Body Fat NOT Weight
Before I begin the post, I want to stress that your most important measure of success with either P90X or Insanity, or any other exercise program for that matter, is body fat. If you are decreasing your body fat, assuming that you don’t have an eating disorder, you are improving your physical condition. You are losing fat, even if you are not seeing much loss in your weight due to muscle gain. That is very good since muscle burns more calories than fat!
While there are several ways to calculate body fat, the easiest and most consistent method I found is on teambeachbody.com. The Body Fat Calculator on teambeachbody.com is under Eat Smart > Nutrition Tools. If you don’t have a teambeachbody.com account already, click here for a free account.
Use that to track your real progress.
Insanity vs. P90X results
Insanity and P90X are clearly very different programs. Insanity is a plyometric cardio program, while P90X is essentially a circuit training program with different forms of cardio thrown in. This means that you will get different results with both programs. For example, Insanity is clearly a lower body workout, and will improve your lower body more than any other program ever could. P90X is 65% an upper body program, and you will see great toning and/or muscle development in the upper body.
Given that the leg muscles are naturally the largest muscles in your body, when you start to work them, especially with a plyometric workout, you will put on leg muscle with Insanity. This means that your fat loss will be offset on the scale by your muscle growth. So, for most people, the scale is not the best way to determine your results.
While P90X will also develop muscle, the muscle growth tends to weigh less, so it is easier to lose weight on the scale. However, that does not mean that the scale will tell you the whole story, as you are still putting on muscle, while losing fat.
The Cruel Irony
The speed of your obvious results is also impacted by how much you have to lose. If you are already in good shape, eat well, and are basically doing everything right, your results will appear much slower than someone who has lots of fat to lose. So don’t expect immediate changes if you only have 10-15 lbs to lose. If you have less than 10 lbs to lose, you might not lose any weight as you can easily lose 10 lbs of fat, while gaining 10 lbs of muscle.
Early Results Come From Dietary Changes
Assuming you have significant weight to lose, you will likely see measurable weight loss in your first weeks. This is due to a change in diet. While you may eat a lot following the P90X or Insanity nutrition plans, you are eating whole foods that are not processed. You will be eating less sodium, which means that you will reduce pounds of water retention. A great deal of water retention is in your fat cells, so you will reduce body fat.
Also, you will be eating less processed carbohydrates, which have a high Glycemic Index. While you don’t have to understand the science behind it, foods that have a high Glycemic Index cause an insulin release, which causes carbs to be converted to fat for storage. Also high Glycemic foods are likely to increase cravings, while low Glycemic foods keep your blood sugar steady, reducing cravings, so you eat less.
Diet Does Matter
A frequent question that comes up is to whether a person can just do the exercises and not follow the nutrition plans. In short, yes, you can. You will be in better physical condition to a certain extent, but you will not get the weight loss or aesthetic results that you might be looking for. For amazing results you MUST follow the nutrition plan!
If you don’t have a lot of weight to lose, or are in good shape already, you will likely not see a lot, if any, weight loss in the first few weeks. As a matter of fact, you might not see much over the life of the program. However, you must calculate your body fat. It will be extremely likely that you lost many pounds of fat. Again, you have to get what the scale says out of your mind. That is possibly the worst measure of success with Insanity.
I would especially advise you not to listen to when other people say that they started to see results. Everyone is very different. If someone says to expect to see results the next week, again don’t listen. While you might, you very easily might not. While such comments might provide enough encouragement to get you to the next week, it can be a major set back to when results don’t come. Again, don’t worry about the scale. See how you do with body fat and your fit test.
P90X results tend to be much more consistent. Many people tend to lose weight early on if they follow the nutrition plan. Also for people who have not recently done any strength training, they tend to find that they are slimmer from the weight lifting. However, that is not universal. Again, if you are in good shape, you results will come slower. You should see your numbers go up, with regard to reps and weights, but you might not see too much weight or fat loss early on.
However if you have good results early on, your results might slow down once your body gets rid of all of the sodium and adjusts to the lack of processed foods. This is a good thing. Then you are down to a combination of fat loss and muscle gain. While it is impossible to state how the results may come for every individual, if you follow the P90X nutrition plan, you will generally lose 1-2 pounds of fat a week on a steady basis. While that may be a major slow down from the initial weeks, it is a good sign that you are now tackling straight fat.
By doing P90X or Insanity, you will see major physical improvements. However, with regard to results, you have to stop focusing on your weight and focus on your body fat. A future post will focus on what happens if you aren’t losing body fat, but for now just be aware that everyone is different and that you should trust the programs, as they have worked for countless people around the world. Take it one day at a time and the results will happen! As always, let me know if you have questions or if I can help you in your fitness journey!
Powered by Facebook Comments