CrossFit vs P90X: Which workout should you do

If you’re a fitness buff, you’ve probably heard about many exercise routines. From High-Intensity Interval Training, Tabata, Aerobic, and more, each one has a promise of stellar results. But have you considered CrossFit vs P90X?

Like the mentioned routines, both CrossFit and P90X are effective workouts to lose weight, build muscles, and improve your endurance. However, they do this in different ways and for different purposes.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a lifestyle that includes high-intensity exercises as well as healthy nutrition. This is a strength and conditioning routine intended to develop high levels of power for those who perform it. There’s no doubt that famous advocates of CrossFit have ripped abs and toned bodies.

While CrossFit may seem intimidating, its elements actually take inspiration from our day-to-day routines. It includes pulling, pushing, lifting, squatting, and more. The difference is that these exercises are performed at fast speeds for guaranteed intensity.

Moreover, the exercises in CrossFit are taught at a gradual pace so the individual can increase his or her strength slowly. This is a careful process, which is very popular for athletes and serious fitness enthusiasts.

Overall, CrossFit is centered on LOTS of weight training. This is not surprising since this routine is intended to boost your power and strength. Challenging the muscles with increasing weights is the best way to do it.

CrossFit requires a trainer

Most of the time, CrossFit is conducted in gyms since it requires specific equipment. From free weights, ropes, rowing machines, and more, this is quite a well-rounded routine. You will have WODs or Workout Of the Day to follow within the program.

Just take note that CrossFit can easily become competitive in a group of people. It also requires the guidance of a licensed trainer to ensure that you’re doing it right.

The good thing with CrossFit is that this routine is easily modifiable to suit the needs of the person. The trainer can tailor-fit the exercises, intensity, duration, and equipment to match it with the current fitness level of the trainee.

Also, CrossFit is called as such because it borrows various disciplines from different workouts. Unlike P90X, you only have to perform CrossFit 3 to 5 times a week. Just note that the progress on CrossFit can be slow at first, but once you gained some muscles, it will snowball from there.

Overall, CrossFit is suitable for those who are strong enough to endure 10 to 20 minutes of an intense workout. Brutal ones last for up to 40 minutes non-stop.

Common exercises performed on CrossFit

  •       Deadlifts
  •       Shoulder press
  •       Squats
  •       Push press
  •       High Pull
  •       Jumps and lunges
  •       Burpees
  •       Push-ups
  •       Pull-ups
  •       Battle ropes

What is P90X?

On the other hand, P90X is a DVD exercise program that you can perform in the comfort of your own home. Unlike CrossFit, this is a DIY system that promises to give you a leaner and healthier body in just 90 days.

However, you shouldn’t underestimate this routine. P90X isn’t for the faint of heart.

This is how the P90X routine works: working out 6-7 days a week for about 1 to 1.5 hours a day. The routines are very rigorous that you have to take a fitness test first before you can order the DVD set.

If you pass the fitness test, you will receive 12 workout DVDs together with a workout guide, nutrition plan, and a progress calendar. Depending on the routines indicated, you may need to purchase a few pieces of equipment like free weights, pull up bars, and bands.

Moreover, P90X is a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout. It involves an intense workout circuit followed by a short rest window to keep the heart rate going.

P90X works from head to toe

This workout will target different muscle groups through plyometrics like cardio, kickboxing, yoga, and more. Each body part or muscle group has a dedicated DVD to keep the process less confusing for the individual.

So far, the most intense routine in the P90X system is the 59-minute Plyometrics. This hour-long workout will test your cardiovascular strength. It’s a high-impact exercise so it’s not suitable for those with back, hip, and knee problems.

Overall, consistency and discipline are required if you want to succeed in P90X. Also, you don’t have a personal trainer to assist you or correct your mistakes so this can be more challenging than CrossFit.

