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Posted by Barry on Dec 10, 2010

P90X: Tone or Bulk?

I get a lot of questions from women who are worried that a workout program like P90X will make them “bulky” and “muscular”.  Let me give some advice in this area for you ladies out there:

First, can P90X make you bulky and muscular?  YES!!  That’s why us guys love it!

Second, can P90X make you lean and toned?  YES!  That’s why it’s perfect for you ladies too.

Well, how does it do both?  Simple.  You control how you exercise and how you eat/use supplements to make the program fit YOUR particular goals.

Let me give you an example.  Suppose a lady is overweight and wants to lose body fat and get toned and lean, but not get bulky.  What are the things she should focus on?

1)  Fat Shredder Diet plan, but at a calorie deficit of 300-500 less than the guide suggests.

2) Using Shakeology as a meal replacement to fuel the body completely with minimal calories and aid with feeling full and satisfied.

3) High reps on all exercises with a lighter weight.

4) Avoid muscle building supplements like creatine and pre-workout supplements.

5) Add additional cardio in the form of Insanity or doing doubles.

Now suppose this same lady has a husband who wants to work out with her, but has totally opposite goals.  Suppose he is already skinny and has low body fat, but wants to build muscle, get big and buff.  What should he do?

1)  Follow the Phase 2 or Phase 3 diet from the nutrition guide, at the full calorie level recommended in the guide.

2) Use Shakeology as a snack (in addition to the usual meals) to fuel the body and give him peak energy and health.

3) Use heavy weight on all exercises that cause him to fail by rep 9 or 10.

4) Supplement with muscle-building supplements like creatine and pre-workout nitric oxide boosters.

5)  Don’t over-do the cardio.  Consider adding in an extra (4th) lift day in lieu of one of the cardio days.

So you can see that both the husband and wife are using the same workout program, P90X, to accomplish very different goals.  And both can be very successful with it if they will give it their all and stick to the workouts, nutrition, and supplements!

I used my Round 1 to lose maximum body fat while trying to maintain my muscle mass that I already had.  I went with Fat Shredder, 1900 calories, used Shakeology as my lunch, and took muscle building supplements to keep my muscle mass despite the big calorie deficit.  It worked!  I lost 30 lbs of body fat (I went from 29% to 19%), and I didn’t lose any lean muscle mass.

For Round 2, I wanted to continue to lose body fat, but wanted to bulk up more so and I changed things up to meet those goals (see my Round 2 workout Maximum Mass).  I went with Phase 2 nutrition at 2700 calories, used Shakeology as a snack, went extra heavy on all lifting exercises, dropped to only 2 cardio days, and used muscle building supplements.  Again, it worked.  I lost 9 more pounds of body weight and I shed my body fat down 4 more percent, while adding inches to my chest and arms.

**Another tip I’ll share for ladies seeking to focus on toning rather than bulking up =  Look at the P90X Plus series of workouts.  They are wonderful as a full-body, high heart rate workout that doesn’t use heavy weights and uses a lot of balance and coordination moves.  I make sure I incorporate them into my hybrid workouts regularly.  They are a blend of cardio circuit and lifting.  Read my review on P90X Plus to learn more.

Click Here to Learn More About P90X!

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