“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.
As you all know, when I first started the program, I was pretty out of shape, and could barely make it through Plyometrics, Kenpo, or Cardio X without taking a few breaks. Those cardio workouts are very tough, and were more than enough for me, someone just starting out! For the first 2 months, I stuck to ONLY those cardio workouts and lost 20 pounds! I didn’t start running until about day 70, and that was added twice a week along with the resistance workouts. NEVER during the first round of the X did I add an additional cardio on cardio days.
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 overtraining. I have personally overtrained twice so far, and is something I don’t want any of you to experience. I was completely exhausted, had no motivation, couldn’t sleep, and had an increased resting heart rate. I literally had to have 3-4 days of complete rest to recuperate.
As you all know, doing an extra cardio is now a daily habit for me. I am 6 months into the program though, and in very good shape, and I can do these extra workouts without feeling exhausted or worn down afterwards. My body allows me to do this!
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. I believe you all should wait till after day 60 to add an additional cardio workout every day. 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. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.