P90X Classic Or Lean

 

This is a debate started long ago when P90X first came out. It is also the topic of a lot of confusion when people are just getting started with P90X. Its great that Beachbody has given us some options when it comes to your approach with P90X, but I feel that there is one tried and true way to get results for both male, female, skinny, fat, ripped, or flabby…But the band plays on and the debate continues with one question at the core…P90X Classic or Lean?

  • Which one is right for me?
  • Should women do the Lean schedule?
  • Which schedule will get me the best results?
  • Will classic make me bulky?
  • Which one gets the fastest results?
  • Should I add in Doubles for better results?
  • Etc, etc, etc…

 

The Only Two Questions You Need To Ask – P90X Classic Or Lean

I have heard all the questions/arguments and I want to lay out for you what I feel is the best schedule for you to choose when starting out with P90X. Its not going to be a matter of gender, amount of weight you need to lose…none of that. Only two things come into play when choosing P90X Classic or Lean:

  1. Which plan will you enjoy enough to stick with it?
  2. Are you willing to step outside your comfort zone at some point?

 

What The Heck Coach Todd? – P90X Classic Or Lean

You probably dont like those answers huh. You were expecting some “do this, this, and this. And thats the formula for choosing P90X Classic or Lean schedule”. But really what it comes down to is what works best for YOU. Its not about what works best for me – although I will get into what I feel is the best choice no matter what your preference is…its about you and your journey and how you can reach your goal in a way that suits your taste!

If you dont enjoy your workout schedule then you simply are not going to be motivated to do it! Just pushing play is half the battle. Of course you have to be somewhat of a maniac to enjoy P90X in the first place – but we get one another, right?

Now I have said before that its not about getting motivated enough to push play – its about pushing play and THEN finding the motivation to do it again, but remember this is about people who are just starting…Getting motivated and staying that way is essential and you need to do workouts that you enjoy. If you are discouraged by not being able to do a single push up or pull up and you choose to do the Lean schedule for that reason alone; then I say awesome! Go with the P90X Lean schedule and keep pressing play. That simple act of pressing play is what is most important. You can get more extreme when the time is right for you!

BUT!!! At some point, you need to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone in order to get the best results possible. Its as simple as that. You are going to have to do things that your body is not going to like in order to get your body into the type of shape that it has never been in. If you dont like resistance training, then that is exactly what you need! If you dont like yoga-x, then its exactly what you need. (see what Tony has to say about Yoga-x for those of you crying about it). Get it?

 

So What Does Coach Todd Recommend? – P90X Classic Or Lean

In my ever so humble opinion I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND that EVERYONE . . . Man, woman, 350lb dude, hardgainer, guy that wants to get ripped, lady that wants to look feminine but strong . . . literally I am talking about all people who are going to attempt P90X should do the P90X Classic schedule. (oh yes – I bolded the heck out of that!)

Why?

The reason is very simple. The P90X Classic schedule is going to include resistance training (weights, bands – resistance). Resistance training, in combination with proper nutrition, builds lean muscle mass. I have already lost the ladies with that word “mass”, but stick with me here. When you build lean muscle, you burn more calories.

Here is what the doctors have to say on webmd.com: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/8-ways-to-burn-calories-and-fight-fat

When you exercise, you use muscle. This helps build muscle mass, and muscle tissue burns more calories — even when you’re at rest — than body fat. According to Wharton, 10 pounds of muscle would burn 50 calories in a day spent at rest, while 10 pounds of fat would burn 20 calories.

“The most effective way to increase metabolism and burn more calories is by aerobic exercise and strength training. Both are important,” School of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University, says in an email interview.

Strength training becomes especially important as we get older, when our metabolisms tend to slow down. One way to stop this is to add some strength training to your workout at least a couple of times a week. The largest muscles (and therefore the largest calorie burners) are in the thighs, abdomen, chest, and arms.

If you want to lose the most fat possible in the shortest amount of time, for the best achievable results – then you need to incorporate resistance training into your workouts. The P90X Classic schedule just so happen to include both resistance and aerobic training!

