Disclaimer: I am not a licensed physician or certified nutritionist, and I am not related to any medical field in any way.  Please, always consult a medical expert for any and all questions regarding your health and/or nutrition.   The FAQs below are based on my own experience and the experiences of others around me, and they are never to be taken as "written law".  Therefore .... use this page at your own risk. 

Here is a list of questions that come up often.  This page is ALWAYS UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!

NUTRITION
Q - I have an account with www.MyFitnessPal.com.  They give me a much lower calorie number to eat per day, compared to the P90X guide!! Which one is correct?

Q - How many calories should I expect to burn per workout?
Q - How do you count calories burned?
Q - I can't stand my chocolate protein water mixed with water.  Is there any protein that tastes good?

ABOUT P90X
Q - I have been doing P90X for two weeks and do not see much of a difference. It is frustrating! What should I expect?

Q - Is it true that this is not a weight loss program?  Is this for me? I need to lose a lot of weight but I haven't worked out in years.
Q - Should I stick to the P90X program and eat by the book, or should I do daily additional cardio to lose weight more quickly?
Q - I am a little overwhelmed at all the literature and wondering if I really am over my head since I haven't been working out consistently for a long time.

Q - I don't get my heart rate up with Kenpo anymore.  How can I change this?

ABOUT FITNESS in general
Q - I am experiencing knee pain with some of the workouts (like Yoga).
Q - My left elbow acts up a lot while I do triceps on that side. It hurts on the top outer elbow area.
Q - I have to modify all the push ups except for the standards. Any suggestions?
Q - How about using bands for back?  I have nowhere to hang them from!

MISC.
Q - I am middle age woman and I'm losing a lot of weight but I have noticed my chest is smaller!!  Is this normal?

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Q - I have an account with www.MyFitnessPal.com.  They give me a much lower calorie number to eat per day, compared to the P90X guide!! Which one is correct?

Both of them are just about the same.

Do the calculations with the P90X book first to see what calories you are supposed to eat. Don't GUESSTIMATE THIS NUMBER based on what you've been eating in the past. Obviously if you are doing this program that did not work....! Then open your free account with MFP and enter your stats. (You will eventually need to tweak MPF so it has the carb/fat/protein ratios FROM THE BOOK for Phase 1 or whatever Phase you are at.  This in done under Home - Goals - Change Goals - Custom.)

The big different between them two:

- The number from MPF will be WITHOUT YOUR WORKOUT ADDED. You have to enter the calories you have burned per workout every time (if you do not have a HR monitor that does this: see next question for a general guideline.)
- The number from P90X already estimates a 500-600 calorie workout added to your food calories.

I get 1300 from MFP and 1800 from P90X. When I add a 500 calorie workout: 1300+500 workout = 1800.  SAME NUMBER! 

We will have days when we burn more or less, but overall THE SYSTEM WORKS.
One more thing: add your sugar and sodium columns into the MFP chart (under Food - Settings - Nutrients Tracked)

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Q - How many calories should I expect to burn per workout?

These are only MY OWN NUMBERS, but they may serve as a guideline.  Remember, the more your weight, the more calories you will burn!!  I currently weight 123 pounds, so keep that in mind.  And some days are better than others, so one day I may burn 400 calories doing Core Synergistic and the next time I may burn more or less...

Legs & Back + AbsR = 465
Plyometrics = 485 to 550
(2) Power Half Hour (Abs & Thighs, each 30 minutes) = 500 (also by Tony Horton)
YogaX = 350 (this is the highest number I've done with Yoga)
Kenpo = 350
Kenpo & Treadmill = 525
Core Synergistic = 400 to 450
X Stretch = 125
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From P90X Plus:
Intervals & Abs/Core = 550 to 625
TotalBody = 350 to 400
UpperBody & Abs/Core = 450
Kenpo Plus = 350
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Not P90X.  These are classes I teach.
Indoor cycling 45 min = 525 to 575
Indoor cycling 60 minutes = 700
Zumba (latin dance) 45 min = 450 to 600

Finally .... Working in the Yard for 2.5 hours = 500 (very physical work, by the way)

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Q - How do you count calories burned?

