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P90X For Women

I actually got a comment the other day about how there was no information for women going through the P90X program. I have also gotten a lot of questions in the past about whether or not this program is good for women. I figured that this would be a good time to address those questions and concerns. So is P90X for women?

Jenn T1First of all, P90X is just as good for women as it is for men.  Even though the majority of the people I coach are men, there are still many women, and most of them have gotten great results! To the left are P90X before and after pictures of a woman that I coached named Jenn. As you can see, she lost a ton of body fat around the midesection, and beyond popular belief, she did not bulk up! For some reason, many women are hesitant to begin P90X because of the fear of “getting too manly.” Well, I can put all your minds at ease because I have not coached one woman who turned into a man after P90X! Jenn toned up her whole body and reached all her goals from doing P90X.

What version of P90X should women follow? As you all know, there are 3 versions of P90X: Classic, Lean, and Doubles. Most men tackle the Classic version head on, and most women lean towards the Lean version (no pun intended), again, because of the fear of bulking up. The Lean version is mainly cardio workouts. So what do I recommend for women? The Classic version. Why? Well, first of all, I am a big believer in a complete balance of cardio and resistance workouts. Resistance workouts speed up your metabolism for 48 hours after you work out,  helping you burn more calories throughout the day, therefore leading to weight and fat loss. Is there proof that P90X Classic works for women? Of course! Just look at the photos above! Also, my fiance went through the Classic version and lost 16 lbs and close to 7% body fat.

What are some key tips for women going through P90X? The first tip is to focus on higher reps (12-15) with lower weights during the resistance workouts. Higher reps are more for toning, while lower reps are more for bulking. Again, most men use higher weights and do lower reps to add on some mass. Women want to tone that bum bum, arms, and midsection, so it’s important to focus on higher reps. If you don’t have access to small weights (my fiance used 2 lbs to 20 lbs), then I highly recommend the resistance bands. You don’t need the complete set, just the P90X Bands for Women.

Tip #2: Don’t try to do too much! This is a little misleading, so I have to clarify. This DOES NOT mean to not push yourself, because it’s very important that you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, or the point where you think the exercise is getting too hard to continue. What I mean is that most women initially struggle with pull-ups and push-ups, so instead of only getting in 1-2 reps the normal way, do the modified versions of the exercise so that you can do more reps. My fiance had to do the modified versions for both push-ups and pull-ups for about the first 2 months into P90X.

Tip #3: Focus on a healthy diet! As I tell all the people that I coach, if you want results you have to follow a healthy diet plan, and the Nutrition Guide is a good place to look. The first phase in the Nutrition Guide focuses on fat loss by lowering the carbs. My fiance actually followed the Fat Shredder Phase during the majority of her 90 days. She felt comfortable with the amount of carbs that she was taking in, so I advised her to stay on it until she felt she was getting low on energy, which didn’t happen until the last few weeks.

So is P90X for women? Yes! If you stay committed to the diet and focus on the other tips that I gave above, you will see results!

Convinced and ready to try P90X for yourself? Click below!

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  1. I watched your transformation on Youtube and all I could say was a whole hearted WOW! …and I mean in that in a ‘I truly appreciate what you did way’ not in any other derogatory way. You did a fantastic job and you are an inspiration and give me hope. I just wanted to say thank you. I bet you didn’t plan on changing other peoples lives when you first took this on. Good job!


  2. Hey Jan! Thanks! I’m glad that I have been able to give you inspiration, which is what my goal has been all along since I’ve become a coach and posted my video on YouTube. I truly believe that I have the best job as a coach because of being able to help change others’ lives! There is nothing better than hearing someone say to me after they completed the program that I was the main reason for their success. If you have any questions about anything, feel free to ask here or email me!

  3. Hi Josh —

    Thanks for this post for women. I have just started Round Three of P90X yesterday. I did the first two rounds — Lean Routine — off and on over a year and a half as I had two surgeries and then a really bad sprained ankle, all in 2008. But I’m still at it, 31 pounds lighter, 24.75″ lost, and down to 20% body fat.

    My two-year “anniversary” to being a happier and healthier person is on January 3rd and I’ve decided to switch over to Classic. You made an good case for it, and I’m ready for the challenge. Thanks a lot, and see you around the beachbody boards (JessTG).