 

Objections & Comments To The P90X Classic Schedule vs. Lean

I dont want get all bulky!

This comment is usually coming from the female persuasion 🙂 The simple fact is ladies that you dont not have enough testosterone in your body to “bulk up”. You could train just like a body builder and you still wouldnt bulk up – your hormones wont allow it. Now you can get very lean and very toned with P90X classic schedule. But even if you didnt want to be super toned and wanted the smooth feminine look, then classic is still your cup of tea for those results! Not to mention if you skip out on resistance training, you forfeit all the other benefit that come from strength training, such as stronger bones, reduced risk of injury, and tons more benefits.

This one might scare some people. Muscle mass naturally diminishes with age.

“If you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body,” says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. “But strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass — at any age.”

I dont like lifting weights!

And I hate yoga!!! But I do it anyway because I know its good for me! Stop the whining and do it!

I am going to do Doubles to get results faster!

I dont care what P90X schedule you run with. Lean, Classic . . . You can get results with both. But the one thing that is consistent that I have seen is that when someone decides to add those 3 extra workouts per week into their schedule for doubles – They always burn out after 1-2 weeks. I got my results with just 1 hour a day. Dont over complicate things and dont wear yourself out! If you do decide to run with a doubles schedule, just be sure you take in at least 200-400 extra calories that day for increased energy or YOU WILL CRASH! And listen to your body please! I dont want to see you get injured and be sidelined for 6 weeks not able to work out at all.

There is no way I could do all those push-ups and pull-ups!

You’re right! You cant. But you can if you modify! I could only do 10-15 push-ups when I started. I could only do 1 pull-up when I started. Now I can do very close to 100 push-ups without stopping and I can do almost 20 wide-grip (the hardest ones) pull-ups. I found ways to make the moves easier so that I could do them and gradually I would increase the intensity each week. You will get better if you modify! Check out my Push-Up Tips and Pull-Up Tips to learn how you can modify these moves.

 

What Schedule Do You Use? – P90X Classic Or Lean?

  • How is it working out for you?
  • Have you been seeing results?
  • Are you pleased with your results?
  • Have you stepped out of your comfort zone yet?
  • Are you having fun?
  • Have you done both Classic and Lean?
  • Which do you prefer?

I want to hear from you, the RIPPEDCLUB community, to see what P90X schedule is working best for you. Post your comments below as well as any questions you might have for me.

Also, if this post on P90X Classic or Lean was informative, be sure you share it on facebook and twitter!

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51 comments
tpkirksey
tpkirksey

Thanks for the information here, it was very helpful at the right time. I’ve had p90X and I struggled with deciding on which plan to follow, lean or classic, but I choose the classic. I am 34 yrs old, 5’11, weigh 240 and I’m in between a 14 & 12. It’s hard because I often get the “you look fine”, “you don’t look like you weigh that much” , “how much are you trying to lose, that’s too much” comments because of how I carry my weight; I’m top heavy with an athletic build. It’s annoying to me because I carry the bulk of my excess weight in my stomach and back, the worst places! My goals is to lean out losing the belly/back fat and tone up.  I’m 6 weeks into the classic and really aren’t seeing serious/any results, and the scale says I gained 3lbs.  I’m following the schedule 100%. I thought I was eating decent, but maybe I need to clean it up more. I use myfitnesspal to track , my food, exercise and weight. Also have a fuel band too. I eat 1700-1900 cals a day, drink a gallon of water, and eat every 3hrs (roughly 5-6 times a day). I’m starting to feel defeated and thought maybe I should have done the lean program. I don’t know if I’m just being unrealistic  and too hard on myself. I would appreciate any input you may have. Thanks. 

coachtodd
coachtodd

@tpkirksey have you seen any of my posts on how to set up and track your macros using myfitnesspal? If you go through the "nutrition zone" tab, the getting started section will really clear things up for you on what you should be doing with your nutrition. Let me know if you have any questions while goin through that info too!

