P90X vs. Insanity — Which is right for me?

The two most popular Beachbody workouts are P90X and Insanity.  I completed p90x a little over a year ago (and am down to the short rows of P90X2) and completed half of Insanity.  (But plan to surmount the whole thing beginning in about a week). I am excited about both products and have talked about them with friends, family,  coworkers, people on the street who ask me for change 🙂 in short, everyone.  The number one question I am always asked is “WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN P90X AND INSANITY?” And for those individuals who are concerned about their health, the second is usually “WHICH IS RIGHT FOR ME?”

The answer to the first is easier than the second because the second depends on the fitness goals and the current health situation of the person asking. So let’s answer the easier question first.

OVERVIEW:

P90X is a muscle-building, fat blasting workout that includes cardio workouts, but its concentration is getting stronger and leaner. P90X is based on the theory of Muscle Confusion. P90X changes the workout every 30 days so your muscles do not get used to the workout.  Therefore, muscles are having to continually adapt.  Muscles GROW as they adapt. (And ladies, please don’t worry about becoming “too muscular” — see Coach Crystal (she has done P90X multiple times).

Insanity is a cardio intense program that uses your body weight for resistance. Insanity’s scientific advance is Max Interval Training.  Max Interval Training is training very intensely with short recovery breaks to catch your breath and allow your heartbeat to slow down a little, before cranking the intensity back up to max levels.

LENGTH OF THE PROGRAM AND WORKOUTS:

P90X lasts 90 days (6 days per week).  The average workout is about 60 minutes (Yoga is longer at about 90).

Insanity is shorter in both days and time.  It is a 60 day program (also six days per week) and the workouts last around 40 minutes.

MINIMUM EQUIPMENT

P90X requires a pull-up bar and either resistance bands or dumbbells.

Insanity has no minimum equipment (though a heart rate monitor will let you know if you are dead… hahaha!!)

INSTRUCTOR

P90Xhas Tony Horton.  He is a superfit guy.  He is also quite corny.  He loves his jokes and they make me smile even as I groan. Some of his catchphrases include:  “Just Bring it!”, “Keep Pushing Play”, “Do your best, and forget the rest” and my favorite… “Don’t smash your face!!”

Insanity has Shaun T.  Shaun T is superfit as well.  He is a motivator and his workouts are enjoyable, though his program has less chance for jokes due to its intensity.  Some of Shaun’ catchphrases include “Dig deeper!”, “We good, ya’ll?” , “Shaun T is starting to sweat!”and my favorite “That sh*t is bananas!!” (It really is!! haha.)

Now the second question “Should I choose P90X or Insanity?”…

I tried to do Insanity straight from the couch and couldn’t complete it.  I could with P90X.  I think those who are just getting back into fitness should start with P90X.  You can modify enough to do the workout  and work yourself back into shape. 

If you are getting in shape and want to drop fat fast, I think Insanity is the way to go.  While you can certainly drop a lot of weight in P90X (and you will), Insanity forces weight loss with the intensity required. (Now if you finish either off with a whole pizza, it’s not going to matter.  Abs are made in the kitchen.) (By the way, both workouts come with nutrition plan which you should follow, too. That is more a “do as I say and not as I do” suggestion. 😉 ).

If you are looking to get stronger, P90X would be my suggestion, though you will also get stronger going through Insanity.

I think both of these programs are excellent and would highly recommend them.  You can watch videos of both workouts here. Tell me what your fitness goals are and I will give you my opinion as to which one may be right for you! (Opinions are like elbows, everybody has one.  haha, but I have at least tried these workouts! 😉 )

What are your thoughts on P90X and Insanity?

Alligators, Alligators Everywhere

Sorry, I have been absent from my blog… It feels like I have absent from everything but work. Many of you know that I am a trial attorney. I had trial this week.  Trials are rare in civil litigation.  It had been well over six months since my last one.  For those of you without loved ones in the legal field, trials take over your life.  There is so much to prepare for, so much to do.  You put a lot of things on the back-burner to get those ready.(Thankfully Coach Crystal is also an attorney and understands… she is in corporate work, so when her job gets the craziest (end of the year) the courts slow down — we make it work ;). 

The trial  is over now (except for the briefing) and I have returned to my desk to handle all the alligators that swam up while I was preparing and in trial. Today has been hectic, but I have gotten most of them back in their cages.  Sadly, I haven’t worked out since Sunday and my diet on the road has been anything but stellar. It also doesn’t look to get back to normal until next week (mother-in-law visiting until then).   I will be relatively good and hit it hard again for my last week of P90X2 before starting Insanity.

