Is P90X the best home exercise program?

Every fitness coach selling an exercise or weight loss program promises the same thing: it’ll get you fit in a short amount of time. Yet today more than ever, people are struggling with obesity, too much weight or a general state of poor fitness. How can it be possible, with so many seemingly-effective fitness programs out there?

The truth is that most of them just rehash old diet-and-exercise plans into new ones, offering very little in terms of novelty and efficiency. However, a select few programs stand apart from their rivals in terms of popularity, effectiveness or availability – take your pick. P90X is perhaps the most popular exercise program, promising to transform your body in 90 days.

How does P90X work, and should you buy it?

The premise of ‘Power 90x’ is a simple one: use a rigorous training regimen of mostly bodyweight exercises and couple it with a good diet. The diet itself isn’t too complex and features solid advice – increase protein and reduce carbohydrates during the first 30 days (the cutting-weight period), and then add more carbs throughout the following two months.

The exercises are where things get interesting. Provided you have a couple of exercise tools at home, you’ll have everything you need to immerse yourself in the grind – no expensive equipment is needed.

P90x aims to shock the body and prevent it from adapting to any particular exercise, which would reduce its benefits. Over a period of 3 months, you’ll be subjected to various grueling bodyweight exercises, from easy stuff like yoga to exhausting plyometric drills. While the program does somewhat take into account your overall level of fitness, don’t hope you’ll get off easy – it’s more or less a standard course for everyone.

It also comes with a set of DVDs that explain each technique in detail. If you find the coach likeable and motivational, the video footage will help a ton and will make it seem as if you have your own personal fitness trainer. P90x has been called the best home exercise program by many due to its simplicity and effectiveness, but it has 2 significant rivals.

2 sound alternatives if you don’t like P90x

Insanity isn’t quite a competitor of P90x since they are distributed by the same company (unsurprisingly called Beachbody), except with a different coach and an altered program. Those who have used Insanity swear it’s the most brutal home exercise regimen available – it focuses on an array of bodyweight exercises, which are particularly difficult for most out-of-shape people, and it also features a lot of cardio to boot. If you don’t like P90x or its coach, Insanity is probably the next best thing to try out.

Crossfit isn’t an exercise program in the strictest sense, but it has many upsides over those mentioned above. For one, it’s free – provided you have some equipment or a gym membership, all you need to do is go on the Crossfit website and adhere to the new set of drills that is posted daily. The exercises are extremely varied and are meant to shock your body into shape, but aren’t exactly cut out for beginners. They do seem to work for Crossfitters, though – they sure are a fit bunch.