At home workout programs are becoming increasingly popular due to the rising cost of gym memberships, busy schedules and the convenience of being able to work out any time, day or night. When most people think of at home workout programs, the first two that come to mind are Beachbody’s P90X and Insanity programs. These two workout programs have made Beachbody a household name and have brought a whole new level of difficulty to DVD workout programs. The big questions are how do these P90X and Insanity compare, what the benefits of each program, are, how they differ and how they are similar. Read on for the most in depth comparison of P90X and Insanity you can find.
Introduction to Insanity
The Insanity Workout was created by renowned fitness trainer Shawn T. He is known as one of the most challenging fitness trainers on the planet and it is evident after watching him get you through just one of Insanity’s tasking workouts. The Insanity program is a 60 day workout regimen considered to be one of the most intense cardio workouts around. The basis of the Insanity workouts are maximum intensity interval training featuring high intensity exercises combined with slower paced exercises in between. With a constant heart rate change, the body is working at an optimal cardiovascular rate, efficiently burning fat and building lean muscle throughout each workout.
The workouts in the Insanity series are challenging and include very short periods of rest, if any. Although there is some strength training within the series, most of it is done with your own body weight. Exercises are done at a fast pace with fast transitions and hardly enough time to even grab a sip of water. This workout is, by far, one of the most physically challenging. By the end of the 60 day period, Insanity promises a leaner, lighter physique with improved strength, stamina, endurance and overall athletic performance.
Introduction to P90X
The P90X program was created by one of America’s most well known fitness experts, Tony Horton, after he was approached by Beachbody to help develop a new, innovative at home workout series. Beachbody wanted something different. They wanted an at home workout program that encompassed cardio, as well as a substantial strength training workout to help build muscle and increase size. Tony Horton delivered and created the 90 day at home workout program known as P90X. The P90X program features 12 workouts targeting specific body parts with several different fitness disciplines. P90X incorporates martial arts, yoga, plyometrics, strength training, ab work and resistance training into its program in order to give everyone that tries it the most comprehensive at home workout program available.
This at-home exercise program promises to give you the body of your dreams in only 90 days. The idea behind P90X is to shock the body with muscle confusion by interchanging workouts on a daily basis to avoid repetition. With repetition, the body gets used to what it is doing and that is when results cease. The variation training offered by P90X helps continuously change and improve the body, culminating in a lean, strong, built physique.
What Is Included with Each Program?
P90X is offered in three different packages. The difference in each package is the equipment that is included in each and, of course, also the cost. The Basic P90X package includes 12 P90X workout DVDs, a 3-Phase Nutrition Plan, the P90X Fitness Guide, a P90X workout calendar, worksheets to track your progress and the famous 24/7 online support that comes with all Beachbody products. The Deluxe includes all items in the Basic plus the P90X Chin-Up bar, three Pro-grade resistance bands and the P90X Results and Recovery Formula. The most comprehensive package, the Ultimate, includes all items that come in the Deluxe, along with five additional P90X workouts known as the Plus Workouts, Tony Horton’s Power Strands and the P90X Chin-up Max.
The Insanity Workout Program is considered more basic than the P90X program because there is little to no equipment necessary to complete the workouts. When purchasing the Insanity workout, you will receive the Dig Deeper Introductory DVD, 10 additional workouts, an Elite Nutrition Guide and a Wall Calendar with corresponding Fit Test Tracker to track your progress along the way. With P90X, there is a need for various pieces of equipment, such as a chin up bar and weights. With Insanity, however, there is nothing else needed besides a DVD player. The program uses the body’s own resistance for strength training and is very simple when compared to P90X.
P90X Cost vs. Insanity Cost
The cost for the three different packages offered with P90X are as follows: The Basic retails for $$119.85 plus $19.95 shipping and handling, the Deluxe is $239.70 plus $34.90 shipping and handling and the Ultimate is $329.55 plus $39.90 shipping and handling.
Insanity retails for $119.85 plus $24.90 shipping and handling. There is only one option offered when purchasing the plan since not much more than a DVD player and workout attire are needed to complete the program.
The high cost of P90X versus Insanity can be attributed to the equipment necessary to complete each of the 12 workouts in the P90X series. When comparing the two workouts, not including the additional equipment, the cost is the same. Equipment to do the P90X workouts can be purchased through Beachbody or at your local sporting goods store. Either way, however, it is necessary and brings the cost of the P90X program far above that of Insanity.
P90X Workouts vs. Insanity Workouts
When deciding to take on the P90X challenge, you can expect to workout virtually every day of the week with workouts lasting between 60 to 90 minutes. The seventh day will be the Stretch workout and is substantially easier than the other workouts in the series. It is considered more of a rest day but, since you are still expected to complete the Stretch DVD, it is still considered a workout day. The workouts are intense and will require various pieces of equipment that may or may not accompany the DVDs. Some of the equipment necessary is a pull-up or chin-up bar, various resistance bands, small dumbbells and a yoga or exercise mat.
The workouts included with the P90X program are:
- Core Synergystics
- Kenpo X
- Chest & Back
- Legs & Back
- Shoulders & Arms
- Backs and Biceps
- Chest, Shoulders and Back
- X Stretch
- Ab Ripper X
As you can see from the list above, the P90X workouts tend to focus on specific areas of the body. Instead of whole body workouts, P90X splits its workouts in order to work different parts each day of the week and usually with a different discipline. With P90X, you will be doing yoga, martial arts, kick boxing and weigh training all in the same week. Some workouts include plenty of cardio work as opposed to strength training and others are the opposite. P90X is extremely varied and, as previously mentioned, this is intentional in order to continuously shock the body and bring about constant change.
