P90X and CrossFit versus Boot Camp

If you can’t get to the gym, then P90X, Insanity, or programs that are similar sure seem like a good alternative. There are definite benefits of these programs, but they aren’t for everyone, and if you’re starting from scratch, you should be careful that you don’t hurt yourself first.

Growing popularity of P09X and CrossFit

These extreme training programs are becoming so popular because they provide a great workout for those who have busy schedules, or those who are gym shy and don’t want to work out in front of other people. While they aren’t cheap, once you’ve purchased the video programs, you don’t have the ongoing fees associated with gyms and training programs, so if you lack motivation initially and want to come back to it a year from now, you can. That doesn’t make these perfect exercise programs; they’re far from it to be exact.

The devil is in the details – your form is VERY important!

The biggest problem with these programs, and the reason they aren’t so great for the average person, is that watching a video an listening to a personal trainer tell you do something is not the same as having a trainer live and in person working with you.

If you’re in your living room listening to a guy on your TV tell you to “bend your elbow 90 degrees”, you’ll bend it to what you think is 90 degrees and move on to the next exercise. If you did it right, great, but if you don’t, the guy on TV can’t tell you that you did it wrong or instruct you how to do it right.

This creates several potential problems:

  • You may not being doing the exercises correctly, meaning you may not be getting the benefits you’re hoping for, and even worse, you run the risk of injury.
  • Maybe you’re doing it right, but if you’re doing it wrong, best case you do the same moves over and over and don’t get the benefits, worse case you injure yourself.
  • Neither of these options is ideal, and chances are if you aren’t very fitness minded, you won’t do it correctly.

CrossFit is similar in the fact that while it is a great program, and it has plenty of benefits, without a trainer telling you what to do, you run the same risks if you take on any fitness program on your own. If you don’t have actual live support, you run all those same risks.

What can the group do for you?

The other thing these programs lack is the group dynamic that comes from having an actual trainer and other participants there to support and motivate you. A personal trainer can change things up if necessary, and keep it interesting. A trainer on a TV repeats himself every day. It can get boring, and for this reason, the results you see on TV are not typical. Not even close.

When you work out in front of the TV, it can be easy to take shortcuts, stop early, or simply skip. But when you workout as part of a group, you make relationships with others that help inspire you as well as hold you accountable.  If you are not there, they notice.

So before you decide which route to take, you must first decide if you are serious. If so, you should do it the right way. Only you can decide what that is.