Insanity vs P90x

June 7, 2011


Insanity vs P90x

Insanity vs P90x – Which of those two workouts is better (for you)?


Shortly after I had written the reviews for P90x and Insanity, I decided to write a comparison of Insanity vs P90x. Both programs are often being compared against each other since they seem to be very similar. Now, since both of my reviews are pretty comprehensive, I won’t go into detail about the two products, I will focus on the differences instead. So, stay with me to find out which workout wins the duel Insanity vs P90x.

Which one is right for you Insanity or p90x?

Tony Horton’s P90x and Shaun T’s Insanity seem to be very similar; however there are a few differences that you should be aware of. To find out which program is the right one for you, I suggest that you reconsider what your goals are. Do you mainly want to get fitter and lose weight or are you more interested in also building up muscles? This will have a definite impact on which one is better for you.

P90x vs Insanity Workout – Which training principle is better?

P90x uses a training principle called Muscle Confusion, which means that the training has a lot of variations to “surprise” your muscles when they adjusted to the training. This helps you to avoid the usual training plateaus and will strengthen your muscles throughout the 90 days. Shaun T.’s Insanity uses the Max Interval Training technique instead. This technique focuses on pushing you to your limits by doing high-intensity exercises with short or no breaks. Again, it depends on you which one of the two is better. Both programs won’t help you bulk up muscles, but P90x will yield you better results, if strengthening your muscles is what you’re after. Insanity focuses more on burning fat and endurance training.

YouTube Preview Image

Watch this video and see what P90x is ALL about.

Insanity vs p90x – What fits your schedule better?

The workout schedule of P90x and Insanity are pretty similar – both require you to exercise on 6 days of the week. However, in general in can be said that the workouts of the P90x program take a bit longer, 55 minutes on average as compared to 45 minutes. Also the P90x program requires you to commit to it for 90 days whereas Insanity only requires 60 days. What is better depends on what you can fit in your schedule. As the results of both programs require you to continue working out afterwards, you may be interested to know that it’s possible to use both programs repeatedly. Many users do this what they call “cycles” with great success.

YouTube Preview Image

Watch this video to see what Insanity Workout is offering.

Insanity vs P90x – Which equipment do you need to buy?

Both Insanity and P90x come at the price of about $ 120, which is quite an investment already. So it is only natural that you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money more after that. However, if you don’t have any training equipment at your home, yet, you may need a few things before you can get started. With Insanity, all you need is a Plyometrics matt (you can also use a Yoga matt) and a heart rate monitor. P90x requires a bit more equipment. You absolutely need resistance bands and a Yoga matt, but it is also recommended that you get dumbbells, a chin-up bar, yoga blocks, and a heart rate monitor. This doesn’t mean that one of the two programs is better. It’s just as I already mentioned; P90x focuses more on muscle strength and hence needs a bit of training equipment. Insanity’s main goal is fat burning and endurance training, so that using only your body weight is sufficient.

Insanity vs P90x

What comes with the packages?

Both of the two programs come with a workout calendar, a fitness guide, and a nutrition guide besides of the main workout DVDs. P90x consists of 12 DVDs and Insanity consists of 10 DVDs. Both are very comprehensive and help you work all important areas of your body. Also, they both include stretching and regeneration workouts. So they are almost equal when it comes to this aspect.

Insanity vs P90x – Breaking it down

As you can see, P90x and Insanity are pretty similar to each other. This can lead to some confusion and this is why I want to point a few things out:

Both programs are very hard, but they also bring you great results. P90x is a bit easier to get started with while Insanity is better suited for someone who already has some training experience.                                                                                        

Insanity will mainly help you:
Insanity vs P90x

  • Reach a higher endurance / Do Cardio Training
  • Burn Fat
  • Make your 6-Pack visible
  • Tone your muscles

P90x will mainly help you:

  • Strengthen your muscle
  • Get more flexible
  • Tone your muscles

Insanity or P90x – Why not both?

Hopefully now you have a clearer idea of which program will suit you best. If not I would also recommend you check out Brian Prost's excellent Insanity vs P90x review, which goes into even more detail about the differences between these.

