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I'd like to do a 'Summer transformation' over this summer vacation (I'm sure that's not a new concept). I'm male, 16, 5'9, and 167.5 lbs. I'm not overweight, but I'm got stomach fat, and I'd rather have a 6 pack than 6 pounds (who wouldn't?).

I'm not doing anything in June, so the ability to completely control my amount/type of food consumption and exercise is completely at my disposal. I have pretty much the same amount of time in July, minus a few weeks for vacation. I don't really know how many pounds I should lose, nor am I concerned. I'd just like to rid myself of all the (excess) fat and gain some muscle.

I'm also looking at P90X, because I've got 90 days and all the reviews I've read about it say it's legitimate and fantastic, you just need to stick to it.

Any help?

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Is a 6-pack your primary goal? If so, focus more on eating correctly and less on a specific program. For instance, try limiting fat to 30g a day for 30 days and avoid any sweets, alcohol, and processed foods. –  Ryan Miller Jun 8 '11 at 2:59
    
+1 for P90X!!!! –  Chris Pietschmann Jul 14 '11 at 4:27

4 Answers 4

If you're still a beginner, you'll grow and lose fat on pretty much any routine for like the first 6 months assuming your diet is in check. I would recommend a basic strength training program and cardio on your off days. P90X is not necessary, and personally I think it kind of stinks.

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I'd be curious as to why you dislike P90X? "Stinks" isn't a reason. Have you tried the workouts? Just curious... –  Chris Pietschmann Jul 14 '11 at 4:33

As far as a diet plan, I highly recommend The Whole30. It is a 30 day challenge with a paleo-centric focus, and is basically described as:

Cut out all the inflammatory, insulin-spiking, calorie-dense but nutritionally sparse food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be provoking. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.

Not only will it allow your body time to heal, but will also cause your body to drop excess fat quickly. I've done this myself and can't express enough how amazing it makes you feel.

For a fitness plan, I recommend Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint Fitness. It focused around 5 essential full-body movements, and is designed for beginners and advanced persons alike. It does not require any expensive equipment and is extremely effective. I have also been following this plan and love it. If you are looking to eventually get into P90X and have little experience working out then I definitely recommend starting here. P90X is hardcore and I don't know anyone who started with it as a beginner and made it all the way through.

If you want to read more about the style and affects of P90X and CrossFit (another hardcore fitness program), then I recommend this article from Mark Sisson where he goes into great detail about the benefits and possible downsides to both.

Enjoy changing your life!

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I've had good experiences with Nate Green's Hero Workout. It's a 3-month program covering diet and exercise, focusing on initiating a full lifestyle change. The workout itself is pretty intense, but not brutally so. It took me about an hour per day.

There's also You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren and Joshua Clark. It covers 4 full bodyweight programs of increasing difficulty, nutrition, and the mechanics behind the exercises. Highly recommended. Especially if you're crunched for time or cash.

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One possibility is the Body4Life program. It too is 90 days (to start), but gears you to a lifestyle change. I did it about 10 years ago and went from ~165 lbs to ~152 lbs and from 15% body fat to about 4% body fat.

P90X is intriguing. But, I know a half-dozen people who started the program and didn't get past the fourth week for various reasons. I don't know anyone who actually finished the full 90 days. Something to think about. Also, when I looked into P90X about 2 years I ago, I swear I read that P90X should be done AFTER completing a easier program that the same company offers. But, I can't find that now.

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Thanks. Do you say completely nay on P90X, or there's a slight chance to go for it? Also, if I may ask you to elaborate, what various reasons... did they experience any injuries/severe pain? –  Brandon Jun 8 '11 at 4:46
    
If P90X excites you, give it a go. I'm not saying there is anything inherently wrong with it. I think most people got "bored" with P90X believe it or not either because of doing the work outs solo or they were tired of being inside. –  Ryan Miller Jun 8 '11 at 12:41
    
P90X is a good, but @Ryan is right, they did have a previous program, without the X. There is a pre test to see if you are fit enough for it, but I didn’t see that until I had ordered it. It can be too Xtreme if you are not already in relatively good shape. Another big problem is their aggressive up-sales. I found additional charges (free month of something that goes on to become a monthly charge) on my credit card months after purchase. I had to work to get them reversed. They said they had to listen to a tape of my order. If you do order, clearly say what you are and are not paying for! –  BackInShapeBuddy Jun 8 '11 at 21:35
    
Don't get scared off by @BackInShapeBuddy's description of the ordering process for P90X from BeachBody. Just make sure you read carefully what you are ordering. P90X is a great program, and I didn't pass the fit test when I started. When I started I couldn't do a single pullup and was extremely sore the first couple weeks. I kept pushing play and pushed through it and now am in considerably better shape than before. I haven't gone through a straight 90 days yet, and have started 2 seperate times. Who cares though, it's about fitness not 90 straight days. The P90X workouts are awesome!! –  Chris Pietschmann Jul 14 '11 at 4:31

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