    Also always looking for healthy recipe suggestions. Please email me if you have any favorites and would like them to be posted at



  4. Hey Jess! Classic is the best version for women because of the overall balance in the workouts, and I think you’re really going to be surprised by your results. Let me know if you have any questions or need help with anything. Also, I appreciate your site because I’m always looking for healthy recipes!

  5. Sarah /

    how important are the protein supplements for women looking to lose weight? i’m significantly overweight and looking for a challenge.. just started p90x, about to really take seriously the diet… curious about the protein though.

  6. Josh /

    Whey protein is a great supplement for men and women. My fiance has taken it during her entire P90X transformation.

  7. Niki /

    Hi Josh,

    I just completed my first week of the classic and haven’t seen any results. In fact, I’ve gained a couple of pounds! I have been trying to stick to the nutrition plan as closely as possible but admit to probably eating more carbs than I should since I’m so used to it from my marathon training days. I’m 5’4 and 133 lbs. Any suggestions, thoughts as to when I will really see the results kick in?

  8. Hey Niki! You have to be patient! This is not P7X, and is 90 days for a reason 🙂 Focus on the Nutrition Guide, complete all the workouts, and you will see results! Oh and STOP weighing yourself! The scale is not a good indicator of your progress!

  9. cherina /

    I use to be 320 lbs, before my gastric bypass surgery. Now I’m 165 lbs with extra amount of skin under my arms and around my abdomen area. I’m glad to have that weight off of me, but hating the fact of how this extra skin looks,… It’s so embarrassing!

    I would like to know, should I start with P90X Lean to get rid of my extra hanging skin problem or should I go with the P90X Classic?

  10. Wow congrats on the weight loss! You must feel so much better about yourself! I would stick with the Classic because of the balance of cardio and resistance. My fiance has been doing the Classic with me and has gotten great results! Have you purchased the program yet?

  11. cherina /

    Yes, I have purchase the Program. I’m Looking to fully start on Monday so that I can have Sunday as my rest day. That way I can go to church with a clear restful mind.

  12. Steph /

    I just started phase 2 of p90x this week(go me!) and have seen amazing results already. I have heard that most women really peak at day 120 or so. I was curious to see if you had seen a similar trend. If I do a second round of p90x, should the nutrition program be repeated?

    2nd Question – do you think a second round of p90x is ideal for women, or would moving to a more cardio intense program like Insanity would be better?

  13. Awesome! Everyone peaks at different times, and when that happens is when you need to switch things up, like the diet and workouts. You can do other programs like Insanity, P90X Plus, One on One, etc. and also make some adjustments to your diet as well. I’m actually a firm believer that women need to have that balance of cardio and resistance just as men do, so that’s why I recommend P90X Classic the most. However, if you still have quite a bit of weight/body fat to lose, then strictly Insanity would be fine.

  14. Steph /

    Thanks so much! I will not have much body fat or weight to lose at the end of this first round (I am doing the Classic), so you think keeping quite a bit of resistance training in my workout is wise, more than just the push-up style stuff of Insanity?

  15. Yes! Resistance workouts are great for both men and women because it speeds up their metabolism and helps burn fat!

  16. Katherine /


    So I was wondering if following a clean low carb diet is alright. I eat mostly raw veggies, lean meats, and fruit. I don’t have the funds to do the full P90x diet, I have research how to modify the diet and have come up empty handed. What can I do? I do do supplements of protein, and normal things like vitamins etc. I don’t really like bread anything. I eat mostly oatmeal as my source of carbs…

  17. @Katherine. You can follow the guidelines mentioned in the guide, and substitute healthy foods with the same nutritional value as the one’s listed. For example, instead of fish, eat chicken.

  18. Hey,
    I am 5’6″ and a 171 lbs. I am currently doing Nutrisystem and want to increase my workouts. I plan on beginning P90X but I have seen a lot written about following the meal plan. I am mainly looking to lose weight and tone up. I really would like to stay on it for the next couple of months, is it ok for me to continue Nutrisystem? Thank you

  19. @Gina. That’s actually something you will have to talk to a nutrition expert about because unfortunately I don’t know much about Nutrisystem. Sorry!