The Insanity plan involves six days per week of workouts lasting from 30 to 60 minutes each. Each DVD features a workout that combines very high, medium and low intensity activity with high intensity segments lasting approximately three minutes each. There are very short rest periods in between that last approximately 30 seconds. Most of the rest periods are not really rest periods at all. They involve slower paced exercises to help you catch your breath and start the high intensity segments all over again.
The workouts included with Insanity are:
- Dig Deeper DVD & Fit Test
- Plyometric Cardio Circuit
- Cardio Power & Resistance
- Cardio & Max Recovery
- Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs
- Core Cardio & Balance
- Max Interval Circuit & Fit Test
- Max Interval Plyo
- Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs
- Max Recovery
If you notice, one common theme amongst most, if not all, Insanity workouts it is the word “cardio”. Insanity is based on extreme cardio workouts that include plyometrics, core exercises, and strength training with your own body weight and balance work. Most Insanity workouts are about 45 minutes to an hour long, with some lasting up to 90 minutes.
One main difference between Insanity and P90X is that Insanity workouts tend to target the entire body. When you do an Insanity workout, you will feel sore all over the next day. The P90X workouts target specific body parts each day and, by the end of the week, each body part will be worked to the extreme. The main reason behind this is that these programs are two very different types of fitness regimens. P90X is more of a strength workout and strength training requires rest days for each muscle group. Insanity is cardio based and cardio can safely be done every day, as long as it is followed by proper stretching.
P90X Nutrition Plan vs. Insanity Nutrition Plan
Since almost 90% of the results you achieve with any program are based on your diet, it is essential to follow the nutrition programs that come with P90X and Insanity.
The P90X Nutrition Plan is made up of three phases. Phase 1is known as the Fat Shredder Phase and is comprised of a diet high in protein, minimizing carbohydrates and fats. This type of diet will produce quick weight loss while decreasing bloat and fluid retention. This phase is also crucial for fat burning since the body resorts to using fat stores for fuel as opposed to glucose. Phase 2 is the Energy Booster phase and will help improve energy by adding more carbs to your meal plan. The extra carbohydrates will give you added energy for improved performance. The third and final phase is referred to as the Endurance Maximizer. This phase increases carb consumption once again to give you the extra push necessary to make it to the end of the 90 day program. All three phases include plenty of lean protein and are comprised of healthy fats, vegetables and whole foods. The P90X nutrition plan does not give extremely specific guidelines on how long each phase should last because it recognizes that each person is different. In order to determine how long you should remain in each phase, you should gauge how you feel before and after each workout, compare the results you are seeing and determine how much fuel you need in order to complete the workouts.
The nutrition plan that accompanies Insanity is known as the Elite Nutritional plan. It includes a variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options for you to choose from and shows you how to combine foods to help your metabolism work at its peak. The plan is not necessarily a diet but instead a way of fueling your body to be able to endure the intense cardio workouts Insanity features. On the plan, you can expect to consume 5 meals per day, all approximately the same size and number of calories. Eating several times per day at specified intervals gives you the stamina necessary to carry you through the day, and also keeps your metabolism burning calories all day long. Since each individual has different caloric intake needs, the program includes ways to modify the plan according to your individual situation. You can add also“Food Blocks” to each of your meals to up your caloric intake if necessary. The meals are all balanced and are comprised of equal parts protein and carbohydrates with a maximum of 20% fat. Although there has recently been a low carb craze, the program advises against this and suggests that you balance your carbs and protein in order to maintain optimal blood sugar levels. During the first month on the Insanity Elite Nutrition Plan, you will choose five meals per day consisting of about 300 calories each. As you enter the second month on the plan and your body is burning calories more effectively, you may increase your caloric intake to help keep your body fueled for the more strenuous workouts ahead.
Both Insanity and P90X have every different nutritional plans and that is because they are very different type s of workouts. One similarity between the two is the ability to modify the plan according to your individual needs. This is something that sets Beachbody workout plans and their nutritional l programs apart from the rest. It recognizes that every individual is different and there is not one single plan that will apply to all.
The Bottom Line: P90X Typical Results vs. Insanity Typical Results
Results are what people are looking for when they purchase a workout program and both of these programs will give you very different but very noticeable results in your physique.
The P90X Program was designed to increase your overall strength, build your core, burn fat and help you achieve maximum results through repeated muscle confusion. Most people that decide to purchase and take on the P90X challenge are looking to lean up but also increase muscle and size. With that said, P90X is a program that is more popular with men than women. Most women want to lose weight, lower body fat percentage and decrease in size. Toned, lean muscles are definitely a plus for most women, but certainly not at the expense of gaining size. The exercises performed in the P90X workouts, such as pull ups and various types of push ups, are also difficult for the female body to do, especially in the quantity and speed expected throughout P90X workouts. Overall, P90X is an excellent workout program but definitely more appropriate for men than women.
The Insanity program is an overall excellent workout for both men and women. Although it will not increase size, this workout is one of the toughest on the market, and it is one that will get you to fitness levels you never envisioned were possible. It will lean you out, improve endurance, increase energy and improve your overall athletic performance in as little as two months. One other plus to the Insanity program is that anyone can do these workouts, regardless of fitness background, age, gender or athletic ability. Shaun T stresses this from day one and reminds you repeatedly in each DVD to work at your own pace and decide what your individual maximum capacity is. If you do the 60 day program two times, you will notice that your performance will have improved the second time around, as well as the third and fourth if you choose to continue.
There is no better or worse when it comes to these two top notch workout programs. Both are excellent ways to achieve fitness at home and both provide very different results for different types of people. It is up to you to decide which will better suit the fitness goals you are trying to achieve.
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