P90X2: A Home Fitness Program Designed For Endurance Athletes

The efficiency of training at home is very appealing, especially for endurance athletes who'd prefer to spend the bulk of their sport's specific training outside.

Unfortunately, many home training systems have focused more on looking good at the beach than on functional movement. P90X2 changes the trend with a scientific system specifically designed to create better motor function and movement patterns. It can be a great asset for the time-crunched athlete looking for offseason strength gains.

The reason many home fitness programs haven't been great for endurance athletes is gravity. The programs focus primarily on muscle building because it's the quickest way to lose weight and change your body composition. But excess muscle can weigh an endurance athlete down, and it's something to remain conscious of even during sport-specific weight training. While body composition change is also a component of P90X2, this change comes as a by-product of P90X2's physiological target areas and focus: improvements in strength, speed, balance and mobility.

What is P90X2?

Like P90X, P90X2 is a 90-day video training program led by Tony Horton that's broken into three distinct phases. However, the phases in P90X2 are much more diverse and specifically targeted than those in the original.

Create Foundation

The first training block is about your base, or more specifically your attachment to the ground. This includes not only your legs but your entire kinetic, or movement, chain. There's a saying that goes, "You can't shoot a canon from a canoe." This means that if your base isn't solid, you are going to wobble. The goal of phase one is to help you create a solid attachment to the earth so that all other movements are done without compromising your form.

This phase focuses on hip and shoulder stability, a weakness that's found in a shockingly high percentage every demographic  tested, including professional athletes. Weakness in these areas can lead to improper biomechanics. Endurance athletes are especially susceptible as they often do thousands of repetitive movements over the course of one event.

Improve Strength

The next phase of P90X2 is meant to strengthen your foundation, which is where weight-dependent athletes need to be careful. Gaining too much mass too quickly can slow you down. These workouts use instable or athletic positions in order to more seamlessly integrate the strength gains into real world movements.

Some work in this realm can help any endurance athlete improve. The design of P90X2 allows you to tailor this phase to your individual goals, meaning you can keep muscle growth under control while still improving strength.

Engage Explosive Power

Finally, P90X2 focuses on performance. The goal of the final phase is to transfer the strength gains you've made into muscular efficiency. While explosiveness isn't a goal for many endurance athletes, muscular efficiency can enable you to engage higher threshold muscle cell motor units at lower aerobic outputs. If that description draws a blank, you'll probably understand this; muscular efficiency allows you to save precious glycogen stores for later points in a race, which is often the difference between finisher and medalist.

Use P90X2 Instead of Sports Specific Training

Sports-specific training is vital. You'll never be good at a sport unless you do it. But many high-level athletes focus much of their training at the gym, which is something weekend warriors should consider as well. Gym training enables you to control force loads without the variables of your sport. This is not only safe and effective, it's also time efficient. If that gym is in your house, negating all travel issues, the time element is further enhanced.

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