T Nation

Almost Done with P90X. Now What?


I was thinking of trying out German Volume Training next, but maybe it's not the ideal choice for me.

I'm around 15-16% body fat, 27 years old, and tried a few workouts before. A few years ago I tried Rippetoe's Starting Strength. Several times actually, but I would always get a shoulder injury by the 2nd or 3rd month (I have very bad shoulders, and standing or sitting presses are very hard for me). In September I started doing P90X and I'm almost done with it. It's been a good ride. Definitely not a program for strength or size, but I've seen great cardiovascular improvement and leaned up quite a bit, while adding some size on my chest and biceps and reducing my waist just a bit (don't have much to begin with). My leg size hasn't changed much, especially compared to when I did Rippetoe's SS (by week 6 of SS, I had 6cm more in my legs/thighs than I do currently).

My current goal:
To drop 4-6% in body fat to get to 10-12%.
Increase in size and strength and eventually better definition. Unlike the days when I was doing Starting Strength, my ultimate goal is looks, not strength. Before, I would make fun of the guy wanting to look like the not-so-big but with defined muscles Abercombie model. Now, I want to be that model!
Increase flexibility: I think I'm one of most inflexible guys I know out there. But I saw major improvements by doing a 20-minute stretching routine 3-4 times a week. This shouldn't be an issue. I'll just add them at the end of each workout, or possibly do them by themselves after a quick warmout at the end of the day.

So I'm just wondering what to do now. I'm torn between doing German Volume Training, making my own body weight workout (I have a pullup bar, a weight vest, pushup bars, and there are tons of body weight exercises like single leg squats that I can do), or lifting some barbells again in a custom workout. The workout would look something like this:

Day 1 (Workout A)

Back Squats (3x6-8)
Wide pullups with weights: 6-8 reps
Deadlift (1 x 5-7)
Abs: whatever at 12-15 reps. I like doing inclined situps with a plate.
Chest dips: 2 sets of whatever :slight_smile:

Day 2
Complex cardio (doing 3-5 sets of 6-10 movements with a barbell or plate in the same space at low weights in 60-180 seconds)

Day 3 (Workout B)
Standing Press 3 x ... don't know. This is the exercise that I always get injured with. Maybe I should do higher reps and lower weights?
Bench Press: 3 x 6-8
Calf raises: 3 x 6-8
Deadlifts: 1 x 6-8
Chinups: 2 x 6-8

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Workout A

Day 6: Yoga and a bit of swimming

Day 7: Rest

And it goes A, B, A, B, A and so forth every other day, with the exception that after 3 of them I have a day of yoga and a day of rest.

When I can do 3 sets of 8 reps, I increase the weight. And also emphasis on doing it intense with no more than 60 seconds in between each sets and 90 seconds between each workout.

If you're reading this and saying "wtf, this guy has no clue," well you are correct, my friend :slight_smile: I have no clue and I'm not in a position to write myself a program. I thought this would just make for a good starting point to talk about.

Finally, if I didn't say anything about nutrition, it's because I know a lot about it and don't really need any help in that department.



Sounds like a perfectly good program. You'll need some level of periodisation and adaption in your programming. Every program won't work for you, give you the best gains or trim fat so you're going to need to try a few established programs for a while (say 16 to 24 sessions) and measure progress. Designing you're own stuff is fine but I'd start with something more established especially if you think you're still a beginner (which is a label not what you are).


Great, Now we can all make fun of you :wink:

Whatever program you laid out is not GVT just to clarify. You also said that you arent looking to gain size and are looking to lower about 4-5% body fat... So why not stick with P90x if its working? Other than the fact you have to tell people you are on P90x of course.

Kidding aside, if P90x seriously helped you out, just stick with it. Your body fat level is largely a product of your DIET, so any program you do (while some may be better than others) will aid that as long as you are pushing your limits.

Losing 4% body fat should not take you more than 8 weeks if you are going at a decent rate. Although if you are under 170-180 pounds dont expect to get any accolades from any lifters. That may be fine, but many people on this site are looking to be bigger/stronger than an abercrombie model.


OP said "making my own body weight workout (I have a pullup bar, a weight vest, pushup bars, and there are tons of body weight exercises like single leg squats that I can do)"

He was going to do GVT or the program he wrote.


i would leave GVT untill you are actually not a beginner in weight training


Are you planning on deadlifting 3 times a week?


Well, I was half-kidding with the Abercombie thing. But I no longer aspire to be as huge as I once wanted to. Right now, I just want to add drop 2 inches in waist, add 10-12lb in weight, and drop from 16% to around 11-12% bodyfat. And I'm not sure how to do that.

