P90X Advanced Tips and Advice

by on September 10, 2011

Okay so you graduated P90X and had fantastic results! Or maybe you’re results were so-so and you want to do better next time. In any case, use my P90X Advanced tips to get ripped, lean, cut, and to maximize your muscle gains!

First off, you should browse my P90X for Beginner tips because I’m assuming you have those basics covered. The tips outlined in this article are for people that want to further their goals and looking for specific, advanced workout techniques that will help get them there.

P90X Workout Tips

Create a Mind/Muscle Connection.

This tip is so powerful and has helped so many of my members, that I now place it first with basics. Whenever you do a rep, you should be fully aware and use the targeted muscle group. The best example is pull/chin ups. The most common mistake people make is to do pull/chin ups using their arms instead of their backs. We should all pretend our arms are dead weight and concentrate on using only our back muscles to lift. This will properly engage the back muscles and makes a huge difference in not only strength, but muscle improvement!

Track your Results.

This seriously helps set your goals for the next week. Don’t inflate your numbers to feel good. Only count reps of good, solid form. If you do rest pauses (go to failure, rest 10-15 seconds then do more reps), make note of that separately. Try not to do more than one rest pause per set to avoid the risk of overtraining. If you are a member of mine, contact me and I’ll send you an Excel sheet that make is easy to track your workouts.

Set your Targets and Make your Goals.

If you don’t know what you did the previous week, then you risk the chance of repeating your previous results. Every week you should have a goal which is generally to do a few more reps than the previous week.

Your Goal is the number you want to hit for the day, but your Target is the number you think in your head while doing the exercise. Most everyone has the annoying habit of stopping too early. By thinking of a number beyond your goal, you may stop early of your target, but instead you actually hit your intended goal! Try it—it works!!

Avoid Plateaus.

What were you rep ranges like last round? Hopefully you were improving each week and not stalled with the same weight and rep range. It’s always a good idea to start with lower weight and work your way up. I prefer to begin with weight numbers about a week behind my final results of my last round. Starting off heavy leaves little room for improvement.

Break Plateaus.

Hopefully, you never reach a plateau, but if find your goals are the same for 2 weeks in a row, you may have hit one. Here are some great Plateau breaking techniques:

Emphasize Strength.

Reps of 4-6 or negative reps are both great for boosting strength when you need to break past a plateau. Negative reps are where you concentrate on the “reverse” or “down” (eccentric) motion. Do your normal 2 second rep, but then come down in a long 5 second motion. These are HARD, but are great for boosting strength and pair up nicely with the 4-6 range since the higher intensity should cause your rep range to drop. If you don’t use negative reps, you must use a heavier weight that forces you to end in the 4-6 range.

Emphasize Endurance.

The endurance range is 20-25 reps with light weights. Ordinarily, you don’t want to go over 15 reps with any set, but 20-25 puts more work on the muscles. If I ever go for Endurance sets, I like to go fast with my reps to engage the Fast Twitch muscle fibers (and burn more calories!).

Alter your rest periods.

Try taking longer breaks or even shorter breaks to add some muscle confusion.

Advanced techniques.

These should be done sparingly so as to not overtrain. If you choose to use these I would highly recommend you only do them on second sets or you risk doing too much.

Drop Sets.

A drop set is where you go to failure, drop the weight and immediately pick up about 25% lighter weights and go to failure again. Drop the weight and pick up about 25% lighter weights and repeat one last time. Now you should be toast!

Rest Pause.

A rest pause is where you go to failure and rest 10-15 seconds then pick up the same weight and go to failure again.

P90X Nutrition

P90X Recovery Drink.

Use it! It not only helps prevent muscle loss, it helps to promote muscle gain and restore energy levels! you can read my full P90X Recovery Drink review here.

Fat Shredder?

The number one nutrition question I’m asked by P90X grads is whether to start the next round with the Fat Shredder plan. The leaner we are, the more muscle we have, and the higher our metabolism, the more carbs we must have for energy. So for most cases, I advise P90X grads to NOT do the Fat Shredder plan. By graduating P90X, you have altered your metabolism/body and it will not like a low carb plan and you will likely find lack of energy. If you are coming off a long break, you can start with the Fat Shredder, but be ready to switch to the Phase 2 balanced plan.

Monitor your weight loss.

“Wait, what?! I thought we were supposed to ditch the scale?” Since you are all now veterans, it’s a good idea to do scheduled weigh ins. The reason why I advise beginners to ditch the scale is because they are generally skeptical of the program and obsess over the “numbers.” P90X grads have experience and know we gain muscle while losing fat and can assess their progress reasonably well. If you are trying for a calorie deficit then weekly weigh ins with the knowledge of body changes (increased muscle) can help you make any adjustments you may need.

Shakeology Cleanse.

Every Recovery Week I ALWAYS use Shakeology for the last 3 days, if not more. It makes perfect sense during Recovery Week because the workout intensity is lower. Shakeology helps me shed a little extra weight, but more importantly, re-energizes me for the next Phase. I HIGHLY recommend it to P90X Grads because Recovery Weeks are generally ‘easy’ and can soften the motivation going into the next phase.


Recovery week is also a perfect time to try “Cycling.” Cycling is changing one standard to another to promote confusion. There are nearly unlimited ways to cycle such as nutrition, workouts, etc.

One of my favorite exercise cycling methods for Recovery week is to skip the preworkout meal. I go protein only before my workout to force it to burn more fat. This is a very popular, short term, cycling method among bodybuilders. I change my preworkout from one scoop of P90X Recovery Drink to 10g whey protein. (Special note: I ALWAYS do this on every Yoga day throughout the program too)

Also, do whatever you feel like for the last week of the program! Ignore that last “Recovery Week” and BRING IT!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike G. December 2, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I’ve learned a few good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting! I’m surprised at how much effort you place to make this kind of site.


superdave December 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Thanks Mike. Be sure to check back on the main site for more reviews, updates, and in depth nutrition and fitness articles. Also, sign up for your FREE membership and I will personally assist you in your P90X goals!



Ned December 15, 2011 at 5:53 am

Hello there, You have performed an incredible job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this web site.


superdave August 17, 2012 at 9:30 am

Good work Dan. These tips should help you break those muscle plateaus we were talking about!


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