Focus T25 VS Insanity – Which Is Better?

August 17, 2013

Even though it’s very new, I’m assuming that because you’re reading this article you know at least a little bit about the new Focus T25 workout program. It’s put out by Beachbody, who have a pretty solid track record with these things, and you probably already know people who have tried their P90X or Insanity programs, if you haven’t tried yourself. The new one is designed and hosted by the same dude from Insanity, Shaun T, so naturally people immediately want to compare Focus T25 vs Insanity (even though Shaun himself is on record saying they shouldn’t really be compared).

Time Constraints, Got ‘Em?

Insanity is a 60, 6 day a week program, with workouts that last about 45 minutes each. Focus T25 runs about the same as far as overall length (if you’re just doing the core Alpha and Beta Cycles), but the workouts are only 25 minutes each. It’s billed as a 5-day a week program, which is slightly misleading, because there is a light stretching workout on the 6th day. People, myself included, have been known to skip this final workout, though.

One of the main selling points of T25 is the fact that it takes so little time. Indeed, the name means you’re going to be Focusing hard on your workout for 25 minutes to get the results of a typical hour long workout.

If time constraints are your main concern, T25 is probably what you’re looking for. No other program packs this much punch into so little time!

Who Are These Aimed At?

Most everybody already knows that Insanity is a pretty grueling course of exercise, and takes a good amount of discipline to get through. However, Shaun T is a personal trainer with years of experience working with people at all fitness levels, and part of his goal in creating Insanity was to come up with a workout that almost anybody could do. If you have to, you can start slow with Insanity and work your way up to the frantic pace Shaun and his “Shauntourage” keep.

He did the exact same thing with T25. Yeah, it’s hard as hell, and some of the moves get crazy difficult, but there’s always somebody in the background doing an alternate move in case you’re not ready for the “real” exercises Shaun throws out.

If you’re looking for a program that better fits your own fitness level, there is no clear winner in comparing Focus T25 vs Insanity.

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How Are Your Joints?

As far as the exercises contained in the two different programs, you’ll see a number of the same ones. After all, they are workouts designed by the same guy. However, one of the things that makes T25 “easier”, at least in certain ways, is that it relies far, far less heavily on plyometrics.

Plyometrics, if you’re not familiar with the term, are those moves that involve a lot of explosive jumping around. These are precisely the kind of moves that makes Insanity a bad fit for people with joint problems. Even people without them have, at times, complained about joint pain after slogging through the workouts.

Naturally, if you do have joint issues, you should consult your doctor before picking up any new fitness routine, but T25 is going to be a lot safer and less painful for you. It’s also lower-impact in general, so you’ll be far less prone to issues like shin splints.

For those with joint problems, or anybody simply looking for the lower impact option, Focus T25 is the clear winner.

What Gear Do I Need For Each Program?

One of the selling points of Insanity is that it’s pretty much gear-free. It helps to have a nice exercise mat or something for when you’re on the floor, but it’s easy to travel with and doesn’t take up a ton of room in your closet.

T25 does require either dumbbells or a resistance band when you get to the Beta Cycle, but it actually comes with the band, so it’s not an extra investment, nor does it take up a ton of room. The optional Gamma Cycle requires heavier weights or bands, but again, they have you covered.

T25 requires ever so slightly more equipment, but it is included!

Remember To Consider Your Goals

When people ask me which workout would be right for them, I always tell them to think less about things like time constraints and gear, and more about what they’re after.

Insanity is largely a fat-burning cardio program. Yeah, you’ll build and tone your lean muscle, but mostly the focus is on losing weight and building stamina.

T25, on the other hand, is more of an all-around workout, so there’s a bit more strength training. The very fact that it requires resistance bands is evidence of this. You’ll still burn a lot of fat, though less than with Insanity, and you’ll also tone up more. If you include the optional Gamma Cycle, which focuses even more on strength training, you’re going to build even stronger and bigger, more visible muscles, sort of like a mini-P90X (and if you’re wondering how T25 compares to that program, read my comparison here).

So if you’re looking for a more cardio-centric workout, go with Insanity, but choose T25 for a more full-body tune up.

(If you want to read about my own personal results with the programs, click here for Insanity, and here for T25.)

So Is Focus T25 Better Than Insanity?

There is no overall “better” program when comparing the two, it really boils down to what works best for you, and what kind of results you’re looking for. Personally, I’ve been a fan of Insanity for quite a while now, but even though I’m really getting into T25, I imagine they’ll both keep making appearances as my personal workout routines evolve over the years.

For more in-depth looks at either of the products, and to get a better idea of what they’re all about, read my Insanity review and my T25 review. There’s no clear winner between Focus T25 vs Insanity, as each will be better suited for different people. If you’re already interested in trying one out, remember you can get either with a money-back guarantee at the source, the official Beachbody site.

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