P90X, A Girl’s Guide, Part 2. Fitness Myths.
In part 2, of P90X, A Girl’s Guide… let’s address common fitness myths. I’ve noticed several of the girls doing P90X ask questions that are specifically mentioned here. Questions about slow metabolism, more and more cardio, bulking up, and more. If you found yourself wondering about these things, then read on. Thank you Stephanie Saunders at Beachbody for such an enlightening article!
There’s a lot of pressure on women to look, in a word, hot. Sure, for a chosen few, curves in the right places come naturally, but the rest of us seem to spend all our time snatching up the latest fitness fad, be it the Abs-o-matic 3000, Cucumber Colon Cleanse, or Low-Cholesterol All-Bacon Diet, desperately hoping we’ll discover the new us. Instead, we usually walk away—or occasionally limp away—feeling confused, dejected, and as if we’ve missed out on the genetic lottery.As it turns out, the answer’s much simpler than you thought. From housewives to rock stars, there’s a growing group of female followers who trust in the proven science of P90X. The truth is, hard work and clean eating are the ways to change your body forever. And P90X is the fastest and most effective program to get you a fitter body. But what about all the other options out there, the spot training, the fad diets? Let’s take a look at some popular exercise myths and how P90X can help you dispel them.
Myth #1: If you want to lose weight, you must have an incredible metabolism; otherwise, you’ll need to starve yourself. If most of us had the choice between winning the lottery and having a perfect metabolism, the decision would be tough. For many people, the ability to eat whatever they desire seems a gift beyond price. The reality is that only a tiny percentage of people are so blessed, and that number decreases as people age, get pregnant, and experience various health issues. So when a Hollywood starlet claims she can eat whatever she wants and still look great, she’s probably lying.
At the other end of the spectrum, there’s severe caloric deprivation. The problem with depriving yourself of calories is that you can only sustain it for so long, and it can often lead to overeating and a slower metabolism. The longer you try to exist on a reduced-calorie diet, the greater the likelihood you can slow down how quickly your muscles repair themselves, as well as suffering psychological problems—or even brain damage. Of course, the answer is to eat, but you have to eat healthy foods that fuel your workouts. The P90X program includes a very specific nutrition plan you can tailor to your goals, but the nutrition plan requires a lifestyle change. This means not fad diets, but a plan that’s going to require that you eat more food than you imagined possible. What’s truly great is that the nutrition plan can be maintained for the rest of your life. So start eating—correctly—and watch the change begin.
Myth #2: Doing hours of cardiovascular exercise is the only way to burn fat. Hours of anything, besides sleep, can be redundant and boring. The idea of spending hours on a StairMaster® makes me want to fall asleep right now. Although a necessary component of any workout routine, cardiovascular exercise is definitely not the most effective way to lose weight. In fact, doing more than an hour of it without some type of fuel can cause your body to break down muscle mass and slow down your metabolism. And when you do the same repetitive motion every day, your body can become used to the motion, which can slow or even halt your progress.
P90X is effective in helping you lose weight because of the enormous variety it offers. Your body doesn’t get used to the stimuli, because the stimuli are constantly changing and becoming more difficult. Plus P90X helps you build muscle, which turns your body into a fat-burning machine. And P90X is fun and entertaining, and doesn’t take 3 hours a day to complete. The singer Pink was recently quoted as saying she does an hour of P90X 6 days a week and has seen incredible results. An hour a day for amazing results is a relatively small investment for such a great return.
Myth #3: Weight training builds bulky muscles. Perhaps the greatest myth out there is the “bulky muscles” myth. Here’s the reality: muscles do one of two things—increase (hypertrophy) or decrease (atrophy). But they don’t just “bulk up.” For a woman to create a bodybuilder-type physique, she’d need to overstimulate her muscles with very heavy weights, constantly training to failure with very short repetitions. And frankly, even then, unless she had a great amount of testosterone in her body, it might be impossible.
P90X effectively uses resistance training to increase muscle, thereby increasing your metabolism and helping you burn fat. And although you’ll work to exhaustion, your muscles won’t bulk up if you keep the repetitions at 12 to 15. P90X also keeps you moving, so your heart rate stays high, simulating the effects of a cardiovascular workout. You will build muscle but still maintain a sexy, feminine physique.
Myth #4: You shouldn’t build muscle until you lose all excess fat, as building muscle will push the fat out and make you look larger. This myth is particularly funny, as it was probably perpetuated by a fitness trainer telling a client there was a six-pack hiding underneath a layer of fat that just needed to be uncovered. Yes, we all do have a six pack in there, and possibly buns of steel, but muscle building doesn’t happen under that layer of fat. Building muscle actually changes your body’s composition, and eventually the fat becomes less a part of the picture.
No amount of sit-ups, push-ups, lunges, or squats will push any layer of excess tissue out. In fact, P90X is so effective at totally transforming your body, you’ll soon forget there was a layer of fat to be concerned about.
Myth #5: You should only work out the specific areas where you want to shed fat. It’s been said again and again: spot training doesn’t work. And yet every month, the fitness magazines print a slew of new, specific exercises for lifting the booty, flattening the stomach, or tightening dangling upper-arm flab. Yes, if you work a specific muscle group, it will become more toned, but that has nothing to do with the fat on top of the muscle group in question. The most effective way to change your body is to work large muscle groups, consistently altering the stimulus, and sticking to a sound nutrition plan. No amount of leg lifts alone will give you the thighs of your dreams.
P90X will attack every muscle in your body and create visible changes in your appearance. There are specific workouts for all your areas of concern, but there are many more for every other area, to give you a beautiful, proportioned body.
There’s no magic pill, combination of foods, or even surgery that can give you the body of your dreams. An enviable physique comes from hard work, dedication, and a lot of sweat. P90X is the most effective way for a woman to shape her body because she has to work hard to get there. And as lovely as it would be to naturally have the metabolism of a 12-year-old boy, there’s something truly satisfying about creating such great change in your own life and controlling your own outcome. We can often feel at the mercy of others. Our health and fitness are areas we completely control. So even if you dedicate 23 hours a day to your relationship, job, and/or children, one hour in your own living room can truly create transformation. And no diet book, magazine article, or silly celebrity statement can refute the thousands of P90X Success Stories out there. So make a decision to put down the fad exercise magazines, put in the work, and watch your life begin to change.