor food choices, you'll feel it in your workout the next day.