I also wanted to make a suggestion to you. Since both training programs are excellent. There is not much that can be said against any of them. If you are new to working out at home, I’d suggest that you start with P90x and move on to Insanity once you’ve completed that. However, once you’ve completed both programs, you may want to combine them. This is something that many people do to get a complete training program. You get all the benefits of the Max Interval Training and the Muscle Confusion Technique combined. This means for you that you will burn fat, train your endurance, and strengthen your muscles. There are several ways to do this and I don’t want to go into detail here. You can either develop your own training schedule or you can follow one of the many training schedules that were created by other users of the program.

Conclusion Insanity vs P90x

It is clear that Insanity and P90x are both some of the best workout programs on the market. Both aren’t for the totally untrained beginner and both won’t help you bulk up muscles, but these are really the only downsides of the programs. If you know what you want to achieve, it is easy to decide which program is right for you. If you are unsure, I recommend that you first use P90x and then later on consider buying Insanity.

To give you a final summary, here is a table for the comparison Insanity vs P90x:

Insanity vs P90x

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Post # 36 : "Insanity vs P90x – Which of those two workouts is better (for you)?"

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

keila November 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm

  Thank you for writing this It was what I needed! I haven’t really exercised in years but I think P90X sounds like it will be better all around, but maybe I can do Insanity Workout when I’m in a little better shape and ready for crazy cardio fitness.  


John N. November 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm

  I just want to look better without a shirt. So P90x? Or Insanity Workout?  


Jimmy Hudson November 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Well, looking better without a shirt is pretty damn subjective! I’d say P90x if you have relatively low body fat already, and Insanity if you have a bit more excess fat to burn.


george November 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm

  I lost about 16 or 17 pounds doing Insanity twice and I think I’m going to try P90X next thanks!  


Christopher November 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm

  I did a lot of workout programs before I tried P90X so I know most don’t live up to the hype. was interested in insanity because its from the same company (Beachbody). Thanks for posting this, I found what I was looking for. Going to get my cardio way up here soon!  


WILK.... November 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm

  Hi, I found this because I do P90X and I’ve been interested in Insanity Workout. Anyway I think you convinced me to try Insanity as well but I wanted to mention something… you say you get visible 6-pack with Insanity, but you don’t say the same about P90X… I got three words: AB RIPPER X!!! Seriously, you get awesome abs with P90X man!  


Joyce November 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

  My cousins do P90X and recommended it to me but they didn’t know anything about Insanity other than its made by the same people. After reading this I think I will do that one isntead maybe p90x later.  


Butch December 2, 2012 at 11:42 am

  I have to go on the road a lot so which one is better if I can’t exactly follow the schedule? Like I might have to miss days or even weeks at a time. and then can i Just get back in?  


Jimmy Hudson December 3, 2012 at 11:24 am

Well, you can probably get back to either one wherever you stopped if it’s just been a couple weeks. You might want to consider Insanity, though, because it’s fairly portable on account of the lack of required equipment.


WILSON December 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm

  It’s been a long time since I really exercised and I was going to do P90X but when Insanity came out it just confused me since I didn’t know which one to do but this helps a lot thanks!  


William Bruce December 12, 2012 at 6:42 pm

  Which one is easier tho?  


Jimmy Hudson December 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm

They’re both pretty difficult, honestly. If you’re in relatively poor shape, though, you might want to start with P90x. Good luck! You can do it!


ronald elwell December 16, 2012 at 4:41 am

  can i do both at the same time? i’m in really good shape and i want a challenge and to get in even better shape!  


Jimmy Hudson December 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I don’t typically recommend it, because your body does need time to repair itself in order to get stronger and in better shape. If you do try it, though, listen to your body and don’t overdo it! You can hurt yourself if you’re not careful!


herman :) December 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm

  I lost 13 pounds with just P90X so you definitely lose weight with that one too. Will probably try Insanity Workout next I wasn’t that interested until I read this I thought it was just like P90X-Lite LOL!  


Michael December 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm

  I’m worried I won’t make it through the whole thing which is why I’m leaning towards Insanity Workout since it’s only 60 days lol but let me ask you do you think one of the hosts does a better job with motivation?  


Jimmy Hudson December 23, 2012 at 5:23 am

Both Shaun T and Tony Horton have YEARS of experience as personal trainers, and they know how to motivate. My advice is to track your progress with a journal and pictures of yourself at different stages of the process – most people find being able to actually SEE their progress to be an incredible motivator!