tpkirksey
tpkirksey

@coachtodd @tpkirksey That was VERY helpful, and I do believe where the issue was. I calculated all my numbers and updated myfitnesspal! I'm super excited to see my real results now! Thank you!! 

jennkreider
jennkreider

I found your article after already starting the lean version earlier this week, I chose that one due to the fact that I didn't have a pull up bar yet and you didn't need it in the first few exercises. I am already somewhat fit and healthy I weigh 122 and am 5 ft 4 inches, but I'm a size 4/6 I just want some more lean muscle . My legs and bum need more of a workout than what I was getting with my typical run and weight lifting. Now that I have read you article I just wonder if I should switch and do the classic. Will I still get muscle definition with the lean?


coachtodd
coachtodd

@jennkreider  you can totally get muscle definition with Lean Jenn! Was there a certain size that you wanted to get down to?

jennkreider
jennkreider

@coachtodd @jennkreider  Mostly I just wanted to burn th extra stuff off. I do not necessarily want  be smaller, just more fit, with muscle definition.

jennkreider
jennkreider

@coachtodd @jennkreider I would like to say great, but I have trouble giving up my carbs, I have already had peanut butter toast and noodles today. I do not eat a lot of junk food, but bread noodles and rice are my downfall.

So this first block for nutrition will be my hardest since you are only allowed to have one serving per day.

coachtodd
coachtodd

@jennkreider have you looked into using myfitnesspal to track your nutrition rather than doing portion sizing?

jennkreider
jennkreider

@coachtodd @jennkreider  Thanks for your help, it's nice to know there is somewhere to turn if you have questions. By the way p90x is really working for my after only 3 weeks I'm starting to see muscles in my arms!!!

veronicaab09
veronicaab09

Wow im happy i read this article.. I actually did the p90x lean a few years ago.. about 3 to be exact, and i also was afraid of getting "bulky". so i actually lost 38lbs and went from a size 13 to a size 7 and fitting some 5 (stretch of course) but i didnt see much toning. My problem was and still is i never followed the diet. that is my biggest challenge.. although back then i did stop eating bread, pastas, candies, soda and rice. It helped a lot, but that was truly very hard.. those are my favorites. Any way i can sadly say i stopped the program due to not seeing any toning and also because my butt shed most of the weight. i was not happy at all. yes my clothes fit with out any problems but it seems like my arms were  still fat. my lower section was smaller than my upper body. So  i gained back the weight, but now im over weight again. i weight 163 lbs, im 5.4  female. Im currently going to the gym, I do approx.. 1 1/2 hrs. I'm try to do as i remember on p90x as far as working different body parts on different days.i do use weights. i do see a lot of toning but im not loosing weight. i need to do cardio.. but honestly i hate any type of running., i want to dominate the food part. or learn should i say.. sadly i lost my nutrition book that came with my p90x. Is this something you sell alone..  i want to start the classic program this time ..I think im ready for it!


Sorry this is so long..  :)

Biggest Loser
Biggest Loser

Hi Coach,

Actually, I came to your website after googling P90X vs P90X3 as I have ordered the later one. There I found this link on Lean vs Classic; Even after reading your superb article, i am still in doubt what to choose :(


I am 26 years, 5'2", 154 lbs, Female,  want to shed about 33 or more pounds. I want to see the scales changing, BUT would like not to see me still "Fatty". Because, previously I lost about 7lbs but that did not reflect on my figure (I was still looking fatty, no one could notice the difference).

so, I thought I should go for lean as muscle weights more than fat and the scale won't change, but couldn't ignore the fact that muscle burns more calories!!! That's the reason, I am confused and confused meaning hard one. ;(


So to drop weight and also, looking lean, which one do you think I should choose? 


Thanks and keep it up :)

coachtodd
coachtodd

@Biggest Loser Classic for sure in my opinion. What gets you the REAL results is consistency over time bud. Thats what a lot of people dont like to hear, but it the truth. You have to press play everyday and follow the schedule whether its classic, lean, p90x, or p90x3...And then there is your nutrition...Thats where 80% of your results come from. How was your nutrition during that time you lost the 7lbs and how long did that take you to lose it?