There are several ways:

--> The easiest is a good HR monitor that does exactly that. I got mine at Dick's for around 80 bucks.

--> If you have a regular HR (that doesn't give you a total cals burned) then you can keep a mental general count and it can actually be pretty accurate. During the workout get used to looking at your HR at the beggining and end of each exercise. Keep the numbers in your head. My numbers went like this, for example ... during Plyometrics:

a - Warmup around 100bpm - 5 minutes
b - Then the first 10 minutes of actual exercises I went to 115-125 or so (average 120)
c - Then it went up to 130-150 during the higher impact stuff and stuck there for about 20 minutes (average 140)
d - Then the last 10 minutes I was in between 125-95 (average 110)

This can be a pain in the behind, but it only has to be an approximation. So this is what I do:

a - 100 x 5 minutes = 500 bpm
b - 120 x 10 minutes = 1200
c - 140 x 20 minutes = 2800
d - 110 x 10 minutes = 1100

I added all and divided by 45 = about 125 BPM average

Then I go to this website: http://www.braydenwm.com/calburn.htm
Based on age, weight and gender, my workout was worth 451 calories.

--> Go to this page and see the link that says ACTIVITY CALCULATOR - http://www.caloriesperhour.com/index_burn.php. They have TONS of activities in there, exercise and regular day to day stuff.

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Q - I can't stand my chocolate protein water mixed with water. Is there any protein that tastes good?

This is only my opinion, y'all! ........... There are tons of good protein powder that come in all sorts of flavors. My recommendation: try something other than chocolate because there isn't a TRUE CHOCOLATE FLAVOR in PROTEIN, specially mixed with water .... YIKES, GROSS!!! J If you are a chocolate lover like I am, forget it.  The best chocolate protein powder will not be any better than the worst real chocolate.  So why bother when you have Strawberry, or Apple, or Melon, or Pineapple, or Orange, or Cookies & Cream, or Vanilla, or Banana Cream, or Alpine Punch to choose from?

Try mixing a good fruity flavor WITH REAL FRUIT and soy milk or with sugar-free juice (as in DIET, not "Light", by Ocean Spray for example)... and you will be digging into the empty glass with a spoon to get the last few drops, I am telling you!!!!

Furthermore, make it into a total breakfast by adding some cereal into it.  Put it all in the blender and enjoy the result.  You will not even notice your protein powder is there.  Everything else will take over but you will still get the benefits of the powder.  Check out the Recipe here: Maria's Morning Fuel

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Q - I've been doing P90X for two weeks and do not see much of a difference.  It is frustrating! What should I expect?

I can only tell you and everyone else to be patient, please, and not feel RUSHED about this whole process. I've been working out for 20 years and I DID NOT SEE ANY DIFFERENCE FOR A WHILE. And I was in great shape. For example, I did most all the AbsRipper X the first time I tried them. I almost threw up... but I did them -LOL!- (the oblique Vs were my only problem, but I did absolutely every thing without stopping). And yet I really did not see tremendous results until LATER.

PATIENCE, please. For your own good: Don't rush it. You wouldn't want a quick yo-yo diet and a quick yo-yo workout. Your heart does not deserve to be treated like that!

Keep in mind one very important piece of info here: This is not really a "weight loss program", actually. It is a massive fitness/nutrition program designed to maximize results and get you ripped.  Your results will also depend on your starting point. Yet the results won't appear in 2 weeks. More like... 2 months? Some results are apparent after 4 weeks, some later. It all depends.

If you can trust MY RESULTS then know that I am on day 190 some. That is, over 6 months.
________________________

A good friend from my P90X thread said it much better than me:
The thing is, with the X program (the exercise program not the nutrition part of the program) is not for weight loss; it is strength gaining and fat loss. Many people cannot separate fat loss from weight loss.

