Gaining Weight Early in P90X
I get a lot of questions about gaining weight in P90X and they generally fall into two main categories. The first group of people are typically well into Phase II of P90X, start weighing themselves and can’t figure out why their weight loss has stalled or they’ve actually gained weight. The second group of people are the ones I want to talk about in this post. They get to the end of Week 1 of P90X (or Insanity or whatever program they are doing) and jump on the scale with a ton of anticipation only to find they’ve gained some weight. What’s typically going on is entirely different than the people who have been at it for a while – and can be harder to understand/accept. So, let’s talk a little bit about gaining weight early in P90X.
My First Week of a P90X Hybrid Workout
I just started Week 2 of modified round of P90X that I’m calling the P90X and Cycling Hybrid Workout. When I started, I was a svelte 160.6 pounds. At 5’9″, and a cycling junkie, I like that number. I’m light enough for the climbs, but can still muster up power when I need it. Further, it is my “level.” If I workout regularly and eat well, that’s basically where I find myself [give or take 2 or 3 pounds]. It’s been like clockwork for about three years now.
Well, guess what? This morning I checked in at 167.1 pounds. [Gulp.] Did I freak out? No. I didn’t freak out because I have a pretty good grasp on what’s happening with my body. I know that my body will find its level soon and I know not to trust the scale as my only source of information. So, what is the explanation? Like any smart Beachbody Coach, I consulted the experts. You can read about it here:
The Evil Dictator: The Scale
So, now that you know this information, don’t be surprised if your body reacts this way. I know mine has been. I can feel it. It’s a combination of inflammation and water retention. I feel like I’m sloshing all over the place. It would be sad if I let the scale rule my life. What I know is that the scale is only giving me one metric, which is total weight. The scale doesn’t tell me how much of that total weight is fat, or muscle, bone, or…water. That’s why it is the most evil of dictators. It uses misinformation to control your life.
Here’s another confirming factor. I lost four pounds over the course of the day. If you weigh yourself regularly, you know that you’ll typically weigh less in the morning and a few pounds more as the day goes on [unless you exercise, of course]. After I got home from doing P90X Chest & Back, I checked in at 163 pounds. That tells me my body is doing exactly what Chalene talked about. Further, I this is nothing new for me. As I switch exercises dramatically, particularly when I go to a strength training based routine, my body responds this way.
Don’t be surprised or worried if you are gaining weight early in P90X. It will pass. It’s just the body’s way of trying to protect you. For all it knows, you are doing all this exercise because there is a huge flood coming and you are working to protect your house. The body has a lot of protective instincts. Just go with it. Water—and your body—always finds its level.