Review of the P90X and Insanity Workouts

A few Things to consider If You’re In The Beginning Stages

Both programs include variety and intensity, yet in different ways.

P90X offers various programs to allow for different levels of intensity dependent upon your fitness level. They’re called:

  • Lean (Beginner)
  • Classic (Regular)
  • Doubles (Advanced workout calendar has AM AND PM workouts)

The fact is that, the level of variety within P90X provides for a more complete package for extended term results instead of the immediate goal of shedding weight. Many individuals claim that, especially in the first month, “the scale will probably be your enemy”. Most likely, you’ll see a small amount fat burning during the first month of the program.

The theme of “Functional Fitness” is definitely big right now within the fitness industry and I’d have got to say that P90X is superior in that respect over Insanity. The main focus to the core of the body in addition to yoga and pull-ups really offers a complete package.

However, if cardio improvement will be your primary goal, then Insanity wins every time. P90X Plyometrics is really a top notch workout, but after my first month of Insanity, doing P90X Plyo was sort of a recovery day to me.

Diet is important.

P90X also includes a diet program guide, which, on a high-level is structured in the following manner:

  • 1st Phase – Carb restrictive (1st four weeks)
  • 2nd Phase – Added Carb intake for extra intensity (Halfway through the program for 4 weeks)
  • 3rd Phase – A lot of whole carbs to have you push your level of intensity over the top
  • Final Phase – Increased volume of fuel to take into account the bigger demands on your body (Last 5 weeks)

Insanity also provides a very detailed nutrition guide that they summarize as:

  • Month 1 – Start Eating (1500 – 2500 calories/day)
  • Month 2 – Eat More (Month 1 + an increase in complex carbs)

I must confess I didn’t really follow the diet plan very closely for either program. I just made an effort to eat good food and get lots of rest during the entire 90-day program.

So, which is better for you, Insanity or P90X?

That’s a difficult question to answer without analyzing your personal fitness goals. Insanity and P90X each bring something completely unique to the table, and, in turn, they address different fitness demands. It is recommended to take into account what sort of results you expect and your current fitness level, which means the system that’s good for one person is not necessarily a good choice for someone else.

P90X Focuses on Functional Fitness

P90X really is a total body workout that features resistance training as well as some aerobic training with different days of the week concentrating on different groups of muscles. P90X offers resistance training workouts every second day, with each of these workouts concentrates on a specific area of one’s body. On the non-strength training days, aerobic activities or yoga are scheduled. But don’t be fooled! This isn’t “Sweatin’ to the Oldies”. Unless you’re already in good aerobic condition, you’ll be left with rubber legs and also a big pool of sweat after your first round of Plyometrics.

Insanity Is focused on Cardio, Agility and Speed

Insanity isn’t a full body conditioning workout like P90X. Actually, many people on the Beachbody P90X discussion forum observe that as soon as they complete P90X and move on to Insanity, they rather quickly lose much of the breakthroughs in strength they achieved with P90X. Stating that, however, it would be a mistake to believe that Insanity is, somehow, easier than P90X. It’s not. It’s hard. It’s really hard.

From my own experience, I began Insanity about two weeks after I finished P90X and thought I was in not bad shape. Maybe I was, from a strength perspective. But I was completely blown away at how often I had to stop during my first Insanity workout. The warmup was more challenging than any complete P90X aerobic workout! Basically, I had to completely reset my goals entering Insanity and concentrate on a single workout at a time; taking fewer pauses during workouts; and taking satisfaction in seeing some extra pounds come off that hadn’t with P90X.

Consider this: some of the athletes in the Insanity workouts have to take multiple breaks and I believe I read they all had to complete this program twice before they appeared in the DVDs. Heck, even Shaun T. needs to have a break from time to time.

The Insanity workouts concentrate on max interval training and plyometrics.

The skills and fitness you achieve through these exercises are without a doubt reflected in any kind of aerobic task you take part in. From my own, personal perspective, I’m a cyclist and even though I saw no real immediate performance increases from completing P90X, I certainly noticed a rise in my capability to remain at an increased aerobic level on the bike for extended time periods after doing Insanity.

Workout Schedule for P90X

P90X breaks the 90-day program into three phases. For the first 3 weeks of the phase, you complete the exact same six workout routines with the seventh day being the optional stretch/rest day (you’ll need it). The 4th week is the recovery week in which you target stretching, yoga as well as some of the lighter aerobic workouts. Subsequently, you progress to the next phase of the program and your six workout sessions are modified or changed. This serves two objectives: It adds variety in your exercise program which prevents you from getting too fed up with listening to Tony repeat the same things repeatedly, and in addition it emphasizes one of the underlying physiological parts of the program which is muscle confusion.

Insanity Workout Schedule

Due to the shorter time period of the Insanity exercise program, things are structured just a little differently. You go hard for three days, and then the fourth day is a cardio recovery day. Then, for the next 2 days, you go hard again, and the seventh day is a rest/stretch day.

Following the first 30 days, the workouts increase the duration and intensity, yet still stick to the same on/off schedule as phase 1.

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