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Posted by Barry on Jul 17, 2012

Finding the Right Workout

I’ve spent over 2 years doing Beachbody workout programs …. ONLY Beachbody workout programs. I haven’t used the gym or any workout machines. Who needs them? Clearly I haven’t!

I owe all of my fitness success to this great assortment of programs.  I want to show people what’s possible with these workouts. And the best part is that there’s such a variety that the possibilities for workouts are endless.

All the talk right now is about P90X2 and Body Beast, yet there is still a ton of attention on the other “big name” programs like P90X and Insanity.

But which workout is right for you? That depends on where you starting from and where you want to go. There’s no “one size fits all” plan, but there are lots of programs available that will undoubtedly get you where you want to go.

Let’s start with the “Big Guns” — P90X and Insanity. These are the flagship programs offered by Beachbody, and they are the most widely recognized. They are also some of the most intense and extreme of the lineup, so depending on your current fitness level, these may be out of your league. And that’s okay. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Insanity is a hardcore cardio program, and you will burn a ton of body fat with this program. It involves a lot of plyometric jumping and full-body movements, but doesn’t use weights (with the one exception of the Upper Body Weight Training DVD). I typically burn over 1,000 calories per session with Insanity, and my heart rate is through the roof! It’s intense! And it requires that you have knees and a back that can handle jumping, pivoting, and getting up and down from the floor a lot!

P90X is a total body fitness program that uses 3 lift days and 3 cardio days per week. The lifting is through pushups, pullups, and dumbbells (or you can substitute resistance bands). P90X has been my favorite program because of the balance it has between building muscle and burning fat. The cardio is easier than Insanity, but it still works you pretty hard (especially PlyoX).

But what if P90X and Insanity are a little overwhelming for you? What other programs might you want to consider?

Power 90 is a great program for those who don’t think they are quite ready for P90X. The great thing about P90 is that you can still see huge results because the nutrition plan is similar to P90X. The workouts are a bit shorter, there are no pullups, and there is a wide variety of workouts just like P90X. Some may think P90 won’t give them awesome results since it’s “easier” than P90X, but I’ve seen story after story of amazing P90 transformations.

If you are way out of shape, you can start off just doing part of the workout, even if it’s just 15 minutes.  As you get stronger and more fit, you can add another 5 minutes, then another, and before you know it you’ll be doing the full workout.  Power 90 Masters Series offers resistance training, cardio, core, and abs.  It’s the whole package.  And it’s a super value too.

And what about the ladies who want to tone and burn calories, but aren’t sure Shaun T’s Insanity fits their style? There is Turbo Fire and ChaLean Extreme — both great workouts for the ladies with ChaLean Johnson. My daughter, Alexandra loves working out with Chalean and has even gotten me, my son, my other daughter, and my wife to work out with her.  She did the base routine first, then got the deluxe upgrade DVD’s and went through a second round.  Now she continues to do it in a hybrid.  Chalean Extreme is also a great value.

Then there is Les Mills Pump, which is a great blend of high speed cardio AND lifting rolled into one.  It’s great for newbies as well as the old pros, men and women.

And of course there is the ever-popular Slim in 6. You can learn all about these individual programs under the tab “Progams” on the top of this website.

And for those of you who have already done P90X and/or Insanity and want something new, there are lots of ways to add variety and take the intensity up a notch. P90X Plus is a great set of workouts to supplement the P90X workouts for those who have “graduated” their first 90 days, and I really enjoy using them in my hybrid workouts. And of course there are Tony Horton’s 1-on-1′s, which are tailored to particular target zones (like “Just Arms”, “Diamond Delts”, “Upper Body Massacre”, “Killer Abs”, “Ab Ripper Extended”, etc.) These are great to sprinkle into a routine to change things up and work specific muscle groups.

My favorite way to use the vast array of Beachbody workout programs is to put them into my own hybrid workouts. I’ve been doing that for several rounds. I can change it up, keep it fresh, get creative, and have fun with it.

Then, for those of you who want to go beyond fit to plain old CRAZY ELITE ATHLETE level, we’ve got the graduate level programs, P90X2, Asylum, and Body Beast .  These are designed for those who have already successfully completed a round of either P90X or Insanity, because you have to have a baseline level of fitness to even begin these programs.

So there you have it.  Think about where you are and what is best for you and pick a program.  NO MORE EXCUSES!  Get busy and Bring It!

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