P90x Lean Vs Classic: Which Is Right For You?

The first decision you’ll have to make when you start doing P90x is which variation of the program you’re going to try: Classic, Lean, or Doubles.  Doubles is typically done by people who are already in pretty kickass shape (athletes or people who have completed the Classic version), so most people opt for one of the other two.  This article is going to take a look at the differences between P90x Lean Vs Classic, and hopefully help set you on the right path towards meeting your fitness goals IN JUST 90 DAYS!

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P90x Classic Vs Lean: The Major Differences

The official guide says the Classic Version is for people looking to add strength and muscle while burning fat, while the Lean Version is mostly for people who are more interested in just burning fat.

There are a few little adjustments to the schedule over the course of the 90 day program, but there are two big, main differences.  For one, you’ll be replacing Plyo X with Cardio X.  And every week, you’ll swap out one strength training and one ab workout for Core Synergistics.

But What’s That Mean For Me?

I talk more about the science behind it in my article, P90x For Weight Loss, but basically, by swapping out some of those strength training exercises, you’re putting less resistance on your muscles, so they don’t need to build themselves back up bigger and stronger than before.  You’re still burning the hell out of your fat, but instead of adding some weight back as muscle, you’ll just be straight up losing weight.  Again, I’d like to point you to my weight loss article to find out how to maximize weight loss on the program.

I’d also like to point out that building muscle actually boosts your metabolic rate, meaning you’ll START BURNING CALORIES ALL THE TIME!  I want to emphasize that you will lose a lot of weight on the Classic version, and probably roughly the same amount of fat, but you’ll be replacing some of that with muscle.

A Couple More Things To Consider…

I know time can be an issue these days in our multitasking-everyting society, and P90x Lean does take slightly less time.  Very slightly, honestly, but if you’re seriously always on the go, and every minute counts, this may help you out a little bit.

Lean is also less intense.  No, it’s not what I would call easy.  It is still going to take a lot of drive and determination to make it through, but a lot of people try out the Lean Version first just because it’s a little less intimidating than the Classic Version.  Many people find themselves wanting to go through the Classic version soon after doing the Lean.  Remember: because of Tony’s technique of Muscle Confusion, you’ll get increasing benefits by repeating the program.

So, Which Should I Pick, P90x Classic Or Lean?

For most people, what it really boils down to is their fitness goals.  Do you want to build muscle, get stronger, tone up, boost your endurance and confidence, or do you want to do all of that minus the building muscle part?  That’s really the crux of the P90x Lean Vs Classic issue.

Oh, this is probably a good time to point out that women don’t need to worry about getting all bulky like guys who do the Classic program.  Check out my wife’s article on P90x for women, but basically a woman’s body just doesn’t respond the same way to the exercises.  Women need not choose Lean just to avoid getting buff, as the program will shape, tone and define their muscles, and leave them looking absolutely feminine.

I would recommend most people start with the Classic Version.  While my wife got really good P90x Lean results, I would mainly recommend it to just a few very specific groups of people.  If you’re not sure if you can handle classic, try Lean first.  If time is a huge, huge issue, and you honestly need to save 15 minutes here and there, go with Lean.  If you’re absolutely comfortable with your muscularity, or just need to see your scale giving you rapidly dropping numbers, Lean is also for you.

If you end up giving P90x a shot (which you can RISK FREE right now at the official site), you’ll get the Fitness Guide which will give you a little more information on altering the program to meet your needs and goals.  Part of the reason the program has been around and going strong so long is because of the customization options: P90x can work wonders for anybody willing to put in the time.  I hope this article has helped you decide whether to choose P90x Lean vs Classic, and for more information you can click here to read my long P90x review.

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Hi, I’m Brian & together with my wife Lisa I set up this website to help folks who want to get fit, lean or bulk up but without having to dramatically change your current lifestyle.


Like you, we have busy lives and busy schedules so we’re always on the lookout for whatever can get us in the best shape in the least time and without having to go hit the gym.  Whatever your fitness goals, we hope you find something useful here and make sure to leave a comment in the Facebook Box below :)