Each New Year brings about a wave of new fitness resolutions along with a surge of new gym memberships. Lately a growing number of people have been bucking tradition and ditching the cold walk to the gym in favor of at-home fitness programs.
Two of the most popular video series on the market right now are P90X and Insanity. Their infomercials are plastered over late night TV claiming to provide killer workouts and stunning results, all from the comfort of home. Each workout regimen comes packed as a set of DVDs with a predetermined workout plan and nutritional advice. Just follow the instructions to a new and improved you.
Now the only obstacle standing in the way of a killer bod is choosing which program is right for you. Both programs have significant hype and loyal followers, so I have objectively analyzed the two, so you can decide which one is the right fit.
Despite similar structure there are significant differences between P90X and Insanity. Insanity is a cardio-intense workout plan that utilizes interval training to get you the “best workout of your life” whereas P90X is a program that incorporates cardio but focuses more on strength training, using dumbbells, pull-ups, and your own body weight to provide the resistance needed to build muscle and burn calories.
P90X is a ninety-day workout regimen that claims it can significantly improve fitness in three months through intense physical training. P90X’s advertising emphasizes “muscle confusion,” a method of cross training and periodization achieved through switching the order of exercises and incorporating new and varied movements. Muscle confusion supposedly prevents the body from adapting to exercises over time, resulting in continual improvement without plateaus. The program provides a great all-around workout with exercises that are easy to execute.
The Insanity workouts are shorter than P90X workouts, typically lasting only 45 minutes. Each section is broken into three to four minutes of intense exercise followed by 30 seconds of rest. This may not sound like much, but the intense nature of the exercise provides maximum impact in a minimal amount of time. The fast pace and constant rotation of exercises helps make the 45 minutes fly by. While the main emphasis of the program is cardio, many of the routines are designed to incorporate core and upper body strengthening. Although it’s hard to tell while you’re in the middle of it, each session provides a full body workout.
Both program has its pros and cons, and choosing the best fit for you depends on what you’re looking for in a workout experience. Insanity is less of a time commitment than P90X and also requires less equipment. It would be an ideal fit for anyone with a busy schedule or lack of space and resources. However, the workouts require a lot of jumping and other exercises that are tough on knees and joints. P90X is easier to modify for those just beginning to get back in shape or those with bad joints or old injuries. P90X also has a stronger emphasis on strength exercises and muscle building while Insanity is better for cardiovascular endurance and power. Those looking to bulk up and increase muscle mass might be happier with P90X while anyone looking to burn fat or increase cardiovascular endurance would like Insanity. At the end of the day it’s all about personal preference and ability.
No matter what workout trend you decide to embrace and subsequently complain about, with the proper planning and commitment you’ll be jacked in no time.