P.S.  Did you guys pick up on that… I described eating healthy as NORMAL rather than a DIET??  Who-hoo – I am getting there….slowly.

The Surmounting of Insanity

Not the disease… I am talking about the hellish cardio workout designed by Mr. Shaun T. I do not know if he is related to Mr. T of A-Team and Rocky III fame, but if so, he certainly has a more pleasant disposition while he is encouraging you to torture yourself.

Not this Mr. T.

Insanity is a 60 day home workout that is divided into 2 phases. During the first phase, the workouts are between 35 – 40 minutes. It is six days a week with one off day.   There is a recovery week followed by the second phase, in which the routines get about ten minutes longer. The only equipment needed is your body weight (see, I am already at a disadvantage) and willpower to keep showing up. See a video here.

As many of you know, this is not my first attempt at Insanity.  I remember dripping sweat and thinking this was the hardest thing ever… right before being informed that this was still the warm-up.  It is cardio intense, which is a weakness of mine. I don’t know why I gave up (around the recovery week). I am sure I thought I had a good excuse at the time.  Working on your weaknesses will only make you better, assuming health and fitness are the goal and not just bicep size …

And it is only 60 days…you can do anything for 60 days.  I am beginning my war of conquest against Mr. Shaun T on April 7.  (“I pity the fool”  wait, I think I got them mixed up again…)

Not this time, Mr. T!! "You ain't so bad, you ain't so bad, you ain't nothin'." ~Rocky Balboa

Anybody willing to go a couple of rounds against Mr. T with me??  I would love some company on this beat down!

Rest day — I am not a bum

Today is a scheduled rest day in P90X2.  I can tell my body needs it, my legs feel “wobbly” as well as sore and my shoulders just feel tired. 

I also understand that rest is important. The breakdown of muscle tissue as a result of training takes time to repair and grow.  High intensity exercise in the area of strength training includes plyometrics. In the area of cardio, high intensity exercise is defined as working at an intensity of 75 percent or greater of your maximum heart rate for at least twenty minutes.

 Both Post Activation Potentiation routines in P90X2 would be defined as high intensity for both these reasons.  Rest is necessary after high intensity routines.  The recommendations I have seen suggest 24-48 hours rest between such routines for your body to recover. So after two days of P.A.P, I am taking a day off. I may do the stretching and foam roller routine, but I don’t count stretching as exercise (although I know it is also good for me).

So while I know I need the rest, both intellectually and from the way my body feels, I still feel like such a bum when I take a day off. Plus I have to be even more careful regarding my food intake because I don’t get the extra calories for the exercise (thanks, myfitnesspal.com).

Do any of you every feel a little down on off days?  (To some, I know that sounds crazy… I would have thought I was crazy for even asking that just a few short months ago.)

Motivation

Apparently, this saying is not new, but I just saw it today on Weight Loss and Corinne (awesome blog, by the way); Sweat is FAT crying!!

Make it cry -- it deserves it!!

Now I am motivated to make it cry.  P90X2 — get ready because I am bringing it today!

 And fat– I don’t feel any pity in making you cry… You know the old saying “Guests and fish both smell bad after three days”?  Well, fat, you have also overstayed your welcome. 

You are always trying to make my clothes too tight, to wind me when I try to exercise, to lower my self esteem, and I think you are trying to kill me!!  Enough is enough. My body is no longer your home.  So if I hurt your feelings a little, call me an ass as you leave, but just GO!!!

Ok, people, who else is ready to get mad at fat?!?!?

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~Robert Frost

This poem has always been one of my favorites.  The decisions I have made in my past, both good and bad, have led me to this place.  Though rarely have I stopped to consider the two paths before me.  I have come to this, admittedly good, point in my life, through fate, circumstance, or luck.

I think it is time that I start being more considerate … to stare down both roads before making a decision.  Or at least to realize there are two paths.  I have no illusions that I will always choose the right one…but I should be mature enough to at least look.

And this thoughtfulness can apply to the choices we make in  everyday decisions such as what we will eat or whether we will work out… before you eat that cookie, look down the road to see where such poor choices may lead.  I have been down that path… it is not pretty!! 😉

Good luck on good decisions!!