Biggest Loser
Biggest Loser

@coachtodd@Biggest Loser 

Thanks a lot for your reply, Coach. 

It was back in 2011 and took almost 3-6 months. I was eating right (not following any Diet), just made sure to eat in right portion, avoided junks etc. And normally I don''t like sweets & usually I drinks a LOT of water. That was it. I was graduate student then. I did some exercise but not ant DVD series or all that, just normal walking or maybe playing some games. Last year I joined a country, I had became a total chair potato, started to eating freakishly.  Now, really I want to make change. And I think P90X3 is something I will love to do. Specially I will LOVE to do a Les Mills Combat/P90X3 hybrid. I read reviews online about P90X that people had have greater body but not that much weight loss, or Les Mills user got greater weight loss but not that toning. 


So, that;s why I became so confused. 

Again thanks for your response (and that too prompt one ), coach :)

a030147636paul
a030147636paul

i m a 26 old man weight 200lbs and 6.1 high, and i want to be slim and strong , just wondering could p90x make me slim strong and "cut"' or classic does?? i dont want to bulk up like adventures

currently on third week of lean schedule, and check up to phrase 3 , i m afraid of i can not get cut from doing lean since it focus on cardio and yoga

coachtodd
coachtodd

@a030147636paul you can still get cut using lean. 80% of your results come from nutrition though...how is your nutrition looking?

nadi_nadss
nadi_nadss

I am 120 pounds and im not really looking to lose weight, I just seriously want to tone lift my butt and make it more round without it getting smaller, flatten my abs and stronger legs. I was stuck between P90x and T25 which one do you recommend, for toning? and whats the difference with lean and classic

coachtodd
coachtodd

@nadi_nadss Hey there! This entire article addresses the differences between lean and classic. But I think T25 would do much more for you glutes and legs than P90X would. I actually have an online challenge group starting on Nov. 4th. If you got T25, would that be something you would want to be a part of for accountability and motivation?

Daniel10
Daniel10

Hey Todd I'm around 6'1-6'3 at 215 lbs and doing the classic p90x. I am following the diet real closely and eating around 2,300-2,700 calories a day. Would you recommend adding some cardio to loose some fat? I'm barely one first week.

coachtodd
coachtodd

@Daniel10 2300-2700 is a big range...you gotta be more precise than that. Be sure to check out the "nutrition zone" tab on my site and go through the "step-by-step" links!

coachtodd
coachtodd

@sethgale8 I always subscribe to classic...more muscle = more calories burned...Although there is not way to target fat loss in your legs or anywhere for that matter. It comes down to nutrition...you hit your macros daily then your body will lean out. My legs hold fat easily and its one of the last places I lose fat, buy you have to focus on nutriton and get lean enough so that your body has no choice bud to burn the fat that is left in your legs. that make sense?

w9982
w9982

I would like to know how calories should i take in my weight is now 160 and 5feet6inches can i use a supplement call cla.Thank u

coachtodd
coachtodd

@w9982 be sure you check out the "nutrition zone" tab on my site! It has a ton of info on how to calculate your calorie intake!

green23
green23

My diet mainly consist of fruits veges and lots of protein and water

green23
green23

Hey coach. Im 6 feet 1 inches and weight 220 most of the weight is in my butt, thighs and stomach. Would Classic be the best choice to loose plenry of weight in thise areas?

coachtodd
coachtodd

@green23 Hey bud! I wish you could, but its impossible to "target" fat loss. You just have to clean up your nutrition and burn more calories than you are taking in and your body will lose fat in the areas that it wants based on your genetics...the spare tire around my waiste and the fat on my rear wear the last to go...Are you tracking your nutrition?

green23
green23

Yes.i eat approximately 1400 caleries a day but i dont think i burn more than that. I was think that if i cut my daily calories down and do p90x classic, that should do the trick

coachtodd
coachtodd

@green23 you should be taking in more than 1400 per day @ 220lbs. I weighed 228 and ate 1900/day. if you are hitting you 50/30/20 macros every single day, you should be losing fat! Are you tracking your nutrition?