I'm not going to repeat P90X. Tony is just annoying after 12 weeks! Plus, I know I can add more muscle in a shorter time with another program.


I hope not :slight_smile:


Fix your diet. Pedestrian goals are simple if you cover all the aspects of physique enhancement, instead of just one.


My diet's good, at least for what I'm doing right now. Once the program changes, so will my diet.

Question: what if a beginner like myself starts doing GVT? Why would that be bad?


if your 15+%BF then your diet is not "good"


And this blanket statement is coming from your extensive knowledge of how much my BF was before and what I ate before compared to what I'm eating now and how I've progressed in the past few months???


After P90X, that's it.

You are done. There is nothing else. Tony Horton knows this.

You win fitness.


Jokes aside, after p90x I'm hitting the barbell again and focusing on 4 main exercises: squats, deadlifts, bench press, & chinups.


Your problem is probably lack of program consistency/goals.

Bodybuilding's not just about deciding what program to do next, it's about learning about your body.

Guides are good in general for beginners, but you've got to use your own brain to some degree and figure out what works and what doesn't.


what you ate before compared to what you're eating now doesnt mean that your diet now is good. cause you were eating complete shit before and now your diet is a little better doesnt mean your diet is now "good."

No one knows how much progress you've made or what your BF level was before because you never said. Lets see pictures of this awesome progress of yours?


No one said awesome, but in absolute terms they've been good. I didn't take any pictures before and after, but I took body measurements. Mind you, these measurements were done by myself or by my friend, and while I tried to be as consistent and accurate as possible, I found it hard to do so. For example, measuring my waist would often produce two very different numbers within the span of half an hour, even though I hadn't had anything to eat or drink. Same with my chest. In fact, as you can see here, all the numbers went up a bit except for my chest, whcih makes no sense because both myself and my brother confirm that it's visibly bigger.

Height: 5ft7
Weight0: 152lb
Waist0: 33.5in
Bicep0: 11.93
Thigh0: 18.11
Chest0: 36.9
Vertical0: 6 inches away from a standard basketball rim

Weight1: 150lb
Waist1: 32in (I just did it again and it says 31.5 :s)
Bicep1: 12.33
Thigh1: 18.50
Chest1: 36.00
Vertical1: 3-4 inches away from a standard basketball rim

I did a body fat check at my gym last year (with those pen-looking sensors that they put on your bicep, which I'm guessing is not too accurate) and it said I was at 19.5%.

As for other improvements that aren't quantifiable, before p90x I was usually one of the first players on my basketball team to sub out in a full-court game because I couldn't keep up. Now I actually beat everyone in that department and yelling at everyone else for being too tired. Thankfully, I have a VO2 max measurement from a year before, and I'm partaking in this study in a month that will measure my VO2 max again. Hopefully the comparison will show some good gains.

My footwork is also faster than before and getting to where it was during my high school years. Whereas until 3 months ago I would usually guard a not so slow or fast player on the opposite team, I'm now often the one defending against the point guard, which requires quick feet.

And when it comes to swimming... well let me not bore you anymore. You get the point.

As for diet, only in the past 4 weeks have I started paying attention to what I eat. I take roughly 3000 calories a day on weight days (3 days a week), with at least 200g of protein. Weight days tend to be medium carb, low fat, and medium protein. On non-weight days (including rest days), I take around 2000-2500 calories, with low carbs, low-medium fat, and medium-high protein. A typical meal would look like 6-10oz of lean ground beef cooked with 1-2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables. If it's a carb day, then I'll add some white rice or maybe a potato or two, or have two slices of bread with cheese.

I did try to do some IF where I would eat only within an 8 hour window, but I find it hard to maintain that schedule because of my lifestyle. And until a month ago I never worked out in a fasted state, but I've tried that in the past 4 weeks (take 2 BCAA supps before workout only) and I've been fine. I think I even like it better this way.


After P90X? It's Crossfit time!


Thoughts on this?

Anyways, it was just 4 exercises: deadlifts, chinups, pendlay rows, and bench press. First two are are in 3 sets. Deadlift is 2 sets. First set is max effort at 3 reps. Drop the weight by 10% and do another set (+1 rep). Chins, 3 sets starting with 4 reps, then 10% less weight and 5 reps, and another 10% drop and 6 reps. Pendlay rows are 3 sets of 5 reps, and then 3 sets of chests and again with each set dropping 10% in weight and the 1st set being max effort.

Or maybe I should just stick to Starting Strength :slight_smile:


So you did P90X and went from 152lbs to 150lbs @ 15% bodyfat? No offense man, but you need to lift some heavy weights. 150lbs is very small.

You should look into starting strength, 5/3/1 or WS4SB cause you're in need of some muscle (assuming your goal is to lift and look like you lift)