One of the reasons P90X2 is so evolved from other training systems is due to the relationship with Dr. Marcus Elliott and his P3 training facility in Santa Barbara, California. P3 only trains serious athletes, and with Elliott's aid, P90X2 was able to incorporate many of what P3 considers to be the more important factors in avoiding injury and altering athlete performance.
For example, the third training phase revolves around something called post-activation potentiation (PAP), which Elliott and his staff have been perfecting for years. Essentially, the P90X2 test group included some of the world's best athletes who were looking for an extra edge.
How P90X2 Fits into Your Schedule
As an endurance athlete, especially one with a job, family, etc., scheduling is important. While P90X2 is a 90-day program, it's been created with variables in mind. Specifically, each phase can be extended or shortened to fit your personal schedule. Many people with different goals and schedules can do the program. Thus, you can fit P90X2 into your season no matter what your schedule is like.
That said, the program is intense and for best results should be done in the offseason. As with any training that changes your body composition, the longer you give yourself to integrate sports-specific movement patterns with your new physique, the better.
P90X2 can also be used during the season, especially if don't mind having a few races with less-than-stellar results. How you abridge the program varies depending on personal schedules and goals, but there are a few things to keep in mind no matter who you are.
First, in order to adapt and benefit from a stage of targeted training, you need a minimum of three weeks. Adding a handful of random workouts into your training is only going to slow you down. If you want to benefit from these workouts, you'll need a minimum of three weeks and preferably longer. Otherwise you're better off sticking with your sports-specific schedule.
Second, growing muscles is a process. You will slow down as you start this program, especially in Phase Two. Plan for this as there is absolutely no way around it. In order for muscles to grow, fast-twitch fibers get broken down and, mainly, stay that way until fully adapted. Generally you need about two weeks after a program for your full contingency of fast-twitch muscle fibers to return.
Finally, you need build up to Phase Three. Don't dive straight into it, no matter how cool it sounds, or it will likely result in having the opposite of its desired effect. As Elliott says, "Once you adapt (to PAP training) you start to feel springy, loose." But as you adapt you'll feel broken down and slow. Any attempted racing during this period would be futile. Worse than slow, you'd be at high risk of injury since your body's state of breakdown will be at around the maximum it can handle.
P90X2 is one of the most exciting training creations for the weekend warrior, a perfect complement to sports-specific training and a great way help you reach the next level in your sport.
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Steve Edwards is the Director of Results at Beachbody. You can read more about using Beachbody products for outdoor sports on his blog, The Straight Dope, at steveedwardsfitness.com.