Table of Contents
- You Have to Really Want To Commit
- Insanity vs P90X – Quick Comparison
- Which is better, Insanity or P90X?
- P90X Offers Workout Variety
- Tony Horton vs. Shaun T
- Which is the Better on the Go Option, Insanity vs P90X?
- How long do the P90X and Insanity programs last for?
- Do You Really Need a Heart Rate Monitor for P90X and Insanity?
- How long are Insanity and P90X workouts?
- Insanity Diet Compared to the P90X Diet Program
- Insanity versus P90X Cost
- Questions/Need Help Deciding?
Choosing between Insanity vs P90X isn’t easy, because both workout routines are “extreme” with neither one of them being intended for the weak-minded or faint of heart. This article helps differentiate between the top two result-yielding at-home workouts out there, which will hopefully make your decision of whether to do Insanity or P90X an easier one.
You Have to Really Want To Commit
To begin Insanity or P90X and finish it, you have to really want to get in great shape…badly. It can’t be one of those things you jump into halfheartedly like some crappy fad diet or ridiculously impossible workout regimen. If you do, you will not put everything you’ve got into every workout, and you most likely will never finish the program. There is no question both of these programs work, but you also have to work to get the results you want.
Having said that, don’t freak out if you are not able to finish the P90X workouts or Insanity workouts in the beginning. As long as you have the perseverance and stick with it, the stronger and fitter you will eventually become. Then before you know it, you will be able to finish the program without feeling like you want to hurl during and afterwards. It took me about a month to reach this point with P90X.
Insanity vs P90X – Quick Comparison
Insanity and P90X each bring something unique to the table, so it is more a matter of which one you feel is better suited for you and your fitness goals rather than which one is best. It is important to take into consideration what kind of results you want as well as your current fitness level, which means that the program that was right for me may not be the right choice for you.
P90X is a Total Body Workout
Personally, I like that P90X is a total body workout that includes weight training with different days of the week targeting different muscle groups. P90X offers strength training days every other workout (Insanity does not) for every major muscle group and non-strength training days where you do mostly Plyometrics, yoga, or plain cardiovascular exercise. It really feels more like a well-rounded workout routine, since you perform more muscle building exercises – something I happen to like very much.
Insanity Focuses on Agility and Speed
Insanity is not a full body strengthening workout like P90X, but this doesn’t mean it’s any less difficult. In fact, Insanity is considered by many people more difficult than P90X. Insanity will put your cardiovascular condition to the test. This workout program is going to be extremely difficult for you to complete at first unless you are in great cardiovascular shape. Otherwise, you will just need to take it one day at a time until you get yourself in better shape.
The Insanity workouts are not focused on building muscle to burn fat as with P90X, but rather on max interval training and Plyometric style moves to maximize fat loss. This makes the Insanity workout program the clear winner if you are trying to decide between Insanity vs P90X for weight loss alone.
This makes Insanity the perfect choice if you’re looking to lose weight as well as increase your speed and agility without getting huge muscles, but still want to get toned. This is because Insanity gets you finishing as many repetitions as you can within the short time allotted without using any weights.
This also makes it great for athletic training. While your core muscles will definitely feel the workouts from all the jumping around, you will not get the same soreness from these workouts that you would from lifting heavy weights. You also won’t get as bulky as you would from lifting heavier weights.
P90X Offers Workout Variety
P90X switches things up throughout the entire 90 days, which curbs boredom and prevents any stalling of progress. This variety applies not only to the workouts, but also to the recommended diet plan. Of course like the P90X workouts, you can always adjust your diet to your specific needs if you are having low energy issues.
P90X Workout Schedule
For three weeks, you follow the same six workout routines with the seventh day being the optional stretch/rest day. The fourth week is the recovery week in which you do the Core Synergistics, Yoga X, X Stretch, and Kenpo X workouts.
The next three weeks involve another set of workouts that mix up the combinations of muscle groups and exercises with the Legs & Back routine remaining the same. The eighth week is another recovery week, and the ninth week is when you go back to the same workouts you did in week one. However, for the final few weeks, the workout DVDs alternate to ensure maximized muscle confusion for the greatest results coming down the final stretch of the program.
Insanity Workout Schedule
With Insanity, for three days in a row, you do intense workouts. The fourth day is a recovery workout. The next two days are intense workouts, and the seventh day is a rest day. There is one recovery week during Week Five where you focus on basic core. During the second half of the Insanity 60-day program, the workouts get more intense. This is when you incorporate two new workouts into the program, but you should have already built a solid base from the first 30 days of the program.
An important fact to note is that Insanity does not have, in my opinion, what one would consider a real warm-up period (something Tony always takes care of in P90X). This means you should try to warm up at least a little bit prior to beginning the videos, because the so-called warm-ups are a cardiovascular workout on their own and may be a little more than your body can handle in the beginning.
Tony Horton vs. Shaun T
While I do find Tony’s constant imitations of Forrest Gump a little redundant and irritating, he is very inspirational and extremely dedicated. I even cracked a smile at a couple of his off-base jokes. Even when you feel like you may want to vomit, Tony is always encouraging you to go further and keep moving. He is definitely an acquired taste that not everyone will appreciate.