green23
green23

@coachtodd no im not really tracking it. but if i eat 1900 calories a day, how am i going to be able to burn it off. thats alot

green23
green23

and what is a 50/30/20 macro?

coachtodd
coachtodd

@green23 Here is what I want you to do bud. Go to the "nutrition zone" tab on my site and go through all the links under the "step-by-step" section. That is going to clear up a lot of confusion for you :)

kaneezfatima344
kaneezfatima344

Brilliant article coach..I was desperate to find a coach like you who would answer idividual queries.
I'm 5 feet 3" and i weigh 106 pounds..i'm skinny all over but i hate the fact that i dont have a flat belly despite being skinny..i would also love to be toned..Do u think i should be doing the lean version?
Also, if i dont follow a particular diet plan, but just exercise..do u think it'll do any good? (i mean working out and eating is better than not working out and eating?) PLEASE reply

w9982
w9982

Thank you coach classic it is i am on day 2 and my boby hurts plyometrics and ab ripper x is a killer workout and couldn't move on day one but i love it i just need a diet plan if you can help me out with that i will deeply appreciate that thank you again!!!!!!!

w9982
w9982

Thanks for the reply but can anyone help me with a deit plan please what can i eat on a morning, midday,and evenings that will help in my weight lost goal...

Bumblebeetuna12
Bumblebeetuna12

I would have to say I enjoy resistance training the most.I prefer free weights over bands, but I interchange both. I tried Turbo Fire before P90x and absolutely hated it! Cardio is not my thing. I still do it, but Turbo Fire made me feel like a flailing idiot. This program absolutely hurts but I love the pain, because I see results.  

w9982
w9982

Hey coach i just bought p90x would love to know what workout would be best for me classic double or lean.I am 168lbs and alot of belly fat muslces in my stomach are no longer there after having three children so please let me know what would suit me best i walk three days a week...thank you

Christine
Christine

Great article Coach! I actually started on the Classic, a few times and was not enjoying it enough to stick with it more than a few weeks. I recently switched to the Lean and love it!! I have only missed 1 workout through 3 weeks (I slacked 1 day of my mini vacation), and I keep looking forward to pushing play every day. I also just finished reading Tony's book Bring It! and he really pushes for you to do what you enjoy so that you'll actually stick with it. I took that to heart when I made the decision to do the Lean. Once I'm done with the Lean I plan on kicking some butt on classic!

Marcos
Marcos

Very informative, Coach, especially on the "I don't want to get bulky!!" section. I have my wife and some lady friends who say the same thing. I will direct them to this page for sure.

Demetric
Demetric

Great post Todd! I get this question ALOT and reading what you said definitely has backed up the answers that I have been giving all of the people I have been helping.

Karen MacKinnon
Karen MacKinnon

Started with Lean (one week) and switched to Classic. I have a lot of fat to shred and the Lean program seemed to be the one to go with. AND like Coach Todd said...I was afraid of getting bulky by doing the Classic. Why did I switch? Honestly….Lean kicked my butt! Yes yes...that's what's supposed to happen. I know! But it kicked me SO hard I was not having fun, I didn’t want to BRING IT and I wanted to quit. I hate to admit it but I barely made it through the warm up on Cardio X. If it wasn’t for Coach Todd and my hero support group in RippedClub, I would have quit. They helped to dispel my fear about doing Classic and “bulking up”. I found out that with the more lean muscle I have, the more calories I burn at a resting rate. And if there was anything I did well, it was resting!!! Hey… don’t get me wrong. Classic is no piece of cake. I die doing that too! But I feel GOOD after doing it. I don’t know why, but my mind finds it easier to come back and press play. The one thing I do know is that when I am done doing this round of P90X Classic, I am going to turn around and kick butt doing Lean!

Tracy
Tracy

Very well put! Classic all the way!

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