So, my first week of Insanity went well. For the most part, I ate 5 small-to-medium-sized meals a day per the nutrition guide’s recommendations, and I ate clean, mostly whole foods. You know, stuff not found in boxes covered with mascots and graphics, listing 4,000 chemicals that obfuscate what it is, exactly, that you’re eating, found in the middle of the grocery store . I didn’t eat perfect, mind you, but it was better than normal.
As for the workouts themselves – on the web you may see what seems like sheer hyperbole when folks talk about these workouts being the hardest ever, but for the most part I think the fear and awe surrounding the workouts is pretty well deserved. I’ve yet to be able to keep up with a workout entirely, and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to to be honest. These are workouts you grow into. I can’t imagine many people being able to complete them the first go around except for maybe college and olympic track stars or something.
But in keeping with the site’s theme, how does Insanity compare to P90X? Likes Apples compare to Oranges. Honestly, folks, which program you decide to do should depend on your personal fitness goals. P90X is an excellent all around strength conditioning program that can help you become stronger, more flexible, coordinated, and achieve better balance and athleticism.
Insanity, in contrast, seems to be an excellent all around cardio conditioning program that can ALSO help you become stronger, more flexible, coordinated and achieve better balance and athleticism, but with this program you will see much more pronounced cardio and anaerobic conditioning improvements, whereas with P90X you’re going to see much more pronounced strength conditioning. The cool thing is both programs can help you become a better athlete.
So, if you’re already happy with your level of strength and don’t mind simply maintaining a couple of months and need a huge cardio boost, then Insanity might be your program. If you’re already pretty satisfied with your cardio conditioning but need a big boost in strength, then P90X might be your program.
I have a sneaking suspicion that an intrepid person could combine both programs and get some stellar results.
Here’s a combination I think has potential to be pretty killer for the veteran fitness types:
Monday — P90X Resistance (ex. Chest and Back)
Tuesday — Insanity Cardio (ex. Plyometric Cardio Circuit)
Wednesday — P90X Resistance (ex. Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps)
Thursday — Insanity Cardio (ex. Pure Cardio)
Friday — Insanity Cardio Recovery (this one has lots of Yoga-esque moves so you would get some of the benefits of P90X Yoga X in 1/3 the time)
Saturday — P90X Resistance (ex. Legs and Back)
Sunday — Rest
You could do such a program for 3 weeks and then on the 4th recovery week you could do pure Insanity workouts for 6 days.
My guess is you’d get 90% of the benefits of each program in the same span of time it would take you to do just P90X.
That’s one idea, but there are others. If you’re a beginner, I’d recommend a round of P90X before attempting Insanity, but 3 months of P90X and 2 months of Insanity has also got to be a killer fitness combo.
I’ll present more thoughts and ideas surrounding Insanity versus P90X in the future. In reality it’s not an either/or approach, though — it’s a both/and possibility.