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FAQ’s: P90X vs. Insanity Workout
What’s the science behind these workout programs?
P90X is a 90 day workout program that is based on the principle of muscle confusion. If you are like most people, you probably keep doing the same routines and exercises, using the same weights, the same rest periods, over and over and over. Week after week, month after month, even year after year. Sooner or later, the results you achieve are smaller and smaller, and you end up hitting a “plateau”. The philosophy behind Muscle Confusion is to avoid your body getting used to a particular routine, and therefore reaching this plateau. By mixing things up you are constantly challenging your muscles to obtain maximum results and it will keep you mentally motivated and interested in your workouts as you start reaching your fitness goals. During 90 days, Tony Horton will push your limits, giving you tons of “variety” to your workouts which will lead to faster and more noticeable results.
Insanity is a 60 day workout program that is based on the theory of Max Interval Training. The philosophy behind this fitness approach is to perform bursts of high intensity exercises followed by short rest periods. These high intensity bursts can last from a few seconds up to a minute, usually spaced out by short rest times or lower intensity exercises. This type of routine will help you burn fat faster than any other “conventional cardio” approach. Studies demonstrate that it’s a more effective way for losing fat and gaining lean muscle mass especially in the core and abdominal area. Also it has been demonstrated that it will help you build endurance and overcome fatigue.
Set your fitness goals first, and then ask. Which workout is better, Insanity or P90X?
Before you can make a decision about which workout is best you need to set your fitness goals. I’d say that both programs are equally challenging, and that depending on what you want as an end result, one program might be better than the other.
If you are looking to build endurance, maximize your fat burning capabilities and get a killer 6 pack quickly, I would go with Insanity. This program is definitely more cardio oriented and will give you that leaner/ripped look. Day in and day out you’ll be exposed to plyometrics, core and cardio training, jumping like a maniac. The Insanity Workout routines tend to be shorter, more intense and with a faster pace.
P90X on the other hand, takes a more “conventional” approach, where you get a bit of everything. With P90X you will lift weights some days, and throw cardio, stretch and yoga into the mix on others. P90X tackles few body parts at a time splitting up the routines – for example one day you do chest and back, another day you target arms & shoulders, followed by legs & back, or chest shoulder & triceps. l allow you gain muscle size and strength. P90X has a “Lean phase” option During the non-weight days you’ll do plyometircs, yoga, kempo, stretching or an ab routine. P90X wil which allows you to get a lean look, but not as fast as if you do Insanity.
Want Extreme Results? You’ll have to MIX it UP…
We’ve all heard it before, and we hate to admit it, but YES! You need to mix it up if you want to see results in your workouts. Both programs have the “Mix it Up” component, and both programs are constantly changing, so trust me, getting bored and running into monotony will never be the case.
Although P90X is 100% based on the muscle confusion-avoid the plateau philosophy, you will still find some comfort in this program since it does take a “conventional” approach about targeting different body parts during different days. So for you guys that are stuck on that mindset, P90X is a great option because you will see that “structure” but yet the exercises, routines, rest times, # of sets etc. are probably very different to what you are used doing. It almost feels that you are getting the “Best of both worlds”.
With Insanity, what you are doing is literally turning your cardio routine upside down. During the 10 minute warm up of each routine you will sweat more than when you run or bike for hours. Every day you will work out your entire body, and some muscles that you didn’t even know that existed will feel sore. You’ll get your six pack, and you will get it quick without having to go through endless crunch sessions. You’ll barely do any crunches, if any. That’s what I call “Mixing things up”.
I fell off the wagon and I want to get back on track. Which one demands greater preparation before I start?
The beauty about these workouts is that you always have the option of hitting the “PAUSE” button and getting back into it when you recover. These programs are designed to push you to the limit, but at the same time they allow you to do it at your own pace. So don’t feel frustrated if you can’t keep up at the beginning.
Regardless, if you are one of “many” out there that has been doing the same workout routines for a long period of time, or you are pretty good at mixing up your routines, you will find that both programs can be very challenging when you start doing them. Personally, I wasn’t sure I would be able to get pass the 10 minute warm up period of Insanity, let alone complete the 45 minute workout.
In the Insanity Workout (or like many like to call it The Intensity Workout), the routines are extremely intense and very fast paced. Even the warm-up portion is brutal, and if you are not in some sort of good physical condition, it’s very likely that you will not be able to keep up with it. At the beginning you will find yourself constantly gasping for air, and you will sweat like you have never done before. Shaun T will motivate you throughout the workout and you will feel the challenge to keep up with the rest of the crew and complete the workout.
Although P90X Workout is also really challenging, it is not as intense, and it almost feels as if you can start it with a lower degree of physical shape and work your way up during the course of the program. You’ll see that eventually you’ll be able to do more pull ups, more push ups, and be able to use more weights. Tony Horton constantly reminds you to keep track of all you do, and this is key to track your progress and keep pushing y0urself during the next workout.
I tend to get bored quickly. Which one should I choose?
Insanity is a workout that is designed to be completed in 60 days. During the 60 days you will constantly feel an adrenaline rush and motivated by Shaun T to keep pushing. In my opinion the fact that it has a faster pace, that the workouts and the program are shorter, and that I saw results quicker, that it’s easier and requires less will power to compete the program makes it best for those with short attention span.
P90X is designed to be completed in 90 days. Many people who I talked to started seeing results when they were at least 45 days into the program. Tony Horton also uses longer workouts, which can cause that some folks to give up before the 90 days. The longer time commitment both in each individual workout, as well as the total length of the program goes hand in hand with the greater will power needed to become a P90X graduate.
All I want is to get a 6 pack. Which program will help me get it faster?
Both programs have a workout routine that specifically targets the ab section.
