Which Version of P90X?

When you’re just starting P90X, you might be wondering which version of P90X to do.  The program outlines 3 different versions and schedules that you can follow: Classic, Lean, and Doubles.  So which should you choose?  In my opinion, 95% of the time, people should be following the Classic schedule for P90X.  There may be cases where the Lean or the Doubles schedule does make sense, but that’s not very often.

The Lean schedule takes out some of the lifting days and replaces them with cardio and core focused videos.  I think the idea here is that if you’re just trying to lose weight and not necessarily add muscle, then doing more cardio will help you with that.  But I’m a firm believer that building lean muscle will help you lose weight and body fat quicker than just doing cardio.  (If any of you are doing ChaLEAN Extreme, you’re very familiar with this concept!)  Tony says is in all the lifting workouts:  If you’re going for a lean look, do 12-15 reps.  Just use less weight and do more reps.  Many people, mostly women but also men, are concerned that if they lift weights they’re going to look very bulky.  I’m going to address this issue in a 2 part post coming up in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned for more info on that.

The Doubles schedule has you doing the Classic schedule, but adding Cardio X 3 times a week in the morning, with the lifting workouts at night.  Personally, I think it’s a little unnecessary.  Unless you are extremely crunched for time and want to get results super fast, I think the Classic schedule will allow you to burn enough calories every day as it is.  You have to be careful if you’re doing the Doubles schedule, because if you’re not fueling your body enough it can really lead to poor performance during the workouts and will leave you tired and sluggish.  It can also lead to over-training, which puts you at a greater risk of injury.   Personally, I think the Classic version is tough enough without adding extra cardio.

So if you’re just starting out, I highly recommend following the Classic schedule.  It gives you 3 days a week of lifting, 2 cardio days, and 1 day of yoga.  If you push yourself during the workouts, you will definitely burn a ton of calories and will see the results you want.  I followed the Classic version and was very happy with my results.  If you’ve already done a round or multiple rounds of the Classic P90X schedule, then there are more options like creating a hybrid with other workout routines in it to mix it up a bit.  I’ll also be posting an article about that coming up soon, so stay tuned for that as well.

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