I often get asked for tips on how to complete P90X successfully. I’ve seen a lot of people start P90x and never finish. Or finish with results that they weren’t that happy with. 90 days is a long time to focus on yourself, but we all know that consistency is the key to stellar results. 90 days actually goes by faster than you’d think, and before you know it, you’ll be as strong as you’ve ever been. I’m not saying that you have to follow all of these rules to see results with P90X – you will likely still see gains even if you aren’t doing exactly what I say below, but it may not be the amazing transformation you’re hoping for.
5 Tips for Getting the Best P90X Results Possible
- Take Before and After Photos and Measurements. Your “After” photos are incredible motivation. Even if you don’t plan to share your results with anyone besides your significant other or best friend, knowing that you will be taking “After” photos can help motivate you on the days when you want to throw in the towel (and there will be those days). Your measurements are key because it’s common to not see big fluctuations in the scale at times throughout the program but you will continue to see your waist get smaller or your biceps get bigger. For example, I lost 8 pounds during Phase 1 but didn’t lose ANY weight during Phase 2 the first time I did P90X. When I took my measurements, I saw that I was still losing fat, but I was replacing it with muscle so the scale wasn’t budging.
- Write it Down. You won’t get great results if you simply go through the motions of each workout every time. In order to ensure that you’re really “bringing it” as Tony would say, you need to write down your reps and weights EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. Before starting every exercise, look at what you did last week and try to beat it. I guarantee this means you’re working hard and will see some serious gains. As for Ab Ripper, set some goals before you start each time, even if it’s as simple as “get to 10 Fifer Scissors without stopping.” Each time, set another goal and before you know it, you’ll be completing the entire thing without a single break. No one can do Ab Ripper without stopping when they first start the program, but by the end I guarantee you can do it if you put in the effort.
- Follow a Nutrition Plan and BE STRICT. This is the hardest part of the program, but if you follow it, I guarantee you’ll see amazing results. Don’t start a diet on Monday and be at the bar on Friday night eating french fries and drinking beer and at brunch on Saturday morning mowing down pancakes, promising that you’ll get back on track on Monday. You can do that on occasion, but if you consistently ruin your diet on the weekends, you aren’t going to get the results you want. I usually start a program by promising myself I won’t cheat for at least two weeks. That includes birthday parties, dinners out and Friday night happy hour. That sets the foundation and gets me into a routine. Then, I allow cheats occasionally because 90 days is a long time to go without pizza or a slice of birthday cake. Remember, P90X is only 90 days, not a lifetime – I don’t encourage a strict diet all the time because that’s not sustainable, but if you want to see serious results after just 90 days, you have to stick to the diet.
- Don’t Start Over Every Time You Miss a Workout or Two. Life happens. We miss workouts due to illness, our children, travel or busy work schedules. Do the best you can, but don’t simply throw in the towel every time you miss one or two workouts. Another thing I often see people do is miss a few workouts or even a week of workouts and then decide to just completely stop and start over from Phase 1 all over again. I’ve never seen anyone actually finish the program when they do this. You need to just keep going. Don’t let a setback throw you off from your goal. You’ll also jump back into it more quickly this way.
- Add in Additional Cardio. This is more of a “bonus.” Nutrition is more important than adding in extra cardio. I love to run and ran about three days a week both times that I completed P90X – not because I wanted to burn extra calories but because I love running and was training for races (I actually subbed my long run in for the Kenpo workout so technically I only added two extra workouts a week). I always ate a few hundred more calories on the days I ran to sustain my energy. DO NOT adding in running or other cardio on top of P90X during the first week (let you body settle in!) and DO NOT add in running if you are not a runner!
I’m a Beachbody Coach. I’d love to help you meet your goals, whether it’s getting in the best shape of your life, adding some strength training to your marathon or triathlon training, or getting some energy back. Visit my site here to add me as your coach or make a purchase or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to chat! You can also check out my P90X resources tab on my blog for answers to many questions.
If you’ve done P90X or another home based workout program, do you agree with my advice? Do you have any other tips?
This is my first comment on your blog, but I have been reading since shortly before Sienna was born and I love it! You are so dead on with the importance of nutrition with regards to losing weight. I quit nursing my baby (my last of 3! Sob ) a few months ago and before I knew it, the weight was creeping back up. I was used to eating extra calories due to breastfeeding and didn’t change my diet once nursing ended. Big mistake! For several weeks, I tried the “be good M-F, but splurge on the weekend” approach. Fail! I exercise a TON, but until I cleaned up my diet I saw marginal results. You’re right, committing 7 days/wk is key. Not until after I cleaned up my diet EVERY day did I see results! Really enjoyed the tips in your post. Thanks for sharing:)
Thanks for reading and for commenting! Glad you enjoyed the tips and agree!
Very good and reasonable advice. As one who has completed P90X once and started several other times I agree with all of this. Very well done!