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Shaun T's Insanity Vs The P90X Workout - Which Is Better?

Many people have asked me the questions: P90X v. Insanity - which one is better? Well, that is a very tough question to answer. Both programs offer a home fitness course that can be done about an hour a day. However, the programs themselves are completely different and, in my opinion, a world apart.


I am a graduate of the program (actually I have completed it twice. It is a combination of weight training, cardio and yoga workouts. The program is broken into 3 phases and each phase lasts 4 weeks, with the exception of phase 3. During the first 3 weeks of each phase (first 4 of phase 3), you complete 3 resistance training workouts (M/W/F), 2 cardio workouts (T/SAT) and one yoga workout (TH). The fourth week of each phase (5th of phase 3) is a recovery week. The workouts during this week are focused on giving your body ample time to rest and rejuvenate for the next phase.

The P90X program is based on muscle confusion. In layman's terms, this simply means changing your workout every few weeks to keep your muscles guessing and in turn, hopefully growing. When muscles adapt to a workout, they tend to stop growing because they are no longer being challenged. With muscle confusion, that doesn't happen. You are constantly changing things, doing different workouts, hitting different body parts and all in all, completely confusing your body.

Now, I must say that if you are looking for a more overall fitness program as opposed to a cardio training program, then you may want to try P90X. Compared to Insanity, P90X is a longer 90 day program, with slightly longer workouts. The workouts themselves are conducted at a slower pace compared to Insanity, which offers more time to adapt and become stronger.


Now, I currently finished this program and I feel I can give a comparison between the two. Insanity is a completely different program and based on cardio-conditioning. There are no weight training or yoga based workouts. Compared to P90X, Insanity takes a completely different approach. The workout program is 63-days in length and is based solely on Plyometrics, Core, and Cardio training. You will need very good shoes, preferably a mat to jump on, and near perfect form to avoid injury. You will not be lifting any weights. There are a lot of full body moves and push up based movements in the program, but nothing requires additional weights. As for the workouts themselves, they range from 35-45 minutes the first month to 1 hour and 15 minutes during the second month, with a recovery week between month 1 and month 2.

Now based on my own experience, you will probably drip buckets of sweat, since the program is made to build up your cardiovascular conditioning. Remember, just because the workouts are shorter, that doesn't mean they are not as intense. You are constantly moving, jumping, running, squatting, balancing, jumping and crunching the entire time, so the intensity is there.

So Which Is Better?

P90X is an extreme fitness program, based on weight training, cardio, and yoga. It is an overall fitness program. Insanity is a high intensity cardio based program, which needs no extra equipment. If you want a cardio-based program without the need for additional equipment then Insanity may be the place to start. However, it is not a beginners program. It is something you should work up to. If you are a P90X graduate, then you will see that Shaun T Insanity is like doing Plyometrics with triple the intensity, and doing it 6 days a week. However, if you are starting out, looking for an overall fitness program, P90X may be the place to start.