Shaun T is definitely more serious than Tony and inspirational in his own way. At the most difficult times in the workouts when you feel like you want to give up, Shaun T will always encourage you to go harder and give it your all. He is very motivational without being over-the-top annoying.
Which is the Better on the Go Option, Insanity vs P90X?
Insanity is clearly the better option if you travel frequently or plan to travel while you are doing the programs, because it does not require any special equipment like weights, bands, or chin-up bar. If you plan on traveling while being committed to the P90X program, prepare to vacate around your workout schedule or plan to switch around workout days to fit into your schedule. For either option, just be sure to bring your computer with you so you can play the DVDs in your hotel room.
How long do the P90X and Insanity programs last for?
Time is an important factor to consider when choosing between Insanity vs. P90X – it all depends on how long of a program you want to embark on. As the name implies, P90X lasts 90 days – Insanity lasts for only 60 days.
This may immediately seem like an easy decision for those who could never see themselves committing to 90 whole days of working out; however, keep in mind that Insanity is aiming to give you similar results as P90X in two-thirds the time. This means a lot harder workout…a lot. I’ve read many P90X graduates’ posts who openly admit Insanity is a lot harder than P90X.
Do You Really Need a Heart Rate Monitor for P90X and Insanity?
A heart rate monitor is always a good idea for any type of exercise. It will help keep you within your target heart rate to ensure you are staying within the fat-burning zone. If you ever find yourself really out of breath, all you need to do is pause the DVD for a bit, catch your breath, then restart it again when you’re feeling ready. Both programs can be easily toned down to suit your current fitness level.
How long are Insanity and P90X workouts?
This is another case where Insanity seems like the sure winner for people with time constraints. P90X videos are approximately one hour each with a few exceptions like the 1.5 hour Yoga X video and the 15 minute Ab Ripper X video that you use in addition after weight training workouts. All strength building workouts are around 60 minutes, give or take a few minutes.
During the first month of Insanity, the workout videos last only 45 minutes, which is a lot better for those who simply cannot devote an hour or more to exercise each day. It is amazing how much longer 15 minutes can feel when exercising at high intensities, but you may also want to add a few minutes and warm-up yourself before the Insanity workouts. During the second month of Insanity a couple of workouts that get incorporated are a bit longer.
Insanity and P90X both come with a diet plan that you need to follow if you want to get the best results possible. The good news is neither program is based on a starvation diet or eat only grapefruit fad diet - both programs focus on healthy foods in proper portions to keep your energy levels high.
Each program has a very detailed nutrition manual that includes recipes for each meal when following the program as well as a comprehensive list of foods that you should and should not eat.
The Insanity program suggests eating five meals a day, two to three hours apart with each meal consisting of about 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20% fat. The nutrition program comes with a list of foods that are lean proteins, healthy fats, low glycemic carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables.
The P90X diet program consists of three eating phases that correspond with the exercise program. The three phases are fat shredder, energy booster, and endurance maximizer. Again, like Insanity, P90X focuses on lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats – everything that you should be eating to be healthy.
The foods eaten during each phase of P90X stay the same for the most part. It is the proportions of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that change. During the first dieting phase called fat shredder, the diet consists of 50% protein, 30% carbohydrate, and 20% fat. The main objective of this phase is to lose body fat while maintaining and building muscle.
The second P90X diet phase is the energy booster phase and is a balanced diet of 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein, and 20% fat. In this phase, you should continue to lose body fat while simultaneously building lean muscle.
The final diet phase of the 90 day P90X program is called the endurance maximizer. This diet consists of 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 20% fat, which is often used by elite athletes who exercise and train all day, every day. The high carbohydrates of this dieting phase should give you more energy to make the workouts even more intense, which will result in greater weight-loss while continuing to build muscle.
Insanity versus P90X Cost
While I would not let cost be the deciding factor when choosing between P90X and Insanity, it is something I felt necessary to talk a little about since so many people are concerned with money these days. The initial cost of P90X and Insanity are the same. Both programs cost $119.85.
If you do decide to go with P90X, you will receive two bonus DVD workouts when you buy directly from Team Beachbody – the creators of P90X and Insanity. The two P90X bonus DVDs are Fountain of Youth Yoga, which is a shorter version of the P90X Yoga and Mammoth UML an upper body/middle body workout.
P90X can be purchased directly with bonus workouts by clicking here.
Buying Insanity directly from Team Beachbody online will also get you a bonus workout. The Insanity bonus DVD is the Fast and Furious workout; this workout is only 20 minutes long and can be used to replace an Insanity workout if you are short on time.
Insanity can also be bought directly with the bonus workout included by clicking here.
The difference between the two programs when it comes to price is that, with P90X, you need some equipment. You will need to purchase weights or bands, a chin-up bar, and a yoga mat if you do not already have them. These extras can make the cost of P90X a more expensive program than Insanity if you don’t already have some of the equipment, which only requires a little space to do.
In the end, P90X and Insanity are both great programs that, if followed, will have leave you looking better and feeling better in only a couple short months. If you still can’t decide between Insanity vs P90X, do what I am going to do and mix the two up. Use the P90X DVDs for strength training and Insanity for cardio. Good luck.
Questions/Need Help Deciding?
If you are still having difficulty choosing between Insanity and P90X or have any questions about them, please leave a comment below. Please leave as much information about yourself and training experience as you feel comfortable with, this help me recommend a program for you.