Is It Necessary to Stick to the P90X Nutrition Guide?


Anybody who has ever tried to stick to a healthy diet knows how expensive it can be to purchase all of those ingredients. The same thing goes for the P90X nutrition guide. I tried it too and yes, it can get fairly expensive, but if you want to see the best results, you really should stick to it.

The entire guide was created with an extreme workout routine like P90X in mind and the meals are designed to provide the necessary amount of calories, carbohydrates, fats and proteins to give you the best results. Unless you have a lot of experience creating high-performance meal plans, the nutrition guide is the way to go.

The great thing about the nutrition guide that comes with P90X is that you can choose to use either the meal plan or the food portion plan. If you don’t have time to make all of the recipes in the meal plan, purchase the ingredients from the food portion plan and create your own diet. I’ve found the portion plan to be much more affordable too.

If you decide not to use the meal plan or the portion plan from the nutrition guide, which I strongly advise against, you should always count your calories. You need to figure out how many calories you should be consuming daily and track every single thing you eat. As long as you don’t go over your daily limit of calories and stick to low-fat foods, you should be ok.

image courtesy of fdm06 / CC BY-SA 2.0

Is Mixing P90X With the Insanity Workout a Good Idea?


If you’ve tried either P90X or Insanity, you know how hard those programs can be. P90X was built mainly around strength training and/or muscle building and Insanity is a strict cardio training program. It seems like they would fit well together, right?

Wrong, and let me tell you why from my own personal experience of trying it.

I’ve completed P90X twice now and have seen some great results. I’m much stronger now and P90X is nowhere near as hard as it once was. I’ve also completed the first six weeks of Insanity, but I haven’t finished the program all the way through yet.

After three weeks of Insanity, I decided I wanted to include P90X into the workout, because I wanted to continue building muscle while burning fat. My plan was to do Insanity in the morning before work and then on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I would do a strength training video from P90X after work.

I was fine for the first week. I did Insanity in the morning as usual and then on Monday I did a Chest & Back video, Wednesday was Shoulders & Arms and Friday I did Legs & Back. I was completely worn out over the weekend. On Monday I started the routine over again, and by Tuesday I could barely function anymore.

I had put too much stress on my body.

I couldn’t even force myself to wake up in the morning to do my regular workout so I decided to stop doing P90X. I took a whole week off from working out at all and I finally started to feel normal again the following week.

In my opinion, doing both programs at once is just too hard on the body. I do believe that a diet change would have helped me sustain energy and recovery. I also think that I should have completed Insanity at least once before modifying my routine so drastically, especially since I’ve never really done much cardio in the past.

I hope to try including both programs into my routine again at some point in the future, but for now I’m going to stick with only one at a time.

Are the Results from P90X Infomercials Realistic?


Deciding on purchasing the P90X program is a difficult economic decision – at least it was for me. $120 isn’t a whole lot of money, but it is when you don’t know if the program actually works. The infomercials and the website both make results seem too good to be true and for a lot of people it probably is.

But, I can tell you from my own experience that P90X is absolutely worth the cost.

The first time I went through the program I couldn’t believe how hard it was, and I had been working out regularly for the past year and half before starting. I lost quite a few pounds and gained a lot of muscle. I still didn’t look like one of the guys from the commercial, but I was extremely happy with my results.

Although I didn’t see the same results that the success stories from the website did, I do believe that you are able to if you work hard enough.

I’ll be completely honest and tell you why I didn’t see massive changes. First of all, I didn’t stick with the nutrition guide that came with P90X and secondly I took two long breaks during the middle of the program.

I purchased a lot of the ingredients for the recipes in the nutrition guide and stuck with the meal plan for about a month. I ended up getting tired of preparing all of those meals and then I let my diet fall apart. I still ate healthy for the most part but I would cheat often and I didn’t count my calories. I would also have the occasional beer or two on the weekend with friends and that can seriously add up.

Then, after about four weeks I felt like I needed a break, so I took two weeks off. I did this again after the eighth week. I was still working out at least three times a week doing other routines, but I think sticking with the program the way it was built is key to seeing the best results.

I then went through the program a second time, this time at a much more serious level. I decided not to use the nutrition guide, but I did count my calories and ate much healthier. I still didn’t give up the beer though 🙁 I went through the whole program without any breaks and by the end of the 3-month program I saw a huge improvement.

I wasn’t super-defined, but my muscles had grown quite a bit. I didn’t take any measurements before starting, but I’m positive I had added at least an inch to my biceps and my abs were finally starting to show. I never had strong legs or lungs, but I had no problem jogging for 45 min. after the program, which was unheard of for me. My fiance even mentioned that she saw a big difference in my neck and shoulder muscles.

While I don’t look like the guys from the commercials, I completely believe that P90X is worth the money and that you’ll definitely see the results you desire if you stick with it. I’m about to start the program again and I know I’m going to get even stronger and see better results than before.

And if you still don’t want to take my word on it, head on over to YouTube and check out the videos from people who weren’t paid to be in the commercials and don’t work for Beachbody. Lots of people have seen great success with this program.

The Food Portion Plan for P90X

If you’re doing the P90X program, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of the recipes in the nutrition guide aren’t foods you commonly have in the house (at least not in my house), so I would suggest using the “Portion Plan” of the nutrition guide instead, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to cook. Whether you’re doing P90X or not, this is a great nutrition blueprint for anyone.

The Portion Plan is great, because it will give you an idea of how many servings of each food group you can have and how many calories each item contains. This way you can pick and choose which foods you want to eat. I’ve included a PDF download of the P90X Portion Plan Guide if you want to download it. This isn’t an official document, but it’s based off of the actual nutrition guide. I put this together so that I had it all in one place and because I could print it out and take it with me to the store instead of taking the entire nutrition guide.

