Insanity Vs P90X - Which One is Tougher?

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On one side you have Shaun T and his INSANITY crew, leaping and lunging and sweating and doing football drills non-stop in their basketball gym.
On the other side you have Tony Horton and his test group, drilling each muscle group at a brutal rate, practicing kempo and yoga, lifting weights and doing pull ups.
Both are billed as extreme, both are said to be the most intense work out ever put on DVD-but which is really the toughest? If you want the ultimate challenge, which should you do? First let's try to define by what we mean when we say the 'toughest'.
For the sake of this article, we're going to define it as requiring the most physical preparation beforehand, the most willpower and dedication to complete the entirety of the program, and the highest sustained intensity during the workout itself.
Some disclaimers: different people might find each of these workouts easier or harder depending on their own strengths.
So while INSANITY might be incredibly hard for a weight lifter, it will be easier for someone in track and field.
Keep that in mind! Let's take a look at each program.
P90X is a three month program.
It's designed to be implemented in three phases, with the end of each phase/month involving a cool down week during which your body is meant to recover from the 'muscle confusion' that the change in workouts is meant to deliver.
There are 12 workouts, and they range from resistance workouts for the major muscle groups to cardio/plyometrics to kempo/yoga/stretching and core.
It's a total body workout, and is meant to be practiced six days a week.
The workouts can range from 45 minutes to an hour and a half, and require that you own weights, resistance bands and/or a pull up bar.
INSANITY is simpler.
Designed to be accomplished in 60 days, it's broken into two main phases, with the second being the 'MAX' phase where the workouts become even more intense and an intermediary week in-between where you focus on Core Cardio and Balance for 6 days in a row, a period Shaun T calls 'Recovery Week'.
The workouts are a combination of cardio, plyometrics, calisthenics and different sports drills.
There are 10 workouts, and they range from about 45 minutes to over an hour.
No equipment is needed, since you use your own body weight throughout.
Which requires the greater physical preparation going in? INSANITY.
The INSANITY workouts start at an incredibly intense pace, and don't let up.
Even the warm-ups are brutal, and if you don't have that base line conditioning you simply won't be able to keep up.
Further, you need to ensure that your joints are resilient and flexible going in; if they're not, the constant pounding that six days/week of jumping, squatting, jogging on the spot and more will simply wear them out.
P90X is also incredibly tough, but the bar to enter isn't as high; you can start in a lower state of preparation, and work your way up over the course of the three months.
Which requires the most will power to complete the entire program? P90X.
Three months of sustained extreme effort is incredibly draining.
Not only that, but most people find INSANITY to be more of a rush; Shaun T is incredibly motivating, and the sheer pace of the program keeps people going on overdrive.
Tony Horton breaks up the P90X pace with such slower, more grueling workouts like the hour and a half yoga.
The longer, slower pace of P90X requires more willpower to adhere to than INSANITY.
Finally, which has the most intense workouts? This one is a toss-up.
Try getting through a Max Cardio session of INSANITY, or keeping up with Tony during the entirety of a Chest & Back workout.
Both of these are brutal, and your level of dedication and how hard you push yourself will determine how intense your workout is.
So which is tougher? For my money, I'd say INSANITY.
However, P90X is probably harder to complete, and both will kick your butt from here to Sunday if you do them right.
In a way, this is like asking, which will kill you faster, a tiger or a lion? Determine what your goals are, and then pick the right program.
For maximum cardio/calisthenics development, go for INSANITY.
If you're looking to bulk up some as well as get in shape, go for P90X.
Either way, good luck.
You're going to need it.
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