Robert W December 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Insanity Workout was too hard for me the first time but P90x was a little easier. BUT when I tried Insanity Workout later it helped me realize how good of shape p90x made me because i did ALOT better!  


jerry s December 28, 2012 at 5:42 am

  Whcih ones takes less preperation before hand? I want to jump right in.  


Jimmy Hudson December 30, 2012 at 11:22 am

Well, either one you can jump right into. P90x requires a little more equipment, though, so you’ll need to hit the store first, but Insanity you can start doing as soon as you receive it.


rRonaldrey December 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm

  I do Insanity with my wife and it’s just brutal! In a good way :) After reading this I think we might try P90x next!  


Ralph Carson January 2, 2013 at 8:38 am

  p90x has 12 dvds and insanity workout only has 10… so p90x is a better value for your money right?  


Jimmy Hudson January 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm

That’s really an oversimplification of things. They’re both great values, but have slightly different results, so it just depends on what you’re after.


gene in a bottle January 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

  P90X was really great for me but I always wondered what the difference was. I’m not sure I really need to do more cardio tho P90X is pretty tough already!  


William W. January 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm

  My brother does P90X but I always thought Insanity seemed more my style and this article convinced me of what I already suspected anyway!  


Marjorie January 7, 2013 at 6:17 am

, I’m a female, so I’m curious which you would recommend for someone like me, who is absolutely not looking to get “buff”! lol i don’t want a 6-pack abs!  


Jimmy Hudson January 8, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Don’t worry, neither program is going to give you a manly, ripped physique because the female body just won’t respond naturally to the exercises like that. Either program will help you get into better shape and look great and feminine! (Check out the female workout buddies of either Shaun T or Tony Horton if you don’t believe me!)


Jimmy boy! January 13, 2013 at 10:37 pm

  I’ve been trying to decide between the two for a while now thanks!  


Frank January 18, 2013 at 2:36 am

I do both of them, in cycles like you talk about, and I will agree that they keep giving you better results because you get in better shape each time and can do all the exrcises better! Great post BTW!  


Paul A January 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm

  If I’m going to do both of them which one should I do first?  


Jimmy Hudson January 21, 2013 at 4:11 pm

It’s really up to you. What are your weakness and what are your strengths? Some people like to burn fat and build endurance first with Insanity, while others prefer to get stronger first with P90x. Ultimately, you’re still going to end up in awesome shape 😀


charles January 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm

  Which one would you recommend if I’m not going to follow the schedule, just make up my own routine with the DVDs?  


Jimmy Hudson January 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Hmmm… well, honestly, it STILL depends on what your goals are, but P90x does have a couple more DVDs to choose from, if that helps you out at all.


Bruce January 31, 2013 at 11:21 am

  I went with Insanity Workout because I figured it would fit into my schedule a little better. It works great (like around 15 pounds lost great) but I want to build up my muscles more so I’m going to try P90X next.    


Arnold February 1, 2013 at 4:30 am

    my friends do p90x but it sounds like i should do insanity. it will be interesting to see how my results copare to theres but i do need to work on my cardio more.  


JB March 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I have muscles from years of laying sports…..they are just covered right now by more fat than I would like to admit.  Insanity sounds like my best option.  Agreed?


Jimmy Hudson March 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

If you’re overall happy with your muscles and want to burn off some of the fat that covers them so the world can see, then yeah, Insanity is a great option :) As a bonus, it will also help tone and firm up those muscles, too- it’s win/win!


Lilly April 9, 2013 at 1:40 am

To be honest i'm not one who works out a whole lot. I just want a program that will help me get in shape and loose weight. You said that if we were beginners we should start off with p90x…and if we wanted to loose weight we should do insanity. Well i'm a beginner and my main goal is to loose weight… so what would you recomend i start with?


Jimmy Hudson April 13, 2013 at 9:15 am

I often recommend people start with P90X if they haven’t had much exercise in years, because the learning curve is a little easier, and it will help you lose weight. That said, it sounds like your goals may be more in line with Insanity, and that’s ok. You have to be ready to give it what you’ve got through- if you only end up doing some of the work, you’ll only end up getting some of the rewards! That’s the main thing about getting through Insanity, motivation. It will be tough, but you work at your own pace, which may well be slow at first, but you always improve as long as you keep pushing yourself to! Good luck, Lilly!



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