There are three phases for your nutrition plan in P90X. Phase 1 (days 1-28) is the fat shredding plan which was created to burn fat from your body while taking in lots of protein to help you strengthen your muscle. Phase 2 (days 29-56) is more of a well-rounded diet for the average person, and will provide more energy for your workouts. Phase 3 (days 57-90) is an athletes diet which puts lots of carbs back into your body for energy and maximum endurance while you’re really pushing hard during your workouts.

Next you have to figure out which level of each phase you should be doing. Take your body weight x 10 which equals your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Now multiply your RMR by 20% which will give you the number of calories you burn daily outside of exercise. Now Add your RMR, your Daily Activity Burn and 600 to figure out your Energy Amount. The energy amount is what you’ll use to figure out which level you should be in.

Level 1

  • 1800-2399 Energy Amount
  • 1800 calories per day

Level 2

  • 2400-2999 Energy Amount
  • 2400 calories per day

Level 3

  • 3000+ Energy Amount
  • 3000+ calories per day

Now that you have that figured out, download the P90X Portion Plan Guide and get started!

P90X Made Other Routines Too Easy

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here hasn’t it? Well I’ll give you an update on how things are going with me in terms of fitness.

I finished P90X way back in January and I felt great about myself. I didn’t see the massive results that the infomercials showed, but I felt stronger than I have in my entire life.

My arms were much bigger and I actually had abs again! I’ve always had knee problems too, but they were far less noticeable after building up the muscle in my legs. Here’s a picture of me about 5 months after completing the program.

Me before starting P90X

I have to admit that I didn’t follow the program to a “t” either though, so that might’ve helped me see greater results. I only stuck to the meal plan for the first month and I took one month off to do another routine after the second month, because I was getting kinda tired of the videos.

After completing the last 30 days of the program, I took a couple weeks off to give myself a break and then I started doing some routines from my Men’s Fitness magazines.

This is when I really started to realize how much stronger I had become.

I’ve done a lot of routines before starting P90X and they were always tough, but after P90X, they felt way too easy. I actually had to take my new routines and speed them just like how P90X works. No breaks in between each exercise.

It worked, but I just didn’t feel like it was working as much. This ended up making me not feel like working out as much anymore and I started to get lazy. I worked out here and there for the next few months, but definitely not regularly.

So I’ve decided to go through the P90X program once again. I actually did the Chest, Arms, and Triceps video this morning and I have to admit that my arms feel like noodles. I could barely lift my arms up to wash my hair this morning.

This feeling has me pumped!

I can’t wait to get started on the routine again. I can’t afford to stick to the meal plan, but I eat healthy anyway, so I should be ok.

Until next time!

Preparing for P90X

I’ve been doing the P90X Extreme Home Fitness routine now for a month and my biggest regret is starting it without being prepared. Being prepared for this program is extremely important and you’ll realize this all too late if you just jump right in, which is what I did since I was so excited to get started.

First off, I didn’t have the appropriate dumbbells or resistance bands during my first week, but I did have some adjustable dumbbells, so it wasn’t too bad. It was frustrating changing the weights on ’em for all the various exercises and it felt like I wasting way too much time doing that, when I should’ve been working out.

I did buy a full dumbbell set the next week, but they were fairly expensive, so if you don’t have the cash, I’d definitely recommend the resistance bands. I paid about $250 for a used dumbbell set from Craigslist and then bought a few more dumbbells to complete the set from Play It Again Sports, which sells them for about .50 per pound.

I also had to build my own pull up bars in the basement, since the basement is unfinished and doesn’t have any doorways to install a regular pull-up bar. They came out good, but I barely got them done the night before starting the program. By the way, if you want to build your own, I got the idea from The Fitness Journey of FitGirl-ATX.

You also need a fairly good amount of room to workout in. I had to take my table out of the room in order to workout in the same room as my projector, because I like to have it on the big screen, and it’s still kinda hard. I work out with my girlfriend though, so if it were just me it would be more than enough space. I also put some gym flooring down, which I picked up at Dicks Sporting Goods. It’s a huge improvement from the rugs I had previously.

So those few things were a slight bother, but the biggest issue I had in terms of being unprepared was for the nutrition plan. Everywhere I read a P90x review or really just anything about P90X, people talk about how important the nutrition plan for the program is. I didn’t set aside the time to put it together for myself though and now I’m a month behind. I don’t eat unhealthy anyway, but I realize now that I’ve definitely been overeating and not eating proportionately. This really is a huge part of toning the body in this program too. See my poorly stocked fridge below?

So this weekend I finally decided to go through the P90X nutrition guide and now I’m realizing that I might not be able to afford everything on the list. I just went shopping last week and I didn’t buy anything on the P90X Market List so there’s a ton of stuff I need and I’m not sure if my budget can take the hit. I’m gonna go to the store tomorrow though, and try to pick up everything I can possibly afford. The way I see it is, that it’s better than nothing.

So if you are considering starting the P90X program make sure you have a few things in order. Here’s the quick list;

  1. An Budget Set Aside Specifically for P90X
  2. A Pull-Up Bar Installed
  3. Appropriate Sized Resistance Bands or Dumbbells
  4. Push-Up Grips
  5. A Sizeable Area to Work Out In
  6. The Food Required for the Nutrition Plan

So I hope that this article helps you prepare to tackle the P90X program yourself. It’s a hard-as-hell program that really kicks your ass, and the least you can do for yourself is to be ready for it.

Update: I’ve found that the portion plan is much easier for me to manage my diet instead of using the meal plan. If you don’t have time to cook, check out my post about the P90X portion plan and download the printable document.