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p90x dvd set

Sometimes a workout program is so hot, you just have to try it out! That was the case with P90X.

P90X has nothing to do with cycling or endurance sports, but it’s extremely popular (perhaps due to the Saturday morning infomercials?) and comes in a 13-DVD set, so I figured there must be something to glean from it. I mean, everywhere you look people are posting their before and after photos, so people are either getting into great shape or greatly improving their Photoshop skills!

I picked up a set of P90X DVDs on eBay (only about $80 that way, instead of $140) back in 2010 and got to work. Here’s what I think…

What is P90X?

P90X is a workout program aimed at the general fitness enthusiast. It’s meant for someone who wants to develop a good looking, lean, and toned body in a short amount of time (90 days).

That means it’s not meant specifically for athletes who need to do sport-specific training. Sure, even athletes need to shed fat and increase strength, but sport-specific training is usually a better way to do that in the limited training time you have.

The package includes 13 DVDs, a workout chart, and a nutrition guide.

The DVDs are set up in a fitness studio and hosted by Tony Horton, a very charismatic trainer. The videos are a “follow along” style, making it feel like you are part of the class.

The program is based on the concept of “muscle confusion,” which basically means that you are always varying your workouts. The goal is to avoid plateaus (and boredom.)

p90x plyometrics screenshot

Why P90X Works for Endurance Athletes

At first glance, P90X looks like a general fitness routine, perhaps with a bodybuilding focus. And it is! But if you actually look into the specifics, you can see there are some benefits for cyclists, triathletes, and other endurance athletes.

Big Focus on Core Strength

The best thing about P90X is that there is a big focus on core strength throughout the program. Core strength is of the utmost importance for all athletes, but endurance athletes seem to ignore this type of training all the time!

Having a core workout program like this laid out for you is a huge benefit, because it means it’s more likely you will actually do the training.

Improve Flexibility and Range of Motion

The better your flexibility and range of motion, the better bike fit you will be able to get. What I mean is, you’ll be able to get into a more aerodynamic position on the bike before noticing any loss of power from your pedaling. And you’ll be a lot more comfortable, even if you get into what looks like an “extreme” position.

That is all “free speed,” kind of like losing body fat.

So definitely check out the P90X Yoga X DVD and try to do it year-round, preferably once a week.

Develop Explosiveness

In cycling, you need explosive power to launch your attacks and put the hurt on the competition. You also need to be able to do this repeatedly over the course of a race. My favorite way to develop this type of power is through plyometrics, and P90X offers a killer plyometrics workout DVD called Plyo X.

You might hate this workout because it’s so tough, but you’ll love it once you see the benefits!

Improve Mental Toughness

Stepping out of your comfort zone is a great way to improve mental toughness, and P90X is probably waaaayy out of your comfort zone!

That yoga workout I mentioned? It’s not time to relax! That is 90 minutes of power yoga! You need serious stamina and mental toughness to complete it!

Same with plyometrics – the workout is probably going to break you down. Keep at it and your mental toughness will shoot through the roof.

Have Some Fun

Most likely, you’re not a pro rider making enough money to live on. So why subject yourself to constant on-bike workouts, never doing anything fun? Especially in the winter when it’s always cold and dark outside?

Face it, pretty much any P90X workout is going to be more fun than riding your trainer alone in the basement!

You Don’t Have to Follow The Program Exactly

This is the real secret to P90X for endurance athletes. You can take the 90 day plan and throw it out the window!

This allows you to get the type of workout you want in the amount of time you have. Skip the bodybuilding-type resistance workouts if you want, and you’re left with an excellent follow-along core training routine. And like I said, the yoga and plyometrics workouts are awesome.

p90x long workout duration

Why P90X Sucks for Endurance Athletes

That all sounds great, but you have to be very careful if you try to add P90X into your current training plan. Here’s what to watch out for if you’re an endurance athlete.

High Volume Plans Require Lots of Time

P90X is a high-volume training plan. They have to pack a lot of training time into 90 days to make sure you’ll see results at the end.

If you follow their plan, it’s just too much to fit in with your cycling or running (not to mention work and family duties.) You won’t have time for it on top of your already scheduled cycling workouts.

You always have to ask yourself, “is this the most efficient way I could be spending my time?” If you want to win bike races, 90 days of off-bike training is probably not the way to go.

High Intensity Plans Require Extra Recovery

P90X is both a high-volume and a high-intensity program. Like I said, they promise results in 90 days, so they hit you with high volume, high intensity, and to top things off, a restricted diet.

These high intensity workouts require lots of extra recovery, which means more time between workouts, less stress in your life, more sleep, more supplements, and/or more professional massages.

Either make room for the added recovery or watch your cycling performance suffer.

My final verdict is…

P90X is not a cycling training program, and you should not buy it in hopes that it alone will improve your cycling performance.

But – it can be adapted into a great off-bike training program! You can use some of the DVDs (especially Yoga X and Plyo X) to supplement your cycling and improve your fitness, flexibility, explosiveness, and range of motion, which then improves your cycling indirectly.

It’s also an easy way to add variety to your off-season training – the follow-along format is a lot more fun and motivating than spending an hour alone in your basement lifting weights!

Official website: www.P90X.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Beach Body
Product: P90X Workout DVD Set
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2013-07-15
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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1 Comment
  1. Great article and yes P90x is the great workout plan to follow and I’ve been following the P90x for quite a while and now I can see the changes and I suggest everyone to follow it

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