P90X and Cycling Training Program
The first step of recovery is admitting that you have a problem, so I am now declaring it here – I am addicted to cycling. I love to watch it and I love to do it. My forays into the realm of triathlon are exciting, but I’m the most content when I’m charging up a hill with my heart rate pegged at 180 bpm. With that in mind – and with some consideration of my recent discussions with Steve Edwards, Director of Results for Beachbody – I set out to put together a P90X and Cycling training programthat would help me become a stronger cyclist and build strength in neglected areas (e.g. upper body and flexibility).
Now, I’m not the smartest bear in the woods, but I do know a few things. First, any hybrid plan that I come up with will need adjustment along the way. Second, consultation with experts in the field is always a good thing. Third, I need to have a way to measure whether things are working. And, finally, accountability is the hallmark of any good fitness program. (We’ve got some great accountability resources associated with our FREE Coaching Program.)
A Little Help from a Friend
Enter Ryan Chapman of TriBase Training. I’ve known Ryan since early 2010. We originally met in a P90X forum on Facebook. Being triathletes, we hit it off. One of the things that I love about this business is that I get the opportunity to connect with people like Ryan. He’s got a pretty incredible story. At his heaviest, Ryan was about 260 pounds. He got into triathlon, but quickly realized that the body weight to power ratio is a very important factor [basically, the lighter you are, the easier it is to propel your body places]. So, he decided to do P90X and dropped down to 188 pounds. Of course, that’s only half the story because, as you can see from his transformation story, he built muscle and burned fat during that time lowering his overall body fat percentage. Ryan is currently about 170 pounds. That’s a 10 year old child [90 lbs] away from where he was when he started! Along the way, he became a certified Total Immersion Teaching Professional, a certified USAT Level I triathlon coach, and a Heart Zones Certified Personal Trainer. So, the guy knows a thing or two about these things.
Ryan recently came up with what he is calling the Ultimate P90X Hybrid Program. The description is pretty accurate. The program uses the Classic P90X schedule as a base, and replaces select workouts with some from Insanity The Asylum, P90X One on One, RevAbs, and a few swim/bike/run ones. When Ryan approached me with the schedule, I was a little intimidated to be honest. I’ve been drilling it on the bike in preparation for my recent Team Beachbody Chairman’s Adventure. My cycling fitness is good, but I really do need to work on my weaknesses and develop the supporting muscles in my body. It’s a good time to do that. So, I’m taking Ryan’s schedule and tweaking it a little bit to fit a into my schedule and increase the cycling to twice a week [you have to do what you love]. Rather than set out all 90 days of the schedule right now, I’m just going to go week by week. As I noted above, any hybrid plan I come up with will need adjustment along the way. So, with that in mind, here’s what’s on tap this week:
P90X and Cycling Training Plan
Monday: P90X Chest & Back and Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: Intervals on the bike – 20 miles of flats, .5 mile sprints, followed by .2 mile recovery breaks. It’s like Insanity on a bike. There are fun rides and grueling rides. This one is a bit of a monster. I may go for a short run afterwards, depending on how I feel. I’ll mix in more and more of these types of workouts as we progress. Ryan will be doing Vertical Plyo from Insanity the Asylum.
Wednesday: P90X Shoulders & Arms and Ab Ripper X
Thursday: Yoga. Time for yoga to be back in the rotation.
Friday: P90X Legs & Back
Saturday: Rest day (I’ll need it for Sunday!)
Sunday: Hills on the bike. I’ll head out to the East San Diego County and ride a series of Category 3 hills. It’s a bunch of 3 to 5 mile climbs that are just a blast. Ryan will be doing a BRICK (bike/run) workout. My legs will be goo after the hills.
So, there’s the schedule. This is very much a base phase. I’m trying to get in a little of everything and go from there. As we progress, the workouts will begin to focus on developing explosive power. I’ll back off the strength training [particularly the upper body stuff] in later phases and focus on workouts from Insanity and Insanity The Asylum that are designed to develop that sort of power.
There is an Olympic distance triathlon on October 16th that I’m considering doing to gauge my fitness level, so I’ll need to do some longer workouts as well. Oh, and Shaun T is coming to San Diego on November 12th, so I need to be ready for that punishment.
P90X and Cycling Training Nutrition
Nutrition is always an important component of any fitness program, so let me talk about that quickly. I’m a big believer in the Primal Blueprint or Paleo Diet. Basically, a diet where you don’t eat grains (because they’re crap). However, I realize that this workout plan is going to require more carbs (particularly in later phases) than would be considered purely “Primal.” (Hopefully the “bug eaters” will forgive my chronic cardio sins.) That doesn’t mean I can’t stop eating grains. There are plenty of carbs in fruits and veggies and my plate will remain very colorful. On the days I’ve earned it, I’ll use the P90X Results and Recovery Formula and I’ll continue to use Shakeology on a daily basis. My main focus is always on carb intake. On active days, I’ll increase my carb intake and I’m always mindful to use carbs to fuel up for workouts and to recover. That’s what they are for, so that’s how I use them.
This morning my weight was 160.6 pounds. At 5’9″, I’m pretty happy with that weight. I’d like to maintain it, but swap out some fat for muscle. I’m not going to obsess about a few pounds, but if I don’t want to get up over 165 (the power/weight ratio is important to me).
Right now, my max heart rate is 187 bpm. I’d love to increase that. I can ride at about 165 bpm for 2+ hours without too much trouble, but I believe that I go anaerobic at about 175 bpm. That’s about when I really need to start watching the clock and make sure I get out of that zone within 10 minutes or so.
I’m looking at power meters this week as well. Performance is what I’m concerned about and a power meter would give me some very objective power numbers to see if all this is working or if I’m just looking prettier than usual.
Back to Work
So, there we go. Summer vacation is over. It was incredible and I enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve learned that when you are presented with an opportunity to experience something, you’ve got to fully experience it. Hence, there was a lot of food and wine in France! It’s all part of the experience, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s important is that you understand when to get off the merry-go-round and get back to work. For me, that day is today.
I’ll be filming some YouTube videos pretty regularly, so check me out there.