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Extra Cardio with P90X

“When should I start adding in an additional cardio workout along with the P90X workouts?” This is a common question that I get, and figured it would be great to address through a blog entry so all of you can have repeated access to it.

P90X is tough enough for 95% of people starting out. The program was designed to be used exclusively without adding anything extra. You could do P90X only and still lose weight and achieve your fitness goals. Kenpo X, Plyometrics and Cardio X are all top notch cardio workouts that should keep you struggling for some time. I started adding extra cardio only after I could get through all these workouts without having to take an extra break.

There is a problem I am seeing. Many of you want to add in running to your workouts immediately when starting the X. Why is this a bad idea? (1) More than likely you are not in the kind of shape to do that yet, (2) This significantly increases your chances of overtraining, and (3) This also increases the chances of you getting burnt out! You have to remember that your body is not ready for that amount of immediate stress, and will respond in a negative way, called over training. If you have experienced this before you will not want to experience it again.

For those of you who are ready I suggest doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) instead of the old fashion moderate cardio. Studies have shown that 20 mins of interval running is equivalant to 1 hour of moderate jogging. Intervals are a fast and intense way to add extra cardio into P90X to help burn fat while maintaining lean muscle.

So here is my advice. Start out following the X to a tee, and then after about a month or so, make the decision as to whether or not you want to add an additional cardio. If you do decide to, start out adding just 1-2 extra cardio workouts a week, only on resistance days. If you decide to add running, slowly increase the amount of time, distance, and how fast you run as you progress through the program. Try intervals. I believe you all should wait till after day 60 to add an additional cardio workouts. By this time, you should be in good enough physical condition to do this without wearing yourself down.

If you have any other questions about adding additional cardio workouts to the X, email me and I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

5 comments
ryan
ryan

hey sean, i was wondering if you can give examples of the HIIT you do? can it be done at a public park? thanks

Janean
Janean

Great advice Sean! Thanks for taking the time to answer a question that so many X'ers have!

Tiles 
Tiles 

the best cardio workout is of course running and jogging

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Ryan: The best part about HIIT training is it can be done with anything. I typically just sprint. I do a warm up, then do 30 sec sprints followed by 1 min walks back, then 30 sec sprint again. I do about 8-10 of those. then a cool down. You can do this with a bike, rowing machine, stairs, etc.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Janean: Thanks! Let me know what other questions you have about it.