- Exercise & Fitness
Should Women Do P90X?
If you spend any reasonable amount of time in front of the television you've probably seen commercials for P90X, a home fitness program that promises to get you into the best shape of your life. There are also ads for P90X plastered all over the Internet, including the very Hubpage you're reading right now! Yes, lots of people are talking about P90X. But does it really work? And since P90X promises to get you "ripped" is it a good program for women?
My husband is a huge fan of P90X and I often wondered, "What could P90X do for me?" I'm 33 years old and never considered myself to be overweight or obese but at the same time I never felt like I was in really good shape. Plus, I've always wanted to do a pull-up. So, after 2 years of staring at the DVDs, I decided to give it a try!
Let's All Ditch the Barbie Weights
Many women today seemed obsessed with getting a good cardio workout because it burns the most calories. They also don't want to appear "bulky" so any time they try to incorporate strength training into their workouts they tend to use small "Barbie" weights. Women also seem to focus on three words that don't really have much meaning when it comes to muscles. These are toning, shaping, and sculpting. Sorry ladies, but it's simply not possible to make your muscles look better without making them bigger. There's a very important point I learned while reading the book The New Rules of Lifting for Women and that is: with or without excess fat, your body simply will not look healthy and fit without well-trained muscle tissue.
Really, cardio alone can only do so much for your body. But how does a woman build well-trained muscle tissue? Luckily, a muscle fiber in a woman isn't any different from a muscle fiber in a man. Yes, there are some hormonal differences that enable men to build larger muscles than women. But those differences don't change their functional abilities. Like Lou Schuler says, "We may be separate genders, but we aren't separate species."
And that's where P90X comes in. Personally, it's pretty easy for me to decide to go for a run, but when it comes to strength training I'm entirely clueless. How many reps? What size weights? How many times a week? One of my favorite aspects about the P90X program is that it's completely brainless. Really, all you have to do is press play! I've been pressing play for the past 112 days and so far I have NO REGRETS!
P90X Women FAQs
Here are some common questions and concerns many women seem to have about P90X
I don't want to get bulky. I just want to lose weight. Is P90X a good choice for me?
P90X was not designed to be a weight loss program. However, it is perfectly designed to help you lose, burn, and shred fat. As your body increases more muscle mass, it becomes more effective at burning fat. Keep in mind that muscle is metabolically active tissue, while fat is not. So, having more muscle forces your body to burn more calories throughout the day and night.
At the same time, muscle does weigh more than fat, so you can lose inches off your waistline without weighing less. We all have a tendency to become obsessed with the number on the scale, but other markers are more important. These include how your clothes fit, your energy level, and how you look in the mirror. Just remember, pound for pound, muscle is firmer and denser than fat but takes up about one-third the space! Don't worry, 90 days of P90X won't make you look like Arnold!
Which P90X plan should I follow?
The P90X fitness guide gives you the option of following three different workout plans: Classic, Lean , or Doubles. I encourage everyone, including women, to follow the Classic plan. I think the Classic plan does a better job of transforming your body. You can read more information here: What's the Difference Between P90X Classic, Doubles, and Lean?
How much weight can a woman lose doing P90X? Will it give me a six-pack?
Again, P90X was not designed to be a weight-loss program but it will definitely get you into shape! Your end result will depend on where you start. If you have a high percentage of body fat when starting the program you're probably not going to get "ripped" in just 90 days. P90X was designed for people who are already in fairly good shape. I'm 5'1" and on Day 1 of the program I weighed 123 pounds. On Day 90 I weighed 113 pounds. However, by the end of the 90 days even my "skinny jeans" were too big! At that time you could see the beginning of a six-pack. Today, I'm on Day 112 (Round 2) and my six-pack is becoming more developed as I continue to lose more fat. However, I'm still hovering around the same weight. I've learned that getting the body you want requires a lot of time, patience, and hard work.
Wanna see my before and after pictures? Check out my full P90X review.