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.

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.