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Q - Is it true that this is not really a weight loss program?  Is this for me?  I need to lose a lot of weight, but I haven't worked out in years.

The way I see P90X is as a combination of Nutrition Plan and eXtreme Fitness Program.  You will lose weight and will tone your body in ways you may not have experienced before.  But if you are interested in losing a large amount of weight, and you feel your fitness level is very poor I would recommend P90X AFTER either P90 (with Tony Horton) or Slim in 6 (with Debbie Siebers).  That will give you both the weight loss as well as a good solid fitness level

Then you should look into P90X.  And get that body trimmed into the best shape it's ever seen!

Of course, there are plenty of people who have experienced total success with P90X without trying any other programs.  But my recommendation, in your case, is to take it ONE STEP AT THE TIME.  The Xtreme workouts can be truly tough and challenging to everyone, but much more so for someone who may be completely out of shape.   You don't want the program to be an obstacle.  You want it to be tool!

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Q - Should I stick to the P90X program and eat by the book, or should I do daily additional cardio to lose weight more quickly?

- My answer isAsses your own level of fitness and involvement. Ask yourself if you will end up getting burned and hating those extra 20-30 minutes, and/or do it only whenever you are up to it.

The system will work, and you will end up having to go down to the next level of calorie intake eventually. The system is cleverly designed so people who are used to eating a whole lot are never never ever hungry yet they are eating all good stuff which is not going to turn into mush around waists and butts!

What I suggest is basically what I used to do: At first I started a little below my 1800 calories. I usually ate around 200-300 LESS per day, but not every single day. I had plenty of energy and I was still creating a deficit.  After reaching my weight goal I have stabilized and now I eat 1800 +/- 100 or so.

- Coach gfr3228 says: I'm a long ways from an expert, but the program is designed as a very intense program already. My biggest fear besides burnout is overworking the body and it not having sufficient time to rebuild and repair itself. As you'll hear over and over, rest is one of the most important parts of this program. If you do add cardio, and I guess it would amount to doing doubles, be sure to keep the cardio short so that your body can continue to burn fat and calories, as extended periods will make your body burn muscle. To me, that's one of the weaknesses of the body, although during times of famine it served its purpose, it doesn't mind switching over and burning muscle. This is good short term but very counter productive to what we are trying to do.

Doubles are also only recommended for further into the program. I've never seen them recommended for Round 1 Phase 1.

- Coach Matthew says: I tried to do doubles in the last phase and I started to feel the signs of over training. I would suggest sticking to the P90X plan for Phase 1 and if you feel great in Phase 2 you can always swap to doubles.

I did not stick to the calories they had. I was slightly over the line to level 3 which put me at 3000 calories. I went to 2400 calories in level 2 and tried to follow the Phase 2 portions. I would go myfitnesspal and occasionally check to make sure what I was eating was getting me to 2400 cal. When I was not tracking on myfitnesspal I would go be my energy level and hunger level. If I was getting tired during the day for a couple of days then I would up the carbs a little. If I felt hungry I knew I was doing something wrong and not getting the fuel my body needed.

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Q - I am a little overwhelmed at all the P90X literature and wondering if I really am over my head since I haven't been working out consistently for a long time.

- My answer is:   The whole info package is way overwhelming. I thought so too. Just relax about it.  Simplify: workout and eat well. Take your measurements and a few photos. Then learn the way as you go, little by little. Don't try to study this like you would for a test because you have the rest of your life to learn to do it right.
Modify your workouts as needed; take breaks as needed.  Push PAUSE and then push PLAY again, once you feel comfortable.  Nobody is watching you and/or judging you.  Sometimes we can be our worst enemies when we force ourselves to go past our own limits.  Breath in, breath out. Take it one step at the time.

