I’ve had several people ask me recently which is better – P90X or Insanity. I believe both programs are awesome ways to get in shape with the comfort and convenience of your own home. I’ve had success with both programs, but personally I prefer one over the other, especially for runners who are also training for a race at the same time.
Insanity vs. P90X
To start, here are the some of the differences in the programs:
- P90X is 90 days, Insanity is 60 days.
- The average P90X workout is 1 hour 15 minutes. The average Insanity workout is 45 minutes.
- P90X includes weight lifting (i.e. you have to own weights) and Insanity requires no equipment
- P90X includes two days of cardio whereas Insanity has cardio included daily.
- P90X has three phases, each three weeks long with one recovery week. Insanity has two phases and one recovery week.
- P90X Fit Test is completed only at the beginning and end of the program. Insanity fit test is completed every few weeks to measure progress.
- P90X nutrition plan has 3 phases, Insanity nutrition plan is the same throughout (with an increase in calories during the 2nd phase).
- P90X is led by Tony Horton, a personality that some hate and some love (I personally love him) and Insanity is led by Shaun T, who has a very in your face attitude toward fitness.
P90X (My P90X Results Here)
- P90X is a strength training program. If you follow the program as intended, you will see some serious changes in your body.
- Although it is primarily strength, you will see increases in cardiovascular health and flexibility through the plyometrics and yoga DVDs.
- If you plan on training for a running or endurance event while completing P90X, you will find it is a nice complement. Since only two of the workouts are serious leg exercises, your legs will get stronger but won’t constantly be fatigued and affect your runs. Schedule your runs on upper body days.
- The P90X Nutrition plan fits well into an average person’s eating schedule – three meals and two snacks a day and is fairly easy to follow, especially once you figure out your portion sizes.
- I personally think that you will get more impressive results with P90X. The weight lifting component won’t make you (as a girl) bulk up – instead, it will create a thin body with lean muscle!
- P90X has such a variety of workouts that you will never get bored.
- P90X comes with worksheets to track your progress as you do each workout. I found these extremely motivating because I would look at my prior week’s workout and always try to do more reps or increase my weights. I think this was a huge factor in my success.
- P90X requires equipment so it not as easy to do on the go and also there is more initial investment to purchase weights and a pull-up bar (or you can use bands which can be taken to hotel rooms).
- Some people really dislike Tony Horton and his corny jokes.
- P90X workouts are an average of 1 hour 15 minutes, 6 days a week which could be time consuming for some.
Insanity (My Insanity Results Here)
- Insanity is a very intense cardio program. It will increase your cardiovascular fitness and burn a ton of calories. You will literally be dripping sweat within the first 5 minutes.
- Since Insanity’s workouts are fairly short so it fits well into a busy schedule.
- Insanity can easily be completed in hotel rooms and on the go since it requires no equipment.
- Since you do Insanity’s fit test so often, you will see tangible results in your cardiovascular fitness and strength which provide motivation to keep going.
- Since Insanity is SO cardio focused and leg-focused, I found that it affected my runs. My legs were often tired and it had a negative affect on my attitude during runs as well as my performance during them.
- Without weights, I found that Insanity didn’t give me as much of a sculpted look as I had hoped. Although the program definitely builds muscle, I found that I had more success with P90X.
- Since Insanity is so repetitive, I found it boring at times.
- Insanity won’t provide you with a ripped upper body. Although you may see some changes in your upper body, not a significant portion of the workouts emphasize upper body.
- I had a harder time following the Insanity Nutrition Plan because it is based on 5 small meals a day. I didn’t like eating a mini meal at 10 a.m. and another at 2 p.m.
I always recommend P90X over Insanity, especially to runners who are looking to complete the program while training for a race. Although the workouts are shorter with Insanity, I found the intensity on my legs affected my runs. P90X, on the other hand, worked well to compliment my runs. I found the P90X nutrition plan easier to fit into my lifestyle than Insanity’s.
Regardless of which program you chose, your results will be based on your level of effort. Following the nutrition plan is key (or a variation of it) and getting all your workouts in is important. More important than always doing the workouts is always doing your best and pushing it hard. As Tony says, You have to BRING IT!
Disclaimer – It’s hard for me to completely judge the differences since I had weight to lose before starting P90X and I followed the nutrition plan very strictly during P90X. I had amazing results with P90X. When I did Insanity, I was already in fairly good shape and didn’t follow the nutrition plan (yet still lost a bit of weight without dieting). I also only did 3-4 Insanity workouts a week and combined it with triathlon/running.
For more information about P90X or Insanity or to purchase a program, check out my Beachbody website here!
Also, I have all my P90X information on my P90X Resources page. I documented how I combined P90X with running.