Okay, so you have P90X, but are you prepared? Don’t make the mistake of jumping right in with the P90X schedule without getting the most important basics covered, you need to have the right P90X for beginners plan. I have done my best to make a list of everything you need to have a successful 90 days to get ripped and see a nice 6 pack abs!
The P90X for Beginners List:
Take Before and After P90X Photos and Measurements!!!
I now include this as the first main point for my P90X for Beginners tips because it is the number one regret of anyone who finishes the program who doesn’t take them. Trust me! In my experience, everybody who takes the photos goes thru the entire program with great results. Besides, your P90X success story might be worth $100,000!
Many people mistake the Lean program as “more cardio” or losing “more weight,” but this is not true. The Lean program is simply an easier version of Classic by substituting less intensive workouts. Many women find their thigh muscles get bigger when doing Classic so keep in mind that PlyoX also doubles as a resistance workout. If that is not desirable, you may want to alternate PlyoX and CardioX of do without PlyoX entirely. If you start out with Lean, you can always jump into Classic later.
P90X Recovery Drink.
This is probably the most important part of any exercise routine, however, the name is misleading. Soreness will eventually go away on its own as the body adapts to the routine, although the P90X Recovery Drink will definitely speed up the recovery process. It should be called a Replenish Drink. Replenishing your glycogen (energy) levels immediately after intense exercise is VITAL for success.
Intense exercise will burn off glycogen stores in the muscles which leaves the body without its primary source of energy. The longer you are in this state, the greater the chances your body will panic and may actually breakdown your existing muscle to create more glycogen—the exact opposite of what we are achieving for! Plus low blood sugar levels in the brain will lead to fatigue, irritability, lack of concentration, depression, etc. This program is intense so don’t burn out on week 1!
By replenishing your muscles with glycogen, you will not only avoid muscle breakdown, but you will promote muscle growth and keep your energy levels up. The Recovery Drink is not for ‘bulking up’, which is a common misbelief. The only way to ‘bulk’ up is to consume an excess of calories in your daily routine. However, women have much less muscle mass than men (and burn fewer calories) so I find that one scoop (half serving) will do just fine.
The First Week is Tough.
Expect to be really sore the first week because your body is not used to being worked out. Even P90X grads have a tough first week because the body adapts to the time off. Some people quit, thinking every week of the program will be just as tough. DON’T GIVE UP!! The body will adapt very quickly, usually in a week, and the program will go much better for you. I strongly suggest everyone do a workout several days before starting P90X to take some shock out of that first day. A perfect workout to use is the UML workout on the Intro Disc. Also, give yourself at least 15 min extra to account for breaks and/or dumbbells/band switching. The people in the videos are super fit, so don’t expect to keep up with them!
Focus on Your P90X Nutrition.
If you’re going to spend 90 days doing this program then I suggest you do it right. Nutrition plays a vital role in not only weight loss, but in fueling your workouts and aiding recovery. Most importantly, you MUST KNOW YOUR TRUE CALORIE GOAL! Unfortunately, the formula in the P90X guide book is rather general and it can throw a lot of people off. You’re best bet is to have me go over your calorie goal with you. For a full review of a complete P90X Nutrition plan, click here.
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Take your time to go over the food options and prepare a grocery list, but first throw out all that junk food!! Shakeology can be a very easy way to lower your calorie goal plus provide tons of additional health benefits. I’ve had many members use Shakeology with P90X to have fantastic results.
Studies show people assume a much lower calorie total then they actually consume. Go buy a food scale and always measure your portions. Think of this as ‘Educational Training’ and after the program you will be able to estimate portions with a much higher degree of accuracy.
If you have trouble planning meals or simply don’t have the time to figure it out, then I highly recommend upgrading your TeamBeachbody membership to a Club account. This will give you access to the awesome Meal Planner wizard that will plan out all your meals throughout the program.
Have Energy for your P90X Workout
Generally, I recommend working out on an empty stomach for several reasons. First of all, both exercise and digestion require blood flow. If you try to do both at the same time, you do neither well. This is why people sometimes cramp or vomit when working out after a big meal. So long as you had a reasonable meal 1-2 hours before P90X you will have all the energy you need for a great workout.