- Coach Matthew says:  The great thing about P90X is that it is a complete program from workout to nutrition. The problem with that is it can seem overwhelming. Try breaking the program into its basic parts workouts then nutrition.
Workouts: Just select the path you would like to take (Lean, Classic, or Doubles). Next make a calendar with the workout days. I would also suggest working out in Wowy because you can also win money just for working out.

Nutrition: Take your measurements and I will always suggest taking the "Never Again" Photos. Next figure out how many calories you need daily. To eat the correct food just remember these basic principals: Stay away from Processed foods, Drink Water, Eat Vegetables.

I find if you break the whole large project into small parts they are easier to figure out. I hope this helps in some small way.

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Q - I don't get my heart rate up with Kenpo anymore.  How can I change this?

Add weighted gloves and/or ankle weights.  Start with a relatively small amount of added weight. 

Do NOT use them thru the warm up or cool down.

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Q - I am experiencing knee pain with some of the workouts (like Yoga).

- If you really feel Yoga is the culprit, never ever LOCK YOUR KNEES when your leg(s) is straight. They really do not mention that during stretching etc, but you should NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER lock your knees on your straight leg. Always allow soft knees, a very very slight bend.   It is possible to straighten your legs without locking your knees, remember.

Are you doing Plyometrics? If you are doing Plyo then be very careful. No guitar hero jumps!!!!!!!!!!! No little hops on one foot and then the other. No jumping high with both feet up in the air. Instead, you want to gallop like a kid playing horse, high knees.  When they jump, you gallop with high knees. When they hop on one foot, you jump side to side like fast "tires". Your HR will be high but your knees will feel a little better. Still, Plyo is pure knee grinding so be careful.

One recommendation about Plyometrics: PLEASE everyone, be careful with the 360 degree jump, shown by the guy at the back. Dangerous move! In order to do that safely you have to land with both feet parallel to each other and toes/knees aligned. If you can jump high and land right every time, then you may be OK. But don't do it if your landings are shaky. If you land with your knees inward/outward you may end up damaging your hips, knees or ankles. It is an extreme move that, as a fitness instructor, I see as contraindicated. Only do it if you REALLY CAN DO IT. A 180 degree jump should be plenty.

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Q - My left elbow acts up a lot while I do triceps on that side. It hurts on the top outer elbow area.

CAREFUL! I had tennis elbow in 2009. It got pretty bad with bowling and then I was increasing the weight. I went to physical therapy and it worked! My advice would be to have it checked. Mine got to the point where I couldn't lift a cup of coffee or turn a door knob. All that is gone now..

There is life after an injury and you won't quit losing weight and you won't quit benefiting from the workouts, remember. But you should have a doctor check that out. There may be things you are NOT supposed to be doing right now. Remember that the workouts are there for another day. I am doing massive cardio and legs and Core/Abs. It is working out for me just fine although I would love to do arms and back. But ....... not yet.

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Q - I have to modify all the push ups except for the standards. Any suggestions?

MODIFY AS NEEDED. Don't feel ashamed or weirded out because you do pushups on your knees or whatever. You should never stress your limits. Go with the flow.  It will come to you when your body is ready.  This is not a competition and .... your body is a temple so respect it as such.

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Q - How about using bands for back?  I have nowhere to hang them from!

A friend's recommendation: When I travel I take the bands and use a door. Place the band near the top hinge so that the bands are by each side of the door. This keeps the bands from slipping over the door and hurting you.

Some else suggested this: I put a roll of duct tape on my band and then put the roll of tape on the other side of the banister bars on my stairs, or behind the door hinges with the door opened.  The big roll of tape will keep the band in place.

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Q - I am middle age woman and I'm losing a lot of weight but I have noticed my chest is smaller!!  Is this normal?

That is the downside for us girls.  I am definitely there with you!  I have gone down at least ONE full cup.  So I can say that, even though it was nicer before, they were MOSTLY FAT.  Most of us had fat breasts!!!!

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