Common exercises performed on P90X

  •       Plyometrics
  •       Yoga
  •       Kenpo
  •       Curls
  •       Squats and lunges
  •       Core synergistic
  •       Sit-ups
  •       Leg raises
  •       Boxing
  •       High-Knee Jumps
  •       Squats
  •       Intense cardio

CrossFit vs P90X: Which is better?

The answer to this depends on your needs and overall physical fitness. To help you choose the right routine, the following points are worth considering:

P90X can be dangerous in the wrong hands

If you’re new to working out, P90X may not be suitable for you. This is a self-regulated routine and high-intensity as well. This combination can lead to injuries for inexperienced performers.

While CrossFit also has a risk of injuries, having a personal trainer to guide you reduces this hazard. You have to be extra careful and dedicated if you’re opting for the P90X.

CrossFit is for the athletes

If you’re an aspiring athlete, CrossFit is the best way to tone your body. There’s a trainer to guide you on the proper routines that match your needs. Also, the trainer will tailor-fit the routines to ensure that you’re targeting the right muscles.

On the other hand, BeachBody, the seller of P90X, can customize the routine just the same. You can select from classic, lean, and doubles training options. And if you’re an athlete, they can design the program to suit your field. However, you will still not have a personal trainer beside you.

P90X is for experienced workout buffs

For former athletes, P90X is a great routine to maintain your well-toned muscles. It’s an explosive routine that will provide the challenge you’re looking for.

Also, it’s important to have prior workout knowledge before signing up for this system. P90X is an intensive – and sometimes core-crushing – routine that will test your limits.

If you’re a lanky person that hasn’t done any HIIT routine before, I suggest that you start with basic CrossFit. A trainer will help you get started with the basics. As you grow stronger, you can start incorporating P90X into your lifestyle.

Consider its sustainability

One lesson I learned as a fitness enthusiast is that if you can’t see yourself doing a program for five years, you might as well look elsewhere. Sustainability is the key if you want to keep your progress and strength intact.

CrossFit is a promising program since you have a personal trainer to tweak the routines for you. It’s sustainable, although it demands more on the budget aspect. But if you want a foolproof way to get stronger and leaner, CrossFit is a good answer.

On the other hand, P90X can be tricky. While Beach Body offers customizable options for every user, not everyone can commit to it every single day. It’s easier to cheat when no one’s watching, much so in the middle of a heart-pounding routine.

P90X requires a lot of motivation

Working out at home isn’t as easy as others think. When I started working out years ago, I remember quitting two weeks into a basic HIIT program. It’s an online program so I only have myself for motivation and performing all the routines.

For a challenging system like P90X, it takes a lot of guts to stick to it day by day. There’s no trainer to push you to keep going. Also, there’s no one to take you accountable for your progress but yourself.

Unless you can keep up with the demands of the P90X system, it may not be the best choice for you.

Take note once you sign up for P90X, you will receive tons of content. It includes hours of training and hundreds of guide pages. It can be overwhelming for beginners who don’t have a trainer to help them out.

P90X and CrossFit similarities

While P90X and CrossFit have major differences, it still has similarities. Both of these routines are performed with increasing intensity. The longer you progress, the harder each routine becomes. This is to avoid plateaus and to ensure that your muscles get challenged continuously.

Also, both of these routines use a progressive curve to ensure that you’re ready to step up your intensity. As long as you haven’t mastered the current phase, you will keep doing it. Aside from that, the progression curve determines whether you’re plateauing or still progressing.

Overall, both of these routines require dedication, effort, and motivation. Both the P90X and CrossFit aren’t made easy for a good reason.

Easy workouts don’t change your physique. But with an added challenge, stress, and weight, you will see results in a few months.

Final words

In this CrossFit vs P90X face-off, there’s no definite answer about which is best. It all boils down to your individual needs, fitness status, and experience. You should decide what works for you best based on your time, preference, and skill. When in doubt, it’s always advisable to consult a professional trainer.




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