Saturday, February 22, 2014

P90X3 and Running: A Perfect Combination

Cross-training, in addition to running, increases speed and endurance. Some people don’t think they have time to do a program like P90X while running.  Well, doing the original P90X program with the 60 minute workouts is tough, although possible, since I just did it.  While doing both I did have to cut down the amount of running I did.  Despite running less, I found I now run stronger and faster.  But there is an easier way to incorporate P90X into your running routine.  That’s P90X3!

What is P90X3?
P90X3 is a 90-day extreme fitness program created by Tony Horton.  It is designed to get you really fit in just 30 minutes a day.  It combines a highly structured, plateau-busting schedule with a variety of moves that keep every muscle challenged.
Anyone can do P90X3.  It is designed for beginning to advanced fitness levels.  Every workout includes modifications to accommodate all fitness levels.  P90X3 is a stand alone program, meaning you did not have to complete P90X or P90X2 in order to do P90X3. 
Facts about P90X3
           30 minutes long, including a brief warm up and cool down.
Optional 12 minute cold start warm up.  Great if you are working out early in the morning.

 It includes a nutrition plan that gets down to the basics of healthy eating.

 There are 16 workouts including cardio, mixed martial arts, agility and yoga.

 The Pilates workout is great for runners.

  Isometrics is a strength/balance/flexibility workout.  Another great one for runners.

  There are 4 programs to pick from: classic, lean, doubles or bulk (I would not recommend the latter 2 for runners).

 39 out of 40 people in the test group lost 10% of their body fat!

  Minimal equipment is needed.  Hand weights or resistance bands are a must.  A pull up bar is preferred but you can do modified moves. 

How Does Cross Training Help Running?

Mixes things up- I know I can get bored easily if I do the same workout every day.  Adding a different workout to your routines will keep things fresh.  P90X3 has a different workout every day so you’ll really be mixing things up by adding this to running.

Increases Flexibility- Incorporating yoga and Pilates, like the routines in P90X3, builds core strength and loosens the hips, hamstrings and calves.  This is very important to running efficiently.

Reduce the pounding- Let’s face it.  When you incorporate other workouts, you’re not pounding as much so you reduce the stress on your joints.

P90X3 Hybrid with Running
So you have a few ways to incorporate P90X3 into your running routine.  You can simply double up on some days.  That is the way I am doing it now.  I use running as a warm up on some days and I use it as a second workout on others and then include a long run on the weekend.  This doesn’t allow me for a rest day.  I don’t recommend that.  About every 20 days I feel it and just have to stop and do nothing.  Other than that I keep active every day. 

The other way to run with P90X3 is to do a hybrid.  Here is a sample schedule.  I can help you come up with a schedule if this is something you are interested in doing.

Hybrid Schedule Block 1
Weeks 1-3
Monday: Total Synergistics
Tuesday: Run
Wednesday: Agility
Thursday: Run and YogaX
Friday: Warm up run (1-2 miles) and CVX
Saturday: The Warrior and a long run
Sunday: Rest
Week 4
Monday: Isometrics
Tuesday: Run and dynamix
Wednesday: Accelerator
Thursday: Run and Pilates
Friday: CVX
Saturday: long run and YogaX
Sunday: Rest

Another Popular Program
I feel obligated to talk about another popular program with runners.  Some of you may have heard about Focus T25.  As I said, this is a popular program with runners.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s great.  I love it and recommend it to a lot of people.  I actually cross trained using Focus T25 when I was training for my Half Marathon in October.  But this program doesn’t build nearly the same amount of strength as P90X3 does.  They are both approximately 30 minutes, making them easy to incorporate into your running schedule but they help your running in different ways.  Focus T25 is more cardio based and is a great way to stay conditioned if you can’t get out during the winter and don’t have access to a treadmill.  If you are a beginner, Focus T25 will help you with breathing and your coordination.  That’s not to say an experienced runner won’t benefit from Focus T25 but if you are looking to improve your strength and speed, P90X3 is the program to do just that.

If you have questions about P90X3, send me an email.  I’d love to connect with you and get you started with P90X3. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

P90X - Les Mills Combat Hybrid: Fun and Effective

The last 90 days I did a P90X/Les Mills Combat hybrid.  I enjoyed mixing these two programs together. 

P90X is an "Extreme Home Fitness" program designed by Tony Horton and Beachbody.  If you are serious about getting in shape, this is a great tool.  There are a few "programs" to choose from -- Classic, Doubles and Lean.  I opted for the Lean program again because I wanted more a few more cardio workout days to incorporate running and do the Combat workouts.

What I really like about P90X is that there are different workouts each day.   It mixes it up so it’s not the same thing over and over again.  Tony Horton calls this concept “muscle confusion" but I call it “boredom prevention!”  There are 12 DVDs in the P90X program, each with a different workout.  Most are between 50-60 minutes long except Yoga X, which is 90 minutes and Ab Ripper, which is 15 minutes.   There are DVDs that focus on strength training; targeting parts of the body on different days, e.g., chest and back; shoulders and arms; legs and back; chest, shoulders and triceps; and back and biceps.  Then there are the cardio DVDs, e.g., Kenpo X (kickboxing), Cardio  X, and Plyometrics (jumping).  In addition, there is Yoga X, Ab Ripper, Core Synergistics and Stretching.  Not all of these were used in the Lean program, e.g., Plyo is not used (but I must say it is a great work out).

Note: For more information on P90X, see P90X Review

Les Mills Combat workouts are based on mixed martial arts such as:

  • Karate/Kung Fu

  • Jiu Jitsu

  • Capoeira

  • Muay Thai/Kickboxing

  • Boxing

  • Tai Kwon Do

There are 7 DVD and there is a lot of kicking, punching, blocking and striking in these workouts.  It is a great workout when you’re mad!  Just watch out for little kids and the family pet when you’re working out.

P90X is a proven program for me.  I did my first round of P90X last winter and had great results. 

Weight: lost 12 pounds
Waist: lost 2.5 inches
Hips: lost 4.5 inches (yippee!)
Chest: lost 2 inches
Arms: no change, but I have more definition
Legs: lost 1.5 inches (each leg)


This time around I wanted to do something different so I chose to do a hybrid.  I picked Combat because it was a Beachbody program I hadn’t yet.  Also, Kenpo X was my favorite cardio program in P90X and Combat is similar.

The hybrid worked out well for me.  I thought the two programs balanced each other out nicely.  I did all of the P90X strength training DVDs and Combat on the “cardio” days. 

However, things came up and I strayed a little from the hybrid format.  First, I wanted to incorporate more running.  Second, I became an INSANITY Certified Instructor and had to incorporate more INSANITY workouts on cardio days for practice. 

Overall I’d say that I got stronger.  I see a little more muscle definition.  I would have seen more if I was better about nutrition.  Results require a formula of fitness+nutrition+support = success.  I was able to do many more push-ups at the end of the 90 days and more “regular” push-ups vs. modified.  I was even able to do one unassisted pull up!  This is something that I am very excited about.

I didn’t lose weight but I did lose inches.   I lost 1 inch off of my hips and ½ inch off of my thighs.  Not bad.  I still have some more work to do.  I see more definition in my core, even though I didn’t lose inches. 

I also gained strength as I moved on in the program.  So can you.  Don’t be intimidated.  This really is a program for almost everyone if you modify it to your ability.  If you have questions about P90X or if you want to join my next challenge group, email me or comment below or visit  I’d love to help you get started.


Monday, February 3, 2014

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