  20. Racheal /


    I just started P90X today. I am 5’5″ and weigh 130 lbs. I really need to lose weight and tone up! I haven’t purchased the pull up bar yet so I started with the plyometrics first. Boy was this tough. I maybe exercised about 20-25 minutes out of the whole segment! Is there any advice on how to keep up the momentum and push my self harder to accomplish more? My legs were so weak that they were shaking at times doing the exercise. Any helpful suggestions? Thank you.

  21. @Rachael. There is nothing wrong with struggling at first! What you need to do is follow the modified version and then keep pausing if you have to take breaks. The key is that you push yourself and complete the entire workout.

    Also, am I your coach? If not, you can make me your coach and I’ll be here to help you through the program. It’s free, and here is the link:

  22. Nicole /

    Hey! I am 5’5 and 120 lbs, about 19% body fat and my goal is 16%. My question is, should I stick strictly to the nutrition and workout guides to reach my goal? ..or can I add extra cardio and eat less carbs in order to speed up the process?

  23. @Nicole. Stick with the diet! It’s proven to work.

  24. Nicole /

    Okay great thanks! So I’ve decided to do doubles to loose fat quickly and I’ll continue to stick to the diet plan. Is there any important reason that the first month doesn’t have the added cardio in doubles? If there isn’t can I just add cardio to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during days 1-30?

  25. @Nicole. Usually it’s just too much for someone just starting an intense program like P90X. If you feel you’re ready for it, then go for it. If it gets to be too much, then wait until the next few months.

  26. Nasem /

    Hi, im 5’2 female and weigh 127 pounds, i want to be toned and lose the weight from my stomach, thighs and butt which should i do lean or classic, i honestly like the classic result picture but i need another opinion!!


  27. Josh /

    @Nasem. I recommend the Classic for both men and women! Also, I’m going to send you over to my fiance Melinda, and you can add her as your coach and she can help you through the program. She lost 35 lbs using P90X, Insanity, and Turbofire! You can get her contact info and make her your coach on her site

  28. I just finished p90x clazsic and only weigh 2lbs less. In the middle i was down 5 lbs but gained 3 back the last month. I added more carbs in the third month like the book sais but im so frustrated i couldnt loose the last 10lbs i set out to loose. Im toned now but still have the stomach pooch. I did shakeology choc w/ fruit and water only for bfast the last month to see if that would help and it only stopped me up so im not renewing that. Im thinking about starting lean because this stay at home mom of 2 under 4yrs does not have time for doublez. Suggestions for frustrated me?

  29. Josh /

    @Amy. I’ve never heard of Shakeology stopping anybody up, but rather the opposite because of the fiber in it. Chances are it was something else in your diet that was causing that. Anyways, there had to be something you were doing wrong, and most of the time it has to do with your diet. Were you eating 100% clean? How many calories were you taking in?

    Also, have you made me your coach yet?

  30. Hi josh
    thank you for posting this site up. i have been considering doing P90x soon after seeing so many succes stories. I lost 142lbs so far i feel great but i want to get toned up and build muscle now. i have loose skin in my arms which i hate will p90x help tone up my arms

  31. @Alicia! WOW! 142 lbs!? How did you lose it? And yeah, P90X will help you tone up your arms. I’d love to coach you through the program if you’re up to it! Just click on the link!

  32. Christy /

    Hey Josh!
    Thanks so much for posting this! It answered almost all of my questions about starting P90X. I just started this week and had the same “am I going to look like a man” questions. I am mainly just drinking about a half a scoop of whey protein after workouts and in the protein shakes for breakfast when they’re on the nutrition plan. Is that sufficient?

  33. @Christy. Sounds pretty good! Also, am I your coach? If not, make sure you go to this link and make me your coach! I’d love to help out if you have anymore questions.

    Oh and make sure you follow me over on Facebook as well! “LIKE” my page

  34. Jessica bicknell /

    Hi josh,

    I just started p90x a week ago and have always eaten every clean but have changed my diet because I wanted to loose wanted to loose fat. I am eating recipes on beach body website. Im following their recipe and eating plan to a T. However does eating 5 meals a day get easier because I feel like I’m eating way to much. I am never hungry and am worry I won’t loose weight if I’m eating this much. I was eating the 1800-2100 core de force week meal prep with the containers. Any suggestions?

  35. Josh /

    Hey Jessica, first of all, do you happen to have a Coach?

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