The first day of Insanity was the Fit Test and I honestly felt like I was going to die. I was gasping for air throughout. Cardio is not my thing and Insanity is INTENSIVE cardio. P90X has cardio but not this much. I must note that I did not do the Plyometrics workout in P90X as I was doing the Lean Routine. Plyometrics includes a lot of the jumping around that Insanity has. I quickly learned to pace myself in Insanity and now the workouts are a lot easier to get through.
So what's the difference between P90X and Insanity?
- P90X's premise is muscle confusion and it works every muscle in your body over the course of the week with a variety of exercises. At the end of my first week, parts of my body that I did not know could hurt were hurting. Insanity is interval training. Other interval training videos that I have seen have you work hard for a short amount of time (e.g. 30 seconds) and then rest for a longer period (e.g. 1 minute). Insanity does the opposite - you work hard for 3 minutes and then rest for 30 seconds. I can't say I am a fan of this. I am getting better at it but sometimes 30 seconds is simply not enough time to recover and from what I have read, you should have recovered before you move on. How do you know that you've recovered? I am not sure. Shaun T never really explains. In fact, he doesn't mention "recovery" until probably day 3 or so.
- P90X gives you a full body workout. Insanity does not. Your legs will be exercised as there is a lot of jumping and running in Insanity. But honestly, my legs felt like they got a better workout when I did the P90X's Legs & Back video. Your arms will also get a good workout in Insanity as most of the videos include lots of push-ups. Shaun T loves push-ups and he does many different types. I am not a fan but I try to do them since I would just be standing around through a lot of some of the videos. I am still not good at them though. There is also a video dedicated to abs and I must say it is pretty good. The first time I did it, I definitely felt the burn. I am still skeptical that people really develop a lot of muscles from Insanity but maybe I will see how in the second month. I think you will develop more endurance.
- I find that Tony Horton is a better instructor than Shaun T. Sometimes Shaun T is just a little too busy doing the moves himself to instruct. He isn't a bad instructor. I am just so used to Tony Horton who provides a lot of details. There are some videos that Shaun T does better in that others. One could argue that some of his moves don't require detailed instructions but it would make me feel better. Shaun T will scream, "Don't compromise form!" and I usually want to scream back, "But I don't fully understand what is good form! I want Tony!"
- If you choose to do Insanity,.expect to sweat A LOT. You are either running, jumping, doing pushups then jumping or bending down then jumping. You are soaking wet after the warmup. Yes, you will sweat in P90X but not that much.
- Now let's talk about that warmup. I think Insanity's warmups are too intense to be warmups. I learned after the first video to go a lot slower so I wouldn't feel like collapsing at the end. You will hear Shaun T screaming "Push! Push!" or "Go faster!" but tell him to shut up and go at your own pace. You don't want to injure yourself or burnout before you finish the warmup. I am currently having a weird leg pain that I am worried it may be an injury. I am monitoring it and taking it easy. And speaking of pace, there is nobody in Insanity to follow to modify exercises but don't worry if you can't do as much as they are doing. In fact, if you look into the crowd, there is always someone collapsing. All P90X videos that I have done have a wonderful warmup that I love and there are people modifying the exercises so that you can work your way up. I guess the modification in Insanity would be to do fewer reps.
- I don't think there is enough stretching in Insanity. I almost miss Yoga X. Sometimes you just need to stretch and really take care of your body. I don't think Shaun T got the memo. Admittedly, I have not done his "recovery week". Maybe there is more stretching in recovery week. I think I will have to insert some yoga into some of my Insanity days. I liked the flexibility that I was developing with P90X. I don't want to lose that.
- P90X is looooooooooooooong. I think this is the main complaint. You have to dedicate an hour each day or an hour and a half on Yoga days to P90X. If you are not highly motivated, it can be a chore to get through. I know that I struggled some days. But you know what? The X in P90X stands for extreme. This is not supposed to be a simple workout. Insanity, so far, has been shorter - about 40 minutes or so. I am told that the videos are longer in the second month. I guess I will find out next week. I am not sure how I will handle jumping around for an hour. However, I did the Plyometrics Circuit video today and almost felt like I didn't exercise at all. I guess I can handle a longer video.P90X is a 90 day workot while Insanity is 60 days. People talk about the fact that Insanity is shorter in that sense. Honestly, it isn't that big of a deal. If you want to just keep exercising on a regular basis, it shouldn't matter if you're on a 30, 60 or 90 day program. What would matter is if 90 days is too long to be doing the same things. For me, it was. But I don't get that exercise high and get bored very easily.
- P90X requires equipment - weights or resistance bands (I used bands) - while Insanity does not. That's a pro for most persons. You need a yoga mat and a heart rate monitor for both. I am ashamed to say that I do not have a heart rate monitor. You probably should NEVER do Insanity without a heart rate monitor. Yeah, you will see that some persons (including Shaun T) are not wearing one but you really, really should. That would be how you check recovery actually.
That's all I can think of for now. Maybe at the end of next week, I will write another rambling post about my Insanity experience. It's 3 am and I should go to bed.