P90X takes the conventional approach to develop your mid section using many moves that you are probably familiar with. The days that you do Ab-RipperX your abs will be on fire and sooner or later you will be sporting your six pack.
With Insanity, you are constantly grinding your mid section. There are tons of move throughout the workouts that target your core, and the great thing about it is that you barely have to be on the floor doing crunches or any of those conventional moves that most of us hate. Shaun T has become a master when it comes to designing workouts that can deliver a 6 pack without doing crunches. He proved it in the past with Hip Hop Abs, and once again he proved it with Insanity. The fast paced nature of Insanity along with the fact that it is more cardio oriented and that it uses the principals of max interval training makes Insanity the program that will get you a 6 pack quicker.
Which one is more intense? Which one is tougher?
It’s hard to answer this question, since I think that they are equally challenging. Comparing both programs side by side,I think that Insanity can be more intense, just because of its fast pace, nonstop nature. As a whole, P90X can be considered “less” intense, since you get some routines that definitely have a slower pace (Yoga X or X-Stretch). If you have to compare individual routines, I’d say that when it comes to the “resistance training” routines, both programs have days where the intensity of the routine is the same.
How long does it take to complete each program?
P90X is a 90 day workout program, designed to work out six days a week. During the 3 months of the program, there are three distinctive phases in which the resistance training routines which target the major muscle groups (chest, back, legs, arms and shoulders) are mixed up in order to avoid the “plateau” effect. Most of the other routines, such as plyo, cardio, stretch, yoga and kempo stay the same. There are 12 workouts, ranging from 42 minutes to 1.5 hours and in many cases you will need weights, resistance bands or a chin up bar.
Insanity is a 60 day program also designed for you to work out six days a week. It has two very distinctive phases that are a month long each. During second phase (MAX) the workouts become a bit longer and even more intense. There is a week between both phases called the “recovery week” which is a somewhat lighter and will get you ready for the next phase. All workouts are a combination of cardio focused routines, plyometrics, and sport drills. There are 10 workouts and they range from 40 minutes up an hour. No equipment is required, and you only use your own body weight.
How long do the workouts last?
Insanity: During the first month of Insanity, most routines are 40 minutes long. The Cardio Abs routine is 20 minutes, and the Cardio Recovery routine is 35 minutes long. During the second month of the program, the routines range from 50 minutes to 60 minutes long.
P90X: In average, the P90X routines are about 55 minutes long. The Ab Ripper X routine is 16 minutes long and the Yoga X routine is 92 minutes long.
What’s included when I purchase these programs?
When you purchase P90X you will get:
-The P90X “How to Bring It” Introductory DVD.
– 12 Workouts.
– P90X Nutrition Plan.
-P90X Fitness Guide
-P90X Wall Calendar.
-Fit Test Tracker.
-Free Online Support.
When you purchase Insanity you will get:
-Dig Deeper Introductory DVD.
– 10 Workouts.
– Elite Nutrition Guide.
-Fit Test Tracker.
-Free Online Support.
Do I need any kind of equipment to do Insanity or P90X?
To be able to perform some of the P90X routines you will need basic equipment such as a pull up bar, a chair, and dumbbells or resistance bands. For the Yoga and Plyometrics routines it is recommended that you use a mat.
The beauty about insanity is that you can perform the entire program with no extra equipment. The program is based on using the resistance of your own body weight, and trust me, that’s more than enough! It is highly recommended that you wear good quality sport shoes, and if po
ssible a plyometrics mat to avoid pressure on your joints and injury. Also a heart rate monitor will come in handy to keep track of your heart rate all along the workout.
Which one is better suited to do at home?
In my opinion, and based on the fact that no extra equipment is needed to do Insanity, it believe that the Insanity Workout is best suited to do at home. Just move some furniture around and you are set to go!
If you want to do P90X at home you will have no choice other than to get the extra equipment (pull up bar, and at least the resistance bands), otherwise you will not be able to complete the workout. You will need a secure place
where you can hang the pull up bar, or somewhere to tie the resistance bands, not to mention a place to stack a bunch of dumbbells if you go that route.
The one thing I found as an alternative was to perform the “resistance” routines at the gym, where there are plenty of dumbbells, bars, and accessories to add the extra resistance to push your workout to the limit.
I travel a lot. Which workout is better to do when I am on the road?
Definitely, I would say that Insanity is the best choice of a workout for those that are constantly on the road. In order to do it, you won’t need to carry extra equipment, and even though I am aware that you can do P90X with minimal equipment such as resistance bands, for me, it’s not the same as using real dumbbells or a pull up bar.
Let’s say you are away from home for a whole week, it is much easier to follow your Insanity Workout to the T, than to follow P90X. Probably you will be able to have a great Yoga or Stretch session, but I doubt you can push to your max or improve your previous week’s performance on a Chest and Back routine if you are in a hotel room and without a pull up bar.
I want the best of both worlds. how can I combine P90X and Insanity?
If you really want to challenge yourself, the answer is YES! Many of us have done it, and we love it. The idea is to combine the most extreme routines of both workouts and mixing them into what I consider one the most extreme, hardcore workout ever put together.
The hybrid that worked for me was a 8 week combo where I did hardcore workouts five days a week, alternating with one stretch routine and one rest day. I combined the resistance training routines of P90X with the cardio routines from Insanity. For my abs routine, I alternated the routines from both workouts.
With this combo, I was able to bulk up and feel the “pump” with the P90X routines, and also get the ripped looking midsection with the Insanity routines. The one thing I highly recommend is that if you are up for this challenge, you will need to focus on your diet. Make sure you eat high quality meals, and that you eat at least 6 times a day. Your body will need all the nutrients it can get to keep up.