While some people may do fine busting out P90X first thing in the morning, others may bonk. This is due to the fact that the body has essentially been fasting the entire time of rest and does not have enough glycogen stored to fuel your workout. I’m an early riser myself, and I certainly can’t hit a heavy INSANITY, P90X, orP90X2 workout on an empty stomach. But if solid foods can upset the stomach before a workout, what can we do? Use the P90X Recovery Drink!
Since the P90X Peak Results and Recovery Formula is liquid based, it will digest quickly and give us energy for our workout right when we need it most and won’t mess with our stomachs. Add a little Energy and Endurance Pre Workout Formula and you are ready to rock! I only use one scoop of the P90X Recovery Drink and then have the other scoop immediately after the workout. It works perfect! Since women don’t have as much muscle mass as men they will only need a half serving, or one scoop. This can be taken before or after the workout.
Post your Accountability Daily.
The Teambeachbody message boards are a great way to stay accountable and motivated! I have groups going at different times that anybody is welcome to join. For those that prefer using Facebook, I have a terrific workout group for all my members. What’s great about the Facebook group is the fact that it doesn’t matter what program you are currently doing or when you started. Everyone is free go join the fun!
The P90X Workouts
Don’t ever, ever consider skipping the warm up to save time! Warming up the muscles can help avoid unpleasant injuries, and will yield better workout results. I highly recommend a HR that can track calories burned. That way you know exactly how many calories you burn with each workout and you can create a more accurate calorie goal.
Always use good form and have your rep counts 2-3 seconds for each direction. Don’t cheat, swing, or compromise your form, EVER. 12-15 is the range for leaner muscles and 8-12 is for size. However, it is good to try both. Also, never go below 8 reps unless you need to emphasize strength.
The last few reps should ALWAYS have heavy resistance so you know you are at the right intensity. If you are using bands, try changing the slack to vary the intensity. NEVER stop resistance sets just to stay in sync with the video, otherwise you will seriously compromise your gains! Pause/Rewind the video if you need to and only stop when YOU are finished with your set.
Create a Mind/Muscle Connection.
This P90X for beginners tip is so powerful and has helped so many of my members, that I now include it in the basics. Whenever you do a rep, you should be fully aware and use the targeted muscle group. The best example is pull/chin ups. The most common mistake people make is to do pull/chin ups using their arms instead of their backs. We should all pretend our arms are dead weight and concentrate on using only our back muscles to lift. This will properly engage the back muscles and makes a huge difference in not only strength, but muscle improvement!
Set your Targets and Make your Goals.
If you don’t know what you did the previous week, then you risk the chance of repeating your previous results. Every week you should have a goal which is generally to do a few more reps than the previous week. Your Goal is the number you want to hit for the day, but your Target is the number you think in your head while doing the exercise. Most everyone has the annoying habit of stopping too early. By thinking of a number beyond your goal, you may stop early of your target, but instead you actually hit your intended goal! Try it—it works!!
Avoid Weight Loss Plateaus.
That’s where you work your butt off, but your goals no longer improve. I highly suggest everybody start Phase 1 at 12- 15 reps and work your way up with the weight resistance. Going over 15 is pointless, and when you reach 15, add more weight. As you add weight, your reps will go down a little, but fight for as many as you can! Small, gradual weight increases is the best way to keep your body from adapting. Phase 2 is a great time to focus on 8-12 reps because after 30 days your body is ready to respond to new challenges.
For further tips on how to break plateaus, read my P90X Advanced Tips to go beyond my P90X for Beginners tips.
Track your P90X Results.
This seriously helps set your goals for the next week and its a must to make P90X for Beginners list. Don’t inflate your numbers to feel good. Only count reps of good, solid form. If you do rest pauses (go to failure, rest 10-15 seconds then do more reps), make note of that separately. Try not to do more than one rest pause per set to avoid the risk of overtraining.
The P90X iphone app will come in very handy and you can even purchases guided P90X workouts to be able to do P90X anywhere!
P90X for Beginners Conclusion
I hope these P90X for beginners tips will help you on your journey. Remember, I offer FREE personal fitness coaching and would love to help you achieve your goals. So sign up for your FREE account and let’s get started today!