Home workout DVDs compared

Home workout DVDs compared


If you’ve been in the fitness world for any significant stretch of time you’re likely to have come across the Insanity workout and P90X. And if you’re not you’ve probably seen them advertised somewhere and wondered just how effective they are. Well here’s your chance to find out if one of these workout DVDs could be your key to losing weight and getting in shape as we put them head to head.

Product comparison: 

Insanity P90X
Length 60 days 90 days
No. of workouts 10 DVDS 12 DVDS
Avg. workout time 45 Mins 75 Mins
Schedule 6 times a week 6 times a week
Min. equipment None Resistance bands


Comparing P90X and The Insanity Workout

Between them P90X and Insanity have got hundreds of thousands of people working out at home and getting into great shape while they do it. There’s no doubting that they work and that they are a cost-effective and convenient way of getting into shape, but they do require a serious commitment – 60 or 90 days depending on which one you choose, and this is six times a week, following the programme strictly. At an average of an hour a day it’s quite time-consuming, but is it worth it?


If you don’t like the sound of a 90-day commitment, as is required for the P90X workout, Insanity is the obvious choice, allowing you to get similarly impressive results in 60 days. Whereas P90X concentrates more on resistance training, Insanity is more cardio based, having been created by a track and field trainer.

The intensity of the mainly cardio-based Insanity workout enables a high calorie burn – around 1,000 in every workout if you really push yourself. This means ensuring that you are doused in sweat by the end, barely able to catch your breath – in short, it’s really tough, especially if you go into it having not done any training previously. But you’ll start to see results quickly if you really work hard at it, and that’s what it’s all about.

So how does it work?

  1. A series of movements with no rest period
  2. Repeat that same series of movements, but faster
  3. Repeat those moves again, but even faster (sweating a lot now)
  4. Take a break
  5. Move on to the next sequence of moves and repeat in the same manner

The workouts usually last around 45 minutes and you can do them anywhere really, although at home is probably preferable. It’s perfect for people who don’t really enjoy going to the gym or whose lifestyle means that a gym membership doesn’t offer good value. HIIT training is research-tested as a great way to burn fat and get in shape quickly, and this DVD set helps motivate you to keep exercising at a high pace for 45 minutes.

What comes in the box? 

  • Fitness guide (advice on stretching and how to do certain moves etc)
  • 10 DVDs
  • An elite nutrition guide providing tips on what to eat before and after your workouts


It’s understandable why people would often be sceptical about these ‘magic’ fitness DVDs as many of them are rather faddish, often not explaining exactly what is required to reach the promised goal. P90X claims to be different in that all its principles are based on sound scientific research. Alongside this, its main selling point is the fact that P90X is the only workout DVD that focuses specifically on individuals. The programme is created with your own body type in mind, and dependent on your own specific circumstances. So it will tell you what and how much to eat, when to eat and what to avoid.

You begin by figuring out exactly how many calories you need to be consuming to keep your body adequately fuelled for optimal performance whilst still keeping your metabolism boosted for maximum fat loss.

How does it work?

P90X is the brainchild of celebrity trainer Tony Horton and it combines a wide variety of exercises and moves that include…

  •       Strength training
  •       Cardio
  •       Stretching
  •       Yoga
  •       Plyometrics
  •       Kenpo Karate

P90X is far more varied in terms of the different training methods that it puts you through, but this is understandable as it does take up more of your time. With each workout coming in at around 75 minutes, six days a week for a total of 90 days, it’s as full-on as they come, but it’ll have you working your entire body effectively. Certain bits of equipment such as a yoga mat, pull-up bar, resistance bands and dumbbells are recommended, but it’s possible to do it without any of these as long as you have enough space to do press-ups. However, we’d suggest having resistance bands would let you get the most out of the programme.

P90X will take you through a variety of training methods, each aimed at improving your overall strength, stabilising your core and burning fat. Each week the focus will change, so it’s never feels repetitive and your body gets a chance to recover and grow while you work other muscles.

What comes in the box?

  • P90X nutrition plan (3 phase approach to eating with the aim of helping you burn fat while feeding your muscles
  • A fitness guide
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • 12 DVDs that demonstrate the correct form for each move

For each move, the P90X DVDs show a beginner and an advanced version of it so you can tailor the workouts to your level of experience and push yourself harder if required.

P90XThe verdict

Both P90X and Insanity provide effective ways of building muscle and burning fat at home without having to get a costly gym membership or personal trainer. They do both require dedication. People see the adverts and think, ‘Wow, I can get a body like that in just a couple of months’ – but the reality of exercising six times a week for eight or 12 weeks is far more commitment than most people are capable of. Especially if they have barely done any exercise before.

It seems sad that a lot of copies of Insanity and P90X will be sitting gathering dust in people’s homes, taunting them for their laziness. But the way the DVDs are marketed is the problem, not the training programmes themselves. It’s just a simple fact that exercising six days a week will get you results, but it will also be hard.

If you have the grit, determination, a specific timeframe to work towards (a wedding or beach holiday, for example), and don’t fancy or can’t afford a gym and personal trainer, you could do far worse than buying Insanity or P90X – as long as you stick with them. Remember though, six-packs are made in the kitchen, so if you want to get the most from it ensure you follow the nutrition plans that come with the programmes.

Click Here to go to the official P90X Website 

Click Here to go to the official Insanity Workout