I get asked this question everyday. Which is better, P90X or the Insanity Workout? Which will give me the results I need? A little thought quickly reveals this question as impossible to answer without a few qualifications. Think about it: depending on your goals, body composition and workout experience, you’ll do better with one or the other. What I end up doing is giving a clear list of what each workout is good at, and then letting the person figure out if that’s what they’re looking for. I’m going to do that right here, spell out the differences, and let you guys answer that question for yourselves.
Which is the most extreme?
They’re both extreme. Both require that you workout six days/week, for two to three months straight. Both will take your body from zero to 60mph without almost any warm up. Both, when coupled with correct nutrition, will deliver extreme changes to your body composition. Each has workouts that will pummel your body, leave you sweating and exhausted and sore the next day.
But what people don’t always appreciate is that the truly extreme nature of these workouts is the commitment they require. The exercises themselves are incredibly tough, true, but what is really challenging is the mental commitment they demand. Few people have the ability to workout six days/week, week after week, month after month. The vast majority of people I speak to quit by month three. The change to their life style is simply to extreme, and that is why these workouts are the toughest out there.
Which will help me lose weight the quickest?
Insanity will. Now hold up, it’s not that simple. Insanity is designed to be a full body workout that is based on plyometric jumping drills, interval training and intense cardio that remains below the bleeding edge of anaerobic the entire time. The nutrition plan is designed to put you at a caloric deficit. You simply burn through tons of calories, and then replace them with just a little less than you need. As a result, while your legs and glutes will grow conditioned, and your shoulders, chest and triceps to a lesser degree, the fat should simply melt off you.
P90X, on the other hand, is designed with a different purpose. The nutrition plan is designed to help you change your body composition, not just just lose weight. Which means you will be eating to build muscle, not just lose fat. It’s designed with a heavy dose of resistance training, again so that you build muscle, not just lose fat. If your sole goal is to lose weight, then P90X might upset you, as you look at the scale and see that the pounds are simply not dropping off. Which leads us to the next question.
Which will help me bulk up and grow stronger?
P90X. For exactly the same reason you won’t be losing weight. Instead, you’ll be gaining lean muscle mass, exchanging that fat for muscle so that while your weight doesn’t drop as quickly (muscle is denser than fat, and so less of it weighs just as much), your strength will go up and your body shape will change. That is, by the way, one of the best indicators of success for a fitness program–not how much you weigh, but how you look in the mirror. P90X will help you change your whole body by adding muscle and losing weight, not only to your lower body like Insanity focuses on, but to your upper body as well.
Which is the hardest on your body?
The Insanity Workout is. Given the amount of jumping and cardio you do each week, it’s absolutely rough on your joints. Knees and ankles take a daily pounding, and unless you’ve prepared by buying excellent cross trainers, a yoga mat and take glucosamine/collagen type II supplements, the odds of your developing joint pain are high. If you’re young, in your 20’s and very athletic, you’ll probably be fine. But those who are older, out of shape, very heavy or already have joint issues will have problems if they’re not careful.
P90X is also tough on your body. You’ll burn and ache and sweat like never before. But the intensity is distributed around your body, split up amongst the different areas, giving your body time to recover.
Which will give me the most energy, make me feel the best?
They both will. It’s that simple. If you eat right, if you sleep right, and do this workout properly, your body will change, your energy levels will go up, and you’ll feel great (especially when you hit the beach).
Which requires the least equipment?
Insanity does. All you need are the DVD’s, a yoga mat and good shoes. P90X requires either free weights or resistance bands, a pull up bar, and a yoga mat at the very least.
So there you have it. If you’re looking for a cardio based, weight dropping workout that will challenge your mind and body like nothing you’ve ever done, than Insanity is the way to go. If you’re looking to gain muscle, to get strong and condition your whole body, than P90X is your ticket.
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